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Bastard In A Suit – Chapter Thirteen [Online Ebook]

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I trail Duke to the eighteenth floor like a lost puppy. He’s so angry he can’t speak.
Okay, so we were acting like school kids at recess, but that doesn’t give him cart blanche to treat me like I’m a fucking criminal.
My blood boils hot.
Duke gestures for me to get out of the elevator and storms into his office. He tosses my things on the sofa and points to a small desk in the corner of the room that faces the wall. That is where Duke expects me to work?
“Did you forget to order in my dunce cap?”
“I suggest you watch your tone.”
“Or what?” I bracket my hands onmy hips. “You’ll spank me?”
There’s a dangerous look in his eye that tells me I should back off. I don’t. I’m angry and confused, and on the verge of tears. If I don’t get mad, I’ll cry. And there is absolutely NO way I’ll cry in front of Duke Kingston. Not now, not ever.
I gather my things and set them at the desk. Duke ignores me, attending to some kind of paperwork. The shuffle of paper grates on my nerves. I open my laptop and check my emails. Nada. I skim the documents in the envelope the receptionist gave me, but there’s nothing important in there either.
I fold my arms across my chest and sigh.
“Is there a problem?” Duke asks without sounding very interested in the response. I spin around in my chair so I’m facing Duke. He doesn’t look impressed. Fine. Neither am I. “What exactly would you have me do?”
Duke blinks. “I’m afraid I don’t understand the question.”
I point to the laptop. “This. Here. What the hell are we supposed to do? Shouldn’t we be in the tech lab actually working with the product? Isn’t that why you hired us?”
Duke’s lip curls into a smirk. “I think you negotiated your way into a job.”
“Right. So I could still have some say in the product I created.”
“A product I own,” Duke says.
We’re both standing now.
“Great. You own it.” My words come out fast and hard. “At least you could tell us what you’re going to do with it.”
Duke’s expression hardens and my stomach sinks so fast, I almost drop through to the ground floor. I know what’s coming, even before the words leave his lips.
We are so stupid, so incredibly dumb. My mind starts reeling. I lean against my chair for balance.
“We aren’t going to do anything with it,” Duke says. “I’m going to bury it.”
And that’s when I realize that it was all a joke. Duke knew what he was doing the entire time, playing all of us—and especially me—like a fiddle.
Duke never intended to bring the MicroTracker to market.
He wanted to make sure that our product never saw the light of day, and that we could never talk about it or work with anyone else on a similar project.
He made me think I was negotiating myself into some cushy job, when in reality it was Duke Kingston who wanted to own us and own our product.
I don’t know why he wanted to kill our project so badly, what he found so threatening that he decided to pay all of that money just to essentially turn us into mute drones with no purpose.
But he manipulated everything perfectly, and now I’m basically his prisoner.
And there’s not a thing I can do about it.
— The End of Book One –

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