“To say you have no choice is to release yourself from responsibility and that’s not how a person with integrity acts.”
“To allow someone, anyone, to suffer is the greatest sin there is.”
“What a sad thing men are. Can’t do nothing good without being so weak we have to mess it up. Can’t build something up without tearing it down. It ain’t the Spackle that drove us to the end. It was ourselves.”
“Roads is never the fastest way to get nowhere,” the woman says. “Don’t ye know that?”
“History ain’t so important when yer just trying to survive,” I say, spitting it out under my breath. “That’s actually when it’s most important,” Hildy says,”
“But then there’s her eyes and they look at you and don’t brook no arguments, don’t look like they ever doubt themselves, even when they should. Maybe they’re the eyes of a giant after all.”
“But guessing a thing ain’t knowing a thing.”
“I think how hope may be the thing that pulls you forward, may be the thing that keeps you going, but that it’s dangerous, too, that it’s painful and risky, that it’s making a dare to the world and when has the world ever let us win a dare?”
“But there’s always hope,” Ben says. “You always have to hope.”
“War is a monster,” he says, almost to himself. “War is the devil. It starts and it consumes and it grows and grows and grows.” He’s looking at me now. “And otherwise normal men become monsters, too.”
“All power corrupts, but we need electricity.”
“Topics... are what people talk about when they don't know each other well. Topics... are what men talk about.”
“О том, что новое поколение молодежи вообще существует, было упомянуто единственный раз: когда бывшие хиппи обвинили устроителей в том, что они превратили их культовый Вудсток в какой-то Алчсток или Вудшлак, а устроители оправдывались тем, что если бы вся эта штука не была проплачена, продана с потрохами и красиво упакована в вакуумную пленку совместными усилиями крупных корпораций, нынешние детишки просто бы взбунтовались. Один из организаторов Вудстока, Джон Роберте, объяснил, что нынешнее юношество «привыкло к спонсорству. Если пацан пойдет на концерт и там никто ничего не раскручивает и не продает, у него, наверно, крыша поедет».”
“What bedrooms did you give to our guests?”
“The ones all the way . . . way . . . way on the other side of the manse.”
He laughed at that, hugging her tightly for giving him that ability to indulge in humor once more.
“Then I’d say the bedroom with the old armoire you like should suffice.”
“Yes, master,” she teased, flicking her hand and sending them there. “Oops, one sec.” She winked at him and snapped her fingers, the bottle of lotion suddenly in her hand.
“Show-off. You know, you are going to have to tell me how you do that.”
“Well, first you pump this little thing on top, then the lotion—”
Legna yelped when he slapped his hand hard on her bottom, the blanket doing little to shield her from the sting of it.
“Gideon! Do not ever do that again!” she scolded.
“Not even if you beg me to?” he countered lecherously.
Legna laughed, unable to help herself.
“I hate you!”
“No, you do not,” he insisted. “How many times do I have to tell you that?”
“My eyes hurt," she said plaintively, as he surveyed the stacks of books they hadn't read yet.
"Then by all means, we will save your eyes for a bit," Peri said, with a chuckle that rumbled inside his chest. He put his head down along his folded forelegs and looked up at her with an amused expression.
"What are you thinking about?" he asked.
"That I've never known anyone it was easier to be- friends with," she said, hesitating a moment over the "friend" part. Because it felt as if their relationship was unfolding into something a great deal warmer than mere friendship.
"It's odd, isn't it?" he responded. "Except for my brother, I've never been as comfortable around any dragon as I am around you. I don't quite know how to fathom it."
"Then let's not," she said instantly, not wanting to spoil anything. "All right?"
He laughed. "One can certainly analyze things until they are no longer enjoyable. I bow to your wisdom. I am just happy to enjoy your company."
She felt warm and tingly in a pleasant sort of way as he looked down at her with those glowing dark-emerald eyes. Feeling greatly daring, she reached out and scratched the soft skin under his chin.
He sighed. "Oh, glory. That feels lovely. Don't stop doing that for the next thirty years or so. Take more time if you need it."
She laughed, but kept scratching.
"I wish there was something I could do for you that felt as good," he said, in a voice rich with content.
"You already are," she said. "You're very comfortable to sit on."
He laughed again, this time with a note of self-mockery. "I shall be sure to add that to my list of virtues. 'Makes a comfortable chair.' I am sure the Great Dragon at the gates of Paradise will find that ample reason to let me in straightaway. And the rest of my clan will surely inscribe it on my memorial wall."
She blinked. "Dragons believe in Paradise?" she said, surprised.
"Of course they do, silly goose," Peri replied, with another affectionate brush on his nose on her shoulder.”
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