Starr returned to find her mother and father having a serious conversation. "Hey, why so serious. Dad, you're doing okay, right?"
"Relax Starr, I'm doing fine. We were just discussing what all these attempts on my life mean. It's obvious that Hesser is aware that I'm no longer in Paris. I believe he still believes I'm Samuel and now it's more important than ever that he remains in the dark. I think my health is going to have to rely on the fact that he's willing to accept Samuel here but if he finds out I'm myself again, all bets are off. I'm going to try and be Samuel as long as I can, but you gals might find yourselves in his company. The stresses it takes on me to fake being him are tiring on a good day, after all, this, even being me is a chore, so I might just let him come out as a respite. I'm just giving you a heads up." Todd glanced at both Starr and Blair.
"So you're going to be Samuel for a while. What about Walker and Tea, Dani, and Jack? We can keep calling you Samuel but how long will they keep your secret?" asked Starr, "You just told Dani and Jack you were their real dad. Dani's going to want to get to know you, I know she will."
"I know she will and I want to get to know her too, but now is a bad time. I should have stayed away. When that nurse poisoned me it became clear that even as Samuel I have to watch my actions right now. I proved to the assailants yesterday that I was Samuel I've got to keep Hesser off my back for now. Bo and I were talking when I collapsed. Has he stopped by since?" asked Todd.
"He stopped by an hour after he brought you in but that was when your body started to react to the poison, He indicated he would try and come by today to see if you were any better. Why do you need to talk to him?" asked Blair.
"I need to know if they found my assailants. If they've caught them, they'll be a link to Carlo. We need to find out if anyone has seen Carlo too. I thought he might be trying to reach Kipling and I told Bo this." replied Todd. He hating being so helpless. He needed to be out there looking for signs of Carlo and working with Manning but now he was going to have to backpedal. Samuel made it very clear that he and Manning would have to keep their distance for the time being. Something deep down inside him told him that Samuel was right."Enough of my problems, how's Kelly?"
"She's recovering nicely. Dorian and Joey have been with her thru the night. I just peeked in a minute ago. She's awake and talking. Joey was with her when I looked in. I still can't believe that Marty stabbed her. Just the other day she had Hope, I confess it was a little unnerving when Hope was supposedly with the babysitter instead Marty had her. Walker was right when he said Marty was a danger. I think she had one too many losses." Starr looked at her dad, but he seemed lost in thought. she reach over and tapped his hand "Dad, are you with us?"
Todd looked startled, he hadn't realized he had zoned out. His thoughts had gone back to the night he and Marty had discussed their dilemma of not being able to get free of each other and how fate kept throwing them together. Now it seemed, they were forever entwined since they would always share a granddaughter. He felt saddened by the fact that the strong woman he had known had fallen apart so completely. "I'm sorry Starr, my thoughts were in the past. I'm glad Kelly survived the knifing. Blair, do you know who falls third in line at the Sun these days. With the owners and second in command in the hospital, the Sun must be floundering. Perhaps you can get a name from Kelly or better yet, in Manning's and Kelly's absence I need you to step in and hold down the fort."
"Todd, I've been out of the business for a couple of years. Why don't I just light a fire under the third in command," asked Blair?
"Because I need someone I can trust at the Helm and I can't do it. Samuel is an artist, not a newspaperman as Samuel pointed out to me earlier. Owner yes, but I can't be hands on right now. Please Blair?" he waited for her answer.
"Okay, but just until Walker and Kelly are back on their feet. I'm going to let them know what I'm doing. Samuel, I have to go for a short time, please listen to the nurses and doctors here." she leaned over and kissed him and whispered "With the nurse just coming in we really need to start calling you Samuel," Todd nodded and watched her leave.
Starr took her lead from her mom when she realized a nurse had entered the room. "Samuel since you're going to be here another day at least, would you like me to bring you some of your sketch supplies. You've got the use of your hands and arms back, it'll give you something to do."
"Bless you, Starr, It would be just the thing I need to take my mind off this unwanted bed rest," Todd replied "But you need to go home and get some real rest. Get your daughter and give her some love from Sir Dragon and tell her he'll be home soon." She gave him a hug and also departed. Todd found himself alone.
Manning was feeling restless. Just a couple of days before he had awakened from a coma and been confronted by a man claiming to be him. Then the man had collapsed because he had been poisoned. Manning was still trying to wrap his head around the fact that the other guy said he was him. Tea told him that no matter who he was, she'd stick by him. He wanted to get to the bottom of this whole puzzle, but the stupid headaches would not go away. The doctor was refusing to give him anything to ease the pain because they wanted him to stay alert. He looked up as Tea walked into the room "It's about time, why won't the doctor release me? You all said my wound was almost healed. If that is so, why am I still here? By the way, what happened to the other me?" he glared at his wife.
"Well who got up on the wrong side of the bed. Hey, I'm not that late, so you keep your anger to yourself, Mister. I'm not sure why the doctor is keeping you here? I'll ask him when he comes in. As for Samuel, I hear he's in ICU after a second attempt on his life." said Tea.
"Samuel, who's Samuel? I'm talking about the guy who looked like me before my surgery. Why are you talking about this Samuel guy?" asked Manning.
Tea looked quizzically at her husband. "Yes, Samuel is the guy who looks like you used too. What's the matter with you? You know we decided to make it seem like he's a distant cousin named Samuel and for the time being you're you. We had a long talk about it just a couple of days ago. You and I are going to fight him for control of the Sun, remember?"
"What do you mean fight him for control of the Sun. What does he have to do with the Sun? Tea what are you talking about? The last time I saw that guy he was lying on the floor in here poisoned. Then they took him out." said Manning.
Now Tea was worried, her Todd seemed to have no memory of what occurred after Samuel had collapsed or of their subsequent talks the next morning. Why was he only remembering the initial encounter? The other startling thing was he wasn't even remembering that right. He had no memory of Samuel and he spending the night in the same room and the long chat they had about who Samuel really was. "Todd, tell me what you remember about Samuel and what he said to you when you two met."
"What? He's obviously some nut, he thinks he's me. And I still don't understand why you said you would be with me no matter what. Where else would you be, you're my wife." suddenly Manning winced and put his hand to his head, "Damn, I wish I had my pain pills they were the only thing that used to help this headache."
"Todd, he's not a nut. He is Todd Manning, the real Todd Manning. We explained all this to you that night. Don't you remember?" asked Tea. Now she knew they had a problem. Todd's recollections of that night were all screwed up.
"You know Doll, you're cute when you're concerned. Why don't you hop up on this bed and give me some lovin'. You look like you're starved for love let Daddy show you what you've been missin'." Todd drawled. " You tell Daddy all your problems, I'll take care of the Todd Manning Guy for you." He reached out and was rubbing his hand up and down her arm then he snagged her by the waist and pulled her closer. "Come on Baby, I need you." his other arm came up and pulled her face to his and he took her lips and kissed her properly.
Tea was surprised at first but she couldn't resist his lips and she returned his kiss. She was crawling up on the bed when she came to her senses. What was she doing? My God, who was she doing it with? Whoever was pulling her onto the bed was not the man she married. Tea paused and pulled back and stood back up looking at her husband. "Todd, what are you doing?"
"Darlin', I think it's obvious what I was doing. I'm hankerin' for some lovin' from my woman. Tea, boy I just love that name, it has a sexy quality to it and babe, you're every bit as sexy as your name. Look I've been stuck in this bed for a while now,surely you don't begrudge your hubby something sweet from the love of his life." he reached for her again.
Tea knew she should be going to get the doctor but she found herself intrigued by the man on the bed. Curiosity got the better of her and she let him draw her to the bed again.
He ran his hands through her hair and down the line of her neck, then they came to rest at the top of her buttons and one by one he undid her blouse. "You're downright beautiful, Sugar." His hands worked around and loosened her bra and worked back around to cup her breasts in his hands. Suddenly his hands dropped to her waist and she found herself lifted onto his lap. Then he went to work properly.
Tea was thrilled, his touch was exquisite and tender. Always before, her lovemaking with Todd had been on the rough side. But this, this was magic. He was passionate and she was soon very distracted and hot by the things he was doing to her. All this time he's whispering things to her and the drawl is becoming more and more pronounced. In fact she would swear he had a french Cajun thing going. "God, Todd, what are you doing to me?" she exclaimed.
"Darlin', surely you know." he laid her down beside him and took his time with her until she was gasping his name and then he took her. When he was finished he lay there and caressed her beautiful body." Thank you beautiful, but you probably want to get dressed, no telling when a nurse is going to interrupt us." he said with a grin on his face.
Tea blushed and quickly grabbed her clothes and headed to his private bathroom. Her ears were ringing with his quiet laughter and she closed the door. She dressed and splashed cold water on her face. Whoa, this man was nothing like she had imagined. Could he be the man who had been given Todd's memories? When she exited the bathroom she found Todd lying down with his hand on his forehead again. He appeared to be suffering from another headache. "Todd are you Okay?"
"Damn it, Tea, get me that damn doctor. Come on do something useful.." he grimaced and clutched his head.
Tea looked at him and shook her head, he was back to his usual Todd self. These headaches must have something to do with the treatment that made him Todd, and now they were undoing that treatment. Tea wanted to see the guy she made love to not moments before. "Todd relax, I'll go find the doctor." It didn't take too long to locate Todd's doctor and she asked him what he was doing about Todd's headaches. After chatting a few minutes with him she returned to Todd's room. "Okay Todd, he's sending the nurse in with some more pain medicine. but he told me you're going to have to ride it out for the most part unless you want to end up in another coma." said Tea.
Manning scowled at her, "Fine wife you are, you can't even help your husband when he's in pain. So tell me, what's this Samuel guy have to do with my paper."
"Samuel has bought the controlling interest in the Sun so technically he's in charge , but right now all the heads of the paper are here in the hospital." she answered.
"What the hell does that mean? Where's Kelly?" asked Manning.
"She's down the hall. She was stabbed by Marty Saybrooke. Marty's on the run right now." replied Tea.
"Well, this is great who's running the show. The Sun should be all over this story, didn't I tell you Marty was dangerous. Why is it all of you think I'm paranoid? Look Marty's gone and stabbed Kelly isn't that dangerous enough for all of you. But no, you all thought I was overreacting when I was trying to protect Hope." said Manning.
"Whoa Todd, just relax . You're right Marty was definitely even more unstable than anyone figured. You haven't heard it all. She pushed Natalie of the roof of the Angel Square Hotel and she's taken Natalie's son Liam with her. There is also word she might have killed her therapist. As far as stories getting printed The Sun put a big story out regarding Kelly's stabbing. I'm sure you'll think it's inferior but at least they're trying to get the paper out."
"Tea, I've got it. Get me Blair." Manning exclaimed.
"Sure but what do you want her for. I think she's here with Samuel." answered Tea
"Damn, what is it with this Samuel? He's just a distant cousin, what could she see in him? He's not even her usual type. She always did have the worse taste in men, after me. None of them could compare, my guess is this one will fall short too." he frowned at the thought that his Blair was falling for this new guy. "Anyway, just get her. I'm going to ask her to helm the paper until I or Kelly can get back." he stopped and winced again and growled." What the hell happened to that nurse."
"Todd you just take it easy, the nurse should be in here shortly . I'll go get Blair if she's still here." said Tea but her arm was grabbed as she turned away.
"Hey, darlin', one last kiss to hold me till you get back," Manning smiled.
Tea again stood stunned. Just like that the charmer was back. He rubbed his thumb on the inside of her palm as he asked her for the kiss and it sent little shocks through her system. She could really get to like this guy. She turned back and gave him his kiss and then freed her hand from his grasp. "I'll be right back," she said.
"I'm not going anywhere, sweetheart. but don't keep me waitin' too long," he replied and gave her a look that spoke volumes.
Tea walked out of the room only to run smack dab into Blair. "Thank goodness you're here, Todd wants to talk to you about the Sun. But Blair I've got to tell you, I'm concerned. He's not acting like himself and he's remembering only certain things and the rest seems mixed up in his head. It's like talking to two men at once. One minute I'm talking to Todd and the next he's... well he's some guy from the south I think judging by his accent. His whole personality is different, the new guy is very easy going and exudes sexuality." Tea blushes and Blair looks at her. "Well you know, he's just different from Todd."
"Tea you don't think he's got split personalities like Todd do you?" asks Blair.
"I don't know what to think, he keeps complaining of a headache and every time the headache hits him hard this other guy shows up. You and Todd talked about the possibility that he could have had his brain tampered with. Maybe his real personality is this guy who was born in the south and now his real personality is starting to come back. It's a little disconcerting because although it's a different guy, he's know we're husband and wife." replies Tea. "But come on in and see for yourself." She opens the door to Todd's room and let's Blair enter before her.
"Tea Darlin', I see you found my lovely ex-wife. Blair, you're beautiful as always. Yes sir, the Gods have surely smiled on me today. My two gorgeous women visiting today. Blair, honey, could you see fit to help out yours truly. It seems I'm kind of stuck here for a little longer, and my darlin' wife informs me your delectable cousin has been unfortunately injured. I would sure be grateful if you could take over for us at the Sun. I know I can trust the paper will be well looked after in your incredible hands." Manning remarked. He smiled and said "What do you say Darlin'?"
Blair was stunned. Tea was right, this man was definitely not Walker. The man laying on the bed was a total stranger to them, but they were not strangers to him. By his very words, it was clear he knew both Tea and her very well. Under his gaze, she felt herself blushing. Walker's real identity was still a mystery but it looked like his real personality was emerging and he was quite something else. "Todd, I'll be glad to help out at the Sun until you and Kelly can get back there. In fact, I was just talking to Samuel about that very thing."
"Ahh Blair, I'm wounded to my heart. You've found someone else to replace me. Who is this mysterious Samuel and when are you going to introduce him to me? I must make sure he's worthy of you. I can't let my lovely ex go to just any Tom, Dick, or Harry." said Manning putting his hand to his heart. As he finished speaking he grimaced again and grabbed his head. "Ahhh Damn it, Tea, I thought you went to get the Nurse! Blair what are you doing here? Oh nevermind, I need you to take over at the Sun." he paused. "God this head!" Just then the nurse arrived and gave him a shot. he leaned back on the bed with his eyes closed and said. "What about it Blair , you going to do it?"
Blair and Tea exchanged glances and then Blair said. "Sure Todd , I'll help out. Is there anything you want me to tell Samuel?"
"Him again, Blair, I thought you had learned your lesson with Eli. Now you've hooked up with this nut job. I don't know how he got the controlling interest in the Sun but he won't keep it for long. You really know how to pick them. First, he thinks he's me and now he's trying to take my paper. He's going to need more than his head examined when I get through with him." replied Manning.
Tea spoke up, "Todd, I need you to listen to me. I think these headaches are affecting your memory. Just a few minutes ago I told you that Samuel really is the 'Real' Todd Manning. We explained all this to you a couple of days ago. You're not really Todd, you were experimented on. Someone wanted you to think you were Todd Manning. Don't you remember any of that?"
"Tea are you crazy! Of course, I'm Todd Manning. Why are you saying this? It's a joke right? Blair, you tell her. You know this Samuel is just a cousin, right?" Manning looked at Tea and then over to Blair. They were both very quiet and then they glanced at each other."Okay, stop that. What was that glance for? What secret are you two keeping?"
Blair looked back at Walker and said. "Todd, what Tea said is true. You're not Todd Manning. Samuel is. You've got to try and remember. We're all walking a fine line trying to keep the people who did this to you in the dark right now. You have been acting very strangely this last hour, and I think Tea is right, I think it has something to do with your headaches."
Manning looked at them and realized they were dead serious. The pain in his head was lessening. Without the distraction of the headache, he started remembering more of the conversation from the morning after Samuel was poisoned. He suddenly remembered that Samuel had spent the night there and they both had talked about something. What was it? Yes, now he remembered. Samuel had talked about Hesser and then had asked questions concerning his doctor. It was coming back to him, then the reality sank in. He wasn't Todd Manning. Suddenly a memory flashed through his mind. He saw himself talking to Tea but the man talking was from the south, then he remembered making love to Tea, but it was different, not the way they usually made love. "Tea, did something happen in here between you and me a few minutes ago?" he watched as she blushed. It was true. "Never mind you don't have to say anything. We'll talk later." he looked back over to Blair, "If I'm not Todd, who am I?"
"That's just it . We have no idea. But something tells me the real you is starting to re-emerge. A few minutes ago you were someone else entirely. It was a little weird, but in a good way, Todd. Just how long have you had these headaches?" asked Blair.
"I've been plagued by them since we got Tea back. I went to the doctor who had treated my initial injuries back in 2003 because I didn't want to alarm Tea. What do my headaches have to do with this?" asks Manning.
Blair looked at Tea and back to him,"We don't know but we do know that the prescription the doctor gave you wasn't meant to help you. It was given to you to make sure you wouldn't get better. I'm not a doctor but I think you're having headaches because you're beginning to come free from the programming. Whoever you are is starting to escape the restrictions that kept you buried. Surprisingly, while your old self is resurfacing, he is very much aware of your current self. It is obvious he retains all of your memories concerning us." and she indicated herself and Tea. "Samuel will want to hear about this new development. By the way, because of the second attempt on Samuel's life yesterday. He won't be coming to see you for a while. Hesser believes that he is still Samuel and doesn't know he has his memory back. To the world for the time being, Todd is Samuel. You also should know that Samuel himself might make an appearance from time to time too."
Manning held up a hand" Wait a minute. I understand that Samuel is Todd and we're going to call him Samuel for the time being to keep Hesser off balance. But you lost me when you said Samuel himself might make an appearance. What the hell did you mean by that?"
Blair sighed and said. "Vicki's brother Todd suffers from DID just like Vicki and Jessica. Samuel is one of Todd's alters. He's the artist of all the paintings."
Manning's eyes widened as the truth hit him. He knew what caused DID in Vicki and Jessica, but he had no memories of anything like that happening to him. "You're kidding right. I know Peter Manning was a bastard but you're telling me he was worse than I remember."
Blair frowned and said. "You have no idea how bad Peter Manning really was. Todd buried that secret so deep "they" were unable to retrieve it. Todd also kept the secret of his alters buried deep. I'm not surprised your recollections of Peter are mild. On the surface, Todd never wanted to discuss his childhood. He built a memory about Peter he could live with and that is the one he tells people."
It was Manning's turn to frown. It sounded like the 'real' Todd's life must have been hell. His own memories of Todd's life were bad but not horrendous. "Blair, I'm sorry about what I said earlier about Samuel. I want you to be happy...I..No, not again....." This time, it felt like his head was going to explode and the medication could have been water for all the effect it was having.
It was obvious to Tea and Blair that something more than a headache was going on as they watched Walker's body arch in pain. Tea grabbed the call button and told the nurse what was happening. In seconds the nurse and doctor arrived and began examining him. He was only semi-conscious, and still in a great deal of pain. The doctor turned to Tea, "I'm not sure what's going on but we might need to do a cat scan to see if there is a cause for this. He shouldn't be in this much pain right after he just had some medication. I can't give him anymore pain medication he could overdose on it. He's still with us and I know you don't want him in another coma. They'll come for him shortly to perform the test. I'm sorry, you'll have to keep reassuring him to get him through this right now. I'll go make that order now." he walked out of the room.
Blair followed shortly after. She watched as the Doctor headed away from the nurses station and instead walked around the corner of the hall. She peeked around the corner and saw the doctor on the phone with someone. He seemed to be arguing with the person on the other end of the call. A few minutes later he nodded and hung up and started walking back towards her.
Blair quickly retraced her steps before he rounded the corner and acted like she was just leaving Walker's room. The doctor had reached the nurses station and appeared to be ordering the test. She quickly reentered the room. "Tea, there's something else going on. The Doctor made a phone call and was arguing with someone just now. Then he went to put the order in at the nurses station. You keep an eye on your husband and make sure Shaun or the police officer goes with him when they take him for that test. I'm going to go talk to Samuel and try and reach Bo. Be careful, I don't like this, first a nurse and now a doctor, how many more people on staff are working with Kipling and Hesser."
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