Private Tales I robbed Tinkerbell?!

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Jace

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A thief was not a good thief if he hesitated when a prime opportunity presented itself.

Hesitating didn't put food in your belly, it didn't put logs on your fire, and it most certainly didn't make you feel 'good' about yourself for not stealing in the first place. Only a person who had never had to steal to survive would think hesitating before pinching a bag was a good thing. Yet Jace did hesitate before snatching the satchel that was propped up against a pretty girls leg outside of one of the restaurants in Alliria. There was something about it that filled him with dread as though the bag - or whatever was in it - would bite his hand off for touching it without permission.

Perhaps if he had listened to that instinct the events over the next few weeks wouldn't have happened.

But Jace was young and more importantly, he was an idiot.

So on a bright sunny spring day he did what any good thief would do and squashed down that tiny voice that would have spared him days of pain, and instead artfully switched the brown, unassuming satchel with an identical one filled with nothing but trash he had poured into it in order to give it that 'full' look. Once the switch was done Jace just kept walking. Easy, he thought smugly to himself. Once he was out of sight of the girl whom still sat unknowingly robbed, he ducked into an alley and peered into the bag.

"No, no, no - fuck!" he groaned. He had sworn he had seen her put gold into it but a rummage and then tipping the whole thing out confirmed his fears. Inside was just a stuffy old, tattered looking book. It didn't even have those golden pages or the nice leather he saw in those fancy libraries. No. This looked fit for the tip. Varo would never let him live this down especially after the fiasco with the spell scrolls.

"What happened to diamonds being a girls best friend?" the poor lad sighed.
 
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Fraeya

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Delun nearly floated by. It always looked like that, the fae male walked so gracefully. Most of them did but Delun seemed to have the balance flow around him the best.

"Come," he motioned to his assistant.

And like a good assistant, she took the bag that had never left her sight and slung it over her shoulder. She didn't even want to think about what the Erlking would do to her if anything ever happened to it. One hand tightened around the worn leather strap as she walked after Delun. Her gait and steps were more graceful than most humans but even she seemed like a staggering toddler next to him.

When they got back to the estate, the place that offered a modicum of safety in the storm that was fae, Delun disappeared in his gardens, asking her to put on a pot of tea. She hung the satchel and disappeared into the kitchens, going about the daily and then nightly routine.

It wasn't until Delun, that she went to go unpack the bag from earlier. Taking it from the hook, she lifted the top of the satchel.

Pale-green eyes bulged at what was inside.

Was that...a rotten apple core? And some rolled up, discarded pieces of trash?

NononononNONONONONO-NO.

Fingers dug through the odd bits of scrap and junk. Then she looked closer at the handle. This wasn't...the same bag.

"No," a strangled whisper. Her thoughts jumped to what the Erlking would do to her if...if...

"No," gritting her teeth, she slung the fake over her shoulder and disappeared out of the estate. She'd have to make this right. HAVE TO.

Or she'd be dead.
 
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Jace

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"It's a fuckin' book, kid. I don' care if tae fuckin' king o' fuckin' faeries owned it, it's a book."

Exasperated Jace put his head on the counter, palms splayed either side of him. For a moment it looked as though he would bang his head off of the thick, splintering wood.

"I KNOW--" he glanced around warily at the others in the shop who cast him similarly guarded looks at his outburst. "I know it's a book Kyle," he ground out the man's name between gritted teeth. He always hated when Kyle was on the desk. Kesha was nicer, he could flirt with her mainly because she was thirty years his senior and Kyle was... well Kyle. Who could blame Kesha for wanting to play around with a much younger, much more attractive model? The meaty man opposite him folded his arms over his chest.

"C'mon, it has to be worth somethin'. Rip it up, ey? Sell it for fancy... craft things they're always makin' for the nobles now a-days or summin'. Or - or wha' abou' those scholars? They like this shit. C'mon Kyle," he pleaded, turning on the smoulder.

Not long after Jace left the shop with a sigh and looked at the few measly coppers in his hand.

"I need a fuckin' drink," he muttered and made his way to the Leering Imp.
 
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Fraeya

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She was back where she'd been only a few hours before as the sun began to dip toward the horizon. The air was already cooler as early evening took over. Fraeya couldn't quite stop the nervous flutter of her heart. The slight claminess on her palms.

But those things didn't ease up the determined set of her shoulders. Her jaw.

Kneeling on the streets, she gathered up some dust and dirt on the ground. While she didn't have power like the fae, she'd been taught some spells. Spells only fae could use. Just like she could travel the world faster and mostly undetected, like them. She never questioned why she could do it or wonder about it. It's just how she'd been brought up.

Calling upon the Earth, she whispered the spell and a whispered plea. "Show me." The dust swirled from her hands and coated the air, forming an outline filled with air of her. Sitting on that bench from earlier. Then more dust swirled into place as she caught a glimpse of an older boy. Perhaps young man.

"Sticky fingered little thief," Fraeya spat as the dust swirled onward. Down the street. She quickly followed, seeing where the magic would lead her. Most other folk didn't seem to notice her or the magic as she wove through some of the people and horses milling about the area.
 
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Jace

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"Ah, Frank, best buddy ol' pal."

The bartender looked up and snorted as Jace took a seat in front of him. The large man was absolutely covered in tattoos. When he had been little and Petyr had brought him to the tavern with him, Jace had used to try and copy those tattoos on his own skin in ink. A part of him still tried to imagine what it would be like to have his own - maybe something cool like a snake curling round his bicep. That would really make his muscles pop.

"Wha'd'ya want kid?" the gruff man huffed and spat in the glass he was holding before rubbing it clean. Jace pulled a face then put the coppers on the bar.

"A pint. It's been a fucking shit day."


Ale in hand, ten minutes later he was sat down at a card game with a full flush in his hands. Perhaps his luck was going on the up now.
 
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The dust replica of this kid went into a shop but before she could follow it came back out and went back the way they'd come. She frowned and decided to keep following it. All the way down to a little tavern called The Leering Imp.

"Why am I not surprised," she muttered beneath her breath as she waved a hand through the earth magic to dissolve it. Taking a breath, she shoved open the tavern door and slipped inside. Took her a second for her eyes to adjust to the dimmer interior. Gaze searched for the one she was looking for.

There.

That little conniving bastard.

Plucking a pinch of dried herbs from her pocket she went to pass behind him and as he was distracted by his card game, she would release those herbs into his pint of ale.
 
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Jace

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"What can I say gents?" Jace grinned as he pulled the pile of coins towards him much to the dark glower of the men around him. Two of them threw stood up and stormed off towards the door and another spat before sulking off towards a dark corner to nurse his empty purse. "Don't play the game if you can't handle losin'," he practically wriggled with glee as he swept the collection of coppers and silvers into his purse. The remaining men around the table left with a grumble and Jace finished off his ale with a satisfied belch after.

"Time to go," he murmured to himself. There were occasional moments where Jace had a flash of sense and that usually came after he saw the flash of steel being drawn. Without a backward glance he staggered out the door. Kress, had Frank given him an extra strong pint?

"Fuck me," the lad muttered after a block where his vision began to blur and spin, forcing him to lean against the wall.
 
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She ordered a drink but didn't drink from it. She pretended to, though. Her back to that game of cards going on, listening closely. Slipping from the stool, she'd follow a beat after the kid finally got up.

What a smug little prick.

She was surprised someone else didn't think so too and stick a knife in him. Of course, if that happened, she'd have to step in. Soft-leather shoes padded after him with little sound on the cobblestone streets. And as he leaned against a wall, she'd step from the shadows of the street and go to grab his arm, trying to pin him against the wall.

"I've been looking for you," she'd hiss against his ear.
 
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Jace

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There was a brief second that Jace tensed when someone grabbed his arm but as his eyes spied exactly who it was pinning him up against a wall, a smirk split his face in two. There was no resistance to him and his eyes lazily wound down her body from head to toe. Kress his day really was looking up, she was stunning.

"Oh 'ave you now?" he purred. At least, he tried to purr. It was probably more of a slur due to the drink but he was trying his best to keep his composure. With her hands on his shoulders roughly pushing him up against the wall he slid his own down to her hips and tugged her closer. "As you seem to know me, migh' I know the beautiful ladies name?" he raised a brow.
 
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"No."

Eyes narrowed, nostrils flared as his ale and herb-tinted breath heated against her face the same time his hands slid down. She was fast. Like the crack of lightning. Not that she needed to be fast with the state he was in. One hand released his shoulder and the other went down to one of those offending hands on her hips as she half turned and would go to tip his weight over her shoulder as she braced her legs apart and set her knees.

All to flip him on his back in that dirty alleyway.

She'd slide over him, using her weight to pin his body to the ground as she'd sit atop him, one hand suddenly brandishing a knife made from polished and sharpened bone. A dagger she'd press none-too-kindly to his throat if she got that far.

"Where. Is. The. Book. You stole?"
 
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Jace

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"Aw c'mon lu---ARGH," Jace's flirtatious smile was wiped away as he was hurled over the surprisingly strong young woman’s shoulder. A groan escaped him as he hit the cobbles hard and he even thought he saw little birds chirping about his head for a brief moment.

"Like it rough luv? You could o' just asked if you wanted to be on to--" his slurred attempt as covering his embarrassment vanished as the knife bit into his skin. His Adam apple bobbed as he swallowed and held his hands up to show he meant no harm.

"I sold it! I'm sorry luv it's probably firewood by now..."
 
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Fraeya

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"W-what?" It was a strangled whisper as she looked down at him. As she felt her heart sink. As she felt like she was drowning. As a roaring filled her ears.

The knife in her hand faltered as her fingers trembled. And if he was with it enough to realize he might be able to try overpowering her.

She swallowed making herself hang onto reality. Hang onto the present.

"Who? WHO did you sell it to?"
 
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Jace

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Jace's eyes flickered to the knife in her hands as she wavered. Even drunk and a little out of his mind he knew that it was a bad thing to have a woman with a sharp weapon this close to his skin. Varo had taught him that. Not through words, of course, but through a demonstration of what happened when he had let Wren near him with one of her little silvery knives.

"Kyle!" he blurted when she raised her voice and her hand wavered. Again his hands were in the air and he prayed to the seven gods that she didn't accidentally slit his throat. "I can take you righ' to 'im, it's only down the street! Look, I even 'ave the money he gave me for it still, we can get it back!"
 
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Fraeya

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Kyle.

KyleKyleKylekylekyle.

She stared down at him. Narrowing her eyes. Trying to read if he was lying. She pulled back on the dagger a half inch. "Okay. You are going to help me get it back or so help me I'll be the least of your worries. Got it?" When she was sure he did. When she was pretty sure he wasn't about to clock her in the face or pull his own knife out on her, she withdrew the dagger completely and sheathed it.

Perched on his chest, she shifted her weight to her feet and stood above him, stepping away so she no longer straddled him to give him the space to get up.

"Come on let's go," an impatient huff from her lips. "But stay close or," she gave him a look. One she tried to make as cruel as the fae did.
 
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Jace

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Fuck, but she had a good arse.

Jace helped himself to the view as she stood even as he rubbed at his throat where the knife had just nicked his skin. Still woozy he probably would have minded where his eyes roamed if he had his full senses... no, that was a lie. When it came to beautiful women he had no sense.

Which was probably why he bounded to his feet and flourished a little bow instead of drawing his knives and getting the fuck out of there.

"I wouldn't dream of leavin'," he shot her one of his best lopsided smiles then motioned down the street. Jace walked as though he hadn't just been threatened, hand in pockets and his shoulders slouched in that youthful manner boys did when they weren't used to their long limbs.

"Name's Jace, by the way. I suppose I 'ave you to thank for the," he made a drunk staggering gesture.
 
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Fraeya

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She walked close to him. Her pale-green eyes flickering between the shops they passed and him. Those left out on the street at the hour it was. Most places were boarding up or closing for the night. One hand never left the hilt of her sheathed dagger. The other hand remained at her side, ready to grab him if he tried anything.

She hadn't been this long in a human city for quite some time. There was more iron here. She was forbidden from carrying any. But she knew she wanted to get some before she left. And it was strange being around this thief. His features were not as sharp as the fae's. Not as predator-like. And he seemed what she guessed his age to be...so young. And she had to wonder if this was how most fae saw her.

"Couldn't have you overpowering me, now could I? Though I wonder if the ale alone would've been enough." A small sniff from her nose as she looked at the thief. He didn't even realize what he'd done had been as good as a death sentence for her. Perhaps for him too. Stupid selfish boy.

At least....at least he was trying to make it right. Or so she hoped.

"Fraeya," she relented quietly, begrudging him a name for a name.
 
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Jace

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Jace, blissfully unaware of the danger he was in, grinned like a rogue when she offered up her name. Anyone looking on would have thought the pair were out on a date and he was deeply entertained by his beautiful blonde companion. At least, he hoped that was what it looked like. Ah if only Jasmine could see him now, she would be so jealous.

"You're wrong about the ale luv, Frank's ale is watered down piss. I should known something was up when I felt that merry. Stupid to think he had finally warmed up to me," he sighed dramatically then stopped outside the little shop he had gone into only hours ago.

"Are you gonna try and knife Kyle too?"
 
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Fraeya

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Luv.

Who was this guy?! He almost acted fae with that cocky swagger and half-smile. Perhaps he and Prince Lorcan could be friends. Hands fell to her hips as she stared him down. Index finger twitched on her belt.

"If I have to, then yes. And if you sell me out. Try to do something in there? Trust me, you don't want to know what I'll do to you. Got it Jace?" Jaw clenched. But he might notice that behind her bravado and fierceness, there were undertones of very real fear.

Exhaling, she motioned the thief forward.

"Let's go."

Fraeya tugged open the door for Jace and one of her hands would fall to the small of his back and nudge him forward. No real strength behind her push.
 
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Jace

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Jace's smile faltered. Not much, but enough to show that her words had not fallen of deaf ears at the very least.

Kyle looked up when they entered the shop and slowly took the glasses off the end of his large squashed nose. Rumour had it it was his wife that had broken his nose and that was how they had fallen in love. Jace wondered if he would fall in love with Faeya when she broke his nose further if he didn't give her back her stupid book. What was so important about it anyway? It had looked like gibberish to him. Nothing but a list of names and places; boring.

But if it was important maybe Kyle had known that... in which case the fucker had given him a shoddy price by playing on his lack of education.

"Did you find another shitty book for me?" he sneered, barely giving his new friend a second look.

"Even better - I found you a buyer for the shitty book I sold you!" he grinned, leaning against the counter casually. Kyle simply snorted.

"No need, I've already sold it."
 
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Fraeya

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Kriffshitballs.

She nearly tripped on her own two feet but made it to stand next to Jace at the counter. Wares and different things hung behind the flat-nosed man. She had to wonder how much of what was for sale had been stolen like her book.

She decided not to proclaim that this boy-man had stolen it from her in the first place. Fraeya had no doubt this man knew and didn't care.

"Who?" She finally breathed, locking eyes with the shop-keep. "Who did you sell it to?" One hand never left the hilt of that dagger sheathed at her side.
 
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Jace

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Fuck.

"Kressa."

Fucking fuck.

Jace groaned and ran a hand through his hair. That was not the name he had wanted to hear; Kressa was a power on the streets and if she wanted something then she got it. Kyle knew that because he had that smug greasy look he got when he knew he had won one over him.

"Maybe we can find another copy of your book, aye luv?" he smiled sweetly to Fraeya instead, turning the charm dial up a notch. If he had to pick a woman to fight it would be the blonde over Kressa.
 
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Fraeya

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Her eyes tracked back to the little thief.

He knew.

That groan.

His words.

He knew whoever the kark this Kressa was. And it was clear Kyle was a dead end now. She chewed on the inside of her cheek and nodded once to the man she wanted to cast a curse upon. She didn't trust Kyle and even though he knew she was now interested, he didn't have to know how desparate she was about the book and give whoever this Kressa was a heads up.

"Thanks," she managed. A sideways glance to Jace with a silent look in her eyes. "Let's go." If he agreed and followed, she'd wait until they were both back outside the shop and away from prying ears before she'd spin to him and say.

"I need you to help me steal that book back from Kressa."
 
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Jace

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Jace glumly followed Fraeya outside and thought of how good his life had been going until that point. Though if he was going to die maybe at the hands of a beautiful woman wasn't that bad. It would be bad for his reputation that was for sure, but what did he care about that if he was dead anyway? He was so lost in his dark thoughts that he almost didn't hear what it was she said to him when they were a little way down the street.

Almost.

"No fuckin' way - d'you know who tha' is?!" he paused for a second, saw the blank and uncaring look then ploughed on. "Kressa is one o' the three mob bosses tha' run this ci'y. Robbin' 'er is like... like..." he threw up his hands helplessly. He wasn't the one who gave the speeches for this reason. "It's suicide!"
 
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“Well,” that bone knife was in her hand so fast it might take Jace a minute to realize she held the sharp end and offered him the handle. “You might as well plunge this into my heart now and then turn it on yourself because that will be better than what the owners of that book will do to me and then you once they find out it’s missing.”

She was shaking.

Perhaps with a mixture of anger and fear.

Her arm remained rigid. That knife for him to take. Unmoving and very, very serious.

“Or,” she breathed, “we can figure out how to get it back.”

Even if it was a suicide. Death by Jace right now or some mob boss seemed like a much better idea than facing the Erlking and his lackeys. She knew what they did on those hints.
 
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Jace

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Jace flinched when he saw the knife and screwed his eyes shut, preparing for the bitter sweet kiss of its edge across his throat. When it didn't come he opened one eye slowly and then the other with a relieved sigh - albeit a short-lived one. If she thought it was better to be killed by Kressa then the gods only knew what kind of monsters had owned that book.

This is why I stick to gold, the lad thought bitterly to himself and kicked at a loose bit of rock. Bits of paper had got him nothing but trouble recently.

"Fine," he muttered under his breath then threw up his hands. "Fine! If you wanna die tha' badly," he turned and began to walk in the direction he knew her main headquarters were. "Wha's the deal wif this book then, eh?"
 
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