'The Bull's Horn' was a tavern on the market street. It sat three buildings down from the inn and two up from the bar where Ayen had gotten thrown out his first night in town. It was a tavern with a high, rounded, ceiling and walls covered in trophies, wanted posters, and paintings of bare chested women in sword fights. Scoundrel that he was, Ayen loved the place.
It was a great place to find thieves, rogues, and assassins. Which is why Ayen had been asked to meet his new employer there. The guy probably assumed Ayen was a regular, which he was, but it's rude to assume.
"What else can I get ya, handsome?" the bartender purred, as she always did. She was tall and curvy with cat-like eyes that said she was probably of kitsune blood even if her ears were human and Ayen had never noticed a tail on her. Regardless of how nice she was to look at, she wasn't exactly his type, but she sure did her best to forget it every time he walked in.
"I'm good for now, Nyla. Thank you," he said. "I'm just waiting for someone."
She bent over the counter letting her chest press against her arms. Ayen held in a laugh. "What kind of someone?"
"A work friend."
"On business tonight, huh? Well, you know where to find me when you've got time off." She shot him a winked and turned away, swaying a slight more than was necessary. Ayen rolled his eyes and took a long gulp of his drink.
His employer arrived before he could face any more harassment. He was a human merchant with a gleam in his eye that put Ayen on edge. The guy was certainly no good, but he paid well and that was all Ayen needed to know. That and the location of the item he wanted 'recovered'.
"And by the way," the man said. He had this constant half smirk on his face that made Ayen want to punch him in it. "I hired a man to get you inside. I know you said you prefer to work alone, but this guy has a lot of security. If you want to get out alive you'll need his help."
Again, Ayen rolled his eyes. Always the worst luck. "Fine. Who is this guy?"
"You'll find out tonight. Just don't kill him before he can get you in and out," he snickered.
Ayen made his way up to the rooftop where he and his partner in crime were set to rendezvous. He was early, but early meant that he wouldn’t be walking into any surprises. He found himself a nice shadowy spot to case the manor in question and wait for his accomplice. He'd considered him so well hidden that it was a complete shock to have been, not only found, but snuck up on.
"Fancy meeting you here," a familiar voice said just beside him.
Ayen jumped, getting quickly to his feet and drawing his knives. Waylon laughed. His head tossed back in genuine mirth. Considering their history, Waylon wouldn't have made himself known with a reason. It was bad luck all around.
"You're my partner." Ayen lowered his weapons, looking up at the sky as if to curse it. How was he supposed to work with the man he had tried to arrest twice now?
"Is that a proposition?" Waylon said, his smile gleamed.
"You know, there are so many empty beds in this manor, I don't think anyone would mind if we borrowed one," Ayen teased. In the low light of sunset he could see the way that Waylon blushed and turned himself ever so slightly away. Curious, he had never noticed him being flustered before. It suited him.
Rather than respond, Waylon took a seat on the rooftop. "We'll need to wait a few hours for the Viscount and his wife to retire. Then we can deal with the guards."
"You mean you can deal with the guards. Violence is not in my job description."
"So you're a pacifist now?"
"No. It's just that I know how to do my job without getting caught."
"So do I. You see, there's no one to catch you if they're all dead." Waylon grinned. The cruelty in his eyes was hard to miss. Ayen understood his reputation now. That sweet face always threw him off guard. It made him wonder what was so awful about him to put such a large bounty on his head, but that grin said it all. Waylon didn't mind in the least killing people. In fact, he'd likely sweet talk you into walking right into his blade. He reminded him of a carnivorous flower.
Ayen sat down on the roof, but he kept his distance. They were quiet, simply watching the guards move down below. Each of the three floors had one guard who went clockwise in a circuit, checking each room. On the ground, there were two guards at the gate and two at the door. Ayen caught sight of a flame in the dark that suggested at least one guard was at the back door enjoying a smoke. When the last light went out, they waited a few minutes more. Then Ayen followed the angel-faced murderer down into the manor grounds.
Ayen Fenfir is no common elf, but that won't stop him from pretending to be one as he tries to hide from his past. Life as a criminal isn't easy, but when Ayen sees the bounty for turning in an assassin, known as 'The Angel', he finds himself caught between romance and a chance to retire from his life of crime. 'Don't try your luck in West Catoig' is what they always say, but Ayen has yet to discover just how unlucky West Catoig is for its more humble citizens.