Twisting Arms (The Admonition)

He leaned back in his chair, placing his fingertips thoughtfully together, as he gave his nervous assistant a astute once-over.

"Well Ian," he began slowly, "do you know what today is?"

Ian swallowed.  "Uh... I dunno... Wednesday?"

"No no, the date!  The date, Ian!"

"Oh!  Erm, the fourth?"

"Precisely.  Which means there are only nine days."

"Nine days, sir?"

"Nine days, Ian."  A smirk began to play with his lips.

The assistant tugged nervously at his collar.  "Pardon me for asking, but what's in nine days, sir?"

He hung his head in disappointment.  "You mean to tell me you can't do simple math?  What's nine plus four, Ian?  Nine plus four!"  He stood up quickly, making every inch of his five-three stature threaten.

"Thirteen!  Thirteen!" he squeaked, covering his head with his arms.

"Yes, thirteen, Ian."  He sat down again, looking a bit more agitated.  "I've been satisfied with the results so far, but there are a few who have expressed an interest in the project that have yet to deliver."  He stood up slowly, sending Ian trembling.  He gripped his assistant's collar, pulling him close.  "And you know how I hate it when people don't deliver," he hissed.  Ian nodded, knowing this all too well.  "So," he continued, dropping the collar, "I plan to admonish those who have expressed an interest, or who I think would express an interest."  He turned, hands folded behind his back.  "Nine days, Ian."

"N-nine days, sir."

The End

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