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Songs of the EastI heard a rumour in the west beyond the sun
Whispers of a kingdom, comparable to none
I heard the talk of a lord on the eastern shore
Benevolent and honorable, like a king of ancient lore
I heard tell from travelers enamored
Of a land far off, where the clouds rain down with gold
I have not seen it with my eyes
But the rumours ring too sweet for lies
I want to parlay with this lord
And count among with his adored
I’ll catch the rain of gold with laughter
And buy the whole land a drink, after
I heard the heralds preaching in every corner of the north
Urging us to seek, ourselves, this place beyond worth
I listened to the grumbling of mercenary soldiers
Packing up to earn a fortune on which they can grow older
I heard the children plotting in the streets
To run and leave their parents, eyes alight with treat
Suddenly I woke to find entire cities empty
And I smile, as I know why these good people all would leave
Suddenly, I found, the wind blew through alone
And I whistled as I wand
A Thief in the Night_EndBeside her, with a strong arm curled around her shoulders, the man lay breathing deeply in his sleep. Farya watched the rise and fall of his chest in the cold light for a short while, but something on the chest beside the bed that had not been there before drew her gaze, the elegant design of its silver-inlayed handle winking with the steadily lightening sky. She eased out of his embrace and the warmth of the blankets, her bare skin forming gooseflesh all over in the morning chill. She stopped only to throw a shirt over herself before gently reaching for the pistol on the nightstand.
It seemed to form to Farya’s hand when she lifted it and the cold metal decorum balanced the warm wood of the grip. Closer inspection revealed the silver to display curling vines up that were also worked into the iron barrels, sprouting miniscule stone farya flowers all up and down the design. Her throat closed up and her heart sped up. Father's guns!
The woman searched as thoroughly as
A Thief in the Night_3“No.”
“None at all?”
“No interest, no curiosity, no questions?”
They burned at her lying tongue, but Farya shook her head. “No,” she said again. She was curious, no more or less than any person in her position would be, but the simple fact was that none of it had any importance to her. It would change nothing of her situation if she knew what the man did, why he kept her here, or how he had come to own an item so rare as her namesake.
She had not seen him since the afternoon the day before when she had fallen asleep watching him until he came down to bring her food this evening. Though he once again wore a long coat and hat of office, every time he turned his back to her, Farya saw again the muscles rippling beneath a thin white shirt. Every time he closed his eyes for more than an instant, she saw again the stroke of golden sunlight run the length of his curving lashes in sleep.
“You gave me your name on accident
A Thief in the Night_2She sat up slowly and spat. It landed at his feet, just outside the bars, and the man laughed. Farya did not move or change expression, though it took just about all that she had. He was the only person she saw in this small, dry corner of the empty house they had made her prison, but she would sooner have remained alone. A day and two nights ago, her three hours had expired and Shadowfall had departed for the crew to regroup. Over and over, she heard Riivah’s warning in her mind; “Just don’t get captured out there. T’ain’t nothing on land for the likes of us.” And she had been captured, but Farya could not bring herself to feel any guilt through the hatred of this man who stood in front of her and smiled.
She hated the fine, long coats he wore, blue with brass buttons today, and the wide chest and straight back beneath. She hated his black half-cape trimmed with cloth-of-gold and the way he wore it, thrown back over one broad sh
A Thief in the Night_1The night was holding its breath. Nothing moved or made a sound save the gentle slap of tiny waves against the dark polished wood. The shore slid silently closer, watching them with a thousand glowing eyes reflected in the dark water. It was as if the world knew who they were and why they were here, slinking into port under cover of darkness. Farya shivered.
“Captain.” Only the stifling influence of the world around her held the woman back from jumping in surprise. She turned to Riivah and craned her neck upward as her tall first mate halted before the rail. Farya could see no more than a huge dark form in the twilight, but she knew his bulging arms, his dark, closely shaved head, and the solid line of his massive jaw with its drooping mustachios as well as she knew her ship and her very self.
“First mate.” Father, she might just as easily have said. Riivah had raised her from almost a babe and taught her everything he knew about the sea for the full twenty-two
A Few Weeks in SummerA few weeks in summer
And a promise unspoken;
But here we are in Autumn's chill
And with dawn the whispers fade.
The rising sun is not as real
As that night's returning shade.
Winter couldn't freeze this well
That still spills over beyond help
But from this day I'll never tell
The tale of the night I sold myself
To taste your kiss but briefly
And forget my heart was broken,
If only for a night in summer
And promises unspoken.
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