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Authors: Kathi S. Barton

Tags: #Erotica, #paranormal, #Paranormal Romance

Cormac

BOOK: Cormac
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This
is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of
the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed
as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locations, organizations, or
persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

World Castle Publishing, LLC

Pensacola, Florida

Copyright
© Kathi S. Barton 2016

Hardback
ISBN: 9781629893761

Paperback
ISBN: 9781629893778

eBook
ISBN: 9781629893785

First
Edition World Castle Publishing, LLC, February 8, 2016

http://www.worldcastlepublishing.com

Licensing Notes

All
rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner
whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations
embodied in articles and reviews.

Cover:
Karen Fuller

Editor:
Eric Johnston

Editor:
Maxine Bringenberg

 

Chapter 1

 

“It says right here that this is the way we
are supposed to do it. Not the way you’re showing us. I need for you to back
away from the equipment and let me do it my way. That’s what is going to work,”
Elton grumbled. Mac wondered if he found Stormy and asked her to shoot this
man, if she would do it.
Of course she would
, he thought.
And would smile
while doing it
. “You can’t tell me that your way is better when I know
better. You’re just trying to mess things up for me.”

“Oh, but I can and I am. There is nothing
saying that we can’t improve on the way this line is run. And this way, the way
that you’ve been doing it up until now, is why this business is losing money.
And losing money is the best way for them to close down and for you to be out
of a job.” The man only huffed at him, pointing out yet again that the
instructions said that his way was the most efficient way. “Yes, it might have
been, fourteen years ago when you had this equipment put in. But short of
putting in an entire new work line, you’re going to have to trust me on this. I
know better.”

“So you say, but I’m under the opinion that
you don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t know why you were hired in
the first place. You know nothing about this production line, and as soon as I
can convince my bosses—and I will—that you have this all screwed up, we’re
going to go back to doing it the correct way anyway.” Mac stood up straighter
and felt his cat run along his skin. “You can get huffy with me all you want,
but I know what is best for this company. I’ve been working here since their
father opened the doors, and I’ll be working here long after they’re bored with
it and go about their business.”

Mac said nothing, but moved away from the man
as he pulled out his phone. He had to talk to someone who was reasonable, and
dialed the first number on his phone. When Storm answered, he had to smile. From
the sound of her voice, she wasn’t having any better of a time than he was.

“Did you know that when you put a box on the
line that there are all kinds of infrared lights that can read not only what’s
in the box, but even where the fuck it’s supposed to be going? That the system
is specifically made to do just that?” He told her he did, as a matter of fact.
“Well, smart ass, did you know why it’s not working here at Ship It? The reason
why we were called in to fix it?”

“The machines aren’t calibrated? The lights
are too bright around it to let it be read properly? There are any number of
reasons for it not to work.” She snorted at him, something that he’d come to
love about her. It conveyed so much, her snort. “Why is it not working at Ship
It?”

“They turned it off. I mean, like they just
went to the line, tore out all the wiring, and then turned it off at the
computer system when it kept telling them that it didn’t work. Not only that it
wasn’t working, but also exactly where it wasn’t working. And now you have to
ask me why they would turn off a multimillion dollar piece of very important
equipment when they advertise that that’s what they use to get your packages to
you on time?” He started to laugh, telling her he had no idea. “It didn’t match
their uniform shirts that they’re required to wear when they work. The red—and
this is no fucking lie—the red clashed so badly with the orange shirts that the
owner’s daughter complained. Because she picked the color and hated the way it
looked when the boxes went by. How fucking stupid do you have to be? I’m not
kidding you. It’s a good thing you made me leave my gun at my house when you
sent me here. Otherwise, we’d be calling in the big time lawyers that I’d need
for a lawsuit. Someone would have been dead about ten minutes ago. What’s up
with you? Did you tell them what they have to do to improve their work
situation?”

“Pretty much the same thing you’re running
into there. This guy in charge while the family is still learning the ropes said
that his way is right because that’s the way they’ve been doing it for years.
I’m pretty sure that this guy doesn’t even own a computer or a smart phone. It
wasn’t the way he was raised or some shit.” Mac moved to his temporary office
at the plant and began gathering his things. Time to meet up with the family
soon, and he had to get back home anyway. “I’m going to take the next flight
out after I get finished with the family. If they want us to come here again,
it’s going to be when that guy is gone. Or they’re fucked.”

“Good luck. And don’t forget about tomorrow.
I have that meeting with my attorneys and you have to sign the paperwork on the
building we’re buying there.” He nodded, then told her he’d be there. “Also, my
friend is going to start working tomorrow, too, full-time. If you have a minute,
go by the Home Cooking and see if she’s settling in all right for me. Riordan
and I won’t be home until day after tomorrow, as we have to swing by the White
House for a minute.”

He thought of that. Swing by the White House
like it was right on the way home from the grocery. Stormy would even be able
to go on up to the family residence once she was there, and hell, more than
likely she and Riordan would be having dinner there with the president, and
maybe even a drink or two.

“I’ll take care of it for you on this end.
Where am I meeting the attorneys for the building? And I can’t tell you again
how much I hate that you’ve done this. I could have just gotten a loan for it
on my own. You didn’t have to buy it for the shop I have in mind.” She snorted
again and he smiled. “I wonder if when you have children that’ll be their
answer to everything you ask them, too.”

“More than likely. But since your mom and dad
are telling me now that they’re going to be baby-sitting every chance they get,
I’m pretty sure that your mom will get them out of the habit. But that doesn’t
mean I’m going to not tell them to do it around her as much as they can. You
know, just for fun.” Mac didn’t doubt that for a single minute.

Mac had to meet with the new owners of one of
the oldest toy firms in the downtown area of Atlanta. They’d been shipping out
retro toys for the last several decades, getting them cheaply and helping fill
a lot of stores opening up with their new line. But they were behind in their
shipment dates, so much so that they’d called him to see what was wrong with
their line. It only took him ten minutes of working the line to know what the
problem was. But Mac had worked for the two weeks he said he would. The bottle
neck in the entire operations was due to one man.

He was shown to the office of Byron and
Noreen Stokes as soon as he entered the building.

“We were hoping to see you before you left. I
understand that you’ve been working on getting our lines right. I hope it
wasn’t too much trouble for you.” Byron smiled at him. “Elton Coltrane called a
few minutes ago. He said that you’d left there in a huff and that he didn’t
think you’d figured out anything. I’m pretty sure that you’d be a little more
professional than just leaving when you couldn’t find what was wrong. I’m sure
you tried.”

“Is that what Elton told you? That I didn’t
find anything wrong?” Bryon looked at his sister and then back at him, nodding.
“I see. Well, I am a professional, as you said, but if you have some time, I’d
like to go over my findings with you.”

“Of course.”

Mac was led to a large conference room with a
table big enough for his family to have dinner at. Noreen was the younger of
the two siblings, but Mac knew that she was the one with the business sense
while her brother was the one with the big ideas. Which blended well with the
two of them. She’d also been the one to talk to him all those weeks ago. He
handed them both the printouts that he’d brought with him.

“I want you to know that I’m impressed with
your line of product and your pricing system. The receiving department is top-notch
as well. The way you bring in the goods and catalog them means that anyone
coming into this building can pull up a number for the product and go right to
the warehouse to find where it is. You have a good team of inventory control as
well.” Noreen said that her father had always been a stickler for keeping
things organized. “It shows in your work here. The line is good. A little
outdated, but will run you for a few more years before I would recommend that
you replace it. I would suggest that you put in a labeling system that also
runs your lines. That way when you have a box go to the store, you can be
assured that that’s where it went.”

“Why do I think that the ‘but’ you’re about
to tell us is going to be costly?” Mac told him not at all. “The way that Elton
talked, you were disappointed in the way things were going here and that he
thought you were going to tell us it was a lost cause. He seemed to think that
you were under the impression that we should just close up and be done with the
entire thing. We can’t do that, if that’s what you’re going to say. Our father
built this company on nothing but a handshake. If we can make it work, that’s
what we’ll do.”

“I see. You paid me to give you the truth.
And I think, in detail, you were told that I’m a man that seldom beats around
the bush about things. And if you can’t handle that, we won’t be able to work
together, correct?” Again the two of them looked at each other before nodding. “All
right then…you want this company to prosper and continue to be a viable
company, then fire Elton. I mean, not tomorrow or next week, but today, this
minute.”

“Really? Elton? I mean, I know that he’s sort
of set in his ways, but he’s been working with us since Dad died. Seriously, I
don’t think we could have gotten this far without him. And I know that my dad
thought a great deal of him. I mean, he did have his issues with him, but he’s
been working here for all of our lives.” Mac nodded. “I don’t even know if we
can fire him. I mean, he and Dad were good friends, and he’s been at all our
birthday parties since…. I’m sorry, Mr. Harrison, but I think you should
reconsider that suggestion. He’s a good man and works very hard.”

“Fine.” Mac stood up and gathered his things,
including the paperwork that he’d given them. As he was putting everything back
into his briefcase, he told them what he was going to do. “There won’t be any
charge for me coming here other than expenses, and my secretary will see that
you’re given a full accounting of—”

“Wait. I mean…you’re just going to stop
there? You’re not going to suggest anything else for us? You were there for two
weeks. Surely you had to have found the real reason for our production lines to
go so slowly.” Mac told them he had, it was Elton. “You mean to tell me that
one man, a single man, is responsible for us losing sixty-four percent of our
production time line?”

“No.” Mac pulled on his jacket and picked up
his things. He could tell that they were relieved, but it was going to be short
lived as soon as he spoke again. He almost hated to tell them. “Elton is
responsible for eighty-six percent of your slow down. And if he’s not taken off
the line and forced into retirement, then you will lose more every day until
you fail. And you will, at the rate you’re going.”

Mac was nearly to the door outside when he
heard someone call his name. It was Elton. Mac had had enough of the man for
one day, so went out to get in the car and go home, but Elton followed him. And
the man looked like he had received his Christmas bonus as well as a tax refund
all in the last ten minutes. Elton walked up to him as he waited for his car
and put out his hand to shake it. Mac just looked at it, then at the man he’d
left hanging.

“I could have told you that they’d not do anything
about me. I’m sure that you told them that it was me that was hurting things.
I’m their go-to man when they need answers. And they don’t know shit about what
I do or what goes on down on the line, and that’s the way I want it. I’m not
going to let them change a damned thing, just so you know. When they fail—and
I’ve no doubt that it’ll be sooner rather than later—I will own a nice
business.” Mac didn’t look at the couple that walked up behind Elton, nor did
they speak. He did, however, ask Elton what he was talking about. “The will. I
know for a fact that it states that once the business closes down that all the original
members of the staff will be able to purchase the company for what the fair
market value is. And when this is done, the fair market will be considerably
less than what it is today, don’t you think?”

“So you want this company to fail. After all
the work that Mr. Stokes put into making this a valuable firm for his children,
you’re going to let it fail so you can take it from them.” Elton smiled and
nodded. “And what are you going to do with it once you own it? Call in some
help and get it up and going again? That’s not very fair of you, now is it?”

“Their daddy left them all the money. All of
it. He didn’t even consider us people who did all the work for him.” Elton
laughed as he continued. “There was a time I might have been willing to get
things going in the right direction, but they called in professional help
instead of asking me what the fuck was wrong with things. I could have told
them that, don’t you think?”

“You mean that you shut down the lines four
times a day when you want to take a nap? That you have been known to sabotage
the boxes before they were loaded on the truck so that the customers would be
pissed enough to cancel orders?” Elton nodded. “I guess you have a hard heart
there, Elton. Whatever will you do now?”

BOOK: Cormac
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