Soul Swallowers: Sajem

 

The WIP is getting closer with another chunk of editing checked off.
I’ve introduced the main character, Raze.
Also Danzell and Johzar.
I hope you enjoy getting a peek into Sajem (from Johzar’s perspective).

***

The Black Gull’s door stood ajar, and in contrast to the sea’s fresh scent, the tavern reeked of spilled ale, rancid grease, and sun-ripened sailors. The stink didn’t bother Johzar as much as the sight of Sajem and six slavers deep in their cups. One of the man’s crew, a woman with serpents inking up her arms, spotted him. Heads turned and Sajem laughed, a calloused paw beckoning him in. “Ah, my friend, join us. How went your travels in Tegir?”

Johzar ambled to the table and claimed a seat across from his quarry. Finding Sajem had proved easier than expected, but the conditions didn’t befit murder, a point working equally well to his advantage. “A troublesome time for the empire. I would have thought you knowledgeable of all the sordid details.”

Sajem grunted. “Tegir’s bloated with rules and soldiers. I like the Vales. The law here is like water, fluid and easy to direct.” He growled at a server for another pitcher. “The raiding is healthy for the purse, and the ladies and lords look the other way as long as we don’t get personal. Our Governor Benjmur hasn’t forgiven you for stealing his daughter.”

Johzar shrugged. “He wrote the rules.”

“You got caught.” Sajem cracked his knuckles. “Out-matched by a girl.”

“True.” Johzar let the taunt slide. “Speaking of getting caught, eventually those ladies and lords will tire of you. And when they tire of you, they’ll tire of me.”

“Then we kill them in their sleep.”

“Kill them?”

Sajem’s smile thinned at the slip. “Capture them, sell them.”

“How’s our friend, the governor?” Johzar topped off a tankard. “Are you still his dog?”

The slaver’s red eyes tightened. “If the chits are the right color.”

“So, you’re an assassin now?”

“We’re not assassins,” the woman said.

Johzar arched his eyebrows. “Who benefited from Ezalion’s death? Who gives Sajem his orders?”

“I don’t take orders,” Sajem snarled.

“Unless the chits are the right color.” Johzar chuckled. “Still hearing voices? How many souls is it now?”

Sajem’s lip rose at the corner, baring a filed fang. “Enough to get what I want.”

“Here’s my problem.” Johzar leaned forward. “You’re a slave to the madmen in your head. They may bear the skills you desire, but they’re impulsive and thick as planks. Your rampages through the Vales don’t go unnoticed, even in Tegir. I made a mistake with Benjmur’s girl, but she lied about her identity. You don’t care if your victims are political, and we always stayed out of politics. It was cleaner that way. Follow the laws, keep our knives belted. Remember?”

“Times change,” one of Sajem’s men said.

“You know how many of my crew I’ve lost in the past ten years?” Johzar asked. “One. How about you?”

None of the slavers replied, and Sajem emptied his tankard down his gullet.

“I’ll warn you once.” Johzar addressed all seven of them, “My crew and I don’t appreciate change. We plan to go on living and getting rich. You make that difficult for us; we’ll make it difficult for you.”

136 thoughts on “Soul Swallowers: Sajem

  1. Can’t wait for the new book!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for the kind comment! Of course, I’m delighted. Both books in the 2-book series will be out in June, a little behind schedule, but that isn’t far away now. Have a wonderful week and thanks so much for the follow. 🙂

      Like

  2. Forgive my ignorance, Diana: Is Soul Swallowers a new series? I envy how prolific you are! Excited by this little snippet you’ve shared!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Sean. It is! It’s a duology that will be out in June! I just got my first cover back yesterday and both books are with beta readers now. I’m glad you enjoyed my bad guys. Ha ha. Thanks for stopping by to read! Have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey Diana, been stalking you today, wanted to know what’s been happening with all your characters you create haha. I loved this one, is a great story. Seems to me both sides of the parties no one seems to think, “I will put the matter on hold, and go find what I want in my life.” It is just going on and on without a solution. Is there going to be a settlement somewhere amongst them in the story? I cannot wait for the book, it’s gonna be smashing, I am eager and really want to know what next!! Bring it on!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for checking out my bad guys, Juli. They will definitely face each other in the book to deal with their differences, and it won’t be pretty! I’ve been working with the cover designer this week, which is very exciting. Have a wonderful weekend, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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