When one consorts with assassins, one must expect to dance along the edge of a knife once or twice.
I have found it is surprisingly difficult to remain sad when a cat is doing its level best to sandpaper one’s cheeks.
People hear and see what they expect to hear and see.
I cannot tell her I have been moping over a broken heart when I have worked so hard to convince her I have no heart at all.
This is what I want to be. An instrument of mercy, not vengeance.
Whenever you are ready, or if you never are, my heart is yours, until Death do us part. Whatever that may mean when consorting with one of Death’s handmaidens.
Every time he glances at me I feel it just as surely as if he has reached out and run his finger along my soul. It is all I can do not to smile at the sheer wonder of it.
It is this kindness of his that unsettles me most. I can dodge a blow or block a knife. I am impervious to poison and know a dozen ways to escape a chokehold or garrote wire. But kindness? I do not know how to defend against that.
Tis Vanth’s cage. You can just move it out of the way.” “I already have,” he grumbles. “With my shin.
A kiss for luck, demoiselle?” It is a magnificent, lusty kiss and I feel nothing but deep regret that it may be his last. Just before he pulls away, he whispers in my ear. “Duval said to give you that should I get a chance. It is from him.
Not all men are the same, you know. With someone such as Gavriel, I would suggest appearing aloof, not chasing too much. He might see that as suffocating rather than charming.” Her words are sharp, but her voice is sweet, like honey on the edge of a blade, and meant to be cutting. I comfort myself with the knowledge that if Duval ever feels smothered by me, it will be because I am holding a pillow over his face and commending his soul to Mortain.
When he laces his fingers through mine, my heart does its now familiar panicked flight, bumping painfully against my ribs. My shoulder twitches as if to pull my hand back, but my heart overrules it.
Jewels can be replaced, cousin. Independence, once lost, cannot.
He smiles then, and even though it is well past midnight, its as if the sun has just come out.
I am a handmaiden of Death. I walk in His dark shadow and do His bidding. Serving Him is my only purpose in this life.
He barks out a laugh. “My little rebel.
His divine spark lives within me, a presence that will never leave. And I am but one of many tools He has at His disposal. If I cannot act – if I refuse to act – that is a choice I am allowed to make. He has given me life, and all I must do to serve Him is to live. Fully and with my whole heart. With this knowledge comes a true understanding of all the gifts He has given me.
There is no shame in scars, Ismae.
In the distance a wolf howls. Let it come, I think. Beast will most likely simply howl back, and the creature will either turn tail and run or fall into line behind him, like the rest of us have.
You are not my nursemaid. Remember, I am rescuing you.
Are men truly such idiots that they cannot resist two orbs of flesh?
I bear a deep red stain that runs from my left shoulder down to my right hip, a trail left by the herbwitch’s poison that my mother used to try to expel me from her womb.
I pause at the door, wishing I could find a corner and sleep until my head clears, but the sailor said the abbess is expecting me, and while I do not know much about abbesses, I suspect they are not fond of waiting.
So…. You are well equipped for our service.’ ‘Which is?’ ‘We kill people.
… true faith never comes without anguish.