Jacabo only wants two things: To keep Lord Rolando happy, and to get his promotion.
Too late, Jacabo realised he’d forgotten to change. He realised this, of course, because the scribe was staring at his bloody shirt in horror.
“Sorry.” Jacabo muttered, sliding into the seat that was waiting for him. “I didn’t have time to change.”
His explanation clearly wasn’t suitable for the scribe, who continued to stare at him as he sat down behind his desk. Jacabo had become so used to being covered in one way or another with blood that he tended to forget that most people’s shirts weren’t covered with bloody handprints. The poor scribe.
“Let’s begin, shall we?” The scribe glanced once more at Jacabo’s bloody front before focusing his attention on the parchments in front of him. “Name?”
“Place of birth?”
“One of the fishing villages along the eastern coast. I never knew which one.”
The scribe nodded, scribbling down Jacabo’s answers, pausing only to dip his quill into the pot of ink next to him. “Occupation?”
“Ah.” Jacabo paused, running his hand through his mop of golden curls, a habit he was sure he had picked up from Lord Rolando. “That’s…” He searched for the right word. “Complicated.” He settled on finally.
The scribe glanced once again at Jacabo’s blood stained top and nodded. “Of course. I’ll just make a note to say that you work for the King.”
Jacabo nodded. “Good idea.” He stretched in the chair. His long limbs ached, and he could already feel a nasty bruise developing on his right shoulder. From training, thankfully, but that didn’t mean it was going to hurt any less.
Jacabo shook his head. “Never knew my father. My mother died when I was young.”
Jacabo shrugged. “Hard to tell with slaves, isn’t it?”
Sympathy crossed the scribe’s face, but Jacabo brushed it away. He didn’t want the sympathy of this snivelling old man. And he didn’t need it. He was Jacabo, Lord Rolando’s prized assassin, well on his way to becoming a master spy and part of Lord Rolando’s inner circle of confidants. His slave days were happily and permanently behind him.
“And you live in the palace?” The scribe moved on quickly, sensing that he’d hit a sensitive nerve.
Jacabo shrugged. “The barracks. Which is part of the palace I suppose.”
“It is.” The scribe’s quill raced across his parchment, taking more notes that Jacabo’s responses had warranted. His emerald eyes strained to read what the scribe was writing, but it was no use. Not that it really mattered, anyway.
“And which clan do you belong to, Jacabo?”
He shrugged, motioning to his print-less face. “I don’t. I’m clanless, just like Lord Rolando.”
“By choice or by birth?” The scribe pressed.
“Does it matter?”
Jacabo narrowed his eyes. “Slaves are clanless.”
“Yet you are free. Probably freed before Lord Rolando came to power. And yet you didn’t chose to associate yourself with one?”
Jacabo shook his head. “No.”
The scribe sighed, sensing he wasn’t going to make any progress.
“Is there anything else?” Jacabo scowled.
“Well yes, but…” The scribe paused, surveying Jacabo once more. “If you wish to leave…”
“I do.” He stood, glaring at the scribe. “If you feel the need to question my loyalty to Lord Rolando, perhaps you should simply ask him yourself.” He motioned to his bloody shirt. “Clearly he has no doubts.”
My, my, my how Jacabo has grown. Jacabo was one of the first characters I ever thought up, and I’ll be honest, he holds a pretty special place in my heart. When I first wrote him he was my ideal – smart, funny, strong, attractive, and kind. Of course, back then he wasn’t an assassin. I like to think that all of my characters have developed really naturally as I’ve grown up and their story has matured. I think it’s fair to say that Jacabo has grown the most, and, as a result, surprised me the most. I still love him though, and I hope you will (or already do) too!
Don’t forget to check out the other WIPpeteers for more writing goodness, and come back on Friday for a book review!