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Honor between thieves

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"What do you think?"

I whistled through my teeth--one of those habits Keeper'd tried to beat out of me and never managed--and looked at the two portraits, side by side, identical to the last blonde hair. "Kethe knows why anybody'd want one portrait of the Golden Bitch, let alone two, but ain't a soul who could tell she didn't sit for both of these."

Caffrey gave me one of those smiles that fit his flashie clothes, all velvet and jewels like he was about to go to a ball, and held out his hand. "That's what keeps the septagorgons rolling in."

I gave him the only purse I had on me. "Half the fee."

He opened the bag, counted up, then turned back to the painting and draped one of them carefully. "You're delivering it tonight?"

I didn't have no easy charm, but I didn't fucking need it. "Not your problem, so I'm not telling you nothing."

"Ah, of course not. My apologies." He tried another smile, maybe hoping I'd gone molly in the three seconds since he tried it last, then backed off a step when I scowled at him. "I hope your delivery goes well."

"If it don't, you're gonna have to paint another of these." I picked the painting up by the frame--he hissed in his breath through his teeth like I was going to put my hand through it--and backed toward the door.

Caffrey shook his head. "A pleasure doing business with you," he said, one last flicker of whatever the fuck he wanted from me. If I'd brought a brass centime, I'd've checked for it. We'd made a pretty profit between us.

Or would, soon as I scaled the right wall and brought Gloria Aestia's copy back to its not-so-rightful home.