Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

There was beauty in the idea of freedom, but it was an illusion. Every human heart was chained by love.

“Everyone is more than one thing. We are more than single actions we undertake, whether they be good or evil.”

“He can touch your soul. And there is a difference between having your heart break and having your soul shatter.” 

“You belong where you’re loved.”

When you love someone, they become a part of who you are. They’re in everything you do. They’re in the air you breathe and the water you drink and the blood in your veins. Their touch stays on your skin and their voice stays in your ears and their thoughts stay in your mind. You know their dreams because their nightmares pierce your heart and their good dreams are your dreams too. And you don’t think they’re perfect, but you know their flaws, the deep-down truth of them, and the shadows of all their secrets, and they don’t frighten you away; in fact you love them more for it, because you don’t want perfect. You want them.

“It hurt me being away from you. It feels like there’s a hook dug in under my ribs, and there’s something pulling at the other end. Like I’m tethered to you, no matter the distance.”

Being told that love is forbidden does not kill love. It strengthens it.

“You’ll fix me, because we’re parabatai. We’re forever.” 

When no one you know tells the truth, you learn to see under the surface.

“We are bound together, Emma, bound together—I breathe when you breathe, I bleed when you bleed, I’m yours and you’re mine, you’ve always been mine, and I have always, always belonged to you!” 

“Laws are meaningless, child. There is nothing more important than love. And no law higher.” 

“As long as there is love and memory, there is no true death.”

Their closeness wouldn’t break, but it would bend and stretch into a new shape.

And if there were two things he believed were limitless, it was love and imagination.

“People are more than one thing. Warlocks, no less. I would not even hesitate to say that Malcolm once did much good, before he did evil. It is one of the great lessons of growing up, learning that people can do both.” 

“Everyone has things they’re afraid of. It’s part of being human.”

“I love everything about you, Emma. I love the way I can recognize your footsteps in the hallway outside my room even when I didn’t know you were coming. No one else walks or breathes or moves like you do. I love the way you gasp when you’re asleep like your dreams have surprised you. I love the way when we stay together on the beach our shadows blend into one person. I love the way you can write on my skin with your fingers and I can understand it better than I could understand someone else shouting in my ear. I didn’t want to love you like this. It’s the worst idea in the world that I love you like this. But I can’t stop. Believe me, I tried.”

Emma felt a happiness so intense it was almost sorrow: She was with Jules, they were joking, everything was the way it should be.

“Neither Fair Folk nor mortals know what love is or is not. No one does.”

In that still moment, Emma looked directly at Jules and saw him look back at her. A fierce pride rose inside her. This was her Julian. A gentle boy with a gentle soul, but every soul contains its own opposite, and the opposite of gentleness was ruthlessness—the beautiful wreckage of mercy. 

“Your brother was wrong about you… He said you were gentle,” said Kieran. “The most gentle person he knew.” He smiled, and there was a cold beauty of his face when he smiled, like the crystalline surface of frost. “You are not gentle. You have a ruthless heart.”
For several long moments Julian was silent, hearing only the sound of their steps on the stairs. At the last step he turned.
“Remember it,” he said, and walked away.

The wind blew her dark hair across her face. “No,” she said. “I am who I am because I’ve been part of your family. Never forget, Jules. The choices we make, make us.” 

The sun was setting. The room was suffused with a reddish light. It cast a rosy glow over Mark’s hair and skin. Emma remembered her twelve-year-old self, how she’d thought Mark was handsome. It hadn’t gone so far as a crush, but she could see another past for herself, one where Mark wasn’t taken from them. One where he’d been there, and so she’d fallen in love with him and not his brother. One where she’d been Julian’s parabatai and married to his brother, and they’d been in each other’s lives, bound permanently in every way people could be bound, and it would have been everything they should have wanted.