Todd still felt a little shaky but when he got up to leave, he realized there was, at least, an hour before the business office was going to close. He remembered he needed to find out about the night he disappeared. Todd took Blair’s hand and headed for the office. When he got there he asked to speak to whoever was in charge. They were ushered into the office and Todd stated his problem. "Excuse me, but I'm trying to find out some information concerning a night in March 2003. Do you keep records going back that far?”
“Yes Sir, we do but it’s confidential.” replied the office manager.
“You see I was involved in an accident the night of March 14th, 2003 and I'm trying to track down where I might have ended up and if I could have been brought here. I was hoping you might still have the records for that date.”
The manager opened his computer. “We have records on file for that date, but like I said it is confidential. Do you have a name?”
Todd looked over at Blair "My name? Well you see, that's the problem I don't remember who I am. I woke up in the Philadelphia Hospital and was told I was transferred there from a smaller clinic. Do you have any records concerning someone brought in who sustained massive injuries, I also had this facial laceration. I understand some of my injuries were life threatening. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciative." Todd waited, praying they had received an emergency that night.
The gentleman doing the research looked up from his computer. He noted that the man in front of him seemed pale and shaky, and out of pity, he found the information for the man. "We only had one major emergency come in on the night you're looking for but he was brought in by his brother. Then he was transferred to a private facility. He did sustain a great deal of damage and a laceration to his face. His name was Mortimer Hesser. We patched him up and per the family's request sent him on to The Kipling Neuroscience Research Facility. I see no other entries for that night. I'm sorry but we had no John Does that evening. Have you tried the Llanview Hospital or the Silver Mountain Hospital, maybe they had someone of your description."
Todd kept his face as blank as he could. In front of the gentleman, he turned to Blair and said. " We struck out here honey, I'll just have to keep looking."
Blair smiled and played along. "That's okay dear, we'll look elsewhere. Like the gentleman said, we've got other hospitals to check out. I love you, even if you don't remember anything about your past." She turned to the records gentleman and thanked him and they exited the office.
Once they reached the car, Todd started laughing, " We've got him. You caught it didn't you, Blair? Carlo's brother Mortimer was brought in that night and then taken to the Kipling Facility. We need to get the information to Bo. If we can get Mortimer's records and compare them with my records from Philadelphia General then we'll have the proof we need that Carlo was behind this. I can't believe it, finally something tangible." Todd was suddenly in a very good mood. Then his thoughts slowly found their way back to the earlier events. His thoughts kept going to that cursed crypt.
As the neared Llanview, Todd asked Blair to pull over. They had just crested the hill and Llanview was spread out in front of them. Todd realized they weren't too far from Vicki's cabin. "Park the car. Lock it and come with me." Blair found the better spot to park and joined Todd outside the car. He walked to the top of the hill and stood there looking down at Llanview. Blair came up beside him. "Have you ever really stopped and smelled a spring day, Blair. I have, there's nothing quite like it. There are no smelly socks or mold. The air has a pure quality to it. If you stand with your eyes closed you can start smelling the scent of the grass and separate the different flowers. The breeze flows across your face like a caress. Everything around you is alive and growing. There's a freedom in that."
Blair looked at him. He rarely talked so poetically.
“Then there are smells you can't escape from. I've been in places and smelled smells that would turn your stomach. I can't get rid of the scents. They're imprinted on my brain. But the scent that haunts me the most is the scent of my father putrefying right next to me." He reached down and plucked a wildflower. "Look at this, it's beautiful but now it's going to die and wither and be left to rot on the ground." He looked toward Blair his eyes filled with unshed tears "That's was me, I was left to rot in that place with my father. Except he had a head start. He was already beginning to rot, the scent filled the air in that tomb, there was nothing else to do, I had to breathe it, in order to stay alive. With each breath, I took I felt like I was breathing in a part of him. His essence was permeating me and taking me over. His scent clings to me and won't let go. You're the only one who's made it disappear. When I'm with you I smell stable hay and jet fuel, I smell roses and baby powder. Today made one thing very clear to me. All the therapy in the world can't fully cure me. But you can keep me sane. Come on, keep me sane for a few hours more."
Todd grabbed her hand, then he walked and started picking wildflowers handing them to her till her arms were full. She looked beautiful with her hair blowing in the breeze the sunlight behind her and flowers close to her face. Her eyes were sparkling and a smile graced her lips. He pulled her close and kissed her, then he took her waist and guided her into the woods. There in front of them was Vicki's Cabin and he located the key and they entered. He took the flowers from her and located a vase putting half of them in the vase.
He grabbed her hand and with the rest of the flowers he took her to the bedroom. He held her close and tossed the remaining flowers atop the bed then he turned and began slowly undressing her. Blair let him do the work standing there with love shining from her eyes. Todd lifted her up and deposited her among the flowers then he shed his clothes and joined her. Todd lifted several flowers and crushed them in his hand then he rubbed them over Blair's body rubbing in the oils from the flowers till Blair smelled like a spring meadow.
As he rubbed, he followed the curves of her body breathing deeply the smell of the flowers and her own delicate scent as her body responded to his touch. God, he needed her like he needed air to breathe. She had kept him alive in that tomb and now she was keeping him whole. Todd continued to caress every inch of her till Blair was writhing, begging for release then he captured her mouth to still her cries and continued caressing her, finally when she was moaning unable to take much more he took her. He heard her soft moans as she found the release he had been withholding, then he gathered her once again and held her close, just enjoying the feel of her body cradled next to his. All he wanted was to ingrain the scents of that moment into his memory pushing out the scent of his father and replacing it with the scent of his love.
Dusk was falling as Blair headed to the Shower to clean up after their lovemaking. Todd gathered the bedspread and shook it out the window and watch the petals fly away, he set it aside and went in search of Blair, then he joined her and began soaping her down and washing the remains of the petals off her beautiful body. Blair stood with her back to him as he finished cleaning the last of the petals from her back then she turned to face him, drinking in the sight of his body as the water cascaded over them. Todd was transfixed as he noticed several flowers that had tangled in her hair. He reached ever so gently and carefully removed all but one of them, then he looked into her eyes and met her lips in one pure kiss before turning and allowing Blair to wash his back clean of the remaining flowers. He felt her lips brush the back of his shoulders just before she turned off the water. He reached out and grabbed two towels and took the moment to wrap Blair up in her's before covering himself and returning to the bedroom to get their clothes. Not long after, Todd locked the cabin door and they headed back down to the car in the fading light.
Night had fallen when Blair and Todd entered the Penthouse. The noise was coming from the kitchen and they made their way there. Starr had made pasta so they all sat down to eat. The meal had everyone in stitches by the end because Hope managed to get more on her than in her. Starr gathered up her daughter and headed to give her a bath. Todd and Blair made their way to the living room. Todd walked to the bar to pour a drink and realized he hadn't replaced the liquor he'd had spilled. He grabbed two wine glasses instead and poured one for each of them. He handed a glass to Blair and joined her on the couch. "I forgot to thank you earlier today," he said.
"Thank me for what?" asked Blair.
"Thank you for finding me and bringing me back. It's hard to describe where I was. I was surrounded by utter darkness no sounds like a vacuum. There were no sensations there. I couldn't even feel my hands. It was as if all my senses had left me. I was getting desperate when I suddenly felt your lips, I couldn't feel anything else until I tasted your tears. I opened my eyes and you were right there. I saw your lips moving but only heard the last few words and then everything righted itself. I felt you holding my hand and saw Ray kneeling down beside me. When I saw Ray my anger got the better of me. He asked me to relive that terrible night and I was in the middle of it when I was sucked into that vacuum. Blair, I don't understand why I can't shake that memory. I faced it and that should have been enough but something is still wrong. I know in my anger I let Samuel out to talk to Ray. Can you tell me what they discussed? I was too upset to listen." Todd looked at Blair hoping she could shed some light on his problem.
"Samuel came out and told Ray you were stubborn and that they would have to find another way for you to see the truth about that night. The way they talked, tells me that what you're seeing and remembering might seem like the true event but it wasn't. I think you're going to have to sit down with Samuel and find out what really happened but after what occurred in that office, you shouldn't attempt it without Ray and me with you." Blair replied then she went on. "Todd I was so scared when I saw the Nurse take off down the hall. A couple minutes later Ray came looking for me. You were so unresponsive to everything the Nurse and Ray had tried and they knew it wasn't your heart. Ray said that you felt connected to me so he came and got me. I was never so glad to see someone's eyes as I was when I saw yours looking at me. Are we Todd? Are we really that connected? If so, I'm grateful. But no more scares. You've given me quite a few the last couple of days. I think I've reached my quota."
She smiled and took a sip from her glass. "Now it's my turn to thank you. This afternoon you gave me another memory that helped cast away the fears of what happened in that office. I've seen so many sides to you when it comes to the occasional lovely surprises you've given me but today was so romantic and passionate I felt like you were painting me with your hands. Todd, you can use my body as a canvas anytime you desire." Blair reached out and took his hand running her fingertips around each finger and then turning his palm up she traced each line stopping on the line that indicates love, she gently kissed his palm then leaned forward and kissed him.
Todd sat there and accepted her gentle kiss, as she backed away he looked into her eyes and saw her love for him. He was thinking of her words, his mind went back to the cabin, he pictured in his minds the strokes that he had used to cover her body with the flowers, he had been painting her. Samuel, you dog, you’re getting under my skin, if we don't talk soon we might lose our chance. I don't want to lose you, I need your advice. I'm sorry but we have to find a way to keep you around. I'm selfish, I'll gladly accept your talents but I won't lose your guidance.
Blair looked at Todd, "Will you be alright if I don't spend the night tonight?" She watched for his reaction, he looked hurt but not panicked. "Believe me, I'd love to stay but with Walker in the hospital, I need to make sure Jack and Sam know I'm around if they need me. Jack's not taking this emergency very well. I know that hurts you and I wish I could ease that hurt Todd. Jack just doesn't know you and you have to give him time. Please tell me you understand why I have to go."
Todd took a deep breath, she wasn't going anywhere permanently, she was just going to the boys. He wondered just when he had gotten so needy. He had to do a better job of keeping his feelings under control. Ever since he had opened his eyes in that tomb, his feelings had been running rampant. If he couldn't rein them in he would be the basketcase he'd mentioned to Ray. Todd gave Blair a kiss on the cheek and said, "I'm fine, you don't need to worry about me. I'll get Jack's love eventually, I'm his father. And though I hate Manning, he's not to blame for this mess. I think we've got some proof that Carlo is behind this fiasco. I'm going to do everything in my power to bring Carlo Hesser down. You go home, take care of your sons. Starr is here and I'm exhausted. Today's session took something out of me, but I don't think there is any danger to my health. I've been so tensed up for several days I think I'm decompressing now. I'll see you tomorrow, right?" She nodded and he helped her up. "Thank you for going with me today and saving me from myself. Find a way if you can to let Jack know I'm here if he needs a man to talk to. Goodnight Blair." Before going out the door, she captured one final kiss and left. He watched till she boarded the elevator, then he locked up, grabbed his laptop and headed up to his room for some privacy, a lot had happened and he needed to think about it all.
Todd had all of the paperwork, Samuel had gathered, scattered on top of his bed. He had managed to hack into the Cherryvale Clinic computer and found the records for Mortimer Hesser. He studied the injuries documented for Mortimer and found out they matched his to a 't'. It was time to talk to Bo. He reached for a phone and called Bo's home number. He wasn't sure if Bo had returned but figured he could talk to Nora if he had to.
"Hello", Nora answered, not recognizing the number.
Great! It was Nora. Todd had really hoped Bo would answer. "Hello Nora, this is Samuel Toddman. I was wondering if Bo had made it home yet. I've come across some pertinent information I think Bo will be interested in."
At the other end of the line, Nora's reaction was similar to Todd's. She really didn't want to talk to Todd tonight. Just when she thought she'd have to tell him that Bo wasn't home, Bo walked in the door. Nora looked at Bo and gestured to the telephone mouthing, Todd Manning. Bo shook his head, he didn't want to talk to Todd either. Nora was all set to tell Todd to call back when he made his next statement.
"Tell Bo, I have proof of Carlo's involvement." said Todd.
"Hang on Samuel, Bo just walked in the door." Nora covered the mouthpiece on the phone, and told Bo what Todd had just told her, then handed the phone to her husband.
"Todd what did you find out. Where is this proof," asked Bo.
"I had an appointment with a doctor at the Cherryvale Clinic this afternoon. Then I inquired at the records office if they kept records as far back as 2003. I explained about my accident and told them I was trying to find out if I had been taken there. I told them of my memory loss and had them look up the night in question. That's when they found Mortimer's records. The gentleman in the office said that there were no John Does admitted that night, but a patient named Mortimer Hesser was admitted for serious injuries to the Clinic on the night of March 14th.2003. I've seen his records and his injuries match mine. I also found out that He/I was transferred to the Kipling Facility on request from the family. You and I both know Mortimer Hesser was killed in place of his brother back in '97. I can't obtain the records by myself but you can get a warrant. With the matching records, we can attempt to get him. I have a friend who is in contact with Hesser. He's somewhere in the Cayman Islands. I think I'm right about this and I'll wager Carlo is behind the attempt on Manning's life." Todd laid it out for Bo and waited for his response.
Bo replied, "If what you say can be verified then we'll be able to get moving on this, especially if Walker has been shot so they can tie up loose ends. I'll be by your place tomorrow, I want to see your proof."
Todd said grimly, "Just come, You'll see what I have and you'll know I'm telling the truth."