The next day, when Doris came down for breakfast, Wesley was already sitting at the head of the table in the dining room. And to the right of him, there was a man in a black suit. The stranger was standing over Westly, slightly bowed, and he was handing a document to him. From the way that the stranger carried himself in Westley's presence, it was apparent to Doris that he was subordinate to him.
When Westley heard Doris's footsteps, he looked up from the papers and ordered her to join him at the table. Once she was seated, he introduced the man in black to her. "This is Mike," he said. "Mike is my lawyer. Say hello to Mike."
Suddenly Doris felt like a child, which, she supposed, she was, at least as far as these men were concerned. Her cheeks turned pink, and she looked at her shoes. "Hello, Mike," she said shyly. "My name is Doris Lincoln…"
Mike reached his hand out politely towards Doris. Doris hesitated for a moment, and then, as she brought her hand up, Westley brushed it away. "No time for that," he said impatiently. "You and Mike have some details to finalize."
"What documents?" Doris asked skeptically.
"Here," Mike said as he pushed some papers in front of Doris. "Miss Lincoln, this document is a real estate transfer certificate. Mr. Gates is transferring this house to your name. The other document is a statement of Mr. Gates' renunciation of your custody. The minute you sign it, it will take effect."
As Doris looked at the pages, a thousand thoughts crowded into her mind, and she couldn't think straight. Things were moving much faster than she had imagined they would, and everything that was happening seemed to easy. Too good to be true – a voice in her mind cried out – Be careful! It's a trap! If it was a trap, though, it was very cleverly hidden.
Mike looked at Doris curiously. "Miss Lincoln, if there is no problem, please sign here and this place: on the dotted line," he said. Mike's words interrupted Doris's thoughts and forced her hand. She took the pen, brought it to the paper, and began to sign where he had indicated.
Doris was halfway through her signature when she seemed to remember something. She stopped, looked at Wesley, and asked, "Can I add a condition to this agreement?"
Wesley raised his eyebrows and said, "You can ask for one, but I probably won't agree to it."
"You!" Doris gasped.
Westley: "You want that diary, don't you? Well, too bad! I am taking it with me!"
Doris: "Why? That belonged to my mother! It should belong to me now!"
Westley: "Unfortunately for you, she didn't leave it for you. She left it for me!"
Upon hearing these words, Doris felt as if she had been punched in the stomach, and she began to gasp for air. Panic Attack! – her mind told her – You are having a Panic Attack!
Before things could get any worse, Doris forced herself to finish signing her name, and she pushed the papers away from herself. Mike took back the documents. He handed her another set of documents and said, "Miss Lincoln, this is your real estate certificate, and, from today on, Mr. Gates is no longer your guardian."
Doris's breathing began to slow, and she thanked Mike. Now that Westley was no longer her guardian, she could finally relax. "If there's nothing else," she said, "I would like to go and make my breakfast now."
Doris got up without waiting for an answer, but Mike stopped her. He said, "Wait a minute, Miss Lincoln, there are still some procedures to be done."
Procedures? – her mind reeled – What now?!?!!?
Doris turned back to the table as Mike began to lay out some other papers on the table. As he placed them where she could see them, he explained what they were: "This is the authentication certificate for the Night Lotus Vase, which is celadon and belongs to the late Yuan Dynasty and the early Ming Dynasty. This one is for the Multi-colored Peach Pattern Olive Vase, which was produced in the Kangxi period. And this is for the Banana Leaf Hollowed-out Vase from the Qianlong Qing Dynasty ..."
Doris frowned and said, "This ... I'm not interested in antique collections, not to mention art that I can't afford it."
Mike sighed and said, "Miss Lincoln, on behalf of my client, Mr. Gates, I must formally claim compensation from you."
"Compensation?" Doris hissed. "What compensation?" Doris looked at Mike with a dumbfounded expression on her face, and then she looked at Wesley.
Mike: "Miss Lincoln, please stay calm and be reasonable. You broke several items from Mr. Gates' collection last night. These are the assessments of worth and authentication certificates. The total amount of damage adds up to four hundred and eighty million dollars!"
Upon hearing this, Doris began to panic again. Her heart began to beat rapidly, she began to gasp for breath, her head began to spin, and tears began to fall from her eyes like rain on the legal documents below her. "What did you say?" she cried as she remembered throwing a vase against a wall. It had felt so satisfying then, but now? Not so much. "I must not have heard you right…"
Wesley looked at her, and through a Cheshire's grin, he said, "You owe me four hundred and eighty million dollars. How would you like to pay for that?"
Doris looked at Wesley in disbelief. He was cool and calm, and she wanted to rush over and tear him into pieces.
Mike: "Considering that Miss Lincoln and Mr. Gates have no guardianship relationship, I hope Miss Lincoln can make restitution as soon as possible."
Doris: "I can't afford it..."
Mike: "If you can't afford it, your house will be sold. The profits will go to him, and your wages will be garnished until your debt is paid in full, plus interest. In all likelihood, your debt will not be paid off in your lifetime, and it will be passed down to your children, and perhaps to your grandchildren as well."
I have no future – Doris realized – and I am about to be homeless, penniless, and alone. I won't even be able to pay my tuition fees… Doris would have cried then, if she weren't already crying.
"You set me up!" Doris shouted spitefully."
Wesley chuckled and said, "Did I ask you to throw those things? Was I the one that asked for the Guardianship Order to be terminated? No. You did that. You made your bed, and now you have to lie in it."
Westley's words rang true in Doris's ears, and she was struck dumb by them. He masterminded this – she told herself – but he is too smart for me to see how, or what to do about it!
Doris forced herself to calm down by taking slow, deep breaths, and counting backward in her heard, from – Ten to nine… Eight... Seven… And so on. Finally, she was able to look at Westley with some semblance of control. "Wesley Gates, what do you want?" she asked.
"You are a smart enough woman," he replied. "Don't tell me that you don't know what I want: I want you!"