The irony gave him a headache. Why feel guilty now over using Nikki to hide what he was doing? Hadn't he been using her from the very beginning? Hadn't Ringo sent him looking for a cute, innocent-looking girl who could dress up fancy for parties, distract the suspicious and present a wholesome, safe image as they traveled around the country? Brock had set out to romance Nikki, knowing she was the perfect one for the plan from the moment he first laid eyes on her at the winter community outreach at Butler-Williams University.
He nearly stumbled as the coincidences struck him -- he had left Nikki alone for a few minutes at that winter carnival to meet Moira, and came back to find her talking with someone from Tabor. He actually recognized Joan's big gray bear of a dog before he recognized Joan. Something about the way that dog looked at him made him feel like a huge killer icicle had fallen off a roof, ramming right through him and nailing him to the ground.
"It's gonna be okay," he muttered. "I'm not that guy anymore. Nikki's gonna be okay."Looking back, Brock knew Ringo's decoy plan had gone wrong from the moment he decided he wanted Nikki and no one else. Just ten minutes of flirting with her, laughing with her, being charmed by her and realizing he hadn't been able to fluster her at all -- he had been a goner. Nikki had conquered him while he worked to win her total loyalty and charm her into running away with him. Two months to the day since she said yes, he woke up and watched her sleeping, and wished he could walk out on Ringo and find her a safe little cottage somewhere to "play house" for real. The masquerade now was in making Ringo think they were both using Nikki. As long as Ringo thought she was innocent and ignorant, he would continue to treat her like a pet, and she would be safe. Brock didn't want his boss to know that he had fallen for the decoy. Hadn't Ringo himself warned him never to put a weapon or hostage into the hands of anyone in their organization?