Bow Your Head Quotes

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To douchebags!" he said, gesturing to Brad. "And to girls that break your heart," he bowed his head to me. His eyes lost focus. "And to the absolute fucking horror of losing your best friend because you were stupid enough to fall in love with her.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
I cannot teach you violence, as I do not myself believe in it. I can only teach you not to bow your heads before any one even at the cost of your life.
Mahatma Gandhi
Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops. Weakened by my soulful cries. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Maya Angelou
They say you can know a man by his enemies, Dresden." He smiled, and laughter lurked beneath his next words, never quite surfacing. "You defy beings that should cow you into silence. You resist forces that are inevitable for no more reason than that you believe they should be resisted. You bow your head to neither demons nor angels, and you put yourself in harm's way to defend those who cannot defend themselves." He nodded slowly. "I think I like you.
Jim Butcher (Changes (The Dresden Files, #12))
Help" is a prayer that is always answered. It doesn't matter how you pray--with your head bowed in silence, or crying out in grief, or dancing. Churches are good for prayer, but so are garages and cars and mountains and showers and dance floors. Years ago I wrote an essay that began, "Some people think that God is in the details, but I have come to believe that God is in the bathroom.
Anne Lamott (Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith)
Pride is holding your head up when everyone around you has theirs bowed. Courage is what makes you do it.
Bryce Courtenay
Steadying herself with both hands on the table, she managed an awkward bow.... 'Your Highness,' she stammered, head lowered... The prince flinched and cast a glance over his shoulder before hunching toward her. 'Maybe, um...' - he pulled his fingers across his lips - 'on the Highness stuff?
Marissa Meyer (Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1))
I'm dating Brandon," I told his bowed head. "Really?" he asked without looking up. "Yes!" "I'll print you a wallet card to whip out every time you need to say that, so you can save your voice." "Could you laminate it?
Jennifer Echols (Forget You)
I am so ready to hunt down those tiny adorable creatures and give them what for,” said Emma. “SO READY.” “Emma . . .” “I may even tie bows on their heads.” “We have to interrogate them.” “Can I get a selfie with one of them first?” “Eat your toast, Emma.
Cassandra Clare (Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2))
Murphy watched me thoughtfully for several empty seconds. Then she said, very gently, "You're a good man, Harry." I swallowed and bowed my head, made humble by the tone of her voice and the expression on her face, more than the words themselves. Not always rational," she said, smiling. "But you're the best kind of crazy.
Jim Butcher (Changes (The Dresden Files, #12))
There was a soft chuckle beside me, and my heart stopped. "So this is Oberon's famous half-blood," Ash mused as I whirled around. His eyes, cold and inhuman, glimmered with amusement. Up close, he was even more beautiful, with high cheekbones and dark tousled hair falling into his eyes. My traitor hands itched, longing to run my fingers through those bangs. Horrified, I clenched them in my lap, trying to concentrate on what Ash was saying. "And to think," the prince continued, smiling, "I lost you that day in the forest and didn't even know what I was chasing." I shrank back, eyeing Oberon and Queen Mab. They were deep in conversation and did not notice me. I didn't want to interrupt them simply because a prince of the Unseelie Court was talking to me. Besides, I was a faery princess now. Even if I didn't quite believe it, Ash certainly did. I took a deep breath, raised my chin, and looked him straight in the eye. "I warn you," I said, pleased that my voice didn't tremble, "that if you try anything, my father will remove your head and stick it to a plaque on his wall." He shrugged one lean shoulder. "There are worse things." At my horrified look, he offered a faint, self-derogatory smile. "Don't worry, princess, I won't break the rules of Elysium. I have no intention of facing Mab's wrath should I embarrass her. That's not why I'm here." "Then what do you want?" He bowed. "A dance." "What!" I stared at him in disbelief. "You tried to kill me!" "Technically, I was trying to kill Puck. You just happened to be there. But yes, if I'd had the shot, I would have taken it." "Then why the hell would you think I'd dance with you?" "That was then." He regarded me blandly. "This is now. And it's tradition in Elysium that a son and daughter of opposite territories dance with each other, to demonstrate the goodwill between the courts." "Well, it's a stupid tradition." I crossed my arms and glared. "And you can forget it. I am not going anywhere with you." He raised an eyebrow. "Would you insult my monarch, Queen Mab, by refusing? She would take it very personally, and blame Oberon for the offense. And Mab can hold a grudge for a very, very long time." Oh, damn. I was stuck.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1))
You will, Judas, my brother. God will give you the strength, as much as you lack, because it is necessary—it is necessary for me to be killed and for you to betray me. We two must save the world. Help me." Judas bowed his head. After a moment he asked, "If you had to betray your master, would you do it?" Jesus reflected for a long time. Finally he said, "No, I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to. That is why God pitied me and gave me the easier task: to be crucified.
Nikos Kazantzakis (The Last Temptation of Christ)
Relax? he repeated incredulously. You're going to fight an armored knight with nothing more than a bow and you tell me to relax? I'll have one or two arrows as well, you know, Halt told him mildly, and Horace shook his head in disbelief.
John Flanagan (The Icebound Land (Ranger's Apprentice, #3))
True obedience can only happen when you secretly think you know better, and you choose to bow your head. Anything short of that is just agreement, and any ninny-in-waiting can agree.
Philippa Gregory (The Constant Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #6))
Pride is holding your head up high when everyone around you has theirs bowed. Courage is what makes you do it.
Bryce Courtenay (The Power of One (The Power of One, #1))
Travis staggered backward, the hurt plainly displayed in his eyes. "A toast!" he yelled. I flinched, turning just in time to see him climbing onto a chair, stealing a beer from the shocked Sig Tau brother closest to him. I glanced to America, who watched Travis with a pained expression. "To douchebags!" he said, gesturing to Brad. "And to girls that break your heart, he bowed his head to me. His eyes lost focus. "And to the absolute horror of losing your best friend because you were stupid enough to fall in love with her.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
Don't you dare throw your life away for an unknown superstition. If you die --" My voice broke, and I swallowed thickly. "I love you," I whispered, fisting my hands against his stomach. "You can't leave. You swore you wouldn't." Ash's hands came to rest over mine, twining our fingers together. "Even if the world stands against you," he murmured, bowing his head. "I promise.
Julie Kagawa
After shoving his former clothes inside, Xcor found himself bowing at the waist. "Your assistance has been much appreciated." Antoine raised his palm like he was getting ready to do a clap on the shoulder again. But once more, he caught himself and smiled instead. "Knock her dead, my man." "Oh, no." Xcor shook his head. "That shan’t be necessary. This one I like.
J.R. Ward (The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood #12))
Dagmar faced the Iron, quickly bowed her head. “King Gaius, I’m sorry about the confusion. I’m Dagmar Reinholdt, Vassal of Garbhán Isle and Battle Lord—” “And my piece of ass!” Gwenvael announced from the other end of the table while he dropped into one of the chairs. “So keep your grubby Sovereign claws off her.
G.A. Aiken (How to Drive a Dragon Crazy (Dragon Kin, #6))
And what are you doing here, Nicholas? Decided to watch me sleep?" "Yes," said Nick, and bowed is head over his sword again. He had tissues, oil, and sandpaper laid out on the windowsill in front of him, and a little stone block he was passing his sword up and down, very carefully. "I came to gaze upon your sleeping face. Only you had the blanket over your head, so I just had to gaze at a lump I thought was your sleeping face, and that turned out to be your shoulder. Which just wasn't as special." ~Nick and Mae
Sarah Rees Brennan (The Demon's Covenant)
Nix and Lothaire: When the collar dropped to the ground, Lothaire rolled his head on his neck. But instead of disappearing immediately, he traced to stand mere feet from Nïx. A towering vampire with skin like marble and chillingly flawless features was staring down a petite Valkyrie with crazed eyes and a cryptic smile. The tension between the two was palpable. Even on the verge of flipping the fuck out, Regin couldn’t look away. “The Accession grinds on, does it not?” Lothaire said. “Just like old times.” Nïx winked. “Alas, Dorada will come for you once she rises again.” “I’ll be ready.” He narrowed his red eyes. “You’ve likely foreseen this moment. Tell me, are we to fight now? As in the past?” “You defy foresight, Lothaire.” “That’s only fair, Phenïx, since you’ve long defied insight.” Phenïx? Nïx canted her head. “What does your Endgame tell you?” “That white queen will never take black king.” He gave her a formal bow. “Until our next match.” “There won’t be a next match, vampire.” His brow creased into a frown, the Enemy of Old disappeared.
Kresley Cole (Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark, #10))
Sure we do," said Theo, swatting at a branch. "We get to the spring, Alia gets cured. We argue over the best choice for our We Saved The World victory dance." "I do enjoy your optimism," said Diana. "And I admire your ability to lift a car over your head without breaking a sweat and look fine as hell doing it," said Theo with a bow.
Leigh Bardugo (Wonder Woman: Warbringer)
You don't know anything about me." "Everything I need to know is written all over your face." "Right now the only thing my face should be conveying is that it thinks you're a jerk." He bowed his head as if to say, exactly.
Kasie West (By Your Side)
You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may tread me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops. Weakened by my soulful cries. Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard 'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines Diggin' in my own back yard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
Maya Angelou
She shook Neil's hand. "I'm Rose." "Neil," he said, with a formal bow of his head. "It's a great honor to meet you. Your heroics with Dimitri Belikov are legendary." "Um, thanks," she said. It was nice to see one woman finally immune to that accent. That wasn't to say Rose wasn't a sucker for accents. She just preferred hers from the other side of Europe.
Richelle Mead (The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4))
Serge bowed his own head and closed his eyes "God, please protect us from your followers. Amen
Tim Dorsey (The Stingray Shuffle (Serge Storms, #5))
A pretty girl with butterfly clips in her dreadlocks put her hand on his arm. “You were amazing,” she told him, her voice fluting. “You have the reflexes of a striking snake. You should be a stuntman. Really, with your cheekbones, you should be an actor. A lot of people are looking for someone as pretty as you who’d do his own stunts.” Alec threw Magnus a terrified and beseeching look. Magnus took pity on him, putting a hand on the small of Alec’s back and leaning against him. His attitude and the glance he shot at the girl clearly communicated my date. “No offence,” said the girl, rapidly removing her hand so she could dig in her bag. “Let me give you my card. I work in a talent agency. You could be a star.” “He’s foreign,” Magnus told the girl. “He doesn’t have a social security number. You can’t hire him.” The girl regarded Alec’s bowed head wistfully. “That’s a shame. He could be huge. Those eyes!” “I realize he’s a knockout,” Magnus said. “But I am afraid I have to whisk him away. He is wanted by Interpol.” Alec shot him a strange look. “Interpol?” Magnus shrugged. “Knockout?” Alec said. Magnus raised an eyebrow at him. “You had to know I thought so. Why else would I agree to go on a date with you?
Cassandra Clare (The Course of True Love [and First Dates] (The Bane Chronicles, #10))
His dark blue shirt was plastered to his chest, covered with werewolf goop and tears. "Now we both need a bath," I said. "That can be arranged." "Please, Jean-Claude, no sexual innuendo until after I'm clean." "Of course, MA PETITE. It was crude of me tonight. My apologies." I stared at him. He was being far too nice. Jean-Claude was a lot of things, but nice wasn't one of them. "If you're up to something, I don't want to know about it. I can't handle any deep, dark plots tonight, okay?" He smiled and gave a low, sweeping bow, never taking his eyes off me. The way you bow on the judo mat when you're afraid the person may pound you if you look away. I shook my head. He WAS up to something. Nice to know that not everyone had suddenly become something else. One thing I could always depend on what Jean-Claude. Pain in the ass that he was, he always seemed to be there. Dependable in his own twisted way. Jean-Claude dependable? I must have been more tired than I thought.
Laurell K. Hamilton (The Killing Dance (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #6))
Volgar birdmen, hear my cry, Jeru’s burning, you will die. Close your wings and bow your heads, Every living birdman, dead.
Amy Harmon (The Bird and the Sword (The Bird and the Sword Chronicles, #1))
In Paris the cashiers sit rather than stand. They run your goods over a scanner, tally up the price, and then ask you for exact change. The story they give is that there aren't enough euros to go around. "The entire EU is short on coins." And I say, "Really?" because there are plenty of them in Germany. I'm never asked for exact change in Spain or Holland or Italy, so I think the real problem lies with the Parisian cashiers, who are, in a word, lazy. Here in Tokyo they're not just hard working but almost violently cheerful. Down at the Peacock, the change flows like tap water. The women behind the registers bow to you, and I don't mean that they lower their heads a little, the way you might if passing someone on the street. These cashiers press their hands together and bend from the waist. Then they say what sounds to me like "We, the people of this store, worship you as we might a god.
David Sedaris (When You Are Engulfed in Flames)
Zhi yin. Jem had told her once that it meant understanding music, and also a bond that went deeper than friendship. Jem played, and he played the years of Will's life as he had seen them. He played two little boys in the training room, one showing the other how to throw knives, and he played the ritual of parabatai: the fire and the vows and burning runes. He played two young men running through the streets of London in the dark, stopping to lean up against a wall and laugh together. He played the day in the library when he and Will had jested with Tessa about ducks, and he played the train to Yorkshire on which Jem had said that parabatai were meant to love each other as they loved their own souls. He played that love, and he played their love for Tessa, and hers for them, and he played Will saying, In your eyes I have always found grace. He played the too few times he had seen them since he had joined the Brotherhood- the brief meetings at the Institute; the time when Will had been bitten by a Shax demon and nearly died, and Jem had come from the Silent City and sat with him all night, risking discovery and punishment. And he played the birth of their first son, and the protection ceremony that had been carried out on the child in the Silent City. Will would have no other Silent Brother but Jem perform it. And Jem played the way he had covered his scarred face with his hands and turned away when he'd found out the child's name was James. He played of love and loss and years of silence, words unsaid and vows unspoken, and all the spaces between his heart and theirs; and when he was done, and he'd set the violin back in its box, Will's eyes were closed, but Tessa's were full of tears. Jem set down his bow, and came toward the bed, drawing back his hood, so she could see his closed eyes and his scarred face. And he had sat down beside them on the bed, and taken Will's hand, the one that Tessa was not holding, and both Will and Tessa heard Jem's voice in their minds. I take your hand, brother, so that you may go in peace. Will had opened the blue eyes that had never lost their color over all the passing years, and looked at Jem and then Tessa, and smiled, and died, with Tessa's head on his shoulder and his hand in Jem's.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
You're from where?" "Lay'en. It's near Salt Lake City." "Spell that for me." "Um, that would be S-A-L-T-" "No, the other one. The city you're from." "Oh. L-A-Y-T-O-N." "Ah-Lay-ton." That's what I said." "No you didn't. You just said, 'Lay'en.'" "So I did. But just go ahead and pronounce 'aluminum' for me, Mr. British Man. How are you going to defend that piece of insanity? Why don't you spell it and count syllables and see if your al-um-in-ium makes sense whatsoever?" He bowed his head. "Touché...
Shannon Hale (The Actor and the Housewife)
Submission is not in the bowing of heads or knees but in the humbling of your whole being (spirit, soul and body)
Ikechukwu Izuakor
What then did you expect when you unbound the gag that muted those black mouths? That they would chant your praises? Did you think that when those heads that our fathers had forcibly bowed down to the ground were raised again, you would find adoration in their eyes?
Jean-Paul Sartre (Black Orpheus)
Help" is a prayer that is always answered. It doesn't matter how you pray--with your head bowed in silence, or crying out in grief, or dancing. Churches are good for prayer, but so are garages and cars and mountains and showers and dance floors.
Ann Lamont
Hua Cheng said quietly, "Your Highness, I understand your everything. "Your courage, your despair; your kindness, your pain; your resentment, your hate; your intelligence, your foolishness. "If I could, I would have you use me as your stepping stone, the bridge you take apart after crossing, the corpse bones you need to trample to climb up, the sinner who deserved the butchering of a million knives. But, I know you wouldn't allow it." (...) However, Hua Cheng only replied, "To die in battle for you is my greatest honour." Those words were like a fatal blow. The tears in Xie Lian's eyes could no longer be restrained, and they came pouring out. Like he was hanging on the thread of his life, he pleaded, "You said you would never leave me." However, Hua Cheng replied, "There is no banquet in this world that doesn't come to an end." Xie Lian bowed his head and buried it deep into his chest, his heart and throat in constricted agony, unable to speak. Yet soon after, he heard Hua Cheng say above him, "But, I will never leave you." Hearing this, Xie Lian's head shot up. Hua Cheng said to him, "I will come back. Your Highness, believe me.
Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù (天官赐福 [Tiān Guān Cì Fú])
When you are sad, do not bow your head in despair, lift it up; you can see and fight better when your head is up!
Mehmet Murat ildan
we must give thanks for this day and for every day, no matter how flawed. Bow your heads, give your gratitude to God, and have faith in him, and in a better tomorrow.
Mark T. Sullivan (Beneath a Scarlet Sky)
Are you suggesting we pull a little good cop, bad cop scenario on him? And You're even letting me be the bad cop?" He bowed his head. "That, my pretera, is how much I love you." "You have never been sexier than at this very moment." "It is a shame we have so much company," he agreed quietly.
Jennifer Rardin (The Deadliest Bite (Jaz Parks, #8))
Do not mistake me, Inrithi. In this much Conphas is right. You are all staggering drunks to me. Boys who would play at war when you should kennel with your mothers. You know nothing of war. War is dark. Black as pitch. It is not a God. It does not laugh or weep. It rewards neither skill not daring. It is not a trial of souls, nor the measure of wills. Even less is it a tool, a means to some womanish end. It is merely the place where the iron bones of the earth meet the hollow bones of men and break them. You have offered me war, and I have accepted. Nothing more. I will not regret your losses. I will not bow my head before your funeral pyres. I will not rejoice at your triumphs. But I have taken the wager. I will suffer with you. I will put Fanim to the sword, and drive their wives and children to the slaughter. And when I sleep, I will dream of their lamentations and be glad of heart.
R. Scott Bakker (The Darkness That Comes Before (The Prince of Nothing, #1))
When warm weather came, Baby Suggs, holy, followed by every black man, woman, and child who could make it through, took her great heart to the Clearing--a wide-open place cut deep in the woods nobody knew for what at the end of the path known only to deer and whoever cleared the land in the first place. In the heat of every Saturday afternoon, she sat in the clearing while the people waited among the trees. After situating herself on a huge flat-sided rock, Baby Suggs bowed her head and prayed silently. The company watched her from the trees. They knew she was ready when she put her stick down. Then she shouted, 'Let the children come!' and they ran from the trees toward her. Let your mothers hear you laugh,' she told them, and the woods rang. The adults looked on and could not help smiling. Then 'Let the grown men come,' she shouted. They stepped out one by one from among the ringing trees. Let your wives and your children see you dance,' she told them, and groundlife shuddered under their feet. Finally she called the women to her. 'Cry,' she told them. 'For the living and the dead. Just cry.' And without covering their eyes the women let loose. It started that way: laughing children, dancing men, crying women and then it got mixed up. Women stopped crying and danced; men sat down and cried; children danced, women laughed, children cried until, exhausted and riven, all and each lay about the Clearing damp and gasping for breath. In the silence that followed, Baby Suggs, holy, offered up to them her great big heart. She did not tell them to clean up their lives or go and sin no more. She did not tell them they were the blessed of the earth, its inheriting meek or its glorybound pure. She told them that the only grace they could have was the grace they could imagine. That if they could not see it, they would not have it. Here,' she said, 'in this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard...
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. People grow old by deserting their ideals. Years wrinkle the skin, but giving up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear and despair - these are the long years that bow the head and turn the growing spirit back to dust. You are as young as your faith and as old as your doubts; as young as you self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.
James E. Faust (Stories from My Life)
You lean back against the door with bowed head making ready to set out. By the time you open your eyes your feet have disappeared and the skirt of your great coat come to rest on the surface of the snow. The dark scene seems lit from below. You see yourself at the last outset leaning against the door with closed eyes waiting for the word from you to go. To be gone.Then the snowlit scene. You lie in the dark with closed eyes and see yourself there as described making ready to strike out and away across the expanse of light. You hear again the click of the door pulled gently to and the silence before the steps can start. Next thing you are on your way across the white pasture afrolic with lambs in spring and strewn with red placantae.
Samuel Beckett (Nohow On: Company, Ill Seen Ill Said, Worstward Ho)
She is crazy. Head to head with an ogre. Loony Lolli, Sketchy Dave, Crazy Val. You're all a bunch of freaks." Val made a formal bow, dipping her head in their direction, and then sat on the blanket. Loony Luis, more likely," Lolli said, kicking her flip-flop in his direction. Luis One-Eye," Dave said. Luis smirked. "Bug-head Dave." Princess Luis," Dave said. "Prince Valiant." Val laughed, thinking of the first time Dave had called her that. "How about Dreaded Dave?" Luis leaned over, grabbing his brother in a headlock, both of them rolling on the cloth, and said, "How about Baby Brother? Baby Brother Dave?" Hey," Lolli said. "What about me? I want to be a princess like Luis.
Holly Black (Valiant (Modern Faerie Tales #2))
Before you go to sleep tonight, let go of your day; everything is alright. Just bow your head, speak your prayer, and trust in Him who will forever care.
Lisa Mischelle Wood (Just Believe: A Collection of Christian Poetry)
Truth usually makes no sense. If your desire is for everything to make perfect sense, then you should take refuge in fiction. In fiction, all threads tie together in a neat bow and everything moves smoothly from one point to the next to the next. In real life, though... nothing makes sense. Bad things happen to good people. The pious die young while the wicked live until old age. War, famine, pestilence, death all occur randomly and senselessly and leave us more often than not scratching our heads and hurling the question 'why?' into a void that provides no answers.
Peter David (Tigerheart)
Something stiffened, moved. Just as Alyss realized who it was, standing with bowed head at Sir Justice's grave-- Dodge. --He whirled around, the point of his sword aimed at her throat. Not the warmest way to great your..." She was about tosay "queen" but changed her mind. "...friend.
Frank Beddor
Jules: So first, breakfast, and afterward - piskie hunting. Emma: I am so ready to hunt down those tiny adorable creatures and give them what for. SO READY. Jules: Emma... Emma: I may even tie bows on their heads. Jules: We have to interrogate them. Emma: Can I get a selfie with one of them first? Jules: Eat your toast, Emma.
Cassandra Clare (Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2))
Hmm…’ Ciri bit her lower lip, then leaned over and put her eye closer to the hole. ‘Madam Yennefer is standing by a willow… She’s plucking leaves and playing with her star. She isn’t saying anything and isn’t even looking at Geralt… And Geralt’s standing beside her. He’s looking down and he’s saying something. No, he isn’t. Oh, he’s pulling a face… What a strange expression…’ ‘Childishly simple,’ said Dandelion, finding an apple in the grass, wiping it on his trousers and examining it critically. ‘He’s asking her to forgive him for his various foolish words and deeds. He’s apologising to her for his impatience, for his lack of faith and hope, for his obstinacy, doggedness. For his sulking and posing; which are unworthy of a man. He’s apologising to her for things he didn’t understand and for things he hadn’t wanted to understand—’ ‘That’s the falsest lie!’ said Ciri, straightening up and tossing the fringe away from her forehead with a sudden movement. ‘You’re making it all up!’ ‘He’s apologising for things he’s only now understood,’ said Dandelion, staring at the sky, and he began to speak with the rhythm of a balladeer. ‘For what he’d like to understand, but is afraid he won’t have time for… And for what he will never understand. He’s apologising and asking for forgiveness… Hmm, hmm… Meaning, conscience, destiny? Everything’s so bloody banal…’ ‘That’s not true!’ Ciri stamped. ‘Geralt isn’t saying anything like that! He’s not even speaking. I saw for myself. He’s standing with her and saying nothing…’ ‘That’s the role of poetry, Ciri. To say what others cannot utter.’ ‘It’s a stupid role. And you’re making everything up!’ ‘That is also the role of poetry. Hey, I hear some raised voices coming from the pond. Have a quick look, and see what’s happening there.’ ‘Geralt,’ said Ciri, putting her eye once more to the hole in the wall, ‘is standing with his head bowed. And Yennefer’s yelling at him. She’s screaming and waving her arms. Oh dear… What can it mean?’ ‘It’s childishly simple.’ Dandelion stared at the clouds scudding across the sky. ‘Now she’s saying sorry to him.
Andrzej Sapkowski (The Time of Contempt (The Witcher, #2))
So what does the winner get in the end?" Tate asked. "They get to sit around with the losers and say, 'I am King Xavier of the world.' Repeat after me." "And me?" Tate asked. "You get to be my queen." "How come you're the leader of the community?" Narnie asked, almost smiling. "Why can't Tate be?" Webb looked at his sister, grinning. "Why can't you, Narnie?" Fitz leaned his head on Narnie's shoulder. "And I'll be your queen?" "You can be the eunuch," Jude said, shoving him out of the way, "and I'll be her prince." He bowed and took Narnie's hand, kissing it, and their eyes met. It was awkward for a moment until Narnie looked away.
Melina Marchetta (On the Jellicoe Road)
To be Cuban is to be proud—it is both our greatest gift and our biggest curse. We serve no kings, bow no heads, bear our troubles on our backs as though they are nothing at all. There is an art to this, you see. An art to appearing as though everything is effortless, that your world is a gilded one, when the reality is that your knees beneath your silk gown buckle from the weight of it all. We are silk and lace, and beneath them we are steel.
Chanel Cleeton (Next Year in Havana)
Past the flannel plains and blacktop graphs and skylines of canted rust, and past the tobacco-brown river overhung with weeping trees and coins of sunlight through them on the water downriver, to the place beyond the windbreak, where untilled fields simmer shrilly in the A.M. heat: shattercane, lambsquarter, cutgrass, saw brier, nutgrass, jimson-weed, wild mint, dandelion, foxtail, spinecabbage, goldenrod, creeping Charlie, butterprint, nightshade, ragweed, wild oat, vetch, butcher grass, invaginate volunteer beans, all heads nodding in a soft morning breeze like a mother’s hand on your check. An arrow of starlings fired from the windbreak’s thatch. The glitter of dew that stays where it is and steams all day. A Sunflower, four more one bowed, and horses in the distance standing rigid as toys. All nodding. Electric sounds of insects at their business. Ale-colored sunshine and pale sky and whorls of cirrus so high they cast no shadow. Insects all business all the time. Quartz and chert and schist and chondrite iron scabs in granite. Very old land. Look around you. The horizon trembling, shapeless. We are all of us brothers.
David Foster Wallace
Karrin smiled faintly and shook her head. "He always said you knew ghosts. You're sure it was really him?" Mort eyed her. "Me and everyone else, yeah." Karrin scowled and stared into the middle distance. Mort frowned and then his expression softened. "You didn't want it to be his ghost. Did you?" Murphy shook her head slowly, but said nothing. "You needed everyone to be wrong about it. Because if it really was his ghost," Mort said, "it means that he really is dead." Murphy's face...just crumpled. Her eyes overflowed and she bowed her head. Her body shook in silence.
Jim Butcher (Ghost Story (The Dresden Files, #13))
I forbid you to go." "I am not yours to forbid. Comfort your pride with your conquest!" "Felicia!" The raw anguish of it stopped me. Tears were threatening to spill from my eyes so that I had to bend my head, fighting for self-control, and I did not hear him come up beside me. His hand touched my shoulder, then dropped again as I shivered. "Does this look like pride?" His voice was shaking. "Or must I grovel?" He was on his knees at my feet, and as I watched he lifted the hem of my gown to his lips and kissed it. I made some sort of sound in my throat, but I could not speak. "You cannot go." He spoke in a whisper, without lifting his head. "I love you. I have always loved you--I bought you from your vile brother because I could not live without you." As I stared down at his bowed, bright head, the earth shook under my feet. This could not be happening, I thought.
Teresa Denys (The Silver Devil)
John lifted his head and looked down at her. His eyes were worried and he was careful as he brushed at her hair. She smiled. "Nah, I'm fine. I'm more than fine." A sly grin bloomed as he mouthed, ain't that the truth. "Hold up there, big man. You think you can make me blush like I'm some girl ? Pulling that sweet talk?" As he nodded, she rolled her eyes. "I'll have you know I'm not the kind of female who goes all dizzy, popping a stiletto off the floor just because some guy kisses her deep." John was all male as he cocked a brow. And damn it if she didn't feel a tingle in her cheeks. " Listen, John Matthew." She took his chin in her hand. "You're not turning me into one of these females who goes gaga over her lover. Not happening. I'm not hard-wired for that." Her voice was stern and she meant every word, except the instant he rolled his hips and that huge arousal pushed into her, she purred. She purred. The sound was utterly foreign and she'd have sucked it back down her throat if she could have. Instead, she just left out another of those decidedly non-tough-guy moans. John bowed his head to her breast and started suckling on her as he somehow manage to keep thrusting in slow, even penetrations. Swept away, her hands found his hair again, spearing through the thick softness. " Oh, John..." And then he stopped dead, lifted his lips from her nipple, and smiled so wide it was a wonder he didn't bust off his front teeth. His expression was one of total and complete gotcha. " You are a bastard, " she said on a laugh. He nodded. And pressed into her with his full lenght again. It was perfect that he was giving her shit and showing her a little of who was boss. Just perfect. Somehow it made her respect him even more, but then, she'd always loved strength in all its forms. Even the teasing kind. "I'm not surrendering , you know." He pursed his lips and shook his head, all oh, no, of course not. And then he started to pull out of her. As she growled low in her throat, she sank her nails into his ass. "Where do you think you're going ?
J.R. Ward (Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8))
She felt as if she had been crying without end for minutes now. Yet this parting, this final farewell ... Aelin looked at Chaol and Dorian and sobbed. Opened her arms to them, and wept as they held each other. “I love you both,” she whispered. “And no matter what may happen, no matter how far we may be, that will never change.” “We will see you again,” Chaol said, but even his voice was thick with tears. “Together,” Dorian breathed, shaking. “We’ll rebuild this world together.” She couldn’t stand it, this ache in her chest. But she made herself pull away and smile at their tear-streaked faces, a hand on her heart. “Thank you for all you have done for me.” Dorian bowed his head. “Those are words I’d never thought I’d hear from you.” She barked a rasping laugh, and gave him a shove. “You’re a king now. Such insults are beneath you.” He grinned, wiping at his face. Aelin smiled at Chaol, at his wife waiting beyond him. “I wish you every happiness,” she said to him. To them both. Such light shone in Chaol’s bronze eyes—that she had never seen before. “We will see each other again,” he repeated. Then he and Dorian turned toward their horses, toward the bright day beyond the castle gates. Toward their kingdom to the south. Shattered now, but not forever. Not forever.
Sarah J. Maas (Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7))
A soldier came to Hakuin and asked "Is there really a paradise and a hell?" "Who are you?" inquired Hakuin. "I am a samurai," the warrior replied. "You, a samurai!" exclaimed Hakuin. "What kind of ruler would have you as his guard? Your face looks like that of a beggar!" The soldier became so angry that he began to draw his sword, but Hakuin continued. "So you have a sword! Your weapon is probably as dull as your head!" As the soldier drew his sword Hakuin remarked "Here open the gates of hell!" At these words, the samurai, perceiving the discipline of the master, sheathed his sword and bowed. "Here open the gates of paradise," said Hakuin
Hakuin Ekaku
The Knowledge Rule 2080: From maggots to men, the world is a corner bully. Better you knuckle up and go for yours than have to bow your head and tuck your chain.
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Bow your head little Okht, it's time.
Ashley Nemer (Blood Yellow (Blood Series))
Young men, we must give thanks for this day and for every day, no matter how flawed. Bow your heads, give your gratitude to God, and have faith in him, and in a better tomorrow.
Mark T. Sullivan (Beneath a Scarlet Sky)
Darrow shook his head. “Why?” Not about her magic being whittled to nothing. But why she had gone to face them, with little more than embers in her veins. “Terrasen is my home,” Aelin said. It was the only answer in her heart. Darrow smiled—just a bit. “So it is.” He bowed his head. Then his body. “Welcome,” he said, then added as he rose, “Your Majesty.” But Aelin looked to Evangeline, the girl still beaming. Win me back my kingdom, Evangeline. Her order to the girl, all those months ago. And she didn’t know how Evangeline had done it. How she had changed this old lord before them. Yet there was Darrow, gesturing to the gates, to the castle behind him. Evangeline winked at Aelin, as if in confirmation. Aelin just laughed, taking the girl by the hand, and led that promise of Terrasen’s bright future into the castle.
Sarah J. Maas (Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7))
You defy beings that should cow you into silence. You resist forces that are inevitable for no more reason than that you believe they should be resisted. You bow your head to neither demons nor angels, and you put yourself in harm’s way to defend those who cannot defend themselves.
Jim Butcher (Changes (The Dresden Files, #12))
Never in your life have you been helpless—under somebody’s heel. You never lived where your enemies held power over you, power to run your life or wipe it out. You can’t understand. That’s how come you stand there feeding me empty slogans!” Luciente bowed her head. “You crit me justly, Connie. Forgive me. I’ll try to see your situation more clearly and make less loud noises in your ears.
Marge Piercy (Woman on the Edge of Time)
Who was it who said, 'The promise given was a necessity of the past: the word broken is a necessity of the present'?" The Italian looked quickly at the American immortal and then he dipped his head in a bow. "I do believe I said that once...a long, long time ago." "You also wrote that a prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise," Billy said with a grin. "Yes, I did say that.You're full of surprises, Billy." Billy looked from the city to the Italian. "So what do you see-faceless masses or individuals?" "Individuals," Machiavelli whispered. "Reason enough to break your promise to your Elder master and a bird-tailed monster?" Machiavelli nodded. "Reason enough," he said. "I knew you were going to say that." The American immortal reached out and squeezed the Italian's arm. "You're a good man, Niccolo Machiavelli." "I don't think so. Right now, my thoughts make me waerloga-an oath breaker.A warlock." "Warlock." Billy the Kid tilted his head. "I like it. Got a nice ring to it. I'm thinking I might become a warlock too.
Michael Scott (The Warlock (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #5))
You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries? Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard 'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines Diggin' in my own backyard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
Maya Angelou (And Still I Rise)
...I can't abide snakes." "I don't even think of her as a snake." "Ce'Nedra," he said patiently, "she's long and skinny, she wriggles, she doesn't have any arms or legs, and she's poisonous. By definition, she's a snake." "...I'm bitterly disappointed in you, Prince Kheldar. She's a sweet, loving, brave little creature, and you're insulting her." He looked at her for a moment, then rose to his feet and bowed floridly to the earthenware bottle. "I'm dreadfully sorry, dear Zith," he apologized. "I can't think what came over me. Can you possible find it in your cold little green heart to forgive me?" Zith hissed at him, a hiss ending in a curious grunt. "She says to leave her alone," Sadi told him. "Can you really understand what she's saying?" "In a general sort of way, yes. Snakes have a very limited vocabulary, so it's not all that difficult to pick up a few phrases here and there." The eunuch frowned. "She's been swearing a great deal lately, though, and that's not like her. She's usually a very ladylike little snake." "I can't believe I'm actually involved in this conversation," Silk said, shaking his head and going off down the hall toward the back of the house.
David Eddings (Sorceress of Darshiva (The Malloreon, #4))
There are some battles that can only be fought on your knees–usually when you come face to face with your own powerlessness, and the only moves you have left are to bow your head in reverence and clasp your hands in prayer.
Sophie Sabbage (The Cancer Whisperer: How to Let Cancer Heal Your Life)
The Tree and the Reed "Well, little one," said a Tree to a Reed that was growing at its foot, "why do you not plant your feet deeply in the ground, and raise your head boldly in the air as I do?" "I am contented with my lot," said the Reed. "I may not be so grand, but I think I am safer." "Safe!" sneered the Tree. "Who shall pluck me up by the roots or bow my head to the ground?" But it soon had to repent of its boasting, for a hurricane arose which tore it up from its roots, and cast it a useless log on the ground, while the little Reed, bending to the force of the wind, soon stood upright again when the storm had passed over. Obscurity often brings safety.
Aesop (Aesop's Fables)
We have followed you," they said, "and we shall follow you wherever you go. If danger threatens you, we shall face it also. If it be death, we shall die with you. You are damned, and we wish to share your damnation." They looked upon us, and their voice was low, but there was bitterness and triumph in their voice: "Your eyes are as a flame, but our brothers have neither hope nor fire. Your mouth is cut of granite, but our brothers are soft and humble. Your head is high, but our brothers cringe. You walk, but our brothers crawl. We wish to be damned with you, rather than blessed with all our brothers. Do as you please with us, but do not send us away from you." Then they knelt, and bowed their golden head before us. We had never thought of that which we did. We bent to raise the Golden One to their feet, but when we touched them, it was as if madness had stricken us. We seized their body and we pressed our lips to theirs. The Golden One breathed once, and their breath was a moan, and then their arms closed around us. We stood together for a long time. And we were frightened that we had lived for twenty-one years and had never known what joy is possible to men.
Ayn Rand (Anthem)
Feels almost like real agent work, doesn’t it?” Barron says as we walk down the street, heads bowed against the wind. “You know, if we caught your girlfriend committing a crime, I bet Yulikova would give us a bonus or something for being prize pupils.” “Except that we’re not going to do that,” I say. “I thought you wanted us to be good guys.” He grins a too-wide grin. He’s enjoying needling me, and my reacting only makes it worse, but I can’t stop. “Not if it means hurting her,” I say, my voice as deadly as I can make it. “Never her.” “Got it. Hurting, bad. But how do you excuse stalking her and her friends, little brother?” “I’m not excusing it,” I say. “I’m just doing it.
Holly Black (Black Heart (Curse Workers, #3))
Bow down and pray in fear and trembling, go way back in the dark afraid; or work harder and harder; or stumble and learn; or raise up your fist and strike-but once the idea comes into your head you’ll never be the same again. Oh, test tube of life! Crucible of the South, find the right powder and you’ll never be the same again-the cotton will blaze and the cabins will burn and the chains will be broken and men, all of a sudden, will shakes hands, black men and white men, like steel meeting steel!
Langston Hughes (The Ways of White Folks)
Then Nina giggled. “You are in so much trouble.” Jesper scowled. “Matthias, Nina let Cornelis Smeet grope her bottom.” Nina stopped laughing. “I am going to turn your teeth inside out.” “That is physically impossible.” “I just raised the dead. Do you really want to argue with me?” “Inej cocked her head to one side. “Jesper Llewellyn Fahey?” “Shut up,” said Jesper. “It’s a family name.” Inej made a solemn bow. “Whatever you say, Llewellyn.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
You looked so beautiful- your hair spread out around your head against the linoleum. Though your think brown curls had thinned since you'd started losing weight, they still fell in soft waves. You reminded me of a mermaid, your skin all shiny, your lips so full compared to the harshness of your angular cheekbones and pointed chin.
Steph Bowe (Girl Saves Boy)
Past the flannel plains and blacktop graphs and skylines of canted rust, and past the tobacco-brown river overhung with weeping trees and coins of sunlight through them on the water downriver, to the place beyond the windbreak, where untilled fields simmer shrilly in the A.M. heat: shattercane, lamb's-quarter, cutgrass, sawbrier, nutgrass, jimsonweed, wild mint, dandelion, foxtail, muscadine, spinecabbage, goldenrod, creeping charlie, butter-print, nightshade, ragweed, wild oat, vetch, butcher grass, invaginate volunteer beans, all heads gently nodding in a morning breeze like a mother's soft hand on your cheek. An arrow of starlings fired from the windbreak's thatch. The glitter of dew that stays where it is and steams all day. A sunflower, four more, one bowed, and horses in the distance standing rigid and still as toys. All nodding. Electric sounds of insects at their business. Ale-colored sunshine and pale sky and whorls of cirrus so high they cast no shadow. Insects all business all the time. Quartz and chert and schist and chondrite iron scabs in granite. Very old land. Look around you. The horizon trembling, shapeless. We are all of us brothers. Some crows come overhead then, three or four, not a murder, on the wing, silent with intent, corn-bound for the pasture's wire beyond which one horse smells at the other's behind, the lead horse's tail obligingly lifted. Your shoes' brand incised in the dew. An alfalfa breeze. Socks' burrs. Dry scratching inside a culvert. Rusted wire and tilted posts more a symbol of restraint than a fence per se. NO HUNTING. The shush of the interstate off past the windbreak. The pasture's crows standing at angles, turning up patties to get at the worms underneath, the shapes of the worms incised in the overturned dung and baked by the sun all day until hardened, there to stay, tiny vacant lines in rows and inset curls that do not close because head never quite touches tail. Read these.
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
Yeah, that's not what you call her. You call her Jennifer… or baby… or smart ass, and even once I think you called her a mouthy little thing." Jacque waved her hand as she said, "Moving on. Okay. So, Jen, Decebel's been cursed." Jacque waited for Decebel to pass it on. The girls watched as Decebel bowed his head and started shaking it from side to side. They looked at each other, confused by his behavior. Then his shoulders began to shake. "Are you laughing?" Sally asked, bewildered. Decebel finally composed himself and looked up. "She said, 'So someone else has cursed him. What's the big deal? I curse him all the time'." They all started laughing; not only Jen's words, but at the puzzled tone with which Decebel relayed Jen's words. Jacque rolled her eyes. "No, you dimwit. Cursed as in its 'Leviosa' not 'Leviosa'. Not curse as in dumb ass." "She's asking why the hell you're quoting Harry Potter… again?" Decebel was getting more and more confused by the conversation the two girls were having--through his thoughts.
Quinn Loftis (Out of the Dark (The Grey Wolves, #4))
That is why none of these man-made catch phrases are in the Bible. You will not find a verse in Scripture where people are told to “bow your heads, close your eyes, and repeat after me.” You will not find a place where a superstitious sinner’s prayer is even mentioned. And you will not find an emphasis on accepting Jesus.8 We have taken the infinitely glorious Son of God, who endured the infinitely terrible wrath of God and who now reigns as the infinitely worthy Lord of all, and we have reduced him to a poor, puny Savior who is just begging for us to accept him.
David Platt (Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream)
I never knew You lived so close to the floor, but every time I am bowed down, crushed by this weight of grief, I feel Your hand on my head, Your breath on my cheek, Your tears on my neck. You never tell me to pull myself together, to stem the flow of many years. You simply stay by my side for as long as it takes, so close to the floor.
Sheila Walsh (Loved Back to Life: How I Found the Courage to Live Free)
You said that love could not be feigned and could not be stolen" she said passionately. "And now you say I am to be your queen. And yet you imprison me and give me no freedom. You know what it is like to be caged, It is a death. You tell me I cannot hide from you and yet you punish me for hiding.You say you do not want me to fear you and you treat me like I am a slave. Forgive me my Lord"-and here she bowed her head sadly, contrite and meek-"I don not understand why you are punishing me for something you say I cannot do. I do not understand your love, if this is the love you offer me.
Alison Croggon (The Riddle)
Daine put a hand on her bow. It was loaded, but she didn't want to kill Maura's sister. "I wouldn't call names, if I was you " she retorted. Yolane backed up. "Tirell! Oram! Jemis! To me! Oram, on the double!" Daine shook her head. "Yell all you like, they won't come. They're gone. " "What do you mean, 'gone'?" "I mean it's at an end the king knows what you're up to. The rebellion's uncovered. You'll never be queen.
Tamora Pierce (Wolf-Speaker (Immortals, #2))
Cedarstar was the first of the nine cats to step forward. He bowed his head to Brokentail and meowed, “I give you a life to live by the warrior code. Remember it well, Brokentail, and let it be your guide. Wiser cats than you or I have lost their way without it.
Erin Hunter (Yellowfang's Secret (Warriors Super Edition))
Gray stood up and came round the desk. "Think of the words on that memorial, Wraysford. Think of those stinking towns and foul bloody villages whose names will be turned into some bogus glory by fat-arsed historians who have sat in London. We were there. As our punishment for God knows what, we were there, and our men died in each of those disgusting places. I hate their names. I hate the sound of them and the thought of them, which is why I will not bring myself to remind you. But listen." He put his face close to Stephen's. "There are four words they will chisel beneath them at the bottom. Four words that people will look at one day. When they read the other words they will want to vomit. When they read these, they will bow their heads, just a little. 'Final advance and pursuit.' Don't tell me you don't want to put your name to those words.
Sebastian Faulks (Birdsong: A Novel of Love and War)
What would you expect to find when the muzzle that has silenced the voices of black men is removed? That they would chant your praises? Did you think that when those heads that our fathers had forcibly bowed down to the ground were raised again, you would find adoration in their eyes?
Jean-Paul Sartre
He bowed deeply before me and slipped to one knee, taking my hand in his and gazing with the perfect Fairyland combination of princely adoration and chaste love. Andy actually applauded, and even my own heart skipped a head - which Ian must have felt because he squeezed my fingers gently. "Am I forgiven, dearest?" he asked again, batting his eyelashes. I mouthed, In your dreams!
Sarah Strohmeyer (How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True)
What about you and me, Adina?” Duff said, sidling up to her by the railing. “I know I screwed up. But do you think we could start over?” Adina thought about everything that had happened. Part of her wanted to kiss Duff McAvoy, the tortured British trust-fund-runaway-turned-pirate-of-necessity who loved rock ‘n’ roll and mouthy-but-vulnerable bass-playing girls from New Hampshire. But he didn’t exist. Not really. He was a creature of TV and her imagination, a guy she’d invented as much as he’d invented himself. And this was what she suddenly understood about her mother: how with each man, each husband, she was really trying to fill in the sketchy parts of herself and become somebody she could finally love. It was hard to live in the messiness and easier to believe in the dream. And in that moment, Adina knew she was not her mother after all. She would make mistakes, but they wouldn’t be the same mistakes. Starting now. “Sorry,” she said, heading for the bow, where a spot of sun looked inviting. ”Oh, also, about that blog? Just so you know, my dads know a lot of gay lawyers. Bitches will take your ass down if you try to publish that. Peace out.
Libba Bray (Beauty Queens)
The heat swept off the black asphalt in waves as our ragged group started down the street between two columns of people. At first, the crowd was sparse, well-dressed, and relatively quiet, obviously high-ranking party officials. As the crowd got thicker and louder, a guard shouted:'Bow your heads!' The words shot through me like a streak of lightning. I shouted:'You are Americans! Keep your heads up!
Jeremiah A. Denton Jr. (When Hell Was in Session)
When the zebra-striped lizards return, bulbous eyes twisting in every direction, they carry a platter garnished with dried fruit and something that resembles a duck. It’s plucked and roasted but still has its head intact. A warm, herbal scent tickles my nose. At least it’s cooked. "May I introduce you all to the main course?” Morpheus spreads out an arm with dramatic flair. “Dinner, meet your worthy adversaries, the hungry guests.” My tongue dries to sandpaper as the bird’s eyes pop open, and it hobbles to stand on webbed feet, flesh brown and glistening with glaze and oil. There’s a bell hung around its neck, and it jingles as the duck bows to greet everyone. This cannot be happening. Morpheus drags the heavy mallet from beside his chair and pounds it on the table like a judge’s gavel. “Now that we’re all acquainted, let the walloping begin.” Gossamer launches from Morpheus’s shoulder and leaves the room with the other sprites as mass confusion erupts. All the guests leap to their feet, mallets in hand, to chase the jingling duck.
A.G. Howard (Splintered (Splintered, #1))
Is the mask magic?" he demanded with sudden, passionate interest. "Yes." I bowed my head, so that our eyes no longer met. "I made it magic to keep you safe. The mask is your friend, Erik. As long as you wear it, no mirror can ever show you the face again." He was silent then and when I showed him the new mask he accepted it without question and put it on hastily with his clumsy, bandaged fingers. But when I stood up to go, he reacted with panic and clutched at my grown. "Don't go! Don't leave me here in the dark." "You are not in the dark," I said patiently. "Look, I have left the candle ..." But I knew, as I looked at him, that it would have made no difference if I had left him fifty candles. The darkness he feared was in his own mind and there was no light in the universe powerful enough to take that darkness from him. With a sigh of resignation I sat back on the bed and began to sing softly; and before I had finished the first verse, he was asleep. The bandages on his hands and wrists showed white and eerie in the candle-light, as I eased my skirts from his grasp. I knew that Marie was right. Physically and mentally, I had scarred him for life.
Susan Kay (Phantom)
Grabbing the doorknob, he twists, breaking the lock and shoving the door open. I’m just stepping off Trixie Skillz when I notice the hazy glow of an oil-lamp coming from inside, the flame turned way down low. Reclining on the couch next to it is an old woman, her white hair cropped close to her head, her spectacles perched low on her nose. She peers over them at us, the book in her hands entirely forgotten. We crashed the house of someone’s grandma. Just when I thought we were fresh out of horrors, another one comes. “We have nothing of any value, I assure you,” she says, her voice surprisingly steady for someone who thinks their home is being invaded. “I am not here for your things,” Pestilence says. “I am here for your hospitality.” The woman squints curiously at the horseman. Setting her book aside, she rises to her feet. Age has made her soft and plump, but there’s a certain quiet strength to her. “Ruth,” a thin, raspy voice calls from another room in the house, “who’s at the door?” Did he miss the part where we broke into their home? Ruth’s gaze stays on Pestilence for a long time, moving from his bow and quiver to his crown, before settling on his face. “I believe it’s one of the Four Horsemen, dear.” Her eyes flick to me. “And he’s brought with him a lady friend.
Laura Thalassa (Pestilence (The Four Horsemen, #1))
And Mister . . . ?” “Firas,” Kashmir said, folding his handkerchief neatly and making a crisp bow. Blake’s brow furrowed as he took in the fine clothes. “A sailor?” “Her tutor,” Kashmir said smoothly. Blake cocked his head. “You’re much younger than any of my tutors.” “Baleh, I am wise beyond my years,” Kashmir said. “And of course I have a natural inclination to it. My people did, after all, invent algebra. Including the zero.
Heidi Heilig (The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl from Everywhere, #1))
Thank you," Emerson said, bowing his head and accepting the box with the tender hands of a parent holding a child. "I am indebted-" "Don't be.This doesn't mean I like you or your politics any better," Heath said gruffly.
Lisa Kleypas (Love, Come to Me)
Rushing outside, she carries long, sharp scissors and snips at flower petals while screaming, "Off with your head!" When I realize what she's really after, a strange discomfort stirs inside. I've seen how the petals tatter beneath the blades. I don't want her to ruin my moth's pretty wings. I throw my hands over the scissors to stop her. The moth escapes unscathed. But I'm not so lucky... Coming out of the trance, I drop to the ground and clutch aching palms to my chest. The scars throb as if freshly cut. Morpheus bows over me, smoothing my hair. "I told you that you were special, Alyssa," he murmurs, the weight of his palm strangely comforting on the top of my head. "No one else has ever bled for me. The loyalty of one child for another is immeasurable. You believed in me, shared new experiences with me, grew with me. That has earned you my sincerest devotion."
A.G. Howard (Splintered (Splintered, #1))
If the sight of Jesus bowing his head into that ultimate storm is burned into the core of your being, you will never say, “God, don’t you care?” And if you know that he did not abandon you in that ultimate storm, what makes you think he would abandon you in the much smaller storms you’re experiencing right now? And, someday, of course, he will return and still all storms for eternity.
Timothy J. Keller (Jesus the King: Understanding the Life and Death of the Son of God)
Perhaps the best way for you to ensure my trust is to make love to me as I deserve to be loved.” At her command, he lifted her into his arms and circled the bed to set her carefully on the mattress. Kneeling at the side of the bed, his gaze met hers, and he bowed his head. “I am yours to command, my Lady.” “Then come to bed, my love. I need your arms to keep me warm and your body to fill me until I shatter like glass.
Monica Burns (His Mistress (Self-Made Men #2))
You expected too much of me’ I told him, and he bowed his head. ‘I don’t know where you brought your grand ideas of men and women from. I don’t want to know’ I added hastily. But I must have been a prettier word that this’ I said: ‘are you quite sure that you were wise in leaving it?
J.M. Barrie (The Little White Bird)
Bugle" Black beetles know where the most recent bones bake in the heat, tendons and meat long gone, bleached white, and if you give them cheap wine -- drizzle a few red drops on a flat stone-- they will lead you to a barren gulch surrounded by sages and nettles, dirt burnt to powdery sand and sharp thorns. Hunch above the skeleton, bow your head, start reciting verses you learned as a child, there, under the sun with rocks and brush, bare locust tree a telling reliquary of dust to dust, all so brutally hot. You must pull ribs from that rotting body, words that matter: love me, love me not.
Tod Marshall
I never have sympathy for those that have been blinded by the path of God. You chose to walk into the light, not realizing that you were already chained within the darkness. When a hand was offered to you, you looked up into the sky, and bowed your head in blind obedience, when you should have been creating a new possibility. Nothing is more pathetic than to see ignorance in action. Nothing is more laughable than to see the obedient ask an illusion for more power to stay frivolously obedient. I never have sympathy for those that have been blinded by the path of God. I only have sympathy for the Devil...
Lionel Suggs
In winter we’ll travel in a little pink carriage With cushions of blue. We’ll be fine. A nest of mad kisses waits In each corner too. You’ll shut your eyes, not to see, through the glass, Grimacing shadows of evening, Those snarling monsters, a crowd going past Of black wolves and black demons. Then you’ll feel your cheek tickled quite hard… A little kiss, like a maddened spider, Will run over your neck… And you’ll say: “Catch it!” bowing your head, – And we’ll take our time finding that creature – Who travels so far… Arthur Rimbaud, "A Winter Dream," Rimbaud: Selected Works. (A. S. Kline, 2002, 2003)
Arthur Rimbaud (Complete Works)
After dinner, I went upstairs and found Ren standing on the veranda again, looking at the sunset. I approached him shyly and stood behind him. “Hello, Ren.” He turned and openly studied my appearance. His gaze drifted ever so slowly down my body. The longer he looked, the wider his smile got. Eventually, his eyes worked their way back up to my bright red face. He sighed and bowed deeply. “Sundari. I was standing here thinking nothing could be more beautiful than this sunset tonight, but I was mistaken. You standing here in the setting sun with your hair and skin aglow is almost more than a man can…fully appreciate.” I tried to change the subject. “What does sundari mean?” “It means ‘most beautiful.’” I blushed again, which made him laugh. He took my hand, tucked it under his arm, and led me to the patio chairs. Just then, the sun dipped below the trees leaving its tangerine glow in the sky for just a few more moments. We sat again, but this time he sat next to me on the swinging patio seat and kept my hand in his. I ventured shyly, “I hope you don’t mind, but I explored your house today, including your room.” “I don’t mind. I’m sure you found my room the least interesting.” “Actually, I was curious about the note I found. Did you write it?” “A note? Ah, yes. I just scribbled a few notes to help me remember what Phet had said. It just says seek Durga’s prophecy, the Cave of Kanheri, Kelsey is Durga’s favored one, that sort of thing.” “Oh. I…also noticed a ribbon. Is it mine?” “Yes. If you’d like it back, you can take it.” “Why would you want it?” He shrugged, looking embarrassed. “I wanted a memento, a token from the girl who saved my life.” “A token? Like a fair maiden giving her handkerchief to a knight in shining armor?” He grinned. “Exactly.” I jested wryly, “Too bad you didn’t wait for Cathleen to get a little older. She’s going to be very pretty.” He frowned. “Cathleen from the circus?” He shook his head. “You were the chosen one, Kelsey. And if I had the option of choosing the girl to save me, I still would have picked you.” “Why?” “A number of reasons. I liked you. You are interesting. I enjoyed listening to your voice. I felt like you saw through the tiger skin to the person underneath. When you spoke, it felt like you were saying exactly the things I needed to hear. You’re smart. You like poetry, and you’re very pretty.” I laughed at his statement. Me, pretty? He can’t be serious. I was average in so many ways. I didn’t really concern myself with current makeup, hairstyles, or fashionable, but uncomfortable, clothes like other teenagers. My complexion was pale, and my eyes were so brown that they were almost black. By far, my best feature was my smile, which my parents paid dearly for and so did I-with three years of metal braces. Still, I was flattered. “Okay, Prince Charming, you can keep your memento.” I hesitated, and then said softly, “I wear those ribbons in memory of my mom. She used to brush out my hair and braid ribbons through it while we talked.” Ren smiled understandingly. “Then it means even more to me.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
So we both pray this child is a female and that she grows to love and cherish you as we do, that this is the one who will be your other half.” Gregori stirred as if to say something. Do not say anything! Mikhail hissed in the healer’s head. She believes the child will have a choice. Gregori bowed his head mentally to Mikhail. If Mikhail chose to allow his wife the comforting if false thought that the female child would have a choice in such a matter, then so be it.
Christine Feehan (Dark Desire (Dark, #2))
You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may tread me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries. Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard 'Cause I laugh like I got gold mines Diggin' in my own back yard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
Maya Angelou
So I got to witness firsthand how those metal links got broken. The muscles in his upper arms pumped to the size of grapefruits, and the fabric of the T-shirt tightened around them almost to tearing… Then the metal gave way with a musical twang, and the chain snaked noisily from the grate, falling to the rain-softened earth with a clunk. “By all means,” John said, brushing his hands together in a self-satisfied way, “let’s call Mr. Smith.” I ducked my head, hiding my blushing cheeks by pretending to be busy putting my cell phone back in my bag. Encouraging his occasional lapses into less than civilized behavior seemed like a bad idea, so I didn’t let on how extremely attractive I’d found what he’d just done. “You know,” I remarked coolly, “I’m already your girlfriend. You don’t have to show off your superhuman strength for me.” John looked as if he didn’t for one minute believe my disinterest. He opened the grate for me with a gentlemanly bow. “Let’s go find your cousin,” he said. “I’d like to be home in time for supper. Where’s the coffin?” “It’s at my mom’s house,” I said. “What?” That deflated his self-satisfaction like a pin through a balloon. He stood stock-still outside the door to his crypt, the word HAYDEN carved in bold capital letters above his head. “What’s it doing there?” “Seth Rector and his girlfriend and their friends asked me if they could build it in my mom’s garage,” I said. “They said it was the last place anyone would look.” John shook his head slowly. “Rector,” he said, grinding out the word. “I should have known.” I threw him a wide-eyed glance. “You know Seth Rector?” “Not Seth,” he said, darkly.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
I told her that I could not marry her, because…because I was in love with you.” For a long time Madeline sat in her chair, immobile, listening only to the sound of her blood pounding in her ears. She stared blankly at Adam. “You can’t be.” He bowed his head. “You can’t possibly love me. I’m nothing.” “You’re not nothing. You’re everything.
Julianne MacLean (Adam's Promise)
Perhaps it is more generally true that in order to learn from tradition, one has to be able to push against it, and not be bowed by a surfeit of reverence. The point isn’t to replicate the conclusions of tradition [...], but rather to enter into the same problems as the ancients and make them one’s own. That is how a tradition remains alive.
Matthew B. Crawford (The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction)
As rice grows riper, the lower it bows its head. Never lose your humility while you grow.
Jimvirle/Jinvirle
You have never asked for anything, yet you have become an albatross around my neck. Your bony arms are knotted behind my head, I walk bowed under the weight of you.
J.M. Coetzee (Life and Times of Michael K)
You have a visitors," Maximus stated. His face was impassive, but I still cringed, trying to discreetly tug my hand out of Vlad's. He let me go and folded his arms, smiling in that scary, pleasant way at Maximus. “And they are so important that you had to find me at once and enter without knocking?” I heard the threat behind those words and blanched. He wasn’t about to throw down on Maximus over this, was he? Don’t, I sent him, not adding the please only because I knew the word didn’t work on him. “Forgive me, but it’s Mencheres and his co-ruler,” Maximus stated, not sounding apologetic even though he bowed. “Their wives as well.” I started to slink away, sanity returning now that I wasn’t caught up by Vlad’s mesmerizing nearness. What had I been doing? Nothing smart, that was for sure. “Leila Stop,” Vlad said I kept heading for the door. “You have company, so I’ll just make myself scarce-“ “Stop” I did at his commanding tone, and then cursed. I wasn’t one of his employees-he had no right to order me around. “NO,” I said defiantly. “I’m sweaty, and bloody and I want to take a shower, so whatever you have to say, it can wait.” Maximus lost his impassive expression and looked at me as if I’d suddenly sprouted a second head. Vlad’s brow drew together and he opened his mouth, but before he could speak, laughter rang out from the hallway. “I simply must meet whoever has put you in your place so thoroughly, Tepesh,” an unfamiliar British voice stated. “Did I mention they were on their way down?” Maximus muttered before the gym door swung open and four people entered. The first was a short-haired brunet whose grin made me assume he was the one who’d greeted Vlad with the taunt. He was also handsome in a too-pretty way that made me think with less muscles, a wig, and some makeup he’d look great in a dress. Vlad’s scowl vanished into a smile as the brunet’s gaze swung in my direction as though he’d somehow heard that. “Looks as though she’s put you in your place as well, Bones,” Vlad drawled. “So it seems.” Bones replied, winking at me.” “But while I’ve worn many disguises, I draw the line at a dress.” My mouth dropped another mind reader?
Jeaniene Frost (Once Burned (Night Prince, #1))
We love the attentiveness of powerful people, because it’s such a pleasant, gratifying surprise, but Eleanor was not a grand light shining briefly on the lucky little people. She reached for the soul of everyone who spoke to her, every day. She bowed her head toward yours, as if there was nothing but the time and necessary space for two people to briefly love each other.
Amy Bloom (White Houses)
Your creation was the first step toward the destiny we share. Know this, when the skies darken and this love is tested, we shall not run. When death becomes silence and the battle lines are drawn, we shall fight. On this day, we fall to fate, as one. Your light breathes life into the darkness. It is with duty, honor, and protection I lay my sword at your feet and declare my love, devotion, and loyalty to you in the presence of the supernatural monarchies.” Asher bows his head and places his sword at my feet. “You are mine. My soul is yours. This love…is unbreakable.
Randi Cooley Wilson (Restoration (The Revelation, #5))
THE FLOOD One day, there was a big flood and an old woman was trapped on her roof as the waters rose. A boat with two young men approached her and the men yelled out to her, "Lady, get off that roof and climb in this boat!" "No, it’s alright! God is going to save me!" She replied. The men thought she was crazy, but the boat left and the waters rose. A second boat came. The water was at the edge of the rooftop - same thing, "I put my faith in the Lord! God is going to save me!" And so, they left too. A third boat came, the water was up to her neck- same thing, "God is going to save me!!!!" They too left, shaking there heads. After she drowned and went to heaven, the old woman was very upset. She stood before God angrily, "My Lord, I put all my faith in you. I knew you'd save me But you didn’t!!! Why not???" God replied back- "But lady... I sent you three boats!!!" MORAL: God still works miracles today. But if you are praying for a miracle, he is not going to send you down a box wrapped in shiny, silver, foil paper with ribbon and a fancy bow wrapped around it to solve your problems. Most of the time, today, God works His miracles through people.
José N. Harris (MI VIDA: A Story of Faith, Hope and Love)
Neither my acts have wiped the woes of any sufferer out, nor have I cured pains of wounded ones; with the faith pompous mercenary, O' Glorious! O 'Lord Almighty! how can I bow my head in your adulation?
Suman Pokhrel (मलाई जिन्दगी नै दुख्दछ)
Still I rise" You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I’ll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries? Does my haughtiness offend you? Don’t you take it awful hard ‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines Diggin’ in my own backyard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I’ve got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
Maya Angelou
I wiped my eyes on my sleeve and jumped when I turned and found Ren’s brother standing behind me as a man. Ren got up, alert, and watched him carefully, suspicious of Kishan’s every move. Ren’s tail twitched back and forth, and a deep grumble issued from his chest. Kishan look down at Ren, who had crept even closer to keep an eye on him, and then looked back at me. He reached out his hand, and when I placed mine in it, he lifted it to his lips and kissed it, then bowed deeply with great aplomb. “May I ask your name?” “My name is Kelsey. Kelsey hayes.” “Kelsey. Well, I, for one, appreciate all the efforts you have made on our behalf. I apologize if I frightened you earlier. I am,” he smiled, “out of practice in conversing with young ladies. These gifts you will be offering to Durga. Would you kindly tell me more about them?” Ren growled unhappily. I nodded. “Is Kishan your given name?” “My full name is actually Sohan Kishan Rajaram, but you can call me Kishan if you like.” He smiled a dazzling white smile, which was even more brilliant due to the contrast with his dark skin. He offered an arm. “Would you please sit and talk with me, Kelsey?” There was something very charming about Kishan. I surprised myself by finding I immediately trusted and liked him. He had a quality similar to his brother. Like Ren, he had the ability to set a person completely at ease. Maybe it was their diplomatic training. Maybe it was how their mother raised them. Whatever it was made me respond positively. I smiled at him. “I’d love to.” He tucked my arm under his and walked with me over to the fire. Ren growled again, and Kishan shot a smirk in his direction. I noticed him wince when he sat, so I offered him some aspirin. “Shouldn’t we be getting you two to a doctor? I really think you might need stitches and Ren-“ “Thank you, but no. You don’t need to worry about our minor pains.” “I wouldn’t exactly call your wounds minor, Kishan.” “The curse helps us to heal quickly. You’ll see. We’ll both recover swiftly enough on our own. Still, it was nice to have such a lovely young woman tending to my injuries.” Ren stood in front of us and looked like he was a tiger suffering from apoplexy. I admonished, “Ren, be civil.” Kishan smiled widely and waited for me to get comfortable. Then he scooted closer to me and rested his arm on the log behind my shoulders. Ren stepped right between us, nudged his brother roughly aside with his furry head, creating a wider space, and maneuvered his body into the middle. He dropped heavily to the ground and rested his head in my lap. Kishan frowned, but I started talking, sharing the story of what Ren and I had been through. I told him about meeting Ren at the circus and about how he tricked me to get me to India. I talked about Phet, the Cave of Kanheri, and finding the prophecy, and I told him that we were on our way to Hampi. As I lost myself in our story, I stroked Ren’s head. He shut his eyes and purred, and then he fell asleep. I talked for almost an hour, barely registering Kishan’s raised eyebrow and thoughtful expression as he watched the two of us together. I didn’t even notice when he’d changed back into a tiger.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
In the black hour before dawn, they stopped to let the horses drink and fed them each a handful of oats and a twist or two of hay. "We are not far from the place the wildlings died," said Qhorin. "From there, one man could hold a hundred. The right man." He looked at Squire Dalbridge. The squire bowed his head. "Leave me as many arrows as you can spare, brothers." He stroked his longbow. "And see my garron has an apple when you're home. He's earned it, poor beastie." He's staying to die, Jon realized. Qhorin clasped the squire's forearm with a gloved hand. "If the eagle flies down for a look at you..." "...he'll sprout some new feathers.
George R.R. Martin (A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2))
My Dearest, I miss you, my darling, as I always do, but today is especially hard because the ocean has been singing to me, and the song is that of our life together. I can almost feel you beside me as I write this letter, and I can smell the scent of wildflowers that always reminds me of you. But at this moment, these things give me no pleasure. Your visits have been coming less often, and I feel sometimes as if the greatest part of who I am is slowly slipping away. I am trying, though. At night when I am alone, I call for you, and whenever my ache seems to be the greatest, you still seem to find a way to return to me. Last night, in my dreams, I saw you on the pier near Wrightsville Beach. The wind was blowing through your hair, and your eyes held the fading sunlight. I am struck as I see you leaning against the rail. You are beautiful, I think as I see you, a vision that I can never find in anyone else. I slowly begin to walk toward you, and when you finally turn to me, I notice that others have been watching you as well. “Do you know her?” they ask me in jealous whispers, and as you smile at me, I simply answer with the truth. “Better than my own heart.” I stop when I reach you and take you in my arms. I long for this moment more than any other. It is what I live for, and when you return my embrace, I give myself over to this moment, at peace once again. I raise my hand and gently touch your cheek and you tilt your head and close your eyes. My hands are hard and your skin is soft, and I wonder for a moment if you’ll pull back, but of course you don’t. You never have, and it is at times like this that I know what my purpose is in life. I am here to love you, to hold you in my arms, to protect you. I am here to learn from you and to receive your love in return. I am here because there is no other place to be. But then, as always, the mist starts to form as we stand close to one another. It is a distant fog that rises from the horizon, and I find that I grow fearful as it approaches. It slowly creeps in, enveloping the world around us, fencing us in as if to prevent escape. Like a rolling cloud, it blankets everything, closing, until there is nothing left but the two of us. I feel my throat begin to close and my eyes well up with tears because I know it is time for you to go. The look you give me at that moment haunts me. I feel your sadness and my own loneliness, and the ache in my heart that had been silent for only a short time grows stronger as you release me. And then you spread your arms and step back into the fog because it is your place and not mine. I long to go with you, but your only response is to shake your head because we both know that is impossible. And I watch with breaking heart as you slowly fade away. I find myself straining to remember everything about this moment, everything about you. But soon, always too soon, your image vanishes and the fog rolls back to its faraway place and I am alone on the pier and I do not care what others think as I bow my head and cry and cry and cry.
Nicholas Sparks (Message in a Bottle)
In The Sunset Sky The sunset sky dazzling with the golden hues, Taking bow in brilliant sparkle of experience Is it not a climax, of the story so far, that was today? Or is it building anticipation of the night yet to come. Watch the days go, some proud of their accomplishments Some leaving sighs of disappointments, Leaving all in awe of its Amaranthine twists and turns And the fortunate get to see the moon trying to steal the show from setting sun, Oh she is such a show off, isn't she, basking in reflected glory Its magical, the sunset sky,Puzzling, sometimes just like a riddle, Leaving the nature stunned and amazed For it has been filling the canvas whole day with colours And now the sunset threatens to hide them all And in dark all the colours will be same A cue for the wise. Sunset sky has so much to offer, is she not a fine exampleof how uncertain a life can be Often reminding no matter what you planned, there will besome unexpected returns For End has its own brain, its own script Charting its own course So why just the beginning,every moment of the life should be grand, meted with equal passion and fervor She has been so clever; the sunset sky Leaving Twinkling cryptic messages for the night sky For even the dark has sparkle and hope if you keep your head up, A constant reminder that exuberance is an attitude of deep,rich, warm hearts I want my sunset sky to be grand, magical, and full of stories of my life that has been And its memories to linger on in this world, in the tomorrow and a few more years to come
Soma Mukherjee
If you have no arms To hold your crying child but your own arms And no legs but your own to run the stairs one more time To fetch what was forgotten I bow to you If you have no vehicle To tote your wee one but the wheels that you drive And no one else to worry, “Is my baby okay?” When you have to say goodbye on the doorsteps of daycare or on that cursed first day of school I bow to you If you have no skill but your own skill To replenish an ever-emptying bank account And no answers but your own to Satisfy the endless whys, hows, and whens your child asks and asks again I bow to you If you have no tongue to tell the truth To keep your beloved on the path without a precipice And no wisdom to impart Except the wisdom that you’ve acquired I bow to you If the second chair is empty Across the desk from a scornful, judging authority waiting For your child’s father to appear And you straighten your spine where you sit And manage to smile and say, “No one else is coming—I’m it.” Oh, I bow to you If your head aches when the spotlight finally shines on your child because your hands are the only hands there to applaud I bow to you If your heart aches because you’ve given until everything in you is gone And your kid declares, “It’s not enough.” And you feel the crack of your own soul as you whisper, “I know, baby. But it’s all mama’s got.” Oh, how I bow to you If they are your life while you are their nurse, tutor, maid Bread winner and bread baker, Coach, cheerleader and teammate… If you bleed when your child falls down I bow, I bow, I bow If you’re both punisher and hugger And your own tears are drowned out by the running of the bathroom faucet because children can’t know that mamas hurt too Oh, mother of mothers, I bow to you. —Toni Sorenson
Toni Sorenson
Great cutting edge, indifferent to tissue Great stamping mass, indifferent to the cry of crushed bones, Grant us your hardness: We would be as prompt to suffer As you to inflict our suffering! Light flashes out from your whirling blades Heads bow to the earth before your harvesting: Heads of grain, heads of men and women. Grant us your hardness and bright surface. Be with us in the hour of our processing. - Hymn to Steel: for 5 million human voices
John Wain (Wildtrack)
Poor May!" he said. "Poor? Why poor?" she echoed with a strained laugh. "Because I shall never be able to open a window without worrying you," he rejoined, laughing also. For a moment she was silent; then she said very low, her head bowed over her work: "I shall never worry if you're happy." "Ah, my dear; and I shall never be happy unless I can open the windows!" "In THIS weather?" she remonstrated; and with a sigh he buried his head in his book.
Edith Wharton (The Age of Innocence)
Down, wanton, down! Have you no shame That at the whisper of Love's name, Or Beauty's, presto! up you raise Your angry head and stand at gaze? Poor bombard-captain, sworn to reach The ravelin and effect a breach-- Indifferent what you storm or why, So be that in the breach you die! Love may be blind, but Love at least Knows what is man and what mere beast; Or Beauty wayward, but requires More delicacy from her squires. Tell me, my witless, whose one boast Could be your staunchness at the post, When were you made a man of parts To think fine and profess the arts? Will many-gifted Beauty come Bowing to your bald rule of thumb, Or Love swear loyalty to your crown? Be gone, have done! Down, wanton, down!
Robert Graves
You’re guileless, Lou. That’s one of the reasons I love you.” He lifted his head and gave her a wondering stare. “I do, you know,” she said. “It’s not your fault I made such a rotten mess of everything. It’s not your fault I’m such a colossal fuckup.” Lou bowed his head and considered this. “Aren’t you going to tell me I’m not so bad?” she asked. “Mmm-no. I was thinking how every man loves a hot girl with a history of making mistakes. Because it’s always possible she’ll make one with you.
Joe Hill (NOS4A2)
Still I Rise - 1928-2014 You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I’ll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries? Does my haughtiness offend you? Don’t you take it awful hard ’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines Diggin’ in my own backyard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I’ve got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Yet I have reflected on the fact that for most of use, there is a hard, impassable barrier between the most imaginatively detailed depravity and its real-life execution. It's the same solid steel wall that inserts itself between a kinife and my wrist even when I'm at my most disconsolate. So how was Kevin able to raise that crossbow, point it at Laura's breastbone, and then really, actually, in time and space, squeeze the release? I can only assume that he discovered what I never wish to. That there is no barrier. That like my trips abroad or this ludicrous scheme of bike locks and invitations on school stationaery, the very squeezing of that release can be broken down into a series of simple constituent parts. It may be no more miraculous to pull the trigger of a bow or a gun than it is to reach for a glass of water. I fear that crossing into the "unthinkable" turns out to be no more athletic than stepping across the threshold of an ordinary room; and that, if you will, is the trick. The secret. As ever, the secret is that there is no secret. He must almost have wanted to giggle, though that is not his style; those Columbine kids did giggle. And once you have found out that there is nothing to stop you—that the barrier, so seemingly uncrossable, is all in your head—it must be possible to step back and forth across that threshold again and again, shot after shot, as if an unintimidating pipsqueak has drawn a line across the carpet that you must not pass and you launch tauntingly over it, back and over it, in a mocking little dance.
Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
I’ve managed to stay in a perpetual state of learning only by maintaining what I think of as a posture of ignorant humility. This humility is as mandatory as arrogance… There is only one way to deal with this humiliation: bow you head, let go of the idea that you know anything, and ask politely of this new machine “How do you wish to be operated?” If you accept your ignorance, once you really admit to yourself that everything you know is now useles, the new machine will be good to you and tell you: here is how to operate me.
Ellen Ullman (Close to the Machine: Technophilia and Its Discontents)
We're not going to argue about this, Al. That's what he wants. Won't let him do it." "Do what?" He wraps the hair I'm playing with around his wrist and tugs me close, bowing his head so our brows touch. "Come between us." My entire body goes soft and warm at the gruff possessiveness in his voice, but he doesn't have a right to it. "Did you forget? There's already someone between us. You're moving with her to London." "I was an idiot. To think for one second that being on the other side of the ocean could give me any control.
A.G. Howard (Splintered (Splintered, #1))
Anna’s attention was focused on a single patient. Ariadne Bridgestock lay quietly against the white pillows. Her eyes were shut, and her rich brown skin was ashen, stretching tightly over the branching black veins beneath her skin. Anna slipped in between the screens surrounding Ariadne’s cot, and Cordelia followed, feeling slightly awkward. Was she intruding? But Anna looked up, as if to assure herself that Cordelia was there, before she knelt down at the side of Ariadne’s bed, laying her walking stick on the floor. Anna’s bowed shoulders looked strangely vulnerable. One of her hands dangled at her side: she reached out the other, fingers moving slowly across the white linen sheets, until she was almost touching Ariadne’s hand. She did not take it. At the last moment, Anna’s fingers curled and dropped to rest, beside Ariadne but not quite touching. In a low and steady voice, Anna said, “Ariadne. When you wake up—and you will wake up—I want you to remember this. It was never a sign of your worth that Charles Fairchild wanted to marry you. It is a measure of his lack of worth that he chose to break it off in such a manner.” “He broke it off?” Cordelia whispered. She was stunned. The breaking off of a promised engagement was a serious matter, undertaken usually only when one of the parties in question had committed some kind of serious crime or been caught in an affair. For Charles to break his promise to Ariadne while she lay unconscious was appalling. People would assume he had found out something dreadful about Ariadne. When she awoke, she might be ruined. Anna did not reply to Cordelia. She only raised her head and looked at Ariadne’s face, a long look like a touch. “Please don’t die,” she said, in a low voice, and rose to her feet. Catching up her walking stick, she strode from the infirmary, leaving Cordelia staring after her in surprise.
Cassandra Clare (Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1))
...[It comes] from so deep inside you, you cannot locate the source of the pain … The muscles of your jawbone go berserk, so that you bite the inside of your mouth and your jaw locks and the pain throbs. … Your spinal column stiffens so that you can hardly move your head or your neck and sometimes your back bends like a bow and you cannot stand up. … You ache with restlessness, so you feel you have to walk, to pace. And then as soon as you start pacing, the opposite occurs to you; you must sit and rest. Back and forth, up and down you go … you cannot get relief …
Jack Henry Abbott (In the Belly of the Beast: Letters From Prison)
Now that the sadhvi woman is here, perhaps we could let her decide.” No one would argue with that. Even Gauri bowed her head deferentially. I shifted my feet and attempted some measure of mysticism and authority. “Does your stomach ail you?” whispered Kamala. My attempt clearly failed.
Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1))
Finally there are those who saw at once that the question was a trap. There is no answer. Instead of wasting time grappling with that trap. They decide to act. They look to their childhood and look for what filled them with enthusiasm then and disregarding the advice of their elders, devote their life to it. Because enthusiasm is the sacred fire. They slowly discover, their actions are linked to a mysterious impulse beyond human knowledge. And they bow their heads as a sign of respect for that mystery and pray that they will not be diverted from a path they do not know, a path which they have chosen to travel because of the flame burning in their hearts. They use their intuition when they can and resort to discipline when intuition fails them. They seem quite mad. And sometimes they behave like mad people. But they are not mad. They have discovered true love and will. And those two things reveal the goal and the direction that they should follow. Their will is crystalline, their love is pure and their steps determined. In moments of doubt or sadness they never forget: I am an instrument, allow me to be an instrument capable of manifesting your will. They have chosen their road, and they may understand what their goal is only when they find themselves before the unwanted visitor. That is the beauty of the person who continues onward with enthusiasm and respect for the mystery of life as his only guide. His road is beautiful, and his burden light. The goal will be large or small, it can be far away or right next door. He goes in search of it with respect and honor. He knows what each step means, and how much it costs in effort and training and intuition. He focuses not just on the goal to be reached but on everything happening around him. He often has to stop because his strength fails him. At such moments, love appears and says: You think you're heading toward a specific point, but the whole justification for the goals existence lies in your love for it. Rest a little. But as soon as you can, get up and carry on. Because ever since your goal found out that you were traveling toward it, it has been running to meet you.
Paulo Coelho
Who do you think taught me the tricks of the trade, so to speak?” I paused. Then, suddenly, it all became clear. “OMG!” I looked directly at Even. “You’re the Master?” He bowed his head. “That’d be me, sister dear.” Beyond dumbfounded, Nik leaned down and queried, “You’ve heard of him before?” Renée answered, “Who hasn’t? He’s known in at least six States.” Still, I sat there with my mouth gaping open and stared in shock. Alex added, “Yes. It’s questionable if the clubs are legal.” Even fired back, “That’s what I have you for. To make sure I toe the very gray line.” I finally found my voice. “So, you’re the teacher?” I
Lora Ann (Branded (Strand Brothers, #1))
Just let me grab my thinking cap,” she told him, heading for her locker. The long floppy hat was required during midterms, designed to restrict Telepaths and preserve the integrity of the tests—not that anything could block Sophie’s enhanced abilities. But after the exams, the hats became present sacks, and everyone filled them with treats and trinkets and treasures. “I’ll need to inspect your presents before you open them,” Sandor warned as he helped Sophie lift her overstuffed hat. “That’s perfect,” Fitz said. “While he does that, you can open mine.” He pulled a small box from the pocket of his waist-length cape and handed it to Sophie. The opalescent wrapping paper had flecks of teal glitter dusted across it, and he’d tied it with a silky teal bow, making her wonder if he’d guessed her favorite color. She really hoped he couldn’t guess why. . . . “Hopefully I did better this year,” Fitz said. “Biana claimed the riddler was a total fail.” The riddle-writing pen he’d given her last time had been a disappointment, but . . . “I’m sure I’ll love it,” Sophie promised. “Besides. My gift is boring.” Sandor had declared an Atlantis shopping trip to be far too risky, so Sophie had spent the previous day baking her friends’ presents. She handed Fitz a round silver tin and he popped the lid off immediately. “Ripplefluffs?” he asked, smiling his first real smile in days. The silver-wrapped treats were what might happen if a brownie and a cupcake had a fudgey, buttery baby, with a candy surprise sunken into the center. Sophie’s adoptive mother, Edaline, had taught her the recipe
Shannon Messenger (Lodestar (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #5))
Better to work for one's self alone. The public is so stupid. Who reads? And what do they read? And what do they admire? Ah, blessed peaceful times of the past, blessed eras of powdered wigs! You lived with complete assurance, poised on your high heels, twirling your silver-headed canes! Beneath us the earth is trembling. Where can we place our fulcrum, even admitting that we possess the lever? The thing we all lack is not style, nor that dexterity of finger and bow known as talent. We have a large orchestra, a rich palette, a variety of resources. We know many more tricks and dodges, probably, than were ever known before. No; what we lack is the intrinsic principle, the soul of the thing, the very idea of the subject.We take notes, we make journeys: emptiness! Emptiness! We become scholars, archaeologists, historians, doctors, cobblers, connoisseurs. What good is all that? Where is the heart, the verve, the sap? Where to start out from? Where to go to?
Gustave Flaubert
Her words echoed through her head as she entered her room. Ask God. She had been doing that. Or had she? Abigail stared at the floor. Had she really asked, or had she merely told God what she wanted and then waited for his approval of her plans? She feared she had done the latter. Perhaps that was why she hadn’t received an answer. Slowly, she sank to her knees and bowed her head in prayer. Father in heaven, I’m sorry. I trust you. I know you have plans for me, and they’re better than my plans. Show me your plan. There were no answers, nothing but the feeling of peace that filled her heart. That was enough for now. The answers would come.
Amanda Cabot (Summer of Promise (Westward Winds, #1))
He’s just a good all-around horse. He aint a finished horse but I think he’ll make a cow horse. I’m pleased to hear it. Of course your preference is for one that’ll bow up like a bandsaw and run head first into the barn wall. John Grady smiled. Horse of my dreams, he said. It aint exactly like that. How is it then? I don’t know. I think it’s just somethin you like. Or don’t like. You can add up all of a horse’s good points on a sheet of paper and it still wont tell you whether you’ll like the horse or not. What about if you add up all his bad ones? I don’t know. I’d say you’d probably done made up your mind at that point. You think there’s horses so spoiled you cant do nothin with em? Yes I do. But probably not as many as you might think. Maybe not. You think a horse can understand what a man says? You mean like words? I don’t know. Like can he understand what he says. John Grady looked out the window. Water was beaded on the glass. Two bats were hunting in the barnlight. No, he said. I think he can understand what you mean.
Cormac McCarthy (Cities of the Plain (The Border Trilogy, #3))
The Last Hero The wind blew out from Bergen from the dawning to the day, There was a wreck of trees and fall of towers a score of miles away, And drifted like a livid leaf I go before its tide, Spewed out of house and stable, beggared of flag and bride. The heavens are bowed about my head, shouting like seraph wars, With rains that might put out the sun and clean the sky of stars, Rains like the fall of ruined seas from secret worlds above, The roaring of the rains of God none but the lonely love. Feast in my hall, O foemen, and eat and drink and drain, You never loved the sun in heaven as I have loved the rain. The chance of battle changes -- so may all battle be; I stole my lady bride from them, they stole her back from me. I rent her from her red-roofed hall, I rode and saw arise, More lovely than the living flowers the hatred in her eyes. She never loved me, never bent, never was less divine; The sunset never loved me, the wind was never mine. Was it all nothing that she stood imperial in duresse? Silence itself made softer with the sweeping of her dress. O you who drain the cup of life, O you who wear the crown, You never loved a woman's smile as I have loved her frown. The wind blew out from Bergen to the dawning of the day, They ride and run with fifty spears to break and bar my way, I shall not die alone, alone, but kin to all the powers, As merry as the ancient sun and fighting like the flowers. How white their steel, how bright their eyes! I love each laughing knave, Cry high and bid him welcome to the banquet of the brave. Yea, I will bless them as they bend and love them where they lie, When on their skulls the sword I swing falls shattering from the sky. The hour when death is like a light and blood is like a rose, -- You never loved your friends, my friends, as I shall love my foes. Know you what earth shall lose to-night, what rich uncounted loans, What heavy gold of tales untold you bury with my bones? My loves in deep dim meadows, my ships that rode at ease, Ruffling the purple plumage of strange and secret seas. To see this fair earth as it is to me alone was given, The blow that breaks my brow to-night shall break the dome of heaven. The skies I saw, the trees I saw after no eyes shall see, To-night I die the death of God; the stars shall die with me; One sound shall sunder all the spears and break the trumpet's breath: You never laughed in all your life as I shall laugh in death.
G.K. Chesterton
Are those chocolate chip?'' Cole reaches her first and claims one. ''Oh, my godness.'' Nana sets the tray aside and coos the guy. ''Cole, dear, you have a boulder-size knot on your jaw.'' ''River did it.'' Cole smirks at the guy. ''And he insulted my mom. And my dad.'' ''River Marks.'' Nana shakes her head, as if her heart is acually breaking. ''How could you be so rough? And so insensitive!'' River glares at Cole before bowing his head. ''I'm sorry, Nana.'' ''The human body is like a flower. Treat it well, and it will bloom.'' She approaches the ring and extends two cookies. River and I accept with eager thanks. ''Let's be kind to each other and keep our punches away from the face and groin.'' ''Yes, ma'am,'' we say in unison. Then of course, we devour the offering as if we've never tasted sugar. ''Good, good.'' She brushes the crumbs from her fingers. ''I'll leave you kids to your practice.'' She kisses Ali, then Cole, and leaves. ''Are you a rose?'' River sneers at Cole. ''Or a lilly?'' ''Orchid. And your jealousy is showing.'' Cole responds.
Gena Showalter (A Mad Zombie Party (White Rabbit Chronicles, #4))
Shame is a child of self-centeredness. Heaven’s occupants are not self-centered, they are Christ-centered. You will be in your sinless state. The sinless don’t protect a reputation or project an image. You won’t be ashamed. You’ll be happy to let God do in heaven what he did on earth—be honored in your weaknesses. Heads bowed in shame? No. Heads bowed in worship? No doubt.
Max Lucado (When Christ Comes: The Beginning of the Very Best)
He walked over to Jacque, whose head was bowed and turned so that her neck was bared. It was like she knew instinctively to submit so as to not provoke the dominant wolf and hopefully she would subdue him in her surrender. Fane's wolf must have been the one in control of the wheel because he leaned down over Jacque and growled low. He placed his face against her neck, breathing deep, and his voice was guttural when he spoke. "Mine." Jacque turned her head slightly and did what no other would ever be able to do when this Alpha was at this point, she looked him in the eyes. "Yes, I am yours." As soon as the words were out of her mouth, Fane pulled his power in and all of a sudden it was like a weight had been lifted and they could breathe again.
Quinn Loftis (Blood Rites (The Grey Wolves, #2))
In my time in Washington, no battle has consumed more energy than stopping Obamacare. On the evening of September 24, 2013, it began with a prayer. In my tiny “hideaway” office wedged into a dome in the Capitol Building, Senator Mike Lee and I bowed our heads, read from the Book of Psalms, and asked for the Lord’s guidance. I then walked to the floor of the U.S. Senate and announced, “I intend to speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand.”* I opened by noting that “all across this country, Americans are suffering because of Obamacare.” And yet politicians in Washington were not listening to the concerns of their constituents. They weren’t hearing the people with jobs lost or the people forced into part-time work. They had no answers for the people losing their health insurance, or the people who are struggling. With good reason, men and women across America believe that politicians get elected, go to Washington, and stop listening to them. This is the most common thing you hear from the man on the street, from Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and Libertarians: You’re not listening to me.
Ted Cruz (A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America)
He was alone and shackled by his neck to the wall. And he had no hope. How did a man live without hope? [You hope is in Jesus Christ. Pray to your Father in that name and he will ease your pain or shorten it]. That's what Tyndale had said in his last letter. And that's what John tried to do, though he could not kneel or even bow his head from his fixed position on the wall. (p. 365)
Brenda Rickman Vantrease (The Heretic’s Wife)
A jaw like a mastiff's, a frame like a giant's, eyes like two daggers, a smile like a tiger's snarl,"Bernard murmured. "Aye, he is all that!!" Master Herbert said."A murrain be on him! And when I came to him,what did I do? I did bow in all politeness, yet stiffly withal to show him I'd not brook his surliness." "I did hear ye did bow so low that your head came below your knees,"Bernard said.
Georgette Heyer (Simon the Coldheart)
The next morning, very early, you and I went to the old pine-tree. Your little legs were going along so fast that it made me quite dizzy to look at them. Long before we came to the place I had to carry you - you had such a terrible stitch! At last we caught sight of him. His branches were all waving and his head was high in the air. When he saw us he bowed most graciously, but very proudly. I stole along ever so quietly with you in my arms, and, sure enough, there were the sparrows sitting in the branches. They did not seem at all shy, and how glad we both were. The old pine-tree looked just like you do when you have had a cold bath and Mummy has put you in a clean starched frock, and a petticoat that sticks out all round. You look as though you never made mud pies in your life and would rather die than tread in the puddles.
Katherine Mansfield
If she’d known what a good shot you are,” he whispered past the unfamiliar tightness in his throat, “she’d never have dared.” His hand lifted to her wet cheek, holding it pressed against his chest. “You could always call her out, you know.” The spasmodic shaking in Elizabeth’s slender shoulders began to subside, and Ian added with forced tightness, “Better yet, Robert should stand in for you. He’s not as fine a shot as you are, but he’s a hell of a lot faster…” A teary giggle escaped the girl in his arms, and Ian continued, “On the other hand, if you’re holding the pistol, you’ll have some choices to make, and they’re not easy…” When he didn’t say more, Elizabeth drew a shaky breath. “What choices?” she finally whispered against his chest after a moment. “What to shoot, for one thing,” he joked, stroking her back. “Robert was wearing Hessians, so I had a tassel for a target. I suppose, though, you could always shoot the bow off Valerie’s gown.” Elizabeth’s shoulders gave a lurch, and a choked laugh escaped her. Overwhelmed with relief, Ian kept his left arm around her and gently took her chin between his forefinger and thumb, tipping her face up to his. Her magnificent eyes were still wet with tears, but a smile was trembling on her rosy lips. Teasingly, he continued, “A bow isn’t much of a challenge for an expert marksman like you. I suppose you could insist that she hold up an earring between her fingers so you could shoot that instead.” The image was so absurd that Elizabeth chuckled. Without being conscious of what he was doing, Ian moved his thumb from her chin to her lower lip, rubbing lightly against its inviting fullness. He finally realized what he was doing and stopped. Elizabeth saw his jaw tighten. She drew a shuddering breath, sensing he’d been on the verge of kissing her, and had just decided not to do it. After the last shattering minutes, Elizabeth no longer knew who was friend or foe, she only knew she’d felt safe and secure in his arms, and at that moment his arms were already beginning to loosen, and his expression was turning aloof. Not certain what she was going to say or even what she wanted, she whispered a single, shaky word, filled with confusion and a plea for understanding, her green eyes searching his: “Please-“ Ian realized what she was asking for, but he responded with a questioning lift of his brows. “I-“ she began, uncomfortably aware of the knowing look in his eyes. “Yes?” he prompted. “I don’t know-exactly,” she admitted. All she knew for certain was that, for just a few minutes more, she would have liked to be in his arms. “Elizabeth, if you want to be kissed, all you have to do is put your lips on mine.” “What!” “You heard me.” “Of all the arrogant-“ He shook his head in mild rebuke. “Spare me the maidenly protests. If you’re suddenly as curious as I am to find out if it was as good between us as it now seems in retrospect, then say so.” His own suggestion startled Ian, although having made it, he saw no great harm in exchanging a few kisses if that was what she wanted.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Aidan: "From the moment I laid eyes on her she was trouble to my concentration, my libido, and my mental health. After six weeks of pursuit, I’d trapped her between my upraised arms against a book case, somewhere betwixt Shakespeare and Voltaire. “I want the witchcraft in your lips,” I’d whispered. Instead of arguing, she grabbed me by the ears. She’d been soft lips, liberal tongue and nipping teeth. I’d contributed a willing body and a vulgar groan. She’d drawn away, licked her lips and ducked underneath my arms. When she was about three yards from me, she’s tilted her head up like a siren on the bow of a ship and pursed a devil-may-care smile at me before she bowed. She’d challenged me to pursue her, and I’d intended to, but when I pushed off, the bookcase fell backwards. I tumbled into a heap of literary tombs. I could still hear her laughing when the library’s elevator door chimed closed.
Elizabeth Marx (Binding Arbitration (Chicago #2))
Teeth retracting, Lissianna pulled free of Greg Hewitt’s neck and glanced guiltily over her shoulder. The sight of Thomas and her mother staring at her wide-eyed from the doorway was enough to make her stand quickly, her hands moving to straighten her clothes and hair. “I cannot believe this!” Marguerite stomped into the room. “Sneaking around and unwrapping your gifts before your birthday like you’re twelve instead of two hundred! What were you thinking?” “Well, technically, it is her birthday, Aunt Marguerite,” Thomas pointed out as he closed the door. Lissianna tossed her cousin a grateful smile, but said, “I wasn’t sneaking around. I came up to get fresh stockings.” She scooped them up off the bed, and added, “And I didn’t unwrap him.” Marguerite stared pointedly at the floor. After glancing down to see the untied bow lying forgotten there, Lissianna grimaced, and admitted, “Okay, I did unwrap him, but only because he was upset, and I hated to leave him distressed.” She paused, then tilted her head, and said, “I take it Bastien’s arrival interrupted you before you could put the full whammy on him? He was upset about being kidnapped and wanted to be untied when I got here.” “I didn’t kidnap him,” Marguerite said with affront, then peered past Lissianna to Dr. Gregory Hewitt to say, “I didn’t kidnap you. I borrowed you.” -Marguerite, Thomas, & Lissianna
Lynsay Sands (A Quick Bite (Argeneau #1))
Late afternoon light filters in through his pale curtains, and it casts the room in a dreamy kind of filter. If I were going to name it, I would call it “summer in the suburbs.” Peter looks beautiful in this light. He looks beautiful in any light, but especially this one. I take a picture of him in my mind, just like this. Any annoyance I felt over him forgetting my yearbook melts away when he snuggles closer to me, rests his head on my chest, and says, “I can feel your heart beating.” I start playing with his hair, which I know he likes. It’s so soft for a boy. I love the smell of his detergent, his soap, everything. He looks up at me and traces the bow of my lip. “I like this part the best,” he says. Then he moves up and brushes his lips against mine, teasing me. He bites on my bottom lip playfully. I like all his different kinds of kisses, but maybe this kind best. Then he’s kissing me with urgency, like he is utterly consumed, his hands in my hair, and I think, no, these are the best. Between kisses he asks me, “How come you only ever want to hook up when we’re at my house?” “I--I don’t know. I guess I never thought about it before.” It’s true we only ever make out at Peter’s house. It feels weird to be romantic in the same bed I’ve slept in since I was a little girl. But when I’m in Peter’s bed, or in his car, I forget all about that and I’m just lost in the moment.
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
Cinderella winced in the silence and was about to whisper to the minster to move on when Friedrich touched her arm. When she met his gaze, he tilted his head toward the courtyard. When Cinderella looked, a resounding, almost deafening, “WE DO,” blasted in through the open windows. Cinderella broke ranks and hurried to the banister—Friedrich at her side. There, standing in the courtyard with the rest of the well-wishers, was every servant of Aveyron. They were headed by Gilbert and Jeanne, and all of them—from the head butler to the youngest chicken girl—wore bracelets or bands of scarlet red silk tied around their foreheads and the arms of their coats. They carried flags with the Aveyron crest, and bowed and curtsied when they saw that Cinderella looked down at them. “They couldn’t all have possibly fit in the cathedral, so they asked to be outside where they might all stand together as your witness,” Friedrich said, speaking directly into Cinderella’s ear. Now
K.M. Shea (Cinderella and the Colonel (Timeless Fairy Tales, #3))
You know, there’s no need for you to stay here against your will. You could come home.” Kestrel splattered oil onto Cheat’s feet and smeared it into the rough skin. “No. There’s nothing there I want.” She felt his gaze on her bowed head, on her hands moving over his feet. “Do you do this for Arin?” “No.” “What do you do for him?” Kestrel straightened. Her palms were greasy. She rubbed them into her skirts, not caring that disgust was at least one of the things Cheat wanted to see. Why, why would he want that? She turned to leave. “We’re not done,” he said. “We are,” said Kestrel, “unless you’d like to see how much my father taught me about unarmed combat. I’ll drown you in that fountain. If I can’t, I’ll scream loud enough to bring every Herrani in this house running, and make them wonder what kind of man their leader is, that a Valorian girl so easily snapped his self-control.” She walked away, and he didn’t follow, though she felt his eyes on her until she turned a corner. She found the kitchens, the most populated place in the house, and stood by a fire, listening to the metal clatter of kettles. She ignored the strange looks. Then she was shaking, as much with fury as anything else. Tell Arin. Kestrel waved that thought away. What good would telling Arin do? Arin was a black box hidden below a smooth tile. A trap door opening beneath her. He wasn’t what she’d thought he was. Maybe Arin had known that this would happen, or something like it. Maybe he wouldn’t even mind.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
I been thinkin'," he said. "I been in the hills, thinkin', almost you might say like Jesus went into the wilderness to think His way out of a mess of troubles. Seems like Jesus got all messed up with troubles, and He couldn't figure nothin' out, an' He got to feelin' what the hell good is it all, an' what's the use fightin' an' figurin'. Got tired, got good an' tired, an' His sperit all wore out. Jus' about come to the conclusion, the hell with it. An' so He went off into the wilderness." "I ain't sayin' I'm like Jesus," the preacher went on. "But I got tired like Him, an' I got mixed up like Him, an' I went into the wilderness like Him, without no campin' stuff. Nighttime I'd lay on my back an' look up at the stars; morning I'd set an' watch the sun come up; midday I'd look out from a hill at the rollin' dry country; evenin' I'd foller the sun down. Sometimes I'd pray like I always done. On'y I couldn' figure what I was prayin' to or for. There was the hills, an' there was me, an' we wasn't separate no more. We was one thing. An' that one thing was holy." "An' I got thinkin', on'y it wasn't thinkin, it was deeper down than thinkin'. I got thinkin' how we was holy when we was one thing, an' mankin' was holy when it was one thing. An' it on'y got unholy when one mis'able little fella got the bit in his teeth an' run off his own way, kickin' an' draggin' an' fightin'. Fella like that bust the holiness. But when they're all workin' together, not one fella for another fella, but one fella kind of harnessed to the whole shebang—that's right, that's holy. An' then I got thinkin' I don't even know what I mean by holy." He paused, but the bowed heads stayed down, for they had been trained like dogs to rise at the "amen" signal. "I can't say no grace like I use' ta say. I'm glad of the holiness of breakfast. I'm glad there's love here. That's all." The heads stayed down. The preacher looked around. "I've got your breakfast cold," he said; and then he remembered. "Amen," he said, and all the heads rose up.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes Of Wrath An Opera In 3 Acts)
A big white bag with a red star was passed over the console. “Thanks for coming in—my name’s Antoine, by the way. If you want to come back for shoes.” After shoving his former clothes inside, Xcor found himself bowing at the waist. “Your assistance has been much appreciated.” Antoine raised his palm like he was getting ready to do a clap on the shoulder again. But once more, he caught himself and smiled instead. “Knock her dead, my man.” “Oh, no.” Xcor shook his head. “That shan’t be necessary. This one I like.
J.R. Ward (The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #12))
For there he stands, the emissary from the kingdom of sighs, the elected favourite of suffering, the apostle of sorrow, the silent friend of pain, the unhappy lover of memory, confounded in his memory by the light of hope, deceived in his hope by the shadows of memory. His head is heavy, his knees are weak, yet he rests on none but himself. He is faint, yet how powerful! His eyes seem not to have shed, but to have drunk, many tears; yet a fire burns in them that could consume the entire world, though not one splinter of the sorrow within his breast. He is bent, yet his youth portends a long life; his lips smile at the world that misunderstands him. Rise, dear Symparanekromenoi, bow before him, sorrow’s witnesses, in this solemn hour! I salute you, great unknown, whose name I do not know; I salute you with your title of honour: The Unhappiest One! Receive a welcome here in your home from the community of the unhappy; welcome at the entrance to the humble and low dwelling which is yet prouder than all the world’s palaces!
Søren Kierkegaard (Either/Or: A Fragment of Life)
At the end of the forest the guardian angel pointed to the village and said: ‘There you will find your mother. She is sitting outside the house, thinking of you. Go now. From here on, you won’t be able to see me.’ The child went to the village, but it looked strange and unfamiliar to her. In among the houses she knew, there were others she had never seen before; the trees looked different, and there was no trace of damage the enemy had done. All was peaceful, the grain waved in the breeze, the meadows were green, the trees were laden with fruit. But she had no trouble recognizing her mother’s house, and when she came close, she saw an old, old woman with bowed head, sitting on the bench outside the door, enjoying the last rays of the evening sun that hung low over the forest. The old woman looked up, and when she saw the little girl she cried out in joyful amazement. ‘Ah, dear child. God has granted my last wish, to see you once again before I die.’ She kissed her and pressed her to her heart. And then the little girl heard that she had spent thirty years with Saint Joseph in the forest, though to her it had seemed like three days. All the fear and misery her mother had suffered during the great war had passed her by, and her whole life had been just one joyful moment. Her mother had thought wild beasts had torn her to pieces years ago, and yet deep in her heart she had hoped to catch at least a glimpse of her just as she was when she went away. And when she looked up, there stood the dear child, wearing the same little dress.
Maurice Sendak (Dear Mili)
You’re so bright, Trav, and so intuitive about people. And you have … the gift of tenderness. And sympathy. You could be almost anything.” “Of course!” I said, springing to my feet and beginning to pace back and forth through the lounge. “Why didn’t I think of that! Here I am, wasting the golden years on this lousy barge, getting all mixed up with lame-duck women when I could be out there seeking and striving. Who am I to keep from putting my shoulder to the wheel? Why am I not thinking about an estate and how to protect it? Gad, woman, I could be writing a million dollars a year in life insurance. I should be pulling a big oar in the flagship of life. Maybe it isn’t too late yet! Find the little woman, and go for the whole bit. Kiwanis, P.T.A., fund drives, cookouts, a clean desk, and vote the straight ticket, yessiree bob. Then when I become a senior citizen, I can look back upon …” I stopped when I heard the small sound she was making. She sat with her head bowed. I went over and put my fingertips under her chin. I tilted her head up and looked down into her streaming eyes. “Please, don’t,” she whispered. “You’re beginning to bring out the worst in me, woman.” “It was none of my business.” “I will not dispute you.” “But … who did this to you?” “I’ll never know you well enough to try to tell you, Lois.” She tried to smile. “I guess it can’t be any plainer than that.” “And I’m not a tragic figure, no matter how hard you try to make me into one. I’m delighted with myself, woman.” “And you wouldn’t say it that way if you were.” “Spare me the cute insights.
John D. MacDonald (The Deep Blue Good-By)
You're wearing a bow tie," I said necessarily. He glanced over at me. "Mom said I had to dress up for this." I heard a low snort of laughter coming through the open window above the sink. And I knew. I stalked over to the window and looked outside. There, sitting spread out on the grass, were the rest of the Bennetts. Goddamn fucking werewolves. "Hello, Ox," Elizabeth said without a jint of shame. "Lovely day, isn't it?" "I will deal with you late," I said. Ooh," Carter said. "I actually got chills from that." "We're just here for support," Kelly said. "And to laugh at how embarrassing Joe is." "I heard that!" Joe shouted from behind me. I banged my head on the windowsill. "Maggie," Joe said. Then, "May I call you Maggie?" "Sure." My mother sound like she was enjoying this. The traitor. "You can call me Maggie." "Good," Joe glanced down at his card berfore looking back up at my mother. " There comes a time in every werewolf's life when he is of age to make certain decisions about his future." I wondered if I threw something at him if it'd distract him enough for me to drag him out of the kitchen. I glanced over my shoulder out the window. Cater waved at me. Like an asshole. "My future," Joe said, "is Ox." Ah god, that made me ache. “Is that so?” Mom asked. “How do you figure?” “He’s really nice,” Joe said seriously. “And smells good. And he makes me happy. And I want to do nothing more than put my mouth on him.” “Ah well,” Thomas said. "We tried." "He's our little snowflake," Elizabeth told him. "You want to do what?!" I asked Joe incredulously. He winced. "I didn't mean to say it like that.
T.J. Klune (Wolfsong (Green Creek, #1))
To have a goddess like you in his arms and not appreciate it…” He kissed her, unable to resist the lush, succulent mouth so close to his. He put everything he felt into it, so he could wipe out any hurt the Neds of the world had given her. When he broke away, realizing he was treading dangerous ground, she said hoarsely, “You weren’t always so…appreciative. When I said that men enjoyed my company, you said you found that hard to believe.” “What?” he retorted with a scowl. “I never said any such thing.” “Yes, you did, the day that I asked you to investigate my suitors. I remember it clearly.” “There’s no way in hell I ever…” The conversation came back to him suddenly, and he shook his head. “You’re remembering only part, sweeting. You said that men enjoyed your company and considered you easy to talk to. It was the last part I found hard to believe.” “Oh.” She eyed him askance. “Why? You never seem to have trouble talking to me. Or rather, lecturing me.” “It’s either lecture you or stop up your mouth with kisses,” he said dryly. “Talking to you isn’t easy, because every time I’m near you I burn to carry you off to some secluded spot and do any number of wicked things with you.” She blinked, then gazed at him with such softness that at made his chest hurt. “Then why don’t you?” “Because you’re a marquess’s daughter and my employer’s sister.” “What does that signify? You’re an assistant magistrate and a famous Bow Street Runner-“ “And the bastard of nobody knows whom.” “Which merely makes you a fitting companion for a hellion with a reputation for recklessness.” The word companion resonated in his brain. What did she mean by it? Then she pressed a kiss to his jaw, eroding his resistance and his reason, and he knew precisely what she meant. He tried to set her off of him before he lost his mind entirely, but she looped her arms about his neck and wouldn’t let go. “Show me.” “Show you what?” “All the wicked things you want to do with me.” Desire bolted in a fever through his vein. “My God, Celia-“ “I won’t believe a word you’ve said if you don’t.” Her gaze grew troubled. “I don’t think you know what you want. Yesterday you gave me such lovely kisses and caresses and then at the ball you acted like you’d never met me.” “You were with your suitors,” he said hoarsely. “You could have danced with me. You didn’t even ask me for one dance.” Having her on his lap was rousing him to a painful hardness. “Because I knew if I did, I would want…I would need…” She kissed a path down his throat, turning his blood to fire. “Show me,” she whispered, “Show me now what you want. What you need.” “I refuse to ruin you,” he said, half as a caution to himself. “You already have.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
I was on the first one when I felt his fingers encircle my wrist. “Sophie, come on. I don’t want to fight with you.” Turning, I opened my mouth to say I didn’t want to fight with him either. But before I could, I saw the telltale flash out of the corner of my eye, and the next thing I knew, my arm was jerking out of his grasp. “If you don’t want to fight with her, maybe you shouldn’t suggest she team up with people who want to kill her,” my voice snarled. Archer backed up so fast he nearly stumbled, and I wasn’t sure I’d ever seen him look so freaked out. But he recovered quickly. “Elodie, if I wanted to talk to you, I’d do a séance or something. Maybe go on an episode of Ghost Hunters. But right now, I want to talk to Sophie. So clear out.” Elodie had no intention of doing that. “You always were a crappy boyfriend,” she said. “Once you left, I chalked that up to you, you know, not actually liking me. But unless I’m blind as well as dead, you really like Sophie. In fact, hard as it is for me to fathom, I think you love her.” Shut up, shut up, shut up! Screw that, she retorted. You two spend all your time making stupid jokes and being all witty. Someone has to get real. “What’s your point?” Archer asked, narrowing his eyes at me. Her. Whatever. God, this was getting confusing. “Cal loves her, too, you know. And the last time I checked, he wasn’t part of a cult of monster killers. I’m just saying that if you’re going have loyalties that divided, maybe it’s time to bow out gracefully.” You couldn’t say Elodie didn’t know how to make a dramatic exit. The next thing I knew, I was pitching forward into Archer’s arms, my head swimming. Archer clutched my waist and then abruptly shoved me at arm’s length. “Sophie?” he asked, looking intently into my eyes. “Yeah,” I said, my voice shaking. “I’m back.” His fingers loosened, becoming more of a caress than a grip. “So you can’t control when she swoops in like that? She can just take you over…whenever?” I tried to laugh, but it came out more of a cough. “You know Elodie. I don’t think anyone has ever controlled her.” Frowning, Archer pulled his hands back and shoved them in his pockets. “Well, that’s awesome.” I grabbed the railing to steady myself. “Archer…that stuff she said. You know it’s not true.” He shrugged and moved past me onto the steps. “Saying the most hateful things possible is like Elodie’s superpower. Don’t worry about it.” He paused and looked over his shoulder. “We should probably go tell Jenna what we found down here.” Oh, right. We’d just unearthed a whole bunch of demons. That probably trumped over relationship issues. Another few seconds passed. “Come on, Mercer,” Archer said, holding his hand out to me. This time, I took it.
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
THE WELL Be thankful now for having arrived, for the sense of having drunk from a well, for remembering the long drought that preceded your arrival and the years walking in a desert landscape of surfaces looking for a spring hidden from you so long that even wanting to find it now had gone from your mind until you only remembered the hard pilgrimage that brought you here, the thirst that caught in your throat; the taste of a world just-missed and the dry throat that came from a love you remembered but had never fully wanted for yourself, until finally after years making the long trek to get here it was as if your whole achievement had become nothing but thirst itself. But the miracle had come simply from allowing yourself to know that you had found it, that this time someone walking out into the clear air from far inside you had decided not to walk past it any more; the miracle had come at the roadside in the kneeling to drink and the prayer you said, and the tears you shed and the memory you held and the realization that in this silence you no longer had to keep your eyes and ears averted from the place that could save you, that you had been given the strength to let go of the thirsty dust laden pilgrim-self that brought you here, walking with her bent back, her bowed head and her careful explanations. No, the miracle had already happened when you stood up, shook off the dust and walked along the road from the well, out of the desert toward the mountain, as if already home again, as if you deserved what you loved all along, as if just remembering the taste of that clear cool spring could lift up your face and set you free.
David Whyte (Pilgrim)
LEADING LESSONS Live in a state of gratitude. When I was a little boy, my dad taught us how to pray. We’d give thanks for meals; in church we’d thank God for his blessings. But as we grow older, expressing gratitude seems less important. We’re not as appreciative of the little things; we lose sight of what we already have in our quest to have more. I’m not a religious person anymore, but I see the value in prayer. It’s a brilliant incantation you deliver at any time during the day. You physically change your body--you fold your arms, you bow your head--and then you give thanks out loud for all that’s good in your life while expressing faith that what’s bad will get better. Gratitude reminds us to not give up, to have a positive attitude, and to open our hearts. When I was in London, I would gaze out the train window and think to myself, How lucky am I? Not every kid gets to follow his passion with every fiber of his being. I was so grateful, and that made everything I experienced so much richer. Today, in the crazy rush that is my life and my career, I constantly have to remind myself to stop and take stock.
Derek Hough (Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion)
She's amazing." Galen turns to Dr. Milligan, who's standing beside him and staring at Emma as if she were floating in midair. "Yes, she is," Galen says. Dr. Milligan looks at Galen, a knowing smile plastered on his face. "Looks like she's enchanted more than just the little fish. In fact, looks like you're worse off than any of them, my boy." Galen shrugs. He's got nothing to hide from Dr. Milligan. Dr. Milligan lets out his breath in a whistle. "What does Rayna say?" "She likes her." The good doctor raises a thin gray brow. Galen sighs. "She likes her enough.." "Well, can't ask for more than that, I suppose. Shall we, then?" Galen nods. "Emma. Dr. Milligan is here." Emma turns. And freezes. "You!" she chokes out. "You're Dr. Milligan?" The older man bows his head. "Yes, young lady, I am. You remember me, then." She nods, walking slowly toward them as if she smells a trap. "You tried to give me free season passes. You talked to me at the petting tank." "Yes," he says. "Of course I offered you season passes. How else could I study your fascinating interaction with the specimens?" She crosses her arms. "I didn't know I could talk to fish at the time. How did you?" "At first I didn't," he says, closing the distance between them and gently taking her hand. "But when I saw your eye color, I knew you had to be Syrena. I remembered Galen telling me about that gift, but I never really believed it. Which is silly, I suppose. I mean, if I believe in mermaids-ahem, excuse me Galen, Syrena-then why not a gift like that?" "And what do you think now, Dr. Milligan?" Galen says, a little perturbed at the revelation that his friend thought he lied. Also, "mermaids" was uncalled for.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
I could have slapped him from the way he moved backward, abandoning the sweet ecstasy of kissing forbidden places that had aroused me. He sat up on the side of the bed and bowed his head into his hands. Then he sobbed, “Always you manage to defeat me, Cathy! First Paul, then Julian . . . and now a baby.” Then suddenly he faced me. “Come away and let me be the father to that child! Julian isn’t fit! If you never let me touch you, let me live near enough so I can see you every day and hear your voice. Sometimes I want it back like it used to be . . . just you and I, and our twins.
V.C. Andrews (Petals on the Wind (Dollanganger, #2))
The moment the two men entered, she leapt from her seat, knelt, and bowed her head. “Hey! Watch it, that’s a new dress,” Hadrian said with a smile. “Oh!” She scrambled to her feet, blushing, then curtsied and bowed her head once more. “What’s she doing?” Royce whispered to Hadrian. “Not sure,” he whispered back. “I’m trying to show the proper reverence, Your Lordships,” she whispered to both of them while keeping her head down. “I’m sorry if I’m not very good at it.” Royce rolled his eyes and Hadrian began to laugh. “Why are you whispering?” Hadrian asked her. “Because you two were.
Michael J. Sullivan (Theft of Swords (The Riyria Revelations, #1-2))
I walked back into the bedroom. Amar was standing by the foot of the bed, playing lazily with the cuffs of his sleeves. I tensed. That foolish disappointment was gone. “Are you frightened?” he asked. Don’t cower. I straightened my back. I would’ve stared him in the eyes if I could. “Should I be?” “I should hope there are more frightening things than sharing a bed with me,” he said. He flourished a bow. “Did I not promise you that we would be equals? Your will is where I lay my head. I will not touch you without your permission.” I moved to the bed, taking stock of the unnecessary amount of cushions. I could feel Amar’s gaze on me and rather than tossing the cushions to the ground, I stacked them in the middle of the bed. Amar followed me and slid onto the opposite side. The fire in the diyas collapsed with the faintest of sighs. “A daunting fortress,” he said lazily, prodding one of the pillows. “Have you so little faith in me?” “Yes.” He laughed and the sound was unexpectedly…musical. “The dark is a lovely thing, is it not? It lets us speak in blindness. No scowls or smiles or stares clouding our words.” I lay in bed, my body taut. Amar continued: “I spoke no falsehoods in the Night Bazaar,” he said. “I would rip the stars from the sky if you wished it. Anything for you. But remember to trust me. Remember your promise.” I fell quiet for a moment. “I remember my promise.” After that, I said nothing. The air between us could have been whittled in steel. An hour passed before I ventured a glance at Amar. His face was turned from me, leaving only dark curls half visible in the light. Moonlight had limned his silhouette silver. The longer I stared at him, the more something sharp stirred within me and I was reminded of that strange ache in my head, where forgotten dreams jostled for remembrance.
Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1))
But there’s never been anyone? Really?” Sarah shrugs. “Penny and I were tutored at home when we were young . . . but in year ten, there was this one boy.” I rub my hands together. “Here we go—tell me everything. I want all the sick, lurid details. Was he a footballer? Big and strong, captain of the team, the most popular boy in school?” I could see it. Sarah’s delicate, long and lithe, but dainty, beautiful—any young man would’ve been desperate to have her on his arm. In his lap. In his bed, on the hood of his car, riding his face . . . all of the above. “He was captain of the chess team.” I cover my eyes with my hand. “His name was Davey. He wore these adorable tweed jackets and bow ties, he had blond hair, and was a bit pale because of the asthma. He had the same glasses as I and he had a different pair of argyle socks for every day of the year.” “You’re messing with me, right?” She shakes her head. “Argyle socks, Sarah? I am so disappointed in you right now.” “He was nice,” she chides. “You leave my Davey alone.” Then she laughs again—delighted and free. My cock reacts hard and fast, emphasis on hard. It’s like sodding granite. “So what happened to old Davey boy?” “I was alone in the library one day and he came up and started to ask me to the spring social. And I was so excited and nervous I could barely breathe.” I picture how she must’ve looked then. But in my mind’s eyes she’s really not any different than she is right now. Innocent, sweet, and so real she couldn’t deceive someone if her life depended on it. “And then before he could finish the question, I . . .” I don’t realize I’m leaning toward her until she stops talking and I almost fall over. “You . . . what?” Sarah hides behind her hands. “I threw up on him.” And I try not to laugh. I swear I try . . . but I’m only human. So I end up laughing so hard the car shakes and I can’t speak for several minutes. “Christ almighty.” “And I’d had fish and chips for lunch.” Sarah’s laughing too. “It was awful.” “Oh you poor thing.” I shake my head, still chuckling. “And poor Davey.” “Yes.” She wipes under her eyes with her finger. “Poor Davey. He never came near me again after that.” “Coward—he didn’t deserve you. I would’ve swam through a whole lake of puke to take a girl like you to the social.” She smiles so brightly at me, her cheeks maroon and round like two shiny apples. “I think that’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.” I wiggle my eyebrows. “I’m all about the compliments.
Emma Chase (Royally Matched (Royally, #2))
You say respect my elders, but what you mean is respecting my betters, is that not right? Are you so full of your own arrogance that you need me to bow and kowtow to you like some throwback fledgling? Or perhaps we should reinstate the role of concubines in our society. Then you may have the pleasure of claiming me and forcing me to fall to my knees, bowing low in respect of your masculine eminence!” Gideon watched as she did just that, her gown billowing around her as she gracefully kneeled before him, so close to him that her knees touched the tips of his boots. She swept her hands to her sides, bowing her head until her forehead brushed the leather, her hair spilling like reams of heavy silk around his ankles. The Ancient found himself unusually speechless, the strangest sensation creeping through him as he looked down at the exposed nape of her neck, the elegant line of her back. Unable to curb the impulse, Gideon lowered himself into a crouch, reaching beneath the cloak of coffee-colored hair to touch her flushed cheek. The heat of her anger radiated against his touch and he recognized it long before she turned her face up to him. “Does this satisfy you, my lord Gideon?” she whispered fiercely, her eyes flashing like flinted steel and hard jade. Gideon found himself searching her face intently, his eyes roaming over the high, aristocratic curves of her cheekbones, the amazingly full sculpture of her lips, the wide, accusing eyes that lay behind extraordinarily thick lashes. He cupped her chin between the thumb and forefinger of his left hand, his fingertips fanning softly over her angrily flushed cheek. “You do enjoy mocking me,” he murmured softly to her, the breath of his words close enough to skim across her face. “No more than you seem to enjoy condescending to me,” she replied, her clipped words coming out on quick, heated breaths. Gideon absorbed this latest venom with a blink of lengthy lashes. They kept their gazes locked, each seemingly waiting for the other to look away. “You have never forgiven me,” he said suddenly, softly. “Forgiven you?” She laughed bitterly. “Gideon, you are not important enough to earn my forgiveness.” “Is your ego so fragile, Legna, that a small slight to it is irreparable?” “Stop talking to me as if I were a temperamental child!” Legna hissed, moving to jerk her head back but finding his grip quite secure. “There was nothing slight about the way you treated me. I will never forget it, and I most certainly will never forget it!
Jacquelyn Frank (Gideon (Nightwalkers, #2))
Still I Rise You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops. Weakened by my soulful cries. Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard 'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines Diggin' in my own back yard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
Maya Angelou
Still I Rise You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may tread me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops. Weakened by my soulful cries. Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard 'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines Diggin' in my own back yard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
Maya Angelou
The sorceress walked a short distance away, her rounded hips swaying. She lifted her hands, fingers moving as if plucking invisible strings. Bitter cold flooded out, the sand crackling as if lit by lightning, and the gate that erupted was massive, yawning, towering. Through the billowing icy air flowed out a sweeter, rank smell. The smell of death. A figure stood on the threshold of the gate. Tall, hunched, a withered, lifeless face of greenish grey, yellowed tusks thrusting up from the lower jaw. Pitted eyes regarded them from beneath a tattered woollen cowl. The power cascading from this apparition sent Equity stumbling back. Abyss! A Jaghut, yes, but not just any Jaghut! Calm – can you hear me? Through this howl? Can you hear me? An ally stands before me – an ally of ancient – so ancient – power! This one could have been an Elder God. This one could have been…anything! Gasping, fighting to keep from falling to one knee, from bowing before this terrible creature, Equity forced herself to lift her gaze, to meet the empty hollows of his eyes. ‘I know you,’ she said. ‘You are Hood.’ The Jaghut stepped forward, the gate swirling closed behind him. Hood paused, regarding each witness in turn, and then walked towards Equity. ‘They made you their king,’ she whispered. ‘They who followed no one chose to follow you. They who refused every war fought your war. And what you did then – what you did—’ As he reached her, his desiccated hands caught her. He lifted her from her feet, and then, mouth stretching, he bit into the side of her face. The tusks drove up beneath her cheek bone, burst the eye on that side. In a welter of blood, he tore away half of her face, and then bit a second time, up under the orbitals, the tusks driving into her brain. Equity hung in his grip, feeling her life drain away. Her head felt strangely unbalanced. She seemed to be weeping from only one eye, and from her throat no words were possible. I once dreamed of peace. As a child, I dreamed of—
Steven Erikson (The Crippled God (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #10))
I will have you for husband tonight,” she said in fierce, low tones, “or I will not go until I do!” “If there was any way, I would,” he protested. “Daise Congar would crack my head if I wanted to go against custom. For the love of the Light, Faile, just carry the message, and I’ll wed you the very first day I can.” He would. If that day ever came. Suddenly she was very intent on his beard, smoothing it and not meeting his eyes. She started speaking slowly but picked up speed like a runaway horse. “I … just happened to mention … in passing … I just mentioned to Mistress al’Vere how we had been traveling together—I don’t know how it came up—and she said—and Mistress Congar agreed with her—not that I talked to everybody!—she said that we probably—certainly—could be considered betrothed already under your customs, and the year is just to make sure you really do get on well together—which we do, as anyone can see—and here I am being as forward as some Domani hussy or one of those Tairen galls—if you ever even think of Berelain—oh, Light, I’m babbling, and you won’t even—” He cut her off by kissing her as thoroughly as he knew how. “Will you marry me?” he said breathlessly when he was done. “Tonight?” He must have done ever better with the kiss than he thought; he had to repeat himself six times, with her giggling against his throat and demanding he say it again, before she seemed to understand. Which was how he found himself not half an hour later kneeling opposite her in the common room, in front of Daise Congar and Marin al’Vere, Alsbet Luhhan and Neysa Ayellin and all the Women’s Circle. Loial had been roused to stand for him with Aram, and Bain and Chiad stood for Faile. There were no flowers to put in her hair or his, but Bain, guided by Marin, tucked a long red wedding ribbon around his neck, and Loial threaded another through Faile’s dark hair, his thick fingers surprisingly deft and gentle. Perrin’s hands trembled as he cupped hers. “I, Perrin Aybara, do pledge you my love, Faile Bashere, for as long as I live.” For as long as I live and after. “What I possess in this world I give to you.” A horse, an axe, a bow. A hammer. Not much to gift a bride. I give you life, my love. It’s all I have. “I will keep and hold you, succor and tend you, protect and shelter you, for all the days of my life.” I can’t keep you; the only way I can protect you is to send you away. “I am yours, always and forever.” By the time he finished, his hands were shaking visibly. Faile moved her hands to hold his. “I, Zarine Bashere …” That was a surprise; she hated that name. “ … do pledge you my love, Perrin Aybara … .” Her hands never trembled at all.
Robert Jordan (The Shadow Rising (The Wheel of Time, #4))
Entering the office, Evie found Sebastian and Cam on opposite sides of the desk. They both mulled over account ledgers, scratching out some entries with freshly inked pens, and making notations beside the long columns. Both men looked up as she crossed the threshold. Evie met Sebastian’s gaze only briefly; she found it hard to maintain her composure around him after the intimacy of the previous night. He paused in mid-sentence as he stared at her, seeming to forget what he had been saying to Cam. It seemed that neither of them was yet comfortable with feelings that were still too new and powerful. Murmuring good morning to them both, she bid them to remain seated, and she went to stand beside Sebastian’s chair. “Have you breakfasted yet, my lord?” she asked. Sebastian shook his head, a smile glinting in his eyes. “Not yet.” “I’ll go to the kitchen and see what is to be had.” “Stay a moment,” he urged. “We’re almost finished.” As the two men discussed a few last points of business, which pertained to a potential investment in a proposed shopping bazaar to be constructed on St. James Street, Sebastian picked up Evie’s hand, which was resting on the desk. Absently he drew the backs of her fingers against the edge of his jaw and his ear while contemplating the written proposal on the desk before him. Although Sebastian was not aware of what the casual familiarity of the gesture revealed, Evie felt her color rise as she met Cam’s gaze over her husband’s downbent head. The boy sent her a glance of mock reproof, like that of a nursemaid who had caught two children playing a kissing game, and he grinned as her blush heightened further. Oblivious to the byplay, Sebastian handed the proposal to Cam, who sobered instantly. “I don’t like the looks of this,” Sebastian commented. “It’s doubtful there will be enough business in the area to sustain an entire bazaar, especially at those rents. I suspect within a year it will turn into a white elephant.” “White elephant?” Evie asked. A new voice came from the doorway, belonging to Lord Westcliff. “A white elephant is a rare animal,” the earl replied, smiling, “that is not only expensive but difficult to maintain. Historically, when an ancient king wished to ruin someone he would gift him with a white elephant.” Stepping into the office, Westcliff bowed over Evie’s hand and spoke to Sebastian. “Your assessment of the proposed bazaar is correct, in my opinion. I was approached with the same investment opportunity not long ago, and I rejected it on the same grounds.” “No doubt we’ll both be proven wrong,” Sebastian said wryly. “One should never try to predict anything regarding women and their shopping.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
I am sure you’re very pleased to have a pair of foxes,” Kestrel told Irex now, “but you’ll have to do better.” “I set down my tile,” Irex said coldly. “I cannot take it back.” “I’ll let you take it back. Just this once.” “You want me to take it back.” “Ah. So you agree that I know what tile you mean to play.” Benix shifted his weight on Lady Faris’s delicate chair. It creaked. “Flip the damn tile, Irex. And you, Kestrel: Quit toying with him.” “I’m merely offering friendly advice.” Benix snorted. Kestrel watched Irex watch her, his anger mounting as he couldn’t decide whether Kestrel’s words were a lie, the well-meant truth, or a truth she hoped he would judge a lie. He flipped the tile: a fox. “Too bad,” said Kestrel, and turned over one of hers, adding a third bee to her other two matching tiles. She swept the four gold coins of the ante to her side of the table. “See, Irex? I had only your best interests at heart.” Benix blew out a gusty sigh. He settled back in his protesting chair, shrugged, and seemed the perfect picture of amused resignation. He kept his head bowed while he mixed the Bite and Sting tiles, but Kestrel saw him shoot Irex a wary glance. Benix, too, had seen the rage that turned Irex’s face into stone. Irex shoved back from the table. He stalked over the flagstone terrace to the grass, which bloomed with the highest members of Valorian society. “That wasn’t necessary,” Benix told Kestrel. “It was,” she said. “He’s tiresome. I don’t mind taking his money, but I cannot take his company.” “You couldn’t spare a thought for me before chasing him away? Maybe I would like a chance to win his gold.” “Lord Irex can spare it,” Ronan added. “Well, I don’t like poor losers,” said Kestrel. “That’s why I play with you two.” Benix groaned. “She’s a fiend,” Ronan agreed cheerfully. “Then why do you play with her?” “I enjoy losing to Kestrel. I will give anything she will take.” “While I live in hope to one day win,” Benix said, and gave Kestrel’s hand a friendly pat. “Yes, yes,” Kestrel said. “You are both fine flatterers. Now ante up.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
It’s dark as a tomb in here,” she said, unable to see more than shadows. “Will you light the candles, please,” she asked, “assuming there are candles in here?” “Aye, milady, right there, next to the bed.” His shadow crossed before her, and Elizabeth focused on a large, oddly shaped object that she supposed could be a bed, given its size. “Will you light them, please?” she urged. “I-I can’t see a thing in here.” “His lordship don’t like more’n one candle lit in the bedchambers,” the footman said. “He says it’s a waste of beeswax.” Elizabeth blinked in the darkness, torn somewhere between laughter and tears at her plight. “Oh,” she said, nonplussed. The footman lit a small candle at the far end of the room and left, closing the door behind him. “Milady?” Berta whispered, peering through the dark, impenetrable gloom. “Where are you?” “I’m over here,” Elizabeth replied, walking cautiously forward, her arms outstretched, her hands groping about for possible obstructions in her path as she headed for what she hoped was the outside wall of the bedchamber, where there was bound to be a window with draperies hiding its light. “Where?” Berta asked in a frightened whisper, and Elizabeth could hear the maid’s teeth chattering halfway across the room. “Here-on your left.” Berta followed the sound of her mistress’s voice and let out a terrified gasp at the sight of the ghostlike figure moving eerily through the darkness, arms outstretched. “Raise your arm,” she said urgently, “so I’ll know ‘tis you.” Elizabeth, knowing Berta’s timid nature, complied immediately. She raised her arm, which, while calming poor Berta, unfortunately caused Elizabeth to walk straight into a slender, fluted pillar with a marble bust upon it, and they both began to topple. “Good God!” Elizabeth burst out, wrapping her arms protectively around the pillar and the marble object upon it. “Berta!” she said urgently. “This is no time to be afraid of the dark. Help me, please. I’ve bumped into something-a bust and its stand, I think-and I daren’t let go of them until I can see how to set them upright. There are draperies over here, right in front of me. All you have to do is follow my voice and open them. Once we do, ‘twill be bright as day in here.” “I’m coming, milady,” Berta said bravely, and Elizabeth breathed a sigh of relief. “I’ve found them!” Berta cried softly a few minutes later. “They’re heavy-velvet they are, with another panel behind them.” Berta pulled one heavy panel back across the wall, and then, with renewed urgency and vigor, she yanked back the other and turned around to survey the room. “Light as last!” Elizabeth said with relief. Dazzling late-afternoon sunlight poured into the windows directly in front of her, blinding her momentarily. “That’s much better,” she said, blinking. Satisfied that the pillar was quite sturdy enough to stand without her aid, Elizabeth was about to place the bust back upon it, but Berta’s cry stopped her. “Saints preserve us!” With the fragile bust clutched protectively to her chest Elizabeth swung sharply around. There, spread out before her, furnished entirely in red and gold, was the most shocking room Elizabeth had ever beheld: Six enormous gold cupids seemed to hover in thin air above a gigantic bed clutching crimson velvet bed draperies in one pudgy fist and holding bows and arrows in the other; more cupids adorned the headboard. Elizabeth’s eyes widened, first in disbelief, and a moment later in mirth. “Berta,” she breathed on a smothered giggle, “will you look at this place!
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Advice to your 20-year-old self? “I would say, ‘Write everything down because it’s all very fleeting.’ I would say, ‘Keep a journal,’ which I have but I would have been more meticulous. Then I would say, ‘Don’t bow to the gatekeepers at the head of, in my case, show business, but at the gate of any business or any endeavor.’ Don’t bow to the gatekeepers because I think, in essence, there are no gatekeepers. You are the gatekeeper. . . . “Don’t waste your time on marketing, just try to get better. . . . “And also, it’s not about being good; it’s about being great. Because what I find, the older I get, is that a lot of people are good, and a lot of people are smart, and a lot of people are clever. But not a lot of people give you their soul when they perform.
Timothy Ferriss (Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers)
Softly, he said, “Why are you crying?” His words made the tears flow faster. “Kestrel.” She drew a shaky breath. “Because when my father comes home, I will tell him that he has won. I will join the military.” There was a silence. “I don’t understand.” Kestrel shrugged. She shouldn’t care whether he understood or not. “You would give up your music?” Yes. She would. “But your bargain with the general was for spring.” Arin still sounded confused. “You have until spring to marry or enlist. Ronan…Ronan would ask the god of souls for you. He would ask you to marry him.” “He has.” Arin didn’t speak. “But I can’t,” she said. “Kestrel.” “I can’t.” “Kestrel, please don’t cry.” Tentative fingers touched her face. A thumb ran along the wet skin of her cheekbone. She suffered for it, suffered for the misery of knowing that whatever possessed him to do this could be no more than compassion. He valued her that much. But not enough. “Why can’t you marry him?” he whispered. She broke her word to herself and looked at him. “Because of you.” Arin’s hand flinched against her cheek. His dark head bowed, became lost in its own shadow. Then he slipped from his seat and knelt before hers. His hands fell to the fists on her lap and gently opened them. He held them as if cupping water. He took a breath to speak. She would have stopped him. She would have wished herself deaf, blind, made of unfeeling smoke. She would have stopped his words out of terror, longing. The way terror and longing had become indistinguishable. Yet his hands held hers, and she could do nothing. He said, “I want the same thing you want.” Kestrel pulled back. It wasn’t possible his words could mean what they seemed. “It hasn’t been easy for me to want it.” Arin lifted his face so that she could see his expression. A rich emotion played across his features, offered itself, and asked to be called by its name. Hope. “But you’ve already given your heart,” she said. His brow furrowed, then smoothed. “Oh. No, not the way you think.” He laughed a little, the sound soft yet somehow wild. “Ask me why I went to the market.” This was cruel. “We both know why.” He shook his head. “Pretend that you’ve won a game of Bite and Sting. Why did I go? Ask me. It wasn’t to see a girl who doesn’t exist.” “She…doesn’t?” “I lied.” Kestrel blinked. “Then why did you go to the market?” “Because I wanted to feel free.” Arin raised a hand to brush the air by his temple, then awkwardly let it fall. Kestrel suddenly understood this gesture she’d seen many times. It was an old habit. He was brushing away a ghost, hair that was no longer there because she had ordered it cut. She leaned forward, and kissed his temple. Arin’s hand held her lightly to him. His cheek slid against hers. Then his lips touched her brow, her closed eyes, the line where her jaw met her throat. Kestrel’s mouth found his. His lips were salted with her tears, and the taste of that, of him, of their deepening kiss, filled her with the feeling of his quiet laugh moments ago. Of a wild softness, a soft wildness. In his hands, running up her thin dress. In his heat, burning through to her skin…and into her, sinking into him.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
Partnered with Death itself,” he said, repeating a part of my horoscope. A harsh laugh escaped him. “I understand now.” The Raja moved away from his mirror wall, his eyes twinkling as he bowed low. The gesture was wrong. My cheeks flared with heat. “No,” I said, “please don’t do that.” Pressing my palms against the glass, I willed it away, and slowly, it became thinner and thinner until it disappeared. The Raja, still bent in a bow, looked up in surprise as I walked into his cell. I lifted him up by the shoulders, not letting myself flinch when my fingers brushed against the blood on his armor. “You do not need to bow to me, Father.” The Raja smiled. “Your forgiveness makes my hell easier to bear.” This conversation, this air of ease unshackled from courtly posturing, struck me. It was so natural. We might have even been close in another lifetime. “I do not know how you became a princess of Bharata,” he said. “Who knows how our last lives slip into the ones we live in now. I will never know those memories. And perhaps that is for the best.” A lump rose in my throat. I will never know those memories. The tree behind the chained door…it had so many memories. All of which, I was convinced, belonged to me. Nritti’s image flashed in my head, bright as a flame. I didn’t know her from this life, but I must have known her from before. My father must have seen a look cross over my face because he stepped away from me. “You do not belong here, daughter. Go. Be who you will be. Do not waste your life mourning the dead.” I nodded tightly, my throat thick with so many things left unsaid. “I will not forget you, Father.” He smiled. “That pleases me. A memory is a fine legacy to leave behind.
Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1))
Don’t act like you know the first thing about the continent,” I snapped. “It isn’t as though you’ve ever visited.” He flinched, silent for a moment. “Have you?” “No,” I admitted. “But I very likely would have if you hadn’t kidnapped me.” “I didn’t kidnap you,” Tristan said, his voice filled with irritation. “Your friend Luc did.” “He wouldn’t have done so, if not for you. And he isn’t my friend.” “That might be the case, but I don’t doubt that he’d have substituted an equivalently dastardly deed in its place.” He pointed a finger at me. “Mark my words, the boy was of a vile sort.” “Then you are two of a kind,” I snapped. “Ha ha,” Tristan snorted. “How dreadfully clever. And speaking of clever, is this to be your bid for escape?” He contemplated my clothing. “In a dressing gown and bare feet? Now tell me, if I go put on nightclothes and slippers, might I join you, or is this a solo adventure?” My eyes stung. “You think this is all exceedingly funny, don’t you? I’m nothing but a joke to you.” His brow creased in a frown. “If you’re a joke, it isn’t an especially humorous one.” I threw up my hands in frustration. “You are the most intolerable individual I’ve ever met.” He bowed. “Why, thank you, Cécile. Always a pleasure to have one’s accomplishments recognized.” “You are the last person in the world I’d choose to marry,” I hissed. “I don’t entirely relish the idea myself,” Tristan said, “but sometimes we must do the unthinkable.” “Why must I?” Tristan tipped his head slightly, expression considering. “Because you have no choice,” he finally said. “Just as I have no choice. There is no way for you to escape Trollus, Cécile, and if you were caught in the attempt…” His eyes closed, black lashes resting against his cheeks. “My father’s anger is a formidable thing, and I do not wish to see you harmed for aggravating him.
Danielle L. Jensen (Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy, #1))
I thumped her on the back, picked her up and dropped her on top of her dungarees. “Put them pants on,” I said, “and be a man.” She did, but she cried quietly until I shook her and said gently, “Stop it now. I didn’t carry on like that when I was a little girl.” I got into my clothes and dumped her into the bow of the canoe and shoved off. All the way back to the cabin I forced her to play one of our pet games. I would say something—anything—and she would try to say something that rhymed with it. Then it would be her turn. She had an extraordinary rhythmic sense, and an excellent ear. I started off with “We’ll go home and eat our dinners.” “An’ Lord have mercy on us sinners,” she cried. Then, “Let’s see you find a rhyme for ‘month’!” “I bet I’ll do it … jutht thith onthe,” I replied. “I guess I did it then, by cracky.” “Course you did, but then you’re wacky. Top that, mister funny-lookin’!” I pretended I couldn’t, mainly because I couldn’t, and she soundly kicked my shin as a penance. By the time we reached the cabin she was her usual self, and I found myself envying the resilience of youth. And she earned my undying respect by saying nothing to Anjy about the afternoon’s events, even when Anjy looked us over and said, “Just look at you two filthy kids! What have you been doing—swimming in the bayou?” “Daddy splashed me,” said Patty promptly. “And you had to splash him back. Why did he splash you?” “ ’Cause I spit mud through my teeth at him to make him mad,” said my outrageous child. “Patty!” “Mea culpa,” I said, hanging my head. “ ’Twas I who spit the mud.” Anjy threw up her hands. “Heaven knows what sort of a woman Patty’s going to grow up to be,” she said, half angrily. “A broad-minded and forgiving one like her lovely mother,” I said quickly. “Nice work, bud,” said Patty. Anjy laughed. “Outnumbered again. Come in and feed the face.
Theodore Sturgeon (The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, Volume III: Killdozer!)
And now there’s another thing you got to learn,” said the Ape. “I hear some of you are saying I’m an Ape. Well, I’m not. I’m a Man. If I look like an Ape, that’s because I’m so very old: hundreds and hundreds of years old. And it’s because I’m so old that I’m so wise. And it’s because I’m so wise that I’m the only one Aslan is ever going to speak to. He can’t be bothered talking to a lot of stupid animals. He’ll tell me what you’ve got to do, and I’ll tell the rest of you. And take my advice, and see you do it in double quick time, for he doesn’t mean to stand any nonsense.” There was dead silence except for the noise of a very young badger crying and its mother trying to make it keep quiet. “And now here’s another thing,” the Ape went on, fitting a fresh nut into its cheek, “I hear some of the horses are saying, Let’s hurry up and get this job of carting timber over as quickly as we can, and then we’ll be free again. Well, you can get that idea out of your heads at once. And not only the Horses either. Everybody who can work is going to be made to work in future. Aslan has it all settled with the King of Calormen—The Tisroc, as our dark faced friends the Calormenes call him. All you Horses and Bulls and Donkeys are to be sent down into Calormen to work for your living—pulling and carrying the way horses and such-like do in other countries. And all you digging animals like Moles and Rabbits and Dwarfs are going down to work in The Tisroc’s mines. And—” “No, no, no,” howled the Beasts. “It can’t be true. Aslan would never sell us into slavery to the King of Calormen.” “None of that! Hold your noise!” said the Ape with a snarl. “Who said anything about slavery? You won’t be slaves. You’ll be paid—very good wages too. That is to say, your pay will be paid into Aslan’s treasury and he will use it all for everybody’s good.” Then he glanced, and almost winked, at the chief Calormene. The Calormene bowed and replied, in the pompous Calormene way: “Most sapient Mouthpiece of Aslan, The Tisroc (may-he-live-forever) is wholly of one mind with your lordship in this judicious plan.” “There! You see!” said the Ape. “It’s all arranged. And all for your own good. We’ll be able, with the money you earn, to make Narnia a country worth living in. There’ll be oranges and bananas pouring in—and roads and big cities and schools and offices and whips and muzzles and saddles and cages and kennels and prisons—Oh, everything.” “But we don’t want all those things,” said an old Bear. “We want to be free. And we want to hear Aslan speak himself.” “Now don’t you start arguing,” said the Ape, “for it’s a thing I won’t stand. I’m a Man: you’re only a fat, stupid old Bear. What do you know about freedom? You think freedom means doing what you like. Well, you’re wrong. That isn’t true freedom. True freedom means doing what I tell you.” “H-n-n-h,” grunted the Bear and scratched its head; it found this sort of thing hard to understand.
C.S. Lewis (The Last Battle (Chronicles of Narnia, #7))
He handed me something done up in paper. 'Your mask,' he said. 'Don't put it on until we get past the city-limits.' It was a frightening-looking thing when I did so. It was not a mask but a hood for the entire head, canvas and cardboard, chalk-white to simulate a skull, with deep black hollows for the eyes and grinning teeth for the mouth. The private highway, as we neared the house, was lined on both sides with parked cars. I counted fifteen of them as we bashed by; and there must have been as many more ahead, in the other direction. We drew up and he and I got out. I glanced in cautiously over my shoulder at the driver as we went by, to see if I could see his face, but he too had donned one of the death-masks. 'Never do that,' the Messenger warned me in a low voice. 'Never try to penetrate any other member's disguise.' The house was as silent and lifeless as the last time - on the outside. Within it was a horrid, crawling charnel-house alive with skull-headed figures, their bodies encased in business-suits, tuxedos, and evening dresses. The lights were all dyed a ghastly green or ghostly blue, by means of colored tissue-paper sheathed around them. A group of masked musicians kept playing the Funeral March over and over, with brief pauses in between. A coffin stood in the center of the main living-room. I was drenched with sweat under my own mask and sick almost to death, even this early in the game. At last the Book-keeper, unmasked, appeared in their midst. Behind him came the Messenger. The dead-head guests all applauded enthusiastically and gathered around them in a ring. Those in other rooms came in. The musicians stopped the Death Match. The Book-keeper bowed, smiled graciously. 'Good evening, fellow corpses,' was his chill greeting. 'We are gathered together to witness the induction of our newest member.' There was an electric tension. 'Brother Bud!' His voice rang out like a clarion in the silence. 'Step forward.' ("Graves For Living")
Cornell Woolrich
Isn't that a beautiful tale, grandfather," said Heidi, as the latter continued to sit without speaking, for she had expected him to express pleasure and astonishment. "You are right, Heidi; it is a beautiful tale," he replied, but he looked so grave as he said it that Heidi grew silent herself and sat looking quietly at her pictures. Presently she pushed her book gently in front of him and said, "See how happy he is there," and she pointed with her finger to the figure of the returned prodigal, who was standing by his father clad in fresh raiment as one of his own sons again. A few hours later, as Heidi lay fast asleep in her bed, the grandfather went up the ladder and put his lamp down near her bed so that the light fell on the sleeping child. Her hands were still folded as if she had fallen asleep saying her prayers, an expression of peace and trust lay on the little face, and something in it seemed to appeal to the grandfather, for he stood a long time gazing down at her without speaking. At last he too folded his hands, and with bowed head said in a low voice, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee and am not worthy to be called thy son." And two large tears rolled down the old man's cheeks. Early the next morning he stood in front of his hut and gazed quietly around him. The fresh bright morning sun lay on mountain and valley. The sound of a few early bells rang up from the valley, and the birds were singing their morning song in the fir trees. He stepped back into the hut and called up, "Come along, Heidi! the sun is up! Put on your best frock, for we are going to church together!" Heidi was not long getting ready; it was such an unusual summons from her grandfather that she must make haste. She put on her smart Frankfurt dress and soon went down, but when she saw her grandfather she stood still, gazing at him in astonishment. "Why, grandfather!" she exclaimed, "I never saw you look like that before! and the coat with the silver buttons! Oh, you do look nice in your Sunday coat!" The old man smiled and replied, "And you too; now come along!" He took Heidi's hand in his and together they walked down the mountain side. The bells were ringing in every direction now, sounding louder and fuller as they neared the valley, and Heidi listened to them with delight. "Hark at them, grandfather! it's like a great festival!" The congregation had already assembled and the singing had begun when Heidi and her grandfather entered the church at Dorfli and sat down at the back. But before the hymn was over every one was nudging his neighbor and whispering, "Do you see? Alm-Uncle is in church!" Soon everybody in the church knew of Alm-Uncle's presence, and the women kept on turning round to look and quite lost their place in the singing. But everybody became more attentive when the sermon began, for the preacher spoke with such warmth and thankfulness that those present felt the effect of his words, as if some great joy had come to them all.
Johanna Spyri (Heidi)
I know he’s had his problems in the past… “He can’t keep his hands off a liquor bottle at the best of times, and he still hasn’t accepted the loss of his wife!” “I sent him to a therapist over in Baltimore,” she continued. “He’s narrowed his habit down to a six-pack of beer on Saturdays.” “What does he get for a reward?” he asked insolently. She sighed irritably. “Nobody suits you! You don’t even like poor old lonely Senator Holden.” “Like him? Holden?” he asked, aghast. “Good God, he’s the one man in Congress I’d like to burn at the stake! I’d furnish the wood and the matches!” “You and Leta,” she said, shaking her head. “Now, listen carefully. The Lakota didn’t burn people at the stake,” she said firmly. She went on to explain who did, and how, and why. He searched her enthusiastic eyes. “You really do love Native American history, don’t you?” She nodded. “The way your ancestors lived for thousands of years was so logical. They honored the man in the tribe who was the poorest, because he gave away more than the others did. They shared everything. They gave gifts, even to the point of bankrupting themselves. They never hit a little child to discipline it. They accepted even the most blatant differences in people without condemning them.” She glanced at Tate and found him watching her. She smiled self-consciously. “I like your way better.” “Most whites never come close to understanding us, no matter how hard they try.” “I had you and Leta to teach me,” she said simply. “They were wonderful lessons that I learned, here on the reservation. I feel…at peace here. At home. I belong, even though I shouldn’t.” He nodded. “You belong,” he said, and there was a note in his deep voice that she hadn’t heard before. Unexpectedly he caught her small chin and turned her face up to his. He searched her eyes until she felt as if her heart might explode from the excitement of the way he was looking at her. His thumb whispered up to the soft bow of her mouth with its light covering of pale pink lipstick. He caressed the lower lip away from her teeth and scowled as if the feel of it made some sort of confusion in him. He looked straight into her eyes. The moment was almost intimate, and she couldn’t break it. Her lips parted and his thumb pressed against them, hard. “Now, isn’t that interesting?” he said to himself in a low, deep whisper. “Wh…what?” she stammered. His eyes were on her bare throat, where her pulse was hammering wildly. His hand moved down, and he pressed his thumb to the visible throb of the artery there. He could feel himself going taut at the unexpected reaction. It was Oklahoma all over again, when he’d promised himself he wouldn’t ever touch her again. Impulses, he told himself firmly, were stupid and sometimes dangerous. And Cecily was off limits. Period. He pulled his hand back and stood up, grateful that the loose fit of his buckskins hid his physical reaction to her. “Mother’s won a prize,” he said. His voice sounded oddly strained. He forced a nonchalant smile and turned to Cecily. She was visibly shaken. He shouldn’t have looked at her. Her reactions kindled new fires in him.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
TO MY BELOVED, Its neither a piece of paper nor a letter, rather it's my small heart which I'm gifting it to you darling.It seems time stood still without ur presence around me. My days and nights have gone worthless. All my heart could do is to recall the memories of time which we have spend together. My heart gets rejoiced whenever your beautiful face comes before my eyes. Your mesmerizing eyes drive me to another world. Your flowing hair looks tantalizing and your rosy lips seems to be meant only for saying lovely words. While having a cup of coffee yesterday, numerous moments striked my heart. Our first meeting, when you were looking like a fairy in white salwar-suit. Still fresh in my mind, your pretty smile and bowing your head down to laugh with your hand on your lips. I confess that your every action was stealing my heart and I couldn't withdraw myself from lookig you. The gift you presented me on my birthday gives me a sigh of relief that you are always there with me. Sweetheart, In the classroom, I cracked useless jokes and PJ's just to see your charming smile. Kept gazing your lips, just to heat some golden words. You had stolen my heart. Dedicated '' I don't know when and how you arrived in my life, Don't know when my heart star beating for you, day n night.... My eyes kept staring the window pane, Wishing one day u'll come in my lane.... Darling you're the only one whom I admire, It's you whom my heart desperately desires... Being with you is my only need, You are now the medicine of my heartbeat... I Craved your name on my heart, The day when I decided not to loose you ever, And I promise you sweetheart that, I love you & i'll love you for ever, ever n ever...... It's true my baby that, i love you like anything. Miss you from very morning 2 the night. MY senses are active to feel you, to hear you, to see you, to taste every sorrow and happiness of your life. Jaana, get embedded in me, in my soul so that i can live with you, for you........ Dying to have your reply..... Truly Your's PK
Prabhat Kumar
Take off your clothes. Better yet, I’ll do it.” “Oh, no!” She stepped back quickly in alarm, which prompted a swift frown from him. It vanished when Rycca said, “I saw how you manhandled that tunic. You aren’t about to do the same to this gown. Just wait a moment . . .” Even as she spoke, she deftly undid the laces down the side of the garment and lifted it carefully but quickly over her head. Her husband was in a mood, ridden by tension she could not understand. She wanted to placate him, yet she also wished to surrender to the urges he so effortlessly unleashed within her. Naked save for the gauzy chemise that hid nothing from his eyes, she stood before him, her head lifted proudly to conceal the quivering she felt within. She gloried in his gaze, hot and potent, raking over her. But when he reached for her, she stepped back again. “I ask a boon, lord.” She had never asked him for anything—save freedom and that he could not give. Caught, knowing he could hardly refuse, Dragon rasped, “What?” He had not meant to be so curt but speech was almost beyond him. He wanted her with a desperation he had never felt before save every time he lay with her, and even then he usually managed to maintain some semblance of control. Not now. He burned, his body drawn bow-taut. If he did not sheathe himself soon within his wife’s silken depths . . . She looked at him directly, her eyes wide and candid. “All day I have wanted to . . . touch you.” His dark brows rose. “All day?” Well, that was certainly pleasing but it didn’t make his condition any easier to bear. Harshly, he said, “You don’t have to ask permission to touch me.” She shrugged her lovely, almost bare shoulders. “I know, but under the circumstances . . .” Her gaze drifted down his body, rather pointedly, he thought. Which definitely did not help matters at all. “You can touch me later,” he said and reached for her again. She pressed her palms against his chest, tossed back her gleaming hair, and laughed. Really, he was going to die from this. “Just a little now . . . please?” Dragon squeezed his eyes shut and reached deep down inside himself for the control that was so intrinsic a part of his warrior’s nature. It had to be in there somewhere. Any moment now he’d stumble across it.
Josie Litton (Come Back to Me (Viking & Saxon, #3))
Nick tugged her head back, his tormented gaze raking over her face. His trembling fingertips traced the line of her cheek and jaw. “My God. Lottie…” As his panicked exploration continued, he discovered the bruises on her throat, and he uttered a cry of fury. “Holy hell! Your neck. He dared to… I’m going to slaughter that bastard—” Lottie placed her fingers over his mouth. “I’m all right,” she said gently. Feeling the way his large body shook, she drew her hand over his chest in a calming stroke. After the traumatic events of the past hours, it was so wonderful to be with him that her lips curved in a wobbly smile. She gazed into his dusty, sweat-streaked face with concern. “In fact, I believe I may be in better condition than you, my darling.” A primitive groan came from his throat, and he clutched her with his right arm, bending over her hungrily. “I love you,” he said in a low, shaken voice. “I love you so much, Lottie.” His lips covered hers in a fiercely ardent kiss. Clearly he was too unsettled to recall that there were others in the room. Lottie turned her face away with a muffled laugh. “I love you, too,” she whispered. “Not here, darling. Later, with more privacy, we can—” She was silenced as Nick seized her mouth once more. Suddenly she found herself pushed up against the wall by six feet of aroused, overwrought male. Realizing that there was no hope of subduing him, Lottie stroked his broad back in an effort to soothe him. He possessed her with deep, fervent kisses, while his lungs worked so violently that she could feel his rib cage expanding with each breath. She tried to comfort him, gently rubbing the back of his neck as his mouth worked roughly over hers. His breath came in ragged shivers, and in between kisses he breathed her name as if it were a prayer. “Lottie… Lottie…” Each time she tried to answer, he dove for her mouth again. “Sydney,” Sir Grant said after some prolonged throat-clearing had failed to capture his attention. “Ahem. Sydney…” After a long time, Nick finally lifted his head. Lottie pushed at his chest, making him loosen his grip on her. Red-faced and breathless, she saw that Sayer had developed a keenly absorbing interest in the weather outside the window, while Daniel had excused himself to wait outside.
Lisa Kleypas (Worth Any Price (Bow Street Runners, #3))
Raising both of her glowing palms, she beckoned him with wiggling fingers. “Come on, then. I’ll go another round. Though by now even an amoeba would’ve learned not to fuck with me.” Everyone grew still, silent. Then Cade started back down for her, redoubling his speed. “No, Cade, I’ve got this,” she said evenly, never looking away from Bowe. Meanwhile, Bowe had subtly pulled his head back, feeling as if he’d just been presented with a species of creature he had never seen. Then he caught Rydstrom’s look of amusement—the demon was obviously loving this—and he found himself . . . grinning. “Kitten’s quick to bear those claws, is she no’?” Rydstrom ruefully shook his head at Bowe, as if sorry for his unavoidable and imminent demise, then got everyone, including a reluctant Cade, moving again. As Bowe passed Mariketa, he leaned in close. Not bothering to hide his surprise, he murmured to her, “And damn if she does no’ have them sunk into me.” Her gray-eyed gaze was wary. He noted that she kept her palms fired up for some time after they continued on. Even after her blatant show of magick, he felt so proud she’d held her ground that he wanted to stand tall and point her out as his female. That’s my lass. Mine. But his heart was also thundering because he realized that in the heart of the full moon, when he was completely turned, she might not run from him. He still intended to get her away from him before this full moon, but for the future . . . Excitement burned within him, and he found himself closing in on her and saying, “You’re bonny when you’re about to strike.” “You would know.” “Come, then, sheath your claws, kitten. And we’ll be friends once more.” “We weren’t friends to begin with!” “You’re warming to me. I can tell.” “True. I only throw guys I dig. And don’t you dare call me kitten again!” “You look like one with your wee, pointed ears.” “Are you done?” “Canna say.” He was silent for a moment, then added, “Think you’re the bravest lass I’ve ever seen. Though I doona care for your using magick against me so readily. Do you enjoy it?” She seemed to mull this for a moment, then raised her brows. “I do. Besides, I think you need someone to threaten you now and again. To remind the great and powerful Lykae that you’re not so unbeatable.” “Aye, I do.” He clasped her hand in his. “Sign on.” She pulled out of his grasp. “I don’t do temp jobs. And that’s all you’re offering.
Kresley Cole (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night (Immortals After Dark, #3))
The Hamians!' The centurion‟s voice was little better than a squeak. Julius snorted his disdain. 'What about the Hamians? Useless bow-waving women. All they‟re good for is hunting game. There‟s a war on, in case you hadn‟t noticed. We need infantrymen, big lads with spears and shields to strengthen our line. Archers are no bloody use in an infantry cohort.' He raised his meaty fist. 'No, mate, you‟re going to get what‟s coming your way.' The other man gabbled desperately, staring helplessly at the poised fist. 'There‟s two centuries of them, two centuries. Take them and the Tungrians and that‟s two hundred and fifty men.' Marcus spoke, having stood quietly in the background so far. 'So we could make a century of the best of them, dump the rest on the Second Cohort when we catch up with them and take back the century he sold them in return.' Julius turned his head to look at the younger man, keeping the transit officer clamped in place with seemingly effortless strength. 'Are you mad? There won‟t be a decent man among them. They‟ll be arse-poking, make-up-wearing faggots, the lot of them. All those easterners are, it‟s in the blood. They‟ll mince round the camp holding hands and tossing each other off in the bathhouse.
Anthony Riches (Arrows of Fury (Empire, #2))
Am I to assume the Valerie I was introduced to earlier was the Valerie of our greenhouse notes?” He realized his mistake the instant her eyes clouded over and she glanced in the direction he’d looked. “Yes.” “Shall I ask Willington to clear his ballroom so you have the requisite twenty paces? Naturally, I’ll stand as your second.” Elizabeth drew a shaky breath, and a smile curved her lips. “Is she wearing a bow?” Ian looked and shook his head. “I’m afraid not.” “Does she have an earring?” He glanced again and frowned. “I think that’s a wart.” Her smile finally reached her eyes. “It’s not a large target, but I suppose-“ “Allow me,” he gravely replied, and she laughed. The last strains of their waltz were dying away, and as they left the dance floor Ian watched Mondevale making his way toward the Townsendes, who’d returned to the ballroom. “Now that you’re a marquess,” Elizabeth asked, “will you live in Scotland or in England?” “I only accepted the title, not the money or the lands,” he replied absently, watching Mondevale. “I’ll explain everything to you tomorrow morning at your house. Mondevale is going to ask you to dance as soon as we reach the Townsendes, so listen closely-I’m going to ask you to dance again later. Turn me down.” She sent him a puzzled look, but she nodded. “Is there anything else?” she asked when he was about to relinquish her to her friends. “There’s a great deal else, but it will have to wait until tomorrow.” Mystified, Elizabeth turned her attention to Viscount Mondevale. Alex watched the byplay between Elizabeth and Ian but her mind was elsewhere. While the couple danced, Alex had told her husband exactly what she thought of Ian Thornton who’d first ruined Elizabeth’s reputation and now deceived her into thinking he was still a man of very modest means. Instead of agreeing that Thornton was completely without principles, Jordan had calmly insisted that Ian intended to set matters aright in the morning, and then he’d made her, and his grandmother, promise not to tell Elizabeth anything until Ian had been given the opportunity to do so himself. Dragging her thoughts back to the ballroom, Alex hoped more than anything that Ian Thornton would do nothing more to hurt her good friend. By the end of the evening a majority of the guests at the Willington ball had drawn several conclusions: first, that Ian Thornton was definitely the natural grandson of the Duke of Stanhope (which everyone claimed to have always believed); second, that Elizabeth Cameron had very probably rebuffed his scandalous advances two years ago (which everyone claimed to have always believed); third, that since she had rejected his second request for a dance tonight, she might actually prefer her former suitor Viscount Mondevale (which hardly anyone could really believe).
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
After situating herself on a huge flat-sided rock, Baby Suggs bowed her head and prayed silently. The company watched her from the trees. They knew she was ready when she put her stick down. Then she shouted, 'Let the children come!' and they ran from the trees toward her. 'Let your mothers hear you laugh,' she told them, and the woods rang. The adults looked on and could not help smiling. Then 'Let the grown men come,' she shouted. They stepped out one by one from among the ringing trees. 'Let your wives and your children see you dance,' she told them, and groundlife shuddered under their feet. Finally she called the women to her. 'Cry,' she told them. 'For the living and the dead. Just cry.' And without covering their eyes the women let loose. It started that way: laughing children, dancing men, crying women and then it got mixed up. Women stopped crying and danced; men sat down and cried; children danced, women laughed, children cried until, exhausted and riven, all and each lay about the Clearing damp and gasping for breath. In the silence that followed, Baby Suggs, holy, offered up to them her great big heart. She did not tell them to clean up their lives or to go and sin no more. She did not tell them they were the blessed of the earth, its inheriting meek or its glorybound pure. She told them that the only grace they could have was the grace they could imagine. That if they could not see it, they would not have it. 'Here,' she said, 'in this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh. They despise it. They don't love your eyes; they'd just as soon pick em out. No more do they love the skin on your back. Yonder they flay it. And O my people they do not love your hands. These they only use, tie, bind, chop off and leave empty. Love your hands! Love them. Raise them up and kiss them. Touch others with them, pat them together, stroke them on your face 'cause they don't love that either. You got to love it, you! And nom they ain't in love with your mouth. Yonder, out there, they will see it broken and break it again. What you say out of it they will not heed. What you scream from it they do not hear. Flesh that needs to be loved. Feet that need to rest and to dance; backs that need support; shoulders that need arms, strong arms I'm telling you. And O my people, out yonder, hear me, they do not love your neck unnoosed and straight. So love your neck; put a hand on it, grace it, stroke it and hold it up. And all your inside parts that they'd just as soon slop for hogs, you got to love them. The dark, dark liver-love it, love it, and the beat and beating heart, love that too. More than eyes or feet. More than lungs that have yet to draw free air. More than your life-holding womb and your life-giving private parts, hear me now, love your heart. For this is the prize.
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
He didn’t have to guide his mom toward Cyra. She saw her and walked straight to her. It didn’t make Cyra look any less scared. “Miss Noavek,” his mom said. There was a little catch in her throat. She tilted her head to see the silverskin on Cyra’s neck. “Oracle,” Cyra said, inclining her head. He’d never seen Cyra bow to anyone like she meant it before. One of the shadows bloomed over Cyra’s cheek and then spread into three lines of inky dark that ran down her throat like a swallow. He set his fingers on her elbow so she could shake his mother’s hand when she offered it, and his mom watched the light touch with interest. “Mom, Cyra made sure I got home last week,” he said. He wasn’t sure what else to say about her. Or what else to say, period. The blush that had chased him through childhood came creeping back; he felt it behind his ears, and tried to stifle it. “At great cost to herself, as you can see.” His mom looked Cyra over again. “Thank you, Miss Noavek, for what you’ve done for my son. I look forward, later, to finding out why.” With a strange smile, Sifa turned away, linking arms with Cisi. Cyra hung back with Akos, eyebrows raised. “That’s my mother,” he said. “I realize that,” she said. “You’re…” She brushed her fingers over the back of his ear, where his skin was heating. “You’re blushing.” So much for trying to stifle it. The heat spread to Akos’s face, and he was sure he was bright red. Shouldn’t he have grown out of this by now?
Veronica Roth (Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark, #1))
A few minutes later Elizabeth watched Lucinda emerge from the cottage with Ian, but there was no way to guess from their closed expressions what they’d discussed. In fact, the only person betraying any emotion at all was Jake Wiley as he led two horses into the yard. And his face, Elizabeth noted with confusion-which had been stormy when he went off to saddle the horses-was now wreathed in a smile of unrestrained glee. With a sweep of his arm and a bow he gestured toward a swaybacked black horse with an old sidesaddle upon its back. “Here’s your mount, ma’am,” he told Lucinda, grinning. “His name’s Attila.” Lucinda cast a disdainful eye over the beast as she transferred her umbrella to her right hand and pulled on her black gloves. “Have you nothing better?” “No, ma’am. Ian’s horse has a hurt foot.” “Oh, very well,” said Lucinda, walking briskly forward, but as she came within reach the black suddenly bared his teeth and lunged. Lucinda struck him between the ears with her umbrella without so much as a pause in her step. “Cease!” she commanded, and, ignoring the animal’s startled grunt of pain, she continued around to his other side to mount. “You brought it on yourself,” she told the horse as Jake held Attila’s head, and Ian Thornton helped her into the sidesaddle. The whites of Attila’s eyes showed as he warily watched her land in his saddle and settle herself. The moment Jake handed Lucinda the reins Attila began to leap sideways and twist around in restless annoyance. “I do not countenance ill-tempered animals,” she warned the horse in her severest tone, and when he refused to heed her and continued his threatening antics she hauled up sharply on his reins and simultaneously gave him a sharp jab in the flank with her umbrella. Attila let out a yelping complaint, broke into a quick, animated trot, and headed obediently down the drive. “If that don’t beat all!” Jake said furiously, glowering after the pair, and then at Ian. “That animal doesn’t know the meaning of the word loyalty!” Without waiting for a reply Jake swung into his saddle and cantered down the lane after them. Absolutely baffled over everyone’s behavior this morning, Elizabeth cast a puzzled, sideways glance at the silent man beside her, then gaped at him in amazement. The unpredictable man was staring after Lucinda, his hands shoved into his pockets, a cigar clamped between his white teeth, his face transformed by a sweeping grin. Drawing the obvious conclusion that these odd reactions from the men were somehow related to Lucinda’s skillful handling of an obstinate horse, Elizabeth commented, “Lucinda’s uncle raised horses, I believe.” Almost reluctantly, Ian transferred his admiring gaze from Lucinda’s rigid back to Elizabeth. His brows rose. “An amazing woman,” he stated. “Is there any situation of which she can’t take charge?” “None that I’ve ever seen,” Elizabeth said with a chuckle; then she felt self-conscious because his smile faded abruptly, and his manner became detached and cool.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Where are you from?" She asked without thinking. "I was born in the mountains." Runach said with a shrug. "The place doesn't matter." "Do you have siblings?" "Yes, several. Not all are still living. He smiled faintly. "You are full of questions this afternoon." "The library was a bad influence on me." Runach smiled briefly. "And I believe that was three questions you asked me, which leaves me with three of my own for you to answer." "That was two." "I don't count very well." "I think you count very well," she said grimly. He only smiled again. "I'll contemplate which answers I'll have and let you know." Aisling thought she just might be dreading them, but couldn't bring herself to say as much. "What was your home like?" she asked. "Another question." "You look distracted." He smiled and a dimple peeked out at her from his unscarred cheek. "You are more devious than I give you credit for being. I am keeping a tally, you know. I will expect a like number of answers from you." She stared at him for a moment or two. It was difficult not to, but he didnt seem to mind. "Why?" She asked finally. "Beacause you are a mystery." "And do you care for a mystery?" "I am obsessed by a good mystery," he said frankly. "More than enough to pry a few answers out of you, however I am able." "And what if I am not inclined to give them?" She asked, her mouth suddenly dry. "Then I will wonder about you silently." "In truth?" she asked, surprised. Runach smiled, looking just as surprised. "What else would I do? Beat the answers from you?" "I don't know." She said slowly. "I don't know what soldiers do." He shook his head. "Hedge all you like, if you like." "Your mother must have been a well-bred lady." She said, frowning. "Why do you say that?" "She seems to have taught you decent manners, for your being a mere soldier." "She tried," he agreed, looking out over the sea. Aisling turned and looked at him. "How long ago did you lose her?" Runach took a deep breath and dragged his hand through his hair, before he bowed his head and slid her a look. "That answer will cost you dearly." Her first instinct, as always, was to say nothing. But the truth was, she lived and breathed still. She could tell him perhaps a bit about herself, without bringing the curse down upon her head. Aisling took her own deep breath. "Very well." "My mother died twenty years ago, though I vow it feels like yesterday." "How did she die?" Runach was very still. "My father slew her and half my siblings. Time has done the rest of that terrible work I suppose. She shut her mouth, and put her hand on his arm. "I'm sorry." "I am too," he agreed. Runach shook his head, then reached for her hand to draw it through his arm. "Let's walk whilst you spew out the answers you owe me. You'll be more comfortable that way, I'm sure." "I'm not sure you should worry about my comfort" Aisling managed, "not after those questions." "But I do. And now that I have bared my soul, I think you should worry about my comfort and do the same.
Lynn Kurland (Dreamspinner (Nine Kingdoms #7))
A breathtaking vision in emerald silk, she was too exquisite to be flesh and blood; too regal and aloof to have ever let him touch her. He drew a long, strangled breath and realized he hadn’t been breathing as he watched her. Neither had the four men beside him. “Good Lord,” Count Dillard breathed, turning clear around and staring at her, “she cannot possibly be real.” “Exactly my thoughts when I first saw her,” Roddy Carstairs averred, walking up behind them. “I don’t care what gossip says,” Dillard continued, so besotted with her face that he forgot that one of the men in their circle was a part of that gossip. “I want an introduction.” He handed his glass to Roddy instead of the servant beside him and went off to seek an introduction from Jordan Townsende. Watching him, it took a physical effort for Ian to maintain his carefully bland expression, tear his gaze from Dillard’s back, and pay attention to Roddy Carstairs, who’d just greeted him. In fact, it took several moments before Ian could even remember his name. “How are you, Carstairs?” Ian said, finally recollecting it. “Besotted, like half the males in here, it would seem,” Roddy replied, tipping his head toward Elizabeth but scrutinizing Ian’s bland face and annoyed eyes. “In fact, I’m so besotted that for the second time in my jaded career I’ve done the gallant for a damsel in distress. Your damsel, unless my intuition deceives me, and it never does, actually.” Ian lifted his glass to his lips, watching Dillard bow to Elizabeth. “You’ll have to be more specific,” he said impatiently. “Specifically, I’ve been saying that in my august opinion no one, but no one, has ever besmirched that exquisite creature. Including you.” Hearing him talk about Elizabeth as if she were a morsel for public delectation sent a blaze of fury through Ian. He was spared having to form a reply to Carstairs’s remark by the arrival of yet another group of people eager to be introduced to him, and he endured, as he had been enduring all night, a flurry of curtsies, flirtatious smiles, inviting glances, and overeager hanshakes and bos. “How does it feel,” Roddy inquired as that group departed and another bore down on Ian, “to have become, overnight, England’s most eligible bachelor?” Ian answered him and abruptly walked off, and in so doing dashed the hopes of the new group that had been heading toward him. The gentleman beside Roddy, who’d been admiring Ian’s magnificently tailored claret jacket and trousers, leaned closer to Roddy and raised his voice to be heard above the din. “I say, Roddy, how did Kensington say it feels to be our most eligible?” Roddy lowered his glass, a sardonic smile twisting his lips. “He said it is a pain in the ass.” He slid a sideways glance at his staggered companion and added wryly, “With Hawthorne wed and Kensington soon to be-in my opinion-the only remaining bachelor with a dukedom to offer is Clayton Westmoreland. Given the uproar Hawthorne and Kensington have both created with their courtships, one can only look forward with glee to observing Westmoreland’s.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Beyond those to another hall, with four doors--not woven doors, but real colorwood ones--redwood, bluewood, goldwood, greenwood--beautifully carved and obviously ancient. The servants opened one and bowed me into a round-walled room that meant we were in a tower; windows on three sides looked out over the valley. The room was flooded with light, so much that I was dazzled for a moment and had to blink. Shading my eyes, I had a swift impression of a finely carved and gilded redwood table surrounded by blue satin cushions. Then I saw that the room was occupied. Standing between two of the windows, almost hidden by slanting rays of sun, was a tall figure with pale blond hair. The Marquis was looking down at the valley, hands clasped behind him. At the sound of the door closing behind me he looked up and came forward, and for a moment was a silhouette in the strong sunlight. I stood with my back to the door. We were alone. “Welcome to Renselaeus, Lady Meliara.” And when I did not answer, he pointed to a side table. “Would you like anything to drink? To eat?” “Why am I here?” I asked in a surly voice, suddenly and acutely aware of how ridiculous I must look dressed in his livery. “You may as well get the threats out at once. All this politeness seems about as false as…” As a courtier’s word, I thought, but speech wouldn’t come and I just shook my head. He returned no immediate answer; instead seemed absorbed in pouring wine from a fine silver decanter into two jewel-chased goblets. One he held out silently to me. I wanted to refuse, but I needed somewhere to look and something to do with my hands, and I thought hazily that maybe the wine would clear my head. All of the emotions of the past days seemed to be fighting for prominence in me, making rational thought impossible. He raised his cup in salute and took a drink. “Would you like to sit down?” He indicated the table. The light fell on the side of his face, and, like on that first morning after we came down from the mountain, I saw the marks of fatigue under his eyes. “No,” I said, and gulped some wine to fortify myself. “Why aren’t you getting on with the sinister speeches?” I had started off with plenty of bravado, but then a terrible thought occurred, and I squawked, “Bran--” “No harm has come to your brother,” he said, looking up quickly. “I am endeavoring to find the best way to express--” Having finished the wine, I slammed the goblet down onto a side table, and to hide my sudden fear--for I didn’t believe him--I said as truculently as possible, “If you’re capable of simple truth, just spit it out.” “Your brother has agreed to a truce,” the Marquis started. “Truce? What do you mean, a ‘truce’?” I snarled. “He wouldn’t surrender, he wouldn’t, unless you forced him by threats to me--” “I have issued no threats. It was only necessary to inform him that you were on your way here. He agreed to join us, for purposes of negotiation--” A sun seemed to explode behind my eyes. “You’ve got Bran? You used me to get my brother?” “He’s here,” the Marquis said, but he didn’t get any further. Giving a wail of sheer rage, I plucked a heavy silver candleholder and flung it straight at his head.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
Sir,' replied Mr Swiveller, 'don't you interrupt the chair. Gentlemen, how does the case stand, upon the present occasion? Here is a jolly old grandfather—I say it with the utmost respect—and here is a wild, young grandson. The jolly old grandfather says to the wild young grandson, 'I have brought you up and educated you, Fred; I have put you in the way of getting on in life; you have bolted a little out of course, as young fellows often do; and you shall never have another chance, nor the ghost of half a one.' The wild young grandson makes answer to this and says, 'You're as rich as rich can be; you have been at no uncommon expense on my account, you're saving up piles of money for my little sister that lives with you in a secret, stealthy, hugger-muggering kind of way and with no manner of enjoyment—why can't you stand a trifle for your grown-up relation?' The jolly old grandfather unto this, retorts, not only that he declines to fork out with that cheerful readiness which is always so agreeable and pleasant in a gentleman of his time of life, but that he will bow up, and call names, and make reflections whenever they meet. Then the plain question is, an't it a pity that this state of things should continue, and how much better would it be for the gentleman to hand over a reasonable amount of tin, and make it all right and comfortable?' Having delivered this oration with a great many waves and flourishes of the hand, Mr Swiveller abruptly thrust the head of his cane into his mouth as if to prevent himself from impairing the effect of his speech by adding one other word.
Charles Dickens (The Old Curiosity Shop)
You know just as well as I do that Vikram’s thread never budged,” I said stonily. Amar bowed his head. Good, I thought. At least he could fake some guilt. “I know.” “Why couldn’t I? Why did you made it sound like I could? All this talk about being a true ruler here, this…awakening of power. Or control. I had no control over that thread. I couldn’t even pull it from one side to another.” “It takes time. But it’s a start. It’s a new beginning,” he said. A chill ran up my spine. “For you and me.” He braced his elbows against his knees, the sleeves revealing the bracelet of my hair around his wrist. He had tethered a part of me to him, but I had nothing of his. He kept all his secrets from me. “Trust me,” said Amar. “And tonight, we shall celebrate. Where shall I take you, my queen? Your will is where I lay my head.” My mind twisted into a snarl. “How can I trust you?” Amar’s grin slipped off his face and his eyes narrowed. “Have I not proven myself? I rescued you from death--” “You don’t know that,” I retorted, my voice raising. “Perhaps I would’ve made a last-minute escape. Perhaps the kingdom would’ve changed its mind.” “But they didn’t, did they?” said Amar coldly. “I’m the one who took you to safety. I’m the one who made you a queen.” “Queen? I’m no better than a caged bird,” I bit out. The words tasted like bile. “What would that make me? An owner? You have free rein, as always, over this kingdom. Much more freedom than any caged bird. Think on that. All I ask, for now, is that you don’t--” “Walk alone? Question you? Breathe without your permission?” I offered, knowing what he would say. “I have free rein except when I don’t.
Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1))
CUCHULAIN’S FIGHT WITH THE SEA A MAN came slowly from the setting sun, To Emer, raddling raiment in her dun, And said, ‘I am that swineherd whom you bid Go watch the road between the wood and tide, But now I have no need to watch it more.’ Then Emer cast the web upon the floor, And raising arms all raddled with the dye, Parted her lips with a loud sudden cry. That swineherd stared upon her face and said, ‘No man alive, no man among the dead, Has won the gold his cars of battle bring.’ ‘But if your master comes home triumphing Why must you blench and shake from foot to crown?’ Thereon he shook the more and cast him down Upon the web-heaped floor, and cried his word: ‘With him is one sweet-throated like a bird.’ ‘You dare me to my face,’ and thereupon She smote with raddled fist, and where her son Herded the cattle came with stumbling feet, And cried with angry voice, ’It is not meet To idle life away, a common herd.’ ‘I have long waited, mother, for that word: But wherefore now?’ ‘There is a man to die; You have the heaviest arm under the sky.’ ‘Whether under its daylight or its stars My father stands amid his battle-cars.’ ‘But you have grown to be the taller man.’ ‘Yet somewhere under starlight or the sun My father stands.’ ‘Aged, worn out with wars On foot, on horseback or in battle-cars.’ ‘I only ask what way my journey lies, For He who made you bitter made you wise.’ ‘The Red Branch camp in a great company Between wood’s rim and the horses of the sea. Go there, and light a camp-fire at wood’s rim; But tell your name and lineage to him Whose blade compels, and wait till they have found Some feasting man that the same oath has bound.’ Among those feasting men Cuchulain dwelt, And his young sweetheart close beside him knelt, Stared on the mournful wonder of his eyes, Even as Spring upon the ancient skies, And pondered on the glory of his days; And all around the harp-string told his praise, And Conchubar, the Red Branch king of kings, With his own fingers touched the brazen strings. At last Cuchulain spake, ‘Some man has made His evening fire amid the leafy shade. I have often heard him singing to and fro, I have often heard the sweet sound of his bow. Seek out what man he is.’ One went and came. ‘He bade me let all know he gives his name At the sword-point, and waits till we have found Some feasting man that the same oath has bound.’ Cuchulain cried, ‘I am the only man Of all this host so bound from childhood on. After short fighting in the leafy shade, He spake to the young man, ’Is there no maid Who loves you, no white arms to wrap you round, Or do you long for the dim sleepy ground, That you have come and dared me to my face?’ ‘The dooms of men are in God’s hidden place,’ ‘Your head a while seemed like a woman’s head That I loved once.’ Again the fighting sped, But now the war-rage in Cuchulain woke, And through that new blade’s guard the old blade broke, And pierced him. ‘Speak before your breath is done.’ ‘Cuchulain I, mighty Cuchulain’s son.’ ‘I put you from your pain. I can no more.’ While day its burden on to evening bore, With head bowed on his knees Cuchulain stayed; Then Conchubar sent that sweet-throated maid, And she, to win him, his grey hair caressed; In vain her arms, in vain her soft white breast. Then Conchubar, the subtlest of all men, Ranking his Druids round him ten by ten, Spake thus: ‘Cuchulain will dwell there and brood For three days more in dreadful quietude, And then arise, and raving slay us all. Chaunt in his ear delusions magical, That he may fight the horses of the sea.’ The Druids took them to their mystery, And chaunted for three days. Cuchulain stirred, Stared on the horses of the sea, and heard The cars of battle and his own name cried; And fought with the invulnerable tide.
W.B. Yeats
Softly, he said, “Why are you crying?” His words made the tears flow faster. “Kestrel.” She drew a shaky breath. “Because when my father comes home, I will tell him that he has won. I will join the military.” There was a silence. “I don’t understand.” Kestrel shrugged. She shouldn’t care whether he understood or not. “You would give up your music?” Yes. She would. “But your bargain with the general was for spring.” Arin still sounded confused. “You have until spring to marry or enlist. Ronan…Ronan would ask the god of souls for you. He would ask you to marry him.” “He has.” Arin didn’t speak. “But I can’t,” she said. “Kestrel.” “I can’t.” “Kestrel, please don’t cry.” Tentative fingers touched her face. A thumb ran along the wet skin of her cheekbone. She suffered for it, suffered for the misery of knowing that whatever possessed him to do this could be no more than compassion. He valued her that much. But not enough. “Why can’t you marry him?” he whispered. She broke her word to herself and looked at him. “Because of you.” Arin’s hand flinched against her cheek. His dark head bowed, became lost in its own shadow. Then he slipped from his seat and knelt before hers. His hands fell to the fists on her lap and gently opened them. He held them as if cupping water. He took a breath to speak. She would have stopped him. She would have wished herself deaf, blind, made of unfeeling smoke. She would have stopped his words out of terror, longing. The way terror and longing had become indistinguishable. Yet his hands held hers, and she could do nothing. He said, “I want the same thing you want.” Kestrel pulled back. It wasn’t possible his words could mean what they seemed. “It hasn’t been easy for me to want it.” Arin lifted his face so that she could see his expression. A rich emotion played across his features, offered itself, and asked to be called by its name. Hope.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
The man was impossible. To her every retort,he had a counter. "A beak you may want to avoid for I will use it." His dimples turned into craters. "Aye, my lady,that you most certainly are not afraid of using. I think I actually see the small scars along your wrists and hands from where you missed your intended target and clipped yourself." Edythe opened her mouth,ready to send out another assualt, when the sparkle in his hazel eyes captured her attention. Tyr was not making fun of her. Rather,he was truly enjoying their conversation, and if she was being honest, so was she. Inclining her head in agreement, she curled her lips mischievously and said, "Inflictions all finches must learn to endure." "Indeed they must," Tyr replied with a bow. "You,Lady Finch,are a genuine surprise. These past few days,your elder sister has been gracious, kind, and all things a lady should be when welcoming a guest, but it seems that only my friend Ranulf can turn her into a fiery tempest. And each time she does, it pulls him farther in.I see now why he is susceptible to such treatment." Edythe briefly closed her eyes and gave a quick shake to her head. "You enjoy being insulted?" "You have not insulted me, you couldn't. You don't know me well enough.Nor I you. We just merely sparred and I am finding that I like wit in a woman, a most uncommon trait where I have been. If I were not so decided in my ways,you,dear Finch, would be in trouble." "Well,then I thank the Lord you are decided, for I am not easily swayed by a pretty face and you have a ways to go before you seem even moderately charming. And before you try to convince me otherwise,I must go see to Lily for she is looking overly animated and all too often the results of such excitement negatively affect me.Excuse me,sir." Tyr bowed and stared as Edythe left his side and headed toward her younger sister. He had not lied. She was probably the most intriguing woman he had ever encountered.But it changed nothing.Marriage was not for him. Still,a pretty redhead with a cunning mind and a sharp tongue would be fun to pass the time with until he had to leave.
Michele Sinclair (The Christmas Knight)
Zubaydah was transferred in 2006 to the Guantánamo Bay detention camp. The videotapes of his interrogations, along with recordings of the torture of other detainees, were ordered destroyed by the head of the CIA’s clandestine service, Jose Rodriguez, despite standing orders from the White House Counsel’s Office to preserve them. According to his attorney, Zubaydah, who remains in Guantánamo today, has “permanent brain damage,” has suffered hundreds of seizures, and “cannot picture his mother’s face or recall his father’s name.” Some might read this and say to themselves, “Who gives a damn what happened to a terrorist after what they did on September 11?” But it’s not about them. It never was. What makes us exceptional? Our wealth? Our natural resources? Our military power? Our big, bountiful country? No, our founding ideals and our fidelity to them at home and in our conduct in the world make us exceptional. They are the source of our wealth and power. Living under the rule of law. Facing threats with confidence that our values make us stronger than our enemies. Acting as an example to other nations of how free people defend their liberty without sacrificing the moral conviction upon which it is based, respect for the dignity possessed by all God’s children, even our enemies. This is what made us the great nation we are. My fellow POWs and I could work up very intense hatred for the people who tortured us. We cussed them, made up degrading names for them, swore we would get back at them someday. That kind of resistance, angry and pugnacious, can only carry you so far when your enemy holds most of the cards and hasn’t any scruples about beating the resistance out of you however long it takes. Eventually, you won’t cuss them. You won’t refuse to bow. You won’t swear revenge. Still, they can’t make you surrender what they really want from you, your assent to their supremacy. No, you don’t have to give them that, not in your heart. And your last resistance, the one that sticks, the one that makes the victim superior to the torturer, is the belief that were the positions reversed you wouldn’t treat them as they have treated you. The ultimate victim of torture is the torturer, the one who inflicts pain and suffering at the cost of their humanity.
John McCain (The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations)
Epilogue "It's a girl!" "A what?" Michael stared in shock at the midwife, who had just left his wife's chambers. "A girl, Your Grace," the woman replied nervously, perhaps worried that he would order Isabella's head cut off for not producing a male heir. A girl, Michael thought in wonder. Not for a moment had he thought his child would be a girl. For the past one hundred years, only males had been born into the Blackmore line, and he hadn't expected his offspring to be any different. "I must see them at once." Michael stood abruptly, causing the small, rotund midwife to jump with nerves. "Yes, Your Grace." She bowed fearfully—and unnecessarily, for he was only a Duke—and gestured for him to follow her into his wife's rooms. In a few long strides, he was inside Isabella's inner sanctum and rushing to the bed, where his wife lay as serene and calm as though she had merely taken a walk . "Isabella?" he croaked, tears in his eyes. "Oh, don't be so dramatic, darling!" Isabella replied with a gentle smile. "I'm perfectly all right, and so is the baby. One of the nurses shall bring her back in a minute; they're just bathing her." As though her words had been a command, the door to the antechamber opened and a second—more cheerful—midwife emerged with an armful of blankets. "Here she is, Your Grace," she said, shoving the bundle of blankets into his arms. "What, where?" the Duke asked in confusion, before looking down at the white blankets, light as a feather, that he held. There, in the midst of all the material and swaddled tight, was the face of the tiniest baby he had ever seen. "She's very small," he said in confusion to Isabella, who merely smiled. "Should she be this small?" "Actually, she's quite big," the midwife interjected, her face a picture of amusement at Michael's helpless expression. "What do you think?" Isabella asked softly, leaning over his shoulder to stare down at the baby. "I-I-I" Michael stuttered, completely overwhelmed. "You love her that much already?" Isabella teased . Unable to respond, Michael merely nodded, knowing that he probably appeared cold to the watching midwife. But his wife knew the truth, and she understood that sometimes a man didn't need words to express how much love was in his heart. And one day, his daughter would understand too.
Claudia Stone (Proposing to a Duke (Regency Black Hearts #1))
There is one thing I need to be sure of,” said the Emperor, taking an arrow, and placing it in the bow, cocking it back, “I need to know where your loyalties lay, Miss Roberts.” “With you, Emperor,” said Areli, scared, “of course, they’re with you.” “Then prove it,” said the Emperor, “prove your obedience to me. Prove your allegiance.” He placed the crossbow in her fingers, laced her finger against the trigger, and positioned the butt of the weapon against her shoulders. “That woman there. She’s a follower, Areli. She’s a deceitful little tramp that had taken residence in the bed of Degendhard’s. I want you to kill her for me. I want you to punish her, for her crimes against her Empire.” Areli looked at him, bewildered, with eyes that screamed, you can’t be serious! “If you don’t. Then I will have no other option than to assume you have been taken to Degendhard’s bed as well. You will do this, Areli. You will punish her. Prove your worth.” Areli took a deep breath, feeling the smoothness of the wood and the coldness of the trigger for the first time since having the harsh weapon thrust into her hand. The Emperor, sensing her hesitation, forced himself upon her. Her lifted her arms, and steadied the weapon into her shoulder, his chest pressed up against her back, his lips rubbing against her ear. The crossbow shook. The woman’s head lulled back and forth as she was stuck in a drug rendered dream-state, not knowing that her body faced impalement. “Stop shaking!” said the Emperor. Areli’s finger kept going back and forth between the trigger and the wooden body of the bow. “She’s moving too much!” cried Areli. “Fine,” said the Emperor. He turned Areli’s body to face her mother, the arrow aimed at her chest. “Maybe this will be an easier target.” “No!” screamed Areli, “no, please, I beg of you. I’ll do it, please. Please!” The Emperor moved the aim of the arrow back to the prisoner. “Hesitate now, Areli . . . this arrow will be lodged between your mother’s eyes. I can promise you that.” Areli’s whole body shook. The woman’s head continued to move as if it was a board on water, caught in a wicked storm. “I’m so sorry,” said Areli, under her breath, “I’m so, so sorry.” Her heart caught in her lungs, as the Emperor slid his fingers on top of hers. “All you have to do is pull, Areli,” said the Emperor, “just pull the trigger.” Areli closed her eyes, the Emperor held himself firmly pressed against her, steadying her convulsing body, and kept the weapon pointing true. She pulled her finger towards her body. She felt the kick of the bow, as violent as an unbroken horse, against her shoulder. She heard the snap of the arrow being pushed towards its target. “Welcome to Abhi, Areli” whispered the Emperor into her ear. “You’re dismissed.” She opened her eyes. The weapon fell from her hands. The prisoner was no longer in front of her kneeling. The force of the arrow had knocked her onto her back, the shaft lodged into the woman’s head. Areli had just killed a person. Not just killed, but executed someone. And not just someone, but a follower of Degendhard.
Jeffrey Johnson (The Column Racer (Column Racer, #1))
Mindy runs to the DVD player and delicately places the disk in the holder and presses play. “Will you sit in this chair, please, Princess Mindy?” I ask, bowing deeply at the waist. Mindy giggles as she replies, ”I guess so.” After Mindy sits down, I take a wide-tooth comb and start gently combing out her tangles. Mindy starts vibrating with excitement as she blurts, “Mr. Jeff, you’re gonna fix my hair fancy, ain’t you?” “We’ll see if a certain Princess can hold still long enough for me to finish,” I tease. Immediately, Mindy becomes as still as a stone statue. After a couple of minutes, I have to say, “Mindy, sweetheart, it’s okay to breathe. I just can’t have you bouncing, because I’m afraid it will cause me to pull your hair.” Mindy slumps down in her chair just slightly. “Okay Mr. Jeff, I was ascared you was gonna stop,” she whispers, her chin quivering. I adopt a very fake, very over-the-top French accent and say, “Oh no, Monsieur Jeff must complete Princess Mindy’s look to make the Kingdom happy. Mindy erupts with the first belly laugh I’ve heard all day as she responds, “Okay, I’ll try to be still, but it’s hard ‘cause I have the wiggles real bad.” I pat her on the shoulder and chuckle as I say, “Just try your best, sweetheart. That’s all anyone can ask.” Kiera comes screeching around the corner in a blur, plunks her purse on the table, and says breathlessly, “Geez-O-Pete, I can’t believe I’m late for the makeover. I love makeovers.” Kiera digs through her purse and produces two bottles of nail polish and nail kit. “It’s time for your mani/pedi ma’am. Would you prefer Pink Pearl or Frosted Creamsicle? Mindy raises her hand like a schoolchild and Kiera calls on her like a pupil, “I want Frosted Cream toes please,” Mindy answers. “Your wish is my command, my dear,” Kiera responds with a grin. For the next few minutes, Mindy gets the spa treatment of her life as I carefully French braid her hair into pigtails. As a special treat, I purchased some ribbons from the gift shop and I’m weaving them into her hair. I tuck a yellow rose behind her ear. I don my French accent as I declare, “Monsieur Jeffery pronounces Princess Mindy finished and fit to rule the kingdom.” Kiera hands Mindy a new tube of grape ChapStick from her purse, “Hold on, a true princess never reigns with chapped lips,” she says. Mindy giggles as she responds, “You’re silly, Miss Kiera. Nobody in my kingdom is going to care if my lips are shiny.” Kiera’s laugh sounds like wind chimes as she covers her face with her hands as she confesses, “Okay, you busted me. I just like to use it because it tastes yummy.” “Okay, I want some, please,” Mindy decides. Kiera is putting the last minute touches on her as Mindy is scrambling to stand on Kiera’s thighs so she can get a better look in the mirror. When I reach out to steady her, she grabs my hand in a death grip. I glance down at her. Her eyes are wide and her mouth is opening and closing like a fish. I shoot Kiera a worried glance, but she merely shrugs. “Holy Sh — !” Mindy stops short when she sees Kiera’s expression. “Mr. Jeff is an angel for reals because he turned me into one. Look at my hair Miss Kiera, there are magic ribbons in it! I’m perfect. I can be anything I want to be.” Spontaneously, we all join together in a group hug. I kiss the top of her head as I agree, “Yes, Mindy, you are amazing and the sky is the limit for you.
Mary Crawford (Until the Stars Fall from the Sky (Hidden Beauty #1))