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First chapter of Pulling Her Resources

Updated: Jan 30

A Dream Job For a Small Favor

Erez clenched his fist in frustration, the movement drawing his client’s eyes to his forearm’s tattoo of two manta rays swimming towards each other.

“It doesn’t look good, Rammy.” He raised his voice. Even as high up as the thirty-second floor, the distant car horns from the Ayalon freeway could be heard. “Nepotism is always problematic in publicly traded companies, but people endure it when it’s done the right way. Your son is a great kid. But he isn’t qualified to be your VP of Sales, he studies ballet! And he sure as hell doesn’t deserve a salary of fifty thousand shekels per month.”

Rammy wriggled his bushy salt and pepper eyebrows. “I’m telling you he’s worth every shekel. Sells a penthouse every time he pirouettes.”

He fought the urge to smile, then just gave in and grinned. The real estate mogul was one client he actually liked. Though Rammy came from a very conservative Mizrahi background, he had supported his son in his untraditional dancing aspirations.

“Come on, Erez, Bro, you’re a father yourself.”

“That I am.” He had shared custody of his daughter, who he didn’t see as much as he should.

“Good, good, you’re agreeing with me.”

Erez rubbed his palms on his face, trying to shake his fatigue and annoyance. For the last six years, he’d been stuck in the Real Estate division. An internal position opened at G&L Tractus, the accounting firm’s prestigious consultancy, and he had applied. He was due in his boss’ office in ten minutes to hear the verdict, and if he didn’t finish this meeting soon, he would be late.

“Everyone does it,” Rammy added. “You should stop trying to be holier than the pope, even if your last name is Ben Ami.”

The allusion to his last name, to his errant father, was like a punch in the gut. He straightened in his chair, pulling his shoulders back.

“I don’t care what everyone does! At G&L we have standards. have standards. If you want to give your son money every month, pay it out of pocket. Don’t use the public company’s purse.”

In a world of chaos and deceit, he, at least, would run his domain properly. A small part of it had to do with his father, but the larger part was wholly his.

He stood up, signaling the meeting was over.

“Fix this!” he ordered Rammy. The implied threat was obvious—or Erez wouldn’t approve Rammy’s financial reports.

The older man got out of his chair. Rammy stretched his hand, which Erez took, and pulled him close for an unexpected hug, his large belly squashing into Erez’s ribs.

“You’re a good boy and a good accountant. I like working with you.”

He was moved more than he cared to admit.

He walked fast to his boss’s corner office. It had the best view, which his personal assistant Dorit enjoyed as well. The setting sun cast its reddish glow on the thousands of windows of Tel Aviv's Azrieli Center, with its three distinctly shaped skyscrapers—triangular, square, and circular. He smiled at Dorit, whose hair color changed with her mood. Today it was pink, and it enhanced her sharp blue eyes.

“Hi, Dorit, you’re looking fine today. Love your hair.”

“Flattery will get you nowhere,” her heavily mascaraed eyelids lowered flirtatiously, “but those green eyes of yours will.” She was sixty-two years old, a tough lady who had eight grandchildren whose names he took pains to memorize. “Now, pull down your sleeves. Your tattoo is showing, and Yogev doesn’t like it,” she ordered him, and he obeyed. His not-to-be-tolerated-in-a-CPA-tattoos were the only reason he wore a long-sleeved shirt in July.

As he prepared to step into his boss's office, he took a deep breath, but his heartbeat refused to slow down.

“Hello Erez.” Yogev’s blacker than night hair came from a bottle, but he was less honest about it than his PA, “Please sit down.”

He remained standing.

“Well?” he asked.

Yogev’s jaw locked. “Erez, I’m sorry. I couldn’t approve your application. You’re needed in Real Estate.”

Something in him snapped. “I quit.”

This was complete lunacy. He had a daughter to support, a mortgage to pay, a younger brother who needed a helping hand. This craziness must have sprung out of the meeting with Rammy, which highlighted everything that was wrong with his current job in G&L, or perhaps the bitter sense of disillusionment that he would never get what he wanted if he stayed.

“Do you have something else lined up?”

He’d been looking around, but the other firms only wanted him for his real estate prowess. He should lie, but it went against the grain. The whole reason for leaving G&L and real estate was about not cutting corners.

“No,” he answered.

Yogev nodded and tapped his index finger on the glass that coated his desk.

Erez waited, pushing down the wave of doubt and uncertainty. Several months ago, his young brother took over managing a pub in suburbia. Earlier today he asked Erez to take his shift tonight—he was going to a final audition for a role in a TV series. If all else failed, Erez would bartend. He winced at this but held onto his guns. His boss took a deep breath, and Erez readied himself. He was strangely calm as he waited to be dismissed. Deep in his gut, in a place he hadn’t visited for a long time, this felt right.

“Okay, Erez, no need to quit. If you’re so determined to leave real estate, I’ll help you get the Tractus position.”

He blinked, unsure he had heard correctly.

“You’ll help me?”

“Yes, I’ll have to grease a lot of palms and turn in many favors to even get you considered for this, and I’ll do it. But I need you to do me a tiny favor first. There’s an old army buddy of mine. We served together, and he saved my life in Lebanon. This guy heads a group of early investors in startups. They can raise upwards of two to three million dollars for a startup.”

“Impressive,” Erez chimed in, hardly listening, still processing this stunning turn of events.

“Now, a new investor joined, but he wants due diligence on this new investment my buddy found, and he wants it from a certified accountant. That is where you come in. Look into the company. It’s a very promising startup called Kisharti. Check the books, and that the numbers add up. It’s an early-stage startup. I doubt they have any concrete numbers other than salaries and overseas flights.”

“No problem,” he answered, wondering how he would fit this extra gig into his overloaded schedule.

“Be sure to write a favorable report.” His boss winked at him.

“I’ll write what I find,” he barked, immediately regretting it when his boss’s mouth thinned.

“You’ll find nothing, Erez. Do this right and I’ll start moving mountains for you here, I promise.”

He’d write what he found, but his boss was probably right, and he would find nothing. Yogev’s black eyes held his, and he finally nodded his assent.

Thank you for reading all the way through.

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