Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Assassin's Retirement: Chapter Thirty-One Part Two #amwriting #ION #gentleman #blogstory


Whew! I was scrambling around to get this finished. I put it off until the last minute, almost. But still, I lost track of my days and realized that I hadn't set up this post. I had meant for the last week's post to be the whole chapter but after I looked at it, I added more to the chapter before starting a new one. (It just seemed odd to have a chapter with only 700 words.) Zane and the guys are going to sit down and have a meal with Tezcatlipoca, and basically get some ground rules. 

Just a short note, this whole story has not gone anywhere I thought it would. I keep getting surprised by what comes up while writing. Although, with Tezcatliopca hanging around, there probably won't be a dull moment.

Copyright Lexi Ander


~*~*~

Time passed strangely in Tezcatlipoca's… Zane wasn't sure what to call it. Realm? Dream? Dimension? He wasn't sure where exactly they were at, but when he woke from his doze it was to find the day had passed and it was once again night time. He could've sworn he only shut his eyes for half an hour, but when he looked around, he realized he and the guys had been moved inside to the massive bed. This time Alonzo was wrapped around him and not missing. He'd hoped that by allowing himself to rest, he would wake up back at home, but it seemed that Tezcatlipoca was not ready to let him go.

Across the room a man plucked foodstuffs from the banquet table and put them on a large plate. Careful not to rouse anyone, and still naked he noted, Zane left the bed to speak to the stranger. Perhaps he knew how they could get back home. It was a little disconcerting that he was not alarmed at the man's presence. Before he could cross the room, Alonzo was sitting up and scowling at him. After that everyone else woke with a jolt. Looking around with heavy lidded eyes, when they noted Zane was not in bed, they all scrambled up and came to him, making him smile.

Alonzo reached him first. "Why are you up?"

He motioned to the stranger. "I thought I would ask how we could get back home."

As if hearing Zane's whispered conversation, the man turned and looked at him. His skin was a rich red-brown, but his face was striped with yellow and black paint. He only wore a hide loincloth that was decorated with colorful beads. Feathers adorned his tightly-woven black braids. The only thing that was odd was his right leg, from the knee down, was made of obsidian.

"Come and fill your plates. Then join me for meal." The stranger swept his hand over the banquet table laden with a wide variety of food.

Alonzo bowed, and Zane quickly mimicked him. " We are humbled by your generosity and are honored to share a meal with you, Tezcatlipoca."

Zane blinked. How many forms to the god have? He supposed Tezcatlipoca could have as many forms as he had names. The thought of learning them all was a bit daunting, but he guessed he had time, didn't he?

At the mention of food, the guys made appreciative noises. As they passed Zane, each gave him a thorough morning kiss. Well, except Skyld who snorted and shoved Zane playfully. Alonzo took his hand and they crossed to the table. He hadn't realized how hungry he was until he got a whiff of the food. From that point, his only thought about how much he could get on his plate until Alonzo sat him next to Tezcatlipoca. Cord took the seat across from him and the rest grabbed places around the table. They were wary of Tezcatlipoca at the head but allowed themselves to be preoccupied with their food.

As delicious as everything smelled, Zane could only stare at his plate.

"What is wrong?" Alonzo asked. He hadn't picked up anything yet, but Zane suspected that was because Alonzo was waiting for him.

At the question, everyone looked at him. He didn't want to be rude to Tezcatlipoca or shun his generosity but… "There are stories about places where if a person accepts food or drink they are bound to that place and not able to go home."

"Fairy food," Cord said, staring down at his own greasy fingers, his eyes wide with no small amount of alarm.

Tezcatlipoca grinned, so Zane hoped he wasn't offended. "I have heard of such places on islands in the far north. It takes a strong people to live among such devious tricksters. You can eat and not worry, young Zane. Though I find the notion amusing, I will not be keeping you here."

The group's collective sigh was rather loud, making Zane grin with his own relief. He didn't second-guess Tezcatlipoca's assurance and ate steadily, watching his men. His possessiveness should give him pause, make him rethink everything that had happened. He'd been alone for so long that he should be uncomfortable with this many people now relying on him, but he only felt settled.

Midnight fed Skyld a tortilla dripping with honey. Zane's brother blushed, but opened his mouth, going so far as to suck on Midnight's fingers. He'd never seen Skyld with his guard down. He spent years thinking of Skyld as a mentor and friend, but finding out they were brothers was actually thrilling. He didn't have to be alone anymore and neither did Skyld. His brother must have sensed him watching because he looked up and blushed harder, is fair skin turning a bright rosy-red before he gave Zane a rude gesture.

"Before I send you back, I would discuss some things with you." Tezcatlipoca said softly.

Zane's food suddenly felt like a brick in his stomach. He put his tortilla down, giving Tezcatlipoca his full attention.

"All of you are a tribe. Zane's tribe." Tezcatlipoca's gaze met the eyes of everyone sitting at his table before giving Zane his full attention. "You are stronger together than apart. The ritual not only lengthened your lives — and I know some of you are already long-lived — but it bound you together. Alonzo will be able to guide you and answer any questions you have. Zane is your patrón, your leader, and you will follow his laws, as he follows my will in all things. You question him then you question me."

"Excuse me," Raine said, wiping his mouth. He glanced at Alonzo. "That's a lot of power to give Zane. Didn't a patrón do something to lose Alonzo?"

Tezcatlipoca tilted his head in acknowledgment. "You have a valid concern. But rest assured that I would not put my Most Trusted in the care of just anyone. Zane will serve you well. If you doubt, then all you need do is seek me out in the darkness. I will hear your question, and answer."

The guys squirmed in their seats, seemingly disconcerted by the idea. Or perhaps not. Cord smiled at Tezcatlipoca, soft and hopeful. Zane scowled and Tezcatlipoca chuckled as he placed a hand over Zane's fisted one.

"Have no worries. He is not for me. I would not take any of these men from you." Tezcatlipoca's dark eyes not only held mirth but a promise that said Zane was the only one whom Tezcatlipoca would be taking, if he so desired. "Now that you understand, I would discuss what is to come. There will be times when I will call upon you and my request will require bloodshed. But before then, a blood sacrifice will be needed to cement my bond to you as well as your bond to them. Until then, the sex sacrifice will hold us together."

Zane gave a negligent shrug. He was no stranger to death and though he had an idea that the bloodshed Tezcatlipoca spoke of would be something new to him, he would not form an opinion until after accomplishing his first 'mission' for Tezcatlipoca.

Something tickled against his mind and when he glanced into Tezcatlipoca's eyes, he was caught. "You will be my blade, the plague I send against my enemies. Through you I will pass judgment against the despicable children of the House of Oden's Runes. My jaguar warriors will stand at your side, and you will have the vengeance you thirst for."

Zane's grin was slow, and perhaps a bit wicked, if he went by how Cord did a double take, his eyes widening with his alarm.


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?
Chapter Eighteen, Part One - Guns Ablazin'
Chapter Eighteen, Part Two
Chapter Nineteen, Part One - Reckoning
Chapter Nineteen, Part Two
Chapter Twenty - Mercy
Chapter Twenty-One
Chapter Twenty-Two, Part One
Chapter Twenty-Two, Part Two
Chapter Twenty-Two, Part Three
Chapter Twenty-Three
Chapter Twenty-Four
Chapter Twenty-Five, Part 1

Chapter Twenty-Five, Part 2

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

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