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the answers
in the back of the book.
How?
Well...
I'm sure Alisha's
still working.
That means all you gotta do
is go over there and...
keep her company
while Lexa looks around.
And how exactly am I
supposed to do that?
Oh.
I'm sure you'll
figure something out.
Jess, I just want you to know,
this isn't anything personal.
Doesn't matter.
The only reason I am doing this
is to prove that you are wrong.
Look, I know you can't see it,
but I can tell this Alisha she
eats guys like you for lunch.
Really?
The problem is you're
too trusting, Jess.
I've trusted you
since the day we met.
That isn't exactly
helping your argument.
Jess, what are
you doing here?
Ha...
Well, thanks for meeting me.
It's a little late, don't you
think, for a business meeting?
You know that's
not why I'm here.
My office.
Do you still like,
uh, gin and tonic?
Yeah.
Yeah?
Can't remember the
last time I had one.
Yeah?
I can.
Uh, it was at Spadini's.
We were talking
about wedding plans.
Remember?
Yeah.
Well, your mind
wasn't really there.
Well, I figured you just
had a case of cold feet.
But I guess I had no idea how
cold your feet were, did I?
You know,
I made a promise to myself
that the next time I saw you
I would tell you exactly
what I thought about you.
Probably the least I deserve.
Yeah.
Funny thing is, though, I'm...
I'm looking at you right now,
and I don't know -
I don't feel like
saying it any more.
Are you in yet?
Yeah, but unfortunately,
I haven't found very much.
I'm trying to see what
I can dig up in their
interoffice VOIP system.
VOIP?
Yeah, it's a computerized log
of all in- and out-going
telecommunications.
These guys are anal about
corporate espionage leaks.
See, all calls are recorded
- especially R&D guys.
So...
What was it? Did I...
did I do something? Or...
Alisha, I was messed up.

I had things going on that...
that you couldn't understand.
So you felt like you
couldn't turn to me, then?
No. It wasn't that simple.

I didn't feel
that it was fair...
Hm.
...for me to start a
life with you...
...where I didn't fit.
Shouldn't I have been
able to choose that?
I'm into operation level.
Searching through
Michael Porter's account.
Who is that?
The informant found
dead in the cornfield.
Okay. Punching into his
final call in his log.

Alisha.
Shh...
I don't want to hurt you again.
Shhh...
No, I'm not going to let you.
INFORMANT'S VOICE
"Look, I am tired of getting
jerked around here.
I know all about
Project Redstock.
And if you don't come
through by 8 P.M. tonight
I am taking this wide."
Well, that sounds
like a threat.
And a motive.
Who was he calling?
Alisha Keary.
Looks like she was willing to
kill for the bottom line.
I'll say this for Jess, he
sure knows how to pick 'em.

Phew!

Hi.
Hi.
Reminds me of the time
that my father caught us.
You remember that?
We were in the pool cabana
and there was that
fireworks display.
Yeah.

He never seemed to look
at me the same way after that.
Neither did I.
Really?
Yeah.
You know
I've changed,
Alisha.
Everybody changes.
That's okay.
Look, relax, Jess.
You know, it's...
I have zero
expectations here - really.
You know, whatever
that was, it's just...
it's just what it was,
you know?
That's not what I mean.
What do you mean, then?
I just...
I keep running a
series of "what ifs".
I mean...
I mean, what if I
hadn't run away?
What if...
what if...
What if I'd been straight up
with you from the beginning?
What if we can just start again?
How about that?
What if we can just
start again, huh?
What do you think of that?
Hey, I cross-referenced
Project Redstock,
but I'm coming up empty.
ZDT's planning a
worldwide devastation.
I can't imagine those bugs
were that easy to hide.
Alisha's not stupid, Shal.
I'm sure she figured out
a way to cover her tracks.
  -  3   -  3

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