Chapter no 59 – Evie

Assistant to the Villain

Ms. Sage!” A wide, perfect smile spread across the king’s handsome face. He was certainly into his late forties if not his fifties, with sprays of gray through his thick, sandy-colored hair.

“At last we meet.” He walked toward her, tucking his fur cape behind him. “Chain up The Villain, would you?” The king nodded to one of the knights. “With the special cuffs.”

“No.” Evie threw her body in front of his.

“Sage, move,” Trystan gritted out, sounding strangled. “No,” she said, panicking.

The king shook his head sympathetically, nodding toward another knight. “It would do you well not to struggle, my dear.” Such kindness in his voice. Evie would’ve trusted that kindness, in another place, when she was another person.

The knight reached down in a flash, gripping her by the waist and hoisting her off Trystan. “No! Get off me!” she screamed, kicking and flailing, swiping her hands out. The knight dropped her for a second and raised his arm high before backhanding her. She fell.

“Stop!” It was The Villain’s voice, not Trystan’s, that cut across the clearing. It was cold and deadly. “Step away from her!” he roared, the clinking of metal following his every movement as he pulled against his cuffs. Evie rolled to her side, looking at him, feeling a tear slide down her cheek.

She pulled herself up, blood dripping from her lower lip, leaves tangled in her hair.

“Yes, stop. The brutality is hardly necessary. He’s chained. He cannot hurt anyone, and if you cannot handle that woman without harming her, perhaps we should rethink your position as one of my guards,” the king said firmly.

Trystan didn’t look to be in great pain anymore, but he was obviously weakened. From that minute of torture or from the cuffs, she was unsure.

“I didn’t want it to come to this, really.” The king tsked. “I was hoping to keep this clean, but you’ve really left me no choice. You’ve simply interfered too much. I was content to let you play your little fairy-tale role for as long as you desired.” He walked closer to The Villain, the well-formed smile disappearing into coldness.

“But now you’re trying to ruin my plans. And that, I’m afraid, I cannot allow.”

Trystan was breathing heavily, nostrils flared, eyes glazed over with rage. “What…are you talking about?” he gritted out.

The king clicked his tongue as he looked down at her boss. “So much potential, yet how disappointing you were.” Benedict knelt beside him, putting a hand on Trystan’s cheek that he tried to shake off. “The guvres—I have a great need of them. To aid in Rennedawn’s very…bright future.”

Trystan narrowed his eyes before saying in a pinched, breathless voice, “Fuck. You.”

“I second that,” Evie said from the ground, drawing the attention of every man surrounding her.

“And that brings me to you, Ms. Sage!” The king turned around and started walking toward her.

“Don’t touch her, Benedict.” Trystan’s voice was raw as he pulled once again at his chains.

“You were supposed to be my sweet little savior, but it turns out you’re just as rotten as your father said.”

She glared at him. “My father was a liar. But you…” Evie slowly stood, brushing the leaves from her skirts and the blood from her lip. “You’re a coward.”

The king smiled at her. Not the charming one he’d arrived with, but a sinister one, a vindictive one. It didn’t look natural; it was almost… villainous.

“I’m afraid I need my guvres back, Ms. Sage,” he said. “You see, without her mate, my guvre was unable to produce any venom in all my time with her. But now, it would seem, she does.”

“You’ll get them over my cold, dead body,” she said, smiling. “Or yours.”

“I’m so glad you said that.” The king’s cape swept behind him as he returned to Trystan, who was still being held back by two knights. “I’m

afraid you’re going to need to come with me. It would seem you’re of more use than I originally suspected.”

The king turned to Evie with a sad tilt of his head. “You, my dear, are not.”

Evie felt large arms close around her and a familiar vile scent flood her senses.

“No! Benedict!” Trystan was going wild, tearing at the chains and the knights so hard, a third had to join in restraining him. “Let her go, Warsen, or this day will be your last.”

“Such pretty threats!”

Evie was disgusted to find her suspicions confirmed when she heard Otto Warsen’s voice in her ear.

“Thank you for the cuffs, Mr. Warsen. You’ve been most helpful.” The king nodded at the blacksmith.

“I’m going to kill you,” Trystan vowed calmly. “I am going to rip your heart out of your body, and I will watch the life leave your eyes.”

“I believe I’ll see the light leave yours first,” the king said in a mock whisper before turning back to Evie and Mr. Warsen. “You may finish her off as you please; just be sure to save the body. I’ll have use for it after she’s gone.”

Evie began to shake, the panic at finding herself once again in this situation with Otto washing through her like a fast-acting poison.

“No, Benedict, no! Please.” The Villain’s voice cracked, pained, shattering his composure.

Evie felt tears burn before flowing down her face.

“Please, I beg you. I will do anything you ask, anything you want.

Anything, if you’ll spare her. Just please—I beg you to spare her.” When Trystan, The Villain, dropped to his knees, Evie cried.

“I. Beg. You.”

Stop, she wanted to scream at him, don’t lower yourself for me. Don’t bend your will. I’m not worth it.

The king for a moment had a genuine look of emotion—surprise. With wide eyes, he lowered on his haunches to look Trystan in the face. “I believe I underestimated your attachment to this woman. I merely believed her to be someone who worked for you.

“But I see now. I understand.” King Benedict smiled, placing a hand on Trystan’s cheek. “No, I won’t do this.” He stood up and motioned to one of

the knights, who brought a large syringe forth.

Mr. Warsen’s hand closed around her mouth before she could warn him. “I won’t make you watch.”

Trystan’s eyes widened at the words, and he opened his mouth to yell, but the needle was already thrust under his skin, the liquid being pushed into his blood.

Evie screamed on the other side of Mr. Warsen’s thickly gloved hand, thrashing and squirming, trying to get free.

But Trystan’s eyes rolled back into his head, and he hit the ground with a


“Take him to the back cart and lock him in—that should keep him down until we return to the Gleaming Palace.” The king nodded to Otto, and Evie couldn’t believe that mere minutes ago, she had been laughing with Trystan, planning an office tea party, thinking that things might end up okay.

“You stay behind.” The king motioned to two of his knights. “Allow Mr. Warsen to kill her himself, but then ensure he returns the body to me promptly.”

“Yes, Your Majesty,” one of them said.

Evie watched as the rest of the knights dragged Trystan away and threw his body carelessly into the cart. And Evie knew, with a certainty that flooded her with ice, that this was the last time she’d ever see him. That her last memory of him would be him lying limp and broken, alone in a carriage.

It was too tragic, too unfair. And all because she wanted her ridiculous notebook, with her ridiculous dreams inside. Dreams that would never come true.

The carriage rattled away, and Evie said a quiet goodbye to the man who had become the focal point of her heart. The one who’d changed her whole world—a world she would no longer be a part of.

When just she, the knights, and Mr. Warsen remained, she stayed stock-still, part of her merely awaiting the inevitable. She had truly never felt so low in all her life. Once again she was trapped under the control of someone stronger, someone who took. And took and took and took. This man had robbed her—of her comfort, of her security—and she was now to be robbed of her life.

Do the right thing, Evie. Do the kind thing, Evie. Be good, Evie.

Otto held her there, chuckling quietly in her ear. And something about the sound galvanized her, made fire stir low in her belly.

Where the fuck did being good ever get her?

What would The Villain say? Make this man pay, little tornado.

And so she did.

Evie moved her foot, jamming her heel into his shin, similarly to how she had with her father, except this time she gave a rough elbow to his middle as well. When Otto doubled over, loosening his grip as he reached for his stomach, Evie slipped out and ran as fast as she could. But the other two knights surrounded her, clearly trying to follow orders and not get involved but also loath to let her leave. And she knew she was sorely outnumbered.

I’m sorry, Trystan, she thought. I tried.

Suddenly Mr. Warsen was upon her again, red-faced, clearly still in pain but recovered enough to let his rage take over. He picked her up and slammed her against the ground.

He held her there, pinning her arms down with his knees and wrapping his hands around her throat. This was it, she knew. She struggled and tried to move her arms, but she was overwhelmed by a wave of pain that had nothing to do with her rapidly depleting air supply.

She moved her eyes over and saw her satchel spilled open, the box with the dagger in it turned on its side, the dagger lying there on the ground, so close it could kill her.

Except it hadn’t killed her. Not yet.

Looking up at Mr. Warsen’s face, one that used to cause her so much fear, she knew she didn’t want to fear him anymore…

She wanted to be feared.

The blacksmith loosened his grip for a second, smiling above her with yellow-stained teeth. “I’m serving the kingdom by ridding the world of you. You don’t belong here. After debasing yourself the way you have, this death is a mercy.”

Evie narrowed her eyes, and Mr. Warsen did not notice her right hand slipping free. He kept his grip around her throat as he leaned in close to her face. “What could be better…for The Villain’s whore.”

Evie closed her palm and her eyes, feeling the burn of pain in every pore, feeling it pulse in her blood.

“Actually,” she rasped out. She opened her eyes.

“I’m. His. Fucking. Assistant,” she whispered and smiled, before whipping the dagger up and slitting his throat.

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