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15. The Saint of Sinners

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“So where do we go from here?”

“As far as you need to in order to ensure this madness finally ends.”

I inhaled on the smoke, staring at the distant eyes before me, compassion long lost. I nodded slowly, expressing my understanding.

“And the child? What of her?”

“She has three years, does she not? “

I nodded again, watching his eyes dance.

“Then give her three years to sweat before the story finally comes to a close.”

“I’m to hold back three more years? Haven’t I suffered this long enough? Haven’t you? Why not just end it all, right now, bury the madness, pray for the lost, and call it a day? Enough is enough! We’ve both lost everything we’ve cared about – there is nothing left to lose.”

And he smiled slowly. “And that is why three more years is nothing to us. It’s time well spent to make sure there are no other loose ends we need consider. And perhaps the sinners will destroy themselves.”

I stubbed the cigarette out abruptly, clearly getting frustrated. He jumped out of the chair to grab me before I could properly storm off.

“Trust me, it’ll be worth it in the end.”

“I’ve trusted you for years, Saint, years. I’ve followed you through every level of Hell there ever was, and some I found by mistake. I’ve risked everything and asked no questions, raised no objections, serving as your loyal apprentice for years now, well before Rev even.”

His grip tightened on my arm as he jerked me closer to him.

“Saying those two words to me now are almost…offensive.”

“Can you ever forgive me?”

“Don’t I always?”

“That’s what family is for. Sweet dreams, Irish.”

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