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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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“Why in the gods’ names are you tormenting me? What do you care that I left? You started to leave first!”

His chest heaved, but his words cut icy and even. “I was only leaving because you looked like you were occupied. Are you planning to take Kaden as another lover?”

He may as well have punched me in the gut, my breath was so completely taken away. I looked at him, my mouth open, still trying to comprehend his words. “Another lover?”

“I saw you,” he said, his eyes piercing me. “Your tryst in the woods. I think you called him Walther.”

It took several seconds for me to even understand what he was talking about. When I finally did, a blinding black cloud whirled behind my eyes. “You stupid, stupid oaf!” I screeched. “Walther is my brother!” I shoved him with the flats of both hands, and he reeled back.

I fled toward the creek. This time there were no footsteps behind me. No demands that I stop. Nothing. I felt ill, as if the greasy pigeon was batting its way back up from my stomach. A lover.

He’d said it with complete contempt. Had he been spying on me? Did he see what he wanted to see and nothing else? What had he expected of me? I retraced every step of my reunion with Walther, wondering how it could have been misconstrued. It couldn’t, unless you were looking for something unseemly. I had run to Walther. I called his name. I hugged him, kissed his cheeks, laughed and whirled in joy with him, and that was all.

Except that it was a secretive meeting, deep in the woods.

When I reached the creek, I planted myself on a boulder and rubbed my ankle. It throbbed from my careless stomping.

What had I done? My throat twisted into a painful knot. Rafe only saw me as a fickle, dallying maid who played with a multitude of inn guests. I closed my eyes, swallowed, and drew my breaths in slowly, trying to force the ache away.

I would own up to my mistake, and I had made a perfectly glorious one. I had presumed too much. Rafe was a guest of the inn. I was a maid who worked there. And that was all. I thought of the terrible scene in the dining room. My shameless flirting with Kaden, and everything I had said to Rafe. Heat flushed my face. How could I have made such a mistake?

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