“The world isn’t perfect, and some days it wears you down. You can either accept that, and face it, and be a help to others instead of a hindrance. Or you can decide the rules are too tough and they shouldn’t apply to you, and you can ignore them and make things harder for everybody else. Sometimes life is about being sad and doing things anyway. Sometimes it’s about being hurt and doing things anyway. The point isn’t perfection. The point is doing it anyway.”
“I looked at Ethan and smiled a little.
“I love you,” he mouthed.
“I love you, too,” I mouthed back.
“And I’m nauseous,” Catcher grumbled. “Let’s get on with this. I am seriously in need of a beer and a Lifetime movie.”
“Merit: “I am yours until you ban bacon, or otherwise as long as I can put up with you.”
“Irresistible force. Immovable object. Choose the one you want to be, and do it.”
“Like an angel of justice taking them down with his giant sword of righteousness?”
“That sounds like the tagline for a bad porn flick.”
“You’ll be wearing nothing but your Cadogan medal and a smile, Sentinel.”
“Is that a prediction?”
“It’s a promise.”
“Girl, you’re the Sentinel of this House, and you’ve been trained by Catcher and Luc and Ethan. He’s in the training room right now. Get down there and kick his ass!”
“Don’t let my youthful good looks confuse you. I now have two lifetimes of experience”
“Let’s get on with this. I am seriously in need of a beer and a Lifetime movie.”
“I stood Sentinel of Cadogan House, by God. He was mine, and he knew it, and I would claim what was mine.”
“For now, with his emerald eyes locked on mine, where I was going didn't seem so scary.”
“Ethan chuckled. “And are you aware you keep looking over here like you’re nervous I’m going to disappear?”
“It’s because you’re devastatingly handsome.”
He grinned slyly. “I wasn’t questioning your good taste.”
“We all have days when we feel small. Really small. Completely inadequate but saddled with all this responsibility...I have to fight battles against people who shouldn't be my enemies - especially when there are allready plenty of enemies to go around. There are days when I would love to pull the cover over my head and say to hell with it.
But I don't do that. And most people don't do that. Most people get up and do their jobs and work their asses off for no reward at all - but just so they can get up the next day and do the whole thing over again. World isn't perfect, and some days it wears you down. You can either accept that, and face it, and be a help to others instead of a hindrance. Or you can decide the rules are too tough and they shouldn't apply to you, and you can ignore them and make things harder for everybody else. Sometimes life is about being sad and doing things anyway. Sometimes it's about being hurt and doing things anyway. The point isn't perfection. The point is doing it anyway.”
“Good find,” Ethan said. “Yeah,” Jeff agreed. “It’s pretty awesome. Like finding the Higgs boson.” Silence. “Aw, no physics fans here? Learn things you must,” Jeff said in his best Yoda voice. I rolled my eyes.”
“You are a universe,” he reverentially whispered, and then his game began. A game of pushing me to the brink, of building the anticipation... and leaving me stranded in the midst of it.”
“That’s tough. Anything I can do?”
“Just stay in play as my backup.”
I nearly swerved the car off the road. “I’m sorry—your backup?”
“You know, in case it doesn’t work out with Fallon.”
“And what about Ethan?”
Jeff chuckled. “I just figured he was your backup for me.”
“You know what I need?” I asked. “A chocolate fountain?” Ethan suggested. “A complete paper set of the Encyclopedia Britannica? A lifetime supply of grilled meat?” “I like all those ideas, but I was thinking a magical spray I can use on Mallory to wash the crazy off her.” “Like Lysol for evil?” Paige asked.”
“Morgan threw tantrums that would impress a two-year-old.”
“There are few things in the world that he loves more than this House, Merit. Possibly only one.” At the knowing gaze in his eyes, my cheeks flushed. “And in all the world, he entrusted one girl, one scholar, with the right to defend it.”
“Do you have a room preference?” I asked Ethan. “Whichever you prefer,” he said, “since I’ll be staying with you.” There was no equivocation in his voice. No question, no request for permission. It was a statement, an announcement of something he meant to do. Something he would do. “Of course you will,” I said. “It would be rude to muss two of her bedrooms. We might as well bunk up and save her the trouble.” Ethan rolled his eyes. “That isn’t exactly the reasoning I had in mind.” “Oh, I know,” I said, walking back to the first bedroom. “But if I don’t keep a check on your ego, you’ll become insufferable.” He made a sarcastic, but pleased, grunt.”
“Hello, everyone and Probies,” Jeff said. “Especially a very healthy Merit.” “Hello, my knight in shining armor,” I said, taking a seat. “Or at least my knight with a very shiny reflective blanket.”
“Girl! I hope you did lots of nasty with Our Dear Sullivan and made us all proud. Please bring him back in a good mood. And eager to give us all raises. We need shoes. Hearts, Lindsey.”
“Liege,” I said deferentially. “She’s more obsequious to you than she ever has been to me,” Ethan observed with a tilted eyebrow. “Better leadership skills,” Malik said with a smile,”
“If you use the word ‘halt,’ I will hit you.” “Not halt,” he breathlessly said. “Upstairs. Now.”
“I nearly bit one of them, and yadda yadda yadda, we learned they had nothing to do with the color change.” “You can’t yadda yadda yadda nearly biting a fairy,” Paige said.”
“The moral of the story? Don’t fuck with the magical order.”
“I was impressed that she looked so good on so little sleep. I’d have looked like a plague victim on a bad hair day.”
“I need gnome books. You know, because sorcerers just don’t get them.” He didn’t get the joke.”
“I managed to move a fallen angel off his target and sweet-talk a cop into giving me back my sword.”
“leaves were like lace, criss-crossing blackly over tangles of dead branches. I”
“Almost all the things I love are to do with grass. Geese, sheep, cows, horses. Even dogs eat grass.”
“The Sun contains about a thousand times more mass than Jupiter. If it were cold, gravity would squeeze it a million times denser than an ordinary solid: it would be a 'white dwarf' about the size of the Earth but 330,000 times more massive. But the Sun's core actually has a temperature of fifteen million degrees-thousands of time hotter than its glowing surface, and the pressure of this immensely hot gas 'puffs up' the Sun and holds it in equilibrium.”
“The marathon lane is largely empty, mostly silent: the road of the damned rather than the saved.”
“Men are so easily drawn to fake things.”
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