Cassiopeia was less than pleased to see Kasandra, but she honoured the debt called in regardless – and more.
When the Queen of the Atherton Underworld heard what was happening above in her city, her domain, she ordered an immediate counterattack.
“Secret-like, you understand,” she’d said to Kasandra. “You remember how it was.”
“That I do, my lady,” Kasandra replied, and the two women smiled at each other in understanding, but not friendship.
“Will you join my women? You can still handle a knife, can you not?” Her smile took on a hard edge and Kasandra looked upon Cassiopeia’s beautiful face with regret.
“You’ll call me coward, old friend. But I have something to live for now.”
Cassiopeia’s smile vanished. “Your niece. I remember. Very well.” She turned, moving away from Kasandra, whose body screamed not to let the woman go again. Cassiopeia sat regally on her wooden throne, piled high with furs and blankets, and regarded Kasandra in an almost bored fashion. “You and your patrons are refugees in the Thieves’ City. You have a place to stay here so long as the city above is under siege. I want you out as soon as it’s safe to go.”
Kasandra bowed low before her once-friend, once-leader, once-lover. “Yes, my lady.”
She left before Cassiopeia could see the tears in her eyes, and returned to the rooms she shared with the patrons of her tavern – praying to any Goddess that would listen that her Ghia was safe.