Taryn hesitated on the balls of his feet, wondering how there could be so much hazard in the cut of a smile. The lurking danger had not always been there and its presence still surprised him at times. He rocked back so that his leather shoes pressed into the carpet. The brilliant silver doors of the elevator opened and hid the view of his reflection.
Applause erupted before him and he felt his smile widen unbidden. The congested maze of cubicles and desks was filled with suited men and women. People surged as he stepped from the elevator, greeting him with their own eager and painted grimaces. None ventured within arm’s reach even as they leaned forward to offer their congratulations and assurances that they’d known the bastards had no case against him.
There had been a case, a very good one in fact. This black mark would follow him for years and he knew the board was already entering into talks. Taryn’s smile became a sharper at the thought.
He accepted a flute of champagne and took a sip. Those around him darted and congregated, all wary of him, like schools of fish moving before a shark. None paused to truly engage or tarry too long in his attention. They were scared, perhaps of him, perhaps of the people trying to undo him. It didn’t matter at the moment, Taryn expected the next months would hone the smile he wielded.