Chapter 1: Job
I was never a fan of morning, didn’t like the chill in the air, didn’t care much for the dark, but the thing I hated most of all about mornings. Was Cayden.
“Wake the hell up Reaven! I gotta job for you!” My peaceful morning was always shattered in the same way. Cayden bursting into the small room I kept for myself in the tavern. Always loud and always wide awake. This morning he seemed especially so.
By instinct, and routine practice, the moment I heard the door slam into my wall was the moment I flung a hand out, not bothering to move from my face down, amazingly comfortable position under my covers, and sent a magical gust of wind from my half opened window towards the wall. I heard the door slam back against it’s frame and hoped I’d caught Cayden with it. As there had been no yelp I doubted he’d stood still long enough.
“Oh! morning magic and here I was thinking you’d just ignore me like normal.” Cayden’s voice was loud by my ear and I tried to swat him away. My palm only found cool air and I jerked it back under the nice warmth of my blankets.
“Go away Cayden. It’s Suntide. I told you I wasn’t doing shit till Moontide.” I bury my face further into the goose feather pillow and wish the man would just leave me be.
“Can’t do it,” My covers were jerked away leaving me with no more than a thin night shift to keep me warm. I turned and hissed at the offender who just stepped back out of my reach knowing I wouldn’t brave the cold wooden floors. Bastard. “We’re on a time frame Reaven. I found some adventures in need of a place to crash. They’ve agreed to rent out the four private rooms you have that you never use! But only if you’ll agree on long term, like from now till next harvest.”
“Cayden those rooms are not furnished and they’re full of produce.” Enclosing myself in a cloak of warmed air I pad out of bed and pull the wooden shutters of my room closed before turning back to the man who filled a goodly portion of my quarters not occupied by my bed or wardrobe. “Besides that’s nearly an entire rotation. We’ve never kept tenets for more than a moon. What’s so important they need lodging for so long?”
“Don’t know,” he admitted sheepishly now that I was fully out of bed and irate. “But you need this Reaven. You’ve been running marshaling jobs with me to keep this place afloat. this is a chance to do that without you having to pull extra work.”
He was right. It was a damn good opportunity but I knew nothing about these people he wanted to bring into my tavern. I had my younger brother and sister to think of. When mother died I’d inherited more than just a dying little tavern. It was my responsibility to keep them safe. And fed… the latter was becoming harder to do and with the dead season upon us it’d be even harder without gold. Not many travelers took our road when harvest was done.
“Ok,” I gave in. “But they best behave. Or I will toss them out.” I’d have to have Meran clean out the rooms and find some suitable beds. Probably have him pull some of the better ones from the communal rooms in the cellar. We had four or five travelers rent overnight beds down there but there were a dozen more hardly ever used. Repurposed they might serve us better.
“I knew you’d come through Rey,”Cayden beamed at me his tanned face splitting into a fox like grin. Blue eyes twinkling. “They’re staying in the city right now. I’ll let em know you agreed”
“The rooms won’t be ready for a few days Cayden. I warned his back as he scampered out of my room and practically hopped down the ladder that led up.