“The man is moody as hell.”
“I am not moody—”
“Yeah, bro.” Kenji puts his utensils down. “You are moody. It’s always ‘Shut up, Kenji.’ ‘Go to sleep, Kenji.’ ‘No one wants to see you naked, Kenji.’ When I know for a fact that there are thousands of people who would love to see me naked—”
“Please—please get up—and lower your voice—”
“Why not?” I’m pleading now.
“Because if I lower my voice, I won’t be able to hear myself speak. And that,” he says, “is my favorite part.”
“Kenji is a walking paradox of Unflinchingly Serious Person and 12-Year-Old Boy Going Through Puberty all rolled into one.”
“If you’re open to that kind of… work,” I continue, “Vale could turn a nice profit.”
“Sure,” Perry says. “I could warm up to that kind of work.”
“Rise to the occasion?”
“Definitely.” A wide grin spreads over Perry’s face. “No problem.”
“My ambitions aren’t grand. All I have ever wanted is to be there for the two people who mean everything to me. Maybe that’s a small goal to others, but it’s always felt like enough.”
“A relieved grin filled up Thorne’s face. “We’re having another moment, aren’t we?”
“If by a moment, you mean me not wanting to strangle you for the first time since we met, then I guess we are.”
“You’re kidding, right?”
He shrugged. “You have no proof either.”
She squinted back at him. “Were you planning on giving it back?”
An orange light blinked on in the corner of Cinder’s vision-her cyborg programming picking up on the lie.”
“Of course not,” said Sturmhond. “Anything worth doing always starts as a bad idea.”
“I took a breath. “Your highness-” “Nikolai,” he corrected. “But I’ve also been known to answer to ‘sweetheart’ or ‘handsome’.”
“You heard Prince Perfect,” Mal said, and joined us at the table. Nikolai grinned. “I’ve had a lot of nicknames, but that one is easily the most accurate.”
“If there are two choices, I’m usually going to pick the wrong one, but I really didn’t do it to be an asshole. Just comes naturally.”
“What is she to him?” I try not to sound jealous or like I’m fishing for information, but I am on both counts.
“She,” he says, looking at my chest, because he is still Drew, before pulling his gaze up to my eyes, “is a poor man’s Sunshine.”
“What is she to you?” she whispers. The real question and I know the answer even if I don’t know how to say it.
Drew’s muffled voice rises up from the floor before I can respond.
“Family,” he says.
And he’s right.”
“Augustus Waters was a self-aggrandizing bastard. But we forgive him. We forgive him not because he had a heart as figuratively good as his literal one sucked, or because he knew more about how to hold a cigarette than any nonsmoker in history, or because he got eighteen years when he should’ve gotten more.’
‘Seventeen,’ Gus corrected.
‘I’m assuming you’ve got some time, you interupting bastard.
‘I’m telling you,’ Isaac continued, ‘Augustus Waters talked so much that he’d interupt you at his own funeral. And he was pretentious: Sweet Jesus Christ, that kid never took a piss without pondering the abundant metaphorical resonances of human waste production. And he was vain: I do not believe I have ever met a more physically attractive person who was more acutely aware of his own physical attractiveness.
‘But I will say this: When the scientists of the future show up at my house with robot eyes and they tell me to try them on, I will tell the scientists to screw off, because I do not want to see a world without him.’
“Is Jase already gonna marry you?”
I start coughing again. “Uh, No. No, George. I’m only seventeen.” As if that’s the only reason we’re not engaged.
“I’m this many.” George holds up four, slightly grubby fingers. “But Jase is seventeen and a half. You could. Then you could live in here with him. And have a big family.”
Jase strides back into the room, of course, midway through this proposition. “George. Beat it. Discovery Channel is on.”
George backs out of the room but not before saying, “His bed’s really comfortable. And he never pees in it.”
“You’re kind of blind, you know?” Puck whispered, smiling to soften his words. “I wouldn’t defy Oberon for just anyone. But, for you…” He leaned forward, touching his forehead to mine. “I’d come back from the dead for you.”
“Me? Die? Didn’t they tell you, princess? I’m Robin Goodfellow.”
”You don’t have any friends, your sister dumped you, you’re a freaky eater… And you’ve got some weird thing about Simon Snow.”
“I object to every single thing you just said.”
Reagan chewed. And frowned. She was wearing dark red lipstick.
“I have lots of friends,” Cath said
“I never see them.”
“I just got here. Most of my friends went to other schools. Or they’re online. “
“Internet friends don’t count.”
Reagan shrugged disdainfully.
“And I don’t have a weird thing for Simon Snow,” Cath said. “I’m just really active in the fandom.”
“What the fuck is ‘the fandom’?”