Ava reached the next town three nights after leaving Andover. The battle with the ogre had physically drained her more than she expected and she was in dire need of rest in a comfortable inn. While it was unlikely that she would find anywhere that could qualify as comfortable in Mulhaven, at least she could rent out a room for a few days to recover.
She decided to try her luck at the Silver Saddle Inn because it looked to be in better condition than the other local taverns. As she stepped in the door the stench of sweat, mutton, and ale assaulted her nose. She sat down at a table in the corner, pushing the hood of her cloak back. Ringlets of fiery hair cascaded down her shoulders. She looked out among the crowd as she sipped on a frothy mug of ale.
After a while Ava noticed that a scrawny, pockmarked man kept staring at her from across the room. While it was not uncommon, Ava hated dealing with the drunkards that imagined they could woo her. It was a matter of time before this one came over and made a scene about it. Eventually the man rose from his chair and stumbled across the room to her table.
He leaned in close, his putrid breath threatening to make Ava gag. “Hey, I know you,” he said with a smirk. “You’re that monster-killing mercenary.”
Before the man could blink Ava had one of her concealed daggers pointed at his throat. “I’m a monster hunter, not a mercenary,” she said icily. “I don’t whore my talents to the highest bidder. Monsters have tried unsuccessfully to bribe me over, although I might make an exception and kill you for free.”
His grin had disappeared and he staggered back, stammering incoherently. He toppled over a chair and crashed to the ground. Ava sheathed her dagger and took a sip of her ale. She doubted anyone here would approach her again tonight.
Next in the series: Wanted: Doppelganger
Today’s post brought the return of Ava, who has become one of my favorite characters. Her profession and personality presents a lot of opportunity for a series of short stories. And, of course, she still has some unfinished business from the Ogre Hunt story that needs to get resolved sooner or later. Probably much later. Plus I needed to get away from the darker tone which has crept into the recent posts.
This particular post was inspired by the Trifecta prompt for this week, which was to use the third definition of the word “whore” in a post that is between 33 and 333 words. So for the curious here is the definition: