Complete Set of The Antonello Brothers
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Excerpts: #1 - A Stolen Heart
A Stolen Heart
In this scene, Luc and Senthys are riding in Luc's hoversine (a limousine that flies right above the ground). The word arcane conjures up magic and sorcery, but its definition is "requiring secret or mysterious knowledge." To Luc, who's an Arcane Master in the Thieves' Guild, those secrets are the lifeblood of the skill. Here, he explains one of the basic rules to Senthys, who is three. Pietas is the king, Luc's ex.
The boy swung his feet, which, on the short rise of the hoversine's safety seat, meant he kicked the main seat with his heels.
That was already old and it had just started. Luc leaned down close to distract him. "Let's learn some thief rules."
"Why?" Senthys tilted his head. "Don't you already know them?"
Luc stopped himself from reacting. After all, he was talking to a child, not that different from talking to Pietas. "Yes, I do, and I'm going to teach them to you. I told you there would be two rules inside the store and if you obeyed them, you could pick out a toy."
"Oh. I 'member." Like Luc, Senthys folded his hands before him. "Ready."
"You are to stay next to me at all times. You may hold my hand if you like, but do not leave me to look at things, or to see things unless I give you permission. Is that clear?"
"Say it back to me."
"Um..." The boy fidgeted. "All of it?"
Luc decided against counting for patience--to any number. "Tell me what you understood."
"Stay with you."
"Good! That's perfect."
The child bounced in his seat.
How delighted this boy was to do well. Luc must encourage that. "The other rule is not to steal anything in this store. Say it back to me."
"Don't steal in the store?"
"That's right!" Luc patted his hands together. "What a good job."
Senthys clapped, grinning.
"I'm going to tell you something and I want you to always remember it. Honorable thieves do not steal unless under contract. If an honorable thief cannot afford something, then he must work a regular job to earn the money." Luc placed a hand on the boy's arm. "My Deshai are honorable. They do not take things without a contract. Understand?"
"Yes, sir. Can I have a contract?"
"Are you level thirteen?"
Luc brushed at his sleeve. "I'm level forty-eight."
"Oh." The boy nodded as if impressed. "Is that better than thirteen?"
Amusing, however deflating that might be. "Quite a bit better," Luc told him. "It's the highest in the Guild. Arcane Master."
Senthys cocked his head. "Then that's what I want to be. A Arcane Mister."
"Master," Luc corrected, smiling. "Arcane Master."
"Arcane Master. I want to be that. Brinn says I can be anything."
True words. Luc held up a hand, reached across the seat, and Senthys high-fived him. "Your brother is absolutely right."
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