Darkest Before Dawn (KGI series)

Free Darkest Before Dawn (KGI series) by Maya Banks

Book: Darkest Before Dawn (KGI series) by Maya Banks Read Free Book Online
Authors: Maya Banks
you wish, you may travel with me. It would be an honor to aid an elder of our people.”
    Did he know who she was? How could he? Had she not been as careful as she’d thought? Was he warning her because he knew she was the one whom the militant faction searched for? And was he merely offering her reassurance that he wouldn’t betray her by playing along with her disguise and calling her an elder of their people? Or was there something more sinister at play? Was he one of the very men she had to evade at all costs?
    There was little she could do. If she suddenly fled, she’d certainly draw attention to herself. And again, she doubted the assholes hunting her thought she would have the balls to go into that village with them there, so close she could smell them. And if she traveled with this man who looked to be older, it would only add credibility to her disguise.
    He was younger than she pretended to be, but he was not a young man and likely had a wife or wives and children. Perhaps in his forties, but it was hard to tell because hard work aged the people here far before their time.
    “I thank you, my brother, and good day to you as well.” Then injecting a note of fear in her voice, as would be expected, she turned but was careful not to meet his eyes, and she kept her head bowed in a gesture of subservience. “Why are they here? Is this not a peaceful village? What is it that they seek this day? And are we safe?”
    She’d thought through every single word and purposely made her voice sound as aged as she appeared. She wanted no hint of an accent and she was very good at the languages of the Middle East, even the obscure ones that verged on extinction. She breathed a sigh of relief when she could detect no error in her effort. She only hoped a native hadn’t picked up on something she herself couldn’t hear in her voice.
    “There is talk that the group that calls themselves A New Era seek an American woman who escaped a relief center bombing while all other workers perished. They won’t stop until they capture her, so they are spreading themselves farand wide and splitting up so they can cover more ground. The villagers are uneasy. They fear this abomination will destroy the village and expand the area they have absolute control of. If this woman is found, she would be given up in hopes that the fanatics would spare them in exchange.”
    Honor was more sure than ever that this man knew she was the woman being hunted. Why he had offered to help her, she didn’t know. But then perhaps he only wanted to lure her in, give her a false sense of security so he could be the one to hand her over to A New Era and reap the reward.
    She didn’t have time to ponder the choice or mull it over in her mind. It would be a dead giveaway, and no elderly woman would turn down the protection of another when apprised of the situation, so she did the only thing she could do. The only option available to her.
    “I am grateful for your protection and gladly accept. I have need of only a few things. I have no desire to be caught in the slaughter of innocent lives.”
    “May Allah be with us both, my sister,” he said formally. “Come, walk with me and we will acquire the things you need so you can be on your way. And may Allah walk with you wherever you go.”
    He knew. He had to know. And yet he acted as though he wanted to help her. She was both relieved and grateful but also terrified all at the same time. She hated feeling so exposed. She hated someone knowing that she was the one the intruders were here for. Guilt swamped her. She didn’t want to be responsible for the deaths of innocent people. She didn’t want to be responsible for an entire village being decimated. And she didn’t want to cause the death of a man who knew who she was and was helping her regardless.
    She fell into step beside him and he slowed his pace to match hers so he didn’t leave her behind.
    “Are you injured?”
    He asked in a mild, concerned

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