Don't Hesitate To Ask Quotes

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I'm coming back into focus when Caesar asks him if he has a girlfriend back home. Peeta hesitates, then gives an unconvincing shake of his head. Handsome lad like you. There must be some special girl. Come on, what’s her name?" says Caesar. Peeta sighs. "Well, there is this one girl. I’ve had a crush on her ever since I can remember. But I’m pretty sure she didn’t know I was alive until the reaping." Sounds of sympathy from the crowd. Unrequited love they can relate to. She have another fellow?" asks Caesar. I don’t know, but a lot of boys like her," says Peeta. So, here’s what you do. You win, you go home. She can’t turn you down then, eh?" says Caesar encouragingly. I don’t think it’s going to work out. Winning...won’t help in my case," says Peeta. Why ever not?" says Caesar, mystified. Peeta blushes beet red and stammers out. "Because...because...she came here with me.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
If you ever need anything please don't hesitate to ask someone else first.
Kurt Cobain
Why not? It's true. My best hope is to not disgrace myself and..." He hesitates. And what?" I say. I don't know how to say it exactly. Only... I want to die as myself. Does that make any sense?" he asks. I shake my head. How could he die as anyone but himself? "I don't want them to change me in there. Turn me into some kind of monster that I'm not." I bite my lip feeling inferior. While I've been ruminating on the availability of trees, Peeta has been struggling with how to maintain his identity. His purity of self. "Do you mean you won't kill anyone?" I ask. No, when the time comes, I'm sure I'll kill just like everybody else. I can't go down without a fight. Only I keep wishing I could think of a way to... to show the Capitol they don't own me. That I'm more than just a piece in their Games," says Peeta. But you're not," I say. "None of us are. That's how the Games work." Okay, but within that frame work, there's still you, there's still me," he insists. "Don't you see?" A little, Only... no offense, but who cares, Peeta?" I say. I do. I mean what else am I allowed to care about at this point?" he asks angrily. He's locked those blue eyes on mine now, demanding an answer.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
You don't think I'm crazy?" I asked hesitantly. "Like I'm one to judge another persons sanity.
Gena Showalter (Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1))
Vegas?" I asked. His brow furrowed, unsure of where I was headed. "Yeah?" "Have you thought about going back?" His eyebrows shot up. "I don't think that's a good idea for me." "What if we just went for a night?" He looked around the dark room, confused. "A night?" "Marry me," I said without hesitation. I was surprised at how quickly and easily the words came. His mouth spread into a broad smile. "When?" I shrugged. "We can book a flight tomorrow. It's spring break. I dont't have anything going on tomorrow, do you?" "I'm callin' your bluff," he said, watching my reaction closely as he was connected. "I need two tickets to vegas, please. Tomorrow. Hmmmm...," he looked at me, waiting for me to change my mind. "Two days, round trip. Whatever you have.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
A wager?" I repeated. "Yes," he said, and gave me a slow smile, bright with challenge. ... "Stake?" I asked cautiously. He was still smiling, an odd sort of smile, hard to define. "A kiss." My first reaction was outrage, but then I remembered that I was on my way to Court, and that had to be the kind of thing they did at Court. And if I win I don't have to collect. I hesitated only a moment longer, lured by the thought of open sky, and speed, and winning. "Done," I said.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1-2))
If you are a woman, if you're a person of colour, if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, if you are a person of size, if you are a person od intelligence, if you are a person of integrity, then you are considered a minority in this world. And it's going to be really hard to find messages of self-love and support anywhere. Especially women's and gay men's culture. It's all about how you have to look a certain way or else you're worthless. You know when you look in the mirror and you think 'oh, I'm so fat, I'm so old, I'm so ugly', don't you know, that's not your authentic self? But that is billions upon billions of dollars of advertising, magazines, movies, billboards, all geared to make you feel shitty about yourself so that you will take your hard earned money and spend it at the mall on some turn-around creme that doesn't turn around shit. When you don't have self-esteem you will hesitate before you do anything in your life. You will hesitate to go for the job you really wanna go for, you will hesitate to ask for a raise, you will hesitate to call yourself an American, you will hesitate to report a rape, you will hesitate to defend yourself when you are discriminated against because of your race, your sexuality, your size, your gender. You will hesitate to vote, you will hesitate to dream. For us to have self-esteem is truly an act of revolution and our revolution is long overdue.
Margaret Cho
I waited for him to say something more, but he was quiet. "Was there something you wanted?" I asked. He didn't answer right away, but I could feel him struggling, so I waited. "If I asked you something, would you tell me the truth?" It was my turn to hesitate. "I don't know everything," I hedged. "You would know this. When we were walking... me and Jeb... he was telling me some things. Things he thought, but I don't know if he's right." Melanie was suddenly very in my head. Jamie's whisper was hard to hear, quieter than my breathing. "Uncle Jeb thinks that Melanie might still be alive. Inside there with you, I mean." Melanie sighed. I said nothing to either of them. "I didn't know that could happen. Does that happen?" His voice broke and I could hear that he was fighting tears. He was not a boy to cry, and here I'd grieved him this deeply twice in one day. A pain pierced through the general region of my chest. "Does it, Wanda?" "Why won't you answer me?" Jamie was really crying now but trying to muffle the sound. I crawled off the bed, squeezing into the hard space between the mattress and the mat, and threw my arm over his shaking chest. I leaned my head against his hair and felt his tears, warm on my neck. "Is Melanie still alive, Wanda? Please?" He was probably a tool. The old man could have sent him just for this, Jeb was smart enough to see how easily Jamie broke through my defenses. Jamie's body shook beside me. Melanie cried. She battered ineffectually at my control. But I couldn't blame this on Melanie if it turned out to be a huge mistake. I knew who was speaking now. "She promised she would come back, didn't she?" I murmured. "Would Melanie break a promise to you?" Jamie slid his arms around my waist and clung to me for a long time. After a few minutes, he whispered. "Love you, Mel." "She loves you, too. She's so happy that you're here and safe." He was silent long enough for the tears on my skin to dry, leaving a fine, salty dust behind.
Stephenie Meyer (The Host (The Host, #1))
Whenever I was asked what I wanted my first impulse was to answer “Nothing.” The thought went through my mind that it didn’t make any difference, that nothing was going to make me happy. At the same time I was congenitally unable to refuse anything offered to me by another person, no matter how little it might suit my tastes. When I hated something, I could not pronounce the words, “I don’t like it.” When I liked something I tasted it hesitantly, furtively, as though it were extremely bitter. In either case I was torn by unspeakable fear. In other words, I hadn’t the strength even to choose between two alternatives.
Osamu Dazai (No Longer Human)
... What do you want, Ash?" "Your head," Ash answered softly. "On a pike. But what I want doesn't matter this time." He pointed his sword at me. "I've come for her." I gasped as my heart and stomach began careening around my chest. He's here for me, to kill me, like he promised at Elysium. "Over my dead body." Puck smiled, as if this was a friendly conversation on the street, but I felt muscles coiling under his skin. "This was part of the plan." The prince raised his sword, the icy blade wreathed in mist. "I will avenge her today, and put her memory to rest." For a moment, a shadow of anguish flitted across his face, and he closed his eyes. When he opened them, they were cold and glittered with malice. "Prepare yourself." "Stay back, princess," Puck warned, pushing me out of the way. He reached into his boot and pullet out a dagger, the curved blade clear as glass. "This might get a little rough." "Puck, no." I clutched at his sleeve. "Don't fight him. Someone could die." "Duels to the death tend to end that way." Puck grinned, but it was a savage thing, grim and frightening. "But I'm touched that you care. One moment, princeling," he called to Ash, who inclined his head. Taking my wrist, Puck steered me behind the fountain and bent close, his breath warm on my face. "I have to do this, princess," he said firmly. "Ash won't let us go without a fight, and this has been coming for a long time now." For a moment, a shadow of regret flickered across his face, but then it was gone. "So," he murmured, grinning as he tilted my chin up, "before I march off to battle, how 'bout a kiss for luck?" I hesitated, wondering why now, of all times, he would ask for a kiss. He certainly didn't think of me in that way... did he?
Julie Kagawa (The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1))
Kev,” Win said calmly, stepping forward, “I would like to talk to you about something.” Merripen, attentive as always to his wife, gave her a frowning glance. “Now?” "Yes, now.” "Can’t it wait?” "No,” Win said equably. At his continued hesitation, she said, “I’m expecting.” Merripen blinked. “Expecting what?” "A baby.” They all watched as Merripen’s face turned ashen. “But how ...” he asked dazedly, nearly staggering as he headed to Win. "How?” Leo repeated. “Merripen, don’t you remember that special talk we had before your wedding night?” He grinned as Merripen gave him a warning glance. Bending to Win’s ear, Leo murmured, “Well done. But what are you going to tell him when he discovers it was only a ploy?” "It’s not a ploy,” Win said cheerfully. Leo’s smile vanished, and he clapped a hand to his forehead. “Christ,” he muttered. “Where’s my brandy?” And he disappeared into the house. "I’m sure he meant to say ‘congratulations,’ ” Beatrix remarked brightly, following the group as they all went inside.
Lisa Kleypas (Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3))
Halt waited a minute or two but there was no sound except for the jingling of harness and the creaking of leather from their saddles. Finally, the former Ranger could bear it no longer. What?” The question seemed to explode out of him, with a greater degree of violence than he had intended. Taken by surprise, Horace’s bay shied in fright and danced several paces away. Horace turned an aggrieved look on his mentor as he calmed the horse and brought it back under control. What?” he asked Halt, and the smaller man made a gesture of exasperation. That’s what I want to know,” he said irritably. “What?” Horace peered at him. The look was too obviously the sort of look that you give someone who seems to have taken leave of his senses. It did little to improve Halt’s rapidly growing temper. What?” said Horace, now totally puzzled. Don’t keep parroting at me!” Halt fumed. “Stop repeating what I say! I asked you ‘what,’ so don’t ask me ‘what’ back, understand?” Horace considered the question for a second or two, then, in his deliberate way, he replied: “No.” Halt took a deep breath, his eyebrows contracted into a deep V, and beneath them his eyes with anger but before he could speak, Horace forestalled him. What ‘what’ are you asking me?” he said. Then, thinking how to make the question clearer, he added, “Or to put it another way, why are you asking ‘what’?” Controlling himself with enormous restraint, and making no secret of the fact, Halt said, very precisely: “You were about to ask me a question.” Horace frowned. “I was?” Halt nodded. “You were. I saw you take a breath to ask it.” I see,” Horace said. “And what was it about?” For just a second or two, Halt was speechless. He opened his mouth, closed it again, then finally found the strength to speak. That is what I was asking you,” he said. “When I said ‘what,’ I was asking you what you were about to ask me.” I wasn’t about to ask you ‘what,’” Horace replied, and Halt glared at him suspiciously. It occurred to him that Horace could be indulging himself in a gigantic leg pull, that he was secretly laughing at Halt. This, Halt could have told him, was not a good career move. Rangers were not people who took kindly to being laughed at. He studied the boy’s open face and guileless blue eyes and decided that his suspicion was ill-founded. Then what, if I may use that word once more, were you about to ask me?” Horace drew a breath once more, then hesitated. “I forget,” he said. “What were we talking about?
John Flanagan (The Battle for Skandia (Ranger's Apprentice, #4))
Can I touch you?” His lashes closed, resting on the tops of his tanned, sculpted cheeks as his smile grew broad. “You don’t have to ask.” I reached out immediately but paused within inches of contact. He must’ve sensed my hesitation because he reopened his eyes. “What’s wrong?” I swallowed, utterly overwhelmed. “I don’t know where to start.” Mason’s gaze warmed . He wrapped strong warm fingers around my wrist and drew my palm forward, leading me where he wanted my hand to follow. When he set it on the center of his chest, right over his heart and pressed my flesh to his as if fingerprinting my soul to his. I blinked back gratified tears. “Start here. No one’s ever touched me here before.
Linda Kage (Price of a Kiss (Forbidden Men, #1))
You’ve seen me at my worst. Maybe you should see me at my best.” My words hang between us, heavy and charged, and I don’t know what the fuck I am doing. “When are you at your best?” she asks hesitantly. And I can see from the determined look on her face that she is trying hard not to feel intimidated. I’m impressed. She’s like a kitten standing up to a lion. “In bed.
Courtney Cole (If You Stay (Beautifully Broken, #1))
I don’t think I shall ever find peace till I make up my mind about things,’ he said gravely. He hesitated. ‘It’s very difficult to put into words. The moment you try you feel embarrassed. You say to yourself: “Who am I that I should bother myself about this, that, and the other? Perhaps it’s only because I’m a conceited prig. Wouldn’t it be better to follow the beaten track and let what’s coming to you come?” And then you think of a fellow who an hour before was full of life and fun,and he’s lying dead; it’s all so cruel and meaningless. It’s hard not to ask yourself what life is all about and whether there’s any sense to it or whether it’s all a tragic blunder of blind fate.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Razor’s Edge)
Quinn hesitated, then said what his heart demanded."Lizzy, even if you don't believe, I will still be your friend. Nothing is going to change that. I'm loyal to my friends for a lifetime. There are no qualifications." She just looked at him for a long time, and then the smile that could make his heart roll over appeared. She got to her feet and lightly tapped his arm with the sombrero. "You're forgiven for asking me out fourth." She would have passed him but he snagged her hand. "Lizzy." She stopped. "I saved the best for last.
Dee Henderson (The Truth Seeker (O'Malley, #3))
There’s a lot I don’t tell my father when he calls asking after Amy. He wouldn’t understand that she has no interest in getting married and was, in fact, quite happy to break up with her live-in boyfriend, whom she replaced with an imaginary boyfriend named Ricky. The last time she was asked out by a successful bachelor, Amy hesitated before saying, ‘Thanks for asking, but I’m really not into white guys right now.
David Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day)
I don't know what to apologise for first,' I say. 'Cutting off your head or hesitating so long to do it. I didn't want to lose what little there was left of you. And I can't quite think past how wonderous it is that you're alive.' 'You don't know how long I've waited to hear those words,' he says. 'You don't want me dead.' 'If you joke about this, I am going to-' 'Kill me?' he asks, raising both black brows. I think I might hate him after all.
Holly Black (The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3))
Kengi?" "Yeah?" I take a deep breath. Try to count the stars. "What am I going to do?" "About what?" I hesitate. "About everything." Kenji makes a strange sound. "Shit if I know." "I don't want to do this without you," I whisper. He leans back. "Who said you're going to do anything without me?" My heart skips a few beats. I stare at him. "What?" he asks. Raises his eyebrows. "You're surprised?" "You'll fight with me?" I ask him, hardly breathing. "Fight back with me? Even if it's with Warner?" Kenji smiles. Looks up at the sky. "Hell yeah," he says. "Really?" "I'm here for you, kid. That's what friends are for.
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
Where are we going?” she asked. “Mr. Durbin’s sheep have begun to lamb, and I wanted to see how the ewes are doing.” He cleared his throat. “I suppose I should have told you about today’s outing earlier.” Anna kept her eyes straight ahead and made a noncommittal sound. He coughed. “I might’ve, had you not left so precipitously yesterday afternoon.” She arched a brow but did not reply. There was a lengthy lull broken only by the dog’s eager yelp as he flushed a rabbit from the hedge along the lane. Then the earl tried again. “I’ve heard some people say my temper is rather . . .” He paused, apparently searching for a word. Anna helped him. “Savage?” He squinted at her. “Ferocious?” He frowned and opened his mouth. She was quicker. “Barbaric?” He cut her off before she could add to her list. “Yes, well, let us simply say that it intimidates some people.” He hesitated. “I wouldn’t want to intimidate you, Mrs. Wren.” “You don’t.
Elizabeth Hoyt (The Raven Prince (Princes Trilogy, #1))
I haven't tried this with anyone...signifacant in a long time. It's never worked before." "You haven't had sex before?" "I have. But not with anyone i cared about or...knew. One-time things. That's all." "That's all-ever?" "It's not like they 've been tons of them. There were more before, in high school, than there have been the last three years." "Lucas? I said yes, and i meant it. I want this-as long as you have protection, i mean. I want this, with you. So this is okay. Please don't ask me to say stop." "I want it to be better than okay. You deserve better than okay." "You 're shaking, Jacqueline. Do you want to-" "No." "I'm just a little cold." "Better?" "Yes." "You know you can say it. But i'm not asking you to, this time." "Good." His earlier hesitation gone, he removed the last scraps of fabric we were wearing, fixed the condom in place, kissed me fiercely and rocked into me.
Tammara Webber (Easy (Contours of the Heart, #1))
Pick someplace that you could actually get to without building a spaceship.” Six asks I think it over for a moment. “I don’t know. Disney World?” Six and Sarah both exchange a look and then start laughing. “Disney World?” exclaims Six. “You’re so cheesy, John.” “No, it’s sweet,” says Sarah, patting my hand. “It’s the most magical place on Earth.” “You know, I’ve never actually been on a roller coaster. Henri wasn’t down with the whole amusement-park thing. I used to see the commercials and I always wanted to go.” “That’s so sad!” exclaims Sarah. “We’re definitely going to get you to Disney World. Or at least on a roller coaster. They’re amazing.” Six snaps her fingers. “What’s that one ride? It’s supposed to be like a rocket ship?” “Space Mountain,” answers Sarah. “Yeah,” replies Six, and then hesitates as if she’s worried she’s about to divulge too much. “I actually remember looking that up online when I was little. I insisted to Katarina that it had something to do with us.” The thought of a young Six investigating Disney World is priceless. The three of us share a laugh. “Aliens,” mutters Sarah jokingly. “You need to get out more.
Pittacus Lore (The Fall of Five (Lorien Legacies, #4))
As I grow in age, I value women who are over forty most of all. Here are just a few reasons why: A woman over forty will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask, “What are you thinking?” She doesn’t care what you think. If a woman over forty doesn’t want to watch the game, she doesn’t sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And, it’s usually something more interesting. A woman over forty knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom. Few women past the age of forty give a hoot what you might think about her or what she’s doing. Women over forty are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it. Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it’s like to be unappreciated. A woman over forty has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn’t trust the guy with other women. Women over forty couldn’t care less if you’re attracted to her friends because she knows her friends won’t betray her. Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over forty. They always know. A woman over forty looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women. Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over forty is far sexier than her younger counterpart. Older women are forthright and honest. They’ll tell you right off if you are a jerk, if you are acting like one! You don’t ever have to wonder where you stand with her. Yes, we praise women over forty for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed hot woman of forty-plus, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some twenty-two-year-old waitress. Ladies, I apologize. For all those men who say, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,” here’s an update for you. Now 80 percent of women are against marriage, why? Because women realize it’s not worth buying an entire pig, just to get a little sausage.
Andy Rooney
While I pressed the tissue to my face, Beck said, “Can I tell you something? There are a lot of empty boxes in your head, Sam.” I looked at him, quizzical. Again, it was a strange enough concept to hold my attention. “There are a lot of empty boxes in there, and you can put things in them.” Beck handed me another tissue for the other side of my face. My trust of Beck at that point was not yet complete; I remember thinking that he was making a very bad joke that I wasn’t getting. My voice sounded wary, even to me. “What kinds of things?” “Sad things,” Beck said. “Do you have a lot of sad things in your head?” “No,” I said. Beck sucked in his lower lip and released it slowly. “Well, I do.” This was shocking. I didn’t ask a question, but I tilted toward him. “And these things would make me cry,” Beck continued. “They used to make me cry all day long.” I remembered thinking this was probably a lie. I could not imagine Beck crying. He was a rock. Even then, his fingers braced against the floor, he looked poised, sure, immutable. “You don’t believe me? Ask Ulrik. He had to deal with it,” Beck said. “And so you know what I did with those sad things? I put them in boxes. I put the sad things in the boxes in my head, and I closed them up and I put tape on them and I stacked them up in the corner and threw a blanket over them.” “Brain tape?” I suggested, with a little smirk. I was eight, after all. Beck smiled, a weird private smile that, at the time, I didn’t understand. Now I knew it was relief at eliciting a joke from me, no matter how pitiful the joke was. “Yes, brain tape. And a brain blanket over the top. Now I don’t have to look at those sad things anymore. I could open those boxes sometime, I guess, if I wanted to, but mostly I just leave them sealed up.” “How did you use the brain tape?” “You have to imagine it. Imagine putting those sad things in the boxes and imagine taping it up with the brain tape. And imagine pushing them into the side of your brain, where you won’t trip over them when you’re thinking normally, and then toss a blanket over the top. Do you have sad things, Sam?” I could see the dusty corner of my brain where the boxes sat. They were all wardrobe boxes, because those were the most interesting sort of boxes — tall enough to make houses with — and there were rolls and rolls of brain tape stacked on top. There were razors lying beside them, waiting to cut the boxes and me back open. “Mom,” I whispered. I wasn’t looking at Beck, but out of the corner of my eye, I saw him swallow. “What else?” he asked, barely loud enough for me to hear. “The water,” I said. I closed my eyes. I could see it, right there, and I had to force out the next word. “My …” My fingers were on my scars. Beck reached out a hand toward my shoulder, hesitant. When I didn’t move away, he put an arm around my back and I leaned against his chest, feeling small and eight and broken. “Me,” I said.
Maggie Stiefvater (Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3))
What if I don’t have a clue what I want to do?” I ask. “It takes time, I think. Follow your interests. Develop your strengths. Stay open to trying new things.” She hesitates, then adds, “Maybe you haven’t developed a passion yet because you’ve spent your entire life doing what others wanted you to do.
Randy Ribay (Patron Saints of Nothing)
Jack stares at me blankly. ‘A what?’ he asks. I choke back the laugh. ‘A boy. You know? A Y-chromosome holder? You don’t seem to notice them as much as you do the X-carriers.’ ‘What are you talking about?’ Jack asks, ‘A boy? She’s just a kid.’ I hesitate, wondering how Jack is only just doing the maths on this one now. ‘She’s seventeen. She’s not a kid anymore.’ Jack looks like he’s about to go all Incredible Hulk and burst out of his clothes before rampaging through the bar. He jumps off the stool. ‘If any boy ever lays a finger on my sister, I’m going to kill him,’ he says. Again I stare at him in silence, thinking of all the girls Jack has laid fingers and much more of his anatomy on besides. Poor Lila. If she ever wants to have a shot at a normal life, as in one that doesn’t require a vow of celibacy, she needs to stay in London.
Sarah Alderson (Losing Lila (Lila, #2))
The ringtone was a dead giveaway, emphasis on dead . . . creepy organ music. She didn’t even have to glance at the image of fanged bunny slippers on the screen to know who was calling. She just sighed, thumbed it on, and held it to her ear. “Claire! I need you here immediately. Something’s wrong with Bob.” Myrnin, her mad-scientist, blood-addicted boss, sounded actually shaken. “I can’t get him to eat his insects, and I used his favorites. He just sits there.” “Bob,” she repeated, looking at Shane in wide-eyed disbelief. “Bob the spider.” “Just because he’s a spider doesn’t mean he deserves any less concern! Claire, you have a way with him. He likes you.” Just what she needed. Bob the spider liked her. “You do realize that he’s a year old, at least. And spiders don’t live that long.” “You think he’s dead?” Myrnin sounded horrified. So wrong. “Is he curled up?” “No. He’s just quiet.” “Well, maybe he’s not hungry.” “Will you come?” Myrnin asked. He sounded calmer now, but also oddly needy. “It’s been very lonely here these past few days. I’d like your company, at least for a little while.” When she hesitated, he used the pity card. “Please, Claire.” “Fine,” she sighed. “I’m bringing Shane.” After a second of silence, he said, flatly, “Goody,” and hung up.
Rachel Caine
He lifed his head and looked down at her seriously. "Could you," he began, then he had to clear his throat. "Could you learn to be fond of me?" he asked. "With enough time?" She looked at him in surprise. It was the first time in all their acquaintance that she'd heard him sound the least bit hesitant. "I don't need to learn anything," she said, before she thought better of it.
Lynn Kurland (Spellweaver (Nine Kingdoms #5))
What about me?” Frances asked. “The butler,” Harriet replied without even a second of hesitation. Frances’s mouth immediately opened to protest. “No, no,” Harriet said. “It’s the best role, I promise. You get to do everything.” “Except be a unicorn,” Daniel murmured. Frances tilted her head to the side with a resigned expression. “The next play,” Harriet finally gave in. “I shall find a way to include a unicorn in the one I’m working on right now.” Frances pumped both fists in the air. “Huzzah!
Julia Quinn (A Night Like This (Smythe-Smith Quartet, #2))
Then what is true love?” she asked audaciously. Derian leaned forward, his focus powerfully fixed on her. His voice turned delicate and compelling as he spoke. “Love is so much more than a feeling. True love, Eena, is something that develops over time. It’s not that initial infatuation nor the shivers and butterflies that take your breath away when you’re first attracted to someone. Those things are nice, but they are barely the beginning of what could become true love. The emotions you speak of are temporary and unreliable, elicited when two people come together. The power I speak of grows ever stronger over time until it is steadfast, even in separation. Then, reunited, it solidifies unshakably.” She shook her head. “I don’t quite follow.” The captain inched closer, fixing her with the sincerest of gazes. His hands cupped as if he were holding his very heart within them. “True love is a developed and intense appreciation for someone. It’s that perfect awareness that you are finally whole when she’s with you, and that hollow incompleteness you suffer when she’s gone. True love takes time, Eena. It’s an earned comfort that tells you she’ll be right there beside you no matter what you do, not necessarily happy with your every action, but faithful to you just the same. Love is knowing someone so deeply, understanding her so completely, that you can finish her thoughts without hesitation, confident in reading her face, her body, even her slightest gesture means something to you. Love is years of devotion, sacrifice, commitment, loyalty, trust, faith, and friendship all wrapped up in one. True love does more than cause your heart to flutter, Eena. It upholds your heart when the infatuation no longer makes it flutter.” “Wow.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Eena, The Return of a Queen (The Harrowbethian Saga #2))
One day someone called the Institute and asked to speak to a particular dean. When his secretary said that the dean wasn’t available, the caller hesitantly asked for Einstein’s home address. That was not possible to give out, he was informed. The caller’s voice then dropped to a whisper. “Please don’t tell anybody,” he said, “but I am Dr. Einstein, I’m on my way home, and I’ve forgotten where my house is.”40
Walter Isaacson (Einstein: His Life and Universe)
About Bane. Don’t hurt him,” Raphael said abruptly. Alec hesitated. “No,” he said, his voice softer. “I would never—” Raphael held up a peremptory hand. “Stop being disgusting, please,” he said. “I don’t care if you wound his, as the kids say, ‘wittle fee-fees.’ Dump him like a ton of magic bricks. I wish you would. I just meant, don’t kill him.” “I’m not going to kill him,” Alec said, appalled. His blood ran cold at the idea, and colder as he looked down into Raphael’s face. The vampire was serious. “Aren’t you?” Raphael asked. “Shadowhunter.” He said the word the same way as the Downworlders of the Shadow Market had, but it sounded different in service of protecting someone Alec would gladly give his life to shield from harm. It made Alec wonder if the people of the Market were all looking at him and seeing a threat to someone they cared for. “Stop it, Raphael,” said Lily. She gave Alec a brief, surprisingly sympathetic look. “Kid’s obviously in love.” “Ugh,” said Raphael. “Terrible business. Let’s get out of here.” Elliott cheered. “Can we go to the after-party?” “No,” Raphael said with distaste. He left Alec and walked away without a look back. After a quick last glance, Lily and then Elliott turned to follow.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
Tell me something. Do you believe in God?' Snow darted an apprehensive glance in my direction. 'What? Who still believes nowadays?' 'It isn't that simple. I don't mean the traditional God of Earth religion. I'm no expert in the history of religions, and perhaps this is nothing new--do you happen to know if there was ever a belief in an...imperfect God?' 'What do you mean by imperfect?' Snow frowned. 'In a way all the gods of the old religions were imperfect, considered that their attributes were amplified human ones. The God of the Old Testament, for instance, required humble submission and sacrifices, and and was jealous of other gods. The Greek gods had fits of sulks and family quarrels, and they were just as imperfect as mortals...' 'No,' I interrupted. 'I'm not thinking of a god whose imperfection arises out of the candor of his human creators, but one whose imperfection represents his essential characteristic: a god limited in his omniscience and power, fallible, incapable of foreseeing the consequences of his acts, and creating things that lead to horror. He is a...sick god, whose ambitions exceed his powers and who does not realize it at first. A god who has created clocks, but not the time they measure. He has created systems or mechanisms that serves specific ends but have now overstepped and betrayed them. And he has created eternity, which was to have measured his power, and which measures his unending defeat.' Snow hesitated, but his attitude no longer showed any of the wary reserve of recent weeks: 'There was Manicheanism...' 'Nothing at all to do with the principles of Good and Evil,' I broke in immediately. 'This god has no existence outside of matter. He would like to free himself from matter, but he cannot...' Snow pondered for a while: 'I don't know of any religion that answers your description. That kind of religion has never been...necessary. If i understand you, and I'm afraid I do, what you have in mind is an evolving god, who develops in the course of time, grows, and keeps increasing in power while remaining aware of his powerlessness. For your god, the divine condition is a situation without a goal. And understanding that, he despairs. But isn't this despairing god of yours mankind, Kelvin? Is it man you are talking about, and that is a fallacy, not just philosophically but also mystically speaking.' I kept on: 'No, it's nothing to do with man. man may correspond to my provisional definition from some point of view, but that is because the definition has a lot of gaps. Man does not create gods, in spite of appearances. The times, the age, impose them on him. Man can serve is age or rebel against it, but the target of his cooperation or rebellion comes to him from outside. If there was only a since human being in existence, he would apparently be able to attempt the experiment of creating his own goals in complete freedom--apparently, because a man not brought up among other human beings cannot become a man. And the being--the being I have in mind--cannot exist in the plural, you see? ...Perhaps he has already been born somewhere, in some corner of the galaxy, and soon he will have some childish enthusiasm that will set him putting out one star and lighting another. We will notice him after a while...' 'We already have,' Snow said sarcastically. 'Novas and supernovas. According to you they are candles on his altar.' 'If you're going to take what I say literally...' ...Snow asked abruptly: 'What gave you this idea of an imperfect god?' 'I don't know. It seems quite feasible to me. That is the only god I could imagine believing in, a god whose passion is not a redemption, who saves nothing, fulfills no purpose--a god who simply is.
Stanisław Lem (Solaris)
We set limits for ourselves all the time. This imaginary line that you're positive you won't ever cross. An action that you are positive you would never do, no matter what. But what we don't consider when we draw our line is a change in our situation. An action that you were sure last week you wouldn't do suddenly becomes a viable option this week because the situation has drive you to it. Then you move your limit line and talk yourself into believing this new line will never be crossed. A man will take a stand and proclaim "I would never lie to my wife." But what if he maxes out their credit card because of his internet porn addiction? The line gets moved. I'm sure if you ask any mother or father they would not hesitate in harming or even killing someone who was about to do the same to their child. The line gets moved. A girl who is so consumed by the pain and empty ache of loneliness will be drive to do anything, no matter how degrading she thinks it is, because she wants to numb the chronic pain. The line gets moved. The line keeps moving and moving until one day you realize you're limitless. If you are being completely honest with yourself, there is absolutely nothing you wouldn't do if the situation required you to cross another line.
Alison G. Bailey (Present Perfect (Perfect, #1))
Angel clicked on a few more pictures on the screen, and Alex made small talk about the place. Then he finally walked away. He stopped just before walking out. “Did Valerie say anything else to Sarah?” Angel glanced back at him. “About what?” “You know about that guy she’s seeing.” Angel turned his attention back to the computer. “No, not really.” Alex frowned. He wasn’t one of those guys, so he wasn’t about to keep asking. If Angel knew anything, he’d tell him. He’d just have to wait until the rehearsal dinner. He started back out when Angel spoke up. “I’m not sure, because she didn’t actually tell me, but I overheard Sarah on the phone last night. It sounded like Valerie was telling her about him.” “Yeah, what did you hear?” Angel looked up trying to remember. Something seemed to come to him but he hesitated. “I don’t think you wanna hear it, Alex. I know I wouldn’t.” Alex squeezed the doorway with his hand. What the hell could he have heard? “Tell me.” Angel shook his head and looked back at the monitor. “Only reason I caught my attentions was because I overheard Sarah ask her something about wearing lingerie.” Alex felt the hair on the back of his neck rise and his gut tightened. He banged his fist against the doorway. He didn’t need to hear any more. Angel had been right that’s the last thing he needed right now. He charged back out of the office, infuriated with himself. Why the fuck had he asked?
Elizabeth Reyes (Always Been Mine (The Moreno Brothers, #2))
I hesitate, hand on my seatbelt buckle. I know I need to get going somewhere, but—well, what’s the harm in scoping the area out? Making sure it’s as safe as Remy seems to think it is? “All right, Remy,” I say, opening the door. “Remy,” he shoots back. “Jesus, you can’t even remember my name? The sewers weren’t kind to you, were they?” “Wait—what?” I ask, shutting the door, locking it. No one’s taking my Lucy. He just looks exasperated, which just makes me confused. “You called me Ruby,” Remy said, indignantly. I stare at him. There’s a flutter of something wild, panicked in my chest I don’t understand and I don’t particularly want to examine. I’m tired and when I’m tired my tongue gets lazy. “Sorry. Tired. Idiot.
Alexandra Bracken (The Rising Dark: A Darkest Minds Collection (Darkest Minds Short Stories))
With a deliberate shrug, he stepped free of the hold on his shoulder. “Tell me something, boys,” he drawled. “Do you wear that leather to turn each other on? I mean, is it a dick thing with you all?” Butch got slammed so hard against the door that his back teeth rattled. The model shoved his perfect face into Butch’s. “I’d watch your mouth, if I were you.” “Why bother, when you’re keeping an eye on it for me? You gonna kiss me now?” A growl like none Butch had ever heard came out of the guy. “Okay, okay.” The one who seemed the most normal came forward. “Back off, Rhage. Hey, come on. Let’s relax.” It took a minute before the model let go. “That’s right. We’re cool,” Mr. Normal muttered, clapping his buddy on the back before looking at Butch. “Do yourself a favor and shut the hell up.” Butch shrugged. “Blondie’s dying to get his hands on me. I can’t help it.” The guy launched back at Butch, and Mr. Normal rolled his eyes, letting his friend go this time. The fist that came sailing at jaw level snapped Butch’s head to one side. As the pain hit, Butch let his own rage fly. The fear for Beth, the pent-up hatred of these lowlifes, the frustration about his job, all of it came out of him. He tackled the bigger man, taking him down onto the floor. The guy was momentarily surprised, as if he hadn’t expected Butch’s speed or strength, and Butch took advantage of the hesitation. He clocked Blondie in the mouth as payback and then grabbed the guy’s throat. One second later, Butch was flat on his back with the man sitting on his chest like a parked car. The guy took Butch’s face into his hand and squeezed, crunching the features together. It was nearly impossible to breathe, and Butch panted shallowly. “Maybe I’ll find your wife,” the guy said, “and do her a couple of times. How’s that sound?" “Don’t have one.” “Then I’m coming after your girlfriend.” Butch dragged in some air. “Got no woman.” “So if the chicks won’t do you, what makes you think I’d want to?” “Was hoping to piss you off.” “Now why’d you want to do that?” Blondie asked. “If I attacked first”—Butch hauled more breath into his lungs—“your boys wouldn’t have let us fight. Would’ve killed me first. Before I had a chance at you.” Blondie loosened his grip a little and laughed as he stripped Butch of his wallet, keys, and cell phone. “You know, I kind of like this big dummy,” the guy drawled. Someone cleared a throat. Rather officiously. Blondie leaped to his feet, and Butch rolled over, gasping. When he looked up, he was convinced he was hallucinating. Standing in the hall was a little old man dressed in livery. Holding a silver tray. “Pardon me, gentlemen. Dinner will be served in about fifteen minutes.” “Hey, are those the spinach crepes I like so much?” Blondie said, going for the tray. “Yes, Sire.” “Hot damn.” The other men clustered around the butler, taking what he offered. Along with cocktail napkins. Like they didn’t want to drop anything on the floor. What the hell was this? “Might I ask a favor?” the butler said. Mr. Normal nodded with vigor. “Bring out another tray of these and we’ll kill anything you want for you.” Yeah, guess the guy wasn’t really normal. Just relatively so. The butler smiled as if touched. “If you’re going to bloody the human, would you be good enough to do it in the backyard?” “No problem.” Mr. Normal popped another crepe in his mouth. “Damn, Rhage, you’re right. These are awesome.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
GO BACK TO DALLAS!” the man sitting somewhere behind us yelled again, and the hold Aiden still had on the back of my neck tightened imperceptibly. “Don’t bother, Van,” he demanded, pokerfaced. “I’m not going to say anything,” I said, even as I reached up with the hand furthest away from him and put it behind my head, extending my middle finger in hopes that the idiot yelling would see it. Those brown eyes blinked. “You just flipped him off, didn’t you?” Yeah, my mouth dropped open. “How do you know when I do that?” My tone was just as astonished as it should be. “I know everything.” He said it like he really believed it. I groaned and cast him a long look. “You really want to play this game?” “I play games for a living, Van.” I couldn’t stand him sometimes. My eyes crossed in annoyance. “When is my birthday?” He stared at me. “See?” “March third, Muffin.” What in the hell? “See?” he mocked me. Who was this man and where was the Aiden I knew? “How old am I?” I kept going hesitantly. “Twenty-six.” “How do you know this?” I asked him slowly. “I pay attention,” The Wall of Winnipeg stated. I was starting to think he was right. Then, as if to really seal the deal I didn’t know was resting between us, he said, “You like waffles, root beer, and Dr. Pepper. You only drink light beer. You put cinnamon in your coffee. You eat too much cheese. Your left knee always aches. You have three sisters I hope I never meet and one brother. You were born in El Paso. You’re obsessed with your work. You start picking at the corner of your eye when you feel uncomfortable or fool around with your glasses. You can’t see things up close, and you’re terrified of the dark.” He raised those thick eyebrows. “Anything else?” Yeah, I only managed to say one word. “No.” How did he know all this stuff? How? Unsure of how I was feeling, I coughed and started to reach up to mess with my glasses before I realized what I was doing and snuck my hand under my thigh, ignoring the knowing look on Aiden’s dumb face. “I know a lot about you too. Don’t think you’re cool or special.” “I know, Van.” His thumb massaged me again for all of about three seconds. “You know more about me than anyone else does.” A sudden memory of the night in my bed where he’d admitted his fear as a kid pecked at my brain, relaxing me, making me smile. “I really do, don’t I?” The expression on his face was like he was torn between being okay with the idea and being completely against it. Leaning in close to him again, I winked. “I’m taking your love of MILF porn to the grave with me, don’t worry.” He stared at me, unblinking, unflinching. And then: “I’ll cut the power at the house when you’re in the shower,” he said so evenly, so crisply, it took me a second to realize he was threatening me… And when it finally did hit me, I burst out laughing, smacking his inner thigh without thinking twice about it. “Who does that?” Aiden Graves, husband of mine, said it, “Me.” Then the words were out of my mouth before I could control them. “And you know what I’ll do? I’ll go sneak into bed with you, so ha.” What the hell had I just said? What in the ever-loving hell had I just said? “If you think I’m supposed to be scared…” He leaned forward so our faces were only a couple of inches away. The hand on my neck and the finger pads lining the back of my ear stayed where they were. “I’m not
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
Mind your borders, Lord Dooley.' Cagney said. Dooley gave her his mournful eyes. 'But I'm trying to expand them.' 'Careful, they will shrink,' Cagney promised. Dylan shook her head. 'What?' Callan asked her. Dylan hesitated a moment before writing out, I'm glad I don't own land. Callan started laughing so hard he had to sit on a bench to recover.
K.M. Shea (The Little Selkie (Timeless Fairy Tales, #5))
Dalinar took one step forward, then drove his Blade point-first into the middle of the blackened glyph on the stone. He took a step back. “For the bridgemen,” he said. Sadeas blinked. Muttering voices fell silent, and the people on the field seemed too stunned, even, to breathe. “What?”Sadeas asked. “The Blade,”Dalinar said, firm voice carrying in the air. “In exchange for your bridgemen. All of them. Every one you have in camp. They become mine, to do with as I please, never to be touched by you again. In exchange, you get the sword.” Sadeas looked down at the Blade, incredulous. “This weapon is worth fortunes. Cities, palaces, kingdoms.” “Do we have a deal?”Dalinar asked. “Father, no!”Adolin Kholin said, his own Blade appearing in his hand. “You—” Dalinar raised a hand, silencing the younger man. He kept his eyes on Sadeas. “Do we have a deal?” he asked, each word sharp. Kaladin stared, unable to move, unable to think. Sadeas looked at the Shardblade, eyes full of lust. He glanced at Kaladin, hesitated just briefly, then reached and grabbed the Blade by the hilt. “Take the storming creatures.” Dalinar nodded curtly, turning away from Sadeas. “Let’s go,”he said to his entourage. “They’re worthless, you know,”Sadeas said. “You’re of the ten fools, Dalinar Kholin! Don’t you see how mad you are? This will be remembered as the most ridiculous decision ever made by an Alethi highprince!” Dalinar didn’t look back. He walked up to Kaladin and the other members of Bridge Four. “Go,” Dalinar said to them, voice kindly. “Gather your things and the men you left behind. I will send troops with you to act as guards. Leave the bridges and come swiftly to my camp. You will be safe there. You have my word of honor on it.” He began to walk away. Kaladin shook off his numbness. He scrambled after the highprince, grabbing his armored arm. “Wait. You—That—What just happened?” Dalinar turned to him. Then, the highprince laid a hand on Kaladin’s shoulder, the gauntlet gleaming blue, mismatched with the rest of his slate-grey armor. “I don’t know what has been done to you. I can only guess what your life has been like. But know this. You will not be bridgemen in my camp, nor will you be slaves.” “But…” “What is a man’s life worth?” Dalinar asked softly. “The slavemasters say one is worth about two emerald broams,” Kaladin said, frowning. “And what do you say?” “A life is priceless,” he said immediately, quoting his father. Dalinar smiled, wrinkle lines extending from the corners of his eyes. “Coincidentally, that is the exact value of a Shardblade. So today, you and your men sacrificed to buy me twenty-six hundred priceless lives. And all I had to repay you with was a single priceless sword. I call that a bargain.” “You really think it was a good trade, don’t you?” Kaladin said, amazed. Dalinar smiled in a way that seemed strikingly paternal.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
1. I told you that I was a roadway of potholes, not safe to cross. You said nothing, showed up in my driveway wearing roller-skates. 2. The first time I asked you on a date, after you hung up, I held the air between our phones against my ear and whispered, “You will fall in love with me. Then, just months later, you will fall out. I will pretend the entire time that I don’t know it’s coming.” 3. Once, I got naked and danced around your bedroom, awkward and safe. You did the same. We held each other without hesitation and flailed lovely. This was vulnerability foreplay. 4. The last eight times I told you I loved you, they sounded like apologies. 5. You recorded me a CD of you repeating, “You are beautiful.” I listened to it until I no longer thought in my own voice. 6. Into the half-empty phone line, I whispered, “We will wake up believing the worst in each other. We will spit shrapnel at each other’s hearts. The bruises will lodge somewhere we don’t know how to look for and I will still pretend I don’t know its coming.” 7. You photographed my eyebrow shapes and turned them into flashcards: mood on one side, correct response on the other. You studied them until you knew when to stay silent. 8. I bought you an entire bakery so that we could eat nothing but breakfast for a week. Breakfast, untainted by the day ahead, was when we still smiled at each other as if we meant it. 9. I whispered, “I will latch on like a deadbolt to a door and tell you it is only because I want to protect you. Really, I’m afraid that without you I mean nothing.” 10. I gave you a bouquet of plane tickets so I could practice the feeling of watching you leave. 11. I picked you up from the airport limping. In your absence, I’d forgotten how to walk. When I collapsed at your feet, you refused to look at me until I learned to stand up without your help. 12. Too scared to move, I stared while you set fire to your apartment – its walls decaying beyond repair, roaches invading the corpse of your bedroom. You tossed all the faulty appliances through the smoke out your window, screaming that you couldn’t handle choking on one more thing that wouldn’t just fix himself. 13. I whispered, “We will each weed through the last year and try to spot the moment we began breaking. We will repel sprint away from each other. Your voice will take months to drain out from my ears. You will throw away your notebook of tally marks from each time you wondered if I was worth the work. The invisible bruises will finally surface and I will still pretend that I didn’t know it was coming.” 14. The entire time, I was only pretending that I knew it was coming.
Miles Walser
Now, where do I bring this thing down?" I asked. There was a hesitation, then, "You don't. We didn't design it to return. It was a redundancy we had no need for. Too costly, in terms of resources." "So what do I do? I just saved the Earth. And now I suffocate out here?
Neil Gaiman
Pigeon?” “Yeah?” A few moments passed, and then he sighed. “Nothing.” Travis hesitated. “I can’t shake this feeling,” he said under his breath. “What do you mean? Like a bad feeling?” I said, suddenly nervous. He turned to me with concern in his eyes, “I have this crazy feeling that once we get home, I’m going to wake up. Like none of this was real.” I slid my arms around his waist, running my hands up the lean muscles of his back. “Is that what you’re worried about?” He looked down to his wrist, and then glanced to the thick silver band on his left finger. “I just can’t shake the feeling that the bubble’s going to burst, and I’m going to be lying in my bed alone, wishing you were there with me.” “I don’t know what I’m going to do with you, Trav! I’ve dumped someone for you—twice—I’ve picked up and went to Vegas with you—twice—I’ve literally gone through hell and back, married you and branded myself with your name. I’m running out of ideas to prove to you that I’m yours.” A small smile graced his lips. “I love it when you say that.” “That I’m yours?” I asked. I leaned up on the balls of my feet, pressing my lips against his. “I. Am. Yours. Mrs. Travis Maddox, forever and always.” His small smile faded as he looked at the boarding gate and then down to me. “I’m gonna fuck it up, Pigeon. You’re gonna get sick of my shit.” I laughed. “I’m sick of your shit, now. I still married you.” “I thought once we got married, that I’d feel a little more reassured about losing you. But I feel like if I get on that plane….” “Travis? I love you. Let’s go home.” His eyebrows pulled in. “You won’t leave me, right? Even when I’m a pain in the ass?” “I vowed in front of God…and Elvis…that I wouldn’t, didn’t I?” His frown lightened a bit. “This is forever?” One corner of my mouth turned up. “Would it make you feel better if we made a wager?” “What kind of husband would I be if I bet against my own marriage?” I smiled. “The stupid kind. Didn’t you listen to your dad when he told you not to bet against me?” He raised an eyebrow. “So you’re that sure, huh? You’d bet on it?” I wrapped my arms around his neck and smiled against his lips. “I’d bet my first born. That’s how sure I am.” And then the peace returned. “You can’t be that sure,” he said, the anxiousness absent from his voice. I raised an eyebrow, and my mouth pulled to one side. “Wanna bet?
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
Magnus was the one who hesitated. "Can I ask you something? You loved a Shadowhunter." "Do you think I stopped?" "When you loved a Shadowhunter, were you ever afraid?" "I was always afraid," said Tessa. "It's natural to be afraid of losing the most previous thing in the world. But don't be too afraid, Magnus. I know warlocks and Shadowhunters are very different, and there is a divide between your worlds that can be hard to cross. But as someone once said to me, the right man will not care. You can build a bridge over the divide and find each other. You can build something much greater than either of you could ever have built on your own." There was a silence after she spoke, as they both thought of the ages they had seen pass already, and the ages to come. The sunlight was still bright through the window outside Magnus's Rome hotel room, but it would not last. Magnus said reluctantly, "But we do lose love, in the end. We both know that." "No," said Tessa. "Love changes you. Love changes the world. You cannot lose that love, no matter how long you live, I think. Trust love. Trust him." Magnus wanted to, but he could not forget Asmodeus telling him he was a curse upon the world.. He remembered begging Shinyun with his eyes not to tell Alec who Magnus's father was. He did not want to lie to Tessa. He did not know how to promise he would do what she advised. "What if I lost him by telling the truth?" "What if you lost him by hiding it.?
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
I got a pole and fishing line from under my bed. I came back out of the bedroom and called to Myra, asking her if she could pack me up a lunch because I was going fishing. And I guess you know what she told me. So I left. There weren’t many people on the street that late at night, almost nine o’clock, but practically everybody that was up asked me if I was going fishing. I said, why, no, I wasn’t, and where did they ever get an idea like that? “Well, how come you’re carryin’ a fish pole and line, then?” this one fella said. “How come you’re doin’ that if you ain’t goin’ fishin’.” “Oh, I got that to scratch my butt with,” I said. “Just in case I’m up a tree somewheres, an’ I can’t reach myself from the ground.” “But, looky here now—” He hesitated, frowning. “That don’t make no sense.
Jim Thompson (Pop. 1280)
... How would you open my chest if you had a mind to?" Bast's expression grew slightly apprehensive. "Your thrice-locked chest, Reshi?" Kvothe looked at his student, the laughter bubbled up out of him. "My what?" he asked incredulously. Bast blushed and looked down. "That's just how I think of it," he mumbled. "As names go..." Kvothe hesitated, a smile playing around his mouth. "Well it's a little storybook, don't you think?" "You're the one who made the thing, Reshi," Bast said sullenly. "Three locks and fancy wood and all that. It's not my fault if it sounds storybook." Kvothe leaned forward and rested an apologetic hand on Bast's knee. "It's a fine name, Bast. Just caught me off my guard is all." He leaned back again. "So. How would you attempt to plunder the thrice-locked chest of Kvothe the Bloodless?
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
I've been meaning to ask," said Magnus. "When Shinyun and I were fighting in the pentagram in Rome, you shot her. You told me that you could see dozens of illusions of me fighting dozens of her. How did you know which one was really her?" "I didn't," said Alec. "I knew which one was you." "Oh. Was one version of me more handsome than the others?" Magnus said, charmed. "More debonair? Possessed a certain je ne sais quoi?" "I don't know about that," said Alec. "You reached for a knife. You had it in your grasp, and then you let it go." Magnus deflated. "You knew it was me because I'm worse at fighting than she is?" Magnus asked. "Well, that's terrible news. I imagine 'pathetic in combat' is on the top ten list of Shadowhutner turnoffs." "No," said Alec. "Number eleven, just below 'doesn't actually look good in black'?" Alec shook his head again. "Before we were together," he said, "I was angry a lot, and I hurt people because I was in pain. Being kind when you're in pain - it's hard. Most people struggle to do it at the best of times. The demon who cast that spell couldn't imagine it. But among all those identical figures, there was one person who hesitated to hurt somebody, even at the moment of utmost horror. That had to be you.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
You speak as if you envied him." "And I do envy him, Emma. In one respect he is the object of my envy." Emma could say no more. They seemed to be within half a sentence of Harriet, and her immediate feeling was to avert the subject, if possible. She made her plan; she would speak of something totally different—the children in Brunswick Square; and she only waited for breath to begin, when Mr. Knightley startled her, by saying, "You will not ask me what is the point of envy.—You are determined, I see, to have no curiosity.—You are wise—but I cannot be wise. Emma, I must tell you what you will not ask, though I may wish it unsaid the next moment." "Oh! then, don't speak it, don't speak it," she eagerly cried. "Take a little time, consider, do not commit yourself." "Thank you," said he, in an accent of deep mortification, and not another syllable followed. Emma could not bear to give him pain. He was wishing to confide in her—perhaps to consult her;—cost her what it would, she would listen. She might assist his resolution, or reconcile him to it; she might give just praise to Harriet, or, by representing to him his own independence, relieve him from that state of indecision, which must be more intolerable than any alternative to such a mind as his.—They had reached the house. "You are going in, I suppose?" said he. "No,"—replied Emma—quite confirmed by the depressed manner in which he still spoke—"I should like to take another turn. Mr. Perry is not gone." And, after proceeding a few steps, she added—"I stopped you ungraciously, just now, Mr. Knightley, and, I am afraid, gave you pain.—But if you have any wish to speak openly to me as a friend, or to ask my opinion of any thing that you may have in contemplation—as a friend, indeed, you may command me.—I will hear whatever you like. I will tell you exactly what I think." "As a friend!"—repeated Mr. Knightley.—"Emma, that I fear is a word—No, I have no wish—Stay, yes, why should I hesitate?—I have gone too far already for concealment.—Emma, I accept your offer—Extraordinary as it may seem, I accept it, and refer myself to you as a friend.—Tell me, then, have I no chance of ever succeeding?" He stopped in his earnestness to look the question, and the expression of his eyes overpowered her. "My dearest Emma," said he, "for dearest you will always be, whatever the event of this hour's conversation, my dearest, most beloved Emma—tell me at once. Say 'No,' if it is to be said."—She could really say nothing.—"You are silent," he cried, with great animation; "absolutely silent! at present I ask no more." Emma was almost ready to sink under the agitation of this moment. The dread of being awakened from the happiest dream, was perhaps the most prominent feeling. "I cannot make speeches, Emma:" he soon resumed; and in a tone of such sincere, decided, intelligible tenderness as was tolerably convincing.—"If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am.—You hear nothing but truth from me.—I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it.—Bear with the truths I would tell you now, dearest Emma, as well as you have borne with them. The manner, perhaps, may have as little to recommend them. God knows, I have been a very indifferent lover.—But you understand me.—Yes, you see, you understand my feelings—and will return them if you can. At present, I ask only to hear, once to hear your voice.
Jane Austen (Emma)
What is consciousness?” I asked. “I don’t know,” he replied, after a little hesitation. “Never mind,” I said. “Let’s think of something easier. What is energy?” “Well,” he said, “we can measure it and write down the equations governing its conservation.” “Yes, I know, but that was not my question. My question was: what is it?” “We don’t know,” he said with a grin, “and I think you were aware of that.” “Yes, like you I have read Feynman and he says that no one knows what energy is. That brings me to my main point. Would I be right in thinking that you were about to dismiss me (and my belief in God) if I failed to explain the divine and human nature of Christ?” He grinned again, and said nothing. I went on: “Well, by the same token, would you be happy if I now dismiss you and all your knowledge of physics because you cannot explain to me the nature of energy? After all, energy is surely by definition much less complex than the God who created it?” “Please don’t!” he said. “No, I am not going to do that, but I am going to put another question to you: why do you believe in the concepts of consciousness and energy, even though you do not understand them fully? Is it not because of the explanatory power of those concepts?” “I see what you are driving at,” he replied. “You believe that Jesus Christ is both God and man because that is the only explanation that has the power to make sense of what we know of him?” “Exactly.
John C. Lennox (Against the Flow: The inspiration of Daniel in an age of relativism)
I could spell it," I say. "Write it down." He hesitates at this novel idea. Possibly he doesn't remember I can. I've never held a pen or a pencil, in this room, not even to add up the scores. Women can't add, he once said, jokingly. When I asked him what he meant, he said, For them, one and one and one and one don't make four. What
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
You can say whatever you like to me. I'm your oyster." Before she could restrain herself, an appalled giggle escaped her. "Please don't say that. You're no such thing." "You can choose another word, if you like." Mr. Severin extended his arm to escort her downstairs. "But the fact is, if you ever need anything- any favor, any service, large or small- I'm the one to send for. No questions asked. No obligations attached. Will you remember that?" Cassandra hesitated before taking his arm. "I'll remember." As they proceeded to the first floor, she asked in bewilderment, "But why would you make such a promise?" "Haven't you ever liked someone or something right away, without knowing exactly why, but feeling sure you would discover the reasons later?" She couldn't help smiling at that, thinking, Yes, as a matter of fact. Just now. But it would be too forward to say so, and besides, it would be wrong to encourage him. "I would be glad to call you a friend, Mr. Severin. But I'm afraid marriage will never be a possibility. We don't suit. I could please you only in the most superficial ways." "I would be happy with that," he said. "Superficial relationships are my favorite kind." A regretful smile lingered at her lips. "Mr. Severin, you couldn't give me the life I've always dreamed of." "I hope your dream comes true, my lady. But if it doesn't, I could offer you some very satisfying substitutes." "Not if you're heart is frozen," Cassandra said. Mr. Severin grinned at that, and made no reply. But as they neared the last step, she heard his reflective, almost puzzled murmur. "Actually... I think it just thawed a little.
Lisa Kleypas (Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6))
Dogs don't hesitate. They stand by our side, no matter the odds, the reason, the depth of cold. If we step into the blackest of nights, they step with us, and sometimes----most of the time---they take the first step. And no matter their size---from the smallest to the largest---they'll do what needs to be done to safeguard their human companion---their friend---even if it means giving their life. They don't weight odds, or ask any questions. Dogs are selfless.
David Weiskircher
So what are you saying?" he asked. "That we'd be crazy if we don't try again. That you are good for me, Will Doniger. You've proven it again and again." He hesitated before he turned to me, words hovering on his lips. "Tell me," I said. "What are you thinking?" "That I love you, Rose. I have for a while." I stopped breathing. "Me too. I love you, too.
Donna Freitas (The Survival Kit)
But, that’s probably why she didn’t tell you. And… I don’t want you to be mad at her.” I try to swallow past the lump forming in my throat. “I’m not mad at Sadie,” I tell him quietly. There’s a hesitancy to his stance, every line of his face, like he wants to say more but he doesn't know how. So, I take a guess. “I’m not gonna leave her, Oliver. Never, okay? She may ask me to go one day, but I will never leave her. Not her, or your brother or you. Tell me you understand that.
Peyton Corinne (Unsteady)
I hesitate, hand on my seat belt buckle. I know I need to get going somewhere, but—well, what’s the harm in scoping the area out? Making sure it’s as safe as Remy seems to think it is? “All right, Remy,” I say, opening the door. “Remy,” he shoots back. “Jesus, you can’t even remember my name? The sewers weren’t kind to you, were they?” “Wait—what?” I ask, shutting the door, locking it. No one’s taking my Lucy. He just looks exasperated, which just makes me confused. “You called me Ruby,” Remy said, indignantly. I stare at him. There’s a flutter of something wild, panicked in my chest I don’t understand and I don’t particularly want to examine. I’m tired and when I’m tired my tongue gets lazy. “Sorry. Tired. Idiot.
Alexandra Bracken (The Rising Dark: A Darkest Minds Collection (Darkest Minds Short Stories))
Take them off," I order and without hesitation she removes them and drops them on the floor. She lifts her cami so I can see her, then rubs her hand over her tummy and over the top of her mound while she watches me. When I look into her eyes she's licking her lips. "Do you like what you see?" she asks playfully. "You know I do." "Good. When you apologize, you can have some." Oh, hell no. "Let me remind you, as your husband and your Master, I don't need your permission. I'll have some with or without an apology, but because I love you and because it was a shitty thing for me to accuse you of, I'll apologize anyway. So for what's worth - I'm sorry for accusing you of hitting on Sawyer. I love you. Now open your legs like a good wife and let me fuck you.
Ella Dominguez (The Art of Domination (The Art of D/s, #2))
Steris,” he whispered, “I’ve been considering how to proceed once we decide how to infiltrate. I’ve thought about bringing you in with us, and I just don’t see that it’s feasible. I think it would be best if you stayed and watched the horses.” “Very well.” “No, really. Those are armed soldiers. I can’t even fathom how I’d feel if I brought you in there and something happened. You need to stay out here.” “Very well.” “It isn’t subject to—” Wax hesitated. “Wait. You’re all right with this?” “Why wouldn’t I be?” she asked. “I barely have any sense of where to point a gun, and have hardly any capacity for sneaking—that’s really quite a scandalous talent if you think about it, Lord Waxillium. While I do believe that people tend to be safest when near you, riding into an enemy compound is stretching the issue. I’ll stay here.” Wax grinned in the darkness. “Steris, you’re a gem.” “What? Because I have a moderately healthy sense of self-preservation?” “Let’s just say that out in the Roughs, I was accustomed to people always wanting to try things beyond their capacity. And they always seemed determined to do it right when it was the most dangerous.” “Well, I shall endeavor to stay out of sight,” Steris said, “and not get captured.” “I doubt you need to worry about that all the way out here.” “Oh, I agree,” she said. “But that is the sort of statistical anomaly that plagues my life, so I’ll plan for it nonetheless.
Brandon Sanderson (The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn, #6))
So let this be the first and sacred law of friendship: seek only the good from friends, do only good for the sake of friends - and don't wait to be asked! Be always attentive! Banish hesitation! Be ready to give advice freely! Take seriously the good advice of friends. Be ready to offer it openly, even forcefully, if the occasion demands - and also be ready to follow when it's been offered.
Marcus Tullius Cicero (On the Good Life)
You’re strong, so don’t believe otherwise. You’re loved, so don’t let that bitch Jeanine tell you any different, and don’t be shy to lean on Calvin, Elsa, and Kirian. Don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it. They care about you more than you know.” No. “Instead of dancing alone, dance with others. Instead of living alone, lean on others. Instead of purging the pain, talk about it.” No. “Live well.
Rina Kent (Black Knight (Royal Elite, #4))
She doesn’t hesitate often. She told us that good leadership means being an efficient decision maker, and she doesn’t tolerate indecision in others. “When somebody says to me, ‘Well, I don’t know what to do,’ I don’t have time for that. Because if I ask you to give me your opinion and you’re wishy-washy with me, I’m moving on. We’re always on a fast-moving train,” she said, crisply, and we got a sense she’s not somebody you’d want to let down.
Katty Kay (The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance – What Women Should Know)
She drew back from the spectacle of my humiliation and of her triumph. The sudden silence that had fallen upon me seemed to frighten her. "I spared you, at the time," she said. "I would have spared you now, if you had not forced me to speak." She moved away as if to leave the room-- and hesitated before she got to the door. "Why did you come here to humiliate yourself?" she asked. "Why did you come here to humiliate me?" She went on a few steps, and paused once more. "For God's sake, say something!" she exclaimed, passionately. "If you have any mercy left, don't let me degrade myself in this way! Say something--and drive me out of the room!
Wilkie Collins (The Moonstone)
Annabeth took a deep breath. “I, ah . . . well, it said, You shall delve in the darkness of the endless maze . . .” We waited. “The dead, the traitor, and the lost one raise.” Grover perked up. “The lost one! That must mean Pan! That’s great!” “With the dead and the traitor,” I added. “Not so great.” “And?” Chiron asked. “What is the rest?” “You shall rise or fall by the ghost king’s hand,” Annabeth said, “the child of Athena’s final stand.” Everyone looked around uncomfortably. Annabeth was a daughter of Athena, and a final stand didn’t sound good. “Hey . . . we shouldn’t jump to conclusions,” Silena said. “Annabeth isn’t the only child of Athena, right?” “But who’s this ghost king?” Beckendorf asked. No one answered. I thought about the Iris-message I’d seen of Nico summoning spirits. I had a bad feeling the prophecy was connected to that. “Are there more lines?” Chiron asked. “The prophecy does not sound complete.” Annabeth hesitated. “I don’t remember exactly.” Chiron raised an eyebrow. Annabeth was known for her memory. She never forgot something she heard. Annabeth shifted on her bench. “Something about . . . Destroy with a hero’s final breath.
Rick Riordan (The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4))
The boy slipped the necklace over his head and jutted his chin toward her. “Move.” Serilda tensed, startled by his abruptness. “I beg your pardon?” “You’re in the way,” he said, gesturing at the spinning wheel. “I need space to work.” “Would it hurt to ask politely?” He fixed her with a look so openly annoyed, she wondered if his irritation might rival her own. “I’m helping you.” “And I’ve paid you for the honor,” she said, indicating the necklace at his throat. “I don’t think a shred of civility is unwarranted.” He opened his mouth, but hesitated. His brow furrowed. “Would you like me to give the necklace back and leave you to your fate?” “Of course not. But you still haven’t told me how, exactly, you plan to help me.” He sighed, a bit dramatically. “Suit yourself. After all, why he accommodating when one can be difficult?
Marissa Meyer (Gilded (Gilded, #1))
Releasing me, he backs up and strips off his shirt then shucks his jeans. I burst into laughter. “If you think you’re going to Slytherin to my bed with those on, you’re wrong. I only allow full-fledged Hufflepuffs in there.” Zach glances down at his underwear and hangs his head. “Why did I have to wear this pair today? Why?” “What? I think they’re hot.” “You think my Harry Potter underwear are hot?” I nod. “You are my dream girl.” I grin and shake my head as I make my way to my bed. I do my best to straighten the covers before pulling back my side and climbing in. “I think you were right earlier.” “About?” he asks, standing on the other side. “This bed isn’t big enough for two. I think we’ll have to snuggle.” He smirks as he slides in, getting as close to me as possible. I don’t hesitate to match his movements—though I probably should. I should be weirded out that Zach’s in my bed. I shouldn’t gravitate toward him like I do. But I can’t help it. Zach makes me feel…comfortable. Safe. Warm. Wanted. We’re lying face to face in the middle of the bed, the blanket draped over our waists, grinning at each other like fools. “What?” I whisper. “I made it in.” “What?” I ask again, confused. “Your special Hufflepuff-only chamber of secrets.” “Did you really just…” Laughter consumes me and I’m rolling to my back and covering my face in embarrassment…for him. “You are such a nerd, Zach.
Teagan Hunter (Let's Get Textual (Texting, #1))
Oh," he said again and picked up two petals of cherry blossom which he folded together like a sandwich and ate slowly. "Supposing," he said, staring past her at the wall of the house, "you saw a little man, about as tall as a pencil, with a blue patch in his trousers, halfway up a window curtain, carrying a doll's tea cup-would you say it was a fairy?" "No," said Arrietty, "I'd say it was my father." "Oh," said the boy, thinking this out, "does your father have a blue patch on his trousers?" "Not on his best trousers. He does on his borrowing ones." 'Oh," said the boy again. He seemed to find it a safe sound, as lawyers do. "Are there many people like you?" "No," said Arrietty. "None. We're all different." "I mean as small as you?" Arrietty laughed. "Oh, don't be silly!" she said. "Surely you don't think there are many people in the world your size?" "There are more my size than yours," he retorted. "Honestly-" began Arrietty helplessly and laughed again. "Do you really think-I mean, whatever sort of a world would it be? Those great chairs . . . I've seen them. Fancy if you had to make chairs that size for everyone? And the stuff for their clothes . . . miles and miles of it . . . tents of it ... and the sewing! And their great houses, reaching up so you can hardly see the ceilings . . . their great beds ... the food they eat ... great, smoking mountains of it, huge bogs of stew and soup and stuff." "Don't you eat soup?" asked the boy. "Of course we do," laughed Arrietty. "My father had an uncle who had a little boat which he rowed round in the stock-pot picking up flotsam and jetsam. He did bottom-fishing too for bits of marrow until the cook got suspicious through finding bent pins in the soup. Once he was nearly shipwrecked on a chunk of submerged shinbone. He lost his oars and the boat sprang a leak but he flung a line over the pot handle and pulled himself alongside the rim. But all that stock-fathoms of it! And the size of the stockpot! I mean, there wouldn't be enough stuff in the world to go round after a bit! That's why my father says it's a good thing they're dying out . . . just a few, my father says, that's all we need-to keep us. Otherwise, he says, the whole thing gets"-Arrietty hesitated, trying to remember the word-"exaggerated, he says-" "What do you mean," asked the boy, " 'to keep us'?
Mary Norton (The Borrowers (The Borrowers, #1))
By the way, what is a dream?” I asked after some hesitation. YoonGi answered in his drawling voice. “I told you I don't have one.” “No, I mean... .” I hesitated and continued. “I was wondering what a dream is. What do people mean by a dream?” He looked at me and then turned his gaze towards the sky, frowning. “Something you want to achieve? I guess.” HoSeok took over, waving his mobile phone at us. “The dictionary definitions are first, ‘an imaginary series of events you experience while you are asleep’; second, ‘a situation or an ideal you hope to realize’; and third, ‘false expectations or thoughts that are almost unlikely or completely unlikely to turn into reality’.” “Isn't the third definition odd? How can something that is unlikely to turn into reality be called a dream?” HoSeok responded. “People sometimes tell you to wake up from your dream. So, if you're dreaming of turning back and going home before we get to the rock, wake up from your dream!” Some of us laughed out loud, but the rest showed no reaction, probably because they had no more energy left. “That's weird. How can something that you want to achieve most in your life and something that is unlikely to come true both be called a dream?” YoonGi said, giggling. “Maybe it means that people are that desperate. They just can't give up on their dreams even though they know they won't come true. Don't ever try to have a dream.” I looked at him in surprise.“How come?” YoonGi had started biting his nails and, feeling conscious of my glance, he put his hands in his pockets. “Because it's tough having one.
Big Hit Entertainment (花樣年華 HYYH The Notes 1 (The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, #1))
He pauses. “Maybe that letter was left for you.” “No, she was pretty pissed that I wrote back.” Now he hesitates. “I don’t mean that she left the letter for you.” It takes me a second to figure out his tone. “Rev, if you start preaching at me, I’m going in the house.” “I’m not preaching.” No, he’s not. Yet. He still has that old Bible I found him clutching in my closet. It was his mother’s. He’s read it about twenty times. He’ll debate theology with anyone who’s interested—and I’m not on that list. Geoff and Kristin used to take him to church, but he said he didn’t like that he couldn’t live by his own interpretation. What he didn’t say was that looking up at a man in a pulpit reminded him too much of his father. Rev doesn’t walk around quoting Bible verses or anything—usually—but his faith is rock solid. I once asked him how he can believe in a providential god when he barely survived living with his father. He looked at me and said, “Because I did survive.” And there’s no arguing that.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
A loud clap of thunder shook the cottage, and I jumped slightly, causing Archer to take a step toward me. What are you doing here? I asked. You don’t like thunderstorms, he answered. I tilted my head, confused. You walked a mile in the rain because I don’t like thunderstorms? He hesitated for a second, looking away, frowning slightly. Then he looked back at me and said simply, Yes. He paused, his expression pained. I know I’m probably the last person you want to see right now, but I just thought if I sat on your porch, you wouldn’t be scared. You wouldn’t be alone. Oh God. I couldn’t help it; my face crumpled, and I started to cry.
Mia Sheridan (Archer's Voice)
Deacon grinned and raised his hand. There was a moment’s hesitation, a few seconds where Deacon wasn’t sure whether he could really do it. Then he brought his hand down, smacking the center of Mark’s ass. Mark’s breath hitched, but other than that, nothing much happened. The spot Deacon had slapped was barely pink. “Was that okay?” Deacon asked. “Was what okay?” Mark asked, lifting his head. “Uh, the way I did that?” “Did you do something?” “What do you mean?” “I might be wrong, mate, but isn’t a spanking supposed to hurt a bit? You’ve got arm muscles; why don’t you use th—” The crack of Deacon’s palm against Mark’s flesh made Deacon cringe—not out of sympathy for Mark so much as fear that the entire house had heard it. Mark bucked, and the pink patch that appeared on his right cheek was quite satisfying. “Better?” Deacon asked. “God. Fuck. Yes. Better,” Mark said into the pillow.
Lisa Henry (Mark Cooper versus America (Prescott College, #1))
It’s your fault that I’ve been reduced to such behavior,” he continued. “I assure you, I myself find it appalling that the only pleasure I obtain these days is chasing after you like an adolescent lordling with a housemaid.” “Did you chase after the housemaids when you were a boy?” “Good God, of course not. How could you ask such a thing?” Sebastian looked indignant. Just as she felt a twinge of guilt and began to apologize, he said smugly, “They chased after me.” Evie raised a cue stick as if to crown him with it. He caught her wrist easily in one hand and pried the stick from her fingers. “Easy, firebrand. You’ll knock out the few wits I have left—and then of what use would I be to you?” “You would be purely ornamental,” Evie replied, giggling. “Ah, well, I suppose there’s some value in that. God help me if I should ever lose my looks.” “I wouldn’t mind.” He gave her a quizzical smile. “What?” “If…” Evie paused, suddenly embarrassed. “If anything happened to your looks…if you became…less handsome. Your appearance wouldn’t matter to me. I would still…” She paused and finished hesitantly, “…want you as my husband.” Sebastian’s smile faded slowly. He gave her a long, intent stare, her wrist still clasped in his hand. Something strange crossed his expression…an undefinable emotion wrought of heat and vulnerability. When he answered, his voice was strained from the effort to sound cavalier. “Without a doubt, you’re the first one who’s ever said that to me. I hope you won’t be such a pea goose as to endow me with characteristics that I don’t have.” “No, you’re endowed enough as it is,” Evie replied, before the double meaning of the statement occurred to her. She burned a brilliant scarlet. “Th-that is…I didn’t mean…” But Sebastian was laughing quietly, the odd tension passing, and he pulled her against him. As she responded to him eagerly, his amusement dissolved like sugar in hot liquid. He kissed her longer, harder, his breath striking her cheek in rapid drives. “Evie,” he whispered, “you’re so warm, so lovely…oh, hell. I’ve got two months, thirteen days and six hours before I can take you to my bed. Little she-devil. This is going to be the death of me.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
Desperately trying to remember her manners, she curtseyed and murmured, "Your Grace." The smile lines at his eyes deepened subtly. "You appear to be in need of rescue. Why don't you come inside with me, away from this riffraff? The duchess is eager to meet you." As Pandora hesitated, thoroughly intimidated, he assured her. "I'm quite trustworthy. In fact, I'm very nearly an angel. You'll come to love me in no time." "Take heed," Lord St. Vincent advised Pandora sardonically, fastening the loose sides of his vest. "My father is the pied piper of gullible women." "That's not true," the duke said, "The non-gullible ones follow me as well." Pandora couldn't help chuckling. She looked up into silvery-blue eyes lit with sparks of humor and playfulness. There was something reassuring about his presence, the sense of a man who truly liked women. When she and Cassandra were children, they had fantasized about a handsome father who would lavish them with affection and advice, and spoil them just a little, but not too much. A father who might have let them stand on his feet to dance. This man looked very much like the one Pandora had imagined. She moved forward and took his arm. "How was your journey, my dear?" the duke asked as he escorted her into the house. Before Pandora could reply, Lord St. Vincent spoke from behind them. "Lady Pandora doesn't like small talk, Father. She would prefer to discuss topics such as Darwin, or women's suffrage." "Naturally an intelligent young woman would wish to skip over mundane chitchat," the duke said, giving Pandora such an approving glance that she fairly glowed. "However," he continued thoughtfully, "most people need to be guided into a feeling of safety before they dare reveal their opinions to someone they've only just met. There's a beginning to everything, after all. Every opera has its prelude, every sonnet its opening quatrain. Small talk is merely a way of helping a stranger to trust you, by first finding something you can both agree on." "No one's ever explained it that way before," Pandora said with a touch of wonder. "It actually makes sense. But why must it be so often about weather? Isn't there something else we all agree on? Runcible spoons- everyone likes those, don't they? And teatime, and feeding ducks." "Blue ink," the duke added. "And a cat's purr. And summer storms- although I suppose that brings us back to weather." "I wouldn't mind talking about weather with you, Your Grace," Pandora said ingenuously. The duke laughed gently. "What a delightful girl.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
I might not like what you do, but you’re not going to lose me, Gin.” “Why not?” I said, forcing the words out through the lump of emotion that clogged my throat. “What’s changed?” Bria looked at me. “Because we came down here, and I saw how Donovan treated you. How he thought he was so much better than you, so much more righteous, and I realize that it’s the same way I’ve been treating you for months now, when you’ve done nothing but save my life over and over again. With no question, no hesitation, and nothing asked in return. Not one damn thing.” Tears streaked down her cheeks, and her blue eyes were agonizingly bright in her face. “The truth is that I’m ashamed of myself for acting like him and most especially for taking you for granted. When we found out that Callie was in trouble, you were the first one to do anything about it. You immediately stepped up and offered to help her. If it wasn’t for you, Callie would be dead now and probably Donovan along with her. You saved her not because I asked you to and not even because she was my friend but because you saw someone who was in trouble and you realized you could help her. Maybe you are an assassin, maybe you are one of the bad guys, but you know what? I don’t give a damn anymore. You’re my sister first, and that’s all that matters to me.” I blinked and was surprised to find hot tears sliding down my own cheeks, one after another in a torrent that I couldn’t control. She . . . she . . . understood. She actually understood who and what I was and that I would probably never change or give up being the Spider. She knew it all, and she was still here with me. All sorts of emotions surged through my heart then, but there was one that drowned out all the others—relief. Pure, sweet relief that she wasn’t going to walk out of my life, that she was going to stick with me through the good and the bad and whatever else the world threw at us. I reached forward and wrapped my arms around Bria, and she did the same to me. We stood like that for several minutes, still and quiet, with silent sobs shaking both of our bodies. Just letting out all the fear and anger and guilt that had crept up on us both and had created this gulf between us. But we’d overcome those emotions, and I’d be damned if we’d ever grow apart like this again.
Jennifer Estep (By a Thread (Elemental Assassin #6))
Still, I could tell he and Gayle were trying. She baked a cake. Not as good as yours, though.” “What kind of cake?” I ask. “Devil’s food cake. Kind of dry.” Peter hesitates before he says, “I invited him to graduation.” “You did?” My heart swells. “He kept asking about school, and…I don’t know. I thought about what you said, and I just did it.” He shrugs, like he doesn’t care much either way if his dad’s there or not. It’s an act. Peter cares. Of course he cares. “So you’ll meet him then.” I snuggle closer to him. “I’m so proud of you, Peter.” He gives a little laugh. “For what?” “For giving your dad a chance even though he doesn’t deserve it.” I look up at him and say, “You’re a nice boy, Peter K.,” and the smile that breaks across his face makes me love him even more.
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
I don't have children. I can't say I'd feel the same way if one of them was killed. And I don't have the answers-believe me, if I did, I'd be a lot richer-but you know, I'm starting to think that's okay. Maybe instead of looking for answers, we ought to be asking some questions instead. Like: What's the lesson we're teaching here? What if it's different every time? What if justice isn't equal to due process? Because at the end of the day, this is what we're left with: a victim, who's become a file to be dealt with, instead of a little girls, or a husband. An inmate who doesn't want to know the name of a correctional officer's child because that makes the relationship too personal. A warden who carries out executions even if he doesn't think they should happen in principle. And and ACLU lawyer who's suppose to go to the office, close the case, and move on. What we're left with is death, with the humanity removed from it." I hesitated a moment. "So you tell me...did this execution really make you feel safer? Did it bring us all together? Or did it drive us further apart?
Jodi Picoult
Kristin comes down the stairs, and the pressure on my chest snaps. I take a moment to turn away, inhaling deeply, blinking away tears. She sets the plate on a table behind the couch, and half tiptoes back up the stairs. Thank god. I don’t think I could have handled maternal attention right this second. My body feels like it’s on a hair trigger. I need to get it together. This is why people avoid me. Someone asks if I want a drink and I have a panic attack. “You’re okay.” Declan is beside me, and his voice is low and soft, the way it was in the foyer. He’s so hard all the time, and that softness takes me by surprise. I blink up at him. “You’re okay,” he says again. I like that, how he’s so sure. Not Are you okay? No question about it. You’re okay. He lifts one shoulder in a half shrug. “But if you’re going to lose it, this is a pretty safe place to fall apart.” He takes two cookies from the plate, then holds one out to me. “Here. Eat your feelings.” I’m about to turn him down, but then I look at the cookie. I was expecting something basic, like sugar or chocolate chip. This looks like a miniature pie, and sugar glistens across the top. “What . . . is that?” “Pecan pie cookies,” says Rev. He’s taken about five of them, and I think he might have shoved two in his mouth at once. “I could live on them for days.” I take the one Declan offered and nibble a bit from the side. It is awesome. I peer up at him sideways. “How did you know?” He hesitates, but he doesn’t ask me what I mean. “I know the signs.” “I’m going to get some sodas,” Rev says slowly, deliberately. “I’m going to bring you one. Blink once if that’s okay.” I smile, but it feels watery around the edges. He’s teasing me, but it’s gentle teasing. Friendly. I blink once. This is okay. I’m okay. Declan was right. “Take it out on the punching bag,” calls Rev. “That’s what I do.” My eyes go wide. “Really?” “Do whatever you want,” says Declan. “As soon as we do anything meaningful, the baby will wake up.” Rev returns with three sodas. “We’re doing something meaningful right now.” “We are?” I say. He meets my eyes. “Every moment is meaningful.” The words could be cheesy—should be cheesy, in fact—but he says them with enough weight that I know he means them. I think of The Dark and all our talk of paths and loss and guilt. Declan sighs and pops the cap on his soda. “This is where Rev starts to freak people out.” “No,” I say, feeling like this afternoon could not be more surreal. Something about Rev’s statement steals some of my earlier guilt, to think that being here could carry as much weight as paying respects to my mother. I wish I knew how to tell whether this is a path I’m supposed to be on. “No, I like it. Can I really punch the bag?” Rev shrugs and takes a sip of his soda. “It’s either that or we can break out the Play-Doh
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
Jack was behind it,waiting, with the corner of his lip pulled up in not quite a smile. "What?" he demanded. "What what?" I asked. He held my note up in front of my face. "What do you remember?" Everything. But I couldn't tell him that. I shrugged and said, "Things." Then I made a move to leave,but Jack's strong arm blocked my way,his hand pressing against the locker behind my back. "No you don't.You can't leave a note like this"-he waved the paper-"and then say 'things.' I want to know what, exactly, you remember." People in the hallway stared and I could feel my face going red. Jack noticed, and put his other arm up against the lockers,blocking me in. My pulse went nuts.It had to be visible on my wrists. Jack's face was inches from mine. His breath was minty, and I could smell the rustic scent of his aftershave,and whatever strong emotion he was feeling, it tasted sweet. I breathed it in, and the inhalation was embarrassingly loud. His eyes searched mine. "This is the first opening you've given me, and I'm not letting you get out of it." He paused. "What do you remember?" I looked behind him, at the curious spectators, and squinted my eyes shut, unable to bear the scrutiny anymore. "Say something,Becks. Say anything." "You," I said. "I remember you." I kept my eyes shut,and felt his hands drop. He didn't move back. "What do you remember about me?" There was strong emotion behind his voice. Something he fought to control. With my eyes closed,I could easily picture the other side of the century. "I remember the way your hand could cover my entire shoulder. The way your lower lip stuck out when you were working out a problem in your head. And how you flick you ring finger with your thumb when you get impatient." I opened my eyes,and the words no longer got stuck in my throat on their way out. They flowed. "And when something surprises you and you don't know what to say,you get a tiny wrinkle in between your eyebrows." I reached up to touch the divot,then hesitated and lowered my hand. "It showed on the day the coach told you you'd made first-string quarterback.And it's showing now." For a moment the space between us held no tension,no questions, no accusations. Finally he leaned back, a stunned expression on his face. "Where do we go from here?" "Nowhere,really," I whispered. "It doesn't change anything." Eyebrows still drawn together, he said, "We'll see." Then he turned and left. I tucked this moment away. In the dark,dank world of the Tunnels, I would call upon this memory. And there would be a flicker of candlelight. If only for a moment. I closed my eyes,as if my eyelids were the levers of a printing press,etching the fibers into my mind.Memories were outside Cole's reach.As long as I held them,memories were mine and mine alone.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
Then, as she whirled around, she bumped into Tate, who had stood, and they froze, staring into each other’s eyes. They stopped laughing. He took her shoulders, hesitated an instant, then kissed her lips, as the leaves rained and danced around them as silently as snow. She knew nothing about kissing and held her head and lips stiff. They broke away and looked at each other, wondering where that had come from and what to do next. He lifted a leaf gently from her hair and dropped it to the ground. Her heart beat wildly. Of all the ragged loves she’d known from wayward family, none had felt like this. “Am I your girlfriend now?” she asked. He smiled. “Do you want to be?” “Yes.” “You might be too young,” he said. “But I know feathers. I bet the other girls don’t know feathers.” “All right, then.” And he kissed her again. This time she tilted her head to the side and her lips softened. And for the first time in her life, her heart was full.
Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)
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))
Bring Cecily home,” he said curtly. “I won’t have her at risk, even in the slightest way.” “I’ll take care of Cecily,” came the terse reply. “She’s better off without you in her life.” Tate’s eyes widened. “I beg your pardon?” he asked, affronted. “You know what I mean,” Holden said. “Let her heal. She’s too young to consign herself to spinsterhood over a man who doesn’t even see her.” “Infatuation dies,” Tate said. Holden nodded. “Yes, it does. Goodbye.” “So does hero worship,” he continued, laboring the point. “And that’s why after eight years, Cecily has had one raging affair after the other,” he said facetiously. The words had power. They wounded. “You fool,” Holden said in a soft tone. “Do you really think she’d let any man touch her except you?” He went to his office door and gestured toward the desk. “Don’t forget your gadget,” he added quietly. “Wait!” Holden paused with his hand on the doorknob and turned. “What?” Tate held the device in his hands, watching the lights flicker on it. “Mixing two cultures when one of them is all but extinct is a selfish thing,” he said after a minute. “It has nothing to do with personal feelings. It’s a matter of necessity.” Holden let go of the doorknob and moved to stand directly in front of Tate. “If I had a son,” he said, almost choking on the word, “I’d tell him that there are things even more important than lofty principles. I’d tell him…that love is a rare and precious thing, and that substitutes are notoriously unfulfilling.” Tate searched the older man’s eyes. “You’re a fine one to talk.” Holden’s face fell. “Yes, that’s true.” He turned away. Why should he feel guilty? But he did. “I didn’t mean to say that,” Tate said, irritated by his remorse and the other man’s defeated posture. “I can’t help the way I feel about my culture.” “If it weren’t for the cultural difference, how would you feel about Cecily?” Tate hesitated. “It wouldn’t change anything. She’s been my responsibility. I’ve taken care of her. It would be gratitude on her part, even a little hero worship, nothing more. I couldn’t take advantage of that. Besides, she’s involved with Colby.” “And you couldn’t live with being the second man.” Tate’s face hardened. His eyes flashed. Holden shook his head. “You’re just brimming over with excuses, aren’t you? It isn’t the race thing, it isn’t the culture thing, it isn’t even the guardian-ward thing. You’re afraid.” Tate’s mouth made a thin line. He didn’t reply. “When you love someone, you give up control of yourself,” he continued quietly. “You have to consider the other person’s needs, wants, fears. What you do affects the other person. There’s a certain loss of freedom as well.” He moved a step closer. “The point I’m making is that Cecily already fills that place in your life. You’re still protecting her, and it doesn’t matter that there’s another man. Because you can’t stop looking out for her. Everything you said in this office proves that.” He searched Tate’s turbulent eyes. “You don’t like Colby Lane, and it isn’t because you think Cecily’s involved with him. It’s because he’s been tied to one woman so tight that he can’t struggle free of his love for her, even after years of divorce. That’s how you feel, isn’t it, Tate? You can’t get free of Cecily, either. But Colby’s always around and she indulges him. She might marry him in an act of desperation. And then what will you do? Will your noble excuses matter a damn then?
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
His eyes ran over her hungrily. “I couldn’t get it out of my mind,” he said, almost to himself, “the way it felt, back at my mother’s house. I was never so hungry for anyone, but it wasn’t completely physical, even then.” He frowned. “I want you, Cecily, and I hate myself for it.” “What else is new?” She gestured toward the door. “Go home. And I hope you don’t sleep a wink.” “I probably won’t,” he said ruefully. He moved toward the door, hesitating. “Good night,” she said firmly, not moving. He stood with his back to her, his spine very straight. “I can trace my ancestors back before the Mexican War in the early 1800s, pure Lakota blood, undiluted even by white settlement. There are so few of us left…” She could have wept for what she knew, and he didn’t know. “You don’t have to explain it to me,” she said solemnly. “I know how you feel.” “You don’t,” he bit off. He straightened again. “I’d die to have you, just once.” He turned, and the fire was in his eyes as they met hers, glittering across the room. “It’s like that for you, too.” “It’s a corruption of the senses. You don’t love me,” she said quietly. “Without love, it’s just sex.” He breathed deliberately, slowly. He didn’t want to ask. He couldn’t help it. “Something you know?” “Yes. Something I know,” she said, lying with a straight face and a smile that she hoped was worldly. She was not going to settle for crumbs from him, stolen hours in his bed. Men were devious when desire rode them, even men like Tate. She couldn’t afford for him to know that she was incapable of wanting any man except him. The words stung. They were meant to. He hesitated, only for a minute, before he jerked open the door and went out. Cecily closed her eyes and thanked providence that she’d had the good sense to deny herself what she wanted most in the world. Tate had said once that sex alone wasn’t enough. He was right. She repeated it, like a mantra, to her starving body until she finally fell asleep.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
If you don't attend, Gwendolen," said the mistress, "and stop looking out of the window, I shall have to give you an order-mark." "But please, Miss Prizzle-" began Gwendolen. "Did you hear what I said, Gwendolen?" asked Miss Prizzle. "But please, Miss Prizzle," said Gwendolen, "there's a LION!" "Take two order-marks for talking nonsense," said Miss Prizzle. "And now-" A roar interrupted her. Ivy came curling in at the windows of the classroom. The walls became a mass of shimmering green, and leafy branches arched overhead where the ceiling had been. Miss Prizzle found she was standing on grass in a forest glade. She clutched at her desk to steady herself, and found that the desk was a rose-bush. Wild people such as she had never even imagined were crowding round her. Then she saw the Lion, screamed and fled, and with her fled her class, who were mostly dumpy, prim little girls with fat legs. Gwendolen hesitated. "You'll stay with us, sweetheart?" said Aslan. "Oh, may I? Thank you, thank you," said Gwendolen. Instantly she joined hands with two of the Maenads, who whirled her round in a merry dance and helped her take off some of the unnecessary and uncomfortable clothes that she was wearing.
C.S. Lewis (Prince Caspian (Chronicles of Narnia, #2))
How was your journey?" he asked. "You don't have to make small talk with me," she said. "I don't like it, and I'm not very good at it." They paused at the shade of portico, beside a sweet-scented bower of roses. Casually Lord St. Vincent leaned a shoulder against a cream-painted column. A lazy smile curved his lips as he looked down at her. "Didn't Lady Berwick teach you?" "She tried. But I hate trying to make conversation about weather. Who cares what the temperature is? I want to talk about things like... like..." "Yes?" he prompted as she hesitated. "Darwin. Women's suffrage. Workhouses, war, why we're alive, if you believe in séances or spirits, if music has ever made you cry, or what vegetable you hate most..." Pandora shrugged and glanced up at him, expecting the familiar frozen expression of a man who was about to run for his life. Instead she found herself caught by his arrested stare, while the silence seemed to wrap around them. After a moment, Lord St. Vincent said softly, "Carrots." Bemused, Pandora tried to gather her wits. "That's the vegetable you hate most? Do you mean cooked ones?" "Any kind of carrots." "Out of all vegetables?" At his nod, she persisted, "What about carrot cake?" "No." But it's cake." A smile flickered across his lips. "Still carrots." Pandora wanted to argue the superiority of carrots over some truly atrocious vegetable, such as Brussels sprouts, but heir conversation was interrupted by a silky masculine voice. "Ah, there you are. I've been sent out to fetch you." Pandora shrank back as she saw a tall msn approach in a graceful stride. She knew instantly that he must be Lord Sy. Vincent's father- the resemblance was striking. His complexion was tanned and lightly time-weathered, with laugh-lines at the outer corners of his blue eyes. He had a full head of tawny-golden hair, handsomely silvered at the sides and temples. Having heard of his reputation as a former libertine, Pandora had expected an aging roué with coarse features and a leer... not this rather gorgeous specimen who wore his formidable presence like an elegant suit of clothes. "My son, what can you be thinking, keeping this enchanting creature out in the heat of midday?
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
I wish you’d told me this before.” “It wouldn’t have changed anything.” “Maybe not. But talking about wounds can help heal them.” “You don’t talk about yours,” she pointed out. He sat down on the sofa facing her and leaned forward. “But I do,” he said seriously. “I talk to you. I’ve never told anyone else about the way my father treated us. That’s a deeply personal thing. I don’t share it. I can’t share it with anyone but you.” “I’m part of your life,” she said heavily, smoothing her hair back again. “Neither of us can help that. You were my comfort when Mama died, my very salvation when my stepfather hurt me. But I can’t expect you to go on taking care of me. I’m twenty-five years old, Tate. I have to let you go.” “No, you don’t.” He caught her wrists and pulled her closer. He was more solemn than she’d ever seen him. “I’m tired of fighting it. Let’s find out how deep your scars ago. Come to bed with me, Cecily. I know enough to make it easy for you.” She stared at him blankly. “Tate…” She touched his lean cheek hesitantly. He was offering her paradise, if she could face her own demons in bed with him. “This will only make things worse, whatever happens.” “You want me,” he said gently. “And I want you. Let’s get rid of the ghosts. If you can get past the fear, I won’t have anyone else from now on except you. I’ll come to you when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when the world falls on me. I’ll lie in your arms and comfort you when you’re sad, when you’re frightened. You can come to me when you need to be held, when you need me. I’ll cherish you.” “And you’ll make sure I never get pregnant.” His face tautened. “You know how I feel about. I’ve never made a secret of it. I won’t compromise on that issue, ever.” She touched his long hair, thinking how beautiful he was, how beloved. Could she live with only a part of him, watch him leave her one day to marry another woman? If he never knew the truth about his father, he might do that. She couldn’t tell him about Matt Holden, even to insure her own happiness. He glanced at her, puzzled by the expression on her face. “I’ll be careful,” he said. “And very slow. I won’t hurt you, in any way.” “Colby might come back…” He shook his head. “No. He won’t.” He stood up, pulling her with him. He saw the faint indecision in her face. “I won’t ask for more than you can give me,” he said quietly. “If you only want to lie in my arms and be kissed, that’s what we’ll do.” She looked up into his dark eyes and an unsteady sigh passed her lips. “I would give…anything…to let you love me,” she said huskily. “For eight long years…!” His mouth covered the painful words, stilling them.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
The advisors, on the other hand, were like older brothers and sisters. My favorite was Bill Symes, who'd been a founding member of Fellowship in 1967. He was in his early twenties now and studying religion at Webster University. He had shoulders like a two-oxen yoke, a ponytail as thick as a pony's tail, and feet requiring the largest size of Earth Shoes. He was a good musician, a passionate attacker of steel acoustical guitar strings. He liked to walk into Burger King and loudly order two Whoppers with no meat. If he was losing a Spades game, he would take a card out of his hand, tell the other players, "Play this suit!" and then lick the card and stick it to his forehead facing out. In discussions, he liked to lean into other people's space and bark at them. He said, "You better deal with that!" He said, "Sounds to me like you've got a problem that you're not talking about!" He said, "You know what? I don't think you believe one word of what you just said to me!" He said, "Any resistance will be met with an aggressive response!" If you hesitated when he moved to hug you, he backed away and spread his arms wide and goggled at you with raised eyebrows, as if to say, "Hello? Are you going to hug me, or what?" If he wasn't playing guitar he was reading Jung, and if he wasn't reading Jung he was birdwatching, and if he wasn't birdwatching he was practicing tai chi, and if you came up to him during his practice and asked him how he would defend himself if you tried to mug him with a gun, he would demonstrate, in dreamy Eastern motion, how to remove a wallet from a back pocket and hand it over. Listening to the radio in his VW Bug, he might suddenly cry out, "I want to hear... 'La Grange' by ZZ Top!" and slap the dashboard. The radio would then play "La Grange.
Jonathan Franzen (The Discomfort Zone: A Personal History)
Why not?” I asked, letting my tears spill over. It was easy to cry. All I had to do was look at Alex’s limp body, and the tears came effortlessly. “You were happy enough to do it to me.” There was a beat. Then John said cautiously, “What do you mean?” “The consequences, John?” I let out a bitter laugh. “Persephone wasn’t doomed to stay in the Underworld because she ate a pomegranate. She was doomed to stay there because she did with Hades what we did last night. That’s what the pomegranate symbolizes, right?” John stared, speechless. But I could tell I was right by the color that slowly started to suffuse his cheeks…and the fact that he didn’t try to contradict me. And of course the fact that the whole thing was spelled out right in front of me by the statue Hope was sitting on. I didn’t get why the Rectors were so obsessed by the myth of Persephone that they’d put a statue of it in their mausoleum, but it was clear enough they were involved in an underworld of one kind or another. “Don’t worry,” I said, lowering my voice because I didn’t want Frank to overhear. “I don’t blame you. You asked me if I was sure, despite the consequences. I said I was. But I thought by consequences you meant a baby, and I already knew that could never happen. I guess Mr. Smith must have told you last night that he found out the pomegranate symbolized something completely different than babies or death-“ “Pierce.” John grasped my hand. His fingers were like ice, but his voice and his gaze had an urgency that was anything but cold. “That isn’t why I did it. I love you. I’ve always loved you, because you’re good…you’re so good, you make me want to be good, too. But that’s the problem, Pierce. I’m not good. And I’ve always been afraid that when you find out the truth about me, you’d run away again-“ I sucked in my breath to tell him for the millionth time that this wasn’t true, but he cut me off, not allowing me to speak until he’d had his say. “Then you almost died yesterday,” he went on, “and it was my fault. I wanted to show you how much I loved you, and things…things went further than I expected. But you didn’t stop me”-his silver eyes blazed, as if daring me to deny what he was saying-“even though I told you we could slow down if you wanted to.” “I know,” I said softly, dropping my gaze to look down at our joined fingers. We’d each kept a hand on Alex. “I know you did.” “I don’t want to lose you again,” he said fiercely. “I lost you once and I couldn’t bear it. I won’t go through that again. I…I know I did the wrong thing. But it didn’t feel wrong at the time.” I raised my gaze to his. “You’re right about that, at least,” I said. “So am I forgiven?” he asked. I hesitated, confused by the myriad of emotions I was feeling. John had known. He’d known the whole time we had been together the night before that he was forever sealing my destiny to his. Of course, he’d thought I’d known, too. He’d asked if I was sure it was what I wanted, despite the consequences. I might have misunderstood what those consequences were, but I’d been very adamant in my response. I’d said yes. And I’d meant it. “Excuse me,” called Frank’s voice from the opposite wall of vaults. “But you might want to take a look at the boy.” John and I both glanced down. Beneath the hands we’d left on Alex, he’d come back to life.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
Yes?” he said impatiently. There was a pause. “You wouldn’t believe how many people I had to bribe to get this new number of yours. But I didn’t think past getting you to answer the phone,” Colby said reluctantly. “I don’t know how to tell you this.” “You and Cecily are getting married,” Tate drawled sarcastically, hating the very idea of it and trying not to let it show. “I can’t say it’s any big surprise. Was there anything else?” There was another pause. “Cecily won’t marry me.” “Tough.” Tate wasn’t going to admit how much that admission pleased him, even if she wouldn’t answer her damned phone when he tried to call her. “So?” Colby laughed mirthlessly. “I thought this was the right thing to do. Now, I’m not sure if it is.” “I’m not pleading your case for you,” Tate replied. His voice was icy. Then he hesitated. His heart skipped a beat as another reason for this call occurred and chilled his blood. “Has something happened to her?” he asked immediately. “She’s not hurt or anything,” the other man replied. “It’s just than I can’t find her. Maybe they can’t find her, either,” he continued, sounding as if he was talking to himself. Tate had a terrible sinking feeling in his stomach. He broke the Internet connection on the other line and turned off the computer. “What’s up?” he asked, sounding the way he used to, when he and Colby were colleagues in the old days. “Cecily’s done a flit,” Colby told him. “She’s gone and I can’t find her. Believe me, I’ve used every contact I could find or buy. She didn’t leave a trail.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
But why write such rotten scripts? If what you say is so, everybody’s where they want to be, even beggars with sores on their shins and starving children and guys being tortured in jails?” She nodded, watching me. I said, “I can’t accept that.” She waited a bit and then almost smiled. “Unacceptable?” She asked softly. And that rang a bell. “Unacceptable … ‘to accept the unacceptable.’ You said that, in the seminar. But I can’t remember why you said it.” “Yes you can,” she said, and waited. I drew a total blank this time, and I guess she knew it, because she gave me a nudge: “You say you don’t belong here. Is ‘here’—unacceptable?” “Yes,” I said without hesitation. “Then,” she asked, “why did you write this script?” “You mean—the me out there?” She nodded. I thought about that, and then mumbled, “I put it down to—curiosity? That’s all. I mean, throwing yourself into imperfect places, into pain and disappointment and well, the unacceptable—it just doesn’t make sense.” “It doesn’t?” “It sure doesn’t … unless …” I felt my eyes get big. “Unless those, uh, entities want to do what you said—to learn to accept the unacceptable. Even if they have to create it. That doesn’t make sense.” “It doesn’t? Suppose they can’t go on unless they learn that.” “Go on? Go on where?” She shrugs. “Everything living has to go on. Seed to shrub, shrub to tree, egg to bird.” “You mean—evolve. They have to learn to accept the unacceptable in order to evolve into—whatever’s next for them.” Surprisingly, she laughed. She said, “You keep on saying ‘they.
Theodore Sturgeon (The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, Volume XIII: Case and the Dreamer)
Grom, I need to ask you something." Hesitant, Grom tears his gaze from the abyss and settles it on his brother, but his eyes still hold a distance. "Hmm?" "Do you believe in the pull?" The question visibly jolts Grom, replacing the detachment in his eyes with pain. "What kind of question is that?" Galen shrugs, guilt stabbing him like a trident. "Some say you felt the pull for Nalia." Grom massages his eyes with fingertips, but not before Galen sees the torment deepen. "I didn't realize you listened to gossip, little brother." "If I listened to gossip, I wouldn't bother to ask." "Do you believe in the pull, Galen?" "I don't know." Galen nods, sighing. "I don't know either. But if there is such a thing, I guess it would be safe to say I felt it toward Nalia." With a flit of his tail, he swims forward, turning away from his brother. "Sometimes I swear I can still sense her. It's faint, and it comes and goes. Some days it's so real, I think I'm losing my mind." "What...what does it feel like?" Galen almost can't ask. He'd already determined to never have this conversation with Grom. But things have changed. To his surprise, Grom chuckles. "Is there something I need to know, little brother? Has someone finally hooked you?" Galen doesn't quite get his mouth closed before his brother turns around. Grom's laugh seems foreign in this dismal place. "Looks like she's got you hooked and reeled. Who is she?" "None of your business." At least not yet. Grom grins. "So that's where you've been. Chasing after a female." "You could say that." In fact, his brother can say anything he wants. He's not telling Grom about Emma. Not while Paca is out there somewhere, just waiting to be mated with a Triton king. "If you won't tell me, I'll just ask Rayna." "If Rayna knew, there would have already been a public announcement." "True," Grom says, smirking. "You're smarter than I give you credit for, tadpole. So smart, in fact, that I know I don't have to tell you to keep her away from here, whoever she is. Just until things settle down." Galen nods. "You don't have to worry about that.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
ON THE A TRAIN There were no seats to be had on the A train last night, but I had a good grip on the pole at the end of one of the seats and I was reading the beauty column of the Journal-American, which the man next to me was holding up in front of him. All of a sudden I felt a tap on my arm, and I looked down and there was a man beginning to stand up from the seat where he was sitting. "Would you like to sit down?" he said. Well, I said the first thing that came into my head, I was so surprised and pleased to be offered a seat in the subway. "Oh, thank you very much," I said, "but I am getting out at the next station." He sat back and that was that, but I felt all set up and I thought what a nice man he must be and I wondered what his wife was like and I thought how lucky she was to have such a polite husband, and then all of a sudden I realized that I wasn't getting out at the next station at all but the one after that, and I felt perfectly terrible. I decided to get out at the next station anyway, but then I thought, If I get out at the next station and wait around for the next train I'll miss my bus and they only go every hour and that will be silly. So I decided to brazen it out as best I could, and when the train was slowing up at the next station I stared at the man until I caught his eye and then I said, "I just remembered this isn't my station after all." Then I thought he would think I was asking him to stand up and give me his seat, so I said, "But I still don't want to sit down, because I'm getting off at the next station." I showed him by my expression that I thought it was all rather funny, and he smiled, more or less, and nodded, and lifted his hat and put it back on his head again and looked away. He was one of those small, rather glum or sad men who always look off into the distance after they have finished what they are saying, when they speak. I felt quite proud of my strong-mindedness at not getting off the train and missing my bus simply because of the fear of a little embarrassment, but just as the train was shutting its doors I peered out and there it was, 168th Street. "Oh dear!" I said. "That was my station and now I have missed the bus!" I was fit to be fled, and I had spoken quite loudly, and I felt extremely foolish, and I looked down, and the man who had offered me his seat was partly looking at me, and I said, "Now, isn't that silly? That was my station. A Hundred and Sixty-eighth Street is where I'm supposed to get off." I couldn't help laughing, it was all so awful, and he looked away, and the train fidgeted along to the next station, and I got off as quickly as I possibly could and tore over to the downtown platform and got a local to 168th, but of course I had missed my bus by a minute, or maybe two minutes. I felt very much at a loose end wandering around 168th Street, and I finally went into a rudely appointed but friendly bar and had a martini, warm but very soothing, which cost me only fifty cents. While I was sipping it, trying to make it last to exactly the moment that would get me a good place in the bus queue without having to stand too long in the cold, I wondered what I should have done about that man in the subway. After all, if I had taken his seat I probably would have got out at 168th Street, which would have meant that I would hardly have been sitting down before I would have been getting up again, and that would have seemed odd. And rather grasping of me. And he wouldn't have got his seat back, because some other grasping person would have slipped into it ahead of him when I got up. He seemed a retiring sort of man, not pushy at all. I hesitate to think of how he must have regretted offering me his seat. Sometimes it is very hard to know the right thing to do.
Maeve Brennan
Well now, what’s the problem?” Hawk asked after a long swallow to banish the dust of the training field. Dragon hesitated but, to his credit, not for long. “I brought a girl with me. Krysta is seeing to her now. She’s Lady Rycca of Wolscroft.” Hawk’s brows rose slightly. “Your betrothed.” “My errant betrothed. I met her a few days ago, apparently after she donned boy’s garb and fled from her home rather than come here and be married to me.” Hawk cleared his throat, decided this was a good time for more ale, and emptied the horn. He finished up with a deep breath before attempting a response. “I see . . . well, I don’t actually. She was dressed as a boy, you met several days ago, but you didn’t bring her until now?” “I didn’t know who she was. She wouldn’t tell me her name so I—” His mouth thinned sardonically. “I decided not to tell her mine. Clever, don’t you think?” “Why do I have the distinct impression that it was anything but?” “Not knowing who I was—” Dragon broke off. His gaze sought a distant corner of the hall. Quietly, he said, “Not knowing who I was, she lay with me.
Josie Litton (Come Back to Me (Viking & Saxon, #3))
Ella?” Cinder asked when things got quiet. “Are you there?” He sounded hesitant. “Welcome to my life,” I said with a sigh of defeat. “Sorry about that.” “It’s okay.” It was definitely not okay. I was so humiliated. It was a miracle I wasn’t crying. I think that was only because I was still in so much shock. “Look, thanks for giving me your phone number, but maybe this is a bad time.” My dad scrambled to his feet, waving his hands at me. “No! You don’t have to end your call. We’ll give you some privacy.” He glanced at both Jennifer and Juliette. “Won’t we, ladies?” His blatant desperation for me to talk to someone—even a stranger from the Internet—was as embarrassing as Anastasia’s outburst. Even worse, Jennifer was just as bad. “Of course! You go ahead and talk to your boyfriend, Ella,” she squealed. “We can keep an eye on you from the kitchen. I have to get dinner started anyway.” While I was busy dying from her use of the word boyfriend, she hopped off the elliptical. She hurried to catch up to my dad, seeming more than happy to finish her workout early. As they started up the steps, they both turned back to Juliette, who had sprawled out on the couch instead of getting up. “I was here first,” Juliette said in response to their expectant looks. “There’s no way I’m going anywhere near the upstairs with Ana in the mood she’s in, and I really don’t care about Ella’s love life. Besides, she’s not supposed to be alone, anyway. What if she tries to throw herself off the balcony or something?” Was there anyone in the world that didn’t feel the need to humiliate me? I glared at Juliette, and she just waved a pair of earbuds at me and shoved them in her ears. “I’ll turn the volume up.” My dad and Jennifer both gave me such hopeful looks that I couldn’t argue anymore. I rolled my eyes and made my way over to the armchair my father had been lounging in. Once Dad and Jennifer were gone, I glanced over at the couch. Juliette was already doing what she did best—ignoring me. She was bobbing her head along with her music as she read out of a textbook. I doubted she could hear me, but I spoke softly anyway, just in case. “Cinder? Are you still there?” “I didn’t realize upping our relationship to phone buddies would come with a boyfriend title. Does that mean if we ever meet in person, we’ll have to get married?” Surprised, I burst into laughter. Juliette glanced at me with one raised eyebrow, but went back to her textbook without saying anything.
Kelly Oram (Cinder & Ella (Cinder & Ella, #1))
Is there a bird among them, dear boy?” Charity asked innocently, peering not at the things on the desk, but at his face, noting the muscle beginning to twitch at Ian’s tense jaw. “No.” “Then they must be in the schoolroom! Of course,” she said cheerfully, “that’s it. How like me, Hortense would say, to have made such a silly mistake.” Ian dragged his eyes from the proof that his grandfather had been keeping track of him almost from the day of his birth-certainly from the day when he was able to leave the cottage on his own two legs-to her face and said mockingly, “Hortense isn’t very perceptive. I would say you are as wily as a fox.” She gave him a little knowing smile and pressed her finger to her lips. “Don’t tell her, will you? She does so enjoy thinking she is the clever one.” “How did he manage to have these drawn?” Ian asked, stopping her as she turned away. “A woman in the village near your home drew many of them. Later he hired an artist when he knew you were going to be somewhere at a specific time. I’ll just leave you here where it’s nice and quiet.” She was leaving him, Ian knew, to look through the items on the desk. For a long moment he hesitated, and then he slowly sat down in the chair, looking over the confidential reports on himself. They were all written by one Mr. Edgard Norwich, and as Ian began scanning the thick stack of pages, his anger at his grandfather for this outrageous invasion of his privacy slowly became amusement. For one thing, nearly every letter from the investigator began with phrases that made it clear the duke had chastised him for not reporting in enough detail. The top letter began, I apologize, Your Grace, for my unintentional laxness in failing to mention that indeed Mr. Thornton enjoys an occasional cheroot… The next one opened with, I did not realize, Your Grace, that you would wish to know how fast his horse ran in the race-in addition to knowing that he won. From the creases and holds in the hundreds of reports it was obvious to Ian that they’d been handled and read repeatedly, and it was equally obvious from some of the investigator’s casual comments that his grandfather had apparently expressed his personal pride to him: You will be pleased to know, Your Grace, that young Ian is a fine whip, just as you expected… I quite agree with you, as do many others, that Mr. Thornton is undoubtedly a genius… I assure you, Your Grace, that your concern over that duel is unfounded. It was a flesh wound in the arm, nothing more. Ian flipped through them at random, unaware that the barricade he’d erected against his grandfather was beginning to crack very slightly. “Your Grace,” the investigator had written in a rare fit of exasperation when Ian was eleven, “the suggestion that I should be able to find a physician who might secretly look at young Ian’s sore throat is beyond all bounds of reason. Even if I could find one who was willing to pretend to be a lost traveler, I really cannot see how he could contrive to have a peek at the boy’s throat without causing suspicion!” The minutes became an hour, and Ian’s disbelief increased as he scanned the entire history of his life, from his achievements to his peccadilloes. His gambling gains and losses appeared regularly; each ship he added to his fleet had been described, and sketches forwarded separately; his financial progress had been reported in minute and glowing detail.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Before he could say my name, I closed the space between us. Quickly, my lips moved against his. The mental and emotional emptiness took over instantly, but physically, I was more alert than ever. Wesley’s surprise didn’t last as long as it had before, and his hands were on me in seconds. My fingers tangled in his soft hair, and Wesley’s tongue darted into my mouth and became a new weapon in our war. Once again, my body took complete control of everything. Nothing existed at the corners of my mind; no irritating thoughts harassed me. Even the sounds of Wesley’s stereo, which had been playing some piano rock I didn’t recognize, faded away as my sense of touch heightened. I was fully conscious of Wesley’s hand as it slid up my torso and moved to cup my breast. With an effort, I pushed him away from me. His eyes were wide as he leaned back. “Please don’t slap me again,” he said. “Shut up.” I could have stopped there. I could have stood up and left the room. I could have let that kiss be the end of it. But I didn’t. The mind-numbing sensation I got from kissing him was so euphoric-such a high-that I couldn’t stand to give it up that fast. I might have hated Wesley Rush, but he held the key to my escape, and at that moment I wanted him… I needed him. Without speaking, without hesitating, I pulled my T-shirt over my head and threw it onto Wesley’s bedroom floor. He didn’t have a chance to say anything before I put my hands on his shoulders and shoved him onto his back. A second later, I was straddling him and we were kissing again. His fingers undid the clasp on my bra, and it joined my shirt on the floor. I didn’t care. I didn’t feel self-conscious or shy. I mean, he already knew I was the Duff, and it wasn’t like I had to impress him. I unbuttoned his shirt as he pulled the alligator clip from my hair and let the auburn waves fall around us. Casey had been right. Wesley had a great body. The skin pulled tight over his sculpted chest, and my hands drifted down his muscular arms with amazement. His lips moved to my neck, giving me a moment to breathe. I could only smell his cologne this close to him. As his mouth traveled down my shoulder, a thought pushed through the exhilaration. I wondered why he hadn’t shoved me-Duffy-away in disgust. Then again, I realized, Wesley wasn’t known for rejecting girls. And I was the one who should have been disgusted. But his mouth pressed into mine again, and that tiny, fleeting thought died. Acting on instinct, I pulled on Wesley’s lower lip with my teeth, and he moaned quietly. His hands moved over my ribs, sending chills up my spine. Bliss. Pure, unadulterated bliss. Only once, as Wesley flipped me onto my back, did I seriously consider stopping. He looked down at me, and his skilled hand grasped the zipper on my jeans. My dormant brain stirred, and I asked myself if things had gone too far. I thought about pushing him away, ending it right where we were. But why would I stop now? What did I stand to lose? Yet what could I possibly gain? How would I feel about this in an hour… or sooner? Before I could come up with any answers, Wesley had my jeans and underwear off. He pulled a condom from his pocket (okay, now that I’m thinking about it, who keeps condoms in their pockets? Wallet, yes, but pocket? Pretty presumptuous, don’t you think?), and then his pants were on the floor, too. All of a sudden, we were having sex, and my thoughts were muted again.
Kody Keplinger (The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend (Hamilton High, #1))
One day Moses was walking in the mountains on his own when he saw a shepherd in the distance. The man was on his knees with his hands spread out to the sky, praying. Moses was delighted. But when he got closer, he was equally stunned to hear the shepherd’s prayer. “Oh, my beloved God, I love Thee more than Thou can know. I will do anything for Thee, just say the word. Even if Thou asked me to slaughter the fattest sheep in my flock in Thy name, I would do so without hesitation. Thou would roast it and put its tail fat in Thy rice to make it more tasty.” Moses inched toward the shepherd, listening attentively. “Afterward I would wash Thy feet and clean Thine ears and pick Thy lice for Thee. That is how much I love Thee.” Having heard enough, Moses interrupted the shepherd, yelling, “Stop, you ignorant man! What do you think you are doing? Do you think God eats rice? Do you think God has feet for you to wash? This is not prayer. It is sheer blasphemy.” Dazed and ashamed, the shepherd apologized repeatedly and promised to pray as decent people did. Moses taught him several prayers that afternoon. Then he went on his way, utterly pleased with himself. But that night Moses heard a voice. It was God’s. “Oh, Moses, what have you done? You scolded that poor shepherd and failed to realize how dear he was to Me. He might not be saying the right things in the right way, but he was sincere. His heart was pure and his intentions good. I was pleased with him. His words might have been blasphemy to your ears, but to Me they were sweet blasphemy.” Moses immediately understood his mistake. The next day, early in the morning, he went back to the mountains to see the shepherd. He found him praying again, except this time he was praying in the way he had been instructed. In his determination to get the prayer right, he was stammering, bereft of the excitement and passion of his earlier prayer. Regretting what he had done to him, Moses patted the shepherd’s back and said: “My friend, I was wrong. Please forgive me. Keep praying in your own way. That is more precious in God’s eyes.” The shepherd was astonished to hear this, but even deeper was his relief. Nevertheless, he did not want to go back to his old prayers. Neither did he abide by the formal prayers that Moses had taught him. He had now found a new way of communicating with God. Though satisfied and blessed in his naïve devotion, he was now past that stage—beyond his sweet blasphemy. “So you see, don’t judge the way other people connect to God,” concluded Shams. “To each his own way and his own prayer. God does not take us at our word. He looks deep into our hearts. It is not the ceremonies or rituals that make a difference, but whether our hearts are sufficiently pure or not.
Elif Shafak
He smiled, and some of the knots in my stomach loosened. He would keep my secret. Devon hesitated, then reached over and put his hand on top of mine. His skin was warm, as though the sun had soaked into his body. I breathed in, and the crisp, clean scent of him filled my nose, the one that made me want to bury my face in his neck and inhale the essence of him over and over again. But I forced myself to exhale and step back, putting some distance between us, even though our hands were still touching. “Look,” I said, my voice carefully neutral. “You’re a nice guy, a great guy. But I’m going to . . . be here for a while. You’re an important member of the Family, and I’m your bodyguard, so it’s my job to protect you, and we’re going to have to work together. But I don’t think there should be anything . . . else.” “Because of your mom, right?” he asked in a low voice. “Because you blame me for her death?” I sucked in a breath, so rattled that I couldn’t even pretend I didn’t know what he was talking about. First, my magic, and now this. Somehow, Devon knew all my secrets. “How do you know about my mom?” I croaked out. “I remember everything about that day in the park,” he said. “Including the girl with the blue eyes who helped save me.” I didn’t say anything. I could barely even hear him over the roar of my own heartbeat in my ears. “It took me a while to figure out why you seemed so familiar. When I realized you reminded me of the girl in the park, I knew it had to be you. Mom would never have brought you here otherwise. Plus, there are several photos of your mother in the library. You look just like her. I know what happened to her. I’m sorry that she died because of me—so sorry.” His green gaze locked with mine, that old, familiar guilt flaring to life in his eyes and punching me in the gut. And once again, I found myself wanting to comfort him. “I don’t blame you for her death,” I said. “It wasn’t your fault. None of it was your fault. It was all the Draconis.” “Do you really mean that?” he whispered. “I do.” Devon closed the distance between us and stared down at me. I let myself look into his eyes for another heartbeat. Then I pulled my hand out from under his and stepped away. Hurt flashed in his gaze before he could hide it. I wanted to stop. I wanted to tell him that I felt this thing, this attraction, this heat between us just as much as he did. I wanted to wrap my arms around his neck, pull his lips down to mine, and lose myself in him. But I couldn’t. Not when I was planning on leaving the mansion, the Family, and him, the second I thought it was safe. I already cared about Devon way too much. And Felix and Oscar and even Claudia. I didn’t need to fall any farther down that rabbit hole, especially where Devon was concerned, because I knew exactly where I would end up—with my heart broken.
Jennifer Estep (Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade, #1))
Approaching the trail, he broke through the thicket a short distance ahead of the Empath. Causing the Empaths horse to startle as the surprised rider jerked on the reins. Cap was equally surprised to find a young girl before him instead of an older, experienced male Empath. Cap brought his horse to a quick halt. The young girl pulled a small knife from her boot and cautioned him. "I don't know where you came from, but I'm not easy prey.” Her voice shook slightly with fear as she raised the knife. Not sure how to proceed, they stared silently at each other. Cap had always believed that Empaths didn't carry weapons. This pretty, chestnut haired girl couldn't be more than 18 years old. Her long straight tresses covered the spot on her jacket where the Empathic Emblem was usually worn, causing Cap to doubt she was the one he sought. Not wanting to frighten her any more than he already had, Cap tried to explain. "I'm Commander Caplin Taylor. I’m looking for an Empath that is headed for the Western Hunting Lodge.” "My name is Kendra; I am the Empath you seek.” She answered cautiously, still holding the blade. A noise from the brush drew her attention as a small rodent pounced out, trying to evade an unseen predator. Cap was just close enough to lurch forward and snatch the dirk from her hand. Her head jerked back in alarm. "Bosen May has been mauled by a Sraeb, his shoulder is a mass of pulp." Cap spoke quickly not wanting to hesitate any longer. That was all Kendra needed to hear. She pushed her horse past him and headed quickly down the trail. "Wait!" Cap called after her, turning his horse around. Reining in the horse, she turned back to face him annoyed by the delay. "Are you a good horseman?" Cap asked, as he stuffed her dirk in his jacket. "I've been in the saddle since I was a child." She answered, abruptly. "Okay so just a few years then?" Cap's rebuke angered her. Jerking the horse back toward the trail, she ignored him. "Wait, I'm sorry!" Cap called after her. "It's just that I know a quicker way, if you can handle some rough terrain." "Let’s go then." Kendra replied, gruffly, turning back to face him. Without another word, Cap dove back into the brush and the girl followed.
Alaina Stanford (Tempest Rise (Treborel, #1))
You need to get home, both of you. Louis, I’d like to keep the letters here, if you don’t mind. I want to go over them again.” I came to my feet. “And ask the stars about them?” Jesse nodded. Armand only shook his head, gloomy. There were bruises under his eyes that hadn’t been there yesterday. “Ask the-fine. Splendid. Keep them if you like. Burn them. Turn them to gold or silver or lead. In the morning I’ll wake up and none of this will have happened.” “No, lordling,” I said to him. “You’re never going to wake like that again, and you’re never going to be able to forget.” “Bugger you, waif.” “And you.” He walked past both of us without another glance or another word, opened the door, and disappeared into the night. I went to Jesse and wrapped my arms around him. After only a second’s hesitation, his arms lifted to embrace me, too. “I don’t want to go,” I whispered. I felt his chest expand beneath my cheek. “This is going to be much more difficult than I anticipated.” “Which part?” “All of it.” He brought a hand to my hair, his fingers weaving through. “Things are about to change rapidly now, Lora. He’ll come back to us stronger and stronger. He’s going to crave you more and more, and not having you will eat him raw.” I frowned up at him. “What do you mean?” Jesse tucked a strand behind my ear, his eyes emerald dark, his lashes tipped with candlelight. “It will be in his nature. He’ll feel compelled to claim you, and he won’t stop trying to do that. Ever. When that happens-“ “That is not bloody going to happen.” “When that happens,” he said again resolutely, “I want you to remember two things. One: I’ve loved you since before he even knew you lived. Two: Spare a little pity for him. This isn’t entirely his fault. He was born into his role, just as you and I were. But, Lora-of-the-moon-only a little pity, all right?” “My pity may reach as deep and wide as the ocean,” I answered. “But my heart is already claimed.” To prove it, I clutched his shirt and lifted myself to my toes and brought my lips to his. Sweeter than raspberry jam, warmer than candle flame, softer than bread. People often spoke with religious rapture of milk and honey, but if I had nothing but Jesse to consume for the rest of my days, I’d die a heathen beast, content.
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
Come inside with me,” he urged, increasing the pressure on her elbow, “and I’ll begin making it up to you.” Elizabeth let herself be drawn forward a few steps and hesitated. “This is a mistake. Everyone will see us and think we’ve started it all over again-“ “No, they won’t,” he promised. “There’s a rumor spreading like fire in there that I tried to get you in my clutches two years ago, but without a title to tempt you I didn’t have a chance. Since acquiring a title is a holy crusade for most of them, they’ll admire your sense. Now that I have a title, I’m expected to use it to try to succeed where I failed before-as a way of bolstering my wounded male pride.” Reaching up to brush a wisp of hair from her soft cheek, he said, “I’m sorry. It was the best I could do with what I had to work with-we were seen together in compromising circumstances. Since they’d never believe nothing happened, I could only make them think I was in pursuit and you were evading.” She flinched from his touch but didn’t shove his hand away. “You don’t understand. What’s happening to me in there is no less than I deserve. I knew what the rules were, and I broke them when I stayed with you at the cottage. You didn’t force me to stay. I broke the rules, and-“ “Elizabeth,” he interrupted in a voice edge with harsh remorse, “if you won’t do anything else for me, at least stop exonerating me for that weekend. I can’t bear it. I exerted more force on you than you understand.” Longing to kiss her, Ian had to be satisfied instead with trying to convince her his plan would work, because he now needed her help to ensure its success. In a teasing voice he said, “I think you’re underrating my gift for strategy and subtlety. Come and dance with me, and I’ll prove to you how easily most of the male minds in there have been manipulated.” Despite his confidence, moments after they entered the ballroom Ian noticed the increasing coldness of the looks being directed at them, and he knew a moment of real alarm-until he glanced at Elizabeth as he took her in his arms for a waltz and realized the cause of it. “Elizabeth,” he said in a low, urgent voice, gazing down at her bent head, “stop looking meek! Put your nose in the air and cut me dead or flirt with me, but do not on any account look humble, because these people will interpret it as guilt!” Elizabeth, who had been staring at his shoulder, as she'd done with her other dancing partners, tipped her head back and looked at him in confusion. "What?" Ian's heart turned over when the chandeliers overhead revealed the wounded look in her glorious green eyes. Realizing logic and lectures weren't going to help her give the performance he badly needed her to give, he tried the tack that had, in Scotland, made her stop crying and begin to laugh: He tried to tease her. Casting about for a subject, he said quickly, "Belhaven is certainly in fine looks tonight-pink satin pantaloons. I asked him for the name of his tailor so that I could order a pair for myself." Elizabeth looked at him as if he'd taken leave of his senses; then his warning about looking meek hit home, and she began to understand what he wanted her to do. That added to the comic image of Ian's tall, masculine frame in those absurd pink pantaloons enabled her to manage a weak smile. "I have greatly admired those pantaloons myself," she said. "Will you also order a yellow satin coat to complement the look?" He smiled. "I thought-puce." "An unusual combination," she averred softly, "but one that I am sure will make you the envy of all who behold you.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Come on,” I hooked my arm through Aphrodite’s and started to pull her to the Street Cats tent. “You haven’t been good enough to watch.” Before Aphrodite could argue, we were at the Street Cats booth, facing a beaming Sister Mary Angela. “Oh, good, Zoey and Aphrodite. I need the both of you.” The nun made a gracious gesture to the young family standing beside one of the kitten cages. “This is the Cronley family. They have decided to adopt both of the calico kittens. It’s so lovely that the two of them have found their forever homes together—they are unusually close, even for littermates.” “That’s great,” I said. “I’ll start on their paperwork.” “I’ll help you. Two cats—two sets of paperwork,” Aphrodite said. “We came with a note from our veterinarian,” the mom said. “I just knew we’d find our kitten tonight.” “Even though we didn’t expect to find two of them,” her husband added. He squeezed his wife’s shoulder and smiled down at her with obvious affection. “Well, we didn’t expect the twins, either,” his wife said, glancing over at the two girls who were still looking in the kitten cage and giggling at the fluffy calicos that would be joining their family. “That surprise turned out great, which is why I think the two kittens will be perfect as well,” said the dad. Like seeing Lenobia and Travis together—this family made my heart feel good. I had started to move to the makeshift desk with Aphrodite when one of the little girls asked, “Hey mommy, what are those black things?” Something in the child’s voice had me pausing, changing direction, and heading to the kitten cage. When I got there I instantly knew why. Within the cage the two calico kittens were hissing and batting at several large, black spiders. “Oh, yuck!” the mom said. “Looks like your school might have a spider problem.” “I know a good exterminator if you need a recommendation,” the dad said. “We’re gonna need a shit ton more than a good exterminator,” Aphrodite whispered as we stared into the kitten cage. “Yeah, uh, well, we don’t usually have bug issues here,” I babbled as disgust shivered up my back. “Eesh, Daddy! There are lots more of them.” The little blond girl was pointing at the back of the cage. It was so completely covered with spiders that it seemed to be alive with their seething movements. “Oh, my goodness!” Sister Mary Angela looked pale as she stared at the spiders that appeared to be multiplying. “Those things weren’t there moments ago.” “Sister, why don’t you take this nice family into the tent and get their paperwork started,” I said quickly, meeting the nun’s sharp gaze with my own steady one. “And send Damien out here to me. I can use his help to take care of this silly spider problem.” “Yes, yes, of course.” The nun didn’t hesitate. “Get Shaunee, Shaylin, and Stevie Rae,” I told Aphrodite, keeping my voice low. “You’re going to cast a circle in front of all of these
P.C. Cast (Revealed (House of Night #11))
Buster Friendly said, “We may never know. Nor can we fathom the peculiar purpose behind this swindle. Yes, folks, swindle. Mercerism is a swindle!” “I think we know,” Roy Baty said. “It’s obvious. Mercerism came into existence—” “But ponder this,” Buster Friendly continued. “Ask yourselves what is it that Mercerism does. Well, if we’re to believe its many practitioners, the experience fuses—” “It’s that empathy that humans have,” Irmgard said. “—men and women throughout the Sol System into a single entity. But an entity which is manageable by the so-called telepathic voice of ‘Mercer.’ Mark that. An ambitious politically minded would-be Hitler could—” “No, it’s that empathy,” Irmgard said vigorously. Fists clenched, she roved into the kitchen, up to Isidore. “Isn’t it a way of proving that humans can do something we can’t do? Because without the Mercer experience we just have your word that you feel this empathy business, this shared, group thing. How’s the spider?” She bent over Pris’s shoulder. With the scissors, Pris snipped off another of the spider’s legs. “Four now,” she said. She nudged the spider. “He won’t go. But he can.” Roy Baty appeared at the doorway, inhaling deeply, an expression of accomplishment on his face. “It’s done. Buster said it out loud, and nearly every human in the system heard him say it. ‘Mercerism is a swindle.’ The whole experience of empathy is a swindle.” He came over to look curiously at the spider. “It won’t try to walk,” Irmgard said. “I can make it walk.” Roy Baty got out a book of matches, lit a match; he held it near the spider, closer and closer, until at last it crept feebly away. “I was right,” Irmgard said. “Didn’t I say it could walk with only four legs?” She peered up expectantly at Isidore. “What’s the matter?” Touching his arm she said, “You didn’t lose anything; we’ll pay you what that—what’s it called?—that Sidney’s catalogue says. Don’t look so grim. Isn’t that something about Mercer, what they discovered? All that research? Hey, answer.” She prodded him anxiously. “He’s upset,” Pris said. “Because he has an empathy box. In the other room. Do you use it, J. R.?” she asked Isidore. Roy Baty said, “Of course he uses it. They all do—or did. Maybe now they’ll start wondering.” “I don’t think this will end the cult of Mercer,” Pris said. “But right this minute there’re a lot of unhappy human beings.” To Isidore she said, “We’ve waited for months; we all knew it was coming, this pitch of Buster’s.” She hesitated and then said, “Well, why not. Buster is one of us.” “An android,” Irmgard explained. “And nobody knows. No humans, I mean.” Pris, with the scissors, cut yet another leg from the spider. All at once John Isidore pushed her away and lifted up the mutilated creature. He carried it to the sink and there he drowned it. In him, his mind, his hopes, drowned, too. As swiftly as the spider.
Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?)