It was a guard, one he must have missed. The fellow wasn't a knight or a warrior, or anything like that, not a skilled-looking fighter, but he held a sword in his hands, which was more than Copé had to work with.
The thief snatched up a small pile of sand and tossed it in the guard's face.
The guard sold it like an arrow to the chest, falling backward, then plopping himself down on his bottom as he tried to remove some of the sand from his eyes. Secrat, flat on his back, rolled under the table and to the other-side. He climbed to his feet and started once more toward fleeing from sight.
There were beads of sweat traveling down his neck and chest as he ran forward. Once leaving the crowds, he was allowed an openness of mobility. Some of him felt fatigue, but a lot of him was being driven on the adrenaline soaking inside of him. The same adrenaline that made him a master thief and the same adrenaline that made him the best member that The Red Flux ever had. He felt empowered and as if nothing thrown in his path could deter him. That is, until a guard tackled off from his feet. Copé gulped and sighed heavily as the air vacated his lungs. A dazed and haphazard stare followed for the thief as he tried to formulate a coherent thought for himself. He failed at it several times. But once the sensation of the ordeal started to spread thin, he was once more ready to think cognitively, or with as much logic and reason as he could otherwise.
The guard wasn't a guard after all.
It was Christique, smiling with a sprinkle of sadism in her disposition. She didn't smile for long, however, and instead, Christique dragged Copé up to his feet, making him wonder why she took him off his feet in the first place. The guards weren't in sight, but that didn't make escape any less important. She led him back to the Alsabenya Shack, and it was there where he hid, crouched behind the counter where he once ate. Christique looked at him, like she was trying to decipher the puzzle in-front of her. Copé smiled at her some. He wanted to tell her she had her work cut out for her but didn't end up saying anything. Some part of the thief was feeling the same way as she, that is, he was unsure about the person before him.
Her eyes left him. A customer stood at the opposite side of the counter.
Copé couldn't hear everything that was said between the two, but he did hear some of Christique's more complimentary lines, such as "Thank you" and "Have a nice day". Before that, he watched Christique scavenge up the same slop she had fed him, the "filler food," as it was called. And after that, he heard the sound of a man walking away.
"Acera's finest is a petty thief, is that what I am to understand?" Her voice didn't sound offended, disturbed, or anything else with some sort of negative connotation, but it didn't sound thrilled or optimistic either. Melancholy, that was an excellent way to describe how Christique sounded. She gave a small smirk that Secrat fancied, however.
"You're not exactly a regular everyday member of the Satin village, are you?" Secrat said, rubbing his shoulder in the spot where she struck him. A small ache, but Copé dealt with it long enough to return the smirk back at her. On the inside, he was kicking himself about sharing his suspicions. But something about her heightened his intrigue and made him want to play along with her. The woman tried her best to look offended, offering a merciless stare that for some reason only added to Secrat's infatuation with her.
Copé looked for the guards, watched for them, until finally, at once, he felt confident enough in his own safety. He stood to his feet at the inside of the shack behind the counter and winced momentarily at the striking amount of pain he felt in his side. Christique's feminine beauty was matched by her strength. It offered a small and bearable feeling that still didn't sit too well with him. He rubbed the back of his neck some more before regaining his wits about him. Christique looked at him with a sympathetic look that he knew wasn't sincere. "If you are about to break down and start crying then I might just have to alert the guards after all." Her not-so sympathetic look soon dissolved into a sarcastic smirk.
"I feel like there are nicer ways of getting people's attention." Secrat spoke earnestly. He took a look at some of the men and women conversing in the crowds. The merchants, the men, the women, all of them conjoined with making this encumbered blur. A man that looked something like an apothecary stood out to Copé. That made sense, after the dog pile the thief caused, some could most certainly use a bit of aid. Still no sign of any of guards. That was good. Better safe than sorry though, Copé thought upon falling to a seated position, his back leaned against the counter.
"There might be nicer ways of getting your attention, but none of the other ways had it where I could attack you." Christique replied.
"Why did you want to attack me in the first place?" Copé asked.
It seemed like a fair question for him to ask. Christique didn't seem to share the sentiment with him, and in-fact, she looked at him like he was an absolute idiot.
"I wanted to attack you because you lied to me about who you were!"
"You lied to me!" Secrat fired back, and for an honest second, he actually felt like a snot-nosed brat. It was something about the whiny way he said it. In a moment, he was feeling self-conscious, and felt the need to assert himself, "You think I don't know about Satin? I've been there before, and you know what, you're not a part of it!"
Secrat knew he didn't come off as fierce, sometimes he wondered if being intimidating was something even in his repertoire of abilities.
It was. But only with a knife in his hands.
Nevertheless, the thief would be no one's fool.
"At least I can say that I'm not a petty thief. What did you steal from them anyways?" Christique inquired that with a voice sounding riddled with judgment. Copé felt down at the hilt of the knife strapped to his leg, for no other reason than because he couldn't think of anything else to fidget with.
"I didn't steal anything except for what I needed. Some food that would have been considered as table scraps for them, and some coin that was no more than pocket change." Copé felt a jolt of insecurity surge through his veins again, and he didn't much care for it. An everyday scrapper not absorbed by power but concerned infinitely with survival. That was the perception she would have of him, and maybe that was for the best. More than anything, he wanted to stress his significance, his importance, and his worth, but he said nothing.
"They must really love their bread then." Christique said. Her attention threw itself back over to one of her customers.
His attention was now on her necklace and all its beauty.
The Red Flux & the Wunderkind THief
Chapter One (1 - 2 - 3)