Chair Lift Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Chair Lift. Here they are! All 200 of them:

A girl nearby muttered,"If that's a lady, I'm a cat." Reaching out, Sandry lifted the pitcher of milk from the table. Cradling it in both hands, she walked over to the mutterer. I am Sandrilene fa Toren, daughter of Count Mattin fer Toren and his countess, Amiliane fa Landreg. I am the great-niece of his grace, Duke Vedris of this realm of Emelan, and cousin of her Imperial Highness, Empress Berenene of the Namorn Empire. You are Esmelle ei Pragin, daughter of Baron Witten en Pragin and his lady Colledia of House Wheelwright, a merchant house. If I tell you my friend is a lady, then you"- carefully she poured milk into Esmelle's plate-"you had best start lapping, kitty." She set the pitcher down and returned to her chair.
Tamora Pierce (Sandry's Book (Circle of Magic, #1))
2. WHAT I AM NOT My brother and I used to play a game. I'd point to a chair. "THIS IS NOT A CHAIR," I'd say. Bird would point to the table. "THIS IS NOT A TABLE." "THIS IS NOT A WALL," I'd say. "THAT IS NOT A CEILING." We'd go on like that. "IT IS NOT RAINING OUT." "MY SHOE IS NOT UNTIED!" Bird would yell. I'd point to my elbow. "THIS IS NOT A SCRAPE." Bird would lift his knee. "THIS IS ALSO NOT A SCRAPE!" "THAT IS NOT A KETTLE!" "NOT A CUP!" "NOT A SPOON!" "NOT DIRTY DISHES!" We denied whole rooms, years, weathers. Once, at the peak of our shouting, Bird took a deep breath. At the top of his lungs, he shrieked: "I! HAVE NOT! BEEN! UNHAPPY! MY WHOLE! LIFE!" "But you're only seven," I said.
Nicole Krauss
You sit at the edge of the world, I am in a crater that's no more. Words without letters Standing in the shadow of the door. The moon shines down on a sleeping lizard, Little fish rain from the sky. Outside the window there are soldiers, steeling themselves to die. (Refrain) Kafka sits in a chair by the shore, Thinking for the pendulum that moves the world, it seems. When your heart is closed, The shadow of the unmoving Sphinx, Becomes a knife that pierces your dreams. The drowning girl's fingers Search for the entrance stone, and more. Lifting the hem of her azure dress, She gazes -- at Kafka on the shore
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
His Grace was at her side, and lifted her down from the chair. "My enfant," he said , "duchesses do not dance on chairs, nor do they call their brothers 'imbécile'." Léonie's twinkled irrepressibly. "I do," she said firmly.
Georgette Heyer (These Old Shades (Alastair-Audley, #1))
Books are a form of magic—” the doctor lifted the volume he had just laid on the stack, “—because they span time and distance more surely than any spell or charm.
Tad Williams (The Dragonbone Chair (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #1))
I keep thinking that maybe you and I could take a road trip and tell all the girls we meet along the way that we’re both vets. You’ve got a messed up face and my war wounds have put me in this chair. You think they’d believe it? Maybe then I could get some action. Problem is, how am I going to get a handful of tit if I can’t lift my arms?
Amy Harmon (Making Faces)
I make a show of lifting him and putting him into the chair, grunting and staggering as though he’s terribly heavy. I want the watchers to think the angel is as heavy as he looks, because maybe then they’ll conclude that I’m stronger and tougher than I look in my underfed five-foot-two frame. Is that the beginning of an amused grin forming on the angel’s face? Whatever it is, it turns into a grimace of pain as I dump him into the chair.
Susan Ee (Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1))
There was a loud scraping noise as five chairs slid backward. The men rose as a unit. And started coming for her. She looked to the faces of the two she knew, but their grave expressions weren't encouraging. And then the knives came out. With a metallic whoosh, five black daggers were unsheathed. She backed up frantically, hands in front of herself. She slammed into a wall and was about to scream for Wrath when the men dropped down on bended knees in a circle around her. In a single movement, as if they'd been choreographed, they buried the daggers into the floor at her feet and bowed their heads. The great whoomp of sound as steel met wood seemed both a pledge and a battle cry. The handles of the knives vibrated. The rap music continued to pound. They seemed to be waiting for some kind of response from her. "Umm. Thank you," she said. The men's heads lifted. Etched into the harsh planes of their faces was total reverence. Even the scarred one had a respectful expression. And then Wrath came in with a squeeze bottle of Hershey's syrup. "Bacon's on the way." He smiled. "Hey, they like you." "And thank God for that," she murmured, looking down at the daggers.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
She looked into the staring glass eyes and complacent face, and suddenly a sort of heartbroken rage seized her. She lifted her little savage hand and knocked Emily off the chair, bursting into a passion of sobbing- Sara who never cried.
Frances Hodgson Burnett (A Little Princess)
Cupping my cheeks, he exhaled a soft groan, and his lips scorched mine as he deepened the kiss until we both were breathless from its intensity. Daemon moved as close as he could with the chair between us. Gripping his arms, I held onto him, wanting him closer. The chair prevented all but our lips and hands from touching. Frustrating. Move, I ordered restlessly. It trembled under my foot, and then the heavy oak chair slid out from under me, dodging our leaning bodies. Unprepared for the sudden void, Daemon lurched forward, and I was unable to carry the unexpected weight. I collapsed backward, bringing Daemon along with me. The full contact of his body, flush against mine, sent my senses into chaotic overdrive. His tongue swept over mine as his fingers splayed across my cheeks. His hand slid down my side, gripping my hip as he urged me closer. The kisses slowed and his chest rose as he drank me in. With one last lingering exploration, he lifted his head and smiled down at me. My heart skipped a beat as he hovered over me with an expression that tugged deep in my chest. He moved his finger back up, along my cheek, trailing an invisible path to my chin. "I didn't move that chair, Kitten." "I know." "I'm assuming you didn't like where it was?" "It was in your way," I said. My hands were still curled around his arms. "I can see that." Daemon smoothed a fingertip over the curve of my bottom lip before taking my hand, pulling me up.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Onyx (Lux, #2))
I laid back the lounge chair and rolled to my stomach, content. Sounds of splashing faded as I dozed. And then I heard a beautiful voice. . . . “Cover your arse, and nobody gets hurt.” I lifted my head to see Kaidan crouched next to me. He was here! Just as I was about to get up and throw my arms around him, his gaze slid down my body to my butt and stayed there. Hello, stormy eyes. I felt twice as hot under the sun as I had one minute ago. I threw the towel over my body, which forced his eyes back to mine. “Hey,” I whispered. He touched my face, and I leaned into his palm. “I feel like it’s been a year since I saw you,” he said softly. “I’ve missed you.” I reached up and cupped his hand. “I’ve missed you, too.” “But you’re still in trouble.” His voice was low and gravelly.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Reckoning (Sweet, #3))
Julie marched over to Matt. She stood in front of him and crossed her arms. “Lift up your sweatshirt.” Matt rolled his eyes. “God, you really know how to turn a guy on.” Julie didn’t budge. “If I was trying to turn you on, I could do better than that. Now, lift up your sweatshirt.” Matt looked up at her and tried to look serious. “Julie, I’m completely offended that you have so little faith in my honesty. I thought at this point in our friendship that you would at least—” “Get up.” Julie leaned over and shut his laptop. “Get up!” she said again. “You’re being ridiculous,” Matt said laughing, but he stood up. “I trust you implicitly, and it wouldn’t kill you to show me the same respect.” “Show me!” Matt sidestepped the chair and took a few steps backward. “You have quite the attitude today. Suspicious and mean.” Julie took a step forward, causing Matt to continue backing away. “Lift up your shirt.” “Look, I appreciate an aggressive woman, but this is really getting weird.” Julie grabbed his sweatshirt by the waist cuff and lifted it up with one hand, as she pulled down his T-shirt with the other. Matt put his hands over hers, lightly protesting, but she refused to let go. “Aha!” She squinted at his shirt. “OK, I don’t even know what this is, but it’s definitely geeky.
Jessica Park (Flat-Out Love (Flat-Out Love, #1))
He lifted his brows. "If I really thought it was the absolute best thing for our kids, you'd have had a battle on your hands. That was just a debate." "With chair-throwing." "Heated debate. Fights involve chair-breaking. Chair-throwing is just getting your attention.
Kelley Armstrong (Hidden (Otherworld Stories, #10.7))
Talivar slouched in the chair next to me, casually lifting his bare feet to rest upon my chair's footrest. It was an oddly possessive move. It was also oddly sexy.
Allison Pang (A Sliver of Shadow (Abby Sinclair, #2))
Tarquin turned from the table, just as the tent flaps parted for a pair of broad shoulders— Varian. He didn’t so much as look at his High Lord, his focus going right to where Amren sat at the head of the table. As if he’d sensed she was here—or someone had reported. And he’d come running. Amren’s eyes flicked up from the Book as Varian halted. A coy smile curved her red lips. There was still blood and dirt splattered on Varian’s brown skin, coating his silver armor and close-cropped white hair. He didn’t seem to notice or care as he strode for Amren. And none of us dared to speak as Varian dropped to his knees before Amren’s chair, took her shocked face in his broad hands, and kissed her soundly. ... None of us lasted long after dinner. Amren and Varian didn’t even bother to join us. No, she’d just wrapped her legs around his waist, right there in front of us, and he’d stood, lifting her in one swift movement. I wasn’t entirely sure how Varian managed to walk them out of the tent while still kissing her, Amren’s hands dragging through his hair, letting out noises that were unnervingly like purring as they vanished into the camp. Rhys had let out a low laugh as we all gawked in their wake. “I suppose that’s how Varian decided he’d tell Amren he was feeling rather grateful she ordered us to go to Adriata.” Tarquin cringed. “We’ll alternate who has to deal with them on holidays.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3))
With a sigh, he grabbed hold of his chair and lifted himself out of it, then wrote on the blackboard: How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering? - A.Y. 'I'm going to leave that up for the rest of the semester,' he said. 'Because everybody who has ever lost their way in life has felt the nagging insistence of that question. At some point we all look up and realize we are lost in a maze, and I don't want us to forget Alaska, and I don't want to forget that even when the material we study seems boring, we're trying to understand how people have answered that question and the questions each of you posed in your papers--how different traditions have come to terms with what Chip, in his final, called 'people's rotten lots in life.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
I tramp the perpetual journey My signs are a rain-proof coat, good shoes, and a staff cut from the woods, No friend of mine takes his ease in my chair, I have no chair, no philosophy, I lead no man to a dinner-table, library, exchange, But each man and each woman of you I lead upon a knoll, My left hand hooking you round the waist, My right hand pointing to landscapes of continents and the public road. Not I, not any one else can travel that road for you, You must travel it for yourself. It is not far, it is within reach, Perhaps you have been on it since you were born and did not know, Perhaps it is everywhere on water and on land. Shoulder your duds dear son, and I will mine, and let us hasten forth, Wonderful cities and free nations we shall fetch as we go. If you tire, give me both burdens, and rest the chuff of your hand on my hip, And in due time you shall repay the same service to me, For after we start we never lie by again. This day before dawn I ascended a hill and look'd at the crowded heaven, And I said to my spirit When we become the enfolders of those orbs, and the pleasure and knowledge of every thing in them, shall we be fill'd and satisfied then? And my spirit said No, we but level that lift to pass and continue beyond. You are also asking me questions and I hear you, I answer that I cannot answer, you must find out for yourself. Sit a while dear son, Here are biscuits to eat and here is milk to drink, But as soon as you sleep and renew yourself in sweet clothes, I kiss you with a good-by kiss and open the gate for your egress hence. Long enough have you dream'd contemptible dreams, Now I wash the gum from your eyes, You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light and of every moment of your life. Long have you timidly waded holding a plank by the shore, Now I will you to be a bold swimmer, To jump off in the midst of the sea, rise again, nod to me, shout, and laughingly dash with your hair.
Walt Whitman (Song of Myself)
Her room was warm and lightsome. A huge doll sat with her legs apart in the copious easy-chair beside the bed. He tried to bid his tongue speak that he might seem at ease, watching her as she undid her gown, noting the proud conscious movements of her perfumed head. As he stood silent in the middle of the room she came over to him and embraced him gaily and gravely. Her round arms held him firmly to her and he, seeing her face lifted to him in serious calm and feeling the warm calm rise and fall of her breast, all but burst into hysterical weeping. Tears of joy and relief shone in his delighted eyes and his lips parted though they would not speak. She passed her tinkling hand through his hair, calling him a little rascal. —Give me a kiss, she said. His lips would not bend to kiss her. He wanted to be held firmly in her arms, to be caressed slowly, slowly, slowly. In her arms he felt that he had suddenly become strong and fearless and sure of himself. But his lips would not bend to kiss her. With a sudden movement she bowed his head and joined her lips to his and he read the meaning of her movements in her frank uplifted eyes. It was too much for him. He closed his eyes, surrendering himself to her, body and mind, conscious of nothing in the world but the dark pressure of her softly parting lips. They pressed upon his brain as upon his lips as though they were the vehicle of a vague speech; and between them he felt an unknown and timid pressure, darker than the swoon of sin, softer than sound or odour.
James Joyce (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)
Stil snorted. “I am not in love with Angelique. I’m in love with you,” he said, scooting closer. Gemma pushed her chair away. “Well, that’s not proper.” “Why not?” Stil asked, butting his chair up against Gemma’s. “Because of the age difference.” “Age difference?” “Of course. Surely you can’t be a day younger than fifty or sixty,” Gemma said in surprise. Stil’s jaw dropped. “You think I’m an OLD MAN?!” Stil thundered. “Most magic users are not the age they physically appear to be,” Gemma said.“And it is well known that they age much more slowly.” “You think I’m an OLD MAN?!” he repeated, his voice even louder. “I’m not even twenty-five yet, you mean-spirited mule, and my clothes are fashionable among mages!” Stil said. “This whole time you’ve thought I am OLD?” “I get the impression that offends you.” “IT DOES.” Gemma only lifted her eyebrows. “Aren’t you going to apologize?” Stil asked. “For what?” “For thinking I’m OLD!” Gemma shrugged. “It seems you have only yourself to blame for that misunderstanding.” Stil glowered
K.M. Shea (Rumpelstiltskin (Timeless Fairy Tales, #4))
I had stopped my chair at that exact place, coming out, because right there the spice of wisteria that hung around the house was invaded by the freshness of apple blossoms in a blend that lifted the top of my head. As between those who notice such things and those who don't, I prefer those who do.
Wallace Stegner (Angle of Repose)
He’d told them what Saturday night meant. The mattress, the plastic sheet. He told them of Matador in the fifth. He said he loved her from the very first time she’d talked to him, and it was his fault, it was all his fault. Clay melted, but didn’t break, because he deserved no tears or sympathy. ‘The night before she fell,’ he said, ‘we met there, we were naked there, and –’ He stopped because Catherine Novac – in a shift of gingerblondness – had stood and she’d walked towards him. She lifted him gently out of his chair and hugged him hard, so hard, and she patted his short flat hair, and it was so damn nice it hurt. She said, ‘You came to us, you came, you came.
Markus Zusak (Bridge of Clay)
They never listened. The truth is, men make terrible pigs. In my chair by the hearth, I lifted my cup. “Sometimes,” I told him, “you must be content with ignorance.
Madeline Miller (Circe)
Looks like Faye's doing a little extracurricular activity," a voice behind her murmured, and Cassie turned gratefully. Nick nodded at the guy who was occupying the seat there, and the guy scrambled up and left. Cassie hardly noticed the occurrence, it was so common. The kids from Crowhaven Road indicated what they wanted, and the outsiders gave it to them. Always. It was the way things worked. Nick sat in the vacated chair and took out a pack of cigarettes. He opened it, shook one forward. Then he noticed Cassie. Cassie was staring at him with her eyebrows lifted, her best Diana expression on. Disapproval radiating from her like heat waves. "Ah," Nick said. He glanced at the cigarettes, then at her again. He tapped the protruding cigarette back into place and tucked the pack in his pocket. "Bad habit," he said.
L.J. Smith (The Power (The Secret Circle, #3))
By the following morning, Anthony was drunk. By afternoon, he was hungover. His head was pounding, his ears were ringing, and his brothers, who had been surprised to discover him in such a state at their club, were talking far too loudly. Anthony put his hands over his ears and groaned.Everyone was talking far too loudly. “Kate boot you out of the house?” Colin asked, grabbing a walnut from a large pewter dish in the middle their table and splitting it open with a viciously loud crack. Anthony lifted his head just far enough to glare at him. Benedict watched his brother with raised brows and the vaguest hint of a smirk. “She definitely booted him out,” he said to Colin. “Hand me one of those walnuts, will you?” Colin tossed one across the table. “Do you want the crackers as well?” Benedict shook his head and grinned as he held up a fat, leather-bound book. “Much more satisfying to smash them.” “Don’t,” Anthony bit out, his hand shooting out to grab the book, “even think about it.” “Ears a bit sensitive this afternoon, are they?” If Anthony had had a pistol, he would have shot them both, hang the noise. “If I might offer you a piece of advice?” Colin said, munching on his walnut. “You might not,” Anthony replied. He looked up. Colin was chewing with his mouth open. As this had been strictly forbidden while growing up in their household, Anthony could only deduce that Colin was displaying such poor manners only to make more noise. “Close your damned mouth,” he muttered. Colin swallowed, smacked his lips, and took a sip of his tea to wash it all down. “Whatever you did, apologize for it. I know you, and I’m getting to know Kate, and knowing what I know—” “What the hell is he talking about?” Anthony grumbled. “I think,” Benedict said, leaning back in his chair, “that he’s telling you you’re an ass.” “Just so!” Colin exclaimed. Anthony just shook his head wearily. “It’s more complicated than you think.” “It always is,” Benedict said, with sincerity so false it almost managed to sound sincere. “When you two idiots find women gullible enough to actually marry you,” Anthony snapped, “then you may presume to offer me advice. But until then ...shut up.” Colin looked at Benedict. “Think he’s angry?” Benedict quirked a brow. “That or drunk.” Colin shook his head. “No, not drunk. Not anymore, at least. He’s clearly hungover.” “Which would explain,” Benedict said with a philosophical nod, “why he’s so angry.” Anthony spread one hand over his face and pressed hard against his temples with his thumb and middle finger. “God above,” he muttered. ‘‘What would it take to get you two to leave me alone?” “Go home, Anthony,” Benedict said, his voice surprisingly gentle.
Julia Quinn (The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2))
Steeling herself, she rose out of her chair, looped her arm around Kenny’s neck, and planted herself in his lap. He lifted an eyebrow. “Have I missed something?” She curled her mouth into what she hoped was a seductive smile and tried to speak without moving her lips. “Kiss me at once.” “No,” he said indignantly. “Why not?” “Because I don’t like your attitude.” She had been a bit bossy, but that was only because she was nervous. “I apologize.” His eyes settled on her mouth. “Okay, I’ll kiss you.” The burly man turned away, and she immediately ejected from Kenny’s lap.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Lady Be Good (Wynette, Texas, #2))
Sorry, Book," she mutters, lifting the cat gingerly onto the back of the old chair, where he does his best impression of an inconvenienced bread loaf.
V.E. Schwab (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue)
Whatever her name was, she was pretty. She had a thick, careless braid of chestnut hair, a quick smile, and dark, merry eyes. She wore some kind of a fuzzy lavender pullover, and when she crossed her legs and lifted her guitar onto her lap, she had an interesting way of tucking the foot of the bottom leg back under her chair that made Hector feel melty. He looked away in self-preservation.
Lynne Rae Perkins (Criss Cross)
When I lift her, she wraps her legs around me and I carry her to an oversized chair. I fall back onto it and giver her bum a good slap, making her scream, "Hey!" I hush her complaint with another kiss, and pull her hips down against mine until she lets her head fall back and sinks into my lap perfectly. It's still our wedding night. She's all mine until the sun rises and it's time to release her back into the world. Until then, let the celebration continue.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Temptation (Sweet, #4))
And to Rhaego son of Drogo, the stallion who will mount the world, to him I also pledge a gift. To him I will give this iron chair his mother's father sat in. I will give him Seven Kingdoms. I, Drogo, khal, will do this thing.'' His voice rose, and he lifted his fist in the sky. ''I will take my khalasar west to where the world ends, and ride the wooden horses across the black salt water as no khal has done before. I will kill the men in the iron suits and tear down their stone houses. I will rape their women, take their children as slaves, and bring their broken gods back to Vaes Dothrak to bow down beneath the Mother of Mountains. This I vow, I, Drogo son of Bharbo. This I swear before the Mother of Mountains, as the stars look down in witness.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
Nonsense. Everyone knows Canadians are a peaceful people.” He was laughing now. “Tell that to the White House circa 1812,” I told him. “Oh? Why?” “Because that’s the year the peace-loving Canadians burned it to the ground.” Dominick grabbed an empty bottle and jumped onto his chair. The room got silent in an instant as everyone paused to look at him. “Cheers to 1812.” He lifted his empty bottle. The whole room whooped and raised their full glasses, howling in unison. I could barely hear over the sound of my own laughter.
Sierra Dean (Keeping Secret (Secret McQueen, #4))
His disability had never frustrated him more than at that moment and he lifted himself into the seat and had to wait for Duncan to fold and pack away his chair.
J.M. Madden (Embattled Hearts (Lost and Found, #1))
Control! Control, Mac,” he said. “There’s plenty of time.” He lifted his coat from the back of a chair. “All afternoon,” he added. “Time to go out and plenty of time to get back.
Charles Jackson (The Lost Weekend (Vintage))
John," I murmured, rising from the bed and going to stand by the table, staring down in astonishment at the gold-rimmed china plates and intricately embroidered napkins in sapphire rings. "How did all of this get here?" "Oh," he said casually. "It just does. Coffee?" He lifted a gleaming silver pot. "Or do I seem to remember you being more partial to tea?" His grin was wicked. I gave him a sarcastic look-it was a cup of tea I'd thrown into his face to escape from the Underworld the last time-then sank down into the chair where the bird was perched.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
All my relationships are short and sweet. Well...short, anyway." "Mine too." I sat in a leather chair near the sofa. It was stylish but uncomfortable, shaped like a cube and encased in a polished chrome frame. "I guess that's bad, isn't it?" He shook his head. "It shouldn't take a long time to figure out if someone is right for you. If it does, you're either dense or blind." "Or maybe you're dating an armadillo." Gage shot me a perplexed glance. "Pardon?" "I mean someone who's hard to set to know. Shy and heavily armored." "And ugly?" "Armadillos aren't ugly," I protested, laughing. "They're bulletproof lizards." "I think you're an armadillo." "I'm not shy." "But you are heavily armored." Gage considered that. He conceded the point with a brief nod. "Having learned about projection in couples counseling, I'd venture to say you're an armadillo too." "What's projection?" "It means you accuse me of the same things you're guilty of" "Good Lord," I said, lifting the wineglass to my lips. "No wonder all your relationships are short.
Lisa Kleypas (Sugar Daddy (Travises, #1))
Neither the heart cut by a sliver of glass in a wasteland of thorns, nor the atrocious waters seen in the corners of certain houses, waters like eyelids and eyes, could hold your waist in my hands when my heart lifts its oak trees toward your unbreakable thread of snow.   Night sugar, spirit of crowns, redeemed human blood, your kisses banish me, and a surge of water with remnants of the sea strikes the silences that wait for you surrounding the worn-out chairs, wearing doors away.
Pablo Neruda (Residence on Earth (New Directions Paperbook))
I am not sure exactly what healing is or looks like, what form it comes in, what it should feel like. I do know that when I was four I could not lift a gallon of milk, could not believe how heavy it was, that white sloshing boulder. I'd pull up a wooden chair to stand over the counter, pouring milk with two shaking arms, wetting the cereal, spilling. Looking back I don't remember the day I lifted it with ease. All I know is now I do it without thinking, can do it one-handed, on the phone, in a rush. I believe the same rules apply, that one day I'll be able to tell this story without it shaking my foundation, Each time will not require an entire production, a spilling, a sweating forehead, a mess to clean up, sopping paper towels. It will just be part of my life, every day lighter to lift.
Chanel Miller (Know My Name)
What do you believe in, Dara?” Noam pressed again. Dara sipped at his soda. Swirled his straw round the glass when he lifted his head again. “I believe Vladimir Nabokov is the best novelist of all time.” “Dara.” Dara gazed back at him, Noam’s incredulity written all over his face. Without telepathy, Dara couldn’t quite tell if he was actually frustrated or just . . . But then Noam snorted and said, “Yeah. All right. What else?” The corners of Dara’s mouth tipped up. “I believe in utilitarianism,” he said. “I believe bourbon is the gentleman’s choice in whiskey. I believe pineapple belongs on pizza. Oh, and the fact that goats eat everything you own just makes them more endearing.” “You are ridiculous,” Noam said—but he was laughing now, leaning back in his chair and folding his arms over this chest.
Victoria Lee (The Fever King (Feverwake, #1))
She looked concerned. That decided him, Arin took a deep breath. His stomach changed into iron. His body was girding itself in a way he knew well. Arin was tightening the muscles needed before a plunge into deep water. A punch to the gut. The life of the hardest, lowest, highest, notes he could possibly sing. His stomach knew what he'd have to sustain. "Marry him," Arin said, "but be mine in secret." Her hand lifted from the tiles as if scorched. She sat back in her chair. She rubbed at her inner elbow. She drank the dregs of her wine and was silent. Finally, she said, "I can't do that.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2))
We will mate tonight, wife.” His eyes flared hot and golden. “No.” She lifted her chin and ignored the skittering in her lower stomach. “Cara,” he leaned forward in his chair, “before this night has ended you will have no doubt you’ve been mated.
Rebecca Zanetti (Fated (Dark Protectors, #1))
Perhaps tomorrow I shall pick up one of the houses, any one, and, holding it gently in one hand, pull it carefully apart with my other hand, with great delicacy taking the pieces of it off one after another: first the door and then, dislodging the slight nails with care, the right front corner of the house, board by board, and then, sweeping out the furniture inside, down the right wall of the house, removing it with care and not touching the second floor, which should remain intact even after the first floor is entirely gone. Then the stairs, step by step, and all this while the mannikins inside run screaming from each section of the house to a higher and a more concealed room, crushing one another and stumbling and pulling frantically, slamming doors behind them while my strong fingers pull each door softly off its hinges and pull the walls apart and lift out the windows intact and take out carefully the tiny beds and chairs; and finally they will be all together like seeds in a pomegranate, in one tiny room, hardly breathing, some of them fainting, some crying, and all wedged in together looking in the direction from which I am coming, and then, when I take the door off with sure careful fingers, there they all will be, packed inside and crushed back against the wall, and I shall eat the room in one mouthful, chewing ruthlessly on the boards and the small sweet bones.
Shirley Jackson (Hangsaman)
He sat on a kitchen chair and lifted her onto his lap so her legs straddled his, and then he slipped his hands under her skirt and cupped her backside to drag her closer. Oh f**k. Good news and bad news. The good news was no underwear. The bad news was no underwear.
Barbara Elsborg (The Small Print)
She looked now at the drawing-room step. She saw, through William’s eyes, the shape of a woman, peaceful and silent, with downcast eyes. She sat musing, pondering (she was in grey that day, Lily thought). Her eyes were bent. She would never lift them. . . . [N]o, she thought, one could say nothing to nobody. The urgency of the moment always missed its mark. Words fluttered sideways and struck the object inches too low. Then one gave it up; then the idea sunk back again; then one became like most middle-aged people, cautious, furtive, with wrinkles between the eyes and a look of perpetual apprehension. For how could one express in words these emotions of the body? Express that emptiness there? (She was looking at the drawing-room steps; they looked extraordinarily empty.) It was one’s body feeling, not one’s mind. The physical sensations that went with the bare look of the steps had become suddenly extremely unpleasant. To want and not to have, sent all up her body a hardness, a hollowness, a strain. And then to want and not to have – to want and want – how that wrung the heart, and wrung again and again! Oh, Mrs. Ramsay! she called out silently, to that essence which sat by the boat, that abstract one made of her, that woman in grey, as if to abuse her for having gone, and then having gone, come back again. It had seemed so safe, thinking of her. Ghost, air, nothingness, a thing you could play with easily and safely at any time of day or night, she had been that, and then suddenly she put her hand out and wrung the heart thus. Suddenly, the empty drawing-room steps, the frill of the chair inside, the puppy tumbling on the terrace, the whole wave and whisper of the garden became like curves and arabesques flourishing round a centre of complete emptiness. . . . A curious notion came to her that he did after all hear the things she could not say. . . . She looked at her picture. That would have been his answer, presumably – how “you” and “I” and “she” pass and vanish; nothing stays; all changes; but not words, not paint. Yet it would be hung in the attics, she thought; it would be rolled up and flung under a sofa; yet even so, even of a picture like that, it was true. One might say, even of this scrawl, not of that actual picture, perhaps, but of what it attempted, that it “remained for ever,” she was going to say, or, for the words spoken sounded even to herself, too boastful, to hint, wordlessly; when, looking at the picture, she was surprised to find that she could not see it. Her eyes were full of a hot liquid (she did not think of tears at first) which, without disturbing the firmness of her lips, made the air thick, rolled down her cheeks. She had perfect control of herself – Oh, yes! – in every other way. Was she crying then for Mrs. Ramsay, without being aware of any unhappiness? She addressed old Mr. Carmichael again. What was it then? What did it mean? Could things thrust their hands up and grip one; could the blade cut; the fist grasp? Was there no safety? No learning by heart of the ways of the world? No guide, no shelter, but all was miracle, and leaping from the pinnacle of a tower into the air? Could it be, even for elderly people, that this was life? – startling, unexpected, unknown? For one moment she felt that if they both got up, here, now on the lawn, and demanded an explanation, why was it so short, why was it so inexplicable, said it with violence, as two fully equipped human beings from whom nothing should be hid might speak, then, beauty would roll itself up; the space would fill; those empty flourishes would form into shape; if they shouted loud enough Mrs. Ramsay would return. “Mrs. Ramsay!” she said aloud, “Mrs. Ramsay!” The tears ran down her face.
Virginia Woolf
You sit at the edge of the world, I am in a crater that's no more.   Words without letters   Standing in the shadow of the door.   The moon shines down on a sleeping lizard, Little fish rain down from the sky.   Outside the window there are soldiers, steeling themselves to die.   (Refrain)   Kafka sits in a chair by the shore, Thinking of the pendulum that moves the world, it seems.   When your heart is closed, The shadow of the unmoving Sphinx, Becomes a knife that pierces your dreams.   The drowning girl's fingers   Search for the entrance stone, and more.   Lifting the hem of her azure dress, She gazes—at Kafka on the shore.
Haruki Murakami
He meditated resentfully on the physical texture of life. Had it always been like this? Had food always tasted like this? He looked round the canteen. A low-ceilinged, crowded room, its walls grimy from the contact of innumerable bodies; battered metal tables and chairs, placed so close together that you sat with elbows touching; bent spoons, dented trays, coarse white mugs; all surfaces greasy, grime in every crack; and a sourish, composite smell of bad gin and bad coffee and metallic stew and dirty clothes. Always in your stomach and in your skin there was a sort of protest, a feeling that you had been cheated of something that you had a right to. It was true that he had no memories of anything greatly different. In any time that he could accurately remember, there had never been quite enough to eat, one had never had socks or underclothes that were not full of holes, furniture had always been battered and rickety, rooms underheated, tube trains crowded, houses falling to pieces, bread dark-coloured, tea a rarity, coffee filthy-tasting, cigarettes insufficient -- nothing cheap and plentiful except synthetic gin. And though, of course, it grew worse as one's body aged, was it not a sign that this was not the natural order of things, if one's heart sickened at the discomfort and dirt and scarcity, the interminable winters, the stickiness of one's socks, the lifts that never worked, the cold water, the gritty soap, the cigarettes that came to pieces, the food with its strange evil tastes? Why should one feel it to be intolerable unless one had some kind of ancestral memory that things had once been different?
George Orwell (1984)
How far friends are! They forget you, most days. They have to, I know; but still, it’s lonely just being far and a friend. I put my hand out—this chair, this table— so near: touch, that’s how to live. Call up a friend? All right, but the phone itself is what loves you, warm on your ear, on your hand. Or, you lift a pen to write—it’s not that far person but this familiar pen that comforts. Near things: Friend, here’s my hand. — William Stafford, “Friends,” The Way It Is. (Graywolf Press, 1998)
William Stafford (The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems)
After three hours, I come back to the waiting room. It is a cosmetic surgery office, so a little like a hotel lobby, underheated and expensively decorated, with candy in little dishes, emerald-green plush chairs, and upscale fashion magazines artfully displayed against the wall. A young woman comes in, frantic to get a pimple "zapped" before she sees her family over the holidays. An older woman comes in with her daughter for a follow-up visit to a face-lift. She is wearing a scarf and dark glasses. The nurse examines her bruises right out in the waiting room. And you are in the operating room having your body and your gender legally altered. I feel like laughing, but I know it makes me sound like a lunatic.
Joan Nestle
Lifting my hands from the keyboard, I fold them in my lap and tilt back my desk chair. I think, I could do it. I could turn back time.
Devorah Fox (Masters of Time: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Time Travel Anthology)
Bombur was now so fat that he could not move himself from his couch to his chair at table, and it took six young dwarves to lift him.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
Let me tell you what I am sure of,what I want. I want you to fuck me tonight. I want you inside me. It’s my first time, but I know I liked your finger in my ass when we made out in the locker room. How do you feel about that?" Jace grinned and rose from the chair, lifting Colt’s hand to help him up. Their thighs brushed against one another as he stood. "You’re finally speaking my language.
Kindle Alexander (Double Full (Nice Guys, #1))
He sits in the straight-backed chair next to the bed and lifts a cooling cup of tea. “If you die, what happens to me?” “I don’t know,” I say honestly. “If I die, I don’t even know what happens to me.
Dan Simmons (The Fall of Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #2))
Picnic, Lightning It is possible to be struck by a meteor or a single-engine plane while reading in a chair at home. Safes drop from rooftops and flatten the odd pedestrian mostly within the panels of the comics, but still, we know it is possible, as well as the flash of summer lightning, the thermos toppling over, spilling out on the grass. And we know the message can be delivered from within. The heart, no valentine, decides to quit after lunch, the power shut off like a switch, or a tiny dark ship is unmoored into the flow of the body’s rivers, the brain a monastery, defenseless on the shore. This is what I think about when I shovel compost into a wheelbarrow, and when I fill the long flower boxes, then press into rows the limp roots of red impatiens— the instant hand of Death always ready to burst forth from the sleeve of his voluminous cloak. Then the soil is full of marvels, bits of leaf like flakes off a fresco, red-brown pine needles, a beetle quick to burrow back under the loam. Then the wheelbarrow is a wilder blue, the clouds a brighter white, and all I hear is the rasp of the steel edge against a round stone, the small plants singing with lifted faces, and the click of the sundial as one hour sweeps into the next.
Billy Collins (Picnic, Lightning)
You'd be surprised, Theo." she said, leaning back in her shawl-shaped chair, "what small, everyday things can lift us out of despair. But nobody can do it for you. You're the one who has to watch for the open door.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Harry paused with his fork held in midair, mesmerized by the sight of her slim fingers twirling the honey stick, meticulously filling each hole with thick umber liquid. Realizing that he was staring, Harry took a bite of his breakfast. Poppy replaced the honey stick in a small silver pot. Discovering a stray drop of sweetness on the tip of her thumb, she lifted it to her lips and sucked it clean. Harry choked a little, reached for his tea, and took a swallow. The beverage scalded his tongue, causing him to flinch and curse. Poppy gave him an odd look. "Is there anything the matter?" Nothing. Except that watching his wife eating breakfast was the most erotic act he had ever seen. "Nothing at all," Harry said scratchily. "Tea's hot." When he dared to look at Poppy again, she was consuming a fresh strawberry, holding it by the green stem. Her lips rounded in a luscious pucker as she bit neatly into the ripe flesh of the fruit. Christ. He moved uncomfortably in his chair, while all the unsatisfied desire of the previous night reawakened with a vengeance. Poppy ate two more strawberries, nibbling slowly, while Harry tried to ignore her. Heat collected beneath his clothing, and he used a napkin to blot his forehead. Poppy lifted a bite of honey-soaked crumpet to her mouth, and gave him a perplexed glance. "Are you feeling well?" "It's too warm in here," Harry said irritably, while lurid thoughts went through his mind. Thoughts involving honey, and soft feminine skin, and moist pink-
Lisa Kleypas (Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3))
I could no more pretend I didn't have a mother than the sea could pretend it had no salt. My mother existed for me with a vengeance. Sometimes her voice would come piping through my bones and practically lift me off my feet.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Mermaid Chair)
When Stephen comes into a room, the furnishings shrink from him. Chairs scuttle backwards. Joint-stools flatten themselves like pissing bitches. The woollen Bible figures in the king’s tapestries lift their hands to cover their ears.
Hilary Mantel (Bring Up the Bodies (Thomas Cromwell, #2))
His eyes fill with tears, his deep gentleness returns to him. He goes to her and lifts her from the floor to the chair. Inarticulately he strokes her face, his heart filled with pity.–God forgives us, he says. Who am I not to forgive? Let us pray.
Alan Paton (Cry, the Beloved Country)
I wasn’t sure whether he was a grad student, poet, actor, stripper, or brilliant combination of all those things. But the man knew Lord Byron, and he knew words. He knew the rise and fall of sentences, the way to pause, the moment to look up, catch our gazes, smile. He knew emphasis and speed, pacing and clarity. He was a prince of poetry, and he had us mesmerized. Champagne was uncorked and dunked into gleaming silver chalices of ice, then poured into tall, thin glasses while we listened, legs crossed and perched forward in our chairs. “Is it better if we’re objectifying his body and his brain?” Margot asked, lifting the thin straw in her gin and tonic for a sip. “I don’t much care,” Mallory said. “He gives good word.” I couldn’t have put it better myself.
Chloe Neill (Blade Bound (Chicagoland Vampires, #13))
I decided to write a myth." "Have you figured out a topic? A moral conundrum?" "Yes." "What is it?" I heard Jack's chair creak. "It's about how there's no such thing as redemption," I whispered. "How you deserve what you get,and no higher power can save you." Mrs. Stone didn't answer immediately. The only sound in the room came from my own breathing. "What about heroes?" I hunched over and scribbled a few lines on my notebook. "There are no heroes." Sure,it wasn't an optimistic paper,but it was the only thing I could write passionately about. She was quiet for a moment again. When she spoke,her voice was gentle. "Okay. I'm excited to see what you put together." I nodded. "And,Mr. Caputo? Everything going well with the personal essay?" I could only assume he nodded, because Mrs. Stone returned to the front of the classroom. My right hand started to tremble,and I clenched my pencil and began scribbling. "You don't really believe that, do you?" Jack's voice was soft. I lifted my head, allowing my eyes to meet his for the first time in weeks. "It doesn't matter what I believe." I looked down at my notebook. "Wait," he said. I turned back. "What?" He shrugged,then spoke in a low murmur. "Just stop hiding behind your hair for a minute." I closed my eyes,but I didn't turn away. "You're making things difficult, Jack Caputo," I whispered. "At least you remember my name." I remembered everything. The first time he called me his girlfriend. The first time he told me he loved me. The first time I started to question whether or not I'd be able to hold on to him.The first time I knew I had to come back to see him again, at whatever cost.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
Famously, Einstein said that his ‘happiest thought’ occurred here: ‘I was sitting in a chair in the Patent Office at Bern when all of a sudden a thought occurred to me. If a person falls freely he will not feel his own weight. I was startled.’ By thinking of someone falling, for example in a plummeting lift, Einstein had realised that it was impossible to distinguish acceleration and the pull of gravity. And working through the mathematical implications of this made it clear that gravity was an effect that could be produced by a distortion of space and time.
Brian Clegg (Gravitational Waves: How Einstein’s spacetime ripples reveal the secrets of the universe (Hot Science))
gravity didn’t even exist. As if the thought of slipping off that narrow seat and plummeting to the ground never entered any of their minds. Growing up, she’d had a hard enough time riding the chair lift during her family’s annual Christmas vacations to Colorado, but after doing her residency in a hospital emergency room, she had an all-too-vivid image in her head of exactly what the result of such a fall would look like. How had she let Maddy and Amy talk her into this? Of course, sitting in a bookstore coffee shop with her friends last spring, the thought of facing her fear of heights
Julie Ortolon (Almost Perfect (Perfect Trilogy, #1))
My lady did not trust the Regent of Vere to protect her interests. In the case that there was no other way to save her life, the wet nurse could be instructed to bring the child to you—in exchange for Jokaste’s freedom.’ Damen sat back in his chair, and lifted his brows slightly at Jokaste. Jokaste’s
C.S. Pacat (Kings Rising (Captive Prince, #3))
You are not going to pass off your many ineptitudes on the students of Hogwarts. I shall not permit it.” “Excuse me?” Amycus moved forward until he was offensively close to Professor McGonagall, his face within inches of hers. She refused to back away, but looked down at him as if he were something disgusting she had found stuck to a lavatory seat. “It’s not a case of what you’ll permit, Minerva McGonagall. Your time’s over. It’s us what’s in charge here now, and you’ll back me up or you’ll pay the price.” And he spat in her face. Harry pulled the Cloak off himself, raised his wand, and said, “You shouldn’t have done that.” As Amycus spun around, Harry shouted, “Crucio!” The Death Eater was lifted off his feet. He writhed through the air like a drowning man, thrashing and howling in pain, and then, with a crunch and a shattering of glass, he smashed into the front of a bookcase and crumpled, insensible, to the floor. “I see what Bellatrix meant,” said Harry, the blood thundering through his brain, “you need to really mean it.” “Potter!” whispered Professor McGonagall, clutching her heart. “Potter--you’re here! What--? How--?” She struggled to pull herself together. “Potter, that was foolish!” “He spat at you,” said Harry. “Potter, I--that was very--very gallant of you--but don’t you realize--?” “Yeah, I do,” Harry assured her. Somehow her panic steadied him. “Professor McGonagall, Voldemort’s on the way.” “Oh, are we allowed to say the name now?” asked Luna with an air of interest, pulling off the Invisibility Cloak. This appearance of a second outlaw seemed to overwhelm Professor McGonagall, who staggered backward and fell into a nearby chair, clutching at the neck of her old tartan dressing gown. “I don’t think it makes any difference what we call him,” Harry told Luna. “He already knows where I am.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
The Goblin King’s face darkened. “What is wrong with you, Elisabeth?” I lifted my eyes to his. “There is nothing wrong with me.” “There is.” He shifted in his seat, and although there was an endless array of food and feast between us, he was too close. A storm was brewing behind those mismatched eyes, and the air between us crackled with electricity. “You’re not the Elisabeth I remember. I thought that if you—that if you became my—” He cut himself off abruptly. “This,” he said, gesturing to the space between us, “is not what I was hoping for.” “People grow up, mein Herr,” I said shortly. “They change.” He gave me a hard look. “Evidently.” He stared at me for a beat longer before leaning back in his chair and crossing his arms, resting his feet on the table. “Ah, well, my mistake. Time passes differently Underground than in the world above. Mere moments for me, several years and a lifetime ago for you, apparently.” 
S. Jae-Jones (Wintersong (Wintersong, #1))
Taking Off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes" First, her tippet made of tulle, easily lifted off her shoulders and laid on the back of a wooden chair. And her bonnet, the bow undone with a light forward pull. Then the long white dress, a more complicated matter with mother-of-pearl buttons down the back, so tiny and numerous that it takes forever before my hands can part the fabric, like a swimmer’s dividing water, and slip inside. You will want to know that she was standing by an open window in an upstairs bedroom, motionless, a little wide-eyed, looking out at the orchard below, the white dress puddled at her feet on the wide-board, hardwood floor. The complexity of women’s undergarments in nineteenth-century America is not to be waved off, and I proceeded like a polar explorer through clips, clasps, and moorings, catches, straps, and whalebone stays, sailing toward the iceberg of her nakedness. Later, I wrote in a notebook it was like riding a swan into the night, but, of course, I cannot tell you everything— the way she closed her eyes to the orchard, how her hair tumbled free of its pins, how there were sudden dashes whenever we spoke. What I can tell you is it was terribly quiet in Amherst that Sabbath afternoon, nothing but a carriage passing the house, a fly buzzing in a windowpane. So I could plainly hear her inhale when I undid the very top hook-and-eye fastener of her corset and I could hear her sigh when finally it was unloosed, the way some readers sigh when they realize that Hope has feathers, that Reason is a plank, that Life is a loaded gun that looks right at you with a yellow eye.
Billy Collins (Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes)
You’d better marry her before she reaches eighteen and the spell wears off,” I said. “Spell?” “Yes. The one that’s hiding her fangs and pincers from plain sight.” “I don’t find them especially hidden,” he said mildly. “Then perhaps you’re a pair.” His brows lifted. “Now, that’s the cruelest thing you’ve said so far.” Mrs. Fredericks cleared off, and Chloe took her place before the piano. A beam of sunlight was just beginning its slide into the chamber, capturing her in light. She was a glowing girl with a glowing face, and Joplin at her fingertips. “Give me time,” I muttered, dropping my gaze to my plate. “I’ll come up with something worse.” “No doubt.” Armand pulled a flask from his jacket and shook it in front of my nose. “Whiskey. Conveniently the same color as tea. Are you game, waif?” I glanced around, but no one was looking. I lifted my cup, drained it to the dregs, and set it before him. He was right. It did look like tea. But it tasted like vile burning fire, all the way down my throat. “Sip it,” he hissed, as I began to cough. His voice lifted over my sputtering. “Dear me, Miss Jones, I do beg your pardon. The tea’s rather hot; I should have mentioned it.” “Quite all right,” I gasped, as the whiskey swirled an evil amber in my teacup. Chloe’s song grew bouncier, with lyrics about a girl with strawberries in a wagon. Several of the men had begun to cluster near, drawn to her soprano or perchance her bosom. Two were vying to turn the pages of her music. She had to crane her head to keep Armand in view. He sent her another smile from his chair, lifting his cup in salute. “I’m going to kiss you, Eleanore,” he said quietly, still looking at her. “Not now. Later.” His eyes cut back to mine. “I thought it fair to tell you first.” I stilled. “If you think you can do so without me biting your lip, feel free to try.” His gaze shone wicked blue. “I don’t mind if you bite.” “Biting your lip off, I should have said.” “Ah. Let’s see how it goes, shall we?
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
You took it with good grace when you could have sliced him to ribbons with a few words." "I was tempted," she admitted. "But I couldn't help remembering something Mother once said." It had been on a long-ago morning in her childhood, when she and Gabriel had still needed books stacked on their chairs whenever they sat at the breakfast table. Their father had been reading a freshly ironed newspaper, while their mother, Evangeline, or Evie, as family and friends called her, fed spoonfuls of sweetened porridge to baby Raphael in his high chair. After Phoebe had recounted some injustice done to her by a playmate, saying she wouldn't accept the girl's apology, her mother had persuaded her to reconsider for the sake of kindness. "But she's a bad, selfish girl," Phoebe had said indignantly. Evie's reply was gentle but matter-of-fact. "Kindness counts the most when it's given to people who don't deserve it." "Does Gabriel have to be kind to everyone too?" Phoebe had demanded. "Yes, darling." "Does Father?" "No, Redbird," her father had replied, his mouth twitching at the corners. "That's why I married your mother- she's kind enough for two people." "Mother," Gabriel had asked hopefully, "could you be kind enough for three people?" At that, their father had taken a sudden intense interest in his newspaper, lifting it in front of his face. A quiet wheeze emerged from behind it. "I'm afraid not, dear," Evie had said gently, her eyes sparkling. "But I'm sure you and your sister can find a great deal of kindness in your own hearts." Returning her thoughts to the present, Phoebe said, "Mother told us to be kind even to people who don't deserve it.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil's Daughter (The Ravenels, #5))
The room was almost dark, with just flickers of light coming from the logs burning in the hearth. I could just see his shape, sitting in the leather, wing-backed chair, silhouetted by the fire. “Come here.” His voice was quiet, but with the firmness I had come to expect from him. I moved closer and knelt down in front of him, my naked bottom facing the warmth of the fire. I bent my head downwards and looked at the floor as I had been taught, but he surprised me by lifting up my chin with his hand. “You look so beautiful.” He bent and kissed me softly on the lips, and I shivered in anticipation. Was it to be pleasure or pain this time? Or perhaps a combination of both, given in the way that only he can.
Rachel de Vine (Out of the Darkness)
You need to understand something, Krissy,” he began, taking careful steps towards me. “Whenever I drop the words ‘gonna shower’, it means, we’re gonna shower. I expect to see you sliding the doors open and stepping in under that shower with me, no more than a minute later. Aroused, eager, and impatient to be fucked under the spraying shower and against the tiles.” When he reached me, he took the cup of coffee still suspended mid-air from my hand and set it down on the table. Then he bent and slid one arm beneath my thighs, the other around my waist, and lifted my inert body up off the chair. “If I don’t want you to join me, I won’t tell you I’m gonna shower. ’Cause, then, what would be the fucking point?
S. Ann Cole
My beloved,” she whispered, “my love.” Rhett bowed once again. The ship was moving away from the dock. He put his hat on and turned away. His thumb tilted the hat to the back of his head. Don’t go, cried Scarlett’s heart. Rhett glanced over his shoulder as if there had been a sound. His eyes met hers, and surprise stiffened his lithe body. For a long, immeasurable moment the two of them looked at each other while the space between them widened. Then blandness smoothed Rhett’s face as he touched two fingers to his hat brim in salute. Scarlett lifted her hand. He was still standing there on the dock when the ship turned into the channel to the sea. When Scarlett could see him no longer, she sank numbly into a deck chair.
Alexandra Ripley (Scarlett: The Sequel to Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind)
...when I read to her, her quietness, her peacefulness, was what I sought to hear, and it echoed in me as if in an expanding cavern, and often left me trembling with love; and so, then and there, after taking a final gulp of my decaf, I decided to indulge in even more self-pampering: I lifted my legs down from the chair, and, with lightness and celerity, stole upstairs...
Evan Dara (The Lost Scrapbook)
Tim collected his gifts within the metal hoop and then pestered Santa for more, investigating pockets, sticking his hands into straw, lifting the sides of the red coat until he contacted a Smith and Wesson revolver. The boy snatched his hand back as if it were burnt and scowled at the man in the red suit. "You're not Santa Claus; you're Daddy." Charley called across the room, "He's one of Santa's helpers!" Jesse sat low in the chair with his boots kicked out, drew off the soft red cap by its cotton ball, then reached out and snuggled Tim close to his chest. He said, "Let me tell you a secret, son: there's always a mean old wolf in Grandma's bed, and a worm inside the apple. There's always a daddy inside the Santa suit. It's a world of trickery.
Ron Hansen (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford)
Well,all she had to do was ask," one offended male replied. "I hope you're satisfied!" Lauren whispered furiously. "I'm not," Nick chuckled in her ear. "But I'm going to be." Fully intending to leave him to take his own notes, Lauren slammed her notebook closed and tried to shove her chair back. Nick's body blocked the chair. She twisted her head around to say something scathing, and his lips captured hers in a kiss that forced her head against the back of the chair, tripled her pulse rate and robbed her of thought. When he took his mouth away, she was too shaken to do anything except stare at him. "What do you think,Nick?" a voice asked over the speaker. "I think it gets better every time," he answered huskily. When the call was finally over, Nick pressed a button on the desk, and Lauren saw the door leading into Mary's office swing shut electronically. He grasped her arms and drew her out of the chair, turning her toward him. His mouth came closer to hers,and Lauren felt herself being helplessly drawn into his magnetic spell. "Don't!" she pleaded. "Please don't do this to me." His hands tightened on her arms. "Why can't you just admit you want me and enjoy the consequences?" "All right," she said wretchedly, "You win. I want you...I admit it." She saw the gleam of triumph in his eyes, and her chin lifted. "When I was eight years old, I also wanted a monkey I saw in a pet store." The triumph faded. "And?" he sighed irritably,letting go of her. "And unfortunately I got him," Lauren said. "Daisy bit me,and I had to have twelve stitches in my leg." Nick looked as if he was torn between laughter and anger. "I imagine he bit you for naming him Daisy." Lauren ignored his mockery. "And when I was thirteen, I wanted sisters and brothers. My father obliged me by remarrying, and I got a stepsister who stole my clothes and my boyfriends, and a stepbrother who stole my allowances." "What the hell does that have to do with us?" "Everything!
Judith McNaught (Double Standards)
Go ahead. Ask me who the father is.” He only smiled. “Do I look that stupid to you?” She pushed back her short hair with a sigh. “He doesn’t know, and you’re not to tell him. In English, Apache or Lakota,” she emphasized, covering all her bases. He nodded. “What are you going to do?” “I haven’t the slightest idea,” she confessed. “I only used the home-pregnancy test this morning, but I was pretty sure before then. I’ve got to find a place to live where Leta won’t see me for a while. I can’t risk having her tell Tate.” She glanced at him. “Where were you all this time?” she wanted to know. “Sitting calmly in a wing chair sipping coffee and trying to look invisible.” He lifted his eyebrows at her disbelieving expression. “Somebody had to keep his head.” “There’s an old saying that, if you can keep your head when everyone around you is losing theirs, you don’t have a clue what’s going on,” she misquoted. “Could be. But I’m not sporting a bruised face, like some I could name.” He leaned forward. “Want to marry me?” “Thanks, Colby,” she said softly. “I really mean it. But it wouldn’t be fair to any of us. Especially you.” He folded his arms and leaned back. “The offer doesn’t have a time limit. I really do love children.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
When she stopped short just at the lower line of the apple tress, and stood for a moment with her face lifted, I chalked one up in her favor. I had stopped my chair at the exact place, coming out, because right there the spice of wisteria that hung around the house was invaded by the freshness of apple blossoms in a blend that lifted the top of my head. As between those who notice such things and those who don't, I prefer those who do.
Wallace Stegner (Angle of Repose)
And then Luca leans close and whispers something in the coyote's ear. And the man reaches up and takes Luca in his arms, and Luca folds himself around the coyote's neck, and they embrace for a long moment, and then they turn away from each other quickly, and Luca ascends the steps. Lydia watches through the window as El Chacal lifts his pack from one of the lawn chairs, hoists his replenished water supplies, and heads back into the desert.
Jeanine Cummins (American Dirt)
In my chair by the hearth, I lifted my cup. “Sometimes,” I told him, “you must be content with ignorance.” He did not like that answer, yet that was the perversity of him: in a way he liked it best of all. I had seen how he could shuck truths from men like oyster shells, how he could pry into a breast with a glance and a well-timed word. So little of the world did not yield to his sounding. In the end, I think the fact that I did not was his favorite thing about me.
Madeline Miller (Circe)
So, where’s my brother?” “I have no idea.” She tested the weight of the blade. “I hope you’re not . . . well, getting any feelings for him. That would be a mistake.” “Really? And why is that?” She gripped the handle of the dagger with one hand, while checking the sharpness of its blade with the other. “I just don’t think he could appreciate a woman like you.” “And you?” Gwenvael gave that smile that had gotten him more pleasure than he cared to admit. “I am not my brother, lady.” That’s when she moved. She was up and across the room, snatching him out of his chair in mere seconds. Annwyl slammed him face down on the table, her knee against his back to hold him in place. The point of her blade burrowed into the skin of his neck. As human, that blade could easily kill him. She leaned in and spoke quietly. “I don’t know what’s going on between you and your brother. And I don’t want to know. But I’ll not be the bone between you two dogs. So take yourself from my sight. I am in no mood.” With that she lifted him off the table and shoved him from the chamber. The crazed bitch had more strength than he had known, he realized as she sent him tumbling from her presence. He fell and slid across the cave floor, coming to an abrupt stop when a large boot slammed into his head. He looked up and braved a smile. “Oh. Hello, brother.” With a growl, Fearghus lifted him off the ground by the back of his neck.
G.A. Aiken (Dragon Actually (Dragon Kin, #1))
He reached for Aiden’s hand, which was swinging by the side of Aiden’s chair in a convenient location for Harvard to grab in case Harvard might want to. Harvard not only laced their fingers together, but also brought Aiden’s hand to his lips and kissed the back. Then he let their joined hands rest on the lapel of his uniform blazer, against the golden crown over crossed swords of his captain’s pin… and his heart. Harvard did it all absentmindedly, as though he didn’t have to think about his actions because it came so naturally. Aiden lifted a coffee cup to his lips purely in order to make a Can you believe this? face behind it. There went Harvard again, raising the ideal boyfriend bar to the sky. Could the man not be stopped? “Aw, are you having faith in me, sweetheart?” Aiden murmured. “That’s so nice. And so misplaced.” Harvard murmured, a lovely little sound, patently unconvinced. This is the last time, Aiden thought, and held on. The others ignored Aiden and Harvard’s romantic moment in order to focus on crime.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Striking Distance (Fence, #1))
There was still something soft in her face. It gave him hope—hope that he had not lost his soul in the act of killing, hope that humanity could still be found, and honor could be regained … She had come out of Endovier and could still laugh. She twirled her hair around a finger. She was still wearing that absurdly short nightgown, which slid up her thighs as she propped her feet on the edge of the table. He focused on her face. “Would you like to join me?” she asked, gesturing with one hand to the table. “It’s a shame for me to celebrate alone.” He looked at her, at that half grin on her face. Whatever had happened with Cain, whatever had happened at the duel … that would haunt him. But right now … He pulled out the chair in front of him and sat down. She filled a goblet with wine and handed it to him. “To four years until freedom,” she said, lifting her glass. He raised his in salute. “To you, Celaena.” Their eyes met, and Chaol didn’t hide his smile as she grinned at him. Perhaps four years with her might not be enough.
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
Embodied in objects was a partial sense of sharing. They didn't lift their eyes from their respective sets. But noises bound them, a cyclist kick-starting, the plane that came winding down the five miles from its transatlantic apex, rippling the pictures on their screens. Objects were memory inert. Desk, the bed, et cetera. Objects would survive the one who died first and remind the other of how easily halved a life can become. Death, perhaps, was not the point so much as separation. Chairs, tables, dressers, envelopes. Everything was a common experience, binding them despite their indirections, the slanted apparatus of their agreeing. That they did agree was not in doubt. Faithlessness and desire. It wasn't necessary to tell them apart. His body, hers. Sex, love, monotony, contempt. The spell that had to be entered was out there among the unmemorized faces and uniform cubes of being. This, their sweet and mercenary space, was self-enchantment, the near common dream they'd countenanced for years. Only absences were fully shared.
Don DeLillo (Players)
She dropped her coat on the back of a chair and crept quietly up to Jay’s room. She did her best not to wake him as she pulled the door closed behind her. She watched him sleep, stretched out on his back, feeling herself coming back to life in his presence. “What are you doing?” he mumbled without opening his eyes. Violet startled, feeling like she’d been caught doing something she shouldn’t have been. Like when they were little and they were busted for looking at a dirty magazine one of the other kids brought to school. Jay rolled onto his side and squinted one eye open at Violet, grinning. “Come over here,” he growled, lifting the corner of his sheet up, inviting her in. He looked rumpled and messy and alluring. Violet slipped off her shoes and climbed in beside him. He wrapped his arm around her back, pulling her close. His breath was warm, his body warmer, and she felt herself thawing for the first time since she’d stepped out into the shipyard that morning. Even the heat blasting inside her car on the way home hadn’t helped. She tucked her feet between his legs. “What are you doing here so early?” His voice was rough from sleep but it sounded like soft velvet. He stroked her back lazily. “Are you feeling better today?” Neither question really needed an answer; they were just Jay’s way of letting her know he’d been worried about her. “I didn’t mean to wake you,” she whispered as she let herself get comfortable against him. She’d been cold and tired, and now that she was warm again she thought she might actually be able to fall asleep, right there in his arms. He rested his chin against the top of her head. “You didn’t,” he assured her. “I was already awake.” Violet sighed. It felt so good to be here. It was the first time she’d felt comfortable since she’d gone to Seattle yesterday with Chelsea. Jay made her feel safe—among other things—and she needed that right now. She closed her eyes; they were gritty and raw from lack of sleep. She breathed deeply, inhaling him, and relaxing as she sank further into him . . . and into the pillow beneath her head. She fell asleep like that, wrapped in warmth. Wrapped in Jay.
Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2))
I looked back and forth between them, feeling the heat of their anger, the unspoken words swelling in the air like smoke. Jerry took a slow sip from his beer and lit another cigarette. "You don't know anything about that little girl," he told Nona. "You're just jealous because Cap belongs to her now." I could see Nona's heartbeat flutter beneath her t-shirt, the cords tightening in her neck. "Her mommy and daddy might have paid for him," she whispered. "But he's mine." I waited for Jerry to cave in to her, to apologize, to make things right between them. But he held her gaze, unwavering. "He's not." Nona stubbed her cigarette out on the barn floor, then stood. "If you don't believe me," she whispered, "I'll show you." My sister crossed the barn to Cap's stall and clicked her tongue at him. His gold head appeared in the doorway and Nona swung the stall door open. "Come on out." she told him. Don't!" I said, but she didn't pause. Cap took several steps forward until he was standing completely free in the barn. I jumped up, blocking the doorway so that he couldn't bolt. Jerry stood and widened himself beside me, stretching out his arms. "What the hell are you doing?" he asked. Nona stood beside Cap's head and lifted her arms as though she was holding an invisible lead rope. When she began to walk, Cap moved alongside her, matching his pace to hers. Whoa," Nona said quietly and Cap stopped. My sister made small noises with her tongue, whispering words we couldn't hear. Cap's ears twitched and his weight shifted as he adjusted his feet, setting up perfectly in showmanship form. Nona stepped back to present him to us, and Jerry and I dropped our arms to our sides. Ta da!" she said, clapping her hands at her own accomplishment. Very impressive," Jerry said in a low voice. "Now put the pony away." Again, Nona lifted her hands as if holding a lead rope, and again, Cap followed. She stepped into him and he turned on his heel, then walked beside her through the barn and back into his stall. Once he was inside, Nona closed the door and held her hands out to us. She hadn't touched him once. Now," she said evenly. "Tell me again what isn't mine." Jerry sank back into his chair, cracking open a fresh beer. "If that horse was so important to you, maybe you shouldn't have left him behind to be sold off to strangers." Nona's face constricted, her cheeks and neck darkening in splotches of red. "Alice, tell him," she whispered. "Tell him that Cap belongs to me." Sheila Altman could practice for the rest of her life, and she would never be able to do what my sister had just done. Cap would never follow her blindly, never walk on water for her. But my eyes traveled sideways to Cap's stall where his embroidered halter hung from its hook. If the Altmans ever moved to a different town, they would take Cap with them. My sister would never see him again. It wouldn't matter what he would or wouldn't do for her. My sister waited a moment for me to speak, and when I didn't, she burst into tears, her shoulders heaving, her mouth wrenching open. Jerry and I glanced at each other, startled by the sudden burst of emotion. You can both go to hell," Nona hiccuped, and turned for the house. "Right straight to hell.
Aryn Kyle (The God Of Animals)
When we arrived, my sisters pulled the wheelchair out of the trunk and placed it next to the car door. They opened the door and Jennifer leaned down and with one swift motion lifted me up like a nearly weightless child and placed me in the chair. I laughed it off. “My sister’s strong. She’s really strong,” I boasted on her behalf. Sara, Katherine, and Jennifer were laughing the whole time because I didn’t realize how scrawny I was, how much weight I had lost. Jennifer could pick me up with no problem because I practically weighed nothing at all.
Noah Galloway (Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier)
She watched beneath her lashes as his chair rocked with his weight. MacLean scowled and grabbed the edge of the table. Angus had cut varying lengths from each chair so that some rocked, while others were at a distinct forward slant so that you had to press back to keep from sliding into the floor. "Is something wrong, Lord MacLean?" "This chair." He scooted forward and slipped a little. With a scowl, he stood and pushed his chair to one side, selecting another. "Lord MacLean-" "Dougal," he said firmly, sitting down in the new chair. This one rocked backward, and he lurched, as if afraid it would topple over completely. Sophia coughed to cover her amusement. From the dark scowl turned her way, she hadn't succeeded. "That's it." Dougal shoved back the chair and stood,glancing about the room. "Ah!" He strode forward and picked out a thin book of sermons from a set on a side table. He lifted the back of his chair, placed a book beneath one leg, and sat down. "Much better." Sophia wished he weren't quite so enterprising. She and Angus ha worked for hours to make every chair a uniquely uncomfortable experience.
Karen Hawkins (To Catch a Highlander (MacLean Curse, #3))
Colby’s resourceful, I’ll give him that.” “You used to be good friends.” “We were, until he started hanging around Cecily,” came the short reply. “I’m not as angry at him as I was. But it seems that he has to have a woman to prop him up.” “Not necessarily,” Matt replied. “Sometimes a good woman can save a bad man. It’s an old saying, but fairly true from time to time. Colby was headed straight to hell until Cecily put him on the right track. It’s gratitude, but I don’t think he can see that just yet. He’s in between mourning his ex-wife and finding someone to replace her.” He leaned back again. “I feel sorry for him. He’s basically a one-woman man, but he lost the woman.” Tate packed back to the wing chair and sat down on the edge. “He’s not getting Cecily. She’s mine, even if she doesn’t want to admit it.” Matt stared at him. “Don’t you know anything about women in love?” “Not a lot,” the younger man confessed. “I’ve spent the better part of my life avoiding them.” “Especially Cecily,” Matt agreed. “She’s been like a shadow. You didn’t miss her until you couldn’t see her behind you anymore.” “She’s grown away from me,” Tate said. “I don’t know how to close the gap. I know she still feels something for me, but she wouldn’t stay and fight for me.” He lifted his gaze to Matt’s hard face. “She’s carrying my child. I want both of them, regardless of the adjustments I have to make. Cecily’s the only woman I’ve ever truly wanted.” Matt spread his hands helplessly. “This is one mess I can’t help you sort out,” he said at last. “If Cecily loves you, she’ll give in sooner or later. If it were me, I’d go find her and tell her how I really felt. I imagine she’ll listen.” Tate stared at his shoes. He couldn’t find the right words to express what he felt. “Tate,” his father said gently, “you’ve had a lot to get used to lately. Give it time. Don’t rush things. I’ve found that life sorts itself out, given the opportunity.” Tate’s dark eyes lifted. “Maybe it does.” He searched the other man’s quiet gaze. “It’s not as bad as I thought it was, having a foot in two worlds. I’m getting used to it.” “You still have a unique heritage,” Matt pointed out. “Not many men can claim Berber revolutionaries and Lakota warriors as relatives.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
I'll lean over your crib, lift your squalling form out, and sit in the rocking chair to nurse you. The word 'infant' is derived from the Latin word for 'unable to speak,' but you'll be perfectly capable of saying one thing: 'I suffer.,' and you'll do it tirelessly and without hesitation. I have to admire your utter commitment to that statement; when you cry, you'll become outrage incarnate, every fiber of your being employed in expressing that emotion. It's funny: when you're tranquil, you will seem to radiate light, and if someone were to paint a portrait of you like that, I'd insist they include the halo. But when you're unhappy, you will become a klaxon, built for radiating sound; a portrait of you then could simply be a fire alarm bell. At that stage of your life, there'll be no past or future for you; until I give you my breast, you'll have no memory of contentment in the past nor expectation of relief in the future. Once you begin nursing, everything will reverse, and all will be right with the world. NOW is the only moment you'll perceive; you'll live in the present tense. In many ways, it's an enviable state.
Ted Chiang (Stories of Your Life and Others)
Debra pointed her purses lips in Max’s direction. “Overnight guests are forbidden. No exceptions.” “Did you just have the audacity to judge me?” Gina blocked the nurse’s route to the door. “Without knowing the least little thing about me?” Debra lifted an eyebrow. “Well, I have seen your underwear, dear.” “Exactly,” Gina said. “You’ve seen my underwear—not my personality profile, or my resume, or my college transcript, or—” “If you think for one second,” the nurse countered, “that anything about this situation is even remotely unique—” “That’s enough,” Max said. Gina, of course, ignored him. “I don’t just think it, I know it,” she said. “It’s unique because I’m unique, because Max is unique, because—” Debra finally laughed. “Oh, honey, you are so . . . young. Here’s a tip I don’t usually bother to tell girls like you: If I find one pair of panties on the floor, it’s only a matter of time before I find another. And I hate to break it to you, hon, but the girl who comes out of the bathroom next time, well . . . She isn’t going to be you.” “First of all,” Gina said grimly, “I’m a woman, not a girl. And second, Grandma . . . You want to bet it’s not going to be me?” “I said, that’s enough,” Max repeated, and they both turned to look at him. About time. He was used to clearing his throat and having an entire room jump to full attention. “Ms. Forsythe, you took my blood pressure—you have the information you needed, good day to you, ma’am. Gina . . .” He wanted to tell her to untwist her panties and put them back on, but he didn’t dare. “Sit,” he ordered instead, motioning to the desk chair that could be pulled beside the bed. “Please,” he added when Nurse Evil smirked on her way out the door.
Suzanne Brockmann (Breaking Point (Troubleshooters, #9))
He watched as Miss Turner lifted a spoonful of soup to her lips with agonizing slowness. He stared, fascinated, as her lips parted, revealing the tip of her tongue… “I say, Miss Turner-“ Wiggins again. Her spook paused in mid-air. Gray crashed his fist on the table. “Christ, man! Can’t you see the lady is trying to eat?” Crossing his arms, he slumped back in his chair. Its wooden joints creaked in protest. And now everyone put down their spoons. Gray felt their eyes on him. He kicked the table leg, frustrated with himself, with her, with his goddamned boots. They still pinched his feet.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
At her feet, a luminous path lit the way through the grassy field. It was made entirely from glow sticks; each of the radiant lights had been painstakingly set into the ground at perfect intervals, tracing a curved trail that shone through the darkness. Apparently, Jay had been busy. Near the water’s edge, at the end of the iridescent pathway and beneath a stand of trees, Jay had set up more than just a picnic. He had created a retreat, an oasis for the two of them. Violet shook her head, unable to find the words to speak. He led her closer, and Violet followed, amazed. Jay had hung more of the luminous glow sticks from the low-hanging branches, so they dangled overhead. They drifted and swayed in the breeze that blew up from the lake. Beneath the natural canopy of limbs, he had set up two folding lounge chairs and covered them with pillows and blankets. “I’d planned to use candles, but the wind would’ve blown ‘em out, so I had to improvise.” “Seriously, Jay? This is amazing.” Violet felt awed. She couldn’t imagine how long it must have taken him. “I’m glad you like it.” He led her to one of the chairs and drew her down until she was sitting before he started unpacking the cooler. She half-expected him to pull out a jar of Beluga caviar, some fancy French cheeses, and Dom Perignon champagne. Maybe even a cluster of grapes to feed to her…one at a time. So when he started laying out their picnic, Violet laughed. Instead of expensive fish eggs and stinky cheeses, Jay had packed Daritos and chicken soft tacos-Violet’s favorites. And instead of grapes, he brought Oreos. He knew her way too well. Violet grinned as he pulled out two clear plastic cups and a bottle of sparkling cider. She giggled. “What? No champagne?” He shrugged, pouring a little of the bubbling apple juice into each of the flimsy cups. “I sorta thought that a DUI might ruin the mood.” He lifted his cup and clinked-or rather, tapped-it against hers. “Cheers.” He watched her closely as she took a sip. For several moments, they were silent. The lights swayed above them, creating shadows that danced over them. The park was peaceful, asleep, as the lake’s waters lapped the shore. Across from them, lights from the houses along the water’s edge cast rippling reflections on the shuddering surface. All of these things transformed the ordinary park into a romantic winter rendezvous.
Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2))
Our Victrola stood in the diningroom. I was allowed to climb onto the seat of a diningroom chair to wind it, start the record turning, and set the needle playing. In a second I'd jumped to the floor, to spin or march around the room as the music called for - now there were all the other records I could play too. I skinned back onto the chair just in time to lift the needle at the end, stop the record and turn it over, then change the needle. Winding up, dancing, being cocked to start and stop the record, was of course, all in one the act of listening. Movement must be at the very heart of listening.
Eudora Welty (On Writing)
And then he lifted his eyes from the chair to his bed. If this was his imagination, his imagination was glorious. Margaret lay on his coverlet, stretched out full length. She still wore a corset and petticoats, but they’d been hiked up so that he could see where her garters tied at the knees. She crooked one finger at him and smiled. “Margaret. What are you doing here?” “I,” she said, “have been procuring my future.” His mind went blank. He didn’t know how to take it. She’d decided to have him, after all. She’d realized she didn’t need him, not one bit. His head pounded. His heart swelled in a mix of hope and despair. “I want you.” Hope. Hope. It was all hope. He took a careful step towards her. “Wait. There’s a condition.” “You know,” Ash said, his throat closing, “that if you are half-naked on my bed, all conditions will be met. Instantly.” “Ah, but this is one of the conditions I did not deliver to Lord Lacy-Follett earlier today.” If he’d been overwhelmed by her appearance before, he was stunned now. “You talked to Lacy-Follett? You cannot be serious.” “Oh, but I am. I had to renegotiate, after I’d heard what you had done. I had been so blinded by my loyalty to my brothers that I could not see that I owed loyalty to you, as well. I was wrong. I love you, Ash.” He swallowed. She smiled up at him. “I love that you make me feel as if I’m the only woman in the world. I love that you’ll always be there for me.” She sat up on the bed, and her petticoats fell, so that only her toes peeked out at him from underneath those layers of fabric. “I want to paint my own canvas, Ash. And I want you on it with me.” Delicately, she stretched out one leg. Her foot flexed, and then her toes found the floor. He was helpless. Just seeing her push to her feet got him hard. And seeing her in his room—on his bed—made every part of him reverberate with the rightness of it.
Courtney Milan
I am not sure exactly what healing is or looks like, what form it comes in, what it should feel like. I do know that when I was four, I could not lift a gallon of milk, could not believe how heavy it was, that white sloshing boulder. I'd pull up a wooden chair to stand over the counting, pouring the milk with two shaking arms, wetting the cereal, spilling. Looking back I don't remember the day that I lifted it with ease. All I know is that now I do it without thinking, can do it one-handed, on the phone, in a rush. I believe the same rules apply, that one day I'll be able to tell this story without it shaking my foundation. Each time will not require an entire production, a spilling, a sweating forehead, a mess to clean up, sopping paper towels. It will just be a part of my life, every day lighter to lift. Ram Dass said, Allow that you are at this moment not in the wrong place in your life. Consider the possibility that there have been no errors in the game. Just consider it. Consider that there is not an error, and everything that's come down on your plate is the way it is and here we are. I don't believe it was my fate to be raped. But I do believe that here we are is all we have. For a long time, it was too painful to be here. My mind preferred to be dissociated. I used to believe the goal was forgetting. It took me a long time to learn healing is not about advancing, it is returning repeatedly to forage something. Writing this book allowed me to go back to that place. I learned to stay in the hurt, to resist leaving. If I got stuck inside scenes in the courtroom, I would glance down at Mogu and wonder, if I really am in the past, how did this blinking thing get in my house? I assembled and reassembled letters in ways that would describe what I'd seen and felt. As I revisited that landscape, I grew more in control, could go and go when I needed to. Until one day I found there was nothing left to gather.
Chanel Miller (Know My Name)
As the third evening approached, Gabriel looked up blearily as two people entered the room. His parents. The sight of them infused him with relief. At the same time, their presence unlatched all the wretched emotion he'd kept battened down until this moment. Disciplining his breathing, he stood awkwardly, his limbs stiff from spending hours on the hard chair. His father came to him first, pulling him close for a crushing hug and ruffling his hair before going to the bedside. His mother was next, embracing him with her familiar tenderness and strength. She was the one he'd always gone to first whenever he'd done something wrong, knowing she would never condemn or criticize, even when he deserved it. She was a source of endless kindness, the one to whom he could entrust his worst thoughts and fears. "I promised nothing would ever harm her," Gabriel said against her hair, his voice cracking. Evie's gentle hands patted his back. "I took my eyes off her when I shouldn't have," he went on. "Mrs. Black approached her after the play- I pulled the bitch aside, and I was too distracted to notice-" He stopped talking and cleared his throat harshly, trying not to choke on emotion. Evie waited until he calmed himself before saying quietly, "You remember when I told you about the time your f-father was badly injured because of me?" "That wasn't because of you," Sebastian said irritably from the bedside. "Evie, have you harbored that absurd idea for all these years?" "It's the most terrible feeling in the world," Evie murmured to Gabriel. "But it's not your fault, and trying not to make it so won't help either of you. Dearest boy, are you listening to me?" Keeping his face pressed against her hair, Gabriel shook his head. "Pandora won't blame you for what happened," Evie told him, "any more than your father blamed me." "Neither of you are to blame for anything," his father said, "except for annoying me with this nonsense. Obviously the only person to blame for this poor girl's injury is the woman who attempted to skewer her like a pinioned duck." He straightened the covers over Pandora, bent to kiss her forehead gently, and sat in the bedside chair. "My son... guilt, in proper measure, can be a useful emotion. However, when indulged to excess it becomes self-defeating, and even worse, tedious." Stretching out his long legs, he crossed them negligently. "There's no reason to tear yourself to pieces worrying about Pandora. She's going to make a full recovery." "You're a doctor now?" Gabriel asked sardonically, although some of the weight of grief and worry lifted at his father's confident pronouncement. "I daresay I've seen enough illness and injuries in my time, stabbings included, to predict the outcome accurately. Besides, I know the spirit of this girl. She'll recover." "I agree," Evie said firmly. Letting out a shuddering sigh, Gabriel tightened his arms around her. After a long moment, he heard his mother say ruefully, "Sometimes I miss the days when I could solve any of my children's problems with a nap and a biscuit." "A nap and a biscuit wouldn't hurt this one at the moment," Sebastian commented dryly. "Gabriel, go find a proper bed and rest for a few hours. We'll watch over your little fox cub.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
She had finished her breakfast, so I permitted her to give a specimen of her accomplishments.  Descending from her chair, she came and placed herself on my knee; then, folding her little hands demurely before her, shaking back her curls and lifting her eyes to the ceiling, she commenced singing a song from some opera.  It was the strain of a forsaken lady, who, after bewailing the perfidy of her lover, calls pride to her aid; desires her attendant to deck her in her brightest jewels and richest robes, and resolves to meet the false one that night at a ball, and prove to him, by the gaiety of her demeanour, how little his desertion has affected her.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Mr. Rohan,” she heard Beatrix ask, “are you going to marry my sister?” Amelia choked on her tea and set the cup down. She sputtered and coughed into her napkin. “Hush, Beatrix,” Win murmured. “But she’s wearing his ring—” Poppy clamped her hand over Beatrix’s mouth. “Hush!” “I might,” Cam replied. His eyes sparkled with mischief as he continued. “I find your sister a bit lacking in humor. And she doesn’t seem particularly obedient. On the other hand—” One set of French doors flew open, accompanied by the sound of breaking glass. Everyone on the back terrace looked up in startlement, the men rising from their chairs. “No,” came Win’s soft cry. Merripen stood there, having dragged himself from his sickbed. He was bandaged and disheveled, but he looked far from helpless. He looked like a maddened bull, his dark head lowered, his hands clenched into massive fists. And his stare, promising death, was firmly fixed on Cam. There was no mistaking the bloodlust of a Roma whose kinswoman had been dishonored. “Oh, God,” Amelia muttered. Cam, who stood beside her chair, glanced down at her questioningly. “Did you say something to him?” Amelia turned red as she recalled her blood-spotted nightgown and the maid’s expression. “It must have been servants’ talk.” Cam stared at the enraged giant with resignation. “You may be in luck,” he said to Amelia. “It looks as if our betrothal is going to end prematurely.” She made to stand beside him, but he pressed her back into the chair. “Stay out of this. I don’t want you hurt in the fray.” “He won’t hurt me,” Amelia said curtly. “It’s you he wants to slaughter.” Holding Merripen’s gaze, Cam moved slowly away from the table. “Is there something you’d like to discuss, chal?” he asked with admirable self-possession. Merripen replied in Romany. Although no one save Cam understood what he said, it was clearly not encouraging. “I’m going to marry her,” Cam said, as if to pacify him. “That’s even worse!” Merripen moved forward, murder in his eyes. Lord St. Vincent swiftly interceded, stepping between the pair. Like Cam, he’d had his share of putting down fights at the gambling club. He lifted his hands in a staying gesture and spoke smoothly. “Easy, large fellow. I’m sure you can find a way to resolve your differences in a reasonable fashion.” “Get out of my way,” Merripen growled, putting an end to the notion of civilized discourse. St. Vincent’s pleasant expression didn’t change. “You have a point. There’s nothing so tiresome as being reasonable. I myself avoid it whenever possible. Still, I’m afraid you can’t brawl when there are ladies present. It might give them ideas.
Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1))
Kiss me already, god. I can’t take the hungry looks any longer.” She told him with boldness. Her breath fanning his face and her eyes … fuck, her eyes could seduce any man and they trained on him. Then he kissed her. A growl gurgling at the back of his throat, he took her lips like he’d been starving for his whole life waiting for a kiss like this one. Her mouth offered him everything Butcher didn’t know he’d needed and now was dying for. She was a breath. A yearning. Her mouth parted so inviting and he dove in with his tongue. When her taste filled his mouth, the ticking bomb inside his head intensified. It only grew louder as her fingers speared into his hair and kissed him back like she was meant to kiss only him. Like she needed his flavor drenching her mouth in the same way. She moaned. Butcher grunted his arousal, holding the back of her head to keep her right there. And when her mouth opened again, he pushed in to chase her tongue. His free hand sloped down the curve of her back until he had a grip of her ass, helping her to move on him. Fuck, she was like a serpent curling her hips, driving him crazy and then crazier still, he lifted his pelvis from the chair in hopes of getting closer to that heaven but that would only happen if she let Butcher take her somewhere private. One more taste. Another bite and suck. One more bruising kiss. Not a kiss. It was a possession.
V. Theia (Savage Outlaw (Renegade Souls MC #8))
When I realized he was about to open up the floor for discussion, I folded myself into the chair, trying to make my body smaller, trying to disappear. Will you make me explain this? Will you ask me to tell this all-white class about the masks Black people wear? I was surprised by own reaction. It felt deeply gratifying to have my own experience named, lifted up, discussed, considered worthy of everyone’s attention. And yet, I had no desire to be the Black spokesperson. It felt too risky. I wasn’t sure that my classmates had earned the right to know, to understand, to be given access to such a vulnerable place in my experience. For me, this was more than an educational exercise. This is how we survive.
Austin Channing Brown (I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness)
Ladislav gave the wrong answer.” The tutor lifted his arm, fingers heavy with thick rings, and backhanded Radu sharply across his face. Radu’s head snapped to the side and he fell out of his chair with a cry of shock and pain. Lada would kill him. She would cut this man’s hand from his body for striking her brother; she would— She composed herself before the tutor looked at her, his chest heaving and his eyes bright. Waiting for her reaction. If she killed him, they would kill her, and no one would be here to protect stupid, fragile Radu. Her stupid, fragile Radu. And if she got angry, the tutor would know—they would all know—how to control her. The same way they had known to control her father. The same way the Janissaries had known to hurt her by taking Bogdan away. She raised her eyebrows impassively. “What are the five pillars of Islam?” he asked as Radu got back into his chair, tears in his eyes and a shocked expression on his face. Lada smiled and shook her head. The tutor hit Radu again. Radu stayed on the ground, gasping out the answer, his words garbled by a split and swiftly swelling lip, but Lada did not look away from the tutor’s face. She kept a pleasant smile on her own, kept her hands loosely folded in her lap, kept control. Control was power. No one would make her lose it. And eventually the tutor would realize that she would let him hit Radu over, and over, and over. And only then would Radu be safe.
Kiersten White (And I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga, #1))
One of the footmen appeared, with Willis, his servant from a lifetime ago, on the other side of what was undoubtedly female and undoubtedly not one of the prostitutes imported from the city. This was going to be entertaining. He leaned back in his chair and gestured them closer, waiting as they approached, waiting as Reading stood in the background watching him. "What have we got here, Willis?" he asked in his mildest voice. It was too much to hope for anything truly entertaining, but it might provide a few moments distraction. She lifted her head, the dowdy creature, and he found himself looking into warm brown eyes filled with such loathing that for a moment he was charmed. Few people ever showed their dislike of him.
Anne Stuart (Ruthless (The House of Rohan, #1))
How long have you known about him?” I asked Jesse, using my free hand to gesture toward his guest. “Forever. Nearly as long as I did about you.” “God, Jesse. Why didn’t you say anything?” “He was a shadow of you.” Jesse shrugged. “His background is diluted, his dragon blood les strong. Even with you in his proximity, I wasn’t certain any of his drakon traits would emerge. He hasn’t anywhere near your potential.” “Pardon me,” Armand said, freezingly polite, “but he is still right here with you in this room.” “Do you mean…I did it?” I asked. “I made him figure it out? What he is?” Jesse gave me an assessing look. “Like is drawn to like. We’re all three of us thick with magic now, even if it’s different kinds. It’s inevitable that we’ll feed off one another. The only way to prevent that would be to separate. And even then it might not be enough. Too much has already begun.” “I don’t want to separate from you,” I said. “No.” Jesse lifted our hands and gave mine a kiss. “Don’t worry about that.” Armand practically rolled his eyes. “If you two are quite done, might we talk some sense tonight? It’s late, I’m tired, and your ruddy chair, Holms, is about as comfortable as sitting on a tack. I want to…” But his voice only faded into silence. He closed his eyes and raised a hand to his face and squeezed the bridge of his nose. I noted again those shining nails. The elegance of his bones beneath his flawless skin. Skin that was marble-pale, I realized. Just like mine. “Yes?” I said, more gently than I’d intended. “Excuse me. I’m finding this all a bit…impossible to process. I’m beginning to believe that this is the most profoundly unpleasant dream I’ve ever been caught in.” “Allow me to assure you that you’re awake, Lord Armand,” I retorted, all gentleness gone. “To wit: You hear music no one else does. Distinctive music from gemstones and all sorts of metals. That day I played the piano at Tranquility, I was playing your father’s ruby song, one you must have heard exactly as I did. Exactly as your mother would have. You also have, perhaps, something like a voice inside you. Something specific and base, stronger than instinct, hopeless to ignore. Animals distrust you. You might even dream of smoke or flying.” He dropped his arm. “You got that from the diary.” “No, I got that from my own life. And damned lucky you are to have been brought into this world as a pampered little prince instead of spending your childhood being like this and still having to fend for yourself, as I did.” “Right. Lucky me.” Armand looked at Jesse, his eyes glittering. “And what are you? Another dragon? A gargoyle, perchance, or a werecat?” “Jesse is a star.” The hand went up to conceal his face again. “Of course he is. The. Most. Unpleasant. Dream. Ever.” I separated my hand from Jesse’s, angling for more bread. “I think you’re going to have to show him.” “Aye.” A single blue eye blinked open between Armand’s fingers. “Show me what?
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
Now that is a sword,” Freddy said in awe as he went to look at an impressive saber hanging from the hat rack near the door. “Stay away from it,” she cautioned. “I’m sure it’s sharper than yours.” As usual, Freddy ignored her. “Just think what I could do with this,” he said as he lifted it off its hook. “So far I haven’t seen you do anything with a sword, my boy,” Oliver remarked dryly. “Though I shudder to think what your cousin would attempt.” Maria glared at Oliver, which only made him laugh. Meanwhile, Freddy unsheathed the saber with a flourish. “Curse it, Freddy, put it back,” Maria ordered. “What a fine piece of steel.” Freddy swished it through the air. “Even the one Uncle Adam gave me isn’t near so impressive.” Maria appealed to Oliver. “Do something, for pity’s sake. Make him stop.” “And get myself skewered for the effort? No, thank you. Let the pup have his fun.” Freddy cast him a belligerent glance. “You wouldn’t call me a pup if I came at you with this.” “No, I’d call you insane,” Oliver drawled. “But you’re welcome to try and see what happens.” Don’t encourage him,” Maria told Oliver. The door opened suddenly, and Freddy whirled with the sword in hand, knocking a lamp off the desk. As the glass chimney shattered, spilling oil in a wide arc, the wick lit the lot, and fire sprang to life. Maria jumped back with a cry of alarm while Oliver leaped out of his chair to stamp it out, first with his boots and then with his coat. A string of curses filled the air, most of them Oliver’s, though Freddy got in a few choice ones as the fire licked at his favorite trousers. When at last Oliver put the flames out and nothing was left but a charred circle on the wood floor, dotted with shards of glass, the three of them turned to the door to find a dark-haired man observing the scene with an expression that gave nothing away. “If you hoped to catch my attention,” he remarked, “you’ve succeeded.” “Mr. Pinter, I presume?” Oliver said, tossing his now ruined coat and singed gloves into a nearby rubbish pail. “I hope you’ll forgive us for the dramatic intrusion. I’m Stonevi-“ “I know who you are, my lord,” he interrupted. “It’s what you’re doing here setting fire to my office that I’m not certain of.
Sabrina Jeffries (The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #1))
Matt’s housekeeper let him in with a grimace. “I’m harmless today,” Tate assured the woman as she led the way to where Matt Holden was standing just outside the study door. “Right. You and two odd species of cobra,” Matt murmured sarcastically, glaring at his son from a tanned face. “What do you want, a bruise to match the other one?” Tate held up both hands. “Don’t start,” he said. Matt moved out of the way with reluctance and closed the study door behind them. “Your mother’s gone shopping,” he said. “Good. I don’t want to talk to her just yet.” Matt’s eyebrows levered up. “Oh?” Tate dropped into the wing chair across from the senator’s bulky armchair. “I need some advice.” Matt felt his forehead. “I didn’t think a single malt whiskey was enough to make me hallucinate,” he said to himself. Tate glowered at him. “You’re not one of my favorite people, but you know Cecily a little better than I seem to lately.” “Cecily loves you,” Matt said shortly, dropping into his chair. “That’s not the problem,” Tate said. He leaned forward, his hands clasped loosely between his splayed knees. “Although I seem to have done everything in my power to make her stop.” The older man didn’t speak for a minute or two. “Love doesn’t die that easily,” he said. “Your mother and I are a case in point. We hadn’t seen each other for thirty-six years, but the instant we met again, the years fell away. We were young again, in love again.” “I can’t wait thirty-six years,” Tate stated. He stared at his hands, then he drew in a long breath. “Cecily’s pregnant.” The other man was quiet for so long that Tate lifted his eyes, only to be met with barely contained rage in the older man’s face. “Is it yours?” Matt asked curtly. Tate glowered at him. “What kind of woman do you think Cecily is? Of course it’s mine!” Matt chuckled. He leaned back in the easy chair and indulged the need to look at his son, to find all the differences and all the similarities in that younger version of his face. It pleased him to find so many familiar things. “We look alike,” Tate said, reading the intent scrutiny he was getting. “Funny that I never noticed that before.” Matt smiled. “We didn’t get along very well.” “Both too stubborn and inflexible,” Tate pointed out. “And arrogant.” Tate chuckled dryly. “Maybe.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
Why are you delivering my dress?” “I saw Lirah with it. I asked if I could bring it to you.” “And she let you, of course.” He lifted his brows at her tone. “She was busy. I thought she would be glad for one less thing to do.” “That was kind of you then,” Kestrel said, though she heard her voice indicate otherwise and was annoyed with herself. Slowly, he said, “What do you mean?” “I mean nothing.” “You asked me to be honest with you. Do you think I have been?” She remembered his harsh words during the storm. “Yes.” “Can I not ask the same thing of you?” The answer was no, no slave could ask anything of her. The answer was no, if he wanted her secret thoughts he could try to win them at Bite and Sting. But Kestrel swallowed a sudden flare of nervousness and admitted to herself that she valued his honesty--and her own, when she was around him. There was nothing wrong with speaking the truth. “I think that you are not fair to Lirah.” His brows drew together. “I don’t understand.” “It’s not fair for you to encourage Lirah when your heart is elsewhere.” He inhaled sharply. Kestrel thought that he might tell her it was no business of hers, for it was not, but then she saw that he wasn’t offended, only taken aback. He pulled up a chair in that possessive, natural way of his and sank into it, dropping the dress onto his knees. He studied her. She willed herself not to look away. “I hadn’t thought of Lirah like that.” Arin shook his head. “I’m not thinking clearly at all. I need to be more careful.” Kestrel supposed that she should feel reassured.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
Now, where were we when our conversation had to be abandoned downstairs?” he said when Ian handed the papers back to him. Ian’s thoughts were still in the study, where a desk was filled with his likenesses and carefully maintained reports of every facet of his life, and for a moment he looked blankly at the older man. “Ah, yes,” the duke prodded as Ian sat down across from him, “we were discussing your future wife. Who is the fortunate young woman?” Propping his ankle atop the opposite knee, Ian leaned back in his chair and regarded him in casual, speculative silence, one dark brow lifted in amused mockery. “Don’t you know?” he asked dryly. “I’ve known for five days. Or is Mr. Norwich behind in his correspondence again?” His grandfather stiffened and then seemed to age in his chair. “Charity,” he said quietly. With a ragged sigh he lifted his eyes to Ian’s, his gaze proud and beseeching at the same time. “Are you angry?” “I don’t know.” He nodded. “Do you have any idea how difficult it is to say ‘I’m sorry’?” "Don't say it," Ian said curtly. His grandfather drew a long breath and nodded again, accepting Ian's answer. "Well, then, can we talk? For just a little while?" "What do you want to talk about?" "Your future wife, for one thing," he said warmly. "Who is she?" "Elizabeth Cameron." The duke gave a start. "Really? I thought you had done with that messy affair two years ago." Ian suppressed a grim smile at his phrasing and his gall. "I shall send her my congratulations at once," his grandfather announced. "They'd be extremely premature," Ian said flatly.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
And with that Glóin embarked on a long account of the doings of the Dwarf-kingdom. He was delighted to have found so polite a listener; for Frodo showed no sign of weariness and made no attempt to change the subject, though actually he soon got rather lost among the strange names of people and places that he had never heard of before. He was interested, however, to hear that Dáin was still King under the Mountain, and was now old (having passed his two hundred and fiftieth year), venerable, and fabulously rich. Of the ten companions who had survived the Battle of Five Armies seven were still with him: Dwalin, Glóin, Dori, Nori, Bifur, Bofur, and Bombur. Bombur was now so fat that he could not move himself from his couch to his chair at table, and it took six young dwarves to lift him.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
Lillian lifted the cake pans from the oven and rested them on metal racks on the counter. The layers rose level and smooth from the pans; the scent, tinged with vanilla, traveled across the room in soft, heavy waves, filling the space with whispers of other kitchens, other loves. The students food themselves leaning forward in their chairs to greet the smells and the memories that came with them. Breakfast cake baking on a snow day off from school, all the world on holiday. The sound of cookie sheets clanging against the metal oven racks. The bakery that was the reason to get up on cold, dark mornings; a croissant placed warm in a young woman's hand on her way to the job she never meant to have. Christmas, Valentine's, birthdays, flowing together, one cake after another, lit by eyes bright with love.
Erica Bauermeister (The School of Essential Ingredients)
Because you deserve a duke, damn it!” A troubled expression furrowed his brow. “You deserve a man who can give you the moon. I can’t. I can give you a decent home in a decent part of town with decent people, but you…” His voice grew choked. “You’re the most amazing woman I’ve ever known. It destroys me to think of what you’ll have to give up to be with me.” “I told you before-I don’t care!” she said hotly. “Why can’t you believe me?” He hesitated a long moment. “The truth?” “Always.” “Because I can’t imagine why you’d want me when you have men of rank and riches at your fingertips.” She gave a rueful laugh. “You grossly exaggerate my charms, but I can’t complain. It’s one of many things I adore about you-that you see a better version of me than I ever could.” Remembering the wonderful words he’d said last night when she’d been so self-conscious, she left the bed to walk up to him. “Do you know what I see when I look at you?” His wary gaze locked with hers. “Proper Pinter. Proud Pinter.” “Yes, but that’s just who you show to the world to protect yourself.” She reached up to stroke his cheek, reveling in the ragged breath that escaped him. “When you let down your guard, however, I see Jackson-who ferrets out the truth, no matter how hard. Who risks his own life to protect the weak. Who’d sacrifice anything to prevent me from having to sacrifice everything.” Catching her hand, he halted its path. “You see a saint,” he said hoarsely. “I’m not a saint; I’m a man with needs and desires and a great many rough edges.” “I like your rough edges,” she said with a soft smile. “If I’d really wanted a man of rank and riches, I probably would have married long ago. I always told myself I couldn’t marry because no one wanted me, but the truth was, I didn’t want any of them.” She fingered a lock of hair. “Apparently I was waiting for you, rough edges and all.” His eyes turned hot with wanting. Drawing her hand to his lips, he kissed the palm so tenderly that her heart leapt into her throat. When he lifted his head, he said, “Then marry me, rough edges and all.” She swallowed. “That’s what you say now, when we’re alone and you’re caught up in-“ He covered her mouth with his, kissing her so fervently that she turned into a puddle of mush. Blast him-he always did that, too, when they were alone; it was when they were with others that he reconsidered their being together forever. And he still had said nothing of live. “That’s enough of that,” she warned, drawing back from him. “Until you make a proper proposal, before my family, you’re not sharing my bed.” “Sweeting-“ “Don’t you ‘sweeting’ me, Jackson Pinter.” She edged away from him. “I want Proper Pinter back now.” A mocking smile crossed his lips. “Sorry, love. I threw him out when I saw how he was mucking up my private life.” Love? No, she wouldn’t let that soften her. Not until she was sure he wouldn’t turn cold later. “You told Oliver you’d behave like a gentleman.” “To hell with your brother.” He stalked her with clear intent. Even as she darted behind a chair to avoid him, excitement tore through her. “Aren’t you still worried Gran will cut me off, and you’ll be saddled with a spoiled wife and not enough money to please her?” “To hell with your grandmother, too. For that matter, to hell with the money.” He tossed the chair aside as if it were so much kindling; it clattered across the floor. “It’s you I want.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
What can I tell you that you do not know Of the life after death? Your son’s eyes, which had unsettled us With your Slavic Asiatic Epicanthic fold, but would become So perfectly your eyes, Became wet jewels, The hardest substance of the purest pain As I fed him in his high white chair. Great hands of grief were wringing and wringing His wet cloth of face. They wrung out his tears. But his mouth betrayed you — it accepted The spoon in my disembodied hand That reached through from the life that had survived you. Day by day his sister grew Paler with the wound She could not see or touch or feel, as I dressed it Each day with her blue Breton jacket. By night I lay awake in my body The Hanged Man My neck-nerve uprooted and the tendon Which fastened the base of my skull To my left shoulder Torn from its shoulder-root and cramped into knots — I fancied the pain could be explained If I were hanging in the spirit From a hook under my neck-muscle. Dropped from life We three made a deep silence In our separate cots. We were comforted by wolves. Under that February moon and the moon of March The Zoo had come close. And in spite of the city Wolves consoled us. Two or three times each night For minutes on end They sang. They had found where we lay. And the dingos, and the Brazilian-maned wolves — All lifted their voices together With the grey Northern pack. The wolves lifted us in their long voices. They wound us and enmeshed us In their wailing for you, their mourning for us, They wove us into their voices. We lay in your death, In the fallen snow, under falling snow, As my body sank into the folk-tale Where the wolves are singing in the forest For two babes, who have turned, in their sleep, Into orphans Beside the corpse of their mother.
Ted Hughes (Birthday Letters)
Poppy gave him an odd look. “Is there anything the matter?” Nothing. Except that watching his wife eating breakfast was the most erotic act he had ever seen. “Nothing at all,” Harry said scratchily. “Tea’s hot.” When he dared to look at Poppy again, she was consuming a fresh strawberry, holding it by the green stem. Her lips rounded in a luscious pucker as she bit neatly into the ripe flesh of the fruit. Christ. He moved uncomfortably in his chair, while all the unsatisfied desire of the previous night reawakened with a vengeance. Poppy ate two more strawberries, nibbling slowly, while Harry tried to ignore her. Heat collected beneath his clothing, and he used a napkin to blot his forehead. Poppy lifted a bite of honey-soaked crumpet to her mouth, and gave him a perplexed glance. “Are you feeling well?” “It’s too warm in here,” Harry said irritably, while lurid thoughts
Lisa Kleypas (Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3))
We're working on disrupting an old family tradition." He accepted the glass the Justice offered. "He means feud," Shelby explained at her mother's blank look. She sipped the liqueur,approved it, then sat on the arm of Myra's chair. "Oh...Oh," Deborah repeated as she remembered. "The Campbells and the MacGregors were blood enemies in Scotland-though I can't quite remember why." "They stole our land," Alan put in mildly. "That's what you say." Shelby shot him a look as she sipped again. "We acquired MacGregor land through a royal decree.They weren't good sports about it." Alan gave her a thoughtful smile. "I'd be interested to hear you debate that issue with my father." "What a match," Myra said, brightening at the thought. "Herbert,can you just see our Shelby nose-to-nose with Daniel? All that red hair and stubbornness. You really should arrange it, Alan." "I've been giving it some thought." "Have you?" Shelby's brows lifted to disappear completely under her frizz of bangs. "Quite a bit of thought," he said in the same even tone. "I've been to that wonderful anachronism in Hyannis Port." Myra gave Shelby a brief pat on the thigh. "It's right up your alley,dear.She's so fond of the-well,let's say unique,shall we?" "Yes." Deborah sent Shelby a fond smile. "I could never figure out why. But then,both of my children have always been a mystery.Perhaps it's because they're so bright and clever and restless.I'm always hoping they'll settle down." This time she beamed the smile at Alan. "You're not married, either,are you,Senator?" "If you'd like," Shelby said as she studied the color of her liqueur through the crystal, "I could just step out while you discuss the terms of the dowry." "Shelby,really," Deborah murmured over the sound of the Justice's chuckle.
Nora Roberts (The MacGregors: Alan & Grant (The MacGregors, #3-4))
Although Arin wasn’t touching her, he was touching no living part of her, it felt as if a fine net had been cast over Kestrel, one that hazed her vision and shimmered against her skin. “There,” he said. Kestrel watched her reflection lift a hand to her head. She couldn’t think of what to say. Arin had drawn back, hands in his pockets. But his eyes held hers in the mirror, and his face had softened, like when she had played the piano for him. She said, “How…?” He smiled. “How did a blacksmith pick up such an unexpected skill?” “Well, yes.” “My older sister used to make me do this when I was little.” Kestrel almost asked where Arin’s sister was now, then imagined the worst. She saw Arin watch her imagine it, and saw from his expression that the worst was true. Yet his smile didn’t fade. “I hated it, of course,” he said. “The way she ordered me around. The way I let her. But now…it’s a nice memory.” She rose and faced Arin. The chair stood between them, and she wasn’t sure whether she was grateful for that barrier or not. “Kestrel, if you must go to the ball, take me with you.” “I don’t understand you,” she said, frustrated. “I don’t understand what you say, how you change, how you act one way and then come here and act another.” “I don’t always understand myself either. But I know I want to go with you tonight.” Kestrel let the words echo in her mind. There had been a supple strength to his voice. An unconscious melody. Kestrel wondered if Arin knew how he exposed himself as a singer with every simple, ordinary word. She wondered if he meant to hold her in thrall. “If you think it’s stupid for me to go to the Firstwinter ball,” she said, “you can be certain that it is far worse for me to take you along.” He lifted one shoulder. “Or it could send a bold message of what we both know to be true: that you have nothing to hide.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
The day wore on.While yet Rycca slept, Dragon did all the things she had said he would do-paced back and forth, contemplated mayhem,and even honed his blade on the whetstone from the stable.All except being oblivious to her,for that he could never manage. But when she awoke,sitting up heavy-lidded, her mouth so full and soft it was all he could do not to crawl back into bed with her,he put aside such pursuits and controlled himself admirably well,so he thought. Yet in the midst of preparing a meal for them from the provisions in the pantry of the lodge,he was stopped by Rycca's hand settling upon his. "Dragon," she said softly, "if you add any more salt to that stew, we will need a barrel of water and more to drink with it." He looked down, saw that she was right, and cursed under his breath. Dumping out the spoiled stew, he started over. They ate late but they did eat.He was quite determined she would do so,and for once she seemed to have a decent appetite. "I'm glad to see your stomach is better," he said as she was finishing. She looked up,startled. "What makes you say that?" "You haven't seemed able to eat regularly of late." "Oh,well,you many that." He nodded,reached for his goblet, and damn near knocked it over as a sudden thought roared through him. "Rycca?" She rose quickly,gathering up the dishes. His hand lashed out, closing on her wrist. Gently but inexorably, he returned her to her seat. Without taking his eyes from her,he asked, "Is there something you should tell me?" "Something...?" "I ask myself what sort of changes may cause a woman to be afflicted with an uneasy stomach and it occurs to me I've been a damned idiot." "Not so! You could never be that." "Oh,really? How otherwise would I fail to notice that your courses have not come of late? Or is that also due to travel,wife?" "Some women are not all that regular." "Some women do not concern me.You do,Rycca. I swear,if you are with child and have not told me, I will-" She squared her shoulders,lifted her head,and met his eyes hard on. "Will what?" "What? Will what? Does that mean-" "I'm sorry,Dragon." Truly repentant, Rycca sighed deeply. "I was going to tell you.I was just waiting for a calmer time.I didn't want you to worry more." Still grappling with what she had just revealed,he stared at her in astonishment. "You mean worry that my wife and our child are bait for a murderous traitor?" "I know you're angry and you have a right to be.But if I had told you, we wouldn't be here now." "Damn right we wouldn't be!" He got up from the table so abruptly that his chair toppled over and crashed to the floor.Ignoring it,Dragon paced back and forth,glaring at her. Rycca waited,trusting the storm to pass. As she did,she counted silently, curious to see just how long it would take her husband to grasp fully what he had discovered. Nine...ten... "We're going to have a baby." Not long at all. She nodded happily. "Yes,we are, and you're going to be a wonderful father." He walked back to the table,picked her up out of her chair,held her high against his chest,and stared at her. "My God-" Rycca laughed. "You can't possibly be surprised.It's not as though we haven't been doing our best to make this happen." "True,but still it's absolutely incredible." Very gently,she touched his face. "Perhaps we think of miracles wrongly. They're supposed to be extraordinarily rare but in fact they're as commonplace as a bouquet of wildflowers plucked by a warrior...or a woman having a baby." Dragon sat down with her still in his arms and held her very close.He swallowed several times and said nothing. Both could have remained contentedly like that for a long while, but only a few minutes passed before they were interrupted. The raven lit on the sill of the open window just long enough to catch their attention,then she was gone into the bloodred glare of the dying day.
Josie Litton (Come Back to Me (Viking & Saxon, #3))
Arin had bathed. He was wearing house clothes, and when Kestrel saw him standing in the doorway his shoulders were relaxed. Without being invited, he strode into the room, pulled out the other chair at the small table where Kestrel waited, and sat. He arranged his arms in a position of negligent ease and leaned into the brocaded chair as if he owned it. He seemed, Kestrel thought, at home. But then, he had also seemed so in the forge. Kestrel looked away from him, stacking the Bite and Sting tiles on the table. It occurred to her that it was a talent for Arin to be comfortable in such different environments. She wondered how she would fare in his world. He said, “This is not a sitting room.” “Oh?” Kestrel mixed the tiles. “And here I thought we were sitting.” His mouth curved slightly. “This is a writing room. Or, rather”--he pulled his six tiles--“it was.” Kestrel drew her Bite and Sting hand. She decided to show no sign of curiosity. She would not allow herself to be distracted. She arranged her tiles facedown. “Wait,” he said. “What are the stakes?” She had given this careful consideration. She took a small wooden box from her skirt pocket and set it on the table. Arin picked up the box and shook it, listening to the thin, sliding rattle of its contents. “Matches.” He tossed the box back onto the table. “Hardly high stakes.” But what were appropriate stakes for a slave who had nothing to gamble? This question had troubled Kestrel ever since she had proposed the game. She shrugged and said, “Perhaps I am afraid to lose.” She split the matches between them. “Hmm,” he said, and they each put in their ante. Arin positioned his tiles so that he could see their engravings without revealing them to Kestrel. His eyes flicked to them briefly, then lifted to examine the luxury of his surroundings. This annoyed her--both because she could glean nothing from his expression and because he was acting the gentleman by averting his gaze, offering her a moment to study her tiles without fear of giving away something to him. As if she needed such an advantage. “How do you know?” she said. “How do I know what?” “That this was a writing room. I have never heard of such a thing.” She began to position her own tiles. It was only when she saw their designs that she wondered whether Arin had really been polite in looking away, or if he had been deliberately provoking her. She concentrated on her draw, relieved to see that she had a good set. A tiger (the highest tile); a wolf, a mouse, a fox (not a bad trio, except the mouse); and a pair of scorpions. She liked the Sting tiles. They were often underestimated. Kestrel realized that Arin had been waiting to answer her question. He was watching her. “I know,” he said, “because of this room’s position in your suite, the cream color of the walls, and the paintings of swans. This was where a Herrani lady would pen her letters or write journal entries. It’s a private room. I shouldn’t be allowed inside.” “Well,” said Kestrel, uncomfortable, “it is no longer what it was.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
The two of you came this close to getting torn to shreds! Your father just found you, and he doesn’t want to lose you. Do you have any idea what he has been through to protect you since you got here?” [...] “No.” Talon’s voice was subdued, but only slightly. Teenage defiance still seethed beneath the surface. “He didn’t tell me.” I leaned back in my chair, blew out my breath, and closed my eyes. “And he probably won’t.” Tired had surrendered to exhausted. “He wouldn’t want you to worry. Because he loves you.” When Talon didn’t respond, I opened one eye and looked at him. “He hasn’t told you that, either, has he?” I asked wearily. “Not exactly.” My elbow was resting on the chair arm, and I dropped my head onto my upraised hand. I snorted. “Not exactly.” I shook my head. “Men.” I didn’t lift my head off my hand; it felt too good to be resting on something. I turned it about an inch and I could see Piaras just fine. His face was a shade or two short of a full, blazing blush. “I know you do.” His words tumbled out in a rush. “You don’t have to tell me.
Lisa Shearin (The Trouble with Demons (Raine Benares #3))
I’ve got some good physical therapy for you. Any good at fencing?” Joss almost choked on her mouthful of coffee. She sat up straight in her chair and shook her head. “No, Gus.” Troy ignored her. “I can fence in my sleep.” “Gus.” She narrowed her eyes at her father-in-law who could be stubborn as a mule. “He dislocated his elbow. He shouldn’t be doing any heavy lifting with his arm. Not to mention it’s going to be in a splint for a couple of weeks.” “He’s still got his right arm, don’t he?” “Yeah,” Troy drawled, amusement flattening his vowels even more than usual. “I’ve still got my right arm.” She glared at Gus. “You want to take on a one-armed fencer?” “Damien’s got his summer job starting today so I’m losing my sidekick and Cody’s out with his broken leg for another couple of weeks. It’d be handy to have even one extra hand on.” “I bet I can fence better one-armed than most men can with two.” There was no bravado to the claim. His expression was sincere and Joss believed him. She didn’t doubt this man could do a crap ton of things better than most men.
Amy Andrews (Troy (American Extreme Bull Riders Tour, #5))
My kin would sooner have a badger in their house than a Campbell." Alan saw his mother open hermouth and shook his head to silence her. He not only knew Shelby could hold her own but wanted to see her do it. "Most MacGregors were comfortable enough with badgers in the parlor." "Barbarians!" Daniel sucked in his breath. "The Campbells were barbarians, each and every one of them." Shelby tilted her head as if to study him from a new angle. "The MacGregors have a reputation for being sore losers." Instantly Daniel's face went nearly as red as his hair. "Losers? Hah! There's never been a Campbell born who could stand up to a MacGregor in a fair fight. Backstabbers." "We'll have Rob Roy's biography again in a minute," Shelby heard Caine mutter. "You don't have a drink, Dad," he said, hoping to distract him. "Shelby?" "Yes." She shifted her gaze to him, noting he was doing his best to maintain sobriety. "Scotch," she told him, with a quick irrepressible wink. "Straight up.If the MacGregors had been wiser," she continued without missing a beat, "perhaps they wouldn't have lost their land and their kilts and the name.Kings," she went on mildly as Daniel began to huff and puff, "have a habit of getting testy when someone's trying to overthrow them." "Kings!" Daniel exploded. "An English king, by God! No true Scotsman needed an English king to tell him how to live on his land." Shelby's lips curved as Caine handed her a glass. "That's a truth I can drink to." "Hah!" Daniel lifted his glass and drained it in one swallow before he thumped it onto the table at his side. Cocking a brow,Shelby eyed the Scotch in her glass,then proceeded to follow Daniel's example. For a moment,he frowned at the empty glass beside his. Slowly,with the room deadly silent,he shifted his gaze back to Shelby.His eyes were fierce, hers insolent. Heaving himself out of his chair, he towered over here, a great bear of a man with fiery hair.She put both hands on her hips, a willow-slim woman with curls equally dramtic. Alan wished fleetingly he could paint. Daniel's laugh, when he threw back his head and let it loose,was rich and loud and long. "Aye,by God,here's a lass!" Shelby found herself swept off her feet in a crushing hug that held welcome.
Nora Roberts (The MacGregors: Alan & Grant (The MacGregors, #3-4))
Phoebe entered the room and stopped with a head-to-toe quiver, like an arrow striking a target, at the sight of a half-naked West Ravenel. He was facing away from her, standing barefoot at an old-fashioned washstand as he blotted his neck and chest with a length of toweling. The robe had been tossed to a chair, leaving him dressed only in a pair of trousers that rode dangerously low on his hips. Henry had always seemed so much smaller without his clothes, vulnerable without the protection of civilized layers. But this man, all rippling muscle and bronzed skin and coiled energy, appeared twice as large. The room scarcely seemed able to contain him. He was big-boned and lean, his back flexing as he lifted a goblet of water and drank thirstily. Phoebe's helpless gaze followed the long groove of his spine down to his hips. The loose edge of a pair of fawn-colored trousers, untethered by braces, dipped low enough to reveal a shocking absence of undergarments. How could a gentleman go without wearing drawers? It was the most indecent thing she'd ever seen. The inside of her head was scalded by her own thoughts.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil's Daughter (The Ravenels, #5))
So Dad was a tedious, well-connected workaholic. But the other thing you need to understand is that Mom was a living wet dream. A former Guess model and Miller Lite girl, she was tall, curvy and gorgeous. At thirty-eight, she had somehow managed to remain ageless and maintained her killer body. She’s five-foot-nine with never-ending legs, generous breasts and full hips that scoop dramatically into her slim waist. People who say Barbie’s proportions are unrealistic obviously never met my stepmother. Her face is pretty too, with long eyelashes, sculpted cheekbones and big, blue eyes that tease and smile at the same time. Her long brown hair rests on her shoulders in thick, tousled layers like in one of those Pantene Pro-V commercials. One memory seared in to my brain from my early teenage years is of Mom parading around the house one evening in nothing but her heels and underwear. I was sitting on the couch in the living room watching TV when a flurry of long limbs and blow-dried hair burst in front of the screen. “Teddy-bear. Do you know where Silvia left the dry cleaning? I’m running late for dinner with the Blackwells and I can’t find my red cocktail dress.” Mom stood before me in matching off-white, La Perla bra and panties and Manolo Blahnik stilettos. Some subtle gold hoop earrings hung from her ears and a tiny bit of mascara on her eye lashes highlighted her sparkling, blue eyes. Aside from the missing dress, she was otherwise ready to go. “I think she left them hanging on the chair next to the other sofa,” I said, trying my best not to gape at Mom’s perfect body. Mom trotted across the room, her heels tocking on the hard wood floor. I watched her slim, sexy back as she lifted the dry cleaning onto the sofa and then bent over to sort through the garments. My eyes followed her long mane of brown hair down to her heart-shaped ass. Her panties stretched tightly across each cheek as she bent further down. “Found it!” She cried, springing back upright, causing her 35Cs to bounce up and down from the sudden motion. They were thrusting proudly off her ribcage and bulging out over the fabric of the balconette bra like two titanic eggs. Her supple skin pushed out over the silk edges. And then she was gone as quickly as she had arrived, her long legs striding back down the hallway.
C.R.R. Crawford (Sins from my Stepmother: Forbidden Desires)
Neither of us says anything for a moment. Then, quietly, he asks, “Do you want to break up?” Break up? “No.” All of a sudden I feel shaky, like I could cry. “Do you?” “No!” “You asked me first!” “So that’s it. Neither of us wants to break up, so we just move on.” Peter sinks down on a chair at the kitchen table and rests his head on it. I sit across from him. He feels so far away from me. My hand is itching to reach out and touch his hair, smooth it out, to make this fight be over and in our rearview. He lifts his head; his eyes are sad and enormous. “Can we hug now?” Shakily I nod, and we both get up and I wrap my arms around his middle. He holds me tight against him. His voice is muffled against my shoulder as he says, “Can we never fight again?” I laugh a shaky kind of laugh, shaky and relieved. “Yes, please.” And then he’s kissing me; his mouth is urgent against mine, like he’s searching for some sort of reassurance, some kind of promise only I can give. In answer I kiss him back--yes, I promise, promise, promise, let’s never fight again. I start to lose my balance, and his arm locks around me tight, and he kisses me until I am breathless.
Jenny Han (P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2))
On his chair, the yellow slit of Greebo’s left eye opened lazily. “Get down, You,” said Granny, lifting the kitten off her head and putting it on the floor. “I daresay Mrs. Ogg has got some milk in the kitchen.” “Not much,” said Nanny. “I’ll swear something’s been drinking it!” Greebo’s eye opened all the way, and he began to growl softly. “You sure you know what you’re doing, Esme?” said Nanny Ogg, reaching for a cushion to throw. “He’s very protective of his territory.” You the kitten sat on the floor and washed her ears. Then, as Greebo got to his feet, she fixed him with an innocent little stare and took a flying leap onto his nose, landing on it with all her claws out. “So is she,” said Granny Weatherwax, as Greebo erupted from the chair and hurtled around the room before disappearing into the kitchen. There was a crash of saucepans followed by the groioioioing of a saucepan lid spinning into silence on the floor. The kitten padded back into the room, hopped into the empty chair, and curled up. “He brought in half a wolf last week,” said Nanny Ogg. “You haven’t been hexperimentingi on that poor kitten, have you?” “I wouldn’t dream of such a thing,” said Granny. “She just knows her own mind, that’s all.
Terry Pratchett (Wintersmith (Discworld, #35; Tiffany Aching, #3))
I would like to see you cheat,” Elizabeth said impulsively, smiling at him. His hands stilled, his eyes intent on her face. “I beg your pardon?” “What I meant,” she hastily explained as he continued to idly shuffle the cards, watching her, “is that night in the card room at Charise’s there was mention of someone being able to deal a card from the bottom of the deck, and I’ve always wondered if you could, if it could…” She trailed off, belatedly realizing she was insulting him and that his narrowed, speculative gaze proved that she’d made it sound as if she believed him to be dishonest at cards. “I beg your pardon,” she said quietly. “That was truly awful of me.” Ian accepted her apology with a curt nod, and when Alex hastily interjected, “Why don’t we use the chips for a shilling each,” he wordlessly and immediately dealt the cards. Too embarrassed even to look at him, Elizabeth bit her lip and picked up her hand. In it there were four kings. Her gaze flew to Ian, but he was lounging back in his chair, studying his own cards. She won three shillings and was pleased as could be. He passed the deck to her, but Elizabeth shook her head. “I don’t like to deal. I always drop the cards, which Celton says is very irritating. Would you mind dealing for me?” “Not at all,” Ian said dispassionately, and Elizabeth realized with a sinking heart that he was still annoyed with her. “Who is Celton?” Jordan inquired. “Celton is a groom with whom I play cards,” Elizabeth explained unhappily, picking up her hand. In it there were four aces. She knew it then, and laughter and relief trembled on her lips as she lifted her face and stared at her betrothed. There was not a sign, not so much as a hint anywhere on his perfectly composed features that anything unusual had been happening. Lounging indolently in his chair, he quirked an indifferent brow and said, “Do you want to discard and draw more cards, Elizabeth?” “Yes,” she replied, swallowing her mirth, “I would like one more ace to go with the ones I have.” “There are only four,” he explained mildly, and with such convincing blandness that Elizabeth whooped with laughter and dropped her cards. “You are a complete charlatan!” she gasped when she could finally speak, but her face was aglow with admiration. “Thank you, darling,” he replied tenderly. “I’m happy to know your opinion of me is already improving.” The laughter froze in Elizabeth’s chest, replaced by warmth that quaked through her from head to foot. Gentlemen did not speak such tender endearments in front of other people, if at all. “I’m a Scot,” he’d whispered huskily to her long ago. “We do.” The Townsendes had launched into swift, laughing conversation after a moment of stunned silence following his words, and it was just as well, because Elizabeth could not tear her gaze from Ian, could not seem to move. And in that endless moment when their gazes held, Elizabeth had an almost overwhelming desire to fling herself into his arms. He saw it, too, and the answering expression in his eyes made her feel she was melting. “It occurs to me, Ian,” Jordan joked a moment later, gently breaking their spell, “that we are wasting our time with honest pursuits.” Ian’s gaze shifted reluctantly from Elizabeth’s face, and then he smiled inquisitively at Jordan. “What did you have in mind?” he asked, shoving the deck toward Jordan while Elizabeth put back her unjustly won chips. “With your skill at dealing whatever hand you want, we could gull half of London. If any of our victims had the temerity to object, Alex could run them through with her rapier, and Elizabeth could shoot him before he hit the ground.” Ian chuckled. “Not a bad idea. What would your role be?” “Breaking us out of Newgate!” Elizabeth laughed. “Exactly.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Who am I?" she snaps. "I am America, Israel, England! What am I doing?" She waits another long moment, her eyes shining. "I'm shutting up and listening." She draws the last word out so it hisses through the air. "I am the presidents, the kings, the prime ministers, the highs and the mighties—L-I-S-T-E-N!" She spells the word in the air. "The woman who made the baklava has something to say to you! Voilà! You see? Now what am I doing?" She picks up an imaginary plate, lifts something from it, and takes an invisible bite. Then she closes her eyes and says, "Mmm... That is such delicious Arabic-Jordanian-Lebanese-Palestinian baklawa. Thank you so much for sharing it with us! Please will you come to our home now and have some of our food?" She puts down the plate and brushes imaginary crumbs from her fingers. "So now what did I just do? "You ate some baklawa?" She curls her hand as if making a point so essential, it can be held only in the tips of the fingers. "I looked, I tasted, I spoke kindly and truthfully. I invited. You know what else? I keep doing it. I don't stop if it doesn't work on the first or the second or the third try. And like that!" She snaps the apron from the chair into the air, leaving a poof of flour like a wish. "There is your peace.
Diana Abu-Jaber (The Language of Baklava: A Memoir)
The stone is not a plaything for little girls, Camille.” He hardened his stare. She tried to keep her eyes equally fierce. “The path to the stone is said to be riddled with traps, endless holes in the earth where you fall forever. Deep caves shelter a species of enormous beasts that protect the stone. Men who set out to find it are usually never seen again.” She sat back, surprised by his intensity and passion. “Well, then,” she said, and watched him puff out his chest victoriously. “I do hope you set out to find it.” He glowered at her. “Oh, I most certainly will. The map and stone will be mine.” Camille stood, pushing her chair back. “It looks like you have some competition, then. I won’t give up until I’ve brought my father back to life.” McGreenery flashed his white smile and roared with laughter. “Bring him back? Oh yes, you would actually use the stone.” She lifted her chin. “And you wouldn’t?” He laughed at her again. “Dear child, you don’t know a thing about it, do you? You don’t have the faintest clue how the stone will work. If you think this is some short journey without risks or sacrifices, you should sail home right now. The magic of that stone is but a fraction of the everlasting power it leads to. A clever businessman would sell that power to the highest bidder.
Angie Frazier (Everlasting (Everlasting, #1))
In the Naked Bed, in Plato’s Cave In the naked bed, in Plato’s cave, Reflected headlights slowly slid the wall, Carpenters hammered under the shaded window, Wind troubled the window curtains all night long, A fleet of trucks strained uphill, grinding, Their freights covered, as usual. The ceiling lightened again, the slanting diagram Slid slowly forth. Hearing the milkman’s chop, His striving up the stair, the bottle’s chink, I rose from bed, lit a cigarette, And walked to the window. The stony street Displayed the stillness in which buildings stand, The street-lamp’s vigil and the horse’s patience. The winter sky’s pure capital Turned me back to bed with exhausted eyes. Strangeness grew in the motionless air. The loose Film grayed. Shaking wagons, hooves’ waterfalls, Sounded far off, increasing, louder and nearer. A car coughed, starting. Morning, softly Melting the air, lifted the half-covered chair From underseas, kindled the looking-glass, Distinguished the dresser and the white wall. The bird called tentatively, whistled, called, Bubbled and whistled, so! Perplexed, still wet With sleep, affectionate, hungry and cold. So, so, O son of man, the ignorant night, the travail Of early morning, the mystery of beginning Again and again, while History is unforgiven.
Delmore Schwartz (Screeno: Stories Poems)
So, my dear…” She faced him with thudding heart, the crystal piece clutched desperately in her hand, but she was hardly aware that she even held it. “… You say I have let another man into my bed.” Erienne opened her mouth to speak. Her first impulse was to chatter some inanity that could magically take the edge from his callous half statement, half question. No great enlightenment dawned, however, and her dry, parched throat issued no sound of its own. She inspected the stopper closely, turning it slowly in her hand rather than meet the accusing stare. From behind the mask, Lord Saxton observed his wife closely, well aware that the next moments would form the basis for the rest of his life or leave it an empty husk. After this, there could be no turning back. “I think, my dear,” his words made her start, “that whatever the cost, ’tis time you met the beast of Saxton Hall.” Erienne swallowed hard and clasped the stopper with whitened knuckles, as if to draw some bit of courage from the crystal piece. As she watched, Lord Saxton doffed his coat, waistcoat, and stock, and she wondered if it was a trick of her imagination that he seemed somewhat lighter of frame. After their removal, he caught the heel of his right boot over the toe of the left and slowly drew the heavy, misshapen encumbrance from his foot. She frowned in open bemusement, unable to detect a flaw. He flexed the leg a moment before slipping off the other boot. His movements seemed pained as he shed the gloves, and Erienne’s eyes fastened on the long, tan, unscarred hands that rose to the mask and, with deliberate movements, flipped the lacings loose. She half turned, dropping the stopper and colliding with the desk as he reached to the other side of the leather helm and lifted it away with a single motion. She braved a quick glance and gasped in astonishment when she found translucent eyes calmly smiling at her. “Christopher! What…?” She could not form a question, though her mind raced in a frantic search for logic. He rose from the chair with an effort. “Christopher Stuart Saxton, lord of Saxton Hall.” His voice no longer bore a hint of a rasp. “Your servant, my lady.” “But… but where is…?” The truth was only just beginning to dawn on her, and the name she spoke sounded small and thin. “… Stuart?” “One and the same, madam.” He stepped near, and those translucent eyes commanded her attention. “Look at me, Erienne. Look very closely.” He towered over her, and his lean, hard face bore no hint of humor. “And tell me again if you think I would ever allow another man in your bed while I yet breathe.” -Christopher & Erienne
Kathleen E. Woodiwiss (A Rose in Winter)
The moon had risen higher and the moonlight was bright in the little open place. All around it the shadows were dark among the trees. “After a long while, a doe and her yearling fawn came stepping daintily out of the shadows. They were not afraid at all. They walked over to the place where I had sprinkled the salt, and they both licked up a little of it. “Then they raised their heads and looked at each other. The fawn stepped over and stood beside the doe. They stood there together, looking at the woods and the moonlight. Their large eyes were shining and soft. “I just sat there looking at them, until they walked away among the shadows. Then I climbed down out of the tree and came home.” Laura whispered in his ear, “I’m glad you didn’t shoot them!” Mary said, “We can eat bread and butter.” Pa lifted Mary up out of her chair and hugged them both together. “You’re my good girls,” he said. “And now it’s bedtime. Run along, while I get my fiddle.” When Laura and Mary had said their prayers and were tucked snugly under the trundle bed’s covers, Pa was sitting in the firelight with the fiddle. Ma had blown out the lamp because she did not need its light. On the other side of the hearth she was swaying gently in her rocking chair and her knitting needles flashed in and out above the sock she was knitting. The long winter evenings of fire-light and music had come again.
Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House in the Big Woods (Little House, #1))
Even if I hadn’t a gag of magic in my mouth, I wouldn’t have dared spoken. Tristan peered at me as though I were a curious insect. “She isn’t mute, is she? That would be dreadful.” He leaned back against the chair, his strange eyes fixed on me. “On second thought, perhaps it wouldn’t be dreadful at all. I hardly need another woman in my life telling me what to do, and it would mean I could do all the talking and she the listening.” “Perhaps our mistake was in not finding you a deaf one,” Marc said. “And her name is Cécile de Troyes, which you very well know, so quit pretending otherwise.” “Thank you, cousin. It was on the tip of my tongue. Now Mademoiselle de Troyes, tell us your thoughts. Astound us with your wit.” “Mmmmm hmmmm,” I mumbled around the gag. “Could you repeat that?” he said, coming closer. “Afraid I didn’t quite catch the punch line.” A slender finger caught me under the chin, lifting my face. He frowned. “Release her, Aunty.” “She tried to run.” A noise of exasperation passed his lips. “To where? There is nowhere for her to go, nowhere to hide. Binding her is unnecessary.” His flippancy made my heart sink – the very idea of my escape was so improbable to him that it was little more than a jest. I felt power brush over my skin, and I dropped to numb feet. If not for Marc taking hold of my arm, I’d have sprawled across the carpets in front of them all.
Danielle L. Jensen (Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy, #1))
Marcelina loved that miniscule, precise moment when the needle entered her face. It was silver; it was pure. It was the violence that healed, the violation that brought perfection. There was no pain, never any pain, only a sense of the most delicate of penetrations, like a mosquito exquisitely sipping blood, a precision piece of human technology slipping between the gross tissues and cells of her flesh. She could see the needle out of the corner of her eye; in the foreshortened reality of the ultra-close-up it was like the stem of a steel flower. The latex-gloved hand that held the syringe was as vast as the creating hand of God: Marcelina had watched it swim across her field of vision, seeking its spot, so close, so thrillingly, dangerously close to her naked eyeball. And then the gentle stab. Always she closed her eyes as the fingers applied pressure to the plunger. She wanted to feel the poison entering her flesh, imagine it whipping the bloated, slack, lazy cells into panic, the washes of immune response chemicals as they realized they were under toxic attack; the blessed inflammation, the swelling of the wrinkled, lined skin into smoothness, tightness, beauty, youth. Marcelina Hoffman was well on her way to becoming a Botox junkie. Such a simple treat; the beauty salon was on the same block as Canal Quatro. Marcelina had pioneered the lunch-hour face lift to such an extent that Lisandra had appropriated it as the premise for an entire series. Whore. But the joy began in the lobby with Luesa the receptionist in her high-collared white dress saying “Good afternoon, Senhora Hoffman,” and the smell of the beautiful chemicals and the scented candles, the lightness and smell of the beautiful chemicals and the scented candles, the lightness and brightness of the frosted glass panels and the bare wood floor and the cream-on-white cotton wall hangings, the New Age music that she scorned anywhere else (Tropicalismo hippy-shit) but here told her, “you’re wonderful, you’re special, you’re robed in light, the universe loves you, all you have to do is reach out your hand and take anything you desire.” Eyes closed, lying flat on the reclining chair, she felt her work-weary crow’s-feet smoothed away, the young, energizing tautness of her skin. Two years before she had been to New York on the Real Sex in the City production and had been struck by how the ianqui women styled themselves out of personal empowerment and not, as a carioca would have done, because it was her duty before a scrutinizing, judgmental city. An alien creed: thousand-dollar shoes but no pedicure. But she had brought back one mantra among her shopping bags, an enlightenment she had stolen from a Jennifer Aniston cosmetics ad. She whispered it to herself now, in the warm, jasmine-and vetiver-scented sanctuary as the botulin toxins diffused through her skin. Because I’m worth it.
Ian McDonald (Brasyl)
When the dress for Irex’s dinner party arrived wrapped in muslin and tied with twine, it was Arin who brought the package to Kestrel. She hadn’t seen him since the first green storm. She didn’t like to think about that day. It was her grief, she decided, that she didn’t want to remember. She was learning to live around it. She had returned to her music, and let that outings and lessons flow around the fact of Enai’s death, smoothing its jagged edges. She spent little time at the villa. She sent no invitations to Arin for Bite and Sting. If she went into society, she chose other escorts. When Arin stepped into her sitting room that was really a writing room, Kestrel set her book next to her on the divan and turned its spine so that he wouldn’t see the title. “Hmm,” Arin said, turning the packaged dress over in his hands. “What could this be?” “I am sure you know.” He pressed it between his fingers. “A very soft kind of weapon, I think.” “Why are you delivering my dress?” “I saw Lirah with it. I asked if I could bring it to you.” “And she let you, of course.” He lifted his brows at her tone. “She was busy. I thought she would be glad for one less thing to do.” “That was kind of you then,” Kestrel said, though she heard her voice indicate otherwise and was annoyed with herself. Slowly, he said, “What do you mean?” “I mean nothing.” “You asked me to be honest with you. Do you think I have been?” She remembered his harsh words during the storm. “Yes.” “Can I not ask the same thing of you?” The answer was no, no slave could ask anything of her. The answer was no, if he wanted her secret thoughts he could try to win them at Bite and Sting. But Kestrel swallowed a sudden flare of nervousness and admitted to herself that she valued his honesty--and her own, when she was around him. There was nothing wrong with speaking the truth. “I think that you are not fair to Lirah.” His brows drew together. “I don’t understand.” “It’s not fair for you to encourage Lirah when your heart is elsewhere.” He inhaled sharply. Kestrel thought that he might tell her it was no business of hers, for it was not, but then she saw that he wasn’t offended, only taken aback. He pulled up a chair in that possessive, natural way of his and sank into it, dropping the dress onto his knees. He studied her. She willed herself not to look away. “I hadn’t thought of Lirah like that.” Arin shook his head. “I’m not thinking clearly at all. I need to be more careful.” Kestrel supposed that she should feel reassured. Arin set the package on the divan where she sat. “A new dress means an event on the horizon.” “Yes, a dinner party. Lord Irex is hosting.” He frowned. “And you’re going?” She shrugged. “Do you need an escort?” Kestrel intended to say no, but became distracted by the determined set to Arin’s mouth. He looked almost…protective. She was surprised that he should look that way. She was confused, and perhaps this made her say, “To be honest, I would be glad for your company.” His eyes held hers. Then his gaze fell to the book by Kestrel’s side. Before she could stop him, he took it with a nimble hand and read the title. It was a Valorian history of its empire and wars. Arin’s face changed. He returned the book and left.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
With great reluctance— sitting in the chair with Kate and doing nothing but hold her was surprisingly satisfying— he stood, lifting her in his arms as he did so, and then set her back in the chair. “This has been a delightful interlude,” he murmured, leaning down to drop a kiss on her forehead. “But I fear your mother’s early return. I shall see you Saturday morning?” She blinked. “Saturday?” “A superstition of my mother’s,” he said with a sheepish smile. “She thinks it’s bad luck for the bride and groom to see one another the day before the wedding.” “Oh.” She rose to her feet, self-consciously smoothing her dress and hair. “And do you believe it as well?” “Not at all,” he said with a snort. She nodded. “It’s very sweet of you to indulge your mother, then.” Anthony paused for a moment, well aware that most men of his reputation did not want to appear tied to apron strings. But this was Kate, and he knew that she valued devotion to family as much as he did, so he finally said, “There is little I would not do to keep my mother content.” She smiled shyly. “It is one of the things I like best about you.” He made some sort of gesture designed to change the subject, but she interrupted with, “No, it’s true. You’re far more caring a person than you’d like people to believe.” Since he wasn’t going to be able to win the argument with her— and there was little point in contradicting a woman when she was being complimentary— he put a finger to his lips and said, “Shhh. Don’t tell anyone.” And then, with one last kiss to her hand and a murmured, “Adieu,” he made his way out the door and outside. -Anthony & Kate
Julia Quinn (The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2))
Zeke drifted over to her father’s guitar in the corner of the office. He stared at it for a few long moments, before glancing at her over his shoulder. “Mind?” She shook her head, curious what he would do with the old acoustic. It had seen better days and Dad kept it more for sentimental reasons than practical. Zeke picked it up and dust swirled away. He fitted it under his arm, running through chords to check to see if it was in tune. It wasn’t off by much, but his broad fingers tweaked and tightened until it was at perfect pitch. Seamlessly, he strummed the opening chords to “Home” by Michael Buble. Ember knew her mouth had to be hanging open, but she didn’t care. As if he couldn’t not, his deep voice fell into accompaniment. She stepped away to sink down into a chair, entranced by the broken man singing, eyes shut. Tendrils of need and longing crept into her heart, and it was one of the most beautiful things she’d ever seen. Tears filled her eyes. Almost halfway through the song, his fingers fumbled a note and he stopped singing. When she lifted her eyes to look at him, he stared at her as if he’d forgotten she were there. Jaw tight, emotion brimming in his eyes, he set the guitar back on the stand and walked out of the room. Ember could have wept. She didn’t know why he’d quit, but she wanted him to come right back in and finish the song. Her mind knew what melody was supposed to come next, but it couldn’t create the same type of emotion he had while singing. She thought back to the absolute absorption on his face as he sang, and realized he hadn’t stuttered or hesitated once through the entire performance.
J.M. Madden (Embattled Minds (Lost and Found, #2))
Let us drink deep brothers,' he cried, leaving off his strange anointment for a while, to lift a great glass, filled with sparkling liquor, to his lips. 'Let us drink to our approaching triumph. Let us drink to the great poison, Macousha. Subtle seed of Death, - swift hurricane that sweeps away Life, - vast hammer that crushes brain and heart and artery with its resistless weight, -I drink to it.' 'It is a noble concoction, Duke Balthazar,' said Madame Filomel, nodding in her chair as she swallowed her wine in great gulps. 'Where did you obtain it?' 'It is made,' said the Wondersmith, swallowing another great draught of wine ere he replied, 'in the wild woods of Guiana, in silence and in mystery. Only one tribe of Indians, the Macoushi Indians, know the secret. It is simmered over fires built of strange woods, and the maker of it dies in the making. The place, for a mile around the spot where it is fabricated, is shunned as accursed. Devils hover over the pot in which it stews; and the birds of the air, scenting the smallest breath of its vapour from far away, drop to earth with paralysed wings, cold and dead.' 'It kills, then, fast?' asked Kerplonne, the artificial-eye maker, - his own eyes gleaming, under the influence of the wine, with a sinister lustre, as if they had been fresh from the factory, and were yet untarnished by use. 'Kills?' echoed the Wondersmith, derisively; 'it is swifter than thunderbolts, stronger than lightning. But you shall see it proved before we let forth our army on the city accursed. You shall see a wretch die, as if smitten by a falling fragment of the sun.' ("The Wondersmith")
Fitz-James O'Brien (Terror by Gaslight: More Victorian Tales of Terror)
Because he’d talked to her about Catriona Bruce. He must be a lonely man. Living all on his own in that house since his mother died. Suddenly he had company, someone sympathetic, wanting him to talk, listening to him. Perhaps she had her own reasons for encouraging him to speak. She wanted his stories for her film. Perhaps she was just a nice kid who felt sorry for him. And the temptation was too much for him. Perhaps he’d had a whisky or two and that loosened his tongue. Whatever.’ ‘I can see that,’ Perez said. ‘I can even see him killing her afterwards to keep the whole thing quiet. But I can’t see him going into the Ross house, searching her room and finding the disk, finding the script and wiping all trace of it from the PC. I don’t get that.’ They sat looking at each other for a moment in silence. Taylor stretched, shuffled in his chair. He’d told Perez he had a bad back, disc trouble, that was why he couldn’t sit still, but Perez wasn’t convinced. It was the man’s mind that didn’t know how to rest, not his body. ‘So what do we do about it?’ Taylor said. ‘Time’s running out for me. I’ve promised I’ll be back at the end of the week. Any longer than that and they’ll start talking about a disciplinary.’ ‘I’m going to take another trip to the Anderson,’ Perez said. ‘Check she didn’t hand the film in early, give it to a friend to look at. If the film is safe we have to let the whole thing go. Like you said, the note on the back of the receipt incriminates Magnus. It shows he talked to her about Catriona. Euan says there’s no other way she could have known about the girl.’ Taylor stood up, lifting the plan with both hands on his way.
Ann Cleeves (Raven Black (Shetland Island, #1))
What does it take to make you stop?” Elizabeth flinched from the hatred in the voice she loved and drew a shaking breath, praying she could finish without starting to cry. “I’ve hurt you terribly, my love, and I’ll hurt you again during the next fifty years. And you are going to hurt me, Ian-never, I hope, as much as you are hurting me now. But if that’s the way it has to be, then I’ll endure it, because the only alternative is to live without you, and that is no life at all. The difference is that I know it, and you don’t-not yet.” “Are you finished now?” “Not quite,” she said, straightening at the sound of footsteps in the hall. “There’s one more thing,” she informed him, lifting her quivering chin. “I am not a Labrador retriever! You cannot put me out of your life, because I won’t stay.” When she left, Ian stared at the empty room that had been alive with her presence but moments before, wondering what in hell she meant by her last comment. He glanced toward the door as Larimore walked in, then he nodded curtly toward the chairs in front of his desk, silently ordering the solicitor to sit down. “I gathered from your message,” Larimore said quietly, opening his legal case, “that you now wish to proceed with the divorce?” Ian hesitated a moment while Elizabeth’s heartbroken words whirled through his mind, juxtaposed with the lies and omissions that had begun on the night they met and continued right up to their last night together. He recalled the torment of the first weeks after she’d left him and compared it to the cold, blessed numbness that had now taken its place. He looked at the solicitor, who was waiting for his answer. And he nodded.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
I’ll fill a tray for Mr. Thornton,” she offered, eager for any excuse to check up on the man and judge the severity of his injuries for herself, “and take it to the workshop.” “That won’t be necessary, Miss Greyson, but thank you.” Nicole spun toward the doorway. “Dar—Mr. Thornton!” She raked her gaze over his tall form. He moved a bit gingerly as he entered the kitchen, but that was to be expected after the abuse his body had taken that afternoon. No bandages in evidence, at least none that she could see. She supposed it was possible he had a wound concealed beneath his dark trousers, but she gauged his movements as he ambled to the table and didn’t detect a limp or any hitch in his stride. “Do I pass inspection?” The amusement in his voice brought a rush of heat to her cheeks. “That depends,” she brazened, lifting her chin. “Are there any hidden injuries I should be concerned about?” He made his way around the table, running his fingers along the back of each chair. “Such a personal question, Miss Greyson.” A teasing gleam lit his eyes as he steadily approached. Nicole dropped the bread knife and turned to face him fully, reaching behind herself to grip the cabinet top for support. “But you can put your mind at ease.” He didn’t stop when he rounded the table. He kept coming. Nicole’s pulse fluttered, and her grip on the cabinet doubled. “Except for a pile of bruises and some overheated skin, I’m fine.” He ceased his advance. Finally. She had to tilt her head back to hold his gaze, though, so close had he come. “I’m glad to hear it. Sir.” She added the last to try to force some distance between them. With him standing so close, all she could think about was that unexpected kiss they’d shared. Not the healthiest train of thought for a young woman who planned to leave as soon as monetarily possible. He was her employer. That was all.
Karen Witemeyer (Full Steam Ahead)
Eastern Standard Time Poetry speaks to all people, it is said, but here I would like to address only those in my own time zone, this proper slice of longitude that runs from pole to snowy pole down the globe through Montreal to Bogota. Oh, fellow inhabitants of this singular band, sitting up in your many beds this morning— the sun falling through the windows and casting a shadow on the sundial— consider those in other zones who cannot hear these words. They are not slipping into a bathrobe as we are, or following the smell of coffee in a timely fashion. Rather, they are at work already, leaning on copy machines, hammering nails into a house-frame. They are not swallowing a vitamin like us; rather they are smoking a cigarette under a half moon, even jumping around on a dance floor, or just now sliding under the covers, pulling down the little chains on their bed lamps. But we are not like these others, for at this very moment on the face of the earth, we are standing under a hot shower, or we are eating our breakfast, considered by people of all zones to be the most important meal of the day. Later, when the time is right, we might sit down with the boss, wash the car, or linger at a candle-lit table, but now is the hour for pouring the juice and flipping the eggs with one eye on the toaster. So let us slice a banana and uncap the jam, lift our brimming spoons of milk, and leave it to the others to lower a flag or spin absurdly in a barber's chair— those antipodal oddballs, always early or late. Let us praise Sir Stanford Fleming the Canadian genius who first scored with these lines the length of the spinning earth. Let us move together through the rest of this day passing in unison from light to shadow, coasting over the crest of noon into the valley of the evening and then, holding hands, slip into the deeper valley of night.
Billy Collins (The Trouble With Poetry - And Other Poems)
Lifting a goblet of wine to her lips, Evie glanced at him over the rim as she drank. “What is in that ledger?” “A lesson in creative record keeping. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that Egan has been draining the club’s accounts. He shaves away increments here and there, in small enough quantities that the thefts have gone unnoticed. But over time, it totals up to a considerable sum. God knows how many years he’s been doing it. So far, every account book I’ve looked at contains deliberate inaccuracies.” “How can you be certain that they’re deliberate?” “There is a clear pattern.” He flipped open a ledger and nudged it over to her. “The club made a profit of approximately twenty thousand pounds last Tuesday. If you cross-check the numbers with the record of loans, bank deposits, and cash outlays, you’ll see the discrepancies.” Evie followed the trail of his finger as he ran it along the notes he had made in the margin. “You see?” he murmured. “These are what the proper amounts should be. He’s padded the expenses liberally. The cost of ivory dice, for example. Even allowing for the fact that the dice are only used for one night and then never again, the annual charge should be no more than two thousand pounds, according to Rohan.” The practice of using fresh dice every night was standard for any gaming club, to ward off any question that they might be loaded. “But here it says that almost three thousand pounds was spent on dice,” Evie murmured. “Exactly.” Sebastian leaned back in his chair and smiled lazily. “I deceived my father the same way in my depraved youth, when he paid my monthly upkeep and I had need of more ready coin than he was willing to provide.” “What did you need it for?” Evie could not resist asking. The smile tarried on his lips. “I’m afraid the explanation would require a host of words to which you would take strong exception.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
Elizabeth’s concern that Ian might insult them, either intentionally or otherwise, soon gave way to admiration and then to helpless amusement as he sat for the next half-hour, charming them all with an occasional lazy smile or interjecting a gallant compliment, while they spent the entire time debating whether to sell the chocolates being donated by Gunther’s for $5 or $6 per box. Despite Ian’s outwardly bland demeanor, Elizabeth waited uneasily for him to say he’d buy the damned cartload of chocolates for $10 apiece, if it would get them on to the next problem, which she knew was what he was dying to say. But she needn’t have worried, for he continued to positively exude pleasant interest. Four times, the committee paused to solicit his advice; four times, he smilingly made excellent suggestions; four times, they ignored what he suggested. And four times, he seemed not to mind in the least or even notice. Making a mental note to thank him profusely for his incredible forbearance, Elizabeth kept her attention on her guests and the discussion, until she inadvertently glanced in his direction, and her breath caught. Seated on the opposite side of the gathering from her, he was now leaning back in his chair, his left ankle propped atop his right knee, and despite his apparent absorption in the topic being discussed, his heavy-lidded gaze was roving meaningfully over her breasts. One look at the smile tugging at his lips and Elizabeth realized that he wanted her to know it. Obviously he’d decided that both she and he were wasting their time with the committee, and he was playing an amusing game designed to either divert her or discomfit her entirely, she wasn’t certain which. Elizabeth drew a deep breath, ready to blast a warning look at him, and his gaze lifted slowly from her gently heaving bosom, traveled lazily up her throat, paused at her lips, and then lifted to her narrowed eyes. Her quelling glance earned her nothing but a slight, challenging lift of his brows and a decidedly sensual smile, before his gaze reversed and began a lazy trip downward again. Lady Wiltshire’s voice rose, and she said for the second time, “Lady Thornton, what do you think?” Elizabeth snapped her gaze from her provoking husband to Lady Wiltshire. “I-I agree,” she said without the slightest idea of what she was agreeing with. For the next five minutes, she resisted the tug of Ian’s caressing gaze, firmly refusing to even glance his way, but when the committee reembarked on the chocolate issue again, she stole a look at him. The moment she did, he captured her gaze, holding it, while he, with an outward appearance of a man in thoughtful contemplation of some weighty problem, absently rubbed his forefinger against his mouth, his elbow propped on the arm of his chair. Elizabeth’s body responded to the caress he was offering her as if his lips were actually on hers, and she drew a long, steadying breath as he deliberately let his eyes slide to her breasts again. He knew exactly what his gaze was doing to her, and Elizabeth was thoroughly irate at her inability to ignore its effect. The committee departed on schedule a half-hour later amid reminders that the next meeting would be held at Lady Wiltshire’s house. Before the door closed behind them, Elizabeth rounded on her grinning, impenitent husband in the drawing room. “You wretch!” she exclaimed. “How could you?” she demanded, but in the midst of her indignant protest, Ian shoved his hands into her hair, turned her face up, and smothered her words with a ravenous kiss. “I haven’t forgiven you,” she warned him in bed an hour later, her cheek against his chest. Laughter, rich and deep, rumbled beneath her ear. “No?” “Absolutely not. I’ll repay you if it’s the last thing I do.” “I think you already have,” he said huskily, deliberately misunderstanding her meaning.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
It was a roadblock, manned by an officer and several other soldiers. Sivaram and the trishaw driver were ordered out of the vehicle, and I was told to stay where I was. The soldiers held their rifl es aimed and ready as the offi cer interrogated the trishaw driver, a Muslim man, who fumbled out his documents. He was soon allowed to get back in his trishaw. When it was Sivaram’s turn, he just stood there, completely quiet. After several questions, the offi cer started screaming at him. Then he ordered his soldiers to take him, and gestured for the trishaw driver to go on. Without thinking, I jumped out of the trishaw. I was a visiting professor at Colombo University and he was one of my students, I lied, approaching them. I threatened to call the American Embassy if they arrested my ‘student.’ The offi cer yelled, in English, for me to come no closer, to get back in the trishaw. Then he barked an order, and one of the soldiers lifted his rifl e and aimed it directly at my head. I kept babbling on about the embassy, but even I did not hear myself. All I could see was that hole at the end of the rifl e and, above it, the sweaty face and very frightened eyes of the soldier. He looked very young, maybe 18. I thought, I’m going to die right now. And then we grew very quiet. The offi cer barked another order, the soldier lowered his gun, and the other soldiers pushed Sivaram back toward the trishaw. We got in and took off. I do not believe we said anything on the way back to my rented room. I remember giving the trishaw driver a big tip. Once inside, I sat down in one of the two big rattan chairs in my room and tried to light a cigarette. But I had the shakes and kept missing the end. Sivaram lit it for me, and then sat staring at me in the other chair. ‘My God,’ I said, ‘that was horrible. He could have killed us.’ ‘He wanted to kill us both.’ ‘My God.’ ‘But, one good thing maccaan, at last you begin to understand politics now
Mark P. Whitaker (Learning Politics From Sivaram: The Life and Death of a Revolutionary Tamil Journalist in Sri Lanka)
Quote from "The Dish Keepers of Honest House" ....TO TWIST THE COLD is easy when its only water you want. Tapping of the toothbrush echoes into Ella's mind like footsteps clacking a cobbled street on a bitter, dry, cold morning. Her mind pushes through sleep her body craves. It catches her head falling into a warm, soft pillow. "Go back to bed," she tells herself. "You're still asleep," Ella mumbles, pushes the blanket off, and sits up. The urgency to move persuades her to keep routines. Water from the faucet runs through paste foam like a miniature waterfall. Ella rubs sleep-deprieved eyes, then the bridge of her nose and glances into the sink. Ella's eyes astutely fixate for one, brief millisecond. Water becomes the burgundy of soldiers exiting the drain. Her mouth drops in shock. The flow turns green. It is like the bubbling fungus of flockless, fishless, stagnating ponds. Within the iridescent glimmer of her thinking -- like a brain losing blood flow, Ella's focus is the flickering flashing of gray, white dust, coal-black shadows and crows lifting from the ground. A half minute or two trails off before her mind returns to reality. Ella grasps a toothbrush between thumb and index finger. She rests the outer palm against the sink's edge, breathes in and then exhales. Tension in the brow subsides, and her chest and shoulders drop; she sighs. Ella stares at pasty foam. It exits the drain as if in a race to clear the sink of negativity -- of all germs, slimy spit, the burgundy of imagined soldiers and oppressive plaque. GRASPING THE SILKY STRAND between her fingers, Ella tucks, pulls and slides the floss gently through her teeth. Her breath is an inch or so of the mirror. Inspections leave her demeanor more alert. Clouding steam of the image tugs her conscience. She gazes into silver glass. Bits of hair loosen from the bun piled at her head's posterior. What transforms is what she imagines. The mirror becomes a window. The window possesses her Soul and Spirit. These two become concerned -- much like they did when dishonest housekeepers disrupted Ella's world in another story. Before her is a glorious bird -- shining-dark-as-coal, shimmering in hues of purple-black and black-greens. It is likened unto The Raven in Edgar Allan Poe's most famous poem of 1845. Instead of interrupting a cold December night with tapping on a chamber door, it rests its claws in the decorative, carved handle of a backrest on a stiff dining chair. It projects an air of humor and concern. It moves its head to and fro while seeking a clearer understanding. Ella studies the bird. It is surrounded in lofty bends and stretches of leafless, acorn-less, nearly lifeless, oak trees. Like fingers and arms these branches reach below. [Perhaps they are reaching for us? Rest assured; if they had designs on us, I would be someplace else, writing about something more pleasant and less frightening. Of course, you would be asleep.] Balanced in the branches is a chair. It is from Ella's childhood home. The chair sways. Ella imagines modern-day pilgrims of a distant shore. Each step is as if Mother Nature will position them upright like dolls, blown from the stability of their plastic, flat, toe-less feet. These pilgrims take fate by the hand. LIFTING A TOWEL and patting her mouth and hands, Ella pulls the towel through the rack. She walks to the bedroom, sits and picks up the newspaper. Thumbing through pages that leave fingertips black, she reads headlines: "Former Dentist Guilty of Health Care Fraud." She flips the page, pinches the tip of her nose and brushes the edge of her chin -- smearing both with ink. In the middle fold directly affront her eyes is another headline: "Dentist Punished for Misconduct." She turns the page. There is yet another: "Dentist guilty of urinating in surgery sink and using contaminated dental instruments on patients." This world contains those who are simply insane! Every profession has those who stray from goals....
Helene Andorre Hinson Staley
As time passed, I learned more and more about the culture that comes with beign an injured veteran. There are a lot of really wonderful people and organizations to help veterans returning from war. Right about the time I started to really move forward in my recovery, two women came by and introduced themselves. They explained that they raise money to help injured veterans with various needs. They asked if there was anything I or my family needed. I said, “No thank you, I’m all good.” But my sisters piped up and said, “He needs clothes. He doesn’t have anything.” The women smiled and said they’d be back. They came back with some sweatpants and a shirt and then announced that they were taking us to the mall. This would be my first time leaving the campus of Walter Reed, my first real trip out of the hospital. We were all excited. Leaving the hospital was a big step for me but my poor sisters had been cooped up much of the time with me in there as well. I was a little nervous, but I owed it to them to push aside my anxiety. We decided that the electric wheelchair would be too heavy and too much trouble to get in and out of the car, so Jennifer wheeled me down to the front door where the ladies were waiting in their car. With very little assistance, Jennifer was able to get me for that chair into the car and we were off to the mall. When we arrived, my sisters pulled the wheelchair out of the trunk and placed it next to the car door. They opened the door and Jennifer leaned down and with one swift motion lifted me up like a nearly weightless child and placed me in the chair. I laughed it off. “My sister’s strong. She’s really strong,” I boasted on her behalf. Sara, Katherine, and Jennifer were laughing the whole time because I didn’t realize how scrawny I was, how much weight I had lost. Jennifer could pick me up with no problem because I practically weighed nothing at all. But through the laughter, I felt a pang of guilt. I am the brother of three sisters. It was my job to protect and care for them. Yet here I was, barely able to take care of myself.
Noah Galloway (Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier)
Karl was the last to be with him. He found him calm and almost gay. After he had gone, Ludwig put his few things in order and wrote for some time. Then he drew a chair to the window and set a basin with warm water on the table beside him. He locked the door, sat himself on the settle and with his arm in the water, he cut the artery. The pain was slight. He saw the blood flowing, a scene he had often thought on—to let this hateful, poisoned blood pour out of his body. His room became very clear. He saw every hook, every nail, every glint of the quartzes, the iridescence, the colours; he absorbed it: his room. It gathered about him, it passed in with his breath and was one with his life. Then it receded, uncertain. His youth began, in pictures. Eichendorff, the woods, homesickness. Reconciled, without pain. Beyond the woods rose up barbed-wire entanglements, little white shrapnel clouds, the burst of heavier shells. But they alarmed him no longer. They were muffled, almost like bells. The bells became louder, but the woods were still there. The bells pealed in his head so loudly that he felt it must burst. Then it grew darker. The pealing sounded fainter, and the evening came in at the window, clouds floated up under his feet. He had wished once in his life to see flamingoes; now he knew; these were flamingoes, with broad, pinkish-grey wings, lots of them, a phalanx—Did wild ducks not once fly so toward the very red moon, red as poppies in Flanders? —The landscape receded farther and farther, the woods sank deeper, rivers rose up, gleaming, silver, and islands; the pinkish-grey wings flew ever higher and higher, and the horizon became ever brighter—Now, suddenly, a dark cry swelled in his throat, hot, insistent, a last thought spilled over out of the brain into the failing consciousness: fear, rescue, bind it up! —He tried to rise, staggering, to lift his hand; the body jerked, but already it was too weak. —It spun round and spun round, then it vanished; and the giant bird with dark pinions came very gently with slow sweeps and the wings closed noiselessly over him. A
Erich Maria Remarque (The Road Back)
After many years the woman died, of natural causes. And a few years after that, the ogre died. Eventually, his mistresses died, down on the ground, in the people village, over decades. The war men and women died. The human girl who had escaped her early death died, across the land, over by the ocean, in her shack of blue bowls and rocking chairs. The witch, who had originally made the cake and made up up the spell and given it as a gift to her beloved ogre friend, died. The cake went on and on. Time passed... And the cake, always wanting to please, the cake who had found a way to survive its endlessness by recreating its role over and over again, tried to figure out, in its cake way, what this light-dappled object might want to eat. So it became darkness, a cake of darkness. It did not have to be human food. It did not have to be digestible through a familiar tract. It lay there on the dirt, waiting, a simmering cake of darkness. Through time, and wind, and earthquakes, and chance. At last the cloak fell out of the tree and blew across the land and happened upon the cake where it ate its darkness and extinguished its own dappled light. The cloak disappeared into night and was not seen again, as it was only a piece of coat shaped darkness now and could not be spotted so easily, had there been any eyes left to see it. It floated and joined with nowhere. Darkness was overtaking everything, anyway, pouring over the land and sky. The cake itself, still in the shape of darkness, sat on the hillside. 'What's left?' said the cake. It thought in blocks of feeling. It felt the thick darkness all around it. 'What is left to eat me, to take me in?' Darkness did not want to eat more darkness, not especially. Darkness did not care for carrot cake, or apple pie. Darkness did not seem interested in a water cake or a cake of money. Only when the cake filled with light did it come over. The darkness circling around the light, devouring the light. But the cake kept refilling, as we know. This is the spell of the cake. And the darkness eating light, and again, light, and again, light, lifted.
Aimee Bender (The Color Master: Stories)
Come here, you flea-ridden hair wad. You’ll have all the sugar biscuits you want, if you’ll give your new toy to me.” He whistled softly and clicked. But the blandishments did not work. Dodger merely regarded him with bright eyes and stayed at the threshold, clutching the vial in his tiny paws. “Give him one of your garters,” Leo said, still staring at the ferret. “I beg your pardon?” Miss Marks asked frostily. “You heard me. Take off a garter and offer it to him as a trade. Otherwise we’ll be chasing this damned animal all through the house. And I doubt Rohan will appreciate the delay.” The governess gave Leo a long-suffering glance. “Only for Mr. Rohan’s sake would I consent to this. Turn your back.” “For God’s sake, Marks, do you think anyone really wants a glance at those dried-up matchsticks you call legs?” But Leo complied, facing the opposite direction. He heard a great deal of rustling as Miss Marks sat on a bedroom chair and lifted her skirts. It just so happened that Leo was positioned near a full-length looking glass, the oval cheval style that tilted up or down to adjust one’s reflection. And he had an excellent view of Miss Marks in the chair. And the oddest thing happened—he got a flash of an astonishingly pretty leg. He blinked in bemusement, and then the skirts were dropped. “Here,” Miss Marks said gruffly, and tossed it in Leo’s direction. Turning, he managed to catch it in midair. Dodger surveyed them both with beady-eyed interest. Leo twirled the garter enticingly on his finger. “Have a look, Dodger. Blue silk with lace trim. Do all governesses anchor their stockings in such a delightful fashion? Perhaps those rumors about your unseemly past are true, Marks.” “I’ll thank you to keep a civil tongue in your head, my lord.” Dodger’s little head bobbed as it followed every movement of the garter. Fitting the vial in his mouth, the ferret carried it like a miniature dog, loping up to Leo with maddening slowness. “This is a trade, old fellow,” Leo told him. “You can’t have something for nothing.” Carefully Dodger set down the vial and reached for the garter. Leo simultaneously gave him the frilly circlet and snatched the vial.
Lisa Kleypas (Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways, #2))
Mr. Rudolph reaches out and lifts the flower out of its vase. "To a flower, this photograph means nothing. So when you ask what is the meaning of life, there can be no answer that will apply to everyone and everything. What is a photograph, or a sunset, to a flower? We all bring our own perceptions, needs, and experiences to everything we do. We will all interpret an event, or a sunset, differently." He pauses, and I am trying to keep up with him. "Basically," I (Jeremy) say slowly, concentrating on my words. "What you're saying is that it's all relative. The meaning of the sunset, or of life itself, is different for everyone?" Exactly," he says. ... As we head slowly into the big room, I turn to him and ask, "But even if the sunset has different meanings for everyone, it still has meaning, right?" "That's a tricky question to answer," Mr. Rudolph says, stopping to replace the frame back on the wall. "That sunset will still shine just as surely, just as colorfully, whether it is shining on a wedding or a war. So it would seem that the sunset itself doesn't have inherent meaning; it is just doing its job. If the sunset doesn't have meaning apart from what we give it, does a rock? Or a fish? Or life itself? But just because a park bench, for instance, doesn't have meaning, that doesn't mean it doesn't have worth." ... We have reached the door now, and I'm not sure I'm any closer to understanding what's in the box. My shoulders sag. "Maybe this will help clear things up," Mr. Rudolph says. "You need to be sure of the question you are asking. Sometimes people think they are looking for the meaning of life, when really they are looking for an understanding of why they are here. What their purpose is, the purpose of life in general. And that is a much easier question to answer that the meaning of life." Lizzy is already halfway out the door. "It is?" I ask, pulling her back in by the sleeve. ... "You are the same as the lamp, the chair, the flower," Mr. Rudolph explains. "All you have to do is be the most authentic you that you can be. Find out who you really are, find out why you are here, and you will find your purpose. And with it, the meaning of life.
Wendy Mass (Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life)
Try Mindfulness Meditation Mindfulness meditation is like Tylenol, in that the same treatment is capable of helping with multiple issues: decreasing anxiety-induced overarousal, boosting your focus, and improving your ability to detect rumination. Mindfulness-based therapies have been shown to be effective for helping people reduce anxiety. Mindfulness meditation does not need to be intimidating. Research by the makers of the Lift goal-tracking app found that beginner meditators start with an average of three to five minutes. They also found that once people had meditated 12 times, there was around a 90% chance they’d do more mediation. Experiment: Explore and find a version of meditation that works for you. Start with three minutes of one of the following practices, and increase the time you spend meditating by 30 seconds each day: --Pay attention to the physical sensations of your breathing. Lie down and put your hand on your abdomen to feel the sensations of it rising as you breathe in and falling as you breathe out. --Sit or lie down and listen to any sounds and the silence between sounds. Let sounds just come in and out of your awareness regardless of whether they’re relaxing sounds or not. --Walk for three minutes and pay attention to what you see. --Walk and pay attention to the feelings of air on your skin. --Walk and pay attention to the physical sensations of your body moving. --Do three minutes of open awareness, in which you pay attention to any sensations that show up. Pay attention to anything in the here and now, which could be sounds, your breathing, the sensations of your body making contact with your chair, or the sensations of your feet on the floor. --Spend three minutes paying attention to any sensations of pain, tension, comfort, or relaxation in your body. You don’t need to try to change the sensations; just allow them to be what they are, and ebb and flow as they do. When your thoughts drift away from what you’re supposed to be paying attention to, gently (and without self-criticism) bring them back. Expect to need to do this a lot. It’s a normal part of doing mindfulness meditation and doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong. You’re likely to get more benefits from meditation if you do it on a regular basis and for longer amounts of time per session.
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
In chem, Peter sits a row in front of me. I write him a note. Why would you tell Josh that we’re-- I hesitate and then finish with a thing? I kick the back of his chair, and he turns around and I hand him the note. He slouches in his seat to read it; then I watch as he scribbles something. He tips back in his chair and drops the note on my desk without looking at me. A thing? Haha. I press down so hard my pencil tip chips off. Please answer the question. We’ll talk later. I let out a frustrated sigh and Matt, my lab partner, gives me a funny look. After class Peter is swept away with all his friends; they leave in a big group. I’m packing up my backpack when he returns, alone. He hops up on the table. “So let’s talk,” he says, super casual. I clear my throat and try to gather my bearings. “Why did you tell Josh we were--” I almost say “a thing” again, but then change it to “together?” “I don’t get what you’re so upset about. I did you a favor. I could have just as easily blown up your spot.” I pause. He’s right. He could have. “So why didn’t you?” “You’ve sure got a funny way of saying thank you. You’re welcome, by the way.” Automatically I say, “Thank you.” Wait. Why am I thanking him? “I appreciate you letting me kiss you, but--” “You’re welcome,” he says again. Ugh! He’s so insufferable. Just for that I’m going to toss a little dig his way. “That was…really generous of you. To let me do that. But I’ve already explained to Josh that it’s not going to work out with us because Genevieve has you whipped, so it’s all good. You can stop pretending now.” Peter glares at me. “I’m not whipped.” “But aren’t you, though? I mean, you guys have been together since the seventh grade. You’re basically her property.” “You don’t know what you’re talking about,” Peter scoffs. “There was a rumor last year that she made you get a tattoo of her initials on your butt for her birthday.” I pause. “So did you?” I reach around him and fake try to lift up the back of his shirt. He yelps and jumps away from me, and I collapse in a fit of giggles. “So you do have a tattoo!” “I don’t have a tattoo!” he yells. “And we’re not even together anymore, so can you stop with this shit? We broke up. We’re over. I’m done with her.” “Wait, didn’t she break up with you?” I ask. Peter shoots me a dirty look. “It was mutual.
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
Action Step: Nourished by “Light” You can prove to yourself how nourishing a new word can be once it begins to be your personal theme. Let’s use the word light. Since it’s the opposite of heavy, this word is one of the best for our purposes. The more you bring light into your life, the easier it will be to lose weight. Why? Because light covers so many positive experiences. Look at the following usages: Lighthearted Light-handed Enlightened Feeling light and bright The light of inspiration Lightness of being The light of the soul The light of God If you had these things in your life, it would be much easier for your body to be light. Your mind would be sending messages that are the opposite of heavy, dull, inert, tired, bored, dark, unenlightened. Start to rid yourself of those messages and let your body conform to lightness and all of its positive connotations. With this background, you can proceed to use light in various ways, beginning with the physical sensation of being light. Exercise: Filling with Light Sit in a quiet room by yourself. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths until you feel centered and ready. (It’s best to sit upright if you can rather than lounging back in your chair.) Breathing normally, visualize light filling your chest each time you inhale. The light is soft, warm, and white. Watch it suffuse your chest. Now exhale normally, but leave the light inside. On your next breath, take in more light. See the light filling your chest now begin to suffuse the rest of your body, moving down into your abdomen. Don’t force the visualization, and don’t worry if you have trouble seeing the light—even a faint sense of white light is good enough. With each breath, let the light suffuse your arms, then your hands all the way to the fingertips. Let it suffuse your legs down to your toes. Finally, send the light into your head and out the top in a beam that reaches high. Sit with the light for a few moments, then lift your arms, letting them float upward as if the light is causing them to rise. You are like a balloon filled completely with light. Enjoy the sensation, then open your eyes. This is a good exercise to counteract feelings of dullness, heaviness, fatigue, and sadness. The sensation of being physically light, paired with the visualization of inner light, creates a big change in how you relate to your body.
Deepak Chopra (What Are You Hungry For?: The Chopra Solution to Permanent Weight Loss, Well-Being and Lightness of Soul)
She keeps her fingers on Faye’s face. Faye closes her eyes against tears. When she opens them Julie is still looking at her. She’s smiling a wonderful smile. Way past twenty. She takes Faye’s hands.“‘Then tell them to look closely at men’s faces. Tell them to stand perfectly still, for time, and to look into the face of a man. A man’s face has nothing on it. Look closely. Tell them to look. And not at what the faces do–men’s faces never stop moving–they’re like antennae. But all the faces do is move through different configurations of blankness.’ Faye looks for Julie’s eyes in the mirror. Julie says, ‘Tell them there are no holes for your fingers in the masks of men. Tell them how could you ever even hope to have what you can’t grab onto.’ Julie turns her makeup chair and looks up at Faye. ‘That’s when I love you, if I love you,’ she whispers, running a finger down her white powdered cheek, reaching to trace an angled line of white onto Faye’s own face. 'Is when your face moves into expression. Try to look out from yourself, different, all the time. Tell people that you know your face is at least pretty at rest.’ 'You asked me once how poems informed me,’ she says. Almost a whisper–her microphone voice. 'And you asked whether we, us, depended on the game, to even be. Baby?’–lifting Faye’s face with one finger under the chin–'Remember? Remember the ocean? Our dawn ocean, that we loved? We loved it because it was like us, Faye. That whole ocean was obvious. We were looking at something obvious, the whole time.’ She pinches a nipple, too softly for Faye even to feel. 'Oceans are only oceans when they move,’ Julie whispers. 'Waves are what keep oceans from just being very big puddles. Oceans are just their waves. And every wave in the ocean is finally going to meet what it moves toward, and break. The whole thing we looked at, the whole time you asked, was obvious. It was obvious and a poem because it was us. See things like that, Faye. Your own face, moving into expression. A wave, breaking on a rock, giving up its shape in a gesture that expresses that shape. See?’ It wasn’t at the beach that Faye had asked about the future. It was in Los Angeles. And what about the anomalous wave that came out of nowhere and broke on itself? Julie is looking at Faye. 'See?’ Faye’s eyes are open. They get wide. 'You don’t like my face at rest?
David Foster Wallace (Girl with Curious Hair)
Then I’ll sing, though that will likely have the child holding his ears and you running from the room.” This, incongruously, had her lips quirking up. “My father isn’t very musical. You hold the baby, I’ll sing.” She took the rocking chair by the hearth. Vim settled the child in his arms and started blowing out candles as he paced the room. “He shall feed his flock, like a shepherd…” More Handel, the lilting, lyrical contralto portion of the aria, a sweet, comforting melody if ever one had been written. And the baby was comforted, sighing in Vim’s arms and going still. Not deathly still, just exhausted still. Sophie sang on, her voice unbearably lovely. “And He shall gather the lambs in his arm… and gently lead those that are with young.” Vim liked music, he enjoyed it a great deal in fact—he just wasn’t any good at making it. Sophie was damned good. She had superb control, managing to sing quietly even as she shifted to the soprano verse, her voice lifting gently into the higher register. By the second time through, Vim’s eyes were heavy and his steps lagging. “He’s asleep,” he whispered as the last notes died away. “And my God, you can sing, Sophie Windham.” “I had good teachers.” She’d sung some of the tension and worry out too, if her more peaceful expression was any guide. “If you want to go back to your room, I can take him now.” He didn’t want to leave. He didn’t want to leave her alone with the fussy baby; he didn’t want to go back to his big, cold bed down the dark, cold hallway. “Go to bed, Sophie. I’ll stay for a while.” She frowned then went to the window and parted the curtain slightly. “I think it’s stopped snowing, but there is such a wind it’s hard to tell.” He didn’t dare join her at the window for fear a chilly draft might wake the child. “Come away from there, Sophie, and why haven’t you any socks or slippers on your feet?” She glanced down at her bare feet and wiggled long, elegant toes. “I forgot. Kit started crying, and I was out of bed before I quite woke up.” They shared a look, one likely common to parents of infants the world over. “My Lord Baby has a loyal and devoted court,” Vim said. “Get into bed before your toes freeze off.” She gave him a particularly unreadable perusal but climbed into her bed and did not draw the curtains. “Vim?” “Hmm?” He took the rocker, the lyrical triple meter of the aria still in his head. “Thank you.” He
Grace Burrowes (Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (The Duke's Daughters, #1; Windham, #4))
When the guards cut me loose I fell like an old bundle of laundry onto the stone courtyard, and once again hands gripped my upper arms and yanked me upright. This time I made no pretense of walking as I was borne into a dank tunnel, then down steep steps into an even danker, nasty-smelling chamber. And what I saw around me was a real, true-to-nightmare dungeon. Shackles, iron baskets, various prods and knives and whips and other instruments whose purpose I didn’t know--and didn’t want to know--were displayed on the walls around two great stained and scored tables. A huge, ugly man in a bespattered blackweave apron motioned for the soldiers to put me into a chair with irons at arms and feet. As they did, he said, “What am I supposed to be finding out?” Behind, the Baron said harshly, “I want to shed these wet clothes. Don’t touch her until I return. This is going to last a long, long time.” His gloating laugh echoed down a stone passageway. The huge man pursed his lips, shrugged, then turned to his fire, selecting various pincers and brands to lay on a grate in the flames. Then he came back, lifted one bushy brow at the soldiers still flanking me, and said in a low voice, “Kinda little and scrawny, this one, ain’t she? What she done?” “Countess of Tlanth,” one said in a flat vice. The man whistled, then grinned. He had several teeth missing. Then he bent closer, peered at me, and shook his head. “Looks to me like she’s half done for already. Grudge or no grudge, she won’t last past midnight.” He grinned again, motioning to the nearest warrior. “Go ahead and put the irons on. Shall we just have a little fun while we’re waiting?” He pulled one of his brands out of the fire and stepped toward me, raising it. The sharp smell of red-hot metal made me sneeze--and when I looked up, the man’s mouth was open with surprise. My gaze dropped to the knife embedded squarely in his chest, which seemed to have sprouted there. But knives don’t sprout, even in dungeons, I thought hazily, as the torturer fell heavily at my feet. I turned my head, half rising from the chair-- And saw the Marquis of Shevraeth standing framed in the doorway. At his back were four of his liveried equerries, with swords drawn and ready. The Marquis strolled forward, indicated the knife with a neatly gloved hand, and gave me a faint smile. “I trust the timing was more or less advantageous?” “More or less,” I managed to say before the rushing in my ears washed over me, and I passed out cold right on top of the late torturer.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
Kestrel.” She discarded a tile and drew another. She didn’t look at him. He’d noticed--of course he had--how she avoided looking at him now. And no wonder. Arin’s face stung. The stitches itched. He was tempted to rip them out. “Look at me,” he said. She did, and Arin suddenly wished she hadn’t. He cleared his throat. He said, “I won’t try anymore to convince you not to marry him.” She slowly added the new tile to her hand. She stared at it, and said nothing. “I don’t understand your choice,” Arin said. “Or maybe I do. It doesn’t matter. You want it. That’s clear. You’ve always done exactly what you wanted.” “Have I.” Her voice was flat and dull. He plunged ahead. “I was wondering…” Arin had an idea. He’d had it for some time now. He didn’t like it. The words lay bitter on his tongue, but he had thought about it, and thought about it, and if he said nothing… Arin made himself study his tiles again. He tried to think which Sting tile would profit Kestrel least. He discarded a bee. The instant he set the tile down, he regretted it. He pulled a high Bite tile. This should have encouraged him, yet Arin had the sense of flying toward the inevitable moment when Kestrel won and he asked her what she wanted. “I thought…” “Arin?” She looked concerned. That decided him. Arin took a deep breath. His stomach changed to iron. His body was girding itself in a way he knew well. Arin was tightening the muscles needed before a plunge into deep water. A punch to the gut. The lift of the hardest, lowest, highest notes he could possibly sing. His stomach knew what he’d have to sustain. “Marry him,” Arin said, “but be mine in secret.” Her hand lifted from the tiles as if scorched. She sat back in her chair. She rubbed at her inner elbow. She drank the dregs of her wine and was silent. Finally, she said, “I can’t do that.” “Why?” Arin was hot with humiliation, hating himself for having asked. The cut burned in his cheek. “It’s not so different than what you would have chosen before. When you kissed me in your carriage on Firstwinter, you thought to keep me your secret. If you thought of anything. I would have been one of those special slaves, the ones called for at night when the rest of the house is sleeping. Well? Isn’t that how it was?” “No.” She spoke low. “It wasn’t.” “Then tell me.” Arin was damning himself with every word. “Tell me how it was.” Slowly, Kestrel said, “Things have changed.” Arin jerked his head to the side, chin up, stitched left cheek tilted to catch the light. “Because of this?” She replied as if the answer was obvious. “Yes.” He shoved back from the table. “I think I’ll have that drink.” Arin began to walk away, then glanced back over his shoulder. He made sure his words were an insult. “Don’t touch the tiles.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2))
After all,” she said, her eyes meeting his, “it’s not as though you lack sufficient charm to woo ladies. And you’re certainly handsome enough, in your own way.” She bent her head again. “Oh, stop looking s smug. I’m not flattering you, I’m merely stating facts. Privateering was not your only profitable course of action. You might have married, if you’d wished to.” “Ah, but there’s the snag, you see. I didn’t wish to.” She picked up a brush and tapped it against her palette. “No, you didn’t. You wished to be at sea. You wished to go adventuring, to seize sixty ships in the name of the Crown and pursue countless women on four continents. That’s why you sold your land, Mr. Grayson. Because it’s what you wanted to do. The profit was incidental.” Gray tugged at the cuff of his coat sleeve. It unnerved him, how easily she stared down these truths he’d avoided looking in the eye for years. So now he was worse than a thief. He was a selfish, lying thief. And still she sat with him, flirted with him, called him “charming” and “handsome enough.” How much darkness did the girl need to uncover before she finally turned away? “And what about you, Miss Turner?” He leaned forward in his chair. “Why are you here, bound for the West Indies to work as a governess? You, too, might have married. You come from quality; so much is clear. And even if you’d no dowry, sweetheart…” He waited for her to look up. “Yours is the kind of beauty that brings men to their knees.” She gave a dismissive wave of her paintbrush. Still, her cheeks darkened, and she dabbed her brow with the back of her wrist. “Now, don’t act missish. I’m not flattering you, I’m merely stating facts.” He leaned back in his chair. “So why haven’t you married?” “I explained to you yesterday why marriage was no longer an option for me. I was compromised.” Gray folded his hands on his chest. “Ah, yes. The French painting master. What was his name? Germaine?” “Gervais.” She sighed dramatically. “Ah, but the pleasure he showed me was worth any cost. I’d never felt so alive as I did in his arms. Every moment we shared was a minute stolen from paradise.” Gray huffed and kicked the table leg. The girl was trying to make him jealous. And damn, if it wasn’t working. Why should some oily schoolgirl’s tutor enjoy the pleasures Gray was denied? He hadn’t aided the war effort just so England’s most beautiful miss could lift her skirts for a bloody Frenchman. She began mixing pigment with oil on her palette. “Once, he pulled me into the larder, and we had a feverish tryst among the bins of potatoes and turnips. He held me up against the shelves and we-“ “May I read my book now?” Lord, he couldn’t take much more of this. She smiled and reached for another brush. “If you wish.” Gray opened his book and stared at it, unable to muster the concentration to read. Every so often, he turned a page. Vivid, erotic images filled his mind, but all the blood drained to his groin.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
Come on, lovey, open up. These buckets is heavy.” The plea accompanied another tapping. “Patience, Molly.” Christopher paused for a brief moment, gathering the towel about him again. Then his muscles flexed, and if she had found the breath, Erienne would have shrieked as he lifted her and dumped her onto the bed. She half raised with her mouth open to hotly voice her objection to whatever he had in mind, but he flung the bedcovers over her head, squelching comment. “Lie still.” His whisper bore a tone of command that could prompt immediate obedience from even the most reluctant. Erienne froze, and with a smile Christopher reached across to turn down the other side of the bed to make it seem as if he had just left it. Frantic visions involving her possible fate flew through Erienne’s mind. She considered the horrible humiliation she would suffer if she were discovered in the man’s bed. Her fears burgeoned, her rage peaked, and she threw back the covers, intending to escape the trap he laid for her. In the next brief second she caught her breath sharply and snatched the covers back over her head again, for the sight of him standing stark naked beside the chair where his clothes were draped was too much for her virgin eyes to bear. It had been no more than a glimpse, but the vision of his tall, tanned, wide-shouldered form bathed in the pinkish light of the rising sun was forever branded in her brain. Christopher chuckled softly as Erienne curled into the bed and finally obeyed his warning. He slipped on his breeches, secured them, and moved across the room to unlock the door. Molly knew her trade and her competition, and the village of Mawbry suited her well, since there was an absolute lack of the latter. When Christopher opened the portal, she was through it in a trice and shrugging out of the yoke that bore the pails. Pressing herself tightly against the male form, she rubbed her fingers through the hair on his chest and fluttered her lashes. “Oh, lovey, ye are a wondrous sight for any girl to behold.” “I’ve already told you, Molly. I have no need of yer services,” Christopher stated bluntly. “I only want the water.” “Ah, come now, lovey,” she crooned. “I knows ye’ve been away ter sea and needs a li’l tussle in bed. Why, with such a man as yerself, I’d be more’n willin’ ter give ye all ye need without a hint o’ a coin.” Christopher swept his hand toward the mentioned furnishing, drawing the maid’s eyes to it. “I already have all I desire. Now be along with you.” Molly’s dark eyes widened in surprise as she turned to stare at the bed. Unable to mistake the curvaceous form hidden beneath the quilt, she straightened indignantly and with a swish of her skirts was gone from the room, slamming the door behind her. Erienne waited, not daring to come out from beneath the covering until Christopher tapped her on the shoulder. “ ’Tis safe now. You can come out.” “Are you dressed?” she asked cautiously, her voice muffled beneath the covers. Christopher chuckled. “I’ve got my breeches on, if that’s what you’re worried about." -Molly, Christopher, & Erienne
Kathleen E. Woodiwiss (A Rose in Winter)
I stopped struggling, going limp in his arms. He reached around us and shoved the door closed, spinning around and facing us toward the kitchen. “I was trying to make you breakfast.” It took a moment for his words and their meaning to sink in. I stared dumbfounded across the room and past the island. There was smoke billowing up from the stove and the window above the sink was wide open. Bowls and spoons littered the island and there was a carton of eggs sitting out. He was trying to cook. He was really bad at it. I started to laugh. The kind of laugh that shook my shoulders and bubbled up hysterically. My heart rate was still out of control, and I took in a few breaths between laughs to try and calm it down. He said something, but I couldn’t hear him because the fire alarm was still going off. I had no doubt half the neighborhood was now awake from the sound. He didn’t bother to put me down, instead hauling me along with him, where he finally set me down, dragged a chair over near the alarm, and climbed up to remove the battery. The noise cut off and the kitchen fell silent. “Well, shit,” he said, staring at the battery in his hand. A giggle escaped me. “Does this always happen when you cook?” He shrugged. “The only time I ever cook is when it’s my turn at the station.” His forehead creased and a thoughtful look came over his face. “The guys are never around when it’s my night to cook. Now I know why.” He snagged a towel off the counter and began waving away the rest of the lingering smoke. I clicked on the vent fan above the stove. There was a pan with half a melted spatula, something that may or may not have once been eggs, and a muffin tin with half-burned, half-raw muffins (how was that even possible?). “Well, this looks…” My words faltered, trying to come up with something positive to say. “Completely inedible?” he finished. I grinned. “You did all this for me?” “I figured after a week of hospital food, you might like something good. Apparently you aren’t going to find that here.” I had the urge to hug him. I kept my feet planted where they were. “Thank you. No one’s ever ruined a pan for me before.” He grinned. “I have cereal. Even I can’t mess that up.” I watched as he pulled down a bowl and poured me some, adding milk. He looked so cute when he handed me the bowl that I lifted the spoon and took a bite. “Best cereal I ever had.” “Damn straight.” I carried it over to the counter and sat down. “After we eat, would you mind taking me to my car? I hope it’s still drivable.” “What about the keys?” “I have a security deposit box at the bank. I keep my spare there in case I ever need them.” “Pretty smart.” “I have a few good ideas now and then.” “Contrary to the way it looks, I do too.” “Thank you for trying to make me breakfast. And for the cereal.” He walked over to the stove and picked up the ruined pan. “You died with honor,” he said, giving it a mock salute. And then he threw the entire thing into the trashcan. I laughed. “You could have washed it, you know.” He made a face. “No. Then I might be tempted to use it again.
Cambria Hebert (Torch (Take It Off, #1))
The door was still open, so I shut it and was returning to my desk when I braked. There was a backpack resting on the other side of my desk chair. It wasn’t mine. It wasn’t Missy’s. I was pretty sure it wasn’t Holly’s or the cousin’s. “Shit,” I muttered under my breath. “Huh?” she barked, her head swinging around to me. A quick glance confirmed what I already knew. She was drunk. “Nothing.” She pulled out one of her shirts, but it wasn’t her normal pajama top. She was really drunk. I picked up Shay’s bag and checked the contents to make sure it was his. It was. I saw his planner with his name scrawled at the top, so I zipped that bag and put it in the back of my closet. No one needed to go through it. I didn’t think Missy would, but I just never knew. Dropping into my chair, I picked up my phone to text Shay as Missy fell to the floor. I looked up to watch. I couldn’t not see this. I was tempted to video it, but I was being nice. For once. As Missy wrestled with her jeans and lifted them over her head to throw into her closet, I texted Shay. Me: You left your bag here. Missy let out a half-gurgled moan and a cry of frustration at the same time. She didn’t stand, instead crawling to the closet. She grabbed another pair of pants. Those weren’t her pajamas, either. As she pulled them on—or tried since her feet kept eluding the pants’ hole—my phone buzzed back. Coleman: Can I pick it up in the morning? I texted back. Me: When? Missy got one leg in. Success. I wanted to thrust my fist in the air for her. My phone buzzed again. Coleman: Early. My playbook is in there. I groaned. Me: When is early? I’m in college, Coleman. Sleeping in is mandatory. Coleman: Nine too early for you? I can come back to get it now. Nine was doable. Me: Let’s do an exchange. You bring me coffee, and I’ll meet you at the parking lot curb with your bag. Coleman: Done. Decaf okay? I glared at my phone. Me: Back to hating you. Coleman: Never stop that. The world’s equilibrium will be fucked up. I have to know what’s right and wrong. Don’t screw with my moral compass, Cute Ass. Oh, no! No way. Me: Third rule of what we don’t talk about. No nicknames unless they reconfirm our mutual dislike for each other. No Cute Ass. His response was immediate. Coleman: Cunt Ass? A second squeak from me. Me: NO! I could almost hear him laughing. Coleman: Relax. I know. Clarke’s Ass. That’s how you are in my phone. The tension left my shoulders. Me: See you in the morning. 9 sharp. Coleman: Night. I put my phone down, but then it buzzed once again. Coleman: Ass. I was struggling to wipe this stupid grin off my face. All was right again. I plugged my phone in, pulled my laptop back toward me, and sent a response to Gage’s email. I’ll sit with you, but only if we’re in the opposing team’s section. He’d be pissed, but that was the only way. I turned the computer off, and by then Missy was climbing up the ladder in a bright pink silk shirt. The buttons were left buttoned, and her pajama bottoms were a pair of corduroy khakis. I was pretty sure she didn’t brush her teeth, but before my head even hit the pillow, she was snoring
Tijan (Hate to Love You)
She didn’t want to be empty, didn’t want to vanish. She wanted to be whole. She said, “I want to remember you.” An emotion flared in his face. He braced her hips, tugged her closer. His lids were heavy, eyes dark. His mouth was a wet gleam. She didn’t recognize his expression. It was new. She leaned in and drank the newness of him. Their kiss turned savage. She made it so. She felt his teeth, reveled in the sure knowledge that it had never been like this between them. Yet at the same time, she felt each kiss they’d shared before, felt them live inside this one. His mouth left hers, rasping down her neck. He buried his face in her skin. She sought his mouth and found that he tasted different now. She was tasting the taste of her skin on his mouth. Coppery. She dipped her tongue into it again. “Kestrel.” She didn’t answer him. “This is a bad idea.” “No,” she said. “It isn’t.” He pulled away, closed his eyes, and dropped his head to press his brow against her belly. She felt rich with the words he muttered against her nightdress. His mouth burned through the cloth. His chair scraped back. He no longer touched her. “Not like this.” “Yes. Exactly like this.” She tried to find the words to express how this helped, how he somehow mapped the country of herself, showed the ridges, the rise and valley of her very being. “Kestrel, I think that you’re…using me a little.” She stopped, unpleasantly startled. It occurred to her that what he’d said was another version of what she’d been struggling to say. “It’s not, ah, a hardship.” He gave a rueful smile. “It’s not that I don’t want--” She’d never heard him stammer. Even with her untrustworthy memory, she knew this. You’re easy to know, she wanted to say. Memories of him came quickly. It didn’t hurt, not as much as she’d feared before, on the tundra, or in his empty bed. At least, it didn’t hurt anymore. It was better. Better than…other things. A faceless horror. A monster. Inside her. It thickened, grew into a featureless, blunt shape. She wouldn’t touch it. She’d go nowhere near it. Arin had been right, that day when he’d suggested that there was something too horrible for her to remember. “It’s not enough,” he said. It took her a moment to realize he was continuing his refusal and not responding to her thoughts, which were so loud in her head that she felt as if she’d shouted them. She said, “What would be enough?” Color mounted on his face. “You can tell me,” she said. “Ah,” he said. “Well. Me.” “I don’t understand.” “I want…you to want me.” “I do.” He pushed a hand through his rough hair. “I don’t mean this.” He gestured between them, his hand flipping from her to him. “I…” He struggled, knuckled his eyes, and let the words come. “I want you to be mine, wholly mine, your heart, too. I want you to feel the same way.” Her stomach sank. She’d sworn to herself not to lie to him. He read her answer in her eyes. He dimmed, and said nothing either. But he brushed hair from her face, lifting away strands that had caught in her eyelashes and between her lips. His fingertip painted a slow line over her lower lip. She felt it down her spine, in her belly. Then his hand fell away, and she felt alone.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3))
He hadn’t been aware of staring, but when her questioning gaze locked with his, Grey felt as though he’d been smacked upside the head by the open palm of idiocy. “Is something troubling you, Grey?” He loved the sound of his name on her tongue, and hated that he loved it. She made him weak and stupid. One sweet glance from her and he was ready to drop to his knees. It wasn’t love. It wasn’t even infatuation. It was pure unmitigated lust. He could admit that. Hell, he embraced it. Lust could be managed. Lust could be mastered. And lust would eventually fade once she was out of his care and out of his life. That was the cold, hard, blessed truth of it. “I was wondering if you were eagerly anticipating Lady Shrewsbury’s ball tomorrow evening?” How easily the lie rolled off his tongue as he lifted a bite of poached salmon to his mouth. She smiled softly, obviously looking forward to it very much. “I am. Thank you.” Camilla shared her daughter’s pleasure judging from her coy grin. “Rose has renewed her acquaintance with the honorable Kellan Maxwell. He requested that she save the first waltz of the evening for him.” The fish caught in Grey’s throat. He took a drink of wine to force it down. “The same Kellan Maxwell who courted you during your first season?” Rose’s smile faded a little. No doubt she heard the censure in his tone, his disapproval. “The same,” she replied with an edge of defensiveness. The same idiot who abandoned his pursuit of Rose when Charles lost everything and scandal erupted. The little prick who hadn’t loved her enough to continue his courtship regardless of her situation. “Mm,” was what he said out loud. Rose scowled at him. “We had no understanding. We were not engaged, and Mr. Maxwell behaved as any other young man with responsibilities would have.” “You defend him.” It was difficult to keep his disappointment from showing. He never thought her to be the kind of woman who would forgive disloyalty when she was so very loyal herself. She tilted her head. “I appreciate your concern, but I’m no debutante, Grey. If I’m to find a husband this season I shouldn’t show prejudice.” Common sense coming out of anyone else. Coming out of her it was shite. “You deserve better.” She smiled a Mona Lisa smile. “We do not always get what we deserve, or even what we desire.” She knew. Christ in a frock coat, she knew. Her smile faded. “If we did, Papa would be here with us, and Mama and I wouldn’t be your responsibility.” She didn’t know. Damn, what a relief. “The two of you are not a responsibility. You are a joy.” For some reason that only made her look sadder, but Camilla smiled through happy tears. She thanked him profusely, but Grey had a hard time hearing what she was saying-he was too intent on Rose, who had turned her attention to her plate and was pushing food around with little interest. He could bear this no longer. He didn’t know what was wrong with her, or why she seemed so strange with him. And he couldn’t stand that he cared. “Ladies, I’m afraid I must beg your pardon and take leave of you.” Rose glanced up. “So soon?” He pushed his chair back from the table. “Yes. But I will see you at breakfast in the morning.” She turned back to her dinner. Grey bid farewell to Camilla and then strode from the room as quickly as he could. If he survived the Season it would be a miracle.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
Should I be scared?” “I think you should get ready for quite an inquiry, but they’re necessary questions that must be answered if I want to ask you out on a second date.” “What if I don’t want to go on a second date?” “Hmm.” He taps his chin with his fork, ready to dig in the minute the plate arrives at our table. “That’s a good point. All right. If the question arose, would you go on a second date with me?” “Well, now I feel pressured to say yes just so I can hear the inquiry.” “You’re going to have to deal with the pressure, sweet cheeks.” “Fine. Hypothetically, if you were to ask me out on a second date, I would hypothetically, possibly say yes.” “Great.” He bops his own nose with his fork and then sets it down on the table. “Here goes.” He looks serious; both his hands rest palm down on the table and his shoulders stiffen. Looking me dead in the eyes, he asks, “Bobbies and Rebels are in the World Series, what shirt do you wear?” “Bobbies obviously.” He blinks. Sits back. “What?” “Bobbies for life.” “But I’m on the Rebels.” “Yes, but are we dating, are we married? Are we just fooling around? There’s going to have to be a huge commitment on my part in order to put a Rebels shirt on. Sorry.” “We’re dating.” “Eh.” I wave my hand. “Fine. We’re living together.” “Hmm, I don’t know.” I twist a strand of hair in my finger. “Christ, we’re married.” “Ugh.” I wince. “I’m sorry, I just don’t think it will ever happen.” “Not even if we’re married, for fuck’s sake?” he asks, dumbfounded. It’s endearing, especially since he’s pushing his hand through his hair in distress, tousling it. “Do we have kids?” I ask. “Six.” “Six?” Now it’s time for my eyes to pop out of their sockets. “Do you really think I want to birth six children?” “Hell, no.” He shakes his head. “We adopted six kids from all around the world. We’re going to have the most diverse and loving family you’ll ever see.” Adopting six kids, now that’s incredibly sweet. Or mad? No, it’s sweet. In fact, it’s extremely rare to meet a man who not only knows he wants to adopt kids, but is willing to look outside of the US, knowing how much he could offer that child. Good God, this man is a unicorn. “We have the means for it, after all,” he says, continuing. “You’re taking over the city of Chicago, and I’ll be raining home runs on every opposing team. We would be the power couple, the new king and queen of the city. Excuse me, Oprah and Steadman, a new, hip couple is in town. People would wear our faces on their shirts like the royals in England. We’re the next Kate and William, the next Meghan and Harry. People will scream our name and then faint, only for us to give them mouth-to-mouth because even though we’re super famous, we are also humanitarians.” “Wow.” I sit back in my chair. “That’s quite the picture you paint.” I know what my mom will say about him already. Don’t lose him, Dorothy. He’s gold. Gorgeous and selfless. “So . . . with all that said, our six children at your side, would you wear a Rebels shirt?” I take some time to think about it, mulling over the idea of switching to black and red as my team colors. Could I do it? With the way Jason is smiling at me, hope in his eyes, how could I ever deny him that joy—and I say that as if we’ve been married for ten years. “I would wear halfsies. Half Bobbies, half Rebels, and that’s the best I can do.” He lifts his finger to the sky. “I’ll take it.
Meghan Quinn (The Lineup)
He pulled her to the bed, undoing his trousers and hitching up her skirt as he did. Dragging down the top of her dress, he feasted on her breasts again, entering her with her thousand-pound dress tangled all round her waist. He thrust into her frantically and she came fast and furiously. They lay together breathing heavily and then she felt him harden again. Peeling her dress from her, he then lifted her from the bed, bending her over the chair by the dressing table. He came into her from behind, rutting like a dog, where she could see herself in the mirror, legs trembling, her breasts squeezed tight in his hands, being fucked by this handsome stranger. Lifting her again, he sat her on the dressing table, pressing her thighs around him as he pushed into her. She laid back, grasping at the table, scattering her jewelry to the floor, knocking over the table lamps, and came again. "Better now?" he said, with a smile. "Yes," she breathed. "Yes." He took her hand and led her to the bed. "Want to open that champagne?" "No." She curled up on the bed, This was what she'd wanted. Anonymous fucking with no chitchat, no foreplay, no commitment. It would be better now if he just left. "I'm tired." The truth was, she was exhausted. Physically and emotionally spent. He lay down beside her, still stroking her butt. "You're one hell of a sexy woman," he said.
Carole Matthews (The Chocolate Lovers' Club)
I have four pets,’ Bjørnar Nicolaisen tells me at 69.31°N, ‘two cats and two sea eagles. I feed them all together on the shore, there by the throne, with the best fish in the world!’ He gives a huge laugh, and points east through the window of his living room: snow-filled fields sloping away to a rocky beach that borders a fjord several miles in width. Steel-blue water in the fjord, choppy where the currents are running. Far across the fjord, ranks of smooth-snowed peaks gleam in the late sunlight. They are shaped more wildly than any mountains I have ever seen before. Witches’ hats and shark fins and jabbing fingers, all polished white as porcelain. I cannot see a throne on the shore, though. ‘Here, try these.’ He hands me a pair of binoculars. Black leather-clad barrels, weathered in places to brown. Polished eye-pieces – and a Nazi eagle engraved into the left-hand barrel-back. ‘Wehrmacht-issue,’ says Bjørnar. ‘Beautiful lenses. An officer’s. When my father was dying, he asked me what I wanted from his possessions. “One thing only,” I told him, “the binoculars you took from the Germans.”‘ I lift the binoculars and the shoreline leaps to my eyes, close enough to touch. Calibrated cross-hairs float in my vision. I pan right along the beach. Nothing. I switch back left. Yes, there, a chair of some kind – but six or seven feet tall, built from driftwood lashed and nailed together. It looks like something the ironborn of Westeros might have made. ‘I take the eagles a cod or a saithe whenever I come back from a good day’s fishing. I feed them by my chair, there.’ ‘Bjørnar, you are the only person I know who counts sea eagles among his pets.’ ‘I am more of a cat person,’ Bjørnar replies. ‘Than a dog person or than an eagle person?’ ‘Than a people person!’ Bjørnar laughs and laughs – a deep, explosive laugh coming from far inside his chest.
Robert Macfarlane (Underland: A Deep Time Journey)
When a man is asleep, he has in a circle round him the chain of the hours, the sequence of the years, the order of the heavenly host. Instinctively, when he awakes, he looks to these, and in an instant reads off his own position on the earth’s surface and the amount of time that has elapsed during his slumbers; but this ordered procession is apt to grow confused, and to break its ranks. Suppose that, towards, morning, after a night of insomnia, sleep descends upon him while he is reading, in quite a different position from that in which he normally goes to sleep, he has only to lift his arm to arrest the sun and turn it back in its course, and, at the moment of waking, he will have no idea of the time, but will conclude that he has just gone to bed. Or suppose that he gets drowsy in some even more abnormal position; sitting in an armchair, say, after dinner: then the world will go hurtling out of orbit, the magic chair will carry him at full speed through time and space, and when he opens his eyes again he will imagine that he went to sleep months earlier in another place. But for me it was enough if, in my own bed, my sleep was so heavy as completely to relax my consciousness; for then I lost all sense of the place in which I had gone to sleep, and when I awoke in the middle of the night, not knowing where I was, I could not even be sure at first who I was; I had only the most rudimentary sense of existence, such as may lurk and flicker in the depths of an animal's consciousness; I was more destitute than the cave-dweller; but then the memory - not yet of the place in which I was, but of various other places where I had lived and might now very possibly be - would come like a rope let down from heaven to draw me up out of the abyss of not-being, from which I could never have escaped by myself: in a flash I would traverse centuries of civilisation, and out of a blurred glimpse of oil-lamps, then of shirts with turned-down collars, would gradually piece together the original components of my ego. Perhaps the immobility of the things that surround us is forced upon them by our conviction that they are themselves and not anything else, by the immobility of our conception of them. For it always happened that when I awoke like this, and my mind struggled in an unsuccessful attempt to discover where I was, everything revolved around me through the darkness: things, places, years. My body, still too heavy with sleep to move, would endeavour to construe from the pattern of its tiredness the position of its various limbs, in order to deduce therefrom the direction of the wall, the location of the furniture, to piece together and give a name to the house in which it lay. Its memory, the composite memory of its ribs, its knees, its shoulder-blades, offered it a whole series of rooms in which it had at one time or another slept, while the unseen walls, shifting and adapting themselves to the shape of each successive room that it remembered, whirled round it in the dark.
Marcel Proust (Swann's Way)
Another day, sheltering beneath trees in a rain-shower, I uncovered a doorway long obliterated by undergrowth. After pulling shrubbery aside, I stepped inside a long deserted summerhouse, fronted by cracked marble columns and ironwork, the rear extending deep into the hillside. Though still filthy, even after I cleared away the tenacious vines, the windowpanes gave sufficient greenish light for me to sketch indoors. In a cobwebbed corner stood a gardener's burner that must once have coaxed oranges or other delicate shrubs to life. With that alight, I found a chair and sat with my shawl muffled around me as I sketched. The marble statues that lined the walls were fine copies of the Greek masters, with muscular limbs and serene faces, though sadly disfigured with a blueish-green patina. As an exercise, I copied a figure of a handsome boy, admiring the sculptor's rendering of tensed muscle, the body frozen just an instant before extending in action. My mind drifted to Michael, the uncertainty hanging over us, my urges to please him, my need to move beyond this stupid impasse. As I sketched the statue's blind eyes I half-heartedly followed his line of sight. I stood and looked more closely at the statue. "What are you looking at?" I said out loud. A green stain blotted the boy's cheek, ugly but also strangely beautiful, for the color was a peacock's viridian. For the first time I noticed the description, "HARPOCRATES- SILENCE", engraved on the pediment, and had a vague recollection of a Roman boy-god who personified that virtue. He held one index finger raised coyly to his lips, while his other hand pointed towards a low arch in the wall. I paced over to the spot at which he pointed. The niche was filled with gardener's trellis that I removed with rising excitement. Behind stood an oak doorway set low in the wall. As I lifted the latch, it opened onto a blast of chilly darkness. Lighting the stub of a candle at the stove, I propped the door open and ventured inside. At once I knew this was no gardeners' store, but another tunnel burrowing into the hillside. Setting forth with the excitement of new discovery, my footsteps rang out and my breath fogged before me in clouds. The place had a mossy, mineral smell, and save for the dripping of water, was silent. Though at first the tunnel ran straight, it soon descended an incline, and my feet splashed into muddy puddles. Who, I wondered, had last passed through that door?
Martine Bailey (A Taste for Nightshade)
The Clipper pulled away from its moorage, entered Long Island Sound off Queens, and began its takeoff run, bumping across a mile-long fetch of open water before at last lifting off, shedding water like a breaching whale. With a cruising speed of 145 miles per hour, the plane would need about six hours to reach its first stop, Bermuda. It flew at eight thousand feet, which pretty much ensured that it would encounter every cloud and storm in its path. There would be turbulence but also luxury. White-jacketed stewards served full meals on china in a dining compartment with tables, chairs, and tablecloths. At dinner men wore suits, women dresses; at night the stewards made up beds in curtained berths. Honeymooners could book a private suite in the plane’s tail and swoon at the moonglade on the sea below.
Erik Larson (The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz)
The weight of everything he's read settles on him, crushing him to his chair. It is too heavy. He cannot even lift his head.
Celeste Ng (Everything I Never Told You)
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Every year, in the spring, a stone-lifting contest is held in Munich. This has been going on for decades and has a lot of prestige in sporting circles. You stand on two footrests that look like chairs and pull the stone up between your legs by a metal handle. The stone weighs approximately 508 German pounds (about 560 English pounds). An electric scale on the wall of the auditorium shows how many centimeters you lift the stone. You do it cold; there’s no warming up. You just lift it up as far as you can. That year I entered the contest, broke the existing record, and won. The press picked it up and wrote that Mr. Universe was the strongest man in Germany—which may or may not have been true, but it was good for bodybuilding. At that time, along with all the other misconceptions about the sport, people still thought bodybuilders had muscles but didn’t have any power, just big useless muscles.
Arnold Schwarzenegger (Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder)
coming in for a glass of milk. For as long as she’d known her, her mother-in-law had been a troubled sleeper. If someone breathed loudly on the other side of the house, she would wake up. A fake smile plastered on her face, Irina turned to the door, praying whoever it was would soon go away, leaving her alone with her tea and her bitter thoughts. When the door opened, it wasn’t Zina or Kirill she saw in the light of the kerosene lamp. Instead, a tall man stood in the doorway, shaking snow off his coat. Irina squealed in excitement, leapt off her chair, knocking it to the ground, and ran into his arms. Laughing, he caught her and lifted her up in the air, showering her face with kisses. ‘Maxim! What are you doing here? We didn’t expect you till tomorrow.’ She felt giddy and excited. The skin of her cheeks felt raw from his stubble but she didn’t care. Here he was, alive and well and looking at her with such love, it made her heart ache. Thank God! Carefully he placed her on the ground. He looked thinner than
Lana Kortchik (Daughters of the Resistance)
They may have been the same rank, but he was still technically her senior — in both age and experience — and sometimes he liked to flex. Make himself look like he gave a damn. She leaned forward, hit the keyboard shortcut to minimise the windows, and got up. ‘Nothing,’ she said, pulling her jacket on. ‘That’s helpful.’ She ignored the comment, downed half her now-tepid coffee and bit lightly into her bagel, holding it between straight white teeth as she powered off her monitor and tucked her chair in.  ‘I don’t know why you bother,’ Roper said, flicking a hand at the now-black screen. ‘Not while all this is burning.’ He gestured around the room at the other desks and detectives working away. Dozens of screens were lit, the photocopier was buzzing, the lights were humming, and phones and devices were charging on every surface.  She shrugged. ‘If you leave a monitor on standby overnight it wastes enough energy to—’ ‘Yeah, yeah,’ he said, dismissing her with his hand. ‘And the polar ice caps are melting and penguins are getting sunburn. Come on, we’ve got a murder to solve.’ He walked forward, draining what was left in his coffee cup, and put it down on a random desk — much to the disgust of the guy sitting behind it. Roper swaggered towards the lifts, finally shrugging off the hangover, his caffeine quota for the next hour filled. Once his nicotine level had been topped off, he might actually be capable of some decent police work. Jamie fell in behind him, trying to get her mind off the other missing kids and back on Grace Melver. Whatever the hell was going on, Jamie had a feeling that Grace Melver knew something about it. Whether she realised or not.  Chapter 7 She walked with Roper without thinking about it.  Jamie had dropped him back at the crime scene after the shelter so he could pick his car up. The medical examiner was there and the scene of the crime officers, or SOCOs, were crawling all over in their plastic-covered boots, snapping photos and putting things in evidence bags.  They hadn’t stuck around.  It was best to leave the SOCOs do their jobs, and anyway Jamie and Roper had paperwork that needed to be done.  Her fingers typed on autopilot now. She’d had her prelim licked before she’d finished her first cup of coffee. Roper headed for his Volvo without asking and got into the driver’s seat.  Jamie pulled the door open and got in, closing the door only when he’d cranked the ignition so she could crack the window. The seats were covered
Morgan Greene (Bare Skin (DS Jamie Johansson #1))
been long, greasy, and pulled back into a low ponytail.  The words Mary had used were ‘cute asymmetrical bob’, and Jamie thought that probably meant she’d cut it for her. Damn, she really did care. No one that looked even remotely like Grace showed up, though. And after all the soup was finished, the crowd began to dissipate. ‘I don’t know what to say,’ Mary said. ‘She’s usually here for lunch.’ Roper smacked his lips. ‘Who knows. Word gets around sometimes. Maybe she heard about the vic—’ He cut himself off. ‘About Oliver.’ Mary nodded, like she concurred.  ‘Mrs Cartwright,’ Jamie said, ‘do you know where Grace sleeps? Does she have a usual spot, or do you know if anyone might know how we can get hold of her?’ Mary thought for a second. ‘There’s a bridge that runs across an old overground line — not far from here. I know that a lot of our patrons make themselves a space there. I don’t know if that’s where she sleeps, but…’ She looked around, and seeing a guy in his late twenties with a tattered beanie hat pulled down to his eyebrows sitting on one of the chairs, polishing off a bowl of soup, lifted her hand and called out to him. ‘Reggie?’ He looked up, the fur lining the hood of his jacket all clumped together and dirty. ‘Hmm?’ he said, looking scared all of a sudden.  Jamie smiled at him, but the fear of getting questioned by two police detectives couldn’t be dispelled that easily.  Mary beckoned him over and he approached cautiously. ‘Reggie — you’ve got a space down on the old overground line, right? Under the bridge?’ He looked at Roper and Jamie, as though admitting it was going to get him in trouble.
Morgan Greene (Bare Skin (DS Jamie Johansson #1))
He meditated resentfully on the physical texture of life. Had it always been like this? Had food always tasted like this? He looked round the canteen. A low-ceilinged, crowded room, its walls grimy from the contact of innumerable bodies; battered metal tables and chairs, placed so close together that you sat with elbows touching; bent spoons, dented trays, coarse white mugs; all surfaces greasy, grime in every crack; and a sourish, composite smell of bad gin and bad coffee and metallic stew and dirty clothes. Always in your stomach and in your skin there was a sort of protest, a feeling that you had been cheated of something that you had a right to. It was true that he had no memories of anything greatly different. In any time that he could accurately remember, there had never been quite enough to eat, one had never had socks or underclothes that were not full of holes, furniture had always been battered and rickety, rooms underheated, tube trains crowded, houses falling to pieces, bread dark-coloured, tea a rarity, coffee filthy-tasting, cigarettes insufficient — nothing cheap and plentiful except synthetic gin. And though, of course, it grew worse as one’s body aged, was it not a sign that this was NOT the natural order of things, if one’s heart sickened at the discomfort and dirt and scarcity, the interminable winters, the stickiness of one’s socks, the lifts that never worked, the cold water, the gritty soap, the cigarettes that came to pieces, the food with its strange evil tastes? Why should one feel it to be intolerable unless one had some kind of ancestral memory that things had once been different?
George Orwell (1984 & Animal Farm)
Holland was sitting on the cot with his back to the wall, his head resting on his drawn-up knees. One hand was cuffed to the wall, the chain hanging like a leash. His skin had taken on a greyish pallor—the sea clearly wasn’t agreeing with him—and his black hair, Kell realized, was streaked with new bright silver, as if shedding Osaron had cost him something vital. But what surprised Kell most was the simple fact that Holland was asleep. Kell had never seen Holland lower his guard, never seen him relaxed, let alone unconscious. And yet, he wasn’t entirely still. The muscles in the other Antari’s arms twitched, his breath hitching, as though he were trapped in a bad dream. Kell held his breath as he lifted the chair out of the way and stepped into the room. Holland didn’t stir when Kell neared, nor when he knelt in front of the bed. “Holland?” said Kell quietly, but the man didn’t shift. It wasn’t until Kell’s hand touched Holland’s arm that the man woke. His head snapped up and he pulled suddenly away, or tried to, his shoulders hitting the cabin wall. For a moment his gaze was wide and empty, his body coiled, his mind somewhere else. It lasted only a second, but in that sliver of time, Kell saw fear. A deep, trained fear, the kind beaten into animals who’d once bitten their masters, Holland’s careful composure slipping to reveal the tension beneath. And then he blinked, once, twice, eyes focusing. “Kell.” He exhaled sharply, his posture shifting back into a mimicry of calm, control, as he wrestled with whatever demons haunted his sleep. “Vos och?” he demanded brusquely in his own tongue. What is it?
V.E. Schwab (A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3))
Half a long pepper and lastly a teaspoon of troll fat.' 'Yuck,' Stef said, as she looked down at the small bowl of fat. 'Yes, it is a bit gross, but it's very effective,' Miss Maker said, as she walked over to the front row and paused by a cauldron that belonged to a girl with red hair. 'That looks fantastic, Patricia.' 'How does she know all our names?' Gerty whispered to Charlotte, forgetting that Miss Maker could hear them. 'Gerty, Charlotte, how are you getting on?' She smiled over at them. 'Erm, okay,' Gerty muttered quietly. Yeah, okay I think,' Charlotte added. 'Great!' Miss Maker walked back to the front of the room. 'Now take your spoons and place them into the cauldron, careful not to splash any of the potion. Turn it in a clockwise direction twenty times, like this’ She began to turn her spoon, counting the turns aloud. 'When you've done that, carefully remove your spoon.' 'Now take your wand out and say, 'strength potion make me strong.' Then add one cup of cranberry juice and stir another ten times in a clockwise direction. Pour a glass and drink up girls. This spell will only last for three hours, and then your body’s strength will return to normal.' Stef was the first to drink her potion, followed by Margaret and then Demi. Charlotte and Gerty exchanged looks before they picked up their glasses and drank the liquid. Charlotte looked down to see her arms begin to bulk up under her cardigan until large muscles were visible. 'Look, look!' Gerty lifted her blouse, revealing a six-pack of muscles on her tummy. ''Whoa,' Charlotte said, as she looked down at her own stomach and legs and saw that they were changing too. 'My thighs are huge,' Alice said disgustedly, clutching hold of her muscled leg. 'I feel so strong,' Gerty giggled, as she reached out and lifted Charlotte with one hand and balanced her above her head, spinning her around like a spinning top. 'I feel weaker Miss Maker, what's happening?' Stef asked, as she stumbled and gripped onto the table for support before looking down at herself. Her arms and legs had become much smaller, and she looked skinny and haggard. There were gasps at Stef's appearance as the other girls gathered around her. 'Can you show me what direction is clockwise?' Miss Maker passed Stef a spoon. Stef nodded as she put the spoon into the cauldron and stirred to her left. 'Oh dear.' Miss Maker shook her head. 'That is anti-clockwise, you're lucky the spell is only for three hours.' She led Stef over to the comfy chair that was behind her desk and then addressed the other girls. 'This is a perfect example of how careful you must be when brewing potions and a great lesson for us all. Now, we have to tidy up. Please be careful when cleaning the cauldrons and glasses, don't forget your new strength.' 'Have you seen Demi's muscles? They're huge!' A girl with black hair pointed to Demi's arms.
Katrina Kahler (Witch School, Book 1)
Books,' Morgenes said grandly, leaning back on his precarious stool, '--books are magic. That is the simple answer. And books are traps as well.' 'Magic? Traps?' 'Books are a form of magic--' the doctor lifted the volume he had just laid on the stack, '--because they span time and distance more surely by any spell or charm.
Tad Williams (The Dragonbone Chair (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #1))
Alvin lifted his toes and pushed both heels firmly into the asphalt until his folding metal chair thudded familiarly against the brick wall behind him. It did so in the same manner as on myriad other occasions. A manner that had caused his mother to scold him more times than he cared to remember. She had stopped bothering to do so months earlier however. By then, he'd transferred more beige paint to the bricks behind him than remained on the crossbar at the top of its backrest. At least that's what she told him soon before giving up. She would have likely been correct too, if not for the rain which so frequently showered the very same wall. In Alvin's keen mind, it was better this way. Once some unblemished new thing had lost its perfection he reasoned, it ceased posing a burden of concern ‒ particularly to observant mothers.
Monte Souder (Rat Luck)
suite with the bookseller’s bag in hand, he laid the room key quietly on the front table. Down the hall he could see the bedroom door was still closed, so he went into the large sunlit living room. Hanging over the arm of the high-back chair was the half-read copy of the previous day’s Herald. On the coffee table was the bowl of fruit missing an apple and the towering arrangement of flowers. All were precisely where they had been in the smaller room on the second floor. — The previous night, after his meeting in the City, he had gone to a little spot he liked in Kensington where Eve was to meet him for dinner. He had arrived on time and ordered a whiskey and soda assuming she would be a few minutes late. But near the bottom of his second glass, he began to worry. Could she have gotten lost? Had she forgotten the name of the restaurant or the time they were to meet? He considered going back to the hotel, but what if she was already en route? As he was weighing what he should do, the hostess approached with the phone. It was Claridge’s. For the first time in ten years, the manager explained somberly, the hotel’s lift had malfunctioned. Miss Ross had been trapped between floors
Amor Towles (Rules of Civility)
It is all right,” the mother said, cheerily; “I noticed that your tent door was tied early in the evening, and did not see you untie it; and I was a little afraid you had deserted us and run home.” “I would not do that without telling you, and saying good-bye,” he answered gently, and some way his voice seemed more tender than Dilly had ever noticed before. He lifted Effie, whose blackberries were gone, from her chair, and gave her such a frolic that she shouted for joy, then putting her on Dilly’s shoulder, walked away with his mother’s hand drawn through his arm, and a happy look on her face; a look which, while it lasted, nearly always hid the wrinkles which were gathering there.
Pansy (Monteagle)
There’s no need for you to awaken early if you don’t wish,” he said, sprinkling a pinch of salt over his eggs. “Many ladies of London sleep until noon.” “I like to rise when the day begins.” “Like a good farmwife,” Harry said, casting her a brief smile. But Poppy showed no reaction to the reminder, only applied herself to drizzling honey over the crumpets. Harry paused with his fork held in midair, mesmerized by the sight of her slim fingers twirling the honey stick, meticulously filling each hole with thick amber liquid. Realizing that he was staring, Harry took a bite of his breakfast. Poppy replaced the honey stick in a small silver pot. Discovering a stray drop of sweetness on the tip of her thumb, she lifted it to her lips and sucked it clean. Harry choked a little, reached for his tea, and took a swallow. The beverage scalded his tongue, causing him to flinch and curse. Poppy gave him an odd look. “Is there anything the matter?” Nothing. Except that watching his wife eating breakfast was the most erotic act he had ever seen. “Nothing at all,” Harry said scratchily. “Tea’s hot.” When he dared to look at Poppy again, she was consuming a fresh strawberry, holding it by the green stem. Her lips rounded in a luscious pucker as she bit neatly into the ripe flesh of the fruit. Christ. He moved uncomfortably in his chair, while all the unsatisfied desire of the previous night reawakened with a vengeance. Poppy ate two more strawberries, nibbling slowly, while Harry tried to ignore her. Heat collected beneath his clothing, and he used a napkin to blot his forehead. Poppy lifted a bite of honey-soaked crumpet to her mouth, and gave him a perplexed glance. “Are you feeling well?” “It’s too warm in here,” Harry said irritably, while lurid thoughts went through his mind. Thoughts involving honey, and soft feminine skin, and moist pink— A knock came at the door. “Come in,” Harry said curtly, eager for any kind of distraction.
Lisa Kleypas (Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3))
6 Eight days before he died, after a spectacular orgy of food, François Mitterrand, the French president, ordered a final course of ortolan, a tiny yellow-throated songbird no bigger than his thumb. The delicacy represented to him the soul of France. Mitterrand’s staff supervised the capture of the wild birds in a village in the south. The local police were paid off, the hunting was arranged, and the birds were captured, at sunrise, in special finely threaded nets along the edge of the forest. The ortolans were crated and driven in a darkened van to Mitterrand’s country house in Latche where he had spent his childhood summers. The sous-chef emerged and carried the cages indoors. The birds were fed for two weeks until they were plump enough to burst, then held by their feet over a vat of pure Armagnac, dipped headfirst and drowned alive. The head chef then plucked them, salted them, peppered them, and cooked them for seven minutes in their own fat before placing them in a freshly heated white cassole. When the dish was served, the wood-paneled room—with Mitterrand’s family, his wife, his children, his mistress, his friends—fell silent. He sat up in his chair, pushed aside the blankets from his knees, took a sip from a bottle of vintage Château Haut-Marbuzet. —The only interesting thing is to live, said Mitterrand. He shrouded his head with a white napkin to inhale the aroma of the birds and, as tradition dictated, to hide the act from the eyes of God. He picked up the songbirds and ate them whole: the succulent flesh, the fat, the bitter entrails, the wings, the tendons, the liver, the kidney, the warm heart, the feet, the tiny headbones crunching in his teeth. It took him several minutes to finish, his face hidden all the time under the white serviette. His family could hear the sounds of the bones snapping. Mitterrand dabbed the napkin at his mouth, pushed aside the earthenware cassole, lifted his head, smiled, bid good night and rose to go to bed. He fasted for the next eight and a half days until he died. 7 In Israel, the birds are tracked by sophisticated radar set up along the migratory routes all over the country—Eilat, Jerusalem, Latrun—with links to military installations and to the air traffic control offices at Ben Gurion airport.
Colum McCann (Apeirogon)
Not feeling very conversational this evening, are we?' Colin asked, breaking into his (admittedly tame) fantasies. 'No,' Michael said, not appreciating the vague hint of condescension in the other man's voice, '/we/ are not.' Colin chuckled ... 'Just testing you,' he said, leaning back in his chair. 'To see if I have spontaneously divided into two separate beings?' Michael bit off. 'No, of course not,' Colin said with a suspiciously easy grin. 'I can see that quite clearly. I was merely testing your mood.' Michael arched a brow in a most forbidding manner. 'And you found it...?' 'Rather as usual,' Colin answered, undeterred ... 'To happiness,' Colin said, lifting his glass in the air.
Julia Quinn (When He Was Wicked (Bridgertons, #6))
Do I intimidate you?" "I am not going to answer that." He merely smiled, knowingly, and let his gaze slide heatedly down her throat . . . over her collarbone . . . to her breasts, tingling with fire beneath their bombazine shield. "I mean it, Morninghall." "Really, Lady Simms.  Do you think I'm going to leap out of this chair and —" he lifted one wicked eyebrow — "ravish you?
Danelle Harmon (Wicked At Heart)
Her eyes scanned the room and spotted her cell phone lying on the coffee table at least three whole feet away from her hands. She groaned. This was when she didn't want to be a witch, she wanted to be a Jedi, so she could use the Force to make her phone fly right into her hand. What the hell, right? Lifting one arm she reached out an open hand toward the small electronic device. Use the Force, Wynn, she thought and had to stifle a slightly punch-drunk giggle. From his seat in the oversized chair, Knox eyed her strangely. After a moment, she gave up and dropped her hand to her side, rolling her head along the sofa cusions to meet her mate's gaze. "What were just doing?" he asked warily. "Using the Force." He looked from her to the table and back again. "Did you do this successfully?" She shook her head and grinned. "The Force is weak with this one. I'll never be a Jedi Master.
Christine Warren (Hard as a Rock (Gargoyles, #3))
I came to see if we had any chance of starting over.” I flinched and caught my breath, his audacity slapping me with the force of an open hand. “Start over?” I felt Mama’s face fit over mine like a mask. That haughty look she reserved for those who addressed her in a manner less than respectful. “A fiancée ends things quite thoroughly.” And yet my heart lurched at the thought that he wanted me again. He leaned back in his chair, a tad more confident, it seemed. More like the Arthur I’d fallen in love with. “She and I were thrown together during the quarantine. It wasn’t like I went looking for another woman.” He shrugged. “Besides, with the war over, I’ll be discharged. We can be together much sooner than we thought possible.” “Be together? As in, get married?” Something in his manner alarmed me. I wasn’t sure what. The return of his arrogance, perhaps? Again his gaze skittered away. “Eventually.” The word barbed at my heart. “But you were going to marry her right away, weren’t you? You told me you were engaged.” He stared at the door that led outside. “She didn’t have any reason to wait. You have—” He swatted his hand toward the front of the house, where the children remained quiet. I stiffened. “I have responsibilities at the moment, yes.” “We’d have to wait, then. Until you get rid of them.” My eyebrows lifted. “Get rid of them? What do you mean? Are you saying you don’t want children? Or that you don’t want these children?” “We have our own life to lead, Rebekah. Children would . . . complicate things. Their daddy will be home soon, right? And then you’ll be free. Besides, I don’t remember you being eager for babies before.” I chewed the edge of my fingernail as I considered how to reply. “You’re right. I wasn’t. But things have changed. My mother has been ill. My brother is dying. I haven’t heard back from Fra—the children’s father. But it’s more than that.” My mouth proclaimed words I hadn’t even thought through completely, words that popped from the soil of my heart like green beans on a hot summer day. His mouth opened and shut, smooth words slithering from his grasp. That handsome face. Those deep blue eyes. They’d roped me in like a naïve calf. But I wasn’t as childlike as I’d once been.
Anne Mateer (Wings of a Dream)
I have here Alaska’s final. You’ll recall that you were asked what the most important question facing people is, and how the three traditions we’re studying this year address that question. This was Alaska’s question.” With a sigh, he grabbed hold of his chair and lifted himself out of it, then wrote on the blackboard: How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering? —A. Y. “I’m going to leave that up for the rest of the semester,” he said. “Because everybody who has ever lost their way in life has felt the nagging insistence of that question. At some point we all look up and realize we are lost in a maze, and I don’t want us to forget Alaska, and I don’t want to forget that even when the material we study seems boring, we’re trying to understand how people have answered that question and the questions each of you posed in your papers—how different traditions have come to terms with what Chip, in his final, called ‘people’s rotten lots in life.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
At this Bagatur hurled himself to the floor, prostrated himself, and began to pray, a high-pitched babble of pleading. It wasn’t English. He was so frightened he pissed himself. Mason watched a dark stain thread its way down the leg of his pants. A little pool of urine shone on the blue industrial carpet. Ross sat back in his chair, looked at Mason. Mason lifted his hands in a What now? gesture.
Mar Preston (On Behalf of the Family (A Detective Dave Mason Mystery Book 3))
Suddenly he scowled. “How long were you out in the cold?” She shrugged. “I’m really not sure.” “How long, boy?” Peter glared down at Thomas. The boy shrugged, too, his eyes wide. “I don’t know, Pa. She went out after we cleaned up from lunch, and the sun was setting when she came back in.” Peter stomped across the floor. “Let me see your hands.” She held up her hands, too surprised to do otherwise. “Do you feel pain in them?” She cringed. His large fingers pressing her flesh created a new rush of discomfort. “Oh, yes. In my feet and ears, too.” He cupped her cheeks and tipped her head, looking at her ears, then guided her to the table. He placed her in a chair and lifted her feet in turn. Finally he sat back on his haunches and grinned at her. “You will be in world of hurt, but that is good thing. The pain tells you nothing will be lost.” He shook his head. “You are amazing woman, Summer Steadman.” Despite her discomfort, Summer couldn’t stop smiling as she looked at the gentle bear of a man.
Kim Vogel Sawyer (Waiting for Summer's Return (Heart of the Prairie #1))
Andrea lifted a black firearm, holding it as if it were covered with slime. “This is a Witness 45. It has a molding flaw on the grip right here, see? If you fire it, it will blister your hand.” She picked up another gun. “This is a Raven 25. They haven’t made them since the early nineties. I didn’t even know they were still around. It’s a cheap junk gun. They used to call them Saturday Night Specials. You can’t put twenty rounds through it without it jamming, and the way this one looks, I wouldn’t even risk loading it. It might blow up in my hand. And this? This is a Hi-Point, otherwise known as Beemiller.” “Is that supposed to tell me something?” She stared at me. “It’s like the crappiest gun out there. Normal guns cost upward of half a grand. This costs like a hundred bucks. The slide is made out of zinc with aluminum.” I looked at her. “Look, I can bend it with my hand.” I’d also seen her bend a steel rod with her hand, but now didn’t seem the best time to mention it. Andrea put the Hi-Point on the desk. “Where did you get these again?” “They’re surplus guns from the Pack. Confiscated, from what I understand.” “Confiscated during violent altercations?” “Yes.” Andrea sagged into her chair. Her blue-tipped hair drooped in defeat. “Kate, if someone used a gun against the shapeshifters and now the shapeshifters have said gun, it wasn’t a very good gun, was it?” “I’m not arguing with you. I didn’t have a choice. That’s what was here when I moved in.” Andrea extracted a fierce-looking silver handgun from the box. Her eyes widened. She looked at it for a moment and tapped it on the corner of her desk. The gun responded with a dry pop. She looked at me with an expression of abject despair. “It’s plastic.” I spread my arms at her. Andrea tossed the plastic gun to Grendel. “Here, chew on this.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Slays (Kate Daniels, #5))
In 1982, Larry Walters flew across Los Angeles in a lawn chair lifted by weather balloons, eventually reaching several miles in altitude. After passing through LAX airspace, he descended by shooting some of the balloons with a pellet gun.
Randall Munroe (What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions)
In my peripheral vision I saw someone sit next to me at the table. I turned and saw a man with a stubble-covered shaved head. There were scars on the top of his skull. His skin was olive dark, and when he smiled I saw a gold tooth that matched the gold chain dangling from his neck, urban bling-bling style. Handsome probably, in a dangerous, bad-boy way. He wore a wifebeater white T under an unbuttoned gray short-sleeve shirt. His sweatpants were black. “Look under the table,” he said to me. “Are you going to show me your wee-wee?” “Look—or die.” His accent was not French—something smoother and more refined. Nearly British or maybe Spanish, almost aristocratic. I tilted my chair back and looked. He was holding a gun on me. I left my hands on the lip of the table and tried to keep my breath steady. My eyes lifted and met his. I checked the surroundings. There was a man with sunglasses standing on the corner for absolutely no reason, trying very hard to pretend that he wasn’t watching us. “Listen to me or I will shoot you dead.” “As opposed to alive?” “What?” “Shoot someone dead versus shoot someone alive,” I said. Then: “Never mind.” “Do you see the green vehicle on the corner?” I did—not far from the sunglassed man who was trying not to look at us. It looked like a minivan or something. Two men sat in the front. I memorized the license plate and began to plan my next move. “I see it.” “If you don’t want to be shot, follow my instructions exactly. We are going to get up slowly, and you are going to get in the back of the vehicle. You will not make a fuss—” And that was when I smashed the table into his face. The
Harlan Coben (Long Lost (Myron Bolitar, #9))
What made you come back?” Kitty jerked at his sudden question. She sputtered for a moment then laughed. “What made me come back? What do you mean?” He shrugged with one shoulder, never moving his gaze away from her. “At Eliza’s and Thomas’s wedding last year you were convinced that returning to Boston and living with your aunt was the best course to take. But it appears you have changed your mind. So, what made you come back?” “Is that why you followed me? To ask me that?” Her face burned, but she feigned composure and looked at him with as much ease as she could marshal. “Boston is too dangerous, you know that.” “’Tis true, I am well aware of what Boston and its residents suffer. But I cannot believe that was the only reason you returned.” Training her mouth to reveal nothing more than a slight grin, she strained to keep her pulse quiet. She stepped toward the fire, resting her hand atop the chair, acting more casual than she felt. “If there were any other reason, do you think that I would share such information with you? Surely, Nathaniel, I cannot share all my secrets.” “Secrets? Well, now I am curious.” Kitty rubbed the lace on her gloves and emitted a warm, genuine laugh that eased the strain in her voice. She offered an impish smile. “I came back for several reasons, if you must know. As I mentioned, ‘twas for matters of safety that Henry Donaldson insisted I return as well as—”  “Donaldson?” Kitty peered over her shoulder, hiding the grin that surged at the undeniable question in Nathaniel’s eyes. Could he be... nay, not possible. She kept her focus. “Aye, Henry Donaldson. You remember him, do you not?” “Aye, of course. I just... I just hadn’t known he was still... around. He was always a good friend and I admire him, despite his poor choice of allegiances.” Nathaniel’s interested expression stayed lifted, but the light in his eyes went flat. “Are you... have you been seeing much of him of late?” “I have,” she said. “He’s a close friend and I admire him very much.” Nathaniel’s expression didn’t change, but his Adam’s apple bobbed and he cleared his throat. “I see.”  She once again toyed with the fabric of her gloves, unsure what else to do with her hands. Quickly focusing on the subject of their conversation, she stared back into the fire. “Henry said it was too dangerous for me to stay despite my protestations. With Father gone and Eliza here—and since our home was destroyed that December… well, my home is here now.” The scent of smoke wafting from the fireplace in front of her snatched the horrid vision from its hiding place in her mind. Instantly she witnessed anew the roaring flames that devoured her treasured childhood home, taking with it all her cherished memories and replacing them with ash. She turned to Nathaniel, his face drawn as if he too relived the tragedy. The bond they’d shared that night had forged a friendship that could never be shaken.  Nathaniel stepped forward, the look of tenderness so rich in his eyes it wound around her shoulders like a warm cloak. “I can well understand that, Kitty. Donaldson was right in advising you to return.” Then, as if the heaviness were too much, he shrugged and sighed with added gaiety to his tone. “Well, I will admit that Sandwich didn’t feel the same with you gone, that’s for certain.” She tipped her head with a smirk. “You pined for my return?”  “With the pains of an anguished soul.” “Lying is a sin, Nathaniel,” she teased. Nathaniel laughed, his broad smile exposing his straight teeth. “All right, if you want the truth I pined more for your cooking, and more specifically for your carrot pudding. Are you satisfied?” “I knew it.
Amber Lynn Perry (So True a Love (Daughters of His Kingdom #2))
Colonel Friedrich leaned back in his chair, the first hints of a smirk curling the corner of his lips. “I still hate you,” she added darkly, lifting her tea cup to her lips. Colonel Friedrich’s suggestion of a smirked bloomed. “I wouldn’t expect any less,” he said. “Then why are you smiling?” Cinderella asked,
K.M. Shea (Cinderella and the Colonel (Timeless Fairy Tales, #3))
God help the lad, and me too,” he thought, as he lifted the board. “We’re like enough to find life a tough job — hard work inside and out. It’s a strange thing to think of a man as can lift a chair with his teeth and walk fifty mile on end, trembling and turning hot and cold at only a look from one woman out of all the rest i’ the world. It’s a mystery we can give no account of; but no more we can of the sprouting o’ the seed, for that matter.
George Eliot (Complete Works of George Eliot)
It was a glorious evening, the sun seeming to hesitate in the process of setting, as if it couldn't bear to end the day. It was teetering on the horizon, throwing ribbons of pink and mauve across the sky like life ropes, and the air was sweet with jasmine. They'd brought the white cane chairs down from the house, and Anthony, having spent the afternoon entertaining the girls, had finally opened the newspaper he'd brought with him, only to fall into a doze behind it. Edwina, the new puppy, was leaping about at Eleanor's feet, pouncing on a ball the girls had found for her, and Eleanor was rolling it gently along the cooling lawn, laughing fondly as the puppy tripped over her ears to fetch it back. She was teasing the little dog, lifting the ball just out of reach for the pleasure of seeing her balance on her hind legs, cycle her little paws in the air, and then snap at it with her teeth. They were sharp teeth. The puppy had already managed to tear holes in most of Eleanor's stockings. Darling little menace, she had a sixth sense for rooting out the things she shouldn't have, but it was impossible to be cross with her. She only had to look up with those big brown eyes and cock her head just so and Eleanor melted. She'd wanted a dog when she was a girl, but her mother had declared them "filthy beasts" and that was that.
Kate Morton (The Lake House)
In her room at the prow of the house Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden, My daughter is writing a story. I pause in the stairwell, hearing From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys Like a chain hauled over a gunwale. Young as she is, the stuff Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy: I wish her a lucky passage. But now it is she who pauses, As if to reject my thought and its easy figure. A stillness greatens, in which The whole house seems to be thinking, And then she is at it again with a bunched clamor Of strokes, and again is silent. I remember the dazed starling Which was trapped in that very room, two years ago; How we stole in, lifted a sash And retreated, not to affright it; And how for a helpless hour, through the crack of the door, We watched the sleek, wild, dark And iridescent creature Batter against the brilliance, drop like a glove To the hard floor, or the desk-top, And wait then, humped and bloody, For the wits to try it again; and how our spirits Rose when, suddenly sure, It lifted off from a chair-back, Beating a smooth course for the right window And clearing the sill of the world. It is always a matter, my darling, Of life or death, as I had forgotten. I wish What I wished you before, but harder.
Richard Wilbur
Thomas’s tall frame dominated the empty space in front of the open bedchamber door. “What are you doing?” His blue eyes were dark and worry dug itself deep into the muscles of his jaw. He hadn’t taken the time to remove his cloak and the long black fabric accentuated the dark of his hair and made his shoulders seem as wide as the doorframe. Eliza sat still, trying not to be overcome by the fluttering in her middle. Kitty too must have felt like a child who’d been caught in the middle of mischief, for she remained motionless. “I just wanted to get cleaned up. Is that such a crime?” Eliza wore an easy smile, hoping to massage away the frustration in his face. He shook his head like a father with two disobedient children, wiped off his cloak, and hung it over the chair by the table in the corner. “I leave you both for a moment and here you are trying to kill yourself all over again.” “It’s not as bad as all that, Thomas. I’m getting better.” Eliza tried lifting her legs back onto the bed to show her improvement, but she winced as a shooting pain gouged into her stomach. Thomas rushed to her side. He put one arm around her shoulder, the other under her knees, and lifted her back to her usual position. His face was much too close, the musky scent of his clothes much too inviting. His warm breath on her ear made her own breathing difficult. Eliza’s gaze moved to Thomas’s face as he propped the pillows behind her. He stilled when their gazes locked, only inches apart. His eyes transformed into sparkling sapphires and for a moment the world around her dissolved. “You just took another year off my life, Eliza.” His rich masculine voice sent a ripple of pleasure flowing down her skin and the compassion in his eyes made her heart stop beating. Why did he have to be so kind? Didn’t he know what it did to her? He looked away too soon, shaking his head. “Don’t try anything like that again.
Amber Lynn Perry (So Fair a Lady (Daughters of His Kingdom, #1))
waited a minute and knocked louder. The Bee Gees continued to blare from downstairs. I figured Margaret's dad didn't hear me through the thick door and the music. "Mr. Sanders," I said as I eased open the door. I didn't want to startle him. As I entered, my shoe slipped on something. I lifted my foot and discovered a small capsule crushed under my heel. That's when I noticed pills scattered everywhere, and Harold Sanders lying on the floor. The desk chair and lamp were knocked over. I rushed to his side, rolled him on his back, and checked to see if he was breathing. No luck. I started CPR
Christy Murphy (Mango Cake and Murder (Mom and Christy's Mysteries #1))
More likely the BLM or the Park Service will bypass our trail with an electrical chair lift for crippled tourists.
Edward Abbey (Desert Solitaire)
Books,” Morgenes said grandly, leaning back on his precarious stool, “—books are magic. That is the simple answer. And books are traps as well.” “Magic? Traps?” “Books are a form of magic—” the doctor lifted the volume he had just laid on the stack, “—because they span time and distance more surely than any spell or charm. What did so-and-so think about such-and-such two hundred years agone? Can you fly back through the ages and ask him? No—or at least, probably not. “But, ah! If he wrote down his thoughts, if somewhere there exists a scroll, or a book of his logical discourses . . . he speaks to you! Across centuries! And if you wish to visit far Nascadu, or lost Khandia, you have also but to open a book. . . .” “Yes, yes, I suppose I understand all that.” Simon did not try to hide his disappointment. This was not what he had meant by the word ‘magic.’ “What about traps, then? Why ‘traps’?” Morgenes leaned forward, waggling the leather-bound volume under Simon’s nose. “A piece of writing is a trap,” he said cheerily, “and the best kind. A book, you see, is the only kind of trap that keeps its captive—which is knowledge—alive forever. The more books you have,” the doctor waved an all-encompassing hand about the room, “the more traps, then the better chance of capturing some particular, elusive, shining beast—one that might otherwise die unseen.
Tad Williams (The Dragonbone Chair (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #1))
You are carrying Luis Philippe's child," he stated without preamble. The name did not sound strange on this man's tongue, but it took Lily a moment to respond to it. She merely nodded her head in reply. She had a feeling she would need to save her voice for what would follow. "I had hoped my grandson would find a wife among his own people." Antonio took a bedroom chair but continued to hold himself stiffly upright. Lily lifted an inquiring brow. His own people? Had the man forgotten that Cade was equally Indian? Antonio scowled at her response. "Among my people. It would be easier to show that he is a de Suela if he had married appropriately." This man had come here with an axe to grind, and nothing she could say would stop him. Why waste her voice in trying? She reached for the shawl on her bedside stand and wrapped it around her. Her silence forced de Suela to realize he left her no room for comment. "He tells me you are a wealthy lady in your own right. I should not complain. I apologize. I am an old man and have come to realize that many of my dreams will never come true. For many years I have wished for a child to carry on my name, but I thought it was not to be. Now that I have found my grandson, I wish him to be everything that I would have made of him. I forget that he is already a man of his own." "Very much so," Lily whispered, finally hearing something with which she could agree. Antonio nodded. "I think you are a good woman. We will make the family see that you are one of us, as they must come to see that Luis is mine. It is good that he takes my name. The child you carry will be a de Suela. Luis has done the right thing by bringing you here. I am not so old that there is not time to see my destiny passed on to my grandson and his child." Lily felt a flicker of alarm, but the old man was already rising, and the shakiness of his hand on the stick prevented her from protesting aloud.
Patricia Rice (Texas Lily (Too Hard to Handle, #1))
Okay, that’s enough teasing, buddy,” she moaned, writhing against him. “I want the main course.” “I’m not through with the appetizer,” he returned, lifting her onto the edge of the table and pulling her panties down in the same motion. He flung them somewhere over his shoulder. “Hey! I’ve lost track of the number of pairs of underwear I’ve lost since I met you,” she protested in a voice thick with passion and amusement. “I’ll buy you a store.” Rick sat in her vacated chair and leaned in to kiss the insides of her thighs.
Suzanne Enoch (Don't Look Down (Samantha Jellicoe, #2))