Rat & Will Chapter 13: Out & About

They spent the next morning investigating the aqueduct. Fro was correct about the watchers. There were at least three that Rat could find, watching the wide gate that covered the entrance of the tunnel that brought water under the walls and into the city. The gate was locked, but it looked as frail as Fro had suggested. So if one simply planned to pay or remove such watchers…Rat smiled, a bit darkly. She didn’t like paying for such things. But perhaps the watchers could be removed…

“It doesn’t look very well guarded.” Will was thinking the same thing she was, apparently. 

“No.” She checked again. Still three watchers. “I wonder where it comes out?”

“Are we going to find out?” Will sent her a look and checked his sword subtly. 

“Not right now.” She dipped her head in the direction of the street and they walked together towards the food stall they’d passed earlier. Will, as usual, was getting hungry. “No reason to draw attention to it before we need it. And I don’t think we’ll have much trouble finding the other side.”

“How are we getting outside the walls?” Will murmured quietly. 

She smirked. “We’re leaving. In the open. Just so everyone knows we weren’t here to cause any trouble.”

“In case anyone’s noticed us take up residence at Morgan’s Keg, you mean.” Will sent her a small smile. “You’re protecting Milla.”

She glared up at him. “Am not. Just keeping our names and faces out of it. Till we can’t, that is.” She poked him. “You up for more camping?” 

He grinned. “With you? Of course. Though the bed has been nice…” Will waggled his eyebrows foolishly at her. She made a point of ignoring him, but he noticed the small lift to one side of those lovely lips and nudged her. “Do we get one more night in the aforementioned bed?”

“Yeah.” She slowed and Will looked up to see what had captured her attention. Ahead, a city guard was loudly berating the owner of small cart that had lost a wheel, causing a backup of traffic in the street. When Will would have stepped forward to help, Rat stopped him with a hand to his arm. “Can’t. She’ll be ok, but we’d make the situation worse. Look, the shopkeeper’s coming out to help.”

Will gave a frustrated sigh, but nodded. “No reason to yell at her that way.”

“Probably has too much room in his trousers.” Rat said it quietly, but Will snorted, drawing attention from a few others who’d gathered to watch the show. “He’s gonna start waving his sword around any moment now, just to remind everyone that he’s got something scary and long. Bet he’s teeny tiny.”

She kept up a similar line of sarcastic comments till they’d cleared the street and Will had relaxed again. But he carried a frown nearly all the way to the food stall in spite of her best efforts. “Gonna be glad to get this job finished.”

“Yeah. Especially if we find what we think we will.” Rat rolled her shoulders and took a bite of the veggie roll they’d decided on for lunch. Even she had to admit that this particular stall could work magic with the basic ingredients still available to the townspeople. Will groaned aloud and gave enough complements to the stall owner that blushing, she passed him an extra small sweet roll and refused payment for it. He bowed low and hurried to catch up to Rat. 

“See? Being polite does come in handy.” He waved the sweet under her nose. “Doesn’t that smell lovely?”

She shrugged carelessly. “Why should I bother? You’re going to share it with me anyway. And I didn’t have to suck up to her.”

He frowned at hr briefly. Then face clearing, he shrugged. “True. But the point stands. We could have had two.”

“Nah. I’m not pretty enough to manage it.” Rat sent him a rare affectionate look. “You clean up well enough, though.”

He grinned enjoying her good mood as much as the compliment. “You’re just better at hiding the pretty.”

“Right. You fight pretty good for a blind man.” She rolled her eyes and finished her veggie roll. “Let’s get the stuff on our list and get back to the tavern. I want to get packed up tonight so we can be off early tomorrow.”

“Sure.” Will shoved the rest of his own veggie roll into his mouth. Then he frowned. Mouth full, he grumbled. “How early?”


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