Edge of Thorns 3 - Pt 52Part 52
First things first: I need to know what I'm trying to do.
Nathan took a deep breath and thought carefully about how to phrase his question. "What exactly is my goal?" he finally asked. "I mean, besides the fact that you're testing my will to live, what am I trying to accomplish? Outside of merely surviving, that is."
His end remark made Alton chuckle, but the angel's light smile twitched while he pressed his lips together in a thin line. Clearly, he was thinking as carefully about his response as Nathan had about his question. "Forgive me," he said after a moment. "I'm trying to figure out how to phrase your goal without telling you specifically what to do. Part of the game is how you handle the challenges thrown your way. Telling you how to conquer them..."
"... defeats the purpose," Nathan finished for him. "I think you might have just said it: my goal is to face the challenges you throw at me, for better or for worse. How I handle them, whe
Edge of Thorns 3 - Pt 51Part 51
If I'm going to make any deal, I should make it worth his time. He's afraid I'll kill myself, so...
Nathan's hands felt cold, but he knew what he had to do. "Well," he said carefully, swallowing loudly. "What if I swear not to take my own life if you tell me? Promise not to try and kill myself, no matter the circumstances?"
His brows knotted, but Alton did smile, even though he sighed and shook his head. "I don't want you to make a deal with me, especially not one where you give up your will to choose. That defeats the whole purpose of your test."
"I don't mean that." Nathan shook his head, trying to find the right words to clarify himself. "I mean, I won't... attempt suicide," just talking about it made him a little queasy, "because of what you tell me. I won't use that as my excuse. Does that make sense?"
"I... think I might see where you're going with this." Alton tapped his chin, thinking. "You mean that you won't use the information I give you a
Edge of Thorns 3 - Pt 50Part 50
First things first: I need to know what he's talking about...
Nathan held up his hands to cut him off before he really lost him. "Wait, back up for a minute." He looked at the angel inquisitively. "Dragged what out too long? The game?"
Alton drew a deep breath, as if admitting defeat while he nodded slowly. "It saddens me to say this, but I've been making too many allowances with you. I've pulled strings, as it were -- cheated, you could say -- to keep you playing. To keep you from losing." He frowned. "That's why everything is falling apart. We're all tired, especially the sisters. This is the longest I've put them under such strict restrictions. It's no wonder they're rebelling; for them, it's like forcing toddlers to sit through the same movie over and over again. I'm not surprised they've found a way to make things more interesting for them. They're bored."
"So... that's why they keep saying they want out?" Nathan mulled over this new information. "Why
Edge of Thorns 3 - Pt 49Part 49
I can't show fear; I have to be brave...
Nathan refused to answer, but kept his gaze locked with Gabriel's, partially because he couldn't muster the will to look away. He was shivering worse now, and he let his mind wander to thoughts of hypothermia and frostbite, welcoming the distraction from how terrified he really was. Stand here long enough, he told himself, and I'll be so cold, I'll stop shivering. I bet my nails are already purple. I can't feel my toes. I wonder how long before my fingers start turning black...
"Answer me, Karol," Gabriel said, cutting through his shield of thoughts. His grip tightened on his scythe while he narrowed his eyes. "Why have really called me here?"
Still, Nathan did not answer. He wouldn't show his fear. He would not. Unfortunately, his silent response made the angel's frown turn into an even angrier scowl, and the red in his feathers seeped further, like a spreading blood stain.
"You... you really do care s