Jump to content

Interlude -- Thieves


Recommended Posts

A moment in the lives of Raesa&Com.


Warning : mild adult content ahead


Second part to be posted soon.





Interlude -- Thieves





That's it?


Raesa looked up, over a muscled shoulder, to the low, beamed ceiling above the bed. A lamp swayed, giving out a reddish glow, once to the right, then to the left. Thumping sounds rang out, a head-rest hitting the wall. The lamp swayed, in step with the wild beat above. Time well spent – unlike hers. His moist, heated breath brushed against her ear; frowning, she shifted away. Particles of dust fell down and sprinkled the bed, forming a lighter pattern on the tanned skin she’d caressed moments before.


Caressed too well.


Raesa’s hand traced a way up a powerful arm, resting against her side – he shivered – and gripped him at the shoulder, pushing back. She’d had enough of his dead weight on her.


Grunting, he sat back, leaning on his haunches. Tangled braids of wet hair flew through the air as he shook his head. “Fun’s over, then?†A tired, but satisfied tone. He grinned and tried to slap her behind – she caught his hand. Her eyes narrowed, taking him in. What had she seen in him?


Sobering, he drew back. “How much?â€Â


Raesa blinked, drawing herself up on her elbows. On reflex, her hand flew to her waist, where a weapons belt would be. Her fingers traced bare skin instead – his eyes followed them, breathing grown heavy again. Closing her eyes, Raesa took a deep breath and expelled it.


Just like a man to think her a paid whore when she’d only wanted a moment’s pleasure. Wishful thinking. No pleasure could be found in his fumbling touch. Considering, she smiled and let her hand drop – down her hip, over his thigh, nails scratching skin. He swallowed, hard.


Might as well get something out of this. “A hundred gold.†One stray feather tickled between her shoulder blades as she leaned back against the pillows.


The man’s – what was his name? – eyebrow rose, the corner of his mouth quirking. “Careful, girl,†he said. “I’ll not have you rob me.†He rose to his knees. “I could have the use of a Calishman harem for such a sum.â€Â


He thought she meant is as a jest. A jest, yes, but not one he’d had in mind. Her eyes met his, unflinching. “Two hundred gold.â€Â


His jaw clenched. The joke did not please him anymore, it seemed. A foot touched the floor. “You’ll have a gold piece, no more.†His voice tethered on the edge of a threat.


He thought himself intimidating, no doubt. A green youth to the field of battle, despite his size, a mercenary for hire. Raesa stretched and yawned, hiding a smile “Three hundred gold, then.â€Â


Tunic draped over his head, arms sliding into the sleeves, he paused. “Don’t tempt me, woman.†Reaching for his pants, strewn on the floor, he said, “I’ve had enough of your insolence.â€Â


Insolence! A hot wave of anger rolled in, drowning whatever humor she'd found in the situation.


With a clink of metal, a coin landed on the bed stand. “Take it and be thankful,†he said, turning back towards her. Raesa’s fist connected with his throat, fingers rigid and extended – enough to stop him in his tracks, not enough to kill. Gurgling, he sagged to the floor, limp. A swift kick at the back of the head knocked him unconscious.


Raesa breathed in, once, her anger ebbing away, as it always did after the fighting was done. Stepping over him, she collected her clothes and weapons, strewn throughout the room. Once done, clothed and armed, she crouched down, next to the man and took a heavy pouch from his belt. It clinked when she shook it – filled with gold, sliver and copper. It had been a good year for mercenaries.


Take it, he'd said. And she would. The blow – for the insult. The gold – to pay the thieves’ damnable price. Raesa needed all the coin she could get.


The stairway creaked and groaned under her feet as she descended into the common room of the tavern. A myriad of smells drifted up, both pleasant and foul, so intermixed that it proved impossible to determine which. Bodies cluttered, next to the bar and seated at the tables, perfumed and unwashed alike. Scents of wine, ale, roasts venison and strong stew fought to cover up the stench of the sewers – and failed to. That, the guests of the Copper Coronet got to enjoy for free. Coin up-front for everything else.


Raesa shouldered her way through the crowd, gathered around the pit, eager to see the dogs fight, and shoved a dark haired man out of the way. Spewing curses, he reached for his belt – she relaxed her muscles, balancing on the balls of her feet. Another man, hair the color of wheat, caught hold of his wrist and shook his head, with a few whispered words in the first man’s ear. On second glance, she recognized them both; companions of that inept mercenary she’d had tonight. Both him and his gold.


After the first man took a step back, the fair haired man inclined his head and opened his mouth to speak, the scar above his lip glinting white. The angry snarl of the dogs and the roar of the crowd, pleased at the sight of first blood, drowned out his voice. He pointed above. A clear question.


Dark humor making her lips curl up, Raesa nodded and placed the back of her hand against her cheek. Asleep. Partly true. With a small nod in return, the man lifted his cloak and pointed to a coin pouch beneath it – another question. Men. Stifling laughter that threatened to burst out, she offered him a real smile and a polite shake of the head. Rolling his shoulders in a shrug, he turned back to the pit.


Another amused shake of the head. What she wouldn’t give to see their expressions when they discover their friend strewn out on the floor, bested by a ‘tavern wench’. Raesa moved away from the crowd, making her way towards the tables


Raised voices drew her attention.


“Cheating son of a whore!†A burly man jumped up from a table, a curse on his lips, a hand gripping the hilt of a knife. “You’ve rigged the dice,†he said.


Trouble. Raesa stepped closer, behind the man’s considerable bulk.


Amusement flickered across Yoshimo’s fine-boned, angled features. “Peace, my good man.†Both his hands remained on the table, spread out in a gesture of good will.


An empty gesture at best, a lie at worst. Raesa had walked with him, through Ribald’s store, when he bought the new arm-sheaths for his throwing knives. One, at least, could be found up his sleeve at all times. Among other things.


Yoshimo gave the man a smile – a dangerous one, to anyone with a good par of eyes in their skull. “The dice are yours.†An elaborate shrug. “How could I have rigged them?â€Â


Raesa felt a grin stretch her lips. Will wonders never cease? He’d actually won this one, fair and square – a rare occasion. She moved forward and to the side, to observe both men.


The man paused, confused a moment. Recovering, he said, “A trick of far-away lands. Magic, sorcery…†He towered over the sitting, smaller man. “You can’t be trusted, you foreigners.â€Â


Yoshimo’s high pony-tail swayed through the air when he shook his head. “I assure you, I know of no magic.†The metal rings in his hair clinked. “We place little stock in such things in my homeland.†He reached down, next to him on the bench, and placed a still sheathed katana on the table. Sheathed for the moment. “My family holds fast to the old ways,†he said, in a cheerful tone, as if he told a tale. “The sword-dance. Now, there, I know of a trick or two.â€Â


Yoshimo gazed up at the man, found his eyes and held them. “Would you care for a demonstration, friend?â€Â


The man’s Adam apple bobbed, and he pushed away from the table. “They should have drowned you when you first washed up on the shores of Amn.†With that, he walked away, pushing through the crowd.


With a laugh, Raesa circled the table, until she could stare down at Yoshimo.


He didn’t look up, still counting his winnings. “Back so soon?â€Â


Her hand traced the rough wood, circling a splinter, as she sat next to him on the bench. “Unfortunately,†Raesa said. “Here’s something for the next dice game.†The pouch landed on the table with a clink of metal.


Yoshimo quirked an eyebrow. “A sudden change of profession, young one?†Familiar dry humor in his tone. “From warrior to…â€Â


The corner of her mouth twitching, she finished his sentence. “From warrior to thief.†Leaning back against the wall, she clasped his shoulder. “I learned from the best.â€Â



Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...