A glimmer of movement caught her eye by the towering doors atop the stairs. Four young men wearing masks stood atop the steps, surveying the crowd. It took all of two heartbeats for her to see that the dark-haired youth was their ringleader, and that the fine clothes and the masks they wore marked them as nobility. Probably nobles looking to escape a stuffy function and savor the delights of Rifthold.
The masked strangers swaggered down the steps, one of them keeping close to the dark-haired youth. That one had a sword, she noticed, and from his tensed shoulders, she could tell he wasn’t entirely pleased to be here. But the lips of the ringleader parted in a grin as he stalked into the crowd. Gods above, even with the mask obscuring half of his features, he was handsome.
She danced as she watched him, and, as if he had somehow sensed her all this time, their eyes met from across the room. She gave him a smile, then deliberately turned back toward the singers, her dancing a little more careful, a little more inviting. She found Sam frowning at her. She gave him a shrug.
It took the masked stranger a few minutes—and a knowing smile from her to suggest that she, too, knew exactly where he was—but soon she felt a hand slide around her waist.
“Some party,” the stranger whispered in her ear. She twisted to see sapphire eyes gleaming at her. “Are you from Melisande?”
She swayed with the music. “Perhaps.”
His smile grew. She itched to pull off the mask. Any young nobles who were out at this hour were certainly not here for innocent purposes. Still—who was to say that she couldn’t have some fun, too? “What’s your name?” he asked above the roar of the music.
She leaned close. “My name is Wind,” she whispered. “And Rain. And Bone and Dust. My name is a snippet of a half-remembered song.”
He chuckled, a low, delightful sound. She was drunk, and silly, and so full of the glory of being young and alive and in the capital of the world that she could hardly contain herself.
“I have no name,” she purred. “I am whoever the keepers of my fate tell me to be.”
He grasped her by her wrist, running a thumb along the sensitive skin underneath. “Then let me call you Mine for a dance or two.”
280. oldal - The Assassin and the Underworld