The next day, as the bright sunlight shone through the trees, Nikki drove to Newman Enterprises to pay him a visit.
“Well, this is a surprise,” Victor said with a smile as he kissed her on the cheek.
“It shouldn’t be,” Nikki replied returning his smile. “My darling, I’m fine. You don’t have to worry about me, alright?”
“I know, I know. Just humour me, alright.”
“Alright, what can I do for you?”
“I’m here to talk to you about something.”
“What’s that?” Victor asked, not paying as much attention to her or her demeanor and tone of voice as he should have been.
“I came here to tell you I’m going to stay very involved in this.”
“Nikki, no you’re not! That’s the worst thing you could do right now! That’s the worst thing that you could do for you and the twins! Just let me handle this!”
“No way! I’m just as involved in this as you are. I have just as much at stake here! I am not going to just slink away, wringing my hands because you think I’m too delicate and sensitive to stand here and fight for what’s mine! I’m not backing down, so get used to it!”
“Don’t be so stubborn!” he exclaimed frustrated.
“Look who’s talking!” Nikki threw back.
“When’s your next appointment?” she asked before he had a chance to argue with her.
Throwing down the file he’d been reading, Victor got up from behind his desk to silently stalk to the window.
As he stood there with his back towards her, she asked again, not bothering to hide her disapproval or her growing anger with him and how he was handling the situation, “When is it, Victor?”
“Tomorrow!” he exclaimed tightly.
“What time?” Nikki pressed on.
“What time, Victor?”Nikki asked, getting fed up.
“Nine a.m.” Victor mumbled. “But you don’t have to go. I’ll tell you everything the doctor says when I get home tomorrow, alright?” he asked hopefully.
“No way! No way am I going to let you do that! I am going to stand by you whether you like it or not! I will not let you go through any of this alone, not when you don’t have to! You understand me?!”
“Nikki, come on, take some time to think about this, will you?” Victor encouraged her hopefully.
“I don’t need time. My mind’s made up so deal with it!” Nikki replied, standing her ground.
“Alright, fine. I can see I’m not going to change your mind.” Victor reluctantly conceded.
“No, you’re not. When are you coming home?”
“Alright, but, please be careful. If you need me, call me!” Nikki told him before kissing him lovingly and tenderly and leaving.
Exhausted, Nikki drove home, called Katherine to see if she could come over and curled up on the couch with a favourite book. It wasn’t too long when Kay knocked at her door.
“Katherine, thank you for coming.”
“Of course I came. My dear, you sounded almost frantic on the phone, what is going on? What is it?” Kay asked growing more concerned as she studied Nikki intently, noting the slight pallor and dark circles under her red, puffy eyes.
“I don’t know where to begin,” Nikki said truthfully.
“Well, I’ve got time. I’m not going anywhere until you explain this to me. What has you so upset? Come on, tell me.” Katherine carefully yet forcefully encouraged.
“Katherine, Victor’s dying. He may not even be around to see the twins born. And Victoria’s playing with fire, she’s setting herself up to get killed!”
“Nikki, what on earth are you talking about?” Kay asked shocked.
“It’s true,” Nikki confirmed as she recounted both horror stories.
“My God, what you’ve been through! Nikki, why didn’t you call me? Why in heaven’s name didn’t you call me sooner?” Kay asked completely blind-sided by what she’d just heard.
“Katherine, I’m sorry. There just hasn’t been time really. Everything’s happened so fast. I…” Nikki’s voice trailed off as she wiped away tears.
“It’s alright, it’s alright, Nikki. Listen to me, Victor is a fighter, and so is Victoria. You hear me? They’ll both be just fine, they’ll be fine. You have to believe that, otherwise you really will lose both of them. And I know that’s the last thing you want to happen.”
“Of course it is!” Nikki exclaimed staunchly as she wiped away tears.
“Damn it!” Katherine swore impatiently as her cell phone rang. “Yes, hello? Now?” She asked, irritation clearly ringing out in her voice. “Oh alright, I’ll be right there!” she snapped before slamming the phone shut.
Then turning to Nikki, she studied her for a few moments and then whispered, concern shining from her eyes, “Nikki, I hate to do this. I hate to leave you, but there’s a problem at the office. Will you be alright?”
“Yeah, yeah, I’ll be fine. You go on, I know you’re very busy,” Nikki said as she tried her best to put on a smile. “I’m never, never too busy for you! And I’m only a phone call away if you need anything, anything at all!” Kay whispered tenderly as she dried Nikki’s tears with her thumbs and drew into a tight, warm embrace.
“Thank you, Katherine,” Nikki replied with a tremulous smile.
“Anytime,” Kay whispered tenderly as she smiled at Nikki and touched her cheek before leaving.