[identity profile] saxandviolins.livejournal.com
Autumn 1996, not that they knew that. Call it 'before Brice knew not to use contractions around Hes, and before Hes knew that her parents lied to her a lot.'

It was a nice day out, as such things went. What breeze there was was from the south, and the sun was shining, and all things considered nobody would have thought a day that nice would stick around for a Calescotian autumn. Brice had found himself at loose ends, after picking the pocket of a lady wearing fur despite the nice weather so he'd have breakfast, and had ended up perched on a balcony half a floor up from the street, watching people go by.

Several of those people looked out of place -- the presence of the odd and confused tourist who seemed to be looking for a directory in the road as if walking through a shopping mall, the woman so pregnant she should not have been walking, and a young girl in a dress of ankle-length, normally improper for someone her age.

The child in the waltz-length dress did not last long, as only moments after she stepped into Brice's line of vision, a much older, taller man in a long old coat snatched her off her feet and dragged her toward a waiting carriage - she shrieked, and then cringed, dipping her head against her own shoulder and seeming to hide from something above her.

Considering the man in question, one Brice thought was an old bastard of a criminal, probably almost thirty, who went by the name of Charcoal Charlie for his coat, well -- he couldn't say he blamed the girl. If Charcoal Charlie were grabbing him, he'd want to cringe, too. He wouldn't, because he'd be too busy sinking a knife in Charlie's ribs, but maybe after, he might.

Anyway Charlie wasn't the sort to be hired by people who could put their daughters in fancy dresses like that for anything nice, like finding lost kids and taking them home, and even if he didn't know that the girl didn't look like she wanted to go anywhere with him no matter what. Thoughtfully, Brice got back to his feet, slipping across the row of balconies to drop back to the road before they could reach the carriage.

Charcoal Charlie didn't notice him, at least not right away -- his entire focus was on the child, who was attempting to kick him in the shins and continuing to fail at it, her balance thrown off. )

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