The Ringmaster Ch. 01byvelvetpie©
Daniel Matthew Morganson strode down the hallway, his Florsheims clicking authoritatively against the marble-lined floors. Colleagues of the eminent lawyer quickly sidestepped out of his way, accustomed to his manic depressive bouts of anger and clients looked after him with a mixture of fear and awe. After all, he was Daniel Morganson and at the age of thirty-nine, he was not only the youngest partner of his father's firm, but he was also the most successful. And with that success came his legendary rage which was most overlooked because he never lost his temper in the courtroom.
He didn't see the others who watched his progression down the hallway. He only saw anger. Greyscale static filled his eyes and the heat of his blood filled his face with its life-giving warmth but still, he didn't stop. He stomped up the short set of stairs that led to the Executive Rooms and used his key to open a special room that he'd had built. Inside, he knelt on a burlap-covered cushion, tossed off his jacket and shirt and reached for the short leather cat-'o-nine-tails hanging on the wall.
His anger burned deep today and he rejoiced in every sting that sliced through his flesh. Pain ran the length of his spine, wrapping around his body like an invisible snake and slithering through his veins. He raised the crop and slapped it down again and again, the leather tendrils marking and drawing blood from his already scarred skin. Spikes of pain washed through him and he exulted in each slap, finishing only when he'd reached his personal best count of fifty. Gasping, panting for breath, he slumped to the concrete floor, tears staining his cheeks and his teeth gritted against the pain.
Minutes later, he again appeared in the hallway, a new suit perfectly fitted to his body and his carriage stiff and uncompromising. His executive secretary, Charlene, who'd been with him for years, stared at him until he came to a halt in front of his office door and looked at her. "Grant Alberts is holding on two and your three o'clock has rescheduled to four."
"Are you all right, Mr. Morganson?"
Daniel fixed her with his usual stay-away-from-me stare, giving her a curt nod. "Of course, Miss Pooley." He ignored the look she returned and flung himself into his $2,000 WorkLounge chair, his temples pounding. He rubbed his forehead, picked up the receiver and answered the call from Alberts, responding with all the warmth he could muster at this point. His second call was to the person he considered his closest friend, Franklin Justow and the sound of a crying male in the background made an unexpected smile rise to his face.
"What's up, Danny?"
"I should ask the same of you. I hear you've got company."
Frank laughed. "It's just Robby so don't get too excited. He soiled his diaper and I had to give him a little spanking."
"I see." Daniel poured himself a stout shot of Johnny Walker Black and sipped it, leaning back into the hard leather of his seat and grimacing with a smile at the feeling of discomfort. "Frank, I need your help."
"What? Has Hell finally frozen over?" Frank's snicker filled his ear and Daniel fumed at himself. "What's the problem?"
"Me. I'm the problem."
"Ugh! Finally!" Frank grinned, leaning over to give Robby a loud slap on his reddened ass cheek. "It's about time!"
"You don't have to rub it in, Franklin."
"Yes, I do. I've been telling you for years!"
"Yeah, yeah, I should have listened to you, I know." Daniel tossed the alcohol back and poured another. "So what should I do?"
"Come dancing with me, of course!"
"Of course and what does that entail?"
"Hitting the party circuit. In fact, there's a great party tomorrow night. Lots of scenes ... "
"Frank, you know I don't get into that stuff ... "
"Then why the hell are you calling me?" Another resounding slap echoed over the phone and Frank's diaper-boy yelped. "You know what it's all about and you're acting like a little bitch."
"I am a little bitch."
"No, you aren't. You're a big bitch, Danny, and you need a bigger bitch to take you down a few notches."
"And you think I'll find what I need at this party?"
"Maybe, maybe not. But you'll never know until you try."
Daniel thought for a long moment, mesmerized by the swirling amber liquid in his glass. He'd been searching for a soul mate for a long time but had never found what he needed. Lonely nights followed lonely days and he faced his supplications alone, each time praying for forgiveness of what ever sin he'd committed that had sentenced him to a life without love. But it hadn't worked and it was time for a change. He wasn't willing to stand being lonely for much longer.
"All right, Frank. Where and what time?"