Fyn couldn’t take his eyes off her.
She entered alone, adorning no mask or elaborate dress, both of which were required to gain admission to the club. Instead she was clothed entirely in black, a dark cloak fastened around her neck, the hood pulled up. She moved swiftly, treading around the gliding bodies and masked faces so smoothly that her presence went unnoticed.
Unnoticed except by him.
He stood in one of the alcoves, purposefully manipulating the shadows to conceal him. Every moment spent watching her without her knowledge was a step closer to understanding why she was here. Why she was searching for him.
The skill with which she moved proved that she had training of some kind. And there was something else; something about her that called to the abyss of power inside him. Not a single other person in the room was aware that something dangerous had just appeared among them. But then, they also hadn’t noticed when he himself had walked in.
He wondered how she had gained knowledge of the club hidden beneath the city. How she had known to look for him here. Because even without using his senses, he could tell: she was here for him.
The word surfaced in his mind and he immediately recoiled at the thought. He would know if she were like him. Every cell in his body would have burned the moment she entered the room if she had been, constricting his chest until he had no choice but to go to her. Magic called to magic, and she possessed none.
And yet, the feeling she gave him was similar. Similar, but weaker.
She had stopped moving, and he watched as she pulled back her hood, revealing inky eyes set in a porcelain face. Those eyes wandered the room and its inhabitants. She knew he was here; she just couldn’t see him.
He wouldn’t be able to stay hidden much longer, so he decided to heighten his senses, just to get one invasive look into her mind before he excited the club. Calling on the primal power locked within him, he allowed a tendril to leak into his mind. Everything but her faded away.
Her heart was thudding, her even breaths coming forced rather than naturally. Something had her on edge, and her discomfort had her fingers itching to hold a weapon. And she was tired, no, exhausted. Her exhaustion was bearing down on her like a weight. But she was determined to find him. Her determination emanated from her, the sheer force nearly causing him to take a step back. She would not stop until she found him.
Suddenly, her head turned in his direction, and Fyn found himself staring directly into dark unyielding eyes. She shouldn’t be able to see him, not when he was cloaked in shadow. And yet there she was, a wild satisfaction settling her features.
Two bodies crashed into him, taking him off guard and shattering his concentration. He spun on the couple, his power now entirely focused on them, ready to attack should they be a threat. They clutched their masks in the hand that didn’t hold the others’, and it only took one look in their hazy lust-filled faces to realise that they were just two people looking for somewhere to be alone.
They stumbled away, their bodies swiftly becoming lost within the crowd, and Fyn’s head whipped back in the girl’s direction. But she was no longer there.
He sensed her behind him seconds before the blade of her dagger came to rest against his throat. She was shorter than him by a head, her slight frame infinitely smaller than his own, and in any normal circumstance, these factors would have meant he could easily overpower her. However, that sense of magic was stronger than before, and something told him that this particular girl wouldn’t be so easy to subdue.
“Fyn Vallentale.” He remained still when the blade began trailing around his neck as she moved in front of him. Only when she stood before him did she lower the dagger, a smug smile gracing her full lips. “I have a proposition for you.”
She leant against the brick wall opposite him, doing her best to appear completely relaxed and at ease. So far, everything was going to plan. She’d followed the whispers that there was a magic-wielder in Astrein and through bribery managed to learn where he would most likely be within mere hours of entering the city.
And now here he was: Fyn Vallentale, Descendent of Hellsia, in the flesh. Her thoughts drifted to the amulet hanging around her neck, hidden beneath her shirt, wondering if its magic called to his.
He was glaring at her, the golden eyes marking him for what he was, boring into her. She flashed him a smirk and watched in fascination as those eyes seemed to flash in irritation.
“Aren’t you going to tell me your name?” He ground out.
“Shouldn’t you at least buy me a drink first?” Again his eyes flashed, silently informing her that she was testing his patience. She loosed a low chuckle. “Kara.”
His eyes narrowed slightly. “Kara…?”
She crossed her arms and fixed him with a glare of her own. “Just Kara.”
She tried to hide her grin as he released a long sigh. She’d always been good at infuriating people.
“Clearly, Kara”, the way he said her name spoke volumes, “you know what I am, so why don’t you just skip to the part where you tell me what you want?”
She pushed away from the wall and walked over to him, making sure to stop a couple of feet away. She still had to slightly crane her head to meet his eyes. “I told you, I have a proposition for you.”
It was his turn to cross his arms, and Kara attempted to not notice the impression of his muscles underneath his sleeves. “Are you planning on sharing this proposition some time this century?”
The wind stopped, the candles in the streetlamps flickered. The very world seemed to hold its breath, falling silent, as if anticipating her words. And the smile had completely vanished from her face as she said, “I need you to take me to Cotronus”.