He finds people. His name is Kayne. He resides in a fantasy world with minimal magical properties. A world where a quick mind and a quick sword were a truly formidable combination.

Other than the ale, this pub didn't have much going for it. The two big fireplaces had a good fire in them, but they bled smoke into the room enough to create a thick haze which bothered the eyes. The din was loud and abrasive, and the rank smell of the place was a perfect match. It spoke of booze, unwashed bodies and unwashed floors. It was my kind of place.

“You all alone tonight, stranger?” the waitress spoke to me from the other side of the counter, leaning toward me in a most distracting manner.

“I'm expecting a friend, he's late.”

“Is he now? Well good for you I am here then.” She looked at him innocently.

I cracked a smile at that. My first of the evening.

“Do you have a name.” she asked.

“Kayne. Yours?”

“Pleasure to meet you, Kayne. I'm Fiona.” She offered her hand, which did interesting things to the top of her breasts. I took her small hand in my bear like grip and kissed it, making her giggle. I offered another smile, she was a cute one..

A hand fell heavily on my shoulder as a voice boomed from behind me. “Easy now! She still has a shift to work.” I turned in alarm, ready for violence. My breath let out in a rush as I saw Ross's face smiling back at me.

“Oh, you.” I said.

“None other.” Ross eased himself onto the stool next to Kayne.

“Your friend?” Fiona asked.

“Yes. Ross...” I gestured “ Fiona.” He waved at her with a wry grin and she smiled back. I saw her look quickly over her shoulder to the scowling barkeep “Hmmm... talk to you boys later. I have work to do.” She scuttled off quickly with her tray full of drinks.

I watched her get swallowed in the crowd and then turned to Ross. “You're late.”

“I was at another establishment and found an interesting conversation that required attention. I thought you would want to know that someone is looking for you.”

“Oh? Who.”

“I'm not sure. He was a stern looking fellow, appeared to be well off. He moved like a fighter and talked like a noble. I took him for something in between.”

“What did you tell him?”

“I told him I knew you and could contact you. For a price.”

“Did he agree to your first price?”

“Why yes, he did.”

“And they followed you?”

“Correct again.”


“Outside I imagine, no one has entered since I did.”

“I'm sure they will introduce themselves.” I rolled my shoulders as I said it and looked toard the door. They were a cautious lot, if they haven't entered yet. I turned back to my Ale, and had another deep pull.

My instinct was to go outside and confront them immediately. I wanted to know who they were and why they wanted me so I could relax and enjoy my evening. Experience had taught me to deny that reflex. Sometimes it was best to wait for them to approach you. The manner of their approach could tell you many things that were useful. Still, even knowing that I was still feeling restless.

“There he is.” Ross nodded towards the door where a man had entered the premises and paused on the threshold, scanning the crowd. He was of an average height and build, about the same as Ross. He wore sturdy clothes just like most working men of the town, althought the cut was better than most could afford, and they appeared to be new. The sword at his side was looked to be a well worn servicable blade, and the expression on his face was friendly and interested. His scan was quick. He saw us immediately and started making his way toward our spot at the bar. He was not a man used to wasting time.

“Kayne, I presume.” His voice was just short of friendly.

I turned towards him slowly, keeping my face expressionless. I slowly nodded, betraying nothing.

“You were recomended to me by Devan.” He paused, searching for a reaction at the name. I had none. Devan gave lots of people my name, it was his job. After a moment he continued. “Devan told us that you are the best at what you do.”

“I do many things. What exactly is it that you want from me.”

“Can we speak somewhere more privately?”

I arched an eyebrow. Usually requests for privacy involved a large purse. It was the question I was waiting for. “Of course.”

“Follow me, if you will.” At this the man turned and walked out, confident I would follow. Also confident I wouldn't shove a blade in his kidney. I looked over at Ross and cracked a smile. He mouthed the word “noble” at me. My grin grew as I nodded back. As I drained my ale and left my seat I could smell the coin already.

The End

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