Chapter Three

“So what interested you two in this besides the money?” Anarchaia asks just as the faint glow of the inn’s windows comes into view.She skips along at the front of their small group. “If there is anything else, that is.”

Grimory trails behind the trio, fingers linked behind his head and tattoos glowing dimly in the shadows cast by what’s left of the sun.

Alisbeth’s eyes glow with interest as she continues to peek back at the demon hunter behind them. “There’s money?”

Koltira chuckles. “She wanted an adventure, so I found her an adventure.”

“I just have to behave myself or Mograine will lock me back up.”

Koltira sighs and speaks low to her. “Alisbeth, remember how I tell you there are things you should keep to yourself?”

“Yeah.” She scrunches her face up in a silly grin at Grimory. “Was that one of them?”

Grimory lifts his eyebrows down at the girl, clearly not listening. He returns the gesture with a slight smile.

Anarchaia wheels around on a heel. Walking backward, she folds her arms at the small of her back. Any emotion she shows only apparent in her voice, she says, “Is there…something we should know about before proceeding? I’d hate for something detrimental to come up at an inopportune time.”

“Nope! Nothing. I am without detriment,” Alisbeth insists. She leans in to whisper to Koltira. “See, I can keep things to myself.”

Koltira frowns nervously. “Not quite, but nice try.” He gives his attention to Anarchaia. “Nothing major, per se.” His eyes shift nervously to Alisbeth, who keeps turning to make faces at Grimory. “Nothing we can’t work around.”

Anarchaia hums reservedly, then whirls back around. “I’ll take your word for it.” When they finally come upon the door to the inn and the quiet music and murmuring behind it, she holds the door open and ushers them inside. “Go and order some drinks. I have something to take care of real quick.”

Grimory’s lip twitches as she whispers “And don’t be an asshole” to him when he passes. He turns, wrenching the door from her grasp once the other two are safely inside, and, with a sarcastic grin, slams it shut.

Alisbeth eyes the drinks, biting at her lip as she bounces excitedly on the balls of her feet.

“No,” Koltira says.

“But I—”

“No.”

Alisbeth grumbles and drops into a chair at a table to pout.

Grimory takes a seat across the table and hails a barmaid. “So you two are…together? I don’t think I heard.” The tavern on the ground floor is sparsely populated by a couple of groups. The noise is low enough for him to speak at a comfortable tone. He orders a mead from the young, bubbly maid as she approaches, throwing her a charming smile.

“Whiskey, please. Three fingers,” Koltira says to the barmaid. “She’ll have juice.”

“What kind?” the maid asks.

“Dalapeño,” Alisbeth grumbles. The barmaid looks nervously at her, unsure if she should laugh. “I’m serious.”

When the maid leaves Koltira leans back to make himself comfortable. “Well, we are a team.”

“We’re not supposed to tell people that—” Koltira grips her elbow and she stops and purses her lips. “Yeah, we’re a team.”

Grimory tilts his head somewhat, resting his forearms on the tarnished wooden table. “I…see. All right, then.” He scratches at the connection point of one of his horns, clawing more for a conversation topic than at an actual itch. “So where are you guys from?”

Alisbeth perks up. “Oh! These are things I can talk about! I grew up in Stormwind. My father was a captain of the guard and my mother was a high priestess. She wanted me to be a priestess but my father wanted me to be a warrior, so they compromised and I became a paladin!”

“He asked where you’re from, not your entire life story.”

“Right. So, then I lived in Lordaeron for several decades until Tirion took me to Silvermoon to be with my people. I was supposed to go on the voyage to Northrend, but Tirion didn’t want me to. He said he had a tingling feeling about it and… well, he was right. So then I went to Silvermoon where I met Koltira, but then the Lich King came and killed everyone and so I went to the Outlands with Kael’thas. I mean I wanted to go to Stormwind but it didn’t quite happen that way…” She slides her glance at Koltira’s impatient face. She bites her lips together and drums her hands on the table top. “Acherus. I’m from Acherus.”

As he listens, the maid returns with their beverages and sets his mead before him. Still fixed on Alisbeth and her story, he slowly grasps the stein and takes a long drink, a look of regret and concern plastered on his features. He takes another drink and swallows. “I see.” Grimory eyes Koltira. “The same for you I presume?”

Koltira sips his whiskey. “No. Silvermoon, Icecrown Citadel, Acherus. A few other places, but they were only short stays.”

“He was in Undercity for four years! I didn’t even get to see him bec—” Koltira interrupts her with a clearing of his throat. “Oh, right.” She instead busies herself with searching through her pack. She finds what she wants, dropping a candy cane into her Dalapeño juice and stirring it around.

“Where are you from?” Koltira asks.

The lower lids of his eyes flicker slightly at the sight of Alisbeth’s mug of unspeakable horrors. Grimory flicks his attention back to the other man, the image burned into his head. “Uhm, some farm in Hillsbrad.” He thirstily downs the rest of his beverage and sets the mug aside with a gold piece from a pouch at his hip. “Nothing special.”

Alisbeth leans forward with interest. “Oh, but it is special, if it’s where you’re from. Where we come from and where we’ve been makes us who we are.”

Koltira finishes his drink in one gulp, then looks into the empty glass as though betrayed by how little there had been.

Grimory leans away almost instinctively. “I suppose.” He waves the barmaid back and orders a heavier mixed drink, again regarding the woman with sickening politeness.

Anarchaia returns with a heavy sigh, a knapsack over her shoulder. She sets it down below the bench Grimory is sat at and hikes up her robe, tying the excess at her hip. Throwing back her hood she sits beside him. “All right,” she says, adjusting her belt. “What are we talking about?

“Where we’re from. Do you want something to drink?” Grimory motions to the maid still standing patiently at the table.

“Oh! Uh…just some water, please. Ice.”

Koltira quickly orders a much larger, stiffer drink as Alisbeth just smiles and chews on dalapeño pulp. She sucks the juice from her candy cane, then crunches away at the end. “So where are you from?”

Anarchaia waves a hand as if to accentuate that the information is extremely meaningless. Small talk was never a forte for her. “Duskwood.”

“You aren’t going to order a drink?” Grimory lowers an eyebrow in her direction.

The mage shakes her head gently. “Not tonight. Too much to think about. Too early to rise.” She pulls a rolled map from her knapsack and smooths it out on the table. “So we’re—”

“We can go over that tomorrow, Ana.” The Illidari pushes the edge of the paper back toward the other end, causing it to curl back over itself. “Just chill out, okay?”

Anarchaia pauses, fidgeting with her thumb. “Sure,” she finally says, rolling the paper back up.

Koltira decides to ask the question Grimory had asked him earlier. “So, are you two…together?”

The two quickly glance at him as though they’d both been physically stricken. “No,” they respond in unison. After briefly looking at one another, Anarchaia busies herself by putting the map back into her bag.

Grimory, visibly uncomfortable, looks away. Tiny green flecks flicker from his glowing eyes. “Just friends.”

Anarchaia snorts some, putting her elbows on the table, crossing her fingers, and cradling her chin within them. “If you could call it that.”

Alisbeth’s eyes flicker to the demon hunter, a slow smile spreading across her lips. “Not together. How…interesting.” She flicks a single eyebrow up at him.

“Really?” Koltira hisses. “Now?”

She blocks her mouth to whisper to Koltira. “Just imagine grabbing those horns and going for a ride.”

Koltira buries his face in his palms. “I’m not hearing this.”

Again Grimory thanks the barmaid as their drinks are brought, pretending not to have heard Alisbeth’s whispering. He takes the liberty of sliding Koltira his glass.

Anarchaia pulls her glass of water to her hand with flows of violet sparkles before Grimory has a chance to serve her. She pushes her mask up to just above her teal upper lip, exposing her pale periwinkle skin, and takes a sip. “So…hobbies? Hopes? Dreams?” She cringes inwardly at her awkwardness and crunches a cube of ice between her molars.

Alisbeth’s eyes widen. Her mouth drops open. “Oh my gods, you’re—”

Koltira covers her mouth, eyeing Anarchaia warily. “I’m sorry,” Koltira says, “I don’t think this team up will work.”

The other two blink.

Anarchaia stammers. “A-Aaaahm…okay. That’s fine and all.” She sets her cup down gently, doing well with hiding her agitation. “May I ask why?”

Alisbeth shoves Koltira off her. “Yes,” Alisbeth growls. “Yes, please, I would also like to know why I can’t team up with a Night Elf.” She purses her lips and scrutinizes Anarchaia. “Draenei?” She leaps under the table. “Do you have horns? Cause I’d love to see them!” She grabs a boot, then whines. “Aww. No hooves. I like these boots!” She runs her hands along the soft leather.

Koltira lets out a sigh of relief. “I’m sorry. I was mistaken. It seems we’ll be fine after all.”

Anarchaia’s mouth opens and closes as if meaning to speak but no words come forth. She leans back quickly when Alisbeth disappears beneath the table, then giggles loudly when her calves are caressed. She covers her mouth to stifle the rest of her laughter and tries to gently push the girl away with a foot. “S-Stop!”

Grimory sips his drink as he watches, knuckles on his cheekbone and clearly amused. “Oh, this should be a fun trip,” he hums, grinning ever-so-slightly at the sound of his companion’s chuckles.

Koltira gulps at his drink and smiles. “Oh, you think so?”

Alisbeth drags the skirt of the robe over herself and pops up in Anarchaia’s lap. “Where did you get these boots?”

The mage places a hand over the bulge beneath her shortened robes and presses on it. “All my clothes are from Dalaran.”

Grimory’s emerald attention returns to Koltira. “Your teammate is a lot of fun.” He brings the mug to his lips once more and drinks. “Could use the excitement.”

Alisbeth clambers onto the bench between the other two, her hair a wild disaster and a smile plastered on her face. “So, you’re a girl, right? You smell like a girl. You sound like a girl. But, um…” She points at Anarchaia’s chest, her finger getting closer.

“Fun,” he chuckles. “That’s one way to put it.” He brings his drink to his lips. “Ali, don’t.”

Alisbeth clenches her hand and turns away. “I wasn’t.” She smiles up at Grimory for only a second before turning to stare conspicuously at Anarchaia’s chest. “But seriously, though.”

Grimory gives a hearty, genuine laugh at Alisbeth’s nosiness. “Yeah, she’s a girl,” he chuckles into his mug before throwing the rest of its contents down his throat.

Anarchaia wraps her arms defensively around her chest, blushing and bristling. “What does the size of my breasts have to do with anything?!” she hisses, clearly flustered.

“Nothing. I just… thought you were a boy, is all.”

Koltira pinches the bridge of his nose. “Ali, don’t start.”

She points at him. “I’m not starting. I’m being friendly. You’re being boring.” She spins on Grimory, smiling like a devil. “Can I touch your horns again?”

The liquor already affecting him, Grimory smiles coyly down at her at the tail-end of his laughter. She was already growing on him. “I don’t see why not. Touch away.”

Anarchaia scoffs and pouts at her indignity, scooping up her knapsack and standing. “I’m putting this away until tomorrow. I’ll be right back.” She stomps toward the staircase, muttering obscenities beneath her breath.

Alisbeth bites her lower lip and removes her gauntlets to reveal hands with skin so delicate it’s like thin silk, and underneath is nothing but bone. It is a stark contrast to her face, which still holds some fleshy shape to it beneath her skin so white is bears a creamy blue hue in certain lighting. She pauses and glances at Koltira.

“Oh, no, don’t look at me. He gave you permission.”

She reaches forward to rub her palms along the rough of his horns. “How did you get them? Did it hurt?”

Color crawls its way across his cheeks—whether from the alcohol or the attention he could not say. “A bit,” he admits, admiring the porcelain hue of the girl’s thin fingers. “I’ve eaten the heart of a demon I slew myself. It was all very poetic.” His sharp teeth peek out from the corner of his mouth and he can’t help but glance at the other man across the table, waiting for confirmation of his suspicions.

Koltira takes a gulp of his drink, then looks at the other tavern patrons in turn, doing what he can to ignore Alisbeth and Grimory.

“How is that poetic? Why did you eat it? What did it taste like?” She pokes a fingertip into his lips to tap on a sharp canine.

His eyebrows lower, not having expected her to poke him in the mouth. “I did it to join the ranks of the Illidari and do my part to stop the Burning Legion,” he explains through her finger. His eyes narrow and his grin widens. “And it tasted like success.”

Alisbeth nods. “Like success. I see… I bet success tastes like pickles. Sour but juicy and satisfying but you also kind of don’t want to eat another one and put yourself through that again.” She takes her finger out of his mouth and leans across him to touch his other horn. “Completely identical. They’re so amazing.” She suddenly grips both horns and pulls his face into hers, their foreheads knocking together. “Can I get some, too?”

He winces as their skulls butt. His eyes ignite to life, crackling quietly with fel fire, due to the closeness of their faces. “I’m…not sure, actually,” he stammers. “Probably? I don’t know the rules.”

Anarchaia steps back into the room, passing a group that had decided to retire for the night. Her eyes narrow slightly at the sight before her and she opts to take up a spot at the far end of Koltira’s bench instead, away from the two enamored with one another. Her water obediently slides into her palm and she takes a moody drink.

Koltira studies Anarchaia for a long time, rubbing the side of his index finger along his lower lip.

“Why don’t you know the rules? You’re a demonic…demon dude. You just don’t want me to have my own horns, do you?” She narrows her eyes, then blinks a few times as the heat from his burns against her frosty ones.

Grimory shrugs and for the first time attempts to pull his head away. “It’s all magic bullshit in the end, really. I don’t understand any of it. So no, I’m not trying to keep you from getting some.”

Anarchaia’s eyes meet Koltira’s and she purses her lips suspiciously. “What’s wrong?” she inquires in a hushed tone as not to interrupt the two across the table, doing well hiding the residual irritation from earlier. Her glass of water frosts over and she takes another sip.

Alisbeth releases Grimory’s horns and rubs her fists into her eyes. “Woah, that’ll do some damage.” She casts blind eyes around the tavern, loses her balance, and falls from the bench onto the stone floor.

Koltira slides down the bench to sit close enough to Anarchaia to whisper. “You’re not a Draenei, Alisbeth figure that out. But I also don’t think you’re a Night Elf.”

Grimory winces as Alisbeth hits the floor and almost immediately offers a hand to help her back up, panic in his voice. “I’m sorry! I can’t control it! Are you okay?”

Anarchaia leans away slightly at his approach, her cup still at her shining blue lips. “What does it matter what I am?” She sets the glass down and hesitantly pulls her mask back over her chin.

Koltira purses his lips. “I won’t ask if you promise to never tell. As far as I know, maybe you are a Night Elf.” He shrugs. “No need to go further than that.”

“There’s spots dancing in my eyes!” Alisbeth’s vision slowly clears and she takes Grimory’s hand, letting him pull her onto the bench. “That was cool, do it again.”

“Definitely something you won’t have to worry about,” the mage says, her voice low. The icy water within her glass levitates upward as if on its own, then throws itself into Grimory’s face, effectively dousing the flames in his eyes.

“Agh!” he growls. “Ana, that’s cold!” The blond rubs at his face and smooths back his hair before shooting his friend a glare.

“I’m glad we understand each other,” Koltira says on a final whisper, then smiles at the mage.

Alisbeth slaps her hands over her mouth and laughs into her palms. “Oh my gods! Mage-face, do that again!”

“Sorry, fresh out of water.” Anarchaia returns the grin despite it not being seen. She conjures a pocket watch and flicks it open with thin, bony fingers. “Hm. Perhaps we should take an example from the emptying tavern and get some rest. Tomorrow calls.”

“Not like you care. You never sleep,” Grimory grunts after getting his hair back to an acceptable state. “And I’m not even sure what time it is, to be honest.”

“Eleven-thirty-eight.”

“What are we, children?” he barks. “I’m having another drink. Miss!” Grimory once again calls for the barmaid.

“We don’t sleep,” Alisbeth chirps enthusiastically. “And I’m sure your friend sleeps plenty, you just don’t notice because of her mask!”

“Perhaps retiring is a good idea,” Koltira says.

“You two can retire. I’m going to stay here with hot stuff.” She sets a hand on his knee under the table.

“At least someone knows how to have a good time.” Grimory says in Anarchaia’s direction after ordering a third, even stronger drink.

The watch in her palm disappears and Anarchaia stands once again. “You know what, Grim? Yeah, go ahead. Have a good time. In fact, have the best time.” She blinks from her seat to a standing position at the end of the table. “I’m going to rest, however. Whether it be by sleep or not.” Her attention flicks to Alisbeth’s hand below the table. She pretends not to notice and turns to the stairwell. “I’ll see you in the morning.”

Alisbeth frowns at the retreating figure. “Is she okay? Does she not like me?” She stares over at Koltira. “Did I do something wrong?”

Koltira stares after the Anarchaia, wishing he could also get up and walk away, rather than stay and watch Alisbeth fawn over a man she’d just met. He knew it was merely curious excitement over what he was, but it bothered Koltira more than her flirting with other men, especially because they would be traveling together for some time. He chooses not to reply to Alisbeth and instead finishes off his drink.

The demon hunter shakes his head, his attention lingering on Anarchaia before she disappears up the stairs. He turns and pats Alisbeth on the head with a drunken smile. “Don’t mind her. She’s just moody. She’ll get over it.”

Alisbeth smiles under the pats. “I don’t want her to hate me. She seems nice.”

“Pfft. Ana doesn’t have a hateful bone in her body. If anything she’s mad at me.” When his beverage is set before him, he takes a bigger drink than he should and stifles a cough. “Don’t worry about her.”

Koltira stands abruptly. He then does something he hasn’t done in a long time and leaves Alisbeth alone in the tavern with the other man. He grits his teeth, seething in thought. His shoulder bumps into another standing in the hall. “Excuse me,” he mumbles and keeps walking. Then he stops and turns to cock an eyebrow at Anarchaia. “Oh, it’s you. Sorry. Have a good night.”

Anarchaia braces herself against the door as she’s gently pushed toward it. She looks up from fiddling with the lock. “Oh, yeah. You as well.” She pauses then hesitates. “Hey, can you maybe…help me with this? It seems to be stuck.” She jiggles the key in the lock.

“Can’t wiggle your fingers and pop it open?” Koltira smirks and wraps his hand around the key, giving it a sturdy turn. “Oh, wow. What the hell is in here?” He tries again with more muscle and a short grunt.

“I’m not too good with locks,” Anarchaia explains. “It was unlocked the first time I came up.” She grumbles at her misfortune, folding her arms. “Thanks for your help.”

Koltira nods. “Any time.” He drops the key into her palm. “Try not to get yourself locked in…but if you do just make sure you shout loud enough for me to hear.” He turns to leave, but stops. “I’m sorry if Alisbeth upset you. She’s not always easy to handle.”

Anarchaia gives a quiet chuckle and puts the key in the secret pocket in her belt. “Getting out is the easy part.” She makes to step inside, but stops when she hears his apology. “It’s…fine. I’m kind of used to it.” Hesitation overcomes her. “Uhm, can I speak with you? In private?”

“Hmm?” His eyebrows raise in curiosity. “Of course you can.” He follows her into the room.

~ * ~

Alisbeth bites her lower lip and stares at his drink, then looks around the tavern to confirm Koltira is gone. “Can I have a sip?”

Grimory lifts an eyebrow at her. “Your buddy won’t let you drink, eh?” He mulls the thought over in his head, then grins and nudges the cup toward her with a single finger. “Then be my guest.”

Alisbeth grabs the cup and chugs all but a few small gulps. She wipes her mouth. “He says I get too out of control.” She scoffs. “He’s just worried I’ll do what I did the last time I drank.”

“Oh?” Grimory responds, curious. “And what would that be?”

Alisbeth shrugs innocently. “I mean, it wasn’t even that big of deal. But now I can’t go to Dalaran without Koltira escorting me. It was only fiveguys.” She scoffs.

Grimory pulls his ears back in alarm and slowly takes the cup back. “Five guys.”

“Yeah, only five. I mean, that’s not that bad, right?” She pauses to grin as though trying to convince him of something. “See, it would have only been the one, but then his buddy got involved, the third guy got too close and it was completely his fault he took my axe to his face. So then that guy’s friend got involved and then the bartender tried to stop it. But I wasn’t done, you know? We were having a laugh! It was fun!” She reaches around for the cup to drink the last few gulps left.

Grimory blinks once and allows her the rest of his beverage. “Oh, you mean a fight.” He gives a nervous laugh and scratches at the back of his neck. “For a moment there I thought…heh.”

Alisbeth gulps down the last of the drink and uses a finger to swipe the leftover liquid up and suck it off her finger. “Yeah. What did you think I meant?”

The demon hunter laughs somewhat and rests his elbow back on the table top. “I thought you’d fucked five guys at once,” he says with another laugh, his knuckles again at his cheek.

Alisbeth crooks her mouth sideways. “How would I even… Oh! Hands.” She holds up her hands, circling her fingers. “Does that count? I think that counts.” She pauses. “Actually, I’m not sure if that counts.” She rests her arms on the table. “Nope. Couldn’t do that. I think it would get too confusing.”

Grimory snerks, another laugh escaping him. “I’d say it counts, but I’m obviously no official on the subject.” He waves a finger for the maid in hopes of replacing his empty drink. “So what started this fight? Someone say something about your guy pal?”

“YES!” She shouts, then quiets down. “He was saying that Kolty spent the last four years fucking that banshee bitch, but I know he didn’t. He’s very loyal. He would never do that.” She smiles at the barmaid. “Oh! Can I have a whiskey and a cinnamon stick, please?”

“Same, actually,” Grimory says to the barmaid. “Loyal, you say? So you two are more than teammates, hm?”

“Whole bottle!” Alisbeth shouts after the barmaid. She waits patiently, tapping her fingertips together, until their drinks arrive. Alisbeth crushes the cinnamon stick into several long slivers, then slips them into the mouth of the bottle and replaces the cork. “Oh, that.” She laughs and smiles charmingly at Grimory as she shakes the bottle. “That’s one of those things I’m not supposed to talk about.” She takes a swig of her cinnamon whiskey concoction, a stick coming away between her lips. She spits it back into the bottle and points at it through the glass. “You stay in there.”

“I can keep a secret,” Grimory hums, giving her his cinnamon stick. He takes in a mouthful of whiskey and swallows. “You can trust me.”

Alisbeth chews on the cinnamon stick thoughtfully as she studies him. “No. Hm-mmm. I don’t know you well enough to tell you that. Stranger danger and all that.”

“You touched my horns. We’re no longer strangers,” Grimory slurs matter-of-factly. “Those are the rules.” He grins playfully down at her and rubs his thumb on his glass.

Alisbeth takes another hefty swig of whiskey. “Okay, but, I’m still not supposed to tell you. And I’m already being bad, so I don’t want to be even worse.” She swallows several more gulps, color coming to the tips of her ears. She leans on the table and smiles at him. “Sorry, buddy, no dice.”

Grimory chuckles and shrugs, defeated. “All right, you win. I won’t ask.” He throws back the rest of his drink and swallows a belch. “Regardless, sounds like you’re pretty rowdy. I like that.”

Alisbeth swirls the bottom of the bottle around on the tabletop before swallowing the last of the contents. “What else do you like?”

“Like, in general?” Grimory runs a hand over his hair, the alcohol making his head swim. He gives another flirty grin. “Or just about you?”

Alisbeth grins back and opens her mouth to respond, then thinks. “I dunno. Pick one!”

Grimory taps the spot where his goatee tapers into his lower lip and ponders. “I like booze…and pretty girls.”

“Me too!” Alisbeth jumps in excitement. “And pretty boys.”

“I can tell from your choice in friends. What else do you like?” Grimory gazes at her intently, eyes half-lidded and glazed over.

Alisbeth reaches up with one hand and smooths her palm over his horns again. “I really like your horns.” She pokes his smile with her other fingertip. “I like your pointy teeth.”

Eyes still on her, Grimory opens his jaws and bites down on her finger gingerly. Knuckles still smooshed against his cheek, he narrows his eyes as though urging her to make a counter move.

Alisbeth smiles flirtatiously and leans forward while pulling on Grimory’s horn, to nip at his ear with her teeth.

Still holding her finger in his teeth, Grimory runs a palm up Alisbeth’s thigh beneath the table. His alcohol-fueled blush deepens with her bites.

Alisbeth moves his hand to her inner thigh and whispers in his ear. “Tell me what else you like.”

“White hair, blue eyeth,” he says through her finger and gently pushes his teeth together. The demon hunter gives her a sly wink. “Comfy beds and deft hands.” His tongue flicks at the tip of her finger.

“Mmm,” Alisbeth sighs. “Know of any…comfy beds nearby?” She gives him a wink, tracing her free fingertips along his tattoos.

His muscles flex beneath her touch. He releases her finger. “My room’s right upstairs,” he croons.

A devilish smile spreads across Alisbeth’s lips. “Let’s see it, then.”

Grimory throws a few coins on the table and stands. He does his best to remain upright and holds out a bent arm. “It’d be my pleasure, m’lady,” he sings in a smarmy accent.

Alisbeth replaces her gloves and slips her hand into Grimory’s arm, letting him guide her from the tavern.

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