“There are no lodgings here. You are mistaken.” He stepped directly in front of the entrance, his massive body blocking it from view.

Thea used to come to the Mynx regularly for a room, knowing it would be safer. But that was before she ran into problems with The Jade, a proprietor of sorts. A woman whose beauty was renowned in Lyria. She started out as one of the regular samples, but her ambition and stunning looks quickly made her the rarest jewel in the brothel. Before long the old owner had passed on to the next life and The Jade had saved enough money over the years to purchase the establishment and run it as her own.

They had a history together. Thea knew her not only as The Jade, but also by her real name, Vikiana. Years back she had helped the brothel owner out of a tight spot with the king, and it placed her in Thea’s debt. Both women had more in common than they realized and without even trying, had become fast friends. Their relationship had always been beneficial to one another, both offering something the other could not.

It had been a few months since their last meeting and she could remember the argument clearly. Vikiana was the only outsider who knew of Thea’s secret abilities, and had never asked her to use it—except once. That one time had been enough.  The Jade had asked her to cross a line Thea promised herself she would never pass, unless completely necessary.

“Call your mistress,” she told the doorman, carefully choosing her words.

“There is no mistress here. Turn back the way you came and speak no more of this place.”

She was tiring of the doorman’s games. “Tell The Jade that an old friend has come to visit. A friend who she owes a large debt to.” She lowered the hood, golden strands of hair draped past her shoulders. It clearly affected the doorman, but not enough to allow her passage.

Using her powers was certainly a possibility, but as easy as it sounded, it wasn’t. The effects of the power usage would leave her a bit drained. It was nothing like sensing someone, now that was easy. It was when she had to alter their moods where things became difficult and more damaging for her. 

Luckily for Thea, the doorman knew the importance of a debt and finally granted her request. “Who should I say is here?”

“Tell her the wolf has come.”

He gave her a puzzled expression before pulling on a chord sticking out of the front door. A small window to the side opened a fraction, revealing eyes through the rectangular hole. They exchanged a few words then the window closed, leaving them to wait in awkward silence. 

She could feel Fen’s restlessness on the rooftops, but trusted that he would stay out of sight until she acquired a room. The door opened as a sliver of light escaped through the door. A hand beckoned her to enter and she stepped through the entryway. This man wasn’t as large as the one outside, but he had the same rough exterior as the previous. 

“Your cloak, miss?” A young boy no older than fifteen had appeared, extending his arm out to take her robe.

Thea undid the clasp at her neck, removing the coat and handed it to the lad. “Thank you,” she replied, watching him with keen eyes. When did The Jade allow one so young to work at The Mynx? Things had certainly changed since she’d last been here.

“My pleasure,” he bowed, “the mistress will be down shortly. Please, make yourself comfortable.” The boy gestured to the room. “You are welcome to anything you like.” He was referring to the assortment of women littered around.

She looked at him. “As lovely as your ladies seem, I think I will pass on the offer. Just tell your mistress that I am waiting.”

He bobbed his head and disappeared.

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