I teleported to Winston’s office. He was working busily behind his desk and I clearly broke his focus when I arrived.
“I hate it when people just teleport in unannounced,” he whined. “I have my blood pressure to consider.”
“Winston,” I reminded him, “You’re already—”
“Already dead, yes, I know,” he interrupted dismissively. “But I’ve learned that death is not necessarily a cure for hypertension.”
“Did you need something?” a low voice directly behind me growled. Even more startled than Winston had been, I yelped, jumped and whirled around. Dramien was standing there, chuckling softly and clearly enjoying the fact that he’d just made me react in an undignified manner not befitting the reigning Lord of Darkness.
“When did you get there?” I gasped.
“I was already standing there when you ported in,” he said. That was one of the drawbacks of my nifty teleportation power—you could never be entirely sure of how a room was occupied before you materialized in the middle of it.
“Well?” Winston said impatiently as I tried to catch my breath. “I have a lot of work that I hate doing to get to, so if you could maybe get on with it…?” He waved one hand in a circular motion to hurry me up.
“Right, sorry.” I said, shifting to a businesslike tone. After all the time I’d spent building up my powers and asserting my authority, I hated how quickly I could still lose the respect and the fear and the imposing presence that I felt I’d started to earn. I needed to remember that, whether I was still a teenager or not, I had an image that it was important for me to maintain. I wasn’t here to jump when I got spooked and let my subordinates adjust my timetable to fit theirs. I was here to demand that my underlings do my bidding.
Keeping my voice firm, I said, “I need to know where you assigned Quinn Madsen.”