Page 40 of Pretty Little Thief

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A laugh burst from her lips. “That’s what I said!”

It feels good to laugh. It’s like an invisible weight lightens my chest the more we do it. The softness of her features return, no longer worried about my guilt.

Then her eyes fall to the ground at the body lying in a bloody heap. “So, what are we going to do about him?” I fully expect her to fall apart again, but she doesn’t. It’s like she needed to get it out, but once she did, she’s fine.

Robyn’s stronger than I’ve given her credit for, and I see that now.

“Well, we can’t just leave him here. Can you run back to Windemere and get Tristan?” I ask, but she’s already nodding eagerly. “Wash your face and hands in the stables before you enter the castle. We don’t need prying eyes to notice anything off about your appearance.”

She spins on her heels to sprint off but quickly turns back to me. “Thank you for being weak, Dom.” Then tosses me a wink as she takes off toward Windemere.

My laughter booms through the air.

What the fuck is that supposed to mean?


When I reach the stables, it takes me a second to catch my breath before washing up like Dominic insisted. The room is empty other than a stable boy in the back, feeding the horses. I quickly wash up and head straight for Windemere in search of Tristan.

I’m not sure when they traded shifts, for all I know he was posted outside my door all night, so I head down the stairs for the guard’s quarters. I’ve been down here a few times with Rami when we were little, exploring every inch of the castle we could find.

Whenever we were caught down here, my mother would put on her mean face, reaming us from one side of the castle to the other, but as soon as we were behind closed doors, her face would light up. We knew the drill.

She’d flop down to the floor in front of us with a huge smile on her face. “So what did we find today, children? Any adventures I’m missing out on?” She’d ask with bright eyes, grinning from ear to ear.

The memory hits me, and I can almost hear her voice.

I’m lost in thought as a few guards pass me, giving me a side eye. I spin around. “Hey,” I call out. They stop and turn toward me. “Could one of you point me in the direction of Sir Tristan?” They look between one another curiously. “He’s one ofmy guards,” I say, rolling my eyes and twirling my hands in the air.

“We know who he is, Princess.” He frowns, pulling his brows together. “His room is down the hall to the right.”

I move to turn away, but his arm snaps out and grabs hold of me. “You shouldn’t be wandering about the castle alone, Princess.” His tone is sharp, but I can’t tell if his words are a threat or a warning.

My pulse spikes as a shiver runs down my spine. I take a step back, but he doesn’t release me, and his eyes stay locked on mine.

“Unless you have a death wish, I’d suggest you remove your hand from the princess.” Tristan’s voice cracks the air around us. The man drops my arm instantly.

Tristan steps around me, placing himself between me and the guards.

The men move closer, and my heart beats heavy in my chest. Can Tristan take on both of these men at once? Are they going to attack him right here where anyone can see?

My feet move closer, wanting to protect him the same way he so easily did me. He must sense me behind him because he gives a slight shake of his head, and my feet come to a halt. This is his territory. He has a better take on the situation than I do.

The men lean forward, speaking in hushed tones. “We didn’t mean to scare her. We were shocked to see her here... alone.” The man raises a questioning brow to Tristan. “The threat on her life is real. She shouldn’t be wandering about Windemere unprotected.”

I watch as Tristan takes a deep breath, then releases it with a chuckle. “Are you telling me what to do Cristoff?” The man shakes his head. Tristan’s voice is deep, low, and so freaking sinful. Heat pools in my belly as he continues. “Do you think you could protect the princess better than us, is that it?”

“No, sir,” they say in unison.

My eyes narrow. My goodness I’ve never seen something so intense. Tristan is fucking scary. How have I never seen this side of him?

“If you need more guards—” he hesitates, fear swimming in his eyes. “That can be arranged.” He throws his hands up, stepping away from Tristan.

“Thanks, but no thanks. We can handle the princess just fine,” he says, deadpanning me. My body stills, and his gaze scorches me from the inside out.

I’m pretty sure I’m having an out-of-body experience because I’ve never seen Tristan look at me the way he is right now. Like he wants to bend me over his knee for disobeying.

My eye twitches, trying to hold his stare. I’m trying to subliminally tell him I’m not disobeying, and we need to go, but I’m pretty sure that I’m failing because his eyes burn into me. It isn’t until one of the men clears their throat, reminding us they’re still in the hall, that he moves.