Chapter XCII

‘What’s that?’

Moll shrugged, trying to calm her friend down. Beatrix was suddenly very jittery, and had been since Jaques left. Moll did keep assuring her that if it came to a fight, they were more than a match for any guardsmen, but that didn’t seem to calm her down.

The reason was that she was impatient, not jittery. She wanted to get out, leave, never come back. If Keiran hated her so much, then she wouldn’t trespass any further on his valuable time.

Oh, but that was the old Beatrix, back to haunt her! If she spoke like a noble, if she thought like a noble, if she acted like a noble - why, it didn’t take a genius to work out just what she would be viewed as.


She jumped at the shout, turning to see Jaques and Larkey running down the corridor towards them.

‘Thank the gods,’ she breathed. ‘Finally!’

It took Larkey less than a minute to pick the lock.

Less than a minute.

The door creaked open, and Beatrix stood, torn, on the threshold. A fight between her old self and her now self. For which would become her future self.

Throw yourself at him? Stand outside and glare coldly? She knew which she’d rather do. But which was better?

In the end, she didn’t have to make the choice.

It takes less than a minute to load a musket. And less than a second to fire.

The first gunshot rang out with the force of an avalanche.

And as Beatrix looked on with horrified eyes, Larkey fell to the ground.

The End

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