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In The Morning






This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.



Copyright © 2016 Clarence D. Johnson

Publisher: Clarence D. Johnson

Shakespir Edition

The right of Clarence Johnson to be identified as author of this Work has been asserted by him in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

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The alarm went off at 5:30AM, but Phire Wilson was in no rush to turn it off. Today had a different air about it. It was the last Friday of the month and one that was going to deliver her the biggest payday she had ever received. Her confidence was peaking at the thought of what this day was to entail. She reached over and pressed the button to shut off the alarm, at the same time she swung her feet down to the floor and sat up. Phire took a wide sweeping look around her bedroom and a small smile made its way across her face. She had done okay for herself- no, scratch that- better than okay. She had done really well. Another alarm went off on her phone. This one was a reminder to start her workout, but it also doubled as a back-up alarm in case the first one failed.

As she cut that one off and got up to start her day, she was thankful that the first alarm had gotten her attention. Today was a day that she couldn’t afford any slip ups and she wanted to be on her best. Phire got up and put on a sports bra a t-shirt and yoga pants to work out in. Today she wanted to feel naturally energized, so she decided to hit the gym, minus the coffee, to achieve that. After washing her face and brushing her teeth she headed to the gym in the basement of her apartment building.

The elevator ride was quick and quiet since most of the other residents were either too busy to work out of just didn’t care to do it, plus it was barely 6:00 AM, too early for most of the business class adults. They still easily had another hour of sleep left before having to start their day. The elevator stopped and doors opened. With a quick look around Phire saw that the gym was empty, not that it would’ve mattered to her either way, but it did make her feel better that she was up early and in the gym, ‘getting money’ as her little brother had called it. If he only knew how much truth those words held right now, she would kiss him. The many early mornings in the gym and late nights in the office, clubs or restaurants had brought this day into her life.

Phire had never been one to use her body to get anything from a man, but nonetheless, it had been useful in bringing in clients and paydays for herself and her firm. As she passed one of the full body mirrors on the wall she grabbed a towel, then stopped to admire herself. Phire had shoulder length brown curly hair that accentuated her hazel eyes that with enough sunlight looked green. Her high cheek bones showed the likeness of some type of Native American features perfectly blended with her caramel and mocha skin. She was slim and trimmed with curves in all the right places allowing her clothes to hug her body and be almost more of a tease than if she was completely naked. In virtually every situation, it would be a safe to say that Phire could easily turn the heads of male and even females of the highest echelons, like she was blessed with an unforeseen force that commanded attention.

When admiration time was over, Phire turned and strolled off toward the stationery bicycles in the gym. By this time a few of the other residents had started trickling into the gym mostly to the treadmills. Phire hopped onto her bike in the corner, placed her headphones on her head and selected some music as well as a route to ride then for the next hour pumped her legs on the bicycle until she had finished her route, twice. It was a fairly short route, but it was strenuous enough to give her a good work out.

Her phone alerted her that it was not 7AM and that her workout was over. Phire toweled the sweat off of her face and body before performing some cool down stretches. The workout had plenty of endorphins flowing through her, so she decided to take the stairs, six flights back up to her floor. The gym hadn’t really picked in traffic, but the noise level in the building and on the streets below was starting to rise as the morning was starting to grow into day.


Phire reached her apartment door and right as she stepped in, her phone buzzed. It was a text from her newest client, Darius Coleman. The message was just a simple reminder of their upcoming meeting on closing the deal of her becoming his new manager/agent. For some reason unbeknownst to her, the text message made her smile. She had worked hard to get to this point and in some areas she may have used her female qualities to acquire talent for her agency. But even then it always stayed professional. Crossing the line of mixing business with pleasure was a serious no-go in her book. However, the world she lived in and worked in was dominated by men, so some times her tactics would be deemed border line flirtatious, luring, or even seductive. But to Phire she was doing exactly what it is her male counterparts felt she should be doing, taking care of men. That was a woman’s job after all and she did it very well.

Phire took a quick, but very refreshing shower and then made a light breakfast with some orange juice to drink. No coffee this morning. While eating, Phire went over her paperwork regarding the deal again and checked her e-mail for anything new. It contained the usual riff-raff of advertisements, but nothing worth looking at twice.

The commute to her office was pretty slow as usual. It was stop and go traffic the whole way, but the sun was shining bright and the air was warm, but not too hot as the summer was starting to bud. It was shaping up to be a very nice summer weather wise and maybe even a vacation would be in order, especially after today. Most people would say that Phire’s job was a vacation and truly, from the outside looking in, it was. But when one looked at it with a closer eye they could see the nitty gritty side to it. There was a lot of wheeling and dealing that had to take place to make the glitz and glamour happen.

Phire had spent five short, but difficult years building her clientele. She had spent countless hours researching people, traveling to little Podunk towns to meet with people and doing all of the other dirty work for her management team, not to mention the comments, looks and uncomfortable situations of being a woman in a “Man’s World.” It was almost cliché-ish really, but to Phire it didn’t really bother her too much. Growing up with older brothers and male cousins had made her tough and able to hold her own in any situation. In fact, she even learned how to dish out exactly what her male counterparts were trying to give her. More often than not she walked away from encounters smiling, leaving others feeling uncomfortable or with the proverbial yoke on their faces.

As usual, Phire was the first one in the office. She took this time to go over her messages, organize papers, and start the coffee pot and other daily offices duties that a boss would normally leave for an assistant or a secretary to perform. In her mind, she was letting her employees know that even though she was the employer, she wasn’t above them. They were all providing a service to the people they were representing in their various endeavors.

To some of the other agencies in the market, Phire’s may have been looked at as boutique in size, but no one could call it a boutique in terms of profits and names they represented. She and her associates competed with the top name agencies on a consistent basis. So much so, she was starting to get offers from others to buy her and her team out. She had even received a few calls and e-mails from other agents wanting to join her team with their clients. To some people, this would be overwhelming, but for Phire it was a compliment as well as a challenge. The compliment she took well, but the challenge she relished and vowed that she would be coming out on top in the end.

Thus this meeting today with Darius was crucial. He had quickly risen to stardom after being the number one high school basketball recruit and playing, albeit losing, in the NCAA Championship and getting jousted out of both player and freshman of the year. Those disappointments, combined to drop him to the second round in the draft. On the flip side, it allowed for that much more attention during his rise to the top.

“Hey, Phire, how’s your morning going?” Mike Benson asked after he had settled into his office and came to speak to Phire’s.

Mike was the number two guy in the agency, second only to Phire on the leadership pole, but no one could be humbler him. In actuality, if it hadn’t been for Mike’s encouraging words, Phire might actually still be with her last employer at a pretty respectable agency with branches in almost every major city in America. She was glad, however, that she had listened to Mike when he told her that she should branch out to start her own agency and even more glad that he had agreed to partner with her when she finally decided to strike out on her own. She had lost a couple of her smaller clients who figured she would fail when she left, but the bulk stayed with her and she hasn’t failed them, yet.

Phire looked up from her computer and smiled, “Good morning, Mike. I’m doing well, how are you?” She noted that Mike had on his ‘lucky tie’ today.

“Doing well, too. Got my ‘lucky tie’ on for you today,” he said while pointing at his tie and flashing that great white smile of his.

She returned one of her own and said, “Thanks, I really appreciate it.”

“Would you like a cup of coffee?”

Phire shook her head, “Not thanks. Caffeine free day.”

Mike nodded then walked off to get himself a cup as the rest of the team started to pour into the office. Everyone was in high spirits and you could almost feel the electricity in the air because of the deal going down today. This was easily the biggest deal of her career, so far and it was bringing millions of dollars to her firm and opening the door for other agents to do the same with other big name celebrities, athletes and personalities. In the midst of that line of thoughts,

Mike walked past her office causing Phire to start having thoughts of praise and thanks toward him. He had done most of the ground work for this deal with Darius, but he had told Phire that she deserved the commission check that would come with it and he would just keep the check that paid out to the partners for the deal.

It really bothered Phire that he wouldn’t take credit for his work. Mike was very humble and very good at his job, but he also was in his mid-forties and was looking to retire soon. He had represented some of the biggest names and most interesting personalities in the entertainment business. She was sure he had done well and saved enough to retire comfortably, but at the same time he had a wife and three children and not to mention a very lavish property in one of the more affluent areas in town.

She decided to stop worrying about why Mike was doing what he was doing and turned her attention to finishing some more paperwork and checking in on some of her clientele. For Phire, work was a constant and no news, wasn’t always good news. She always did her best to stay in the loop with all of her client’s, kind of like a mother or a fun aunt that everyone loves.


By the time she finished the morning had flown by and lunch was about over. Her meeting with Darius was at 1:30PM and everything was going according to plan. The caterer had set up the conference room with simple, but elegant finger foods, champagne for the celebration and 7-Up cake because it was Darius’ favorite.

At exactly 1:30PM Darius and his attorney walked into Phire’s establishment and into the conference room where Phire, Mike and their agency’s attorney, Connie Reynolds who had also agreed to follow Phire out on her own, sat awaiting their arrival. Connie and Jeffrey Savage, Darius’ attorney had already made acquaintances a couple of time before while drawing up the terms of the contract. They exchanged greetings and then made introductions of everyone else in the room.

Connie stood, motioned everyone’s attention toward Darius and Jeff, “Phire, Mike. I would like to introduce to you both, Mr. Jeff Savage, Darius’ attorney as well as Mr. Coleman himself.”

“Please to meet you Mr. Savage,” Phire said and then quickly turned her attention to Darius.

He towered over everyone in the room, standing six-feet- seven-inches tall. Darius extended a hand toward Phire and she noticed how quickly he looked over every inch of her that he could see and had come away thoroughly impressed.

“And Mr. Coleman, I would just like to tell you how excited I am to meet you and grateful I am that you chose to allow us to represent you. We have a lot of things lined up already for you.”

Mike had placed his hand on Phire’s shoulder to cut her off. She stopped talking and turned to look at him, he had a look on his face that was telling her to calm down. He could tell that she was nervous and just wanted to reassure her that the deal was done, they just needed a signature, and then the talks about upcoming events could take place.

Phire’s heart was racing and her face flushed a little with embarrassment, but Mike said, “Phire, breathe. We will have plenty of time to get to all of that.”

Mike quickly moved on to Darius. In the same moment, Darius had a childlike look in his eyes when he looked at Mike. At first, the exchange baffled Phire. She knew that Darius was young and that Mike had kids the same age, so Mike fatherly demeanor kind of showed around younger guys, but Darius’ expression was that of real recognition. The next words Mike spoke clarified her thoughts.

“My, my, my, Darius, you’ve grown up. Last time I saw you, you were barely able to touch the net.”

Darius blushed as Mike pulled him in for a hug. At that moment, he looked even younger to Phire.

“I know, it has been a long time. How have you been?”

During this exchange Phire took a step back and watched the two of them for a moment. “Wait, you two know each other?”

Mike smiled and looked at Phire, grinning from ear to ear, “Yes, we do. I’m sorry to have kept it from you, but I didn’t want you to think that I was using a personal influence to get him here.”

A scowl was starting to form on Phire’s face and she looked ready to explode, but Jeffrey cleared his throat and everyone’s attention turned to him. He was sitting at the table across from Connie with the contract laid out on the table.

“Shall we adhere to business first?”

Phire walked over to the table first, composing herself before sitting down, “Yes, sorry about that.”

Mike patted Darius on the back and motioned for him to take a seat opposite of him. An hour later, after getting the legal mumbo jumbo, out of the way, Darius Coleman signed his name on the contract and became the newest acquisition of talent for Wilson and Associates Talent Search Company and with the number of local and small time endorsements he was already signed to it brought a total of five million dollars of extra profit to the agency. With the deed done and the ink drying on the paper, Phire was ecstatic and it showed. She smiled from ear to ear, while toasting champagne with everyone in the room. They conversed about upcoming promotions and events for a bit, and then snacked of finger foods while engaging in some general conversation before parting ways.


Phire, feeling great about the deal she had just closed, let everyone go home early for the day, and she did too. Everyone that had been involved in this deal had devoted a large amount of energy to it and they all delivered on an excellent level, so taking off early was a great way for Phire to show her appreciation to them all. Phire missed Traffic on her way home. Once she reached home the reality of what happened still hadn’t hit yet, but it soon would. She decided to take a nap, even though she was still riding the high of what happened during the day, her energy level was starting to taper off and she was feeling the effects of all the hard work it took to land Darius Coleman.

A few hours later, Phire was awakened by her phone ringing. She was in such a deep sleep that at first she thought it was a dream, until the ringing stopped, and then almost immediately started again. She finally came to fully and reached the phone as it stopped ringing again. She had a slew of missed calls, text messages and e-mails. Most of them were from colleagues offering their congratulations. Others were from media outlets/journalists, but there was one in particular that caught her eye.

It was from Darius. He had invited her to dinner tonight at a club downtown. Before she could react, her mind started racing with thoughts and fantasies of her and Darius. Even though she would never mix business with pleasure, it was refreshing to her to see that she still held a physical attraction to men. It wasn’t that she didn’t know it, it was just that it had been awhile since she had found one to capture her attention in that aspect.

The phone rang again from another text message, bringing her back to reality. At the sheer fact that she allowed her mind to wonder there about a client, she accepted his dinner invite. Phire smiled at this. Why was she going to entertain this young man on a personal level? It went against company policy as well as all of her personal, professional, and moral values. Thinking back to earlier in the day she couldn’t help but notice how well he wore his suit and the way he had a certain confidence about himself.

In essence, Darius could easily be almost every woman’s dream; tall dark and handsome. But he had another feature that otherwise would negate this line of thinking for Phire. He was young, almost too young. At that thought, she decided to keep this meeting strictly business and nothing more.

Two-and-half hours later, Phire was standing in front of her full length mirror doing her last look over before leaving the house. Dinner activities, in the sense that she was approaching this one, had become a routine. However, she found herself checking herself a little more thoroughly tonight.

The black dress was tight, but not too tight and it exposed the upper back and just enough cleavage to keep the other party interested and intrigued. Her make-up was light, but immaculate nonetheless and she wore four inch Christian Louboutin heels that showed her beautifully pedicured feet and after making sure she was as perfect as perfect could be, she made her way down to the street and hailed a cab to the restaurant.

Once there, she was shown to the VIP area where Darius was already waiting for her. To her surprise, he was dressed like an upscale gentleman with Gucci Loafers (no socks), slim-fit Balenciaga chinos, and Maison Margiela t-shirt. Phire knew then, at that exact moment, with Darius by her side that they looked like a well-to-do couple in the restaurant and only one thought crossed her mind when she sat down across from him and it made her shiver a bit and grow moist between legs.

After they had eaten dinner she looked him directly in the eyes and asked, “Can I have you in the morning?”





I would like to take this time out and first thank Jehovah God for blessing me with the talent to write. Without Him none of this would be possible. I would also like to thank Him for giving me the time to finally sit me down to be able to pursue my dreams and stop just talking about it. It really is a blessing.

This story is actually the short first I wrote. One day I sat down and started writing and this is what appeared on the paper. When I was finished with it, my homeboy ‘TC’ (Thanks for the encouragement bro) told me that I had to do more. So, I did. So be sure to check out IN THE MORNING featuring Darius Coleman and also FOUR WALLS featuring and Phire and Darius. This is an ever evolving series of short stories and there will be more featuring these two characters as well as more. I hope you all fall in love with them and enjoy the bond that they share.

Also be on the lookout for my first novel RECOGNIZING WHAT’S REAL. It will be coming soon. I hope you all enjoyed this story and will enjoy the others to come. For any questions, comments or general feedback you can contact me at: either of the following: www.facebook.com/clarence.d.johnson


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In The Morning

  • ISBN: 9781311065803
  • Author: Nard J
  • Published: 2016-03-30 21:20:07
  • Words: 3919
In The Morning In The Morning