Ezra sat in the corner of the tavern with a glass of vintage red; sourced from the southern regions of France in front of him. The corner he occupied was shrouded in shadows. The eyes of the other patrons passed over him; not knowing he was there. He silently observed everything around him.
His eyes found the round bellied man sitting at the bar with his tenth drink in his hand; they saw the sorrow of the gentleman in the corner who had not shaved in a week and was slumped over the table, they saw the fear in the eyes of the woman who held the arm of her husband; the fear of not knowing where the next beating was coming from. Ezra knew it all; he could tell by looking at them. The sweat on the innkeeper’s brow told the story of his constant struggle to break even. He saw it all.
He scanned them all; seeking a new client. Whispers reached his ears from a nearby table.
“Found him in the gutter”, one said.
“Chopped right off him”, said another.
“I reckon it was them Devil Twins” said a third. “Mercenaries. Seems like work they would be doing”.
“Poor feller. What did he do to deserve that?”
“Who knows? But once someone hires those twins to kill you, you’re as good as dead”.
“Maybe we should hire them to kill each other”. They all laughed. Ezra smiled and stood. He drained his drink and walked over, stabbing a knife down in the middle of their table. They stopped laughing in an instant.
“That would be unwise”. He left them there; mouths hanging open in shock. The cool night air greeted him when he stepped outside. Zara arrived next to him; back in her usual attire. She wore a hooded black cloak over a combat suit she herself designed. It was tight fitting; but allowed her the freedom to move quickly and flexibly.
“Brother” she said.
“Sister”. She handed him an envelope filled with notes.
“That is the full payment”.
“What did she say when you arrived there?”
“She smiled and fed it to the dogs”.
“Not as crazy as us”. Ezra smiled.
“No. But we’re a different kind of crazy”. They went and sat on a bench outside the tavern. Ezra observed the denizens of the city as they passed by. A woman dragged her young son by the hand as they rushed home from the market; two men shook hands in the mouth of a dark alley and exchanged money, another man stood vomiting into a bucket; expelling the alcohol he had consumed that day.
“Do you think our work is too easy?” Zara asked.
“It is a way of making money. And we are good at it”. He looked into her eyes. “But yes. I agree. The challenge has gone”.
“We need to find someone with a challenging task to be completed”.
“Yes. We do. Something that will test our talents”.
“So where do we go next?”
“Wherever the next job is. Let’s just hope it’s a tough one”.