Petyr Baelish: Loose Ends…
Petyr knew he’d need to deal with the Northern whore. He’d so far been lenient with her, though he’d warned her before not to step out of line. However, he’d been hearing whispers in the wind. Whispers of secret meetings, and of plots to undermine all of his careful plans. He’d have thought Varys cleverer than to proposition her in his own establishment. Of all the men… and at that thought he chuckled… of all the men in the Realm, Varys ought to know that even the very walls have ears.
He entered the brothel, relieved that it was still standing. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he noted that the battle hadn’t reduced his clientele. Most of his girls seemed to be engaged with soldiers. War is good for business, he thought with a smirk, as he moved in the direction of his office. The soldiers spent what meager coin they had on drink and whores, and his pockets became heavier, while the other merchants in the city went hungry. Before entering his office he told a passing girl to send the redhead, Ros, along to him when she was finished with her current customer. Petyr was attending to his newly arrived ravens when the redheaded whore knocked and then entered.
“You wanted to see me, Lord Baelish?” she asked as she came to stand before his desk.
“Ah, yes.” Looking up, smiling charmingly, he folded the parchment he’d been reading and put it aside. “I have a special engagement for you, with a very special client.” He smiled more broadly now, and continued. “In fact, he asked for you, specifically. It appears you have an admirer.”
She smiled back, looking pleased with herself. “I do have a strong clientele now, which one is it, my Lord?”
“Oh, this is a new customer, but he said you came highly recommended. You must be discreet and not say a word, my dear. This is a very powerful, but also a very private man. You must ready yourself to leave immediately. We mustn’t keep him waiting.” He nodded at her and stood, motioning toward the door. “Go, go, go.”
Beaming, she nodded, “Yes, my Lord!” and hurried from the room. It wasn’t long before she returned, hair pinned neatly, wearing a low-cut gown, her cheeks flushed with excitement.
Rising, Petyr crossed to the door to meet her, taking her by the arm. “The back door, and be quick about it. Your patron’s man will be waiting just outside. He will guide you to a litter waiting for you at the end of the alley. You will be blindfolded, for the journey, for privacy’s sake. “Leaning forward, he kissed her lightly on the cheek, lingering a moment to whisper into her ear. “You won’t disappoint me, will you my dear?”
Smiling smugly, she cocked her head to the side. “Disappoint you? Oh no, my Lord, never that!” She winked and turned to go, he watched her with a curl of his lips as she headed toward the back of the brothel. Turning and closing the door, he poured himself a glass of Dornish red and went to the window.
Below, Ros emerged and a small wiry man materialized out of the shadows. They spoke briefly and she turned her back to him. He tied a cloth around her eyes and Petyr watched them move slowly toward the south end of the alley. Suddenly, a second, larger man stepped out behind them, blocking Petyr’s view of the redheaded whore. As the second man stepped away, the dark shape that had been Ros seemed to stumble and fall to the ground. The two men lifted the dark shape and tossed it into the back of the cart, covering her with what looked to be rushes. The large man climbed into the driver’s seat, the smaller man hopping onto the back as the cart began to roll slowly around the corner and out of sight.
Petyr closed the blinds and returned to his desk. He set down his wine, shaking his head slowly. It was too bad, she had been good at her job, but she’d become a liability. He had warned her, but she couldn’t play by the rules. His rules. Smiling again, he picked up his glass and leaned back in his chair, resting his feet on the edge of his desk. His hands were clean.