Simone was the talkative, social animal of the bunch and quickly had the conversation rolling along. In fact, Simone was so loquacious that the others had trouble finding an opening in her monologue to get a word in edgewise. Petra smiled at the ease with which her new found friend made everyone comfortable. She related the story of their meeting by the pool and the crazy people they’d observed. They soon all chuckled at the animated delivery.
Jacob finally found an opening and asked, “So Carlos, I understand that you have been quite busy these last few months in the financial sector. I don’t wish to pry into your customer/consultant relationships, but can you tell us about your area of expertise?”
Petra sensed that Jacob simply could not turn off work. She knew that he was interested, and he had spent a great deal of time using his technology insights in the finance sector. He was always the one looking for business expansion possibilities, more so now that he was a part of the family operation. She smiled, confident that he would graciously handle this portion of the discussion.
Carlos warmed to the polite way that Jacob asked and responded, “I’ve worked a long time at modest financial consulting jobs, and in the last 6 months I have gravitated towards financial management of large inheritances. People that I’ve grown up with are coming into large inheritances as they lose parents or take over family trusts. I’ve been advising and consulting with these client friends. Luckily, each one in turn gives me a referral that brings me new opportunities. As in a lot of professions, if you work hard and pay your dues the rewards seem to find you. Business, as they say, has been good. And you, Jacob, can you tell us something of your profession?”
Jacob was delighted with their dinner companions and the shared discussion. He was still a basically guarded individual but saw no reason not to respond.
“I’m something of a high tech specialist in digital security, though I do enter other avenues in technology, as it makes sense.”
While Jacob spoke, Carlos only seemed focused on Simone’s arm and slowly and gently with the back of his hand stroked her smooth skin repeatedly with tender erotic intent. Jacob and then Petra noticed, and the distraction made it difficult for Jacob to speak as his mind was wandering elsewhere. He and Petra had limited public displays of affection, but somehow he found this gesture something that could be reassuring.
Jacob continued, “I get called in to a variety of companies, a lot of banks actually, to do what is called Pen-testing or Penetration-testing of digital security systems. I find it challenging and a fun profession. Just me against the security defenses, and after I’m done I write my report and deliver the findings to the customer so they can strengthen their defenses against the bad guys. I also review programs and write them as needed to help customers as required.”
Carlos was still fixated on stroking Simone’s arm with the back of his hand, but he obviously concentrated and listened to Jacob. He sensed that this Jacob was not one to talk about his success unless it struck the right cord. Carlos found that interesting in this new gringo acquaintance.
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