Rb: “What? You’re finished with your short story?”
Angel: “Yes… it’s not perfect-”
Demon: “Speak for yourself! My part is freakin‘ awesome!!”
Rb: “I can only imagine.”
Angel: “Now… listen, before you start reading, please don’t judge me based on my character. I mean… it was hard for me to stay true to my character because of… I mean…”
Rb: “Sipping Tea with the Ex-Assassin and the Tyrant? That’s the title?”
Demon: “Yeah, Angel came up with most of it. She wanted it to read Sipping Tea with the Ex-Assassin and the Faery, but damn that. I at least want my character to be badass even if he’s a stinkin‘ faery.”
Angel: “Um… its broken down in parts… so you get both of our points of view… and… I hope you like it.”
Rb: “Angel, calm down. It’s not a matter of life or death. Now, let’s begin…”
SIPPING TEA WITH THE EX-ASSASSIN AND THE TYRANT PART 1
Staring into the allure of the ale, Mecten took in a decisive breath. He pushed the heavy mug away from him for the sixth time that night.
“You might as well drink, Mec,” The elf across the counter said, pushing it back toward him, “since it’s already paid for.”
Mecten stared up at the wiry creature as obstinacy made him push the mug back toward her. “Give it to someone who deserves it, Tralie.”
With long thin fingers, Tralie picked up the large mug and downed the contents like it was water. She dumped the container in the washbasin behind her and then leaned over the bar onto her folded arms. “So that makes… what… three nights in a row?”
“Wow!” Her large eyes, widened, “My friend you’re making some headway into putting me out of business. You know I built this bar off your career. Your killer reputation got me started, but you don’t kill anymore. So now I’m stuck with old tales that the regulars are tired of hearing and my used to be number one customer stops drinking. What is a poor elf to do?”
“Stop whining and find another fool to exploit?”
The elf laughed the usually lighthearted sound. Her eyes twisted up in the corners to show her genuine amusement. “Mec. I’ve been meaning to ask you all night…” One arm broke away from her position, as a finger extended to point in Mecten’s direction. “Are you going on a trip?”
So the elf noticed the pack at Mecten’s back. He walked into the bar his usual time, ordering his usual drink, and trying not to seem suspicious so the female didn’t notice. But as usual, Tralie noticed everything. Probably even knew exactly how many nights he had gone without a single drink, however, that thin face never revealed more than a smile or amused expression.
Tralie had the long feminine lashes, thick short curly hair, and lips that most males would have fallen for instantly. Though she was too thin for his tastes, she was pretty. It was her mouth and her occupations that kept every male and female two arms lengths away from her. Though she owned the bar named Jolli Frosti Froth, Tralie could slice a warm body open or fire an arrow and gun with deadly precision. Like most elves, she looked thin and breakable, yet was quick, nimble, and resilient. She took fewer assassin gigs now, but she still gives out assignments to anyone willing to do the dirty work. If Tralie didn’t have information on something, it wasn’t worth knowing.
Her ever present “happy” face wasn’t a mask, because Tralie was always happy. She could kill as jolly as she could serve a drink. It was just her nature. A nature that kept him coming to the bar many years after he quit needing information from her. A small cup of joy in his life was all he needed. Though he probably hadn’t earned it, he soaked up what bit he could find. Tralie was a small cup full.
“I know that look.” She sighed, her lips settling into a smirk. “So that’s why you have that pack on. You’re going to go look for her again.”
There was no answer he could give. She knew. The best source of information in all the cold snowy country was sitting right in front of him and he couldn’t bring his lips to form the question, Where is Sherris? The answer was there in those eyes, ready to answer the question he never asked because part of him didn’t want to know.
“Well, the bar will be here when you get back, Mec.” With a tilt of her head, a tiny curl flopped over one of her gold eyes.
He chuckled and stood to his feet, buttoning his heavy rough wool coat, then hefting the pack onto his back.
“Mec!” One of the regulars yelled, lifting up his mug. “Where you goin‘? Another mission? Who dies this time?”
“No mission. Good evening.” He bowed his head before heading for the door.
“Mec,” Tralie’s voice caught his ear. “If you want to find her, enter the race.” There was an unnerving quiver in that voice he was so used to hearing joy from. He turned back but she disappeared into the backroom, door clicking shut behind her. That uneasiness must have been his imagination. Tralie was never uneasy.
His eyes stayed transfixed on the backroom door as her words finally sunk in. If he wanted to find her he had to what? The race? Why the race?
Mecten was running down the incline of the mountain path before he could think further. It was the first lead he was ever given. His purpose was clear: to find the Temple of Light and Dark and enter the Tea Festival. There was no need to pay concern to the fact he was headed to the most dangerous tournament in the world. His heart raced as fast as his mind and his legs at the possibility of seeing her again. Just to see Sherris and marvel at her beautiful face and brilliant personality would be a miracle even if no words were exchanged or those gorgeous eyes never saw him. A miracle he anticipated.