Key of Light (Key 1) - Page 95

“Doesn’t have to be now.”

“I thought a newspaperman dug for all the facts fit to print, and then some.”

“Since the Dispatch isn’t going to be running a story on Celtic myths in the Valley until all of this is finished, there’s no rush.”

“And if you were working for the New York Times?”

“That’d be different.” He stroked her hair, sipped his wine. “I’d be hard-boiled and cynical and skewer you or anybody else for the story. And I’d probably be strung out and stressed. Maybe have a drinking problem. Be working toward my second divorce. I think I’d like bourbon,

and I’d have a redhead on the side.”

“What do you really think it’d be like if you’d gone to New York?”

“I don’t know. I like to think I’d have done good work. Important work.”

“You don’t think your work here’s important?”

“It serves a purpose.”

“An important purpose. Not only keeping people informed and entertained, giving them the continuity of tradition, but keeping a lot of them employed. The people who work on the paper, deliver it, their families. Where would they have gone if you’d left?”

“I wasn’t the only one who could run it.”

“Maybe you were the only one who was supposed to run it. Would you go now, if you could?”

He thought about it. “No. I made the choice. Most of the time I’m glad I chose as I did. Just every once in a while, I wonder.”

“I couldn’t paint. Nobody told me I couldn’t or made me give it up. I just wasn’t good enough. It’s different when you’re good enough, but someone tells you you can’t.”

“It wasn’t exactly like that.”

“What was it like?”

“You have to understand my mother. She makes very definite plans. When my father died, well, that must’ve really messed up Plan A.”


“I’m not saying she didn’t love him, or didn’t mourn. She did. We did. He made her laugh. He could always make her laugh. I don’t think I heard her laugh, not really, for a year after we lost him.”

“Flynn.” It broke her heart. “I’m so sorry.”

“She’s tough. One thing you can say about Elizabeth Flynn Hennessy Steele, she’s no wimp.”

“You love her.” Malory brushed at his hair. “I wondered.”

“Sure I do, but you won’t hear me say she was easy to live with. Anyway, when she pulled herself out of it, it was time for Plan B. Big chunk of that was passing the paper to me when the time came. No problem for me there, since I figured that was way, way down the road. And that I would deal with it, and her, when I had to. I liked working for the Dispatch, learning not just about reporting but about publishing too.”

“But you wanted to do that in New York.”

“I was too big for a podunk town like Pleasant Valley. Too much to say, too much to do. Pulitzers to win. Then my mother married Joe. He’s a great guy. Dana’s dad.”

“Can he make your mother laugh?”

“Yeah. Yeah, he can. We made a good family, the four of us. I don’t know that I appreciated that at the time. With Joe around, I figured some of the pressure on me was off. I guess we all figured they’d work the paper together for decades.”

“Joe’s a reporter?”

“Yeah, worked for the paper for years. Used to joke that he’d married the boss. They made a good team too, so it looked like everything was going to work out fine and dandy. After college, I figured to build up another couple years’ experience here, then give New York a break and offer my invaluable skills and services. I met Lily, and that seemed to be the icing on the cake.”

Tags: Nora Roberts Key Fantasy
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