Where Credit Is Due

Category: Fiction
Genre: Prompt
Tags: Modern/No Sex/Career
Status: Complete
Word Count: 995
Chapters: 1
Prompt: “Sure, now you want me to make the decisions.”




Where Credit Is Due

“Sure, now you want me to make the decisions.” I shook my head. No way was I going to bail Mick’s ass out again. I was all for being a team player, but the last time I’d helped him out, he’d taken credit for everything, and I’d had to listen for months about what a genius he was when it came to knowing what the clients wanted. Not this time. Mick had used his last successful ad campaign, using my ideas, to become the project lead for the biggest client we’d had the opportunity to land in years. I wasn’t about to step in and save his ass just so he could claim the credit, again.

“Come on, Dillon. You know we can’t afford to lose this account. If we can’t come up with something they like by the end of the week they’ll go somewhere else.” He actually sounded a bit pathetic, but it wasn’t enough to sway me.

Unfortunately, he was right. The company needed the client’s business, but I was done being walked all over. If he wanted my help, then I’d make damn sure I got the recognition for it.

“Here’s the deal. You want me to take over, fine, but here’s what you have to do.” I grinned and leaned over my desk. “You will go to Mr. Kist and tell him you can’t handle the account. You will come clean that your last ad campaign was all my doing, and”—I paused for effect—“you will ask to be removed from the account and have it assigned to me.”

“No fucking way, I’ll be fired.”

“Those are my terms.” I sank back into my chair. “If you don’t like it, not my problem.”

“You really are a bastard.” Mick stood and stormed from my office, slamming the door on his way out.

Maybe he was right and I was being a bastard, but I was past the point of caring. I’d spent a lot of time on that last ad campaign, and it had nearly cost me my lover. Not because of the long hours, but because I’d gotten so stressed at everything being last minute that I’d repeatedly blown up at Ryan. He’d forgiven me, but I’d sworn to both myself, and him, I wouldn’t put us through something like that again if I could help it.

Luckily for me, even if Mick had agreed to my demands, I wouldn’t have been as stressed out this time. I’d known from the start Mick couldn’t handle such a big account and already had plans drawn up for a backup campaign. If just waiting for him to fail made me a bastard, then so be it, I was a bastard. I couldn’t care less.

I glanced at the clock and sighed. I still had a couple hours before I could head home, but thinking about how close I’d come to losing Ryan made me need to see him. At least, if I couldn’t see him right away, I could always call him. I glanced at the closed door and picked up the phone. He picked up on the second ring.

“Hey babe. Please don’t tell me you’re calling to say you’re going to be late again.”

“Well, hello to you, too.” I couldn’t blame him, calls this time of day were usually to tell him exactly that. “No, I should make it home on time.”

“Oh, good.” I could picture him grinning. “So to what do I owe this middle-of-the-day call?”

“Mick just left my office. Seems the fucker can’t handle the new clothing account we’re trying to land.” I waited for his reaction, but there was nothing. No outrage, no sigh, nothing. It was so quiet I began to wonder if he’d hung up. “Ryan?”

“I’m here.” He sounded deflated.

“You okay?” He was beginning to scare me. I didn’t think I’d ever heard him sound so down, even when we’d fought over the account I’d helped Mick on at the last minute.

“I can’t do it again, Dillon.”

“Can’t do what?” What the hell was he talking about? “Do you need me to come home?” There might be hell to pay with Mr. Kist, but I’d deal with that later. If Ryan needed me at home, that’s where I’d be.

“No. I mean, I can’t handle what happened last time.”

I suddenly realized I should have told him from the start that I’d told Mick what he could do with the account. I hurried to reassure him.

“I’m sorry, I should have added I basically told him to shove it. If he wanted my help he’d have to go to Mr. Kist and admit the last campaign was all me, resign from the account, and ask that it be turned over to me. Even if he agreed, which I knew he wouldn’t, you wouldn’t have to worry.” I paused to catch my breath. “I promised you I wouldn’t do that to us again, and I won’t. I’ve been working on a campaign for the account because I knew Mick couldn’t handle it; it just needs a few final touches and it’ll be ready to go. In fact, I have a meeting with Mr. Kist on Thursday, right after the one where Mick is supposed to show him whatever he came up with.”

“God, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions.”

“No, I should have been clearer. We good?” I couldn’t handle it if we weren’t. I’d leave right now and go do whatever I had to in order to make things right.

“Yep.” At least he sounded happy again. “So, you going to be home on time then?”

“Planning on it.”

“Good, I’ll be here. Don’t be late. Love you.”

He hung up before I could reply, and I sat staring at the phone. Maybe I’d go home early after all. He said not to be late. He didn’t say anything about being early.