Thorn the Tracker (Part 2)Mature

"Oh my! Those are some curses! You must like them a lot, don't you?" The girl was practically a whole swarm of giggling servants at that moment. Of course he was cursing, he had just found at that he was wan-

Zane cursed again. "You're a Mind Mystic master aren't you?" Masters were the only ones that could read minds. Anything less could only tell if their target was lying or influence emotions. Very useful, but Zane didn't have it. Damn! He needed to stop thinking around this girl!

"Yes," she said sweetly, "But I prefer you not let that out too much, alright? Got to preserve Thorn's way of contacting people. If you give the mysterious call reason, then it's not fun anymore."

Thorn... Zane groaned. "Damn... You're Thorn, aren't you?"

Thorn nodded and giggled. "You are slow, Zane," she said with not just a hint of mockery, "Or should I call you Lord Zane Zalazor, First Son of the General of Faerein's armies and of the head of the noble house of Zalazor?" 

"Damn..." No, he couldn't afford to let this girl get on his nerves. She was Thorn, supposedly the best tracker in all of the mainland, according to one fat idiot of a barkeeper. "Can you track someone for me? I will pay."

The girl stopped giggling - though that damn humorous smile never left her face - and put a finger to her mouth. "Oh, I can find anyone. Plus, your brother looks so cute, unlike a certain someone I just met!" She laughed. 

"So, you can read my mind and see my memories," Zane said with a grim smile, "Guess there's no need to tell you anything else." 

"Oh, please do," she said with that filthy smile, "It's great entertainment when you stumble over yourself verbally." Thorn walked around Zane and pulled the knife she had thrown from the wooden side of the bar. "It's almost like a baby learning to speak!"

"Will you find him or not!" Zane snapped angrily, "You know how much I can pay! Answer, woman!" He had to really hold back from calling this damn girl a bitch. It was truly hard. Harder than facing the guards back at the castle in Faerein. 

Thorn walked over and patted Zane on the head. "Oh, look at you, so concerned about your brother! So cute!"

That did it. Zane spun, his hand aiming to choke this bitch. He would MAKE her help him now! She had gone too far in insulting Zane! No one insulted Zane and got away with it! He would see how funny this Thorn found choking!

For some reason, Zane's hand never reached. Instead, it stopped halfway to the small girl's neck and moved to grab his own. Sands! She could control minds!? How could someone so young do something only a skilled master could barely do? Unless... A Specialist? Sands!

"Yes," Thorn said, her voice still holding that amusing sound, "I am a specialist. And skilled even by those standards, since my mother before me was a specialist as well." She giggled and stopped his hand just before it touched his neck. He was being played with! "See, you're like a baby! I could even make you suck your thumb if I wanted." She paused. "Oh, I'm sorry. You're a lord. Lords don't suck their thumbs, do they?"

Zane grunted as his hand was freed. "What do you have against lords?"

The girl smiled. "Oh, it's not lords I have an issue with, but just every man in particular who thinks violence is the only way."

"That's funny coming from a girl who cut my ear." It didn't sting anymore, but blood had caked the side of his ear and some of his neck, even. 

"Aww, I'm sorry, does the big man not like a little pain?" Thorn laughed. "Well, I guess I should just get down to business." Thank the damn Unscarred Creator! "I will find your brother, of course, and then we can discuss the price."

"I'm going with you," Zane said bluntly. He had to keep calm. This girl... This Thorn, was dangerous. He couldn't afford to anger her. It was for Arch. That damn sandreaver better be happy or Zane would kick his filthy brother's face in. 

"Normally I would say no, even to such adorable company," Thorn said, raising her hood, "But I don't want to work for free and you're sort of wanted by a kingdom for suspicion of murder, so... Why not?"

Zane nodded. "I go by Arch in this filthy city," Zane told the annoying woman, "Might as well keep to it until we find my brother."

Thorn, surprising, didn't mock him for his assumed name. Instead, she looked towards where the alleyway opened to the back of the bar. "Awww, we won't be alone anymore," she said, actually sounding disappointed, "There's some men coming from that way who want to touch me, too."

Damn... Zane had heard rumors that women disappeared in the Slums from Faerein. The guards who went with the ambassador often spoke of the place like a nesting ground for scum of the worst kind. Not once had Zane heard the word rape. 

"Shall we leave?" Zane asked Thorn, "Not that I care for your safety, but my brother depends on you."

Whether it was splendid acting or just a damn girly point, Thorn actually blushed and clung to his arm. Hit her. Hit her! No. Zane kept himself in line, despite his urges. "You are such a gentleman, worried about me! Why, it's almost like we are a couple!"

Footsteps came from the alleyway. Four sets, Zane guessed. Damn, it was too late now, even if they ran. "Stay behind me, Thorn," Zane told her. "I'll deal with them."

"My hero!" Damn annoying girl.

The End

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