“You’re certain I can’t just stay out here and—” Thom looked around the waiting room, his eyes landing on a neatly arranged array of magazines, “and catch up on the latest in the legal journals?”
“Quite certain.” Keegan put his hand in the small of Thom’s back, propelling him gently into Alasdair’s office after opening the door.
The ceannasaí looked up from what he was doing, arching his eyebrows when he saw Thom as well as Keegan. “To what do I owe this singular honor that you’ve brought him with you, Keegan?”
“He had something to tell you that you need to know.” Keegan took a seat in front of Alasdair’s desk, indicating that Thom should do the same.
“Might I hazard a guess that it has to do with Darius?”
Thom nodded and then, after an encouraging glace from Keegan, told his story. As he did Alasdair looked at first doubtful and then as the story progressed anger limned his face.
“Unbelievable,” Alasdair growled when Thom had finished. “Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I shall have a long talk with him about his behavior.”
“Mo ceannasaí, if I may offer an opinion,” Keegan said. He waited for Alasdair to indicate that he could before continuing. “Darius will deny everything, and so skillfully that you’ll believe him when he’s finished. He will, undoubtedly, do his best to make it seem as if Thom made it all up out of a whole cloth because he’s jealous.”
“And did he?” Alasdair asked, well aware of Keegan’s ability to ferret out the thoughts of humans, and that he would not lie to him.
“No he did not. What he’s told you is the absolute truth.”
“Something that I’ll make quite certain Darius understands if he tries to pull the wool over my eyes. Again, thank you letting me know, and you are dismissed.”
“But—” Keegan started to say. The protest died on his lips when the ceannasaí said his name sharply, pointing to the door. “As you wish, sir,” Keegan murmured with a slight bow of his head as he stood up.
“Now just a damned minute here,” Thom said angrily, standing as well, but not moving towards the door. “So all that bastard is going to get is a lecture after what I just told you? Don’t you get how close I was to coming after you? I would be dead now if I had, and he set that up to happen.”
“That would have been unfortunate. Luckily for you, you came to your senses before you did something so stupid. Now leave.” Alasdair pointed one clawed finger at Thom. “Now, and without another word. If you weren’t so important to Keegan you would be my supper this very moment for talking to me in that way.”
Thom opened his mouth in shock, and then snapped it shut as he walked swiftly out of the office. Keegan started after him, throwing an angry look at Alasdair over his shoulder as he did. He stopped dead when he saw him grinning broadly.
“Your young man has guts,” the ceannasaí commented. “For the first time since he came into your life I am beginning to believe that you have found your match. Now go, and try not to let him go off half-cocked. I shall deal with Darius as he deserves.”
With a soft chuckle, Keegan left, closing the door behind him.