Miami After Hours(7)

By: Yahrah St. John

And the Millionaire Moguls Club would do so kicking and screaming.

Daniel arrived at the conference room to find nearly everyone there. Ashton was at the head of the long rectangular table, and Joshua flanked him on his left, refusing to budge. Daniel smiled. He was sure Ashton would love some breathing room from his nemesis. Daniel took a seat, flanking Ashton to his right.

Comparatively, Ashton and Joshua couldn’t look any more different. Ashton appeared every bit the preppy in his Ralph Lauren suit and classic striped tie, while Joshua wore a navy blazer over a white T-shirt and dark jeans. Daniel knew Ashton hated when members didn’t look the part, and he suspected Joshua dressed intentionally to get under Ashton’s skin.

Ashton used his gavel to bring the meeting to order. Surprisingly, it went much smoother than Daniel had expected. They discussed old business, one item of which was Daniel’s. As chair for the anniversary gala it was his job to ensure that finances were in order for the event. Then there was new business. For once, the board members were all in agreement that this year’s beneficiary would be The Aunt Penny Foundation, especially after Joshua’s compelling pitch on its behalf.

And on cue, Joshua couldn’t resist ruffling feathers before the meeting concluded. “I think we should give some thought as to how we capitalize on this for the club—you know, get a little name recognition.”

“Of course you would want to capitalize on another person’s misfortune,” Ashton replied.

Joshua glared at him sideways with those piercing blue eyes. Daniel suspected that with his curly fro, Joshua was of mixed race, but had never asked. “Perhaps capitalizing was the wrong word choice. But we need to take advantage of the positive press this could bring the Millionaire Moguls.”

Ashton pointed his finger at him. “First off, we’re called Prescott George,” he responded. “Second, we keep our charity activities private. We don’t give so we can get recognized for it.”

“I agree with Ashton,” another board member concurred. He was well into his fifties and of the old regime, who were staunchly against change. “We don’t give to get praised.”

“I’m with Ashton,” another member said. “It seems awfully disingenuous.”

Daniel rolled his eyes. Of course they all agreed, because no one wanted to go up against a Rollins. The Rollins family was well-established not only in their organization, but in the community. They were a Miami institution.

“Even if our efforts could help bring more donations to The Aunt Penny Foundation?” Joshua inquired. “Wouldn’t it be worth it?”

“Let’s table this discussion for another time,” Ashton said, effectively ending any further conversation on the matter. Because that’s what Ashton did. He was used to getting his way, as his father and his father’s father before him.

Daniel was tired of it, and as he glanced at Joshua, he recognized that he was, too. It was just a matter of time before the tensions between the two warring factions of old-timers and new blood came to a head.

* * *

Later that afternoon, Angela waited for Daniel’s return from his monthly meeting. She’d heard he was a member of the illustrious Millionaire Moguls, and she wasn’t surprised. According to Miami magazine, his net worth was upward of ten million, and with his flashy digs in Key Biscayne and his sporty Ferrari, she was sure he fit right in with the rich men of Miami.

She wanted to be just like him. And didn’t they say that imitation was the sincerest form of flattery? She didn’t need to be quite as flashy as Daniel, but she certainly wanted the freedom that came with being independently wealthy. And if she played her cards right, rubbing shoulders with Daniel Cobb just might do it for her.

As if his ears were burning, Daniel strode into the office with equal parts style and arrogance. She watched him check in with Myrna before glancing in her direction. He walked toward her desk purposefully.

“Did you have time to read the prospectus?”

“Yes—” She didn’t get another word in because he cut her off.

“Let’s go. We’re meeting the developer in thirty minutes, and with Miami traffic it’s going to be close.”

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