“Life,” he said softly, “is more than ﬂesh. Your body is a candle, your soul the ﬂame. The longer I burn the candle...” He did not ﬁnish.
“A candle unused is nothing but wax and wick,” I said.“I would rather light the ﬂame, knowing it will go out than sit forever in darkness.”
“What’s the use of running, if we are on the wrong road.”
“There is music in your soul. A wild and untamed sort
of music that speaks to me. It defies all the rules and laws you humans set upon it. It grows from inside you, and I have a wish to set that music free.”
“The kiss is sweeter than sin and fiercer than temptation. I am not gentle, I am not kind; I am rough and wild and savage.”
“What is eternal life but a prolonged death.”
“Once there was a little girl who played her music for a little boy in the wood. She was small and dark, he was tall and fair, and the two of them made a fancy pair as they danced together, dancing to the music the little girl heard in her head.”
“You are the monster I claim, mein Herr.”
“You are the one who wanted a happy ending, my dear. So you tell me, how does the story end?"
Tears slipped from my face, and he wiped them away with his thumbs.
"The foolish young man lets the beautiful maiden go."
"Yes." His voice was clotted thick with unshed emotion. "He lets her go.”
“Yes, you have the very soul of me, Elisabeth.”
“Then your name, mein Herr.”
He laughed softly, but it was a gasp of pain, not of joy. “No.”
“So you will forget me,” he said simply. “You cannot love a man with no name.”
“What would you do, if you were a free man?”
“I would take my violin and play. I would walk the world and play, until someone called me by name and called me home.”
“Your music," he said at last. "Your music was the only thing that kept me sane, that kept me human instead of a monster.”
“I am not a saint; I am a sinner. I want to sin again and
again and again.”
“What I wouldn’t give to be the object of someone’s desire, just for one moment. What I wouldn’t give to taste that fruit, that heady sweetness, of being wanted. I wanted. I wanted what Käthe took for granted. I wanted wantonness.”
“You are a man with music in his soul. You are capricious, contrary, contradictory. You delight in childish games, and delight even more in winning. For a man of such intense piety, you are surprisingly petty. You are a gentleman, a virtuoso, a scholar, and a martyr, and of those masks, I like the martyr least of all. You are austere, you are pompous, you are pretentious, you are foolish.”
“I looked him straight in the eye. "What was it your father used to say?" Hans said nothing. He turned his head away. "What's the use of running, if we are on the wrong road?”
“You are the monster I choose”
“Love is the bridge that spans the world above and below, and keeps the wheel of life turning.”
“If I were a burning smolder, he was the poker, stirring
me into flames.”
“His beauty hurt, but it was the pain that made it beautiful”
“Skills could be taught, but talent could not.”
“This was the Goblin King. The abductor of maidens, the punisher of misdeeds, the Lord of Mischief and the Underground.”
“To love is to be selfless. Let me be selfless.”
“She was the sun and he was the earth waking from a thaw.”
“It takes love, you see, to bring the world back to life.”
“Wait? I had waited my entire life for this moment. Not for consummation, but for validation; I desired so hard I wanted to be found desirable in return. The Goblin King saw me— all of me— and now I wanted him to know me. I pushed away his restraining hand and leaped forward; I was a cat, a wolf, a huntress. I was out for blood and flesh.”
“A sparrow is beautiful in its own way," Käthe said severely. "Don't force yourself to be a peacock, Liesl. Embrace your sparrow self.”
“Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.”
“Elisabeth.” The way the Goblin King said my name made my heart flutter. “Will you marry me?” This time, it was a long time before I replied. “Yes,” I said. “Yes, I will.”
“I am not afraid of you,” I said quietly.
“Oh?” The Goblin King lifted his head. “I am the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground,” he said, mismatched eyes glinting. “I am wildness and madness made flesh. You’re just a girl”—he smiled, and the tips of his teeth were sharp—“and I am the wolf in the woods.”
“I hadn't expected the game to start off so poorly, so I hadn't yet gathered any ideas for penalties to dole out. So I asked another question. "Fine. What is your favorite color?"
"Green. What's yours?"
My glance fell on the salver beside me. "Red. Favorite smell?"
"Incense. Favorite animal?"
My eyes lingered on his. "Wolf. Favorite composer?"
“What do you want to know, my pretty?" Gordoc asked, his expression one of puzzlement. "Do you want me to scare Merl off--thump him for you? Just tell him your Uncle Gordoc will have words with him if he offends you."
"No, no, I don't mean that." Tashi smiled. "He's not insulted me--at least, not by Eastern standards, I suppose." She wrinkled her nose.
"What's he done?" growled Ramil.
"Well, first there's the gifts--flowers and jewelry, mainly. What should I say when he gives me things?"
"Thank you' usually does the trick," said Gordoc”
“Yes, there were good memories, too, thirty-seven years of good and bad. Quarrels and reconciliations. Eight cradles and too many gravestones and Rosamund Clifford and power that rivalled Caesar’s, an empire that stretched from the Scots border to the Mediterranean Sea.”
“Everybody has a story, Alison," he said. "Everybody has things they need to hide--sometimes even from themselves.”
“There's one good thing about making mistakes.' Thea turned to her with a smile. 'You learn not to make them again.”
“He was the epitome of danger and safe all in one breath." ~Isadore Taylor”
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