Searching for an excerpt from Apprentice Of The Dead was a lot of fun - especially when it showed me how far Ani and Nik have actually come, not just in their journey as apprentices, but also how they've grown as characters. Their dynamic is so fun to write!
Copyright 2021 Laura Greenwood
I rub my arm across my eyes, trying to rid myself of the vague sting there. It's been a long day after a whole host of other long days and if it were up to me, I would be heading straight home to rest. But with the hecticness throughout the temple, I know that isn't possible and it's down to the ten of us to clear down after a day full of embalming.
I pick up a stray trocar, and having no idea whether or not it's been used, drop it into the nearest sharps bin. Ibi will be along in a few minutes to pick it up and take the contents to be sterilised.
"Ani, have you got a minute?" Nik asks softly, still taking me by surprise and making me jump. "Sorry," he adds.
I turn to face him and try to offer him a reassuring smile. "It's okay, I just wasn't expecting you. What's up?"
"Can you come look at something for me? I want a second opinion."
"And you want it to be mine?"
He frowns. "Why wouldn't I?"
I can think of at least a dozen reasons, but it seems like most of them are my insecurities and not things he's thinking.
"Okay." I set down my cleaning equipment, admittedly intrigued by what he wants.
He nods and turns to walk in the direction of the body fridges.
I frown, unsure what he wants me to check on. I hurry after him, only catching up as he pulls open the door of one of the fridges and steps inside.
"If you're going to kill me, this probably isn't the best place for it," I quip. "There are a lot of witnesses."
He chuckles deeply. "Oh, I know. If I wanted to kill someone, I'd wait until the deep of winter and push them into the Thames."
"Smart. But now I know that's your plan, isn't that dangerous?"
He winks. "Not if you're near the river in a couple of months."
A soft snort of amusement escapes me. "And now I know to avoid going anywhere near you and water at the same time."
The grin on his face suggests he's enjoying this as much as I am.
"But why have you brought me to the fridge?" I ask, a little bit more seriousness slipping in.
"Have you ever seen something suspicious here?" he asks.
"Suspicious like you leading me into a fridge without telling anyone else where we're going, or something different?"
His lips twitch and amusement dances through his eyes, but it disappears quickly. "Something seriously suspicious."
I raise an eyebrow. "I'm intrigued. Why are you asking?"
"I was moving a body the other day and I found something, but I'm not sure if I'm being paranoid."
"If you're asking for my opinion on it, then I think you've already decided on that," I point out.