Merriweather stared, dazed, before barking orders to his burly stage crew.
"Get him boys! He's a spy!"
Two of his men rushed forwards, about to grab Stinger and probably beat him to a pulp, but right then I fished the lighter I carried around and, clicking it open, tossed it into the trash can nearby.
Myah quickly caught on to what it was that I was trying to do and joined in, acting pretty convincingly.
"Smoke! Fire! It's spreading!"
Okay, so the fire hadn't spread much beyond the trash can but the junk in it was proving to be a high-smoke kindling, instantly creating a crowd panic and a massive horde of movement towards the exit.
I couldn't really see if our diversion had worked to get Stinger out amid the chaos of shifting masses, but us three ladies managed to squeeze out into the open and blend back into the streets of strolling people.
A few minutes later we were reunited with the stuntman, who looked somewhat battered but had managed to retrieve and wear his scuffed shirt again and wasn't drawing too much unwanted attention to our little group. The others may or may not have been discussing what had just happened, but I was just a bit tuned out, worried about the girl who had fallen.
When we'd gotten back to Wiseacre's I almost cried out of relief, but quickly felt a bit of dread follow the feeling.
I still had to find out what Sandra knew and what she was telling Wiseacre, not just for Nix and I but also that girl at Merriweather's. Getting into any more trouble with Wiseacre was not one of my goals.
Being seen around the circus in this little group would also not be very...inconspicuous.
"I'm going to fly solo from here," I muttered, quickly striding off on my own.
Now, for some...undercover operations.
I moved to the tent where I knew the fire-eaters were practicing, glad to see that Sandra wasn't around.
It seemed that he had grown in the few weeks I had been avoiding him, considerably taller and twirling the poi in his hands with much more speed and skill, weaving patterns of flame through the air dressed completely in his black kevlar garb.
His russet-brown hair nearly obscured the warm eyes I knew to be the same colour, square jaw set in steel determination.
I watched, silent, until he finished, dousing the fire in a bucket of water.
And then he noticed me, smiling out of pleasant surprise.
"Camille. Were you watching all that?"
Bruno suddenly looked a bit self-conscious, scratching the back of his head uneasily. He said my name so nicely, with that slight accent of his and soft-spoken ways.
"Yes, actually. It was amazing."
His smile returned with a hint of bashfulness.
"Thanks, but I probably don't deserve that praise. What you do in your act every night is amazing."
Bruno was too sweet. Welcome change from some of the other jerks in the circus.
"I'm not the one who can toss fire around like it's nothing," I said, adding a sarcastic 'just lighters' to the phrase in my head.
"I'm sure you could, if you wanted to."
I suddenly remembered the purpose of the conversation, somewhat miffed that I couldn't simply listen on and on to Bruno's kind words. Time to get my intel.
"Could I ask you something? It's...really important."
I lowered my voice a couple octaves, leaning in so that he could pick up what I was saying.
"What could you tell me about Sandra?"