"Beware the wrath of a patient adversary." -- John C. Calhoun
Michael Cartwright slammed the phone down onto the cradle hard enough to crack the plastic casing, swearing the entire time. God damn that bitch. Who the hell did she think she was? He was already paying out the ass for child support and alimony, the least she could do would be to do him the courtesy of letting him see his kids.
He scrubbed a hand over his face, the rumpled, sweat-stained shirt and undone tie making him even angrier. He pushed away from the desk in his cramped apartment, and rose to go to the bathroom. He ran the tap and splashed some tepid water on his face, looking at himself in the mirror.
Hair just beginning to grey at the temples blended with the rich brown of the rest, cut short and professional to outline the shape of his squared jaw and to draw attention to his bright hazel eyes. A day's worth of stubble was sprinkled with a few stray grey hairs, but it leant him a distinguished look, or so he always told himself. Long fingers on strong hands wiped the water from his eyes and reached for a towel to dry his face.
"Fuck it." He forwent the towel and stripped, stepping into the shower and turning on a blast of hot water to wash away this rage at the world. He was lean, rangy and tough with a runner's build, and the water ran in rivulets down his whiplash of a frame. He scrubbed down, soap frothing at his touch and sloughing clean with a pass under the water. He was done too soon and rested his head against the warm tile as the last of the water gurgled down the drain.