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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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“One week,” I repeated. “But I can always tell the Komizar you were impatient and I had to forgo information that would benefit Venda.”

Malich glared. “I think it’s more than information you’re getting.”

“What of it?” I taunted.

Malich had never made a secret of his contempt for me. The feeling was mutual. He was jealous of my favored status with the Komizar and of my quarters in the fortress tower instead of the council wing, where he lived. I disliked his overly zealous methods. But he was capable in his duties. Deadly, shrewd, and loyal. He had covered my back more than once—for Venda’s sake, if not mine.

Griz stomped away without any more words to me, cuffing Eben on the back of the head as he left. “Let’s go.”

Finch grumbled. He was the only one among us who had a wife at home. He had reason to begrudge any further waiting. We had all been gone for the better part of a year. Malich rubbed the finely trimmed hair on his jaw, scrutinizing me before he turned and followed the others.

One week.

I had pulled it out of thin air. One week would make no difference. There was no information. No reason to delay. In seven days, I would slit Lia’s throat because Venda meant more to me than she did. Because the Komizar had saved me when no one else would. I couldn’t leave this job undone. She was one of them, and one day she would return to them.

But for now, I had seven more days.

CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE

“It wouldn’t hurt to add a little swing to your step when you walk in there,” Gwyneth said tilting her head toward the kitchen door.

Pauline immediately voiced her disapproval. “This is a holy meal, Gwyneth.”

“And a celebration,” Gwyneth countered as she slid six roasted pigeons from the spit onto platters. “How do you think all those First Daughters came to be born from the Remnant? My bet’s that Morrighan knew how to swing her hips.”

Pauline rolled her eyes and kissed her fingers as penance for Gwyneth’s sacrilege.

I let out an exasperated sigh. “I am not flirting with anyone.”

“Haven’t you already?” Gwyneth asked.

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