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Chapter Twenty-Two

Sloan sat in the burgundy upholstered wood chair watching the office buzz around him.  He brushed at the snow and salt reside that caked his Italian leather boot propped on his knee.  As he heard his name called, he uncrossed his leg and stood slowly stretching to his full six and a half feet like a panther on the prowl.

This was unusual for him – waiting.  His appointments were set for him.  People waited for him.  He worked too hard, too long to be anyone’s lackey.  He was infamous.

But this mission he adopted couldn’t wait for secretaries to communicate.  Sloan wanted action now.  And if it meant sitting in the reception area of Panda Publications for two hours…well, so be it.

He nodded his thanks to the young woman who escorted him through the halls to Aubrey’s office then knocked on the door.  After hearing Aubrey’s voice summoning him inside he turned the knob.

Aubrey smiled at him from her chair behind her desk.  The cold winter sun bathed her office in pure white.  Sloan could tell by the glimmer in her eye she was exceptionally curious why the great Sloan O’ Riley spent half the afternoon sitting in the lobby waiting for her.

“Hello, Sloan.  I didn’t realize you were back in the States.  Have a seat,” Aubrey greeted as she swept her hand towards the chairs on the opposite side of the desk.

“Hello, Aubrey.  You are as lovely as usual,” he replied as he descended into one.  It was the same chair he sat in the last time he met with Aubrey in her office.  He glanced at the empty one beside him for a moment then turned his attention back to Aubrey.

“What can I do for you, Sloan?”

“I need a favor, Aubrey.”

Aubrey stared at him quizzically.  “I have no work for you, Sloan, if that is what you’re looking for.  I can’t imagine you need the money.”

“It’s not that.”

“What is it then?”

Sloan paused then smiled.  “I want you to agree to reinstate Panda’s contract with me.  And Abbey Wright.”

Aubrey’s face turned to ice.  “No.”

“Why not?”

“That girl walked out on one of the biggest book premiers I’ve ever orchestrated.  She wasted Panda’s time and money.  We had to shelve the first book.”

“It wasn’t her fault, Aubrey.”

“Then whose was it?”

Sloan fell silent for a moment.  “Mine.”

Aubrey laughed.  “How could her immaturity be your fault, Sloan?”

“I lied to her.  I told her I was gay.  She felt betrayed.”

“What possessed you to tell her that you’re gay?” Aubrey asked incredulously.

“She was about to abandon the whole deal.  You said it yourself that book was a best seller.  You should be thanking me for telling her that.”

Aubrey stared at him then shook her head.  “Even if I did reconsider, it wouldn’t matter.  She disappeared.  I left a message that I wanted her advance returned.  When she didn’t call me back I tried to reach her again.  Her number was disconnected.  Then I called her home number in Iowa.  Her mother told me that Abbey never came home.  That woman was beside herself worrying about Abbey.”

“I know where she is,” Sloan assured.

“Where is she?”

“She is waitress in Brownsville.  Gordon, Robert, Bartholomew and I found her waiting tables on New Year’s Eve.”

“Brownsville?” Aubrey screeched.

“Yes.”  Sloan stood then leaned against Aubrey’s desk, his fists pressed against the wood.  “Help me fix my mistake, Aubrey.  I don’t want any money upfront.  If I can get Abbey to agree to come back to the project I want your support.”

“And if I agree?”

Sloan cocked his head and flashed his perfect sexy smile to her.  “I promise you not one but five best sellers.”

Aubrey examined him silently for several long moments.  She stood, leaning across her desk until she nearly met him nose to nose.  Her green eyes locked with his ice blue ones for several  long moments.  Although she stood statue still Sloan could sense the debate going on inside Aubrey’s mind.  Finally with a deep breath Aubrey broke the silence.

“Deal.”

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About triciaandersen

I am the author and illustrator of the children's book "The Peculiar Princess". I am also the author of two adult fantasy romance novels, "The Sorceress of Savon" and "The Woodcutter King of Muladin". Along with being an author I am married to a wonderful guy and have three beautiful children. I coach youth track and field, sew and chase my children around to their various activities.

Posted on May 24, 2012, in author, books, fiction, novel, romance, story, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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