“He smacked the heel of his hand against his forhead, as if that could knock the mental picture out of his head. Hell, he though irritably, he didn't want to knock the image just out of his head. He wanted to send it clear across the room and out the window.”
“Am I not allowed to speak in hyperbole?"
"Only," he said, a bit too smoothly, "if you are talking about me."
Ellie's face slid into a smirk. "Oh, Charles," she exclaimed, "I feel as if we have known each other for a million years." Her tone grew more ironic. "I am that weary of your company.”
“Your fangs are showing, Miss Lyndon."
"Are they?" she asked, reaching up to touch her face. "I shall have to remember to retract them."
Charles burst out laughing. "You, Miss Lyndon, are a treasure."
"That's what I keep telling everyone," she said with a shrug and a wicked smile, "but no one seems to believe me.”
“I wanted to skewer her with a stare, flay her with a frown, impale her with a—I say, what are you doing?"
Charles would have answered her, but he was laughing so hard he was doubled over.”
“Ellie fought the urge to stamp her foot. "I meant it this time. Do you accept my apology?"
"It appears," he said, raising his eyebrows, "that you might do me bodily harm if I do not."
"Ungracious prig," she muttered. "I am trying to apologize."
"And I," he said, "am trying to accept.”
“"What do you say, Miss Lyndon? Shall we have a go at it?"
" 'Shall we have a go at it?' " Ellie choked out. Really, this was not the proposal of her dreams.”
“I'd wager you have a vengeful streak a mile wide," he muttered.
"I am the least vengeful person I know," she said with a sniff. "And if you think otherwise, then perhaps you ought not to marry me."
"You're marrying me," he ground out, "if I have to drag you to the altar bound and gagged."
Ellie smiled waspishly. "You could try," she taunted, "but in your condition you couldn't drag a flea."
"And you say you're not vengeful."
"I seem to be developing a taste for it.”
“He raked his hand through his hair. 'This is more difficult than I'd anticipated.'
Good, she thought. If he was going to break her heart, she didn't want it to be easy for him.
'What I'm trying to say is that I had it all wrong. I don't want a wife who...'
'You don't want a wife?' she choked.
'No!' he practically yelled. Then he continued in a more normal tone, 'I don't want a wife who will look the other way if I stray.'
'You want me to /watch?/
'No, I want you to be furious.'
Ellie was by now on the verge of tears. 'You deliberately want to make me angry? To hurt me?'
'No. Oh, God, you've got it all wrong...I just want you to love me so much that if I did [be unfaithful] - which I'm not going to - you would want to have me drawn and quartered.”
“Somebody up there is deuced mad at me," she yelled, "and I want to know why!"
The heavens opened in earnest and within seconds she was soaked to the skin.
"Remind me never to question Your purposes again," she muttered ungraciously, not sounding particularly like the God-fearing young lady her father had raised her to be. "Clearly You don't like to be second-guessed."
Lightning streaked through the sky, followed by a booming clap of thunder.
"Damn!" she grunted, her bonnet sagged against her eyes, blocking her vision. She yanked it off, looked at the sky, and yelled, "I am not amused!"
"They are all against me," she muttered,"All of them." Her father, Sally Foxglove,
Mr. Tibbett, whoever it was who controlled the weather—
“Ellie had a feeling he thought she was exaggerating. "I am not jesting. Yesterday she presented me with two lists. The first consisted of chores I must perform in addition to those I already do."
"What, did she have you cleaning out the chimney?" Charles teased.
"Yes!" Ellie burst out. "Yes, and it was not a joke!"”
“He poked her shoulder. 'Ellie? Ellie?'
'What? Oh, I'm sorry.' Her face colored, even though she knew he couldn't possibly read her thoughts. 'Just woolgathering.'
'Darling, you were practically hugging a sheep.”
“There was something about Miss Lyndon that made him glad she was on his side. Not that he thought she would make a vicious enemy, just that she seemed loyal, level-headed, and fair. And she had a wicked sense of humor. Just the sort of person a man would want standing beside him when he needed support.”
“I believe I told you I am utterly serious. I never lie."
"Now that is a clanker if ever I heard one." she retorted.
"Well, then, I never lie about anything important."
Her hands found their way to her hips and she let out a loud, "Harumph.”
“I shall freckle."
"That doesn't bother me," he said with a shrug.
"It bothers me!"
"Don't worry. They'll be on your own face, so you won't have to see them."
Ellie gaped at him, astounded by his illogic.”
“Claire hasn't told me why she behaved as such, although I have a good idea.'
'I suspect you do,' Ellie said quietly.
'Thank you for not embarrassing her before Charles.'
'She didn't need her heart broken twice.”
“The row of dolls watched her impassively from the bookshelf, their tea party propriety almost certainly offended.”
“Stoop, then, or you will be beaten to your knees. Stoop voluntarily, and you may save a remnant. You have depended on metal and power and they have sustained you as far as they could. You have ignored mind and morale and they have failed you.”
“There's a lot youdon't know, Sam. There's a lot I don't tell you. I know who I am. I know what I do, and what I am to this place.I know what I am to you, and how much you depend on me.You may be the symbol, and you may be the one everyone turns to when something goes bad, and you're the big badass, but I'm the guy doing the day-in, day-out work of running things. So I don't make this about me.”
“But I can’t kill anyone,” said Jonathan. “You know that, Orvar.”
“Not even if it’s a question of your own life?” said Orvar.
“No, not even then,” said Jonathan.
Orvar couldn’t understand that, and neither could Mathias.
“If everyone were like you,” said Orvar, “then evil would reign forever.”
But then I said that if everyone were like Jonathan, there wouldn’t be any evil.”
“He wandered into the Newsroom and asked for a job the same way he’d walk into a barbershop and ask for a haircut, and with no more idea of being turned down.”
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