The Debt Book 13

By: Kelly Favor

Chase Winters had warned her.

He’d told her that it was going to be a bumpy ride. In his words, the whole world was going to turn against them.

But as they sat down in the Vox News offices with a handful of the most powerful media personalities in the world, Faith felt herself shrinking from the challenge.

“This is highly irregular,” said the head of programming. His name was Sherm Edwards and he was older, bald, but his manner was energetic and intense. “We’ve already shot and cut this week’s show.” He was standing up, hands on hips.

“Fine. I’ll go to ESPN,” Chase said, making as if to rise from his seat at the long table.

“Hold on. Just—just hold on a damn second,” Sherm Edwards said, holding his hands palms out, like a referee signaling a foul. He turned to a woman in a black blazer sitting nearby. “Can we do this? Legally?”

She sighed. “It will be risky, but most of the heat will go on Mister Winters.”

Faith took a nervous breath in. She was sitting next to Chase at the table, but she couldn’t have felt further away from him. It was as if he was on an island and she was floating away from him. “Chase,” she whispered.

He looked at her. “I know,” he whispered in response. “I know.”

The host of Vox 60 was Meghan Cowell. It was the most watched weekly news program in the entire United States, and she was the face of it. Meghan was beautiful and blond, but her credentials were the real deal. She’d covered the Iraq war, had met with terrorist leaders, conducted interviews with heads of state all over the world, and even done a hard-hitting one-on-one with President Bush that had made headlines years back.

Meghan looked at Sherm Edwards. “I think we should do this.”

It was the first words she’d spoken since the meeting had begun.

Sherm folded his arms. “We don’t know what kind of can of worms this is going to open up. Do you really want to risk your reputation on totally unsubstantiated rumors?”

Meghan twirled a pen in one hand, tapping it on the table as she leaned back in her chair and stared at Chase. After a long pause, she glanced at Sherm. “I believe him. I think the story’s legit. It will be huge. Worth bumping the current episode. What have we got—something about corrupt lobbyists in politics and that little girl who raised money for children in sub-Saharan Africa?”

“She might win the Nobel Peace Prize,” a man across the table said.

“Yeah, but she didn’t win it yet.” Meghan turned back towards Chase. “But he—he’s got that fire in his eyes. He’s got a big story. Let’s do it. Whatever we need to do,” she said, turning to the woman in the blazer. “Put the legal team on it. Iron clad contracts for Mister Winters.”

Faith cleared her throat. “So who’s going to protect Chase?” she asked, her voice sounding thin in the silence.

“Protect him from what?” another person at the table asked.

“Well, you’ve got this legal team making sure you’re covered, but what about Chase? Is he going to be sued over this?”

Sherm stepped forward, leaning in and placing his fingertips on the table as he stared at Faith. “We’ve made our position clear to Mister Winters. These are his words—his stories. If he’s lying, we’re not going to be able to protect him from the fallout.”

“I’m not lying,” Chase said. “And I don’t need anyone to protect me. I’m doing this.”

Faith licked her lips. “I just wish you’d take some time and think it over.”

“I’ve done enough thinking to last me a lifetime. I’m ready to move.”

Meghan stood up and extended her hand. “And we’re ready to move with you.”

Chase got to his feet and shook hands with her. “What now?” he said. “How soon can we start?”

“Legal’s going to need a couple of hours,” Sherm said. “But I don’t see why we can’t begin shooting the interview now. We’ll have contracts for you to sign before the end of the day.”

“That settles it then,” Meghan said. “Let’s get at it. We’ll bring you down to the studio, Chase.”

Top Books