“I, Astaroth, Crown Prince of Hell, am in love with you, Layla Shaw. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow. A hudred decades from now, I will still be in love with you, and it will be as fierce today as it will be a decade later.”
“With every breath I take, I will always love you.”
“You make me wish I had a soul so I could be worthy of you.”
“Roth lowered his forehead to mine as he brought our joined hands to his chest, placing them above his heart. “And I love you,” he said. “With every breath I take, I will always love you.”
“Cayman cocked his head to the side. “When is there ever a right time to fully give your heart to another? There are always going to be obstacles. You just have to decide which ones are worth it.”
“I’m totally calm. I would just like to know who marred your skin so that I can put a name and face to the creature I’m going to kill very slowly.” “I think we might have different definitions of calm,” I said wryly. “I’ve never been calmer in my life.”
“You are so beautiful, Layla. And if I could pick one thing I could stare at for the rest of eternity, it would be you.”
“You’ve accepted who and what I am from the beginning. You’ve never tried to change me or...or hide me. You’ve always trusted me, even when you probably shouldn’t have.”
“You’re like the cute version of the village idiot.”
“Because you're beautiful, Layla, and while I may say that one word to you a lot, I don't simply toss it around. And I've seen many, many beautiful things. People as beautiful as demons are atrocious. You, by far, shine brighter than any of them. It's more than what's on the outside. It comes from within you. I've seen a lot of things and nothing, nothing, comes close to you.”
“When is there ever a right time to fully give your heart to another? There are always going to be obstacles. You just have to decide which ones are worth it.”
“Stop being a coward and let go of the past. Embrace the future, because they are two very different things.”
“Words could cut just as deep as sharpened claws, and while the skin could heal, the wounds words left behind never faded as quickly.”
“I let you go,” he went on, dipping his head to my neck, and a shiver swept through me. “You were right yesterday. I hurt you. Not like him. Worse. I let you walk out of this house so you could be happy with him. Wasn’t that what you wanted? But you’re here. I let you go and it killed me to do so, and you’re here.”
“He raised his hand and extended his middle finger. “Does this count as pushing it, Bob?”
“No one is destined for anything. We control our own fates.”
“When I held you in my arms and you stared up at me, only a few minutes old, I knew the purest brand of love.”
“It was just a kiss and it was nearly too much and it still wasn't enough, and it was just beautiful.”
“One of these days, Prince, you will meet your own fate.”
“And I’ll do so quite spectacularly,” he quipped back. “Looking damn good while I do it, too.”
“I covet you like any good demon would.” His other hand tightened at the back of my neck. “And my desire for you increases every waking second in a way that should frighten me, but really just excites me. But most of all, I love you,”
“Is it later yet?” Roth asked.
Casting him a lingering look, I grinned as I rose fluidly, with a grace I never thought I’d ever be capable of. “Only if you can catch me.”
Roth rose at once, capturing my hand before I could even take off, threading his fingers through mine. “Already did, Layla.”
And so he had, a long time ago, when he strutted into a dark alley and took out a Poser demon. Truth be told, I really didn’t even want to run.
This was love, and love could change people, even if that person was really a demon and the Crown Prince of Hell. “I love you,” I told him, and I told him that every day and I would tell him that over and over again.
Roth lowered his forehead to mine as he brought our joined hands to his chest, placing them above his heart. “And I love you,” he said. “With every breath I take, I will always love you.”
“The intensity in his gaze created a flutter low in my belly. When he spoke, his voice was rough, sending a series of chills up and down my spine. “I don’t know what made you change your sleeping attire, but I just want to let you know that I am a hundred and fifty-five percent behind it.” All I could think was that he liked what he saw and that was a good sign. “Actually, if you want to dress like that whenever we’re alone—to eat dinner, watch the TV, read a book or whatever, I also support that.”
“It had always been Roth; from the moment he swaggered into that d- alley, where I'd been unsuccessfully fighting off a demon, it had been him for me. Maybe I'd been too blind to see that after he returned from the pits.
Maybe I had been too angry with him after the way he initially acted.”
“Hell sent texts messages—group ones at that? It kind of fit, since there was nothing worse than being on the receiving end of a group message—sort of like being held hostage.”
“Roth,” muttered Zayne. He sounded closer, but I didn’t want to take my eyes off the Alphas to check. “You might want to chill out a bit.”
The Crown Prince smirked. “Nah. You want to know why? The Alphas could end me, but they’re not going to.”
Across from us, the Alpha who had spoken stiffened but didn’t interrupt.
“You see, I am the favorite Crown Prince,” Roth continued, his smirk spreading. “They take me out when I haven’t done anything to warrant it and they’ll have the Boss to contend with. They don’t want that.”
Surprise flickered through me. They couldn’t just end Roth because of who he was? I’d always thought they could simply do as they pleased.
The Alpha who had been silent up to this point spoke. “There are rules for a reason. It does not mean we have to like them, so I’d suggest you do not push your luck, Prince.”
Then Roth did the unthinkable. He raised his hand and extended his middle finger. “Does this count as pushing it, Bob?”
Crap on a cracker, he’d flipped off an Alpha! And he’d called the Alpha Bob! Who did that? Seriously?”
“there was only one set of eyes I saw when I closed mine at night and when I reopened them in the morning.”
“the very thought of being with you undoes me,”
“Whoa.” Cayman threw up his hands. “Simmer down, crouching demon, hidden Warden. He’s fine.”
“Proceed very carefully with what you’re about to say,” Roth advised softly. “That’s my girl you’re about to insult, and I’m not going to be happy about that. At all.”
“Unless it had been Castiel, because I was totally cool with him rising me up from perdition if that was what happened.”
“Being tired of all illusions and of everything about illusions – the loss of illusions, the uselessness of having them, the prefatigue of having to have them in order to lose them, the sadness of having had them, the intellectual shame of having had them knowing that they would have to end this way.”
“To be in a world of magic and romance and Goodness and then robbed back into drab, pointless life seemed so.... wrong. I didn't belong in a cottage lane with fifteen houses exactly like mine. I couldn't marry some shopkeeper or cobbler's boy and slog at the bakery each day just to feed our children. I wanted to find real happiness where The End didn't mean getting old and useless and being crammed in a graveyard with everyone else.”
“(General Wetjoen talking about the Boer War)Let him come! I have seen them come before -- at Margesfontein, Spion Kiopje, Modder River. Stepping into battle, left right left right, waving their silly swords, so afraid they couldn't show off how brave they was, and with mine rifle I kills them so easy!”
“that we conduct our thoughts along different ways, and do not fix our attention on the same objects.”
“Governments always commit their entire populations when the demands grow heavy enough. By their passive acceptance, these populations become accessories to whatever is done in their name.”
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