Ed pulled his red coat more tightly around his shivering body and let out a long, slow breath, watching it stream in front of him in a thin fog before it dispersed into the crisp, cold night air. There was no chance the colonel would see the foggy breath as his subordinate huddled here in the shadows: the man was too busy letting the three women on the porch of the big house next door make a fuss over him. If he’d just go inside and get it over with, Ed could go back to Al and their warm dormitory room, and this whole silly escapade would be over with.
He’d only stepped outside for some fresh air on this quiet New Year’s night, but when he’d caught sight of Roy Mustang sauntering through the quiet, gently snowing evening, enveloped in a long black coat, a canvas bag laden with presents hanging over one arm, he just hadn’t been able to resist following him. If nothing else, he wanted to see who in the world the man had in Central, to take that many presents to.
He should have guessed, when their course gradually took them outside the realm of plentiful street lamps toward the seedier, more shadowed part of town, the temperature continuing to drop as his ears and hands got colder and colder. But it wasn’t until Mustang stopped in front of a large three-story house on a corner facing a small courtyard with a little fountain in the centre (the water turned off for the winter), and began climbing the five steps up to the wide double doors, that Ed rolled his eyes with a private little sneer. Of course. That man and his women.
He knew what sort of house this was – and he knew what sort of work its female occupants did.
( Ed gets more surprises than he expects )
(See Chapter 2)