Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Assassin's Retirement: Chapter 34, Part 1 #blogstory #amwriting #gentleman #ION

Welcome back to Assassin's Retirement. Did you know that this little blog story is not so little? With this chapter, the story is at 72k. Wow! I never expected it to be this long. I estimate another 20k... but I'm not sure since I haven't decided where the story should stop. I might just to have to wait and see. :)

Copyright Lexi Ander

Chapter Thirty-Four

Zane was pulled to the table as if compelled. The cases were humming, and he cocked his, listening. He heard a soft sound, perhaps voices and he became convinced that if he concentrated hard enough, he would understand what they were saying.

He ran his hands over the surface. The trunks were old, covered with leather, brass tacks holding the material in place as well as forming designs that made Zane think of runes. He was careful not to touch the symbols, not sure why, but always willing to follow his instincts.

A noise from the living room caught his attention. Without turning his head, Zane looked out of the corner of his eye to see Duvan staring at him intently. He resolved to ensure Duvan met his end before he was taken off the mountain. He should have just tied him back to the bed and forced more tea down his throat. Now Duvan knew about Diego. Passing through the shadow earlier, he had picked up on how protective Tezcatlipoca was towards Diego, and oddly Zane felt the same. Duvan was too interested in what Zane was doing which did not bode well.

Zane could not open the cases with an audience who he was beginning to sense was more spy than prisoner. Skyld emerged from the dark hall, shirtless and scratching his belly. Yawning, he took in Alonzo holding Diego's hands and the people around them. He scowled at Duvan who gave a token whimper and cowered back into the cushions of the chair, though his eyes said he was anything but scared.

When Skyld's gaze landed on Zane, he crossed to stand close enough to whisper in his ear. "Tez woke me up. Said you needed back up." At Zane's incredulous expression, Skyld's lips twitched as if he wanted o smile. "Not in so many words." He glanced down at the cases and cocked his head as if listening.

"Can you hear the murmuring?" Zane asked, curious. Could he hear the noise because he was a scion, or perhaps he was sensitive to magical things since he had been made a patron?

"I haven't heard something like that since I was a child," Skyld said softly.

Behind Skyld, Zane watched Duvan strain to hear what they talked about. Decided, he placed his hand on Skyld's bare arm before he could say more. "Help me put these away."

Zane picked up the largest one, finding it much lighter than he anticipated. Skyld stacked the last two cases atop each other. Denise watched them with a laughing almost smug expression that turned to incredulity when Skyld easily lifted both trunks. There was something he was missing but he was reluctant to say anything in front of Duvan. He cut his eyes toward el Chupacabra and Denise followed the motion, her own gaze narrowing, mouth compressing a thin line at Duvan's watchfulness.

He went to the pantry and once Skyld followed him inside, closed the door before heading to the walk-in freezer. Skyld followed without comment. With the door closed behind them again, Zane crossed to the back corner and swung a shelving unit away from the wall on silent hinges. A key pad was revealed under a stainless-steel covering that matched the wall. Once the code was entered, the hidden door opened, and he motioned for Skyld to proceed him into a short hallway, lights flickering on with their movement. Swinging the shelving back into place, and perhaps it didn't matter since they would return to the main rooms by the same route, but he made sure the door closed and locked behind him. One could never be too careful.

Skyld had followed the lighting to an open room that held Zane's spare weapons and his electronic security. The only available counter space was the desk. Skyld pushed the laptop to the side and set his cases down before glancing at the wall of flat-screen monitors. Each one showed various views from the cameras Zane had situated throughout the house and property.

"I wondered how 'retired' you were," Skyld said, glancing around to the locked weapon's cages.

Zane scoffed. "I am retired."

"Yeah. Sure. Every other citizen has a secret room like this," Skyld teased. "I guess with all the trouble you continually draw your way, you would need all of this."

"Wasn't it you who taught me to always be prepared?"

"And here I thought you only listened to half the things I told you." Skyld playfully bumped his shoulder against Zane's, his expression fond.

He had missed this banter with Skyld, had missed Skyld period, rarely getting to see him once Zane had been returned to his so-called uncle. He liked that Skyld was tied to him through Tezcatlipoca. Though he was unsure how this new future would unfold, Zane would not regret the choices he had made.

"We should probably take a look at the mantles," Zane said after a couple of moments of simply basking in their shared comfortable silence.

He glanced at the monitors and used the laptop to bring up the three cameras angles of the living room. He isolated those views so they wouldn't flip through to the other cameras, allowing him to watch over Alonzo… and Duvan.

"Are you concerned about el Chupacabra?" Skyld had always been intuitive when it came to Zane's inner thoughts.

He told Skyld what Alonzo and Tezcatlipoca had revealed about Diego, Duvan there to overhear it all.

"We need to take him out then," Skyld correctly surmised.

"That is going to be tricky," Zane replied. "Even if I left an opening for him to escape, he is shackled to Denise." He suspected Duvan would take any escape offered. He could then track Duvan and eliminated the threat to Diego. No one would find the body. "I'm pretty sure they won't be open to giving him back to me. It's my fault. I brought him out of the bedroom after I caught him attempting to escape. At the time, I thought it would be better if I could keep my eyes on him. Now he knows too much, and he has been too attentive to what is going on."

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

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