The weather in Italy was better, at least. It had been three months since the first night Evan had encountered the freckled thief and almost three months since Danne had had all of his gear stolen (he was still just getting over it). The pair had finished their joint mission in Marseille and had since travelled casually along the coast on stolen horses (care of Danne) and boats (care of Evan’s negotiation skills). The boats were not preferred—Danne laughing as the few weeks’ trip saw Evan leaning over the side for the first week straight, the Swede managing to nurse him back to health by throwing small pieces of bread at the half-Scotsman’s face until he finally agreed to eat something.
Upon reaching Italy they had already taken up and completed a security job that was incredibly boring yet very fruitful. On their journey inland from the coast they had found a small town known for its healing mineral springs, and had immediately paid and entered one of the marble-lined rooms, stripping off their gear and getting into separate copper baths filled with the stuff. There, they both sat back lazily, laughing as they talked, drank and smoked casually.
It was after they had quieted, relaxation sinking in, that the door opened silently and an equally quiet figure slipped in. From the look of it, it was just some cleaning boy darting about, but then Dan happened to crack an eye just as the person was turning around and consequently caught sight of distinctive green-flecked brown eyes and a dusting of freckles. The thieving brunette stared at him as he stared at her, frozen in place for a heartbeat.
“Goddamn it all to hell, Buddy!” Danne was complaining to his dog, who looked like he knew he had done something wrong but wasn’t going to apologize for it. “Do you at least know where she went?” he asked uselessly, and the dog just made a groan of a noise and set his head on his paws as he lay down.
Completely naked, Dan stood with hands on his hips as he frowned, looking about himself to find something, anything of his. There was nothing.
It wasn’t as if he had many precious things in the first place, but the sheer audacity of stealing everything of his completely befuddled him.
“And why didn’t she take you then, hm?” he asked his dog, one hand ruffling his hair. “Too lazy I suppose. Come on, Buddy, not even one little growl?” He shook his head, dismissing the dog for a moment and turning on Evan. “And you. Shut up.”
Evan had not stopped laughing since they woke and found the revelation, incredibly amused at the note—and the fact that she had only taken his boots. “You’re lucky it was her and not your…” He picked up the note and read, “Murdering bastard of an employer.”
It was raining again that night, a second wave of storms passing through with the evening’s sea winds and battering Marseille just as enthusiastically as the previous round.
When Trice found the room where her targets had passed out, drunk and snoring, for the night, she was freezing. One night of sleeping in the rain had been bad enough and she certainly wasn’t looking forward to a second, but the mud on the roads out was too bad to get the wagon through and she didn’t want to risk hurting the horses by trying. So she’d turned around and come back to the cursed port again. This time she’d stowed her wagon somewhere safer, more hidden, and had unhitched one of the horses to ride as she went on her search…
Because, if she had to be in Marseille, she had a couple of things she could do while she was there.