|Love and War
Author: JasonMorganfan87 PM
Todd never came back after escaping from the police when he was convicted of killing Margaret. Now five years later he has returned with an unfamiliar son and more secrets than anyone could imagine.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Chapters: 4 - Words: 5,269 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 6 - Updated: 04-28-13 - Published: 04-21-12 - id: 8045946
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Todd got up the next morning and immediately went to check on his son. He knew the boy would be upset if he woke up alone in an unfamiliar place.
Todd walked into the room and saw that his son was just getting up. "Hey, Pal."
"Dad? Where are we?" he asked as he rubbed his eyes.
"We're at your Aunt Viki's. Remember how I said we were coming to see her? Well, we got here late last night while you were sleeping," Todd said as he walked further into the room.
"Is Starr here? You said we were going to see her," the boy said as he sat up.
"We're going to see her later. She's at her own house right now. Come on, let's go get something to eat and then we'll find her," Todd said.
He nodded and immediately got up to follow Todd out.
They both went down the stairs and into the kitchen, where they found Jessica there with two young children.
Jessica immediately got up to hug Todd. "Hey. Mom said you were here. How are you?"
"I'm good, you? You weren't too good the last time I saw you," Todd told his niece. The last time he saw Jessica, she was dealing with issues with DID.
Jessica grimaced. "Yeah, things were a bit complicated back then, weren't they?"
"Well, I get complicated. I'm just glad to see that you seem to be doing better," Todd said.
"I am. I have two kids now, both of whom, you've never met. This is Bree and Ryder," Jessica introduced.
Todd smiled at them. "Hi, there. I'm your Uncle Todd."
"Hi," Bree said.
"So who's this?" Jessica asked, referring to the young boy with Todd.
Todd placed his hands on the young boy's shoulder. "This is my son Cole. Cole, this is your cousin Jessica.
"Hi, Cole. It's nice to meet you," Jessica said as she held her hand out to him.
Cole took her hand. "Hi."
"You know, Lois made some blueberry pancakes. Would you like some?"
Cole nodded his head vigorously.
"Okay, come on," Jessica as she led the way behind the counter.
Todd sat down and watched his son. It was good to see the boy so happy. He knew it wouldn't last though. Soon Cole would want to see his mother or at least talk to her and he couldn't. Not now, not for a long time.
After breakfast, Todd took Cole to the park. He wanted to keep him busy so that he could keep his mind off of Marty for as long as possible.
They went over to a park bench and Todd took out a baseball and two gloves. He handed one to Cole and put the other one on. "Alright, go long."
Cole immediately ran several feet away from his father. "When are we gonna see Starr?"
Todd threw the ball to his son and contemplated. That was a good question. He'd called his daughter several times, but she had yet to return his calls. "Um, I'm not sure. As soon as she calls back I guess."
"How long are we staying here?" Cole asked.
Todd bit his lip. He wasn't sure how to answer that question. The truth was that barring any complications, he didn't see them leaving any time soon. If he told Cole that though, he was going to want to know when Marty was coming. Todd knew that eventually he would have to tell his son something in regards to Marty not being with them, but he had no idea what he was going to say. No matter what he said, it wasn't going to be enough for Cole. He was nine-years-old and he was not going to understand why he couldn't see his mother.
Todd was saved from answering by a voice from behind. "Dad?"
Todd turned around to see his daughter with a young man he didn't recognize. He assumed it had to be her boyfriend James. Starr had told him all about him on the phone.
"Starr!" Cole exclaimed before running towards the young woman.
Starr hugged the boy tightly. "Hey, little brother. What are you guys doing here? Why didn't you tell me you were here?"
"Well, if you answered your phone once in a while," Todd said.
Starr took out her phone and saw that she had quite a few missed calls from her father. She looked back up at her father and smiled sheepishly.
"Sorry. So when did you guys get here?" Starr asked.
"Last night. We went straight to Viki's. You gonna introduce me to your friend?" Todd asked.
"Oh, yeah, sorry. This is James. James this is my father and my little brother Cole," Starr said.
"It's nice to meet you, Mr. Manning," James said.
"You as well. I hope you're treating my daughter right," Todd said. While some would say he'd mellowed out over the years, he was still very protective of his daughter, especially when it came to guys.
"Dad!" Starr whined.
Todd just smiled in response.
"So where's Mar-"
"Uh, can I talk to you alone for a minute? Cole, you wait here. Maybe James will play catch with you," Todd said. He needed to get Starr away before she mentioned Marty's name in public.
"Yeah, sure, I'd love to," James said.
Todd took Starr by the arm and brought her over to a bunch of tree.
"Dad, what going on? Is everything okay with...?"
"Don't say her name," Todd interrupted as he looked around for any sign of anyone. He knew he was probably being paranoid, but better safe than sorry.
"Why? What's going on? I haven't seen you this on edge since Margaret died," Starr said worriedly.
"I need to know if you've told anyone about Ma... about my wife," Todd said.
"I told James the basics. That you got remarried and that you were raising her son as your own," Starr said.
Todd sighed. It was more than he wished she'd divulged, but he could deal with it. "Okay, so he knows that Cole isn't my biological son. Does anyone else know that fact? Your mother? Jack?"
Starr shook her head. "Mom and barely talk at all and she's made sure Jack wants nothing to do with you."
A flash of pain came across Todd's face when he heard that, but he quickly covered it up. He would find a way to get through to Jack later. Right now he had to think about Cole and Marty. "Alright, do you think you can keep James quiet about the fact that Cole isn't really my son?"
"Why would I have to? Dad, would you tell me what's going on? You're starting to freak me out," Starr said. He really was. Something was so not right about this whole thing.
"I can't. I can't get you involved. Look, I'm taking care of things. I just need your help. I don't want anyone to know that Cole isn't my biological son and I don't want anyone to know who his mother is. It's important," Todd said.
"And you won't tell me why," Starr said.
"I can't. It's better that you don't know."
Starr sighed. She didn't like it, but she could deal with it. She trusted her father. Whatever was going on, he'd find a way to fix it like he always did. "Alright. I won't say anything and I'll make sure James doesn't either."
"Thank you. Come on, let's get back," Todd said before leading the way back towards Cole and James.
"Um, we better go. I've got class soon. We were really just taking a walk," Starr said.
"Come by Viki's later. We'll go to dinner. I'll see if I can get Jack to come too," Todd said. He wasn't going to hold his breath though. He'd tried several times over the years to get Jack to talk to him and it never worked. He couldn't even get the kid on the phone.
Starr nodded. "Don't get your hopes up, okay?"
Todd nodded and then watched her and James leave.