The two men sat silently in the carriage. The heat was stifling, but the windows were not open, and the carriage was not moving. The younger man shifted his feet anxiously and risked a glance upward. He could feel sweat dripping down his neck. "That was very kind, sir, what you did for my son."
"It was a triviality," the older man said. His hands clutched the knob of his cane, and he stared at the carriage window, though the curtains were drawn. "Something to distract him and your wife while I took you away for a short while. I haven't used that key in years. It's my fail-safe, in case I forget the others." He looked down at the large bronze ring on his finger and twisted it. The younger man looked at his own hand, adorned with a matching ring. "Those locks have all been changed so many times, I'm not sure it even works any longer."
- by Lev AC Rosen (Paperback edition available Nov. 13)
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