I've been shipped off to live with Sherlock Holmes, a friend of my Uncle John's. I'm Claudia Watson, I have a boyfriend, Alex, who is much older than me and happens to friends with Sebastian Moran. Sherlock is a loon but at least we have some of the same habits. Things can't get any worse for me.


4. Chapter 4

                A week had passed and I’d still had no contact with Moriarty. I thought about texting him but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Every time my phone buzzed, I got my hopes up. Every time it was either Sebastian wanting me to make a drop somewhere for him, or it was Alex wanting me to meet him for dinner and sex.

                This time Sebastian had another drop for me to do for him. It’s the third time this week. I used to go a month or two without a job. Apparently he’d found me more valuable to his operation with Alex. That or Alex wanted me around more and Sebastian had no choice.

                I dressed in my tight blue jeans and lace crop top. I know Sebastian used me because I could get them to buy more product or go higher on the price most of the time. And now I had a relationship with some of his recurring clients. Some of them asked for me personally.

                Sebastian also paid me well.

                I was going to sneak out but I got down the stairs and found that no one was here. So I took the time to properly eat the six saltine crackers in the cabinet. I should ask Mary to buy me some things or I’d never get a proper meal here.

                I rubbed my arms as I left the flat. It wasn’t that it was cold. The wind was just extra crisp and made goosebumps appear on my skin. It meant that fall was closing in on me. But at least it wasn’t raining.

                This was the worst part for me. I never took the same route but I knew I probably looked very nervous. I hated the pick up because I had no idea what I’d do if I got caught. I didn’t think Alex or Sebastian would bail me out.

                The duffle bag was in the usual spot beneath a pile of rubble in the alley over on Sixth Street. I should get paid extra for having to move all this cement out of the way. It was heavy and made my hands hurt. The sun was setting so I tried to move quickly. The dark alley was not where I wanted to be.

                After I’d dug out the bag, I checked to make sure it did have the drugs. Sebastian had told me not to, but it was my life on the line if there wasn’t any product.

                Damn. There was more in here than I’d expected.

                I walked down the back alleys of London until I reached the back entrance of the club. I banged on the door, and waited, then banged again. They should be expecting me. I glanced to the street. It was dark and the alley light didn’t illuminate well. People walking the street worried me. I checked my phone. No messages.

                My nerves were wrecked by the time I got inside. The pounding of the bass of the music didn’t help. Every time the bass boomed, my heart jumped out of my chest. I thought I was going to go into cardiac arrest.

                Marco has been a client since before I started dating Alex. I liked him most of the time. He treated me like a real human being, plus sometimes we shot up together. He sat behind his messy desk on the phone, speaking in another language. Possibly Arabic but I can’t be sure. He put a finger to his lips and smiled at me. Must be important business.

                I studied his tattoos again. He had a lot of them. One arm was completely covered. If it weren’t for the tattoos and the angry side of him that I’d only seen one time, I wouldn’t even know he was a drug dealer. He was tall, but average size. I’d told him that once and he said that was his cover.

                “Claudia!” Marco set his phone down and picked up his cigar, taking a puff. He cleared a spot for me to set the duffle bag down. “How much?”

                “Sebastian wants an extra 1500 pounds for the added product,” I said as he looked and tasted the product.

                “Ridiculous. Tell Sebastian that I don’t like surprises,” Marco replied and flopped back into his chair, waving his men to take the bag.

                Internally, I rolled my eyes. He’s so dramatic sometimes. Externally, I bit my lip and flipped my phone around in my hand. “I have to tell him you said no?”


                “He gave you extra, and he charged Delecarte double that—” I was cut off by Marco slamming his hands down on his desk.

                “I liked you, Claudia. I really did.”

                Oh shit. He’s speaking in past tense. This can’t be good.

                “Delecarte warned me about this pitch. I didn’t want to believe him,” Marco said and stood up.

                “You shouldn’t. You know I wouldn’t lie to you, Marco,” I replied, watching his men block the exit. I mean, I would if Sebastian told me to. But I hadn’t.

                Marco rounded the desk and backed me against the wall. He held out his hand and one of his men placed some rope in his hand. My eyes followed the length. It went up through a screw eye in the ceiling and down to a hook on the wall. I had drowned out whatever Marco said about whatever.

                He tightened the rope around my wrists. The one guy pulled the other end, raising my hands over my head. He pulled until I was up on my tiptoes.

                “I apologize that you got caught up in this. You’re only the delivery girl. But I have to send Sebastian a message.” Marco stepped backyard and looked me over. “Set up the camera.”

                “Marco, come on,” I begged.

                “It’s too bad. You’re my favorite delivery girl. I hate to have to deliver your pretty little head in a box,” Marco stroked my cheek with his thumb.

                “I’d rather skin her alive.” Delecarte came out from the back room. More like he waddled. He looked as grubby and pudgy as he did the last time I saw him. Sweat dripped down from his receding hairline. I should have known he had something to do with this.


                “No. I’ll make it a quick end for her,” Marco replied. “But first, we need to know where Sebastian keeps the drugs and money.”

                My eyes went wide. “I don’t know.”

                Marco sighed and closed his eyes. He stepped back while one of Delecarte’s men, Raul, took his place. He cracked his knuckles and looked to Delecarte.

                The panic set in. “I swear to god, I don’t know,” I said and pulled on the ropes. My chest heaved with my heavy breathing. A few tears fell. “Sebastian leaves it in a duffle bag for me. I never see where it comes from.” Probably so this isn’t an issue. “Marco, I swear.”

                “She’s lying. Her boyfriend probably screws her in the same warehouse,” Delecarte said and coughed. He lit a cigarette. I freaking hate him.

                “I take my orders from him in exchange for a few bags of product and a little cash. That’s it.” I couldn’t believe Marco was doing this. From the looks of it, he couldn’t either. “Don’t let him do this.”

                “Get on with it, Raul,” Delecarte ordered.

                I lifted my legs to kick at him but Raul just laughed and caught them.

                “You want to play, little girl?” Raul asked and slid his hands up to my waist. He gripped me tight and jerked my whole torso down hard.

                I let out a scream while my left shoulder made a horrible popping noise. It throbbed from still being stretched.

                Raul’s face scrunched up and I saw blood ooze from his temple. He fell over to the floor with a loud thud. I never heard a gunshot.

                “Cut my Claudia down, Marco, or the next shot will go…” He made a whistle noise and held to fingers to his forehead. “Right there.”


                Marco cut the rope while also supporting my dislocated arm. “This will hurt.” Without any more warning, he popped my shoulder back in, which hurt just as much as it did when it came out.

                I barely held back the scream.

                “Here, Claudia,” Moriarty said and held up his blazer. I was still in shock that he was even here. When did Sebastian think I was in danger? Or was it just Moriarty that cared about my safety. That sounds weird. I don’t know why he would care.

                I cautiously slipped past Delecarte and let him drape the blazer over my shoulders. I cradled my arm and saw two red dots appear. One on Marco and one on Delecarte. There must be two snipers outside somewhere that I can’t see.

                Moriarty wiped the tears off my cheeks and leaned down to my ear. “Tell me to stop,” he whispered.

                I glanced around the room and then into Moriarty’s eyes. He wouldn’t do it if I told him not to… I think. I waited another moment. Complete silence filled the room. All I could feel was anger and pain. I took one last look at Marco.

                Then I walked out of the room without a word.


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