Chapter Four

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1868, Fraysner's Harbour

The pawn shop was closed, but Adelyn had been expecting that. She jiggled the knob to the front door and was again unsurprised when it didn't open. It was locked, but things didn't stay locked for long around her.

Adelyn hated picking locks, if only because it was tiresome. Still, she dropped to her knees and pulled a pin out of her hair, working it into the lock. She felt the pirate's stare on her while she worked, but she ignored it.

Finally, she heard the gears click and she grinned, pushing the pin back into her hair, she stood. With a cocky smile, she pulled the door open and waited for Nik to step through. He laughed, "A woman of many talents."

"Indeed," she said, following him in. She shut the door behind herself, clicking the lock. The pirate gave her an odd look. "Just in case someone comes by—they'd be suspicious of an unlocked door."

He nodded, and Adelyn pushed past him towards the glass case beside the register. It was where they kept the more valuable pieces, such as diamond rings and jeweled necklaces, and fancy pocket watches. She spotted the piece in a second—it's bronzy colour stood out against the silver of all of the others, even in the dark.

On the other side of the counter, Adelyn set to work on the lock that held the glass case shut. Using the same pin she'd unlocked the door with, she glided it into the key slot and moved her fingers around with as much accuracy as she could muster. Again, Nik watched her, intrigued.

The lock to the glass case was harder to crack, but no lock was unpickable. Adelyn stayed crouched there until the metal clicked, and she could slide the glass door back. Nik whistled, "And she's done it again. Truly, I'm impressed."

"Maybe I could teach you sometime." Adelyn said, laughing. She reached through the small opening in the glass, her hand disappearing from her view behind the displays. Her palm hit the corner of the case, and she winced as the sharp edge broke skin.

Nik heard the sound, and he stepped forward, "you alright?"

"Yeah," She said, shaking her head. "Just a flesh wound."

She switched hands, feeling for the watch, pulling it back out of the glass casing. Before handing it to Nik, she pulled it open, looking over the odd dials and roman numerals once again. She hadn't even noticed when a drop of her blood fell from the cut on her palm, hitting the glass.

The pocket watch burned into Adelyn's hand, and she yelped, dropping it to the floor. She hissed, holding her hand with the other. Nik frowned, reaching for the fist she had clenched. It felt as though it were still burning, as though it were on fire.

"What was that?" Nik said, eyeing the watch on the floor. He ignored it for the time being, still trying to coax Adelyn into opening her palm.

"It.. it burned me." She said, shaking her head. She didn't understand how—pocket watches weren't generally heated.

Nik grabbed her forearm, no longer being gentle. He pried her fingers open, and Adelyn refused to look as he stared down at her palm. She heard him snicker, and she frowned, "What? How bad is it?"

"I'll be bloody damned," Nik said, dropping her hand.

Adelyn brought it to her face, struggling to make out the red marks in the darkness. She angled it towards the light that shone in from the window, gasping when she saw the markings. The watch had burnt it's design into her skin, leaving an angry red wound. "That looks really bad."

"Worse than you think," he said, reaching down towards the object that'd caused her harm.

Adelyn drew in a sharp breath, expecting him to yelp with pain when he touched the metal, but he did not. He picked it up and held it in his palm without problem. Adelyn shook her head, "I... I don't understand."

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