Robby is sat behind the simple desk in his large office, reclining in his high backed chair while a stripper writhes and dances on a pole in front of him. She is clad in a tiny bikini, pink in colour, her long blonde hair whipping back and forth. Robby smiles as he nods along to the guitar heavy music playing in the background. It isn’t loud, but it’s definitely discernible.

Stuart bursts in panting heavily, clearly out of breathe. Robby rolls his eyes as he wonders what the former doctor wants. His smile is gone as he stares at the man.

“Robby we need to talk.” Stuart states. He makes sure his tone isn’t demanding, as he thinks the loan shark will respond badly if it is.

“Business?” Robby asks making sure to keep things vague.

Stuart nods as he pants and sucks air down into his lungs. It is only now that he realises just how unfit he has become.

Robby dismisses the stripper with a wave of his hand. The writhing woman immediately stops, spins on her eight inch heels and struts off, whipping her hair over her shoulder as she leaves. She never even glances at Stuart, who is left to close the office door behind her. She knows better than to eye Robby’s ‘friends.’

“What is it Doc?” Robby asks once the door to his office is closed. His head is back as he looks to the ceiling above him.

“Eric. You lied.” Stuart babbles accusingly.

“What of it?” Robby replies with a shrug. He doesn’t care for Stuart’s tone but he’ll make sure to circle back to that later. He has some ideas and he’ll contemplate which of them he prefers as this chat plays out.

“He’s the son of Carla Masters. Did you know?” Stuart blurts more with blame then he meant to. He instantly regrets it as he winces to himself.

“Of course I knew. Little shit bag thought he could skip repaying a debt just because mommy is rich. Didn’t work out for him, did it?” Robby says with a wicked smile as he looks at Stuart now. He puts his fore and middle finger against his right temple, his thumb pointed skyward to simulate a gun. Then he pulls his thumb down imitating the hammer of a gun all while he snarls menacingly.

“She’s looking for him!” Stuart exclaims in alarm.

“So? She’s a rich bitch. They’re all the same. Something shiny will come along and her focus will change.” Robby says with contempt.

“She has the money to hire people. They’ll find out. Where’s Eric?” Stuart continues unable to believe just how matter of fact and naïve Robby is being about this. He would have thought a man like Robby would have more sense. But then if Robby had he wouldn’t have brought the son of a multi-billionaire to the former doctor to have Eric’s mems ripped and sold.

“Don’t you worry Doc. Just go back to your sordid little life. Worry about the money.” Robby says as he rises to his feet. His arms braced against his desk as his brow furrows.

“Your money! I don’t give a damn about your money! This is bad Robby. Real bad.” Stuart roars even as he watches Robby rush across the room, grabs him by the neck and slam him against the wall.

“Your concern is my money. What you owe me. Maybe I should remind you.” Robby spits moments before he slams his left fist into Stuart’s gut several times.

The first hit was more than enough for Stuart, as it knocks the wind out of him. He struggles to get his breath back as Robby manages a second, third and fourth punch to the exact same spot. Then he slams the back of Stuart’s head hard into the solid unrelenting wall. Stuart winces as Robby continues to squeeze his neck. Stuart is sure Robby is going to choke the life out of him but suddenly the loan shark delivers a swift knee to his groin. Stuart moans and chokes as Robby smiles with joy at his suffering. Then he lets go of Stuart’s throat. The former doctor drops to the floor, coughing and wheezing as he desperately tries to regain his breath. But Robby isn’t done.

He lays into Stuart with kicks as he lies on his side, each and every one of them aimed at the former doctors’ ribs. Stuart begs for mercy but Robby ignores him and continues until he is sure Stuart has had enough and has got the point. At which point the loan shark drops into a squat right in front of the disgraced ex-doctor.

“Do you get it now Doc?” Robby asks menacingly.

Robby only calls Stuart Doc because he wants to make sure that the indebted man never forgets how he failed and what it cost him.

Stuart simply nods frantically. He doesn’t want to elicit anymore violent reactions from Robby who hauls him to his feet. He is sure the loan shark is going to continue the beating, and maybe even kill him, but he doesn’t. Instead he dusts Stuart off.

“Good. Now go home. Keep working. Make me money. Pay your debt. Let me worry about the rest.” Robby says making sure to emphasise his statements with jabs of his wide forefinger, which stab painfully into Stuart’s left shoulder in the moments before he spins the man round, opens his office door and shoves him out of it. Robby’s door is immediately locked and Stuart, who is terrified and in pain, is left to limp away. He knows he’s going to have bruised ribs. That’s if they’re not fractured of course. He doesn’t want to think about that possibility or how likely it actually is, as he hobbles down the street.

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