Saturday, 10 September 2016

Saturday, September 10, 2016 -

Paddling the Little Rich Girl

by Frank Martinet
Published: Aug 27, 2016
Words: 36,562
Category: general
Orientation: M/F
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1. Problems

Patrick Calero had a headache. Though calling it a mere headache was an insult to headaches. It felt like there was jackhammer under his skull working away on his brain. This was worse than the hangover he had after joining Delta Omega and waking up in women's panties in a tree outside the Creton Hall dorm rooms the next morning. This was worse than when he'd crammed for 72 hours straight for the bar exam - and somehow still passed. This was even worse than the two years of hell when he and Alexia had divorced and that shark lawyer of hers had gone looking under every rock he could find for spare change he could claim for his greedy client.

For two decades Patrick been the man with the golden touch, the man who could do no wrong, and suddenly everything was failing. The factory in China was beset with production problems. The investment in Iraq that had looked so promising a few years earlier was now looking like it wouldn't pay for many years, as things were still troubled there and the rebuilding was going to be much slower than he'd anticipated. Now the partnership with Zimmer Investments had fallen through at the eleventh hour.

Patrick couldn't quite understand how it had all gone sour. Sure, he'd made some bad decisions, both personal and professional, but the economy wasn't his fault. He'd had some bad luck, like that 'sure-fire' investment in the new nuclear power plant in Japan just six months before the big quake and tsunami had wiped out everything. It would be a decade before he'd see a dime out of that fiasco. If he was lucky.

He stared at the balance sheets, the numbers terrifying. Did he have a single business venture in the black? He rubbed his temples, the shooting pain behind his eyes making him want to stab himself with scissors just to halt the agony. He felt dizzy and sick. He hadn't slept a full night in weeks. He couldn't remember the last time he'd had a proper meal.

"We need capital," he said to Marvin Kolk, his right hand. "There's got to be something."

"You've drained everything liquid. The only thing left is to start selling."

"Fuck!" Patrick roared. Even his rage felt weak and enfeebled. Outside, to the public, he could still manage to smile and pretend everything was fine. But in here, in front of his best friend and colleague of nearly twenty years, he couldn't hide his fatigue and fear.

"With the economy the way it is and the shape of these businesses, it's the worst possible time to sell. I'll lose millions."

Marvin nodded. "Yes."

The senior executive was a blunt, no-nonsense man. Patrick had often thought Frank would have been a better name for him.