“What do you want?” she asked, sitting down on her bed.
“So you’re dating a celebrity now?”
“What do you care?”
“Oh believe me, I care! You managed to ruin my career and take away my family all in one day. Don’t think I haven’t been waiting for the perfect time to properly thank you for that.”
“You ruined your life all on your own, all I did was stop you from ruining your kids’ life.” Emily couldn’t believe that her former boss, the former Mayor, had the audacity to threaten her like this. “You don’t have anything on me anyway!”
He laughed. “You don’t think so?”
“No, I don’t.” She was downright pissed now.
“How about if someone were to have leaked a story to the tabloids, complete with pictures, that you’re a child beater?”
“You don’t have any pictures!”
“You know, the nice thing about technology today is that if you don’t have a picture, you can just as easily create one. Photoshop. It’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it?”
“Fuck you! Everyone will know it’s fake.”
“Oh yeah? You think your new boss will think the same thing? I’ve been checking up on you, Emily. Little Baylee’s parents won’t want you around him when I get done with you.”
“Go to hell.” Emily said as she hung up on him.
“Fuck! That fucking bastard, who the hell does he think he is?” Emily muttered as she tried to figure out what to do next. His threats could be empty, she knew him better than to assume that of him. She needed to get on top of this and beat him at his own game, and she needed to do it fast.
She took a deep breath and picked up the phone again. She knew this would be hard, but she needed to act immediately.
He didn’t answer his phone. She left him a voice mail. “AJ, its Emily. Listen, could you please call me as soon as you get this message? Thanks.”
She needed to tell AJ first, since undoubtedly he would be dragged into the headlines with her, what with the media thinking she was dating him. She paced around her room, willing him to call her. It felt like hours, but it had really only been minutes when he called her back.
“Emily, everything ok?” she heard his voice, full of concern.
Emily took a deep breath. “No, listen, I have to tell you something and you’re not going to like it.”
“I’m listening.” He said.
“I just got a phone call from my old boss.”
“The mayor?” he asked.
“Yeah, how did you know?”
“Brian told me about him and what you did to save his kids.”
“Well, he saw our picture in that tabloid a month ago and is taking his opportunity to pay me back for what I did.” Emily explained what he said his plans were.
“AJ, I’m so sorry. Look it might be nothing but knowing him, he’s serious and I wanted to let you know because you’re going to be dragged into this…..”
“Emily?” AJ cut her off.
“It’s not your fault. You did the right thing then, you’re doing the right thing now. We’re not going to let this asshole get away with anything, understand?”
“Emily, I promise.”
“AJ?” She needed to clear one more thing up.
“It’s not true.” She said, softly.
“I know it’s not.”
“I need to call Brian and tell him. The media will have a field day with the story of him leaving his son with a child beater.”
“Let me talk to him. He and I will sit down and figure out what to do.”
“AJ I really think I should talk to him.”
“You will. We’ll call you back soon, ok?”
AJ hung up the phone feeling a huge desire to drive up to Ohio, find this guy, and punch the living daylights out of him. But that, he knew, would definitely make the tabloids. Instead, he got dressed and went off to find Brian. When he didn’t find him in his room, he went down the hall and checked Kevin’s room. Sure enough, that’s where he found them.
“What’s up AJ? You look pissed.” Kevin said as he let him in.
“Yeah, you’re not here to punch me again, are you?” Brian joked.
“Brian, I need to talk to you.”
“What’s up?” Brian noticed how serious he was.
“I just got a phone call from Emily.”
Brian’s face paled. “Is it Baylee?”
“Oh God, no! Baylee’s fine, shit! It’s nothing like that.”
Brian breathed a sigh of relief. “Well what is it then?”
AJ explained to Brian and Kevin what was going on.
“Who the hell does this guy think he is?” Kevin asked.
“His name is Kent White, a politician wanna-be.” Brian responded. “Shit. We need to get on top of this right away. I’m going to go call the PR guys and have their defenses ready to go. This guy wants a fight? He’s got one.”
AJ watched Kevin’s face when Brian left the room to make a few phone calls. He recognized the skeptic look on Kevin’s face and knew what he was thinking.
“Kevin, it’s not true man.”
“Are you certain of that?”
“Positive. I’ve read the articles from his arrest. I suggest you do the same.” AJ was feeling irritated at Kevin’s doubting Emily. She wasn’t his girl, but he felt protective of her anyway.
Brian called the PR reps, and then he called Leighanne and filled her in. Then it was time for him to call Emily.
“Emily, its Brian.”
“Brian, listen, I’m so sorry about this mess. I’ve been thinking, and I think it would be better if I resigned. I’ll stay with Baylee until you can make other arrangements if you want.”
“Emily, you didn’t do it, right?”
“Of course not!”
“Then why are you quitting?”
“Because your reputation as a father and as a group is going to be dragged through the mud and it’s all my fault.”
“Listen, Leighanne and I don’t want you to quit. Don’t let this guy ruin your life, that’s exactly what he wants to happen. I’ve been on the phone and we’re fully prepared to handle this guy. He won’t get away with it.”
“Emily, you’re not quitting. End of discussion.”
“Now, we don’t know when or even if this will hit the media. We think if it does, it will be very soon. Don’t answer the house phone, don’t answer the door. Make sure Baylee doesn’t either. And you’re going to have to stay home. You’re safe in the back yard, but don’t go out front. If you have any problems at all, call me right away. I’ll keep you posted on what’s happening.”
“Emily, thank you.”
“Why are you thanking me?”
“For letting us know and for sticking to your guns.”
Emily fell asleep at some point during the night, dreaming of Kent kidnapping Baylee at the airport. Her cell phone ringing was what pulled her out of her sleep.
“’Lo?” she mumbled.
She heard a chuckle. “Are you asleep?”
“Not anymore. Who the hell is this?”
She was awake now. “Oh…God, sorry Brian. You woke me up!”
“Sorry, listen I just wanted to fill you in on our plan and make sure you were ok with it.”
“What is it?” She was thinking along the lines of legal action or something, but that wasn’t what she got.
“We’re going to beat him to the punch. An ‘anonymous’ source leaked the story to the tabloids that the new Backstreet Nanny rescued severely abused children from a local politician. And we didn’t have to make up our own photos; we pulled them from all the newspaper articles.”
“Why would you want to leak that story?”
“Because, the first story is almost always the one that gets believed. Then when his story hits, it’ll seem like he’s just trying to cover his ass.”
“And how do you know your story will beat his?”
“Because we have more money behind our story.” Brian replied. “But I want to make sure you’re ok with hitting the papers again before I give the final word.”
“Yeah, I’m fine with it. I’d rather that than the story of me being an abusive nanny!”
“Good. Listen, I’m going to go call it in and tell them to go ahead.”
“Thank you Brian. And again, I’m really sorry.”
“Kent White is the one that’s going to be sorry. Hopefully he won’t mess with you again, but if you hear from him, I want to know about it right away, ok?”
“I will, I promise.”
“AJ says to tell you hi and that he’s going to call you in five minutes.”
“Tell him I say hi back, and that I want to know why I’m not good enough to call right now?”
Brian laughed as he relayed the message to AJ.
“AJ said something dirty in response and I’m not going to tell you. I’ll talk to you later.”
“Bye.” Emily felt better as she hung up with Brian. She really hoped that this plan worked.
Five minutes later, her phone rang.
“Did Brian tell you what I said?”
“No, he said it was too dirty.”
“Do you want to know?”
“Ok, then I won’t tell you! How are you?”
“I’m ok. Tired, Brian woke me up.”
“Yeah, he’s one of those freaky morning people.”
“It’s ok; Baylee’s probably going to be up soon anyway.”
“Well, I just wanted to check on you for myself and make sure you were holding up.”
“I’ll be fine, I’m sure. Just a little weirded out by all this.”
“I know what you mean. Keep your chin up.”
“Anytime. Gotta run. Take care.”
Emily hung up the phone and got dressed before she went to make some coffee and enjoy her few minutes of peace before Baylee woke up. She spent most of the day keeping herself occupied by playing with Baylee. They went swimming, played in the sandbox, colored and watched more Veggie Tales. She had turned all the phones off that morning, so she had no idea if anyone had even tried to contact her. She was cleaning up the dinner mess after Baylee went to sleep when her cell phone rang.
“Hey, it’s Brian. Glad to see I didn’t wake you this time!”
“He’s great, just went to sleep.”
“I was worried; he didn’t call me all day!”
“We kept ourselves pretty busy today, swimming, sand box, all kinds of things.”
“Good. Is he giving you any trouble?”
“Not at all! Whatever you said to him after that last tantrum must have stuck in his head.”
Brian laughed. “I’m not surprised.”
“Why, what did you tell him?”
“I told him that if you told me he was a perfect little angel that he and I could have a camp-out in the back yard when I got home and I’d even let him stay up as long as he wanted.”
Emily laughed. “That was all it took?”
“He doesn’t ask for much yet. Luckily.”
“Does your wife know about this?”
“No, and I think we should keep it that way, don’t you?”
“Yes. So what’s the situation with the tabloids?” Emily was dying to know.
“The story we gave them ran today. It’ll be on the stands tomorrow. So far, it looks like we beat him to the punch.”
Emily breathed a sigh of relief. “I hope so. Listen, I think tomorrow I’m going to call and have my cell number changed. I don’t want him to be able to call me.”
“Ok, just let me know what it is as soon as you find out.”
First thing in the morning, Emily got up and called her cell phone carrier and requested her number be changed. She called Brian back and left him a message with her new number and asked him to give it to Leighanne when he talked to her. Baylee wouldn’t be awake for awhile, and finally, she gave into the temptation. She went into the den and got on Brian’s computer to look up the tabloids on the internet.
She wasn’t on the cover, it was full of TomKat and Brangalina’s baby news, but she was on the third page. She had to laugh as she read the story.
“Backstreet Nanny a Hero” it read. She had to admit that for being a tabloid, the story was incredibly accurate. It was complete with photos of Kent White leaving the court house the day he was arraigned on charges of child abuse and a picture of his kids being taken away with their mother, escorted by police.
“This is perfect!” she said as she read the story. “I’ll bet he’s at home shitting his pants right now.”
And that he was.
“That fucking bitch!” Kent yelled, slamming his fist down on the desk. He dialed her cell number only to learn that she had changed it.
“If that little cunt thinks this is the last she’s heard of me, she’s got another thing coming!” He picked up his phone again, this time dialing a different number.
“Yeah, Kent White here. I’ve got a job for you.”
AJ got a kick out of the tabloid article when Brian showed it to him.
“I’m going to go give her a call and see if she’s seen it or not.” AJ said.
“What’s going on with you and Emily, AJ?” Brian asked.
“No reason really, you just seem to want to call her an awful lot that’s all.”
“What’s wrong with that?” AJ asked.
“Usually, when a girl shoots you down, you forget about her and move on.”
“Emily’s my friend, that’s all.” AJ said, looking away.
“If you say so. Anyway, if you want to call her, here’s her new number. She had it changed this morning.”
AJ took the number and went into his room to call her.
Emily sounded very distracted when she picked up.
“Hey…it’s just AJ. Is this a bad time?”
“Yes. No. Sort of.”
“What’s up?” he asked.
Emily sighed. “Baylee woke up this morning feeling sick and he threw up all over the floor. I’m trying to get it cleaned up right now, and I’m waiting for his doctor to call back. He’s running a fever.”
AJ frowned. “You want me to get Brian for you?”
“No, I’ll give him a call when I hear back from the doctor.” Emily said. “I have to go, Baylee’s calling for me.” And she hung up.
AJ certainly didn’t envy her right now that was for sure. He decided to take a little nap while he still had time but he couldn’t sleep. He just kept thinking of Emily. He didn’t know what it was about her. She wasn’t his type at all really. Sure, she was beautiful and sexy and blonde but she was more down to earth than most of the women he dated. Maybe it was her maternal instincts he was picking up on. AJ sighed and decided he wasn’t going to be able to sleep so he got up and went to find Howie.
Emily was still trying to clean the carpet when Baylee called for her.
“Miss. Emily, I gotta throw up again!”
Emily raced back into his room, helping him sit up and holding the trash can for him. I so do not like puke! She thought to herself. She got Baylee a drink of water and helped settle him back in his bed before finishing up the carpets. Finally, the doctor called back.
“This is Dr. House. You’re taking care of Baylee Littrell?”
“Yes, my name is Emily.”
“What seems to be the trouble?”
“He woke up feeling sick, he’s vomited about four times now, and he’s running a fever of 102.”
“It’s probably just the stomach flu. Give him some Tylenol for the fever, a cold rag on his forehead, and nothing but clear liquids until the vomiting stops. If he isn’t better by tomorrow morning, or if his symptoms worsen, bring him in.”
“Ok, thank you Dr. House.”
Emily hung up and called Leighanne. She figured Leighanne would probably be more familiar with how to comfort Baylee.
“Hey Leighanne, its Emily.”
“Oh hi! Is everything ok?”
“Yeah, Baylee’s just feeling a little sick and I wanted to let you know.”
“Did you call the doctor?”
“I just hung up with him. He said it was just the stomach flu.”
“Eww…sorry! That’s certainly no fun to take care of. When he’s sick I usually keep him in his room and bring him the small TV out of our room and let him watch movies. It keeps him from getting bored.”
“Ok. I’ll get him set up then. Would you like to talk to him?”
“If he’s up to it, I’d love to.”
Emily handed the phone to Baylee who said, “Mommy, I threw up on Miss. Emily!”
Emily smiled to herself and counted the minuets until he fell asleep so she could take another shower and feel clean again.
The characters and events portrayed are fictitious.
Any resemblance to real people or events is purely coincidental.
~BEST VIEWED ON 800 X 600 SCREEN RESOLUTION~