Chapter 2

Dinner, of course, was not all that Peller had in mind. And by just past nine on Friday night, he had Network 23's head of research and development curled up in his arms under the covers sleeping peacefully while he smiled wickedly at him.

The vu-phone sounded, interrupting Peller's silent contemplation of how well the night had gone.

"Peller," Edwards began, "Mr. Cheviot wants you to take part in…"

Edwards froze and stared at Peller. Or more precisely, who Peller was with.

"What the hell is he doing there?!"

"Who?" Peller said, throwing the blanket hastily over Bryce.

"Peller, have you gone insane? If word of this leaks out… dear God! What will the viewers think?"

"I don't plan on telling the viewers," Peller said, simply. "And if you don't want trouble, neither will you."

Edwards switched off the vu-phone. He stood up and paced the room in an agitated state. What was he to do? They had just won the telelection a week ago! And Peller had a right to his own private life. On the other hand, Bryce was sixteen. And while that might be perfectly acceptable in

England, there were many places that the network aired where it was not.

Five minutes later, he was dialing the number for Cheviot's home.

Cheviot looked perturbed to be getting phone calls when he had just been getting ready to retire for the night.


"Sir," Edwards told him, "we have a major problem."

"If you're about to tell me that Peller is trying to make excuses to get out of cutting the ribbon for the opening of the Live Blank Education Center…" Cheviot began.

"I didn't ask him," Edwards began. "I was too shocked when I saw Bryce curled up nude in his bed."

Cheviot almost left a hole in the ceiling.

"You saw WHAT?!" he exploded.

"I don't think Peller hurt Bryce, but…"

"I don't care if he covered the bed in rose petals and whispered sweet nothings first," Cheviot said, very angrily. "Peller has no business being anywhere near Bryce! My God, do you realize

that what he's done is illegal in at least three of our affiliate countries!"

Cheviot's face went from angry to sympathetic as he added. "And while Bryce may be a genius when it comes to technology, he understands nothing when it comes to things of this nature. It's going to hurt him terribly when he realizes that Peller's been using him. Poor kid."

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