“You broke up with me and just yesterday you were telling me we weren’t good for each other. What changed?”
“Nothing really,” he said. “I just heard your voice today and you sounded so distraught. It tugged at my heart and I realized how badly I wanted to be here for you. I didn’t want you to be alone. I wanted to wrap you up in my arms and hold you and make it all better.”
“I don’t get it,” I said.
He kind of laughed and said, “You don’t get what, Vick?”
“You’re not angry that I slept with Alexander and that I’m not sure if the baby is yours or his?”
He pulled me into him again and said, “Everything that happened between you and him was that one day, right?” I nodded and he said, “It was my fault. That’s why I’m not mad, Vick. I pushed you into his arms. I doubt that the baby is mine since you and I weren’t doing so well for a few weeks before we took our break, remember? We hadn’t really been having sex.”
I thought about it then. He was right. If this was his baby, I’d be close to three months along at least. I don’t think I could be that far along and not be showing any other signs, could I? “Jason, I’m sorry that I got you involved in any of this. I just didn’t know who else to call. You’ve always been there for me…” He kissed me on the side of my head and shushed me.
“Don’t apologize for calling me, babe. I will always be here for you and the little man, mine or not, okay?”
I wanted to ask who he was and what he’d done with Jason. I couldn’t believe he was being so easy-going about any of this. He stepped back and looked down at my face and I said, “Thank you. I don’t mean to seem ungrateful, I’m just a little confused.”
“I understand,” he said. “Let’s get some food in you and then we’ll take a look at those papers. You need to keep your strength up.” I wasn’t sure if I could eat, but I was willing to try. My poor stomach was bone dry.
We sat down and ate and drank cider. I thought it was thoughtful of him to bring something without alcohol or caffeine. Maybe he really did care… just a little bit anyways. When we finished eating he helped me clean up which was also out of character and then he said, “Okay babe. Where are these papers?”
We went over to the couch and sat down, side by side with our knees touching. I hadn’t really thought much about Jason lately, not until I called him about the pregnancy. I thought I’d lost all feelings for him, but it was nice today, him being here like this. I didn’t know how badly I needed someone to lean on until he showed up.
I handed him the papers and he read through them. Jason was a physical therapist; not an attorney but he was a smart guy. After a few minutes he said, “Yep, basically what he wants is for you to agree to an abortion and to never speak to anyone about this… so a gag order to all parties involved. In exchange for that, he wants to pay you a hundred thousand dollars. It’s a bunch of crap.”
“I’m glad someone else thinks so. I’m not having an abortion.”
He kissed the side of my face again. It was really nice. “Of course not, babe. I know you don’t believe in that. Had it turned out to be mine, I would have never asked you to do that.” How did he suddenly know for sure it wasn’t his? My hackles were back up just a bit. “But he’s not even just asking, he’s pressuring… almost blackmailing. He doesn’t want to take any responsibility for this. He wants to hide behind his rich boy shield and let you take all the heat for a paltry hundred grand. Vicki, do you know what this guy is worth?”
“A lot,” I said.
“Yeah babe but really, do you know how much?”
“Forbes magazine estimated his net worth at two billion last year.” I nearly spit out the cider I was drinking.
“Damn! How does a thirty year old man make that kind of money?”
“For one thing, he started with money. But he’s an astute businessman too. He started making investments when he was still in college, the article says. He owns a piece of every major electronics company in the world. Every time someone turns on their cell phone or computer, he gets a check, basically.”
“Oh, wow. I knew he was rich, but I guess I just can’t really wrap my head around that kind of money.”
“He owns houses in Europe and two more besides the one he lives in in the U.S. He has a private jet, a helicopter, seven luxury cars, a yacht…”
“Why are you telling me all of this, Jason?”
“Because I want you to see how ridiculous it is that he is offering you a hundred grand. That would be comparable to me handing you a dollar and saying, “Here, now go away.” He not only wants out of this, he wants out of it cheaply. It makes me furious.”
“Because baby, you’re worth so much more than that. How dare he insult you that way by insinuating that not only you, but your child is worth so little to him? Disgusting!”
I hadn’t thought of it like that. I suppose Jason was right and that was exactly what he was suggesting. I didn’t know what to do about it. I really didn’t want anything from him, but I suppose the hundred grand would at least help me get started.
“So you think I shouldn’t take it, or I should?” I wasn’t quite sure. Jason was talking about all his money and saying he should pay, but thought the amount was too small. Was he suggesting I ask for more?
“No, you should definitely not take it. You should go to every tabloid and newspaper in this city with these papers and let them publish this. Let them show the world what a cheap, uncaring bastard Alexander Reigns really is.”
“I don’t want to do that, Jason. Then my own name will be dragged through the mud too. I want to finish school and get a job and set up a practice, that would hurt me before I got started.”
He put his arm around me and pulled me in for another hug. Then he said, “You’re right, babe. I’m so angry with him, I wasn’t thinking. But you know what we can do?”
“We can have Paul file a countersuit. You go to the doctor and get this pregnancy verified and then we’ll file a counter suit asking for all your medical expenses to be paid for, a nice house for you and the baby to live in, enough cash to finish school and start your business and enough to ease the pain and suffering that he’s put you through today. This number should be in the millions at least.”
I sat up and looked at him. “Millions? Are you crazy?”
“Do you know what it takes to raise a chil
d, Vicki? There have been studies done on middle class American families that say it takes two hundred thousand dollars to just get a kid from diapers to college. That’s with no fancy clothes and no private schools and no vacations and ski lessons. Don’t you want your child to have all of that?”
“Well, I hadn’t really thought that far ahead.”
“But you do want him to have the best, right?”
“Yes, of course I do.”
“Then millions is what it’s going to take. Look Vicki, this is not about me at all, it’s your decision and your life and your baby. I just want to help you.”
I was suspicious, but I had to take what he said into consideration. Jason and I weren’t together, so what would he really be getting out of this? Could it be that he was really this concerned about my child and me? The more he talked the angrier I got at Alex, that’s for sure. It still wasn’t about the money, but as I listened to Jason go over the papers I just couldn’t help but wonder what kind of heartless bastard creates a life and pays someone (not very well according to Jason) to terminate it? I was so wrong about him and that thought brought tears to my eyes.