“He’s lying to us,” Cassim said flatly.
“Oh, and we’re telling him everything,” Zainab shot back, tapping her Fogblade. “Come on, Boss. Alibaba’s leaving stuff out? He’s a boss. Of course he does. But lie?” She rolled her eyes. “Why the hell do you think you never took him into the gang? He couldn’t lie if you set him on fire. He just doesn’t work that way.”
Sure he didn’t. “He works fine for the nobles,” Cassim growled.
His lieutenants… blinked at him. “Um, Boss?” Hassan ventured. “Who’s the guy who keeps passing us info on the big houses’ guard schedules, and what they order?”
Details, details. “I don’t trust him,” Cassim said flatly. “The last time things went bad for him, he just ran. He’ll do it again.”
“Boss….” Zainab wet her lips. “I have some people I talk to in the palace staff. One or two of them knew Anis a long time ago, they like people who knew her…. Boss. They say Abhmad went out of his head that night, and Sabhmad was about as ready to stop him as a wet dishrag. Abhmad didn’t blame us for the fire, and King Rashid dying. He blamed Alibaba.”
For a moment all Cassim could see was red. That was the Fog Troupe’s score, how dare any noble give the credit to Alibaba again….
But he was the leader of the Fog Troupe, and he didn’t go cutting down someone just because they brought him bad news. That was a good way to get your people killed.
So he took a breath, and held it, until the blood stopped rushing so much in his ears. Let it out, and looked at Zainab again.
She hadn’t moved, even if she was sweating a little. “He ran, Boss. You know it, I know it, he knows it. But if he hadn’t run, he’d be dead.”
Alibaba dead. He… didn’t want that. Mostly. When he had his head on straight. “But he ran.”
Zainab nodded, relaxing a little. “We’ll watch him, Boss. We’ve always watched him. If he turns on you- we’ll give him to you. Gift-wrapped.”