"So, who's going to do the call?" Artemis asked a few days later.
It was two days after the New Year. The party had been fun. There was plenty of booze and food. Artemis couldn't resist a dramatic kiss during the countdown.
Now we were sitting around the table after dinner, making plans on calling Izzy. It was Evelyn that managed to find Dr. Max Allen. Evelyn had to pay quite a bit of money but this abortion rumor was putting a strain on the business and our family. Now we just needed the confession from Izzy.
"I'll do it," I said immediately.
"Has she met you?" Evelyn asked nervously.
"No. She doesn't even know what my voice sounds like. We'll use that to our favor."
"What will you tell her?"
"That I'm another ex-girlfriend." I held my hand out for the phone. "Let's do this. Just trust me," I said when she still looked unsure.
Evelyn sighed. "I hope you know what you're doing."
I dialed the phone number Dr. Allen had given us. He was worried about her suing him but we promised to take care of it. I took a deep breath as she answered.
"Izzy here," she said and I cringed. God. Even her voice was annoying.
"Hey Izzy," I said in a fake upbeat voice. "My name is Barb. How are you?"
"The name's not ringing any bells."
I giggled. "Oh, I used to date Artemis Kilgore."
Izzy burst into laughter. "Oh man, I'm having so much fun with that! My boyfriend and I are planning on suing him now!"
"You're doing an awesome job! He's such an asshole, isn't he?"
She laughed again. "What can I do for you, Barb?"
"I need to ask for a favor," I said.
"Anything for a fellow ex."
I hooked up the record we had bought into the phone, coughing to hide the noise.
"I've got know, is the abortion story real? Like, really real?"
"I'm trying to hit him with something; ever since he started dating that charity case. Oh, and my boyfriend just got here so he might hear."
She hesitated and I held my breath.
"Well, I don't see any harm in telling you. You don't want to copy, after all. No, it's not real."
I grinned in satisfaction.
"Really?" I asked.
"Yeah," she said, sounding proud. "You know what? I've just decided to do it. I'm suing him for psychiatric care. Now I just need to find a psychiatrist I can buy...."
"Uh-oh! I have to go! My phone is dying!"
"Okay. It was great meeting you!"
I hung up and unhooked the recorder. I grinned at everyone.
"Let's call your lawyer, Artemis," I said.
I couldn't believe she actually did it. She got Izzy to talk! We had double and triple checked that we weren't doing anything illegal. By warning Izzy that Deidre's 'boyfriend' was there, we were letting her know she was being overheard.
I dialed my lawyer's number right away, even though it was close to nine in the evening.
"Artemis. I wasn't expecting to hear from you."
"Good evening, George," I breathed. "I'm sorry it's late but we have a new development you have to hear."
"Did you get the phone number from the doctor?"
"Yes. And we got a confession from Izzy!"
Silence. "You're kidding me."
"No," I said. "They're making sure the recording worked." Deidre nodded at me with a grin. "It worked!"
"Great job!" George said. "Now we have to find a way to get the doctor on our side...."
"We'll make sure the judge knows she paid him off."
"Didn't you guys have to pay him?"
"No. He's been feeling guilty ever since he signed the document saying he performed the abortion. I think he saw this as his way of making up for it."
"Wonderful! All right, I'll get on the phone with the judge tomorrow to set up a court date. Meanwhile, I'll deliver the papers to Izzy myself. Great job, Artemis."
I hung up and hugged Deidre, spinning her.
"You were great!" I said and she giggled. "Do you really think I'm an asshole?"
She giggled. "Maybe."
Three days later, all four of us went to the office. Deidre had the day off and I wanted for her to get familiar with the building. There was a crowd of reporters in the lobby and, in the middle, a very pissed off Izzy.
"Who do you think you are!?" she screeched, pointing a finger at us.
"What?" I asked innocently.
"You tricked me!" she yelled.
"No we didn't."
"Then who is Barb?" she demanded, turning her eyes to Deidre. "Perhaps she sounds exactly like your charity case?"
"Perhaps," Deidre said with a smile.
She stomped her foot angrily. "How dare you!?" she cried. "I trusted you with my secret!"
"What secret?" I asked.
"That the abortion was fake!" she screamed.
The reporters gasped and her face went pale. She turned slowly at all the reporters and the cameras. She took a few steps back and tripped on her heels. Deidre stepped out of her way. Izzy whimpered and ran out of the building. The reporters swarmed us.
"How did you do it?"
"What are you going to do now?"
"Are the rumors true that you're suing her?"
We just walked to the elevator and went to the executive offices before Janine had to go down to the marketing department. When the door was shut, we passed around high fives and Deidre sat down smugly.
For about two weeks the fact that the abortion story was fake circled around. Kilgore Productions was getting a lot of phone calls from clients that had doubted them. We also got donations from them as an added apology.
Izzy lobbied for a private court date and we were more than happy to agree. There was enough coverage. The judge ruled in our favor. We weren't asking much, just $5,000 for slander. Mostly Artemis just wanted to leave a message for Izzy and any of his other ex girlfriends that tried to pull something like that.
Now Artemis and I were finally able to focus on the most important thing: planning our wedding.
We went to the florist first. I didn't know what kind of flowers I liked. Even though I went through the flower gardens every year, I didn't know the name of the flowers. Artemis was patient with me though the florist was looking a little frustrated. Eventually, she printed out a list of all the different flowers they had and Artemis explained them to me.
"I like roses," I said slowly. "I also like the... what are the purple ones?"
"Dwarf Iris," he answered, pointing to them.
"Oh, right. Sorry," I mumbled, seeing the florist roll her eyes.
He caught her, too, and turned to her. "Do you have a problem with my fiancée?" he asked coldly.
"No, Mr. Kilgore," she said quickly. "No, I was just-"
"Then you'll be as patient as you need to be," he snapped.
She looked down sheepishly but said nothing. I hid my face, embarrassed, and he guided my face to his. He kissed me on the lips lightly.
"So is that what you want your bouquet to be?"
I nodded. "The white roses, though. Red and purple... they don't really go together, do they?"
"It's up to you, sweetheart."
I thought about it. "Yeah, let's go with the white roses and the Dwarf Iris for the bouquet."
He circled the names. "Now we need to decide for the rest of the wedding."
I stared. "We have to pick more?"
He laughed. "That's why we're doing this together."