Claire had decided to wait in the studio for Rachel. She had a car and offered to drive to the coffee house.
“Rachel, I’m overdressed.” Claire laughed. “I have to be careful how I act around you because of the politics, but now that we are alone… Well, I just have to say that I admire the way you don’t care about what people think.”
Rachel lowered her head to check out what she was wearing and gave Claire an odd expression. “I look that bad?” She had very short dark hair and black-rimmed glasses. She often received hate mail from viewers of the show, telling her that she looked like an overgrown boy. But Claire was right about her. She didn’t care what people thought and proudly wore her jeans to the show each night. At the age of 35, Rachel had proven herself by guest hosting on several of her network’s shows. She had been labeled the vacation girl until one of the more prominent shows lost their star, leaving Rachel at the right place and right time. The Rachel Ross Show was born. She did let the network fuss with her makeup and wore a blazer to dress up her torso. She knew her attire wasn’t the normal choice for a professional news woman and was grateful she was given this freedom. A little makeup and jacket was a small price to pay.
“No, not at all. I really do admire your guts. I could use some of what you have. I believe you’re not only the gutsiest news person around, but the smartest as well. I don’t think I’ve ever heard you say anything on your broadcast without backing up your words with facts. It doesn’t matter if I agree with your politics, I like your sassy ways.” Claire smiled, “We’re almost there, you’re going to love this place.”
“Claire, don’t underestimate yourself. So, you have to appear more professional. Other than that, I see your work as overt and spirited. You’re what’s needed in the Senate and I’m grateful for your work.” Rain was now bubbling on the windshield. The neighborhood they drove through was barren of people, and it seemed darker than the average night. The car tires rumbled as they rolled over the iron of abandoned rail tracks, adding to the mood of the empty night. “Speaking of gutsy, are you sure this is a safe place to be at this time?”
“Am I hearing a nervous twinge inside that bold frame?” Claire slowed down, and parked in front of the coffee shop, a building that had a funky Bohemian appearance combined with the style of an old Fire House. “We’re here. And trust me, this is your type of place. Let’s go.”
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