“Reading is the perfect escape from whatever ails you.”
“No matter how safe and beautiful it is, a cage is still a cage.”
“What's the point of a book you don't enjoy?”
“The universe has yet to take my wishes under consideration.”
“I am wicked in many ways.”
“We don't get to choose who we love. Or stop loving them when they're difficult.”
“He holds my gaze, and the look in his eyes is a love letter in itself. When he speaks, his voice is rough. "Will you marry me, Cate?"
I go still, the question hanging in the air. I have never felt more accepted 'for the girl I am, not the girl I want to be' never more loved and respected than I am in this moment. It's a choice, and it's mine to make.
"Yes," I breathe.
Finn slides the simple gold band onto my ring finger. I tilt it, and the ruby sparkles, catching the sunlight. He leans down and brushes his lips against mine, sealing the promise. 'I can't wait to make you my wife.'
'Cate Belastra.' I try it out and despite the solemnity of the moment, despite knowing what this will cost him, I can't help smiling.”
“He may not have said the words, but I know my son. I saw the way he looked at you."
"Like he'd do murder for you.”
“From my vantage point I can see the back of his neck flush pink beneath his collar. He's got freckles there, too. I wonder how many more freckle's he's got. Are they all over, or just where the sun's touched?
Good Lord, why am I thinking of Finn Belastra without his clothes on?”
“I just want to be me. Cate. Why isn’t that ever enough?”
“I feel us tilting toward each other like trees in a strong breeze. I've been craving the sight of him for days, but now its not enough. I'm not sure who moves first. The inches between us are erased until I'm in his arms and my mouth finds his.”
“Some things are worth the danger, aren’t they? I don’t believe anyone should be allowed to dictate what I read or who my friends are. It gives me pleasure t know that I can thwart the Brotherhood in some small way.”
“I give Finn a wicked smile. "Don't you think a peg leg would be charming? Like a pirate? The first mate of the Calypso had one, didn't he?"
"It would add a certain rakish factor. Have you got a spare eye patch?"
"Be serious, you two. Gangrene is no laughing matter," Mrs. O'Hare scolds.”
“Finns squares his shoulders—which have gotten a good deal sturdier since I last saw him. Or paid attention, at any rate. How long has it been since I actually looked? He's gotten awfully handsome; it can't have happened overnight.”
“Brother Ralston smiles fondly, only too willing to believe in my womanly frailty. If it weren’t to my advantage, I’d slap the smile from his face.”
“I have never been this close to a man before. Something stirs deep, pulsing through my body, and its quite like the tug of magic, buts its not the magic; this is something entirely different, just between Finn and me and this moment.”
“It's called Sunday school, but we are required to attend twice weekly: on Sunday before regular service and again on Wednesday evenings. There are two separate classes: one for children under ten, held in the classroom down the hall, to teach them basic prayers and the tenets of the Brotherhood's beliefs, and one for girls aged eleven to seventeen, to teach us about how wicked we are.”
“It was the winter after Mother died, and Mrs. Corbett and some of the Brother's wives came to call. They kept bleating on about how sorry they were and my poor dear mother. It was infuriating. They didn't know Mother at all; she never liked any of them. They were just nosy, noisy sheep.”
“Finn lowers his voice to a confidential whisper. ‘Arabella was
my first literary infatuation. I had a mad crush on her.”
“Get on with it," Mrs. O'Hare prompts, and I do, wrapping the bandage snugly over Finn's instep and up his calf― which is sinewy with muscle, covered in fine coppery hair and more freckles. I'm fascinated by the pattern they form over his skin. Do they go all the way up his leg?
I flush scarlet at the the thought.”
“Tess focuses on Cyclops’s placid, one-eyes face. He lost one of his black button eyes year ago, but she wouldn’t let Mrs. O’Hare replace it. She said it made him more interesting, and changed his name from Barnabus.”
“Why should I worry about uncreating so much of human history? Why should I care that it will be worse than forgotten, that it will be unknown? Why should that seem to be a crime, when all of human history is an eyeblink compared to the billions of years the stars have shone?”
“Perhaps, in return for conquest, arrogance and spoliation, India will teach us the tolerance and gentleness of the mature mind, the quiet content of the unacquisitive soul, the calm of the understanding spirit and a unifying, pacifying love for all living things.”
“uncomfortable. Each had followers who were so sure they were right, that their way was the only way. And throughout history they’d fought wars and shed oceans of blood to prove it.”
“The non-doing of any evil,
the performance of what's skillful,
the cleansing of one's own mind:
this is the teaching of the Awakened. ”
“I have come to New York because it is the most forlorn of places, the most abject. The brokenness is everywhere, the disarray is universal. You have only to open your eyes to see it. The broken people, the broken things, the broken thoughts. The whole city is a junk heap.”
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