Now&Forever: At Any Price
The next day, Victoria had gone into work as usual, determined not to let the silly, and very dangerous games she found herself a victim of control her life. She’d worked very hard for most of the day and had decided to take a short break to check her mail and messages. She got through most of them, deciding which messages and pieces of mail required her immediate attention and which could wait. She then returned a few phone calls. She was about to get back to work when she saw one last piece of mail. “What’s this, I don’t recognize the address,” Vicki said to herself as she tore open the envelope. Inside, she only found a small card with the words enjoy the ride while it lasts typed neatly on it. Frantic, she searched inside the envelope for any clue as to who had sent the cryptic and chilling message, but found nothing. Turning the envelope over to re-examine the front of it, she was disappointed and grew more fearful and angry when she found nothing.
With her stomach doing back-flips, Vicki snatched up the phone and jabbed at the buttons as she called home.In a rush of words, Victoria told her mother about the note she’d just gotten.
With a murderous gleam returning to her eyes, Nikki replied, as calmly as she could, “Meet me at Paul’s office.”
“Okay,” Victoria replied before she was about to hang up.
“This guy won’t get near you. You can bet on that!”
“Thanks, I’ll see you at Paul’s office,” Vicki tried to sound calm and convinced, but knew she was failing miserably. “You know, I really don’t think he’ll find anything. Everything’s typed, including the address on the envelope,” she helpfully informed Nikki.
“Victoria, we have to do something!” Nikki snapped.
“Well, I had the envelope and the note dusted for prints. They went over it with a fine toothed comb and didn’t find anything,” Paul began as he sat behind his desk.
“I’m not surprised, whoever this is, they’re not stupid,” Vicki said as she sat in front of Paul.
“So what are we supposed to do now, give up?” Victor asked angrily.
“That’s not an option, Paul, so you can just forget it,” Nikki echoed. “Enough is enough! We’re not going to let this go.”
“And I don’t think you should. I think we need to do whatever we can to catch whoever’s behind this,” Paul agreed wholeheartedly.
“If I ever catch this guy he’ll pay dearly for what he’s done.” Victor’s voice was low and ice cold, his eyes dark and menacing.
“Not without me being in on it, I hope,” Nikki added just as angrily, just as coldly. “I’m sick and tired of this whole mess!”
“Mom, you and Dad can’t get involved! You have to let Paul and the police handle this,” Victoria reasoned wisely.
“Victoria, if Paul and the police can’t do anything, that’s fine; I will!”
“What?” Paul asked completely shocked.
“Nikki, what are you talking about?” Victor asked, equally shocked.
“I’m sick and tired of having Victoria’s life being turned upside down while I’m just supposed to sit here and do nothing! Newsflash-I’m not about to sit idly by while my daughter is terrorized!”
“So, what exactly are you trying to tell us here?” Victor asked confused.
“If nobody else will handle this, I will!” Nikki replied determinedly, exasperated with having to constantly explain herself.
“How?” Vicki asked, unsure she wanted to know the answer.
“Any way I have to,” Nikki replied simply, coldly.
As she realized exactly what her mom meant, Vicki hastily cut in. “No, Mom, please, you can’t! He’ll kill you if you try to do anything! Please don’t do it!”
Paul decided to step in and try to calm the situation a bit. “Nikki, I understand how you feel but-“
“Give me a break! Victoria, I’ll meet you in the car.”
“Victoria, don’t argue!”
Victoria silently left the room.
“Nikki, come on, this isn’t Paul’s fault,” Victor tried to calmly point out, while he hoped she’d calm down.
“I know that! But, sitting on our hands isn’t doing anybody any good, least of all Victoria!”
“Nikki, if we make one wrong move, this guy walks; he gets away with it scot-free!” Paul tried his very best to make her see reason.
“I realize that, Paul. But, make no mistake, I will do whatever I have to to keep my daughter safe; end of story!” Nikki’s tone and her demeanour, the light of determination left no doubt, Nikki would make good on her vow.
“Nikki, calm down. Everything’s being handled,” Victor tried in vain to calm her down.
“What? It’s being handled, what world are you living in? Nothing’s under control, Victoria is in as much danger as she was when this all started, if not more! Remember what I said, Paul. I will protect my daughter, at any cost!”
After the emotionally charged afternoon they’d all had, Nikki, Victor and Victoria had gone home to relax. Unfortunately, Victor and Vicki were the only ones who seemed even remotely interested in doing so. Nikki paced the livingroom, refusing to let the situation go for now. ‘This guy’s either stupid, or he’s got a death wish. Lucky for him I can easily grant it if he does anything to Victoria!’
“Mom, please don’t do anything. Let Paul and the police handle this.”
“Nikki, come on. Think about this. Think about Nicholas and Sharon, Cassie and Noah, and Abby. Think about this family, we need you!”
“I’m thinking about Victoria, and how much she needs me, Victor. Or, am I just supposed to forget about all that?” Nikki asked defensively.
“Mom, please don’t do this, don’t go after this guy!”
“Alright, I’ll let it go for now.”
“Thank you,” Vicki replied earnestly as she headed to the kitchen for something to eat and then upstairs to work.
A few moments later, Miguel entered the livingroom. “Excuse me, Mrs. Newman, you have a phone call.”
“Thank you, Miguel,” Nikki replied as she left the room to take her call.
It hadn’t taken Nikki very long to solidify her plans with Katherine and start making her way back to the living room.
Waiting until she’d left the room and he knew nobody was there to see him do it, Victor pulled out his pills, took one and quickly pocketed the pill bottle, unaware Nikki had seen him.
Walking up behind him, Nikki asked suspicious, determined to get the truth out of him, “What’s going on? What are you doing taking pills?”
Knowing that he needed to think fast to get out of the situation without raising any more suspicion, Victor quickly replied, “It’s nothing. It’s just that I haven’t been sleeping the last little while. I’ve had a lot on my mind, work, Victoria, the twins, and I haven’t been sleeping well. I’ve had headaches the last couple of days. Nothing more, nothing less.”
‘He’s lying, he’s out-and-out lying to me again! But, if I do anything, if I push him even a little bit he’ll only blow up at me again! I have to pretend to let this go and find another way to figure it out!’ Turning her attention back to Victor, she replied, “I’ll let it go, for now.”
Satisfied, Victor asked if she was coming to bed.
“Soon,” Nikki replied.
“Okay, good night,” Victor whispered lovingly before kissing her softly and heading upstairs.