“Y’know,” said Cormack, a thick-necked Gohrrim outlaw with a bulging vein in his forehead, “I thought you left the game because you were a snake. But after five drinks on your dime, I’m feeling pretty fond of you, Perth.”
Everyone laughed and nodded. Perth was in Freehold for a lot longer than they anticipated, but they thought he was the same old slimy thief. The Machtan smiled, feet kicked up on the bar. The blade leaned against his stool was heavy with anticipation. He convinced the rest of the old gang to leave their weapons in the other room, with a bit of charm.
“You’re pretty convincing,” Perth said. “I wonder… You whisper those same sweet nothings to your pal Garret?”
The bar fell quiet. The vein in Cormack’s forehead began to twitch.
“Listen, no one’s making a fuss here,” Kirk, the groups fence, spoke up. “We tried drawing Garret out, just like you asked.”
“Funny. I heard you were buddy buddy with him, too. And Shane, and Arianne, and Nataliya…” Perth looked at them each in turn. “Guess my sources are playing jokes on me.”
Cormack pushed his stool back and scowled at the duelist. “You have something to say, say it straight.”
“Well, ‘Mack—my sources might be off, but this…” He tapped the side of his nose. “Just fine. And I smell a rat.” He sniffed. “A whole room full of ’em, actually.”
Cormack stood up. That vein of his looked about ready to pop. Perth let his feet down as he reached for his blade, asp-quick. “And you know what we do with rats, don’t you?”