Doug: "Look, you gotta drop it. I'll owe you big-time..."
Susan: "I was planning on holding it, until the day she announces. Then I give the whole story. Every step. Every move she made while she was the sitting Secretary of State to plot her run in the primary against her boss and former ally, the President of the United States."
Doug draws back a little. Trained enough not to show it, but it's there. It gets worse: "This is how it works, Douglas. I help you by sitting on the story. You help me by giving me everything I need to know about your mother's plan: Strategy, money, allies, everything. You came to me, Douglas. Remember? I'm happy to keep your name out of my reporting, but I own you now."
The future starts slow; the future comes fast. You want to be clean, when it does. But nobody ever is.
JACOB CLIFTON is a freelance writer and critic based in Austin, Texas. He currently recaps Bunheads, Pretty Little Liars and True Blood for TWoP. Jacob can be found online at jacobclifton.com, on Twitter, and on Facebook. IRL work appears in BenBella's SmartPop series of anthologies, and novelette "The Commonplace Book" will appear on Tor.com in October 2012.
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