“You know we’re being followed, Right?” Lonnix said.
Even he could sense the eyes on them. Hear the footstep trailing through the brush a distance behind and to the side of them.
Oh, yes. I know. Disseus thought.
And she’s trying hard to stay off the road and out of our view.
“Think she’s beautiful?” He asked Lonnix.
Lonnix looked at him, behind them, at him again. Expression looking nearly as though he’d been slapped. “I thought it was a man!”
Of course, you did.
Lonnix ascertained his more-experienced-in-tracking, friend wasn’t jesting. “If that’s a woman she’s well-versed.”
Doing well hiding from us. Now that, I agree with.
“Very.” Disseus agreed.
“I’ve barely heard her.”
Only two or three steps that were less crafted as the majority.
“I haven’t either,” Disseus admitted. “but I can smell her. A woman.”
He paused thoughtfully before adding. “Likely a beautiful one.”
“What does a beautiful one smell like?” Lonnix asked in awe.
Disseus spared him only a cursory glance. “Like a woman.”
“Helpful.” Lon curled his lip in contempt, deflating.
Disseus and Lon had barely sat down to their drinks in the milling tavern when he felt eyes boreing through them. Looking up he met the woman’s intent gaze peering at him from beneath a lowered hood.
She pushed two men’s backs aside to stroll through them. Not breaking eye contact with Disseus.
Lovely. He thought dryly. Determined to not talk to anyone tonight. Especially not some woman with some mission in mind.
Disseus watched the willowy figure walking through the tavern. Chaos thrummed around them in a pulsing rhythm. Robust voices rose in drunken conversations. Tankards were slammed together and sloshed ale over meaty hands. Well-known the tavern was always crammed to the fullest, brawny men pulling buxom women onto their laps.
But this figure walked through the tavern, hood lowered over her face.
Not the healthy rounded stature of the barkeep’s wife and daughters but short and slender. As if sensing his gaze, her hood turned, and he felt her assessing him.
Meeting her gaze from the shadows he watched her purposeful approach. One dainty hand gripped both sides of her cloak, holding them together.
Next to him Lonnix whispered. “She’s spotted you my friend. It’s amazing no one else has made her yet.”
Disseus gave a grudging nod of agreement. Willing his face slack as though without a fully formed jaw. Drool seeped from the corner of his mouth and one bleary eye quivered.
The woman slapped her pale hands on the round table, causing the poorly made thing to jostle. Nearly throwing their half-full tankards.
“I know who you are.” Her voice was smooth and filled with rage.
Rage, I didn’t earn. He focused on the face beyond the hood. Too dark.
Her features were impossible to discern.
“Disseus here doesn’t speak well, miss.” Lonnix came to his rescue. “He had an accident when we was young and-”
“I’m no fool!” She snapped. Throwing her head back forced the hood of her cloak to fall. Unleashing a riot of burgundy red curls. In a rough jerking motion, she tore the laces holding the cloak and it fell away revealing her naked body.