D From Chance Quotes

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Is this Clarissa Fray?" The voice on the other end of the phone sounded familiar, though not immediately identifiable. Clary twirled the phone cord nervously around her finger. "Yeees?" "Hi, I'm one of the knife-carrying hooligans you met last night in Pandemonium? I"m afraid I made a bad impression and was hoping you'd give me a chance to make it up to-" "SIMON!" Clary held the phone away from her ear as he cracked up laughing. "That is so not funny!" "Sure it is. You just don't see the humor." "Jerk." Clary sighed, leaning up against the wall.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer's lease hath all too short a date: Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines, And too often is his gold complexion dimm'd: And every fair from fair sometimes declines, By chance or natures changing course untrimm'd; By thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest; Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou growest: So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
William Shakespeare (Shakespeare's Sonnets)
If I had my life to live over... Someone asked me the other day if I had my life to live over would I change anything. My answer was no, but then I thought about it and changed my mind. If I had my life to live over again I would have waxed less and listened more. Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet, I'd have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle. I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded. I would have eaten popcorn in the "good" living room and worried less about the dirt when you lit the fireplace. I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth. I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored. I would have sat cross-legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains. I would have cried and laughed less while watching television ... and more while watching real life. I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband which I took for granted. I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream. I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the Earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for a day. I would never have bought ANYTHING just because it was practical/wouldn't show soil/ guaranteed to last a lifetime. When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now, go get washed up for dinner." There would have been more I love yous ... more I'm sorrys ... more I'm listenings ... but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it ... look at it and really see it ... try it on ... live it ... exhaust it ... and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.
Erma Bombeck (Eat Less Cottage Cheese and More Ice Cream: Thoughts on Life from Erma Bombeck)
He had the look of an atheist who’d just had a visit from God: stunned, disbelieving and faintly ill.
Karen Chance (Claimed by Shadow (Cassandra Palmer, #2))
I'd like to repeat the advice that I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, Ron, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty. And so, Ron, in short, get out of Salton City and hit the Road. I guarantee you will be very glad you did. But I fear that you will ignore my advice. You think that I am stubborn, but you are even more stubborn than me. You had a wonderful chance on your drive back to see one of the greatest sights on earth, the Grand Canyon, something every American should see at least once in his life. But for some reason incomprehensible to me you wanted nothing but to bolt for home as quickly as possible, right back to the same situation which you see day after day after day. I fear you will follow this same inclination in the future and thus fail to discover all the wonderful things that God has placed around us to discover. Don't settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. You are still going to live a long time, Ron, and it would be a shame if you did not take the opportunity to revolutionize your life and move into an entirely new realm of experience. You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living. My point is that you do not need me or anyone else around to bring this new kind of light in your life. It is simply waiting out there for you to grasp it, and all you have to do is reach for it. The only person you are fighting is yourself and your stubbornness to engage in new circumstances.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
You'll wrest a burning sword from an angel, but you're afraid of bats?" "I'm not afraid of them. I just don't like them. They're...furry. Flying things shouldn't be furry. It's not right. And if I ever meet the Creator, I'm taking that one up with him." "That I'd like to see. Your one and possible only chance to get the answer to every question in the universe, and you ask, 'Why are bats furry?'" "I will. You just wait.
Kelley Armstrong (Haunted (Women of the Otherworld, #5))
True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance.
Alexander Pope (An Essay On Criticism)
I've apparently been the victim of growing up, which apparently happens to all of us at one point or another. It's been going on for quite some time now, without me knowing it. I've found that growing up can mean a lot of things. For me, it doesn't mean I should become somebody completely new and stop loving the things I used to love. It means I've just added more things to my list. Like for example, I'm still beyond obsessed with the winter season and I still start putting up strings of lights in September. I still love sparkles and grocery shopping and really old cats that are only nice to you half the time. I still love writing in my journal and wearing dresses all the time and staring at chandeliers. But some new things I've fallen in love with -- mismatched everything. Mismatched chairs, mismatched colors, mismatched personalities. I love spraying perfumes I used to wear when I was in high school. It brings me back to the days of trying to get a close parking spot at school, trying to get noticed by soccer players, and trying to figure out how to avoid doing or saying anything uncool, and wishing every minute of every day that one day maybe I'd get a chance to win a Grammy. Or something crazy and out of reach like that. ;) I love old buildings with the paint chipping off the walls and my dad's stories about college. I love the freedom of living alone, but I also love things that make me feel seven again. Back then naivety was the norm and skepticism was a foreign language, and I just think every once in a while you need fries and a chocolate milkshake and your mom. I love picking up a cookbook and closing my eyes and opening it to a random page, then attempting to make that recipe. I've loved my fans from the very first day, but they've said things and done things recently that make me feel like they're my friends -- more now than ever before. I'll never go a day without thinking about our memories together.
Taylor Swift (Taylor Swift)
Katy I always had this plan for the off chance I was around for the end of the world. I’d climb up on my roof top, turn up the radio, blast R.E.M.’s It’s The End of The World, and watch it all go down from my lofty perch. Except real life rarely turned out that cool. And it was really happening—it was the end of the world as we knew it, and I sure as hell didn’t feel fine. Everything had changed and we had been the catalyst for it all.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opposition (Lux, #5))
Get away from my ex-girlfriend, you moany little whinge-bag.' Caelen took a deep breath, like he was in pain, and stood up. His voice was low, guttural. 'I was hoping I'd get the chance to kill you.' 'You won't be killing anyone, you sad little emo git.' 'You've stood in the way of our love for long enough.' 'Just listening to you makes me want to top myself, you self-pitying Paranormal Romance novel reject.' Caelen glared. 'Stop insulting me.' 'Why? If you cry will your mascara run?
Derek Landy (Death Bringer (Skulduggery Pleasant, #6))
You know, I do believe in magic. I was born and raised in a magic time, in a magic town, among magicians. Oh, most everybody else didn’t realize we lived in that web of magic, connected by silver filaments of chance and circumstance. But I knew it all along. When I was twelve years old, the world was my magic lantern, and by its green spirit glow I saw the past, the present and into the future. You probably did too; you just don’t recall it. See, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves. After you go so far away from it, though, you can’t really get it back. You can have seconds of it. Just seconds of knowing and remembering. When people get weepy at movies, it’s because in that dark theater the golden pool of magic is touched, just briefly. Then they come out into the hard sun of logic and reason again and it dries up, and they’re left feeling a little heartsad and not knowing why. When a song stirs a memory, when motes of dust turning in a shaft of light takes your attention from the world, when you listen to a train passing on a track at night in the distance and wonder where it might be going, you step beyond who you are and where you are. For the briefest of instants, you have stepped into the magic realm. That’s what I believe. The truth of life is that every year we get farther away from the essence that is born within us. We get shouldered with burdens, some of them good, some of them not so good. Things happen to us. Loved ones die. People get in wrecks and get crippled. People lose their way, for one reason or another. It’s not hard to do, in this world of crazy mazes. Life itself does its best to take that memory of magic away from us. You don’t know it’s happening until one day you feel you’ve lost something but you’re not sure what it is. It’s like smiling at a pretty girl and she calls you “sir.” It just happens. These memories of who I was and where I lived are important to me. They make up a large part of who I’m going to be when my journey winds down. I need the memory of magic if I am ever going to conjure magic again. I need to know and remember, and I want to tell you.
Robert R. McCammon (Boy's Life)
But give up my business? The same business I'd built from the ground up with my own two hands and designer Louis Vuittons? The same business for which I'd sacrificed blood, sweat, and tears? Well, maybe not sweat and tears, but there was blood. Lots of blood. Give it up? Not likely. Besides, what else would I do? I totally should've gone to Hogwarts when I had the chance.
Darynda Jones (Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson, #3))
She gave his hand a small squeeze. "Jason, if we're going to try this then I'd like to take things slow." He frowned. "What I mean is nothing beyond the level we were at last night." She worried her lip between her teeth. "What I mean is no actual sex." He narrowed his eyes on her. "But, you'll still sleep with me naked and let me do a hundred other naughty things to you?" he asked in a serious tone. "Yes." He brushed his lips against hers again and moved back a few inches to look into her eyes. "And you'll still cook for me and call me Master?" Her lips twitched. "Yes to the cooking and not a chance in hell for the other." He sighed wearily. "Fine, how about Lord and Master?" "Uh...no." "God?" "Nope." "My liege?" "Wait.....no." He gave her one of his lopsided smiles. "I'll wear you down eventually.
R.L. Mathewson (Playing for Keeps (Neighbor from Hell, #1))
...it is foreign to a man's nature to go on loving a person when he is told that he must and shall be that person's lover. There would be a much likelier chance of his doing it if he were told not to love. If the marriage ceremony consisted in an oath and signed contract between the parties to cease loving from that day forward, in consideration of personal possession being given, and to avoid each other's society as much as possible in public, there would be more loving couples than there are now. Fancy the secret meetings between the perjuring husband and wife, the denials of having seen each other, the clambering in at bedroom windows, and the hiding in closets! There'd be little cooling then.
Thomas Hardy (Jude the Obscure)
Luckily for me, I didn't know precisely what it was that I'd done to merit a visit from our pack's leader. There were any number of possibilities, none of which I wanted to openly admit on the off chance that there was something I'd done that he hadn't found out yet.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Raised by Wolves (Raised by Wolves, #1))
While this is all very amusing, the kiss that will free the girl is the kiss that she most desires,” she said. “Only that and nothing more.” Jace’s heart started to pound. He met the Queen’s eyes with his own. “Why are you doing this?” … “Desire is not always lessened by disgust…And as my words bind my magic, so you can know the truth. If she doesn’t desire your kiss, she won’t be free.” “You don’t have to do this, Clary, it’s a trick—” (Simon) ...Isabelle sounded exasperated. ‘Who cares, anyway? It’s just a kiss.” “That’s right,” Jace said. Clary looked up, then finally, and her wide green eyes rested on him. He moved toward her... and put his hand on her shoulder, turning her to face him… He could feel the tension in his own body, the effort of holding back, of not pulling her against him and taking this one chance, however dangerous and stupid and unwise, and kissing her the way he had thought he would never, in his life, be able to kiss her again. “It’s just a kiss,” he said, and heard the roughness in his own voice, and wondered if she heard it, too. Not that it mattered—there was no way to hide it. It was too much. He had never wanted like this before... She understood him, laughed when he laughed, saw through the defenses he put up to what was underneath. There was no Jace Wayland more real than the one he saw in her eyes when she looked at him… All he knew was that whatever he had to owe to Hell or Heaven for this chance, he was going to make it count. He...whispered in her ear. “You can close your eyes and think of England, if you like,” he said. Her eyes fluttered shut, her lashes coppery lines against her pale, fragile skin. “I’ve never even been to England,” she said, and the softness, the anxiety in her voice almost undid him. He had never kissed a girl without knowing she wanted it too, usually more than he did, and this was Clary, and he didn’t know what she wanted. Her eyes were still closed, but she shivered, and leaned into him — barely, but it was permission enough. His mouth came down on hers. And that was it. All the self-control he’d exerted over the past weeks went, like water crashing through a broken dam. Her arms came up around his neck and he pulled her against him… His hands flattened against her back... and she was up on the tips of her toes, kissing him as fiercely as he was kissing her... He clung to her more tightly, knotting his hands in her hair, trying to tell her, with the press of his mouth on hers, all the things he could never say out loud... His hands slid down to her waist... he had no idea what he would have done or said next, if it would have been something he could never have pretended away or taken back, but he heard a soft hiss of laughter — the Faerie Queen — in his ears, and it jolted him back to reality. He pulled away from Clary before he it was too late, unlocking her hands from around his neck and stepping back... Clary was staring at him. Her lips were parted, her hands still open. Her eyes were wide. Behind her, Alec and Isabelle were gaping at them; Simon looked as if he was about to throw up. ...If there had ever been any hope that he could have come to think of Clary as just his sister, this — what had just happened between them — had exploded it into a thousand pieces... He tried to read Clary’s face — did she feel the same? … I know you felt it, he said to her with his eyes, and it was half bitter triumph and half pleading. I know you felt it, too…She glanced away from him... He whirled on the Queen. “Was that good enough?” he demanded. “Did that entertain you?” The Queen gave him a look: special and secretive and shared between the two of them. “We are quite entertained," she said. “But not, I think, so much as the both of you.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
And what makes you so certain I won't enlighten the world about your romantic indiscretions?" "Because it won't save you from prison. And if you ruin Rose, you'll destroy whatever weak chance you had of Lissa helping you with your warped fantasy." Victor flinched just a little; Dimitri was right. Dimitri stepped forward, pressing close to the bars as I had earlier. I'd though I had a scary voice, but when he spoke his next words, I realized I wasn't even close. "And it'll be pointless anyway, because you won't stay alive long enough in prison to stage your grand plans. You aren't the only one with connections." My breath caught a little. Dimitri brought so many things to my life: love, comfort, and instruction. I got so used to him sometimes I forgot how dangerous he could be. As he stood there, tall and threatening while he glared down at Victor, I felt a chill run down my spine. I remembered how when I had first come to the Academy, people said Dimitri was a god. In this moment, he looked like it.
Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))
No man, proclaimed Donne, is an Island, and he was wrong. If we were not islands, we would be lost, drowned in each other's tragedies. We are insulated (a word that means, literally, remember, made into an island) from the tragedy of others, by our island nature, and by the repetitive shape and form of the stories. The shape does not change: there was a human being who was born, lived, and then, by some means or another, died. There. You may fill in the details from your own experience. As unoriginal as any other tale, as unique as any other life. Lives are snowflakes—forming patterns we have seen before, as like one another as peas in a pod (and have you ever looked at peas in a pod? I mean, really looked at them? There's not a chance you'd mistake one for another, after a minute's close inspection), but still unique.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
She didn't want to be reminded of her past or how different her present was from the future she'd taken for granted.
Freya North (Chances)
The cord pulled taut and she rebounded, flying back up before falling again. As her velocity slowed, she opened her eyes and found herself dangling at the end of the cord, about five feet above Jace. He was grinning. "Nice," he said. "As graceful as a falling snowflake." "Was I screaming?" She asked, genuinely curious. "You know, on the way down." He nodded. "Thankfully no one's home, or they would have assumed I was murdering you." "Ha. You can't even reach me." She kicked out a leg and spun lazily in midair. Jace's eyes glinted. "Want to bet?" Clary knew that expression. "No," she said quickly. "Whatever you're going to do-" But he'd already done it. When Jace moved fast, his individual movements were almost invisible. She saw his hand go to his belt, and then something flashed in the air. She heard the sound of parting fabric as the cord above her head was sheared through. Released, she fell freely, too surprised to scream- directly into Jace's arms. The force knocked him backward, and they sprawled together onto one of the padded floor mats, Clary on top of him. He grinned up at her. "Now," he said, "that was much better. You didn't scream at all." "I didn't get the chance." She was breathless, and not just from the impact of the fall. Being sprawled on top of Jace, feeling his body against hers, made her hands shake and her heart beat faster.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Do you think I'm a whore?” Harry pulled over to the side of the road and turned to me. “I think you're brilliant. I think you're tough. And I think the word whore is something ignorant people throw around when they have nothing else. … “Isn't it awfully convenient,” Harry added, “that when men make the rules, the one thing that's looked down on the most is the one thing that would bear them the greatest threat? Imagine if every single woman on the planet wanted something in exchange when she gave up her body. You'd all be ruling the place. An armed populace. Only men like me would stand a chance against you. And that's the last thing those assholes want, a world run by people like you and me.” I laughed, my eyes still puffy and tired from crying. “So am I a whore or not?” “Who knows?” he said. “We're all whores, really, in some way or another. At least in Hollywood.” … “But I like you this way. I like you impure and scrappy and formidable. I like the Evelyn Hugo who sees the world for what it is and then goes out there and wrestles what she wants out of it. So, you know, put whatever label you want on it, just don't change. That would be the real tragedy.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo)
As soon as he had her safe again in his arms he broke down and kissed her. Helen was so stunned she stopped crying before she had a chance to start and nearly fell out of the sky. Still the better flyer, Lucas caught her and supported her as they tumbled on the wind, holding and kissing each other as he tumbled on the wind, holding and kissing each other as he guided them safely back down to the catwalk. As their feet touched down, the light inside the lighthouse switched on and projected the shadows of their embracing figures out onto the choppy waves of the ocean. “I can’t lose you,” Lucas said, pulling his mouth away from hers. “That’s why I didn’t tell you the whole truth. I thought if you knew how bad it was you’d send me away. I didn’t want you to give up hope. I can’t do this if you give up on us.” (Starcrossed)
Josephine Angelini
After all, your chances of winning a lottery and of affecting an election are pretty similar. From a financial perspective, playing the lottery is a bad investment. But it's fun and relatively cheap: for the price of a ticket, you buy the right to fantasize how you'd spend the winnings - much as you get to fantasize that your vote will have some impact on policy.
Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything)
Sometimes parents don't find what they're looking for it their child, so they plant seeds for what they'd like to grow there instead. I've witnessed this with the former hockey player who takes his son out to skate before he can even walk. Or in the mother who gave up her ballet dreams when she married, but now scrapes her daughter's hair into a bun and watched from the wings of the stage. We are not, as you'd expect, orchestrating their lives; we are not even trying for a second chance. We are hoping that if this one thing takes root, it might take up enough light and space to keep something else from developing in our children: the disappointment we've already lived.
Jodi Picoult (Vanishing Acts)
As soon as she'd met him at the arrivals gate on his return from Thailand, lithe and brown and shaven-headed, she knew that there was no chance of a relationship between them. Too much had happened to him, too little had happened to her.
David Nicholls (One Day)
Young men!” he snorted to Erak. “They think a pretty face can cure every ill.” “Some of us can remember back that far. Halt,” Erak told him with a grin. “I suppose that’s all far behind an old hack like you. Svengal told me you were settling down. Some plump, motherly widow seizing her last chance with a broken-down old gray bear, is she?” Erak, of course, had been told by Svengal that Halt had recently married a great beauty. But he enjoyed getting a reaction from the smaller man. Halt’s one-eyed stare locked onto the Oberjarl. “When we get back, I’d advise you not to refer to Pauline as a ‘plump, motherly widow’ in her hearing. She’s very good with that dagger she carries and you need your ears to keep that ridiculous helmet of yours in place.
John Flanagan (Erak's Ransom (Ranger's Apprentice, #7))
I mean..." Levi leaned forward, hands still fisted in his pockets. "I mean, I spent four months trying to kiss you and the last six weeks trying to figure out how I managed to fuck everything up. All I want now is to make it right, to make you see how sorry I am and why you should give me another chance. And I just want to know - are you rooting for me? Are you hoping I pull this off?" Cath's eyes settled on his, tentatively, like they'd fly away if he moved. She nodded her head. The right side of his mouth pulled up. "I'm rooting for you", she whispered. She wasn't even sure he could hear from the bed. Levi's smile broke free and devoured his whole face. It started to devour her face, too. Cath had to look away.
Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl)
I never gave him a chance to decide if I was worth loving. I'd taken that choice away from him - because I feared what it would be.
Rebecca Donovan (Out of Breath (Breathing, #3))
Spell-Cleaver. That was his title. She surveyed him with her usual disdain. But Helion gave her the same bow he’d offered me—though his smile was edged with enough sensuality that even my heart raced a bit. No wonder the Lady of Autumn hadn’t stood a chance. “I don’t think we were introduced properly earlier,” he crooned to Nesta. “I’m—” “I don’t care,” Nesta said with a snap of her wrist, striding right past him and up to my side. “I’d like a word,” she said. “Now.” Cassian was biting his knuckle to keep from laughing—at the utter surprise and shock on Helion’s face. It wasn’t every day, I supposed, that anyone of either sex dismissed him so thoroughly. I threw the High Lord a semi-apologetic glance and led my sister out of the room.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3))
The tinkle of wind chimes announcing the return of our fairy guests made us both look up. Our chance to be alone was going to be shorter than either of us had hoped. I sighed and brushed an errant dragon scale from Eadric’s tunic. “Someday when we have lots of time, remind me to tell you what you mean to me.” Eadric tilted my head back so he could gaze into my eyes. “I can tell you what you mean to me with just one word.” Let me guess,” I said, smiling up at him. “Maybe I make you happy because you no longer have to enter kissing contests to find the best kisser? Do I bring excitement into your life because I can wisk you away to exotic lands on my magic carpet? Or do you find me delightful because I can conjure food whenever you’re hungry?” No, that’s not. . . Wait, what was that last one?” I laughed and shook my head. “Never mind. So tell me in one word, what do I mean to you?” That’s easy,” said Eadric. “Everything!
E.D. Baker (No Place for Magic (The Tales of the Frog Princess, #4))
Opening a present from a live person was scary enough. There was always the chance that the gift might be so wrong, so completely not the kind of thing you liked, that you'd realize they didn't really know you at all.
Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
All right,” said Kaz. “Let’s talk in the solarium. I’d prefer not to sweat through my suit.” When the rest of them made to follow, Kaz halted and glanced over his shoulder. “Just me and the privateer.” Zoya tossed her glorious black mane and said, “We are the Triumvirate. We do not take orders from Kerch street rats with dubious haircuts.” “I can phrase it as a question if it will make your feathers lie flat,” Kaz said. “You insolent—” “Zoya,” said Sturmhond smoothly. “Let’s not antagonize our new friends before they’ve even had a chance to cheat us. Lead on, Mister Brekker.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Be brave. Even if you're not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference. Don't allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It's there for your convenience, not the callers. Don't be afraid to go out on a limb. That's where the fruit is. Don't burn bridges. You'll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river. Don't forget, a person's greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated. Don't major in minor things. Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Helen Keller, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. Don't spread yourself too thin. Learn to say no politely and quickly. Don't use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved. Don't waste time grieving over past mistakes Learn from them and move on. Every person needs to have their moment in the sun, when they raise their arms in victory, knowing that on this day, at his hour, they were at their very best. Get your priorities straight. No one ever said on his death bed, 'Gee, if I'd only spent more time at the office'. Give people a second chance, but not a third. Judge your success by the degree that you're enjoying peace, health and love. Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly. Leave everything a little better than you found it. Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation. Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life and death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems. Never cut what can be untied. Never overestimate your power to change others. Never underestimate your power to change yourself. Remember that overnight success usually takes about fifteen years. Remember that winners do what losers don't want to do. Seek opportunity, not security. A boat in harbor is safe, but in time its bottom will rot out. Spend less time worrying who's right, more time deciding what's right. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life. Success is getting what you want. Happiness is liking what you get. The importance of winning is not what we get from it, but what we become because of it. When facing a difficult task, act as though it's impossible to fail.
Jackson H. Brown Jr.
It was a kiss that was both familiar and brand-new, making me remember a kiss from five years ago, and making me feel like I'd never been kissed before in my life.
Morgan Matson (Second Chance Summer)
He felt safe with her. He'd never been safe with another human being, not since he'd been taken as a child from his home. He'd never been able to trust. He could never give that last small piece - all that was left of his humanity - into someone else's keeping. And now there was Rikki. She let him be whatever he had to be to survive. She didn't ask anything of him. There was no hidden motive. No agenda. Just acceptance. She was different - imperfect, or so she thought - and she knew what it was like to fight to carve out a space for herself. She was willing for him to do thar.
Christine Feehan (Water Bound (Sea Haven/Sisters of the Heart, #1))
Leave it to you…look, the reason I’m calling is I have a colleague here in my office who has something we need you to take a look at – I personally have never seen anything like it, and I think from a historic point of view you’d be very interested in it, too. Any chance we can stop by?...Yeah, it’s some really old shit – nice phraseology, by the way.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14))
So if you care to find me/ Look to the western sky/ As someone told me lately/ Everyone deserves the chance to fly!/ And if I'm flying solo/ At least I'm flying free/ Tell those who'd ground me/ Take a message back from me/ Tell them how I am defying gravity!/ I'm flying high defying gravity/ And soon I'll match them in renown./ And nobody in all of Oz/ No Wizard that there is or was/ Is ever gonna bring me down!/
Stephen Schwartz (Wicked [With CD (Audio)])
They're both convinced that a sudden passion joined them. Such certainty is beautiful, but uncertainty is more beautiful still. Since they'd never met before, they're sure that there'd been nothing between them. But what's the word from the streets, staircases, hallways-- perhaps they've passed by each other a million times? I want to ask them if they don't remember-- a moment face to face in some revolving door? perhaps a "sorry" muttered in a crowd? a curt "wrong number" caught in the receiver? but I know the answer. No, they don't remember. They'd be amazed to hear that Chance has been toying with them now for years. Not quite ready yet to become their Destiny, it pushed them close, drove them apart, it barred their path, stifling a laugh, and then leaped aside. There were signs and signals, even if they couldn't read them yet. Perhaps three years ago or just last Tuesday a certain leaf fluttered from one shoulder to another? Something was dropped and then picked up. Who knows, maybe the ball that vanished into childhood's thicket? There were doorknobs and doorbells where one touch had covered another beforehand. Suitcases checked and standing side by side. One night, perhaps, the same dream, grown hazy by morning. Every beginning is only a sequel, after all, and the book of events is always open halfway through.
Wisława Szymborska (View with a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems)
And if I order you to stay?" I asked, after a few moments. Pritkin didn't say anything. I looked up but I couldn't see him very well. He'd leaned forward, out of the sign's bloody light, and only a little filtered in from the lounge. But when he finally answered, his voice was calm. "I would stay. And protect you as best I can.
Karen Chance (Hunt the Moon (Cassandra Palmer, #5))
Froi saw the rage in Arjuro’s eyes, his clenched fists. ‘If I could find the men who did those things to you as a child I would tear them limb from limb.’ Froi embraced him. ‘One day,’ Froi said, clearing his voice of emotion, ‘I’ll introduce you to my queen and my king and my captain; and Lord August and Lady Abian, who have given me a home; and the Priestking and Perri and Tesadora and my friend Lucian; and then you’ll understand that I would never have met them if you hadn’t journeyed to Sarnak all those years ago, Arjuro. And if the gods were to give me a choice between living a better life, having not met them, or a wretched life with the slightest chance of crossing their path, then I'd pick the wretched life over and over again.’ He kissed Arjuro’s brow. Finnikin called it a blessing between two male blood kin. It always had made Froi ache seeing it between Finnikin and Trevanion. ‘I'd live it again just to have crossed all of your paths. Keep safe, Arjuro. Keep safe so I can bring your brother home to you.
Melina Marchetta (Quintana of Charyn (Lumatere Chronicles, #3))
Nick continued, unable to keep the smug smile form his lips. "Shall I tell you what I would do if I discovered I'd been a royal ass and had lost the only woman I'd ever really wanted?" Ralston's eyes narrowed on his brother. "I don't imagine I could stop you." Indeed not," Nick said, "I can tell you I wouldn't be standing in this godforsaken field in this godforsaken cold waiting for that idiot Oxford to shoot at me. I would walk away from this ridiculous, antiquated exercise, and I would find that womand tell her that I was a royal ass. And then I would do whatever it takes to convince her that she should take a chance on me despite my being a royal ass. And once that's done, I would get her, immediatley, to the nearest vicar and get the girl married. And with child.
Sarah MacLean (Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers, #1))
I’d do anything for her if she really wanted me to. I would even walk away from the chance of a lifetime if she asked me to... and I could even be happy about it.
Mirella Muffarotto (Every Boy is a Story (The Rook Crew #1))
Tell me there's a chance you could be wrong. "If there were the slightest chance i could spare you from the pain, I would taken." And its this-his sincerity-that finally snaps me in half. Because the truth is so unbearable I wish he'd spare me a lie.
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
When you got captured, I didn't know..." He trailed off, had to chug whiskey before he could continue. "If it'd be like..." "What?" "Like it was with Clotile." "Oh, Jackson, no. I was okay. I'm unharmed." "Didn't know if I'd get there too late," he said with a shudder. Then he crossed over to me, until we stood toe-to-toe. "Evie, if you ever get taken from me again, you better know that I'll be coming for you." He cupped my face with a bloodstained hand. "So you stay the hell alive! You don't do like Clotile, you doan take that way out. You and me can get through anything, just give me a chance."--his voice broke lower "just give me a chance to get to you." He buried his face in my hair, inhaling deeply. "There is nothing that can happen to you that we can't get past." ... "When you say we...?" He pulled back, gazing down at me, his eyes blazing. "I'm goan to lay it all out there for you. Laugh in my face--I don't care. But I'm goan to get this off my chest." "I won't laugh. I'm listening." "Evie, I've wanted you from the first time I saw you. Even when I hated you, I wanted you." He raked his fingers through his hair. "I got it bad, me." My heart felt like it'd stopped--so that I could hear him better. "For as long as you've been looking down your nose at me, I've been craving you, an envie like I've never known." "I don't look down at you! I'm too busy looking up to you." ... "The corners of his lips curled for an instant before he grew serious again. "You asked me if I had that phone with your pictures, if I'd looked at it. Damn right, I did! I saw you playing with a dog at the beach, and doing a crazy-ass flip off a high dive, and making faces for the camera. I learned about you"- his voice grew hoarse -"and I wanted more of you. To see you every day." With a humourless laugh, he admitted, "After the Flash, I was constantly sourcing ways to charge a goddamned phone--that would never make a call." I murmured, "I didn't know...I couldn't be sure." "It's you for me, peekon.
Kresley Cole (Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles, #1))
From somewhere above me, there was an irritated hiss. ‘Food.’ I strained my head upwards. ‘Hi, Brutus.’ His yellow eyes stared down at me, unblinking. ‘Food, bitch.’ I sighed. ‘I’ve told you time and time again. If you call me that, I’m not going to feed you.’ ‘Food.’ ‘Give me a minute.’ ‘Food.’ ‘I’d like the chance to get a cup of tea first.’ ‘Food.’ ‘Piss off.’ ‘Food.
Helen Harper (Slouch Witch (The Lazy Girl's Guide to Magic, #1))
The hardest part was acknowledging I might never see you again. Realizing how much you mean to me and how much I'd miss your pretty face every morning and night. Realizing all the things I didn't do with you and might never get a chance to. But I think most of the pain came from the realization that the time we spent together was not enough for me and I couldn't force you to feel the same.
J.C. Reed (Conquer Your Love (Surrender Your Love, #2))
The Beat Generation, that was a vision that we had, John Clellon Holmes and I, and Allen Ginsberg in an even wilder way, in the late forties, of a generation of crazy, illuminated hipsters suddenly rising and roaming America, serious, bumming and hitchhiking everywhere, ragged, beatific, beautiful in an ugly graceful new way--a vision gleaned from the way we had heard the word 'beat' spoken on streetcorners on Times Square and in the Village, in other cities in the downtown city night of postwar America--beat, meaning down and out but full of intense conviction--We'd even heard old 1910 Daddy Hipsters of the streets speak the word that way, with a melancholy sneer--It never meant juvenile delinquents, it meant characters of a special spirituality who didn't gang up but were solitary Bartlebies staring out the dead wall window of our civilization--the subterraneans heroes who'd finally turned from the 'freedom' machine of the West and were taking drugs, digging bop, having flashes of insight, experiencing the 'derangement of the senses,' talking strange, being poor and glad, prophesying a new style for American culture, a new style (we thought), a new incantation--The same thing was almost going on in the postwar France of Sartre and Genet and what's more we knew about it--But as to the actual existence of a Beat Generation, chances are it was really just an idea in our minds--We'd stay up 24 hours drinking cup after cup of black coffee, playing record after record of Wardell Gray, Lester Young, Dexter Gordon, Willie Jackson, Lennie Tristano and all the rest, talking madly about that holy new feeling out there in the streets- -We'd write stories about some strange beatific Negro hepcat saint with goatee hitchhiking across Iowa with taped up horn bringing the secret message of blowing to other coasts, other cities, like a veritable Walter the Penniless leading an invisible First Crusade- -We had our mystic heroes and wrote, nay sung novels about them, erected long poems celebrating the new 'angels' of the American underground--In actuality there was only a handful of real hip swinging cats and what there was vanished mightily swiftly during the Korean War when (and after) a sinister new kind of efficiency appeared in America, maybe it was the result of the universalization of Television and nothing else (the Polite Total Police Control of Dragnet's 'peace' officers) but the beat characters after 1950 vanished into jails and madhouses, or were shamed into silent conformity, the generation itself was shortlived and small in number.
Jack Kerouac
Math can explain the reason there's one out of four chance that I'd have blue eyes. But it doesn't explain why me.
Heidi W. Durrow (The Girl Who Fell from the Sky)
I started to get up, but that hand tightened on my foot. I wanted to pace, needed to let off some of the nervous energy that kept me from eating half the time, kept me from sleeping. And just when I told myself I was being paranoid and everything would be fine, something tried to drown me in the goddamned bathtub. But I didn't get up. Because then I'd lose that bried, human connection. A connection that shouldn;t have been there, because Priktin wasn't the touchy-feely type. He touched me in training, when he had to, and grabbed me in the middle of crises. But I actually couldn't recall him ever touching me just ... because.
Karen Chance (Hunt the Moon (Cassandra Palmer, #5))
I didn't really want to talk. I'd wanted him there, but I asn't sure why. Maybe just to have someone to drink with. Actually, that sounded pretty good at the moment. I sat on the seat of the chaise and he sat on the foot, and we just drank at each other for a while. After a few minutes, he leaned back against the railing, like maybe he wanted a backrest, and I shifted my feet over to make room. But I guess I didn't shift far enough, because a large, warm hand covered my right foot, adjusting it slightly. And then it just stayed there, like he'd forgotten to remove it. I looked at it. Pritkin's hands were oddly refined compared to the rest of him: strong but long fingered, with elegant bones and short-clipped nails. They always looked like they'd wandered off from some fine gentleman, one they'd probably like to get back to, because God knew they weren't getting a manicure while attached to him.
Karen Chance (Hunt the Moon (Cassandra Palmer, #5))
when you asked me to stay away from you in your note, it finally hit me. You meant it. You weren’t going to try anymore. I’d run out of chances, and I realized that the night before would be the last time I ever saw you. And I couldn’t … The whole time on that plane I … I kept thinking to myself if I could just get to you I would tell you I loved you and I’d get to keep you. I’m that selfish.
Samantha Young (Hero (Hero, #1))
You are the last Five left in the competition, yes? Do you think that hurts your chances of becoming the princess?" The word sprang from my lips without thought. "No!" "Oh, my! You do have a spirit there!" Gavril seemed pleased to have gotten such an enthusiastic response. "So you think you'll beat out all the others, then? Make it to the end?" I thought better of myself. "No, no. It's not like that. I don't think I'm better than any of the other girls; they're all amazing. It's just...I don't think Maxon would do that, just discount someone because of their caste." I heard a collective gasp. I ran over the sentence in my head. It took me a minute to catch my mistake: I'd called him Maxon. Saying that to another girl behind closed doors was one thing, but to say his name without the word "Prince" in front of it was incredibly informal in public. And I'd said it on live television. I looked to see if Maxon was angry. He had a calm smile on his face. So he wasn't mad...but I was embarrassed. I blushed fiercely. "Ah, so it seems you really have gotten to know our prince. Tell me, what do you think of Maxon?" I ahd thought of several answers while I was waiting for my turn. I was going to make fun of his laugh or talk about the pet name he wanted his wife to call him. It seemed like the only way to save the situation was to get back the comedy. But as I lifted my eyes to make one of my comments, I saw Maxon's face. He really wanted to know. And I couldn't poke fun at him, not when I had a chance to say what I'd really started to think now that he was my friend. I couldn't joke about the person who'd saved me from facing absolute heartbreak at home, who fed my family boxes of sweets, who ran to me worried that I was hurt if I asked for him. A month ago, I had looked at the TV and seen a stiff, distant, boring person-someone I couldn't imagine anyone loving. And while he wasn't anything close to the person I did love, he was worthy of having someone to love in his life. "Maxon Schreave is the epitome of all things good. He is going to be a phenomenal king. He lets girls who are supposed to be wearing dresses wear jeans and doesn't get mad when someone who doesn't know him clearly mislabels him." I gave Gavril a keen look, and he smiled. And behind him, Maxon looked intrigued. "Whoever he marries will be a lucky girl. And whatever happens to me, I will be honored to be his subject." I saw Maxon swallow, and I lowered my eyes. "America Singer, thank you so much." Gavril went to shake my hand. "Up next is Miss Tallulah Bell." I didn't hear what any of the girls said after me, though I stared at the two seats. That interview had become way more personal than I'd intended it to be. I couldn't bring myself to look at Maxon. Instead I sat there replaying my words again and again in my head.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
Nobody reads poetry, we are told at every inopportune moment. I read poetry. I am somebody. I am the people, too. It can be allowed that an industrious quantity of contemporary American poetry is consciously written for a hermetic constituency; the bulk is written for the bourgeoisie, leaving a lean cut for labor. Only the hermetically aimed has a snowball's chance in hell of reaching its intended ears. One proceeds from this realization. A staggering figure of vibrant, intelligent people can and do live without poetry, especially without the poetry of their time. This figure includes the unemployed, the rank and file, the union brass, banker, scientist, lawyer, doctor, architect, pilot, and priest. It also includes most academics, most of the faculty of the humanities, most allegedly literary editors and most allegedly literary critics. They do so--go forward in their lives, toward their great reward, in an engulfing absence of poetry--without being perceived or perceiving themselves as hobbled or deficient in any significant way. It is nearly true, though I am often reminded of a Transtromer broadside I saw in a crummy office building in San Francisco: We got dressed and showed the house You live well the visitor said The slum must be inside you. If I wanted to understand a culture, my own for instance, and if I thought such an understanding were the basis for a lifelong inquiry, I would turn to poetry first. For it is my confirmed bias that the poets remain the most 'stunned by existence,' the most determined to redeem the world in words..
C.D. Wright (Cooling Time: An American Poetry Vigil)
My one-time roommate Claire had inherited the house from her uncle, and when she went off to bigger and better things, she’d left it in my care. And it needed a lot of it. Most importantly, it needed a new roof. There was a worrying stain on the ceiling of my bedroom that had started out roughly the shape of Rhode Island, but now looked more like North Carolina. Another few more days of rain and it was going to be Texas. And then it wouldn’t be anything at all because the battered old shingles were going to cave in on my head.
Karen Chance (Death's Mistress (Dorina Basarab, #2))
happiness is a different thing altogether. If you try to achieve it, you have every chance of failing. And besides, how would you ever know that you’d achieved it? Of course one can’t blame people, especially unhappy people, for wanting to be happier and setting themselves goals in order to try to escape from their unhappiness.
François Lelord (Hector and the Search for Happiness (Hector's Journeys))
And I’d just like to say from the bottom of my heart, I’d like to take this chance to apologize… to absolutely nobody
Conor McGregor
Some would assert that Providence was at work shaking out its pockets in Humanity's lap. Other would argue for that mindless choreographer, Chance. Either way it was a simple thing: a lost diary fell into the hands of a soul-sick war hero on a train from Bombay to Jaipur just when he'd grown tired of the scenery and needed something to keep his thoughts from the minefield of his wretched thoughts. In such mild ways is the groundwork laid for first kisses and ruined lives.
Laini Taylor (Lips Touch: Three Times)
When I gave [God] a chance, I got what I believe He has for everyone, a unique and personal adventure that not only includes God but the destiny He wrote on each of our hearts. It doesn’t come without challenge, because, well, a story without tension would be boring.    If we could ask Cinderella, she’d tell us that living out a fairytale is harder than watching one on TV. But the thrill? We’d never get that from an armchair. 
Elizabeth Bristol (Mary Me: One Woman’s Incredible Adventure with God)
Gansey despised raising his voice (in his head, his mother said, People shout when they don't have the vocabulary to whisper), but he heard it happening despite himself and so, with effort, he kept his voice even. "Not like this. At least you have a place to go. 'End of the world'... What is your problem, Adam? I mean, is there something about my place that's too repugnant for you to imagine living there? Why is it that everything kind I do is pity to you? Everything is charity. Well, here it is: I'm sick of tiptoeing around your principles." "God, I'm sick of your condescension, Gansey," Adam said. "Don't try to make me feel stupid. Who whips out repugnant? Don't pretend you're not trying to make me feel stupid." "This is the way I talk. I'm sorry your father never taught you the meaning of repugnant. He was too busy smashing your head against the wall of your trailer while you apologized for being alive." Both of them stopped breathing. Gansey knew he'd gone too far. It was too far, too late, too much. Adam shoved open the door. "Fuck you, Gansey. Fuck you," he said, voice low and furious. Gansey close his eyes. Adam slammed the door, and then he slammed it again when the latch didn't catch. Gansey didn't open his eyes. He didn't want to see if people were watching some kid fight with a boy in a bright orange Camaro and an Aglionby jumper. Just then he hated his raven-breasted uniform and his loud car and every three- and four-syllable word his parents had used in casual conversation at the dinner table and he hated Adam's hideous father and Adam's permissive mother and most of all, most of all, he hated the sound of Adam's last words, playing over and over. He couldn't stand it, all of this inside him. In the end, he was nobody to Adam, he was nobody to Ronan. Adam spit his words back at him and Ronan squandered however many second chances he gave him. Gansey was just a guy with a lot of stuff and a hole inside him that chewed away more of his heart every year. They were always walking away from him. But he never seemed able to walk away from them. Gansey opened his eyes. The ambulance was still there, but Adam was gone.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
There was some sort of commotion going on outside, and I decided I’d had enough. I went to the door and stuck my head out. Marco was gasping for breath on the sofa, and two of the guards were bent over a cell phone. “What are you doing?” I demanded. “Trying to record this,” the smart-ass from the shopping trip told me. “Nobody is going to believe us otherwise.” “Well, cut it out. It isn’t funny!” “On what planet?” I glared at him, which did no good,because he simply went back to to tinkering with the phone. So I looked at Marco. “Can’t you do anything with them?” Marco flopped a hand at me, tears streaming down his reddened cheeks, and tried to say something. But all that came out for several moments were asthmatic wheezes. I bent over his prone form, starting to worry about him, and he put a hand on my neck and pulled me down. ” It…is…funny,” he gasped.
Karen Chance (Hunt the Moon (Cassandra Palmer, #5))
When I knew my mother would be dead in a few months, I had two choices . . .” She looked at him. “I could distance myself from the pain or get closer to it. Maybe because I’d lost my dad without getting a chance to tell him what he meant to me, I decided to get closer. I got so close, her pain and fear became my own. We shared everything and loved each other like we never had when death was some distant thing. In the end, part of me died with her. I’m not recovered from it even now, but I made the conscious choice to enter the darkness with her. Everyone I know who’s lost someone they love has voiced regrets—they wish they’d done this or that or loved them more. I have no regrets. None.
Glendy Vanderah (Where the Forest Meets the Stars)
I cocked an ear, but there was nothing much to hear. A girl was on the phone next door, complaining about some guy to a girlfriend, and someone down a floor was either talking to his cat or having a psychotic episode, but both voices were clearer than the soft noises coming from the living room. The vamps were presumably cleaning the wounds better than I’d been able to do at the bar, and bandaging him up. I knew nobody was planning a snack– it would be like offering people used to Beluga caviar and Dom Perignon a sack of stale Fritos and a flat Coke. Sloppy seconds weren’t likely to appeal.
Karen Chance (Midnight's Daughter (Dorina Basarab, #1))
Emma's heart was pounding. She chanced a look up at Julian. For the briefest of moments he looked like someone who'd been staggering through the Mojave Desert, half-dead from the sun, and had seen a glimmer of water up ahead only to have it turn out to be a mirage. "Still no Mark?" Emma said hastily as Cristina reached them. Not that there was a real reason Cristina would know where Mark was; Emma just didn't want her looking at Julian. Not when he looked like that.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
I'm not possessive over you, Maddie," he says into my ear. "I'm protective, and there's a difference. I'd never try to control you or tell you what you can and can't do, but I know every guy in this frat house wants to be me right now-especially Kyle. And you know why? It's because you're so fucking beautiful." My breath catches in my throat. "They'll all want you, but I have you, and there's not a chance I'm gonna risk one of them taking you from me, all right? So yes, Angel, yes, you are fucking mine!
Emma Hart (The Love Game (The Game, #1))
Uphill? There's nothing up the hill," Colly said, trying desperately to work out where this conversation was going. "As a matter of fact, there is. There's a bluff about twelve meters high, with a river running below it. The water's deep, so it'll be quite safe for you to jump." In his brief glimpse of the river, Halt had noticed that the fast-flowing water cut under the bluff in a sharp curve. That should mean that the bottom had been scoured out over the years. A thought struck him. "You can swim, I assume?" "Yes. I can swim," Colly said. "But I'm going jumping off some bluff just because you say to!" "No, no. Of course not. That'd be asking far too much of you. You'll jump off because if you don't, I'll shoot you. It'll be the same effect, really. If I have to shoot you, you'll fall off. But I thought I'd give you a chance to survive." Halt paused, then added, "Oh, and if you decide to run downhill, I'll also shoot you with an arrow. Uphill and off is really your only chance of survival." "You can't be serious!" Colly said. "Do you really-" But he got no further. Halt leaned forward, putting a hand up to stop the outburst. "Colly, take a good, long look into my eyes and tell me if you see anything, anything at all, that says I'm not deadly serious." His eyes were deep brown, almost black. They were steady and unwavering and there was no sign of anything there but utter determination. Colly looked at them and after a few second, his eyes dropped away. halt nodded as the other man's gaze slid away from his. "Good. Now we've got that settled, you should try to get some sleep. You have a big day ahead of you tomorrow.
John Flanagan (The Kings of Clonmel (Ranger's Apprentice, #8))
1. WE'VE LEFT SHORE SOMEHOW BECOME THE FRIENDS OF EARLY THEORY CLOSE ENOUGH TO SPEAK DESIRE AND PAIN OF ABSENCE OF MISTAKES WE'D MAKE GIVEN THE CHANCE. EACH SMILE RETURNED MAKES HARDER AVOIDING DREAMS THAT SEE US LYING IN EARLY EVENING CURTAIN SHADOWS, SKIN SAFE AGAINST SKIN. BLOOM OF COMPASSION RESPECT FOR MOMENTS EYES LOCK TURNS FOREVER INTO ONE MORE VEIL THAT FALLS AWAY. 2. THIS AFTER SEEING YOU LAST NIGHT, FIRST TIME SMELLING YOU WITH PERMISSION: SHOULDERS TO WONDER OPENLY AT AS CAREFULLY KISSED AS THOSE ARMS WAITED IMPOSSIBLY ON. THEY'VE HELD ME NOW AND YOUR BREATH DOWN MY BACK SENT AWAY NIGHT AIR THAT HAD ME SHAKING IN THE UNLIT ANGLICAN DOORWAY. 3. ARE WE RUINED FOR FINDING OUR FACES FIT AND WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT MORNING? IS FRIENDSHIP CANCELLED IF WE CAN'T CALL EACH OTHER ANYMORE IN AMNESIA, INVITE OURSELVES TO LAST GLANCES UNDER SUSPICIOUS CLOCKS TELLING US WHEN WE'VE HAD ENOUGH? 4. YOUR STEADY HANDS CRADLING MY GRATEFUL SKULL: WERE YOU TAKING IN MY FACE TO SAVE AN IMAGE YOU'VE RARELY ALLOWED YOURSELF AFTER LEAVING THAT COLD ALCOVE? AM I A PHOTOGRAPH YOU GAZE AT IN MOMENTS OF WEAKNESS? YOU ORDERED ME OFF MY KNEES INTO YOUR ARMS. WASN'T TO BEG THAT I KNELT; ONLY TO SEE YOU ONCE FROM BELOW. TRIED TO SAY SOMETHING THAT FILLED MY MOUTH AND LONGED TO REST IN YOUR EAR. DON'T DARE WRITE IT DOWN FOR FEAR IT'LL BECOME WORDS, JUST WORDS.
Viggo Mortensen (Coincidence of Memory)
He stopped before opening the door and faced her. "You'll leave the window open for me and you'll be naked. When I come back, I'll take what I want from you, as many times as I want to." He grinned; it was pure and raw and astonishingly beautiful. "Understand me Lady Dagmar?" She shook her head. "No. You'll have to explain it to me." "I will. Even if I have to tie you to bed and explain it to you again and again and again." He looked over one more time. "And don't play with yourself after I'm gone. Don't want you wearing my pussy out before I've had a chance to use it." With his hand on the door, Gwenvael rewarded her with the warmest smile she'd seen from anyone. "Besides, you look so beautiful when you come, I don't want to miss a second of it.
G.A. Aiken (What a Dragon Should Know (Dragon Kin, #3))
Perhaps the rest of the world was gone. It was the most plausible answer. Heaven knows she couldn’t see or think of anyone else. That must be the answer, they were the only two people left, as the Earth spun into a timeless abyss. Claire once read time doesn’t pass at normal speeds within a black hole. If one were to travel into a black hole for only moments and return again, centuries would have passed. That explained the sensation she felt, once again peering into his dark gaze. She wouldn’t look away; she’d trained herself better than that. Then again, she reasoned, it wasn’t an option. She couldn’t divert her gaze if she wanted. The hold upon her stare was stronger than any ropes or chains made by man. Claire knew from experience, submitting to the hold was her best chance at survival. Fighting was a futile waste of energy.
Aleatha Romig (Truth (Consequences, #2))
That's just stupid, Tory! Quit being so damn stubborn!” “Not a chance! You've got some kind of death wish! We can't even trust our power lately. They're too erratic for a public heist.” Ben thumped the steering wheel in frustration. “Maybe for you.” I glowered at Ben from the backseat. I'd given Hi shotgun, having sensed this argument was inevitable. I didn't want to be close. The urge to slap might become overpowering. “Why don't we all use our friendly words?” Hi suggested. “Let's take five, and everyone can say something we like about each other. I'll start. Shelton, you're super at——” “Shut up, Hi!” Ben and I shouted, the first thing we'd agreed upon all morning.
Kathy Reichs (Exposure (Virals, #4))
Just because I’ve been gone from this country for most of my life doesn’t mean I understand it any less. When I was fifteen I left Jamaica. I knew that I was a lesbian then and, because of what I looked like, I was an out lesbian. It was hard for me. It was hard for the thirteen years I was in England, for various reasons, and it’s going to be difficult here as well. I don’t anticipate anything being easy. But I’d rather suffer the chance of someone accosting me for being a dyke than suffer the emotional violence I’d do to myself if I wasn’t honest about who I am.
Fiona Zedde (Bliss)
At the pub my dad was waiting for me, a black-as-night beer and his open laptop on the table in front of him. I sat down and swiped his beer before he'd had the chance to even look up from typing. 'Oh, my sweet lord,' I sputtered, chocking down a mouthful, 'what is this? Fermented motor oil?' 'Just about,' he said, laughing.
Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1))
I tell you, life is extraordinary. A few years ago I couldn’t write anything or sell anything, I’d passed the age where you know all the returns are in, I’d had my chance and done my best and failed. And how was I to know the miracle waiting to happen round the corner in late middle age? 84, Charing Cross Road was no best seller, you understand; it didn’t make me rich or famous. It just got me hundreds of letters and phone calls from people I never knew existed; it got me wonderful reviews; it restored a self-confidence and self-esteem I’d lost somewhere along the way, God knows how many years ago. It brought me to England. It changed my life.
Helene Hanff (The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street)
He could not believe that any of them might actually hit somebody. If one did, what a nowhere way to go: killed by accident; slain not as an individual but by sheer statistical probability, by the calculated chance of searching fire, even as he himself might be at any moment. Mathematics! Mathematics! Algebra! Geometry! When 1st and 3d Squads came diving and tumbling back over the tiny crest, Bell was content to throw himself prone, press his cheek to the earth, shut his eyes, and lie there. God, oh, God! Why am I here? Why am I here? After a moment's thought, he decided he better change it to: why are we here. That way, no agency of retribution could exact payment from him for being selfish.
James Jones (The Thin Red Line)
She was a finisher, unlike them -- she didn’t wait for leaves to fall and see where they’d land, or even waste time anticipating which way the wind would blow them. No, she was the storm that ripped the leaves from trees and determined their path... -SHEgo, 2010
Tania Zaverta Chance
What if, ladies and gentlemen, today I told you that anyone here who was born on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday was free to leave right now? Also, they'd be given the most central parking spots in the city, and the biggest houses. They would get job interviews before others who were born later in the week, and they'd be taken first at the doctor's office, no matter how many patients were waiting in line. If you were born from Thursday to Sunday, you might try to catch up – but because you were straggling behind, the press would always point to how inefficient you are. And if you complained, you'd be dismissed for playing the birth-day card.” I shrug. “Seems silly, right? But what if on top of these arbitrary systems that inhibited your chances for success, everyone kept telling you that things were actually pretty equal?
Jodi Picoult (Small Great Things)
When we put our running shoes on and fight tooth and nail to hide from someone, it’s because that’s the person who really matters. That’s the one person you fear will see what’s inside you and cringe. You’d rather live with the not-knowing than to give it a chance.
Rebel Farris (Pivot Line (Falling Small Duet #2))
Each night we watched the sun set no matter where we were, and we'd wake up early to witness it rising again. That was the thing about life: even when the days faded to black, you were always given another chance. A second moment to try again to rise from the ashes.
Brittainy C. Cherry (The Space in Between (The Space in Between, #1))
Had that asshole from her date tried something? If he did, I’d kill him. I’d nail his fucking guts to the wall, so help me God.
Chance Carter (Wife Me Bad Boy)
At the round earth's imagined corners blow Your trumpets, angels, and arise, arise From death, you numberless infinities Of souls, and to your scattered bodies go ; All whom the flood did, and fire shall o'erthrow, All whom war, dea[r]th, age, agues, tyrannies, Despair, law, chance hath slain, and you, whose eyes Shall behold God, and never taste death's woe. But let them sleep, Lord, and me mourn a space ; For, if above all these my sins abound, 'Tis late to ask abundance of Thy grace, When we are there. Here on this lowly ground, Teach me how to repent, for that's as good As if Thou hadst seal'd my pardon with Thy blood.
John Donne
What do you want from me Duncan?” My breath caught in my throat when he licked his lips and swallowed hard. “I don’t know everything and nothing. I feel like you’re this giant flame that I can’t get away from. I fight the pull; I try as hard as I can to move in the other direction but something keeps bringing me back. I left town hoping I’d never come back here, but here I am. I guess I’m sick of fighting it. I’m willing to take the chance of burning up the question is, are you?” Duncan-The Wild Hunt
Ashley Jeffery
Then what do you want?" she asked softly. He shook his head without answering. But Sara knew. He wanted to be safe. If he were rich and powerful enough, he would never be hurt, lonely, or abandoned. He would never have to trust anyone. She continued to stroke his hair, playing lightly with the thick raven locks. 'Take a chance on me," she urged. "Do you really have so much to lose?" He gave a harsh laugh and loosened his arms to release her. "More than you know." Clinging to him desperately, Sara kept her mouth at his ear. "Listen to me." All she could do was play her last card. Her voice trembled with emotion. "You can't change the truth. You can act as though you're deaf and blind, you can walk away from me forever, but the truth will still be there, and you can't make it go away. I love you." She felt an involuntary tremor run through him. "I love you," she repeated. "Don't lie to either of us by pretending you're leaving for my good. All you'll do is deny us both a chance at happiness. I'll long for you every day and night, but at least my conscience will be clear. I haven't held anything back from you, out of fear or pride or stubbornness." She felt the incredible tautness of his muscles, as if he were carved from marble. "For once have the strength not to walk away," she whispered. "Stay with me. Let me love you, Derek." He stood there frozen in defeat, with all the warmth and promise of her in his arms ... and he couldn't allow himself to take what she offered. He'd never felt so worthless, so much a fraud. Perhaps for a day, a week, he could be what she wanted. But no longer than that. He had sold his honor, his conscience, his body, anything he could use to escape the lot he'd been given in life. And now, with all his great fortune, he couldn't buy back what he'd sacrificed. Were he capable of tears, he would have shed them. Instead he felt numbing coldness spread through his body, filling up the region where his heart should have been. It wasn't difficult to walk away from her. It was appallingly easy. Sara made an inarticulate sound as he extricated himself from her embrace. He left her as he had left the others, without looking back.
Lisa Kleypas (Dreaming of You (The Gamblers of Craven's, #2))
I used to think love was two people sucking on the same straw to see whose thirst was stronger, but then I whiffed the crushed walnuts of your nape, traced jackals in the snow-covered tombstones of your teeth. I used to think love was a non-stop saxophone solo in the lungs, till I hung with you like a pair of sneakers from a phone line, and you promised to always smell the rose in my kerosene. I used to think love was terminal pelvic ballet, till you let me jog beside while you pedaled all over hell on the menstrual bicycle, your tongue ripping through my prairie like a tornado of paper cuts. I used to think love was an old man smashing a mirror over his knee, till you helped me carry the barbell of my spirit back up the stairs after my car pirouetted in the desert. You are my history book. I used to not believe in fairy tales till I played the dunce in sheep’s clothing and felt how perfectly your foot fit in the glass slipper of my ass. But then duty wrapped its phone cord around my ankle and yanked me across the continent. And now there are three thousand miles between the u and s in esophagus. And being without you is like standing at a cement-filled wall with a roll of Yugoslavian nickels and making a wish. Some days I miss you so much I’d jump off the roof of your office building just to catch a glimpse of you on the way down. I wish we could trade left eyeballs, so we could always see what the other sees. But you’re here, I’m there, and we have only words, a nightly phone call - one chance to mix feelings into syllables and pour into the receiver, hope they don’t disassemble in that calculus of wire. And lately - with this whole war thing - the language machine supporting it - I feel betrayed by the alphabet, like they’re injecting strychnine into my vowels, infecting my consonants, naming attack helicopters after shattered Indian tribes: Apache, Blackhawk; and West Bank colonizers are settlers, so Sharon is Davey Crockett, and Arafat: Geronimo, and it’s the Wild West all over again. And I imagine Picasso looking in a mirror, decorating his face in war paint, washing his brushes in venom. And I think of Jenin in all that rubble, and I feel like a Cyclops with two eyes, like an anorexic with three mouths, like a scuba diver in quicksand, like a shark with plastic vampire teeth, like I’m the executioner’s fingernail trying to reason with the hand. And I don’t know how to speak love when the heart is a busted cup filling with spit and paste, and the only sexual fantasy I have is busting into the Pentagon with a bazooka-sized pen and blowing open the minds of generals. And I comfort myself with the thought that we’ll name our first child Jenin, and her middle name will be Terezin, and we’ll teach her how to glow in the dark, and how to swallow firecrackers, and to never neglect the first straw; because no one ever talks about the first straw, it’s always the last straw that gets all the attention, but by then it’s way too late.
Jeffrey McDaniel
I laughed, harder than I'd laughed in a long time. "You have got to be kidding," I said, watching the hope vanish from his face. "I'm the one you ought to be scared of. I killed my fucking goldfish.
Nicole Castle (Chance Assassin: A Story of Love, Luck, and Murder (Chance Assassin, #1))
I didn't have a chance to buy you anything," she said, then held both closed hands toward him. Uncurled her fingers. In each cupped palm a brown egg. He took them. They were cold. He thought it a tender, wonderful thing to do. She had given him something, the eggs, after all, only a symbol, but they had come from her hands as a gift. To him. It didn't matter that he'd bought them himself at the supermarket the day before. He imagined she understood him, that she had to love him to know that it was the outstreched hands, the giving, that mattered.
Annie Proulx
I put my pen to the paper and began to write. I’d made so many wishes for so many couples quietly in my head as they drove away, but writing the words out made it seem more real, possible. For them, and maybe for me. FOR YOU, I WISH FOR SECOND CHANCES. I folded it shut, then put it on the wall before I could change my mind, right above Jilly’s. As Michael Salem called out to her and she started his way, I crossed the backyard, moving toward the music. When I looked back at the wish wall from a distance, it was a sea of squares: I couldn’t even find mine among them. So many things we ask for, hope for, prayers put out into a world so wide: there was no way they could all be answered. But you had to keep asking. If you didn’t, nothing even had a chance of coming true.
Sarah Dessen (Once and for All)
Her face was severe but smiling. "What the hell did you do with my hairbrush, you stupid Saumensch, you little thief?...The tirade went on for perhaps another minute, with Liesel making a desperate suggestion or two about the possible location of the said brush. It ended abruptly, with Rosa pulling Liesel close, just for a few seconds. Her whisper was almost impossible to hear, even at such close proximity. "You told me to yell at you. You said they'd all believe it." She looked left and right, her voice like needle and thread. "He woke up, Liesel. He's awake." From her pocket, she pulled out the toy soldier with the scratched exterior. "He said to give you this. It was his favorite." ...Before Liesel had a chance to answer, she finished it off. "Well? Answer me! Do you have any other idea where you might have left it?
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
Brother—” “I thought we’d already decided we weren’t that, either.” Grabbing his shoulder, I stopped him before he could reach the door. “Look, I’m sorry! I’m sorry I did this to you.” He turned to look at me, his brow raised high. “You’re sorry. So, what . . . we go back to being cool again?” “I don’t know, man. But we can’t do this.” “And why can’t we? You couldn’t stand to let me have one normal day with her. Have I done anything to you since she and I broke up?” He paused, but I didn’t respond. “No. I haven’t. You dealt with it by being an ass, so let me deal with this my way. And my way doesn’t include acting like you didn’t steal my girl from me.” “I didn’t steal Harper!” He opened the door and took a step outside, his shaking hand gripping the outer knob. When he looked back at me, his eyes were flat and lifeless. “You stole my entire world.
Molly McAdams (Stealing Harper (Taking Chances, #1.5))
Life is short, Isobeli. If we gave time to everything sooner or later we'd run out of it. We only have now. And we would be foolish to not seize it while we have it. So, why would it matter if I love him today or five years from now?
Nadège Richards (Deceiving Destiny (Bleeding Heart, #2))
I should have learned many things from that experience, but when I look back on it, all I gained was one single, undeniable fact. That ultimately I am a person who can do evil. I never consciously tried to hurt anyone, yet good intentions notwithstanding, when necessity demanded, I could become completely self-centered, even cruel. I was the kind of person who could, using some plausible excuse, inflict on a person I cared for a wound that would never heal. College transported me to a new town, where I tried, one more time, to reinvent myself. Becoming someone new, I could correct the errors of my past. At first I was optimistic: I could pull it off. But in the end, no matter where I went, I could never change. Over and over I made the same mistake, hurt other people, and hurt myself in the bargain. Just after I turned twenty, this thought hit me: Maybe I've lost the chance to ever be a decent human being. The mistakes I'd committed—maybe they were part of my very makeup, an inescapable part of my being. I'd hit rock bottom, and I knew it.
Haruki Murakami (South of the Border, West of the Sun)
Because the next moment, when I was hauled out from under the bed and up to a pair of so-familiar green eyes, I just hung there limply. And stared. At a face that was hard to look at. Not that it was unattractive. There had been a time when I'd thought so-the overlarge nose, the hard-as-glass eyes, the I-couldn't-be-bothered-to-shave-today-and-possibly-not-yesterday-either stubble didn't exactly spell out movie-star good looks. But there was a lot more to John Pritkin than looks, although even there I'd started to come around recently. The strong, stubborn jawline, the rock-hard body, and the flashes of humor behind the taciturn expression-hell, even the rigid blond spikes he called hair might not add up to handsome, but they added up to something. Something that might have been disturbing if I hadn't had plenty of other things to disturb me right now.
Karen Chance (Tempt the Stars (Cassandra Palmer, #6))
You're a Dark One," said Anton. "All you see in everything is evil, treachery, trickery." "All I do is not close my eyes to them," Edgar retorted. "And that's why I don't trust Zabulon. I distrust him almost as much as I do Gesar. I can even trust you more—you're just another unfortunate chess piece who happens by chance to be painted a different color from me. Does a white pawn hate a black one? No. Especially if the two pawns have their heads down together over a quiet beer or two." "You know," Anton said in a slightly surprised voice, "I just don't understand how you can carry on living if you see the world like that. I'd just go and hang myself." "So you don't have any counterarguments to offer?" Anton took a gulp of beer too. The wonderful thing about this natural Czech beer was that even if you drank lots of it, it still didn't make your head or your body feel heavy... Or was that an illusion? "Not a single one," Anton admitted. "Right now, this very moment, not a single one. But I'm sure you're wrong. It's just difficult to argue about the colors of the rainbow with a blind man. There's something missing in you... I don't know what exactly. But it's something very important, and without it you're more helpless than a blind man.
Sergei Lukyanenko (Day Watch (Watch #2))
Take a chance on me. Because the timing’s always going to be wrong and the stars are never going to align but I would break every clock in this city and I’d shut every star down from shining if it meant that for one afternoon we could cast all that aside and give in. Give in to the complete impossibility that something could work here, despite everything that stands in the way.
Heidi Priebe (This Is Me Letting You Go)
All that time I'd spent worrying about why I'm here and how I'm supposed to live had kept me from remembering that Jeremy Pratt will never be back. His people will never have him again. He is Jeremy Pratt who died and stayed dead and will never get a second chance. And even though that hand that spent the last five years holding hers was somehow doing it again, it wasn't Jeremy Pratt's anyone
John Corey Whaley (Noggin)
Why? Why are you asking me out?" His expression was equal parts amusement and confusion. "Because if I don't ask ya the chance of ya actually showin' up on the date in highly unlikely, isn't it?" An abrupt--and incredibly loud--laugh erupted out of me. "True. But why? Why would you ask out the freaky purring girl?" "Yar laugh is amazin'." He grinned. Another wave of heat rushed through me. "And because from the moment I laid eyes on ya I knew there was somethin' different about ya. The purrin' just supported the theory. So, would ya like to go out with me?" "Yes, I'd like to. Go on a date. With you. Please." Smooth, huh?
Stacey Rourke (Embrace (Gryphon, #2))
But before she could speak another word, he crushed his mouth against hers. It was so unexpected that she hadn't the chance to even think of pushing him away. His body pressed her firmly against the rough cave wall. His hands slid down to her waist to pull her closer to him. And just like that, with his proximity, with his kiss, he managed to fill her every sense. He was smoke from the campfire, he was leaves and moss and the night itself. There was nothing gentle in the rebel's kiss, nothing sweet or kind. It was like nothing she'd ever experience before, and so very dangerous—every bit as deadly as the kiss of an arrow. Finally, he pulled back just a little, his dark eyes glazed as if half drunk. "Princess..." He cupped her face between his hands, his breath ragged. Her lips felt bruised. "I suppose that's how Paelsians show their anger and frustration?
Morgan Rhodes (Rebel Spring (Falling Kingdoms, #2))
Opening a present from a live person was scary enough. There was always the chance that the gift might be so wrong, so completely not the kind of thing you liked, that you’d realize they didn’t really know you at all. I knew it wouldn’t be like that with this present from Finn. What was scary about this was that I knew it would be perfect —completely, totally perfect. What if nobody ever knew me like that again? What if I went through my whole life getting mediocre gifts — bath sets and boxes of chocolate and bed socks — and never ever found someone who knew me the way Finn did?
Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
They had been talking about his friend Z. when she announced, "If I hadn't met you, I'd certainly have fallen in love with him." Even then, her words had left Tomas in a strange state of melancholy, and now he realized it was only a matter of chance that Tereza loved him and not his friend Z. Apart from her consummated love for Tomas, there were, in the realm of pos­sibility, an infinite number of unconsummated loves for other men. We all reject out of hand the idea that the love of our life may be something light or weightless; we presume our love is what must be, that without it our life would no longer be the same; we feel that Beethoven himself, gloomy and awe-inspir­ing, is playing the "Es muss sein!" to our own great love. Tomas often thought of Tereza's remark about his friend Z. and came to the conclusion that the love story of his life exemplified not "Es muss sein!" (It must be so), but rather "Es konnte auch anders sein" (It could just as well be otherwise).
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
I ended up in the nurse’s office after falling asleep in second period. She only agreed to not call my parents if I stayed under her supervision and rested. She wasn’t taking any chances with Dr. Lahey’s daughter and the heroine who’d saved the Ishida’s only girl, who, by the way, Ayden mentioned wasn’t back at school. She probably got to recover in her native habitat. Some far off exotic locale, lounging on a tropical beach drinking fruity umbrella drinks brought to her by hunky, scantily clad beach boys who rubbed her back with suntan oil and hung on her every word while I ran for my life in the Waiting World, woke from a coma, and, bam, back at school with ten million pounds of schoolwork to make up, and no beach boys. Except for Ayden. He’d make a good beach boy. But don’t get too excited. He’s just a pretend boyfriend. “You alright?” the nurse asked. “Fine.” “You’re sighing and making odd noises.” “Sorry.
A. Kirk (Demons at Deadnight (Divinicus Nex Chronicles, #1))
Outside, with Labor Day having come and gone, summer is fighting a dying battle against the fall air. The leaves are hanging perilously on the trees, knowing full well they're going to make the plunge, clinging on as if they stand a chance not to. The garbage smell that has wafted around us for the better part of August is dissipating, ushered out with the humidity, and in its place a briskness is filtering in, like something you'd smell from a bottle of Tide.
Allison Winn Scotch
That goes for old wounds, too, you know. I really wish we'd had the chance to talk before this," he says, cracking the window so the smoke can escape. "There's a Longfellow quote I have stuck on my bulletin board at the church office- 'There is no grief like the grief that does not speak'- and it's true. I've found that keeping pain inside doesn't give it a chance to heal, but bringing it out into the light, holding it right there in your hands and trusting that you're strong enough to make it through, not hating the pain, not loving it, just seeing it for what it really is can change how you go on from there. Time alone doesn't heal emotional wounds, Sayre, and you don't want to live the rest of your life bottled up with anger and guilt and bitterness. That's how people self-destruct.
Laura Wiess (Ordinary Beauty)
Yes, that's so,' said Sam. 'And we shouldn't be here at all, if we'd known more about it before we started. But I suppose it's often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo: adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that's not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually – their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn't. And if they had, we shouldn't know, because they'd have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on – and not all to a good end, mind you; at least not to what folk inside a story and not outside it call a good end. You know, coming home, and finding things all right, though not quite the same – like old Mr Bilbo. But those aren't always the best tales to hear, though they may be the best tales to get landed in! I wonder what sort of a tale we've fallen into?' 'I wonder,' said Frodo. 'But I don't know. And that's the way of a real tale. Take any one that you're fond of. You may know, or guess, what kind of a tale it is, happy-ending or sad-ending, but the people in it don't know. And you don't want them to.' 'No, sir, of course not. Beren now, he never thought he was going to get that Silmaril from the Iron Crown in Thangorodrim, and yet he did, and that was a worse place and a blacker danger than ours. But that's a long tale, of course, and goes on past the happiness and into grief and beyond it – and the Silmaril went on and came to Eärendil. And why, sir, I never thought of that before! We've got – you've got some of the light of it in that star-glass that the Lady gave you! Why, to think of it, we're in the same tale still! It's going on. Don't the great tales never end?' 'No, they never end as tales,' said Frodo. 'But the people in them come, and go when their part's ended. Our part will end later – or sooner.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2))
family is not defined by blood. It’s not always who you’re born to that you’re stuck with. It’s what you want it to be, what you make of it. It’s the people around you who see you at your worst and are not afraid to pick up the pieces when you fall apart. It’s the people who can call you on your bullshit. It’s tough to hear, but if you do hear it, it means that someone gives a damn about you and chances are you should probably listen. It’s the people who look at you each time they see you like they haven’t seen you in years. It’s the people who you fight for. It’s the people you’d lay down your life for. It’s the scariest thing in the world, but, if you let it, it’s also the greatest. If I could have you remember anything from our time together, it would be that it’s not about where you come from. It’s about who you are.
T.J. Klune (Who We Are (Bear, Otter, and the Kid #2))
Matthias always slept with his back to a wall, a habit from his days in Hellgate. She’d let her hands wander, seeking his pockets, trying to feel along the linings of his trousers. “Nina?” he’d asked sleepily. “I’m cold,” she said, her hands continuing their search. She pressed a kiss to his neck, then below his ear. She’d never let herself kiss him this way before. She’d never had the chance. They’d been too busy untangling the skein of suspicion and lust and loyalty that bound them together, and once she’d taken the parem … It was all she could think of, even now. The desire she felt was for the drug, not for the body she felt shift beneath her hands. She didn’t kiss his lips, though. She wouldn’t let parem take that from her too. He’d groaned slightly. “The others—” “Everyone is asleep.” Then he’d seized her hands. “Stop.” “Matthias—” “I don’t have it.” She yanked herself free, shame crawling over her skin like fire over a forest floor. “Then who does?” she hissed. “Kaz.” She stilled. “Are you going to creep into his bed?
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
I told him that bed-and-breakfasts have ginormous whirlpool tubs, and that I’d be willing to do unspeakably sinful things to him in it.” A strangled sound came from one of the two nerdy guys behind us in line, both wearing tortured expressions and staring at Erin. We stifled laughs. Maggie sighed. “Poor Chaz. He never had a chance… he’s gonna be standing in front of a bunch of people saying ‘I do’ someday without knowing how it happened.” “Ugh! I don’t think so. When it’s time to settle down, I’m getting somebody like…” Erin looked over her shoulder at the eavesdroppers behind us, “like one of them.” The boys looked at each other and stood up a little straighter. With a smirk in Erin’s direction, one of them fist-bumped the other.
Tammara Webber (Easy (Contours of the Heart, #1))
Kora Oliver, I have waited too long to take any chances on you getting away from me. I love you, with everything I have to give. I want you to be my wife. I want you to have the wedding you’ve probably dreamed about, but thought that if you chose me, you’d never get. Anything that you want, if it’s in my power, gorgeous, it’s yours. You have all of me, Kora. It’s yours.” He
Christina C. Jones (Inevitable Conclusions (Inevitable #1))
I’m fucking stupid in love with you. I know you’re scared, but I’ll work with that, I’ll build everything around what you want. I want you to choose me. Choose us. Take a fucking chance on the unknown for once in your life and trust I'm there with you, that I will never hurt you in any way you expect from people and I'll always do my best for us. You are not alone. I’d never leave you alone. I'm fucking crazy in love with you, so fucking crazy it drives me mad wanting you to choose me back, I’d chase you to the goddamn end of the world, that’s how much I want you.
V. Theia (Preacher Man (Renegade Souls MC Romance Saga #2))
But it did not stop her from wishing that it had all been different. Wishing that she had had the chance to be everything daughters of earls were born to be. Wishing that she'd been raised without a care in the world. Without a doubt in her head that it would someday be her day to sparkle; that she would one day be courted properly - by a man who wanted her for her, not as a spoil from a game of chance. Wishing that she were not so very alone. Not that wishing had ever helped.
Sarah MacLean (Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord (Love By Numbers, #2))
Quillonians were a reclusive race, proud, prone to drama, and violent when cornered. A couple of them had stayed at my parents’ inn, and as long as everything went their way, they were perfectly cordial, but the moment any small problem appeared, they would start putting exclamation marks at the end of all their sentences. My mother didn’t like dealing with them. She was very practical. If you brought a problem to her, she’d take it apart and figure out how best to resolve it. From what I remembered, Quillonians didn’t always want their problems resolved. They wanted a chance to shake their clawed fists at the sky, invoke their gods, and act as if the world was ending.
Ilona Andrews (Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles, #2))
Dear Madam Vorsoisson, I am sorry. This is the eleventh draft of this letter. They’ve all started with those three words, even the horrible version in rhyme, so I guess they stay. You once asked me never to lie to you. All right, so. I’ll tell you the truth now even if it isn’t the best or cleverest thing, and not abject enough either. I tried to be the thief of you, to ambush and take prisoner what I thought I could never earn or be given. You were not a ship to be hijacked, but I couldn’t think of any other plan but subterfuge and surprise. Though not as much of a surprise as what happened at dinner. The revolution started prematurely because the idiot conspirator blew up his secret ammo dump and lit the sky with his intentions. Sometimes these accidents end in new nations, but more often they end badly, in hangings and beheadings. And people running into the night. I can’t be sorry that I asked you to marry me, because that was the one true part in all the smoke and rubble, but I’m sick as hell that I asked you so badly. Even though I’d kept my counsel from you, I should have at least had the courtesy to keep it from others as well, till you’d had the year of grace and rest you’d asked for. But I became terrified that you’d choose another first. So I used the garden as a ploy to get near you. I deliberately and consciously shaped your heart’s desire into a trap. For this I am more than sorry, I am ashamed. You’d earned every chance to grow. I’d like to pretend I didn’t see it would be a conflict of interest for me to be the one to give you some of those chances, but that would be another lie. But it made me crazy to watch you constrained to tiny steps, when you could be outrunning time. There is only a brief moment of apogee to do that, in most lives. I love you. But I lust after and covet so much more than your body. I wanted to possess the power of your eyes, the way they see form and beauty that isn’t even there yet and draw it up out of nothing into the solid world. I wanted to own the honor of your heart, unbowed in the vilest horrors of Komarr. I wanted your courage and your will, your caution and your serenity. I wanted, I suppose, your soul, and that was too much to want. I wanted to give you a victory. But by their essential nature triumphs can’t be given. They must be taken, and the worse the odds and the fiercer the resistance, the greater the honor. Victories can’t be gifts. But gifts can be victories, can’t they. It’s what you said. The garden could have been your gift, a dowry of talent, skill, and vision. I know it’s too late now, but I just wanted to say, it would have been a victory most worthy of our House. Yours to command, Miles Vorkosigan
Lois McMaster Bujold (A Civil Campaign (Vorkosigan Saga, #12))
Ms. Terwilliger didn’t have a chance to respond to my geological ramblings because someone knocked on the door. I slipped the rocks into my pocket and tried to look studious as she called an entry. I figured Zoe had tracked me down, but surprisingly, Angeline walked in. "Did you know," she said, "that it’s a lot harder to put organs back in the body than it is to get them out?" I closed my eyes and silently counted to five before opening them again. “Please tell me you haven’t eviscerated someone.” She shook her head. “No, no. I left my biology homework in Miss Wentworth’s room, but when I went back to get it, she’d already left and locked the door. But it’s due tomorrow, and I’m already in trouble in there, so I had to get it. So, I went around outside, and her window lock wasn’t that hard to open, and I—” "Wait," I interrupted. "You broke into a classroom?" "Yeah, but that’s not the problem." Behind me, I heard a choking laugh from Ms. Terwilliger’s desk. "Go on," I said wearily. "Well, when I climbed through, I didn’t realize there was a bunch of stuff in the way, and I crashed into those plastic models of the human body she has. You know, the life size ones with all the parts inside? And bam!" Angeline held up her arms for effect. "Organs everywhere." She paused and looked at me expectantly. "So what are we going to do? I can’t get in trouble with her." "We?" I exclaimed. "Here," said Ms. Terwilliger. I turned around, and she tossed me a set of keys. From the look on her face, it was taking every ounce of self-control not to burst out laughing. "That square one’s a master. I know for a fact she has yoga and won’t be back for the rest of the day. I imagine you can repair the damage—and retrieve the homework—before anyone’s the wiser.” I knew that the “you” in “you can repair” meant me. With a sigh, I stood up and packed up my things. “Thanks,” I said. As Angeline and I walked down to the science wing, I told her, “You know, the next time you’ve got a problem, maybe come to me before it becomes an even bigger problem.” "Oh no," she said nobly. "I didn’t want to be an inconvenience." Her description of the scene was pretty accurate: organs everywhere. Miss Wentworth had two models, male and female, with carved out torsos that cleverly held removable parts of the body that could be examined in greater detail. Wisely, she had purchased models that were only waist-high. That was still more than enough of a mess for us, especially since it was hard to tell which model the various organs belonged to. I had a pretty good sense of anatomy but still opened up a textbook for reference as I began sorting. Angeline, realizing her uselessness here, perched on a far counter and swing her legs as she watched me. I’d started reassembling the male when I heard a voice behind me. "Melbourne, I always knew you’d need to learn about this kind of thing. I’d just kind of hoped you’d learn it on a real guy." I glanced back at Trey, as he leaned in the doorway with a smug expression. “Ha, ha. If you were a real friend, you’d come help me.” I pointed to the female model. “Let’s see some of your alleged expertise in action.” "Alleged?" He sounded indignant but strolled in anyways. I hadn’t really thought much about asking him for help. Mostly I was thinking this was taking much longer than it should, and I had more important things to do with my time. It was only when he came to a sudden halt that I realized my mistake. "Oh," he said, seeing Angeline. "Hi." Her swinging feet stopped, and her eyes were as wide as his. “Um, hi.” The tension ramped up from zero to sixty in a matter of seconds, and everyone seemed at a loss for words. Angeline jerked her head toward the models and blurted out. “I had an accident.” That seemed to snap Trey from his daze, and a smile curved his lips. Whereas Angeline’s antics made me want to pull out my hair sometimes, he found them endearing.
Richelle Mead (The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4))
Why did you come back?” It felt like a trick question. My hard-won hermitage — begun by me, secured by Jeremy — was no small thing. It was a chance to be someone else, and how many of those do you get? And yet I’d left it behind. I came back because I had to. Because there was nothing wrong in the world except that I was getting older in it. Because Sam and Grace had told me I should go if that was what I wanted. What I wanted was: I wanted. Isabel — I wanted to make something. At the beginning of all of this, I had just been a kid with a keyboard. It was less the game of it, and more those hours I spent falling from song to song. “I want to make an album,” I said. “I miss making music.” I could tell he approved of my answer.
Maggie Stiefvater (Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3.5))
He leaned in and kissed her. The world didn’t stop dead on its axis. Nothing fell from the sky. It was a gentle meeting of flesh, not a melding of souls. Yet the taste of her lips was everything he remembered, and more. Without moving a muscle—without batting an eyelash—she managed to take ten years of simmering frustration and dissolve them as if they were nothing more than a spoonful of sugar in a pot of hot water. He straightened. A series of expressions tripped across her face in rapid succession. He caught shellshock, bemusement, and then a faint trace of…sadness. Definitely not one-sided. But not what he’d been looking for, either.
Paula Altenburg (Her Secret Love (Secrets of Cherry Lake, #3))
...A secure future seemed mapped out for me. Too secure, too mapped out. If I carried on in medicine, I realized I'd have a pretty good idea exactly what I'd be doing ten, twenty and even thirty years from that moment. It struck me like a halibut from the North Sea that that was not the way my life should go at all. What was the point of working on through the age of sixty-five and taking a chance on a better reincarnation next time?
Graham Chapman (A Liar's Autobiography: Volume VI)
The first time Mr. Darcy asked Lizzy to marry him in Pride and Prejudice, he went about it all wrong,” I started, smiling at the connection I’d just made in my mind. “He insulted her and her family. But after her refusal, he made a conscious effort to change for the better, and everything worked out for them the second time he proposed. It’s the same with us. You learned from your past mistakes, and everything’s different now. Just as Lizzy gave Mr. Darcy a second chance, I’m going to do the same for you.” “I’m glad that Lizzy gave Mr. Darcy a second chance.” He smiled at the comparison. “She was the only one for him. He would have been miserable without her.” “And she would have been miserable without him.” I laughed. “Even though she might not have admitted it.
Michelle Madow (Remembrance (Transcend Time, #1))
He looked at Hector's list and told him that, thanks to a lot of studies and calculations, they'd shown that if you compared yourself to others and didn't find yourself wanting, if you had no money or health problems, if you had friends, a close-knit family, a job you liked, if you were religious and practised your religion, if you felt useful, if you went for a little stroll from time to time, and all of this in a country that was run by not very bad people, where you were taken care of when things went wrong, your chances of bring happy were greatly increased.
François Lelord (Hector and the Search for Happiness)
He gazed at her for what seemed like an eternity before reaching out to stroke her cheek. “I’d just like to forget. Forget every last thing.” Her heart beat erratically from the emotions flickering through his eyes. Need and want. Fear and hope. She couldn’t tell where one emotion ended and the next began. The only thing she could tell for certain was that, in the subtle flicker of candlelight, something had changed between them. Profoundly changed. Desire coiled in and around them like a vine and settled low in her belly. Heat blossomed over her, quashing her ability to think straight as he bent his head and touched his lips to hers. She closed her eyes to everything but the feel of his mouth on hers, in a kiss so different from their first that it astonished in comparison. This was not the wild and savage connection they had shared behind the assembly rooms. Yet, there was passion in its tenderness, and hunger in the languorous fusion of their tongues.
Anna Durbin (King of Wands)
Pritkin, it’s a hotel room, not a death trap!” A glance over his shoulder showed him impatient blue eyes under a fall of messy blond curls. “Anyway, you’re here.” “I can’t protect you from everything,” he forced himself to say, because it was true. It was also frankly terrifying in a way that his own mortality was not. He’d never had children, but he sometimes wondered if this was how parents felt when catching sight of a fearless toddler confidently heading toward a busy street. Not that his charge was a child, as he was all too uncomfortably aware. But the knowledge of just how many potentially lethal pitfalls lay in her path sometimes caused him that same heart-clenching terror. And the same overwhelming need to throw her over his lap and spank the living daylights out of her, he thought grimly, when she suddenly popped out of existence. “Cassie!
Karen Chance (A Family Affair (Cassandra Palmer, #4.1))
I felt the pulse behind the fire raging now in my chest and realized that I'd found my heart again, just in time to wish I never had. To wish that I'd embraced the blackness while I'd still had the chance. I wanted to raise my arms and claw my chest open and rip the heart from it--anything to get rid of this toture. But I could't feel my arms, couldn't move one vanished finger.
Stephenie Meyer
Dear Amelia, I hear there are giant jellyfish in the Arctic, tentacles longer than train carriages. Haystacks fly over cities in whirlwinds, and fish frogs and turtles rain on towns. There are spaces of perfect nothing that they call black holes. Nothing's impossible- that's what you think I'm trying to say. But I'm not. There are things that are impossible - unimaginable even- and here they are: That I broke you. Betrayed you. Said I'd given up on you. Sent you flying to a park in a thunderstorm. That I've been wrong about you all along- saw something in your face each time you faded to your past, when the opposite was true. That all this time you've been lost and that I won't get a second chance to find you. Amelia your name is a song. It's a name you can't say without smiling or crying, without casting both shadows and light. But there are too many places to hide or get lost in a name like Amelia. So this is me shouting that name. They say nobody ever escapes from a black hole. They don't know the strength in my Amelia. The strength in your grip when you want to stay out dancing- the strength in your wicked smile. Riley
Jaclyn Moriarty (The Ghosts of Ashbury High (Ashbury/Brookfield, #4))
The most dangerous thing of all, and something he wanted to warn me about above all else, the one thing that had consigned whole regiments of unfortunate young people to the twilight world of insanity, was reading books. This objectionable practice had increased among the younger generation, and Dad was more pleased than the could say to not that I had not yet displayed any such tendencies. Lunatic asylums were overflowing with folk who'd been reading too much. Once upon a time they'd been just like you and me, physically strong, straightforward, cheerful, and well balanced. Then they'd started reading. Most often by chance. A bout of flu perhaps, with a few days in bed. An attractive book cover that had aroused some curiosity. And suddenly the bad habit had taken hold. The first book had led to another. Then another, and another, all links in a chain that led straight down into the eternal night of mental illness. It was impossible to stop. It was worse than drugs. It might just be possible, if you were very careful, to look at the occasional book that could teach you something, such as encyclopedias or repair manuals. The most dangerous kind of book was fiction-- that's where all the brooding was sparked and encouraged. Damnit all! Addictive and risky products like that should only be available in state-regulated monopoly stores, rationed and sold only to those with a license, and mature in age.
Mikael Niemi (Popular Music from Vittula)
But I must start at the beginning, if I can find it. Beginnings are elusive things. Just when you think you have hold of one, you look back and see another, earlier beginning, and an earlier one before that. Even if you start with "Chapter One: I am Born," you still have the problem of antecedents, of cause and effect. Why is young David fatherless? Because, Dickens tells us, his father died of a delicate constitution. Yes, but where did this mortal delicacy come from? Dickens doesn't say, so we're left to speculate. A congenital defect, perhaps, inherited from his mother, whose own mother had married beneath her to spite her cruel father, who'd been beaten as a child by a nursemaid who was forced into service when her faithless husband abandoned her for a woman he chanced to meet when his carriage wheel broke in front of the milliner's where she'd gone to have her hat trimmed. If we begin there, young David is fatherless because his great-great-grandfather's nursemaid's husband's future mistress's hat needed adornment.
Hillary Jordan (Mudbound)
When I was six I decided that my only chance of having a life half as exciting as Grandpa Portman’s was to become an explorer. He encouraged me by spending afternoons at my side hunched over maps of the world, plotting imaginary expeditions with trails of red pushpins and telling me about the fantastic places I would discover one day. At home I made my ambitions known by parading around with a cardboard tube held to my eye, shouting, “Land ho!” and “Prepare a landing party!” until my parents shooed me outside. I think they worried that my grandfather would infect me with some incurable dreaminess from which I’d never recover—that these fantasies were somehow inoculating me against more practical ambitions—so one day my mother sat me down and explained that I couldn’t become an explorer because everything in the world had already been discovered. I’d been born in the wrong century, and I felt cheated.
Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1))
People had always amazed him, he began. But they amazed him more since the sickness. For as long as the two of them had been together, he said, Gary’s mother had accepted him as her son’s lover, had given them her blessing. Then, at the funeral, she’d barely acknowledged him. Later, when she drove to the house to retrieve some personal things, she’d hunted through her son’s drawers with plastic bags twist-tied around her wrists. “…And yet,” he whispered, “The janitor at school--remember him? Mr. Feeney? --he’d openly disapproved of me for nineteen years. One of the nastiest people I knew. Then when the news about me got out, after I resigned, he started showing up at the front door every Sunday with a coffee milkshake. In his church clothes, with his wife waiting out in the car. People have sent me hate mail, condoms, Xeroxed prayers…” What made him most anxious, he told me, was not the big questions--the mercilessness of fate, the possibility of heaven. He was too exhausted, he said, to wrestle with those. But he’d become impatient with the way people wasted their lives, squandered their chances like paychecks. I sat on the bed, massaging his temples, pretending that just the right rubbing might draw out the disease. In the mirror I watched us both--Mr. Pucci, frail and wasted, a talking dead man. And myself with the surgical mask over my mouth, to protect him from me. “The irony,” he said, “… is that now that I’m this blind man, it’s clearer to me than it’s ever been before. What’s the line? ‘Was blind but now I see…’” He stopped and put his lips to the plastic straw. Juice went halfway up the shaft, then back down again. He motioned the drink away. “You accused me of being a saint a while back, pal, but you were wrong. Gary and I were no different. We fought…said terrible things to each other. Spent one whole weekend not speaking to each other because of a messed up phone message… That time we separated was my idea. I thought, well, I’m fifty years old and there might be someone else out there. People waste their happiness--That’s what makes me sad. Everyone’s so scared to be happy.” “I know what you mean,” I said. His eyes opened wider. For a second he seemed to see me. “No you don’t,” he said. “You mustn’t. He keeps wanting to give you his love, a gift out and out, and you dismiss it. Shrug it off because you’re afraid.” “I’m not afraid. It’s more like…” I watched myself in the mirror above the sink. The mask was suddenly a gag. I listened. “I’ll give you what I learned from all this,” he said. “Accept what people offer. Drink their milkshakes. Take their love.
Wally Lamb (She's Come Undone)
We also need to recognize that not all stress is bad, that children require challenges and risk as well as safety. It is natural to want to protect our children, but we need to ask ourselves when the desire for risk-free childhoods has gone too far. The safest playground, after all, would have no swings, no steep slides, no rough surfaces, no trees, no other children—and no fun. Children’s brains are shaped by what they do slowly and repeatedly over time. If they don’t have the chance to practice coping with small risks and dealing with the consequences of those choices, they won’t be well prepared for making larger and far more consequential decisions.
Bruce D. Perry (The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook)
I’d decided to keep fighting, keep searching for answers. Because as long as I did that, there would always be a chance my holes would heal. I could have hope. My gaps only became inevitable when I stopped believing they could be filled. Because that’s when I’d sit back and let life pile on the crap. Like she did. As long as I had hope, the good things would stay good. So, no, I’d never be a kick-ass movie heroine. But I was real. And loveable. And for now, that was enough. A Note from the Author Bullying is a unique form of torture.
Aimee L. Salter (Every Ugly Word)
Bob,” she said, “offerings burned in the mortal world appear on this altar, right?” Bob frowned uncomfortably, like he wasn’t ready for a pop quiz. “Yes?” “So what happens if I burn something on the altar here?” “Uh…” “That’s all right,” Annabeth said. “You don’t know. Nobody knows, because it’s never been done.” There was a chance, she thought, just the slimmest chance that an offering burned on this altar might appear at Camp Half-Blood. Doubtful, but if it did work… “Annabeth?” Percy said again. “You’re planning something. You’ve got that I’m-planning-something look.” “I don’t have an I’m-planning-something look.” “Yeah, you totally do. Your eyebrows knit and your lips press together and—” “Do you have a pen?” she asked him. “You’re kidding, right?” He brought out Riptide. “Yes, but can you actually write with it?” “I—I don’t know,” he admitted. “Never tried.” He uncapped the pen. As usual, it sprang into a full-sized sword. Annabeth had watched him do this hundreds of times. Normally when he fought, Percy simply discarded the cap. It always appeared in his pocket later, as needed. When he touched the cap to the point of the sword, it would turn back into a ballpoint pen. “What if you touch the cap to the other end of the sword?” Annabeth said. “Like where you’d put the cap if you were actually going to write with the pen.” “Uh…” Percy looked doubtful, but he touched the cap to the hilt of the sword. Riptide shrank back into a ballpoint pen, but now the writing point was exposed. “May I?” Annabeth plucked it from his hand. She flattened the napkin against the altar and began to write. Riptide’s ink glowed Celestial bronze. “What are you doing?” Percy asked. “Sending a message,” Annabeth said. “I just hope Rachel gets it.” “Rachel?” Percy asked. “You mean our Rachel? Oracle of Delphi Rachel?” “That’s the one.” Annabeth suppressed a smile. Whenever she brought up Rachel’s name, Percy got nervous. At one point, Rachel had been interested in dating Percy. That was ancient history. Rachel and Annabeth were good friends now. But Annabeth didn’t mind making Percy a little uneasy. You had to keep your boyfriend on his toes. Annabeth finished her note and folded the napkin. On the outside, she wrote: Connor, Give this to Rachel. Not a prank. Don’t be a moron. Love, Annabeth She took a deep breath. She was asking Rachel Dare to do something ridiculously dangerous, but it was the only way she could think of to communicate with the Romans—the only way that might avoid bloodshed. “Now I just need to burn it,” she said. “Anybody got a match?” The point of Bob’s spear shot from his broom handle. It sparked against the altar and erupted in silvery fire. “Uh, thanks.” Annabeth lit the napkin and set it on the altar. She watched it crumble to ash and wondered if she was crazy. Could the smoke really make it out of Tartarus? “We should go now,” Bob advised. “Really, really go. Before we are killed.” Annabeth stared at the wall of blackness in front of them. Somewhere in there was a lady who dispensed a Death Mist that might hide them from monsters—a plan recommended by a Titan, one of their bitterest enemies. Another dose of weirdness to explode her brain. “Right,” she said. “I’m ready.” ANNABETH LITERALLY STUMBLED over the second Titan.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
Edward looks wistfully at Mat, and while the girls are pretty, Nancy particularly, it is Mat who thinks about the most, because he wished he'd been more like Mat when he was young. If he'd been more like Mat, more confident, maybe he wouldn’t have missed his chances in life, chances that sometimes only came along once. Sometimes there are single moments, he thinks, where your path divides, your life can go one way, so very different from another. Work out well, rather than be a failure. And if you miss those chances, he thinks, well, is that it?
Marcus Sedgwick (Midwinterblood)
Fuck, he couldn’t. But Brandon knew that he’d never forgive himself if he didn’t do everything in his power. Even if it failed, he had to try. It had to be worth it. “Jeff.” He swallowed his fear. “You asked me today if this relationship I’m in was the one…well it is. And the chick I’ve been seeing, the one from San Diego, she ain’t no gal. I can’t lose Nicky. I’m going to lose him. I got nothing if you don’t help.
James Buchanan (Cheating Chance (Taking the Odds, #1))
Smiling, she reached for the book. “I’d be happy to show it to you. It’s one of Arthur’s favorites.” Oh, what wicked fun. She was taunting him without mercy now, she realized, but his reaction was so entertaining— almost adorable —that she couldn’t help herself. When he said nothing, she plucked the book from his hands and flipped it to page forty, revealing a couple in a pose so erotic that even she raised a brow when she saw it again. She stepped closer, turning the book toward him as she tapped the illustration. “This is the one.” As he peered down at the picture, his eyes widened a fraction. She suppressed a grin as she sensed this very staid and proper vicar’s inability to look away, ensnared by his own carnal instincts. He examined the image for several seconds and then lifted his eyes to hers. Something unexpected— something primal — flashed in his expression then, and her knees wobbled and nearly buckled under the intensity of his gaze as it smoldered and bored into her soul. He gently tugged at the book, removing it from her grip, and in so doing, inadvertently brushed her fingers with his own. She wanted to pull away from him, but so help her, she could not break the contact, and suddenly, the tables turned. Suddenly, this was no longer her little game, her amusing trifle. Suddenly, it was very real. All humor vanished as she realized the joke was now very much on her.
Anna Durbin (King of Wands)
Has anyone ever owned your body? Because that's how it would be between us." He bit her earlobe and sucked it into his mouth, savoring her taste, her scent, before continuing, "If you were mine, it would appear to the world as if you had a normal life, you might even feel as if your days were your own. But that would be an illusion; it wouldn't be just fucking with you and me. If you ever made the mistake of sleeping with me, it wouldn't be just sex. So, I'm warning you now. I'd own you. I'd own your body; I'd own your orgasms. I'd strip you naked, spread you wide and play with your body to my satisfaction before I'd ever let you experience release. Don't get me wrong, you wouldn't ever want to get away from me, but sweetheart, your life as you know it would be over. So before you ever let me sweet talk you into bed, understand that I'm just a little bit insane when it comes to you. It's the reason I've never put a move on you before, and it's the reason I'm going to let you slip away untouched tonight. I'm going to try my fucking best to stay away from you, but I don't know how long I'll be able to manage it. So if I come at you sometime in the future lying through my teeth and telling you it'll only be for fun, don't you fucking believe me.
Lynda Chance (Rule's Obsession (The House of Rule, #1))
What Ye disliked most was seeing the waves that slowly crawled across the display, a visual record of the meaningless noise Red Coast picked up from space. Ye felt this interminable wave was an abstract view of the universe: one end connected to the endless past, the other to the endless future, and in the middle only the ups and downs of random chance—without life, without pattern, the peaks and valleys at different heights like uneven grains of sand, the whole curve like a one-dimensional desert made of all the grains of sand lined up in a row, lonely, desolate, so long that it was intolerable. You could follow it and go forward or backward as long as you liked, but you’d never find the end. On
Liu Cixin (The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #1))
Double Indemnity, Gaslight, Saboteur, The Big Clock . . . We lived in monochrome those nights. For me, it was a chance to revisit old friends; for Ed, it was an opportunity to make new ones. And we’d make lists. The Thin Man franchise, ranked from best (the original) to worst (Song of the Thin Man). Top movies from the bumper crop of 1944. Joseph Cotten’s finest moments. I can do lists on my own, of course. For instance: best Hitchcock films not made by Hitchcock. Here we go: Le Boucher, the early Claude Chabrol that Hitch, according to lore, wished he’d directed. Dark Passage, with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall—a San Francisco valentine, all velveteen with fog, and antecedent to any movie in which a character goes under the knife to disguise himself. Niagara, starring Marilyn Monroe; Charade, starring Audrey Hepburn; Sudden Fear!, starring Joan Crawford’s eyebrows. Wait Until Dark: Hepburn again, a blind woman stranded in her basement apartment. I’d go berserk in a basement apartment.
A.J. Finn (The Woman in the Window)
Helen of Troy Does Counter Dancing The world is full of women who'd tell me I should be ashamed of myself if they had the chance. Quit dancing. Get some self-respect and a day job. Right. And minimum wage, and varicose veins, just standing in one place for eight hours behind a glass counter bundled up to the neck, instead of naked as a meat sandwich. Selling gloves, or something. Instead of what I do sell. You have to have talent to peddle a thing so nebulous and without material form. Exploited, they'd say. Yes, any way you cut it, but I've a choice of how, and I'll take the money. I do give value. Like preachers, I sell vision, like perfume ads, desire or its facsimile. Like jokes or war, it's all in the timing. I sell men back their worst suspicions: that everything's for sale, and piecemeal. They gaze at me and see a chain-saw murder just before it happens, when thigh, ass, inkblot, crevice, tit, and nipple are still connected. Such hatred leaps in them, my beery worshipers! That, or a bleary hopeless love. Seeing the rows of heads and upturned eyes, imploring but ready to snap at my ankles, I understand floods and earthquakes, and the urge to step on ants. I keep the beat, and dance for them because they can't. The music smells like foxes, crisp as heated metal searing the nostrils or humid as August, hazy and languorous as a looted city the day after, when all the rape's been done already, and the killing, and the survivors wander around looking for garbage to eat, and there's only a bleak exhaustion. Speaking of which, it's the smiling tires me out the most. This, and the pretense that I can't hear them. And I can't, because I'm after all a foreigner to them. The speech here is all warty gutturals, obvious as a slam of ham, but I come from the province of the gods where meaning are lilting and oblique. I don't let on to everyone, but lean close, and I'll whisper: My mothers was raped by a holy swan. You believe that? You can take me out to dinner. That's what we tell all the husbands. There sure are a lot of dangerous birds around. Not that anyone here but you would understand. The rest of them would like to watch me and feel nothing. Reduce me to components as in a clock factory or abattoir. Crush out the mystery. Wall me up alive in my own body. They'd like to see through me, but nothing is more opaque than absolute transparency. Look - my feet don't hit the marble! Like breath or a balloon, I'm rising, I hover six inches in the air in my blazing swan-egg of light. You think I'm not a goddess? Try me. This is a torch song. Touch me and you'll burn.
Margaret Atwood (Morning in the Burned House)
But the main reason was that waking her would’ve meant telling her good-bye, and telling someone good-bye when you’re planning on walking into hell would’ve felt kind of…final. It was the same reason I hadn’t gone into the hut to find Mom, and why I’d skirted around Archer’s tent. I’d been nearly to the shore when I’d heard him softly call, “Mercer.” Kneeling in the doorway of his tent, his hair a mess, his Hex Hall uniform ridiculously wrinkled, he’d nearly broken my heart. And when I ran to him as soundlessly as I could and practically dove on top of him, I’d told myself that our kiss was just your normal boyfriend/girlfriend saying good morning thing. Even when he pulled me inside, the tent warm and cozy and smelling like him, I hadn’t let myself think that might be the last time I’d see him. And when he’d pulled me closer and murmured, “Mercer, I love-“ I had covered his mouth with my hand. “Don’t say that. Not now. Say it sometime when there is absolutely no chance of death on the horizon, okay?” He mumbled something beneath my palm, and I rolled my eyes as I pulled it away from his mouth. He dropped a kiss on the tip of my nose. “All I was going to say was that I love this tent you made for me. But I guess I can tell you again later. When you get back.” Curling my hand around the back of his neck, I’d pulled him down to me. “You better.” A blush creeping up my neck from the memory, I swung my gaze away from his tent and back toward the lake. I was coming back. I was going to be fine, and getting down into the Underworld to collect demonglass wouldn’t be hard at all. Maybe I’d make it back before lunch. Of course, I couldn’t make it back if I never left.
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
serves as prevention. Gives physical healing in the body. No matter what name is given to any problem; it will be solved, when the Blood of Jesus is brought in. If you keep pleading the Blood of Jesus, no matter how terrible an infirmity is, it will disappear by the power in the Blood of Jesus. If your life is pure and you lay your hands on any sickness, pleading the Blood of Jesus, it will vanish. You might wonder if it is really as simple as that but that is the Power in the Blood of Jesus. The Power in pleading the Blood of Jesus is yet to be understood by Man. Some people criticise those pleading the Blood of Jesus. It is because they have not passed through the valley, so they cannot know what it means. Someone who has never been tortured by a terminal disease cannot know what it means to be threatened by death, so he or she cannot understand why a cancer patient is praying fervently for healing, or why the person is jubilating after he or she has been miraculously healed. The preachers, who discourage people from praying fire prayers or pleading the Blood of Jesus, do so, because they have not experienced such things. The Blood of Jesus cannot dry up; neither can it lose its power. Therefore you can plead it a million times, if you want to. The more you plead the Blood of Jesus, the more the chance of totally submerging the disease, in the pool of the Blood
D.K. Olukoya (Praying by the Blood of Jesus)
Knock it off,Finn!" I tried to pull my arm from him, but physically he was still stronger than me. "Loki is right. You are my tracker. You need to stop dragging me around and telling me what to do." "Loki?" Finn stopped so he could glare suspiciously at me. "You're on a first-name basis with the Vittra prisoner who kidnapped you? And you're lecturing me on propriety?" "I'm not lecturing you on anything!" I shouted, and I finally got my arm free from him. "But if I were to lecture you, it would be about how you're being such a jerk." "Hey,maybe you should just calm-" Duncan tried to interject. He'd been standing a few feet away from us, looking sheepish and worried. "Duncan,don't you dare tell me how to do my job!" Finn stabbed a finger at him. "You are the most useless, incompetent tracker I have ever met, and first chance I get,I'm going to recommend that the Queen dismiss you. And trust me, I'm doing you a favor. She should have you banished!" Duncan's entire face crumpled, and for a horrible moment I was certain he would cry. Instead,he just gaped at us, then lowered his eyes and nodded. "Finn!" I yelled, wanting to slap him. "Duncan did nothing wrong!" Duncan turned to walk away, and I tried to stop him. "Duncan,no. You don't need to go anywhere." He kept walking, and I didn't go after him. Maybe I should have,but I wanted to yell at Finn some more. "He repeatedly left you alone with the Vittra!" Finn shouted. "I know you have a death wish, but it's Duncan's job to prevent you from acting on it." "I am finding out more about the Vittra so I can stop this ridiculous fighting!" I shot back. "So I've been interviewing a prisoner. It's not that unusual,and I've been perfectly safe." "Oh,yeah, 'interviewing,'" Finn scoffed. "You were flirting with him." "Flirting?" I repeated and rolled my eyes. "You're being a dick because you think I was flirting? I wasn't, but even if I was,that doesn't give you the right to treat me or Duncan or anybody this way." "I'm not being a dick," Finn insisted. "I am doing my job, and fraternizing with the enemy is looked down on, Princess. If he doesn't hurt you, the Vittra or Trylle will." "We were only talking,Finn!" "I saw you,Wendy," Finn snapped. "You were flirting. You even wore your hair down when you snuck off to see him." "My hair?" I touched it. "I wore it down because I had a headache from training, and I wasn't sneaking. I was...No,you know what? I don't have to explain anything to you. I didn't do anything wrong, and I don't have to answer to you." "Princess-" "No,I don't want to hear it!" I shook my head. "I really don't want to do this right now.Just go away,Finn!
Amanda Hocking (Torn (Trylle, #2))
He doesn’t like Emma and Rachel making plans together. Not because he thinks they’re being devious, but because he doesn’t like feeling left out. Not to mention that when Emma is making plans without him, they’re usually reckless. The only reason she’d keep a secret from him is if she was doing something he didn’t approve of, or didn’t want him to interfere with. After all, her motto is “Better to ask for forgiveness than permission.” Galen despises that motto. “I cleared out the sporting goods store this morning,” Rachel says. “I took what was on the shelf and made them cough up their stock in the back.” Galen tenses up. Emma laughs. “Don’t be jealous, Highness. Rachel still loves you more than she loves me.” “Aww! You guys are fighting over me?” Rachel says, pinching Galen’s cheek. “That’s so adorable.” “I’m not jealous,” he says, trying not to sound pouty. “I just don’t know why we would need life jackets.” “We don’t,” Emma says, wriggling around on his lap so she can face him. Secretly, he’s delighted. “But humans do. And if my job is keeping the humans safe, then I should be prepared, right?” But Galen is too distracted by the close proximity of her mouth to be bothered with the words coming out of it. She must recognize it, because she leans forward as if giving him a chance to make good on his craving. It’s all the invitation he needs. He captures her mouth with his. Life jackets, islands, and airports are forgotten. The only thing that exists is her lips on his, her body pressed into his. Suddenly the creaky office chair is transformed into their own little world. “Uh, I’m just going to get more wine,” Rachel says. He didn’t mean to make her uncomfortable enough to leave. Not good. The last thing we need is privacy and free rein to do as we please. He tries to end it, to pull away, but Emma won’t have it. And it’s difficult for him not to indulge her.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
She’d worried, after Asterin and Vesta had left them aboard the ship they’d sailed here, that she might have made a mistake in choosing to travel with three immortal males. That she’d be trampled underfoot. But Gavriel had been kind from the start, making sure Elide ate enough and had blankets on frigid nights, teaching her to ride the horses they’d spent precious coin to purchase because Elide wouldn’t stand a chance of keeping up with them on foot, ankle or no. And for the times when they had to lead their horses over rough terrain, Gavriel had even braced her leg with his magic, his power a warm summer breeze against her skin.
Sarah J. Maas (Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7))
You’ve given up on yourself before anyone else has a chance to.” Silence greeted me. I could feel Rider’s stare on me. Several moments passed. “That’s bullshit, and kind of priceless coming from you. You gave up on me yesterday.” I started to defend myself, but I couldn’t. I swallowed hard. “I know. You’re right about that, but I’m also right.” “And how’s that?” Challenge hardened his tone. “Because I give up on myself on a daily basis,” I admitted. My cheeks heated but I continued. “I know.” He sucked in an audible breath. “Mallory...” I shook my head as I thought about all the conflicting emotions and needs and wants. “It’s true. It’s what I do. I don’t mean to. Or maybe I do. It’s...it’s easier being scared of everything.” “How...how can that be?” His voice softened. “How can that be easier?” My smile was faint. Suddenly, I really wished I was at home, with my head under the blankets. “You can’t fail when you don’t really try, right? You’d know that.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (The Problem with Forever)
If he wasn't angry, he certainly did a good imitation. His voice was clipped and as hard as stone. She wrung her hands together. "I love you. Clay." "No, you don't." Meg felt as though he'd just slapped her. "Yes, I do. When you leave this town, I'll go with you." Narrowing his eyes, he studied her. "Will you marry me?" "Yes." "Will you give me children?" "If I can. Kirk and I were never able to conceive, but if I can have children, I want to have yours." "In this town that we move to, wherever it is, will you walk down the street with me?" "Of course." "Holding my hand?" "Yes." "And the hands of my children?" "Yes." He unfolded his arms and took a step toward her. She wanted to fling herself into his embrace, but something hard in his eyes stopped her. "And what happens, Mrs. Warner, when someone you know rides through town and points at me and calls me a yellow-bellied coward? What will you do then? Will you let go of my hand and take my children to the other side of the street? Will you pretend that you haven't kissed me, that you haven't lain with me beneath the stars?" With disgust marring his features, he turned away. "You think I'm a coward. Go home." "I don't think that. I love you." He spun around. "You don't believe in that love, you don't believe in me." "Yes, I do." He stalked toward her. She backed into the corner and bent her head to meet his infuriated gaze. "How strongly do you believe in our love?" he asked, his voice ominously low. "If they threatened to strip off your clothes unless you denied our love, would you deny our love?" He gave her no chance to respond, but continued on, his voice growing deeper and more ragged, as though he were dredging up events from the past. "If they wouldn't let you sleep until you denied our love, would you deny our love so you could lay your head on a pillow? "If they stabbed a bayonet into your backside every time your eyes drifted closed, would you deny our love so your flesh wouldn't be pierced? "If they applied a hot brand to your flesh until you screamed in agony, would you deny our love so they'd take away the iron? "If they placed you before a firing squad, would you say you didn't love me so they wouldn't shoot you?" He stepped back and plowed his hands through his hair. "You think I'm a coward. You don't think I have the courage to stand beside you and risk the anger of your father. I'd die before I turned away from anyone or anything I believed in. You won't even walk by my side." He looked the way she imagined soldiers who had lost a battle probably looked: weary, tired of the fight, disillusioned. "You don't believe in me," he said quietly. "How can you believe in our love?
Lorraine Heath (Always to Remember)
Electricity poured though him like liquid agony, setting every nerve on fire. His body arched, his muscles going into spams, a cry tearing itself from between clenched teeth. Then Quintana stepped back, leaving Zach shaking, breathless, wanting to puke. Strangely, he found the pain easier to bear now than he had two weeks before. Perhaps it was just that he'd been through this before. Or perhaps it was the fact that his pain was buying time for the woman he loved. Why hadn't he told her? Why hadn't he told Natalie he loved her when he'd had the chance? It would've taken only a few seconds. What the hell had he been afraid of? And all at once it hit him- regret as deep and wide as the ocean. Natalie. If he died today, she would never know what she meant to him. If he died, he would never even get a shot at building a life with her, of knowing what it was like to come home every night and find someone waiting for him. Hell, he wouldn't even know whether he'd gotten her pregnant. Then don't die, McBride. Zach looked into the eyes of the man who was going to kill him. I love you, Natalie. I'm sorry I didn't tell you. Forgive me.
Pamela Clare (Breaking Point (I-Team, #5))
As I went to stand up, I felt a tiny point of pressure on my back. "Don't move," Kasey whispered. I stayed bent over. "Drop the knife," she said. "Excuse me, I'm using it," I said. She swallowed hard. "For what?" "Mom and Dad. You." The pressure on my back increased. "Drop it, Alexis." Drop it? Like I was a bad dog running around with a sock in my mouth. "How long will this take?" I asked, setting the knife on the floor. "I'm in the middle of something." Get in the bathroom," she said. The faster I indulged her, the faster it would be over with. So I walked into the bathroom. She followed, kicking the knife toward the end of the hallway and flipping on the bathroom light. "What's this all about, Kasey?" I asked, turning around. At the sight of my face, she gasped, and the point of the fireplace poker she was holding wavered in her hands. I realized a second too late that I'd missed my chance to grab it and smash it into the side of her head. "What's happening to you?" she whispered. I glanced in the mirror. The darkness had begun to spread from my mouth and eyes. It leached out in inky puddles with thin tendrils of black snaking out in delicate feathery patterns. What's happening to me? What was she talking about? "So you have a pointy stick," I said. "Big deal. get out of my way." "What are you going to do?" I sneered. "Poke me?" 'I'll hit you, Lexi." Her face was stony. "As hard as I have to." Whatever. I'm really not in the mood. "Can we talk about this in the morning?" I asked. After I kill you? "No," her eyes hardened. "Get your toothbrush." "What?" "Pick up your toothbrush, and stick it down your throat." "Kasey-" "Do it," she said. "Ugh, fine. You're sick, you know that?" "Get in the tub." "Happy?" I stuck the toothbrush into my throat. Instantly, I gagged and doubled over. "Do it again," she said. "God Kasey," I cried. Stabbing people was one thing. But making them barf- that was just disturbing.
Katie Alender (From Bad to Cursed (Bad Girls Don't Die, #2))
I thought I should call a matchmaker. For me, this seemed like a radical step. It never occurred to me to hire a matchmaker when I was younger because I always believed I'd meet a man on my own. He'd be sitting next to me on an airplane, waiting in line behind me at the dry cleaner, working in the same office attending the same party, hanging out at the same coffeehouse. It seemed ridiculous now, when I thought about the odds of this happening. After all, we don't subject other important aspects of out lives to pure chance. When you want to get a job you don't just hang out in the lobbies of office buildings, hoping an employer will strike up a conversation with you. When you want to buy a house, you don't walk aimlessly from neighborhood to neighborhood on your own, hoping to spot a house that happens to be for sale, matches your personal taste and contains the appropriate number of bedrooms and bathrooms. That's too random. If that's your only method of house hunting, you might end up homeless. So you hire a real estate broker to show you the potential homes that meet your needs. By the same token, why not hire a matchmaker to show you potential partners?
Lori Gottlieb (Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough)
What made him most anxious, he told me, was not the big questions -the mercilessness of fate, the possibility of heaven. He was too exhausted, he said, to wrestle with those. But he'd become impatient with the way people wasted their lives, squandered their chances like paychecks. I sat on the bed, massaging his temples, pretending that just the right rubbing might draw out the disease. In the mirror I watched us both -Mr. Pucci, frail and wasted, a talking dead man. And myself with a surgical mask over my mouth, to protect him from me. "The irony," he said, "... is that now that I'm this blind man, it's clearer to me now then it's ever been before. What's the line? 'Was blind but now I see...' " He stopped and put his lips to the plastic straw. Juice went halfway up the shaft, then back down again. He motioned the drink away. "You accused me of being a saint a while back, pal, but you were wrong. Gary and I were no different. We fought ...said terrible things to each other. Spent one whole weekend not speaking to each other because of a messed-up phone message... That time we separated was my idea. I thought, well, I'm fifty years old and there might be someone else out there. People waste their happiness -that's what makes me sad. Everyone's so scared to be happy." "I know what you mean," I said. His eyes opened wider. For a second he seemed to see me. "No you don't," he said. "You mustn’t. He keeps wanting to give you his love, a gift out and out and you dismiss it. Shrug it off because you're afraid." "I'm not afraid. It's more like ..." I watched myself in the mirror above the sink. The mask was suddenly a gag. I listened. "l'll give you what I learned from all this," he said. "Accept what people offer. Drink their milkshakes. Take their love.
Wally Lamb (She's Come Undone)
Jace," said Simon as Jace watched Clary and smiled. Jace glanced at him and looked annoyed. "Remember when you told me that you wished I could remember?" "Why are you asking me if I remember things?" Jace asked, sounding definitely annoyed. "I'm not the one who has problems with remembering. Remember?" "I just wondered what you meant by that." Simon waited, giving Jace a chance to take advantage of his demon amnesia and tell him another fake secret. Instead, Jace looked incredibly uncomfortable. "Nothing," he said. "What would I mean? Nothing." "Did you just mean you wanted me to remember the past generally?" Simon asked. "So I'd remember all the adventures we had and the manly bonds we formed together?" Jace continued to make an uncomfortable face. Simon remembered Alec saying Jace was so upset. "Wait, was that actually it?" Simon asked incredulously. "Did you miss me?" "Obviously not!" snapped Jace. "I would never miss you. I, um, was talking about something specific." "Okay. So, what specific thing did you want me to recall?" Simon asked. He eyed Jace suspiciously. "Was it the biting?" "No!" said Jace. "Was that a special moment for you?" Simon asked. "One that you wanted me to remember that we shared?" "Remember this moment," said Jace. "At the very next opportunity that offers, I am going to leave you to die at the bottom of an evil boat. I want you to remember why." Simon smiled to himself. "No, you won't. You would never leave me to die at the bottom of an evil boat," he muttered as Alec strolled over to the slanted sofa and Jace looked outraged by what he was hearing.
Cassandra Clare (Born to Endless Night (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, #9))
True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance. 'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence, The sound must seem an echo to the sense. Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows, And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows; But when loud surges lash the sounding shore, The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar. When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw, The line too labours, and the words move slow; Not so, when swift Camilla scours the plain, Flies o'er th' unbending corn, and skims along the main. Hear how Timotheus' varied lays surprise, And bid alternate passions fall and rise! While, at each change, the son of Libyan Jove Now burns with glory, and then melts with love; Now his fierce eyes with sparkling fury glow, Now sighs steal out, and tears begin to flow: Persians and Greeks like turns of nature found, And the world's victor stood subdu'd by sound! The pow'r of music all our hearts allow, And what Timotheus was, is Dryden now.
Alexander Pope (An Essay On Criticism)
...They'd be amazed to hear that Chance has been toying with them now for years. Not quite ready yet To become their Destiny, it pushed them close, drove them apart, it barred their path, stifling a laugh, and then leaped aside. There were signs and signals, Even if they couldn't read them yet. Perhaps three years ago or just last Tuesday a certain leaf fluttered from one shoulder to another? Something was dropped and then picked up. Who knows, maybe the ball that vanished into childhood's thicket? There were doorknobs and doorbells where one touch had covered another beforehand. Suitcases checked and standing side by side. One night, perhaps, the same dream, grown hazy by morning. Every beginning Is only a sequel, after all, and the book of events is always open halfway through.
Wisława Szymborska
10 facts about abusive relationships (what i wish i'd known) 1. it's not always loud. it's not always obvious. the poison doesn't always hit you like a gunshot. sometimes, it seeps in quietly, slowly. sometimes, you don't even know it was ever there until months after. 2. love is not draining. love is not tiring. this is not how it is supposed to be. 3. apologies are like band-aids, when what you really need is stitches– they don't actually fix anything long-term. soon enough, you'll be bleeding again, but they will never give you what you really need. 4. this is not your fault. you did not turn them into this. this is how they are, how they've always been. you can't blame yourself. 5. there will be less good days than bad days but the good days will be so amazing that it will feel like everything is better than it actually is. your mind is playing tricks on itself and your heart is trying to convince itself that it made the right choice. 6. they do not love you. they can not love you. this is not love. 7. you're not wrong for wanting to run, so do it. listen to what your gut is telling you. 8. you will let them come back again and again before you realize that they only change long enough for you to let them in one more time. 9. it's okay to be selfish and leave. there is never any crime in putting yourself first. when they tell you otherwise, don't believe them. don't let them tear you down. they want to knock you off your feet so that they can keep you on the ground. 10. after, you will look back on this regretting all the chances given, all the time wasted. you will think about what you know now, and what you would do differently if given the chance. part of you will say that you would never have even given them the time of the day, but another part of you, the larger one, will say that even after everything, you wouldn't have changed a thing. and as much as it will bother you, eventually, you will realize that that is the part that is right. because as much as it hurts, as much as you wish you'd never felt that pain, it has taught you something. it has helped you grow. they brought you something that you would have never gotten from somebody else. at the end of the day, you will accept that even now, you wouldn't go about it differently at all.
Catarine Hancock (how the words come)
And I couldn't take my eyes off Pete. He ate dinner like he always did, in three or four huge, whoofing bites, before heading back out front to his cone of warmth, his coffee, his cigarettes, and ghostly tunes piping from his little transistor radio. And most important, to whatever thoughts drowned out the voices of his own family saying "hello" and "happy holidays." I watched him because I couldn't believe that could be anyone's comfortable horizon. A tiny porch on a dark corner near a highway. We lucked out living on a planet made thrilling by billions of years of chance, catastrophe, miracles, and disaster, and he'd rejected it. You're offered the world every morning when you open your eyes. I was beginning to see Pete as a representative of all the people who shut that out, through cynicism, religion, fear, greed, or ritual.
Patton Oswalt (Zombie Spaceship Wasteland)
My Last Duchess That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall, Looking as if she were alive. I call That piece a wonder, now: Fra Pandolf’s hands Worked busily a day, and there she stands. Will’t please you sit and look at her? I said “Fra Pandolf” by design, for never read Strangers like you that pictured countenance, The depth and passion of its earnest glance, But to myself they turned (since none puts by The curtain I have drawn for you, but I) And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst, How such a glance came there; so, not the first Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, ’twas not Her husband’s presence only, called that spot Of joy into the Duchess’ cheek: perhaps Fra Pandolf chanced to say “Her mantle laps Over my lady’s wrist too much,” or “Paint Must never hope to reproduce the faint Half-flush that dies along her throat”: such stuff Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough For calling up that spot of joy. She had A heart—how shall I say?—too soon made glad, Too easily impressed; she liked whate’er She looked on, and her looks went everywhere. Sir, ’twas all one! My favour at her breast, The dropping of the daylight in the West, The bough of cherries some officious fool Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule She rode with round the terrace—all and each Would draw from her alike the approving speech, Or blush, at least. She thanked men,—good! but thanked Somehow—I know not how—as if she ranked My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name With anybody’s gift. Who’d stoop to blame This sort of trifling? Even had you skill In speech—(which I have not)—to make your will Quite clear to such an one, and say, “Just this Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss, Or there exceed the mark”—and if she let Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse, —E’en then would be some stooping; and I choose Never to stoop. Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt, Whene’er I passed her; but who passed without Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands As if alive. Will’t please you rise? We’ll meet The company below, then. I repeat, The Count your master’s known munificence Is ample warrant that no just pretence Of mine for dowry will be disallowed; Though his fair daughter’s self, as I avowed At starting, is my object. Nay, we’ll go Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though, Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity, Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!
Robert Browning (My Last Duchess and Other Poems)
하이햄프"텔레+위커:HighHemp,"Here is a very unique individual; one that people don't, and can't, understand. And so they berade him; call him names; refer to him as "wacko." They cannot fathom even the remote possibility that all of this is true: a man of such pure God-given innocence; in possession of such an awesome gift; one that lies beyond our wildest hopes, dreams and imaginations. A power that can make the homeless smile; give the bed-ridden hope; cause the cancer-stricken to laugh; and bring joy to the developmentally disabled. Did it ever occur to you that he was not molesting children? Did it ever occur to you that he has donated of well over $100 million to charity is out of pure Godly love and not some strange twisted sexual desire? He visited hospitals everywhere he went, showered disadvantaged kids with toys and helped provide the homeless with blankets and pillows. He is listed in Guinness as having donated to the most charities. He donated all of the profits from his Dangerous world tour to charity. He opened up Neverland to charity groups, schools around the area, the disadvantaged, bed-ridden, disabled and dying. He held an annual Halloween open house at the ranch. And he paid for funerals. Within the ranch, there was special rooms for cancer patients, mechanical hospital beds for the bed-ridden etc. I would like to think as a society, we can accept people who are different; that as human beings, we are open to unique opportunities and experiences, and are willing to give them a chance. Without automatically pronouncing them de-ranged freaks. Without berading them. I'd like to think that, as whole human beings, we are able to look past the outer shell. To be open to different possibilities. And to put logic above idiocy. 텔레그램 혹은 위커메신저 아이디: HighHemp 텔레그램 혹은 위커메신저 아이디: HighHemp 텔레그램 혹은 위커메신저 아이디: HighHemp 텔레그램 혹은 위커메신저 아이디: HighHemp 텔레그램 혹은 위커메신저 아이디: HighHemp
"하이햄프"텔레+위커:HighHemp,"Here is a very unique individual
Except for the giant sword in his hand. "Is that really necessary?" I asked when I walked in, noting that his dagger was also hanging off his belt. His head jerked up, and I thought he might have been relieved to see me. But then he turned back to the Itineris, crouching down to pull something out of a black duffel bag at his feet. "Never hurts to be prepared," he said. "It just seems like overkill when you already have a dagger and I have supernatural magic at my disposal." "'Superpowerful?'" He stood up, a gold chain dangling from his fingers. "let me remind you of two words, Mercer: Bad. Dog." I rolled my eyes. "That was nearly a year ago. I'm way better now." "Yeah,well,I'm not taking any chances," he said. For the first time, I noticed there was some sort of holster thing on his back. He slid the sword into it so the hilt rose over his shoulders. "Besides," he added, "I thought you might not come. After what happened the other night..." he paused, studying my face. "Are you all right?" "I will be when people stop asking me that." "You know I had nothing to do with that, right?" "Yeah," I replied. "And if you did have something to do with it, I will vaporize you where you stand." The corner of his mouth quirked. "Good to know." He closed the distance between us, coming to stand entirely too close to me. "What are you doing?" I asked, hoping I didn't sound as breathless as I felt. He lifted his hands, and with surprising gentleness, placed the chain around both our necks. Looking down at it, I saw that the links were actually tiny figures holding hands. I'd seen it somewhere before. "This is the necklace one of the angels is wearing in the window at Hex Hall." "It is indeed." Reaching down to take my hands, he explained, "It's also a very powerful protection charm, which we're going to need." I swallowed as we laced our fingers and stepped closer to the Itineris. "Why?" "Because we're going a very long way." I involuntarily squeezed his fingers with mine. The last time I'd traveled through the Itineris, I'd only gone a few hundred miles, and that had made my head nearly explode. "Where are we going?" I asked. "Graymalkin Island," he answered. And then he yanked me into the doorway.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
This was not going the way I wanted it to. I felt a desperate need to escape before I said something that would screw up my plans. Ren was the dark side, the forbidden fruit, my personal Delilah-the ultimate temptation. The question was…could I resist? I gave his knee a friendly pat and played my trump card…”I’m leaving.” “You’re what?” “I’m going home to Oregon. Mr. Kadam thinks it will be safer for me anyway, with Lokesh out there looking to kill us and all. Besides, you need time to figure out…stuff.” “If you’re leaving, then I’m going with you!” I smiled at him wryly. “That kind of defeats the purpose of me leaving. Don’t you think?” He slicked back his hair, let out a deep breath, then took my hand and looked intently into my eyes. “Kells, when are you going to accept the fact that we belong together?” I felt sick, like I was kicking a faithful puppy who only wanted to be loved. I looked out at the pool. After a moment, he sat back scowling and said menacingly, “I won’t let you leave.” Inside, I desperately wanted to take his hand and beg him to forgive me, to love me, but I steeled myself, dropped my hands in my lap, then implored, “Ren, please. You have to let me go. I need…I’m afraid…look, I just can’t be here, near you, when you change your mind.” “It’s not going to happen.” “it might. There’s a good chance.” He growled angrily. “There’s no chance!” “Well, my heart can’t take that risk, and I don’t want to put you in what can only be an awkward position. I’m sorry, Ren. I really am. I do want to be your friend, but I understand if you don’t want that. Of course, I’ll return when you need me, if you need me, to help you find the other three gifts. I wouldn’t abandon you or Kishan in that way. I just can’t stay here with you feeling obligated to pity-date me because you need me. But I’d never abandon your cause. I’ll always be there for you both, no matter what.” He spat out, “Pity-date! You? Kelsey, you can’t be serious!” “I am. Very, very serious. I’ll ask Mr. Kadam to make arrangements to send me back in the next few days.” He didn’t say another word. He just sat back in his chair. I could tell he was fuming mad, but I felt that, after a week or two, when he started getting back out in the world, he would come to appreciate my gesture. I looked away from him. “I’m very tired now. I’d like to go to bed.” I got up and headed to my room. Before I closed the sliding door, I asked, “Can I make one last request?” He sat there tight-lipped, his arms folded over his chest, with a tense, angry face. I sighed. Even infuriated he was beautiful. He said nothing so I went on, “It would be a lot easier on me if I didn’t see you, I mean as a man. I’ll try to avoid most of the house. It is yours after all, so I’ll stay in my room. If you see Mr. Kadam, please tell him I’d like to speak with him.” He didn’t respond. “Well, good-bye, Ren. Take care of yourself.” I tore my eyes away from him, shut the door, and drew the curtains. Take care of yourself? That was a lame goodbye. Tears welled in my eyes and blurred my vision. I was proud that I’d gotten through it without showing emotion. But, now, I felt like a steamroller had come along and flattened me.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
You'll stay," he said firmly. "But-" He crossed his arms. "Do I look like a man in the mood to be argued with?" She stared at him mutinously. "If you run," he warned, "I will catch you." Sophie eyed the distance between them, then tried to judge the distance back to My Cottage.If he stopped to pull on his clothing she might have a chance of escaping, but if he didn't... "Sophie," he said, "I can practically see the steam coming out of your ears. Stop taxing your brain with useless mathematical computations and do as I asked." One of her feet twitched. Whether it was itching to run home or merely turn around, she'd never know. "Now," he ordered. With a loud sigh and grumble, Sophie crossed her arms and turned around to stare at a knothole in the tree trunk in front of her as if her very life depended on it The inferal man wasn't being particularly quiet as he went about his business, and she couldn't seem to keep herself from listening to and trying to identify every sound that rustled and splashed behind her.Now he was emerging from the water, now he was reaching for his breeches, now he was... It was no use.She had a dreadfully wicked imagination, and there was no getting around it. He should have just let her return to the house. Instead she was forced to wait, utterly mortified, while he dressed. Her skin felt like it was on fire, and she was certain her cheeks must be eight different shades of red. A gentleman would have let her weasle out of her embarrassment and hole up in her room back at the house for at least three days in hopes that he'd just forget about the entire affair.
Julia Quinn (An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons, #3))
1. Success is a choice. -Rick Pitino 2. Success in life comes not from holding a good hand, but in playing a poor hand well. -Warren Lester 3. I shall tell you a great secret, my friend. Do not wait for the last judgment; it takes place every day. -Albert Camus 4. If you're not fired up with enthusiasm, you'll be fired with enthusiasm. -Vince Lombardi 5. There is no security on this earth; there is only opportunity. -Douglas MacArthur 6. Yesterday's the past and tomorrow's the future. Today is a gift, which is why they call it the present. -Bill Keane 7. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure. -Thomas Edison 8. When you get to the end of your rope tie a knot and hang on. -Franklin D. Roosevelt 9. The best way to predict your future is to create it. -Author unknown 10. I always remember an epitaph which is in the cemetery at Tombstone, Arizona. It says, "Here lies Jack Williams. He done his damnedest." I think that is the greatest epitaph a man can have. -Harry S Truman 11. Triumph? Try Umph! -Author unknown 12. You hit home runs not by chance but by preparation. -Roger Maris 13. If you don't have enough pride, you're going to get your butt beat every play. -Gale Sayers 14. My mother taught me very early to believe I could achieve any accomplishment I wanted to. The first was to walk without braces. -Wilma Rudolph 15. You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. -Margaret Thatcher
Samuel D. Deep (Close the Deal: 120 Checklists for Sales Success)
I had a chance to read Monte Christo in prison once, too, but not to the end. I observed that while Dumas tries to create a feeling of horror, he portrays the Château d'If as a rather benevolent prison. Not to mention his missing such nice details as the carrying of the latrine bucket from the cell daily, about which Dumas with the ignorance of a free person says nothing. You can figure out why Dantès could escape. For years no one searched the cell, whereas cells are supposed to be searched every week. So the tunnel was not discovered. And then they never changed the guard detail, whereas experience tells us that guards should be changed every two hours so one can check on the other. At the Château d'If they didn't enter the cells and look around for days at a time. They didn't even have any peepholes, so d'If wasn't a prison at all, it was a seaside resort. They even left a metal bowl in the cell, with which Dantès could dig through the floor. Then, finally, they trustingly sewed a dead man up in a bag without burning his flesh with a red-hot iron in the morgue and without running him through with a bayonet at the guardhouse. Dumas ought to have tightened up his premises instead of darkening the atmosphere.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The First Circle)
HAZEL WASN’T PROUD OF CRYING. After the tunnel collapsed, she wept and screamed like a two-year-old throwing a tantrum. She couldn’t move the debris that separated her and Leo from the others. If the earth shifted any more, the entire complex might collapse on their heads. Still, she pounded her fists against the stones and yelled curses that would’ve earned her a mouth-washing with lye soap back at St. Agnes Academy. Leo stared at her, wide-eyed and speechless. She wasn’t being fair to him. The last time the two of them had been together, she’d zapped him into her past and shown him Sammy, his great-grandfather—Hazel’s first boyfriend. She’d burdened him with emotional baggage he didn’t need, and left him so dazed they had almost gotten killed by a giant shrimp monster. Now here they were, alone again, while their friends might be dying at the hands of a monster army, and she was throwing a fit. “Sorry.” She wiped her face. “Hey, you know…” Leo shrugged. “I’ve attacked a few rocks in my day.” She swallowed with difficulty. “Frank is…he’s—” “Listen,” Leo said. “Frank Zhang has moves. He’s probably gonna turn into a kangaroo and do some marsupial jujitsu on their ugly faces.” He helped her to her feet. Despite the panic simmering inside her, she knew Leo was right. Frank and the others weren’t helpless. They would find a way to survive. The best thing she and Leo could do was carry on. She studied Leo. His hair had grown out longer and shaggier, and his face was leaner, so he looked less like an imp and more like one of those willowy elves in the fairy tales. The biggest difference was his eyes. They constantly drifted, as if Leo was trying to spot something over the horizon. “Leo, I’m sorry,” she said. He raised an eyebrow. “Okay. For what?” “For…” She gestured around her helplessly. “Everything. For thinking you were Sammy, for leading you on. I mean, I didn’t mean to, but if I did—” “Hey.” He squeezed her hand, though Hazel sensed nothing romantic in the gesture. “Machines are designed to work.” “Uh, what?” “I figure the universe is basically like a machine. I don’t know who made it, if it was the Fates, or the gods, or capital-G God, or whatever. But it chugs along the way it’s supposed to most of the time. Sure, little pieces break and stuff goes haywire once in a while, but mostly…things happen for a reason. Like you and me meeting.” “Leo Valdez,” Hazel marveled, “you’re a philosopher.” “Nah,” he said. “I’m just a mechanic. But I figure my bisabuelo Sammy knew what was what. He let you go, Hazel. My job is to tell you that it’s okay. You and Frank—you’re good together. We’re all going to get through this. I hope you guys get a chance to be happy. Besides, Zhang couldn’t tie his shoes without your help.” “That’s mean,” Hazel chided, but she felt like something was untangling inside her—a knot of tension she’d been carrying for weeks. Leo really had changed. Hazel was starting to think she’d found a good friend. “What happened to you when you were on your own?” she asked. “Who did you meet?” Leo’s eye twitched. “Long story. I’ll tell you sometime, but I’m still waiting to see how it shakes out.” “The universe is a machine,” Hazel said, “so it’ll be fine.” “Hopefully.” “As long as it’s not one of your machines,” Hazel added. “Because your machines never do what they’re supposed to.” “Yeah, ha-ha.” Leo summoned fire into his hand. “Now, which way, Miss Underground?” Hazel scanned the path in front of them. About thirty feet down, the tunnel split into four smaller arteries, each one identical, but the one on the left radiated cold. “That way,” she decided. “It feels the most dangerous.” “I’m sold,” said Leo. They began their descent.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
Thanks for putting me in bed last night,” I said, watching the swift line of his throat as he yawned again. He grumbled, “Uh–huh,” as he rolled his shoulders before slipping his arms beneath the covers again. “And for giving me a massage.” I had already tried moving my legs, and sure they were sore, but I knew how much worse they could be. I’d done everything I was supposed to do to help prevent the stiffness, but there was only so much a body that wasn’t 100 percent to begin with could handle. “There wasn’t much to massage.” Uh. “What’s the supposed to mean?” “I have more muscles in my glutes than you have in your thighs.” Anyone who had seen Aiden’s ass would know that was a fact, so I wasn’t going to take it personally. Maybe because I was still so sleepy, I raised my eyebrows at him and said, “Have you seen your butt? That’s not an insult. It has more muscles in it than most people have all over their bodies.” His own thick eyebrows rose about a millimeter, just slightly but enough for me to notice. “I didn’t know you paid that much attention to it.” “Why do you think you have so many female fans?” Aiden let out another low groan, but he didn’t tell me to stop. “You could raise a small fortune if you ever auctioned off the chance for a person to take a—” “Vanessa!” Mr. Proper reached over to throw a hand over my mouth, like he was shocked. That big hand literally covered me from ear to ear, and I burst out laughing though it was muffled. “You make me feel cheap,” he said as he slowly pulled his hand away, but the shine in his eyes said he didn’t really mind it that much. I stretched my own limbs with a yawn. “I’m just telling you what anyone else would.” “No, no one else would ever say that to me.” So he had a point. “Well, I’ll tell you the truth then.” He made this noise that had me rolling to face him again. “You always have
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
I’m an old man trying to give a young daughter advice, and it’s like a monkey trying to teach table manners to a bear. A drunk driver took my son’s life seventeen years ago and my wife has never been the same since. I’ve always seen the question of abortion in terms of Fred. I seem to be helpless to see it any other way, just as helpless as you were to stop your giggles when they came on you at that poetry reading, Frannie. Your mother would argue against it for all the standard reasons. Morality, she’d say. A morality that goes back two thousand years. The right to life. All our Western morality is based on that idea. I’ve read the philosophers. I range up and down them like a housewife with a dividend check in the Sears and Roebuck store. Your mother sticks with the Reader’s Digest, but it’s me that ends up arguing from feeling and her from the codes of morality. I just see Fred. He was destroyed inside. There was no chance for him. These right-to-life biddies hold up their pictures of babies drowned in salt, and arms and legs scraped out onto a steel table, so what? The end of a life is never pretty. I just see Fred, lying in that bed for seven days, everything that was ruined pasted over with bandages. Life is cheap, abortion makes it cheaper. I read more than she does, but she is the one who ends up making more sense on this one. What we do and what we think… those things are so often based on arbitrary judgments when they are right. I can’t get over that. It’s like a block in my throat, how all true logic seems to proceed from irrationality. From faith. I’m not making much sense, am I?
Stephen King (The Stand)
Thankfully, Gabriel was five minutes late, and by the time he knocked on the door I’d just finished putting on lipstick and slipping my feet into sandals. I opened the door. “I hope I didn’t keep you wait . . .” His voice drifted off as he quite blatantly checked me out. “What?” I asked, hand on my hip. He flashed me a devilish grin. “The little pink dress. You look cute.” What I found frumpy, he found cute. Wonder what his response would have been to the tight number. My eyes gave him a discreet once-over. He wore jeans and a Yankees T-shirt. It wasn’t exactly going to win over the locals, but I had to admit, he filled the shirt out ridiculously well. His short black hair was damp, like he’d just taken a shower. I felt my face behind to flush, so I turned away. “Come on in.” He stopped and surveyed the foyer. “I was only here for a minute when we came to get Joni. I didn’t get a chance to check the place out.” He paused. “It’s not what I was expecting.” “What were you expecting? Voodoo dolls hung from the ceiling?” He smirked. “Maybe just a little one of me.” “That’s hidden under my bed.
Kim Harrington (Clarity (Clarity, #1))
From the end of the World War twenty-one years ago, this country, like many others, went through a phase of having large groups of people carried away by some emotion--some alluring, attractive, even speciously inspiring, public presentation of a nostrum, a cure-all. Many Americans lost their heads because several plausible fellows lost theirs in expounding schemes to end barbarity, to give weekly handouts to people, to give everybody a better job--or, more modestly, for example, to put a chicken or two in every pot--all by adoption of some new financial plan or some new social system. And all of them burst like bubbles. Some proponents of nostrums were honest and sincere, others--too many of them--were seekers of personal power; still others saw a chance to get rich on the dimes and quarters of the poorer people in our population. All of them, perhaps unconsciously, were capitalizing on the fact that the democratic form of Government works slowly. There always exists in a democratic society a large group which, quite naturally, champs at the bit over the slowness of democracy; and that is why it is right for us who believe in democracy to keep the democratic processes progressive--in other words, moving forward with the advances in civilization. That is why it is dangerous for democracy to stop moving forward because any period of stagnation increases the numbers of those who demand action and action now.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
He wouldn’t talk about it—at all. Not that Sophie had many chances to bring up the subject. Only a handful of people knew the truth. The rest believed the Black Swan’s carefully crafted lie, and thought Keefe was taking time away to mourn his mother’s disappearance. Even the Council had no inkling, and Sophie hoped it would stay that way. The less everyone knew, the easier it would be for Keefe to come home. If he came home. “You okay?” Fitz asked, making her realize she’d forgotten to say hello. “I hope you’re not worrying about your tests. There’s no way you didn’t pass.” “I don’t know . . .” Her photographic memory helped—but lately she’d struggled to concentrate during her school sessions. Honestly, though, she’d barely given her midterms a second thought. She wasn’t the same girl she’d been the year before, who thought failing out of Foxfire would be the end of the world. Now she’d been kidnapped, presumed dead, banished from the Lost Cities, and helped stop a plague from killing off the entire gnomish species. She’d even snuck into the ogres’ capital and helped destroy half the city—which happened to be why the Council was struggling to negotiate a new elvin-ogre treaty. “Relax,” Fitz said as her mind spun to nightmares of lumpy-faced ogres tearing through the elves’ glittering streets. “We’re supposed to be celebrating.” His cheer sounded forced. But she knew Fitz was trying. That’s what they did now. Try. Wait. Hope.
Shannon Messenger (Lodestar (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #5))
Dear Mr. Chance and Ms. Brattle. Sorry about the mess. Great bed. Loved it. As a matter of fact, loved the whole house. Actually, I tried to kill your kids when I found them here. Yeah, funny story. Maybe not funny, hah hah.’” Astrid heard nervous laughter from the media people, or maybe just from the hotel staff who were hovering around the edges grabbing a glimpse of the Hollywood royalty. “‘Anyway, I missed and they got away. I don’t know what will happen to Sanjit and that stick-up-his butt Choo and the rest, but whatever happens next, it’s not on me. However . . .’” Astrid took a dramatic pause. “‘However, the rest of what happened was on me. Me, Caine Soren. You’ll probably be hearing a lot of crazy stories from kids. But what they didn’t know was that it was all me. Me. Me me. See, I had a power I never told anyone about. I had the power to make people do bad things. Crimes and whatnot. Especially Diana, who never did anything wrong on her own, by her own will, I mean. She—and the rest of them—were under my control. The responsibility is on me. I confess. Haul me away, officers.’” Astrid suddenly felt her throat tightening, although she’d read the letter many times already, and knew what it said. Rotten son of a . . . And then this. Redemption. Not a bad concept. Well, partial redemption. “It’s signed Caine Soren. And below that, ‘King of the FAYZ.’” It was a full confession. A lie: a blatant, not-very-convincing lie. But it would be just enough to make prosecutions very difficult. Caine’s role in the FAYZ, and the reality that strange powers had actually existed in that space, were widely known and accepted. Of course Caine had enjoyed writing it. It was his penultimate act of control. He was manipulating from beyond the grave.
Michael Grant (Light (Gone, #6))
He knew he needed to release her, but once he allowed his physical connection to drop away, he was uncertain if he’d ever have a chance to reconnect. Instinctively, he knew Azami was elusive, like water flowing through fingers, or the wind shifting in the trees. He needed a way to seal her to him. “How does one court a woman in Japan? Do I need your brothers’ permission?” She blinked again. Shocked. A hint of uncertainty crept into her eyes. She frowned, and he bent his head to swallow her protest before she could utter it. Her mouth trembled beneath his, and then she opened to him, like a flower, luring him deeper. Her arms slid around his neck, her body pressing tightly against his. He tightened his fingers in her hair. He was burning, through and through, from the inside out, a hot melting of bone and tissue. He hadn’t known he was lonely or even looking for something. He’d been complete. He loved his wife. He was a man with teammates he trusted implicitly. He lived in wild places of beauty he enjoyed. He hadn’t considered there would be a woman who could ever fit with him, who would ever turn his insides soft and his body hard. Feel the same way, Azami. He didn’t lift his mouth, kissing her again and again because one he’d made the mistake, he was addicted and what was the use fighting it? Not when it felt so damn right. Somewhere along the line, his kiss went from sheer aggression and command, to absolute tenderness. The emotion for her rose like a volcano, encompassing him entirely, drawn from some part of him he’d never known even existed. His mouth was gentle, his hands on her, possessive, yet just as gentle. Another claiming, this coming from that deep unknown well. Feel the same way, Azami, he whispered into her mind. An enticement. A need. He waited, something in him going still, waiting for her answer. Tell me how you’re feeling? She hadn’t pulled away. If anything, her arms had tightened around his neck. He shared every single breath she took, feeling the slight movement of her rib cage and breasts against him, the warm air they exchanged. Like I’m burning alive. Drowning. Like I never want this moment to end. He wasn’t a man to say flowery things to a woman, nor did he even think them, but he shared the honest truth with her. Like we belong. Once he let her go, the world would slip back into kilter. He wanted her to stay with him, to give him a chance with her. She didn’t hesitate, and he loved that about her as well. She gave herself in truth in the same way he did. I feel the same, but one of us has to be sane. She initiated the kiss when he pulled back slightly, chasing after him with her soft mouth, fingers digging tightly into the heavy muscle at his neck, sighing when his lips settled once more over hers. He took his time, kissing her thoroughly, again and again, all the while slipping deeper into her spell and hoping she was falling under his. Is this your idea of sanity? He’d make it his reality. He was falling further down the rabbit hole and he’d make her his sanity if she’d fall with him. Her soft laughter slipped inside his heart, winding there until there was no shaking her loose. Not really, but you have to be the strong one. He kissed her again. And again. Why is that? You started this.
Christine Feehan (Samurai Game (Ghostwalkers, #10))
I was nearly to the end of the alley when an arm snaked around my waist and yanked me backward, out of the light. I wasn't sure if it was an Eye or a Prodigium, or just your run-of-the-mill rapist.scumbag type, but it was definitely a guy. He was several inches taller than me, and I could hear his ragged breathing in my ear as he struggled to hold me. There was no way I'd be able to do a spell on him: I was too tired and too frazzled. But while I didn't have magic, I did have a whole bunch of the Vandy's Defense classes on my side. Skill Nine, you asshat,I thought as I drove my elbow back,while at the same time attempting to drive my boot heel as hard as I could into his instep. He blocked both easily, pulling his torso back from my elbow even as he tightened his grip on my waist, lifting me slightly off the ground so my heel came down harmlessly on thin air. For a second I felt real panic. Anyone who could black Prodigium Defense moves was a lot more dangerous than some random pervert. I was about to try Skill Fifteen, which involved both breaking his nose and potentially ending his chances of ever having kids, when my captor bent down and whispered in my ear, "Don't even think about it, Mercer.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
But she doesn’t love him.” Mrs. Plumtree cast him a searching glance. “How do you know?” Because she spent the afternoon in my arms, letting me kiss and caress her, eagerly responding to my desire for her. Even hinting that she might feel the same. Until she tossed me from the room in a panic when she realized what I’ve known all along-that mere mortals like us can never cross the divide. Still, that didn’t mean he had to stand by and watch her suffer in a marriage to the wrong man. “Because Lady Celia told me.” He cursed himself even as he said the words. It was a betrayal-he’d promised to keep their conversations private-but he refused to watch her marry a man she clearly didn’t love. That would be as bad as marrying a man like him and losing her fortune. “She’s trying to gain a husband so precipitously only because you’re forcing her to,” he went on. “If you’d just give her a chance-“ “She has had plenty of chances already.” “Give her another.” Remembering Celia’s insecurity over being thought a tomboy, he added, “This little experiment is sure to have increased her confidence with men. If you allow her more time, I’m sure she could find a gentleman she could love, who would love her in turn.” “Like you?” Mrs. Plumtree asked. He gave a caustic laugh. “Your granddaughter isn’t fool enough to fall in love with a man of my rank. So you’re wasting your bribes and threats on me, madam.” “And what about you? How do you feel about her?” He’d had enough of this. “I suspect that whatever I say, you’ll believe what you wish.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
Finn stood by the counter, having just finished making his thirteenth cup of coffee of the day. As always, the chicory fumes warmed me from the inside out and made me think of his father. I wished that the old man were here tonight. Fletcher would have known exactly what to do about the mess we were in—the mess I’d dragged us all into by declaring war on Mab in the first place. Finn stared at me with his green eyes. “Any chance of getting something sweet to go with my coffee?” he asked in a hopeful voice. I arched an eyebrow at him. “You mean all those pieces of strawberry pie that you ate for lunch weren’t enough?” “I’m a growing boy,” Finn said in a sincere tone. “I need my vitamins.” Bria snorted. “The only thing that’s growing on you, Lane, is your ego.” Finn sidled up to my sister and gave her a dazzling smile. “Well, other things of mine also tend to swell up in your presence, detective.” I rolled my eyes at Finn’s attempt at witty banter. Jo-Jo just chuckled, amused by his antics. Bria returned Finn’s smile with a syrupy sweet one of her own. “Oh, really? So it’s gone from what, pencil eraser to cocktail sausage by now?” Finn sputtered and almost spit out a mouthful of coffee. His face flushed, and he glared at Bria.
Jennifer Estep (Spider's Revenge (Elemental Assassin, #5))
Shelton pushed Ben lightly. “Remember when you couldn’t flare without losing your temper? So Hi kicked you from behind to get you mad, and you threw him in the ocean?” Ben snorted. “He deserved it.” “I was providing a service,” Hi protested. “I recall Tory once trying to eat a mouse.” I pinched my nose. “Ugh, don’t remind me.” Ella giggled. “One time Cole lost his flare while carrying a boulder. It pinned his leg for an hour.” Then everyone had a story. Our funeral became a wake. The mood lifted as we swapped flare stories. It was cathartic. A way to say good-bye. I caught Ben smiling at me. “I remember when Tory sniffed that mound of bird crap in the old lighthouse. I thought she’d vomit on the spot.” Chance laughed. “I knew she was too clever. Always with a trick up her sleeve.” The boys glanced at each other. Their smiles faded. Something passed between them. Abruptly, both looked at me. I could see a question in their eyes. A resolve to see something through. They talked. Oh God, they talked about me. They’re going to make me choose. In a flash of dread, I realized I could delay this no longer. With another jolt, I realized I didn’t need to. There was no point putting it off. There was also no decision to make. My eyes met a dark, intense pair staring back earnestly. Longingly. Fearfully. I smiled. Even as my heart pounded. Before anyone spoke, I stepped forward, legs shaking so badly I worried I might fall. But my second foot successfully followed the first. I walked over to Ben’s side. Slipped my hand inside his. Squeezed for dear life. Ben’s eyes widened. He gasped quietly, his chest rising and falling. I met his startled gaze. Smiled through my blushes. A goofy smile split Ben’s face, one I’d never seen before. His fingers crushed mine. No decision to make. Tearing my eyes from Ben, I looked at Chance, found him watching me with a glum expression. Then he sighed, a wry smile twisting his lips. Chance nodded slightly. Not one word spoken. Volumes exchanged. The silence stretched, like a living breathing force. Finally, Hi cleared his throat. “Um.” My face burned scarlet as I remembered our audience. Ella was gaping at me, a delighted grin on her face. Shelton looked like he might turn and run. Hi was rubbing the back of his neck, his face twisted in an uncomfortable grimace. Still no one said a word. This was the most painful moment of my life. “So . . .” Hi drummed his thighs, eyes fixed to the pavement. “Right. A lot just happened there. Weirdly without anyone talking, but, um, yeah.
Kathy Reichs (Terminal (Virals, #5))
She was looking at him steadily; he however, found it difficult to look back at her; it was like gazing into a brilliant light. Nice view, he said feebly, pointing toward with window. She ignored this. He could not blame her. I couldn't think what to get you, she said. You didn't have to get me anything. She disregarded this too. I didn't know what would be useful. Nothing too big, because you wouldn't be able to take it with you. He chanced a glance at her. She was not tearful; that was one of the many wonderful things about Ginny, she was rarely weepy. He had sometimes thought that having six brothers must have toughened her up. She took a step closer to him. So then I thought, I'd like you to have something to remember me by, you know, if you meet some Veela when you're off doing whatever you're doing. I think dating opportunities are going to be pretty thin on the ground, to be honest. There's the silver lining I've been looking for, she whispered, and then she was kissing him as she had never kissed him before, and Harry was kissing her back, and it was blissful oblivion better than firewhiskey; she was the only real thing in the world, Ginny, the feel of her, one hand at her back and one in her long, sweet-smelling hair- The door banged open behind them and they jumped apart. Oh, said Ron pointedly. Sorry. Ron! Hermione was just behind him, slight out of breath. There was a strained silence, then Ginny had said in a flat little voice, Well, happy birthday anyway, Harry. Ron's ears were scarlet; Hermione looked nervous. Harry wanted to slam the door in their faces, but it felt as though a cold draft had entered the room when the door opened, and his shining moment had popped like a soap bubble. All the reasons for ending his relationship with Ginny, for staying well away from her, seemed to have slunk inside the room with Ron, and all happy forgetfulness was gone. He looked at Ginny, wanting to say something, though he hardly knew what, but she had turned her back on him. He thought that she might have succumbed, for once, to tears. He could not do anything to comfort her in front of Ron. I'll see you later, he said, and followed the other two out of the bedroom.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
TERENCE, this is stupid stuff: You eat your victuals fast enough; There can’t be much amiss, ’tis clear, To see the rate you drink your beer. But oh, good Lord, the verse you make, It gives a chap the belly-ache. The cow, the old cow, she is dead; It sleeps well, the horned head: We poor lads, ’tis our turn now To hear such tunes as killed the cow. Pretty friendship ’tis to rhyme Your friends to death before their time Moping melancholy mad: Come, pipe a tune to dance to, lad.’ Why, if ’tis dancing you would be, There’s brisker pipes than poetry. Say, for what were hop-yards meant, Or why was Burton built on Trent? Oh many a peer of England brews Livelier liquor than the Muse, And malt does more than Milton can To justify God’s ways to man. Ale, man, ale’s the stuff to drink For fellows whom it hurts to think: Look into the pewter pot To see the world as the world’s not, And faith, ’tis pleasant till ’tis past: The mischief is that ’twill not last. Oh I have been to Ludlow fair And left my necktie God knows where, And carried half way home, or near, Pints and quarts of Ludlow beer: Then the world seemed none so bad, And I myself a sterling lad; And down in lovely muck I’ve lain, Happy till I woke again. Then I saw the morning sky: Heigho, the tale was all a lie; The world, it was the old world yet, I was I, my things were wet, And nothing now remained to do But begin the game anew. Therefore, since the world has still Much good, but much less good than ill, And while the sun and moon endure Luck’s a chance, but trouble’s sure, I’d face it as a wise man would, And train for ill and not for good. ’Tis true, the stuff I bring for sale Is not so brisk a brew as ale: Out of a stem that scored the hand I wrung it in a weary land. But take it: if the smack is sour, The better for the embittered hour; It should do good to heart and head When your soul is in my soul’s stead; And I will friend you, if I may, In the dark and cloudy day. There was a king reigned in the East: There, when kings will sit to feast, They get their fill before they think With poisoned meat and poisoned drink. He gathered all the springs to birth From the many-venomed earth; First a little, thence to more, He sampled all her killing store; And easy, smiling, seasoned sound, Sate the king when healths went round. They put arsenic in his meat And stared aghast to watch him eat; They poured strychnine in his cup And shook to see him drink it up: They shook, they stared as white’s their shirt: Them it was their poison hurt. —I tell the tale that I heard told. Mithridates, he died old.
A.E. Housman (A Shropshire Lad)
Hamish Alexander-Harrington knew his wife as only two humans who had both been adopted by a pair of mated treecats ever could. He'd seen her deal with joy and with sorrow, with happiness and with fury, with fear, and even with despair. Yet in all the years since their very first meeting at Yeltsin's Star, he suddenly realized, he had never actually met the woman the newsies called "the Salamander." It wasn't his fault, a corner of his brain told him, because he'd never been in the right place to meet her. Never at the right time. He'd never had the chance to stand by her side as she took a wounded heavy cruiser on an unflinching deathride into the broadside of the battlecruiser waiting to kill it, sailing to her own death, and her crew's, to protect a planet full of strangers while the rich beauty of Hammerwell's "Salute to Spring" spilled from her ship's com system. He hadn't stood beside her on the dew-soaked grass of the Landing City duelling grounds, with a pistol in her hand and vengeance in her heart as she faced the man who'd bought the murder of her first great love. Just as he hadn't stood on the floor of Steadholders' Hall when she faced a man with thirty times her fencing experience across the razor-edged steel of their swords, with the ghosts of Reverend Julius Hanks, the butchered children of Mueller Steading, and her own murdered steaders at her back. But now, as he looked into the unyielding flint of his wife's beloved, almond eyes, he knew he'd met the Salamander at last. And he recognized her as only another warrior could. Yet he also knew in that moment that for all his own imposing record of victory in battle, he was not and never had been her equal. As a tactician and a strategist, yes. Even as a fleet commander. But not as the very embodiment of devastation. Not as the Salamander. Because for all the compassion and gentleness which were so much a part of her, there was something else inside Honor Alexander-Harrington, as well. Something he himself had never had. She'd told him, once, that her own temper frightened her. That she sometimes thought she could have been a monster under the wrong set of circumstances. And now, as he realized he'd finally met the monster, his heart twisted with sympathy and love, for at last he understood what she'd been trying to tell him. Understood why she'd bound it with the chains of duty, and love, of compassion and honor, of pity, because, in a way, she'd been right. Under the wrong circumstances, she could have been the most terrifying person he had ever met. In fact, at this moment, she was . It was a merciless something, her "monster"—something that went far beyond military talent, or skills, or even courage. Those things, he knew without conceit, he, too, possessed in plenty. But not that deeply personal something at the core of her, as unstoppable as Juggernaut, merciless and colder than space itself, that no sane human being would ever willingly rouse. In that instant her husband knew, with an icy shiver which somehow, perversely, only made him love her even more deeply, that as he gazed into those agate-hard eyes, he looked into the gates of Hell itself. And whatever anyone else might think, he knew now that there was no fire in Hell. There was only the handmaiden of death, and ice, and purpose, and a determination which would not— couldnot—relent or rest. "I'll miss them," she told him again, still with that dreadful softness, "but I won't forget. I'll never forget, and one day— oneday, Hamish—we're going to find the people who did this, you and I. And when we do, the only thing I'll ask of God is that He let them live long enough to know who's killing them.
David Weber (Mission of Honor (Honor Harrington, #12))
It’s not like I could kill Curran now. Should. It’s not like I should kill Curran now. I could always try. Later. The Beast Lord crossed his arms on his chest. His face looked placid. Calm before the storm . . . The jaguar at my feet tensed and tried to look smaller. Nick needed a bit of a distraction while he rode like a bat out of hell on the horse commandeered from the Pack stables. I’d provided that distraction by leading Jim and his posse of pissy shapechangers on a merry chase through the countryside. “Just so we’re clear,” Curran said. “You did understand that I didn’t wish you or the Crusader to leave Keep?” “Yes.” “That’s what I thought,” Curran said. He grabbed me by the throat and slammed me against the wall. My feet felt no floor. His fingers crushed my neck. I clasped the hand that held me and jammed a long silver needle into his palmar nerve between the index finger and thumb. Curran’s fingers trembled. His hand opened releasing me. I slid to the floor, dropped, and swiped at his legs. He fell. I rolled away and came to my feet. On the opposite side of the room Curran rose to a half crouch, his eyes burning gold. The whole thing took maybe two seconds. The stunned audience never got a chance to react. Curran reached for the needle, pulled it out, and dropped it to the floor, never taking his eyes off me. “It’s okay,” I told him. “I have more.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1))
What is wrong with you?” I say in lieu of greeting. “You went to Morris’s dorm and declared your intentions?” He offers a faint smile. “Of course. It was the noble thing to do. I can’t be chasing after another guy’s girl without his knowledge.” “I’m not his girl,” I snap. “We went on one date! And now I’m never going to be his girl, because he doesn’t want to go out with me again.” “What the hell?” Logan looks startled. “I’m disappointed in him. I thought he had more of a competitive spirit than that.” “Seriously? You’re going to pretend to be surprised? He won’t see me again because your jackass self told him he couldn’t.” Astonishment fills his eyes. “No, I didn’t.” “Yes, you did.” “Is that what he told you?” Logan demands. “Not in so many words.” “I see. Well, what words did he actually use?” I grit my teeth so hard my jaw aches. “He said he’s backing off because he doesn’t want to get in the middle of something so complicated. I pointed out that there’s nothing complicated about it, seeing as you and I are not together.” My aggravation heightens. “And then he insisted that I need to give you a chance, because you’re a—” I angrily air-quote Morris’s words “—‘stand-up guy who deserves another shot.’” Logan breaks out in a grin. I stab the air with my finger. “Don’t you dare smile. Obviously you put those words in his mouth. And what the hell was he jabbering about when he told me you and him were ‘family’?” All the disbelief I’d felt during my talk with Morris comes spiraling back, making me pace the bedroom in hurried strides. “What did you say to him, Logan? Did you brainwash him or something? How are you guys family? You don’t even know each other!” Strangled laughter sounds from Logan’s direction. I spin around and level a dark glower at him. “He’s talking about the joint family we created in Mob Boss. It’s this role-playing game where you’re the Don of a mob family and you’re fighting a bunch of other mafia bosses for territory and rackets and stuff. We played it when I went over there, and I ended up staying until four in the morning. Seriously, it was intense.” He shrugs. “We’re the Lorris crime syndicate.” I’m dumbfounded. Oh my God. Lorris? As in Logan and Morris? They fucking Brangelina’d themselves? “What is happening?” I burst out. “You guys are best friends now?” “He’s a cool guy. Actually, he’s even cooler in my book now for stepping down like that. I didn’t ask him to, but clearly he grasps what you refuse to see.” “Yeah, and what’s that?” I mutter. “That you and I are perfect for each other.” No words. There are no words to accurately convey what I’m feeling right now. Horror maybe? Absolute insanity? I mean, it’s not like I’m madly in love with Morris or anything, but if I’d known that kissing Logan at the party would lead to…this, I would have strapped on a frickin’ chastity gag.
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
She could smell the wrongness in the air and it made her wolf nervous. It felt like something was watching them, as if the wrongness had an intelligence— and it didn't help to remember that at least one of the people they were hunting could hide from their senses. Anna fought the urge to turn around, to take Charles's hand or slide under his arm and let his presence drive away the wrongness. Once, she would have, but now she had the uneasy feeling that he might back away as he almost had when she sat on his lap in the boat, before Brother Wolf had taken over. Maybe he was just tired of her. She had been telling everyone that there was something wrong with him...but Bran knew his son and thought the problem was her. Bran was smart and perceptive; she ought to have considered that he was right. Charles was old. He'd seen and experienced so much—next to him she was just a child. His wolf had chosen her without consulting Charles at all. Maybe he'd have preferred someone who knew more. Someone beautiful and clever who... "Anna?" said Charles. "What's wrong? Are you crying?" He moved in front of her and stopped, forcing her to stop walking, too. She opened her mouth and his fingers touched her wet cheeks. "Anna," he said, his body going still. "Call on your wolf." "You should have someone stronger," she told him miserably. "Someone who could help you when you need it, instead of getting sent home because I can't endure what you have to do. If I weren't Omega, if I were dominant like Sage, I could have helped you." "There is no one stronger," Charles told her. "It's the taint from the black magic. Call your wolf." "You don't want me anymore," she whispered. And once the words were out she knew they were true. He would say the things that he thought she wanted to hear because he was a kind man. But they would be lies. The truth was in the way he closed down the bond between them so she wouldn't hear things that would hurt her. Charles was a dominant wolf and dominant wolves were driven to protect those weaker than themselves. And he saw her as so much weaker. "I love you," he told her. "Now, call your wolf." She ignored his order—he knew better than to give her orders. He said he loved her; it sounded like the truth. But he was old and clever and Anna knew that, when push came to shove, he could lie and make anyone believe it. Knew it because he lied to her now—and it sounded like the truth. "I'm sorry," she told him. "I'll go away—" And suddenly her back was against a tree and his face was a hairsbreadth from hers. His long hot body was pressed against her from her knees to her chest—he'd have to bend to do that. He was a lot taller than her, though she wasn't short. Anna shuddered as the warmth of his body started to penetrate the cold that had swallowed hers. Charles waited like a hunter, waited for her to wiggle and see that she was truly trapped. Waited while she caught her breathe. Waited until she looked into his eyes. Then he snarled at her. "You are not leaving me." It was an order, and she didn't have to follow anyone's orders. That was part of being Omega instead of a regular werewolf—who might have had a snowball's chance in hell of being a proper mate. "You need someone stronger," Anna told him again. "So you wouldn't have to hide when you're hurt. So you could trust your mate to take care of herself and help, damn it, instead of having to protect me from whatever you are hiding." She hated crying. Tears were weaknesses that could be exploited and they never solves a damn thing. Sobs gathered in her chest like a rushing tide and she needed to get away from him before she broke. Instead of fighting his grip, she tried to slide out of it. "I need to go," she said to his chest. "I need—" His mouth closed over hers, hot and hungry, warming her mouth as his body warmed her body. "Me," Charles said, his voice dark and gravelly as if it had traveled up from the bottom of the earth,...
Patricia Briggs (Fair Game (Alpha & Omega, #3; Mercy Thompson World - Complete #9))
What are you two doing?” Her uncle’s teasing voice came into the room before he did. But his voice was the second warning that they were no longer alone, since Violet had tasted his presence long before he’d actually stepped into her house. Ever since saving her and Jay at Homecoming, her uncle carried an imprint of his own. The bitter taste of dandelions still smoldered on Violet’s tongue whenever he was near. A taste that Violet had grown to accept. And even, to some degree, to appreciate. “Nothing your parents wouldn’t approve of, I hope,” he added. Violet flashed Jay a wicked grin. “We were just making out, so if you could make this quick, we’d really appreciate it.” Jay jumped up from beside her. “She’s kidding,” he blurted out. “We weren’t doing anything.” Her uncle Stephen stopped where he was and eyed them both carefully. Violet could’ve sworn she felt Jay squirming, even though every single muscle in his body was frozen in place. Violet smiled at her uncle, trying her best to look guilty-as-charged. Finally he raised his eyebrows, every bit the suspicious police officer. “Your parents asked me to stop by and check on you on my way home. They won’t be back until late. Can I trust the two of you here . . . alone?” “Of course you can—” Jay started to say. “Probably not—“ Violet answers at the same time. And then she caught a glimpse of the horror-stricken expression on Jay’s face, and she laughed. “Relax, Uncle Stephen, we’re fine. We were just doing homework.” Her uncle looked at the pile of discarded books on the table in front of the couch. Not one of them was open. He glanced skeptically at Violet but didn’t say a word. “We may have gotten a little distracted,” she responded, and again she saw Jay shifting nervously. After several warnings, and a promise from Violet that she would lock the doors behind him, Uncle Stephen finally left the two of them alone again. Jay was glaring at Violet when she peeked at him as innocently as she could manage. “Why would you do that to me?” “Why do you care what he thinks we’re doing?” Violet had been trying to get Jay to admit his new hero worship of her uncle for months, but he was too stubborn—or maybe he honestly didn’t realize it himself—to confess it to her. “Because, Violet,” he said dangerously, taking a threatening step toward her. But his scolding was ruined by the playful glint in his eyes. “He’s your uncle, and he’s the police chief. Why poke the bear?” Violet took a step back, away from him, and he matched it, moving toward her. He was stalking her around the coffee table now, and Violet couldn’t help giggling as she retreated. But it was too late for her to escape. Jay was faster than she was, and his arms captured her before she’d ever had a chance. Not that she’d really tried. He hauled her back down onto the couch, the two of them falling into the cushions, and this time he pinned her beneath him. “Stop it!” she shrieked, not meaning a single word. He was the last person in the world she wanted to get away from. “I don’t know . . .” he answered hesitantly. “I think you deserve to be punished.” His breath was balmy against her cheek, and she found herself leaning toward him rather than away. “Maybe we should do some more homework.” Homework had been their code word for making out before they’d realized that they hadn’t been fooling anyone. But Jay was true to his word, especially his code word, and his lips settled over hers. Violet suddenly forgot that she was pretending to break free from his grip. Her frail resolve crumbled. She reached out, wrapping her arms around his neck, and pulled him closer to her. Jay growled from deep in his throat. “Okay, homework it is.
Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2))
How are things going with your brothers?” “The judge set a date to hear me out after graduation. Mrs.Collins has been prepping me.” “That is awesome!” “Yeah.” “What’s wrong?” “Carrie and Joe hired a lawyer and I lost visitation.” Echo placed her delicate hand over mine.“Oh, Noah. I am so sorry." I’d spent countless hours on the couch in the basement, staring at the ceiling wondering what she was doing. Her laughter, her smile, the feel of her body next to mine, and the regret that I let her walk away too easily haunted me. Taking the risk, I entwined my fingers with hers. Odds were I’d never get the chance to be this close again. "No, Mrs. Collins convinced me the best thing to do is to keep my distance and follow the letter of the law." "Wow, Mrs. Collins is a freaking miracle worker. Dangerous Noah Hutchins on the straight and narrow. If you don’t watch out she’ll ruin your rep with the girls." I lowered my voice. "Not that it matters. I only care what one girl thinks about me." She relaxed her fingers into mine and stroked her thumb over my skin. Minutes into being alone together, we fell into each other again, like no time had passed. I could blame her for ending us, but in the end, I agreed with her decision. “How about you, Echo? Did you find your answers?” “No.” If I continued to disregard breakup rules, I might as well go all the way. I pushed her curls behind her shoulder and let my fingers linger longer than needed so I could enjoy the silky feel. “Don’t hide from me, baby. We’ve been through too much for that.” Echo leaned into me, placing her head on my shoulder and letting me wrap an arm around her. “I’ve missed you, too, Noah. I’m tired of ignoring you.” “Then don’t.” Ignoring her hurt like hell. Acknowledging her had to be better. I swallowed, trying to shut out the bittersweet memories of our last night together. “Where’ve you been? It kills me when you’re not at school.” “I went to an art gallery and the curator showed some interest in my work and sold my first piece two days later. Since then, I’ve been traveling around to different galleries, hawking my wares.” “That’s awesome, Echo. Sounds like you’re fitting into your future perfectly. Where did you decide to go to school?” “I don’t know if I’m going to school.” Shock jolted my system and I inched away to make sure I understood. “What the fuck do you mean you don’t know? You’ve got colleges falling all over you and you don’t fucking know if you want to go to school?” My damned little siren laughed at me. “I see your language has improved.” Poof—like magic, the anger disappeared. “If you’re not going to school, then what are your plans?” "I’m considering putting college off for a year or two and traveling cross-country, hopping from gallery to gallery.” “I feel like a dick. We made a deal and I left you hanging. I’m not that guy who goes back on his word. What can I do to help you get to the truth?” Echo’s chest rose with her breath then deflated when she exhaled. Sensing our moment ending, I nuzzled her hair, savoring her scent. She patted my knee and broke away. “Nothing. There’s nothing you can do.” "I think it’s time that I move on. As soon as I graduate, this part of my life will be over. I’m okay with not knowing what happened.” Her words sounded pretty, but I knew her better. She’d blinked three times in a row.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
Harry!” he panted, massaging his immense chest beneath his emerald-green silk pajamas. “My dear boy…what a surprise…Minerva, do please explain…Severus…what…?” “Our headmaster is taking a short break,” said Professor McGonagall, pointing at the Snape-shaped hole in the window. “Professor!” Harry shouted, his hands at his forehead. He could see the Inferi-filled lake sliding beneath him, and he felt the ghostly green boat bump into the underground shore, and Voldemort leapt from it with murder in his heart-- “Professor, we’ve got to barricade the school, he’s coming now!” “Very well. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is coming,” she told the other teachers. Sprout and Flitwick gasped; Slughorn let out a low groan. “Potter has work to do in the castle on Dumbledore’s orders. We need to put in place every protection of which we are capable while Potter does what he needs to do.” “You realize, of course, that nothing we do will be able to keep out You-Know-Who indefinitely?” squeaked Flitwick. “But we can hold him up,” said Professor Sprout. “Thank you, Pomona,” said Professor McGonagall, and between the two witches there passed a look of grim understanding. “I suggest we establish basic protection around the place, then gather our students and meet in the Great Hall. Most must be evacuated, though if any of those who are over age wish to stay and fight, I think they ought to be given the chance.” “Agreed,” said Professor Sprout, already hurrying toward the door. “I shall meet you in the Great Hall in twenty minutes with my House.” And as she jogged out of sight, they could hear her muttering, “Tentacula. Devil’s Snare. And Snargaluff pods…yes, I’d like to see the Death Eaters fighting those.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Rowan said, “Ten years ago, we did nothing to stop this. If Maeve had sent a force, we might have kept it from growing so out of control. Our brethren were hunted and killed and tortured. Maeve let it happen for spite, because Aelin’s mother would not yield to her wishes. So yes—my Fireheart is one flame in the sea of darkness. But she is willing to fight, Fenrys. She is willing to take on Erawan, take on Maeve and the gods themselves, if it means peace can be had.” Across the room, Dorian’s eyes had shuttered. Rowan knew the king would fight—and go down swinging—and that his gift could make a difference between victory and defeat. Yet … he was untrained. Still untried, despite all he’d endured. “But Aelin is one person,” Rowan went on. “And even her gifts might not be enough to win. Alone,” he breathed, meeting Fenrys’s stare, then Gavriel’s, “she will die. And once that flame goes out, it is done. There is no second chance. Once that fire extinguishes, we are all doomed, in every land and every world.” The words were poison on his tongue, his very bones aching at the thought of that death—what he’d do if it should happen. Gavriel and Fenrys looked at each other, speaking in that silent way he used to do with them. There was one card Rowan had to play to convince them—to convince Gavriel. Even if the specificity of Maeve’s command might allow it, she could very well punish them for acting around her orders. She’d done it before; they all bore scars from it. They knew the risk of it as well as Rowan did. Gavriel shook his head slightly at Fenrys. Before they could turn to say no, Rowan said to Gavriel, “If you do not fight in this war, Gavriel, then you doom your son to die.” Gavriel froze.
Sarah J. Maas (Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5))
Writing is not always a priority. . . .I only write those things that are necessary for me to write. I love to write, and when I’m not writing, I often feel as if I’m betraying my art, my gift, my calling, but that sensation is probably hubris or neurosis as much as anything else. The problem, and one of the joys of writing poetry, is that none of us can really count on entering the canon. The chances are that none of our work will survive long after we’re gone. That’s just the way it is. To feel otherwise is foolish. we write in competition with the dead for the attention of the unborn. We are writing poems that are trying to take the attention of people away from Sappho, Shakespeare, Whitman, and Baudelaire. Good luck to you! There’s a built-in failure to writing poetry that I find comforting. If you know you’re doomed to failure, then you can work freely. People who think their work is going to last, or that it matters, well . . . I always try to disabuse my students of their desire to write for fame. I ask them, “Who here has read Shakespeare?” Everyone raises his or her hand. We agree that his work is immortal, then I remind them: “he’s still dead. He’s as dead as he’d have been if you hadn’t read him; and you’ll be dead too someday, no matter how well you write.” To sacrifice your life for your art is an appalling notion. On the other hand, I have been called to be a poet, ad it’s an unimaginably rich gift. Like every artist, I know that in order to be a moral, effective human being, I have to give myself wholly to my art. The trick is finding a balance. If you can’t recognize that your art is no more, and no less, important than what you make for dinner, then you should find something else to do.
Tony Leuzzi (Passwords Primeval: 20 American Poets in their Own Words)
Say!” Benedict exclaimed. “Why don’t you save her, Hastings?” Simon took one look at Lady Bridgerton (who at that point had her hand firmly wrapped around Macclesfield’s forearm) and decided he’d rather be branded an eternal coward. “Since we haven’t been introduced, I’m sure it would be most improper,” he improvised. “I’m sure it wouldn’t,” Anthony returned. “You’re a duke.” “So?” “So?” Anthony echoed. “Mother would forgive any impropriety if it meant gaining an audience for Daphne with a duke.” “Now look here,” Simon said hotly, “I’m not some sacrificial lamb to be slaughtered on the altar of your mother.” “You have spent a lot of time in Africa, haven’t you?” Colin quipped. Simon ignored him. “Besides, your sister said—” All three Bridgerton heads swung round in his direction. Simon immediately realized he’d blundered. Badly. “You’ve met Daphne?” Anthony queried, his voice just a touch too polite for Simon’s comfort. Before Simon could even reply, Benedict leaned in ever-so-slightly closer, and asked, “Why didn’t you mention this?” “Yes,” Colin said, his mouth utterly serious for the first time that evening. “Why?” Simon glanced from brother to brother and it became perfectly clear why Daphne must still be unmarried. This belligerent trio would scare off all but the most determined— or stupid— of suitors. Which would probably explain Nigel Berbrooke. “Actually,” Simon said, “I bumped into her in the hall as I was making my way into the ballroom. It was”— he glanced rather pointedly at the Bridgertons—“ rather obvious that she was a member of your family, so I introduced myself.” Anthony turned to Benedict. “Must have been when she was fleeing Berbrooke.” Benedict turned to Colin. “What did happen to Berbrooke? Do you know?” Colin shrugged. “Haven’t the faintest. Probably left to nurse his broken heart.” Or broken head, Simon thought acerbically. “Well, that explains everything, I’m sure,” Anthony said, losing his overbearing big-brother expression and looking once again like a fellow rake and best friend. “Except,” Benedict said suspiciously, “why he didn’t mention it.” “Because I didn’t have the chance,” Simon bit off, about ready to throw his arms up in exasperation. “In case you hadn’t noticed, Anthony, you have a ridiculous number of siblings, and it takes a ridiculous amount of time to be introduced to all of them.” “There are only two of us present,” Colin pointed out. “I’m going home,” Simon announced. “The three of you are mad.” Benedict, who had seemed to be the most protective of the brothers, suddenly grinned. “You don’t have a sister, do you?” “No, thank God.
Julia Quinn (The Duke and I (Bridgertons, #1))
Asia is rising against me. I haven't got a chinaman's chance. I'd better consider my national resources. My national resources cousist of two joints of marijuana millions of genitals an unpublishable private literature that goes 1400 miles an hour and twentyfive-thousand mental institutions. I say nothing about my prisons nor the millions of underprivileged who live in my flowerpots under the light of five hundred suns. I have abolished the whorehouses of France, Tangiers is the next to go. My ambition is to be President despite the fact that I'm a Catholic. America how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood? I will continue like Henry Ford my strophes are as individual as his automobiles more so they're all different sexes. America I will sell you strophes $2500 apiece $500 down on your old strophe America free Tom Mooney America save the Spanish Loyalists America Sacco & V anzetti must not die America I am the Scottsboro boys. America when I was seven momma took me to Communist Cell meetings they sold us garbanzos a handful per ticket a ticket costs a nickel and the speeches were free everybody was angelic and sentimental about the workers it was all so sincere you have no idea what a good thing the party was in 1835 Scott Nearing was a grand old man a real mensch Mother Bloor made me cry I once saw Israel Amter plain. Everybody must have been a spy. America you don't really want to go to war. America it's them bad Russians. Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians. The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia's power mad. She wants to take our cars from out our garages. Her wants to grab Chicago. Her needs a Red Readers' Digest. Her wants our auto plants in Siberia. Him big bureaucracy running our fillingstations. That no good. Ugh. Him make Indians learn read. Him need big black niggers. Hah. Her make us all work sixteen hours a day. Help. America this is quite serious. America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set. America is this correct? I'd better get right down to the job. It's true I don't want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts factories, I'm nearsighted and psychopathic anyway. America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.
Allen Ginsberg (Howl: And Other Poems)
New Rule: Americans must realize what makes NFL football so great: socialism. That's right, the NFL takes money from the rich teams and gives it to the poorer one...just like President Obama wants to do with his secret army of ACORN volunteers. Green Bay, Wisconsin, has a population of one hundred thousand. Yet this sleepy little town on the banks of the Fuck-if-I-know River has just as much of a chance of making it to the Super Bowl as the New York Jets--who next year need to just shut the hell up and play. Now, me personally, I haven't watched a Super Bowl since 2004, when Janet Jackson's nipple popped out during halftime. and that split-second glimpse of an unrestrained black titty burned by eyes and offended me as a Christian. But I get it--who doesn't love the spectacle of juiced-up millionaires giving one another brain damage on a giant flatscreen TV with a picture so real it feels like Ben Roethlisberger is in your living room, grabbing your sister? It's no surprise that some one hundred million Americans will watch the Super Bowl--that's forty million more than go to church on Christmas--suck on that, Jesus! It's also eighty-five million more than watched the last game of the World Series, and in that is an economic lesson for America. Because football is built on an economic model of fairness and opportunity, and baseball is built on a model where the rich almost always win and the poor usually have no chance. The World Series is like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. You have to be a rich bitch just to play. The Super Bowl is like Tila Tequila. Anyone can get in. Or to put it another way, football is more like the Democratic philosophy. Democrats don't want to eliminate capitalism or competition, but they'd like it if some kids didn't have to go to a crummy school in a rotten neighborhood while others get to go to a great school and their dad gets them into Harvard. Because when that happens, "achieving the American dream" is easy for some and just a fantasy for others. That's why the NFL literally shares the wealth--TV is their biggest source of revenue, and they put all of it in a big commie pot and split it thirty-two ways. Because they don't want anyone to fall too far behind. That's why the team that wins the Super Bowl picks last in the next draft. Or what the Republicans would call "punishing success." Baseball, on the other hand, is exactly like the Republicans, and I don't just mean it's incredibly boring. I mean their economic theory is every man for himself. The small-market Pittsburgh Steelers go to the Super Bowl more than anybody--but the Pittsburgh Pirates? Levi Johnston has sperm that will not grow and live long enough to see the Pirates in a World Series. Their payroll is $40 million; the Yankees' is $206 million. The Pirates have about as much chance as getting in the playoffs as a poor black teenager from Newark has of becoming the CEO of Halliburton. So you kind of have to laugh--the same angry white males who hate Obama because he's "redistributing wealth" just love football, a sport that succeeds economically because it does just that. To them, the NFL is as American as hot dogs, Chevrolet, apple pie, and a second, giant helping of apple pie.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
Don't misunderstand, but how dare you risk your life? What the devil did you think, to leap over like that? You could have stayed safe on this side and just helped me over." Even to her ears, her tone bordered on the hysterical. Beneath her fingers, the white lawn started to redden. She sucked in a shaky breath. "How could you risk your life-your life, you idiot!" She leaned harder on the pad, dragged in another breath. He coughed weakly, shifted his head. "Don't you dare die on me!" His lips twisted, but his eyes remained closed. "But if I die"-his words were a whisper-"you won't have to marry, me or anyone else. Even the most censorious in the ton will consider my death to be the end of the matter. You'll be free." "Free?" Then his earlier words registered. "If you die? I told you-don't you dare! I won't let you-I forbid you to. How can I marry you if you die? And how the hell will I live if you aren't alive, too?" As the words left her mouth, half hysterical, all emotion, she realized they were the literal truth. Her life wouldn't be worth living if he wasn't there to share it. "What will I do with my life if you die?" He softly snorted, apparently unimpressed by-or was it not registering?-her panic. "Marry some other poor sod, like you were planning to." The words cut. "You are the only poor sod I'm planning to marry." Her waspish response came on a rush of rising fear. She glanced around, but there was no one in sight. Help had yet to come running. She looked back at him, readjusted the pressure on the slowly reddening pad. "I intend not only to marry you but to lead you by the nose for the rest of your days. It's the least I can do to repay you for this-for the shock to my nerves. I'll have you know I'd decided even before this little incident to reverse my decision and become your viscountess, and lead you such a merry dance through the ballrooms and drawing rooms that you'll be gray within two years." He humphed softly, dismissively, but he was listening. Studying his face, she realized her nonsense was distracting him from the pain. She engaged her imagination and let her tongue run free. "I've decided I'll redecorate Baraclough in the French Imperial style-all that white and gilt and spindly legs, with all the chairs so delicate you won't dare sit down. And while we're on the subject of your-our-country home, I've had an idea about my carriage, the one you'll buy me as a wedding gift..." She rambled on, paying scant attention to her words, simply let them and all the images she'd dreamed of come tumbling out, painting a vibrant, fanciful, yet in many ways-all the ways that counted-accurate word pictures of her hopes, her aspirations. Her vision of their life together. When the well started to run dry, when her voice started to thicken with tears at the fear that they might no longer have a chance to enjoy all she'd described, she concluded with, "So you absolutely can't die now." Fear prodded; almost incensed, she blurted, "Not when I was about to back down and agree to return to London with you." He moistened his lips. Whispered, "You were?" "Yes! I was!" His fading voice tipped her toward panic. Her voice rose in reaction. "I can't believe you were so foolish as to risk your life like this! You didn't need to put yourself in danger to save me." "Yes, I did." The words were firmer, bitten off through clenched teeth. She caught his anger. Was anger good. Would temper hold him to the world? A frown drew down his black brows. "You can't be so damned foolish as to think I wouldn't-after protecting you through all this, seeing you safely all this way, watching over you all this time, what else was I going to do?
Stephanie Laurens (Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue (Cynster, #16; The Cynster Sisters Trilogy, #1))
I'd like to repeat the advice that I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, Ron, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty. And so, Ron, in short, get out of Salton City and hit the Road. I guarantee you will be very glad you did. But I fear that you will ignore my advice. You think that I am stubborn, but you are even more stubborn than me. You had a wonderful chance on your drive back to see one of the greatest sights on earth, the Grand Canyon, something every American should see at least once in his life. But for some reason incomprehensible to me you wanted nothing but to bolt for home as quickly as possible, right back to the same situation which you see day after day after day. I fear you will follow this same inclination in the future and thus fail to discover all the wonderful things that God has placed around us to discover. Don't settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. You are still going to live a long time, Ron, and it would be a shame if you did not take the opportunity to revolutionize your life and move into an entirely new realm of experience. You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living. My point is that you do not need me or anyone else around to bring this new kind of light in your life. It is simply waiting out there for you to grasp it, and all you have to do is reach for it. The only person you are fighting is yourself and your stubbornness to engage in new circumstances.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
Once there were three tribes. The Optimists, whose patron saints were Drake and Sagan, believed in a universe crawling with gentle intelligence—spiritual brethren vaster and more enlightened than we, a great galactic siblinghood into whose ranks we would someday ascend. Surely, said the Optimists, space travel implies enlightenment, for it requires the control of great destructive energies. Any race which can't rise above its own brutal instincts will wipe itself out long before it learns to bridge the interstellar gulf. Across from the Optimists sat the Pessimists, who genuflected before graven images of Saint Fermi and a host of lesser lightweights. The Pessimists envisioned a lonely universe full of dead rocks and prokaryotic slime. The odds are just too low, they insisted. Too many rogues, too much radiation, too much eccentricity in too many orbits. It is a surpassing miracle that even one Earth exists; to hope for many is to abandon reason and embrace religious mania. After all, the universe is fourteen billion years old: if the galaxy were alive with intelligence, wouldn't it be here by now? Equidistant to the other two tribes sat the Historians. They didn't have too many thoughts on the probable prevalence of intelligent, spacefaring extraterrestrials— but if there are any, they said, they're not just going to be smart. They're going to be mean. It might seem almost too obvious a conclusion. What is Human history, if not an ongoing succession of greater technologies grinding lesser ones beneath their boots? But the subject wasn't merely Human history, or the unfair advantage that tools gave to any given side; the oppressed snatch up advanced weaponry as readily as the oppressor, given half a chance. No, the real issue was how those tools got there in the first place. The real issue was what tools are for. To the Historians, tools existed for only one reason: to force the universe into unnatural shapes. They treated nature as an enemy, they were by definition a rebellion against the way things were. Technology is a stunted thing in benign environments, it never thrived in any culture gripped by belief in natural harmony. Why invent fusion reactors if your climate is comfortable, if your food is abundant? Why build fortresses if you have no enemies? Why force change upon a world which poses no threat? Human civilization had a lot of branches, not so long ago. Even into the twenty-first century, a few isolated tribes had barely developed stone tools. Some settled down with agriculture. Others weren't content until they had ended nature itself, still others until they'd built cities in space. We all rested eventually, though. Each new technology trampled lesser ones, climbed to some complacent asymptote, and stopped—until my own mother packed herself away like a larva in honeycomb, softened by machinery, robbed of incentive by her own contentment. But history never said that everyone had to stop where we did. It only suggested that those who had stopped no longer struggled for existence. There could be other, more hellish worlds where the best Human technology would crumble, where the environment was still the enemy, where the only survivors were those who fought back with sharper tools and stronger empires. The threats contained in those environments would not be simple ones. Harsh weather and natural disasters either kill you or they don't, and once conquered—or adapted to— they lose their relevance. No, the only environmental factors that continued to matter were those that fought back, that countered new strategies with newer ones, that forced their enemies to scale ever-greater heights just to stay alive. Ultimately, the only enemy that mattered was an intelligent one. And if the best toys do end up in the hands of those who've never forgotten that life itself is an act of war against intelligent opponents, what does that say about a race whose machines travel between the stars?
Peter Watts (Blindsight (Firefall, #1))
It was Day Three, Freshman Year, and I was a little bit lost in the school library,looking for a bathroom that wasn't full of blindingly shiny sophomores checking their lip gloss. Day Three.Already pretty clear on the fact that I would be using secondary bathrooms for at least the next three years,until being a senior could pass for confidence.For the moment, I knew no one,and was too shy to talk to anyone. So that first sight of Edward: pale hair that looked like he'd just run his hands through it, paint-smeared white shirt,a half smile that was half wicked,and I was hooked. Since, "Hi,I'm Ella.You look like someone I'd like to spend the rest of my life with," would have been totally insane, I opted for sitting quietly and staring.Until the bell rang and I had to rush to French class,completely forgetting to pee. Edward Willing.Once I knew his name, the rest was easy.After all,we're living in the age of information. Wikipedia, iPhones, 4G ntworks, social networking that you can do from a thousand miles away.The upshot being that at any given time over the next two years, I could sit twenty feet from him in the library, not saying a word, and learn a lot about him.ENough, anyway, for me to become completely convinced that the Love at First Sight hadn't been a fluke. It's pretty simple.Edward matched four and a half of my If My Prince Does, In Fact, Come Someday,It Would Be Great If He Could Meet These Five Criteria. 1. Interested in art. For me, it's charcoal. For Edward, oil paint and bronze. That's almost enough right there. Nice lips + artist= Ella's prince. 2. Not afraid of love. He wrote, "Love is one of two things worth dying for.I have yet to decide on the second." 3.Or of telling the truth. "How can I believe that other people say if I lie to them?" 4.Hot. Why not?I can dream. 5.Daring. Mountain climbing, cliff dying, defying the parents. Him, not me. I'm terrified of an embarrassing number of things, including heights, convertibles, moths, and those comedians everyone loves who stand onstage and yell insults at the audience. 5, subsection a. Daring enough to take a chance on me.Of course, in the end, that No. 5a is the biggie. And the problem. No matter how muuch I worshipped him,no matter how good a pair we might have been,it was never, ever going to happen. To be fair to Edward,it's not like he was given an opportunity to get to know me. I'm not stupid.I know there are a few basic truths when it comes to boys and me. Truth: You have to talk to a boy-really talk,if you want him to see past the fact that you're not beautiful. Truth: I'm not beautiful. Or much of a conversationalist. Truth: I'm not entirely sure that the stuff behind the not-beautiful is going to be all that alluring, either. And one written-in-stone, heartbreaking truth about this guy. Truth:Edward Willing died in 1916.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
Hallie didn't believe she was invulnerable. She was never one of those daredevil types; she knew she could get hurt. What I think she meant was that she was lucky to be on her way to Nicaragua. It was the slowest thing to sink into my head, how happy she was. Happy to be leaving. We'd had one time of perfect togetherness in our adult lives, the year when we were both in college in Tucson-her first year, my last-and living together for the first time away from Doc Homer. That winter I'd wanted to fail a subject just so I could hang back, stay there with her, the two of us walking around the drafty house in sweatshirts and wool socks and understanding each other precisely. Bringing each other cups of tea without having to ask. So I stayed on in Tucson for medical school, instead of going to Boston as I'd planned, and met Carlo in Parasitology. Hallie, around the same time, befriended some people who ran a safehouse for Central American refugees. After that we'd have strangers in our kitchen every time of night, kids scared senseless, people with all kinds of damage. Our life was never again idyllic. I should have seen it coming. Once she and I had gone to see a documentary on the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, which was these Americans who volunteered without our government's blessing to fight against Franco and Hitler in the Spanish Civil War. At that point in U.S. history fascism was only maybe wrong, whereas communism was definitely. When we came home from the movie Hallie cried. Not because of the people who gave up life and limb only to lose Spain to Franco, and not for the ones who came back and were harassed for the rest of their lives for being Reds. The tragedy for Hallie was that there might never be a cause worth risking everything for in our lifetime. She was nineteen years old then, and as she lay blowing her nose and sobbing on my bed she told me this. That there were no real causes left. Now she had one-she was off to Nicaragua, a revolution of co-op farms and literacy crusades-and so I guess she was lucky. Few people know so clearly what they want. Most people can't even think what to hope for when they throw a penny in a fountain. Almost no one really gets the chance to alter the course of human events on purpose, in the exact way they wish for it to be altered.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal Dreams)
What the hell is all this I read in the papers?" "Narrow it down for me," Alan suggested. "I suppose it might have been a misprint," Daniel considered, frowning at the tip of his cigar before he tapped it in the ashtray he kept secreted in the bottom drawer of his desk. "I think I know my own flesh and blood well enough." "Narrow it just a bit further," Alan requested, though he'd already gotten the drift.It was simply too good to end it too soon. "When I read that my own son-my heir, as things are-is spending time fraternizing with a Campbell, I know it's a simple matter of misspelling. What's the girl's name?" Along with a surge of affection, Alan felt a tug of pure and simple mischief. "Which girl is that?" "Dammit,boy! The girl you're seeing who looks like a pixie.Fetching young thing from the picture I saw.Good bones; holds herself well." "Shelby," Alan said, then waited a beat. "Shelby Campbell." Dead silence.Leaning back in his chair, Alan wondered how long it would be before his father remembered to take a breath. It was a pity, he mused, a real pity that he couldn't see the old pirate's face. "Campbell!" The word erupted. "A thieving, murdering Campbell!" "Yes,she's fond of MacGregor's as well." "No son of mine gives the time of day to one of the clan Campbell!" Daniel bellowed. "I'll take a strap to you, Alan Duncan MacGregor!" The threat was as empty now as it had been when Alan had been eight, but delivered in the same full-pitched roar. "I'll wear the hide off you." "You'll have the chance to try this weekend when you meet Shelby." "A Campbell in my house! Hah!" "A Campbell in your house," Alan repeated mildly. "And a Campbell in your family before the end of the year if I have my way." "You-" Emotions warred in him. A Campbell versus his firmest aspiration: to see each of his children married and settled, and himself laden with grandchildren. "You're thinking of marriage to a Campbell?" "I've already asked her.She won't have me...yet," he added. "Won't have you!" Paternal pride dominated all else. "What kind of a nitwit is she? Typical Campbell," he muttered. "Mindless pagans." Daniel suspected they'd had some sorcerers sprinkled among them. "Probably bewitched the boy," he mumbled, scowling into space. "Always had good sense before this.Aye, you bring your Campbell to me," he ordered roundly. "I'll get to the bottom of it." Alan smothered a laugh, forgetting the poor mood that had plagued him only minutes earlier. "I'll ask her." "Ask? Hah! You bring the girl, that daughter of a Campbell, here." Picturing Shelby, Alan decided he wouldn't iss the meeting for two-thirds the popular vote. "I'll see you Friday, Dad.Give Mom my love." "Friday," Daniel muttered, puffing avidly on his cigar. "Aye,aye, Friday." As he hung up Alan could all but see his father rubbing his huge hands togther in anticipation. It should be an interesting weekened.
Nora Roberts (The MacGregors: Alan & Grant (The MacGregors, #3-4))
The tattoos around his eyes burned as he scanned the surrounding area. No one but him probably noticed, but the plumes of darkness branching in every direction were writhing and groaning, desperate to avoid the light of the moon and street lamps. Come to me, he beseeched them. They didn’t hesitate. As if they’d merely been waiting for the invitation, they danced toward him, flattening against his car, shielding it—and thereby him—from prying eyes. “Freaks me out every damn time you do that,” Rowan said as he crawled into the front passenger seat. For the first time, Sean’s friend had accompanied him to “keep you from doing something you’ll regret.” Not that Gabby had known. Rowan had lain in the backseat the entire drive. “I can’t see a damn thing.” “I can.” Sean’s gaze could cut through shadows as easily as a knife through butter. Gabby was in the process of settling behind the wheel of her car. Though more than two weeks had passed since their kiss, they hadn’t touched again. Not even a brush of fingers. He was becoming desperate for more. That kiss . . . it was the hottest of his life. He’d forgotten where he was, what—and who—was around him. He’d never, never, risked discovery like that. But that night, having Gabby so close, those lush lips of hers parted and ready, those brown eyes watching him as if he were something delicious, he’d been unable to stop himself. He’d beckoned the shadows around them, meshed their lips together, touched her in places a man should only touch a woman in private, and tasted her. Oh, had he tasted her. Sugar and lemon. Which meant she’d been sipping lemonade during her breaks. Lemonade had never been sexy to him before. Now he was addicted to the stuff. Drank it every chance he got. Hell, he sported a hard-on if he even spotted the yellow fruit. At night he thought about pouring lemon juice over her lean body, sprinkling that liquid with sugar, and then feasting. She’d come, he’d come, and then they could do it all over again. Seriously. Lemonade was like his own personal brand of cocaine now—which he’d once been addicted to, had spent years in rehab combating, and had sworn never to let himself become so obsessed with a substance again. Good luck with that. “I’m getting nowhere with her,” Rowan said. “You, she watches. You, she kissed.” “Yeah, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that.” Gabby’s car passed his and he accelerated, staying close enough to her that anyone trying to merge into her lane wouldn’t clip his car because they couldn’t see him. Not that anyone was out and about at this time of night. “She’s mine. I don’t want you touching her.” “Finally. The truth. Which is a good thing, because I already called Bill and told him you were gonna be the one to seduce her.” “Thanks.” This was one of the reasons he and Rowan were such good friends. “But I thought you were here tonight to keep me from her.” “First, you’re welcome. Second, I lied.
Gena Showalter (The Bodyguard (Includes: T-FLAC, #14.5))
Ostap Bender lay in the dvornik's room, which was warm to the point of reeking, and mentally put the finishing touches on two possible career plans. He could become a polygamist and move peacefully from town to town, dragging behind him a new suitcase full of valuable items he'd picked up from the latest wife. Or he could go the very next day to the Stargorod Children's Commission and offer them the chance to distribute the as-yet unpainted but brilliantly conceived canvas The Bolsheviks Writing a Letter to Chamberlain, based on the artist Repin's popular painting The Zaporozhian Cossacks Writing a Letter to the Turkish Sultan. If it worked out, this option could bring in something along the line of four hundred rubles. Ostap had thought up both options during his last stay in Moscow. The polygamy option had been born under the influence of the court report from the evening papers, where it was clearly indicated that some polygamist had only gotten two years without strict isolation. Option number two had taken shape in Bender's mind when he was going through the AARR exhibit on a free ticket. However, both options had their downsides. It was impossible to begin a career as a polygamist without a wondrous, dapple-gray suit. In addition, he needed at least ten rubles for hospitality expenses and seduction. Of course, he could get married in his green campaign uniform as well, because Bender's masculine power and attraction were absolutely irresistible to provincial, marriage-ready Margaritas; but that would be, as Bender liked to say, "Poor-quality goods. Not clean work." It wasn't all smooth sailing for the painting, either. Purely technical difficulties could arise. Would it be proper to paint Comrade Kalinin in a papakha and a white burka, or Comrade Chicherin naked to the waist?
Ilya Ilf (The Twelve Chairs)
Do you know what day it is?” she asked, peering at him. “Don’t you?” “Here in Spindle Cove, we ladies have a schedule. Mondays are country walks. Tuesdays, sea bathing. Wednesdays, you’d find us in the garden.” She touched the back of her hand to his forehead. “What is it we do on Mondays?” “We didn’t get to Thursdays.” “Thursdays are irrelevant. I’m testing your ability to recall information. Do you remember Mondays?” He stifled a laugh. God, her touch felt good. If she kept petting and stroking him like this, he might very well go mad. “Tell me your name,” he said. “I promise to recall it.” A bit forward, perhaps. But any chance for formal introductions had already fallen casualty to the powder charge. Speaking of the powder charge, here came the brilliant mastermind of the sheep siege. Damn his eyes. “Are you well, miss?” Colin asked. “I’m well,” she answered. “I’m afraid I can’t say the same for your friend.” “Bram?” Colin prodded him with a boot. “You look all of a piece.” No thanks to you. “He’s completely addled, the poor soul.” The girl patted his cheek. “Was it the war? How long has he been like this?” “Like this?” Colin smirked down at him. “Oh, all his life.” “All his life?” “He’s my cousin. I should know.” A flush pressed to her cheeks, overwhelming her freckles. “If you’re his cousin, you should take better care of him. What are you thinking, allowing him to wander the countryside, waging war on flocks of sheep?” Ah, that was sweet. The lass cared. She would see him settled in a very comfortable asylum, she would. Perhaps Thursdays would be her day to visit and lay cool cloths to his brow. “I know, I know,” Colin replied gravely. “He’s a certifiable fool. Completely unstable. Sometimes the poor bastard even drools. But the hell of it is, he controls my fortune. Every last penny. I can’t tell him what to do.” “That’ll be enough,” Bram said. Time to put a stop to this nonsense. It was one thing to enjoy a moment’s rest and a woman’s touch, and another to surrender all pride. He gained his feet without too much struggle and helped her to a standing position, too. He managed a slight bow. “Lieutenant Colonel Victor Bramwell. I assure you, I’m in possession of perfect health, a sound mind, and one good-for-nothing cousin.” “I don’t understand,” she said. “Those blasts…” “Just powder charges. We embedded them in the road, to scare off the sheep.” “You laid black powder charges. To move a flock of sheep.” Pulling her hand from his grip, she studied the craters in the road. “Sir, I remain unconvinced of your sanity. But there’s no question you are male.” He raised a brow. “That much was never in doubt.” Her only answer was a faint deepening of her blush. “I assure you, all the lunacy is my cousin’s. Lord Payne was merely teasing, having a bit of sport at my expense.” “I see. And you were having a bit of sport at my expense, pretending to be injured.” “Come, now.” He leaned forward her and murmured, “Are you going to pretend you didn’t enjoy it?” Her eyebrows lifted. And lifted, until they formed perfect twin archer’s bows, ready to dispatch poison-tipped darts. “I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.
Tessa Dare (A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1))
I called the Keep, introduced myself to the disembodied female voice on the phone, and asked for the Beast Lord. In less than fifteen seconds Curran came on the line. “I’m going into hiding with Jim.” The silence on the other side of the phone had a distinctly sinister undertone. Perhaps he thought that his kissing superpowers had derailed me. Fat chance. I would keep him from having to kill Derek. That was a burden he didn’t need. “I thought about this morning,” I said, doing my best to sound calm and reasonable. “I’ve instructed the super to change the locks. If I ever catch you in my apartment again, I will file a formal complaint. I’ve taken your food, under duress, but I did take it. You rescued me once or twice, and you’ve seen me near naked. I realize that you’re judging this situation by shapeshifter standards, and you expect me to fall on my back with my legs spread.” “Not necessarily.” His voice matched mine in calmness. “You can fall on your hands and knees if you prefer. Or against the wall. Or on the kitchen counter. I suppose I might let you be on top, if you make it worth my while.” I didn’t grind my teeth—he would’ve heard it. I had to be calm and reasonable. “My point is this: no.” “No?” “There will be no falling, no sex, no you and me.” “I wanted to kiss you when you were in your house. In Savannah.” Why the hell was my heart pounding? “And?” “You looked afraid. That wasn’t the reaction I was hoping for.” Be calm and reasonable. “You flatter yourself. You’re not that scary.” “After I kissed you this morning, you were afraid again. Right after you looked like you were about to melt.” Melt? “You’re scared there might be something there, between you and me.” Wow. I struggled to swallow that little tidbit. “Every time I think you’ve reached the limits of arrogance, you show me new heights. Truly, your egotism is like the Universe—ever expanding.” “You thought about dragging me into your bed this morning.” “I thought about stabbing you and running away screaming. You broke into my house without permission and slobbered all over me. You’re a damn lunatic! And don’t give me that line about smelling my desire; I know it’s bullshit.” “I didn’t need to smell you. I could tell by the dreamy look in your eyes and the way your tongue licked the inside of my mouth.” “Enjoy the memory,” I ground out. “That’s the last time it will ever happen.” “Go play your games with Jim. I’ll find you both when I need you.” Arrogant asshole. “I tell you what, if you find us before those three days run out, I’ll cook you a damn dinner and serve it to you naked.” “Is that a promise?” “Yes. Go fuck yourself.” I slammed the phone down. Well, then. That was perfectly reasonable. On the other side of the counter an older, heavyset man stared at me like I had sprouted horns. Glenda handed me the money I’d given her. “That was some conversation. It was worth ten bucks.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3))
She sorted through the clothes. “Do you mind wearing Emilio’s underwear?” She turned back to him with the two different styles that she’d found. “You’re about the same size. And they’re clean. They were wrapped in a paper package, like from a laundry service.” Max gave her a look, because along with the very nice, very expensive pair of black silk boxers she’d pilfered from Emilio, she’d also borrowed one of his thongs. “What?” Gina said. It was definitely a man-thong. It had all that extra room for various non-female body parts. “Don’t be ridiculous.” “I’m not,” she said, trying to play it as serious. “One, it’s been a while, maybe your tastes have changed. And two, these might actually be more comfortable, considering the placement of your bandage and—” He took the boxers from her. “Apparently I was wrong.” She turned away and started sorting through the pairs of pants and Bermuda shorts she’d grabbed, trying not to be too obvious about the fact that she was watching him out of the corner of her eye. To make sure he didn’t fall over. Right. After he got the boxers on, he took off the bathrobe and . . . Okay, he definitely wasn’t as skinny as he’d been after his lengthy stint in the hospital. Emilio’s pants probably weren’t going to fit him, after all. Although, there was one pair that looked like they’d be nice and loose . . . There they were. The Kelly green Bermuda shorts. Max gave her another one of those you’ve-got-to-be-kidding glances as he put the bathrobe over the back of another chair. “Do I really look as if I’ve ever worn shorts that color in my entire life?” She tried not to smile. “I honestly don’t think you have much choice.” She let herself look at him. “You know, you could just go with the boxers. At least until your pants dry. You know what would really work with that, though? A bowtie.” She turned, as if to go back to the closet. “I’m sure Emilio has a tux. Judging from his other clothes, it’s probably polyester and chartreuse, but maybe the bowtie is—” “Gina.” Max stopped her before she reached the door. He motioned for her to come back. She held out the green shorts, but instead of taking them, he took her arm, pulled her close. “I love you,” Max said, as if he were dispatching some terrible, dire news that somehow still managed to amuse him at least a little. Gina had been hoping that he’d say it, praying even, but the fact that he’d managed to smile, even just a bit while he did, was a miracle. And then, before her heart even had a chance to start beating again, he kissed her. And oh, she was also beyond ready for that particular marvel, for the sweet softness of his mouth, for the solidness of his arms around her. There was more of him to hold her since he’d regained his fighting weight—and that was amazing, too. She skimmed her hands across the muscular smoothness of his back, his shoulders, as his kiss changed from tender to heated. And, God. That was a miracle, too. Except she couldn’t help but wonder about those words, wrenched from him, as if it cost him his soul to speak them aloud. Why tell her this right now? Yes, she’d been waiting for years for him to say that he loved her, but . . . Max laughed his surprise. “No. Why do you . . .?” He figured it out himself. “No, no, Gina, just . . . I should’ve said it before. I should have said it years ago, but I really should have said it, you know, instead of hi.” He laughed again, clearly disgusted with himself. “God, I’m an idiot. I mean, hi? I should have walked in and said, ‘Gina, I need you. I love you, don’t ever leave me again.’” She stared at him. It was probably a good thing that he hadn’t said that at the time, because she might’ve fainted. It was obvious that he wanted her to say something, but she was completely speechless.
Suzanne Brockmann (Breaking Point (Troubleshooters, #9))
She'd gone and let her hair loose, he thought. Why did she have to do that? It made his hands hurt, actually hurt with wanting to slide into it. "That's good." She stepped in, shut the door. And because it seemed too perfect not to, audibly flipped the lock. Seeing a muscle twitch in his jaw was incredibly satisfying. He was a drowning man, and had just gone under the first time. "Keeley, I've had a long day here.I was just about to-" "Have a nightcap," she finished. She'd spotted the teapot and the bottle of whiskey on the kitchen counter. "I wouldn't mind one myself." She breezed past him to flip off the burner under the now sputtering kettle. She'd put on different perfume, he thought viciously. Put it on fresh, too, just to torment him. He was damn sure of it.It snagged his libido like a fish-hook. "I'm not really fixed for company just now." "I don't think I qualify as company." Competently she warmed the pot, measured out the tea and poured the boiling water in. "I certainly won't be after we're lovers." He went under the second time without even the chance to gulp in air. "We're not lovers." "That's about to change." She set the lid on the pot, turned. "How long do you like it to steep?" "I like it strong, so it'll take some time. You should go on home now." "I like it strong, too." Amazing, she thought,she didn't feel nervous at all. "And if it's going to take some time, we can have it afterward." "This isn't the way for this." He said it more to himself than her. "This is backward, or twisted.I can't get my mind around it. no,just stay back over there and let me think a minute." But she was already moving toward him, a siren's smile on her lips. "If you'd rather seduce me, go ahead." "That's exactly what I'm not going to do." Thought the night was cool and his windows were open to it, he felt sweat slither down his back. "If I'd known the way things were, I'd never have started this." That mouth of his, she thought. She really had to have that mouth. "Now we both know the way things are, and I intend to finish it.It's my choice." His blood was already swimming. Hot and fast. "You don't know anything, which is the whole flaming problem." "Are you afraid of innocence?" "Damn right." "It doesn't stop you from wanting me. Put your hands on me,Brian." She took his wrist,pressed his hand to her breast. "I want your hands on me." The boots clattered to the floor as he went under for the third time.
Nora Roberts (Irish Rebel (Irish Hearts, #3))
Well, she would marry a man who didn't need or want her fortune. Mr. Pinter didn't fall into that category. And given how blank his expression became as his gaze met hers, she'd been right to be skeptical. he would never be interested in her in that way. He confirmed it by saying, with his usual formality, "I doubt any man would consider your ladyship unacceptable as a wife." Oh, when he turned all hoity-toity, she could just murder him. "Then we agree that the gentlemen in question would find me satisfactory," she said, matching his cold tone. "So I don't see why you assume they'd be unfaithful." "Some men are unfaithful no matter how beautiful their wives are," Mr. Pinter growled. He thought her beautiful? There she went again, reading too much into his words. He was only making a point. "But you have no reason to believe that these gentleman would be. Unless there's some dark secret you already know about them that I do not?" Glancing away, he muttered a curse under his breath. "No." "Then here's your chance to find out the truth about their characters. Because I prefer facts to opinions. And I was under the impression that you do, too." Take that, Mr. Pinter! Hoist by your own petard. The man always insisted on sticking to the facts. And he was well aware that she'd caught him out, for he scowled, then crossed his arms over his chest. His rather impressive chest, from what she could tell beneath his black coat and plain buff waistcoat. "I can't believe I'm the only person who would object to these gentlemen," he said. "What about your grandmother? Have you consulted her?" She lifted her eyes heavenward. He was being surprisingly resistant to her plans. "I don't need to. Every time one of them asks to dance with me, she beams. She's forever urging me to smile at them or attempt flirtation. And if they so much as press my hand or take my for a stroll, she quizzes me with great glee on what was said and done." "She's been letting you go out on private strolls with these scoundrels?" Mr. Pinter said in sheer outrage. "They aren't scoundrels." "I swear to God, you're a lamb among the wolves," he muttered. That image of her, so unlike how she saw herself, made her laugh. "I've spent half my life in the company of my brothers. Every time Gabe went to shoot, I went with him. At every house party that involved his friends, I was urged to show off my abilities with a rifle. I think I know how to handle a man, Mr. Pinter." His glittering gaze bored into her. "There's a vast difference between gamboling about in your brother's company with a group of his friends and letting a rakehell like Devonmont or a devilish foreigner like Basto stroll alone with you down some dark garden path." A blush heated her cheeks. "I didn't mean strolls of that sort, sir. I meant daytime walks about our gardens and such, with servants in plain view. All perfectly innocent." He snorted. "I doubt it will stay that way." "Oh, for heaven's sake, why are you being so stubborn? You know I must marry. Why do you even care whom I choose?" "I don't care," he protested. "I'm merely thinking of how much of my time will be wasted investigating suitors I already know are unacceptable." She let out an exasperated breath. Of course. With him, it was always about money. Heaven forbid he should waste his time helping her.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
Jay came over as soon as Violet called him; she didn’t even have to give him a reason. He was there in less than ten minutes. Of course, he’d heard about what had happened to Hailey. Everyone had. Buckley was a small town, and news traveled fast . . . especially bad news. When he got there she told him what she was thinking about doing. It was nothing dangerous, at least as far as she was concerned, and she hadn’t expected Jay to disagree with her about it. So when he did, she was more than a little bit surprised by his stubborn reaction. “No way,” he insisted, and his voice left little room for argument. “There is no way you’re going to go around looking for this guy.” Violet was shocked by the tone of his voice, and by the harsh look he shot at her. She thought maybe he misunderstood her plan, so she tried to explain it to him again. “Jay, I’m only going to public places, like malls and parks, to see if I can get a feeling for who this guy is. Who knows, maybe he goes to places like that to find them, maybe he hands out there waiting to pick out a girl to . . . you know, kidnap.” She tried to make her argument sound logical, but there was a desperate edge to her voice. “I’m not going out alone . . . you can go with me. We’ll just hang out at different places to see if we can find him. And if we do, we’ll call my uncle. It’s not like we’d do anything stupid.” “’Anything stupid’ would be going out to look for a killer. I won’t let you go looking for trouble, Violet. This guy is dangerous, and you need to leave it to the cops. They know what they’re doing. And they’re armed.” He sounded like he thought she’d lost her mind, and maybe she had, but she had already made her decision. “Look, I’m doing this. I was just asking you to come along with me.” “You’re not,” he insisted. “Even if I have to tell your uncle and your parents what you’re planning. I promise you, you’re not doing it.” She could feel her temper flaring. “You can’t stop me, Jay. If you tell on me, then I’ll lie. I’ll bat my eyes innocently and promise not to go looking for this guy. But I swear to you that every chance I get, even if I have to sneak out of the house to do it, I will be trying to find him.” She stood up, meaning to glare back at him, but instead found herself craning her neck just so she could see his face. The awkward position didn’t steal nay of her thunder. She refused to back down. “I mean it, Jay. You can’t stop me.” Jay glared incredulously back at her. Emotions ranging from disbelief to frustration and back to disbelief again flashed darkly across his face. He seemed to be fighting with himself now. But when she heard him sigh, and then saw him raking his hand restlessly through his hair, she knew she’d won. His icy determination seemed to melt right before her eyes. “Damn it, Violet.” He sighed brusquely, wrapping his arms around her and holding her tightly. “What choice do I have?” he asked as he practically squeezed the life out of her. She wasn’t sure how to react to him now. It definitely wasn’t a tender hug, but the close contact made her undisclosed desires stir all the same. She couldn’t help wondering if he felt even a fraction of what she did. His arms were strong, and she felt safe in the circle of them. She’d never imaged that she could feel so comfortable and so uncomfortable at the same time. She waited within the space of his embrace to see where this was going. “So, how is this going to work?” he demanded roughly against the top of her head.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
His booted feet pounded out an insane, frantic rhythm underneath him as he raced into the cavern across from Baba Yaga’s den at a dead sprint. Pieces of dragon dung flew off him and hit the ground behind him in miniature chunks. He didn’t dare look behind him to see if the dragon had risen from the ground yet, but the deafening hiss that assaulted his ears meant she’d woken up. Icy claws of fear squeezed his heart with every breath as he ran, relying on the night vision goggles, the glimpse he’d gotten of the map, and his own instincts to figure out where to go. Jack raced around one corner too sharply and slipped on a piece of dung, crashing hard on his right side. He gasped as it knocked the wind out of him and gritted his teeth, his mind screaming at him to get up and run, run, run. He pushed onto his knees, nursing what felt like bruised ribs and a sprained wrist, and then paled as an unmistakable sensation traveled up the arm he’d used to push himself up. Impact tremors. Boom. Boom. Boom, boom, boom. Baba Yaga was coming. Baba Yaga was hunting him. Jack forced himself up onto his feet again, stumbling backwards and fumbling for the tracker. He got it switched on to see an ominous blob approaching from the right. He’d gotten a good lead on her—maybe a few hundred yards—but he had no way of knowing if he’d eventually run into a dead end. He couldn’t hide down here forever. He needed to get topside to join the others so they could take her down. Jack blocked out the rising crescendo of Baba Yaga’s hissing and pictured the map again. A mile up to the right had a man-made exit that spilled back up to the forest. The only problem was that it was a long passage. If Baba Yaga followed, there was a good chance she could catch up and roast him like a marshmallow. He could try to lose her in the twists and turns of the cave system, but there was a good chance he’d get lost, and Baba Yaga’s superior senses meant it would only be a matter of time before she found him. It came back to the most basic survival tactics: run or hide. Jack switched off the tracker and stuck it in his pocket, his voice ragged and shaking, but solid. “You aren’t about to die in this forest, Jackson. Move your ass.” He barreled forward into the passageway to the right in the wake of Baba Yaga’s ominous, bubbling warning, barely suppressing a groan as a spike of pain lanced through his chest from his bruised ribs. The adrenaline would only hold for so long. He could make it about halfway there before it ran out. Cold sweat plastered the mask to his face and ran down into his eyes. The tunnel stretched onward forever before him. No sunlight in sight. Had he been wrong? Jack ripped off the hood and cold air slapped his face, making his eyes water. He held his hands out to make sure he wouldn’t bounce off one of the cavern walls and squinted up ahead as he turned the corner into the straightaway. There, faintly, he could see the pale glow of the exit. Gasping for air, he collapsed against one wall and tried to catch his breath before the final marathon. He had to have put some amount of distance between himself and the dragon by now. “Who knows?” Jack panted. “Maybe she got annoyed and turned around.” An earth-shattering roar rocked the very walls of the cavern. Jack paled. Boom, boom, boom, boom! Boom, boom, boom, boomboomboomboom— Mother of God. The dragon had broken into a run. Jack shoved himself away from the wall, lowered his head, and ran as fast as his legs would carry him.
Kyoko M. (Of Blood and Ashes (Of Cinder and Bone #2))
Suppose he really is in love. What about her? She never has anything good to say about him.” “Yet she blushes whenever he enters a room. And she stares at him a good deal. Or hadn’t you noticed that, either?” “As a matter of fact, I have.” Gazing up at him, she softened her tone. “But I do not want her hurt, Isaac. I must be sure she is desired for herself and not her fortune. Her siblings had a chance of not gaining their inheritance unless the others married, so I always knew that their mates loved them, but she…” She shook her head. “I had to find a way to remove her fortune from the equation.” “I still say you’re taking a big risk.” He glanced beyond her to where Celia was talking to the duke. “Do yo really think she’d be better off with Lyons?” But she doesn’t love him…If you’d just give her a chance- “I do not know,” Hetty said with a sigh. “I do not know anything anymore.” “Then you shouldn’t meddle. Because there’s another outcome you haven’t considered. If you try to manipulate matters to your satisfaction, she may balk entirely. Then you’ll find yourself in the sticky position of having to choose between disinheriting them all or backing down on your ultimatum. Personally, I think you should have given up that nonsense long ago, but I know only too well how stubborn you can be when you’ve got the bit between your teeth.” “Oh?” she said archly. “Have I been stubborn with you?” He gazed down at her. “You haven’t agreed to marry me yet.” Her heart flipped over in her chest. It was not the first time he had mentioned marriage, but she had refused to take him seriously. Until now. It was clear he would not be put off any longer. He looked solemnly in earnest. “Isaac…” “Are you worried that I am a fortune hunter?” “Do not be absurd.” “Because I’ve already told you that I’ll sign any marriage settlement you have your solicitor draw up. I don’t want your brewery or your vast fortune. I know it’s going to your grandchildren. I only want you.” The tender words made her sigh like a foolish girl. “I realize that. But why not merely continue as we have been?” His voice lowered. “Because I want to make you mine in every way.” A sweet shiver swept along her spine. “We do not need to marry for that.” “So all you want from me is an affair?” “No! But-“ “I want more than that. I want to go to sleep with you in my arms and wake with you in my bed. I want the right to be with you whenever I please, night or day.” His tone deepened. “I love you, Hetty. And when a man loves a woman, he wants to spend his life with her.” “But at our age, people will say-“ “Our age is an argument for marriage. We might not have much time left. Why not live it to the fullest, together, while we’re still in good health? Who cares about what people say? Life is too short to let other people dictate one’s choices.” She leaned heavily on his arm as they reached the steps leading up to the dais at the front of the ballroom. He did have a point. She had been balking at marrying him because she was sure people would think her a silly old fool. But then, she had always been out of step with everyone else. Why should this be any different? “I shall think about it,” she murmured as they headed to the center of the dais, where the family was gathering. “I suppose I’ll have to settle for that. For now.” He cast her a heated glance. “But later this evening, once we have the chance to be alone, I shall try more effective methods to persuade you. Because I’m not giving up on this. I can be as stubborn as you, my dear.” She bit back a smile. Thank God for that.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
There was a moment of stillness before something in him seemed to snap. she pounced on her with a sort of tigerish delight, and clamped his mouth over hers. She squeaked in surprise, wriggling in his hold, but his arms clamped around her easily, his muscles as solid as oak. He kissed her possessively, almost roughly at first, gentling by voluptuous degrees. Her body surrendered without giving her brain a chance to object, applying itself eagerly to every available inch of him. The luxurious male heat and hardness of him satisfied a wrenching hunger she hadn't been aware of until now. It also gave her the close-but-not-close-enough feeling she remembered from before. Oh, how confusing this was, this maddening need to crawl inside his clothes, practically inside his skin. She let her fingertips wander over his cheeks and jaw, the neat shape of his ears, the taut smoothness of his neck. When he offered no objection, she sank her fingers into his thick, vibrant hair and sighed in satisfaction. He searched for her tongue, teased and stroked intimately until her heart pounded in a tumult of longing, and a sweet, empty ache spread all through her. Dimly aware that she was going to lose control, that she was on the verge of swooning, or assaulting him again, she managed to break the kiss and turn her face away with a gasp. "Don't," she said weakly. His lips grazed along her jawline, his breath rushing unsteadily against her skin. "Why? Are you still worried about Australian pox?" Slowly it registered that they were no longer standing. Gabriel was sitting on the ground with his back against the grass-covered mound, and- heaven help her- she was in his lap. She glanced around them in bewilderment. How had this happened? "No," she said, bewildered and perturbed, "but I just remembered that you said I kissed like a pirate." Gabriel looked blank for a moment. "Oh, that. That was a compliment." Pandora scowled. "It would only be a compliment if I had a beard and a peg leg." Setting his mouth sternly against a faint quiver, Gabriel smoothed her hair tenderly. "Forgive my poor choice of words. What I meant to convey was that I found your enthusiasm charming." "Did you?" Pandora turned crimson. Dropping her head to his shoulder, she said in a muffled voice, "Because I've worried for the past three days that I did it wrong." "No, never, darling." Gabriel sat up a little and cradled her more closely to him. Nuzzling her cheek, he whispered, "Isn't it obvious that everything about you gives me pleasure?" "Even when I plunder and pillage like a Viking?" she asked darkly. "Pirate. Yes, especially then." His lips moved softly along the rim of her right ear. "My sweet, there are altogether too many respectable ladies in the world. The supply has far exceeded the demand. But there's an appalling shortage of attractive pirates, and you do seem to have a gift for plundering and ravishing. I think we've found you're true calling." "You're mocking me," Pandora said in resignation, and jumped a little as she felt his teeth gently nip her earlobe. Smiling, Gabriel took her head between his hands and looked into her eyes. "Your kiss thrilled me beyond imagining," he whispered. "Every night for the rest of my life, I'll dream of the afternoon in the holloway, when I was waylaid by a dark-haired beauty who devastated me with the heat of a thousand troubled stars, and left my soul in cinders. Even when I'm an old man, and my brain has fallen to wrack and ruin, I'll remember the sweet fire of your lips under mine, and I'll say to myself, 'Now, that was a kiss.'" Silver-tongued devil, Pandora thought, unable to hold back a crooked grin. Only yesterday, she'd heard Gabriel affectionately mock his father, who was fond of expressing himself with elaborate, almost labyrinthine turns of phrase. Clearly the gift had been passed down to his son.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
Through the dimness she could just make him out, stretched on his back, his arms crossed behind his head. He might have been silent, but he hadn't been asleep. She could feel his frown as he looked at her. "What are you doing?" "Moving closer to you." Dropping her gowns, she shook out her cloak and laid it next to his. "Why?" "Mice." He let a heartbeat pass, then asked, carefully, "You're afraid of mice?" She nodded. "Rodents. I don't discriminate." Swinging around, she sat on her cloak, then picked up her gowns and wriggled back and closer to him. "If I'm next to you, then either they'll give us both a wide berth, or if they decide to take a nibble, there's at least an even chance they'll nibble you first." His chest shook. He was struggling not to laugh. But at least he was trying. "Besides," she said, lying down and snuggling under her massed gowns, "I'm cold." A moment ticked past, then he sighed. He shifted in the hay beside her. She didn't know what he did, but suddenly she was sliding the last inches down a slope that hadn't been there before. She fetched up against him, against his side-hard, muscled, and wonderfully warm. Her senses leapt greedily, pleasantly shocked, delightedly surprised; she caught her breath and slapped them down. Desperately; this was Breckenridge-this was definitely not the time. His arm shifted and came around her, cradling her shoulders and gathering her against him. "This doesn't mean anything." The whispered words drifted down to her. Comfort, safety, warmth-it meant all those things. "I know," she murmured back. Her senses weren't listening. Her body now lay alongside his. Her breast brushed his side; through various layers her thighs grazed his. Her heartbeat deepened, sped up a little, too. Yet despite the sensual awareness, she could feel reassurance along with his warmth stealing through her, relaxing her tensed muscles bit by bit as, greatly daring, she settled her cheek on his chest. This doesn't mean anything. She knew what he meant. This was just for now, for this strange moment out of their usual lives in which he and she were just two people finding ways to weather a difficult situation. She quieted. Listened. The sound of his heartbeat, steady and sure, blocked out any rustlings. Thinking of the strange moment, of what made it so, she murmured, "We're fugitives, aren't we?" "Yes." "In a strange country, one not really our own, with no way to prove who we are." "Yes." "And a stranger, a very likely dangerous highlander, is pursuing us." "Hmm." She should feel frightened. She should be seriously worried. Instead, she closed her eyes, and with her cheek pillowed on Breckenridge's chest, his arm like warm steel around her, smoothly and serenely fell asleep. Breckenridge held her against him, and through senses far more attuned than he wished, followed the incremental falling away of her tension...until she slept. Softly, silently, in his arms, with the gentle huff of her breathing ruffling his senses, the seductive weight of her slender body stretched out against his the subtlest of tortures. Why had he done it? She might have slept close to him, but she would never have pushed to sleep in his arms. That had been entirely his doing, and he hadn't even stopped to think. What worried him most was that even if he had thought, had reasoned and debated, the result would have been the same. When it came to her, whatever the situation, there never was any question, no doubt in his mind as to what he should do. Her protection, her safety-caring for her. From the first instant he'd laid eyes on her four years ago, that had been his mind's fixation. Its decision. Nothing he'd done, nothing she'd done, had ever succeeded in altering that. But as to the why of that, the reason behind it...even now he didn't, was quite certain and absolutely sure he didn't, need to consciously know.
Stephanie Laurens (Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue (Cynster, #16; The Cynster Sisters Trilogy, #1))