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By Lois McMaster Bujold

Lord Miles Vorkosigan, youngest Imperial Auditor to be appointed by way of the Emperor because the Time of Isolation, has an issue all his new energy cannot remedy: unrequited love for the attractive Vor widow Ekaterin Vorsoisson. Ekaterin is violently allergic to marriage because of her first publicity.

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Possibly that might be a great day to name in his Vor rights and get a price tag, and take a discreet again seat within the visitor's gallery on the Council of Counts. simply to see what occurred, to take advantage of one in all Gregor's favourite words. Gregor . . . "Does Gregor find out about this? " Ivan requested by surprise. "Did you inform him your plan, earlier than you left for Beta? " "No, after all not," acknowledged Dono. He sat at the bed's part, and started pulling at the boots. Ivan may perhaps suppose his the teeth clench. "Are you from your minds? " "As someone or one other is keen on quoting–I imagine it used to be your cousin Miles–it is often more straightforward to get forgiveness than permission. " Dono rose, and went to the reflect to ascertain the influence of the boots. Ivan clutched his hair. "All correct. You two–you three–dragged me up right here since you claimed you sought after my aid. i will hand you a touch. unfastened. " He took a deep breath. "You can blindside me, and giggle your heads off to be able to. It will not be the 1st time i have been the butt. you could blindside Richars with my strong will. you could blindside the complete Council of Counts. Blindside my cousin Miles–please. i would like to monitor. yet don't, in the event you worth your probabilities, if you happen to suggest this to be whatever except a major, brief funny story, don't blindside Gregor. " Byerly grimaced uncertainly; Dono, turning sooner than the reflect, shot Ivan a penetrating glance. "Go to him, you suggest? " "Yes. i cannot make you," Ivan went on sternly, "but in the event you do not, I categorically refuse to have whatever extra to do with you. " "Gregor can kill all of it with a word," acknowledged Dono warily. "Before it even launches. " "He can," stated Ivan, "but he will not, with no robust motivation. do not provide him that motivation. Gregor doesn't like political surprises. " "I notion Gregor used to be really easy-going," acknowledged by means of, "for an emperor. " "No," acknowledged Ivan firmly. "He isn't. he's in basic terms fairly quiet. it isn't a similar factor in any respect. you don't need to determine what he is like pissed. " "What does he seem like, pissed? " requested by way of apparently. "Identical to what he seems like the remainder of the time. that is the frightening half. " Dono held up a hand, as by means of opened his mouth back. "By, apart from the opportunity to amuse your self, you pulled Ivan in in this this night as a result of his connections, or so that you claimed. In my event, it is a undesirable inspiration to disregard your professional experts. " via shrugged. "It's unlike we are paying him whatever. " " i'm calling in a few outdated favors. This expenditures me. And it isn't from a fund i will exchange. " Dono's look swept to Ivan. "So what precisely do you recommend we do? " "Ask Gregor for a quick interview. prior to you check with or see an individual else in any respect, even over the comconsole. Chin up, glance him within the eye–" An ungodly proposal happened to Ivan then. "Wait, you did not ever sleep with him , did you? " Dono's lips, and mustache, twitched up with enjoyment. "No, regrettably. A neglected chance I now remorse deeply, I guarantee you. " "Ah. " Ivan breathed reduction. "All correct. Then simply inform him what you intend to do. declare your rights. he will both choose to allow you to run, or he will impound you.

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