Betting on Bailey

By: Tara Crescent

As we talk, I get the sense that Ryan Communications’ board has reservations about this deal, and I’m somewhat at a loss to understand why. Without us, Ryan Communications will declare bankruptcy this year. The board isn’t composed of idiots. They have to know they are out of options.

On the way to the airport, I lean back in the seat and close my eyes. “What did you think?” I ask Cyrus. As much as he irritates me, he is the Chief Operating Officer of Hartman, and he’s been the primary driver of this deal.

“This is by no means a done deal,” he replies. “There was a lot of hesitation in that room.”

“Why? I don’t get it. Without us, they are going to go under.”

“It’s not that simple, Daniel,” he says. “These guys do business with people they are comfortable with. Wayne Ryan has known the members on his board his entire life. They worship at the same church. They went to the same private school. They were in the same fraternity. Brant Hollister was even Wayne’s best man.”

I snort. “For which marriage? The first one, or the one where he married the woman who is thirty years younger than him?”

Cyrus waves aside my snark. “That’s not the point. You, Daniel, are about as different from them as it gets. You,” he continues with a disapproving glare, “live your life in the spotlight. You date models and socialites. Your photo is in the tabloids more often than not. They can’t relate to your lifestyle, and if they can’t understand you, these guys will not listen to a word you have to say.”

There might some merit in what Cyrus is saying. “What do you suggest we do?”

“Let me continue to negotiate with them,” he says. “And while we are doing this deal, you stay out of the spotlight.”

I’m tempted to walk away from this deal. Cyrus is making it sound like I’m manwhoring my way around New York, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Yeah sure, I date. But my work comes first, and my personal life is a distant second. Everyone I go out with knows the score.

Yet I bite my tongue, because it’s become a habit for me to place Hartman & Company ahead of my own happiness. The acquisition will be good for us. It’ll give us access to markets in Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama. It should increase our revenue by twenty percent over the next five years. The money is nothing to sneeze at.

“Fine,” I say finally. “Let’s do it your way.”

“Remember,” Cyrus warns. “No scandals. I can’t convince them that Hartman is exactly what they need if the CEO keeps appearing in the tabloid press with women draped all over him.”

Cyrus should stop talking when he’s ahead. “I said okay,” I snap. “Stop pushing it, Cyrus. I’ll toe the line.”


Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.

Sun Tzu, The Art of War


Trevor thinks that I’m going to be begging him to take me back? He couldn’t be more wrong. I’m not alone. I have my best friends to lean on, the five women that make up the Thursday Night Drinking Pack.

There’s calm and stable Katie, who is married with twin two-year old daughters. She lives in Chappaqua with her husband Adam. Miki moved away to Houston two years ago, but we Skype her in every time we get together and valiantly pretend it’s the same as hanging out in person.

There’s Gabby, who is going through a justifiable man-hating phase. Wendy, despite being a barracuda divorce lawyer, still believes in love. And last but not least, is my former roommate Piper, who, five months ago, inherited a restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen.

It’s Piper I call right after I leave our apartment. Not our apartment anymore, I correct myself. Trevor’s apartment.

She picks up on the first ring. “Bailey? Is everything okay?” she asks into the phone, before even waiting for my hello. The concern in her voice is obvious, and hearing it, I choke up for the first time this evening.

“I left Trevor.” It sounds so stark when I hear it. “I was wondering if I could crash at your place tonight?”

“Of course Bails,” she says instantly. “Always.”

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