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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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“What do you mean, your own work?” I asked.

Kaden sat forward. “Eben, shut up.”

Griz growled, echoing Kaden’s sentiment, but Malich waved his hand through the air. “Eben’s right,” he said. “Let him speak. At least we finished the work we set out to do, which is more than you can say.”

Eben hurried to describe what they’d done in Morrighan before Kaden could stop him again. He described roads they had blocked with landslides, flumes and cisterns they had fouled, and the many bridges they had brought down.

I stepped forward. “You brought down what?”

“Bridges,” Finch repeated, and smiled. “It keeps the enemy occupied.”

“We’re not too ugly or stupid for some tasks, Princess,” Malich jeered.

My hands trembled, and I felt my throat closing. Blood surged so violently at my temples I was dizzy.

“What’s wrong with her?” Eben asked.

I walked around the fire ring until I was standing over them. “Did you take down the bridge at Chetsworth?”

“That was the easy one,” Finch said.

I could barely speak above a whisper. “Except for the carriage that came along?”

Malich laughed. “I took care of it. That was easy too,” he said.

I heard the screams of an animal, felt flesh beneath my nails, the warmth of blood on my hands, and strands of hair between my fingers as I came down on him again and again, gouging at his eyes, kicking at his legs, kneeing his ribs, my fists pounding his face. Arms grabbed my waist and yanked me off him, but I continued to scream and kick and dig my nails into any flesh within reach.

Griz clamped down on my arms, pinning them to my sides and holding me so tightly I could barely breathe. Kaden held Malich back. Lines of blood covered his face, and more ran from his nose.

“Let me go! I’m going to kill the bitch!” he yelled.

“You worthless, vile bastards!” I screamed. I wasn’t sure what words flew from my mouth, one threat piling on another, battling with the threats Malich hurled back at me, Kaden screaming for everyone to shut up, until I finally choked and had to catch my breath. I swallowed, tasting the warm blood pooling inside my cheek where I had bit it. The din cut to silence. My chest shuddered, and I lowered my voice, my next words deadly even.

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