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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Todd's Saga 40: Vindication

Bo rushed into La Boulaie, pulling Blair behind him as they entered the living room.  His gun out, he saw Dorian in a struggle with a stranger on the couch and Carl Peterson on the floor, unconscious. “Hold it right there Mister. Get your hands off the woman and move away.”

Todd let go of Dorian’s hand and moved off the couch.  “As always Bo, you’ve got it all wrong again,” he said as he turned to look directly at the Commissioner.

Bo frowned. The voice was familiar.  He looked closely at the man now standing away from Dorian.  He took in the man’s disheveled appearance and then noticed the remnants of some sort of disguise but what really drew his eyes was the scar on the man’s cheek. It couldn’t be.  “Damn it, why don’t you ever stay dead.”

“Nice to see you too, Bo,” Todd watched as Blair moved past Bo to get to Dorian’s side, who had passed out again. “She’s going to be alright, Blair.”

“Todd, what is this? Some sort of weird revenge for an imagined offense that Dorian and Peterson did to you?” Bo kept his gun on Todd. “Blair, how is Dorian?”

John had been checking on Peterson.  “You really did a number on this guy, Manning.  Looks like you’ll be spending more time in jail.”

Dorian was coming around again and Blair suddenly realized what John was saying. “Wait, you both have this all wrong.  Bo put down your gun. Todd came to save Dorian, not hurt her.”  They both looked at her with pity; they knew that no matter what Todd did she would always have his back.

“Don’t be ridiculous, Todd hates Dorian. I agree with John.  Manning, it looks like we have you dead to rights.” Bo replied.

John was calling for an ambulance when Dorian coughed and tried to speak.

“Bo, stop,” she coughed again and struggled to sit up. Blair helped her and started to get up to go get some water.

Bo looked over at Dorian and saw the bruises around her neck.  His hand tightened on his gun.  “Blair hold it.  Manning move away her.”  The last thing he needed was for Todd to take Blair hostage.  He saw Blair give Todd what looked like an apologetic smile.  Todd nodded and gave her back a brief smile, then did as Bo asked.  It was strange.  What was even stranger, was that Todd hadn’t said anything since his first few comments.  He didn’t seem violent.  In fact, given the circumstances Todd was remarkably calm.  

Todd moved away to give Blair room to get Dorian some water.  Then he noticed John beginning to untie Peterson.  “I don’t think you want to do that, John.  That’s the man who’s been turning everyone’s life upside down in this town, mine, Tea and Victor’s, even your brother Clint’s, Bo.”

“What the hell, Manning?  You really have lost it this time,” Bo said shaking his head.

“He’s right,” said Dorian quietly.  All the attention turned back to her. “Everything Todd just said is the truth.” She took another drink.  She looked at her feet and saw the broken planter amid the rest of the shambles of her living room.  “Blair, get it.”

Blair reached down and shifted the dirt and pottery aside picking out a small recorder she and Dorian had planted earlier that day.

Dorian looked at Todd. “Thank you. If you hadn’t shown up when you did, I’d be dead.” She took the recorder from Blair and held it out to Bo.  “Listen to this.” She rubbed her throat and coughed some more.

Blair put an arm around her aunt. “I’m sorry, this is my fault.  It was my plan.  We should get you to the hospital to get checked out.  Bo, please put down that gun.  You heard Dorian.  Todd saved her.”

Bo glared at Todd but lowered his gun. “This isn’t over.  I don’t know what’s going on, but you’re not going anywhere except the station, Manning.”

Blair got up and moved in front of Todd. “Bo, just listen to the recording.”

Bo looked at John, “What do you think?”

“Let’s hear it, Bo. Manning doesn’t look like he plans to go anywhere.”

Bo turned the recorder on.  Several minutes later he turned it off.  Looking around, he spotted the broken bottle of wine lying on the floor and went to it.  He knelt down and pulled his pen from his pocket, turning the bottle over.  He saw the label and spotted the triskele in the corner just like the ones on Viki’s bottles.  Everything Todd had said was true.  Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out his cell phone and made a call.

In the meantime, John was back down beside Peterson’s unconscious body.  He tightened the knots he had started to untie. “I guess that will hold him for now.”  

Bo turned to Dorian,  “I’m sorry, but this is now a crime scene.  Dorian, Blair’s right, you should go to the hospital.  Manning, would you be willing to come down to the station and give us a statement about what happened when you arrived?”

Todd looked at Blair, “You need to go with Dorian.  I’ll give my statement and then join you as soon as I can.  Bo, you should know, I’ve got plenty of other proof besides that recording.  There’s no way Peterson’s going to escape these charges.”

The ambulance arrived at LaBoulaie shortly before Bo’s team.  The EMTs checked out Dorian and she agreed to go to the hospital.  She was upset when it was decided Peterson needed to go, too.

“I won’t go if he’s in the ambulance with me.  Bo, he tried to kill me and he was going to do the same to Blair,” she said huskily.  She shuddered as she remembered how terrified she had been when Carl started squeezing her throat.

“Dorian, the man’s unconscious. I don’t think he’ll give you any trouble.  But don’t worry, one of my officers will be riding with you.  I’m not taking any chances with the man.  You’ll be safe.”

Blair had gotten chills when they had all heard Peterson say he would kill her after Dorian.  She understood Dorian’s fear. She gave her aunt a hug. “Dorian, go. It’s just a short drive and I’ll be following right behind.  As long as they keep him restrained, you should be fine.”

Todd wasn’t any happier about the situation. Remembering what the organization did with Clint, he turned and looked at McBain. “You should go, too.  Peterson has one doctor at Llanview Hospital in his organization for sure.  No telling how many others might be there.  You’re going to have to watch him like a hawk or he might disappear.”

The situation settled, Bo spoke to one of his officers and the EMTs.  Peterson was untied and then handcuffed to the gurney.  He began to show signs of coming around as he was put in the ambulance.  The EMT assisted Dorian in and once she was comfortably settled, the officer took a seat next to her. The EMT took up his post at Peterson’s head.  Bo and Todd watched as the ambulance left, with John and Blair following. 

Todd's phone went off and he moved away from Bo to answer it. “Good, you’ve landed.  You stay put, I’m sending a car.  We’ve had a major development.  I’m glad you’re here, Sid.  Thanks for coming.” He hung up and called Llanfair.   It rang a number of times. “Damn it, Viki, pick up… About time.  Nigel, this is Mr. Butler.”  He proceeded to give a few instructions and then hung up.  As he turned around, he found Bo standing directly behind him. 

“So that’s who you are right now, Mr. Butler?”  Bo stopped for a minute as  the name rang a bell.  “Wait a minute.  Tony Butler is the man who recently went into partnership with Viki and The Banner.  You’re that Butler?”

Todd calmly put his phone back in his pocket.  “There’s no law that says you can’t help a family member.  My recent enterprises have been surprisingly lucrative.  Do you have a problem with that?”

“Not as long as you’ve stayed within the law, Manning.”

“It’s Tony Butler for now.  Todd Manning is dead as you said earlier, although not for much longer.”

Bo frowned. “Fine, I guess you’re riding with me.  Let’s go get that statement.”


Viki was sitting with Clint when the phone rang.

“Leave it Viki, whoever is calling can call back later.” Clint put his arm around her to keep her from getting up.

Viki shook her head.  “If I don’t get it, you know Nigel will.  He hates ringing phones.”  She was proven right when Nigel soon entered the library.

“Excuse me, Ms. Viki, but that phone call was from Mr. Butler.  He asked that Mrs. Lord, Mr. Baron, and Mr. Ritchie join him down at the police station.  He also said I should pick up a Mr. Reilly at the airport and deliver him there, too.”

Viki exchanged a look with Clint. “Very well, Nigel.  I’ll take Mrs. Lord and Mr. Butler’s associates down to the station.  You go and pick up Mr. Reilly.”  She got up off the sofa and with Clint following her, she walked to the den. She knocked on the door. “I’m sorry to interrupt, but I’m afraid Mr. Butler needs you down at the police station.”  Even though the doors were thick at Llanfair, both she and Clint heard Victor cursing on the other side of the door.  Viki couldn’t help smiling, as Clint flat out chuckled next to her. After a few minutes, Tea opened the door. Victor was tucking his shirt in and looked extremely put out.

Victor was muttering as he passed Viki and Clint.  “I swear, I’m going to wring his neck.“

“Shh,” said Tea as she tucked her arm through his. “You already tried that, remember.”  She whispered something into his ear and he just pulled her closer. Tea then turned to Viki. “I’ll take Mr. Baron with me and we’ll meet you there. Okay?”

Viki smiled, “That should be fine.” Then she got serious.  “Tea, if Mr, Butler asked you to join us, it’s because he needs your expert legal advice.  I’m sure he and his associates can count on you, correct?”

Tea tightened her hold on Victor’s arm.  “I understand Viki.  I’m prepared to do anything to help all of them.”  A few minutes later, she and Victor sat down in her car.  She turned to her husband.  “Months ago, I was willing to let Bo put you in jail because I wanted to protect you from these people, but we could run away right now if you want.”

Victor took her hand.  “I’m through running.  I killed the man in self-defense.  Todd has managed to get enough proof that the organization was drugging me, and I still have the track marks to show for it.  This organization is coming down and both Alison Perkins and her brother are coming down with it.  Let’s go.” He sat back in his seat and let go of Tea’s hand and smiled at her.  “Besides, I have the best lawyer in Pennsylvania.  If anyone can get me cleared of the charges, it will be her.”

Tea smiled tremulously and started the car.


On the way to the station, Bo called Nora and asked her to meet him at his office.  He watched as Todd removed what was left of his disguise.  “So that’s how you hid from Peterson.  You disguised yourself and became Tony Butler.”

“You’re quick, Bo.” replied Todd

Bo gritted his teeth.  Manning was as arrogant as always. “So tell me why you felt the need to hide.  Who did you cross this time?”

Todd looked over at Bo. “You’ve never given me the benefit of doubt.  You were convinced I tried to strangle myself.  I don’t really owe you an explanation.  I haven’t done anything illegal.”

Bo glared at him  and the rest of the drive was quiet.  The minute Todd and Bo walked into the squad room, the chatter died.  Everyone was looking at Todd. Bo glanced around the room.  “Okay, enough. Yes you’re not seeing things, now get back to work.” He turned to Todd. “Lets go to my office.”

Before Todd could move, Viki and Clint entered the room followed by Tea and Victor.  Both men still had on their disguises. “Um Bo, I think you might want to talk to my associates, too.”

Bo looked at Viki, and the two strangers. “What are you doing here?”

“Todd called and said we should come. So here we are.  What’s happening?”

“You’ve known Tony Butler was Todd and you didn’t say anything? Viki I’m disappointed.”

Clint looked like he was going to say something and Todd smoothly stepped between him and Bo. “Look, this can all be explained but I think we should do so in your office.”

Tea spoke up.  “Viki requested I be here too.  So you’re not leaving me out of this.”

Bo threw up his hands, “Fine, let’s go in there.”   Bo settled down into his seat. surrounded by Todd and everyone else.  “Well, Todd, are you going to introduce me to your associates?”

Todd looked out Bo’s window and saw Nigel escorting Sid Reilly in.  “Hold on, I have one more person to add.”  He opened Bo’s door and waved Sid over. “Thank you, Nigel, I’ll take it from here.” He shut the door behind Sid and moved back around to stand beside Bo’s desk. “This is Sid Reilly, and he’s here to testify against Peterson.  He saw Peterson on several occasion working with Alison Perkins. As for my colleagues, let me introduce Victor Baron aka Victor Lord Jr. and Mr. Lionel Ritchie, no relation to the composer, AKA Clint Buchanan"

Bo watched dumbfounded as Victor and Clint removed their prosthetics and stared at all the men in front of him. “What?? Where??... Damn…”  he couldn’t get anything else out.  

Victor looked over at Todd with a smirk.  “This is priceless.  Bo Buchanan is speechless.”

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