Samuel sat there looking at the picture of Blair, she had been so beautiful that night. Yes he would paint the portrait but it was a bittersweet moment to remember. "Todd, are you doing okay?" Samuel inquired.
"He and Pete are letting off steam Samuel, they were pretty incensed when Carlo spoke about Tomas but when he handed you the picture and Todd saw it, it was all Tom and I to do to keep Todd coming out. Rodd was having to keep Pete contained so I suggested they go take out their frustrations. You need to stay in charge for the time being until these guys cool off." answered Ms. Perkins "Samuel I congratulate you on keeping your head it must have been almost as hard for you as for Pete and Todd."
"Ms. Perkins, you have no idea. To see the man who ordered those experiments standing here and remembering the pain, I tell you right now if we weren't recuperating I probably would have attacked also. Okay I'll hold down the fort until Todd's ready to come back." Samuel felt a cool hand on his forehead and opened his eyes to find Blair above him. He reached and took her hand and gave it a kiss and at her look of puzzlement gestured for her to take a seat. He indicated to her to remain quiet then went and got Todd's note and handed it to her.
He quickly wrote another note and showed it to her. It simply said 'I'm Samuel'. "Darling, how's Kelly. Is she getting settled back into the office? I had intended to go down to the Sun, but I had a visitor and got waylaid. One of my patrons, a great admirer of yours stopped in and made a request that I paint another portrait of you. How could I refuse. He was kind enough to bring me information about my good friend Tomas. It seems Tomas had a very serious accident recently and is unable at this time to manage his Gallery so he is sending me the remainder of my portraits."
All the while he had been talking, Samuel had been showing Blair where the bugs were in the downstairs rooms. He had then led her upstairs and headed for his room. There he found the bugs and gathered them and took them into the spare bedroom which had been left untouched by Carlo's goons. He placed them around the room and said. "Then my patron showed me the picture he wished for me to paint. My dear, you are absolutely stunning in this photo." Samuel led her to the bed. Mouthing 'play along' he said." But come here, I think its time I gave you a proper welcome home." He took her into his arms and felt a mental tap on his shoulder. "Excuse me Samuel, I'll take over." Samuel winked at Blair and closed his eyes.
Blair watched and felt the slight difference in hold as Todd took back over and opened his eyes. He smiled and gave her the kiss that Samuel had been going to pretend. Blair wrapped her arms around his neck kissing him back. He paused and pulled her down on the bed and then continued where he had left off . After a few minutes. He held her close and whispered in her ear." Giggle and make some breathy sounds and I'll fill you in on Carlo's visit." So while Blair pretended to be in the throes of passion for the sake of their listeners, Todd told her everything Carlo had said and his implication about Tomas. Blair gasped out loud at the realization that Todd was telling her Tomas' accident was no accident. She continued to pretend as he informed her about his visit to John, throwing in an occasional "Oh yes Samuel give me some more." Todd finally couldn't help himself when she screamed "Oh my God" he captured her lips again as she was beginning to literally turn him on. They both gave into the passion and finally came up for air sometime later. After pulling themselves back together, Todd led the way to his bedroom where they could finish the conversation without the prying ears.
Later they returned downstairs and found Starr there with Hope sitting on the floor playing a game. Starr got up and gave her dad a hug and whispered in his ear that she had read the message. They all made their way to the kitchen to begin dinner and Todd got some pots and pans and sat Hope in her high chair close to the listening device and showed her how to play drums. With Hope banging away, Todd , Blair and Starr were able to converse knowing Hope would drown out most of the conversation.
Todd smiled over at Hope and then began. "Okay, this is what you need to know. For the time being, no matter what, I'm Samuel, so no Todds or dads should be spoken. I can't destroy the bugs without giving myself away to Carlo, and John is supposed to be sending someone who might be able to track the signal back to whoever is listening. If we can get any kind of trace or direction, then we might be able to find the link. Starr, there are no bugs in either your's or Hope's rooms. I did destroy those. I don't want you to worry about them. Now on another note, Starr, we're getting married this coming Friday and then we'll leave on our honeymoon. I've decided I need some R & R. So you'll have to hold down the fort. I expect your help with this whole thing with Jack, try and stress to him he shouldn't get too cocky because he thinks he's off the hook."
Starr looked from one parent to the other, then squealed "You're getting married Friday! Why didn't you tell me? Mom, we've got to go shopping, that's only a couple days away. Oh my God! This is wonderful."
Todd looked from his daughter to Blair and shook his head. He knew all serious talk was now out the window as Blair and Starr sat down and started going over the preparations for the Wedding. He sat down next to Hope and began playing with his granddaughter, showing her how to have fun making rhythms, all the while listening to his girls making plans
Todd had spent the better part of Thursday morning finishing up the final plans for the ceremony. Blair had wanted a quiet wedding in the penthouse but Todd had convinced her that he knew of a much better venue and had asked her to trust him to take care of that part of the plan. He assured her, that with Samuel's help, he could give her a wedding that she would remember for a lifetime. After Blair and Starr went in search of the perfect wedding attire, Todd contacted Ray.
"Ray, Samuel here, are you free tomorrow evening?...Great. I'm in need of my Best Man, the wedding is set for tomorrow. Say why don't you meet me for lunch and we can discuss the wedding along with other things....That will work, see you shortly." Todd hung up the phone and headed upstairs to his room. Blair's portrait had been placed on the wall opposite the bed and Todd couldn't help remembering his relief that the painting hadn't been downstairs any longer. He had no idea how long Carlo had been in the penthouse, but he was sure Carlo had taken the opportunity to look at the other pieces of artwork that were in Samuel's studio. If Blair's picture had been downstairs it would have given Carlo the information he had come looking for. The signature on the bottom of the painting would have exposed everything.
Todd walked over to the portrait and pulled it open exposing a safe in the wall behind. From it he took a small box and opened it up. Inside nestled two rings. His mother's and the ring that Blair had made for him . He sat down and thought of all that had transpired during the time when they were first getting to know each other. There were good memories and bad over the years but for the first time he felt secure in the knowledge there were no lies or secrets left uncovered. The only thing left was love. This time he and Blair knew what was ahead and they were going to face it together. He put the rings in his pocket so he could give them to Ray and left to meet him.
The young officer was still missing and his first stop before lunch was Rodi's, he needed someplace he could talk to John that wasn't bugged. When he arrived at Rodi's he went and used the phone there to call John and alerted him the fact that they had a missing officer and the Carlo had showed up in his penthouse the previous evening. John was upset that he hadn't called the night before but Todd explained he feared if the police had showed up at his penthouse last night, it would have been a dead giveaway. "John I honestly thought Carlo had just waylaid the young officer. It wasn't until this morning and he still wasn't outside my penthouse that I realized something else might have happened. I'm sorry, Blair and the girls arrived shortly after Carlo left and my main concern last night was keeping them safe and Carlo oblivious to the knowledge that I'm Todd. As easily as Carlo accessed my home, I figured by the time I got this information to you he would be long gone anyway. He's a mastermind at eluding the police so it didn't matter if you heard about him last night or now. He came to find out if I was still Samuel and Samuel satisfied him on that count. My guess is he immediately went back to wherever he's hiding."
Todd listened to John berating him and finally jumped in when there was a pause. " I get that you're mad. I did what I thought was best. Listen, I can't have obvious policemen coming to the penthouse. You need to send someone to trace the bugs that isn't recognizable as a cop. I don't know if Carlo touched anything while he was there, but you might want to send someone this afternoon who could dust for prints. Again I'm sorry about the officer, I hope you find him alive. I don't want anyone else to be caught in Carlo sights I'll do without the protection.... No, I'm serious John, if the young man who was watching me turns up dead I'll never forgive myself. It will be just one more person who's gotten trapped in Carlo's web because of me. I have to go now I'm meeting a friend for lunch, I'll be careful. I should be back at the penthouse by two. Send someone then." Todd hung up and shook his head. He knew in his heart the man who had been protecting him was probably not going to be alive. It sickened him that Carlo was still wreaking havoc, Todd didn't even know the man who had been protecting him. Now that man was probably dead, he might have had a family and everything. Todd could feel the weight of his task beginning to weigh him down again. By the time he arrived at the Palace to meet Ray, his mood was pretty bleak.
Ray was waiting when Todd arrived and could tell just by looking at him that something had happened. "Samuel sit and tell me what's going on. This morning when we talked you were all upbeat but now you're down. Talk to me."
Todd sat down and looked at Ray. "Damn it Ray, no matter how hard I try, innocent people get hurt if they're associated with me. Ever since someone tried to poison me I've had an officer assigned to protect me and now he's missing. I fear he's dead and it's because of me. If I had never come home everyone here would have been better off."
"You can't know what would have happened if you stayed away. That same officer could just as easily have gotten hurt in some other way. I know from talking to Blair that she's not sorry you came home, she's ecstatic and if you left, she'd go with you rather than remain behind. You have family here that want you here. You are not responsible for the actions of Carlo Hesser. You had no control when he took you and experimented on you, you have no control now but you're trying to get your life back and I admire you for facing what has been coming at you head on. Look, you're getting married tomorrow, you should be dwelling on that. I've talked to Larry Wolek and I know what you're facing coming up. What you're feeling right now is fear that your happiness is a mistake. It's not Todd. It's a gift, take it and be happy, you only get so many gifts like this one. Your loved ones will be there to see you and Blair tie the knot. I want you happy, my friend. It's time to realize you deserve a little happiness, I for one think you've been punished enough. Now as your Best Man what do you need done for tomorrow." Ray deftly turned the conversation towards the next day and looked to see if Todd would follow.
Todd looked at his new friend and decided that Ray was right. Everything that had happened, from the moment Mitch had taken him, had been out of his control. His decision to marry Blair was in his control, as was his choice to have the implant removed. When Starr had gotten Aplastic Anemia he had felt helpless but in the end Vicki had helped him realize he could only do what was in his power to do. He had had to step up and give support to Starr and Blair and make decisions based on the information the doctors had given him. In the end by working in the system a bone marrow donor had been found and Starr had recovered. It was time he let the police handle Carlo. He was going to be happy with Blair and if the surgery proved successful, and he had to believe he was going to make it through that, then he would know the curse was no more. He sat up straighter and called the waiter over. "Bring me a bottle of Champagne and two glasses. Ray, this is the only bachelor party I'm going to have will you join me." Ray smiled and nodded.
They discussed wedding arrangements as Todd told Ray where the wedding was to take place and gave him the times of the airplane flights that were to bring in Cassie and Andrew. Ray assured him he would pick up both and make sure they were settled and ready by tomorrow evening. Then just as Ray was to leave, Todd stopped him and held out the rings to him. "Could you hold onto these for me. They're very important to me and I feel can trust them with you."
"Thank you Todd, Don't worry I'll keep them safe till tomorrow. This is what you deserve Todd. Just go with the flow." Ray shook his hand and departed.
Todd watched his new friend and Best Man leave, then took the short walk to the Sun. After Blair had fallen asleep last night, Todd had gotten on the phone with Andrew and Cassie both. He had taken the time to remove the bugs from the living room and phone long enough to make the calls. To say they had been surprised to receive a call from Blair's fiance had been an understatement, but he had told them that he had only Blair's interest at heart and knew that she would want them as part of her wedding. Cassie had agreed the easiest because she loved her cousin and had always wanted her to be happy. Todd had introduced himself to her as Samuel and told her how he and Blair had met and had subsequently fallen in love. He confessed to Cassie that he looked like Blair's ex-husband and he didn't want her to be shocked when she saw him, but he also wanted her to know the Blair was marrying him for himself not because of his looks. Although not quite convinced Cassie had agreed to make the trip and had gotten all the details for the flight from him.
Andrew had been a harder sell and finally, Todd had come clean and told Andrew the truth. Andrew had been flabbergasted and almost ready to hang up until Todd had given him details of the conversation he and Andrew had had after Todd had lost his son. Their subsequent conversation had taken quite a while as Todd caught Andrew up on what had transpired since 2003. He explained how Blair had helped him regain his memory in Paris and how they had confessed to each other that their love was unbreakable. He wanted Andrew to once more preside over his last wedding to Blair and he prayed Andrew believed him but he would understand if Andrew didn't. He had waited on pins and needles for the reverend's answer and had thanked God when Andrew had said he would do it. He had then given Andrew his plane instructions and told him Samuel's Best Man would be picking him up the next day, then they had hung up. Todd had replaced all the bugs properly and gone to bed happy knowing he was one step closer to making this wedding special for Blair.
Todd entered The Sun lobby and made his way to the executive office and arriving found Kelly busy at work. She acknowledged him with a nod and went back to the problem she was working on. He waited patiently and when she had completed her task she gave him her attention. "Samuel, to what do I owe this visit. There hasn't been a report today from our undercover reporter but he assures me he's getting more jobs that are surrounding the secret labs. He believes it's only a matter of time before he has their full trust."
"Kelly that's excellent, but promise me you'll tell him to be careful, Carlo and his partners are ruthless. If they find out about him, they'll kill him. But that's not the reason I'm here. I came to invite you to a wedding. Blair and I are getting married tomorrow evening and I would like you to be there for her. It will be a small intimate affair but I know she would want you there. What do you say?" asked Todd
Kelly knew the whole story and she had been witness to Todd's change when he had come to her and told her to pull the reporter because he wanted no one else hurt on his behalf. She had also had long talks with Blair and learned more about everything Todd had been going through since getting back. Todd and Blair belonged together and who was she to stand in their way. She was wanting for herself what she had seen between these two. She had seen his expression when Blair was with him and knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Todd loved Blair more than anything. " Samuel, of course I'll be there. Blair deserves to be happy and you make her happy. Just tell me where and when."
"Thank you Kelly, here is what you need to know but don't tell Blair, it's a surprise." Todd handed her the directions to the house and the time to be there. He smiled and Kelly got a glimpse of the Todd Blair loved. Any man who could put his feelings behind his smile like Todd had done was a man to hang on to.
Todd left. He had one more stop to make before going back to the penthouse, to meet the forensic expert. A short time later he arrived at Llanfair. He wasn't even sure if Vicki was home, but he knocked at the door. The door opened and Jessica stood in front of him. He didn't know who was more stunned. "Jessica?" He hadn't known Jessica was back home, but he hadn't been in the loop much with everything happening lately. He knew she was at a loss for words so he said, "May I come in."
Jessica had opened the door and then froze. It was like looking at a ghost. He looked the same but different. She was trying to take in if he was real and then he spoke. That tone and the way he said her name brought back so many memories. Funny though, she had never known him to be so polite. She stood back and he entered.
Todd walked in and look at his niece. The last time they had seen each other he had tried to kill her father and she had stopped him. It wasn't long after that Mitch had captured him and entombed him with Victor. He didn't blame his niece for her father, it just was sad that that was the last memory he had of her. " I'm sorry I didn't know you had returned home. Vicki didn't tell me when I saw her the other day in the hospital. How are you Jessica? Your mother told me a little bit about what has happened to you recently. Are you doing alright now?"
Jessica was still having trouble believing her eyes and ears. "You can't be him. I don't understand has the world turned upside down. My Uncle Todd doesn't look like you any longer. But you sound just like him. Am I going crazy?" She backed away from him terrified she was seeing things. She turned away and closed her eyes, praying when she turned back he would be gone. "Please God, I'm me not Tess, why is this happening? Mom never told me hallucinations were part of DID. Why am I beginning to see things?"
Todd was heartbroken for her, she was so fragile she thought he wasn't real. He walked up to her and carefully put his hands on her shoulders. "Jessica, you're not going crazy. I'm a very real person and I know this is going to be hard for you to understand, but I'm the same man who once carried you up a side of the mountain to get you help. I'm the same man who left his pet parrot Moose with you, so he could take his wife away for a trip and I'm the same man you prevented from killing your father not once, but twice." He turned her around to face him. "Jessica look at me. I know you've been through some really traumatic stuff recently with your fiance and your son. I've been unable to see you because of circumstances that have required me to keep a very low profile since returning. Only a select few are even aware of my presence in this town. When your mother informed me of your problems, I was stunned and then you disappeared. I came here looking for Vicki, if my presence is disturbing or is going to endanger your sanity I understand and will leave." He let her go and backed away giving her room to flee if she chose to.
Jessica had felt his hands on her shoulders and had panicked for a moment until she heard what he was saying. As she listened, she recalled most of the events he was describing. She had been passed out when he had carried her up the mountain and gotten her to the hospital, but she remembered clear as a bell the last time she had seen him, standing holding a gun on Mitch prepared to kill him to get back all that her father had taken from them. She recalled talking him out of it because she didn't want him to end up in jail and she remembered how he had given in to her and had walked away totally dejected. She looked at the man who had now backed away afraid he was only going to cause her more pain, and she saw that same look of dejection on his face that she had seen on his face all those years ago. She walked up to him and touched the second scar. "How?"
"It was the last thing your father gave me before leaving me by the side of the road." Said Todd as he watched her face. He saw her flinch and then she did something so totally unexpected.
She kissed his cheek and said "I'm sorry. You were only trying to protect us all. I'm still unsure of so much but not about who you are. If you are you, then who has been you all this time?"
Todd smiled and said, "That's the sixty-four thousand dollar question. We're still trying to figure that out. Are you sure you're okay Jessica? I know this is a shock."
Jessica thought about that for a moment and realized she was going to be okay. Now that the initial shock of seeing him for the first time was past, she actually was glad because she had weathered it and she was still Jessica. It didn't matter that there was another man out there who claimed to be her uncle because right here, right now, the man she loved and cared about was standing in front of her. " You know what Todd, this is one shock that I think I can handle. But you came looking for Mom, she called just a few minutes before you rang the bell and said she was on her way home."
She took his arm and led him into the library where they sat down. "Feel like telling me your story? I'm dying to know how all this happened and believe me when I say I can use a diversion right now. If you know about my alter and Brody and Ryder than you can understand why I want to talk about anything but that." Todd nodded and began telling her his story. Jessica sat there totally engrossed by the tale that unfolded before her. She was horrified when she heard what her father had done, and then saddened when she found out her uncle had lost eight years of his life but as he was talking about Samuel she stopped and took a good look at her uncle. He was talking about Samuel as if he was a real person not just an identity. "Todd, you make Samuel sound so real, like the time you pretended to have alters like Mom, you really do get into your roles don't you." said Jessica
At her comment Todd looked at her and was trying to decide if she needed to know about the reality of Samuel and the others. She had a lot on her plate, was now the time to tell her that he had DID. Before he had to make that decision the baby monitor went off and Jessica jumped up. "Wait here, I have someone I want you to meet. " She ran out of the room and headed upstairs.
Todd was waiting patiently when he heard a little girl's voice coming down the stairs. Jessica entered the room with a beautiful little girl and her son in her arms. She looked so happy at that moment that Samuel made a comment to him about doing a painting of her and he found himself agreeing.
"Todd, I'd like you to meet my daughter Bree and her brother Ryder." Jessica watched with pride as Todd dropped down to eye level to greet his great niece. Bree, who was usually shy with strangers, was immediately taken by Todd's easy manner with her and before Jessica knew it, Todd had Bree laughing and telling him all about herself.
Vicki entered the house and heard laughter coming from the library. She recognized her granddaughter's laugh and walked in to see her brother down on all fours playing with Bree as Jessica sat there smiling and keeping Ryder happy.
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