“That’s pretty crude, Annamaria.”
      “It sure as hell is.”
      When she stood up, my legs ached as if she were still sitting there.
      “Who is it, Bob?”
      “I haven’t hired anybody, yet.”
      “But, you’re going to, and you probably already know who it is.”
      “Dave Dante,” I admitted. There was no hiding from her.
      “VP at Troglodyte?”
      “We worked there together.”
      “I worked for him, too, at a different company when I first started out.” She smiled. “He’s a nice guy.”
      “It isn’t a decision I’ve completely made. I wanted to be sure before I discussed it with you.”
      “You were trying to work up your nerve.”
      “Maybe,” I admitted.
      She laughed at me, with her barracuda teeth flashing like two rows of sharp knives, and sat on the edge of the desk. “Stand up, Bob,” she said, in a voice that couldn’t be refused.
      “Everything is always on the line,” she said.
      As I stood, Annamaria took my hand, pulling me towards her. “And the line keeps moving,” she went on. “What’s important is that you know which side you’re standing on.”
      “I’m not in complete control,” I said.

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