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Eki 20

Assets and Liabilities

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Jetset

The black stretch limo moved silently through the downtown street like a shark at dusk. The tinted windows protected the occupants from any nosy onlookers as it made its way north, toward the suburbs. Only the olive-skinned driver could be seen through the front windshield, his face mainly hidden by the classic chauffer’s hat and his dark glasses.

The grey-haired gentleman clad in the Armani suit in the back was none other than Giovanni DeFazio, local businessman, and purported mob boss. The platinum blonde servicing his thick cock through the fly of his pin-striped pants was his latest mistress. Her slurps and his moans were concealed by the smoked privacy glass between the passenger compartment and the driver.

“Excuse me, Mr. D.” The sound of the privacy glass being lowered and the driver’s accented voice caused the blonde to pause and look up. She blushed when she met the driver’s eyes in the rearview mirror, realizing he could also see the thick cock coated with her spit sticking up next to her face.

Mr. DeFazio pulled her head back to his lap before he replied, “This better be important, Anthony.”

“It’s Jimmy on the line. Says your place is crawling with cops. They have a warrant. What do you want to do?”

“Call Carlo and have him meet us at the old shopping center to take her home,” he panted, as he thrust himself into her ruby red lips. “Then get Liebowitz on the phone and have him get to my place ASAP!” There was a slight gag, then a huge sigh from the back seat, as he filled the blonde’s hot mouth with his cum. “Tell the Jew-bastard it’s time he starts earning that six-figure retainer I pay him.”

Anthony smiled at the woman as she sat up and wiped a droplet of cum off her lower lip and licked it off her finger.

***** A few months earlier *****

Anne Hogan walked briskly through the hall of associate-filled cubes engrossed in a high-level conversation on her Bluetooth earpiece. The young accountants all snapped to attention in their armless desk chairs as if being inspected by a five-star General, even though the tall blonde woman in the expensive business suit paid them no attention. Her hair was pulled back into a tight bun, and the heels on her Kenneth Cole pumps clicked on the tile floor as if to warn the timid and weak to find shelter.

“Just one of those shoes would set me back a week’s pay,” Megan Corrigan whispered to her co-worker, after the youngest and first female Senior Partner at the firm passed by, the aroma of French perfume wafting in her wake.

The young brunette had been an associate for a little over two years, and this was the first time she had asked for a spot on Ms. Hogan’s schedule. She clutched the stack of manila folders to her chest like a security blanket and took a deep breath, before walking as confidently as her short legs would allow toward the ornately decorated corner office.

Megan lightly knocked on the open door, and Ms. Hogan waved her in, still engaged in her cellphone call. She stood in front of the mahogany desk and nervously looked out the window, attempting not to listen to Ms. Hogan’s conversation. The older woman snapped her fingers twice and motioned to the chair, indicating that Megan should sit.

“So what did you want to see me about…” Ms. Hogan paused and looked at her computer screen, obviously scanning her calendar for the young girl’s name.

“Megan,” they said simultaneously, which caused the nervous girl to blush even more. She cleared her throat and said confidently, “It’s the Greenberg Dry Cleaning file, ma’am,” and opened the top file from the stack on her lap. “May I?” she asked, looking at the immaculate surface of the desk. Ms. Hogan nodded her approval, so Megan laid out the file and continued. “At first I thought he might be inflating his expenses to avoid taxes,” she added, and pointed to the highlighted lines on the spreadsheet printouts, “but I’m afraid it may go deeper than that.”

“You’re worried about how much he’s paying for garbage services?” Ms. Hogan asked incredulously. In a single comment, she minimized Megan’s findings and made her want to crawl under her chair and hide.

“If you compare it against 2016,” Megan replied, the confidence returning to her voice as she pulled out another spreadsheet from the file, this one highlighted in green, “he was paying almost $1,000 less per month before he switched over to DWM.”

“DeFazio Waste Management,” Ms. Hogan said, verbally expanding the acronym as she carefully reviewed the two spreadsheets. “It’s probably just increased costs from handling all those chemicals,” she added and started stacking the papers back together as if to bring the meeting to a close.

“That’s what I thought too at first ma’am,” Megan continued, as she pulled the next three folders from her stack. “These are our dry cleaning clients outside of the city, all of whom use other waste management services, and none of which experienced the same increase in costs.

“Is that right?” Ms. Hogan said, as she slipped her reading glasses back on and paged güvenilir bahis through the similarly highlighted spreadsheets.

“Except Kwik Kleaners on Central Ave.,” Megan added, as she placed the last file on the now cluttered desk. “Right after their fire in 2017, they switched over to DWM, and had the same rate increase as Greenberg.” Megan sat back in her chair and smiled confidently, convinced she had uncovered the accounting conspiracy of the century.

“The fire…right,” said Ms. Hogan pensively, as she reviewed yet another highlighted spreadsheet. After a few moments, she added, “well, there was probably extra clean-up from the fire damage which could have led to the increased costs.”

The confident smile disappeared from Megan’s face.

“No, no, you did well, dear,” said Ms. Hogan, as she stacked the folders back into a pile and moved them to the corner of the desk. “Let me hold on to these and I’ll make some calls.”

“Thanks, ma’am,” Megan said respectfully. She stood to leave, but then paused and turned back toward her boss. “But they’re signed out under my name.”

“Excuse me?” replied Ms. Hogan, a hint of aggravation in her voice that her underling was still there.

“The new file custody policy,” Megan prompted, reminding her boss of the memo she posted shortly after being named a Senior Partner.

“Of course, dear,” Ms. Hogan said, as she held out the stack of files. “Have Debbie follow you down to the file room,” she instructed, as she nodded toward her secretary’s desk, “and she’ll sign these out to me after you sign them back in.”

***** One month later *****

“So you think this DWM conspiracy will get you a Senior Partnership,” joked Megan’s co-worker Samantha as they both sat down at the round table in the small employee break room.

“SHHHH!” Megan implored, as she nervously looked around the room. “It’s been over a month and she hasn’t said boo about it!”

“Well, maybe there wasn’t anything there after all.”

“You saw the files,” Megan retorted, “and you’re the one who convinced me to go talk to her about it. You know something’s there.”

“What I know is that you want to get into her panties,” Sam joked, never passing an opportunity to chide her bi friend.

“Well that’s only because your so damned in love with that husband of yours, you won’t let me into yours,” replied Megan, only half joking, as she had previously admitted her long-time crush on her decidedly straight co-worker.

“I’ll bet the cold bitch is going to take the credit for herself,” replied Sam, as she took a bite of the homemade salad in the yellowed Tupperware container. She then held up three fingers like the Girl Scout Pledge and said mockingly, “We are bound by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles but our primary commitment is to the client and maintaining their confidentiality,” repeating the words Ms. Hogan used to end all staff meetings.

“Well if she hasn’t done anything about it yet, I think I’m just going to drop it,” said Megan, barely touching her tuna fish on wheat. “She didn’t seem happy when I brought it to her attention, and I certainly don’t want to get on her bad side.”

“You could always call them,” Sam said, pointing her fork toward the dog-eared IRS poster near the microwave with the big red 800 number at the bottom. The big block letters at the top of the poster read ‘Don’t Get Caught Up In These Loopholes’ above a graphic of a pair of handcuffs. The number at the bottom was for the IRS Anonymous Tip Hotline.

“Shut up and eat your lunch,” snapped Megan, while staring at the wall near the microwave.

*****

Megan drove around the city for an hour before she found a working pay phone outside of the bus station. She fed the coins into the archaic device and dialed the number from memory.

“IRS Hotline, this is Julie, who am I speaking with?”

Megan quickly hung up the phone and then yelled ‘SHIT’ as she heard her coins drop down inside the black metal box. She stood and stared at the phone for what seemed like an eternity, before she dug a few more coins out of her purse, and re-dialed the number.

“IRS Hotline, this is Kishan, who am I speaking with?”

“Who I am is not important,” Megan said in a hushed whisper, “and listen carefully because I’m only going to say this once.” She had rehearsed the lines in her head for hours before she worked up the courage to make the call. The details of the DWM conspiracy flowed fast and furiously, including business names, locations, dates, and amounts. At the end of her dissertation, she said, “This is YOUR problem now, I’m done with it!” and hung up the phone.

Megan turned and leaned back against the phone, closed her eyes and breathed a sigh of relief. This was a tremendous weight off her shoulders, and she had faith that the IRS would act on the information she provided. When she opened her eyes, she saw a homeless man peeing on the side of the bus station, and realized she was not in the best section of town, so she quickly walked back to her car.

*****

In canlı bahis the two weeks since making the call, Megan was able to focus on her job again, but the DWM conspiracy still rambled around in the back of her brain. She really looked forward to the weekends, especially her Saturday morning runs down by the river, where she cleared her head of all the noise of the week and focused on pushing her small body to the brink of exhaustion. It also helped keep her 5-foot-3 frame in shape, after sitting at a desk all week.

She always had her Apple AirPods in her ears when she ran, but also tried to keep aware of her surroundings, while listening to her favorite playlist. A young woman running alone can never be too careful down by the river, even in broad daylight.

About two miles into her regular route, she got the sense that someone was behind her. She looked over her left shoulder and saw a handsome man running in grey sweats and a U.S. Navy sweatshirt, about twenty feet behind her. He smiled at her just as she turned away and picked up her pace. A few minutes later, she turned around and he was no longer behind her. She slowed back to her normal jog and laughed at herself for being dramatic.

Megan came around the corner by the boat launch and noticed a similarly dressed man sitting on a bench next to the running path. Before her brain could process whether it was the same man, he held up a gold badge and asked, “Megan Corrigan?”

She stopped dead and put her hands on her knees and tried to catch her breath. Her heart was pounding in her chest. She nodded her head and said, “Yup…that’s me.”

“Agent Cassidy, FBI,” he said and returned the badge to his pocket. “Walk with me.”

The two walked in silence a few moments down the paved path by the river before she asked, “What can I do for you?”

“I caught the DeFazio Waste Management case and I have a few questions for you.” Agent Cassidy got a few steps in front of her before he realized that she had stopped. She stood frozen in place with a bewildered look on her face.

“How? How? How did you find me?”

“Because…FBI,” he replied, his hands out and shoulders shrugged an impish smirk on his boyish face, and a twinkle in his hazel eyes.

She eyed the agent up and down. Trim body, maybe 34, 35, two-day growth on his face, no ring. If he offered to buy her a drink in a bar, she would probably have accepted. A notorious flirt herself, she was immediately taken by his smirk and twinkly eyes. She decided at that moment that he could be trusted.

The two talked and walked about a half mile past her usual turning point before doubling back. From the questions he asked, she knew he was very well versed in the details of the audits and was only looking for her to confirm the information he already had.

“So what do you need me for?”

“To get an arrest warrant, we need the original files.”

“What?” Megan asked perplexed, “can’t you just get a subpoena or whatever for those?”

“We could, but we don’t want to tip our hand,” Cassidy responded, then looked around and added, “we have reason to believe that DeFazio may have someone in the firm, so we need you to get them out without anyone knowing.”

“I’m no Lara Croft,” she said, putting her arms out to display her petite frame. She looked down and quickly crossed her arms over her chest to hide her nipples, which were protruding from under her sports bra.

“I’m thinking more Selena Gomez,” he replied to the diminutive brunette with his trademark smirk and twinkle, “which is exactly why nobody will suspect you.”

*****

Megan could barely concentrate at work on Monday. All she could think about was how she was going to get in and out of that file room without being noticed. Being a lowly Junior Accountant, she spent a lot of time doing grunt-work for the Associates and Partners, so she was very familiar with the file room layout. Trina, who ran the file room, was a friend, but there was no way Megan would ever implicate her in something that could make her lose her job. No, she had to figure out a way to get in and out of there without Trina’s knowledge or assistance.

Megan watched the clock on her computer as it ticked off the minutes. At 4:55 p.m. she grabbed the Johnson Automotive file off her desk and ran down the two flights of stairs to the file room. She exited the stairwell just as Trina was leaving the file room.

“Wait,” she called to the attractive Jamaican woman, decked out in a brightly colored wrap-around dress which hugged her natural curves tightly.

“Slow down child, you’ll break your neck,” Trina replied, as she held out her hand to stop the file room door from closing behind her.

“Thanks, Trina, I’m glad I caught you,” Megan smiled, and inhaled the lovely scent of her tropical perfume as she squeezed past Trina to enter the file room. Megan envied her flawless mocha-caramel complexion and loved how when she smiled, she did so with her entire face. Her island accent made everything sound like calypso bahis siteleri music echoing off a sandy beach, and if Megan were to be totally honest, she had a crush on her.

“Are you trying to get me fired, child?” said Trina, as she swung her ID badge back and forth by the lanyard around her neck.

“Sorry,” Megan replied and walked back toward her with the file.

Trina scanned Megan’s badge, then the bar code on the file folder, then her own badge, and the green bar on the monitor showed that the Johnson Automotive file had been successfully checked back in.

“Now you can put that Johnson where it rightfully belongs dear,” joked Trina with a full-faced smile. The two women exited the file room together, and Megan silently counted in her head as they walked around the corner toward the elevators. ‘One-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand, four.’ The file room door slammed closed and the lock engaged, just as Trina hit the down button.

“Good night, Trina,” Megan called and turned back toward the stairwell. Megan checked the file room door handle as she passed by, and it was indeed locked. ‘Four goddamn seconds to slip in without her seeing me’ she thought to herself, ‘but at least she was around the corner and out of sight on two.’

*****

Thursday, Megan sat at her desk staring at her computer monitor, but she was not focused on anything that was on the screen. She hadn’t actually done a bit of work since her lunch break, as she was still trying to figure out how to get those files out of the file room undetected. The buzz of her cell phone broke her out of her daydream.

“Does Selina have anything for me yet?” The text message indicated it was from an unknown number, but she knew exactly who it was.

“Soon.” She texted back.

“Tonight!” Was the reply.

Megan continued to stare blankly at her screen until the numbers in the lower right corner read 4:50 p.m. She quietly got up and walked down the back stairwell to the file room floor, and waited inside the stairwell door for Trina to leave for the night. She slipped off her heels so they wouldn’t make noise on the tile floor when she had to make her run to the file room. Megan had to stand on her tippy-toes to see out the small square window in the stairwell door, and figured she had about twenty feet to clear in four seconds after Trina left, and before the file room door slammed shut.

She saw the light in the file room go dark, so she opened the stairwell door a crack and peered around the corner. Trina exited the file room and turned right toward the elevators. Megan took off on a dead sprint toward the closing file room door, Ninja-like in her bare feet. ‘One-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand …’ Just as she was about to stop the door from closing, she heard a male voice behind her.

“Hey, Miss, are these your shoes?”

Slam. Click. “SHIT!”

The file room door closed and locked and Megan turned back toward the voice.

“Yeah, sorry,” Megan smiled and apologized, batting her eyes at the man in light blue coveralls as he approached. “I was trying to catch Trina before she left.”

“Elijah,” said the tall black man as he extended his hand, “Elijah Woodard, I started here last week.”

“Megan Corrigan,” she replied, as she verified his name on his badge. “I work up in Audits.”

“You seem upset, is there anything I can help you with?” offered Elijah.

She looked up into his kind eyes and thought to herself that he looked too fit and handsome to be a custodian, then chastised herself for being judgmental. She leaned back against the wall and said in a defeated voice, “Not unless you have a key to this room.”

“Well, you might be lucky I caught you,” he said, as he extended the large ring of keys from the retractable cord on his hip. After trying several he found the right one and clicked on the light for her after opening the door.

“I’ll be quick,” she said as she ran into the room and collected all the files that Cassidy needed.

“This will be our little secret, right?” Elijah said to her, as she exited the room with an armful of files. His face got suddenly serious and he added, “You don’t want me to lose this job.”

“Of course not,” Megan replied and fought the urge to throw her arms around his neck and give him a big, sloppy wet kiss for saving her ass.

*****

Megan arrived at Lombardo’s, the upscale Italian restaurant in the south end of town, fifteen minutes ahead of the agreed upon time. She was still in her work clothes and clutching her briefcase like it contained a bomb.

“Do you have a reservation?” asked the Maitre D’ as she approached the podium.

“Cassidy, party of two,” came the smooth baritone voice from behind her before she could answer. She turned and saw the agent dressed in khaki pants, a navy blue blazer, and a pink oxford shirt opened and showing off an ample amount of chest hair. “I thought this beat sweaty running clothes and the stench of the river.”

Megan was not sure if it was the excitement of almost getting caught, the thrill of successfully sneaking out the files, or those damned twinkly hazel eyes, but she found herself a little weak in the knees as they were shown to their table.

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