Next to sit at my table was a girl I had never seen before. Before I could ask her what she wanted, three guards entered the inn. At first, I thought that guy who tried to take my dad’s sword might have sent them, but their words were an indication of something much worse.
“We’re looking for a man, a woman and a sixteen year old kid. Has anyone in here seen anything like that?” one of them asked loud enough for everyone to hear.
I tossed the rest of my drink back and gasped as fire rushed back up my throat.
Getting no response to their question, the guards decided to apply a little pressure. They went to every table and looked each occupant closely in the eye, asking their question again. When one of them reached my table, and leaned on it, I forced myself to look him directly in the eyes. “You look like you might be about the right age. You staying here by yourself, are you?”
I showed him my key.
The girl scooted her chair closer to me and put her hand on my arm as if for security.
“Why are you looking for these people?” I asked.
The man reared his head up and glared at me. “I’m the one asking the questions here.” Then he glanced at the girl and moved on to the next table.
When they went upstairs, I stepped outside. The girl clung to my arm. I let her because she would make me appear older than sixteen. Perhaps the guards thought she was my wife. Plus, if they found my parents up there, I could interfere with them out here in the dark a lot easier than in the inn where there would be far too many witnesses.
As I leaned against the building, the girl wrapped herself around my arm and started to rub her leg against me.
“What are you doing?” I asked. I almost wanted to push her away.
“You looked like you could use some company,” she said.
Oh my god, I had a hooker. What do I do now? “I’m afraid you’re mistaken,” I said, as I diverted her hand from going down my pants.
She had succeeded in getting my shirt unbuckled by the time the guards left the building. They were alone. The man who had stopped at my table saw us and chuckled. “Take it inside. You don’t want to get arrested for lewd behavior, do you?”
As soon as they were out of sight, I pushed the girl away from me. “That’s enough.” I walked off down the street away from her, refastening my shirt. I suddenly felt like I was about to crawl out of my skin.
As I walked, it started to rain. The rain felt good and I stopped long enough to tip my face to it. Then, off to the side, I saw a burned out building back from the street a ways and I had an idea. I went to explore it. It was perfect. It was open to the sky and all view from the street was blocked. I drew my sword and searched for my music.
It was long after suppertime when I found my way back to the inn. I begged a plate of meats from the innkeeper and went up to my room.
I set my plate on the table and went directly into my little bathroom. I hung my clothes in the shower and remade them, leaving the water to run down the drain. Then I took a shower. With a towel wrapped around my middle, I sat down at the table to eat my meal.
I hadn’t lit a light in the room; I didn’t need one. It was cloudy and dark outside, but with the curtains open, there was more than enough light for me. I was a bit giddy but very relaxed and growing full rapidly as I made short work of my meal, so I was totally unprepared for someone other than me turning the light on.
With my arm over my eyes, I was a thought away from attacking whoever was in the room when she spoke. “Oh my, are those bullet wounds?”
Oh my god, the hooker; she was here. “What are you doing here?” I asked as I peeked from under my arm.
There she stood in all her glory. Fine glory. Then I looked at my bed; she had been waiting for me there.
“I still think you could use some company,” she said.
“I don’t need any company. Go find someone else and leave me alone.”
Before I could see well enough to fend her off, she had danced forward and pulled my towel away. I didn’t want to hurt her and I didn’t want to bring the whole house into my room to investigate the commotion, so trying to be quiet, I did my best to keep her at a distance. However, the euphoria left over from my rain dance, and the fact that I was now well fed, combined with my youthful hormones, utterly raging by now, as well as my curiosity; it all conspired against my brain and she won.
The first time was a lesson. The second was a better lesson. The third time was pure joy. I’m not going to tell you about the rest of the night. It was only some time later that it occurred to me to do it in the shower. That might be fun. Needless to say, when the dawn arrived, I was oblivious to it and woke only when my father knocked on the door.
At the sound I sat up abruptly thinking vaguely that it was time to start the day back at the cave, but then I remembered where I was and why. The girl was gone and she had taken the only thing in the room that was of value to her, my credit chip. Using my magic, I sought out the very familiar object and changed it into a useless metal coin. I might have let her have it if it didn’t draw on a relatively bottomless account.
The knock came again.
“What?” I asked, still feeling groggy from lack of sleep.
“Are you all right?” said my father. “It’s late, we were worried about you. It’s time we talked.”
“All right, I’ll be down in a minute.”