"Make it a double," I said to the bartender.
"Bottles empty. Where's all this liquor going?" He asked as he took another bottle down from the top shelf.
I shrugged and gave my empty shot glass an impatient jiggle.
The old man just frowned as he tipped the bottle, filling my glass.
"Trying to forget something?" Some guy, Maybe my age, had sat down at the bar next to me.
"No, but now that you mention it, I guess there's a few memories I wouldn't miss..." I said.
"Drinking to drown a fish... that is, drinking for the sake of drinking is a good way to die young," he said as he threw back a shot of whiskey.
"...hmm, if only I were so lucky... so what's your deal? You don't look quite like the rest of the people around here," I said. "Why don't you try guessing?" He said without looking up.
Despite my somewhat blurred vision I could make out a dirty black cowboy hat, matching vest and boots. A pair of off grey pants, and of course, a revolver on his hip...
"Well.... now this is only a guess, but judging by your looks I would say you were some kind of idiot," I said as I threw back another shot.
"You know, most of my targets beg me not to kill them, you're the first to ask for it," he said, still yet to look away from his empty glass.
"I'm not exactly the begging sort," I said.
"We'll see," he said. In a flash he had drawn his revolver and pointed it at my head.
Then I heard the sound of a trigger pull.
I glanced out of the corner of my eye to see that the hammer had failed to fall forward, followed by his gun mysteriously emptying its own ammunition. He looked at me, an eyebrow raised.
"I'm also not the dying type," I said, putting back one more shot for the road.
As I stepped outside, I could feel Princess grinning at me.
"I guess you expect me to say thank you," I said. She strutted up alongside me.
"It's what any real man would do, so no I dont expect you to," she said
"Why do you keep bailing me out anyway?" I asked.
"Oh trust me, if anyone else could see and hear me, and was willing to help I would have let you have what's coming to you a long time ago," she said.
And I doubt she's joking.
A distinct sound of spurs started to approach me from behind. I glanced over my shoulder to see Cowboy was sure enough following me.
"Got a horse?" I asked him nonchalantly.
"I'm afraid I don't," he responded in kind.
"Then those spurs are for the ladies, I presume?"
"I like to think of it as being prepared, should a horse ever need my riding," he said.
"Gonna try to kill me again?" I asked.
"The idea crossed my mind once or twice, yea," he said.
"What's the bounty up to now, anyway?"
"After the blackout in Nyker city it doubled... so about half a million Crass pieces." He answered.
"Dead or alive?"
"...Well, it was, until that incident with the preacher... back in Syler? Now they just figure it's better you die for good this time," he said.
"Buy you a shot and and we go our separate ways?" I asked.
"Not gonna happen like that," he said.
I heard him draw his weapon again, only this time a gun shot rang out.
Honestly, I just assumed Princess finally decided to give up on me. So I was a bit surprised to find out I hadn't been shot. As I turned to look, cowboy was lying face first in the dirt behind me, and looming over him was a teenage girl, not older than seventeen.
She kicked away his revolver and pointed her own pistol down to him, firing five more shots into him before reloading.
"Quinten you need to run-" Princess said.
No sooner did the words leave her lips before I was halfway into an alley, a bullet slamming into the wall were I had just been standing.
The sound of swift footsteps rapidly approaching me was sobering to say the least.
"Can't help me out with this one? " I asked Princess.
"She looked at me... she saw me... she's something else," Princess said.
Another shot rang out as I fell and rolled around the next corner, a new bullet hole added to my coat. As I ran I jerked an old bit of cloth out of my pocket and held it in both hands as I rounded one last corner.
"You think that will work?!" Princess asked.
"Probably not!" I shouted as I jumped around the corner just as the murderous teenager did.
For a split second we were eye to eye as I fell towards her. A gunshot rang out and my vision went red. I fell against a wall and crumpled to the ground clutching my leg.
She, too, fell to the ground, writhing in pain. The bit of cloth wrapped snugly around her neck. She reached up and attempted to tear it off, only to scream in more pain as she did. She looked at me with hatred in her eyes.
I took a knife from my pocket and cut my fingertip. Her own fingertip began to bleed as well.
"Understand?" I said to her.
"Damn you," she barked.
"Calm down or you'll bleed to death," I said, tourniqetting my leg.
"What did you do to me?!" She growled furiously at me.
"Well I like to think I made you reconsider," I said.
"I'll kill you," she said
"Wouldn't reccomended it," I said pointing to the cloth on her neck, "unless you're keen on coming with me."
After getting myself ironed out, I hobbled to her and began dressing her leg. She seemed surprised.
"I'm sure you're wondering why I don't just let you die, and make no mistake, I would. But I was a bit hasty with the charm, you know what with you trying to kill me, so now if you die, I'll die too... which would be inconvenient," I explained.
She didn't seem to take it well. No idea why.
"I'd recommend you become my lackey until I deem you fit to be released back into the wild," I continued.
"Go to hell," she spat.
"Don't worry. To me there's no such thing as a lost cause. The road to rehabilitation will be a long one, but we'll do it together," I said.
And that was how Quentin the con man came to know the Assassin, Triss.
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