(The ending to this story is here.)
Listless, Don Jaime Tadeo heaved himself from behind the large mahogany desk and lumbered to the wall-sized window of his corporate office overlooking the city of Makati.
He was in a screaming, fuming, wrathful mood. However, he let his giant size overwhelm the black anger raging through his being and swallowed it whole.
He found himself scratching the dark burn mark on his chest– a result of a heart transplant surgery when he was a child– and barely stopped himself. The cherubim’s heart beating within his chest gave him the power to turn minds through his voice but he hated the reminder it had left.
He turned around to address the three women dressed in corporate dominatrix uniforms:
“So my brother managed to escape?”
“Yes,” replied the first one submissively, her head bowed as the other two nodded in agreement.
This time he added the Pitch in his voice, playing with the souls of the women like guitar strings. He said, “You know the punishment for failure, of course.”
“Yes,” all three women replied this time, shivering in both pain and delight.
“Then don’t fail me again.”
After the three left, Don Jaime sat down and tried to compose himself to write the copy of the latest paean to the Government, something which he always did personally despite his position. Unconsciously, he found himself scratching the dark scar again.
Though the multitude of ghosts protected his younger brother, he’ll eventually slip up and come out of hiding. And by then, Don Jaime would be ready.
For better or worse, the battle had just begun.
(First published Thursday, June 16, 2005 at 5:45 P.M.)