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Sebastian Moran took a slow drink, surveying the rest of the room. God, he hated ‘holiday parties’. Especially with this lot of scum and villainy. He was standing in a posh Parisian flat of a former African warlord, drinking wine and ‘networking’ with fellow mercs and cons. Only accepted the invite because he could use the money. Maybe something to get him out of fucking France. What sort of person has a Christmas party for all the people he used to get out of the jungle before the UN troops came in?

Apparently it was the large, overtly laughing man over by the bar. It was almost enough to make Sebastian sick with boredom, until he took in his host’s acquaintance. The smaller man next to him wouldn’t pull attention from most. Dark hair, smoothed back; a suit that looks like it cost enough to fund a drug cartel. However, Moran was watching his eyes. Wide, dark eyes that seemed to absorb all light around them.

His inspection was interrupted by Cortez, a slightly drunken version of the Spaniard at least, throwing an arm around his shoulders.

‘Moran! You don’t look like you’re enjoying yourself!’ Cortez patted his back, heartily, ‘Free food, free wine; at least try to smile a bit, and maybe you’ll get lucky tonight!’

Sebastian scoffed, ‘My idea of a good time does not include underaged girls that one of your friends has in the back.’

‘Oh, you wound me! But hey, not everyone gets their kicks from polishing their gun, eh?’

‘Keep your herpes to yourself and tell me who the new guy is, talking to Dnasi.’ Moran peeled Cortez’s hand off his back. Cortez squinted toward their host’s direction.

‘All business, soldier, even we devils get holidays. No, there is guy who might hire an asshole like you. English, too. Just came back from good job in Ukraine. Moriarty.’

Sebastian couldn’t believe it. That little man over there, that was Moriarty. The man had already gained quite the reputation in all the right circles. Not the sort you’d ask for a job, rather he would come to you. And if James Moriarty was interested in your work, action was sure to follow. Seb was dying for some action.

Almost as if he could hear his thoughts, Moriarty looked across the room to Moran.
Sebastian Moran was dying for some action.

 

He tried to regain the bored look of earlier by the time Moriarty made his way with two fresh glasses of merlot.

‘White is your usual, Captain, but you should really try my brand of red’. Moriarty handed him one as though they were in the middle of a conversation. His eyes followed the glass to Moran’s lips as he took it.

‘Sure. Thanks.’ Sebastian kept his own gaze on Moriarty. Something about those eyes, he both feared and trusted.

‘Excellent. Then you are not adverse to returning to London for a while? I do have some rather… fascinating … tricks to play there. Something that could use a man of your skillset.’

Sebastian had no idea what he was talking about, but he didn’t care. Who could say no to Moriarty?

‘London. Haven’t been in a while.’

Moriarty gave him another long glance. ‘Great. Well, then let us get out of this den of debauchery to whip up one of our own. Come along.’ He turned to the door.

Again, who was he to say no to Moriarty. He set down his glass and followed. He knew the answer would always be yes.