Lucien folded the letter from his mother and put it in the locked drawer with the others just as someone knocked on his door. It flew open only a second later.
“Not acceptable,” he barked, rising to his feet. “If my door is closed, I—”
“Are you serious?” Makeda slammed a folder down on his desk. “I mean, I know you people are archaic, but are you serious with this?”
You people? Lucien crossed his arms and hated that his first thought was Makeda looked stunning when she was irritated.
“You asked for copies of my original observation notes,” he said. “Is there a problem with them?”
“Reams of photocopies I can deal with because I know e-mail is an issue. But Latin?”
He shrugged. “You asked for originals. I take my notes in Latin and I have for roughly two thousand years. If you expect me to apologize you’ll be waiting awhile.”
Makeda said nothing, but Lucien couldn’t help but notice the color rising to her cheeks. Apparently, the unflappable Doctor Abel could be pushed beyond the clinical. So far, he’d heard only praise from the team he’d so carefully put together.
She was so friendly for a research scientist. Such a good listener. So quick with feedback and surprisingly organized. There were even rumors she had a sense of humor.
It grated more than it should have.
Lucien asked, “Will you need an assistant to translate them for you? I believe more than one are fluent.”
Of course they were. He’d chosen them.
Makeda’s eyes frosted over. “It’s fine. It’s been a few years, but I’m sure it’ll come back to me. If I run into problems, I’ll call my father. His Latin is probably better than yours.”
“As I am a native speaker, I very much doubt that.”
If Lucien had to guess, there were more than a few Latin phrases she was thinking of at that moment. After all, no one could curse like a Roman.