A familiar tall figure stood at the edge of the crowd, one hand in her pocket, and watching the men taking bets. He sighed to himself, the Weaver is pulling the threads of my life, and walked up behind her.

"Next time ask for Rollo Reds." he said quietly.

She started. "Kevin!" she cried, spinning around.

He motioned for her to follow him to the fence where people were gathering to watch the horses. "What do you need?"

"I overheard a girl at the inn. She's going to kill the Empress."

He leaned against the fence, giving her a sidelong glance. There were people, he'd known many, who liked to draw attention to themselves. In their stories, they were always the hero or the blameless victim. Janna, as little as he knew of her and as little as he had been able to find out, was the opposite. She preferred to avoid attention and rarely said anything about herself. "Tell me what you heard." he said.

The horn blew and the horses took off. Their hooves thundering around the track as she related her story.

The crowd around them cheered the winners as she finished. Kevin was silent, thinking. "I'll look into it." he said at last.

"You will?"


Her smile was like the sun breaking through the clouds after a week of rain. "Thank you!"