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Snippet: At the Hall of Mares
October
wilowisp
"What kind of man leaves a child alone in a pub like this?" a man asked Necessity, settling into the recently emptied chair. He had a wry smile on his face and an altogether self-satisfied wave to his long hair. He looked a step up from the rest of the patrons, which either meant he was lost or trying too hard. Still, she could tell his devilish smile was softened a bit, and say little harm in engaging him in some simple conversation.

"I'll soon be twelve years of age. Hardly a child," she said, taking a small sip of the apple cider that had been purchased for her. The man tipped his head to her.

"My deepest apologies, my young lady," he said with a touch too much grandiose affection. "But then what kind of man leaves such a gentle flower of a woman in a pub like this?"

"My brother," Necessity replied, giving in to her current frustration with her kinsman. Her eyes scanned the room, looking for any sign of the rake in the crowd, but she had lost him. Only a second, he had claimed. "He's supposed to be taking me to the Museum of Lunar Curiosity at my mother's behest. But he insisted that we stop in here first. I can only imagine what sort of unseemly company Earnest has come here to meet."

A rich tenor of a laugh escaped the voice of her current companion. She looked at him with a touch of worry, concerned suddenly that she had involved herself in a much more dangerous game than she had intended. But the too-clever-by-half smile on his face showed that while he was infuriatingly condescending, he meant her no harm.

"Why, dear lady," he said, taking up her hand in his and delicately kissing the back. "It just so happens that I am that sort of company."

A figure emerged from the bustle and deposited itself at their table.

"Earnest, how good of you to finally join us," the stranger said, and Earnest went pale.
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