The Thief of Hearts

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Quinlan awoke to the sound of a rooster crowing, he sighed wishing he had not awakened alone but felt content in the knowing he had not utterly failed to win Julianna over. She was just going to take more time to convince. However, he thought to himself, “She is worth waiting a lifetime for!” He only hoped she did not make him give up thievery as a lifestyle. The thought of an ordinary life seemed boring, but perhaps worth it if Julianna were at his side. Smiling at the idea, he went over to the side table and splashed water onto his face. His next mission was at hand, and any idle thoughts of love or lust would need to wait, less he find himself distracted to the point of failure. Of course, failure to a thief usually meant death by trap or misstep, and he had no intentions of meeting the Maker just yet. Quinlan had things he wanted to do before leaving this world. After dressing he headed down to the courtyard, finding Lorelei just about to mount her horse.

“Good morning Lorelei, where are you off to?”

“I have my own mission, I am headed to Nelaveth,” She answered as she mounted. “I wish you luck and happiness on your adventure.”

“Thank you, and may your journey be uneventful,” Quinlan said and added, “I am surprised you are not coming with us.”

“Oh, I forgot to tell you, Skylar believes I am ready to take on my own quests, free from his oversight,” Lorelei winked, “So do not go telling him any different.”

“I promise not to and remember not to trust anyone. There are a lot of thieves waiting to take advantage of young wizards.”

Lorelei laughed, “I will remember your advice, but I am merely going to keep watch while Skylar is away.”

“Watch for what?” Quinlan asked.

“I see no harm in telling you, I am to make sure a particular warrior stays away from the Queen of Nelaveth,” She winked, “Not very exciting or challenging, but maybe I will find some mischief to get into.”

Quinlan laughed, “No doubt in my mind Nelaveth will be at war by the time we return.”

“Have a little faith in me, after all, I have faith you will win Julianna in the end.”

Quinlan smiled broadly, “Do you know something I do not?”

“I will tell you when you get back,” Lorelei, with her ever devilish grin chuckled, “Farewell for now, and tell Julianna goodbye for me.”

“I will,” Quinlan waved as Lorelei and several guards from High Keep rode through the gates, “Be safe,” He murmured, hoping in his heart she stayed out of trouble.

As the gates were closing, Julianna and Skylar joined him. Quinlan conveyed Lorelei farewell to Julianna before their horses were brought out.

“When are you going to tell us what we are in for?” Quinlan asked Skylar.

The crafty wizard smiled, “Now why would I go and ruin any surprises in store for us by telling you about them.”

Quinlan looked over to Julianna, “I do believe you are going to wish you stayed under Lady Matilda’s employ by the time this is over.”

Julianna chuckled, “I have made up my mind, and once my heart is set on something I will never stray from following it.”

Quinlan saw a slight glimmer of hope there held a hidden message in her reply, so he bowed and said, “We are one in the same then, for once I put my mind on a prize, I never stop until I win.”

Skylar spoke up, “If you two are ready, I suggest we get under way.”

They all mounted their steeds, and as they rode forth from High Keep Quinlan could hardly hold back his excitement, whatever lay ahead.

Quinlan’s heart was still set on Julianna, so he fell in behind his heart’s desire and Skylar, looking forward to finding his fortune and winning even more importantly Juliannas’ love.

The end.

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