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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Todd's Saga 32: Mission Accomplished

         Todd stood across the street from the warehouse where the drugs had been delivered earlier that week.  He noted a florist delivery truck waiting at the loading dock.  He crossed the street and saw a number of gift baskets sitting in the back of the truck.

“Hey, you by the truck?  Quit dawdling and get back to work.  We’ve got over five hundred of those baskets to get delivered in the next two days,” yelled a man standing on the loading bay. 

Since his back was to the man, Todd pulled his cap lower, nodded, and headed into the warehouse.  As he had hoped, the uniform had given him the in he needed to see what was taking place in the warehouse.  He walked over and joined the assembly line filling the baskets.  There was a loud crash as several bottles of expensive wine were jostled and fell to the concrete.  All activity came to a halt.  Todd watched as the man responsible was being held firmly by two other guards as he struggled, then a lab technician brought a syringe and injected it into him. The man stopped struggling and was led away. The foreman looked at the Todd and the rest of the men on the line. “The next man to drop a bottle will find himself back at the compound, making himself useful as a guinea pig.”  

        Todd’s eyes narrowed as the technician went back to his job of inserting the syringes and their contents into the bottles of wine.  He lowered his head and went back to work filling the basket he was working on.  There was a tap on his shoulder and he turned to find himself face to face with the foreman.

         “You, get a mop and clean up that mess.  We can’t afford anyone slipping and breaking more bottles. The boss will have a field day with all of us.” The foreman looked at the mess, shook his head, and walked away.

         Looking around, Todd spotted the broom closet and headed to get what he needed to clean up the bottles and the spilled wine.  He mopped up the wine and carefully pulled out strands of the mop.  Then he swept up the glass and carefully cradled the bottom of one of the bottles that still contained a small portion of the wine and carried it to the broom closet.  Spotting a couple of plastic bags he wrapped the bottle and its contents, along with the strands from the mop into one bag.  He made sure the bag’s extra bulk cushioned the broken edges of the glass and put the first bag into another bag and set it out of sight in the closet where he could get it when he got ready to leave.  

          Todd then walked over and joined the line of men wrapping the baskets.  Every chance he got he used his cell phone and filmed the names on the baskets he was wrapping.   By the end of the afternoon, the truckload for the first deliveries was loaded.  Todd was carrying out his last two baskets and sticking them onto the bed of the truck, when his eyes caught sight of a very familiar name.  Before he could check it out further, he was shoved aside and the door to the truck was closed.  Todd felt a chill go down his back as the truck pulled away. 

****

Clint leaned against the doorway of Victor’s room watching Dorian and Viki go at it once again. Dorian in her pink silk suit was fussily tugging at her jacket and looked about ready to spit fire as she watched Viki put a second pillow behind Victor’s back.

“Oh stop coddling him.  He’s just milking your attention.  See, look at that smirk.” Dorian waved at Victor who was sitting up in the bed being waited on hand and foot by his sister.

“Hey Dorian, can I help it that she loves me.  Besides. I didn’t ask for these wounds.” Victor touched his shoulder and grimaced as if in pain.

“Oh please!  You can stop with the melodramatics.  Your wounds are healing and the pain medication you’re on is surely keeping you pain free.  I’d also like to point out you were all set to go to Washington, D.C. with your miscreant of a brother.  It stands to reason you’re in much better shape than you’re making out.” Dorian said sarcastically.

“Dorian, how can you say that?” Viki looked at Dorian with a frown  “You know how close he came to dying.  I’m grateful to you for helping him but maybe as his doctor you should check his wound before assuming he’s just playing you.” Viki looked at her brother.  She knew he was acting out but she couldn’t stop herself from responding to Dorian.  The woman just grated on her sometimes.

“I knew it!  You’ll defend your brothers, no matter what.  You haven’t changed Viki.  You’re as gullible now as you were when you were under your father’s will.”  Dorian said, waiting for the rise she knew she was going to get.

Viki whipped around and angrily faced Dorian.  “Enough!  We all know how you hated my father.  If we can live with the monster he was, maybe it’s time you learn to live with it too.”

       “Why you...If it wasn’t for me, you never would have found out what your father was and what he did to you?” Dorian was livid. “For the life of me, I can’t believe I agreed to help your brothers or you.  All of you with your high and mighty Lord attitudes of being so much better than others.  You all think you’re the only ones who have suffered.  I could tell you horror stories about Victor and about my own childhood.” She looked like she wanted to say more but stopped herself. She took a slow breath and faced Viki directly. “Victor found out that I wasn’t his lap dog.  I’m a Cramer woman and no one will get the better of me ever again.” With those words, Dorian turned and exited the room, angrily pushing Clint out of her way.

****

“Alright you guys, you have one hour to get something to eat and then you’re to report back here.  The boss wants the rest of the baskets ready to go first thing in the morning.” The foreman looked over at the technicians and moved to talk to one of them.

  The other men around Todd began to put down what they were doing and headed for the door.  Todd walked to where he had left the broom and dustpan standing just outside the closet, picked them up and opened the closet to put them away.  Then he reached down and surreptitiously picked up the bag he had left inside the door and tucked it carefully inside his jacket and followed the last of the men out of the warehouse.  Once inside his car he took the time to breathe again.  He took the bag out and set it on the seat and then pulled out his phone.

“I did it, Sam.  Where are you at right now?  Did you find a lab that will do the job?....Great I’m headed there now.” He put the car in gear and pulled out.  A short while later Todd drove into the parking lot of a private lab.  Sam Vance was standing outside waiting for him.

Sam felt relief as Todd exited his car.  She had tried to talk him into letting one of her men go into the warehouse but he had been adamant that he do the job.  Determined not to show him how worried she had been, she said. “Your sister will be glad you made it in and out of that place unharmed.  You sounded satisfied on the phone.  Did you see the drug?” 

“I did better than that.”  He reached into his car and grabbed the bag.  “In here is a sample of what they’re doing in that warehouse.  I need you to get it analyzed.  Also, give me your phone.”  

Sam was puzzled but she handed her phone to Todd and in a few moments he had transferred all the pictures and film he had taken with his phone.

Handing it back to her, he said, “I need you to make copies of all of that and then once you get the results from the lab you send everything to the people we discussed.  Listen, I’m headed back to New Orleans.  Keep me informed.” With that Todd turned and left Sam. 

****

Viki took a tray into Victor.  She watched amused as he dove in and started eating like he was starved.  “Slow down Victor.  You’ll choke.”

        “After all the soups and broths, Dorian insisted I keep eating for the last few days, I want to get all of this in my stomach before she comes in here and protests again,”  that said, he picked up another chicken leg and continued eating.   

        Viki shook her head and looked around.  “Has Dorian been here since this afternoon?”

       “Nope, haven’t seen her.  I figured she was off pouting or something.  You know I can’t  stand the woman.” 

        “Oh come on Victor, we all know what she’s like but she did save your life.”

        “Well realistically, Todd saved my life.  She just provided the means.”

         “I better go check on her and see if she’s coming down to dinner.”

          “Fine,go ahead, but I’ve been enjoying the peace around here without her.  Hell, she never stops talking about how I and Todd are the worst men around and she doesn’t see how Tea and Blair keep wanting us.  Besides, she could stand to miss a meal, she’s getting a little hippy these days.”

         “Victor!” Vicki said with a raised eyebrow.

         “Hey, it’s the truth.  Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed.  I thought all women talked about that problem.”  

          Viki laughed.  “Maybe but it’s still impolite of you to say it.”

          “Who said I was polite.” Victor turned his attention back to his plate and smiled to himself as Viki left the room laughing. 

           Viki knocked on Dorian’s door.  “Dorian, dinner is ready.  You better make an appearance before Clint and Ms. Vance’s men eat it all up.”  She waited for the door to open and when no one answered, she peeked into the room to discover it was empty.  She turned and headed downstairs.  Walking into the kitchen she saw Clint and the men eating.  “Have any of you seen Dorian?”  They all shook their heads no.  “I don’t understand it, she’s not in her room.” She looked directly at Clint.  “You don’t think she left because of the argument this afternoon, do you?”

        “Viki, with Dorian you never know.  If she left I’m sure she’s headed home to David.  Victor’s on the mend and it’s obvious that the two of you can only co-exist in the same household for short periods.” Clint replied and then went back to eating.

       “I don’t like it.  She was mad but not overly so.  This isn’t good.  I hope she has the good sense to keep Todd’s and Victor’s whereabouts a secret.  If Carl Peterson finds out we’re on to him before Todd can gather the evidence he needs, all of this could come tumbling back down on us.  Maybe she just went out to cool off.  That could be it.  She’ll probably be back later."  Clint nodded in agreement.  Vik looked around then shook her head. “No, it’s just a feeling but I’m going to go back up to her room and see if any of her stuff remains.”

       Clint reached up and took Viki’s hand before she could leave again. “Sit down and eat, Viki.  Dorian’s a big girl.  There’s not much you can do if she did leave but wait for her to get home, and if she did just decide to go cool off here in town, she’ll be back when she’s good and ready.” 

      Viki sighed. “You’re right.  Dorian’s going to do what she wants to do no matter what.”  She picked up her plate and walked to the stove top, filled it and sat down next to Clint and began to eat.  

       A few hours later Viki was putting away the dishes and just cleaning up in the kitchen when she heard the back door open.  “Oh Thank Goodness, I was afraid I was going to have to start calling around the hospitals.  Dorian, the least you could have done was called.” Viki walked out of the kitchen and came to a sudden halt. “Todd, I thought you were Dorian.”

       Todd’s eyes narrowed.  “So I gathered. What happened?  Where’s the head witch of the Cramer Coven?”



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