Suddenly feeling like an intruder, Starr knew it was time to leave the room, she tapped Jack on the shoulder, shushing him and indicated they should quietly leave. Once in the hall she suggested they see about getting some dinner before it got too much later. Starr could tell Jack was preoccupied and as soon as she had got Hope settled in her play area she turned and asked. "What's the matter Jack?"
Jack looked over at his sister remembering how when he was little she had teased him about the fact that their dad had given him away at birth. It had hurt and he remember the first time he had cried to his mom about it. She had told him, it had all been a big mistake and that his dad had moved heaven and earth to find him when he realized the terrible thing he had done. Now Jack understood the reality of it. "He did it, didn't he? He gave me away because he thought I was the son of another man."
She had been dreading this. Starr nodded and said. "But you know the story. Mom and I told you all about it years ago."
"Why did he do it? Did he hate me that much?" Jack was trying to understand how his father just gave him away.
"He didn't hate you Jack, he hated Max. Dad had just come back into our lives and he was so jealous of the feelings Mom had for Max. Mom had started worrying that Dad might try and take us from her. Because of that fear Mom told Dad, Max was your father and then she kept waiting to see if he could accept you. It was all her fault. Unfortunately, it ate away at him that he wasn't your dad. Did you know Dad delivered you down in Mexico? He told me about it later after he had gotten you back. He said it was just him and Mom and all he had to help him was a phone connection to a doctor here. He said you were the most beautiful baby boy he had ever seen, but it was a kick in the gut, when he realized you weren't his. You have to understand Dad. In a moment of insanity he saw you as an obstacle between him and Mom because Max would be around constantly since he was your dad. That's when he did the unthinkable, he gave you away and told Mom you died.”
Starr paused, looking at her brother trying to see how he was taking the whole story. “That haunted Dad and he tried everything to help Mom when he saw how badly she hurt over your loss. Right before you were born, I found out Dad was your dad but I didn't get a chance to tell him while he was down in Mexico. When he and Mom got back, Mom wouldn't let me tell him about you. It wasn't until the night Mom and Dad were getting married again that Mom decided she couldn't marry Dad without telling him the truth about you. That's when Dad found out what he had done. He tracked you down and brought you home and married Mom. But he didn't tell her what he had done because he knew she'd never forgive him for telling her you were dead. When that final truth came out Mom took us away from him."
She stopped again, letting the story sink in, then she said. " I want you to know something. For awhile we were the happiest all of us had ever been. We were a real family but the lie broke it up and that's why Dad can't forgive himself. Dad is his own worst enemy. He came back for us after being stranded on a desert island for over six months but Mom wasn't letting him close to us and he resorted to another scheme to get Mom back. That was the scheme that ended things between them. Then he disappeared and Walker showed up several months later. We didn't know Dad was even alive until Mom found him in Paris. He didn't have any memory of us and when he got his memory back he came here looking for his life back and you know the rest." she wondered what was going on in Jack's head. Starr couldn't tell if he was upset about the story or not. "Are you okay?"
Jack was trying to understand but it started eating at him "He still gave me away." He was angry.
Starr looked at him in alarm. "Jack, Please, he didn't mean to, He wasn't thinking clear. You heard his voice, you've got to believe me, he knows it was a terrible thing that he did. He can't take it back, it happened. Don't punish him. He's punished himself for it ten times over. Please Jack." her words fell on deaf ears as Jack tore up the stairs.
Jack burst into the room blazing mad " You told me you loved me but You Gave Me Away!"
Todd and Blair had jumped apart when the door had slammed open and now stared silently at their angry son. Blair got up and was going to go to her son when Todd stopped her. "This is between Jack and me. Give us some time."
Blair looked at Todd, but he nodded "I'm Okay. Go." After Blair left, Todd looked at his son. " It's your turn Jack. Let me have it."
"You told me you loved me. That you were here for me through this whole thing with Shane's mother. How can I believe that? You didn't love me enough to keep me when I was born. I was just a baby but you took me from my mother and just gave me away. How could you do that? I had never hurt you. Why?" Jack was crying and angry all at the same time. A couple of hours ago he had told his dad that he wanted him in his life, but now he wasn't so sure. He had seen love in his dad's eyes and he was confused. It didn't make sense. If he loved him, he shouldn't have been able to give him away. "I just found you but now I feel like I hate you. You gave me away because you thought I was another man's child. So what. That's not right. Why did I become the enemy?" Jack sat down abruptly on the bed. Tears had started falling, he was hugging himself and rocking on the bed. " It's not right."
Todd struggled to get to his son, even though his head felt like it was going to drop off. He had to find a way to get through to Jack but he wasn't sure he was going to be able to. He managed to sit up but when he reached to make contact, Jack jumped from the bed and moved away. "Jack, Please! There's no excuse for what I did. I'm not a good person. I'm selfish to a fault. At that time I wanted your Mother. I was blinded by jealousy because she was carrying the baby of a man, she, herself, had tried to kill. A man who would have sent her to prison for it but I had helped her get free of the charges. She told me that she loved me but that she wouldn't give you up and she told Max that you were his and she was going to carry you to term. All of a sudden all I saw was my life in turmoil, she wanted me to accept another man's child, a man I hated and I went insane. I tried to get her out of my system, but your mom is my drug of choice. I couldn't. On advice from my friend Sam and my sister Vicki I went to Mexico to track her down and tell her I would try to accept you."
Todd paused, trying to clear his thoughts as the pain in his head started escalating again. "She told me she still loved me and she wasn't going to marry Max. I thought, 'great I have another chance' and then she went into labor with you. It was a miracle that you survived, you were premature but I didn't realize it. Your mother asked to hold you but she passed out before I could give you to her. Then my jealousy of Max rose up because he had such a beautiful son and I didn't. I handed you over to the midwife and told her to get you out of there. Then I took it one step farther. I told your mother you had died. Several months later when your mom and I were about to get married she told me the truth." Todd was having trouble keeping focus but he had to get the truth out. "That was the day the bottom fell out of my world. You can't possibly hate me more than I hate myself. I had already lost one son and this time my own insane jealousy and fear had lost me, you. I knew I had to make it up to your Mother so I tracked you down and brought you home. But I was a coward and lied once again to your mother. I didn't tell her what I had done I let her think you were someone else's child." Todd was crying because he knew he had no more excuses. He had treated his own flesh and blood abominably and with total disregard for the consequences. Sam had been right. He had deserved everything that had happened when the truth came out. "I can't ask for your forgiveness because I don't deserve it, but when I told you earlier that I loved you, I meant every word. I will be here for you no matter what. You can hate me for my past, but I need you to believe me when I tell you I'm not that man anymore."
Jack listened and watched as his dad told him his side of the story. He knew from his Dad's voice that he meant every word. Jack couldn't decide what to do next. He was all cried out, he really wanted to believe his dad. Starr wanted him to forgive his dad and give him a chance. " You gave me away once, what's to stop you from turning your back on me now. I gotta go." Jack had to get out of there. He needed to think, his feeling were all jumbled up.
Todd heard the pain in his son's voice and knew if they didn't resolve this now he'd lose him. As Jack started to leave the room Todd made one last effort to connect. The rushing sound in his head was deafening but he forced himself to stand and grab Jack's shoulder. "Please Jack, give us a chance!" he got nothing else out as the roar in his head drowned out all thoughts and he blacked out at his son's feet.
Jack watched as his dad crumpled at his feet. He ran to the door and yelled "Mom, Starr help! It's Dad!" then he went back to his Dad. He knelt down afraid he might be dead. "Dad can you hear me?"
Blair arrived and took in the scene. "What happened Jack." she knelt down and felt for a pulse. It wasn't his heart that was beating steady. "Talk to me Jack."
"He was telling me his side of the story, he had sat up on the side of the bed, but I think his head was still hurting. I told him I had to get outta here and he stood up, grabbed my shoulder asking me to give us a chance and then he dropped to the floor. Is he alright Mom?" Jack asked.
“I think so Jack, I think the pain in his head caused his blackout. Help me put him back on the bed." They got Todd back on the bed and then Blair got a cold cloth from the bathroom and tried to bring Todd around. He began to mumble " Jack don't go, you've got to give me a chance. Jack ...my sins come back to haunt me... you were right Sam, I deserved it." his voice died out as he lost consciousness again
"How come he's not waking up?" asked Jack, he felt bad as he listened to his dad. He didn't want him to die or anything, he had noticed his mother checking the pulse and knew she had thought heart attack. Starr had told him Samuel had already had a number of attacks. What had she said about stress? That they were all being careful. He certainly hadn't helped that just now. He had been hurt and had just wanted answers from the dad who had actually given him away. Jack knew he had jumped all over Samuel because he had suddenly felt betrayed. It was stupid because his dad had gotten him back and he had grown up with a great mom and sister, he had even had a dad while he was growing up. He suddenly realized that his life hadn't been that bad. On the other hand, his dad hadn't been as lucky. The last eight years of his life he had lived in limbo. Away from all of them and another man had lived his life. What was it he had just said. 'he thought he deserved it.' Jack felt sorry for his dad all of a sudden. After everything, his dad had been the one who had ended up alone.
Blair continued to keep the cool cloths onTodd's head and prayed he would wake up soon. The pain should have subsided by now, Todd shouldn't have gotten up so soon. She knew he was driven to make amends to his son but today really wasn't the best day. It was done now, everything that he had done to her and his son was finally out in the open. Now maybe Todd could get on with his life and move forward leaving the past where it belonged once and for all. It was up to her son to give his dad that release and she prayed Jack would come to realize it. " I think he's going to be alright, Jack. Whatever caused the headache in the first place obviously has some leftover side effects. His heart is fine and his breathing is strong. He just needs rest. Would you mind sitting here with him until I get dinner finished? You don't have to talk to him if you're still mad. I just don't want to leave him alone. He's been alone for too long already. If you don't want to, I'll send Starr right up." she looked at her son.
"That's okay mom, I'll stay. Let me know when dinner's ready, I'm getting hungry." Jack said.
Blair smiled knowing Jack had gotten over his anger, and like a typical teenager his stomach was finally ruling his head. She handed him the cloth and headed downstairs.
Jack sat down next to his dad. He saw a man lying there, not a monster. He looked at the double scar on his face and remembered the additional ones on his back. He recalled watching him writhe in agony on the bed earlier that afternoon. He thought back to everything he had been told about his dad, all the bad things he had done. Then Jack thought about all the bad things that had been done to his dad. Then he replayed in his mind the stories Starr had told him of the father who had loved his children equally. In his mind he found himself remembering a man talking to him and being so gentle. He saw his dad laughing at him and Jack thought back to the movie night when his dad had winked at him and sided with him on the movie pick that night. His dad had been so happy that night and had gone out of his way to make sure that he had been happy that night too. Everything his dad had done since meeting him had been done out of love. Jack knew what he needed to do just then. Jack leaned close to his dad's ear "I love you Dad. I forgive you."
Moonlight streamed into the room shedding light on the bed, defining with light and shadow the muscles of the man lying partially uncovered as the silk sheet draped haphazardly over him. He slowly awoke covering his eyes from the moonlight as the pain from even that light hurt his head. He attempted to lift his head off the pillow and found he could with only some mild discomfort. He was wondering if that might change if he sat up. He went to remove the sheet and swing his legs off the bed when he was stopped by a very beautiful hand. "Whoa right there Mister. You just lay back down you're not going anywhere till I say so." Todd looked over and saw a very beautiful and scantily clad Blair lying next to him. Then he realized he had nothing on under the sheet. His head felt like mush but he was sure he would have remembered if he and Blair had gone to bed together. Blair reached across him and grabbed the wet cloth from his end table and laid it across his forehead. The feel of her body across his stirred sensations deep within but the cloth on his forehead felt heavenly as some more of the pain eased away. "Blair this is great but I don't remember coming to bed how did we end up like this."
"Relax Todd I'm sure you haven't noticed but the air is off. The building lost power a couple of hours ago and you were still passed out. Starr took Hope and Jack back to La Boulae. But I didn't want to move you. I locked up and came up here and undressed you, so you would cool down. Since we were the only ones here I got undressed too as the room began heating up. I laid down so I could keep an eye on you. Now let me cool you off and we'll see if you can sit up without feeling any more pain." Leaving the cloth on his forehead she got a second cloth and began to slowly bathe his body in cool water. Todd relaxed under her ministrations and his mind finally began to clear.
She began humming as she worked and he listened to the tune that had been playing the night of their official second date. Between her humming and the strokes of her hand, Todd felt his earlier sensations assailing his body again, he stopped her hand and looked at her sitting beside him. He took the cloth and began stroking her body cooling her off outside and raising her temperature inside. Unable to resist any longer, Blair straddled him as he continued his path down her body. He reached behind her back and removed her bra so he could let the cool cloth wash and caress all of her. Blair was almost transfixed as the sensations of the coolness of the cloth collided with the passion raging within her. Suddenly she felt the water being squeezed over her body and the sensations of the running water flowing everywhere had her arching her body in response. Todd felt his body responding to every little move she made on top of him and when the cool water flowed onto him off of her he almost bucked her off as all of his nerve endings sent messages firing to his brain. "God, Blair the things you make me feel." he lifted her to his side and soon all things between their bodies were gone and the love making began in earnest. Later, his head once again pounding, Todd collapsed back on the pillows as his body came back under control. Blair lay on his chest equally sated. She raised her head to give him a kiss and noticed the grimace and realized his headache was back. "My poor Todd. What did that man do to you?" she gently brushed a kiss on his forehead and began giving him a gentle massage at the temples.
Under her fingers the pain once again subsided and he lay there breathing in the scent of her. He opened his eyes to see her face above his and he pulled her into his kiss. Moments later she pulled up for air smiling that sexy kitten smile like she was almost ready to purr. "Obviously you're feeling better again. Do you want to try and sit up."
Todd nodded gingerly, and let her pull him up to a sitting position. He slowly moved his head side to side to make sure movement wouldn't bring on more pain. Then he swung his legs off the bed determined to try standing up. As he went to get up a wave of dizziness hit him. "God, I need to talk to Samuel. How many of these did he endure over the eight years." he managed to stay upright but only because Blair had steadied him. With her help he made it to the bathroom and leaned against the door frame as Blair got him some more aspirin. Even in the faint moonlight he couldn't help but admire her svelte body as she moved in front of him.
As she reached him she noticed the slight smile on Todd's face and knew he had been watching her. "Do you like what you see?" she asked as she handed him the pills and a glass of water.
He took the pills and remarked." From the first moment I met you." he continued," But the night in the park was when I really saw you. When you came to see me in jail the next day I realized a connection had somehow been forged between us. I never dreamed that connection would one day grow into Love. You're beautiful and reckless even to this day. I don't deserve you." he gently drew her out of the bathroom and turned her toward bed. Giving her a little shove he said"Wait for me." and disappeared inside.
Blair laughed and went to the bed looking for her clothing such as it was. If he made it back to the bed unaided she was going to talk him into spending the night at Dorian's. At least there they could be comfortable. She knew the other reason was simply to have more eyes keeping watch over him.
Todd emerged to find Blair waiting for him and fully dressed. "So I guess this means the fun's over." he remarked . Blair grabbed a pillow and threw it at him. He caught it and using it strategically he walked to where his clothes were laid out. Carefully he dressed and turned to her, "So we're dressed now what?"
Blair hopped up and took his arm "Now we go to Dorians where it's cooler and don't give me grief. We can't stay here it's stifling. Now that you're up we can go somewhere more comfortable."
"Blair, the last thing I remember before passing out was trying to stop Jack from leaving. How is he?" asked Todd, "I don't want to go to Dorian's if he's just going to be uncomfortable having me there."
"Jack will be fine, He's had years to deal with what you did. I think yesterday it just got pushed back to the front because he had just acknowledged you as his dad and had to wrap his mind around all the new feelings where you were concerned. You might be surprised. I think he's come to terms with it, wait and see." Blair replied.
Todd looked at her quizzically and allowed her to lead him out. It was late when they arrived at Dorian's so they entered quietly and walked into the sitting room. "Todd, how are you doing? You were awfully quiet on the ride over." inquired Blair "Do you want to go lie down?"
"Actually, I'm starved do you have anything to eat here." asked Todd.
" Oh gosh , I forgot you had no dinner. Sit here I'll get us something."she said.
Todd sat down thinking about everything that had transpired. He had woken in such a good mood and then the day had turned upside down. Jack's involvement in Gigi Morasco's death, Samuel's visit with Ray that had been an eye opener until the pain, and then having to face Jack's anger and pain over his actions at Jack's birth, had all been draining and now he was wiped out. Life was a bitch. He attempted to remember some of what Samuel had described but the pain started coming back. He needed to chat with Samuel.
Blair returned with the food and Todd dug in. He realized he had missed both lunch and dinner. Blair watched him eat and kept him company. When he was finished she got them both a drink and they settled down to discuss their next move with Jack. "You realize Walker and Tea will be doing everything they can to keep Jack out of jail. I don't want him to end up in jail but I'm afraid if they get him off with no punishment, he'll think he's free and clear once again and he'll forget that he actually caused someone to die. You and I are going to look like the bad guys if we insist he takes his punishment."
Todd nodded and also knew in the past he would have been right alongside Tea and Manning. Something had changed in him after eight years in limbo. He had been running from his sins all his life and it had only resulted in trouble. When he found himself in the tomb that night and knew he was dying. He realized life was too short. If Blair hadn't been there it would have been all over. It was time to be the father for Jack that he needed. Not necessarily the one that wanted to be popular with his son. It was going to be a battle but for Jack to have any kind of real life he needed to face the harsh truths now." We're his parents, we need to take a stand and stick to it Blair."
Blair did a double take as she realized for the first time that Todd was with her and was going to push for punishment not release. She had known for sometime that little changes had occurred in Todd since he had awaken in the tomb. She remembered her surprise that morning in the hospital when he had told her to call Bo. Then he had called Ray and seriously started therapy, but the fact that he was willing to be hated by his son and make Jack take his punishment was something she never thought she would see. The love of her life had grown up.
"Blair, Carlo is going to hear about this and you can bet your life he'll be watching to see how I react to the whole situation. If you and Samuel show a united front insisting that Jack take responsibility I think we can keep Carlo off guard. Manning is going to do things the way he was programmed that I would do, he's going to figure out a way to get Jack off. Knowing the circumstances, Manning is going to succeed. Be prepared for that. Jack is going to skate. We're going to have a fight on our hands making Jack realize that getting free of the charges at the expense of another isn't right. If we can't get that through his head someone else might just do it for us and it might end up being a disaster all around." Todd took a drink and got silent, thinking of the different scenarios where Jack could end up in deeper trouble than he was currently.
Blair moved closer and took Todd 's hand in hers. "We'll just have to make him understand before it comes to that"
"I hope we can, Blair. I don't like the other scenarios if we don't." he raised her hand to his lips and kissed it and then held it closed to his heart. Todd turned and looked wearily at her. "We can't do anymore tonight. I'm wiped out let's go to bed." She nodded and they headed upstairs knowing the next day was going to be a bitch.
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