Bone Diggers - Chapter Fourteen

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His eyelids were heavy, but his heart was light. Daniel and Amilia were standing outside the guild headquarters after their mission, wasting time. It was almost dark, but they continued swapping stories that they'd hadn't gotten to share yet.

"Señor Ortiz! I need your help please!" the woman cried in a panic.

Amilia looked over to the woman rushing towards them to Daniel, who didn't appear to have a clue what was going on either. As she neared, he realized she worked with Lily.

"Please, one of the girls was poisoned. We know who has the antidote, but we don't have the...skills needed to get it," she said. "Please, will you help us?"

"All right," Amilia agreed, and glanced over to Daniel, who nodded in turn. The woman brought them back to the brothel. The place was full of people at this time of day. Most drinking and flirting in an environment that catered to them. Their guide pointed towards a man who sat smugly on a couch.

There were two women already parading around a man, trying to get his attention, willing to trade for medicine. The women kept a respectful distance; when one dared to move closer, he waved them away. Maybe waiting for a bigger prize to come along, or getting kicks from posturing.

"Hold these," Amilia replied, handing off her bow and quiver.

Daniel blinked at the items, eyes widening as she stripped down to her slip. "Wait—what are you doing?"

"Playing the part." She sauntered over to the man, leaving Daniel wondering if she meant the part of a thief or courtesan.

Amilia had a sly smile as she walked over. "Now tell me, why did you do it?" she asked.

The man looked up at her. "The girl wasn't delivering. Had to make sure she got what was coming to her."

Daniel felt like something had died in his mouth. Maybe it was better that Amilia was testing her abilities, because he would have forgotten the pickpocketing and just intimidated the man into submission. These ladies deserved respect no matter what.

"What would you like?" she asked, whispering near his ear.

He let out a deep laugh. "My money's worth."

Amilia's lips curled up, and she moved closer as if promising just that. His arms uncrossed, welcoming her as she moved to straddle his lap. Her hands first started at his shoulders then one made its way to his lap. She rubbed his inner thigh for a moment as her lips touched his neck.

Daniel's eyebrows went up. Couldn't she just pick his pocket without getting all up in there? He wouldn't admit it, but he was becoming visibly uncomfortable in this den of skin.

When Amilia's hand moved over the man's pants he seemed to considerably lose concentration. Amilia could feel the antidote was in his pocket and worked to slide it out without being noticed. The distraction, however, wasn't enough. He grabbed Amilia's wrist, twisted it away, and pulled a dagger. "Want to rethink that, love?"

Daniel didn't wait to see how he'd use the knife. He pulled Amilia off the man's lap, so fast that she stumbled back into a nearby lounge chair. "Excuse me," Daniel seemed to say to the both of them. He pulled a sword, and kept the man pinned in his seat unless he wanted to skewer himself. "Today's lesson is, if you can't be slick, be blunt," Daniel said to Amilia, before demanding the man drop the knife.

"Now the antidote?" Daniel held his hand out.

The man didn't look like he was going to comply, but maybe the set look in Daniel's eyes convinced him it was this or his life. He leaned back to grab the antidote and carefully stretched his arm out to avoid nicking himself on the sword.

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