Without further ado...
The Assassin and the Captain: Part 2
Read the previous parts from this scene here: Part 1
Chaol’s eyes flicked from her face to the head in the saddle bag, then back to her, the frown deepening. “You’re three days late.”
She shrugged, and didn’t wait for his permission to begin walking up the sloped path to the castle itself. No, she didn’t need any sort of permission anymore—not as King’s Champion. But Chaol stiffened nonetheless.
She chuckled under her breath. “You try going to the foothills of the Ararat Mountains in the dead of winter and see if you make it anywhere on time. I almost lost my fingers and toes to the cold.” She wriggled the former in his face. “You don’t even want to know how I managed to keep warm.”
Nothing. Not even a hint of a smile.
She sighed and looked skyward. “Will it be a whipping, or the rack, or shall I just be forced to attend the Queen’s Court for an afternoon?”
He didn’t react to that, either, but merely fell into step beside her. “I’m not the one you have to explain yourself to.”
She gave him a sidelong glance. “Were you worried I wouldn’t come back?” When he didn’t respond, she said, “How long before you sent out your dogs to hunt me down?”
He looked at her this time, his golden-brown eyes fierce. “A week. I’d have given you a week before I sent out my men to make inquiries. But you were lucky—news of Sir Carlin’s death reached us fairly soon after you…took care of him.”
Killed him. Slit his throat and cut off his head. Dumped his body in the Ararat River. She watched him silently, daring him to say it, but he had already looked away.
They were halfway up the long path before he quietly said, “Were you hurt at all?”
She snorted. “Killing men in their beds doesn’t involve much risk.”
His eyes narrowed.
And though she knew she shouldn’t, she added, “Or involve much honor. That’s what you’re thinking, right?”
A muscle feathered in his jaw. “I know what your position entails.”
But she still wondered if he’d somehow forgotten until now—as if the Yulemas ball and the duel with Cain had made him think she was someone else, someone harmless. A wolf with no fangs.
More silence, the castle growing ever-nearer. “I suppose His Majesty knows I’m here?”
“He wants to meet with you immediately. And bring your…proof.”
She made a face. “I knew he wanted the heads, but… He wants to see them in the meeting? Who will be there?”
“What concern is it to you?”
She shrugged again. Every detail of that meeting was a concern, especially Chaol with his too-keen eyes and ability to sniff out even the whitest of lies from her.
“I just want to know how candid I can be.”
“In front of the king? Do you want to wind up back in the mines?”
She gave him a sweet smile. “And here I was, thinking he and I had become such good friends.”
A flash of teeth. “Don’t you even think of—”
“A month without me and you’ve returned to taking me seriously? We’re back to that already?”
She hadn’t realized just how deep that question ran until he had stopped walking.
Continue reading this scene tomorrow at 12:00pm on Paranormal Indulgence!
Huge thanks to Sarah for taking the time to write these extra scenes!!