S4, Ep 16, Sc 4: The Control

Grant slammed his phone down. For an hour now Eleanor had been ignoring his phone calls. He wasn’t used to it and he didn’t like it.

His intercom buzzed again but he didn’t bother to answer. It would just be his secretary telling him once more that Donald was trying to get through.

Well Donald could wait.

What on earth was Eleanor thinking? Why did she think she could get away with this?

He’d been on damage control since six o’clock in the morning when he had been alerted to the statement.

It had been simple, short, and to the point. Eleanor was retracting the statement she had released some months ago on behalf of Holly Woods concerning the leaked footage from Cold Wars. The statement had not in fact come from Ms. Woods, but from the studio producing the film, and while at the time there had been an implication that Ms. Woods had given the statement her approval, Eleanor claimed to have since learned that this was false and Ms. Woods had no knowledge of the leak. There was a brief apology and an expression of remorse that this had occurred. And that was that.

Except that wasn’t that. It was Grant’s studio that had been producing Cold Wars, and it was before the merger. He’d been solely in charge. And there were plenty of people who knew about his feud with Holly and how quickly he’d moved to black ball her around Hollywood after the leak had occurred. And then there was that blasted article she’d written about Lionel Atwood that Gloria had been sure to hint to every board member had come from Holly.

There were plenty of people already making all the right connections.

Grant had been halfway through crafting his own scathing response to the statement when Eleanor had sent him an email. It said simply:

Holly has this.

And attached was his own, original message to Eleanor about the leak.

How on earth had Holly gotten a hold of that?

That was why he’d been trying to get a hold of Eleanor. Had Eleanor supplied it to her? Either way he needed to get Eleanor back on his side and fast. This needed to be fixed.

But the infuriating woman wouldn’t answer her phone. Why did this have to happen now? What with that board meeting looming in a couple of weeks…

“From what I gather, they wanted to make sure everyone could be there. I heard we’ll be discussing restructuring,” Gloria had said.

He wondered. Could Gloria have been behind this? If she’d known to speak with Eleanor…

Blast it. Gloria and her meddling-

The intercom buzzed.

He reached for his phone, but stopped as his office door swung open.

“What the-, Donald?”

“Malcolm, I’m been trying to get through to you for the past hour.”

“Donald I’m rather busy at the moment.”

“We have to deal with damage control.”

“I’m on it.”

“The entire studio has to be on it. Don’t you know how this looks? You need to communicate with the PR department. You’re not the only one in trouble here.”

“Donald, don’t you think you’re exaggerating this a little?”

“No I don’t. Why on earth did you do it?”

Grant blinked. Certainly the statement had raised some implications, but for Donald to come right out and accuse him…

“I didn’t do anything,” he said icily. “Whatever rumors have been circulating-”

“It’s not a rumor Grant! There’s the email. How do you explain that?”

What? Holly had released the email? He’d interpreted Eleanor’s message as a warning, a threat at most. Why the delay then between the statement and the email? It didn’t make sense.

Donald was continuing: “And McCall? He’s one of us. He’s on the board. He’s a good friend. Why on earth would you try to do that to him?”

“Excuse me?” Grant frowned, at a loss now. What was the idiot talking about?

“I mean, I know you’ve taken this vendetta with Holly Woods to an insane length already, but McCall? Really Malcolm.”

“What exactly are you referring to?”

“The photographs of course. The ones you got that paparazzo to fool around with.”

Grant stared at him. Donald returned the gaze doubtfully.

“You have seen the article from Tobin Makem haven’t you? It was posted a little over an hour ago. That’s why I was trying to get through to your office.”

Grant turned to his computer and pulled up the web browser. A quick search found the article. Right at the top of the page was one of the photographs Clint had given him of Holly with McCall. Right next to it was Holly with Peter Glades. Once glance told Grant the whole story and his heart sank.

He should have been more careful. He should have covered more bases. But he’d been stretched so thin trying to combat Gloria and he thought he’d known what kind of man Clint Walker was.

Apparently he’d been wrong. So very wrong.

As he scrolled down the article, it was with grim satisfaction that he noticed Clint wouldn’t get off scot-free for his part in any of this either.

“An interesting read?”

Both Grant and Donald glanced towards the doorway. Gloria was standing there and smiling.

Grant shut the web browser and pulled himself together.

“Gloria.”

“You have been having a busy morning haven’t you Malcolm?” She came into the office and took a seat. “It’s all quite a mess. Of course it’s all dreadful timing what with the statement about the leak coming out this morning as well.”  Grant opened his mouth to respond but she raised her voice and ignored him. “Not that I would ever imply that you would sabotage a film being produced by your own studio. But it does look bad what with this…oh, shall we call it a lapse in judgement on your part? And you know how people love to come up with wild stories in Hollywood.” She beamed towards Donald.

“Oh, are the vultures out already?” Grant asked pleasantly.

“What does that make you I wonder? Carrion? Apt.”

Donald coughed and cleared his throat. “Shouldn’t we be discussing how best to handle this situation?”

“Yes, Malcolm how do you think we should handle this situation exactly?” It came out as positively a purr.

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