The photo exhibit was apparently successful. There were more people than he’d expected. Glancing over the photographs it appeared that Clint Morgan might actually have some talent. Which was good. If he had some talent it meant he had more to gain…and more to lose.
Grant spotted Nikki Steele across the room, animatedly talking with a large group of celebrities. Some of them he recognized. She was gesturing at one of the pictures on the wall and they appeared interested.
Looking round, he found Clint Morgan talking to a smaller group. Clint was smiling. At least he was until partway through a sentence when he spotted Grant. Grant waved but walked in the opposite direction to pick up a drink from the bar.
By the time he had the drink in hand and was turning away from the bartender, Clint had already crossed the room.
“I wasn’t expecting you here.”
Grant smiled at Clint and tried to look genial. “I wanted to see the show. You’re good.” He nodded at the nearest photograph. “How much are you selling this one for?”
“You’re not here to buy a photo.”
“Oh but I am. Though perhaps not the ones you hang on walls. I think we both know the kind of photographs I’m interested in.”
“You’ve already given me your business card.”
“Yes. And now I want an answer.”
Clint crossed his arms and leaned against the wall. “You almost seem desperate.”
“Only focused. But I also don’t forget.”
“I thought you promised no consequences if I said no.”
“No consequences for you perhaps. But you did put a lot of effort towards Nikki Steele’s comeback didn’t you?”
Clint straightened. “Leave Nikki out of this.”
“For the moment. But once all this is over and I have more time. I can’t promise anything. Do you want to gamble with her career?”
“Did you know,” said Clint conversationally, “that you are a real piece of work?”
“I have been told that on a number of occasions.”
“I bet you have.”
“And I would bet you’ve been told much the same in your time. I don’t ask people to work for me without researching them. I know about the photographs you took of Peter Glades’ apartment.”
“That was a very long time ago.”
“But it showed a certain amount of ‘go-get-em’ attitude that I admire. At the same as showing a certain ruthlessness that I think this task requires. Put together with your connection to Ms. Woods, you’re a more attractive choice than other candidates for the job. So. What do you say Mr. Morgan?” Grant extended his hand.
Clint glanced towards Nikki. She was laughing at a joke a friend had just told. Her head was back, her blonde hair falling offer her shoulders. Clint smiled, shrugged, and took Grant’s hand.
“I guess my answer is yes.”