Phaedra hurried up the street, the Palisade skyline looming in the distance. She’d finally gotten the papers and she was determined to get them in to the hands of her lawyer tonight. With a little persuasion, he’d have them filed in the morning and she’d finally be a free woman.
She rounded the last corner before her destination and stopped short, eying the red-head with steel gray eyes. Clad in black, Sky stood before her, the hint of a smile touching the corner of her lips. Phaedra met that smile with one of her own, clutching the papers to her chest, “Why, good evening Mrs. Melnik. What an unexpected surprise.”
Sky merely stood there, staring hard at her. Phaedra smirked and continued, “How is your husband’s… summer cold? Those can be quite severe if not treated.”
Again, Sky just stood her ground, that same disconcerting smile on her face. Phaedra furrowed her brows, scanning the immediate area and finding no one else about. She turned back to Sky, “Well, this has been scintillating, but if you’ll excuse me…”
Phaedra took a step to the right and Sky moved to block her. Phaedra’s eyes burned into Sky’s, “What’s the meaning –“ But Sky cut her off, her tone flat and harsh despite the smile.
“No doubt, Mrs Underby, you’ve inquired about my husband. Predictable, really. You have to be careful about being predictable. It’s a lesson you taught us well. I think it’s time you learned a lesson of your own.” She slid her eyes past Phaedra and nodded, looking just over her shoulder.
Phaedra was about to turn when she felt an arm wrap around her chest and pull her back, an ether-soaked cloth clamping over her nose and mouth. She dropped the papers and tried to scream, but to no avail. Unable to bring her hands up, she clawed at her attacker’s thighs and side. Finally, she couldn’t help but take a deep breath, the ether overwhelming her. As consciousness faded, she heard Scottie’s voice, “School’s in session, witch.”
Scottie hoisted Phaedra over his shoulder and Sky pulled the wax from her ears before scooping up the papers. As they made their way to Port, they met a few raised eyebrows from some pedestrians, explained by a shrug and an eyeroll from Sky, “Drunks…”
Loner Lane was deserted and they descended the ladder carefully, Sky leading the way with a candle. The door to the safe room was already open and the inside latch had been disabled. Scottie lay Phaedra on one of the cots and looked to Sky as she lit one of three candles set upon the only table left in the room. Next to those was a small stockpile of food: jerky, canned wiggyfish, jars of preserves, and several jugs of water. A few large empty pails lined the wall on the other side of the renovated prison cell.
Scottie ushered Sky out, closing the door with a reverberating thud. The door was very nearly imperceptible, leading Scottie to briefly wonder what it had been used for before just shrugging and climbing the ladder behind Sky.
The couple made their way home, Sky holding up the papers, “What are we gonna do with these?” Scottie chuckled, “Kindling?” then tilted his head thoughtfully. Sky held up a ring next, snapping him from his thoughts and noticing her grin as she turned it over between her fingers. When had she gotten ahold of that? Damn, the woman could pickpocket the devil. The mere thought nearly made him laugh out loud.
“This,” she said with a hint of mischievousness, “should probably be returned to its rightful owner, don’t you think?”