For as long as I could remember, the house on the Larkin Street Hill had been home. Papa and Mama had both been born in Norway but they came to San Francisco because Mama’s sisters were here. All of us were born here: Nels, the oldest and the only boy, my sister Christine and the littlest sister Dagmar, but first and foremost I remember Mama.
All roses are open to the elements, your majesty. They bud, bloom, and fade. The rose grows entirely unaware, changing naturally from one state to another, and though the elements may treat her cruelly, she knows nothing of it, and continues to her end with no judgement on her beauty.
When the Picts come after you, they never stop. They can run for hours, ride for days. They barely eat and rarely sleep. Etain, like the wolf, has learned to hunt from birth. It’s part sense, part instinct. She can read the terrain, search for signs of passing, run her quarry to ground and close in for the kill. Now she hunts Romans. Now we are the prey. [x]
“When something like this happens you are lost. You don’t know who you are anymore and what you’re capable of. Unless I do something this is always how people will remember me. A feather. That’s how I will always see myself: a coward. All I know is that I can’t live with myself like this.”