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Chapter 130: Philip's Curiosity

Philip leaned back in his chair and studied the folder once again, as he tried to figure out what his father was up to.  A few weeks ago, Philip thought he knew Victor's game -- kill Andrew Donovan to punish an old adversary as revenge for a long-ago humiliation.  But now Victor seemed focused on the girl.  It all was very confusing.

The note Victor wanted to include with the flowers had raised red flags.  "Your friends at Titan" suggested there was more at play here, and Philip had made some inquiries that morning and found out that Jeannie Donovan would be a summer intern in Titan's legal department. 

"What are you doing, father?" Philip asked himself.

He reviewed the contents of the Jeannie Donovan file, but they told him little.  She was smart.  That was obvious from her academic history.  All the best schools -- a tony private school in Los Angeles, Stanford, Yale Law School.  She had played some sports in high school.  There were some details on a couple of boyfriends, but nothing that seemed all that serious.  He read over the notes of the interviews that Philip's investigators had done with some of Jeannie's old acquaintances.  They described her as "tough," "ambitious," "intense," and "a smart cookie."  Most of those could have been gleaned just from her history.

Philip knew he was missing something.  He was certain Victor's plan was to take revenge on Shane Donovan.  But from what he could see, Jeannie had very little contact with her father.

That came through in a report that Philip had barely reviewed previously.  One of the investigators had broken into a psychiatrist's office and photographed a case file from when Jeannie Donovan was a teenager.  Philip actually was not surprised that the girl had gone through therapy at some point.  She was raised in Los Angeles after all and her mother was a therapist.

The psychiatrist's file had some interesting details.  The words "disappointed" and "angry" were repeated a lot, usually in reference to Jeannie's father.  Missed birthdays and cancelled visits.  "Puts job first."

Philip chuckled.  "I wouldn't know anything about that," he muttered.

Still, the file just confused him.  Why was Victor targeting Jeannie as revenge on Shane Donovan when she seemed to resent or have little relationship with him?  Andrew seemed to have a much closer connection.

"There's something I'm just missing here," Philip said to himself.  "I just don't know what it is."

At that moment, Philip's phone rang.  He glanced at the number.  Victor's.

"Hello, Father," he said as he answered.

"Ahh, Philip.  Good that I caught you."  Victor sounded agitated.

"Is everything all right"?"

Victor hesitated.  "Yes, I think.  Just a momentary setback with a business proposition, but I think it's been cleared up."

Philip understood.  Titan always seemed to have difficulties with its South American operations.  Unless this was one of Victor's "other" operations.  Philip tried his best to distance himself from those, despite Victor's efforts to get Philip to embrace the entire Kiriakis empire.  He could not help himself from asking, "Should I ask what the problem was?"

"Don't trouble yourself," Victor said, his voice returning to his normal, assured tone.  "Have you taken care of that little matter for me?  The flowers?"

That only increased Philip's curiosity.  If it had been a surprise for Victor to call the night before to instruct Philip to send flowers, it was even more bizarre to make a follow-up call.  But Philip decided to assure his father that everything was fine.  "Yes . . . It's all taken care of."  Silently, he added, "Pretty much."

"Good," Victor replied.

Philip knew he probably should not bother, but he spoke anyway.  "Why are you sending flowers to this girl?"

Over the phone, he heard Victor chuckle.  "She's the daughter of some old friends who will be working for us this summer."

"She's a Brady," Philip said.  "Remember, you asked me to prepare a dossier on her and her brother.  So tell me what's really going on?"

There was a long pause before Victor spoke again.  "As I said, son, Jeannie will be working with us this summer.  I wanted to ensure that she understood that Titan looks out for its own.  You wouldn't want us to appear uncivilized to a future employee during her time of need, would you?"

Philip shook his head at his father's bullshit, but that was about as much as Victor would reveal.   Philip had played this game before.  It would be up to him to get at the truth.  "Fine.  Don't tell me."

"It's none of your concern," Victor said.  "But thank you for arranging the flowers.  I'm sure Ms. Donovan will appreciate them."  He hung up without waiting for a response.

Still shaking his head, Philip looked back at the file and flipped to the most recent photograph he had of Jeannie Donovan.  It appeared to be from a yearbook or school orientation shot.  She was attractive enough, in a simple, casual way.  It did not look like she was wearing any make-up and her hair was just pulled back in a way that might make it seem she was disinterested in being photographed.  Yet there was an intensity and intelligence in her eyes as she stared into the camera.  Philip found himself fixated on her eyes, as he tried to figure out what color they were.  Green, maybe?  There was something mesmerizing about them and he studied them for a little while longer.

"What does he want with you?" Philip asked himself. 

He wondered if some of his curiosity had to do with his past relationship with Jeannie's cousin, Stephanie.  Philip and Stephanie had even been engaged for a time.  But the two women seemed to have little in common.  Stephanie was smart, but Philip never considered her particularly academic or particularly ambitious career-wise.  Meanwhile, Philip doubted Jeannie Donovan had much interest in racing cars.

Stephanie had broken up with him because she could not accept Victor's less-than-legal businesses.  Given that, it was odd that her cousin would come to work for Titan.

Very odd.

He continued to stare at the photo until he was interrupted by a voice over an intercom.  "Sir, we'll be landing in just a few minutes.  I radioed ahead and a car will be waiting at the airport for you."
 
Good, Philip thought.  He shut the folder and stared out the window as the plane flew over the city below.  His curiosity had brought him here.  Maybe now he would get some answers and figure out Victor's game.  Now Philip just needed to find some flowers.