“Sicarius had the personality of a particularly bland, pointy stick.”
“Why, Sicarius, is it possible you have a playful side beneath your razor-edged knives, severe black clothing and humourless glares?”
“Sicarius, as usual, regarded her with the blandness of a particularly featureless rock, then walked away.”
“Then I guess Sicarius will have to follow you around all night, hovering over your shoulder while you eat. Breathing down your neck. Sharing your salad. Hogging your croutons.”
“Sicarius wore his usual guess-my-thoughts-if-you-can-mask, though she sensed he did not approve.”
“You know...” Amaranthe dumped her dust pile outside and returned to face him. “It’s hard for me to maintain my vigor and enthusiasm for leading you when you do nothing but stand there and ooze disapproval at me.”
“No, no.” Amaranthe lifted a hand. “You needn’t let me know you think my idea has promise. It’s been nearly three months since the last time I almost got myself killed, so I’m brimming with self-confidence. I don’t need bolstering.”
“Oh, no," Maldynado said. "When I get my statue, I don't want it to be an image of me going up a squid's butt.”
“You didn't think you’d find a Science-savvy mercenary team in the empire without a few eccentricities, did you?” Amaranthe asked.”
“No self-respecting snoop sneaks in before midnight anyway.”
“One who has a personality that grates like glass paper should probably choose footwear sufficient for fleeing from irritated people.”
“Er, she hated it when she was trying to be morally superior and someone pointed out that her idea was only slightly less sketchy.”
“No more procrastinating. As grandpa used to say, “Cleaning a fish don’t get any more pleasant for having put the task off.”
“Mischievous branches tugged at her hat and rained leaves onto her shoulders. She dusted them off. As much as she liked the idea of nature, it was difficult to maintain a tidy appearance when surrounded by it.”
“You’re stealthier than a cat’s shadow. You can’t possibly expect me to notice you when you’re lurking.” “Perhaps you have not been assiduous enough with your training.” “I can’t believe you’re blaming me for the fact that you’re a chronic eavesdropper.” “What did you expect from an assassin?” he”
“You either gain immortality through having children or you earn it by becoming someone history remembers.”
“You’re a queer?”
“That’s exactly what I am. I didn’t choose to be.”
After a while Woody put his arm around Chuck’s shoulders.
“Well, what the hell,” he said. “At least you’re not a Republican.”
“Do you know where to find a party or something?”
“I’m Adrian Ivashkov,” I declared. “The parties find me.”
I've failed you several times. But there was one moment I failed you beyond measure. It was the day we met. The moment I took your hand and you looked at me, with the glory of hate in your eyes. I should have sent you home to your family. But I didn't. There was honesty in your hatred.Fearlessness in your pain.In your honesty, I saw a reflection of myself.Or rather, of the man I longed to be. So I failed you. I didn't stay away.Then later, I thought if I had answers, it would be enough. I would no longer care. You would not matter. So I continued failing you. Continued wanting more. And now I can't find the words to say what must be said. To convey to you the least of what I owe. When I think of you, I can't find the air to breathe. And now, though you are gone, there is no pain or fear. All I am left with is gratitude.
When I was a boy, my mother would tell me that one of the best things in life is the knowledge that your story isn't over yet. Our story may have come to a close, but your story is still yet to be told. Make it a story worthy of you.
I failed you in one last thing. Here is my chance to rectify it. It was never because I didn't feel it. It was because I swore I would never say it, and a man is nothing if he can't keep his promises.
So I write it in the sky-
I love you, a thousand times over. And I will never apologize for it.
“Right,” he said mildly. “I suppose you got rained on.”
“You are very easily exasperated, my dear. If you're a leaf trembling on a wide, deep river, relax and ride the current. It's always worked for me, I assure you.”
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