Casey followed her to the ranch. “What are you doing here? I don’t want to see you, and I’m not interested in anything you have to say. So, you might as well just get back in your car and go!” Nikki screamed as she glared at her.
“Nikki, listen to me! I only found out recently, in the last few weeks.”
“Weeks?! You’ve known for weeks and you didn’t tell me?!” Nikki screeched disbelievingly.
“Nikki, I only found out when Dr. Cornwell wanted a second opinion. She didn’t know I was Victor’s sister-in-law!” Casey tried fruitlessly to reason with her.
“It doesn’t matter! I had a right to know. You should’ve told me, Casey, you had no right to keep it from me! I’m your sister for God’s sake! Your first loyalty should have been to me, not Victor!” Nikki exclaimed infuriated as she walked up the driveway and into the main house.
“Nikki, listen to me, please, let me explain!”
“Get out! As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing you can say that will change my mind! We’re done, Casey, this is the last straw! How could you keep this from me? You knew what it would do to me and you kept it from me! How could you do that?” Nikki asked hurt and well beyond angry.
“Nikki, wait a minute, this isn’t her fault, it’s mine. Don’t be angry with her. You want somebody to blame, blame me. Leave her out of it!” Victor told her, trying to step in and defuse the situation as he entered the livingroom wondering what all the yelling was about and what he could do to stop it. “Oh believe me I know that. I know it’s your fault! You didn’t think about anything except saving face with me and the rest of the family! Well, thank you so much, Victor! Look where it’s gotten us! I hope you’re happy! Don’t you ever tell me how to feel! You have no idea how easy it would be for me to just pack up my things and leave, but I haven’t and I’m not going to. But, don’t you dare stand there and tell me what to do or how to feel!” Nikki glared at both of them as though they were scum.
“Nikki, please, let’s just sit down and talk about this,” Victor suggested hopefully.
“No, the time for talking is long gone!” Nikki told him angrily. Then, turning to her sister, she whispered coldly, “I want you gone.”
Wordlessly, Casey left with Victor walking her out.
“I’ll make sure she comes to her senses.”
“How?” Casey asked confused.
“I don’t know, but I’ll find a way,” Victor reassured her.
“Thanks,” Casey whispered before walking to her car.
Walking back into the livingroom, Victor turned to Nikki and said, “Nikki, we need to talk.”
“There’s nothing more to say. Goodnight,” Nikki told him before turning towards the stairs.
“Damn it, Nikki! Why are you doing this? Why won’t you give me a chance to explain?” Victor asked angry and frustrated. “Gee, I can’t think of a single reason.” Nikki’s voice dripped with sarcasm and cold contempt as she glared at him. “Thanks to you, Victor, I can’t trust you or my sister! I can’t even trust my own sister because of you and your overwhelming need to control everything and everyone! Because you didn’t trust me enough to come to me with this when you first found out I can’t even trust my own sister and I sure as hell can’t trust you! So, maybe just maybe I have a damn good reason to be angry at you! But you didn’t even consider that, did you? Open your eyes, Victor and take a good, long look at what you’ve done! I hope your happy! Was it really worth it?” she asked angrily, hurt at how he’d completely torn her life apart in what seemed like the blink of an eye. Without giving him a chance to answer, Nikki marched upstairs and turned in for the night.
The next day, hoping to talk to Nikki now that a little time has passed, Casey drove to the ranch after work.
“What are you doing here?” Nikki bit out icily as she left Casey standing on her porch.
“Nikki, we need to talk.” Casey replied, as Nikki payed no attention, choosing instead to walk back into the living room and flip through the magazine she’d been reading.
“Nikki, listen to me! Stop being so damn stubborn and listen for a minute!”
“Why should I? I know all I need to know.”
“Which would be what, exactly?” Casey asked sarcastically.
“You and Victor kept a huge secret from me; one that I had every right to know! I’ve come to expect that from Victor, but not you! For God’s sake, Casey, you’re my sister! I should be able to trust you to tell me when there’s something going on I should know about!”
“You don’t know everything! Nikki, you think you do, but you don’t know a damn thing!” Casey exclaimed trying to get through to her.
“Oh really, why do I find that hard to believe? Then again, maybe I don’t. After all, I am dealing with Victor! What could you possibly have to tell me that I don’t already know?” Nikki shot back defiantly.
“Nikki, you’re only acting this way because you’re angry, justifiably angry and-”
“Well thank you, Casey, thank you. It’s a relief to know I have your permission here!” Nikki bit out scathingly.
“Nikki, listen! There’s a lot going on here that you don’t know, and much, much more that you need to know.” Casey tried her very best to get Nikki to listen.
“Victor told me not to tell you anything because he was trying to protect you.”
“What am I, a china doll? Why is everyone so convinced I need their protection?! I’m a grown woman! What I need is for everyone to stop treating me like some delicate little flower that’s just going to wither away at the slightest bit of bad news!”Nikki ranted as Casey stood there trying very hard to keep her temper in check.
“Nikki, pregnancies at your age are difficult and risky enough without adding this kind of stress to them. Besides, you and I know full well this is much more than the slightest bit of bad news! He was afraid of you ending up in the hospital. or God forbid, losing one or both of the twins! He knows how important this pregnancy is to you, to both of you, and he wasn’t about to do anything to jeopardise that! For God’s sake, Nikki, he was trying to do whatever he could to make sure you were safe!” Casey pointed out wisely, beyond frustrated with her sister’s attitude and unwillingness to see this from her perspective.
“Oh come on! That has nothing to do with this and you know it! Victor still thinks I’m the shrinking violet who’ll slink away without so much as word when I’m told! Newsflash-I may have been that way when he first married me, but those days are long gone! The sooner you and Victor get that, the better off you’ll be!” Nikki shot back fuming.
“Nikki, come on, hear me out!” Casey exclaimed frustrated, but steadfastly standing her ground.
“Fine, although, I really don’t know what you could possibly say to change my mind. Frankly, at this point, nothing will! You and Victor betrayed me. I’ve come to expect it from him, at least on some level. But, I never thought you’d do anything like this. You know how much I love Victor and you still did his dirty work. You still kept this secret, even though you knew how dangerous it would be to him! How could you do that? Never mind, I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to hear anything you have to say.”
“Don’t be so sure.” Casey warned cryptically.
“What are you talking about?” Nikki asked suspicious.
“Ask him about the last doctor’s appointment he had.” Casey replied, continuing to do her best to make Nikki see there was more going on than they had previously thought.
“Why? What’s going on?”
“Just ask him about it!” Casey exclaimed frustrated!
“Why won’t you just come out and tell me what you know? Why is that so hard?” Nikki persisted, getting more and more aggravated at her sister’s lack of openness.
“Nikki, I can’t tell you any more. I’ve already said too much. Just ask him about it, alright?” Casey insisted determined to do what was best for her sister and still keep her job.
“Fine, thanks for all your help! Do us both a favour and don’t come around anymore. As far as I’m concerned, we’re through! You know what really surprises me, what really breaks my heart? When it came down to it, your first loyalty was to Victor, not me!” Nikki replied sarcastically, angrily, finally fed up with all the secrecy she’d had to deal with.
“Nikki, I didn’t mean for this to happen. Please believe me, I never wanted any of this to happen.”
“The point is it did. Now I have to deal with the fallout. Just go, Casey, leave!”Nikki ordered, deep pain shining in her eyes.
Wordlessly, her heart breaking to see her sister in so much pain and knowing she couldn’t do anything about it, Casey left.
Exhausted, Nikki went upstairs and took a long, hot bubble bath.