~~~Chapter 31: God has it out for me…
Victor Aldridge's POV
A father has every right to protect his daughter.
A father has every right to kill someone who has hurt his daughter.
I had that right.
My daughter was covered in stitches.
And it was all because of Kary.
I wanted him out of her life. As far as I know for right now, they're not seeing one another. But how long will this last? Will she realize that he's not healthy for her? Will my baby girl understand that your first love doesn't have to be your only love? She's so young. She doesn't understand.
And she doesn't understand my anger towards what happened to her. She feels I'm unfair in my decision to keep her away from Kary. But hopefully she'll open her eyes and see how bad for her he was. He couldn't protect her. He couldn't keep her safe. The proof was all there.
I know my baby is no longer a baby, but a grown woman trying to find her way, her independence, but there are still things out there that are going to try to hurt her over and over again. Regardless of what she's been through, life will not stop throwing her curveballs.
It was my job, as her dad, to help her dodge those curveballs.
I knocked on the door of Kary's office, my contract in
I was welcomed in and I opened the door.
Kary was sitting at his desk in a tense posture. He looked to me,
and didn't seem very happy about my presence. I did not care. I
wasn't very excited about his presence much either.
"Victor." Kary nods once.
I close his office door and kept staring at him. At any moment, I felt like I wanted to rip out his throat for what he's caused.
But I refused against it.
I walk to his desk, and as I do, I began to rip up the contract I had to sign from the beginning to work for him. I refused to any longer. I couldn't work for someone like this. Someone who would let my daughter get hurt like this. "I will work for you no longer. I'm going to restart a new business and have things carry on from there."
Kary slowly nodded. "If that's your decision, Victor."
I placed the ripped pieces of the contract onto his desk and then look to him. "Stay away from my daughter, Kary. She was almost killed because of you."
He looks to the floor, and if I'm not mistaking, I see what looks like pain in his face. "I know."
"I do not care about how sad you are about the situation, it is, what it is, Kary. Deal with that." I turn to walk to the door. I stop and turn to look at him as my hand grips the doorknob. "If you come within a five mile radius of her, I will get a restraining order on you."
"Whether or not she takes me back is up to her. Peyton is a grown woman. She doesn't need her father to tell her who she can, and cannot see."
I let go of the knob and turned fully to face him. I can feel my anger rising. He thinks that my daughter is so obsessed with him that she would take him back after this happened. "You know, I think you have the wrong girl. You know, I get that you have women coming and going and falling all over you, but Peyton is nothing like that. She does not need you."
"She's pregnant with my child. She needs me more than ever."
I paused. Did I hear right? Or did I just hallucinate the words.
I felt my stomach drop. "What did you just say?"
Kary stared at me, he was sporting a curious look. "I said Peyton is pregnant with my child."
"You got my daughter pregnant?"
Kary nods. "This is why she left my penthouse and Joshua cut her off before she could get home."
"Why would you let her leave alone?"
"She wanted to leave on her own and I figured I'd give her space like she wanted. And the second she left, I figured, 'fuck that, I'm going after her'. I didn't know she was in an alley with him. It took time to find them, but by the time I finally did, the ambulance truck was already out there. It killed me when I saw her like that. The police took Joshua away before I could get to him. Do you think for one second, Victor, that I wouldn't have hurt him for what he did to her? I would have killed him for hurting her. So don't tell me I don't give a fuck about your daughter. She's the only thing I give a fuck about. Her and our child."
I shook my head. What has Peyton gotten herself into? She just
got out of college. I got her a good job at a place that reflects
what she studied in college. She had things going for her, and
now it's going to be all ruined because she's going to be having
a baby. His baby, at that. Peyton is young. She doesn't know what
she's doing. I need to talk to her, talk her out of this.
I stared into the mirror, studying the leftover marks on my face. I was released from the hospital two weeks ago and now I was going to meet my dad for lunch. I probably wouldn't be eating though. I had a stomach and back ache for the past five days. It felt more like cramps. The pain wasn't too intense so I ignored it and just continued getting ready. Whatever the deal is, it'd pass.
I was very reluctant for others to see my stitches. I'd just have to get over it. There is always going to be someone there to say something.
I brushed through my hair and applied a little makeup to my face.
I walked out to the living room, where Justin was working on
something in a photo album of models. He was concentrating
Me and him haven't been talking this whole time. He was fed up with Kary. And I could understand why.
I didn't give him a second glance as I grabbed my keys from the coffee table.
I left out of the house and got down to my car.
The more and more I thought about it, the more I realized how stupid it was to have a car in Chicago. That's like having a car in New York when just about any transportation you see is a taxi.
On the car ride there, I was going over and over in my head how
to tell my dad about the pregnancy.
I knew how he'd react. Like I betrayed him. Everyone seems to think I'm betraying them for Kary lately.
I pulled up to the parking lot of the restaurant, Yashi's, that
we agreed to meet up.
I turned the car off and leaned my head against the headrest. What is he going to do when he finds out I'm pregnant? Oddly enough, I was more nervous to tell Lukas than dad.
I got out of the car and entered the restaurant.
When I entered, a woman greeted me and asked me if I'd like to be seated.
My dad reserved a table for us and the woman led me to it. I was surprised to find that he got here before I did. My dad is never early.
I sat down in the booth and looked to him.
He was angry. I could see it in his gray eyes. "Dad?"
"Peyton, all I ever tried to do was give you a normal, and happy
life after what happened to you."
I stared at him blankly. "Um…what are we talking about?"
"You. You and your decisions."
I sighed and rolled my eyes. I rested my elbows onto the table and dropped my head in my hands. "God, dad, I've been keeping my distance like you wanted. What else do you want from me?"
"How could you get pregnant by him, Peyton?"
I lifted my head, shocked that he knew. Justin had to have told him. "What?"
"I went over to Kary Enterprises, I ripped up the contract, and I told him to keep away from you. This bastard tries to get in my face and tells me he's gotten you pregnant."
"Lukas told you that?"
He nods. "He did. And Peyton, that was a very, silly, and disappointing move."
"I know you're upset, dad. Not as much as me, trust me. I'm still debating on what to do."
"Peyton, you know what the smartest thing to do would be."
"You have your job, and you're so young. It would be impossible for you to understand what it's like to be your mother. I had to be a father and a mother to you when you came back to me. It's more difficult than you think, hon."
I chuckle without humor and toy with the wicker bread basket in front of me. "It's my body the last time I checked." I muttered underneath my breath.
"Peyton!" My dad snapped.
"What?" I asked just as sharply.
"Abort it. Do you really think he cares enough to help you with this baby? He runs a business, he is a bachelor. He's not going to help you."
I sit back in my seat, looking my dad in his eyes. "I find it funny that you judge something you know so little about."
"You don't think I know you and Kary's relationship?"
I shake my head. "Dad, you don't know the half of it. You don't understand, you'll never understand, so there's no use in trying to. Understand that whatever happens, happens, and my decision will be what it is. Me and him are the only people who get to decide what happens to the baby. I don't need, nor do I want your help."
He folded his hands onto the table and looked down.
As we stayed silent, a woman with long black hair and gray eyes came over and asked us for our order.
I didn't see anything I wanted on the menu so I settled for seared chicken with roasted mushrooms.
I didn't pay attention to what my dad wanted. I was too distracted. Aside from my irritation at my dad's disappointment, this stomach ache and back ache was starting to really bother me.
When the woman walked away, I looked back to him but he refused to look at me.
"Dad, I fucked up. I know that. I'm going to make mistakes, okay?
I'm not perfect. You shouldn't expect that out of me."
He finally looked to me.
"I know you'll never get used to this, but…I'm hoping someday, you'll forgive me for screwing up like this. I never did it to hurt you or make you feel like you failed as a dad. I was caught up and I ignored my responsibilities. And now I have to make a very hard decision."
"Peyton, I never expected perfection from you. I just wanted you to have a bright future with your career and then worry about marriage and kids later."
"I'm not marrying Lukas."
"Yeah, you say that."
I squeeze my eyes shut as a pain in my abdomen jolts through me. I gasp.
I open my eyes to look at him.
"Honey, what's wrong?"
"Nothing." I shift in my seat.
I feel a cramp going through my lower back. I hissed through my teeth and close my eyes again grabbing onto the table for support.
"Peyton, are you okay?"
After the pain leaves, I open my eyes to look to my dad. "Um…my stomach is hurting. I should go to the bathroom. I'll be right back."
I stood to my feet and made my way to the bathroom, ignoring the stares as I frantically find it. I throw the door open, shut it, and lock it.
I felt another cramp.
My hand went to my back as I leaned against the door and groaned in agony. I do know some women continue to have their periods while they're pregnant, but my cramps were normally not this bad. I took a deep breath trying to relax myself.
I unbuttoned my jeans and pulled them down.
These were too intense to be period cramps.
I pulled my panties down and saw blood, a lot more blood than I
normally have during my period.
I felt this throughout talking to my dad, but I didn't know what it was.
I don't know why I touched the blood and studied it.
I guess it was because I might know what this is.
I swallowed hard and leaned my head back against the door.
God has it out for me.
It almost felt like since Brian couldn't do any worst, God was finishing the job.
I looked back down to the blood. I didn't know how sad I was about this. It didn't make me tear up, or feel a painful yearning in my heart. I didn't know how it made me feel or if it was even real. It didn't feel real. But the alertness I felt from it was very real.
It was too heavy to be my period. Too painful to be cramps.
Silently, I just stood there, in shock.
I get pregnant with a baby, and it causes all of this, and now…..
I didn't know what I wanted, or how this made me feel. All I knew, was that I needed to get back to the hospital.