Warmth radiated from the center of the stone ark cradled in the palm Damien’s hand. Its appearance was nothing more than a well-worn river rock, but inside it held a secret. Cupping the stone beneath his face, Damien closed his eyes and breathed in. Iron filled his lungs.
“What are you doing?” Robert LeBlanc prodded from behind Damien. “Stop playing with yourself, we must keep moving forward.”
LeBlanc was a proud young man with too much money - family money - and his resentment for Damien’s authority was tangible.
“What’s your rush kid?” Damien replied with a cool tone. “Missing your mummy’s tit?”
“What did you say to me?” Leblanc said, sliding off the back of his mount.
Damien placed the river stone discretely in his satchel and turned to face LeBlanc. He moved his hand towards his blade.
“You wouldn’t da-,” LeBlanc stopped dead in his tracks.
Damien had not hesitated. He plunged his blade into the soft of LeBlanc’s stomach and drew him close.
“Such a tragedy,” Damien whispered softly into LeBlanc’s ear as he wrenched his blade deeper into flesh.
Leblanc tried to speak, but no words could form. The two men stood silently embraced until Leblanc drew his last breath.
Damien relaxed his blade and LeBlanc collapsed into a scarlet puddle.