Blood, Roses, and Dead Things

For three days of restless sleep, Roslyn had watched the sun slowly boil up over the cityline, then disappear into a heavy, condensed fog as day faded to twilight, and then night.

It was her job- a peculiar one, indeed. She knew Pippa was restless, as well. For the first time in years, the two girls were working together to crack open the skull of one man. One boorish, chubby, middle-aged man.

And the thought at working as a team made them both nervous. Roslyn herself preferred to fly solo. This was implied; it is harder for a beautiful woman to seduce, when there are two beautiful women to seduce. And even though Pippa rejoiced at the idea that she would finally have a partner- someone to train and toss daggers with- she detested Roslyn’s method of killing. It was the dead of night, and both girls were up in their bunks.

Roslyn, although respected for her prowess, was dirt poor in the Citadel. They stole all her fortune, leaving her not even a measly one percent. She couldn’t afford her own place, and often bunked in one of the newer, renovated wings to the side of the church.

Even though Pippa could afford more luxury, she slept with Roslyn most nights to offer her somewhat icy company.

But the two of them working together seemed completely wrong.

“Won’t people see us if you come strutting in with feathers in your headbands and a face full of makeup? Those backless red dresses?” Pippa spat on the floor and shook her head vividly- like a caged wolf backing away from a foreign hand.

“Pippa, you know as well as I do that... well, I don’t really have a choice. While you can take your time choosing fancy weapons, I have to settle with this-” Roslyn motioned to the neatly pressed and folded dress on her bed- “this monstrosity.”

“Do or die, grasshopper.”

“Shut up!” Roslyn playfully kicked the book she was reading at her friend. At night, their relationship seemed to shift completely. They were sisters, instead of teachers and students. Pippa wasn’t trying to teach Roslyn a lesson or maintain her dignity- they honestly connected deeper than that.

“Oh, come off it Lyny, you know as well as I do that this just... won’t work out. It’s neither of our faults,” Pippa smirked, as if to suggest otherwise, “but The Citadel assigned us to different stations. We know different games. We need to work out a plan,” she finished breathlessly.

Roslyn nodded once. The Citadel was throwing them together on purpose- to irk them. Recently, it had adopted a rather cruel method of punishment. Roslyn, who had failed to collect the gold (even though she did finish off Pamuk) was still being punished, weeks later. One more screw-up, and Pippa would find her dead- in a back alleyway, The Citadel claiming they were not a part of their top assassin dying.

The Citadel was starting off slow. Roslyn was to seduce a young bartender at The Sontas while Pippa snuck behind him and slit his throat. This kill wasn’t necessarily to scare off the uppers at The Sontas, but rather to be privy to that immense knowledge of Sontas secrets all the bartenders had. Roslyn was to learn about The Sontas’ weaknesses, then move in for the kill. She was a tiger, crouched on fluffy hind legs, poised and ready to pounce.

Pippa reached for a black turtleneck and slung it around her neck.

“I wish I could wear all black. It must be so fun to just... disappear.” Roslyn sighed. Suddenly, the atmosphere grew soft, hazy. Pippa’s usually harsh violet eyes wilted. Her face, sharp in general, was glazed- a piece of red hair fell out of her black sports hat.

Only Pippa knew of Roslyn’s background- how her father would ostracize her, abuse her, put her on display as a freak.

“Have you... called Henry at all?”

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