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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Who's the Real Todd? Chapter 26

Starr checked on Hope but she had slept through her dragon's screams. Thankfully Hope was a heavy sleeper. Starr was still feeling the remnants of terror that had filled her as the sound had reverberated through the penthouse. Jack had asked to find out about his dad and Starr knew the time has come to tell him everything.

They got settled and she turned to her brother and asked, "Where do you want me to start?

"First off, tell me what's wrong with him." Jack was concerned. He knew that something bad had just occurred, but it seemed to just be one more thing to his sister and Mother. They appeared to know everything good and bad about the man he now realized was his real dad. He wanted to know about him too.

She wasn't sure where to start. "Dad has a bad heart from the events of 2003. He's already had several attacks and we almost lost him right after he came back to us. That night he collapsed outside Aunt Dorian's, the same people who hurt him back when he disappeared, tried to poison him. He's still suffering the effects of that, as well as having to watch the stress on his heart. I don't know what happened tonight but from what Samuel was saying it's my guess that the headaches are also caused by what happened back then. You know about Dad's alters, I know you've met Samuel. There are others Tom and Rodd are very nice and although I've never met Ms. Perkins, Mom tells me she not too bad. Pete is the alter who's dangerous."

Jack interrupted Starr. "I've met Pete.  He's a pretty scary guy."

"My God, when did you meet Pete? Does Dad know you met him? Did he hurt you?" Starr asked in alarm. She remembered her brief encounter with Pete right after she had told her dad about Walker being accused of raping their mom. She had thought Pete was going to go tear Walker apart. He was so cold and angry. What had he done to Jack?

"No he didn't hurt me, but he made me realize what I did yesterday to Shane's mom. He wasn't very nice, he kept hammering at me that I wanted something bad to happen, he kept repeating it. He said I was glad it happened and that I was just like him. But I'm not Starr, I'm not happy.  When it hit me that I caused someone to die, I got sick inside. I never meant it to happened but Dad helped me understand what I might have to do to make this right. Starr, have you ever seen Dad's back. It's covered in scars. Pete showed them to me. They looked pretty old did he get them in 2003 too.?

"No Jack, Dad got those long before I was born. Most of them were given to him by his adoptive father Peter Manning but I know he was severely hurt in 2003 so I'm guessing he probably picked up a few new ones just like the second scar on his face. But wait a minute, you're telling me Pete came out to talk to you about what you did to Shane and his mom."asked Starr.

"Yeah, I thought Samuel, I mean Dad, was going to get all mad and yell at me the way our other dad did and instead this Pete guy was here. At first, he was like real cold but he began talking about himself and Dad and doing really bad things and how he understood the rush one gets when a plan goes the way you want it to. That was when he started goading me about Shane. I broke down and he left and that's when Dad showed up. We had a long talk until I got sick and then you guys got home. Starr, it's funny but I know he loves me and he's going to help. I want to know more about him. What was he like when you were little?" Jack inquired

Starr smiled, "At times he was the biggest goofball you ever saw. He would do things you'd never figure a grownup would do, and the thing was, it didn't bother him if they thought he was silly, as long as I liked it. He and mom were always in love but Dad had a habit of doing something and mom would get mad and they would fight. Mom just never really understood how Dad was so afraid of losing us that he would make mistakes. Dad loves us, more than you know. When I was little I got into all sorts of my own kinds of trouble. Dad was always willing to give me a break, I think because he himself couldn't seem to stay out of trouble. He let me get away with tons of stuff and I would help him with his plans to get Mom back after she would break up with him. You were little when he disappeared and your memories are so few. That's why it's taken you this long to recognize him." Starr paused and looked at her brother. "He loves you so much. When you were a baby I actually got jealous of you and ran away. But when they found me, Dad let me know that his love for me was as strong as ever. Dad's a wizard when it comes to storytelling. Hope loves his stories and mom and I do too. You saw how his imagination works, remember the movie night. I think Dad's so good with Hope and kids because he understands them. Tom is near and dear to him and keeps him close to his inner child. He's special Jack, and I never realized how different he was from Walker till he came back."

Jack had been listening intently and when Starr brought up the father he had known most of his life he knew he had to ask the question. "I know he's been gone all this time but if he's our Dad, why did you and mom and Tea, even Aunt Vicki all think the guy who's in the hospital was Dad."

Starr looked a little embarrassed. "Some of that was my doing. I wanted Dad home so bad that I believed Walker when he told me he was Dad. He answered questions that I was sure only Dad and I would know. Cousin Kevin was suspicious of him and finally after some time Walker told everyone he was Todd. So Walker became Dad and like Dad, he and mom began their strange dance all over again. You know how many times they broke up and made up. Walker too got into his own share of troubles but I should have realized long ago that there was something off about Walker." 

Starr got off her bed and went to her dresser and took the two pictures she had there. One was Walker and the other her Dad. "She handed the picture of Walker to her brother.  "You love him because he's the only dad you've grown up with. You had nothing to compare him to but when Dad got home, I realized they were like night and day. By the way, mom and I call Dad, Walker because that was his name when we met him. I guess you'll have to keep calling Walker, Dad, and you'll have to call Dad, Samuel, so you can tell them apart. Anyway, I should have realized Dad wouldn't have reacted to Cole and my pregnancy quite the same way as Walker did. Dad's anger was always directed more at himself than me whenever I did something that disappointed him. Just like today. Dad feels he let you down and that's why this happened. I could tell he was blaming himself when he came up here earlier. Dad always punishes himself. If he had been here when Cole and I made love, he would have been hurt, because he would have felt he had somehow caused me to do it. That's not to say he wouldn't have been furious at Cole but I don't think he would have beaten him up like Walker did. Then again maybe Pete would have. I don't know but I do know he wouldn't have tried to take my baby. He would never have hurt me like that."

She paused, looking at her brother trying to gauge his reaction to everything, then she continued. "I also know that Dad's relationship with Marty would have been different. Mom told me Dad has never forgiven himself for raping Marty. I know that he's been concerned for Marty even though she's done so many horrible things lately. There have been times in the last few years that I was actually afraid of what Walker was capable of. I have never ever felt afraid of Dad. I know this is all very confusing right now. I love Walker and Dad both and it seems both of them are mixed up with the man who tried to have Walker shot and Dad poisoned. It's so important that we let the world believe that Walker is Todd Manning and that Dad is Samuel Toddman. It's the only way to keep them safe until Bo and the authorities get the guy who hurt them both. You have to continue to give your attention to Walker, he's the dad you know and people are watching. Come and visit here, letting people know you're coming to see me and Hope. That way the time you spend here won't be suspicious. The more time you give yourself with Dad the better you'll feel. We're here to support you, Jack, remember that. I love you. You're my brother. I know you didn't mean for this to happen but now that it has, we'll have to cope." Starr watched Jack's face fall as he thought about what he faced and she got up and gave him a hug. "Don't worry, this will work out. If Dad has anything to do with this we'll all get through it."

Todd woke up.  He hadn't meant to hit his head quite that hard. It was dark surely it wasn't time for lights out. "Man! Hey nurse, I could use something for the pain. Hey anybody here?" He paused as he felt what he laid on. This ain't like no prison bed he ever remembered. He started to sit up but the pain was so intense all he managed to do was fall back against the pillows.  He was lying on silk, where the heck was he?

It was easier on his head just to lie still, but he heard a door open and listened as someone entered the room. They sat down next to him on the bed, whoever it was sure smelled good. Maybe the bed belonged to her. "Todd, how are you feeling. Can I get you anything." he knew that voice. She hadn't turned on the light but her image appeared in his mind, she was tall, blond,a southern accent that would melt gold, pure sex kitten. Yeah, that's right, that voice belonged to Blair, now there was a woman worth fighting for. Cord was a fool. "Blair why did you let me drink so much. You know I can't go to the country club like this. I need that job, I told you, I'm outta here the next paycheck.  I'm gonna get as far away from Llanview as I can."

Blair sat stunned. What was going on? Todd was talking like it was 1995. What was she going to do? "Todd let me get you some aspirin you just relax. You said you were off today just rest." Blair got up and headed to the bathroom. She got a glass of water and the medicine and took it back into him. He took the pills and leaned back. "You just let that head get better, I'll come check on you later. "

"Thanks, Blair let the aspirin take affect and I'll get out of here before Cord comes over." Todd closed his eyes and rested, dozing back off.

Once she was sure he was asleep she turned the light on and reached for the phone. "Ray, we've got a problem. Todd just woke up complaining of a raging headache. But he said the strangest thing. He was talking to me as if it was 1995 and he still worked for the country club before his pardon came through. Any ideas?" she listened as Ray told her the confusion was probably caused by whatever had caused the pain earlier. He suggested just watching and seeing if the confusion continued. Todd was beginning to stir so Blair turned the light off before it would aggravate his pain.

Todd was back in that dark tomb. He couldn't believe what his new sister had just told him. Their father had raped her as a child. "You bastard, you raped your own daughter when she was a child. God what a pair of fathers, you and Peter cut from the same cloth. Look what you produced. Like fathers like son. Here's to me, Rapist makes three. " Todd got quiet again.

Blair just sat and listened, tears flowing slowly down. Why was he having to relive everything all over again? Carlo deserved to die for what he did to Todd.

"Blair we were making headway. Starr's all better now, how can you take the word of Dorian over me. You can't do it. You can't take Starr away, I'll fight for her and I'll win, don't do this to us." Todd couldn't believe Blair would do that, "You're taking Patrick's word over mine. To hell with you. You're not taking my daughter!"

Starr opened the door, "What's going on Mom. I heard him shouting my name."

"Ray thinks the shock to his brain this afternoon triggered some sort of memory access and your father's reliving his past. " Blair wiped the tears from her eyes as she waited for the next outburst that he might remember.

"Sam I don't want to talk about it. You're sick, you know that Sam. Nothing happened, he got mad and he used his belt on me. Stop it, Sam, don't go there! I'll kill you if you tell anybody especially Tea. I'm coming out. Blair get her out of her! Take her home.... Vicki, it's different, nobody hates you. Heh, The good Todd ...I'm not alright." Todd's voice trailed off again.

Starr sat down next to the chair unable to leave. She turned to her mom. "I remember that night with Sam. That's the night Daddy gave me Freddy the magic frog. He said he was going away and if I wanted to talk to him I should just talk to Freddy and he would hear me. That's when we met Tom

Blair nodded remembering how she forced Pete to come out and take over from Tom because she was convinced he was faking it. She was so used to Todd's anger that when Pete threatened her she just figured Todd was bluffing. How wrong they had all been.

Todd began talking again, only, this time, they listened in on a conversation of his alters. "I bought all these seats so I wouldn't have to talk to anyone... stupid attendant all I want is to be left alone. You'll miss me Tea you wait....” Todd tossed his head, his eyes open, seeing something none of them could see.

“You're no fun, Todd.  We were having fun.  We should never have let you out.....”

To those listening it seemed like Tom had entered the room and then just as quickly they heard Rodd.

“Love you no understand, the love you distinguish ....”, then another chilling voice.

“Give me your hand... you can't fool me....you feel pain,Todd... "

"That was Pete, what's going on." Blair and Starr turned around to see Jack standing in the doorway. " Why did Pete say that to Dad. He sounded like he was trying to hurt him"

"Shh Jack, Pete was only here because your dad is caught up in his past. Something has triggered this river of memories and your dad is caught in the current. We can only wait." Blair watched as Jack sat down on her other side fascinated by what he had overheard. He had noticed the tears on his mother's cheeks, he knew she really cared for his dad and this was probably hurting her to hear him go through this.

It had gotten so eerily quiet in the room when suddenly his dad's voice cried out. "Do you have any idea what you made me do!" the agony in his voice was palpable. Jack heard his mother's gasp. "You told me he was Max's but he was mine.  How could you do that to me? You can't possibly fix this. My god, He was mine!.....What did I do?" Todd was crying unable to keep the pain from escaping at the horror of what he had done.

Blair could stand it no longer. She went to the bed and sat down next to him "Todd, I forgive you, you need to forgive yourself. Todd, you brought him home." She was crying, hugging him and pleading, "Please, you're hurting yourself, you brought him home."

Todd's arms came up and encircled her as he came awake fully . The vestiges of the vision he had been trapped in filtered away. "I hurt you Blair and I failed my own son. No wonder you sent me away.  All I ever did was hurt you. It's my true curse, I'm destined to hurt you all." Todd released her and laid back against the pillow. "It was all so real like it was happening all over again." his voice caught threatening to break down again.

Blair took his hand in the darkness and with her free hand, she stroked his forehead trying to soothe the pain, both the physical and mental he was feeling. "It's over we've been down those paths and we survived. You're not destined to hurt me any more than I'm destined to hurt you. but we are destined to be each other's one true love. That's never going to change. I believe that with everything in me and you need to believe it too. The rest we'll take on as it comes at us because together we're unbeatable.

"Blair, I've asked myself over and over why you want to have anything to do with me. After our first encounter, I was surprised you still wanted to talk to me. Everyone else considered me something to stay away from but you didn't seem to care that you were talking to the town pariah. We even shared our misery as we started our little most pathetic game. That game ..huh it's the story of our lives." Todd reached up and took her hand from his forehead and brought it to his lips. "We're quite a pair." Blair kissed him in response.



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