Howdy! I'm back. I took a short hiatus to write a holiday story that was eating at me, called The House-Sitter's Christmas for the entire month of December. But I'm back on track with Tuesday Tales now. Reunited is a brand new story, simmering on the back burner for now. I'll be posting it, bit-by-bit here, on Tuesday Tales for a while. Thanks for stopping by.
Cassandra Newsome paced in front of the Starbucks on Fifty-third Street, waiting for a call from her business partner, and boyfriend, Ned Collins. He was meeting with the head of programming for Cable Entertainment Network, CEN, the hottest network on television.
She was shocked when he’d agreed to meet with Ned to discuss the idea for their reality television series, Reunited. The call came. Cassie’s hands shook as she answered.
“I have good news and bad news. Which do you want first?”
“Just tell me what happened,” she said, going inside and sitting at the counter. Cassie ordered a cup of coffee while she listened.
Ned cleared his throat, then did his best imitation of the hotshot executive:
“We love your idea. Bringing together people who once loved each other and got separated for some reason is intriguing, I grant you. But the half dozen couples you’re ready to shoot are not in our target demographic.”
“Target demographic?” she asked.
Ned went on: “In plain English, they’re too damn old. No one gives a rat’s ass if a couple of people in their forties or fifties get it on. In fact, some might consider it obscene.”
“But these people’s stories’ll make viewers cry,” Cassie said.
“I don’t give a flying fuck if the audience cries. I only care that they buy our advertisers products. I can’t see hot new car advertising on your show. More like commercials for Viagra or nursing homes.”
“But…” she tried to interrupt.
“We get all those advertisers on our daytime shows. The game shows and judge shows. Hell, that’s where that audience is. In prime time, you’re talking the 18-34 demographic. And the last thing they want to watch are wrinkled people sucking face.”
“So if we get a couple that’s younger? Would that appeal to him?” She asked.
Ned continued: “If you can find a couple in that age bracket, then we have a deal. I love the premise. Real heart tugging crap. The network president’s gonna love it, and especially his wife. But get me that young, hot, sexy couple who can’t wait to hop into bed, and you’ll have a winner. Sorry. I’ve got another appointment at four. Call my secretary when you’ve got this glitch fixed and we’ll set up another meeting.”
“Really?,” she said, frowning.
“Meet me at the bar in the St. Regis. I need a drink,” Ned said.
She pushed through the door and joined him. They headed toward a dark room. Sure enough, it was a bar. They were seated at a small table in the empty room. Three o’clock, a little early for the cocktail set.
“I’m not going back to Dickwad and Dickwad, Cassie,” Ned said, sipping his scotch on the rocks.
“I hate advertising, too, but if we can’t get a deal, we don’t have a choice.
“You heard Sanderson, if we can find a younger couple, we’re in,” Ned said.
“Yeah, but where’ll we find someone like that? And would they be willing to go on the show?”
Cassie raised her glass of wine. Ned startled her when he snapped his fingers.
“Wait! I’ve got it.”
He turned to stare into her eyes. She leaned back.
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