Mzatal gave a decisive nod. “I willmanage this. It cannot continue to interferewith his work. Too much is at stake.”I raised an eyebrow. “How do youintend to manage it?”“I will tell him the truth and outline theconsequences.”I was surprised Mzatal didn’t shrivelaway from the look I gave him. “Dude.Seriously? You expect him to stopcrushing on me because you forbid it?”Mzatal frowned, contemplative.“Perhaps not ideal given the entanglementof human emotions, though there is no timefor it to drag on,” he said, as if he actuallyknew what he was talking about. “If heknows you have no interest and sees howhis distractions have affected his work, hewill subside enough for now.”My withering look became glacial.“Boss, you’re completely awesome inmany ways, but you are so off-base withthis it’s not even funny.” I rolled my eyes.“I’ve already ramped ‘No Interest’ up toeleven on the dial and, at this point, hedoesn’t care if his work suffers.” I took abig gulp of coffee, then ran my fingersthrough my tangled hair. “Let me deal withit. Normally I’m not into directconfrontation with this sort of shit, butthere’s isn’t enough time for it to fizzle outon its own.”Mzatal regarded me with that damnedunreadable mask which he’d slipped on asI was talking. Great. Lords weren’t muchon being told they were wrong, but it hadto be said.