"My father doesn't do favors he believes would jeopardize his candidacy," I retort. "In other words, he wouldn't hire her at all if he saw her as a risk."
"Your interviewer," Rudolf interjects, "will have done his homework. He'll know Danielle's history."
"There is no history," I reply irritably, "not beyond a normal college student attending frat parties and living life. And this isn't about her party history."
"Her party history doesn't fit your role in your father's life," he says. "The agent sent to interview you will look for a reason you had to kill her. Troublemaker fits."
My mind flashes back a moment in the bar when I'd read her text messages, to a swipe of unexplainable anger that I try to understand. What was in those messages?
Even while I do so, Bob eyes his Rolex that I'm sure my father paid for, about a hundred times over, and then me. "Thanks to the short notice of this incident," he says, "we have limited prep time." He flattens his hands on the table. "Let's get to work. Repeat the story your father gave you to tell."
"I didn't want to go to the bar," I say, already tired of this story. "Danielle didn't want to leave. Tobey took me back to my room. You need to know that I don't remember last night. I think I was drugged."
"Do not repeat what your father told you not to repeat."
"You're my attorney," I remind him. "And I'm stuck with Rudolf."
"You were with Tobey," Bob states. "He'll back you up. You back him up."
"What do you know that I don't know?" I ask.
"Enough to stop talking about being drugged," he snaps. "Now. Rudolf will get you ready for the actual presentation of the story we've given you to use." He motions to Rudolf. "Do it. Question her."
Rudolf complies and hits me with a question. "Why did you go to the bar last night?"
"Because my father's an asshole who ignored me after the debates," I state honestly, when honesty isn't what he's looking for, "and," I add, "I needed to let off steam."
"Holy fuck," Bob bites out. "This is not a game, little girl. Your father's running for the most powerful office in the world. Get it right and do it now. Understand?"
I purse my lips. "Yes. I understand."
"Good." He motions to Rudolf. "Begin again."
"Why did you go the bar last night?" Rudolf repeats.
This time, I offer the answer as I'm expected to offer it: politically fluffed. "Danielle coordinated a first debate celebration at a private venue that felt secure and appropriate."
"Danielle coordinated the visit to the bar?" he confirms.
"Yes," I reply, offering nothing I don't have to offer, which is also the politically fluffed version of any interview.
"Elaborate," he commands.
I arch a brow. "What do you want to know?"
His lips quirk every-so-slightly. "How did you get from the debate venue to the bar?"
"She and Tobey were waiting on me outside the debate event center," I say. "Tobey didn't want me to go to the bar because he's quite protective of my reputation. But Danielle pressed us and we caved. Or I did. Tobey only went along to look out for me."
"But you didn't leave with her?" Rudolf counters.
"No," I say. "Tobey's disapproval read like my father's and I just couldn't get past that. I regretted the decision to go to the bar almost immediately upon arriving. Danielle didn't want to leave when I told her I was leaving, and she chose to stay there on her own, but that wasn't unusual. Because of my father's career, I've been the one to go while she stayed during most of our college years, actually even as far back as high school."
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A Perfect LieMystery / Thriller
A BRAND-NEW PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER COMING FROM NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR LISA RENEE ONES ON MAY 14, 2019 - PRE-ORDER EVERYWHERE NOW! I'm Hailey Anne Monroe. I'm twenty-eight years old. An artist, who found her muse on the canvas because I wa...