A firm hand drew the decanter away from him. Teni looked up, ready to protest. He stopped when he saw her.
He smiled slow, taking in clinging skirts and sand colored eyes. Sparkling rings adorned the fingers that held the decanter. “Aren’t you supposed to bring me drinks, not take them away?” Teni set his still empty glass down on the table and twitched his fingers towards her.
The beads on her shawl clicked as she moved to his summons. A light zephyr of sandlewood perfume muddled his head as she bent over his shoulder. “My prince.” She purred, the decanter held at her side.
“What’s your name?” He didn’t recognize her; maybe she was new in the dancing hall.
She did not answer at first, as if actually considering not telling him. “Isra.”
He leaned his head back, enjoying the view of her slender throat. “And why did you take my drink away Isra? That was a gift.” Teni looked around wondering where the bartender had gone, if this minx was going to steal his drink he’d want another.
“From who?” Isra’s lips were the color of dark cherries, and she cocked her head giving him a better view of them and her sand colored eyes. That fact alone almost distracted him from the fact she’d not explained herself. Teni didn’t answer his question, but reached around her to grab at the decanter.
Isra didn’t let him. She stepped back with a slow roll of her hips, now an arms pace away. “My prince, which man?” Her voice was insistent and had lost its breathy quality.
Teni didn’t approve of the change, or the blatant defiance. She obviously knew who he was and there was no reason a serving girl would act like this. He stood, pushing back his chair deliberately. “Is this a game?” He asked, giving her a chance to turn coy before he got angry.
There was a moment of deliberation before she sighed, the tension vanishing from her spine. Isra crossed the distance between them and hips moving as she walked. She smiled up at him and placed a finger on his chest, close enough again that her earthy perfume filled his nose. “Not a game. I wouldn’t dare, but please my prince, which man gifted you the drink?”
This close, nearly pressed to him, it took a moment to remember the decanter she’d taken from him. “He was in the corner, young with a deep red cloak, scarred hands.” Teni tore his eyes from her and looked around the dance hall. The man was gone now, his table empty. “Why?”
“He is not your friend.” Isra said simply. Teni wrapped his hand around her side before she could step away.
“And what about you?” Teni leaned down, still holding her tightly to him. Whoever she was, he was curious now. “Are you my friend?”
Some women froze when he did this, unsure if they could refuse. Others would melt against his chest and stare up at him with liquid eyes. Isra just looked at him calmly, lips quirked as if he was doing something amusing.
“Of course my prince. The best kind of friend.”
She jabbed her fingers hard into his side and twisted out of his grasp when it loosed. He grunted, more in surprise than anything else as she stepped away. “Take no more drinks from strangers.” She ordered.
Before he could demand she stay, or command someone to grab her, Isra was out the front door and running, the full decanter still in her hand.
Javid found Isra eyeing the marketplace street with narrowed eyes and flared nostrils. He didn’t bother scanning the crowd. If their target was here, Isra would have moved. “He have a description?”
“Scarred hands and young. Red cloak, but that will be gotten rid of by now.” Isra reported, sand colored eyes still on the bustling marketplace. She’d found a cloak somewhere, brown and simple, to cover her dance hall scarves.
“Good. We’ll find him.” Javid said. “Our prince is lucky you didn’t let him have a drink. I would have been tempted.”
She quirked her lips at him, deciding it was best not to comment on that. “Come on. Let’s check the docks.”
I really shouldn’t be surprised, considering the riffraff I associate with, but I’ve been stolen from. My first line was taken, and you can see what’s been done with my property at the Legal Theft Project.