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A Baby for the Boss(2)

By:Maureen Child

“Meantime,” Sean said, loudly enough to snap Mike’s attention back to the moment, “I’m still talking to the toy company about the line of collectibles they’re proposing based on our gaming characters.”

“What do the lawyers say?” Mike asked.

“Plenty,” Sean admitted. “And most of it I can’t understand. I swear they teach these people to speak in tongues when they’re in law school.”

“Agreed. How much did you get out of it?”

Sean crossed his legs, ankle on knee. “Enough to know that if they up their offer on the licensing fee, this could be a really good thing for us.”

“I don’t know... Toys?”

“Not toys. Collectibles,” Sean corrected. “I called Brady this morning and he’s on board. So think about this, Mike. At the next gaming convention we not only have the games to push, but the collectibles. We can spin that off to board games even, for people not interested in video games.”

Mike laughed shortly and leaned back in his chair. “There aren’t many people uninterested in games.”

“Okay, true. But we’re pushing into the hotel industry, giving people a chance to live their favorite games. We could take that another step,” Sean said, slapping one hand down on Mike’s desk. “We can sponsor our own conventions.”

“What?” Surprised, Mike just stared at him.

Sean grinned. “Think about it. Hell, Comic-Con started out small and look at them now. We could hold Celtic Knot Con—an entire convention centered around our games and products. We can host tournaments, offer prizes. Costume contests. Hell, we could run a contest offering a contract to whoever comes up with the best new beast to use in one of our games.”

“Did you go surfing this morning?”

Sean stopped. “What’s that got to do with anything?”

“That water’s cold, probably froze a few brain cells.”


“Don’t you think we’ve got enough going on right now? The latest game came out in December, and the sequel to ‘Fate Castle’ hits this summer, not to mention the hotel business.”

“Okay, we’re busy,” Sean allowed. “We want to stay busy, we have to keep thinking, expanding. Our business is based on the fans. On the way they feel connected to the scenarios we create. If we give them more, offer them other ways to connect, to feel a part of the world they love, that can only benefit us.”

Mike thought about it for a minute. He could see the enthusiasm on his brother’s face and knew that Sean was at least partly right. Continuing to build their brand would only solidify their position in the marketplace. The castle hotel in Ireland already had a waiting list six months long and they hadn’t even opened yet. That told Mike there was a huge market for just what Sean was describing. And little brother was right about something else, too.

“We’ll talk to Brady about your convention idea—that may be a good way to go.”

“Whoa.” Sean grinned. “This is a moment. Maybe I should hunt up a photographer.”

Mike laughed. “Okay, fine. I think you’re onto something. On the collectibles, I’m on board. Tell the lawyers to work up the company’s licensing offer and then we’ll sign.”

“Already did,” Sean said.

“Sure of yourself, weren’t you?”

“Damn right.”

Amused, Mike said, “Okay, well, you’re right about the other stuff, too. The role-playing, the contests. Ireland’s too hard for a lot of people to get to. The grounds on the hotel in Nevada aren’t big enough for us to hold tournaments on any kind of real scale. So the hotel in Wyoming will have to be the base for that kind of growth.”

“Just what I was thinking,” Sean said. “It’s on a hundred and fifty acres, with lakes and forests. It’s perfect for the kind of thing I’m talking about.”

“Then it’s handy you’re in charge of that one, isn’t it?”

“Also what I was thinking,” Sean said with a quick, smug smile.

It was the smug part that had Mike suggesting, “You should go to Wyoming. Check it out in person.”

Sean snorted. “Sure. That’ll happen. It’s January, Mike. It’s snowing there. Like crazy cold snowing.” He shivered. “No, thank you. Look, we bought the property in Ireland by checking it out online and that worked great.”

“Yeah, but—”

“I’ve talked to the Realtor, had her make videos of everything. The inn itself needs a lot of work, but the property is perfect and that’s more important, right?”