Stiletto’s Luck is about an assassin dealing with the consequences of taking part in a battle for reasons of his own, while trying to remain uncompromised by either side.
They could have called him Scimitar, Blade or Dagger, but, no, his parents had to call him Stiletto. Stiletto did the only thing he could. He learned to be the best at what he did, and he learned to walk tall - without the heels. When he finds himself in the center of a plot to assassinate the most powerful men in the city, Stiletto has only one question: How on earth is he going to walk out of this one?
Sheathed in a suit that shifted with the colors of a city night, Stiletto crouched in the shadows, looking very much like the other gargoyles on the roof line, but one set far too close to the casement. Those he’d arranged to meet in the room beyond had been on time. They’d come, as arranged, bringing no nasty surprises and no extras, but he wanted to learn something more about them before going inside.
Such as why four of the pairs hadn’t left as soon as they’d seen each other. And why their bodyguards had failed to check the window and make sure it was locked. Were they careless, or did they know he waited just outside? And why did they stray so far from their principles, each guard moving to the outer perimeter of the room, leaving their masters close enough to do each other harm before they could intervene.
Three had hired him to protect them from one of the others. Two had hired him to investigate separate matters that now appeared linked. And he had approached one of the men acting as a guard, with a proposition.
Stiletto waited. The figures in the room grew restless. Finally, one of the three turned to another.
“A precision weapon, you said he was. I would have thought he’d have been on time.”
“Perhaps he scries,” another—Anderman—said and his guard gave a sigh. The man breathed in, sweeping his arms wide and drawing them in as he exhaled. His principle watched as his protector settled into stillness. The others waited.
“No,” the guard said, after six heartbeats of concentration. He did not say what else he might have noticed with his heightened sensitivity, but he moved closer to Anderman’s side. “No one scries here.”
The men in the room did not seem to realize the significance of the guard’s movement. They relaxed.
“Then why did he invite us together, if he wasn’t going to meet with us?”
Huh, now they thought of it.Stiletto watched as the bodyguards moved closer to their principles before shifting onto the narrow ledge alongside the casement and opened the window. Three crossbow bolts and two shards of magic parted the space he might have filled.
END FIRST PAGE
If you would like to read more, Stiletto’s Luck will be included in An Anthology of Blades, but is currently available as a stand-alone title from Smashwords, Amazon-Kindle and CreateSpace and will be distributed from Nook, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and iTunes.