Manwhore(2)

By: Katy Evans



“I love it!” I say.

“I know you do—you’ve always taken an interest in how we started. Which is why I like you, Rachel,” she says without any warmth at all. Just a fact, it seems. “You know, Edge used to stand for something. All those years ago, we weren’t afraid of breaking rules, venturing where other magazines wouldn’t. You’re the only one who seems to have preserved that. The Sharpest Edge is always our column with the most comments. You focus on the trends and give your raw, unfiltered opinion. Even when people don’t agree with your opinion, they respect you for the fact that you share it so honestly.

“This is why I suppose you’re in my office now, instead of Victoria.” She jerks her chin in the direction of outside where my greatest competitor, Victoria, must be busy in her cubicle.

Vicky. She’s the only other overachiever at Edge and somehow always lucks out at overachieving more than me. I don’t want enmity with Victoria. But it still feels like there’s a popularity contest here I didn’t sign up for. She always seems so damn happy when Helen isn’t pleased with what I wrote, and sometimes I can’t write a word simply because I’m worrying about what Victoria will come up with.

“See, I’m thinking of ruffling some feathers. If we want to stay in business, it’s becoming clearer and clearer we need something more drastic. Something that will make people take notice of Edge. Are you with me?”

“I agree. If there’s anything to breathe new life into Edge—”

“We’re doing so poorly, we’ve all grown so scared; we’re all reporting from safe, scared places, afraid to push the button in case we explode. We’re already withering here. We need to write about the topics that scare us, fascinate us . . . and nobody fascinates this city more than our billionaire bachelors. Do you know who I’m talking about?”

“The playboys?”

Her lips twist. “The worst of them all.” She pulls out another magazine. I stare at the cover, which says Saint or Sinner?

“Malcolm Saint,” I whisper.

“Who else?”

The man staring back at me has a perfectly structured face, beautiful lips, and eyes greener than the bottom of a beer bottle. His smile is all mischief. It says he likes to cause trouble and, most of all, that he likes getting away with it. But there’s something very closed off and somehow icy in his eyes. Oh yeah, those green eyes are made of green ice.

“I’ve heard of him,” I admit, starting to get nervous. “I wouldn’t really be alive in Chicago if I hadn’t.”

Ruthless, they say.

A complete manwhore, they say.

And so ambitious he’d put Midas to shame. Oh yeah. They say Saint won’t rest until he owns the world.

“Victoria thinks that you’re too young and inexperienced to take on such a risqué project, Rachel. But you’re single, and she’s not.”

“Helen, you know how much I enjoy writing about trends, but you also know that I really want to write bigger stories, stories about people’s homes, security. I want to earn that chance, and if this is how I can do that, then I won’t let you down. What kind of story do you see for him?”

“An exposé.” She grins. “One where we get to hear juicy little tidbits about him. I’m thinking about four things, specifically. How he manages to stay so calm and in control all the time. What’s the deal with his father? What role do all these women play in his life? And why, oh why does he have this obvious affinity for doing things in fours? Now”—she slaps her hand on the desk for emphasis—“in order to get to the meat . . . Let’s be honest, Rachel: you must try to get close. Lie, little white lies. Ease into his world. Saint isn’t an easy man to access, which is why nobody’s been able to figure out even one of these things, much less all four.”

I’ve been listening. My curiosity is fully engaged. But I’ve started to squirm. Lie. Little white lies. True, I’ve lied sometimes. I’m human. I’ve done right things and wrong things, but I’d rather stick to the right side. I enjoy my sleep, thank you. But this is the opportunity I’ve wanted since I started college.

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