warning: the following contains strong language
Excerpt from book one of Oracle’s Legacy
As Ollie took her seat, she watched the man shift in his chair. Elbows on his desk, he clasped his hands together in front of his face, peering at her with those silver eyes. He dressed like a millionaire in high-end suits with platinum cufflinks, and he did business better than a billionaire. She couldn’t help but respect the man. Anyone who knew him respected him. He kept his mouth shut and his operation polished like fine silver. From the outside, he could’ve been mistaken for a stockbroker or CEO. But the man’s reach was far wider than that of a mere businessman. In the Structure, he was a legitimate businessman, but outside he would be a mobster, if they could catch him or even name him. He dealt in what the underground called non-perishables—information, money, jewels, art, weapons, parts, transportation, anything that wasn’t plant, animal, human, or chemical. In his own words, perishables were a messy business. The only organic substances he dealt with were food and drinks in his clubs and casinos, and it was all legal.
The man’s dealings were tight, and everyone who worked for him was loyal, because if they weren’t, Granger had a way of finding out and making them pay dearly. Knowledge was power for him, and he had a load of it: knowledge and power, the very reason she was there.
“I need to know about your political interests.”
His eyes didn’t move off of her. No sign of questions or answers. He was a handsome man—very attractive, actually. If it weren’t for his stony expression, he would be gorgeous. But very mysterious. His skin was brown with a hint of red, his head was shaved, and he had a goatee on his square jaw that connected to his neatly trimmed mustache. It was said that he had played football in his younger days: a running back. But at forty, he was a force of nature in the underground and had power that football never could give him. He was House of Heart, a contender for the Grand House, an inspiration to his House. They loved him. And though he had complete loyalty toward his House, he had no interest in the Grand House. Maybe because he already had influence over those who were interested.
He finally leaned back in his chair and just stared at her, eyes like silver bullets. That was the stare that Ellis couldn’t stand—the reason he wouldn’t come and the reason Troy wouldn’t look in on their meeting. Granger was reading her, stripping her until she was nothing but a naked woman in the chair, or not even that. He could see the deepest, darkest depths of her, but she would endure it until she got what she needed.
“I have none,” he finally answered, eyes shifting as they dulled slightly. Those eyes always had mesmerized her. He mesmerized her.
But that was all she needed to know. He was an honest man of few words. What he said was enough for her.
He asked, “Does this have something to do with the arms movement underground?”
He lifted an eyebrow. “You mean yes.”
“If you already knew the answer, why ask?” She grinned at him, teasing.
His eyes narrowed. “I can tell you this.” And that would be all he would tell her, too. “There is a political shift coming. One that could cause some problems for the Structure. What is that shift? I have some ideas. River and Flame are moving more than normal.” He looked at her knowingly before he turned to Troy. “If you hear anything …”
“I’ll let you know.” Troy glanced over at him. They did business on occasion. There was mutual respect. It was understood that they kept each other informed.
“Thank you.” Ollie stood to leave. Man, it wouldn’t have killed him to smile just once when he saw her.
“I’ll tell Joc you’re well.” He stood, clearly ready for them to leave. Or just her.
“Take care.” Ollie nodded, not caring one way or the other if Joc ever heard her name. She wondered why she had chosen Joc in the first place, when Granger would have been the better choice. Granger was all business, and Joc was fun, at first. And Granger never seemed happy to see her. Then again, he probably saw everything about her with those eyes, and as a result, he was forewarned to keep his distance. Who the hell cared? But she did wonder what it was that he saw. He never said, and he never would. That was how he worked, never revealing secrets and never revealing much emotion. All business.