Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Stockholm Syndrome by Sage Marlowe

Sage Marlowe

Stockholm Syndrome


“Okay then. How do you want to play this?” I asked when Bryan returned after his lengthy conversation on the phone. Judging by the furrows on his forehead he wasn’t too happy about the things that had been addressed, but he’d kept his voice too low for me to overhear anything specific.
His eyes narrowed. “How do I want to play this? It’s your call, isn’t it? I’m only doing this for Heidi. If I got to choose, you wouldn’t be here at all but long on your way back to wherever you’ve come from.”
“The way you insist on not needing me could almost lead me to believe you know something that you’re not telling.”
Bryan stared at me for several seconds before he answered. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
I gave him a disarming smile. “Nothing. I’m merely stating a fact. Although, should you really have any information about those letters, no matter how irrelevant it may seem to you, now would be the perfect time to admit to it. I’d be willing to forget the entire incident and you could save yourself a lot of money.”
Raising one eyebrow in arrogant indifference, Bryan gave a shrug. “I’m not paying for this. Heidi hired you, so be sure to send the bill to her.”
“That’s not the answer to my question.”
“There never was a question, just you making an assumption. And unless you’re implying that I’m sending those letters to myself, which incidentally I’m not, I refuse to discuss this matter any further.” His so far non-existent accent had begun to surface during Bryan’s heated little speech. It was the first time something about him reminded me that I was dealing with a foreigner, although nothing about Bryan made him appear foreign to this country. Quite the opposite. He blended in well—almost too well, which could have been attributed to him trying a bit too hard to come across as an all-American boy. Not for the first time, I had to remind myself that I was dealing with someone whose job it was to sell people a fake reality, a truth he could bend to his liking, and it was a profession Bryan was good at as his two Academy Award nominations showed.