“Not at all,” he said, watching Jim play with the food. He knew he didn’t want it, but wanted to eat it on principle. Smiling, he added, “Only thing that sucks about New York is that you’re not there.”
New York was complex. While there was undoubtedly a rich, vibrant underworld flourishing across Europe, the density and variety of criminals in Nick’s hometown made for a thoroughly engrossing balancing act. Jim preferred for his control to be absolute where Nick liked to let others think that they were in charge. He pitted the key players of New York against one another without anyone even suspecting that he did more than introduce “tradesmen” and take a cut of the profits.
Though it was a bit of a lie to say he wasn’t bored at all. It was just a reflexive answer so that Jim wouldn’t press him to come to London… and they both knew it. They both understood the boredom that came from knowing that the next closest opponent had no chance of catching up. It was like playing chess with all queens on one side and all pawns on the other.
Jim laughed and rolled his eyes at Nick’s response.
“I bet you say that to all the consulting criminals you know,” he said, laughing and picking up the baby corn to finally bite the end off it. “I mean…this is quality Chinese takeaway. I know you’ll say you do, but you don’t have anything like this in New York.”
He set the chopsticks down and leaned back from the table. Signalling that he was done, completely done, and couldn’t even pretend that he could eat anymore.
“So enough of the flirting, darling, let’s get down to business. How are we going to entertain ourselves tonight?” He wanted mischief and mayhem with Nicky, something stupid and a bit reckless, and fun, God, he wanted fun!
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