32 v) “Wow, what’s he like?” Fassn asks, bouncing slightly in his chair

“Wow, what’s he like?” Fassn asks, bouncing slightly in his chair. “Gimme this, gimme that?”

Abia appears uncomfortable at the question, and the flutist steps in. “Sure, he makes demands, but he pays well for the privilege,” she says, flashing a bejeweled finger.

“Then why are you playing the flute in a grungy tavern?” Shyan asks.

“Hey, this is my brother’s tavern,” says Rufus, scowling. “And anyway, it’s fun,” he adds, with a defensive note in his voice.

“Look, it doesn’t matter,” says the flutist. “We have an appointment with your old boss.” She stands. “You coming?”

Abia is first to rise behind her. The others follow out into the city night.

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