Read an Excerpt
Storm Bennett steepled his fingers in front of his chin, tapping the edge of his index finger on his mouth. "Are you telling me that we are losing money because of this one little bumbleâ€” this stupid little trivial manufacturing plant closing?"
"Storm, the public doesnâ€™t see it as a little bumble, they want the issue corrected. The little manufacturing plant employs three thousand people. And those three thousand people have made a big deal out of it and want you to make it right." Michael, his longest- standing board member, sat two chairs away. A frown etched deep lines in his face, displaying his displeasure. Storm glanced at David, seeing lines across his brow too.
His shoulders tensed and he felt like a huge weight had settled in his stomach. Storm couldnâ€™t stay at the table facing the two men. Not once in the ten years heâ€™d been in charge of Bennett Enterprises had anything like this ever happened. Heâ€™d bought and sold so many different businesses, closing down factories, stores and hotels without a blip, and now this? Some stupid manufacturing plant in upstate New York was causing a huge problem.
"Storm, youâ€™re being crucified on CNN, FOX, and MSNBC. Not only are the regular people on Twitter calling for a boycott of your company, the media has joined in. Itâ€™s all over the place. Hell, someone even set up a â€˜I Hate Bennettâ€™ Facebook page," David said.
Fuck, they were ruining everything for him. He was screwed. Delaying the plant closing would cost money, but a public skewering wasnâ€™t good either.
"David," he addressed the Chairman of the Board, hoping the man could come up with something to save them from this mess. "What can we do?"
"The New York employees are stirring the pot, trying to make you look bad. Itâ€™s bad enough that the press is taking notice, talking about how youâ€™ve grown into a monster."
"Hell, David, this is impossible."
"Well, we wonâ€™t accomplish anything tonight. Itâ€™s past midnight. Weâ€™ll attack this in the morning. Iâ€™ll see you at eight."
"Breakfast will be available at seven forty-five," Storm said offhandedly, remembering that Linda had informed him of her plans before sheâ€™d left for the day.
Michael and David headed out, leaving him alone. Storm thought about staying here again, sleeping on the couch. He checked his private closet, finding it empty. "Shit." Heâ€™d been staying at the office, catching sleep on the couch and showering in the executive washroom each morning. His Upper East Side apartment went unused so much he wondered why he even kept the place. Heâ€™d do better to officially move into his office and live there. But the board would probably frown on that. Work was the only thing that mattered to him since losing his parents and the fiasco with his ex six years ago. Heâ€™d sure as fuck never have another boyfriend as long as he lived. Relationships werenâ€™t worth the time. Every need could be taken care of by his own hand and when that wasnâ€™t enough, there was porn.
Storm trudged out to his car and to his surprise remembered where his parking spot was located. He counted the days, thinking back to the last time heâ€™d drivenâ€”three, no, four days since heâ€™d moved the sleek performance machine. Damn, had he really not left the office in four days? The streets were clear so he made great time to his apartment and parked in his rented space in a garage down the block.
The parking lot, the car, the apartment, why did he have them? He should give them up and stay full time at the office. Who would care? After this little issue was taken care of heâ€™d look into it. It was a waste of time for him to leave the office. In the morning heâ€™d be forced to drive in traffic, throwing away more time that could be spent working.
With efficiency and speed, Storm breezed through his routine of setting out his clothes for the next day, opting for a very traditional business look, with a white button-down instead of a colourful shirt. He lay in bed, trying to get comfortable. Too many nights on the couch had left him feeling strange in a bed. He gave up on the mattress and went to his couch in the den, falling to sleep fast on the familiar surface.