Author's Note: Because the chapters I am posting are only a first draft, which will be revised in the future, please note you may encounter inconsistencies between chapters. If you choose to point this out to me, so do it, just be aware that in most cases I already realize they exist. Revisions will take place only after the entire story is complete. Thanks.

Vashi returned to Shalott with a message in hand. "Milady, this just arrived for you."

Shalott took the message and read it. Like all communication she received from the Assassins Guild, it was short and succinct.

Via Motrusca

Three hours after sunset Gentleman and Young Woman

Shalott read the note again and sighed. Two people. This would be the first time that she had ever been assigned two targets at once. "Vashi, will you lay out my black riding habit after dinner this evening?"

"Yes ma'am." Vashi left without any questions. Shalott settled down into bed. She needed sleep if she was going to be up all night.

Shalott awoke at sunset. Her black clothes were laid out and there was a note on the table by her bed.

Shalott- I have left to dine with Lord and Lady Marcus. I will not be returning until after midnight. If you get hungry there is a meal prepared.
-Julius

Shalott breathed a sigh of relief. Now she would not have to make excuses should Julius question her absence. She began to dress, taking great care. The "riding" habit she wore on her jobs was really a design she had created. The pants were leather, dyed black and snug, with a slight flare at her ankles to fit over her boots. Over them she wore a snug woven shirt made of linen, also black. She strapped the sheath of daggers across her chest. Over everything else, she wore a floor length black overcoat, nipped at the waist and full through the chest to hide the daggers. From a distance the long coat looked like a stiff formal dress. Shalott braided her long hair tightly and wound it into a coil high on her head. She then placed a shapeless black hat over it. After dressing, she summoned Vashi.

"Please have a horse prepared." Shalott requested of Vashi.

"Yes, Lady. Zarifa?"

"No, I don't want to attract criminals. A garrison horse will be fine." Shalott smiled at her. Vashi dipped her head and left.

The night was still as Shalott tethered her horse outside a tavern several blocks from her targets' house. She crept along an alleyway, the raucous noise from the tavern hiding any noise she may make until she was well into the plebian neighborhood where the target lay.

The home lay quiet, with only a single light on the upper level indicating that the residents were home. Shalott found an open window and boosted herself inside. Silently she found a small slaves staircase, and made her way upstairs.

Following the faded light, Shalott found a bedroom with the door closed. Listening for a moment, she heard some noises but could not distinguish them. Readying her daggers, Shalott brushed open the door.

The two people were twisting on the bed, a tangle of limbs. At first Shalott wasn't sure what was going on, but then the woman made a noise, and she knew. Shalott watched, fascinated. She had never seen anything; experienced anything like that. As a whore in her younger years all she had experienced were quick thrusts and that was it. Even as Caesar's lover, she realized he used her without reciprocation. Watching these two, she realized that the woman was having as much, if not more, pleasure than the man. She looked on, fascinated, until the woman noticed her and screamed, "Intruder! Lucius, an intruder!"

As the man turned around, Shalott suddenly remembered her purpose. She let her dagger fly, hitting the man directly in the throat. A spray of blood washed over the woman whose screams became hysterical. Shalott threw her second dagger, and it embedded in the other's heart. The screams died out, but Shalott could already hear people outside. She retrieved her daggers and fled the room. Scurrying down the hall she ran into a frightened servant coming to check on her mistress. Remembering the instructions that no person could see her face and live, Shalott grabbed the girl and with a flick of her wrist, slit the girl's throat. Dropping the body she darted into a room and seeing no one in the back of the home, she dropped from the second floor to the ground. Rolling to her feet, Shalott scurried out of the lawn. In the street she slowed down, and made her way casually down the road. She slipped into the shadows anytime she was passed. Retrieving her horse at last, she whipped the animal into a gallop and raced for home.

Entering Caesar's villa, she covered her work clothes with the black overcoat and snuck inside. She retrieved the nightgown she had hidden in the atrium and stripped quickly. Wrapping the bloody clothes inside her coat, she made her way to the baths. Dropping the clothes and her unclean daggers, Shalott stripped again and then submerged into the steam bath. There, she cried and scrubbed at her hand while the blood rinsed off and swirled around her.