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Chapter 17

Tristan finally decided to tell me what our whole mission was about in the carriage on the way to the city of Gosslinad, it's a huge city on the coast. It's actually known for it's beautiful buildings and for the large amount of wealth families who have summer homes there. I had never been there but my mother had always dreamed that someday my beauty would win her a place there.

Anyway, we were going there to find the location of some important documents that held the coordinates of some of the most wanted criminals and their hideouts. Tristan said one of the nobility was keeping the list hidden somewhere and it was our job to find out who had it and where it was. The weird part was that the list had a name it was called 'the address book', I thought it was strange that it actually had a name but Tristan said that's was its nickname and everyone who knew about it called it that. It just seems weird, why would you have a criminal 'address book'?

We were supposed to meet Tristan's contact at some fancy banquet a few days after we were due to arrive so we had just enough time to find a house and settle in. We found a small house in town, close enough to the wealthy part of town that it would take only a few minutes to get there but far enough away that we would have more privacy. We had brought 3 of Tristan's servants with us so they helped us unpack everything and get ready for the next few days.

I was really excited, I would be able to prove myself to Tristan and Kayden- the funny part was I felt more excited about proving myself to Kayden but that was probably just because he seemed to hate me and think so little of me. I hadn't really seen that much of him lately, I mean yeah I had lessons with him every day and rode all the way to Gosslinad with him but he didn't really seem 'there'. I feel like he's really making a point to ignore and avoid me ever since our fight and stuff- I hope he isn't mad at me or something like that…

Once everything was packed I got really bored, there wasn't really anywhere to practice my fighting and I couldn't sit still long enough to work on my code book.

"I feel so bored and restless here." I said to Tristan one day at lunch. Kayden rolled his eyes as usual.

"What?" I snapped, glaring at him. He shook his head,

"I was just thinking Tristan's a little busy to spend the rest of the day keeping you entertained if you know what I mean…"

"Oh shut up! That's not what I meant you pervert!" I said, half laughing, half angry.

"You two are hilarious! Are you ever not arguing?" Laughed Tristan.

"When we're fighting…" Kayden answered with a smirk.

"Well you do that again and I'll fuck you up." Tristan replied and it kind of scared me because I knew he was serious.

"You can try." Muttered Kayden. I sighed and continued eating my food, sometimes I wondered how they could be such good friends when they were so different.

"If you're really so bored I can take you to the pier." Kayden said unexpectedly. Both Tristan and I turned to stare at him, "What?"

"Well, nothing besides the fact you offered to do something nice for once." I replied, still in shock.

"Yeah, whatever. So you want to?"

"Sure, of course!" I said, then quickly glanced over at Tristan suddenly afraid he wouldn't approve.

"That's a great idea Kayden, it will give you both something to do and help Deirdre become more familiar with the area." Said Tristan with a smile.

"We'll go as soon as we're finished with lunch then."

"Sounds good." I said as I finished my food and rushed upstairs to get my purse. I was a little nervous, spending the rest of the day alone with Kayden- what would we talk about? Would it be really awkward? I shrugged, I guess I would figure out soon enough.

"It's about time!" Huffed Kayden as I came downstairs, I was about to smack him when I saw him laugh as he turned toward the door- he was joking. I rolled my eyes, a habit I was learning fast from Kayden, and followed him out to the carriage.

"So where is this pier?" I asked as I got settled, I was still wearing one of the dresses I got from Tristan's estate- I wasn't going to wear any of my new dresses until the banquet, I wanted to surprise Tristan and Kayden. They hadn't even seen the dresses yet.

"Oh about 200 miles away." Kayden casually stated.

"What?! 200 miles? Are you crazy?"

"Ha! Got you!" Kayden actually stuck his tongue out at me.

"Bitch…." I cursed under my breath and kicked him.

"Hey now! That's not very lady like at all, I could see your ankles!" He said in a mock proper voice, sadly reminding me of my mother.

"Oh shut up! Don't make me beat you up again!"

"I'm soooo scared!" He laughed, "Maybe I won't let you win this time."

"Mhmmm, so really where are we going?"

"It's about 7 or 8 blocks away- it's pretty much the same as Vermillion Street except on the water with lots of crazy sailors and even some pirates."

"Pirates?" I laughed picturing parrots, wooden legs, and eye patches.

"Well not the typical looking pirates you read about, these are real pirates. I mean yeah there are some with eye patches but mostly they look like rougher, more tattooed, angry sailors. And some of the richer ones dress in loud, obnoxious clothes and wear a bunch of jewelry but really most of them don't flaunt their money because that's how they get caught."

"Sounds like fun," I smiled, "So are we going to blend in dressed like this?"

"Don't worry, I'm way ahead of you." He said lifting a medium size suitcase off the floor. He opened it and took out a bright blue dress with white trim, it was pretty but shorter than what was considered "proper" in the higher classes and the neck line was pretty low. It had elbow length sleeves which flared out at the ends.

"I love it!" I said happily holding it up.

"Well put it on then silly!" Said Kayden as he pulled out some loose black pants and a short sleeve white shirt that looked very sailorish to me.

"Where?" I asked.

"In here of course, no one can see in."

"You can."

"Oh please, its not like I'm gonna be sitting here staring! I need to get dressed to and its not like I haven't seen you in your slip before I mean you didn't have a problem with it when we went swimming," He said sounding a little annoyed. I was about to say something rude when he just whipped his shirt off and started changing. I just stared for a moment, I had seen him shirtless before but for some reason this seemed a lot different…

"Stop watching me and change!" Laughed Kayden, I blushed and started changing. He really was right, it wasn't like he was really seeing anything. The dress fit perfectly, it came about 6 inches past my knees and the neck line wasn't as low as I had thought. I took my hair down and shook out the pins and tell my curls out. I pulled on some soft slipped like shoes and I was ready to go, I put some of my money in my blouse and put my purse with my folded clothes.

"You ready?" Kayden asked as the carriage stopped, I had been too embarrassed to look at him until now. He looked really good in his simple clothes, they made him look powerful and mysterious. He had rumpled up his perfectly combed hair and his bangs fell is waves across his forehead and partly hiding his eyes. I couldn't help but stare, I really hadn't notice how attractive he was until then.

"Yeah," I murmured wondering why thoughts like this were going through my head, he might be gorgeous with his green eyes and wavy dark brown hair but he was a complete jerk! I told myself.

"Well then lets go!" He opened the door and hopped out, turning and offering me his hand to help me down.

"Thanks," I said looking around, we were in a middle class neighborhood and the sea was nowhere in sight, "Where are we?"

"We're about a block away, I had the carriage drop us here. It would look too suspicious to have it drop us off closer."

"Yeah, definitely."

"Come on, its this way," Kayden grinned and started off towards a dark alley.

"This really doesn't look safe…" I murmured to myself.

"What you don't trust me?" asked Kayden turning to look at me.

"Well, yeah…but I don't see why we would purposely go somewhere dangerous if we didn't need to."

"Maybe we need to," I rolled my eyes, he was so stubborn.

"Fine," I glared at him and kept walking, keeping an eye out for any one suspicious looking.

But obviously I wasn't looking hard enough because I didn't have any clue there was any one hiding right next to us until two raggedy men jumped out at us. I shouted a warning to Kayden and he spun in the nick of time, catching the one man's hand before he could plunge a knife into Kayden's back. I wasn't so luck myself, I turned to meet the man attacking me right as his fist collided with my stomach. I fell to the ground gasping for air. He kneeled down with a knife poised but that's where he made his mistake- he didn't move fat enough and I was able to roll away from him and kick the knife out of his hands before he could react. Then I kneed him in the face before he could get up, he fell unconscious to the ground. I bent and picked up his knife from the ground, tucking it into my sash. I turned to see how Kayden was doing, his man was laying on the ground moaning and clutching his ribs.

"Well lets get going, I'm hungry." Kayden said with a smile.

"Me too!" I laughed and ran to catch up with him. When I caught up with him he looked me up and down and asked,

"You alright?"

"Yeah, I might have a few bruises tomorrow but other than that I'm fine. You?"

"Of course!" He laughed, "I'm offended you had to ask!"

"Shut up! You never know."

"You shut up! Lets go." He laughed and grabbed my hand pulling me across the next street. Almost before I could process the fact that he grabbed my hand, he had let go.

We went through another alley and Kayden stopped, I looked around stunned. The next street was just a mass of moving bodies, everyone shouting and laughing. Drunk people stumbled around everywhere swearing, singing, and laughing. I couldn't help it, I started laughing,

"This is amazing!" I said turning to Kayden, he smiled.

"Yeah, I love it here. Nothing is ever boring here."

"So where are we gonna go first?" I asked.

"Over there, the Drunken Mermaid is my favorite. Come on," I followed him through the maze of people and into the building. It was loud and crowded inside but somehow Kayden found a table and we sat down. I watched everyone inside as we waited for our food.

"It's beautiful, isn't it?" he said so quietly I hardly heard him. I looked over at him, he looked so intense and serious. I smiled to myself,

"Yes, it is very beautiful." How many people thought the same? I wondered, not many could see the beauty in this dirty, dark, crowded place but it was the life, the spirit I guess you could say that made it so.

"Here's ya food loves," said the plump woman who brought our food, we both thanked her, "So 'ow long have ya two been married?" She asked. Kayden started choking on his food, I swallowed my laughter and managed to gasp,

"Two weeks."

"Aww, ya both are so lovely all glancing' lovingly at each otha!" I thanked her and then collapsed with laughter as soon as she left, Kayden was beat red and trying to breathe.

"Married!" Was all he could gasp out before he started laughing again.

"Don't kill yourself!" I laughed slapping him on the back.

"Me…married….to….you!" He said between laughs, I shook my head. That lady must be out of her mind, we were practically enemies…well not really anymore but we just tolerated each other that's all.

"A dance for the newly weds!" Someone yelled. Kayden and I looked at each other in horror.

"Let's finish eating and get out of here!" I said, both of us suddenly serious. He nodded and started shoveling food into his mouth. Thankfully we were gone before enough of then though the whole dance thing was a good idea.

"That was close!" I said with a sigh as we walked down the street towards the water.

"I know! God only knows what they would have thought of next!" We both started laughing again.

"Yeah, something tells me it would not have ended well…"

"I don't know what the hell that lady was thinking? What would make her believe that…we were married?!" I started to giggle,

"She was probably just trying to figure out if you were single 'cause she wanted to snatch you up!"

"Eww, gross! Why would you say something like that!" Gasped Kayden looking seriously disturbed, "Ahh! Now I'm never going to be able to sleep again!"

"Wow, she wasn't that bad…" I laughed

"She had a mustache!"

"Oh please!"

"She did! And she had more rolls then a bakery!" We both were laughing so hard some people stopped and looked at us but neither of us cared.

"Oh my god." I stopped walking, we had just walked out onto the pier and all I could see was blue water stretched out until it met the sky.

"You've never seen the ocean before?"

"Nope, I've seen paintings but they were nothing…it's so perfect."

"I know, I love the ocean. Its like a living thing, and no matter what it always is beautiful, always powerful."

"If there was one thing that represented freedom it would be this, I mean you could just get in one of these boats and sail forever and no one could stop you…" I watched the boats rocking in the waves and the sailors running on and off the ships.

"Then lets go, lets leave all this behind." Kayden said quietly, I nodded and stepped forward closer to my ultimate freedom. I stopped, my foot about to step into a small boat,

"I can't," I whispered, "You know we can't just leave it all…it would follow us."

"Not forever."

"All this time I never realized…"


"I'm the one who has made the cage that keeps me from freedom," I whispered looking down.

"And you're the only one who can tear it apart." I turned quickly and stared up at him, he had no idea what I was talking about- how could he? I had never told anyone yet he said the truth. It seemed like we were having a conversation when neither of us knew what the other was talking about yet somehow we understood each other.

"Let's go…" I said turning away from the ocean, I suddenly couldn't bear to look at it. I felt like each wave was mocking me, laughing at my weakness. Why did I feel like it was weakness for me not to leave? I had everything I had wanted right? I had a man who I loved and who loved me and a purpose, I job that I could do to make the world a better place. Why had I even considered leaving?

It was dark by the time the carriage picked us up a few blocks away, we changed back into our normal clothes in silence. I was too involved in my thoughts to even remember the ride home, Kayden had given me a lot to think about.

"We're here." Kayden said quietly when the carriage stopped at our house, "Don't look so down, Tristan's gonna think I hurt you or something!" He joked halfheartedly. I smiled,

"Maybe I want him to think that- I would be funny to see him kick your ass!"

"Oh yeah right! He could try but he would be down faster than you can blink."

"Mhmmmm, like I believe that!" I laughed as I got out of the carriage.

"I missed you love!" Tristan grabbed me, giving me a hug and kiss as I walked in the door.

"Miss you too!" I laughed.

"I missed you too, angel cakes!" Cried Kayden in a dramatic voice.

"Shut up!" I laughed punching him in the shoulder, "You're just jealous because Tristan didn't give you a kiss!"

"Oh god! I'd rather kiss that crazy lady!" We both started laughing.

"What crazy lady?" Tristan asked.

"This lady who served us thought we were married and almost made Kayden choke to death on his food." I said after I had stopped laughing.

"She thought you two were married?" He laughed, "You two are fighting constantly!"

"I know that's why its so funny! I would rather die then be stuck with him for life!" I laughed.

"You wouldn't be stuck with me for long! I would probably kill myself after a few days!" All three of us laughed as we make our way to the dining room.

"I don't understand why you to hate each other so much!" Tristan said with a laugh.

"Maybe 'cause he's retarded!" I said with a smile.

"Hmmm that might have something to do with it." Laughed Tristan.

"Hey at least I'm not the one always attacking innocent people!" Said Kayden, trying to defend himself.

"You woke me up!" I cried out.

"So? You didn't have to try to kill me!"

"Oh Tristan, speaking of which we got attacked in some alley today! It was kinda fun!"

"What?!" Tristan looked angrily at Kayden, "She could have gotten hurt!"

"She was fine! Besides she needed real practice."

"They could have killed her!" Tristan practically yelled.

"Tristan," I said laying my hand on his arm, trying to calm him down, "They didn't even have knives, my love. It was over is seconds." I lied glancing at Kayden.

"You were lucky!" Tristan muttered and sat down. Kayden and I sat down quietly, glad that Tristan had calmed down.

"So I saw the ocean for the first time today." I said after a few minutes of silence.

"Oh really? What did you think?" Tristan asked, as he took another bit. I glanced at Kayden again, I'm not really sure why but I felt almost as if he would betray my secret…but he didn't really know how I felt so how could he? He didn't know that I was really ready to leave everything for a moment.

"It was beautiful." I answered and started to eat again.

"Yeah, I guess. I never really like the ocean much, I prefer the mountains." Tristan answered. I shrugged and kept my eyes down, refusing to look at Kayden. I didn't want him to know how much that statement scared me- I couldn't even figure out why, it just sounded so foreboding. I think I have to losing my mind because none of this is making sense…

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