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Sang Rouge Winery sits on one of the less-traveled streets of New Orleans. Pretty much the only people who know it exists are real wine enthusiasts... and folks who are more concerned with the business that takes place in the office upstairs. It's into that office that Sawyer walks now.

Adrien Durand sits behind a dark cherry desk in a high-backed chair. The desk is too neat, too orderly, to have ever been used for actual work. Sawyer suspects he just has it for effect.

One of Durand's men, a bald gorilla with the word Verde tattooed at the base of his neck, walks over to give Sawyer his second pat down in the last five minutes. It's not like he had a gun to bring even if he'd wanted to; Jaina hadn't given back the one she borrowed yet.

Grunting as if he was slightly annoyed at not finding anything, Mr. Tattoo steps back over to stand by his boss's right hand, and Durand gestures for Sawyer to sit in the small chair in front of his desk. "I understand you have a business proposition for me..."

Forty minutes later, he walks out of the winery with a briefcase containing a quarter of a million dollars. Sawyer knows he could just skip town with Durand's money (and the 20% cut of the con that he'd demanded), just run back to the bar and hide out, and there'd be nothing the Frenchman could do about it despite all his threats. But, if Claire was wanting to come back here to live anytime soon, it wouldn't be smart to go making enemies.

Anyway, the hard part was done. He had the seed money.

Now, it was time for the fun part.


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James "Sawyer" Ford

February 2006


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