I kept thinking about that drawing in the war council, and our part in all of this. We cheat the bowl. We keep filling it back up, and the monsters keep stabbing their giant forks in, and because of us, there's always more for them to eat. We never lose but we never win, either. We just keep on dying. Is that what we do?
Why not open the door, and open their arms, and close them again around each other? Did the not understand how, in the strange chemistry of human emotion, his suffering and her, mingled together, could... countervail each other?
Karou wasn't a prize to win; that wasn't why he was here. She was a woman and would choose her own life. He was here to do what he could, whatever he could, that she might have a life to choose, one day. Whoever and whatever that included was her own affair.
His gaze was heat across her cheeks, her lips. It was touch. His eyes were hypnotic, his brows black and velvet. He was copper and shadow, honey and menace, the severity of knife-blade cheekbones and a widow's peak like the point of a dagger.
No, I have to lure him out, like a will-o'-the-wisp, tease him deeper and deeper into the forest until he is lost and doomed. Without the forest or the doom—just the luring. Like a Venus flytrap that says I am a delicious flower come taste me and then snap! Devour. Without the devouring. Well, maybe a little devouring.
Have you ever asked yourself, do monsters make war, or does war make monsters? ... Armies need beasts, don't they? Pet beasts, to do their terrible work! And the worst is, it's almost impossible to retrieve a soul that has been ripped away. Almost. But it can be done, if ever… if ever you decide to go looking for yours. ...
Love that sets forth the soul like springtime and ripens it like summer. Love as rarely exists in reality, as if a master alchemist has taken it and distilled out all the impurities, every petty disenchantment, every unworthy thought, into a perfect elixir, sweet and deep and all-consuming.
Unlike those many dead because of him, he had life, and life wasn't a default state—I am not dead, hence I must be alive—but a medium. For action, for effort. As long as he had life, who deserved it so little, he would use it, wield it, and do whatever he could in its name, even if it was not, was never, enough.
It hadn't occurred in the physical realm, that much was true. His hand had not touched her hand. But... his mind had touched her mind, and that seemed to him a deeper reality and even greater intimacy.
The thing he wished for most was a thing he had never wished for at all, not until he had discovered her. And it came true that night, and many nights after. A brief and shining span of happiness, it was the pivot point around which his whole life spun.