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“I’m sorry to bother you ma’am, I’m Preston Crawford…I’m staying in the cabin up the way,” he told her. “I saw the car out
front and was wondering…if Natasha happened to be here.”
Andrew and Sabrina watched as Cricket gracefully rose from her desk chair to her feet and walked across the room to
turn on a monitor connected to laptop computer.
“I need the both of you to believe me when I say that there is nothing I take more seriously than this campaign,” she
assured Andrew and Sabrina. “Besides I have no intentions of disappoint your mother. I’ve seen what has happened to
others who have done just that.”
“Cricket we were discussing the type of campaign that we want to run. It’s important for Andrew and I to keep the
campaign clean and positive,” Sabrina explained. “Andrew’s daughter April is very good friends with Valerie’s son Josh
and I’m sure that you’re already aware of the history Andrew has with Valerie.”
“My granddaughter also thinks of Josh Marshall as her father,” Andrew chimed in. “I don’t want to say or do anything that
would hinder her relationship with Josh.”
“And I have no intentions of exploiting the history that you have with Valerie,” Cricket reassured them as she walked back
to her desk. She was nearly giddy as she opened a PowerPoint presentation that she had specifically prepared for this
meeting. “If Valerie Caldwell wants to run a dirty campaign then let her, but we are not going to let the voters of River’s
Edge see you doing the same.”
“It sounds like we’re all on the same page then,” Andrew sighed. “All right Cricket you’re the expert here and it sounds
like you know what we’re looking for,” he took Sabrina’s hand, “let’s see what you got.”
“So let’s talk about the campaign. It may sound like February is a long time away but it is not. Andrew in this campaign
you have two assets that are not only huge for what they bring to you, but it’s something that Valerie Caldwell does not
“And what are they?” Sabrina questioned.
“Well the first is you,” Cricket answered. “I don’t know if the two you got married for the campaign or because you’re love
with another and I could care less. But what Sabrina brings to the table is stability. Valerie is going to campaign with her
mother or her sons or with all three of them…but nothing compares to what Sabrina brings to the table.”
“I feel the same way,” Andrew winked at her. “I always knew she was going to be my secret weapon.”
“I’m going to schedule you both at events, rallies, fundraisers and whatever other public event I can find, but because next
week is Thanksgiving it is a prime opportunity for you both to give back to the community,” Cricket continued. “You’re both
going to work at the River’s Edge Rescue Mission on Thanksgiving. I’ve arranged for you to arrive around three o’clock
and there will be time for you to interact with Valerie.”
Cricket leaned forward and snapped her fingers at them, “This is very important so listen very closely. At the mission
there is to be no talk of the campaign. None! Do you both understand?” They shook their heads. “If you’re asked about
the campaign you pivot and you redirect the question back to volunteering, the holiday…anything else you can think of, but
you don’t mention the campaign.”
Cricket relaxed and leaned back in her chair. “The following Monday I have arranged for you both to speak at the Elk’s
Lodge monthly pancake breakfast. There and only there, will you announce your campaign slogan, you will officially
kickoff your race for River’s Edge Mayor and you’ll publicly request that Valerie Caldwell sign a clean campaign pledge.”
“Damn you’re good,” Sabrina said under her breath just loud enough for Cricket to hear her.
“And I’m going to assume that you have that campaign slogan in the presentation?” Andrew turned to the monitor on the
the cabin in Canton with a martini in hand. From the radio playing in the kitchen she could hear
the local news reporting on a storm that was brewing in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
She reached for one of the books she had picked up at the local drugstore and was about to
wrap herself up in a blanket when she heard a knock on the front door. Pamela had arrived at
the cabin the morning after she caught Travis with that whore and no one in River’s Edge knew
she was there.
Pamela stood from the sofa and made her way across the living room and pulled open the
door. On the porch before her was a man whom she had never before seen.
City fashion show, his disastrous wedding with Natasha and Audrey’s discovery of his betrayal
he had been living with his son in a suite at the Southern River Hotel.
He looked over at Lewis in the passenger seat and said, “I saw your mother a few days ago
and there are some things I want to talk to you about.”
Lewis looked up from his iPad and questioned, “What type of things?”
The light turned green and Nicholas slowly accelerated. “Well for starters I want to know what
you think about spending a few nights a week with your mom,” he told his son.
haven’t had the time. I’m sorry.”
“That’s fine. The only reason I bring it up is because I’m going to be seeing her in less than an hour and this morning
she told me what it was she wanted.”
“Okay,” Jodi paused, “are you going to tell me what it is or should I guess? Just please Sabrina; please don’t make me
call that woman!”
Sabrina stepped towards Jodi’s desk, “Cricket wanted to know if BC would be interested in sponsoring the Winterhaven
Festival this year and in return for doing so we would get the opportunity to officially launch your book release.”
Jodi looked up from her computer and questioned, “And just how exactly was Cricket Carter-Hawkins made aware of
when my book was scheduled to be released?”
“I may have let it slip at the country club last week,” Sabrina answered in a suffocated whisper.
“Sabrina! Why would you do something like that? You knew that Cricket was having trouble getting someone to sponsor
the Winterhaven this year. Why would you let it slip that my book was being released the following week? No wonder
Cricket is calling non-stop, this is something that she just salivates over!”
“Don’t you think I know that Jodi?” Sabrina snapped. “I didn’t intentionally tell her about the release date it just happened.”
“So just how is this whole thing supposed to work?” Jodi questioned.
“Cricket said that everything will still be billed as the Winterhaven Festival and because BC has agreed to sponsor the
event we’ll have a place in the program to discuss your new book,” Sabrina explained. “And before you say anything, I
know that we originally discussed the idea of a party and decided that the tour would be sufficient…but now we have to
look at the much bigger picture here.”
“There’s a bigger picture?” Jodi questioned. “What exactly is this bigger picture Sabrina?”
“Your father’s campaign,” she answered. “He and I both agree that BC sponsoring the traditional Winterhaven Festival
and using it as a platform to launch your book is good business for the company and for his campaign.”
Jodi intertwined her hands together and rested her head against them. She thought for a moment before she finally
responded, “You’re good…” she conceded, “I’ll give you that.”
“I have my moments.”
“When does Cricket want an answer?”
“Your father and I are on our way to her office this morning. We’re meeting about the campaign and I would really like to
tell her that it’s a yes.”
“Okay fine,” Jodi agreed. “Just as long as my interactions with Cricket are few and far between,” she sighed heavily. “Get
someone from Events and Planning to work with her on the particulars.”
Sabrina smiled, “Done. Thank you Jodi for agreeing to do this, I know it’s not what you wanted but I appreciate it and I
know your father will too.”
“You’re welcome,” Jodi replied. “Now will you please get out so I can work?” she smiled at her and turned back to her
barrels loaded. But the one thing that Valerie Caldwell cannot touch, the one thing she can’t go up against because it
would not only be foolish, it would be political suicide is…”
“My father…” Andrew finished for her with a smile.
“Bingo!” Cricket smiled. “Your father was one of the most well respected men in this community and eleven years after
his death we are still seeing his impact from sixteen years in office. Valerie can’t touch his record and if she were to
try…this election would be over. We’re going to win this election Andrew and we’re going to do it the old fashion
way…just like Phillip would have wanted.”
“Really? I don’t recall seeing you when I came to visit with her. What type of relationship exactly did the two of you have?”
Preston thought for a moment and leaned forward, “With all due respect I don’t think I should answer that question ma’
am. I got the sense from Natasha that if she wanted someone to know something she would tell them.”
She snickered at him, “You’re exactly right. Well I applaud your discretion Mr. Crawford.”
“Thank you. You wouldn’t happen to know how I could get in touch with her do you.”
“Well I’ve always found that person-to-person is the most effective way of communication. Then there’s also the
telephone or email I suppose,” Pamela smiled. “River’s Edge isn’t that far from here, but something tells me that you
already know that.”
“You’re a very perceptive woman Mrs. McCarty,” Preston responded as he stood up and pushed his hands deep into the
pockets of his jeans. “Perhaps I should take your advice under consideration.”
“Well many have in the past and a very few have regretted it.”
As Preston headed towards the door, Pamela followed in behind and when he apologized once again for disrupting her
day she assured him, “It was no disruption at all. Please feel free to stop by anytime.”
“Thank you,” he stepped out on the porch. “Perhaps if you’re not busy tonight you would like to join my mother and I for
dinner around six o’clock? I’m making my world famous chili and my mother bakes one hell of a pan of cornbread.”
Pamela thought for a moment questioned with a smile, “A dinner invitation? I think that’s one of the nicest things anyone
has done for me in quite a very long time. I would be honored.”
“That’s great,” he replied. “Then it’s settled we’ll see you around six ma’am.”
meeting with Cricket Carter-Hawkins only ten minutes late.
“I apologize for being late,” Sabrina said as she kissed Andrew on the cheek. “Cricket you’ll be
happy to know that I was with Jodi discussing the Winterhaven and I’m pleased to tell you that
we can move forward as discussed.”
Cricket smiled, “Oh really? Well Sabrina aren’t you just the best thing ever?” she laughed. “I am
very excited to start working with BC to make this the best Winterhaven ever!”
go lay low for a bit, lick her wounds and then unfortunately for us when we least expect it she’ll pounce.”
“Yes well Travis that is precisely what I am afraid of…your wife pouncing on me if I’m not gone from River’s Edge once
she decides to return,” Rhonda fired back at him. “In case you haven’t noticed, I’m no longer sitting next to you ever night
reading the news, because I no longer have a job! Which means in a few months I’m going to run out of money and I will
no longer be able to afford this apartment that I’ve been hiding out in the for last five weeks!”
“Don’t you Rhonda me,” she told him. “The day after Pamela caught us in bed you begged me to stay here in River’s
Edge…you begged me,” Rhonda reminded him. “Well I’ve stayed Travis and so far I have nothing to show for it.”
She walked across the living room and threw open the front door, “You promised me that your wife would never find out
about our affair and she did. Travis McCarty you got me into this situation and I swear to God you will get me out of it, one
way or another.”
“What do you want me to do Rhonda?”
“I want you to go find your wife and figure out what the hell it is that she’s up to!” she fired at him. “Because if you don’t do
that Travis then I’m out to do exactly what Pamela suggested I do…leave River’s Edge.”
“Rhonda please don’t do that,” he told her as a cold, congested expression settled on his face. “I don’t want you to leave.”
“Then you find Pamela and you fix this mess that you’ve created Travis and so you help you do it right now!”
|November 18, 2012
Written By: Josh Hawkins
think about that?”
Lewis thought for a moment and then answered, “I like the idea a lot. How would it work? Would I spend a one night with
mom and then another night with you?”
The logic of children Nicholas thought to himself before he replied, “We haven’t gotten that far in figuring everything out
yet Lewis. We wanted to run the idea by you first and see what you thought. The three of us will have to all sit down
together and figure out the logistics. In the meantime though I have a few job interviews next week that are out of town…
“Next week is Thanksgiving,” Lewis reminded him. “Are you not going to be here?”
“No buddy I’m not,” Nicholas told him. “The interviews that I have are in New York. One is scheduled for Wednesday and
the other on Friday,” he explained. “I know that the timing sucks. I thought that you and I could have dinner together on
Tuesday night just the two of us and then the next morning before I leave I’ll take you over to your mom’s.”
Sabrina who had just arrived from her last meeting with Andrew and Cricket crossed one leg
over the other and nodded her head. “Natasha we’ve discussed this, I’m sure.”
Natasha called to her assistant, instructed her to send their next appointment in and five
minutes later Megan Shirley Holloway found herself before the owners of KJRE – Natasha
“As I said on the phone KTTV cannot know that I’m even here meeting with the two of you,”
“The only people that know you’re here are the three of us and my assistant,” Natasha replied.
“And I pay her well enough to ensure complete discretion.”
“Megan do you know why we asked you here today?” Sabrina began and Megan shook her
head no. "Rhonda Duncan is no longer with KJRE and it’s been decided that our morning
news anchor Laurie Stanton will be taking her place beginning next month."
“With all of the changes that are occurring it's been decided that we also want to rebrand the
morning news program that we currently have in place," Natasha explained. "With this
rebranding comes new and exciting changes for KRJE."
“And those changes that Natasha is talking about Megan,” Sabrina added, “they involve you.”
her. “Do you have a few minutes?”
Jodi let out a huge sigh and forced a smile at her new step-mother and most importantly her
boss. “Not really it’s been quite the day, but for you I shall make the exception. What’s up?”
“This won’t take that long. I’m actually heading out for the rest of the day with back-to-back
meetings with ironically both of your parents,” Sabrina explained. “Anyway, Cricket Carter-
Hawkins called me again this morning. Apparently she’s called your office a few times and
hasn’t heard anything back from you.”
Nicholas shook his head, “Yeah that’s the plan. I’ll be home Sunday morning. We’ll see how
everything went while I was gone and hopefully come up with a more permanent arrangement.”
“What about Thanksgiving?” Lewis questioned. He wondered where they would go for the
holiday especially considering it was Brandi's first since she was released from prison.
“I talked to your mom and she’ll be going with Justin to Audrey’s for dinner just like always,” his
father answered. “I believe your brother said that your big sisters are planning on coming too.”
“Yes,” Nicholas replied. “So is that yes? You’ll stay with your mom while I’m out looking for a new job?”
Lewis shook his head, "Yeah that sounds great Dad," he smiled. "But just so you know...no job interviews on Christmas."
mockup of the campaign signs that would soon find themselves planted in
lawns all across the city. “Andrew Bradshaw – A Name You Can Trust,” she
read to them. “And that Andrew, Sabrina, is where asset number two comes
“No Natasha isn’t here I’m sorry.”
“Oh,” Preston frowned and looked away. “I just saw the car and I thought that she might have
come back up here,” he explained.
“No Natasha, just me…Pamela Bradshaw McCarty,” she introduced herself. “Why don’t you
come in from the cold Preston?” she offered.
Preston stepped inside the cabin and he couldn’t help but smile as the memories of his
summer with Natasha overtook him. The weeks since he had last seen her were quickly
becoming months and after all that he had been through he realized just how much he’d
missed her being near him.
“I didn’t mean to startle you Mrs. McCarty or be a bother,” he declared as Pamela gestured
towards one of the open chairs in the living room.
“You didn’t startle me Mr. Crawford and I’ve been out here all alone for nearly five weeks now,
so you’re certainly no bother,” Pamela assured him. “Can I offer you something to drink? Hot
“No ma’am I think I’m good. I don’t want to overstay my welcome.”
door. It had been nearly five weeks since Pamela had caught her in bed with Travis and
threatened to expose the truth about her affairs if she didn’t leave town.
She opened the door and gestured for Travis to enter quickly. Once inside Rhonda latched the
deadbolt and then spun around to face her lover. She had questions, she needed answers
and damnit Travis was going to give them to her whether he wanted to or not.
“Please tell me that you’ve heard something from that crazy lunatic you call a wife,” Rhonda
barked at him. “Or at least tell me that the private investigator you hired was able to find her.
Because if I have to stay cooped up in this apartment for one more day…I may have to kill
myself or worse,” she cut her eyes at him, “I may have to kill you for getting me in this mess to
Travis shook his head and rolled his eyes, “Yes because you weren’t a willing participate in
this mess, as you call it, for well over three years.”
“Don’t take that tone with me Travis,” she warned him. “You were the one stupid enough to let
your guard down long enough for your wife to suspect something!” Rhonda paused for a
moment, took a deep breath and then told him, “We shouldn’t be fighting with one another. The
truth of the matter is that we’re in this together and we need to stick together.”
“And you want me to anchor or co-host this morning news talk show with this Englishmen from Chicago” Megan
questioned. “Without an audition? How do you know we’ll have chemistry?”
“That’s exactly what we want Megan,” Sabrina answered her. “And the audition is just a formality; we’ve seen your work.
Both Natasha and I recognize that you’re a talented, smart and beautiful young woman who has a bright future in this
“Thank you,” Megan replied.
“Unfortunately we don’t think that KTTV has the same feelings,” Natasha added. “Your demotion from the evening news
back to a field reporter was not only a mistake on the station’s part, but you should consider an insult to your career and
your talents. KJRE can’t give back what KTTV took from you, but we can offer you something much more exciting and
“Then give me the evening news,” Megan stated without reservation or hesitation.
Natasha shook her head, “I applaud and admire your tenacity, but you know that’s not going to happen. Sabrina and I
recognize you for the talent that you are, but the evening news is going to Laurie Stanton. She’s been with us from day
one…she deserves this promotion, she knows that, we know that and the viewers want that.”
“We’re not just asking you to come on board to read the news and bake cupcakes every morning. You’re going to help us
build the River’s Edge: Live brand from the ground up,” Sabrina told her. “In addition to being co-host you’ll also be
credited as producer.”
That revelation took Megan a moment to process. “KJRE is owned by The Bradshaw Corporation is venture something
that they believe in as much as the two of you do?”
“And more,” Sabrina answered. “We’ll buy out your contract at KTTV and when that happens they’re going to slap you with
a non-compete clause because they’re going to assume you’re coming over to do the evening news. That non-compete
will dictate that you can’t appear on the airwaves of KJRE between the hours of 4:00PM to 2:00AM…” she continued to
“So I’ll be locked into the morning show for two years, but I’ll get the opportunity to tell KTTV to shove it?” Megan asked
with a small glimmer of a smile.
“Megan listen to me,” Natasha commended of her. “We believe that this is a stepping stone for you. KTTV didn’t
recognize the talent that you have and the two of us are telling you right now that we recognize and we want it.”
“We’re investing in our future with this show,” Sabrina told her. “And in doing so we’re investing in your future and your co-
anchor. The two of you together, audition or no auditions,” she smiled, “are going to be magic. Mark my words!”
Megan thought for a moment and finally questioned, “When do you need an answer? Obviously this is something that I
need to talk over with my husband.”
“We understand that,” Natasha told her. “We need your answer by Monday, November 26th and not a day later.”
“The twenty-sixth…” Megan repeated. “Okay. I’ll think it over and discuss it with Gregory. Regardless of how this turns out
I thank you both for the offer.”
“You’re welcome,” Natasha told her. “And Megan…just so we’re clear on one final thing,” she paused, “while we believe
greatly in your talent if you turn this offer down there won’t be another one to come from us ever again. You either join the
team now or you don’t. Do you understand?”
Megan shook her head, “Yes ma’am. I understand perfectly.”
work for KJRE. I don’t know how you think all of these changes that the two of you are going to
make affect me.”
“KJRE is launching a brand new morning talk show. None of the other stations have anything
similar to it,” Sabrina explained. “KJRE will still have the morning news like we do now. Our
new show will air immediately following CBS This Morning in the nine o’clock timeslot.”
“River’s Edge: Live takes the morning news program and infuses it with a talk show,” Natasha
explained. “We’ve tested this concept in a similar market and it’s been highly successful for
that station. In fact we’ve already hired one of the anchors."