victor victoria Eric Braeden, Amelia Heinle"The Young and the Restless" Set CBS television CityLos Angeles08/16/18© Howard Wise/jpistudios.com310-657-9661
Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

In this installment — ready or not — Rusty meets the parents.

Wondering what you’ve stumbled upon here? Allows us to explain., unenthusiastic about The Young and the Restless’ seeming determination to re-pair Victoria with Billy, has started writing her an alternate love story that’s hooked her up with the Newman ranch’s foreman, Rusty Wilton (represented in the below photo by General Hospital alum Anthony Montgomery, formerly Andre). You can catch up by reading Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3 and Chapter 4. Or you can start with Chapter 5, in which Victoria and Rusty sit down to dinner at Society with Victor and Nikki. On the menu: the big reveal of the new couple’s romance.

“You could have told your father you were dating his ranch foreman before he got here, Victoria,” Nikki gently scolds. “You know he doesn’t like surprises.”

“As a general rule, I do not,” Victor agrees. “But, if Mr. Wilton here is as good to my daughter as he is to my horses, I’m all for the relationship.”

“That sounds all kinds of wrong,” Victoria says, shuddering. “But I’m happy you’re happy.”

Waving a waiter over to refill his wine glass, Victor asks, “Why wouldn’t I be happy? Do you think your father so snobbish that he’d look down on a man who works hard to earn his keep?”

“No, I… ” Victoria begins. “I just… I’m not used to you liking the men with whom I get involved.”

“Maybe,” Victor replies with wry smile, “the caliber of men with whom you choose to become involved has improved.”

Rusty can’t stifle a laugh. “And you were worried,” he says to Victoria. “Shoot, I knew your dad would be OK with you and me. He already picked me once.”

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Rusty thinks that he has Victoria’s father eating out of his hand.

After Victor’s wine glass is refilled, as well as Rusty and Victoria’s, the Newman family’s patriarch makes a toast. “May the happiness you bring to my daughter be equal,” he says, “to the apprehension she had about telling me about your connection.”

Victoria smiles so radiantly, she practically gives off warmth. She thanks her father for his support and understanding, and apologizes for focusing too much on his reputation — his well-earned reputation, she can’t help but add — and too little on his heart. “Darling,” he tells her. “You must remember, your father was not always Victor Newman. I had to work my way up — from nothing.

“And your mother,” he adds. “When we met, she was just a… ”

“Victor,” Nikki interrupts her husband, “surely that’s a story for another day.”

“All I mean to say,” Victor clarifies, “is look at you now. Look at both of us. Just because Rusty bails hay today doesn’t mean that he will always.”

At that, Rusty chuckles uneasily. The implication isn’t lost on him, that somehow he should aspire to do more than the job that he loves. Victoria gets it, too, and jumps in a little too eagerly to assure Victor that Rusty is going places. What does she mean by that, he wonders. Is there a part of her that’s ashamed of him? Has he been so blinded by her heart of gold that he’s overlooked the fact that she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth? She’s certainly given him warning signs before.

What do you think, Young & Restless fans? Is this but a hiccup for Victoria and Rusty? Or is it a sign of trouble to come? Let fly your thoughts in the comments below, and while you’re here, check out the below photo gallery, a litany of reasons why Victoria might have been afraid to introduce Rusty to dear ol’ Dad.