Sheldon Sadim clung to the smooth marble that edged his enormous swimming pool and wondered what would come next in his surprising life. The pool was 165 feet long and 80 feet wide. The length was more or less than that of an Olympic pool, which allowed, Sadim, a strong swimmer, to do at least twenty laps every other day. The swim was part of his rigorous exercise regime that ranged from fifty pushups to pressing his body weight in his personal gym—ten reps of 186 pounds on the steel bar. He often was accompanied by his gentleman’s gentleman, Robert Easyhand.
Easyhand was just over thirty years old and had retired from one of the Army’s select Special Forces units to work for Sadim, a billionaire he often had heard about from his cousin, Benjamin Footloose. Footloose had died defending Sadim from a Mafia attack, triggered by Sadim’s refusal to sell his—and the Martini Club’s—interest in a successful white truffle cultivation project.
Though Sadim was more than twice Easyhand’s age, his muscles were nearly just as chiseled. His years in the Army’s secretive Delta Force had required him to be well-conditioned. He still enjoyed that feeling, though he realized it was getting harder to achieve. Also, the exercise came with increasing aches and pains, none of which he felt in his youth. Easyhand equaled Sadim in every exercise, but he was careful never to exceed his employer.
While Sadim’s pool was the length of an Olympic pool, its width and winding formation came from another one of the billionaire’s eccentricities—his sexual fantasies. It was shaped like the mouth of a beautiful woman, appropriately curved and lipstick colored as well—a soft, tasteful red. He had been with numerous women, including his ex-wife, but his lust remained unabated. He still hadn’t gotten over having sex with a very attractive woman that turned out to be a robot. “I fucked a robot,” he often mumbled. “How many men can say they fucked a robot?” Sometimes he laughed. Sometimes he scratched his head.
That strange intercourse came as result of his membership in the Martini Club, a loose gathering of mostly over-the-hill types, who once were exceptional in their varied occupations. Once every month or so, they would come together to share their appreciation of a good gin martini. This haphazard assemblage took concrete form when one of their founding members—now deceased—persuaded them to buy a piece of worthless property that became valuable through no doing of their own. Since Sadim was their top businessman, the members agreed to put him in charge of all future business dealings, which led him to the robot. It also nearly got him killed by the Mafia.
He was about to exit the pool when Easyhand approached. “Sir,” the gentleman’s gentleman said. “That couple continues to call your office asking to speak to you in private. It’s about two of your paintings, a Vermeer and a Monet. What shall I tell your secretary?”
“Tell her to tell them to go to hell,” the billionaire responded.
Easyhand nodded and walked back toward the mansion wondering what was so important about a couple of pictures, and who Vermeer and Monet were anyway.
Sadim swam another lap and wondered how that couple came to know that he owned those paintings. They weren’t for sale and wouldn’t ever be. Next to women, he loved art. It ran in the family.
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