He glances around the room and his eyes light on the pile of charity-shop paperbacks on the rickety table. “What about those?”
I shake my head dismissively. “No room for them. I can’t keep books.”
I wonder whether he caught the note of sadness in my voice, because he immediately switches the suit to one hand and gathers the books up under his other arm. “There’s plenty of room in my house for books,” he says briskly and nods as if to emphasise his point. “There’s a couple of titles here that I fancy reading myself.”
Moisture pricks the back of my eyes. Who is this man?
“Quinn looked to the horizon as the cornstalks swayed with the breeze. The corn itself could have been waving hello, or it could have been breathing.”
“Jason struck out the first, second, and third batters.
“Do not go talk to him,” Bird said.
“Don’t even look at him,” she said.
“Now, that I can’t do. He’s so cute.”
The UU Library is theoretically the largest in the universe or, indeed, any conceivable universe; it has a diameter of about one hundred yards but, as far as we can determine, an infinite radius. The presence of so much stored magic does to time and space what a hot iron does to a pound of butter, so that you may well encounter places where the floor is now the wall, the books have turned into small clay models of hedgehogs and you yourself appear to be a device for coring apples. Students will therefore find it convenient to stick to the routes marked with chalk and the occasional banana skin.
“Yo, guys,” Ty says, peering down into the stroller. “What the hell is that thing? Satan’s spawn?”
“You’d better watch it!” Henry says. He puts on a serious face, throws an arm around my shoulders, and pulls me in close. “That’s our child you’re talking about.”
Ty smiles, then looks at Jerry Rice. “Its eyes are seriously creeping me out. And I knew something was going on between you two.”
“You’re right,” Henry says. “Woods is my husband, and I’m her wife.”
“Love is… I don’t know. Something bigger than that. It’s like the sun.”
“In that you can get burnt by it?”
“No,” she says wearily, but already her eyes have that starry quality they get whenever she’s thinking of Alex. “In that it makes everything brighter and happier. And it warms you from the inside out.”