It sounded like I was in luck. Despite my little mishap at the mansion wall, there was still a chance I could make it to the target. The big cat soiree was still in full swing in the great hall. Which meant the bedrooms were nice and quiet and abandoned.
And ripe for the picking.
With the skylight jimmied open I tied my grapple to a shingle nail and let down the rope. Somewhere in the darkness, I heard a distant 'thwap' of it landing on a surface below. It was too dark to be sure, but my contact had assured me that below me would Roxxanna's jewelry dresser. His information had been right so far, so I took a deep breath and trusted the rest of it.
I had only dropped a couple of tail lengths when something changed. The muffled sound of the distant party suddenly got a lot less muffled. The realization froze my blood, a door had been opened. A door from the great hall into one of the back rooms!
But that didn't mean someone was coming into this room. There were a lot of back rooms in the mansion, and I was just in one of them. Surely the big cats had a number of servants running their errands while they continued their party. At least that's what I told myself as I tried to listen for footsteps.
Unfortunately, I didn't have to listen hard. The footsteps were distinct, steady, and getting louder. I really needed to get to safety. But I couldn't climb very fast, and if I dropped my rope would still be there to give me away. And that was assuming that I landed softly and didn't hurt myself while doing so.
I hadn't even finished thinking through my options the sound of another door opening and unmuffled footsteps filled the room. The door was immediately slammed shut, which would have startled me had the room not flashed from nearly pitch black to brighter than midday. To my disgrace, I froze in panic.
When my eyes finally adjusted to the light, I had a new reason to freeze. Roxxanna was in the roof. Half undressed, angry, and staring down at me.
"You'd better have a damn good reason for being in my room," she snarled.
I tried to open my mouth, but nothing came out.
With a sound of disgust, she tossed her crumpled dress--she must have pulled it off while I was still blinded and before she noticed me--on the chair behind her. "And it had better not be to steal from me. I've already had a bad enough night, watching my fiance getting licked by that singing slut in the middle of her song. In front of everyone, and without a hint of apology." The tiger almost seemed to forget about me as her eyes narrowed. "I didn't come here to be part of some rich boy's pride...." Alas, her attention quickly returned to me. "And now, I see my room isn't even secure. Or would you have me believe you're part of the house's help?"
Somehow, I couldn't bring myself to deny that. "N--No," I stammered.
She nodded with angry satisfaction. "So you're a thief, aren't you." She gave me time to deny it, but I couldn't do it. "Here to steal my jewels," she finished.
"No!" That I could deny, out of desperation if not honesty. "No, of course not!"
"So what did you come for?" She prompted, apparently starting to savor my fear. "I'm sure that satchel isn't for nothing."
"I... Well..." Its hard to think when staring death in the face. Even harder when staring death in the breasts. Breast that could mean death, if she got creative. "Would... Would you believe this is just a panty raid?" It was lame, but it was literally the only thing that came to mind.
And it didn't look like she was buying it. At least not initially. After a terrifying second, the corner of her mouth turned up. "A petty little bandit," she mused, "risking his life just to get a it of cloth from a rich and beautiful woman. Its a pretty story," She turned and walked away, her tail swaying suggestively behind her. "One that sounds a little too good to be believed..." There was a click from the door, assumable from her locking it. She turned back to me, her smile no genuine and unmistakable. "But I could be convinced..."
....I don't typically draw anthro-characters. I'm not terribly good at it. Not at making the characters look sleek or pretty. After I inked this drawing, I decided the tigress's head looked to scruffy, so I had to completely redraw the head and paste it on in photoshop. And she's still not as sleek as other artists do... Anyways, if I did draw antrhos more often, I would draw them in a world where each species existed in a scale relative to the real world. So while the world would have raccoons and tigers living side by side, they would be doing so in a very.....unique way.