From draft 1… When Edward was Elliot.
‘Marcus, please just be straight with me,’ We were in Elliot’s office, just the two of us before the company lawyer was due to arrive. He rubbed his left eye with his index finger, the way he always does when he’s stressed before the gesture developed into something larger and he rubbed the bridge of his nose and then his forehead with the whole of his hand. He sat behind his desk, clear of papers and mess, unlike mine, with just his keyboard in front of him, the computer screen had been shifted over so that he had clear view of the room and it’s occupants. His back was to the large window over looking the Thames, tipping and circling murkily beneath us. He picked up a glass of water and gulped from it and pinched his lips between his thumb and finger, wiping any moisture from his mouth. ‘This is about more than just you, we’re all implicated.’
‘What do you want me to do?’
‘I need you to be honest. They’re suing us, Marcus, for a fucking lot of money, the paper’s reputation is on the line. They’re saying you falsified your sources, or at least, didn’t verify them, they’re saying you lied and that you can’t prove any of the story.’
‘Bullshit. This is outrageous. I’ve been set up. They’re out to get me.’
‘Who is Marcus? Who is out to get you?’
‘Look, I’ve upset people, I’ve uncovered a lot of shit and now they want to ruin me, to undermine my integrity.’
‘Marcus, did you check your sources?’
‘Did you double-check? Were you thorough?’
‘I’m a prize-winning journalist, Elliot. I know how to do my job.’
He leant back into his chair, resting his head on the support exposing the thin pale flesh of his throat, his jaw pushing up towards the ceiling.
‘They’re saying I’ve let our personal relationship get in the way of work.’
‘Who did, Darling.’ I leant towards him, my heart thumping in my chest. I was trying to stay calm, but I knew this was serious, I knew, that no matter what I did, I was fucked.
‘The Board, Marcus. The fucking Board.’