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December’s Untold Snippet

Originally published at Sarah Rees Brennan. You can comment here or there.

It is December, and that means you guys can have a snippet of Untold! I asked about on the twitter, and several people expressed the strong desire to see a little more of Mr Rusty Montgomery. So here he is, in all his glory…

“Okay,” said Rusty. “Let me handle this. Trust me, Kami.”

Kami glanced over at him in surprise. He rarely used her real name.

He even more rarely looked both serious and alert, but he looked both now, leaning against the cushions and tilted in her direction, his dark hair ruffled against the pale silk cover of the couch.

“I know what other people think about me,” Rusty told her. “‘That Rusty,’ they say. ‘Charming and handsome,’ they say first, of course—they’re not blind. Then they add, ‘All the ambition and drive of a chocolate sundae.’”

“Rusty, no,” Kami said.

Rusty put out a hand, palm raised, to stop her.

“They’re right. That’s what I am. Why not? Most things come easy to me, most things come lightly. That’s what I come from and how I was made.” He grinned at her. “I was exactly the son my parents wanted: no trouble, no demands. Why demand anything when it was all going to come to me anyway? I had this nursery suite in London, it was pretty great. I miss the scheduled naptimes to this day. And then one day I heard this noise through all the doors, this baby screaming her fool head off, and it was Angela.”

Rusty used the hand he’d lifted to stop Kami speaking and made a small gesture; Kami wasn’t sure what it meant.

“I had been introduced to Angela before, obviously. They brought the baby to me from the hospital, and there was a christening where she wore this big lace meringue dress and looked alarmingly like a two-month-old bride. We were somewhat acquainted, but honestly I was more interested in my toy trucks and my naptime beanbag. Only she just kept yelling, and it was interesting because I thought it was so dumb. I knew she didn’t want anything, because that wasn’t how we were brought up—the nanny would have made sure she had all she wanted, though she wasn’t paid to fuss. I didn’t really get why Angela was doing it, so I went through doors and up stairs until I found her. She was just lying in her crib, because babies are unimaginative like that. And I know people think Angela is pretty now, but none of those people ever saw her as a baby. She was god-awfully hideous. I swear she looked like a bad-tempered mutant tomato, and she was making a sound like a cat being fed into a printer.

“I just couldn’t figure it out, you know? Why she was so angry, when everything was fine. I sort of wanted to go away and pretend it wasn’t happening. But she was unhappy, I could tell that much. She wasn’t ever going to be like me, a content sort of person. She was always going to be raging at the world, and there was only me who would even think about paying attention. So I picked her up and took her back to my rooms and showed her the naptime beanbag, and it was me and Angela from then on. And then Mum and Dad decided to set us up in a house surrounded by all this peaceful pastoral evil, and there was you. You care about a lot of stuff like Angela does, and you don’t even have the basic common decency to pretend you don’t. Only you aren’t angry about how much you care, because you always had someone around to give you all the dumb stuff babies cry for, and your house was—I want to be like that someday, be someone like your dad who can help make something like your house. When I went away to college, it was all fine, everything’s always fine for me, but nothing was important. So I sort of slid out, bringing Claud with me, which was a mistake, but I didn’t know you were going to have the bad taste to date one of my friends. I would never have invited him to stay if I’d known he was going to grow that goatee. It had a whole other personality. Tiny Even More Self-Important Claud.”

“Is there a point to this meander down embarrassing memory lane?” Kami asked.

“Actually,” Rusty said, “yes. I was worried about you, when it came to Claud. I’m worried about Angela with this whole business with Holly. I’m worried about you again, with the voice in your head turning out to be this surly guy. I actually wanted to punch someone. I never actually want to punch people.

“So my point is, things aren’t easy, with Angela and you. I don’t take you two lightly. This is the great exception of my life. I don’t want you to interfere on this. I want you to trust me.”

Looking around at the Montgomerys’ room, Kami could picture the showcase loneliness of the Montgomerys’ nursery. Rusty could not have been more than four when he carried Angela back to his room, recognizing despite the fact nobody had given it to him that what Angela needed was love.

“That was a very touching speech, Rusty,” she told him. “But actually, you haven’t been as convincingly louche and laissez-faire as you appear to believe. I knew all this already. On any day of our lives, I would have trusted you with my life. And I’ll trust you now.”

She sat up straight despite the slippery sofa, and looked him directly in the eye, so he would know she meant it.

But the sleepy look of boundless good humor was already restored to Rusty’s face, and his hooded lids were hiding whatever expression was in his eyes. “Don’t pretend, Cambridge,” he said. “You know my beautiful speech has made you see me in a whole new and even more attractive light. You totally think I’m secretly deep now. And you are right. It is true. I have deeps.”

He slid even lower on the sofa, his eyes falling almost completely closed.

“Maybe,” he added, his voice almost too casual, “this revelation will lead you to make the sensible decision, and go for me.”


( 51 comments — Leave a comment )
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Dec. 5th, 2012 04:37 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is going to be FUN.
Dec. 5th, 2012 04:41 pm (UTC)
I hope so. ;)
Dec. 5th, 2012 04:41 pm (UTC)
I feel that a post that accurately reflected my feelings would just be a ridiculous number of exclamation points, but I want to try words because there are so many things I love about this. This line may have been the best punch in the gut ever: "Rusty could not have been more than four when he carried Angela back to his room, recognizing despite the fact nobody had given it to him that what Angela needed was love." But also -- Rusty's description of himself, which is so funny and also painful, and the fact that he really gets Angela even though they overlap on so little, and the fact that he's the one who introduced his sister to napping, and I want to know what he's offering to handle that he needs her to trust him on and obviously what happens next and... Does the sequel really not come out until next year? D:

But anyway, thank you for this, it definitely made my morning, at least.
Dec. 5th, 2012 04:47 pm (UTC)
One of my critique partners, reading Untold, said 'you do love babies taking care of babies, don't you' and I do... because if someone that young has to take care of a child, something's gone terribly wrong, and yet something wonderful has happened as well.

August's not so far. ;) And I will do a competition for advance copies this time. ;)
Dec. 5th, 2012 04:42 pm (UTC)
yeeeeesssss! I win! I win!


Thank you, Sarah! I love me some Rusty Montgomery.
Dec. 5th, 2012 04:47 pm (UTC)
Winning and Rusty are excellent things. ;)
Dec. 5th, 2012 04:47 pm (UTC)
I don't know about Kami , but I'd go for Rusty!

Ahem. I mean your characters are wonderful and I enjoy your writing.

There's and Angela and Holly thing? Is it a good thing? I want it to be a good thing!
Dec. 5th, 2012 04:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you. ;) Well, there's the thing from book one, but how it is developing, we must wait and see. (When I say we I mean you guys...)
Dec. 5th, 2012 04:56 pm (UTC)
Awww! Oh, bless him!

*gets in the queue to give Rusty hugs*

And I love this insight into how he and Angela work. Sibling relationships are the best.
Dec. 5th, 2012 05:15 pm (UTC)
He's a good boo... and I am always in it for the sibs. ;)
Dec. 5th, 2012 05:02 pm (UTC)
Dec. 5th, 2012 05:21 pm (UTC)
Oh man RUSTY. I love this. I also tend towards Angela/Rusty (OR, indeed, Rusty/Ash) so I completely approve, here.
Dec. 5th, 2012 10:32 pm (UTC)
Not Angela's preference, but each to their own. ;)
(no subject) - harborshore - Dec. 5th, 2012 10:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sarahtales - Dec. 5th, 2012 11:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 5th, 2012 05:21 pm (UTC)
You really do have a knack for making me fall for the big brothers. (OK, maybe that's just my personal tendencies coming out! But you keep writing such GREAT ones that I can't help myself.) Ohh, Rusty. I mean, you're no Alan, but you'll do. You'll do quite well. :D

Thank you for this!
Dec. 5th, 2012 05:23 pm (UTC)


Dec. 5th, 2012 05:24 pm (UTC)
1. I hope this means that Angela and Holly are now a Thing.

2. Kami and Rusty, huh? That could work. :)
Dec. 5th, 2012 11:19 pm (UTC)
Well, from Rusty's mentioning of them together, that'd also mean Kami and Jared are now a Thing. ;) And I shall not confirm nor deny either pairing!
Dec. 5th, 2012 05:38 pm (UTC)
Yes! Rusty, I already ship you with Kami.
Dec. 5th, 2012 05:47 pm (UTC)
Yay, Rumi! So, so torn between this ship and Jami. (Kared? Carrot?) Although remembering your Demon trilogy, I have total faith that I will completely believe in whichever ships the characters end up in.

I am putting you on notice, though: if you kill either Holly or Angela, I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU. I mean, I'll still buy all your books and send you fan mail. Just, it will involve more wailing.

Anyway, thank you for the lovely snippet! And thank you for not tearing my heart into little pieces this time! That was a very lovely December gift!
Dec. 5th, 2012 06:17 pm (UTC)
"So, so torn between this ship and Jami."

The sensible thing, obviously, would be for them to all sleep together. That way no one would have to choose! #problemsolver
(no subject) - foxglove_chant - Dec. 5th, 2012 09:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - telyanofcelore - Dec. 6th, 2012 01:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 5th, 2012 05:48 pm (UTC)
Ruuussstyyyyyyyy! <3__<3
Dec. 5th, 2012 06:01 pm (UTC)
Oh god, I am dead. So dead of feelings. RUSTY. LET ME LOVE YOU. I'M A SENSIBLE LADY. NO REALLY, I AM.
Dec. 5th, 2012 06:05 pm (UTC)
"I have deeps."

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( 51 comments — Leave a comment )


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