Zara sat on the fence, watching the circus crew as the milled about. They’d been in town for almost two weeks at this stage, so Zara reasoned that they would be leaving soon. She would, of course, have to tell Ezra what she had discovered about the girl before then, but that could wait. They wouldn’t lose the girl now that Zara knew where she was.
She had decided that she deserved a few days break from her brother. He was particularly intense recently; especially since he’d had to kill Lydia. Poor old Lydia. He did love her so.
Zara swung her legs back and forth. She took a bite from the apple in her hand, crunching and releasing the juices into her mouth. Her eyes found the girl; she wasn’t hard to spot with that hair. Little Ren was leading her tiger across the camp towards a separate tent. The tiger’s head swung back and forth, its eyes watching everyone that moved around it.
“That tiger is going to be a problem,” Zara said. She frowned. “We’ll just have to work around it.”
Little Ren moved behind the opening of the tent, and the tiger disappeared after her. Zara smiled and hopped down off the fence.
“I’ll be seeing you real soon, Little Ren,” she said. She tossed the apple core aside and set off at a brisk walk, pulling her cloak tight around her. It was midday, so none of the scum she dealt with during the night-times were around. The streets were lined with drunkards vomiting in the gutter, or passed out in pools of their own vomit. Ordinary pedestrians went about their business, and street vendors had opened their stands for the day.
Zara deftly plucked another apple from one of the fruit vendors and was gone before they even registered something had happened. Her feet took her down various side streets and alleys, before she came to a stop outside the office she had become quite familiar with. With a smile, she took a bite from the apple and knocked on the door. She waited.
A young woman answered the door, a confused look on her face.
“Good afternoon Madame,” she said. “Mr. Splendid isn’t expecting any appointments today. May I ask why you are calling?”
“Good afternoon,” Zara said. “Penelope isn’t it?” The girl nodded, surprise growing even more on her face. “Silus and I are old friends. Tell him his beloved has come calling. He’ll know it’s me.”
“Oh… okay,” Penelope said. “You’ll have to wait here a moment.” She shut the door in Zara’s face. Zara waited patiently. The door opened again shortly after, and Silus’ shocked face greeted Zara.
“Get in here,” he hissed. Zara stepped inside, smiling. Silus shut the door behind her. “Why are you using the front door? You NEVER use the front door.”
“I thought I’d be polite for a change,” Zara grinned. “And I figured it’s gotten so easy to scare you coming in through the windows, it must surely terrify you if I used the door.”
“Did you not stop to wonder what Penelope might think? A woman claiming to be my beloved coming calling?”
“I would trust your assistant to be discreet and not say anything that might affect your reputation,” Zara said.
“Oh… well yes of course.”
“Have you found out what Warren wants done with the girl?”
“Please, come through to my study.” They made their way in and Silus poured himself a drink. “You want one?” he asked.
“No, thank you,” Zara said. Silus sipped from his and stared at the wall. “The girl?” Zara prompted.
“No. I have not found out yet. When I went to Warren’s he would not answer the door. The man was inebriated, and incapable of functioning properly. He was in no fit state to entertain, and was distraught over his missing testicle.”
“Ah, apologies,” Zara said. “That is my fault.”
“Well I’ve found the girl, so as soon as you know what Warren wants done, be sure to send word my way.”
“I will of course,” Silus said. “Where is she?”
“If I told you that I would be out of a job.”
“What do you think I will do?”
“Most likely nothing. But I prefer to keep my cards close to my chest.”
“Good way to think,” the lawyer said.
“You flatter me, Silus.”
“What about Miss Hiddlestone?”
“What about her?”
“Did she have any information on the girl?”
“Oh no. She was completely unaware of anything to do with the girl. She looked at her like a mother does a daughter, but that was the extent of her knowledge. She didn’t even know the will was falsified.”
“Why do you keep referring to her in the past tense?”
“Oh well my brother killed her.” The lawyer grimaced.
“I’m sorry to hear that. She was a nice woman.”
“You showing sympathy? What has the world come to?”
“I’m not as cold and heartless as I would have you believe,” Silus said. “From time to time, I do actually have feelings and emotions.”
“Like when you think about me?” Zara grinned. Silus stayed silent.
“I must be going now Si,” she said. “When you need to contact me, you’ll need to send a messenger to find me. We will likely not be at the Inn, we will be following the girl while we await instructions.”
“Where is she going?”
“I do not know,” Zara said. “And one last thing, while I am gone for the city, there is someone I would like you to keep an eye on.”
“And who might that be?”
“A friend. Her name is Lana. She is a lady of the streets. No harm is to come to her in my absence.”
“Someone the great Zara De Luca cares for aside from her brother or herself?”
“She has become a close friend to me these past few weeks. I would suggest you honour my wishes.”
“Of course I will.”
“You know, Si, I consider you a friend too, much as you irritate me on occasion.” The lawyer nodded. Zara smiled and made for the window. She flicked open the latch and climbed out onto the ledge.
“Back to normality I see?” Silus called after her.
“You know I’m never normal,” Zara said. She dropped off the ledge and out of his line of sight.