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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 he was with her now.

I scanned the black western horizon where only the stars drew its line.

“I will find you, Lia,” I whispered.

In the farthest corner, I will find you.

CHAPTER SIXTY-SEVEN

My eyes shot open. A deafening screech still rang in my ears, and I faced a black furred beast with bared fangs. I scrambled back, but I was surrounded. Around me, a pack of creatures squealed, baring glistening pink gums and vicious yellow teeth.

When I finally managed to focus beyond their fangs, I saw creatures that resembled monkeys. Not the cute, tiny clothed ones I had seen on the shoulders of court entertainers. These were nearly the size of a man, and they closed in on me slowly, as if they fed on the terror in my eyes. I jumped to my feet and screamed at them, waving my arms, but they only became incensed, snarling and shrieking at me. After everything I had been through, I was about to be torn apart by a pack of wild animals.

A horrific roar filled the air, even louder than their shrieks, and they squealed in short panicked bursts, fleeing in different directions. The only sounds left in their wake were my own breaths—and then the breath of another. A low, rumbling huff.

Something else was here.

The fire had grown dim, only lighting a small flickering circle. I looked into the darkness beyond the trees. The breaths were slow and deep. A huff. A rumble. A rolling growl. Something larger and more fierce than monkeys was out there. Watching me.

A chill pressed at my back, and I turned. Two glowing amber eyes were looking at me. I instantly recognized them, and my throat went dry. The hungry stare was something I had never forgotten. He roared again, and one of his paws came forward. Then another. I couldn’t move. He snarled and spit, just like when I was a child, but this time, there was no one to frighten the beast away. What was he waiting for? I knew I wouldn’t have a chance if I turned and ran. It would trigger his hunting instinct, but what was he here for if not to eat me? He stepped closer, and his tail flicked behind him. He was so close now his enormous striped head glowed in the firelight.

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