The cloth wire snapped, lashing Max’s fingers. “Cursed ferret!”
“I’ve never understood why you say that.” Farthing lounged on the other side of her bench, rolling a tiny gear delicately between his fingers.
“Put that down.”
He half smirked and dramatically laid it before her. “Shall we scrap this saving the world business?”
She narrowed her eyes. Fluffy clouds floated outside the window behind him, a never changing vista that had never bothered her before. Now that they couldn’t leave the airship, the clouds felt like prison guards. Or mockers. “It was your idea, remember?”
“That was before you started using “cursed ferret” as punctuation.”
She flapped a hand. “I’ve always done that. Machinery is frustrating. You even more so.”
Now he glared. “Shall I leave you to your machinery then?”
If he left, she wouldn’t see anyone but the maid delivering her dinner. Not so different from her previous life, but it was different with choice removed. These days she longed for green grass and the solid ground beneath. “You said you believed I was the only one who could create a way to control the beasts. To make a way for us all to go home.”
His smile flashed and her ribs seemed to expand. “Of course I believe that. I’m certain you could control them by sheer force alone. But do you?”
She tightened her lips and looked away from his stubbled jaw. “I don’t like being the chosen one.”
“What if you’re doing the choosing?”
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