Wednesday 12 February 2014
Robert was forty-six years old when he bought his father’s shares in Carter Industries, and kicked the old man to the kerb. He held the ninety-five percent of the company’s shares, and intended to do his utmost to buy the remaining five percent from the German businessman who held them. The German, as Robert took to referring to him, had little intention of selling his stake in the company, but Robert was going to have them all, come hell or high water. It was at this point that Robert Carter started with the smaller of the indiscretions that he committed.
A simple act of blackmail ensured that The German sold his five percent stake in Carter Industries to Robert for a nominal amount. The true nature of the transaction was hidden from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Carter Industries’ Board, and anyone else who might choose to look into the transaction. Robert had hired a private investigator to get dirt on The German, and had paid the investigator handsomely for what he’d managed to uncover. With his first foray into criminal activities a raging success, Robert thought nothing of engaging in actions that were less than legal a second, and a third time. Soon, it was second nature to Robert to play dirty in order to get what he wanted.
With a reliable private investigator permanently on Carter Industries’ payroll, Robert collated dossiers on all of the company’s major competitors, politicians, and anyone else that he deemed an enemy of the company or himself, or with a bit of blackmail to encourage them, a potential ally. Mike Albright, private investigator, became Carter’s right hand man, and a large pay cheque every week, as opposed to resorting to blackmailing him, made Mike a very content employee who was always happy to do Carter’s dirty work. There was no length that Albright wouldn’t go to in order to ensure that his employer was protected and pleased.
Now nearly seventy, Robert Carter showed no signs of slowing down. His business empire had expanded tenfold, and his criminal exploits knew no bounds. On Carter’s behalf, Mike Albright had committed acts of blackmail, kidnap, arson, and murder, and had covered up shady deals with unsavoury types, and all the while, the investigator had been maintaining his own dossier on his employer just in case he should ever need protection from Carter. Mike Albright might have undertaken criminal acts for his boss, but where Carter was concerned, Albright was not entirely a fool.
The two men sat in Carter’s office drinking whisky, and reminiscing about how their partnership began, what they had gone through together, and how the world had changed.
‘Mike,’ Carter began, ‘there’s something that I want you to do for me. Think of it as one last job before we both go out while we’re on top.’
Mike swirled the whisky around in his glass, and waited for Carter’s instructions.
‘This Harper Cahill woman who came to see me . . . find out everything you can about her, if she’s a threat to Carter Industries, what her motives are for hounding me, why she’s trying to bring down the company, where she goes, who her friends are. I want a risk assessment on her. I want to know if you deem her a threat, and I want the report done as soon as possible.’
Mike slowly nodded, and swallowed the contents of his glass in one go.
‘Also, find out if she’s been to see my daughter.’
‘Right away, sir,’ Albright replied. He set the empty glass on Carter’s desk, and stood to leave.
Halfway to the door, Mike turned to face Carter.
‘Make sure no one can trace it back to us,’ Carter said.
Mike simply nodded again, and left Carter alone in his office.
Albright meandered back to his corner office on the same floor as Carter’s. The fifty-second floor had a beautiful panoramic view of the city, and Albright’s own office had some of the best of the city’s sights. He did his best thinking looking out over the city, but today he had little time to either think or enjoy the view. Robert Carter wanted a risk assessment of the Cahill woman, and he wanted it as soon as possible. In Carter’s terms, that meant Mike had twenty-four hours, thirty-six at the most, to compile as much information about her as he possibly could. Harper Cahill was well within Carter’s sights, and that was really only going to end up one way. Acting on Carter’s behalf, Mike Albright, private investigator, would destroy her.
. . . To be continued . . .