Maybe there isn’t such a thing as fate. Maybe it’s just the opportunities we’re given, and what we do with them. I’m beginning to think that maybe great, epic romances don’t just happen. We have to make them ourselves.
I knew they would kill me when they found out, but…” He struggled for words, releasing a sharp breath. “I think I realized that I would rather die because I betrayed them, than live because I betrayed you.
Knees suddenly weak, she reached for his forearms to stabilize herself. “You came for me.”He beamed, looking for all the world like a selfless, daring hero.“Don’t sound so surprised.” Dropping the cane, he pulled her into a crushing embrace that tore her away from Wolf and lifted her clean off the floor. “It turns out you are worth a lot of money on the black market.
We met less than a week ago and in that time I've done nothing but lie and cheat and betray you. I know. But if you give me a chance...all I want is to protect you. To be near you. For as long as I'm able.
Was it all in my head? A Lunar trick?”Her stomach twisted. “No.” She shook her head, fervently. How to explain that she hadn’t had the gift before? That she couldn’t have used it against him? “I would never lie—”The words faded. She had lied. Everything he knew about her had been a lie.“I’m so sorry,” she finished, the words falling lamely in the open air.Kai peeled his eyes away, finding some place of resignation off in the glistening garden. “You’re even more painful to look at than she is.
I'm sure I'll feel much more grateful when I find a guy who thinks complex wiring in a girl is a turn-on.
See? Injustice. Here we are, risking our lives to rescue Kai and this whole planet, and Adri and Pearl get to go to the royal wedding. I’m disgusted. I hope they spill soy sauce on their fancy dresses.”Jacin’s concern turned fast to annoyance. “Your ship has some messed-up priorities, you know that?”“Iko. My name is Iko. If you don’t stop calling me the ‘ship,’ I am going to make sure you never have hot water during your showers again, do you understand me?”“Yeah, hold that thought while I go disable the speaker system.”“What? You can’t mute me. Cinder!
She sighed, annoyed at her restlessness. “So,” she said, disrupting Wolf in another backward glance.“Who would win in a fight—you or a pack of wolves?”He frowned at her, all seriousness. “Depends,” he said, slowly, like he was trying to figure out her motive for asking. “How big is the pack?”“I don’t know, what’s normal? Six?”“I could win against six,” he said. “Any more than that and it could be a close call.”Scarlet smirked. “You’re not in danger of low self-esteem, at least.”“What do you mean?”“Nothing at all.” She kicked a stone from their path. “How about you and … a lion?”“A cat? Don’t insult me.”She laughed, the sound sharp and surprising. “How about a bear?”“Why, do you see one out there?”“Not yet, but I want to be prepared in case I have to rescue you.”The smile she’d been waiting for warmed his face, a glint of white teeth flashing. “I’m not sure. I’ve never had to fight a bear before.
Captain! To your left there’s a Lunar guard and on your right is a doctor who’s running tests on Lunars and I’m being held by one of Levana’s wolf hybrids and please be careful!”Thorne took a step back into the hallway a gun from his waistband. He spent a moment swiveling the barrel of the gun in each direction, but nobody moved to attack him.With some surprise, Cress realized that the operative’s grip had weakened.“Er…” Thorne furrowed his brow, aiming the gun somewhere near the window. “Could you describe all those threats again because I feel like I missed something.
Linh Cinder. Such a pleasure. My master has spoken so highly of you.”Cinder paused and studied her again. “Who are you?”“I’m called Darla. I am Captain Thorne’s mistress.”Cinder blinked. “Excuse me?”“He asked me to stay and keep watch over the vehicle,” she said. “He’s just gone inside to be heroic. I’m sure he’ll be glad to know you’re here. I believe he’s under the impression that you’re out in space somewhere.
He leaned forward to inspect her closer. Is that all hair?... Sudden, overwhelming panic clawed up Cress's throat. With a squeak, she ducked out of view of the camera and scrambled beneath the desk. Her back struck the wall with a thud that rattled her teeth. She crouched there, skin burning hot and pulse thundering as she took in the room before her— the room that he was now seeing too, with the rumpled bedcovers and the mustached man on all the screens telling her to grab her imaginary partner and swing them around.Wha—where'd she go? Thorne's voice came to her through the screen.Honestly, Thorne. A girl. Linh Cinder? Do you ever think before you speak?What? What did I say? 'Is that all hair?' Did you see it? It was like a cross between a magpie nest and ball of yarn after it's been mauled by a cheetah.A beat. Then, A cheetah?It was the first big cat that came to mind.
I don't like to think of it as 'stolen'. They have no proof that I didn't plan on giving it back.You're kidding, right?He shrugged. You have no proof either.She squinted back at him. Were you planning on giving it back?Maybe.An orange light blinked on in the corner of Cinder's vision-her cyborg programming picking up on the lie.
You mean she doesn’t intend to blow me up before the ceremony?” said Kai, taking the box. “How disappointing.
listen carefully, as this may be something of a shock to you. A shock? You mean all that was just the precursor?
But her grandmother had never suggested she could think the same of Scarlet. You'll be fine, she always said, after a skinned knee, after a broken arm, after her first youthfull heartbreak. You'll be fine, because you're strong, like me.
Just friends, she reminded herself. They were only friends, and would only be friends from here on out. It was a friendship that was to be cherished, as she cherished all the friendships she'd made aboard this ship. She wouldn't ruin it by wishing things could be more. She would be grateful for what affection she did have.
My life is an adventure. she said, growing confident as she opened her eyes again. I will not be shackled to this satellite anymore.
There was an edge to his expression, like he didn't trust anyone who was more attractive than he was.
Everyone is trying to impress everyone else, trying to make themselves out to be smarter or more confident than they actually are.
Everyone is trying to impress everyone else. to make themselves out to be smarter or more confident than they actually are.
I am an explorer,' she whispered, 'setting courageously off into the wild unknown.' It was not a daydream she'd ever had before, but she felt the familiar comfort of her imagination wrapping around her. She was an archeologist, a scientist, a treasure hunter. She was a master of land and sea. 'My life is an adventure.' she said, growing confident as she opened her eyes again. 'I will not be shackled to this satellite anymore.'Thorne tilted his head to one side. He waited for three heartbeats before sliding one hand down into hers. 'I have no idea what you're talking about,' he said. 'But we'll go with it.
She kept her head high, even as her eyes stung, even as panic filled her vision with warnings and precautions.It was not her fault he had liked her.It was not her fault she was cyborg. She would not apologize.
She was tired of everyone deciding her life for her. She was ready to figure out who she really was--not what anyone else told her to be.
She was so stupid. Such a stupid, stupid girl.For ever thinking she could be admired, adored, or noticed. For every thinking she could be anything at all.
Are you here for a reason, Cheshire?Why, yes, I would enjoy a cup of tea. I take mine with lots of cream, and no tea. Thank you.
They had stood against all adversity to be together, and now they would forge their own path to love. She would be Kai’s wife. She would be the Commonwealth’s empress. And she had every intention of being blissfully happy for ever, ever after.
I think that when every person in this room looks at Ze’ev and Scarlet, they don’t see a Lunar and an Earthen. We don’t see an agenda, or two people trying to make a statement. I think we see two people who were lucky enough to find each other in this vast universe, and they weren’t going to let any boundaries of distance or race or even physiological tampering get in the way of a happy life together.
Of course, we know that the world sees this wedding as a historical event. The first recorded marriage union between a Lunar and an Earthen since the second era. And maybe that is important. Maybe the love and compassion these two people have for each other is symbolic of hope for the future. Maybe this wedding signifies the possibility that someday our two races will not only learn to tolerate each other, but to love and appreciate each other as well. Or, maybe…” Kai’s eyes glinted. … this relationship has absolutely nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with our shared human need to find someone who will care for us as much as we care for them. To find a partner who complements us and teaches us. Who makes us stronger. Who makes us want to be our best possible self.
Captain?Yeah?Do you think it was destiny that brought us together?He squinted and, after a thoughtful moment, shook his head. No. I'm pretty sure it was Cinder.