By Mark Smith, Jamie Thomson
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Additional resources for Assassino!
The duchess whispered in her ear, “Dear, I’ve heard it said that people come from far and wide to ask your family how you saved the empress. ” Amilia shook with emotion at the words. Lady Genevieve picked up the handkerchief. ” she bellowed once more. When it arrived, the duchess thrust the cool glass into Amilia’s hands. She drank while the big woman brushed back her hair. “There now, that’s better,” Lady Genevieve purred. ” “Not at all, darling. ” They were in the duchess’s formal reception area, part of the four-room suite that Lady Genevieve had redecorated, transforming the dull stone shell into a warm, rich parlor.
While courtly love might be honorable and romantic for princesses and countesses, no noble ever practiced gentleness with a common woman. Serving girls who caught the eye of any noble—whether a knight or king—could be taken against their will. Amilia had never been attacked, but she had wiped tears and bound wounds for more friends than she cared to count. Although she now possessed the title of Lady before her name, everyone knew her background, and Amilia feared her flimsy title would be a poor shield against a lust-driven noble.
It would not be long now. Arista pictured Hadrian’s lopsided smile. The image stung, but her mind refused to let it go. Memories of the sound of his voice, the touch of his hand, and that tiny scar on his chin pulled at her heart. There were moments of warmth but only kindness on his part, only sympathy—compassion for a person in pain or need. To him, Arista was just the princess, his employer, his job, just one more desperate noble. How empty an existence I’ve led that those few I count among my best friends are two people I paid to work for me.
Assassino! by Mark Smith, Jamie Thomson