By: Vi Keeland

“All of it. I need one-point-two.”

“Miles,” I sigh and drag my hands through my hair.

“It’s a really good show, Coop. I just know the ratings will go through the roof with a little advertising.”

I’ve heard all this before. It’ll take more than Miles’s biased and unreliable assurance to convince me. “Send me some dailies. I want a look before I can answer.”

“You got it.” He smiles, tossing back the rest of the liquor in his glass. “I’ll have Linda send you over the first few episodes. You’re going to be dying to get in on this one.”

Dying, I think to myself, might be preferable to having to watch more reality TV.

Finally home after a fourteen-hour day that ended even worse than it started, I call Helen and ask her to have someone pick up my brand-new Mercedes from the repair shop in the morning. Three days old, and I was rear-ended while I waited for the light change, already ten minutes late for my first meeting because of yet another problem with the elevator in my building. I eventually walked down forty-two flights, thinking the morning couldn’t get any worse. Damn was I wrong. Miles’s visit came next.

I hop in the shower, allowing the steady stream of pulsating water from the shower massager to work its way into my tightly knotted shoulder muscles. I’m just letting out a deep breath, finally starting to relax, when the doorbell interrupts. “Goddamn it,” I growl, grabbing a towel and heading to the door. Somebody better be dying.

Lou, the night doorman, stands holding a package. “A courier dropped these off for you today. I missed you come in. Must have been on my bathroom break. Sorry about that, Mr. Montgomery, the bladder isn’t what it used to be.”

“No problem, Lou. Thanks for bringing it up.”

“Also, you had a visitor before you got home tonight. She wasn’t on the list of approved visitors and you didn’t answer the buzz, so I sent her away.” Lou pauses. “She wasn’t happy.”

“Did you get her name?”

“Didn’t need to. It was that actress, Tatiana Laroix.”

Perfect. I’ve tried the nice route, but she just won’t take a hint. “Thanks, Lou. You did the right thing.”

“That’s one beautiful woman, even at my age, ya can’t help but notice that one. Hope you don’t mind me saying so.”

“You’re right there. She is beautiful.” And damn crazy too.

I change into some sweats and take a look at the package. Mile High Productions. Great. I can’t think of a more appropriate way to end this crappy day, reality TV.

I grab a beer, take a long draw and slip the DVD in. The first ten minutes introduces half of the women. The method is interesting enough, although the responses fall flat. The host, who I’m actually pretty impressed Miles was able to score, is a well-known name. Each girl is on screen for a minute as he plays word association with them. Great concept, predictable answers. By the sixth woman who associates the word profound with the lyrics of Macklemore, I’m done. Maybe tomorrow, things won’t seem so bleak.

Friday is appointment-free day. My father passed the tradition down to me, and it makes the day before the weekend something I look forward to. It’s the one-day that Helen keeps clear. No appointments, no conference calls, no lunches, no meetings. It’s my choice, all day. This week I need it more than ever. I do my morning run at the studio lot, knowing Miles is going to be shooting some promo work for Throb. I decide I’ll drop in unannounced and check out what’s going on.

I’m surprised to find the lot empty, so I head over to security to see what Mile High has planned for the day.

“Hey, Frank.”