“Weren’t you on the ship with us?” asked Eddie. “How’d you make it back here so fast?”
Lance dabbed his cigar into an ashtray. “I took a shuttle before you docked. They make you wait too long when you bring a cruiser in. I had shit to do.”
“Perks of being the boss,” mused Eddie.
“Pretty much,” said Lance.
“Are the reports ready?” asked Julianna.
“Not yet,” said Lance. “I need to review the latest intel before I hand it off to you. I’m thinking tomorrow morning. We’ll be able to get you both situated soon.”
Eddie scratched his chin. “Sir, if you don’t mind me saying so, I haven’t agreed to anything yet. I’m only here because you asked me to listen.”
The General chuckled. “Of course, you’re right, but let’s wait and talk about that tomorrow. I’ve got a presentation lined up that I think you’ll want to see. In the meantime, why don’t you two go and have some fun? You can show Julianna around the station.”
“How do you know I’ve been here before?” asked Eddie.
“Do you really need to ask that question?”
Eddie smirked. Of course, General Reynolds, because of his intelligence chief, Nathan Lowell, probably already knew everything there was to know about him. His parents, favorite foods, ex-girlfriends, former residence. “Right.”
“Anyway, you’ll be happy for the extra downtime, if you decide to sign on for this job. Trust me. You too, Julianna.”
“Yes, sir,” she answered.
“Yeah, I get the feeling she could use a break,” remarked Eddie, glancing back at Julianna, who was still standing at the door.
“I’m perfectly fine,” she said.
“Still, go have a drink,” suggested Lance. “Bond, for shit’s sake. You’re about to be partners.”
“If you insist,” said Julianna.
“I’ll be happy to drink,” grinned Eddie. “You covering the tab?”
“Why not?” asked Lance. “Enjoy yourself.”
Eddie strolled into the hall to wait.
Julianna drew closer to the desk. “Sir, is this really necessary? It might be a better use of my time to assist you with the reports.”
“Not this time, Commander Fregin. Try to enjoy yourself, for once.” Lance puffed on his cigar and dabbed it one more time on the tray. “That’s an order.”