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Quotes Galore : Captive Prince –– Volume Two by C.S. Pacat

Quotes Galore : Captive Prince –– Volume Two by C.S. Pacat


Recently, I decided to re-read the whole Captive Prince series. Why? For no other reason that because I wanted to, plus, the Captive Prince series has been on my to re-read list for 2018. So a few weeks ago, I finally pulled the trigger and started the series.

I didn’t know what I was expecting, but it was definitely not this.

Not this all consuming, and overwhelming addiction. I know, I remembered how it was when I first read the series. I felt the same now what I did then, I was head over heels in love with the series. With the world building, the writing style, the plot, the characters. Oh good lord, especially the characters.

The first time I read Captive Prince series, I fell off the deep end and practically devoured the two books in a span of a week. This time, I have been trying to pace myself, give myself time to really enjoy and absorb the story, rather than just rush through it. But I can’t. Even as I am writing this post right now, my whole entire being is yearning to crack book 3 open and just read, and read and read into the night.



Just kidding.

I can’t let myself do that. As I have promised myself to leisurely go through the series and not gallop through it. Which is why, your girl came up with the next best thing to curb her burning desire to just say : “Fuck everything and let’s stay up all night to finish this series.”

Can you already guess what it is? Exactly.




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Feel free to press play :





“Laurent fought like he talked. The danger lay in the way he used his mind: there was not one thing he did that was not planned in advance. Yet he was not predictable, because in this, as with everything he did, there were layers of intent, moments when expected patterns would suddenly dissolve into something else.”


“If there was one thing that Laurent knew, it was how to prick someone into fury and then set about exploiting the emotion.”


‘Anything else?’


‘Yes,’ said Damen.


‘Then speak your mind,’ said Laurent. ‘Not that you have ever done anything else.’


Damen said, ‘I will help you in whatever way I can, but there will be no time for anything but hard work, and you will have to do everything right.’


Laurent lifted his chin and replied with every bit of cool, galling arrogance he had ever shown. ‘Watch me,’ he said.


‘Sometimes I think I understand you, and at other times I can’t make you out at all.’


“Laurent wasn’t loved. Laurent wasn’t liked. Even among his own men, who would follow him off a cliff, there was the unequivocal consensus that Laurent was, as Orlant had once described him, a cast iron bitch, that it was a very bad idea to get on his bad side, and that as for his good side, he didn’t have one.”





When Govart finally arrived, he approached Laurent leisurely, still fixing his sword belt in place, as though he had no qualms whatsoever in letting people know the carnal nature of what he had been doing.


It was the moment for Laurent to assert his authority, and to discipline Govart, calmly and without prejudice. Instead:



‘Am I keeping you from fucking?’ said Laurent.





“If he didn’t have a mouth on him like a harlot in a guardsroom, I’d think he was a virgin.”


‘All right. Give me some coin. I want to play that man at cards.’


Laurent rose, leaning his weight against the table. Damen reached for the purse, then paused. ‘Aren’t you supposed to earn gifts with service?’


Laurent said, ‘Is there something you want?’ 

His voice was sinuous with promise; his gaze was steady as a cat’s.


‘You and I are almost the last ones here,’ Laurent murmured.


‘And so?’


The next murmur slid softly into Damen’s ear, so that he felt the shape of each word, made of lips and breath.


‘And so, take me upstairs,’ said Laurent. ‘Don’t you think we’ve waited long enough?’ 





They are surely gods who speak to him
With steady voices
A glance from him drives men to their knees
His sigh brings cities to ruin
I wonder if he dreams of surrender
On a bed of white flowers
Or is that the mistaken hope
Of every would-be conqueror?
The world was not made for beauty like his.





‘I’ll tell you why Jokaste chose Kastor,’ said Laurent.


‘He was a prince,’ said Damen. ‘He was a prince and I was just—’


‘That isn’t why. She would have chosen him even if you’d had royal blood in your veins, even if you’d had the same blood as Kastor. You don’t understand the way a mind like that thinks. I do. If I were Jokaste and a king maker, I’d have chosen Kastor over you too.’


‘I suppose you are going to enjoy telling me why,’ said Damen. He felt his hands curl into fists, heard the bitterness in his throat.


‘Because a king maker would always choose the weaker man. The weaker the man, the easier he is to control.’


‘What makes you think Kastor is the weaker man? You don’t know him.’


‘But I’m coming to know you,’ said Laurent.


“I have recently learned that sometimes it is better to simply smash a hole in the wall.”


“And so they talked. Laurent’s vocabulary hit its limits when it came to military terms and manoeuvres, but Damen filled in the gaps. It was of course no surprise to find that Laurent had a well-stocked armoury of elegant phrases and bitchy remarks, but could not talk in detail about anything sensible.”





‘I’m sure there are house servants still awake. How do I know you won’t scream?’


‘Do I seem like the type to scream?’


‘I’m not going to use the knife,’ said Damen, ‘but if you’re willing to put it in my hand, you underestimate how much I want to.’


‘No,’ said Laurent. ‘I know exactly what it is to want to kill a man, and to wait.”





“Laurent and Halvik were engaged in talk. Their back-and-forth had the rhythm of a bargain being hammered out. Halvik’s flinty stare was returned by Laurent’s impassive blue gaze. It was like watching one stone negotiate with another.”


‘I’m not used to my uncle miscalculating,’ said Laurent, after a pause.


‘It’s because he’s working at a distance,’ said Damen.


‘It’s because of you,’ said Laurent.




‘He doesn’t know how to predict you,’ said Laurent.


“Any antipathy the commons might have felt towards Laurent had disappeared the moment they saw him. Ecstatic adoration. It had been that way in Arles, in all of the towns they had passed through. The golden prince was at his best when viewed from sixty paces, out of spitting range of his nature.”


‘What’s it like having a prince suck your dick?’ said Aimeric, and Damen found that everyone’s attention was on him.


‘I’m not fucking him,’ he said, with deliberate crudity. It was perhaps the hundredth time he had said it since joining Laurent’s troop. The words were firm, intended to shut down the conversation. But of course they didn’t.


‘That,’ said Lazar, ‘is one mouth I’d love to ream out. A day of him ordering you around, you’d get to shut him up at the end of it.’


Jord gave a snort. ‘He’d take one look at you, and you’d piss your pants.’


Rochert agreed. ‘Yeah. I couldn’t get it up. You see a panther opening its jaws, you don’t get your dick out.’


‘I wouldn’t have to tell them you were a prince to sell you to that troop.’


Laurent held his ground. ‘Not really? I would have thought twenty was a little grown up for that. Is it the blond hair?’


‘It’s the charming temperament,’ said Damen.


“To get what you want, you have to know exactly how much you are willing to give up.”





‘You’re alive,’ Damen said, and the words came out on a rush of relief that made him feel weak.


‘I’m alive,’ said Laurent. They were gazing at one another. ‘I wasn’t sure you’d come back.’


‘I came back,’ said Damen.





‘I give you too much leeway,’ said Laurent.


‘I think you give no more or less than you want to give, with anyone,’ said Damen.


He heard Laurent’s voice from behind him, a little more oddly strapped-down than usual, ‘You have me over the back of your horse.’


‘It’s not like you to give up the reins,’ Damen couldn’t help saying.


‘Well, I can’t see the way over your shoulders.’


‘We could try some other arrangement.’


‘You’re right: it should be me in front and you carrying the horse.’


“He woke with a crossbow bolt in his face.


Laurent—who had been on watch—was standing a few feet off, with a clan rider’s hand gripped hard around his bicep. His blue eyes were narrowed, but he was not making any of his usual enunciated remarks. Damen now knew the precise number of arrows Laurent needed to have trained on him in order to shut him up. It was six.”


“Damen moved before he realised it, heard the sounds of impact and resistance, felt the burn in his veins. His faculties were obliterated by anger. He was not thinking about tactics. That man had laid hands on Laurent, and Damen was going to kill him.”


‘I have a choice?’ said Laurent. 


‘Did you think, if you threw down a challenge to fight, I would not accept it? My scorn and contempt,’ said Laurent, ‘are not in need of your leniency. Lord Touars, you face me in my own kingdom, you inhabit my lands, and you breathe at my pleasure. Make your own choice.’ 





‘I promise I’ll never tie you to the back of a horse,’ said Laurent.


There was a pause in which Laurent’s mordant gaze was on him.


‘That’s right, I’m still captured,’ said Damen.


‘Your eyes say, “For now,”’ Laurent said. ‘Your eyes have always said, “For now.”’ And then: ‘If you were a pet, I would have gifted you enough by now to buy out your contract, many times over.’





Damen said, ‘It’s not naive to trust your family.’


‘I promise you, it is,’ said Laurent. ‘But I wonder, is it less naive than the moments when I find myself trusting a stranger, my barbarian enemy, whom I do not treat gently.’


“Damen pushed himself up on an elbow, and propped his head on his hand, his fingers in his hair. He saw that Laurent was looking at him. Not watching him, as he did sometimes, but looking at him, as a man might look at a carving that has caught his attention.”


‘This is close quarters.’


‘Close enough to see your eyelashes,’ said Damen. ‘It’s lucky you do not have the size to breed great warriors.’ And then he stopped himself. This was the wrong mood. This was the mood if he were here with a warm, amenable partner, someone he could tease and pull in towards himself, not Laurent, chaste as an icicle.


‘My size,’ said Laurent, ‘is the usual. I am not made in miniature. It’s a problem of scale, standing next to you.’


It was like being pleased by a thorn bush, feeling fond of every prickle.


‘This is not the way I planned to spend the eve of war,’ said Laurent.


‘With me in your bed?’


‘And in my confidences,’ said Laurent.





“He looked at Laurent’s tent of silks, the pennants unfurled in the breeze, their starbursts undulating. The distant voices of the men swelled briefly, then dropped away.


It would not be like this.


He would not be stealing out of camp at night to spin mad plans, to dress in unfamiliar clothes and forge alliances with rogue clans, or to fight alongside pony-riding warriors, capturing bandits improbably in the mountains.


It would not be like this again.”





“He was not going to ask his men to die for him. Damen knew that, as he knew, with a feeling like pain in his chest, that they would, if he asked them. This rabble of men, who not long ago had been divided, shiftless and disloyal, would fight to the death for their Prince, if he asked them.”


 ‘My uncle plans everything,’ said Laurent, as though reading Damen’s thoughts. ‘He plans for victory and he plans for defeat. It was you who never quite fit . . . You’ve always been outside of his schemes. For everything that my uncle and Kastor planned,’ said Laurent, as Damen felt himself grow cold, ‘they had no idea what they did when they gifted me with you.’


‘Stiff?’ said Damen, casually.


‘A little,’ said Laurent, after a moment in which Damen’s heart knocked twice against the inside of his chest.


Damen brought his other hand up to Laurent’s other shoulder, more to keep Laurent from turning unexpectedly, or dislodging him. He stood behind Laurent, and kept his matter-of-fact grip as impersonal as he could make it.


Laurent said, ‘The soldiers in Kastor’s army are trained in massage?’


‘No,’ said Damen. ‘But I think the rudiments are easy to master. If you like.’


He applied a gentle pressure with his thumbs. He said, ‘You brought me ice, last night.’


‘This,’ said Laurent, ‘is a little more—’ It was a word of sharp points: ‘—intimate,’ he said, ‘than ice.’





“He felt hot, then cold. He thought of Laurent’s delicate, needling talk that froze into icy rebuff if Damen pushed at it, but if he didn’t—if he matched himself to its subtle pulses and undercurrents—continued, sweetly deepening, until he could only wonder if he knew, if they both knew, what they were doing.”





“Damen’s palm slid over Laurent’s warm nape; slowly, very slowly, making his height an offering, not a threat, Damen leaned in and kissed Laurent on the mouth.

It felt, in all the lies between them, as if this was the only true thing.

He felt remade with the desire to give Laurent this: to give him all he would allow, and to ask for nothing, this careful threshold something to be savoured because it was all Laurent would let himself have.”


“Damen’s attention was on Laurent’s ivory and gold colouring, the overfine skin, the last traces of bruising from where he’d been tied up and hit. Damen’s gaze travelled, inch by inch, taking in the proud lift of his chin, the uncooperative eyes, the arch of his cheekbone, and dropping back down to his mouth. His sweet, vicious mouth.”


He felt each shifting inch that divided their bodies with a fluttering, illicit sensation at Laurent’s proximity. He closed his eyes against it, felt his body’s painful yearning. ‘I don’t think you want me. I think you just want me to feel this.’


‘Then, feel it,’ said Laurent.


“Stirring drowsily, Laurent shifted a fraction closer and made a soft, unthinking sound of pleasure that Damen was going to remember for the rest of his life.”





‘Fuck me,’ said Laurent.


‘I want to,’ said Damen. ‘Can you let me?’





“He wasn’t sure how it would be, but when Laurent saw who was beside him, he smiled, the expression a little shy but completely genuine. Damen, who hadn’t been expecting it, felt the single painful beat of his heart. He’d never thought Laurent could look like that at anyone.”


‘Laurent,’ he said, and he was breaking apart.


To get what you want, you have to know exactly how much you are willing to give up.
Never had he wanted something this badly, and held it in his hands knowing that tomorrow it would be gone, traded for the high cliffs of Ios, and the uncertain future across the border, the chance to stand before his brother, to ask him for all the answers that no longer seemed so important. A kingdom, or this.





‘Friends,’ said Laurent. ‘Is that what we are?’





Damen turned his eyes to Laurent.


A picture of cool, difficult distance confronted him. Laurent sat in brief conversation, wrist balanced on the edge of the great table, fingertips resting on the base of a goblet. From the severe, straight-backed posture to the impersonal grace of his cupped yellow head; from his detached blue eyes to the arrogance of his cheekbones, Laurent was complicated and contradictory, and Damen could look nowhere else.





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