I hugged him without any kind of fear or self-consciousness, fiercely, with a rush of emotion that almost brought tears to my eyes.
"I could kiss you!" Chubs cried.
"Please don't!" I gasp out, feeling his arms tighten around my ribs to the point of cracking them.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
I believe everything happens for a reason. Whether it is decided by the Mother, or the Cauldron, or some sort of tapestry of Fate, I don't know. I don't really care. But I am grateful for it, whatever it is. Grateful that it brought you all into my life. If it hadn't... I might have become as awful as that prick we're going to face today. If I had not met an Illyrian warrior-in-training," he said to Cassian, "I would not have known the true depths of strength, of resilience, of honor and loyalty." Cassian's eyes gleamed bright. Rhys said to Azriel, "If I had not met a shadowsinger, I would not have known that it is the family you make, not the one you are born into, that matters. I would not have known what it is to truly hope, even when the world tells you to despair." Azriel bowed his head in thanks.
Mor was already crying when Rhys spoke to her. "If I had not met my cousin, I would neer have learned that light can be found in even the darkest of hells. That kidness can thrive even amongst cruelty." She wiped away her teas as she nodded.
I waited for Amren to offer a retort. But she was only waiting.
Rhys bowed his head to her. "If I had not met a tiny monster who hoards jewels more fiercely than a firedrake..." A quite laugh from all of us at that. Rhys smiled softly. "My own power would have consumed me long ago."
Rhys squeezed my hand as he looked to me at last. "And if I had not met my mate..." His words failed him as silver lined his eyes.
He said down the bond, I would have waited five hundred more years for you. A thousand years. And if this was all the time we were allowed to have... The wait was worth it.
He wiped away the tears sliding down my face. "I believe that everything happened, exactly the way it had to... so I could find you." He kissed another tear away.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3))
Inside the envelope with the letter was a little Princess Leia action figure USB flash drive. (they make these?) For me to store my novel on, since he was right-I never back up my computer's hard drive.
The sight of it-it's Princess Leia in her Hoth outfit, my favorite of her costumes (how had he remembered?) brought tears to my eyes.
Meg Cabot (Forever Princess (The Princess Diaries, #10))
Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart.
I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk?
Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.
Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a fiery sun was giving
light inside my heart.
It was fiery because I felt
warmth as from a hearth,
and sun because it gave light
and brought tears to my eyes.
Last night as I slept,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that it was God I had
here inside my heart.
The alchemist picked up a book that someone in the caravan had brought. Leafing through the pages, he found a story about Narcissus.
The alchemist knew the legend of Narcissus, a youth who knelt daily beside a lake to contemplate his own beauty. He was so fascinated by himself that, one morning, he fell into the lake and drowned. At the spot where he fell, a flower was born, which was called the narcissus.
But this was not how the author of the book ended the story.
He said that when Narcissus died, the goddesses of the forest appeared and found the lake, which had been fresh water, transformed into a lake of salty tears.
'Why do you weep?' the goddesses asked.
'I weep for Narcissus," the lake replied.
'Ah, it is no surprise that you weep for Narcissus,' they said, 'for though we always pursued him in the forest, you alone could contemplate his beauty close at hand.'
'But... was Narcissus beautiful?' the lake asked.
'Who better than you to know that?' the goddesses asked in wonder. 'After all, it was by your banks that he knelt each day to contemplate himself!'
The lake was silent for some time. Finally, it said:
'I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected.'
'What a lovely story,' the alchemist thought.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
And then he smiled, kind of a quirky half smile that tipped up only the right corner of his mouth. Because of that smile, that goddamn human smile, I had to swallow down a burst of affection that nearly brought tears to my eyes. Instead, I looked away, and hated myself - for my inability to hate him despite the things he said, the things he did, the things he expected.
The light of my eyes, I said, light of my eyes, light of the world, that's what you are, light of my life. I didn't know what light of my eyes meant, and part of me wondered where on earth had I fished out such claptrap, but it was nonsense like this that brought tears now, tears I wished to down in his pillow, soak in his bathing suit, tears I wanted him to touch with the tip of his tongue and make sorrow go away.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
I had my arms around his waist, smiling as I looked up at him. Being with Alex made me so completely happy, in an easy, uncomplicated way that I hadn't felt since I was a small child. "I love you," I said. In the five days we'd been there, it was the first time I'd said the words to him in English; they just slipped out.
Alex's expression went very still as he looked down at me, his dark hair stirred by the slight breeze. I picked up a sudden wave of his emotions, and they almost brought tears to my eyes. Gently, he took my face in his hands and kissed me.
"I love you, too," he said against my lips.
L.A. Weatherly (Angel (Angel, #1))
You scared the shit out of me last night, so forgive me if I don't want to hear fine as an answer."
I rubbed my eyes, hoping it would keep the burning tears away. The warm water of the shower had finally calmed the tears, but the thought of Noah walking away brought them back.
"What do you want to hear? That I'm exhausted? Terrified? Confused? That all I want to do is rest my head on your chest and sleep for hours, but that's not going to happen because you're leaving me?"
"Yes," he said quickly, then just as quick said, "No. Everything but the last part." He paused. "Echo, how could you think I would leave you? How can you doubt how I feel?"
"Because," I said as I felt the familiar twisting in my stomach.
"You saw me lose it. You saw me almost go insane."
The muscles in his shoulders visibly tensed.
"I watched you battle against the worst memory of your life and I watched you win. Make no mistake, Echo. I battled right beside you. You need to find some trust in me ... in us."
Noah inhaled and slowly let the air out. His stance softened and so did his voice.
"If you're scared, tell me. If you need to cry and scream, then do it. And you sure as hell don't walk away from us because you think it would be better for me. Here's the reality, Echo: I want to be by your side. If you want to go to the mall stark naked so you can show the world your scars, then let me hold your hand. If you want to see your mom, then tell me that, too. I may not always understand, but damn, baby, I'll try.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
I don't like forgetting," I said with my eyes closed. A single tear slipped down my cheek and I let it. "I don't want to forget these moments that constantly remind me of who I am, who I was, and who you are. I don't want to forget my past and all the things that have brought me here. With you.
Nadège Richards (5 Miles)
While reading Emotionally Wounded Spiritually Strong washing clothes taday I got up to page 52-54 and I had to stop for a sech it brought tears to my eyes to think how the devil had a plan on my family from the beginning. How PPL thought we were the perfect family. Thank God for Jesus.
Tarran Carter (Emotionally Wounded Spiritually Strong: Victim No More-Seven Healing Prescriptions)
Afterwards, when we have slept, paradise-
comaed and woken, we lie a long time
looking at each other.
I do not know what he sees, but I see
eyes of surpassing tenderness
and calm, a calm like the dignity
of matter. I love the open ocean
blue-grey-green of his iris, I love
the curve of it against the white,
that curve the sight of what has caused me
to come, when he’s quite still, deep
inside me. I have never seen a curve
like that, except the earth from outer
space. I don’t know where he got
his kindness without self-regard,
almost without self, and yet
he chose one woman, instead of the others.
By knowing him, I get to know
the purity of the animal
which mates for life. Sometimes he is slightly
smiling, but mostly he just gazes at me gazing,
his entire face lit. I love
to see it change if I cry–there is no worry,
no pity, no graver radiance. If we
are on our backs, side by side,
with our faces turned fully to face each other,
I can hear a tear from my lower eye
hit the sheet, as if it is an early day on earth,
and then the upper eye’s tears
braid and sluice down through the lower eyebrow
like the invention of farmimg, irrigation, a non-nomadic people.
I am so lucky that I can know him.
This is the only way to know him.
I am the only one who knows him.
When I wake again, he is still looking at me,
as if he is eternal. For an hour
we wake and doze, and slowly I know
that though we are sated, though we are hardly
touching, this is the coming the other
coming brought us to the edge of–we are entering,
deeper and deeper, gaze by gaze,
this place beyond the other places,
beyond the body itself, we are making
We've got time," Jared says again.
An abrupt panic, like a warning premonition, makes it impossible for me to speak for a moment. He watches the change on my face with worried eyes. "You don't know that." The despair that softened when he found me strikes like the lash of a whip. "You can't know how much time we'll have. You don't know if we should be counting in months or days or hours."
He laughs a warm laugh, touching his lips to the tense place where my eyebrows pull together. "Don't worry, Mel. Miracles don't work that way. I'll never lose you. I'll never let you get away from me."
She brought me back to the present - to the thin ribbon of the highway winding through the Arizona wasteland, baking under the fierce noon sun - without my choosing to return. I stared at the empty place ahead and felt the empty place inside.
Her thought sighed faintly in my head: you never know how much time you'll have.
The tears I was crying belonged to both of us.
Stephenie Meyer (The Host (The Host, #1))
But coming out of that sleep was excruciating. My entire life flashed before my eyes in the worst way possible, my mind refilling itself with all my lame memories, every little thing that had brought me to where I was. I'd try to remember something else—a better version, a happy story, maybe, or just an equally lame but different life that would at least be refreshing in its digressions—but it never worked. I was always still me. Sometimes I woke up with my face wet with tears. The only times I cried, in fact, were when I was pulled out of that nothingness, when the alarm on my cell phone went off.
Ottessa Moshfegh (My Year of Rest and Relaxation)
Briseis is kneeling by my body. She has brought water and cloth, and washes the blood and dirt from my skin. Her hands are gentle, as though she washes a baby, not a dead thing. Achilles opens the tent, and their eyes meet over my body.
"Get away from him," he says.
"I am almost finished. He does not deserve to lie in filth."
"I would not have your hands on him."
Her eyes are sharp with tears. "Do you think you are the only one who loved him?"
"Get out. Get out!"
"You care more for him in death than in life." Her voice is bitter with grief. "How could you have let him go? You knew he could not fight!"
Achilles screams, and shatters a serving bowl. "Get out!"
Briseis does not flinch. "Kill me. It will not bring him back. He was worth ten of you. Ten! And you sent him to his death!"
The sound that comes from him is hardly human. "I tried to stop him! I told him not to leave the beach!"
"You are the one who made him go." Briseis steps towards him. "He fought to save you, and your darling reputation. Because he could not bear to see you suffer!"
Achilles buries his face in his hands. But she does not relent. "You have never deserved him. I do not know why he ever loved you. You care only for yourself!"
Achilles' gaze lifts to meet hers. She is afraid, but does not draw back. "I hope that Hector kills you."
The breath rasps in his throat. "Do you think I do not hope the same?" he asks.
Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles)
We had a little slave boy whom we had hired from some one, there in Hannibal. He was from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and had been brought away from his family and his friends, half way across the American continent, and sold. He was a cheery spirit, innocent and gentle, and the noisiest creature that ever was, perhaps. All day long he was singing, whistling, yelling, whooping, laughing - it was maddening, devastating, unendurable. At last, one day, I lost all my temper, and went raging to my mother, and said Sandy had been singing for an hour without a single break, and I couldn't stand it, and wouldn't she please shut him up.
The tears came into her eyes, and her lip trembled, and she said something like this - 'Poor thing, when he sings, it shows that he is not remembering, and that comforts me; but when he is still, I am afraid he is thinking, and I cannot bear it. He will never see his mother again; if he can sing, I must not hinder it, but be thankful for it. If you were older, you would understand me; then that friendless child's noise would make you glad.' It was a simple speech, and made up of small words, but it went home, and Sandy's noise was not a trouble to me any more.
Mark Twain (The Autobiography of Mark Twain)
I love China! I love my country even though it is not always good ro right,' my daughter proclaimed in a firm voice. Her words brought tears to my eyes. I also had a deep and abiding love for the land of my ancestors even though, because of my class status, I had become an outcast.
Nien Cheng (Life and Death in Shanghai)
Andromeda.” Allister moved closer. “An autumn constellation, forty-four light-years away.” His steps were smooth and indifferent, but his voice was dry, as though he found my panic attack positively boring. His attitude brought a small rush of annoyance in, but it was suddenly swayed as my lungs contracted and wouldn’t release. I couldn’t keep a strangled gasp from escaping. “Look up.” It was an order, carrying a harsh edge. With no fight in me, I complied and tilted my head. Tears blurred my vision. Stars swam together and sparkled like diamonds. I was glad they weren’t. Humans would find a way to pluck them from the sky. “Andromeda is the dim, fuzzy star to the right. Find it.” My eyes searched it out. The stars weren’t often easy to see, hidden behind smog and the glow of city lights, but sometimes, on a lucky night like tonight, pollution cleared and they became visible. I found the star and focused on it. “Do you know her story?” he asked, his voice close behind me. A cold wind touched my cheeks, and I inhaled slowly. “Answer me.” “No,” I gritted. “Andromeda was boasted to be one of the most beautiful goddesses.” He moved closer, so close his jacket brushed my bare arm. His hands were in his pockets and his gaze was on the sky. “She was sacrificed for her beauty, tied to a rock by the sea.” I imagined her, a red-haired goddess with a heart of steel chained to a rock. The question bubbled up from the depths of me. “Did she survive?” His gaze fell to me. Down the tear tracks to the blood on my bottom lip. His eyes darkened, his jaw tightened, and he looked away. “She did.
Danielle Lori (The Maddest Obsession (Made #2))
The two lovers walked among the willow trees, and the oneness of each was a language speaking of the oneness of both; and an ear listening in silence to the inspiration of love; and a seeing eye seeing the glory of happiness. "Astarte has brought back our souls to this life so that the delights of love and the glory of youth might not be forbidden us, my beloved.
Kahlil Gibran (A Tear and a Smile)
... I shook myself, trying to figure out what I should do and who I should be. Defaulting to pragmatic me was easiest because it was where I lived most of the time. I was good at bottling my frustrations and disappointments, especially when they didn't really matter.
- brought tears to my eyes btw -
Penny Reid (Happily Ever Ninja (Knitting in the City, #5))
I have no idea who he was. But he saved me. From you.
I watched from the doorway as he smacked, punched, and threw you against the wall. You fought back hard- I'll give you that- but you were no match for him.
And when it was over- when you'd finally passed out- the boy made direct eye contact with me. He removed the rag from my mouth and asked me if I was okay.
'Yes. I mean, I think so,' I told him.
But it was her that he was really interested in: the girl who was lying unconscious on the floor. Her eyes were swollen, and there looked to be a trail of blood running from her nose.
The boy wiped her face with a rag. And then he kissed her, and held her, and ran his hand over her cheek, finally grabbing his cell to dial 911.
He was wearing gloves, which I thought was weird. Maybe he was concerned about his fingerprints, from breaking in. But once he hung up, he removed the gloves, took the girl's hand, and placed it on the front of his leg- as if it were some magical hot spot that would make her better somehow. Tears welled up in his eyes as he apologized for not getting there sooner.
'I'm so sorry,' he just kept saying.
And suddenly I felt sorry too.
Apparently it was the anniversary of something tragic that'd happened. I couldn't really hear him clearly, but I was pretty sure he'd mentioned visiting an old girlfriend's grave.
'You deserve someone better,' he told her. 'Someone who'll be open and honest; who won't be afraid to share everything with you.' He draped his sweatshirt over her, kissed her behind the ear, and then promised to love her forever.
A couple minutes later, another boy came in, all out of breath. 'Is she alright?' he asked.
The boy who saved me stood up, wiped his tearful eyes, and told the other guy to sit with her until she woke up. And then he went to find scissors for me. He cut me free and brought me out to the sofa. 'My name's Ben,' he said. 'And help is on the way.'
When the girl finally did wake up, Ben allowed the other guy to take credit for saving her life. I wanted to ask him why, but I haven't been able to speak.
That's what this letter is for. My therapist says that I need to tell my side of things in order to regain my voice. She suggested that addressing my thoughts directly to you might help provide some closure.
So far, it hasn't done the trick.
Never your Jill,
Laurie Faria Stolarz (Deadly Little Voices (Touch, #4))
She pressed her hands against my chest and tried to push me away. "I can't think straight when you 're this close."
I backed her up against the wall. "I don't like the thoughts running through your head. I plan on staying here until you look me in the eye and tell me you 're mine."
"This isn't going to work. It never would have."
"Bullshit. We belong together." Echo sniffed and the sound tore at me. I softened my voice. "Look at me, baby. I know you love me. Three nights ago you were willing to offer everything to me. There is no way you can walk away from us."
"God Noah..." Her voice broke. "I'm a mess."
A mess? "You 're beautiful."
"I'm a mental mess. In two months you 're going to face some judge and convince him that you are the best person to raise your brothers. I'm a liability."
"Not true. My brothers will love you and you 'll love them. You are not a liability."
"But how will the judge see me? Are you really willing too take that risk? [...] What happens if the judge find out about me? What if he discovers what a mess you 're dating?"
Breathing became a painful chore. Her lips turned down while her warm fingers caressed my cheek. That touch typically brought me to knees, but now it cut me open.
"Did you know that when you stop being stubborn and accept i may be right on something, your eyes widen a little and you tilt your head to the side?" she asked.
I forced my head straight and narrowed my eyes. "I love you."
She flashed her glorious smile and then it became the saddest smile in the world. "You love your brothers more. I'm okay with that. In fact, it's one of the things i love about you. You were right the other day. I do want to be a part of a family. But i'd never forgive myself if i was the reason you didn't get yours."
To my horror, tears pricked my eyes and my throat swelled shut. "No, you 're not pulling this sacrificial bullshit on me. I love you and you love me and we 're supposed to be together."
Echo pressed her body to mine and her fingers clung to my hair. Water glistened in her eyes. "I love you enough to never make you choose."
She pushed off her toes toward me, guiding my head down, and gently kissed my lips. No. This wouldn't be goudbye. I'd fill her up and make her realize she'd always be empty without me.
I made Echo mine. My hands claimed her hair, her back. My lips claimed her mouth, her tongue. Her body shook against mine and i tasted salty wetness on her skin. She forced her lips away and i latched tighter to her. "No, baby, no," i whispered into her hair.
She pushed her palms against my chest, then became a blur as she ran past. "I'm sorry.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
I hope to have told you all this myself,” Bail Organa’s voice said. “I hope we have enjoyed many more happy years as a family, that we have seen the Empire fall, and that we have gone forth together to find General Kenobi and your brother. If so, this recording can serve only one purpose. You must be listening after my death, so let this be my chance to say once again how much I love you. No other daughter could ever have brought me more joy.” Tears welled in Leia’s eyes, but she fought them back. If she began to sob, she wouldn’t be able to hear her father’s voice any longer. He concluded, “Please know that my love for you, and your mother’s love, endures long past our deaths. We are forever with you, Leia. In your brightest triumphs and your darkest troubles, always know that we are by your side.” She
Claudia Gray (Bloodline)
Here, my lady. I’ll help you back to bed and send for some tea. And a cinnamon cake, perhaps?” Rielle leaned heavily into Evyline’s broad body. “Perhaps three cakes would do the trick.” “Three cakes are, generally speaking, much more effective than one, my lady.” Rielle’s smile was faint and brought prickling tears to her eyes. “Bless you, Evyline. I’ve taught you well.
Claire Legrand (Furyborn (Empirium, #1))
How can you love me if you don’t even know me?” He lifted my arms around his neck and placed his hands on the small of my back.
“I know you, Jade. You’re witty and stubborn, like when you wanted to get rid of me at the bar in San Diego. And you’re sweet and caring, like when you talked to my mother at the hospital. And you can drink like a sailor. ” He chuckled. “And you hardly ever blush, but when you do it’s like the sunshine.” Then, he whispered in my ear with a husky voice, “And you make love with your soul.”
Peter gave my earlobe a quick nibble. “I couldn’t care less about energy. It might have brought us together, but I only care about you. I want to spend the rest of my days with you; no matter if it’ll be ten or ten thousand.”
Despite myself, I felt my eyes burn from tears I wasn’t ready to shed.
Still, I couldn’t say it.
“Peter...” I kissed him with all the tenderness I found in my heart and said, “the tub is about to
“Oh, shit.” He jerked away from me, turned the water off and unplugged the tub, then hugged
me again with wet hands. “All we need is time, Jade. You’ll see this love is real.
Denyse Cohen (Witch's Soulmate)
I don't have all of the answers to the world. I don't know everything about life and marriage and happiness. But I do know what love is. And I do know that when love is real, and when love is in its strongest form, it is the most powerful thing on this earth. It kills, saves lives, heals wounds, and most of all, brings hope. That is what you have done for me, Lily. You have brought me hope. When I look into your eyes, I know that no matter what may happen to me, as long as I can see those eyes staring back at me, then I'll be fine. Somehow I'll make it through. Somehow I'll find a way to survive for you. And that's what I want to feel for the rest of my time here on Earth, however short or long that may be. I want to wake up every morning and see your shining face staring back at me. But I also want to protect you. I want to protect you from anything that may hurt you. I want to be there when you cry to dry your tears. When you feel lonely, I want to give you a kiss. When you are scared, to embrace you. And when you are happy, to share a laugh with you. I don't know what's in store for us, but I do know that true love outlasts everything. It outlasts doubt, hate, war, misfortune, and most of all death. I vow to you to always be beside you. Not only in this life, but the next. Because that's when love becomes real. That's when love becomes unchained from anything in this life. I know that when I die, the first thing that I will see will be your eyes. That is how I will know that I made it to Heaven. Because you and I will still be together, forever."
What, am I supposed to feel guilty?" I say.
He looks confused. "Guilty?"
"That I feel fine for once? That I'm not limping and moaning around? Dragging my leg like Briana? Lying on the floor, crying into my ears when everyone else around me rolls their eyes? I'm supposed to feel bad that I'm better now? I'm supposed to cry over a little cut. To what? To make you feel like I'm not a monster. I need to perform my little bit of pain for you so you'll know I'm human?"
"Miranda, I didn't mean—"
"But not too much pain, am I right? Not too much, never too much. If it was too much, you wouldn't know what to do with me, would you? Too much would make you uncomfortable. Bored. My crying would leave a bad taste. That would just be bad theater, wouldn't it? A bad show. You want a good show. They all do. A few pretty tears on my cheeks that you can brush away. Just a delicate little bit of ouch so you know there's someone in there. So you don't get too scared of me, am I right? So you know I'm still a vulnerable thing. That I can be brought down if need be.
Mona Awad (All's Well)
During the two months of our stay at Biarritz, my passion for Colette all but surpassed my passion for Cleopatra. Since my parents were not keen to meet hers, I saw her only on the beach; but I thought of her constantly. If I noticed she had been crying, I felt a surge of helpless anguish that brought tears to my own eyes. I could not destroy the mosquitoes that had left their bites on her frail neck, but I could, and did, have a successful fistfight with a red-haired boy who had been rude to her. She used to give me warm handfuls of hard candy. One day, as we were bending together over a starfish, and Colette's ringlets were tickling my ear, she suddenly turned toward me and kissed me on the cheek. So great was my emotion that all I could think of saying was, 'You little monkey.
Vladimir Nabokov (Speak, Memory)
I don’t remember a time in my life that Jules and her family weren’t in it. You have shared everything that has ever mattered with me, even the birth of my baby. When Jules and Nate got together,” Natalie turns to the audience and smiles. Will takes my hand in his and kisses my knuckles. “I was astonished to watch the change in her. Jules is a kick-ass girl. She’s not big on public displays of affection, which she reminds me of almost daily.” “Seriously, you guys are gross,” Jules rolls her eyes, but I can see the tears threatening to spill over. “But Nate brought out that soft side of her. He makes her better. And I think she does the same for him. I just couldn’t have found anyone more suited to you, my friend, if I tried.” Nat raises her glass and we all follow suit. “So, to my new brother-in-law Nate, and my sister of the heart, his Julianne. May your love continue to grow every day.
Kristen Proby (Play with Me (With Me in Seattle, #3))
Until… Chase stood. The restaurant, which had been a loud rumble, suddenly quieted. Everything after that happened in slow motion. All of our family and friends faded away as the man I love got down on one knee. I heard and saw nothing but him. “I had this whole thing to say planned out in my head, but the minute I saw your face, I completely forgot every word. So I’m just going to wing it here. Reese Elizabeth Annesley, since the first time I laid eyes on you on that bus in middle school, I’ve been crazy about you.” I smiled and shook my head. “You got the crazy part right.” Chase took my hand, and it was then I noticed his was shaking. My cocky, always-confident bossman was nervous. If it was possible, I fell a little more in love with him in that moment. I squeezed his hand, offering reassurance, and he steadied. That’s what we did for each other. I was the balance to his unsteadiness. He was the courage to my fear. He continued. “Maybe it wasn’t a school bus or middle school, but I fell hard for you in the hall, that much I’m sure of. From the moment I saw your beautiful face light up that dark hallway a year ago, I was done. I didn’t even care that we were both on dates with other people, I just needed to be closer to you any way I could. Since then, you’ve distracted me every day whether you’re near me or not. You brought me back to life, and there’s nothing I want to do more than build that life with you. I want to be the man to look under your bed every night and wake up next to you in it every morning. You’ve changed me. When I’m with you, I’m myself, only a better version, because you make me want to be a better man. I want to spend the rest of my life with you, and I want it to start yesterday. So, please tell me you’ll be my wife because I’ve already been waiting for you my entire life, and I don’t want to wait any more.” I pressed my forehead to his as tears streamed down my face. “You know I’m going to be even crazier once we live together, and probably even worse when we have our own family. Three locks might turn to seven, and doing my check in that big house of yours is going to take a long time. It might get old and tiring. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to change any of that.” Chase reached behind me and bunched my hair into his hand, cupping it along with the nape of my neck. “I don’t want you to change. Not any of it. I love everything about you. There’s not a single thing I’d change if I could. Well, except your last name.
Vi Keeland (Bossman)
Dear God, what can I offer you? I brought these flowers, But all plants are yours, so are the flowers. What is mine to give? My eyes have filled with tears. But these eyes are yours, so are the tears. I have nothing to offer except my gratitude.
Yet motherhood had brought me down to earth with a thud, and kept me there with tentacles made of diapers and tears and lullabies and phone calls and car pools and the sticky residue of hair spray and Barbasol all over the bathroom counter. Would i ever be able to soar again? Would I ever have the courage? Did any woman? Or did we exist only as others saw us?...I saw myself through her (my daughter's) eyes, I saw myself through Charles's eyes, always; I never looked into a mirror and saw myself through my own.
Melanie Benjamin (The Aviator's Wife)
Gregori brought Savannah's hand to the warmth of his mouth,his breath heating the pulse beating in her wrist. The night is especially beautiful, mon petit amour.Your hero saved the girl, walks among humans, and converses with a fool.That alone should bring a smile to your face.Do not weep for what we cannot change.We will make certain that this human with us comes to no harm.
Are you my hero,then? There were tears in her voice, in her mind, like an iridescent prism. She needed him, his comfort,his support under her terrible weight of guilt and love and loss.
Always,for all eternity, he answered instantly,without hesitation, his eyes hot mercury. He tipped her chin up so that she met the brilliance of his silver gaze.Always, mon amour.His molten gaze trapped her blue one and held her enthralled. Your heart grows lighter.The burden of your sorrow becomes my own. He held her gaze captive for a few moments to ensure that she was free of the heaviness crushing her.
Savannah blinked and moved a little away from him, wondering what she had been thinking of.What had they been talking about?
"Gary." Gregori drawled the name slowly and sat back in his chair,totally relaxed. He looked like a sprawling tiger,dangerous and untamed. "Tell us about yourself."
"I work a lot.I'm not married. I'm really not much of a people person. I'm basically a nerd."
Gregori shifted, a subtle movement of muscles suggesting great power. "I am not familiar with this term."
"Yeah,well,you wouldn't be," Gary said. "It means I have lots of brains and no brawn.I don't do the athlete thing. I'm into computers and chess and things requiring intellect. Women find me skinny,wimpy,and boring. Not something they would you." There was no bitterness in his voice,just a quiet acceptance of himself,his life.
Gregori's white teeth flashed. "There is only one woman who matters to me, Gary, and she finds me difficult to live with.I cannot imagine why,can you?"
"Maybe because you're jealous, possessive, concerned with every single detail of her life?" Gary plainly took the question literally, offering up his observations without judgement. "You're probably domineering,too. I can see that. Yeah.It might be tough."
Savannah burst out laughing, the sound musical, rivaling the street musicians. People within hearing turned their heads and held their breath, hoping for more. "Very astute, Gary.Very, very astute. I bet you have an anormous IQ."
Gregori stirred again, the movement a ripple of power,of danger. He was suddenly leaning into Gary. "You think you are intelligent? Baiting the wild animal is not too smart.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
I'm not an atheist," he says suddenly.
He nods. "Because on the night of my fifth birthday, I prayed for an angel to watch over me." He slurps his milk, then looks up at me with a milk mustache. "And God brought you to the dock."
My eyes well up with tears as I watch him turn back to his mug.
Sarah Jio (Morning Glory)
[A portion of the audience members are getting really curious about the taste of ‘Murim dumplings’.]
I sensed Yu Jung-Hyeok  flinch ever so slightly on my shoulder.
In the meantime, I handed the dumplings over to Shin Yu-Seung and Yu Jung-Hyeok as well.
The latter frowned and shook his head. “I don’t eat food made by other people.”
“Other people didn’t make this.”
He seemed deeply puzzled by that. Most likely, he had no idea what I was talking about. He then glared at the [Murim dumpling] resting before his eyes with some suspicion, but eventually made up his mind and cautiously reached out to it.
And very slowly, so very slowly, as if he was studying his new enemy, brought the dumpling near his nose.
That’s right, eat that damn dumpling, you bastard.
Yu Jung-Hyeok continued his pained deliberation over and over again, and in the end, brought the dumpling towards his lips very slowly. As if he was tearing into the neck of the enemy commander, he took a small bite out of it.
I watched John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers play it acoustically at their gig at the MEN Arena. I think I can safely say that, of the 19,000 people there, 18,950 didn’t know what it was—but I did, and it brought a tear to my eye, definitely. Monster bass line. A bass line that every bass player dreams of and I got it, so thank you.
Peter Hook (Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division)
The flames seared my arm a split second before I was snatched away from the cage and out of the wyvern’s range. Nikolas brought us to a stop and put out the fire on my sleeve, but already I could feel the agonizing pain from my wrist to my elbow. Tears welled in my eyes, and I cried out when my charred sleeve touched the skin that was already blistering. “Sara,
Karen Lynch (Refuge (Relentless, #2))
Last Night As I Was Sleeping"
Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart.
I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk?
Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.
Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a fiery sun was giving
light inside my heart.
It was fiery because I felt
warmth as from a hearth,
and sun because it gave light
and brought tears to my eyes.
Last night as I slept,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that it was God I had
here inside my heart.
Antonio Machado (Times Alone: Selected Poems)
With bare feet in the dirt, fulmia, ten times with conviction, will shake the earth to its roots, if you have the strength, Jaga’s book had told me, and the Dragon had believed it enough not to let me try it anywhere near the tower. I had felt doubtful, anyway, about conviction: I hadn’t believed I had any business shaking the earth to its roots. But now I fell to the ground and dug away the snow and the fallen leaves and rot and moss until I came to the hard-frozen dirt. I pried up a large stone and began to smash at the earth, again and again, breaking up the dirt and breathing on it to make it softer, pounding in the snow that melted around my hands, pounding in the hot tears that dripped from my eyes as I worked. Kasia was above me with her head flung up, her mouth open in its soundless cry like a statue in a church. “Fulmia,” I said, my fingers deep in the dirt, crushing the solid clods between my fingers. “Fulmia, fulmia,” I chanted over and over, bleeding from broken nails, and I felt the earth hear me, uneasily. Even the earth was tainted here, poisoned, but I spat on the dirt and screamed, “Fulmia,” and imagined my magic running into the ground like water, finding cracks and weaknesses, spreading out beneath my hands, beneath my cold wet knees: and the earth shuddered and turned over. A low trembling began where my hands drove into the ground, and it followed me as I started prying at the roots of the tree. The frozen dirt began to break up into small chunks all around them, the tremors going on and on like waves. The branches above me were waving wildly as if in alarm, the whispering of the leaves becoming a muted roaring. I straightened up on my knees. “Let her out!” I screamed at the tree: I beat on its trunk with my muddy fists. “Let her out, or I’ll bring you down! Fulmia!” I cried out in rage, and threw myself back down at the ground, and where my fists hit, the ground rose and swelled like a river rising with the rain. Magic was pouring out of me, a torrent: every warning the Dragon had ever given me forgotten and ignored. I would have spent every drop of myself and died there, just to bring that horrible tree down: I couldn’t imagine a world where I lived, where I left this behind me, Kasia’s life and heart feeding this corrupt monstrous thing. I would rather have died, crushed in my own earthquake, and brought it down with me. I tore at the ground ready to break open a pit to swallow us all.
Naomi Novik (Uprooted)
Brought up with an idea of God, a Christian, my whole life filled with the spiritual blessings Christianity has given me, full of them, and living on those blessings, like the children I did not understand them, and destroy, that is try to destroy, what I live by. And as soon as an important moment of life comes, like the children when they are cold and hungry, I turn to Him, and even less than the children when their mother scolds them for their childish mischief, do I feel that my childish efforts at wanton madness are reckoned against me.
"Yes, what I know, I know not by reason, but it has been given to me, revealed to me, and I know it with my heart, by faith in the chief thing taught by the church.
"The church! the church!" Levin repeated to himself. He turned over on the other side, and leaning on his elbow, fell to gazing into the distance at a herd of cattle crossing over to the river.
"But can I believe in all the church teaches?" he thought, trying himself, and thinking of everything that could destroy his present peace of mind. Itentionally he recalled all those doctrines of the church which had always seemed most strange and had always been a stumbling block to him.
"The Creation? But how did I explain existence? By existence? By nothing? The devil and sin. But how do I explain evil?... The atonement?...
"But I know nothing, nothing, and I can know nothing but what has been told to me and all men."
And it seemed to him that there was not a single article of faith of the church which could destroy the chief thing--faith in God, in goodness, as the one goal of man's destiny.
Under every article of faith of the church could be put the faith in the service of truth instead of one's desires. And each doctrine did not simply leave that faith unshaken, each doctrine seemed essential to complete that great miracle, continually manifest upon earth, that made it possible for each man and millions of different sorts of men, wise men and imbeciles, old men and children--all men, peasants, Lvov, Kitty, beggars and kings to understand perfectly the same one thing, and to build up thereby that life of the soul which alone is worth living, and which alone is precious to us.
Lying on his back, he gazed up now into the high, cloudless sky. "Do I not know that that is infinite space, and that it is not a round arch? But, however I screw up my eyes and strain my sight, I cannot see it not round and not bounded, and in spite of my knowing about infinite space, I am incontestably right when I see a solid blue dome, and more right than when I strain my eyes to see beyond it."
Levin ceased thinking, and only, as it were, listened to mysterious voices that seemed talking joyfully and earnestly within him.
"Can this be faith?" he thought, afraid to believe in his happiness. "My God, I thank Thee!" he said, gulping down his sobs, and with both hands brushing away the tears that filled his eyes.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
To look at Montmorency you would imagine that he was an angel sent upon the earth, for some reason withheld from mankind, in the shape of a small fox-terrier. There is a sort of Oh-what-a-wicked-world-this-is-and-how-I-wish-I-could-do-something-to-make-it-better-and-nobler expression about Montmorency that has been known to bring the tears into the eyes of pious old ladies and gentlemen. When first he came to live at my expense, I never thought I should be able to get him to stop long. I used to sit down and look at him, as he sat on the rug and looked up at me, and think: “Oh, that dog will never live. He will be snatched up to the bright skies in a chariot, that is what will happen to him.” But, when I had paid for about a dozen chickens that he had killed; and had dragged him, growling and kicking, by the scruff of his neck, out of a hundred and fourteen street fights; and had had a dead cat brought round for my inspection by an irate female, who called me a murderer; and had been summoned by the man next door but one for having a ferocious dog at large, that had kept him pinned up in his own tool-shed, afraid to venture his nose outside the door for over two hours on a cold night; and had learned that the gardener, unknown to myself, had won thirty shillings by backing him to kill rats against time, then I began to think that maybe they’d let him remain on earth for a bit longer, after all. To hang about a stable, and collect a gang of the most disreputable dogs to be found in the town, and lead them out to march round the slums to fight other disreputable dogs, is Montmorency’s idea of “life;” and so, as I before observed, he gave to the suggestion of inns, and pubs., and hotels his most emphatic approbation.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog)
I hurt myself by hurting you.” His face wore a look of compassion. I hated that look, because it reminded me that he was a good person, that he had tried over and over to apologize. He unwittingly brought out the part of me that I hated, and I projected that hate onto him, because it was easier to hate someone else than to hate myself. Tears poured out of my eyes. And he wrapped his arms around me, holding me as wept.
And I hated that his arms still felt good.
Jacqueline Simon Gunn (Love's Remains (Where You'll Land #2))
I was pregnant, and then I wasn’t,” she said softly. “I was in love, and then I wasn’t. You did that. You took those things from me. My family was collateral damage in a drive-by ordered by you.”
“I’ve hated you longer than I’ve done much of anything else. No one hired me. I’m here because it’s the only way I’m still a mother to her. I can still be an angry mother even though she’s not here. But I’m not even doing that right.”
Eve hung her head in defeat. She felt the numbness crawl over her again. Claim me. I have nothing left.
Beckett dropped his arms and turned to face her. “Eve.”
The odd sound of her name on his lips brought her eyes to his face. He was devastated.
“What’s her name?” Beckett asked in an unsteady voice.
Eve bit her lip. She’d never told anyone.
“Anna.” Eve’s long-dry eyes filled with tears.
Beckett made no move to cover himself or call for help. “That’s a beautiful name. Anna’s very lucky to have such a dedicated mother. Once you’re a mom, that title’s yours for-fucking-ever—like a president.”
He reached over and chose the quietest pistol from the wall. He held it out to her.
“No one will hear this one, so you should be able to get out of here. I’m so sorry. I caused you the most unimaginable pain. It would be my honor to die at your hand, if it gives you even a moment’s peace.”
Eve stared at the gun for a long while. “That’s the worst part,” she whispered, her voice soaked with defeat. “I’m not strong enough. I’ve killed so many. I can kill anyone. But I can’t kill you.
Debra Anastasia (Poughkeepsie (Poughkeepsie Brotherhood, #1))
I took my first pill as soon as I filled the script at the CVS in Copley, a few blocks from Dr. Gregory's office. By the time I'd reach Newton Centre on the Green Line, I couldn't stop smiling. The kind of big, solar smile that suffuses your whole torso, as if your organs are grinning. Soon I began to laugh, at nothing at all, pure laughter, which brought tears to my eyes, no doubt making me appear completely insane to the other passengers. But happier I have rarely been. For that hour and the three or four that followed, I was lifted down off a hook in the back of my skull that I hadn't even known I'd been hanging from. Here was the world unfettered by dread. Thoughts came, lasted for whole, uninterrupted moments, and then passed away, leaving room for others. The present had somehow ceased to be an emergency. In fact, it seemed almost uneventful. Down the tramcar a gaggle of high schoolers snickered at my lunatic ways and I wasn't even ashamed. It was as if their derision moved too slowly through this new atmosphere to reach me with any force.
Adam Haslett (Imagine Me Gone)
For a moment, the color leeched from his face, then he blinked and smiled. Margaret, for a second I thought it was your mama standing there. He gave a gruff laugh. You look lovely, my dear.
Her father's praise brought tears to her eyes. His approving words came far too infrequently. Was her appearance all that mattered to him-to anyone? It seemed to be the way of the world. No one cared about who she was on the inside. No one saw the heart longing to be loved and to love in return. She sometimes even doubted God's love for her.
Colleen Coble (Safe in His Arms (Under Texas Stars, #2))
In a private room down the hall, a tired but delighted Cecily was watching her husband with his brand-new son. Cecily had thought that the expression on Tate’s face at their wedding would never be duplicated. But when they placed the tiny little boy in his father’s gowned arms in the delivery room, and he saw his child for the first time, the look on his face was indescribable. Tears welled in his eyes. He’d taken the tiny little fist in his big, dark hand and smoothed over the perfect little fingers and then the tiny little face, seeking resemblances.
“Generations of our families,” he said softly, “all there, in that face.” He’d looked down at his wife with unashamedly wet eyes. “In our son’s face.”
She wiped her own tears away with a corner of the sheet and coaxed Tate’s head down so that she could do the same for him where they were, temporarily, by themselves.
Now she was cleaned up, like their baby, and drowsy as she lay on clean white sheets and watched her husband get acquainted with his firstborn. “Isn’t he beautiful?” he murmured, still awed by the child. “Next time, we have to have a little girl,” he said with a tender smile, “so that she can look like you.”
Her heart felt near to bursting as she stared up at that beloved face, above the equally beloved face of their firstborn.
“My heart is happy when I see you,” she whispered in Lakota.
He chuckled, having momentarily forgotten that he’d taught her how to say it. “Mine is equally happy when I see you,” he replied in English.
She reached out and clasped his big hand with her small one. On the table beside her was a bouquet of roses, red and crisp with a delightful soft perfume. Her eyes traced them, and she remembered the first rose he’d ever given her, when she was seventeen: a beautiful red paper rose that he’d brought her from Japan. Now the roses were real, not imitation. Just as her love for him, and his for her, had become real enough to touch.
He frowned slightly at her expression. “What is it?” he asked softly.
“I was remembering the paper rose you brought me from Japan, just after I went to live with Leta.” She shrugged and smiled self-consciously.
He smiled back. “And now you’re covered in real ones,” he discerned.
She nodded, delighted to see that he understood exactly what she was talking about. But, then, they always had seemed to read each others’ thoughts-never more than now, with the baby who was a living, breathing manifestation of their love. “Yes,” she said contentedly. “The roses are real, now.”
Outside the window, rain was coming down in torrents, silver droplets shattering on the bright green leaves of the bushes. In the room, no one noticed. The baby was sleeping and his parents were watching him, their eyes full of warm, soft dreams.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
I had achieved my dream, but what had it brought? Wealth? I glanced at my dress, worn too many days now without washing, and at the patched cloak bunched under my arm. Renown? I’d been a celebrity in my student days, but since then I might as well have died. Happiness? My eyes pricked with tears. The day I received my degree I thought my life would be completely altered. I had entered the forbidden land of my father. Nothing would ever be the same. But in truth nothing happened. I remained plain old Agnes White, no richer or more famous or happier than before.
Claire Holden Rothman (The Heart Specialist)
The truth is that I want you. I have always wanted you, and you know that.”
“I hate that word,” she burst out, trying unsuccessfully to break free of his grasp.
“I don’t think you know what it means.”
“I know you say it every time you force yourself on me.”
“And every time I do, you melt in my arms.”
“I will not marry you,” Elizabeth said furiously, mentally circling for some way out. “I don’t know you. I don’t trust you.”
“But you do want me,” he told her with a knowing smile.
“Stop saying that, damn you! I want an old husband, I told you that,” she cried, mindlessly saying anything she could think of to put him off. “I want my life to be mine. I told you that, too. And you came dashing to England and-and bought me.” That brought her up short, and her eyes began to blaze.
“No,” he stated firmly, though it was splitting hairs, “I made a settlement on your uncle.”
The tears she’d been fighting valiantly to hide began to spill over her lashes. “I am not a pauper,” she cried. “I am not a p-pauper,” she repeated, her voice choking with tears. “I have-had-a dowry, damn you. And if you were so stu-stupid you let him swindle you out of it, it serves you right!
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Christy dug her hand deeper into her shoulder bag. Scanning the papers she finally located there, she found no phone numbers or addresses listed. All the plans had been made in such haste. All she knew was that someone was supposed to meet her here. She was here, and he or she wasn't.
Never in her life had she felt so completely alone. Stranded with nowhere to turn. A prayer came quickly to her lips. "Father God, I'm at Your mercy here. I know You're in control. Please show me what to do."
Suddenly she heard a voice calling to her.
Christy's heart stopped. Only one person in the entire world had ever called her by her Hawaiian name. She spun around.
"Kilikina," called out the tall, blond surfer who was running toward her.
Christy looked up into the screaming silver-blue eyes that could only belong to one person.
"Todd?" she whispered, convinced she was hallucinating.
"Kilikina," Todd wrapped his arms around her so tightly that for an instant she couldn't breathe. He held her a long time. Crying. She could feel his warm tears on her neck. She knew this had to be real. But how could it be?
"Todd?" she whispered again. "How? I mean, what...? I don't..."
Todd pulled away, and for the first time she noticed the big gouquet of white carnations in his hand. They were now a bit squashed.
"For you," he said, his eyes clearing and his rich voice sounding calm and steady. Then, seeing her shocked expression, he asked, "You really didn't know I was here, did you?"
Christy shook her head, unable to find any words.
"Didn't Dr. Benson tell you?"
She shook her head again.
"You mean you came all this way by yourself, and you didn't even know I was here?" Now it was Todd's turn to look surprised.
"No, I thought you were in Papua New Guinea or something. I had no idea you were here!"
"They needed me here more," Todd said with a chin-up gesture toward the beach. "It's the perfect place for me." With a wide smile spreading above his square jaw, he said, "Ever since I received the fax yesterday saying they were sending you, I've been out of my mind with joy! Kilikina, you can't imagine how I've been feeling."
Christy had never heard him talk like this before.
Todd took the bouquet from her and placed it on top of her luggage. Then, grasping both her quivering hands in his and looking into her eyes, he said, "Don't you see? There is no way you or I could ever have planned this. It's from God."
The shocked tears finally caught up to Christy's eyes, and she blinked to keep Todd in focus. "It is," she agreed. "God brought us back together, didn't He?" A giggle of joy and delight danced from her lips.
"Do you remember what I said when you gave me back your bracelet?" Todd asked. "I said that if God ever brought us back together, I would put that bracelet back on your wrist, and that time, it would stay on forever."
Christy nodded. She had replayed the memory of that day a thousand times in her mind. It had seemed impossible that God would bring them back together. Christy's heart pounded as she realized that God, in His weird way, had done the impossible.
Todd reached into his pocket and pulled out the "Forever" ID bracelet. He tenderly held Christy's wrist, and circling it with the gold chain, he secured the clasp.
Above their heads a fresh ocean wind blew through the palm trees. It almost sounded as if the trees were applauding.
Christy looked up from her wrist and met Todd's expectant gaze. Deep inside, Christy knew that with the blessing of the Lord, Todd had just stepped into the garden of her heart.
In the holiness of that moment, his silver-blue eyes embraced hers and he whispered, "I promise, Kilikina. Forever."
"Forever," Christy whispered back.
Then gently, reverently, Todd and Christy sealed their forever promise with a kiss.
Robin Jones Gunn (A Promise Is Forever (Christy Miller, #12))
Tate won’t like it that we kept the truth from him.”
“I’m resigned to that,” Cecily said half-truthfully. “He would never have turned to me, anyway, even if he knew he had mixed blood. I’ve been living on dreams too long already.”
“If you go away from him, he’ll follow you,” Leta said unexpectedly. “There’s a tie, a bond, between you that can’t be broken.”
“There’s Audrey,” Cecily pointed out.
“Honey, there have been other Audreys,” she replied. “He never brought them home or talked about them. They were loose relationships, and not very many at all-never any who were innocent.”
“Audrey’s lasted a long time.”
Leta searched her eyes. “If he’s sleeping with Audrey, Cecily, why can’t he keep his hands off you?”
Cecily’s heart turned over twice. “Wh…what?”
“Simple question,” came the droll reply. She grinned at the younger woman’s embarrassment. “When you came in the kitchen that last time you were here, before Tate left, your mouth was swollen and you wouldn’t look straight at him. He was badly shaken. It doesn’t take a mind-reader to know what was going on in my living room. It isn’t like Tate to play games with innocent girls.”
“He doesn’t think I am, anymore,” she returned curtly. “I let him think that Colby and I are…very close.”
She scowled. “Uh-oh, what?”
“The only thing that’s kept him away from you this long is that he didn’t want to take advantage of you,” Leta replied. “If he thinks you’re even slightly experienced, he’ll find a reason not to hold back anymore. You’re playing a dangerous game. Your own love will be your downfall if he puts on the heat. I know. How I know!”
Cecily refused to think about it. She’d put Tate out of her mind, and she was going to keep him there for the time being.
“I’ll worry about that when I have to,” she said finally. “Now you dry up those tears and drink some more coffee. Then we have to plan strategy. We’re going to take down the enemy by any means possible!
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
for even before the return of my parents, from this very evening, my seclusion was to begin. I caught sight of a huge bundle of carpets, still rolled up, and leaning against one end of the sideboard, and burying my head in it, swallowing its dust with my own tears, as the Jews used to cover their heads with ashes in times of mourning, I began to sob. I shuddered not only because the room was cold, but because a distinct lowering of temperature (against the danger and—I should add, perhaps—the by no means disagreeable sensation of which we make no attempt to react) is brought about by a certain kind of tears which fall from our eyes, drop by drop, like a fine, penetrating, icy rain, and seem as though never would they cease to flow.
Marcel Proust (In Search Of Lost Time (All 7 Volumes) (ShandonPress))
Adam took Ellie’s hand and brought it to his lips, his eyes closing as he pressed his mouth to her skin. When he opened them I saw tears shimmering there, and felt my throat close up. I watched Ellie’s breath catch as he tugged on her hand and pulled her into the kitchen with him to face Braden. All of sudden Adam looked a little sick. “I need to tell you something.”
Braden crossed his arms over his chest, frowning as he took in the two of them standing close together. “Go on.”
Adam closed his eyes briefly and then when he opened them I saw determination that I admired in the face of his bulldozer of a friend. “You’re like a brother. I would never do anything to hurt you. And I know I haven’t been what a brother would consider good material for his wee sister, but I love Ellie, Braden. I have for a long time now and I can’t not be with her. I’ve wasted too much time as it is.”
Ellie and I held our breaths as the two best friends faced off.
Braden’s eyes went to Ellie, his expression not giving anything away. God, he could be an intimidating a-hole when he wanted to be. “Do you love him?”
Adam looked back at her and she squeezed his arm. With a small smile she turned to her brother. “Yes.”
Braden shrugged and reached casually over to the kettle to turn it on. “About bloody time. You two were giving me a headache.”
My mouth fell open along with Adam and Ellie’s. Not once the entire time we’d been dating did Braden let on that he knew what was going on with Adam and Ellie. That sneaky bastard.
Samantha Young (On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1))
I felt myself still reliving a past which was no longer anything more than the history of another person; my ego in a sense cloven in twain, while its upper extremity was already hard and frigid, burned still at its base whenever a spark made the old current pass through it, even after my mind had long ceased to conceive Albertine. And as no image of her accompanied the cruel palpitations, the tears that were brought to my eyes by a cold wind blowing as at Balbec upon the apple trees that were already pink with blossom, I was led to ask myself whether the renewal of my grief was not due to entirely pathological causes and whether what I took to be the revival of a memory and the final period of a state of love was not rather the first stage of heart-disease.
Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time [volumes 1 to 7])
Do you want to know my favorite?” My grip tightened on the railing. In. Out. “Andromeda.” Allister moved closer. “An autumn constellation, forty-four light-years away.” His steps were smooth and indifferent, but his voice was dry, as though he found my panic attack positively boring. His attitude brought a small rush of annoyance in, but it was suddenly swayed as my lungs contracted and wouldn’t release. I couldn’t keep a strangled gasp from escaping. “Look up.” It was an order, carrying a harsh edge. With no fight in me, I complied and tilted my head. Tears blurred my vision. Stars swam together and sparkled like diamonds. I was glad they weren’t. Humans would find a way to pluck them from the sky. “Andromeda is the dim, fuzzy star to the right. Find it.” My eyes searched it out. The stars weren’t often easy to see, hidden behind smog and the glow of city lights, but sometimes, on a lucky night like tonight, pollution cleared and they became visible. I found the star and focused on it. “Do you know her story?” he asked, his voice close behind me. A cold wind touched my cheeks, and I inhaled slowly. “Answer me.” “No,” I gritted. “Andromeda was boasted to be one of the most beautiful goddesses.” He moved closer, so close his jacket brushed my bare arm. His hands were in his pockets and his gaze was on the sky. “She was sacrificed for her beauty, tied to a rock by the sea.” I imagined her, a red-haired goddess with a heart of steel chained to a rock. The question bubbled up from the depths of me. “Did she survive?” His gaze fell to me. Down the tear tracks to the blood on my bottom lip. His eyes darkened, his jaw tightened, and he looked away. “She did.” I found the star again. Andromeda. “Ask me what her name means.” It was another rough demand, and I had the urge to refuse. To tell him to stop bossing me around. However, I wanted to know—I suddenly needed to. But he was already walking away, toward the exit. “Wait,” I breathed, turning to him. “What does her name mean?” He opened the door and a sliver of light poured onto the terrace. Black suit. Broad shoulders. Straight lines. His head turned just enough to meet my gaze. Blue. “It means ruler of men.” An icy breeze almost swallowed his words before they reached me, whipping my hair at my cheeks. And then he was gone.
Danielle Lori (The Maddest Obsession (Made #2))
My, my,” Chloe murmured, studying the chocolate she held. “I do believe this one’s gone off. It stinks like a cesspit.” Her eyes lifted. “Oh, wait. It’s only the guttersnipe.”
“Or perhaps it’s your perfume,” I said cordially. “You always smell like a whore.”
“It’s French,” retorted Runny-Nose, before Chloe could speak.
“Then she smells like a French whore.”
“Aren’t you the eloquent young miss.” Chloe’s gaze cut to Sophia, standing close behind me. “Slumming, little sister? I can’t confess I’m surprised.”
“I’m merely here for the show,” Sophia said breezily. “Something tells me it’s going to be good.”
I took the brooch from my pocket and let it slide down my index finger, giving it a playful twirl. “A fine try. But, alas, no winner’s prize for you, Chloe. I’m sure you’ve been waiting here for Westcliffe to raise the alarm about her missing ring, ready with some well-rehearsed story about how you saw me sneaking into her office and sneaking out again, and oh, look isn’t that Eleanore’s brooch there on the floor? But I’ve news for you, dearie. You’re sloppy. You’re stupid. And the next time you go into my room and steal from me, I’ll make certain you regret it for the rest of your days.”
“How dare you threaten me, you little tart!”
“I’m not threatening. You have no idea how easy it would be to, say, pour glue on your hair while you sleep. Cut up all your pretty dresses into ribbons.”
Chloe dropped her half-eaten chocolate back into its box, turning to her toadies. “You heard her! You all head her! When Westcliffe finds out about this-“
“I didn’t hear a thing,” piped up Sophia. “In fact, I do believe that Eleanore and I aren’t even here right now. We’re both off in my room, diligently studying.” She sauntered to my side, smiling. “And I’ll swear to that, sister. Without hesitation. I have no misgivings about calling you all liars right to Westcliffe’s face.”
“What fun,” I said softly, into the hush. “Shall we give it a go? What d’you say, girls? Up for a bit of blood sport?”
Chloe pushed to her feet, kicking the chocolates out of her way. All the toadies cringed.
“You,” she sneered, her gaze scouring me. “You with your ridiculous clothing and that preposterous bracelet, acting as if you actually belong here! Really, Eleanore, I wonder that you’ve learned nothing of real use yet. Allow me to explain matters to you. You may have duped Sophia into vouching for you, but your word means nothing. You’re no one. No matter what you do here or who you may somehow manage to impress, you’ll always be no one. How perfectly sad that you’re allowed to pretend otherwise.”
“I’m the one he wants,” I said evenly. “No one’s pretending that.”
I didn’t have to say who.
She stared at me, silent, her color high. I saw with interest that real tears began to well in her eyes.
“That’s right.” I gave the barest smile. “Me, not you. Think about that tomorrow, when I’m with him on the yacht. Think about how he watches me. How he listens to me. Another stunt like this”-I held up the circlet-“and you’ll be shocked at what I’m able to convince him about you.”
“As if you could,” she scoffed, but there was apprehension behind those tears.
I brought my foot down on one of the chocolates, grinding it into a deep, greasy smear along the rug.
“Cheerio,” I said to them all, and turned around and left.
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
—A wounded man was brought…He lay all bandaged on the stretcher; the wound was to the head, you could see almost nothing of him. Just a little. But I obviously reminded him of someone, and he addressed me, “Larissa…Larissa…Larochka…” Apparently a girl he loved. And that is my name, but I knew I’d never met this man before. Yet he was calling me. I went to him, didn’t know what to think, kept looking at him. “You’ve come? You’ve come?” I took his hands, bent down…“I knew you’d come…” He whispered something, but I didn’t understand what he whispered. Even now I can’t talk about it calmly; when I remember it, tears come to my eyes. “When I was leaving for the front,” he said, “I didn’t have time to kiss you. Kiss me…” So I bent down and kissed him. A tear welled up, ran off into the bandages, and vanished. And that was all. He died…
Svetlana Alexievich (The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II)
As I tried to doze, the incident on the piazzetta, lost somewhere amid the Piave war memorial and our ride up the hill with fear and shame and who knows what else pressing on me, seemed to come back to me from summers and ages ago, as though I'd biked up to the piazzetta as a little boy before World War I and had returned a crippled ninety-year-old soldier confined to this bedroom that was not even my own, because mine had been given over to a young man who was the light of my eyes.
The light of my eyes, I said, light of my eyes, light of the world, that's what you are, light of my life. I didn't know what light of my eyes meant, and part of me wondered where on earth had I fished out such claptrap, but it was nonsense like this that brought tears now, tears I wished to drown in his pillow, soak in his bathing suit, tears I wanted him to touch with the tip of his tongue and make sorrow go away.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
One hour later Sophie was in Benedict’s sitting room, perched on the very same sofa on which she had lost her innocence just a few weeks earlier. Lady Bridgerton had questioned the wisdom (and propriety) of Sophie’s going to Benedict’s home by herself, but he had given her such a look that she had quickly backed down, saying only, “Just have her home by seven.”
Which gave them one hour together.
“I’m sorry,” Sophie blurted out, the instant her bottom touched the sofa. For some reason they hadn’t said anything during the carriage ride home. They’d held hands, and Benedict had brought her fingers to his lips, but they hadn’t said anything.
Sophie had been relieved. She hadn’t been ready for words. It had been easy at the jail, with all the commotion and so many people, but now that they were alone . . .
She didn’t know what to say.
Except, she supposed, “I’m sorry.”
“No, I’m sorry,” Benedict replied, sitting beside her and taking her hands in his.
“No, I’m—” She suddenly smiled. “This is very silly.”
“I love you,” he said.
Her lips parted.
“I want to marry you,” he said.
She stopped breathing.
“And I don’t care about your parents or my mother’s bargain with Lady Penwood to make you respectable.” He stared down at her, his dark eyes meltingly in love. “I would have married you no matter what.”
Sophie blinked. The tears in her eyes were growing fat and hot, and she had a sneaking suspicion that she was about to make a fool of herself by blubbering all over him. She managed to say his name, then found herself completely lost from there.
Benedict squeezed her hands. “We couldn’t have lived in London, I know, but we don’t need to live in London. When I thought about what it was in life I really needed— not what I wanted, but what I needed— the only thing that kept coming up was you.
Julia Quinn (An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons, #3))
The air was steeped with the heady fragrance of roses, as if the entire hall had been rinsed with expensive perfume.
"Good Lord!" she exclaimed, stopping short at the sight of massive bunches of flowers being brought in from a cart outside. Mountains of white roses, some of them tightly furled buds, some in glorious full bloom. Two footmen had been recruited to assist the driver of the cart, and the three of them kept going outside to fetch bouquet after bouquet wrapped in stiff white lace paper.
"Fifteen dozen of them," Marcus said brusquely. "I doubt there's a single white rose left in London."
Aline could not believe how fast her heart was beating. Slowly she moved forward and drew a single rose from one of the bouquets. Cupping the delicate bowl of the blossom with her fingers, she bent her head to inhale its lavish perfume. Its petals were a cool brush of silk against her cheek.
"There's something else," Marcus said.
Following his gaze, Aline saw the butler directing yet another footman to pry open a huge crate filled with brick-sized parcels wrapped in brown paper. "What are they, Salter?"
"With your permission, my lady, I will find out." The elderly butler unwrapped one of the parcels with great care. He spread the waxed brown paper open to reveal a damply fragrant loaf of gingerbread, its spice adding a pungent note to the smell of the roses.
Aline put her hand over her mouth to contain a bubbling laugh, while some undefinable emotion caused her entire body to tremble. The offering worried her terribly, and at the same time, she was insanely pleased by the extravagance of it.
"Gingerbread?" Marcus asked incredulously. "Why the hell would McKenna send you an entire crate of gingerbread?"
"Because I like it," came Aline's breathless reply. "How do you know this is from McKenna?"
Marcus gave her a speaking look, as if only an imbecile would suppose otherwise.
Fumbling a little with the envelope, Aline extracted a folded sheet of paper. It was covered in a bold scrawl, the penmanship serviceable and without flourishes.
No miles of level desert, no jagged mountain heights,
no sea of endless blue
Neither words nor tears, nor silent fears
will keep me from coming back to you.
There was no signature... none was necessary. Aline closed her eyes, while her nose stung and hot tears squeezed from beneath her lashes. She pressed her lips briefly to the letter, not caring what Marcus thought.
"It's a poem," she said unsteadily. "A terrible one." It was the loveliest thing she had ever read. She held it to her cheek, then used her sleeve to blot her eyes.
"Let me see it."
Immediately Aline tucked the poem into her bodice. "No, it's private." She swallowed against the tightness of her throat, willing the surge of unruly emotion to recede. "McKenna," she whispered, "how you devastate me.
Lisa Kleypas (Again the Magic (Wallflowers, #0))
Breathing became a painful chore. Her lips turned down while her warm fingers caressed my cheek. That touch typically brought me to my knees, but now it cut me open.
“Did you know that when you stop being stubborn and accept I may be right on something, your eyes widen a little and you tilt your head to the side?” she asked.
I forced my head straight and narrowed my eyes. “I love you.”
She flashed her glorious smile and then it became the saddest smile in the world. “You love your brothers more. I’m okay with that. In fact, it’s one of the things I love about you. You were right the other day. I do want to be part of a family. But I’d never forgive myself if I was the reason you didn’t get yours.”
To my horror, tears pricked my eyes and my throat swelled shut. “No, you’re not pulling this sacrificial bullshit on me. I love you and you love me and we’re supposed to be together.”
Echo pressed her body to mine and her fingers clung to my hair. Water glistened in her eyes. “I love you enough to never make you choose.”
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
I believe everything happens for a reason. Whether it is decided by the Mother, or the Cauldron, or some sort of tapestry of Fate, I don’t know. I don’t really care. But I am grateful for it, whatever it is. Grateful that it brought you all into my life. If it hadn’t … I might have become as awful as that prick we’re going to face today. If I had not met an Illyrian warrior-in-training,” he said to Cassian, “I would not have known the true depths of strength, of resilience, of honor and loyalty.” Cassian’s eyes gleamed bright. Rhys said to Azriel, “If I had not met a shadowsinger, I would not have known that it is the family you make, not the one you are born into, that matters. I would not have known what it is to truly hope, even when the world tells you to despair.” Azriel bowed his head in thanks. Mor was already crying when Rhys spoke to her. “If I had not met my cousin, I would never have learned that light can be found in even the darkest of hells. That kindness can thrive even amongst cruelty.” She wiped away her tears as she nodded.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3))
The Christmas I was sixteen, my ma and I were poorer than church mice. My pa died when I was two, taking her heart with him." A smile curved his lips. "She could have remarried for a more comfortable life. But she couldn't bring herself to do it. We were happy, though, her and I. Just when I was getting old enough to do odd jobs, bring in some money to make her life easier, she got sick. I stayed home to nurse her. She had no strength left. But somehow she'd scraped together the last of her red yarn and made me a pair of stockings. My Christmas gift that year."
Sensing his thoughts lingered in the past, Louisa brushed a finger over the scrap in her palm.
"She died several weeks later."
Louise caught her breath, aching for the pain of that young man.
"I took a lot of ribbing for wearing red stockings. But I didn't give them up, even when I could afford to. I felt like they kept my ma close. Like she was with me."
Tears welled up in Louisa's eyes. One dripped over.
He caught the drop on the tip of his finger. "They brought me luck."
"That's why you're called Red. I wondered.
Debra Holland (Montana Sky Christmas (Montana Sky, #3.1))
For many years, a family of ospreys lived in a large nest near my summer home in Maine. Each season, I carefully observed their rituals and habits. In mid-April, the parents would arrive, having spent the winter in South America, and lay eggs. In early June, the eggs hatched. The babies slowly grew, as the father brought fish back to the nest, and in early to mid August were large enough to make their first flight. My wife and I recorded all of these comings and goings with cameras and in a notebook. We wrote down the number of chicks each year, usually one or two but sometimes three. We noted when the chicks first began flapping their wings, usually a couple of weeks before flying from the nest. We memorized the different chirps the parents made for danger, for hunger, for the arrival of food. After several years of cataloguing such data, we felt that we knew these ospreys. We could predict the sounds the birds would make in different situations, their flight patterns, their behavior when a storm was brewing. Reading our “osprey journals” on a winter’s night, we felt a sense of pride and satisfaction. We had carefully studied and documented a small part of the universe. Then, one August afternoon, the two baby ospreys of that season took flight for the first time as I stood on the circular deck of my house watching the nest. All summer long, they had watched me on that deck as I watched them. To them, it must have looked like I was in my nest just as they were in theirs. On this particular afternoon, their maiden flight, they did a loop of my house and then headed straight at me with tremendous speed. My immediate impulse was to run for cover, since they could have ripped me apart with their powerful talons. But something held me to my ground. When they were within twenty feet of me, they suddenly veered upward and away. But before that dazzling and frightening vertical climb, for about half a second we made eye contact. Words cannot convey what was exchanged between us in that instant. It was a look of connectedness, of mutual respect, of recognition that we shared the same land. After they were gone, I found that I was shaking, and in tears. To this day, I do not understand what happened in that half second. But it was one of the most profound moments of my life.
Alan Lightman (The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew)
Seven P.M. Half an hour to go until we started the laborious task of getting kitted up again.
It would take us at least an hour.
By the end no part of our bodies or faces would be visible. We would be transformed into cocooned figures, huddled, awaiting our fate.
I reached into the top pouch of my backpack and pulled out a few crumpled pages wrapped in plastic. I had brought them just for this moment.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.
I felt that this was all I really had up here. There’s no one else with enough extra strength to keep you safe. It really is just you and your Maker. No pretense, no fluff--no plan B.
Over the next twenty-four hours, there would be a one in six chance of dying. That focuses the mind. And the bigger picture becomes important.
It was time to look death in the eye. Time to acknowledge that fear, hold the hand of the Almighty, and climb on.
And those simple Bible verses would ring round my head for the next night and day, as we pushed on ever higher.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
APRIL 2 SATAN IS A LIAR AND THE FATHER OF LIES DON’T ALLOW THE enemy to strategize against you. Overcome and destroy his strategies through prayer. The main tactic of the enemy is deception. He is a liar and the father of lies. My Word will expose his tactics to you. I am light, and My Word is light. The light exposes the enemy and tears away the darkness. Beware of the hosts of lying and deceiving spirits that work under the authority of Satan. These spirits cause delusion, deception, lying, seducing, blinding, error, and guile. Call upon My name, and I will strip away the power from these deceiving spirits and will cause your eyes to be opened. Pray that your enemies will be scattered, confused, exposed, and destroyed. JOHN 8:44–47; 1 TIMOTHY 4:1; PSALM 68:1 Prayer Declaration The Lord has rescued me from all my enemies and from the lying and deceiving spirits that belong to the devil. My enemies are destroyed by my God. The Lord will lead me on level ground and will preserve my life. In His righteousness He has brought me out of trouble. With His unfailing love He has silenced my enemies and destroyed all my foes. In His power I will contend with the powers of darkness that are set against the kingdom of God.
John Eckhardt (Daily Declarations for Spiritual Warfare: Biblical Principles to Defeat the Devil)
I’ve downed two shots and a tumbler of whiskey by the time Racer and Tucker show up. The House of Reardon, our go-to bar, isn’t very far from where we all live, kind of in the middle, but given my race to get some alcohol into my system, I’m a few drinks in already.
“I brought reinforcements,” Racer says as he tosses a box of Swiss Rolls in front of me. I can always count on Racer to bring Little Debbie snacks, our sacred lover. “Your text made it seem like you needed to suckle at Debbie’s teet tonight.”
“I do.” I rip open the box, tear open a wrapper, and pop an entire roll in my mouth in seconds.
“I guess so,” Racer says, a little astonished.
“Right here,” Tucker says, pulling up a chair next to me at the bar. He pats my shoulder and tosses a box of Zebra Cakes in front of me. My boys know me well.
“Zebra Cakes? Dude, I brought Swiss Rolls. Zebra Cakes are piss when it comes to times like this.”
“It’s all I had left. Emma’s been eating all my Nutty Bars.”
“Why even buy Zebra Cakes? You know that frosting turns into a paste.”
From the corner of my eye, I see Tucker run his hand over his face. “Emma got them. When she shops, she literally doesn’t consider which ones she buys; it’s just a sweep of her arm over the shelf. Can’t complain about that.”
“I guess you can’t.
Meghan Quinn (The Other Brother (Binghamton, #4))
Until that moment Elizabeth wouldn’t have believed she could feel more humiliated than she already did. Robbed of even the defense of righteous indignation, she faced the fact that she was the unwanted gest of someone who’d made a fool of her not once but twice.
“How did you get here? I didn’t hear any horses, and a carriage sure as well can’t make the climb.”
“A wheeled conveyance brought us most of the way,” she prevaricated, seizing on Lucinda’s earlier explanation, “and it’s gone on now.” She saw his eyes narrow with angry disgust as he realized he was stuck with them unless he wanted to spend several days escorting them back to the inn. Terrified that the tears burning the backs of her eyes were going to fall, Elizabeth tipped her head back and turned it, pretending to be inspecting the ceiling, the staircase, the walls, anything. Through the haze of tears she noticed for the first time that the place looked as if it hadn’t been cleaned in a year.
Beside her Lucinda glanced around through narrowed eyes and arrived at the same conclusion.
Jake, anticipating that the old woman was about to make some disparaging comment about Ian’s house, leapt into the breach with forced joviality.
“Well, now,” he burst out, rubbing his hands together and striding forward to the fire. “Now that’s all settled, shall we all be properly introduced? Then we’ll see about supper.” He looked expectantly at Ian, waiting for him to handle the introductions, but instead of doing the thing properly he merely nodded curtly to the beautiful blond girl and said, “Elizabeth Cameron-Jake Wiley.”
“How do you do, Mr. Wiley,” Elizabeth said.
“Call me Jake,” he said cheerfully, then he turned expectantly to the scowling duenna. “And you are?”
Fearing that Lucinda was about to rip up at Ian for his cavalier handling of the introductions, Elizabeth hastily said, “This is my companion, Miss Lucinda Throckmorton-Jones.”
“Good heavens! Two names. Well, no need to stand on formality, since we’re going to be cooped up together for at least a few days! Just call me Jake. What shall I call you?”
“You may call me Miss Throckmorton-Jones,” she informed him, looking down the length of her beaklike nose.
“Er-very well,” he replied, casting an anxious look of appeal to Ian, who seemed to be momentarily enjoying Jake’s futile efforts to create an atmosphere of conviviality. Disconcerted, Jake ran his hands through his disheveled hair and arranged a forced smile on her face. Nervously, he gestured about the untidy room. “Well, now, if we’d known we were going to have such…ah…gra…that is, illustrious company, we’d have-“
“Swept off the chairs?” Lucinda suggested acidly. “Shoveled off the floor?
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
He swore sharply, David Jones’s still-so-familiar voice coming out of that stranger’s body. “Do you have any idea how unbelievably hard it’s been to get you alone?”
Had she finally started hallucinating?
But he took off his glasses, and she could see his eyes more clearly and . . . “It’s you,” she breathed, tears welling. “It’s really you.” She reached for him, but he stepped back.
Sisters Helen and Grace were hurrying across the compound, coming to see what the ruckus was, shading their eyes and peering so they could see in through the screens.
“You can’t let on that you know me,” Jones told Molly quickly, his voice low, rough. “You can’t tell anyone—not even your friend the priest during confession, do you understand?”
“Are you in some kind of danger?” she asked him. Dear God, he was so thin. And was the cane necessary or just a prop? “Stand still, will you, so I can—”
“No. Don’t. We can’t . . .” He backed away again. “If you say anything, Mol, I swear, I’ll vanish, and I will not come back. Unless . . . if you don’t want me here—and I don’t blame you if you don’t—”
“No!” was all she managed to say before Sister Helen opened the door and looked from the mess on the floor to Molly’s stricken expression.
“I’m afraid it’s my fault,” Jones said in a British accent, in a voice that was completely different from his own, as Helen rushed to Molly’s side. “My fault entirely. I brought Miss Anderson some bad news. I didn’t realize just how devastating it would be.”
Molly started crying. It was more than just a good way to hide her laughter at that accent—those were real tears streaming down her face and she couldn’t stop them. Helen led her to one of the tables, helped her sit down.
“Oh, my dear,” the nun said, kneeling in front of her, concern on her round face, holding her hand. “What happened?”
“We have a mutual friend,” Jones answered for her. “Bill Bolten. He found out I was heading to Kenya, and he thought if I happened to run into Miss Anderson that she would want to know that a friend of theirs recently . . . well, passed. Cat’s out of the bag, right? Fellow name of Grady Morant, who went by the alias of Jones.”
“Oh, dear,” Helen said again, hand to her mouth in genuine sympathy.
Jones leaned closer to the nun, his voice low, but not low enough for Molly to miss hearing. “His plane went down—burned—gas tank exploded . . . Ghastly mess. Not a prayer that he survived.”
Molly buried her face in her hands, hardly able to think.
“Bill was worried that she might’ve heard it first from someone else,” he said. “But apparently she hadn’t.”
Molly shook her head, no. News did travel fast via the grapevine. Relief workers tended to know other relief workers and . . . She could well have heard about Jones’s death without him standing right in front of her.
Wouldn’t that have been awful?
Suzanne Brockmann (Breaking Point (Troubleshooters, #9))
As they’re walking on the beach, in the dark sky above the person’s life is played out for them to see. As each scene is played, like a movie reel, the person notices that two sets of footprints were left in the sand behind them. And as they continued, every new scene brought with it a trail of their footprints.”
Poppy’s attention honed in on our footprints. “When all the scenes had been played, the person looks back on the trail of footprints and notices something strange. They notice that during the saddest, or most despairing times of their life, there was only one set of footprints. For happier times there was always two sets.”
My eyebrows furrowed, wondering where the story was headed. Poppy lifted her chin and blinked in the bright glare of the sun. With watery eyes, she looked at me and continued. “The person is really troubled by this. The Lord said that, when a person dedicates their life to Him, He would walk with them through all the ups and downs. The person then asked the Lord: why, at the worst points of their life, did He abandon them? Why did He leave?”
An expression of deep comfort washed over Poppy’s face. “And what?” I prompted. “What does the Lord say?”
A single tear fell from her eye. “He tells the person that He had walked with them their whole life through. But, He explains, the times where there is only a single set of footprints were not when He walked beside them, but instead, when He carried them.
Tillie Cole (A Thousand Boy Kisses)
when i suck in / i make deadly / whirlpools / ask anyone
who’s managed / to climb out / alive
patrol or pillage / he exhales and a whole village / burns / iron scaled
sentry / guardian of the ivory / tower i wrap my legs around / everyone
thinks / he’s a brute / but for me / he lifts his breast plate / for me
he welcome the quiver / and the arrow’s teeth.
take his hair in your hands / his dead / skin cells / his discarded
undergarments / take them / and make of them a new boy
this effigy / his likeness and nothing / like him / breathe life
into its clenched carapace // my god / i think i saw it / move
when i saw / my face / reflected in terror / in his eyes / i turned
to stone / or a pillar of salt watching my village burn / he was the village
burning / maybe that’s a different story / maybe in the end
only the snakes wept
he cries / and i / lashed to the mast of a ship / steer my body
toward the sound / sheets bound around wrists and ankles
tears make grief / a lighthouse you wear / when i hear him
a huge wood wheel turns in my stomach / and i break / open
on / his jagged coast
there are many words for transformation / metamorphosis
metaphor / medication / go to sleep / beside the man you love
wake up next to a dog / maybe the moon brought it out of him
hound hungry for blood / maybe its your fault / or maybe
it was there inside him / howling all along
He concluded the speech with an irritated motion of his hands.
Unfortunately, Evie had been conditioned by too many encounters with Uncle Peregrine to discern between angry gestures and the beginnings of a physical attack. She flinched instinctively, her own arms flying up to shield her head. When the expected pain of a blow did not come, she let out a breath and tentatively lowered her arms to find Sebastian staring at her with blank astonishment.
Then his face went dark.
“Evie,” he said, his voice containing a bladelike ferocity that frightened her. “Did you think I was about to…Christ. Someone hit you. Someone hit you in the past—who the hell was it?” He reached for her suddenly—too suddenly—and she stumbled backward, coming up hard against the wall. Sebastian went very still. “Goddamn,” he whispered. Appearing to struggle with some powerful emotion, he stared at her intently. After a long moment, he spoke softly. “I would never strike a woman. I would never harm you. You know that, don’t you?”
Transfixed by the light, glittering eyes that held hers with such intensity, Evie couldn’t move or make a sound. She started as he approached her slowly. “It’s all right,” he murmured. “Let me come to you. It’s all right. Easy.” One of his arms slid around her, while he used his free hand to smooth her hair, and then she was breathing, sighing, as relief flowed through her. Sebastian brought her closer against him, his mouth brushing her temple. “Who was it?” he asked.
“M-my uncle,” she managed to say. The motion of his hand on her back paused as he heard her stammer.
“Maybrick?” he asked patiently.
“No, th-the other one.”
“Yes.” Evie closed her eyes in pleasure as his other arm slid around her. Clasped against Sebastian’s hard chest, with her cheek tucked against his shoulder, she inhaled the scent of clean male skin, and the subtle touch of sandalwood cologne.
“How often?” she heard him ask. “More than once?”
“I…i-it’s not important now.”
“How often, Evie?”
Realizing that he was going to persist until she answered, Evie muttered, “Not t-terribly often, but…sometimes when I displeased him, or Aunt Fl-Florence, he would lose his temper. The l-last time I tr-tried to run away, he blackened my eye and spl-split my lip.”
“Did he?” Sebastian was silent for a long moment, and then he spoke with chilling softness. “I’m going to tear him limb from limb.”
“I don’t want that,” Evie said earnestly. “I-I just want to be safe from him. From all of them.”
Sebastian drew his head back to look down into her flushed face. “You are safe,” he said in a low voice. He lifted one of his hands to her face, caressing the plane of her cheekbone, letting his fingertip follow the trail of pale golden freckles across the bridge of her nose. As her lashes fluttered downward, he stroked the slender arcs of her brows, and cradled the side of her face in his palm. “Evie,” he murmured. “I swear on my life, you will never feel pain from my hands. I may prove a devil of a husband in every other regard…but I wouldn’t hurt you that way. You must believe that.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
I sit down across from her at the table and put the vial of memory serum between us.
“I came to make you drink this,” I say.
She looks at the vial, and I think I see tears in her eyes, but it could just be the light.
“I thought it was the only way to prevent total destruction,” I say. “I know that Marcus and Johanna and their people are going to attack, and I know that you will do whatever it takes to stop them, including using that death serum you possess to its best advantage.” I tilt my head. “Am I wrong?”
“No,” she says. “The factions are evil. They cannot be restored. I would sooner see us all destroyed.”
Her hand squeezes the edge of the table, the knuckles pale.
“The reason the factions were evil is because there was no way out of them,” I say. “They gave us the illusion of choice without actually giving us a choice. That’s the same thing you’re doing here, by abolishing them. You’re saying, go make choices. But make sure they aren’t factions or I’ll grind you to bits!”
“If you thought that, why didn’t you tell me?” she says, her voice louder and her eyes avoiding mine, avoiding me. “Tell me, instead of betraying me?”
“Because I’m afraid of you!” The words burst out, and I regret them but I’m also glad they’re there, glad that before I ask her to give up her identity, I can at least be honest with her. “You…you remind me of him!”
“Don’t you dare.” She clenches her hands into fists and almost spits at me, “Don’t you dare.”
“I don’t care if you don’t want to hear it,” I say, coming to my feet. “He was a tyrant in our house and now you’re a tyrant in this city, and you can’t even see that it’s the same!”
“So that’s why you brought this,” she says, and she wraps her hand around the vial, holding it up to look at it. “Because you think this is the only way to mend things.”
“I…” I am about to say that it’s the easiest way, the best way, maybe the only way that I can trust her.
If I erase her memories, I can create for myself a new mother, but.
But she is more than my mother. She is a person in her own right, and she does not belong to me.
I do not get to choose what she becomes just because I can’t deal with who she is.
“No,” I say. “No, I came to give you a choice.”
I feel suddenly terrified, my hands numb, my heart beating fast--
“I thought about going to see Marcus tonight, but I didn’t.” I swallow hard. “I came to see you instead because…because I think there’s a hope of reconciliation between us. Not now, not soon, but someday. And with him there’s no hope, there’s no reconciliation possible.”
She stares at me, her eyes fierce but welling up with tears.
“It’s not fair for me to give you this choice,” I say. “But I have to. You can lead the factionless, you can fight the Allegiant, but you’ll have to do it without me, forever. Or you can let this crusade go, and…and you’ll have your son back.”
It’s a feeble offer and I know it, which is why I’m afraid--afraid that she will refuse to choose, that she will choose power over me, that she will call me a ridiculous child, which is what I am. I am a child. I am two feet tall and asking her how much she loves me.
Evelyn’s eyes, dark as wet earth, search mine for a long time.
Then she reaches across the table and pulls me fiercely into her arms, which form a wire cage around me, surprisingly strong.
“Let them have the city and everything in it,” she says into my hair.
I can’t move, can’t speak. She chose me. She chose me.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
The same song was playing the second I met my ex–best friend and the moment I realized I’d lost her.
I met my best friend at a neighborhood cookout the year we would both turn twelve. It was one of those hot Brooklyn afternoons that always made me feel like I'd stepped out of my life and onto a movie set because the hydrants were open, splashing water all over the hot asphalt. There wasn't a cloud in the flawless blue sky. And pretty black and brown people were everywhere.
I was crying. ‘What a Wonderful World’ was playing through a speaker someone had brought with them to the park, and it reminded me too much of my Granny Georgina. I was cupping the last snow globe she’d ever given me in my small, sweaty hands and despite the heat, I couldn’t help imagining myself inside the tiny, perfect, snow-filled world. I was telling myself a story about what it might be like to live in London, a place that was unimaginably far and sitting in the palm of my hands all at once. But it wasn't working. When Gigi had told me stories, they'd felt like miracles. But she was gone and I didn't know if I'd ever be okay again.
I heard a small voice behind me, asking if I was okay. I had noticed a girl watching me, but it took her a long time to come over, and even longer to say anything. She asked the question quietly.
I had never met anyone who…spoke the way that she did, and I thought that her speech might have been why she waited so long to speak to me. While I expected her to say ‘What’s wrong?’—a question I didn’t want to have to answer—she asked ‘What are you doing?’ instead, and I was glad.
“I was kind of a weird kid, so when I answered, I said ‘Spinning stories,’ calling it what Gigi had always called it when I got lost in my own head, but my voice cracked on the phrase and another tear slipped down my cheek. To this day I don’t know why I picked that moment to be so honest. Usually when kids I didn't know came up to me, I clamped my mouth shut like the heavy cover of an old book falling closed. Because time and taught me that kids weren't kind to girls like me: Girls who were dreamy and moony-eyed and a little too nice. Girls who wore rose-tonted glasses. And actual, really thick glasses. Girls who thought the world was beautiful, and who read too many books, and who never saw cruelty coming. But something about this girl felt safe. Something about the way she was smiling as she stuttered out the question helped me know I needn't bother with being shy, because she was being so brave. I thought that maybe kids weren't nice to girls like her either.
The cookout was crowded, and none of the other kids were talking to me because, like I said, I was the neighborhood weirdo. I carried around snow globesbecause I was in love with every place I’d never been. I often recited Shakespeare from memory because of my dad, who is a librarian. I lost myself in books because they were friends who never letme down, and I didn’t hide enough of myself the way everyone else did, so people didn’t ‘get’ me. I was lonely a lot. Unless I was with my Gigi.
The girl, she asked me if it was making me feel better, spinning the stories. And I shook my head. Before I could say what I was thinking—a line from Hamlet about sorrow coming in battalions that would have surely killed any potential I had of making friends with her. The girl tossed her wavy black hair over her shoulder and grinned. She closed her eyes and said 'Music helps me. And I love this song.'
When she started singing, her voice was so unexpected—so bright and clear—that I stopped crying and stared at her. She told me her name and hooked her arm through mine like we’d known each other forever, and when the next song started, she pulled me up and we spun in a slow circle together until we were both dizzy and giggling.
Ashley Woodfolk (When You Were Everything)
As they’re walking on the beach, in the dark sky above the person’s life is played out for them to see. As each scene is played, like a movie reel, the person notices that two sets of footprints were left in the sand behind them. And as they continued, every new scene brought with it a trail of their footprints.” Poppy’s attention honed in on our footprints. “When all the scenes had been played, the person looks back on the trail of footprints and notices something strange. They notice that during the saddest, or most despairing times of their life, there was only one set of footprints. For happier times there was always two sets.” My eyebrows furrowed, wondering where the story was headed. Poppy lifted her chin and blinked in the bright glare of the sun. With watery eyes, she looked at me and continued. “The person is really troubled by this. The Lord said that, when a person dedicates their life to Him, He would walk with them through all the ups and downs. The person then asked the Lord: why, at the worst points of their life, did He abandon them? Why did He leave?” An expression of deep comfort washed over Poppy’s face. “And what?” I prompted. “What does the Lord say?” A single tear fell from her eye. “He tells the person that He had walked with them their whole life through. But, He explains, the times where there is only a single set of footprints were not when He walked beside them, but instead, when He carried them.” Poppy sniffed and said, “I don’t care if you’re not religious, Rune. The poem is not only for the faithful. We all have people who carry us through the worst of times, the saddest of times, the times that seem impossible to break free from. In one way or another, whether it’s through the Lord or a loved one or both, when we feel like we can’t walk on anymore, someone swoops in to help us … someone carries us through.” Poppy rested her head on my chest, wrapping herself
Tillie Cole (A Thousand Boy Kisses)
My God. How can people be so cruel and thoughtless? They should be thanking you for your service!” “That’s even worse! What the fuck do they think they’re thanking me for? They don’t know what I did over there! They don’t understand that I’ve got seconds to make a judgment call that will either save my guys or end someone’s life—and that someone could be an enemy combatant or it could be a civilian. A farmer. A woman. A child. Or it could be both! That’s the real fucked-up part of it. It could be both a child and the enemy. That kid you’ve been giving candy and comic books to? The one that brought you fresh bread and knows your name and taught you a few words in his language? Is he the one reporting your position? Did he pull the trigger wire on the IED that killed your friend and wounded every single guy in your squad? Has he been the enemy all along? Is it your fault for talking to him?” I was so shocked, I didn’t know what to say. Tears burned my eyes, and my chest ached as I raced along beside him. “Oh, Ryan, no. Of course it isn’t.” “It is. I should have known. I let them down.” “You didn’t,” I said, trying to touch his arm, but he shrugged me off, refusing to be comforted. “And how about the time Taliban fighters lined up women and children as shields behind a compound wall while they fired at you, only you didn’t realize what they’d done until after you’d fired back, killing dozens of innocents?” The tears dripped down my cheeks, but I silently wiped them away in the dark. This wasn’t about me, and I didn’t want him to stop if he needed to get these things out. “Or how about the farmer I killed that didn’t respond to warning shots, the one whose son later told us was deaf and mute? Should I be thanked for that?” I could see how furious and heartsick he was, and I hated that I’d brought this on. “Yes,” I said firmly, although I continued to cry. “Because you’re brave and strong and you did what you were trained to do, what you had to do.
Melanie Harlow (Only Love (One and Only, #3))
What did you hope to get out of killing Win’s doctor?” “Enjoyment.” “No doubt you would have. Win didn’t seem to be enjoying it, however.” “Why is Harrow here?” Kev asked fiercely. “I can answer that one,” Leo said, leaning a shoulder against the wall with casual ease. “Harrow wants to become better acquainted with the Hathaways. Because he and my sister are … close.” Kev abruptly felt a sickening weight in his stomach, as if he’d swallowed a handful of river stones. “What do you mean?” he asked, even though he knew. No man could be exposed to Win and not fall in love with her. “Harrow is a widower,” Leo said. “A decent enough fellow. More attached to his clinic and patients than anything else. But he’s a sophisticated man, widely traveled, and wealthy as the devil. And he’s a collector of beautiful objects. A connoisseur of fine things.” Neither of the other men missed the implication. Win would indeed be an exquisite addition to a collection of fine things. It was difficult to ask the next question, but Kev forced himself to. “Does Win care for him?” “I don’t believe Win knows how much of what she feels for him is gratitude, and how much is true affection.” Leo gave Kev a pointed glance. “And there are still a few unresolved questions she has to answer for herself.” “I’ll talk to her.” “I wouldn’t, if I were you. Not until she cools a bit. She’s rather incensed with you.” “Why?” Kev asked, wondering if she had confided to her brother about the events of the previous night. “Why?” Leo’s mouth twisted. “There’s such a dazzling array of choices, I find myself in a quandary about which one to start with. Putting the subject of this morning aside, what about the fact that you never wrote to her?” “I did,” Kev said indignantly. “One letter,” Leo allowed. “The farm report. She showed it to me, actually. How could one forget the soaring prose you wrote about fertilizing the field near the east gate? I’ll tell you, the part about sheep dung nearly brought a tear to my eye, it was so sentimental and—” “What did she expect me to write about?” Kev demanded. “Don’t bother to explain, my lord,” Cam interceded as Leo opened his mouth. “It’s not the way of the Rom to put our private thoughts on paper.
Lisa Kleypas (Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways, #2))
You’re too goddamned fat,” he said. I took a defiant drag on my cigarette and willed myself not to cry. The remark made me dizzy. For the past four years, Ma and Grandma had played by the rule: never to mention my weight. Now my jeans and sweatshirt were folded in a helpless pile beside me and there was only a thin sheet of paper between my rolls of dimply flesh and this detestable old man. My heart raced with fear and nicotine and Pepsi. My whole body shook, dripped sweat. “Any trouble with your period?” he asked. “No.” “What?” “No trouble,” I managed, louder. He nodded in the direction of his stand-up scale. The backs of my legs made little sucking sounds as they unglued themselves from the plastic upholstery. He brought the sliding metal bar down tight against my scalp and fiddled with the cylinder in front of my face. “Five-five and a half,” he said. “Two hundred . . . fifty-seven.” The tears leaking from my eyes made stains on the paper gown. I nodded or shook my head abruptly at each of his questions, coughed on command for his stethoscope, and took his pamphlets on diet, smoking, heart murmur. He signed the form. At the door, his hand on the knob, he turned back and waited until I met his eye. “Let me tell you something,” he said. “My wife died four Tuesdays ago. Cancer of the colon. We were married forty-one years. Now you stop feeling sorry for yourself and lose some of that pork of yours. Pretty girl like you—you don’t want to do this to yourself.” “Eat shit,” I said. He paused for a moment, as if considering my comment. Then he opened the door to the waiting room and announced to my mother and someone else who’d arrived that at the rate I was going, I could expect to die before I was forty years old. “She’s too fat and she smokes,” I heard him say just before the hall rang out with the sound of my slamming his office door. I was wheezing wildly by the time I reached the final landing. On the turnpike on the way home, Ma said, “I could stand to cut down, too, you know. It wouldn’t hurt me one bit. We could go on a diet together? Do they still sell that Metrecal stuff?” “I’ve been humiliated enough for one fucking decade,” I said. “You say one more thing to me and I’ll jump out of this car and smash my head under someone’s wheels.
Wally Lamb (She's Come Undone)
Cassie,” I growl at the young brunette. “How’s the sobriety?”
Alex brought the submissive to us. She’s an addict that he councils at Transcend. I don’t want to be mean to her right now, especially since my best friend brought her here, but I’m furious and she’s an outlet. She can’t strike back.
“Ninety days sober,” she says with pride.
“That’s awesome,” I say enthusiastically and smile at her. “I love how we have to give fuck ups a medal when they behave. I would think it should go to those who never fuck up. What’s the incentive to behave if all you have to do is get shit-faced and steal shit for years and then ninety days on the straight-and-narrow we have to pat you on the back for being a good girl,” I say in a saccharine voice.
She gazes at me with huge, glassy brown eyes. I can see the tears forming. Cassie worries her full bottom lip between her teeth and tries not to blink.
“But hey, what do I know. It just seems like the system is flawed. The good little boys and girls just don’t get the recognition that a crack-whore thief gets,” I shrug.
Cassie blinks and the surface of her tears breaks and they finally slide down her cheeks in shame.
“But go you!” I shout sarcastically. I give her a thumbs up and walk down the hall.
“Cold… that was just cold, dude,” Alex chuckles at me.
That was so bad that I have to laugh or I’d puke. I shake my head as my belly contracts from laughter.
“Score on my newest asshattery?” I ask my partner in crime. If I didn’t have him I’d scream. I’ll owe Master Marcus forever. He stripped me bare until Font was naked in the impact room at Brownstone I trained in. Alex walked in and shook my hand- instant best friend.
“Ah…” He taps his chin in thought and the bastard tucks his black hair behind his ear. I growl at him because he did it on purpose. He knows how much I miss the feel of my hair swinging at my jawline.
Alex arches a perfect brow above his aqua eye and smirks. He runs his hands through his hair and groans in pleasure.
“8.5. It was a decent attempt, but you pulled your hit. You’re too soft. I bet you were scared you’d make her relapse.”
“Yeah,” I say bashfully.
“Not happening, bud. I’m just that fucking good. I better go do some damage control. Don’t hurt any more subs. Pick on the big bastards. They may bite back, but their egos are delicate.
Erica Chilson (Dalton (Mistress & Master of Restraint, #4))
Kneading her hand, touching her ring, Alexander said, “In America, when two people get married, they say their vows. Do you know what those are?” Tatiana was hardly listening. She had been thinking of America. She wanted to ask Alexander if there were villages in America, villages with cabins on the banks of rivers. In America where there was no war, and no hunger, and no Dimitri. “Are you listening? The priest says, ‘Do you, Alexander, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?’” “Lawfully bedded?” He laughed. “That too. No, lawfully wedded. And then we say our vows. Do you want me to tell you what they are?” “What what are?” Tatiana brought his fingers to her lips. “You have to repeat after me.” “Repeat after me.” “I, Tatiana Metanova, take this man to be my husband—” “I, Tatiana Metanova, take this great man to be my husband.” Kissing his thumb and forefinger and middle finger. He had wonderful fingers. “To live together in the covenant of marriage—” “To live together in the covenant of marriage.” Kissing his ring finger. “I will love him, comfort him, honor and keep him—” “I will love him, comfort him, honor and keep him.” Kissing the ring on his ring finger. Kissing his little finger. “And obey him.” Tatiana smiled, rolling her eyes. “And obey him.” “And, forsaking all others, be faithful to him until death do us part—” Kissing the palm of his hand. Wiping tears from her face with the palm of his hand. “And, forsaking all others, be faithful to him until death do us part.” “I, Alexander Barrington, take this woman to be my wife.” “Don’t, Shura.” Sitting on top of him, rubbing her breasts into his chest. “To live together in the covenant of marriage—” Kissing the middle of his chest. “I will love her”—his voice cracked—“love her, comfort her, honor, and keep her—” Pressing her cheek to his chest and listening for the iambic rhyme of his heart. “And, forsaking all others, be faithful to her until—” “Don’t, Shura.” His chest wet from her tears. “Please.” His hands above his head. “There are things worse than death.” Her heart full, overwhelmed. Remembering her mother’s body tilted over her sewing. Remembering Marina’s last words, to the end saying, I don’t want to die…and not feel just once what you feel. Remembering a laughing Dasha braiding her young hair already a lifetime ago. “Oh, yes? Like what?” He didn’t reply. She understood anyway. “I’d rather have a bad life in the Soviet Union than a good death. Wouldn’t you?” “If it was a life with you, then yes.
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
What did you do?” I mumble. He is just a few feet away from me now, but not close enough to hear me. As he passes me he stretches out his hand. He wraps it around my palm and squeezes. Squeezes, then lets go. His eyes are bloodshot; he is pale.
“What did you do?” This time the question tears from my throat like a growl.
I throw myself toward him, struggling against Peter’s grip, though his hands chafe.
“What did you do?” I scream.
“You die, I die too.” Tobias looks over his shoulder at me. “I asked you not to do this. You made your decision. These are the repercussions.”
He disappears around the corner. The last I see of him and the Dauntless traitors leading him is the gleam of the gun barrel and blood on the back of his earlobe from an injury I didn’t see before.
All the life goes out of me as soon as he’s gone. I stop struggling and let Peter’s hands push me toward my cell. I slump to the ground as soon as I walk in, waiting for the door to slide shut to signify Peter’s departure, but it doesn’t.
“Why did he come here?” Peter says.
I glance at him.
“Because he’s an idiot.”
I rest my head against the wall.
“Did he think he could rescue you?” Peter snorts a little. “Sounds like a Stiff-born thing to do.”
“I don’t think so,” I say. If Tobias intended to rescue me, he would have brought others. He would not have burst into Erudite headquarters alone.
Tears well up in my eyes, and I don’t try to blink them away. Instead I stare through them and watch my surroundings smear together. A few days ago I would never have cried in front of Peter, but I don’t care anymore. He is the least of all my enemies.
“I think he came to die with me,” I say. I clamp my hand over my mouth to stifle a sob. If I can keep breathing, I can stop crying. I didn’t need or want him to die with me. I wanted to keep him safe. What an idiot, I think, but my heart isn’t in it.
“That’s ridiculous,” he says. “That doesn’t make any sense. He’s eighteen; he’ll find another girlfriend once you’re dead. And he’s stupid if he doesn’t know that.”
Tears run down my cheeks, hot at first and then cold. I close my eyes. “If you think that’s what it’s about…” I swallow another sob “…you’re the stupid one.”
His shoes squeak as he turns away. About to leave.
“Wait!” I look up at his blurry silhouette, unable to make out his face. “What will they do to him? The same thing they’re doing to me?”
“I don’t know.”
“Can you find out?” I wipe my cheeks with the heels of my hands, frustrated. “Can you at least find out if he’s all right?”
He says, “Why would I do that? Why would I do anything for you?”
A moment later I hear the door slide shut.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
On trial were two men, one in a plaid shirt, and the other with a long, ZZ Top-style beard. They looked intimated by the crowd that had turned out, even though Plaid Shirt stood six foot four. He was the main perpetrator, charged with animal cruelty. He had brought his young son along during the bear killing for which he was on trial.
The main reason the state managed to bring charges is that the hunters had made a videotape of their gruesome acts. The state trooper who confiscated the video couldn’t even testify at the time of the trial, he was so emotionally overcome.
Then they showed the video in court, and I understood why. ZZ Top and Plaid Shirt cornered the bear cub. In order to preserve the integrity of the pelt, they attempted to kill the cub by stabbing it in the eyes.
It was absolutely gut-wrenching to watch. The bear struggled for its life, but Plaid Shirt kept thrusting his knife, moving back as the animal twisted frantically away, then moving forward to stab again. The bear cub screamed, and it sounded eerily as though the bear was actually crying “Mama,” over and over. Plaid Shirt and ZZ Top sat unfazed in court. The bear screamed, “Mama, mama, mama.” From my place in the gallery, I watched as a towering man in a police uniform burst into tears and walked out of the courtroom. At the end of the video, Plaid Shirt brought his nine-year-old son over to stand triumphantly next to the dead bear cub.
“Clearly, you deserve jail,” the judge told Plaid Shirt as he stood for sentencing. “Unfortunately, the jails are filled with people even more heinous than you: rapists, murderers, and armed robbers. So I am going to sentence you to three thousand hours of community service.”
I approached the judge after the trial, furious that this man might end up collecting a bit of rubbish along the highway as his penance.
“I want him,” I said, referring to Plaid Shirt. I said that I ran a wildlife rehabilitation facility and could use a volunteer.
The first day Plaid Shirt showed up, he actually looked scared of me. He cleaned cages, fed animals, and worked hard. He liked the bobcat I was taking care of, “Bobby.” He said it was the biggest one he had ever seen. It would make a prize trophy.
I asked him every question I could think of: where he hunted, how he hunted, why he hunted. Whether he had any kind of shirt other than plaid. I felt as though I was in the presence of true evil.
For months he helped. He had some skills, like carpentry, and he could lift heavy things. He fulfilled his community service. In the end, I couldn’t tell if I had made any difference or not. I was only slightly encouraged by his parting words.
“You know,” Plaid Shirt said, “I never knew cougars purred.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
A dark-haired young woman was waiting in the atrium by the fountain. When she saw Arin, her face filled with light and tears. He almost ran across the short space between them to gather her in his arms.
“Sister or lover?” Kestrel said.
The woman looked up from their embrace. Her expression hardened. She stepped away from Arin. “What?”
“Are you his sister or lover?”
She walked up to Kestrel and slapped her across the face.
“Sarsine!” Arin hauled her back.
“His sister is dead,” Sarsine said, “and I hope you suffer as much as she did.”
Kestrel’s fingers went to her cheek to press against the sting--and cover a smile with the heels of her tied hands. She remembered the bruises on Arin when she had bought him. His surly defiance. She had always wondered why slaves brought punishment upon themselves. But it had been sweet to feel a tipping of power, however slight, when that hand had cracked across her face. To know, despite the pain, that for a moment Kestrel had been the one in control.
“Sarsine is my cousin,” Arin said. “I haven’t seen her in years. After the war, she was sold as a house slave. I was a laborer, so--”
“I don’t care,” Kestrel said.
His shadowed eyes met hers. They were the color of the winter sea--the water far below Kestrel’s feet when she had looked down and imagined what it would be like to drown.
He broke the gaze between them. To his cousin he said, “I need you to be her keeper. Escort her to the east wing, let her have the run of the suite--”
“Arin! Have you lost your mind?”
“Remove anything that could be a weapon. Keep the outermost door locked at all times. See that she wants for nothing, but remember that she is a prisoner.”
“In the east wing.” Sarsine’s voice was thick with disgust.
“She’s the general’s daughter.”
“Oh, I know.”
“A political prisoner,” Arin said. “We must be better than the Valorians. We are more than savages.”
“Do you truly think that keeping your clipped bird in a luxurious cage will change how the Valorians see us?”
“It will change how we see ourselves.”
“No, Arin. It will change how everyone sees you.”
He shook his head. “She’s mine to do with as I see fit.”
There was an uneasy rustle among the Herrani. Kestrel’s heart sickened. She kept trying to forget this: the question of what it meant to belong to Arin. He reached for her, pulling her firmly toward him as her boots dragged and squeaked against the tiles. With the flick of a knife, he cut the bonds at her wrists, and the sound of leather hitting the floor was loud in the atrium’s acoustics--almost as loud as Sarsine’s choked protest.
Arin let Kestrel go. “Please, Sarsine. Take her.”
His cousin stared at him. Eventually, she nodded, but her expression made clear that she thought he was indulging in something disastrous.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
Rose barely poured herself a cup of hot, mouth-watering chocolate, when she saw Grey and Archer walking across the lawn. Archer was impeccable as always, but Grey was a mess. His clothes were the same he’d worn the night before, and obviously slept in. His shirt, open at the throat, revealed a glimpse of tanned flesh that made her heart twitch and her gingers itch to touch him. His hair was mussed, and stubble covered his cheeks and jaw, except where prohibited by his scar.
In short, he looked absolutely beautiful-a fallen angel. The only thing that made him remotely human was that scar, and she could easily tell herself he got that from battling the archangel Gabriel before being thrown out of heaven.
She squinted as she realize Grey held something against his chest-something that moved. Was that a puppy?
She jumped to her feet, and skipped down the few steps that took her down to the lawn. Lifting the skirts of her yellow morning gown, she hurried to meet them. “Good morning!” she cried. “What have you there?”
Archer smiled in greeting, but Rose barely noticed. Her gaze was riveted on the man looking at her with an expression so hopeful it neigh on broke her heart.
“I brought you something,” he said, his voice low and strangely rough. “A gift.” And then he held out his arms and offered her the sweetest face she’d ever seen.
“Oh!” What an idiot she must seem, her eyes welling with tears over a dog, but she didn’t care. She let the tears come and slip down her cheeks as she took the warm, silky animal into her own arms, burying her face against its fur. “Grey, thank you!”
“He’s too young to be away from his mother yet, but he’s yours if you want hm.”
“Of course I want him! He’s beautiful.”
He ran a hand through the thick tangle of his hair. “I didn’t know that you’d never had a dog before.”
Rose cast a glance at Archer, who shrugged. “Telling my secrets are you, Lord Archer?” What else had he revealed?
Grey’s brother shot her a sincere glance. “Only that one, Lady Rose. I did not think you would mind.”
“And I don’t.” Turning her attention back to the squirming puppy in her arms, Rose was rewarded with a lick to the chin.
“He’ll need to go back to the stables in a few minutes,” Grey told her. “But you can see him whenever you like.”
With her free hand, Rose reached out and took one of Grey’s. His fingers were so big and strong next to hers. She squeezed and then let go, letting him know with a touch just how much his gift meant to her. “I love him. Thank you so very much.”
“What are you going to name him?” he asked.
Rose tore her gaze away from the pleasure in his, lest she do something stupid like kiss him in front of his brother. Instead, she cast a small, secretive smile at Archer. “Heathcliff,” she replied. “His name is Heathcliff.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
WILL WORK FOR FOOD © 2013 Lyrics & Music by Michele Jennae
There he was with a cardboard sign,
Will Work For Food
Saw him on the roadside,
As I took my kids to school
I really didn’t have time to stop,
Already running late
Found myself pulling over,
Into the hands of fate
The look in his eyes was empty,
But he held out his hand
I knew my kids were watching,
As I gave him all I had
My heart in my throat I had to ask,
“What brought you here?”
He looked up and straight into my eyes,
I wanted to disappear.
He said… Do you think I really saw myself,
Standing in this light
Forgotten by society,
After fighting for your rights
WILL WORK FOR FOOD,
WILL DIE FOR YOU
I AM JUST A FORGOTTEN SOLDIER,
I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO
v. 2 He put the money in his pocket,
Then he took me by the hand
Thank you dear for stopping by,
I am sure that you have plans
He nodded toward my children,
Watching from afar
It’s time they were off to school,
You should get in the car
My eyes welled up and tears fell down,
I couldn’t say a word
Here this man with nothing to his name,
Showing me his concern
I knew then that the lesson,
That today must be taught
Wouldn’t come from textbooks,
And it could not be bought
He said… Do you think I really saw myself,
Standing in this light Forgotten by society,
After fighting for your rights
WILL WORK FOR FOOD,
WILL DIE FOR YOU
I AM JUST A FORGOTTEN SOLDIER,
I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO
v. 3 I told him then that I had a job,
That I could give him work
And in return he’d have a meal,
And something to quench his thirst
He looked at me and shrugged a bit,
And followed me to the car
We went right over to a little café,
Just up the road not too far
After I ordered our food he looked at me,
And asked about the kids
“Shouldn’t these tykes be in school,
And about that job you said.”
“Your job,” I said, “is to school my girls,
In the ways of the world
Explain to them your service,
And how your life unfurled.”
He said… Do you think I really saw myself,
Standing in this light
Forgotten by society,
After fighting for your rights
WILL WORK FOR FOOD,
WILL DIE FOR YOU
I AM JUST A FORGOTTEN SOLDIER,
I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO
v. 4He wasn’t sure quite what to do,
As he ate his food
And began to tell us all about his life…
the bad… the good.
He wiped his own tears from his eyes,
His story all but done
My girls and I all choked up,
Hugged him one by one
Understanding his sacrifice,
But not his current plight
We resolved then and there that day,
That for him, we would fight.
We offered him our friendship,
And anything else we had
He wasn’t sure how to accept it,
But we made him understand
That we had not really seen before,
Him standing in the light
No longer forgotten by us,
We are now fighting for his rights
He had… WORKED FOR FOOD
HE HAD ALL BUT DIED FOR ME AND YOU
NOT FORGOTTEN ANYMORE
BUT STILL A SOLDIER IN TRUST
You okay?” Marlboro Man called out. I didn’t answer. I just kept on walking, determined to get the hell out of Dodge.
It took him about five seconds to catch up with me; I wasn’t a very fast walker. “Hey,” he said, grabbing me around the waist and whipping me around so I was facing him. “Aww, it’s okay. It happens.”
I didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want to hear it. I wanted him to let go of me and I wanted to keep on walking. I wanted to walk back down the hillside, start my car, and get out of there. I didn’t know where I’d go, I just knew I wanted to go. I wanted away from all of it--riding horses, saddles, reins, bridles--I didn’t want it anymore. I hated everything on that ranch. It was all stupid, dumb…and stupid.
Wriggling loose of his consoling embrace, I squealed, “I seriously can’t do this!” My hands trembled wildly and my voice quivered. The tip of my nose began to sting, and tears welled up in my eyes. It wasn’t like me to display such hysteria in the presence of a man. But being driven to the brink of death had brought me to this place. I felt like a wild animal. I was powerless to restrain myself. “I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life!” I cried.
I turned to leave again but decided instead to give up, choosing to sit down on the ground and slump over in defeat. It was all so humiliating--not just my rigid, freakish riding style or my near collision with the ground, but also my crazy, emotional reaction after the fact. This wasn’t me. I was a strong, confident woman, for Lord’s sake; I don’t slump on the ground in the middle of a pasture and cry. What was I doing in a pasture, anyway? Knowing my luck, I was probably sitting on a pile of manure. But I couldn’t even walk anymore; my knees were even trembling by now, and I’d lost all feeling in my fingertips. My heart pounded in my cheeks.
If Marlboro Man had any sense, he would have taken the horses and gotten the hell out of there, leaving me, the hysterical female, sobbing on the ground by myself. She’s obviously in the throes of some hormonal fit, he probably thought. There’s nothing you can say to her when she gets like this. I don’t have time for this crap. She’s just gonna have to learn to deal with it if she’s going to marry me.
But he didn’t get the hell out of there. He didn’t leave me sobbing on the ground by myself. Instead he joined me on the grass, sitting beside me and putting his hand on my leg, reassuring me that this kind of thing happens, and there wasn’t anything I did wrong, even though he was probably lying.
“Now, did you really mean that about not wanting to do this the rest of your life?” he asked. That familiar, playful grin appeared in the corner of his mouth.
I blinked a couple of times and took a deep breath, smiling back at him and reassuring him with my eyes that no, I hadn’t meant it, but I did hate his horse. Then I took a deep breath, stood up, and dusted off my Anne Klein straight-leg jeans.
“Hey, we don’t have to do this now,” Marlboro Man said, standing back up. “I’ll just do it later.”
“No, I’m fine,” I answered, walking back toward my horse with newfound resolve.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
When a little of his strength returned he moved onto his side, taking her with him, still a part of her. Her hair spilled over his naked chest like a rumpled satin waterfall, and he lifted a shaking hand to smooth it off her face, feeling humbled and blessed by her sweetness and unselfish ardor.
Several minutes later Elizabeth stirred in his arms, and he tipped her chin up so that he could gaze into her eyes. “Have I ever told you that you are magnificent?
She started to shake her head, then suddenly remembered that he had told her she was magnificent once before, and the recollection brought poignant tears to her eyes. “You did say that to me,” she amended, brushing her fingers over his smooth shoulder because she couldn’t seem to stop touching him. “You told me that when we were together-“
“In the woodcutter’s cottage,” he finished for her, recalling the occasion as well. In reply she had chided him for acting as if he also thought Charise Dumont was magnificent, Ian remembered, regretting all the time they had lost since then…the days and nights she could have been in his arms as she was now. “Do you know how I spent the rest of the afternoon after you left the cottage?” he asked softly. When she shook her head, he said with a wry smile, “I spent it pleasurably contemplating tonight. At the time, of course, I didn’t realize tonight was years away.” He paused to draw the sheet up over her back so she wouldn’t be chilled, then he continued in the same quiet voice, “I wanted you so badly that day that I actually ached while I watched you fasten that shirt you were wearing. Although,” he added dryly, “that particular condition, brought on by that particular cause, has become my normal state for the last four weeks, so I’m quite used to it now. I wonder if I’ll miss it,” he teased.
“What do you mean?” Elizabeth asked, realizing that he was perfectly serious despite his light tone.
“The agony of unfulfilled desire,” he explained, brushing a kiss on her forehead, “brought on by wanting you.”
“Wanting me?” she burst out, rearing up so abruptly that she nearly overturned him as she leaned up on an elbow, absently clutching the sheet to her breasts. “Is this-what we’ve just done, I mean-“
“The Scots think of it as making love,” he interrupted gently. “Unlike most English,” he added with flat scorn, “who prefer to regard it as ‘performing one’s marital duty.’”
“Yes,” Elizabeth said absently, her mind on his earlier remark about wanting her until it caused him physical pain, “but is this what you meant all those times you’ve said you wanted me?”
His sensual lips quirked in a half smile. “Yes.”
A rosy blush stained her smooth cheeks, and despite her effort to sound severe, her eyes were lit with laughter. “And the day we bargained about the betrothal, and you told me I had something you wanted very badly, what you wanted to do with me…was this?”
“Among other things,” he agreed, tenderly brushing his knuckles over her flushed cheek.
“If I had known all this,” she said with a rueful smile, “I’m certain I would have asked for additional concessions.”
That startled him-the thought that she would have tried to drive a harder bargain if she’d realized exactly how much and what sort of power she really held. “What kind of additional concessions?” he asked, his face carefully expressionless.
She put her cheek against his shoulder, her arms curving around him. “A shorter betrothal,” she whispered. “A shorter courtship, and a shorter ceremony.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
So what brought you here?” Emilio asks. I don’t set the icing bag down, because it’s nice to have something to do with my hands, although they’re suddenly shaking. “I wanted to talk to you about Peck.” “What about her?” “I wanted to see if you’d have any objections to me asking her to marry me.” I hear a whoop from the other room. Emilio rolls his eyes. “Why do you want to marry her?” Why do I want to marry her? She’s just Peck. And I feel like she was made for me. “Um…” “The answer is no, if that’s the best you can do.” He points to the cupcakes. “Ice them,” he says. I ice quietly for a few minutes, trying to gather my thoughts. “Didn’t expect you to give up quite so easily,” he suddenly says. I look up. “Oh, I’m not giving up. I’m just thinking.” “You about done with that?” I shake my head. “Not yet.” “Keep icing.” Suddenly, Marta strolls into the room. There’s purpose in her stride and I back up against the wall, because I’m afraid I’m her target. But I quickly see I’m not. She goes for Emilio, but he must be used to this. He runs around the corner of the center island and she chases him. She picks up a rolling pin and runs, but he runs a little bit faster. Suddenly, she stops and blows a stray lock of hair from her eyes. “Stop tormenting the poor boy,” she says. She shakes the rolling pin at him. “Oh, Jesus Christ,” he breathes. “I was having fun with it!” He grins. Then he sobers completely. “Did Peck tell you about the day we met?” “Yes, sir,” I tell him. “What she didn’t tell you was my side of it.” He rubs at the back of his hand. “I had been hanging out in the boys’ ward at the home, and one of the little assholes bit me on the back of the hand, so I was in a bad mood. I wanted nothing more than to get out of there. I walked around the corner, trying to find Marta, and I saw her sitting beside a little girl. I took one look at that kid and I said to myself, She’s my daughter.” He takes a deep breath. “I know it sounds stupid, and I suppose it should. But she was sitting there on the edge of the bed and she wouldn’t speak. But when she looked at me, she said a million words with her eyes.” Marta wipes a tear from her cheek. “I have loved that little girl from the minute I met her. I never doubted that she belonged to us, and neither did she.” He waits a beat. “The first time she spoke to me was when she had a set of drumsticks in her hand.” He looks at me. “Do you know what she said?” I shake my head, and swallow past the lump in my throat. “She took my hand and said, ‘I’m glad you’re my dad.’ It was one big stutter, and I loved every syllable. She makes me so fucking proud.” He points a finger at me. “She’s fucking perfect, so if you so much as make her cry, I will find you and jam her drumsticks so far up your ass that you’ll taste them ten years from now. Do you understand?” “Yes, sir.” I swallow again. “So, yes, you can marry my daughter. And you better make her happy every day for the rest of her life, because I will be watching. Understand?” “Yes, sir.” He points to the cupcakes. “Keep icing.” “Yes, sir.” I grin. Marta lays a hand on my shoulder. “Did you get a ring yet?” “No, ma’am. I wanted to get permission first.” She looks at Emilio and quirks a brow. He nods. She disappears into a bedroom and comes back a minute later with a box. “It was my mother’s,” Emilio says. “Peck used to try it on all the time when she was small, and she loves it. So you can use it if you want to.” He’s grumbling, but I can tell he’s serious. I pop open the box and stare down at a beautiful antique ring. “It’s lovely. Are you sure it’s okay if I use it?” He nods. He points to the cupcakes. “Keep icing.” “Yes, sir.” I smile.
Tammy Falkner (Zip, Zero, Zilch (The Reed Brothers, #6))
a serious contender for my book of year. I can't believe I only discovered Chris Carter a year ago and I now consider him to be one of my favourite crime authors of all time. For that reason this is a difficult review to write because I really want to show just how fantastic this book is.
It's a huge departure from what we are used to from Chris, this book is very different from the books that came before. That said it could not have been more successful in my opinion. After five books of Hunter trying to capture a serial killer it makes sense to shake things up a bit and Chris has done that in best possible way. By allowing us to get inside the head of one of the most evil characters I've ever read about. It is also the first book based on real facts and events from Chris's criminal psychology days and that makes it all the more shocking and fascinating.
Chris Carter's imagination knows no bounds and I love it. The scenes, the characters, whatever he comes up with is both original and mind blowing and that has never been more so than with this book. I feel like I can't even mention the plot even just a little bit. This is a book that should be read in the same way that I read it: with my heart in my mouth, my eyes unblinking and in a state of complete obliviousness to the world around me while I was well and truly hooked on this book. This is addictive reading at its absolute best and I was devastated when I turned the very last page.
Robert Hunter, after the events of the last few books is looking forward to a much needed break in Hawaii. Before he can escape however his Captain calls him to her office. Arriving, Hunter recognises someone - one of the most senior members of the FBI who needs his help. They have in custody one of the strangest individuals they have ever come across, a man who is more machine than human and who for days has uttered not a single word. Until one morning he utters seven: 'I will only speak to Robert Hunter'. The man is Hunter's roommate and best friend from college, Lucien Folter, and found in the boot of his car are two severed and mutilated heads. Lucien cries innocence and Hunter, a man incredibly difficult to read or surprise is played just as much as the reader is by Lucien.
There are a million and one things I want to say but I just can't. You really have to discover how this story unfolds for yourself. In this book we learn so much more about Hunter and get inside his head even further than we have before. There's a chapter that almost brought me to tears such is the talent of Chris to connect the reader with Hunter. This is a character like no other and he is now one of my favourite detectives of all time. We go back in time and learn more about Hunter when he was younger, and also when he was in college with Lucien. Lucien is evil. The scenes depicted in this book are some of the most graphic I've ever read and you know what, I loved it. After five books of some of the scariest and goriest scenes I've ever read I wondered whether Chris could come up with something even worse (in a good way), but trust me, he does. This book is horrifying, terrifying and near impossible to put down until you reach its conclusion. I spent my days like a zombie and my nights practically giving myself paper cuts turning the pages.
If when reading this book you think you have an idea of where it will go, prepare to be wrong. I've learnt never to underestimate Chris, keeping readers on their toes he takes them on an absolute rollercoaster of a ride with the twistiest of turns and the biggest of drops you will finish this book reeling. I am on a serious book hangover, what book can I read next that can even compare to this? I have no idea but if you are planning on reading An Evil Mind I cannot reccommend it enough. Not only is this probably my book of the year it is probably the best crime fiction book I have ever read. An exaggeration you might say but my opinion is my own and this real
Taking hold of the ladder, she began to climb, stopping when she got to eye level with him. That, however, turned out to be a mistake, because the moment her eyes met his, she forgot everything—even the lines she’d just committed to memory—because nothing else mattered to her except . . . him. “You wrote a scene with a strong heroine in it, and one where the hero gets dangled by his feet.” “I did.” “Why?” “Because I couldn’t figure out a better way to let you know I love you, the real you, without dangling from my feet and letting you cut me down.” Lucetta’s eyes immediately took to turning a little misty. “You . . . love me?” “I do, but before we continue this, I have to admit that hanging upside down is far less pleasant than I imagined, so if you’d be so kind, I really do need you to get me down from here.” Realizing he was completely serious, but also realizing if she cut him down he’d go plummeting to the hard floor and most likely suffer a horrible injury—which certainly wouldn’t have the night turning out well at all—Lucetta looked to the side of the stage and caught Mr. Skukman’s eye. As he, along with a good number of backstage hands, walked across the boards, whispers began circulating around the theater, growing louder after Bram got released and rose to his feet. Smiling ever so charmingly at the audience, he presented them with a small bow right before he took center stage. “Ladies and gentlemen, I must beg your indulgence for just a few more minutes because you see . . . I am . . . Mr. Grimstone.” The whispers ceased immediately. Bram smiled. “I’m Mr. Grimstone, alias Mr. Bram Haverstein, and I’ve come here tonight, with all of you as my witnesses, to proclaim my love for Miss Lucetta Plum, and . . .” He dropped to one knee. “Ask her to do me the very great honor of becoming my wife.” He reached out and took hold of Lucetta’s hand. “Miss Lucetta Plum, I am completely and irrevocably in love with you, and just so we’re clear, I’m in love with the real you, not the person you turn into when you take to the stage. I love the idea that you’re completely oblivious to your unusual beauty, can outrun a goat, and . . . you fascinate me as no one ever has. I’m asking you, in front of all of these people who will probably never buy another one of my books again if you turn me down . . .” He stopped talking and turned his head to the audience. “And just to remind everyone, I will have another novel releasing soon, although I haven’t decided on a title just yet, something about a strong-willed lady, no doubt, or . . .” “You’re getting distracted,” Lucetta interrupted. Bram immediately returned his gaze to hers. “Quite right, but . . . I’ve lost my train of thought.” “You were just about to the part where you were going to ask her to marry you,” a voice called out, a voice that sounded remarkably like Abigail’s. “Thank you, Grandmother,” he called back. “You’re welcome, darling. And just to remind you, I’m not getting any younger, so you might want to hurry this proposal business along.” Grinning, Bram shook his head, brought Lucetta’s fingers to his lips, and then sobered as he held her gaze. “I love you, Lucetta, more than I ever imagined I could, and I would be so incredibly honored if you’d agree to be my wife.” For a second, Lucetta was unable to answer him because her heart had taken to rising in her throat, but after drawing in a deep breath, she managed to nod, ignoring the tears that had filled her eyes and were blurring her vision. “I would be honored to become your wife, especially since—I’m not sure when this happened, but—I’m in love with you as well.” Bram’s hold on her hand tightened for just a second, and then he was sliding a ring on her finger she hadn’t even realized he’d been holding. Before she could take even a second to admire what felt like an enormous rock on her hand, he was standing instead of kneeling, looking intently into her eyes, before he pulled her into his arms and kissed her. The
Jen Turano (Playing the Part (A Class of Their Own, #3))
I didn’t suffer from a lack of fuel. The currentshadows had been so strong all my life, strong enough to render me incapable of attending a simple dinner party, strong enough to bow my back and force tears from my eyes, strong enough to keep me awake and pacing all through the night. Strong enough to kill, but now I understood why they killed. It wasn’t because they drained the life from a person, but because they overwhelmed it. It was like gravity—we needed it to stay grounded, alive, but if it was too strong, it formed a black hole, from which even light could not escape. Yes, the force of the current was too fierce for one body to contain— Unless that body was mine. My body, battered again and again by soldiers and brothers and enemies, but still working its way upright— My body, a channel for the pure force of current, the hum-buzz of life that brought others to their knees— Life is full of pain, I had told Akos, trying to draw him back from depression. Your capacity for bearing it is greater than you believe. And I had been right. I had had every reason to become closed off, wrapped up tight, pushing everything that resembled life and growth and power as far away from myself as possible. It would have been easier that way, to refuse to let anything in. But I had let Akos in, trusting him when I had forgotten how to trust, and I had let Teka in, too, and maybe one day, Sifa— I would let anyone in who dared draw near. I was like the planet Ogra, which welcomed anyone and anything that could survive life close to it. Not because I deserved pain, and not because I was too strong to feel it, but because I was resilient enough to accept it as an inevitability.
Veronica Roth (The Fates Divide (Carve the Mark #2))
Look,” she said, holding up his bowl. “You finished all of it.” This boy, who was standing in the corner, voluntarily and unhappily, when I first saw him; who wouldn’t interact with the other kids, who frowned chronically, who wouldn’t respond to me when I tickled and prodded him, trying to get him to play—this boy broke immediately into a wide, radiant smile. It brought joy to everyone at the table. Twenty years later, writing it down today, it still brings me to tears. Afterward, he followed my wife around like a puppy for the rest of the day, refusing to let her out of his sight. When she sat down, he jumped in her lap, cuddling in, opening himself back up to the world, searching desperately for the love he had been continually denied. Later in the day, but far too soon, his mother reappeared. She came down the stairs into the room we all occupied. “Oh, SuperMom,” she uttered, resentfully, seeing her son curled up in my wife’s lap. Then she departed, black, murderous heart unchanged, doomed child in hand. She was a psychologist. The things you can see, with even a single open eye. It’s no wonder that people want to stay blind.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Clary held her hands up. 'I do get it. I know you don’t like me, Isabelle. Because I’m a mundane to you.'
'You think that’s why—' Isabelle broke off, her eyes bright; not just with anger, Clary saw with surprise, but with tears. “God, you don’t understand anything, do you? You’ve known Jace what, a month? I’ve known him for seven years. And all the time I’ve known him, I’ve never seen him fall in love, never seen him even like anyone. He’d hook up with girls, sure. Girls always fell in love with him, but he never cared. I think that’s why Alec thought—” Isabelle stopped for a moment, holding herself very still. She’s trying not to cry, Clary thought in wonder—Isabelle, who seemed like she never cried. “It always worried me, and my mom, too—I mean, what kind of teenage boy never even gets a crush on anyone? It was like he was always half-awake where other people were concerned. I thought maybe what had happened with his father had done some sort of permanent damage to him, like maybe he never really could love anyone. If I’d only known what had really happened with his father—but then I probably would have thought the same thing, wouldn’t I? I mean, who wouldn’t have been damaged by that?'
'And then we met you, and it was like he woke up. You couldn’t see it, because you’d never known him any different. But I saw it. Hodge saw it. Alec saw it—why do you think he hated you so much? It was like that from the second we met you. You thought it was amazing that you could see us, and it was, but what was amazing to me was that Jace could see you, too. He kept talking about you all the way back to the Institute; he made Hodge send him out to get you; and once he brought you back, he didn’t want you to leave again. Wherever you were in the room, he watched you…. He was even jealous of Simon. I’m not sure he realized it himself, but he was. I could tell. Jealous of a mundane. And then after what happened to Simon at the party, he was willing to go with you to the Dumort, to break Clave Law, just to save a mundane he didn’t even like. He did it for you. Because if anything had happened to Simon, you would have been hurt. You were the first person outside our family whose happiness I’d ever seen him take into consideration. Because he loved you.'
Clary made a noise in the back of her throat. 'But that was before—'
'Before he found out you were his sister. I know. And I don’t blame you for that. You couldn’t have known. And I guess you couldn’t have helped that you just went right on ahead and dated Simon afterward like you didn’t even care. I thought once Jace knew you were his sister, he’d give up and get over it, but he didn’t, and he couldn’t. I don’t know what Valentine did to him when he was a child. I don’t know if that’s why he is the way he is, or if it’s just the way he’s made, but he won’t get over you, Clary. He can’t. I started to hate seeing you. I hated for Jace to see you. It’s like an injury you get from demon poison—you have to leave it alone and let it heal. Every time you rip the bandages off, you just open the wound up again. Every time he sees you, it’s like tearing off the bandages.'
'I know,' Clary whispered. “How do you think it is for me?”
'I don’t know. I can’t tell what you’re feeling. You’re not my sister. I don’t hate you, Clary. I even like you. If it were possible, there isn’t anyone I’d rather Jace be with. But I hope you can understand when I say that if by some miracle we all get through this, I hope my family moves itself somewhere so far away that we never see you again.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Look at him, isn’t he brave?” He spoke calmly, baring fangs and glowering at Geralt with bloodshot eyes. “Lower that iron, if you please. Perhaps you’ve not realized you’re in my courtyard? Or maybe it is customary, wherever you’re from, to threaten people with swords in their own courtyards?”
“It is customary,” Geralt agreed, “when faced with people who greet their guests with a roar and a cry that they’re going to tear you to pieces.”
“Pox on it!” The monster got worked up. “And he’ll insult me on top of it all, this straggler. A guest, is he? Pushes his way into the yard, ruins someone else’s flowers, plays the lord and thinks that he’ll be brought bread and salt. Bah!”
The creature spat, gasped and shut his jaws. The lower fangs protruded, making him look like a boar.
“So?” The witcher spoke after a moment, lowering his sword. “Are we going to carry on like this?”
“And what do you suggest instead? Lying down?” snorted the monster.
Andrzej Sapkowski (The Last Wish (The Witcher, #0.5))
On the morning that she left the Water Gardens, her father rose from his chair to kiss her on both cheeks. "The fate of Dorne goes with you, daughter," he said, as he pressed the parchment into her hand. "Go swiftly, go safely, be my eyes and ears and voice... but most of all, take care."
"I will, Father." She did not shed a tear. Arianne Martell was a princess of Dorne, and Dornishmen did not waste water lightly. It was a near thing, though. It was not her father's kisses nor his hoarse words that made her eyes glisten, but the effort that brought him to his feet, his legs trembling under him, his joints swollen and inflamed with gout. Standing was an act of love. Standing was an act of faith.
He believes in me. I will not fail him.
George R.R. Martin (The Winds of Winter (A Song of Ice and Fire, #6))
I believe everything happens for a reason. Whether it is decided by the Mother, or the Cauldron, or some sort of tapestry of Fate, I don’t know. I don’t really care. But I am grateful for it, whatever it is. Grateful that it brought you all into my life. If it hadn’t … I might have become as awful as that prick we’re going to face today. If I had not met an Illyrian warrior-in-training,” he said to Cassian, “I would not have known the true depths of strength, of resilience, of honor and loyalty.” Cassian’s eyes gleamed bright. Rhys said to Azriel, “If I had not met a shadowsinger, I would not have known that it is the family you make, not the one you are born into, that matters. I would not have known what it is to truly hope, even when the world tells you to despair.” Azriel bowed his head in thanks. Mor was already crying when Rhys spoke to her. “If I had not met my cousin, I would never have learned that light can be found in even the darkest of hells. That kindness can thrive even amongst cruelty.” She wiped away her tears as she nodded. I waited for Amren to offer a retort. But she was only waiting. Rhys bowed his head to her. “If I had not met a tiny monster who hoards jewels more fiercely than a firedrake …” A quiet laugh from all of us at that. Rhys smiled softly. “My own power would have consumed me long ago.” Rhys squeezed my hand as he looked to me at last. “And if I had not met my mate …” His words failed him as silver lined his eyes. He said down the bond, I would have waited five hundred more years for you. A thousand years. And if this was all the time we were allowed to have … The wait was worth it. He wiped away the tears sliding down my face.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3))
Ah me! I thought those were high and great emotions. But I never thought there was anything low and small in my keeping away from Joe, because I knew she would be contemptuous of him. It was but a day gone, and Joe had brought the tears into my eyes; they had soon dried, God forgive me! soon dried.
Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)
At first I felt something like an oppressed anxiety when I was near the little sick girl, which later changed into pious and reverential awe in face of this dumb and strangely moving suffering. Whenever I saw her, an obscure sensation would arise in me that she must surely die. And then I grew afraid to look her in the face.
Whenever I roamed the forests during the day, feeling so joyful in this solitude and peace, when I stretched out wearily on the moss and gazed for hours together into the bright, shimmering sky, into whose very depths one could see, when a strange and profound sense of joy thrilled me, I would suddenly think of the sick Maria - then I would get up and roam aimlessly about, overwhelmed by inexplicable thoughts and feel a dull pressure in my head and my heart which brought me to the verge of tears.
At times when I walked in the evening along the dusty main street which was filled with the scent of the blossoming lime and watched whispering couples as they stood in the shadows of the trees; when I saw two people pressed close together as though they were one being, sauntering slowly beside the fountain as it quietly played in the moolight, and a feverish thrill of presentiment coursed through me as I thought of poor sick Maria; then I was seized by a quiet yearning for something inexplicable and all at once I saw myself strolling arm in arm with her in the shade of the fragrant lime trees.
And a strange radiance shone from Maria's great dark eyes, and the moon made her slender little face appear still paler and more transparent. Then I fled upstairs into my attic, leaned against the window, looked up into the deep dark heavens where the stars appeared to have gone out and for hours abandoned myself to formless and confusing dreams until overcome by sleep.
And yet - and yet I did not exchange so much as ten words with poor sick Maria. She never spoke. I would only sit at her side for hours gazing into her sick, suffering face, feeling ever and again that she must die.
In the garden I lay in the grass and breathed in the fragrance of a thousand flowers; my eye was intoxicated by the gleaming colours of blossoms flooded with sunlight, and I listened too for the silence in the air above, interrupted only by the mating call of a bird. I sensed the ferment of the fruitful, torrid earth, that mysterious sound of ever-creative life. I could then darkly feel the greatness and beauty of life. Then it semed to me as if life belonged to me. But then my eye lit upon the bay-window of the house. I could see the sick Maria sitting there - silent and motionless and with closed eyes. And all my thinking was again drawn to the suffering of this being and remained there - became a painful but shyly conceded yearning which struck me as puzzling and confusing. And I left the garden timidly, silently, as though I had no right to linger in this temple.
Georg Trakl (Poems and Prose)
she added, gesturing to me, as if my ability to avoid vomiting on her upholstery should be a bullet on my résumé. My dark laugh brought tears to my eyes, and I wiped them with my sleeve.
Elle Cosimano (Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead (Finlay Donovan #2))
Marin hesitated. It was time to leave, time to be at the meeting. Yet he didn’t want to go. If they brought David Burnley back to fife, he wanted to be present. The boy might say things that would arouse suspicion.
Over at the desk young Burnley stirred. Marin didn’t think of it as a life movement but as an unbalancing of a dead weight. He jumped to catch the body before it could fall to the floor. As he grasped the youth’s arm, he felt the muscles tugging under the skin. The swiftness of the reintegration that followed nullified any advance thought about it.
David Burnley sat up, looked blank for a moment, and then said in a frightened tone, “What was that thing in my mind?”
Unexpected remark. Marin drew back. “Thing!” he said.
“Something came into my mind and took control I could feel it I—” He stopped. Tears came into his eyes.
The officer strode over. “Anything I can do?”
Marin waved him away. “Get that doctor!” he said.
It was a defensive action. He needed time here to grasp a new idea. He was remembering what Slater had said, about the use of electronic circuits directly into the brains of human beings as a method of control from a distance. . . . That boy was dead, Marin thought tensely.
Dead without visible cause. Was it possible that, as the “circuit” connection was broken, or even dissolved, death resulted? Again, he had no time to think about it clearly. It seemed to mean that young Burnley was a victim, not a traitor. It seemed to mean that the “death” might have broken the connection, though that was not certain.
Marin said gently, “How do you feel, David?”
“Why, all right, sir.” He stood up, swayed, and then righted himself, smiling warmly. He braced himself visibly. “All right,” he said again.
A.E. van Vogt (The Mind Cage)
He shouted into the phone, “That is fuckin’ awesome. I mean fuckin’ awesome. I fuckin’ mean fucking awesome. You are one Big Swinging Dick, and don’t ever let anybody tell you different.” It brought tears to my eyes to hear it, to be called a Big Swinging Dick by the man who, years ago, had given birth to the distinction and in my mind had the greatest right to confer it upon me.
Michael Lewis (Liar's Poker)
I don’t know why she broke up with me. I was always there when she needed me. Well, aside for about 3/4ths of a year that one time when she told me she was pregnant.
This was the second time in my life that I’ve felt like I’ve found “The one.” But the first one doesn’t count, because neither could I at the time. I was two, and I thought I’d spend the rest of my life with my teddy bear, FDR.
Things were going so splendidly before we split. Just last week we were sitting on a bench in the park on a sunny afternoon, when she put her hand on mine, turned to look at me, and said, “We should have brought some bread.”
And now it all makes sense. Bread for the birds. At the time I thought she was asking me to marry her, so like a fool my eyes teared up and I simply said, “Yes.” I guess it is like my grand pappy said when he told my pappy, “I’d be a fool to think you didn’t raise a fool.” Well, he was right. He was a fool. Like father like son. Good thing he wasn’t my father. It’s like that saying found in the correspondences between Jarod Ora Kintz and Dora J. Arod: I’m looking at him to look at me, but he is me, so what am I, a mirror?
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
Colin hid a grin. His stare, keen despite the deceptive softness of his lavender-gray eyes, settled on his admiral as he held the girl so tenderly in his arms. Sir Graham loved women, yes, but never had Colin seen him treat one with the sort of obsessive, worshipful devotion he’d bestowed upon Maeve Merrick from the moment he'd brought her aboard. He’d made a bed for her on the sofa tucked beside the starboard bulkhead, bathed her damp skin, and braided her hair to get the hot, heavy mass off her neck. He’d flung open all the stern windows and gone into a rare fit of temper when the tropical breezes had dimmed and the air grew sultry, hot and still. His demands had sent the harassed Dr. Ryder running for the escape of a rum bottle, a midshipman into tears, and the company into hushed and strained eagerness to obey every order relayed through the lieutenants’ speaking trumpets. And to top it all off, Sir Graham had had a blazing argument with Maeve’s formidable lieutenant, Enolia, over who would get custody of the convalescing Pirate Queen.
Danelle Harmon (My Lady Pirate)
I’ve been thinking . . .” He stared into his cup as if he could read his next words on the dark, shifting surface. Frank’s low laughter drifted in from the parlor. My feet longed to run to him, to hear what childish antic had brought amusement, but I stayed in my seat. Henry pulled a paper from the inside pocket of his jacket and slid it across the table. “What’s this?” I unfolded it, and my breath caught at the words. “A Texas Ranger.” He nodded, pride shining in his eyes. “It’s all because of you, Rebekah.” “Me?” I bit my lip to hold back the tears. Henry would get to live his dream. “I’d have never tried if you hadn’t encouraged me.” I reached across the table and squeezed his hand before I realized what I’d done. I let go as fast as if I’d touched a frozen water pump handle barehanded. But he held on. “I love you, Rebekah. I think I have since the moment I caught you on the train platform.” I held my breath, wishing I didn’t have to disappoint this man. “Come with me. Marry me.” His eyes radiated hope. I remembered the driving lesson—and the dinner at Irene’s. Henry Jeffries had adventuresome dreams, but he wanted a safe wife. Someone to be coddled and cared for, like Clara Gresham. I wasn’t sure I could be that, just as I could never seem to be the docile daughter Mama longed for. I reclaimed my hand, wishing I could soften the hurtful words. “I can’t.” He sat back as if I’d struck at him. “We aren’t right for each other, Henry. We’d come to despise each other, I think. Eventually.” His head shook. “We wouldn’t, Rebekah. I’d do whatever you wanted, be whatever you wanted.” Such the opposite of Arthur. Humble. Caring. Saying he loved me. “That’s the problem, Henry. You shouldn’t have to change for me.” Why couldn’t I return his affection? Why did the Lord doom my heart to care for those who didn’t care for me? “Everything all right?” Frank poked his head into the kitchen, his eyes meeting mine. Those blue eyes, deep with passion and love for his family. I pushed away from the table and ran out the door, all the way to the barn. I groped through the dark interior, hearing Dandy and Tom and Huck gallivanting in the corral, Ol’ Bob mooing from her stall. I lifted my skirts, charged up the ladder and into the hayloft, and wept, wondering if I’d just turned down my very last chance at love.
Anne Mateer (Wings of a Dream)
You are unhurt, Frau Steadman?” The genuine concern in his voice brought tears to her eyes. “I’m unhurt. Thank you, Mr. Ollenburger.” A sob of relief broke the last word in half. “You get up now.” In the dim glow of a single lantern, she watched him remove his coat. He wrapped it around her as he helped her to her feet. “We get you to the house.” “Your shariah … The chair, my teacup …” She muttered nonsensically as he guided her across the ground. Her teeth chattered despite the comforting warmth of his coat and his heavy arm around her shoulders. “I’m so sorry.” “You have no need for sorry.” His calm voice was incongruous to the storm that continued to rage. Snowflakes danced on the wind, stinging her cheeks. “You are safe now. That is all that matters.
Kim Vogel Sawyer (Waiting for Summer's Return (Heart of the Prairie #1))
The patrolman had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months, yet his partner for 20 years stood by his side every single day. One day, when he came out of coma, he motioned for him to come nearer. As he sat by him, he whispered, eyes full of tears, "You know what? You have been with me all through the bad times. Every time I got brought up on departmental charges, you were there to support and cover me. The three times I got shot during those narcotics busts, you were there. When I got kicked off the force and lost my house, you were there for me. When my wife left me, you were still by my side. You know what? "What?" He gently asked, smiling as his heart began to fill with warmth. "I think you're fuckin' bad luck!!
E. King (Best Adult Jokes Ever)
he first time I ever laid eyes on you, you were jogging with your friend, Hilary,” he murmured. I lowered my gaze back to the tiny shoe and smiled.
“The first time I ever had the pleasure of hearing your voice,” he titled his head in thought, “you ended up tripping and needed bandaged.”
His finger brushed over the tiny silver Band-Aid. Tears began pooling in my eyes. His gift was unlike anything I ever expected. I wasn’t sure what to think or even feel in that moment.
“The first time I knew you were more than a pretty face,” he smiled, his thumb caressing my cheek for the briefest moment, “you brought Oliver and me muffins.” His voice cracked and I bit my bottom lip as he touched upon the tiny muffin.
The burn of a stray tear as it slipped down my cheek pulled my gaze to my lap. Quickly, I wiped it away.
Next, he held up the miniature swimming pool in his hand and I laughed, looking up at him.
“This one speaks for itself, sweetheart.” His smile widened into a broad grin. “It was a night I’ll never forget…and one I wouldn’t mind experiencing again next summer.”
My head shot down, heat creeping up my cheeks. I shook my head, chuckling.
“This,” he held up a music note, “is for the first time we danced.” He lowered the bracelet and looked me in the eyes. “I wanted you that night, Cassandra. More than I’ve ever wanted any woman. But I’m thankful every day that you wouldn’t let me have my way.” He sighed. “We wouldn’t be here today if I had slept with you then.”
He looked back down, frowning. “I can’t image you not being here today.”
My heart swelled helping me find my voice.
“The pumpkin patch,” I said, running my fingers over the shiny jack-o-lantern.
“Yes, the first day I realized I wanted nothing more than to protect you. From your ex, from anyone that could hurt you.”
I smiled, his words soothing every part of my soul.
“The carnival.” I smiled, remembering our day together. The charm was of a Ferris wheel and the only one that was gold.
Logan took my hand and clasped the bracelet around my wrist. He looked up at me, my hand still in his.
“The first day I knew Oliver was falling in love with you.
Angela Graham (Inevitable (Harmony, #1))
That moon, which the sky ne'er saw even in dreams, has returned
And brought a fire no water can quench.
See the body' s house, and see my. soul,
This made drunken and that desolate by the cup of his love.
When the host of the tavern became my heart-mate,
My blood turned to wine and my heart to kabab.
When the eye is filled with thought of him, a voice arrives :
W ell done, O flagon, and bravo, wine!
Love's fingers tear up, root and stem,
Every house where sunbeams fall from love.
When my heart saw love's sea, of a sudden
It left me and leaped in, crying, , Find me.'
The face of Shamsi Din, Tabriz's glory, is the sun
In whose track the cloud-like hearts are moving
Making love to you in the middle of the night—the quiet passion of that experience—it almost brought tears to my eyes. Maybe a “real” man shouldn’t admit things like that, but I’m inclined to argue that only a real man would allow himself to acknowledge such depth of feeling and have the courage to share it with the woman he loves.
Georgina Guthrie (The Record of My Heart (Words, #3.5))
After I put on my coat, I turn and whisper to Camille: “Just a minute.” In the living room, I leave a wide space between myself and the recliner where Cookie’s sitting, knowing that distance from her is the only thing that has kept me both physically and emotionally safe. Wearing a blue flannel shirt, black stretch pants, and a scowl, she slowly meets my eyes. The TV’s reflection flashes off the lenses of her huge, shaded eyeglasses. “Good-bye,” I tell her. It comes out cold and flat. When she responds with silence, I nod. This is all I’ll get. Cherie opens the front door, and Camille and I exit with her. When the three of us get to the train station, we all break down in tears. It’s a cry of anger for our mother’s failure to take responsibility, for the unfairness of having had no say in choosing who brought us into this world . . . and for our relief knowing that soon she’ll be gone, for good.
Regina Calcaterra (Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island)
I’m sitting in this dusty tent, trying to think of something eloquent to write. I’m at wit’s end. You deserve beautiful words, but all I have left are these: I think of you constantly. I think of this letter in your hand and the scent of perfume on your wrist. I want silence and clear air, and a bed with a soft white pillow…
Beatrix felt her eyebrows lifting, and a quick rise of heat beneath the high collar of her dress. She paused and glanced at Prudence. “You find this boring?” she asked mildly, while her blush spread like spilled wine on linen.
“The beginning is the only good part,” Prudence said. “Go on.”
…Two days ago in our march down the coast to Sebastopol, we fought the Russians at the Alma River. I’m told it was a victory for our side. It doesn’t feel like one. We’ve lost at least two thirds of our regiment’s officers, and a quarter of the noncommissioned men. Yesterday we dug graves. They call the final tally of dead and wounded the “butcher’s bill.” Three hundred and sixty British dead so far, and more as soldiers succumb to their wounds.
One of the fallen, Captain Brighton, brought a rough terrier named Albert, who is undoubtedly the most badly behaved canine in existence. After Brighton was lowered into the ground, the dog sat by his grave and whined for hours, and tried to bite anyone who came near. I made the mistake of offering him a portion of a biscuit, and now the benighted creature follows me everywhere. At this moment he is sitting in my tent, staring at me with half-crazed eyes. The whining rarely stops. Whenever I get near, he tries to sink his teeth into my arm. I want to shoot him, but I’m too tired of killing. Families are grieving for the lives I’ve taken. Sons, brothers, fathers. I’ve earned a place in hell for the things I’ve done, and the war’s barely started. I’m changing, and not for the better. The man you knew is gone for good, and I fear you may not like his replacement nearly so well.
The smell of death, Pru…it’s everywhere.
The battlefield is strewn with pieces of bodies, clothes, soles of boots. Imagine an explosion that could tear the soles from your shoes. They say that after a battle, wildflowers are more abundant the next season--the ground is so churned and torn, it gives the new seeds room to take root. I want to grieve, but there is no place for it. No time. I have to put the feelings away somewhere.
Is there still some peaceful place in the world? Please write to me. Tell me about some bit of needlework you’re working on, or your favorite song. Is it raining in Stony Cross? Have the leaves begun to change color?
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
I got you some stuff,” he said gruffly and set the food and drinks down at his feet before walking over to stand directly in front of me. I watched as he opened the first bag and began pulling out deodorant, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a hairbrush and ponytail holders, girly shampoo, conditioner, a razor, and soap—since whatever I’d been using was definitely meant for men. The next bag opened and he pulled out large packs of men’s undershirts and boxer-briefs. I raised an eyebrow at first when he sat them down next to me, but I didn’t say anything. “There’s no way in hell I was going to be able to pick out a bra for you, and women have too many different kinds of underwear. This was easiest, but they might be too big on you.” I couldn’t even complain. My throat was closing up, my eyes were burning, and it was taking everything in me not to reach out and run my hands over it all. I hadn’t brushed my teeth since the night before I was taken, and I hadn’t put deodorant on or brushed my hair since the same time. Even though I was able to take showers every day, I had to put my old underwear, sleep shirt, and little shorts on once I was done; and it felt like I was never getting clean. If I could have clean clothes, even men’s clothes, I didn’t care. The last bag opened, and a shaky smile crossed my face for the first time since I’d had the unfortunate pleasure of meeting Taylor, as he pulled out different colored nail polishes. “I don’t know if you like these colors, but I watched you pick off what you had on your nails. So . . . here.” A package of pens followed, and the smile fell as confusion set in; but then he brought out a journal, and my stomach dropped. “I had to watch you for a long time, I don’t know what you wrote about, but I know you used to write every day. Anyway, that’s it,” he said and took a step away from the mattress. I picked up the journal and ran my hand over the front of it as tears fell down my cheeks. I knew sometime later I would be creeped out and put Taylor in the same zone Blake had been in, since Blake had people following me, and somehow had gotten cameras into our apartment. But right now, all I could think about was that I was going to be able to write to my parents again. It’d been over four and a half years since my parents died, and for four years I’d been writing in journals to them every day. Not being able to talk to them had been about as hard as not being with Kash. My
Molly McAdams (Deceiving Lies (Forgiving Lies, #2))
Shara met me at the airport in London, dressed in her old familiar blue woolen overcoat that I loved so much. She was bouncing like a little girl with excitement.
Everest was nothing compared to seeing her.
I was skinny, long-haired, and wearing some very suspect flowery Nepalese trousers. I short, I looked a mess, but I was so happy.
I had been warned by Henry at base camp not to rush into anything “silly” when I saw Shara again. He had told me it was a classic mountaineers’ error to propose as soon as you get home. High altitude apparently clouds people’s good judgment, he had said.
In the end, I waited twelve months. But during this time I knew that this was the girl I wanted to marry.
We had so much fun together that year. I persuaded Shara, almost daily, to skip off work early from her publishing job (she needed little persuading, mind), and we would go on endless, fun adventures.
I remember taking her roller-skating through a park in central London and going too fast down a hill. I ended up headfirst in the lake, fully clothed. She thought it funny.
Another time, I lost a wheel while roller-skating down a steep busy London street. (Cursed skates!) I found myself screeching along at breakneck speed on only one skate. She thought that one scary.
We drank tea, had afternoon snoozes, and drove around in “Dolly,” my old London black cab that I had bought for a song.
Shara was the only girl I knew who would be willing to sit with me for hours on the motorway--broken down--waiting for roadside recovery to tow me to yet another garage to fix Dolly. Again.
We were (are!) in love.
I put a wooden board and mattress in the backseat so I could sleep in the taxi, and Charlie Mackesy painted funny cartoons inside. (Ironically, these are now the most valuable part of Dolly, which sits majestically outside our home.)
Our boys love playing in Dolly nowadays. Shara says I should get rid of her, as the taxi is rusting away, but Dolly was the car that I will forever associate with our early days together. How could I send her to the scrapyard?
In fact, this spring, we are going to paint Dolly in the colors of the rainbow, put decent seat belts in the backseat, and go on a road trip as a family. Heaven. We must never stop doing these sorts of things. They are what brought us together, and what will keep us having fun.
Spontaneity has to be exercised every day, or we lose it.
Shara, lovingly, rolls her eyes.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
Oh, Hunter, I’m sorry,” she said on the crest of a sob. “I didn’t mean to hurt you like this. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
“You rip my heart out and it should not hurt?” His teeth closed on her earlobe, nipping lightly, sending shivers over her skin. “You spit upon all that I am, and it should not hurt? You abandon me, you dishonor me, and it should not hurt?”
The raw emotion in his voice brought tears to her eyes. “I never intended to dishonor you…”
Loretta longed to put her arms around him but was quickly reminded of her bonds when she tried. His mouth claimed hers, hot and demanding, yet strangely gentle.
What followed was beautiful. Unable to remain passive, Loretta responded to him with a spiraling passion that both shocked and disoriented her. At some point Hunter cut the leather on her wrists and ankles, but she was too mindless to realize. He was like a fire inside her, embers licked to low flames, building quickly to an inferno. There was no fear. And no pain. Just a bittersweet joining, becoming one in a way she had never dreamed possible.
Afterward Hunter drew her gently into his arms and reminded her of the promises he had made her, that she would never experience brutality or shame in his arms, only love. “How can you not hear the song my heart sings, Blue Eyes?”
Loretta knew he was referring to far more than his lovemaking. Sobs built pressure in her chest, then crawled up her throat, gaining force until they tore from her, dry and ragged. “Oh, Hunter, you have to understand. You think only of yourself and your rights. What of mine?”
Hunter drew her head back down to his shoulder and wrapped his arms around her. Her warm tears fell on his skin and trickled, cold and wet, under his arm. He closed his eyes, his mind replaying her words, the whispers a torment, the questions unanswerable. Did he think only of himself? Yes. To do otherwise meant losing her. Long after his wife fell into an exhausted sleep, he lay awake, staring into the darkness, searching within himself for a solution.
There was none…
Catherine Anderson (Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1))
The waiter brought the drinks. After he had moved silently away, I looked at her and said, “You’re not involved in any of this?” She looked into her glass. Several seconds went by. “You want an honest answer, or a really honest answer?” she asked. “Give me both.” “Okay,” she said, nodding. “The honest answer is no.” She took a sip of the Highland Park. Closed her eyes. “The really honest answer is, is…” “Is, not yet,” I said quietly. Her eyes opened and she looked at me. “How do you know?” I watched her for a moment, feeling her distress, seeing an opportunity. “You’re being suborned,” I said. “It’s a process, a series of techniques. If you even half realize it, you’re smarter than most. You’ve also got a chance to do something about it, if you want to.” “What do you mean?” I sipped from my glass, watching the amber liquid glowing in the candlelight, remembering. “You start slow. You find the subject’s limits and get him to spend some time there. He gets used to it. Before long, the limits have moved. You never take him more than a centimeter beyond. You make it feel it’s his choice.” I looked at her. “You told me when you first got to the club you were so shy you could hardly move on the stage.” “Yes, that’s true.” “At that point you would never have done a lap dance.” “No.” “But now you can.” “Yes.” Her voice was low, almost a whisper. “When you did your first lap dance, you probably said you would never let a customer touch you.” “I did say that,” she said. Her voice had gone lower. “Of course you did. I could go on. I could tell you where you’ll be three months from now, six months, a year. Twenty years, if you keep going where you’re going. Naomi, you think this is all an accident? It’s a science. There are people out there who are experts at getting others to do tomorrow what was unthinkable today.” But for her breath, moving rapidly in and out through her nostrils, she was silent, and I wondered if she was fighting tears. I needed to push it just a little further before backing off. “You want to know what’s next for you?” I asked. She looked at me but said nothing.
Barry Eisler (A Lonely Resurrection (John Rain #2))
To-night I close my eyes and see
A strange procession passing me–
The years before I saw your face
Go by me with a wistful grace;
They pass, the sensitive, shy years,
As one who strives to dance, half blind with tears.
The years went by and never knew
That each one brought me nearer you;
Their path was narrow and apart
And yet it led me to your heart–
Oh, sensitive, shy years, oh, lonely years,
That strove to sing with voices drown in tears.
Sara Teasdale (The Collected Poems)
Would you like to take a walk with me?” she asked. “I always walk on the beach in the mornings when you’re working. That is, if you aren’t too busy?”
He caught her hand and brought it to his lips. “I’m not too busy for you and our child. But should you be resting?”
An exasperated shriek left her lips, startling him with her ferocity. She yanked her hand from him and parked both of her fists on her hips.
“Do I look like I need to be resting?” Anger and disappointment burned in her eyes. “Look, Chrysander, if you don’t want to spend time with me, just say so, but stop throwing out your pat ‘You need to be resting’ line.”
She turned and stalked farther down the beach, leaving him there feeling like she’d punched him in the stomach. He ran a hand through his hair as he watched her hurry away, and then he strode after her, his feet kicking up sand as he closed the distance between them.
“Marley! Marley, wait,” he called as he caught her elbow.
When he turned her around, he was gutted by the tears streaking down her cheeks. She turned her face away and swiped blindly at her eyes with her other hand.
“Please, just go away,” she choked out. “Go do whatever it is you do with your time. I’ll wait for my appointment with you in the afternoon.”
It came out bitter and full of hurt, and he realized that he hadn’t fooled her at all with the distance he put between them.
He reached for her chin and gently tugged until she faced him. With his thumb, he wiped at a tear that slipped over her cheekbone.
“You aren’t an appointment, Marley.”
“No?” She yanked away from his touch and retreated a few feet until there was a respectable distance between them. “I’ve tried to be patient and understanding even though I don’t understand any of it. Us. You or even me. I can’t figure you out, Chrysander, and I’m tired of trying. I’ve tried to be strong and undemanding, but I can’t do it anymore. I’m scared to death. I don’t know who I am. I wake up one day to find myself pregnant, and there’s a stranger by my bed who says he’s my fiancé and the father of my child. One would think this would tell me that at least I was loved and cherished, but nothing you’ve done has made me feel anything but confusion. You run hot and cold, and I never know which one to expect. I can’t do this.”
Coldness wrapped around Chrysander’s chest, squeezing until he couldn’t draw a breath. “What are you saying?” he demanded.
Maya Banks (The Tycoon's Rebel Bride (The Anetakis Tycoons, #2))
Give me your hand," she said, pulling at Charles's fingers. "Madam, you already have it." "Yes, but relax." "For God's sake, girl, I don't have time for this nonsense —" "Stop being such an old grouch, you have all the time in the world." And with that she pulled him forward, and touched his outstretched fingers to the horse's soft, velvety nose. Charles froze, a look of stunned disbelief coming over his face. "Contender?" Amy and Will glanced excitedly between one another, watching, waiting, barely able to breathe. "Contender, old boy . . . is that you?" The horse began stamping impatiently, dancing in place and half-rearing in excitement, only to be brought down by Will's firm hand. Then he whinnied and lowering his head, drove it straight into Charles's chest, rubbing up and down in delight. Charles closed his eyes, his face rigid with controlled emotion, his Adam's apple moving up, then down. And Amy, watching this emotional scene, felt tears shimmering in her eyes, and one or two of them sliding down her cheek as Charles stood there with his horse, never moving, only murmuring softly to him as he ran his palm alongside the animal's jaw, up around his ears, and down the long, crested neck, over and over again. "Contender. Contender, old fellow." He continued stroking the animal's neck. "I thought never to see you again . . . Pray tell, Will, where did you find him?" "My uncle had him. I went down to Woburn and brought him back for you as a surprise." "You should not have gone to such trouble on my behalf, Will." "I wanted to. You've had such a rough time of it lately, and we all thought that having your horse back might perk you up a tad. Besides . . . " Will looked down and began kicking at a loose hank of straw. "It was the least I could do, after what I did to you back in Concord . . ." Charles, hearing the guilt in the boy's voice, reached out and found his shoulder. "Will," he said gently. "You owe me nothing. You never have. What happened to me at Concord was a direct result of my own actions, not yours. You did nothing to bring on my infirmity; instead, you acted as any Christian man would, putting aside the differences between your people and mine, and doing everything in your power to help me. Anyone else would have finished me off right there — or left me to the angry people of Concord. You did not. Instead, you chose to bring me home at great risk to yourself, and endeavored to save my life — for which I shall always be grateful." Will swallowed hard and looked down, both humbled and a little embarrassed by the captain's words. "Thank you, sir." He was still kicking at the straw with one foot, a lock of unruly brown hair falling over his brow. "It makes me feel a whole lot better, hearing you say that." "My only regret is that it should've been said sooner.
Danelle Harmon (The Beloved One (The De Montforte Brothers, #2))
Oh please, Xairn. Please, no,” she whispered in a low, trembling voice. Clinging to him desperately, she buried her face in his neck. “Please…please don’t hurt me.” “You think I brought you here to torture you?” he demanded hoarsely. “To take pleasure in your pain?” “I…I don’t know.” The tears were coming now, hot and fast and there was nothing she could do to stop them. “Please, Xairn, please…” “I won’t hurt you,” he said roughly. “Lauren, look at me.” Reluctantly, she pulled her face away from his neck and looked up into those burning crimson eyes. “Yes?” “I won’t hurt you,” he repeated. “And I won’t let anyone else hurt you either.” “Not even your father?” she whispered. “Especially not him. I won’t let him have you.” His eyes blazed and a muscle in his jaw clenched. “And I won’t let him harm you.” “You…you won’t?” A rush of relief came over her so strongly she felt faint. “No.” Xairn shook his head grimly. “I don’t know how I am going to manage it, but I swear on my honor, I will take you away from this place unharmed and bring you back to your home planet. Do you understand?” “Oh Xairn!” She almost laughed through her tears. “I…I could just kiss you!” Throwing her arms around his neck she leaned forward impulsively and pressed her lips to his. They were surprisingly soft but before she could register much more, Xairn jerked away from the sudden contact. “Don’t.” His deep voice was harsh, strained. “Don’t ever do that again, Lauren. Or I can’t be responsible for the consequences. Do you understand?” Not really? Why did a simple kiss upset him so much? But she only nodded contritely. “I’m sorry. I’m just so glad. So glad you care about me enough to help me.” “Let
Evangeline Anderson (Sought (Brides of the Kindred, #3))
When I stepped out of the limo, I wasn’t alone. Demetri, Alec, their wives, Lincoln, Dani, Jay, Pris, all joined us and just when I thought I couldn’t be more surprised. An old blue station wagon parked next to us. And out stepped Fallon’s parents. Her dad looked unsure, and then he shrugged. “Had to see for myself.” I didn’t cry. I was not a crier. It was a waste. Most emotion always had been for me. But something broke inside me, or maybe, for the first time since I lost my grandma, something started working again. Tears welled in my eyes as he gave me a stern nod and then folded his arms and addressed the rest of the crew. “I brought my guns just in case.” Lincoln
Rachel Van Dyken (Keep (Seaside Pictures, #2))
Later that night Meridith was in her room working on Ben’s scrapbook when she heard a burst of laughter. Ben’s belly laughs drew her from her room, toward the steps. What she saw brought a bittersweet smile. Meridith lowered herself on an upper stair and peered through the oak spindles. Ben had Jake pinned to the rug and was tickling him. Jake moaned like he was in torture, which only made Ben laugh harder. She’d never seen the child so happy. He was small next to Jake’s mass, his wiry arms moving furiously, digging his fingers into Jake’s side. He twisted, straddling Jake. Jake groaned. “Help! Someone help!” Ben laughed. “You’re doomed! If I had my ropes, I’d tie you up and toss you off a cliff!” “No! Not that!” Meridith smiled around the tears that gathered in her eyes. She wondered if her father had tussled with Ben. He surely missed the interaction. And while she was grateful for Jake’s willingness to play with the boy . . . What would happen when the repairs were finished and Jake left? She saw how attached Ben had become to him. Her mind flashed back over the previous weeks to other occasions. Jake helping Noelle fix her bike chain, Jake and Max working on Max’s new boat model. Jake, Jake, Jake. He’d become a fixture around the house right under her nose. Worse, he’d become a friend. A friend the children would lose. The
Denise Hunter (Driftwood Lane (Nantucket, #4))
He wrapped his arms around her. “Have I told you today how happy I am that you gave up the good fight and moved back in with me?” “Not today,” she said, sucking in his sex-and-sin scent. “But last night you mentioned it quite a few times.” She’d tried for six weeks to live by herself in the apartment over Gracie’s garage, thinking she needed to experience life on her own before living with Mitch. She’d hated every minute of it. When she’d taken to sneaking into the farmhouse and crawling into bed with him in the middle of the night, he’d finally put his foot down. She sighed. Contentment had her curling deeper into his embrace. She didn’t care if it was wrong: Mitch and this farmhouse made her happy. “Maddie,” he said, his voice catching in a way that had her lifting her chin. “You know I love you.” “I know. I love you too.” His fingers brushed a lock of hair behind her chin. “Come with me.” He clasped her hand and led her into the bedroom before motioning her to the bed. She sat, and he walked over to the antique dresser and took a box out of the dresser. He walked back to the bed and sat down next to her. “I wanted to give this to you tonight, but then I saw you standing in the doorway and I knew I couldn’t wait.” Maddie looked at the box, it was wooden, etched with an intricate fleur-de-lis design on it and words in another language. “What is it?” “It was my grandmother’s. They bought it on their honeymoon. It’s French. It says, ‘There is only one happiness in life: to love and be loved.’” “It’s beautiful.” That he would give her something so treasured brought the threat of tears to her eyes. He handed it to her. “Open it.” She took the box and suddenly her heart started to pound. She lifted the lid and gasped, blinking as her vision blurred. Mitch grasped her left hand. “I know it’s only been three months, but in my family, meeting the night your car breaks down is a sign of a long, happy marriage.” Maddie couldn’t take her eyes off the ring. It was a gorgeous, simple platinum band with two small emerald stones flanking what had to be a three-carat rectangular diamond. She looked at Mitch. “Maddie Donovan, will you please marry me?” “Yes.” She kissed him, a soft, slow, drugging kiss filled with hope and promises. There was no hesitation. Not a seed of worry or shred of doubt. Her heart belonged to only one man, and he was right in front of her. “It would be my honor.” He slipped the ring on her finger. “My grandma would be thrilled that you have her ring.” “It’s hers?” It sparkled in the sunlight. It looked important on her hand. “It’s been in the family vault since she died. My mom sent it a couple of weeks ago. She’s been a little pushy about the whole thing. I think she’s worried I’ll do something to screw it up and she’ll lose the best daughter-in-law ever.” Maddie laughed. “I love her, too.” He ran his finger over the platinum band. “I changed the side stones to emeralds because they match your eyes. Do you think I made the right choice?” She put her hands on the sides of his face. “It is the most gorgeous ring I have ever laid eyes on. I love it. I love you. You know I’d take you with a plastic ring from Wal-Mart.” “I know.” She kissed him. “But I’m not going to lie: this is a kick-ass ring.” He grinned. “You know, I think that’s what my grandma used to say.” “She was obviously a smart woman.” “For the record, don’t even think about running.” Mitch pushed her back on the bed and captured her beneath him. “I will hunt you down to the ends of the earth and bring you back where you belong.” She reached for him, this man who’d been her salvation. “I will run down the aisle to meet you.
Jennifer Dawson (Take a Chance on Me (Something New, #1))
If you’re wanting to stand up, I could help you balance.” Her expression turned wary. “I’ve been trying to stand up for the past month. It hasn’t worked thus far.” “Would you like to try again?” he asked. She shook her head, as if she’d already given up. “My legs haven’t the strength.” “That isn’t what I asked.” She hesitated a moment but then nodded. Slowly, Iain lowered her, holding her by the waist as he brought her feet to stand upon the earthen floor. Her knees wouldn’t bear her weight and buckled beneath her, so he held her steady, using his strength to hold her upright. “Keep your legs straight, if you can. I’ll help support you until you’ve got your balance.” With both arms around her waist, he kept her upright, being careful not to let her slip. Once again, her legs crumpled beneath her, and he saw her emotions falter. She was afraid to trust herself. “I can’t do this.” “Look at me, Lady Rose,” he said. He held her waist, staring into her eyes. “Try again.” Gently, he eased his hands until she was standing on her own. For the barest second, she held her legs straight, until her knees gave out again and he caught her. “I won’t let you fall.” He pressed his hands against her waist until she regained her stability. This time, she stood for two seconds before her legs buckled. Tears rimmed her eyes, and he wondered for a moment if she was upset with herself. But then, she started to laugh through her tears. “I did it. I know it was only for a moment, but—” Her words broke off in a half sob before her laughter intruded again. The look of utter joy on her face was like a fist to his gut. Never before had he seen such elation, and he continued holding her upright. “I stood,” she managed to whisper, her smile incredulous. “After all these months, I did it. Yes, it was only for a second or two . . . but it was real, wasn’t it?” “It was, aye.” He suspected that it had drained a great deal of her strength away. He was supporting all her weight now, and she made no attempt to stand again. “In time, you’ll get stronger.” He lifted her back into his arms and brought her over to the bench. He eased her down into a seated position. “Do you know how long I’ve been trying to stand?” Rose rested her hands in his, holding both of his palms for a moment. The gentle pressure of her grip was a welcome affection, and he squeezed them in return. Her face flushed, as if she suddenly realized how inappropriate it was for them to hold hands. Her smile faded slightly, and she pulled back, folding her hands in her lap. She behaved as if nothing had happened and said, “If I can stand, I may learn to walk again.” “You’ll need to strengthen your legs.” She would have to keep practicing until they could bear her weight again. “Thank you for this, Lord Ashton. You cannot know how much this means to me.” He
Michelle Willingham (Good Earls Don't Lie)
heartful. PR: You really did it. Music is an amazing art, to me. I love to recount to myself the number of human beings it takes, each skilled in a different area, to make possible a symphony concert. The composers, and those who copied and preserved the compositions, the instrument makers, skilled at their crafts—tubas, trumpets, timpani, woodwinds, strings—the music teachers who taught the performers, the performers who studied their instruments and practiced and rehearsed, all the builders who erected the concert hall—carpenters, electricians, etc.—the architect who designed it, the conductor who studied, who learned the language of music, the languages of all the instruments, the members of the audience who bought tickets, got dressed, came to the concert hall to be transported, to be informed, by sound, came for an experience that had nothing to do with physical survival. Most amazing. Always makes me certain absolutely without doubt that something is going on with the human species, something good. Two heroes to me are my middle school music teacher and my son’s middle school music teacher. What courage! All those twelve- and thirteen-year-old children, each with a noise-making instrument in his hands and these two enormously courageous teachers are attempting to teach them how to make music together. At my son’s first sixthgrade band concert, the music teacher turned to the audience of glowing, proud parents and said, “I’m not certain what’s going to happen here, but I’m just hoping that we’ll all begin at the same time.” It brought tears to my eyes, literally. And they did it! One step forward, in my opinion, in understanding what it means to be human.
Pattiann Rogers (The Grand Array: Writings on Nature, Science, and Spirit)
One evening Steve and I didn’t feel like cooking, and we had ordered a pizza. I noticed that I was a bit leaky, but when you are enormously pregnant, all kinds of weird things happen with your body. I didn’t pay any particular attention. The next day I called the hospital.
“You should come right in,” the nurse told me over the phone. Steve was fairly nearby, on the Gold Coast south of Brisbane, filming bull sharks.
I won’t bother him, I thought. I’ll just go in for a quick checkup.
“If everything checks out okay,” I told them at the hospital, “I’ll just head back.”
The nurse looked to see if I was serious. She laughed. “You’re not going anywhere,” she said. “You’re having a baby.”
I called Steve. He came up from the Gold Coast as quickly as he could, after losing his car keys, not remembering where he parked, and forgetting which way home was in his excitement.
When he arrived at the hospital, I saw that he had brought the whole camera crew with him. John was just as flustered as anyone but suggested we film the event.
“It’s okay with me,” Steve said. I was in no mood to argue. I didn’t care if a spaceship landed on the hospital. Each contraction took every bit of my attention.
When they finally wheeled me into the delivery room at about eight o’clock that night, I was so tired I didn’t know how I could go on. Steve proved to be a great coach. He encouraged me as though it were a footy game.
“You can do it, babe,” he yelled. “Come on, push!”
At 9:46 p.m., a little head appeared. Steve was beside himself with excitement. I was in a fog, but I clearly remember the joy on his face. He helped turn and lift the baby out. I heard both Steve and doctor announce simultaneously, “It’s a girl.”
Six pounds and two ounces of little baby girl. She was early but she was fine. All pink and perfect.
Steve cut the umbilical cord and cradled her, gazing down at his newborn daughter. “Look, she’s our little Bindi.”
She was named after a crocodile at the zoo, and it also fit that the word “bindi” was Aboriginal for “young girl.” Here was our own young girl, our little Bindi.
I smiled up at Steve. “Bindi Sue,” I said, after his beloved dog, Sui.
Steve gently handed her to me. We both looked down at her in utter amazement. He suddenly scooped her up in the towels and blankets and bolted off.
“I’ve got a baby girl!” he yelled, as he headed down the hall. The doctor and midwives were still attending to me. After a while, one of the midwives said nervously, “So, is he coming back?”
I just laughed. I knew what Steve was doing. He was showing off his beautiful baby girl to the whole maternity ward, even though each and every new parent had their own bundle of joy. Steve was such a proud parent.
He came back and laid Bindi beside me. I said, “I couldn’t have done it if you hadn’t been here.”
“Yes, you could have.”
“No, I really needed you here.”
Once again, I had that overwhelming feeling that as long as we were together, everything would be safe and wonderful. I watched Bindi as she stared intently at her daddy with dark, piercing eyes. He gazed back at her and smiled, tears rolling down his cheeks, with such great love for his new daughter. The world had a brand-new wildlife warrior.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
When I went into the attic to find the veil for Rose, I discovered this painting,” she began. “This is your great-grandfather, the third Earl of Ashton.” He wasn’t certain what to make of it, but then the weight of her words struck him. She’d said it was his great-grandfather. “He had green eyes,” Moira whispered. “You can see it for yourself.” Iain accepted the portrait, and when he took a closer look at the man, his blood ran cold. It was like looking into a mirror. There was no doubt at all that he was a blood relation to this man. He set down the portrait, and the hair stood up on his arms. Moira spoke first. “You have to understand how broken I was after I was violated by a man who was not my husband. And because Aidan sought revenge, he died. I found myself with a living reminder of that night.” Tears rolled down her cheeks. “Every time I looked at you, I could only think of the violence. I couldn’t see that you were a gift that Aidan left to me, so I wouldn’t be alone.” Moira turned away, her shoulders slumped forward. He couldn’t answer her, though he knew what she was saying. She finished with, “There is nothing I can say to undo the years I mistreated you. I neglected the only son remaining to me. The last piece of my husband, because I was too blind to see the truth.” For a time, he was frozen, not knowing how to respond. He was the Earl of Ashton in truth. By blood and by birthright. “I will leave, if you ask it of me,” she whispered. “I deserve to be cast out for what I did.” A part of him wanted to lash out at her, for the years she’d made him feel like a shadow worth nothing at all. But what good would it do? She had aged into a fragile shell of a woman who had based her life upon misery and bitterness. He had Rose now, the woman he loved more than life itself. He had brought her here to help him rebuild Ashton . . . but perhaps she could help him rebuild more than the estate. With a heavy sigh, he placed his hand upon his mother’s shoulder. “Will you walk with me when I meet my bride?” Moira took his hand and pressed it to her forehead. Against his fingers, he felt the wetness of her tears. “I will, yes. Thank you.” It would take time to let go of the past. But it would begin with a single step.
Michelle Willingham (Good Earls Don't Lie)
Jack sat in the big chair in his room and said, “Come here,” to Mel. She went to him and he pulled her down onto his lap. “I have something for you.” He pulled a small box out of his pocket, shocking her into silence. It was definitely a ring box. “I don’t know how practical this is in a place like Virgin River. It might be a little fussy. But I couldn’t help myself. I want to give you everything—but this will have to do.” She opened the box to find a diamond ring so beautiful it brought tears to her eyes. It was a wide gold band with three large diamonds set in; classy and understated, yet very rich and unique. “Jack, what were you thinking? This is beautiful! The diamonds are huge!” “I understand if you can’t wear it often, given your work. And if you don’t like the design—” “Are you kidding? It’s gorgeous!” “I went ahead and got a band like it, no diamonds. Is that okay?” “Only perfect. Where in the world did you find this thing?” “Not the Virgin River jewelry store, that’s for sure. I had to drive over to the coast. Are you sure you like it?” She threw her arms around his neck. “You gave me a baby,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting this, too!” “I didn’t know I was giving you a baby,” he said, grinning. “This, I did on purpose.” She laughed at him and said, “People will think we’re uppity.” “Mel—I got it a while ago. When I first thought you might be pregnant. Probably before you did. Even if it had turned out you weren’t, I was set on this. This idea to marry you, to have my life with you… It’s not something I feel like I have to do. It’s what I want.” “God, how did this happen?” “I don’t care how,” he said. He
Robyn Carr (Virgin River (Virgin River, #1))
Temperature 55 degrees
“Remember how in Deerfield there was nobody to marry? Remember how Eliza married an Indian? Remember how Abigail even had to go and marry a French fur trader without teeth?”
Mercy had to laugh again. It was such a treat to laugh with English friends. “Your man doesn’t have teeth?”
“Pierre has all his teeth. In fact, he’s handsome, rich and an army officer. But what am I to do about the marriage?” Sarah was not laughing. She was shivering. “I do not want that life or that language, Mercy, and above all, I do not want that man. If I repeat wedding vows, they will count. If I have a wedding night, it will be real. I will have French babies and they will be Catholic and I will live here all my life.” Sarah rearranged her French scarf in a very French way and Mercy thought how much clothing mattered; how changed they were by what they put on their bodies.
“The Catholic church won’t make you,” said Mercy. “You can refuse.”
“How? Pierre has brought his fellow officers to see me. His family has met me and they like me. They know I have no dowry, but they are being very generous about their son’s choice. If I refuse to marry Pierre, he and the French family with whom I live will be publicly humiliated. I won’t get a second offer of marriage after mistreating this one. The French family will make me a servant. I will spend my life waiting on them, curtseying to them, and saying ‘Oui, madame.’”
“But surely ransom will come,” said Mercy.
“Maybe it will. But what if it does not?”
Mercy stared at her feet. Her leggings. Her moccasins. What if it does not? she thought. What if I spend my life in Kahnawake?
“What if I stay in Montreal all my life?” demanded Sarah. “A servant girl to enemies of England.”
The world asks too much of us, thought Mercy. But because she was practical and because there seemed no way out, she said, “Would this Frenchman treat you well?”
Sarah shrugged as Eben had over the gauntlet, except that when Eben shrugged, he looked Indian, and when Sarah shrugged, she looked French. “He thinks I am beautiful.”
“You are beautiful,” said Eben. He drew a deep breath to say something else, but Nistenha and Snow Walker arrived beside them. How reproachfully they looked at the captives. “The language of the people,” said Nistenha in Mohawk, “is sweeter to the ear when it does not mix with the language of the English.”
Mercy flushed. This was why she had not been taken to Montreal before. She would flee to the English and be homesick again. And it was so. How she wanted to stay with Eben and Sarah! They were older and would take care of her…but no. None of the captives possessed the freedom to choose anything or take care of anyone.
It turned out that Eben Nims believed otherwise.
Eben was looking at Sarah in the way every girl prays some boy will one day look at her. “I will marry you, Sarah,” said Eben. “I will be a good husband. A Puritan husband. Who will one day take us both back home.”
Wind shifted the lace of Sarah’s gown and the auburn of one loose curl.
“I love you, Sarah,” said Eben. “I’ve always loved you.”
Tears came to Sarah’s eyes: she who had not wept over her own family. She stood as if it had not occurred to her that she could be loved; that an English boy could adore her. “Oh, Eben!” she whispered. “Oh, yes, oh, thank you, I will marry you. But will they let us, Eben? We will need permission.”
“I’ll ask my father,” said Eben. “I’ll ask Father Meriel.”
They were not touching. They were yearning to touch, they were leaning forward, but they were holding back. Because it is wrong? wondered Mercy. Or because they know they will never get permission?
“My French family will put up a terrible fuss,” said Sarah anxiously. “Pierre might even summon his fellow officers and do something violent.”
Eben grinned. “Not if I have Huron warriors behind me.
Caroline B. Cooney (The Ransom of Mercy Carter)
At the hospital, an attendant brought down a wheelchair for me. Steve somehow managed, without a forklift, to get me out of the truck and into the wheelchair. The birth progressed a lot faster than it had with Bindi. I wasn’t worried because I had Steve with me, and I knew everything would be fine, as long as we were together.
I pushed like an Olympic baby pusher. I should have gotten the gold for my pushing. I think I pushed until I was nearly inside out.
The baby came. Steve said, “It’s a boy!” and brought him to me. I remember my son’s tiny pink mouth. He looked like a baby bird with his eyes closed and his mouth open. He immediately began feeding. Steve cried tears of joy.
Once we got settled, the proud papa headed for Sunshine Coast Grammar School to tell Bindi the news. “You’ve got a little brother,” he told her. Bindi was elated, in spite of the fact that she had spent every night saying her prayers for a little sister. Steve brought her to the hospital, where she took her little brother in her arms and looked at him lovingly.
“How do you know he’s a boy?” she asked.
“Bindi,” Thelma said, “they’re not born with clothes on.”
“I think I will name him Brian,” Bindi said.
“His name is Robert,” Steve told her.
“Oh, well,” Bindi said. “I’m going to call him Brian for short.”
It was a Sunday, December 1, 2003, and we had all just received the best Christmas present ever. Robert Clarence Irwin. Baby Bob.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
He brought the tray into the bedroom, then set it on the floor next to the bed. At Kellan’s perplexed expression, Vic jerked a thumb over his shoulder. “Hold on, I have to grab one more thing.”
Vic scurried to the living room then retrieved the item he wanted. As soon as Kellan’s gaze landed on the gift bag holding the stuffed wolf they’d bought at the market, he slapped a hand to his mouth, his eyes glittering, but happy. Vic sat on the bed and placed the bag next to the egg.
“For our baby. I’ll always protect and love them as I protect and love you.” Vic leaned over and kissed the top of the shell peeking out from under the blankets.
Kellan grabbed Vic’s hand, twining their fingers together. “I love you, Vic, my big bad wolf.” A lone tear slid down Kellan’s cheek, but his smile remained wide. “Merry Christmas.”
Vic pressed a kiss to Kellan’s palm. “Merry Christmas, sweetheart
M.M. Wilde (A Swan for Christmas (Vale Valley Season One, #4))
At the table, I was surprised to see my favorite kind of lasagna being served in a baking dish just like one of ours at home. When I mentioned this, Greta’s mom said that Marie had come over with it and brought some school clothes for me, as well. I guess my folks had just accepted the fact that I had left home for good. It hurt to think they would just let me go like that. I wondered what Marie had told Mrs. Mallard about my fight with my dad.
“Tomorrow morning, Greta and Albert and I will leave here at seven o’clock sharp,” Greta’s mom said to me. “I have to open the school office half an hour before the first bell, so we always leave early. Someone will pick you up at seven-thirty and drive you to your school, Lindsay.”
“I can walk,” I said. I didn’t want to see either of my parents.
“Well, I’ve been told that you don’t have your schoolbooks here. You left them at home. Of course, you will need them tomorrow, so it’s best you go along with this plan,” Mrs. Mallard replied.
Her words suddenly reminded me that I hadn’t done my homework. I could see that the next days were going to be hard. Our animals were in grave danger, we were breaking the law, and my parents didn’t seem to care that I’d moved out. I suddenly felt so terrible that a big lump formed in my throat, and I couldn’t swallow the lasagna. I held my glass of milk up to my mouth and pretended to drink, so that no one would notice my eyes were filling with tears. Luckily, I was saved when Greta’s mom mentioned that there was going to be a film about owls on TV.
“I think it’s about to start. Why don’t you girls take your plates into the living room and watch it?”
I was sure glad to leave the table before I made a fool of myself.
Hope Ryden (Backyard Rescue)
It brought tears to my eyes because, for the first time in my life, I was experiencing unconditional love.
Gail Theresa White (Expert Witness: Testimony of a Former 4th Generation Jehovah's Witness)
Hey,” I say, as I step into the circle of light he’s parked in.
“Hey,” he says back, his eyes roaming over my face.
I still haven’t looked in the mirror, because if I did I know I would have told him not to come. The nurses keep telling me it’s improving, but I’m nowhere near what I was the last time he saw me. I can part my hair so that the half that’s still growing in isn’t as obvious, but the stitches across my forehead can’t be hidden. So I don’t even try, instead meeting his eyes boldly.
“Shit, lady,” he says, his hands going to my face. He runs his thumb over the stitches softly, and I lean into his touch. “You look badass.”
“Badass, huh?” I say, a tear slipping down one cheek. He wipes it away without comment.
“Thought it’d be worse, after everything I heard.”
“And you still came?” I ask, wondering what he could have imagined that looked worse than I do now, yet still brought him here in the dark of night.
Mindy McGinnis (This Darkness Mine)
What are you wearing?” he asked me, gripping my cloak. He pulled it roughly from my shoulders, grabbing a section of my hair as well. I cried out as he yanked it. “Charles!” my mother exclaimed, reaching out for me. He pushed her easily aside. When he saw my simple green dress he sneered. “What is this?” “It’s just a dress,” she said quietly. “This is a peasant’s dress. What is she doing in a peasant’s dress, Evelyn?” “She saw one on a girl in the city once and she wanted to try one on. It was her birthday wish. That’s all.” He continued to glare at me, his eyes raking me over. “You look like a commoner. Like a whore. Is that what you want to be, Annabel Lee? A common whore?” Tears began to stream down my face. They flew off my cheeks as I shook my head violently. “No, father. No!” He brought his face down level to mine. I could see nothing but his eyes, I could smell nothing but his breath. Both were clean and hot. “Then you shouldn’t dress as one. Or I know some men who would love to treat you like one,” he growled. My breath froze in my throat. I couldn’t breathe or swallow. I could only nod my understanding. He straightened then threw my cloak across the room toward the fire. “Burn it,” he told my mother harshly. “And when you have her in her nightdress, burn the dress on her back. There’ll be no more of this. No more dinners out, no more playtime, no more dress up. She’s thirteen. It’s time she starts acting like a woman and fulfilling her duties as such.” When he left the room he took all of the air out with him. I collapsed in a heap on the floor, my face buried in my hands as hot tears scalded my cheeks. I was flushed with shame and embarrassment. I heard my mother take a shuddering breath then she was there beside me on the floor. She wrapped me up in her arms, rocking me as though I were a toddler, not a teenager. We never spoke a word of it. Hours later we were lying together in my bed, our hands clenched together tightly. By morning, my simple green joy was nothing but ash on the hearth. ***
Tracey Ward (Dissever)
The thought of what was happening to Queen nearly brought tears of frustration to my eyes. Never had I been so helpless to help a woman I loved, since the day my birth mother was killed. I’d vowed not to ever be in a position again where I couldn’t
Porscha Sterling (Us Against the World 2: Our Love is Forever)
Her heart heavy, she lay behind him on the small cot and snuggled close to his warm body. She shouldn’t be doing this. Christian would no doubt protest if he knew what she was about. Yet she couldn’t stop herself. She wanted to hold him. Needed to feel his strength with her body. She felt lost. Alone. She didn’t know what her future held anymore. Truthfully, that terrified her. Uncertainties assailed her in the darkness and brought tears to her eyes. “What’s to become of me?” she whispered as silent tears started falling. “I need guidance, Lord. Wisdom. My people need a queen who knows what she’s doing, not one who is lost and unsure.”
Suddenly she felt the strength of Christian’s hand on hers. She swallowed in trepidation as he lifted her hand to his lips and kissed it. She pulled back as Christian rolled over to face her.
“Don’t cry, Adara,” he whispered, wiping the tears from her cheeks. “I won’t let them hurt you or take your kingdom from you. I know what it’s like to be without a home and I will pledge my eternal soul that you will never know that feeling.”
His words only succeeded in making her cry more. Christian was at a loss as to how to cope with her tears. He’d never spent enough time with women to witness them often. The only woman he’d spent much time with was Mary, who had been a captive with them in the Holy Land. But Mary had never once wept. His stomach tightened in hopelessness. “Shhh,” he breathed, wiping her tears with his hand.
“I’m sorry,” she sobbed. “I don’t normally cry. I don’t. I’m j-just at a loss.”
“I’m so often at a loss that it seems my most natural state.” He couldn’t believe he’d confessed that to her. Even when he was at his most perplexed, he refused to allow anyone to know it.
“You’re just trying to make me feel better.”
“Nay, my lady. Truly. I am often baffled by life. Struck dumb, point of fact.”
-Adara & Christian
Kinley MacGregor (Return of the Warrior (Brotherhood of the Sword #6))
Is it like this everywhere you go?” Gary asked.
“Pretty much.” Savannah shrugged calmly. “I don’t really mind. Peter always—” She broke off abruptly and brought the steaming cup to her mouth.
Gregori could feel sorrow beating at her, a crushing stone weighing down her heart. His hand slipped down her arm to lace his fingers through hers. At once he poured warmth and comfort into her mind, the sensation of his arms around her body, holding her close. “Peter Sanders always took care of the details surrounding Savannah’s shows. He was very good at shielding her. He was murdered after her last show out in San Francisco.” He provided the information quietly to Gary.
“I’m sorry,” Gary said instantly, meaning it. Her distress was evident in her large blue eyes. They shimmered with sorrow.
Gregori brought Savannah’s hand to the warmth of his mouth, his breath heating the pulse beating in her wrist. The night is especially beautiful, mon petit amour. Your hero saved the girl, walks among the humans, and converses with a fool. That alone should bring a smile to your face. Do not weep for what we cannot change. We will make certain that this human with us comes to no harm.
Are you my hero, then? There were tears in her voice, in her mind, like an iridescent prism. She needed him, his comfort, his support under her terrible weight of guilt and love and loss.
Always, for all eternity, he answered instantly, without hesitation, his eyes hot mercury. He tipped her chin up so that she met the brilliance of his silver gaze. Always, mon amour.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
Halias looked up at our approach and rose to kneel at the bars, hooking his fingers through them. Miranna mirrored his position, grasping his hand, her upper lip trembling.
“Don’t be sad,” he murmured to her, brushing back her curly locks with his free hand. “It’s all right.”
“How can you say that?” she whispered, tears flowing freely. “You’re going to die and there’s nothing right about it.” Miranna closed her eyes, pressing her delicate face against his large palm. “How can I bear losing you?”
“Listen to me,” Halias said gently. “When the Overlord came, I escaped death. Now I’m going where I belong, with Destari and the rest of those men.”
“Don’t say that. You don’t belong in a grave. Those other men were murdered--they deserved life. You deserve life.”
“I’m sorry. But it is a noble death, Miranna. I’m not afraid. I’m doing this for you, and for all of Hytanica. How can that be a cause for sadness?”
“Because…” Miranna gave a small gasp in an attempt to control her weeping. “Because I love you.”
“It is because I love you that I can face tomorrow without regret.”
They sat together for what seemed like hours, until Miranna fell asleep, exhausted from sadness and tears. Temerson lifted her, cradling her against his chest.
“Thank you,” Halias said softly to me and to Narian. “If you hadn’t brought her, I don’t know how much strength I would have.”
Narian nodded, and I whispered my own “I’m sorry.” There were no other words that could convey what I was feeling. Bravery like his was rare, and somehow made it that much harder to meet his gaze.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
Rava approached Steldor and removed a dagger from a sheath at her hip. With her left hand, she smoothed the collar of his white shirt, then yanked the fabric away from his chest, slicing through it in a single motion. Spying the silver wolf’s head talisman that he always wore, she seized it, ripping it free of his neck.
“Whether for good luck or good fortune, you’ll have no need of this,” she sneered, dropping the pendant into a pouch that hung from her belt.
“I’m sorry it’s not strong enough to cover your stench,” he icily replied, for the mixture inside the talisman was the source of his rich, masculine scent.
Rava stared at Steldor, then stalked around him to tear the remnants of his shirt from his back, trying without success to strip him of his pride. She perused his muscular torso, and when she faced him once more, her eyes came to rest on the scar beneath his rib cage--the one that marked the life-threatening wound given to him by a Cokyrian blade--and placed the tip of the dagger she still held against it.
“Only slightly marred.” She traced the knife’s point along the jagged white line, leaving a trail of red. “I’ll see what I can do to change that.”
She tucked the weapon back into its sheath and gave a nod to the soldiers who had brought Steldor out of the Bastion. As they tied his wrists with rope, she went to the woman who had brought the box and lifted its lid. With a satisfied chuckle, she removed a whip more fearsome than any I had ever seen, cradling it like a mother would an infant, and the gathered throng fell silent. It was indeed rawhide, but uncoiled it reached four feet in length before meeting a silver ring, on the other end of which another two feet of metal-studded leather waited to strike. I looked to Narian and Cannan, and knew by both of their expressions that this was not what they had expected. Indeed, Rava purposefully made eye contact with Narian, her demeanor haughty, before returning her attention to her prey.
“On your knees,” Rava growled, dangling the whip in front of Steldor. He obeyed, his eyes never leaving her face, continuing to radiate strength and insolence.
“How can a flag be of consequence in a dead kingdom?” she taunted. “It is cloth. It is meaningless. And it can be burned.”
She ticked a finger for one of the many soldiers around us to come forward, and I recognized Saadi. He extended our rolled Hytanican flag, and Rava took it, letting it unfurl until the end touched the ground. She held out her other hand and Saadi passed her a lit torch, which she touched to the banner of my homeland, letting flames consume it. The courtyard’s white stone walkway would now and forever be scorched.
Steldor’s upper lip lifted away from his teeth, but aside from this snarl, he showed no reaction.
“Tell me, does it seem worth it to you to suffer this punishment for a rag?”
“Without question,” Steldor forcefully answered, and cheers rolled like thunder through the Hytanicans who had gathered to watch, sending chills down my spine.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
Tell me, does it seem worth it to you to suffer this punishment for a rag?”
“Without question,” Steldor forcefully answered, and cheers rolled like thunder through the Hytanicans who had gathered to watch, sending chills down my spine.
Rava’s lip curled into a sneer and she walked behind him, motioning to the Cokyrians holding the ropes to pull them tight, spreading his arms wide. With a swift and practiced motion, she raised the whip and brought it down hard upon his broad back, drawing blood with her first stroke, and gasps reverberated almost as loudly as had the cheers.
“Is it worth it?” she demanded.
“Yes,” he managed to answer, gritting his teeth against the pain.
She struck him twice more, and though I could hardly bear it, I forced myself to watch, the muscles of my back spasming as each stroke landed.
“Is it worth it?”
Once more she struck, and again, until the ragged flesh and sinew of Steldor’s back was coated with blood--blood that flowed so heavily it ran down his sides. Women in the crowd now wept openly, while men cursed and shouted. I took in a shaky breath, knowing only one lash remained. Steldor would survive, and so would I. So would we all.
Rava brought the whip down on Steldor for the sixth time, and his head hung forward. Was he still conscious? Or were the ropes around his wrists the only things keeping him from collapsing? Evidently wondering the same, Rava approached him and reached down, grasping a handful of his nearly black hair to pull his head up. His eyes were open, but barely focused.
“Tell me, boy. Is it worth it?” she said in a near whisper.
He smiled, revealing teeth smeared with blood from biting his tongue to hold back screams.
Rage marred Rava’s face at her inability to break him, and she brutally shoved his head down. Backing up, she uncoiled the whip that was supposed to have retired, and flayed him again, more viciously than before. Steldor cried out this time, the sound tearing at my heart, and when the soldiers dropped the ropes, he crumpled forward. Knowing he had to be in tremendous pain, I was thankful for the respite the darkness would provide. Silence now reigned around us--no voices, no movements, hardly any breathing. It felt like the world had temporarily been turned to stone.
Rava handed the whip to another soldier and stalked back toward the Bastion without a glance or word for anyone. She was cruel and heartless and arrogant, and hatred for her boiled within me as I watched the Cokyrians remove the ropes from Steldor’s wrists. They hauled him up by his arms and dragged him inside, leaving a crimson trail on the white walk.
The rest of us followed, and I glanced at Cannan, who had managed more stoicism during the proceeding than had I. He had been witness to greater brutality during both wars with Cokyri, but I knew he would have willingly taken his son’s punishment in his stead. After seeing him in the cave, holding and protecting Steldor when we’d all feared the King’s death, I knew that beneath his strength and bravery, he ached.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
Despite the brightness of the sun, I shivered in the brisk November air, for I had not taken a cloak with me when I had left my parlor. As if by magic, one fell about my shoulders, and I knew without looking that Narian had joined us. His mere presence bolstered my courage and brought my thoughts into focus. I scanned the throng of eager Hytanicans, some of whom were gathered inside the Central Courtyard with more outside its walls, then raised my hands to quiet them. Taking a deep breath, I began to speak.
“Spread the word. Tell your families and friends. Let it be known across the Recorah River Valley that I am proud to be Queen of this Kingdom of Hytanica!”
Cheers exploded, rising and falling in waves, and I let myself enjoy the sights and sounds of victory for several minutes. Then I once more raised my hands to quell the crowd.
“Be it known that Commander Narian stands with me as a loyal citizen of Hytanica. Without him, I would not have been able to travel to Cokyri and safely return. And without him, I would not have been able to begin negotiations for lasting peace with the High Priestess. I believe a trade treaty that is fair for both of our countries will soon be signed. Regardless, we stand here now and forevermore as a people free of Cokyrian rule.”
Jubilant shouts greeted these words, and I took Narian’s hand in mine, raising it high into the air. The people did not know that we were in love. They did not know that we were bound to each other according to Cokyrian custom and would soon be joined in marriage under Hytanican law. But this was a step forward, and that was enough for now.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my mother appear at Narian’s other side to likewise take his hand and hold it aloft in a show of support. When the rest of my family followed her lead, my father next to my mother, Miranna and Temerson at my side, tears spilled down my cheeks. I met Narian’s mystified blue eyes and smiled, then gazed out at our people, a member of a united royal family, the man I loved among us.
When the noise had subsided, I addressed the sorrow that hid beneath the joy, for it was essential to pay tribute to those who had fought bravely and tirelessly, but had not lived to see this day.
“We all know the terrible price that was paid for our freedom. Remember those who died in the war. Honor them in your hearts, and join with me in honoring them with a memorial on the palace grounds. Let those who gave their lives for this kingdom never be forgotten.” I paused, permitting a moment of silence for our lost loved ones, then finished, “Embrace your families. Return to your homes. And know that you go in peace.”
This received perhaps the greatest response of anything I had said, and to the tumultuous cries of my tired but elated people, Narian and I reentered the palace.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
Healing Scriptures My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Proverbs 4:20-22 Behold, I will bring health and cure, and I will heal them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth. Jeremiah 33:6 …Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee. 2 Kings 20:5 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It will be health (medicine) to thy navel, and marrow (refreshment) to thy bones. Proverbs 3:7,8 And ye shall serve the Lord your god, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness from the midst of thee. Exodus 23:25 Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid hands on every one of them, and healed them. Luke 4:40 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
Norvel Hayes (What to Do for Healing)
again—“Are you going home for Christmas?”—and asked it in some sort of way that brought tears to my eyes and made it almost unnecessary for him to move on to his answer to the question, which was that home, finally, is the manger in Bethlehem, the place where at midnight even the oxen kneel.
Frederick Buechner (The Longing for Home: Reflections at Midlife)
I love YHWH, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of YHWH; O YHWH, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is YHWH, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. YHWH preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for YHWH hath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before YHWH in the land of the living.
William Struse (The 13th Symbol: Rise of the Enlightened One (The Thirteenth, #3))
The sight of Marley so uncharacteristically guarding us like that, so majestically fierce, brought tears to my eyes. Man’s best friend? Damn straight he was.
Today was a day to face that very temptation. A family who had become dear friends had left the church with no warning or explanation. Not even good bye. When they were missing on that first Sunday, we didn’t realize that they had removed themselves from our church. We thought maybe someone was sick or an alarm clock didn’t go off or something simple. If it had been something serious, they would have called us, of course. We had done so much for them and with them. We rejoiced when they rejoiced, we cried when they cried, we prayed with them, we prayed for them, we loved them and felt as if they loved us in return. Of course, one Sunday turned to two, and then three. I mentioned to Michael that I had called and left a message. He told me that he had the same thought as well. He had left a message and sent a card. We felt sad as the realization sank in: they had left the church. People don’t know how to leave a church, and many pastors don’t take such a loss graciously. In all our determinations about pastoring, we had considered the possibility of losing members, but this family was the first. It was time for a lesson for all of us, and I felt the Lord tugging at my spirit. I was to take the first step. Sunday afternoon, Michael taking a nap, kids playing games in their room... Now was as good a time as any. I got into my car and headed toward their house. Suddenly nervous, I sat in the driveway for a minute at first. What was I doing here again? Pastor’s wives don’t do this. I had been around pastor’s wives all my life. Since sensing my call to full time ministry at eighteen, I had been paying close attention to them, and I had never seen one of them do this. I got my words together. I needed an eloquent prayer for such a moment as this one: “Lord, help” (okay, so it wasn’t eloquent). I remembered a verse in Jeremiah: “I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings” (17:10). The Lord knew my heart, and He understood. In this situation, I knew that I had opened myself up to Him. In this situation, I knew that my heart was pure before Him. All of a sudden, my courage returned. I opened the car door and willed myself toward the front porch. As I walked up the driveway, I also thought about Paul’s warning which I had read earlier that morning: “they failed to reach their goal... because their minds were fixed on what they achieved instead of what they believed” (Romans 9:31-32). This family was not my achievement; they were the Lord’s creation. What I believed was that I had been right in opening my heart to them. What I believed was that Michael and I had been faithful to the Lord and that we had helped this family while they were in our flock. I had not failed to reach my goal thus far, and I felt determined not to fail now. This front porch was not unfamiliar to me. I had been here before on many occasions, with my husband and children. Happy times: dinners, cook-outs, birthdays, engagement announcements, births.... Sad times as well: teenaged child rebelling, financial struggles, hospital stays or even death .... We had been invited to share heartache and joy alike. No, “invited” is the wrong word. We were needed. We were family, and family comes together at such times. This afternoon, however, was different. I was standing on this familiar front porch for a reason that had never brought me here before: I came to say good bye. On this front porch, I knocked on the door. This family had been with us for years, and we had been with them. Remembering how this family had helped and blessed our congregation, I quietly smiled. Remembering how they had enriched our personal lives with their friendship and encouragement, I could feel the tears burning behind my eyes. We would miss them. Remembering all that we had done for them, I wondered how they could leave with no word or even warning. Just stopped coming. Just
Jennifer Spivey (Esther: Reflections From An Unexpected Life)
I didn't even know I could feel that way, that I could be filled with a longing so raw ad unexpected that it brought tears to my eyes.
tiny seed of doubt sprouting inside her gut. Could this life-altering affair be nothing more than a one-sided mirage? She couldn’t keep her journalistic instincts from attempting to connect dots. She recalled every possible aversion of her lover’s eyes, each word of affirmation that may not have been as sincere and heartfelt as the previous. And now this. Karina released an audible breath and brought her hand to her head. She felt the sharp edge of her one-quarter-karat, pear-shaped diamond engagement ring, and thought about Reinaldo, her Brazilian husband of the last ten years. There had been some good times … moments she’d always remember. But as she recalled the hikes up Pikes Peak, the mountainous bike rides, and games of pool while drinking a few beers, she admitted that Reinaldo had been nothing more than a friend—a convenient friend at that. But one who had helped her produce two kids, two adorable little rug rats. Would they ever look at Mommy the same way, if they found out who the real Karina was? When they found out. Karina couldn’t let her insecurities question her new path in life—a path she’d ignored far too long. Determined to make this relationship work, her mind sharpened, and she leaned over the side of the bed and snatched her smartphone from the back pocket of her khakis. No sweet text messages. She licked her lips, then scrolled to her contacts and tapped the cell number. “Hi, Karina. Miss me already?” the voice on the other end asked. Karina couldn’t help but smile. “I just wanted to hear your voice again before I packed up my things and strolled back into my old life.” “I know what you mean,” Karina’s lover said. “You don’t have a spouse and two kids,” Karina said with a tone more harsh than she’d intended. “Oh, sorry.” “Not a problem. I get it. I really do.” A wave of emotion overcame Karina. A single tear bubbled out of the corner of her eye and she sniffled. “Are you okay, dear?” “I …” “You can tell me, Karina. We share everything.” “I just wanted our evening together to be special. You mean so much to me … how I see myself. How I see our future.” “I’m so sorry my work got in our way. Just know that you hold a special place in my heart.” Karina could hear sincerity, which warmed her heart. “I love you.” “I love you too, Karina.” Muffled sounds broke Karina’s concentration. Was that another person’s voice? “What was that noise? Where are you?” Tension rippled up her spine. “Oh, I just walked in my door. I’m exhausted, dear. Let’s make plans for early next week. We can both relax and have some fun at my new place. We can talk about our future.” The pressure in Karina’s head eased. They kissed into
John W. Mefford (Fatal Greed (Greed, #1))
You’re not excused.” She stands there, clearly unsure what to do. How far to push me. So I push her instead. “I need you to get back on your knees and clean my dick.” Tears have wet the skin around her eyes when she slowly turns her face to me. I watch her. I sip my drink. I’m an asshole, I know. But I can’t be anything else. She can’t be anything else than the thing I brought her here to be. “Clean your own fucking dick, Killian Black.” With that, she pulls the door open and rushes from the library and I laugh. I laugh so hard, I double over with it. So fucking hard, I almost spit the whiskey out of my mouth.
Natasha Knight (Captive Beauty)
Yes, you are. That shit written all over your face. You been trying to get some of this dick for months now, so don’t act scared now,” Jah said, kissing my lips one final time. Jah grabbed my hands and interlocked them with his as he held them up above my head. I looked at him, scared for my life as I watched him slowly try to work his dick inside of me. It hurt so badly, causing a lone tear to fall from my eyes that Jah quickly kissed away. To keep my mind off of the pain, Jah brought his lips to mine and I whimpered against them, still feeling the pain. “Hmmm, Jahh,” I cried against his lips as he worked his pelvis into my body. Jah began to make slow, circular grinds that were beginning to feel good now. I was no longer crying as I hungrily kissed him. “It feel better now, baby?” Jah asked me. The way he called me baby caused a flow of juices to come out of my body. I didn’t even think that I could get any wetter for him than I already was. I nodded my head yes because I couldn’t find the words to answer him right away. Jah removed his hands from over my head and brought his hands to my knees, spreading my legs as far as they could go, stroking me deeper. “It’s so wet and tight, baby,” Jah grunted as he made love to my body. The look on his face was as if he were in heaven and he had never experienced a feeling so good before. When he pulled my legs up, putting them behind my head, I started moaning like crazy because I could feel all of the pressure now. “Ohh Jahh. Ohh Jahhh,” I moaned repeatedly as tears of pleasure seeped out of my eyes. “I swear I will kill over this pussy, Antonia. You’re mine now! You understand that?” Jah asked me, sinking his hips deeper into me. “Ohhh,” I screamed as he continued to work me. “Answer my question, Antonia!” Jah said, slapping me hard on my thigh. “Yes, I understand” I moaned. “Godddd, I’m cumming,
Diamond D. Johnson (Little Miami Girl: Antonia and Jahiem's Love Story)
When my lips touched her face, my grandmother’s hands quivered and a long shudder ran through her whole body – possibly an automatic reflex, or perhaps it is that certain forms of affection are hypersensitive enough to recognize through the veil of unconsciousness what they scarcely need the senses to enable them to love. Suddenly my grandmother started up, made a violent effort, like someone struggling to hold on to her life. Françoise was unable to offer any resistance to the sight of this and burst out sobbing. Remembering what the doctor had said, I tried to make her leave the room. At that moment my grandmother opened her eyes. I hurriedly thrust myself in front of Françoise to hide her tears while my parents were speaking to the dying woman. The hissing drone of oxygen had stopped; the doctor moved away from the bedside. My grandmother was dead.
A few hours later, Françoise was able for the last time, and without causing pain, to comb that beautiful hair which was only slightly greying and had thus far seemed much younger than my grandmother herself. But this was now reversed: the hair was the only feature to set the crown of age on a face grown young again, free of the wrinkles, the shrinkage, the puffiness, the tensions, the sagging flesh which pain had brought to it for so long. As in the distant days when her parents had chosen a husband for her, her features were delicately traced by purity and submission, her cheeks glowed with a chaste expectation, a dream of happiness, an innocent gaiety even, which the years had gradually destroyed. As it ebbed from her, life had borne away its disillusions. A smile seemed to hover on my grandmother’s lips. On that funeral couch, death, like a sculptor of the Middle Ages, had laid her to rest with the face of a young girl.
Marcel Proust (The Guermantes Way)
No, little one, after giving it thought, I cannot say I would have been happy had you been feeding.”
“Isn’t that what I’m supposed to do? A Carpathian woman preys on unsuspecting humans.” There was an edge of unshed tears in her voice.
Mikhail carried the water to the side of the bed and knelt down in front of her. “I am trying to understand my feelings, Raven, and they do not make sense.” Very gently he began to bathe her feet. “More than anything I want your happiness. But I feel the need to protect you.” His hands were gentle, his touch tender, as he removed every speck of earth.
Raven ducked her head, rubbing her temples. “I know you do, Mikhail, and I even understand to a point your need to do it, but I am always going to be me. I’m impulsive, I do things. I decide I want to fly a kite, and the next thing I know, I’m doing it.”
He inclined his head, but then shook it. “I understand and yet I do not. I asked for time to come to grips with my terrible fear for your safety.” His voice was so incredibly gentle, it brought tears to her eyes. “Why did you not simply wait inside until I returned?”
She touched his coffee-colored hair with her fingertips, felt an ache in her throat. “I wanted to go outside on the porch for fresh air. I had no other thought, but the night just called to me. I’m not feeling very confident in myself right now, Mikhail. I don’t expect someone like you--someone always sure of his actions--to understand, but I needed to feel in control.”
Mikhail glanced up at her, his dark eyes warm with his feelings for her. “It was my mistake; I should have realized your needs and anticipated them. Knowing you were alone, I should have set better safeguards to protect you.”
“Mikhail, I am capable of looking after myself.” Her blue eyes were very earnest, impressing on him the truth of her words. He really didn’t need to worry.
Mikhail did his best to keep from smiling.
Christine Feehan (Dark Prince (Dark, #1))
See, I appreciate that you are losing your productive time to show me the positive direction & thoughts. But why you are thinking that I’m a full package of negativity? Why? You know that I’m at my work place? What kind of projects I’m working on? I have not permission to disclose this information to my family too; that’s what I can tell it to you. I left your chance for these projects. Let’s come to your every advice:
1. I believe in women helping each other feel good about themselves instead of trying to compete
Answer: If you are thinking that I’m competing with other women then it’s absolutely wrong my dear. You tell me a single example at your work place to whom I had not supported. You are absolutely taking me wrong. Now I’m crying because why people are not getting me properly. You are here who is treating me so differently. You are not understanding the point I think so. What do you think that in my whole life Shall I not ask for money? Let the world take me for granted? After 5-6 year of experience, Should I remain quiet only? You were giving me the examples of development & negotiations to others? To whom you have paid much higher & satisfactory. I didn’t had problem about that. But somewhere I thought that I was dying over there. Leave about the talent, because according to you, I’ve been proven already ….& so much bad.
I don’t like to discuss bad things about the people; I remains silent that doesn’t mean you are taking me like anything. Your concerned person told me everybody’s salary. On that day I was cried a lot. I remember that day now also. I let it go. I observe the deserving factor about the surrounding. I was depressed a lot. I suffered that situation near about 5-6 months. I didn’t want to trouble you in case of finance because I was connected to market situation somehow. I thought that quitting will save you. I’ll get my hike & you will get your favorite candidate on that place. You were also happy with that candidate & you also wanted to promote. So I thought as it is my existence is not matter at all to that place at all. Better to move on. But on other side I knew that you will not let me leave easily or you may not need me at all. Who knows? I didn’t know? I shared that thing with my work team & nobody other than them. I loved that people a lot, I never mind anyone’s talk, if anybody did a good job then I was the person over there who brought cadbury, chocolates for them. I never hide a single thing from them. I love them as a friend, sister, mother & even one day your head of that department gossiped about me with the help of another person, when I come to know that thing I called him & asked him the reason. There was tears in my eyes while asking, that was the return of my love to him. After 1-1.5 month I took a heavy decision. That was not easy for me. But ask every person at your place about me that I have ever tried to compete with them? Not co-operate them? Whoever they may be. Either women or men. Even I had given instructions to women about the common sensed toilet hygiene too. Please dear, don’t put the un-necessary blames. I’m kind, love you that doesn’t mean that you can say anything. I have a competitive spirit about my work, not for the other men or women. Please clean up this point dear.
See, I appreciate that you are losing your productive time to show me the positive direction & thoughts. But why you are thinking that I’m a full package of negativity? Why? You know that I’m at my work place? What kind of projects I’m working on? I have not permission to disclose this information to my family too; that’s what I can tell it to you. I left your chance for these projects. Let’s come to your every advice:
1. I believe in women helping each other feel good about themselves instead of trying to compete
Answer: If you are thinking that I’m competing with other women then it’s absolutely wrong. You tell me a single example at your work place to whom I had not supported. You are absolutely taking me wrong. Now I’m crying because why people are not getting me properly. You are here who is treating me so differently. You are not understanding the point I think so. What do you think that in my whole life Shall I not ask for money? Let the world take me for granted? After 5-6 year of experience, Should I remain quiet only? You were giving me the examples of development & negotiations to others? To whom you have paid much higher & satisfactory. I didn’t had problem about that. But somewhere I thought that I was dying over there. Leave about the talent, because according to you, I’ve been proven already ….& so much bad.
I don’t like to discuss bad things about the people; I remains silent that doesn’t mean you are taking me like anything. Your concerned person told me everybody’s salary. On that day I was cried a lot. I remember that day now also. I let it go. I observe the deserving factor about the surrounding. I was depressed a lot. I suffered that situation near about 5-6 months. I didn’t want to trouble you in case of finance because I was connected to market situation somehow. I thought that quitting will save you. I’ll get my hike & you will get your favorite candidate on that place. You were also happy with that candidate & you also wanted to promote. So I thought as it is my existence is not matter at all to that place at all. Better to move on. But on other side I knew that you will not let me leave easily or you may not need me at all. Who knows? I didn’t know? I shared that thing with my work team & nobody other than them. I loved that people a lot, I never mind anyone’s talk, if anybody did a good job then I was the person over there who brought Cadbury, chocolates for them. I never hide a single thing from them. I love them as a friend, sister, mother & even one day your head of that department gossiped about me with the help of another person, when I come to know that thing I called him & asked him the reason. There was tears in my eyes while asking, that was the return of my love to him. After 1-1.5 month I took a heavy decision. That was not easy for me. But ask every person at your place about me that I have ever tried to compete with them? Not co-operate them? Whoever they may be. Either women or men. Even I had given instructions to women about the common sensed toilet hygiene too. Please dear, don’t put the un-necessary blames. I’m kind, love you that doesn’t mean that you can say anything. I have a competitive spirit about my work, not for the other men or women. Please clean up this point.
We could have waited to conceive until I’d had time to become more familiar with Carpathian ways, but that would have taken more time than you have. You’re far more than a close friend to us--you’re family, a part of our hearts. We weren’t willing to risk losing you. 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.
Shea was astonished that a man so powerful, obviously such a leader as Mikhail, could calmly allow another man to snarl at him and rebuke him as Gregori had. She was beginning to suspect that Jacques’ brother was a man of strong character, and the love and emotion apparent in both him and Raven brought tears to her eyes. This was Jacques’ family, his legacy, and there was real love, real affection, among them, making them capable of great sacrifice. She slipped her hand into Jacques’ and clung to him, feeling she had something in common with Raven.
Raven’s blue eyes were steady on Gregori. “If you wish to examine me to determine the sex of the child, you may do so.” Her chin lifted. “But as you wish me to accept you for yourself, for your predatory nature, you must accept me as I am. My heart and soul may be Carpathian, but my mind is human. I will not be put on a shelf somewhere because you or my husband deems it necessary. Human women moved out of the dark ages a long time ago. My place is with Mikhail, and I must make my own decisions. If you feel the need to add your protection to Mikhail’s, I will be most grateful.
Christine Feehan (Dark Desire (Dark, #2))
The seamen lowered a jar and brought up in it water that was not salt; it was Nile water and tasted of the mud of Egypt. No wine ever tasted so delectable to me as this muddy water, hauled up so far from land.
Kaptah said, “Water is always water, even in the Nile. Have patience, lord, until we find an honest tavern where the beer is clear and foaming, so that a man need not suck it through a straw to avoid the husks of grain. Then and then only shall I know that I am home.”
His godless talk jarred on me, and I said, “Once a slave always a slave, even when he is robed in fine wool. Have patience, Kaptah, until I find a flexible cane—such a one as can be cut only in the reed swamps of the Nile—and then, indeed, you shall know that you are home.”
He was not offended, but his eyes filled with tears, his chin quivered, and he bowed before me, stretching forth his hands at knee level.
“Truly, lord, you have the gift of hitting upon the right word at the right moment, for I had already forgotten how sweet is the caress of a slender cane on the legs and backside. Ah, my lord Sinuhe, it is an experience that I wish that you also might share. Better than water or beer, better than incense, better than wild duck among the reeds—more eloquently than these does it speak of life in Egypt, where each fills his proper place and nothing changes. Do not wonder if in my emotion I weep, for only now do I feel that I am coming home after seeing much that is alien and perplexing and contemptible. O blessed cane that sets each in his proper place and resolves all problems, there is none like you!
Mika Waltari (The Egyptian)
At that time Hezekiah became sick and died, and Isaiah the prophet of the son of Amos came to him and said to him, "The word of the LORD, clean up your house, and you will die and you will not live."
2.Hezekiah turned to a strange wall and prayed to the Lord, saying,
3. I ask of you, Lord, remember that I walked before you with truth and whole heart, and that you did good in your eyes. Hezekiah was very weeping.
4. Before Isaiah even reached the middle of the city, the word of the LORD came to him and said,
5.Go back and say to Hezekiah, the Sovereign of my people, saying, The word of the LORD, the God of King David, I have heard your prayers, and I have seen your tears; I will heal you, and in three days you will go to the temple of the LORD.
해당업체들에서는 각각 해당 장,단점이 존재하기 때문에 무엇이 어디가 좋고 옳고 그렇다고 판단하기는 조금 곤난하지 않나 싶습니다.
지금까지 단 한번의 가품으로 스캔들 난적도 없을뿐더러, 사고율 0% 재구매율 1등 추천율 1등 합리적인 패키지 가격으로 믿음과 신뢰가 두터운 업체 입니다.
패키지 상품의 다양성으로 고객님들의 선택지가 굉장히 많습니다
첫째, 안전하게 뽁뽁이로 처리해서 포장해드립니다.
둘째, 2중 안전 비닐로 포장해 드립니다.
셋째, 박스에 안전하게 넣어드립니다.
넷째, 물품명을 기입하지 않으며, 문구용품이나 기타용품으로 기입되어 발송됩니다
이렇게 저희쪽은 이용안내 배송 시스템이 안전하고 시크릿하기 때문에 고객여러분들께서는 혹시나 누가 알게 될까봐 하는 조바심은 가지시지 않으셔도 됩니다.
6.I will add fifteen years to your day, and I will save you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will protect this city, for I am for my servant, and for my servant David.
7.Isaiah said to him, Bring the fig dough, but the crowd took it and put it on the wound.
8.Hezekiah said to Isaiah, "What signs are there that the Lord will heal me and bring me to the temple of the LORD in three days?
9.Isaiah said, ``Will there be a sign from the Lord to the king about what he will do to fulfill the word of the LORD?
10. Hezekiah replied, "It is easy for the shadow to go through the decades, not so, but the decades will fall back.
11.The prophet Isaiah begged the LORD, and the shadow of the sun that came upon Ahaz' sundial was brought back ten degrees.
With a quick glance into the room, noting the inquiring faces, Lydia reached out for Robert's waistcoat and slowly pulled him into the shadows. "There is one matter that counts above all else. Do you love me?"
This time, there was no hesitation. "With all my heart, until the day I die, and beyond, if there is an afterlife."
A flood of relief washed over Lydia, leaving her speechless... for all of a moment. "Then, I will marry you, if you will ask."
Before he had a chance to say anything, Lydia leaned forward. She wrapped her arms around his neck and lifted her mouth to his. She could feel his heart pounding out a quick-time rhythm as he slipped his arms around her waist and pulled her closer.
When their lips met, she thought her insides would melt into a puddle of ecstasy. Filled with a delicious, undefined longing, Lydia leaned in closer, wishing that she could stay locked in his arms forever. But all too soon, Robert lifted his head, taking a ragged breath.
"Lydia, my dove?"
"I have just thoroughly compromised you."
"Thoroughly...what ever shall we do?"
"We will have to announce our intention this very evening -- before there is any hint of a scandal."
"Excellent idea. What are our intentions?"
Robert chuckled and leaner over to kiss her forehead, but Lydia lifted herself up on her toes, initiating another session of excellent compromising.
"Lydia, my dove?" Robert said again eventually.
"Will you grant me the great privilege of your hand in marriage?"
Lydia closed her eyes and savored his proposal---the offer of a union for life. Exquisite joy, overwhelming and eternal, filled her to the brim; the sensation was so marvelous that she forgot to breathe for a time.
The air around them stilled, as did Robert. He was waiting. How could he not know her answer? She had encouraged the proposal. And still he waited.
Lydia opened her eyes and grinned. "I would be honored."
The relief on his face nearly brought tears to her eyes. She lifted her hand and cupped his chin. "I would be honored," she repeated. "I love you so very much."
As her future husband lowered his head once again, Lydia sighed dreamily. "We should go in," she whispered, tightening her hold, preventing him from going anywhere.
"Absolutely," he said, nibbling at her lower lip.
All thoughts of ballrooms and inquisitive glances were instantly drowned by the flow of marvelous sensations coursing through her body and a sudden desire to drag Robert deeper into the shadows.
They would go back into the ballroom soon...but not yet.
Cindy Anstey (Duels & Deception)
An astoundingly perfect black void sat where the sun had been, surrounded by a jagged white nimbus of light that nearly brought me to tears. This was the solar corona, the hot outer edges of the sun's atmosphere that drive a flood of particles into space and generate a phenomenon known as a stellar wind, a key property of how our sun and other stars evolve. I had studied this particular aspect of stars for almost my entire life, using a dozen of the best telescopes in the world, but this was the first time I could see a star's wind with my own naked-eye. Around us, the sky was a strangely uniform dome of sunsets in every direction, and the warmth of sunlight had been replaced by an almost primal up-the-neck chill. It felt like the planet itself had been put on pause at this particular place and moment in time, a frozen moment of "look.
Emily M. Levesque (The Last Stargazers: The Enduring Story of Astronomy's Vanishing Explorers)
Gemini took a step forward. “Aric, just ask her,” he said quietly. My sisters and friends gathered around us as Aric slowly fell to one knee. For a moment, he simply stared. But when he spoke, I could sense his devotion in every word. “Celia, you have been my princess since the first time I saw you. Now, I’d like you to be my queen for the rest of our lives. Will you marry me?” Big giant tears rolled down my long, fuzzy face. “Scratch once for yes, twice for no!” Bren yelled. I thought I’d always be ready to hear those words. And there I was, a damn horse. So instead of allowing this moment to be robbed from me, I closed my eyes and took in everything that was Aric—his scent, warmth, love, and all that had brought us together. Someone threw the quilt around me as I felt my body shrink and my bare feet slide along the sandy beach. For the first time, I’d managed to reclaim my human form following an accidental change, and I welcomed it for everything it allowed. Aric tucked the quilt around my naked skin and drew me to him, waiting patiently for me to answer. The lump in my throat tightened. After all the times I thought I’d lost him, was this really happening? It took the soft graze of his knuckles against my cheek to assure me this was more than a dream. My body trembled and so did my voice. “Yes,” I managed. Everyone assembled cheered when Aric kissed me, including Heidi, who changed from her white wolf form to stand beside her mate, Danny. Unlike me and being were, Heidi didn’t mind
Cecy Robson (A Cursed Bloodline (Weird Girls #4))
Was there anything in it?” she asked, not bothering to wipe the tear tracing the rim of her nose. “Our summer here, all those long walks and even longer conversations? When you kissed me that night, did it mean anything to you?”
When he did not answer, she took three paces in his direction. “I know how proud you must be of those enigmatic silences, but I believe I deserve an answer.”
She stood between his icy silence and the heated aura of the fire. Scorched on one side, bitterly cold on the other— like a slice of toast someone had forgotten to turn.
“What sort of answer would you like to hear?”
“An honest one.”
“Are you certain? It’s my experience that young ladies vastly prefer fictions. Little stories, like Portia’s gothic novel.”
“I am as fond of a good tale as anyone,” she replied, “but in this instance, I wish to know the truth.”
“So you say. Let us try an experiment, shall we?” He rose from his chair and sauntered toward her, his expression one of jaded languor. His every movement a negotiation between aristocratic grace and sheer brute strength. Power. He radiated power in every form— physical, intellectual, sensual— and he knew it. He knew that she sensed it. The fire was unbearably warm now. Blistering, really. Sweat beaded at her hairline, but Cecily would not retreat.
“I could tell you,” he said darkly, seductively, “that I kissed you that night because I was desperate with love for you, overcome with passion, and that the color of my ardor has only deepened with time and separation. And that when I lay on a battlefield bleeding my guts out, surrounded by meaningless death and destruction, I remembered that kiss and was able to believe that there was something of innocence and beauty in this world, and it was you.” He took her hand and brought it to his lips. Almost. Warm breath caressed her fingertips. “Do you like that answer?”
She gave a breathless nod. She was a fool; she couldn’t help it.
“You see?” He kissed her fingers. “Young ladies prefer fictions.”
“You are a cad.” Cecily wrenched her hand away and balled it into a fist. “An arrogant, insufferable cad.”
“Yes, yes. Now we come to the truth. Shall I give you an honest answer, then? That I kissed you that night for no other reason than that you looked uncommonly pretty and fresh, and though I doubted my ability to vanquish Napoleon, it was some balm to my pride to conquer you, to feel you tremble under my touch? And that now I return from war, to find everything changed, myself most of all. I scarcely recognize my surroundings, except . . .” He cupped her chin in his hand and lightly framed her jaw between his thumb and forefinger. “Except Cecily Hale still looks at me with stars in her eyes, the same as she ever did. And when I touch her, she still trembles.”
Oh. She was trembling. He swept his thumb across her cheek, and even her hair shivered.
“And suddenly . . .” His voice cracked. Some unrehearsed emotion pitched his dispassionate drawl into a warm, expressive whisper. “Suddenly, I find myself determined to keep this one thing constant in my universe. Forever.”
-Cecily & Luke
Tessa Dare (The Legend of the Werestag)
She says ye never left me side?”she asked.
He felt his cheeks grow warm. Clearing his throat once, he finally answered. “Aye.”
Why? For the past four days, he’d imagined everything he would say to her as soon as he found her. Her illness delayed the heartfelt words he had wanted to have with her. Now, when the moment finally arrived, his mind turned blank. All the sweet words he’d planned to tell her fled on the wings of a frantically beating heart.
“Ye came fer me,”she whispered. “Ye came fer me and ye killed Helmert. And ye never left me side.”Her voice was filled with disbelief. “Why?”
He stammered for a moment, tripping over his own tongue. “I,”he paused, searching for the right words, the words he hoped would not terrify her. “Ye be a fine woman, Laurin. I’ve grown quite fond of ye these past weeks.”
She studied him closely for a moment. “So fond of me that ye were willin’to risk yer life to save mine?”Her tone said his answer made little sense.
“Aye,”he whispered. Suddenly his mouth felt dry, his tongue thick. “Fond enough to risk my own life for yours.”
“Fond, like ye’d be fond of a dear friend, or somethin’more?”
He could not understand why she asked that particular question. Refusing to read anything into her question, he replied. “Somethin’more, lass. Far more than friendship.”
Tears welled in her eyes as she stared at him. It made his gut wrench, thinking he’d brought her a moment of discomfort or sorrow.
Leaning over, he took her hand in his. “Laurin, I ken ye do no’have the same feelin’s for me as I do for ye. I ken ye may never have them, but it matters no’to me. I would be willin’to wait an entire lifetime on nothin’more than a wish and a prayer, in case, just in case some day ye might be able to return those feelins.”
He’d not pressure her into anything, would not beg her for her hand or her heart.
“How can ye say that?”she asked, swiping away an errant tear. “How could ye wait a lifetime for me?”
With a slow shake of his head, he smiled. “Och! Lass, ye’d be well worth the wait.
Suzan Tisdale (Isle of the Blessed)
This is my favorite waltz," she told him, moving into his arms.
"I know. That's why I requested it."
"How did you know?" she asked with an incredulous laugh. "I suppose one of the Bowman sisters told you?"
Simon shook his head, while his gloved fingers curved around hers. "On more than one occasion, I saw your face when they played it. You always looked ready to fly out of your chair."
Annabelle's lips parted in surprise, and she stared up at him with a wondering gaze. How could he have noticed something so subtle? She had always been so dismissive of him, and yet he had noticed her reaction to a particular piece of music and remembered it. The realization brought the sting of tears to her eyes, and she looked away immediately, fighting to bring the sudden baffling swell of emotion under control.
Lisa Kleypas (Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers, #1))
Swinging to his feet, Hunter scattered the fire so the flames licked feebly at the wood and threw the lodge into gentle shadows. Then he turned to regard his wife, forcing his hands to curl loosely at his sides, his stance deliberately relaxed. “Blue Eyes, come here,” he whispered softly.
She threw up her head like a startled doe, her eyes huge and wary. Hunter’s guts clenched, and with one stride he closed the distance between them. Catching her by the chin, he tipped her head back and feathered his thumb across her quivering bottom lip.
“I--” Her voice shook and broke. She swallowed and tried again. “I’m sorry, Hunter. I know I promised. It’s just that--I’m a little nervous.”
Hunter bent his head and lightly pressed his forehead against hers, nudging her hands aside so he could untie the pink ribbon that cinched her small waist. With deft fingers he loosened the petticoat and let it fall in a heap at their feet. “There is nothing to fear,” he whispered, “nothing.”
Her breath caught when he untied the first small bow that held her chemise closed. He untied the others quickly and feathered his fingers over her shoulders, skimming the muslin aside and drawing it down her arms. Shame washed over her, hot and pulsating, as the evening air touched her bare breasts. She closed her eyes, wishing she could die on the spot. An instant later she opened her eyes again, terrified of what he might do when she wasn’t watching.
Loosening the drawstring waist of her pantalets, he crouched before her, tugging the breeches down her legs, pulling off her high-topped shoes as he divested her of the garment. As he stood back up, it was his turn to catch his breath. His memories didn’t do her justice. For a moment he couldn’t drag his gaze from her, so fascinated was he by the glowing whiteness of her skin, the delicate curves, so long hidden from him by chin-high calico and multiple layers of muslin. Settling his hands on her narrow waist, he drew her toward him, his heart slamming as the pebbled tips of her small breasts came into contact with the flesh over his ribs. In the dim light he could see tears shimmering on her pale cheeks. He bent his head to catch their saltiness with the tip of his tongue.
“Ah, Blue Eyes, ka taikay, ka taikay, don’t cry. Has my hand upon you ever brought pain?”
“No,” she whispered brokenly.
Catherine Anderson (Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1))
You do not spit when your sister may suffer my wrath. I should keep her, I think. She is a brave warrior, no?”
Loretta’s heart caught. Fool! Her eyes flew to Amy. She should have shot the child while she had the chance.
“Ah, but I have said she will go back to her mother, no? And you have said you are my woman.” Tightening his grip on her breast, he leaned forward and brought his mouth so close to her ear that shivers raced down her spine. “Your heart pounds, woman. It is a lie you speak? You will fight this Comanche when your sister is out of danger?”
She knew he was testing her, daring her to resist him, glorying in the power he wielded. Knowing that gave her the strength to be still. She shook her head in reply, praying Comanches used the same gesture to say no.
“It is a promise you make?”
He rasped his thumb across her gown, teasing her nipple. The shock of feeling that spiraled from her breast to the hollow of her belly nearly took her breath. Keeping her face carefully blank, she nodded.
“This Comanche thinks you lie.”
With a shake of her head, Loretta lifted pleading eyes to his. Endless seconds passed as his fingertips followed the path of his thumb, each feather-light caress more shattering to her pride than the last. She clenched her teeth. His features blurred, and she realized she was looking at him through tears.
Suddenly he began to laugh and dropped his hand to her ribs. “You do not lie so good, Yellow Hair. Your eyes make big talk against you. But that is okay. We have had this one moment together, no? And you did not spit.
Catherine Anderson (Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1))
In the dim light he could see tears shimmering on her pale cheeks. He bent his head to catch their saltiness with the tip of his tongue.
“Ah, Blue Eyes, ka taikay, ka taikay, don’t cry. Has my hand upon you ever brought pain?”
“No,” she whispered brokenly.
Determined to finish what he had begun, Hunter swept her slender body into his arms and strode to the bed. Lowering her gently onto the fur, he stretched out beside her and gathered her close, his manhood throbbing with urgency against the confining leather of his pants. He half expected her to struggle, and perhaps if she had, he could have continued, his one thought to consummate their marriage, to put her fears behind them and ease the ache in his loins. But instead of fighting him, she wrapped her slender arms around his neck and clung to him, so rigid with fear that she felt brittle, her limbs quivering almost uncontrollably.
In a voice thick with tears, she said, “Hunter--would you do one thing for me? Just one small thing. Please?”
He splayed a hand on her back and felt the wild hammering of her heart. “What thing, Blue Eyes?”
“Would you get it over with quickly? Please? I won’t ever ask again, I swear it. Just this time, please?”
Hunter buried a smile in her hair and closed his eyes, tightening his arms around her. His father’s voice whispered. Fear is not like dust on a leaf that can be washed away by a gentle rain. The words no sooner came to him than a dozen forgotten memories did as well. For an instant the years rolled away, and Hunter saw himself running hand in hand with Willow by the Stream through a meadow of red daisies, their laughter ringing across the windswept grass, their eyes shining with love as they drank in the sight of one another. He remembered so many things in that instant--the love, yes, but mostly he remembered the friendship he and Willow had shared, the trust, the silliness, the laughter. Ah, yes, the laughter…He and his little blue-eyes had laughed together so few times that Hunter had difficulty recalling when they had. Suddenly he knew that without the laughter, their loving would fall far short of what it should be. Especially for her.
In a voice that rasped with frustration as well as tender amusement, Hunter said, “You have such a great want for me that we must hurry, yes?
Catherine Anderson (Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1))
There’s something else, too, Miss Emmie.” Stevens had gone bashful now, and Emmie was intrigued. “Here.” Stevens beckoned her to follow him out the back of the stables, to where a separate entrance led to a roomy foaling stall. “He said you needed summat other’n t’mule, and you’re to limber her up, as Miss Winnie will be getting a pony soon.” A sturdy dapple-gray mare stood regarding Emmie from over a pile of hay. She turned a soft eye on Emmie and came over to the half door to greet her visitors. “Oh, Stevens.” Emmie’s eyes teared up again. “She is so pretty… so pretty.” “He left ye a message.” Stevens disappeared back into the barn and came out with a sealed envelope. “I can tack her up if ye like.” Emmie tore open the envelope with shaking fingers. How dare he be so thoughtful and generous and kind? Oh, how dare he… She couldn’t keep the horse, of course; it would not be in the least proper, but dear Lord, the animal was lovely… My dear Miss Farnum, Her name is Petunia, and she is yours. I have taken myself to points distant, so by the time I return, you will have fallen in love with her, and I will be spared your arguments and remonstrations. She is as trustworthy and reliable a lady as I have met outside your kitchen, and at five years of age, has plenty of service yet to give. Bothwell has been alerted you will be joining him on his rides, should it please you to do so. And if you are still determined not to keep the horse, dear lady, then consider her my attempt at consolation to you for inflicting Scout on the household in my absence. St. Just He’d drawn a sketch in the corner of Scout, huge paws splayed, tongue hanging, his expression bewildered, and broken crockery scattered in every direction. The little cartoon made Emmie smile through her tears even as Winnie tugged Scout out behind the stables to track Emmie down. “Are you crying, Miss Emmie?” Winnie picked up Emmie’s hand. “You mustn’t be sad, as we have Scout now to protect us and keep us company.” “It isn’t Scout, Winnie.” Emmie waved a hand toward the stall where Petunia was still hanging her head over the door, placidly watching the passing scene. “Oh.” Winnie’s eyes went round. “There’s a new horse, Scout.” She picked up her puppy and brought him over to the horse. The mare sniffed at the dog delicately, then at the child, then picked up another mouthful of hay. “Her name’s Petunia,” Emmie said, finding her handkerchief. “The earl brought her from York so I can ride out with the vicar.” “She’s very pretty,” Winnie said, stroking the velvety gray nose. “And not too big.” The mare was fairly good size, at least sixteen and a half hands, and much too big for Winnie. “Maybe once I get used to her, I can take you up with me, Winnie. Would you like that?” “Would I?” Winnie squealed, setting the dog down. “Did you hear that, Scout? Miss Emmie says we can go for a ride. Oh… We must write to the earl and thank him, Miss Emmie, and I must tell Rose I have a puppy, too. I can knight Scout, can’t I?” “Of course you may,” Emmie said, reaching for Winnie’s hand. “Though you must know knights would never deign to be seen in the castle kitchens, except perhaps in the dead of winter, when it’s too cold to go charging about the kingdom.” “Did knights sleep in beds?” “Scout can stay with Stevens above the carriage house when you have repaired to your princess tower for your beauty sleep.” “I’ll ask Scout.” It
Grace Burrowes (The Soldier (Duke's Obsession, #2; Windham, #2))
You’re really going?” Except it wasn’t a question. “You’ve asked it of me,” Val reminded her gently, “and you are convinced Freddy will pester me literally to death if I don’t leave you to continue on with him as you did before, and you have forbidden me to call him out.” She nodded and leaned into him, fell into him, because her knees threatened to buckle with the magnitude of the loss she was to endure. Val embraced her, resting his cheek against her hair. “You’re a strong woman, Ellen Markham, and I have every faith in your ability to soldier on. I need to know as I trot out of your life that you will be fine and you will manage here without me. So”—he put a finger under her chin and forced her to meet his gaze—“tell me some pretty lies, won’t you? You’ll be fine?” Ellen blinked and obediently recited the requested untruth. “I’ll be fine.” “I’ll be fine, as well.” Val smiled at her sadly. “And I’ll manage quite nicely on my own, as I always have. You?” “Splendidly,” Ellen whimpered, closing her eyes as tears coursed hot and fast down her cheeks. “Oh, Val…” She clutched him to her desperately, there being no words to express the pure, undiluted misery of the grief she’d willingly brought on herself. “My dearest love.” Val kissed her wet cheeks. “You really must not take on so, for it tortures me to see it. This is what you want, or do I mistake you at this late hour?” “You do not.” The sigh Ellen heaved as she stepped back should have moved the entire planet. She wanted Val safe from Freddy’s infernal and deadly machinations, and this was the only way to achieve that goal. She had the conviction Valentine Windham, a supremely determined and competent man—son of a duke in every regard—would not take Freddy’s scheming seriously until it was too late. It was up to her to protect the man she loved, and that thought alone allowed her to remain true to the only prudent course. “You have not mistaken me, not now—not ever.” “I did not think you’d change your mind.” Val led her back toward the house by the hand. “I have left my direction in the library, and in the bottom drawer of the desk you will find some household money. I know you’d prefer to cut all ties, Ellen, but if you need anything—anything at all—you must call upon me. Promise?” “I promise,” she recited, unable to do otherwise. “And Ellen?” Val paused before they got to the stable yard. “Two things. First, thank you. You gave me more this summer than I could have ever imagined or deserved, and I will keep the memories of the joy we shared with me always. Second, if there should be a child, you will marry me.” “There will not be a child,” she murmured, looking back toward the wood. He was thanking her? She’d cost him a fortune and put his well-being in jeopardy, and he was thanking her? “I do not, and never will, deserve you.” “Promise me you’ll tell me if there’s a child?” Val’s green eyes were not gentle or patient. They were positively ducal in their force of will. “If there is a child I will tell you.” “Well, then.” Val resumed their progress. “I think that’s all there is to say, except, once again, I love you.” “I love you, too,” Ellen replied, wishing she’d given him the words so much more often and under so many different circumstances. “Good-bye, my dearest love.
Grace Burrowes (The Virtuoso (Duke's Obsession, #3; Windham, #3))
was always safe with him. That he would always take care of me if I needed him to. Knowing that, and the feel of his big body jammed against mine, into mine, all around mine — brought tears to my eyes. I took one more deep breath against the assault of emotion. Then I pushed my ass backward. Take me, I begged with my hips. I’m yours.
Sarina Bowen (Goodbye Paradise (Hello Goodbye, #1))
Celeste was finally looking at Victor—at the beast he had become—and I could see the terror and disbelief on her face. “No,” she breathed as he lifted her, his scarlet animal eyes glaring into hers. “No, it can’t be. The curse—it’s not true. It’s all superstition and nonsense!” Victor raised her higher and growled, deep in his throat. Celeste screamed and tried to break his grip but she couldn’t get free. She looked like a doll in his massive hands, a tiny blonde doll that kicked and shrieked as he brought her closer and closer to his gaping jaws. “Get back! Get away!” Celeste reached out with one hand and clawed at his eyes. She got the side of his face instead—the side she’d so recently branded. Victor’s beast snarled in pain and anger. He grabbed her arm and I heard a low popping sound as her shoulder disconnected from the socket. Then he simply yanked the arm off, like a hungry man twisting off a chicken drumstick. Celeste shrieked in mingled pain and disbelief, staring at the bloody socket where her arm had been. I understood her confusion—Victor shouldn’t have been able to tear her apart like this. She was a three-star vampire—one of the strongest beings on the planet. But clearly the beast inside him was stronger. “You can’t do this to me!” she screamed, lashing out with her other arm and baring her fangs. “I have lived for centuries and soon I will have the power to—” The beast’s jaws opened wide and I saw teeth as long as my hand glitter in the moonlight. He clamped down hard and bit into the slender white column of her throat. Celeste shrieked again, a high, terrified sound that ended abruptly in a dull, crunching—the bones of her neck being crushed, I realized. As I watched, the beast’s jaws met completely and I saw that he had bitten clean through her throat and spinal column. Her eyes were still wide with horror as her head toppled off and rolled to the ground at his feet.
Evangeline Anderson (Scarlet Heat (Born to Darkness, #2; Scarlet Heat, #0))
I had told Imran how my father after his Fajr prayers would always bring fragrant motiya flowers for my mum and put them on her bedside. Imran listened, and as I would step out of the bathroom in the morning, I would be greeted by hand-picked roses and fragrant magnolias on my bedside and my pillow, laid out by Imran. It brought tears to my eyes. Even now, it brings a smile to my face, despite all that followed. He made me love him when I thought it wasn’t possible for me to love anymore.
Reham Khan (Reham Khan)
Never Let Me Down"
(feat. Jay-Z, J-Ivy)
Told you I won't let you down
Told you I won't let this rap game change me, right?
When it comes to being true, at least true to me
One thing I found,one thing I found
Oh no you'll neva let me down,
Get up I get(down)
Get up I get(down)
Get up I get(down)
Get up I get(down)
Get up I get(down)
Get up I get(down)
Yo, yo first I snatched the street then I snatched the charts,
First had they ear now I hav they're heart,
Rappers came and went,
I've been hear from the start,
Seen them put it together
Watch them take it apart,
See the Rovers roll up wit ribbons
I've seen them re-poed, re-sold and re-driven
So when I reload, he holds #1 position
When u hot I'm hot
And when your feet cold, mines is sizzelin
It's plain to see
Nigga's can't f*** wit me
Cuz ima be that nigga fo life
This is not an image
This is God given
This is hard liven
Mixed wit crystal sipping
It's the most consistent
Give you the most hits you can fit inside a whole disc and
Nigga I'm home on these charts, y'all niggaz visitin
It's Hov tradition, Jeff Gordan of rap
I'm back to claim pole position, holla at ya boy
I get down for my grandfather who took my momma
Made her sit that seat where white folks ain't wanna us to eat
At the tender age of 6 she was arrested for the sit in
With that in my blood I was born to be different
Now niggas can't make it to ballots to choose leadership
But we can make it to Jacob and to the dealership
That's why I hear new music
And I just don't be feeling it
Racism still alive they just be concealing it
But I know they don't want me in the damn club
They even made me show I.D to get inside of Sam's club
I did dirt and went to church to get my hands scrubbed
Swear I've been baptised at least 3 or 4 times
But in the land where nigga's praise
Yukons and getting paid
It gon' take a lot more than coupons to get us saved
Like it take a lot more than do-rags to get your waves
Noting sadder than that day my girl father past away
So I promised to Mr Rany I'm gonna marry your daughter
And u know I gotta thank u for they way that she was brought up
And I know that u were smiling when u see that car I bought her
And u sent tears from heaven when u seen my car get balled up
But I can't complaint what the accident did to my Left Eye
Cuz look what a accident did to Left Eye
First Aaliyah and now romeo must die
I know a got angels watching me from the other side
Her pain was so unexpected, so raw, and deep, a penetrating, all-encompassing pain. It was no longer her pain, but ours. Whatever her thoughts were, brought tears to her eyes, lips trembled, and her fists clenched as though she were ready to crumble into ash. It was impossible to stop my own tears from coming. What I wouldn’t give to take this ache from her.
Ashlan Thomas (To Love (The To Fall Trilogy #3))
Oh, Matthew," she whispered, moved to tears.
"I called it Grace. I hope you don't mind." For the first time, his manner held a hint of shyness, disconcerting in a man who had just made love to her without hesitation or reticence.
Gently, she curled her hand around what was inside the box and lifted it to the light. "It's your rose."
"No, it's your rose."
A heady fragrance filled the air. With one shaking finger, Grace touched a flawless pink petal. The color was unforgettable. It was the most beautiful rose she'd ever seen. Impossible to credit that those unpromising stalks in his courtyard had produced this exquisite bloom.
"It's perfect," she whispered. "It's a miracle."
He was a miracle. How could she not love the man who conjured this beauty with hands and imagination?
The faint smile broadened. Had he worried that she'd reject his gift? Foolish, darling Matthew. The question was whether the rose was a promise of a future or a token of parting.
"I worked on it whenever I could. This last year has been busy."
An understatement, she knew. The Marquess of Sheene had been a ubiquitous presence in London since his release. Everywhere he went, society feted him as a hero. She'd read of the string of honors he'd received, the friendship with the king, the invitations to join scientific boards and societies.
Echoing her gesture, he reached out to touch the petals. The sensitivity of his fingers on the flower reminded her of his hands on her skin.
"I did most of the basic experiments when I was a prisoner, but I couldn't get it right." He glanced up with an expression that combined pride and diffidence in a breathtakingly attractive mixture. "This is the first bud, Grace. It appeared almost a year to the day after I promised to wait. It seemed a sign."
"And you brought it to me," she said softly, staring at the flower. The anniversary of his release didn't occur for two more days. That date was etched on her longing heart.
Then she noticed something else.
"My glove," she said blankly. With unsteady hands, she reached in and withdrew a light green kidskin glove from a recess carved away from the damp. The buttery leather was crushed and worn from incessant handling. "Have you kept it all this time?"
"Of course." He wasn't smiling anymore and his eyes deepened to a rich, rare gold. Beautiful, unwavering, somber.
"You make me want to cry." Her voice emerged so thickly, she didn't sound like herself.
She laid the box on the bench and tightened her grip on the soft leather until her knuckles whitened. What was he trying to tell her? What did the rose mean? The glove?
Had he carried her glove into his new life like a knight wore his lady's favor into battle? The thought sent choking emotion to her throat.
Anna Campbell (Untouched)
I tried to close my ears to the strange worshipful chanting and fix my mind on God, but the Egyptians’ idolatry weighed down my weary shoulders and brought tears to my closed eyes.
Kristen Reed (Five Nights With Pharaoh)
PREFACE. If—and the thing is wildly possible—the charge of writing nonsense were ever brought against the author of this brief but instructive poem, it would be based, I feel convinced, on the line (in p. 18) “Then the bowsprit got mixed with the rudder sometimes.” In view of this painful possibility, I will not (as I might) appeal indignantly to my other writings as a proof that I am incapable of such a deed: I will not (as I might) point to the strong moral purpose of this poem itself, to the arithmetical principles so cautiously inculcated in it, or to its noble teachings in Natural History—I will take the more prosaic course of simply explaining how it happened. The Bellman, who was almost morbidly sensitive about appearances, used to have the bowsprit unshipped once or twice a week to be revarnished, and it more than once happened, when the time came for replacing it, that no one on board could remember which end of the ship it belonged to. They knew it was not of the slightest use to appeal to the Bellman about it—he would only refer to his Naval Code, and read out in pathetic tones Admiralty Instructions which none of them had ever been able to understand—so it generally ended in its being fastened on, anyhow, across the rudder. The helmsman* used to stand by with tears in his eyes: he knew it was all wrong, but alas! Rule 42 of the Code, “No one shall speak to the Man at the Helm,” had been completed by the Bellman himself with the words “and the Man at the Helm shall speak to no one.” So remonstrance was impossible, and no steering could be done till the next varnishing day. During these bewildering intervals the ship usually sailed backwards.
Lewis Carroll (The Hunting Of The Snark)
A woman lay before the exhausted flames of her dying fire, and he could see at once that she, as was the habit of mortals, was dying too. But in her arms she held a new-born child, covered by a shawl. “Why do you weep?” Azhrarn inquired in fascination as he leant at the door, marvelously handsome, with hair that shone like blue-black fire, and clothed in all the magnificence of night. “I weep because my life has been so cruel, and because now I must die,” said the woman. “If your life has been cruel, you should be glad to leave it, therefore dry your tears, which will, in any case, avail you nothing.” The woman’s eyes grew dry indeed, and flashed with anger almost as vividly as the coal-black eyes of the stranger. “You vileness! The gods curse you that you come mocking me in my last moments. All my days have been struggle and torment and pain, but I should perish without a word if it were not for this boy that I have brought into the world only a few hours since. What is to become of my child when I am dead?” “That will die, too, no doubt,” said the Prince, “for which you should rejoice, seeing he will be spared all the agony you tell me of.” At this the mother shut her eyes and her mouth and expired at once, as if she could no longer bear to linger in his company. But as she fell back, her hands left the shawl, and the shawl unfolded from the baby like the petals of a flower.
Tanith Lee (Night's Master (Tales from the Flat Earth, #1))
As I look back I remember, "To think that at one time even my mother accused me of being a communist and threatened to report me to the government as such." I always respected her and had never answered her, but this time I answered:
"Go ahead, I will call the FBI for you and you can turn me in. Who do you think I learned to be a revolutionary from? Remember when you would say: 'Si yo supiera hablar inglés, ¿ya me hubieran echado a la prisión?' Pues yo sí sé inglés, y ahora, justed me acusa de ser comunista? Ándele, entrégueme.""Her little eyes blinked and after a long silence we both laughed, hugged and cried as she said, "Hija de tu nana, me ganaste." I thought, "Of course, I won, what do you expect from the daughter of the Mexican Revolution?"
Later, in 1968, I brought her to visit me in New Mexico and took her to hear Reies Tijerina when he spoke at Española High School. I will never forget the incredible look that came over her face as she drank up every word. After he finished, my mother walked right over to Reies, talked to him and hugged him, tearfully saying, "Nunca crei que oyera en este país las palabras y verdades que ha dicho usted."
After we left, I smilingly hugged her and reminded her that now, she too was a communist. ¡VIVA LA REVOLUCIÓN, SIEMPRE!
Enriqueta Vasquez (Enriqueta Vasquez and the Chicano Movement: Writings from El Grito del Norte)
All appeared new and strange at first, inexpressibly rare and delightful and beautiful. I was a little stranger which at my entrance into the world was saluted and surrounded with innumerable joys. My knowledge was Divine; I knew by intuition those things which since my Apostacy I collected again by the highest reason. My very ignorance was advantageous. I seemed as one brought into the state of innocence. All things were spotless and pure and glorious; yea, and infinitely mine and joyful and precious. I knew not that there were any sins, or complaints or laws. I dreamed not of poverties, contentions, or vices. All tears and quarrels were hidden from my eyes. Everything was at rest, free and immortal. I knew nothing of sickness or death or exaction. In the absence of these I was entertained like an angel with the works of God in their splendour and glory; I saw all in the peace of Eden... All Time
was Eternity, and a perpetual Sabbath.
Thomas Traherne (Centuries of Meditations)
I turned her around to face me and brought my hands up. Someday, I said, when we’re old and gray, I’m going to look at you lying in bed beside me, just like this, and I’m going to look into your eyes and know that it’s only ever been you. And that is going to be the great joy of my life, Bree Prescott. She smiled as her eyes filled up with what I knew were happy tears, and I pulled her into my chest, holding her tight, breathing her in.
Mia Sheridan (Archer's Voice)