“But then, liars do make the best magicians, and he happened to be exceptional.”
“The only rule that counted was to not get caught.”
“But then, people usually do miss what's right in front of them.”
“She didn't have time to swoon over some boy, no matter how pretty he was.”
“She kept him on his toes every time they met, so it was only fair he got to do the same. Never mind how much he was growing to like their games.”
“Are you trying to blackmail me?” she asked.
“Not trying, no. Not yet, at least.” He smiled pleasantly, because he had the sense it would irritate her even more. “But give me time, and I might find something I want from you.”
She let out a derisive laugh. “In your dreams.”
He winked. “Every night, sweetheart.”
“Don’t start telling yourself stories about me, Esta. I’m not some knight in shining armor. I don’t have some hidden heart of gold. I’m a bastard, in every sense of the word.”
“Who said I want you to be anything but what you are? I like your angles and your edges,” she told him, hoping he could hear the truth in her words. “I have plenty of my own, you know.”
“Liars Make the best Magicians, and he happened to be exceptional!" taken from The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell.”
“Esta rolled down the window, letting the hot breath of summer rustle across her face. With it came the familiar smells of the city, stale and heavy with the metallic choke of exhaust and the ripeness of too many people sharing one tiny piece of land. But it was also enticing—the scent of danger and possibility that lived and breathed in the crowded streets. Dirty and frantic though it was, the city—this city—was home. She’d never wanted to be anywhere else.”
“Standing to leave, he looked at her one last time, hating her and loving her just the same. She was yet another thing tying him to the city, his duty to her like a straitjacket holding him against his will. A locked box he couldn’t find a way out of.”
“Order, the Bowery, the city itself. It was all the same to Harte. Each one was holding him down, holding him back. He’d throw them off one by one, until he was free, or he’d die trying.”
“They were sitting on opposite sides of the board, playing each other in hopes of gaining the same prize.”
“They weren’t so different, the two of them. They’d both been abandoned by their parents, but at least she’d had the Professor. He’d seen something in her worth saving, but Harte never had that. She still might not trust him, but she understood him. The drive that made him who he was, the determination to prove himself—the bone-deep need to belong somewhere—those were all things she knew very well. She understood the hurt, too. The fear that there was something intrinsically wrong with you to make the people who were supposed to love you leave. The way that fear either hardened you or destroyed you. It had turned into a sort of armor for her, another weapon in her arsenal, and she suspected the same was true of Harte.”
“He wished . . . He didn’t know what he wished. That he hadn’t seen the intentions behind those honey-colored eyes of hers? That he hadn’t predicted her duplicity so easily? Or maybe, stupid as he was, he wished that he could stop himself from the inevitability of hurting her? But wishes were for children, and he’d grown up a long time ago. Only one of them could win this game, and it had to be him.”
“What ever happened to the passion we all had to improve ourselves, live up to our potential, leave a mark on the world? Our hottest arguments were always about how we could contribute. We did not care about the rewards. We were young and earnest.”
“Keep calm and don't forget the whipped cream.”
“You can break a thing, but you cannot always guide it afterward into the shape you want.”
“Why do you think it is stupid to go to windows instead of to doors?”
“Because you advertise what you’re trying to hide, silly. If I have a secret, I don’t put tape over my mouth and let everyone know I have a secret. I talk just as much as usual, only about something else. Didn’t you ever read any of the sayings of Salvor Hardin? He was our first Mayor, you know.”
“Yes, I know.”
“Well, he used to say that only a lie that wasn’t ashamed of itself could possibly succeed. He also said that nothing had to be true, but everything had to sound true. Well, when you come in through a window, it’s a lie that’s ashamed of itself and it doesn’t sound true.”
“Then what would you have done?”
“If I had wanted to see my father on top secret business, I would have made his acquaintance openly and seen him about all sorts of strictly legitimate things. And then when everyone knew all about you and connected you with my father as a matter of course, you could be as top secret as you wanted and nobody would ever think of questioning it.”
“Fear was about possibilities. Not things that happened. Things that might.”
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