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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Todd's Saga 1: Mrs. Blair Manning

 Blair climbed out of bed.  She wasn’t feeling too great.  She stood up, and the room spun. She promptly sat down again, the spinning of the room making her queasier.  Suddenly her stomach revolted and she clamped a hand over her mouth, and stumbled to the bathroom.  A few minutes later she stood over her sink splashing water in her face.  She noted the dark circles under her eyes.  It had been another sleepless night.

Todd had been gone for thirty days. She knew because she had started counting them the minute he had flown out of Llanview.  To get through the days, she had thrown herself back into work.  It had been difficult.  When he left, Jack had taken every opportunity to rub it into her face that he had been right about his so-called father, and in order to protect him and the rest of her family, Blair had been forced to let him vent.  Everything in her wanted to sit her son down and tell him the truth about Todd, but she knew he would never believe her.  The only person other than herself who knew what had happened to Todd was Tea.  But the days when she could talk to her about the men in their lives were over.   Tea had severed their friendship when she said Todd deserved to be exiled from his family.  

Blair looked at the rings dangling from the chain around her neck.  She caught them and brought them to her lips, they were the symbol of Todd’s love for her,and until he returned, they were her little secret.   Her thoughts went back to their final night together before he left.  Todd had arranged everything.  She smiled.  He had always managed to put together their weddings at a moments notice.  It had proven to be a very handy talent this time.  Their first wedding had consisted of a Justice of the Peace, his wife and a little old man who searched for treasure on the beach.  This wedding had come full circle.  Once again Todd had a located a local Justice of the Peace, who with his wife, had come to Todd’s hotel room to perform the ceremony.  Todd then enlisted the bellhop to be the second witness, and as the sun was setting, the ceremony began.

“Do you Todd Manning take Blair to be your wife, to have and to hold, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, as long as you both shall live.”

        Before giving his answer, Todd rubbed his thumb on the inside of her palm and then  met her eyes.  She saw his love for her shining out of his eyes but when his voice caught momentarily, as he said “I do.”  her heart stopped, hearing him stutter like he had the first time he told her he loved her.  Her Todd, the one rarely seen by others, was standing in front of her declaring his love all over again.  

        For a brief moment she was back in the bedroom of the penthouse, feeling happier than she believed possible, flinging herself into his arms crying. She was brought out of her reverie when Todd squeezed her hand.  “What?” She said looking at him. 

       “The judge asked you a question.  Are you alright, Blair?”

       She could feel herself blushing as she nodded and turned to the judge.  “Could you repeat the question?”

       “Certainly my dear.”  the Judge looked over at his wife and they smiled at each other.  “I quite understand.  Love is never to be taken lightly. Take your time answering.  Do you, Blair Cramer, take Todd to be your husband, to have and to hold, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, as long as you both shall live.”

        Blair no longer hesitated.  They had been apart for far too long and now, no matter what, they would face this future as wife and husband.  “I do, with all that I am, I take you Todd Manning as my one and only husband.” she said staring into his beautiful hazel eyes.

       “Excellent, do you have any rings to exchange?” inquired the Judge.

        Blair started to shake her head no, then Todd pulled a set out of his pocket.  “When, I don’t understand?” she said bewildered.

        Todd smiled sheepishly.  “I‘ve had them for a little while.  I told you I would never stop trying to put us back together, and I meant it.”  He opened his hand and there in the palm sat two platinum bands and an engagement ring.  An emerald flanked by two diamonds were clustered on the engagement ring, and it was fashioned to interlock with the diamond atop the wedding band. Todd handed her his band and then took her left hand and placed her set on her finger. Then he smiled and offered his left hand to her.

          Her hand shook as she slid his band on his finger. Only one thing remained.

         “By the power vested in me by the State of Pennsylvania, I now pronounce you husband and wife.  You may kiss the bride.  Don’t be shy young man.  You’re married now.”

          Todd looked at Blair, and they laughed, as they recalled almost those exact same words spoken by another Justice of the Peace, years before in Key West.   This time it wasn’t a slight little kiss.  This time they clung to each other, as passion flared.  So lost in their kiss, both were startled when Todd was tapped on the shoulder by the judge.  They parted reluctantly.  Accepting the well wishes from the judge, his wife and the bellhop, Todd paid them and saw them out.  While he got rid of their witnesses, she found herself admiring her rings, watching them glint as the sun finished dropping from the sky. 

       Blair blinked as her rings flashed in her eyes.  She sighed.. “Stop this, Blair.  It’s not doing you any good. You’ve got a job to do.  You promised to hold down the fort, and you’re going to do just that.  It’s only been a month.  He said he would try and reach you as soon as he could.  You have to believe.”  Just then another wave of nausea hit her.  Blair took a quick sip of water to quiet her stomach and then paused. “Oh My God, how could I be so stupid.” She ran to the desk in her room and pulled the calendar to her.  “It can’t be.”  she rubbed her lower belly.  Of course it could be.  He’s Todd Manning after all.  The father of your children.  “Todd, please call.  I have news.”

****

        In a darkened room, a man sat alone.  He kept an eye on the monitor turned on in front of him.  He had been watching her all night.   He had snuck back into town when he was sure he was no longer being followed.  He had been concerned when she had dashed for the bathroom. Now he couldn’t help being curious by her latest movements.  “What’s got you so excited?  Damn, I should have installed microphones.  I’d give anything to hear your voice right now.   I’m here, as promised.  I’ll be in touch soon.  I love you, Mrs. Manning.”  He set a phone down on the table with a note attached and left the room, locking it up.  It wasn’t quite time yet for a face to face. 

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Hope from the Ocean: 10

Jack and Jenna were in their special place for lunch.

She had her head on his shoulder, her eyes closed.  He was eating his sandwich quietly and listened to her small breaths.  She was asleep, and he was glad.  He knew she had been tormented with grief over her mother, and she had confided in him about her nightmares.  He chewed his lunch, looked into the courtyard, and saw the light snow beginning to fall.  Suddenly, she stirred, sitting up.

"Hey," she said.

"Hey."

"You done eating?  I must have fallen asleep."

"You were tired.  You're not sleeping well, right?"

"Right.  I can't believe she's gone."

"I'm sorry," he said, covering her hand with his.

She leaned her head back on his shoulder, and if it weren't for the pain he knew she was feeling, he would have been overjoyed with the closeness between them.  She said, "When your father was gone, how did you cope?"

"I was a little kid.  Really small.  I didn't know any better.  Someone else came along, took his place.  Literally."

"I don't get it."

"It's a long story.  Anyway, I never even realized he was gone.  But I can relate, because when he came back, he disappeared again, twice.  Once, he and my mother were kidnapped together.  I was really scared.  The second time, he traded himself for my mother and my baby brother.  We thought he was dead that time, and he almost died.  But I know, almost is not the same."

"I don't know if it is or not.  But dead is pretty bad.  And she was murdered, Jack."  She looked up from his shoulder, into his face.  He wanted to kiss her, but he knew it was not the right time.  

"I'm sorry.  The guy, Mitch, he was a piece of work."

"He is the one who took your family hostage."

"Yeah.  He was all crazy and stuff."

"Okay.  Do you think she felt it, Jack?  Do you think she felt pain?"

"I don't know.  Probably not."  He said it, though he didn't mean it.

"I always think of it.  Was she crying or begging for her life?  Or did she just die, fast, without knowing?"

"Maybe you shouldn't think about it right now?  Or ask McBain, he might know, if you really want to find out."

She sighed, and lowered her head back to his shoulder.  "Maybe.  It just feels so good to be here and be able to be quiet like this and talk.  Or not talk, either one.  Like you just let me sit here, and I can just be me."

"Feels good to me, too."

They interwove their fingers.  She said, "I don't want to go to class."

He said, "Let's ditch.  If we go outside during passing, we can come right back in here for the next period."

"You can get in trouble.  I don't want that.  Just let me skip by myself, I'll go to the nurse."

"No.  I want to be with you.  You're sad."

She looked at their hands, and then at his face.  "If that's what you want."

"It is."

She let her head drift to his shoulder again, and propped their hands on his knee.

***

Todd arrived at The Diamond Gallery, and waving off Williams, went in through the glass doors and stood in the lobby.  Hearing the soft bell arranged to alert them to customers, Dorian walked to the front, where Todd stood, hands in his front pants pockets, his long, black wool coat open.  He said, "Well, I have to hand it to you.  This place is stunning.  Really."

"Why, thank you, Todd, I'm glad it meets with your approval."

"So far."  It was minimal, with light and a high gloss floor, just as he'd directed.  But she had taken pains to include a splash of muted color here and there, but not to detract from the art.  The floor shone in high polish, and the walls along the whole front were glass windows to the street.  He hadn't mentioned that.  He said, "What made you do this," pointing to the glass front.

"Something just told me it would be something you would do."

She was right.  He wondered for a moment if she had talked with Blair.  Instead, he said, "It's pretty damn perfect."

She attempted not to show her elation at his words.  She'd done something right in his eyes.  That was a start.  Part of her had felt guilt every time she had let him have it at a family function or in conversation.  He'd been through Hell.  Yet, she couldn't let him bring that Hell to her family.  But in trying to stop it, she'd made herself feel worse; she'd separated herself from the ones she loved just to prove a point.  In the past, she'd thought he could help the things he'd done.  Now, she realized, they were part of him that he was fighting, and winning.  And she knew now that Peter Manning had put those things there, whether she liked them or not.

"I'm glad.  Is there anything else?  Something you think we need to pay attention to?"

"Blair."

"Blair?  What do you mean?"

"She's . . . going through something.  I want to tell you, up front, but I also want you to know that she's all right with me.  I know what to do for her, and I will take care of her."

"All right," she said, leaning on the marble greeting counter.  "I hear you."

"She's got this idea she is going to lose the baby.  She's terrified.  I can't say I blame her.  I was there for all three of the losses, and it's Hell.  It almost killed her the last time.  I've made it my business to help her, calm her and see this baby into the world."

She couldn't help but feel a twinge of admiration for him when he spoke of Blair this way.  Remembering her eavesdropping stint outside their bedroom before Christmas, she said, "I know you want the best for her.  Truthfully, I have no doubt she's in good hands, Todd.  Medically, is there a problem?"

"No.  She had a check up, everything's okay.  She's just getting irrationally afraid.  I can tell.  It's almost panic.  It can't be good for her or the baby."

"No, you're right.  It can't be."

"I'm telling you because I don't want to be accused of not doing so.  But I want you to let us handle it. Trust me with this," he said, leaning toward her more, "she is everything to me.  Nothing would mean a thing without her."

Dorian looked into his hazel eyes, and said, "I believe you."

"Good, then, back to business.  The place looks great," he started to amble around, "love what you've done.  When does their art come in?"

"You do know we've enlisted a few other painters.  The art will start arriving in three days or so.  That should be in plenty of time for the opening."

"Seems like it.  Good job, Auntie Dorian, really.  I'm headed home now.  We have a new dog to introduce.  Promised Blair I'd be home in time for that."

"A dog?"

"Mixie."

"Mixie?"

"Yes, mixed-up as he is.  He has a permanent confused look."

She smiled, "That's nice, a family dog.  Not a bad distraction, Todd."

"Well, I'd like to take credit but I can't.  It was Tina."

"Tina?"

"Long story.  I'll let Blair tell it someday.  I'm going to hit the road, and keep up the good work here."

"I will."

He turned to the glass wall, and finding the door handle, he said, "Good night, Auntie Dorian."

She said, "Todd?"

He stopped and looked at her.  "Yeah?"

"Todd, I think this is very hard to say.  I . . . wanted to tell you that I'm sorry for what you've gone through, as a child and a young man."  He wasn't sure he was hearing her correctly, so he waited, to give her pause to change her tone.  That didn't come.  Instead, he noted a tremor in her voice.  "What happened to you, and to your mother, those were terrible things.  You didn't deserve them."

"Thank you, Dorian.  But Blair didn't deserve the terrible things I did to her either.  I know that.  But I am determined to spend the rest of my life fixing that."  He went through the glass, and Dorian followed him with her eyes.  As he got into the back of the limo, running his hand through his hair, small snowflakes began to fall.

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Spidey Sam: Chapter 22


Todd had made sure that everyone was in bed, when he finally crawled into bed himself. He had a long day of taking care of everyone.  He had to make sure the kids were entertained so they wouldn't ask Blair to many questions about last night.  He had to make sure Blair was comfortable and felt safe.  He had to hire his own security detail because didn't trust the one provided to them by Bo.

The plan now was for Todd to stay in Llanview for at least the next week while Dorian was out of town with David. Blair was still refusing to let Todd or Starr call Dorian and let her know what was going on. Todd and Starr knew Dorian would be pissed when she got home at them for not calling her but, Blair didn't seem to want her around.  So they decided to respect Blair's wishes even if they didn't agree with them. It didn't really matter to Todd though he had an excuse to stick around and be with his children, he couldn't pass up that chance.

Todd was about to turn out the light and try and get some sleep when he heard a noise coming from Blair's room. He walked into the hall and stepped right up to Blair's door. He listened closely at Blair's door and could tell she was dreaming about last night. He was just about walk into Blair's room when Starr approached from behind.

"Mom, is having a bad dream Dad."

"I know Shorty, I was just about to go in, you go back to your room and be with Hope. I can handle this."  Starr walked away and looked back at her father. "Go ahead Starr, I can handle this, I promise." Todd had his hand on Blair's door knob the whole time he was talking to Starr.  He turned the knob and walked into Blair's half dark room.  He walked slowly and carefully walked closer to Blair's bed.  Blair was still thrashing around in the bed and moaning in her sleep.  Todd decided to not getting any closer to the bed but instead call out to Blair.

"Blair," he called out into the dark.  Blair sat up the second she heard Todd say her name. He could see that her night clothes were soaked in sweat.  She sat up and looked around still half asleep and he could tell that she was confused as to where she was and what was going on.

"Blair, it's me Todd.  You were dreaming."

"Todd, where I'm I?"

"Your in the in one of the beds in the suite that rented for the kids and I."

"The kids, did I wake them?"

"Just Starr, but I sent her back to bed."

"I'm sorry I woke you."

"You, know me Blair I'm not that great of a sleeper anyway, it's worse since I got back.  Do you need something Blair?"

"Turn on the light please, Todd." He walked over to the light switch and turned on the light.  Blair was sitting up in her bed.  Her hair was all matted down and her nightshirt was soaked.

"Do you want me to get you a new shirt to sleep in?" Blair looked down at the front of the shirt that Todd had given her to sleep.

"I'm sorry about your shirt."

"It's just a shirt Blair.  I can get you another one if you want?"

"No, Todd will you sit with me for a few minutes?"  Todd took at seat on the chair that was by the door. He was about as far away as he could get to the bed.

"Todd?" 

"Yes, Blair?" he said from across the room.

"I meant would you come and sit next to me on the bed." Todd gingerly walked over the bed and took a seat next to Blair. He was letting her take the lead on what would happen next.

"You know Blair, you don't have to be afraid, I hired the best security team I could find."

"I knew you would, Todd."

"I'm not going to let anything happen to you or the kids while I'm here."

"Todd, how long do you plan on staying?"

"The week, Blair, until Dorian and David come back.  I plan on leaving you and kids with the security detail though."

"Do you have to get back to Port Charles next week?"

"Do you want me to stay longer, Blair?"

"Sam feels safe when you are here.  He hasn't had one bad dream since he has been with you."

"How do you know that, Blair?"

"He told me on the phone yesterday morning."

"He still has bad dreams about that night?"

"Yes, sometimes but, apparently not when you are around."

"Blair, I can stay as long as you want me around."

"What about the paper?"

"I can run the paper from Llanview just the same as I run it from Port Charles."

"What about your life in Port Charles?"

"It will be there when I get back."

"So, you will stay longer than a week?"

"Yes, Blair, if that is what you want."

"What about Aunt Dorian?"

"I can handle your Auntie Dorian."

"She isn't going to be happy."

"She isn't the only person not happy with me.  Half of this town has one reason or another to not be happy with me, starting with my sister."

"You went to see Viki?"

"Yes, I did, yesterday morning."

"It didn't go so well?"

"You could say that."

"I'm sorry Todd."

"Why, Blair?  She has a really good reason to be mad at me.  You all do, for that matter.  Do you want to talk about what you were dreaming about?"

"No, not really, and you don't want to talk about Victor do you?"

"No, Blair, I don't."

"What about Viki?

"That would be like talking about Victor."

"Todd, will you turn out the light and stay with me until I fall asleep?" Todd walked over to the light switch and turned it off. He then took at seat in the chair by the door. "Todd, come back to bed and sit with me?"

"No, Blair."

"Why not?" 

"I have my reasons." Todd stayed up the rest of the night in the chair watching over Blair as she slept in the bed.

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Spidey Sam: Chapter 21

Todd was awakened by the sound of his phone vibrating on the nightstand next to him.  He sat up and realized that Sam must have climbed into bed with him after he fell asleep. He quickly reached for his phone to answer it before it woke up Sam.

"Hello"

"Todd?"

"Yes"

"It's Bo Buchanan, can you come down to lobby? I need to talk to you."

"What is this about Bo? I haven't taken the kids out of Llantano County, you can tell Dorian that."

"Its not about that Manning, I just need you to meet me in the lobby."

"If I'm not in trouble than why can't you just come up to the suite to talk to me?"

"Manning, this isn't a conversation I think you want to have in front of the kids, its about Blair."

"What about Blair!" Todd said louder than he had intended to. He looked over at Sam to make sure that he was still sleeping, he was. "Ok I will be down in a few minutes." Todd grabbed his shirt from the chair and put on his tennis shoes. The suite was quite everyone was still asleep. He walked out of the suite and boarded the elevator. The first thing that he saw when he got out of the elevator was Bo, who was waiting for him.

"Lets take a seat, Manning."

"I don't want to take a seat what is this about Blair, is she ok?"

"No, Manning she isn't ok, she was attacked last night in the parking structure of The Llanview Cinema."

"What do you mean attacked Bo?  What was she doing there?"

"I guess she was catching a movie and when she came out into the parking structure someone caught her by surprise from behind.  She has a broken arm and some bruises.  When she woke up this morning she was asking for you."

"What about Dorian?"

"Dorian is out of town with David for the next week.  Blair didn't want me to call her, she asked me to call you.  I told her that I would bring you to the hospital.  She told me not to alarm the kids, that is why I called you to come down here and meet me."

"I have to leave Starr a voicemail letting her know that I went out and that I will be back." Bo stood off to the side while Todd left Starr a voicemail. 

"You, ready to go, Manning?"

***

Todd and Bo arrived at the Llanview Hospital just a short time later. They got out Bo's Police Cruiser and walked into the hospital. Bo let the front desk know that he was back and he had Todd with him. Bo and Todd boarded the elevator to Blair's floor.

"Is Blair saying that I did this to her, Bo?"

"No, Manning if Blair was saying you had done this to her your ride in the Police Cruiser would have been in the back, in cuffs and we would be at the PD and not at the hospital." Bo and Todd stepped off the elevator when it stopped on Blair's floor. Bo led the way to Blair's room, their was a guard posted outside of it.

"Bo, is that really necessary to have a guard posted outside of her room?"

"Yes, Blair claims that she never saw her attacker."

"What do you mean claims? Don't you believe her?" Before, Bo could answer Todd's question, Blair heard them talking outside of her room and called out for Todd. Todd walked into Blair's room. She immediately reached out for him. He walked slow over to her. He was unsure but he took her in his arms because it seem to be what she wanted. Todd held Blair in his arms for a moment of two before pulling back.

"What the Hell Blair!  Who did this to you?"

"I want to go home Todd, take me home." Todd looked over at Bo for an answer to Blair's question. "She can go Manning the doctor has discharged her.  I don't think though she should be left alone.  I know you have the kids and your suite for a few more days."

"Blair, do you want to come back to the suite and be with me and the kids?"

"I don't want to upset them."

"Blair, I agree with Bo, you shouldn't be left alone."

"We can talk to the kids when we get back to the suite, they are going to find out anyway.  I suppose to bring them back in two days, you aren't going to get that cast off in two days and your bruises."

"I don't want to ruin your weekend with the kids because of something stupid I did."

"Blair, you didn't do anything wrong, you were attacked that isn't your fault." "You are coming back to the suite with me, you can rest there and I can figure out how to move something around so that I can stay the week."

"Todd, you don't have to do that."

"Yes, I do Blair, Dorian is gone for the week and it is just you and the kids here.  I'm not leaving you and them alone not after this happened."

Todd began gather Blair's things from the room. "I don't want to be a bother Todd and ruin your time with the kids."

"Blair, you are not a bother, you are the mother of my children.  You are coming with me, face it this is one fight you are going to lose."

Todd helped Blair into the wheelchair that had been brought to her by her nurse. He wheeled her out of her room and they boarded the elevator. "Thank you Bo for bringing Todd to me," Blair said as she and Todd got into the car Todd had called for while he waited for her to get dressed.

"Thank you Todd for doing this, I know it's not what you signed up for when you came back to Llanview."

"It's going to be fine Blair you will see.  I'm going to take care of you and the kids."

"I know you will, Todd." Todd and Blair rode back to the whole the rest of the way without saying a word to each other.

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Hope from the Ocean: 9

The knock at Mr. Basque's door was accompanied by the cacophony of dog barks in different pitches.  He rolled his eyes, and opened the door.

There stood Tina, with three dogs on leashes.  One was a large Bernese Mountain Dog, one was a medium-sized mutt, and the last was a teeny black Pomeranian.  He looked from each of them back to Tina.  All three had quieted down and were sitting patiently at her request.  "Can I come in?"

"Eh, well, go ahead.  I hope they're trained."

She went past him, and all three dogs went with her.  "It didn't quite work out," she said.

"Let me guess, they fired you."

"No, I quit.  They said I was too petite for the dog catching business and wanted me to serve them their last meals.  I couldn't!  The next thing I new, I rescued these three and had to get out of there!"

He sat down at the desk.  The three dogs sat as well.  He said, "Too bad there's not a job for a dog sitter here, you seem to have a way with these pooches."

"I know.  But, let's get to the point.  I need a job, seriously."

"Well, back to the list.  Candy dipper seems to be coming up over and over."

"No, I don't think so."

"How about librarian?"

"Huh?"


"All right, Dance Instructor?"

"No, not good enough of a dancer."

"Cosmetologist?"

"Maybe!"

"Oh, wait, says a license required."

"Oh, well then, no."

"Visual Clearance Engineer."

"What's that?"

"Window washer."

"Uh, no."

"Look, the list is exhausted for the non-skilled positions.  I'm afraid you're out of luck."

One of the dogs barked.

"I appreciate what you've tried to do, Mr. Basque."  Tina said.

"Unless you're going to dip candy, there's not going to be a job today.  Why don't you come back in a week, or two.  Or a month.  Or maybe never."

She looked at him, flatly.  "Well, all right then," she got up.  All three dogs stood.  "Goodbye," she said, offering her hand.

He shook it.  "Now get those mangy things out of here."

She walked out the door and into the hallway.  "All right, boys, what do we do now?"

***

"What else do you think we need for this opening?"  Blair said, sitting on the edge of his desk as she always had.  

He enjoyed the vantage point of being able to look at her crossed knees.  "I don't know.  We have entertainment, food, champagne.  What else do we need?"

"I love the space you got for the gallery.  It's close to here and pretty convenient."

"I put Dorian on the decorating.  Figured with an open credit account she could do some pretty gorgeous damage."

"Well, you have that right."

"I just gave her the color scheme."

"You did?"

"I did."

"Okay, well, what was it?"

"I told her to go minimal and light with high-gloss floors.  She'll handle it."

"You're putting a lot of trust in her."

"Why not?  It's the gallery, not saving my life."

"Hmf.  It's just sort of, cool that you both are actually working together."

"Anything for my wife."

She leaned forward and kissed him.  "I love you, Todd."

"I love you, too, but get off my desk, will ya?  I keep getting distracted by this."  He traced her knee with his fingers lightly.  

For her, his touch was electric, like some energy went through her whenever she felt it.  She got up, and walked across the room.  "The baby is next door with Ramon.  I'll go back and take a shift."

"Huh?  Where's Gloria, or whatever her name was?"

"Genevieve?  She'd been out sick for a week.  Then she told Ramon she had to quit because she's pregnant herself."

"Wow, okay.  We should have a back up.  Ramon's a nice guy, but not the nanny I had in mind."

"Yeah, like a substitute or something."

"Well, let me think about it.  Has to be someone we can trust.  It took a lot finding her."

The doors to the office burst open, and in walked Tina with the three dogs.  Todd raised an eyebrow, then went back to his paperwork, and Blair went to the animals and greeted them.  Then he looked up, "Tina?  What's going on?"

"It's a long story.  Anyone want a dog?"

"A dog could be good for the kids, Todd.  What do you think of this one?"  Blair was petting the Bernese.  

"I don't know, but not that little one.  It's more like a cat.  I like the mixed up one.  He's confused,"  he looked back to the papers on his desk, "He'll fit right in with this family.  Or the big one, I don't care.  Whatever you want, Babe."

"I don't know.  But, I think it's good for the kids to have a dog.  It might help us, you know, protect us?"

"Blair, it's going to be all right.  We don't need protection.  We have Shaun, alarms, and we're okay."

"Extra can't hurt."

"You're stuck on the big one, huh?"  He asked.

"He's so sweet, look at him, Todd."

"He's bigger than Sam, Blair."

"I think he is, I didn't think of that."  She went to the mixed-breed dog, who immediately chased his tail and licked her hand.  "He's trying to win me over!"

"That's good, Blair."  Todd sounded distracted, at best, while reviewing financial documents from The Diamond Gallery's set-up costs.

Tina said, "Well, if you take one, that only leaves two.  I'll probably keep Beanie."

"Beanie?"  Todd repeated.

"The little one.  He looks like a little coffee bean."

He rolled his eyes to the ceiling.  "Sure.  Beanie.  Where are you staying, Tina?"

"Viki let me move in, until I get a job and a place of my own.  I tried a few jobs already.  This last one, well, didn't work out either.  That's how I got these guys."

"Don't explain.  Viki's going to want these dogs?"  Todd asked.

"I'll ask her later," Tina said, and plopped onto the couch.  Blair was making friends with the medium-sized dog, and Beanie was in Tina's lap.  The Bernese sat at attention next to Tina. 

Todd looked at the scene and said, "You know, only my sister."

She smiled, "I guess that's true."

"Need a job, huh?"  Todd said.

"Yeah.  I want to start over, or something, but I haven't had luck.  Unless I were a candy dipper."

"That's real?"  

"I guess."

Blair said, "Oh Todd, he's so cute and friendly."

"I can spot 'em miles away," he said.  Turning back to Tina, he said, "What about a nanny?  Here at The Sun?"

Blair looked up, watching her husband.  He caught her eye and she shrugged.  Blair said, "She is really close with Ray.  They were fast friends when she helped save his life."

"What do you say, Sis?"

Tina was overcome with emotion.  "You both would trust me, with your child?"

"You saved him, already.  You took charge, and heck you helped save everyone.  Besides, you're right next door.  When he's here, we are, too."


"I'll take it!"  She stood up, collecting the dogs.

"Where you going?"  Todd asked.

"To go find these two a home, beg Viki to let me keep Beanie, and get dressed and come back for work."

"Todd, can we keep this one?"  Blair was hooked.

"You want him, Babe?"

"Yeah, he's so sweet, look at how he acts.  He's funny, too."

"He has that puzzled look on his face that will make him be a perfect member of the Mannings.  Sure, why not."

"Oh yes!  Thank you!"  She got up and skipped over to Todd to hug him, and when she did, the dog followed, his leash dragging, and watched.  He chased his tail a few times and then sat down in a coil and rested by Todd's desk.

Tina said, "Thanks, now I only have one to find a home for, if Viki lets me keep Beanie.  Hope she does,"  Tina said, as she headed out.

'What's his name?  Cain Rogan?"

"Oh, Todd, stop.  Maybe his name could be James."

"James?  What is he, a priest?"

"I don't know.  What do you think his name should be?"

"He's mixed up, that's what I think.  What about Bewildered?  He looks lost."

"No, come on.  He is sort of, well, he's got that confounded expression on his face, all the time.  He's so cute!"

"How about Clueless?"

She laughed.  "That's so mean!"

"All right.  Then we'll call him Mixie."

"Mixie.  Not bad.  Do you like that name, Mixie?  He does look mixed-up, Todd, just look at him."

Todd was back into his reports, and Blair went to the nursery to see to Ray and wait for Tina's return.  Mixie stayed right by Todd's feet, curled up as if trying to sleep.  Ramon, returning to the front, happened to look into Todd's office.  "A dog, Sir?"

"Mixie."

"Mixie.  I see."

The dog lifted its head, then put it back down, and sighed.

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Thanks and More Thanks!

Last night as we all slept, we passed 125,000 views at the Fanfic Hub!  Thank you all so much for reading and supporting the work of these authors!



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Monday, July 15, 2013

Spidey Sam: Chapter 20


Starr was awakened by the sound of Todd in the next room. She got out of bed to see what was wrong. She found Todd getting dressed for the days.  "Where are you going Dad?"

"I was just about to wake you up Starr." "I want to take a ride over to your Aunt Viki's but I don't want to take the boys with just in case."

"Just in case what, Dad? She throws you out on your ass."

Yes, Starr just in case she does that.  Will you keep an eye out on your brother's while I'm gone?"

"I don't think I will be gone long if things go the way I think they will."

"You, know Aunt Viki is still really pissed at you."

"I know, Starr, and I want to try and fix that."

"Ok, but don't say that I didn't warn you, Dad."

Todd pulled up in front of Llanfair. He looked at his watch it was 7 am. He wanted to get to the house early because he knew that way his sister would be home for sure. He didn't bother to call because he didn't want her telling him that she didn't want to see him. Todd was nervous he hadn't see Viki since after the trial shortly before he moved to Port Charles.

He remembered how angry she was at him. He had killed their brother the brother Viki had grown to love over the past eight years even if she did think he was Todd when he was really Victor. Viki told him she never wanted to see him again. She would always love him because he was her brother, but she had no use for him. Todd remembered walking away feeling like he had been punched in the gut by an iron fist. He felt as though he had to try though.

It had almost been two years since their last meeting at the courthouse. He had tried to contact her a few times from Port Charles but Viki never returned his calls or e-mails. He was in town and if only for a few days. He thought to himself what is the worse she could do slam the door in my face sic Nigel on me. I will take my chances. Todd got out of his rented mini van and walked up to the door at Llanfair. He rang the bell. He could hear Viki making her way door the steps. Viki opened the door Todd quickly put his foot out to wedge the door open just in case she tried to slam it in his face.

"Hello Sis, how are you doing?"

"What do you want, Todd?"

"I want to talk to you.  I'm in town for a few days visiting the boys and I thought we could talk, please."

"I have nothing to say to you Todd, I told you that at the courthouse."

"I know what you said but that was almost two years ago Viki."

"You thought by now that I would have changed my mind."

"I was kind of hoping you would just let me in for five minutes so we could talk, please Sis."

"Why Todd, Why should I let you in are you sorry for what you did!" Viki could see the expression Todd face, and it wasn't one of regret of remorse. "I thought so Todd." "You aren't sorry for killing Victor."

"I'm sorry that killing Victor hurt you and that it hurt our relationship, can that be enough to get me in the door?"

Viki thought for a second than let Todd in. "You have five minutes Todd and all I can promise that I will try and listen to what you have to say." Todd walked into Llanfair like he had done so many times before in the past. Vicki ushered him into the study. She took a seat but didn't offer him one.

"May I take a seat he asked" He had that lost little boy look in his eyes that she had seen so many times before.

"Yes, go ahead Todd take a seat but don't get to comfortable you only have minutes and the clock has started now."

"I have missed you Sis.  I have tried to reach out to you.  You won't take my calls or answer my e-mails.  So I was in town, and I thought I would..."

"Ambush me with a visit."

"If I would have called would you have told me it was ok to come over."

"You know the answer to that, Todd."

"Yes, I do, Sis, that is why I didn't call.  I wanted to see you."

"Yes, Todd it is all about you it always has been.  What about me Todd, what about what I want?"

"You want to forget that you ever found out that we were related."

"No!"

"What then Viki it has been two years, how long are you going to punish me!"

"Punish you!" Victor is the one that is dead and you are walking around a free man!"

"Why can you get past it? The boys have!"

"I'm not a young boy, Todd.  I'm an old woman who knows you better than anyone.  I know you're not sorry for killing Victor, and you never will be!"

"You got that right that bastard stole my life for eight years!  I was locked up for eight years!  I was being beaten and tortured, while he had my life.  He married my wives, had sex with them.  He got to be there for my kids!  I missed out on eight years of my own life because of him!"

"No, Todd not because of him because of Irene but than again you killed her too."

"I thought she as going to kill everyone that I loved!"

"What did you think Victor was going to do?  Why did you have to kill him?"

"I don't Viki believe, or not I was just as messed up as that Doctor said I was at the trial."

"What did they do to you Todd?  I want to know what they did to you that gave you an excuse to kill your own brother!"

"You don't want to know."

"Yes, Todd I do, I want to understand what drove you to kill Victor."

"I have to go the boys and Hope will be up soon, and they will wonder where I went, beside my five minutes are up."

"Todd, please just sit back down and tell me!"

"I'm sorry that I came unannounced, I have to go."

"Todd, wait, I will be taking your calls from now on just in case you want to talk, but, I have feeling you won't be calling because you know now that I want to listen."

Todd walked out of Llanfair he got back into his car. He drove back to the hotel with Viki's last words ringing in his head. He wanted her back as his sister so badly. He wanted things back the way they were before he was taken from Llanview so many years ago. Todd walked back into the suite without hardly noticing that everyone was up and at the breakfast table. Todd walked right past everyone.  Starr followed him into the Master Bedroom. "What happened Dad?" 

"It was a mistake, Starr, to go there.  She is still really pissed at me." 

"I'm sorry, Dad." 

"You warned me.  I will be fine Starr, I'm just going to shower than I will be in to see what everyone would like to do today." Starr left her father to shower and walked into the next room to be with her brothers and daughter.

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Hope from the Ocean: 8 (adult)


Todd and Blair were on their backs, in their bed, looking at the stars through the glass panes that reached onto the ceiling.  "It was a good day.  Seems Hope Weekend will be a total success," he said, holding her hand.  He brought it to his mouth and kissed her fingers.

"I think you're right.  Wasn't Sam so cute when he met your mother?"

"Yeah.  He's a really good boy, Blair.  A really good person.  You did that."

"Not alone.  He's got a part in that.  He always had a great personality.  He was easy.  Jack was always tougher."

"Jack's me.  Or at least more like me."

"So many times, when you were gone, I'd look at him and ache.  He was so much like you."

He turned his face toward her.  Her profile was lit indigo in the moonlight.  He traced her nose with his finger.  "To me, he looks like you.  He's beautiful."

"He is.  He's a gorgeous boy.  He takes after his Daddy."

"Come on.  You're the beautiful one."  He turned on his side.  This prompted her to do the same, and they faced each other, both having their knees tucked up and almost touching.  
"You are, too.  You know I feel that way, Todd."

"I know, but it doesn't mean I get it."

"Well, you don't have to."

He reached out and ran his thumb over her mouth, and onto her collarbone, and ran it over her nipple, and she closed her eyes and sighed.  "I want you to be with me, so much, all the time."  Blair whispered, hushed.

He moved closer, and kissed her, pouring everything in him into the embrace.  She wrapped one leg around him, and moved against him, leaving no space between them.   He ran his hands down her back, and over her bottom, and she moaned lightly.  

He slid his hand on the back of her silk pajamas, and moved them down, while she pulled her knees up and they slid off, making a small, satiny cluster under her ankles.  She kicked them away, taking him in her hand, and saying, "I love you, so much," and felt him twitch. 

He rolled over on top of her and looked into her eyes.  He said, "The light in here.  It reminds me of, a long time ago.  We were in the penthouse. . ."  he kissed down her neck.

"You said you never wanted me as much as you did right then," she said, still holding him, and stroking gently, while he worked his mouth over her breasts, giving both nipples attention.

"You looked so beautiful then," he said, between loving licks that brought her nipples to full hardness, "and you look so beautiful now.  It's like time never passed sometimes."

"I know," she said, and he brought his face to hers, and looking into her eyes, he gently pushed until she opened to him, and he filled her with himself.  She gasped briefly as he entered, and not leaving his eyes with hers, she said, "I adore you.  I want you, so much."

"Good," he said, beginning to stroke her insides with his body, their eyes still looking into each others' in want.  One of their hands were clasped together next to her head on the bed.  She loved watching his face as the passion and pleasure took over, and he fought to make it last.  Soon, he couldn't hold back, and thrust himself deep inside her until she convulsed against him, and he within her.  Both hummed and moaned, as they drifted into sleep, him sliding down her body and putting his head under her breasts against her belly.  Her hands made circles against his scalp until they fell into slumber.

***

Hours later, in the dark of deep night, they heard, "Mommy!  Daddy!"

Todd shot up, and swung his legs over the bed, and forgetting he was still nude from earlier, stumbled a minute to grab his boxers and t-shirt.  Blair sat up as well, holding the sheet to her chest, and in the dark, she tried to make out Todd's form.  "Was that Sam?"

"It was," he said.  "It's all right, I'll go."

She was glad.  She felt a pang of nausea, and her heart was racing.  She flopped back against the pillow a moment, her hand to her forehead, and then slid her other hand over her stomach.  Is the baby okay?  This made her belly churn.  I can fight this.  Don't really feel like throwing up.  But what if my stomach has other plans . . .what if I lose the baby?

A few minutes later, he returned to the room, and she was dozing between sleep and waking.  He said, "He's all right, it was a nightmare.  Mitch again."

"Wonder if he'll ever be out of that little boy's head."

Todd didn't answer.  He'll never be out of mine.  He took her hand and noticed she was clammy.  He said, "What's the matter?"

"Nausea."  Dread.  I should just tell him that I'm terrified.  Sister Rebecca Katherine said to tell him.  She's right.  I can't keep it from him, not now.  What if . . . my heart is beating so fast.

"Blair?" he repeated, and since she delayed in answering, he flicked the light on.  Her pallor was off, and he said, "Babe, what's going on?"

"I feel . . . sick, Todd.  I don't feel very well."

"Stomach?"

"Nauseous, and . . . other things."

He waited, propped on his elbows.  "What other things?"

"Just things.  Like, stuff about being pregnant."  My heart.  It's pounding so much he can probably hear it.  I have to calm down.  What's the matter with me?

"Anything you need?  Want me to get something for you, a drink of water, or anything?"

"No, I'm just . . ." panic was overtaking her.  Her heart, now racing faster than she could stand, was beating against her chest with a fury.  She broke out into a cold sweat, and put her hand over her abdomen.  Is that a cramp?  I'm so scared . . .

She must have shown her feelings in her appearance, because without warning, he took her in his arms, and wrapped them, with all their strength, around her, until she was dwarfed and protected.  She sighed, and he said, "Is that your heart beating like that?"

"You can feel it?"

"In your pulse on your neck I can."


"Yeah, that's my heart."

"Babe, what's the matter?"

She nestled close to him, and got lost in the smell of his skin.  "I don't know.  I'm so . . . afraid."

He put his chin on the top of her head, and pulled her down with him, both of them resting flat, he on the pillows, and she on his chest.  He felt something wet and warm, and knew she was crying.  "Scared of what?"  His voice went tender.

"Losing the baby."

"You won't lose the baby.  The doctor said it's going to be all right."  She didn't answer.  He repeated, "Right?  The doctor said it's going to be fine."

"I . . ."

"What?  What is it?"  For a moment, he feared she had other news that was different from what they had heard together and a feeling of uneasiness came over him.  "Tell me."

"I don't believe her."

He didn't answer.  He just stroked her hair, with his hand, and held her close.  He finally said, "Don't cry.  We're not losing our baby.  You shouldn't even think that way."

"I'm scared, Todd.  I'm so afraid.  I think of it all the time.  Too much." 

"You shouldn't be thinking of it all the time.  There are other things to worry about, like stretch marks."

She laughed, but he could tell it was through tears.  Then he said, "Stop, Babe.  The baby is okay.  The more you worry, the worse it will be for you both."

"I can't stop thinking of it.  What it was like, with our first.  And then, with Sommer.  And with Brendan.  He was a person, Todd, he was almost born."

His heart was breaking, but reminding himself of her needs, he stayed stoic.  "He was.  Almost born.  I'm sorry Blair, that you lost him.  I don't think I ever said that."

"And Sommer.  Sommer was ours, Todd.  She was almost born, too."

"I know," he continued to run his hand along her hair, and rub her back in soft circles.  

"And the first baby, we were so sad, Todd, remember?  I call him Michael, I don't know why, but somewhere in here, I do," she pointed to her own chest.  "That was so long ago."  Her voice sounded far away.

He pushed her back down onto his chest.   "Listen," he said, "it's behind us.  Something we went through.  Now, we're okay.  But I don't want you hiding from me.  If you get scared again, you tell me, and we deal with it together.  I don't want you dealing with it alone."

Everything went silent in the room.  He ran his hand up and down her upper arm and shoulder.  "I feel better,"  she said.

"Good."

"I think the panic has gone away.  Thank you, Todd."

"Another good," he said, reaching over and shutting the light.

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