″‘And you hate that,’ I said with a sudden flash of comprehension. He sighed and leaned against me, brushing my hair back from my neck. ‘Maybe I do,’ he murmured, his lips grazing my ear, my throat, my collarbone.”
“He didn’t laugh as easily as he once had. But when he did, some of that grim coolness lifted from him and he seemed a bit more like the Mal I used to know. It gave me hope that he might not be lost forever.”
“Alina, if I tell you that I still believe we can find the stag, would you think I’m mad?” “Why would you care what I think?” He looked genuinely baffled. “I don’t know,” he said. “But I do.” And then he kissed me.
“The moment his lips met mine, the connection between us opened and I felt his power flood through me. I could feel how much he wanted me—but behind that desire, I could feel something else, something that felt like anger. ”
“The stag had been showing me my strength--not just the price of mercy but the power it bestowed. And mercy was something the Darkling would never understand. I had spared the stag’s life. The power of that life belonged to me as surely as it belonged to the man who had taken it.”