A Bit More of the Novel…

…”This is absolutely the last time I’ll be doing you any damn favors, Jack.”
   Seldon’s sharp blue eyes followed Richard’s receding form, wondering about the gamble he had just taken.  He knew he risked losing heavily if it went wrong.

   “He’s going to be real pissed at you when he finds out the truth,” Virginia said from the doorway.   Her worried eyes watched Richard as he practically ran out of the office.
   “Had no choice,” Seldon replied.  “He’s my best man, the only one who might prevent the checkmate to this queen, if my suspicions prove true.”
   Virginia turned to her boss.  She’d rarely heard any emotion filter through his voice, unlike now.  “You don’t sound very confident.”
   “There are too many variables on the table.”  Seldon tapped on a blown-up photograph of a smiling woman, vivacious, with intelligent eyes and a look of vulnerability about her.  The queen in this game might be in jeopardy, and he had sent out his best knight to prevent any possible checkmate.  But in the horseman’s current vulnerable position, the proximity to this queen might prove devastating… (chapter 2, p. 16).