“I wished she’d never stop squeezing me. I wished I could spend the rest of my life as a child, being slightly crushed by someone who loved me.”
“It is helpful to know the proper way to behave, so one can decide whether or not to be proper.”
“Do you like to slide?" His voice was eager.
Stair rails! Did he suspect me? I forced a sigh. "No, Majesty. I'm terrified of heights."
"Oh." His polite tone had returned.
"I wish I could enjoy it. This fear of heights is an affliction."
He nodded, a show of sympathy but not much interest. I was losing him.
"Especially," I added, "as I've grown taller.”
“That's funny, you're funny. I like you, I'm quite taken by you.”
“And so, with laughter and love, we lived happily ever after.”
“Hush Hattie!" I said, intoxicated with my success. "I don't want to go to my room. Everyone must know I shan't marry the prince." I ran to the door to our street, opened it, and called out into the night, "I shan't marry the prince." I turned back into the hall and ran to Char and threw my arms about his neck. "I shan't marry you." I kissed his cheek. He was safe from me.”
“I want to be with you forever and beyond...”
“I trust you to find the good in me, but the bad I must be sure you don't overlook.”
“If I couldn't sleep, I could read.”
“That fool of a fairy Lucinda did not intend to lay a curse on me. She meant to bestow a gift. When I cried inconsolably through my first hour of life, my tears were her inspiration. Shaking her head sympathetically at Mother, the fairy touched my nose. "My gift is obedience. Ella will always be obedient. Now stop crying, child."
“No, I won't marry you. I won't do it. No one can force me.”
“He put his hand on my waist, and my heart began to pound, a rougher rhythm than the music. I held my skirt. Our free hands met. His felt warm and comforting and unsettling and bewildering--all at once.”
“He loved me. He'd loved me as long as he he'd known me! I hadn't loved him as long perhaps, but now I loved him equally well, or better. I loved his laugh, his handwriting, his steady gaze, his honorableness, his freckles, his appreciation of my jokes, his hands, his determination that I should know the worst of him. And, most of all, shameful though it might be, I loved his love for me.”
“Although we didn't invite Lucinda, she arrived anyway-with a gift.
"No need," Char and I chimed together.
"Remember when you were a squirrel," Mandy said.”
“Would you favor me with a dance?" Over all the others I was his choice! I curtsied, and he took my hand. Our hands knew each other. Char looked at me, startled. "Have we met before, Lady?”
“Father asks frequently in his letters whether I fancy any Ayorthaian young lady or any in our acquaintance at home. I say no I suppose I'm confessing another fault: pride. I don't want him to know that I love if my affections are not returned”
“But what I really long to know you do not tell either: what you feel, although I've given you hints by the score of my regard. You like me. You wouldn't waste time or paper on a being you didn't like. But I think I've loved you since we met at your mother's funeral. I want to be with you forever and beyond, but you write that you are too young to marry or too old or too short or too hungry---until I crumple your letters up in despair, only to smooth them out again for a twelfth reading, hunting for hidden meanings.”
“No one is here," Char said. "You need resist temptation no longer." "Only if you slide too." "I'll go first so I can catch you at the bottom." He flew down so incautiously that I suspected him of years of practice in his own castle. It was my turn. The ride was a dream, longer and steeper than the rail at home. The hall rose to meet me, and Char was there. He caught me and spun me around.”
Lilies by the road,
I remember you.
I remember you.”
“You were her friend?" he asked. "You liked her?" I told him Ella was the best friend I ever had. He paused again, and I feared he would say she died. But he finally answered that he believed her to be well and married to a rich gentleman. He added, " She is happy, I think, She is rich, so she is happy." Without thinking, I blurted, "Ella doesn't care about riches." Then I realized I'd contradicted a prince! " How do you know?" he said. I answered, "At school everyone hated me because I wasn't wealthy and because I spoke with an accent. She was the only one who was kind." "Perhaps she's changed," he said. " I don't think so, your Highness.”
“Perhaps we can come here together someday. By the way, you're a month older than the last time I saw you. Are you still too young to marry.”
“He bowed. 'The young lady must not dance alone.”
“I became simply a pair of eyes, staring through my mask at Char. I needed no ears because I was too far off to hear his voice, no words because I was too distant for speech, and no thoughts - those I saved for later. He bent his head. I loved the hairs on the nape of his neck. He moved his lips. I admired their changing shape. He clasped his hand. I blessed his fingers. Once, the power of my gaze drew his eyes...”
“I know all about you," Char announced after we'd taken a few more steps. "You do? How could you?" "Your cook and our cook meet at the market. She talks about you." He looked sideways at me. "Do you know much about me?”
“To pretend I was sliding down the stair rail." He laughed again. " You should have done it. I would have caught you at the bottom.”
“But my last conscious thought was an image of Prince Char when he'd caught the bridle of Sir Stephan's horse. His face had been close to mine. Two curls had spilled onto his forehead. A few freckles dusted his nose, and his eyes said he was sorry for me to go.”
“In that moment I found a power beyond any I'd had before, a will and a determination I would never have need if not for Lucinda, a fortitude I hadn't been able to find for a lesser cause.”
“I had been able to break the curse myself. I'd had to have reason enough, love enough to do it, to find the will and the strength.”
“Eavesdroppers never hear any good of themselves,”
“We sit huddled together for a few minutes, just being there with one another, and it feels dangerous to me that nobody is saying anything.”
“Just once—and that was a long time ago, in a star system far, far away. This”
“I love this quote when Valerian the King of the Nymphs says to his mate Shaye;
"I am Valerian, leader of the nymphs. You may call me Oh God, that is what the other surface dwellers have preferred to call me".”
“The most important thing about reading is not the level of sophistication of the books on your shelf. There is no prerequisite reading regimen for being a bookworm.”
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