Rock my world - By Cindi Myers Page 0,1

or whatever her name is?”

“Erica? You mean Erica, who managed to piss off not one, but two advertising accounts and draw an FCC fine the one and only time I let her near a microphone?”

Nick laughed, and Erica stifled a groan. Was it her fault she’d been shoved on the air at the last minute to fill in for Audra, who was in the ladies’ room, puking up her dinner? Anyone could have mixed up the commercials. And she hadn’t realized her microphone was still live when she started cursing her inability to straighten things out. She’d had to beg Carl not to fire her, and since then, he hadn’t let her near the broadcast booth.

Nick’s laughter finally subsided. “Come on, Carl. It’s not like she screwed up on purpose. And she’ll have me there to show her the ropes.”

“Just make sure that’s all you show her,” Carl said. “I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to give her a try….”

Did that mean Carl was going to let her do this? A live promo? She hardly had time to absorb the idea before the stack of mail shifted and began sliding. As CDs and Tyvek mailers tumbled to the floor, she let loose a stream of words that definitely were not allowed on air.

“Who’s making all that racket? We’re trying to have a meeting in here.” Carl stuck his head out the door. “Oh, Erica, it’s you. Come in here a minute.” Not waiting for an answer, he took her arm and hustled her into the office.

Nick looked her up and down and offered one of his trademark smarmy smiles. “Hello, beautiful.”

Nick called every woman “beautiful,” even if she was dressed like a bag lady and wearing a fright wig. “Hey, Nick.” She turned to Carl, trying to look innocent. “What’s up?”

Carl leaned against the desk. He was a short man with a wide face and jug-handle ears, dressed in green cords and a striped button-down shirt and red Chuck Taylors. He reminded Erica of a garden gnome. “How long have you been working here, Erica?” he asked.

“Six months.” As he very well knew.

“I think it’s about time we gave you some more airtime, don’t you?”

She cut her eyes over to Nick, who was grinning at her as though she was the special of the day. As if his player act impressed her. She focused again on Carl. “That is the reason I took this job.” It was bad enough a few detours in her career path made her one of the oldest interns in the history of the station—she didn’t plan to spend any longer than she had to shlepping mail and fetching coffee. She had her sights set on an on-air slot at the top rock station in Denver.

“Great!” Carl clapped his hands together. “We’ve got a fantastic new promo coming up that’ll pair you on air with Nick for three days next month. Not just the morning show, but live spots during the day as well. Terrific exposure.”

She glanced at Nick again, who leered at her. Three days in bed with that. She shuddered. “What exactly is the promo?” How would Carl spin this one?

“A fund-raiser for the new homeless shelter. Great, huh? Mattress Max came to me with the idea and I knew we had to get on board. Such a great cause.” He wasn’t looking directly at her anymore, a sure sign he was up to something shady.

“What exactly would I have to do?” she asked.

“Oh, nothing difficult. Just broadcast from the showroom floor of Max’s Furniture Gallery with Nick here.”

“You’d better level with her, Carl.” Nick stood, his six-foot-three, thick-set frame towering over her. “You’re gonna be spending three days in bed—with me, darlin’.”

She glared at the two men, trying to come up with a suitably scathing—yet not job-endangering—answer.

“She’s overcome with joy!” Nick patted her back. “Don’t worry, darlin’. Naughty Nick will take care of you.”

She curled her lip in a close approximation of a snarl. He actually took a step back. It was enough for her to find her voice again. “A bed-in?” She turned to Carl again. “Isn’t that a little sleazy?” She thought it was a lot sleazy, but this was, after all, rock radio.

“It’s perfectly respectable.” Carl put his arm around her. “Think of the great exposure. Think of the homeless shelter. Think how long it’ll be before you get another chance like this if you turn this one down.” His smile faded, along with the gnomelike jolliness. Now he looked like