“Impressive,” Ephraim said, flicking on the light switch. It was time for his performance to begin. He opened the door to his study a little wider. “I haven’t seen an assassin that talented in years.”
He stared up at the ceiling for a split second, then back to Zakiya. “Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an assassin that impressive,” he admitted. “Of course, no one’s ever tried to assassinate me before, so you would also be the first assassin I’ve ever seen, but still, impressive. By the way, why were you trying to kill me?”
Ephraim could feel his heart pounding in his chest. He had never been more afraid in his entire life. The young woman still stood, like a tiger ready to pounce, the moonlight gleaming off the dagger in her hand.
He had convinced his father and his bodyguards that his ability to talk his way out of anything would even work on a trained killer like Zakiya. He would surprise her, put her off guard. They must have been convinced that he would do it, because his bodyguards were now taking a night off, probably drinking in some ill-reputed bar.
Ephraim wished he was so sure.
“Come on, now,” he continued, feeling like as long as he could talk, he’d be alright. “What’s wrong with you? Cat got your tongue? I asked you a question.”
Zakiya replied, her voice deep and slow. “And I’m deciding whether I should answer it.”
“Why wouldn’t you?” Ephraim asked cheerfully. “If you’re going to kill me, the least you could do is tell me why.” He noted with satisfaction that his light banter was working. She was confused, frozen in place. The knife was held out at a useless angle, neither attacking nor defending. For the moment, she had no plan.
I'm not quite sure why I like this segment. After all, the whole assassin-idea is a little unrealistic. I guess what I really loved was Ephraim; he's probably my favourite character in the novel. He seems really cocky and self-assured, and he always has a confident reply to anything you can throw at him. The thing is, he's actually insecure because of a lot of things in his personal past. I think I love Ephraim because I've always wished I could be like him when really I'm the opposite. I'm really secure in who I am, but I feel like I appear insecure, or at least am easily flustered.
Enough of my personal psychoanalysis. While Ephraim may seem corny sometimes because I had a hard time writing him, he still remains one of my favourite created characters. And I absolutely love the dynamic with him and Zakiya. *sigh* I'm really starting to miss this story...