Magdelena had already been at the forefront of his thoughts before she calmly mentioned that he knew a thing or two about love and losing it. Her words inspired a crimson tear to slip halfway down his cheek before he caught it with a gloved hand and neatly wiped it away, staring out into the blackness for a moment more, fighting the urge that he had on nights like this, to think on her, to wonder if she was out there somewhere, to scream out into the darkness and listen to the numbing emptiness of the night in the vain hope that someway, somehow she might answer him. He knew that there was not a chance that she would, and yet some nights, for hundreds of years after he had lost her, he had done such things howling until his vocal chords had gone numb in his throat. "I do not like to talk about it." he said simply, in aswer to her query, and left such matters at that.
The stars were a welcome distraction then, as was her next question, which he paused a little, realizing what his answer would be, and realizing that it was not really his own. He had asked the question to Balthazar once, and the grizzled older dhampir had just stared at him, while he smoked his pipe, not seeming as if he was considering the question but rather as if he were wondering how he had taken on a pupil who would ask him something so ultimately stupid. That was Balthazar, though. Finally, after being asked once again what it was that Balthazar believed in, the one eyed dhampir had sighed a little, and then as if lecturing a child had uttered a single phrase, 4 words long. It was the same four words that Desmond gave to Raina in reply to her query now, which he couldn't help but find infinitely amusing in a twisted sort of way.
"I believe in myself."
He couldn't help but laugh a little aloud about it. "It was something that was told to me once, and at the time I did not understand it. But over time I grew to, without realizing it, until exactly this moment. I only believe in my actions, and making the decisions that I do." he clarified quietly. "There may be gods out there, or it may simply be the world itself, random chance that throws the obstacles at me that it does. But the only thing I know for certain is that I am here, experiencing this, and that the decisions that I make are my own, and not those that are decided by some fickle higher power as part of some greater game." He shrugged a little after he finished the thought.
He listened to her comments about the Satyr quietly, and paused at that, thinking a little. "I do not believe that it is wrong to expect the best out of people, Raina. Hope is a very powerful thing. But at the same time, I think that we should always be prepared for people to show us the worst side of themselves rather than the best. Kindness is like the the vibrant red in a cardinal's feathers. It is beautiful to behold, but it is not something that something that is required for it to survive. Thus humans often do not teach each other about kindness, and it is lost." Desmond paused for a moment, and looked at Raina as she spoke about courtship, and he smiled a little at her.
"I do not think you realize, Raina, that there was much courtship that went on solely because men thought that it was the best way to get a woman... between the sheets, as you say. I do not think that the desires of men and women have changed very much over the past 500 years. It is just simply that the process of it has been, perhaps overly simplified. And like any tradition, that means that the weight that it once held had been weakened." Desmond offered quietly, frowning a little bit at that realization, running it over in his head. "And there were many relationships that wound up unhappy then, as well, even when the desire to spend a life with someone had been professed."