Spoilers: "The Insurance Man Always Rings Twice," "Boy Wonder."

Sparring: Prelude

by azuremonkey

Pound! Whack!

Leather connects to leather.

Pound, pound, pound. Almost rhythmic.

Pound, pound, pound. Don't stop; don't think.

Just keep pounding, over and over.

Let the anger pass through my body, center in my gloved fist and focus it on the bag.

Stop. Shake it loose. Move away and turn around.

Time for the mat. Time to focus the anger on human flesh. On a face that means nothing.

That's easy. That's very easy to do.

Foot connects to face. Advantage point -- me.

I make them nameless, faceless. The way I prefer them.

It's a matter of mind over body. I may not be big, but I have strength where it counts.

Thwack! A straight shot to the gut. He hasn't laid a hand on me. They never do. I move too fast. That's the advantage of having all this strength inside my small frame. I move fast. Like lightening.

Yeah, just like lightening. I've moved before the other guy even begins to notice that he's had it. Like lightening before the thunder.

This is what I need. This is what I need to do. Move like lightening.

Pound, pound, pound. Leather connects to flesh.

Power. I like that. I could live on it alone. And who could stop me? From eating up every inch of power I can get.

I need to cool down a bit right now. There was that business with insider trading. But all the charges against me were dropped. They had to be. I didn't know. Too bad they had to take all that money away too. That was nice.

I wonder if that weasel, Bender, was trying to set me up? Use me like I use him?

No way. He doesn't know; he hasn't a clue.

But I can use him. Oh, yeah. Like taking millions from devastated widows.

I can do that. I know how to do that. I especially enjoyed doing that with…

Lisa. I like thinking about it. I like remembering it. As if she couldn't believe the things I said, the contempt I have for her -- and most especially for Michael.

Connect a solid fist to the right.

I hate thinking about him, even his name.

There's so much hatred for him. Why?

OK, shake it off.

Keep the mind on the sparring.

Pound, pound, pound. I like that.

Anyway, who cares why I hate him? He was a lousy human being. When The Company says take a dive, you take a dive.

No thoughts. Pound!

No feelings. Pound!

No regrets. Pound!

And certainly no questions. He was in no position to question. To second guess. Who did the rat-bait think he was? How funny? How almost pitying? If I was capable of such feelings.

He had the money, the house, the family. The job. Yeah, he had the job.

And I wanted it. Craved it. Tasted it. From the moment he shook my hand, I knew I had him. He was mine. He should have just tattooed my name on his forehead because I owned him.

The power, the glory. Mine.

Whack! Upper cut. Perfection.

Michael Wiseman. He had it all. But I wanted it more.

But even I couldn't have known how much. I didn't want everything. Why would I want his house? And, geez, who wants a family? But I wanted the money. And the job.

Well, not his job. But his was a nice starting point.

How was I to know that in a weird twist of fate, I'd have what I always wanted and he'd be dead.

That's a nice thought. I'll think it again. He's dead. No money, no house, no wifey, no kiddy. No job. No body. No nothing.

While, - I have it all. A million dollar penthouse. It over looks the Park. How many people can say that? How many can afford it? Who cares?

Because all that matters is that I can.

Yeah, I pay through the nose, but it's worth it. The CEO's noticed. He's noticed the car. The $100 bills I peel out when we have business dinners. He notices these things. He knows I'm capable of even bigger and better things.

I wonder if he's aware I want his job? Probably not. They're so stupid. All of them. They're all dumber than dirt. Why I have a higher intellect than these lowlifes I'm forced to content with, I'll never know.

It doesn't matter, though. I have exactly what I wanted when I first shook hands with Michael. He had it. I wanted it. Now I have it and he has nothing. I like that.

But I want more now. It's not enough. The Swiss account is telling me I have plenty. More than most.

But who cares about most? I want more.

Sparring is done. Time to shower.

I deserve more. And I'll have it. Who better than me? Nobody! And no one will get in my way. No one could. Who could outsmart me?

What about that man last spring? The one that got Lisa Wiseman her money?

Yeah, what about him? He's out there, right now. Who is he? What's his deal with the Wisemans?

The shower feels good.

He's a threat.

These new pants cost me $3000. A drop in the bucket.

I should take care of him.

You know, this is sounding good.

Maybe I should take care of them. After all, they have a tie. Bender knows Wiseman's wife. And so does this mysterious man.

It all circles the Wisemans. That's the key.

I need to plan. I need to plan big. And quietly. They can't know. I don't know who they think they are. But they have to pay. All of them.

It's time to make them pay.

"Mr. Spence, have a good session, sir?"

"It was fine, yeah."

"Very well. See you next Tuesday, as usual sir."

Right, brown-noser.

I need to take care of some unfinished business. And then I can get back to my dreams.

My dreams.


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