"Ian's right," Dooney piped in nervously.
I felt sorry for him. He hadn't been the same since the night Iverson and his posse barged into his SPORTS ILLUSTRATED office and accused him of airbrushing AI's tattoos.
The mood in the conference room grew suffocating, and Klein took on the demeanor of a reluctant eulogist. "Kurtz has been working on a special project for us," he said in a low voice, "on a private island down in the Bahamas." Solemnly he nodded toward a stack of legal-sized files.
With a grin I said, "The annual bikinifest, right?"
Klein and Dooney traded glances, while Ricks tapped a manicured forefinger on the rosewood table. Everything about the swim-suit edition was supposed to be secret, which meant that all significant details—locations, models, photographers—were instantly known to even the lowliest grunts at the magazine.
Dooney said, "Every year Kurtz shoots for this issue, and we've never had any problems, until now. Well, except...."
"One time," said Klein, "he threatened to kill an editor. Me, as a matter of fact."
"Why? Over what?"
"It was ridiculous." Klein's laugh was brittle and unconvincing. "Back in '98, I wrote a line for the cover: HEIDI KLUM STRADDLES THE EQUATOR."