“Look, fine, I want to help you dude. I do but if you don’t tell me anything, I can’t…” she grabbed her leather jacket and headed for the door.
“Don’t go!” cried Todd struggling to stand up.
Sophia turned around, “I don’t need your shit. You trust me or you don’t.”
He looked at her and grinned.


“Well?” said Sophia turning around, “You trust me?”

Todd took a deep breath. Sophia Pelligrino was spunky, gutsy and smart. She was also keenly intuitive and he thought they had a lot more in common than she was letting on.

“Honestly? I don’t know,” he admitted.

“And you expect me to stick around because of that answer?” said Sophia crossing her arms and displaying her attitude.

“I’m honest with you,” he simply said, “And I prefer being devious and underhanded most of the time.”

Sophia softened, not used to such brutal honesty.

“Yeah, well, I appreciate it,” said Sophia slowly walking toward him, “But I would appreciate it if you would help me out here. If you want your woman I’ll get her for you. Look, I know you said she was gone but…”

“You can’t get her. She was kidnapped,” admitted Todd.

“Hey! A crime! I can help solve it. I am in the Police Academy you know…” said Sophia her face lighting up. She sat down in the seat beside his bed.

“I know but I don’t want you breathing a word of this,” said Todd.

“Zip my lips…” said Sophia motioning a finger across her lips, “What’s her name? Your mystery woman?”

“Téa Delgado. Manning,” he added.

“ADA Delgado?!” said Sophia her face growing wide with shock, “I used to see her all the time at the police station. She was going out with Llanview’s biggest criminal, RJ Gannon!”

Todd scowled, “And I thought I was Llanview’s biggest criminal. She was my wife.”

“What?!” exclaimed Sophia, “YOU and ADA Delgado are married?!”

Todd pouted, “Not technically. We were. She annulled the marriage.”

“Oh…” said Sophia not quite understanding what he was trying to say, “So let me ah…put it together. You and ADA Delgado used to have the HOTS for each other. You break up. She goes out with RJ Gannon. You…you…YOU! You come back into the picture. That’s why she mysteriously poofs into thin air and leaves RJ – ‘cos she’s not over you!! This is rich!!” gushed Sophia.


“Nah…hold up!” said Sophia waving her hands around, “So you two go where ever and while you’re becoming…ah, hum…re-acquainted…someone kidnaps her ass!! And you think…what? She’s back here in Llanview? Or what? The kidnapper is? Like RJ Gannon?! You think he took her?!”

Suddenly Todd’s face grew wide with concern. Sophia had one hell of an imagination but what she had surmised made a lot of sense in terms of what he knew. He choked at the thought that RJ Gannon could be behind the kidnapping.

“Téa and I went to New York to get away from this two bit hick town. And yeah, as you put it, we were getting re-acquainted. One day she’s missing. I get a ransom demand so I pay it. Only I’m double-crossed. They take my money and don’t give me Téa. Then they threaten the rest of my family,” he said, “But RJ Gannon? I didn’t figure him to be the kidnapping kind.”

“Well John Sykes hates his ass. Wouldn’t put anything past RJ…” added Sophia.

Todd chuckled, “Sykes was too much of a boy scout for likes of Téa. Sykes hates RJ ‘cos Sykes lost Téa to RJ. Sykes had it coming too, trying to nail my woman while she was married to me.”

“Oh really? The honorable and noble Sykes trying to bed a married woman?! Stop the madness!!” exaggerated Sophia, “So she likes ‘em as bad as they come? That’s rich!! Little Miss Do-gooder likes her men bad to the bone!!”

Todd sneered at Sophia, “Who are you to judge her?”

“Hey,” said Sophia defensively, “I’m just making an observation. There’s nothing wrong with a bad guy. Sykes isn’t my type either.”

“Good. You got class,” said Todd.

“Look, I can do some snooping for you if you want,” volunteered Sophia.

“What? Around RJ?” asked Todd.


“I don’t know. Look, I really…have to talk to my sister. Can you bring her here?” asked Todd, “Keep it quiet you know. Don’t be blabbing your mouth.”

“Sure,” grinned Sophia, “Who is your sister?”

“Viki Carpenter.”

“Be still my beating heart!! Your sister is Blondie??!!” exclaimed Sophia with a grin.

“Who the hell is Blondie?!” asked Todd.

“See, I used to wait tables at this dive bar called Crossroads and Ben the bartender had the hots for this rich snotty blonde chick. He calls her Blondie. They’re gonna’ get married you know…” explained Sophia.

“Great,” muttered Todd, “Viki’s got another alter – Blondie the Barmaid.”


“Look, you go get VIKI – not this Blondie chick – and bring her here hush-hush. I don’t want this Ben guy knowing about me. If Viki won’t promise to keep it a secret, then don’t bring her. I’ll figure out some other way to keep her safe,” said Todd.

“Sure okay Todd,” said Sophia seriously.

“And Sophie – thanks,” said Todd.

“It’s So-fee-ah,” she said. She flashed him a conspiratory smile and waked out clearly excited by his untimely arrival in her life.


Sophia stopped by Carlotta’s diner to get a bite to eat before heading off to Llanfair. She ordered a ham and cheese sandwich.

“Hey Sophia,” said Antonio Vega approaching her, “Can’t get enough of me at the police academy?”

“Give it a rest Vega. You ain’t all that and a box of chocolates,” said Sophia sarcastically.

Antonio studied her face, “You’re beaming Sophia.”


“Glowing even.”

“Glowing? I don’t beam or glow,” added Sophia. Carlotta served her sandwich. Sophia paid her and headed for the door, “Sorry I can’t stick around Vega. I got fish to fry.”

Antonio watched her leave and at the last minute decided to follow her realizing his feisty partner was up to something and he wanted to know what.


Todd leaned back on the bed. He felt terrible but Sophia had really…taken care of him and he did appreciate it. She was quick. Sharp. He liked that about her. There was a quality about her…that he admired. Her conspiratory nature maybe? Even though he hadn’t known her long, he knew he could trust her. TO BE CONTINUED…

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