Chapter Twelve

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           As the hours ticked by, Rosie's filled, the alcohol flowed free, and chatter jumbled into a single mass of noise. Wren looked horrified when a topless woman giggled as she skipped passed their table, dragging a man dressed in the finest surcoat to the bathhouse. He groaned and lowered his head to stare at his empty plate.

"Maybe the next place we stop you can take me to a bondage house," he grumbled.

Siobhan sipped her wine and grinned. "Play your cards right, and Rosie could hook you up tonight. There's a special room for that. Do you want leather straps, or would you prefer the furry kind?"

"You're enjoying this, aren't you?"

"Immensely." She leaned back in her chair and watched as one of Rosie's girls straddled the lap of a drunk woman singing at the top of her lungs. The man Siobhan assumed was her husband leaned closer and licked his lips. If it weren't so common in places like this, it might be disgusting. Long ago Siobhan learned to stop caring. It was another case where a place like Rosie's was better than sleeping in the mud. "You never visited these places in Crestborne then? I hear they're quite popular among the Lords."

"Never saw the need. My brother, however, frequents them." He sighed. "Does this place even have rooms for sleeping? Or are they reserved for the special deeds only?"

"Rosie will take care of us. She's never let me down before." Siobhan grabbed a piece of bread from a basket sitting between them and took a bite.

"You know a lot of inn keepers then?"

"I'd hardly call Rosie an inn keeper. But yes, I know at least one place to stay in every major city. Circumstances may not allow them to accommodate, but I know them. When you're traveling as often as I am, it's good to create connections." She sighed and glanced to the basement door now hidden behind bodies.

Elias still hadn't shown himself, not that she was worried, but she had hoped to retire to their room a little earlier for some much-needed sleep. She also hoped the Aquantian would convince Wren they needed to stay in Firnlan for the duration of the storm. Heading back out into a blizzard, with only a hunter cabin and sparse farms between there and Wyvernton, wasn't any more appealing to her than staying at Rosie's appeared to be to Wren. At least at Rosie's, even with its endless debauchery, they wouldn't die. It was a delicate subject, given Wren's eagerness to find Natalia, and delicacy was more Elias' forte.

She stared at the sliver of door hidden behind bodies as if she might will Elias to step out. Though the river flowed miles away from Firnlan, waterways weaved throughout the under city. Every visit for three years saw Elias using his magic to build the intricate web, picking strategic buildings as exit points. Rosie's, though without any advantage, was one of them. They could stay there for as long as needed and Elias would have an endless supply of water. Not to mention the escape routes in a pinch, though Siobhan wasn't exactly an adequate swimmer. Dogs swam better than she did. With an Aquantian around, knowing how to swim wasn't essential.

Siobhan sighed. It wasn't unlike Elias to disappear for long stretches when they stayed at Rosie's. Like Wren, he found the place lacking any social standard and was the epitome of tasteless. Though no windows fed light into Rosie's hall of sexual sin, Siobhan knew the sun had long turned to slumber and the moon rose to life. The simple act of watching the place come to life with the patrons inside told her the time. Elias didn't have the same network as she did, it would be hard for him to find shelter for the night.

Her nails tapped against the table when she turned back to Wren. Until she had reason to, it served no purpose to worry about her eldest companion. So long as he had access to water, Elias could vanish without a trace within the blink of an eye. Siobhan leaned on the table, taking another sip of her red wine. Wine wasn't her favorite, not when mead or ale were available. Rosie found those drinks to be barbaric, so wine was all she carried.

Draygon Frost | Book 1  | ✔️Where stories live. Discover now