Bridget Zinn Quotes
“Kyra." Fred caught Kyra's eyes. "I'm not in love with Ariana and I don't want half the kingdom."
He shook his head. "But I might stick around for a little while longer. There are some interesting things in the Kingdom of Mohr."
"Like a certain funny and extremely talented potioner."
Kyra took a breath. "I have to warn you, Hal isn't that great as a boyfriend. He's pretty self absorbed.”
“I'm glad you escaped, Kyra," Fred said, looking serious again. "And that I found you."
"Me too," Kyra said, glancing up at him. "It wouldn't have been much of a life trying to live in the dumbwaiter."
Fred leaned down and kissed Kyra full on the lips.
Kyra pulled away. "How do you know I'm interested in you? Just because you've decided I'm worth hanging around for doesn't mean I feel the same way."
Fred cocked his head at her. "Really?"
"Oh, okay," Kyra said.
Then she kissed him back.”
“But there was no avoiding it. Picking up the pig and nest, she held them in front of her and stepped into the water. Icy.
The water got deeper until it was just below her waist and tugging at the hem of her long Kitty underwear. If it got much deeper, her things and the pig would get wet. She was going to have to balance her knapsack and the nest of pig on top of her head.
She carefully lifted the whole bundle up, still keeping her fingers protectively wrapped around her weapons.
How had she come to this? How had she ended up a hungry, friendless fugitive in the middle of a frigid river wearing completely ridiculous lacy underthings?
With a pig balanced on top of her head?
At least there was no one around.
Just as she thought that, a piercing whistle cut through her thoughts.
“You know,” he said, “you didn’t have to go to all of this trouble just to get my attention.”
“Don’t flatter yourself,” Kyra said with all of the dignity she could muster.
He replied with a grin.
“Put me down,” Kyra said.
“Really? You want me to put you down? Right now?” Kyra realized they weren’t moving. “That water’s awfully cold.”
“On the shore.” Her lungs hurt from holding her breath, her nose was raw inside, she was cold and disoriented, and she was in the most vulnerable position she’d been in in months.
The boy started toward the bank. “I don’t have a ton of experience with rescuing helpless maidens, but I was under the impression they’re usually a lot more grateful.”
“I am NOT a helpless maiden.”
“You’re kind of cute when you’re angry, has anyone ever told you that?”
Kyra glared up at the boy.
“Yep, that’s just exactly what I’m talking about.”
That’s when she remembered. “Where’s my pig?” She struggled to look down into the water.
“Safe on the shore. I grabbed her first and then came back for you.”
On the riverbank, Kyra’s pig was sitting happily on the boulder. Relieved, she sagged against the boy, and a rush of sensation flooded through her. His jacket rough against her skin, the play of muscles in his chest, Kyra was suddenly very physically aware of him. She stiffened and pulled herself away as much as she could. “You saved the pig while I was drowning?”
He chuckled. “Thought she must be valuable or you wouldn’t have carried her on top of your head. Besides, pigs can’t swim. They cut their little throats with their sharp hooves.” His arms still cradling Kyra, he demonstrated, paddling his hands under her.
Good-looking AND completely insane.
“Besides, as you said, you’re no helpless maiden. I’m sure you would have been fine in a minute.”
Kyra had no response to this.”
“When they finished, Fred picked up the cooking pot. “I’m going to go give this a quick rinse.”
Kyra was warm all over. She pulled her bedroll out and snuggled down into it.
A few minutes later, a chuckle came from behind her. “Kitty, don’t be alarmed, but this part of the forest seems to be populated by a bush I’ve never seen before.”
“It seems to be sprouting women’s underthings.”
Kyra sat bolt upright. “Leave those underthings alone.”
Fred sat beside her. “I wouldn’t dream of touching such an unusual plant. It’s probably poisonous.”
“Well, it isn’t
as though I haven’t seen them before. Though I must say, I think I’m more fond of that lacy see-through model I saw you in earlier.”
“Good night, Fred.” Kyra lay back down on her bedroll.
“Have you ever heard the song ‘My Love’s a Bonny Lady, if Only She Weren’t a Fish’?”
“Is it about a mermaid?”
Fred shook his head. “Nope.”
Fred taught her the song, and soon she was joining in on the refrain:
Her skin’s as pretty as lilies, her eyes as bright as a star,
If only she could come up here, she’d be the prettiest girl by far.
Alas, she’s under the ocean, I cannot kiss her there,
For whenever I duck my head under, I come gasping up for air.
A kiss, a kiss, I’d give my fish a kiss.
My lady lies under the ocean where I cannot get a kiss.
Fred beamed at her as she finished the verse. “Okay,” he said, “now you’ve got to learn the hand motions. Keep rhythm with your foot and lift your hand up as though you’ve got a mug of beer in it.”
He raised her arm and folded her fingers around an imaginary mug handle. “Now pretend you’re in the pub, swinging the mug to the tune, and when you get to the part ‘whenever I duck my head under,’ duck your head”—gently, he pushed her head down and to the side—“and tip the mug. It’s not quite as entertaining without the beer actually splashing down on your face, but you get the idea.”
Kyra’s long hair caressed her cheek. From that angle she asked, “Are you serious? You pour beer on your face?”
“Well, you aim for your mouth.”
“I’m sure this is extremely popular with pub owners.”
“If it keeps the customers happy… Once through with the hand motions?”
“I have some items of clothing I need to clean. Which I’m going to go do. Down at the stream. By myself.”
“Didn’t everything you own get soaked when you took a dive into the river earlier?”
“Getting something wet doesn’t make it clean. You don’t do laundry by dipping it in water and hoping for the best.”
Kyra grabbed her pack and set off down the hill.
“You need some help?” He called after her. “I’m really good at dipping things in water and hoping for the best.”
“I’ll be just fine, thank you.”
Fred shrugged and put another twig on the fire.”
“You are going to give us man lessons.”
Ariana let out a sharp bark of laughter, her eyes twinkling. “Him? Are you kidding? He’s going to give us man lessons?”
“We don’t need to look super convincing as men close up,” Kyra said. “We just need to give the impression of men Fred’s taken into his service. If you saw a potion bottle with a red stamp on it, your brain would make you think it was a red skull, and you’d think it was dangerous even if the stamp was actually a grinning squirrel.” Kyra looked at Fred skeptically. “I’m sure Fred can give us a few tips, at least, of how to act like men.”
“Hey! I am more than capable of giving man lessons.” Fred smiled broadly at Kyra. “What do you want to know?”
“For one thing, we need to know how to walk.”
“No problem. I’ve been walking most of my life.” Fred held up a hand. “Stop and watch.”
The girls leaned up against an apple tree with Rosie at their feet.
“First, you aren’t just acting like any kind of men; you’re going to be especially manly men. I picked you up to work for me, after all, and I wouldn’t choose just any men for that sort of thing. I need men who can fight and lift heavy things. You might want to spit occasionally.”
“It helps keep you from looking too smart. Now, because you are so manly, it naturally follows that you have large upper-arm muscles. Huge muscles, really. The way you let people know this is by slightly bending your elbows and holding your arms out from your body, like your muscles are so big they’re getting in the way.”
Kyra and Ariana bent their elbows and pushed their arms a couple of inches away from their bodies.
The edges of Fred’s lips quirked as though he was trying to restrain a smile. “Then you need to let them know that not only are you muscular, you’re confident of your abilities in all areas. You accomplish this by swaggering when you walk. Langley, stay.” He pointed for the dog to sit next to the girls.
Fred sauntered away from them under the lacey white boughs of the trees in a masculine strut.
The girls copied Fred’s walk while he stood back and watched.
“A little less hip swinging, Kyra.”
“And don’t walk so close together. Imagine there’s at least one invisible guy between you at all times.”
Ariana leaned over and whispered in Kyra’s ear. “He wants us to imagine him between us. Guys are so weird.”
“Men don’t whisper, but if you have to do it, at least do it the right way.”
Ariana and Kyra stopped walking and turned back to Fred.
“If you find you need to whisper, you don’t get up close to the other person and lean into their ear. Stay where you are, a person’s-width apart, and put a hand up on the far side of your face like a shield.” He demonstrated with his hand out straight from one side of his face. “Then turn your head slightly to the other person and say what you need to say.”
The girls exchanged a look.
“No ‘best friends’ glances at each other like that, either. Or ‘dears’ and ‘darlings.’ Men insult each other every chance they get.”
“Men don’t have best friends?” Kyra asked.
“You’d only know it by the ferocity of the insults. If a guy’s your really good pal, you let him have it at every opportunity.”
“Got it, fathead,” Ariana said.
“Perfect.” Fred plucked two blossoms from the tree above him and tucked one behind each girl’s ear, then grabbed another and tucked it behind his own ear. “You have officially completed man lessons. Now that you know how to act like manly men, what’s the plan?”
“Ariana dabbed sap above her lip and smoothed a chunk of hair on each side, creating her mustache. “How does this look?”
“The only real answer to that is ‘great.’”
“Looks great, Ari.”
“Convincing and genuine?”
Fred popped out of the woods wearing a black riding outfit with a long navy velvet cloak attached at the shoulders. “Ariana, there’s a small rodent on your face. Thought you should know.”
“It’s a mustache. Kyra has assured me that it’s extremely convincing.”