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probationary period was like having no contract at all for ninety days, and how could he take a job on such a tentative basis?
      “Wouldn’t come on board with it in the contract,” I admitted.
      “Um.”
      “Annamaria, do you actually know Steve?”
      “I know about him. Luckily, I’ve only seen Steve from a distance and had him pointed out to me. So he has no idea who I am, or that I’m wise to him.”
      “How do you know so much about him?”
      “He did it to a friend’s company. Cost Ralph a hundred fifty thousand dollars.” She looked up at the car’s roof for some kind of guidance. “A hundred fifty thousand dollars,” she repeated, softly and with reverence.
      “But when I called for a reference …”
      “With the laws the way they are, if a former employer ever says anything against him, Steve will sue for libel, instantly. And he’ll win, because that’s the way it works here.”
      “Stacked deck?”
      “More like a crooked casino.”
      “What do I do?”
      “Fight dirtier.”
      “Than what?”
      “Than you can imagine. I’ll show you how.” She opened the car door. “Now, buy me a coffee, Bob, because I’ve earned it.”

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