Raven, Chapter 9-c

“I don’t like it,” Aven said as they made their way through the shadows back to their caverns.

Raven sighed, a soft sound that was quickly carried off in the light breeze. “I know, Aven. But Corinn has always been slippery. It took a great deal to get him to sign in the first place. We’ll just have to be careful from now on. Very careful.”

The clock tower chimed the one o’clock hour. Raven paused in her step and turned her head in the direction of the sound. A thoughtful look came over her face. Aven paused and took one look at her before his face clouded.

“No, Raven,” he said, his voice harsh. “We can’t risk it. Not now. Wait until tomorrow night.”

“It’s still early, Aven,” she whispered, not looking at him.

Without another word, she whirled and made her way out of the slums instead of further into them. Cursing under his breath, Aven loped after her.

“Quiet,” she hissed once he had caught up to her. “You don’t want anyone to hear you, now do you?”

“Oh, now you’re worried about something happening?”

“I’m worried about something happening to you,” she snapped back. “Now, hurry up, Aven. The Sarliks should be asleep by now. That jewel setting has to be in the Lady Caidy’s bedroom.”

“We’re not even prepared for this,” he pointed out as he caught up to her.

She waved a hand. “I’ve broken into the manor before. I know what I’m doing.”

Aven frowned. “Aren’t you being a little optimistic, not to mention far from cautious?”

“Of course not,” she said breezily. “Everything will be just fine. I know which window leads into the girl’s room. And with you as look out, I’ll be just fine.”

“Are you sure about this, Raven?”

“Positive. And, remember, Lady Almi will pay quite well for this.” She chuckled. “She’s new to working with me. She’ll never know I charged her a gold coin more than I charge anyone else.”

Aven raised an eyebrow, but didn’t look at her, being too concerned at watching for lurking shadows that wouldn’t be shadows. Neither of them had weapons with them. He was afraid Raven was getting too far ahead of herself and maybe a little too cocky. Or Corinn’s refusal to sign the agreement meant she thought he had just signed her death warrant and certificate, so why couldn’t she go out on a lark?

He couldn’t blame Raven for wanting to make the most of her life, but to go into a steal unprepared? That was unlike her. He worried about her, but he loved her and admired and had trained her. He would go where she willed. Even if it made his hands shake and his knees quake.

So, he loped after her, hiding in the shadows and keeping a look out. He would rather die than let anything happen to her. He couldn’t lose a second Thief Lord, especially when that Thief Lord was the love of his life.

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