Swamped, a novel by Manolis Aligizakis

When Susan left, he refocused on work for the rest of the day, and as  time approached for the bell to announce the end of trading, he called Rebecca Horton and suggested they meet at Da Carlo’s, to which she agreed.
When they met Rebecca in the lounge of the restaurant, Eteo hugged her. Her body, firm and willing, excited him, and he remembered when Rebecca had told him about travelling to Crete the summer after her graduation and the great time she had had there with the Cretan lover she had met there and would never forget. Eteo had joked at the time that Cretan men knew how to make a woman happy and since then they had developed a relationship, a strange one since Rebecca was a married woman now, but her desire for a Cretan man had remained in her mind and Eteo was the only Cretan man around. That was their secret pact, and whenever the opportunity came along, they enjoyed each other in the fullest of ways.
She was hot today, with an obvious fire burning in her eyes, a flaming, dark red lipstick and a body that moved next to Eteo in an outrightly sensual way. As they talked, he couldn’t take his mind away from the desire to have her today. They sat close to each other and ordered a drink, but business had to take priority.
“Talk to me” Rebecca said.
“I have a small group I can use to raise a couple of hundred thousand dollars,” Eteo replied, “and I have a good property from George Beaton. He assures me it will go through very easily.”
“So you want to put together a new shell company.”
 “Yes, and I have the directors. You know my people.”
           Rebecca frowned at this.
“You think I shouldn’t use my regulars?” Eteo asked her.
“Well, investors keep an eye on who’s in there, and they tend to dislike the same people as directors, especially when they aren’t as qualified. Remember the article that came out lately?”
Rebecca had a valid point. Eteo remembered the article very well. It was by a well-known VSE critic, George Gains, and had appeared prominently in the business section of the Vancouver Sun. Gains was famous for reporting everything and anything he could learn about the low-lives that run around law firms and brokerages hatching shady deals. Then Eteo remembered another article that had referred to him and Mario Messini and suggested that they had pushed the shell company Redama through the regulators with a cook and a train engineer as directors. After that article, he and Mario had been the laughing stock of downtown Vancouver for a while.
“And there’s something else,” Rebecca added. “I have heard from reliable sources that the regulations are about to change. Things are going to get tougher very soon.”
She was interrupted by the server bringing their meals. Eteo clinked his glass against hers and they both took a sip of their wine.
 “Tell me more,” Eteo asked. “What exactly have you heard? What do you think might change?”
“Okay, they tell me the minimum requirements will get higher, the amounts needed as seed money, for instance. And the price of the prospectus stock might also have to go higher.”
         “We can comply with whatever changes they send down the chute. You know that.”
          Rebecca took another sip of her wine, looking at him carefully over the rim of her glass.
 “Put the wheels in motion,” Eteo added. “Register me a name.”
 “What name do you want?”
“I don’t care much,” Eteo replied. “Whatever you think sounds appropriate. Something regular, I suppose. Hey, why not Alexa Ventures,” he added, “just to follow the tradition we have already started?”
He was referring to the idea he and Mario and Robert had come up with years ago to name companies after their children, girls whenever possible, and since Eteo didn’t have a daughter, Alexa Ventures would have to do.
“What do you think of that, sweet Rebecca?” he asked and couldn’t help adding, “Come give me something, now that I want it.” He leaned closer to her, gazing deep in her eyes.

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