WordPress failed me and did not post this post on scheduled this weekend so I’m posting it now. 🙂 Enjoy!
Marcus gazed at the document on his desk. It could have been a contract or a project outline, or even a divorce agreement, for all he took in. The situation at TM-Tech stunk worse than a barrel of rotting fish, and no matter what he did, nothing helped.
On the one hand, he welcomed the idea of an internal audit. If they flushed out who was selling their most sensitive data, they could put a stop to it. But what happened if the audit failed? Would the finger be pointed at him?
He was exhausted. What he needed was a vacation—somewhere hot, where his most pressing decision would be whether to have a cocktail or a beer. Some place he wouldn’t think about the state of his marriage and wonder how in hell it got so bad.
He had to pull his head from his ass, and go meet Marianne.
Last time there was a data leak, she nailed it. That incident, four years ago, was a drop in the ocean compared to the current problem, but he had faith in her. More importantly, Thaddeus Merrill believed she could fix it. TM-Tech was his company, built from the ground up and driven by him to become a multinational technology business. Marianne was Thaddeus’s rising star, like Marcus had been.
She was smart, skilled, and hungry for the next promotion. Just how Thaddeus liked his senior staff. Bottom line—she was damned good at her job, and Marcus couldn’t wait to see her again.
How long had it been? A year, maybe. They’d worked together on a few projects and were almost friends, or as close as Marianne would allow. She was renowned for keeping her private life behind closed doors.
A knock on his open door snagged his attention, and he looked up to see Cassie, his P.A. “Marianne and Rico are here. Should I send them in?”
“Yes. Thank you.” He stood and stretched, before rounding the desk to meet his guests.
Marianne looked stunning, as always. Cropped russet-colored hair highlighted her fine cheekbones, and a tailored skirt suit hugged every curve of her slim body. She was the only person he knew that could disembark from a nine-hour flight looking as fresh as when she boarded—and ready to chair a meeting.
“Marianne. Good to see you again.” He clasped her hand, his smile genuine.
“You too.” She leaned forwards and air-kissed his cheek. “I’m looking forward to getting started. Is the team assembled?”
“Yep. As soon as you texted to say you landed, we confirmed the timing for the kickoff. They’re ready when you are.” He turned to Rico at her side, and they shook hands. “How are you?”
“Pretty good, thanks. How are you and Louisa?”
Marcus caught a flash of surprise on Marianne’s face, before she masked it. “Good,” he replied. “Lou is staying with Jordan and Kate at the moment. Jordan sends his regards, by the way.”
Rico dug into a pocket and produced a small envelope. “Thaddeus asked me to deliver this. Until he’s assured of the security of his outgoing emails, he’s not taking any chances.”
Marcus took the missive and stared at the flap, bemused. “Is that a wax seal?”
What a freaking irony. TM-Tech led the market in its field, producing everything from aerospace components to cutting-edge applications, and they had to resort to medieval methods, to ensure security. Heaven forbid the media ever found out. He’d look at it later. Something told him it wouldn’t be good news.