Izzo raised his brows as he realized that there were only three people in Urfa’s conference room.
The President shook his hand. “You know, Exle, don’t you?”
Exle Withione Bangkok was the head of the unfortunately small Modernist party . . . This is a political meeting, not . . .
“Of course. Exle picks on me regularly, and forces me to attend all the party meeting in the Western Hemisphere.” Another handshake.
“Don’t you mean, host those meetings, Izzo? Something to do with you being the third highest ranking Modernist after these two layabouts?” Exle grinned and Urfa waved them all into chairs. No guards, not even Rael. Not even Qayg!
“Don’t look so worried, Izzo, this will be over quickly. We’re looking toward next year’s Presidential Election, and checking out all the possible candidates.” The President grinned.
Izzo looked at Urfa. “I will certainly support . . .”
Urfa shook his head. “You, Izzo.”
Izzo froze. Tried to think of something to say. Forced himself to breath. Swallowed. “I . . .”
Grins from the other three.
President Orde pulled a cash card out of his pocket and handed it to Urfa. Shook his head. “And here I was sure you’d have thought about it.”
“I . . .”
Urfa shook his head. “He’s been busy. Izzo. You’ve got a lot less time to set up the Directorate for a new Director than you’d planned. And a bigger job ahead of you than you’d planned.”
And some odd words seemed to be coming out of his mouth. “If I win. Which is definitely not . . . going to be easy . . . and maybe not possible.”
Oh shit! Did I just say yes?
He was still feeling stunned two hours later when he walked back into the Gothic Horror. El Zee was shooting worried glances at him in the rearview mirror, and stepped out to watch him walk, hopefully steadily, through the front door.
It was the middle of the day, the kids were at school and Xiat would be working . . . or rushing in through the back door because someone—El Zee, no doubt—had tattled. He hauled her into the elevator, pushed the button and pulled her into a hug.
“Sorry.” He cleared his throat. “I . . . um . . . had a bit of a shock today.”
She stood him off, hands on his shoulders and looked him over. “Izzo! What happened?”
“Um . . . Let’s get private.” He led the way down the hall to the Director’s suite, and flopped on the ridiculously large bed to stare at the ceiling. Tried to organize his thoughts into coherent order. Most important thing first.
“Xiat, you are the light of my life and . . . and . . .”
“Izzo?” She leaned over him frowning now. “What did you do?”
“Agree to run for president.”
Xiat started laughing. “Izzo! Do you mean to tell me you didn’t notice you were being groomed for the job? For years!”