My favorite scene of To Fool an Assassin

Copyright © 2016 by India Kells

All rights reserved

Gabrielle couldn’t help staring at the gold band on her ring finger. How Sully did get it? It seemed worn, polished by the years, but it fit on so many levels. Another woman had worn it, but it fit her, too. She hoped the woman had been happy, as she would need all the luck and love available to have a chance at her own, despite the fact her marriage would be quite short.

Sully was lying quietly beside her. When they had come back from the chapel, he had collapsed on the bed, pale and sweaty. His little surprise had taken a toll on his battered body. They had remained there, on the bed, in a comfortable silence, enjoying each other’s company. Time was flying, and she knew it. And as soon as she got out of that bed, Sully would follow. Even half dead, he would follow. She had to find an option, any option that would force him to stay here, and stay safe.

“I know what you’re thinking about, honey, and that’s not going to happen.”

Gabrielle turned in his arms to face him. “What are you talking about?”

His face was still pale underneath the black stubble. Ignoring her fears for his health, she smiled. “I doubt you do, love. Otherwise, you would blush.”

As she hoped, he smiled. “Yeah, well, wait a little while longer and I will rock your world. But I was referring to your fidgeting. There isn’t much time left and you want to go. And you know I can’t let you go without any backup.”

And by backup, he was referring to himself. That was her greatest fear, right there in the open.

She touched his face. “You’re not in any condition to come with me. Your body needs rest.”

“I will rest afterward. All I need is some painkillers and a gun.”

A twisted idea formed in her mind—one that had bloomed earlier and that she disliked tremendously, but one that could work.

“There’s no way I can convince you to stay here and wait for me, is there?”

“No, wife. No way in hell.”

Reluctantly, Gabrielle rolled away and got to her feet.

“Where are you going?”

Bending down, Gabrielle kissed his frown. “Going to see Abbess Brigit. So far, she’s produced miracles … maybe she has some kind of painkillers in her miracle kit that would fit the bill.”

“That’s my girl.” Sully sighed and leaned back down again.

Gabrielle’s smile was gone as soon as she closed the door behind her. There was no way the man she loved could go with her. Not when even walking a small distance drained all the energy he had left.

It took her a moment to get her bearings and find the door to Abbess Brigit’s office. Before she could even knock, she heard Abbess Brigit’s voice telling her to enter.

The woman was sitting at her desk, piles of paper in front of her.

“You know, some of your little tricks can be creepy.”

The abbess laughed. “The Lord gave me strange and varied gifts.” Sobering, she glanced at Gabrielle. “You’re going to save Beatrice and James. That’s why you came to see me.”

“You have quite a tremendous amount faith in a single woman against a compound full of bad guys.”

“Yes, it’s true. I have faith in you, in your skills, and in that little bag of tricks—it has a couple of things which might be useful. I placed it in a car I found for you, as the one you came here in had to be disposed of.”

Gabrielle shook her head. “Is there anything you cannot find or do?”

“I wish I had the capacity of healing the sick and the wounded, so you wouldn’t have to go there alone.”

That very thought made her gut wrench.

“That’s not an option. And that’s why I came to see you.”

Silently, Abbess Brigit opened a drawer and handed Gabrielle a small rectangular box.

“One injection should put him under for the next ten hours. I’ve dosed it according to his current condition, so don’t worry, there won’t be any ill effects. You only have to inject him with it. Be assured that we will keep a watchful eye on him while you’re gone.”

Gabrielle took the small box in her hands, already regretting what she was about to do. “Thank you. And here I thought you couldn’t read minds!”

“I don’t read minds, child. I only know the next step. What to anticipate. That’s all. And you’re not so difficult to read where the captain is concerned.”

Gabrielle studied the nun with a face so similar to her friend. It made her think about the dead clone of herself, she had seen not so long ago.

“What’s it like to have a sister, or sisters, so identical to you? I don’t have any siblings.”

The abbess angled her head. “Until Beatrice found me, I thought I was an only child. But I was never truly alone. When I decided to offer my life to God, I knew I had found my true family. I’m surrounded by sisters who are as close to my heart as if they were of the same blood I am. I was happy to know Beatrice and others like me existed and led good lives. Nonetheless, my family is here. You too have chosen a family for yourself. And now you’re building one of your own. And maybe you will find sisters along your path, the same way I did.”

Gabrielle’s gut twisted. “I don’t know how I feel about clones. I’m part frightened, part curious, part disgusted. And I feel bad about that, to be honest.”

Coming around her desk, Mother Brigit sat beside her and put her hand over Gabrielle’s. It felt so warm; it spread through her entire being and was strangely comforting.

“You only think about the flesh, child. Don’t. Think about the soul instead. They may have the same genetics, but the soul is always unique. It’s where the will to live and to love takes root. Don’t see any of them as a duplicate of you, and instead find acceptance and compassion for them. That’s where you will find your purpose. And when you doubt, think about me and Beatrice. Similar shells, different souls, I can assure you.”

Gabrielle put her hand over the abbess’ in a gesture of gratitude. “Thank you. For everything.”

Abbess Brigit got to her feet to take her in her arms. “I will pray for you, child. You’re going to need it, I fear.”

“I will take any help I can get. And I’ll do everything in my power to free your sister.”

Abbess Brigit cupped her cheeks, a welcomed gesture of strength and support. “And then, try to do everything in your power to come back to your husband, child. Even if you still believe you may not. Now go.”

As she walked back to the room, Gabrielle tried to remember if she’d ever had to do anything so difficult in her life. She’d wanted to get her heart involved in the process, so she had to live with it. Taking one last look at her ring, she entered Sully’s room.

She believed he was sleeping, but when she took another step his eyes opened.

“Hey, honey. So, did you get painkillers?”

“Yep, it’s not the best there is but it should work for a sufficient amount of time. Ten hours, according to the abbess.”

“Good. Give it to me. We should be going soon.”

Gabrielle sat on the bed as Sully rolled up his sleeve. Careful to avoid his gaze, she disinfected his arm and took the syringe. When she injected the medicine, Sully cringed.

“How long until it takes effect?”

Gabrielle put the syringe back in the box before looking at him, her heart constricting so hard it was difficult to breathe. “You should be deeply asleep in less than five minutes.”

It took a moment for the words to make their way to his brain, but when they did, he exploded. “No! Tell me you didn’t do this! Gabrielle, you cannot do this alone. No!”

“And I can’t risk your life, you’re not well enough. You just don’t see it.”

Sully tried to sit up, but the drug was already taking effect. His speech slurred, slowed. “No! You cannot force me to stay. I won’t forgive you for this!”

The words sliced through her heart, but she waited until he closed his eyes to kiss him.

“I love you, Sullivan. Even if you hate me until the end of days for what I’ve done.”

With one last glance at her husband, who was now sinking deeper into slumber, she walked out the door.

To read more, get your hands on To Fool an Assassin!