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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

On his way toward the Mayor's office, he came across Nellise and Sayana strolling
along the cobblestone road, the wild girl looking much more relaxed in her urban
“Good morning ladies,” Aiden greeted them with a rakish grin and a quick bow. “I
trust my attire meets your stringent requirements?” Nellise smiled and nodded.
“You are looking quite splendid, if I may say so Aiden,” she offered. “I suppose we
should head over and speak with the Mayor, though I suspect it won't be a very
productive meeting.”
“Possibly, but we should try anyway. He can't be any worse to deal with than O laf,
right?” Nellise shrugged ambiguously.
“We can only hope. Come on then, I was going to show Sayana a little more of the
town anyway.” Aiden fell into step with the two young women as they headed in what he
assumed was the direction of the mayoral offices.
Nellise led them toward a huge, elegant building in the crowded market area of the
town. It looked like an old mansion that had been converted into an office for the most
prominent member of the community. It dominated the town square, and was easily the
most expensive building Aiden had ever seen. There were signs of recent work on the
house, and it positively gleamed in a town full of plain, grimy accommodation.
“I guess someone has money to throw around,” Aiden observed dryly, a little
disgusted at the garish display of riches, almost as if the owner was flouting it to the
“Were you expecting a nobleman to be modest with his wealth?” Nellise asked of
him. “He is no better or worse than the rest, though I find all dealings with such men to
be distasteful.” The elegant double doors at the entrance were opened inwards, with two
burly yet finely attired guards standing just inside.
The background noise of the bustling town made it difficult to hear inside, but as the
three of them entered the offices, the sharp sounds of an argument could be heard ahead.
A long hallway lined with paintings and plush chairs opened into what appeared to be a
large room with lavish double doors. One of them was open, allowing people out in the
hallway to hear what was going on within. Judging by what was being said, the Mayor
probably wasn't aware he could be overheard.
There were several people in the hallway awaiting their time to speak with the head
of the town, some of them ranking members of the town guard who appeared to be
unshaven and tired. Aiden was surprised to also see Colt sitting in one of the chairs as
well, right up next to the doorway. Feeling self-conscious, Aiden quickly led his two
companions past other waiting people before they could protest.
The big ranger was slumped in his comfortable chair, still looking seedy from last
night's brawl. He glanced up briefly as Aiden stopped in front of him, and then continued
looking down at the floor, shielding his eyes with the raised hood on his cloak.
“You tryin' to cut line?” he said, voice grating. Aiden was sure he didn't intend to
sound mean and dangerous, the words were simply coming out that way.
“That depends on what you're doing here,” he replied. “Truth be told, I was rather
expecting you to be asleep right now.”
“I got sleep last night,” Colt corrected him.
“On the floor of the common room?”