Eliot Spencer moved as quietly as he could, using the deeper shadows to hide his erratic progress. He hoped he wasn’t leaving a blood trail, but at the moment he really didn’t give a rat’s ass.
What had started as a simple job to retrieve a rare postage stamp had become the job from hell. A taser burn on his arm, a dog bite on the cheek of his ass and bruised ribs from a fall down a hill into a stream was its own testament to his bad day.
He’d just secured the stamp and was ready to slip out the French doors when a man slipped in the study door. 50ish, handsome, clothes custom tailored, Eliot had heard stories of a master thief who would do absolutely anything to get what he wanted, and was richer than Croesus. He suspected the man opening the safe was none other than The Saint, Simon Templar. Shame they couldn’t have met in different circumstances.
Curses from the poor side of London erupted from the man when he discovered the safe was empty. He started scanning the room, discovering Eliot by the French doors.
“I suppose you’re the reason the safe is empty?” The snotty English accent was back.
A shrug was the only indication Eliot gave he heard the question.
“Don’t suppose you’d consider handing it over?” Eliot rolled his eyes as small derringer appeared in the older man’s hand.
“Kinda cliché, ain’t it?” A nod indicated the gun.
“The old ways are still the best.” The older man lectured as he moved closer to Eliot in anticipation of being handed the stamp.
Quick as a mongoose on a cobra, a right hand grabbed the gun hand and pulled as a left elbow met a square jaw. The older thief ended up on the floor nursing his jaw as Eliot unloaded the derringer and pitched it across the room.
“I don’t like guns.” The retrieval specialist growled as he backed toward the doors.
“Nicely played.” The older thief picked himself off the floor and straightened his clothes. “Simon Templar.”
“I know.” Was all Eliot offered.
A woman’s screams filled the big house.
Both men looked toward the sound.
“What’d else ya take?” A dark eyebrow arched at Templar.
“There might have been a very nice diamond necklace the lady was wearing when she retired.” Simon’s grin was unrepentant.
“Time to go?” Eliot went for the door.
“Believe you’re right.”
The men split up as they crossed the lawn, making it harder for security.
With a groan of relief he finally made it back to his hotel. A hot shower took care of a lot of his aches and pains. He’d be sitting carefully for a day or two, but luckily the dog’s teeth had only bruised his ass. He left the bathroom and there sitting on the bed holding another gun was Simon Templar.
Eliot crossed his arms over his chest and leaned against the wall. Templar looked confused at the younger man’s nonchalance when facing a man with a gun while only wearing sweat pants.
“Ain’t got it.” Eliot said simply.
“Oh?” Templar stood up.
“Stopped by on the way here.”
“Smart.” He moved toward the younger man tucking the gun in his jacket pocket.
Eliot straightened away from the wall.
Manicured hands ghosted over his chiseled chest.
“Maybe you’d like to help alleviate my disappointment.” Templar breathed in Eliot’s ear.
Perhaps it wasn’t such a bad day after all.