It was a three days ride to Chorrol where the Gray Fox was waiting. Aja stole a black horse from the Imperial stables and rode out like she owned it. The mare didn’t go faster than a shamble or a small trot, thus the name ‘Sham’ came about.
“I’d be there by now if I had walked,” Aja mumbled. Sham huffed at her from the insult, but went slightly faster.
The journey was quiet and calm. Deer ran across the road often and the dangerous animals usually steered clear of the often traveled trails.
Aja tied her horse reins to a tree, and started to wash herself off in a nearby stream. The grime and gunk from her underground adventure didn’t come off with ease. Aja knew she smelled like the rear end of a minotaur, and she didn’t want to present herself to the Gray Fox, or anyone, in her current state. Sham quietly watched her and drank from the creek, occasionally the mare would neigh at her, as if commenting or criticing on her appearance. Aja scrubbed and scrubbed until the darkness seemed to fade from her.
She pulled her tunic over her head and hopped back onto Sham after she resaddled her. Softly pushes her knees in, and clicking her tongue, she set off towards Chorrol once again.
Aja pulled her hood up as she entered the city gates. They loomed over, as if suspecting her to be the thief she truly was. Walking briskly to the west end of town, where the Gray Fox awaited in a small cottage, she avoided any conversation with the locals, only the occasional nods of acknowledgement from some of the beggars.
Eyes and ears of the Gray Fox indeed. Aja reached the shack and went in without knocking.
“Do you have it?” the deep mysterious voice called from a dark corner. Two auburn eyes peered at her beneath a gray cowl, masking his entire face but his mouth-chin area and his eyes.
Aja held up her bag with a small smile to show him and set it on the table beside the Gray Fox. As he reached out for it, she noticed a slight tremble in his hands.
“Good job, Aja,” he opened the bag and showed a painfully white smile, “Your name will go down in history,” he paused, closed the bag, and looked back at Aja, “But I expect you’ll want a reward.”
He gestured towards a small, lumpy sack on the table, “A thousand gold pieces, just for you. Don’t go spending it all in one place, unless it’s a fence,” he winked.
“I only use one fence, sir,” Aja picked up the sack of gold, bowed slightly and walked out.
Through the grace of the Thieves Guild funds and other societies that deal in stealth, Aja bought a small shack on the Waterfront in the Imperial City some time ago. I can drop off my money there and pay a little visit to the palace, then head to Bruma for Ongar. She had heard rumors of assassination attempts on the Emperor and his family, but her sources told her that the Dark Brotherhood had nothing to do with it.
Aja shivered at the memories of being a Dark Sister. She had left the Brotherhood some years before, but hadn’t cut off all communications. Only recently had she been called upon by the Gray Fox for some work, he had heard of her specialized skills of infiltration.
She sighed and went to the stables outside the city to pick up Sham. Sham greeted her with a look of contempt.
“You and I should stick together, you know,” Aja whispered as she saddled the mare, “We’re both disgraces to where we’re from,” Sham huffed at her and whipped her tail in response. She smiled faintly and finished her strapping.
Aja tied Sham to the post next to her shack. A brisk, wet breeze came across the Rumare. She breathed in the fresh, crisp air, and went into her house.
She stepped in, glanced around her one room abode, and took off her boots. Aja gently hung her cloak up on a hook she had pounded into the wall and placed her satchel underneath it on the dirty wooden floor.
“I’ve gotta do some cleaning someday,” she mumbled, pulling out the gold from her bag and placed it in a chest that sat gathering dust in a corner. She had a few things collected over the time she’s been in Cyrodiil, mostly from stolen homes and bonuses from Brotherhood contracts.
Aja pulled the leather thong out of her hair, dirty golden locks tumbled down to her shoulders, and she collapsed on her bed. As her eyes slowly closed, she began to scheme about her new heist.