Blair finally had Starr, Heddy, and Jack settled in the car. All of them were a bit cranky after two long flights and she couldn’t blame them. She felt a little out of sorts too. Todd had gotten quieter as the flight had stretched out. Even Starr had been unable to get him talking. Blair now wondered if she had rushed wanting to get him home.
Starr spoke up suddenly. “Mom what’s taking so long? I want to go home,” she said grumpily.
“I know, Starr, but we need to wait for Daddy. He should be coming off the plane soon and then we can go. I’m sure he’s as anxious as you are to see the end of this trip.” A car pulled up next to the Limo and Blair saw Vicki sitting next to Sam. “Starr, I need you to be patient just a little longer. Aunt Vicki and your father’s friend Sam just got here. I asked them to come hoping maybe your father would remember them.” Starr sat back with a huff and began pulling Ichabod’s head off. Blair smiled at her daughter and moved to open the door for Vicki.
“Hi, Vicki, I’m so glad you’re here.” She gave Vicki a quick hug and acknowledged Sam as he exited the car. “Thank you, Sam, for bringing Vicki and coming here. There are a couple of things you both should know before Todd comes off the plane.” Before she could say anything else, an airport ramp drove by headed for the plane. Blair looked toward the door as Todd move up to the exit. When she saw his face she knew something was wrong. Vicki gasped next to her when she saw Todd in the wheelchair.
“What the hell? Blair, what angle is Todd up to now?” Sam said angrily. He had been having qualms about asking Bo to arrest Todd but now he realized just how far Todd was going to go to gain sympathy and it made him sick. It was the DID fiasco all over again.
Blair looked over at Sam bewildered. “There isn’t any angle. That’s what I was trying to tell you. Todd’s partially paralyzed and has been since he woke up in Guam several months ago.”
“He’s playing you, Blair. I tried to tell you over the phone, but you wouldn’t listen to me.”
Blair was stunned by Sam’s anger. She knew he had mistrusted Todd after their first conversation but he hadn’t said anything in their later conversations to make Blair believe he still thought that way.
Vicki turned to Sam. “Sam, you’re his friend. Why on earth do you think Todd’s faking it? I would think you’d give him the benefit of the doubt until you know all the facts. Blair, you said he’s been paralyzed since he woke up in Guam. I understand why he wouldn’t get in touch with you but why didn’t he call me?”
“That’s the second thing you need to know. Todd has amnesia. When he woke up he had no idea who he was.” Blair glanced back at the plane and watched as Todd began rolling down the ramp. She was so busy worrying about him, she didn’t pay any attention to anything else. All she could see was Todd, and his body language and face told her he was furious about something. She started to move towards him when she heard Vicki’s comment behind her.
“Sam, what’s Bo doing here?”
Blair stopped in her tracks and looked back at Vicki. Had she heard her right? Seeing where Vicki was looking, Blair glanced back toward the plane and saw Antonio Vega and Bo Buchanan following Todd. Oh God, what did Sam do? She ran to Todd. “What happened? Why are you upset?’
Todd jerked his head toward his escort. “I guess I’m under arrest. Nice homecoming, Blair. It seems you forgot about a restraining order you put in place. All that talk about getting me home was just a way to get back at me after all. Go home, Blair. You did your job. You got me back here. I won’t be a bother anymore.”
“Todd, you can’t believe I had anything to do with this.”
“It’s your restraining order. What else am I supposed to believe?”
Vicki spoke up. “Todd, Blair didn’t do this. Sam did. He’s the one that asked Bo to serve the warrant.”
Todd looked up. There was something familiar about the other woman. It took a moment and then he realized she was the person in his dream. Seeing her face and remembering everything that happened in that dream drained all the anger he had been feeling and instead brought back all the sympathy and horror he had felt for the woman in front of him. “I’m sorry... Vicki... um...you didn’t deserve what he did to you. It was wrong, I was wrong too. Why are you here? Why would you even want to be near me?”
Vicki frowned, maybe Sam was right. “It’s true, you were wrong but I forgive you. Blair said you have amnesia. How come you remember me?”
“I don’t … I don’t know how to explain..I had a dream and you were in it.” Todd paused, he didn’t know if he should say any more. What he had seen was very personal and he didn’t want to hurt the woman in front of him. “You were standing at the bottom of some stairs and he was there. You told me something terrible. I’m sorry… I’m sor...” Todd’s voice broke. And he stared down at his feet unable to meet her gaze anymore.
Vicki gasped as she realized what he had remembered. “It..”.her voice trembled as she looked down at her brother. She remembered his reaction when he heard what their father had done to her. She had found him the next morning in the tomb determined to leave and get as far away from Blair as he could because he believed he was as tainted as his father. She stooped down in front of his chair and clasped his hands in hers. “It wasn’t your fault. You had no idea what kind of family you had just found out about.”
“Family?” Todd looked into her gentle eyes. Was it true? Was that why she was important to him.
“You’re my brother. And I don’t want you to worry about Bo, I’m sure we’ll get this ridiculous charge dropped. You shouldn’t be arrested for something you can’t even remember.” She patted his hands and stood up looking up at Bo and Sam. “Right? I’m sure Nora would agree with me.”
Bo felt uncomfortable under Vicki’s stare. He still wasn’t sure whether Manning was faking or not, but the brace on his leg was very real. Glancing at Sam, it looked like he didn’t trust Manning either. All the same, Vicki was right. If Manning really had no memory of his past, and it was obvious Blair believed him, the warrant would be invalidated by Blair before Manning could even be processed.
Todd felt a hand on his shoulder.and saw Blair still standing there. He felt all kinds of a fool for jumping all over her. It was clear she was just as surprised as he had been by the arrest. He reached up and covered her hand. “I’m sorry, I took out all my frustration on you. It was a knee-jerk reaction to what just happened aboard the plane.”
Blair breathed a sigh of relief. She had a moment of uncertainty when Todd called Vicki by name. Then he mentioned a dream and she realized it was just another fragment of memory like his Ireland memory. Somehow he had recalled her name but didn’t know she was his sister. “Wait a minute...what happened on the plane?”
“It was nothing. Let it go, Blair.” He squeezed her hand hoping against hope that was it
Blair pulled her hand free and stared at Bo and Antonio. “What did you do? I thought you just told him he was under arrest.”
Bo couldn’t answer. From the moment he found out about Todd’s paralysis, he felt ashamed. He should have done a little more follow-up on Todd before making the arrest. Damn it, Sam had assured him Manning was able to fly home, he had just assumed that meant Manning was in good shape. Nothing had ever kept Manning down long, why would a stint in the hospital be any different?
When neither Bo nor Antonio said anything, Blair put her hands on her hips. “Someone better start talking. You know I’ll find out.”
Just then Vince walked up. “The plane is locked down, Mr. Manning. Do you need a hand getting into the car?”
Just then Vince walked up. “The plane is locked down, Mr. Manning. Do you need a hand getting into the car?”
Todd grimaced. God, he hated feeling helpless. The guy whose name was Bo and Detective Vega, as well as his new sister Vicki were all looking at him. There was also another man looking at him intensely and Todd felt like he was under the guy’s microscope. It was mortifying. They all knew him and he had no idea how to react. It was obvious that the three men still doubted him. He glanced up at the man he now knew was Bo. “Mr. Chief Detective, which car should I head for. I’ve got to tell you, you’ll need to bring along my chair, unless you want a recurrence of what happened on the plane.”
“That does it, Something did happen and I want to know what it was. Vince, since none of these gentlemen will tell me, I’m asking you. What took place on the plane? I’m the one paying your salary, talk.”
“Well, technically it’s my mon...” Blair covered Todd’s mouth and glared at Vince.
“All I know is that when I exited the cockpit, Mr. Manning was lying on the floor with Detective Vega standing over him, holding his right arm. Mr. Manning asked me to help him get back into the passenger seat and then I went to retrieve his wheelchair. When I returned with it, Mr. Manning was mad and just wanted off the plane.”
“My God, Todd, how did you end up on the floor? Are you alright? You didn’t hurt yourself, did you? I think we should get you checked out at the hospital. I would never forgive myself if this set you back any. “
“Blair, I’m fine.”
“Todd, you know as well as I, you wouldn’t necessarily feel it if you hurt yourself. Please, at least let a doctor make sure no more damage was done.” As soon as she said it, Blair wanted to take back the words. She had tried very hard not to bring up the paralysis since Todd was still very touchy with regards to his condition. Now she had just thrown it straight back into his face.
Vicki watched and saw the brother who had faced her the morning he had returned from Ireland. It was like he shut down, wanting to forget everything that had happened. Just like that day, she wanted to hug him and make things better but she knew it was the last thing he would want. They all watched as Todd pulled away from Blair and wheeled himself to the police car sitting by the hangar.
Starr, who had been listening avidly to everything going on, jumped out of the car and ran toward her father. “Daddy stop. You said you were coming home. You can’t go to jail. Mommy promised that wouldn’t happen.” She turned and placed herself between Antonio and her father. “You leave my daddy alone. He’s been gone for a real long time and we want him home. He was hurt bad and that’s why he didn’t call me. I’ve just gotten him back, you can’t have him.”
Todd stopped rolling, his daughter’s voice ripping through him. She loved him and he realized he loved her too. He didn’t want her crying. He turned his chair and rolled back to her. “Starr, ...Shorty” he said softly. She looked at him with tears in her eyes. “It’s alright. I did something wrong and I need to go with these men. You go with your mom and your brother. Go home, I promise I’ll see you again. Just not tonight.” Starr hugged him and wouldn’t let go so Todd lifted her on his lap and rolled back to the limo. When she still refused to let go, he looked at Blair with tears in his eyes. “Please, take her.” his voice broke.
As Blair pulled Starr off his lap, she saw Todd bring an angry fist down hard on his left leg, then he rubbed the right one and started rolling his chair back towards the police car.
“Manning, stop!” Bo walked between Todd and the car. “Go home, Todd. We’ll straighten all this out tomorrow.”
Todd looked up in surprise but nodded his head to the man and turned around looking at Blair where she remained standing watching him. She was waiting to see if he would go with them. Vicki also stood there waiting. Okay, Todd, what’s it going to be? You left the comfort of the hospital for this unknown. Do you walk away now because it’s hard or do you see this through. He began rolling back.
Sam spoke up. He had quietly been watching and listening to everything. He was still reluctant to believe Todd after everything he had done in the past. “Bo, wait a minute.” He passed Todd and was surprised that Todd didn’t even acknowledge him. Shaking his head, he met Bo and started arguing with him. “Bo, I thought we agreed you were going to keep him 24 hours so I could talk some sense into Blair.”
“Sam, listen. I tried it your way but everything I’ve seen and heard so far tells me Manning isn’t faking it. You weren’t on that plane. He definitely isn’t faking being paralyzed and I’ll reserve judgment on the amnesia. For now, I’m letting the man go home. You know Blair will have that court order rescinded first thing tomorrow. You’ll just have to find another way to make Blair see sense.”
Bo and Antonio got into the car and drove away.
Sam turned around and walked to catch up to Todd before he got to the car. He needed to see for himself if Todd was faking the memory loss. “Boomer, hold up a minute, Aren’t you even going to say 'Hi?'” Todd continued to roll towards the car. “Hey Pal, I know you’re not happy with me but at least tell me to my face.” Sam pulled Todd to a stop and he looked up at Sam in surprise.
“Hey, I get that you know me but Mister, I haven’t the foggiest idea who you are and I certainly don’t know anyone by the name of Boomer. Now if you don’t mind, let go of the chair.”
Sam was stunned and he searched Todd’s face for some sign of recognition but there wasn’t any. He let go of the chair and watched Todd roll up to Vicki.
For some unknown reason, Todd looked at Vicki and asked. “You’ll be with me?”
Vicki choked up and then nodded. “I’ll be with you.”
With Vince’s help, Todd got into the Limo and Vicki joined Blair in the back with the children and Heddy. Todd looked back to make sure Vicki had gotten in with the rest of his family. As the car took off, Todd took a deep breath and leaned his head against the headrest. He found himself wishing he had stayed in Guam. He was exhausted trying to be someone he didn’t even know.
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