Raven wasn’t awakened again until evening. For that, she was thankful. She needed all the sleep she could get. Tonight would be interesting. She hadn’t had a job to pull in the Sapphire District since the fall. Her blood was pumping with excitement, but her brain was throbbing with worry that she was out of practice. Winter had taken far too long to pass.
Aven sat at the foot of her bed as she finished preparing herself. He was dressed from head to toe in black with soft soled black shoes. She didn’t worry too much about him. The man could step on a creaky board without eliciting a sound. She was dressed in her tightest black outfit. There was not a single dangling thread or protrusion. There was nothing that could get caught on anything. Over her cropped hair she pulled on a tight black cap so her hair wouldn’t show. Her shoes barely covered her ankles and had soft slipper-like soles. They gave her more movement, and quietness of that movement, than any other shoe she had ever worn.
“You look fantastic,” Aven said appreciatively.
She turned from her mirror and smiled at him. “Thank you, Aven. You look ready for a night on the town yourself.”
He laughed at their joke as she approached him and placed her hands on his shoulders. He smiled up at her and wrapped his large hands around her dainty waist.
“Are you ready?” she asked softly.
“Always,” he whispered back.
“Then let’s go.”
She lowered her head to his and gently brushed his lips with her cool ones. The warmth of his kiss spread through her and gave her the energy and high she needed for this job. Of course, she did wish she had another job she could do with her longtime friend and lover, but there were spoils to be had and she couldn’t turn them down any more than Aven could.
They pulled away from each other and were back to business. Most of their relationship was comprised of business. It was hard to find moments to be together and not worry about anything. But Raven was a Thief Lord and Aven her adviser, protector, and executioner, so he was always by her side. She knew he loved her, so his protection was fierce. They didn’t need much more than that.
“I sent Onna over to the Sapphire District,” Aven said as he rose from the bed. “She went sniffing around the Sarlik Manor and saw him pass a package to a messenger. She followed the boy to the office of the City Guard. They have been paid off. When she returned to the manor, there was a pouch hanging by the door with the letters T, L, and R hastily stitched onto it. She guessed your pay was in there.”
Raven grinned as they walked out of her bed chamber. “Excellent. Then I can get the seed of magic off my hands sooner than I expected.”
Now it was time to actually steal the seed of magic from the Almi Manor. Raven couldn’t suppress the shiver of excitement that ran down her spine.