Today I’m pleased to bring you the first of many extracts – if you love reading free samples, keep an eye on my blog every Wednesday.
“He’s…” Altea trailed off. Her ugly fear about what he might do to her strangled the words in her throat. She was so afraid to go home, to go to sleep in her bed, but she could not be a party to murder.
“He’s a good man,” she managed.
Thal shook his head. “I’m very good at knowing when people lie,” he said.
Ugly truths assaulted her. She sickened herself speaking in Martin’s defense. She wanted to ask Thal for help. There was no one else she could turn to for protection, but what safety could a wanted man give her? She had already imperiled herself more by sneaking away to converse with him.
Thal continued, “There’s no guilt in answering my questions. You can make sure I don’t include the innocent when I strike. I saw you cry for my dead mother. You must want justice for her. She was tortured. She was burned to death.”
Altea’s face fell in her hands and she sobbed a little. The agony and confusion that she had fought against for months escaped. Words that she could speak to no other she cried in Thal’s presence. “How am I to live in world where my neighbors watched her burn and called it good?” she said.
Thal put a hand on her shoulder. His mother’s brutal death had been hard on more than just him. How many people in Altea’s community secretly mourned those who had been killed? Altea fell against him and he held her.
“It is done so that you will live in fear,” he said.