Seven Days Ch. 06bysoular©
"Yes, she is. I'll tell her you're here," Paul said, turning to walk upstairs. Nic wanted to follow him, but this was Paul's house, and he would try his best not to be disrespectful. No matter how pissed off he was.
Victoria was awake, but still she felt a bit weak. Her eyelids felt heavy. But whatever the doctor had given her had made her feel much better.
"Victoria?" she heard Paul say as he entered. "Good, glad to see you awake. Are you alright?"
"Yes," Victoria croaked out. "Thank you."
"You're very welcome. I need to let you know that Nic is downstairs and he wants to see you."
Victoria quickly woke from her haze. "No! I mean, no, I don't want to see him."
Paul nodded his head and left the room.
Nic waited patiently as Paul came back downstairs.
"Nic, she doesn't want any company at the moment. But if you come back later, perhaps--"
"Paul, you and I both know I'm not leaving here until I speak with her."
Paul narrowed his eyes at Nic. He didn't want to get in the middle of this lovers' quarrel, but he also wanted to respect Victoria's wishes. She had come to him for help.
"I understand you're concerned Nic, but causing a scene in my house won't make this situation better for her."
Nic stepped around Paul and started heading towards the stairs. Renny approached from the side blocking Nic's path.
"Sorry sir, Mr. Marcone asked you to come back," Renny said.
"Paul, I have a lot of respect for you, but I'm about to drop this kid and head upstairs anyway. Now if you don't want him hurt, I suggest you tell him to move," Nic said, just a few inches from Renny's face.
Paul could easily call another of his bodyguards, and blow this whole situation out of proportion. But he knew that Nic wasn't thinking rationally. And that he probably would break Renny's nose. Paul didn't know every detail about Nic and Victoria's strange relationship, but he did know that there were more feelings involved than either one was letting on. He stared at the back of Nic's body, which was tense. He had always liked Nic. Much more than Nic's father. Nic had a brutal honestly about him. Paul respected that. He wished his own son could be more like Nic. But Sonny was sneaky and unreliable. Two traits that neither Paul nor Nic possessed.
"Renny, let Mr. Andretti pass," Paul said. Nic moved forward, barely giving Renny a second to move out of the way. Paul followed behind. "I would like to give her a heads up, Nic. So she won't think I am betraying her."
Nic stopped when they reached the top of the stairs. "Alright," he said as Paul moved ahead of him and entered a room at the end of the hallway.
Victoria looked up to see Paul come in. "Is he gone?" she asked.
"No. Actually, he's right outside the door. He wants to make sure you're okay, Victoria. He was very insistent. I'll stay in the room if you want. So is it alright to let him in?"
Victoria really didn't want to see Nic. Not now. Not when she felt and looked so weak. To fight him, she needed all of her strength. But she didn't want Paul to go through so much trouble just because of her. So she nodded her head.
Paul walked to the door and let Nic into the room.
Immediately Nic was concerned. She looked so frail. He wanted to scoop her up and put her in his car and take her to his house. Where she belonged. Her big, brown eyes looked weak and less expressive than they normally were. And although the room was pretty toasty, she shivered.
Victoria watched as he scanned over her body. And then he turned to Paul.
"Has a doctor seen her?"
"Yes, my family doctor came. He diagnosed it as a slight case of pneumonia, but he gave her some antibiotics, and already she's doing much better."
"This is much better?" Nic accused. "I want my doctor to see her," he said, looking back down at her.
"Nic, I assure you, my physician is one of the best. She's already feeling better."
Nic tore his gaze away from her and glanced at Paul. "I need to speak to her alone."
Paul looked back at Victoria and she slowly nodded her head. Paul walked out and closed the door behind him.
Nic removed his jacket and sat down on the bed. "So, how are you feeling?"
"I'm alright," Victoria answered. She took in his appearance. He seemed tired. His eyes were a darker blue and he had small dark circles underneath them.
"So basically, you'd rather get pneumonia than come back with me?"
"Nic, I have no reason to be with you now. You have the money. So just leave me alone."
"Actually, I don't. I gave it back to Paul. What are you going to do when you leave here?" Nic asked, wanting so bad to pull those covers back and get in bed with her. He knew another way to cure her sickness and hopefully make her feel better. Make himself feel better.
"I don't know, but I'll figure something out."
Nic exhaled. "I'd like you to come stay in my house with me."
Victoria shook her head. "Nic, you just don't get it, do you? You treated me like shit! Like I was nothing. I even gave you a chance to explain your actions, and you refused. And instead, you called me...you made me feel so low. I felt worse the last night I spent with you more than the first night I spent with you. And I don't ever want to feel that way again. And then on top of that, you get my friend to kick me out when you KNEW I had nowhere to go. Why would you do that to me?" Victoria asked, staring at him with hurt in her eyes.
Nic had no answer. Well, none that he actually wanted to divulge to her. "Victoria, I know I've made some decisions that you don't understand, but I have my reasons for making them."
Victoria scoffed. "If that's all you have, then please leave."
"Victoria," Nic whispered, but she rolled over onto her side, facing away from him.
Nic got up from the bed, turned off her light and walked out.
When he reached his house, Jimmy was sitting by the door. Nic ignored him and marched upstairs to his office. Jimmy followed.
"So, is she okay, Nic?" Jimmy asked, shutting the office door behind him.
Nic glanced up at him and narrowed his eyes. "And what was your reasoning for not telling me?"
"Nic...I just wanted her to be okay."
"You have a job and you weren't fucking doing it!" Nic growled at him.
"You know, if being a fucking decent human being is not a part of my job, then fuck, I quit!" Jimmy shouted back.
Both men stood there staring each other down.
Jimmy finally relaxed and loosened his tie. "Fuck, Nic. I've known you since we were little kids still wanting to be on the right side of the law. Over the years, I've never questioned you. And we've done some pretty shady shit, and hurt a lot of people, but I never minded because I felt like they deserved it. Hell, I even enjoyed it sometimes. But Nic, Victoria doesn't deserve this. I mean, you really thought you could take away all of her options, and she'd come back to you with arms wide open? It doesn't work that way. I know you're so used to getting what you want, and to have someone throw that all back in your face is new to you, but that's no reason to hurt someone who hasn't done anything wrong. Fuck, Nic. I...look, she was sad and miserable. I knew what she was planning to do, and a part of me wanted her to. This whole thing with her has gone way too far."
Nic sat down at his desk. "Are you done?"
"You don't even realize that you love her, do you?" Jimmy asked, shaking his head.
"Jimmy, you don't know shit about our relationship. Love? You have no clue what you're talking about."
"Right...you couldn't possibly love her. That's why you were parading her around as your girlfriend a few weeks ago. Spending every other night at your condo, or driving around in the rain at five am searching for her. Because you don't love her, right?" Jimmy retorted sarcastically.
Jimmy shook his head. He knew there was no getting through to Nic, because he would never admit that Jimmy was right about something like this, even if he knew it was true. He would lock it deep down inside and ignore it for the rest of his life. "Yeah, I'm done Nic," Jimmy said as he walked out.
Over the next two days, Victoria quickly recovered thanks to the doctor's visits and medication. She tried to stay out of Paul's way so she wouldn't be more of a bother than she already felt, even though Paul insisted that she wasn't. Paul offered to let her borrow one of his cars, but she politely declined and took the bus to work. At first, Greg had refused to let her work since she was recovering, but Victoria was desperate. She needed to make some money, so eventually after nagging and following him all over the restaurant, he agreed to let her pick up some more shifts if she would just shut up.
But it was her third day in the house when Sonny showed up. And of all the times, she had been bending over her bed, trying to find a rubber band for her hair when she heard his voice.
"Damn, I think that's about the best position," he said.
Her body immediately tensed as she raised up. She was still on her hands and knees when she turned to glare at him.
"Don't you knock?" she asked.
"In my own home?" he shot back at her, raising an eyebrow.
"I thought this was your dad's house."
"Yeah, but when he bites the dust, it will be mine. So...how are you feeling? Pops told me you were really sick," Sonny said, leaning against the door frame.
"I'm much better, thanks to your father," Victoria answered, looking uneasily at Sonny. She just didn't trust him.
"Good. Glad to hear it. By the way, dinner's ready," he stated, and then walked out.
Downstairs, Victoria sat at the dinner table with Paul and Sonny. She noticed that neither man really talked to each other. They more or less talked to her. Paul said he wasn't feeling well, but said not to worry, he was just tired. Victoria asked if he were sure, and he said he was, then excused himself early, asking her to finish her meal. But this also left Victoria alone with Sonny. The asshole.
She noticed him, out of the corner of her eye, staring. She tried to ignore him as she picked over her salad.
"Vicky...I want to apologize to you," Sonny said, taking a sip of his drink.
Victoria looked up at him. "What?"
"I want to apologize for the prior two times that I met you. You know, for the pool game and Nic's party. For what I said. And if it's okay with you, I'd like to start over."
Victoria didn't know what to think. What did he want? Sonny had this friendly way about him, but it was almost that look he would give right before he would stab you in the back. She just didn't trust him.
"I mean it. So...this is corny, but I'd like to re-introduce myself. I'm Sonny Marcone," he said while reaching for her hand.
Victoria did think the whole thing was rather silly, but she would play along.
"Apology accepted and I'm Victoria Davis."
"Nice to meet you, Victoria," he said, while kissing the back of her hand. A gesture he learned from his father no doubt. She wondered why none of Paul's other wonderful traits had rubbed off on him.
Sonny ended up becoming a permanent fixture at his father's house. Victoria couldn't escape from him. But pretty soon he started wearing her down, and she even laughed at a few of his jokes. When he didn't have a group of people around to show off in front of, he seemed like a halfway decent guy.
He even tried playing Scrabble with her, but she could tell he was pretty bored with it. His game was cards. Poker to be exact. Victoria had played before, but she was nowhere near as good as Sonny. He beat her every time. And something in his eyes when he won, was unsettling for Victoria. Almost like this lust for winning. He had to win at all cost. She thought about that night he bet Nic in the pool game. How dark his eyes seemed when he had lost. And again, when he taunted her at Nic's party, and she told him not to bet someone who will beat him every time. Again, his eyes darkened. Victoria tried to shake off the thought, and concentrate on the game.
"So, a friend of mine is throwing a small party tonight. Wanna go?" Sonny asked, placing down another card.
"No, thanks," Victoria said, as she studied her cards.
"Oh, come on Victoria! Live a little. You go to work, then come back here and read, then go back to work. You're too young for that shit. It will be fun," Sonny said.
"Sonny, I'm content right here. But thanks for the offer."
"Please...please. I need a date. You wouldn't want people to think I'm a loser, would you?"
"Sonny, I'm sure some already do," Victoria quipped, while placing a card down.
Sonny pretended like she had struck an arrow to his heart. "See! That's why I need you. Who else is going to keep this huge head of mine from taking off?"
Victoria laughed and shook her head. "Sonny, no. Besides, I have nothing to wear to stuff like that."
"Problem solved, I'll buy you something now," he said, as he placed his winning hand down and left the table.
Victoria hopped up. "No!! Wait, seriously, don't do that!" she called after him.
He stuck his fingers in his ears and walked toward the door. "I can't hear you...be back in a bit," he said, grabbing his jacket and leaving.
'Fuck!' Victoria thought. She walked back to the table to clean up the game. She grabbed a book and went to her room.
About an hour later, Sonny appeared at her door.
"Knock, knock," he said, while barging in. She could tell he held something behind his back. "For you," he said, while holding up a very short, strapless bright blue dress in one hand, then pausing for a moment before producing the heels in his other hand.
"Sonny! I...no, no no! I'm not going. And I asked you not to spend any money on me," Victoria said, clearly pissed.
"Hey, don't worry. I got this dress from a flea market. Seriously, there might be some stains on it." He quickly ducked from the box of tissues that Victoria threw at him.
"Come on, you have no excuses now," he said.
Victoria sighed and leaned back against the headboard. She did kind of want to get out of the house for a bit. Just not with Sonny and definitely not at one of his parties. She would just die if she ran into Nic.
"You said it's a small party, right? A close friend of yours?" Victoria asked, slowly feeling herself caving.
"Yep. Small party, close friends."
Victoria didn't want him to think she was thinking about Nic, but she had to ask. "And no chance of running into Nic, right?"
"Nope, he's not invited," he smiled.
Victoria looked at the dress again. If they only stayed and hour or so, who could it hurt? "Alright. I'll go. But this isn't a date, okay?"
"Yes! And gotcha, not a date," Sonny said, handing her the dress and shoes. "See you downstairs."
Victoria stared at herself in the mirror. The dress Sonny had chosen was awfully short. And strapless at that. And tight! Fuck! She could barely bend over to slide her heels on and fasten the straps.
She grabbed her jacket and met Sonny downstairs. He gave her body a onceover.
"Damn, you look so good," he said, glancing at her ass again.
"Thanks, but Sonny, this dress is so tight. You sure you got this for me?" Victoria questioned, raising her eyebrow.
Sonny laughed, "Trust me, I knew exactly what I was doing."
When they pulled up to the party, there were several cars parked outside of a club. It was definitely not a small get together.
Victoria stared at the long line of people waiting to get in. "Sonny, you said this was a small party!"
"Well, I guess he invited more people," Sonny said, grabbing her arm to escort her to the front of the line. The bouncer immediately let Sonny in, and the two glided through the main entrance. The club was packed. People on all sides. Victoria couldn't really hear anything over the loud music, but Sonny stopped and talked with several people. He was definitely charismatic in a room, Victoria thought. He continued to pull her through the crowd, until they made it to a small room in the back. The VIP section.
"There he is," Sonny whispered in her ear. Victoria was trying her best to tug her dress down below her ass. She would have to remember when they left to kill him for buying this damn dress.
"Karl! How are you buddy?" Sonny asked a guy. Victoria still couldn't see over his shoulder, but she heard a man with an English accent answer him.
"Sonny! I'm well. How are you? You know, I was just saying to me self that it isn't a party until Sonny Marcone shows up."
"Hey man, I want to introduce you to my lovely date, Victoria," Sonny said, pushing her up front.
Victoria was about to say hi when she froze. Son of a bitch!!! She should have NEVER trusted Sonny. Standing beside the guy she could only assume was Karl, were Nic and Jimmy. They both immediately stared down at her. There she was in this ridiculously short, tight dress with Sonny holding her hand. She tried to pull it away, but he only gripped her hand tighter. Her skin seemed to burn as Nic's eyes scanned over her dress and then back up to her face. She could see the veins in his neck and she knew he was clamping his teeth together.
"Nice to meet you, Victoria," Karl said, the only one in the group with a smile still on his face.
Victoria still couldn't speak. She tried to jerk her hand away again, but Sonny tightened his hold. Nic must have sensed it, because she saw his eyes shift to their hands and then to Sonny's face. Victoria tore her gaze from Nic long enough to look at Jimmy. He gave her a small smile but didn't say anything.
"And Sonny, I think you know Nicolas and Jimmy," Karl offered further, clearly not picking up on the negative tension surrounding the situation.
"Yeah, Karl. We all go way back," Sonny said, smiling in Nic's direction.
Nic's fucking head was on fire. There she was standing in that outfit and holding Sonny's hand. Fucking bitch! And he had almost let Jimmy's words the other night affect him, only to find that she had moved on, and of all people, his fucking enemy! She refused to stay with him, yet now she was hanging out with Sonny. Nic couldn't hold it in any longer. He wanted to hurt her as much as she had hurt him.
"So, you fucking him now?" Nic spat out at her.
Victoria's eyes widened and Jimmy coughed.
"Um...hey you know, I see another guest who just came in. I'm going to say hello. Um...yeah," Karl stammered, as he quickly left the group.
"Whoa there, Nicky. Is that any way to greet a friend?" Sonny said, smirking.
"Stop it, Sonny," Victoria said, finally jerking her hand from him. She knew he was trying to bait Nic.
"What?" he said, looking down at Victoria. Then he stared back up at Nic. "See, our boy Nic can dish it, but he can't take it."
Sonny took a step closer to Nic. "You steal the Russians, so I fuck your girl," Sonny whispered, just seconds before he was slammed back against a wall and lifted up to his tiptoes by his throat.
Jimmy grabbed Nic's hand that was squeezing Sonny's neck. "Nic! He has two guys by the door. They're going to know what's happening in just a second. Let him go," Jimmy said, scanning the room to make sure no extra attention was brought to the problem.
Victoria screamed, but quickly covered her mouth. She had never seen Nic lose control like that. Usually, he was so calm and never got frazzled. At least not with other people.
Nic only saw red. He knew he had to get himself under control, but everything in his body was telling him to choke this fucker until his eyes bulged out. But that wasn't Nic's style. Not in a public area like this...at a friend's party. He released Sonny's neck.
Sonny coughed and rubbed his neck. He quickly straightened his tie and smoothed his hair back, glancing over to the corner where two of his men were engrossed in a conversation.