Victoria had had worse days…
The minute she awakened each day, she'd scratch another tally on the wall, signifying another day spent in prison. Today marked her 663rd day, the walls nearly entirely covered in tallies. It would be sixty seven more days until the second anniversary of the day that Amanda Clarke destroyed the Grayson empire.
As she regarded her frizzy, unkempt and thinning salt and pepper hair, which she kept in a ponytail nowadays, and her sagging, wrinkled face, she reflected on that day.
The conspiracy to frame David Clarke had been shattered then. The only surviving conspirators were Bill Harmon, Tom Kingsly and Michelle Banks, all now incarcerated for life. Lydia died on the plane and Frank and Mason were killed, as Victoria would later learn, by the girl posing as Amanda Clarke, who was shot to death by police promptly upon being discovered with Mason's body.
"Mrs. Grayson, there's a Miss Amanda Clarke here to see you." called Victoria's secretary.
"Let her in."
Victoria stood up from her chair and adjusted her long black dress. She had managed to manipulate a loophole and quite the number of board members to rise to the position of CEO at Grayson Global, even though it meant taking down her own son.
The doors opened.
"Amanda, what brings you to my off-"
The click of the gun silenced her.
"Revenge. That's what brings me here."
Victoria's reflexes kicked in and she took out her own gun, a gift from Conrad. This advantage did not last long, as Emily fired at the queen's right hand. She clutched at it as the blood began to spill, dropping the gun at the same time. Emily quickly stormed over to her position and took the gun, pointing it at her nemesis as she stood back.
When Victoria had managed to extract the bullet and toss it onto the floor, Emily threw a file folder on top of Victoria's desk. As the queen opened it, she gasped in shock as she saw the image of a brunette Emily Thorne in a booking photo, displaying the name "AMANDA CLARKE".
"Were responsible for all the events in the Hamptons?" Emily finished for her, nodding. "Most of them. I only covered up the murders, without actually committing them."
"You've managed to deceive us all for a whole year?"
"Yes…" Emily grinned. "Are you impressed? Would you say, in a word, you approve?"
"I'm calling security right-"
"Don't bother," a deeper voice interrupted. "Emily gave them all a… little good night kiss."
Victoria's jaw dropped again. "You were part of this, Mr. Ross?" she asked.
Nolan winked and displayed his pistol, pointing it at the queen who destroyed the man he considered a father.
"Can't let the Thorne in your side take all the credit. Ems did rely on the help my technical genius."
"My father gave Nolan the money he needed to start up Nolcorp. It's because he believed in him. So yes, he did help me in my revenge. I was reluctant at first, but he proved to be a valuable ally." Emily explained.
"You two either march yourselves out those doors and far away from here, or I swear to god, I'll end you myself!"
"Don't even try, mom." said the young brunette girl clad in a simple sundress that appeared and displayed her pistol.
"Charlotte?!" Victoria shrieked. "Charlotte, dear, get out! These two are insane!"
"You needn't worry. Nolan and Emily are very sane. I had no role in Emily's scheme at all. She only just explained to me what you did to our father. He gave you love, mom, a love stronger and more real than whatever feeling you might have had with Conrad. He gave you me. Don't you love me, mom? He did not deserve to die."
"Stay back, mom!" Charlotte screamed, tears welling up in her eyes.
"I can't even call you that anymore," she sniffed. "You never changed, not even for a moment. You're entirely self-centered, and destroyed my sister's family so you could raise me in the façade that was yours. You might still love my father, you might regret your betrayal of him, but you have never regretted the positive outcome of his death. It gave you a social status, it made you the Hamptons queen bee. But your philanthropy, your generosity, especially for Victims United, was an ironic lie."
"Charlotte, baby…" Victoria began to cry, a rare sight that Emily observed with extreme pleasure. She did not show this, however, for the sake of her sister.
"SHUT UP!" she said. "YOU ARE NOT MY MOTHER, VICTORIA!"
Emily remained calm in spite of her sister's heartbreak, having had the knowledge she would reach this day for years: the enactment of her ultimate revenge. She displayed the Infinity Box and placed it on Victoria's desk, opening it.
"This is everything I have left of my parents. My father never believed you of all people in the world could betray him."
"You murdered my husband and I was fooled into loving his killer."
Two more figures appeared and displayed their pistols. Victoria now had no chance of escape.
"Kara, Mr. Porter, you are involved as well?" she asked.
"You stole my husband, you whore," Kara growled the same way as years before, "and made me believe he did terrible things. I loved his killer, without knowing who his killer was."
She slipped Gordon's wedding ring off her finger and threw it at the window.
Jack moved to Emily's side and gave her free hand a squeeze, before he laid his on top of hers and guided it to her stomach. She smiled.
"I am finally getting what I deserve."
The Queen gave an icy grin. "You're pregnant." She surmised.
"Two months in, and it's a girl. And your son sure as hell is not her father."
"Ah, so you're the one."
"The one what?" Emily inquired?
"The one who raped your former beau Daniel to death," Kara explained. "That was Alexander Barrol, Tyler Barrol's brother. Remember him? I told him Daniel did it and let him have it. But I took care of Conrad."
Conrad had been found dead with his neck snapped in the very chair which Victoria was now sitting. She cradled her hand on her desk; the bleeding now lessened.
"And now you've come to finish me off, Amanda? To enact revenge in the name of your father?" she asked.
"Yes." Kara half-drawled, half-growled. With a battle cry, she jumped at her enemy.
Kara stopped and looked at her daughter.
"Killing her would be too easy revenge. She needs to suffer in prison, just like my father. Her husband is dead, her son is dead, and now her last memory of our father, Charlotte, will disavow her permanently."
Reluctantly, Kara holstered her gun.
"I programmed an email to alert the authorities. It's about," Emily checked her watch, "3:27pm. The FBI will be here for you in three minutes."
Emily stepped closer to her nemesis and glared daggers at her.
"While you are rotting in prison alone, without your children and husband, I will be starting a family of my own, one you'll never touch."
Victoria smiled. "I wish you well then. Congratulations, Amanda. You've not only destroyed me, but you've also turned yourself into the exact opposite of the little girl who played with Jack Porter and her dog on the beach. You've become a monster."
That earned her a whack of Emily's gun into her jaw.
"That should leave a nasty scar over your nasty, artificial face." Emily hissed. "When you see it, you'll think of me and how I burned your empire to the ground, and how I will destroy your legacy."
"Fair enough," the queen said, clutching her uninjured hand to her face. "What will you name your daughter?"
"I haven't decided yet. I can tell you though that I will not give you the satisfaction of naming your would-be granddaughter after you."
Emily stepped back, and Jack stepped forward. "You didn't just destroy Amanda's childhood, Grayson, you ruined mine too. The sheer anger I felt when Amanda had to leave for foster care, and I didn't see her for years. You call her a monster? You set her down this path. You're the monster, a female Satan."
Jack stepped back, and Nolan spoke.
"I thought of David as kind of like a dad. Much better than my own, even. Didn't mind that I liked boys and would never have kicked me out of the house when I dropped out of MIT. Trust me, I didn't think or want Emily to take you down, but my, my, has she impressed me. And for the record, I was glad to help."
"I've already given my two cents," Charlotte said. She began to cry and rushed into Emily's arms.
With a final glare, Emily gave Victoria her final greeting.
"Farewell, your highness."
The mahogany doors clicked shut behind them. Victoria looked at her clock and saw that only two minutes had passed. There was a weak but real chance that she could get out before they came for her. Standing up, she sped toward the doors and began to fumble with it. As she suspected, they were locked. She slammed her head on the doors.
She turned to the fire escape stairs only to find that Emily must have somehow demolished them. Growing desperate, Victoria found the air duct above her. Slipping off her ruby heels, she stood up on her desk and attempted to reach for the grating that could guarantee her escape. She pulled it down, but her wound sent a jolt of pain to her shoulder and caused her to lose grip and fall. Hitting her head on the ground, she quickly stood up and tried again.
"Victoria Grayson, you are under arrest! Get down from there, or die!"
She let go of the tunnel but did not stand down.
The helicopter that had begun hovering outside her office like a creep lifted away as she stepped down from her desk and fell to her knees with her hands behind her head. Tears began to well up in her eyes. As the FBI stormed the office and began to cuff her, the tears spilled and whispered a name in sorrow.
Ignoring the pain of the saltwater in the cut on her face, she struggled to form the name again, screaming it as she was pulled up off her feet and led out.
Victoria touched at the deep scar present on her face. Her explanation that Amanda Clarke had assaulted her was, to put it bluntly, completely ignored by the arresting agents. Another agent claimed that the director of the FBI had authorized Ms. Clarke to distract her by any means necessary, barring murder, from fleeing the building.
Ten weeks after her initial arrest, Victoria received news that her home and Grayson Global's headquarters had both burned to the ground in what were suspected to be arson fires, though determining the perpetrator would be impossible. The icing on the cake was that the head of the Initiative, Helen Fielding, had turned up with a bullet between her eyes on the doorstep of the FBI director with a list of the Initiative's operatives and members. The ensuing slaughter, while no one attributed it to anyone but an anonymous informant, was an event Victoria knew had been set in motion by Emily when she worked to hunt down and kill Helen herself.
Victoria would not lie, she was impressed. Emily had exposed an affair, destroyed three organizations, shattered a political career, ended a doctor's practice, covered up murders and burned down buildings while implicating her enemies and targets in all of her own crimes. While Victoria never met Amanda before David's arrest, she was given the impression Amanda could never hurt a fly, a complete contrast to the woman known today as Emily Thorne.
And that little girl who was her neighbor didn't just expose a conspiracy without the backing of any agency, she saved the world from an extremist group.
Today, the Queen theorized all of the compensation she could offer Amanda: her money, her son's hand in marriage (before his death) and her empire, or even a revelation of the truth. But as everyone knew, money cannot buy happiness, which Emily achieved in an elaborate if twisted method of watching as people's lives crumbled around her. The little girl came back to bite her in the ass, and she succeeded.
But of course, Victoria had had worse days…