Gary's Days of His Life
by Lori Anderson

Disclaimer:  I don't own any of the characters from Days of Our Lives and Early Edition.This is not assiocated in anyway with NBC , Fox Family, and TriStar.

Gary saves Marleana from a dangerous situation, and accidently gets involved with John's case.

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Gary's Days of His Life
by Lori Anderson

Chapter 1

Gary Hobson sipped his coffee and looked at the paper while Toni finished eating her breakfast.

"Anything interesting in the paper today honey?," she asked hoping he wouldn't have anything serious.

Gary glanced up from the metro section that he had been reading.  "Just one. "Dr. Marlena Evans Black, wife of Detective John Black of Salem, was abducted at gunpoint by an unknown person coming out of her hotel. It happened at ten oclock" he read to her.  Gary checked his watch.  "That gives me an two hours to get to the hotel Starlight, find Marlena, and stop her from being kidnapped."

"Be careful Gary.  Don't get yourself hurt preventing this kidnapping."

Gary finished his coffee and put down his cup.  "I promise I'll be careful Toni.  See you later."

He reached over and kissed her on the check before he left their house.

"Dad da," Rose cooed as she crawled over to her father.

Gary reached down and gently picked up his daughter.  "Daddy's got to go help a lady sweetheart.  I'll be back in time to play with you.  Be a good girl for mommy, okay," he told her kissing her on the check.

He set her down, said good bye to Toni, grabbed his jacket, and went out the door.

Gary somehow got the feeling that this save would lead him into something he didn't want to be in.

Better shake this off before I make myself nervous, he told himself as he started the van.

Around nine, Gary found the Starlight hotel, and parked his van outside in a parking place.

He decided to go inside and see if he could watch out for whoever would try to kidnap Marlena.

"Excuse me," he said to the clerk at the desk.

"Yes sir.  How can I help you?," the clerk asked Gary smiling at him.

"Do you have a Mr. and Mrs. John Black registered here?"

"Yes we do.  They're on the fifth floor.  Why?"

"Don't ask  me how I know this, but I have a feeling that someone might try to kidnap Mrs. Black at ten oclock."

The clerk looked at Gary like he thought he was crazy.

"Look pal, I'm not crazy.  Someone might try to kidnap the lady at ten oclcok right under your nose."

"You said ten oclock?"  (Gary nodded.)  "She said that she was going to take a cab at that time to go to a store before meeting her husband for lunch at a resturant."
"Tell your security to check for anyone suspicous who might be lurking around."

"I will mister.  I wouldn't want anything to happen to her while she was here."

"Good.  Tell you what.  Ring her room number and tell her that Gary Hobson will take her to where she wants to go.  It'll save her cab fare and also her life."

"I'll do it right now sir."

Gary breathed a sigh of relief as he watched theclerk ring Marlena's room. He knew he had saved her from being kidnapped at ten oclock by saying that he'd take her to a store.

Chapter Two

Gary stood in the lobby of the hotel waiting for Marlena to come down so he could take to where she wanted to go.  He checked his watch and saw the time was just about nine thirty,  Suddenly, he noticed a stranger wearing a trenchcoat coming towards the entrance of the hotel and knew the man carried a weapon inside.

"You'd better call security mister.  There's a guy wearing a trenchcoat outside coming this way, and it's a sunny day outside.  He might be carrying a weapon inside that coat," he told the clerk pointing towards the door.

The clerk saw the man Gary was talking about and summoned the hotel detective on the red phone.

"You better check out the guy wearing the trenchcoat outside.  He's got his hands inside his pockets," he told the detective, and in a minute, the detective ran towards the front doors of the hotel.

"Freeze mister!  Take your hands out of your pockets.  Slowly!," he ordered the stranger covering him with his revoler that he had drawn once he had stepped outside.

The stranger obeyed, and the detective frisked the man up and down, and took the gun out of the inside pocket.  "Uh huh.  Let's go inside and no funny stuff.  You can tell whoever hired you that you got busted."

Gary and the clerk watched the detective make the would be kidnapper come inside the hotel.

"Here mister.  Keep his covered while I put the cuffs on him," he said handing his gun to Gary.

"Sure.  No problem," Gary replied keeping the stranger covered while the detective handcuffed the man.

"Okay.  He won't give us any problems.  I'll call the police to come and get this guy."

Gary handed the detective back his gun and turned just as the elevator door opened and Marlena came out.

"What's going on here?," she asked looking at the stranger handcuffed on the sofa, at Gary, the detective, and the clerk hoping one of them would give her an answer.

"Mrs. Black, this guy was going to kidnap you the minute you stepped outside the door, but thanks to Mr. Hobson, he didn't do it.  I don't know how he knew, but he did, and told the clerk to call security.  I found a weapon hidden inside the guy's pocket when I frisked him," the detective replied.

Marlena turned to Gary.  "You knew this man was going to kidnap me?," she asked.

"Yes.  Don't ask me how I knew, but I knew he was," Gary replied.

"Thank you Mr. Hobson.  You just saved me from a terrible fate."

"Please call me Gary."

"Okay.  Thank you for saving me from the would be kinapper Gary."

"The police are on their way detective," the clerk told the detective hanging up the phone.

The detective nodded.  "Thanks for calling the police."  He turned to Gary. "They'll be wanting to ask you some questions about this Mr. Hobson.  Please stay here,"

Gary sighed.  He didn't want to answer any unnecessary questions, but he would cooperate.

"Okay.  I just want to make a call to my place of business and tell my partner what happened."

"Go ahead.  Use one of the phones."

Gary went over to the phone and called the office where Marissa was sitting waiting for him.

"Marissa, it's me.  I'll be a little late getting to the bar.  I just saved Marlena Black from being kidnapped, and now, I may have to answer some questions from the police when they get here," he told her.

"Be careful what you say Gary.  You don't want to have tell them about the paper," Marissa said.

"Don't worry.  I won't tell them about the paper.  I'll see you later.  Good bye."

Chapter 3

Gary sat in the police station in the intergation room answering questions about the incident at the hotel.

"All I can tell you is that I had a feeling that Marlena was in danger, and that's why I told the clerk to keep an eye on the guy with the trenchcoat who was coming towards the front doors of the hotel," he said.

"A feeling you say?  You save my wife from being kidnapped, and all you can say is that you had a feeling that she was in danger?  Gary, I think there's something you're not telling us," John told him.

"I've told you everything I know John.  Honest."

John looked at Paul Armstrong, who shrugged.  "Why do I have the feeling that you're holding something back?  Something that you're afraid to tell us about."

Gary couldn't tell them about the paper.  He knew they'd think he was crazy or  worse.

"I'm not holding anything back from you.  I was at the right place at the right time is all."

"Hobson, the guy you saved Marlena from being kidnapped from was a member ofa organization that's run by  a enemy of John's in Salem," Paul told Gary his voice serious.

Gary looked at John, who nodded.  "Who might that be John?"

John sighed.  "His name is Stephano Di Mara.  He's been trying to get his hands on Marlena for some time now.  I told Lieutent Armstrong that I had a feeling that Stephano's here in your city, and that he might be up to something real big.  We don't know what it is yet, but I wouldn't want you to get involved Gary.  He's dangerous.   He has a reputation for getting whoever or whatever he wants."

"I'm sure he wouldn't want me for any reason."

"Don't be too sure Hobson.  If this man finds out about you and something that might interests him, he'll try to have you kidnapped so he could find out and possibly use it to his advantage."

Gary gulped.  "I don't think there's anything about me that'll interest him. Look, I've told you all I know.  I've got a business to run, and I'm late now.  Can I please go?"

"You can go Hobson, but we'll be keeping an eye on you,"

Gary didn't like the sound of that, but he knew better than to argue with Armstrong. He said good by to the men, and left the police station to go to his bar.

Chapter 4

Gary arrived at Mc Ginty's and went over to the bar to get himself  a beer which he needed.

"A little early to be drinking a beer Gary," Marissa said hearing the top coming off of the bottle.

Gary took a sip of the beer before he answered.  "After I've just went through, I need it Marissa," he said.

"That bad huh?"

"No, but they think I'm hiding something from them, and Armstrong said he and Marlena's husband would be keeping an eye on me for a while.  Like I need the police to be watching me."

"You couldn't tell them about the paper.  What did they say to you when you were there?"

"They told me that John Black is here on a case involving someone from his hometown.  A man named Stephano Di Mara.  A very dangerous man from what I've heard.  They think this guy might be up to something big here, and think I might be in danger from him somehow."

Marissa sipped her coffee thinking over what Gary had just told her.

"Toni called while you out.  I told her that you'd call her back."

"Thanks.  I'll go call her right now."

Gary went into the office to call his wife.  "Hi honey,   It's me.  What did you want to tell me?," he asked.

"I was just wondering how it went earlier.  I hope no one got hurt," Toni replied from their kitchen phone.

"Everything went fine.  The guy's in jail.  I had to go to the police station to answer some questions, and of course, they wanted to know how I knew Marlena was in danger of being kidnapped."

"What did you tell them?"

"That I had a feeling she was in danger, and I was at the right place at the right time.  Then, they informed me about what was going on, and said they'd be keeping an eye on me."

"That's Paul for you.  I wouldn't let it worry you sweetheart.  Oh, I have to take the kids to the doctor for their check up, and might come and see you afterwards."

"Okay.  I'll see you later.  I love you."

"I love you too.  See you later."

Gary smiled as he shut off his phone.  He was one lucky man to have such a beautiful wife and children.

He went back out to the bar and saw John and Marlena coming inside the door.

"So this is where you work Gary.  Nice place," John Black said smiling at Gary.

"Thank you John.  Would you and your wife like a table or booth?," Gary asked.

"A booth will be fine.  John suggested we come here for lunch," Marlena replied.

"Right this way please."  Gary showed them to one of his best booths.

"Here are your menus and a waitress will be here to take your orders in a minute."

Marlena noticed Marissa sitting at the bar sipping her coffee holding the cup in her hands.

"John, I think that lady is blind.  Look at how she's holding her coffee cup," she said.

John looked at Marissa and nodded.  "She is sweetheart..  Here comes the waitress now," he replied.

"Hello.  I'm Robin.  Your waitress.  What would you like to drink?," Robin asked them smiling.

"I'll have a glass of tea please," Marlena replied smiling back.

"I'll have the same," John said.

"Okay. I'll be right back with your drinks, and to take your order."

Chapter 5

Gary watched John and Marlena eat their lunch from behind the bar and thought about his save earlier.

"Why would anyone want to kidnap such a nice lady for Marissa?  That guy I stopped from doing it happens to be a member of this Stefano Di Mara's organization according to Armstrong," he told Marissa.

"I don't know Gary.  Maybe there's more to this than you know.  I can sense how nice Marlena is," Marissa replied sipping her coffee as she sat at the bar talking to Gary.

"I called Toni at home, and she wanted to know things went today.  I told it went fine, and didn't mention the paper.  Of course, Armstrong thought I was holding something back from him and John."

"I bet Toni didn't like that when you told her."

"If  I know my wife, she'd probably callled the station, and gave Armstrong a piece of her mind."

Toni Hobson was feeding her children at hers and Gary's house thinking over what he had told her.

She didn't like the idea that Paul was thinking her husband was keeping back from him, and she reached for the phone the first chance she got to tell him so.

"Paul, it's Toni.  What 's this I hear that you think Gary's holding something back from you?  You know he'd never do that unless he had good reason to.  You're supposed to be friends now," she said over the phone.

"Toni, calm down.  Gary and I are friends.  It was John Black who said that he thought Gary might be holding something from us when we questioned him earlier,' Paul replied from his desk phone.

"I am calm Paul.  Just don't get Gary upset okay, and be don't be watching him like a hawk either."

"Are you objecting to me keeping an eye on him?"

"Depends on why you're doing it.  Spill it Paul!  What's the reason you want to watch my husband for?"

Armstrong sighed.  "It's just for his own safety Bragetti.  This Stefano Di Mara is a dangerous man, and I don't want Hobson getting involved with him somehow. "

"I see.  Paul, if Gary needs protection, I'm the one who can do it without making him feel uneasy.  I'm his wife.  I may be not a part of the force anymore, but I can certainly take care of my family."

"I'm sure you can Toni. "

"Good.  Please remember that.  I've got to go now.  I have to take the twins to the doctors.  Good bye."

Toni hung up the phone smiling at the way she had told Armstrong how she felt about what happened.

She finished feeding her twins, wiped their mouths clean with a napking, and got them ready to go to the doctor's office.  "We're going to see Daddy when we get done with the doctor," she told them.

Back in the bar, Gary was pouring himself a cup of coffee and saw Emmit coming inside the bar.

"Hello Emmit.  What can I get you today?," he asked smiling at Marissa's husband.

"A cup of coffee please Gary.  I came in to have some lunch with my wife," Emmit replied.

"One cup of coffee coming right up.  Please sit down."

Emmit sat down besides his wife and Gary set his coffee in front of him.

"What a morning I've had so far!  I went to the courthouse to check in with the head person there, and heard two people aruging over something in the next room.  I went in to find out what was going on, and found out that one person owned some money to another person, refused to pay, and was being taken to court.  I told the first person that if he didn't pay what he owed, I'd take the case for the person he owed.  I never saw someone take out his wallet so fast like this guy did.  He paid the other man, said he was sorry, and left the room."

Marissa smiled.  "Your classes came in handy honey," she said.

"Yeah.  I don't think the guy wanted to go to court in the first place."

Chapter 6

Around two oclock, Toni and the twins arrived at Mc Ginty's after their appointment with the doctor. She opened the door and pushed the stroller inside with the twins asleep sitting in their chairs. Gary came over from behind the bar to kiss his wife hello on the check.

"How were they at the doctor's office?", he asked Toni as she kissed him back.

"They were very good.  The doctor said that they're in good health, and growing a little each day.  Can I get something to drink please?  Something about that doctor's office made me thristy," she replied.

"Sure.  What would you like sweetheart?"

"A beer would be nice."

"One beer coming right up."  Gary went behind the bar and got his wife a bottle of beer.

"Here you are.  Rose sure does look pretty when she's sleeping."

Toni nodded as she took a sip of her beer.  "You should've heard what the doctor said about her eyes."

"What did he say about her eyes?  I hope it was good."

"It was.  He said that he could tell where she got her eyes from."

John and Marlena came over to pay for their lunch, and noticed the sleeping twins.

"Oh how cute!  Are they yours Gary?," Marlena asked bending down to look.

Gary nodded proudly.  "Yep.  Rose is the girl, and Jeff's the boy.  This is my wife, Toni."

"Nice to meet you Marlena.," Toni said smiling at Marlena.

"Nice to meet you too Toni.  I can see a little of you in your children."

John smiled at the two sleeping children in the stroller.

"I agree with Marlena.  Your children are cute.  My name's John Black, Mrs. Hobson," he said.

"Hello John.  Nice to meet you.  I heard that you're working a case here in town."

"How did you know about that?"

"I used to be a police detective myself, and besides, Paul Armstrong told me."

"You called the station Mrs. Hobson?"

Toni nodded.  "Yes I did.  I don't like anyone thinking that my husband is hiding something from someone.  He's honest, and there are somethings there are better left unsaid.  He was accused of murdering someone (Fatal Edition eposide mentioned)  a long time ago, and when he was finally cleared, it took Paul a long time to trust Gary.  I knew in my heart that he wasn't gulity, but I needed proof before I could tell anyone."

Rose stirred in her sleep and Gary knealt down to see if she was having a bad dream.

"Wouldn't you like to know what they dream about?," he asked.

"I've often wondered the same thing with our kids at times John," Marlena said.

"Maybe one of these days, they'll tell us," John replied.

"You have children Marlena?," Toni asked.

Marlena nodded.  "Yes.  We have five back home in Salem," Marlean replied.

Chapter 7

Gary didn't need another villian in his life,especially after the ordeal he went through with Marley.

"That still gives me nightmares at times," he told Marissa shuddering a little with the memory.

Toni put her hand on her husband's arm to show him how much she cared for how he felt.

"That awful man is dead sweetheart.  I read all about him in the report from Crumb before he left, and Marissa and Chuck filled me in on the rest. Please forget about him and let it go," she said.

"What would I do without you?  Don't answer that.  I'll be home for dinner."

"Good.  I'm going to fix you something special tonight.  I'll see you at home."

"I love you.  Be careful going home."

"I will."  She kissed him good bye on the lips, and he kissed her back.

"I'll be right back Marissa."

Gary opened the door for his wife to push the twins' stroller through and opened the outside door.

He helped her with putting their children in their car seats in the back.

"See you at home honey," Gary said opening the door for her.

"See you later handsome.  Don't be late," Toni told him as she got inside the driver's seat.

Gary watched his wife drive away, turned, and went back inside the bar.

"You have a lovely family Gary," Marlena told him.

"Thank you Marlena. I'd love to see the picutres of your kids sometime."

"Come by the hotel sometime, and I'll be glad to show you their pictures."

"Come on doc.  I have to get back to work, and I'll drop you off at the hotel," John said.

"It was nice meeting you Marlena.  You too John," Marissa told them.

"It was nice meeting you too Marissa."

John and Marlena left the bar and went outside to their rental car parked outside.

"Did you  think that attempt to kidnap me was part of Stefano's plan for something else?," Marlena asked.

"It's possible.  He's up to something here, and it's my job to find out what it is.  Paul Armstrong has given me complete cooperation from his department in this, and somehow, I get the feeling that Gary could be in danger. He wouldn't tell us how he knew you were in danger, and that could lead him into serious trouble,"John replied.

"How John?  Stefano doesn't know about Gary.  What would possibly interest him about such a nice man?"

"If Gary has a secret and Stefano hears about it, he'll want to find out what it is.  You know as well as I do, doc, that Stefano will do whatever he can to find out something that interests him."

Marlena looked out her window thinking over what her husband had just said.

Back at the bar, Gary was inside the office going over some reports with Marissa, when Robin came in.

"Gary, someone's here to see you.  Said he knows you from the hotel earlier," she said.

Gary frowned.  He didn't like what he was hearing as he put his paper on the desk.

"I'll be back Marissa.  I'm going to see who this person is, and what he wants," he told Marissa.

Gary went out to bar and saw a man sitting on one of the barstools sipping a beer.

"I'm Gary Hobson.  Robin said you wanted to see me," he said to the stranger.

"Yeah.  I was at the hotel earlier today, and saw how you prevented a kidnapping there.  My boss wants to know how you knew that Marlena Black was in danger," the man replied.

Gary gulped.  Something about how the man mentioned his boss made him uneasy.

"Uh, that's none of your business mister.  I have work to do.  Finish your beer and leave please."

Gary turned and went back inside his office shutting the door behind him.

"You alright Gary?  I sense that you're a little shook up about something," Marissa asked.

"That guy out there.  He said that his boss wanted to know how I knew Marlena was in danger.  I told him it was none of his business, and came back in here," Gary replied.

"Why don't you go home early?  I can take care of things here with Robin's help."

Gary shook his head.  "I'm fine now.  I have to read these reports anyway."

"Suit yourself.  I just thought you might to leave earlier than usual today."

"Thanks anyway Marissa.  I'll leave when I get part of this paperwork done."

Chapter 8

Gary said goodnight to Marissa, grabbed his jacket, and went out the door. He was looking forward to going home and spending some time with his family. He pulled into driveway of his house, and his dog, Ottis started barking.

"Hello Ottis!  How're you doing?  Been taking care of my family for me?," Gary asked smiling. Ottis licked his hand in reply, and Gary had to stop his dog from licking his face.

"Sorry boy.  Only Toni gets to kiss my face.  See you later."

Gary went towards the door, unlocked it, and entered his house.

"Toni!  I'm home!," he called as he hung his jacket up in the closet.

Toni came out of the kitchen where she'd been fixing dinner.

"Hello honey.  Got your paperwork all done?," she asked kissing him on the lips.

"Yeah." Kisses her back.  "Mmmm.  Something sure smells good."

"Go sit down and relax.  Dinner'll be ready soon."

"Okay.  Where are the kids?"

"They're in the playpen waiting for you.  The mintue they heard your voice, they got excited."

Gary walked into his living room and saw his children sitting in their playpen.

"Da da!," Rose cooed when she saw her daddy.

"Come here my pretty girl.  You're getting prettier every day," Gary said gently lifting her up and out.

He sat down in his chair, and bounced Rose on his knee like she was riding a horse.

"You're going to spoil her that way," Toni called from the kitchen where she was watching.

"No I won't.  Both of our kids love this."

Toni carried a hot bowl of mashed potatoes over to the table, and set it down on a plate.

"You can bring Rose to her high chair, and then, you can do the same with Jeff."

Gary took his daughter over to her highchair and sat her down in it.  Then, he went over, got Jeff, and did the same with him before he sat down at his place at the table.

"What are we having for dinner tonight?"

"Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, salad, corn, and for desert, Pecan Pie."

"Sounds good."

Chapter 9

Gary sat in his living room reading his newpaper, not the one the cat brought, but another one. Toni finished the dishes and came into the room from the kitchen to relax for a while. She sat down on the couch and put her feet up on the coffee table.

"Anything interesting in the paper honey?," she asked looking at the paper he was reading.

"Nothing much.  Just the usual news and information," Gary replied.

"You really put away the pie tonight.  One piece was enough for me, but you had two."

"It's my favorite.  How was your day besides going to the doctor with the twins?"

Toni sighed.  "I called Armstrong after I got done talking to you earlier today."

"You did?  That must have been some conversation you had with him."

"When it comes to my family and their safety, I let him know exactly where I stand.  He told me what was going on, and I said that I'd protect you without you getting nervous."

Gary lowered his paper and looked at his wife.  "He said he wanted to keep an eye on me."

"Yeah, and I told him that if anyone was going to keep an eye on you, it was going to be me."

"That's what I love about you Toni, your determination not to let anything or anyone get in your way."

"You and our children mean everything to me, and I'm not going to let anyone take you from me.  I'd better get the twins ready for bed.  They've had a busy day."

"Need any help with them sweetheart?"

Toni shook her head.  "No, but you can kiss them goodnight before I put them to bed."

"Okay.  Let me know when they're ready."

Toni nodded and picked up her children who were already yawning.  Five minutes later, she had them in their pajama's, and brought them out for Gary to kiss goodnight.

"Kiss Daddy goodnight," she told Rose and Jeff smiling.

"Goodnight Rose," Gary said kissing his daughter on the check, and then did the same to Jeff.

Meanwhile, at their hotel, John and Marlena were watching the television, and John sighed.

"I tell you doc, I wish I knew what Stefano has planned here, but I can't get feeling that it could involve Gary somehow.  There's something about him that I can't put my finger on," he told Marlena.

"You really think there's something he's hiding from you?," Marlena asked.

"I don't know.  I do know that the attempt to kidnap you today was part of Stefano's plan."

"You warned Gary about Stefano, so maybe he won't be kidnapped by the man."

"You know as well as I do honey, that whatever Stefano wants, he gets."

"Not always John.  I wish you would relax and forget about it for tonight."

The phone rang, and they both looked at each other wondering who could be calling them.

"Hello.  John Black speaking," John said as he picked up the phone.

"John, it's Armstrong.  Sorry to be calling you this late, but some new information came up on the computer a while ago. Stefano Di Mara has some organization here, and my supervisior thinks that he may be here to do something with it.  Has he ever been in the drug running business?," Paul told him.

"No, but I wouldn't be surprized.  He's mostly into the smuggling business and stealing rare art treasures."

"It's worth looking into.  We can do it tomorrow when you get to the station.  See you then.  Have a good night."

"Same to you.  Bye Paul."  John hung up the phone and turned towards his wife.  "That was Paul Armstrong.  He did a check on Stefano, and discovered that he has an organization here somewhere.  He might be here to check on it and do something with it.  We're going to check it out tomorrow at the station."

"Oh John.  That could be dangerous if you're right."

"I know sweetheart.  If it's true, I'm going to have to shut it down withPaul's help of course."

Marlena didn't like what she had just heard, but she knew that her husband had a job to do.

Chapter 10

Gary and Toni finally went to their bedroom after watching the evening news and weather on tv. "I want to see you wear the new nightgown you said you bought the other day," Gary said.

Toni smiled.  "I will if you put on your new shorts I bought for you," she told him.

"You don't mean the polka dotted ones?"

"Uh huh.  Either those or the black one.  I think you're cute in the polka dotted shorts."

"Okay.  I'll wear the polka dotted shorts."

He went over to the drawer and took out the shorts that she wanted him to wear to bed.

While he was putting them on, Toni went into the bathroom and put on her nightgown.

"Here I come," she said and walked into the bedroom for him to see .

"Wow!  You look very beautiful in that nightgown honey," Gary told her.

"You look cute in your shorts too sweetheart."

They got into the bed, turned off the light, and went to sleep.

The next morning, at six thirty, Gary heard Ottis barking and knew that the cat was at his door.

"I'm coming," he mubbled sleepingly as he went towards to the door.

He opened the door a little way just enough to get the paper and shut it again.

Since Toni was still allergic to the cat, and he didn't want it near his children, Gary didn't let the cat come in.

He opened the paper and looked in the metro section where he saw a story that needed his attention.

Toni came into the kitchen wearing her bathrobe, having just woke up by the barking.

"Morning sweetheart.  Coffee?," she asked kissing him on the lips.

Gary kissed her back and nodded.  "That'll be fine honey.  Kids still sleeping?," he replied.

"Yes.  They'll have to be feed later, though.  I see you got your paper."

"Yes, and I didn't let the cat come in.  I know how allergic you are to it."

"You bet I am.  Cream or sugar in your coffee?"

"Just black is fine.  Listen to this:  "Woman killed by speeding driver at intersection.  Mrs. Jones was crossing the intersection at fifth and main at ten o clock, and was hit by a speeding car coming around a corner.  The driver was said to have a lead foot at the time of the accident according to police."  Sounds like a hit and run to me.  I've got to get there in time to stop her from being hit."

Toni set Gary's coffee cup in front of him and went to pour hers.

"Be careful out there today.  I wish you'd quit this hero business."

Gary sipped his coffee and sighed.  " It's not that easy honey.  I promise I'll be careful."

Toni sat down besides him at the table and looked in his mudpuddle eyes.

"That's all I ask.  I'd better get the kids' milk bottles ready for them."

She decided she'd fix them some breakfast while she had the chance.

At their hotel, John and Marlena were having breakfast in the coffee shop.

"If Stefano does have connections here, then it could be very serious.  Paul and I are going to be checking into everything we can on him to see what he's up to, and put a stop to it," John told his wife.

"Everywhile he goes, Stefano always brings trouble.  I wish he was put away for a long time," Marlena said.

"Don't worry doc.  I promise you that he will sooner or later.  He's going to slip up, and then, we'll finally have the way to put him behind bars for a very long time.  How did you sleep last night?"

"Fine.  I think I'll call my mother today and see how the kids are doing while you're at work."

"Good.  Do some sightseeing or shopping too.  This might take a while today."

"Be careful John.  He might still try something against you."

"If you mean that thing he had put in my head, don't worry.  It's finally out, and he has no control on me or anyone else.  The surgon removed it when he did the emgerency surgery on me that time."

Marlena sighed and finished her breakfast.

Chapter 11

Gary drove his van downtown around nine o clock after kissing Toni goodbye and promising to see her later. "One hour before that lady gets run over by that truck.  I've got to hurry, " he said checking his watch, He came to Mc Ginty's, parked the van in front where he always did, got out, and went inside.

"Morning Gary," Marissa said hearing her friend and partner coming into the room.

"Morning Marissa.  I can't stay long.  There's a woman about to be killed at 10 at the intersection of fifth and main by a speeding truck,'" Gary told her as he went towards their office for a minute.

"Gary, remember the last time you saved someone from being mowed down by a truck?"

Gary turned at the question.  How could he forget about that terrible day a while back?  (Spolier: The Quality of Mercy).  He had saved a ex-con from being run down by a truck, and ended up being taken hostage along with the district attorney the guy was trying to kill at the woman's house.  "That was a long time ago Marissa."

"Yes I know.  I just don't want a repeat of it is all.  I nearly lost both you and Chuck that day."

Gary came over to his friend.  "It won't happen this time Marissa.  You don't have to worry about it."

"Good.  Good luck with this save Gary."

"Thanks.  I've got somethings to check on in the office, and then. I've got to run."

Meanwhile, inside his private house somewhere on the outskirts of Chicago, Stefano was hearing about the arrest of his man from one of his other men inside the palor .

"I tell you boss, somehow this guy knew that Marlena Black was in danger, and stopped Rodney from kidnapping her from the hotel earlier.  He couldn't believe it when he was nabbed," Sidney said.

"What is this mans name Sidney?  Tell me what you know about him," Stefano told his henceman.

"The guy's name is Gary Hobson.  He showed up at the hotel just before ten the other day, and warned the clerk that Marlena was in danger of being kidnapped.  It's like he had a sixth sense or something."

"Gary Hobson?  Hmmm.  He sounds like someone I'd like to meet very much. Perhaps he has something I can use for the organization, or myself.  What else do you know about him?"

"That's it.  I can get someone to find out about him on the computer if you want."

Stefano shook his head.  "No.  I prefer to question this man myself.  If you happen to see him around today, nab him, and bring him here.  Do not harm him.  Do you understand me?"

"Yeah boss.  If you want this Hobson, he's yours. Stan and I will go look for him right now."

"Good.  Do not return without him."

The two hencemen left the palor, and Stefano began to plan how he was going to question Gary.

Meanwhile, back in town, Gary had left the bar, and was running for fifth and main as fast as he could go.

He got there in time to see the lady coming from the a store carrying a shopping bag in her hands, and the truck was coming around the corner like the driver was in a hurry.  Without hesitatiion, Gary ran towards the lady, and quickly got her out of harms way as the driver of the truck applied the brakes when he saw what happened.  "Are you alright Mrs. Stone?," Gary asked the lady, who nodded.

"Yes, thank you mister----", Mrs. Stone replied.

"Hobson.  Gary Hobson.  I'm glad you're alright.  Next time, better put your bag in your car, or keep it low where it won't block your vision."

"I will, and thank you again Mr. Hobson."

Gary turned to the truck driver.  "Where were you going so fast for pal?  A fire?  You almost ran that lady down," he told the driver, his anger showing a little in his voice.

"Gee mister.  I'm sorry.  I guess I was in a hurry, and didn't bother to see if anyone was crossing.  I'll take it slower on the streets from now," the driver replied feeling a little chasited.

"That's a good idea.  Just remember how lucky you were this time next time you get the urge to speed through the city streets.  If you want to race, there's places for it, and this is not one of them."

The driver nodded, and resumed driving at the normal speed this tme.

Gary breathed a sigh of relief, turned, and went back to the bar glad that the woman was alright.

Unknown to him, Stefano's men had been driving around, and has seen his save the woman from the truck.

"Did you see that?!  That was Hobson!  He must have known that lady was going to be run down beforehand to pull her to safety like that," Stan told Sidney as they watched Gary walked down the sidewalk.

"Follow him Stan.  See where he goes," Sidney said smiling.

Stan followed Gary at a safe distance to Mc Ginty's and watched him go inside.

"That must be his place of business.  Do we grab him now?"

"No.  Too many witness.  Wait until he's alone, and then we grab him."

Chapter 12

Gary noticed that the two strange men were the same men who had been following him earlier. "There are two men outside in a car who followed me all the way here from fifth and main earlier.  They give me the creeps Marissa," he said  to Marissa sipping a cup of hot coffee he had just poured. Marissa frowned.  She didn't like someone following Gary that had no reason to.

"Did you ask them what they wanted Gary?," she asked.

"No.  I have a feeling that I don't really want to know what they want."

"Are they still out there?  Maybe they went back to wherever they came from."

Gary looked out the door and saw that the men were no longer outside.

"They're gone Marissa.  I hope they don't come back either."

"Maybe they just wanted to ask directions or something."

"Somehow, I don't think they were after directions or anything."

At the police station, John and Paul Armstrong had just run a check on Stefano on the computer.

"We've got something John!  According to this, Stefano owns a townhouse someplace here in town, and has a small  operation going on with some shady businessmen," Paul told John.

"I knew it!  He's up to something big here in Chicago.  We've got to find out what it is, and stop it," John said.

"The information here says it has something to do with numbers."

"That either means he's running a casino, or in some money making scheme."

A detective friend of Armstrong's came into the station after having done some work.

""Got something interesting to tell you Paul.  When I was on my here, I noticed a sedan with two strange men inside watching your friend Hobson's place.  I could tell that they were wating for someone to come out," he said, and both John and Paul looked at each other knowing what it meant.

"I was afraid of this.  Paul, those men could be Stefano's men, and Gary could be in serious danger.  I don't know how he found out, but somehow, Stefano must have heard about Gary," John said.

"Which means that he'll want to see what's so interesting about Hobson, and that means he'll kidnap him. We have to make sure that doesn't happen.  One of us will have to go over there."

"If I know Stefano, he'll wait until the time is right to make his move. "

"We should give Hobson a call and warn him not talk to any strangers he sees lurking around,"

"I'm sure that Gary knows that those men are watching him and is being careful.  Let's see what else this says about Stefano.  We need enough information in order to stop him before he gets started."

Back at the bar, Gary sat in the office going over some paperwork and thought about the two men.

"Whoever they are, I'm not going to go near them.  Something about them gives me the creeps," he said.

Marissa entered the office just then.  "Gary, I think you better come over to the bar," she told him.

"Is something wrong Marissa?"

"You might say that.  Just come and see."

Gary put his paperwork down on the desk, and went out to the main room and bar.

He frowned when he saw the two men sitting at a table drinking a beer and talking to theirselves.

"It's those men I told you about Marissa.  Now, they're in here as customers," Gary said.

"Robin served them when they came in.  I get a very disturbing sense about them."

"So do I.  I'm going to go home earlier than usual today."

"Good idea Gary.  Get out of here before they do something."

Gary went back inside the office and called Toni from the phone there.

"Hi!  It's me.  I'm going to be heading home in just a few minutes," he told her over the phone.

Toni knew something was wrong, but didn't press the issue.

"Alright honey.  I'll be waiting for you when you get here.  Be careful driving home," she said.

"I will.  See you soon.  Bye."

"Good bye," and Toni hung up the living room phone.

Gary hung up his phone, grabbed his jacket, and went out the office door.

"See you tomorrow Marissa.  I'm going home to my family," he said.

"Tell Toni I said hello, and give the kids a kiss for me Gary," Marissa told him.

"I will.  Have a good evening."

Gary left the bar, got inside his van parked outside, and drove to his house.

Chapter 13

Gary told Toni about his save and the sedan he had seen following him afterwards at home.

"They were outside the bar for a while, and then they were gone," he said sipping his coffee.

Toni frowned.  Her experience as a detective told her that this meant trouble for her husband. "If they saw you save that woman and followed you all the way to McGInty's afterwards, it means trouble.Who knows what they were thinking?  Honey, I should tell you that Paul Armstrong called me eariler," she told him touching his hand as she sat besides him on the couch in their living room.

"He did?  What did he have to say?"

"He said that he and John Black found out that this man Stefano Di Mara might be running some kind of number racket here, and that somehow, he found out about you.  He thinks that those men were trying to kidnap you and take you to that man."

Gary almost dropped his coffee cup hearing this.  "They told me this might happen. "

"No one's going to kidnap you if I have anything to say about it.  "

Gary smiled.  "Now you're sounding like the touch detective I first met and fell in love with."

Toin nodded.  "It'll be over my dead body that Stefano gets you."

"You needn't go that far sweetheart."

Toni looked over at Rose and Jeff who were playing inside their playpen.

"Look at our children.  You and them are my world, and no one is going to take you from them."

Gary put his coffee cup down on the table and went over to see his children.

"Look at how Jeff's playing with his toy I bought him.  He's going to be a good baseball player," he said.

"I want him to be a doctor or something."

"He can be both.  I've seen it done before.  Rose could be a doctor too."

"Okay. Let's not plan their careers just yet.  Come here and relax.  I'll get supper ready."

Gary went over to the couch and sat down to finish his coffee as Toni went into the kitchen.

Chapter 14

Gary was playing with his children on the floor of the living room and Toni was washing the dishes.

The doorbell rang, and Toni came from the kitchen wiping her hands off on a towel

"Just a minute!," she said going over to the door as fast as she could.

Toni unlocked the door, opened it, and  was surprised to see John and Marlena standing there.

"Please come in.  I was just washing the dishes from our dinner.  Gary! We've got company."

Gary was surprised to see the visitors also, and stood up to welcome them as they came in.

"John.  Marlena.  This is a nice surprise.  What brings you two out here at this time?," he asked.

John smiled.  "We should've called first, but Marlena wanted to see where you live.  I'm here on some offical police business which concerns you Gary. I see you're playing with your children," he replied.

"Yeah.  I was playing with Rose and Jeff rolling a ball to them."

"John, I'll help Toni in the kitchen while you tell Gary what it is you have to tell him," Marlena said.

"If this concerns my husband Marlena, I have a right to know.  I was once a police detective," Toni said.

"You're right Toni.  Paul did tell me you were a police detective at one time.  You'd better sit down."

He waited until everyone had sat down before he told Gary and Toni what he had found out.

"Paul and I did some checking on Stefano, and found out that he has a syndicate here in Chicago.  My orders are to enlist the cooperation of the police here and stop Stefano before he puts his plan in action.  When Gary prevented my wife's kidnapping the other day at the hotel, word of it got to Stefano somehow.  The two men you saw earlier today outside your bar, Gary, were there at his orders," John said looking at Gary.

Gary gulped.  "You, you mean they were waiting for me to come outside to kidnap me?"

John nodded.  "Exactly.  Remember what I told you that day in the police station?  He won't quit until he has you inside his townhouse."

Toni put her hand protectly on Gary's arm.  "I won't let that creep kidnap my husband John," she told him.

"John understands how you feel Toni, but there may be a way Gary can help him and the police get the goods on Stefano.  Honey, tell them about the plan that you and Paul Armstrong came up with," Marlena said.

"I promise Toni that we won't let anything happen to Gary.  Like I said, Stefano won't quit until Gary's inside his townhouse.  I won't pressure you into doing this, but if you can help us get what we need to put him away for good, then everyone here and in Salem would be most grateful."

Marlena looked at Toni and sighed.  "Stefano almost took me away from John and my family for good one day.  If it hadn't been for John and the others, I wouldn't be here telling you this now."

"He had her drugged and ready to be taken away by helicopter to one of his islands when we arrived at the cave back in Salem.  It downpoured to make things worse, and I almost drowned getting her out of  there. It took me a long time before I was finally over the nightmares of that horrible day."

"Oh how awful for you Marlena!  He needs to be put away for good before he can hurt you again."

Gary looked at Marlena and felt sorry for what she must have suffered at the hands of Stefano.

"What is it you want me to do John?," he asked understanding how much John wanted Stefano put away.

"Let Stefano's men kidnap you and take you to him.  He'll ask you some questions, but he'll tell you what he's planning thinking that you won't be able to tell anyone, and that he can use you as a hostage in case things go wrong.  Once you find out what he's up to, you call the station and tell the operator you want to talk to Paul. I'll be listening in also.  It's dangerous I know, but it's important.  Will you do it Gary?"

Gary looked over at his wife and kids for a minute.  "Alright, I'll do it John.  First chance I get, I'm getting out before things get out of hand."

John smiled.  "I expected you to say that Gary.  There'll be an undercover man in your bar who'll tell us when they kidnap you.  After you make the call, get out of there as fast as you can.  If you can't, then we'll be there as fast as we can to get you out and arrest Stefano.  If anyone sees you talking on the phone, just tell them that you're calling Marissa to tell her that you're alright and take care of the bar until you get back."

"I want a piece of this action John.  I married Gary for better or worse, and I'm not going to lose him if something goes wrong with your plan," Toni told John in her determined voice.

"You can pick him up from where he calls you from once he leaves the townhouse Toni.  I'd never forgive myself if something happened to you during this whole operation."

Toni went to get some coffee for her guests, and Gary returned to playing with his children.

Chapter 15

The next day, Gary and Toni were having breakfast in their kitchen with their children.

"I still don't like the idea of you letting yourself being kidnapped just to help Paul," Toni said.

"Honey, I don't like it either, but after hearing what happened to Marlena at this guy's hands, I felt like I had to do something to help put him away for good.  I'll be careful.  Don't worry about me please," Gary told her.

"Alright, but I make this promise to you right now:  If Stefano hurts one hair on your body, he'll have me to answer to.  How's your eggs?"

Gary smiled.  "They're good, and so is the coffee.  I dread telling Marissa about this today."

"Do you think it's wise to let her know about it?"

Gary nodded.  "She's my friend as well as partner in the business.  If she hears that I've been kidnapped, I don't know how she'll take it.  If I tell her what's going on, it'll make her feel a little better."

Toni sighed.  She had the feeling that she might not see her husband for a long time, and she didn't like it.

"I heard that sigh.  What's the matter Toni?"

"I have a feeling that I might not see you for a while if something goes wrong with this plan."

Gary went over to his wife and embraced her.  "I'll help you get rid of it right now.  Look at me."

She looked at his mud-puddle eyes, and saw the love he had for her in them.

Toni kissed him and Gary kissed her back enjoying every minute of it.

"Feel better now my love?", he asked.

"Yeah.  Finish your breakfast before it gets cold."

Gary finished his breakfast, kissed his children and wife good bye, grabbed his jacket, and went out of the door.  He climbed inside the van, and drove towards downtown to his bar.

Marissa was already inside sitting at the bar drinking a cup of coffee with cream of sugar when he came in.

"Morning Gary," she said hearing his footsteps coming towards her.

"Morning Marissa.  How are you today?," Gary replied smiling at her.

"Fine.  Is there something you want to tell me?  I can sense you're hiding something."

Gary was amazed at how well she can tell that he had something on his mind.

"There is something you need to know, and before you get upset and angry, let me explain.  John Black is here on officail business from Salem to enlist the Chicago Police's help in capturing Stefano Di Mara.  Marissa, this guy is bad news.  He once held Marlena prisoner in a cave back in Salem, and if John hadn't rescued her, she wouldn't be with him and her family and friends.  She'd be on a island as that man's prisoner.  He and Marlena came to the house last night and asked for my help in their plan to capture Stefano.  They want me to let myself be kidnapped by this guy's hencemen and be taken to his private townhouse or wherever he lives here. Anything I learn from him about what he's up to, I'm to call the station, speak to Paul Armstrong, and tell him what I know.  Then, I'm to get out of there as fast as I can before anyone finds out."

Marissa put her coffee cup down on the bar.  "Does this have something to do with your saving his wife from the attempted kidnapping at their hotel the other day?"

"Yes.  How did you know?"

"Just a guess.  Gary, I'm not angry, and I'm not going to be upset.  If they want your help to put this man away so that he doesn't hurt or tries to kidnap Marlena again, then you should go along with their plan.  Thank you for telling me in advance.  I appreicate it.  When is this supposed to happen?"

"Sometime today.  Which reminds me, I'd better check the paper to see who I'm to save today."

Gary looked at the paper and turned to the metro section.  "Doesn't look like much today."

"Maybe that's a sign that the paper doesn't want you kidnapped during a save."

An hour later, a man entered the bar and looked around for Gary.

"Can I help you sir?," Gary asked seeing the stranger.

"Yeah.  My friend and I are having car trouble just outside your bar, and need your help.  Something about the engine.  It won't start for some reason.  We'd really appriecate any help you can give us."

"Sure.  I'd be glad to see what I  can do.  Be right with you."

Gary walked outside with the man to where his car was parked outside with the hood up.

Gary leaned over to see where the problem was, and felt something in his side.

"Do as we say, and you'll be alright.  Get in the back seat, and don't try anything stupid," Sidney told him.

Gary gulped and did as the guy said, getting in the back seat of the car, and Sidney followed him.

The driver got out of the front seat, and shut the hood of the car .

"Relax and enjoy the ride Hobson.  Our orders are to take you to our boss unharmed," Harry said.

Gary nodded.  He wasn't going to do anything that would endanger himself as the car pulled away.

Chapter 16

Gary was taken to a stylish townhouse on the outskirts of town, and gulped when he saw the guards around. The car was motioned inside by the guard at the gate, and the driver nodded as he drove on in.

"Relax Hobson. The boss just wants to meet you and talk to you," Sidney told Gary smiling.

"Why is he interested in me for anyway?  I'm no one special," Gary said as the car came to a stop.

"You'll have to ask him that.  He's inside waiting on us."

Gary waited until his door was unlocked and then opened it, stepping out of the car.

"Uh, could you not point those at me please?," he asked the men who had their weapons on him.

Sidney motioned for his men to put their weapons away which they did.

"Follow me.  I'll take you to the boss."

Gary followed the man inside the house and looked around in awe at what he saw.

Sidney paused at two double doors in the hall and knocked.  "It's me boss. I brought Hobson," he called.

"Enter," Stefano replied from inside the room hearing his man's voice.

Sidney opened the doors, and motioned for Gary to step inside.

"Ah, Mr. Hobson.  Please be seated.  Sidney, get our guest something to drink." Stefano told Gary.

Gary sat down in a chair wondering what Stefano had planned for him.

"Can I ask you why you had me brought here?," he asked watching Stefano carefully.

Stefano smiled and waited until Gary had his drink before he answered.

"I am curious to know how you knew that I had planned to kidnapped Marlena. One of my men told me that he saw you there at the hotel and that you had prevented the kidnap attempt."

"I just had a feeling that she was in danger, and was there to warn her."

Stefano sipped his wine and he looked at Gary in a way that made Gary shiver.

"Somehow, I don't believe you.  I think you're hiding something from me that you don't want me to know.  I must warn you that I can find out what it is that you're hiding in ways that can be most unpleasant."

"I told you the truth.  I have nothing to hide.  Honest.  I just had a feeling that she was in danger is all."

"Did you also have the same feeling about the woman who was almost killed by a speeding truck?"

Gary almost dropped his glass of wine.  "How did you know about that?"

"I have my sources.  I find you somewhat interesting, and until I find out your secret, you will remain here as my guest.  I can have a room ready for you in a minute."

Gary sipped his wine wishing that he was back home with Toni and the twins.

"I have a wife and children who are waiting for me at home sir.  You can't keep me here against my  will."

Stefano smiled again and it gave Gary the chills for some reason.

"I will tell my chef there will be one more for dinner tonight."

"May I use your phone to call my wife and tell her that I won't be coming home tonight?"

"Of course.  It's over there on the table."

Gary went over to the phone and dialed his number hating to tell Toni what he had to tell her.

"Hobson residence," Toni said answering the phone in their living room.

"Honey, it's me.  I'm okay, but I won't be able to come home like I planned. This guy is going to keep me here until he finds out my secret.  Please let John know what happened.  I love you," Gary said.

Toni felt tears coming to eyes.  "I will.  You just do what you can until they get there."

"I will.  Give my love to our kids, and tell them Daddy's has to work late and won't be home."

"You're asking me to lie to them Gary.  I'll give them your love, but I won't lie to them."

"I'll see you when I can.  Good bye."

Toni hung up her phone and looked over at Rose and Jeff playing on the floor.

"I'm going to get your daddy home.  I promise you that," she softly promised them.

Gary hung up the phone in the palor and sipped the rest of his wine as he sat back down in his chair.

Toni quickly called the station and told the operator that she wanted to talk to Paul Armstrong.

"He just called from that man's townhouse.  I don't care what you want him to do, I want him out of there.  Now! I knew this was a bad idea from the start, and don't tell me to calm down! The kids need their daddy home, and I mean to have Gary here before they go to bed.  No, I won't listen to reason.  Either you get him out of that place and back here to me, or I'll do it myself!  You understand me Paul?  I'll give you until five to save Gary.  If he's not here by then, I'm getting a sitter, and going after him myself.  Find another plan that doesn't involve my  husband to get what you need on Stefano.  I'm not losing him to anyone," she firmly  told Armstrong.

"Okay.  Okay.  I know better than to tangle you when you get like this Toni. I'll tell John to switch to another plan, and we'll go get Gary out of there.  Will you calm down now?," Paul said over the phone.

"You do it, and I will.  Remember?  Five oclock.  Good bye."

Armstrong hung up the phone and turned to John Black.  "You heard I suppose."

John nodded.  "I had no idea how serious she can be about someone she cares about.  Five oclock.  It's time we got that guy we arrested to talk," he replied.

"I'll have him brought to one of the intergation rooms."

Paul told one of the officers to get the prisoner and bring him to the first intergation room.

Five minutes later, John and Paul were standing in intergation room 1 with the prisoner.

"Okay mister!  I'm not telling you twice.  Here's the scenario:  You tell us everything you know about your boss and what he's doing  here.  He's holding a hostage because of you, and if anything happens to the hostage, it'll be on your head because you didn't do anything to help him.  The guy has a wife and two kids.  Get the picture?  So, start talking, and don't leave anything out," John told the man, his tone very serious.

The prisoner gulped.  The last thing he wanted was for someone to get hurt because of him.

"Okay, I'll tell you everything I know, but I want protection from Stefano should he find out," he said.

"We'll see what we can do.  Now, tell us everything," Paul told the prisoner.

Chapter 17

"What is Stefano planning to do here in Chicago?," John asked the prisoner.

"He's here to see if he can have a number's racket at the racetrack," the prisoner replied.

"You mean, he wants to get his hand into some of the money that's being spent there."

"Yeah.  He's got some kind of system set up that he knows that'll work.  He intends to bride the owner of the track and have him skim some of the money for Stefano."

"When is Stefano going to do this?"

"Day after tomorrow."

Paul showed the prisoner the picture of Gary Hobson that Toni had gave him one day.

"You see this man?  He's a prisoner of your boss.  I am a friend of his wife, and the lady gets very angry if something or someone she cares about happens to get hurt or worse.  Now, I don't want to be the one to tell her that something bad happened to him because a scumbag wouldn't cooperate with us," he said.

The prisoner looked at Gary's picture.  "I wouldn't want that on my conscence.  I know where the townhouse is.  I can take you there.  He had me come there two days ago."

"You can tell us where it is.  We'll get you a map of the area, and you can point to where Stefano's place is."

John told the officer with them in the room to get them a map of Chicago.

The officer returned a minute later with  the map.

"Okay, show us on the map where Stefano's townhouse is," John said.

The prisoner pointed to a area that showed the outskirts of town.  "That's it.  His townhouse is right there."

"Good!  You may have just saved both your life and Gary's life."  John turned to the officer.  "Take him back to his cell.  Notify the racetrack security about Stefano's planned visit there day after tomorrow and what he intends to do.  We've got the information we needed to arrest Stefano."

The officer nodded, and lead the prisoner away from the room .

"Should we let Stefano make his move and then grab him?," Paul asked.

John shook his head.  "No.  We have to get Gary out of there before it's too late.  Stefano might take him with him to the track, and then, we'll have a big problem.  We'll wait until it get's dark, and then go free Gary."

"I've forgotten how Bragatti can be when she makes her mind up to do something."

John laughed.  "Yeah.  I heard her on the other phone.  Good plan you had showing Gary's picture to the creep and telling him that if anything happen to Gary, it'd be on that guy's head."

"Are you going to make a deal with that slimeball that just left?"

"Knowing how Stefano can go after someone who doublecrosses him, yes.  "

Meanwhile, inside the palor of Stefano's townhouse. Gary looked at his watch, and saw that it was almost three oclock.  He had been held prisoner for three hours since being kidnapped earlier.  He was wishing that he hadn't agreed to go along with John's plan now.  He was feeling a little nervous at that  monment.

"I have something to tell you that you will find interesting my friend," Stefano told Gary smiling.

"Really?  What?", Gary asked not really wanting to know,

"Day after tomorrow, you and I will be going to the racetrack here.  I have some business to discuss with the owner that will benefit both of us, and perhaps you as well."

"I'm not a gambling man Mr. Di Mara.  I don't go to the racetrack at any time."

"Please call me Stefano.  It will be a most enjoyable day I assure you."

"Would I be too nosy if I asked what type of business you have with the owner?"

"No.  It involves money my friend, and that's all I have to say about it right now.  You will learn the rest when we go there.  The chef has been informed that you are joining me for dinner which we shall eat very soon."

"I'm curious as to why you wanted to kidnap Marlena.  She's married you know."

"I have always wanted her, but all my attempts to have her have either failed, or been foiled.  Would you care for some wine?  Your glass is empty."

"Uh, no thank you.  I'd like to lie down for a while if that's alright."

"Of course.  Sidney will show you to your room, and I will have him bring you down for dinner."

Chapter 18

Toni Hobson looked at the kitchen clock, and saw the time was reaching four o clock.

She had given John and Paul until five to rescue Gary, and time was running out.

Rose and Jeff were taking their naps in their cribs in their room, and Toni was glad for that.

"Once you're home sweetheart, I'm never letting you out of my sight for a long time," she told the picture of Gary smiling that stood on the fireplace mantel along with their wedding picture and the babies' picture. The phone rang, and Toni picked it up before it woke up her children. "Hello.  Toni Hobson speaking," she said into the reciever.

"Toni, it's Marlena.  I just heard from John at the police station.  He and Paul got the man who tried to kidnap me to talk, and he told them all they wanted to know.  They're going to rescue Gary when it gets dark.  He said it's better that way.  They can sneak up and take care of any guards who might be around," Marlena told Toni.

"Sounds like a good plan to me.  As long as they get him back here safely that's all I care about."

"I'm coming over to wait with you.  John didn't want you to be alone."

"Sure.  Come on over.  I'll make us some tea to drink.  The twins are asleep right now."

"I'll be over in five minutes."

"I'll be here waiting for you.  Bye."  Toni hung up the phone, and went to make the tea.

Marlena dailed the front desk, and asked the clerk to call her a cab.

"I'm going over to the Hobson house to be with Mrs. Hobson," she said.

"Yes Mrs. Black.  I'll call for the cab right now," the clerk told her.

Meanwhile, at the station, Paul and John were getting ready to rescue Gary, and arrest Stefano.

"Okay, here's the plan:  John and I will take care of the guard at the gate, and then, signal for the rest of you to enter.  Remember, timing is very important.  You encounter any of Stefano's men on the grounds, take them down.  Put the cuffs on them, and let us know that they're out of our way. If anyone finds Hobson, get him out fast.  If anyone tries to stop you, you
know what to do.  Check your weapons and make sure that they work. It's five after four now.  We roll at four thirty," Paul told the officers that he had called to help him and John.

"We want Stefano taken alive.  Don't give him a chance to use Gary as a shield.  Sneak attack is our best plan, and things have to go smoothly.  If you're shot at, then fire back, but don't hit Gary," John said.

The men nodded that they understood their instructions, and checked their weapons.

At 4:30, they went outside to their sqaud cars, got in, and drove towards where the townhouse was.

Paul drove, and John sat shotgun in the front seat besides him.

As they got close, John raised his binclouars, and saw the guard at the gate, and two more on the inside.

"There's two guards patrolling the grounds inside the gate Paul.  We've got to take them out so they don't shout a warning," he told Armstrong who nodded.

"Good thinking John.  Use the walkie talkie and tell car 44 to take out the two guards inside," he said.

John relied the order to the two officers inside car 44, and heard their reply.  "They got it, and said it'll be done quicky and quietly."

The two men inside the one car drove around to the far side of the gate, and parked.

They got out, and using a climb rope, quickly and quietly scaled the wall onto the grounds.

The officers approached the two men and jabbed their guns in their sides.

"Drop your weapons, and raise your hands!," the first officer commanded.

The men obeyed, and the second officer gathered up the weapons.

"Cuff them," the first officer told the second officer, who nodded.

The two guards were quickly handcuffed, and told to be quiet.

"Unit two reporting.  The two guards inside have been taken care of.  Over," the first officer said.

"Rodger.  Good work!  We're taking care of the guard at the gate right now. Over," John replied.

He shut off the walkie talkie, and turned to Paul.  "Two down and more to go," he said.

Paul nodded and aimed his gun at the guard at the gate.  "Step out and make no funny moves!," he ordered.

The guard was reaching for the alarm button, but John raised his own gun at the man's head.

"I wouldn't do that if I was you.  Raise your hands and do as my friend just told you," he said.

The guard obeyed, and was handcuffed and gagged in the back of the squad car.

John turned and signaled for the rest of the men to come inside the grounds.

Six policemen with weapons drawn entered the grounds and spread out looking for anymore guards.

Chapter 19

Four more of Stefano's men were quickly arrested when they came out to see what had happened to the others who were supposed to report, and didn't.  So far, things were going as planned.

Paul turned to one of the men and asked;  "Where's the hostage at inside? We'll find him anyway, so you can make it easier for us if you tell us where he's at."

"He's upstairs.  Second door on the right.  Stefano posted a guard outside just in case of trouble," the man replied knowing that if he cooperated, he might get a lighter sentence or something.

"Are there anymore men like you inside?"

"Just Stefano and the guard outside the hostage's door."

"You go get Gary Paul.  Stefano's mine," John said.

"John, I know you want this man, but don't do it as a personal vendatta. "

"I'm past that.  It is personal, but it's not a vendatta.  We've got enough on him to put him away for good."

Paul turned the man over to one of his men, and he and John headed for the double doors.

Weapons drawn, they opened the door, and entered the house.

Paul headed towards the stairs, and John went to where he knew Stefano would be.

Paul went up the stairs and saw the guard outside Gary's door sitting in a chair reading a paper.

The guard must have known that someone was there, and reached for his gun.

"Don't be stupid mister!  Toss your weapon over here," Armstrong commanded the guard.

Gary heard Paul's voice through the door and then saw, the door being opened.

"Armstrong!," he said glad and surprised to see his friend standing there looking at him.

"You okay Hobson?," Paul asked keeping his weapon on the guard.

"Yeah.  I'm fine.  I didn't get enough information to tell you what you wanted."

"We've got it from the guy you stopped from kidnapping Marlena.  You can step out now."

Gary walked out of the room and stood besides Armstrong .  "How did you find me?"

"The man showed us on the map where this place is at the station.  Toni'll be glad to see you."

"Toni?  Is she here?"

Paul shook his head and motioned for the man to walk down the stairs in front of them.

"No, but she said she'd come after you herself if we didn't get you out of here before five."

When they reached the bottom of the steps, John already had Stefano in handcuffs.

"I see you found Gary." he said smiling at Gary.

"He's alright.  I see you got your man.  Let's get out of here, and get Hobson home."

At their house, Toni and Marlena was sitting in the kitchen drinking tea, and looking at the clock.

"Five oclock on the dot.  They should've gotten Gary out of there by now," Toni said.

"They'll call when he's safe and on the way here," Marlena told her smiling.

The phone rang, and Toni answered it hoping it was her husband calling to say he was coming home.

"Hello," she said into it.

"Hi sweetheart.  It's me," Gary told her calling from the police station.

"I'm so relieved!  Are you alright?  Where are you?"

"Im at the police station getting debriefed as they say.  They just finished booking Stefano and his men."

"When are you coming home?"

"Just as soon as John takes me to the bar to pick up the van.  I'll be home soon."

"I can't wait to see you.  I'm so glad that you're alright and they finally got that man."

"So are they.  I'll see you soon.  I love you."

"I love you too.  See you when you get here.  Bye."

Gary smiled as he hung up the phone.

"She was glad to hear my voice.  I told her I'd be home soon," he said to John and Paul.

"I'll take you to get your van Gary," John told him and they left the station.

Ten minutes later, Gary pulled into the driveway of his house, Ottis barked, and Toni came out to greet him.

"Welcome home sweetheart!  The kids will be glad to see you when they wake up," she told him.

"I can't wait to see them.  I thought them while I was in that townhouse, and you too," he said.

They walked inside their house holding hands as Marlena waved good bye as she passed them on the way to the car where John was waiting for her after following Gary home to make sure he got there safe.

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