Chapter Eleven

Toby pushed open the door to Skippers house. The tension from the previous meeting with Skipper had subsided and the house was warm and welcoming. Skipper had retired to his quarters so Kat and Toby tried their best to be very silent as they entered. However, the old flood boards creaked with each step giving away their presence.  Kat was grateful for the trip to the pub, it had broken down much of the stress in her mind. Yet it brought something between her and Toby. She wasn't entirely sure what it was or that it was bad. She didn't feel like bringing it up, considering Toby's sudden leap into practicing silence she did not think the conversation would go very far.

Kat took off her coat and hung it by the door. Toby took off his coat and placed it beside hers; he kept the top hat, and spun it thoughtfully in his hands. Kat watched him as she took up a seat by the unlit fire place.  She seemed to have said something that up had upset him or at least put him in a far off mood. Or maybe it had been the terrible wine that was to blame for the awkward silence.  Kat sighed. she was tired of thinking and over thinking and any other activity. She felt immensely old. Kat closed her heavy eye lids and leaned back against the chair.

"Light weight." Toby chuckled as he placed the top hat on her head. It smelled like him. Kat smiled under it.

"Do I look like a hat rest?" Kat mumbled, turning over in the chair.

"Looks like someone needs to go to bed." Toby took up his usual perch on his work table. He uncorked the wine bottle with his teeth and took a drink.

Kat placed the top hat on the back of the chair. She glanced over at Toby he still had the far off look in his eyes.

"Do you...Do you live here?" She asked.

Toby smiled his crooked smile, he took another drink before nodding.

"I rent a room in the back in return for my work with the maps."

"The one next to mine?" Kat asked.

"Nah it's the one you're in." He replied.

"Oh..I'm so sorry." Kat gasped.

"Don't bother, Skipper didn't know I'd be returning."

"You don't stay around for long do you?" Kat asked, remembering what the bartender had said.

"I have a condition..." He began, he made a uncomfortable face and decided not to finish the sentence.

Kat raised her eyebrows.

"A condition?" She prompted.

"It's very demanding...it's not all too...conversational? yeah I don't..." He took a drink of wine and decided not to finish that sentence as well. He laid back on the table.

There came a loud rapping at the door. Knock, Knock!

Toby sat up quickly. Kat glance over to the front door.

"Skipper?" Toby asked hesitantly.  

The knocking persisted.

"Not Skipper." Toby muttered under his breath, climbing off the table and landing lightly on the floor. He watched the door intently as he walked soundlessly towards the door like a wolf stalking its prey. Kat sat up straighter and drew her blade from her hip.

Toby reached for the door with one hand and raised the other in a fist. He pulled the door open quickly, his hand raised defensively. A cloaked figure stood in the door way.

Toby swung.

The figure ducked as it reached out jabbing Toby under the ribs with two fingers.

Toby stumbled back winded.

The intruder advanced inside kicking the door closed behind it.

Kat rose from her chair flinging her dagger skillfully at the figure. The intruder barely managed to dodge the blade.

"Wait, damn it!" The intruder hissed. It was a female voice. A very familiar female voice.

The End

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