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))
... 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))
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)
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)
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))
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))
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))
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
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))
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)
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))
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))
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))
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))
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))
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)
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))
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))
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))
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)
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))
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)
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))
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
Don’t ask a yes or no question unless the person being asked can say no without hesitation.
Clifford Cohen
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)
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))
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)
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))
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)
... 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))
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)
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))
It must be noted that there is no proof that it is justified to apply the label somatisation to such conditions as chronic fatigue syndrome and several more illnesses that established medicine has so for failed to explain scientifically. ……Don't hesitate to ask questions about scientific evidence behind this talk about somatisation. Be persistent, because a diagnosis of somatisation is definitely not an innocuous label. It will close various doors and lead (to) treatments that usually get nowhere.
Per Dalén
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))
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
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))
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)
How do you know me?” I ask. Now, it’s his turn to look down at the floor. Now, it’s his turn to hesitate. “You have to tell me or I won’t even entertain this offer,” “You owe me a debt, Olive,” he says, slowly. “I don’t have to explain anything to you beyond stating the terms of how you can replay it.
Charlotte Byrd (Tell Me to Stop (Tell Me #1))
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))
A nearby factory has a minor explosion that kills thirty people and they are looking to hire more people. I don’t even hesitate when I go and ask for a job there.
Jessica Cambrook (Vessels of Existence)
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))
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))
I get you’re scared and I know why. But if I didn’t have somethin’ to offer that I’m gonna bust my balls to make good, somethin’ I know in my gut you want, same as me, this would be goin’ a whole lot differently. I haven’t earned it, baby. I don’t even fuckin’ deserve it. But I gotta ask you to trust me anyway.” “Okay,” she whispered, straight up, right there, no hesitation. Jesus. That felt good.
Kristen Ashley (The Promise (The 'Burg, #5))
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))
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))
I know people say life is short, and in some ways, it is. But it is too long if you’re living it alone. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Don’t think that you’re weak just because you stumble. Everyone stumbles. Don’t isolate yourself just because you have to take a pill every day. You’d be doing yourself a disservice. Live your life the best you can and ask for help. People aren’t made to live their lives alone.
Saffron A. Kent (Medicine Man (Heartstone Series Book 1))
These are the rules. First, you don't speak unless I tell you to. Second, you do everything I say. No questions asked. No hesitating or arguing. No attitude." He's staring into the depths of my soul, searching for my reaction to his words. Without thinking, like I always do, I open my mouth to speak. He stares at me with a look of disapproval and shakes his head back and forth. "No words, Ivy. Those are the rules.
M.K. Gilher (Revival (Return to Us Trilogy, #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)
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)
She hesitated. “I’m not sure I understand.” “Don’t you?” he asked. “You changed my heart, Rachel.” She felt her throat constrict, making any reply impossible. “Rachel?” Her silence rarely made him uncomfortable, but this time he had no clear view of her features and no way to gauge her reaction. He wondered if he should have made a more straightforward declaration. “Did you hear me say I love you?” She turned her cheek into his shoulder. “I heard you.
Jo Goodman (Never Love a Lawman (Reidsville, #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))
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))
After a moment’s hesitation, he (Jeremy) asked, “Would you ever ask her to do this for you? Bring another woman in…” He stopped speaking as Rasul grasped him once again by the shoulder, thumb pressed uncomfortably close to his throat. Rasul blinked and stared past Jeremy’s face, seeming thoughtful for several seconds before speaking. His words were slow and cold. “I would sooner die than allow my wife to wonder for a single moment if another woman could stir in me any fraction of the desire she does.
Cara McKenna (Don't Call Her Angel)
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))
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))
How are you feeling Sweet Peach?” he enquires as he walks across to the chest of drawers, selects a pair of socks and pulls them on. Sweet Peach? What the hell? He’s definitely gay … I shrug. “Er … okay, I guess. I really don’t remember much though. How did I get here … and why am I wearing your t-shirt?” I ask hesitantly, afraid of the answer. Hagen laughs nervously. “I brought you home when you couldn’t tell me where you lived. And don’t worry, you got changed all by yourself … in the kitchen … for like an hour.
Joanne McClean (Blue Eyes and Sweet Peach Pie)
Shouldn’t we stop to light lamps?” Books asked. “Climbing down into a pitch-black secret weapons bunker sounds potentially damaging to one’s health. We do have lamps, don’t we?” “I do.” As if Amaranthe would remember a lint brush and not a lantern. She slung her pack off her shoulder. “I thought you had one too.” Books hesitated. “I can’t remember where I packed it. I don’t think it’s on top.” “Ah, perhaps we can impose an organizational system on your rucksack later.” “Should it worry me that you seem to find that notion exciting?” “Probably.
Lindsay Buroker (Conspiracy (The Emperor's Edge, #4))
The Universe can cover any part of your life that you feel is lacking. The size of your request doesn’t scare the Universe, so just write it out. Don’t hesitate over any desire that comes to mind. Write it out, no matter how silly or far-fetched you may think it is at the moment.
Michael Samuels (Just Ask the Universe: A No-Nonsense Guide to Manifesting Your Dreams (Manifesting Your Dreams Collection Book 1))
If we hesitate to answer when you ask us a question, we are NOT thinking of an excuse or making up lies; we are simply trying to find the words to describe what we are feeling. We don't think in logic, we think in feelings and symbols – those are sometimes difficult to find words for.
Marissa Baker (The INFJ Handbook: A guide to and for the rarest Myers-Briggs personality type)
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))
The first time you’ve been tied up?” He hesitated. She gasped. "Captain Ja— ” “In this manner,” he said quickly. And with great volume and emphasis, as if he needed to cut off her query about as much as he needed, for example, air. Her eyes narrowed. “What does that mean?” “Don’t ask that question.
Julia Quinn (The Other Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys, #3))
We have family on Mars. And when you have children, there isn't anything you wouldn't do to protect them." Doctor: "You'd even allow an innocent person to die?" "Yes, if I had to." Doctor: "Well then, that's the difference between us. I'd give up my own life without hesitation; it's mine to give. Just don't ask me to give up anybody else's. ... This is how evil starts: With the belief that the ends justify the means. But once you start down that road, there's no turning back. What if you can save a million lives, but you have to let ten people die? Or a hundred? Or a hundred thousand? Where do you stop?
Jonathan Morris (Doctor Who: The Resurrection Of Mars)
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))
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))
Earlier, she asked if I would die for her. Without hesitation, I said that I would—and meant it. I don’t understand either my reaction to her or the source of her power. She is something other than she appears to be. She tells me that I already know what she is and that I only need to accept the knowledge that I already possess.
Dean Koontz (Odd Interlude: A Special Odd Thomas Adventure)
Do you still think like that? The exit-strategy thing,” she asks. “Sort of, I guess? It’s different now; it’s not urgent like it used to be. It’s more like a habit, if that makes sense?” I glance at her face. “You know how some people go to movie theaters and have to find all the emergency exits, or they go out to eat and have to face the door no matter what, and half the time they don’t even realize they’re doing it?” She nods, but kind of slowly, hesitant. “That’s how it is, just like a glitch in the comfort matrix or something. Something my brain tosses out there, and I’m like, ‘Cool, thanks for the suggestion, but maybe we could just play a video game instead.’ It’s just crossed lines. It’s fine.
Jennifer Dugan (Verona Comics)
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
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))
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)
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))
Exercise: Willing to Change So we have decided we are willing to change, and we will use any and all methods that work for us. Let me describe one of the methods I use with myself and with others. First: go look in a mirror and say to yourself, “I am willing to change.” Notice how you feel. If you are hesitant or resistant or just don’t want to change, ask yourself why. What old belief are you holding on to? Please don’t scold yourself, just notice what it is. I’ll bet that belief has been causing you a lot of trouble. I wonder where it came from. Do you know? Whether we know where it came from or not, let’s do something to dissolve it, now. Again, go to the mirror, and look deep into your own eyes, touch your throat, and say out loud ten times, “I am willing to release all resistance.
Louise L. Hay (You Can Heal Your Life)
I worried we’d miss each other,” Arin said. “I went to your villa first, but was told you had come here.” “Where’ve you been?” Cheat was in an ugly mood. “Scouting the mountain pass.” When this deepened Cheat’s frown, Ain added, “Since that’s the path the reinforcements will probably take.” “Of course. Obviously.” “And I know just what to do to them.” A glimmer stole into Cheat’s face. Arin sent for Sarsine, and when she came, he asked her to bring Kestrel. “I need her opinion.” Sarsine hesitated. “But--” Cheat wagged a finger at her. “I’m sure you run this house well, but can’t you see that your cousin’s bursting at the seams with a plan that might save our hides? Don’t bore him with domestic details, like who’s squabbling with whom…or whether your special charge isn’t feeling social. Just get the girl.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
Breaking the kiss, she unwrapped her legs. “Let me down.”Uncertainty flashed across his face, but he didn’t hesitate, allowing her feet to touch the floor. “Everything okay?” he asked, moving his hands off her and taking a step back, giving her more than enough space to make a run for the door. “You don’t have to do this.” And there it was again, a glimpse of that soft center that totally fucked with her, [...].
Avery Flynn (Tomboy (The Hartigans, #3))
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))
We don't have an Antimemetics Division," Clay says. "Yes, you do. We do." O5-8 says, "We have a Memetics Division, a Telekontainment Division, Fire Services, Ops-A, Ops-B, Personnel, D-personnel and two dozen others. We don't have an Antimemetics Division." "Do we have an Irony Division?" Marion asks. She hesitates hopefully. "No? Alright. Well, try this: why do you think the Antimemetics Division would show up in the listing?
qntm (There Is No Antimemetics Division)
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))
Truth or Dare?" she asks. I hesitate. "Truth," I say finally. "I can imagine one of your dares, and I don’t fancy running down Oxford Street naked tonight." "Truth," Alice says slowly, drawing out the vowel sound as if she’s savouring the word. "Are you sure? Are you sure you can be completely honest?" "I think so. Try me." "Okay" And then she looks at me curiously. "So. Were you glad, deep down? Were you glad to be rid of her? Your perfect sister? Were you secretly glad when she died?" Katherine has moved away from her shattered family to start afresh in Sydney. There she keeps her head down until she is befriended by the charismatic, party-loving Alice, who brings her out of her shell. But there is a dark side to Alice, something seductive yet threatening. And as Katherine learns the truth about Alice, their tangled destinies spiral to an explosive and devastating finale.
Rebecca James (Beautiful Malice)
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)
Does he—does your husband not like music?’ he asked, saying the first thing that came into his head, not really wanting in the least to know what that damned George liked or didn’t like. She hesitated. ‘I—don’t know,’ she said. ‘He—usedn’t to.’ ‘But he doesn’t come here?’ ‘How can he?’ She stopped, and then said softly, ‘The poor darling’s dead.’ His heart gave a bound. A widow. The beastly war had done one good thing, then,—it had removed George.
Elizabeth von Arnim (Love)
You may hold me loosely,” she allowed. His lips quirked but he didn’t hesitate to wrap his arms around her loosely. Arms that were so long, they crossed at the back and his hands rested at her front hipbones. “Something funny?” she asked. “You’re cute when you’re bossy.” She opened her mouth but he lifted his chin in a “shut” gesture and kept going before she could get a word in. “Cute but hot. When you’re workin’ me, it’s just hot, Amèlie. So don’t get pissy.
Kristen Ashley (The Deep End (Honey, #1))
You haven't said yet weather I may help you while I am here" Elnora hesitated. You better say 'yes,'" he persisted. It would be a real kindness. It would keep me out doors all day and give an incentive to work. I'm good at it. I'll show you if I am not in a week or so. I can 'sugar' manipulate lights, and mirrors, and all the expert methods. I'll wager moths are think int the old swamp over there" They are," said Elnora. "Most I have I took there. A few nights ago my mother caught a good many, but we don't dare go alone" All the more reason why you need me. Where do you live? I can't get an answer from you, I'll just go tell your mother who I am and ask her if I may help you. I warn you young lady, I have a very effective way with mothers. They almost never turn me down." Then it's probable you will have a new experience when you meet mine," said Elnora. "She never was known to do what anyone expected she surely would.
Gene Stratton-Porter (A Girl of the Limberlost (Limberlost, #2))
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))
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)
All of us know happily married couples, solid families, and people who are well satisfied with their jobs. But when asked to explain their happiness, many hesitate. They aren’t sure. Some say, We work hard to get along with each other, but others shrug and say, Maybe luck has a lot to do with it. What they never say is, We have given up trying to control each other. They don’t realize that they may be following a different theory, that inadvertently they have discovered choice theory.
William Glasser (Choice Theory: A New Psychology of Personal Freedom)
Occasionally, (Einstein) would take rambling walks on his own, which could be dicey. 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 hesitatingly 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.
Walter Isaacson
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))
Will you be all right?” he asked softly. “It’s still raining.” Kate stopped and listened to the rain, which had softened to a gentle patter against the windows. “I think the storm is over.” He nodded and peered out into the hall. “It’s empty,” he said. “I should go.” He stepped aside to let her pass. She moved forward, but when she reached the doorway she stopped and turned around. “Lord Bridgerton?” “Anthony,” he said. “You should call me Anthony. I believe I’ve already called you Kate.” “You did?” “When I found you.” He waved a hand. “I don’t think you heard anything I said.” “You’re probably right.” She smiled hesitantly. “Anthony.” His name sounded strange on her tongue. He leaned forward slightly, an odd, almost devilish light in his eyes. “Kate,” he said in return. “I just wanted to say thank you,” she said. “For helping me tonight. I—” She cleared her throat. “It would have been a great deal more difficult without you.” “I didn’t do anything,” he said gruffly. “No, you did everything.” -Anthony & Kate
Julia Quinn (The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2))
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
Did I hurt you?" She managed to ask, recalling how she had inadvertently pushed on his wounded shoulder. "Does it ache this morning?" Leo hesitated before replying. "No it eventually eased after you left. But the devil knows it wouldn't take much to start up again." Catherine was overcome with remorse. "I'm sorry. Should we put poultice on it?" "A poultice?" he repeated blankly. "On my... oh. We're talking about my shoulder?" She blinked in confusion. "Of course we're talking about your shoulder. What else would we be discussing?" "Cat..." Leo looked away from her. To her surprise, there was a tremor of laughter in his voice. "When a man is aroused and left unsatisfied, he usually aches for a while afterward." "Where?" He gave her a speaking glance. "You mean..." a wild blush raced over her as she finally understood. "Well, I don't care if you ache there. I was only concerned about your wound!" "It's much better," Leo assured her, his eyes bright with amusement. "As for the other ache--" "That has nothing to do with me," she said hastily. "I be to differ.
Lisa Kleypas (Married by Morning (The Hathaways, #4))
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))
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))
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))
Notice When You Don’t React to Situations in an Anxious Way Even the most anxiety-prone person doesn’t always react to situations in an anxious way. Start paying attention to situations in which you: --Naturally make positive predictions --Feel confident in your ability to complete challenging tasks --Receive feedback without personalizing it or catastrophizing --Ask for what you want without being excessively hesitant --Feel accepting and relaxed Start to notice how you are sometimes anxiety-prone and sometimes confident, rather than thinking about anxiety-proneness and confidence as being mutually exclusive traits.
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
And at my age, I must consider any marriage prospect quite seriously.” “Your age?” he scoffed. “You’re only twenty-five.” “Twenty-six. And even at twenty-five, I would be considered long in the tooth. I lost several years—my best ones perhaps—because of my illness.” “You’re more beautiful now than you ever were. Any man would be mad or blind not to want you.” The compliment was not given smoothly, but with a masculine sincerity that heightened her blush. “Thank you, Kev.” He slid her a guarded look. “You want to marry?” Win’s willful, treacherous heart gave a few painfully excited thuds, because at first she thought he’d asked, “You want to marry me?” But no, he was merely asking her opinion of marriage as … well, as her scholarly father would have said, as a “conceptual structure with a potential for realization.” “Yes, of course,” she said. “I want children to love. I want a husband to grow old with. I want a family of my own.” “And Harrow says all of that is possible now?” Win hesitated a bit too long. “Yes, completely possible.” But Merripen knew her too well. “What are you not telling me?” “I am well enough to do anything I choose now,” she said firmly. “What does he—” “I don’t wish to discuss it. You have your forbidden topics; I have mine.” “You know I’ll find out,” he said quietly.
Lisa Kleypas (Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways, #2))
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))
THE 11 COMMANDMENTS FOR WISE BOSSES Have strong opinions and weakly held beliefs. Do not treat others as if they are idiots. Listen attentively to your people; don’t just pretend to hear what they say. Ask a lot of good questions. Ask others for help and gratefully accept their assistance. Do not hesitate to say, ‘I don’t know’. Forgive people when they fail, remember the lessons, and teach them to everyone. Fight as if you are right, and listen as if you are wrong. Do not hold grudges after losing an argument. Instead, help the victors implement their ideas with all your might. Know your foibles and flaws, and work with people who correct and compensate for your weaknesses. Express gratitude to your people.
Robert I. Sutton (Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best... and Learn from the Worst)
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))
Sometimes when I think of Jesper all I can see is his dark back on the way across the white sea to Hirsholmene. It gets smaller and smaller and I stand at the edge of the ice feeling empty. Why didn't he ask me to go with him? I have a will of my own but if he had asked, I wouldn't have hesitated. I always went with him. After all, I had to look after him and he had to look after me, and my father would be furious with us both. Staying there alone was meaningless. Sometimes I imagine he tells me everything, but I know that's not true. He never told me if he went all the way to Hirsholmene. I don't tell him everything either, but I feel he knows what I am thinking, and I know what HE thinks. I have taught myself to do that. And yet all the same I am not sure.
Per Petterson (To Siberia)
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)
With every single horse I own, I often lay the reins on his neck and let him move forward to find his own natural balance and gait. I've seen far too many overbearing riders constantly manage and adjust the horse to force its obedience. Every little toss of the head or momentary hesitation is corrected. A variety of torturous bits, spurs, and straps are employed to make it submit. Some horses endure such treatment, but far more are ruined by it. Always let a horse be a horse." He paused. "Do you take my meaning?" "Aye, milord." "Was an analogy really necessary, Westcliff?" Kingston asked. "You could have simply said, 'Please be kind to my headstrong daughter and don't break her spirit.'" "Force of habit," the earl said. "None of my sons pay attention unless it's horses.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Disguise (The Ravenels, #7))
Yeah, someone like that,” I say with a wistful smile. “A dramatic whirlwind romance that takes the world and turns it upside down.” Ryan isn’t smiling. He watches me for a good long while, silent and still. “I don’t think I believe that. Even if you could experience what you write about, you would be way too uptight to do that kind of stuff, let alone enjoy it.” I take in his accusation and once again sit up straight. “That’s not true. What happens in my books just doesn’t happen in real life. If I could experience something like that, I wouldn’t be too uptight to enjoy it.” “You’re sure about that?” “Yes, I’m sure.” “Okay. Prove it.” I think back on Ryan’s words. “What do you mean?” I ask. “I mean let’s choose a book and we’ll see if you can read it and act out what the characters are doing without you being too afraid to stop.” “You want me to read what’s in a romance novel and then act it out?” “Yes.” “And who am I supposed to act it out with?” “Me, of course.” Ryan’s proposition crashes over me like a cold, unexpected wave. “You’re kidding.” “I’m entirely serious. This way, we can see who’s right about your novels once and for all, or you can just admit that you would never really do any of the things you write about.” I continue to stare at him in total silence. “I knew it,” he says a few moments later. And then my stubborn nature, strengthened by the alcohol, takes the wheel. “Fine,” I say defiantly. “Fine?” he asks. “Are you sure?” I get up from the couch without hesitating. “Pick a book.” Ryan smiles. “How about the one you’re writing now?
Kate Bromley (Talk Bookish to Me)
Repeat the names,” my mother instructs, and we listen while Paschal recites the names of the months. “Vintage, Fog, Frost, Snow, Rain …” He hesitates on the sixth month. “Wind,” she says helpfully. We are all sitting at the caissier’s desk, and it is very important he get this right. “Wind,” he repeats after her. “Seed, Blossoms, M-Mead—” “Meadows,” I say. “Meadows, Harvesting, Heat, and Fruit.” Isabel claps. “Very good.” “And what year is this?” my mother asks. Paschal frowns. “Seventeen ninety-three?” “No,” Isabel says forcefully. “It is Year Two.” “But I don’t understand.” “The first year began on September twenty-second, seventeen ninety-two.” The day France declared itself the First Republic. “But how?” He doesn’t see how he could have been alive before time began. “That is the decree of the Convention,” she explains.
Michelle Moran (Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution)
I have an odd request for you." I said hesitantly while considering the next words I would use. "Could I ride you?" I asked nervously. Bob broke out in laughter before responding. "Gee, Boss, I didn't know you felt that way. What'll the girls say? I don't want them to think I'm a slut." Damnit, I knew it would end up like this, but it was still better than asking if I could use him as a mount. I sighed and rubbed my face with my hand as I responded. "You know what I mean, like a horse." "I didn't know you did that with horses, too! Maybe you're the slut." Bob said, still chuckling. "Come on, Bob." "Isn't that what you're trying to do?" He was now practically cackling. "Okay, okay, I admit it. You're just too damn pretty. I can't wait to get on top of you and pull your hair as I ride you in front of everyone." I said, now also laughing.
John Domus Cruo (A Flesh Golem's Ascension (Deathcreator #1))
Oh God, Harry, I just don’t know what to do.” “Have you ever thought..?” “What?” I ask hopefully. Harry hesitates. “That maybe there’s nothing you can do?” It is not the answer I’m expecting. I stare at him. “I mean, maybe – maybe this is what it’s going to be like when he gets ill,” Harry continues doggedly. “He’ll have an episode – either of mania or depression – his meds will be tweaked, therapy will be stepped up, and everyone will wait for it to pass. Which, of course, it will do.” “And so – you’re saying I should just weather the storm?” Harry nods slowly. “I think so, yes. Otherwise you’re going to wear yourself down, trying to help him, trying to make things better, when it’s basically out of your control.” I look at Harry. Somewhere, at the back of my mind, I think he might have a point. But I don’t want to admit it. Not yet.
Tabitha Suzuma (A Voice in the Distance (Flynn Laukonen, #2))
The next day I came back from my lunch break to find a note on my desk: “Chip Gaines called. Call him back.” I thought, Oh, that must be the guy I met yesterday. So I called him. I honestly thought he was going to ask me about getting a better price on his brakes or something, but instead he said, “Hey, I really enjoyed our conversation yesterday. I was wondering…you want to go out sometime?” And for some reason I said okay--just like that, without any hesitation. It wasn’t like me at all. When I hung up the phone, I went, “What in the world just happened!” So you said okay immediately? I don’t even remember that. That’s fun! No reservations? Man, I must’ve been good-lookin’. What Chip didn’t know was I didn’t even give myself time to have reservations. Something told me to just go for it. Cute, Joey. This story makes me love you all over again.
Joanna Gaines (The Magnolia Story)
I don’t know how to ask this,” Everett began. “You and Mr. Bradley…you’re not…” He gestured helplessly with his left hand. “I mean, there’s not, uh, something…is there?” After a bewildered moment Ellen’s eyes widened. “Oh, no! Not—not at all.” Everett’s breath hitched. “I thought—I thought perhaps there was. That’s why I hesitated…but if there isn’t…then I got the right color.” He studied his crimson bouquet, spinning it slowly in a mesmerizing circle. Ellen gulped. Everett looked up, walked forward, and glanced down at his roses, then held them out to her and recaptured her gaze. “I remember you said you liked roses. I think you said white roses, but they don’t have the right meaning.” He smiled sheepishly. Ellen’s eyes dropped. She reached out a shaky hand and clasped the firm, cool, de-thorned stems. “You…do understand me then?” he asked. “Perfectly.” Ellen burst into tears.
Kelsey Bryant (Suit and Suitability (Vintage Jane Austen))
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))
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.
Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?)
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. 18.
Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)
I feel something on my chest. Ivy's resting her head on me. In fact, she's pulled herself so close that we're touching everywhere. My heart picks up speed again, but I'm surprisingly calm, seeing her beautiful face close to mine, her eyes closed in an expression of content bliss, and—the best part—feeling her own heart pound in time with mine. She's feeling what I'm feeling. That is when I know for sure. "Ivy?" I know what I have to do. "Mm?" Her songbird voice is a calm purr. "I I really, really like you." Like moving through molasses, Ivy raises her head. Her eyes are enormous with bewilderment. But there's no fright, no dislike, no anything that discourages me, With that in mind, I don't hesitate as I move my face and my lips to her lips. Ivy's lips are cool like water but delicate and velvety and smooth like round pebbles. She smells like wildflowers, wet earth, and freshly cut grass, which only makes me want her more. I press my lips harder against hers, and a shiver of delight snakes through me when I feel her press back. Daring myself, I open my mouth. So does she, and the kiss deepens. My hand slides upward to caress her satin cheek, and the back of my neck tingles as her fingers play with my hair. This is it. Ivy's and my first kiss. I wouldn't have it any other way. Unhurriedly we pull our faces away, though we leave our foreheads touching. "Ivy?" I peer into her eyes. She doesn't look upset, but more calm and curious. She meets my eyes and asks, "What was that?" "A kiss. You do it with people you like." To my amazement Ivy leans forward and kisses me again. It's incredible as the first time. "That is my feeling towards you," she tells me as she leans back. She meets my eyes, her face flushed but determined. " liking you, too." I smile and pull her to me, and we grasp each other like we never want to let go. She likes me. I like her. This can't get any better.
Colleen Boyd (Swamp Angel)
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?)
They were treading on uneven ground with an invisible boundary between them. Both were defined by their culture. Amisha had no choice but to bow to the conventions of her society. The few rules that she defied, she did so hoping there would be no cost. “I would want someone who believed in me,” Amisha finally answered. “That’s it?” he asked, amazed. “That would be more than I could ever hope for. It is what I would want for my daughter if I ever have one.” “A daughter, hmm?” Stephen smiled. “But as things are,” Amisha said, hesitating, “I don’t know if here would be the right place for her.” Stephen seemed shocked. “You would not want her in India?” “If India became a place where she could choose her path, then yes, I would want her here. It would be her home. We . . .” She paused, thinking of Deepak. “We would be her family.” Amisha considered her world as it was now. The choices that didn’t exist. “But I would want her to have more than I have.” “More?” Stephen asked, encouraging her to continue.
Sejal Badani (The Storyteller's Secret)
I feel his gentle hands as he tilts my head to face him. “Look at me,” he insists. His voice is hesitant. “I need for you tell me everything is going to be all right.” I don’t know what he means. I’m back, aren’t I? I shake my head. “Nothing’s wrong.” He searches my face. “You promise?” His eyebrows draw together tightly. “You’re certain?” I push his shoulder so that he has to sit up a little. “Certain about what?” I ask. He withdraws from me, and I’m left wet and well worked. My arms and legs are limp, and I can barely think. “Are you asking me if I’m going to leave again?” He nods. “And other things.” “What other things?” He stands up, and… Goodness, he’s beautiful naked. He’s beautiful with clothes on, too, but naked…my goodness. He’s a work of art. “I want you to fucking marry me, Em,” he says. My heart trips a beat. “Well, that’s the worst proposal ever,” I joke. “Tell me this is real,” he implores me. I take his hand and look into his blue eyes. “It’s as real as it gets,” I say. He pulls me to my feet. “Good.
Tammy Falkner (Smart, Sexy and Secretive (The Reed Brothers, #2))
What we don’t say is: of course not all men hate women. But culture hates women, and men who grow up in a sexist culture have a tendency to do and say sexist things, often without meaning to. We aren’t judging you for who you are, but that doesn’t mean we’re not asking you to change your behaviour. What you feel about women in your heart is of less immediate importance than how you treat them on a daily basis. You can be the gentlest, sweetest man in the world and still benefit from sexism, still hesitate to speak up when you see women hurt and discriminated against. That’s how oppression works. Thousands of otherwise decent people are persuaded to go along with an unfair system because changing it seems like too much bother. The appropriate response when somebody demands a change in that unfair system is to listen, rather than turn away or yell, as a child might, that it’s not your fault. Of course it isn’t your fault. I’m sure you’re lovely. That doesn’t mean you don’t have a responsibility to do something about it.
Laurie Penny (Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution)
I dial her mum's number, then sit down cross-legged, facing the wall. When she comes on the line, she sounds uncertain, hesitant. 'Hey! Guess where I am?' I ask, my voice loud with false cheer. 'Rami told me. The Wellesly Hospital in Worthing. What's it like?' 'For a loony-bin it's actually quite decent,' I reply. 'I don't have Sky or an en-suite, and the menu isn't exactly à la carte, but you know...' I tail off. There is a silence. 'Do you have your own room?' Jenna asks, 'Oh yeah, yeah. I have a lovely view of the sea between the bars of my window.' She doesn't laugh. 'Have you started' -there is a pause as she searches for the right word -'threatment?' 'Yeah, yeah. We had group therapy today. Tomorrow we'll probably have art therapy - maybe I'll draw you a hourse and a garden. I know, perhaps they'll teach us to make baskets! Isn't that why they call us basket cases?' 'Flynn, stop,' Jennah softly implores. 'And we'll probably have music therapy the day after. Maybe I'll get to play the tambourine. Or the triangle. I've always wanted to play the triangle!' 'Flynn-' 'No, I'm serious! I'll ask for some manuscript paper and see if I can write a composition for tambourine and triangle. Then I can post if off to you to hand in for my next composition assignment.' 'Flynn, listen-' 'Hold on, hold on! I'm making a note to myself now: Find fellow insane musician and start composing the Flynn Laukonen Sonata for Tambourine and Triangle.' 'Flynn-' 'And then, when they let me out, if they ever let me out, perhaps you could pull a few strigns and organize for me and my tambourine buddy to give a recital. I'm not sure where though -how about the subway at Marble Arch tube? Nice and central, good acoustics-' 'What are the other people like?' Jennah cuts in, an edge to her voice. I notice she doesn't use the word patients. Clever Jennah. For a moment there you almost made me forget I was locked up in a mental institution. 'Round the bend, just like me,' I reply. 'I'm in excellent company. We'll be swapping suicide tips in no time at all!' I give a harsh laugh.
Tabitha Suzuma (A Voice in the Distance (Flynn Laukonen, #2))
Did I hurt you?” she managed to ask, recalling how she had inadvertently pushed on his wounded shoulder. “Does it ache this morning?” Leo hesitated before replying. “No, it eventually eased after you left. But the devil knows it wouldn’t take much to start up again.” Catherine was overcome with remorse. “I’m so sorry. Should we put a poultice on it?” “A poultice?” he repeated blankly. “On my … oh. We’re talking about my shoulder?” She blinked in confusion. “Of course we’re talking about your shoulder. What else would we be discussing?” “Cat…” Leo looked away from her. To her surprise, there was a tremor of laughter in his voice. “When a man is aroused and left unsatisfied, he usually aches for a while afterward.” “Where?” He gave her a speaking glance. “You mean…” A wild blush raced over her as she finally understood. “Well, I don’t care if you ache there, I was only concerned about your wound!” “It’s much better,” Leo assured her, his eyes bright with amusement. “As for the other ache—” “That has nothing to do with me,” she said hastily. “I beg to differ.
Lisa Kleypas (Married By Morning (The Hathaways, #4))
Did I hurt you?" she managed to ask, recalling how she had inadvertently pushed on his wounded shoulder. "Does it ache this morning?" Leo hesitated before replying, "No, it eventually eased after you left. But the devil knows it wouldn't take much to start up again." Catherine was overcome with remorse. "I'm so sorry. Should we put a poultice on it?" "A poultice?" he repeated blankly. "On my... oh. We're talking about my shoulder?" She blinked in confusion. "Of course we're talking about your shoulder. What else would we be discussing?" "Cat..." Leo looked away from her. To her surprise, there was a tremor of laughter in his voice. "When a man is aroused and left unsatisfied, he usually aches for a while afterward." "Where?" He gave her a speaking glance. "You mean..." A wild blush raced over her as she finally understood. "Well, I don't care if you ache there, I was only concerned about your wound!" "It's much better," Leo assured her, his eyes bright with amusement. "As for the other ache-" "This has nothing to do with me," she said hastily. "I beg to differ.
Lisa Kleypas (Married by Morning (The Hathaways, #4))
This isn’t going to cause problems with a boyfriend or anything, is it?” Shannon looked at him in surprise. Not because of the question itself, but because of the hesitancy she thought she heard in his voice. She turned her concentration back to beating the eggs. “No, no boyfriend.” “Do you date? Any chance this could be another boyfriend doing these things?” Shaking her head from side to side, she told him, “Nope.” Pouring the onions and other ingredients in the pan, she tried not to let her hands shake. John asking about her dating life was a little strange, because she had been imagining dating him for so long. “You do date, though?” She nodded her head, still not looking at him. “Of course I date.” “Why don’t you have a boyfriend, then?” he asked finally. Pouring the eggs into the pan, she paused, then turned to look at him directly. Her heart was almost pounding out of her chest as she debated what to tell him. From the first moment she’d seen him, backlit by the sunlight from the office window, she wanted to know more about him. Six freaking months she’d been mooning after an impossible need. What the hell. “I’m pretty picky in who I date, and I’m waiting for the right guy to ask me.
J.M. Madden (Embattled Hearts (Lost and Found, #1))
It wanted me,” she says, her tone too even. “Me alone.” I turn her in my arms to face her. “You’re safe now.” “I am the key.” She shakes her head. “If I deny it, there will be more and more of this...until eventually, both kingdoms will die.” “Amalia…” “I love you,” she says, meeting my eyes, not caring who hears her. “Rhys, I love you desperately. Whether you love me or not. But what can I do? If I’m with you, everything will be destroyed. And it will be my fault.” “Give me time,” I whisper. “Please.” “We don’t have time.” “Then give me minutes,” I whisper, holding her close. “Rhys,” she says, her voice breaking. “I love you, Amalia. And I swear to you—I make a solemn vow—I will see us through this together.” “You love me?” she whispers, tears once more trailing down her cheeks. “I do.” And then, not caring who sees, I capture her face in my hands and press my lips to hers, sealing the vow I made back in Saulette. Amalia cries against me, grasping hold of my shoulders and pulling me close. I lean into her, swearing to myself I will make good on my promise. Her tears wet my face, but she meets me without hesitation—trusting me, as I’ve asked her to do so many times. And dawn breaks.
Shari L. Tapscott (Sea of Starlight (The Riven Kingdoms, #2))
He’s whispering again. I’m finding it hard to hear, and we’re standing close together. What do you want to ask? ‘If Hen/ was the same as she is now, in every way, but was a bit less physically attractive in one significant way, do you think you would have married her?’ I’m caught off guard by the question, but I don’t want to show that I am, so I don’t hesitate with my answer. Of course, I say. I love Hen. Hen’s my wife. She’ll be with me forever. I’ve always loved he. I’ll always love her. ‘ I know that. I know. I don’t doubt you love her very much. That’s not really what I’m asking, though. Are you sure you would have married her? Committed to her forever? Think about it. Does her appearance not mean anything to you? Is that what you’re saying? That what she looks like is irrelevant?’ It’s such a blonde question. It seems out of line with everything else we talked about. I feel a trickle in sweat slide down my spine. I’m saying, to me, no matter what, she would still be Hen. ‘Would she, though? Would she still be the Hen you fell in love with? What about this: What if she looked exactly as she does right now, but she was a little less intelligent? Would she still be Hen?’ That’s just stupid. It’s a stupid question. Hen is Hen.
Iain Reid (Foe)
You don’t need to pity them. Really, let me tell you: don’t. The reality of the universe is not something to envy.” “Why?” Yifan lifted a hand and pointed at the stars of the galaxy. Then he let the 3G force pull his arm back to this chest. “Darkness. Only darkness.” “You mean the dark forest state?” Guan Yifan shook his head, a gesture that appeared to be a struggle in hypergravity. “For us, the dark forest state is all-important, but it’s just a detail of the cosmos. If you think of the cosmos as a great battlefield, dark forest strikes are nothing more than snipers shooting at the careless—messengers, mess men, etc. In the grand scheme of the battle, they are nothing. You have not seen what a true interstellar war is like.” “Have you?” “We’ve caught a few glimpses. But most things we know are just guesses.… Do you really want to know? The more you possess of this kind of knowledge, the less light remains in your heart.” “My heart is already completely dark. I want to know.” And so, more than six centuries after Luo Ji had fallen through ice into that lake, another dark veil hiding the truth about the universe was lifted before the gaze of one of the only survivors of Earth civilization. Yifan asked, “Why don’t you tell me what the most powerful weapon for a civilization possessing almost infinite technological prowess is? Don’t think of this as a technical question. Think philosophy.” Cheng Xin pondered for a while and then struggled to shake her head. “I don’t know.” “Your experiences should give you a hint.” What had she experienced? She had seen how a cruel attacker could lower the dimensions of space by one and destroy a solar system. What are dimensions? “The universal laws of physics,” Cheng Xin said. “That’s right. The universal laws of physics are the most terrifying weapons, and also the most effective defenses. Whether it’s by the Milky Way or the Andromeda Galaxy, at the scale of the local galactic group or the Virgo Supercluster, those warring civilizations possessing godlike technology will not hesitate to use the universal laws of physics as weapons. There are many laws that can be manipulated into weapons, but most commonly, the focus is on spatial dimensions and the speed of light. Typically, lowering spatial dimensions is a technique for attack, and lowering the speed of light is a technique for defense. Thus, the dimensional strike on the Solar System was an advanced attack method. A dimensional strike is a sign of respect. In this universe, respect is not easy to earn. I guess you could consider it an honor for Earth civilization.
Liu Cixin (Death's End (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #3))
They were all joking about the party at my place when they walked away. As I uncapped my drink, I noticed Michael was hanging back a bit. “Got something on your mind?” I called out, gesturing at him with my chin. He was a good player, he worked hard on the field, and I respected him. I got the feeling, though, that I wasn’t going to like what he wanted to say. I could tell by the hesitation in his face and body language. He probably disagreed with some of the plays I wanted to try tonight and didn’t want to piss me off in fear I would freeze him out on the field. But I wasn’t like that. I left personal shit in the locker room. There was no room for drama in the game. He walked back over in front of me as he adjusted the strap on his shoulder. “I’m not sure I should say anything.” “Just say it, man. It’s cool.” “I saw your girl this morning.” He started, and everything in me went cold. This wasn’t about football. This was personal. “You looking at Rimmel?” I asked, my voice calm and low. His eyes widened a little, but he shook his head. “No, man. I probably wouldn’t have known it was her, but she was wearing your hoodie.” I nodded for him to continue. “She was in the hall, outside her class,” he said, glancing at me. He needed to get to the fucking point already. I was losing patience. “That guy Zach was with her. It looked pretty intense.” I jerked upright. “What?” I growled. What the fuck was Rimmel doing with Zach? Why was he talking to her? “He was grabbing her arm. Jerking her around pretty good.” Red tinged my vision and adrenaline started pumping in my veins. “What did you just say?” Michael nodded grimly. “It’s why I noticed them. He grabbed her and she cried out. She told him to let go, but he just jerked her more. She almost fell.” A noise rumbled out of my chest and anger so swift and hot that it hurt filled me. “Tell me you pulled him off her,” I intoned. “I was going to. I called out to them and started forward, but that’s when he let her go and walked away.” I was going to kill him. Dead. “I asked her if she was okay. I don’t think she knew I’m on the team with you.” “Probably not,” I muttered, still trying to control the anger spiraling out of control inside me. “She said she was.” He continued, but I heard the doubt in his voice. “But?” The word came out harsher than I intended, but he didn’t seem to notice. “But her wrist was pretty red. Looked like it was going to bruise.” Thought ceased in my head. Rationality evaporated. “Thanks for telling me,” I said and rushed away in the opposite direction of my next class.
Cambria Hebert (#Hater (Hashtag, #2))
If anyone’s actually reading this, and I don’t know if anyone ever will, this is the moment where I’ll lose them, where they’ll rant about that stupid character messing up the story. And I get it, because so much of me yearns for you to be my happy ending, but I can’t apologize for doing what's right. I shove out of the rocking chair and step off of the porch. Your gaze goes right to my stomach, as do your hands. I don’t stop you, though my chest feels like it’s caving in. Your eyes are lighting up, and I know—god, I know—you’ll make a great father, one of the greatest, and you’ll love this little girl with every part of your soul. But that can't happen until you’re ready. “I love you,” I whisper, three words you haven’t said, as I put my hand on top of yours on my stomach. “More than everything… except for her.” You meet my gaze. “It’s a girl?” I nod, and hesitate, before I kiss you, lingering, letting you have this moment, and if I’m being honest, it’s just as much for me. I need this moment to gather my courage. And when I do, I pull back and say, “I need you to leave.” You look at me, stunned. “I need you to go and not come back until you get better,” I say. “I’m asking you… no, I’m begging you… don’t come back here like this again. She’s going to need a father, a real one, someone who can love her more than everything. There’s no place in our lives for an addict. So, please… leave, Jonathan.
J.M. Darhower (Ghosted)
I have to ask you something.” Stumbling over words, I described my encounter with Edward. “I have to meet him at the railroad trestle next week. I’m supposed to do something when I get there, but he didn’t say what…” My voice trailed away. The expression on Andrew’s face told me he knew exactly what I was talking about. “Drat,” he muttered. “That low-down skunk. I was hoping he’d forgotten.” Andrew hesitated. Without looking at me, he picked up a piece of chalk and started drawing a little train on the floor. Concentrating on his sketch, he said, “Before I got sick, Edward dared me to jump off the trestle.” My heart beat faster. “Is that what I’m supposed to do? Jump off?” “Now, now, don’t get all het up, Drew. It’s not as bad as you think.” Carefully, Andrew added a curlicue of smoke to his drawing. “You walk out on the trestle and jump in the river. Then you swim to shore. It’s a simple as one two three.” He tapped the chalk three times for emphasis. My mouth was so dry I could hardly speak. Lying down between the rails or dynamiting the train might be better than this. “How high is the trestle?” Instead of answering my question, Andrew said, “It’s a test of manhood. Lots of boys have done it.” I wasn’t interested in testing my manhood or hearing about other boys. I just wanted to know what was going to happen to me. Me--a boy who was scared to jump off a diving board into eight feet of crystal-clear chlorinated water.
Mary Downing Hahn (Time for Andrew: A Ghost Story)
So? When do you want to be turned?” “I didn’t agree to turn,” Valerie squawked with amazement. “You haven’t, but you will,” he said with a shrug. “What makes you think that?” she asked warily. “Because if you don’t, I’m going to have to wipe your memories and have you returned to your life and neither of us wants that,” he said simply. “Anders said I could have time to decide,” Valerie protested, and then frowned and added, “And what do you mean, neither of us wants that? Why would you care?” “You saved my wife and children, Valerie. And Leigh adores you. You’re family now.” “Oh.” She stared at him nonplussed, wondering if he meant that. “I mean it,” he said firmly. “Leigh has decided it’s so, so it’s so. She’d be disappointed if you didn’t become one of us and I won’t have her disappointed.” Valerie scowled slightly. The last part sounded like a threat. “As for Anders saying you could have time to decide,” Lucian continued. “What do you need time for? The nanos have paired you, you’re meant to be together.” “You make it sound so simple,” she said wearily. “It is simple. Don’t make it hard.” “Great, the nanos paired us. But what about love?” she asked. Lucian shifted impatiently. “Do you like him?” “Yes,” she admitted. “Respect him?” She nodded. “Trust him?” “Of course,” she said without hesitation. Lucian nodded and said dryly, “I don’t need to ask if you want him sexually.” Valerie flushed and raised her chin. “All those things combined make up love,” Lucian assured her. “Whether you realize it or not, you already do love him.” Valerie swallowed, knowing in her heart he was right. She bit her lip, and then blurted, “But does he love me?” “Ah.” Lucian nodded. “So that’s the holdup, is it? He hasn’t said it yet.” Valerie sighed and looked away, muttering, “When he asked me to be his life mate he went on about finding peace and being able to relax and be at peace. It was all peace, peace, peace,” she added with frustration and glanced to Lucian, eyes narrowing when she caught his lips twitching. If he laughed at her, she would— “Don’t you feel at peace with him?” he asked, and then added, “When you’re not hot and bothered, I mean.” “Well, yeah, but—” “But you want to hear that he loves you,” Lucian said and shrugged. “I guess you’ll have to ask him then.” “Ask him if he loves me?” she asked with dismay. Lucian sighed with exasperation. “You took on Igor and staked him, saving yourself and six other women in the process—” “Four,” she corrected unhappily. “Two died, remember.” “And then,” he continued heavily, ignoring her interruption. “You took on Ambrose and saved my wife and unborn twins by crashing the van you were all in and repeatedly bashing the man over the head until help got there. You are not a coward, Valerie, so stop acting like one. Ask him. And when he says yes he loves you, I will personally oversee the turning and pay for the wedding.
Lynsay Sands (Immortal Ever After (Argeneau, #18))
Their attention was caught by the increasingly animated conversation between Beatrix and Annandale. “…I can climb a tree as well as any of the Ramsay estate woodsmen,” Beatrix was telling him. “I don’t believe you,” the earl declared, tremendously entertained. “Oh, yes. Off with the skirts, off with the corset, I put on a pair of breeches, and--” “Beatrix,” Audrey interrupted, before this scandalous discussion of intimate apparel progressed any further. “I just caught a glimpse of Poppy in the next room. It’s been ages since I’ve seen her. And I’ve never been introduced to her husband.” “Oh.” Reluctantly Beatrix turned her attention away from Annandale. “Shall I take you to them?” “Yes.” Audrey seized her arm. Annandale looked disgruntled, his black brows lowering as Audrey propelled Beatrix away. Christopher bit back a grin. “What do you think of her?” he asked. Annandale replied without hesitation. “I would marry her myself, were I five years younger.” “Five?” Christopher repeated skeptically. “Ten, damn you.” But a slight smile had appeared on the earl’s time-weathered face. “I commend you on your choice. She’s a spirited girl. Fearless. Lovely in her own way, and with her charm she has no need of true beauty. You’ll need to keep a firm hand on the reins, but the trouble will be worth it.” He paused, looking wistful. “Once you’ve had a woman like that, you can never be content with the ordinary kind.” Christopher had been about to argue over the question of Beatrix’s beauty, which in his opinion was unequaled.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
A long time ago Ian had told her he was half in love with her, yet now that they were betrothed he’d never spoken a word of it, had not even pretended. She wasn’t certain of his motives or his feelings; she wasn’t certain of her own, either. All she really knew was that the sight of his hard, handsome face with its chiseled features, and hold amber eyes never failed to make her entire being feel tense and alive. She knew he liked to kis her, and that she very much liked being kissed by him. Added to his other attractions was something else that drew her inexorably to him: From their very first meeting, Elizabeth had sensed that beneath his bland sophistication and rugged virility Ian Thornton had a depth that most people lacked. “It’s so hard to know,” she whispered, “how I ought to feel or what I ought to think. And I have the worst feeling it’s not going to matter what I know or what I think,” she added almost sadly, “because I am going to love him.” She opened her eyes and looked at Alex. “It’s happening, and I cannot stop it. It was happening two years ago, and I couldn’t stop it then, either. So you see,” she added with a sad little smile, “it would be so much nicer for me if you could love him just a little, too.” Alex reached across the table and took Elizabeth’s hands in hers. “If you love him, then he must be the very best of men. I shall henceforth make it a point to see all his best qualities!” Alex hesitated, and then she hazarded the question: “Elizabeth, does he love you?” Elizabeth shook her head. “He wants me, he says, and he wants children.” Alex swallowed embarrassed laughter. “He what?” “He wants me, and he wants children.” A funny, knowing smile tugged at Alexandra’s lips. “You didn’t tell me he said the first part. I am much encouraged,” she teased while a rosy blush stole over her cheeks. “I think I am, too,” Elizabeth admitted, drawing a swift, searching look from Alex. “Elizabeth, this is scarcely the time to discuss this-in fact,” Alex added, her flush deepening. “I don’t think there is a really good time to discuss it-but has Lucinda explained to you how children are conceived?” “Yes, of course,” Elizabeth said without hesitation. “Good, because I would have been the logical one otherwise, and I still remember my reaction when I found out. It was not a pretty sight,” she laughed. “On the other hand, you were always much the wiser girl than I.” “I don’t think so at all,” Elizabeth said, but she couldn’t imagine what there was, really, to blush about. Children, Lucinda had told her when she’d asked, were conceived when a husband kissed his wife in be. And it hurt the first time. Ian’s kisses were sometimes almost bruising, but they never actually hurt, and she enjoyed them terribly. As if speaking her feelings aloud to Alexandra had somehow relieved her of the burden of trying to deal with them, Elizabeth was so joyously relaxed that she suspected Ian noticed it at once when the men joined them in the drawing room. Ian did notice it; in fact, as they sat down to play a game of cards in accordance with Elizabeth’s cheery suggestion, he noticed there was a subtle but distinct softening in the attitudes of both ladies toward him.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Mal’s calm, the surety he seemed to carry in his steps. “Do you think it’s out there?” I asked one afternoon when we’d taken shelter in a dense cluster of pines to wait out a storm. “Hard to say. Right now, I could just be tracking a big hawk. I’m going on my gut as much as anything, and that always makes me nervous.” “You don’t seem nervous. You seem completely at ease.” I could hear the irritation in my voice. Mal glanced at me. “It helps that no one’s threatening to cut you open.” I said nothing. The thought of the Darkling’s knife was almost comforting—a simple fear, concrete, manageable. He squinted out at the rain. “And it’s something else, something the Darkling said in the chapel. He thought he needed me to find the firebird. As much as I hate to admit it, that’s why I know I can do it now, because he was so sure.” I understood. The Darkling’s faith in me had been an intoxicating thing. I wanted that certainty, the knowledge that everything would be dealt with, that someone was in control. Sergei had run to the Darkling looking for that reassurance. I just want to feel safe again. “When the time comes,” Mal asked, “can you bring the firebird down?” Yes. I was done with hesitation. It wasn’t just that we’d run out of options, or that so much was riding on the firebird’s power. I’d simply grown ruthless enough or selfish enough to take another creature’s life. But I missed the girl who had shown the stag mercy, who had been strong enough to turn away from the lure of power, who had believed in something more. Another casualty of this war. “It still doesn’t seem real to me,” I said.
Leigh Bardugo (Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3))
Elizabeth glanced up as Ian handed her a glass of champagne. “Thank you,” she said, smiling up at him and gesturing to Duncan, the duke, and Jake, who were now convulsed with loud hilarity. “They certainly seem to be enjoying themselves,” she remarked. Ian absently glanced the group of laughing men, then back at her. “You’re breathtaking when you smile.” Elizabeth heard the huskiness in his voice and saw the almost slumberous look in his eyes, and she was wondering about its cause when he said softly, “Shall we retire?” That suggestion caused Elizabeth to assume his expression must be due to weariness. She, herself, was more than ready to seek the peace of her own chamber, but since she’d never been to a wedding reception before, she assumed that the protocol must be the same as at any other gala affair-which meant the host and hostess could not withdraw until the last of the guests had either left or retired. Tonight, every one of the guest chambers would be in use, and tomorrow a large wedding breakfast was planned, followed by a hunt. “I’m not sleepy-just a little fatigued from so much smiling,” she told him, pausing to bestow another smile on a guest who caught her eye and waved. Turning her face up to Ian, she offered graciously, “It’s been a long day. If you wish to retire, I’m sure everyone will understand.” “I’m sure they will,” he said dryly, and Elizabeth noted with puzzlement that his eyes were suddenly gleaming. “I’ll stay down here and stand in for you,” she volunteered. The gleam in his eyes brightened yet more. “You don’t think that my retiring alone will look a little odd?” Elizabeth knew it might seem impolite, if not precisely odd, but then inspiration struck, and she said reassuringly, “Leave everything to me. I’ll make your excuses if anyone asks.” His lips twitched. “Just out of curiosity-what excuse will you make for me?” “I’ll say you’re not feeling well. It can’t be anything too dire though, or we’ll be caught out in the fib when you appear looking fit for breakfast and the hunt in the morning.” She hesitated, thinking, and then said decisively, “I’ll say you have the headache.” His eyes widened with laughter. “It’s kind of you to volunteer to dissemble for me, my lady, but that particular untruth would have me on the dueling field for the next month, trying to defend against the aspersions it would cause to be cast upon my…ah…manly character.” “Why? Don’t gentlemen get headaches?” “Not,” he said with a roguish grin, “on their wedding night.” “I can’t see why.” “Can you not?” “No. And,” she added with an irate whisper, “I don’t see why everyone is staying down here this late. I’ve never been to a wedding reception, but it does seem as if they ought to be beginning to seek their beds.” “Elizabeth,” he said, trying not to laugh. “At a wedding reception, the guests cannot leave until the bride and groom retire. If you look over there, you’ll notice my great-aunts are already nodding in their chairs.” “Oh!” she exclaimed, instantly contrite. “I didn’t know. Why didn’t you tell me earlier?” “Because,” he said, taking her elbow and beginning to guide her from the ballroom, “I wanted you to enjoy every minute of our ball, even if we had to prop the guests up on the shrubbery.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
So why was tonight not so good?” he asked, desperate to shut himself the fuck up. “My father. And then…well, I got stood up.” Rehv frowned so hard he actually felt a slight sting between his eyes. “For a date?” “Yeah.” He hated the idea of her out with another male. And yet envied the motherfucker, whoever he was. “What an ass. I’m sorry, but what an ass.” Ehlena laughed, and he loved everything about the sound, especially the way his body warmed a little more in response. Man, to hell with a hot shower. That soft, quiet chuckle was what he needed. “Are you smiling,” he said softly. “Yeah. I mean, I guess. How did you know?” “Was just hoping you were.” “Well, you can be kind of charming.” Quickly, as if to cover up the compliment, she said, “The date wasn’t a big deal or anything. I didn’t know him that well. It was just coffee.” “But you ended the night on the phone with me. Which is so much better.” She laughed again. “Well, I won’t ever know what it’s like to go out with him.” “You won’t?” “I just…well, I thought about it, and I don’t think dating is a good idea for me right now.” His surge of triumph was sacked when she tacked on, “With anyone.” “Hm.” “Hm? What does hm mean?” “It means I have your phone number.” “Ah, yes, you do—” Her voice caught as he shifted around. “Wait, are you…in bed?” “Yeah. And before you go any farther, you don’t want to know.” “I don’t want to know what?” “How much I’m not wearing.” “Er…” As she hesitated, he knew she was smiling again. And probably blushing. “I so won’t ask.” “Wise of you. It’s just me and the sheets—oops, did I just spill that?” “Yes. Yes, you did.” -Rehv & Ehlena
J.R. Ward (Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7))
Favorite painting...?" "Painting? Odalisque," I said. "Really.His non-nude nude. Interesting." It was,to me. Edward's most famous painting of Diana is Troie, where he painted her as Helen of Troy: naked except for the diamond bracelet and the occasional tendril of auburn hair. It had caused quite a stir at its exhibition. Apparently, Millicent Carnegie Biddle fainted on seeing it. It wasn't quite what she was used to viewing when she sat across from Mrs. Edward Willing every few weeks, sipping tea from Wedgewood china cups. Odalisque was more daring in its way, and infinitely more interesting to me. Most of the Post-Impressionist painters did an odalisque, or harem girl, reclining on a sofa or carpet, promising with their eyes that whatever it was that they did to men, they did it well. An odalisque was almost compulsory material.But unlike any of them,Edward had painted his subject-Diana-covered from neck to ankle in shimmery gauze.Covered,but still the ultimate object of desire. "Why that one?" Dr. Rothaus asked. "I don't know-" "Oh,please.Don't go all stupid teenager on me now.You know exactly why you like the painting.Humor me and articulate it." I felt myself beginning the ubiquitos shoulder dip. "Okay. Everyone is covering up something. I guess I think there's an interesting question there." "'What are they hiding?'" I shook my head. "'Does it make a difference?'" "Ah." One sharp corner of her mouth lifted. I would hesitate to call it a smile. "That is interesting.But your favorite Willing piece isn't a painting." "How-" "You hesitated when I asked. Let me guess...Ravaged Man?" "How-" "You're a young woman. And-" Dr. Rothaus levered herself off the desk-"you went through the 1899 file. I know the archive.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
Chip asked me about New York and what I wanted to do, and how long my dad had owned the shop, and what it was I loved about Waco. He asked about my sisters and my family in general, and what I’d done at Baylor, and if I’d known a few communications majors he’d run around with at school. (I told y’all he was chatty!) Somehow none of these questions seemed intrusive or strange to me at the time, which is funny, because thinking back I find them particularly telling. At the time, it was just like talking with an old friend. John finally stood up, and this baseball-cap-wearing customer that John had introduced as Chip followed. “Well, nice talking to you,” he said. “Nice talking to you too,” I replied, and that was it. I went back inside. The guys in the shop wanted to know what I thought about Hot John, and I just laughed. “Sorry, guys, I don’t think it’s gonna work out.” The next day I came back from my lunch break to find a note on my desk: “Chip Gaines called. Call him back.” I thought, Oh, that must be the guy I met yesterday. So I called him. I honestly thought he was going to ask me about getting a better price on his brakes or something, but instead he said, “Hey, I really enjoyed our conversation yesterday. I was wondering…you want to go out sometime?” And for some reason I said okay--just like that, without any hesitation. It wasn’t like me at all. When I hung up the phone, I went, “What in the world just happened!” So you said okay immediately? I don’t even remember that. That’s fun! No reservations? Man, I must’ve been good-lookin’. What Chip didn’t know was I didn’t even give myself time to have reservations. Something told me to just go for it. Cute, Joey. This story makes me love you all over again.
Joanna Gaines (The Magnolia Story)
For the next twenty minutes Elizabeth asked for concessions, Ian conceded, Duncan wrote, and the dowager duchess and Lucinda listened with ill-concealed glee.. In the entire time Ian made but one stipulation, and only after he was finally driven to it out of sheer perversity over the way everyone was enjoying his discomfort: He stipulated that none of Elizabeth’s freedoms could give rise to any gossip that she was cuckolding him. The duchess and Miss Throckmorton-Jones scowled at such a word being mentioned in front of them, but Elizabeth acquiesced with a regal nod of her golden head and politely said to Duncan, “I agree. You may write that down.” Ian grinned at her, and Elizabeth shyly returned his smile. Cuckolding, to the best of Elizabeth’s knowledge, was some sort of disgraceful conduct that required a lady to be discovered in the bedroom with a man who was not her husband. She had obtained that incomplete piece of information from Lucinda Throckmorton-Jones, who, unfortunately, actually believed it. “Is there anything more?” Duncan finally asked, and when Elizabeth shook her head, the dowager spoke up. “Indeed, though you may not need to write it down.” Turning to Ian, she said severely, “If you’ve any thought of announcing this betrothal tomorrow, you may put it out of your head.” Ian was tempted to invite her to get out, in a slightly less wrathful tone than that in which he’d ordered Julius from the house, but he realized that what she was saying was lamentably true. “Last night you went to a deal of trouble to make it seem there had been little but flirtation between the two of you two years ago. Unless you go through the appropriate courtship rituals, which Elizabeth has every right to expect, no one will ever believe it.” “What do you have in mind?” Ian demanded shortly. “One month,” she said without hesitation. “One month of calling on her properly, escorting her to the normal functions, and so on.” “Two weeks,” he countered with strained patience. “Very well,” she conceded, giving Ian the irritating certainty that two weeks was all she’d hoped for anyway. “Then you may announce your betrothal and be wed in-two months!” “Two weeks,” Ian said implacably, reaching for the drink the butler had just put in front of him. “As you wish,” said the dowager. Then two things happened simultaneously: Lucinda Throckmorton-Jones let out a snort that Ian realized was a laugh, and Elizabeth swept Ian’s drink from beneath his fingertips. “There’s-a speck of lint in it,” she explained nervously, handing the drink to Bentner with a severe shake of her head. Ian reached for the sandwich on his plate. Elizabeth watched the satisfied look on Bentner’s face and snatched that away, too. “A-a small insect seems to have gotten on it,” she explained to Ian. “I don’t see anything,” Ian remarked, his puzzled glance on his betrothed. Having been deprived of tea and sustenance, he reached for the glass of wine the butler had set before him, then realized how much stress Elizabeth had been under and offered it to her instead. “Thank you,” she said with a sigh, looking a little harassed. Bentner’s arm swopped down, scooping the wineglass out of her hand. “Another insect,” he said. “Bentner!” Elizabeth cried in exasperation, but her voice was drowned out by a peal of laughter from Alexandra Townsende, who slumped down on the settee, her shoulders shaking with unexplainable mirth. Ian drew the only possible conclusion: They were all suffering from the strain of too much stress.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
This is from Elizabeth,” it said. “She has sold Havenhurst.” A pang of guilt and shock sent Ian to his feet as he read the rest of the note: “I am to tell you that this is payment in full, plus appropriate interest, for the emeralds she sold, which, she feels, rightfully belonged to you.” Swallowing audibly, Ian picked up the bank draft and the small scrap of paper with it. On it Elizabeth herself had shown her calculation of the interest due him for the exact number of days since she’d sold the gems, until the date of her bank draft a week ago. His eyes ached with unshed tears while his shoulders began to rock with silent laughter-Elizabeth had paid him half a percent less than the usual interest rate. Thirty minutes later Ian presented himself to Jordan’s butler and asked to see Alexandra. She walked into the room with accusation and ire shooting from her blue eyes as she said scornfully, “I wondered if that note would bring you here. Do you have any notion how much Havenhurst means-meant-to her?” “I’ll get it back for her,” he promised with a somber smile. “Where is she?” Alexandra’s mouth fell open at the tenderness in his eyes and voice. “Where is she?” he repeated with calm determination. “I cannot tell you,” Alex said with a twinge of regret. “You know I cannot. I gave my word.” “Would it have the slightest effect,” Ian countered smoothly, “if I were to ask Jordan to exert his husbandly influence to persuade you to tell me anyway?” “I’m afraid not,” Alexandra assured him. She expected him to challenge that; instead a reluctant smile drifted across his handsome face. When he spoke, his voice was gentle. “You’re very like Elizabeth. You remind me of her.” Still slightly mistrustful of his apparent change of heart, Alex said primly, “I deem that a great compliment, my lord.” To her utter disbelief, Ian Thornton reached out and chucked her under the chin. “I meant it as one,” he informed her with a grin. Turning, Ian started for the door, then stopped at the sight of Jordan, who was lounging in the doorway, an amused, knowing smile on his face. “If you’d keep track of your own wife, Ian, you would not have to search for similarities in mine.” When their unexpected guest had left, Jordan asked Alex, “Are you going to send Elizabeth a message to let her know he’s coming for her?” Alex started to nod, then she hesitated. “I-I don’t think so. I’ll tell her that he asked where she is, which is all he really did.” “He’ll go to her as soon as he figures it out.” “Perhaps.” “You still don’t trust him, do you?” Jordan said with a surprised smile. “I do after this last visit-to a certain extent-but not with Elizabeth’s heart. He’s hurt her terribly, and I won’t give her false hopes and, in doing so, help him hurt her again.” Reaching out, Jordan chucked her under the chin as his cousin had done, then he pulled her into his arms. “She’s hurt him, too, you know.” “Perhaps,” Alex admitted reluctantly. Jordan smiled against her hair. “You were more forgiving when I trampled your heart, my love,” he teased. “That’s because I loved you,” she replied as she laid her cheek against his chest, her arms stealing around his waist. “And will you love my cousin just a little if he makes amends to Elizabeth?” “I might find it in my heart,” she admitted, “if he gets Havenhurst back for her.” “It’ll cost him a fortune if he tries,” Jordan chuckled. “Do you know who bought it?” “No, do you?” He nodded. “Philip Demarcus.” She giggled against his chest. “Isn’t he that dreadful man who told the prince he’d have to pay to ride in his new yacht up the Thames?” “The very same.” “Do you suppose Mr. Demarcus cheated Elizabeth?” “Not our Elizabeth,” Jordan laughed. “But I wouldn’t like to be in Ian’s place if Demarcus realizes the place has sentimental value to Ian. The price will soar.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Kestrel came often. One day, when she knew from Sarsine that Arin had returned home but she had not yet seen him, she went to the suite. She touched one of his violins, reaching furtively to pluck the highest string of the largest instrument. The sound was sour. The violin was ruined--no doubt all of them were. That is what happens when an instrument is left strung and uncased for ten years. A floorboard creaked somewhere in one of the outer chambers. Arin. He entered the room, and she realized that she had expected him. Why else had she come here so frequently, almost every day, if she hadn’t hoped that someone would notice and tell him to find her there? But even though she admitted to wanting to be here with him in his old rooms, she hadn’t imagined it would be like this. With her caught touching his things. Her gaze dropped. “I’m sorry,” she murmured. “It’s all right,” he said. “I don’t mind.” He lifted the violin off its nails and set it in her hands. It was light, but Kestrel’s arms lowered as if the violin’s hollowness were terribly heavy. She cleared her throat. “Do you still play?” He shook his head. “I’ve mostly forgotten how. I wasn’t good at it anyway. I loved to sing. Before the war, I worried that gift would leave me, the way it often does with boys. We grow, we change, our voices break. It doesn’t matter how well you sing when you’re nine years old, you know. Not when you’re a boy. When the change comes you just have to hope for the best…that your voice settles into something you can love again. My voice broke two years after the invasion. Gods, how I squeaked. And when my voice finally settled, it seemed like a cruel joke. It was too good. I hardly knew what to do with it. I felt so grateful to have this gift…and so angry, for it to mean so little. And now…” He shrugged, a self-deprecating gesture. “Well, I know I’m rusty.” “No,” Kestrel said. “You’re not. Your voice is beautiful.” The silence after that was soft. Her fingers curled around the violin. She wanted to ask Arin a question yet couldn’t bear to do it, couldn’t say that she didn’t understand what had happened to him the night of the invasion. It didn’t make sense. The death of his family was what her father would call a “waste of resources.” The Valorian force had had no pity for the Herrani military, but it had tried to minimize civilian casualties. You can’t make a dead body work. “What is it, Kestrel?” She shook her head. She set the violin back on the wall. “Ask me.” She remembered standing outside the governor’s palace and refusing to hear his story, and was ashamed once more. “You can ask me anything,” he said. Each question seemed the wrong one. Finally, she said, “How did you survive the invasion?” He didn’t speak at first. Then he said, “My parents and sister fought. I didn’t.” Words were useless, pitifully useless--criminal, even, in how they could not account for Arin’s grief, and could not excuse how her people had lived on the ruin of his. Yet again Kestrel said, “I’m sorry.” “It’s not your fault.” It felt as if it was. Arin led the way out of his old suite. When they came to the last room, the greeting room, he paused before the outermost door. It was the slightest of hesitations, no longer than if the second hand of a clock stayed a beat longer on its mark than it should. But in that fraction of time, Kestrel understood that the last door was not paler than the others because it had been made from a different wood. It was newer. Kestrel took Arin’s battered hand in hers, the rough heat of it, the fingernails still ringed with carbon from the smith’s coal fire. His skin was raw-looking: scrubbed clean and scrubbed often. But the black grime was too ingrained. She twined her fingers with his. Kestrel and Arin walked together through the passageway and the ghost of its old door, which her people had smashed through ten years before.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
Senor, a large river separated two districts of one and the same lordship—will your worship please to pay attention, for the case is an important and a rather knotty one? Well then, on this river there was a bridge, and at one end of it a gallows, and a sort of tribunal, where four judges commonly sat to administer the law which the lord of river, bridge and the lordship had enacted, and which was to this effect, 'If anyone crosses by this bridge from one side to the other he shall declare on oath where he is going to and with what object; and if he swears truly, he shall be allowed to pass, but if falsely, he shall be put to death for it by hanging on the gallows erected there, without any remission.' Though the law and its severe penalty were known, many persons crossed, but in their declarations it was easy to see at once they were telling the truth, and the judges let them pass free. It happened, however, that one man, when they came to take his declaration, swore and said that by the oath he took he was going to die upon that gallows that stood there, and nothing else. The judges held a consultation over the oath, and they said, 'If we let this man pass free he has sworn falsely, and by the law he ought to die; but if we hang him, as he swore he was going to die on that gallows, and therefore swore the truth, by the same law he ought to go free.' It is asked of your worship, senor governor, what are the judges to do with this man? For they are still in doubt and perplexity; and having heard of your worship's acute and exalted intellect, they have sent me to entreat your worship on their behalf to give your opinion on this very intricate and puzzling case." To this Sancho made answer, "Indeed those gentlemen the judges that send you to me might have spared themselves the trouble, for I have more of the obtuse than the acute in me; but repeat the case over again, so that I may understand it, and then perhaps I may be able to hit the point." The querist repeated again and again what he had said before, and then Sancho said, "It seems to me I can set the matter right in a moment, and in this way; the man swears that he is going to die upon the gallows; but if he dies upon it, he has sworn the truth, and by the law enacted deserves to go free and pass over the bridge; but if they don't hang him, then he has sworn falsely, and by the same law deserves to be hanged." "It is as the senor governor says," said the messenger; "and as regards a complete comprehension of the case, there is nothing left to desire or hesitate about." "Well then I say," said Sancho, "that of this man they should let pass the part that has sworn truly, and hang the part that has lied; and in this way the conditions of the passage will be fully complied with." "But then, senor governor," replied the querist, "the man will have to be divided into two parts; and if he is divided of course he will die; and so none of the requirements of the law will be carried out, and it is absolutely necessary to comply with it." "Look here, my good sir," said Sancho; "either I'm a numskull or else there is the same reason for this passenger dying as for his living and passing over the bridge; for if the truth saves him the falsehood equally condemns him; and that being the case it is my opinion you should say to the gentlemen who sent you to me that as the arguments for condemning him and for absolving him are exactly balanced, they should let him pass freely, as it is always more praiseworthy to do good than to do evil; this I would give signed with my name if I knew how to sign; and what I have said in this case is not out of my own head, but one of the many precepts my master Don Quixote gave me the night before I left to become governor of this island, that came into my mind, and it was this, that when there was any doubt about the justice of a case I should lean to mercy; and it is God's will that I should recollect it now, for it fits this case.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Don Quixote)
Reaching the bottom of the ladder, she turned around, but had only taken a few steps down the swaying passageway when her path was blocked by a large, formidable silhouette: Rohan stepped out of his cabin and stood waiting for her. He loomed in the darkness ahead as she approached, his angular face cast in shadow, his black shirt hanging open down his sculpted chest. Kate felt an instantaneous awareness of him in her most primal core, but she hesitated before the fevered intensity in his stare. "I-I thought you went to bed." "Can't sleep." She did not need to ask why. Who could sleep after the night he'd had? She stopped in front of him, wondering what to say. His hungry gaze stayed fixed on her, and something in his silvery eyes made her heart begin to pound. "What did you think of what my father said?" "I don't want to talk." As he reached out and cupped her cheek, Kate swallowed hard, but she hardly had to ask what he wanted to do. She could feel the heat of his need coming off him in waves. She drew in her breath as he ran his hand down from her cheek along the side of her neck. He threaded his fingers into her hair, moving closer as he drew her toward him. He bent his head and claimed her mouth, his lips, burning, silken, against hers; she quivered with temptation as he consumed her tongue. The fierce demand in his kiss threatened to overwhelm her. "I want you," he whispered, breathing heavily. His bold advance jarred her somewhat back to her senses. "You must be joking," she uttered, yanking away from him and trying to hide her mad desire behind a mask of self-possession. "I'm not your harlot anymore." "You said you love me. Prove it," he murmured. He captured her hand and brought her palm to his loins, making her feel the massive evidence of his sincerity. She bit her lower lip, striving to reason against passion. Letting her palm linger on his rigid shaft a heartbeat too long, she withdrew her touch, determined to get around him. "Rohan." "Sleep with me," he ordered in a whisper, too proud to beg, but then again, he'd never have to.
Gaelen Foley (My Dangerous Duke (Inferno Club, #2))
We’d just taken Pixar public, and I was happy being CEO there. I never knew of anyone who served as CEO of two public companies, even temporarily, and I wasn’t even sure it was legal. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was enjoying spending more time with my family. I was torn. I knew Apple was a mess, so I wondered: Do I want to give up this nice lifestyle that I have? What are all the Pixar shareholders going to think? I talked to people I respected. I finally called Andy Grove at about eight one Saturday morning—too early. I gave him the pros and the cons, and in the middle he stopped me and said, “Steve, I don’t give a shit about Apple.” I was stunned. It was then I realized that I do give a shit about Apple—I started it and it is a good thing to have in the world. That was when I decided to go back on a temporary basis to help them hire a CEO. The claim that he was enjoying spending more time with his family was not convincing. He was never destined to win a Father of the Year trophy, even when he had spare time on his hands. He was getting better at paying heed to his children, especially Reed, but his primary focus was on his work. He was frequently aloof from his two younger daughters, estranged again from Lisa, and often prickly as a husband. So what was the real reason for his hesitancy in taking over at Apple? For all of his willfulness and insatiable desire to control things, Jobs was indecisive and reticent when he felt unsure about something. He craved perfection, and he was not always good at figuring out how to settle for something less. He did not like to wrestle with complexity or make accommodations. This was true in products, design, and furnishings for the house. It was also true when it came to personal commitments. If he knew for sure a course of action was right, he was unstoppable. But if he had doubts, he sometimes withdrew, preferring not to think about things that did not perfectly suit him. As happened when Amelio had asked him what role he wanted to play, Jobs would go silent and ignore situations that made him uncomfortable.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
Mr. Morales sidles up to the bar and says, “May I have this dance, Lara Jean?” “You may,” I say. To John I warn, “Don’t you dare come close to me.” He throws his hands out like he’s warding me off. “Don’t you come close to me!” As Mr. Morales leads me in a slow dance, I press my face against his shoulder to hide my smile. I’m really quite good at this espionage thing. John McClaren is sitting on a love seat now, watching Stormy play and chatting with Alicia. I’ve got him right where I want him. I can’t even believe how lucky I am. I’d been planning on showing up at his next Model UN meeting, but this is so much better. I’m thinking I’ll come up from behind him, take him by surprise, when Stormy stands up and declares she needs a piano break, she wants to dance with her grandson. I go turn on the stereo and cue up the CD we decided on for her break. John is protesting: “Stormy, I told you I don’t dance.” He used to try and fake sick during the square-dancing unit in gym--that’s how much he hates dancing. Stormy doesn’t listen, of course. She pulls him off the love seat and starts trying to teach him how to fox-trot. “Put your hand on my waist,” she orders. “I didn’t wear heels to sit behind a piano all night.” Stormy’s trying to teach him the steps, and he keeps stepping on her feet. “Ouch!” she snaps. I can’t stop giggling. Mr. Morales is too. He dances us over closer. “May I cut in?” he asks. “Please!” John practically pushes Stormy into Mr. Morales’s arms. “Johnny, be a gentleman and ask Lara Jean to dance,” Stormy says as Mr. Morales twirls her. John gives me a searching look, and I have a feeling he’s still suspicious of me and whether or not I have his name. “Ask her to dance,” Mr. Morales urges, grinning at me. “She wants to dance, don’t you, Lara Jean?” I shrug a sad kind of shrug. Wistful. The very picture of a girl who is waiting to be asked to dance. “I want to see the young people dance!” Normal yells. John McClaren looks at me, one eyebrow raised. “If we’re just swaying back and forth, I probably won’t step on your feet.” I feign hesitation and then nod. My pulse is racing. Target acquired.
Jenny Han (P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2))
What are you doing?” Leo demanded, wondering if she had lost her wits entirely. “He doesn’t need a lamp, Win.” Ignoring him, Win removed the glass fount and tossed it to the bed. She did the same with the brass wick burner, exposing the oil reservoir. Without hesitation, she poured the lamp oil over the front of the wardrobe. The pungent odor of highly flammable paraffin spread through the room. “Have you lost your mind?” Leo demanded, astonished not only by her actions, but also by her calm demeanor. “I have a matchbox, Julian,” she said. “Tell me what to give Mr. Rohan, or I’ll set the wardrobe on fire.” “You wouldn’t dare,” Harrow cried. “Win,” Leo said, “you’ll burn the entire damned house down, just after it’s been rebuilt. Give me the bloody matchbox.” She shook her head resolutely. “Are we starting a new springtime ritual?” Leo demanded. “The annual burning-of-the-manse? Come to your senses, Win.” Win turned from him and glared at the wardrobe door. “I was told, Julian, that you killed your first wife. Possibly by poison. And now knowing what you have done to my brother-in-law, I believe it. And if you don’t help us, I’m going to roast you like a piece of Welsh rarebit.” She opened the matchbox. Realizing she couldn’t possibly be serious, Leo decided to back her bluff. “I’m begging you, Win,” he said theatrically, “don’t do this. There’s no need to—Christ!” This last as Win struck a match and set the wardrobe on fire. It wasn’t a bluff, Leo thought dazedly. She actually intended to broil the bastard. At the first bright, curling blossom of flame, there was a terrified cry from inside the wardrobe. “All right! Let me out! Let me out! It’s tannic acid. Tannic acid. It’s in my medical case; let me out!” “Very well, Leo,” Win said, a bit breathless. “You may extinguish the fire.” In spite of the panic that raced through his veins, Leo couldn’t suppress a choked laugh. She spoke as if she’d asked him to snuff a candle, not put out a large flaming piece of furniture. Tearing off his coat, he rushed forward and beat wildly at the wardrobe door. “You’re a madwoman,” he told Win as he passed her. “He wouldn’t have told us otherwise,” Win said.
Lisa Kleypas (Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways, #2))
Runach didn't consider himself particularly dull, but he had to admit he was baffled. "Then what now?" "What do you mean, what now?" Weger echoed in disbelief. "Do what is necessary! Bloody hell, man, must I instruct you in every bloody step? Take your mighty magic and heal her!" Runach blinked. "What in the world are you talking about?" Weger threw up his hands in frustration. "Heal her, you fool! Use Fadaire or whatever elvish rot comes first to mind." "I have no magic." "Of course you have magic--" Weger stopped suddenly. "You what?" "I have no magic," Runach repeated, through gritted teeth. "My father took it at the well." Weger looked suddenly as if he needed to sit down. "Bloody hell," he said faintly. He sagged back against the door. "I had no idea" Weger rubbed his hands over his face and indulged in a selection of very vile curses. "Damn it," he said, finally. He looked at Runach. "What are we to do now?" "If magic will work here" Runach said, "why don't you use yours?" Weger folded his arms over his chest. "I haven't used a word of magic in over three hundred years!" "No time like the present to dust it off then, is there?" Weger hesitated. Runach suspected it was the first time in those same three centuries the man had done so. He considered, then looked at Runach. "I could," he said, sounding as if the words had been dragged from him by a thousand irresistible spells, "but I have no elegant magic." Runach shrugged. "Then use Wexham." "It will leave a scar." "I don't think she'll care." "It will leave a very large, ugly scar," Weger amended. "Then use Camanae or Fadaire," Runach suggested. "And have my mouth catch on fire? You ask too much." Runach looked at him seriously. "I honestly don't care what you use, as long as you save her life. Whilst you still can." Weger looked as if his fondest wish was to turn and flee. But he apparently wasn't the master of Gobhann because he was a coward. He took a deep breath, cursed fluently, then knelt down. Runach listened to him spit out an eminently useful spell of Croxteth, then follow that bit of healing with a very long string of curses in which Lothar of Wychweald and Runach's own father figured prominently.
Lynn Kurland (Dreamspinner (Nine Kingdoms #7))
In chem, Peter sits a row in front of me. I write him a note. Why would you tell Josh that we’re-- I hesitate and then finish with a thing? I kick the back of his chair, and he turns around and I hand him the note. He slouches in his seat to read it; then I watch as he scribbles something. He tips back in his chair and drops the note on my desk without looking at me. A thing? Haha. I press down so hard my pencil tip chips off. Please answer the question. We’ll talk later. I let out a frustrated sigh and Matt, my lab partner, gives me a funny look. After class Peter is swept away with all his friends; they leave in a big group. I’m packing up my backpack when he returns, alone. He hops up on the table. “So let’s talk,” he says, super casual. I clear my throat and try to gather my bearings. “Why did you tell Josh we were--” I almost say “a thing” again, but then change it to “together?” “I don’t get what you’re so upset about. I did you a favor. I could have just as easily blown up your spot.” I pause. He’s right. He could have. “So why didn’t you?” “You’ve sure got a funny way of saying thank you. You’re welcome, by the way.” Automatically I say, “Thank you.” Wait. Why am I thanking him? “I appreciate you letting me kiss you, but--” “You’re welcome,” he says again. Ugh! He’s so insufferable. Just for that I’m going to toss a little dig his way. “That was…really generous of you. To let me do that. But I’ve already explained to Josh that it’s not going to work out with us because Genevieve has you whipped, so it’s all good. You can stop pretending now.” Peter glares at me. “I’m not whipped.” “But aren’t you, though? I mean, you guys have been together since the seventh grade. You’re basically her property.” “You don’t know what you’re talking about,” Peter scoffs. “There was a rumor last year that she made you get a tattoo of her initials on your butt for her birthday.” I pause. “So did you?” I reach around him and fake try to lift up the back of his shirt. He yelps and jumps away from me, and I collapse in a fit of giggles. “So you do have a tattoo!” “I don’t have a tattoo!” he yells. “And we’re not even together anymore, so can you stop with this shit? We broke up. We’re over. I’m done with her.” “Wait, didn’t she break up with you?” I ask. Peter shoots me a dirty look. “It was mutual.
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
You’re angry at me,” she says. I stop crying at once. My whole body goes cold and still. She squats down beside me, and even though I’m careful not to look up, not to look at her at all, I can feel her, can smell the sweat from her skin and hear the ragged pattern of her breathing. “You’re angry at me,” she repeats, and her voice hitches a little. “You think I don’t care.” Her voice is the same. For years I used to imagine that voice lilting over those forbidden words: I love you. Remember. They cannot take it. Her last words to me before she went away. She shuffles forward and squats next to me. She hesitates, then reaches out and places her palm against my cheek, and turns my head toward hers so I’m forced to look at her. I can feel the calluses on her fingers. In her eyes, I see myself reflected in miniature, and I tunnel back to a time before she left, before I believed she was gone forever, when her eyes welcomed me into every day and shepherded me, every night, into sleep. “You turned out even more beautiful than I’d imagined,” she whispers. She, too, is crying. The hard casement inside me breaks. “Why?” is the only word that comes. Without intending to or even thinking about it, I allow her to draw me against her chest, let her wrap her arms around me. I cry into the space between her collarbones, inhaling the still-familiar smell of her skin. There are so many things I need to ask her: What happened to you in the Crypts? How could you let them take you away? Where did you go? But all I can say is: “Why didn’t you come for me? After all those years—all that time—why didn’t you come?” Then I can’t speak at all; my sobs become shudders. “Shhh.” She presses her lips to my forehead, strokes my hair, just like she used to when I was a child. I am a baby once again in her arms—helpless and needy. “I’m here now.” She rubs my back while I cry. Slowly, I feel the darkness drain out of me, as though pulled away by the motion of her hand. Finally I can breathe again. My eyes are burning, and my throat feels raw and sore. I draw away from her, wiping my eyes with the heel of my hand, not even caring that my nose is running. I’m suddenly exhausted—too tired to be hurt, too tired to be angry. I want to sleep, and sleep. “I never stopped thinking about you,” my mother says. “I thought of you every day—you and Rachel.
Lauren Oliver (Requiem (Delirium, #3))
Marlboro Man paused, his eyes piercing through to my marrow. We’d started out watching the sunset over the ranch, sitting on the tailgate of his pickup, legs dangling playfully over the edge. By the time the sun had gone down, we were lying down, legs overlapping, as the sky turned blacker and blacker. And making out wildly. Making out, oh, so very wildly. I didn’t want to wait for him to bring it up again--the dreaded subject of Chicago. I’d avoided it like the plague for the past several days, not wanting to face the reality of my impending move, of walking away from my new love so soon after we’d found each other. But now the subject wasn’t so scary; it was safe. I’d made the decision, at least for now, to stay--I just had to tell Marlboro Man. And finally, in between kisses, the words bubbled suddenly and boldly to the surface; I could no longer contain them. But before I had a chance to say them, Marlboro Man opened his mouth and began to speak. “Oh no,” he said, a pained expression on his face. “Don’t tell me--you’re leaving tomorrow.” He ran his fingers through my hair and touched his forehead to mine. I smiled, giggling inside at the secret I was seconds away from spilling. A herd of cows mooed in the distance. Serenading us. “Um…no,” I said, finding it hard to believe what I was about to tell him. “I’m not…I’m…I’m not going.” He paused, then pulled his face away from mine, allowing just enough distance between us for him to pull focus. “What?” he asked, is strong fingers still grasping my hair. A tentative smile appeared on his face. I breathed in a deep dose of night air, trying to calm my schoolgirl nervousness. “I, umm…” I began. “I decided to stick around here a little while.” There. I’d said it. This was all officially real. Without a moment of hesitation, Marlboro Man wrapped his ample arms around my waist. Then, in what seemed to be less than a second, he hoisted me from my horizontal position on the bed of his pickup until we were both standing in front of each other. Scooping me off my feet, he raised me up to his height so his icy blue eyes were level with mine. “Wait…are you serious?” he asked, taking my face in his hands. Squaring it in front of his. Looking me in the eye. “You’re not going?” “Nope,” I answered. “Whoa,” he said, smiling and moving in for a long, impassioned kiss on the back of his Ford F250. “I can’t believe it,” he continued, squeezing me tightly.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Hey Princess.” Good God I missed hearing his voice. “Chase,” I had to clear my throat to continue, “I didn’t think you were going to be here.” “I asked if you were coming to the house.” He replied hesitantly. “Right, I just figured you meant your house.” The room was thick with the tension that always followed us around. My heart started racing from his nearness and I silently cursed myself. I really didn’t want any kind of feelings for this guy, and here I was wishing he would try to kiss me again. We sat there watching each other for who knows how long before he walked over and sank down on the floor next to me, handing me a small wrapped box. “Merry Christmas Harper.” I picked it up and just stared at it, all I could say was “Why?” “Because you’re my favorite, remember?” he huffed and his lips tilted up a little, “When I saw it, there was no way I couldn’t get it for you. Please open it.” So slowly I probably drove him crazy, I took off the wrapping and opened the little leather box. I gasped when I saw the ring inside there. It was a silver band that wrapped into the trinity symbol on top. I’d always wanted that symbol as a tattoo. I looked up at Chase and shook my head in wonder. “How did you know?” “You doodle it on everything put in front of you.” He was right of course, if I had a pen and paper or napkin, it always ended up on there at some point. I just hadn’t realized anyone other than Brandon noticed that, especially him. “Chase …” I couldn’t hold them back any longer, tears started falling down my cheeks and I quickly dropped my head hoping he wouldn’t notice. He did. “Don’t cry Harper. If you don’t like it, or you don’t like that it’s from me I’ll take it back.” My laugh sounded more like a sob than anything else. “I love it, please don’t take it.” “Then what’s wrong?” He tilted my head up and brushed away a few tears with his thumbs. I had to force myself to not lean into his hands, it was the first time we’d had any type of physical contact in over a month. He was a whole new kind of Chase on Sundays, but I’d never seen him like this. So gentle and kind. It made my entire being crave him. “I’ve never had this before. Not just the presents … the love that your family has for me. I’ve never had it until now, and it’s so overwhelming. I don’t know what I did to deserve it and I don’t know if I show them that too.” “You do. Trust me.” He searched my face for a long time and wiped the remaining tears from my cheeks. “You’re special Harper, it’s not hard to love you.
Molly McAdams (Taking Chances (Taking Chances, #1))
May I speak with you for a minute, Frank?” He stopped working. “James, Dan. Keep Janie out of trouble.” “Yes, sir.” Both boys gave a salute. Frank’s long legs consumed the expanse, and he met me in the bright sunlight. We rounded the corner of the barn and moved away from its wall, closer to the pigpen. “Is there a problem?” He bent slightly, resting his arms on the top of the rail fence surrounding the sty, one foot propped up on the lower slat. I picked at the jagged edge of a fingernail and cleared my throat. “I’m going home.” “I know.” He looked almost . . . stricken. But it passed. Worried about not having made arrangement yet for the children, I imagined. He cleared his throat, kicked at a clod of dirt. “At the end of the month.” “This morning, actually. I have my train ticket.” Only his jaw moved, the muscle tightening and loosening and tightening again. I paced behind him, reached the other side of the small enclosure, chewed my lip, waited for him to say something. Anything. But the silence closed in around me. I had to get free of it. “I’ve been here long enough. I know that now. You need to be with your family, Frank. You need to sleep in your own bed, be among your own things. The children are comfortable with you again. Besides”—I grabbed the top rail of the pen to hold me steady—“I have my own life to live.” I stared off into the distance, hoping he thought I gazed happily into the life I desired. The quiet boiled between us until his words spat out like a flash of lightning. “Just like that, you’d abandon us?” I whirled to face him. “Just a few days earlier than you promised to send me home, remember?” He shoved his hands into the pockets of his overalls and looked me over as if I were a possum in the bedroom. “They’ve lost their mother. And Adabelle. Now they’ll lose you, too. You don’t think they’ll feel that?” I shook my head, my heart breaking into tiny shards. “They’re young. They’ll take to whoever you bring in as quickly as they took to me.” His face reddened. He stalked toward the barn, then turned and came back, pointing his finger in my face. “Let’s get this straight. I’ve not asked you to leave. You’ve taken this on yourself.” “It’s for the best, Frank. It really is. But . . .” I hesitated. The intensity of his anger made me unsure of my final request. My voice shrank to nearly a whisper. “Will you tell them for me?” His eyebrows arched. He threw back his head and belched a derisive laugh. “You want to leave? Fine. I can’t stop you. But I’m not going to be the one to tell them. You are.
Anne Mateer (Wings of a Dream)
We danced to John Michael Montgomery’s “I Swear.” We cut the seven-tiered cake, electing not to take the smear-it-on-our-faces route. We visited and laughed and toasted. We held hands and mingled. But after a while, I began to notice that I hadn’t seen any of the tuxedo-clad groomsmen--particularly Marlboro Man’s friends from college--for quite some time. “What happened to all the guys?” I asked. “Oh,” he said. “They’re down in the men’s locker room.” “Oh, really?” I asked. “Are they smoking cigars or something?” “Well…” He hesitated, grinning. “They’re watching a football game.” I laughed. “What game are they watching?” It had to be a good one. “It’s…ASU is playing Nebraska,” he answered. ASU? His alma mater? Playing Nebraska? Defending national champions? How had I missed this? Marlboro Man hadn’t said a word. He was such a rabid college football fan, I couldn’t believe such a monumental game hadn’t been cause to reschedule the wedding date. Aside from ranching, football had always been Marlboro Man’s primary interest in life. He’d played in high school and part of college. He watched every televised ASU game religiously--for the nontelevised games, he relied on live reporting from Tony, his best friend, who attended every game in person. “I didn’t even know they were playing!” I said. I don’t know why I shouldn’t have known. It was September, after all. But it just hadn’t crossed my mind. I’d been a little on the busy side, I guess, getting ready to change my entire life and all. “How come you’re not down there watching it?” I asked. “I didn’t want to leave you,” he said. “You might get hit on.” He chuckled his sweet, sexy chuckle. I laughed. I could just see it--a drunk old guest scooting down the bar, eyeing my poufy white dress and spouting off pickup lines: You live around here? I sure like what you’re wearing… So…you married? Marlboro Man wasn’t in any immediate danger. Of that I was absolutely certain. “Go watch the game!” I insisted, motioning downstairs. “Nah,” he said. “I don’t need to.” He wanted to watch the game so badly I could see it in the air. “No, seriously!” I said. “I need to go hang with the girls anyway. Go. Now.” I turned my back and walked away, refusing even to look back. I wanted to make it easy on him. I wouldn’t see him for over an hour. Poor Marlboro Man. Unsure of the protocol for grooms watching college football during their wedding receptions, he’d darted in and out of the locker room for the entire first half. The agony he must have felt. The deep, sustained agony. I was so glad he’d finally joined the guys.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
So, uh, where should I…?” I told up the pizza boxes as I trail off. “Oh, right. Kitchen table’s fine.” “I’ll show you!” Madison announces, as if I don’t know where it is, but I let her lead me there anyway. Kennedy shuts the door and follows behind us. I set the boxes on the table, and Madison doesn’t hesitate, popping the top one open. She makes a face, looking horrified. “Gross!” “What in the world are you—?” Kennedy laughs as she glances at the pizza. “Ham and pineapple.” “Why is that fruit on the pizza?” Madison asks. “Because it’s good,” Kennedy says, snatching the top box away before opening the other one. “There, that one’s for you.” Madison shrugs it off, grabbing a slice of cheese pizza, eating straight from the box. I’m gathering this is normal, since Kennedy sits down beside her to do the same. “You remembered,” she says plucking a piece of pineapple off a slice of pizza and popping it in her mouth. “Of course,” I say, grabbing a slice of cheese from the box Madison is hoarding. “Pretty sure I’m scarred for life because of it. Not something I can forget.” She laughs, the sound soft, as she gives me one of the most genuine smiles I’ve seen in a while. It fades as she averts her gaze, but goddamn it, it happened. “You shoulda gots the breads,” Madison says, standing on her chair as she leans closer, vying for my attention like she’s afraid I might not see her. “And the chickens!” “Ah, didn’t know you liked those,” I tell her, “or I would’ve gotten them.” “Next time,” she says, just like that, no question about it. “Next time,” I say. “And soda, too,” she says. “No soda,” Kennedy chimes in. Madison glances at her mother before leaning even closer, damn near right up on me, whisper-shouting, “Soda.” “I’m not so sure your mom will like that,” I say. “It’s okay,” Madison says. “She tells Grandpa no soda, too, but he lets me have it.” “That’s because you emotionally blackmail him,” Kennedy says. “Nuh-uh!” Madison says, looking at her mother. “I don’t blackmail him!” Kennedy scoffs. “How do you know? You don’t even know what that means.” “So?” Madison says. “I don’t mail him nothing!” ... “You give him those sad puppy-dog eyes,” Kennedy says, grabbing Madison by the chin, squeezing her chubby cheeks. “And you tell him you’ll love him ‘the mostest’ if he gives you some Coca-Cola to drink.” “ ‘Cuz I will,” Madison says. “That’s emotional blackmail.” “Oh.” Madison makes a face, turning to me when her mother lets go of her. “How ‘bout root beer?” “I’m afraid not,” I tell her. “Sorry.” Madison scowls, hopping down from the table to grab a juice box from the refrigerator.
J.M. Darhower (Ghosted)
You look like a goddess,” he murmured as he raked his eyes down her form. And she melted into a puddle. “Thank you.” She tried to sound cool and sophisticated. “I much prefer wearing a gown that’s not too tight.” “Except where it should be.” He dropped his gaze pointedly to her bosom. The frank admiration in his eyes made her glad that she’d let Betty guide her choice for tonight. After that other scandalous gown, she’d been reluctant to wear anything low cut, but this one did look beautiful on her, even with its décolletage. Salmon had always been a good color for her, and the satin rouleaux trim made her feel pretty and elegant. “So it’s presentable enough for dinner with your family?” she asked. “They don’t even deserve to see you in it.” The low rumble of his voice made her breath catch in her throat. “I only wish that you and I could-“ “You do look lovely,” said another voice. Lord Gabriel came up from behind Oliver, dressed all in black as usual. A look of pure mischief crossed his face. “Sorry I’m late, Miss Butterfield, but thank you, brother, for keeping her company until I arrived.” Oliver glared at him. “What the devil do you mean?” “I’m taking the young lady down to dinner.” “That office should be left to her fiancé, don’t you think?” Oliver bit out. “Pretend fiancé. You have no real claim on her. And since you had her to yourself all day…” Lord Gabriel offered his arm. “Shall we, Miss Butterfield?” Maria hesitated, unsure what to do. But Oliver was a danger to her sanity, and his brother wasn’t. So she was better off with Lord Gabriel. “Thank you, sir,” she said, taking his arm. “Now just wait one blasted minute. You can’t-“ “What? Be friendly to our guest?” Lord Gabriel asked, his face a mask of innocence. “Really, old boy, I didn’t realize it mattered that much. But if it upsets you to see Miss Butterfield on the arm of another man, I’ll certainly yield the field.” Lord Gabriel’s words seemed to give Oliver pause. Glancing from Maria to his brother, he smiled, though it didn’t nearly reach his eyes. “No, it’s fine,” he said tightly. “Perfectly fine.” When they headed down the hall with Oliver following behind, Lord Gabriel flashed her a conspiratorial glance. She wasn’t sure what the conspiracy was, but since it seemed to irritate Oliver, she went along. The incident was only the first in a series that continued throughout the week. Whenever she and Oliver found themselves alone, even for a moment, one of his siblings popped up to offer some entertainment-a stroll in the gardens, a ride into Ealing, a game of loo. With each instance, Oliver grew more annoyed, for no reason that she could see. Unless… No, that was crazy.
Sabrina Jeffries (The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #1))
It’s no wonder your grandmother despairs of you. God only knows what a trial you are to your poor parents.” The humor vanished abruptly from his face. “Sadly, my parents are too dead to be overly concerned about my behavior.” His words were flip, but the sudden glint of grief in his eyes told another tale. “Please forgive me,” she said hastily, cursing her quick tongue. “It’s awful to lose your parents. I know that better than anyone.” “No need for apologies.” He pushed away from the door. “They despaired of me long before they died, so you weren’t far off the mark.” “Still, it was very wrong of me to-“ “Come now, Miss Butterfield, this has naught to do with my proposal. Will you pretend to be my fiancée or not?” When she hesitated, he went on with a hint of anger, “I don’t see why you make such a fuss over it. It’s not as if I’m asking you to do anything wicked.” That ridiculous remark banished her brief moment of sympathy. “You’re asking me to lie! To deceive a woman for the sake of your purpose, whatever that is. It goes against every moral principle-“ “And threatening to stab a man does not?” He cast her a thin smile. “Think of it as playing a role, like an actress. You and your cousin will be guests at my estate for a week or two, entirely at your leisure.” A dark gleam shone in his eyes. “I can even set up an effigy of myself for you to stab at will.” “That does sound tempting,” she shot back. “As for Freddy there, he can ride and hunt and play cards with my brothers. It’s better entertainment than he’d find in the gaol.” “As long as you feed me, sir,” Freddy said, “I’ll follow you anywhere.” “Freddy!” Maria cried. “What? That blasted inn where we’re staying is flea-ridden and cold as a witch’s tit. Plus, you keep such tight hold on my purse strings that I’m famished all the time. What’s wrong with helping this fellow if it means we finally sleep in decent beds? And it’s not a big thing, your pretending to be betrothed to him.” “I’m already betrothed, thank you very much,” she shot back. “And what about Nathan? While we’re off deceiving this man’s poor grandmother, Nathan might be hurt or in trouble. You expect me just to give up searching for him so you can get a decent meal?” “And keep from being hanged,” Freddy pointed out. “Let’s not forget that.” “Ah, the missing fiancé,” Lord Stoneville said coldly. “I did wonder when you would bring him back into it.” She glowered at him. “I never let him out of it. he’s the reason I’m here.” “So you say.” That inflamed her temper. “Now see here, you insufferable, arrogant-“ “Fine. If you insist on clinging to your wild story, how about this: while you pretend to be my fiancée, I’ll hire someone to look for fiancé. A simple trade of services.
Sabrina Jeffries (The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #1))
PERCY JACKSON!" Poseidon announced. My name echoed around the chamber. All talking died down. The room was silent except for the crackle of the hearth fire. Everyone's eyes were on me—all the gods, the demigods, the Cyclopes, the spirits. I walked into the middle of the throne room. Hestia smiled at me reassuringly. She was in the form of a girl now, and she seemed happy and content to be sitting by her fire again. Her smile gave me courage to keep walking. First I bowed to Zeus. Then I knelt at my father's feet. "Rise, my son," Poseidon said. I stood uneasily. "A great hero must be rewarded," Poseidon said. "Is there anyone here who would deny that my son is deserving?" I waited for someone to pipe up. The gods never agreed on anything, and many of them still didn't like me, but not a single one protested. "The Council agrees," Zeus said. "Percy Jackson, you will have one gift from the gods." I hesitated. "Any gift?" Zeus nodded grimly. "I know what you will ask. The greatest gift of all. Yes, if you want it, it shall be yours. The gods have not bestowed this gift on a mortal hero in many centuries, but, Perseus Jackson—if you wish it—you shall be made a god. Immortal. Undying. You shall serve as your father's lieutenant for all time." I stared at him, stunned. "Um . . . a god?" Zeus rolled his eyes. "A dimwitted god, apparently. But yes. With the consensus of the entire Council, I can make you immortal. Then I will have to put up with you forever." "Hmm," Ares mused. "That means I can smash him to a pulp as often as I want, and he'll just keep coming back for more. I like this idea." "I approve as well," Athena said, though she was looking at Annabeth. I glanced back. Annabeth was trying not to meet my eyes. Her face was pale. I flashed back to two years ago, when I'd thought she was going to take the pledge to Artemis and become a Hunter. I'd been on the edge of a panic attack, thinking that I'd lose her. Now, she looked pretty much the same way. I thought about the Three Fates, and the way I'd seen my life flash by. I could avoid all that. No aging, no death, no body in the grave. I could be a teenager forever, in top condition, powerful, and immortal, serving my father. I could have power and eternal life. Who could refuse that? Then I looked at Annabeth again. I thought about my friends from camp: Charles Beckendorf, Michael Yew, Silena Beauregard, so many others who were now dead. I thought about Ethan Nakamura and Luke. And I knew what to do. "No," I said. The Council was silent. The gods frowned at each other like they must have misheard. "No?" Zeus said. "You are . . . turning down our generous gift?" There was a dangerous edge to his voice, like a thunderstorm about to erupt. "I'm honored and everything," I said. "Don't get me wrong. It's just . . . I've got a lot of life left to live. I'd hate to peak in my sophomore year." The gods were glaring at me, but Annabeth had her hands over her mouth. Her eyes were shining. And that kind of made up for it.
Rick Riordan (The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4))
I leave him there and head for the kitchen, sighing when I see a chair shoved over to the counter, Maddie standing on it, digging through the cabinets. “What do you think you’re doing, little girl?” “Looking for the Lucky Charms,” she says as I pull her down and set her on her feet. “I’m afraid we’re all out.” I grab a box of Cheerios. “How about these?” She makes a face of disgust. “Raisin Bran?” Another face. “How about some cottage cheese?” She pretends to gag. “Uh, well, how about—?” “How about I take you out for breakfast?” Jonathan suggests, stepping into the kitchen. “Pancakes, sausage, eggs…” “Bacon!” Maddie declares. “I don’t know,” I say. “I’m not sure that’s a good idea, you know, with the whole you being you thing.” “Me being me,” he says. “Yeah, chances are you’ll get recognized and then have to explain this whole thing and well, you know, I’m not sure it’s worth it for some breakfast.” “But it might be bacon,” Maddie whines. Jonathan hesitates, thinking it over, glancing between us before he says, “I know somewhere we can go.” Mrs. McKleski’s place. Landing Inn. That’s where he takes us. Maddie and I stand in the woman’s foyer in our pajamas, while Jonathan wears just the leather pants from the Knightmare costume. Mrs. McKleski looks at us like we’ve gone crazy, and I instantly want to be anywhere else in the world, but it’s too late, because Maddie’s been promised some bacon. “You want breakfast,” Mrs. McKleski says. “That’s what you’re telling me?” He nods. “Yes, ma'am.” She stares at him. Hard. I expect a denial, because this whole idea is absurd, but after a moment, she lets out a resigned sigh. “Fine, but go put on some clothes,” she says. “This is an inn, Mr. Cunningham, not Chippendales. I won’t have you at my breakfast table looking like a gigolo.” He cocks an eyebrow at the woman. “Wasn’t aware you knew what a gigolo was.” “Go,” she says pointedly, “before I change my mind.” “Yes, ma’am,” he says, flashing her a smile before turning to me and nodding toward the stairs. “Join me?” I stare at him, not moving. He steps closer. “Please?” “Fine,” I mumble, glancing at Maddie, not wanting to cause a scene. “Hey, sweetheart, why don’t you have a seat in the living room?” “Nonsense,” Mrs. McKleski says. “She can come help me cook. Teach her some responsibility. Not sure her father ever learned any.” Jonathan scowls before again motioning for me to follow him. “And no hanky-panky,” Mrs. McKleski calls to us as we start upstairs. “What’s the hanky-panky?” Maddie asks, following the woman to the kitchen. “She means the hokey-pokey,” I yell down before Mrs. McKleski can answer, because there’s no telling how that woman would explain it. “Oh, I like the hokey-pokey!” Maddie looks at the woman with confusion. “Why don’t you wanna play it?” “Too messy,” Mrs. McKleski grumbles. “All that turning yourself around.” Shaking my head, I go upstairs, stalling right inside the room as Jonathan sorts through his belongings to find some clothes.
J.M. Darhower (Ghosted)
When I Know I Must Speak Pleasant Words Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones. PROVERBS 16:24 WHAT ARE THE FIRST WORDS you speak to your spouse when you both get up in the morning? Are they pleasant and positive? Are they covered with the love and joy of the Lord? Or are they powered by yesterday’s resentments, disappointments, and unfulfilled expectations? It is of utmost importance that a wife sets the tone of the day for the entire family, but especially for her husband. It is easy for you as a wife to not be ahead of your emotions and thoughts before you talk to your husband in the morning, especially when you have a lot on your plate, too much to do, you don’t feel well, you’re upset at your husband, or you haven’t had enough time with the Lord to get your heart right. And if you have been up in the night, for whatever reason, and haven’t had enough sleep, your mind can be set on a negative track long before your husband wakes up. You may have already thought up many things you want to communicate to him that do not include pleasant words. If you dive in with these issues before he is ready to talk, it can set the day on the wrong course. The thing to do, right when you wake up in the morning, is ask God to give you pleasant words that bring “sweetness to the soul” of your husband when you first see him—even if you don’t think he deserves it at that moment. When God gives you the right attitude first thing in the morning, you’ll see what a difference it makes in your day and night. Your husband will respond differently than he would if your words were harsh. A soft word can turn away much suffering and bring great healing. It’s not worth it to start your day any other way. My Prayer to God LORD, I pray You would help me to pause every morning when I wake up to thank You for the day and ask You to fill me afresh with Your love and joy, so that the first words that come out of my mouth to my husband are pleasant. Help me to hesitate before I speak to him for the first time in order to plan how I can set a positive tone for the day. Make me to be a woman with a gentle and loving spirit so that uplifting words flow naturally from me. I pray that the next time I see or talk to my husband, my words will bring sweetness to his soul and health to his body. May they also bring sweetness and health to the very soul of our marriage. I know there are times when pleasant and sweet is not my first reaction. I realize I can sometimes worry and allow thoughts and words that are not glorifying to You. At those times I depend on You to transform me so that I can be a strong conduit for Your love to my husband and family. Help me to be a person he wants to be around. Break in me any bad habits of negative, faithless, or critical thinking. Help me to forgive anything he has done or said that is still in my mind. I release the past to You so I can do what is right today. Help me to always consider the state of my heart before I speak. In Jesus’ name I pray.
Stormie Omartian (The Power of a Praying Wife Devotional)
Chris smiled at me, showing two ridiculously cute dimples and a few feet away a waitress dropped an empty cup she had cleared from a table. Blushing, she muttered an apology and hurried inside. I scowled at him, refusing to be swayed by his charm. “I see,” he murmured, nodding slightly as if he had just solved a puzzle. “See what?” Ignoring my question, he pulled out a cell phone, hit a number and held the phone out to me. I hesitated for a few seconds then took the phone and put it to my ear. “What’s up, Chris?” said a familiar deep voice on the other end. “Good question,” I responded tersely. “I told Chris you’d recognize him if he got too close.” Was that amusement in his tone? “Great. You won the bet. Buy him a beer or whatever.” I glanced at Chris, saw that he looked amused now, too and I grew even more agitated. “I thought we had an understanding when you left here last week.” “And what understanding would that be?” I gritted my teeth. “The one where you go your way and I go mine and we all live happily ever after.” “I don’t recall that particular arrangement,” he replied in his infuriatingly easy manner. “I believe I told you I’d be seeing you again.” I opened my mouth but words would not come out. People say ‘I’ll be seeing you’ all the time when they say good bye. It doesn’t mean anything. It certainly doesn’t mean they will send their friends to stalk you. “Sara?” “What do you want from me, Nikolas? I told you I just want to be left alone.” There was a brief silence then a quiet sigh on the other end. “We got word of increased activity in Portland and we have reason to believe the vampire might be searching for you.” It felt like an icy breath touched the back of my neck. Eli’s face flashed through my mind and my knees wobbled. Roland stepped close to me. “What’s wrong, Sara? What is he saying to you?” I smiled weakly at Roland and put up a hand to let him know I’d fill him in when I got off the phone. “I don’t know anyone in Portland so there is no way he can trace me here, right?” “There is more than one way to track someone.” Nikolas’s voice hardened. “Don’t worry, we will keep you safe. Chris will stay close by until we handle this situation.” Great, I was the ‘situation’ again. “I don’t need a babysitter. I’m not a child.” “No you’re not,” he replied gruffly and warmth unfurled in my stomach. “But you are not a warrior either. It is our duty to protect you even if you don’t want it.” I felt like stomping my feet like a two year old. Didn’t I get any choice in this? My eyes fell on Chris as I spoke. “How close is he planning to stay? He’s kind of conspicuous and I can’t have my uncle or anyone else asking questions.” Chris peered in confusion down at his form-fitting blue jeans and black sweater as Nikolas said, “Conspicuous?” I looked heavenward. “If you guys wanted to blend in you shouldn’t have sent Dimples here. The way some of the women are staring at him, I might end up having to protect him instead.” There was a cough on the other end and Nikolas sounded like he was grinning when he said, “Ah, I’m sure Chris can take care of himself. He will be in town in case we suspect any trouble is coming that way.
Karen Lynch
I awake with a start, shaking the cobwebs of sleep from my mind. It’s pitch-dark out, the wind howling. It takes a couple seconds to get my bearings, to realize I’m in my parents’ bed, Ryder beside me, on his side, facing me. Our hands are still joined, though our fingers are slack now. “Hey, you,” he says sleepily. “That one was loud, huh?” “What was?” “Thunder. Rattled the windows pretty bad.” “What time is it?” “Middle of the night, I’d say.” I could check my phone, but that would require sitting up and letting go of his hand. Right now, I don’t want to do that. I’m too comfortable. “Have you gotten any sleep at all?” I ask him, my mouth dry and cottony. “I think I drifted off for a little bit. Till…you know…the thunder started up again.” “Oh. Sorry.” “It should calm down some when the eye moves through.” “If there’s still an eye by the time it gets here. The center of circulation usually starts breaking up once it goes inland.” Yeah, all those hours watching the Weather Channel occasionally come in handy. He gives my hand a gentle squeeze. “Wow, maybe you should consider studying meteorology. You know, if the whole film-school thing doesn’t work out for you.” “I could double major,” I shoot back. “I bet you could.” “What are you going to study?” I ask, curious now. “I mean, besides football. You’ve got to major in something, don’t you?” He doesn’t answer right away. I wonder what’s going through his head--why he’s hesitating. “Astrophysics,” he says at last. “Yeah, right.” I roll my eyes. “Fine, if you don’t want to tell me…” “I’m serious. Astrophysics for undergrad. And then maybe…astronomy.” “What, you mean in graduate school?” He just nods. “You’re serious? You’re going to major in something that tough? I mean, most football players major in something like phys ed or underwater basket weaving, don’t they?” “Greg McElroy majored in business marketing,” he says with a shrug, ignoring my jab. “Yeah, but…astrophysics? What’s the point, if you’re just going to play pro football after you graduate anyway?” “Who says I want to play pro football?” he asks, releasing my hand. “Are you kidding me?” I sit up, staring at him in disbelief. He’s the best quarterback in the state of Mississippi. I mean, football is what he does…It’s his life. Why wouldn’t he play pro ball? He rolls over onto his back, staring at the ceiling, his arms folded behind his head. “Right, I’m just some dumb jock.” “Oh, please. Everyone knows you’re the smartest kid in our class. You always have been. I’d give anything for it to come as easily to me as it does to you.” He sits up abruptly, facing me. “You think it’s easy for me? I work my ass off. You have no idea what I’m working toward. Or what I’m up against,” he adds, shaking his head. “Probably not,” I concede. “Anyway, if anyone can major in astrophysics and play SEC ball at the same time, you can. But you might want to lose the attitude.” He drops his head into his hands. “I’m sorry, Jem. It’s just…everyone has all these expectations. My parents, the football coach--” “You think I don’t get that? Trust me. I get it better than just about anyone.” He lets out a sigh. “I guess our families have pretty much planned out our lives for us, haven’t they?” “They think they have, that’s for sure,” I say.
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
If asked what manner of beast fascism is, most people would answer, without hesitation, "fascism is an ideology." The fascist leaders themselves never stopped saying that they were prophets of an idea, unlike the materialist liberals and socialists. Hitler talked ceaselessly of Weltanschauung, or "worldview," an uncomely word he successfully forced on the attention of the whole world. Mussolini vaunted the power of the Fascist creed. A fascist, by this approach, is someone who espouses fascist ideology - an ideology being more than just ideas, but a total system of thought harnessed to a world-shaping project... It would seem to follow that we should "start by examining the programs, doctrines, and propaganda in some of the main fascist movements and then proceed to the actual policies and performance of the only two noteworthy fascist regimes." Putting programs first rests on the unstated assumption that fascism was an "ism" like the other great political systems of the modern world: conservatism, liberalism, socialism. Usually taken for granted, that assumption is worth scrutinizing. The other "isms" were created in an era when politics was a gentleman's business, conducted through protracted and learned parliamentary debate among educated men who appealed to each other's reasons as well as their sentiments. The classical "isms" rested upon coherent philosophical systems laid out in the works of systematic thinkers. It seems only natural to explain them by examining their programs and the philosophy that underpinned them. Fascism, by contrast, was a new invention created afresh for the era of mass politics. It sought to appeal mainly to the emotions by the use of ritual, carefully stage-managed ceremonies, and intensely charged rhetoric. The role programs and doctrine play in it is, on closer inspection, fundamentally unlike the role they play in conservatism, liberalism, and socialism. Fascism does not rest explicitly upon an elaborated philosophical system, but rather upon popular feelings about master races, their unjust lot, and their rightful predominance over inferior peoples. It has not been given intellectual underpinnings by any system builder, like Marx, or by any major critical intelligence, like Mill, Burke, or Tocqueville. In a way utterly unlike the classical "isms," the rightness of fascism does not depend on the truth of any of the propositions advanced in its name. Fascism is "true" insofar as it helps fulfill the destiny of a chosen race or people or blood, locked with other peoples in a Darwinian struggle, and not in the light of some abstract and universal reason. The first fascists were entirely frank about this. "We [Fascists] don't think ideology is a problem that is resolved in such a way that truth is seated on a throne. But, in that case, does fighting for an ideology mean fighting for mere appearances? No doubt, unless one considers it according to its unique and efficacious psychological-historical value. The truth of an ideology lies in its capacity to set in motion our capacity for ideals and action. Its truth is absolute insofar as, living within us, it suffices to exhaust those capacities." The truth was whatever permitted the new fascist man (and woman) to dominate others, and whatever made the chosen people triumph.
Robert Paxton (What Is Fascism?: from The Anatomy of Fascism (A Vintage Short))
You don’t know me! You know Miss Erstwhile, but--” “Come now, ever since I witnessed your abominable performance in the theatrical, it’s been clear that you can’t act to save your life. All three weeks, that was you.” He smiled. “And I wanted to keep knowing you. Well, I didn’t at first. I wanted you to go away and leave me in peace. I’ve made a career out of avoiding any possibility of a real relationship. And then to find you in that circus…it didn’t make sense. But what ever does?” “Nothing,” said Jane with conviction. “Nothing makes sense.” “Could you tell me…am I being too forward to ask?...of course, I just bought a plane ticket on impulse, so worrying about being forward at this point is pointless…This is so insane, I am not a romantic. Ahem. My question is, what do you want?” “What do I…?” This really was insane. Maybe she should ask that old woman to change seats again. “I mean it. Besides something real. You already told me that. I like to think I’m real, after all. So, what do you really want?” She shrugged and said simply, “I want to be happy. I used to want Mr. Darcy, laugh at me if you want, or the idea of him. Someone who made me feel all the time like I felt when I watched those movies.” It was hard for her to admit it, but when she had, it felt like licking the last of the icing from the bowl. That hopeless fantasy was empty now. “Right. Well, do you think it possible--” He hesitated, his fingers played with the radio and light buttons on the arm of his seat. “Do you think someone like me could be what you want?” Jane smiled sadly. “I’m feeling all shiny and brand new. In all my life, I’ve never felt like I do now. I’m not sure yet what I want. When I was Miss Erstwhile, you were perfect, but that was back in Austenland. Or are we still in Austenland? Maybe I’ll never leave.” He nodded. “You don’t have to decide anything now. If you will allow me to be near you for a time, then we can see.” He rested his head back, and they looked at each other, their faces inches apart. He always was so good at looking at her. And it occurred to her just then that she herself was more Darcy than Erstwhile, sitting there admiring his fine eyes, feeling dangerously close to falling in love against her will. “Just be near…” she repeated. He nodded. “And if I don’t make you feel like the most beautiful woman in the world every day of your life, then I don’t deserve to be near you.” Jane breathed in, taking those words inside her. She thought she might like to keep them for a while. She considered never giving them up. “Okay, I lied a little bit.” He rubbed his head with even more force. “I need to admit up front that I don’t know how to have a fling. I’m not good at playing around and then saying good-bye. I’m throwing myself at your feet because I’m hoping for a shot at forever. You don’t have to say anything now, no promises required. I just thought you should know.” He forced himself to lean back again, his face turned slightly away, as if he didn’t care to see her expression just then. It was probably for the best. She was staring straight ahead with wide, panicked eyes, then a grin slowly took over her face. In her mind was running the conversation she was going to have with Molly. “I didn’t think it was possible, but I found a man as crazy intense as I was.
Shannon Hale (Austenland (Austenland, #1))
I no longer require your services." With her head held high, she strode for the door. Hell and blazes, he wouldn't let her do this! Now when he knew what was at stake. "You don't want to hear my report?" he called out after her. She paused near the door. "I don't believe you even have a report." "I certainly do, a very thorough one. I've only been waiting for my aunt to transcribe my scrawl into something decipherable. Give me a day, and I can offer you names and addresses and dates, whatever you require." "A day? Just another excuse to put me off so you can wreak more havoc." She stepped into the doorway, and he hurried to catch her by the arm and drag her around to face him. He ignored the withering glance she cast him. "The viscount is twenty-two years your senior," he said baldly. Her eyes went wide. "You're making that up." "He's aged very well, I'll grant you, but he's still almost twice your age. Like many vain Continental gentlemen, he dyes his hair and beard-which is why he appears younger than you think." That seemed to shake her momentarily. Then she stiffened. "All right, so he's an older man. That doesn't mean he wouldn't make a good husband." "He's an aging roué, with an invalid sister. The advantages in a match are all his. You'd surely end up taking care of them both. That's probably why he wants to marry you." "You can't be sure of that." "No? He's already choosing not to stay here for the house party at night because of his sister. That tells me that he needs help he can't get from servants." Her eyes met his, hot with resentment. "Because it's hard to find ones who speak Portuguese." He snorted. "I found out this information from his Portuguese servants. They also told me that his lavish spending is a façade. He's running low on funds. Why do you think his servants gossip about him? They haven't been paid recently. So he’s definitely got his eye on your fortune.” “Perhaps he does,” she conceded sullenly. “But not the others. Don’t try to claim that of them.” “I wouldn’t. They’re in good financial shape. But Devonmont is estranged from his mother, and no one knows why. I need more time to determine it, though perhaps your sister-in-law could tell you, if you bothered to ask.” “Plenty of people don’t get along with their families,” she said stoutly. “He has a long-established mistress, too.” A troubled expression crossed her face. “Unmarried men often have mistresses. It doesn’t mean he wouldn’t give her up when he marries.” He cast her a hard stare. “Are you saying you have no problem with a man paying court to you while he keeps a mistress?” The sigh that escaped her was all the answer he needed. “I don’t think he’s interested in marriage, anyway.” She tipped up her chin. “That still leaves the duke.” “With his mad family.” “He’s already told me about his father, whom I knew about anyway.” “Ah, but did you know about his great-uncle? He ended his life in an asylum in Belgium, while there to receive some special treatment for his delirium.” Her lower lip trembled. “The duke didn’t mention that, no. But then our conversation was brief. I’m sure he’ll tell me if I ask. He was very forthright on the subject of his family’s madness when he offered-“ As she stopped short, Jackson’s heart dropped into his stomach. “Offered what?” She hesitated, then squared her shoulders. “Marriage, if you must know.” Damn it all. Jackson had no right to resent it, but the thought of her in Lyons’s arms made him want to smash something. “And of course, you accepted his offer,” he said bitterly. “You couldn’t resist the appeal of being a great duchess.” Her eyes glittered at him. “You’re the only person who doesn’t see the advantage in such a match.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
He loves you,’ I said, and smoothed the tumbled hair off her flushed face. ‘He won’t stop.’ I got up, brushing yellow leaves from my skirt. ‘We’ll have a bit of time, then, but none to waste. Jamie can send word downriver, to keep an eye out for Roger. Speaking of Roger …’ I hesitated, picking a bit of dried fern from my sleeve. ‘I don’t suppose he knows about this, does he?’ Brianna took a deep breath, and her fist closed tight on the leaf in her hand, crushing it. ‘Well, see, there’s a problem about that,’ she said. She looked up at me, and suddenly she was my little girl again. ‘It isn’t Roger’s.’ ‘What?’ I said stupidly. ‘It. Isn’t. Roger’s. Baby,’ she said, between clenched teeth. I sank down beside her once more. Her worry over Roger suddenly took on new dimensions. ‘Who?’ I said. ‘Here, or there?’ Even as I spoke, I was calculating – it had to be someone here, in the past. If it had been a man in her own time, she’d be farther along than two months. Not only in the past, then, but here, in the Colonies. I wasn’t planning to have sex, she’d said. No, of course not. She hadn’t told Roger, for fear he would follow her – he was her anchor, her key to the future. But in that case – ‘Here,’ she said, confirming my calculations. She dug in the pocket of her skirt, and came out with something. She reached toward me, and I held out my hand automatically. ‘Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ.’ The worn gold wedding band sparked in the sun, and my hand closed reflexively over it. It was warm from being carried next to her skin, but I felt a deep coldness seep into my fingers. ‘Bonnet?’ I said. ‘Stephen Bonnet?’ Her throat moved convulsively, and she swallowed, head jerking in a brief nod. ‘I wasn’t going to tell you – I couldn’t; not after Ian told me about what happened on the river. At first I didn’t know what Da would do; I was afraid he’d blame me. And then when I knew him a little better – I knew he’d try to find Bonnet – that’s what Daddy would have done. I couldn’t let him do that. You met that man, you know what he’s like.’ She was sitting in the sun, but a shudder passed over her, and she rubbed her arms as though she was cold. ‘I do,’ I said. My lips were stiff. Her words were ringing in my ears. I wasn’t planning to have sex. I couldn’t tell … I was afraid he’d blame me. ‘What did he do to you?’ I asked, and was surprised that my voice sounded calm. ‘Did he hurt you, baby?’ She grimaced, and pulled her knees up to her chest, hugging them against herself. ‘Don’t call me that, okay? Not right now.’ I reached to touch her, but she huddled closer into herself, and I dropped my hand. ‘Do you want to tell me?’ I didn’t want to know; I wanted to pretend it hadn’t happened, too. She looked up at me, lips tightened to a straight white line. ‘No,’ she said. ‘No, I don’t want to. But I think I’d better.’ She had stepped aboard the Gloriana in broad daylight, cautious, but feeling safe by reason of the number of people around; loaders, seamen, merchants, servants – the docks bustled with life. She had told a seaman on the deck what she wanted; he had vanished into the recesses of the ship, and a moment later, Stephen Bonnet had appeared. He had on the same clothes as the night before; in the daylight, she could see that they were of fine quality, but stained and badly crumpled. Greasy candle wax had dripped on the silk cuff of his coat, and his jabot had crumbs in it. Bonnet himself showed fewer marks of wear than did his clothes; he was fresh-shaven, and his green eyes were pale and alert. They passed over her quickly, lighting with interest. ‘I did think ye comely last night by candlelight,’ he said, taking her hand and raising it to his lips. ‘But a-many seem so when the drink is flowin’. It’s a good deal more rare to find a woman fairer in the sun than she is by the moon.
Diana Gabaldon (Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4))
At the end of the lane Elizabeth put down her side of the trunk and sank down wearily beside Lucinda upon its hard top, emotionally exhausted. A wayward chuckle bubbled up inside her, brought on by exhaustion, fright, defeat, and the last remnants of triumph over having gotten just a little of her own back from the man who’d ruined her life. The only possible explanation for Ian Thornton’s behavior today was that he was a complete madman. With a shake of her head Elizabeth made herself stop thinking of him. At the moment she had so many new worries she hardly knew how to begin to cope. She glanced sideways at her stalwart duenna, and an amused smile touched her lips as she recalled Lucinda’s actions at the cottage. On the one hand, Lucinda rejected all emotional displays as totally unseemly-yet at the same time she herself was possessed of the most formidable temper Elizabeth had ever witnessed. It was as if Lucinda did not regard her own outbursts of ire as emotional. Without the slightest hesitation or regret Lucinda could verbally flay a wrongdoer into small, bite-sized pieces and then mentally stamp him into the ground and grind him beneath the heel of her sturdy shoe. On the other hand, were Elizabeth to exhibit the smallest bit of fear right now over their daunting predicament, Lucinda would instantly stiffen up with disapproval and deliver one of her sharp reprimands. Cognizant of that, Elizabeth glanced worriedly at the sky, where black clouds were rolling in, heralding a storm; but when she spoke she sounded deliberately and absurdly bland. “I believe it’s starting to rain, Lucinda,” she remarked while cold drizzle began to slap the leaves of the tree over their heads. “So it would seem,” said Lucinda. She opened her umbrella with a smart snap, holding it over them both. “It’s fortunate you have your umbrella.” “We aren’t likely to drown from a little rain.” “I shouldn’t think so.” Elizabeth drew a steadying breath, looking around at the harsh Scottish cliffs. In the tone of one asking someone’s opinion on a rhetorical question, Elizabeth said, “Do you suppose there are wolves out here?” “I believe,” Lucinda replied, “they probably constitute a larger threat to our health at present than the rain.” The sun was setting, and the early spring air had a sharp bite in it; Elizabeth was almost positive they’d be freezing by nightfall. “It’s a bit chilly.” “Rather.” “We have warmer clothes in the trunks, though.” “I daresay we won’t be too uncomfortable, in that case.” Elizabeth’s wayward sense of humor chose that unlikely moment to assert itself. “No, we shall be snug as can be while the wolves gather around us.” “Quite.” Hysteria, hunger, and exhaustion-combined with Lucinda’s unswerving calm and her earlier unprecedented entry into the cottage with umbrella flailing-were making Elizabeth almost giddy. “Of course, if the wolves realize how hungry we are, there’s every change they’ll give us a wide berth.” “A cheering possibility.” “We’ll build a fire,” Elizabeth said, her lips twitching. “That will keep them at bay, I believe.” When Lucinda remained silent for several moments, occupied with her own thoughts, Elizabeth confided with an odd surge of happiness. “Do you know something, Lucinda? I don’t think I would have missed today for anything.” Lucinda’s thin gray brows shot up, and she cast a dubious sideways glance at Elizabeth. “I realize that must sound extremely peculiar, but can you imagine how absolutely exhilarating it was to have that man at the point of a gun for just a few minutes? Do you find that-odd?” Elizabeth asked when Lucinda stared straight ahead in angry, thoughtful silence. “What I find off,” she said in a tone of frosty disapproval mingled with surprise, “is that you evoke such animosity in that man.” “I think he’s quite demented.” “I would have said embittered.” “About what?” “That is an interesting question.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Why are you crying, Lenora?” he groaned.  “Should I stop?” “You like me?” she asked in a small voice. What the hell?  “Of course, I fucking like you.” He stared down at her thunderstruck.  But really, how could she know?  He was pretty taken aback by his declaration himself.  “I like you,” he said firmly.  “But.” She hesitated.  “You don’t like anyone.” “Bullshit,” he said flatly.  “I like you.  A lot.
Alice Coldbreath (The Unlovely Bride (Brides of Karadok, #2))
Victims?’ he asked. ‘Don’t be melodramatic, Rollo. Look down there,’ he went on, pointing through the window at the people moving like black flies at the base of the Wheel. ‘Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving – for ever? If I said you can have twenty thousand pounds for every dot that stops, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money – without hesitation? Or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare? Free of income tax, old man. Free of income tax.’ He gave his conspiratorial smile. ‘It’s the only way to save nowadays.
Graham Greene (The Third Man & The Fallen Idol)
It is my mess. Getting my voice back is more than I deserve,” Dylan shrugged. “Someday I’ll find someone to break the curse. The bigger threat is that sea witch.” I don’t know whether to be horrified she impulsively decided that giving up her voice forever was a good idea, or admire her for seeing the bigger threats at play and moving to stop them. Angelique stared at Dylan for a moment. “You are…unusual.” “My father says that all the time. I think it is merely that most folk don’t know how to take responsibility for themselves,” Dylan scoffed. Angelique managed another weak smile. “There’s a difference between being responsible and being brash.” “So I have heard. Is there anything I must do for you to seal my voice? Do you need ingredients?” Dylan asked. “No,” Angelique said. “It’s an easy enough spell. It is the results that are potent and dangerous.” She hesitated. “Are you certain you do not wish to tell your family?” “Yes. Please, seal my voice, Lady Enchantress.” Angelique pressed her hands together. What else can I do? This is too big for me to handle alone. If Dylan’s voice is sealed, the sea witch can’t use her, and she might be able to uncover more information. Lacking any other idea, Angelique stood. She started to gather up her magic, molding it into the necessary form. She checked her work twice, grimly ignoring her silvery magic as it brushed around her and tugged at
K.M. Shea (Curse of Magic (The Fairy Tale Enchantress, #2))
Why didn’t you just hit him over the head and take the bedsheet away from him?” Yossarian asked. Pressing his lips together with dignity, Milo shook his head. “That would have been most unjust,” he scolded firmly. “Force is wrong, and two wrongs never make a right. It was much better my way. When I held the dates out to him and reached for the bedsheet, he probably thought I was offering to trade.” “What were you doing?” “Actually, I was offering to trade, but since he doesn’t understand English, I can always deny it.” “Suppose he gets angry and wants the dates?” “Why, we’ll just hit him over the head and take them away from him,” Milo answered without hesitation. He looked from Yossarian to McWatt and back again. “I really can’t see what everyone is complaining about. We’re all much better off than before. Everybody is happy but this thief, and there’s no sense worrying about him, since he doesn’t even speak our language and deserves whatever he gets. Don’t you understand?” But Yossarian still didn’t understand either how Milo could buy eggs in Malta for seven cents apiece and sell them at a profit in Pianosa for five cents.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
People disagree about the meaning of books, bodies, and schools, and how they should be valued. In fact, we disagree about the norms appropriate to many of the domains that markets have invaded—family life, friendship, sex, procreation, health, education, nature, art, citizenship, sports and the way we contend with the prospect of death. But that's my point: once we see that markets and commerce change the character of the goods they touch, we have to ask where markets belong—and where they don't. And we can't answer this question without deliberating about the meaning and purpose of goods, and the values that should govern them. Such deliberations touch, unavoidably, on competing conceptions of the good life. This is terrain on which we sometimes fear to tread. For fear of disagreement, we hesitate to bring our moral and spiritual convictions into the public square. But shrinking from these questions does not leave them undecided. It simply means that markets will decide them for us.
Michael Sandel (What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets)
The first real community problem came when it was learned that the entire supply of school study spools were lost in the crashed ships. There was talk among the colonists of sending a ship back to Earth at once for replacements, but Vidac stepped in and took over. He called a meeting with the three Space Cadets, Jeff Marshall, and Professor Sykes, and told them of his plan. "I want you to make new study spools on every subject you can remember," Vidac ordered. "Simple arithmetic, spelling, geography, celestial studies, physics, in fact, everything that you learned in prep school–and before that." "That may be all right for boys," grumbled Professor Sykes, still smarting under the refusal of his violent protest at being taken from his uranium studies and placed in charge of the school problem. "But what about the girls? There are quite a few of them and they need special consideration." "What kind of consideration?" asked Vidac. "Well, whatever it is a girl has to know. Sew, cook, keep house, take care of children and–and–" The professor sputtered, hesitated, and concluded lamely, "A–a lot of things!" Vidac smiled. "Very well. I'll speak to a few of the mothers and see if I can't get you some assistance. In the meantime, I want you, Corbett, Manning, Astro, and Marshall to do what you can about beginning the children's schooling." "All right," snorted Sykes, "but I can think of better ways to spend the next two or three weeks." "And one more thing, Professor," continued Vidac. "I want it clearly understood that you are responsible for the cadets. For what they do, or don't do!
Carey Rockwell (The First Tom Corbett Omnibus: Stand By For Mars!; Danger In Deep Space; On The Trail Of The Space Pirates; The Space Pioneers)
How could he do that to his own family?" Daddy seemed to sense there was more to Harper's empathy. He reached across the table and gave her hand a big squeeze. "Don't know. Some folks aren't worth their weight in salt if you ask me." Daddy glanced over his shoulder toward the boy on the pier. Harper pulled a claw off her crab and used it to point toward the other pier. She'd never even met the stepfather and was ready to throw the crab claw right in his face. "Sweetheart." It was a your-compassion-is-acting-up-again warning, not an admonishment. Harper blinked, forcing herself back to the present. "You're right. This dinner is a celebration, after all. You caught enough this morning to feed the whole county." She smiled at Daddy, proud of how hard he worked, then looked back down at the crab and slowly broke off the other claw. She hesitated when it made an unexpected pop. "You're thinking about that crab getting caught, aren't you?" Harper set the food back down on her plate and let her laughter go free. "How did you know?" Daddy grinned. "That's my girl. Always considering the oxygen-deprived crustaceans.
Ashley Clark (The Dress Shop on King Street (Heirloom Secrets, #1))
I could tell Jeung was skeptical about my line of questioning from the get-go. There was a long pause, after which I could hear him puzzling hesitantly on how best to respond. “I don’t know if silence is necessarily secret-keeping,” he said slowly. “I’m sure parents don’t talk about their kids about a lot of things. They don’t talk about their sex lives. I don’t know that it’s necessarily a Taoist approach. There are probably things they’d just rather forget. And there is a Chinese popular religion thing where people don’t talk about negative things. It’s why people don’t talk about cancer. You know The Farewell?” he asked, citing Lulu Wang’s Golden Globe- and BAFTA-winning film about her family’s decision to hide her grandmother’s lung cancer diagnosis from her. Her grandmother was supposed to live only six months, but her family thought she would fare better and live longer if they told her she was just fine. The approach may have worked. At the time I am writing this, eight years after her diagnosis, Lulu’s grandmother is still alive.
Stephanie Foo (What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma)
Zoki walks into the classroom, puts a piece of paper down on the teacher’s desk, and shouts: “Everyone write your name.” There are three columns: Muslim / Serb / Croat. We all gather round, we all hesitate. “Come on, guys.” Zoki writes his name under Serb. Kenan takes the pen from Zoki and writes his name under Muslim. Both Gorans put their names under Serb. Edin puts his name under Muslim. Alen puts his name under Muslim. Marica puts her name under Serb. Goca puts her name under Serb. Kule asks what this is all about. Zoki says: “So we know.” Kule says: “Fuck you.” Zoki says: “Anyway, you’re Muslim.” “What I am is Fuck you,” Kule says. Elvira makes a new column, writes Don’t know at the top, and puts her name there. Alen takes the pen back and crosses his name out and writes it again under Don’t know. Goca too. Marko puts his name under Serb. Ana puts her name under Don’t know, thinks for a second, crosses it out, adds Yugoslav as a fifth heading, and puts her name there. Zoki writes Kule under Muslim. Kule says: “Zoki, you dumb horse, I’ll fuck your mother.” The Gorans plant themselves in front of Kule and the one with the long incisors says: “What’s wrong, Kule? Shoes too tight?” Kule grabs the pen out of Zoki’s hand and tries to scribble something on Goran’s forehead. Goran shoves him, Kule shoves back, and we move between them. Everyone’s shouting all at once until Kule raises his arm—the gesture says, Everything’s cool, I’m cool. He goes up to the desk and makes a sixth column. On top it says, Fuck all of you. Kule writes Kule in that column, stomps on the pen, which breaks, and leaves the classroom. No one follows Kule. The list disappears. A couple months later, Muslims in several cities are ordered to wear white armbands. An Eskimo family lived in Višegrad at the time, above the supermarket on Tito Street. Actually they had no connection with the Inuit—it was just a joke answer on the 1991 census, which was included in the actual statistics and then recognized by the state. The father repeated it during the Serbian occupation, but no one laughed. So he left the city, with his wife and baby daughter. Today they live closer to the North Pole and speak decent Swedish.
Saša Stanišić (Herkunft)