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Part IX – Power Play

G Johanson

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2012 by G Johanson

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

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Kammani had no idea if she had visited Constantinople before. It seemed quite possible, though she could not remember coming here with Ao on his final journey. She liked the sound of the city and her first impressions were favourable. There was something about walled cities that reassured her. The walls could keep the Romans or the Goths or whoever was the latest threat at bay. She would be safe here. Plus she still had Stumpy, who was now armed and dangerous. He’d killed three suspicious looking men on their travels so far, and while she had not overly chastised him (upon inspection of the men’s corpses they were all armed so could have posed a threat) she had reminded him that he could not be quite so trigger-happy in the city.

Lihua had been more miserable than usual for the first few days since they left Shaozu and Kammani resorted to telling her the truth to shake her out of her stupor. She opened up, confiding to her that there had almost been a moment between herself and Shaozu, Kammani turning the situation around so that it became about her. In her mind he did look like Ao and that was why there had been a frisson, as demonstrated by the tension between them. Kammani related how Shaozu had invited her into his room late at night, his body naked under the sheets, the pair of them almost kissing before she pulled away. Every word that she said was wholly true whilst still being a complete misrepresentation of what had really happened. Kammani was quick to stress that she had no romantic inclinations towards Shaozu but because of her confused state she felt it was best that he was no longer around to come between them. She had hoped that the revelations about his inappropriate conduct might have roused Lihua to anger. Instead she remained perfectly calm, which Kammani realised was her way. It did not necessarily mean that she doubted her word. Now that Lihua knew that he had led them both on, Kammani trusted that she would get over him in time.

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