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Authors: Eric Van Lustbader

Shallows of Night - 02 (41 page)

BOOK: Shallows of Night - 02
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His gaze swept back to the fresco.

‘So there was no war.’

‘The Majapan way.’

‘And all the tribes abided by your rules.’

‘All feared—’ She paused as if she had committed a transgression.

‘Feared what?’ He watched her face now, half in shadow, searching for some hint of emotion, some small betrayal, in the eyes behind the mask.

‘A—god. A god we once worshiped.’ Her voice had turned somber. ‘But,’ she continued more brightly, ‘that was in the time-that-was; it is not important now for that false god was banished from this land many
katun
ago.’

An overgrown building, partially destroyed; a headless statue; a plumed serpent.

‘Only the Chacmool has reigned in Xich Chih,’ she said. ‘His priests devised the sacred ball game-’

‘So the Majapan avoided bloodshed by playing the game,’ said Ronin.

Her head swiveled and the light caught her eyes, shining, tawny, like perfect topazes.

‘Whatever gave you that idea?’ said Kin Coba, startled and indignant at the same time. ‘The heads of the losing team were delivered into the arms of their tribal chieftains as a warning against further aggression. Their steaming hearts were used to fertilize our crops. The Majapan were a very practical race.’

There was a small silence while he digested this, then:

‘You mean the Majapan never lost a game?’

‘No,’ she said. ‘Never.’

A peculiar depression had descended upon him. In an effort to break it, he said: ‘What lies behind that Chacmool mask, Kin Coba?’

Her slender hands, which had been in her lap, rose into the still air, a silent explosion, more truthful than words could ever be.

‘Do you wish,’ she said, ‘to possess me?’

He thought her choice of words curious.

‘You mean make love.’

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About the Author

Eric Van Lustbader is the author of numerous bestselling novels including the Nicholas Linnear series,
First Daughter
,
Blood Trust
, and the international bestsellers featuring Jason Bourne:
The Bourne Legacy
,
The Bourne Betrayal
,
The Bourne Sanction
,
The Bourne Deception
,
The Bourne Objective
,
The Bourne Dominion
, and
The Bourne Retribution
. For more information, visit
www.EricVanLustbader.com
. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

All rights reserved, including without limitation the right to reproduce this ebook or any portion thereof in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of the publisher.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 1978 by Eric Van Lustbader

Cover design by Angela Goddard

978-1-4804-7102-3

This edition published in 2014 by Open Road Integrated Media, Inc.

345 Hudson Street

New York, NY 10014

www.openroadmedia.com

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BOOK: Shallows of Night - 02
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