Saturday, 11 August 2012

Chapter 1 part 4

“Excuse me?”
“If you believe the tabloids – quite a few of them owned by you – you’re often seen in the company of beautiful women but not with a steady girlfriend or even a wife. Is there a special someone?”
“Miss...” “Call me Anna, please.” I smiled, hopefully in a way that could be described as sweet. “I recall having my assistant discuss this with Ms Montgomery. No questions about my personal life.”
“Well, Ms Montgomery is very, very ill and it came on so suddenly, she must have forgotten to mention it when she sent me here” I lied through my teeth. Now Gray smiled. He didn’t seem to make an effort to appear sweet, it was more like the view you had on animal planet when the camera did a close-up of a shark’s mouth.
“I understand, Anna. You see, a man of my position...” – I had actually made a secret bet with myself on the way here how early in the interview he would use that phrase – “needs to keep his private life private.”
“That’s an interesting position for someone who owns several tabloids whose editors obviously think that nobody deserves any privacy at all.” I was treated to another lightning fast frown. Katie would strangle me with her bare hands when she listened to the tape. Mr Gray didn’t seem used to people daring to criticize his publications. What’s he gonna do, spank me? I had a quick mental image of him on the intercom, demanding a cane from the attentive blonde and her hurrying in to deliver it on a silver tray.
“I simply own the tabloids, and I trust my staff. I regret to hear that you think so little of them. And may I add, a lot of the people reported on not only enjoy the attention but provoke it and need it to stay successful. I on the other hand am a business man and I don’t enjoy such attention – or need it to conduct my business.”
“Still, I think our readers would enjoy a peek into your personal life” I insisted.
“Well, then, Anna, there is a special someone. His name is Charles and he’s been my companion for over a year now.”
“So, you’re gay?” I raised an eyebrow.
“No.” I got another view of his shiny teeth. I was seeing altogether too much of them. “He’s a rescue from a local shelter, a Great Dane. Would you like to see a picture?”
Well played, Mr. Gray.
“I would love to see a picture, Mr. Gray. I am sure our readers would love that also. Maybe we can do a photo shoot of the two of you together? Perhaps at your Seattle home?” Where did that come from?
“Call me Christian. Unfortunately my Seattle home is under construction right now and Charles and I are living in a hotel.”
“How very disappointing.”
There was a short pause in the conversation while we observed each other, a little like boxers in a ring, waiting for the other one to make a move.

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