Blair reached over and covered his hand with hers. "I'm going to find a way to make it up to you Todd. We were all fooled, but you're right I should have known he wasn't you. The only excuse I have, is that I wanted you back so bad I let myself believe it. In my defense, the first time I saw Samuel in Paris, I knew it was you. I didn't even question that Walker was you any longer, I simply knew he wasn't." She watched him, trying to read his expression, Todd could be the most inscrutable man when he wanted to be.
Todd looked at her. He saw her sincerity, but he was hit with that nagging problem he always had with her. Could he continue to trust her? Then it felt like someone smacked him on the back of his head. Todd heard his alters yelling. "You idiot, just go with it for now." Todd found himself grinning suddenly. He squeezed her hand and pulled her down next to him on the bed. "Well now what do we do?" he asked playfully " This bed's not very big."
Blair laughed and push him away. " Oh no, you don't, you're not up to that yet." She stood up and turned to him and said. "That's going to have to wait till you get an OK from your doctor. Now, tell me about your morning with Bo."
"Well, actually Samuel covered the morning. He's the one with the memories of the time I was out. I think Bo is definitely interested since he heard Carlo might be involved. He's supposed to get in touch with Starr and get some papers later today. The doctor was in earlier and told me they might move me to a regular room. He already has me rigged out with the portable heart monitor so I could start moving around again. You need to back me up when I ask if I can go home instead. This place is getting on my last nerve and could you please bring me some fresh clothes. These gowns do nothing for me." replied Todd
"Don't you think you should take it just a little slower. If we're going after Carlo, we really need to make sure everything is airtight. I promised you earlier that if the doctors would allow you to wear the monitor that I'd try and get them to let you go home and I'll see what I can do. As for your clothes, you're not getting those until we get the doctor's ok. I know first hand, how you like to sneak out of hospitals ahead of schedule. I don't want to be the one responsible if you collapse trying to leave too early. Do we understand each other Todd?" asked Blair
Todd's only answer was a scowl. He knew she had him over a barrel, but he didn't have to like it. What she didn't understand is that he had been inactive for so long he felt like he was crawling out of his skin. After facing his fathers in the tomb, he had finally broken free only to be trapped once again because his heart had been damaged by Mitch Lawrence. He owed that man big time and he would handle Mitch personally. As far as Carlo was concerned it was time to start digging into his finances. "Alright, Blair, if you won't bring me clothes, can you get me a laptop. I can start researching Carlo's holdings at least. I want to see just how far his reach is right now."
"What are you going to do if you find them. You'll have to be careful how you attack Carlo. If he finds out someone is making a play he could get nasty." said Blair
"Don't worry Blair, computers are one thing I'm good at. Remember the fireworks. Just get me a laptop and I'll worry about the rest. In the meantime tell me a little bit about Jack." said Todd.
Blair looked at Todd. She sat down, not quite sure where to start. She had been dreading this conversation. "Jack is a lot like you. He's headstrong and loves to play tricks on his little brother Sam.......".Blair paused. Todd didn't know about Sam. He was looking at her waiting for an explanation.
"Who's Sam, Blair?" asked Todd. Inside he was seething. "Did you have a son with Manning?"
The cat was out of the bag. Blair had no other choice than to tell Todd about Margaret and Sam and Walker. "Sam is my adopted son and Walker's son with a woman known as Margaret Cochran. And no, Walker did not step out on me. Margaret Cochran was a maniac who got an obsession for Walker. She kidnapped him, tortured him and threatened the kids and me. She wanted his baby. She raped him, Todd. And months later after he got free he found out she had gotten pregnant. Shortly before giving birth, she and Walker were in a boat out on a lake when she jumped in and disappeared. Later the bodies of a woman and child were found and Walker was convicted for their deaths. Walker was sentenced to death. It's a miracle he's alive. He was executed but in the last minute John McBain showed up with Margaret. Walker was brought back and recovered. Then we found out he had a son. After a lot of searching, and another near death experience, Walker was finally united with his son. Walker and I married in order to get custody of Sam and that is how Sam became part of my family.
Todd was stunned. One word hung in the air like an albatross. Manning had been raped. God, it didn't matter who carried the name. It was cursed. He found himself feeling sympathy for the man. It was obvious a lot had gone on with Manning. What other stories was he going to hear? "You said you married Manning, to help him get custody of Sam, but I know he's married to Tea. Why did you break up?" he asked.
“Before I tell you that, you have to promise me you'll stay calm. If you can't do that, then I'll have to wait. I refuse to send you into cardiac arrest. I mean it, your promise Todd." said Blair. Todd nodded and Blair continued. "The first thing you need to know is that Walker loves your kids the same way you do. In fact, he's a little too over-protective. When Walker found Starr and Cole in bed he went ballistic and nearly beat Cole to death. Later Starr found out that she was pregnant and she and Cole ran off. Walker tracked them down and found them in Atlantic City. In an ensuing argument, Walker accidentally pushed Starr down a flight of stairs. She almost lost the baby and Walker and I parted over his actions. Later Walker took Sam and put him in the front seat of his car and was involved in an accident. I sued for custody of the kids on the grounds he was an unfit father. We now share joint custody again." Blair had been watching Todd looking for any sign he might explode. He was too quiet. She had seen his face when he heard of Starr's fall. She was and always would be his world even over Jack. But that was only because he had had more contact with Starr. She wished she could see what the monitor was reading, any minute now she expected the nurse to come in and check on him. Then a chill went down her back. The eyes staring at her were cold as ice. She remembered one other night when Todd had been that cold. He had almost raped her that night. Oh God, Pete was out. " Ok, Blair you got to talk him down. he's not mad at you." Thank goodness he was so weak. he couldn't do much in this state.
"You let him throw her down some stairs! Where were you? Were you with some other man while he hurt my daughter? I've told him you're not worth it, but he continues to crawl back to you. If I could get out of this bed Manning wouldn't last a day and you wouldn't be far behind him. You're both the reason my daughter became pregnant by that delinquent son of Marty's." Pete stopped and his eyes closed.
Blair was heartbroken, had she lost Todd to Pete. What would happen if Pete stayed in control? God. Pete had been ruthless and implacable. He would wreak havoc for sure, and Llanview would be caught in his hellfires.
Todd had used what strength he had to rip Pete from control. Pete was putting up a fight. "You fool! Look what she's allowed! You're as worthless as your father said. I took control because you were going to let her get off. God, you used to have some fight in you. How could you just sit there? She has you so wrapped around her little finger that you've forgotten all the times she took your kids from you. Didn't you hear her, she did the same thing to Manning. She hasn't changed, you have. I'll leave for now. But you mark my words, you've just heard the tip of the iceberg. I'm willing to bet you're going to be begging my help when you hear everything that has occurred since you've been gone."
Panting from the exertion. Todd drew himself up straight and looked Pete in the eyes. "You might be strong, but I'm stronger. You have no idea, what I've faced recently, but I know you wouldn't have been able to handle it. You're as much a bully as my father Peter. When push comes to shove you'll eventually turn tail and run. I'm through running. If you attempt to come through again to hurt Blair, I'll destroy you. Brother or not. You come out when I say. Do you understand? I don't want to lose you, but I will for my sanity and her safety. Ms. Perkins, we need stronger restraints. It's obvious as I get stronger, he's getting stronger. If he takes control again, well I don't want to think of it right now. Samuel, stay close by. Warn me if he gets loose." Todd slowly opened his eyes and got his bearings. He realized they had put the oxygen back on him and he wondered how long he had been fighting with Pete. "Mr. Toddman, take it easy. You're alright you just overdid it today. Your heart is fine, but you once again had an anxiety attack and passed out because you hyperventilated. You just rest now. We'll be in later." The nurse turned to Blair and said. "You mustn't worry. Panic attacks look worse than they are."
Blair watched the nurse leave and turned back to Todd. Please God, let it be Todd. she thought.
Todd looked at Blair. He was tired. Too tired to be angry. Pete hadn't been totally wrong. Blair and Manning had made a mess of his daughter's and son's lives. He marveled that Starr was still so resilient after everything she had been through. Pete had called him a fool for loving Blair, but that was because Pete was incapable of love. He didn't know quite what to say to Blair. She had been scared by Pete, he understood that. Pete terrified him sometimes. But Todd was afraid, not of Pete so much, as the acts that Pete perpetrated when he was getting even. Todd got angry, but Pete exploded. Blair's story had brought up so much hate. Hatred for Manning for pushing Starr. Hatred for Mitch for putting him in this bed. Hatred for Hesser for taking eight years of his life away. Even a piece of hatred for everyone who accepted Manning as him all these years. All that hatred was eating at him begging for revenge and it was feeding Pete strength. If he couldn't find a way to get past it. Pete would win. Todd would have his revenge but probably lose everyone he cared about permanently.
She hadn't said anything. He would have to make the first move. "Blair, you can relax. It's me. I don't know if I'm going to be able to do this. There is so much anger building in me. I'm fighting to keep it contained, I hope you believe that. I know it would be easier on everybody if Samuel was in charge permanently. He's the nice guy, the stable one. I can't do it. It's my life and I want to live it. Several people have called me a monster in my life. It's true. I'm like the Hydra, if you cut off one head two grow back in its place. You never get rid of me, you just get to meet more and more heads. If you love me and can take me the way I am, we might stand a chance. I know what Pete thinks of you, I'm aware of all your faults. I'm putting myself back under the guillotine. If you betray me again, you cut off my head but you won't like what comes back in its place. So where do we go from here?"
Blair couldn't say anything. She was so relieved Todd had returned. She stood there and listened as he opened himself once more to her. Through everything he said she heard only one thing. After all the hurtful things Pete had said she had been sure Todd felt the same, but that wasn't the case. He still wanted her. He was giving her the chance to get away from him. He knew he had the power to hurt her, but he knew she had the same power to hurt him. If she couldn't accept him with all his faults he was asking her to cut the ties now before it got dangerous. Blair had made her decision the moment she had laid eyes on him in Paris. Good or bad, dangerous or not, he was Todd and she loved him. "From one Monster to another. We've got to stick together. No one else will have us." She collapsed on his chest crying. "Todd, I do love you."
Todd just let her cry. She had gotten a pretty bad scare when Pete had come out. A weight had lifted off his heart when she had told him she was in it to stay. Maybe this time they might get it right. Blair stopped crying and positioned herself next to him on the bed. She didn't say anything just nestled in closer laying her head on his shoulder. Todd wrapped his arm around her to keep her from falling out of the bed. It felt good, just to hold her. She hadn't said anything since the 'I love you' and he imagined thoughts were probably racing through her head much like his. What was he going to do with Pete? Being out of things for eight years and realizing that Samuel had actually led a pretty good life without all of Todd's baggage, was a bit of an eye opener. It hadn't been perfect, but it at least had been trouble free. Todd's life had always been one angst-fraught moment after another. Unfortunately when the memories had started coming back Samuel had soon found himself caught up in Todd's nightmare of a life and now there was no turning back. All of them had to move forward and that included Pete.
Even as he lay there thinking of Pete, he realized there was more than one tip of the iceberg in front of him. Todd knew he had many more truths awaiting him in Llanview and he wasn't going to like some of them. He also knew there was one truth about himself he had been putting off for a very long time. He was going to have to have a final confrontation with Pete. If he couldn't face Pete and everything he embodied, then Todd was doomed. Todd looked inside himself and saw that dark place. He heard the whisper of that monster within and he knew that Pete was getting his strength from that Monster. He had to conquer Pete, otherwise he would be torn in two from the inside out. The only thing holding him together was his love for his family if he lost that, nothing would hold the monster back. Todd pulled Blair closer like a lifeline. He needed the reinforcement and strength of her love to bolster his own, with her held close he slowly drifted off into oblivion.
Blair lay there quietly. Todd hadn't said anything after her answer but when she had positioned herself closer to him and laid her head on his shoulder he had drawn her in and held her there. It was quiet, she listened to his heart beating steadily, it seemed to have a good strong beat. Her thoughts went back to those moments when she faced Pete and his angry words. As she had listened, she realized some uncomfortable truths about herself. All these years whenever anything had gone wrong, she had used the kids to get back at Todd. It didn't matter if it was Todd or Walker, she had known their weakness and used it. She had used the excuse that she was being the responsible parent that she was taking care of the children when in truth she had ripped their family apart more times than she could remember.
When everything had come down with Starr and Cole, Walker had tried to make Starr realize how young she was. Blair realized she had sided with Starr instead of standing behind Walker and giving him some support. All she had seen was Todd over the line again. When Todd had returned from Ireland he had done some terrible things but in the end he had just wanted to get his family back. Instead of standing by her man, she had elected to side with Dorian and Patrick and once again her family was torn apart. She and Todd had never wanted to face the truths about themselves so they had used the kids as buffers and as prizes as they had tried to one-up each other. It was going to stop now. This was the man she wanted in her life. He had been gone for far too long. Blair knew they were going to face rough times probably, but she vowed to herself that this time they would face them as a couple, united against whatever might come their way. She snuggled in closer listening to his heart beat and fell asleep held in the arms of her love.
A little while later the nurse entered the room to check on her patient. She smiled when she saw him resting comfortably and Ms. Cramer right alongside him. The sleep was good for him and he seemed to be breathing much easier. She decided to wait a little later to get his vitals and she pulled the curtain around the bed to let them both rest.*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***
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