19 - Born April 16th
Currently in her first year of studying Business at University
Victoria Herring is one of the less predictable Herring children. She can be incredibly sarcastic, when the mood takes her fancy, and she's always ready with a snarky comment for any of her siblings. Victoria has good days and bad days; sometimes she can tolerate being around people and enjoys spending time with her family (when she sees them), others's she'd bite your head off if you said the wrong thing to her, and it's very easy to do so. In that respect, she's nothing more than an ordinary teenage.
Beneath the sarcastic facade, though, Tori's family comes ahead of everything else, whether she has a good relationship with them or not; they're still family. She'd do anything to keep them safe and she'd be very good at doing it. Her youthful good lucks have been useful in the past, helping her to...persuade people to her way of thinking. Feminine and sexy, there is a sense of the catwalk about Victoria. And it works on men and women. She doesn’t mind being underestimated – it can be a handy tool. In short, she's one of the manipulative family members, a trait she inherited directly from her father. You don't get to the top without having a few aces up your sleeve and Tori is well aware of that.
Tori is a wildfire who knows how to have fun and she's been determined to live her life as freely as she can, somehow digging her own path, away from the Herring name. She's got nothing innately against her family, but she doesn't want people to think of her father, her mother or her older siblings when they hear the name Tori Herring. It's the Tori part that's important.
"What a shame," Christopher Herring said, his eyes looking coldly on the daughter he'd always seen himself in, "That, after everything, you should end up just like your siblings."
The second to last child in the Herring lineage, Victoria Herring always joked that their parents parenting skills did the opposite of what they're supposed to do and that, the more children they had, the worse they got. She and her youngest sister had absolutely no chance in hell. Her mother was already well into her thirties by the time she had Victoria and, with eight other children to take up her time, her second youngest child didn't exactly have the mollycoddled upbringing that her other siblings got. Instead, she learned to fend for her place in the house, learned to fight her own battles, against her siblings and her mother.
With her mothers time occupied, Victoria found herself clinging to her father all the more and was always daddy's little girl and, out of all of his children, Christopher always had time for Tori. She used to go to the office with him and sit under his desk playing with her toys or colouring while he worked. She'd sit through meetings and no one would know because of the hard panel on the back of the desk that she'd lean against. Her mother would always insist that she stayed home, but she rarely got her way. Once she got too big to hide under tables, she was big enough to start school and she passed most of her grades with minimal effort, never finding anything to challenge her. On numerous occasions, once she got to high school, her name would appear in one tabloid or another saying she'd been spotted surfing or doing something else, when she should have been in school. The stories, however, were often overshadowed by her elder siblings numerous indiscretions which found their way into the hands of reporters.
University hasn't changed much about her, except to help bring her out of her shell even more. Her brains carried her all the way to Cambridge in England where the English reporters took it upon themselves to try and get as many stories out of her stay in England as possible; since she moved there, her every move has been tortured by cameras and papparazzi and her face hasn't left the pages of the magazines. But that didn't stop her from partying hard, the way everyone does in University, and perhaps throwing the press a bone here and there, letting them catch glimpses of little things, just to add fuel to her fire. Her father might have been a businessman and therefore not thought of himself as an out and out celebrity, but Tori has no such qualms and is quite happy to live up to her socialite-celebrity status.
"Yet another disappointment. It has ceased to surprise me."
"Papa wasn't perfect. He was far from it. He was flawed in every way a man can be, and he refused to see it. He saw each of his flaws in each of his children, and took it out on us. Well, them. I guess, since he'd pushed away every child that came before me, I kind of felt it was my job to be the dutiful daughter. Don't get me wrong; from childhood, he was good to me. I don't really know why he treated me differently, but at the time I was too young to care. When I started High School, and started skipping my classes and getting more and more media attention, the dynamics between my father and I changed and the lectures I'd always heard him tell Damien and Mikaela turned to me; if my antics didn't stop, I'd lose my inheritence. I never believed him. At the end of the day, whatever he was, whatever the others see him for, he was our dad, my Papa."
"Love, Your Biggest Fan, Hayden." "What can I say about Hayden, really? He seems like a great guy, always phones, always sends me pretty presents, including a journal, which he left me the first time he left. I couldn't write at the time but as I got older, I started to fill it with little things. Doodles, poems, song lyrics, arguments I got into with other siblings. I rarely wrote about Hayden in it, which is kind of sad. I guess the people who know him are really lucky. Unfortunately, I'm not one of those people. I was three when he left, and I've never seen him in person since then, I don't know him and, as much as he tries, he doesn't know me. He started a ripple effect; after he left, I could pretty much count down the minutes until the next one of my brothers and sisters walked out. I guess I can't talk though, I did it, too. And I even flew a little further than they did."
"I'll see you around, kiddo."
"I was only four when Anthony left. From what Papa said about him, he was as disappointed with his second son as he was with his first. No one else ever had a particularly negative opinion of him, though, actually, I never really heard that many opinions of him at all."
"Our family is the one system you can't change, Tori. The best you can do is try to escape it." "It wasn't exactly easy watching any of them walk out the door, but watching Lizzy go was probably the worst. I was only thirteen when it happened, when she cut herself off, and I know she didn't feel like she had a choice, she felt like the family was corrupt, well, at least that Papa was. She was right, in some ways, but that didn't make it any easier when she left. I remember going into her room that day; she'd made the bed and put fresh flowers in the vase by the window. She probably knew I'd spend some time in there. It almost felt like I was grieving for her, I locked myself in, curled up in her bed and cried. There was box on the dresser and when I opened it, I saw she'd left in it the necklace she always wore. She left it for me and I've worn it ever since.
"Victoria, you're driving me insane."
"Nick is a lot more like Papa than he'd like to think. He's obsessed with winning, he'd put winning before the family and he has done in the past. More than winning though, he's an insane perfectionist. I think it's a complex; he says he stopped caring when Lizzy walked out, but I personally think he just tried to convince himself that he didn't care anymore, but subconsciously he always strived for perfection because that was the only way Papa was ever going to notice or accept him. Or be proud of him."
"Don't act so high and mighty, you're just a child!"
"Daddy's little angel. Or at least, before I came along. As kids, even though she had six years on me, I got the feeling that, when Papa would give me more attention than he gave her, Ella got a little bit jealous. Then one day, this feeling just went away. Ella wasn't jealous anymore. Hell, she didn't give a damn. Something happened between her and Papa, I'm not 100% sure of what it was, but one day, Eleanor just changed. She suddenly wanted nothing to do with the business, or with Papa, really.
Winding Ella up is one of my favourite past times. I hardly ever call her Ella to her face, always Eleanor. It's the only way I feel like I can get back at her a little for all of the patronizing thing she says to me; it's only six years, but Ella acts like she's got a lifetime on me. The girl really needs to loosen up a little, I think. She's so tightly wound; she walks like there's a stick up her arse. I think she needs a few tips from her kid sister about how to have a good time.
"Come to New York, Tori, we'll live it up on the town."
"There are only three years between Kayla and Me, so one would think we'd argue or fight like cat and dog, but to be honest, I probably fight more with Damien. Mikaela is a pretty cool person, out of my sisters she's probably the one I'd put on a leash if I could, but only because sometimes I worry that she's going to go a little overboard. I'm no housepet, but Mikaela is a freakin' wild animal and even I can't keep up with her sometimes."
"You're nothing but a pain in the ass."
"Damien might be older than me, but I could always give back as good as he gave me. From the moment I was born, I was nothing more than a thorn in his side and as I got older, I came to love this. I got told that when I was little he cellotaped me into a box and tried to sell me, but I guess it must have been hard for him to not be the baby of the family anymore. Still, didn't stop me from terrorizing him as we grew up. I remember once, he was eating a bowl of strawberries and I split a chilli pepper over the bowl; the seeds looked like the strawberry seeds and he ate the whole bowl before noticing. His mouth burned for days. That was only two years ago."
"We're a team, aren't we, Tori?"
"I never felt the annoyance when Caci was born that Damien obviously felt when I was. I guess it's because I was only two; she's been around ever since I can remember. She got boosted up by two grades and, even though I was the smartest person in my year, I was never getting boosted because I was hardly ever in class, go figure, so when I was there, we were pretty close, I always looked out for my little sister and I still do.
Being the second youngest, people tend to treat me like I'm a kid so I try not to do that with Caci because I know how much it annoys me, and I don't want to patronize her the way Ella, for example, does to me sometimes. It's just not cool, it sucks when people don't see that I'm an adult now. I have my own life and I'm just trying to make sure Caci gets to live hers without me or anyone else on her back; why do you think I act up all the time, for the paps? It's to keep them off my little sisters case. But she'd never tell Acacia this."