"I love you." Urgently.

"I love you." Relieved.

"Your Dad?"

"Your newspaper!"

"Either way," said Lynda, "I think someone's expecting us to grow up."

She strode over to the bleating phone and picked up the receiver. "Hello, Junior Gazette." She paused. "Hello, sir."

Spike folded his arms and leant against Tiddler's desk, waiting. Lynda was listening closely to whoever was speaking on the other end of the line, sitting tense and upright in her chair, her brow furrowed. Finally she relaxed slightly, a small smile on her lips.

"Thank you, sir. That's good news," she said. "I'm sure you and Mr Kerr won't be disappointed. Kenny and I have already had discussions with the printers and we think . . ."

Spike watched her opening a folder and snatching up a pen from the pot on her desk, talking briskly all the while. "Yes, that's right. I completely agree. And another thing . . ."

The front door opened and Spike heard his father call from the corridor. "Spike?"

"In here, Dad," he called back.

"No, it's nothing," said Lynda into the phone. "Just Spike. Go on."

James Thomson senior entered the newsroom. "Are you staying or coming?"

"I'm not sure," Spike said, watching Lynda intently.

"Then there's the matter of distribution. I expect we will need to have a meeting soon and see what we can do to expand our network. I'll bring Colin in, he's good at that sort of thing. I'll give him a call now and . . ."

"He's at Kenny's gig, remember?" Spike called.

"Damn!" said Lynda. "He's busy playing at being a concert promoter. Never mind. I'll leave a message and we can set something up for tomorrow."

"Spike, the cab's waiting," said his father impatiently.

"Yeah, yeah," Spike walked over to Lynda's desk.

"We'll be redesigning the logo, of course . . . I've already had the Graphics team working on a few things . . ."

"Lynda," he said.

"And while we're closed down, we'll have the newsroom repainted and a few renovations to show we're serious by the time we re-launch. I'm thinking . . ."


Lynda made an impatient shooing motion with her hand as if Spike were a bothersome insect. "I'm happy for us to do the painting to save on costs but we'll need to talk budgets with Campbell . . ."


Lynda sighed. "Sorry, sir. Can you hold on a minute?" She covered the receiver with her hand. "Look, I'll call you tomorrow morning, okay? This is important."

Spike stared at her for a long moment before speaking. "Fine. Sure. But don't call the old number, it's disconnected." He scribbled on a piece of paper, folded it and pushed it towards her. "Here's the new one. And the new address where I'm staying."

"Great, fine, talk to you then," Lynda replied, tucking the paper into her bag without even glancing at it. She uncovered the receiver. "Are you there, sir? Sorry about that. Now, as I was saying, we need to sit down with Campbell and get some ideas about budgets . . ."

Spike walked back towards the double doors where his father was waiting.

"Come on, Dad. Let's go."

His father looked surprised. "You aren't staying?"

"No," Spike pushed through the doors and looked back at Lynda. "Too much competition."

Lynda awoke early the next morning and after making notes of everything she had thought of before dropping off to sleep the night before, she reached for her phone and dialled Spike's number.

A tinny recorded voice answered. "The number you have dialed is no longer in use. Please hang up and try again."

"Gah!" Lynda mentally slapped her forehead and dug in her bag for the piece of paper Spike had written on the night before. Unfolding it for the first time, she read it and frowned.


(310) 393 1022

1078 Pearl Street

Santa Monica, CA, 90405