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All readers should know that books by our author Cloud should, for best reading, start with Book 1, The Way Back, followed by The Shadows Fall, Battle the Dark, and the fourth book, The Fourth Life. They do build on each other. The Way Back is the initial book in the series, and begins with The Vickerman Premier from OLTL (of course, written with this author's point of view.) Cloud has also completed her 5th Book, The End of Blame, her 6th novel, Diamond in the Rough and her 7th book in the series, Hope from the Ocean. The 8th in the series, Failings of the Fathers, has just reached it's ending. Cloud usually updates very Thursday and Sunday, so look for Book 9, Chasing the Monsters, to start showing up each week. There are also more to come after this!

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In addition to these, Author Monica_Ann currently completed Dance with the Devil that takes place in Port Charles and has also shared her next book, The Devil You Know, also taking place in Port Charles.

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Chasing the Monsters: 61 (adult language)

Tea was screeching, "Stop it!  Stop it, Todd!" and Blair, seeing Todd getting the upper hand on Zeus, saw him turning deep red in the face.  

She said, "No, My Love, stop, please.  The children need both of us."  She put her hand on his arm, and he flinched her off.  In response to this, she shouted, "Todd, let go of him!"


Zeus was now on his knees, and his eyes were starting to roll back in his head.  Both women pulled at Todd to try and loosen his grip, but Blair saw that he was gone.  She said, "No, Todd!  Todd, stop.  He's not Peter, you're not Peter!"


Just then, in the midst of the turmoil, a small, broken voice said, "Mr. Genie?  Are you going to kill my Daddy?"


Todd, still holding his hand around Zeus' neck, turned slightly, and caught sight of Isabella, who had wandered into the room.  Tea, sobbing, yelled at her daughter to get back upstairs.


Todd watched as the little girl ran out, and then let go, sending Zeus plummeting to the floor.  He was unconscious, and Blair and a shell-shocked Tea ran to his side and checked his pulse.  "Zeus?  Mi amor, can you hear me?"


He didn't stir.


Tea was crying and laughing all at once: "You did it.  You bastard, you did it.  You've taken everything from me, again!  Zeus!  Zeus, mi amor, por favor!  I'm sorry, I'm so sorry!  You're my life, my love.  Please don't leave me," she cried, cradling Zeus' head in her lap, and Blair stepped away from him, and turned in time to see her man crumbling before her.  


Todd had stumbled back and hit the wall, and sliding down, covered his head with both hands and pulled his knees up toward himself.  Blair crouched in front of him, trying to get his hands free so she could make eye contact with him.  She whispered, "He's not dead, Todd.  Please, it's all right," and she waited for him to shout, yell at her, push her away, anything to show he was there, with her, for she feared he would go inside himself and never come out.


Tea cried, "Oh my God, Zeus?  Please, be all right?" as he opened his eyes, and slowly pushed himself to sitting, rubbing at his neck.  She looked across the room, as Zeus did, and both of them witnessed Blair, now cross-legged in front of Todd, and Todd, still holding his head with both hands, his face hidden behind his arms.  


Tea shouted, "You monster!" and Zeus unexpectedly snapped at her.


"Quiet, Tea, now!" and got to his feet.  He walked to them, with Tea watching in disbelief.  "Blair," he said softly, "Blair, what can I do?"


She looked up.  Her face was tear-stained and mascara was bleeding onto her cheeks.  "Nothing.  He's just . . . you can't do anything right now."


"Tea, let's go," Zeus said.  "Let them be."


Tea didn't move at first; Zeus barked again, "Tea!"


She jumped and went to him, and both of them left the room.  Blair wondered for a minute if Zeus intended to call the police, and then she suddenly was calm, knowing somehow he wouldn't.  She turned her attention back to Todd.  "Todd?  He's not dead.  He's all right.  Everyone's all right."  She looked to the ceiling, "Hasn't he had enough?"


Todd said, "The little girl?  Is she . . . is she all right?"


Zeus appeared back in the doorway, alone.  "She's fine.  That was my daughter, Isabella.  She's okay."


Todd looked up from the floor at Zeus, who said, "Blair, give us a minute, will you?"


She said, "You fucking serious?  No, I'm not."


Todd said, "Blair."


"I'm not leaving you in here with him!"


"Blair, I'm not out to hurt Todd.  Just give us a minute,"  Zeus repeated.


Todd looked at her and reached his hand out to touch her hair.  He brushed the mascara out from under her eyes with his thumbs, and said, "Babe, go, please?"


She stood.  "All right, but I'm not talking to that bitch, Tea, and I'm not going far.  I'll be outside the door," she picked up the butter knife.  "Don't cross me!" she said, shaking it at Zeus, who watched her go, and then half-smiled.


"Hmf.  She's a she-wolf about you and her kids,"  Zeus said.


Todd ignored it.  "Cops on their way?"  he said, still sitting.


"Nope," Zeus said, sitting next to him.


"Why?"


"Because."


"Not a reason.  Your wife won't have that."


"Oh, she'll have that and more.  This all was started by me, and the timing was shit.  I wanted to please her, you know, be the man she wanted, do what she asked.  She put me up to it, and I was a sucker for her.  Believe me, she can get me to do almost anything.   This was all about ruining you, payback for her.  But, in my heart, I started to think maybe I could really get my son back."  Todd's head whipped quickly to look at Zeus, who said, "But he doesn't want to be here.  I know that now.  She wanted me to get him . . . away from you.  Meanwhile, you were dealing with all this crazy shit, from your past, the resurrection of the real monster, and more.  Sam was, too.  It was the worst timing in the world, and I was wrong.  So, I take responsibility for today."


"You call Peter 'The Real Monster?'"


"Yeah.  I have some of your memories, don't forget.  Maybe not everything, but I know what he was.  And now Sam has some, too."


"I don't know what to say to this, except I love that boy, and I'd never let anyone hurt him."


He rubbed his neck, "I'd say you wouldn't.  And I deserved this too," he gestured to his neck, "pushing Blair like that.  So, I hope you accept my apology," he put out his hand.


Todd shook it, hardly remembering Blair being pushed or much else, and said, "Sure.  But you can't have Sam."


"I know.  Sam made that clear before you even got here.  Loves you.  Calls you Dad."


"Yeah.  I know."


Zeus' face was pained.  "He's . . . a special kid.  Weird, I guess, that he's a product of some kind of rape, eh?"  He seemed embarrassed.


Todd didn't answer, he just looked straight ahead.  Then he said, "I . . . uh . . . when you had me pinned against the wall that way, I . . . I lost control.  I'm sorry about that," and looked down.


Zeus swallowed, "Oh Hell, what's a little bruised neck?  I deserved it, I told you.  Now get it together and get your woman home."  Zeus had stood up while talking, and left Todd alone on the floor in the study.


A few minutes later, Blair came in and slid down the wall next to him.  "How you doing?"


"Tired.  I feel like I just ran for miles."


"Thanks for defending me," she said.


"Thanks for defending me," he said, "I loved what you said to Tea.  Meow!"  he created a claw with his hand.  "It's all true."


"Todd . . ."


He gulped, "Don't, Blair.  It's better left this way, for now."  


"You lost control.  When he pinned you that way."


"Yep," he nodded.


"Peter?"


"Yep," he nodded again.


"Okay," she looked forward.


"Okay," he said.


*** 


"They're gone," Zeus said, coming into the bedroom.  Tea was sitting on the bed, still crying.  

He sat next to her and put his arms around her and she sobbed on to his chest.  "I . . . thought . . . I . . . "


"I'm fine."


"I thought I'd lost you."


"Eh, close.  But not quite."


"I would have died," she said.  "I don't know what I was thinking putting you up to this."


"No more of that, I'm taking charge," he said, smiling.


"Oh yeah?  That's what you think," she smiled back, through tears.


"No more of this.  You either want me, or you don't.  You're either willing to let go of Todd Manning, or you're not.  But I'm not him.  I never was, and it took therapy for me to accept it.  I'm not going to pretend I'm him, or try and be what you imagine him to be.  I'm just me, and this is what you get or nothing."


She looked to her hands, "I'm okay with that, and I'm so sorry.  I was . . . foolish.  Muy loca."


"Hmm, si," he said.  "Are you willing to let go and really move on?"


"Does it include you?"


"Yeah, but if you can't then I have to go, Tea,"  he became serious.  "I can't live in that shadow anymore."


"If it means having you, I'd do anything," she said.


He whisked her onto her back and pinned her hands to the bed.  He said, "So then, what do you say?"


"I'd say fuck me, the way you know I want you to."


He moved on top of her and kissed her, pinning her hands over her head with one hand, ripping the waistband of her slacks down enough to get his hand inside.  He slid his fingers against her wetness, and she moaned.


***


Todd was silent, sitting against the door in the cab, with Blair in his arm.  She was quiet as well, and they watched Greece move by them, in white and blue and green, all painted with sunlight.  He looked at her, and she turned to face him.  Their eyes met, and neither one spoke.  Her heart was heavy; she'd watched him in utter despair enough and had shouldered enough of his pain to understand where he was that very moment, so talking wasn't needed.  


After a short while more of looking out the window together, she moved her hand across his chest and snuggled closer.  He looked out of the corner of his eye at her, and half-smiled, the left side of his mouth slightly lifting.  He finally broke the silence and said, "Driver, there's been a change.  Melian Hotel, please."


She gazed up into his eyes and, again, said nothing.  She waited for his lead.  He said, "Mrs. Manning, would you stay here with me, a day or so?"


"Yes, Mr. Manning.  I'd be anywhere with you."


"No one has to know.  But, I'll just call home later and tell Momma.  I . . . want to just hold you.  It's been a tough day," he said, sighing.


"And I want you to hold me," she said.  "I want to make you feel good, whatever it takes."


"It doesn't take much when you're with me," he said, turning back to the window.  The drive drfited them both toward sleep, until the cab parked in front of the hotel, and let them out.  He tossed the driver a fifty.  "Keep the change," he said, still keeping his arm around his wife.  He was beginning to show light bruising on his neck, where Zeus had gotten him in a strangle hold and pushed him, face-first, against the wall.  He knew what had happened; his mind snapped that very moment, and he'd lost track of where he was and who was there.  Everything became dark, even though the light was pouring in the windows and skylights. . .


"Mr. and Mrs. Manning," he heard her say.  They were already at the desk.  "The penthouse please, with the rooftop outdoor tub?"


"Certainly, Mrs. Manning.  Mr. Manning, I do remember you, when you were both here before.  Glad to have you back," the manager said.  Of course, he was remembering the amount of cash they had put out during their previous stay.  


"Uh, thanks," he said and swallowed uncomfortably.


She took his hand, "Let's go," she said, sweetly, and smiled into his face.


Though his expression was less than joyful, her smile soon spread to his, and they walked off to the elevator.


*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

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