Even after her shower and a wisp of her eau de parfum, the scent of Heavy still covered her skin and sent Madigan on flashbacks to the preceding night. It had been over the top and even as tender as her body was, Madigan was hungry for more.
She smoothened her pencil skirt down and buttoned another button in the satin blouse to cover the deep valley between her breasts. She would have slept in with him, given the opportunity. Madigan froze, studying herself in the vanity mirror. She was turning into a sissy. Before she knew it, she would be turning into her mother, waiting at home to serve dinner to her husband, crocheting doilies without any thought of the fact that all his late nights weren’t spent at the office.
Madigan chastened herself. Snap out of it. She was an independent woman, who enjoyed a night of fabulous sex. She needed to leave it at that. Now was a new day, where she went to work and showed everyone there, that she was the best of them.
Allister Consolidated was alive with nervous chatter and thick tension, when Madigan exited the elevator. Something was definitely happening right now and it was causing a stir. Madigan ignored it as best she could. There was no reason to engage the office gossip mongrels. She would learn soon enough, what it was about.
She went directly to her office and was patiently checking the business news on her computer, when Bethany knocked and entered with her coffee.
‘Thank you. Now what’s going on out there?’
One of Bethany’s tasks, which played in perfectly with her natural talents, was keeping tabs on the office buzz. She stayed standing, but obviously enjoyed the confidence of knowledge. Perhaps, Madigan thought to herself, she was even a little high after her collegial round-about with Jimmy. Madigan smiled at the thought.
‘It’s the Russian deal, Sakoch, Savage, I don’t remember the name. The deal that Kilroy is responsible for. It blew up. Apparently, the client wants to liquidate the company faster, so the deadline been moved forward and Kilroy is M.I.A. Last time, his secretary talked to him, he was living it up in Dallas.’
‘When was that?’
‘It was a couple of weeks ago. The word on the floor is, that as soon as he resurfaces, he’s heading to the curb.’
Madigan tried to wrap her mind around the known facts. She had heard of the Sakroviche deal that the old-school Kilroy was heading. Kilroy was always beside the rest of the employees at Allister Consolidated. Rumor was that Kilroy and Mr. Ollivers were college buddies and that Kilroy somehow had a special role in the company. Kilroy was masked by a certain degree of mystery, but perhaps his time was up. Madigan didn’t know what kind of company Sakroviche was, but then again, she had been wrapped up in her own cases.
Less than half an hour later, Madigan was summoned to Mr. Ollivers office. Mr. Ollivers was standing by the panorama windows, looking at the city skyline. He seemed more contemplative than usually. Ms. Jimenez was seated on the couch, already pouring coffee in tiny porcelain cups.
‘Sugar?’ she asked Madigan as Madigan approached her. The scene was surreal in Madigan’s opinion. Mr. Ollivers stayed by the window.
‘No thank you.’
‘We have a precarious situation on our hands. A situation that could influence the future of Allister Consolidated.’ Ms. Jimenez chose her words with the utmost care.
Madigan lowered her coffee cup without taking a sip.
‘She needs the unsweetened truth, Linda. Gardner can be trusted.’
Madigan felt a lump in her throat. The suspense was double-edged. On the one hand, Madigan couldn’t wait to be within the loop of knowledge that was the inner circle of Allister Consolidated; on the other hand, it appeared that Allister Consolidated had some dangerous secrets lurking under the clean, professional façade.
Ms. Jimenez studied Madigan for a minute or two, before she continued,
‘Allister Consolidated is a prestigious company and we enjoy high business ratings and the confidence of numerous private and governmental clients. If this situation isn’t handled with the necessary skill set and consideration, our fundament could be tainted or even destroyed.’
Ms. Jimenez’ words resonated in the enormous office space. Mr. Ollivers sighed and turned.
‘About 20-some years ago, Allister Consolidated wasn’t the successful company, we are today. We hit a low point and the board wanted results and corresponding rising stock prices. We accepted a client, Sergiev Limited, who helped secure our gains, but who was less than above board. The indubitable truth is that Sergiev Limited either is or has connection to the Russian mafia. Unable to turn down the client, we decided to hedge in all interaction with Sergiev.’
‘Kilroy,’ Madigan began to understand the situation before her.
Mr. Ollivers nodded.
‘Kilroy handled Sergiev Limited with as much distance to us as possible in order to ensue possible deniability. Now Kilroy is off God’s knows where, and Sergiev Limited has moved up a deadline for the liquidation of Sakroviche.’
Ms. Jimenez continued from there,
‘Sakroviche is in the entertainment industry, owning a line of bars and clubs. As far as we can see, Sakroviche is a legal business. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was another side to the company, given the parent company. It needs to be liquidated as soon as possible.’
Madigan was the perfect person to do just that. She knew how to negotiate the deal, even given a strict timeframe and she had the balls to do it. They all knew it, and yet, Mr. Ollivers and Ms. Jimenez didn’t just give her the case. This could be a case that turned up horrible surprises and/or a governmental intervention of the court-ordered kind.
Madigan thought back to the middle of night and her telling Heavy, that their worlds were far apart. His scared her – and now so did her own. The crux of the matter was that Madigan couldn’t back down.
‘I’m in,’ she said without her usual smile.