While the liaison was a personable enough guy, the gossip addict proved to be quite the score; this was a young woman from the East Coast, from a respectable family with political ties, marking time as a functionary until she could score a rich husband. Many of my high school and college classmates would be aghast at this woman, including my ex girlfriends; when she wasn’t asking if I met this or that hot guy, she whined about being here- she wanted to be in New York City, Los Angeles, and would have been okay with Chicago, but nothing here meets her standards. (Which, considering the high reputation of our theater and music scene, I found doubly-astonishing; she was a flat-out gold-digging status whore, and not very good at hiding it.) I knew that she saw me as an escape route; I decided to use that against her.
Lunch went as expected. I got the press response I asked for, and I gave the liaison the expected fluffy-bunny demeanor. I gave the gossip girl all of the flirty moves, and as we left the diner I slipped her a card inviting her for drinks later. I got a call from her an hour later accepting the offer, and I knew that this was more than one form of in. I arranged a few things, told her when and where to meet, with the bait that I’d tell her all about my time in Europe if she did. I won’t bore with details; this isn’t about my conquests. I paid the cost to bring this one into the network, and I knew what maintenance would cost me to keep this one around, so it’s not like I didn’t see what the deal was.
What got me her continued interest was when I played the “I’m doing this to pay the bills until I make it as a novelist.” card, and I showed her the manuscripts I keep around to sell this to people. Then I laid on her the “I could use some help with my research.” gambit on her, showing her the True Crime book based on my first assassination (carefully scrubbed, of course), and how it’s doing on Amazon and so forth. It went like this:
“So, I’m looking to branch into crime thriller fiction, and I already know about high-profile murder scenarios so I’m writing one of these as the premise of the novel. I need to know a lot more about the usual sorts of hitmen and such, and I know that the FBI deals a lot with that sort of thing. It’s the sort of thing that can me a gig writing for Law & Order.”
I saw her eyes light up as I mentioned that show’s name. I knew that I had her hooked for certain.
“Yeah! I can do that!”
Find the thing that they want, and you can get anyone to do anything. By the weekend, I had her in my bed and the files detailing the common psychological and background profiles of hitmen on my hard drive. For her sake, she gave me nothing that was classified—she didn’t have that access anyway—and I gave her nothing that she wasn’t expecting. Keeping her satisfied and useful proved to be easier than expected.