Filthy Boss(4)

By: Amy Brent

I kept a red rubber ball sitting on my desk. It was supposed to be a stress ball, you know, a rubber ball you squeeze whenever you’re feeling stressed. The truth was, I rarely felt stressed. But I had the attention span of a tsetse fly and if I wasn’t constantly doing something with my hands, I had a hard time paying attention.

I squeezed the ball in my left hand and picked up the sheet of paper in my right. It was a letter of engagement from Goldman & Stern, the company who would handle this part of the due diligence.

I held out the paper and summed up my take on it. “So, we’re going to pay Goldman & Stern ten million dollars to do the due diligence on Anderson? Tell me again why we can’t do all the due diligence in-house? Why isn’t our corporate legal department handling this?”

“We are doing the lion’s share of the due diligence in-house,” Henry said. “But as I said before, some details that are specific to the telecom industry are out of our wheelhouse. Paying G&S ten-million to uncover skeletons in closets and mistakes on balance sheets is money well spent.”

I wouldn’t hesitate to spend twenty-five million on a car, but hated wasting a dime when it came to my business. It was mostly a formality because the acquisition was pretty much a done deal, but Henry was a stickler for covering our asses and I was grateful for it.

I scanned through the project description and a list of the people who would be doing the work. I sailed the paper across the desk at him, then leaned back in my chair and tossed the ball into the air.

I said, “Fine, whatever you think is best. Do you know anyone on the team Goldman is sending over?”

Henry picked up the paper and set it on top of the folder. He peered down through the glasses at the list of names. He ran a finger down the list. “Yes, the senior people I’ve worked with before. Stan Robbins and Juliette Ruiz. Bob Gaines and Irving Hunt I know by reputation. I don’t now recognize this last name. She must be new. Candice Carlson.”

“I’ve never heard of Candice Carlson either,” I said. I caught the ball and tossed it into the air again. “Did they send her resume?”

Henry opened the folder and wet his finger to fan through the pages. “I have resumes on the key players. Let’s see… Candice Carlson. BA from Penn, MBA from Harvard. Graduated with honors last year.”

“Fresh meat,” I sighed.

Henry ignored me and kept reading. “She joined Goldman right out of Harvard, so she has to be top notch. She has been on several teams that have consulted for Goldman in the telecom field.”

“Did they send a picture? A link to her Facebook page perhaps?” I gave him a smirk. “She sounds hot. I don’t think I’ve ever had a Candice.”

“This isn’t, for Christ sake,” Henry said, giving me a look over the top of the glasses. “They don’t submit photographs with the resumes.”

“Pity.” The ball went up and down.

He tucked the resume back into the folder, then leaned and cleared his throat. “Do me a favor, Tanner,” he said with a sigh. “Keep your dick in your pants this time, will you?”

I caught the ball in my right hand while looking at him. I put on a confused face. “Henry, what are you talking about? My dick is always in my pants.”

“Except when it’s inside some random woman that’s struck your fancy,” he said, rolling his eyes. Henry had always considered himself to be like a wise uncle to me. He gave me the look you’d give a child with burnt fingers as you’re explaining why they shouldn’t have touched a hot stove eye.

He said, “Look, I know it’s not my place to tell you what to do.”

“Or who to stick my dick in,” I added with a grin. I shook the ball at him. “Henry, relax. Do you need to squeeze my ball?”

“Not even remotely funny,” he said, tugging off the glasses and tucking them inside his suit jacket. He blew out a long breath. “You know what I’m talking about. You can screw all the actresses and models and strippers you want, but this time, please, for me, don’t screw anyone that’s a part of this deal.”

I had had a brief dalliance with the wife of the CEO of a company we had sought to acquire several years ago, and it caused quite a stir in the business world.

Okay, maybe “brief dalliance” is not the correct term. Her husband caught be fucking her from behind on his desk right before the papers were to be signed.

Regrettably, the deal fell through.

Henry never let me live it down.

I swung my chair around and planted my elbows on the desk. I squeezed the ball between my hands and smiled. “But Henry, if you can’t screw your business associates, or their wives or daughters or girlfriends, who can you screw? I mean, what’s the point of having all this money if I can’t screw who I want?”