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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, is currently being shared one chapter at a time, every Thursday and Sunday. 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. Enjoying her next project, Brothers, currently in progress!

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.

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Failings of the Fathers: 62

Timothy went to the solarium, and as he hoped, he met Miguel there.  He was reading a magazine, quietly, and in very much solitude.  The older man almost hated to interrupt.

He approached quietly, and Miguel said, "I know why you're here."


"Ya do?"


"It's Aiden, right?"


"No, Lad.  I'm sorry to mislead ya."


"Oh, no problem.  I'm rather relieved."


"Yes.  I . . . have something delicate to talk about."


"Okay.  You want to know how we gay guys do it?"


"No, nothing vile, or offensive to ya, I hope."


"I'm listening."


"It's about y'ar friend, Malcolm."


"He was my friend, yeah.  I . . . don't know about now."


"What do ya mean?"


"He's not been in touch with me.  I got two text messages.  Both were a little, let's say, off."


"Ya mean he wasn't acting like himself."


"Yeah, sort of like that.  He would have called me, I really believe that.  Something's definitely up."


"How well do ya think ya know him?"


"Pretty well.  We've been friends for years.  Since I got here."


"I have to tell ya something.  Malcolm's been accused of doing something horrible.  Something very disturbing, back in the states."


"I don't get it.  What is he accused of?"


"The Mannings were attacked.  Supposedly, by the new gardener.  The dog was killed, neck broken, in front of the middle son.  He's only nine.  Todd's daughter, Starr, just turned twenty.  She was beaten almost to death, trying to protect her brothas.  And, the three year-old, Little Raymond, was kidnapped."


He swallowed before quickly adding, "No.  That's not Malcolm.  End of story."


"I thought ya might say that.  Which, if ya want to believe that I believe ya, leads us both to a question, eh?"


"Who was it."


"Yes.  That's the question."


"Shit.  This is fucked up."  Miguel seemed rattled.


"I'd say that's accurate, yes."


"Todd gave Malcolm a new chance.  Malcolm would never hurt a child, or beat a woman.  He's just not that person.  He'd never hurt Todd after the help he received from the guy.  Never."


"All right.  So we're here, trying to figure out who would have something against Todd."


"Those guys?  The Men of something?"


"The Men of 21?"


"Wouldn't they?"


"Maybe.  Can ya think of anyone else?  Someone who would have known where Malcolm was headed."


"Oh, God."


"I was hoping for that," Timothy said, half to himself.


"There's this guy, he was our friend.  Calvin.  He got real, I don't know, strange, after something happened, where he lost some kind of money.  When he found out I was gay, he started bashing me and shit, you know, just saying rude comments.  Malcolm always defended me.  Anyway, he was our friend, originally. He was here before both of us.  When we got here, he showed us the ropes.  How to steal from the cafeteria, how to get the best food.  How to get cigarettes, not that either of us cared.  How to get a peek at the nurses' locker room.  Stuff like that.  Was here for a heart transplant, I think, originally, and then, had it replaced, again, with new technology and stuff.  He wanted to be able to be out of here.  It all cost a lot of money.  When he ran dry, he sorta got pissed.  His attitude changed.  He kept talking . . ."  Miguel looked up, as if realizing something for the first time.  "He kept talking about a revenge plot.  Malcolm and I laughed it off, because of the kinds of pranks and stuff he'd gotten us into.  Neither of us took it seriously."


"Perhaps he was the one taking it that way," Timothy said.


***


"I want to help, and I know how,"  Jenna said.


"Okay," Jack responded, "but not sure you really can help."


She pulled out her sketch pad.  "I can.  Give me all the details of Malcolm's face."


"Huh?"


"Describe him to me.  In detail."


Jack began to explain to her the facial features of Malcolm Carlisle.  She started slowly, with the shape of his face, and went forward from there.  Within a few minutes, Jack said, "Hey, that's shaping up pretty well.  Almost can start to see him."


"It won't be long.  Just tell me everything you can think of, and I should be able to get a decent likeness, with your help."


They continued, him relating details of the man's face, and her, sketching rapidly, shading, and erasing, until it was more like the real thing.  Between the two of them, within twenty-five minutes, they had a perfect sketch of Malcolm Carlisle's face.


"Not too bad if I say so myself," Jack said.


"See?  I told you to trust me with this."


"I should have from the start.  Wow.  You're an amazing artist.  Not like I've never said that before, but this is really a talent."


"Can I see?"  Dorian asked, getting up and walking toward them.


Jenna flashed the page, and Dorian said, "Very lifelike.  Somehow, I think I've seen that person before.  I know it's impossible, but he just seems slightly familiar to me."


She shrugged and went back to her seat, and folded her arms, finally attempting to try and rest.  It was after four in the morning, and none of them were budging to leave Starr and Sam's sides.


It became very quiet in the emergency room.  Jack thought to himself, "It guess emergencies don't even happen at this hour.  Do I have school?  I don't even know what day it is."



Blair rushed into the main waiting room where Jack, Jenna and Dorian were seated.  "Jack, where's your father?"  Blair asked, unable to disguise how frantic she was.

"I don't know.  He was with you."


"He's not with me.  He's . . . please, Jack, did you see him?"


"No, why?"


Dorian piped up, "He's gone again?"


"And you, just . . . just shut up."  Blair said, rushing away from them.  She went out the doors, and then back in.  "I'm going after him, I . . . what's that?"  she said, pointing to the drawing on Jenna's lap.  It was an uncanny likeness of "Malcolm."


"Jenna drew it for us, from my description,"  Jack said.


"Jenna, can you draw another?"  Blair asked.


"Of course," she said.


"Please, give me that one."


Jenna tore it off the pad.  Jack said, "Mom, what the Hell are you doing?"


"Going to help your father," she said, "and hopefully, get my baby back."


She and the portrait were gone.


***



"It's bedlam over here, and I need you to do something, quickly."  Dorian said.

John McBain rolled his eyes at first.  It was four-thirty in the morning, and he wondered how and why he gave Dorian Cramer his personal number, ever.  "What's the problem, Dorian?"


She proceeded to tell John everything, and he found himself out of bed and dressing within a few minutes of hearing the words, "Ray" and "kidnapped."  His heart was going out to The Mannings already; his son was near the same age as Ray, and he couldn't fathom it.  Also, having been married to Blair for a short time, he was close to Starr and the other kids.  He had to be there, as soon as he could get himself out of the house.


"Why didn't Blair call me?" he asked.


"I don't know.  Timing?  Fear?  Being wrapped up in the injuries to the children?  Waiting for you know who to get around to being here for his family. . ."


"Dorian, from what I understand, Todd has a brother whose life is in the balance?"


"Whatever.  He puts himself halfway around the world, and then expects to be heralded as a good father?  Aside from the fact that the man who took the children was sent to Unforgettable by Todd himself."


"I'll be right there," he said, and a myriad of thoughts crossed his mind.  Manning, again dealing with guilt attached to something he did, inadvertently or intentionally, to endanger his family.  Blair, facing the prospect of losing yet another child; Starr, beaten and battered in the attempt to save them; and Jack, guilty for not being home when he was asked to be.  All this weighed on his head, but not more than the question: who is the kidnapper and what did he want?


***


She hated riding taxis, but Todd had taken Williams, and she didn't have another choice.  She was certain, almost, that he was one of two places:  Mountainview, which was her destination, or the airport. She ran over everything in her mind, again:


Todd had flashes of memory when in Switzerland that his father is alive.  He remembered the burn, on his arm, so did I.  Bitsy started dreaming of things that come true, like the baby's birth, and how small she would be.  Bitsy drew things, pictures of Peter hurting us, then she had a breakdown.  


She fingered the drawing Jenna did.  Very lifelike, and certainly appeared to be "Malcolm," as she knew him.  


God, Todd dreamed of it, too.  We brushed it off.  Ray even tried to convince him he was confused.  Then, "Malcolm," supposedly sent by Todd, acts "weird" and tries to get Sam alone.  He tells Starr she's like her father.  He kills the dog, and pets it after it's dead.  That's so sick, it's . . . Oh my God, it's like Patches.  Todd had that dream, back before we went to Ireland to save Patrick.  He had that dream of his father. . .killing . . .


She blanked her mind a moment.  She couldn't let herself believe that the abusive, child-abusing rapist, Peter Manning, was alive and had her son.


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

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