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310 pages, Paperback
First published November 4, 2015
"The greatest courage a person can have is to love another, for there are only two outcomes.
Either the love lasts, and our lives are compromised, or it doesn't, and our lives are emptied.
Either way, we suffer more than we celebrate. I've enjoyed suffering with you. We are a tale for campfires.
That is all.
That is everything."
Tumble inspected me with beady-eyed criticism.
“What?” I asked. “Does my masterpiece clash too much?”
The ferret squeaked.
“Certainly, but you try making the four kingdoms harmonize into one motif.”
He squeaked again.
Yet none of these skills can steel the heart, nor protect it from breaking. Recently, I’ve learned that lesson well. So let me tell you a tale of how I lost a battle of wills.
Not to my King. Not to my Queen.
Nay. I lost to a girl.
“My opinion? A fool is a man who believes glory can be found at the tip of a sword instead of on the tip of his tongue. ’Tis a woman who judges with her eyes closed. ’Tis people who invent aberrations from speculation and rumors. ’Tis bred from ignorance. That is life’s cruel trick.”
I’m the finest jest you’ll ever know. If you irritate me, I’ll best you with words, for swords are the toys of knights, whilst I use more creative weapons.
“No, of course. But that day when we arrived home, you imitated those jesters for hours, twirling from rock to rock in the grass. And when you fell—”
“—and scraped yourself raw, I never saw the like when I dabbed a wet cloth on your knees. You howled bloody murder.”
My elbow hit the table as I pointed at her. “That part never happened.”
I couldn’t say whether Mother was still talking. As we crossed into his line of vision, Poet became aware of me and tensed, his shoulder blades locking.
The crease of his spine. The waist that tapered and then rounded into a solid backside.
Anticipation flared. But he kept advising the girl, sparing me not a glance.
Not until the distance between us grew again.
We craned our heads over our shoulders, our eyes smoldering.
“And don’t think I believe that drivel about you and Poet. You hate each other, you say? Hate is a miserable thing. That’s neither of you. He’s an active lad, born with a voice to spice tarts, but those tarts never made him blush. That isn’t hate, so have a care.”
I nodded to her. Let me do the lying.
She looked away. Good girl.
Bad boy. I still wanted to kiss her.
My damp, thickened breath. A thrust of heavy-lidded lightning. A deep-rooted, thigh-clenching ache in intimate places.) and a fairytale vibe. The writing was impeccable and the length not too long nor too short, with a gradual build up that makes you beg for more and simultaneously yearn for it to never end, and a climax that tears at your very being.
“The greatest courage a person can have is to love another, for there are only two outcomes. Either the love lasts, and our lives are compromised, or it doesn’t, and our lives are emptied. Either way, we suffer more than we celebrate. I’ve enjoyed suffering with you. We are a tale for campfires. That is all. That is everything.”
A fool is a man who sees his worth in a mirror, in the faces of a crowd, but is blind to it elsewhere. Where it most counts: in the eyes of those he loves and who love him. Don’t insult yourself that way.”
So let me tell you a tale of how i lost a battle of wills.
not to my king.
not to my queen.
nay. i lost to a girl.