I don't think when the nest patron comes out. his eyes ore on the sky and he doesn't notice me. Its to easy to reach out, to easy to hook a finger around the strings of his coin purse. I should know better by now that nothing here is easy, but the riot and Gisa'a hollow eyes have made me foolish with grief.
His hand closes around my wrist, his grip holds firm and strangely hot as he pulls me forward out of the shadows. I try to resist, to slip awayandrun, but he's too strong. When he spins, the fire in his eyes puts a fear in me, the same fear I felt this morning. But I welcome any punishment he might summon. I deserve it all.
He stares at me, scrutinizing everything from my face to my worn boots. After a long moment, he heaves a breath and lets me go. Stunned, I can only stare at him. When a sivler coin spins through the air, I barely have the wits to catch it. A tetrarch. A sivler trench worth one whole crown. Far more than any of the stolen pennies in my pocket.
In the light of the inn, his eyes glint a red- gold, the color of warmth. My years spent sizing people up do not fail me, even now. His black hair is glossy, his skin too pale to be anything but a servant. But his physique seems more like a woodcutter's, with broad shoulders and strong legs. He's young too, a little older than me, though not nearly as assured of himself as any nineteen- or twenty- year old should be.
I should kiss his boots for letting me go and giving me such a gift, but my curiosity gets the better of me. It always does.