“Door, close and lock.” Ospar’s tone was seething.
Jol didn’t care. Let the blustering Dramok throw a tantrum. The Nobek would do his job in any event. He didn’t even look at Ospar as he stated, “I guess this is the part where you tell me how little my presence is appreciated?”
“You’re damned right I’m not happy about it. I only agreed to this out of consideration for my uncles.”
“At least you have consideration where self-preservation fails you.” The room was clean, and Jol put his wand away.
Ospar was far from done ranting. “I have a job to do. I have a company to run. You are not going to impede that.”
Jol looked at him. Without coalmine dust covering him from head to toe, Ospar was handsome. Thinking about the grin he’d worn when he’d shown up for work that morning reminded Jol he could be even better looking. The easy laugh that was nowhere to be found now had a power of its own, beguiling one to laugh with him. Ospar had charm to spare, and his looks would make him attractive in any crowd—not to mention the strong body accentuated by well-cut clothes.
Ospar would be worth bending over his fine, no doubt custom-built desk. But perhaps only after Jol had gagged him with his fist.
Thinking all of that, the Nobek told him, “I also have an assignment. That assignment is you. Keeping you alive, to be exact. All other considerations are not worth the first fuck to me, Director.”
Ospar’s mouth dropped open in shock at the bald statement. His amethyst eyes grew large. “I should fire you for your disrespect.”
Jol tried not to be smug, to keep his tone indifferent as he stated facts. “Only Nobek Talu or your uncles can fire me. Feel free to take your complaints to them. But if you deliver those complaints in person, I will be with you every step of the way to make sure you arrive alive.”
Ospar’s frustration rolled off him in waves. “I don’t think I like you.”
“My heart breaks.”
Ospar’s glare was so hateful that Jol had little compunction about returning it in kind. The director snarled at the overt hostility, his handsome face going feral for an instant. Then he flicked a dismissive hand that Jol found more insulting than his fury and stormed to his desk.
Ospar got to work, pounding savagely on his computer. After a few moments of being ignored and with no desk of his own to work at, Jol pulled out his handheld and began gathering as much data about the syndicate as he could. As he did so, he concentrated on drawing deep, steadying breaths, quieting the raw, jagged edge of his temper. He hoped Talu could figure out what to do about those targeting Ospar. Otherwise, the ungrateful wretch’s good health might end up threatened by a much closer source.
No release date set.