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'He offered you ajohT
'He asked if I'd ever considered advocacy.' Buchanan hugged his coffee mug and tried to contain his euphoria but a sound escaped him which, in anyone else, would have been a sn.i.g.g.e.r. 'I couldn't understand why he'd offer to take me on to his staff, but he made it clear that he really wanted me to accept. He said he'd been impressed with my moral stance and my intelligence -would you believe? and admitted that everyone he spoke to in legal circles had only good to say about me. He thought I was wasting my talents as a solicitor.'
It occurred to Fizz that if Gra.s.sick had been discussing Buchanan so much recently his intentions hadn't been all that good. Perhaps he'd tried to blacken Buchanan's name and met with a resistance that made him think again. No matter, this was not the time to say so.
'And have you decided whether to accept or not?' she queried.
'Are you kidding?' He looked so boyish when he grinned like that -which was something like twice a year -that Fizz was in danger of forgetting what a trial he was most of the time. 'Are you kidding? How simple would I have to be?'
Lucky that he was in a fragile condition, otherwise she'd have had to hug him. 'I'll miss you,' she heard herself say not only out loud, which was naff enough, but in a voice that sounded totally pathetic. 277. 'You should be so lucky,' he returned, looking at her in a way that made her go hot and cold. 'I'll be in and out of the office till we get a new partner -just a temporary one, to tide us over till you get your degree.'
Fizz had to swallow a couple of times before she could say, 'You mean that, Buchanan? You'll take me on?'
'Sure 1 mean it. I never expected to get out of it.' He laughed softly, his blue, blue eyes on her face, and slid forward in his chair to lay his free hand on her arm.
'You're the best I could get, Fizz. I'm not in any doubt about that and anyway, I like having you around. What you've done for me over the past two weeks, the risks you've taken with your own career -I don't know anyone else who'd do that for me. Good friends are worth keeping.'
Now, Fizz realised, was the time to make a swift exit.
When things moved so fast down an unexplored route the smart thing to do was to play for time to think. She grabbed her coat.
'Gotta go. I've got to finish an essay for tomorrow morning. Besides, you'd be better off in bed.'
Buchanan smiled at her fondly. 'What would I do without you to look after me, Fizz?'
As she pa.s.sed behind his chair she bent down, gave his cheek a quick pinch, and murmured, 'Stick with me, baby, and you'll go places.'