Darla looked again at the note in her hand.
"You will know him by the band of his hat."
She scanned the faces of the patrons coming into Jack's place, looking at everyone's headgear. She resented having to spend her time on this errand, but someone had to negotiate a turf deal with the with the upstart Male Witches' Guild and as the newest initiate to the Damsels' Guild Council, she got all the shit jobs.
The three existing protective guilds (the Grannies, the Matrons, and the Damsels) had allowed the male witches to build a client base in the unclaimed and contested areas of Wayward Township. This was partly because the eager young men were well-suited to rural areas and hilltops where the need for protection from magic usually tended toward brute force work. A few less clients here or there to protect from the magic that seeped into everything was a welcome break; setting and maintaining all those individual wards around the buildings was tiring and tedious. However, fewer wards meant less coin coming into the coffers. Darla had heard from a notoriously unreliable source that the Grannies had resorted to shakedowns to keep the funds coming in.
A flourish of color distracted her. She had almost overlooked him, only catching his hat as he set it on the table. His grey fedora had a band of swirling, ever-changing pinks, yellows, and blues. Only a fellow magician would be able to make that.
She took her coffee to his table, sat without his invitation. "The silver moon waits for no man."
"No man is an island." He replied. He was surprisingly handsome. Darla gritted her teeth, hoping they'd sent someone with enough brains for the task. But he had the proper countersign, there was no doubt he was supposed to be the representative for his Guild.