Shayara. The first city. The walled city, where the fog rolls in from the sea, over the walls, at sunset.
She stands at the highest point of the wall. Far past sunset now, and visibility is low - she can hardly see the moon glint on short choppy waves. Can hardly see the hard, narrow excuse for a beach at the bottom of the wall.
The wind whips her hair around her face, her shoulders, her waist. Glossy black, like the waves.
She tastes salt in the air.
She is cold beyond shivering, and the belt of her scarlet robes has just blown through her hands, fluttering like a child's hair ribbon through the streets of the Carnival District behind her. She wonders abstractly if whoever finds it will know what it is. Whose it was.
She drops her arms, lets the robes ripple out against her, behind her, snapping like a flag.
She closes her eyes.
She squeezes her eyes shut harder. No. Won't answer. Won't help him find her.
It's the first time she's been alone in... how long?
Alanna. Come down.
"Want to come down the hard way," she whispers - knowing that it doesn't matter if he hears her. Knowing he can read her.
Knowing that he can find her whether she wants him to or not.
Her back is to her city; her face is to the sea.
It would be so easy.