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Shaedes of Gray: A Shaede Assassin Novel (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 6. Dezember 2011


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Produktbeschreibungen

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Amanda Bonilla is the author of the Shaede Assassin novels. She lives in rural Idaho with her husband and two kids. She’s a part-time pet wrangler and a full-time sun worshipper, and she only goes out into the cold when coerced. When she’s not writing, she’s either reading or talking about her favorite books.

Leseprobe. Abdruck erfolgt mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Rechteinhaber. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

I live in the gray. It’s a wonderful place, free of accountability, bereft of conscience. I’ve lived in the black and white, but that was before, and I don’t worry about how I used to be.

I hate the cold, and yet there I was, standing on the roof of the Cobb Building, looking out across the Metropolitan Tract while the dark, cloudy sky spit snow on my face. I wouldn’t have been there at all if I hadn’t needed the money. Okay, that’s not exactly true. I didn’t need the money. I wanted the money. I also wanted the action. That, I needed.

“Could you have picked a weirder place to meet?” a man’s voice spoke from behind me.

Marcus. Lovely.

“Where’s Tyler?” I demanded, a little on edge that Ty had sent an errand boy instead of meeting me himself.

“Had an appointment that ran late.” His thin lips turned up in a twitchy smile, and I palmed the dagger at my thigh, feeling a bit twitchy myself. “He said to tell you he’s sorry and he’ll call you later.”

Great. It was bad enough I had to wait out in the cold. Now I had to do business with this clueless idiot. Not many of Tyler’s contractors enjoyed the privilege of an in-person visit from him, but since day one, I’d been the exception. I looked Marcus over, from his dirty black hair to his soft middle and right down to his worn, secondhand army boots. Where did Tyler find these guys?

“Let’s get this over with,” I said. “I’m freezing my ass off out here.”

“Seventy-five percent,” the lackey said. My eyes narrowed and I felt again for the dagger at my side. As if it made everything okay, Marcus quickly added, “Tyler promises he’ll get the rest to you after the job’s done.”

I jerked the envelope out of his hand. I didn’t stand out in the cold for seventy-five percent. I didn’t have to. “Ty knows I won’t do shit until I get the rest.” I tucked the money into my coat and waited.

Marcus stared at me, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. He looked like he was trying to keep from pissing his pants. I can come across scary when I want.

“Look, Darian. I’m just the messenger.” I quirked a brow and he faltered. “Y-you have a problem with what’s in that envelope, you take it up with the boss man. I’m out.”

He turned his back on me, and I fought the urge to laugh at his carelessness. The tip of my blade pressed into his back before he could face me again. “You know what they do to the messenger—right, Marcus?” He swallowed, and the sound was like a stone dropping into a fifty-foot cavern. “I want the rest of my money,” I whispered close to his ear, and he shuddered. “Tell Ty to call me when he gets it.”

I disappeared before he could open his mouth again.

A gust of wind hit me full in the face as I walked, blowing back my hood and causing my hair to billow out in soft strawberry waves. I locked eyes with a man who brushed my shoulder as I passed him on the street. He studied me for a fleeting moment before averting his gaze. Perhaps he’d picked up on the faint glow of my green eyes that betrayed my lack of humanity, or maybe it was simply the solemn black clothes and deadly expression that seemed out of place on an otherwise innocent-looking girl.

Most nights I felt comfortable roaming the streets of Seattle alone, but tonight something didn’t feel right. I suppose it could’ve been the cold or the wind that stole my breath. Or maybe the fact that Tyler sent Marcus to meet me instead of coming in person. We’d been avoiding each other lately, and not because of our business relationship. It didn’t matter that Ty had shorted me money for the first time in a long time. The only reason I’d threatened Marcus at all was because I knew he’d tell Tyler about it and he’d be forced to call me up. I didn’t like distance between us, despite the fact that I needed it.

I walked, my face protected by the high collar of my duster, deeper downtown and skirted two guys and a girl hailing a cab. “Dude, you’re four-oh-four if you think you’ve got a chance with her,” one guy said to the other before climbing in after the girl.

“Four-oh-four,” I whispered under my breath, committing the phrase to memory. I wanted to find out what it meant, add it to my mental dictionary. I was always careful to use the vernacular of the times.

As the cab pulled away, I thought of the many instances I’d watched from beneath lowered lashes, listening in on conversations. I have perfected the art of imitation. Mannerisms, slang, modes of dress change every day, let alone every year. I don’t miss a single trend. My looks are enough to make me stand out; I don’t need another excuse to draw unwanted attention.

The sleet began to accumulate, and I shuffled my boots through the muck, making narrow paths behind me. I tucked my fists into my pockets and picked up my pace, no longer patient with the weather. Hustling along, I tried not to dwell on the fact that I was alone in this world. I hadn’t encountered another of my kind in nearly a century, and when I had known one, I’d been too green to ask the right questions.

Azriel. As shrewd as he’d been secretive. Answers didn’t come easy. He’d kept me right where he wanted me, under the guise of love and devotion. Even as I forced the memories down, they resurfaced.



 

“I don’t want your kisses.” I looked into his handsome, ageless face. A face that would never change, despite the passing of years. “I want answers.”

“As long as you’re with me, there’s nothing you need to know.”

“Why do you seem like a mirage once the sun sets, and I seem more solid?”

“I am born, and you are made.” He tried to stop the questions with another kiss.

“But you can look more solid if you choose,” I said.

“Glamour for human benefit. It’s nothing for you to worry about.”

“You don’t need glamour during the day,” I pressed, eager for information.

“Neither do you,” he said in an offhand way.

“What about the others? Are there others like us wandering the earth?”

Azriel let out an exasperated sigh. “No. We are the last. The only ones of our kind.”

“Tell me something else,” I begged. “Anything.”

“Really, Darian, you are like a whining babe.” His dark eyes turned cold, but he softened the cruel edge by taking my hand in his. “‘Why, why, why?’ It drones in my ears. Why don’t I ask you some questions?”

“Such as?”

“Are you deadly?” he asked.

“If I want to be.”

“Are you strong and quick as the wind?”

“As strong as you and just as fast,” I replied.

“Can you pass as shadow during the night, and are you confined to corporeal form during the day?”

“I can, and I am,” I said, almost pouting.

“Then do not worry about what you do not know. We are immortal. The only weapon that can kill us is a blade forged with magic, and even I don’t know where one might be. We are alone in this world, and you have nothing to fear.” His mouth hovered close to mine. “Ask me no...


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