TITLE: 40 THIEVES
GENRE: YOUNG ADULT (STEAMPUNK/HISTORICAL FANTASY)
Amara ran her hand along the rose-colored stone until she found the entrance. Pressing her back against the wall, she shoved open the door, revealing a narrow den.
"I've got it," she said, dangling the necklace in front of his nose. "I could have taken whatever you wanted from the safe. You know as well as I do that the necklace works as the key."
Harun's eyes did not acknowledge Amara's presence. Instead, he continued chopping a mango into thick, precise slices.
"I wanted to know that you could be discreet." His fat lips curled into a grin while he powdered the mango with chili pepper. "A quality which you are sorely lacking."
Amara's fists tightened, clutching the necklace. "You say that only because I'm a woman. I'm tired of these petty missions. I can steal from even the most alert vendors with my right hand tied behind my back, I--"
Before she could complete her sentence, Harun leapt from the tattered stool and pushed her back against the wall. His dirty fingernails dug into her shoulders, and she inhaled his sour breath.
"I have a special mission for you. One if completed successfully would earn you your marks. Watch your tongue before I change my mind," he growled, grabbing her chin.
"Is this the girl?" a gravelly voice asked.
Harun's eyes darted to the corner and he dropped to his knees, forcing Amara to grovel beside him. "Sir, forgive me. I was not expecting you this early."