“We live and breathe words. .... It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them. Reading your words, what you wrote, how you were lonely sometimes and afraid, but always brave; the way you saw the world, its colors and textures and sounds, I felt--I felt the way you thought, hoped, felt, dreamt. I felt I was dreaming and thinking and feeling with you. I dreamed what you dreamed, wanted what you wanted--and then I realized that truly I just wanted you.”
“Ah,” said a voice from the doorway, “having your annual ‘everyone thinks Will is a lunatic’ meeting, are you?
“It’s biannual,” said Jem. “And no, this is not that meeting.”
“It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them.”
“They’re not hideous,” said Tessa.
Will blinked at her. “What?”
“Gideon and Gabriel,” said Tessa. “They’re really quite good-looking, not hideous at all.”
“I spoke,” said Will, in sepulchral tones, “of the pitch-black inner depths of their souls.”
Tessa snorted. “And what color do you suppose the inner depths of your soul are, Will Herondale?”
“Mauve,” said Will.”
“I could not tell you if I loved you the first moment I saw you, or if it was the second or third or fourth. But I remember the first moment I looked at you walking toward me and realized that somehow the rest of the world seemed to vanish when I was with you.”
“Tess, Tess, Tessa.
Was there ever a more beautiful sound than your name? To speak it aloud makes my heart ring like a bell. Strange to imagine that, isn’t it – a heart ringing – but when you touch me that is what it is like: as if my heart is ringing in my chest and the sound shivers down my veins and splinters my bones with joy.
Why have I written these words in this book? Because of you. You taught me to love this book where I had scorned it. When I read it for the second time, with an open mind and heart, I felt the most complete despair and envy of Sydney Carton. Yes, Sydney, for even if he had no hope that the woman he loved would love him, at least he could tell her of his love. At least he could do something to prove his passion, even if that thing was to die.
I would have chosen death for a chance to tell you the truth, Tessa, if I could have been assured that death would be my own. And that is why I envied Sydney, for he was free.
And now at last I am free, and I can finally tell you, without fear of danger to you, all that I feel in my heart.
You are not the last dream of my soul.
You are the first dream, the only dream I ever was unable to stop myself from dreaming. You are the first dream of my soul, and from that dream I hope will come all other dreams, a lifetime’s worth.
With hope at least,
“Trains are great dirty smoky things," said Will. "You won't like it."
Tessa was unmoved. "I won't know if I like it until I try it, will I?"
"I've never swum naked in the Thames before, but I know I wouldn't like it."
"But think how entertaining for sightseers," said Tessa, and she saw Jem duck his head to hide the quick flash of his grin.”
“Demon pox, oh demon pox
Just how is it acquired?
One must go down to the bad part of town
Until one is very tired.
Demon pox, oh demon pox, I had it all along—
Not the pox, you foolish blocks,
I mean this very song—
For I was right, and you were wrong!"
"Will!" Charlotte shouted over the noise, "Have you LOST YOUR MIND? CEASE THAT INFERNAL RACKET! Jem—"
Jem, rising to his feet, clapped his hands over Will's mouth. "Do you promise to be quiet?" he hissed into his friend's ear.
Will nodded, blue eyes blazing. Tessa was staring at him in amazement; they all were. She had seen Will many things—amused, bitter, condescending, angry, pitying—but never giddy before.
Jem let him go. "All right, then."
Will slid to the floor, his back against the armchair, and threw up his arms. "A demon pox on all your houses!" he announced, and yawned.
"Oh, God, weeks of pox jokes," said Jem. "We're in for it now.”
“They say time heals all wounds, but that presumes the source of the grief is finite”
“If no one cares for you at all, do you even really exist?”
“Reparations,” said Jem very suddenly, setting down the pen he was holding.
Will looked at him in puzzlement. “Is this a game? We just blurt out whatever word comes next to mind? In that case mine is ‘genuphobia’. It means an unreasonable fear of knees.”
“What’s the word for a perfectly reasonable fear of annoying idiots?” inquired Jessamine.”
“It's too late," she said.
"Don't say that." His voice was half a whisper. "I love you, Tessa. I love you.”
“Jem is nothing but goodness. That he struck you last night only shows how capable you are of driving even saints to madness.”
“Will has always been the brighter burning star, the one to catch attention — but Jem is a steady flame, unwavering and honest. He could make you happy.”
“When Will truly wants something,” said Jem, quietly, “when he feels something — he can break your heart.”
“Will’s voice dropped. “Everyone makes mistakes, Jem.”
“Yes,” said Jem. “You just make more of them than most people.”
“You hurt everyone,” said Jem. “Everyone whose life you touch.”
“Not you,” Will whispered. “I hurt everyone but you. I never meant to
Jem put his hands up, pressing his palms against his eyes. “Will —”
“You can’t never forgive me,” Will said in disbelief, hearing the
panic tinging his own voice. “I’d be —”
“Alone?” Jem lowered his hand, but he was smiling now, crookedly. “And
whose fault is that?”
“He’s very pretty. For a human.”
“He’s very broken,” said Magnus. “Like a lovely vase that someone has smashed. Only luck and skill can put it back together the way it was before.”
“This is about Tessa. I knew it was."
Will flushed, a wash of color across the pallor of this face. "Not just her."
"But you love her."
Will stared at him. "Of course I do," he said finally. "I had come to think i would never love anyone, but I love her.”
“You speak of sacrifice, but it is not my sacrifice I offer. It is yours I ask of you," he went on. "I can offer you my life, but it is a short life; I can offer you my heart, though I have no idea how many more beats it shall sustain. But I love you enough to hope that you wil not care that I am being selfish in trying to make the rest of my life - whatever length - happy, by spending it with you. I want to be married to you, Tessa. I want it more than I have ever wanted anything else in my life." He looked up at her through the veil of silvery hair that fell over his eyes. "That is," he said shyly, "if you love me, too.”
“Did you just kiss me?" Will inquired.
Magnus made a slip-second decision. "No."
"On occasion the aftereffects of the painkilling spells can result in hallucinations of the most bizarre sort."
"Oh," Will said. "How peculiar.”
“He bent to put his cheek against hers. His breath against her ear made her shudder with each deliberately spoken word. "I have wanted to do this," he said, "every moment of every hour of every day that I have been with you since the day I met you.”
“Lies and secrets, Tessa, they are like a cancer in the soul. They eat away what is good and leave only destruction behind.”
“You’re seventeen,” Magnus said. “You can’t have wasted a life you’ve barely lived.”
“Oh, leave it,” said Jem, kicking Will, not without affection, lightly on the ankle.
“She’s annexed my plan!”
“Will,” Tessa said firmly. “Do you care more about the plan being enacted or about getting credit for it?”
Will pointed a finger at her.
“That,” he said. “The second one.”
“You haven't broken his heart yet, have you?"
"No," Tessa said. Just torn my own in two. "I haven't broken his heart at all.”
“Astriola. That IS demon pox. You had evidence that demon pox existed and you didnt mention it to me! Et tu, Brute!' He rolled up the paper and hit Jem over the head with it.”
“We live and breathe words. It was books that kept me from taking my own life after I thought I could never love anyone, never be loved again. It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them.”
“If you do not help me," Tessa said to Jem, "I swear, I will change into you, and I will lift him myself. And then everyone here will see what you look like in a dress." She fixed him with a look. "Do you understand?”
“Well,” Tessa said, sighting along the line of the knife, “you behave as if you dislike me. In fact, you behave as if you dislike us all.”
“I don’t,” Gabriel said. “I just dislike him.” He pointed at Will.
“Dear me,” said Will, and he took another bite of his apple. “Is it because I’m better-looking than you?”
“De esta materia prima están hechos los grandes cuentos, ¿no? Puro romanticismo. En los cuentos, las parejas así viven felices para siempre. Pero los cuentos no dicen lo que sucede cuando se hace eso y se ofende a la familia más poderosa del mundo.”
“I reminded you I studied literature, didn't I? I've had an endless supply of quotations at my disposal, but they had always highlighted the inadequacy of my life rather than providing an uplifting literary score to it.”
“She was trying to find the section that described the penalties for treason. She'd browsed through the section at one point and vaguely recalled a long list of punishments culminating with the guilty party being ritually trampled to death by the population of the village of Avebury, which seemed unlikely, or at least somewhat difficult to arrange.”
“I don't know what I am, but I wouldn't want a faith that couldn't handle facts.”
“Hazel never cried. She was forged from iron; she never broke.”
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