Parental Advisory Rating: L & AC

Break out those V-Chips, everyone!


Director: XWPFanatic

Executive Producer: Tonya Muir

Writers: Tonya Muir, TNovan and XWPFanatic


Episode Six: Clueless

I sit behind my desk doing my best to forget last night. Dinner wasn’t so damn bad – in fact, it was kinda fun watching Kelsey squirm - it was what happened after.

I shuffle a stack of tapes from one side of my desk to the other as the memories come back to me.

There I was blissfully enjoying the natural wonders of Victoria (I can remember her name when I focus) when it happened. Right in the middle of what should have been one of the most incredible experiences of Victoria’s life, Kelsey Stanton’s face and voice came into my mind and I couldn’t shake them. It was all I could do to keep from yelling her name.

It was that comment Kelsey made to me about staying out of ‘my bedroom.’ Not ‘our bedroom’, but ‘my bedroom’. Oops, told on yourself, Kels. I chuckle as I move to the file cabinet and try to get it organized. I glance through the large plate glass window to my office and watch as Kels makes her grand entrance. Good God, she is attractive. Why does she have to be such a pain in the ass?

I notice she’s dressed down today: tailored slacks and a very nice, silky, blue blouse. Hmm, must be a tad cold in the hallway. I grin again as I shake my head and stick my head back in my file cabinet; it’s wonderful to have good eyesight. There’s a knock on the door before it opens. Franklin Saunders, the General Manager, comes in without waiting for an invitation and closes the door behind him.

"Good morning, Harper."

"Good morning, Big Boss. What can I do for you?" Saunders is over Chambers, who is the News Director. He is older and fatter. This is how you can tell the two apart.

"Harper," he begins as he drops himself down on the couch that lines the wall across from my desk. "Do you have any experience with undercover camera work?"

Well, there are a thousand different smart ass answers to that one, but I’ll play it safe and assume he’s talking about work. I close the file cabinet and lean against it with my arms crossed. "Yeah, I know how to be discreet. You got something in mind?"

"I got an insider tip this morning about some serious drug dealing going on in one of the local high schools, one of the more elite ones, you know. With white kids."

My eyes narrow at this blatant racist remark. "You know, my parents moved from Louisiana for exactly that reason."

He is confused. "What?" Then he smiles knowingly, like we’re in the same club or something. "Oh, to be around better people."

"Yes, exactly," I agree, but not for the same reasons. "Dr. King was a good friend to my parents before his murder. And I grew up calling Ms. Parks my favorite adopted grandmother."

Saunders looks perplexed, then angry as what I have said sinks in.

I’m not a member of your club, buddy. I don’t even use white cotton sheets on my bed. Always preferred flannel, or satin, depending on the activities planned. That is another story, however.

And I’ve hardly warmed up to this one. "I’m named after Harper Lee, the novelist. She wrote about the wrongful conviction and murder of a man whose only crime was being born with the wrong color skin. My family has been in Louisiana longer than Louisiana has been in the United States. My parents love New Orleans because it is such a wonderful blend of cultures and people. But, when the South grappled with issues of racial justice in the Sixties, my parents moved to Birmingham, at Dr. King’s personal request, to be on the front lines. I don’t think I realized I was white, or a girl, until I was old enough to know that neither of them meant shit if I wasn’t a decent human being first and foremost." I stare long and meaningfully at him.

"I didn’t mean it that way," he mutters. "And I don’t even care that you’re a dyke. But I don’t think that voting for Prop 109 was the wrong thing to do."

Prop 109 was a recent California ballot proposal that cut off access to all public services by illegal immigrants. Somehow or another the lawmakers and a number of California citizens actually believed that not having a green card was a good enough reason to let little kids die without medical assistance.

"And I don’t care that you’re a homophobic racist who will be in need of long-term physical therapy if you ever say something like that to me again. But let’s not go there. Okay, Boss?" I place just enough emphasis on the last word to get my own dig in.

Saunders clears his throat and resumes his mantle of authority. Apparently, I’m not fired for saying what I just said. Almost wish I were. " I want you and Kelsey to go in to the high school and see what you can find out about the drugs."

"You got it." We don’t have to like each other to work together. This I know from long experience.

He’s happier now that we’re talking about the story again. "Apparently there’s a pretty major dealer in that school somewhere and I’d really like to see us take him out of there. It’d be great for the ratings."

"And for the kids too," I can’t resist adding. "I may need some new equipment." Typically, in this type of situation, I use a minicam, a tape deck, several battery packs, and a directional pen mike. The minicam looks like a pager, so it’s easy to wear without raising suspicion. I clip it on my belt and just turn my body toward the subject. The camera has a wire running to the tape deck for recording sound and image, which I run under my shirt and into a backpack I carry with the batteries and tape deck. The directional pen mike is exactly what it sounds like – a microphone shaped like a fat fountain pen. When I do these types of shoots, I merely affect the nervous habit of playing with my pen, thereby pointing it where it needs to be to catch the conversation. The pictures aren’t gorgeous, but they have good resolution and they’ll play in prime time.

"No problem. Just tell Chambers what you need."

"I’ll get a list together for him then. I need to speak with Kels. We need to figure out how to get her in there, without her being recognized."

"I wondered about that myself. Do you think it can be done?"

I grin as I look into Kels’ office across the hall. She’s sipping her tea, reading through a file. It’s then that an evil idea pops into my head. "Oh yeah," I say to Saunders as I turn for the door. "I think I know a way."

Saunders pulls himself up from my couch and follows me out the door, patting me on the back. "I’ll leave in your capable hands then," he says as he peels off to go back to his office, hiding from the explosion he knows I’m about to cause.

"Yeah, I know you will, you phobic, racist, chicken shit," I mumble as I knock on the door of Kels’ office. Don’t want her to think I’m a complete barbarian.

"Come," she yells from the other side.

Oh, well, now that’s just too good to pass up. I fling the door open. With my arms held wide, I step in, leering at her. "I thought you’d never ask."

She looks up with a truly bored expression on her face then drops her head back to her file. "Go to hell."

I drop my arms and cross her office, perching on the corner of her desk looking down at her. "Ah, come on, Kels, I thought you were offering." I swear she mumbles something to the effect of ‘Not in your lifetime.’ But I’m not sure.

Straight, my ass. I think this may become my new meditation mantra. Now all I need to do is take up meditation.

"Why is everything about sex with you, Harper?" Kelsey asks.

I shrug, "Probably for the same reason nothing is about sex with you, Kels." She doesn’t reply. I didn’t think she would. She’s terrified of the truth: We’re more alike than she cares to admit. I continue, "Okay, partner in the non-sexual sense, here’s the deal: Do you own a pair of blue jeans and a T-shirt?"

"What kind of dumb ass question is that?" She looks up and leans into her high back leather chair. I gotta talk to Chambers about getting one of those. "Of course, I own a pair of jeans and a T-shirt." She sips her tea as she stares at me.

Is that a little curiosity I see in those eyes, Kels? Seems she knows how to unbutton a button or two of her own; I can feel her mentally undressing me.

I clear my throat, trying to shake that image. "We have a new assignment and it’s going to require a little dressing down on your part."

"What’s that supposed to mean?"


* * *


Standing at the registration desk I try to hide my smirk as Kels fidgets next to me. I glance her direction, as I take her in. During a quick stop at the local WalMart (I can’t even begin to describe the fun it was to take her there), we picked up a Ricky Martin T-shirt. I then had to threaten her with bodily harm if she didn’t trade her designer polo for it (our ideas of ‘dressing down’ are apparently not in sync). She can now almost pass for an 18-year old high-school student.

It was when I reached around to pull her hair back that my suspicions were confirmed. As my fingertips innocently – I swear - grazed her neck while pulling back her hair, I felt her pulse quicken. It was a nice feeling. I was glad to have caused it.

The clerk lays the registration papers in front of me. "What relationship are you to the student?"

I smirk as I notice Kels isn’t paying close attention to my conversation. "I’m her probation officer." I catch a slight bristle from Kels as she slowly turns to face me.

The clerk looks to Kels and back to me. "This is unusual."

"Yes, it is, but the court ordered that Miss Dumb Ass…"

Kels cuts my off with a glare that would knock a lesser person into next week. "It’s Doo-maas, you primate."

I turn to her and grin, then check the paper I am holding in my hand. "Hmmm. D- u – m – a – s. Looks like a ‘dumb-ass’ to me. And you know what they say: ‘If it looks like a dumb ass and it sounds like a dumb ass, it’s probably a dumb ass."

The woman is eyeing us warily. "I need to get the Principal for this. Would you two take a seat over there, please?" The registrar points to a wooden bench placed beneath a bulletin board.

I give a flourish with my arm, "After you, Miss …"

"Just shut the fuck up, Harper."

I love life. Sometimes, I really, really do. "Hey, look, Kels, there’s a dance this weekend."

All I get for my effort is a sullen stare.

"Come on, buck up, Little Roo."

She turns her green eyes on me and I feel a little bit of my heart melt. Damn, she’s good. No wonder they made her an anchor. "Why probation officer?" she asks.

"Well, it would have been a bit cliché for me to come in as a gym teacher, chér." I give my most charming smile, which is, I admit, quite charming. "Besides, we don’t know if someone in the administration is in on the sourcing. Trust no one, right?"

"We aren’t the X-Files, Harper."

"I dunno. They’re partners and not sleeping together either." I slide a little closer to her on the bench. "But everyone wants them to."

"Once they sleep together, the ratings will go down. Look at Maddie and David on ‘Moonlighting.’ And I know how much you value ratings."

This I find highly amusing. "Oh my God, you still remember their characters’ names! You must really have had a thing for Cybill Shepherd." I laugh a bit more, ignoring my partner’s discomfort, noting the lack of denial for the object of her affection. "Personally, I like cute, short blondes."

She is forming a retort when the registrar appears before us. "Principal Downey will see you now."

Saved by the bell, so to speak.


* * *

We’re sitting in Algebra II. Kelsey is seated in the second to last row, next to the windows. I’m sitting further back, at the teacher’s desk. The principal agreed to admit Kels without too much of a fuss. Apparently, a couple other kids here came back to school that way. It’s California’s way of getting serious about probation. All juvie offenders have to be escorted for their first 60 days out. This puts an unimaginable strain on the probation officers, but it does seem to be having some effect on juvenile recidivism.

Kelsey is playing the part well enough: snapping her gum and displaying that air of disinterest she does so well. She looks out the window and leans back slightly as if trying to get a better look at something, when the teacher loudly clears his throat and raps on the blackboard with a ruler.

"Ms. Dumas, if the outside world is too distracting for you, I can change your seating assignment," he offers magnanimously.

My partner looks back to him immediately and offers him a shy smile and a slight shrug of her shoulders. "Thanks for the offer, teach, but I’m with ya now."

He watches her a moment longer before turning back to the lesson. Aside from a few sly glances out the window, Kels manages to pay attention.


* * *


After Algebra we go to History. As we make our way down the hall, we’re both watching the other students. What a mix. Everything from designer suits – hey, who knew- to punked-out, spiked-hair and leather dog collars.

"I need to make a stop." Kels tugs on my arm.

"Rest room?"

"No, thanks." She rolls her eyes at me. "Locker. I’m dumping some of these books." She grumbles as she leads me to a wall of lockers. "Unless you’d like to carry them for me?"

"Are we going steady?"

She laughs, and I am extraordinarily pleased by that reaction.

I lean against another locker as she fumbles with the armload of books and her combination lock. "Here let me." I take her books and tuck them away under my arm as she plays with the lock.

"Thanks. But don’t get any ideas."

"Fair enough." Suddenly, I remember her distraction in Algebra class. "Hey, what did you see outside?"

She looks up and crinkles her brow in confusion.

"Algebra? Mr. Daniels?" I prompt, waiting for her eyes to glimmer with recognition.

"Mmm." She shrugs, looks back to her lock. "Maybe nothing. A couple little gatherings in the student parking lot. One of the guys seemed shady."

"Seemed shady?" I repeat slowly. "You want to elaborate?"

"Not really. Just shady. I think I’m gonna skip Algebra II tomorrow."

"I’ll have to come look for you," I warn her with a smirk.

"I don’t care. Just let me do my job, Tabloid." She jerks her locker open then reaches for her books. As she stuffs them in, I notice a ‘jock’ type taking an interest in the new student.

"You have an admirer." I nod at the young man who slowly runs his eyes up and down my partner’s body before he closes the door of his locker. He keeps that up and I’m gonna take them out for him.

Kels glances his direction, giving him a smile and a wave.

"Why, you little flirt, you." I laugh as I push off the lockers and we head to History.

"Trust no one, but don’t think anyone is above suspicion."

Good philosophy, Kels. I fall back a couple of steps and let her mix and mingle just a bit. She has managed to strike up a conversation with Mr. Football. I slide into the classroom and make my introductions to the instructor, Mr. Webber. Good God, doesn’t this place have any female teachers? I take a seat again at the back of the room so I can keep an eye on my partner. She’s still making eyes at Mr. Football. I shake my head wondering if I might be wrong about her. Nah.

As I watch her, I can’t help but think back to my own days in high school. I was popular and able to float between groups without censure. I played on the varsity basketball team all four years and was valedictorian at graduation. This, of course, surprised my pals. I always told them I was a straight "C" student. It just seemed easier that way, especially since I was two years younger than everyone else and already stood out for that reason as well as my height. My parents had home schooled me through elementary school, as my brothers and I were the object of many threats by people not as liberally minded as my parents. When I went to public junior high, after we returned to New Orleans, I was quickly advanced.

I received a scholarship to Tulane and surprised my family when I pursued journalism. My four older brothers had all chosen traditional pre-law courses of study. My classmates had seen a number of my homemade movies and mock documentaries that I'd been preparing for years so they expected nothing less of me. My mother expected more. She was disappointed and told me I could have been anything with my intellect. I told her that I was already everything (at least to her), so not to worry.

I remember the exchange fondly with a grin as I watch Kelsey. She really seems to be making some inroads with the jock. I know her well enough by now to know that if he wasn’t giving her what she needed, she’d be done with him.

So why is she with Erik? Why is she so afraid? Or, is she really in love with him?

We manage to get through History and Chemistry before lunch. As we stand in the serving line, I look at my partner who is deep in thought. "What’s up, little Roo?"

"Ah, just thinking about something Frank said."


"The kid from History."

"Yeah, what did he say?"

"He said he knew how and where to get anything."

"Geez, Kels, you really get to the point when you want to, don’t you?" I take a moment to stop and get a cup of coffee. As I fix it, I notice her palm several packets of powdered creamer. I’m not even gonna ask.

"He positively reeked of marijuana smoke, Harper. He was so stoned he could barely see."

"And how do you know what marijuana smells like?" I give her a little nudge as she picks a bottle of water out of a tub.

"I’m not as innocent as I look, officer." She bats her eyelashes at me again as she picks up her tray and makes her way past me into the seating area. Wow, that almost qualified as a civil conversation, complete with a joke. Damn. I turn and follow her out.

I stand next to her table, waiting. Finally, she looks up and gives me a little smile. "Have a seat."

She’s got her hands under the table and she’s doing something I can’t see. I clear my throat and my mind at the same time as I take a seat next to her.

"Okay," she says as I feel her stuff something in my jacket pocket. "I figure for this to really work you need to be close to me so your camera can get the best shots, right?"

"Un-huh." My hand starts to go to my pocket but she grabs it and holds onto it.

"Don’t." She turns to me with more sincerity in her eyes than I have ever seen before. "Harper, I’ve followed you. Now follow me. Trust me." She gives my hand a little squeeze. "Please?"

How can I resist that request? I nod my head as I bring my coffee to my lips. "So what’s the plan?"

"We’re meeting Frank after classes. He says if I can prove I have the means he can set me up."

"We need cash."

"Hey, brilliant deduction, Sherlock. You’re gonna get it by the end of the day."

"I’ll make a call when you go to gym class." I give her a grin as I lift my eyebrows.

"Oh, I can’t believe you’re gonna miss that opportunity. Just think of all the ogling time you’ll miss."

"I have no desire to commit a misdemeanor, thanks." I take another sip of my coffee. "Besides, it’s a co-ed class. And I specialize. How much cash do you need?"

"Two grand."

I nearly choke on my coffee. "Christ, Kels, what are you buying?"

"Coke." The look of shock must be clear on my face. She grins over her water. "Hey, you said you wanted big."

"Yes, I did. Damn, woman. Well done."

"Well, let’s not count our chickens yet, shall we. We’ve still got to hatch the eggs."

"Nice imagery, Kels."


* * *


I lean on the hood of Kels’ car waiting for Olsen to show up. I glance at my watch. I’m feeling a little nervous about this. Kels’ next class is nearly over and I really don’t want to lose track of her. "Come on Olsen, Jesus, how long does it take to get two grand together?"

I see him pull up on his little rice burner motorcycle.

"Finally." I trot over as he lifts the visor on his helmet.

"The boss says you lose this and he’s gonna take it out of your ass." He announces as he hands me a thick envelope.

I find it humorous how his orange hair still manages to stick out under the visor. "Was that Chambers or Saunders?"


"Saunders can kiss my ass." I thumb through the envelope before tucking it in my pocket. "Now, get out of here and go buy a real motorcycle." I give him a playful smack on the helmet and turn for the school at a healthy jog. Just as I make it to the steps, I see Kels and Football coming around the side of the building. I start to duck, but she sees me and waves me over.

We head straight for the parking lot and to Kels’ car. What in the hell? Trust her, Harper. I take a deep breath. I move toward them, taking my time and waiting for a signal.

"Fuck!" Football says as he runs his hand over the shiny Mercedes. "Where’d you get this?"

"Ah, present from daddy for my last birthday." Kels leans against the car. "So you can hook me up, right?"

"I said I could if you had the cash."

She looks to me and I give a little nod. "Oh, I got it." She motions me over to the car. Football looks horrified as he starts to back off.

"Wait a minute! She’s a cop!"

"Who? Her?" Kels jerks her thumb at me. "Hell, she’s not a cop. She’s barely a human being."

Gee, thanks, Kels. Love you, too.

"Thought she was your shadow from the probation office."

"She is." Kels slips her hand into his and pulls him close to her so she can play with the front of his shirt. "But, you see, when daddy has money, daddy can pretty much get who he wants assigned to his ‘little girl.’ He wanted her, he got her." She turns to me and smiles. "Isn’t that right, blue eyes?"

I take a deep breath before nodding. It’s then I notice the name on the back of this kid’s jersey. Saunders. Oh God, it couldn’t be? Oh, if it is, there must be an angel on my shoulder.

Kels holds out a hand to me looking totally bored by my preoccupation.


"Cash. You have it. Give it to me."

"Yeah." I pull the envelope out of my pocket along with a baggy that has white powder in it. I glance at it as she takes both items from my hand. So that’s what the creamer was for. Clever, Kels, very clever.

"Okay, champ." She waves the envelope in his face. "I got cash." She lifts the baggy so he can see it. "And I’m about out. So can you hook me up?"

Football looks back to me. I still make him nervous. Kels grabs the sides of his face and makes him pay attention to her. "Franky, baby, she’s as crooked as Highway One-oh-One. Don’t worry about her."

Those green eyes work as well on him as they do on me because, before he’s even aware of it, Football is nodding dumbly.

"I have the cash, I want the Coke. Today."

"I dunno," Football stammers, still captured by well manicured hands and luminous eyes. Oh, to be in his sneakers. I catch myself grinning.

"You said you could get anything," Kelsey murmurs, moving closer to him and pressing her lithe body against him. She’s good at this, I realize immediately. And here I thought I was the talent in this partnership when it came to using sex as a means to an end. I’ve obviously sold her short.

"Yeah," he gulps, brown eyes wide and sweat beading on his upper lip.

"Today, Franky, honey," she croons.

"Tomorrow," he bargains, nodding slowly. "I can have it by first period."

Kelsey grins in triumph and draws him closer for a lingering kiss that leaves him stupefied. Then she hands me the cash and the baggie of creamer along with her car keys. I raise an eyebrow in surprise but she doesn’t notice as she slides into the passenger seat.

Apparently part of being a rich kid is having your father’s lackeys drive you. That’s okay. If I were being honest with myself, I’d admit that I’m flattered by the display of trust. I subconsciously promise not to make bologna skins out of her expensive tires peeling out of the lot.

Football stands and watches us as we turn around the large brick school and disappear. I glance to my passenger who is leaning back, sunglasses firmly in place, blonde hair streaming with the wind. I can’t help but laugh.

"What?" she asks dryly, not looking to me.

"You never cease to amaze me, Kelsey Stanton," I tell her. It’s probably the biggest compliment I’ve ever given.

"You ain’t seen nothing yet, baby," she assures me with a fair imitation of my drawl, making me laugh again. She is certainly in her element while knee deep in a story.


In the morning, we waste some time over cafe lattes while Football chases down his provider. I take the opportunity to call a friend on the force, wanting to get a good arrest on film as well. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have a uniform around when messing with drugs and dealers. My buddy, O’Reilly, promises to be here in half an hour which will give us time to fill him in before the meet.

Seven thirty on the dot has us back in the student parking lot, lounging against Kelsey’s Mercedes as we watch students file in for first period. Kels has been pleasant and somewhat carefree yesterday afternoon and this morning, enjoying the sport of the game we’re playing. She listened avidly as O’Reilly set up the hit and, I think, was impressed with my rapport with the officer. He’s giving us free rein to make the meet ourselves and film it although he has called in some back up. He’s watching us through binoculars, and making his own tape of the deal, since my little outfit can’t do a feed at this distance.

Football shows up with a swagger and a smirk so I know he’s here to deliver. Saunders is gonna lose his mind when we bust his grandson on his own network. I can hardly contain my grin. I know it comes out as slightly feral which is okay for the situation so I don’t bend over backwards to smother it.

Kelsey feels my energy and smiles at me before turning on the charm full steam and sashaying towards her Franky. Her hands are on him before I can blink and she’s murmuring congratulations to him.

He’s beet red and, I’m guessing, at full attention as his own hands find purchase on her slim body. The anger rumbles just beneath the surface of my skin, I don’t like how he’s handling her. The odd feeling of jealousy is not lost on me but I try to shake it off.

"You got it, honey?" she croons, sliding a hand up his meaty chest to tap on his collarbone where it’s exposed.

"Yeah, baby," he grins. "I got everything you asked for. I just need the cash."

Kelsey glances to me and nods so I step forward, withdrawing the envelope from my pocket and waving it. I can feel the air crackling around us and I shudder with excitement. When he takes the money, O’Reilly will bust him and we’ll have everything on video from Kelsey’s first meeting with Football to this doomed meet. A great day for television and a fabulous day for the kids to get a dealer out of their midst.

Unaware, Franky takes the envelope and shoves it in his pocket. Then he removes a small package wrapped in brown paper. This he places triumphantly in Kelsey’s hand.

I motion her towards me, wanting her to step away from him as I hear the police running through the parking lot. She meets my eyes and nods, understanding my concern for her safety. But she gets only a step away when Football’s eyes go wide and he turns to grab her.

Without a second thought, I shove Kels out of the way and tackle Football to the asphalt. Hell, I was always meant to play the sport, but for the genetic issue the high school coach had with me. We would have had a better season if I had been with the team.

O’Reilly’s on him in a moment and the cuffs are clicking into place. I step away, dusting off clothing and checking my equipment. Everything seems all right, just a little jostled.

The cops are grinning, Kelsey’s beaming, and I’m thrilled. Little Franky Saunders, however, can’t seem to share our enjoyment.

As the police lead Franky off he’s begging to cut a deal, offering to rat out his supplier. I grin, the little shit is afraid of going to jail. Since he’s eighteen there won’t be any nice comfortable juvie hall and a sealed record upon adulthood. Nope, if O’Reilly chooses not to mess with him he’s going to jail. Directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect our $2,000.

Fortunately for the kid, I know O’Rielly and if he thinks there’s a bigger fish to catch he’ll get the DA’s office to cut Franky baby a deal. One of the officers comes and takes the package from Kels, explaining that it needs to be tagged for evidence. She hands it over without hesitation then turns to me. Just as she is about to say something another officer comes over and takes her by the arm. Something in me is about to intervene when he tells her he needs a statement.

As I watch them walk away, O’Rielly saunters over with a great big grin on his face. "I … umm … shouldn’t do this and it may mean my ass, but … umm … having it on film will be good. You want to have some real fun, Harper?"

"Oh, you know all the right buttons, buddy. What’s up?"

"The Saunders kid spilled his guts. Want to go in with me while I get his source?"

"Now, how can I pass that up?"

We walk into the school like we own the place. Which, right now we do. Me, O’Rielly and three uniforms. Straight to the main office and right into the vice principal’s office.



Kelsey and I stand side by side and watch Saunders’ face as the tape plays. All of his egotistical, prejudiced bullshit flies out the window. His fat face trembles and he splutters as he turns various shades of red. He knows, with an exclusive like this, he has to give it air time.

It is glorious. I can almost hear the angels singing. If they would actually speak to me. Which I highly doubt.

I watch as the blood drains from his face. I hope he isn’t going to have a heart attack. I’d hate to have to do CPR on his racist ass. Kels grins at me and whispers she needs to go call Erik. She leaves us alone and I stop the tape.

"Now, Boss," I grin as I produce another tape from a pile on my desk. "Here’s the story you can run and keep your slimy grandson out of the limelight." I wave it slightly in front of him, watching his eyes track it like a hypnotist’s pendulum. "But I’m gonna tell you right now: it’s going to cost you. It’s going to cost you big. I don’t know what yet, but trust me I’ll think of something. Lucky for you that the absolute worst thing your grandson ever did was smoke a little pot and hope for a quick fuck from your precious anchor." I decide to let the attempted selling of cocaine thing slide, since it was his first offense and he wasn’t thinking with his brain when he agreed to do it. Kels seems to inspire baser motivations.

I give the tape to Saunders who takes it eagerly. I make sure he notices the label says copy before I grab my jacket and head into the newsroom. Kels comes out of her office at the same time wearing a really silly grin.

"Erik say something funny?" I tuck my jacket over my arm.

She glances up at me as the question registers. "Umm … no. I just found out that an old friend of mine from college is coming into town this weekend."

"Must be some friend to make you smile like that."

"Yeah." She clears her throat as she jerks her chin toward my office. "You let him off the hook?"

"Well, not completely. He doesn’t deserve it. I did give him the other tape."

"Good." She nods as we walk toward the elevator. "Nice job, by the way. And thanks for looking out for me."

I lift a brow as I punch the button. "Yeah, you too. And, I couldn’t let anything happen to the Talent in this operation. It felt good to get to the main source in the school. If O’Rielly plays the vice principal right they may be able to go even higher."

"That’d be good. Hard telling how many other schools have the same damn problem."

"One of the unfortunate side affects of our educators not being paid enough. Some of them become so desperate they make stupid choices."


* * *


I toss my jacket across the back of my couch before the door is even completely open. It’s been a long day. But, oh, so good.

Kelsey and I said goodbye in the lobby and I’d hopped on my Harley to come home. I plan on going out later, having a few drinks, hang out with my friends. I want to watch our story unveiled while in a crowded bar, it’s always better that way. And it always makes me popular with the ladies.

But right now I need a shower and a change of clothes. I illuminate the apartment as I move from room to room. Before long, I have a small shadow in the form of my cat following me. He’s a dark auburn color with green eyes and a tail as long as his body. He wraps that appendage around me as I walk.

"Good boy," I murmur, reaching down to stroke his strong back. He hints that I may have missed his dinner last night in my obsession with the story. Good thing he’s so fat and can stand to miss a meal or two. I fill his bowl and leave him happily munching from it on the kitchen floor while I slip back to my bedroom and strip down.

I wonder who could put that type of smile on Kels’ face and if I ever could. It might be fun to try.


Coming Next Week to Must Read TV:

<Fade in>

"What?" I ask in the most irritated voice I can muster. Truth of the matter is it’s hard for me ever to be irritated with Erik. And, well, just the thought of where I am headed keeps me in a damn good mood.

He takes a deep breath through his nose as he saunters into my room to sit on the end of my bed. "Ah, Elizabeth is in town."

<Cut to>

It has to be important for Kelsey to want my help. "What’s wrong?"

"I need you to …" her voice breaks. I can’t tell if she’s crying or not. She takes a deep breath and exhales, the air whistling into my ear. "Come bail me out of jail."

<Fade out>


© 1999 Exposure Productions. All rights reserved. The Content is protected in the U.S. and internationally by a variety of laws, including but not limited to, copyright laws and treaty provisions, and other proprietary rights laws.

You are hereby granted permission to receive a copy of the Content from the mailing list in whole or in part, (and, except where otherwise specified or provided by Exposure Productions, print a single copy of the Content for your own personal use) but only for purposes of viewing and browsing through the Content. You are also hereby granted permission to store the files on your computer for your own personal use. All other use of Content from the mailing list, including, but not limited to modification, publication, transmission, participation in the transfer or sale of, reproduction, creation of derivative works from, distribution, performance, display, incorporation into another web site, reproducing the Content (whether by linking, framing or any other method), or in any other way exploiting any of the Content, in whole or in part, for uses other than those expressly permitted may not be made without Exposure Productions’ prior express written consent.




Return to Official Exposure Web Site