“Hell-on-skis, can you hear me? This is flying cupcake.”
“Xavier, you have given me more grey hairs than all my sons put together.’ Saul frowned, then corrected himself. ‘To be fair, you and Zed. Just try not to add to them tonight.”
Got you. Not letting you go.
I realised I wasn't alone in mental deep space; he had always been there and could pilot me home.”
“Yves. You are goint to love him all over again when you meet him, believe me. You're married.'
'I'm what? But I can't be more than eighteen!'
'My son is very persuasive,' said Saul proudly.”
“I am equivalent of what in the Harry Potter world is called a sqib. A damp Squib. As the seventh child, all had expected me to come loaded with the whole box of fireworlks. Instead they got a girl who could tell you where you left your keys. Yes, that's right. I'm equivalent of a whistling key fob.”
“I've just had a really evil idea."
"My favourite kind”
“Trace is cooking Nonna's lasagna."
"Wow. I must see this."
"He was wearing her little apron and everything."
"Got a camera?”
“You pushed it too far. You shouldn't take the same risk again."
"Says the guy who got shot.”
“Xav sprinkled olive oil on his lettuce. 'Lola was very particular that it all had to fit properly.'
'Lola?' squeaked Diamond. I wanted to warn her not to rise to the bait Xav was dangling in front of her but it was too late.
Xav added some Parmesan and pepper. 'Suspicious, Diamond? You should be. This is a bachelor party I'm organizing, not a school outing, and it is going to tick all of Trace's boxes. Lola is either a very efficient water sports instructor or an exotic dancing girl; I'll leave it your imagination.'
I rolled my eyes at Diamond. 'Myabe she's both. I mean the guys will really go for that, I guess. Don't worry,Di, Luigi and his crew will not disappoint us girls.' Luigi was in fact Contessa Nicoletta's little bespectacled chef with whom I had been consulting about the menu for Friday, but the Benedicts weren't to know that. 'He has promised to provide something suitably spicy for our tastes.”
“I caught a glimpse of him thinking of the final combat in the movies, Harry versus Voldemort, Spider-Man versus the Green Goblin.”
“With kisses like that, I wish this was the Universe where you were my soulfinder.”
“He[Crystal's father] had found my height amusing, referring to me as his "little girl" at every opportunity even though I could see the bald patch on top of his head fringed by curls when we stood side by side.”
“Awesome. Trace, you’re one lucky son of a .......very lovely mother.”
“I wasn't thinking all of them—just Zed and Victor. Zed as the seventh son has a touch of most of our skills and can hold us together when we do a joint investigation. He’s a pain in the neck but a useful one.”
“He said he needed to unwind. He was furious we all let you go so far. That boy would stop you so much as breaking a nail if he could.”
“I hadn't hold out much hope for myself; if my counterpart existed, he'd be amazingly talented to make up for my shortcoming, and that would condemn me to a life of living in his shadows; or he'd match my feeble powers and be so weak that we'd barely sense each other.”
“Zed and Sky had stayed behind and were chatting with Will, Sky sitting on Zed's knee as if nothing was going to get them apart again in a hurry. Victor and Uriel were playing cards at the kitchen table. Trace looked cute in an apron, chopping vegetables with a surgeon's precision.”
“Will laughed. 'I now know why fate linked you with Xav. You are going to tease each other unmercifully.'
Victorthrew down a card. 'Might make the world a little safer for the rest of us then.'
'Unless they turn their powers jointly on us,' suggested Sky, her old sparkle back in her eyes.
The Benedict brothers groaned in unison.”
“Saul tapped his wife's obstinate chin. "Mrs. Benedict, you certainly are. You promised to obey."
"That was thirty years ago! Before the wedding ceremony caught up with the modern age."
"Well, I for one am holding you to that. Gondola for two, in the moonlight, with champagne and roses.”
“...I want you to be as happy as I am."
"Trust me, that wouldn't be the case if I found myself shackled to Xav Benedict by a quirk of fate.”
“I would have normally tried to ignore the display of tanned arms and glimpse of toned midriff this flailing about revealed, but, hey, I have hormones like the next girl. Some things in life are worth seeing.”
“Italian men are raised from birth to flatter females”
“I grunted. “She’s not a delicate princess,” I said. “She’s a warrior. Warriors have enemies. Sometimes warriors get hurt.” I felt my jaws clench. “And then their friends even things up.”
“I say that humans are the only ones in this world that need everything within it...But there is nothing in the world that needs us for its survival. We aren't the masters of the earth. We're the servants.”
“That is the path of Wickedness, though some call it the Road to Heaven.”
“And never mind that the lessons he meant to be helpful, his students always make people miserable with, and flunk anybody that disagrees with them!”
“I had no songs in my repertoire for commercial radio anyway. Songs about debauched bootleggers, mothers that drowned their own children, Cadillacs that only got five miles to the gallon, floods, union hall fires, darkness and cadavers at the bottom of rivers weren't for radiophiles. There was nothing easygoing about the folk songs I sang. They weren't friendly or ripe with mellowness. They didn't come gently to the shore. I guess you could say they weren't commercial.
Not only that, my style was too erratic and hard to pigeonhole for the radio, and songs, to me, were more important that just light entertainment. They were my preceptor and guide into some altered consciousness of reality, some different republic, some liberated republic. Greil Marcus, the music historian, would some thirty years later call it "the invisible republic."
Whatever the case, it wasn't that I was anti-popular culture or anything and I had no ambitions to stir things up. i just thought of popular culture as lame as hell and a big trick. It was like the unbroken sea of frost that lay outside the window and you had to have awkward footgear to walk on it.
I didn't know what age of history we were in nor what the truth of it was. Nobody bothered with that. If you told the truth, that was all well and good and if you told the un-truth, well, that's still well and good. Folk songs taught me that.”
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