By J. F. Rivkin

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For once she had nothing to say. She never told people she loved them. 11 corson pushed her way into the crowds thronging the busy marketplace. ” She wandered through the square, fingering the heavy pouch at her side, and the weight of the coins soon restored her good temper. On every side were merchants’ stalls piled high with all manner of goods. Corson admired velvets and rich brocades, brass lanterns and stout carved chests. She passed a potter at his wheel, shaping a graceful bowl. Further on, a woman had set up a brazier and was cooking meat and vegetables spitted on wooden sticks.

And there’s five hundred crescents to be had for her. ” Steifann felt Corson’s shoulders suddenly tense, and he looked at her sharply. ” Corson didn’t answer. Instead, she threw her arms around Steifann and kissed him hard, then stood up and shouldered her pack. “Corson, don’t be a fool! ” “Run! ” There was a knock at the door, and Corson’s hand dropped to her sword hilt. “Steifann, let me in,” said a woman’s voice impatiently. Corson laughed with relief and shot back the bolt to admit a short, stocky woman of forty with broad hips and an ample bosom.

I like green eyes,” she said. Steifann jerked his head towards the door. ” Corson could have wept. She was still hungry, she had no place to sleep, she had no money, it was raining, and now a man she found overwhelmingly attractive was trying to throw her out into the street. “It’s not fair,” she mumbled. ” She watched him from the corner of her eye, and when he bent over to grab her arm she shoved the table into his stomach and sprang to her feet, leaving him doubled over and gasping. When he’d recovered his breath, he leaned on the table and told Corson in a tense, quiet voice precisely what manner of lice-ridden bitch he, Steifann, considered her to be.

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