Kitty Saves the World Page 32

Ozzie slipped out without a word, closing the door behind him.

Meanwhile, Lightman produced a business card and handed it over. Business card at the start of the meeting instead of the end—this must be serious. The card was clean, the text straightforward, stating that Lightman ran his own production company. That was what I thought this was about.

“What can I do for you, Mr. Lightman?”

“Call me Charlie, please. How are you today, Ms. Norville?”

“Kitty,” I said, dancing the dance. Politely, I waited for the punch line.

He stuck his hands into the pockets of his suit jacket—just friends chatting, you know? “I’ve listened to your show—it’s a great show. How long has it been running now? Five, six years?”

“Seven, actually.” I was proud of that. Sometimes I felt like I’d only been doing this a few weeks. But I was practically established these days.

“You ever think about moving to TV? You ever get any offers?”

“Oh, a few. Here and there. I did a TV special out of Vegas a couple years ago.”

“I’m talking a regular slot. This may sound crazy, but I think you should be in a regular late-night talk show slot.”

Like, Letterman? Like The Daily Show? Was he serious?

“And you’re here to tell me you can make that happen?”

“I am,” he said, in such a way that made me think he could make anything happen. He had presence. He smelled … average. Nothing supernatural about him that I could tell. He bathed regularly, his clothes were washed. Professional, male. He drank a lot of coffee.

“I have to tell you, the Vegas show I did was a lot of fun, but I don’t know that I could maintain something like that four or five nights a week. Not to mention the full moon plays hell with keeping any kind of regular schedule. I like radio because I can maintain some amount of anonymity. TV brings so much visibility—”

“Kitty, you say you don’t want visibility, but you keep stepping on stage. Excuse me for saying so, but you gave up anonymity a long time ago.”

He had me there. “Yeah, well. Life’s strange.”

“Yes, it is,” he said. “But I think you really need to consider what a move like this would do for your career. For you. I’m talking the whole bushel here. Top of the game, star billing—this is career making. Life changing. You have to have been working for this all along.”

I wouldn’t have stuck with the show this long if I didn’t have some spark of ambition. I remembered this feeling, from way back when Ozzie asked that question after my first accidental episode of the show—can you do it again? Yes, I’d told him. Yes I could. I used to hold down the night shift every single weekday. Could I do that on TV?

“You’re appealing to my vanity, aren’t you?”

“Nothing wrong with that, it’s how I get things done. Oh, one question though—are you willing to leave Denver?”

My heart did a jump at that. I had never even thought about it. Never even considered. I couldn’t picture what my life would look like anywhere else.

“I ask because a show like this, the production facilities and distribution structures are mostly in either New York or L.A. A deal would be easier to make happen at either one.”

Leave Denver, Angelo had said. And then this comes along.

“I really don’t know. My family is here—” My birth family, my Wolf family …

The man ducked his head, smiled, and I bristled because he might very well have been making fun of me.

“I don’t think you understand. What I’m asking is: What would it take to get you to leave Denver? Cash money? Executive producer credit? Percentage of the take? What do you want? Think big, Kitty. Heart’s desire. What is it?”

Safety, I thought instantly. Safety, a child to raise in that safety. Things I had by necessity given up. To know that my pack was safe, that my family would always be safe. Hell, think big—a cure for lycanthropy? If I wasn’t a werewolf, everything else would go away. Giving that up was a wide, impossible chasm. My smile was thin, my gaze narrow. “Mr. Lightman, you can’t give me what I want.”

“We’ll see,” he said confidently. “What’s your answer, Kitty? Is this something we can talk about?”

No pressure, right? “I’ve been out of the office for a few days and I’m a little distracted right now. I really need to think about this. Talk it over with Ozzie, and my husband.”

“But you’re the one who makes the final decision, yes? That’s why I wanted to be sure to talk to you first.”

“And you’ve given me a lot to think about, but now you’ll have to give me time to think about it. If this is something I have to decide on right this minute I’m going to have to say no—”

He raised placating hands. “No, of course you can have time to think about it. I just wanted to make sure you knew I was serious. Name your price, we can make this happen.”

Deals like that rarely came along. There were always strings. People like Lightman talked fast so you’d forget to ask about the strings. I said, “It’ll probably take a little more negotiation than that. But I’ll think about it.”

“That’s all I’m asking. Thanks for meeting with me, Kitty.”

We shook hands again. He had the hungry smile of a salesman paid by commission.

I walked him to the elevator and he showed himself the rest of the way out. As soon as the door closed, Ozzie rushed from his office to accost me. He might have been listening at the conference room door the whole time.

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