Crimes of the Heart

Part Three: Honor Among Thieves

Written By: Amanda/Artiste/Agent Di

Drawing back a little Tannis eyed the advancing mallard skeptically. She knew better than to trust a thief so soon. Honor among thieves was a foreign concept to most of these men today, only out for a quick one-night-stand alliance. She’d hold back on the swooning until this guy proved himself to be legit. “Hold it tiger,” she pushed Ricochet back with a clawed hand, “this kitten’s not ready to play rough just yet.”

“So much for your adventurous streak eh?” Ricochet smirked thinking he’d exposed her to be up to something other than just an urge for a thrill.

“Don’t get presumptuous with me pal,” Tannis threatened fangs flashing again, “you may think that it’s you who decides when I get to leave this place but I assure you my fate’s in MY hands. And if you’re not careful, yours will be too.”

“I’m shakin’.” Ricochet answered cockily.

You oughtta be. Tannis sneered, “So, when you claim to want an alliance just what is it that you’ve got in mind?”

Ricochet stepped closer and spoke with what he hoped was a confident air. “The Brotherhood of the Blade is the most elite group of thieves on Puckworld, no surprise, I’m proposing that The Pride join up with us as allies, it’s better than remaining rivals.”

“There is no competition,” Tannis injected, “The Pride could outfox you amateurs any day.”

“Is that so?” Ricochet lifted an eyebrow skeptically.

“That’s right buddy,” Tannis poked him in the chest, “The Pride is number one in thievery and all out mayhem on Puckworld. We’re the ones who NEVER get caught. In fact, we’re so good at what we do that the authorities (while unafraid to chase you) won’t even admit to our existence for shame of their inability to faze us and the risk of putting the over-sheltered citizens into a panic!”

“What about Duke L’Orange sweetheart?” Ricochet demanded, “Seems to me that the most notable mob on Puckworld would have the greatest thief of all leading them? And Duke leads The Brotherhood.”

“Duke may be the most notorious thief according to the headlines in the tabloids,” Tannis argued, “but The Black Cat holds the title of greatest thief of all. Anyone who was anyone among thieves would know that. Obviously you and this whole overrated organization are a lot lower in the crime world than I thought.”

“You’re just askin’ for trouble now toots.” Ricochet warned her. “We don’t take lightly to outsiders comin’ in here and insultin’ our leader.”

“Then maybe you should’ve thought of that before you abducted me hotshot.” Tannis snapped.

Ricochet was about to draw out his sword again, his feelings about this female couldn’t have been more mixed if he’d shoved them in a blender. “You go shootin’ off your beak much more and ya might just lose it. Don’t forget who’s in charge here.”

“L’Orange?” Tannis asked folding her arms in annoyance.

“No…he’s on leave right now. Until he gets back, you’re gonna have to deal with me.” Ricochet answered.

“And just how long are you planning to keep me here?!” she questioned furiously.

“I told ya, until ya can prove you’re trustworthy. I thought that maybe since that friend of yours Amore was married to one of the members here you’d be a bit more cooperative, but I guess you’re just too stubborn to know a good thing when ya see it.” he was getting more fed up with Tannis’s attitude by the minute.

“She isn’t my friend.” Tannis attempted to mislead him again, “I don’t even know who she is! And if she reduced herself to marrying one of you clowns then she obviously isn’t a member of The Pride! There’s no dignity in gettin’ hitched to pawnshop gem snatchin’ rejects.”

That did it…

Tannis didn’t even get in a blink before Ricochet drew his sword, swung it around, and brought its tip to a rest bellow her bill. “Hope your fighting skills are as good as your motor mouth hun, cuz you will need em.”

Narrowing her eyes (forming slits with her pupils) she glared back at him, “They are.”

Not another word was spoken as Tannis’s foot hit him dead-on in the chest, causing him to topple backwards buying her just enough to whip her own blade back out.

Now they stood circling and assessing each other, the points of their swords nearly touching. Ricochet noticed that she had her claws out at full length. They were long, sharp, glistening, and overall incredibly intimidating to one who didn’t possess such advantages.

After a few seconds of sizing each other up they lunged forth simultaneously and the clanging of swords echoed throughout the Brotherhood’s halls.

Hardiron walked past the closed door and sighed, “He never was the best with the ladies.”

Ricochet’s arrogance had gotten on Tannis’s last nerve so she felt no obligation to restrain her long bottled-up feline fury as she lashed out at the temporary leader of The Brotherhood with sword, claw, and fang.

Not willing to seriously injure a lady, Ricochet was desperately wracking his brain for a way out of the mess that his short temper had gotten him into. This mutant obviously wasn’t backing down. Her brown eyes flashed with streaks of fiery red as she took another swipe at him with her free paw. Her claws sank deep into the flesh across his chest causing blood to ooze from beneath his feathers a split second after her claw had made contact.

Instinctively he too lashed out at the cat-duck, attacking her with his blade and making a cut across her upper arm. That would stop her from clawing him since she still needed the other arm for swordplay. “Sorry, had to do that.” he gestured down at his bleeding chest.

“Enjoyed doing that.” Tannis smirked, referring to his wound.

Gonna have to take this one out and fast. Ricochet thought to himself as Tannis prepared to lunge forward with another attack. He noted her tail whipping around her boots. She had her upper body guarded far too well for him to strike another blow, but if he could just use her tail to throw off her footing…

Faking a swipe towards her arm again he slid a foot forward and stomped down on her tail.

Tannis let out a shriek of pain and stumbled backwards. Ricochet didn’t let up on her aching tail until she’d tripped over it and crashed down onto the floor dropping her sword. “You creep!”

“Consider it a drawback to being a mutant doll face.” Ricochet smirked kicking her sword away.

Leaping forwards onto her feet again she came beak to beak with the sly duelist. “No one steps on my tail and lives to laugh about it pretty boy.”

“Sorry kitten, can’t risk ya turnin’ us in.” Ricochet drew a small vile and cloth from his back pocket, Tannis stepped backwards as she watched him poor the liquid into the rag and head towards her. “Don’t take this personally Tannis, but you’ve got a big beak and I’m not so sure yet that you won’t use it against us.”

Tannis tried to run but was tackled and sent stumbling forward back to the floor, she HATED being outmatched! Despite her incessant struggles the mallard seemed to be getting the best of her. Forcefully Ricochet brought the cloth, soaked in chloroform, to Tannis’s bill. Her struggles continued but only for a few seconds longer.

The last sensations the cat-duck could remember were the harsh orders of the thief to cease resistance, the dusty smell of the stone floor, and a twinge of pain from her twisted arm. Then all went black and the real adventure began…

Hardiron came into the room and saw Ricochet on the ground pulling the mutant up with him. “I take it things didn’t go well?”

“Just get me some guards,” Ricochet snapped, “I’m gonna need to stick this one in a room until we can get that Amore girl to talk some sense into her.”

“And do you really think that this is how Duke would handle the situation?” Hardiron smirked as Ricochet hoisted Tannis onto his shoulder and headed for the door.

“Maybe not, but for the time being I’m the leader…so things are gonna get done my way.” Ricochet stopped a few doors down, unlocked a large wooden door, and went in depositing Tannis on the bed. “She stays here until Amore arrives. No one is to open this door, for ANY reason, GOT IT?!”

Hardiron nodded.

“Good.” Ricochet grabbed the handle to the door and pulled it shut, locking it from the outside and dropping the key into one of the pouches on his belt. Women. he thought storming down the hall to find the other Pride member while Hardiron rounded up a few guards to stand watch.

“Good thing Duke isn’t here to see this,” he muttered after spotting two members who could serve as guards for the feisty mutant, “he’d have a fit if he knew we’d taken a prisoner of a mob as lethal as The Pride. Then again, the ol’ boy probably doesn’t even know they exist…”


*That’s what he thinks, lol. I’m seriously debating upon having Duke and Tanya find out about this little clash of the gangs. It’s certainly stir up a little more excitement wouldn’t it? Well, stay tuned for the next chapter cuz I promise, the fur’s gonna fly!*

Part 2

Part 4 (Coming Soon)