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Cairhien - Paying Respects


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Standing by the window, the man known as Aventari looked down into the street. As he watched, an Aiel patrol passed by, one of the patrols that were often sent out to.... keep the peace? As a man who was in control of his emotions, as opposed to ignoring them, he could feel the hatred bubbling inside of him. That would wait though, wait for another day when the time was right. Not that it made him desire to spill Aiel blood any less.


Turning away, he walked back to his seat. The inn he'd picked for the meeting had private booths such as these, and furthermore were genuinely private. The walls were solid and soaked up sound, as did the door, hence why the place was often frequented by merchants and nobles as well as those considered common. A reputation for being a safe place to conduct business had gone far to make the Merry Widow a successful inn.


Taking his seat at the head of the table, Aventari took his ease, smiling at a whimsical thought. He didn't cut the most impressive figure at a first glance, or a second. In fact, his ordinary looks often had him confused for other people, or completely overlooked altogether. His lack of presence was a valuable asset in his line of business. Dark hair and hazel eyes that were common throughout the land, his face held no distinctive features, he wasn't abnormally tall or broad of shoulder.


Dressed in a blue shirt with yellow trim, blue hose of a lighter shade and brown boots, his colours were too light to mark him as noble. Maybe a lower merchant, or a commoner who had enjoyed some luck at the card table. The only discernable weapon the knife at his belt, there wasn't much to fear of him from a glance, or even closer study.


It had always been fun to take on different personas, fooling people into thinking he was someone else. He was one of the best, no character was beyond his ability to play. Lover, worst enemy, closest friend and confidant, the bane of a man's life, the nameless face on the street or the life of a ball, he had played them all. But that was his life, and if he failed to play them all, then he was done.


Still, it wasn't the same as it had been. When his brother had been present, he'd had someone to share the game with. Playing the game alone, it wasn't quite the same... Admittedly, Rakel, Lucia and the others were around, bu-


Shaking his head from such thoughts, he brought himself back to the present. He had two visitors coming, and it wouldn't do to have his mind wandering when they arrived, in regards to one of them at least. Not that he felt he had anything to fear from him, but a lack of care begged for disaster.


Besides, he had a reputation to maintain.




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As the three runaways entered the Cairhien Daris gripped one of his bell-tipped braids and checked the serpentine dagger strapped to his right thigh. The money that Satine had taken from Simon was keeping them well taken care of but Deora's pregnancy was making it hard to travel swiftly. Satine was not helping in that area either, she was the one insisting that they slow down for Deora's sake and Deora was agreeing. It's not that I'm not happy about being a father, but we need to get further away from anyone fleeing the chaos that the show caused. Now they were in Cairhien, and Daris was planning on them resting in a nice inn for a couple of days and both women seemed to be in full agreement.


When Daris turned to the two women to suggest finding an inn a man bumped up against Daris roughly mumbling an apology and disappeared into the crowd. Staring after him Daris smiled to himself. Foolish child, doesn't even know that I picked his pockets. Before he could even inspect what he had grabbed another young man glided past him and whispered in his ear ,"Check your pocket." Frowning at the person sliding into the crowd Daris reached inside of his pocket and found a note. Meet me at The Merry Widow and we will talk about your debt to the organization, bring your friend. There was no signature. "Well ladies lets find an inn."


When they found an inn, one that went by the name of The Resting Wheel the three purchased two rooms and after they had placed all of their belongings in their rooms the trio went down into the common room. Once they were all seated Daris showed them the note and told Deora to stay at the inn and keep their belongings safe. For once his wife, the former noblewoman, decided not to argue. After asking the innkeeper for directions to The Merry Widow Daris and Satine made their way towards the inn.

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Satine's eyes glittered with barely contained excitement when Daris revealed the letter to them. She did love a good intrigue, though it was always preferable to be the one calling the shots. Either way, the familiar rush of adrenalin was pounding through her veins, reminiscent of an earlier time when she had lived off her wit and her quick fingers. She hadn't realised how much she missed it until recently. Circus life was great, the adoring crowds and attentive eyes, yet all things had to come to an end eventually.


Leaving Deora behind reluctantly, Satine followed Daris through the crowded streets towards the Merry Widow Inn, an excited skip in her step. She had no idea what awaited them, for all she knew they were stepping into a trap. The smooth press of metal at her back was indeed comforting, the small dagger she had hidden something she doubted she would ever use, but was comforting all the same for it's presence. Besides, Daris had proved himself most handy in a tight situation. She was not worried.


Reaching the inn, Satine looked about interestedly, noticing the myriad of what appeared to be private dining rooms. How on earth were they to know who to meet and where this stranger was? They decided to get a drink and wait to see if they were approached, setting up at a small round table. Satine tossed her head, causing the beads at the ends of her blonde braids to click together as she smoothed the wool of her emerald green dress over her knees. It seemed an age since she had worn dresses, but Daris had insisted that she could not parade around in her pants that were far to revealling, unless she wanted trouble. Really, he was such a joyless prude at times. But eventually she had agreed. The material was by no means fine, though it wasn't overly aged, and the cut suited her fine, the colour making her eyes sparkle.


Her lips curved into a small smile as she lifted the goblet to her lips, the spiced wine delicious as her eyes flicked about the room, looking for their hidden pursuer. "Do you have any idea who we should be looking for?" She whispered to Daris, the excitement plain in her voice. He may be feeling wary, but she was enjoying the adventure. Suddenly she hoped they were meeting someone handsome, it had been so long since she had had the opportunity to enjoy some harmless flirting. Wisely she kept the thought to herself, certain Daris would disapprove, like he did most things.


Daris didn't get a chance to reply, when a serving wench, tray laden with mugs, stopped at their table. Satine looked up at her, confused, as both she and Daris had drinks, when the woman spoke. "The room ye be wantin to find is up the stairs, second door on the left. He be waitin for ye." Without another word the woman swayed her generous hips away. With a grin and a shrug, Satine rose, leaving her half empty goblet, and followed Daris up the stairs.


"Second door on the left." She reminded him, earning herself a brief glare from Daris. They hesitated, before Daris lifted his hand and knocked, and a voice from within bade them enter. Nodding, Satine watched as Daris pushed open the door, and followed in on his heels.

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Watching as the pair walked in, Aventari remained silent as did his guests as they entered. Gesturing to a seat either side of him, he waited as they made themselves comfortable. Despite the slight smile on his face, there was little warmth to be found in his eyes. Only a calculating look that showed he was measuring the two, weighing them, judging them. He could have covered such things under a myriad of layers that one could never pick apart, but there was little point in doing so.


While the smile that had been playing on the woman's face had faltered a bit, he was more interested in the man's expression. He understood the nature of how he was being studied, and he gave nothing away as he sat, watching Aventari in turn. How long they sat there didn't matter, only that Aventari be satisfied enough with what he saw before he made any decision.


"Welcome. I'm glad to see your time with your circus to the north hasn't made you overly lax." There was no reaction from the man that he had been watched, that was also good. "The speed that you travelled at was interesting. I believe congratulations are in order, and thats why I wish to speak with you."


That had his attention. "Cairhien will not be safe for you to stay any longer than a day or two. Your circus master is heading south to Cairhien, presumably after you as I cannot think of any other reason that he would follow your road. Besides which, with the Aiel on the streets, our sort have had, difficulties."


"That is why I wish to make you an offer. We wish to funnel some of our people out of the city, some of our more... obvious, assets. While we already have places, we want a few more. With the Aiel interfering here, we need to spread our business elsewhere."


"That is where you would come in. How does taking up innkeeping sound to you? It will provide a safe enough haven for your wife and your, no one would even question that you have a couple of guards about. I am prepared to have the money set aside for you in Caemlyn for you to do so."


"Conditions would be that if we ask you to put someone up, you do so. Or to hold anything we ask you to. You'd be answerable to myself, and representatives in Caemlyn."


"If you have questions, by all means ask."




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