Jil poured the tea gingerly into the two tiny cups she had laid out. “I’m not sure I understand, Dominic. The client’s brother is dead, right?”
Dominic shifted uneasily in his chair. He had no trouble with this sort of thing, but usually a lot of the instruction was implied. “The brother is dead, but Arlo is not the client.”
Jil pushed one of the cups across the little table. It made a pleasant rumble as it echoed in the hollow under the wood. “I have only been in your services a few years, but I was under the impression that you generally wanted to be paid for your troubles.” She lifted the second cup to her lips and inhaled the fragrance.
“Yes, but payment comes in forms other than cash sometimes.” He wrapped a large hand around the cup and lifted it to his lips. He didn’t like tea but knew when to be polite. Asking people what he was asking was one such time.
“And so Arlo is providing payment in some other way, or is someone else?” Jil was fairly certain she knew exactly which angle was being played, but enjoyed knowing as much as possible about the situation she would be stepping into. She had met Arlo once before, and his brother only in passing. That was not a lot to go on.
“Fate.” Dominic said, setting down an empty cup. “Fate will be paying for this job.” He stood up, the long dagger on his belt glinting in the firelight with the motion. Jil attempted not to look annoyed at his brusqueness. It was not the first time he would be sending her into a dangerous situation that could have been safer if his lips were looser, and it would probably not be the last. He pointed to her, and then a pile of clothes he had left by the door. “The docks at sunset, Jil. And try to hide the bloodstains on that coat.”
She would, of course, do as she was told. That was the life of a slave