Author's note - This update was written by AngelsInstead.

Chapter Seven

Marty lay in her hospital bed where Todd had placed her, trying to remain calm. She tenderly caressed her growing belly. She was talking to the baby, trying to soothe him. "Your Uncle Todd is going to take care of everything," she crooned to her unborn son. "He's going to find your big brother Cole and everything is going to be just fine." Despite the assurances she was trying to give the baby, Marty shuddered. When she made that deal with Todd, she had pretty much sold her soul over to the devil. She needed Cole, but at what cost? What would Todd demand of her?

Thankfully Marty wasn't having any contractions and her baby was staying put. She was about to close her eyes to rest a little when a man burst into the room. It happened to be John.

"Marty, what happened?" he asked breathlessly in concern as he came to her side. "Are you and the baby alright?"

Marty tried to smile for him, but her lips trembled. "It was scary and I am a little bruised up and sore, but the baby and I are going to be fine, John," said Marty as she was still touching her belly. "This little guy is a fighter."

*Like his dad,* she said silently in her mind. She thought of his dad as tears immediately filled up her eyes. She didn't want to marry John! This wasn't his baby! The baby she had been carrying with John had been lost in a devastating miscarriage, then not long after, Marty had discovered John in Natalie's arms. She almost passed out when she caught John with his tongue half-way down Natalie's throat. She never got to tell him about the loss of their baby and he never knew that she had witnessed he and Natalie's passionate kiss.

She ran off into the night, blinded by tears. Somehow she had ended up at Victor's house. She didn't know what had driven her to his door - after all, he was married to Tea. But all along, she had known he still had feelings for her. Despite everything, that had never died.

"Marty, what are you doing here?" Victor asked in concern as she stood in his doorway with hot tears rolling down her pale cheeks. "What's wrong?"

Marty choked on a sob. "It... it's John. I caught him... making out... with Natalie."

Victor almost blew a gasket as a frown settled on his handsome features. "That rotten asshole... and with MY niece... What the fuck?"

"I... I can't believe this is happening!" Marty gasped as she ran her fingers through her hair, feeling as though she was about to lose her mind, just as she had lost her precious baby. First Cole and Hope, then her unborn child- God, it just WASN'T FAIR.

Staring at Victor, almost as if in a shock, Marty said softly, "I should go. I am sorry I bothered you, Victor."

She turned to leave, but he reached out to touch her arm. When she felt his gentle touch, she suddenly felt weak in the knees. "Don't go," he pleaded. "Let me help you, Marty. Please."

When he said 'please,' she turned to look at him. Victor was begging her to stay? She needed him... so much. That is why she had shown up at his door.

"Tea's not here. She's out for the night. Come in. We need to... We HAVE TO talk," he offered.

"What do we need to talk about, Victor?"

"I think you know," he said as he gently grasped her arm and tugged her inside. He closed the door behind her and they were all alone. There was no Tea or Dani...just the two of them...and she was aching to go into his arms for comfort.

As if he was reading her mind, he wrapped his arms around her, holding her against his broad chest as he tenderly caressed her hair. "John doesn't deserve you. He doesn't love you as much as..." His words trailed off.

"As much as who?" she softly questioned. She remained in his arms, afraid to return the embrace, but she needed and wanted it.

"As much as me. I love you, Marty."

"You have a wife!" Marty gasped, trying to pull away from him, but he would not let her go. He banded his arms around her in a tight hug.

"I do love you. And you love me. Admit it.'

"No... no... NO!" she tried to protest, but her body spoke differently. She was practically melting into his comforting touch. She needed him ever so much!

He gazed into her wild eyes, knowing she was lying to him and most of all, to herself. "You love me, Marty. You haven't forgotten what it felt like to be IN my arms. You want me again."

She couldn't protest or deter him a moment longer. She said the words. "Yes. Yes! I do love you. And I want you. I need you. PLEASE."

His lips took hers in a blazing kiss, one of steamy passion. They made magic deep into the night.

In the light of early morning, she left him, returning to John despite everything. After she left, he mourned, feeling as though his heart had been torn into jagged pieces. Later his wife came home, so happy to see him. As much as he loved and wanted Marty, he had a wife and children. It was complicated.

John placed his hand over Marty's as she felt the baby kick within her. "I am glad our son is safe. I was so worried," he said as he bent down and gently kissed Marty's lips.

Marty practically cringed. She had been lying to him about the baby. Their baby was dead. The baby in her womb belonged to Victor who was also dead. She should feel horrible for not telling John the truth, but he had been sneaking around with Natalie!

Xxxxooo

A figure stood in the hallway, peering into Marty's room. He saw John talking to Marty, caressing her huge pregnant belly. Marty was pregnant? His first thought was, *Is the baby mine?* Why hadn't Cole TOLD him that Marty was carrying a child?

A familiar voice made him shrink further back into the shadows when he saw Blair rush down the corridor, looking extremely upset. "I am here to see Tea DelGado," Blair spoke urgently to a nurse. "Where is she? Is she... and the baby alright?"

Tea was pregnant, too?! Victor felt stunned. Were both of the babies HIS?!

A nurse lead Blair to Tea's hospital room. Tea cried as Blair held her and soothed her. "Everything is alright, sweetheart. I'm here," Blair said lovingly as she kissed away Tea's tears.

"It might not be alright..." Tea said in a painful sob. "I've been having contractions. The baby might be coming... and it's too soon! I don't want to lose him!"

"Hold on, Tea. The doctors will do everything they can. I pray the baby stays put. I couldn't lose either one of you."

"Blair, Todd knows about us. He wants a divorce," Tea said. "I was coming over to tell you when I had that awful wreck."

"Shhhh... shhhhh," Blair crooned to her love. "Try not to talk. Just rest. I won't leave you, Tea. I love you."

"I love you, too," Tea said in a whisper. Wrapped up in Blair's arms, Tea finally closed her eyes.

Neither knew that Victor had been listening in on their conversation. He had gotten one shock after another. Tea had married Todd? Was the baby she carried Todd's? And now Tea was 'seeing' Blair? He had a hard time taking it all in. What in the world had happened when everyone had been tricked into believing he was dead?

One thing he knew for absolute, damn certain is that he couldn't let Marty marry that cheating snake John!

Xxxxooo

Evangeline's eyes fluttered as she looked at her sister Layla. She tried to speak, but her throat was incredibly dry. No words were coming out despite all her efforts. Layla's eyes filled up with joyful tears when her sister awakened from her coma. She had been praying for so long for her sister's recovery.

"Evangeline!" Layla gasped. "You're awake!"

All Evangeline could do was nod. Her throat felt raw and scratchy. She was so weak and unable to move a muscle. Layla saw her sister struggling and called out for a doctor.

Minutes later, a doctor entered the room. He too was in shock when he saw that his comatose patient was miraculously awake. They had given up hope that she might recover, but Layla never had. In her heart, she always knew that one day her sweet sister would make her way back to her.

"Please help her..." Layla begged the doctor.

Xxxxooo

Todd strolled out into the inky blackness of the night. He would find Cole for Marty and once she had what it was that she wanted, he would make his demand. He knew she wouldn't like it, but it was the best for her and the baby. John was nothing but a cheating piece of rotten slime. Marty deserved MORE - far more!

Todd made some connections to Port Charles, New York, the city where Cole, Starr, and Hope had been involved in a seemingly fatal car accident. If Marty saw Cole...did that mean that little Hope was alive, too? He felt a surge of adrenaline as he was eager to find his little granddaughter as well. He missed his little Peanut and he was knew that Starr was broken without her child.

"I am going to do this for Marty and Starr," Todd said to himself as he waited for his connection to answer his call. After a few moments, he was speaking to one of his contacts. Todd was loaded and he had a LOT of contacts.

"I'm trying to locate Cole and Hope Thornhart," Todd spoke on the phone. "They were both assumed dead after a car crash, but it appears that Cole is very much alive and he has had recent contact with his mother, Marty Saybrooke. I want him found ASAP and I will pay well for your services. As soon as you have his location, give me a call. I want to pay a little visit to Marty's son."

Xxxxooo

Renee came downstairs to find Clint lying on the floor. He had fallen out of his chair. When he fell, the gun had went off. He was seriously injured and bleeding, but it wasn't from a gunshot wound. Someone had stabbed him with a knife.

Nigel gasped when he too saw Clint's broken and bleeding body. "Call 911!" Renee said to Nigel. She wasn't sure if Clint was dead or alive.

Xxxxooo

Nora and Bo had fled from the house. Thankfully, they hadn't been seen. Bo hoped that the police would assume an intruder had attacked Clint, considering that Clint had been holding a loaded shotgun, but just to be safe, he knew he had to get Nora as far away as he possibly could from the grisly scene. She was traumatized by Clint's brutality and what she had been forced to do in order to protect herself.

"What if he's dead, Bo? What if I killed him?" Nora asked as her fears were racing wildly through her brain.

"Don't worry, Red. I am going to keep you safe... and whatever happens, we're going to get through this together," Bo promised.

He reached between the seats of the car and took her hand into his, giving it a tender squeeze. He raised her fingers to his lips and gently kissed them. "Everything is going to be alright; I promise you."

Somehow, despite everything, she believed him. They were going to be safe. Most of all, Nora felt intense happiness as she and her beloved Bo were finally back together. It was all she ever wanted and she didn't want anything... or anyone to ruin their chance to have a happy life together.

"Where are we going, Bo?' Nora asked curiously.

"Somewhere hidden and romantic. We have a lot to catch up on, Red."

"That we do," she agreed as she gave him a saucy wink.