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Mistborn: The Inquisition

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A Simple Thank You

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Kayla's Photo Kayla 21 Jul 2009

Kayla shrank away from the glower of the skaa thief. It never failed; she always felt trapped by the glinting brown anger reflected in Liana?s eyes. ?You shouldn?t have come back here, Kayla,? the other woman said. ?I warned you about that when we brought you in.? Gulping back her fear, Kayla nodded. Her hand flicked over her stomach and she tried to fight back the twisting nervousness. Vomiting all over the thief wouldn?t help her situation at all. She saw Liana?s chest move slightly as she sighed in impatience and said, ?Well? I know you can speak perfectly well ? that silent idiocy never convinced me. What did you want? If you?re after helping establishing yourself here I told you already, the answer is no. You?d be worse than useless to a crew.?

Kayla shook her head quickly. She opened her mouth to speak but she?d gone to long without anything to drink and her tongue felt so thick it was difficult to speak. She cleared her throat and whispered, ?No?th?that?s?.not it?? Again, the other woman sighed. Kayla watched the floor uncomfortably, listening to Liana?s steps as the woman stomped over to the counter and poured a cup of water. A second later Kayla felt the cool surface of a cup pressed into her hands.

?That?s all you?re getting from me,? Liana snapped, witheringly.

Thirstily, Kayla gulped the water down. The luke warm liquid felt wonderful. ?I..wanted,? Kayla said softly, a lilting melody in her hard to make out words. ?To thank..you?for helping me?? She risked glanced timidly up to study Liana?s face. The skaa thief had arched an eyebrow.

?You wanted to thank me,? she said harshly. ?For bringing you to a place where you are likely to starve to death before the end of the month.? Kayla?s eyes darted around the room. There were to many people here that she didn?t know. She didn?t want to talk about this at all, but she certainly wasn?t going to discuss it in front of a bunch of strange hooligans. She turned a pleading gaze on Liana and bit her lip, motioning her head slightly to indicate everyone. Liana seemed to understand. ?Out,? she barked crisply. The other skaa looked up in surprise but one by one they shuffled out until Kayla and Liana were alone.

Finally Kayla said in a small voice, ?I?I?don?t think?I?ll starve?? She was still whispering but in the sudden emptiness her voice seemed to carry. ?I might have a job, you see??

?A job!? Liana replied, amused. ?You? Doing what, girl? You told me you didn?t have a trade.?

She brushed a stray lock of hair out of her eyes. ?I don?t?not really?but I might be working as a maid??

It seemed to Kayla that Liana?s eyes grew brighter and her shoulders straightened. ??For who?? Kayla shifted her weight, dropping her eyes back to the ground. ?Kayla,? the other woman said sweetly, ?you know you can tell me. I won?t use the information ? ?

?I don?t want this lady hurt!? Kayla interrupted in the boldest speech she could remember making in a long time. ?She?s trying to be kind to me.?

The thief stepped towards her and Kayla started to shy away but after a moment?s thought she held her ground. Her whole body tensed as Liana put her arm around her. ?Child are we talking about a noble?? She hesitated for a second and then nodded. Liana didn?t seem surprised. ?Well, you of all people should know nobles can?t be trusted?.?

?That was an obligator,? she protested. ?And this is different?Lady..?

?Lady who?? Liana asked quickly. ?You know you have to tell me Kayla.?

Tears came to her eyes and she nodded. ?Lady Ora?? She took a deep
breath. ?Lady Oravelia Ewing.?

The silence from the skaa thief thundered in Kayla?s ears. A few seconds later, Liana seemed to take a breath and asked, ?You were hired on at House Ewing??

The girl shifted her weight. This didn?t feel right. Her eyes dropped to the floor and reluctantly she gave a slight nod. ?Maybe?I might be??
Listen to me, Kayla. I need you to do something for me ? for the skaa. I know you told me once you wanted to help people have a better life.?
Kayla sniffed and nodded. ?You said,? she muttered, ?that I was barely fit to take care of myself.?

Liana nodded solemnly. ?Yes. I did. You aren?t suited for out kind of life, child. You?d hardly last a half hour. This is different. Now you have a chance. If you see or hear anything ? anything at all ? while you are working there that might be important, you have to come and tell me.?
Kayla pulled away. ?I can?t.? Her eyes were wide with anguish. ?The lady is trying to be kind to me, I can tell.?

The other woman stepped back, tapping her foot. ?Kayla, this woman may be kind to you. I doubt it, but it may be so. However, she has her own motives?.how about?.what if I promised you we would do everything we could to leave her out of it? She is a woman after all and mostly what we want to know is information about the House, not her personally.?

?I?I?ll think about it,? she answered. Unable to stand the scrutiny of the skaa thief?s eyes and before Liana could protest Kayla turned on her heels and darted from the room.
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