That’s what Tommy has always been to me and for this series, he has been the rock.
It’s not that I like him more than the others, but he represents something different than Jack and Bill and Mike.
He is my ‘normal’ character.
Let me explain.
What I mean is that Tommy is a reluctant hero. He has always been the quiet type who lived to be the family man his father was. He takes immense pride in his work and his life has become everything he ever wanted.
Tommy represents hope and strength. He is the one who everyone relies on. Jack counts on him as his brother and Julie thinks of him as both brother and parent. Tommy was the first person to welcome Bill into the family and he helped bridge the gap between Jack and Stephanie when they met.
He would never say it, but seeing his family happy means that he did something right. That his parent’s would be proud.
That means the world to him.
It’s who he is.
When I started this series, Tommy was my voice. He said what I was thinking and he reacted the way I did in situations. I have had people try to fix me up like Jack did with him. I have had people think I was lonely when I simply preferred to stay at home. He represented a man who wasn’t lonely, but rather he was waiting.
Waiting for something extraordinary to happen.
He just didn’t know it.
This series has taken many characters through ups and downs. Some have had it a little worse than others, but through it all, the family has remained in tact.
It’s never who you expect. It’s never the one you plan for. It’s never fair.
Having Tommy be the victim at the end of “Defining Moment” was something that had been in the works for a while. Ever since Megan died, her brother was in the back of my mind.
It needed to be unexpected and the shock needed to hit all of the characters in a way that stopped them in their tracks.
Evan was consumed with his fear about Liz.
Mike was still coming to terms with what Jimmy had done and how it effected so many, and he and Jade were welcoming a miracle daughter.
Bill was trying to help his son navigate a budding relationship with Desi and he was helping his wife to get ready to go back to work.
Brittany and Stephanie were set on helping Evan and Liz, and Jack was trying to get his brother to let what Jimmy said to him, go.
They were all dealing with Rachel’s death and trying to move forward.
It was time to relax and calm things down.
It was the perfect time to attack.
Much of the drama in the series comes from what happened to Brittany and the people who have been intent on hurting her. There was always an end game; something they wanted.
With Tommy, there was nothing Megan’s brother wanted but to see him suffer.
That’s impossible to deal with, and when Naomi was brought into the situation, all bets were off.
Tommy will give his life for his daughter.
Everyone knows that, and Brittany and Jack and Julie know it’s a matter of minutes before they may be too late.
They have no idea where they are being held.
They have no way of getting help.
It’s a race against time to find them, and when they do, everything will change.
“Our Hero” takes the story to a dark place where the characters we have always counted on are the ones who need us.
The goal is not to break hearts, although I know it will be terribly sad.
The goal is to show strength and to remind us of the power we all have to move forward, even when we think we can’t.
Tommy is my hero. He is my passion and my fear.
He will always be my greatest accomplishment as a writer.
I hope you understand what happens.
Here is another preview…
“You need to eat something,” Stephanie said as she sat with Brittany.
“I’m fine. Do you know if they found anything?” she asked.
“Mike and Bill are going over some things. Jack and Julie are on their way from dropping off all the kids with Ron and Jenny. We will know more soon.”
Her knee shook as she sat there.
“I’m so sorry,” Stephanie said. “I wish I had more news.”
Brittany looked up when Jack and Julie walked in.
“Any news?” he asked.
“Not yet,” Stephanie said.
Julie walked to Brittany and sat down.
“My brother won’t let anything happen to Naomi. He lives to protect his family.”
“I know,” Brittany said. “He would give his life for her. I would do the same.”
Jack looked at them.
“Then we need to find them before he has a chance.”
Mike and Bill came in and Brittany stood up.
“I don’t care what it is,” Brittany said. “I want to know what’s going on.”
“I don’t even know if it’s a good lead, but Megan’s brother has been renovating a cabin near the others they had. The one Tommy was in before it burned to the ground, but he owned the land and has been rebuilding a much larger compound. It takes over more of the land than it did before,” Mike said as they sat in a conference room near Jade’s room.
“We need to go there right now,” she said.
Bill shook his head.
“It could be a decoy,” he said. “We need to be certain before we go in.”
“And what’s happening in the meantime? What kind of torture is my family enduring while we take our time?” Brittany asked.
“I can’t imagine what you’re feeling right now, but we have to be smart about this. If we go there and he has them somewhere else, we might be doing more damage than good. It seems awfully convenient that they would be there.”
“And if they are? We have to check!” Brittany said.
“We will. I sent people there to canvas the area and see if there has been any movement. In the meantime, we need to try and figure out who is helping him. He didn’t act alone. He had help and we need to figure that out.”
Brittany shook her head.
“I need some air.”
They watched as she walked out.
“I’ll go with her,” Jack said.
“Daddy? Please wake up,” Naomi said as she tried to rouse Tommy. She looked around for something to help and didn’t see anything. They were in some sort of basement cellar and it was covered with concrete. She went to the door and it was solid steel.
Turning, she saw him move a little and she rushed over.
“Dad? Can you hear me?”
He blinked and smiled at her.
“You okay?” he asked quietly, his body on fire.
“I’m fine,” she cried. “I don’t know how to get us out of here. I can’t find a way.”
“Shh,” he said. “We will get out of here, okay?”
She wiped her eyes and nodded.
“Can you try to untie my legs?”
She looked at the rope and tried to untie it. His hands were tied together and there was a rope connecting them to the tie around his thighs.
“It’s too tight. I need to try and cut it,” she said.
“Can you move it down my legs at all? Maybe try and slide it off?” he asked, fighting to stay alert.
She looked at his legs.
“It’s so tight,” she said through her tears. “Isn’t it hurting you so much?”
“I’m okay,” he lied.
“Can you squish my thighs and try to pull it down?”
She did and he saw stars as the pain ripped through his back. He tried not to make any noise, but he had trouble holding it in.
“I’m sorry! Did I hurt you? I’m sorry!”
“No, Mini Red, you’re doing great. I think it moved a little. Keep going, okay? I need to get free so we can get out of here. My legs will heal. It’s okay.”
She looked around and then leaned in and tried to use her teeth to cut the twine.
“It’s not working!” she cried as she sat up.
“Okay,” he said. “Can you try and help me sit up? Maybe it will help.”
She moved closer to him and wrapped her arms around his upper arm and pulled with all her might.
“Stop, stop,” Tommy said, the pain intense.
“I’m sorry. Are you okay?”
He lay there and closed his eyes, breathing slowly.
“Don’t go to sleep. Please look at me,” she cried.
“I’m here, it’s okay,” he said and smiled at her. “I just needed to catch my breath.”
She looked around and then her eyes lit up.
“Are your keys in your pocket?”
“I don’t know,” he said. “Check.”
She did and felt them.
“Okay, I think I can use this as a saw and cut the rope,” she smiled.
“Be careful. Don’t hurt yourself,” he said as she worked on the ropes holding his wrists.
“Did they hurt you at all? Before I saw you?” he asked her.
“No. They just put me in a room and I was blindfolded until they brought me here,” she said as she worked.
“Okay, good,” he said and tried to ignore his pain.
They heard someone coming and they both froze.
“Put the key back and hide. Please go hide,” he said in a panic.
The door opened and Paul walked in.
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