It was the most tenuous thing… a slight feeling of apprehension, as the hair on the back of her neck stood on end, and Mara instinctively slid silently, securely into the shadows. From the depths of darkness, she could see four thugs, and the weird woman they had observed earlier, stride into the tavern. Thugs are generally good looking, but they are dumb as hell and fight like bumbling fools with blunt objects. Nothing interesting there. Yet, it was good to remember that even bumbling fools could be dangerous, and a sense of foreboding hung thickly in the dusty air.
“Here it comes,” thought Mara. She crossed her arms, hands tensed in readiness over the blades sewn into the sleeves of her blouse, and waited for the usual decision. Would it be knives or words, this time? The thought turned through Mara’s head like a warped game of roulette. The odd woman centered herself on Fenrick, of course, and began to speak. Wasn’t it always that way when he was around? Scars and all, the man was absolutely beautiful, but his face was not the best part. The way he moved… gliding with rapier in hand, flowing like water…and decimating his enemy at every single turn. He was a fighter like nothing Mara had ever seen. A fight with Fenrick was better than… well…. nearly anything pleasurable she could imagine. She flushed, a little heat in her cheeks, thinking of the last time they had dealt with ruffians, together. Out of the corner of her eye she caught Clint glancing in her direction. Was he…. smirking?! Did he just…wink at her!? Damned heap of slime… he really needs to learn the meaning of “privacy”.
Mara, embarrassed by her lack of focus, turned her attention back to the deal going down. As usual, she checked the safety of Daphne first, then the opposition. Fenrick sat at a worn table with the woman, now. He was coaxing her with those eloquent words, and she responded in kind. Clint probably saw to it that she was open to such things. And with that… they just left. The whole, damned group of them just got up and walked out the front door. Mara stared in disbelief as the door slammed closed on the heels of the last overgrown thug. She headed for the back door, crept into the alley, turned the corner and saw…. absolutely nothing. They were gone.
Mara sighed, as she rejoined the group. “Words, again,” she thought. If she didn’t know better, she would swear Fenrick was going soft. Too many women and far too much wine could do that to a man. Too many words…not enough knives.