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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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Don’t tell her who you are. Don’t make matters worse for Dalbreck or your fellow soldiers.

If I stayed here much longer, everyone would find out. Sooner or later, I would slip. Sven was smarter than I gave him credit for. He had known things would go wrong, but how could I have known that Lia would turn out to be someone so very different from the person I expected?

CHAPTER THIRTY

THE ASSASSIN

I sensed them long before I saw them.

It was the settling, my mother had called it, the balance of thought and intent pushing its way into new places, finding a place to settle, displacing the air. It made your fingertips tingle, your hair rise on your neck, it reached into your heart and added a beat, and if you were practiced, it spoke to you. The settling was strongest when those thoughts and intents were foreign, out of place, or urgent, and there was no one more out of place or urgent in Terravin than Griz, Malich, Eben, and Finch.

I skimmed the heads of the crowd, and Griz’s head easily loomed above the others. He wore his cap pulled low to shadow his face. His scars were a sure way to make small children shriek and grown men pale. When I was certain he’d seen me too, I wove my way through the crowd and slipped down a quiet lane, knowing they’d follow.

When we were a safe distance away, I spun around. “Are you nicked in the head? What are you doing here?”

“How long does it take to part a girl from her noggin?” Finch growled.

“You’re early. And there’ve been complications.”

“Curse it!” Griz said. “Pop her head tonight, and let’s go.”

“I’ll do it!” Eben said.

I shot Eben a menacing glare and looked back at Griz. “I’m still getting information. It might be useful to the Komizar.”

Griz squinted and raised a suspicious scarred brow. “What kind of information?”

“Give me one more week. The job will be done, and we’ll meet when and where I told you. Don’t show your faces here again.”

“A week,” Finch moaned.

Malich looked around dramatically. “Must be quite agreeable sleeping in a bed, eating hot food out of a real pot, and enjoying who knows what other pleasures. I might like to share in some of—”

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