The Horde Twins

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Chapter 13 Dustin

Dustin walked into his office waving hello to Layla.

“Layla clear Brett and my schedules for this week. We are going away on a trip for the rest of the week and won’t return until next Tuesday,” he informed Layla, stopping at her desk. She gave him a sweet smile and nodded.

“Make sure you and Brett are good to my friend Mr. Horde,” she remarked. He nodded, knowing she was being protective over her friend.

“She is our mate, we won’t do anything to make her cry,” he assured her, heading into the inner office. Pulling up his emails, he worked through them until Layla called into this office.

“Mr. Horde Stella Franks is here.”

“Send her in.”

Dustin waited for Stella to walk in. She gave him a bright smile. He motioned for her to sit in a chair and waited.

“How are you, Mr. Horde?” she asked, setting her jacket on the other chair next to the one she sat in.

“I am well. You?”

“Good. What did you want to talk to me about?” she asked, fidgeting in her seat.

“Tell me the truth. Are you and Justin Fae dating?”

“Yes.” Her eyes cast down into her lap.

“Do you remember what it says in your contract?”

“Yes.”

“Then you know you may not date the author you are working with?”

“Yes.”

“I am sorry to do this, Stella, but you are no longer employed by us. I will write you a letter of recommendation because before this last snafu with the alien invader book you did well for us.”

“I understand.” Stella stood, picked up her coat, and went to leave the office.

“One last question,” he called to stop her. She turned to look back.

“Did Justin write any of this last book?”

“No. He told me he had writer’s block, but Jenny would come through for him like all the other times he had writer’s block.”

“Thank you, Stella. I’ll have Layla send you the letter of recommendation.” She nodded and left the office. Dustin leaned back, sighing. Stella had been a promising editor until Justin entered her life. He felt bad for her, but not bad enough to keep her on. Now he had to talk to Justin, that conversation he knew wouldn’t go well.

“Mr. Horde, Justin Fae is here for his meeting.”

“Thank you, Layla, send him in.” Dustin closed his laptop and sat with his hands clasped on his desk. He did not smile as Justin walked into the office.

“Hello, Mr. Horde.” Justin sat down in a chair in front of Dustin’s desk, his hands clasped nervously.

“Mr. Fae. I fear this conversation is not pleasant. I noticed you and Stella together at the anniversary party. You seemed to be more than friends,” Dustin began. He sensed Justin’s fear when he mentioned Stella’s name.

“You and Mr. Horde were with Jenny,” Justin countered, Dustin frowned.

“We are not her editor. I want to share with you an issue we had with your book. When it was sent to the printer a page was missing. I had to go out to Jenny Wexley’s apartment to find the missing page.”

“So it was her fault?”

“Not precisely. She explained after she finished her artwork she sent the file back to you. You are to give it to Stella for a check and then it goes to the printing company. There were multiple places for the missing page to be found before the printer received the file,” he explained watching Justin squirm in his chair.

“It has come to light you and Stella are in a romantic relationship. If you check your contract, there is a no dating clause between you and your immediate editor. I believe we could have avoided this issue had you and Stella not let your relationship cloud your ability to work. We will end your contact and you won’t be getting your full royalty from this last book. Jenny explained how much work you did on the book and therefore you do not have any claim to most of the royalties,” Dustin explained, he felt Justin’s rage filling the space.

“You cannot do that!”

“I can and will. Stella let me know you didn’t do any of the work on this book. You will get one percent of the royalties because your name is on the book. The rest will go to Jenny for the work she has done on the book.”

“I’ll ruin you!” Justin threatened, standing up leaning on Dustin’s desk. Dustin looked up at him, letting his dragon peek through.

“You will do nothing if you want to ever publish another book again,” Dustin replied, standing to his full height. He towered over Justin. Justin stepped back with a look of fear in his eyes.

“Does Jenny know you are ruining my life?” Justin demanded, making Dustin laugh.

“Why would she care about you? You left her for Stella three years ago. She has two men who want to care for her and never leave her. She doesn’t need nor wants you,” Dustin growled, leaning forward to add to his menacing look. Justin stumbled over the chair behind him.

“You’ll regret this.” Justin stormed out of the office, Dustin dropped into his chair rubbing his neck. Justin might make waves for him. He didn’t want to blackball Justin, but he would if Justin threatened Jenny.

“I cleared your schedule for the week, Mr. Horde,” Layla called into the office.

“Thank you, Layla.” Dustin sent a text to Brett telling him what happened with Stella and Justin.

Good. That scum doesn’t deserve a cent but you are doing the right thing since his name is on the book. I’m sorry to see Stella go but she breached her contract by dating Justin. I think we need to check on all our editors. If the two of them date for three years and we didn’t catch it, who else might date behind our backs?

Good point, Brett. I’ll set up partner meetings with our authors and editors. You might have to travel for a few of them.

Anything you need. I am done shopping for Jenny. When do you expect to be home?

In about two hours. I have a little work to finish before we can fly out tomorrow. Did you contact our jet pilot?

Will do it now. See you at home. Dustin pocketed his phone and got to work so he could spend the week with Jenny and Brett in St. Thomas. He didn’t want any work to bog him down.

Let me know what you think!

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