or do without:
Bella Boudreaux

"And if I let y' fall?" memories of Gennie, blood on Bella's dress "Non! Y' stay here. Y' become de best Mistress de Assassins ever had."

"Non. I can say non as strong as y'."

"And can y' stick t' moi after I tol' y' non?"

"Dey'll never exile y', Belle."

eyes cold and hollow

If she wasn't an assassin, his deadly beauty, she would be shedding tears. And if he wasn't a prince of thieves, he would be crying with her.

"I bit dis apple. I won' share."

When she finally walks away, she does not look back.

He shouts a Cajun curse to New Orleans, the city, beauty and ugliness, the bayou, the river, the coast, drunk with sin and sacrament, where saint and sinner hail Maria, where Thief and Assassin ply their trade. He turns his back on his home, his family, the only life he’s ever known.

He starts walking.