Blood and Money

Blood and Money by Unknown Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Blood and Money by Unknown Read Free Book Online
Authors: Unknown
intestine slowly began to unravel through his fingers. He tried desperately to force his guts back inside his body. He was dead, but didn’t realize it.
    Isra could have left him then. It would have taken days for the murderer to finally die.
    But that wasn’t enough.
    Faris’s screams curdled in his throat as Isra opened a second cut on his face, matching the first. “Smile,” the assassin said coldly, and cut again, scraping the knife across Faris’ forehead. Blood streamed down into the man’s eyes.
    The assassin walked around the dead man, grasping a tangle of hair and wrenching his hand back, scalping Faris. It was brutal and ugly. His hands were slick with his brother-in-law’s blood, but it was his sister’s that burned him.
    He pushed the man to the floor. Blood soaked the boards.
    Isra walked around him again, then pulled Faris over onto his back and went to work once more.
    Faris’ body was so far lost to shock that he almost certainly couldn’t feel a thing.
    Isra didn’t care.
    Heavy footsteps sounded on the bottom stairs. Two men, Faris’s help, came rushing up the stairs, too late to save anyone.
    The assassin’s blades peeled away layers of skin and meat, scraping down to the ribs. He reached in, snapping two of the bones so that he could reach in and tear out the heart. Isra wanted to feel it stop beating in his fist, but Faris was already gone.
    Isra was so blind to his surroundings that he missed Munir bending to grip the poisoned knife in both hands. The first he heard was the slap of bare feet on bloody floorboards as the boy ran at him, blade gripped thrust out before him.
    Isra looked up a fraction of a second before the boy could plunge the knife into his throat and reacted instinctively, slapping the boy’s wrists so hard his hands sprang open and the poisoned blade spun away, clattering to the floor. The force of the blow sent the boy sprawling through his parents’ blood. Isra picked up Faris’s knife and plunged it into the man’s corpse.
    It was over.
    The footsteps pounded reached the top of the stairs, dragging him back to the present.
    He had to get out, and quickly.
    Isra snatched up his knives, and with one backward glance to check on the boy, slipped through the window again just as two men burst into the room. They were muscle-bound thugs built for intimidation, not for running across rooftops, and they knew it. Neither made a move to follow as Isra leaped from the window ledge and disappeared into the night.
    ∗ ∗ ∗
    Half an hour later, he was cleaned up and changed into his normal attire, and had the reek of alcohol back on his breath; he was Isra the merchant prince once again, though today all the cares of the world had come home to roost. He would never be the same again. He was grateful that he could enter his sister’s home by the front door this time.
    There was no need to climb the stairs. He knew what was up there.
    He was shaking as he listened to the bodyguard describe what had happened, and how he had caught a glimpse of the bastard Nightwalker disappearing through the window. The man made himself sound like a hero. He had given chase, but the assassin had used black spells to throw him off the roof and he’d barely escaped with his life.
    It was all rubbish. Isra didn’t care. Let the man pretend.
    “I’ve sent word to the Pactmasters,” the bodyguard said, “but there’s not much they can do for Master Faris or your sister. Do you want to see the bodies?”
    Isra shook his head. “No.”
    “Young master Munir is in his playroom. I fear he saw everything.”
    “I’ll take him with me. Then, when I’m gone, I want you to burn this house to the ground. I don’t want him to have to see it ever again. Will you do that?”
    “I don’t think—”
    “I’m not asking you to think. I’m asking you to do one thing for me. I’ll see you are well paid for it. Can I trust you?”
    The man nodded.
    “Good. Trust’s so important.” Isra meant it

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