Blair, Starr and Jack were hovering around Todd’s bed. “God, Dad, you had us so scared,” his daughter told him.
“Yeah, what took you so long to wake up?” Jack asked.
“Jack, I don’t care. I’m just so glad you’re awake,” Blair said to Todd.
Todd looked at the three of them. He lifted the mask off his mouth and nose again to say, “I love you all.”
Nothing further could be said because the doctors came in. “We need to see how he’s doing,” Dr. Harmon told the family. “Can you give us a few minute?”
It was Todd who replied, “They stay.”
Starr pulled her brother back from the bed. “We promise to stay out of the way, but please, let us stay.” It wasn’t really a question. But when Matt nodded his head, Jack and Starr back up to the window, but Blair stayed at the bedside, Todd’s hand firmly in her own, with neither one of them intent on removing them.
Matt went to the foot of the bed and pulled out a needle. “Even though it’s still early in your recovery, I want to just check something. You may not even feel anything. If that’s so, it could just be the pain meds in your system, so don’t panic.” That said, the doctor proceeded with the test.
In the room, everyone named Manning held their breath. Blair then looked at Todd’s face which was frozen in a wince. “Todd, did you feel that? Did you feel the needle prick?”
“Yeah, a little bit. Not the greatest amount of pain I’ve ever experienced. Sure as hell didn’t hurt like when you took the bullet out of my shoulder,” he said.
The sounds out of the room made everyone in the hallway jump. Viki and Tina were holding each others hands in anticipation and Sarah had the baby when Danny Wolek came out. “Danny?” Viki asked, hope in her voice.
He nephew nodded. “It is looking like the surgery was a success,” he said as he smiled.
“Oh, thank God!” Viki cried as she and Tina embraced.
“Cane we…can we go in to see him?” came Tina’s question.
“Can you wait a bit? I don’t think you’ll get Blair or the kids out of there without dynamite right now and we don‘t want too many people in their at one time,” he told his aunts. “Also, Dr, Harmon has to run some more conclusive tests just to make sure there’s no post-operative complications.”
“Look, I think I’d better get this little guy home and get back to the station, see if there’s any update,” Victor said. “Besides, you’ve got a brother and a sister who I know are dying to meet you.”
Viki turned back to Victor. “Why don’t we come with you, give Todd time with Blair and the children and give Sam and your Danie the good news.” When Victor nodded, she turned back to Danny. “Please tell them we’ll be back in the morning.” As Danny Wolek nodded, the rest of the family left the hospital.
Back in the room, even with their children there, Todd had his eyes locked on Blair. The oxygen mask had been replaced with a tube soon after and he raised his head to meet her lips. In full view of Jack and Starr, they kissed and stayed that way until the other two people in the room began to make gagging noises. Todd turned his head and smirked. “You two better get use to that,” he said and two sets of eyes rolled back.
Danny walked back in. “So how are you really feeling?” he asked.
“Well, hungry, for one thing. A nice porterhouse would probably be enough. And a glass of single malt, twenty-five years, at least,” Todd told him.
“Well, unfortunately, it’s only going to be ice chips for the rest of the day, then we’ll get you back on solids with breakfast tomorrow,” Dr. Harmon rained on his parade.
“Oh, God, not hospital food! A burger from Kelly’s at least?” Todd bargained.
“We’ll see,” Dr, Harmon said as he made his way out.
Todd turned back to Danny Wolek. “Where’d the two mother hens go? I thought for sure they’d be in here right away.”
“Well, we do try to keep the number of visitors in the rooms down to a minimum and I didn’t think Starr or Jack would want to leave. Besides, your brother wanted to get his son home and he said something about going to the police,” Danny informed them.
“What, I got abandoned for the kid? I’ve just been through a very traumatic experience!” he exclaimed, but with a mischievous glint in his eyes.
“Todd,” Blair gently warned.
“Maybe we should go home, anyway,” Starr offered.
“You will do no such thing. I want you to all stay here. In fact, go get yourself something and bring it back for mom too. We’ll have diner as a family,” he told the kids, then added, “or at least, you will.”
Jack looked at Starr and shrugged his shoulder. “Sure, whatever. Mom, a burger okay for you?” he asked.
“Yeah, thanks Jack,” she replied.
“Get me one too and fries, please,” Todd tried one more time. Starr just shook her head and followed Jack out the door. They made their way to Kelly’s and found Michael and Molly there.
“Jack, how’s your dad doing?” Molly asked as she approached him. Behind her, Michael eyed Starr expectantly.
“He’s awake and he had feeling in his feet!” Starr couldn’t hold back her glee. Michael ran up to her, picked her up and spun her around. Molly gave Jack a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. “The doctors a very confident in a full recover.”
“Oh, that’s awesome!” Michael said.
“How’s your dad feeling?” Molly asked.
“Well, he’s really hungry but they don’t want him to eat just yet. But we get to torture him while we eat,” Jack said.
“Oh, and the other good news, well a least partly, is that Uncle Victor’s son is back,” Starr said. Then she added sadly, “Helena Cassadine took Tea as a hostage for her escape, though.”
“I’m so sorry,” Molly said as she hugged Starr. “That woman really is a curse on everyone in town.”
“John McBain is on the case. We’ll get her back, I’m sure of it,” Starr eventually said. “Listen, we need to get dinner and get back to the hospital.” It only took a few minutes for the food to be done and the Manning children left, telling their friends they would call them soon.
When it was just Michael and Molly left, the teenage girl turned to her cousin. “I think we need to accept the fact that we’ll never be rid of Helena Cassadine.
As Molly was saying that, Helena sat in her cabin on a yacht going up the St. Lawrence River. She was sipping a glass of champagne when the door opened and as associate brought in Tea Delgado. “We also found this, Mrs. Cassadine,” he said, hold a tracking device.
“Excellent, Avrim. You may go now. Mrs. Lord and I need to have a chat,” Helena said. The door closed and Helena put down her glass. She smiled at Tea, almost friendly. “Well, welcome back to the land of the living. It is a pleasure meet a kindred spirit.”
“What are you talking about?” she asked as she tried to door, only to find it locked. “From what I’ve seen, we are nothing alike.”
“Oh, but I think we are. We are both ruthless, a quality that many find unappealing for our gender. We are both devoted mothers, at least to one of our children, and we both will do anything to get what we want,” Helena listed, an elegant finger rising from her hand as she counted off. When Tea continued to look at her confused, Helena elaborated. “Well, your legal reputation precedes you. How you got Todd Manning, I’m sorry, Victor Lord off on kidnapping that poor woman, Margaret Saybrooke a few years ago, well, it was brilliant. You showing your devotion to my great-grandson while he was placed in you care by Mr. Manning shows a remarkable maternal instinct and marrying both of Victor Lord’s sons to get a place in society, a place you always wanted, well, it is something I can understand.”
Tea stood there, openmouthed. She didn’t know what to say. “We are nothing alike,” she repeated as she came to the slow realization of what Helena was saying.
“You were in essence the other woman between Todd and his wife, Blair, is it?” Helena asked. “Unlike I, whose husband was taken by the governess, you managed to win the man and raise the child, at least for a little while. Then, of course, there is your daughter, Daniella Manning. But then she isn’t really Mr. Manning’s child. How do you think he will react to that?”
“He knows the truth,” Tea admitted.
“Oh, silly me, I meant Mr. Lord. How will he react to learning that they child you presented him with three years ago isn’t really his?” Helena asked. “A volatile temper, that one. Much more unpredictable than his brother.”
Tea turned back to Helena. “What are you going to do with me?” she asked.
“Well, Mr. Lord ruined my initial plans and now I must think these things through. But don’t worry. As soon as I know, you will.” Helena went to a table and rang a bell. Avrim returned. “Take Mrs. Lord, or should I say Ms. Delgado, back to her stateroom and get her something to eat. We have quite a journey ahead of us.”
“Wait! Can you answer me one more question?” Tea asked. Helena waited expectantly. “Will I get to see my son?”
“All in good time, my dear. All in good time.” Tea was taken back out of the room. Helena went back to her glass and took another sip, planning her next move.
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