The Apprentice Sorceress by E.D. Walker

The Apprentice Sorceress by E.D. Walker

Author:E.D. Walker [Walker, E.D.]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: EDW Books
Published: 2019-01-07T06:00:00+00:00

Chapter Twelve

Violette was only unconscious for a few moments before Ned gently slapped her awake, but she was still fuzzy as he darted with her down some dark alley. Still, she managed to stay conscious as they crouched together, waiting for a crowd of people to pass. Her head ached and ached, making it hard to concentrate, to stay steady. She followed where Ned directed and tried not to think.

He led her swiftly but carefully through the streets until at last they came to a somewhat rundown villa almost on the outer edge of the city’s fashionable neighborhood. The sky was going gray with dawn by the time they arrived.

“Where are we?”

“This is the king’s borrowed villa.” Ned tugged her forward. They’d been holding hands this whole time, and she dreaded the moment she’d have to stop, have to release that solid warmth.

She frowned, looking at the villa. “But it’s so—” She bit her lip and darted a sidelong look at Ned.

His mouth quirked. “Quaint?”

“Just so.”

He shrugged. “This was a Jerdic colony city. The governor let in Lyondi refugees, but the good citizens of Aratum reserve their generosity for Jerdic folks. This villa belongs to a Lyondi merchant. A bachelor. He volunteered to let the king and his men stay here free of charge. Which was better than some of the offers we received.”

“Hmm. Yes, the princess had no money left when we arrived either. But everyone here is willing to give her things, extend her credit.”

He laughed. “And we must pay cash for every transaction.”

“I’m sorry, Ned.”

“This way.” He led her around to a side entrance, and she thought it would be the servant’s entrance, but it turned out to be nothing so legitimate. There was a crack along the villa’s garden wall, cleverly hidden by a fall of clinging vines. Ned slid through it sideways then beckoned her to follow. Shaking her head, Violette slithered through. The crack was just wide enough, although if her breasts had been any larger, she’d not have fit. They stood in the gardens among the shadows of the vines. The villa proper lay some twenty feet away down a small hill.

“The front gates don’t work?” she whispered.

“The king doesn’t always send me out on errands in the daylight hours, and he doesn’t always want me to use the door.” Ned waggled his eyebrows, hinting at some juicy intrigue.

She just shook her head at him then grimaced and touched her forehead. “Oof.”

He set his hands on her shoulders, peering intently into her face. “Are you all right?”

“Ned! Ned, is that you?” a voice hissed at them from the shadow of the villa’s walls.

Ned’s mouth crimped, a regretful wince, and he turned away from Violette. “I’ve got her,” he called back, softly.

“Come on then.” Footsteps clicked on tile, the speaker turning back inside. Violette thought she recognized the voice of King Thomas’s magician, Master Llewellyn.

Ned guided her forward, very properly only touching her elbow as he helped her negotiate the hill. That firm pressure only depressed her.


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