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Damsel in Diamonds

MICHAEL SKRYPEK

Only 21 years old, newlywed Vicki Barnes relocated to Virginia with her husband, Tanner. Their relationship was explosive and at times violent on the part of both spouses. Just a few years into the marriage and two children later, Vicki and Tanner separated. It was an unforgiving separation leading to a bitter divorce, and Tanner fled the state, never to return.

Following numerous other spiraling relationships, heart-wrenching breakups and living paycheck to paycheck, Vicki met Robert Bickett. A steady and hardworking man, he openly accepted and embraced Vicki's children as his own. Robert soon proposed marriage, and the beautiful but exhausted Vicki eagerly accepted. She was worn down from ten years of countless temporary, dead-end jobs and personal relationships. Since Robert earned a generous income, he insisted Vicki be a stay-at-home mom. Robert told Vicki she was never to worry about money again. Soon, the Bicketts doubled the number of children in their household with two of their own.

As the years progressed and her youngest child became a teenager, Vicki wanted excitement and new challenges beyond child care and housekeeping. During one of her shopping sprees, Vicki stopped at her favorite store, Viceroy Jewelers. Through the years, Vicki had become a well-known and well-liked customer at Viceroy. She appeared to have a bottomless bank ...

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