COPYRIGHT Paranoia by Joseph Finder. Copyright 2004 by Joseph Finder. All Rights Reserved. Sharing not permitted.
Slack-jawed, dizzy, I turned slowly and saw a cluster of guards, five or six of them, among them a couple of familiar faces. Two of them were the guys I'd scared off, and they were back, furious.
The security guard, the black guy who'd caught me in Nora's office—what was his name, again? The guy with the Mustang? He was pointing a pistol at me. "Mister—Mister Sommers?" he gasped.
Next to him, in jeans and a T-shirt that looked like they'd been thrown on moments ago, his blond hair a tousled mess, was Chad. He was holding his cell phone. I knew at once why he was here: he must have tried to sign on, found that he was already signed on, and so he made a call....
"That's Cassidy. Call Goddard!" Chad bellowed at the guard. "Call the goddamned CEO!"
"No, man, that's not the way we do it," the guard said, staring, his gun still aimed at me. "Step back," he shouted. A couple of other guards were fanning out to either side. He said to Chad, "You don't call the CEO, man. You call the security director. Then we wait for the cops. That's my orders."
"Call the fucking CEO!" Chad screamed, waving his cell phone. "I've got Goddard's home number. I don't care what time it is. I want Goddard to know what his goddamned executive assistant, this fucking hustler, did!" He pressed a couple of buttons on the phone, put it to his ear.
"You asshole," he said to me. "You are so fucked."
It took a long time before anyone answered. "Mr. Goddard," Chad said in a low, deferential voice. "I'm sorry to call so early in the morning, but this is extremely important. My name is Chad Pierson, and I work at Trion." He spoke a few minutes more, and slowly his malevolent grin began to fade.
"Yes, sir," he said.
He thrust the phone at me, looking deflated. "He says he wants to talk to you."