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These Things We've Done

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We were both criminals. I knew that sooner or later, one or both of us would get caught. I just didn't think my partner would be the one to catch me. -Lynn, writing-central prompt

Dark clouds had been gathering in the sky throughout the day and the first drops of rain had started hitting the cobblestone streets as night descended on the city. Tendrils of fog curled around buildings, obscuring the roof on which Vex'ahlia sat watching. Waiting for the silent, precise footfalls of her...partner? Their relationship was unclear, neither seeking the other out or purposefully forming a partnership. But that is what it had grown into and now it would be unheard of to speak of Artemis without mentioning Corvus.

Shaking herself from thought, she let her finger caress the bow laid out beside her, wrapped in a waterproof sleeve to protect it from the drops now falling heavily. A unique weapon for an assassin and the reason the public had christened her Artemis. All her victims were found with a single arrow through the heart, clean and quick, no excess suffering. Her brother preferred his daggers, though as a pickpocket he barely had a cause to use them. She on the other hand was all too familiar with violence and death, traded in it, was known for it. What choice did she have if she was to survive this brutal city?

"I was wondering when you would show up. You're late, Darling" It was the smell of black-powder that always seemed to hang around him like a cloud that gave him away. On a fresh night like this it was all too easy for her to pick up on his presence. And that was before she heard the slight swish of that obnoxious blue long coat he insisted on wearing.

She heard the rustle of that same cloth as Corvus checked his watch. She didn't have to turn to hear the smile in his voice "It appears so"

Vex glanced up at him as a clear, uncut diamond dropped onto her lap. The skeletal crow mask he so loved to wear during the armed robberies that were his specialty, was pushed up and her dark eyes locked onto his striking blue. If she wasn't careful she could easily lose herself in those eyes, framed by thin bands of gold and glass. Her breath caught in her throat as she let herself consider the impossible situation in which she was free to pursue her feelings for him. But the choice was not her own and these thoughts would get her killed. So Vex did what she did best, she built her walls and blocked of her heart. Breaking the connection she held the gem up to the dying light and studied it's beauty. Her sharp eye picked out that it was definitely high end with barely a blemish. It wouldn't be difficult to find a buyer in one of the city's underground pawn shops.

"Wherever did you get such a lovely thing, Darling?" It was a game they played, neither of them ever admitting to the actions that filled their days and nights. It was a dance both knew the steps of too well.

He had opened his mouth to reply but what he would have said next was lost to her as in that moment she became a blur of activity, movement on the cobblestones below catching her eye. In seconds she had the bow in her hands and an arrow notched, her eyes trained on the solitary man who had stepped out onto the street below. Uriel Tal'dorei walked alone in the rain, no longer surrounded by the four guards who normally stayed with him every minute of every day, a perfect target. She had been watching him for days after a contract came in for his murder, waiting for the opportunity to strike. The money his death would bring her might finally allow her to leave the clutches of the criminal world she so hated. Artemis lined up the shot. Inhaled slowly. And felt the world go black, the bow slipping from her numb hands as a sharp pain flared in the side of her neck.

"I'm sorry, but I couldn't let you do that" The whisper was the last thing she heard before slipping into unconsciousness. Her last thought was one of anger that she foolishly let herself trust anyone other than her brother or herself.