Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Assassin's Retirement: Chapter 17 #amwriting #Gentleman #blogstory

Welcome back to Assassin's Retirement! This isn't an actiony chapter but more character development. Scyld and Zane have some more bonding time. :)

If you have stumbled onto this blog story and want to start from the beginning, I have added a Table of Contents at the bottom of this page with links to the other chapters in the story.

He wanted to walk away...

Fate wouldn't let him.

Copyright Lexi Ander

Chapter Seventeen – Coincidence?

When Zane woke the next morning, he was disappointingly alone. Why hadn't Alonzo woken him for this watch? Rolling onto his stomach, he spread his arms and legs, inhaling Skyld's and Alonzo's lingering scent on his sheets. His thought back to the night before and realized neither one had mentioned anything about Zane taking a watch. Idiots.

His stomach growled loudly at the delicious smell of breakfast slipping under the door, prompting Zane to get out of bed. His dinner had been interrupted before he could finish. He would be damned if he let anyone keep him from his breakfast.

In the walk-in closet, Zane pulled on layers over the various knives strapped against his skin. After careful deliberation, he added an ankle holster. One could never to be too careful. He took longer than he liked selecting his sweater. He'd always maintained a well-kept appearance, but he'd never actually dressed for the purpose of drawing someone's amorous attentions. To seduce them then kill them, yes. But for his own pleasure and purpose, no.

Today would also be a day of revelations, learning about a world he lived in but never actually saw. Alonzo's origins were no longer a mystery. But there was a question Zane wanted to ask. Alonzo seemed worried that he would reject Alonzo after learning about the Maricoxi. Why would he think that?

At the back of the closet, Zane opened a hidden panel and the secret door slid silently open. The house was soundproofed. A great feature to keep intruders from easily detecting where Zane was, but a negative feature for Zane if he had to figure out where intruders were.

He stepped into the concealed room. His private armory was on the left wall and to the right a bank of monitors. There were concealed cameras everywhere in the house and on the property. Currently, the band was either at the bar that separated the kitchen from the dining space or at the dining table talking. Alonzo stood at the stove making breakfast. Zane could listen in if he wanted but he kept the sound off. He'd rather join then than lurk. 

The monitors shared a wall with the panic room. A small hallway lead to the door of the panic room on the right and at the far, left end was the back door to the walk-in freezer that sat at the rear of the pantry. He quickly checked to make sure that door was locked. Sometimes he used the route to go to the kitchen, but while he had quests he would take the long way around. Grabbing what he needed from the armory he locked the room up tight.

After spending some time in front of the mirror combing his hair, he wished he had some styling products only to get perturbed with himself. When did he become worried about his looks? One of the reasons why he was good at assassination was because he was forgettable. He would never have a handsome face or striking features. But then the memory of Alonzo's smile and Xander's hungry gaze reminded him why he suddenly cared. Disgruntled with himself, he left his bedroom, ensuring it was locked. The voices from the kitchen carried just enough to let him know that everyone was still near the kitchen with Alonzo.

Across the hallway, the door to the music room sat ajar and he frowned. He was sure he'd shut it last night. Pushing the door inward on well-greased hinges, he was surprised to see Skyld standing in front of his large cork board.

"Your father was obsessed with Grendel's Mother." Skyld didn't glance over his shoulder, as if he already knew Zane stood in the doorway. "He used to rage that The Church murdered its way through peoples, cultures, and opposing religions, obliterating all in its path. What they couldn't wipe out, they absorbed or did their level best to erase."

Zane stepped inside and closed the door before crossing to stand beside Skyld, trying to see what Skyld did. "This is one thing I remember about my father that is vivid, not fuzzed by time." Zane smiled, remembering how excited his father sounded, the generous curl of his lip when he smiled with genuine mirth, how happy he was when talking about the ancient poem of Beowulf. "He was obsessed with mistranslations of ancient literature where women were mischaracterized. Grendel's Mother was one who was demonized for having a son like Grendel and then avenged his death, which by the law of the era, had been her right. Beowulf's pursuit of her was wrong and unjustified, and it took the act of two Gods to save his life when she bested him."

Zane stopped, snapping his mouth shut, flushing uncomfortably. He hadn't talked about his work with anyone other than his manager, and he found that having an interested audience uncharacteristically loosened his tongue. Perhaps he'd inherited a little bit of his father's passion.

"Have you taken up…" Skyld's expression was unexpectedly open, wistful and vulnerable and something else Zane couldn't put a finger on. It was almost as if Skyld struggled, as if he wanted to tell Zane something but was unsure. Sklyd was never unsure of anything. "Have you taken up his work?"

Zane thought about delving in and making Skyld confess what was on his mind, but decided against it. He already suspected the morning would be hard enough. He could put his curiously about this on the back shelf, for now.

He turned his attention to the board where he'd tacked up songs in progress, many of them exemplifying characters like Grendel's Mother whose identity had been erased by men. "Maybe in my own way. He was much more academic, whereas my work is more… art, I guess."

Skyld uncovered the pencil sketch Zane had done, a doodle, really, of his interpretation of Grendel's Mother's grand underwater court. "Does it strike you as odd that you have written songs about Grendel's Mother and now someone sent a Grendel to you?"

Zane stiffened, his gaze sharpening as he looked over his board. Had someone been in his home? Rifled through his work? Or had they been watching the songs he sold? But they wouldn't need to because Zane had long conversations with his agent. She knew his work, his intention because he had told her.


Table of Contents

Chapter One - Retirement
Chapter Two - Normal is not supposed to be this hard
Chapter Three - Caught
Chapter Four - Crimson Comet
Chapter Five - Mountain Magic
Chapter Six, Part 1 - Harbinger of a Nightmare
Chapter Six, Part 2 -
Chapter Seven, Part 1 - Stolen Answers
Chapter Seven, Part 2 -
Chapter Eight, Part 1 - No such thing as heroes
Chapter Eight, Part 2 -
Chapter Nine, Part 1 - Dead is supposed to be... dead
Chapter Nine, Part 2 -
Chapter Ten, Part 1 - Gathering Allies
Chapter Ten, Part 2
Chapter Eleven - Combustible
Chapter Twelve - Standing His Ground
Chapter Thirteen - Choices
Chapter Fourteen, Part 1
Chapter Fourteen, Part 2
Chapter Fifteen, Part 1 - To kill, or not to kill
Chapter Fifteen, Part 2

Chapter Sixteen - Maricoxi Guardians
Chapter Seventeen - Coincidence?

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

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