"He ah likes me for my brains?" Miles offered, unsure if he was annoyed with himself for feeling like he needed to justify anything, with Ivan for making Miles feel like he needed to justify anything or, another distinct possibility, with Ivan again, only this time for walking in on and thereby interrupting what had until then been a perfectly pleasant afternoon of occasional sex with political advisory interludes.
Ivan had the gall to look like he was the wronged party here. "Well, he'd have to, wouldn't he?" Which yes, fine, Miles had learned to live with the fact that he was hardly anyone's ideal of male beauty a long time ago. Still didn't mean he had to like it when people rubbed it in, of course.
"I mean," Ivan went on, "Gregor's probably the only one who can even hope to keep up with that twisted mind of yours, anyway."
Miles tried to determine if that made Ivan's earlier words more or less offensive. "I trust I can rely on your discretion?"
"Do I look like an idiot?" Ivan asked, thankfully moving right along before Miles' mouth did something he might regret later, if only a little. "Anyone wanting to cross both you and Gregor'd have to be an enormous one."
Well, cos, you are rather taller than I will ever be. Best keep it friendly, though. Revenge being a dish best served cold, and all that. "Good."
"And hey, who'd believe me anyway?"
There was an insult in that statement somewhere, Miles decided, but he just didn't feel like digging for it.
Let Ivan be as offensive as he wanted (and in truth, Miles admitted, Ivan probably hardly did - it simply came to him as naturally as breathing) - Miles had gotten the girl this time.
Or, well, emperor.