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While Hidden, I See and Destroy

Last Dance

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Name
Leshovik
Website
The Groznyj Grad Living Novel

Last Dance

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I tell myself it's for the best, and I believe it, too.

That's what Alexei would say.

But at the same time, I doubt, the way a pious man lies awake in bed at night, the way a fighter pilot's hand clenches on the yoke.

Only I'm not a pious man, or a pilot, but I am a sniper.

And sometimes snipers have their moments of doubt, quiet seconds with sweaty palms and blurred vision and trigger fingers frozen in place.

I think about Aryol, and I wonder if he'll be all right. I have to trust that he will. I owe him that much. It's the least I can do, to treat him like a man who's capable of making his own decisions.

After all, if someone had told me, way back when, not to get involved with Kasya, would I have listened? Even if they told me he'd break me apart, I still would have done it anyway.

When you're young, you're invincible.

...at least, until you break.

Only I don't think Aryol is going to break. If he was, it would have happened long ago. He's been through some pretty tough shit for a kid, and somehow I get the feeling I don't know the half of it. I never really wanted to hear it.

That's Aryol, carved from pure, hard granite, just like his -

...

I mean, if Aryol is anything like Irinarhov, it's only because of my expectations. I made him my Kasya, one I could control, I shaped him to grow to my liking. I'm the common denominator in the equation.

Still, Aryol is Aryol.

Kirill.

Shit.

...

It's for the best.

...Liadov had better treat him right.
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