"Babette, the way you speak of her," said the boy. "As if your feeling was special."
"Did I give you the impression I could not feel?" asked the vampire.
"No, not at all. Obviously you felt for the old man. You stayed to comfort him when you were in danger. And what you felt for young Freniere when Lestat wanted to kill him . . . all this you explained. But I was wondering . . . did you have a special feeling for Babette? Was it feeling for Babette all along that caused you to protect Freniere?"
"You mean love," said the vampire. "Why do you hesitate to say it?"
"Because you spoke of detachment," said the boy.
"Do you think that angels are detached?" asked the vampire.
The boy thought for a moment. "Yes," he said.
"But aren't angels capable of love?" asked the vampire. "Don't angels gaze upon the face of God with complete love?"
The boy thought for a moment. "Love or adoration," he said.
"What is the difference?" asked the vampire thoughtfully. "What is the difference?" It was clearly not a riddle for the boy. He was asking himself. "Angels feel love, and pride . . . the pride of The Fall . . . and hatred. The strong overpowering emotions of detached persons in whom emotion and will are one," he said finally. He stared at the table now, as though he were thinking this over, was not entirely satisfied with it. "I had for Babette . . . a strong feeling. It is not the strongest I've ever known for a human being." He looked up at the boy. "But it was very strong. Babette was to me in her own way an ideal human being. "