“I like a little fight in my girls."
She grinned at him,causing blood to dribble down her chin.
"Then you're going to love me.”
“Don't mistake me, Treasure. I can offer you many things, but friendship ain't one of them. Now, for once in your life, be a sensible girl and run away.”
“You’re not going to take advantage of me, are you?” The cushions felt so nice behind her head. It was so nice to lie down. “Novels are always warning young women of the dangers of being taken advantage of by wealthy young men.”
“You are perfectly safe. Emily is here to protect your virtue.”
“That’s too bad.”
“What's the matter with her? [Jasper] asked Griffin.
Griffin shook his head. 'Nothing. She's just two personas struggling for dominance in one body.'
[Jasper] ... Poor little thing.”
“As frightening as we may think her, I believe she finds herself even more so.”
“Jasper waited until the man was gone before asking, “You ever get tired of folks puckerin’ up to your backside?”
Griffin faced him with mock gravity. “Yes. It is deuced tiring, people doing whatever I wish. Makes my life so very disagreeable.”
“I cannot tell my heart what to feel.”
“What I want from you,” he said, and Finley braced herself, “is your trust. Irrevocable and unshakable. I want you to put your life in my hands, and I want to be able to do the same without hesitation.”
Disturbed to her very soul, Finley could only shake her head. “You ask too much.” Put his life in her hands? He was deranged! A bedlamite for certain. A crooked grin curved his mouth.
“Too much? You strange and wonderful girl, that is the least I’ll ask of you.”
“Who do you think keeps this country safe so you can sleep at night?”
“I don’t sleep most nights. And to be honest, Your Grace, I don’t feel all that safe.”
“Suddenly he was in the doorway, looming over her in a determined fashion. Gone was sweet, patient Griffin. This was the Duke of Greythorne, one of the most powerful men in England.
“I don’t care that you came to Dandy,” he said, his voice low, but sharp. “If you want to blame yourself for Sam’s injury, then go ahead and be a fool. And I don’t care that you could cosh my head in if you wanted. I came here to get you and if I have to, I’ll toss you over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes and carry you all the way to Mayfair. I’m taking you home where you belong.”
“The girl stood in the center of the large four-poster bed. She wore a nightgown and robe that Cordelia had generously, and unknowingly, donated. Anything of Emily’s would have been far too short and too small. Her honey-colored hair fell over her shoulders in messy waves and her similarly colored eyes were almost black with wildness, her pupils unnaturally dilated.
Fear. He felt it roll off her in great waves. It shimmered around her in a rich red aura Griff knew he alone could see, as it was viewable only on the Aetheric plane. She was afraid of them and, like a trapped animal, her answer to fear was to fight rather than flee. Interesting.
She was certainly a sight to behold. Normally she was probably quite pretty, but right now she was…she was…
She was bloody magnificent. That’s what she was. Except for the blood, of course.”
“Finley hesitated. Maybe he’d move out of her way and let her pass.
Or a voice in her head whispered—her voice—you could kick his teeth in.”
“Don’t cry, Treasure. You’ll get me all wet and then I’ll melt. I’m made of sugar, don’t you know.”
“She didn’t want to believe the pretty gentleman capable of such violence, but she had learned the hard way that pretty gentlemen were often the worst of the lot.”
“This is delicious,” she said, when she finally recovered enough to speak.
Jack was watching her in a curious manner. “You could have ’em every morning if you want.”
“Slowly, Finley rose from the sofa, tilted her head back and looked him dead in the eye. “I have no desire to be any more in your debt than I already am.”
He looked thoughtful for a moment. “Would it make you more comfortable if I demanded something in return? Would that put you at ease?”
When he put it like that, it made her sound like an awful sort of person for thinking the worst. “It would, yes. At least that would be honest.”
It might have been laughter that came scoffing from his throat, but there was little humor in it. He shook his head, the light reflecting glints of russet in his hair. “I’d like to meet whomever it was who made you so distrusting and pull his teeth out one by one.”
The vehemence in his tone startled her, yet was strangely warming. “’Twas more than just one.”
His face darkened, like clouds overtaking the sun. Suddenly, this was no longer just some seemingly kind, bored aristocrat standing before her, but a young man capable of many dangerous things.”
“Brushing dirt from his coat, Sam ignored the wild-eyed looks the other three gave him. Surely a house like this had enough staff to clean up a little dirt?
“And who is this young man?” the old lady demanded.
Sam opened his mouth to reply, but froze when he saw just who the old woman was.
“May I present Sam Morgan, Your Highness,” Griffin said.
Bloody hell. It was Queen Victoria. They’d just burrowed their way into Buckingham Palace.”
“I do hope you’re using that thing to look at photographs of Moulin Rouge ladies as a young man your age should, and not hunting down another bothersome criminal.”
“Humanity, I’m sure I do not have to tell Your Grace, is a strange animal.”
“If the city of London was a body, Whitechapel would be the groin; a great unwashed area that only showed itself under the cover of darkness, and only for the most salacious of entertainments. No one of “proper” birth ever admitted to going there, but they all did at one time or another—or at least they wanted to. Slumming was very popular these days.”
“Griffin!” Finley cried. She moved to attack the automaton, but Sam stopped her. “Wait. Griff’s got a plan.”
“How do you know?” she demanded.
Sam and Jasper both looked at her with bemused expressions. “Griff’s always got a plan,” Jasper informed her, as though it was absolute fact.”
“What I have is hardly a talent,” she replied. A curse, perhaps. More than likely a demon. What she needed was a good exorcism.”
“Finley’s head jerked up. Griffin King. The Duke of Greythorne. She had overheard Lady Alyss discussing him with several of her friends just last week. They said he was handsome, rich beyond understanding and had a nice bottom.”
“Griffin had to get to the bottom of these automaton attacks. He couldn’t ignore them just because Finley Jayne posed such an intriguing problem in such a pretty package.
And she was pretty—even when off her rocker. In that respect, she was every bit as dangerous as Aunt Cordelia seemed to think.
It was a good thing, then, that he enjoyed a little danger now and again.”
“...you shouldn’t have put yourself in that kind of danger for me.”
He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye—she knew this because she was doing the same to him. “If not for you, then for whom?” he asked softly.”
“You aligned yourself with the wron fella and there were consequences. Now you can wallow in it, or you can pull that thick head of yours out of your posterior and help us figure out how to fix things.”
“You didn’t discover a secret passage into someone’s palace and not tell them everything you knew about it.”
“You think I pretend weakness?"
She nodded. "Not weakness, but you like to let others think they're in control, when it's you.”
“As they walked, the subtle lamplight of a dirigible washed over them. Finley glanced up, watching the light grow closer, slowly descending from the sky in a whirl of propellers as the ship made its way into the London air dock just a few miles away. How amazing it must be to float so high, to travel so quickly.
Dandy followed her gaze, but they didn’t stop walking. “I was up in one of them flyers once,” he told her. “I climbed over the rail and hung on to one of the ropes. Freeing it was. I almost let go.”
She whipped her head around to gape at him. “The fall would kill you.”
He smiled ever so slightly. “Not afore I flew. Worse ways to go.”
“The Machinist ain’t exactly loquacious when it comes down to his nefarious undertakings.”
“I’m not angry at Rowe, I’m angry at myself for falling for her—for falling for a girl who can’t let herself be mine to love.”
“زندگی میں انسان کو ایک عادت ضرور سیکھ لینی چاہیے جو چیز ہاتھ سے نکل جائے اسے بھول جانے کی عادت. یہ عادت بہت سی تکلیفوں سے بچا دیتی ہے.”
“My heart thunders like the hooves of a thousand wild horses.”
“You cannot kill a breeze, a wind, a fragrance, you cannot kill a dream or an ambition. God, manufactured by mortals in their own quintessential image, exists only to make daily life bearable despite the path that every one of us treads toward extinction. As long as men are obliged to die, some of them, unable to endure the prospect, will concoct fond illusions.We cannot assassinate or kill an illusion. In fact, illusion is more likely to kill us — for God puts to death everything that stands up to him, beginning with reason, intelligence, and the critical mind. All the rest follows in a chain reaction.”
“Go get ready for bed.” He nodded toward the en suite bathroom door. “Don’t take too long. I’m eager to lick you senseless.”
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