“She attacked you?” My eyebrows rise. “Grey. She is half your size.”
“She makes up for it in temperament. She most assuredly was not my first choice.”
''Rhen'', she calls after me.
I pause in the doorway and face her.
''I'm not going to fall in love with you'', she says.
Her words are not surprise. I sigh. '' You won't be the first.''
I press my forehead against the door. Her pain reaches me through the wood, tightening my own chest and dredging memories of my family. ''Yes. I can.''
''No !'' Her voice is fierce, her rage pure. ''You can't !''
''I can'', I say softly.
''How ?'' ''Because I need you.''
"You know I don't really believe in this whole thing you're telling me."
"You do a little."
He blushes. "Yeah, the part of me that used to hide in my room with Eragon and Harry Potter. But they're not real."
"It is real." I hesitate, wondering what Jake will think of Grey. "You'll see. At midnight. You'll see."
I stand and hold her until the music fades and the night grows too cold.
But inside I'm warm, and my heart wants to sing.
"I am always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light."
"When my sister died," Freya says quietly, "it was very sudden. I had no time to say goodbye. But she knew I loved her. I knew she loved me. It is not the moment of passing that is important. It is all the moments that come before."
"You are not angry about what Lilith has done?"
"Oh, I'm furious. But not about my face."
Her voice fills with steel. "I'm mad I missed her."
Grey sighs and gathers up with the cards. "You asked how I got her to play with me. As if there were some trick to it." He wraps up the stack. "My lord, I did nothing. I sat down and asked."
We are all dealt a hand at birth. A good hand can ultimately lose—just as a poor hand can win—but we must all play the cards the fate deals. The choices we face may not be the choices we want, but they are choices nonetheless.
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