“He pulled away abruptly - self-preservation required it - and pressed his brow to hers, breathing deep. "You remember one thing. You decide you want to get married, it's going to be me."
Briony watched him stalk outside, slamming the kitchen door behind him. Both eyebrows raised, she turned to Ken.
Close your mouth, honey. That's just Jack trying to be romantic and failing miserably. Don't let him get away with that shit either. If he's going to ask you, make him do it all they way. You know - down on one knee, looking stupid."
Briony nearly choked. "That's just mean, Ken."
He leaned close to her. "If you do it, Briony, tell me first so I can videotape it. I could blackmail him for the rest of his life.”
“You just like to piss me off,” Jack said.
“Well, there’s that. On the other hand, we’ll find out really fast just how much of a bastard you’re going to be to live with—with your woman around. You get out of line, and I’ll have to take you out behind the barn.”
“We don’t have a barn.”
“I told you we needed a barn, damn it,” Ken said. “You had to have a shop. It doesn’t sound the same saying I’m taking you out behind the shop.”
“I absolutely love you, Briony, and I am on my knees. So we're getting married - right? But say it fast before we get shot."
Only Jack would ask - if you could call it asking - in the middle of a battlefield, with a man lying dead at his feet.”
“And of course I'm a chauvinist, but it isn't my fault."
"No, Jack was born first and I share his genes. I can't help it if he infected me inside the womb."
Briony burst out laughing. "I should have known that would be your excuse.”
“And Ken said I can't marry you."
Jack felt his heart jump in his chest. He glanced at his sleeping brother. "Did he say why?"
"Yes." She kept her voice sober. "He said you have to ask me properly."
Relief made him weak. His pulse beat at his temples, throbbed in his neck. For one moment his fingers closed in her hair in a tight fist. "Properly? If I ask, you might say no, so I'm thinking we'll just start off right and I'll tell you and we'll get the thing done."
"Get the thing done?" Briony echoed.
Ken snorted aloud. "Jack, I'll take over watch and you get some sleep. I think you fried your brain up there on the roof."
"Pipe down over there." Jack said. "You're already stirring up trouble."
"Get the thing done?" Briony repeated slowly. "The thing being what exactly?"
"The ceremony. The paperwork. Whatever the hell it takes to make it legal."
Briony sat up and glared at him. "Take your 'it' and shove it, Jack."
"There's no need ti be getting upset, Briony. We can't exactly go around with a bunch of kids and not do whatever the hell it is one does to make it legal."
"Whatever the hell it takes to make what legal?"
He shrugged. "How the hell would I know? I've never done this before. Sleeping together I guess."
"So you are going to marry me so it's legal to sleep with me?"
"This isn't coming out right."
"Don't get upset, baby,. I don't understand why you're getting upset.”
“He glanced at Ken. "Why the hell does a women complete a family?"
Ken shrugged and exchanged a small smile with him. "I don't know, but let's keep her. She's mellowed you out, and I didn't think that was possible."
"I've always been mellow.”
“I should have known you'd side with them. It's some sort of of male bonding thing to think women aren't capable of running their own lives."
He nuzzled the top of her head with his chin. "It's ego and sheer desperation. We have to keep you thinking we're the superior species."
"News flash, Jack - no women on the face of earth believes that anymore."
He trailed kisses down her cheek. "But men don't know women know that. We still live in our fantasy world, so don't muck it up for us.”
“You know how to tail people?" I asked.
My mother shrugged and kept her mouth shut, but her devilish smile said everything.”
“I'm not sorry. That was long overdue.'
Antonio instantly amended, 'Precious, I didn't mean that I'm sorry it happened.'
Canal's smile was private as he gazed at Antonio. 'I know, honey.'
“One hand traced small circles against my back, and I pressed closer to him, listening to his heartbeat. “I used to think that having nothing to live for made you a better fighter,” he murmured. “Turns out I was wrong on a lot of fronts.”
“She seemed older, no longer shocked that such a thing could happen in the world, but heartbroken because it had. her tears struck Janner as the right kind of tears.”
“Nay if even in the house of Hades the dead forget their dead, yet will I even there be mindful of my dear comrade.”
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