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Pearson Mary E, “The kiss of deception”, public translation into English from English More about this translation.

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Between food and baths, I thought of Rafe and the garlands he had brought. Bringing me the dropped bundles was one thing, but the effort to find the same garlands to replace the crushed ones still mystified me—especially with the other vile task he’d had to attend to. He was so hard to understand. One moment his eyes were full of warmth, the next ice cold—one minute he was attentive, the next he brushed me off and walked away. What battled inside of him? Replacing the garlands was a gesture beyond kindness. There was unspoken tenderness in his eyes when he held them out to me. Why couldn’t I—

“You’re still limping.”

Warmth flooded through me, my joints becoming loose and hot all at once. His voice was soft in my ear, his shoulder casually brushing mine. I didn’t turn to look at him, only felt him keeping step with me, staying close.

“You’re devout after all,” I said.

“Today I had need to speak to the gods,” he answered. “The Sacrista was as good a place as any.”

“You went to offer thanks?”

He cleared his throat. “No, my anger.”

“You’re so brave that you would shake your fist at the gods?”

“It’s said the gods honor a truthful tongue. So do I.”

I looked at him sideways. “People lie every day. Especially to the gods.”

He grinned. “Truer words were never said.”

“And which god did you pray to?”

“Does it matter? Don’t they all hear?”

I shrugged. “Capseius is the god of grievances.”

“Then it must have been he who listened.”

“I’m sure his ears are burning right now.”

Rafe laughed, but I stared straight ahead. There was no god of grievances called Capseius. The gods had no names at all, only attributes. The God of Creation, the God of Compassion, the God of Redemption, and the God of Knowledge. Rafe wasn’t devout. He wasn’t even learned in the most fundamental tenets of Morrighan Holy Truths. Did he come from such a backward place they didn’t even have a small Sacrista? Maybe that was why he didn’t want to talk about his roots. Maybe he was ashamed.



I had spotted Enzo in the crowds just as we were arriving at the Sacrista. I surprised him, moving in close and clamping down on his arm. I made it clear with the tilt of my head, that we were taking a little detour. We needed to talk. The sweat sprang to his brow instantly. At least he had the good sense to be worried.

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