You Stole My Money

((OOC16th Bloomingtide 9.35 with ))

How long had Andrew been in this place now? a few weeks and, in that few weeks he had managed to swipe some purses so he could get some clothes and food to eat, he had managed to steal food off a couple of stalls but, all in all he was still in a quandary. He needed more funds then he had swiped, but Andrew had learnt a long time ago, watch the guard rotation and get to know thier movements. He needed coin to repair his precious bow, new lockpicks and money to live off, sleeping in the deserted hovel was something he was was used to but he had been used to living on a ship for a while. Now he's sea legs were back to normal he missed the life on the ship. 

He had pilfered a small purse earlier in the day and was now standing near a stall and munching on a meat and potato pie, watching a merchant, one that he had been watching all morning and had seen how much he had on him. By Andrew's estimation that amount would at least get him some lockpicks and feed him for a month. Maybe enable him to move into something slightly more upmarket then the hovel he slept in now. 

If he was going to stay in Amaranthine then he might as well make it comfortable for himself. He watched the two guards make thier route "Those two are going to be a problem." He muttered to himself. "I'll have to wait a little longer"

Andrew took another bite from his pie, savouring the taste as he wasn't sure when or where he would be able to get this again. When he saw a woman brush past the merchant and as he stared he saw her put something in her pocket and move on. 

"Bitch" he hissed as he realised that all the work he had spent that morning had just been undone by some bint casually walking by. Snarling under his breath he fell into the crowd behind her and finished his pie that Purse was his, not hers, his. 
Wasn't today just a lovely day?

Strolling through Amaranthine City, Alia had soaked up the warm summer sun and fresh sea air, her hands thrust deep into her pockets while she sauntered along. She really loved this time of year... especially when coats were thrown off and pockets gaped openly. It was a pickpocket's delight!

Nearing the bustling streets of the docks, Alia kept an eye out for a potential mark. Ha! A gift from the Maker Himself: a merchant so absorbed in haggling prices that he had neglected to hide his coin purse. With a satisfied smile, Alia dipped her hand into the open pocket as she passed by, her light-fingered touch mistaken for nothing more than the light caress of a summer breeze.

She maintained her sedate amble but could not resist ducking her head, grinning over her success. A whole week's worth of pickpocketing in one fell swoop! Now she could spend the day as she pleased before the drudgery of pretending to be on the straight-and-narrow for a merc job tomorrow. Who could ask for more?

Yet as Alia moved through the busy crowds, the hairs on the back of her neck raised just slightly. Now Alia had never possessed anything of her own worth pickpocketing, but she imagined that this was how the fancy rich merchants felt just moments before they were relieved of their coin. Or at least it would be how they felt if any of them had their heads out of their arses.

In one smooth movement, she spun around, continuing to walk backwards with perfect confidence even as she surveyed the crowd behind her. She saw him immediately. Partly because he was handsome - and that stuck out around this inbred part of the city - but also because he looked pissed as the Void.

She flashed him a wide smile before swiftly sticking up two fingers. Then, whirling back round, she gave up any attempt to remain inconspicuous and belted down one of the streets, laughing all the while. Imagine being so sour-faced over losing a coin purse! Should have been a better thief, shouldn't he?

"Do you like the sight of my arse that much," she taunted over her shoulder, "or are you just really that slow at running?"
"Do you like the sight of my arse that much," she taunted over her shoulder, "or are you just really that slow at running?"

it was bad enough she had spotted him, then again he wasn't exactly being secretive, it was bad enough she taunted him, that just annoyed him more but what was worse, she looked like some woman he had an on off tempestuous relationship with on the ship, that made it worse. 

In the few weeks he had been here, he had made a point of committing the alleys to memory, but not all of them and where she went he couldn't see a way to head her off until that is he saw someone let loose a rope. He had no idea what they were doing but it was not important to him. Grabbing it he let his body go with the flow and sailed through the air, dropped down behind her and closing the gap he snatched the purse from where it was barely peeking out. 

"Your arse ain't that special." Now he called over his shoulder "Get your own mark," and with that now he took off running. 

Andrew ducked down a side alley and groaned when he saw a dead end, looking around he saw a fence, he went up and over and carried on running, heading for the docks where he might loose her and finally get his bow repaired. Andrew leaned against a wall and took in several deep breaths. He groaned as he heard her footsteps. 

"Andrastes flappy tits." He cursed "The woman is a she harpy!" and with that he took off running again.
Alia never did know when to shut her mouth. No sooner had she delivered her (devastating) remark, the stranger took advantage of a handily located rope, using his momentum to propel him through the air. He landed with a thud practically on her heels, stretching forward to yank the coin purse from where it belonged on her person. She let out a shriek of indignation.

"Your arse ain't that special." He threw over his shoulder. It was, and everyone with eyes could see it. "Get your own mark." He sprinted off.

"I did!" she yelled at his retreating back. "It's not my fault you needed to make a whole song and dance out of it!" What in Andraste's bloody Ashes had he been waiting for anyway? A personalised invitation to pick the stupid merchant's pocket.

Anyway, Alia might have been more put out had she not already noted that the idiot had ran full-speed down a dead end. So while he exhausted himself by running circles around himself, Alia headed for the location where she knew that he would be forced to come out. Sure enough, as she approached, she could hear the haggard breaths of her quarry. Before she could even turn a corner, he had taken off again.

She really did not have time for this nugcrap. Cutting through a few warehouses, Alia emerged just ahead of where the man raced out of a side street. She unsheathed her axe and used the handle to administer some blunt force trauma to his thick skull. Hey, she could have used the sharp end, right?

"D'you mind?" She plucked the coin purse from his grasp. "Do I come to whichever stupid Marcher city you come from and steal out a coin purse from your greedy hands?" Stupid Marchers and their city states which just seemed to be one big country with a lot of cities. "No. So stop doing it in my city."
Andrastes hairy knickers that hurt! Andrew put his hand to the back of his head and only just managed to stop himself from falling to the ground, he shook his head several times to clear it, frag it, he was going to have a headache later 

"D'you mind?" He felt the purse leave his hand, AGAIN. "Do I come to whichever stupid Marcher city you come from and steal out a coin purse from your greedy hands? No. So stop doing it in my city.

Well how rude was that? he had watched the rotation, he had done the work and she saunters in and swipes it? He might have admired her cheek if he wasn't so mad at her.  He snarled and swore a storm under his breath, words that would have made a priestess blush and words that any chantry fearing man would have not used, but Andrew did not fear the chanty or the wrath of something he did not believe existed. All he saw was the repair money for his bow vanishing. 

Taking a run up he launched himself through the air and tackled the annoying woman to the ground. being careful not to position himself where she could kick him where it really would hurt. "I watched the guard rotation all morning i watched his movements all morning Dog and you waltz in and steal what was mine to take, think not!" He seethed and seeing the pendant around her neck he gave a thin smile and snatched it from round her neck as well as the purse "Cant be that hard up if you have something like this right?"  he ran a quick gaze over it, it was beautiful and he didn't know if it meant anything to her, and he didn't care "That will do for my trouble."  Andrew pinned her arms above her head "Face it Doggy you been outdone this time.

Trouble was she was beautiful and he had to pause as he looked into her glaring eyes. "Your City? New man in town now girly get used to it.
Rather than acknowledge the sense which Alia had shared with him, the stranger resorted instead to saying some very bad words. Words which would have made Alia blush... if she hadn't grown up on the streets as she had. So while the man wasted precious breath, Alia merely rolled her eyes.

A fact which probably explained how the damn idiot got the better of her. Without warning, he launched himself in her direction, sending them both clattering to the ground. She squirmed against his pinning grip but her knee could not make contact with anything which would deliver the precise amount of pain that this dickhead deserved!

"I watched the guard rotation all morning i watched his movements all morning Dog and you waltz in and steal what was mine to take, think not!"

"Next time act instead of pissing around!" she snarled, thrashing beneath his grip. Unfortunately, he had the advantage, but she was at least making him work to keep it.

But all her flailing meant that the pendant which Cal had given her a few years ago spilled out from beneath her shirt. The stranger's eyes suddenly gleamed and his lips twisted into a cruel smile which temporarily robbed his face of its handsomeness. He snatched it from around her neck, prompting Alia to gasp as the chain temporarily choked her before breaking apart. "Cant be that hard up if you have something like this right?" He glanced it over before stuffing down it and the coin purse away. "That will do for my trouble." He pinned her arms over her head. "Face it Doggy you been outdone this time."

She was going to kill him. Seething, her eyes flashed as Alia glared back at him, refusing to be cowed. 

"Your City?" He taunted her. "New man in town now girly get used to it."

She was definitely going to kill him. But right now, there was no way for her to gain the upper hand. So, as soon as he released her, Alia rolled onto her hands and knees, coughing against the lingering sensation of having her airway restricted. Only once she had her breath back did she push herself up onto her feet, snatching up her axe which had slipped from her grip. 

All the 'dog' shit hadn't bothered her. She had spent most of her life being called a bitch. And if it was supposed to be some dig about being Fereldan? Everybody used that supposed insult. But what really infuriated her was to be called 'girly'. What kind of condescending crap was that? Not something Alia was about to tolerate.

Plus she had better get that stupid neckless back. Whenever she next met Big C, he would expect her to have it. Forget the fact that she hadn't seen the man in absolute ages. She just knew that whenever she did finally see him again, he would bloody look for it. Plus it was her safety net. Whenever money was scarce (which was a lot of the time), she used it as surety or collateral. That did mean that she'd had to steal it back from various people over the years... but the point was that Alia decided who got to temporarily own it!

If the man had been scoping out the merchant, it meant that scoring that particular coin purse was vital to him. He had passed over easier marks to concentrate on that one pay-off. That suggested that the stranger needed a large amount of coin and in as quick a way as possible. That suggested desperation. And it also meant that he would be feeling elated at having succeeded, plus gained an unexpected extra in her pendant. But her pendant would need to be pawned for coin.

She chewed on her lip, considering. There were only a few people within the city who would have both sufficient coin and be easily found by a stranger. Which one though? If she guessed wrong, she would lose the trail entirely. 

As with everything in her life, Alia made a snap choice, turning towards a particular shop that lay close to the docks down a gloomy alley. Unlike when she swiped the coin purse, this was a time for Alia to prove that she was, in fact, savvy when it came to identifying useful information. She kept her distance from the shop itself, keeping a low profile as she watched and waited from the shadows, maintaining a silent and still surveillance that many would not have expected from her. 
Finally satisfied that he had won, Andrew went on his way. Did he feel bad about stealing her necklace? not a jot he had stolen much worse from places no one would actually dare stick thier fingers in, but, as a boy he had been quick and fast, it was why he was the boss's favourite. The Boss? he hadn't thought about her in years, and a deep dark scowl covered his face for a moment. Because of her he had his head almost caved in by the city watch and his sister was now locked in the Gallows. 

Over the years he had tried to get to see her, but every time he had either been told no or chased out of the gallows courtyard. There had been a couple of mages that were allowed to mingle in the courtyard but none of them answered his questions and he doubted it was through being ignorant. They were just plain scared and it was something he would never allow himself to feel. Ever. 

Heading back to his rat hole of a hovel he retrieved his bow and weighed the coin purse. Satisfied he had enough he made his way back towards the dock and into the Boyers place. Now Andrew could do some stuff on his own, make his own arrows on occasion. restring a bow but he did not even know where to begin to repair a bow such as this. if it had been an ordinary one he'd have chucked it ages ago, but it was his prize and he felt naked without it. 

He handed the bow over and even managed to haggle the price down a bit, not by much but a bit. and was told to come back the next morning.  According to some sources in this cesspool of a city. This was a man who asked no questions, judging by the fact Andrew was not dressed like a merchant or noble twat the Boyer didn't bat an eyelid at him and Andrew left heading further down the docks. 

Perching himself on the wall he held the necklace he had fished from his pocket upto the light. It was a nice piece. worth quite a bit. must have meant something to the woman that he had snatched it from, she didn't look the sort to have fancy jewellery but she had this. Gift from a suitor maybe? hah that made him laugh he doubted there was a man alive who could deal with that hellcat. 

He saw the pawnbroker across from him and looked around. He couldn't see anyone looking at him but the back of his neck itched. Like someone was watching him but he couldn't see anyone and put it down to after chase adrenalin. He squinted at the sun and more out of curiosity he walked inside the pawn brokers. When he emerged a short time later he tossed the necklace in the air, caught it and put it back in his pocket. If it was worth that much he might be able to barter it for other things he needed. 

"Someones looking after me today." he mused to himself as he headed for the pie stall once more. He was hungry and it would give him a chance to think about what he was actually going to do with this thing. 
Her rare demonstration of patience paid off: Alia caught sight of the stranger as he hoisted himself up onto a wall, holding up her pendant to the light so he could better examine. Oh, he better examine it. Make good use of those pretty dark blue eyes before she personally clawed them out. And that was just for starters. Not that Alia couldn't handle herself, but she was going to make a point of hunting down Big C - wherever in the Void he had got to - and tell him what this Marcher had done wit her necklace. Let the dirty thief experience firsthand just how rabid the doggy Fereldans could be. Or at least one especially oversized one. 

When he glanced around, Alia kept still, knowing better than to make any movement which would draw his attention. His posture relaxed and he sauntered into the pawn broker. At first, Alia thought he might trade it straight away, but when he remerged a short while later, he threw the necklace up in the air. So just a valuation then.

You'll never cash in on that, she swore to herself.

"Someones looking after me today," he crowed to himself as he headed back towards the docks.

Ugh, this idiot was really pissing her off. Usually, Alia respected a confident good-looking man, but this one was all looks and nothing else. Plus he stole her necklace! That was just the height of rudeness. She was the one who stole things! Wait, was this how Big C felt whenever she pilfered something from his warehouse? Alia blinked, the gears in her head grinding against the realisation. But then she shook her head, freeing up her thoughts once more. No, Callum knew that was just her being... well, her. It was different when it was her! At least she wasn't... wasn't... well, that guy!

Grumbling to herself, Alia followed after the Marcher. He headed straight for the stall selling pies. Well, she supposed she couldn't blame him for that. Even someone with their tongue cut out would appreciate those pies. But it didn't change the fact that this stranger was the worst person she had ever met. And she had met her fair share of undesireables within the city. Amaranthine seemed to act as a beacon for that kind of person. 

What to do? She was tempted to resort to her usual tactics of just barging in there and seeing what happened. But that hadn't worked so well before. He could run (almost) as fast as her, and he was just that bit more stronger than her to win in a scuffle. She doubted that her pickpocketing skills would go unnoticed by him either. All of which left her in a bad mood. Damn Callum and his stupid big heart which meant he gave her dumb valuable stuff that could be so easily stolen! This was all his fault. Wait until she next saw him. He was going to get a piece of her mind.

So Alia tried something else entirely. She simply walked out into the open and stood directly behind the numbskull, her hands on her hips. "State your terms," she spoke through gritted teeth. "I want my pendant back." She raised her chin, eyeing him. "Try to humilate me and the deal's off." She understood that she wasn't in a position to call the shots but if the man thought she was about to consent to anything degrading or humiliating, she would walk away. Big C would understand that, at least. "But anything else? Let's hear it. You're new here; I'm not. That must be of some use to you."
Andrew didn't have one pie. he had two and both had his mouth watering as he sat himself at a small table to eat. he even found a bottle of Kirkwall Dwarfen Ale. something the Hanged Man sold on a pretty regular basis and once the dark ale touched the back of his throat. he actually felt more relaxed than he had for a long time; silly how it was the little things reminded you of home, not that Andrew wanted reminding, but he had missed the ale, as he chomped through his first bite of pie. he allowed a wry smile to cross his handsome face. Not only at his memories of drunken nights in the Hanged Man and the Mermaids Song, but at his first victory over that woman.

"State your terms,"

Or not Andrew thought at his blue eyes met the Hazel green eyes of the woman whose pendant was sitting in his pocket. He stopped chewing for a moment and arched an eyebrow, running his gaze up and down her form, then left and right. Now he could see her in the sunlight, she was actually a stunner. Not that he would tell her that. In his experiance that was inviting the Lioness to slit your throat while you slept, and giving them a compliment was as good as handing your balls on a plate to them. 

He continued chewing and then swallowed the pie and some ale to wash it down with "For what?" He carefully asked. 

"I want my pendant back." The woman had a defiant streak, he liked that meant she wasn't a pushover "Try to humiliate me and the deal's off."

Andrew actually laughed at that, a deep laugh but one never the less "You got no fears about me trying to humiliate you girl, you did that yourself by exposing it." 

Then again with a body like that? He could think of a thousands ways to make her feel better. However, now he had his bow being repaired he could afford to be affable and kicked a chair out for her to sit down, he even offered her the second pie. 

"But anything else? Let's hear it. You're new here; I'm not. That must be of some use to you."

Andrew tilted his head a little like a spider to a fly. She wanted this thing back bad and that had shown in her voice. He lifted a shoulder in a shrug and took another bite of his pie. sniffed then sat back. That would be of use to him, but he wasn't about to overly advertise his profession he liked his neck where it was and he had managed to avoid the attention of the guard so he lowered his voice

"Ok, lets see its worth about two hundred gold. Now i won't get that if i resell it. probably get a hundred for it. I wont get much more a valuation on it above that. even though i know the gem in the middle is worth twice what the gold is.

Written words was like magic to him, he didn't understand them he could only sign things with an X and he, like many others thought the written word was a curse waiting to happen. Andrew may not believe in the maker, his whore bride or the chantry but he sure as hell believed in curses and was superstitious as hell. What he lacked in literary skills he more than made up for in knowing the value of things. 

He looked her over again. She could handle herself, that much he knew, and he had bruises on bruises forming where she had clocked him with her axe not to mention the lump on the back of his head. She was either a bandit or a merc, or maybe both. Mercs were not exactly reliable. he had seen what they could do and what they considered outside thier remit pay. He had been offered work with a merc band in Kirkwall, they wanted his lockpicking skills and his bow skills, he had turned them down. 

"My price? Ok i barter this without the gem i might get a shit set of lockpicks. I barter it with the gem i get a decent set of lockpicks that won't break when i use them on the first turn. So my price. You bring me a proper set of lockpicks, the best you can find and you get your pendant back and i do know the difference between shite and excellent." He made that point "Bring me back a load of codswallop then the deals off and i sell it to the highest bidder.

Andrew finished his ale and tucked into the remnants of his pie. "Not humiliating is it? resourceful lass like you" He thought for a moment "and i want a decent place to lay my head. those are my terms." he supposed he could have thrown in a night with her but she might see that as humiliating so he didn't push his luck. "I'll be here till tomorrow." Not that he didn't trust the Boyer to keep to his word but he didn't like the idea of his bow sitting where he couldn't see it. He raised his brows and waited for her answer, his face as blank as stone. 

Ugh, this man thought he was a thinker. Sitting there, twitching his head first one way then the other, pretending any notion which passed through his head was little more than a monosylllabic grunt. 

Huffing a breath, Alia folded her arms across her chest, leaning her weight onto her backfoot. The other annoying thing about so-called thinkers? The bloody time it took for them to work out anything. So annoying.

"Ok," he finally spoke, though not after at least one more bite of his pie. May as well enjoy his teeth before Alia worked out a way to have them all knocked out. "Lets see its worth about two hundred gold. Now i won't get that if i resell it. probably get a hundred for it. I wont get much more a valuation on it above that. even though i know the gem in the middle is worth twice what the gold is."

She let her head fall back with a pained sigh. Had she asked? No, she had decidedly not. Maker, this man was annoying.

"My price?" Finally. This man talked more than a Chantry Sister during her first Chant in front of a Revered Mother. "Ok i barter this without the gem i might get a shit set of lockpicks. I barter it with the gem i get a decent set of lockpicks that won't break when i use them on the first turn. So my price. You bring me a proper set of lockpicks, the best you can find and you get your pendant back and i do know the difference between shite and excellent." Yeah, well, he also knew the difference between hearing his voice and not hearing his voice. He clearly preferred the former. "Bring me back a load of codswallop then the deals off and i sell it to the highest bidder."

Pursing her lips, Alia considered. Despite the fact it had taken him a literal Age to get to the point, his deal was acceptable. Fair, even. Not that she was about to admit to it.

Swallowing down a mouthful of ale, the stupid annoying man settled back to his pie. "Not humiliating is it? resourceful lass like you." There was a pause. Oh, here we go - more demands! She should have known it was too much to expect him to be reasonable. "And i want a decent place to lay my head. those are my terms." Oh great, Prince Charmless here probably expected her to find something worthy of... of... Actually, she didn't know what a Bann was over in the Marches. A Lord? Who cared.

"I'll be here till tomorrow." He eyed her, likely expecting her to drop to her hands and knees in sheer gratitude over his oh-so-generous offer. Had she mentioned he was anoying?

"Why, are you gonna sleep there?" She scoffed, rolling her eyes. "Thought you wanted a decent place to sleep. I can sort that out now. Lockpicks will take a little longer." In truth, she had no real idea about how to achieve either... but that wasn't about to stop her.

Spinning on heel, Alia gestured that he should follow - and it wasn't even a rude gesture! There was evidence of just how effort she was making towards him. Her mind raced ahead of where she walked, running through the various hide-outs that she knew throughout the city. What would suffice for Prince Charmless?

Oh! Inspiration struck. Not that she was happy of beign reminded that the Kennedy family had moved away - Moira hadn't really explained much - but it also meant that the Kennedy holdings belonged to someone else. Someone she didn't know or care about. Where better to set up a temporary lodging than in a currently unused property? Moira wouldn't have told her if she hadn't wanted Alia to make use of it.

However, Alia was far from stupid. Rather than the main house, she led the way to the small apartment which the Kennedy's had kept near to their warehouse. It was only intended as a stop-gap if they were especially busy with their trading and couldn't waste time returning to the proper house, but it would be more than good enough for anyone who was otherwise sleeping on the streets.

The apartment itself was only three rooms: two small bedrooms and a communal room. It was tucked away on the first floor. Alia, however, strode into the building as if she were the Queen of Nevarra. No one questioned here. When she reached the front door, she crouched down and pried up a loose floorboard, retreiving the key. See! She knew Moira would never deny her a safe spot to hide out.

"My liege," she swept her hand towards the now unlocked door, openly mocking the man. "If this isn't decent enough for you, I can't do anything else for you. So is it good enough that I should carry on with sourcing the lockpicks, or what?"
That woman didn't take a hint, he had offered her the other pie that was as nice as he got. Shrugging to himself he finished his current pie and ale and taking the other he followed her through the streets of this cesspool of a city. To him the layout was not that dissimilar to Kirkwall, except there was no brides separating the wheat from the chaff. The rich and important nobs lived in Hightown and around the Market district. Close to the Viscounts Palace and of course the Chantry. 

Those who wanted to be someone someday lived around the market and then there was Lowtown, the place where those with no hope of social climbing lived, where you did not walk down one of the myriad of alleys unless you had a shiv or dagger or something. That was the real heart and soul of the city and briefly he felt a pang in his heart like an ache for someone he had missed more than he confessed. 

"My liege," she swept her hand towards the now unlocked door, openly mocking the man. "If this isn't decent enough for you, I can't do anything else for you. So is it good enough that I should carry on with sourcing the lockpicks, or what?"

Andrew had been so lost in thought that he had actually forgotten she was there. He glared at her mockery and thought for a moment about slicing that pretty face of hers but instead he walked past her, patting her head "Very good girly now get on with it," He had cottoned on in thier fight that she did not like being addressed as such. He had also worked out that calling her a dog did nothing to stir her ire.  Well she was a bitch but one that Andrew, despite thier meeting liked, not that he would admit it to her, he had the feeling if he admitted that to her it would give her an excuse to run her mouth, and he could think of other things that her mouth could be doing, the thought made him smirk to himself and he sat himself down. 

Well she had really pulled the rabbit out the hat this time. Glancing over his shoulder and keeping his face poker straight he said "Unless your gonna be keeping me company, dont you have lockpicks to find?" and just because he could he tucked into his last pie. He could eat until the cows came home he never put any weight on, 
Apparently keeping thoughts in his head was too much of an effort. The way that he blinked dazedly after she spoke proved as much. But then he gathered what passed for wits and shot her a dirty look before hustling past her, patting her on the head. "Very good girly now get on with it."

Alia bared her teeth, only narrowly missed biting his wrist. Next time..

Setting himself down on a chair, he looked around the space before glancing over his shoulder towards her. "Unless your gonna be keeping me company, dont you have lockpicks to find?" He took a large bite out of his pie. Alia hoped he choked in her absence. It would gross her out if she had to stand here and watch the man gargle on his own spew, but it was a small price to pay if it meant that he could no longer annoy her. And she could get her pendant back without any more hassle. Win-win, really.

Unfortunately, the stupid man did not suddenly start clawing at his throat, gasping for air and futily gesturing to her to help. Maybe it would happen while she was out. 

Spinning on heel, Alia left Prince Charmless stuffing his face. When she emerged into the street, she paused momentarily, propping her hands on her hips. Where in the Void was she going to get excellent lockpicks? She pursed her lips, considering. The kind of people who had that kind of equipment were not the kind of people that Alia wanted to piss off. So stealing what she needed was out - not that she was that kind of thief. A dip in the pocket of a unsuspecting mark required a completely different set of skills to breaking into places. 

A groan bubbled up from the pit of her stomach. Not him, she whined to herself. But what other option did she have? With such short notice and the requirement for such a high quality of lockpicks, there really was only one option: Micah. Involuntarily, Alia shivered; whether it was the thought of stepping into the disgusting pit known as the Belching Pig or from the thought of owing the notorious smuggler a hefty debt was not entirely clear. Probably both.

Her skin crawling already, she hurried away to said tavern, snarling at anyone who made so much as eye-contact with her. Except Micah. Alia might not have much care for anyone but herself... but her sense of survival meant that she treated Micah with a respect that even the likes of Big C would never see. Then again, she was not terrified of Big C in the way that she was of Micah.

Her subservience - and maybe her pretty face - secured her what she needed. The lockpicks looked pretty damn fancy as it was but if Micah said they were some of the best he had ever seen, Alia was going to believe it. And if Prince Charmless argued, he could take it up with Micah himself.

Hvaing been gone for an hour or so, Alia returned to the little apartment, walking in without so much as a greeting. She slapped down the lockpicks on the table, narrowing her eyes at the annoying Marcher man who had not choked to death. Pity.

"Here." She folded her arms across her chest, tossing her head slightly. Her ponytail swished behind her. "I've kept my side of the deal. Give me my pendant back."
"Here. I've kept my side of the deal. Give me my pendant back."

Andrew wasn't listening, at the moment he was staring at a family portrait that sat just above the small fireplace It wasn't the old man or the old woman that he was peering at, nor was it the tall lean man with dark hair but the giant of a red head that stood on the right hand side. He swallowed a couple of times and the sight of the man made his tanned complexion pale considerably. 

"You know this man?" He whipped round when he became aware that he was not alone. Fishing the pendant from his pocket he tossed it at her and snatched up the lockpicks, grunting a thanks. 

He had only seen the red head once, and that was enough, the captain had answered a call from some merchant prig, they hadn't come into Amaranthine because that would have been  bad mistake, instead they had come into a small cove up coast, away from prying eyes. he didn't hear the exact conversastion but he read the skippers features well enough. He had two bodies he wanted put on board, she had tried to up the bargaining price for her silence, next thing he knew the bigger man had the skipper by her throat and pinned against the shack on the seafront. Andrew never saw the man again but then again the Skipper never answered another call from the man. 

The man was bad news, trouble and one of the few merchant types you didn't frag around with. "Thanks" he said again and looked around. "but i think i'll spend the night at the local entertainment house." He glanced back at the painting and brushing past Alia he walked out the door. He would rather sleep on the beach then be anywhere with those eyes watching him. 
Proving that he was aptly named, Prince Charmless completely ignored her. Alia huffed, exhaling pointedly through her nose. She had not gone through all the very dangerous hassle of bartering with Micah to just be completely blanked like this. What was this idiot's problem?

But then she noticed that all the blood had seeped from his face. He was staring at the family portrait of th Kennedy's which hung above the fireplace. "You know this man?" He whirled around, but did not seem interested in her answer. Instead, he yanked her pendant from his pocket and threw it to her, before snatching up the lockpicks with a garbled thanks.

"Obviously." Why else would she have known about this apartment if she didn't know the family?

For all his bravado earlier, the man looked geniuinely terrified. As if Big C was about to drop down on him from the ceiling! What in the Maker's hairy arse-crack was going on?

"Thanks," he looked around the room, clearly spooked, "but i think i'll spend the night at the local entertainment house." He shoved past Alia without further explanation, leaving her alone.

Completely bemused, she tipped a small salute towards the image of Big C. "Wait until I tell you about this," she informed the image, before turning on heel and following after Prince Charmless. She had honoured her side of the bargain and she had retrieved her pendant so she felt no responsibility towards the annoying Marcher. She was, however, curious why one (bad) painting of Callum could make the man give up on a cushy hide-out though.

"Thought you were the new man about town?" She had to break into a light run to catch up with him. But once she did, she fell into easy step with the Marcher, relying on her natural ability to be highly annoying to provoke a reaction. "If so, you're going to have to deal with a lot worse than the Kennedy's." She opted to leave out the fact that the whole family had left the city. Some things were on a need to know basis. "Hey, slow down! Seriously, what is your problem?"