Two pair of eyes stared from the darkness, vivid gold and calm hazel. The shadows faded away, leaving a wolf and a dog remaining. Watching, ever watching, forever watching, never watching… for they were merely a dream.

A pair of turquoise eyes opened thoughtfully to greet the new dawn. Kalarae didn't know why she awoke early each morning, but her eyes never failed to open with the day. The young girl padded softly to her bathing chambers, one of the ten rooms in her suite. Her rooms would be the envy of any normal person, yet the young princess was bored. She was eternally bored. One could only amuse oneself for so long. She would have joyously capered in the village streets that were nearby, yet she had never been there. She had never set foot outside the envious chambers that were her world. Kalarae knew there was a world, for her tutors had her study it daily, yet the concept of such a vast amount of space seemed ludicrous to the sheltered child.

 From two hours past dawn until midday, Kalarae studied the world that she had never experienced. She knew every country, every city, every town, the rulers of each, and how the boundaries had changed over the last millennia. She knew every war and every battle that had ever been recorded; yet she had never seen a fight. From the classes that were held from midday until two hours before dusk, she knew how to address each ruler, how to curtsey to each, and how she was supposed to act in their presence. Yet the only humans she had ever interacted with were her reserved and formal teachers. She lacked a parent's love, replacing it with maturity, and never truly experienced a childhood.

 In the princess's largest room were a piano, a mandolin, and a flute. It was there that she spent her remaining hours of daylight learning music, singing, and dance, her only physical activity. All her childhood exuberance was channeled into the one activity open to her, dancing, and she found that she enjoyed it, and quickly became proficient in every move known to the nobles. Her dance instructor was one of the few who dared the wrath of the king, and spoke to the young girl, whom he pitied. When she had mastered every dance appropriate to court, he warily began to teach her the foreign dances, and when he discovered that no one would ever know besides the two of them, he taught her the dances that were popular among the common folk, the bawdy and inappropriate folk dances. Kalarae embraced all with the same passion, adding her own steps to the already complicated patterns, not discriminating between common and royal, though she knew which ones were not to be done in front of her relatives. However, these lessons only lasted an hour, and all too soon the tutor was ushered out of the room, fearing indecency if left alone with the young princess too long. This left the hours of night to the princess, who was left with nothing to fill her time.   

In the smallest of Kalarae's ten rooms was a small window, with a chair positioned by its side. The hours after she awoke, and the hours before she slept, that were not occupied by lessons, were spent beside this window. Its only view was a section of the cultured gardens, into which few nobles strayed. At times, she caught sight of the elusive gardeners, who worked only in the twilight hours so as to not be seen. Nothing that passed by her window escaped her notice, and not everyone passing by expected someone to be watching their passage.

Daemon was startled from his reverie as a crystal note broke through the silence. It was a simple tune, but held much expression, and it lured him to its source. He soon found himself beneath a dark window, mentally berating himself from leaving his course.  The music stopped abruptly, and a bag of coins dropped at his feet with a heavy sound. A gentle voice whispered from the darkened opening above his head.

"You would have passed the guard's path in a few minutes. Next time, be more careful." He heard a soft swish of skirts before silence closed over the grounds again.

The young thief stood dumbfounded for a moment before remembering where he was. Grabbing the coin pouch he sprinted through the gardens, unknowingly upsetting carefully tended flowerbeds.

The nine year old stormed into the tavern, a sense of purpose written on all his features. None of the surrounding men turned a face to the young child in their midst. They did turn however when he cried out in a despairing voice. "Where the hell is Treyen?"

A man in his mid thirties stood up and walked over to the boy, motioning him to follow when he headed up the stairs to his room. Disgruntled, he followed.

When they were alone, the younger thief exclaimed in the voice of an innocent. "I could have been put in jail!" The man he was talking to turned around in the seat he had taken, and cocked his head to the side.

"What is the first rule I taught you?" The previously irate child now looked abashed and shuffled his feet.

"Don't trust no one."

"What was that?"

He shuffled his feet again, and repeated more clearly, "Do not trust anyone."

"Ah, that is better."

The little thief could contain himself no longer. "But I could have been caught!"

"Better a few years for trespassing, than your entire life. Listen to the rules, Daemon. Obey them. There are no exceptions, even myself. The rules are for your own good, do not break them."

 The child had the sense to look abashed.

"When did you discover that I had given you a faulty plan?"

Daemon turned away and blushed slightly. He had not even questioned the lady's information, he now realized. For all he knew she could have been lying about the guard. But he had somehow trusted her. Again! He scolded himself. Trusting! I ought to have been caught!

Treyen waited patiently for his apprentice to reply. To his evident surprise, a heavy pouch of coins was dropped in his lap. He asked suspiciously, "Where did you get this."

There was a hesitant pause. "The lady gave it to me."

"What lady," he questioned with even more reserve in his tone.

Daemon was faced away, so his words were slightly muffled, but his master heard every word. "The lady who told me where the guard was."

The older man was baffled. Who was this "lady" that Daemon spoke of? A household maid, perhaps, that had confused the child? He was somewhat disappointed that the boy hadn't discovered the faulty information on his own, but it seemed that luck was at least on his side. He spoke his thoughts. "It seems that lady luck is fond of you. What did this 'lady' of yours look like?"

The wary boy relaxed visibly, now that no evident punishment in sight. "I don't know," he stated honestly. "I couldn't see in her window, but she played the flute well."

So that was how he had met the lady. The thief had a penchant for music that always worried Treyen, it could get him in trouble one day, he lost his concentration when he heard a melody, but it seemed that this time it had helped him.  As the master thief reviewed his student's words, a revelation stopped him. Flute? Only true nobles were taught flute, it was an upper class instrument and forbidden to commoners. So either Daemon's lady was truly a lady, or she was very courageous. 

He faltered before speaking, aware of how foolish his request may be. "I wish to meet this lady of yours."