SCENE ONE: IT IS THE NEXT MORNING AND THERE IS A LOUD KNOCK AT THE LOFT DOOR. JENNIFER, DRESSED IN BLACK SATIN AND SHEER PJ'S, RUNS DOWN TO ANSWER IT.
JENNIFER: Alright, alright, alright. Hang on a minute. Alright. Who is it?
JACK: Who do you think? Open up, don't take all morning.
JENNIFER: Oh Jack, I'm glad it's you.
JACK: You were expecting someone else?
JACK LOOKS HER UP AND DOWN.
JENNIFER: No, not really.
JACK: I was wondering, in that little outfit.
JACK: No, no. It's just not an appropriate outfit to be greeting people in, that's all.
JENNIFER: Well you just got out me of bed Jack. What are you doing here so early?
JACK: Well I knew that you were upset and I brought something that would cheer you up.
JENNIFER: It's too early to be cheered up Jack.
JACK: Oh I don't know. Get a load of this.
HE HOLDS UP THE SPECTATOR WHICH HAS A BABY PICTURE OF KATERINA AND A STORY ABOUT HER BIRTH AND THE MARRIAGE PACT.
JENNIFER: (Reading) "Mystery Uncovered. Katerina Von Leuchner Missing!" Let me see that.
JACK: It starts right there.
JACK POINTS OUT WHERE TO READ. HE IS REALLY PLEASED WITH HIS SCOOP AND JENNIFER IS NOT.
JACK: For some people, fixed marriages are a thing of the past. But the Katerina Von Leuchner, it is a thing of the present for on her twenty-fifth birthday she will be married to Lawrence Alamain and....
JENNIFER: Jack how could you do this?
JACK: You will very carefully note that I waited until business hours to break this to you. So don't take it personally.
JENNIFER: Okay. Okay, Jack, you got the story out first. You scooped me, okay.
JACK: Wait a minute.... tha.... that's it. No tirades, no tantrums, no target practice.
JENNIFER: It's really not that big of a deal to me Jack.
JACK: Oh come on now. This is hot copy.
JENNIFER: That's now what you said yesterday.
JACK: Well that was merely a diversionary tactic on my part. Brilliantly executed if I....
JENNIFER: Oh if you do say so yourself, right.
JACK: Jennifer, this is the kind of stuff that's going to make people rush out of their homes and rush down to the newstand.
JENNIFER: Well you mean at a grocery story check-out stand. That's what you mean Jack.
JACK: No, no. This is not tabloid stuff.
JENNIFER: Oh it isn't? This ranks right up there with "Woman Has Big Foot Love Child or Man Grows a Potato in the Shape of Jay Leno" and "Milli Vanilli is Really the Gabor Sisters Because of Miracle Surgery."
JENNIFER DRAGS JACK TO THE DOOR.
JACK: Wait a minute, alright, alright, I'm getting your point.
JENNIFER: So if you're through, get out of here.
JACK: You are throwing me out of here?
JENNIFER: Yes because I have more important things to do like find good news. Goodbye.
JACK: Jennifer this is good new....
JENNIFER SLAMS THE DOOR SHUT AND CATCHES JACK'S NOSE. HE GRABS IT IN PAIN.
SCENE TWO: JENNIFER GOES TO SEE CARLY AND EXPLAINS THAT JACK CAME UP WITH THE STORY HIMSELF. CARLY SAYS THAT SHE IS WORRIED THAT JACK WILL PRINT A WHOLE SERIES. JENNIFER DECIDES TO ASK JACK TO STOP THE STORY.
SCENE THREE: MEANWHILE, AT THE SPECTATOR JACK IS MEETING WITH VERN.
JACK: I don't get it. I mean I really don't get it. This is supposed to send Jennifer through the roof.
VERN: What I don't understand is your relationship with her. I mean how can you do that to a nice girl like Jennifer?
JACK: I'm trying to light a fire under the girl Vern. I'm trying to train her. I mean she's got work pretty damn hard if she wants to outscoop me.
VERN: Oh boy I had to ask, didn't I.
JACK: Of course I've got to work pretty damn hard if I want to outscoop her. Vern I think we're going to have to heiress story.
VERN: Jack as sorry as I think I'm going to be for saying this, I think that would be a mistake. I mean this is turning out to be bigger than Marla Maples.
JACK: Oh no Vern. We're not running a scandal sheet here.
VERN: It might even be bigger than the Elvis sightings.
JACK: Elvis at the mall?VERN: The switchboard lit up when the first edition hit the streets.
JACK: Bigger than Elvis at the mall! You know Jennifer might be wrong.
VERN: Oh you're dead right, she's wrong. I mean the public's clamoring for more. I mean they can't get enough.
JACK: You wait until she hears this. When she hears this it's going to make her blood boil.
VERN: Oh geez.
JACK: Just boil, I know it.
JO: Jack! What are you doing to that poor girl now?
JO HAS BEEN STANDING AT THE DOOR AND HEARD WHAT JACK SAID.
VERN: Jack, I'm going to have to go and do some work on the galleys.
JACK: The galleys?.... Oh Mrs. Johnson, you know you look lovely today. What a beautiful dress you are wearing.
VERN: Oh he's right, Mrs. Johnson. That is a beautiful dress, the way it drapes and you know it's a fabulous dress and he's....
JACK: You said you had somewhere to go.
JACK IS HAPPY TO COMPLIMENT JO ON HER DRESS TO DISTRACT HER BUT HE DOES NOT LIKE THE WAY VERN IS COMPLIMENTING HER TOO.
VERN: Oh, hey, the paper doesn't write itself, you know. We've got to keep....keep going.
VERN SEEMS TO HAVE A SLIGHT CRUSH ON JO; HE BUMPS INTO THE BOOK CASE.
VERN: Oh I thought it was the door. Lovely dress.
JO: Thankyou, thankyou.
JACK: It is a lovely dress.
JO: It's just my uniform.
JACK: Well I....
JO: You're trying to change the subject. Now I want to know what's going on between you and Jennifer.
JACK: Nothing. Just a little game between journalistic rivals, that's all.
JO: If you think what's happening between the two of you is just a game, you're kidding yourself.
JACK: You don't understand what's going on between Jennifer and myself.
JO: Well you're right about that.
JACK: You know, we are at our best when we're fighting.
JO: Hah! That is one of the most cockamami things I have ever heard.
JACK: Well maybe so but it's true. It's great. She loves it. It gets those creative juices flowing.
JO: Or is it the blood boiling?
JACK: Maybe. All I know is that it's good for her and it keeps her on her toes.
JO: No Jack, it keeps her at arm's length and that's why you're doing this.
JACK: You don't know what you're talking about.
JO: Alright, if I am wrong, why can't you make some kind of commitment to Jennifer?
JACK: Haven't you had your fill of weddings? I mean first you had Adrienne and then you had Steve, then you had Adrienne again, then you'll have Steve again and....
JO: I'm not....wait a minute, wait a minute. I'm not talking about wedding. I'm talking about a commitment from here.
SHE PUTS HER HAND TO HER HEART.
JO: Have you ever done that son?
JACK: Sure I have.
JACK: Have you ever told that to Jennifer?
JACK: Yes, in so many words.
JO: I don't think you have.
JACK: You know you....you may not understand me, but Jennifer does.
JO: I hope you're right. I really do. Because if this little game is over, I'm afraid you may be the loser.
SCENE FOUR: SHORT TIME LATER JENNIFER ENTERS.
JENNIFER: I just thought I'd drop by on the way to the station before I break the biggest news story of the year. I found a real winner.
JENNIFER: Huh, uh.
JACK: Jennifer I am so very glad for you. I really am.
HE PUTS HIS ARM AROUND HER AND HUGS HER CLOSE.
JENNIFER: Ah.... no.HE RUBS HIS NOSE ON HER FOREHEAD.
JENNIFER: You are not.... you are not going to seduce this story out of me Jack.
JACK: Now would I do something like that?
JENNIFER: Then why are you hugging me?
JACK: Can't I just be happy to see you?
JENNIFER: No, no.
JACK: Why not?
JENNIFER: Because it's business hours remember.
JACK: Well.... well maybe I'm on lunch.
JENNIFER: Come on Jack, do you really expect me to buy all of this?
JACK: Well.... ah.... no I guess not. Because I never show you how much that you, you know, mean to me.
JACK HURRIES THROUGH THE END OF THAT SENTENCE SO FAST THAT SHE CANNOT QUITE HEAR WHAT HE SAYS.
JENNIFER: What, wait, wait. Could you say that again? I just missed the end part.
JACK: (Emphasizing each word) How-much-you-mean-to-me!
JENNIFER: What brought this on?
JACK: Ah you know how it goes.
JENNIFER: No I don't, no, why don't you tell me?
JACK: Well I was just thinking that.... ah.... that there are some things that are more important than work and.... ah.... games.
JENNIFER: You're right, you're right Jack. I don't want to play games anymore, okay. There is no big news story. I made it up. Because I need you to do something for me.
JACK: Really, what?
JENNIFER: Don't print the rest of that series on the missing heiress.
JACK: I thought that this heiress piece wasn't such a big deal to you.
JENNIFER: I lied.
JENNIFER: I can't tell you.
JACK: Then why should I pull it?
JENNIFER: Because I'm asking you to.
JACK: I see. You want me to kill the biggest story that the paper's had all year because you asked me to.
JENNIFER: Jack, it's important.
JACK: This is what you were so upset about last night, isn't it?
JENNIFER: Look please don't me anymore questions alright.
JACK: Hey, enquiring minds want to know.
JENNIFER: Can't you just do it Jack?
JACK: Ah.... no. No I have to know why.
JENNIFER: Alright Jack I'll tell you why. Because it's an irresponsible piece of journalism that could end up hurting someone, that's why.
JACK: Oh Jennifer, we both know that there's nothing irresponsible about this. I'm a reporter just stating the facts. You, on the other hand, have some kind of personal stake in this. I want to know why. If I'm wrong tell me.
JENNIFER: Look Jack whether or not I have a personal stake in this story here is not the issue.
JACK: Do you mind telling me what the issue is?
JENNIFER: The issue is, is that I asked you not to do it but I guess that's not reason enough.
JACK: Oh no, no, no. Don't put this on my back.
JENNIFER: Jack if you trusted me, you wouldn't need a reason.
JACK: If you trusted me you'd tell me what the reason is.
JENNIFER: I can't. I wish I could but I can't. I can't do it Jack. I can't tell you.
JACK: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Okay wait a minute. I can tell you why I'm asking you this. Because I care. Because I'm worried.
JENNIFER: Then don't run the series.
SHE WALKS STRAIGHT OUT OF HIS OFFICE WITH HER FINGERS CROSSED. JACK IS LEFT PUZZLED OVER WHAT TO DO.
SCENE FIVE: LATER VERN COMES TO SEE JACK.
VERN: Jack we're ready to roll with the second part of that heiress story. We need your okay.
JACK: (Beat) Shelve it!
VERN: What? Are you sure?
JACK: I'm positive, yeah.
VERN: It's a live one Jack. It has all the earmarks of a crowd pleaser. It has romance, it has mystery, it has intrigue.
JACK: That's why I want to shelve it.
VERN: If I live to be a thousand years old I'll never figure out how your mind works.
JACK: That's not your job Ming.
VERN: First you get all gung ho for it. You rope me into it and then you want to leave it.
JACK: No Vern I don't want to leave it. Just because I don't want to print it, doesn't mean I want to drop it. Like you said before, there's mystery involved here. I love a mystery. And I'm not going to drop it, till I solve it!
[Transcribed by Carol Vaughan
added material by Sally A. Wilson]