„I can’t believe you’re too fucking stupid to just fix this!“
To say Erik Lehnsherr was livid was a vast understatement. This was the 5th day into his battle with his latest arch enemy. It wasn’t as if giving up was an option, he needed the money.
Introducing, Erik Lehnsherr, author of various modern, spicy adult romance novels. Looking at the grim man’s face you wouldn’t suspect the things he writes, but he just has a way of worming himself into his readers’ hearts.
He is well beloved within his circle of faithful readers, but he’s not a big number yet. So it’s not like he could pull some public stunt to get himself out of this mess he’s currently trying to get sorted out. Amazon banned him. Amazon fucking dared to ban HIM. Erik motherfucking Lehnsherr.
Just because some blushing little virgin intern thought his book was too juicy to be presented on their ungodly platform. Pah, blasphemy.
And so now Erik is bugging the shop’s support service to get his account unlocked again. A man needs his income to pay his rent, after all. Not that a big enterprise like amazon would care about something so small and simple.
“Dear Mister Lehnsherr,
As stated in my last E-Mail, I’d kindly ask you to delete the book in question. Then we could go forward and unlock your account again. Thank you very much for your cooperation.
C.X., Amazon Support”
You could almost think the support guy’s nerves were running thin already as well.
Still furious, the young author wrote another lengthy complaint about how the system doesn’t let him change anything and the support should kindly move their lazy asses and delete the shit and fix this mess”.
Well, you could assume “friendly” is not a thing Erik Lehnsherr does. You’d be right.
Pent up with frustration, Erik posts the latest replies of the support on his vaguely-popular twitter account, tags Amazon and heads to bed. Sleep seldom claims him when angry, so he did the one thing that’s always good for releasing tension. Hand sliding into his pants, Erik closed his eyes and let out a silent growl. A few rough strokes, a vivid fantasy and it didn’t take him long to come. After a quick cleanup sleep claimed him soon.
- - -
After procrastinating half the day and spending the other half continuing his newest book, Erik couldn’t hold himself back any longer. Hitting refresh on his email inbox deemed fruitless all day, so he headed over to twitter to check his replies. A few fans blabbered some supportive bullshit and wished him good luck. There was also a direct message from the Amazon support account. Well, at least something. Sipping his 5th cup of coffee, Erik opened the message.
“Dear Mister Lehnsherr,
as we both seem to not be able to come to terms with this problem, I’d like to offer personally taking this matter in hand. You could send me the content of the book in question and I will go over the prohibited content and remove it. Then I could change the files and fix the problem for you.
Please understand that we cannot allow photos or illustrations with sexual content in our ebooks.
Please let me know if you want to proceed.
C. Xavier, Support”
Erik snorts. Just because he added one of his illustrations that was a bit more on the sexy side. Damn uptight assholes. But at least this was getting somewhere.
He carefully typed out his replies, which in this case – talking about Erik Lehnsherr – are as rude as you can imagine. At least Erik had to admit that this Xavier guy had his job down, staying calm, but every once in a while adding some wit and hints of dry humor into his texts. What if he continued to drag this out for a bit longer? See if he could crack this guy, get him to swear, get him out of his professional attire. Sounded like an interesting enough task, so Erik went on with it. And so he spent the rest of his day sending more support questions, mixed with wild slurs and the occasional sexual innuendo. Could as well use the things he’s good at, right?
- - -
One week in, Charles already had a small fan-gathering behind his desk. He sipped his tea – black with a few drips of milk – and studied the new messages from his latest assigned customer. One Erik Lehnsherr, porn wri- errr… romance novel author.
Usually, his support job was mostly dull, replying kindly to questions a normal human being capable of using their brain should be able to solve alone. But alas, if they were, he wouldn’t have this job. Gotta get through university somehow. So at least he should be somewhat thankful to those clueless customers.
The newest one proofed to be somewhat different, instantly falling into category A: Assholes. Why do some of them think it helps if they insult the support? Oh well.
This one proofed to be somewhat entertaining at least. Anne rolled over from her table and giggled along as they read through the latest chat log.
It only took 2 days and a quick google search and this customer has earned his nickname: The shark. Snarky and biting comments combined with a row of what seems like a few too many teeth on his author photo.
Lehnsherr didn’t know, but he already helped Charles’ popularity a lot. “Customers from hell” was gaining more and more followers on twitter, amusing the crowd with rude, snarky and ridiculous inquiries. His fans seemed to be just as intrigued with the shark as Charles was.
“Why don’t you give him your phone number, see if his mouth is as quick as his fingers?”
Charles giggled, remembering one of the replies.
“Why not? You might as well!” As soon as he mentioned it Anne was instantly exited about the idea. What could possibly go wrong…
Charles was curious. Not only was Erik Lehnsherr unfairly handsome (at least when he didn’t laugh like a coldblooded-murder-maniac) but the guy also damn well knew what he could do with words. He only wanted to take a quick peek to secretly make fun of the writer, but the few pages he’d read left him hot and bothered all day. Damn him.
So came that, after a few more lines of bickering back-and-fourth, Charles suggested a call to resolve the details of their mess. Not even a minute after he hit send, he was startled by the ringing of his phone. Putting on his headset and clearing his throat, Charles put on his sweetest and smoothest voice. “Amazon Support Service, Charles Xavier speaking, what can I do for you?”
“Erik Lehnsherr. You wanted to talk.” Damn, he did have a nice sound to his voice. Charles smiled.
“Mister Lehnsherr, it’s good to hear you. Did you have the chance to think about my offer of going through the file and fixing it up for you?”
“As if I’d hand over my work to you, just like that. Think again.”
Inwardly, Charles rolled his eyes. “It’s not like I don’t already have all of your work here.”
Erik, obviously swiftly misunderstanding that Charles could simply access the files on the work server, couldn’t hide the smirk in his voice. “So I can consider you a fan?”
Charles let out a surprised laugh. “I do have to admit you have a way with words. A little rough at times, but what I saw was passable.”
Now it was Erik’s turn to sound amused. “Passable.”
The origin of their problem swiftly laid aside, they continued to talk about writing and the complications of finding good novels in the masses of media nowadays. Erik turned out to be able to lead a pleasant conversation.
“If I’m to be honest, it is a pity that your picture can’t stay in the book. It’s marvelous, the soft pencil strokes, the smooth curves… a true piece of art.” Charles softly commented, making sure no one in the office was currently eaves-dropping.
“Thank you. As you might have realized, I’m quite angry about it myself.” 15 minutes into their call, the venom in Erik’s voice was long gone.
“Who is the artist?” Charles had to check them out further – maybe there was some good nsfw art hidden on some social media profile? Silence filled the line.
“… I drew it myself” The answer came out almost shy, only thanks to his noise canceling headset set on high volume Charles was able to hear it.
Did Erik-asshole-Lehnsherr actually get shy about his erotic art? The guy drew absolutely beautifully, the feelings he conveyed with words he could just as easily portray with a pencil. Or was it because of the depicted couple actually being gay? Either way, Charles couldn’t hold back his excitement. He definitely wanted to see more of this.
After a bit Charles had to wrap up the call to get ready for a meeting, but he promised to call Erik back as soon as he could. After all, they still had a problem to sort out.