CALLISON PUBLICATIONS - CHARLES'S
was really nothing," Charles said as he again rose from his seat so that he
could walk around the room. "In fact, I'm...the one who brought Grace
Douglas watched Charles suspiciously.
He didn't believe a word of it. "So why did I overhear you two
talking about a detective?"
"Douglas, can we please just forget
this? It bothers me enough, as it is, that Trevor's so consumed with the
idea of finding her that he's starting to slip in his responsibilities to the
"I don't mean to tell you how to conduct
personal business with your son," Douglas began as he tried to pick his
words carefully, "but we're talking about my sister. As much as you
want what's best for him, I want what's best for her."
"I understand that," Charles
nodded. "And, for whatever reason, she left town and clearly doesn't
want Trevor to know why or where she is. That's her choice."
"Please, Charles, talk to Trevor.
Convince him to give up on Grace."
"I wish I could, but...well...Trevor can
be a little thick headed about things when he wants to be."
"You have to make him understand that he
has to put her in his past." Douglas's eyes nearly pleaded with
Charles. "I'm only looking out for what's best for her."
have no doubt about that, but...." He paused and took a deep
breath. "Trevor's my son. I only want what's best for him and
he's convinced that Grace is it."
"Trust me on this, Charles. If you
really do want what's best for Trevor, you'll get him to give up on her.
If he keeps up this quest of his to find her, he's only going to end up hurting
Charles leaned back against the edge of his
desk and considered what Douglas was saying. Even though he was as in the
dark about what was going on with Grace as Trevor was, he realized that Douglas
had a point.
"If only Trevor had some big project to
keep him occupied," Charles muttered as he rubbed his chin.
"Maybe that would keep him too busy to worry about Grace. I
probably should be sending him on this trip instead of you, but...."
"Trip?" Douglas interrupted.
"That's what I wanted to meet with you
about," Charles began to explain as he walked around his desk and sat back
down in his chair. "Do you remember me telling you about Orin
"I've almost got him convinced to sign
with us." Charles reached into his top desk drawer and pulled out the
file he'd been going over earlier. "But he's still holding out for a
better deal. However...."
"I've got a meeting scheduled for you
with Macalister." Charles flipped through the schedule book on his
"Yes. This is going to be a big
deal for us and I want you to handle it." Charles leaned back in his
chair and eyed Douglas intently.
me?" Douglas shook his head in confusion. "Shouldn't you
send one of your vice-presidents or someone actually in the publishing
"I'm sending you," Charles
interrupted. "If anyone can convince Macalister to sign that contract
-- one that you've drawn up, incidentally, and know better than anyone -- it's
you. Besides, if that contract needs a little revision to get him to sign,
you'll be right there to do it."
Douglas let out a small sigh of
resignation. He knew that there'd be no talking Charles out of this.
"Okay," he nodded. "I'll meet with him." He
paused and eyed Charles curiously. "So, when's this meeting?"
"Next week in San Francisco."
"W-what?" Douglas's jaw
dropped in shock.
"I've already booked you on a flight to
Chicago with a connecting flight to San Francisco." Charles pulled an
itinerary out of the file. "I would've preferred that this meeting
was here, but he's off on some adventure in the South Pacific and he's only
flying into country for the night before leaving for a trip to Africa and this
is the only time we're going to be able to set up a meeting with him until he
"I want Macalister to be a part of
Callison Publications before he boards that flight for Africa."
Charles's tone implied that his statement was not as much a desire, but an
order. "Get him to sign that contract."
Douglas slumped back into his seat and
sighed. California, here I come.