Quid Pro Quo
Date: 9/26/2016, Categories: Reluctance, Author: Burquette, Source: LushStories
When I got to the bookstore, everyone was in a tailspin. Liz and Brian looked fearful and wouldn't answer when I said good morning to them; they just stocked the mysteries as if their life depended on it. Pauline was white as paper while she worked the register; her usually cheery lips in a grim line. And Sue, who spent six hours out of eight talking to her boyfriend on the phone, was studiously doing inventory in the children's section. I wondered if the weirdness had anything to do with the smattering of reporters outside. Only Derek spoke to me on my way back to the employee lounge. "Bette sold the bookstore," he whispered. "No, she didn't," I said. Bette and I had been best friends for more than a decade. I was the first person she hired. If she sold her life's work, the business she loved, I was very sure I would have gotten a phone call. "She did. This morning," Derek said. I looked at him. He was pale. "Did she tell you that?" "Yeah." I wasn't going to ask him anything else. I had to go to the source. I walked into the Bette's office. There was a cardboard box on her desk and her back was to me. "Why did Derek just tell me that you sold the bookstore?" I asked. She turned. Her face was red and puffy. Her eyes were bloodshot. "Oh, my God," I said. "You did. What happened?" Her lip trembled. "I didn't have a choice. He knew about the porno." I blinked at her. "Wait. What? The porno you made when you were eighteen? There were only like fifty copies made and only in ...