Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
A week later Victor and Evangeline were conversing on the phone about the design upgrades to a couple of the remaining rooms. The house was coming along pretty nicely given that Victor finally gave into Evangeline's wishes of putting forth his own design concepts. A new home meant a new beginning. All the furnishings were brand new. Evangeline's storage items and furniture were going to be donated while Victor would be relinquishing that posh penthouse suite.
"So what do you think?"
Victor scratched his chin, eyes intently scanning between pics from the living room and office. "Hmm...just add a vase on the mantle and the living room is good to go."
"Are you sure? I don't want you coming home and deciding something different."
Home... for a long time he yearned to hear those words - to have that feeling and having someone to share it with. Hearing it now from the love of his life brought a smile to his face. "I wouldn't change a thing."
"And how about our new office?"
"Our? - isn't it suppose to be my office/man-cave - no visitors allowed especially my gorgeous wife," he teased propping his feet unto the desk and leaning back in his chair.
"Well too bad because I know I'll be visiting anytime I choose to do so."
"Dang I forgot you have a key to everything."
"Who says I need a key..."
"Hold on Babe." The incessant blinking of his office line stirred him into action. "This better be an emergency Tina," he muttered underneath his breath. Sometimes his schedule interfered with these daytime flirtations. "What is it?"
"Sorry Mr. Lord but Starr Manning is here to visit you and she says it pretty urgent."
What could that be about? "Okay give me a minute. Sorry Sweetheart but I need to cut our conversation short. Starr is here to see me."
"Oh..." Sure there wasn't any love lost between the two women. Evangeline never forgot their tense confrontations but she wouldn't interfere understanding that Victor wouldn't allow Starr in no way to disrespect her or their relationship. "Well I'll chat with you later and don't skip out on lunch."
"Yes dear," he said sarcastically. Evangeline had made sure to pack him a healthy turkey sandwich along with some fruit. "I love you," he quickly added.
"Nice comeback...love you too."
When Starr stepped into his office, the solemn look on her face said so much. She was comfortably dressed in a maxi skirt, black blouse, jacket, scarf hanging loosely around her neck. She promptly hugged Victor. "Looks like married life is agreeing with you."
"Evangeline and Trey make it so."
She gave him a small smile then proceeded to pull him along to the sofa where they sat.
"What's wrong? Is it Hope?"
"Starr come on. Why is it so hard for you to tell me? You shouldn't show up here just to play twenty questions."
Starr sighed heavily. "Okay let me start from the beginning. I was over at dad's office and he picked up this mail and started reading. At first it seemed that something in that letter bothered him then he quickly put it aside. I asked him about it and he said it was junk mail and that he would throw it out. Later on I saw it again and something told me to take a look...it's then I realized that the letter was for you."
"Yeah..." She carefully retrieved the letter from her bag. "...Spencer sent you this letter."
The sound of his name jolted him back. "W-What?!" He quickly stood up and began pacing. All those sobering memories came flooding back - the tears and heartbreak. "This is not real! Even from the grave he is torturing me!" He went over to his desk and with one sweep of the hand cleared it of its contents. Then he started pounding it with his fists, face discolored by rage. "Why can't that bastard leave me alone?!"
"Uncle Victor," Starr rushed over to his side. "I didn't mean...I shouldn't have come.." Victor buried his face on his hands. Starr's heart broke for him knowing this letter was ripping open an old wound. "But I had to...listen to me Uncle Victor...the letter is saying that your son is alive."
Immediately his eyes shifted her way with an intriguing stare. He wasn't sure how to react. His emotions were all over the place. "Did it say where?"
"At a foster care agency named New Beginnings in Houston."
"Do you believe this to be true?" he asked almost in a whisper.
"There is more information in the letter that makes it seem credible," she replied truthfully. "I understand this is difficult for you to deal with right now especially with your life moving forward but if there is a chance your son is alive, I say go for it. I promise dad won't interfere." She gave him a much needed hug.
They leaned against the edge of his desk in a quiet embrace. Victor thought his life was a synopsis of secrets, lies along with enough twists and turns to make any book a best seller. When he learnt that he wasn't Todd Manning it brought about such devastation to his soul. Jack and Starr weren't his and the son he never knew was already dead.
"I hate the way this came about but if I don't do this then it will forever haunt me." Victor started to accept and realize. "My son could me out there waiting for his father to find him. I can't and won't let him down again."
Evangeline didn't know what to expect once she busted through the door at Victor's office. It brought such a fear in her heart when he called and said that he had something very important to share with her. It didn't help her much when she saw some of things that were usually on his desk scattered about on the ground. Victor sat quietly on the sofa. Where his thoughts lay, she did not know.
"Babe..." The only word she had a chance to say before he got up, pulled her towards him, kissing her deeply. "What's going on?"
He held her hands and remarked excitedly, "I believe my son is alive."
"Wow.." Evangeline gasped placing her right hand over her heart. There were tears in her eyes. She recalled the emotional breakdown when Victor found out his son was dead and now this. She wrapped her arms around his neck. "I can't believe this. This is such great news! Where is he? How did you find out?"
"Spencer sent me a letter... Its seems my son is in a foster care facility in Houston."
"As in that Spencer?"
"Yeah..." He knew eventually Evangeline's lawyer brain would kick in.
Evangeline backed away, her brain churning with various thoughts. "Babe how do you know this is real and he isn't manipulating you again?" she asked emphatically. "He lied to you before remember that? - convincing you that he killed your son!"
"Of course, but I need to find out if its real."
"You've already made plans haven't you?"
"I thought you would understand. This is my son and you would have done the same."
If they were both single but Trey's well being was always a factor before anything else.
"Perhaps but because it is Spencer I would do my investigation first before going off on a mission. You can't just leave and not have a plan. Besides if he is in foster care as you say then there are legal considerations. Let Paul go ahead and check into it then follow."
"I won't be able to take it - sitting here and waiting for some news. We've already been forced apart for too many years..."
"You talk as if you already know. ...You know what Victor just go but don't you dare leave without saying goodbye to Trey first." Evangeline turned, opened the door and slammed it against Victor who was trailing behind her.
She didn't turn around until she reached the elevator. "What am I to you? Am I your wife or just your best friend?"
He paused when he saw the hurt and sadness in her eyes. He watched as the door closed and instantly felt the separation between them. A part of him thought the worst but he knew differently. He wouldn't lose her and he would find his son and bring him home to their family.