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March 25, 2010

By Julia_H, Merrimac, MA

He fiddled with his tie, running his palms across the green silk and playing with the knot, examining the size and shape in the dark parts of a painting at the far end of the room. He then began to work on the buttons of his blazer, unbuttoning and re-buttoning each one before pulling at the cuffs, glancing over his shoulder as though expecting to see something other than bare wall. It was an empty part of the office building. Why the caller had wanted to meet here, he had no idea. He walked to the window, resting his forehead against the pane and looking down into the street.

Maybe Nancy was pulling his leg. Maybe she needed him out of the office to talk about some surprise they were cooking up for him. He bristled. He had a meeting in forty minutes with the president of the Beijing branch, and he had wanted to go over his notes one last--

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