Now&Forever: Unholy Alliances
Taking a deep breath and reminding herself why she was there, Vicki sat down at the table Gina had lead them to and waited for him to make the first move.
“So, how have you been?” Gary asked, trying to start things off amicably.
“Fine,” Victoria replied tightly.
“That’s good. How are things going at Brash&Sassy?” Garry asked, almost innocently.
“Fine,” Vicki replied through gritted teeth.
“What? Did I say something wrong?” he asked innocently.
“You know exactly what you said wrong! Don’t try to play dumb!” Vicki rasped through clenched teeth.
“I’m sorry, that wasn’t my intention.” He tried to sound apologetic and keep the conversation polite and amicable.
“Just watch it!” Victoria warned.
“Okay, I’ve been warned.”
“Good.” Victoria continued to eye him carefully.
“I really don’t want to start anything, Vicki, that’s not my intention here. All I’m trying to do is-”
“Let’s cut to the chase here. Why am I here? What do you want from me?” Vicki hotly cut him off, getting very, very tired of his little games.
“Simple, give me one more chance to prove I’ve changed.” Gary was looking at her like he’d just asked the most logical, straightforward thing in the world.
Victoria, on the other hand, was looking at him like he was something she’d just scraped off the bottom of a very expensive pair of high heels. “Do I look stupid to you?”
“I never implied anything like that, Victoria.” Although he seemed innocent enough, one look at him told Victoria he was anything but! ‘What does he want from me? What kind of game is he playing?’ she asked herself, eyeing him intently.
He easily carried on his conversation, while imagining his sinister plan coming together! ‘Little Ms. Victoria Newman is in for one big wake up call! She won’t know what hit her by the time I’m through with her!’ he thought to himself, just barely keeping the arrogant smirk that played around his lips at bay.
“Gary!” Vicki exclaimed hotly.
“Uh, sorry, what were you saying?” Gary asked, while giving himself a lecture about what he’d just done. ‘I can’t afford to slip up, not before I’ve had a chance to put my plan into action. I can’t afford her figuring things out!’
“I want details, or I walk. What exactly do you want from me?” ‘If he thinks I’m going to play dead, that I’m just going to give him what he wants, he’s got another thing coming!’ Vicki thought to herself, as a cold, determined edge entered her voice and a spark of determination gleamed in her eyes.
“Like I said, I only want a chance to prove I’ve changed,” Gary repeated, trying his best to keep Vicki from guessing what he was really up to.
“Why should I believe you, let alone agree to this?” Vicki asked, more than a little sceptically, certain that he was up to no good.
“I understand, Victoria, I really do.”
Although he seemed genuine, Vicki wasn’t fooled for a second! “What do you take me for, the village idiot?!” she snapped back, fuming. “Why should I believe you, why should I, after what you did to me?!” She asked, with a steely edge to her voice and her eyes narrowed, almost screaming at him.
“Because, it’s the truth,” Gary maintained.
“Yeah, okay,” Vicki replied, barely resisting the urge to roll her eyes, while her voice dripped with sarcasm.
“I swear it’s the truth!” Gary was adamant.
“This from the man who stalked, kidnaped and assaulted me. Gee, I wonder why I don’t believe a word of it!” Vicki spat back. “Sorry, Gary, you have zero credibility with me!”
“What do I have to do to convince you I’ve changed?” Gary asked, trying very hard to keep his temper in check.
“I don’t know, I don’t know there is anything you can do.” Victoria knew she was only telling the truth, but, as she studied him closely, she picked up on a small change in his demeanor. ‘Looks like I really hit a nerve! He’s definitely up to something, the question is what? And, more importantly, how can I stop him?’
Meanwhile, Gina was pleased to see another of her favourite customers walk in. “Jack, it’s so good to see you. How have you been?”
“Good to see you too, Gina. I’m doing great, yourself?” Jack asked, returning Gina’s bright smile.
“I can’t complain. Can I get you a drink?”
Out of th corner of his eye, Jack saw Vicki and Gary and changed his mind about having a drink. “Actually, Gina, I think I’m going to have dinner.”
“Okay, I’ll send a waiter over with your menu right away.”
“Thanks, Gina,” Jack said, before walking to a table not too far from where Vicki and Gary were. “What is she doing with him? He terrified and tormented her to no end, why is she giving that creep the time of day?! And, why do they look so intense?”
Meanwhile, back at Vicki and Gary’s table, Vicki was getting fed up with his little games. “I want answers, Gary, what am I doing here and what do you want from me?!”
“I thought we already covered that.” Gary tried his best to play dumb.
“Gary…” Vicki’s voice held a note of warning in it, and her eyes held a spark of confrontation.
“I just want another chance to prove myself. I guarantee you, you won’t be disappointed. I promise you I will not disappoint you. I’m not out to hurt you, Vicki, that’s the last thing I want here. I just want to put the past behind me. I only want a fresh start. I’m not the man I was, Vicki. Please, just give me this chance, and I’ll prove it to you.” Although he sounded sincere, if Vicki had been able to read his mind, she’d have run out of the restaurant as fast as her legs could carry her and never looked back!
“Oh really, why do I have trouble believing that?” Vicki asked sceptically.
Meanwhile, back at Jack’s table, he’d been studying them the whole time, and finally made a decision. “Nikki needs to know about this!” With that, he left the table, and tore out of the restaurant, heading straight for the ranch! As he drove on the bustling city streets, and then on the tranquil roads leading up to the ranch, Jack was oblivious to the sounds of spring all around him, completely caught up in the mystery he’d just stumbled upon. ‘Why would she be giving him the time of day? It makes no sense! She’s playing with fire! What is she thinking?’ he thought to himself worriedly.
He finally reached the ranch and was glad to see Nikki answer the door. “Jack, this is a pleasant surprise, what brings you by?” she asked, stepping aside, as he walked into the living room.
Running his fingers through his hair and trying to figure out how to explain what he’d just seen, he took a deep breath, letting it out slowly before replying. “Hey, Nik, I’m afraid this isn’t a social call.”
“What? What’s wrong?” Nikki asked, instantly alert.
“I don’t know how to tell you this.”
“Just say it!” Nikki snapped impatiently.
“I was at Gina’s earlier and I saw Victoria and Gary Dawson sitting together at a table.”
“What?!” Nikki screamed, unable to believe her ears. “What do you mean you saw her with Gary Dawson?! You can’t be serious!”
“I wish I weren’t. I wish I was mistaken, believe me.”
“So, any ideas what she’s doing with him? How long where they there for? How did they look? Did he hurt her?” Nikki asked hurriedly, hoping to get some answers.
“Nikki, I don’t know anything except that things looked pretty intense. Try and stay calm, you don’t know anything for sure.” Jack tried his best to keep her calm.
“What do you mean, try and stay calm, Jack? We’re talking about Gary Dawson here, remember? There’s no telling what he’ll do! Why is she doing this. She’s going to get herself killed, for God’s sake! Why won’t she listen to me? Why didn’t she listen?!” Nikki asked, fuming! Grabbing her purse, she headed for the door!
“Nikki, wait!” Jack called after her.
Back at Gina’s, Vicki still sat at the table, unconvinced she should give him what he was asking for. ‘On one hand, if I do give him what he’s asking for, it could mean opening myself up to a whole lot of trouble; trouble I don’t need! I cold be giving him the chance to finish what he started. I definitely don’t’ want that. But, if I don’t there’s no telling what he’ll do, he knows the best way to get to me is through my family. So, if I don’t give him what he wants, what’s to stop him from going after them?’ she thought to herself confused.
Meanwhile, at the ranch, Jack had succeeded in stopping Nikki from leaving and was trying his best to calm her down. “Nikki, don’t go over there.”
“What? Why not?” Nikki asked defensively.
“Because, if you do, you could very well end up making matters worse! And, I know that’s not what you want.” Jack tried his best to reason with her.
“Of course that’s not what I want, but, I’m not just going to stand here and watch my daughter’s life get torn apart! I won’t do it, Jack!”
“Just wait until she comes home, then talk to her. Don’t go over there with both barrels blazing, demanding answers.” Jack prayed she was listening.
Nikki just sat there, not giving him any indication she’d heard him.
“Alright, alright, I’ll wait until she gets home, satisfied?!” Nikki huffed defensively, angrily.
“Thank you, I need to get back to the office, will you be okay?” Jack asked, concern for his old friend crystal clear.
Nikki nodded before Jack kissed her on the cheek and left.
“Jack may be right about me confronting Victoria in front of Dawson. But, this isn’t over by a long shot! I’ll do whatever I need to to make Victoria come to her senses!” Nikki vowed, determined to turn the oath into a reality, at any cost!
Back at Gina’s Vicki had made a decision. “Alright, you’ve got your chance,” Vicki reluctantly agreed. ‘It will make it easier to keep an eye on him and protect everyone, including me!’ she rationalized. But, deep down serious doubts lingered.
“Great! I’ll see you around, Vicki,” Gary said as he flashed a smile and left the restaurant.
Vicki grabbed her purse and headed to the ranch.
The drive home flew by, since there wasn’t much traffic. No sooner had she stepped through the door than she heard Nikki.
“Victoria, I want to know what the hell you were doing meeting Gary Dawson at Gina’s and I want to know now! So, start talking!” Nikki demanded infuriated.
“Mother, I have it all under control, trust me. I know exactly what I’m doing here. Don’t worry about it, I can handle this!” Vicki stubbornly insisted.
“I’m going to the office, I’ve got a lot of work to catch up on.” With that, Vicki changed and was out the door once again.
The only sound heard was that of the front door closing firmly behind her.
After carefully navigating the winding roads that lead away from the ranch and those of the city, Vicki arrived at Newman Enterprises. She breathed a small sigh of relief as she entered the office, though she was still fuming over what she saw as a major lack of confidence and trust in her. “What does Mom think, that I’m some stupid little kid? I know what I’m doing. I can handle Dawson on my own. All I need is for her to stay out of it! I don’t want her getting hurt!”
Realizing she was getting nothing accomplished by worrying about the situation, Vicki made a decision. “I might as well get some work done.”
She was getting a lot accomplished when her phone rang. “Who could be calling me at this hour?” She asked as she picked up the phone.
She didn’t even have a chance to say hello, as a strangely familiar, creepy low male voice coming from the other end of the line said, “Hello, Victoria.”