There was a knock on the door before Gloria’s secretary opened it and popped her head into the office.
“Excuse me Ms. Stanhope, but a Mr. Luke Page is here to see you?”
“Really? Show him in.” Gloria finished typing the final sentences of an email, sent it off and was wearing her most welcoming smile by the time Luke entered. She was surprised and a little suspicious to see that Luke was looking worried.
“Luke, it’s good to see you again so soon. Please have a seat. Is something wrong? We didn’t have an appointment to meet today.”
“No. I know. But I wanted to come over in person and assure you that I had nothing to do with it. I had no idea that was going to happen.”
“No idea what was going to happen?”
“You-, you haven’t seen it yet?” He suddenly looked like a deer caught in the headlights.
“Apparently not. What is it that I so clearly should have seen by now?”
“It’s, well nothing, just that-”
Her tone warned him not to argue. Luke fished his cell phone out of his pocket, pulled up the internet browser, typed in a URL and handed it over to Gloria.
There was a video on the page and below it, written in all caps, read the rather sensational title: THE INTERVIEW MONTELL CONNECTED STUDIOS DIDN’T WANT YOU TO SEE
“Is this-…” Gloria tapped the play button and then actually started to laugh, which seemed to make Luke even more nervous. “This is your interview with Holly.”
“Who uploaded it? This isn’t your account?” It was too perfectly delightful. Someone had just saved her an awful lot of nuisance. Was Luke really that much brighter than he appeared?
“No! Of course not!” Apparently he wasn’t. “You asked me to remove the videos and that’s exactly what I did.”
She noticed however that he shifted uncomfortably and guessed he knew more than he wanted to say. “So who did upload it? You do know who did this don’t you?”
“No. I mean well yes. Not exactly. I know the account that’s all, but not how they got the video.”
“Whose account is it?”
“My girlfriend’s. Or ex. I don’t know.” He looked a little miserable. “Anyways it’s Phryne’s account. She works on Antigone but I don’t see how she could have gotten the interview. I hadn’t even shown it to her yet.”
“Who did have a copy?”
“No one. Just me and of course I sent you over a copy when you wanted to see it as a sample of my interviewing skills for the job opening. But no one else. I don’t understand how it could have gotten out. Oh!”
“Oh?” Gloria leaned forward. “Oh what?”
“Well…I did email Holly a copy. She asked me to right after we filmed it.”
“Tell me. Do you think your girlfriend would let Holly use her account like that?”
“I-, I guess. Phryne was pretty furious at me. I tried to explain that I’d gotten this new job and you guys just wanted some of my content removed to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interested but…” He sighed. “She wouldn’t listen to reason. She kind of idolizes Holly. Looks up to her as some kind of role model or something. Look I can talk to Phryne. Maybe get her to take the video down. But it’s already got some views and someone else may have already copied it…”
“That won’t be necessary.”
“Are you sure? I don’t want my position with Montell to be in any way jeopardized.”
“Mr. Page, we are not going to penalize you for something that was beyond your control.”
“Really?” She couldn’t blame him for looking skeptical. “Thank you Ms. Stanhope.”
“Of course. Now I have a board meeting to prepare for…”
“Right. I’ll scram. Thank you again.” But he hesitated at the door. “Uh…you will explain all this to, well, everyone else right?”
“Everyone? Oh! Yes. Of course I will. Don’t worry.”
As she watched the door shut behind him, she chuckled. Obviously he was laboring under the illusion that Grant was the one who’d asked her to offer him the job and kill the videos and now Luke was worried that Grant would be angry. Well let him think that. By the time he learned otherwise, Grant would hopefully not be in any kind of position to retaliate against anyone.
It had all worked out rather remarkably. Having an actual source leak something was always better…it came off more authentically. When you did it yourself it always lacked some indefinable quality.
All things considered, Holly had surprised her. The girl was smarter than Gloria had given her credit for.
Good. That made things easier.
Now just to call up a few tabloids, cash in a few favors, places a few stories and make sure this video got noticed.
She picked up the phone.