King of the Seditious

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Amusing the Crowd

“Aren’t they?” His gaze locked on her, dangerously as laughter rose around them.

Dimurah wasn’t deluded. Knowing full well every man in here was rife with amusement.

But they’d also cut the throat of the man next to him for the right amount of coin. Especially this one. But she was unafraid as she reached the vicious assassin watching her so astutely.

Savage leaned against the wooden bar. Braced by an elbow on the surface as he awaited her.

She faced him fearlessly despite everyone else here giving him a wide berth. “Why are you here, Savage?”

“You know very well why.” He gave her a lazy grin as he eased closer. The leather of his tunic and breeches creaking as he shifted. “That’s not my name either, is it…”

He smelled like fire, smoke, and leather.

“You’re Savage Jack. Everyone here knows that…”

But that’s not what you call me. And you know it. Savage’s eyes flashed gold in annoyance at her tone.

“Who’s Savage Jack?” One newcomer from a corner table.

“You’re in my guild and you don’t know who I am?” Savage’s gaze flicked warningly to the little man.

That stranger didn’t at all like the sight of Savage’s glowing eyes. He hushed. As most with a glimmer of intelligence did when Savage set those vicious eyes on them.

“Why are you here?” She enunciated through gritted teeth.

“For the ale.” He lifted his tankard meaningfully. Already taking in the sweet scent of her as his voice dropped. “And for you.”

“I told you not to come back.”

“Ha! I’ve stayed away long enough.” He smirked. “I left what I built to give you, your space. You’ve had enough time.”

“You know I meant it.” Her blue eyes narrowed on him.

“As I’ve said,” He lifted his tankard in salute. “You’ve said many things over the years.” He announced it loud enough everyone heard. He turned from her to face the barmaid, the blonde that’d hung on him all eve, serving behind the counter. Lifting the mug to declare he needed another.

“Don’t give him one!” Dimurah ordered. Shooting the maid a black look. “He’s not welcome here.”

“I let you command many things, Murah, but not whether or not I’m permitted in my own guild.”

She stuck out her chin obstinately. “Go.”

“You’re going to challenge me?” He gave her a sideways study. Tone bored.

“Here?” He quirked a derisive brow. “You don’t want to do that here.” Tsking as his lips tightened.

He unraveled from behind the counter to descend on her behind it. “I’ll win. I always do…Then you’re upset. As you often are. Is that really how you want tonight to go?”

“You’ve had enough drink. In an alehouse I told you not to return to. In a guild I warned you away from.”

“Come now, Murah. Be honest with yourself. That’s not what you’d hoped I’d stay away from.

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