Allegra Tells a Lie
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Two weeks into the new year the layoffs Mariella had threatened had come to pass. The axe fell first on the accounting department, where everybody but Margot had been pink-slipped and she was told that after she prepared the company’s tax return she’d be out of a job too.

“It’s much more cost-effective for us to outsource our accounting,” Julia had told her. “It’s way past time we streamlined the process.”

Margot had wanted to quit on the spot, but she and her husband had a kid in college, and she couldn’t afford to be impulsive.

Rumors about a move to China had morphed into speculation that Mariella was looking to offload the company altogether and that the mysterious Mr. Chu was not an agent but a principle. Allegra had never said more...

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