Stolen: Chapter Four

Thalia strode onto the wide verandah, admiring the decorations, and how everyone's jewelry sparkled in the light from the hanging lanterns.

Swaying gently to the music, she wandered through the crowd, looking for a likely target. A loose gem, a dangling earring, a noble too drunk to notice. Thalia's fingers itched to take something, when she spotted him.

Prince Mithras himself, with a jewel encrusted scabbard hanging from a sapphire studded belt. Still swaying to the music, she maneuvered her way towards him. Barely acknowledging the white clad noblewoman, who must have been Lady Aya, the guest of honor, Thalia had locked her eyes upon the prince's. Sweeping gracefully along behind him, she pulled the sapphire on his belt buckle free with a single, deft twist of her fingers. Slipping it into a pocket hidden in the folds of her skirt, she completed a twirl and began heading back inside, sending one final glance over her shoulder at the man, now looking directly at her, unaware of his missing finery.

Smiling to herself, Thalia headed back into the castle. Though stealing directly off the bodies of the party-guests was fun, someone was bound to notice sooner rather than later. If she stole from the rooms though, no one would be the wiser until they went to put on whatever it was they she had stolen from them, and that would not be until tomorrow morning at the earliest. Thalia would be long gone by then.

Gliding up the stairs, she headed down a hallway, nodding graciously at each guard she passed, grateful not to have to avoid them. It wasn't difficult, but it did get so annoying. Opening one of the doors at random, she found herself in an opulent bedroom that was larger than her entire home.

Dashing straight to the dressing table, she opened up a box that lay on top of it, reflections from its contents sent a rainbow across her skin as she held up the crown that lay inside.

"This must be the Prince's room," she whispered. "Its a shame he didnt wear you tonight." Just then, the door creaked open once more, and Thalia, with the crown tucked under her arm, dashed beneath the bed.

Laying there, on her stomach, she saw a pair of shiny boots enter the room and pause.
"Where are you, princess?" His voice as as attractive as his face, though he spoke the word princess derisively.

"I dont know about any Princess." Another voice and another pair of boots, this pair worn and rough, and the voice was thin and snakelike. "But we've been waiting for you."

Several more pairs of boots came out from behind curtains and tapestries, and one dropped from the bed, inches from Thalia's face as she lay hidden.

"We're taking you home." The snakelike voice said, and there was the hissing of metal swords being unsheathed. Thalia watched Mithras' feet move to a fighting stance, and a fight broke out.

After several short minutes, Mithras dropped to his knees, his scimitar clattering to the ground, and the rough booted men tied his hands behind him and dragged him away, out the window.

Getting to her feet, she ran to the balcony, clasping the crown to her chest as she watched the dark group make their way over the castle wall.

"Halt! Who goes there?" Cried a man behind her. Thalia turned to see a castle guard pointing a spear at her.

"Prince Mithras has been captured," she said in a whisper. "I've got to go," she added with more strength in her voice. Pushing the crown into the guard's hands, she climbed over the railing of the balcony and dropped down to the ground.

The End

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