No Honor Among Thieves (Part 5)

Posted: February 16, 2017 in Fantasy, Fiction, No Honor Among Thieves
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Being the continuation of my fantasy thieves serial.

Part one is here. Part two is here. Part three is here. Part four is here. Comments are always welcome!

Matryc knocked on Jayce’s door, knuckles rapping against the rough, unfinished wood. A light flickering through the window, casting deep shadows on the rain slick street outside, told him the fence was still awake despite the late hour. The rain had stopped, but the air still held a damp chill in the air. The panel in the door opened, Jayce’s eyes widening when she saw who it was.

“We’re closed until tomorrow,” she stammered.

Matryc frowned, a slight turn down of the lips, but his eyes gleamed. “Is that anyway to greet an old friend, Jayce?” he asked. “It isn’t as if I woke you.”

Jayce sniffed. “True, but somehow I don’t think you’re after a cup of tea, either.”

The assassin shrugged. “No, but I’ll take one if you’re offering.”

Jayce made a sound like a growl in the back of her throat and closed the panel. For a moment, Matryc wondered if he would have to find an alternative way in, then he heard a bolt being drawn back and the door opened. Matryc slipped in like a shadow, taking in the details of the workshop. Jewels were spread over a velvet cloth. A crucible sat in the fire, tongs sitting nearby. The air smelled of molten metal.

“Busy night?” Matryc asked. “I’ll take that cup of tea if you’re offering.”

“Fine, fine,” Jayce said, setting a kettle over the fire. “So what brings you out on a night like tonight?”

Matryc’s lips twitched. “I’m looking for three people. I thought you might know them.”

Jayce cocked an eyebrow up. Matryc watched as she moved around the shop, putting herself close to a broad bladed dagger nearly the length of her forearm. “I know lots of people.”

“Yes, but these three have become a thorn in the side of a particular man. Barrion.”

Jayce sniffed. “Barrion’s a thug and little else. Not sure why you would work for him.”

Matryc leaned on Jayce’s workbench, allowing his coat to fall open and revealing the slender blade he wore on his hip. “For the same reason you take stolen goods, Jayce. It pays.”

“So are you going to tell me who you are looking for, or are we going to dance around the issue?” Jayce asked.

Matryc drummed his fingers on the table. “Did you know Heron’s was hit tonight?”

“Truly?” Jayce turned her face away, busied herself with the tea kettle and a pair of porcelain cups. “Can’t say I care for the man. Tends to look down his nose at me.”

“I can’t imagine why,” Matryc chuckled. “But he won’t be looking down on anyone anymore. Sadly, he was killed in the course of the burglary. None of that changes the fact that he paid protection to Barrion to prevent exactly these kind of incidences.”

“I…see. And you think I might know where the culprits are.”

Matryc smiled. “Truly, you grasp the heart of the matter. You know people, Jayce, and more importantly they know you.” He paused, taking a long look around the workshop. “If I was a thief, I can’t think of anyone I would rather bring my stolen goods to if I wanted them disposed of.”

Jayce swallowed hard, the teacup shaking in her hand as she passed it to Matryc. “Barrion sent you, then?”

Matryc nodded. “Not for you though,” he said, watching Jayce’s fingers twitch toward the dagger. “He wanted me to find these three before I heard about Heron’s. They killed Travers.”

Jayce pointed a finger at the assassin. “And you think I had something to do with it?”

Matryc snorted. “You don’t have the spine, old woman,” he said. “If you did, you’d have already picked up that knife and you’d be nursing a broken arm before I left. I do think you know the three I’m talking about though.”

“And if I did?” Jayce folded her arms in front of her, hands gripping her stick thin arms tight enough to turn her knuckles white.

Matryc tapped a pouch tied to his belt, the sound of coins clinking together filling the room. “I do not care if you received goods from the three I’m after. I only want to know where Gray is. Her friends too, but Barrion wants Gray dealt with. Her friends as well.”

“I… see. And you wouldn’t mention my involvement?” Jayce asked. “To either party?”

Matryc smiled, standing straight and holding his hands up, palm up. “Now why would I do a thing like that? Barrion was quite clear who he wanted dealt with and I am a professional. IT would be wrong to kill someone and not get paid for it. Of course, if you don’t cooperate with me… well you won’t enjoy it. Don’t look so glum, Jayce. There are plenty of other rats int eh city who will be happy to sell you their ill-gotten goods.”

Jayce sighed, sparing a look at the dagger. “Try The Golden Hide,” she said. “They said to look for them there. I can’t promise you that they are there now.”

Matryc pulled a few silver coins and pressed them on the table. “Thank you, Jayce. See how simple that was and without any unpleasantness?” He pulled another, larger, coin, from the pouch, the light from the candles glinting off its gold veneer. “Her partners, do you know their names by chance? The messenger Barrion sent was scant on details.”

“Tamara and Artair,” Jayce said, her eyes fixed on the coin spinning across Matryc’s knuckles. “Though I only saw Tamara with Gray.”

Matryc smiled and flipped the coin at Jayce. The fence snatched it out of the air and made it disappear into the folds of her clothes. “See how simple that was?”

Turning to leave, he looked back at her. “You should be more careful who you open your door to in the future. All sorts of unsavory types lurking out there.”

As the door closed behind him, Jayce drummer her fingers on the table, staring down at the coins Matryc left. Sighing, she pulled out her ledger and marked down the gems Gray had sold her and offered a brief prayer that the young thief’s death would come quick and painless.

  1. […] one is here. Part two is here. Part three is here. Part four is here. Part five is here. Comments are always welcome! (And yes, it’s been eight months since this last updated. […]

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