Leera slowly lifted her wooden mug
for another drink. The mouth of the mug sat perched on her lips as she studied
to room over the rim. Her pale eyes cut through the smoky haze that permeated
the atmosphere. Slowly absorbing every detail about the tavern’s raucous patrons
she swallowed a quick gulp and returned the mug to its resting place on the
rough wooden table. She was content in her dark little corner, the sconce behind
her head long burnt out that evening. Most passing patrons didn’t even notice
she was there until they caught the sparkle of her eyes, like two jade stones
gleaming slightly in the dark, reflecting the tavern’s temper. They shone with a
dangerous light that would set any man back a pace or two.
She grimaced over the swill she
had just swallowed. She was used to better, but ale was ale and she was not
drinking it for the taste. Lifting the mug once more she let her gaze again
drift over the crowd. Two men had begun shouting at one another near the bar.
Both were tall, one stocky like a tree trunk, the other resembled a whip. The
reason for the shouting was unknown to her but she had heard mention of a wagon
and some horses. She sensed that things would soon turn ugly. She smiled
wickedly. That sort of thing did not bother her; she almost enjoyed the
foolishness of it. She began mulling over some magiks that she might apply to
turn the situation to her advantage but she had taken too long. Treetrunk had
shoved the Whip onto his rump who sat there seemingly dazed. She smiled again as
she noticed the Whip using his hunched position to conceal a dagger in his hand.
He lunged up at Treetrunk and sliced his arm. With the appearance of the dagger
the rest of the patrons moved in, restraining both men and hustled them to the
Before the heavy door could swing
shut she noticed another man glide through the door. His long face set in a
grimace, no doubt for the two ruffians who had just been tossed passed him. His
dark grey cloak settled around him as the closing door cut off the breeze from
outside. He casually surveyed the room and began moving his way through the
crowd towards the bar. Leera watched him as he carefully picked his way, not
disturbing a single one of his fellow patrons. Briefly he glanced in her
direction and their eyes locked. His eyes swirled different colors, from blue to
gray to green. So swiftly she must have imagined it. She looked away and then
quickly glanced back again to see him still watching her as he made his way to
the bartender. She took another gulp over her swill and pretended to look
elsewhere as she studied his gold worked leather boots. Nothing fancy, really
only just a hint. She guessed that most people would not even notice. She set
down her mug and returned her gaze to the table in front of her, looking at the
scraped and gouged surface of the table.
A polite cough brought her
attention back towards the room. The grey man was standing before her, silver
goblet in hand, filled to the brim with a dark red wine.
“May I join you?” the man asked.
Leera nodded her assent. A small
frown settled on her face as the man set his goblet down and seated himself. He
would be a pretty one to have she thought as she began to focus her mind on
controlling him. He wore a self-contented smile as she began to weave her spell
on him to make her mind like his so she could keep him at her beck and call.
“I have been looking for you,” he
She almost laughed out loud at the
fool’s pretentiousness. He must fancy her in his bed. Although, the same thought
had occurred to her when she first saw him.
“That will not work on me Leera,”
he almost whispered.
The whisper was a shout in her
ears. His eyes flashed again.
“How do you know my name?” She
The working of the spell was
ruined. She would have to start again later. But what she was more concerned
with was how this man knew her name. She had not told anyone in this land that
name. A dozen possibilities swirled in her mind each dismissed almost
immediately as crazed and highly improbable. She prided herself in her cold
“Lets not worry about that here.
We should go somewhere a bit more quiet and talk”, he suggested.
Leera frowned at him for a moment
then nodded. For some reason she knew that he would not hurt her. He stood up
and wove his way again through the crowd with Leera following closely behind.
The grey man opened the door and stepped into the darkness. Leera looked back at
her little corner of the tavern and noticed the sconce above it had mysteriously
been lit. She shook her head in disbelief and stepped out into the night.
Next: Late Night Escape