Barely an hour and a half later, Vicki was back from her date with Gary, “Damn it! Why can’t I get to the bottom of this? Gary wouldn’t tell me anything!” She hollered as she threw her jacket and purse on the couch after slamming the door on her way in. “He’s either become even better at lying to me, or he’s got nothing to do with this. The question is how do I find out? Why can’t I shake the feeling the prank calls and mind games are Jeff’s doing?”
Now convinced this was Jeff’s doing, Victoria wondered aloud, well beyond angry or even frustrated, “What do I have to do to get him to leave me alone? And, how can I get my hands on the proof I need to prove he’s behind all these stupid phone calls?”
Deciding it was her best option if she wanted answers, Vicki called Paul and updated him.
Meanwhile, Victor sat in his office thinking about his latest encounter with his daughter. “Victoria knows more than she’s saying, I’m sure of it. The question is, what does she know that I don’t and why is she keeping it from me?” He decided to do some investigating to see what he could find out. He called Nick, Nikki and Paul. Each of them told him different things. When he’d finally finished he couldn’t believe what he’d just learned, “What kind of game is she playing? What is she thinking? She must know that she’s playing a dangerous game, trying to deal with both of these guys on her own, plus whatever else she’s got going on.
Why won’t she talk to anybody?! She won’t even talk to Nicholas or Nikki all that much. But, I’m thankful they got as much out of her as they did, God knows what might have happened if they hadn’t.
She’s pulling away from everyone, dropping cryptic hints about whatever’s going on and what she’s planning and she won’t let anyone in on it! When is this going to stop?!
She won’t even let Nicholas help her. No matter what else was going on, Victoria always let him in, she always confided in him, so what’s different this time? She’s doing the same thing with Nikki. She won’t even let Paul help her with this.
What’s it going to take for her to wake up and realize what she’s doing could get her killed?!”
Picking up the phone, he called his secretary and said, “Connie, listen, I’m going to Gina’s for lunch. I’ll be back in an hour or two.”
Meanwhile, in Victoria’s office, she got an unexpected phone call.
“Hi, Vicki, it’s me.”
“Gary, this is a surprise, after the way you left me hanging at the coffee house without any kind of explanation,” Vicki replied pointedly.
“Yeah, I’m sorry about that. The phone call was about a problem I had to take care of,” he replied cryptically.
“Oh? Nothing serious, I hope.”
“No, nothing like that. Listen, how about I take you out to lunch to make up for earlier? Say Gina’s in a half an hour?” “Fine, I’ll see you there,” Vicki replied as she hung up.
“Maybe I’ll get to the bottom of this after all,” she said to herself with a little smile as she left the office.
As he was about to leave the restaurant, Victor spotted Gary and Vicki being led to a nearby table and ordering dinner. “What is this? What is she doing with him? Has she forgotten what he did to her? How he terrorized her? What the hell is she thinking?” Victor asked unable to believe what he was seeing.
His anger only increased as Gary started flirting with her.“That’s it, it’s time somebody gives him a wake-up call!”
Fuming, he wondered, “What is going on here? What is Victoria trying to do? Is she trying to get herself killed?” Barely able to control his temper, knowing what might happen to his daughter if he made a scene, Victor sat and watched them very, very carefully.
The tight hold he’d kept on his temper finally snapped when he spotted Gary trying to kiss her.
“Back off, Gary!” Vicki exclaimed as she slapped him across the face, making him wince from the sting of it. Without another word, Vicki left in such a hurry she forgot her purse.
“Damn you, Victoria! You shouldn’t have done that! Slapping me will come back to haunt you, I’ll make sure it does!” Gary whispered to himself sinisterly as his fists clenched into fists atop the table.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing, Dawson?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He tried to play dumb, despite being able to see better than anyone in the entire restaurant the murderous gleam in Victor’s eyes.
“Don’t you play dumb with me! You know damn well what I’m talking about! I’m gonna say this once, and only once. You stay the hell away from my daughter or you’ll regret it, you got that?”
“Mr. Newman, we were having dinner and-”
“Don’t you take me for a fool, you hear me! I’m telling you right now, if I ever catch you anywhere near my daughter again, you’ll be sorry. You got that!”
“Mr. Newman, like I said, we were just having dinner. Besides that, Victoria’s a grown woman, I think she’s old enough to decide who she can and can’t spend time with, don’t you?” Gary’s eyes held a sinister, mocking glint in them. “You son of a bitch! You’d better stay away from her or I swear I’ll kill you!” Victor rasped as he grabbed Gary by his shirt collar ready to be the one to throw the first punch.
Just then, Vicki walked back in looking for her purse. “What’s going on here? Dad let go of him! Let go!”
Reluctantly, Victor finally let Gary go, but the murderous gleam in his eyes remained. “What the hell’s going on here?!” Vicki demanded hotly. Neither of them said a word at first.
Then Victor rasped once again, “You’d better stay away from my daughter or I’ll kill you!”
Without another word, Victor grabbed Victoria by the hand and started dragging her out of the restaurant. “Dad, what’s going on? Stop, you’re hurting me. What’s going on?” Victoria said as she tried to keep up with him. Loosening his grip on her, Victor tried to calm himself down and told her firmly, his tone brooking no argument “We’re leaving, let’s go.”
Silently, they walked out into the parking lot. Although he let her take her car back to work, Victor made it crystal clear he expected her to be in her office when he got there. “It’s obvious we need to get a few things cleared up. I expect you to be in your office when I get there. If you aren’t I’ll come looking for you, clear?”
“Yeah, I’ll be there.”
Satisfied, Victor waited until she drove off before leaving the parking lot.
An hour later, he was in Victoria’s office demanding answers. “What the hell do you think you’re doing? Have you lost your mind? What are you trying to do?”
“Dad, I know what I’m doing, just trust me. I know what I’m doing here!”
“No, Victoria, you have no clue what the hell you’re doing! What you’re doing is setting yourself up to be killed! Is that what you want?! Is that what you’re trying to do with this cloak and dagger garbage?! You’re smarter than this, what are you thinking?”
“Dad, trust me, just leave Gary and Jeff to me. I’ll take care of this.” Victoria replied overconfidently.
“Wrong, Victoria, they’ll take care of you! Don’t you get it, they’ll kill you if they get the chance!” Victor exclaimed, trying his best to get through to her.
“Dad, trust me! I can handle this!” Victoria replied, her frustration showing.
“Victoria!” Victor called after her as she walked out of the room.
Stopping at the open door, she told him, “I’ve got a meeting I need to get to. I’ll see you at home later on tonight. Don’t worry about me!”
Knowing he wouldn’t get anywhere with Victoria, Victor tore out of the office and out of the building once again. He didn’t stop for anything as he walked briskly straight to his car and yanked open the driver’s side door. From there, he peeled out of the parking lot and onto the busy streets.
He drove recklessly, paying little heed to how fast he was going. He was blind to all else except how much trouble Victoria was in and how much more she would undoubtedly find herself in if he didn’t stop her.