Parental Advisory Rating: L & S
Break out those V-Chips, everyone!
Director Tonya Muir
Executive Producer - TNovan
Writers Tonya Muir, XWPFanatic and TNovan
Episode Three: Powder Keg
I park the Mercedes in the outside lot this morning, feeling the weather will hold and not liking the stations underground garage. The walk is a little farther and brings me around the front of the building instead of the back entrance but its a beautiful morning and the sun is warm on my upturned face.
Finally, at the end of the week, the hoopla over Harper Kingsley has died down and Erik has stopped badgering me about her. I havent told him that those blue eyes haunt my dreams and I dont intend to. Instead, we planned a weekend in Mammoth with some buddies of his and Im looking forward to heading out after the newscast tonight.
I round the corner of the building towards the large multi-colored station logo, and I hear the loud rumbling of a motorcycle. I nearly jump out of my skin with surprise and then immediately start growling under my breath. I hate motorcycles. Theyre dangerous and accident prone and the morons who drive them seem to have only slightly less respect for their own lives than for the lives of the other motorists on the road. They zig in and out of traffic, drive on the dotted line and more often than not I want to open my car door so they might hit it as they illegally sneak through rush hour jams. Shaking my head, I continue to the door as the motorcycle powers by me to screech to a halt right in front of the station doors. On the sidewalk. Asshole.
I cant help but look at the scene unfolding before me. There are two people on the bike, decked out in leather and black helmets. The driver turns the bike off and slips the helmet off, hanging it on a handlebar, and I am more than a little shocked to see long black hair tumble over broad shoulders. I think its actually Harper Kingsley but Im not certain from here and Im trying hard not to stare.
The passenger follows suit, handing over her helmet, revealing shoulder length curly hair in a mute chestnut shade. The driver hangs it off the other handlebar and then completely turns around so shes straddling the bike backwards. She pulls the other woman to her and proceeds to devour her.
Im sure I scrape my chin on the pavement of the sidewalk before I manage to close my mouth. The kiss is wild and passionate, each woman moving hands erotically, tongues obviously seeking and plunging. Saliva can be seen draped between them as they part for breath. As if this display isnt quite enough, the dark-haired woman grabs her companions thighs, lifting them over her own, dragging the smaller body so close that they are now touching completely along their torsos.
The smaller woman is losing it, I can tell as I come closer. She is pressing against the drivers body, practically humping her right there on the street and though I find it disgusting on some level, I must find it erotic on another because there is a pulsing deep within me that I often try to ignore.
Glancing around, Im relieved to see Im not the only one staring. The show is quite amazing; I think the passenger may have actually orgasmed as her gyrations slow and the kisses lose steam. The taller woman is murmuring something, grinning rakishly, and she looks around to the growing crowd. It is Harper Kingsley and I am even more repulsed now. Theres something else inside me, maybe jealousy that Harper has the ability to so freely display herself when I do not. It certainly isnt jealousy for the Biker Bitch who is now stumbling to her feet and being steadied by large hands.
I am merely yards from them when, much to my amazement, Harper hails a cab. She gives the woman a last, long, lingering kiss and tucks her into the back seat. When the cab pulls away, she waves to the small audience without even a hint of shame, and she turns my way briefly.
Her eyes are even more amazing off screen and they meet mine, stopping there for just a moment. Then she winks at me and smirks before continuing her stroll into the station, through the large glass doors, into the lobby beyond.
Jesus Christ. So many things are running through my mind but the first thing that really hits me is how horny I suddenly am. Being soundly closeted and a bit more than paranoid at being discovered, I dont indulge often. Well, with another person, that is. The blatant display before me has left my libido tap dancing and rattling its cage. It isnt until Ive completely acknowledged my own state that I realize what else has just happened.
She walked into the station. My station. No, no, no. This cant be good.
To say I have friends at the station is less an understatement and more a blatant lie. The truth is I dont have friends at all, aside from Erik, and I have enemies at the station. Ive earned them, I wont argue that. Sometimes you have to step on other peoples fingers when you climb the ladder and Ive never been shy about doing it. I may have even stepped on a few heads on the way up but I never apologize. Im good at what I do and I know it. Im on the fast track and I have little time or tolerance for those in the passing lane going under the speed limit. Get out of my way or get run over. Its a good philosophy and has served me well.
Just like every other morning, I get the normal glares and contemptuous mutters as I walk through the newsroom towards my office. Im basically ignoring Gail as she rattles on and fills my arms with folders. She has matched her stride to mine and follows me into the office, blabbering on and on even as I switch on the televisions and take my seat. Finally, when I remind her about the tea, she shuts up and leaves my office. I glance through the partially closed blinds across the newsroom towards Chambers office. The door is closed and his shutters pulled. Harper was nowhere in the newsroom and that doesnt bode well. Shes in there with him, I know it.
And I also know that the station has finally sold out to the corporation and Armageddon is nigh. Im ready to drown myself in the cup of Earl Grey when Gail brings it back but I cant figure out how to get both my nose and mouth into the mug and inhale enough of the liquid to bring my demise. So, after close scrutiny that has Gail standing confused in the doorway with a wrinkled nose, I give up and take a sip of the soothing liquid instead.
It dawns on me when Gail leaves this time that she did actually say something important. Running the one-sided conversation back through my mind, I remember her saying that Chambers wants to see me half an hour before the production meeting, in his office.
I ponder this revelation for a moment. He could be firing me in an effort to make the transition to trash media go more smoothly since I am very vocal about my hatred towards it but it wouldnt be wise. The contract he holds has me stuck here for just over another year and the severance would be a hefty sum to the station. I made sure of it when I signed the contract two years ago. If they were going to shove me in the closet with that morals clause and staple my butt to the seat for three years, they sure as hell were going to have as hard a time breaking the contract as I would have.
So that isnt likely. Maybe he wants to break this Harper shit to me ahead of time and then ask I not come to the production meeting. I grin at the thought, tapping a well-sharpened wooden pencil on the edge of my mug. I sure could cause hell at the meeting, I love to do that and Chambers knows it. Hes broken news to me in this manner before so I decide that must be it. I have no control over whom they hire as camera anyway so I shrug it off and open a folder, determined to get some work done and to stop thinking about the dark-haired exhibitionist in my bosss office.
* * *
Chambers is more beefy than he should be even though his towering height manages to shelter a good bit of his extra weight. His hair is silvery and we were all grateful when he finally quit dyeing it late last year. I think his wife was doing it for him, or he was going to a beauty school, because the shades he came back with varied between purple and shit brown though we always told him it looked great. He stands before me now with his hands folded in the small of his back. Hes behind his desk and I think he may actually be hoping it provides him some protection.
I have already had the conversation in my mind and am ready to react calmly and surprise him. I like to keep him guessing. He only thinks Im always ready to fly off half-cocked. The truth is there is very little I do that has not been considered and planned. So I know that he will tell me Harper is now working camera and that were stepping up to the challenge of our competitors. The worst he could tell me is that shes doing camera on my newscast but Im betting that shell be special assignment and live feed. Otherwise her previous experience would be wasted here in the studio. I figure Ill just nod my head and smile at him and make a calm retreat. Thatll shock him.
He asks me to close the door and I do, leaning my back against it, crossing my ankles casually. I chose emerald green silk this morning and I know it flatters my vibrant eyes and my golden hair. I know this because Ive been color typed and wardrobed so often that there is very little in my closet that I chose myself.
"Have a seat, Kelsey," Chambers offers nervously.
I shake my head once. "Feel like standing, thanks."
"All right," he nods but I can tell hes disappointed. Either Im less imposing seated or he desperately wants to sit himself, I cant decide which.
"Weve had a formatting change."
I nod, meeting his eyes. Odd choice of words, I decide. Not an addition to the staff or some such mundane phrase.
"Harper Kingsley has signed with us to head up our special assignments. Shell be director and camera lead for our field work and our away crews."
I nod again. Sounds like a good opportunity for her. If she didnt make my skin crawl, I would be happy for her.
Chambers takes a deep breath and suddenly I realize theres more going on here. I clamp down on the unexpected nervousness in my gut and narrow my eyes at him. "What else?"
"Uh she requested a full time reporter to round out her team. Someone who would go on locations and do the live feeds."
I dont like where this conversation is leading and my expression must show it because he starts talking even faster.
"We looked at the staff and knew that we needed someone with a lot of experience and good presence, someone the public already knows and likes. We chose you," he blurted at last.
"Youre taking me off anchor?" I ask slowly.
"My contract states-"
"Your contract allows for this shift, Kelsey," he interrupts me. "Believe me, we made sure of that before we even approached you."
I wonder vaguely if he has a mouse in his pocket or if his weight problem has finally taken on a separate identity to warrant the plural pronoun he insists on using. "Youre demoting me?" My voice is low and dangerous.
"No," he says quickly, shaking his head. "This is a great opportunity for you. You get more exposure, more field experience. It will improve station ratings and make you a sure bet for the anchor in New York."
I squint at him, studying the beads of sweat on his forehead. Hes pulling out the Ace now, its peeking from his sleeve. He knows that I want that move to New York. He doesnt have to offer me anything, actually, the contract binds me to this position change without my consent and without padding to make it more comfortable. I know hes trying to appease me, lessen the impact my move will have on the newsroom. "You make an addendum to my contract saying that I get the anchor when Reeves retires, even if its before this contract expires, and Ill make it easy for you."
He knows exactly what Im saying. Ill go because I have to but I can walk in silently and pretend its the promotion he claims it to be or I can go screaming and yelling like its the demotion I know it is. The choice is up to him. The image of the station could depend on it.
"What if Reeves hangs on another year?"
"Then we renegotiate my contract with the New York anchor still intact and a clause that lets me leave anytime it comes available." Its a good deal and I know it. It secures me the coveted position Ive wanted for years and also makes sure I stay on here, my second choice market, until that anchor is available.
Slowly, very slowly, he nods. "Ill have the attorneys draw it up."
"So I work for Tabloid now?" I ask carefully. His answer to this next question will mean a lot to me.
"Ah, no, not exactly. More like partners. Shes camera crew and live director. You still work for me. Tonights your last newscast."
"Grand," I answer shortly and turn to grasp the doorknob in my hand. Im doing a great job of controlling my temper and we both know it. Silently I ask for permission to leave with a raised eyebrow and he grants it, nodding his head. I decide an early lunch is in order and walk right out the front door.
* * *
Her arms are tight around me as we ride up in front of my new station. I pull my Harley-Davidson FLTSF Fat Boy up onto the sidewalk, creating my own parking space. I need to talk to the station manager about getting an assigned one right by the entrance. No way in hell do I leave my baby out in some parking lot. All six hundred and sixty-six pounds of pure white heat need to be readily available to me at all times. And far away from drivers of foreign automobiles who think nothing of crashing their door into my ride.
As I turn off the engine and free my head of the brain bucket, the girl behind me continues exploring my upper body, as she has all during the ride here. I try to remember her name, but it still escapes me as it has all morning. I shrug my mental shoulders. Doesnt matter really. Its not like Im gonna be sending her a Christmas card or anything like that.
I hang the helmet off the handlebars and reach around for hers. As soon as the buffer is removed, she lunges for me again. God, she acts like shes never been laid before. Not well, at least.
I spin around on the seat, facing her, admiring the full lips and generous breasts that caused me to pick her last night at the bar. I lick my lips and capture hers. She tastes good, like peppermint, and I realize she must have had a breath mint on the drive over. My tongue dives into her mouth again and again, intent on capturing all of that taste for myself.
I feel her moan against my lips and her breathing hitches. I bet I can take her right here, right now and not even have to use my hands. Never one to turn down a challenge, especially one issued by myself, I grasp her hips firmly and pull her toward me. Her knees are splayed wide as they encounter my legs and she is rocking on the seat, desperate for contact. I feel her smaller hands slide over my back, my neck, my hair, as she clutches me, seeking relief.
I reach down and pull both of her legs over mine and tug her forward. Shes straddling me now, moaning as the pressure of my stomach begins to provide some of the relief shes sought. Its still not enough to get her off, I realize, so I grasp her ass cheeks and pull her closer still, grinding her against me.
Shes getting close now. We trade long, moist kisses, tongues sliding against each other, matching the rhythm of her body against mine. I can feel her wetness through her cotton pants and against my T-shirt. Shes deliberately rubbing herself against my navel ring, using it to get off. Each time she scrapes against it, nice little tremors go through my body as well. Nothing much, but pleasant nonetheless.
I need to bring this gig to a close and get in to my new job. I also need to have pity on the audience we seem to have attracted. One guy in a suit is practically saluting us with his lower member as he watches, several other men are twitching nervously nearby. There are a few women on the periphery as well, each looking a bit flushed, wondering what this is like. The straight women are enjoying the show, thinking about how their husbands and boyfriends have never made them feel like Im making this girl feel. And I prove that to them right now.
I pull my date tight against me and lift my body up off the seat, being sure to rake the ring across her sensitive spot with just the right amount of pressure. She goes off, and I feel her body succumb to the tremors, and I kiss her long and hard, claiming her in every way.
Sated, she nestles against my chest, breathing deeply, kissing my neck and jaw. I lick her earlobe. "Feel good, darlin?" I ask, allowing my Louisiana accent to peek through, knowing how much women like Southern accents.
"Harper god yes."
I smile. Its gonna be a good day. I glance around at the crowd, and wouldnt be surprised if we got applause. You gotta go to clubs with expensive cover charges to see what weve just provided for free.
"Come on, I need to start my day." I wrap my hands around her waist and lift her up and off the Fat Boy. I follow her, swinging my leg over the long body of the bike. She staggers, still weak, and I steady her. Over her shoulder, I see what I am looking for.
I whistle, one of those piercing whistles my brothers taught me growing up. Its the same one dad used to call us home in the evening. We could hear that shrill sound wherever we were in the neighborhood. A cab immediately pulls over to the sidewalk and I open the door for my date.
She grabs the lapels of my leather jacket and rubs her breasts against mine sensuously. "Please call me."
"Sure, baby," I promise. I lie. I cant even remember her name, but I did enjoy her company. To distract her from my obvious lack of sincerity, I kiss her again. Once she is safely inside the confines of the car, I close the door and walk away.
My audience is still there. I recognize one of the women immediately, now that my focus isnt otherwise distracted. Kelsey Stanton, the hot, young anchor for the network is staring at me, looking like a pickled fish. Obviously, she thinks Im a cad of first order. I stand still for a long moment, taking her in. Shes shorter than I expected, but, damn, if the proportions arent all right. I wouldnt mind giving her a ride on my bike. I might even use my hands, just to enjoy the feel of her. Knowing it will infuriate her, I smile and wink at her. I cant believe shes straight. Doesnt seem right.
Time to go in and greet my new boss.
As I walk down the very staid halls of a network television station, I have to chuckle at what brought me, a tabloid camerawoman, here.
My phone started ringing off the hook with job offers the morning after I gave away my best penlight. The cops insisted it be kept as evidence, pissing me off entirely. Its not like it was worth a lot, it was more the principle of the matter. I figure, if I disarm a nutjob, I should be able to keep the penlight as a souvenir. Now some crappy pissant evidence clerk will steal it and auction it off on e-bay, earning a bundle.
The first message that interested me was from KNBC, the Los Angeles NBC affiliate. Ronald Chambers, Division Chief, personally called me and asked me to come work for their news division. Needless to say, I was surprised to get such a respectable offer. I had always been told that a stint with True TV would successfully derail my career.
We met at a hotel bar in downtown LA for the interview. I figured he didnt want me coming anywhere near the station and upsetting his precious employees. Like Kelsey Stanton, for instance. Gary told me last week at the bar that she despises our kind. Of course she would, our ratings kick her ass week in and week out.
Chambers told me what they needed: good camera work by someone not afraid to go after the story. He feels like his reporters have become too soft, too used to using their prestige rather than their gut in getting at the truth. I am supposed to "get out there and mix it up" or some other lame ass expression Chambers used. All hes asking for is a taste of tabloid for the upright citizens who watch KNBC.
I can provide that.
As part of the deal, I insisted that my crew come along Jimmy, my assistant, and Conrad, my editor. Best damn crew in the business, thats us. And now we belong to Chambers. Hell, for the salary he gave me, Id belong to just about anyone.
And the best part is: he promised me Kelsey Stanton.
Straight, my ass.
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I chuckle. "No. Pero soy mejor que un policia." I'm better than a cop. I can bring the whole damn world on someone with just the right camera angle. Which is exactly what Im going to do with this bastard. For Cristina. And all the other kids who get used and abused by adults with guns.
As I make the slow circle, praying Im not gonna get shot in the back, I notice that somehow my Betacam has made it to the top of the desk. It is pointed right at us and the light is on. Apparently Kelsey wants videotape of my death to play at the office Christmas party and other festive occasions.
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