An Overheard Remark

An Overheard Remark

“You don’t have to use the window, you know.”

“Hello to you too, darling.” Silkfoot tossed the cream-colored waves of his hair over one shoulder. He didn’t normally leave signs of his entry, but this particular friend was sensitive to intrusions. Not that Crescent hadn’t smelled him the moment he opened the door.

“You just wanted to scale the side of the building, didn’t you?” Crescent’s amusement drifted from the entryway. Silkfoot grinned when the other man appeared in the doorway. Even in mundane clothing, he looked stunning. Not a blond hair out of place and green eyes sparkling with familiar mischief.

“The one accusation I can’t abide is that I’m boring.” He patted the couch beside him. “Won’t you join me?”

Crescent shook his head and chuckled. Silkfoot knew what he was thinking and he never intended to change. “I thought, perhaps, I should offer you a drink first.”

“I stuck an extra pair of beers in the fridge, but I didn’t want to help myself.” Not that he felt his friend would have minded. The only people who understood the habits of thieves were other thieves, after all.

Crescent retrieved the bottles from the fridge and flopped down on the opposite side of the couch. “To what do I owe the current honor? And where’s your trusty first mate?”

Silkfoot snorted and waved a hand as he raised his beer to his lips. “Oh, you know Kestrel. He prefers to use proper doors. Besides he’s got some errands to run.” On principal, Silkfoot bought everything he needed to survive and only stole for pleasure. It would rather cheapen the thrill otherwise.

“We should have dinner, the three of us, if you’re staying in town.”

“Certainly, darling, though I think Kestrel will insist on cooking.”

Crescent shrugged to indicate his indifference to where the dinner came from, then gave his friend an expectant look. Silkfoot had to admit he loved the way Crescent’s perfectly-shaped eyebrows framed his jade eyes. Not to mention the adorable quirk of his lips.

“Do I need a reason to visit a good friend?” The look remained and Crescent’s lips twitched for a moment. Silkfoot relented. He tossed his head back against the couch and laughed. “Oh very well. You’ve caught me. What do you know about the Enchiridion of Durthango?”

“I assume you mean aside from the fact that there are only five surviving copies in the original script?”

Silkfoot nodded.

“And I guess you’re also aware that they were written and bound by a race so ancient even the elves can no longer decipher a true translation of the language?”

Silkfoot made a soft sound and nodded for his friend to continue. “And,” he prompted gently when Crescent remained silent.

“And rumor has it that Baron Phoontin has long had one among his rare book collection. He invited Domerin to the party when he unveiled its new display case.”

Silkfoot leaned his elbow against the arm of the couch and set his chin against the side of his hand. “And he took you with him to that party, didn’t he? I seem to remember the two of you have something of a long-term relationship?”

“You don’t have to weasel the layout out of me, Silkfoot,” Crescent chided. “You know I’m always willing to do a favor for a friend.”

“Of course I do, darling. But as you already noted, I’m incapable of being anything but myself.” He didn’t use charm as a defense mechanism, after all. Not always. Regular conversations were simply too boring to be bothered with.

Crescent chuckled. “It’s not that I want you to change, it’s that I wonder what brought this on.”

“Well,” Silkfoot grinned as he settled in for the story. He always enjoyed weaving a grand tale. “A month ago, Kestrel and I visited Vortia. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you what a healthy black market they have and I had some particularly sensitive wares to part with. Knowing the primary business of the city’s inhabitants, I’m surprised the citizens are as loose with their tongues as they are. We were in the Raven and the Elk, a favorite haunt of mine, when I overheard the passing mark of a librarian.”

When Silkfoot told stories, it was always difficult for the listener to determine the accuracy of the details. He didn’t consider it his problem. After all, the point was to entertain. “She seemed in an awful tizzy over an attempt to acquire a copy of the Torgar Codex. Apparently, it’s worth more than seventy thousand gold.”

Crescent paused with his beer bottle poised on the edge of his lips. “What does the Torgar Codex have to do with the Enchiridion of Durthango? Aren’t we comparing apples to oranges here?”

Silkfoot flashed his friend a wicked grin. “Well, if someone’s willing to pay seventy thousand gold for a book of which there are only a hundred copies, think how much they’ll be willing to pay for one that only has five.”

Crescent answered with several rounds of golden laughter.

Please take a look at what my writing partner came up with for this prompt!

The fabulous author Beth Alvarez of Ithilear has answered the “what she found under the snow” prompt!

If you’d like to participate, leave a link to your response in the comments and I’ll feature it next week.

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