The incident involving Colhad and one of the girls of Sandpoint had spread through town even faster than news of the Glassworks Massacre, wiping out much of the goodwill the little band had gained from the townsfolk. While not openly hostile, the feeling in town had turned decidedly suspicious. At least the guard barracks was still open to them, deputized as they were and awaiting the return of the sheriff.
“Women,” Antio mused aloud, taking another pull from his tankard. At least he still had Cyrdyk’s favor—though he’d have to replace the cask of beer he’d liberated from the old thespian’s private stock. “Nothing but trouble,” he added.
“Pish,” Lilliayn tutted, adding with sarcasm, “I happen to know you’re rather fond of women.”
“Certain women,” Antio smirked back.
“Women who are more demure?” Lilliayn fluttered her eyelashes dramatically. “Women who know how to play the coquette?”
“Women who know how to not get caught by their fathers,” added Antio. Lilliayn surreptitiously crossed her eyes at him and flicked the V. Korvosa’s infamous vulgar salute, “the V” consisted of two fingers raised with the knuckles facing out. Antio laughed at the gesture, and returned it, as was their irreverent custom. Far from the laugh he expected it to receive, however, Lilliayn frowned.
“You know I jest,” Antio said, putting his fingers away.
“Show me your hand again,” said Lilliayn. With a sideways look of uncertainty, Antio extended his hand to Lilliayn, his fingers all extended this time. She studied his outstretched hand and arm for a few moments before speaking again.
“Where is the bracelet I gave you?”
“Where is?” Antio began to repeat the question, and reflexively brought his wrist up. Lilliayn had given him a simple bracelet of braided cord and wooden beads shortly after they had met. He had worn it every day, especially since she had been taken by the Skinsaws. It was the only thing he had of the living Lilliayn. And it was gone.
“I—” Antio was perplexed, revisiting mentally the last time he remembered it’s presence. He recalled having it when he entered Sandpoint. He recalled having it at the festival. He recalled having it at the glassworks brawl. Or did he?
“I don’t know where it’s gone,” he breathed. How could he have lost it? “I don’t know how I could have missed it. I’ll check the theater.” How could this simplest of mementos simply be gone?