“I wondered when you would come out of hiding,” a voice in the dark alley said to her, before she reached the space behind the cobbler’s shop.
Thystle frowned, wondering what gave her away. She stopped for a moment. “You were late,” she replied.
“Forgive me, I had a prior engagement. Come closer, young vampyre. I will not bite, if you do not,” the imp told her. There was an amused edge to his voice she did not care for.
Thystle turned the corner into the alley behind the cobbler’s shop, in the direction from which the imp’s voice came. Without warning, a light flared into being, and she raised a hand to shield her light-sensitive eyes from it. When they adjusted to the sudden brightness, she looked into a strange orb the imp held in his hand, no larger than a human fist. A cloud of tiny lights danced inside of it. The imp placed the orb on the back stoop of the cobbler’s shop.
“Faeries,” he said in response to her inquisitive look. “I hope you do not mind the light; though I can see in the dark as well as you, I detest having to do so.”
“Who are you?” Thystle asked him.
The imp smiled. “Straight to the questions, I see. So much for small talk, I suppose.”
Thystle crossed her arms. “I don’t care for small talk. I came for information.”
“Then my name is unimportant,” he replied.
The frown on her face deepened. “Nay. We’ll go no further until I know what you’re called, imp.”
His smile turned sly. “Very well. I am called Jalus.”
“Who sent you, Jalus? I’ve not met you before tonight, so I know you did not connect my name with Jonathan Revner on your own.” She eyed him with distrust.
Jalus feigned a look of hurt. “You wound me. Do I really need to explain to you for whom I work?” He raised an eyebrow.
Part of her wanted to hear him admit he worked for Immortals, but his answer was confirmation enough. “What interest could they possibly have in my affairs?”
“We have a mutual enemy in Haven. I brought you here to meet him,” Jalus replied. “I believe he shall appear in the tavern across the street this very night, as he has done for the past several nights.”
Thystle furrowed her brow, confused at the idea of them having a common enemy. Was the information Jalus possessed not relevant only to her? She said to the imp, “Explain what you mean by ‘mutual enemy’. What bone do you have to pick with old man Revner?”
Jalus smirked and crossed his arms. “Ah, old man Revner. Did I mislead you about why I asked you here in my note?”
The wind felt colder now. She glanced around the dirty, refuse-littered alley. A bad feeling wormed its way into her gut and warned Thystle that she had missed the signs that she was walking into a trap.
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