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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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“Revas jaté en meteux,” Reena said breathlessly. “Walk tall and true,” she whispered with both worry and hope in her eyes. She touched her chin, lifting it, indicating I should do the same.

I nodded and reached down to touch my bound hands to hers.

Natiya touched my shin on the other side, her eyes fierce as she looked into mine. “Kev cha veon bika reodes li cha scavanges beestra!” Her tone was neither soft nor hopeful. She shot Kaden another glare, her head cocked to the side this time as if daring him to interpret.

He frowned and complied. “May your horse kick stones in your enemy’s teeth,” he said flatly, sharing none of Natiya’s passion.

I looked down at her, my eyes stinging as I kissed my fingers and lifted them to the heavens. “From your noble heart to the gods’ ears.”

We departed with Natiya’s final blessing as our send-off. Kaden kept his horse close to mine, as if he thought I might try to flee even with my hands bound. I wasn’t sure if I was exhausted or numb or broken, but a strange part of me was calm. Maybe it was the parting words from Dihara, Reena, and Natiya that bolstered me. I lifted my chin. I had been outmaneuvered, but I wasn’t defeated. Yet.

When we were about a mile down the valley, Kaden said, “You still plan to run, don’t you?”

I looked at my bound hands resting on the horn of the saddle, the reins nearly useless in my grip. I slowly met his gaze. “Shall I lie to you and say no, when we both already know the answer?”

“You’d die out here in the wilderness alone. There’s nowhere for you to go.”

“I have a home, Kaden.”

“It’s far behind you now. Venda will be your new home.”

“You could still let me go. I won’t go back to Civica to secure the alliance. I give you my solemn promise.”

“You’re a poor liar, Lia.”

I glared sideways at him. “No, actually I can be a very good one, but some lies require more time to spin. You should know about that. You’re so skilled at spinning, after all.”

He didn’t respond for a long while, then suddenly blurted out, “I’m sorry, Lia. I couldn’t tell you we were leaving.”

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