“Remind me to thank God I don’t have a sister.”
Caine eyed him critically. He was a filthy heap of blood and soot and sand stuck to the gun oil on his face. “Yeah,” without much enthusiasm. “I’ll thank Him for ya.” >>>
“Anger swirled in him, a tempest readying her strike. And like a helpless vessel caught in her fury, he felt himself dashed against the rocks without mercy.” >>>
“Just say, dakhilak.”
Without hesitation, “Dakhilak.”
He nodded. Her accent was getting no better. “Now, you can never take it back.”
“Well, what does it mean? Thank you?”
She should have asked sooner. He didn’t turn to meet the gaze he felt on him, his voice full of sand, his stomach sick. “It gives me charge of your life.” >>>
“When silence greeted her question, she looked at Caine—for that was how he saw himself in that moment and in all the moments after: his brother’s murderer.” >>>
“He had always prided himself on his ability to bargain, to bluff, to contain his ever-aching heart within the folds of his robes where no one could see his pain and his shame. Unconsciously, he reached up and fisted the little black pearl in his fingers, searching for words, praying to the Almighty for the words that would let him have her. But they would not come.
They were not needed, when the truth was in his eyes.” >>>
“Are you in the habit of taking tea with anyone who approaches you in a foreign port?” He went on and snorted carelessly. “No wonder you were abducted so easily.” >>>
“La mu’axsa, but I think I’ll just keep sliding down this greased pole to hell?” >>>
“He’d thought it would be the right thing to say, but she scoffed a little… and that, more than anything—more than the prospect of having his ribs crushed in or his face pulled off or his neck stretched on a rope—scared him out of his wits.” >>>
“She accepted it uncertainly. “This will help?” Without waiting for an answer, with that unsettling trust of hers, she popped open the lid and dug in her finger, smearing the slick substance on and around her mouth. Going outside of the lines, as he deduced she did with most everything in her life. When she was done, she looked absolutely ridiculous.
Caine barely resisted smiling at her. “It will help immensely.” >>>
“She thought she loved him. She was crazy.” >>>
“There will always be another war, Gillia.” He allowed his cynicism to seep through. “Do you know why? Because there will always be bigots and cowards and power-mad devils in positions of omnipotence. Look around you. There has been war here since time began. It’s nature. Animals kill each other for survival, for territory… and for the taste of blood in their mouths. Man is no different.” >>>
“Therefore, she hummed the provincial lullaby she had learned from the officers’ children in the English Quarter of Jerusalem, and watched in fascination while the savage radical’s eyes misted over with tears. For an instant, the prison bars melted away, and she felt God’s presence—for the first time since their imprisonment. She was not a captive, and this man was not her captor. Indeed, they were both merely God’s children.” >>>
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