the smuggler’s bible

Vortigern

Vortigern leans forward, breeze ruffling the fawn-colored collar of his coat, and lifts a cup to his lips. “I’ll let you pour your own if you’d like to drink,” he says. “Which I don’t expect you will.”

Six yards across unbroken snow. Close enough, perhaps, if he knew the situation. If he knew what was at stake.

“She isn’t here. In fact, you have come much too far.”

“You invited me.”

“Yes, I suppose I did.” Vortigern folds the ribbon gently on the table. “Do you know the date? Today is her anniversary. I thought her oldest friends should celebrate.”