Two

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"Pete, we have to talk."

Ryan walked into his office without knocking. The answering glare would have stopped anyone else in their tracks. But it didn't bother Ryan at all. He'd known Pete since high school. He's had years to build up an immunity to all his intimidation tactics. He closed the door behind him. Pete sighed and lifted up a finger. Signaling for Ryan to give him a minute.

"I don't care." He said into the phone. "I want it at all cost. Do what you have to." He paused. Listening to what the person on the other line was saying. "All Cost." He hung up the phone and looked up at Ryan.

"Look at this." Ryan walked up and slammed the magazine on the desk in front of him.

Pete glanced down at it briefly. Seeing his own face on it. Damn he looked good. But he pushed it a way from him.

"I don't read that trash."

"Yeah well hundreds of thousands of other people do." Ryan pushed it back in front of him. "And you'll never guess who helped write this month's issue." His bony finger pointed down at the corner of the magazine.

Pete sat up in his seat. "Holy shit, is that Meagan?"

"Yes. That's Meagan. And holy shit is right."

Pete laughed. "She looks like hell."

"Read the damned cover." Ryan lifted the magazine and pushed it in Pete's face.

Pete snatched it away from Ryan's hands and held it in front of him to read. The more he read, the deeper he frowned. Homophobic? That was fucking ridiculous.  He snatched it open and found it filled with a bullshit interview with Meagan. Her calling him a gay hater and telling made up stories. Who the hell would believe this trash? He tore the magazine in half, tossing it on the floor in front of him.

"I want all these shits off the shelves!" He roared at Ryan.

"It's too late for that Pete. It's everywhere! Its been trending online all day. It was on E! News a few minutes ago!"

"It's a lie! How can they publish this shit?"

"Magazine editors are even more soulless than you." Ryan rolled his eyes. "And don't you think I know it's a lie. I mean hello!" He gestured to himself grandly. "Flaming homosexual here!"

"I can't believe her!" Pete pushed away from the desk and stood up. "That stupid bitch." He glanced over at Ryan, who was standing there calmly watching him. "Take my Porsche back from her and all the clothes from France. Send someone over there to get it."

"On it." Ryan took out his phone and sent out a text. "The things will be gone in an hour."

"This isn't that bad is it?" Pete asked him with a hopeful tone. "I mean, its not like its the public loved me anyway."

"Gerard is holding out on selling Way Industries to you." This was the news Ryan didn't want to have to deliver.

"WHAT?!"

"His brother is a homosexual. He doesn't want to sell his company to a homophobic billionaire."

"Tell him it's a lie!"

"It's not that simple-"

"I'll do a public interview. Force the magazine to retract the statements!"

"Then you'll just look like a rich homophobe bullying a popular magazine. Public image is everything to the Ways."

"I can't believe this!" Pete ran his hands through his hair. "I'm so damn pissed." He turned and punched the wall closest to him. Wincing when he felt it scrap the skin of his knuckles. "I want to buy her apartment building and have her evicted."

"You can't evict her without a reason. She pays her bills on time. Gets no complaints from the neighbors-"

"Then make it so she can't afford to live there. Buy out her modeling agency and have her fired. I don't want her to be able to work in the modeling industry again. Period. She has no other skills. I hope she ends up working at some Wendy's."

"Pete, that a little much-" Pete looked back at him and Ryan sighed. "Fine. Done." Pete nodded. Satisfied that Meagan would learn her lesson. Don't bring knives to a gun fight. "But that won't make Gerard sell."

"Then what will?" Pete sat on the edge of his desk. Glaring at the door.

Ryan smiled and sat beside him. "I have a plan."

"Oh course." Pete groaned. Shifting so that he was facing his friend.

"Date a guy."

"Not this again." He buried his face in his hands. "Ryan, I'm not going to go out with you-"

"Not me." Ryan laughed. "Someone else. Some other guy."

"Ryan, I'm not gay." Pete said simply. "I like girls and boobs and vagina-"

"Okay. Ew. Ew. Ew!" Ryan stood, waving his hands in front of him. "I know you're not gay. I'm not telling you to go lose you buttginity." He paused and looked at Pete carefully. "But if you were going to try it..." He trailed off.

"I'd come to you for it." Pete said the words in a bored tone. This was something Ryan told him constantly.

"Good." Ryan smiled. "What I'm telling you to do is hire someone to be your boyfriend for a while. The rumors will die out. Meagan will look like a scorned liar and Gerard will sell. And then after you buy Way Industries, you and your boyfriend have a very public fall out and break up."

"That's a stupid idea. Where would I find someone willing to do that?"

"Anyone would do anything for the right amount of money."

"So what? I pay off some model?"

"No. That's too obvious. We just find some random gay guy. I know a lot of them" he winked.

"I'm not fake dating one of your random hookups."

"Fine. I'll find someone else."

"This is a fucking crazy plan." Pete sighed.

"So crazy, it just might work?" Ryan nudged him with his elbow.

Pete laughed and pushed him. "No. Just really fucking crazy."

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