'Just what in the hell are they doing?!'
Nathalie Jean Quinn was so upset to hear how the management tried to pull off a stunt without her knowing what was about to occur before her.
She never imagined it would have come to this when all she asked ever since was to respect whatever endeavors and decisions she had while she is under their wing.
Going inside the Phoenix Publishing building, she wore her sunglasses and clutched to her smartphone as she kept on dialing the number of the Publisher but was heavily ignored.
Nathalie took a strut on the polished ceramic floor, with honeycomb designs in white and amber color. Those in her proximity had the people, minding their business, glue their eyes on her.
In the hallway, such concerned gazes while covering their mouths.
The clacks from her red stiletto heels bore snappy beats, brimming with powerful energy even from afar.
If she didn't button at least to a single-breasted fashion as she donned her crimson blazer, then every sway of her hips would allow it to flutter in such turbidity. Even then, no matter how much she hastened her steps, the mini skirt kept her in check to a languid walk.
Soon, a train of pants broke loose to her red matte lips.
'This won't do. I can't be lashing out my anger at everyone else. Get it together, Nathalie!' She took a deep breath before quickening her pace once more.
It was still several steps away—A couple of turns needed, from left and right, until she reached it—from the designated office. It was fortunate that the people around her would shift to the side.
Never did she stop mouthing hearty gratitude to them.
However, there found few people who carried a couple of boxes, towering one another. Some had piles of papers, even more than half of their height. These were not the things she could bump as of the moment.
Out of instinct, she gripped her white sling bag from swinging wildly.
"Excuse me! Coming through—Yes, excuse me!" Nathalie hollered at them as she tried to maneuver her way to what she deemed obstacles.
It didn't take long for her to reach the door with a small frame made of tempered glass. Her slender hands reached the lever handle; she could feel the cold seeping through her, increasing the sudden tremor in her hand.
'I have to do this!'
Upon opening the door, her eyes greeted a couple of people who were prominent figures. They took a seat on a red velvet satin couch with a polished sandalwood coffee table in between.
The left side bore towering shelves containing souvenirs, certificates, and even trophies that were all for everyone to witness the publishing company's success and glory—correctly sealed inside a sliding glass.
Several plant ornaments were placed, providing the room's better ambiance from its beige and brown vintage designs from the walls up to the ceiling.
The room embraced with a conditioned yet frigid breeze, but it didn't affect what her body experienced. She could feel her forehead and nape on the verge of a sweat breakout.
"You're here, Nathalie." His stern gaze met hers with a baritone voice echoing in the room, deep and cold, earning a tad flinch from the staff; they already sat with half of their butt on the couch, and palms gripped their thighs. "What a surprise to see you here."
Taking off her chic sunglasses, she uttered, "I'm in no gaming mood, Mr. Colton." Then let out a low breath while clutching her chest from the sudden onset of palpitations.
"I see." A hearty chuckle left his lips. "All of you are dismissed."
Nathalie stepped aside as they slowly scurried away from the office; she looked back at him with creased eyebrows.
"I have heard you released a so-called 'sneak-peek' for that matter; tell me what it is."
"We had an emergency meeting."
Even with the sudden glint of his teal eyes, she prayed it wouldn't be hers to receive a piece of inauspicious news.
With a hard gulp, she queried, "What would that be?"
Then the wings of good luck left her for eternity.
"It's about your recent book that we have published, Ms. Quinn."
No matter how she tried to control her eyes from gouging out, her amber eyes dilated. She somehow knew what was up, but she still demanded. "Please do tell me."
"Your book, 'The Prince's Retribution,' has several million copies printed, distributed, and sold to different outlets. Let us start with that before anything else."
A smirk escaped from her standpoint, even having his clasped hand close to his lips.
"I know that. You're welcome." She flipped her straight black ponytail to the side. "Go on."
"Even the digitals sales like the e-book version and audiobooks have—"
Tyler paused for a split second before shutting his eyes with a heavy sigh; he rested his arm on the office table.
"There were a lot of reviewers who showed dissent about the book. We tried to minimize the damage—"
"No, don't. Let them do what they want. Let's respect a reader's preference. I can only write what I truly desire and what's best for my book since we can't please everyone." She crossed her ankles.
He raised his hard-angled eyebrows upon casting doubt on her. "Are you sure?"
"Besides, I don't think it reached the worst-case scenario compared to the amount of support I get, right?"
"That's true; a lot have signed petitions to have a sequel for this book of yours."
Tyler tapped his finger on the thick glass on top of the marble slab. It was no different from a ticking clock, which she somehow landed her hand on the lap, kneading covertly.
"I'm sure you have thought of it as a series."
"Well, yeah... The truth is, it is a duology."
"Oh?" He leaned back on his office chair. "Tell me about it."
This time, Nathalie had to brace herself from whatever criticism that came her way; she wanted to work on what brings her writing career exciting and fun if that means taking on a challenge out of her comfort zone.
"Since we have already revealed the ensemble cast and their adventure, most especially the Prince. I thought of writing from a villainess perspective."