Corris padded down the corridor. This late at night, most places in the city would be quiet and uninhabited, their occupants still sleeping. Not so with this branch of the Thieves’ Guild. She could still hear conversation from the commons, muffled shouts of triumph as someone won at dice or some other game of chance. But her mission lay elsewhere. She fingered the silver-and-gold bracelet she had looped around her wrist, pulling the sleeve of her coat over it to hide it. It had been a huge risk, taking this from the guild-leader, but it was a risk she was willing to take. I’m not comin’ back.
“Hey! Corris!” She whirled, hand dropping to the knife belted at her side. It was just Sammie, one of the little urchins that the guild had ‘adopted’ off the street. She let her hand drop past the knife, brushing against the fabric of her leggings.
He smiled. “You’re jumpy today, ain’cha?” The human children were always so. . . well, so cute, until one looked behind the fact that they were children, children training in the arts of theivery and assassination. “C’mon, what’s up?”
Corris sighed. “Nothing, Sammie.” She shook her head. “I’m just thinkin’. Got a new assignment.”
“Really? What’cha doin – oh, right, shouldn’t ask that.” He snapped his mouth shut, and looked completely abashed.
“Sammie,” Corris said with a chuckle. “Go on, scat. Palaat’ll be pissed off if he spots me talkin’.” It was close to the truth. Sort of . . .
“’K.” He scrambled past her, then whirled. “’Ey, Corris, speaking of Palaat, he’s mighty pissed off already. Seems someone nicked somethin’ from him.”
Corris nodded, trying to keep the apprehension from showing on her face. “Thanks, Sammie.”
He grinned. “Just keep away from him for a bit, huh?”
She nodded again, and started walking away.
“Oh, Corris?” He reached out and caught her arm. She whirled, and the sleeve shifted up, exposing a glint of silver in the light. “You wanna go -- What the – that’s. . .”
Before he could shout, she tackled him to the ground, putting a hand over his mouth. Shit. . . “Sammie, not a word, y’here me? Ya didn’t see this.” He squirmed, lashed out with a foot, catching her in the stomach. She fell backwards, trying not to vomit.
Her gaze caught a glint of metal, reflection of candlelight on a blade. . . she pulled her own blade and struck. Her blade hit resistance, there was blood on her hand, Sammie was screaming . . . . Oh. . . Gods. . I didn’t mean. . . Sammie’s short sword clattered to the floor, the sound was as loud as all the bells of the watch. . .
Now Corris did vomit, furious at herself for her reactions, furious over her mistake. . . Gods, preserve his soul . . . he was just a child. . . With an effort, she pulled herself to her feet. She pulled off her coat, wrapping it around him, trying to staunch the worst of the bleeding. I can’t stay, but I can’t leave him like this. . .
“Hey!” Her head snapped up. It was Dan, one of Palaat’s little minions.
Corris turned and ran. Gods. . . I almost want to be caught. . . I never wanted. . . She fled into the streets, her tears stinging in the cold night air. I just wish I could have the chance to find out you’re alright. . .
Forgive me, Sammie. . . She continued to run, pushing thoughts of what she had done aside. She couldn’t afford the luxury of lamenting mistakes. Not if she was to make it out alive. But that didn’t stop the tears.
One Regret: Quiz 186:
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