“Lips and tongues lie. But actions never do. No matter what words are spoken, actions betray the truth of everyone's heart.”
“Sometimes you have to put your foot down… And sometimes you have to put it up their ass."
“Family isn't about the blood you share. It's about the people willing to bleed for you." ---Maris - Born of Fury”
“The bitterest truth was always better than the sweetest lie.”
“Nero drove them out at full throttle, under heavy pursuit. The transport went careening down the street, sending pedestrians and other vehicles in all directions.
"Nero!" Darling shouted. "Some of us aren't suicidal back here."
"Then strap your ass down. Or lose it." Nero jerked to the right.
This time, Darling landed on Hauk.
Hauk put him back on his feet. "Nuh-uh. You have to buy me dinner before you crawl on top of me, baby. No one gets a free ride on the Hauk train.”
“If you worry about every 'what if' that might befall you, your fears will paralyze you.”
“Bastien rolled his eyes, "Calm down, Hauk. All you're going to do is hurt yourself."
He glared at Bastien. "If you want to see exactly how angry someone can get, tell them to calm down when they're already pissed off!" Bellowing, he tried his best to break free.
"Is that helping? I just gotta know."
"When I get loose, Cabarro, your ass is the first one I'm kicking."
"Oh good. Hope you get out soon. Been awhile since I had a good ass-kicking." Bastien made a kissy face at him.
"Says the man who's so bruised, he looks like a two-year old banana."
"Now that's just mean and hurtful."
"Telise! He's awake again."
She moved forward and kicked Hauk in the face. "I wouldn't do that," Bastien warned. "Don't motivate the Andarion for murder. It ain't going to work out well for any of us. 'Specially me, since mine's the first ass he's planning to come after.”
“Aunt Mari says that the assholes in our lives are our biggest blessings."
"Without them, we'd take the ones who aren't for granted. Assholes give us needed perspective to appreciate the people who really love us.”
“Just remember, family isn't perfect. It's just perfectly ours.”
“Thia looked up at Dancer. "He refused to tell them anything about you or the base."
"Damn right," Bastien breathed, then groaned as he rolled himself over. Hissing, he grimaced. "Bastards hit like a kindergarten girls. I think one of them even pulled my hair and said I had cooties.”
“Syn opened a door to their right. "Sumi? Get in here and let Hauk know that you're okay. I can't do anything with this unreasonable, surly bastard."
"He's not unreasonable. He's just fierce.”
“Fate was a bitch, and that whore mocked them both daily.”
“Dancer," she chided, "I promise you, no mother would rather lose her child."
Lifting his head, he traced the line of her jaw with his thumb while a sad smile played at the edges of his lips. "That's you speaking. You don't know my mother. I promise you, she would rather see me dead than be dishonored."
"Then tell them I raped you."
He arched an amused brow at that.
"I could have drugged you first. I did kiss you without your consent."
"And my lips thank you for that.”
“Hauk!" a man shouted in the hallway outside.
He fell back from the door and braced himself against the wall. Sumi went low in the center of the room, behind a crate.
"What?" Dancer answered.
"Surrender or we're going to kill them all! Piece by piece, until their screams echo in your ears!"
Dancer laughed at the threat. "You do that and I will eat you, piece by fucking piece. The three of them are the only thing keeping you alive right now. Release them and we'll let you live. It's your choice on how you leave this place. On your feet or feet first. You have thirty seconds to decide.”
“Munatara a la frah. (The most precious lady of my life) [Dancer Hauk]”
“Just remember, family isn’t perfect. It’s just perfectly ours.”
“Are you afraid of me, Kalea?” Arms akimbo, she widened her stance to eye him like a tough little mouse. “Am I supposed to be?” “No. Are you?” She twisted up her mouth and studied him carefully. “You look very strange. Are your eyes supposed to glow red like that?” “They are.” “And your teeth? Are they supposed to be so long and sharp?” “I’m Andarion. We all have those teeth.” “Dancer…” Fain said in warning. “We’ve got company. We need to go. Fast.” He held his hand up to his brother before he turned back to the girl. “I’m your father, Kalea, and I’ve come to take you home.” All the defiant fire went out of her as her jaw dropped. Her lips quivered. “I really have a daddy?” He nodded. Tears filled her eyes, making them glisten. “You definitely have a father. And both your mother and I love you very much.” “I have a mommy, too?” she breathed in disbelief. “Yes.” Tears rolled down her cheeks. “I hate this place, Daddy. Please take me home.” She threw herself into his arms. Closing his eyes, Hauk held her close to his chest. While he loved and adored every child his friends had, it was nothing compared to what went through him as those little arms encircled his neck and she placed her head on his shoulder. Not even what he felt for Darice compared to this. She’s my little girl. All he wanted was to hold on to her forever. But”
“Wow. Sumi sat back in total stupor. So no one had ever climbed aboard that giant piece of sexy male and taken him for a ride. Unbelievable. Who in their right mind would bypass that opportunity? She didn’t know who this Dariana was, but the female had to be the dumbest cow ever bred. It”
“When I get loose, Cabarro, your ass is the first one I’m kicking.” “Oh good. Hope you get out soon. Been awhile since I had a good ass-kicking.” Bastien made a kissy face at him. “Says the man who’s so bruised, he looks like a two-year-old banana.” “Now that’s just mean and hurtful.”
“Darice stepped forward like a respectful guard. “Do you need me to go with you, Sumi?” She hugged him. “I’ll be fine, sweetie. Thank you for offering, though. It means a lot to me to have such a fierce and noble protector.” When she started to release him, he held on to her. “Kimi asyado.” She glanced to Thia for the translation, but it was Fain who explained it. “He says that he loves you tremendously.” Sumi tightened her arms around him. “I love you, too, baby.” She placed a kiss on his cheek. When she pulled back, she saw the tears in his eyes. “I’m an adult male now, Sumi. Not a baby.” “Yes, you are, Darice. And you’re a strong, beautiful male. You honor your ancestors and all of Andaria.” Darice smiled happily. “Damn,” Darling breathed as he joined them. “Whatever she has, we need to bottle it in droves.” Nykyrian scowled at him. “What are you talking about?” “First Hauk, now Darice. I’ve never seen anyone tame so many rowdy Andarions with nothing more than a smile. Just think, if we had that, we could rule them all.” Nykyrian pinned him with a wry stare. “I already rule them all.” “Oh yeah, there is that.” Syn”
“As Darice skimmed the bodies and he noted their number, he duplicated Sumi’s earlier gape. “Gah, Dancer … You took them all out without even breathing hard. How?” Bracing his forearm on his bent knee, Hauk gave his nephew an irritated smirk. “What do you think I do for a living, boy? Bake fucking cookies?” He holstered his newly found weapons and continued to search bodies.”
“Thia pulled Darice away from Hauk. “Son, we need to talk about your inability to sense near-death experiences.” “What are you talking about?” Thia glanced back to Hauk, who still hadn’t moved. He hadn’t even blinked. “Can you not see how pissed off he is?” “So?” Rolling her eyes, Thia sighed. “You’re an idiot, Darice. I seriously hope you have no intention of entering any kind of military service.” He lifted his chin defiantly. “Of course, I am. I’m Andarion. I’m going to be a fighter pilot like my parents.” “No, punkin’.” She patted him on the cheek. “With those well-honed survival instincts, you’re going to be a bright stain on someone’s blast shield.” Darice”
“Or showed mercy to his numerous enemies. “Guys,” Chayden said to the boys, “she’s at least a commander. Can’t you tell?” The boys whooped as they ran to Chayden and jumped into his arms while rattling off their rapid-fire words. The bewildered look on the pirate’s face was hysterical as he met Nykyrian’s gaze. “Help! I don’t speak small-human Andarion. I need a translator.” Kiara”
“Chayden tsked. “Damn, bud. Your nephew just callously threw you to the lorina he pissed off.” Hauk glanced at Darice over his shoulder. “I noticed that.” Clicking his tongue, he called the vicious predator over to him. “Hey, Illyse.” He patted the huge cat on her head and allowed her to lick his chin, then stepped aside and pointed to Darice. “Eat my nephew!” Darice”
“Sheez, Dancer,” she breathed, “you do not pick your enemies wisely, do you?” “What can I say? Sometimes you have to put your foot down. Sometimes you have to put it up their asses.” She”
“So long as you keep this anger inside, it will infect you. You have to let it go and move on. Life isn’t fair. It’s not supposed to be.”
“I never violate my oaths or my codes... Only international laws.”
“The commander grabbed her jaw in a fierce grip and forced her to meet his insane gaze. “You want your daughter spared, agent? This is the price of it. Deliver Dancer Hauk to me and I will see to it that she’s removed from League training and given to a real family to raise.… Betray me or fail and I will have her head delivered to you and mounted to your cell wall.”
“Thank the gods you’re both still dressed and not entwined naked on the floor.… Now tell me, what exactly are we interrupting?” Hauk scowled at the comment and question as if replaying their exchange in his head while Darling burst into laughter. “Damn, Nyk … my wife’s not that pregnant.” Darling’s tone was filled with utter indignation. Maris scoffed. “Oh please, honey. Zarya’s so pregnant, one good sneeze could launch your son into this world in a matter of seconds.” Darling gave him a droll stare, but he knew it was true. Due any minute now, the poor girl was almost as huge as a shuttle craft. And crankier than a Gondarion were-beast. Moving”
“Age makes you want to hold everyone you love as close as you can.”
“Maybe he’s normal and we’re the crazy ones. Maybe everyone should talk to themselves. Maybe we’re all just afraid of what we’d say.”
“But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.”
“There, Master Niketas,’ Baudolino said, ‘when I was not prey to the temptations of this world, I devoted my nights to imagining other worlds. A bit with the help of wine, and a bit with that of the green honey. There is nothing better than imagining other worlds,’ he said, ‘to forget the painful one we live in. At least so I thought then. I hadn’t yet realized that, imagining other worlds, you end up changing this one.”
“It is something the poor say.”
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