On one of the evenings at the end of the week, the servant girl of the tenant of room# 1 paid me a visit, she told me, that her mistress would like to stay for another week and tossed a little moneybag at me. I opened it and the 7 GOLD coins in the bag began to shine, from the light of my table lamp. The servant girl bowed slightly to me, *ding* the metal rings in her braids collided, when she turned around and was about to leave me alone with my gold.
-Your mistress...- I said and paused....
The servant girl hesitated at the door's threshold: -...-
-Why is she so confident, that room is still available?-
The servant girl turned around and looked at me from under her hood for the first time, I could see, that she was scared...
I chuckled: -Alright, she can stay here for now, but tell her, that she should come and visit me personally next time, instead of sending a servant. She isn't in Imperial district anymore, we are simple people here and do business face to face, not through messengers.-
-Will do, Milord.- She hid her face under the shadow of her hood again and left.
Nobles... always with their condescending attitude...
Hmm... that noble wench was quite desperate last week, but she seems to have money now. Did something change? And if she fixed her problems, why is she still staying here? I know it shouldn't matter, as long as i am getting my money, but I had a bad feeling about that lady and her little servant girl from the beginning. There was something strange about them, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. All I knew was, that something bugged me about that couple... I looked at the 7 GOLD coins in my hand. Oh, well...
* * *
I decided, that a pint or two of that eastern beer, the tavern owner was bragging about the other day, would make me feel much better, but that wasn't the reason, why I decided to visit the tavern again. I made my decision about the second room and it was time to let the future tenant know about it.
It was as noisy and crowded as usual and Betica was multitasking: serving drinks, exchanging gossips and flirting with almost every male customer she encountered. She needed a few heartbeats to notice me, and one more to recognize me, but she dedicated all her attention to me as soon as she did:
-Hi there handsome, wanna order something?
The barmaid tilted her head to the side in a cute way, showing that she was confused.
-The room you wanted.- I added, with a slight irritation in my voice.
-Aw... you're in a bad mood today.- She sat by my side and petted me on a cheek, as if I was a little boy, but for some reason it did not irritate me one bit. I guess she does know, how to handle men.
-Do you know how to find my house?-
-Not yet sweetie, but that's why you are here, right?- She said and winked at me.
I explained her how to find my house. It was an easy task: first of all it was nearby and second of all most people at the
-The drink is on the house and I know, that you will miss me, but I gotta work, see ya.- Then she stormed away.
I took a few sips from the pint... so that Betica girl will have access to room #2 from now on. She'll better make enough money, or I will kick her out. She seems like a smart girl, maybe a bit smarter than I usually like, so I better treat her with caution. I know her kind, I bet she wouldn't hesitate to fool me, if I give her a chance. Chizza is still working... and still just a dishwasher... well, it's better than nothing, although this job really seems to exhaust her, so I better give her a week off sometime soon. The weird couple paid for the next week... so it seems like everything business related has been taken care of, but now it's time to get that goddamn key for Diastra. I finished my drink and was about to leave the tavern, when I suddenly felt someone's eyes on me. I could literally feel it on my skin, someone was watching me. I scanned the room under my hood... it was that monk-creep. He was staring at me from the other side of the room, such a creepy guy. I felt, that I made the right decision, by choosing Betica over him then more than ever, so I hid my face under the hood again and left the tavern.
* * *
It took a few days to find the woman. Diastra hadn't been very specific about what she looked like, but it didn't matter. One evening I stopped by the tavern and there was a guardsman at the bar. Normally I always left before if there was a guardsman in here. This time I stopped and looked around. Nearby at a table all by herself was a young, beautiful woman. She was all alone and every time someone looked at her they got nervous. Though she had an unhappy expression I could tell she reveled in the power. A guardsman's wife, definitely.
Stepping back outside I made my plans. A gold coin and a chat with a local beggar boy near a vegetable stand were all I needed. A few minutes later I was casually standing outside the tavern when I heard a shout from inside. The boy came pelting out and shortly thereafter the guardsman as well, rotten tomato dripping from the back of his helmet. I grinned as he chased after the boy. They never catch the urchins.
Moving inside I picked up a bottle of wine at the bar before sitting down next to the woman who was all alone. She looked startled, like a rabbit who returned home to find a snake in its warren. I offered my most gentle smile to this symbol of corruption and filled her glass again. There was a timid, fearful smile in return; she simply picked up her mug, nodded to me and drank deeply.
By her third mug her cheeks were quite rosy. She leaned against me as she bemoaned her cruel and hard life. My hand slid around her waist as she complained. She peered up at me through wine clouded eyes and explained. "He's just so cruel! He never gives me any money, just enough to come here each week. He never lets me out without one of his stooges to watch me." She sniffled, looking so distraught. I frowned as I sarcastically thought of how hard it must be. To always be protected, always fed, given nice clothes to wear and to never have to work.
I patted her back sympathetically, feigning dismay at her situation as I filled her cup again. She sighed at the show of support, leaning up against me now as she drank her wine. Those big blue eyes looked up at me as she slurred, "You're my only friend! What's your name?" Under the table her own hand touched my leg, sending an electric jolt through me. I stared at her, trying to hide my anger. Her husband has taken so many people from this world, inflicted so much cruelty, and she had done nothing to stop it.
I grinned as I refilled her glass again, the girl looking quite tipsy now. I let my hand slide down, cupping her gorgeous ass and hoping it distracted her as I faked a smile. "That doesn't matter, what's your name beautiful?" My fingers lightly brushed the soft skin of a woman who'd never worked a day in her life, keeping her excited and distracted.
She gasped dreamily and softly purred, "I'mmm Darla." She giggled as she finished off her cup of wine, "Mmmm, you're cute."
I shook my head and looked her over again. She had complained earlier that her husband never made love to her, but she had just the sort of body that made a whore popular at other ports. I paused, then looked more critically. Nice tits, but not too fat. A slender waist, gorgeous hips and a well padded ass, even soft silken hair. I thought quickly about what ships were in port, at least a few were foreign and wouldn't return for a year or more when they left.
They'd pay handsomely for this girl, much better than Diastra is paying me. But her disappearance would infuriate Diastra and ruin her plans. Plus if the guards caught me trying to sell the wife of their captain... Death by torture would be a courtesy next to what they would do to me.
Darla giggled and hiccuped as she leaned against me. I felt repulsed by the touch of a woman who let such cruelty occur without protest, but I let her lean close. Another two cups of wine and she'd be passed out, making it easy to steal her house keys. She'd simply think she was robbed.
A wicked thought swept through my head though as I sipped at my own drink. I could also take her back home and spend the night teaching her why she was evil for letting her husband do such things. She'd probably enjoy it even, and I could still steal the keys. Of course if the guards caught me while I was taking her home...