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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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No one spoke, but I was well aware that they were watching me as I fumbled with bandaged hands to hold a cup and pour from the pot of chicory. I was going to take it to the large tent to avoid their company, but when I turned and met Malich’s glare, I thought the better of it. If I backed down now, he’d think I was afraid of him, and that would only fuel him. Besides, I had steaming hot chicory I could throw in his mauled face if he stepped toward me.

“I trust you all slept well,” I said, deliberately keeping my tone light. I returned Malich’s glare with a tight-lipped grin.

“Yes, we did,” Kaden answered quickly.

“I’m sorry to hear that.” I sipped my chicory and noted that Eben wasn’t present. “Eben’s still sleeping?”

“No,” Kaden said. “He’s loading the horses.”

“Loading the horses? Why?”

“We’re leaving today.”

The chicory sloshed in my cup, half of it spilling to the ground. “You said we weren’t leaving for three days.”

Finch laughed and rubbed his scratched arm. “You think he’d tell you when we were really leaving?” he asked. “So you could sneak out sooner?”

“She’s a princess,” Malich said. “And we’re all stupid ogres. Of course that’s what she thought.”

I looked at Kaden, who had remained silent.

“Eat something and get your things out of Reena’s carvachi,” he said. “We’re leaving in an hour.”

Malich smiled. “That enough notice for you, Princess?”

Kaden supervised me in stony silence, not caring that I fumbled with bandaged fingers as I gathered my few belongings together. He knew exactly where I kept the bag of food I had been hoarding for my escape—bits of sage cakes, balls of goat cheese rolled in salt and gauze, and potatoes and turnips I had pilfered from the vagabonds’s supplies. He snatched the bag from beneath Reena’s bed without a word to me. He went to load it on the horses along with the other food, leaving me to tuck the last few items into my saddlebag. Dihara came into the carvachi and gave me a small vial of balm for my fingers and some chiga weed in case I had more pain.

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