“You make me want to live, Rowan. Not survive; not exist. Live.”
“She was fire, and light, and ash, and embers. She was Aelin Fireheart, and she bowed for no one and nothing, save the crown that was hers by blood and survival and triumph.”
“She looked at them, at the three males who meant everything—more than everything. Then she smiled with every last shred of courage, of desperation, of hope for the glimmer of that glorious future. “Let’s go rattle the stars.”
“If you're a monster, I'm a monster.”
“They joined hands.
So the world ended.
And the next one began.”
“Sometimes there won’t be a right choice, just the best of several bad options.”
“Behind them, across the hall, the dancers shattered their roses on the floor, and Aedion grinned at his queen as the entire world went to hell.”
“I missed you,” he said quietly, his gaze darting between her mouth and eyes. “When I was in
Wendlyn. I lied when I said I didn’t. From the moment you left, I missed you so much I went out of my
mind. I was glad for the excuse to track Lorcan here, just to see you again. And tonight, when he had
that knife at your throat …” The warmth of his callused finger bloomed through her as he traced a path
over the cut on her neck. “I kept thinking about how you might never know that I missed you with only
an ocean between us. But if it was death separating us … I would find you. I don’t care how many
rules it would break. Even if I had to get all three keys myself and open a gate, I would find you
“But perhaps the monsters needed to look out for each other every now and then.”
“He shifted his arm so he could brush her hair back. His fingers lingered along her jaw. “You make me want to live, too, Aelin Galathynius,” he said. “Not exist—but live.” He cupped her cheek, and took a steadying breath—as if he’d thought about every word these past three days, over and over again. “I spent centuries wandering the world, from empires to kingdoms to wastelands, never settling, never stopping—not for one moment. I was always looking toward the horizon, always wondering what waited across the next ocean, over the next mountain. But I think … I think that whole time, all those centuries, I was just looking for you.”
“She was a whirling cloud of death, a queen of shadows, and these men were already carrion.”
“They were infinite. They were the beginning and the ending; they were eternity. The king standing before them gaped as the shield of flame died out to reveal Aelin and Dorian, hand in hand, glowing like newborn gods as their magic entwined.”
“Thirty minutes later, Rowan was still staring up at the ceiling, teeth gritted as he calmed the roaring in
his veins that was steadily shredding through his self-control.
That gods-damned nightgown.
He was in such deep, unending shit.”
“Aelin took a step forward.
One step, as if in a daze.
She loosed a shuddering breath, and a small, whimpering noise came out of her - a sob.
And then she was sprinting down the alley, flying as though the winds themselves pushed at her heels.
She flung herself on the male, crashing into him hard enough that anyone else might have gone rocking back into the stone wall.
But the male grabbed her to him, his massive arms wrapping around her tightly and lifting her up. Nesryn made to approach, but Aedion stopped her with a hand on her arm.
Aelin was laughing as she cried, and the male was just holding her, his hooded head buried in her neck. As if he were breathing her in.
"Who is that?" Nesryn asked.
Aedion smiled. "Rowan.”
“Where will we go?"
"I hear hell is particularly nice at this time of year.”
“But she was her own champion now.”
“Fae warriors: invaluable in a fight—and raging pains in her ass at all other times.”
“What in hell is that?”
She kept going toward the bathroom, refusing to apologize or look down at the pink, delicate, very
short lace nightgown. When she emerged, face washed and clean, Rowan was sitting up, arms crossed
over his bare chest. “You forgot the bottom part.”
She merely blew out the candles in the room one by one. His eyes tracked her the entire time.
“There is no bottom part,” she said, flinging back the covers on her side. “It’s starting to get so hot,
and I hate sweating when I sleep. Plus, you’re practically a furnace. So it’s either this or I sleep
naked. You can sleep in the bathtub if you have a problem with it.”
“Tell me that we’ll get through tomorrow. Tell me that we’ll survive the war. Tell me—” She swallowed hard. “Tell me that even if I lead us all to ruin, we’ll burn in hell together.”
“Whatever you had to do to survive, whatever you did from spite or rage or selfishness … I don’t give a damn. You’re here—and you’re perfect. You always were, and you always will be.”
“Elegant, feminine, and utterly wild. Warm, and steadfast—unbreakable, his queen.”
“Ten years of shadows, but no longer. Light up the darkness, Majesty.”
“I miss you,' she said. 'Every day, I miss you. And I wonder what you would have made of all this. Made of me. I think - I think you would have been a wonderful king. I think they would have liked you more than me, actually.' Her throat tightened. 'I never told you - how I felt. But I loved you, and I think a part of me might always love you. Maybe you were my mate, and I never knew it. Maybe I'll spend the rest of my life wondering about that. Maybe I'll see you again in the Afterworld, and then I'll know for sure. But until then ... until then I'll miss you, and I'll wish you were here.”
“Her scent hit him. For a second, he could only breathe it deep into his lungs,his Fae instincts roaring that this was his family, this was his queen, this was Aelin. He would have known her even if he were blind. Even if there was another scent entwined with hers. Staggeringly powerful and ancient and—male. Interesting.”
“What if we go on,' he said, 'only to more pain and despair? What if we go on, only to find a horrible friend waiting for us?'
Aelin looked northward, as if she could see all the way to Terrasen. 'Then it is not the end.”
“Even when we’re apart tomorrow, I’ll be with you every step of the way. And every step after—wherever that may be.”
“The wrath Chaol found in Aelin’s eyes was world-ending. “You bring my court into this, Chaol,” Aelin said with lethal softness, “and I don’t care what you were to me, or what you have done to help me. You betray them, you hurt them, and I don’t care how long it takes, or how far you go: I’ll burn you and your gods-damned kingdom to ash. Then you’ll learn just how much of a monster I can be.”
“It’s Aelin now,” she snapped as loudly as she dared. “Celaena Sardothien doesn’t exist anymore.”
“It’s not an easy time for any parent, this moment when the realization dawns that you’ve given birth to something that will never see things the way you do, despite the fact that it is your living legacy, that it bears your name.”
“Raphael continued to stare at me, in no hurry to get started. "You know the best way to get rid of a demon, right?" He asked with a serious face. I caught Ivy rolling her eyes as I shook my head.
Ivy caught my expression of dismay. "It's okay, Beth. He's famous for his bad jokes. We're still waiting for him to grow up."
"And like Peter Pan, I hope to avoid that at all costs.”
“Books, for me, are a home. Books don't make a home - they are one, in the sense that just as you do with a door, you open a book, and you go inside. Inside there is a different kind of time and space. There is warmth there too - a hearth. I sit down with a book and I am warm.”
“Bodily haste and exertion usually leave our thoughts very much at the mercy of our feelings and imagination.”
“It’s easy to be yourself in the dark.”
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