The New Contract
I crouched near the two-level home ahead of me. Smoke rose out of the chimney. He’s home. I moved my position closer to the house, trying to get a better view, and to see if there would be any witnesses. Once it was clear that there was no one was watching me, I sneaked to the back door. I grasped the cold, metal handle and quietly opened the door. I reached to my back to draw my knife from its hilt. The room I opened to was the kitchen. I searched the room to see if my target was here. He’s not in this room. I snuck through the hallway to hear whistling. I hurried behind a door, disguising myself in the darkness. My client said this needs to look like a suicide, so I can’t jump him. My hand grazed something. I turned my head to see what it was and saw that it was a rope. The gears turned in my head, and suddenly I got an idea.
The target walked into his bedroom and sat on his bed that was in the middle of the room. I stayed in the shadows as I crept up behind him. I wrapped the rope around my hands a few times and got myself ready. The target stretched out his arms wide, and I took this as my opportunity. I threw the rope over the target and around to his neck. I pulled the rope towards my body, squeezing the target against my chest. The target reached out in the air as if someone would come and save him. No one was here, no one would save him. The target’s struggles finally came to a rest. I looked up to the ceiling to see a wooden beam that reached across the room. I threw the rope over it and created a noose on one end. I picked up the target and put his head through the knot. His body sagged on the rope like a dead leaf on a branch. I rushed out of the home, making sure I left no trace. Once I knew it was safe, my gait turned normal.
I walked through the forest, admiring the trees. They looked so beautiful under the moon. I followed the path until I saw the familiar towers from the castle that looked over the town, the scent of blood from a brawl, and felt the path turning cracked. I’m home. Every time I go through with a contract, I ask the client to meet at the tavern. I have had an emotional tie the place since before I could remember. I was thrown on the streets, and the people of the tavern took me in. They also threw me out, but that was just to better myself, to prepare me for the harshness of the Night Kingdom. I walked through the threshold of the tavern, already someone was being thrown across the room. I pushed past them and headed to the barmaid that was cleaning a table in the corner.
“Hello, Layla,” I said as I walked up to her.
“Vasper.” She nodded in greeting.
“Can I get a drink?” She stopped her cleaning and walked to the counter to grab me one. As I waited, I sat at the table she was cleaning and waited for my client.
“Really?” She said to me, looking at how I was sitting at the table she just cleaned.
“Sorry?” I gave her a look that said ‘I’m not really sorry, but you should forgive me anyway’. She rolled her eyes and handed me my drink. Layla and I have been friends since I first arrived at the tavern. She also came off the streets, but she was a woman, so they used her as a barmaid. Her face was very symmetrical and had eyes that were the color of honey. She had a curvy build, one that complimented her shoulder-length black hair. If you weren’t smitten with her already, she would have you in her grasp with her smile. She always made sure that when she was talking to someone, her ring made an appearance. Layla Vespera is due to marry into the Nyx house soon. They’ve been engaged for three years, I always tease her about the long wait.
“Are you waiting for your client?” She asked, appearing out of nowhere, whilst pretending to clean the table. She does this anytime she has a conversation with me. The mother and father of the tavern are very strict on how long she can talk to customers. She found a loophole by saying she was “cleaning”.
“Yeah, he should be here any minute.” I took a sip of my mead, the taste of honey traveling down my throat, warming my core. Layla left me alone to go tend to another customer. I sat staring at my drink, watching the droplets walk down the bottle.
“Hello, Vasper Bellatrix?” A voice said in front of me.
“Oh, hello.” I looked up to see that it was my client.
“Is it, well, done?” He said nervously. Hope laced his voice.
“Yes. My side of the deal, please.” I held out my hand, waiting for the familiar weight of the bag.
He nodded and fumbled in his fur robe. He pulled out a pouch and placed it in my hand. I opened it and looked inside. There were about seventy-five drega in it. I looked up at the client and smirked.
“Our business is done,” I said, and he walked away. I watched him walk through the doors as I finished the rest of my bottle.
“How much did he give you?” Layla said out, appearing out of thin air. I opened the pouch and showed her. She felt through the drega and pulled out ten pieces.
“One drega to pay for your drink, and nine drega to tip your wonderful barmaid.” She counted out the drega. I glared at her for a few moments, she countered that by smirking at me.
“Fine. Although, you're really not that good of a barmaid.” I sighed.
“That’s rich coming from you, Vasper. When you were training here, you chased away more customers than you brought in.” She gasped.
I rolled my eyes. I was about to counter her argument when two Night guards came up behind her. I furrowed my eyebrows in confusion. This is unusual. They can’t be here to arrest me, assassination is legal when a contract has been made. All of my deals have been through a contract.
“Vasper Bellatrix, you are needed by the queen,” they said in unison.
“Come with us and you will find out.”
“Ok, fine.” I started to walk towards the guards, I looked at Layla who gave me a look of worry. She walked up to me and squeezed my arm, bringing her face close to my ear.
“Please be safe,” She whispered, “Don’t do anything stupid.” She pulled away.
I nodded at her and walked to the guards, allowing them to escort me to the castle.
Oh, god, I hope I don’t die.