It was late afternoon when we returned. A fire blazed in the center pit. People sat or stood around it to keep warm in the chilly air. We were issued a blanket and pillow as we marched down the stairs. I saw Tivoli waiting anxiously at our old spot. Several new detainees had arrived filling the room again but they were a rowdy group of drunks the rest avoided, staying close to the fire for protection. A man stood up suddenly and grabbed me by the arm.
“Eh look ‘ere I got me an exotic girly.” he bellowed, his breath reeked of bad beer.
“Get your hand off of me or I’ll take it off for you.” I snarled, in no mood for this foolishness.
“Oh come on lass, give us a kiss.” he tried to grab my other arm. I pulled him close and drove my knee into his groin as hard as I could and he doubled over. I shoved my elbow into his face sending him backward to fall on his drunken buddies.
“Anybody else want to dance?” I challenged in the stony silence as they all averted their gaze. I heaved a long slow sigh and walked on. Toby, who had been standing next to me the whole time gave an approving look and gestured for me to go ahead of him.
“I take it the audience with Gandolph didn’t go well.?” Tivoli correctly surmised.
“He’s hot to sell us to the highest bidder I’m sure. He figured us out, no thanks to that snotty bald guy who was listening to us earlier.” I raved. Oh wait, wait til I get my Irish hands on you, twerp. Tivoli seemed pleased with this news.
“What are you smiling at?’ Toby asked coldly. Tivoli’s smile faded at the sting . This time he looked about to make sure no one was listening and leaned closer to us in the waning light.
“While you were away I made contact with a fellow Macedonian. He got himself ‘conscripted’ into the Hiron militia and is stationed here.” he began in a hushed voice.
“The guard you talked to in the courtyard.” Toby realized. Tivoli started at his observation. Nothing gets past him. My, my, making plans without us- Toby’s expression said as he narrowed his eyes .
“Look I promise you are in no danger with our agent keeping watch on you. He ‘buys’ you, you get out, we catch him. This will work.” tivoli begged.
“No way.” Toby snapped. Toby was by nature an easygoing guy but you do not want to piss him off.
“You knew that guy was spying on us, didn’t you?” I asked bluntly. Tivoli cringed like a teenager caught after curfew. There was a tense silence as we watched him try to think his way out of it. It may be a good plan, but we were not in the mood for more scheming.
“Don’t ever lie to us again.” Toby shook his hand at Tivoli like he was going to hit him. He quickly nodded.