Rowaelin-both have the same target/break into the same place and run into each other?
Rowan sucked in a deep, steady breath before propelling himself off the roof of a building and through the open window of the building adjacent to it. Curling himself into a ball at the very last second, the white haired thief just barely made it through the window pane without hitting the edges. Hitting the carpeted office floor, he somersaulted once to ward off any possible injury and hopped to his feet in one smooth, graceful motion. Rolling his shoulders back, stretching the muscles in them and his back out and warming them out for his next task. His job was a simple one: go in, retrieve the wanted item, and get out before anyone realized he’d ever been there. Step one was complete. He was in the office building of one Athril Dearst, the ‘people’s champion’ and current D.A. for the city of Wendlyn. He’d stolen something from his boss, the notorious mafiosa of the neighboring metropolis, Doranelle, Maeve, and she wanted it back.
Rowan didn’t know what exactly Athril had stolen from Maeve, and he didn’t particularly care, but he knew enough to locate what had been taken. Maeve had told him he’d find it somewhere in Athril’s desk. A file. That’s what he’d been told. A thick one, too. With a plastic, evidence bag containing a small, golden ring inside. Once he discovered the ring, Maeve had ordered, he need not to look further. Vaguely, in the back of his mind, the white haired thief wondered how Athril–or one of his minions–had gotten so close to his boss to steal something of any real value, but it wasn’t his place to ask. Asking questions would amount to nothing, anyway, except, perhaps, his death. But Maeve knew who she was sending in to do her dirty work. Rowan Whitethorn was the best Cleaner in the country. If you wanted a mess cleaned up, you called Rowan.
He was a third of the way through his schedule, now he just had to find the file and get out without being seen. That had never been a problem for the thief before, so he couldn’t fathom it being one now. He was an efficient, calculated worker. He’d scouted the area for forty eight hours prior to his infiltration. He knew the custodians schedules by heart. He knew that even if the lawyers and interns weren’t going home to their families they weren’t sticking around to work on a Friday night. And he also knew that due to a construction project occurring down the street–one that was not fully up to city code and regulation–the power lines to the city block would be down for a grand total of two minutes and thirty seven minutes, security cameras included. That was more than enough time for a professional such as himself.
Yes, everything was going exactly to plan. That is, until he opened the door to the D.A.’s office and found a young, pretty blonde woman sitting behind the desk with her legs stretched out atop it, one crossed over the other. Her gaze was down turned towards the file that laid in her lap, and turning over and over across her fingers was Maeve’s gold ring. “Took you long enough,” the woman said by way of greeting. “And here I thought you might prove to be a challenge.”
“What’re you doing here?” Rowan growled, his green eyes narrowing on her form. It was casual, but almost too casual, like she was luring him in to a false sense of security. He didn’t need to ask who she was–her looks and behavior answered that question easily enough. Before him sat Adarlan’s Assassin. Rumor was her name was Celaena something or other, but the white haired man didn’t put much stock in rumors. Her real name was irrelevant, however. The more pressing question was what was an assassin doing in the D.A.’s office? Followed quickly by and why does she have Maeve’s file?
The assassin hummed noncommittally, keeping her gaze on the file before her. “Same as you, I’d expect.” She finally raised her gaze to his and only Rowan’s years of training kept him from blinking appreciatively. She was beautiful, even with a skin peeling smirk cutting across her full lips. She was dangerous. Every cell in Rowan’s body was screaming at him that she was. But then again, he thought as a smirk pulled at his own lips, so was he.
“Now, as far as I can see it we’ve got two options here,” she explained, removing her feet slowly from the desk and standing. She flipped Maeve’s file shut and tapped the manila cover with her pointer finger. “We could either fight over this thing and probably use up the remaining minute we’ve got left before the security comes back on–which would be pretty rutting stupid,” she gave him a pointed look, as if daring him to be that stupid. “Or,” she quirked a brow and pushed the file across the desk, “you take the damn file and we go our separate ways–pretending like this conversation never happened.”
Tilting his head a bit, he asked, “That’s it? You’re just going to give up your prize without a fight? What would your client say?”
Shrugging, the assassin cocked a hip and rested her hand on it, “I’ve already read through the juicy parts. I don’t need the actual thing.”
Deciding not to look a gift horse in the mouth, Rowan stepped up and secured the file. He opened his mouth, about to inquire about the ring, when suddenly the blonde haired woman was standing right next to him. Stiffening, but not moving away–she was fast, he internally cursed himself for not monitoring her movement, for letting his guard down even just a bit–he peered down at her. “I’ve heard about you, you know,” she purred, her blue eyes glinting in the dim light. “Rowan Whitethorn, infamous Cleaner. Second to none.” Patting his upper arm, she lightly drew her fingers down his bicep. “The rumors never mentioned how handsome you were. They’re not doing you justice.” A pretty blush bloomed over her cheeks, and Rowan realized suddenly how young she was. She couldn’t be a day over twenty. If that.
“You know my name, but I don’t know yours,” Rowan responded coolly. He wasn’t about to be fooled by a pretty face. This woman was a viper’s nest, just waiting to strike.
She blinked, shock shattering through her carefully crafted mask. Rowan quirked a brow and grinned victoriously. The girl had created a name for herself, no one would doubt that, but the assassin was hardly a spy. And seeing her youth, her inexperience shown through. She was a good killer, but didn’t have the discipline for espionage. Maybe in a few more years, Rowan mused.
Snatching her hand back as if she’d been burned, the assassin’s blush grew and she timidly looked down at her feet. She began to shift her feet restlessly, another sign of her inexperience. Fiddling with her fingers, she murmured, “Celaena.”
“Nice to meet you Celaena,” Rowan chuckled, and watched as Celaena’s face twisted into a scowl.
Pouting, the assassin pushed the file further into his chest and huffed, “Ugh, just take the stupid thing and leave!” Then, in a dramatic fashion that could only belong to a teenager, Celaena turned heel and disappeared down the hall. Shaking his head and chuckling a bit more, Rowan figured he had about twenty more seconds before the power came back on and quickly made his escape out the building and into the faceless city streets.
It was only later–much, much later–that Rowan realized that in getting caught up in Celaena’s dramatic, teen-aged bull, he’d completely forgotten about Maeve’s ring. Stopping in the middle of the street, he slapped his hand to his forehead and groaned.