Lazarus walked slowly, almost reluctantly to the inn farthest from the house. It was a seedy, run down place, right next to a brothel. But it was cheap.
‘Looking for a good night?' a woman called as he walked to the door of the inn. He turned, surprised and looked at her. The dress she wore was tattered and her makeup was far from subtle - the pale foundation and the painted on beauty mark with blood red lips. She looked more like a vampyre as they were known to look in those days than a woman offering herself for money. She sauntered up to him and batted her eyelids.
‘No, no I'm just looking for a place to stay the night,' Lazarus said quietly. She lifted a hand to the blood on his lips and smiled.
‘Rough evening? I'll make it all better for you love.' She took his hand and began to pull him to the brothel.
‘No! I'm not interested, sorry.' He tore his hand from hers and walked back to the inn's entrance.
‘Maybe some other time then, honey!' the whore laughed and returned to milling around outside the buildings, waiting for someone that might part with their money for her. Lazarus pushed through the patrons inside the building, ignoring their aggressive cries as he upset their dice games or irritated them. He found the landlord and tried to pay no attention to the look the burly man gave him.
‘I'm looking for a room for the night.' Lazarus said, raising his voice over the banter.
‘On your own?' the man asked. Lazarus simply nodded and pulled out a coin. ‘First room on the left is free, if you can sleep through the whores' noises.' He said. He took the coin and turned away. Lazarus sighed and pushed on through to the stairs that took him to the first room on the left. He closed the door behind him and locked it, looking around the dark room. He could hear the noises from the rooms around him as he climbed into bed and groaned, realising they were likely to keep him awake for a while yet.
Somehow, Lazarus fell asleep. When he woke up, he looked out of the window and saw the bustle of everyday life below. What time is it? he wondered. He was so used to being shaken awake, or slapped into consciousness that he had come to rely on it to wake himself in the mornings. He sat up and yawned, stretching the cramp from sleeping on an uncomfortable bed out of his muscles. He made sure he still had all his money and sighed. Time to find a place to work. He got up and padded down the stairs.
‘There he is,' the voice of the landlord was too loud in the quiet room. There were only a few people having a drink and eating lunch, and they all turned to see who the landlord was pointing out. Lazarus looked up too, to see the man pointing at him. The man next to him was his father's friend.
‘Lazarus,' the man started. Lazarus' eyes narrowed at him and he pushed out of the building, not waiting for what he had to say. ‘Lazarus!' the man called after him, following him out. ‘Wait!' Lazarus didn't say anything, simply walking quickly, weaving in and out of the people that flooded the roads. He wasn't quite quick enough, however, and the man caught up with him, grabbing his arm and forcing him to stop, much like the night before. He glared at the man's hand.
‘Let go of me,' he said in a low voice.
‘I heard what happened. I'm not here looking for you on your father's behalf, believe me,' he said, letting go of Lazarus. His hand fell to his side harmlessly and Lazarus looked up. ‘I actually came to tell you that he's on the war path after finding out you ran away with no intention of coming back. I would suggest leaving town altogether if you plan to stick to that.'
‘You're a good friend of my father's, Ben. Why would you be warning me to leave?' Lazarus laughed a little.
‘Because I know just how pissed off he is about you defying him. You're a good kid, Lazarus; I wouldn't want you on the other end of his anger.' The man, Ben, said. Lazarus searched for the truth in his eyes, and finding it, he simply nodded.
‘I'll keep it in mind. Thank you.' Lazarus nodded and turned away, walking into the town, despite what he had just been told. Behind him, Ben shook his head and slapped a hand to his forehead.