The Warlord's Secret (CHAPTER NINE, page 2 of 26)

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He returned the bow to the nearest guard. Vara would do as he asked and saw the ends off the poison-tipped arrows, claim she'd fallen ill, and hide her body in the wagon until it was time to act. Memon's arrogance allowed him to enter the meadow without his men. He'd entered the city with the men he brought - -his personal guard - -and left only Vara with the queen.

Taran strode away, turmoil making his gut clench. He looked in the direction of the Springs, unable to see them but calmed to know they were there. Hilden awaited him.

"Is everyone in place for this evening?"

"Yes. You would wait to seal him in the city?" Hilden asked.

"You must trust me. Take this to Vara, now."

He handed the warrior a bladder of the woman's blood, the last one from the wardrobe. Hilden's frown deepened, but he accepted it and hurried away, sensing the urgency.

Taran wiped the sweat from his brow and blew out a breath.

He'd meant what he said. He didn't want Tiyan without her. She looked better than when he'd last seen her. He wondered if the demon had taken her as it had Memon, who looked well but whose skin was cold as death.

He didn't dare cross the divide between them, not when he'd known he was about to kill her. Even so, he couldn't help the longing he felt when he'd seen her, vulnerable, defeated, alone.

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