The peeps at Bloomsbury have prepared an EXTRA SPECIAL exclusive scene from the coveted Crown of Midnight and you get to read parts of it at different blog stops today. Ain't life grand? You can read Part 1 and Part 2 now!
For a moment, they just looked at each other, a moment during which she remembered that day after the duel when he’d held her—not a captain holding an assassin, or a friend holding a friend, but a man holding a woman…
If she tried to hold him now, would he shove her aside? She didn’t want to know—didn’t quite have the nerve to try it. Or the nerve to wonder why she wanted to.
“I trust you,” was all he said.
“That’s why you had men around the city spying on me?”
“I had men around the city,” he said through gritted teeth, “because I wanted to have a chance to greet you first. To see if you were all right.”
She blinked and cocked her head. Looking after her, not spying. It had been so long since she’d had who cared enough to bother.
She had to swallow a few times before she could reply. “Of course I’m all right.” A stupid response, but he began walking again. She followed him, blinking against the brightness of melting snow off the glass castle. “But if I wasn’t all right,” she dared ask, “what would you have done?”
A shrug of those powerful shoulders. “It doesn’t matter now.”
He didn’t look at her as he said, “I would have done what I needed to do.”
She ground her teeth. “Stop being so cagey.”
“I don’t see how knowing it makes any difference.”
She felt her nostrils flare, but kept her mouth shut. Fine.
They reached the front gates of the castle. The usual hustle and bustle of courtiers, servants, guards, and visitors was hardly lessened by the frigid day. She glanced up at the upper spires, her stomach twisting at more than the thought of climbing all those stairs to the king’s council room.
So much depended on this meeting—so much that she didn’t dare let herself think about it. And certainly not in front of Chaol, who could read her face with unnerving ease. So she grinned before he could turn to glimpse her face, to discover the doubt and fear underneath.
Absolute confidence, absolute arrogance: her best shields and most beloved masks.
“I hope His Majesty has a decent spread of food for me to eat while I’m being interrogated.”
“Watch your mouth or the only thing you’ll be eating is hot coals.”
“Do you actually make people do that?”
His eyes narrowed. “What kind of person do you take me for?”
“You are the Captain of the Guard of the most powerful man in the world. Wyrd knows what horrible things you’ve done to people.”
“You must be nervous as hell if you’re resorting to taunting me.”
She wouldn’t let that shake her, wouldn’t allow the grin or the swagger to pause for an instant. But she halted before the wide, sweeping front steps into the castle. The best lies were always mixed with the truth—let him believe what he would.
You can finish reading the scene at 4pm at Alexa Loves Books! I know, I know, you're extremely grateful and you don't know how best to express it, I get it. Just follow the scene today and that'll be thanks enough!