Episode 12, Scene 1: The Articles

INT. NIKKI’S HOUSE. NIGHT.

Nikki handed Clint the magazine with a certain amount of excited anticipation. He kicked his feet up on the coffee table and flipped open the magazine.

“The photos are very nice,” he said.

“Read the interview! I think I did well and I come off okay.” Nikki sat down on the edge of the coffee table and watched him expectantly as he read through the three pages of text. “Well?” she asked, as he closed the magazine. “What do you think?”

“I think it’s great. You did really good. And Tobin didn’t do badly either. He portrays you as changed and that’s exactly what we want. Stress that and I think people will be opened minded to your new work. It prepares your currents fans for something different and gives a reason to both former fans and a newer audience to give you another chance. This was definitely a success.” He tossed the magazine down on the table. “Plus you come off a little more down to earth then you have in the past.”

Nikki picked up the magazine and whacked at his boots with it. “I’m always down to earth.”

“Really? Because I remember one article in the tabloids that showed you driving three different cars in one day.”

“So I have a lot of cars.”

“It doesn’t give the impression on relatability.”

Nikki rolled her eyes. “Sometimes I wish the fans were the ones that had to try being relatable and accessible to me.”

Clint chuckled. “Unfortunately that’s not the way it works. Some do build a career out of being just plain weird, but I think it’s a little late for you to try that.”

Nikki started flipping through the magazine absently. “Nothing’s quite as bad as being informed I’m a role model and should behave like one. I get pulled over for a DUI, I’m apparently guilty of teaching an entire generation of tweens to drink and drive.”

“An unavoidable evil of being a singer at fifteen.”

“I just want to yell at the parents sometimes. I mean have they really raised their kids to be such mindless sheep that they’ll break the law just because I did it?”

“It’s probably not a good idea to call your fans mindless sheep…as a general rule.” Clint grinned.

“Oh look, my neighbor’s got a girlfriend.”

Clint frowned, a little confused. “What?”

Nikki held up the magazine. “Alan Ryder’s dating some girl. I think. The article also seems to imply she might be dating Peter Glades too.”

“I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to believe everything you read. How many times have those magazines reported you in rehab?”

“Twice. And good point. Still, it’s a good story,” she said, skimming the article. “You know I actually met Peter once.”

“You did?” said Clint, removing his feet from the table and shifting a little in his seat.

“Yes. At the time it was exciting just because he was Peter Glades, but after the murder it became a much better story.”

“Right.”

“I mean how many murderers have you met? I met his wife too. She was having dinner with some guy, who was definitely not her husband. It was at this nice private little restaurant right out of town. Very romantic. Of course that was pretty normal for her. Cheating. That was the motive for the murder after all, wasn’t it? I still remember when the whole thing happened. The murder, the trial, the aftermath. Everyone in Hollywood was talking about it. Everyone was just obsessed with it. I don’t have to tell you. I’m sure you took a lot of pictures around the story. Probably took a few of Peter.”

“You know I’d rather we didn’t talk about Peter Glades,” said Clint abruptly.

Nikki frowned. “Why?”

“Because would you like to talk about getting drunk at the Grammy’s three years ago and throwing your purse at that country singer?”

“So new topic?”

“Yes please.”

Nikki nodded. “Okay.” She set down the magazine. “Oh! I heard from Vanessa.”

“And?”

“And we’ve got the talk show scheduled. It’s prime time. I come on halfway through, sing the song and then join the other guests on the couch for a short interview. Since it’s short notice that was about as much screen time as we could get.”

“That should work.”

“She’s also working on lining up a few more appearances for later and has a studio booked so we can record a single of the song.”

“Great. I’ve got to admit. I don’t like what I met of Vanessa, but she does seem good.”

“She is excellent at her job.”

“Alright, well give me the name of the show and I’ll watch some clips tonight, take some notes, and see what you can expect from the hosts and we’ll go over it together. But it should be a lot easier then Tobin. Talk shows tend to play nice.”

**********

Nikki watched from her front door as Clint’s car pulled out of the driveway and then she shut the door and headed back into the living room. She picked up a pair of glasses and deposited them in the kitchen for the maid tomorrow. She walked back out and surveyed the living room. Clint had offered to restore it to the way it had been before the interview but she rather liked the new look. He’d taken back the photographs he had leant her, but other than that the room was unchanged from when Tobin had been over. She thought she get used to it.

She picked up the magazine and flopped down onto the sofa. She read through the interview again, feeling pleased. It had come out better than any she had given before.

She turned the magazine pages past the interview and found herself on the Alan Ryder and Peter Glades article again. She found herself curious. Impulsively she got up and headed to the den. She flipped open her laptop and opened Google.

She typed in ‘Peter Glades + Clint Morgan’. She clicked on a few pages but none of them actually seemed to mention Clint.

A new impulse seized her and she put in a new search: ‘Clint Morgan’.

She scanned the results and clicked on the fifth one. She smiled. At one side there was a picture of a much younger, college-aged Clint, grinning at the camera. Underneath the photograph was written a short paragraph:

I’m a student at the Rhode Island School of Design. I study photography and when I’m not in class, I’m taking pictures of everything and anything I can find. Take a look at my photographs and let me know what you think!

Smiling to herself, Nikki clicked the tab that said ‘Photos’ and settled in for the evening.

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