It was early. The house was silent. Todd first went to check on Jewel, who was sleeping soundly in her crib, brother Raymond, still snoozing, nearby.
He closed the door softly, and having turned on the intercom in case the kids needed Blair, he headed to the stairs.
As much as he loved his children, there was something quietly inspiring about mornings before they awoke. It was the time that he could be on his own, solitary, and gather his thoughts for the day. He usually kept his notes in his head, a short list of items to be done for each day, without much detail. But he could read and research, without being disturbed, in the pre-child hours of the day.
At the bottom of the stairs, he noticed the foyer splayed with a small amount of sun from the skylight as he rounded the corner and heard a soft crackling. As he moved closer to the kitchen, he realized that the little sounds were from a fire in the family room. He walked in, and Bitsy was on the couch, sleeping in an upright position, with Sam, his head in her lap, and a sketch pad and pencil on the floor near them. He walked closer, and shook his mother gently. "Momma," he whispered.
"Yes? Oh, Todd," she said, softly, "I . . . we fell asleep," her voice was as soft as she could get it. "It took Sam a while."
Todd just looked at his mother, in her white nightie and light blue cardigan sweater with white fluffy slippers, and her hair tousled a little, and falling out of its clip on the sides. He smiled at her, unable to resist. He said, "Sam, come on," softly, and lifted his son carefully in his arms. He carried him up the stairs and to his room, while his mother waited in the family room for his return. When he came back, she immediately noticed that his face was different. He said, "Momma, what's happening to my son?"
"Do you have to go, now? I mean, you just got here," Tina said.
Cord was in the lobby, his bags packed, dressed for the day. He said, "Girl, it's been a while now, I really gotta head out."
"I don't understand why you have to," she said. "I mean, there's things here that you can attend to, like, like, Clint."
"Clint?" Cord said, confused. "What's with him?"
"He's . . . well, he's sick."
"Sick? What do you mean, Tina?"
"He . . . has a cold."
"A cold? Uh, Girl, he can take care of himself. He has tissues, now, I gotta go."
"But what about Viki?"
"What's wrong with Viki?"
"Nothing, but what about her?"
"Tina, you're making no sense here. I have to go. The ranch has to be taken care of, the security company. You know that."
"The security company. Todd needs your help, the children are in danger."
"Tina! What is this about? Are the kids really in danger?"
"Yes. I didn't want to say so at first, but yes."
"What do you mean, Tina?"
"It's...well...Mitch. Mitch Laurence is still around. He escaped last year, and he invaded their home with the children there. He almost killed Ray, you know all this already!"
"And what does that have to do with anything? That was months ago, and Todd's got plenty of security. Heck, the whole Peter Manning thing happened since then!"
"Well, there's a chance that, well, something could happen," she led him into the library.
"Tina, I have to go, okay? I really do."
"I . . . well . . ."
"You're trying to get me to stay here, aren't you? Now do you want to tell me the real reason?"
"I . . ." she let her arms drop. "I don't know."
He raised an eyebrow at her. "You don't know?"
"No, I guess I don't. I mean, I do, but I don't."
"All right, then. I'll be in touch, Tina." He turned to go to the door.
She followed. "Cord, Cord, wait a minute."
He picked up his suitcase. "What is is now?"
"I just, I . . ." she turned him toward her by his arm. "I . . . wanted to . . . say goodbye."
"You could have done that without all this mess."
"I know, I'm sorry," she hung her head.
She was surprised when his hand came out and touched under her chin, lifting her face. "What's the matter, hey?"
"Then, let's say goodbye, the way we should," he said, and kissed her lips, first gently, in a caring, light way, and then passionately, as they both gave in to the remnants of Cord and Tina.
"Oh Todd, he's so precious, really. He had a nightmare. It was very bad. He was soaked with sweat," Bitsy said.
"How didn't we hear him?" Todd wondered aloud.
"He came to my door. I heard him shivering. He didn't even call out."
"Go on." Todd was sitting on the ottoman, his elbows perched on his knees.
"He couldn't even speak about it." Bitsy became concerned about her son's face. His expression showed a familiar tense fear, and she sat up and leaned over, taking his hand. "He's a child, who has been through something very bad, Todd. It reminds me of . . ." softer, "well, he reminds me of you, My Angel."
He swallowed, and looked to the floor. Composing himself, he looked back at her. "Momma, what else?"
"Well, he couldn't really talk, so I started to talk to him about the gift I got him."
"Yes, and the painting I started that came from a story he told me at bedtime. A heroic dragon, very misunderstood. You know the one."
Todd slipped into slight sarcasm, "Yeah, I'm familiar."
"Anyway, we started to talk about how painting and drawing, well how it works for me. Helps me take things out of my head, and put them down. I gave him the sketch pad. He drew something . . . something horrible." Her voice caught.
Todd said, "What was it?"
"I believe it was Peter, with an animal in his hands. Maybe a dog. The drawing was simple, and some of it was left to the imagination. There was a little boy in front of him. The small boy had very big eyes, and his mouth was open. I looked at the picture, and I asked him what he wanted to do with it. He said he wanted to make it go away."
Todd was intrigued, albeit disgusted, listening to her. He said, "So you came down here."
"Yes, he knew how to start the fire, but he showed me, I didn't let him light it."
"That's okay, Momma. What else?"
"He put the drawing in the fireplace, and we watched it burn together, and I said, 'Now it's gone forever,' and he said, 'good.' Oh, Todd, he was so sweet. Then he asked for us to sit together and for me to draw him a picture of a dog, and I did." She held up the pad. The dog looked like Mixie. She said, "I made it like his dog, on purpose. He loved it, and he looked at it while I sang a song to him, and he fell asleep. I didn't want to disturb his rest, so I just waited and fell asleep, too."
Todd looked away for a moment, into the fireplace, and then back.
She said, "One more thing. I asked him what to do with the picture of the dog, and he said to hang it in his room." She handed the pad to Todd.
He looked at the picture of the dog, and then he was quiet. He paused a while, then said, "Momma, what did you sing to him?" He asked, and his voice was very far away.
She hesitated. "You must know," she said, her throat unclear.
He ran his finger along the picture of the dog. He said, "I'm going where the sun keeps shining . . ."
She began to sing, "Through the pouring rain. Going where the weather suits my clothes. Banking off of the Northeast wind. Sailing on summer breeze. Skipping over the ocean, like a stone," sweetly. "It came out a little before you were born."
He said, "I remember it."
"I sang it for years," she said. "When things went wrong, at home, I used to go to you, and . . ."
"Start it at the beginning," he interrupted.
"Start it at the beginning, Momma."
She sighed, and started to sing. "Everybody's talking at me. I can't hear a word their saying, only in the echoes of my mind."
Blair, who had come down the stairs, was standing outside the room, listening. Her eyes were filled with water: she felt like an interloper and almost turned to leave. She couldn't bring herself to interrupt them, or intrude. She waited and let her tears fall, listening.
"That's it," he said, "that's the part I used to sing in my head, when . . ." he stopped himself.
"It's okay, now. All that's over," she said, tenderly reaching for his hand.
"Yeah," Blair heard him say, "it's over." She knew it sounded more like a question than a statement.
"And hopefully, it's over for Sam, at least this part with the dog."
"Maybe," he said, and he turned to the side and spotted his wife. He said, "Babe, come here."
She walked in, wiping her tears quickly. "I didn't want to interrupt."
He said, "You're not, you weren't. I mean, you're fine, hearing all that."
She said, "Good morning, Momma," and sat down next to Todd on the ottoman.
"Good morning, Blair. I think I'll go and make some coffee for us, is that all right?" Bitsy offered.
"Yes, that's good," Blair said, "I'd love some."
Bitsy got up and went to the kitchen, and Blair turned to her husband. She didn't speak, she just looked at him, and he looked at her. "For what she was going through, she was a good mother, Blair."
"I know she was, My Love," her voice cracked slightly.
"She . . . tried."
Blair nodded, and slipped her arms through his.
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We're fortunate to have some really great fanfic authors here at the hub! If you scroll down on left, you will see the most current fanfic posting. To access SPECIFIC BOOKS, use the AUTHOR/TITLE/GENRE GUIDE or the BLOG ARCHIVE.
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!
We're also fortunate to have Karena publishing here at the Fanfic Hub. You may recognize her work from Passionate 4 Todd Fanfic., However, she has a novella here, called To Journey's End and various short stories and scenarios in progress. Currently, you can read her NEW book, Port Charles Chronicles here at the hub, and her current work (in progress) Todd's Saga, which follows Todd as he leaves his family behind in Llanview due to the threats from the Triskelian Organization, and her reissue of The Mysterious Samuel Toddman in progress.
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.
Maria, one of our newer authors, just completed Spidey Sam, where Todd, Sam, and Jack have adventures that don't necessarily warrant approval from Blair.
AND, we're VERY excited to promote another author by the name of Cimz. This very popular fanfic writer has posted a novella called R.E.M. It's very exciting to see our fanfic offerings grow!
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announcements Author's Message blog owner messages CIMZ CIMZ: R.E.M. CLOUD CLOUD: Battle the Dark CLOUD: Failings of the Fathers CLOUD: Hope from the Ocean CLOUD: The Way Back CLOUD: Todd Revisited (in progress) CLOUD: Chasing the Monsters CLOUD: Diamond in the Rough CLOUD: The End of Blame CLOUD: The Fourth Life CLOUD: The Shadows Fall Coming Soon Full Books Full Books (in progress) INCOMPLETE Karena Karena: Don't Shoot the Messenger Karena: Thomas Lord Cloaked A.K.A. Todd Manning's Remorse Karena: To Journey's End Karena: My Brother's Keeper Karena: Port Charles Chronicles Karena: The Mysterious Samuel Toddman Karena: TM RETURN SCENARIOS Karena: Todd Manning - Enigma Karena: Todd's Saga Karena: Who's the Real Todd? AKA Samuel Toddman Book Two Karena: Who's the Real Todd? AKA Samuel Toddman (complete) keep MARIA MARIA: Spidey Sam Monica MONICA_ANN MONICA_ANN: Brothers MONICA_ANN: Dance with the Devil MONICA_ANN: The Devil You Know news Novella readers Reissue RLEE SCOUT Short Stories thanks The Alibi Todd's Christmas Story