-Chapter Eight-

Time passed slowly for Bryce as his pregnancy progressed. As his abdomen swelled, he began to feel self-conscious. Most people would assume he was gaining weight. Those who were open-minded enough to realize the truth would not necessarily be open-minded enough to accept it. He was grateful to have friends who were both intelligent and open-minded.

In the first month of Bryce s second trimester Edison found him a medium-sized apartment that was just big enough for a single parent and child. It wasn t long before Cheviot found out about it. As Murray predicted, Cheviot was less than happy about it.

It looks to me like somebody is building a love nest for their paramour, Cheviot accused.

I don t know what the future will bring Mr. Cheviot, Edison admitted. I only know that right now my feelings for Bryce are limited to friendship and concern. As for the apartment, Bryce needs his own place. He s got baby furniture and

And your goal should be to get him to give it up so he can come back to work, Cheviot said, pointedly. Not encouraging this irresponsible behavior of his.

I think you re being very unfair to Bryce, Edison said. If he were older you wouldn t be

If he were older, then there wouldn t be a controversy, Cheviot pointed out. I know he s old enough to consent to romance in this county. The problem is that

Nothing like that even happened! Edison exclaimed. Bryce was impregnated surgically, and you know it.

I do know it. Others will, too. But there will always be those few million or so viewers who will blindly assume the two of you had sex and won t let that go, even when they find you re both guys.

When they find ?

Bryce s name is appropriate for both genders, Cheviot reminded him.

That s beside the point, Edison said Bryce is my friend and I m going to stick by him no matter what.

And if I were to terminate your employment with Network 23?

This caused several controllers to turn their heads in interest.

Edison s response was without hesitation. I m sure I d have no problems finding work as a reporter with Big Time Television.

Cheviot decided to back down. He really had no intentions of losing his best reporter to a low-rated pirate station. Well, I don t think that will be necessary. Just make sure Bryce doesn t damage this network s reputation.

The baby won t be any more of an embarrassment than Blipverts. That I can assure you, Edison promised. I m thinking of actually asking Bryce if he would like to do a feature on medical malpractice and it s lasting consequences on those who are subjected to it.

You re going to tell everyone about Cheviot began.

I m going to come right out, with Bryce s permission, and tell everyone the truth about it, Edison told his boss. If I do that, it ll take the bite out of their plan to disgrace us.

Very well, Cheviot decided, disconnecting the call.

Theora turned from her control screen to face Edison. You ll need to find other people who have been victimized by inept or unscrupulous doctors as well, she pointed out. If you only cover Bryce s story, it may seem like self-serving hype.

Check the court records, see what you can find. I m going to visit Bryce and see if he ll go along with being interviewed.

Edison turned and walked out of Control.

Murray let out a breath he d been holding. Took him long enough.

I think he was trying to respect Bryce s privacy, Theora suggested. Do you think Bryce will grant an interview?

I hope he will, Murray told her.

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