— 5 —


My lunch with Livia was both unexpected and enlightening. I felt connected to her, in an odd way—we had shared a lunch at her “secret” restaurant. She seemed nice, with an easy and genuine smile, and for a second, I could see how romances could begin in an intense work setting like this one—two smart, ambitious people thrown together in a high-pressure project, working long hours.

This fantasy evaporated when I reminded myself that, first, I had a girlfriend, and second, at our “secret lunch,” Livia and I had talked about synergy and vertical integration—not exactly romantic topics. She obviously wasn’t starry-eyed about me.

After lunch, Livia was scheduled to meet with some other HGS managers and I headed back to the team ...

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