Sonya was a globetrotter. She was regularly dispatched from the Moscow home office, along with a colleague or two, to review commercial operations at startups that benefited from her firm’s financial backing. Those young companies were generally headquartered in emerging markets. Her Russian passport included a montage of visas and entry stamps for destinations like Mexico, South Africa, and Indonesia.
This trip to Dubai, however, was different. Sonya had been sent to interview an executive who was a prime, albeit early-stage, candidate to head their due-diligence team. He was based in Mumbai. They agreed to rendezvous in the Gulf. Awkwardly, she did not know that he would be a no-show until she read her email on arrival at the high-end restaurant where they planned to meet. His flight had been diverted from landing at the last minute.
Sonya welcomed the respite. Armed with her iPad, she was able to catch up on overdue correspondence and check in with a few friends who were also online. But her attention was sidetracked by a briefcase apparently abandoned on a nearby side chair. It was a stylish attaché in top condition, made with rich crocodile leather. The clasp was particularly eye-catching. Its elegant design and gold-plated finish announced that this piece of business regalia was far more than a department store close-out. Sonya stared at the attaché throughout her solitary meal. Uncharacteristically, she decided that she would simply take it as payback for the skewed business trip, assuming it was still there when she finished.
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