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Bran Lindy Ayres

Chapter 1


I hate blood.  The way the stench lingers in the back of my throat.  How it clings making my skin itch.  I want to gag.  I ignored the warm slick spots on my skin.  Killing five men with long slim blades gets messy.

Centering myself, I opened my eyes.  The man at my feet lay drowning in his own blood.  My next target stood at the end of the courtyard.  I couldn’t be distracted.

“Are you certain these were your elite guards, Yusik?”

I did not look at the man standing just a few steps to my right.  The man who ordered me to kill.  He was always there.  He enjoyed these forays into death and despair.

Shifting my weight to the balls of my feet, I waited for the command.

The final rebel opened his mouth.  “I don’t have it!”

“But you did.  Where is it…

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