"Leo, listen! There's something I want to do-to try. We have a lot of things to untangle, you and I both. And it's not easy. Let's try to slash it all off, at once."
"By doing what?"
"Leo, let's get married."
"Huh?" He stared at her incredulously.
She repeated: "Let's get married."
He threw his head back and laughed. He laughed resonantly, a clear, light, icy
laughter, as he had laughed at Andrei Taganov, as he had laughed at Morozov.
"No, it's not that."
"Rather late for the two of us, isn't it?"
"Why not, Leo?'
"What for? Do we need it?"
"Then why do it?"
"I don't know. But I am asking it."
M-That's not reason enough to do something senseless. I'm not in a mood to become a respectable husband. If you're afraid of losing me-no scrap of paper, scribbed by a Red clerk, is going to hold me."
"I'm not afraid of losing you. I'm afraid that you will lose yourself."
"But a couple of rubles at the Zags and the Upravdom's blessing will save my soul, is that it?"
"Leo, I have no reason to offer. But I'm asking it."
"Are you delivering an ultimatum?"
She said softly, with a quiet smile of surrender and resignation: "No."
"Then we'll forget about it."
Returnto Ayn Rand.