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Memah made a show of looking around the diner.

all these other offers to put a roof over my head and food
on the table? I don't know; it's so hard to winnow them
down." She sat down beside him. "I know someone like
you can always get a job-but if I take this, I want you as
my security man."

Rodo nodded once. "Okay, I'm in."

"Just like that?"

He grinned. "A chance to thump active military guys who

get rowdy? Why not? The guys in the field usually have
better skills than the benchwarmers. More interesting that
way. Besides, I'd miss you."

She had to smile at that. "You're a Branded Aesthete,

Rodo. You don't engage in intimate relations with

He nodded again. "Keep 'em on a pedestal where they

belong, that's our motto. But everybody's got to be
somewhere. Beauty is where you find it."

Memah felt a wave of relief. "Ship leaves in three days."

"No problem. I can pack in five minutes."

She nodded. Yeah. It would take her about that long, too.

"So I'll tell the man we'll take the job."