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May 26, 2012
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(Contains: strong language)
Part 39
My gut says he's hiding something, but now's not the time to grill him for information.

Nathan sat up a little straighter so he could look at him more easily, not comfortable with Scott avoiding his gaze, and frowned. "Guess you got the story you wanted..."

"It's not about the damn story!" The other reporter finally looked up at him, hurt on his face from the accusation. "Okay, I'll own that I was a bit pissed that the first major event to hit Virtue in years ends up in the lap of my intern because I passed the assignment to you, but what kind of ass do you take me for? You've been in the hospital twice in less than twenty-four hours, both times for things that could have killed you, and after a less-than-kind remark from me. You have any idea what it's like to say something to someone in anger, then have that very thing happen?" He sighed with frustration and ran his fingers through his hair before burying his face in his hands. "Fuck, Kink. I feel responsible, okay?"

"Why?" Nathan wasn't sure what to make of this reaction. "You didn't actually do anything wrong. Yeah, you were an ass. I'm beginning to realize I should expect that from you."

Scott lifted one hand to flick him off, then lifted his head again. "That doesn't mean I feel any better about wishing you harm, then finding out you were attacked."

"Speaking of which, how did you find out? I've been out for God knows how long. When did you hear about the incident?" It was the perfect chance to get some answers without seeming too suspicious, but he was surprised when Scott nonchalantly shrugged.

"It was on the news," he said matter-of-factly. "It's almost six now, so it sounds like you were out for a while. They probably kept you under to do that." He nodded towards the bandages on his shoulder. Scott sighed again. "They said that the serial killer was in the middle of another murder when you and some teenager intervened before the police arrived. All sorts of speculations are flying about over why he took the kid but ultimately left you and his victim alive. It's all the buzz at the office."

"It's a pretty complicated story," Nathan grumbled leaning back, rolling his eyes and shaking his head. "No doubt you'll want to hear it."

Scott pressed his lips together in a thin line, not so much frowning as apparently biting his tongue. "You can tell me if you want to," he said quietly. "But I think this is something best left out of the papers."

Before Nathan could ask what he meant by that, there was a knock at the door. It opened slightly and someone peered inside. "Am I allowed to come in?"

"I don't think he'll mind another visitor," Scott said, again keeping Nathan from asking questions. "I need to introduce you anyway."

The woman beamed, then let herself inside, closing the door gently before she walked over and stood beside Scott in his seat. She was smartly dressed for the cooler autumn weather and looked like she'd just stepped out the office. A small leather purse was slung over one shoulder, and her straight blonde hair hung loosely around her pleasant face. Nathan wondered if it was weird that she reminded him a little of Alton.

"Nathan," Scott said, nodding towards him before he gestured towards the woman. "This is Susan. She's the new photography intern at the paper."

Susan waved and smiled at him. "Scott tells me you're quite the writer, if not a little on the crazy side."

The seated reporter wrinkled his nose at her, but laughed. "I did not say that. I said he has a knack for landing himself in feature-worthy situations. Like the one that landed him here."

"How so?" Nathan asked, finding it hard not to smile. He didn't know why, but the tension from suspecting Scott of knowing more than he let on seemed to ease. He still thought he was hiding something, but it just didn't seem that important right now. And besides, Susan's comment was definitely a bit funny. "I've only been in this hospital twice now, and (as you pointed out) both times within twenty-four hours. How is that a knack for landing in feature-worthy situations?"

Scott snorted and counted off on his fingers. "Halloween, the Famina interview, and now this. All three were great scoops; all three you were present for. Either you're a lucky reporter or a cursed son of a bitch. Pick one."

"Eh, I think I'll go with cursed. Lucky makes it sound like I like being shot or having my arm nearly hacked off."

Susan giggled. "You wrote the article on the Halloween disaster? It was really good! Normally, I don't read the paper -- I find most of the articles kind of dull -- but that one just caught my eye and... well, it didn't read like a newspaper normally does. It was more like reading a novel, even though it didn't feel biased one way or the other. I was really impressed. First time I've bought a paper in months!"

"You bought it because of my article?" Nathan asked with a laughed, amused by her enthusiasm. She blushed.

"Yes, of course. I, um, like to collect stories, and I really liked yours. I cut it out and put it into a folder I keep at home."

"Why don't you ask him for his autograph?" Scott teased. Susan's cheeks lit up even more as she gave him a bashful glare.

"Stop it! You're trying to embarrass me!"

"But you make it so easy!"

She stuck her tongue out at him, then cocked her head to the side, looking at Nathan again. "Did he tell you? He wants to write a feature article on you and your interesting escapades, being as involved in all the latest news as you are. Might even make the front page, above the fold."

"Hey!" Now Scott's cheeks darkened as he pouted at her. "I hadn't gotten to that yet!" She just giggled and shrugged, so he rolled his eyes and turned to Nathan. "Chuck wants me to pick up your story, but I'd rather pass it off to another intern to do a feature on you. I mean, with all the shit you've been through lately, you really deserve some of this spotlight, and not just by being the one behind the pen, if you know what I mean." He smiled at him. "Virtue's newest citizen and The Citizen's newest reporter, yet you've been through Hell and back for one story already, now another. You deserve more credit for your pains. But I wanted to ask you first, since, well, it is about you."

Beside him, Susan grinned eagerly. "So, how about it? Can he write the feature?"

A feature? On me? Wow, is he serious? Is my life really so intriguing that people would want to read about it? I don't know what to say! I'm... flabbergasted! Really, isn't the serial killer story a better one to write? This is just... wow! I'm surprised he's even asking for my permission! Maybe he's not too much of an ass after all...

Should I let him write the feature on me?
Another longer-than-usual chapter, but hey look! Susan's here! Now I really will have to finish that render...

I don't know why, but this one was kind of fun to write. It does a lot to elaborate on Scott's character, for one, and points out just how messed up Nathan's first month and a half have been. This story has a lot more to it than Book 1, it seems, and has already passed the word count of the first by over 1,000 words. That's an accomplishment!

And yes, the lampshade hanging in his closing thoughts was deliberate.

THE CHOICE HAS BEEN MADE: Read Part 40 to see his decision!

<<< BACK TO PART 38

ON TO PART 40 >>>

START AT PART 1
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:iconicysapphire:
Icysapphire Featured By Owner May 28, 2012  Student General Artist
I actually...just encountered someone with the name Mary Susan. LOL.
She's so...cheerful. I don't know how I feel yet.
I like parts that have Scott in it, though, so I like this one! 8D :heart:
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:iconcei-ellem:
Cei-Ellem Featured By Owner May 28, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Heh, glad you enjoyed it ^_^
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:iconultimamage578:
UltimaMage578 Featured By Owner May 26, 2012
Ooohh Susan is here!! Yay!! I already love Susan.

Lols... Scusan.

Mmm, a feature article, sounds nice, but Nathan shouldn't let the idea of small town flashing lights blind him.
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:iconcei-ellem:
Cei-Ellem Featured By Owner May 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
lol, probably not, but he could probably do for the moral support, all things considered. People will read it and be like "Holy crap! He almost died twice for a story!". They'll either think he's nuts or exceedingly brave. Given that this is Virtue, probably more the latter.
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:iconultimamage578:
UltimaMage578 Featured By Owner May 26, 2012
True moral support is good... but I feel that it won't last as long as it should... it it may just overinflate things.
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:iconcei-ellem:
Cei-Ellem Featured By Owner May 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Or you could be thinking too hard about it.
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:iconultimamage578:
UltimaMage578 Featured By Owner May 26, 2012
Lols no, I just think too twistedly.
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:iconcei-ellem:
Cei-Ellem Featured By Owner May 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Untwist a little, you may have better luck.
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