A Firm Hand

firmhand“That’s not even remotely what I meant,” Christian said before turning away. The others were left to wonder what he did mean, even though it had seemed pretty clear to him at the time. None of them were brave enough, though, to open their mouths and ask him that one simple question, so one by one they exited the room. After they were gone Christian finally allowed himself to breathe — deeply in, and shallow out. It was already a tough Monday.

When he inherited his father’s massive real estate business, he hadn’t known he was also getting three of the crankiest vice presidents in the bargain. It was hard to come into work each day knowing they talked behind his back as constantly as the sun shined down from above, but he couldn’t let them win. If there was one thing his father taught him, it was never let others determine your mood. Control every situation, even when you’re not really in control of the situation.

He sat down behind his mahogany desk and was immediately swallowed up by the expectations that sitting there entailed. It was behind this desk that many of the firm’s most lucrative deals were made, what seemed like a dog’s age before he was even born. The desk had welcomed several famously rich individuals throughout its many years, none more memorable than Nelson Rockefeller himself shortly before Watergate. It was a history that Christian had studied intensively as he prepared to take over the reins of the Hand Group.

They put words in his mouth, too, he had finally surmised nearly two months after his father’s untimely death from emphysema in the fall. As winter rolled in for good, Christian realized he had to make a stand or he would be seen as ineffectual, something that would have made his father roll over in his grave. If there was anything Jonathan Hand craved, it was the symbols of power that he wielded with an iron fist until the very day he died. But Christian didn’t have the innate ability to crush others like bugs in order to get what he wanted.

“Your two o’clock appointment is in the lobby,” his assistant, Brian, buzzed him over the intercom. Continue reading “A Firm Hand”