“Hell, right now my only weapons were Obnoxious and Snark, and I intended to use them whenever possible.”
“Had I managed to fall into some sort of carnivorous plant? Yeah, bleed on the man-eating plant. Always a good plan.”
“This dude could read Pat the Bunnyand make it terrifying.”
“I leveled a scowl at him. “Is there
anything in our agreement that says I can’t
call you names?”
He crouched and added a few touches
to the diagram. A very faint smile curved
his mouth. “No.”
My own mouth twitched. “So,
hypothetically, if I were to call you an
asshole, there’d be no reprisals?” I asked
with an innocent look. “Hypothetically, of
Idris glanced up sharply, then hissed
and drew back his hand as the sigil he was
working on stung him.
“Nothing of that sort is covered by the
agreement,” was Mzatal’s mild reply.
I chuckled under my breath. “I think
I’ll just call you Boss.”
He glanced over at me with a raised
eyebrow. I smiled sweetly in response.
Mzatal straightened, turned fully to me,
hands behind back and head lowered
slightly, and still with the faint hint of a
smile. “There could be consequences.”
I shrugged, still smiling. “What fun
would it be if there weren’t?”
Mzatal lifted his head. “None
whatsoever,” he said, his face betraying a
hint of amusement as he moved to the
center of the diagram.”
“I have missed you. And I did not know anything was missing.”
“Mzatal gave a decisive nod. “I will
manage this. It cannot continue to interfere
with his work. Too much is at stake.”
I raised an eyebrow. “How do you
intend to manage it?”
“I will tell him the truth and outline the
I was surprised Mzatal didn’t shrivel
away from the look I gave him. “Dude.
Seriously? You expect him to stop
crushing on me because you forbid it?”
Mzatal frowned, contemplative.
“Perhaps not ideal given the entanglement
of human emotions, though there is no time
for it to drag on,” he said, as if he actually
knew what he was talking about. “If he
knows you have no interest and sees how
his distractions have affected his work, he
will subside enough for now.”
My withering look became glacial.
“Boss, you’re completely awesome in
many ways, but you are so off-base with
this it’s not even funny.” I rolled my eyes.
“I’ve already ramped ‘No Interest’ up to
eleven on the dial and, at this point, he
doesn’t care if his work suffers.” I took a
big gulp of coffee, then ran my fingers
through my tangled hair. “Let me deal with
it. Normally I’m not into direct
confrontation with this sort of shit, but
there’s isn’t enough time for it to fizzle out
on its own.”
Mzatal regarded me with that damned
unreadable mask which he’d slipped on as
I was talking. Great. Lords weren’t much
on being told they were wrong, but it had
to be said.”
“Why on Earth then do some people have so much, some so little? It makes no sense. The”
“As often happens in science, discoveries are made in the pursuit of an elusive (and sometimes nonexistent) goal.”
“You don’t give hired assassins supper, do you?” Quentin smiled. “No, but when a wolf follows your sleigh, you give it meat,” he”
“All my life I've wanted to tell people I love them. Fear usually held me back, that they wouldn't care, or they wouldn't hear, or they would take too much from me once they knew.”
“It is on-line that the purest brands are being built: liberated from the real world burdens of stores and product manufacturingg, these brands are free to soar, less as the disseminations of goods or services than as collective hallucinations.”
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