“I figured even the most jaded and cynical inhabitant might report a bloody girl in a party dress carrying a severed head by its hair.”
“Beast had once informed me that humans were hunters only by luck and because they had opposable thumbs.”
“It looked to me like a vamp version of a pissing contest. Men will be boys.”
“Admitting that Katie had taken too much blood was on par with saying an adult human had pooped their pants or eaten their own boogers!”
“How can you stay worried when someone gives you warm chocolate chip cookies?”
“Some of the vamps formed into smaller groups, to chat or plot or whatever vamps did at undead nonfunerals. Oddly, they talked about the stock market and the latest flare-up in the Middle East, like any well-educated group of humans. It was almost as disorienting as hearing them quote Jesus. Then,”
“Seemingly useless bits of knowledge often were the difference between success and failure.”
“Do you cook too?” he asked, the tone teasing. “ ’Cause any woman who does a weapon striptease, handles a Benelli like she knows how to use it, and can cook, pushes all my buttons.”
“You been going through my undies?" I asked. Bruiser's mouth twitched. " 'Cause all I got with me are the travel undies. The leather, silk, and lace stuff is all in the mountains."
"You got leather undies?" Bruiser asked, intrigued. [...]
I smiled, showing teeth. "Nope.”
“The man was so smooth he wouldn’t slide on an oil slick.”
“As a vamp killer for hire, I travel light.”
“I didn’t need protecting and men seemed to sense that. It bothered a lot of them.”
“I figured Katie was likely swimming in blood. Ick. I looked at the moon and judged that the bloodletting took over two hours before Sabina called a halt by saying words I didn’t understand, in French, or Latin, or Mandarin for all I knew.”
“Leo stood behind him, his suit coat and tie off, rolling up his sleeves.
"Oh, crap," I said, my voice full of gravel and bigger rocks, grinding over one another. I cleared my throat and tried again. "I'm too old for a spanking and not quite up to defending myself from a butt whupping. Can we do this another time?”
“When it happens, you’re totally unprepared, fragmented and lost, looking for the hidden meaning in every little thing. I’ve replayed the events of that day a hundred thousand times, looking for clues. An alternate ending. The Butterfly effect.
If I could find the butterfly that flapped its wings before we got into the car that day, I would crush it.”
“If it had been easy for Romeo to get to Juliet, nobody would have cared. Same goes for Cyrano and Don Quixote and Gatsby and their respective paramours. What captures the imagination is watching men throw themselves at a brick wall over and over again, and wondering if this is the time that they won't be able to get back up.”
“Sometimes it's best to let your opponent think he has control.”
“Oh," he said again and picked up two petals of cherry blossom which he folded together like a sandwich and ate slowly. "Supposing," he said, staring past her at the wall of the house, "you saw a little man, about as tall as a pencil, with a blue patch in his trousers, halfway up a window curtain, carrying a doll's tea cup-would you say it was a fairy?"
"No," said Arrietty, "I'd say it was my father."
"Oh," said the boy, thinking this out, "does your father have a blue patch on his trousers?"
"Not on his best trousers. He does on his borrowing ones."
'Oh," said the boy again. He seemed to find it a safe sound, as lawyers do. "Are there many people like you?"
"No," said Arrietty. "None. We're all different."
"I mean as small as you?"
Arrietty laughed. "Oh, don't be silly!" she said. "Surely you don't think there are many people in the world your size?"
"There are more my size than yours," he retorted.
"Honestly-" began Arrietty helplessly and laughed again. "Do you really think-I mean, whatever sort of a world would it be? Those great chairs . . . I've seen them. Fancy if you had to make chairs that size for everyone? And the stuff for their clothes . . . miles and miles of it . . . tents of it ... and the sewing! And their great houses, reaching up so you can hardly see the ceilings . . . their great beds ... the food they eat ... great, smoking mountains of it, huge bogs of stew and soup and stuff."
"Don't you eat soup?" asked the boy.
"Of course we do," laughed Arrietty. "My father had an uncle who had a little boat which he rowed round in the stock-pot picking up flotsam and jetsam. He did bottom-fishing too for bits of marrow until the cook got suspicious through finding bent pins in the soup. Once he was nearly shipwrecked on a chunk of submerged shinbone. He lost his oars and the boat sprang a leak but he flung a line over the pot handle and pulled himself alongside the rim. But all that stock-fathoms of it! And the size of the stockpot! I mean, there wouldn't be enough stuff in the world to go round after a bit! That's why my father says it's a good thing they're dying out . . . just a few, my father says, that's all we need-to keep us. Otherwise, he says, the whole thing gets"-Arrietty hesitated, trying to remember the word-"exaggerated, he says-"
"What do you mean," asked the boy, " 'to keep us'?”
“Cookie dropped her purse and tried to catch it midair. In the process, she knocked over a vase. When she lunged for the vase, she slipped on the tile and overturned an entire table. A lovely handblown piece of glass flew in my direction, and all I could think as I caught it was, Really? Again? We were going to have to practice muscle control.”
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