S4, Ep 16, Sc 1: The Bluff

The next two days were not great. Holly and McCall still worked on arranging the premiere. There was a lot of back and forth with the websites that would be streaming the film. Each and every one of them was still open to hosting the movie but there was a marked decline on how much they were now willing to promote it.

McCall insisted on booking a theater for an official premiere for friends, cast, and crew. Holly suggested they hire Amy for the catering. But while the arrangements should all have been quite exciting, there was that  one big cloud overhead that was raining not just on the parade, but also seemed to be the cause of a few skunks getting into the picnic.

Maybe Evelyn was right, that the pictures didn’t show anything actually wrong. But they’d shown enough that anyone on the internet that had been talking about Antigone, where no longer talking it were the same excitement. In fact now they weren’t talking about it at all. They were talking about Holly. And not in a particularly flattering way.

It was all very well for Evelyn to wave a hand airily and chalk them all up as sexist. But that didn’t solve the problem that the narrative Holly and McCall had worked so hard to create in people’s minds was starting to crumble.

McCall had had the photographs sent off to an expert to look over, but Holly was beginning to worry that the report wasn’t going to be completed before the damage had been irreparably inflicted. Besides, she was also beginning to wonder if people were going to believe what the expert said anways. It would be, after all, their expert.

But if they could change the story people were talking about…if they could give people a new gossip to share and debate, and one that cast herself as the victim…well…

Yes. Holly knew instinctively that releasing Grant’s email to Eleanor would cause the whole thing to change again. It was frustrating really how easy it was to change things. But that didn’t mean they couldn’t make it work in their favor.

And yet, every objection she had had previously wasn’t really changed now because of those photographs. The need was just greater.

Which was why she found herself, sitting in her living room and staring at the phone in her hand. All she had to do was call Cynthia. Authorize her to release the email. That was what Cynthia wanted after all, wasn’t it? To be told what to do with it.

In one stroke Holly could remove an objection people had over working with her (even some of the streaming websites had ‘discreetly’ warned McCall that the film had better not be leaked before the release date), deal Grant a blow he’d have trouble recovering from, and stop Antigone’s downward descent.

It was all so tempting.

Holly dialed Cynthia’s number and steeled herself as she heard the phone ring. But then Cynthia came on the line.

“Hello?”

Holly stared at the phone.

“Hello?”

What was she doing?

“Hello?”

She hung up and pushed the phone away.

Hadn’t, not too long ago, she’d been talking to Peter about her fears that maybe she’d gone too far? He had assured her no. But if she did this, she would have gone too far. Far, too far.

And yet, she did owe McCall. She had a way to save the situation. Certainly he would have told her that she didn’t owe him anything and that he didn’t want her to do something she’d regret, but the fact that he would say that and be so darn nice about, just made her more determined not to let Antigone become a black mark on his career.

She glanced back at her phone. She couldn’t call Cynthia back. Even for McCall she couldn’t bring herself to make that phone call and release that email. There were just too many people it would hurt. And there had to be a point when the reward wasn’t worth the cost.

Holly sat up straighter, a smile slowly spreading on her face. There were so many people that email would hurt. She’d just been looking at this the wrong way around. And they didn’t have to know that she’d never release the email. It was time for a little bluffing.

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