Serafina stood there in front of the desk. She didn't say anything. But this time, instead of doing it for fun, she just didn't know how to react to Laron's kiss. She'd never been kissed before, not properly like that.
"Serafina, are you listening to me?" asked Kyros impatiently.
"Oh, sorry, no. I didn't realise you were talking to me," she replied.
He narrowed his eyes but started from the beginning.
"I asked you to come here so we could discuss the issue of Tarian and Azalia," he said.
"Issue?" she repeated.
"We both know they're not working."
"No, Kyros, they're-" He raised a hand to silence her. He was surprised it worked actually.
"Serafina, it's you completing the assignments. Tell me the truth. They're not working out are they?"
Serafina sighed. "No, Kyros. They're not. They just can't. They argue about who's going to do it and they won't touch the dead body afterwards."
"What do you suggest we do?" he asked her.
"You're asking me?"
"You have experience in the field, I don't. You have more experience than anyone in this Guild, this country even! And I'd like us to get along."
"I... I could try to help them. Or you could send them on a mission on their own, but I'm not sure how well that would work."
"How would you help them?"
"I could... I don't know. I could force them to do it, but I can imagine it being pretty messy afterwards. In the Edinburgh Guild, we have to go through a test."
"What kind of test?"
"The murdering kind."
"Ah, I see. How effective is that?"
"It sorts the winners from the losers, let's just put it that way. To be an assassin you need to have a reason, you can't just do it 'cause you feel like it. Whether it's because you're sadistic, or you've had death in your family, you need a reason."
"What about you? What's your reason?"
"My parents were murdered when I was four. I've been trained in combat ever since by my Guild."
"You want to avenge them?"
"I don't know how to do anything else. I've been trained in combative arts for the past thirteen years. I failed my exams at school and dropped out."
"You realise, this is the longest conversation we've ever had?" Kyros asked.
Serafina smiled. "Do you realise this is the only civil conversation we've ever had?"
"I do. But back to business, what are we going to do about Tarian and Azalia?"
Serafina tipped her head to the side. "Leave them to me."
Kyros nodded and smiled. The expression looked odd on the man's face. Serafina turned around and left. She wandered down the corridors, not really knowing where she was going. Her phone started to vibrate again. She pulled it out and held it to her ear.
"Hello?" she said.
"Hey, darling," said Caradoc on the other end.
"Oh, hi," she said, smiling. "How are you?"
"Scraping by," he said. "When are you coming home?"
"End of the week."
"Can't come soon enough. There's no one to tell me what to do, I'm falling apart here! You should see the state of my room."
"Well go and tidy it then!" she laughed.
"I don't know where things go though!" he moaned.
"Will you survive until I get back?" she teased.
"I don't know. The clothes might eat me before then."
"Then tidy it, or at least throw it all in a corner. You never know, it might be more comfortable than your bed."
"Yeah, but that's not a hard record to beat," he said.
"Fi, I'm going to let you go now," he said. She could almost hear the smile in his voice.
"Okay, Car, have fun being eaten."
"What's so fun about it?"
"Well, it would be nice and comfortable."
"Probably," he said, pondering the thought of being eaten by clothes.
"Anyway, love you."
"Love you too," he replied, before hanging up.