“I have a closetful of kings.”
“One adventure at a time.”
“Tell me, do you underestimate everyone, or just me? Is it because I‘m a girl?”
“It‘s because you‘re human,” he snapped. “Because you may be the bravest, boldest soul I‘ve ever met, but you‘re still too much flesh and blood and too little power. Astrid Dane is made of magic and malice.”
And for the first time, Kell saw Lila. Not as she wanted to be, but as she was. A frightened, albeit clever, girl trying desperately to stay alive. One who had likely frozen and starved and fought—and almost certainly killed—to hold on to some semblance of a life, guarding it like a candle in harsh wind.
The kiss was there and then gone, like one of her smiles.
“What was that for?“ he asked, dazed.
“For luck,“ she said, squaring her shoulders to the wall. “Not that I need it.“
“You don't know anything about these worlds,“ he said, but the fight was bleeding out of his voice.
“Sure I do,“ countered Lila cheerfully. “There's Dull London, Kell London, Creepy London, and Dead London,“ she recited, ticking them off on her fingers. “See? I'm a fast learner.“