Neivria loathed doing that, but she had no option. She stood near a wall, in a crowded street. She wore a very low-cut dress and bodice and she tried to approach some gullible man who would feel attracted by her cleavage. That morning she had made two unsuccessful attempts.
Albe was a huge city, full of criminals and with markets that seemed to be plenty of opportunities for a thief, but she could not take advantage of any. She passed the three first days after arriving to Albe settling in her aunt's house and knowing the city. At the fourth day, she walked through the Square of Govria, the biggest in the city. That day, the square was a marketplace. She had not practised very much, but she thought that stealing the money from an unwary passer-by would be easy. She saw a man who held a doublet, with his back towards her. Neivria put her hand into his clothes, grabbed a pouch with a few coins... and she felt that her waist was grabbed firmly. The man turned and told her:
"Are you trying to steal from me?"
"Of course not, sir, it's just that..."
The man hurt her and despite she struggled, he did not let her loose. Finally, she could release pushing the man and she escaped running. She tried again several times during some days, but the only that she got was a bump produced by something that a woman threw while she escaped from her after she tried to stole a pendant from that woman. Neivria got tired of so much failing and she thought that she should team up with other criminals until she earned enough experience. She went over the taverns in the rough part of Albe until two men with dangerous looks approached her and they proposed to her the job that was doing in these moments. Her role was easy: going over a crowded street dressed in a way that attracted attention, seducing any gullible passer-by and bringing him to an alley where her two mates will rob from him everything that he carried. Although it was not easy to convince her victims because people in Albe were wary, they were able to rob three or four men by day. Her part of the loot was the smallest, because her role was the less risky. However, the worst thing for Neivria was that neither her skills, nor her training, nor her intelligence let her to earn money: she was only successful if she showed her cleavage. She deluded herself thinking that she would laugh about these so difficult first steps in her criminal career when she were a feared pirate.
Neivria noticed that a very tall and handsome man with a moustache peeped at her. She thought that he could have a high status and decided to try. She followed him for a while and when he stopped in front of a tavern, she pretended to stumble into him by accident.
"Excuse me, sir. I was miles away."
She felt glad because the man gazed at her and he answered, smiling:
"No need to apologise. You can do it again."
Neivria laughed and remained close to him. She moved her hand to her chest, as if she wanted to cover herself, but, instead, she put it on her dress. That trick never failed: the man, following her hand, looked at his cleavage.
"Thank you, sir."
She went away from him a few steps, wiggling her hips, and she invited to him to follow her with a glance. The man told:
"May I walk with you?"
"If you wish..."
They walked for a while and the man told:
"Your accent is very nice. Where do you come from?"
"From Malgate". She smiled and told: "Thank you, but it's a farmer's accent."
"It sounds very well in your lips."
She loved the compliment. The man turned to his back and brought her behind a big column, pushing her gently. He made Neivria lean her back against its surface. She was trapped between the stone and his arms, and the man gazed at her as if he wanted to kiss her. However, Neivria did not mind, because she felt attracted to him. He approached his face to hers and, instead of kissing her, he whispered in her ear:
"You are gorgeous."
She loved being whispered in that way. And she had to contain herself for not panting when, in a very gentle way, the man started to kiss her neck, from the ear to the bottom. She let him to continue until she considered that it would be not safe to spend more time. Then, she stopped him telling:
"Please, not here."
The man stood up straight in order to look at her:
"Because anybody could see us. I know a more discreet place."
His companion looked at her attentively:
"Yes. It's very close to here."
"OK. Let's go."
The man stretched his forearm and they started to walking arm in arm. When they were near the place where he would be ambushed, Neivria saddened. She would go by for having a good time with that handsome and seductive man, but if she would do, his accomplices would get angry. She was so tired of nasty men who forced her to be continuously putting their hands aside her breasts, that she was happy to have known a very different kind of man. She asked him to enter the alley, but the man trapped her again between the wall and his arms and he told:
"Is this the alley you talked about?"
"Yes, it is. Come on!"
"Your accomplices are waiting for me there, aren't they?"
And, before Neivria could react, she found a dagger at a fraction of an inch from her throat. She felt that her heart started to beat really fast and she looked at the man with very opened eyes. He made gestures with his hand and three men that Neivria had not seen until that moment drew their swords and entered the alley. Neivria started to tremble: in Albe only policemen could bear arms.
Neivria heard shouts in the alley while her captor forced her to enter. Her two accomplices went out after a moment with their arms tied in their backs by shackles. One of them, Bumold, looked at her and shouted:
"Did you try to seduce a policeman, you bloody idiot?"
Neivria was affected so deeply that could not answer, but her captor told:
"Do not bother her. I pretended to take the bait. We received several reports from people robbed that were related to a girl with farmer's accent and we decided to capture her."
Her captor forced her to turn and another policeman tied her hands in her back by shackles. She had to contain her tears when she understood that everything was over for her. All her dreams had been broken; she would rot in jail for a long time, perhaps, during years.
The policemen and their prisoners went out the alley. Neivria and her captor walked in the last place and the others had to hack their way through a group of nosy passers-by. Without levelling her sight, with trembling voice, Neivria told:
"What will happen to me?"
"I don't know. The judge will decide."
They continued moving forward through a very meandering path and, after a long time, they arrived to a huge building and went down to the basement. Her captor took off the shackles from her and, without telling a single word, he locked Neivria up in a small musty smelled cell. The roof was very high and it had only a tiny window at the top. Neivria passed several hours there, feeling very anxious, thinking that she could pass several years locked up in a place like that, or, even, in a worst place. She would never sail the ocean; her world would be reduced to the space between the four walls of his cell.
The same policeman who captured her freed her and took Neivria to a luxury office. A skinny man, with almost not hair and a long and sharp nose, was sat behind a desk. His name was Novot and he was a judge. When he approached, Neivria did not know where she had to place her hands, so she crossed them in front of her, with her arms lowered. His expression was hard and bitter and he was about two inches shorter than her. He asked Neivria about her name, origin, where she lived and the people that lived with her and, finally, if she knew what she was charged with. Neivria answered with low voice, raising her sight as less as possible. She had to tell the judge in which way she started to work with her old accomplices. After that, the judge sashayed pensive in front of her and he asked:
"Aren't you too young for being a criminal, Miss Neivria?"
"I'm nineteen years old, Mister judge."
"That's what I said: too young. And address me as 'your Honour', please". He sashayed for a while and told: "Do that aunt, in whose home you live, know what you work as?"
Neivria always feared that her aunt would realise that she was a thief; however, she was going to pass some time in jail, so she would realise anyway. She was honest:
"She has no idea, your Honour."
The judge looked at her for a while and told to the policeman:
"Percin, tie her wrists with the shackles. We are going to know to Miss Neivria's aunt."
He obeyed and after that, they went out the building accompanied by three more policemen and Neivria conducted them to her aunt's house. The judge knocked the door and, after a short time, her aunt went out. Neivria had a lump in her throat that became unbearable when her aunt seemed terrified looking at the judge, the policemen and Neivria. The judge told:
"Good afternoon, madam, am I talking to Olvanda?"
"Yes, sir, what is happening?"
"Do you know this girl?"
"Yes, I do. She's Neivria, my niece. What did happen?"
The judge answered:
"Let's talk in your house", and he entered.
The judge passed a lot of time in her aunt's house and went out alone. He had in his face the same sour look that he had in his office. He looked at Neivria and told:
"You made your aunt really upset, Miss Neivria, and I think that she did not deserve that."
That was a torture for Neivria and she had to exert herself for containing and begging the judge to be jailed once and for all. He added:
"Did you know that if any of your accomplices had killed one of the victims that you sent to them, you would be sentenced to death in this moment?"
She answered with a tiny voice:
"They assured that they would not kill anybody."
"And did you believe that? Oh, yes! They were not interested in killing anybody because if they would do, they would be lost, but if any of their victims would have resisted with determination, these swine would get angry and would kill him by accident. You wouldn't be the first one who was hanged for something like that."
Neivria felt dizzy and had to make an effort in order to avoid falling down. She hanged on one of the policemen who had trapped her and the policeman held her firmly in order to avoid that she fell down. The judge looked at her and told:
"You were very lucky, Miss Neivria. After getting tired of crying, your aunt begged for mercy upon you, and I will be compassionate. I sentence to you to imprisonment for two weeks. I hope that the darkness, the loneliness and the silence will help you to think about what you want to do with your life from now."
He faced Percin and told:
"Imprison her in one of the cells in the basement. We will draw up the documents after; now, I will have a drink."
And Novot went away accompanied by two policemen. Neivria, Percin and the other policeman came back the building where she was interrogated by the judge. During the walk, she almost came down due to the tension that she had to bear. She recovered when she understood completely how lucky she was. However, she became tormented all the time because she was really near to lose everything in exchange of a few coins of loot.