Chapter 14- Jenny
Jenny sat in the outer office waiting for Leon to bring her into his office for their meeting. She didn’t know the secretary clicking away on her computer. The longer she waited, the more nervous she became. Dustin and Brett told her her books were good, but what if Leon hated it?
“Miss Wexley?” A large man with chocolate skin and striking hazel eyes stood in the office’s doorway.
“Mr. Peterson?” she asked, coming to her feet. Leon gave her a smile and motioned her into the office.
“Come in. Mr. Horde called to tell me he’d found a new talent I should look at and see if it would work without graphic novel division.” Jenny walked into the office clutching her bag, settling into an office chair in front of the large oak wood desk. Leon sat down with his hands open with an amiable smile on his face.
“Thank you, sir. I have a graphic novel I’ve been working on about the princesses becoming protectors of their countries. They secretly have a society where they saved the people in their kingdoms.”
“I’ve seen your artwork through Justin Fae’s stories. Do you think you are an excellent storyteller too?” Leon asked, giving her a skeptical look. She knew he thought after working on Justin’s books that she had somehow thought herself an author too.
“I’d like you to look at it.” Jenny pulled out her laptop and turned it on to let him look through her book.
“How many of these do you have written?”
“Two completed, but I have one I am in the middle of writing,” she explained, watching him click through the screens. Clutching her hands together, she bounced her knee, waiting nervously for his answer. Leon’s face gave nothing away. He took his time reading through the first book she gave him as an offering. After thirty minutes, he looks up at her with a smile.
“This is wonderful. Your art is impeccable. You said you have a second completed and are working on a third?” Leon asked, turning the computer so she could see the screen again.
“Yes, Cinderella is the next princess I am writing.”
“Do you have plans for more princesses?”
“I have ideas for Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Tiana.”
“Excellent. I see potential with this. I will connect you with our editorial team and you can meet them and pick which one you would like to work with.”
“I get to pick?”
“Yes. I want all my writers to feel comfortable talking with their editors. The editor shouldn’t be intimidating to you or you won’t share your ideas.” Jenny gives him a surprised look then smiles.
“Okay, thank you. When should I expect to meet with the editors?”
“I will get in touch with Layla Smith to see which editors are free. It probably won’t be until next week. I will share a sample of your work to the editors, they should know what you write.”
“Sure. I can pull the file apart and give you a sample,” she replied, reaching for her computer.
“The first chapter should be sufficient.”
“Do you want me to do it now? It will take me five minutes.” Jenny pulled out her stylist to help her touch the screen to work.
“Certainly. I’ll be right back.” Leon stood and walked out of the room. Jenny felt her phone buzz in her pocket. She ignored it and went to work pulling the first chapter of her book into a new file and putting a watermark over the whole thing. She’d learned the hard way to always mark her art as her own. In high school, some of her classmates took her work and claimed it as their own in their English class. Now she protected her art every chance she had. Leon came back after ten minutes with an enormous smile on his face.
“Did you get the file?” he asked her, settling behind his desk once again.
“Yes. I sent it to your email.”
“Excellent. Thank you for coming in Miss Wexley. You are a very talented artist. If you ever want other work as an artist I know Veronica Hampton. She is the picture book manager.” Jenny gave him a surprised look.
“You think people would want my help?”
“Yes. Veronica can give you the names of authors who are looking for an illustrator. Then you meet with the authors and see if your art style is what they want for their book. We try to encourage our signed illustrators to get with our authors. I know you used to work with Justin Fae but have gone your separate ways since they have released Justin from his contract.” At his words, she jerked her head up.
“They fired Justin?” Her heart sped up, worried Justin would blame her for his loss of income.
“He was sleeping with an editor. That is against company policy. If you are working directly with an editor, you cannot be in a relationship with them.” She took a shaky breath.
“Would that pertain to the owners of the company too?” Leon gave her a confused look and shrugged.
“They are the owners, they can do whatever they want.”
“Sure, sure. Thank you for giving me a chance,” she said, shutting her computer down and putting it away into her bag.
“I am excited about this. It gives us a whole new group of people to share the love of reading with.” Leon stood, she did as well and shook his hand. Walking out of his office, she waited until she was back at her car to give a little jump of excitement.
“You ruined me!” Justin yelled, coming out from the other side of her new car. Jenny whirled around to stare at her ex-boyfriend.
“You shouldn’t have dated Stella. It was in your contract,” she countered, using her key fob she unlocked her car.
“They wouldn’t have found out if not for you! You fucking whore!” Justin growled. She saw the crazed look in his eyes and knew she was in danger.
“I know they upset you, Justin, but this is your fault. You got lazy. If you’d caught the page I forgot before it went to the printer, then Dustin Horde wouldn’t have shown up at my apartment.” She reached behind her, pulling the driver’s door open.
“I lost my contract!”
“Again, that is your fault.”
“You have to help me. This is your fault, not mine.” This time Jenny laughed and shook her head. She tossed her bag into the car onto the passenger seat.
“I do not.” With that, Jenny climbed into her car, locked the door, and pressed the start button. Justin banged on her door, yanking on the handle. Jenny eased her car into drive and lurched forward, making Justin let go of her door. She left him behind, headed back to Dustin and Brett’s apartment. Worry filled her, Justin was angry, would he do something stupid? The drive to the apartment was short. She parked in the same spot her car had been before and climbed out. Remembering she had a message on her phone, she pulled it out.
Jenny, how did it go? She smiled at the message from Dustin.
I’ll tell you when you and Brett are both home. Jenny entered the elevator and took it to the penthouse apartment. Walking in, the lights were still out. She walked around and saw neither Dustin nor Brett were home. Her meeting with Leon spurred her to get back to work. Setting up in the living room, she pulled out her computer and flipped it around to be a tablet, and went to work.
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