- Author: Rebecca Grey
Book online «Vengeance (The Prince's Games Book 1) Rebecca Grey (first e reader txt) 📖». Author Rebecca Grey
The Prince’s Games
Copyright 2021 Nikki Hunter
All Rights Reserved
Imprint: Independently published
Cover design by Seventhstar
Editing by Red Line Editing
The content of this book is protected under Federal Copyright Laws. Any unauthorized use of this material is prohibited. No portion of this book may be reproduced in any form without express written permission from the author.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidence.
I’d like to dedicate all the hard work I’ve put into this book to my mother. Thank you for loving me and believing in me always.
I love you.
P.S. Please don’t read past this page, Mom. Trust me on this.
Table of Contents
About Rebecca Grey
Drunk and swaying on a rickety old bar stool to my left sits a man, clearly of Orcish lineage, with rather tall socks. His large, goofy ears stick out from the sides of his head, crinkly gray hair sprouting from them. Orc is the only option with an ugly face like that.
With socks that high, he must be rich. The more fabric you own the richer you appear to be. Which isn’t hard, considering everyone that actually lives in The Bend is pretty fucking poor. The rich only come here to mock us, and the poor who find themselves suddenly rich…don’t live long.
Socks are also a great way for me to know if someone is likely to spend a good chunk of coin or not. Not that I care. But the more coin they spend on stale alcohol, poured from dirty bottles lined with gnats, the easier my job will be. The sun has very clearly gone down, drawing more patrons into the bar. At night it grows worryingly cold even when the daylight can blister your skin if you’re not covered.
The ivy-covered Dryad bartending is smart. A lot smarter than some of the bartenders or waitresses I’ve run into in my time in The Bend. With a practiced smile she dotes on the man, offering his first drink of the night with a fresh napkin. She’s careful not to be too nice. People who are too nice get taken advantage of.
I swirl my small steaming mug of hot tea, watching the Orc raise his glass and down another sip. In due time. It won’t be long now. I’ll give it minutes, certainly less than twenty.
Speckled with dust, the large mirror behind the bar is hung over metal lockboxes that poke out on either side of it, reflecting the room behind me. Booths are shoddily held together, and the lights swinging above them flicker every so often. Old paintings, supposedly famous, hang crooked on the walls. People don’t even bother to read the tags stuffed into the side of their decaying frames anymore. I’ve been here enough to memorize them and every thick stroke of paint on their canvases. Girl with Pearl Earrings by Johannes Vermeer, The Kiss by Gustav Klimt, and Impression Sunrise by Claude Monet to name a few. Humans every last one of them. Thus, they’re mostly forgotten.
Admittedly, Humans are very resilient and stubborn creatures. It’s our blood, my blood, that waters down every immortal bloodline now. Hybrids, though, are still nearly as dangerous and much more common than Purists like me. Immortal’s powerful traits are more dominant than the Human genes. That’s why Hybrids are less in touch with their humanity, or so I think.
Tonight, Geno’s bar is borderline rowdy. A few patrons had scored big at the gambling hall around the corner. They don’t have tall socks, and I doubt they will have enough money left over in the morning to even purchase some. After this job, I would collect my coin and head home to my small apartment on the sixth floor of a deteriorating building. It’s where all the mercenaries live. All I can think about is crawling back to my thin mattress and ignoring the world. But tonight’s job is good money. Money I so desperately need.
I pull my eyes away from the paintings, catching the swing of the door from the kitchen. The hinges whine loudly. Captain Balander often stops in to sit at the bar to catch up on his correspondence while his crew unloads the liquor they’ve brought from overseas in the back. It’s him I expect now. Over the last year, we’d chatted a few times, as I often frequent this bar. Geno’s is one of the few places that still holds some taste of the world immortals have forgotten. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’d find myself, on occasion, prying open one of the many metal boxes that cover the walls to find yellowing paper folded carefully into envelopes. Each one has a sticker pressed to its corner, and if you’re careful enough, you can unwrap the papers. Mostly, it’s numbers that are jumbled together with little meaning to me, but on a rare find, it’s a handwritten letter. I’d spend the night drinking and sounding out words with my poor grasp of reading, guessing at the lives of the dead. Balander often would purposefully slip the word I was trying to pronounce into his conversation with the bartender.
Instead of Balander’s scarred face, a silver-eyed man appears. There is no way he is older than twenty, with his perfectly unwrinkled tanned skin and his short dark hair that reveals two pointed