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 How did she find out about you?
 I stupidly told her.
 You re not stupid.
Her immediate defense of him made the hard line of his mouth soften just a little
bit.  No, maybe nave would be a better word to describe my relationship with Jenny. I
met her at a Fringe bar. She knew the scene, knew a few mutual acquaintances. What I
didn t know was that she needed a shapeshifter for her belt.
 You mean& Geez, what a slut! Then she realized what he wasn t saying.  Wait&
You think I want you now because I know what you are? That that s the only reason I
want you?
He dropped his gaze for a brief second and when his returned to hers, she swore
she felt the burn of it inside.  I don t honestly know what you want, Carrie. And I don t
think you do either.
58
Size Matters
Chapter Four
 What the hell are you still doing here, Care? Go the fuck home already.
Bill Dailey dropped into the chair at the opposite cubicle in the offices of the Weekly
News Journal, gnawing, as always on a toothpick. At forty-five, his dark good looks had
weathered, making the man even more handsome than he d been in his younger days.
Not that Carrie had ever considered dating him.
The guy was married to the paper. And to his toothpicks. Bill had quit smoking
nearly five years ago but he couldn t seem to quit chewing the picks down to splinters.
One of these days, he was going to choke on the damn things.
Carrie sighed as she minimized the story on her desktop. Glancing at the clock on
the far wall of the newsroom, she realized it was close to eight p.m. and no one else
remained on the floor.
 I m working, she said.  What s your excuse?
 When I signed my soul to this paper, they chained me to my desk. I didn t see that
clause in your employment contract.
Damn, the man had a devastating smile. Too bad he barely ever used it when he
held court at his u-shaped desk at the rear of the room. One side held a thirty-inch
screen where he oversaw layout. Paper covered the opposite side page proofs, article
drafts, photo proofs. The last side, the one facing the newsroom, would have put a
candy store to shame.
The joke was that the candy drew in unsuspecting prey then Bill ensnared them in
his web and devoured them.
59
Stephanie Julian
It was true the Journal had a high turnover rate among staff, though honestly, that
wasn t all due to Bill s usually gruff nature. Some writers just didn t have the talent for
making the impossible seem probable. Or at least amusing.
Bill was a damn good editor. He had awards filling his desk drawers from stints at
the Philadelphia Inquirer, Star Tribune and St. Petersburg Times. As a former investigative
reporter, he d broken major political scandals and exposed police corruption while
being able to bring a reader to tears with a column about a little girl selling cookies to
raise money for her wheelchair-bound big brother.
Sometimes, though, even he couldn t save a story from the writer s inability to
grasp the finer points of aliens in the White House. Little green aliens.
When she didn t respond to his last joke which she really hoped was a joke his
gaze narrowed.  You sure nothing happened while you were at that guy s house over
the weekend? You ve been awfully quiet the past two days.
Because she d been waging a battle she couldn t win, no matter how she looked at
it. If she wrote the story that d fallen in her lap and published it whether in the Journal
or in the New York freaking Times she knew she d never have a chance in hell with Tim
again.
But every journalistic instinct in her clawed at the chance to write an article that
could change the world.
She shook her head.  No, nothing happened. The guy was a complete gentleman. I
slept on his couch Friday night and was home in my own bed Saturday. End of story.
Only, she didn t want it to be.
Tim had driven her home late Saturday afternoon, right after their little talk. He d
retrieved her cameras from her car, had even stopped for her to get a few shots of the
snow-covered forest.
Neither of them had said much on the car ride, the awkward silence filled with
unspoken desire and unanswered questions.
60
Size Matters
And when he d pulled up in front of her modest townhome in Shillington, she
hadn t known what to say so she d kissed him and run. Like the coward she was.
She d spent Sunday morning writing an article to go along with her gorgeous
photos. An article that had just made it into this week s edition, published today.
She s spent the rest of Sunday researching, amazed at how much actual fact about
the Fringe was out there for anyone to find. None of it, of course, from respected
sources.
Geez, the story she could write&
 Bill, have you ever not written a story because of how it would affect the people
involved?
Bill s blue eyes narrowed on her as he leaned back in his chair.  I take it you re not
talking about a story for the Journal.  Cause you know what we write about isn t real,
right? It s for entertainment purposes only.
The Journal had that disclaimer buried in the masthead, right under who to contact
about sales.
And on any given day, Carrie believed that wholeheartedly.
But today&
 Have you? she pushed.
Something passed through Bill s eyes, something sad.  No, I haven t. But that was a [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]