Chapter no 44 – KAZI

Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #2)

The door creaked open. Slow. Everything was slow, as if he was savoring the moment, watching me at his mercy now. My back was to the door, and I couldn’t turn, but every deliberate step shivered through me. Heel to toe. Owning the room. And me. Then silence, bone-numbing silence as he paused. I felt his eyes on my head, my neck, my back. Would I feel a blade there next?

“Hello, soldier.”

My cheeks swelled with nausea.

He walked to the hearth, his back to me, and knelt, throwing kindling on the fire, and then another log. The flames blazed upward and brightened the room. “Cold?” he asked.

The room was suddenly stifling. Hot. But not from the fire. Sweat trickled down my back.

“Nothing to say?” he whispered. “And you had so much to say just the other day.”

He stood and turned, staring at me, and I saw his face for the first time. His beautiful face he had loved so much.

A jagged, stitched gash ran from his chin all the way up to the corner of his eye.

It was still puffed and red and angry.

“What do you think?” he asked. “There’s more of your handiwork beneath my shirt. Would you like to see it?”

I shook my head.

His eyes were blacker than I had ever seen them. They sank into mine like claws. “You could have had everything,” he whispered. “You could have sat at my side and shared all the riches of victory.” He bent over, his hands pressing my wrists harder into the arm of the chair, his face close to

mine. “Now you are going to die with nothing. You’ll be nothing … but maybe I could still forgive you?”

“Really, Montegue? Are we going to play this game?”

His breath was fire against my face, a dragon sniffing his prey. “But you play the game so well.”

He knelt in front of me, and his hand slid around my ankle and slowly traveled up the inside of my leg.

I bit my lip to keep it from trembling. “I don’t have it,” I gasped when he reached my thigh.

It didn’t stop him. He smiled, and the scar pulled at the corner of his mouth. “And I should believe you?”

“Why didn’t you have Banques search me?” “And deprive myself of this pleasure?”

“It’s because you don’t trust him.”

“Look at what temptation did to you.” His hand continued to roam. “I tossed it away!”

He laughed. “I’m not a fool, Kazimyrah, and neither are you. A thief would never throw away such a valuable treasure. Where is it?”

“It’s gone, Montegue. You’ll never get it.” He stood, his composure cracking.

“So you hid it. Where?

I remained silent. He paced the room, tightening and flexing his fingers, then stopped in front of me again.

“They found you up on the mountain. Where were you going? Meeting up with more loyalists?”

I replied again with silence.

“Where are the children?” he asked, perhaps hoping to frighten me more. He knew I cared about them more than his precious dust. When I didn’t respond, he added, “We’re searching, and we will find them. It would be best to tell me now so something unfortunate doesn’t happen. They did love me, you know.”

Revulsion rose in the back of my throat. “They hated you. I hate you.

You’re nothing but a ruthless, ambitious monster.”

He grabbed my face. His fingers dug in, his eyes wide and fierce. “You wanted me!”

“The only thing I wanted from you was for you to die. That gash on your face? That was only due to my bad aim. That slash was meant for your throat.”

He yanked the chain around my neck upward, the metal digging into my skin. His gaze was frozen, his hand trembling, and I was sure he was about to kill me. He wanted me to be afraid, and I was, but I also wanted to crush his fantasy first, the way he had crushed mine. There were things I still wanted to say, things that would make him suffer far more than the scar across his face.

“I planned to kill you from the moment I learned that it was you who ambushed my husband.”

His hold on the chain loosened. “Your what?” “The Patrei was my husband. We were married.” His mouth hung open. “I don’t believe you.”

“You live in a fantasy world, Montegue. You can believe whatever you want. But I loved Jase, and he loved me. That’s why I desperately fought for his life.” I leaned forward and smiled. “And his kisses? They made yours laughable.”

He let go of the chain and stumbled away like he had been stabbed.

“You will never be loved the way he is loved,” I continued. “Not by me or anyone. Jase is more of a man and leader than you could ever hope to be.”

He whipped around to face me, his jaw rigid. “Yet he is dead, and I am here ruling everything. In the end, am the leader of it all, and that proves who is the greater man.” His hand swiped through the air. “I am done with you. I have other ways to make you talk. Banques!”

The door opened almost immediately, his lackey always at attention. He instructed Banques to take care of me and procure the information he needed. “But don’t damage her face. It wouldn’t look good for a public hanging. We’re a civilized reign, after all. Let’s keep this dignified and quick. The town is busy decorating for the festival, because am a great leader. I wouldn’t want to put an unnecessary damper on their spirits.”

He started to walk toward the door.

“You’re a coward, Montegue!” I yelled, catching his gaze. “A weak- kneed coward! A nothing king, and that’s all you’ll ever be! A nothing king who never gets his own hands dirty!”

He stopped, his chest expanding with a deep breath. The shing of his sword sliced the air as he drew it. It shook in his tight grip as he stared at me. This was it. This was the moment, and maybe I wanted it to be. I would rather die than be made to talk. But then he slowly slid his sword back into his scabbard as if he had thought of something.

“Don’t touch her,” he said to Banques. “I’ll be back.”

His gaze returned to me. “And, soldier, trust me, my hands will be dirty on this one.”

You'll Also Like