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Sir ran a hand over the side of Ctirad’s hair. Ermenrich had cut it short again, shaved on the sides, military-looking. Ctirad hated it that way – but it wasn’t his hair, any more than when he had been in the military. “So, I trust Sal with my life, with my secrets, and with a good deal of my fortune – and not just in this car, which you can’t see at the moment, but is very expensive. But I assured you that when we weren’t alone, I would not make you answer questions – and while Sal does count as ‘private’ for me, I can’t say the same for you. You follow?”
Oh. “I… follow, sir.” Ctirad swallowed. “What do you want me to do?”
“Easy there, darling. Remember, I said this would be up to you? So. The question is, what do you want to do?”
“With all due respect sir,” he was going to get his ass kicked. He was going to go without food for a week, “that’s a trap. I can’t answer if I don’t know what you want me to want.”
There was a short laugh from the front of the car. “He’s got you there, sir.”
“Not helping, Sal.” Sir sounded a little grumpy. Ctirad worked his jaw and wondered how bad this one was gonna hurt. “Ctirad, it was not intended as a trap, but I understand how it might look that way. Let me put it this way. Are you comfortable with me touching you in front of Sal?”
He didn’t have honesty orders. On the other hand, he couldn’t see Sir’s face to see if his lies were going over well. Ctirad chewed it over. “With my clothes on, sir, yeah. That’s nothing new.”
“That’s not quite the same, but I’ll go with it. Okay. Are you comfortable answering questions in front of Sal?”
“It’s a long drive, Sal. Unless you want to regale him with tales of your life?”
“Carry on, boss.” It sounded like there was a salute in the reply. Ctirad was suddenly more curious about this Sal.
“Uh. If I’m being honest, depends on the question, and depends on if I get wiggle room or it’s an order.”
“I’d prefer you be honest – but that’s not an order, not yet. All right. So.” He got the impression Sir was looking at him. “Sal? Any questions?”
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