Away from the life of Old Rose Harbor, a man collapsed to his knees on the warm beach, his dark clothes soaked to the chest and clinging to his small body. His hair was tied haphazardly above his head, and he was staring out at the water, oblivious to the wetness soaking his body, the sharp squaw! of a curious seagull, the sand that had made a permanent home in his shoes, and the absolute beauty of a bright red sunset bleeding in the sky over the water. No, he dug his fingers into the sand as if to anchor himself to a ceasing earth, and his shoulders shook in what could be described, at a distance, as tears.
Albigence Fitz was laughing. It was a good laugh, one that bubbles up from the stomach and shakes the entire body, one that causes one to shake their head in disbelief of how uncontrollably funny something was. His hair fell around him as he grabbed the sand to feel something real and familiar, feel something he knew so well because he hated so much. He couldn't fucking believe it. He looked up, watching Bjorn's body as it crested a wave with a strange, rigid grace brought on by the bloating of his body and ducked under the water.
He had just disposed of Bjorn's body, and, in an oddly poetic moment for himself, he realized he had just, perhaps temporarily, disposed of his passive chains. His laugh choked in his throat, and he sat back on his knees and stared at the sky, the smile fading from his face slowly as disbelief replaced it. He stood slowly and unsteadily as the sand shifted under his feet.
18 years of a passive life, and it had only taken Albigence 8 hours of hiding, plotting, mental breakdowns, dragging a body down a flight of stairs, cleaning up blood and his own vomit, and nervously pushing a body through a city of people before dragging it as far as he could into the sea for him to gain his freedom. Tonight, he was free.
Albigence Fitz floated back to the shop in a daze. Yet, the moment he entered the silent shop, he shriveled with his back against the door. It was only a matter of time before someone noticed, before someone reported him, before his freedom ended.
What the clock did I just do? he thought to himself, the sand suddenly present in his shoes, the cold wetness of his pants and shirt suddenly frigid against his bones. He slid to the floor, suddenly alone in his shop.
Of course, he hadn't killed Bjorn. Yet, he was the easiest choice if the Seventen or Bjorn's family- did he have a family? Albigence had never cared to ask- found him missing, or, worse, found his body. Even if Albigence wasn't the law's murderer, he was suddenly an unclaimed passive, and, gods, to be shipped to Brunnhold and be forced to live among children- he couldn't do that. No, no. Albigence had to hide beneath his words, beneath the coolness of his breath, beneath his trade.
And, so, Albigence Fitz took in the night, finally alone in his own shop.