Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Assassin's Retirement Chapter 19, Part Two #amwriting #blogstory #Gentleman

Welcome back to the blog story! Lots of reveal in this part. So far this is one of my favorite chapters when it comes to action and such. I also like seeing Zane and Skyld through Cord's eyes. 

Chapter Nineteen, Part Two

"He's breathing," Midnight added from where he held Alonzo. "His pulse is strong and steady. I bet he'll have a hell of a headache when he wakes but I think he'll be all right."

Ella made a small noise drawing Zane's fury back to her. 

"Why?" she croaked, one of her hands going to where Zane gripped her hair. Her large dark eyes turning liquid with unshed tears.

Zane's eyes narrowed. "How many people know about me? How many times have you broken my trust? You will give me all of their names."

Ella looked as if she couldn't believe what she was hearing. She attempted to get to her feet. "You can't—" She cried out when he kicked her legs out from under her, not releasing his hold on her hair.

"Zane," Cord pleaded. "You can't kill her. There are people who won't let you get away with it. She's an oracle." The expression Zane shot Cord told him that Zane would do whatever the hell he pleased. Cord was not deterred. "Killing her will do you more harm, than good. She's with an organization called I.O.N. that polices Others."

Prince and the rest of the band spilled out of the back door. Cord was unsure if their presence would agitate Zane more. Skyld was hunched over the Valkyrie he'd brought down from the sky, pulling what looked like a zip tie from his belt and securing her hands behind her back. The rest of the band gaped at the upheaval until Skyld snarled at them. Handing out ties and directing Prince and Raine toward the tree line where two more Valkyrie were. As Skyld stomped toward Zane, Cord hoped Skyld would talk some sense into Zane. His attention was momentarily snared when Anson rolled his mother over and secured her hands. He wanted to tackle Anson for daring to touch her in such a careless way. But none of them knew who she was since Cord hadn't taken them home to meet his family. For good reason. But if he demanded she remain unrestrained… Zane and Skyld were staring at him hard.

He couldn't keep the snarl from his voice when he said, "My mother works for I.O.N. escorting dignitaries," He flung his hand at Ella. "This is her job, protecting the oracles."

Zane frowned, glancing back to where Anson stood over Cord's mother.

"Skyld," Ella said with derision. Her eyes weren't the fear-filled orbs they had been moments ago. Now her gaze was full of spitting anger.

"Don't blame me. You got yourself into this bind, pretending to be someone you're not." Skyld's loathing was clear. "You were warned years ago, not only by me, but by father as well to leave us alone. If Zane ends you right here, then his actions would be justified, and nothing less than you deserve."

Ella's light brown eyes widened as if shocked by Skyld's deadly declaration. Cord was getting the impression that Ella was very much the actress and a cold lump formed in his stomach to think she'd used him and Crimson Comet in some scheme.

"You don't mean that," she said with an air of confidence Cord didn't think was warranted since Zane still held a gun to her neck. "You would lose the chance to have a mantle. Your bloodline has been ours to command for thousands of years."

She glanced down with a knowing smirk at the metal bracers Skyld wore. They appeared to be battered pieces of a knight's armor and Cord was sure Skyld hadn't been wearing them when he followed Zane out of the house. Right before Cord's eyes, the dented metal shimmered, becoming indistinct then morphed into a pair of plain leather bracelets.

"And yet, you still wear the 16th century mantle bequeathed to you by my sister." In all the conversations Cord had with Ella, he had never heard her speak with such loathing before. Oracles were supposed to be benevolent guides, shamans for the people. Protectors. But now Ella was painting a picture of manipulation that sickened Cord.

"The mantles belong to the scions, not to I.O.N. and not to your merry band of twisted oracles," Skyld replied coldly. "That you have held the mantles hostage from the bloodlines, only handing them out if they vow obedience to you is unconscionable."

"You know very well that we need to ensure the loyalty of the scions. You—"

"No!" Skyld's voice boomed with power that rippled against Cord's skin, the sound echoing in the mountains around them.

Cord didn't know if Zane acted on reflex or that he shared Skyld's fury, but he cocked the gun and Ella shuddered at the noise. Cord grappled with the idea that the Oracles had wronged the scions. Scions were men and women of honor, balancing out the evils unleashed in the world. Their character was rarely brought into question. A dark suspicion wormed its way into Cord's thoughts.

"If you wanted loyalty," Skyld continued in a milder tone, holding up his wrists, showing the leather bracelets. "Then you must be deserving, thus decrees the mantle. Release what you hold and return them to the bloodlines."

Cord couldn't stay quiet any longer. "The scion who is hunting me, you said he was insane." Ella wouldn't meet Cord's gaze. His suspicion grew and his stomach twisted with nausea. He was glad they hadn't eaten yet, otherwise he would have hard pressed not to throw up. "The scion isn't really crazy but following your orders. You set this up, had him kill all those Grendels so that I would come to you for help. But instead of sending I.O.N. agents to stop the scion, you sent us here to Zane. You didn't care if I died. I don't understand why."

"She needed to introduce Zane to Others so she would have a reason to bring him in. She banked on any one of the Grendels going to I.O.N. for assistance. Once Zane was brought into the 'fold' then she would have attempted to convince him bind himself to her." Skyld informed Cord, his hands flexing at his side as if he really wanted to ring Ella's neck. "It is not the first time her line of oracles has used the tactic."

"Call the scion off," Cord demanded, struggling with his own anger and guilt. "I will not be party to this."

"I can't," Ella replied, the light of demented glee shining in her eyes.

"Can't or won't," Zane asked. Cord was quickly coming to understand that the more calm Zane sounded, the more deadly he was.

"Can't," she replied happily. "The person I gave the mantle to wear is not of the blood." Ella finally met Cord's gaze and no sorrow or guilt was found there. "He will continue killing Grendels until someone stops him."

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?
Chapter Eighteen, Part One - Guns Ablazin'
Chapter Eighteen, Part Two
Chapter Nineteen, Part Two

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

1 comment:

  1. Omg, this stopped on a doozy of a situation. This is my absolute favorite chapter so far because you can almost feel the action ramping up. I'm curious how Cord is going to handle talking to his mother or even if that happens, DRAMA!!