Sophie's Playboy

Free Sophie's Playboy by Natalie J. Damschroder

Book: Sophie's Playboy by Natalie J. Damschroder Read Free Book Online
Authors: Natalie J. Damschroder
the word. "I want you to call me Parker."

    * * * *
    Sophie shivered every time she remembered Parker saying his name like that. Like calling him Parker was special, so 74
    Sophie's Playboy
    by Natalie Damschroder
    Sophie calling him Parker was special. Which made her special.
    "Stop it," she ordered, marching up the steps to the station. "You can't go in there mooning over the guy."
    She, Parker, Stevie, and Melina were meeting to discuss the changes that would be necessary to incorporate Parker into the show. What the station expected from them. What leeway they could have.
    That dating was out of the question.
    Sophie doubted that one was on the official agenda. If anyone else had thought about it, they wouldn't care one way or another as long as the ratings went up and stayed up. But there was no way she was dating someone she worked this closely with.
    Not again.
    The other three met her at the top of the stairs and turned her around.
    "Am I late?" She glanced at her watch as they went down the steps and headed toward a diner down the street. She wasn't late. "What's going on?" She felt ganged up on. She hated being ganged up on.
    "We thought it would be easier to talk at the diner," Melina explained. "Parker was here already to finalize his contract.
    It's quite a madhouse in there today. New advertiser."
    "Ah." Sophie got it. When a big new advertiser came on board, everyone turned cartwheels to keep them happy. The production booth ran constantly, recording promos and commercials. The talent practiced saying company names and taglines so they wouldn't flub them. The salesperson 75
    Sophie's Playboy
    by Natalie Damschroder
    responsible for the account grabbed a team to brainstorm ideas for spending the client's money. They definitely wouldn't get anything done in there.
    The diner, however, was quiet between the lunch and dinner rushes. They ordered coffee and pie and started to talk.
    "Make sure you don't talk over each other," Stevie cautioned. "Give each other a little space verbally, or the listeners won't hear either one of you." He consulted a list.
    "There's a lot of heat between you, so don't forget to take calls when you go on too long. Melina, you're in charge of that."
    "We need a new hand signal," she joked. "Break it up."
    She pantomimed breaking a stick in half.
    "Never insult the listeners, Parker, that's one of Sophie's rules." Stevie's thin lips curled up at her in what she figured was a smile. "Though you came close with the stupid people bit."
    "One of my biggest pet peeves," Sophie said. "You'll hear it a lot, I'm sure."
    Parker turned his attention to her. Sophie suddenly felt like she was sitting in direct sunlight, downtown, in August. She was glad she hadn't sat next to him, with the amount of heat he generated.
    "Why do you care about insulting the listeners?" he asked.
    "All the big names do it, and other listeners love it."
    "I want a little higher-class audience than the so-called 'big names.' And the listeners are our bread and butter."
    76
    Sophie's Playboy
    by Natalie Damschroder
    Remembering his reputed worth, she amended, "My bread and butter, anyway."
    "We have a promo to record for one of the clients," Stevie went on. "They love your banter, and as soon as they heard Parker was in the studio, they called and booked air time." He cleared his throat. "We think this is indicative of the nature of your chemistry, and how to make the show successful. So we want to build on it."
    Uh, oh. "Build on what?"
    Cough . "Well, on the theme, so to speak, of the nature of the advertiser's, uh, business." Grunt, cough . Poor Stevie must have a bone caught in his throat, Sophie thought.
    "What, exactly, is the nature of the advertiser's business?"
    Stevie flushed, then named a local hotel famed for its getaway weekends. For couples.
    More than uh, oh, Sophie thought. "And the nature of the ad we're recording?" She was certain Melina, sitting next to her, was holding back laughter. Sophie had told her

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