The Adventure of a Priestess and a Thief

Part One

Kiari wandered through the quiet halls of the guest wing. The visitors seemed to use the priestess rooms more than their own rooms, Kiari mused. She halted in front of Autolycus' room. She knocked and got no answer. She opened the door.

The room was empty. She sighed as she walked over to the window. She had wanted some kind of diversion and Autolycus was just the man to give it to her. She had been having strange dreams about him ever since her horse Comet called him Brisco. Dreams about him chasing criminals on a horse also named Comet. Of course, her Comet had stories about all of it, but who ever believes a horse?

"Looking for me?" A voice behind her asked. She turned around and found him studying her, brown eyes twinkling.

"Now how is that you can sneak up on me like that?" She smiled at him.

"It's my specialty, sneaking up on the temple weaver," he grinned at her. "Hey, I thought the room stays empty unless I call for someone."

"Umm, I was anticipating your call?" She tried.

He accepted it. "I like your style."

"Just my style?" Now where did that come from?

He raised an eyebrow. Was the temple weaver making a pass at him? Sure she was, why wouldn't she? "Your smile too."

She laughed. "Hey Autolycus, will you wear this for me?" She went to the closet took out the cowboy outfit. "I thought we could take a ride out on Comet."

"Oh, your horse, the one who has me confused with someone else? I don't know." He took the outfit from her, regarding it warily. "But for you, I will endure your horse."

"He likes you," she reminded him. She turned around as he started stripping. "Do you need any help?"

"Yeah, come here..."

Kiari stepped back to admire her handiwork. Autolycus was certainly a handsome fellow, especially with the cowboy from the wild west gear. Everything was perfect, except--

"Have you ever thought of shaving the mustache?" She asked. He had that villain look that just didn't look right.

Autolycus frowned at her. "Are you crazy? The mustache stays."

Kiari shrugged. "Just a thought. Come on, let's go." She took his hand and led him out of his room. They headed towards the main halls, to her room. The priestesses they passed glanced at him curiously and he tipped his hat at them, an automatic response he didn't understand.

"Now why go all the trouble of dressing me up just to go to your room?" Autolycus inquired gamely.

"I'm going to dress up too," Kiari said as they got to her door.

Autolycus stopped. "Shall I wait out here?" Ares had the nasty habit of suddenly appearing in a priestess' room at the most inopportune moments.

"Don't be silly," the priestess laughed, dragging him into her room.

As Kiari raided her closet, Autolycus looked around the room. She certainly lived on the spartan side. A bed, a table, some books here and there, some knick knacks elsewhere. He picked up her cup on the table and studied it. An interesting piece, he thought, very detailed.

"A-ha! This should do." Kiari took out an outfit that matched his, though darker in color. "What do you think?" She held the clothes against her. She already had the hat on her head.

Autolycus grinned at her. "Perfect. Now tell me again our plan?"

"We're going to take a ride on Comet and see where he takes us. Perhaps we'll have a little adventure, if I can get this darn dress off." She was trying to unlace her dress, but one knot was particularly stubborn.

"Here, let me," Autolycus offered. He swatted her hands away.

"My hands are smaller, I should be more able to untie the knot," Kiari protested.

"Ah, but I've had plenty of practice with these priestesses dresses of yours. There is not a knot that I cannot undo." And to prove his point, he had the dress unlaced. "There." He looked up at her and saw that funny light in those big brown eyes, the same light that twinkled at him when she "helped" him with his outfit.

Before he could step away, she took his head in her hands and brought her lips to his. Not one to protest the attentions of a lady, Autolycus once again enjoyed the softness of her lips. His ever talented hands had her out of her dress in no time and he was not surprised to find himself similarly unattired when they parted for breath...

"So, are you restless or something?" Autolycus asked, sliding his fingers through Kiari's hair. They were in her bed as dusk was falling.

She rested her chin on his chest and regarded him with questioning eyes. "What makes you say that?"

"Well, you don't usually pay too much attention to me. You're usually off with the doom gloom god or the lovey dovey god or your war god. I've even seen you with that Joxer fellow. What strange one that is. I know I'm on your list, but I'm not at the top."

"Hmm, I didn't think you noticed," Kiari smiled.

"It's my job to notice everything," he reminded her. "So spill the beans. What's the sudden attraction to me?"

She propped herself up on one elbow, studying the handsome man beside her. What was it about him? He was good-looking, that was a given, and he certainly had charm. But Kiari knew that this moment was her doing, that she initiated the interlude. And he was not one to pass up an opportunity.

"I've always liked you, Autolycus."

"Oh yeah, what do you like about me?"

She grinned at him. "You just want to hear about your attributes."

"Sure, why not? Okay, let me start. You are a beautiful woman, although you could do better with your choice of professions. You have talented fingers, soft silky hair, and the most luscious lips I have ever had the honor to kiss. And you have a sweet smile and a funny laugh."

"Why Autolycus, that's so nice of you. All right, you are a handsome fellow, although you too could do better with your choice of professions. You have talented hands, a mustache that tickles, and for a mortal, you're quite a kisser."

He waved all of that off. "I was all of that before this. What is it now? What has brought you to me?"

She was thoughtful. "You were right. I'm restless. And ever since Comet's seen you, he's been telling me all these stories about someone named Brisco and chasing bad men and all kinds of things. He can make things sound so exciting."

Autolycus raised an eyebrow. "Do you always listen to your horse?"

She laughed. "I know it sounds strange. I would think he was rambling, except I've been having these dreams. And my dreams, well, they have a way of coming about."

"So what does that mean?" He asked.

"It means, I think we have an adventure ahead of us," she smiled.

Autolycus didn't know if he liked the gleam in Kiari's dark eyes. "Hmm, would this adventure involve treasure?"

"It could involve anything," Kiari said.

He could tell she was excited. "So, because of your horse and your dreams, you and I are going to have an adventure? Let me check my calendar." He consulted his imaginary calendar over his head. "Okay, sure, I'm free. But I don't think that god of yours is going to go for me and you trekking off to the gods only know where."

"Oh, don't worry about Ares," Kiari said bravely. "He's got plenty of other priestesses to occupy his time. I've got my work caught up. I can leave a note with someone to sell the tapestries for me."

"I still don't think he'll let you go. I've seen him when you've gone to the Underworld for your 'work' with Hades. Ares is never really a pleasant fellow, but he's even more surly when any of his priestesses are gone." Autolycus shivered to make his point.

"Now Autolycus, are you afraid of Ares?"

"Damn right I am," he said proudly. "I'm no fool. He's a god who graciously allows me to stay here sometimes. Think I'd do anything to incur his wrath? Heck no!"

"Then we won't tell him," she decided.

"He'll know we're gone," Autolycus reminded her.

"We'll see," she said.

"I'll tell him it was your idea."

"You'd be telling the truth."

"I can't believe you listen to your horse."

onward to Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6

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