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  from Nightingale by Fiona Una

Chapter One
Roguish Endeavours

Rogue was dealing with a bit of a dilemma. That was what she called those awkward situations when her jobs went wrong; which she would describe as any job that ended with the captain of the city guard hot on her tail. It should have been easy - replace the usual cupbearer who served wine to the captain, slip in a little "sleepy sleep surprise" and make off with his coin purse - maybe helping herself to his personal armoury in the process. Only it turned out that the captain had appointed one of his younger cousins as his cupbearer and recognised - or rather, didn't - Rogue the moment she began to pour her sleeping draft into his cup.

She liked to believe it was her pointed ears that gave her away rather than the extra shake in her hands, or the extra few inches she had on the girl she had replaced. Either way, she most definitely wouldn't have to worry about shaky hands again if she was caught now. Luckily, the barracks were quite an easy place to lose a man full of wine, but by God did he make up for in speed what he lacked in awareness. If the ebony-haired thief had the liberty of looking behind her as she ran through the shadowed streets, she would have laughed at the big lumbering man with a dagger drawn. She and Captain went way back, and she liked to think they had a love-hate relationship. She kept him on his toes and stole what she needed, and he... well, he failed to catch her each time, although he would probably disagree.

She slipped into another dark alleyway that led towards the north warehouse, treading lightly on the thinly snowed ground, smiling as she heard Captain order some of the town guards to follow his lead. The north warehouse held many secrets, one of which was the entrance to an underground labyrinth that led all over the west side of the Twin River. The night was dark with a nip in the air, but de...

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