Victoire went on the record claiming her husband accidentally slipped and fell to his death. The press kept busy recapping Prentice’s stellar career, their lenses focused on the beautiful, grief-stricken widow.
Willy Waites’ name was never mentioned. After he managed to calm Victoire the night of Peter’s suicide, he agreed to disappear before the police arrived on the scene. “God forbid they think you and I were in cahoots and pushed him overboard to get to his money,” she told him. “Stay away until it dies down. Please, I can’t risk losing you, too!”
He kissed her goodbye and bolted back to his apartment shaking like a leaf. Willy understood how Victoire suffered from shock after seeing Peter commit suicide despite her attempts to dissuade him. Deep down he felt sorry for the man and realised the courage it took Prentice to spare his wife from an imminent scandal.
Willy tried to see Victoire but to no avail; his only contact with her was by phone. “Victoire, I need to see you even if it’s clear across the room. I’m miserable without you,” he said aching for his beloved’s touch.
“Sweet, sweet Willy,” she cooed. “I barely sleep these days with everything I’ve lived through. I look like a wreck. My stepfather has arranged for me to spend two weeks in a clinic. It’s in Switzerland.”
The last time Willy saw her was at Peter’s funeral two months earlier and at a considerable distance. “When are you leaving?”
“Tomorrow.” She overheard his groan of pain.
“Promise me you’ll come to see me the minute I return? Please Willy?”
Two weeks after her departure, Willy turned up with an engagement ring in his jacket pocket. Instead of seeing her radiant face, he was greeted by movers. Later, he phoned the residence of Dr. and Mrs. Vestey, but he was told they were out of the country.
That same week an article about Peter appeared in the local paper. It claimed his estimated worth was fifty million dollars, three of which went to an arthritic foundation in New York.
Willy never heard from Victoire again, and he subsisted in a state of despondency. Family and friends rallied round to keep him from slipping away, but the broken-hearted man never revealed the name of his lover to another human being.
Artemis eventually intervened and urged Willy’s partner to temporarily take over all administrative duties and allow Willy to immerse himself in the creative side of business.
The arrangement paid off. The three-year retreat into his tormented mind unlocked keystone ideas that would revolutionize computer programming. A week before his thirtieth birthday, the shy, intelligent face of Willy Waites graced the covers of Newsweek and Time on the same week.
Waites’ claim to fame was a software package called ViperSoft, used by banks worldwide used to keep track of individual financial transactions. His wealth ranked just behind the Sultan of Brunei.
Willy and wife Julie, whom he met in the R & D department at Bassadai, became dedicated philanthropists. The couple had six children and was happily married. They shunned publicity, and their children attended local public schools in Atherton, California.
Victoire’s career prospects later exceeded her expectations when she married the president of Bolivia. The pock marked dictator and his high society wife lived like king and queen of La Paz for ten years until a military coup resulted in the couple being gunned down as they tried to board an awaiting helicopter to flee the country.
A sizeable portion of country’s coffers was found in thirty-two pieces of designer luggage aboard the aircraft.
Most recently, CNN reported an unexpected private donation of computers to Bolivia with the aim of facilitating the growth of democracy and getting the economy of the debt ravaged country back on its feet.
The ten million dollar gift remained anonymous.