Champion of Moonlight | One Month Ago: Prologue

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I was the only one at the archives today, the only one to enjoy the grand rooms, and the smell of leather and ageing paper. At least for now. Coral always had Sundays off and so, it seemed, had the rest of the magical community. It suited me fine, because I still had a stack of books to finish before the tournament next month. These quiet Sundays were perfect for catching up on the latest research. Continue reading “Champion of Moonlight | One Month Ago: Prologue”

A Monte Vista Story | 7. Head of the Family

Content warning: Visible blood, wounds, and bruises.

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Franco arrived a while later and he called in a few other people: a cleaner, a doctor, people to scope out the town for other potential hitmen. When he had set everyone to work, he came up to Carlo.

“How about the body. Discrete disposal, or…?”

“No, make it public, make it a warning. Just strip him of identifiers first.”

“Sure thing.” Franco walked off, but then turned back around to him. “I heard whispers about her. Is she…?” Continue reading “A Monte Vista Story | 7. Head of the Family”

A Monte Vista Story | 6. Cornered Animal

Content warning: This chapter contains images of blood/bruises, plus descriptions of stabby actions. Tread with care.

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Carlo couldn’t see or hear anyone hanging around Bell Farm, and dread settled in the pit of his stomach. He should have had a gun with him, or waited for Franco to come. Instead he set out cross the lawn. The door to the old barn was ajar and creaking on its hinges. Continue reading “A Monte Vista Story | 6. Cornered Animal”

A Monte Vista Story | 5. Alive

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Camillo finished setting up the last sprinkler. Vittoria jumped away with a squeal as one of them sprang to life right by the tree she was harvesting, and he grinned.

“Well, that works.”

“Jerk.”

“But a helpful jerk,” he said. “Don’t forget that on my birthday.”

She rolled her eyes, but smiled. Since she had moved in, Camillo had been around nearly every day to try and get the harvest in, as there was no way she would be able to do it herself. He even helped her sell off the crops she couldn’t eat herself. Neither of them were very good at gardening, but they made do.

“I don’t know what to do with the weeds over here,” Camillo said. “I tried asking Carlo for advice, but…”

“But he still hates me.”

“He doesn’t hate you, he’s just being a stupid face.” Continue reading “A Monte Vista Story | 5. Alive”

A Monte Vista Story | 3. The Happy Crook

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Vittoria smiled back at Carlo, who huddled under his parasol in the sun.

“You coming?” she asked.

“If you’re going to be on my case about the parasol again, I’m going to stay home.”

She rolled her eyes. “I was just teasing you a bit. It’s cute, really.”

“UV rays are no joke, Vittoria,” he said.

His voice so grave she couldn’t help but laugh, and his face softened into a smile. She forced herself to look away and get into the taxi next to Camillo. Since she had gotten him out of jail, he had warmed up to her, but he still kept a polite distance, except for those rare moments when he looked at her like that.

“Sunbather’s retreat,” Carlo told the driver as he got into the front seat. “As for payment…”

“No need for that,” the driver said, revving the engine. Continue reading “A Monte Vista Story | 3. The Happy Crook”

A Monte Vista Story | 2. Friends in the Right Places

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Vittoria enjoyed the quiet life. For a while at least. She spent less than a week chiselling away at clay and wood, before somebody took pity on her and bought one of her clay monstrosities. Around the time she had someone seriously consider one of her works because of aesthetics, was when she started getting bored.

That was also around the time she noticed that Carlo Mancini seemed to avoid her. Continue reading “A Monte Vista Story | 2. Friends in the Right Places”

A Monte Vista Story | 1. Vittoria

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Camillo Mancini called his brother before the sun rose and said that they had a situation.

“What happened? Are you hurt?” Carlo said, ready to jump out of his chair and rush to his aid. “I can leave now, if…”

“No, no, it’s nothing like that. We just have a… visitor. Just wanted to know when you’re home.”

He sounded less like someone had a gun to his head and more like he didn’t know what to say. So that was something.

“I’ll be home in a few hours, I think.”

“It’s no rush. Just told her I’d ask when you’re back.”

“Her?”

Camillo sighed. “I’ll explain when you get back.” Continue reading “A Monte Vista Story | 1. Vittoria”

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