WJM NEWSROOM

Scott Jackson entered the newsroom a few minutes early for his interview with Lou Grant for the opening for a cameraman on the six o'clock news. He approached Murray Slaughter who was busily typing away.

"Excuse me. I'm here to see Lou Grant." He explained

Murray barely looked up, "Have a seat he'll be back in just a minute." He gestured across the room to a chair by the door to Lou's office and Scott crossed the room and took a seat

A few minutes later Lou and Mary walked through the door returning from a budget meeting and Scott stood up. Murray momentarily again turned his attention for his writing, "Oh, Lou that guy over there is here to see you."

Lou walked over to him, "Lou Grant, how can I help you?"

Scott extended his hand, "Scott Jackson, I'm here about the cameraman job."

"Oh, right." He said, "Come on in my office."

They entered Lou's office and shut the door. Mary's eyes lingered on the door for a moment as she sat back down at her desk. He was very handsome and there was something about him. She had felt that flutter in her stomach in a long time.

Murray continued typing away, "So, Mare, you wanna get lunch today?"

"Huh?" She asked then looked over at him, "Oh, yeah sure, Mur."

Mary and Murray returned from lunch and Lou walked into the newsroom from the studio with Scott, "Mary, I'd like you to meet our new cameraman, Scott Jackson. Scott, this is Mary Richards, our associate producer."

Mary extended her hand and smiled that famous Mary Richards smile, "Hi Scott, it's very nice to meet you."

Scott returned the smile and noticed how soft her skin felt when they shook hands, "It's nice to meet you, too Mary." Their hands lingered for a moment before finally pulling back. Sparks were definitely there. For a moment they seemed lost in each other's eyes.

"And this is our news writer, Murray Slaughter." Lou broke in

Scott reluctantly looked away from Mary, "Hi, Murray, nice to meet you."

"You too, Scott."

"Well, I think you've met just about everyone, except for Ted. He'll be in later. I'd like you to work with Charlie for now and then we'll look at sending you out on assignments." Lou told him

"Alright." Scott said and turned back to Mary, "Well, I hope I'll see you later, Mary."

She smiled once again, "Oh, yeah, me too."

Scott walked away and Mary's eyes lingered again. He was tall, blond and had a confidence about him that wasn't cocky, just a quiet confidence that was very alluring

LATER THAT EVENING

Mary and Murray were wrapping things up as the broadcast had just ended. Scott walked into the newsroom happy to find Mary was still there.

"Hey, Mary, I hope this doesn't seem to forward but if you're not busy tonight, would you like to get something to eat? Nothing fancy, a pizza or something?" He asked

Ted had just walked in and heard Scott's invitation, "Oh, Scott, can I talk to you for just a minute?" He asked, "It'll just take a second, Mare."

"Okay." She said puzzled

Scott walked over to Ted and he whispered to him, "Listen, there's something you should know about Mary. She doesn't go out with guys she works with. It's just a thing with her. I asked her out a couple of time and she turned me down. So if she won't go out with me she surely won't…"

"Scott, I would love to have dinner with you." She interjected and Ted looked deflated as he put his hat on and left without a word

"Great." He smiled and she walked over to get her coat and he helped her on with it

They went to a little pizza place and sat at a quiet table so they could talk. It had been a long time since she'd felt an instant attraction with someone. He was easy to talk to. He was telling her about all the places he lived.

"I was in New York for a couple of years and then I was in Washington. Being a cameraman is a great way to see the world." He told her, "So what about you, Mary Richards? What stories do you have to tell?"

"Oh, well nothing as exciting as all that. I grew up in Roseburg and moved here about three years ago." She explained

"What brought you here?" He asked, "If you don't mind my asking."

She smiled and took a drink of her beer, "I needed a change. I had just ended a long term relationship that it became increasingly clear was going nowhere and I needed a place to start over."

"Well, I guess I should say I'm sorry your relationship didn't work out but I'd be lying." There was something about her that intrigued him. She was soft, sweet and clearly a real lady but he sensed underneath she was plenty tough and something told him she had a wicked a sense of humor

She smiled again this time a bit nervously, "I guess I'm not sorry either." She said, "So what about you? You've lived all over it seems. What brought you to Minneapolis?"

He took a drink, "Family." He explained, "My mother lives here and we've been rather estranged for a while and I decided it was time to make things right, if I can."

"Oh, well I'm sure you'll work things out." She assured him as the waiter brought their pizza

"Thank you." Scott said to the waiter then turned his attention back to Mary, "I hope so. My mother is well…unusual as mothers go." He said taking a piece of pizza and putting it on her plate

"I think most parent/child relationships are up and down." She said, "You know, if you do patch things up I think I'd like to meet your mother. She couldn't be all bad. I mean you turned out pretty terrific." She couldn't believe she was saying something like that on a first date but there was something about him

"Oh, I think you may already know her." He said, "She works at WJM."

Mary put down her pieced of pizza, "She works at the station?" Mary ran through all the women at the station and most of them were under forty, mainly the secretaries. Ed Schroeder's secretary would be about the right age but she only had two daughters. There was only one other woman she could think of

"Yes." He said, "My mother is Sue Ann Nivens."