A/N: I wish to thank BronzeGoddess and SmileRose who encouraged me to write. Thank you girls. You Rock.
I am writing for my pleasure. I am open to feedback, even negative ones. If you want to be downright bitchy, be forewarned. I dont take to it too kindly. And I have an example well-set for me. #coughcoughBronzeGoddesscoughcough#
OH! And please note: The stuff marked in italics and bold are SMS. The words in italics are Ana's inner voice (She calls it TheBitch). It may please be noted that TheBitch is an inspiration (almost a character) from Paging Dr. Steele by Bronze Goddess. Which, may I add, is by far one of the best stories on FF.
I almost forgot to CMA: Some of the minor characters are created by me. But mostly they belong either to E. L. James or to Sylvia Day.
Four years. It seems like yesterday. It seems like a long time. I have really come a long way from that fateful day. If someone had told me then that I would aspire (and be close to accomplishing that aspiration of being) the richest person on this side of the earth, I would have laughed my ass off. Now, I have lost that laugh. He took it away from me. He. Will. Pay. For. It.
"Ma'am, Ranger Bird is ready for take off", Sawyer broke through my thoughts. I have to focus on work if I wish to beat that asshole and be the richest person.
I pick up my iPhone and my bag containing my MacBook Air, my master-key and my wallet, I had learned long back never to move without them. Gadgets are something I love. They don't hurt you. They don't break your heart. They just help you climb the ladder of success without asking for much. I recommend them over boyfriends. "Thank you, Luke" I say automatically as he takes my bag.
On my way down in the elevator, I hear a ping on my cell.
"When can I see you? Tomorrow evening? -G"
"Not tomorrow. See you on Sat 11 am Escala. Don't be late - Steele"
Just as I click send, I hear the ping of the elevator. I walk up to my car, Luke Sawyer following right behind.
I want this weekend to end NOW. But I know I need to meet the author and handle his ego before things get really bad. That ass-hole of an editor really needs to learn how to mind his tongue when speaking to these high-profile authors. There was no point rubbing him the wrong way if you had to end up apologizing. If you wanna take 'em out, there are better ways than calling them names. "Men are nothing but children with large dicks" I remember my aunt telling me. Now I know why.
Before I know it, I'm settled and airborne in my private plane. I pull out a book that I have been hoping to read, closing it only when the pilot announces that we are ready to land.
Luke drives me to my office where my assistant Jena meets me as the elevator doors opened. Luke must have tipped her off, I guess. I'm happy they are so well synchronized. I wouldn't want to waste my time waiting. Yes, you are done waiting, aren't you? TheBitch just has to voice things in my head at the oddest time. I choose to focus on Jena, telling TheBitch to shut the fuck up.
"…He refused to talk to me, but when I said you were already flying in, he agreed. Only fifteen minutes, he said." I roll my eyes. I know this game well. He is playing hard to get and I know how to deal with that. "I'll be in my cabin. Let me know once he's here," I order Jena
A few minutes later, Jena calls me on the intercom to let me know Joyce is on his way in. "Hello Joyce," I say as I air kiss him giving him my artificially sweet smile. I still wonder how they fall for it every single time. Don't they see through it?
"How is your daughter Elvia? She must be ready to join school now." I patiently hear him tell me about how he had gone to drop his daughter to school and waited outside the whole two hours because she had cried while going in, and how she had come out 'giggling away to glory'. I can see he was genuinely fond of his little daughter. As a single father, he is really doing well.
"Ana, I know you wanted to see me about the book. Well, after what Jacob said, I don't see why I should publish my book with SIP. I don't push you to believe in my work, but if you don't, I see no point in working with you. I don't mean to be a pompous ass but you do know there were other publishing houses vying for my attention. I only agreed to work with you 'coz we clicked in the first meeting. I still respect you and admire how diligently you have worked. My first two books would not have been a bestseller if not for your brilliance and hard work. I haven't forgotten that. However, I will not have any one tell me that my work stinks 'coz I've taken my fame for granted. I…"
"Joyce, sorry for interrupting you, but I need you to know, I worked hard on our project 'coz I saw you were good. I was doing it as much for me as for you, but thank you for acknowledging my efforts. It does mean a lot to me. As for Jacob, I assigned him to you 'coz I thought he'd bring in a fresh perspective and not make your work seem repetitive. I also see that the equation between the two of you is not good. I am sorry, I was wrong in my first assessment. What would it take for you to consider staying with SIP?"
I can see Joyce is taken aback at my apology. He is trying to look into my eyes and see if I mean it or if it's a gimmick. I have nothing to hide. I don't make too many mistakes, but when I do, I have no hang-ups in apologizing sincerely. When he realizes I am sincere in the apology, he seems to consider my question.
"Will you be willing to take up my project personally?", he asks with a hint of skepticism. I have already considered this option. It isn't easy editing a book while running multiple businesses, but SIP is my flagship company and I am not going to lose my best author because some limp dick couldn't keep a check on his tongue.
"Why don't I oversee the whole thing, but let Donna handle the editing for me. She is my new assistant editor in the self-help genre and I think the fact that she has a lot to gain from our book will motivate her to do a good work. What do you say to that?"
"You always had a way with words... I think what you are saying makes sense to me. When you mentioned Jacob early into our discussion over the third book, I had a bad feeling about it. I should have listened to my instinct. With Donna, I have a good feeling. So lets roll this."
"Great, I will introduce the two of you over an email and I will stay in the loop. You are welcome to connect with me anytime through Jena. As always, it has been a pleasure meeting with you. Do give my love to Elvia." I nod at Jena standing in the corner and she brings in the small pink basket full of chocolates and cookies. "This is for Ella."
A small smile appears at his face as he realizes the little basket is my way of 'incentivising' him. "Foregone conclusion, was I?"
"This is not for you but for that little angel. I would've sent this for her whichever way our meeting went." He nods, indicating his acceptance of my statement as well the gift.
I shake hands with him as we step out and I wait till he is out of earshot. "Jena, tell Donna the project we discussed is on and that she needs to keep you in the loop. Connect with me at the slightest sign of trouble. Else between you and Donna, I know you girls can manage. Tell her I said so. Also, now that I am here, I want to look at the properties. Have the agents line it all up for tomorrow. Anything else you have for me?"
"Ms. Steele, there was an invitation to the Grey's Gala that we haven't decided on. Would you like to go? Its tomorrow night, so we need to confirm soon. It's a masquerade, so if you're going you'll need a mask."
I sigh. I hate these events, but I know they are good for networking and business. "Yes, I will go. Get me an appropriate outfit along with all accessories and make an appointment with Franco for the evening to do my hair at my apartment. Just put it all on my iCal as always."
I finish my work for the day and leave for my house. Though it's not my home, it is as comfortable as houses go. I am still searching for a house that I can call home. Some day... Sigh!
A/N 2: Hmm.. so what do you think? Who is G? And who was the dumb-ass who broke Ana's heart? Guesses, anyone?
A/N 3: I have a Pinterest board that you might want to look up. wwwDotpinterestDotcom/othebrink/anas-shades/