The Girl in Cell 3 (Triple Witching Hour)

Every day SABLE talks to her knight in shining armor, EREN. She says sweet words, tugging at his heart, hoping to steal it. But there is always a barrier between them - a prison cell door. EREN has struck a deal: keep her locked up and his little brother will be out of harms way.

Her cell is inescapable and her placement on death row rises fast. She aims to seduce him and have him break her out. But when truths and lies become one, can she deceive his heart without breaking her own?

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22. Chapter 21 - Zofia

 

Zofia was well aware of her beauty. She knew how it affected others and did not hesitate to use it to her advantage. Seldom did men realize the smug glimmer that hid in the ruby eyes. 


She navigated the cobbled streets of King’s Pride with a basket in her arms. She walked with a spring in her step, her gait the embodiment of the vivaciousness of youth. 


The languid afternoon sun made her raven black hair glisten brilliantly, causing men to turn their heads as she walked past. She could feel their gazes linger on her. She could imagine the thoughts they had about her. Every now and then, when she spotted a handsome one, she rewarded him with a sweet smile that lasted long enough to make an impression and yet was brief enough to make him lay sleepless in bed, the memory of her growing more beautiful. 


She walked across the marketplace, the chaos of merchants and buyers parting for her like a ship parted the seas. 


She approached Grandma Morai’s stall. 


“Ten apples, please,” she said with a smile, her voice filled with honey and kindness. 


Grandma Morai stood. She did not return the smile. 


“Zofia,” she murmured. She nodded. “Take ten apples. That makes three and a half.” 
 


“And how are you?” Zofia asked as she picked out one red apple after the other. 


“I’m fine,” Grandma Morai answered curtly. She turned her shoulder to the young woman. 


Zofia ignored her brusque manner and continued to pick out apples while humming a cheerful tone. 


Grandma Morai did not like Zofia. Despite what every other merchant in King’s Pride told her about “this sweet thing”, her instinct told her that this woman was not to be trusted. She wasn’t even sure why she felt this way—perhaps it had something to do with her eyes or the fact that she was simply too sweet, too beautiful and too kind. She wondered what kind flaws her perfection hid. 


“Here is three and a half,” Zofia said and handed her the coins. Grandma Morai took the payment with a grunt. 


Zofia always patronized this old woman’s stall—much to the puzzlement of the other merchants who wished that she would come to their stall so that they may have a chance to chat with this beauty. 


But Zofia always came to Grandma Morai. She did so because coming here gave her sweet memories; seeing this old woman reminded her of the time when she had spared her old life. She remembered the despair in her eyes, the desperation in every scream around her. The scent of burnt death. 


Next, she went to the baker and bought fresh, golden loafs. The baker loved her, the children who played near the baker’s store surrounded her, the apprentices fawned over her. 


The baker always looked forward to her visits. Her guileless charm was a treat to old eyes. The children loved her, as she sometimes played with them, patted them on the heads and told them stories about witches and how they hunt humans. And the apprentices were infatuated with her as with every coquettish smile she gave them, their hearts rose higher and they fought among themselves as to who would be allowed to court her. At night they fantasized about the unbridled passions that  they might discovered underneath the kind innocence of her beauty. 


After she had bought the bread, it was time to go. 


She crossed the street, but bumped into a merchant who was transporting his vases. He missed a step, fell to the ground and his fragile wares shattered.


“Hey! Watch where you are going!” he screamed at her. “You’ll have to pay for that!” 


Zofia dropped her gaze demurely and her lips quivered. The merchant’s hot words bubbled to his lips but he wasn’t able to speak. Such beauty was beyond reproach. He could not summon the anger to further demand compensation. 


“Just watch where you’re going,” he grumbled. 


The merchant walked on. Zofia licked her lips. “Heh.” Seeing the merchant’s stupefied expression gave her endless joy. 


With her full basket, Zofia made her way to the barracks. 


The guard at the door did not stop her. He knew her well. 


“Officer Reinhard is in his office,” he said. 


“Thank you.” Zofia gave him a soft kiss on the cheek. And as she walked past him, she knew that her bodily scent would linger there and the guard’s young heart would pound wildly. 

 

—-

 

A/N: Introducing Zofia ;) 

 

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