Cassidy welcomed Franklin in to the restaurant.
"I hope you don't mind meeting me here."
"Not at all. It's what I would do if I were you."
"If I were going to talk to someone I didn't quite trust about a subject I had been burned on before I would make sure I did it in the place I felt most comfortable and also most confident. For instance if you were interviewing me we would do it in my office and I would angle your chair so you could see all of my awards. Instead I will just slyly mention them here."
Cassidy laughed, "Okay, now that you've brought it up why would Pulitzer Prize winner Franklin Roth choose to do a piece on me? This is a little too fluffy for your normal writing isn't it?"
"Ah, I see you did do your research on me! Wonderful. Okay, before we get to your story I will give you mine. Seem fair?"
"Sure." Cassidy leaned back in her chair and sipped her tea, "Go on."
"As you now know I moved to town to take over The Insider. I haven't found a place to live just yet so have been staying at a hotel near the office. There is not much that is more depressing than working all day and then heading straight to a room that could be in any city in any place in the world. I wanted to start getting a feel for the people around me and that started at the bar in the lobby.
The reason why I got in to reporting was because stories fascinate me. Everyone has a story. Every place has a story. And what you see on the first glance is rarely all there is to know. So I tend to watch people when I am out. I see what they are doing. I try to guess why. So sitting in a bar watching people is great fun for me.
Our friend Sam intrigued me. The first night I saw him he was sitting by himself. He would glance at his phone then at his notebook then his phone again but every time someone walked in and Gary, it's Gary right? The bartender?" Cassidy nodded her head. "So when Gary greeted them his head would snap up and he would look to see who it was. He was obviously waiting for someone. Someone who never came. I thought the poor guy had been stood up. Happens. But then the next night I'm walking past the bar on my way out of the lobby and I see he's there again. Well now this is a little more interesting. I went in and watched him, same routine. Phone, notebook, watch the door, leave alone. So now I'm wondering, who is he looking for? Is he a private investigator? Is he a spy? Is he a really really unlucky dater?"
Cassidy laughed, "You have quite the imagination."
"It's part of the job. You have to think of the questions so you know what to ask. So this goes on for four nights. I decided that I was going to approach him and get his story on the fifth. There had to be something there. So I made sure I was sitting near enough to him to make my move and then you walked in. I could tell you were who he had been waiting for because he became like a dog on point. Everything turned toward you. But he didn't approach you. And you obviously had no idea who he was. So now I was really curious. What exactly was going on. Not a private investigator or a spy because he was too obvious about you being his target.
Then when he did finally approach and I accidentally leaned in closer to eavesdrop on your conversation I heard my newspaper and misquoting come up I knew he might not get his story but I had an angle for mine."
Cassidy shook her head, "Now I'm really lost. You heard that I was angry over being misquoted by the newspaper you are now running and your first thought is you want to talk to me more? Shouldn't your first thought have been how the hell can I get out of here without being noticed?"
Franklin laughed, "No. I run toward danger! Okay, well, maybe not danger but slightly ticked off restaurateurs I run towards them. Now don't take this the wrong way, but you are just the first step in a series I want The Insider to do. Our industry hasn't had the best of reputations as of late. Too much sensationalism, not enough journalism. I want to do a series showing what happens when things aren't presented in exactly a fair light. We are going to start with you, a local story, and the ramifications of that interview, and then move broader and broader showing regional, national and international stories and the effects of less than honest reporting. How misinformation is really worse than no information at all.
So that's my story on why I want to tell your story. I'm using you to make a broader point basically. You should know that upfront. I want to ease our readers in to paying attention to what I am going to be saying later. And I think if I can coat it all in hearts and flowers, or the lack there of, then it will go down easier."
"Okay? As in we have a deal? You give me the long interview and we tell your story the way you thought it would be told all along? That okay?"
"Yes, that okay."
"Great! So tell me, Cassidy, how long have you hated love?"