I was getting undressed anyway.

Sir Andrew d’Ackerley studies a crumpled, unsigned note sent from a business associate. A problem with one of the shipments from Bes Pelargic — the ship’s hold was empty barring a lone sunflower. He frowns in annoyance — this will not do.

Sir Andrew d’Ackerley reaches into a secret compartment in his desk to find a small notebook kept in very carefully designed code writing. He looks up a specific page and studies the notes he has made about a certain girl who bears the name of a certain flower. Perhaps it is time to pay her a visit and remind her that she is perhaps not as safe as she would like to think.

Sunflower emerges from the house of an acquaintance in Ankh, not very far away from her own apartment in Lavender Place. She looks up briefly at the sky, the stars little pinpoints of light in the inky blackness. She turns away from the line of people waiting for their carriages and walks away, towards home.

Sir Andrew d’Ackerley exits his wife’s attic through a convenient window and shimmies down a drain pipe with ease. How convenient that the little flower girl seems to have taken lodgings in Ankh. Merely a shadow among shadows, the assassin stalks along roof tops and chimneys, nodding to the occasional gargoyle.

Sunflower stops briefly to buy herself some Bubble Tea, an Agatean beverage she loves, and that is being sold conveniently by a vendor in Ankh. She carries it home, sipping as she walks, the glitter highlights in her hair shining in the streetlights.

Sir Andrew d’Ackerley carefully pries a window open and slips through, closing it again from the inside. He looks around the girl’s apartment in the darkness, trying to get a feel for her personality.

Sir Andrew d’Ackerley spots a bird cage and steps toward it on silent feet. He reaches into his pocket to find a small business card and pen. He scribbles something on the card quickly before reaching up to fasten it on the inside of the cage so that one would notice it first thing when removing the cloth that keeps the bird quiet at night.

Sunflower runs up the stairs, taking them two at a time after nodding to Quelch, and slips her specially-made key into the keyhole of the door to her apartment. One wrong jiggle means death, but hey ho.

Sir Andrew d’Ackerley slips into a shadow, realizes that the Lady has played a trick upon him; there is not time enough to reach the window.

Sunflower walks into her apartment, stooping to pick up her mail, and turns on a soft light that illuminates the hallway. She hums as she puts the remainder of her tea on the console table, and looks up, about to walk into the kitchen. She changes her mind and walks into the bedroom instead, leaving the door ajar.

Sir Andrew d’Ackerley switches one shadow for another, closing in on the window but not taking any risks such as dashing across the room.

Sunflower knows that the only way in and out of her apartment is the bedroom window; she’s taken care of all the others. She walks into her walk-in closet, leaving the door ajar, hoping to tempt the intruder into leaving. She pauses before she smiles. Ah.

Sir Andrew d’Ackerley watches his opponent’s movements with a keen eye. Yeah, she knows someone is there, or has been there. He scans the room for alternative options, unmoving.

Nothing more can be seen or heard from Sunflower, although it’s impossible to not notice that the humming has stopped.

Sir Andrew d’Ackerley waits. The only living thing in this bedroom is a cockatoo, and that’s asleep.

The light in your room floods on, but there is no Sunflower there.

Sir Andrew d’Ackerley remains out of sight in the shadows cast by the furniture. He is aware, though, that this is a passing luxury — she clearly knows he is here. He scans the room, unmoving, trying to detect her location.

Sunflower appears noiselessly from a screen behind you. “Boo.”

Sir Andrew d’Ackerley murmurs softly, “Took you long enough.”

Sunflower folds her arms across her waist. “You could have rung the bell.”

Sir Andrew d’Ackerley replies gently, “You were not at home.”

Sunflower flops into a chair near the screen. “Well, don’t just stand there. Sit down.”

Sir Andrew d’Ackerley walks across the room to the other chair, not revealing the daggers in his sleeves that he was prepared to use if necessary. “If you insist.”

Sunflower crosses her legs and reaches up to pull her hair up and out of the way. Oh, and she is also unashamedly naked. No sign of a hidden weapon anywhere.

Sir Andrew d’Ackerley crosses one leg over the other and leans back nonchalantly, appraising her appearance. “I do believe I can arrange a few job openings for you if you’re looking to appearing naked to gentlemen in private.”

Sunflower tilts her head to the side and considers you. “No, thank you.” She shrugs a graceful shoulder. “I was getting undressed anyway. You interrupted me.” She leans back in her chair. “Now, Sir Very Good At Climbing d’Ackerley, to what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?”

Sir Andrew d’Ackerley shrugs ever so lightly, allowing his disdain for her lack of decor to shine through. “You sent me an invitation. It would be quite rude of me not to call upon you after that, I believe.”

Sunflower looks as though your disapproval is the water that flows off her back. She considers this, small forehead wrinkling slightly. “Oh I see. I believe I might have done, yes.” She taps her fingers on the arm of her chair. “Consider it a teensy little reminder of my existence.”

Sir Andrew d’Ackerley mildly says with a Morporkian accent: I trust that there will be no repetitions.

Sunflower amusedly says: You’d do better to not trust me, Sir Andrew.

Sir Andrew d’Ackerley studies her. “You misunderstand. I encourage you to consider the value of a life. Do not make it more profitable for me to have you disposed of.”

Sunflower smiles. “You see me and you still see the girl who hesitated. The girl who made one tiny mistake.” She shakes her head. “You don’t know what I can do. So don’t patronise me. You’re welcome to try to dispose of me, but you will not find it so easy.”

Sir Andrew d’Ackerley shakes his head lightly. “I see somebody who is interfering in my business affairs.”

Sunflower pouts. “I was bored.” She stretches. “I didn’t know you had business affairs, you see.” She eyes you through half-closed eyelashes. “You’re a fascinating study.”

Sir Andrew d’Ackerley quietly says with a Morporkian accent: I am not interested in your reasons. I am advising you to not interfere further.”

Sunflower asks: I have listened to your advice. But will I heed it?

Sunflower exaggeratedly opens her eyes wide. “Time will tell.”

Sir Andrew d’Ackerley inclines his head slightly. “Indeed.”

Sunflower hugs her knees. “You can leave via the front door. Or do you want some tea?”

Sir Andrew d’Ackerley stands. “I doubt that you care more for my company than I do for yours.” He crosses the room to the window instead.

Sunflower rests her chin on her knees, looking distubingly vulnerable. “Goodbye, Sir Windows Are My Friends d’Ackerley.”

Sir Andrew d’Ackerley says with a Morporkian accent: Goodnight, butterfly. Mind those fragile wings.

Sir Andrew d’Ackerley slips out the window and into the night.

About Sunflower

After her father, Lord Oita, was assassinated by an Ankh-Morporkian assassin who didn't know he was being watched by a little Sunflower hiding under her father's couch, she swore revenge against the person who contracted him, and against the assassin who fulfilled the contract. But will she succeed?
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