Ambrose Smith strode across the black and gold marble floor. Red streaks veined the marbled walls – haunting, alluring, provocative. They reminded him of a song. A warm, wet summer night song. He wanted to sing along with it and dance to its salsa beat.
But he had to do one thing first.
He crossed the hall to Mark Caten’s office and kicked the door open. Mark’s bodyguards surrounded Ambrose – a whole crowd of red robed, black masked warriors armed with spiked clubs.
They were armed, but they were no match for him. He tore his way through their ranks as if they were cardboard cutouts.
As Ambrose killed the last one, Mark said, “I’m impressed.”
Every instinct urged him to charge forward and tear the other man to shreds, but Ambrose approached Mark’s desk with steady calm.
“I know I shouldn’t be that impressed. You’ve been our employee for several years now and I’ve seen your work. But my guards are very well trained. So, yes. I am quite impressed.”
Hatred and sorrow burned through him even down to his fingertips, but he wore his mask of calm the best he could. He stopped beside Mark.
“That isn’t my name.”
“Why did you send her away?”
“I don’t know what—-”
Ambrose grabbed him by the lapels of his Armani suit and yanked him up to his feet.
“Careful! I don’t want you to tear the fabric.”
“I’ll tear more than that when I’m through with you.”
“I don’t have to take this abuse. I could uninvite you and you would be compelled to leave.”
“Why did you send Maria away?”
“I was fulfilling a customer’s request.”
“One you undoubtedly put into their head. Why?”
He snarled, baring his fangs. “Stop calling me that name.”
“Ambrose. Maria was dead. She needed to move on. Her continued existence in this world was unnatural. Like a baby wants to learn to stand, to walk, to run, her spirit wanted to leave, to go to its destined place of being. You were crippling her, compelling her to stay in an unnatural state.”
“She was mine!” Ambrose bristled. “You didn’t give me a chance to say good-bye. I came home from a hunt and she was gone. I called for her and she didn’t appear. And I knew. I knew that it was your fault. You stole her away from me, you garlic-breather!” He lunged at Mark’s neck.
“You are no longer welcome in my office. I revoke any and all invitations that I have extended to you.”
Ambrose released his suit and marched sullenly to the doorway. He stepped outside the door and glared at Mark. “You think you’ve won. You haven’t. I will get you when you least expect it.”
Mark waited for him to leave. “It’s a shame, really. After so many years of faithful service.” He pulled out his cell phone and dialed the first person on his contact list. “Hello, Elsie? Yes. I have a job for you.”