Ch. 197. This Way or That

“I thought you’d already gone to bed.”  Peino could barely see her, though as his eyes adjusted to the dark and matched sight to sound, he traced out more of her form and nervous movements.  “Did you go out again?  Surely not — leastwise, you seem dry enough.”

His mind was racing ahead again, toting up all the guards and night clerks between the apartment and the street, considering the likely honesty of all those embassy staffers — and remembering what his brother had said about Lotye O’Tulvar and the cards of the Arcana.  But the quiet all around them told him the wards of the safe had not been breached.  Perhaps she really had just…

And then his eager mind wanted to rush down the path of her — what choices and impulses a person like her might face, how she ended up in this way of life, what did that bracelet, the use of which he knew well, mean to her?  Things that were really none of his business.

That last thought broke Peino’s seconds of thoughtfulness with a smile.

“Well, then, I leave you to your rest, milady,” he said, “unless you would care to join me?  I was just going to pour a small glass, something to warm the bones for sleep.”

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