About The Wizard and The Thief
Author: Sean Michael
Word Count: 14200
Page Count (pdf): 54
Date Published: March 8, 2017
Publisher: Sean Michael
Series name and number: n/a
Plum is as good a thief as any he’s ever met, aided by the fact that he has a little magic to his light fingers. So when he’s hired to steal a wizard’s treasure, he doesn’t think twice.
Corm is no regular wizard, though, and he finds Plum absolutely enchanting, deciding he must have the pretty thief at all costs. When secrets arise between them, Corm finds he might lose everything he’s worked so hard to gain with Plum, and he has to summon more than just his magic to set it right.
Originally released with Amber Quill Press and Torquere Press.
“So you kin do the job?”
Plum rolled his eyes, pulling hard upon the hookah in his lips. He could do this job—and any other, no doubt—with his eyes closed and his hands bound.
Still, this was part and parcel of the dance—playing up the danger, the risk to his oh-so-valuable ass and freedom. Honestly. He was getting too old to pull pointless jobs.
“Of course I can do it. There’s no one in all the Fellsland who would manage better and you well know it.” He tossed his hair, the heavy gold falling around him and catching the firelight. His fingers twitched, the tiny magicks he had making him seem brighter, larger, more.
The little man nodded, head bobbing like a bird’s. “That why I come to you.” He looked around, and then leaned in, whispering. “You know the Delacroix mansion?”
Oh, by the light in the great Lady’s eyes. Why did he always get the overambitious ones?
“The wizard’s house? I know it.”
That head bobbed up and down again, a giggle sounding. “O’ course, o’ course you do.” Another look went around the room, and his…employer leaned in even closer. The smell wasn’t the most pleasant. “You heard of the lodestone?”
“The lodestone? As in the wizard’s focus stone? You cannot possibly be serious.” Interesting. Possibly entertaining.
“Ah…you can’t do it after all.” The man sighed. “It was a long shot.”
“When, in our conversation, did I say I could not take the job on?” Idiot.
“You said I couldn’t be serious!” The little man looked around after his outburst and dragged his chair even closer. Which wasn’t going to make them any less conspicuous. Triple idiot. “I am, though. Are you really goin’ to do it?”
“It depends on what you’re willing to pay, dear man.” Honestly, any closer and he’d inherit fleas.
A grin revealed a mouth full of rotten teeth. “Coin’s not an issue. Twenty gold now, another fifty when you deliver.”
“Nonsense. For that risk? Fifty now, forty upon delivery.” Bright Lady, that he would never be poor or old.
“Thirty now, forty on delivery.”
“Forty now, thirty-five when you get the stone.” He could feel his nose twitching.
“Thirty now, forty on delivery. I will no’ pay you the bulk and ’ave you sell the stone out from under me,” hissed his would-be employer.
“And I would not risk my skin for less than you could get in payment for selling me out to the wizard himself.” Gods, he hadn’t had such fun in ages.
The little man’s eyes seemed to cross as he worked that one out. Then he began to chew on his lower lip. “What if you left something of value with me? Then I would give you your forty now, and thirty on delivery—if I knew you would be guaranteed to actually deliver it.”
“You could arrange to meet me outside on the street. I have no intention of carrying the stone for any length of time.” Honestly, the wizard would be quite put out, once the act was discovered.
His about-to-be employer obviously hadn’t thought of that angle, for he bobbed his head up and down eagerly. “Yes. Yes. That will do. It will.”
One hand disappeared into the tattered cloak, coming out with a small pouch that jingled enticingly when shaken. “We ’ave an agreement?”
“We do.” He took the pouch so quickly that the little bastard didn’t even see it.
Eyes narrowing, a frown on the ugly face, his employer sniffed, shifted. “You’re doing it tonight?”
“Tonight? It would be wisest to discover whether the wizard was using the stone, yes?”
The man waved his hand. “Details. As long as you tell me when to meet you.”
“Three nights’ time will be adequate.” He could plan, see what the wizard’s schedule was.
“Good, good. We ’ave a deal, then. I’ll have your ’ead if you try to cheat me.”
“Nonsense. I’ll see you in three nights’ time at the late bell. Keep your threats for those who are concerned.”
The little man snarled at him and looked around, for what Plum had no clue. Then his employer made his way out, scurrying like a rat.
Well, at least he had something to occupy him for endweek. A wizard’s place. Terribly interesting.
He’d enjoy this job.