Payner introduced the guard. “Danny, this is Big Mike. He’s one of my best!”
Mike extended his hand, which was more like a paw, and crushed Danny’s hand in a fierce handshake. “Nice to meet you,” was all he said.
The guy was indeed big, tall and muscular. The dark blue uniform blouse contoured his chest like spray paint. His pecs were straining the fabric apart against the buttons. Dark chest hair stuck out the small openings. Then the shirt narrowed down to a tight waist. You could almost see the guy’s ab ridges. His pants weren’t any looser. Big Mike had a bulging crotch and tree-thick thighs.
Payner turned to the guard: “So, Michael, what do you think of Danny here. Is he going to make it?”
Big Mike looked over at Danny and then surprised him: “Take off your shirt. Let me see what you got,” the guard ordered.
Danny quickly flipped his T shirt over his head, tensed his abs, and thrust his chest out best he could.
“Give me a double bicep curl,” Big Mike ordered. “Crank it hard and hold it,” he added.
Danny complied directly. The guard then circled around Danny, prodding his muscles with his stiffened fingers. He spent a lot of time probing Danny’s abs, which Danny tensed as hard as he could.
“Yes, sir, Mr. Payner,” he eventually said. “He’s a good candidate alright. He’s got solid abs, sir, I can tell you that. We just need to see what he can take.”
“That is exactly what I thought,” Payner replied.
The import of Big Mike’s last comment was lost on Danny because he was distracted when he noticed the guard’s gun, holstered on his right hip. Danny wasn’t aware the gym guards were armed. Mr. Payner noticed Danny’s surprise.
“Yes, all my men carry. They have the proper licenses and they’ve been put through a thorough gun safety and use program. You will, too,” he added.
Danny couldn’t believe his luck. The new door was indeed now wide open: a job, real money, and a gun. He couldn’t wait to tell his buddies.
Payner broke the reverie. “OK, then, we’ll see you tomorrow, Danny. Just wear shorts and a T shirt, nothing elaborate. It’s not an office job – not that there are many office jobs anymore.”
“Again, thank you, sir. I won’t let you down,” Danny said as Payner escorted him out of the gym. “Nice to meet you, Mike,” Danny called behind him as they left. Big Mike just nodded his reply.