Amal had had enough. Just as Henry hopped up from his chair, his outstretched hand ready to shake Sam’s, Amal stepped forward to push Henry’s arm down.
“If you liked Schmeling, then you would not take this job.” Amal turned to face Sam, blocking Henry from her view. ‘Does your candidate know how much information you add to your database without permission from Internet users?”
Sam crossed her arms. Her speech was prepared: “We act well within the law of the land—“
“The TATTLE Act, you mean.” Amal turned to Henry. “The same act Schmeling built his platform on undoing for good.”
Henry sighed. “And if Schmeling gains victory through that act’s fault, he’ll gain bipartisan support to strike it down. When he wins, natch.” Henry spoke like he was an exasperated father, calmly reiterating to his kid why she couldn’t have dessert first.
Just like with Sam’s speech, Henry’s words sounded rehearsed to Amal. The singsong manner underneath the sentence betrayed this. Was Henry in on this whole strange-woman-appears-with-job-offer thing? Was Amal the victim of one of his own skits?
“If he wins. Look, Henry, you’re a fan of his books. Would one of Schmeling’s heroines let the ends justify the means? Doesn’t sound like Weedy, or whatever she was called.”
Henry stepped around Amal and shook Sam’s hand. “I’ll take the job.”
“Excellent. We’ll pay for relocation fees and—“
“No, it’s not excellent.” Amal pushed Henry’s arm away. Henry stepped back in recoil. “You think your career will benefit from helping someone who takes Puff and fucking brags about it?” continued Amal. “You’ll be waiting at a rally for hours and wondering where Schmeling went to now, when he’s at home, giggling at a Smash Mouth mix!”