Ivan’s door buzzer sounded at close to Komarran midnight, just when he was unwinding enough from lingering jump lag, his screwed-up diurnal rhythm, and the day’s labors to consider sleep.
'I do not have a claustrophobia thing. I have a perfectly rational dislike of being locked up in small, dark, wet spaces by people trying to kill me.' (Ivan)
His eye fell on Simon, watching this with his mouth gone wry. 'And Simon. What the hell?' The Why was I blindsided? look was very clear in the Emperor's eye, which Ivan could only be grateful was not turned on him. Yet.
Simon gave him a beleaguered head tilt. 'You know that long lunch appointment I made with you for tomorrow?'
'I should have made it for yesterday.'
Ivan ran a toe up Tej’s shin, and began attending.
"Captain Ivan Vorpatril is happy with his relatively uneventful bachelor's life of a staff officer to a Barrayaran Admiral. Ivan, cousin to Imperial troubleshooter Miles Vorkosigan, is not far down the hereditary list for the emperorship. Thankfully, new heirs have directed that headache elsewhere leaving Ivan to enjoy like on Komarr. But when and old friend in Barrayaran intelligence asks Ivan to protect an attractive young woman Tej Arqua his chivalrous nature takes over and danger finds him once again. Tej and her half-sister Rish are fleeing the violent overthrow of their clan but it seems Tej may possess a hidden secret that could corrupt the heart of a highly regarded Barrayarn family. But none of Tej's formidable adversaries have counted on Ivan Vorpatril. Behind his facade of wry and self effacing humor lies a true and cunning protector who will never leave a distressed lady in the lurch"--… (more)