Av did not recoil from the bundle of canes that clattered unceremoniously on his table. The lack of reaction did not surprise Shar. After all, Shar was certain he’d never once seen Av recoil from anything but the mention of a bath. The books Av had been reading, though, that was surprising.
Both men (if Av was a man, Shar was never quite certain) eyed the canes as if neither understood how they’d gotten there. “I’m not much of a thief,” Shar announced, “but when I am, I try for the good contraband.” He gestured to the canes, almost tensely. “You know these, of course?”
“Cains?” Av back-handedly brushed one off his book.
“No.” The cane briskly lifted, pulling Av’s attention with it. “Oriental canes.” Shar tugged on the handle, and it gave way with a wooden ‘pop.’ A small bottle of peach brandy slid into Shar’s palm, and the offering was set before Av. Shar grinned proudly.
Av, however, was not so impressed. (more…)