When a reporter jumps the gun, he gets more than he bargained for.
| "I don't know how you did it, but your story is blowing up the internet. In just over an hour, we've hit 1 million views." Graham smiled at me. It was the first time since his big promotion to an editor that he had smiled at any of us reporters. "I knew that lighting a fire under you would get me a big story like this."
All of the adulation was making me slightly uncomfortable. It wasn't that I didn't like it, I soaked it up like Karen Walker drank vodka. I was harboring a secret that if it came out would not only end my career but also damage the reputation of The New York Tribune and possibly send it the way of the rest of the newspaper industry; Out of business. "Thanks, but it was nothing. Just following up on a lead."
"Don't be so modest, Troy. You single handily solved the mystery of the First Lady's disappearance and will likely bring down the President. These are accomplishments that only a few other journalists ever get the chance to do." Graham pulled out a couple of cigars, handed me one, and lit them both. "With the sales of this issue and the ad revenue from the website, we will make enough to pay for next year's budget. Not to mention all of the awards and accolades that you're about to win."
"Yay!" It was half-hearted but it was all I could muster. Once the truth came out, all of this would be taken away from me, so I couldn't enjoy it.
Graham walked to his office door, shut it. "Troy, you had better get to verifying this story before the President gets a chance to take out the anonymous source. We need a paper trail and I already know you don't have one, so once we finish here, get on it."
"I wasn't born yesterday. You hurried this story and it's great, but now you need to get the evidence to back you up. Physical
After I finished my cigar, I went to my cubicle. My phone signaled that I had a voicemail. Instead of listening to it, I grabbed some files and left the newsroom. The air wrapped around me like an icy blanket.
Like so many other New Yorkers, I was sending a text as I walked. When I ran into a man, I looked up and my apology got lost in my throat. He had at least a foot on me and menacing look on his face. "Troy Carter? What a happy accident this has turned out to be."
"I'm sorry, do I know you?"
"No but you know my boss. The man you wrote that hit piece on." I could see that he was slowly dragging a gun from his pocket. "I
think you should come with me."
"Sorry but my Mom always told me not to get in a car with a stranger." They say your body goes into fight or flight dealing with confrontation, not my body. My body steeled itself and somehow, I found the presence of mind to kick the gun out of his hand and then run.
My lungs felt like they were full of the bullets that were flying by my head. Without thinking, I turned into an alley and continued to run despite the pain in my legs. If Graham wanted proof this had to be it. If President Bass wasn't guilty, why would he send his goons after me? This is what happens when you elect the former head of a mafia family as POTUS.
Once I was sure that I had lost the goon, I stopped and panted. Then I checked my phone and my source asked that we meet in the parking garage at the Natural History Museum.
After almost being killed, I wasn't really relishing being in an enclosed space but agreed to go. The only thing I had to lose was my life, not such a bad price for infamy, I kept saying to myself. Everything was calm and quiet until I reached Columbus Circle. It was there that I found more goons looking for me. The thought that I had been set up crossed my mind but taking a bullet to the brain was better than having to face Graham and telling him that I didn't have the evidence.
Something covered my nose, and blackness closed in around me. This is what I get for thinking too much. My body went limp and fell against the man kidnapping me.
When I came to, I found myself in a conference room. I was in a chair, not tied up or anything. These were the worst kidnappers ever. The door opened as I stood up. Graham walked in, a smile on his face. "Way to go my boy!"
"What are you talking about? I didn't get the evidence or anything. In fact, all I got was kidnapped."
"Don't be so modest." He slid a thick folder over to me. I flipped through it and it contained all the evidence that we needed for my story.
"Isn't this a deus ex machina?
"Not at all Mr. Carter." The voice sent chills down my spine, I turned and found the President's son standing in the doorway. "One of my father's minions told me that they had found you and were planning on killing you, I had my own kidnap you and get you to safety. It's the least I owed you."
"Exposing my father. He got rid of my mother when she threatened to expose everything he was doing. Now he will face Impeachment and prison time, thankfully."
"That has to be hard for you. Especially since your mom is still dead."
"She's not dead, Mr. Carter. I'm hoping that he'll be forced to tell us where he has her hidden now."
"There's more to the story?" Graham rubbed his hands together.
Isn't there always more to the story?