Loading... Chapter Forty Five
Champagne was gathered as people prepared for New Year festivities, but Lance's focus was on the guild's newest member. "What do you know about Rivera?" Lance asked.
Daniel narrowed his eyes, ready to comment 'plenty, and so do you' before he glanced over to where Lance was looking and saw the problem. Ah, Luca. The tiny new thief recruit that filled him with hope that things were going to be normal again. "They are a cousin of Lucas. I've heard the Riveras didn't want to lose ties with the guild. You should go talk with them."
Lance lifted a brow at Daniel's last word. He considered it for a second before stepping off to greet them. Luca looked over from the event board, growing curious at Lance's uncertainty. "Hello, my name is Lance Tarlé. I know it's been a little while since your family's loss, but I wanted to say it was an honor to know such a good person as Lucas."
"Of course," Lance said, catching the meaning. "If I could only be so lucky with another of the Rivera kin. Maybe we could see you tonight during the festival."
Daniel watched them contently for a moment. Even stalling what he had willingly planned to do today. Coming home meant confronting the past, before he could celebrate the future. It was a big day that Daniel planned to quietly spend.
The real show tonight was with someone else, and started long before this day. London built itself around Amilia, and stitched itself together with the cold of winter. Amilia locked the door to the bedroom before pulling out a box from under the bed. The collection didn't show a hint of dust as she removed its contents. Where many would store treasures, Amilia had a shirt fit for a male, trousers, and work boots that barely fit her small feet. She took in a large breath, and wrapped a scarf around her as she looked in the mirror. Her shaky hands braided her hair.
She was alone for the day, given whatever freedom her bitterly betrothed Viktor allowed. She pulled the braid forward, admiring the one thing that hadn't changed much over the years. Amilia retrieved something else and, with the mirror's help, put scissors to the bottom of her hairline. Curls bounced free once the braid fell away with a few rough snips. She ran her thin fingers through what was left, any thread of remaining length was cut. With a little more refinery, she would have looked just like Celio in his youth.
She then stripped away at the clothes she had been ordered to wear as someone else's accessory. When she looked back into the mirror, she didn't know the person in the reflection. Her lack of makeup showcased dark circles under her eyes, and would further help her pass for a homeless boy.
The coins she had managed to pull together were just enough to make a small rattle as she hurried over to the window to escape into the city. Amilia ran across the rooftops, feeling something build up in her chest, a well-deserved freedom. She looked like a bird, cageless at last.
London was pieced into different lands over time and distance until the landscape settled as Amilia looked up at the Spanish sun. Its rays beamed down on the valley ahead. At first, she hadn't cared where she'd end up as long as it was far away from England. But when a merchant mentioned he was going to Siguenza, she decided it would be best to return and clear out what was left of her old life. She hoped to sell off whatever belongings were left at her family's properties.
Ivan, the old man who offered her travel on his carriage, knew she wasn't the homeless child she had been trying to come across as. The trip was too long for her casual disguise to last, but he never questioned it. Ivan even helped in the ruse by calling her son in public. Even going as far as claiming her as his nephew who was lending a hand around suspicious strangers.
Once they reached Siguenza, he refused the coins she promised, citing his opinion that she helped enough. When Amilia reached her house, she didn't have the energy to do much other than curl up in her aged bedroom. The dust and spiderwebs crawled far further than she had imaged. Everything was still, as if waiting for someone's return. Only the spiders preyed on her absence. As Amilia fell asleep she made simple plans for the rest of her life.
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