The last place Dorian Grant wanted to be on a Friday night was standing in a marshy field in the middle of fuckin' nowhere, watching the ape of a man he'd hired as his head of security beating the bloody hell out of some poor schmuck. And all because said schmuck tried to screw him--Mr. Sadistic Narcissist, of all people--out of a couple bills.
It wasn't the money. Dorian Grant didn't give a shit about the money. He didn't have to. He'd been born with a silver spoon in his mouth and a few to spare. It was the trust, the respect. That asshole had thought he would put one over on the crudest "businessman" in New Orleans, and he thought Dorian wouldn't do shit about it.
Dark brown eyes narrowing with rage, Dorian looked over at Angelo--who stood almost seven feet tall and laughed in the face of the three hundred pounds--and said, "Hold him down, dumbass. He gets away, I'm kickin' the shit outta ya!"
The threat should've been amusing, considering Dorian stood less than six and a quarter and barely hit two fifty. Granted, most of those pounds were muscle. Still, nobody ever had the balls to laugh at Dorian Grant, because what he lacked in size, he made up for in temper, and when that temper exploded into a full-fledged tear, no one was safe, not even a man whom he'd known for almost twenty years, a man who doubled him in size.
Angelo dropped the wooden Louisville Slugger he'd been toting and wrenched the schmuck up from the filthy ground. The land on the swampy edge of Lake Pontchartrain, just outside of Slidell, belonged to Dorian's family. It'd always been the safest place to do business because no one in his right mind set foot on that spot of land. It was useless, wasted, and abandoned, and perfect for the kinds of crimes Dorian and Angelo committed out there.
No one to witness the shit, and the gators always took care of the evidence.
The half-beaten dumbass, covered in mud and blood, fisted Angelo's long black ponytail, thinking he'd pull three-hundred-plus pounds of muscle down to the ground, then maybe make an escape.
"I don't fuckin' think so," Dorian said as his fist imprinted the three carats of clustered diamond ring on his middle finger right in the side of the guy's face. Blood erupted from the wound. The victim--or would that be the perpetrator, in this case--fell to the ground, coughing and wheezing and shit, spitting blood all over the grass and Dorian Grant's designer Italian boots. "Motherfu.... Boy, ya pissin' me off right fast, ya know? I might've let ya beg your way out of this one, but now--"
"Please, Mr. Grant," the guy sniveled. "Please, let me go."
"Oh, hell no! Look what the fuck ya did to my damn shoes!"
The loser's blood was already on his brand new Armani suit jacket and now, now it was all over his shoes! Thank God he'd gone for morbid and picked black on black, otherwise he would have to make a pit stop at his house on the East bank before heading over to Sin & Seduction. Too many hours had already been wasted screwing around with the dude on the ground. He wouldn't waste another second cleaning up. The cure to his mood waited at the club, and by God, he intended to get there quick.
Dorian looked over at the wide-ass ape of a man he called his right hand and said, "Finish him off. I've gotta cool down."
Angelo nodded, and Dorian headed to the Mercedes.
In the car's light, he checked his hands and face, his suit and shoes. His short, deep brown hair was still combed into place. His face was still clean, eyes eager and devious. It wasn't as bad as he'd thought. Maybe he could've gone a little easier on the guy, but heat of the moment and all got the better of him.
Damn, that dude had pissed him off, more than most of the assholes he'd had to beat into submission before. Maybe Dorian was more pissed about the fact he hadn't wanted to be there in the first place than he was about blood on his suit and the swelling in his hand. Didn't matter. Shit was over now. He'd get a line or two in him, then rail some tight-assed twenty-year-old in the back of the nightclub as he rode out his high. Maybe then the guy in the field and the busted hand wouldn't be a bother anymore.
Another mark on the scoreboard, nothing more.
He shrugged, slapped the visor mirror closed, then thrust the shifter of his Mercedes into drive as he stomped his foot down on the gas. He hauled ass out of the swamps and back toward Slidell, zipping through backstreets, then onto the main thoroughfare. The Mercedes couldn't have been much more than a blur as he pushed the limits of the law's allowed speed. Cops wouldn't screw with him. They knew his car and knew his plate. He took good care of them, and most of them turned their heads for him. It worked best for everyone that way, because nine times out of ten, Dorian was doing the citizens of southern Louisiana a service by ridding the streets of troublemakers.
All things considered, he didn't consider himself that brand of criminal. Sure Dorian wasn't a saint by any stretch of the imagination, but he was different from the average asshole who just went out looking for trouble. He was merely a businessman protecting his assets. The people he "handled," they were lowlifes, bottom-feeders.
The valet at Dorian's favorite spot--Sin & Seduction, a nightclub on the outskirts of the French Quarter--stepped to the curb before Dorian even pulled to a complete stop. A red pitchfork flashed beside the front door. Red velvet ropes kept the ordinary, nameless, faceless partygoers from the classier clientele. A line of those poor, pathetic souls snaked around the corner. If nothing else, there was a high dose of satisfaction in having enough clout to bypass that disaster.
"Mr. Grant," the valet said with a smile and a nod.
Dorian nodded back, tossed him the keys, then snuck around to the side of the two-story building and straight to the steps that led up to the VIP entrance. He bypassed the crowd as the bouncer grinned and lifted the velvet rope for him.
Inside the club, it was the same old story: assholes to elbows, barely enough room to move or enough quiet to think. That's what he liked about the place. He could sit back, toss down some high-dollar whiskey, and forget everything that had happened in a day of his life. He didn't have to hear the screams of the people he'd beaten the hell out of, or had Angelo beat the hell out of. In the club, with the noise and lights, the sweaty bodies and booze and drugs, he didn't have to think about the names his father had called him until the day the asshole died. There wasn't room for the memory of his mom dying before he ever really had a chance to truly appreciate her. There wasn't room for shit, except his high and the lucky little dancer who would have the privilege of playing with his cock that night.
He leaned back against the leather of his VIP booth, held up two fingers, and before he could even loosen his tie, a half-naked waiter brought the bottle of Johnny Walker Blue and a shot glass to his table.
"Thanks," he mumbled.
"No problem, Mr. G," the waiter said with a wink and a grin.
Dorian lifted a twenty from his pocket, ran the edge of the crisp bill down the firm line of the kid's abdomen, then tucked it in the front of the waiter's neatly pressed slacks. He gave the kid's crotch a little pat. Dorian said, "That's for you. Keep me full tonight and I'll keep the money comin'. Feel me?"
"Yes, sir, Mr. Grant." The kid shot Dorian one hell of a promising smile before sauntering away.
Dorian shook his head and relaxed against the booth. Waiters could be amusing and all, but what he really wanted was a dancer. Those boys always had the best moves. They were always the best lays.