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Maid in Stone

Tales of the Citadel

eXtasy Books

Heat Rating: SWEET
Word Count: 18,383
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Mobi
ePub

Life started awkwardly and became a game of survival for Kiala. Hunted by the Assassins Guild for her parents’ illicit union, their little family ran from planet to planet until Ki put her foot down. She performed the entry exam for the Assassins Guild and sold her services to them for five years.

When her years as a bodyguard were up, she tried to work as an auditor, an investigator, and attempted to find her place in world without danger around every corner. The Citadel made her an offer, and she agreed to time as a sidekick to a recruiter.

When the contract is up, she is given another choice, another chance and another fresh start. Seeing a familiar face is the first shock of many as she works as a Citadel liaison in Nyal space.

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Excerpt

Kiala faced the triumvirate and watched as they assessed her.

The central figure leaned forward and settled his elbows on the table. “Navo. You are named for your mother’s line?”

She inclined her head. “My father insisted. I got his good looks; I should carry my mother’s name.”

The speaker paused. “You have a sense of humour.”

“I do. I have been hunted for a long time, but now that I am fifteen, my family can no longer protect me. I must approach the guild and apply as a new recruit. No family can vouch for me, so I am on my own.”

“Do you know why?”

“Sure. My parents were not supposed to get together. They needed guild permission to have me, and they didn’t get it, so you hunted them.”

“The price on their heads has been lifted.”

“I am aware. The price is only on my head. Thanks for that.” She kept her body relaxed, but she could feel the shadows around the edges of the room circling her.

“Why do you want to join the guild?”

“To get the price off my head. It seems to be the only way to do it, so here I am. I am throwing myself on the mercy of the guild, so to speak.”

She waited until the chuckling ceased. “That is about the only reason that I would show up here.”

“You are very bold for a woman your age.”

“I am still a girl by most modern standards, but thank you.”

The shadow on the left murmured, “What are your strengths, child?”

“I am relatively impervious to damage and am hard to see when I don’t want to be seen.”

“Your parents have taught you concealment?” The voice was feminine.

“No. This is just something that happened the first time I was shot, when I was two.”

The shadowed form lifted a small bolt gun and fired it. Kiala felt the impact, but it skidded to the side and struck one of the assassins preparing to attack.

The three hooded figures spoke quietly before they addressed her again.

“With a skill like that you would make an impressive assassin.”

“No, with a skill like this, I would make an excellent bodyguard, possibly a nanny. While I can, and have killed in self-defense, seeking out someone to end them is not what I am interested in.”

The central one spoke, “So, you didn’t come here to apply to the guild?”

“No, of course not. Being hunted by assassins for my lifetime is enough exposure. I just want a life of my own now, and that means registering with the guild so that you won’t hunt me anymore.”

“In what capacity?” The woman’s voice sounded again.

“What?”

“You are registering with the guild in what capacity?”

Kiala smiled. “I am an excellent babysitter.”

The shadow on the left chortled. “You think that we are in need of a babysitter?”

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