Book: Kitty Learns the Ropes
I hit play on the laptop DVD software and sat back to watch.
This was a recording of a boxing match in Las Vegas last year. The Heavyweight World Championships, the caption read. I was glad it did, because I knew nothing about boxing, nothing about who these guys were. Two beefy, sweaty men—one white, with a dark buzz cut and heavy brow, the other black, bald, snarling—were pounding on each other in rage. I winced as the blows against each other sent sweat and spit flying. As sports went, this was more unappealing than most, in my opinion.
Then the white boxer, Ian Jacobson, the defending champion, laid one into his opponent, Jerome Macy. The punch came in like a pile driver, snapped Macy’s head around, and sent the big man spinning. He crashed head-first into the mat. The crack of bone carried over the roars and cheers of the crowd. I resisted an urge to look away, sure I was witnessing the boxer’s death.
The arena fell silent, watching Macy lie still. Jacobson had retreated to an empty corner of the ring, looking agitated, while the referee counted down over Macy. Ringside officials leaned in, uncertain whether to rush in to help or wait for the count to end. Macy lay with his head twisted, his body crumpled, clearly badly injured. Blood leaked out his nose.
Then he moved. First a hand, then an arm. He levered himself up, shaking his head, shaking it again, stretching his neck back into alignment. Slowly, he regained his feet.
He turned, looking for his opponent with fire blazing in his eyes. Jacobson stared back, eyes wide, fearful. Obviously, he hadn’t wanted Macy to be seriously hurt. But this—rising from the dead almost—must have seemed worse.
The roar of the crowd at the apparent resurrection was visceral thunder.
They returned to the fight, and Macy knocked out Jacobson a minute later, winning the title.
A hand reached over me and hit the pause button on the laptop.
“That wasn’t normal,” said Jenna Larson, the woman who had brought me the recording of the match. She was a rarity, a female sports reporter with national standing, known for hunting down the big stories, breaking the big news, from drug scandals to criminal records. “Tell me that wasn’t human. Jerome Macy isn’t human.”
Which was why Larson was here, showing me this video. She wanted to know if I could tell Macy was a werewolf or some other supernatural/superhuman creature with rapid healing, or the kind of invulnerability that would let him not only stand back up after a blow like that, but go on to beat up his opponent. I couldn’t tell, not by just watching the clip. But it wouldn’t be hard for me to find out if I could get close enough to smell him. I’d know if he was a werewolf by his scent, because I was one.
She’d brought her laptop to my office. I sat at my desk, staring at the frozen image of Macy, shoulders slouched, looming over his fallen opponent. Larson stood over me—a position of dominance, my Wolf side noted testily—waiting for my reaction.
I pushed my chair away from the desk so I was out from under her, looking at her eye to eye without craning my neck. “I can’t say one way or the other without meeting him.”
“I can arrange that,” she said. “His next bout is here in Denver this weekend. You come meet him, and if there is something going on, we share the scoop on the story.”
This was making me nervous. “Jenna. Here’s the thing: even if he is a werewolf, he probably doesn’t want to advertise the fact. He’s kept it hidden for a reason.”
“If he is a werewolf, do you think it’s fair that he’s competing against normal human beings in feats of strength and endurance?”
I shrugged, because she was right on some level. However talented a boxer he was, did Macy have an unfair advantage?
It also begged the question: in this modern age when werewolves, vampires, witches, and other things that go bump in the night were emerging from shadows and announcing themselves—like hosting talk radio shows that delved into this secret world—how many other people had hidden identities? How many actors, politicians, and athletes weren’t entirely human?
Larson was in her thirties, her shoulder-length brown hair shining and perfectly arranged around her face, her makeup calculated to look stunning and natural, like she wasn’t wearing any. She wore a pantsuit with high heels and never missed a step. She was a woman in a man’s profession, driven to make a name for herself. I had to respect that. The territorial side of me couldn’t help but see an alpha female on the prowl.
She was brusque, busy, and clearly didn’t have time to hang around because she shut down the laptop and started packing it into her sleek black shoulder bag.
“I know you’re interested in this,” she said. “If you don’t help me, I’ll get someone else. One way or another, with or without your help, I’m going to break this story. How about it?”
There wasn’t even a question. She called me pretty well: I wouldn’t let a story like this get away from me.
“I’m in,” I said.
• • •
I came within a hair of changing my mind outside the PepsiCenter the night of the bout. The crowd swarmed, jostling around me as they elbowed their way through the doors. This many people, all of them with an underlying aggression—they had paid a lot of money to watch two guys beat the crap out of each other—was making me want to growl. The Wolf side of my being didn’t like crowds, didn’t like aggression. I wanted to fight back, snarl, claw my way free to a place where I could run, where no one could touch me.
Concentrating, I worked to keep that part of me buried. I had to keep myself together to do my job.
I still wasn’t sure I wanted to do this job. If Larson turned out to be right and Macy was a werewolf, what if he didn’t want to be exposed? Should I step in and somehow talk her into keeping his secret? He had a right to the life he was carving out for himself. I’d been in his position once. On the other hand, maybe Macy would be okay with exposing his werewolf identity. Then I could claim his first exclusive interview for my radio show. Larson could break the story in print, I’d get the first live interview—part of me really hoped Macy was okay with telling the world about this.
The other part hoped he wasn’t a werewolf at all. Luck had saved him during that bout in Vegas.
Larson met me inside the doors with a press pass that got us close to ringside. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be ringside. Flying sweat and spit would hit us at this range. The arena smelled of crowds, of old sweat and layers of energy. Basketball, hockey, arena football, concerts, and circuses had all played here. A little of each remained, along with the thousands of people who watched. Popcorn, soda, beer, hot dogs, semi-fresh, semi-stale, ground into the concrete floor, never to be erased. And the echoes of shouting.
The arena filled. Larson talked with her colleagues, talked on her cell phone, punched notes into her laptop. We waited for the gladiators to appear.
“You look nervous,” she said to me, fifteen minutes into the waiting. I’d been hugging myself. “You ever been to a fight?”
I shook my head and unclenched my arms, trying to relax. “I’m not much into the whole sports thing. Crowds make me nervous.” Made me want to howl and run, actually.
The announcer came on the booming PA system, his rich, modulated voice echoing through the whole place and rattling my bones. Lights on scoreboards flashed. The sensory input was overwhelming. I guessed we were starting.
The boxers—opponents, combatants, gladiators—appeared. A great cheer traveled through the crowd. Ironically, the people in the upper bleachers saw them before those of us with front row seats. We didn’t see them until they climbed into the ring. The challenger, Ian Jacobson, looked even more fierce in person, glaring, muscles flexing. Already, sweat gleamed on his pale skin.
Then came Jerome Macy.
I smelled him before I saw him, a feral hint of musk and wild in this otherwise artificial environment. It was the smell of fur just under the skin, waiting to break free. Two werewolves could smell each other across the room, catching that distinctive mark.
No one who wasn’t a werewolf would recognize it. Black hair cropped close to his head, he looked normal as he ducked between the ropes and entered the ring. Normal as any heavyweight boxer could look, that is. He seemed hard as stone, his body brown, huge, solid. In his wolf form, he’d be a giant. He went through the same routine, his manager caring for him like he was a racehorse.
Just as I spotted him, he could sense me. He glanced over the ropes, scanning for the source of that lycanthropic odor. Then he saw me sitting next to Jenna Larson, and his eyes narrowed. He must have known why I was here. He must have guessed.
My first instinct, wolf’s instinct, was to cringe. He was bigger than I, meaner; he could destroy me, so I must show deference. But we weren’t wolves here. The human side, the side that needed to get to the bottom of this story and negotiate with Larson, met Macy’s gaze. I had my own strengths that made me his equal, and I wanted him to know that.
As soon as Macy entered the ring, Larson leaned over to me. “Well?” She didn’t take her gaze off the boxer.
Macy kept glancing at us and his mouth turned in a scowl. He must have known who—and what—I was, and surely he knew about Larson. He noted the conspiracy between us and must have known what it meant. Must have realized the implications.
“Yeah, he is,” I said.
Larson pressed her lips together in an expression of subdued triumph.
“What are you going to do?” I said. “Jump in and announce it to the world?”
“No,” she said. “I’ll wait until the fight’s over for that.” She was already typing on her laptop, making notes for her big exposé. Almost, I wanted no part of this. It was like she held this man’s life in her hands.
But more, I wanted to talk to Macy, to learn how he did this. I knew from experience—vivid, hard-fought experience—that aggression and danger brought the wolf side to the fore. If a lycanthrope felt threatened, the animal, monstrous side of him would rise to the surface to defend him, to use more powerful teeth and claws in the battle.
So how did Macy train, fight, and win as a boxer without losing control of his wolf? I never could have done it.
The bout had started. In the ring, the two fighters circled each other—like wolves, almost—separated only by the referee, who seemed small and weak next to them. Then they fell together. Gloves smacked against skin. I winced at the pounding each delivered, jackhammer blows slamming over and over again.
Around me, the journalists in the press box regarded the scene with cool detachment, unemotional, watching the fight clinically, an attitude so at odds with the chaos of the crowd around us.
I flinched at the vehemence of the crowd, the shouts, fierce screams, the wall of emotion like a physical force pressing from all corners of the arena to the central ring. Wolf, the creature inside me, recognized the bloodlust. She—I—wanted to growl, feeling cornered. I hunched my back against the emotion and focused on being human.
The line between civilized and wild was so very thin, after all. No one watching this display could argue otherwise.
They pounded the crap out of each other and kept coming back for more. That was the only way to describe it. An enthusiast could probably talk about the skill of various punches and blocks, maybe even the graceful way they danced back and forth across the ring, giving and pressing in turn in some kind of strategy I couldn’t discern. The strategy may have involved simply tiring each other out. I just waited for it to be over. I couldn’t decide who I was rooting for.
Catching bits of conversation between rounds, I gathered that the previous fight between Macy and Jacobson had been considered inconclusive. The blow that had struck Macy down had been a fluke. That he had stood up without being knocked out—or killed—had been a fluke. No one could agree on which of the two had gotten lucky. The rematch had seemed inevitable.
This time, Macy clearly had the upper hand. His punches continued to be calculated and carefully placed, even in the later rounds. To my eyes, Macy looked like he was holding back. A werewolf should have been able to knock an enemy across the room. As a werewolf, I could have faced down Jacobson. But Macy couldn’t do that. He had to make it look like a fair fight.
Jacobson started to sway. He shook his head, as if trying to wake himself up. Macy landed yet another solid punch that made Jacobson’s entire body quiver for a moment. Then the big boxer went down, boneless, collapsing flat on his back and lying there, arms and legs splayed.
Chaos reigned after that. The crowd was screaming with one multilayered voice; the referee knelt by Jacobson’s head, counting; Jacobson’s trainers hovered in the wings, waiting to spring forward. Around me, journalists and announcers were speaking a mile a minute into phones or mikes, describing the scene.
Macy retreated to a neutral corner, bouncing in place a little, arms hanging at his sides. He hunched his back and glared out with dark eyes that seemed fierce and animal. Maybe they only did to me.
The referee declared the fight over. Jacobson was knocked out, and only started climbing to his feet when his trainers helped him. Macy raised his arms, taking in the crowd’s adulation.
That was it. The whole thing started to seem anticlimactic. There was some chaotic concluding business, strobe lights of a million cameras flashing. Then the journalists started packing up, the crowd dispersed, and the cleaning crew started coming through with garbage bags. A swarm of fans and reporters lurched toward Macy, but an equally enthusiastic swarm of guards and assistants kept them at bay while trainers guided Macy from the ring and down the aisle to the locker area, which was off limits.
Larson slung her laptop bag over her shoulder and tugged my sleeve. “Come on,” she said.
Walking briskly, snaking through the mass of people, she led me to a different doorway and from there to a tiled corridor. This was the behind-the-scenes area, leading to maintenance, storage, and locker rooms, from the other side. Larson knew where she was going. I followed, willing to let her lead the way, quietly hanging back, observing. Other reporters marched along with us, all jostling to get in front, but Larson led the way.
She stopped in front of a door, where a hulking man in a security uniform stood guard. Other reporters pressed up behind us.
“Mr. Macy isn’t giving interviews now.” The bear of a man scowled at the crowd.
“I’m Jenna Larson,” she said, flashing an ID badge at him. “Tell him I’m here with Kitty Norville. I think he’ll talk to us.”
“I said, Mr. Macy isn’t giving interviews.” The other reporters complained at that.
Larson pursed her lips, as if considering answers, then said, “I’ll wait.”
“You’ll wait?” I said.
“He’s got to come out sometime. Though, if he gives an interview to one of the guys, I swear I’ll—”
The door opened, and one of the trainers leaned out to speak a few words with the guard.
“Is who here? Her? Really?” the guard said, glancing at Larson. Grudgingly, he stood back from the open door. “He’s asking for you. Come on in.”
I stuck close to Larson as she slipped through the door, while the guard held back the rest of the reporters, most of whom were protesting loudly.
Male locker room. There’s no other smell like it. Lots and lots of sweat, new and old, stale, baked into the flat carpet, into the paint on the walls. And adrenaline, like someone had aerosolized it. Like someone had lit a scented candle of it. Pure, concentrated, competitive maleness. Wolf didn’t know whether to howl or whine.
“This way,” the trainer said, and guided us through the front, a brightly lit area filled with lockers, to a smaller, darker side room with only one light in the corner turned on.
The smell of alcohol almost overpowered the smell of maleness here. It looked like an infirmary. Cabinets with clear doors held gauze, cotton balls, bandages, and dozens of bottles. On a padded massage table in the middle of the room sat Jerome Macy.
A shadow in the dim light, he smelled of sweat, adrenaline, maleness—and wolf. His eyes were a deep, rich brown. I could almost see the wolf in them, sizing me up. Challenging me. I didn’t meet his gaze, didn’t give him any aggressive signals. This was his territory. I was the visitor here, and I didn’t have anything to prove.
“It’s okay, Frank,” Macy said to the trainer, who lingered by the door. The man gave a curt nod, then left, closing the door behind him.
So not even Macy’s trainers knew. The three of us were alone in the room, with the secret.
His hands were raw, chapped, swollen. Tape bound his wrists. He leaned on his knees and let the limbs dangle. Werewolves had rapid healing, but he’d still taken a beating. Macy kept his challenging stare focused on me. I started to bristle under the attention. I crossed my arms and lurked.
Larson drew a small digital recorder out of her pocket and made a show of turning it on. “Mr. Macy. Is it true that you’re infected with the recently identified disease known as lycanthropy?”
His gaze shifted from me to her. After a moment, he chuckled. “It’s not going to do me any good to say no, is it? You planned this out pretty good.”
He was almost soft-spoken. His voice was hushed, belying the power of his body. It gave him a calculating air. Not all brute force, this guy. I wanted to warn Larson, Don’t underestimate him.
“I think the public has a right to know,” Larson said. “Don’t you?”
He considered. Sizing her up, like a hunter deciding whether this prey would be worth the effort, gazing at her through half-lidded eyes. He was making a challenge: the stare, the shoulders, the slight snarl to his open lips, showing teeth—all pointed to the aggressive stance. I recognized it. There was no way fully-human Larson could. For all her journalist’s instincts, she wouldn’t recognize the body language.
He said, “What would I have to pay you to keep you quiet?”
I was betting he couldn’t have said anything that would make her more angry. She said, “Bribery. Real nice. Be smart about this, Macy: you can’t suppress this. You can’t keep this quiet forever. You might as well let me break the story. I’ll give you a chance to have your say, tell your side.”
She approached this the way she would any other stubborn interview; she turned on her own aggressiveness, glaring back, stepping forward into his space. Exactly the wrong response if she wanted him to open up.
The boxer didn’t flinch. His expression never changed. He was still on the hunt. He said, “Then what would I have to do to keep you quiet?”
That threw Larson off her script. She blinked with some amount of astonishment. “Are you threatening me?”
I stepped between them, trying to forestall what the press would call an “unfortunate incident.” Glancing between them, I tried to be chipper, happy, and tail-waggy.
“Jerome! May I call you Jerome?” I said, running my mouth like always. “I’m really glad Jenna asked me to come along for this. Normally I wouldn’t give boxing a second thought. But this. I’d never have believed it if I hadn’t seen it. How do you do it? Why don’t you shape-shift when you’re in the ring?”
I had seen animals in cages at the zoo look like this. Quiet, glaring. Simmering. Like a predator who was prepared to wait forever for that one day, that one minute you forgot to lock the cage. On that day, God help you.
“You’re Kitty Norville, right? I’ve heard about you.”
“Great!” I said, my bravado false. “Nothing bad, I hope. So are you going to answer my question?”
He straightened a little, rolled his shoulders, and the mood was broken, the predator image slipped away. His lip turned in a half smile.
“I think about my hands,” he said. Which seemed strange. I must have looked bemused, because he explained, “I have to punch. I can only do that with human hands. Fists and arms. Not claws, not teeth. So I think about my hands. But Kitty—just because I don’t shift doesn’t mean I don’t change.” Some of that animal side bled into his gaze. He must have carried all his animal fighting instinct into the ring.
That was creepy. I had an urge to slouch, grovel, stick an imaginary tail between my legs. Please don’t hurt me …
“So you do have an unfair advantage?” Larson said.
“I use what I have,” he said. “I use my talents, like anyone else out there.”
“But it’s not a level playing field,” she said, pressing. “Tell me about the fight in Vegas. About taking the punch that would have killed a normal human being.”
“That fight doesn’t prove anything.”
“But a lot of people are asking questions, aren’t they?” Larson said.
“What exactly do you want from me?”
“You want to ruin me, and you want me to help?” This sounded like a growl.
The trouble was, I sympathized with them both. Jenna Larson and I were both women working in the media, journalists of a sort, ambitious in a tough profession. She constantly needed to hustle, needed that leg-up. That was why she was here. I could understand that. But I’d also been in Macy’s shoes, struggling to do my job while hiding my wolf nature. I’d been exposed in a situation like this one: forced to, against my will.
I didn’t know who to side with.
“Here’s a question,” I said, gathering my thoughts even as I talked. “Clearly you have a talent for boxing. But did you before the lycanthropy? Did you box before, and this gave you an edge? Or did you become a werewolf and decide a werewolf would make a good boxer? Are you here because you’re a boxer, or because you’re a werewolf?”
“Does it matter?”
Did it? The distinction, the value judgment I was applying here was subtle. Was Macy a boxer in spite of his lycanthropy—or because of it? Was I sure that the former was any better, more noble, than the latter?
“This isn’t any different than steroids,” Larson said before I could respond. “You’re using something to create an unfair advantage.”
“It’s different,” Macy said, frowning. “What I have isn’t voluntary.”
She continued, “But can’t you see it? Kids going out and trying to get themselves bitten by werewolves so they can get ahead in boxing, or football, or anything.”
“Nobody’s that stupid,” he said. The curl in his lips was almost a snarl.
Larson frowned. “If it’s not me who breaks the story, it’ll be someone else, and the next person may not let you know about it first. In exchange for an exclusive, I can guarantee you’ll get to tell your side of the story—”
I saw it coming, but I didn’t have time to warn her or stop him.
He sprang, a growl rumbling deep in his throat, arms outstretched and reaching for Larson. She dropped her recorder and screamed.
He was fast, planting his hands on her shoulders and shoving her to the wall. In response I shouldered him, pushing him off balance and away from the reporter. Normally, a five-six, skinny blond like me wouldn’t have been able to budge a heavyweight like Macy off his stride. But as a werewolf I had a little supernatural strength of my own, and he wasn’t expecting it. No one ever expected much out of me at first glance.
He didn’t stumble far, unfortunately. He shuffled sideways, while I kind of bounced off him. But at least he took his hands off Larson, and I ended up standing in between them. I glared, trying to look tough, but I was quivering inside. Macy could take me apart.
“You bastard, you’re trying to kill me!” Larson yelled. She was wide-eyed, breathing hard, panicked like a hunted rabbit.
Macy stepped back. His smile showed teeth. “If I wanted to kill you, you’d be dead.”
“I’ll charge you with assault,” she said, almost snarling herself.
“Both of you shut up,” I said, glaring, pulling out a bit of my own monster to quell them.
“You’re not as tough as you think you are,” he said, looking down at me, a growl in his voice, his fingers curling at his sides, like claws.
“Well, I don’t have to be, because we’re going to sit down and discuss this like human beings, got it?” I said.
Never taking his eyes off Larson, he stepped back to the table and returned to sitting. He was breathing calmly, though his scent was musky, animal. He was a werewolf, but he was in complete control of himself. I’d never seen anything like it.
He was in enough control that Larson would never talk him into an exclusive interview.
She’d retrieved her recorder and was pushing buttons and holding it to her ear. By the annoyed look on her face, I was guessing it was damaged. “I don’t need your permission,” she muttered. “I’ve got Kitty to back me up. The truth will come out.”
I frowned. “Jenna, I’m not sure this is the right way to go about this. This doesn’t feel right.”
“This isn’t about right, it’s about the truth.”
Macy looked at me, and I almost flinched. His gaze was intent—he was thinking fast. “Kitty. Why did you go public?”
“I was forced into it,” I said. “Kind of like this.”
“So—has going public helped you? Hurt you? If you could change it, would you?”
I’d worked hard to keep my lycanthropy secret, until I’d been forced into announcing what I was on the air. It hadn’t been my choice. I could have let it ruin me, but I made a decision to own that identity. To embrace it. It had made me notorious, and I had profited by it.
I had to admit it: “I don’t think I’d be nearly as successful as I am if I hadn’t gone public. I’d still be just another cult radio-show host and not the world’s first celebrity werewolf.”
He nodded, like I’d helped him make a decision.
“We’re not here to talk about Kitty,” Larson said. “Last chance, Macy. Are you in or out?” She was still treating this with aggression, like she was attacking. She was only offending him.
“Write your story,” he said. “Say what you need to. But do it without me. I won’t answer any questions. Now, get out.” He hopped off his table, went to the door, and opened it.
“You can’t do this. You’ll have to talk to someone. Sooner or later.”
I hooked my arm around hers and pulled her to the door, glancing at Macy over my shoulder one last time. I met his gaze. He seemed calm, determined, without an ounce of trepidation. Before I turned away, he smiled at me, gave a little nod. He was a wolf confident in his territory. I’d do best to slink away and avoid his wrath.
Larson and I left, and the door closed behind us.
Silent, we made our way back to the lobby of the arena. I said, “That went well.”
She’d gone a bit glassy-eyed and had lost the purposeful energy in her stride.
“Are you okay?” I said.
“I think I’m going to be sick,” she murmured.
“You need to get to a bathroom? Go outside?” I started hurrying.
She shook her head, but leaned against the wall and covered her face. “This must be what the rabbit feels like after it gets away from a fox.”
Post-traumatic stress from a simple interview? Maybe. Most people considered themselves the top of the food chain. Few of them ever encountered something that trumped them.
“I don’t know,” I said. “I’m usually not on the rabbit side of things.”
She stared at me and didn’t have to say it: I wasn’t helping.
“Is he going to come after me? Was he really threatening me? If I run this story, am I in danger?”
I urged her off the wall and toward the doors, so we could get outside and into the air. The closed space and pervasive odor of sweat was starting to get to me.
“No. It’s intimidation.” It was what people like him—boxer or werewolf—were good at. “He can’t touch you without getting in trouble, even if he is a werewolf.”
A few more steps brought us outside, into the night. I turned my face to the sky and took in a deep breath of fresh air, or as fresh as city air ever got.
“What are we going to do?” she said. “The story’s going to look pretty half-assed without a statement from him.”
The lack of an exclusive interview wasn’t the end of the world. I’d dealt with worse. We could still break the story.
“You’ll have a statement from me,” I said. “And I’ll have one from you. We’ll do the best with what we have.” What Larson had told Macy was true: the truth would come out eventually. Maybe by being part of the revelation, I could mitigate the impact of it—mitigate Larson’s ire over it.
“It’s not fair,” she grumbled. “It’s just not fair.”
I wondered if Macy was thinking the same thing.
As it turned out, Jerome Macy scooped us both. He held a press conference the next morning, revealed his werewolf identity to the world, and promptly announced his retirement from boxing, before anyone could kick him out. Jenna Larson’s exposé and call to action, and my interview of her on my show, were lost in the uproar. Almost immediately there was talk of stripping him of his heavyweight title. The debate was ongoing.
About a month later, I got a press kit from the WWE. For the new season of one of their pro wrestling spectacle TV series, they were “unleashing”—they actually used the word unleashing—a new force: The Wolf. Aka Jerome Macy.
So. He was starting a new career. A whole new persona. He had chosen to embrace his werewolf identity and looked like he was going gangbusters with it. I had to admire that. And I could stop feeling guilty about him and his story.
This changed everything, of course. He was going to have to do a lot of publicity, wasn’t he? A ton of promotion. Sometimes, patience was a virtue, and sometimes, what goes around comes around.
I picked up my phone and called the number listed in the press pack. I was betting I could get that interview with him now.