“Yeah, I’m starting to get worried.”

“You know me. If I stop moving I die like a shark.” She grinned, “Though I could make room for a longer lunch break if you’d really like to venture out.” Pepper thought a moment before addressing the question of how she was. “I’m good. Could be better, could be worse. I’m just praying that things clear up pretty soon. Work has been a nightmare considering the Extremis projects.”

“Tony’s a big boy, he can take care of himself.”

Maria laughs, a sharp bark that’s short-lived. “I like that, I’m stealing it.” She shifts, an elbow perched on the arm of the chair, a subtle hand wave that suggests she’s fine. “I don’t want to disturb you- I know how work can be. Let’s stay in. There’s nothing more fitting for us to catch up over than a power working lunch.” A deftly tapped-out email lets her next meeting know she might be running late. Delegates from the Surxondaryo region of Uzbekistan regarding the hyper-escalation of illegal arms trading.

“I can imagine. It seems as though things have taken an abrupt turn for the worse. Have you though of asking him to abandon the project altogether? Maybe take it up again sometime in the future?”


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