Taylor McCormack rushed through the hallway of the brokerage, her long red hair flowing behind her.  Had she not been so pissed off, it would have been a beautiful sight.  Chris glanced up from his computer screen and shrunk in his chair.  He knew what she was coming for.  Him.

                "Where the hell is Varick?" she growled at an intern.  He silently pointed to the desk.

                "I can explain," Chris said and stood up to defend himself.

                "What is there to explain?  We had a meeting with potential clients, possibly the biggest this firm has ever brought in, and your Jewish ass wasn't there."

                "What's this got to do with me being Jewish?" he grinned.

                "You better get that smartass grin off your face before I knock it off."

                "Look, lady, you aren't above me."

                "Lady?" she asked incredulously and her hands went to her hips.  "Who the fuck are you calling Lady?"

                "I see how it was an inappropriate comment," he smirked.  "Or at least untrue."

                "Shut up.  You have the files."

                "Excuse me?"

                "The client files.  We're still in this meeting, by the way, and no, you cannot join in, but I need the files."

                "Why would I hand them over to you?  I've been working on bringing in that company for six months!" he said and held the file just out of her reach.

                "And I care why?" she asked, an eyebrow raised.  "If you're so into this client, you should have showed up for the meeting."  She grabbed the file from his hand and hurriedly marched back to the conference room.  Not five seconds after she sat down, the door opened again and Chris walked in.

                "Mr. Varick, we've been expecting you," the boss said and tapped his watch.

                "I know, I apologize, my mother was rushed to the hospital this morning."  Taylor rolled her eyes as he ripped the file from under her hands.  She threw an evil glance at him as he began explaining their prospective portfolio. 

                "Wait, Mr. Varick, is your mother okay?" a woman from the client's company asked.

                "Pardon me?"

                "Is your mother okay?"

                "Yes, Chris, you mentioned your mother being rushed to the hospital," Taylor smirked and he poked her under the table.  She glanced down at his hand to see his middle finger raised.

                "At this point, we think she's going to be okay.  It was a minor stroke."  She desperately wanted to call him on his lie, especially since she knew his mother was in Bora Bora for the week, but knew it would jeopardize bringing in millions of dollars to the firm.  She was expected to present complete civility in business dealings of any kind in front of clients, no matter how much bullshit it was.  After his investment presentation, the clients signed the contract.  After shaking their hands and convincing them they weren't making a mistake, Taylor headed out the door.  They weren't making a mistake; that much had been true.  Hill & Associates was easily the most respected broker firm on Wall Street.  They hired only the best stockbrokers out there.  Of course, bringing in the best meant bringing in the cockiest, and they had definitely found two of those with Chris Varick and Taylor McCormack.