The Troll market was such a busy place, no matter the time of day. Trolls, Golems and others more disgusting or beautiful wandered around looking at the stalls. Some had rotting fish, others jewelry or weird trinkets, and occasionally some books or scrolls. The noise was almost unbearable, the smell horrendous in spots. Toothfairies buzzed around, looking for a meal.
By one of the rotting fish stalls, hidden by the shadow of the worn and cracked pillar, a woman waited. Situated perfectly to avoid the disgusting smell of the fish monger nearby and in a zone with comfortable level of noise. She was covered in a heavy, worn black cloak with a hood that hid most of her fair face. From afar, one could note that her hair was almost snow white against the dark cloak and almost matched her skin. She was casually looking at a piece of worn parchment. Thea sighed in boredom as she flipped the parchment around her fingers over and over. A toothfairy flew near her looking for scraps from the fish stall, a quick cold glance from her smoke gray eyes sent the thin blue creature on its way, fearing for its life.
The Troll market was as alive as its inhabitants. It had its own pulse, a pulse that coursed through each creature, each being, in the place. The merchants were trying to peddle their goods, and those less trustworthy shop owners were swindling a seemingly unsuspecting public.
Predatory blue eyes searched the area for his target. Despite her hiding in the darkness and her dark attire, he found her rather easily. No shroud of darkness could hope to hide her from him. He made his way past several civilians toward the pale skinned woman and at long last he had reached her. A half-smile pulled at his lips as he looked into her gray eyes. Evan ran a hand through his short, chocolate brown hair and threw his arm confidently around her shoulders. "Hey gorgeous," he greeted her.
"Hey stud-cake. Find anything interesting?" The woman asked the confident man as he slung his arm around her. His exceptionally suggestive action did not faze her in the slightest. The piece of parchment disappeared into the fabric.
"Because I found nothing. For the second day in the row." Thea growled as she waved her hand around in slight frustration.
Evan's grin widened at her pet name for him and he watched her tuck the piece of parchment away. In all honesty he watched every move she made. Evan had learned, as one often did when they did what he did for a living that you always had to keep an eye on everyone. If you didn't then you lost the upper hand, and anyone could surprise you at any given moment.
"Well I did find something," he said sounding triumphant, "That lovely lady, selling remedies over there, well her name is Leila and that we may be seeing one another Friday. Otherwise I'm to ring her at this number." he replied as he showed her the palm of his hand proudly.
There was a small pause as Thea looked at his hand, then to his face, and back again to his hand. "I see no way of this being relevant to what we're looking for." She raised her hand before he could make a witty, dirty remark. The gleam in his eye gave it all away.
"You know what I'm referring to." Thea mentioned as she slipped away from Evan's arm and down the dark alleyway.
He just laughed at her comment. Evan knew that she'd react exactly this way, which is precisely why he'd done it. When she slipped away he just shrugged it off and followed her.
"Don't worry sweetheart, it's nothing serious." he continued, "Anyhow, I also found out something about what we're looking for."
"That's what you always say. I'm worried that it will be serious one day." Thea teased back at Evan. She walked out of the alley and stood at the edge of the crowd cheering on two creatures fighting.
Evan just scoffed, "Trust me sweetheart, I have yet to find a woman who could even hope to hold my interest that way." His eyes fell on the creatures in a look of indifference. He didn't much care for these sorts of things unless he was placing a bet or benifiting from the display in some manner.
"So what did you find out?" She asked as she returned from her mini side adventure.
"Well, it's no longer in the hands of humans. Whomever they gave the object in question to is dead. Surely not to natural causes. From what I've gathered it was picked up, and perhaps sold or traded to another party. Problem is finding the party it was sold to." He explained.
Thea scoffed, "Of course the humans would lose it. Pansies. The lot of them." Then she mulled over some thoughts rolling in her head.
"Yes, but what can they do? They aren't gifted with the abilities or the possible benefits that come with being more than human." He replied with a shrug.
"Though if the human was taken out by one of those monsters over there," she tilted her head to a large troll like creature, with dreadlocks and charms made of various bones and in general was just gigantic, "I would be sympathetic."
"Well of course," Evan commented, "Anyone who finds themselves against the likes of those creatures doesn't really have a prayer."
"That includes you as well." Thea slipped in before continuing on with the important matter at hand.
"Do you think that one bookkeeper would have an idea of where it is? The one that constantly sells stuff to humans? Not the one in the market place, the one by that almost-whore house."
"Which one? The short, fat, balding one or the tall, scarecrow-like fellow?" At the mention of the almost-whore house Evan laughed. "You're going to have to be more specific. The number of almost-whore house and actual whore houses that I've seen could possibly rival your age." He said unabashedly.
"The one guy that always says something along the lines of Ba-dunk-a-wonk when talking to me. Or rather my chest. Additionally, don't insult my age... Baby." She smiled at him; her granite eyes narrowed. Thea was significantly older than him and most of the creatures that survived the human domination.
"Oh, yes, the short, fat one. Wouldn't dream of it Love," He ignored her glare and continued on without worry about her possibly being annoyed at him. If Evan worried every single time that she was possibly upset or angry at him, he'd have already gone prematurely gray.
Thea sarcastically laughed as she walked towards the exit of the Troll market. The large engraved door groaned opened letting the two enter into the human world, which was a dank corridor with minimal light, smelled of garbage, and was underneath a busy bridge, by the sound of the honking cars.
Evan chose to ignore her comment and laughter. It just wasn't worth the effort of arguing with her because neither party would prove nor gain anything from such a squabble. As soon as they were back in the human world Evan felt a little more at peace. He preferred the human realm not only because he was amongst creatures that were undeniably weaker and inferior to him, but because he could easily dupe and manipulate them into doing anything he wanted if he so desired. It was things like that which made coming back to the human world feel better than going home...not that he really had a home mind you.
"Lead the way city-dweller to the short fat shop owner that I hate." She didn't like the idea of talking to the short, overweight, smelly stub of a being again. The first time Thea talked to the man she was highly motivated to pour gasoline on him and light him on fire, while enjoying roasted marshmallows.
"If your heart so desires it, Darling." He replied easily as he led the way down numerous streets, through dark alleyways, and past a few homeless beggars that sought out the pair like an insect seeks out the brightest of lights. Finally the two made their way to their intended destination.
"I am quickly reminded why I miss living at the museum. Or in a private collection." Thea mused as they walked away from the buzzing homeless. She stood in front of the shop and tilted her head, "He renovated it? Or I just hate this place that much."
"Yes, but did you ever have this much fun and excitement living at the museum? I think not." Evan countered easily.
The shop was squeezed between a strip club and bar that was overflowing with drunk, hammered and semi-drunk people. "What a party next door." She mused as they two of them entered the old occult looking store. A bell chimed as the door opened and the lights creepily took their time to light the room. Books everywhere, skeletons of various animals and humans scattered around the room. A spider or two quickly scurried away from the light and the short stub of a man appeared from the darkness smiling at the two of them.
"I have no clue; you know he and I aren't exactly best friends, drinking buddies, or anything of the sort." He said reaching for the door.
"If you ever become this creepy, I will kill you."
"Trust me, for me to sink to this level of creepy I would have to shrink seven inches, go on a binge eating diet of fast food alone, forgo exercise, forget anything I've ever known about personal hygiene, have never seen a toothbrush -let alone a dentist- in my life, have never had sex with anyone -much less with a woman, and find taxidermy a turn on. I can say with the utmost confidence that such things would never happen without the aid of a lobotomy." Evan replied, horrified that she think he'd ever become such a foul, loathsome creature.
Once inside Evan looked over the place as he normally did. Always careful of his surroundings, making certain that he, of course, was in control over any possible situation that might arise. When his eyes fell on the short, sad, stubby creature that unfortunately be called a human being, much less a man, he refrained from giving in to the urge to vomit. To say that the man was repulsive was insulting to repulsive people. Patchy, graying, black hair, stature not above five feet five inches tall, and a large stomach that made it necissary for him to wear braces (suspenders) to keep his pants from falling to the floor. His sense of style was horrendous, his clothes neither matched nor fit properly. The man's pants were far too large for him, which was saying something considering his size, and his shirt was too small in such a way that the buttons on his shirt seemed to cling to the holes that secured the garment closed for dear life. It was all these things, and the man's poor dental work that made the lacking dental work that used to be categorized with the Brits look appealing, that made Evan wish that every time that the pair saw the man that it would be their last encounter with the hideous being.
Thea's mouth twitched in disgust as the walking lard pile moved towards them, he smile baring his disturbingly yellow teeth mainly at her. The urge to vomit and kill was unbearable upon the woman staring down at the creature.
There was a slight pause as Thea composed herself, to prevent vomit from exiting her mouth as she spoke, "Have you seen this?" From the folds of her cloak the piece of parchment appeared in her hands. The balding man grabbed the parchment from her hand, touching her hand in the process sending chills up her spin.
He turned the picture around and around and around, breathing heavily the entire time. His small black eyes moving rapidly back and forth over and over again. Thea was certain that if he kept this up the old sod would die right in front of them.
"Yes, yes. I've seen this before." He brayed at Thea happily, before turning around and heading to the back of his shop, "But, but someone has already bought it. Yesssss. Let me look in my recordsss."
Thea carefully placed her hand over her mouth to hide her expression of distaste towards the man. Her granite eyes closed in concentration as the man disappeared behind several piles of book in various states of decay and wear. Then the slimy donkey voice floated over the book towards them.
"Yess, here it iss. It was sold to Duke Ackerley."
"Thank you for your time. We must leave." Thea quickly stated as she promptly turned around and made a bee-line to the door.
"Wait don't you need this baaack?" The man squealed as she left, she didn't even bother to turn around.
"No. Keep it."
Evan kept out of the conversation. Generally there was a rule to dealing with this man that he followed, and it was do not speak unless directly spoken to. He did not want to deal with such a revolting creature and so to go out of his way to strike up a conversation with the sad excuse for a man would simply be further increasing his torture. Therefore Thea dealt with him, well, it was that and the pathetic man's fondness for her that condemned her to such a fate.
When Thea left without retrieving the parchment Evan couldn't blame her. Any poor unfortunate soul that actually had to come into physical contract with such a horrid creature would probably have to bathe more than ten times to ever achieve a feeling of being clean again.
Evan exited the shop a few steps behind Thea, leaving without uttering a single syllable to the shop keeper.
"Let's not go in there ever again. Even if we're being hunted by every living thing on this planet." Thea exhaled as she hurried down the street away from the store.
"Trust me the feeling is mutual. I never want to see that disgusting man again." Evan muttered.