Lady Pirate

Rayne was silent, his gaze again to Raken. “You are the famous pirate almost caught on Ren lake, and ever slippery after.”

She inclined her head. “And you would be considered the ‘authorities’.”

Rayne grinned. “Gods, no. I think I would rather be stupid than in charge.”

She managed a smile, watching him warily. “I gather you’re not stupid.”

“And not in charge either. Trust is required here, Raken.”

“Trust works both ways.”

He inclined his head then. “Agreed. I admit I have followed your ‘career’ with curiosity over the years, and you strike me as a woman of honour.”

She sank onto the sofa beside Lanto, breathing shallow, causing Lanto to frown. “And I admit I have ‘heard’ of the Mantle and its charming leader. Sit. Coffee?”

When Rayne smiled this time, it touched his eyes. “There was a break-in into the archives six years ago, a lady in a skiff, was the tale, sailing merrily away down the Galilan.”

He sat, keeping a distance between himself and the others.

McSee, after a moment of astonishment, started pouring and handing around coffee.

Raken theatrically touched her chest. “So close. I saw this gorgeous fair man come walking calmly down the stairs while around him everyone was in panic – I just evaded you.”

Lanto muttered under his breath.

“Raken?” McSee gasped.

She shrugged. “He could have followed.”

He would have drawn too much attention to the Mantle,” Rayne said. “And now all is in the open. You have nothing to fear from me.”

“And I am willing to help.”


The Kinfire Tree