"And if he doesn't agree?"
"How can he possibly refuse? We are offering him enough money to set him and his family in luxury for generations!"
"If I may, Mr Crescent, I don't think Dr Tremayne's primary drive is wealth or financial stability. From what I have gleaned from our background checks, the man seems capable of living contentedly on bread and water...."
"Humph. Indeed." Crescent gazes absently across the sprawling cityscape, once a derelict shadow, transformed by a family's desire for wealth and notoriety. It was a good vision. But nothing lasts forever. And the future always but a second away.
"Maybe it's time we met in person then."
"Do you think that wise, Sir? According to my daughter, who to her credit, is sharper than a bear's claw, he is the model of arrogance and overconfidence..."
Crescent turned on his heel to face his most trusted advisor. On the table between them, the front page of the City's newspaper headline reads - "Tremayne Primatonics announces plans to expand its operations in Australasia".
"Then it might do him good to meet an equal, don't you think, Craig?" Smiling, he strolled round the table and clapped him on the shoulder. "Give him a call, will you? And set up the meeting."
His eyes were sparkling. Even after these years of getting to know Crescent, there were some things about him that, though in plain sight, eluded Joshua Craig. Perhaps, he keeps those things so well concealed even he himself doesn't see them. A dangerous, but effective guise.
Joshua pulled out his smartphone. Crescent returned his gaze to the metropolitan skyline. "I'm sure we won't need too long to convince him." And as he dialled the number, felt the hairs on the back of his neck rise.