The Rat's Nest. A lovely little shack of a bar in Llomerryn, wonderful place to get a drink and be left alone if you don't mind the rodents. True to her name, the Nest, as the locals call it, is home to most of the rats that find their way off the passing ships and on to shore. The owner, Zeak, keeps his prices low and the fighting to a minimum; it's the only reason the tiny dump is still in business.
The Nest is also the prime location for shady deals and illegal trade on the island south of Rivain. Zeak's setup couldn't be more appealing to the lower organizations of society. Several entrances in and out, quiet tables in dark corners and crevices distant enough from each other so as not to be overhead. The only sounds you'll hear are the scurrying rats, watered down beer being poured into empty mugs, or the sweet slide of coin across the table.
The sight of the hooded figure in the far corner of the tavern wasn't out of the ordinary, and neither was the Crow that entered shortly after. He was known around these parts for swiftness and discretion, though very few knew his name. Why he chose to make the trip to Llomerryn from Antiva every week no one was really certain, but bets were now placed on whether he'd arrive the next week or not. Would he survive each contract that he'd accept? Or would someone finally end his lucky streak? Zeak didn't know, didn't care; he received a cut of the betting pool either way.
Zeak bowed his head to the bronze skinned elf that approached him. A quick nod to the back corner let the assassin know where his next contract would come from. He slid the chair out from the table and turned it around, extracted both daggers from his back, and then sat down placing the weapons on the table. The hooded figure presented weapons as well; fine daggers that brought a sparkle to his golden eyes. "Such fine weapons you carry," the Crow complimented. "Might I have a closer look?"
A silent nod gave him permission as he lifted one of the blades, admiring the beauty and the expensive steel. "A true work of art," he said as he studied the handles of intricately laced leather and clear red gems. "Though I doubt you are willing to part with them, I would wish to make an excellent offer."
A low sultry voice replied as the owner of the blades pulled back the hood of her cloak. "Complete the task I have for you, and they are yours."
His eyes left the weapons to study the face of the person seeking his skills. He knew her face, had seen it before. Realization came to him swiftly as she pressed a finger to her lips. "You know why I am here," she said to him. "We may not have been formally introduced, but I know you as much as you know me."
"Zevran Arainai, or Zev to my friends, though I do not believe this will end well enough for us to be friends," the Crow stated.
"Are you saying you are not skilled enough to complete this task?" the woman asked, picking up her weapons from the table as if preparing to leave.
Zevran placed a hand over the blades. "It is not my skill that I am concerned with my dear," he said to her arrogantly. "Rather it is the target that may be a complication."
"You are the best out there, are you not?"
"Ah, play to my ego, beautiful and intelligent," Zevran smiled. "I may need some time to think this through. You are aware your husband is a known associate of the Crows; this could get ugly for the both of us."
The woman sat back in her chair, finishing her full mug of beer in two swallows. "The name's Isabela," she finally said to him. "And I assure you I can handle myself. I only need you to…make it a bit more interesting."
"Ahah," Zevran said intrigued. "Now you have peaked my curiosity."
Isabela leaned forward on the table, her shirt offering him enough cleavage to leave nothing to the imagination. "I'm sure I can peak much more than your curiosity," she offered, placing a hand on his.
Zevran gave her a wry smile. "My dear Isabela, I never mix business with pleasure," he said, then paused, then laughed loud enough to disturb the tavern. "Oh who am I kidding, you have yourself a deal."
"Excellent," she said standing up, retrieving her weapons and returning them to their safe keeping on her back. "The Siren is docked here for the next week getting repairs done. You'll find what you need there."
He watched her leave the bar, as did Zeak and the other patrons, unable to tear their gaze away from her swaying hips and perfect bottom.
Zevran put his head on the filthy table and sighed, wondering what he had just gotten himself into.