#YRfanfiction #Niktor #Newmans Now&Forever: Playtime Is Over Pt. 3

Published May 21, 2012 by tdaddetta16

Chapter Seven
“What is it? I’ve got patience to see!” Dr. Hoffman all but yelled after closing the door to Dr. Cornwell’s office.
“Your skills as a surgeon are second to none.”
“Thank you.” He said with a satisfied smirk.
“But your bedside manner is worse than the interns’! The way you spoke to Mrs. Newman was cold and completely detached! It was completely unacceptable and unprofessional.”
“You’re the one who told me she doesn’t like to have things sugar coated or be placated or pacified. You and Dr. Thorton both told me that, so what’s the big deal?”
“The big deal, Dr. Hoffman, is that Mrs. Newman is going through hell right now and what you did just made things worse when you should’ve been focused on making them better!”
“My job is to help people when they’re out of options, my job, Dr. Cornwell, is to fix things when other doctors can’t! I did that!”
“Yes, then you took away, completely shattered, what little hope Mrs. Newman still had left by talking like she should start planning her husband’s funeral! What in God’s name were you thinking?” Dr. Cornwell asked incensed!
“I did what I came here to do. You brought me here to do what you and your staff couldn’t. I did it, what else do you want from me?”
“From now on, Dr. Thorton and I will be updating Mrs. Newman on her husband’s condition.”Dr. Cornwell’s tone brooked no argument.
“What? What the hell is this? You brought me in to consult on this case and now you’re cutting me off at the knees! You’re yanking me off this case because Mrs. Newman’s nose is out of joint? Because I ruffled her feathers?” Dr. Hoffman accused outraged.
“No, I’m pulling you off this case because you just tore that woman’s world apart without a second thought!”
“Fine, she’s all yours! Good luck!”
“I don’t need it; I know how to handle my patients and their families.”Dr. Cornwell told him pointedly.
“What is that supposed to mean? It’s obvious you’ve got something to say to me, so just say it!”
“Fine. You may be a brilliant surgeon, but you’ve got a hell of a lot to learn about how to treat your patients. You’re not dealing with diseases, you’re dealing with people! The sooner you get that through your head, the better!”
With his fists clenched at his sides and his eyes blazing with a contempt that would’ve had most doctors shaking where they sat, Dr. Hoffman turned on his heels and stormed out of the office slamming the door.
Dr. Cornwell on the other hand picked up a file and began reviewing it.

After having called both Nicholas and Victoria and told them to meet her in Victor’s room, she sat at Victor’s bedside and tried to figure out how she’d tell her children about her and Victor’s decision.
“Mom, you said Dad made some kind of decision.”
“We both did, Victoria.”
“Well, what is it?” she demanded impatiently.
“There’s a clinical trial your father wants to enrol in.”
“What kind of clinical trial?” Nicholas asked carefully, not at all sure he liked the sound of this.
“It’s a clinical trial for a medication that might help your father heal from the stroke. It’s being done out of John’s Hopkins and is geared specifically toward people who’ve had massive heart attacks and strokes.”
“What aren’t you telling us Mother?” Victoria asked, sensing the undercurrent of emotions flooding through her mother.
“There’s a chance it may cause another heart attack or stroke.” Nikki told them honestly.
“What?” Nick asked in disbelief.
“What the hell are you thinking? This could kill Dad and you’re willing to go along with it?” Victoria accused.
“No! Listen! Your father’s in a crisis, this could help. It could buy him the time he needs until we find a heart for him!”
“Or it could kill him! It could kill him! No way, no way am I going to agree to this!”
“You don’t have to. Your father already has.” Nikki told them.

Nick and Victoria both stood there in stunned silence slack jawed.
“You can’t possibly serious!”
“I am.”
“I’m not sticking around! I’m not sticking around while you agree to something that could very well kill him! I’m not standing by while you do that to my father!”
“Victoria, do you honestly think I’d do anything if I thought there was even a chance that he’d die? Do you?”
Silence hung in the room.
“This could very well be your father’s only chance, his last hope!”
“Or it could kill him.” Nick whispered before walking out, followed close behind by Victoria.
As tears welled in her eyes and spilled down her cheeks, Nikki sank into the chair at Victor’s bedside and wept.

Fidgeting with her jewellery, particularly her rings; Nikki looked down at her engagement ring and was taken back in time, back to when Victor proposed and she’d told him she needed time to think, time to herself before giving him her answer. With a soft smile, she walked over to his bedside and sat down. “You’d been waiting so long to propose, you made sure everything was perfect, that everything was just right. I wasn’t sure how you’d react to that; to me telling you I needed time before giving you my answer. I didn’t know if you’d just let me go, or if you’d be furious with me. I’m never quite sure how you’ll react to what I do or say. It’s funny, even after all these years, I really don’t know what to expect from you, not always.”
“One thing’s for sure, I really wasn’t expecting you to let me go without at least trying to make me stay or give you some kind of answer. Then again, you know how that would’ve ended; you know where it would’ve gotten you.”
‘Yeah, I would’ve gotten a swift kick and ended up out in the cold. Seriously, what choice did I have? I didn’t have a choice and you damn well know it! You didn’t give me one, I know you, and if I’d pushed you would’ve been out the door and out of my life-for good!’ Victor thought to himself as he opened his eyes and scowled.
“You don’t like the thinking back to that time, being reminded of it, do you?” Nikki asked with a knowing smile.
‘Hell no! Why would I? I don’t remember it, but I know I hated it! I can’t stand waiting, you know that!’

“How many people did I have telling me to turn you down? How many people did we have telling us it would never work; that we were dreaming, fooling ourselves?”
‘That’s a rhetorical question, right? How many people have we always had sticking their noses into our business? How many people are always shooting their mouths off about what they think is going on in our relationship?’
“We beat the odds, didn’t we? We beat the odds and we’re stronger than ever! We will get through this, we’ll get through this the same way we’ve gotten through everything else life’s thrown at us; together!”
‘Nikki, you’ve got to face facts, what you want and what may very well happen are two totally different things; we don’t always get what we want. We don’t always get it, but we have to accept what we do get, whatever that may be. God knows what it’s costing me to admit that, but it’s true. I may not come home, I may not survive. You have to prepare yourself for that, because, at this point it’s not just a possibility, more and more, it’s becoming a probability.’
The sombre, weary and all but defeated expression on his face, in his eyes, made Nikki’s heart sink, made her steel her determination and gather her strength for what was to come, for both their sakes. “Darling, I know it’s hard, probably the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do, but I need you to trust me. I need you to trust me to do what’s best for you, for both of us; I need you to trust me to take care of things, to take care of you. I need you to trust that, whatever happens, everything will be alright; I promise; everything will be fine if you just trust me. Can you do that? Will you do that for me?”
With tears rising in his eyes, Victor nodded and closed his eyes trying to block out the searing pain raging through him, pain that had nothing to do with the stroke or the heart attack.
As tears rose in, then fell from her own eyes, Nikki silently took his hand in hers and kissed it. As she looked into his eyes, she promised, “I am not going to lose you, do you hear me; I will not lose you! Not after everything we’ve been through, I’m not giving up on you!”
Weary and frustrated that he could neither offer words of comfort, nor reason with her, Victor drifted off to sleep.
After tenderly, lovingly kissing his cheek, Nikki went right back to her research.

Chapter Eight
It didn’t take long for her concentration to wane. With a wary glance at Victor, Nikki picked up her cell phone once again and dialled. “Come on, come on, pick up, pick up!”
“Hello.”
“Matthew, it’s Nikki.”
“Nikki, it’s good to hear your voice, what’s up?” Matt said pleased by the unexpected phone call.
“I’m at Memorial. You need to get here as soon as you can.”
“Why, what’s wrong? Are you okay?” he asked alarmed.
“I’m fine, Victor’s had a heart attack and a stroke, the doctors are saying…they’re saying that…” her voice trailed off, unable to form the words she wished with everything in her she could banish from her mind, from her life.
“It’s that bad?” Matt asked in disbelief.
“Yes.”At the silence from Matt, Nikki pressed on. “Matt, he needs you, he needs his family now more than ever he needs all of us.”
“He’s got you, that’s all that’s ever mattered to him.” Matt replied bitterly.
“That may be, but he needs you. He needs all of us, Matt.”
“We barely talk. If he wanted me there he would’ve picked up the phone before now.”
“Damn it, Matthew, your brother is on his deathbed and you’re digging in your heels when you have the chance to set things right with him!” Nikki snapped, fed up with what she was hearing.
“It’s too little, too late, Nikki,” Matt told him stubbornly as the thought of returning to Genoa City began to open up an old, excruciating wound.
“If you wait much longer, it may very well be too late, for you and Victor.” Nikki told him angrily.
“Listen, I’ve got to go, I’ve got to get to work.” Matt told her feebly, hurriedly, his conscience beginning to get the better of him.
“Matthew, wait! Do it for me, please. Do it for me.” Nikki begged, hoping she’d somehow gotten through to him, somehow been able to break through the wall of ice Matt had built around his heart.
“I’ll think about it. I need to go. Bye Nikki.” Trying to bury the guilt that had surged up in him, he grabbed his coat and tore out the door.
With frightened tears falling from her eyes, Nikki whispered “Goodbye Matthew.” Only the heart wrenching dial tone answered her in the deathly quiet room.

At a loss and completely exhausted, Nikki turned to what seemed to be one of her only refuges-her research. “Each hemisphere contains four lobes (frontal, temporal, occipital, and parietal) that are responsible for many functions, including memory, vision, hearing and speaking. Injury to these areas often results in vision impairment, temporary or permanent memory loss (amnesia), an inability to speak and other problems.-So, some part of the cerebrum is probably damaged, causing the speech and memory problems.” Silently, she said a prayer that neither the speech problems nor the amnesia was permanent, before continuing. “Its functions include thinking, reasoning and remembering. The frontal lobe is responsible for personality characteristics while the parietal lobe controls interpretation of pain and the occipital lobe is involved with vision. The temporal lobe is responsible for memory, smell and speech.”

Nikki ignored the thick fog of sleep that was slowly wrapping itself around her and continued valiantly. “Temporal lobe functions—The temporal lobes are associated with intellect, auditory perception (hearing), long-term memory, some visual perception and object categorization. Impairments caused by head injury include difficulty remembering names and faces (prosopagnosia); difficulty understanding spoken words (Wernicke’s Aphasia); difficulty with identification of, and verbalization about objects; as well as, difficulty with concentration, short term memory loss; interference with long-term memory; aggressive behaviour, and disturbance with selective attention to what we see and hear. Other impairments are change in sexual interest; persistent talking (resulting from damage to the right lobe); challenges locating objects in the environment; inability to categorize objects; …seizure disorders; auras; interference with long-term memory; increased or decreased interest in sexual behaviour and strange reveries. In addition, challenges such as an inability to recognize faces, communication and comprehension challenges, an inability to identify objects can occur. They also play a part in balance and equilibrium, as well as playing a part in language comprehension.”

As the self-doubt and questions she’d been able to hide, the ones she was so desperate to escape rushed back to her with a vengeance, Nikki looked around the room and whispered, her voice so small and filled with fear and fury, it was barely audible, “Damn it, why am I doing this? He needs action, not reading, not research, he needs me to do something! So, why am I doing this for? Why do I keep pouring over these printouts?” ‘Because, it’s the only thing you can do at this point.’ she thought to herself bitterly. “Besides, I found something to help him before; maybe I can find something else. I can’t just give up on him, not now when he needs me more than ever. No matter what anybody says, I’m not giving up on you!” She whispered to Victor, though she knew full well he was still asleep and couldn’t possibly hear her. No matter, the vow was as much to herself as it was to Victor. “I’m not going to just fold my hands and concede defeat; not when we’re this close to having everything we’ve ever dreamed of!” The tears that burned in her eyes did nothing to extinguish the fire and fury burning in them, fire and fury that she would use to get herself and her family through this latest crisis, this latest cruel twist of fate.
Casey sat in her office wondering how Nick and Vicki were doing. “Why haven’t I been able to get a hold of them?” she wondered concerned about Nikki and their seemingly glaring lack of support for her. “Then again, I’m sure they need some time to themselves, this must feel like this is some waking nightmare they’re in. I just wish they’d let me help them, especially Nikki! She’s so damn stubborn!”

“Then again, I guess I can understand why she is the way she is; after what our father did to her, who can really blame her for not letting people in, even the ones she knows really care about her.”

Shaking her head, she went back to reading the patient file she’d been studying before she’d gotten side-tracked.

Just as Nikki was about to return to her research, the phone at Victor’s bedside rang. “Who could that be? Hardly anybody knows Victor’s here.” Nikki murmured to herself as she walked over and answered it.
“Nikki, it’s Neil. Any word on Victor’s condition?” Neil asked preferring to cut straight to the point.
“Not much. The doctors are doing what they can but he needs a heart transplant and he needs one soon; Neil, very, very soon!”
“God, I…I’m sorry. I had no idea it was that bad.” Neil whispered as he sank into his chair and ran a hand over his face. “Is…is there anything I can do? Anything at all Nikki?”
Letting out a shuddering breath, Nikki replied, “Pray. Pray Neil, that’s all we can do at this point. I know the company is in the best hands possible, so that helps too.”
“Well, thank you, Nikki. Listen, I don’t want you to worry about any of that right now. Just focus on Victor and your twins. Your family needs you.”
“My twins? How do you know I’m having twins?” Nikki asked confused and more than a bit surprised.
“Victor talked to me quite a few times about it. He’s so excited about becoming a father again. He’s really looking forward to it! It’s like he’s experiencing this for the first time.”
“I guess, in a way he is. Listen I’ve got to go. I’ll talk to you later, okay. And I’ll let you know exactly what’s going on when we have something more to report.”
“Thanks. Nikki, I know it’s hard but keep the faith, alright.”
“I’ll try.” Nikki whispered, her voice choked by tears before she hung up.

Though her vision was clouded by tears and her heart was heavier than it had ever been, Nikki was once again back at his bedside studying the research.
“Since the temporal lobe controls memory, could that be the reason he’s having memory problems? It also says that part of the brain’s involved in emotion and speech. It also says the temporal lobes are responsible for hearing, memory, meaning, and language, along with playing a part in emotion and learning and that they’re concerned with interpreting and processing auditory stimuli. Could that be why he’s having speech problems? According to this, observed problems include: Is there damage to that area? And what’s the difference between Wernicke’s aphasia and some other kind of aphasia? What kind of memories are stored in the temporal lobe? Are they short-term or long term memories? At least I know that there’s a good chance that the memory loss isn’t permanent, unless both the left and right lobes have been damaged.”She shivered at the thought. “The left temporal lobe facilitates verbal and language memory and helps with organization and event sequencing. The rear of the temporal lobes makes emotional interpretation possible, along with playing a part in language and communication. Consequences of temporal lobe injury include” Nikki started as she felt a small but swift, strong kick. “Hey, what was that for?”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if they want you to take a break.” Dr. Simpson stood in the doorway studying Nikki.
“Dr. Simpson, I didn’t hear you come in.”
“I noticed. Tell me something; how long have you been studying that research?”
“I don’t know.”
“That’s what I thought. Nikki you need to take a break; take care of yourself for a change. If you don’t you can’t take care of anybody else!”
“I know. I know that!”
“Then why-”
“I’ve tried. You don’t know how hard I’ve tried; you don’t know how often I’ve tried to just close my eyes and sleep. But I can’t. I can’t. Every time I try, all I can see is Victor lying there in his office barely breathing! At first I think it’s just a nightmare; then I wake up and I realize it’s not; I realize it’s true, that it’s reality.”
“Nikki, I know it’s hard, but you’ve got to do it; do it for Victor and your family if not for yourself.”

“Fine, I’ll start taking better care of myself.”Nikki told her as she thought to herself bitterly, furious with everyone, ‘Do I have a choice? No; not with everybody hounding me! Why can’t they just leave me alone? I’m doing this for a reason-I’m doing it to hold on to my husband!’
“Good, listen, I want to schedule another check-up in the next few weeks. We need to make sure things are on track with the pregnancy and that both fetuses are developing normally.”
“Developing normally? We already know that didn’t happen; we already know that isn’t happening!”Nikki snapped, reminded once again of her daughter’s situation and all that could mean for her and her family.
“I’m sorry, that probably wasn’t the best way to word it. I just meant that we need to make sure nothing else pops up, that there aren’t any more surprises.” Dr. Simpson explained sympathetically.
“I…I understand. I’m sorry for snapping on you like I did. I shouldn’t have, you’re only trying to help. I’m sorry.” Tears welled in her eyes as she thought of her baby girl, whose life, whether she liked it or not, was up for grabs, just as her husband’s was.

Chapter Nine 
“Nikki, to say that this is a very stressful time for you is a humongous understatement, I know that, and because I do, I understand your need to lash out. A little bit of friendly advice, do what you need to take care of you. Without that, your family doesn’t stand a chance of getting through this. You are your family’s rock, especially your children’s.” Dr. Cornwell told her wisely and sympathetically.
“What?” Nikki couldn’t believe what she was hearing, especially considering everything that was going on with Victoria.
“Surely that doesn’t surprise you.”Dr. Cornwell replied surprised that it might.
“Actually it does. I-I really wasn’t expecting to hear that.” Nikki told her sheepishly
“Why not, it’s true.” Dr. Cornwell replied intrigued and somewhat confused.
“I’m not sure. It just does.” Nikki told her somewhat cryptically. ‘I know it shouldn’t surprise me, but it does. Victoria hasn’t really been talking to anybody, including me, until last night. It’s pretty much the same with Nicholas. So, what gives? What’s going on?’
“Well, it shouldn’t.”Dr. Cornwell told her firmly.
“Tell me something, what brought this on?”Nikki asked intrigued.
“I was talking to your daughter earlier. As much as she tries to pretend that she’s tough, that she doesn’t need anyone for anything, she needs you; Victoria needs her mother; now more than ever she needs you. And that, more than she realizes.” Dr. Cornwell told her wisely.

“Victoria?” Nikki asked surprised.
“Yeah, she’s worried about you.”Dr. Cornwell told her softly.
“Figures.” Nikki replied with a half-smile.
“But, beyond that, she realizes the only reason any of you is handling this situation this well is because of you. It’s because you’re here and she knows she can lean on you.”
“She said that?” Nikki asked in disbelief, a small, soft smile slowly spreading across her lips.
“Yeah. She talked a bit about how any time she’s had a problem she’s always been able to go to you, always known that you’d make it okay for her and give her the strength she needed to get through whatever was going on. She said that, regardless of what was going on in your own life, you always made time for her, regardless of the mistakes she made, she always knew exactly how much you loved her and precisely where she stood with you. One last thing before I go. She’s worried about you, I mean really worried. Nikki, I’ve never seen her like this. She didn’t come right out and say it, but I could tell she’s scared to death that what’s going on with Victor and whatever else you’ve got going on-and I know it’s a lot-is going to end up putting you right here in the hospital right alongside Victor.”
As Nikki sat there trying to take in all she’d just heard, Dr. Simpson rose and walked to the door, just before walking out, she said simply, “Some food for thought.”
“It certainly is.” Nikki agreed thoughtfully as she watched her walk out.

“That’s weird. If Victoria feels that way, why won’t she tell me what’s been bothering her? Why won’t she open up to me about it? It doesn’t make any sense. If she realizes that she can come to me with whatever’s going on, whatever trouble she’s having, why isn’t she doing that now? What’s different?” Shaking her head, Nikki made a mental note to talk to Victoria as soon as she had the chance. “Enough is enough! It’s time I get to the bottom of this! Whatever’s going on, I’m not going to just sit on my hands and watch the situation deteriorate!” She vowed; steely determination edging her voice, shining in her eyes.

Realizing she was letting stress get the best of her again, she reached into her bag and took out the baby name book.
Victor slowly awoke and studied her quietly for a few moments wondering what the book she held was.
“The baby name book you gave me,” Nikki told him reading his mind. “Feel up to picking out names?”
When Victor nodded in agreement, Nikki told him, “I found a few I like for both boys and girls. Let’s start with boys’ names, there’s Joseph, Alex, Michael or Jonathan. For girls’ names, I like Anna, Clara, Cora, Mia, Melissa, Adrianna…” Having studied his face as she said the names, Nikki told him, “And from the expression on your face, you don’t like any of them! Even Cora got a lukewarm response, at best.”
Victor scowled and shrugged his shoulders thinking to himself, ‘Damn it! I wish I had a pen! How am I supposed to talk, to pick out baby names with my wife when I can’t say a damn thing; not one damn word?! Why would she even think of Cora? I definitely don’t want that name for our daughter! I don’t want her connected to my past, that’s certainly one ball and chain she doesn’t need to be shackled to! I won’t let that touch her, no matter what I have to do, I won’t let my past and my mistakes, my failings touch her!’
“Victor, what’s wrong? What is it? Why is it you won’t consider Cora for our daughter’s name?” Nikki asked puzzled and concerned.

He tried to tell her, tried to explain, but nothing came out. Furious and quickly getting fed up, he slammed his fist down on the bed and scowled.
“Victor, you have to be patient. The stroke did a number on you, not to mention what the heart attack that came before it did! You’re not going to be able to recover overnight! It’s going to take time!”She tried to comfort him and reason with him.
With a glare and a growl, Victor motioned toward the book once again.
“Alright, what about Lucy? Trevor? Henry-no, what am I thinking, we’re not naming him Henry! Emily, Anna?” As Victor continued to scowl at the sound of each name, Nikki said, “It’s obvious you don’t like any of those names, so why don’t we just focus on coming up with our own?”
Victor tilted his head thoughtfully and, satisfied, nodded in agreement.

As fatigue overtook him once again, he quietly drifted off to sleep.
As she watched him sleep, Nikki thought to herself puzzled and more than a little intrigued, ‘What could be going on with him? For some reason, he doesn’t want to hear anything that reminds him of his past. I thought he’d gotten past whatever this is a long time ago. Obviously I was wrong.’ “Whatever it is, I’ll get to the bottom of it, just like I’ll get to the bottom of whatever’s going on with Victoria! I will not let anything tear my family apart, not now, not ever! Nothing will tear us apart, my darling, nothing.” Nikki vowed emotionally as she kissed Victor’s cheek sweetly before letting her other hand slip slowly down his cheek and returning to her reading.
“Mom,” Victoria whispered quietly as she slowly, hesitantly walked into her father’s hospital room.
“Victoria, I didn’t hear you come in.” Nikki replied softly, trying her best to smile.
“I know. How are you holding up, really?” Victoria asked, hoping she’d get the truth, for once.
“I’m fine; I wish everybody would stop fussing over me.” Nikki told her as she let out a pent-up breath and rolled her shoulders backwards.
“Sure, when you stop fussing over us.” Victoria replied easily, with just a hint of a tired smile.
“Tell me the truth. How are you holding up?”Nikki countered wisely.

“I’m fine.” Victoria lied easily before adding, “Listen, we need to talk. Abby needs to know what’s going on.”
“Victoria.”
“Mom, she needs to know.”Vicki reasoned
“Not yet.” Nikki answered her firmly, hoping there’d be no argument.
“What? Why not? Mother, she needs to know what’s going on!”Vicki told her one again.
“I know that, Victoria! She needs to know what’s going on, but we don’t really know yet, so what’s the rush?”Nikki reasoned.
“What’s the rush? Come on, Mother, you can’t be serious! She needs to know!” Vicki told her firmly.
“And she will know; she’ll know when we have something to tell her!”Nikki argued, not willing to take any chances.
“We already do!” Victoria told her, getting as frustrated as, it appeared, Nikki already was.
“Victoria.”
“Mother, listen to me! For once, listen to me!”Victoria all but begged.
“Victoria, I don’t want to discuss this!” Nikki snapped.
“Why am I not surprised?” Victoria snapped back
“What’s that supposed to mean?”Nikki asked defensively.
“Mom, look. I get that you’re worried and you want to wait until you have something more concrete, more positive to tell her, but she needs to know what’s going on. She has a right to know!” Victoria answered defensively.
“And I’m not denying that!” Nikki told her trying to keep the fury bubbling inside her from exploding.
“I know! Mom, I don’t want to fight with you, I don’t. That’s the last thing I want but…”Victoria began carefully before her voice trailed off
“But what?” Nikki asked carefully.

“If it were me, I’d want to know. I keep going back to when Dad was in the hospital after he had the first heart attack.” Victoria began slowly, trying to ignore the pain that surged up to the surface as the memories came back to her.
“What about it?” Nikki asked confused and a bit intrigued.
“This is going to sound really weird considering the way things have been the past few months, but, if it were me, I’d want to know. When Dad had the heart attack, you could’ve kept me and Nick in the dark, not told us anything and waited until Dad was better, but you didn’t. You told us what was going on, you had enough trust in us to know that we’d be strong enough to deal with it. You knew that…” Vicki took a deep breath as her eyes filled with tears, tears she did everything she could to keep at bay as her voice shook as she continued. “You knew that we needed to know, that we had a right to know, because we were family and you knew that, whatever happened, as long as we had you, we’d be okay.”
Emotion smothering her voice, Nikki rose from her seat at Victor’s bedside and walked over to her daughter.
Wordlessly, Nikki gently held her face in her hands before pulling her into a sombre, emotional, and she hoped comforting embrace. “You’ll always have me, angel, you’ll always have me; always.” Nikki whispered with tears glistening in her eyes.
Pulling back a little so they stood eye to eye, Vicki told her with a hint of a cheeky smile, “I don’t think he likes me.”


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