The Puppet Assassin - Ch 8 [the demon's daughter -|- luke]

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"A gentle hand may lead even an elephant by a single hair."

- Iranian Proverb

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Chapter Eight

The Demon's Daughter| Luke

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Dizelde seemed to shrink back as I turned to her, though her face showed no fear. How could this young girl have been trained as an assassin? Couldn't her teacher have seen that she didn't have the capacity? She was so timid, as if we were in animal form rather than human. If I hadn't seen her go up against Garth fearlessly, I would have seriously doubted her when she said she was a trained killer. I smiled slightly, hoping that I portrayed a gentle face rather than mischievous, and beckoned her forward. She raised her chin and came towards me, only her eyes showed her wariness. I placed my hand on the rigid small of her back, hoping she could trust me with this contact and led her into the living room, a little more comfortable than either Garth or Larkin's study.

I led her to the couch and then sat next to her, ensuring that she didn't feel too alone when we spoke together. Garth sat on a chair to the side while Lark leant against the wall near the door, folding his arms. I noticed by his expression that he seemed to be studying Dizelde, trying to figure her out. He was a fierce puzzle-solver and a watcher. I could always count on him to catch out anything I'd missed. I also noticed that Dizelde seemed awkward under his gaze and occasionally glanced over to him and her cheeks developed a pinkish tinge. What exactly had happened here? I glared at Larkin, he would have some explaining to do if he'd already begun hitting on the poor girl. Couldn't he see that, despite the way she spent most of her childhood, she was quite innocent and naive?

I decided to start with some mundane questions to get her relaxed.

"How old are you?"

She looked bewildered. "I'm... sixteen. Seventeen in February."

"An Aquarius or a Pisces?" Larkin sounded like he was speaking his thoughts aloud. Weird question. Lark was usually pretty down to Earth. Why was he asking about superstitious crap?

Dizelde opened her mouth to answer his question but I interrupted her. "That's not important."

"And my age is? Just... just ask the questions... get it over with." She shrugged, as if she didn't care, but her fingers clenched and she began to gnaw on her lip.

Getting this over and done with was a smart idea. I was slowly succumbing to sleep, my eyelids feeling a lot heavier than usual.

"Do you know who your father is?" I asked gently.

Larkin spoke before she could say anything. "She knows. She knows what he did too."

Garth shot him a questioning look. "How do YOU know?"

Larkin smirked. "She pretty much told me already, dude."

Sometimes I could understand why Garth got easily frustrated with Lark. The guy didn't really hold back his arrogance. Yes, he was greatly observant, and yes, he was intelligent, but his 'jock' side showed through often. He was ultra competitive and wasn't afraid to brag. And while that made his side a good side to be on, if you were a determined winner yourself, you'd have a hard time having him around. Garth, who was competitive to the extreme, didn't handle being beaten at all well.

"You didn't beat it out of her, did you?" Garth said in a snarky tone.

"I barely touched her." There was a soft hint of a lie in the air. I quickly looked over to Dizelde who - now that I considered it - looked a little paler than she had when she'd left my car.

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