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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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“And that’s where the stars promised to stay for evermore.”

Tevio smiled and yawned, and his mother gathered him up into her arms with no further protests. Selena followed her mother to bed too, whispering that she was a princess.

A heavy stillness settled in their wake. I watched those who remained stare into the fire as if the story lingered in their thoughts. Then a voice broke the silence.

Hold on.

I drew in a sharp breath and looked over my shoulder into the black forest. I waited for more, but nothing came. I slowly turned back to the fire. I caught Kaden’s sharp stare. “Again?”

But this time it was something. I just didn’t understand what. I looked down at my feet, not wanting to let on that this time I wasn’t performing for anyone’s benefit.

“Nothing,” I answered.

“It always seems to be nothing,” Malich sneered.

“Not at the Dark City,” Finch said. “She saw them coming there.”

“Osa lo besadad avat e chadaro,” Griz agreed.

The older vagabond men sitting on either side of him nodded, making signs to the gods. “Grati te deos.”

Kaden grunted. “That story of yours, you really believe what you just told the children?”

I bristled. That story? He didn’t need to attack a story the children clearly enjoyed just because he was frustrated with me. “Yes, Kaden, I do believe in ogres and dragons. I’ve seen four of them firsthand, though they are far uglier and more stupid than those I described. I didn’t want to frighten the children.”

Malich huffed at the insult, but Kaden smiled as if he enjoyed seeing me rankled. Finch laughed at the girl Morrighan and then he and Malich took the whole story down a profane and vulgar path.

I stood to leave, disgusted, narrowing my eyes at Kaden. He knew what he had unleashed. “Do assassins always have so many loutish escorts?” I asked. “Are they all really necessary, or are they just along for the crude entertainment?”

“It’s a long way across the Cam Lanteux—”

“We aren’t escorts!” Eben complained, his chest puffed out as though he was greatly injured. “We had our own work to do.”

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