“But Mommy, what if Daddy doesn’t come home?” Abby asked wisely.
“What do you mean, honey?” Victor asked confused.
“I don’t want to go live with anybody else. But if you’re not here anymore, who’s going to take care of me?” Abby’s questions, realistic as they were, tore at her parents in a way she could never imagine.
“Baby, what are you talking about?” Victor asked heartbroken.
“I think I know. Abby, you’re thinking about the adoption, aren’t you?” Nikki asked knowingly.
Silently, wide-eyed, Abby noded.
“Sweetheart, even if Daddy doesn’t come home after this, and he will, there’s nothing anybody can do to take you away. Alright? You’re home safe and sound. Nobody will ever take you away again. Understand?” Nikki whispered reassuringly.
Looking from her to Victor, Abby asked wide-eyed and fearful “You promise?”
“We promise,” Victor replied as he wrapped her arms around her and held her close.
Exhausted, Nikki and Victor turned in for the night after finally getting Abby to sleep.
The next day at Newman Enterprises, Victor was busy with all his work when Bradley decided to pay him a visit. “What can I do for you, Bradley?”
“What do you think, Newman? I want to see my daughter!” Brad replied acidically.
“I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again, you’ll see her when she’s ready for you to see her and not a moment before! You got that?”
“Damn it Newman you listen to me!”
“No, you listen, Bradley, you’re skating on very thin ice. And you’re dangerously close to falling through, so you’d better watch your step.”
“It’s a wonder Nikki’s still with you! God knows she deserves better than a self-centered bastard like you.”
“For your sake, I’ll pretend I didn’t hear you say that,” Victor replied, his voice dangerously low.
“What’s the matter, Victor, can’t stand to hear the truth? Nikki’s a beautiful, intelligent woman who’s wasting her life with you! She deserves a real man who can give her what she needs. Instead, she has you. Luckily, I can take care of that fairly easily,” Bradley smirked as he saw a very brief flash of panic in Victor’s eyes before his temper returned to full force!
“You get the hell out before I have you thrown out!”
“I’d like to see you try,” Brad taunted as he stood there smirking.
Rising up from behind his desk, with a murderous gleam in his eyes, Victor grabbed him by his shirt collar and said, his voice ice cold as he thought briefly of settling this once and for all, “Get out before I do something you’ll regret!” With that, he let him go with a little shove.
“Dad, I have those reports you-” Victoria said as she walked into the office. She stopped mid sentence and glared at Bradley.
“What the hell are you doing here? Don’t you have anything better to do than pester my family! We have enough to deal with without you worming your way in here to cause whatever trouble you’re trying to cause!”
“Victoria, this is between your father and I. Stay out of it!”
“The hell I will! Get out of here before I call security and have you thrown out!”
Rather than have to deal with both Vicki and Victor’s temper, Bradley quietly left with only this one simple message, “I’ll be back, Newman. This isn’t over.”
Once he’d left, Vicki asked, “Are you alright?”
“Yeah, I’m fine,” Victor replied truthfully.
“Because you looked like you were ready to rip Brad apart, that’s why,” Vicki replied disbelievingly, suspicious. “My sweetheart, I’m just fine.”
“Alright, here are those reports you wanted, I’ll be in my office. Call if you need anything.” Although she was far from comfortable with leaving Victor alone, Vicki went back to her office.
“Don’t worry, I will,” Victor replied as she kissed him on the cheek and left.
With that dealt with, Victor sat back behind his desk to get back to work.
He hadn’t been working that long when he got a phone call.
“Hello.” Silence answered him.
“Hello,” Victor said again, this time a little louder. Again silence answered him.
“Who is this and what the hell’s going on? What kind of stupid game are you playing?” Victor bristled angrily. “Your daughter mad a mistake, and now she’ll pay for it,” came a voice from the other end of the line.
As much as Victor tried to figure out who it was, he couldn’t; he didn’t recognize the voice. Victor was about to say something else when whoever it was hung up. With the dial tone ringing in his ears, Victor slammed down the phone. His heart pounded as, terrified, he bolted out of his office and headed straight for Victoria’s!
Much to his relief, once he reached her office, Victor found her safe and sound.
“Dad, what’s wrong? What happened?” Vicki asked worriedly as she took in his demeanor and quick, shallow breathing. Knowing she had to get him to relax, Vicki lead him to the couch to sit.
Next, she got him some asprin and a glass of water.
At first, all Victor did was sit and stare at the two tiny pills.
Finally getting fed up, Victoria ordered, “Take them.”
Reluctantly, Victor swallowed the pills. Then, finally he told her what happened.
“Damn it! When is this going to stop! When is this guy going to give up and stop these stupid little mind games?!” She screamed angrily, unable to believe that whoever was behind all of this was now involving her family.
“Dad, listen to me. I’m fine, you don’t have to worry about me, alright. I’m fine,” she told him as she wrapped her arms around him, trying to offer some sort of comfort. Then pulling back to study him for a moment, she said hesitantly, “Dad, I know I’ve said this before, but I really think you need to reconsider coming into work, at least until you get things taken care of.”
“Victoria, you are obviously not fine! And I am not going to do that, alright. I need to work, right now, it’s the only thing that I’ve got.”
“Wrong. You have a family who wants to do everything we can to help you through this, but we can’t do that if you won’t let us! Dad, all this stress is the last thing you need right now. It could literally kill you! Why are you being so stubborn?”
“Victoria, I am not going to let this control my life! I am not going to stop working, end of discussion! I decide what’s best for me, nobody else!” He bit out defensively.
Slowly, Victor calmed down and told her firmly, his tone leaving no room for discussion, “Alright, I’ll leave it alone- for now. I just hope you know what you’re doing. Call me if you need anything, got it! Especially if this guy calls you again, don’t hesitate, alright?”
“I won’t. Be careful,” Vicki replied hugging him before he left.
“You too,” Victor returned emphatically.
Once Victor was gone, seeing red, Victoria picked up the phone and made a date with Dawson to do some detective work of her own. ‘Whoever’s behind this is playing with fire and they’re about to get burned!’ she thought to herself with an ice cold glare in her eyes.