/ Monday, April 4th, 2005 /
“Coming up next is Joe Vonsen with ‘Tonight in the World’, I’m Grant Haste” the man signs off, the closing portion left to his co-anchor. “And I’m Howard Nalty, please have a warm evening. Goodnight” the man departs, those hidden beyond the view of the camera cutting the feed to yet another great show. “Brilliant, as always, Grant!” Howard exclaims, quickly leaving the desk and ripping the ear piece from where it lies.
“You too” Grant responds with appreciation, neatening his papers before following Howard’s lead, his earpiece kindly left upon the desk to be collected. Returning to his office, Grant hastily removes his tie, tossing it onto his chair before disappearing into the connected closet, running his fingers through each edition of his wardrobe as if he had minimal time to do so.
Having mastered undoing the buttons on his shirt with one hand, the man uses the one which remains free to sift through even more clothing, his brain running through the bountiful combinations he can leave the office draped in. His phone beginning to ring, Grant closes his eyes and yanks a random shirt from the rack, hurrying back to his desk to answer the call.
“The desk of Grant Haste, Capitol Studio News” the man greets, the woman on the other end warmly starting the man’s night with a seductive tone, an act that puts a smile across Grant’s face. “Ms. Dolin, I trust” Grant replies, the soul on the other line amused by the front. “Please, Grant… It’s Kelsi to you” she responds. Undoing the cuffs on his shirt, Grant thanks her for the immunity, shirt gliding down his arms and falling across the back of his chair.
“I’ll meet you in around fifteen minutes, cool?” Grant replies, Kelsi promising to wait in the event he gets held up. “With you waiting for me, I don’t think that will be an issue” Grant replies, the smirk of confidence spread across his face as the conversation ends, his phone lifted into his hand and returned to the receiver within a second.
“No breaking news since I went off-air, right?” Grant calls out, his body covered by a dark purple shirt, a slick black tie and golden cufflinks. Long legs dressed in a pair of ironed, black pants with a brown leather belt, Grant completes the look with equally black penny loafers. “Unless you consider being off-air to be a national travesty, unlikely” a woman sat behind a “Maggie Barnes” nameplate replies, Grant insisting on that being the news he likes hearing most.
Stopping by the control room entry, Grant looks to his left for reasons not even he understands, his internal feelings just giving him the command, there and in that moment, to look where he does. Across the newsroom, Howard and an assistant, duck into a storage closet unbeknownst to the rest of the staff, who all begin taking off by this point. The door shutting behind them, Grant realizes himself to not need to take such interest in the sight, though his mind can’t stop thinking about it.
The way the man pulled her by the arm, the way their faces didn’t interact with each other in a racy, or otherwise sexual way, suggested this to be an encounter less than it had appeared to be. Brushing off the sighting, Grant enters the controls, his eyes ducking back to the doors as he walks further within, unable to become any less suspicious than he already was to the sight, even with other matters he deems more pressing to worry about ahead of himself.
After a brief conversation, Grant thanks his executive producer, telling him to have a safe ride home. “You, too!” the man replies, a cocky Grant putting on a show as he runs his fingers down the sleek outfit he sports in that moment. “I don’t think it’s my home I’ll be getting safely to tonight!” Grant replies, spinning around with confidence and pushing his way through the glass doors.
Entering the newsroom once again, Grant walks halfway through the now completely-empty newsroom before his eyes latch onto the closet once more. The date he prepares to partake in is no longer the only thing he is able to think about, Grant does extra to keep himself from being concerned with the business of other people, finally taking a few steps towards the doors before turning back yet again.
Now facing the newsroom, Grant pictures the sight in his head persistently, playing it to himself on repeat before finally glancing back towards the storage room. With a grimace and sigh, Grant shakes his head in disappointment and makes the long journey towards the back of the room. Knowing his middle-aged co-anchor to be more than capable of handling a situation himself, Grant kicks himself for giving into the curiosity, hoping to see the pair having left the room without him knowing.
Clearing his throat, Grant approaches the door, hand stretched towards the knob as the sounds of occupancy from within greet him once close enough. Rolling his eyes, Grant shakes his head and prepares to walk in, only to stop upon the hearing of grunting, the intercourse the pair engage in now being a forgone conclusion. With his head shaking, Grant smirks and turns to leave, only for a plea from within to capture his outright attention immediately.
“Please… Stop…” the feminine voice within remarks, Grant’s head quickly turning back to the door upon the voice catching his ears, the grunting continuing well after the plea is first voiced. No prior experience of such an encounter to base his actions off, Grant operates on instinct alone in what he does next, turning back to the storage room and reaching for the handle, turning it without question and pushing the door in.
= Tonight at 9 is created by Zachary Serra, all rights to the series belong to Zachary Serra and the entity of Pacer1 Media from the start of Season 1 onwards =
/ Tuesday, April 5th, 2005 /
Entering the building with eyes locked on his familiar pathway, Grant dulls out the secretaries answering phones upon his entry, just intent on making it to his office without disruption. Having nullified every sound into background noise, all Grant takes into his ears are the sounds similar to that of the whirring he falls asleep to at night. Before his destination can be reached, Grant’s progress is impeded, arm taken by the familiar face he’s shared the desk with countless times.
“We need to talk in private” Howard proclaims, leading Grant through the hallways by the arm and yanking him into the men’s bathroom. “What are you doing?” Grant asks, watching Howard check every stall with his finger pressed to his lips, the coast being clear enough for him to finally speak openly. “It’s nothing big, I just need to touch base with you” Howard replies, his hands tucked into his pockets, the lack of a blazer making the man appear less professional than he usually does.
“Touch base upon what, exactly?” Grant responds, Howard looking around the room frantically, unable to keep eye contact with the man unless he, himself, is talking. “What… uh…” Howard begins, his words unable to come in the form of complete sentences, the worry in the man’s voice overtaking his ability to coherently string together a well-rounded sentence. “What, what did you… you see, last night?” Howard inquires, “as in… how much did you see last night?”
Taking in a deep breath, Grant breaks eye contact, Howard snapping his fingers to draw Grant’s attention back to him upon noticing this. “I saw… you” Grant replies, Howard nodding his head as Grant puts his words together. “I saw you… in the closet… with her” Grant concludes, Howard’s head nodding in agreement at each word until the woman’s presence is mentioned, upon which, his head begins to shake.
“That’s not what you saw” Howard replies, prompting Grant to turn his head to the side, eyes remaining still upon Howard’s. “That definitely is what I saw” Grant responds, Howard’s head shaking even more erratically now. “No, you just saw me in that room last night” Howard replies, hands held in the air, positioned as if the man were guiding Grant onto the similar train of thought.
“I saw you in that room last night?” Grant wonders aloud, immediately prompting Howard to begin nodding his head in agreement. “Yes, you saw me in that room last night, returning a broom I had taken to sweep my floor” Howard responds, Grant unintentionally beginning to lean forward the longer Howard draws the story out to him. “I saw you returning a broom last night?” Grant responds, Howard’s nod continues, “with your dick in that woman?”
Immediately, Howard’s head begins to shake once more, the man refusing that any such encounter happened. “So that woman wasn't there last night?” Grant asks, “it was just the broom asking for you to stop fucking it, right?” Becoming aggravated, Howard goes to answer, his thoughts sidetracked when the bathroom door begins to open, the man immediately pressing his body weight against it, calling out its occupancy to the man on the other side.
Turning to the door, Howard presses his back against the wooden frame, keeping any outsiders from entering as he cuts the childish discussion where it was. “I’ll put it this way, Grant… When, no, if someone asks you what you saw that night… You answer exactly as I have told you” Howard explains, Grant’s eyelids narrowing as the man desperately tries to lure Grant into his corner.
With a shrug, Grant recites the statement Howard’s fed him, the made up story of how the broom asked Howard to stop raping it. “Quit fucking around with me, Grant” Howard warns, Grant’s hands thrown out by his side, the man refusing to ignore what happened the night prior. “You raped that woman last night, and you want me to cover it up for you!” Grant explains, “if anyone’s fucking around here, it’s you feeding me this broom bullshit!”
In the corner of the room, a mop bucket lays unattended, Howard quick to snap the stick over the corner of the tiled wall and place it between the handle, allowing him to speak to Grant’s face. “Listen, Grant… I get that you’ve played by the rules up to now, but there is a level of power with this job that everyone abuses at one point or another” Howard explains, “and in those cases, the people with similar power, that will do the same thing one day, cover for the people that will cover for them.”
Head shaking, Grant tells Howard that he’ll never abuse power in such a way that the man before him has, a statement Howard immediately disagrees with. “You’re gonna use your power someday, and it won’t be anything less than abuse” Howard explains, “and when that day comes, I’ll cover for you… Just like you’ll cover for me now.”
Mouth agape, Grant looks on at Howard in disgust, the man pleading with Grant to do the right thing, a statement which leaves the putrid feeling to run down Grant’s skin like tar. “What makes you so confident that I’ll do what you want?” Grant questions, “why do you stand there thinking you can convince me that I didn’t see you rape a woman last night?”
With a sigh, Howard explains that all debts are to be paid, and reminds Grant that he has a debt to pay Howard back. “You would have never gotten your start at CSN had it not been for the good word I put in on your behalf” Howard explains, hand pressed against Grant’s shoulder for the brief moment it takes before Grant shoves it away. “You owe your career to me” Howard warns, finger raised towards Grant’s face as his hand reluctantly rests back on Grant’s shoulder.
“Just as I gave you the career you have, I can take it away like that” Howard concludes, Grant left to allow the man’s hand to rest beside his face, “so when the question is asked… you didn’t see anything.” A break in the man’s warning allowing for silence to fill the room, Grant stares at his co-anchor with disgust, Howard backing away from the man slowly before removing his makeshift lock and leaving the bathroom, Grant left swiping the filth from his shoulder in response.
Knuckles colliding with the glass on his office door, Grant turns on a light to illuminate the room he had just sat in surrounded by darkness, half-heartedly welcoming those on the other side in. Taking their chance, the detectives help themselves to the comfort of Grant’s spacious office, the fur seats before his desk sit welcoming and soft, the room dressed almost like a cozy, miniature house.
“Mr. Haste, I’m Detective Mathias, this is my partner, Detective Arcnote” the man greets, Grant insisting they refer to him by his first name. Taking their seats, the detectives ask the man if he’s had anything to drink this evening, Grant answering with a question as to whether or not a wine cooler counts. “It does, is that a ‘yes’?” Mathias humorously replies, which Grant answers to in kind.
“Is this about the police questioning I keep hearing around the newsroom?” Grant wonders aloud, a suspicion seconded by the detectives themselves. “We’re investigating a report made by an assistant that works here” Mathias replies, “Do you know Ms. Malichi?”
“I do” Grant responds without hesitation, “she’s Howard’s assistant, if I’m not mistaken.” Assured to be thinking of the correct woman, Grant is asked if he can describe the relationship between her and Howard in words, a question which takes Grant a few seconds to answer. “I guess it would be the typical relationship one would have with their assistant” Grant replies, “I wouldn’t have had a reason to believe otherwise, if that’s what you’re asking.”
“Have had?” Arcnote points out, a statement that catches both Grant and Mathias off guard for a second, “why have had? As if you’ve recently become aware of something…” Glancing back to the man behind the desk, Mathias seconds Arcnote’s quandary, asking Grant for the reasoning behind his sentencing structure. “Just a slip of the tongue, I suppose” Grant replies, Arcnote visibly suspicious of his statements.
“Grant, did you happen to see anything take place last night?” Mathias questions, Grant attempting to dissuade any further digging, still uncertain if his career is more important than the justice for a woman so blatantly wronged as Jessica was. “I had a date after work last night” Grant replies, “that may not necessarily be anything new, but it was what had my attention throughout the evening.”
“Can anyone corroborate that?” Mathias inquires, Grant sliding his phone towards the detective, bringing up his contact list and telling the detective to take Kelsi’s number down. Doing as instructed, Mathias gives the floor to Arcnote, who pushes towards Grant’s connection with Howard. “How influential was he in bringing you into primetime here?” Arcnote wonders aloud, her question answered before Grant needed to reply.
“I’m pretty sure it’s well-known that Howard put in a good word to get me here, alright” Grant replies, “does this question have anything to do with Howard?” Without hesitation, Arcnote confirms the man’s suspicions, Mathias holding his hand out to Arcnote, keeping her from going on, instead, thanking Grant for his time and showing themselves out.
“You have a lovely evening” Grant replies, a smile flashed towards the officers as they remove themselves from the room, Arcnote looking back through the glass window, peering at the man she knows is aware of more than he lets on.
/ Wednesday, April 6th, 2005 /
Tapping on his glass once more, Detective Mathias opens Grant’s morning with a conversation over coffee, a tray of beverages in his hand as he walks through the door. “I asked the secretary downstairs how you took your coffee, if you don’t mind that” Mathias greets, Arcnote following behind as Grant thanks him for his consideration.
Suggesting they get right down to business, Mathias runs down the phone call he had taken with Kelsi the night prior, a vivid description of the date being recited by the lead investigator. “To make a long story short, Grant, she explained to us that you seemed more than pre-occupied throughout the evening” Mathias explains, “she also added that whatever had your mind stolen away was important enough to keep you from… getting it up.”
His head dropping, Grant nods to himself as Arcnote asks about what could have caused such a reaction, the microphone on the table active, as represented by the bright red light ominously on throughout the length of their shared discourse. “I was nervous” Grant replies, a response prompting Arcnote to lower her head and roll her eyes, “it was a big date, I had just gotten off a show, plenty to be concerned over.”
“Can you tell that we’re a little… questionable… of that excuse?” Mathias asks, reminding the man of the kind of falsehoods they have the capabilities of easily picking up on. “I don’t know what else to tell you, sir” Grant replies, “I was nervous, I’m always meeting new people, and something about her really got in my head.”
Having heard enough of what she deems to be nonsense, Arcnote reaches across the desk and presses the pause button on the mic, the small red light turning dark as Mathias looks on in wonderment. “You’re used to going off the record in journalism, correct?” Arcnote questions, Grant assuring her of his familiarity. “Good, so will you stop bullshitting us if we take this off the record?” Arcnote questions, brushing off Mathias’ suggestion to do otherwise.
“If you can tell us what really happened on the record, we can find a way to protect you from whatever it is you’re running from” Arcnote explains, “your loyalty to your job shouldn’t be enough to let an innocent woman suffer.” Head hung, Grant’s hands folded together, Mathias turning to suggest Arcnote go about things in a different way, his suggestion left unsaid upon noticing Grant’s reaction.
“I can’t” the man behind the desk whispers, Arcnote assuring the man that he can, and should. “Regardless of what you think you can do for me… It won’t change what I know, that you don’t” Grant replies, assuring the officers that he’s sorry for not being able to give them the answers they came looking for. His hand outstretched, Grant brushes Arcnote’s finger away from the pause button, hitting it again to allow the red light to return.
“I didn’t see anything. I was nervous about the date, and that is all” Grant remarks on the record, Arcnote’s head slumping as Mathias takes a disappointed breath, “end of story.”
Walking by the man, Howard flashes Grant a smile, his hand patting his protege on the shoulder, prompting Grant to stop his walk, standing still in the hallway before calling Howard back. With a smirk, Howards gradually slows down, exhaustedly turning back, Grant determined to set the record straight for the man standing before him.
“I’m never, make this known, never going to be like you…” Grant explains, “whatever power I have will not be abused the way you have, so don’t worry about needing to cover for me.” With a laugh, Howard adjusts Grant’s suit, the shorter man by height pulling away from the fingertips of his on-air counterpart. “There are a lot of things about this business that you don’t know yet, Grant” Howard explains, “one of those things is what abuse of power truly is.”
Face scrunched, Grant admits to Howard that he’s not following along, giving his co-anchor all the invitation he needed to break it down in the simplest of terms. “To abuse power is to use your influence to an unfair advantage” Howard explains, “a little frisky action is one way, as apparent… but as is using your status as a national news anchor to break the law with ease… doing something like, oh, I don’t know, obstructing justice.”
Eyebrows furled, Grant opens his mouth to speak, Howard holding his hand out before he can, leaving Grant to look on as Howard wipes his hands all over his subordinate’s blazer. “But don’t worry about that, Grant Haste from CSN” Howard explains, getting closer to the man before lowering his face near his, making sure they’re at eye level before finishing his statement, “I’m gonna cover for you… just like you covered for me.”
With a pat on both shoulders, Howard turns around to walk away, briefcase strapped over his chest casually as he walks off, Grant left feeling disgusted. Storming back into his office, Grant throws his blazer across the room, tearing the buttons of his dress shirt off and throwing it onto the floor. Stepping out of his pants, socks and shoes, Grant tosses his jewelry to the side and steps into his adjacent shower, allowing the cold water to run over his head, gradually turning warmer.
The shower running over his face, Grant places his hands against the tiled wall, the warm water running down the length of his body before audibly finding its way to the drain. Trembling in anger, Grant lets out a shout, his yelling only growing in volume as he lets out the rage in his own disgust. Eventually having to halt his shouting to catch another breath, Grant makes up for the lack of verbal distress with a straight jab at the tiles ahead.
Within moments, the bruised knuckles the man sports connect with the wall further, his hand progressively hurt more with each strike he takes on the shower wall. Before long, the man’s energy is spent, his punches ceasing and his shouting coming to a silence, simply sliding down the wall to the floor, slumped over as the water from above continues to run, its flow unimpeded by the man’s inner conflicts coming to the surface.
/ Wednesday, January 11th, 2006 /
“You wanted to see me?” Grant asks aloud, Vickers staring out of the window from his view-heavy office, New York City shining bright beneath the stars. “Do you know why I thought you had potential?” Vickers wonders aloud, “I mean… even after I found out what you were responsible for…”
“Because of talent?” Grant replies, a clearly changed man, his appearance the farthest thing from his mind, his confidence replaced with a genuine intrigue he never once had at CSN. “No… It’s because I knew what kind of person you were, and obviously, still are” Vickers replies, his hand held towards a waiting glass of whiskey on his desk as he continues, “I knew putting you in a situation where you were reminded of what you did would influence you to make the right choice.”
“So you paired me with Taylor to teach me a lesson?” Grant asks, Vickers refusing with a smile. “I put you with Taylor because she brings the best out in people” Vickers remarks, “and I put you in that newsroom knowing you’d, well, at least eventually, do the right thing.” With a smile, Grant takes the drink and has a seat in the chairs before Vickers’ desk, thanking him for the final drink before he finds himself behind bars.
“I wouldn’t have let you go on the air if I knew it were a one and done” Vickers replies, the glass in Grant’s hands hovering as he stares towards Vickers in confusion. “LMC’s legal team has been prepped for this kind of outing” Vickers confesses, “and as soon as Taylor gave the clearance to Aiden in the control room, I’m sure they were already on the phone working out a deal with law enforcement.”
In complete surprise, Grant stands from his seat, questioning whether or not he’ll be on his way to jail in handcuffs by the end of the evening. “You will not be going to jail tonight, Grant” Vickers replies as he turns to face the man, a relieved smile coming across Grant’s face in a moment of overwhelming emotions. “Holy shit, I was ready for a heart attack” Grant exclaims, Vickers laughing at the man as he pats him on the shoulder.
Eventually, the shoulder patting ceases, Vickers keeping his hand upon Grant’s shoulder without hesitation, the younger man not pulling away how he once had with Howard. “We’re covering for you because of who you are, not what we owe you…” Vickers explains, “but I suppose, most importantly, we’re covering for you because you covered for the right person this time.”
With a smile, Vickers removes his hand from the man’s shoulder, holding it out for a handshake, a gesture easily reciprocated by Grant. “Now come along!” Vickers exclaims, “the crew’s going out for celebratory drinks tonight, and I think our guest of the evening should be on his way.” With a smile, Grant walks along before pausing for a moment, inquiring about the possible presence of one person in particular.
“She’s not really one for these kinds of after-hours sessions” Vickers replies, “she’s usually here until the early hours of the morning… busy bee and all.” With a nod, Grant tells Vickers to go ahead to the bar without him, promising to catch up shortly. “I have to see someone real quickly before I go” Grant admits, a wider smile coming over Vickers face as he nods, departing his office as Grant stays behind, appreciating the moment of clarity while he can.
“Come in” Taylor beckons at the sound of a knock at her door, turning away from her computer as Grant enters the room, his blazer held within his palms rather than being draped over his shoulders. “That was ballsy tonight, Grant… Stupid in most places of work, even…” Taylor greets, chin resting on her knuckle as it sits on her desk, “but it’s not stupid here.”
Placing his jacket on the back of the chairs before the woman’s desk, Grant helps himself to a seat, apologizing for the man he once was. “The way I came into this building perceived by you was my own fault, and I’ll never deny such a truth” Grant explains, “but I really hope you and I can be on a better page than that going forward.”
With a smile, Taylor places her hands to the desk and stands to her feet, explaining to the man that what he did nearly a year ago was something that disgusted her. “In most cases like those, that person would be dead to me before I even got to grill them” Taylor clarifies, “but none of them would have the balls that you had out there, to do that knowing what trouble you could have gotten into.”
Sweeping her hair behind her ear, Taylor explains that Grant was not following decent company when he arrived. “When I first started working here, there was a woman that suffered a very similar treatment, and it ended with the same result, too…” the woman recalls, “no one spoke up for her, no one covered for her… they covered for each other… criminals covering for criminals.”
With a sigh, Taylor admits to having lost hope in the ability people had to confess to their wrong doings, believing it to have been hopeless to depend on others to do what’s right. “Maybe it’s the world we live in now, or maybe it’s just in our own nature to be self-sufficient” Taylor ponders, “but it happens, and it bothers me… It really bothers me.”
Looking towards the window, Taylor’s expression becomes one of anguish, a hidden pain behind her face of confidence before her mask returns. “What you did tonight won’t ever change what you did that day” Taylor reminds, Grant nodding with a better understanding, “but what you did today will always mean something, to someone… and tonight, it meant something to me.”
Doing her best to stop the conversation from getting too emotional, Taylor takes a breath and returns to her side of the desk, admitting that Grant was right. “There is more to you than your darkest moments, Grant” Taylor admits, “and while it may not be the only thing there is to you, you have your brightest moments to offer, too… just like tonight.”
With a smile, Grant holds back a tear and stands from his seat, hand stretched out to the woman, who responds with a respectful handshake. “Go enjoy your welcoming party” Taylor commands, a smile threatening to peek out from behind the well-detailed expression. “It may not seem like it completely, but what you did tonight earned you a lot of respect…” the woman explains, Grant latching onto her every word, “...and that respect isn’t just from them.”
With a nod, Grant smiles and leaves for the door, its latches closing into place and giving Taylor the isolation she wanted so greatly earlier in the day. Left to the yellow light and the bright monitor of her computer, Taylor takes her seat back and attempts to return to work, the encounter she had just finished ultimately proving to be too much to leave behind.
Turning her chair towards the seats in front of her desk, Taylor lifts the knuckle on her finger to her mouth, teeth biting down on the skin lightly as her eyes stare up at the door. Thinking to herself, Taylor makes a decision on what she was considering in her head, powering down the computer and its adjacent monitor. Grabbing her jacket, the woman throws it over her shoulders and turns out the light, calling for Grant to wait up as the office door closes on her way out.
== Tonight at 9 ==