Playing the Bosses

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Short Notice

Eva arrived at her sister’s high-rise apartment in SoHo right on time for them to meet. The large penthouse had three bedrooms and two baths, a kitchen equipped with a full bar, living room and a terrace with a large pool. Eva had a similar setup at her place uptown, but with two bedrooms.

“Finally, you’re here!” Alexis beamed when she opened the door and wrapped her sister into a tight hug. “Thank you so much for coming! So, here’s what I need you to do—”

“Damn,” Eva interrupted. “Can I at least get something to drink first?”

“Oh right, of course! What do you want? I have water, soda, juice...” Alexis didn’t bother to continue when she saw Eva make a path straight for the bar.

“Let me guess, a Cuba Libre for you?” Eva asked as she went through the cabinets.

“You know me well, little sis.”

“More like you always get the same drink. There are other options, you know?” Eva pulled out rum, coke, lime, gin, vermouth, and an orange before she started making their drinks.

“And look, you’re making yourself a gin martini as always. You can stop pretending to like those, you know?”

“Shut up and leave my bougie habits alone.”

Eva finished making Alexis’ drink and handed it to her. “Anyway, what did you want to talk about?”

“Right! So, I need your help with something for the company...”

“Okay...” Eva shook her martini and poured it in the glass before going around the bar to sit with her sister. “What is it?”

“Have you heard of PMC Holdings?”

“Yeah, aren’t they our competition? And they’ve been moving up pretty fast, haven’t they?”

“Yes!” Alexis replied. “They’ve been acquiring brand after brand — many of which were vehemently against selling.”

“Okay, that’s odd, but not unheard of...”

“Correct, but if you’re already against selling, why sell to a firm as new as PMC Holdings rather than a more established, reputable luxury holding company like ours?”

“I don’t know. Probably some shady shit going on, but why do you care?”

“Because, they’ve been targeting companies that we own.”

“So don’t sell,” Eva said flatly. “Easy enough.”

“Not that easy. We’re a publicly-traded company now. We have a board and if PMC offers a sizable enough amount for one of our companies, it’ll be much harder to say no.”

“If they offer a sizable amount, wouldn’t that benefit us?”

“Not if they chip away at us like they did with GHC Group.” Alexis took a big gulp of her drink. “They started off by overpaying for GHC’s smaller companies here and there and with the offers they were making, it’s not like the shareholders or the board were going to let them say no. In the end, PMC absorbed GHC and while GHC’s shareholders and execs got out pretty fucking rich, PMC had one less competitor.”

“Damn, but how are they finding money to do all this buying?”

“Good question! Which is where you come in. I need you to spy on them.”

“What?” Eva’s head jerked back and she looked at Alexis wide-eyed. “How would I do that?”

“So, I have this friend named Jen, right? And she runs a temp agency. Turns out that Caleb Peterson, Justin Matsuda, and Adrian Collins — the men who run PMC — need a new executive assistant and they prefer to share one. And Jen is looking for someone to place in that role.”

“Okay, and?”

"And it would be the perfect opportunity to find out exactly what the fuck they are doing to scoop up smaller companies that don’t want to sell and how they’re finding the money to overpay for brands owned by other holding companies.”

Is she going where I think she’s going with this? Eva grumbled internally.

“I was thinking you could take the job as their executive assistant and find out everything we need to know!”

“No,” Eva responded curtly.

“Please, Eva?” Alexis put her hands together in a begging motion. “You’re the only one I trust to do this and it’d be weird if I, as the CEO of our company, was MIA for several months. Plus, nobody knows what you look like.”

Eva took a sip from her martini. “You’ve got me fucked up if you think my ass is about to play assistant to three spoiled white boys.”

“Eva,” Alexis groaned as she rolled her eyes.

“Look, there is nothing wrong with being an assistant, that’s not what I’m saying. My issue is that people are disrespectful as fuck to assistants and I’m really not about to let that shit slide so I can spy on the competition.”

“Eva! You have to do this. If they do to our company what they’re doing to others, we may cease to exist. Or at least end up in a really shitty business position.”

“I told dad he shouldn’t have taken Thompson Luxe public,” Eva griped. “Yeah, it brings in more money, but you also lose control of your own fucking company and now we’re stuck in this position. Shit, we were lucky the board even approved your appointment when our name is in the damn title.”

“Well, you were nine-years-old at the time, so don’t blame him for not taking your sound business advice,” Alexis replied sarcastically. “But please, please, pleaseeeeee, can you help, sis? You’d only have to suffer through it temporarily. And for what it’s worth, Justin Matsuda is Japanese.”

“No! I could go to jail for like corporate espionage or some shit!”

“You won’t go to jail,” Alexis assured. “I’ve got us covered.”

“How?”

“Alright, so have you heard of the Davidson family?”

Eva pondered for several moments trying to figure out the familiar name before it finally clicked. “Oh! You mean the family with all those so-called ‘business ventures’ when it’s likely just cover for some criminal shit?”

“Damn, you figured that out?”

“Yeah,” Eva shrugged. “Who has that many ventures unless you’re doing something illegal? Anyway, why do you mention them?”

“They own people pretty high up in the government, it’s why they can get away with anything. One of the heads of the family — Sean Davidson — he owes me a favor...”

“Favor for what?”

“He launched a fashion line a few years back, but it was funded by and used to launder money from their criminal activities. I had Thomson Luxe acquire it so now it’s legit.”

“Why would he do all that if they can do whatever with impunity?”

“You know how people get when they have kids. He has a daughter and he wants her to be able to chose between following in his footsteps when she gets older or separating herself from their syndicate and the fashion line would be a legit business or her to make clean money.”

“That’s extra, but also sweet, I guess. So, if some shit goes down, the Davidsons would get us out of it?”

“Yup! So, can you please do it?! I know it’s a big commitment, but as soon as you can gather information on how PMC is pulling off these deals as well as get as much dirt as possible on them, you can just quit! Hell, you can ghost them for all I care. And we’ll have regular check-ins on your progress.”

Eva took a deep sigh and downed the rest of her Martini. “Fine...”

“Great! So, I’ve already told Jen that you’d take the position and you don’t have to worry about an interview or anything, though I imagine the three of them will want to talk to you on your first day or something.”

“You already volunteered me?! How did you know if I’d even say yes?!”

“Oh, I had a whole list of contingencies until you said yes.”

Eva scoffed. “Of course you did... When do I start?”

“Tomorrow!”

“Tomorrow?! The fuck you mean I start tomorrow?!”

“Sorry!” Alexis raised her hands defensively. “I know it’s short notice, but that was the only way Jen could make it work!”

“Jesus Christ,” Eva muttered. “You’re buying me a new car— no! You’re buying me a fucking condo in the Upper West Side or some shit.”

“Deal!” Alexis chimed and wrapped her sister into a hug. “You’ll be great, I know it! Oh! And one last thing... Your name will be Eva Nelson.”


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