The Dragon's Assassin
Aline de Chevigny
Mainstream Romance: Interracial/Multicultural, Contemporary, Paranormal
Cover Artist: Merris Hawk
Editor: Bernadette Smith
Line Editor: WRF Gabbidon
Word Count: 18,174
Release Date: May 17, 2012
Athalda is known by all as Nerezza the Assassin, none but a chosen trusted few know her real name. Yet that doesn’t keep her from danger when she refuses to carry out a contract. The fact that the Dragon is the most handsome man she’s ever laid eyes on has nothing to do with her decision.
Remi Dragonsblood knew the moment he found the blond haired beauty in his bed, a dagger poised over his heart that she was the one for him. Now he needed to convince her that she was his destined queen, and pray she doesn’t try to kill him again.
Athalda stood before the council, carefully controlling her expression. Her spine straight and head held high, she proudly stared each council member in the eyes. As far as she was concerned, she’d done nothing wrong.
“Nerezza, as you have refused to fulfill your contract. We have no choice but to suspend you from the guild until a full inquisition can be done. Another assassin will be chosen to fulfill your duties and finish your contract.”
There wasn’t a chance in hell she’d allow another to kill her mark. She’d given back the dark Lord’s life and no-one would make a liar out of her. “No!”
“Excuse me? I thought I just heard you disagree with this council’s decisions.”
She looked the older man straight in the eyes before answering. An assassin could never show weakness. A sign of weakness meant death in her line of work. Nearly a thousand years as a vampire left her unafraid of death, but she had too much life left to live to take death lightly. She still hadn’t found love and she wanted a taste of that before she left this world.
“You heard correctly. The man…the dragon did nothing to warrant death. You’ve known my conditions for employment since the day I joined the guild. I will not kill, just for the sake of killing and neither should any member of this order.”
“A contract has been signed, we must honor that contract.”
“No!” It occurred to her that her answer could be the last words she ever spoke. “To kill him, you’ll have to go through me. And I will defend myself and my…charge against all that attempt it.”
The young man seated before her scowled. He was new to the post as council member and had never been defied before today. The boy, she knew from her searches, had gained his seat through popularity and intimidation…not to mention a few quiet assassinations, and that turned her stomach. Athalda had never liked the boy, and had unsuccessfully tried to block his entrance into the guild. An act he’d never forgiven her for.
“I could have you put to death for that remark!”
A slow grin curved her lips at the boy’s empty threat. Turning her attention to the other members of the council, Athalda chose her words carefully. “You could try. You might even succeed. I suppose it all depends on how honorably you take your assassin’s oath?”
A deep red blush crept over the young man’s cheeks. “Those are hazardous words woman!”
Her grin grew. The boy had no idea whom he was speaking with. “Vampire, child, and older than every member of this council combined. I helped write the laws and oaths we use to govern this guild. Keep that in mind the next time you wish to threaten me!”
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