The Boss crooked his finger as he looked over his shoulder. It always surprised everyone as to how small such a powerful man’s hands were.
“C’mere,” he began, his voice somewhat hoarse. “Bill, I’m not real happy with some of the results on your–shall we say–assignments? You don’t have much of a reputation left and may be needing a pardon or two. It would be a shame if you didn’t get that and had to do some time, wouldn’t it?”
Bill just stood there silently, looking down, intently staring at the toes of his wingtip shoes. He took in a deep breath but said nothing.
“I want,” the Boss continued, “you know what I mean? I want Roger to go home to his wife AND his mistresses with no problems. You understand?” Bill nodded, almost imperceptibly.
“I don’t want General John to have any problems. I want to make sure that his security clearance information shows him as pure as a new born babe. Got it?”
Bill continued to stare at his shoes. He noticed that although his valet had polished everything to a superb gloss, there was a little bit of shoe polish in at least one of the holes of the wingtips. He vowed to fire the valet.
“Incidentally, I find Bolton to be irritating. He distracts me from my cable news viewing. Take care of him, and while you’re at it, that Marine–what’s his name? He doesn’t talk nice enough about me. What did Himmler say? ‘You want somebody convicted? Tell me who and I’ll find something they did.’ He musta done somethin’, you know?
“Vlad’s sending a couple of guys over to compare notes with you. You might learn a thing or two and, who knows,” as the Boss’s eyes turned upward, “they might learn some useless thing from you. Probably not, but maybe.”
“You know, sire,” Bill began, but the Boss didn’t let him continue.
“Hey!” the Boss said forcefully. “This ain’t about you. It’s about me! It’s always about me! Got it?”
Bill knelt and bowed his head and mumbled his acquiescence.