- Author: Sarwat Chadda
Book online «The Templar's Curse Sarwat Chadda (top books of all time TXT) 📖». Author Sarwat Chadda
Sarwat Chadda is an award-winning author whose works have been published in a dozen languages. As well as novels he has also written tv shows, comic books and plays, ranging from Indian mythology to Star Wars. He has travelled widely in the Far and Middle East, but there’s no place like home, and home is London. There’s nothing he enjoys more than getting lost in its ancient paths and alleyways, and it’s on these streets that Billi SanGreal was born. Who needs fantasy worlds when you’ve a city like this? He shares this place with many other souls, but most of all he shares it with his wife and two daughters.
Find out more on sarwatchadda.com and drop him a line on Twitter @sarwatchadda or Instagram @sarwat_chadda and click HERE to sign up for the Sarwat Chadda newsletter.
Books by Sarwat Chadda
THE TEMPLAR’S DAUGHTER
THE TEMPLAR’S WITCH
THE TEMPLAR’S CURSE
THE TEMPLAR’S REVENGE (coming summer 2021)
Copyright © Sarwat Chadda, 2021
All rights reserved
The moral right of the author has been asserted
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher.
This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events and locations is entirely coincidental.
Published by Chadda Books.
To my wife and daughters
The evil that men do lives after them.
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
Billi sat in the lobby of the Ritz, arguably London’s most posh hotel, with her boots resting on the top of an 18th century Venetian coffee table, with a plastic Tesco shopping bag stuffed with two hundred thousand quid.
She and the squires had spent all day counting it and shrink-wrapping it in bundles of five thousands at her kitchen table. They’d used only twenties, nobody but drug dealers used fifties, and while this deal could land her in prison for the rest of her adult life, she wasn’t here to buy drugs, but sand.
Iraqi sand about six thousand years old. The most expensive in the world.
Maybe she should have tried dressing up. Judging by the silent glares of the staff and guests she reckoned her boots broke the hotel’s dress code. And so did her biker jacket, the jeans and the black eye not quite hidden behind her shades.
She winked slowly, testing the swelling. The skin was tight and pulsed hotly.
Should never have happened. How could she have let Bors get a swing in? She usually danced around the lumbering oaf.
That wasn’t the only big punch he’d landed. The one into her ribs had almost made her legs give out. Bors, despite his size, was quick and getting quicker. Not as quick as her, usually. The others watching had audibly gasped when he landed that one, a thunderous blow that had echoed within their training hall in the stony catacombs beneath Temple Church.
Face it, you’re getting too old for this.
Eighteen and already desperate to retire. Maybe that’s why she’d been given this errand. A simple shopping trip into the West End on a Friday night. Hand over the cash, grab the item and then be off to the Sergeant’s Arms for drinks with the others. They’d have her round waiting.
No more school, ever. Most of her friends, or at least the people she’d known for the last however many years, were packing up for university, a brand new life far from home. Over the next few years they’d study and make those big decisions about what they would be, going forward. Billi already knew exactly what she was: A Poor Fellow Soldier of Christ and the Temple of Solomon. A Knight Templar.
But what would it be like? Packing her bags, getting on her bike and just leaving? Starting somewhere brand new where she didn’t get funny looks for the bruises and the black eyes? Where she didn’t have to make excuses about why she would fall asleep in class because she’d been out all night hunting?
No more sword-fighting. No more midnight hunts and no more infernals, loonies, spookies or ghuls. Let them be someone else’s problem, someone like Bors.
What would it be like? She couldn’t even imagine.
A shadow fell over her.
“Excuse me, Miss. But can I help you?”
The concierge wore a very smart suit, a nametag and a presumptuous manner. The wire-rimmed glasses came from another era, one where women were kept in their place and judging by his sneer, he clearly regretted having been born a hundred and fifty years too late.
“Help me?” Billi smiled up at him. “I don’t think so.”
“It’s just your attire is… inappropriate.”
Billi looked up at him from over the top of her shades. “My ballgown’s in the wash.”
“I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”
“I’m going to have to refuse,” she replied. “I’m waiting for someone.”
“May I ask who?”
Billi nodded. “You may… ask.”
He frowned. “Well?”
“You really don’t want to know.” Billi put on her most sincere smile. Truth was she didn’t really have one. She liked to think of it as her least threatening. “You really don’t.”
Who did? Leave him to think he could go back home and get under his duvet with a hot-water bottle and never think about what lurked just outside the door. Of the monster that lived in the penthouse of this beautiful hotel.
There was a little vein pulsing in his forehead. “Do you want me to call security?”
What sort of question was that? “No.”
“Listen to me, you little bitch. This is the Ritz, not your local crack house. So why don’t you just get your greasy arse off that sofa and — ”
Billi stood up. She