SCENE ONE: JACK IS SITTING AT HIS DESK AT THE SPECTATOR, LISTENING TO DESIRÉE'S TAPE. HE HEARS JENNIFER'S VOICE.
JENNIFER: Oh I'll just go right in. Jack's not going to mind. Don't worry about it. Thanks.
HE FRANTICALLY SWITCHES OFF THE TAPE. JENNIFER WALKS INTO HIS OFFICE.
JACK: He certainly will mind. I mean just because we share a roof does not mean that you have rights to the office as well. I mean don't you remember that question, knock before entering, right?
JENNIFER: Darling, you're more pleasant than usual this morning.
SHE GIVES HIM A KISS.
JACK: Well.... thank you.
JENNIFER: Something wrong?
JACK: Wrong? Nothing's wrong, nothing, nothing at all. Nothing.
JENNIFER SITS ON HIS DESK RIGHT NEXT TO THE CASSETTE PLAYER.
JENNIFER: Good, because I have a favor to ask Jack. I've been thinking about it and I really think you should reconsider.
JACK: I know, about Howard. Don't worry I'm going to give him a job.
JENNIFER: You are?
JENNIFER: Why did you change your mind?
JACK: I didn't really change it. It's just that you were right. I mean, you know, we should try to help those less fortunate. You know, some of your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to the release the homeless....
WHILE HE IS TALKING, JENNIFER FINDS THE DESIRÉE'S TAPE IN THE TAPE RECORDER ON THE DESK.
JENNIFER: That's not it at all. You've been listening to Desirée's tape again, haven't you?
JACK: That's Desirée's tape? I thought that was I Heard it Through the Grapevine. You know, the California Raisin's version.
JENNIFER: No, it's Desirée's tape and I know why you're hiring Howard. And I can prove it Jack.
JACK: It doesn't matter why I'm doing it. The important thing is that I'm doing it. Let's go find the guy. Come on.
JENNIFER: No, no, no. You're hiring Howard so you can keep an eye on him right?
JACK: Why would I do that?
JENNIFER: Keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer.
JACK: What? Who do you think you're talking to, Victor Kiriakis. Come on.
JENNIFER: Jack, where are you taking me?
JACK: Just don't worry about it. Come on.
HE GETS HER OUT OF THE OFFICE BEFORE SHE CAN PLAY THE TAPE.
SCENE TWO: JACK AND JENNIFER ARE IN THE ALLEY LOOKING FOR HOWARD.
JENNIFER: There he is, there he is, just like the other day Jack. Come here.
JENNIFER: Howard? Good morning. How are you doing?
JACK: What the hell is this? It's The Chronicle. What are you doing sleeping with the enemy?
HOWARD: Oh there seemed to be more of them around.
JACK: I better talk to circulation.
JENNIFER: Jack, ask Howard.
JACK: Ask him what? (Beat) Well I don't if I should. I mean this is the kind of a question that comes from loyalty here.
JENNIFER: Ask him.
HOWARD: Is there something you wanted to ask me?
JACK: Um.... yes.... um Howard, my friend and you know you are my friend. How would you like to come work for me at The Spectator?
HOWARD: Your newspaper?
JACK: Yes, my newspaper. If you taken the time to cover yourself with Spectators, you'd know the answer to that.
HOWARD: Ah, I just wasn't sure you were serious. When Jennifer brought the idea up the other day, you didn't seem too keen on it.
JACK: Keen? I hated.... I hated the fact that she came up with it first. So what do you think? Would you like to come work for me?
HOWARD: Well I'm not sure. What.... what do newspaper editors do exactly?
JACK: Well it's not really for the job of newspaper editor.
HOWARD: Well reporter?
JACK: Ah, not a reporter either.
HOWARD: Newspaper boy?
JACK: Look, it's.... it's.... I want you to be the custodian, alright?
JACK: You didn't expect me to offer you Editor-in Chief did you?
HOWARD: That sounds like a nice job.
JACK: THAT'S MY JOB!
JENNIFER: Look, Howard, I realize it's only an entry level position, but it is a job.
HOWARD: Hmmm. I suppose you're right.
JENNIFER: I mean it's not a glamorous job but it is an honest job and it's nothing to be ashamed of and you wouldn't have to live like this anymore.
HOWARD: Alright, you've got yourself a new custodian.
HE SHAKES HANDS WITH JACK.
JACK: Ah, alright, why don't you.... why don't you start right away and first of all get rid of some of these Chronicles, alright.
JACK: Thank you.
JACK GETS UP AND WALKS AWAY A BIT WHILE JENNIFER TALKS TO HOWARD.
JENNIFER: Oh Howard, I am so glad that you decided to take the job.
HOWARD: Well thank you for making your husband offer it to me.
JENNIFER: Well I didn't. Jack did it on his own.
HOWARD: What brought on this sudden change of heart.
JENNIFER: Well let's just say that Jack decided he needed to do something nice for someone. Come on, let's get you to work. It's your first day on the job. Come on Howard. Jack, let's go. Let's bring Howard to work.
JACK: That ink came off all over my fingers. It's a mess.
THE THREE OF THEM LEAVE FOR THE SPECTATOR.
SCENE THREE: LATER JACK IS IN HIS OFFICE HAVING A MEETING WITH MICKEY AND VERN ABOUT THE LOAN HE HAS TAKEN OUT TO COVER THE BUYOUT FROM NICK'S ESTATE. HOWARD IS IN THERE DUSTING.
MICKEY: Now we can arrange.... we can structure bridge financing to cover us until this loan is complete. Now I've talked to some loan brokers and they are willing to extend an extra line at favorable terms to us.
VERN: I think you ought to take it Jack. It sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
JACK: Forget it. I want to start paying off this loan immediately.
MICKEY: You might want to rethink this, based on the amount involved, plus right-offs.
JACK: I just don't like the idea of owing people money, that's all.
MICKEY: Jack this is a way of to keep your money working for you.
JACK: Look I don't care. As long as I can start paying it off, which I can do. I can afford that. Then I think.... excuse me, what are you doing in here?
JACK HAS NOTICED HOWARD.
HOWARD: Well the job you hired me to do sir.
JACK: Could you do it somewhere else?
HOWARD: Anything you say Jack.... er.... Mr. Deveraux.
HOWARD LEAVES AND SHUTS THE DOOR BEHIND HIM JUST AS JENNIFER ARRIVES TO SEE JACK.
JENNIFER: Howard, how do you like your new job so far?
HOWARD: Oh nothing to it and thank you, once again.
JENNIFER: Well like I said, you're going to have to thank Jack.
HOWARD: He's a generous man, that husband of yours.
JENNIFER: Well, you know, you and I may be the only people who think so.
HOWARD: Well I don't know about that but the people at the bank will think so to when he pays off that big loan so fast.
JENNIFER: Big loan?
HOWARD: You didn't know about it?
JENNIFER: I do now. Thank you Howard.
HOWARD: Oh Jennifer, I'm.... I'm really sorry. I just assumed seeing as you're Jack's wife and it's so much money.
JENNIFER: I understand. Don't worry about it. I'll handle it. Excuse me for one moment, please.
IT IS OBVIOUS THAT HOWARD DELIBERATELY TOLD JENNIFER ABOUT THE LOAN.
SCENE FOUR: JENNIFER WALKS STRAIGHT INTO JACK'S OFFICE. THE THREE MEN ARE STILL TALKING BUT THEY STOP IMMEDIATELY SHE ENTERS.
JENNIFER: Excuse me. I'm not interrupting anything, am I? Hello Darling.
SHE GIVES JACK A BIG KISS.
JENNIFER: Uncle Mickey, what are you doing here? I sure hope Jack isn't in any kind of trouble.
JACK: Heheheh, trouble? I haven't been in trouble since the day I married you. Ah Mickey....
MICKEY: We get the picture.
JACK: Ah, yah, I, er, listen, we'll discuss more about this later.
MICKEY: Bye bye.
JACK: Thanks for coming by.
MICKEY AND VERN LEAVE AND JACK SHUTS THE DOOR.
JACK: So.... it must be about lunchtime. You want to take me out to lunch courtesy of ?WATB
JENNIFER: What's going on here? Why was my uncle Mickey here with you and Vern?
JACK: Well we working on a story. Kind of a piece on the legal profession in Salem. I thought who better to talk to than Salem's own legal eagle.
JENNIFER: Save it Jack! I know all about the loan.
JACK: Well how do you like that.
JENNIFER: I don't! I don't like it one bit. I can't believe that you were dishonest to me about that Jack.
JACK: Well I can't believe you were dishonest coming in here acting like you didn't know I was being dishonest.
JENNIFER: I was giving you a chance to come clean. Why didn't you tell me about that?
JACK: Because I was trying to protect you, that's why.
JENNIFER: But what about Eve? Why did you lie to Eve?
JACK: I don't think that even warrants an explanation.
JENNIFER: Look just because that's the way Eve operates doesn't mean that you have to lower yourself to her standards.
JACK: I was not going to grovel in front of her. You understand that? I want the newspaper. I want it 100%. I want to own it. Now I did that fair and square. I didn't cheat anybody.
JENNIFER: You also didn't let anybody know what you were doing either, including me.
JACK: I was going to let you know as soon as the whole thing was taken care of but obviously that some.... somebody beat me to it. Some.... obviously somebody beat me to it and I think we all know who it is.
JACK SEES HOWARD OUTSIDE, WIPING THE GLASS IN HIS OFFICE DOOR.
JACK OPENS THE DOOR.
HOWARD: Oh Mr. Deveraux, would you like me to finish cleaning your office now?
JACK: Not now, not ever. You're fired, you understand me. YOU'RE FIRED!
HOWARD: Very well sir.
HOWARD GRABS HIS CHEST AND WALKS AWAY. JACK SLAMS THE DOOR.
JENNIFER: How could you do that?
JACK: What do you mean, how could I do it? He's the one who....HE WAS SPYING ON ME!
JENNIFER: YOU FIRED HIM BECAUSE HE CAUGHT YOU IN A LIE JACK. That's why.
SHE RUNS OUT THE DOOR.
JACK: Wait a minute, he's....
SHE WALKS OUT ON JACK AND HE IS ANGRY THAT HIS WHOLE WORLD IS STARTING TO FRAGMENT.
SCENE FIVE: JENNIFER GOES OUT TO THE ALLEY TO SEE HOWARD AND SHE APOLOGIZES FOR JACK. SHE TELLS HIM THAT IT IS NOT HIS FAULT THAT JACK LIED TO HER. SHE TELLS HOWARD THAT IT IS A MATTER OF PRIDE WITH JACK THAT HE DOES NOT LOOK LIKE HE HAS FAILED. AS SHE iS TALKING TO HOWARD, HE GRABS HIS CHEST AND JENNIFER IS WORRIED ABOUT HIM. SHE LEAVES HIM AND HE SUDDENLY SEEMS QUITE WELL.HAWK COMES UP TO TALK TO HOWARD AND THEY DISCUSS THE FACT THAT JACK FINDS IT HARD TO TRUST PEOPLE. HAWK IS PLEASED BECAUSE HE SAYS IT IS WHEN YOU SUCKER THE SMART ONES THAT YOU KNOW YOU ARE GOOD AND HE IS THE BEST.
SCENE SIX: BACK AT THE SPECTATOR, JACK IS WORKING VERY LATE WHEN VERN ENTER.
VERN: Hey, Jack. Do I have to remind you that you're a married man now? It's way after hours, you should be home with your pretty wife.
JACK: I happen to know that my wife is not home. At least not answering the phone.
VERN: Why wouldn't she be?
JACK: Maybe she's a screener. I don't know.
JACK IS OBVIOUSLY DEPRESSED.
VERN: Oh come on, you guys had your first fight already?
JACK: Vern don't you have some copy you should be editing?
VERN: No, no, no, really. What happened? Did it have something to do with that custodian you hired?
JACK: You mean the one I fired. You mean the spy! He was a spy you know.
VERN: A spy? What spy? What, for the ISA?
JACK: I don't know, maybe. Or perhaps just for himself. You know he ruined this whole thing. I was trying to keep this whole loan business a secret from Jennifer and he just destroyed it. Old loose lips.
VERN: Oh come on Jack, you're being too tough on the guy. He probably assumed that Jennifer already knew about the loan. Who wouldn't?
JACK: Don't turn on me alright.
VERN: Oh now look, she's your wife to trust and obey.
JACK: I never said obey, alright! I never said that. Now I don't know what the trouble is here. I didn't do anything wrong. I'm not the bad guy. I didn't hurt anybody.
VERN: Neither did Howard. He's just a harmless little old man, that's all.
JACK: We don't know that for sure. He's a big fan of The Chronicle you know. We can't have him spilling all our secrets to the competition. Old loose lips.
VERN: Heheheh. You know you are more paranoid than ever. I didn't think it was possible.
JACK: I'm just careful, that's all. Just careful.
VERN: Well you're never going to change Jack. I mean for you the sky is always on the verge of falling, isn't it?
JACK: You know something, the Big Bad Wolf is always walking around somewhere in sheep's clothing. I just have to make sure I stay out of his path or at least.... at least keep Jennifer out of his path.