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Fable: A Novel by Adrienne Young

Fable: A Novel by Adrienne Young

Author:Adrienne Young
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Published: 2020-08-31T23:00:00+00:00


TWENTY-ONE

He’d seen me.

He’d seen me and he knew exactly who I was. It was in the clench of his fist as he looked back over his shoulder. In the tick of his jaw when his eyes met mine. He’d recognized me.

Saint knew I’d made it to Ceros and he knew why. Just like I knew why he’d kept walking. I’d never broken the promise I’d made him. Not a single person in the Narrows knew that I was his daughter except for Clove, and Saint wouldn’t acknowledge me out in the open like that. He wouldn’t risk anyone wondering who I was.

He disappeared in the crowd of dock workers, his steps steady as he made his way to the large ship pulling into the bay. His crest was painted onto the sail at its bow.

I pulled my hood up tighter, my breath hitching in my chest. My throat burned, tears pricking behind my eyes. Because he looked the same. How was that possible? He was the exact same handsome, rugged man he was the last time I saw him.

The bell rang out, marking the opening of the merchant’s house, and I turned in a circle, steadying myself on the post with one hand. Saint would meet with the helmsmen of his arriving ships before he went back to his post at the Pinch. When he got there, I’d be waiting for him.

I climbed the steps up from the harbor and stood at the scrolling iron entry to Waterside. It was the worst of Ceros’s slums, a filthy stretch of burrows that ran the length of the shore past the harbor. Beyond that, the city was a maze. Streets and alleyways wound like tight knots, people spilling out of every window and doorway. The largest port city in the Narrows, it was a bustling hub of trade and enterprise, but it was nothing compared to the opulence of the cities that lay in the Unnamed Sea.

I pulled the map Hamish had given me from my satchel and unfolded it against the mud wall in the alley. If the harbor was behind me, then the Pinch was northeast. It wasn’t easy to get to, and maybe that was one of the reasons my father had chosen it for his post. No one expected a wealthy trader to hole up in the most squalid corner of the city.

I lifted myself up onto my toes, trying to spot the nearest ladder to the bridges. Beyond the next market, I could see shadowed figures scaling up over the rise of rooftops. I folded the map and shoved it into my jacket, slipping into the main street. People crowded between the buildings, coming to and from the market with baskets of potatoes and bushels of grain.

The mouth of the street spilled out into the square, where brightly colored canvas canopies and awnings cast a pink shade over the market. The dusty air was filled with the scent of roasting meats, and the vendor stalls snaked in



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