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to prepare for the worst even if it never came&
The night before, Elissia had used strips cut from the bed sheet to fashion a
makeshift sheathe for the dagger she'd used to kill the assassin. This morning, after
the inn girl had helped her dress and then had left, she'd tied the sheathe and dagger
to her right leg, arranging the dagger hilt down and held in place with a simple slip
knot.
Now Elissia raised her leg and gown skirt without bending, pretending that nothing
was wrong as she opened the slip knot with a single pull and took the dagger hilt
into her hand. Putting her leg down again and letting her gown skirt fall back in
place made it possible for Elissia to hide the presence of the dagger in a fold of the
skirt. If the servant was a real servant, she'd let him clear up the mess without
trouble. If he wasn't a real servant&
"Ah, here we are, Your Majesty," the man said as he suddenly turned away from
the cart with a cup in his hand. "A nice fresh cup of tea for you. All you have to do
is drink it, and then I'll be able to leave."
"I already have a cup of tea," Elissia pointed out in as calm a voice as she could
manage. "Since I don't need another yet, you can just finish cleaning up and go
now."
"I'm afraid I'll have to insist, Your Majesty," the man said, stopping only a couple
of steps away from where she sat, his expression not in the least servant-like. "My
& employer would be very unhappy with me if I didn't watch you drink this tea
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Queen Brat by Sharon Green
with my own eyes. It's a kindness you would do well not to argue with, girl. Take
the tea and drink it."
"Your employer," Elissia repeated, not nearly as calm as she was pretending to be.
"You're not talking about King Almis, I know, so how about telling me his actual
name."
"I think not," the man answered, an odd smile turning his lips. "And if you're
waiting for members of the High King's guard to rush in here and save you, I'm
afraid it won't be happening. Only King Almis's guards are on the floor, and they're
too far away to hear you even if you scream. I admire your attitude of bravery, but
if you don't drink the tea I'll have to use less pleasant means to end you. You're
very much in the way now, and that can't be allowed to continue."
"I'm afraid you'll just have to put up with the inconvenience," Elissia returned, her
heart beginning to thump instead of beat. "I'm not going to drink that tea or
anything else you may have, so you'd better run for your life right now."
"I'm sorry you feel that way," the man said with a sigh as he put the teacup down
on the table and gave her full attention again. "I'll try to get this done as fast as
possible, but it won't be as pleasant as simply falling asleep. Don't forget that
whatever pain and anguish you experience is your own fault."
And then he raised his hands as he came toward her, obviously intending to use
strangulation instead of poison to end her. Elissia tried to ignore her pounding heart
as she braced herself, a silent prayer occupying most of her thoughts.
Please don't let me hesitate with the dagger, she whispered inside her head. Please
let me strike at once - and hit what I'm aiming at. If I don't&
As inexperienced as she was with edged weapons, if she missed it would certainly
be the end of her&
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Queen Brat by Sharon Green
Queen Brat
Chapter 9
copyright 2002 by Sharon Green and ABCD Webmasters
Elissia watched the assassin move closer to her, her fist tight around the hidden
dagger hilt, her heart thudding loud enough to be heard on the other side of the
palace. She had to wait until the man actually put his hands around her throat,
otherwise she ran the risk of his jumping back before she could use the dagger on
him. But she couldn't wait too long, or the man might break her neck instead of
strangling her, and then -
All the clamoring of possibilities her head rang with suddenly stopped when the
assassin reached her and began to take her throat in his big hands. Just as he
touched her she brought the dagger out from behind the fold of her gown skirt and
thrust it with all her strength into the middle of his stomach and then cut upward.
Most of the dagger didn't move but the point did, and the assassin's mouth opened
to let out blood instead of words. The man looked terribly shocked, and then all
expression disappeared from his face as he simply fell to the floor in front of her.
Elissia sat shaking and staring down at the body for an unknowable amount of
time, her hand still tightly wrapped around the dagger hilt, a faint dizziness
threatening to turn all of her weightless. Once the dizziness faded, though, she was
able to start pulling herself together - and notice that her gown was covered in
blood. A good thing the traveling outfit wasn't hers, then&
"All right, now you have to decide what to do next," she muttered as she stood up,
feeling less shaky by the minute. "You definitely have to call someone, but you
want to make sure that it isn't the wrong someone you use as a messenger. The next
time you won't have surprise on your side& "
There were supposed to be palace guards on the floor, and calling them might be
the best idea. Elissia considered that as she moved slowly toward the hall door,
hoping the background of guards would be looked into more closely than that of
servants. The man she'd killed hadn't simply been paid to attack her, so - [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]