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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Todd's Saga 27: Nightmare

        Viki screamed. Todd couldn’t believe it.  A rush of adrenaline mobilized him to stop Clint before anything else could happen.  Clint’s words had been chilling and Todd approached him with caution. He stepped past Victor, and before Clint could object, Todd carefully took the gun. “Easy there, Clint.  Was that really necessary?”

       Clint stared down at his handiwork.  “The bastard was going to take me back to that  hell-hole all for the sake of the Organization.  Hell, he just tried to kill you.  You should be grateful.” 

       The night had turned into a nightmare.  Clint was clearly having issues and now Victor might be dead. Todd looked at his sister down on the floor with his twin.  “Viki. Is he alive?”

        She felt for a pulse and it was faint.  “He’s still with us.  It’s bad though.  What are we going to do?”   

        “First things first. We need to stop the bleeding.  Get some towels and see what you can do.  Clint, why don’t we go to your room.  I think you just need some more rest.”  He started to take Clint’s arm, but the older man shook him off.

       Clint tried to grab the gun back. “What are you doing?  Let him die.  He’s part of them.  They poisoned me for months. Don’t you understand?  If we let him live, they’ll just find us and we’ll never be the same.” 

       Todd had no choice.  He let an uppercut fly and knocked Clint out. Catching him, Todd lowered him gently to the floor.  “Sorry old man, but maybe things will seem clearer in the morning.”  With Clint out for the time being, he moved to help Viki with his brother.

       Victor had two holes in his body and they accounted for the great deal of blood covering the floor, but it looked like Clint’s aim had been a little off.  If he had been aiming for Victor’s heart, he had missed.  Todd could feel a steady pulse which meant Victor had a good chance to survive, but he was going to need help.

After helping Viki to temporarily stop the blood flow, Todd moved Victor back into his bedroom.  He unwrapped Victor’s legs and took the handcuffs off.  He wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.  Todd left Victor with Viki and then went to check on Clint.   Clint was starting to come around so Todd got him to his feet and took him back to his room.  “Here we go, Clint.  I think you need to just call it a night.”

        Clint blearily looked at Todd.  “Manning,what’s going on?  I feel like I was kicked by a mule.  Please tell me I didn’t get drunk in front of Viki.”

         It was pretty clear that Clint had no memory of what had just occurred.  It was best to let him rest. Todd reassured Clint and guided him to the bed.“Nah, You just had one drink, but remember, you’re still recovering from what they did to you at the compound.  It just hit you a little harder than you’re used to.  I’ve got to tell you.  For someone not at his fittest, you did a good job keeping Victor company today, but I think I’m going to get us some extra help.  Viki’s right.  You need time to get back on your feet too.”

        “Yes, I guess you’re right.  Tell Viki, I’m sorry if I did or said anything wrong”  he laid down covering his eyes from the overhead light. “It’s funny, usually it’s only my head that hurts, even my jaw is aching.  I really am more out of shape than I thought.  Night, Manning.  Get that light will you?”

        “Sure Clint.  Get  some sleep.” Todd switched off the light and hurried back to Victor’s room.  “How’s he doing Viki?”

        “Todd, we need to call for help.  Victor is very weak and although we’ve got the bleeding slowed down, he needs a doctor.”

         Todd ran a hand through his hair.  He had to think.  He sat down on the other side of Victor and looked at his sister. “We can’t.  Any doctor will get the police involved.  Clint shot him, and even though you and I both know Clint’s wasn’t himself, the police wouldn’t see it that way.  There has to be a way we can do this.  We just need some supplies.  Hell, Blair dug a bullet out of my shoulder and she just had Dorian on the other end of a phone to help her….that’s it!” Todd slipped off the bed, and pulled out his cell.

        Viki thinking Todd was calling 911, sighed with relief, only to turn in surprise at his next words.   

         “I really don’t care what time it is.  I need you to do several things for me and I need them done now.  Yes it’s important, now make a list.  I need needle, thread, gauze, alcohol,... Don’t ask questions.  I also need you to get me a couple of bodyguards and I’ll explain more when you deliver the supplies.  Bring them to the Buckner Mansion ASAP…. What? ...Well you’ll just have to cut your outside activity short.  You work for me remember.” he hung up  and was about to make another call when Viki interrupted him.

        “Todd, you’re surely not thinking of helping Victor without a doctor.  That’s insane, he needs real medical attention.”

        “You’re right Viki and he’ll get it, I just can’t bring the authorities in on this. Look, I’m going to do what I can to get him out of danger, we’ll stitch him up and stop the bleeding.  That will give him a fighting chance.  At least until I can get the one person here that will keep their mouth shut.  That’s going to take about six hours.”

        “I don’t understand.  Why will it take so long to get the doctor here?”

        “Because she lives in Pennsylvania.”  Todd made another call . “Yes, it’s me.  Get the jet ready.  I need you to be in Llanview in three hours.  When you arrive, you’re to pick up your passenger and get back here as soon as possible.”

        As soon as she heard the location the jet was headed too, it dawned on Viki who Todd was sending for. “You can’t be serious.  She’ll never help you.”

        Todd felt a perverse thrill just thinking about what he was getting ready to do.  He grinned at his sister. “You’d be surprised.  She’ll do anything for Blair and I think I can give Blair just the right words to motivate her to come.” He made his last call.

****

Dorian looked  out the window at the jet pulling up outside the limo.  She turned to David. “I can’t believe I’m doing this.  It’s five in the morning.  Why did you let Blair talk me into this?”

David shook his head.  “Talk you into it?  Hey, this was your idea.  We both saw how upset she was.  You said she shouldn‘t be flying.  You told me she loves this Butler guy, right?  It sounded like he must be pretty sick to call and ask her to come to him in the middle of the night.”

Dorian nodded.  “He’s been a godsend since she lost Todd.  You’re right, I had no choice but to convince her to let me make the trip instead of her.  There’s no way I was going to let her get on that plane.  The last thing she needs, on top of all her stress and worry she’s already feeling for her Mr. Butler, is to go into premature labor.  No, this is the least I can do.  I’ll take that plane and help her Mr. Butler.” 

David gave her a little kiss. “That’s my Dorian, you’ve always been there for your girls.  but you’re not doing this just to help Blair, admit it.  You’re dying to see this paragon of virtue.  The fact that Blair will only give you scraps of information about the guy has been driving you crazy.”

“Well, okay.  I admit to being curious about the guy.  There’s very little information about him except that he’s a new star in the business world.  He’s made a name for himself in a very short amount of time.  He seems to be charmed.  I read one of his recent investments just paid off big time.  If he keeps going he’ll soon outdo Asa Buchanan in the self-made millionaire category.  Can you blame me for wanting to meet him?”

“Hell no.  I’m with you on this one .  If Blair can snag him, it’s just more money for the Cramer coffers.” David saw movement at the top of the stairs of the jet.  “I think you better go.  The pilot just came out and he’s looking for you.  For all our sakes, you better see that Blair’s Mr. Butler gets better.  Go on, I’ll take care of Blair and the kids.”

Dorian moved over and laid a lingering kiss on David. “Hmm, I’ll be home as soon as he’s on the mend.  By the way, I want to tell Carl about us.  So if he comes by the house let Blair talk to him.”

David frowned, “Why would you even want to see him after what he did?”

        “Please David!  I think I deserve to be the one to tell him we’re over.  I want to see his face when he finds out he’s persona non-grata.”  She got out of the car, stopping to snatch one last kiss. She patted his cheek. “Go home.  I’ll call Blair when I know something.”  Then she wrapped her fur around her, grabbed her medical bag, and boarded the plane.

****

Sam threw the final towel in the washer and turned it on.   She and her men had spent the last hour cleaning up all signs of bloodshed in the upper hall. She walked into the kitchen and poured herself another cup of coffee. It had been a long night.  Her men had arrived around 6:00am and had been informed what their duties would entail.  She had also called and told the housekeeper and the cook that they had the next two weeks off with pay.  The cook had expressed some concern for Mr.Butler and his guests, but Sam had assured her that Mrs. Banks was staying for a while and had decided to handle the cooking herself. 

        Sam sat down at the table and ran a hand through her hair.  She had known something was terribly wrong when Todd had called her at two in the morning, but nothing had prepared her for what she encountered when she got to the Buckner Mansion.  The last few hours replayed in her head like a bad movie.

       The taxi pulled up to the back door of the mansion.   Sam exited, grabbing her bag of supplies and was stunned when Todd opened the door.  His shirt was covered in blood and he had some angry looking bruises on his neck.  “My God Todd, what happened?”

        “Just get in here, Sam.  What took you so long?” He grabbed the bag from her and headed for the stairs, not even waiting for her answer.  

        She watched as he took them three at a time and disappeared down the upstairs hallway.  Following, she climbed the stairs and hurried past the first empty room.   She noted the blood puddle on the floor and more blood spattered on the walls in the hall.  It was apparent some sort of bad struggle had taken place.  Had the organization found Todd after all?  Reaching the second bedroom, she stopped dumbfounded  by the scene inside.  Todd was tearing the bag open and setting out the supplies she had bought him, but an even bigger shock was Victor Lord lying half dead on the bed.  “Todd, did you do this?  Wasn’t shooting him once, enough for you?”

        “You’re wrong, Ms. Vance.”  Viki moved out from behind Todd who had hidden her from view. “Todd didn’t do this.  I did.”

         Todd looked at his sister sharply, but didn’t stop her.

         Viki walked towards Sam.  “They were fighting in the hall and then Victor got Todd in a hold and was strangling him.  When he wouldn’t stop, I got the gun.  I was only trying to make him stop, but the gun went off and the next thing I knew, Victor  and Todd were both on the ground. Todd was struggling to get air and Victor was bleeding out.”  She turned to Todd.  “What else do you need me to do? He’s getting worse.  Let me call for help.”

        Todd stopped what he was doing and moved to Viki’s side.  “Viki, it was an accident, but you know we can’t call for help.  If we bring the law in on this, the Organization will find out I’m alive.  That’s why Sam is here.  We’re going to keep Victor alive.  Listen, you need to rest.  I want you to go lie down.” 

        “I can’t Todd, I need to know if he’s going to make it.  Ms. Vance, please help my brother!”  Viki looked at both her brothers and nervously wrung her hands together.  She knew what Todd’s plan was and she prayed Victor would have enough willpower to hang in there until the main help could arrive.

         Sam glance at brother and sister and shook her head, she hadn’t missed the look that passed between them. They were hiding something, but she wasn’t about to call Victoria Lord Banks a liar.   Something in Viki’s voice told her Todd wasn’t the shooter.  “I’ll help.  From what I know about this organization so far, Todd is right to be concerned and he didn’t go off the radar on a whim.  What do you need me to do, Todd?”

        I figure, that like me,  you’ve some experience with gunshot wounds in your line of work.  Help me at least stop the bleeding.” Todd went back to the bed and Sam followed. 

         Viki sighed, “You’ll need to sterilize that stuff,  I’ll get the boiling water.”  

         It looked like Todd and Viki had spent the last half hour trying to keep the bleeding contained. Now she helped Todd remove Victor’s blood soaked shirt. It didn’t take her long to figure out that Victor had been shot in the back and the bullet had exited out the front.  “Accident, huh?”

       Todd looked directly at her.  “I didn’t shoot him.”  he said quietly.  

        She looked again at Todd’s throat. “He really was strangling you.  What did he use? A chain?”

        “No, handcuffs.  Look, I’ll tell you the whole story after we keep him from dying.  I promise.  You know I’ve told you about how the organization  works.  Look at his uniform.  I thought he was being held by them and yet now he’s been working for them.  They got to him and he almost killed me tonight.  That’s all I’m going to say right now.”

        “If he tried to kill you, why don’t you just let him die?  That’s what the Todd Manning I know would do.”  She glanced down at Victor and stared at his chest. “Or maybe he wouldn’t.  Victor doesn’t have a scar where you shot him.  What’s going on?”

        “I think it’s obvious.  I didn’t shoot him.”  At that moment, Viki appeared with the water and they went to work trying to stitch the wounds closed.

      Bringing her mind back to the present, Sam breathed a long sigh.  After they had gotten Victor’s wounds closed, Todd had filled her in on everything.  It hadn’t taken her too long to figure out Clint Buchanan was responsible for Victor’s condition and that Viki had taken the rap for his sake.  She had been even more surprised when she heard Dorian Lord  was on her way to help Tony Butler.   Sam rose from the table.  She headed to the refrigerator and soon had breakfast underway.  Her men joined her and she discussed their duties for the day.  Sam looked at the clock in the kitchen.  It was a little more than half an hour since Dorian had landed, she would be arriving soon.  Sam sent her men up with breakfast for Clint, Viki, and Todd.  Then the doorbell rang.

        Sam headed out of the kitchen.  She glanced up the stairs and saw Todd indicating she should answer the door.   She did as instructed and opened it. 

        Dorian swept in.  “Well don’t just stand there, take me to Mr. Butler.  If he’s as sick as he told my niece, then we can’t waste another minute.  Where is he?   Upstairs?”

        Sam shook her head and contained her amusement.  The woman didn’t even wait for an answer. She was well aware of the forceful woman that was Dorian Lord Vickers.  She closed the door as Dorian headed for the stairs.  

        Dorian was just getting ready to climb the stairs, when she stopped, looking at the man at the top. “What??...” Dorian couldn’t believe her eyes.  The one man she had never expected to see again, was standing above her.  Todd was alive and standing in Tony Butler’s house.  That could only mean trouble.  “You!” She hissed in anger.

       “Surprise, Auntie Dorian.”




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