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Carpathian 00 - The Scarletti Curse

Carpathian 00 - The Scarletti Curse

Titel: Carpathian 00 - The Scarletti Curse
Autoren: authors_sort
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at her in the darkness, dragging her against a strong, warm body. Giovanni!
    He was there, tall and enormously strong, his body a shelter for hers. His heart was pounding beneath her ear, his arms tight bands around her. She would know him anywhere, even in pitch blackness far beneath the earth. Relief swept through her, nearly overwhelming her, and she sagged against him, held up only by the strength of his arms. Then felt him wince.
    Nicoletta felt that wince all the way to her soul. "You are injured!"
    In the darkness his hands framed her face, his mouth unerringly finding hers. He kissed her gently, lovingly, a little desperately in his relief. "It is nothing. Aljandro's stiletto nicked me. I will walk you through the passageway. You must follow my steps exactly."
    "I cannot see anything."
    "You will."
    And she did. Nicoletta realized just how extraordinary his talent was, his ability to communicate in silence. With her hand firmly in his, she followed his footsteps, directed by the map he projected to her mind. They were silent while he concentrated on the intricate patterns that took them safely through the passageway and out into the bedchamber she shared with her husband. It seemed familiar, comforting, a haven, when once she had thought it so foreign.
    Her relief was tremendous. Nicoletta staggered into the light blazing in the room, blinking rapidly while her eyes tried to adjust to the brightness of the many candles lit in anticipation of their return. A fire was blazing in the hearth, and Giovanni hurried her toward its warmth. He was running his hands over her, Generated by ABC Amber LIT Conv erter, http://www.processtext.com/abclit.html
    ensuring she was all right, searching for signs of damage. She burst into tears and threw herself into his arms.
    Giovanni held her as if he might never let her go, burying his face in her hair, his strong arms around her, pressing her to him. "I thought I had lost you, piccola. I knew a monster walked among us, knew he preyed on women, but I did not think it was Vincente. He seemed to love his wife, to care for Portia. I thought it was one of the soldiers, not one of my brothers." There was deep sorrow in his voice, as well as rage.
    "Margerita is wounded, Giovanni. We must get to her."
    "She is safe in the palazzo. Maria Pia attends her, and my most trusted guards are stationed outside the room. Sophie is safely in Signorina Sigmora's care, as well. I returned with soldiers from the regiment you had attended at the border. They were bringing young Goeboli to the palazzo as we had instructed. The pass was blocked, but they found me and tended my wounds." Giovanni was pushing back her hair, touching her face, her neck, wiping at the dirt on her skin. "Francesco took you at your word. Poor Antonello could not convince Francesco to allow him to hunt for me. He was put under heavy guard.
    Vincente had already escaped through the maze."
    "I did not know which of them it was until it was too late. There was nothing I could do for Portia,"
    Nicoletta confessed sadly. "Her wounds were too severe, and she had lost too much blood by the time I heard her cries for help. She had aided Vincente in his conspiracy, but in the end, she could not allow him to murder her child."
    "I know, cara mia. I spoke briefly to Margerita. She told me how she met Vincente in the maze and he attacked her. Portia had followed, and she attacked Vincente, but he easily overpowered her and stabbed her several times." Giovanni sighed. "I blame myself now. There have been reports of women in the various villaggi being misused and even murdered. I ordered investigations, but often it was Vincent who volunteered to investigate, despite his reputed distaste for the peasantry, when I could not spare my men. And Antonello admitted it was he who moved Cristano's body from the labyrinth because he believed I had killed the boy out of jealousy, and wanted to protect me."
    "Vincente is still in the passageway, Giovanni." Nicoletta's fingers curled in his shirt. She looked toward the smooth marble wall, half expecting it to slide open and his younger brother burst through.
    "I am aware of that," he said gently. "But he cannot make it through the tunnel without the map. He will be forced to turn back, and my guards will be waiting for him."
    "He knew about the map, but he didn't know the key."
    "Mio padre did not know the key to give it to him," Giovanni confirmed. "Nonno suspected something had gone wrong with his

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