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In Focus

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They're in the third floor flat for its view. The hills beyond Taipei City look ethereal in the golden afternoon light but Eames’ attention is on the narrow townhouse opposite him. He can’t think of anything more tedious than extended surveillance. He’s had a lot of time to think.

Three clicks on the radio precede the squeak of the door. The rustle of a plastic bag has him grinning; Arthur, like most ex-military, is a reliable source of caffeine and carbs.

“Hey, need a break?”

“God yes,” Eames loses no time passing off the binoculars. “No visitors, no movement, no calls. Are we sure about her?”

“No, but Huang still thinks she’s our best chance.”

Eames rolls his neck, reaches his arms up until his shoulders pop. After a visit to the loo he rifles through the snacks with a pleased hum. Leaving the disturbingly sweet iced coffee for Arthur, he snags a cola and a bag of seaweed-flavored cheetos then heads back to the window.

Arthur's prone, resting the binocs on the low windowsill and flaunting his absolute peach of an arse. With his Air Force High and Tight growing out into floppy curls Arthur can probably pass for a teenager, though his confidence and his facility with deadly weapons belie his jailbait looks.

Eames sits against the wall and stretches his legs out beside Arthur. It’s utter torment, being so close.

After several minutes Arthur says, “It’s okay, you know.”


“I’m grateful that you never pressed, back on base, but it’s been five months.”

“And I should, what? Man up?”

“Something like that.”

“Alright. Arthur, I hold you in the highest esteem. When this job's over would you have dinner with me and engage in unspeakably filthy sexual acts?”

“Why, Mr. Eames, I thought you’d never ask.”