In the good old days, statistically speaking, it was a safe bet that the majority of articles written were at the very least, designed to encourage the reader to think, question, delve and consider all angles of a story. Occasionally, biased pieces were written and circulated by people with an underlying agenda. He accepted that.
Lately, Johnathan Frazer had been painted as a man of ill repute. One or two articles intent on discrediting him weren’t surprising, particularly on a hot topic like crime and politics. Since both were involved here, he’d expected nothing less.
At first, he’d considered the articles nothing more than sour grapes and annoying. However, it appeared that someone wasn’t satisfied with systematically smearing his name then escalated to include the company as well. With every passing week, the stories had become more inflammatory, taking on a life of their own. Until they’d begun taking potshots at family friends and associates, it hadn’t mattered. They’d crossed a line he would not tolerate. Now he needed to know who was at the bottom of the smear campaign.
Consequently, he’d tasked an exceptional team of investigators with the responsibility of finding who was behind the mudslinging and their motive. because although he wasn’t concerned on his behalf, he was distressed and angry they’d involved his family. They didn’t deserve the cruel onslaught directed at them. Even though they stood for him and beside him, this had gone far enough; his patience understanding and leniency were at an end.
Marcie McGregor the editor for a local paper and whom he’d been friends with since university was meeting him for lunch and he fully intended picking her brain to see if she could offer any insight. He knew she had an army of researchers available and what’s more, he could count on her honesty integrity and ethics and above all, her friendship.
Marcie McGregor was an admirable woman of determination, brilliance and strength; attributes he admired. And as she walked toward him, he was poleaxed when he realized he’d never noticed how beautiful she was. Her physical appearance hadn’t been something she’d taken great pains with, preferring a dress code in line with her job.
However, the rich auburn hair and sapphire blue eyes framed a delicate face and her elegant attire outlined a slender curvy body. Damn, he couldn’t believe he’d missed that about her.
He stood as she neared the table and he leaned in and kissed her cheeks before welcoming her. “Glad you could make it, Sparky.”
Her immediate response, a roll of her eyes before reciprocating with, “Anytime, string bean,” had both of them laughing as they reminisced over those carefree days that seemed so long ago.
“So to what do I owe the pleasure of this impromptu get-together?” she asked between bites of a delectable chicken salad.”
“All good things must come to an end, down to business then,” he conceded laying his cards on the table and outlining much of what had occurred before enlisting her assistance.
“I’ m sorry, Jonathan, I didn’t realize the extent of the derogatory nature of this campaign included your mother and sisters. They are decent kind people, salt of the earth, not that you deserve it either. ”
“I was hoping to enlist your assistance, Marcie,” he admitted. “I’ve got to get to the bottom of this to protect my family and friends. Can you help me?”
“Indeed I can and will. I’ll put my most discreet people on it and we’ll get started immediately, you can count on it.”
“I’m indebted to be sure.”
Reaching across the table, she rested his hand on his, “No, no your not. It’s what friends do,” her sincerity was unmistakable.