Silent as the Shadows

For the Heir of Fire writing competition. Cara, a deadly assassin is sent on a job by her mysterious benefactor. But who is this benefactor and why do they want this man dead?

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1. Captain Quincy Dagger

Blood ran off her blade and spilt onto the floor. She looked down upon the mess calmly, whilst the people below ran around like headless chickens.

Cara retreated into the shadows, disappearing from sight. Her work was done. She needn’t stay any longer than was necessary.

Thinking back to the events of the night brought a satisfied smile to her lips. A successful kill without being sighted meant money. And money meant the means to help her family, who would right in that moment be shivering, gathered around the fireplace of their tiny, vulnerable home.

The target had been a local pirate, who circled frequently around the bay, stealing and looting from incoming ships. Cara could only guess as to why her benefactor wanted him dead, but it seemed to her that one of his ships, with precious items on board, had been taken from him.

Three guesses by whom... she thought wryly.

She’d slipped into the tavern, parading herself to every passing person, so as to catch the pirate’s attention. Captain Quincy Dagger was a hard man to please, however. Not once did she catch him sneaking a glance at her, despite her best efforts.

In fact, she was sure that he’d never look her way.

Cara had been given a dress from her benefactor, not too fancy – much to her relief – so it wouldn’t cause suspicion. It was a brown cotton type material, with a thin lace-up bodice which was unnervingly low cut. The skirts were ‘fashionably’ shorter, only just reaching above her ankles.

After awhile, Cara began to bore and realised she needed a new tactic. She excused herself from a group of rowdy men and waltzed towards Dagger’s table. Forcing a seductive smile, she shimmied past the two men in front of the table and pushed herself up beside the Captain.

He stared at her for a moment, confused.

“My, my, my,” He grinned suddenly, his gaze flicking from her ankles to her chest to her face. All of which took his liking, Cara decided, for he did not push her away. “What ‘ave we ‘ere?”

She forced a blush, giggling girlishly. The other men at the table whooped, gazing enviously at Dagger.

“Cara,” She smiled, placing her hand on his thigh from under the table. She felt a shiver run through him. “It’s an honour to meet you.”

Dagger smiled, somewhat forcedly.

“An’ you, my dear.” He muttered. “I think we should take this chat elsewhere. Say, my chambers?” Cara faked a look of innocent shock for a moment. The men cried out their approval.

“Of course,” She smiled broadly, too broadly. For a moment, she thought her personality had shone through the facade.

Dagger led her by the hand up the stairs of the tavern. They paused at the third door on the left. The Captain opened it and pulled her inside, with more force that she though necessary. None the less, she giggled it off.

Before she knew it, Cara was up against the wall, Dagger’s arms pinning her down. She knew in an instant that he could overpower her easily.

Okay, she thought. How do I approach this?

Force was out of the question; Dagger was twice her size, and twice her strength for that matter. But her benefactor didn’t pay her to be strong. The benefactor paid her to be intelligent.

“Listen now, and listen well,” The Captain ordered, his grip tightening. “I ‘ave no interest in what you offer, but the lads don’t need to know that. So, when asked, you say we did it, and you tell ‘em it was the best night of your life. Got it?”

Cara’s mouth opened and closed. Thing’s had just got more complicated.

“You’re...”

“Say anything more an’ I’ll cut out your eyes and feed ‘em to you.” Dagger hissed. Cara sucked in a sharp breath. She had to act now, and quickly.

“I understand.” Cara whispered, faking a frightened look. “I’ll do whatever you want. Just... just don’t hurt me.” Dagger gave her a satisfied look and sat on the edge of the bed.

“And now we wait.”

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