“We don’t always like what’s good for us,” she said. “Especially at first.”
“We each play several roles in life – that doesn’t make them all lies.”
“Every night she wrote in that ledger.
Every day he saw more signs that the ladies did not consider her one of their own.
Every instinct he had screamed one thing.
Lady Sagerra was a spy.”
“If you’re in trouble, I swear I will never stop until I get to you,” he called softly.
Sage could’ve pretended she was already gone, but she couldn’t leave without answering.
“People needed love most when they weren't at their best.”
“I'd rather make a mistake than yield my destiny to someone else.”
“Father always said those in power feared losing it,”
“She’d once asked Father if he was disappointed his only child was a daughter, and he had looked her in the eye and said. Never. “Without girls, there would be no more boys.”
“I have to go,” he said softly. “But you should take a few minutes to fix your hair; it’s a real mess. And your face is all flushed.”
“Maybe I’m just not practiced in these sorts of things.”
For a long moment, Ash said nothing. Then he whispered, “Neither am I.”
His next words were forced out like a confession. “If I was any good at it, it was only because I’ve imagined it so often.”
“The phrasing annoyed Sage. As long as she was pretty and in a good mood, her husband would love her? People needed love most when they weren't at their best.”
“She’ll need a code name of her own.”
Quinn tapped his quill on the table as he read over Mouse’s notes for the tenth time. They were like a flock of gabbling birds, these ladies, following the lead of the one in front. “Starling.”
Cass nodded as he opened the door. “Starlings are smart birds.”
“I know. Annoying as hell, too.”
“Several pallets had been pulled to the middle of the open space and stacked two high with a large blanket over them. The implication stunned her – it was so unexpected, so unlike what she believed about him – her mind only registered denial.
She heard Ash bolt the door and remove his leather jacket, felt his hands on her shoulders as he turned her around to face him. He stroked her cheek with one hand while the other reached for his belt. “My sweet, innocent Sage,” he whispered, and still her thoughts could gain no traction.
There was the snap of a release from his belt, and though she continued to meet his eyes, she saw a sheathed dagger in the hand he raised between them.
“Tonight I must teach you how to kill a man.”
“If you die, it will be my fault, and I can’t live with that.” He leaned down, bringing his lips so close they brushed against hers as he whispered, “Or without you.”
“In the pillared bowl atop the tower, a great pyre blazed, casting a golden glow over the granite walls. The bloody body of a man painted with the white four-pointed star of Kimisara hung by his neck below.
“I think that Kimisar you saw is still here,” Alex observed dryly.”
“So young," said Wyman Manderly, "Though mayhaps this was a blessing. Had he lived he would've grown up to be a Frey.”
“Women been gittin' pregnant ever since Eve ate that apple.”
“Al parecer, cree más en la curación que en el castigo de los criminales. Considero esto muy significativo.”
“Annabeth pressed her lips to Percy’s ear. “I love you.”
She wasn’t sure he could hear her—but if they died, she wanted those to be her last words.”
“Thanks for looking out for her, Sage. You're okay. For a human."
I almost laughed. "Thanks."
"You can say it too, you know."
I walked over to Latte and paused. "Say what?"
"That I'm okay...for a vampire," he explained.
I shook my head, still smiling. "You'll have a hard time getting any Alchemist to admit that. But I can say you're okay for an irreverent party boy with occasional moments of brilliance."
"Brilliant? You think I'm brilliant?" He threw his hands skyward. "You hear that, world? Sage says I'm brilliant.”
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