Don't Hesitate To Help 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 find you need help again, you know, if you're in trouble, need a hand out of a corner..." "Yeah?" "Please don't hesitate to get lost.
Douglas Adams (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #2))
She's not much taller than Tess and definitely lighter than Kaede. For a second it seems like the crowd's attention has made her umcomfortable and I'm ready to dismiss her as a real contender until I study her again. No, this girl is nothing like the last one. She's hesitating not because she's afraid to fight,or because she fears losing,but because she's thinking. Calculating.She has dark hair tied back in a high ponytail and a lean, athletic build. She stands deliberately, with a hand resting on her hip, as if nothing in the world can catch her off guard. I find myself pausing to admire her face. For a brief moment,I'm lost to my surroundings. The girl shakes her head at Kaede. This surprises me too-I've never seen anyone refuse to fight. Everyone knows the rules: if you're chosen,you fight. This girl doesn't seem to fear the crowds wrath. Kaede laughs at her and says something I can't quite make out. Tess hears it,though, and casts me a quick, concerned glance. This time the girl nods. The crowd lets out another cheer,and Kaede smiles. I lean a little bit out from behind the chimney. Something about this girl...I don't know what it is.But her eyes burn in the light,and although it's hot and might be my imagination, I think I see a small smile on the girl's face. Tess shoots a questioning look at me.I hesitate for a split second,then hold up one finger again. I'm grateful to this mystery girl for helping Tess out, but with my money on the line,I decide to play it safe. Tess nods,then casts our bet in favor of Kaede. But the instant the new girl steps into the circle and I see her stance...I know I've made a big mistake.Kaede strikes like a bull, a battering ram. This girl strikes like a viper.
Marie Lu (Legend (Legend, #1))
Smiles, bells, parades, horses, bleh. If so, please add an orgy. If an orgy would help, don't hesitate.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas)
If you ever find you need help again, you know, if you are in trouble, need a hand out of a tight corner, please, don't hesitate to get lost.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
It’s not your fault,” Alec was saying. He sounded weary, as if he’d been through this sort of thing with his sister before. Clary wondered how many boyfriends she’d turned into rats by accident. “But it ought to teach you not to go to so many Downworld parties,” he added. “They’re always more trouble than they’re worth.” Isabelle sniffed loudly. “If anything had happened to him, I—I don’t know what I would have done.” “Probably whatever it is you did before,” said Alec in a bored voice. “It’s not like you knew him all that well.” “That doesn’t mean that I don’t—” “What? Love him?” Alec scoffed, raising his voice. “You need to know someone to love them.” “But that’s not all it is.” Isabelle sounded almost sad. “Didn’t you have any fun at the party, Alec?” “No.” “I thought you might like Magnus. He’s nice, isn’t he?” “Nice?” Alec looked at her as if she were insane. “Kittens are nice. Warlocks are—” He hesitated. “Not,” he finished, lamely. “I thought you might hit it off.” Isabelle’s eye makeup glittered as bright as tears as she glanced over at her brother. “Get to be friends.” “I have friends,” Alec said, and looked over his shoulder, almost as if he couldn’t help it, at Jace. But Jace, his golden head down, lost in thought, didn’t notice.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Your hair," repeated Dimitri. His eyes were wide, almost awestruck. "Your hair is beautiful." I didn't think so, not in its current state. of course, considering we were in a dark alley filled with bodies, the choices were kind of limited. "You see? You're not one of them. Strigoi don't see beauty. Only death. You found something beautiful. One thing that's beautiful." Hesitantly, nervously, he ran his fingers along the strands I'd touched earlier. "But is it enough?" "It is for now." I pressed a kiss to his forehead and helped him stand. "It is for now.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
He looked down at himself and laughed softly. ‘‘My dark side dresses better than I do.’’ He stood up and reached for clothes folded neatly on a table to the side as he loosened the tie on his robe. He hesitated, smiled, and raised his eyebrows. ‘‘If you don’t mind, Claire . . . ?’’ ‘‘Oh. Sorry.’’ Claire turned her back. She didn’t like turning her back on him, even with the cell door locked. He was better behaved when he knew she was watching. She focused on the faint, distorted image of his reflection on the TV screen as he shed the dressing gown and began to pull on his clothing. She couldn’t see much, except that he was very pale all over. Once she was sure his pants were up, she glanced behind her. He had his back to her, and she couldn’t help but compare him with the only other man she’d really studied half-naked. Shane was broad, strong, solid. Myrnin looked fragile, but his muscles moved like cables under that pale skin—far stronger than Shane’s, she knew. Myrnin turned as he buttoned his shirt. ‘‘It’s been a while since a pretty girl looked at me with such interest,’’ he said. She looked away, feeling the blush work its heat up through her neck and onto her cheeks. ‘‘It’s all right, Claire. I’m not offended.
Rachel Caine (Feast of Fools (The Morganville Vampires, #4))
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))
Oh, and Zaphod?" "Er, yeah?" "If you ever find you need help again, you know, if you're in trouble, need a hand out of a tight corner..." "Yeah?" "Please don't hesitate to get lost.
Douglas Adams (The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1-5))
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))
He sighed and grabbed my left arm, examining the tattoo. “What were you thinking? Didn’t you know I’d come as soon as I could?” I yanked my arm from him. “I was dying! I had a fever—I was barely able to keep conscious! How was I supposed to know you’d come? That you even understood how quickly humans can die of that sort of thing? You told me you hesitated that time with the naga.” “I swore an oath to Tamlin—” “I had no other choice! You think I’m going to trust you after everything you said to me at the manor?” “I risked my neck for you during your task. Was that not enough?” His metal eye whirred softly. “You offered up your name for me—after all that I said to you, all I did, you still offered up your name. Didn’t you realize I would help you after that? Oath or no oath?” I hadn’t realized it would mean anything to him at all. “I had no other choice,” I said again, breathing hard. “Don’t you understand what Rhys is?” “I do!” I barked, then sighed. “I do,” I repeated, and glared at the eye in my palm. “It’s done with. So you needn’t hold to whatever oath you swore to Tamlin to protect me—or feel like you owe me anything for saving you from Amarantha. I would have done it just to wipe the smirk off your brothers’ faces.” Lucien clicked his tongue, but his remaining russet eye shone. “I’m glad to see you didn’t sell your lively human spirit or stubbornness to Rhys.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #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
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))
After dinner, I went upstairs and found Ren standing on the veranda again, looking at the sunset. I approached him shyly and stood behind him. “Hello, Ren.” He turned and openly studied my appearance. His gaze drifted ever so slowly down my body. The longer he looked, the wider his smile got. Eventually, his eyes worked their way back up to my bright red face. He sighed and bowed deeply. “Sundari. I was standing here thinking nothing could be more beautiful than this sunset tonight, but I was mistaken. You standing here in the setting sun with your hair and skin aglow is almost more than a man can…fully appreciate.” I tried to change the subject. “What does sundari mean?” “It means ‘most beautiful.’” I blushed again, which made him laugh. He took my hand, tucked it under his arm, and led me to the patio chairs. Just then, the sun dipped below the trees leaving its tangerine glow in the sky for just a few more moments. We sat again, but this time he sat next to me on the swinging patio seat and kept my hand in his. I ventured shyly, “I hope you don’t mind, but I explored your house today, including your room.” “I don’t mind. I’m sure you found my room the least interesting.” “Actually, I was curious about the note I found. Did you write it?” “A note? Ah, yes. I just scribbled a few notes to help me remember what Phet had said. It just says seek Durga’s prophecy, the Cave of Kanheri, Kelsey is Durga’s favored one, that sort of thing.” “Oh. I…also noticed a ribbon. Is it mine?” “Yes. If you’d like it back, you can take it.” “Why would you want it?” He shrugged, looking embarrassed. “I wanted a memento, a token from the girl who saved my life.” “A token? Like a fair maiden giving her handkerchief to a knight in shining armor?” He grinned. “Exactly.” I jested wryly, “Too bad you didn’t wait for Cathleen to get a little older. She’s going to be very pretty.” He frowned. “Cathleen from the circus?” He shook his head. “You were the chosen one, Kelsey. And if I had the option of choosing the girl to save me, I still would have picked you.” “Why?” “A number of reasons. I liked you. You are interesting. I enjoyed listening to your voice. I felt like you saw through the tiger skin to the person underneath. When you spoke, it felt like you were saying exactly the things I needed to hear. You’re smart. You like poetry, and you’re very pretty.” I laughed at his statement. Me, pretty? He can’t be serious. I was average in so many ways. I didn’t really concern myself with current makeup, hairstyles, or fashionable, but uncomfortable, clothes like other teenagers. My complexion was pale, and my eyes were so brown that they were almost black. By far, my best feature was my smile, which my parents paid dearly for and so did I-with three years of metal braces. Still, I was flattered. “Okay, Prince Charming, you can keep your memento.” I hesitated, and then said softly, “I wear those ribbons in memory of my mom. She used to brush out my hair and braid ribbons through it while we talked.” Ren smiled understandingly. “Then it means even more to me.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Don’t put off today what you’ll neglect tomorrow.
Ricky Maye (Outsiders: The Story of Success)
I’ve experienced a lot in my life. I’ve been in bloody battles. I’ve been with friends who were killed. I’ve seen terrible things done to man and beast, but I’ve never felt afraid. “I’ve been troubled. I’ve also been uneasy and tense. I’ve been in mortal danger, but I’ve never experienced that cold-sweat kind of fear, the kind that eats a man alive, brings him to his knees, and makes him beg. In fact, I always prided myself on being above that. I thought that I’d suffered through and seen so much that nothing could scare me anymore. That nothing could bring me to that point.” He brushed a brief kiss on my neck. “I was wrong. When I found you and saw that…that thing trying to kill you, I was enraged. I destroyed it without hesitation.” “The Kappa were terrifying.” “I wasn’t afraid of the Kappa. I was afraid…that I’d lost you. I felt an unquenchable, gut-wrenching, corrosive fear. It was unbearable. The most agonizing part was realizing that I didn’t want to live anymore if you were gone and knowing there was nothing I could do about it. I would be stuck forever in this miserable existence without you.” I heard every word he said. It pierced through me, and I knew I would have felt the same way if our places had been reversed. But I told myself that his heartfelt declaration was just a reflection of the tense pressure we’d been under. The little love plant in my heart was grasping at each wispy thought, absorbing his words like sweet drops of morning dew. But I chastised my heart and shoved the tender expressions of affection elsewhere, determined to be unaffected by them. “It’s okay. I’m here. You don’t need to be afraid. I’m still around to help you break the curse,” I said, trying to keep my voice even. He squeezed my waist and whispered softly, “Breaking the curse didn’t matter to me anymore. I thought you were dying.” I swallowed and tried to be flippant. “Well, I didn’t. See? I lived to argue with you another day. Now don’t you wish it had gone the other way?” His arms stiffened and he threatened, “Don’t ever say that, Kells.” After a second of hesitation, I said, “Well, thank you. Thank you for saving me.” He pulled me close, and I allowed myself a minute, just a minute, to lie back against him and enjoy it. I had almost died after all. I deserved some kind of reward for surviving, didn’t I?
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Releasing me, he backs up and strips off his shirt then shucks his jeans. I burst into laughter. “If you think you’re going to Slytherin to my bed with those on, you’re wrong. I only allow full-fledged Hufflepuffs in there.” Zach glances down at his underwear and hangs his head. “Why did I have to wear this pair today? Why?” “What? I think they’re hot.” “You think my Harry Potter underwear are hot?” I nod. “You are my dream girl.” I grin and shake my head as I make my way to my bed. I do my best to straighten the covers before pulling back my side and climbing in. “I think you were right earlier.” “About?” he asks, standing on the other side. “This bed isn’t big enough for two. I think we’ll have to snuggle.” He smirks as he slides in, getting as close to me as possible. I don’t hesitate to match his movements—though I probably should. I should be weirded out that Zach’s in my bed. I shouldn’t gravitate toward him like I do. But I can’t help it. Zach makes me feel…comfortable. Safe. Warm. Wanted. We’re lying face to face in the middle of the bed, the blanket draped over our waists, grinning at each other like fools. “What?” I whisper. “I made it in.” “What?” I ask again, confused. “Your special Hufflepuff-only chamber of secrets.” “Did you really just…” Laughter consumes me and I’m rolling to my back and covering my face in embarrassment…for him. “You are such a nerd, Zach.
Teagan Hunter (Let's Get Textual (Texting, #1))
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)
We both know the kandra wanted him on this mission, and they arranged the meeting with me to try to hook him. At the precinct, when I accomplish something, everyone assumes I had Waxillium’s help. Sometimes it’s like I’m no more than an appendage.” “You’re not that at all, Marasi,” Wayne said. “You’re important. You help out a lot. Plus you smell nice, and not all bloody and stuff.” “Great. I have no idea what you just said.” “Appendages don’t smell nice,” Wayne said. “And they’re kinda gross. I cut one outta a fellow once.” “You mean an appendix?” “Sure.” He hesitated. “So…” “Not the same thing.” “Right. Thought you was makin’ a metaphor, since people don’t need one of those and all.
Brandon Sanderson (The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn, #6))
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))
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))
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))
Don’t hesitate to begin because it seems to you that you have a long way to go. It is better to spend your life moving in the right direction one step at a time than to have no direction at all. No matter what your problems may be, things can get better with God’s help.
Joyce Meyer (The Mind Connection: How the Thoughts You Choose Affect Your Mood, Behavior, and Decisions)
I cover my eyes. I'm crying with my whole body and all I want to do is disappear. I feel his hand hesitate, hovering over my back, then rubbing awkward circles, and then his fingers in my hair. If he's saying anything, I don't hear. All can I hear is my blood rushing and my heart drumming in my ears. A pulsing in my throat, like there's a big jumbled ball of words stuck in there dying to get out. He puts both arms around me, but I feel suffocated. Don't want to be held. Don't want to be touched. Not by anyone ever again in my entire life. I crunch my teeth together to keep myself from screaming. Screaming in general, screaming at him to get his hands off me, screaming for help, screaming because I can't make sense out of anything that is happening, has happened, will happen. Screaming because I still feel like I'm back there, always back there, in my heart I'm still that girl.
Amber Smith (The Way I Used to Be)
Tate practically raised you from what I hear. You love him, don’t you?” Her face closed up. “For all the good it will ever do me, yes,” she said softly. “He won’t have the excuse of pure Lakota blood much longer,” he advised. “I’m not holding out for miracles anymore,” she vowed. “I’m going to stop wanting what I can never have. From now on, I’ll take what I can get from life and be satisfied with it. Tate will have to find his own way.” “That’s sour grapes,” he observed. “You bet it is. What do you want me to do to help?” “It’s dangerous,” he pointed out, hesitating as he considered her youth. “I don’t know…” “I’m a card-carrying archeologist,” she reminded him. “Haven’t you ever watched an Indiana Jones movies? We’re all like that,” she told him with a wicked grin. “Mild-mannered on the outside and veritable world-tamers inside. I can get a whip and a fedora, too, if you like,” she added.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
When the Archives file out of the room, Galen turns to Emma. She’s ready for him. She holds up her shushing finger. “Don’t even,” she says. “I was going to tell you, but I just didn’t have a chance.” “Tell me now,” he says. “Since it seems I’m the last to know.” He isn’t the last to know, of course. But he’d really hoped she would come to him with it. Before now. Before it became an issue for other people. She raises a hesitant brow. “Please,” he grates out. She sighs in a gust. “I still don’t think it’s important at the moment, but when Rayna took off for the Arena, I hoped on one of the jet skis and tried to follow. But,” she amends, “I did not intend to get in the water. I swear I didn’t. It’s just that Goliath wanted to play, and he tipped over the”-she must sense all his patience oozing out-“anyway, so I come across this Syrena, Jasa, and she’s been caught in a net and two men are pulling her aboard. So me and Goliath helped her.” “Where are the fishermen now?” “Um. Unless Rachel did something drastic, they’re probably at home telling their kids crazy stories about mermaids.” Galen feels a sense of control slipping, but of what he’s not sure. For centuries, the Syrena have remained unnoticed by humans. Now within the span of a week, they’ve allowed themselves to be captured twice. He hopes this does not become a pattern. Toraf must have mistaken his long pause for brooding. “Don’t be too hard on her, Galen,” he says. “I told you, Emma helped her and then went straight home.” “Stay out of this,” Galen says pleasantly. “I knew you told him.” Emma crosses her arms at Toraf. “You really are a snitch.” “You had enough to worry about. And so did I.” Toraf shrugs, unperturbed. “It’s over now.” Nalia pinches the bridge of her nose. “This is where I ground you for life,” she tells Emma. “All three hundred years of it.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
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)
I don't believe in regrets, not really. I mean, in the heat of a moment I may strongly wish I hadn't done something but to be honest, I believe all our decisions help mold us into the persons we're supposed to become. Think about it, if everyone made flawless decisions, how could any of us truly understand life, and all it's accompanying beauties? If we never suffer, how can we recognize joy for what it is? If we never witness another's struggles, how can we submit ourselves to helping them? No regrets help shape us into selfless people. After all, the only regrets people really speak of are surrounded by a hesitation to love or allow love.
Fisher Amelie (Penny in London)
Sunday night is my personal weekly Halloween. I walk along slowly and drag my fingertips along the bars of chocolate. Goddamn, you sexy little squares. Dark, milk, white, I do not discriminate. I eat it all. Those fluorescent sour candies that only obnoxious little boys like. I suck candy apples clean. If an envelope seal is sweet, I’ll lick it twice. Growing up, I was that kid who would easily get lured into a van with the promise of a lollipop. Sometimes, I let the retail seduction last for twenty minutes, ignoring Marco and feeling up the merchandise, but I’m so tired of male voices. “Five bags of marshmallows,” Marco says in a resigned tone. “Wine. And a can of cat food.” “Cat food is low carb.” He makes no move to scan anything, so I scan each item myself and unroll a few notes from my tips. “Your job involves selling things. Sell them. Change, please.” “I just don’t know why you do this to yourself.” Marco looks at the register with a moral dilemma in his eyes. “Every week you come and do this.” He hesitates and looks over his shoulder where his sugar book sits under a layer of dust. He knows not to try to slip it into my bag with my purchases. “I don’t know why you care, dude. Just serve me. I don’t need your help.” He’s not entirely wrong about my being an addict. I would lick a line of icing sugar off this counter right now if no one were around. I would walk into a cane plantation and bite right in... “Give me my change or I swear to God …” I squeeze my eyes shut and try to tamp down my temper. “Just treat me like any other customer.” He gives me a few coins’ change and bags my sweet, spongy drugs.
Sally Thorne (99 Percent Mine)
Peter hesitates. "Ridiculous" is the least of it. How about offensive, insulting? How about the implication that "someone who's never used" is a sad and small figure, standing on the platform, sensibly dressed, as the bus pulls in? Even now, after all those ad campaigns, after all we've learned about how bad it really and truly gets, there is the glamour of self-destruction, imperishable, gem-hard, like some cursed ancient talisman that cannot be destroyed by any known means. Still, still, the ones who go down can seem as if they're more complicatedly, more dangerously attuned to the sadness and, yes, the impossible grandeur. They're romantic, goddamn them; we just can't get it up in quite the same way for the sober and sensible, the dogged achievers, for all the good they do. We don't adore them with the exquisite disdain we can bring to the addicts and miscreants. It helps, of course - let's not get carried away - if you're a young prince like Mizzy, and you've actually got something of value to destroy in the first place.
Michael Cunningham (By Nightfall)
What are you two doing?” Her uncle’s teasing voice came into the room before he did. But his voice was the second warning that they were no longer alone, since Violet had tasted his presence long before he’d actually stepped into her house. Ever since saving her and Jay at Homecoming, her uncle carried an imprint of his own. The bitter taste of dandelions still smoldered on Violet’s tongue whenever he was near. A taste that Violet had grown to accept. And even, to some degree, to appreciate. “Nothing your parents wouldn’t approve of, I hope,” he added. Violet flashed Jay a wicked grin. “We were just making out, so if you could make this quick, we’d really appreciate it.” Jay jumped up from beside her. “She’s kidding,” he blurted out. “We weren’t doing anything.” Her uncle Stephen stopped where he was and eyed them both carefully. Violet could’ve sworn she felt Jay squirming, even though every single muscle in his body was frozen in place. Violet smiled at her uncle, trying her best to look guilty-as-charged. Finally he raised his eyebrows, every bit the suspicious police officer. “Your parents asked me to stop by and check on you on my way home. They won’t be back until late. Can I trust the two of you here . . . alone?” “Of course you can—” Jay started to say. “Probably not—“ Violet answers at the same time. And then she caught a glimpse of the horror-stricken expression on Jay’s face, and she laughed. “Relax, Uncle Stephen, we’re fine. We were just doing homework.” Her uncle looked at the pile of discarded books on the table in front of the couch. Not one of them was open. He glanced skeptically at Violet but didn’t say a word. “We may have gotten a little distracted,” she responded, and again she saw Jay shifting nervously. After several warnings, and a promise from Violet that she would lock the doors behind him, Uncle Stephen finally left the two of them alone again. Jay was glaring at Violet when she peeked at him as innocently as she could manage. “Why would you do that to me?” “Why do you care what he thinks we’re doing?” Violet had been trying to get Jay to admit his new hero worship of her uncle for months, but he was too stubborn—or maybe he honestly didn’t realize it himself—to confess it to her. “Because, Violet,” he said dangerously, taking a threatening step toward her. But his scolding was ruined by the playful glint in his eyes. “He’s your uncle, and he’s the police chief. Why poke the bear?” Violet took a step back, away from him, and he matched it, moving toward her. He was stalking her around the coffee table now, and Violet couldn’t help giggling as she retreated. But it was too late for her to escape. Jay was faster than she was, and his arms captured her before she’d ever had a chance. Not that she’d really tried. He hauled her back down onto the couch, the two of them falling into the cushions, and this time he pinned her beneath him. “Stop it!” she shrieked, not meaning a single word. He was the last person in the world she wanted to get away from. “I don’t know . . .” he answered hesitantly. “I think you deserve to be punished.” His breath was balmy against her cheek, and she found herself leaning toward him rather than away. “Maybe we should do some more homework.” Homework had been their code word for making out before they’d realized that they hadn’t been fooling anyone. But Jay was true to his word, especially his code word, and his lips settled over hers. Violet suddenly forgot that she was pretending to break free from his grip. Her frail resolve crumbled. She reached out, wrapping her arms around his neck, and pulled him closer to her. Jay growled from deep in his throat. “Okay, homework it is.
Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2))
Bring Cecily home,” he said curtly. “I won’t have her at risk, even in the slightest way.” “I’ll take care of Cecily,” came the terse reply. “She’s better off without you in her life.” Tate’s eyes widened. “I beg your pardon?” he asked, affronted. “You know what I mean,” Holden said. “Let her heal. She’s too young to consign herself to spinsterhood over a man who doesn’t even see her.” “Infatuation dies,” Tate said. Holden nodded. “Yes, it does. Goodbye.” “So does hero worship,” he continued, laboring the point. “And that’s why after eight years, Cecily has had one raging affair after the other,” he said facetiously. The words had power. They wounded. “You fool,” Holden said in a soft tone. “Do you really think she’d let any man touch her except you?” He went to his office door and gestured toward the desk. “Don’t forget your gadget,” he added quietly. “Wait!” Holden paused with his hand on the doorknob and turned. “What?” Tate held the device in his hands, watching the lights flicker on it. “Mixing two cultures when one of them is all but extinct is a selfish thing,” he said after a minute. “It has nothing to do with personal feelings. It’s a matter of necessity.” Holden let go of the doorknob and moved to stand directly in front of Tate. “If I had a son,” he said, almost choking on the word, “I’d tell him that there are things even more important than lofty principles. I’d tell him…that love is a rare and precious thing, and that substitutes are notoriously unfulfilling.” Tate searched the older man’s eyes. “You’re a fine one to talk.” Holden’s face fell. “Yes, that’s true.” He turned away. Why should he feel guilty? But he did. “I didn’t mean to say that,” Tate said, irritated by his remorse and the other man’s defeated posture. “I can’t help the way I feel about my culture.” “If it weren’t for the cultural difference, how would you feel about Cecily?” Tate hesitated. “It wouldn’t change anything. She’s been my responsibility. I’ve taken care of her. It would be gratitude on her part, even a little hero worship, nothing more. I couldn’t take advantage of that. Besides, she’s involved with Colby.” “And you couldn’t live with being the second man.” Tate’s face hardened. His eyes flashed. Holden shook his head. “You’re just brimming over with excuses, aren’t you? It isn’t the race thing, it isn’t the culture thing, it isn’t even the guardian-ward thing. You’re afraid.” Tate’s mouth made a thin line. He didn’t reply. “When you love someone, you give up control of yourself,” he continued quietly. “You have to consider the other person’s needs, wants, fears. What you do affects the other person. There’s a certain loss of freedom as well.” He moved a step closer. “The point I’m making is that Cecily already fills that place in your life. You’re still protecting her, and it doesn’t matter that there’s another man. Because you can’t stop looking out for her. Everything you said in this office proves that.” He searched Tate’s turbulent eyes. “You don’t like Colby Lane, and it isn’t because you think Cecily’s involved with him. It’s because he’s been tied to one woman so tight that he can’t struggle free of his love for her, even after years of divorce. That’s how you feel, isn’t it, Tate? You can’t get free of Cecily, either. But Colby’s always around and she indulges him. She might marry him in an act of desperation. And then what will you do? Will your noble excuses matter a damn then?
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
His eyes ran over her hungrily. “I couldn’t get it out of my mind,” he said, almost to himself, “the way it felt, back at my mother’s house. I was never so hungry for anyone, but it wasn’t completely physical, even then.” He frowned. “I want you, Cecily, and I hate myself for it.” “What else is new?” She gestured toward the door. “Go home. And I hope you don’t sleep a wink.” “I probably won’t,” he said ruefully. He moved toward the door, hesitating. “Good night,” she said firmly, not moving. He stood with his back to her, his spine very straight. “I can trace my ancestors back before the Mexican War in the early 1800s, pure Lakota blood, undiluted even by white settlement. There are so few of us left…” She could have wept for what she knew, and he didn’t know. “You don’t have to explain it to me,” she said solemnly. “I know how you feel.” “You don’t,” he bit off. He straightened again. “I’d die to have you, just once.” He turned, and the fire was in his eyes as they met hers, glittering across the room. “It’s like that for you, too.” “It’s a corruption of the senses. You don’t love me,” she said quietly. “Without love, it’s just sex.” He breathed deliberately, slowly. He didn’t want to ask. He couldn’t help it. “Something you know?” “Yes. Something I know,” she said, lying with a straight face and a smile that she hoped was worldly. She was not going to settle for crumbs from him, stolen hours in his bed. Men were devious when desire rode them, even men like Tate. She couldn’t afford for him to know that she was incapable of wanting any man except him. The words stung. They were meant to. He hesitated, only for a minute, before he jerked open the door and went out. Cecily closed her eyes and thanked providence that she’d had the good sense to deny herself what she wanted most in the world. Tate had said once that sex alone wasn’t enough. He was right. She repeated it, like a mantra, to her starving body until she finally fell asleep.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
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))
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))
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))
Alex here. (...) Ron, I really enjoy all the help you have given me and the times we spent together. I hope that you will not be too depressed by our parting. It may be a very long time before we see each other again. But providing that I get through the Alaskan Deal in one piece you will be hearing form me again in the future. I’d like to repeat the advice I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing or been to hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one piece of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. (...) Once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty. (...) Don’t settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. (...) You are wrong if you think joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living. Ron, I really hope that as soon as you can you will get out of Salton City, put a little camper on the back of your pickup, and start seeing some of the great work that God has done here in the American West. you will see things and meet people and there is much to learn from them. And you must do it economy style, no motels, do your own cooking, as a general rule spend as little as possible and you will enjoy it much more immensely. I hope that the next time I see you, you will be a new man with a vast array of new adventures and experiences behind you. Don’t hesitate or allow yourself to make excuses. Just get out and do it. Just get out and do it. You will be very, very glad that you did. Take care Ron, Alex
Jon Krakauer
This your handiwork?" She hesitated. Hera liked to claim this garden was her idea. "Come on. You can tell me- I won't say a word. Everyone I know is dead!" He chuckled to himself and she couldn't help smiling. He was clever, just like some of the snakes that tried to worm their way into her gardens. She knew how to handle them. She could handle this snake, too. "They're my work, yes." She inched closer again. He didn't scare her. If anything, she was intrigued. He was obviously enamored of her apples, and for that alone, she wanted to keep talking to him. "Each and every branch on this tree and the apples that hang from them are my creations, as is this whole meadow." "Stellar work, truly." Hades took another bite. "Too bad you don't get credit for it. Hera is always going on about how she's the one who nurtures this garden." Her eyes flashed. "I can assure you, this is my work, and mine alone." "Feisty! And not afraid of Hera! Nice combination.
Jen Calonita (Go the Distance (Twisted Tales))
Why do people keep doing stuff?" he said, talking to himself it seemed. Swin hesitated. "Wiping counters down and taking pictures. Cheating. Defending things." Swin couldn't see Kyle's face. It appeared he was about to say more, then thought better of it. It seemed he was going to laugh or cry; of course he was going to do neither. It was a moment of defeat, nothing more. Kyle looked back toward the woods where he'd thrown the gun. Swin felt he had to speak. "It's involved," he said. "Many schools of thought. In layman's terms, being the most sophisticated monkey makes you the most confused monkey. Taking action, any at all, is a way to alleviate that confusion. You, you're one of the least sophisticated of us sophisticated monkeys, and therefore suffer less confusion, and have less use for the empty actions that alleviate confusion. I don't mean that as a put-down." Though Kyle didn't move, Swin knew he was listening, knew the explanation was somehow helping.
John Brandon (Arkansas)
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))
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
Coming from where we do, it’s a rough adjustment—living here.” He put a hesitant hand on her shoulder, his calluses scratching against the fabric of her dress. “It’s true what they say about life in the dark ages, you know: nasty, brutish, and short. You and I once took it for granted we would die as old people in our beds, but we have no such assurance now. I’ll help you how I can, Isabella; but I can’t guarantee that either of us will live even to see tomorrow. Life is worth fighting for, young lady. But don’t feel it is something you’re owed.
Kristin McTiernan (Sunder of Time (Mason Timeline #1))
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))
Dr. Manning said he'd thought at first it might be sleeping sickness, or even narcolepsy, whatever that was, but - no, Pete was healthy enough physically. Manoel growled that the boy was bone-lazy, spending his time fishing and reading. Reading! No good could come of such things. 'In a way you're right, Manoel,' Dr. Manning said hesitantly. 'It's natural for a boy to day-dream now and then, but I think Pedro does it too much. I've let him use my library whenever he wanted, but it seems... h'm... it seems he reads the wrong things. Fairy tales are very charming, but they don't help a boy to cope with real life.' 'Com certeza,' Manoel agreed. 'You mean he has crazy ideas in the head.' 'Oh, they're rather nice ideas,' Dr. Manning said. 'But they're only fairy tales, and they're beginning to seem true to Pete. You see, Manoel, there are really two worlds, the real one, and the one you make up inside your mind. Sometimes a boy - or even a man - gets to like his dream world so much he just forgets about the real one and lives in the one he's made up.' 'I know,' Manoel said. 'I have seen some who do that. It is a bad thing.' 'It would be bad for Pete. He's a very sensitive boy. If you live too much in dreams, you can't face real life squarely.' ("Before I Wake...")
Henry Kuttner (Masters of Horror)
Dreaming is impossible without myths. If we ll latch onto those of others -- even if don't have enough myths of our own, we'll latch onto those of others -- even if those myths make us believe terrible or false things about ourselves... Call it superego, call it common sense, call it pragmatism, call it learned helplessness, but the mind craves boundaries. Depending on the myths we believe in, those boundaries can be magnificently vast or crushingly tight. Throughout my life as I've sought to become a published writer of speculative fiction, my strongest detractors and discouragers have been other African Americans... Having swallowed these ideas, people regurgitate them at me at nearly every turn. And for a time, I swallowed them, too... Myths tell us what those like us have done, can do, should do. Without myths to lead the way, we hesitate to leap forward. Listen to the wrong myths, and we might even go back a few steps... Because Star Trek takes place five hundred years from now, supposedly long after humanity has transcended racism, sexism, etc. But there's still only one black person on the crew, and she's the receptionist. This is disingenuous. I know now what I did not understand then: That most science fiction doesn't realistically depict the future; it reflects the present in which it is written. So for the 1960s, Uhura's presence was groundbreaking - and her marginalization was to be expected. But I wasn't watching the show in the 1960s. I was watching it in the 1980s... I was watching it as a tween/teen girl who'd grown up being told that she could do anything if she only put her mind to it, and I looked to science fiction to provide me with useful myths about my future: who I might become, what was possible, how far I and my descendants might go... In the future, as in the present, as in the past, black people will build many new worlds. This is true. I will make it so. And you will help me.
Glory Edim (Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves)
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)
Why did you tell me all that? It’s probably not something you should broadcast here. Her alias, how you know her, all that.” Akos blinked his eyes clear. “I don’t know. Maybe I trust you.” She lifted her hand, and hesitated with it over his shoulder. Then she lowered it, touching him lightly. They watched the screen side by side. “I would never keep you here. You know that, right?” She was so quiet. He’d never heard her that quiet. “Not anymore. If you wanted to go, I would help you go.” Akos covered her hand with his own. Just a light touch, but it was charged with new energy. Like an ache he didn’t quite mind. “If--when, when I get Eijeh out,” he said, “would you ever go with me?” “You know, I think I would.
Veronica Roth (Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark, #1))
Obviously, in those situations, we lose the sale. But we’re not trying to maximize each and every transaction. Instead, we’re trying to build a lifelong relationship with each customer, one phone call at a time. A lot of people may think it’s strange that an Internet company is so focused on the telephone, when only about 5 percent of our sales happen through the telephone. In fact, most of our phone calls don’t even result in sales. But what we’ve found is that on average, every customer contacts us at least once sometime during his or her lifetime, and we just need to make sure that we use that opportunity to create a lasting memory. The majority of phone calls don’t result in an immediate order. Sometimes a customer may be calling because it’s her first time returning an item, and she just wants a little help stepping through the process. Other times, a customer may call because there’s a wedding coming up this weekend and he wants a little fashion advice. And sometimes, we get customers who call simply because they’re a little lonely and want someone to talk to. I’m reminded of a time when I was in Santa Monica, California, a few years ago at a Skechers sales conference. After a long night of bar-hopping, a small group of us headed up to someone’s hotel room to order some food. My friend from Skechers tried to order a pepperoni pizza from the room-service menu, but was disappointed to learn that the hotel we were staying at did not deliver hot food after 11:00 PM. We had missed the deadline by several hours. In our inebriated state, a few of us cajoled her into calling Zappos to try to order a pizza. She took us up on our dare, turned on the speakerphone, and explained to the (very) patient Zappos rep that she was staying in a Santa Monica hotel and really craving a pepperoni pizza, that room service was no longer delivering hot food, and that she wanted to know if there was anything Zappos could do to help. The Zappos rep was initially a bit confused by the request, but she quickly recovered and put us on hold. She returned two minutes later, listing the five closest places in the Santa Monica area that were still open and delivering pizzas at that time. Now, truth be told, I was a little hesitant to include this story because I don’t actually want everyone who reads this book to start calling Zappos and ordering pizza. But I just think it’s a fun story to illustrate the power of not having scripts in your call center and empowering your employees to do what’s right for your brand, no matter how unusual or bizarre the situation. As for my friend from Skechers? After that phone call, she’s now a customer for life. Top 10 Ways to Instill Customer Service into Your Company   1. Make customer service a priority for the whole company, not just a department. A customer service attitude needs to come from the top.   2. Make WOW a verb that is part of your company’s everyday vocabulary.   3. Empower and trust your customer service reps. Trust that they want to provide great service… because they actually do. Escalations to a supervisor should be rare.   4. Realize that it’s okay to fire customers who are insatiable or abuse your employees.   5. Don’t measure call times, don’t force employees to upsell, and don’t use scripts.   6. Don’t hide your 1-800 number. It’s a message not just to your customers, but to your employees as well.   7. View each call as an investment in building a customer service brand, not as an expense you’re seeking to minimize.   8. Have the entire company celebrate great service. Tell stories of WOW experiences to everyone in the company.   9. Find and hire people who are already passionate about customer service. 10. Give great service to everyone: customers, employees, and vendors.
Tony Hsieh (Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose)
Is it true, what I once heard your sister say, that you don't like to be embraced?" She took some time to think. "Sometimes Livia needs to hold someone, and I'm the only suitable person nearby. When I was little, I used to wriggle out of her arms and escape to a corner of our room. But it wasn't so much that I couldn't stand being held as that I didn't want to be held indefinitely. Later I taught myself to count to three hundred to mark five minutes―which helped me to realize that she needed only about half that time. I can take two to three minutes of being held. But Livia remains hesitant to this day―she's still scarred by my bolting away from her embrace." He would be, too. In fact, sometimes he felt scarred by her, even though she had never done anything except be an excellent friend.
Sherry Thomas (The Hollow of Fear (Lady Sherlock, #3))
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 realized this morning that I need to stay here a bit longer than I’d originally planned,” he said. “Another fortnight, or better yet, a month. There’s still too much I haven’t learned.” “Stay then,” Kathleen said matter-of-factly. West glanced at her in surprise. “You wouldn’t object?” “Not if it will help the tenants.” “What if I remained through Christmas?” “Certainly,” she said without hesitation. “You have more claim to stay here than I do. But won’t you miss your life in town?” West’s lips quirked as he glanced down at his plate. “I miss…certain things. However, there is much to do here, and my brother has a shortage of trustworthy advisors. In fact, few landowners of his rank seem to understand what they’re facing.” “But you and Lord Trenear do?” West grinned suddenly. “No, we don’t either. The only difference is, we know it.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
Over the past few decades, we have developed euphemisms to help us forget how we, as a nation, have segregated African American citizens. We have become embarrassed about saying ghetto, a word that accurately describes a neighborhood where government has not only concentrated a minority but established barriers to its exit. We don’t hesitate to acknowledge that Jews in Eastern Europe were forced to live in ghettos where opportunity was limited and leaving was difficult or impossible. Yet when we encounter similar neighborhoods in this country, we now delicately refer to them as the inner city, yet everyone knows what we mean. (When affluent whites gentrify the same geographic areas, we don’t characterize those whites as inner city families.) Before we became ashamed to admit that the country had circumscribed African Americans in ghettos, analysts of race relations, both African American and white, consistently and accurately used ghetto to describe low-income African American neighborhoods, created by public policy, with a shortage of opportunity, and with barriers to exit. No other term succinctly describes this combination of characteristics, so I use the term as well.† We’ve developed other euphemisms, too, so that polite company doesn’t have to confront our history of racial exclusion. When we consider problems that arise when African Americans are absent in significant numbers from schools that whites attend, we say we seek diversity, not racial integration. When we wish to pretend that the nation did not single out African Americans in a system of segregation specifically aimed at them, we diffuse them as just another people of color. I try to avoid such phrases.
Richard Rothstein (The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America)
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))
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))
It is unfortunate that in some places, especially in the United States, people have resisted making choices that will keep them and their families safer. I don’t agree with these choices, but I also think it’s unhelpful to simply label them “anti-science,” as so many people do. In her book On Immunity, Eula Biss looks at vaccine hesitancy in a way that I think also helps explain the resentment we’re seeing toward other public health measures. The distrust of science is just one factor, she says, and it is compounded by other things that trigger fear and suspicion: pharmaceutical companies, big government, elites, the medical establishment, male authority. For some people, invisible benefits that might materialize in the future are not enough to get them past the worry that someone is trying to pull the wool over their eyes. The problem is even worse in periods of severe political polarization, such as the one we’re in now.
Bill Gates (How to Prevent the Next Pandemic)
Reggie Fluty: ... when I got to the fence ... It was such an overwhelming amount of blood ... and we try to wear protective gloves, but we had a really cheap sheriff at the time, and he bought us shit gloves, you know, you put 'em on, you put 'em on, and they kept breaking, so finally you just ran out of gloves, you know. So, you figure, well, you know, "Don't hesitate," you know, that's what your mind tells you all the time - Don't hesitate - and so you keep moving and you try to help Matthew and find an airway and, you know, that's what you do, you know ... Probably a day and a half later, the hospital called me and told me Matthew had HIV. And the doctor said, "You've been exposed, and you've had a bad exposure," because, you see, I'd been - been building - building a, uh, lean-to for my llamas, and my hands had a bunch of open cuts on 'em, so I was kinda screwed (she laughs) you know, and you think, "Oh, shoot," you know.
Moisés Kaufman (The Laramie Project)
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))
Severin scowled. "Miss, I have to object-" "Dr. Gibson," she said crisply. "Dr. Gibson," he said, with an emphasis on the "Dr." that sounded distinctly insulting. "This is Mr. Winterborne. The one with the department store. He needs to be treated by a real physician with experience and proper training, not to mention-" "A penis?" she suggested acidly. "I'm afraid I don't have one of those. Nor is it a requirement for a medical degree. I am a real physician, and the sooner I treat Mr. Winterborne's shoulder, the better it will go for him." At Severin's continued hesitation, she said, "The limited external rotation of the shoulder, impaired elevation of the arm, and the prominence of the coracoid process all indicate posterior dislocation. Therefore, the joint must be relocated without delay if we are to prevent further damage to the neurovascular status of the upper extremity." Had Rhys not been in such acute discomfort, he would have relished Severin's stunned expression. "I'll help you move him," Severin muttered.
Lisa Kleypas (Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels, #2))
Over the past few decades we have developed euphemisms to help us forget how we, as a nation, have segregated African American citizens. We have become embarrassed about saying "ghetto", a word that accurately describes a neighborhood where government has not only concentrated a minority but established barriers to its exit. We don't hesitate to acknowledge that Jews in eastern Europe were forced to live in ghettos where opportunity was limited and leaving was difficult or impossible. Yet when we encounter similar neighborhoods in this country, we now delicately refer to them as "the inner city", yet everyone knows what we mean. When affluent whites gentrify the same geographic areas, we don't characterize those whites as "inner city families". Before we became ashamed to admit that the country had circumscribed African Americans in ghettos, analysts of race relations, both African American and white, consistently and accurately used "ghetto" to describe low-income African American neighborhoods created by public policy, with a shortage of opportunity, and with barriers to exit.
Richard Rothstein
She threw Lillian a laughing glance. “I’m sure he has found it refreshing to encounter a woman who actually dares to disagree with him.” “I’m not certain that ‘refreshing’ would be his first choice of words,” Lillian replied wryly. “However, when I don’t like something that he’s done, I do not hesitate to tell him so.” “Good,” Lady Olivia returned. “That is precisely what my brother needs. There are few women— or men, for that matter— who ever contradict him. He is a strong man who requires an equally strong wife to balance his nature.” Lillian found herself needlessly smoothing the skirts of her pale green gown as she remarked carefully, “If Lord Westcliff and I did marry… he would face many objections from relatives and friends, wouldn’t he? Especially from the countess.” “His friends would never dare,” Lady Olivia replied at once. “As for my mother…” She hesitated and then said frankly, “She has already made it clear that she does not approve of you. I doubt she ever will. However, that leaves you in very large company, as she disapproves of nearly everyone. Does it worry you that she opposes the match?” “It tempts me beyond reason,” Lillian said, causing Lady Olivia to erupt with laughter. “Oh, I do like you,” she gasped. “You must marry Marcus, as I would love above all else to have you as a sister-in-law.” Sobering, she stared at Lillian with a warm smile. “And I have a selfish reason for hoping that you will accept him. Although Mr. Shaw and I have no immediate plans to move to New York, I know that day will not be long in coming. When that happens, I should be relieved to know that Marcus is married and has someone to care for him, with both his sisters living so far away.” She stood from the bench, straightening her skirts. “The reason I’ve told you all of this is because I wanted you to understand why it is so difficult for Marcus to abandon himself to love. Difficult, but not impossible. My sister and I have finally managed to break free of the past, with the help of our husbands. But Marcus’s chains are the heaviest of all. I know that he is not the easiest man to love. However, if you could bring yourself to meet him halfway… perhaps even a bit more than halfway… I believe you would never have cause to regret it.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
What tempts you, Pippa?" "I-" She hesitated. "I care a great deal for meringue." He laughed, the sound bigger and bolder than she expected. "It's true." "No doubt you do. But you may have meringue anytime you like." He stood back and indicated that she should enter the carriage. She ignored the silent command, eager to make her point. "Not so. If the cook has not made it, I cannot eat it." A smile played on his lips. "Ever-practical Pippa. If you want it, you can find it. That's my point. Surely, somewhere in London, someone will take pity upon you and satisfy your craving for meringue." Her brow furrowed. "Therefore, I am not tempted by it?" "No. You desire it. But that's not the same thing. Desire is easy. It's as simple as you wish to have meringue, and meringue is procured." He waved a hand toward the interior of the carriage but did not offer to help her up. "In." She ascended another step before turning back. The additional height brought them eye to eye. "I don't understand. What is temptation, then?" "Temptation..." He hesitated, and she found herself leaning forward, eager for this curious, unsettling lesson. "Temptation turns you. It makes you into something you never dreamed, it presses you to give up everything you ever loved, it calls you to sell your soul for one, fleeting moment." The words were low and dark and full of truth, and they hovered in the silence for a long moment, an undeniable invitation. He was close, protecting her from toppling off the block, the heat of him wrapping around her despite the cold. "It makes you ache," he whispered, and she watched the curve of his lips in the darkness. "You'll make any promise, swear any oath. For one... perfect... unsoiled taste." Oh, my. Pippa exhaled, long and reedy, nerves screaming, thoughts muddled. She closed her eyes, swallowed, forced herself back, away from him and the way he... tempted her. Why was he so calm and cool and utterly in control? Why was he not riddled with similar... feelings? He was a very frustrating man. She sighed. "That must be a tremendous meringue." A beat followed the silly, stupid words... words she wished she could take back. How ridiculous. And then he chuckled, teeth flashing in the darkness. "Indeed," he said, the words thicker and more gravelly than before.
Sarah MacLean (One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (The Rules of Scoundrels, #2))
Behavioral Shifts to Overcome Excessive Hesitancy Important: So far we’ve been focusing on how tweaking your thinking can help shift your behavior. This is important, but it’s only half the story. People are usually quite good at identifying how changes in thoughts or feelings may lead to changes in behavior, such as “When I have more energy, I’ll do more exercise” or “When I have more ideas, I’ll take more action.” However, people tend to underestimate the impact of changing their behavior on their thoughts and feelings, such as “When I exercise more, l'll have more energy” or “When I take more actions, I’ll have more ideas.” Don’t make the mistake of thinking you need to wait for your thoughts to change before you try behavioral shifts. Mental and behavioral shifts go hand in hand. When you start making changes in your behavior (even subtle ones), you’ll notice that all kinds of thoughts, including your view of yourself, start to shift. Changing your behavior, without waiting for you thoughts to always shift first, is one of the best and fastest ways you can reduce your anxiety. That’s why a cognitive behavioral approach focuses on both thoughts and behaviors.
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
I try to catch my breath and calm myself down, but it isn’t easy. I was dead. I was dead, and then I wasn’t, and why? Because of Peter? Peter? I stare at him. He still looks so innocent, despite all that he has done to prove that he is not. His hair lies smooth against his head, shiny and dark, like we didn’t just run for a mile at full speed. His round eyes scan the stairwell and then rest on my face. “What?” he says. “Why are you looking at me like that?” “How did you do it?” I say. “It wasn’t that hard,” he says. “I dyed a paralytic serum purple and switched it out with the death serum. Replaced the wire that was supposed to ready your heartbeat with a dead one. The bit with the heart monitor was harder; I had to get some Erudite help with a remote and stuff--you wouldn’t understand it if I explained it to you.” “Why did you do it?” I say. “You want me dead. You were willing to do it yourself? What changed?” He presses his lips together and doesn’t look away, not for a long time. Then he opens his mouth, hesitates, and finally says, “I can’t be in anyone’s debt. Okay? The idea that I owed you something made me sick. I would wake up in the middle of the night feeling like I was going to vomit. Indebted to a Stiff? It’s ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. And I couldn’t have it.” “What are you talking about? You owed me something?” He rolls his eyes. “The Amity compound. Someone shot me--the bullet was at head level; it would have hit me right between the eyes. And you shoved me out of the way. We were even before that--I almost killed you during initiation, you almost killed me during the attack simulation; we’re square, right? But after that…” “You’re insane,” says Tobias. “That’s not the way the world works…with everyone keeping score.” “It’s not?” Peter raises his eyebrows. “I don’t know what world you live in, but in mine, people only do things for you for one of two reasons. The first is if they want something in return. And the second is if they feel like they owe you something.” “Those aren’t the only reasons people do things for you,” I say. “Sometimes they do them because they love you. Well, maybe not you, but…” Peter snorts. “That’s exactly the kind of garbage I expect a delusional stiff to say.” “I guess we just have to make sure you owe us,” says Tobias. “Or you’ll go running to whoever offers you the best deal.” “Yeah,” Peter says. “That’s pretty much how it is.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
I'll turn my back, unless you think you need help getting dressed." Lord, he silently prayed, pleased don't test my chivalry that far! "I can manage, thank you very much!" she returned tightly. Turning his back, Rider grinned and lifted his eyes to heaven. "Thanks, big Fellah." "Did you say something?" Willow inquired. Rider kept a steady gaze on the trees. "Just talking to myself." He heard her mumble something about crazy people talking to themselves before she announced it safe for him to turn around. He did and was given an immediate jolt. She wore not her usual shirt and pants,but a clean nightshirt and wrapper. However,it wasn't her scanty attire that startled him as much as her pain-glazed eyes. "My God,what is it?" Stunned, his hands automatically came up under both her elbows to steady her. "Are you in pain?" A thought came to him then. He hesitated, studying his boots. "Is it...I've got sisters, so don't be embarrassed.Is it your woman's time?" Rider's ears reddened, but it was nothing compared to Willow's high color. She jerked away from his touch, squeezed her eyes shut, and cradled her forehead in one hand. "And I wondered what else could go wrong," she muttered under her breath. "What?" "Dammit,Sinclair, men aren't suppose to talk to women about those things.
Charlotte McPherren (Song of the Willow)
Mrs. Rutledge . . .” he started, and cleared his throat uncomfortably. “I shouldn’t overstep my bounds. But I feel it necessary to say—” He hesitated. “Go on,” Poppy said gently. “I’ve worked for Mr. Rutledge for more than five years. I daresay I know him as well as anyone. He’s a complicated man . . . too smart for his own good, and he doesn’t have much in the way of scruples, and he forces everyone around him to live by his terms. But he has changed many lives for the better. Including mine. And I believe there’s good in him, if one looks deep enough.” “I think so, too,” Poppy said. “But that’s not enough to found a marriage on.” “You mean something to him,” Valentine insisted. “He’s formed an attachment to you, and I’ve never seen that before. Which is why I don’t think anyone in the world can manage him except for you.” “Even if that’s true,” Poppy managed to say, “I don’t know if I want to manage him.” “Ma’am . . .” Valentine said feelingly, “Someone has to.” Amusement broke through Poppy’s distress, and she ducked her head to hide a smile. “I’ll consider it,” she said. “But at the moment I need some time away. What do they call it in the rope ring . . . ?” “A breather,” he said, bending to pick up her valise. “Yes, a breather. Will you help me, Mr. Valentine?” “Of course.
Lisa Kleypas (Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3))
Don't you dare,” Holly warned with an unsteady laugh, skittering away from him. “A gentleman should treat his beloved with respect, and here you are—” “The size of this cockstand is ample proof of my respect for you,” he interrupted, pulling her hand to his swollen crotch. Holly knew she should have rebuked him, but instead she found herself pressing close against his long, sturdy form. “You're impossibly vulgar,” she said against his ear. Zachary cupped her hand more tightly around himself. “That's one of the things you like best about me,” he whispered, and she couldn't help smiling. “Yes.” He nuzzled into the little space between her lace-edged neckline and the soft, warm skin of her throat. “Let me take you to the summerhouse. Just for a few minutes. No one will know.” Reluctantly she wriggled away from him. “I'll know.” Zachary shook his head with a groaning laugh, turning to brace his hands on the flower-covered wall. Dropping his head, he breathed deeply, striving to master his rampaging desire. As Holly approached him hesitantly, he glanced sideways with smoldering black eyes. “All right, then,” he said in a softly threatening tone underlaid with smoke. “I won't touch you again until our wedding night. But you may be sorry you made me wait.” “I already am,” she confessed, and their smiling gazes locked for a long moment.
Lisa Kleypas (Where Dreams Begin)
I hurt my hip, too.” “Let me see.” She made a face and yelped when her cheek protested even that slight movement. “You don’t need to see my hip. It’s fine.” “If the skin’s broken, it’ll need cleaning, too,” he said, unbuckling her belt. “Stop that.” “Think of me as your doctor,” he said, as he unsnapped and then unzipped her jeans. “My doctor doesn’t usually undress me,” she snapped. “And my patients already come undressed.” He laughed. “Life your hips,” he said. “Up!” he ordered, when she hesitated. She put her one good hand on his shoulder to brace herself and lifted her hips as he pulled her torn jeans down. To her surprise, her bikini underwear was shredded, and the skin underneath was bloody. “Uh-oh.” She was still staring at the injury on her hip when she felt him pulling off her boots. She started to protest, saw the warning look in his eyes, and shut her mouth. He pulled her jeans off, leaving her legs bare above her white boot socks. “Was that really necessary?” “You’re decent,” he said, straightening the tails of her Western shirt over her shredded bikini underwear. “I can put your boots back on if you like.” Bay shook her head and laughed. “Just get the first-aid kit, and let me take care of myself.” He grimaced. “If I’m not mistaken, you packed the first-aid kit in your saddlebags.” Bay winced. “You’re right.” She stared down the canyon as far as she could see. There was no sign of her horse. “How long do you think it’ll take him to stop running?” “He won’t have gone far. But I need to set up camp before it gets dark. And I’m not hunting for your horse in the dark, for the same reason I’m not hunting for your brother in the dark.” “Where am I supposed to sleep? My bedroll and tent are with my horse.” “You should have thought of that before you started that little striptease of yours.” “You’re the one who shouted and scared me half to death. I was only trying to cool off.” “And heating me up in the process!” “I can’t help it if you have a vivid imagination.” “It didn’t take much to imagine to see your breasts,” he shot back. “You opened your blouse right up and bent over and flapped your shirt like you were waving a red flag at a bull” “I was getting some air!” “You slid your butt around that saddle like you were sitting right on my lap.” “That’s ridiculous!” “Then you lifted your arms to hold your hair up and those perfect little breasts of yours—” “That’s enough,” she interrupted. “You’re crazy if you think—” “You mean you weren’t inviting me to kiss my way around those wispy curls at your nape?” “I most certainly was not!” “Could’ve fooled me.” She searched for the worst insult she could think of to sling at him. “You—you—Bullying Blackthorne!” “Damned contentious Creed!
Joan Johnston (The Texan (Bitter Creek, #2))
How's your room?" "You could see for yourself if you popped in." "Is that a line?" "I don't know. Is it? Do you feel the compulsion to rush over to room 306 and see me right now? I promise I'll make it worth your while." "Sorry, no compulsion." "Too bad." He lowered his voice. "I'm still sore from hefting all those heavy platters in Auckland, and if you want me at the top of my beefcake game for your shoot tomorrow, you could give me that massage." She laughed, a joyous sound that shot straight to his heart. Head. Gut. Wherever. "Nice try, but I'll pass." "Your loss, sweetheart. Just think, you could be here right now, having me splayed on the bed at your mercy, all that bare skin to explore, running your hands over my pectorals, my biceps, my latissimus dorsi---" "I hope that's not a fancy anatomical term for anything below the waist." He guffawed, enjoying their sparring way too much. "You sure I haven't tempted you?" She hesitated for a moment, before replying. "Maybe a little, but I really have to prep for tomorrow. I'm meeting with the head chef in thirty minutes to run through the dishes, then I'll need a few hours to go through my planning." "Anything I can do to help?" "Just bring the beefcake at eight sharp in the morning." "Yes, ma'am." "And Manny?" "Yeah?" "If I ever lose my mind and decide to give you a massage, I'll be starting at your very impressive gluteus maximus.
Nicola Marsh (The Man Ban)
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))
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))
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
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
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))
Now I know what makes you so different from other women," said John Tenison, when he and Margaret were alone. "It's having that wonderful mother! She--she--well, she's one woman in a million; I don't have to tell you that! It's something to thank God for, a mother like that; it's a privilege to know her. I've been watching her all day, and I've been wondering what SHE gets out of it--that was what puzzled me; but now, just now, I've found out! This morning, thinking what her life is, I couldn't see what REPAID her, do you see? What made up to her for the unending, unending effort, and sacrifice, the pouring out of love and sympathy and help--year after year after year..." He hesitated, but Margaret did not speak. "You know," he went on musingly, "in these days, when women just serenely ignore the question of children, or at most, as a special concession, bring up one or two--just the one or two whose expenses can be comfortably met!--there's something magnificent in a woman like your mother, who begins eight destinies instead of one! She doesn't strain and chafe to express herself through the medium of poetry or music or the stage, but she puts her whole splendid philosophy into her nursery--launches sound little bodies and minds that have their first growth cleanly and purely about her knees. Responsibility--that's what these other women say they are afraid of! But it seems to me there's no responsibility like that of decreeing that young lives simply SHALL NOT BE. Why, what good is learning, or elegance of manner, or painfully acquired fineness of speech, and taste and point of view, if you are not going to distill it into the growing plants, the only real hope we have in the world! You know, Miss Paget," his smile was very sweet in the half darkness, "there's a higher tribunal than the social tribunal of this world, after all; and it seems to me that a woman who stands there, as your mother will, with a forest of new lives about her, and a record like hers, will--will find she has a Friend at court!" he finished whimsically.
Kathleen Thompson Norris
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)
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))
When Kestrel opened her eyes, she was lying in her bed. Someone had built a fire, which sent ripples of orange light over the ceiling. An oil lamp burned on the night table, casting her father’s face into extremes of shadow and bone. He had drawn a chair close and perhaps had been sleeping in it, but his eyes were alert. “Your knee needs to be tapped,” he said. She looked at it. Someone--her father?--had cut away the right legging at her thigh, and below the sheared black cloth her knee was swollen to twice its normal size. It felt tight and hot. “I don’t know what that means,” Kestrel said, “but it doesn’t sound very nice.” “Irex dislocated your kneecap. It slipped back into place, but the blow must have torn your muscle. Your knee’s filling with blood. That’s what’s causing you so much pain: the swelling.” He hesitated. “I have some experience with this kind of wound, on the battlefield. I can drain it. You’ll feel better. But I would have to use a knife.” Kestrel remembered him cutting her mother’s arm, blood weaving through his fingers as he tried to close the wound. He looked at her now, and she thought that he was seeing the same thing, or seeing Kestrel remember it, and that they were mirroring each other’s nightmare. His gaze fell to his scarred hands. “I’ve sent for a doctor. You can wait until she comes, if you prefer.” His voice was flat, yet there was a small, sad note that probably only she would have heard. “I wouldn’t suggest this if I didn’t feel myself capable and if I didn’t think it would be better to do it now. But it’s your choice.” His eyes met hers. Something in them made her think that he would never have let Irex kill her, that he would have pushed into the ring and planted a blade in Irex’s back if he had thought his daughter might die, that he would have thrown away his honor with hers. Of course, Kestrel couldn’t be sure. Yet she nodded. He sent a slave for clean rags, which he eased under her knee. Then he went to the fire and held a small knife in the flames to sterilize it. He returned to her side, the blackened knife in his hand. “I promise,” he said, but Kestrel didn’t know whether he meant to say that he promised this would help her, or that he knew what he was doing, or that he would have saved her from Irex if she had needed saving. He slid the knife in, and she fainted again.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
What is a friend? A friend is one of the nicest things you can have – and one of the best things you can be. – Douglas Pagels, from These Are the Gifts I’d Like to Give to You (published 1999) Have steppingstones to look forward to, milestones to look back upon, and -- in between -- do everything it takes to have an abundance of connect-the-dot days that lead to happiness. – Douglas Pagels, from 30 Beautiful Things That Are True About You May you remember that though the roads we take can sometimes be difficult, those are often the ones that lead to the most beautiful views. – Douglas Pagels, from A Special Christmas Blessing Just for You Love of family and love of friends is where everything beautiful begins. – Douglas Pagels, from A Special Christmas Blessing Just for You I want you to be reminded from time to time that you are a wonderful gift, and one of the nicest things in this entire world... is your presence in it. – Douglas Pagels, from A Special Christmas Blessing Just for You Do your part for the planet. Do all those things you know you “should” do. Our grandchildren will either have words of praise for our efforts and our foresight, or words that condemn us for forgetting that they will live here long after we are gone. Don’t overlook the obvious: This is not a dress rehearsal. This is the real thing. Our presence has an impact, but our precautions do, too. – Douglas Pagels, from Words That Shine Like Stars The wisest people on earth are those who have a hard time recalling their worries and an easy time remembering their blessings. – Douglas Pagels, from These Are the Gifts I’d Like to Give to You Expressing your creativity is done more by the way you are living than by any other gesture. – Douglas Pagels, from These Are the Gifts I’d Like to Give to You If your pursuit of wealth causes you to sacrifice any aspect of your health, your priorities are heading you in the wrong direction. Don’t hesitate to make a “you” turn. – Douglas Pagels, from These Are the Gifts I’d Like to Give to You The more you’re bothered by something that’s wrong, the more you’re empowered to change things and make them right. The more we follow that philosophy as individuals, the easier it will be to brighten our horizons outward from there, taking in our communities, our cultures, our countries, and the common ground we stand on. The crucible of peace and goodwill is far too empty, and each of us must, in some way, help to fill it. – Douglas Pagels, from These Are the Gifts I’d Like to Give to You We can always do more and be more than we think we can. Let’s think less and imagine more. – Douglas Pagels, from These Are the Gifts I’d Like to Give to You
Douglas Pagels
You will come back to the castle with me." "I don't belong there. I don't belong anyplace." "You belong with me," he replied without the slightest hesitation. Her chin trembled as she held his gaze. "I-I'm not your responsibility." "Yes, you are. You are mine. They gave you to me, remember? And I want to keep you. Come here," he ordered softly. She lifted her arms and stepped into his embrace without another word. He hugged her close, his heart pounding. "Listen to me. I don't want you to worry for one instant what will become of you, all right? I'll look after you. Whatever you need. You have my word, Kate. You're not alone, do you understand?" he whispered as he held her. After a moment, he felt her nod against his chest. "There's my brave girl," he murmured, brushing a kiss to her forehead. It was at that moment that it dawned on him what he was going to do when they returned to the castle. The thought shocked him as it struck, igniting his heart, even as it filled him with an odd relief. Of course. She was already under his protection. By now, anyone outside the castle no doubt assumed she was already his mistress. They already wanted each other so badly. He saw no reason now not to offer her his carte blanche. Yes. She must become more securely his. It was not his way to keep any one particular mistress to service his needs. But if Kate were his, then he would not have to worry about her, even beyond all this business with O'Banyon. He would know exactly where she was, that she was fed, clothed, protected, and provided for. Admittedly, it might come across as utterly ruthless of him to make such an offer at a time like this---as though he were coldly taking advantage of her at the moment of her greatest vulnerability. But he was not motivated by lust. At least not entirely. Obviously, he could not marry her---not with his curse, and her Promethean blood. But if Kate was his mistress, then he could watch over her, and if anyone ever tried to hurt her again, they would have to deal with him first. Besides, he knew by now how her mind worked. If he were simply to make her a promise of financial help, she wouldn't take it. She was too proud. Hell, with her independent spirit, she would abhor any offer that she interpreted as charity. So, let her work for it. God, he had dreamed of making love to her since that first night when Caleb Doyle had brought her to the castle for that very purpose. Even now, she felt like heaven in his arms. If she was willing, he knew one sure way to comfort her when they got her back to the castle. He could make all her tears and sorrow melt away... Cradling her in his embrace, Rohan pressed another possessive kiss to her brow.
Gaelen Foley (My Dangerous Duke (Inferno Club, #2))
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))
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)
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))
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))
So help me God, Maura Elizabeth, if you don’t sit, I will not hesitate to make you. If I can buckle a screaming toddler into a car seat, I can body check you into that chair.
Meaghan Pierce (Sweet Revenge (Callahan Syndicate, #1))
Naveen turned back to her, his penetrating eyes pleading with her to accept his help. "You don't have to do this all on your own. We're here for you. I'm here for you." Tiana hesitated as a blend of uncertainty and gratitude converged. This was her mess. She'd pulled them all into this; she shouldn't expect her friends to get her out of it. But Naveen was right: she didn't have to do this alone. She couldn't. "Okay," Tiana answered. The shame she thought she would feel didn't materialize. All she felt was overwhelming relief at knowing she didn't have to rely solely on herself.
Farrah Rochon (Almost There (Twisted Tales))
Thayer also said that clinic workers were trained to persuade pregnant mothers, especially hesitant ones, that abortion was their only option: If they’d say, “I’m not able to pay [my bill] today,” then we would say something like, “Well, if you can’t pay $10 today, how are you going to take care of a baby? Have you priced diapers? Do you know how much it costs to buy a car seat? Where would you go for help? There’s no place in Storm Lake (or whatever town they were in), you know, where you can get help as a pregnant mom. So really, don’t you think your smartest choice is termination?
Ryan T. Anderson (Tearing Us Apart: How Abortion Harms Everything and Solves Nothing)
Kindness is the first step to being a kind person. Don't wait for someone else to take the lead. There's no telling what kind of impact you have on someone else. Smiling can be a very powerful tool. It can lift someone's spirits and help them turn their life around. Don't hesitate. Do this because acts of kindness have a huge multiplier effect!
sound. The control panel vibrated slightly and started to glow. At the same time, the wall of light that was keeping the guards at bay instantly disappeared. As soon as the aliens realized this, they started running at the students again. From behind Levi and his two friends came the cries of fear from the other students. They shouted and screamed as they watched the alien creatures scamper across the floor. “Come on, come on!” Ryan said. Levi pushed the green button again on the panel. It blinked once more, but he wasn’t sure if it made a difference. Looking up, he saw the guards were only 20 yards away. The red countdown still displayed in front of his face, but it was flickering faster than it had been earlier. The moment of auto destruct must be near, he thought. “Gentlemen,” Levi sighed. “It’s been an honor to serve with you…” “Why would you say that? Why are you such a weirdo?” Kate cried as she smeared her hand over the green button. Again, it blinked, but this time the entire console illuminated with a blinding light. In another flash, Levi felt his stomach drop. And then instantly the light faded as it did before. He stood for a moment, letting his eyes readjust at the sudden shifting in light. “We’re back,” he heard Kate say. Levi rubbed his eyes and looked beyond the control panel. The detention walls were back where they should be, and the room felt ice cold. “I guess that button had to be pushed three times?” “I guess,” said Kate. “But I don’t want to guess how many times to push the button to cancel the auto destruct!” In front of Levi’s face was the red timer, blinking too fast to make sense of it. The warning of the red skull was fading in and out as a small alarm sounded off. “Everybody out of the room!” The other students didn’t hesitate and poured through the doors of detention into the hallway. Kate and Ryan helped pull the students out as Levi remained inside the room to make sure no one was left behind. Once the last person had exited, Levi stepped into the hallway. “If that thing goes off, what’s going to happen?
Marcus Emerson (Escape from Detention)
I’ll tell Jamison I can’t keep my life vow. He’ll help me somehow. I’ll get you the best protector in Avalon, I promise, but... it’s not me anymore.’ ‘I don’t want another protector,’ laurel said, her chest feeling hollow, panicked. ‘You don’t understand,’ Tamani said, not looking at her. ‘It;s not about us; I can’t be your fear-gleidhidh... effectively. In hindsight, I should probably never even tried; if I was doing my job right, none of this would have happpened. When I-- when I thought you were dead, I went crazy. I honestly didn’t know myself. I was afraid of who I had become. I cna’t live always knowing that I could lose you at any moment; that I could feel that way again.’ He hesitated. ‘It’s too hard.’ ‘No, no, Tam,’ she said, smoothing his hair, caressing his cheek. ‘You can’t, not now, not--’ ‘I’m not as good as you think I am, Laurel,’ he protested, desperation filling his voice. ‘I don’t trust myself to protect you anymore.’ ‘Then find someone else to fill that role if you have to,’ she said, jaw clenched, ‘but don’t leave me!’ She scooted closer and took his face in her hands, waited while he built up the courage to raise his eyelids at her. ‘Wherever we’re going to go today, I want you with me, and I never want you to leave my side again.’ His ragged breath touched on her face now, her body pulled right against his chest, feeling his essence pull on her like a magnet. ‘I don’t care if you gaurd my and protect me-- all I care is that you love me. I want you to kiss me good night mefore I go to sleep and bid me good morning the moment I wake up. And not just today; tomorrow and the next day and everyday for the rest of my life. Will you come with me Tamani? Be with me?
Aprilynne Pike
The house was quiet and the room was dark. It had to be closing in on four in the morning, but Cedric couldn’t sleep. Not only was he wired from the confrontation with the intruder, but his mind raced with what had happened afterward. The image of Gabriel, furious and panting as he stood over his abuser and took control of the situation, was etched into his mind. Cedric didn’t think he’d ever forget it. And now, that same young man was curled beside him beneath the blankets they shared, looking at him through the dark. “Sir?” Gabriel asked. “Yes, Gabriel?” “You’re not angry about what I did, are you? Or the things I said? I’m sorry that I spoke like that. It’s—” “No.” Cedric shifted closer. The sleeper sofa they shared was small enough that it didn’t take much until they were chest to chest. Gabriel adjusted his position so their bodies were flush. “Don’t be sorry about anything. I should be upset that you put yourself in danger like you did, but the truth is, without you, both of us would have been in even more danger. If you hadn’t stepped in, bad things would have happened.” “He would have taken us,” Gabriel murmured. His hand traced down Cedric’s side, and just like that, the air thickened with the chemistry they shared. It hit Cedric right away, filling his lungs and plunging to his groin. He might have wanted to go to sleep, but his cock had other ideas. “I heard him. I heard all the things he said to you. I was hiding in the kitchen while he spoke, waiting for a chance to creep closer without being heard so I could help you. I’m sorry I took so long.” “No. I told you, don’t be sorry about anything.” Cedric traced his fingers over Gabriel’s cheek, aching to kiss him. “What you did was perfect. I’m okay, and you’re okay, and he’s going to jail, and that’s all that matters.” “I should have told you about him.” Gabriel lowered his gaze. “From the very first day I came to your house, I picked up on his scent. You… you don’t forget something like that, after you spend so long living in a nightmare. I don’t think I’ll forget it for as long as I’m alive.” “I won’t forget it, either.” Cedric’s fingers traced down Gabriel’s neck, then under his jaw along his chin. Stubble pricked his skin. “I didn’t want to tell you about what happened to me because…” Gabriel hesitated, but his gaze flicked upward. His eyes were partially lidded, and his face relaxed. Physical contact had always been an excellent way to soothe him, and tonight it did the trick just fine. “Because everyone treats me like I’m broken, and I didn’t want to think it was true. I thought I was in love with Garrison, and that if I could trick you into thinking I was okay, that maybe you’d let your guard down and I could escape and find him. All I wanted to do was get back to him because I didn’t know how to be on my own. I still don’t, but the difference now is that I understand it.” All the times he’d run away, and all the times he’d clung to Cedric seeking comfort. Over the years, Garrison had turned Gabriel from an impressionable teen into a subservient young man who couldn’t function on his own. Subservient, not submissive. Cedric understood the difference better than ever now that he had confronted the truth.
Piper Scott (His Command: The Complete Series)
Let me tell you the story of Alice in Wonderland,” said John. “Alice sees this very unusual rabbit go down a hole, and she jumps in with two feet. She has no idea what this journey is going to be and Wonderland isn’t really all that great a place—there’re scary things, challenging things, and things that are also interesting and fascinating. It’s an adventure, and Alice doesn’t know what’s in store for her, but she jumps in anyway. Alice doesn’t hesitate or think maybe a better rabbit will come along tomorrow. She feels in her heart that she’s embarking on a profound journey and that, despite the difficulties, it’s still magical and amazing. Alice doesn’t look back and doesn’t question the adventure she’s chosen. That’s commitment. You two never did that. You have the trappings of commitment and loyalty, but you go to a party and think someone else can meet your needs better. You don’t like each other’s behavior and think that means they’re not the one for you. When you negotiate with each other, it’s always from a point of self-interest, not mutual benefit. You haven’t built trust, or commitment, or a foundation of loyalty to each other because you’re not really in this relationship. That’s why no therapist can help you. You’re both still looking over your shoulder thinking the grass would be greener if you had followed some other rabbit down some other rabbit hole, into some different wonderland.
John M. Gottman (Eight Dates: A Plan for Making Love Last Forever)
She told me she lined up the call with the doctor. “She’s ready now. Are you?” “Yes,” I said, looking up at Nikki and Riawna. They nodded. I didn’t hesitate for a second. I trusted them and I knew now was my time. Besides, I didn’t care who heard my truth. I was tired of letting shame dictate my actions. And do you know how hard it is to schedule Nikki and Riawna? Once I was on the phone with the doctor, I started in with a complete play-by-play of all my life’s traumas. The sexual abuse I suffered in childhood, and the abusive, obsessive relationships I clung to in adulthood. I was crying, the women doing my extensions were crying, and my friends were a mess. Still, I reeled off everything in a matter-of-fact manner, connecting dots about why each event had contributed to my anxiety, finally ending with, “So this is why I need help and why I can’t do this on my own.” I paused to breathe. “Wow,” the doctor said. My eyebrows shot up. Was I that bad? “First of all,” she continued, “people don’t know themselves that well. And the fact that you don’t know me, and you’re telling me all this on the phone tells me you are desperate.” I wasn’t trying to get an A in breaking down. She said a lot of people who use alcohol as a temporary coping mechanism generally aren’t aware of what they’re covering up, so the abuse becomes permanent. Knowing what I had to face was a good sign for me.
Jessica Simpson (Open Book)
believe that past-life regressions can be helpful, but I’m hesitant to encourage it. I believe that there’s a legitimate reason most of us don’t remember our previous
Tyler Henry (Between Two Worlds: Lessons from the Other Side)
Meditation + Mental Strength An emotion is our evolved biology predicting the future impact of a current event. In modern settings, it’s usually exaggerated or wrong. Why is meditation so powerful? Your breath is one of the few places where your autonomic nervous system meets your voluntary nervous system. It’s involuntary, but you can also control it. I think a lot of meditation practices put an emphasis on the breath because it is a gateway into your autonomic nervous system. There are many, many cases in the medical and spiritual literature of people controlling their bodies at levels that should be autonomous. Your mind is such a powerful thing. What’s so unusual about your forebrain sending signals to your hindbrain and your hindbrain routing resources to your entire body? You can do it just by breathing. Relaxed breathing tells your body you’re safe. Then, your forebrain doesn’t need as many resources as it normally does. Now, the extra energy can be sent to your hindbrain, and it can reroute those resources to the rest of your body. I’m not saying you can beat whatever illness you have just because you activated your hindbrain. But you’re devoting most of the energy normally required to care about the external environment to the immune system. I highly recommend listening to the Tim Ferriss’s podcast with Wim Hof. He is a walking miracle. Wim’s nickname is the Ice Man. He holds the world record for the longest time spent in an ice bath and swimming in freezing cold water. I was very inspired by him, not only because he’s capable of super-human physical feats, but because he does it while being incredibly kind and happy—which is not easy to accomplish. He advocates cold exposure, because he believes people are too separate from their natural environment. We’re constantly clothed, fed, and warm. Our bodies have lost touch with the cold. The cold is important because it can activate the immune system. So, he advocates taking long ice baths. Being from the Indian subcontinent, I’m strongly against the idea of ice baths. But Wim inspired me to give cold showers a try. And I did so by using the Wim Hof breathing method. It involves hyperventilating to get more oxygen into your blood, which raises your core temperature. Then, you can go into the shower. The first few cold showers were hilarious because I’d slowly ease myself in, wincing the entire way. I started about four or five months ago. Now, I turn the shower on full-blast, and then I walk right in. I don’t give myself any time to hesitate. As soon as I hear the voice in my head telling me how cold it’s going to be, I know I have to walk in. I learned a very important lesson from this: most of our suffering comes from avoidance. Most of the suffering from a cold shower is the tip-toeing your way in. Once you’re in, you’re in. It’s not suffering. It’s just cold. Your body saying it’s cold is different than your mind saying it’s cold. Acknowledge your body saying it’s cold. Look at it. Deal with it. Accept it, but don’t mentally suffer over it. Taking a cold shower for two minutes isn’t going to kill you. Having a cold shower helps you re-learn that lesson every morning. Now hot showers are just one less thing I need out of life. [2] Meditation is intermittent fasting for the mind. Too much sugar leads to a heavy body, and too many distractions lead to a heavy mind. Time spent undistracted and alone, in self-examination, journaling, meditation, resolves the unresolved and takes us from mentally fat to fit.
Eric Jorgenson (The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness)
Come here; let me look at you.” Mum gestured imperiously, and after a moment’s hesitation, Shinobu bent down so that she could cup his face in her small, delicate fingers. She stared up at him, dark gaze piercing. He stayed still, but behind his back I saw his hands find each other and his fingers lace together, as if it was an effort not to fidget. I didn’t blame him.   “Rachel also says that you helped save her and did a lot of other heroic things. I think you must have a great deal of character to have survived everything that’s happened to you, Shinobu, and I’m very grateful for all that you’ve done for my family. But I’m fully aware that you’ve been hanging out in my house with my underage daughter completely unsupervised the whole time I’ve been gone. I will be keeping my eye on you from now on.”   Shinobu nodded respectfully, not moving out of my mother’s grasp. I couldn’t stand it.   “Mum! Shinobu’s been a − a perfect gentleman!”   “And I was there at least some of the time,” my father put in.   “There is no such thing as a perfect gentleman, Mio. And you don’t count, Takashi. You can never tell when Mio’s lying about anything.” She fixed her eyes back on Shinobu. “I’m not saying that I don't approve. But if you’re the sort of young man that I want for my daughter – and I think you are – you won’t have a problem with me looking out for her. When this mess is sorted out, we can get to know each other properly.”   Shinobu nodded again. Mum smiled at him and slid her hands down to pat his shoulders, and he smiled back, his expression a little dazed. Damn. Dazzled by Mum Power.   “‘This mess’ being … the imminent apocalypse?” my dad asked, apparently unable to leave well enough alone.   Mum ignored his tone magnificently. “Yes, that. Now, could anyone else murder a sandwich and a cup of tea? Because I’ve had a heck of a day.”   Jack and Hikaru, who’d retreated to the till area with Ebisu during the family drama, crept out. Jack raised her hand. “I’m starving.”   “Me too,” Hikaru said.   “Ah, the appetites of the young,” Ebisu said, smiling serenely as he limped towards my mother and offered her his hand. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Mrs Yamato. You are almost exactly as I had imagined. Let’s go upstairs to my flat and see what we can find to eat, yes?”   “You might want to put me in charge of that,” my dad said, hurrying after them. “She’s a terrible cook.”   “Stuff it,” my mum retorted as Ebisu led her away. “I’m still not talking to you.”   And just like that, our motley crew had another member. My mum.   Sweet baby Jebus, how did this happen?
Zoë Marriott (Frail Human Heart (The Name of the Blade, #3))
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It was Am who held up his hand in a stopping motion and said, “Jackie, don’t freak out—” And that’s when she stopped walking, the smile she’d had on her face dropping like a damn fly as her gaze landed on the person sitting next to me. She fell over like a fucking tree. So hard it was a miracle her skull didn’t smack against the concrete foundation as she passed out. “Told you,” Am muttered as we all rushed over, crouching beside her just as her eyes shot open and she screeched. “I’m fine! I’m fine!” “Are you all right?” Yuki asked, kneeling beside her. Jackie’s eyes went wide again, and her face went just as pale as Amos’s had earlier when I’d told him that we were going to recruit Yuki into helping today. “Oh my God, it’s you!” she shouted with another gasp. “Hi.” Hi. I almost burst out laughing. “Jackie, are you okay?” Jackie’s eyes filled with tears, and I realized Amos and I were invisible now. “Oh my God, it’s you.” My friend didn’t even hesitate; she scooted forward on her knees. “Would you like a hug?” Jackie’s eyes were full of tears as she nodded frantically. “I didn’t look like that, did I?” Amos whispered at my side as the woman and the teenager hugged and even more tears spilled out of Jackie’s eyes. She was sobbing. Jackie was flat-out sobbing. “Almost.” I met his eyes and grinned. He gave me a flat look that reminded me way too much of his dad. I laughed.
Mariana Zapata (All Rhodes Lead Here)
A tray of dirty tea things sat forgotten about on the floor. There were more chairs than normal, all evidence of yesterday’s meeting. One teacup, I noticed, had lipstick on its rim, the same glossy red colour that Miss Carter wore. Ephraim had mentioned ‘the others’: it didn’t take much guessing to work out who they were. When it came to welcoming strangers to Budmouth Point, Miss Carter and Mrs. Henderson had experience. First evacuees, now refugees. That was it, wasn’t it? There were people in Europe, fleeing for their lives, who were escaping here, to Budmouth Point. These were the visitors Ephraim was expecting. The realisation made me dizzy. It connected to Sukie didn’t it, because she’d cried trying to tell me how ‘heartbreaking’ it was not being able to help – yet in writing to Ephraim, maybe she’d found a way to. Perhaps their letters were actually full of plans of how they might get people away from the Nazis. It would certainly explain why Sukie wrote so much and so often. Bit by bit I could feel it coming together in my head. That map with the foreign place names I’d found in her drawer at home – was this where the boat was coming from? ‘Are you all right?’ Queenie asked suddenly. Looking concerned, she offered me a chair. ‘I’m fine.’ I stayed standing. ‘No you’re not.’ Queenie pinched the bridge of her nose like she had a headache. ‘You’re a smart girl, Olive. I’d a feeling you’d guess what was going on. I didn’t think Ephraim could keep it from you for long.’ ‘He told me about writing to Sukie, that’s all.’ I said, though it wasn’t strictly true. But I was unsure how much to say. ‘You’re learning that some things need to be secret.’ Queenie gave me a wry smile. ‘I trust you can keep this one?’ I hesitated. She hadn’t actually told me what the secret was, but I’d already petty much guessed. You’re expecting some people, from place that’s occupied by the Germans?’ ‘Yes… from France.’ She sat back in her chair, raking her fingers through her hair. ‘We’re bringing them here for a few days, giving them false papers, then helping them on their way again.’ ‘Where will they go?’ ‘To countries that aren’t as strict as ours about Jewish refugees: America, Canada, Australia maybe.’ I thought for a moment. ‘Is what you’re doing against the law?’ ‘Probably. If we keep a low profile, we might just get away with it.’ She sighed heavily. ‘They’ve got to get here first, though. It’s such a risky mission. They were smuggled out of Austria all the way to the French coast, and quite frankly they’ve been lucky to make it that far. We were expecting the boat ten days ago…’ I nodded, my mind whizzing. Day 9. The only part of Sukie’s notes I understood. ‘Do you know why Ephraim and my sister wrote to each other?’ I asked suddenly. ‘What? Oh, Gloria mentioned Sukie was looking for a penpal – it was a new “thing” apparently.’ She rolled her eyes rather dismissively. ‘Ephraim was so lonely, we both thought it might cheer him up. It certainly worked – he’s quite taken with your Sukie.’ ‘There’s more to it than that,’ I ventured. ‘My sister’s involved in this mission, isn’t she?’ Queenie frowned. ‘Your sister? Why would she be?’ ‘You don’t know what she’s like,’ I replied, for it was very clear now that Queenie’d never written to Sukie, nor probably ever met her. If she had she’d realise how much my sister hated the Nazis, how upset the news coming out of Europe made her, how headstrong and brave she was. Doing something to try and help people threatened by Hitler was exactly the sort of thing my sister would want to be part of. I couldn’t understand why Queenie was so certain she wasn’t.
Emma Carroll (Letters from the Lighthouse)
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Where is your fire?” Trenton asked, every word punctuated with another blow.   Shea kept silent and concentrated on getting out of the encounter with no internal bleeding. With the way he was hammering at her guard, he’d cause an injury if a blow landed.   “Is this the woman who convinced her men to follow her on a fool’s errand?”   Shea didn’t respond.   “Where is the spirit that drove you off a cliff onto a shadow beetle?”   He was very talkative as he drove her across the small practice ring. She envied him the ability.   “You’re weak.”   Now he was onto insults.   “You don’t belong here.”   Yeah, yeah, yeah. She’d heard that one before.   He closed with her, bearing down with his blade until her arms were shaking with the strain. His face was close to hers as their match became a test of strength. “Your stupidity is going to get everyone killed.”   Abruptly, Shea released the blade with one hand, sidestepped and launched a punch straight into his ear. His head rocked to the side and Shea, taking advantage of his distraction, grabbed his arm and hooked her leg around his before pushing with all her might.   He toppled backwards, landing hard on the ground for the first time that day. Shea didn’t wait for him to recover and kicked him in the ribs. He rolled into her legs as she prepared to do it again, bringing her to the ground with him.   She kicked, punched and wiggled her way back to standing and quickly backed up as he rose to his feet.   He didn’t look happy. Shea backed up even further.   The dark expression on his face was a bit scary. Guess she shouldn’t have kicked him when he was down. The biting probably didn’t help either. Trying to dig her fingers into his eyes had been a low blow. Even she could admit that. This was practice. Some things were just off limits.   He started for her, not even bothering to pick up his practice sword. Shea prepared to run. New energy coursed through her as she felt genuine danger rolling off Trenton.   “Test complete,” the old man crowed.   “What?” Shea asked in disbelief.   “You passed.”   “That’s it?”   The test had been difficult but not impossible. She’d been expecting impossible given the hesitation the old man showed in testing her.   “Mostly.”   That’s what she thought.
T.A. White (Pathfinder's Way (The Broken Lands, #1))
Members of cohesive teams know one another’s strengths and weaknesses and don’t hesitate to point them out. They also know something about one another’s backgrounds, which helps them to understand why members think and act the way they do.
Patrick Lencioni (The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive: A Leadership Fable)
Fair enough." She lowered her knees, stared down as she buttoned her shirt again. "Ty, I'm really sorry. I'd never do anything to upset Eli, or to cause trouble between the two of you." "I know." He pushed to his feet and after a brief hesitation held out his hand to help her up. "I want to make love with you." His already jangled system suffered. "I think what we both want's pretty clear. I just don't know what we're going to do about it. I have to go after him." "Yes.
Nora Roberts (The Villa)
Nevertheless, even with all the very best tips and advice, parenting can sometimes make anyone feel frustrated, edgy, and inadequate. That’s why it’s crucial that you never shake—or even jiggle—your baby when you’re angry! Please—if you’re at the end of your patience, put your baby down (even if he is crying) and give yourself a break. Don’t hesitate to call for help from your spouse, your family, a friend, or a crisis hotline.
hasn’t been missing long. If she’s upset, she’ll go someplace where she feels safe.” “But she might not be thinking clearly,” Adelia protested, her panic returning. “She’s only thirteen, Gabe. I’m afraid I’ve been forgetting that myself. I should have been paying more attention. Instead, I was so worried about my younger kids, I missed all the signs that Selena was in real trouble. I was just grateful that she was no longer rebelling against the world.” In front of the gym, she bolted from the car practically before it could come to a stop. Inside, she scanned the room until her gaze landed on her brother. He regarded her with alarm, which grew visibly when Gabe came in right on her heels. Misreading the situation, Elliott stepped between them. “Is this guy bothering you, Adelia?” She held up a hand. “No, it’s nothing like that. Selena’s missing. Gabe is helping me look for her. I thought maybe she’d come here to see you.” Elliott shook his head. “I haven’t seen her. Let me check with Karen. She’s not working today. She’s at the house with the baby.” Adelia felt herself starting to shake as her brother made the call to his wife. Then she felt Gabe’s steadying hand on her shoulder. He didn’t say a word, just kept his hand there until the moment passed. Elliott listened intently to whatever Karen was saying, his expression brightening. “Thanks, querida. Adelia will be there in a few minutes.” Smiling, he turned to her. “Selena’s at my house playing with the baby. Karen didn’t think to call anyone because Selena told her she only had a half day at school and swore you knew where she was.” Adelia finally let out the breath she felt like she’d been holding for hours. “Of course Karen believed her,” she said wryly. “Selena’s very convincing when she wants to be.” “Want me to drive you over there?” Elliott offered. “I can get one of the other trainers to take my next client.” “I can take her,” Gabe said. He looked at her. “Unless you’d prefer to have your brother go with you.” Adelia hesitated, then shook her head. “If you don’t mind making the drive, that would be great,” she told him. “Elliott, there’s no reason for you to miss an appointment. I can handle this.” Elliott looked worried but eventually nodded. “You’ll be there when I get home? I want to have a talk with my niece about skipping school and worrying you.” She smiled. “Believe me, she’ll get more than enough talking from me tonight. You can save your lecture for another day.” Elliott nodded with unmistakable reluctance. “Whatever you think, but I will have a word with her. You can be sure of that.” “Not a doubt in my mind,” she said, then turned to Gabe. “Let’s go. That
Sherryl Woods (Swan Point (The Sweet Magnolias #11))
warmth of the day was making her sleepy, too. “Then you can go and do whatever it is you apprentices do,” she murmured. When Firepaw had cleared away Yellowfang’s dirt, he left her dozing and made his way to the gorse tunnel. He was keen to get to the stream and rinse his paws. “Firepaw!” a voice called from the side of the clearing. Firepaw turned. It was Halftail. “Where are you off to?” meowed the old cat curiously. “You ought to be helping with the preparations.” “I’ve just been putting mouse bile on Yellowfang’s ticks,” replied Firepaw. Amusement flickered through Halftail’s whiskers. “So now you’re off to the nearest stream! Well, don’t come back without fresh-kill. We need as much as we can find.” “Yes, Halftail,” Firepaw replied. He made his way out of the camp and up the side of the ravine. He trotted down to the stream where he and Graypaw had hunted on the day he had found Yellowfang. Without hesitating he jumped down into the cold, clear water. It came up to his haunches, and wet his belly fur. The shock made him gasp, and he shivered. A rustle in the bushes above him made him look up, although the familiar scent that reached his nose told him there was nothing to be alarmed about. “What are you doing in there?” Graypaw and Ravenpaw were standing looking at him as if he were mad. “Mouse bile.” Firepaw grimaced. “Don’t ask! Where are Lionheart and Tigerclaw?” “They’ve gone to join the next patrol,” answered Graypaw. “They ordered us to spend the rest of the afternoon hunting.” “Halftail told me the same thing,” Firepaw mewed, flinching as a chilly current of water rushed around his paws. “Everyone’s busy back at camp. You’d think we were about to be attacked at any moment.” He climbed up onto the bank, dripping. “Who says we won’t be?” mewed Ravenpaw, his eyes flicking from side to side as if he expected an enemy patrol to leap
Erin Hunter (Into the Wild)
Leigh mentioned that you’re a vet in Winnipeg, here to take some courses to update your skills?” “Yes.” Valerie grimaced. “That was the idea, but if they don’t catch this guy in the next day or two, I’ll have to give up the courses until next semester and if that happens, I might as well head home.” “What?” Anders turned on her sharply. Valerie bit her lip, not very happy at the thought herself. She would have liked to get to know him better, but if she couldn’t do the course now, she’d have to do it next term and it wouldn’t be fair to be away from the clinic that long. Sighing at the very thought, she said, “That’s what my academic advisor said when I talked to him today. I’ve missed the first two weeks of class already. He said if I’m not back by Monday, then I might as well give it up and reapply for next term.” Anders frowned, his gaze shooting to Lucian. It was Leigh who said worriedly, “You can’t go home, Valerie. Not with him still out there.” “Actually, it’s probably better if I did,” Valerie said and pointed out, “He can’t know I’m from Winnipeg, so I’d be safe there, and Anders wouldn’t have to waste his time playing babysitter so he could help hunt for him.” Dead silence met this announcement as the others all exchanged glances. “But your courses,” Anders said finally. “You wanted to upgrade.” “And I still do, but I can’t do that if I can’t attend classes,” she pointed out reasonably. Another moment of silence passed with everyone exchanging glances she didn’t understand and then Lucian said abruptly, “Then you’ll have to attend classes.” When Valerie stared at him with surprise, he added, “Anders will accompany you.” “Oh.” She hesitated briefly and then shook her head. “I don’t think they’ll let him attend with me.” “They might,” Dani said slowly. “I’ve heard of people auditing classes. I even knew someone who audited a couple of mine. She had to get permission from the instructor, and the department chair, and I think her program counselor first though.” “Then he’ll get permission,” Lucian said as if it were the simplest thing in the world. When Anders frowned at this news, he added solemnly, “It’s that or we put her and Roxy on a plane home to Winnipeg.” For some reason, those words sounded ominous to Valerie, and certainly Anders reacted as if they were. His mouth tightened grimly, and he nodded once. It was Friday now, but apparently come Monday, she was attending class and Anders was coming with her.
Lynsay Sands (Immortal Ever After (Argeneau, #18))
Let us be clear about one thing.” He held her eyes with his. “You have aroused emotions in me—very strong emotions. But that is not a good thing.” Lauren stared at him uncertainly. “Do…do you mean that you hate me? Is that what you’re saying?” “Not hate, no.” He shook his head. “What I feel for you…let’s just say it will be better—far better—if those feelings are never explored or acted on.” “I don’t really understand what you’re trying to say,” Lauren said softly. “But I do want to thank you for promising to help me.” “There’s no point in expressing your gratitude yet—I haven’t even worked out a plan.” He sighed. “Until I do, I must pretend to comply with my father’s will. And you’re going to have to trust me. Can you do that?” Biting her lip, Lauren nodded hesitantly. “Yes, I trust you.” “Thank you.” He nodded gravely. “That means a great deal to me. And now I have to put you in one of these cells and secure the rest of the Complex before reporting back to my father.” “You’re leaving me alone? In here?” She couldn’t help glancing at the instruments of torture strewn around the surgery suite room again. “Nothing will harm you,” Xairn said, his rough voice almost soothing.
Evangeline Anderson (Sought (Brides of the Kindred, #3))
He slid his arm around her waist and took her other hand in his. “I think you should be teaching me how to dance properly.” His palm was warm against hers, and he stood watching her. Those green eyes were the devil’s lure, beckoning her toward temptation. “That was our agreement, wasn’t it? You were going to prepare me for the dangers of London society.” “I am not ready to dance yet.” She didn’t feel at all ready to attempt it, even resting her feet upon his. And if she was honest, that was what made her uneasy. She didn’t want the intimacy of his skin beneath hers. “Try.” He leaned closer, and in his eyes, she saw friendliness and encouragement. “Or are you afraid I’ll step upon your toes?” “I would be stepping upon yours. And I do not think you wish to have them crushed. You would be hobbling for weeks.” She gave an apologetic smile. “It would be best if we stop for now.” “Not yet.” Rose could feel the warmth of his breath against her face, and his hand moved to her waist, lightly resting there. She couldn’t help but enjoy the heat of his touch. And instead of needing to pull away, she allowed him to continue. “Put your feet upon mine.” She hesitated, but obeyed. Her feet were still cold from the water, and the moment she stepped upon his, she let out a half shriek. “Your feet are freezing!” “And now you know my true reason for wanting to dance. You can warm my feet.” “It’s like standing upon ice.” She wanted to step off, but he began moving, forcing her to dance with him. As he took her in a slow waltz, she felt reckless in his arms. It did feel almost like dancing, and she couldn’t hold back her smile. “My grandmother would be appalled if she could see me right now.” “I would think she’d be glad to see you dance.” “I’m not dancing. Not truly.” But for a moment, it was good to imagine it. Perhaps in a few more months it might happen. “This is another way for you to move your legs,” he said. “They will get stronger if you dance with me.” She hadn’t truly considered that, but he was right. And it was more enjoyable than she’d thought it would be. “Next time, you should wear shoes,” she advised. “I will do the same.” He inclined his head and spun her around again. All around her, the sunlight warmed her skin, and she caught the faint fragrance of flowers. “Do you suppose your parents danced in this garden?” “I don’t know. But perhaps.” He slowed his pace, watching her closely. “Am I dancing like a proper English gentleman?” “You are, yes. There’s nothing to fear on that account.” Again, he took her across the garden, spinning her in the waltz. She was conscious of his hands on her waist and the way he was watching her. “Are
Michelle Willingham (Good Earls Don't Lie)
Baby, please say something.” He pleaded as he rubbed soothing circles into my back. “Brandon will be back in a couple hours.” I finally spoke. He hissed a curse through his teeth and sagged into the headboard with a thud. “I thought he wouldn’t be back ‘til tomorrow night.” “He got scared when I didn’t answer the phone. Bree told him I was sick and alone, and since no one could get a hold of me …” “Bree called me a few times, begging me to come check on you. Looks like they’re all heading home today too.” “Chase, what should I do?” I began to search his face for answers, but he looked so pained I had to stare at my hands instead. “I can’t answer that for you Princess. No one can.” After a few minutes of intense silence he continued hesitantly, “Who do you want?” “I don’t know!” I blurted out quickly, “I want you Chase, but I can’t hurt him. I won’t hurt him anymore than I have. I love him too much.” He flinched away like I’d slapped him. “No matter who I choose, people will get hurt. And then what happens if I leave him? He lives in your house Chase. He’ll have to see us together, it will kill him, I can’t do that to him! He loves me, he hopped the first flight he could because he was scared for me and wants to come back to take care of me. How am I supposed to tell him I’m in love with someone else after that?” I took three deep breaths in and out in an attempt to calm my shaking, “If I left him for you, it would be bad for us. He’d come after you, the guys in the house would take sides. We would be miserable. My body craves you Chase, but I feel like I’m being torn in two. I just – I need a few weeks to think about this. Can you please give me that?” His jaw was clenched so tightly I thought it might break, “Are you going to ask him to give you time too?” “No, I can’t.” Chase’s eyes turned to ice and his mouth popped open, “So you’re just going to go back to him? Pretend like last night never happened? You’re so worried about hurting everyone else, do you even realize you’ll be hurting me?” He shot up off the bed and started pacing back and forth, “Damn it Harper, don’t you see that? I’m the one that will have to watch you with your boyfriend while waiting for you to figure out what you want!” I flinched when the bedroom door slammed shut behind him. He was right, and I didn’t want to hurt him either, but I didn’t know what else to do at the moment. I was more in love with Chase than I’d realized, but I couldn’t live without Brandon. If I thought I’d hated myself for kissing Chase, I now felt like I was dying thinking about how I’d just betrayed the man I love more than my own life. Even if I thought it was too soon, I’d overheard him talking to his mom telling her he thought I was “the one”, and I couldn’t help but smile at thoughts of our future together. I briefly considered a future with Chase, it didn’t go far. There’s no way Chase felt the same way I did for him. I’m not saying he doesn’t love me, but it can’t mean the same as it does for me. If I were to choose him, would he go back to being hot and cold once I did, and would he want to be with me for any length of time? As much as I wanted to believe everything he said to me last night, deep down I was terrified he’d up and leave me like he has every other girl.
Molly McAdams (Taking Chances (Taking Chances, #1))
Brrr,” Nic complained, her voice drifting across the darkness. “It’s so cold. Do you have a spare bearskin over there?” An image of naked limbs on a bear skin rug flashed through his mind. He cleared his throat. “I thought you were asleep.” “I dozed for a bit. My boots were killing me, so I took them off. Now my feet are cold, and that makes me uncomfortable and cranky.” Gabe hesitated a moment before saying, “Well, we can’t have cranky. Scoot them over here. I’ll rub your feet for you.” “God bless you, Gabe Callahan.” She whipped her legs out from beneath her covers and set them in his lap. She wore thin trouser socks, and when he took her right foot between his hands, he sucked in a breath. “You have ice cubes for feet.” “I told you so.” He tugged off her sock and began rubbing her bare, freezing foot. While he tried to keep his touch clinical and his thoughts impersonal, he couldn’t help noticing her foot’s slender width, the graceful arch of her instep, the softness of her skin. It was the most personal touch he’d shared with a woman in months, and damn his soul, he enjoyed it. While he massaged her right foot, her left foot crept up and rested on his thigh, inches from his torso. Inches from his erection. He should put her ice cubes right on his crotch, but he settled for the next best thing. He tugged his shirttail from his jeans and yanked her sock off her left foot. “Look, don’t take this personally. Consider it payback for doctoring my scratches that day.” He took both her feet and tucked them against his belly, sucking in an audible breath. It truly was like putting ice on his stomach. “Whoa. Have you no circulation in your feet whatsoever?” “Oh, you feel good, Callahan,” she purred. “How can you be so warm? Are you hiding a heater or something?” A heater? Was that a come-on? Or was she just clueless? He wished he could see her expression to help him judge. Wryly he replied, “Or something.” Gabe
Emily March (Angel's Rest (Eternity Springs, #1))
Pretty rough-looking bruise you have there,” Preacher said. “Can I get you anything for that lip? I have a first aid kit in the kitchen.” “I’m fine,” she said, shaking her head. “How about if we settle up and—” “I don’t have anything for a kid’s fever. Except a room. With a lock on the door so you feel safe. You don’t want to pass up an offer like that in this weather, with a kid who might be coming down with something. I look big and mean, but I’m about as safe as you get. Unless you’re wildlife.” He grinned at her. “You don’t look mean,” she said timidly. “It can make women and little kids real nervous—and I hate that part. You on the run?” he asked her. She lowered her eyes. “What d’you think? I’m gonna call the cops? Who did that to you?” She immediately started to cry. “Aw. Hey. Don’t.” She put her head down on folded arms on the tabletop and sobbed. “Aw. Come on. Don’t do that. I never know what to do.” Hesitatingly, squeamishly, he touched her back and she jumped. He touched one of her hands, very lightly. “Come on, don’t cry. Maybe I can help.” “No. You can’t.” “Never know,” he said, lightly patting her hand. She
Robyn Carr (Shelter Mountain (Virgin River, #2))
If you’re wanting to stand up, I could help you balance.” Her expression turned wary. “I’ve been trying to stand up for the past month. It hasn’t worked thus far.” “Would you like to try again?” he asked. She shook her head, as if she’d already given up. “My legs haven’t the strength.” “That isn’t what I asked.” She hesitated a moment but then nodded. Slowly, Iain lowered her, holding her by the waist as he brought her feet to stand upon the earthen floor. Her knees wouldn’t bear her weight and buckled beneath her, so he held her steady, using his strength to hold her upright. “Keep your legs straight, if you can. I’ll help support you until you’ve got your balance.” With both arms around her waist, he kept her upright, being careful not to let her slip. Once again, her legs crumpled beneath her, and he saw her emotions falter. She was afraid to trust herself. “I can’t do this.” “Look at me, Lady Rose,” he said. He held her waist, staring into her eyes. “Try again.” Gently, he eased his hands until she was standing on her own. For the barest second, she held her legs straight, until her knees gave out again and he caught her. “I won’t let you fall.” He pressed his hands against her waist until she regained her stability. This time, she stood for two seconds before her legs buckled. Tears rimmed her eyes, and he wondered for a moment if she was upset with herself. But then, she started to laugh through her tears. “I did it. I know it was only for a moment, but—” Her words broke off in a half sob before her laughter intruded again. The look of utter joy on her face was like a fist to his gut. Never before had he seen such elation, and he continued holding her upright. “I stood,” she managed to whisper, her smile incredulous. “After all these months, I did it. Yes, it was only for a second or two . . . but it was real, wasn’t it?” “It was, aye.” He suspected that it had drained a great deal of her strength away. He was supporting all her weight now, and she made no attempt to stand again. “In time, you’ll get stronger.” He lifted her back into his arms and brought her over to the bench. He eased her down into a seated position. “Do you know how long I’ve been trying to stand?” Rose rested her hands in his, holding both of his palms for a moment. The gentle pressure of her grip was a welcome affection, and he squeezed them in return. Her face flushed, as if she suddenly realized how inappropriate it was for them to hold hands. Her smile faded slightly, and she pulled back, folding her hands in her lap. She behaved as if nothing had happened and said, “If I can stand, I may learn to walk again.” “You’ll need to strengthen your legs.” She would have to keep practicing until they could bear her weight again. “Thank you for this, Lord Ashton. You cannot know how much this means to me.” He
Michelle Willingham (Good Earls Don't Lie)
Everett didn’t hesitate to bring Lucetta’s fingers to his lips, but unlike most gentlemen, he didn’t linger, earning a nod of approval from Lucetta. “This is a pleasant surprise, Lucetta, finding you in Newport.” “Thank you, Everett, and I’m sure you’ll be absolutely delighted to learn I’ll be skulking around Seaview for the next few weeks—although you needn’t look so worried. I won’t be staying under your roof, but at Abigail’s. I thought I’d help Millie out with the children a bit, at no cost to you, of course, but . . . speaking of Millie—have you been given the pleasure of kissing her hand yet today?” For just a second, something interesting flashed through Everett’s eyes, but it was gone in the next, replaced with something . . . cold. “I don’t normally make a habit of kissing the nanny’s hand, Lucetta.” “And I don’t normally make a habit of telling people they’re complete idiots, but . . . there you have it . . . you’re an idiot, Everett,” Lucetta said as calm as you please, not even batting an eye as she delivered her insult. A vein began throbbing on Everett’s forehead, but instead of responding to Lucetta, he turned on his heel, stalked over to Millie, and grabbed hold of her hand. Bringing it to his lips, he pressed a kiss on it that lasted barely a second, before he dropped her hand as if it had burned him and turned back to Lucetta again. “Does that make you feel better?” “Hardly, since no woman likes to be kissed by a man who scowls at them, but . . . it’s a start.
Jen Turano (In Good Company (A Class of Their Own Book #2))
Steve knew just how and when to find them. We headed out early the next morning, before there was wind. The temperature was exactly right at eighty-six degrees Fahrenheit. Steve got a faraway look in his eye, as though he was concentrating or communicating. Then he headed off. Ten minutes later, we were on the trail of a fierce snake. “Would you like to tail one?” Steve asked. “Are you kidding?” I said. “I don’t know how to catch a fierce snake.” Steve had already “tailed” one of the snakes. Gently grabbing the end of its tail, he could hold it at arm’s length and examine it. During this procedure, snakes would often defecate, and we could get some clue about what they’d been eating. Steve would tail a snake, put it in a bag, release it, and keep what remained. “You grab the next one,” Steve said. He spotted a four- or five-foot-long fierce snake. It glistened in the sun like glass, brilliantly shiny and sleek. “It’s warming up now,” Steve said as we approached. “You’re going to have to be quick.” Yes, Terri, I said to myself, please be quick so as not to get struck by the most venomous snake on earth. If you get bitten out here, you’re in a load of trouble. We crept up behind the fierce snake. I got close enough to grab it, but the snake suddenly and violently swung its head around, directly at me, poised and ready to strike. I backed off abruptly. Time and again I approached the snake just as I’d seen Steve do it: Walk up behind the snake as it started to slither away, and grab it by the tail. I knew what to do, but I couldn’t do it. Every time I reached down, the snake would swing around and I would jump a mile. We wandered farther and farther on the trail of the snake. I could see our truck way in the distance. I sweated profusely. I kept thinking the same thought. If I get bitten by this snake, I’m dead. Then I would try to push that thought away. Stop thinking, just grab the snake. Steve wouldn’t ask you to do something that you couldn’t do. But the whole process was becoming ridiculous. “What am I doing wrong?” I wailed. “You are too bloody scared,” Steve said. “Oh,” I said. Then I reached down and picked up the snake. It was magic. Once I had the nice, soft, supple body in my hands, it was as though the snake and I had a connection. Its skin was warm to my touch from sitting in the sun. I suddenly understood exactly how to hold on so it wouldn’t get away, and yet not squeeze it so tightly that it would get angry. The snake naturally kept trying to move off. I let the front part of its body stay on the ground and held the tail up. I felt such triumph--not that I had dominated the snake, but that it had let me pick it up. Steve held out the catch bag, and I carefully dropped the snake in. He tied a knot in the bag. We looked at each other and grinned. Then we both whooped and hollered and jumped in the air. He hugged and kissed me. “I’m proud of you, Terri,” he said. Once again I marveled at Steve’s instincts. He knew that this particular snake would be okay for me to pick up. He never hesitated, he never yelled at me or coached me--until I asked for help. Then he simply told me what to do.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
My day had forty-eight hours. It helped that I had no social life. I recall a poor fellow who asked me out during this period. I agreed to meet him for dinner. As I was getting ready, the phone rang. “We’ve got a possum that’s been hit by a car,” the county animal control office said. “Can you help?” I’ve always liked possums. Like a lot of wildlife, they are completely misunderstood. Virginia opossums are the only North American marsupials. Marsupials tend to have lower body temperatures than other animals, so possums are among the least likely of any mammal to contract rabies. In fact, they are one of the most disease-free animals I’ve dealt with. That evening, answering the call as I dressed for my big date, I didn’t think twice. I thought I could pick it up and still make dinner. But when I got the injured possum home and examined it, I realized that it had probably been hit by the car two or three days earlier, and its body teemed with maggots. There wasn’t any way I could head out for a lovely evening, not with a maggot-infested marsupial under my care. I grabbed my tweezers and began flicking off the fly larvae, one by one. The possum was cooperative, but as the maggot-picking process wore on, it became evident that I was not going to able to make dinner. I called the fellow. “Here’s the situation,” I said. “I am working on a possum that was hit by a car. There is just no way I am going to be on time. What do you want to do?” There was a long hesitation on the other end of the line. “Why don’t I come over and help?” he finally asked. Great! I could always use help. A half hour later, in he came, looking smart and smelling of cologne. His face immediately turned pale as he saw what the project entailed, and he made a halfhearted attempt to help. After a while I wasn’t sure whether I was going to be finishing up with the possum or providing medical aid for my poor date, whose face had now turned a whiter shade of green. He excused himself and headed off into the night, never to be heard from again.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
We pulled up behind a huge red barn where we were met by two young women. They greeted us with friendly smiles. I noticed the taller of the two had her blond hair braided perfectly over her shoulders. Dale waved as he walked past them into the barn. “Morning, ladies.” “Morning, Dale,” they said in unison. “I’m Nate.” I put my hand out as I approached, but they started laughing. The shorter, dark-haired girl looked away shyly. “We know,” the girl with braids said. “You’re the doctor.” “Yes, I’m a doctor.” “I’m a doctor, too,” my father interrupted wryly, but the girls didn’t seem to care. They followed us into the barn where we found Dale in one of the stalls looking over a mare. “Get in here, Nate, and put on one of those gloves.” He pointed to a long plastic glove hanging out of his case. My father leaned over the stall door and watched the show. “Go on, Nate. Get the glove on, son.” I moved into the stall, took the glove in hand, and proceeded to pull it all the way up to my shoulder. The girls watched and tried to suppress their laughter. “What’s going on?” “Come on, Nate. You can’t be that clueless,” my dad said. Dale turned to him. “See how smart that fancy college made your boy?” I looked to the girls for a clue. The short one laughed into her hands before the one in braids said, “You’re gonna have to stick your hand up the horse’s ass and pull out the poo.” She burst into laughter and then they scurried away. “What? No. No. I can’t. Do you know how much these hands are worth?” “Come on, Nate, give me a break. Nothing is going to happen to your hand, just be gentle with her. You don’t want to get kicked in the balls. I can’t imagine it feels very good to have a bony arm like yours up her ass.” My father was really enjoying himself. “Why do I have to do this?” “Because we’ve both paid our dues.” “Dear god.” I moved toward the rear of the mare and looked up to Dale. “Pet her real nice, right there on her behind. Let her know you come in peace.” “Jesus Christ.” “And a horse’s ass.” “Stop it, Dad!” Dale came over with a large milk jug full of clear gel. “Hand out, son. Got to lube her up first.” “You’ve got to be kidding me. You two are enjoying this.” “Immensely,” my father said. Uncle Dale continued petting the mare’s head and trying to calm her. “Nate, I’ve done this a million times. Dolly here is constipated. She needs us to help her out. Now work your way in there and see if you can’t find the blockage.” I hesitated, staring at Dolly’s hindquarters as she whipped her tail around. “She seems pissed,” I said. “She’s just really uncomfortable. You’ll see once you grow a set and get this procedure under way.” “I don’t know if I should be doing this. This horse isn’t familiar with me.” “What do you want to do, take her out on a date? You’re a doctor, kid. Buck up.” With no expression on my face, I looked back toward the stall door and my father’s smug grin. “No more talking, Dad.” I pushed my hand into poor Dolly’s backside and immediately discovered the culprit. The odor alone could have killed a small animal. Gagging, I pulled handful after handful of . . . well . . . poo, out of the horse’s enormous anal cavity. About ten minutes into the procedure, Dolly seemed to relax and feel better. “She likes you, Nate,” my uncle said. I’d had too many encounters with shit since I’d been on the ranch to find humor in anything my father or uncle said. “That’s it. She’s good,” I mumbled as I pulled the disgusting glove off my hand. I walked out into the main part of the barn to a sink where I attempted to wash the skin off my hands.
Renee Carlino (After the Rain)
Did something happen during Mr. Winterborne’s visit? Something besides discussing the wedding?” Helen responded with a miniscule nod, her jaw trembling. Kathleen’s thoughts whirled as she wondered how to help Helen, who seemed on the verge of falling apart. She hadn’t seen her this undone since Theo’s death. “I wish you would tell me,” she said. “My imagination is running amok. What did Winterborne do to make you so unhappy?” “I can’t say,” Helen whispered. Kathleen tried to keep her voice calm. “Did he force himself on you?” A long silence followed. “I don’t know,” Helen said in a sodden voice. “He wanted…I don’t know what he wanted. I’ve never--” She stopped and blew her nose into the handkerchief. “Did he hurt you?” Kathleen forced herself to ask. “No. But he kept kissing me and wouldn’t stop, and…I didn’t like it. It wasn’t at all what I thought kissing would be. And he put his hand…somewhere he shouldn’t. When I pushed him way, he looked angry and said something sharp that sounded like…I thought I was too good for him. He said other things as well, but there was too much Welsh mixed in. I didn’t know what to do. I started to cry, and he left without another word.” She gave a few hiccupping sobs. “I don’t understand what I did wrong.” “You did nothing wrong.” “But I did, I must have.” Helen lifted her thin fingers to her temples, pressing lightly over the cloth that covered them. Winterborne, you ham-handed sod, Kathleen thought furiously. Is it really so difficult for you to be gentle with a shy young woman, the first time you kiss her? “Obviously he has no idea how to behave with an innocent girl,” she said quietly. “Please don’t tell anyone. I would die. Please promise.” “I promise.” “I must make Mr. Winterborne understand that I didn’t mean to make him angry--” “Of course you didn’t. He should know that.” Kathleen hesitated. “Before you proceed with the wedding plans, perhaps we should take some time to reconsider the engagement.” “I don’t know.” Helen winced and gasped. “My head is throbbing. Right now I feel as if I never want to see him again.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
Cousin, you will avoid much future distress if you learn to see people as they really are, instead of as you wish them to be.” Helen smiled faintly. “I already do.” “If that were true, you would understand that Lady Trenear and I are correct in our assessments of each other. I am a scoundrel, and she is a heartless bitch who’s entirely capable of looking after herself.” Helen’s eyes, the silvery-blue of moonstones, widened in concern. “My lord, I have come to know Kathleen very well in our shared grief over my brother’s passing--” “I doubt she feels much grief,” Devon interrupted brusquely. “By her own admission, she hasn’t shed a single tear over your brother’s death.” Helen blinked. “She told you that? But she didn’t explain why?” Devon shook his head. Looking perturbed, Helen said, “It isn’t my story to tell.” Concealing an instant flare of curiosity, Devon shrugged casually. “Don’t concern yourself with it, then. My opinion of her won’t alter.” As he had intended, the show of indifference pushed Helen into talking. “If it helps you to understand Kathleen a little better,” she said uncertainly, “perhaps I should explain something. Will you swear on your honor to keep it in confidence?” “Of course,” Devon said readily. Having no honor, he never hesitated to promise something on it.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
Shoulder the sky,’” said Nan smiling. “Do you know A. E. Housman’s poems? I think it helps a lot to find that other people have troubles, and understand what it feels like to be unhappy. Poets seem to know a lot about unhappiness. Here’s something that has helped me.” She hesitated for a moment and then quoted the lines: “The troubles of our proud and angry dust Are from eternity, and shall not fail. Bear them we can, and if we can we must. Shoulder the sky, my lad, and drink your ale.” “‘Shoulder the sky,’” said Rhoda. “It’s a sort of clarion call, isn’t it? He makes it sound a worth-while job.” “It’s a big job, but not too big. ‘Bear them we can, and if we can we must.’ At first I thought he had put it the wrong way round, but the more you think about it the more you realize that his way is right.” Rhoda nodded thoughtfully. “‘And drink your ale,’” added Nan with a brave smile. “Don’t go moping about and making everybody else miserable. ‘Shoulder the sky, my lad, and drink your ale.’” *
D.E. Stevenson (Shoulder the Sky (Dering Family, #3))
Don't hesitate to ponder the next time you catch a glimpse of the sky; it takes only a few seconds to see what the eyes cannot. Because did you ever ask yourself that while we may not have eyes, why do we all have a heart?
Maham Javaid (Journey: From you to your Lord)
Would you like to return to the guest room?” he asked, halting beside me on the landing. Feeling better now that we had emerged from the past, I shook my head. “I’d like to see your quarters.” “What? Why?” I laughed at his expression. “Why? Because this is where you were raised! This is where you were a boy. If you don’t want to show me, I’ll understand, but it would tell me more about you and help me to know you even better.” He scratched the back of his head. “Well…let’s go, then.” “It’s all right if you don’t want to show me,” I said again, detecting some hesitation on his part. “No, it’s fine. Really, I don’t mind.” Bemused, I trailed after him into the opposite wing of the second floor from where my room was located.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
The lady was all business. “Come,” she said, extending a hand. The boy looked up at his mother. He had no reason to hold back the tears, and he didn’t. They flowed down his face freely. He jumped to his feet and hugged her, shattering her heart a million times over. She squeezed him back. “You’re going to do great things for this world,” she whispered, somehow keeping herself under control. “You’re going to make me so proud. I love you, sweet boy. I love you so much and don’t you ever forget it.” His only response was to sob into her shoulder. And that said everything. Finally it had to end. “I’m very sorry,” the lady in the dark suit and mask said. “But we have a tight schedule. Truly, I’m sorry.” “Go on now,” the mother said to her son. “Go on, and be brave.” He pulled back, his face wet, his eyes red. A strength seemed to come over him and he nodded, helping her believe he’d be okay in the end. He was strong, this one. The boy turned away, never to look at her again. He walked to the door and went through it with no hesitation. No glance back, no complaints. “Thank you again,” the visiting lady said. She followed the boy out.
James Dashner (The Kill Order (Maze Runner, #4))
My eyes roved over each and every one of the horses, approximating their age and probably stage in training, assessing their form and temperament and noting their reproductive potential. Eventually it dawned on me that silence had fallen. I turned toward Grayden to offer some excuse, but to my surprise, he was gazing at me with affection and sympathy in his green eyes. He smiled and produced a small box, which he extended to me. “What’s this?” I asked, thoroughly confused. He shrugged. “A token of friendship. I would be honored if you would accept it.” Curiously, I took the box from his hand. Anticipating jewelry, I prepared for a show of fake enthusiasm. Such a gift would be a sweet gesture, and undoubtedly beautiful, but I was not one for baubles. The box did contain jewelry, but not of the type I supposed. On a lovely chain of gold hung a small, golden horse, head high, legs outstretched in a gallop. I looked at Grayden, stupefied, although I didn’t need to feign my pleasure. “As I said, your uncle told me of your love for horses,” he explained almost shyly. “That it was a love you shared with your father.” “But I…I don’t understand. What are you…?” Seeing how flustered I was, he reached out and took my hand. “I’m not asking for anything, Shaselle. I just…I think you’re used to being seen as a problem. Maybe it’s presumptuous of me to say that, but your family apologized for so many things about you that I can’t help drawing the conclusion.” Not sure how to react, I opted to remain silent. “I think you’re only a problem for those people who are trying to turn you into something you’re not.” “A lady?” I wryly suggested, regaining my sense of humor. I leaned back on the fence, certain he would agree. “No,” he said, and there was conviction in his voice. “They need to stop trying to turn a free spirit into a traditional wife.” I couldn’t move, couldn’t speak. Could he truly believe what he was saying? Men played games to placate women. But I knew of no man other than my father who would enjoy seeing a horse pendant around the neck of the woman he was courting. “I do have a question for you,” Grayden said, leaning against the fence next to me. He hesitated, obviously uncertain about where our relationship stood. “The Harvest Festical is approaching. If you have no other plans to attend, would you consider accompanying me?” My eyes again filled with tears. There was no good reason--why should I be breaking down now, when Grayden was being so understanding, so tolerant of my eccentricities? “Come,” he said softly. “I’ll take you back to your cousin.” I let him escort me into the house, feeling like an ungrateful fool. I hadn’t even thanked him for his gift, and I desperately wanted to do so. But I couldn’t conjure the words to convey how I was feeling, and so I murmured farewell at the door.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
Move quickly and don’t say anything,” Wesley ordered as he pushed me forward. The steel wire fence of the Death Camps rose up sharply in the light of the moon. I stopped, whirling around to face him. “How can you live with yourself, working for this army?” I asked in a trembling voice, staring deep into his eyes. “If you’re going to kill me, go ahead and do it now.” He pushed me forward. “Didn’t you hear me?” he hissed. “I said, don’t speak. Keep walking.” The moonlight fell across his angular cheekbones and lit up the dark hollows of his eyes. We had passed the camps and were now walking down the dark field toward a windowless brick building. “Where are you taking me?” I said through clenched teeth. He pulled me to a stop and began to untie the rope binding my wrists. “You’re not taking me to the camps?” My voice was filled with confusion. He took a second gun from his uniform and placed it in my palm. “Do you know how to shoot?” “Yes.” “There’s a full round in there. Don’t let go of it. If we get separated, if the Roamers get you, just shoot them. Don’t hesitate or they’ll kill you first.” I nodded mechanically and wrapped my fingers around the grip, wincing at the pain as I placed my finger experimentally on the trigger. “I’m taking you somewhere safe, but we have to go through the woods to get there,” Wesley went on. “And we need to be quiet and careful. If I’m caught helping you, we’ll both be killed.” I raised my eyes to his. I wanted to trust him, but what if this was just an elaborate trap? “Why are you helping me?” I asked. He looked toward the Death Camps in the distance. “You’re not the only person here with something to hide, Eliza.
Galaxy Craze (The Last Princess (Last Princess, #1))
I think ghostliness is a good quality. I pretend I'm dead all the time." "What?" He stopped rummaging through his locker to look at me full in the face a last. "It helps me go to sleep," I said. "That shows you don't know anything about death," Jonah said. "Do you?" I asked. He hesitated before saying "I'm a g-g-g-ghost, aren't I?" "I think being dead might be nice. Restful." "Death is not restful. It's nothing." "That's what seems restful to me," I said. "The nothing. Not being here. Not being anywhere.
Natalie Standiford (How to Say Goodbye in Robot)
Your brother is a dear, and I do love him for the way he never fears to tell the truth. But he really doesn’t understand some things, does he?” “No,” I squeaked. My voice seemed to come from someone else. Nimiar ran her fingers along the harp strings and cocked her head, listening to the sounds they produced. “No one,” she said, “--well, no ordinary person-sits down to a harp and plays perfectly. It takes time and training.” I nodded stupidly. She dropped her hands. “When Branaric came to Athanarel, he knew nothing of etiquette or Court custom. Arrived wearing cast-off war gear belonging to Lord Vidanric, his arm in a dirty sling, his nose red from a juicy cold. There are those at Court who would have chewed him like jackals with a bone, except he freely admitted to being a rustic. Thought it a very good joke. Then he’d been brought by the Marquis, who is a leader of fashion, and Savona took to him instantly. The Duke of Savona is another leader. And…” She hesitated. “And certain women who also lead fashion liked him. Added was the fact that you Astiars have become something of heroes, and it became a fad to teach him. His blunt speech was a refreshing change, and he doesn’t care at all what people think of him. But you do, don’t you?” She peered into my face. “You care--terribly.” I bit my lip. She touched my wrist. “Let us make a pact. If you will come to Athanarel and dance at my wedding, I will undertake to teach you everything you need to know about Court life. And I’ll help you select a wardrobe--and no one need ever know.” I swallowed, then took a deep, unsteady breath. “What is it?” She looked unhappy. “Do you mistrust me?” I shook my head so hard my coronet came loose, and a loop settled over one eye. “They would know,” I whispered, waving a hand. “They? Your servants? Oh. You mean Branaric and Lord Vidanric?” I nodded. “They’ll surely want to know my reasons. Since I didn’t come to Court before.” I thought of that letter hidden in my room and wondered if its arrival and Shevraeth’s on the same day had some sinister political meaning. She smiled. “Don’t worry about Bran. All he wants, you must see, is to show you off at Athanarel. He knew you were refurbishing this castle, and I rather think he assumed you were--somehow--learning everything he was learning and obtaining a fashionable wardrobe as well. And every time he talks of you it’s always to say how much more clever you are than he is. I really think he expected to bring us here and find you waiting as gowned and jeweled as my cousin Tamara.” I winced. “That sounds, in truth, like Branaric.” “And as for Vidanric, well, you’re safe there. I’ve never met anyone as closemouthed, when he wants to be. He won’t ask your reasons. What?” “I said, ‘Hah.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
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What about ‘The Girl I Left Behind’?” Abigail suggested. “I found the music in the piano bench.” She had heard that when soldiers used to leave the post, heading for battle, the company band would play that song. Oliver shook his head. “I don’t want to leave my girl behind. I want her by my side.” He gave Abigail a look so filled with longing that a lump formed in her stomach. Oh no, Oliver. You don’t mean it. You know I’m not your girl, and I won’t ever be. Oblivious to the thoughts that set Abigail’s insides churning, Charlotte nodded vigorously. “That shouldn’t stop us from singing it,” she insisted. “It’s a pretty song.” And it was. Were it not for her concerns that Oliver wanted something she could not give, Abigail could have spent hours listening to him and her sister, for their voices blended beautifully. At the end of the evening, Abigail accompanied Oliver to the door. Though she hoped he would simply say good night as he had before, the way he cleared his throat and the uneasiness she saw on his face made Abigail fear that her hopes would not be realized. Perhaps if she kept everything casual, he would take the cue. “Thank you for coming,” she said as they walked onto the front porch. “Charlotte always enjoys your duets.” “And you?” They were only two words, but Oliver’s voice cracked with emotion as he pronounced them. Please, Oliver, go home. Don’t say something you’ll regret. Though the plea was on the tip of her tongue, Abigail chose a neutral response. “I enjoy listening to both of you.” Oliver stroked his nose in a gesture Abigail had learned was a sign of nervousness. “That’s not what I meant. I hope you enjoy my company as much as I do yours. I look forward to these visits all day.” His voice had deepened, the tone telling Abigail he was close to making a declaration. If only she could spare him the inevitable pain of rejection. “It’s good to have friends,” she said evenly. Oliver shook his head. “You know I want to be more than your friend. I want to marry you.” “I’m sorry.” And she was. Though Ethan claimed Oliver bounced back from rejection, she hated being the one to deliver it. “You know marriage is not possible. Woodrow . . .” Abigail hesitated as she tried and failed to conjure his image. “Woodrow isn’t here.” Oliver completed the sentence. “I am. I lo—” She would not allow him to continue. While it was true that Oliver’s visits helped lift Charlotte’s spirits and filled the empty space left by Jeffrey’s absence, Abigail could not let him harbor any false hopes. “Good night, Lieutenant Seton.” Perhaps the use of his title would tell him she regarded him as a friend, nothing more. What appeared to be sadness filled Oliver’s eyes as his smile faded. “Is there no hope for me?” Abigail shook her head slowly. “I’m afraid not.” He stood for a moment, his lips flattened, his breathing ragged. At last, he reached out and captured her hand in his. Raising it to his lips, Oliver pressed a kiss to the back. “Good night, Miss Harding,” he said as he released her hand and walked away.
Amanda Cabot (Summer of Promise (Westward Winds, #1))
Even at a distance, he recognized Emma sprawled headlong in the street, and he broke into a run. The road was empty, so was the boardwalk. He knelt beside her and helped her sit up. “Emma . . . honey, are you okay?” Tears streaked her dusty cheeks. “I-I lost my Aunt Kenny, and”—she hiccupped a sob—“m-my mommy’s gone.” Her face crumpled. “Oh, little one . . . come here.” He gathered her to him, and she came without hesitation. He stood and wiped her tears, and checked for injuries. No broken bones. Nothing but a skinned knee that a little soapy water—and maybe a sugar stick—would fix right up. “Shh . . . it’s okay.” He smoothed the hair on the back of her head, and her little arms came around his neck. A lump rose in his throat. “I won’t let anything happen to you.” Her sobs came harder. “Clara fell down too, Mr. Wyatt.” She drew back and held up the doll. “She’s all dirty. And she stinks.” Wyatt tried his best not to smile. Clara was indeed filthy. And wet. Apparently she’d gone for a swim in the same mud puddle Emma had fallen in. Only it wasn’t just mud, judging from the smell. “Here . . .” He gently chucked her beneath the chin. “Let’s see if we can find your Aunt Kenny. You want to?” The little girl nodded with a hint of uncertainty. “But I got my dress all dirty. She’s gonna be mad.” Knowing there might be some truth to that, he also knew Miss Ashford would be worried sick. “Do you remember where you were with Aunt Kenny before you got lost?” Emma shook her head. “I was talkin’ to my friend, and I looked up . . .” She sniffed and wiped her nose with the back of her hand. “And Aunt Kenny was gone.” Wyatt knew better than to think it was McKenna Ashford who had wandered away. “We’ll find her, don’t you worry.” “Clara’s dress is dirty like mine, huh?” She held the doll right in front of his face. Wyatt paused, unable to see it clearly. Easily supporting Emma’s weight, he took Clara and did his best to wipe the dirt and mud from the doll’s dress and its once-yellow strands of hair. His efforts only made a bigger mess, but Emma’s smile said she was grateful. “She likes you.” Emma put a hand to his cheek, then frowned. “Your face is itchy.” Knowing what she meant, he laughed and rubbed his stubbled jaw. He’d bathed and shaved last night in preparation for church this morning, half hoping he might see McKenna and Emma there. But they hadn’t attended. “My face is itchy, huh?” She squeezed his cheek in response, and he made a chomping noise, pretending he was trying to bite her. She pulled her hand back, giggling. Instinctively, he hugged her close and she laid her head on his shoulder. Something deep inside gave way. This is what it would have been like if his precious little Bethany had lived. He rubbed Emma’s back, taking on fresh pain as he glimpsed a fragment of what he’d been denied by the deaths of his wife and infant daughter so many years ago. “Here, you can carry her.” Emma tried to stuff Clara into his outer vest pocket, but the doll wouldn’t fit. Wyatt tucked her inside his vest instead and positioned its scraggly yarn head to poke out over the edge, hoping it would draw a smile. Which it did.
Tamera Alexander (The Inheritance)
Nathaniel said, “Allow me to help.” She kept pacing. “What can you do?” “I can marry you.” She whirled, incredulous. “Marry me?” He flinched as though she’d slapped him. “I know it was Lewis you wanted. If that is still the case, I will do everything in my power to convince him. In fact, he may be more amenable, now he knows of your inheritance.” She frowned. “I don’t want to marry Lewis. How would marrying anybody help my sister?” “If Marcus has proposed to your sister to force you from hiding . . . and still hopes to marry you for your inheritance . . .” “My birthday is only two weeks away. If I can remain unwed until I receive my inheritance I will grant Caroline a generous dowry and she can marry someone worthy of her. And I can marry, or not, as I wish.” He shook his head. “You have been living under our roof for months now, Margaret. A gentleman in such a situation, unusual as this one is, has a certain duty, a certain obligation.” A chill ran through her. She lifted her chin. “I assure you there is no obligation, Mr. Upchurch. You and your brother did not know I was here, though I suspect your sister knew all along. You need not worry. You are under no compunction to uphold my honor, such as it is after all this.” “It would be no burden, Miss Macy, I promise you.” He took a step nearer, a grin touching his mouth. “In fact, I can think of no other woman I would rather be shackled to.” She stiffened, anger flaring. “I don’t want you to be shackled to me. I don’t want anyone to have to marry me. Not Marcus Benton, not Lewis, and not you.” “Margaret, I was only joking. Don’t—” She whipped opened the door and whispered harshly, “Now I must ask you to leave, sir, this very moment.” Nathaniel hesitated. Then, with a look of pained regret, he complied.
Julie Klassen (The Maid of Fairbourne Hall)
Rescue the perishing;     don't hesitate to step in and help. If you say, "Hey, that's none of my business,"     will that get you off the hook? Someone is watching you closely, you know—     Someone not impressed with weak excuses. Proverbs 24:11-12
Zari Banks (O Lord, Forgive Them: 30 Days of Praying for Your Enemies)
If you ever find you need help again, you know, if you’re in trouble, need a hand out of a tight corner …” “Yeah?” “Please don’t hesitate to get lost.
Douglas Adams (The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1-5))
What about you?” he asked, ready to take the focus off himself and his parents. “What kind of mom did you have?” She hesitated. Her hair was unraveled and lay in a glorious display of long dark curls around her face. The muscles in his hands tensed with the need to thread his fingers through the thick locks. Instead he grabbed his ax and poked the fire, sending more sparks flying. “I don’t remember much about my mother,” she said. He stared at the flames, trying to keep a rein on his thoughts about Lily. “She died giving birth to Daisy.” Her voice dipped. “I’m sorry.” He stilled and glanced at her again. Her forehead crinkled above eyes that radiated pain. “My father couldn’t take care of us, and for a few years we were shuffled between relatives. Until he got into an accident at work and died within a few days.” An ache wound around his heart. “After that, no one wanted us anymore. I suppose without the money my father had provided them, they couldn’t afford to take care of two more children—not when they struggled enough without us. So they dropped us off at the New York Foundling Hospital.” She paused, and he didn’t say anything, although part of him wished he could curse the family that gave up two girls with such ease. “We lived at the hospital in New York City until there was no longer room for us. Then we moved to other orphanages.” She turned to look at the fire, embarrassment reflected in her face. “I made sure they never separated Daisy and me. I kept us together all those years, no matter where we were. And finally we had the option of moving here to Michigan. They said families needed boys and girls. We’d get to live in real homes.” The grip on his heart cinched tighter. “When we got here, I thought I was doing the best thing for Daisy by giving her a real family to live with. The Wretchams seemed nice. They lived on a big farm. Needed some extra help—” “So you and Daisy didn’t stay together?” “There weren’t any families needing two almost-grown girls. But I consoled myself that it was only temporary, that we’d only be apart until I could find a good job and a place for us to live.” “That must have been hard on both of you.” “Letting her go was like ripping out a piece of my heart.” He wanted to reach for her, pull her into his arms, and comfort her. But everything within him warned him against even a move as innocent as that. “When I learned she’d run away from the Wretchams, she ripped out the rest of my heart, and it hasn’t stopped bleeding since.
Jody Hedlund (Unending Devotion (Michigan Brides, #1))
a man shouted from the crowd: “How can we help?” Musk didn’t hesitate. “I mean, I know you guys think global warming is real,” he said, close to laughter, “but the crazy thing is, a lot of people out there don’t. It blows my mind.” He wanted his followers to spread the word. “There’s a nonstop propaganda campaign from the fossil fuel industry. They’re just defending themselves. It’s kind of what you would expect”—he shrugged—“but they just, it’s nonstop—and they have, like, a thousand times more money than we do.” The partygoers booed the absent foes. Musk urged them to fight back against the messages that muddied the science of climate change and complicated the advent of a sustainable energy future.
Hamish McKenzie (Insane Mode: How Elon Musk's Tesla Sparked an Electric Revolution to End the Age of Oil)
Harespring dipped his head respectfully. “Greetings, Bramblestar. We’ve come to ask for ThunderClan’s help. We need a medicine cat.” Bramblestar was silent for a moment, his gaze flicking from Harespring to Crowfeather and back again. “You need a medicine cat,” he repeated. “You’re asking for our help, after Onestar insulted me when I came to offer my help with the stoats?” “We’ve had more trouble with them,” Harespring responded. “Many of our cats are injured.” Bramblestar hesitated for a heartbeat, then turned to Squirrelflight, who had padded up to stand at her leader’s shoulder. “I don’t want any cat to suffer,” he meowed. “Fetch Leafpool and Jayfeather, please.” As Squirrelflight left, Bramblestar faced the WindClan cats again, giving his whiskers a disdainful twitch. “Tell me exactly what happened.” Harespring hesitated, casting an uncertain glance at Crowfeather, who could share his tension, knowing what Bramblestar’s reaction was likely to be.
Erin Hunter (Crowfeather’s Trial (Warriors Super Edition, #11))
Sometimes our impulses and desires make us feel powerless. But part of the art of living is knowing how to fight that feeling; because when we’re powerless, we get frightened, and then we lose our grip on our intelligence, our common sense, and we become weak. You’re going to be scared in lots of ways in your life, Arthur. But always fight back, and don’t hesitate for too long. Think, decide, and then act. Don’t have doubts. You have to act on your decisions, or you’ll be unhappy. Every decision you make can become a kind of game that helps you know yourself better, and understand the world.
Marc Levy (If Only It Were True)
Over the past few decades, we have developed euphemisms to help us forget how we, as a nation, have segregated African American citizens. We have become embarrassed about saying ghetto, a word that accurately describes a neighborhood where government has not only concentrated a minority but established barriers to its exist. We don't hesitate to acknowledge that Jews in Eastern Europe were forced to live in ghettos where opportunity was limited and leaving was difficult or impossible. Yet when we encounter similar neighborhoods in this country, we now delicately refer to them as the inner city, yet everyone knows what we mean. (When affluent whites gentrify the same geographic areas, we don't characterize those whites as inner city families.) Before we became ashamed to admit that the country had circumscribed African Americans in ghettos, analyses of race relations, both African American and white, consistently and accurately used ghetto to describe low-income African American neighborhoods, created by public policy, with a shortage of opportunity, and with barriers to exit.
Richard Rothstein (The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America)
Terry Pratchett (The Fifth Elephant (Discworld, #24))
No, no I don’t believe the P.M. would hesitate, she thought. If only math could help. But the value of human life is immeasurable, and so neither option is morally acceptable. How do you measure and compare the quantity of x versus the quantity of y + z if you don’t know the values of any of them? How many angels can die on the head of a pin?
Susan Elia MacNeal (The Paris Spy (Maggie Hope, #7))
All relationships come with ambivalence. Knowing someone well means that we enjoy the best of what he or she has to offer and must reconcile ourselves to being frustrated and disappointed at times, too. Acknowledging your own crazy spots (and, perhaps, your partner’s) welcomes your daughter to these facts of life. Don’t hesitate to extend this same lesson to adults beyond your home as well. When we help girls let go of the idea that there are perfect people or perfect relationships, they move into a vastly more mature way of dealing with people as they are and the world as it is. And on your end, too, remembering how to hold on to good feelings when we are angry or disappointed will come in handy because sometimes your daughter will do things she’s not supposed to do.
Lisa Damour (Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood)
What happens is that people don’t know, and so they can’t help me,’ he was saying calmly. ‘But when they open their morning newspapers and see that thirty thousand elephants are being killed every year to make paper knives and billiard balls, and that there’s a man who's doing his damnedest to stop this mass murder, they’ll raise hell. When they hear that out of a hundred baby elephants captured for the zoos eighty die in the first days, you’ll see what public opinion will say. There's such a thing as popular feeling, you know. That’s the kind of thing that makes a government fall, I tell you. All that’s needed is for the people to know.’ ’It was intolerable. I listened gaping, absolutely struck dumb. The man had faith in us, totally and unshakably, and that was something, a faith in us that looked as strong, as natural, as irrational as the elements, as the sea or the wind — something, by God, that looked in the end like the force of truth itself. I had to make an effort to defend myself — not to succumb to that amazing naivete. He really believed that people still had the generosity, the heart, in the ugly times we live in, to worry not only about themselves, but about elephants as well. It was enough to make you weep. I stood there in silence, staring at him — admiring him, I should say — with that gloomy, obstinate expression of his, and that damned briefcase. Ridiculous, if you like, yet also disarming, because I felt he was completely convinced by all the beautiful things man has sung about himself in his moments of inspiration. And with it all, a pigheaded obstinacy — the revolting thoroughness of a schoolmaster who’s got it into his head that he’ll make humanity do its homework and would not hesitate to punish it if it misbehaved. You can see from what I say that he was a highly contagious man.
Romain Gary (The Roots of Heaven)
As you consider your options, as you consider moving down a particular path, as you consider what to do next, if there’s any hesitation around a particular alternative, pause and allow . . . and I don’t know any other way to say this . . . allow that emotion, that tension, to rise up and get as big as it can possibly get before you decide. Don’t start selling yourself. As we’ve discussed, we have the ability to sell ourselves right past that pesky tension that deserves our attention.
Andy Stanley (Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets: 5 Questions to Help You Determine Your Next Move)
For Graham, a properly ordered family was a patriarchal one. Because Graham believed that God had cursed women to be under man’s rule, he believes that wives should submit to husbands’ authority. Graham acknowledged that this would come as a shock to certain “dictatorial wives,” and he didn’t hesitate to offer Christian housewives helpful tips: When a husband comes home from work, run out and kiss him. “Give him love at any cost. Cultivate modesty and the delicacy of yourh. Be attractive.” Keep a clean house and don’t “nag and complain all the time.” He had advice for men, too. A man was God’s representative—the spiritual head of household, “the protector” and “provider of the home.” Also, husbands should remember to give wives a box of candy from time to time, or an orchid. Or maybe roses.
Kristin Kobes DuMez
Need some help?” He reached for the books in her arms before she could object. “Hey ...” She looked like a viper ready to strike, but then her pupils dilated as she stared up at him. “I’m sorry ... do I know you?” “No.” He offered her a smile, hoping to settle her nerves. He didn’t speak to many women, but when he did, he always got that same staggered expression. “But you looked as though you needed a third hand.” “I don’t think I could manage if I were an octopus.” He laughed. Beautiful and a sense of humor. Most of the women he knew were too serious. “Funny. Are you off to another lecture?” “No ... I’m late for work. I keep telling my boss not to schedule me on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but he doesn’t listen, and then — sorry. TMI. I tend to ramble on, something the professors keep fussing at me about. Thanks. I sent the message, so I can carry my books now. I’m not up on all these new gadgets.” She waved her phone. “This is my first cell phone. I can’t afford it, but I really needed it. ” She smacked her hand over her mouth and reached for her books. “See ... I never shut up.” Derrick couldn’t help but smile. She was so cute. “I’ll walk you to your car. That way if your boss replies, you can respond quickly.” Her eyes narrowed this time, a look he wasn’t accustomed to; the few women he talked to trusted him completely. Even the female professors said he had a wonderful bedside manner. “Umm ... it’s okay. I take the T.” “Would you like a lift, then, so you aren’t late?” She shook her head. “No. Thank you. I appreciate it ... but I don’t even know you.” “Derrick Ashton.” He offered her his hand. The young woman hesitantly extended her slender, creamy-skinned hand. Her hand looked so small and delicate in his larger, olive-skinned hand. “Nice to meet you, Derrick. I’m Janelle Heskin. But still ... ” Derrick released her after a second and lifted his hands in front of him. “I’m harmless, I swear. They wouldn’t have accepted me into medical school if I had a record, and I’m here because I want to help people, and you looked like you needed help.” She
Carmen DeSousa (Creatus (Creatus, #1))
Don’t you have your suit on?” he asks, pulling off his shoes. I nod and wait for him to get distracted again before shedding layers, turning my back on him as I pull out my sunscreen and work the cool lotion into my face, down my arms, stomach and legs. A grunt escapes my mouth, the hard to reach spot on my back mocking me. No. The cliché Can you rub this on my back? is most definitely not happening. Assuming the plan is to soak up some rays and chat, I lie down on my back, hiding the vulnerable strip of unprotected skin, determined not to ask for help. His eyes are on me. I can feel it. I suck in, flattening out my stomach as much as possible, before turning my head and squinting at him. I was right. He’s staring. “What?” I ask. “Do you want me to get your back for you?” Cringe. “No, I’m fine.” “Okay, then could you get mine? I don’t really want the striped look you’re going for. A little too trendy for me.” He laughs, snapping the lid shut on his sunscreen bottle. He shakes it hard to force the lotion to the end, every muscle in his body tensing, releasing, tensing, releasing. My jaw goes slack. He asked me a question. What was it? The cliché come to life? I hesitantly sit up and he’s already on his knees on the end of my mat, back to me. “Oh. Okay, sure.” I take the bottle from him and smear the lotion on the middle of his back as fast as I can. Why isn’t it rubbing in? Too much, I took too much. His body is solid under my fingertips. And tan. And solid. And sweaty. Overstimulation. Accelerated heart rate. Bad thoughts, Pippa. Stop. The lotion finally blends into his skin and I wipe my hands on my towel. “That wasn’t so terrible, was it?” Darren twists around and winks. “Now are you going to be stubborn or do you want me to finish your back for you?” I give in for lack of a reasonable excuse and toss him my higher SPF. He kneels behind me and gently rubs even the places I know he saw me reach myself. When he nears the small of my back, I sit up straight as a board, goose bumps racing down my arms and legs, pulse loud in my ears. I need a distraction, fast.
Kristin Rae (Wish You Were Italian (If Only . . ., #2))
Taylor—” I started. “No.” she shook her head. “Maybe it would be better if I left. I have to start fending for myself, Victor. Have to get out in the world and live on my own.” “No, you don’t.” I pulled over to the side of the road and turned to face her. The protective possessiveness was rolling over me again, an instinct too strong to deny. “Look at me,” I demanded. She turned toward me, her arms crossed protectively over her breasts. “What?” “Taylor… God, how do I say this?” I muttered, running a hand through my hair. “Look, I don’t mind letting you drink from me. I thought I would but I don’t, okay? And I don’t want you going anywhere—you belong in my house with me—nowhere else.” “Victor—” she started to protest but I held up a hand to stop her. “When the three months is over, you can go where you want and do what you want. But until then…” I leaned forward, looking intently into her eyes. “Until then, Taylor, you’re mine. Mine to protect. Mine to cherish. Mine to nourish. Just like the vows we took said—vows I don’t intend to break. Do you understand? Mine.” The last word was a low growl, more animal than human. It came from deep inside me—from the wolf wanting to protect its mate. She looked at me for a long time and I could hear her heart racing in the silence of the cab. Probably, I was scaring her to death but I couldn’t help myself, couldn’t stop myself from laying claim to her. She was mine, damn it. Mine. “All right,” she whispered at last, nodding. “I get it.” “No.” I shook my head. I needed more than just a simple acknowledgement that she’d heard me. “Say it, Taylor,” I told her. “I want to hear you say that you’re mine.” “I…” she licked her lips nervously. “I’m yours, Victor,” she said in a trembling voice. “Only… only yours.” “Good.” I nodded, feeling something inside my chest loosen. But there was something else to clear up. “And I want to hear you say you’ll drink from me every time you’re thirsty,” I told her. “Every Goddamn time.” “I…” For some reason she hesitated, her eyes wide as she looked at me. Why was this a problem? She needed my blood and I wanted her to take it—no, I needed her to take it, damn it! “Say it,” I demanded. I tried to make my voice a little softer but I couldn’t help the intensity of my gaze as I looked at her. “Say you’ll drink from me, baby,” I urged her. “I want you to.” “I… I’ll drink from you,” she whispered at last. “Good.” At last, I felt satisfied. Turning back to the road, I started the truck again. “I’m glad we cleared that up.
Evangeline Anderson (Scarlet Heat (Born to Darkness, #2; Scarlet Heat, #0))
I suppose you are the four children out of the old stories,” said Trumpkin. “And I’m very glad to meet you of course. And it’s very interesting, no doubt. But--no offense?”--and he hesitated again. “Do get on and say whatever you’re going to say,” said Edmund. “Well, then--no offense,” said Trumpkin. “ But, you know, the King and Trufflehunter and Doctor Cornelius were expecting--well, if you see what I mean, help. To put it in another way, I think they’d been imagining you as great warriors. As it is--we’re awfully fond of children and all that, but just at the moment, in the middle of a war--but I’m sure you understand.” “You mean you think we’re no good,” said Edmund, getting red in the face. “Now pray don’t be offended,” interrupted the Dwarf. “I assure you, my dear little friends--” “Little from you is really a bit too much,” said Edmund, jumping up.
C.S. Lewis (Prince Caspian (Chronicles of Narnia, #2))
You look tired,” he said bluntly. “On my account. Forgive me.” “Oh, not at all, it wasn’t you. I had nightmares.” “What about?” Her expression turned guarded. Forbidden territory. And yet Leo couldn’t help pressing. “Are the nightmares about your past? About whatever situation it was that Rutledge found you in?” Drawing in a sharp breath, Catherine stood, looking stunned and slightly ill. “Perhaps I should go.” “No,” Leo said quickly, making a staying gesture with his hand. “Don’t leave. I need company—I’m still suffering the aftereffects of the laudanum that you convinced me to take.” Seeing her continuing hesitation, he added, “And I have a fever.” “A mild one.” “Hang it, Marks, you’re a companion,” he said with a scowl. “Do your job, will you?” She looked indignant for a moment, and then a laugh burst out despite her efforts to hold it in. “I’m Beatrix’s companion,” she said. “Not yours.” “Today you’re mine. Sit and start reading.
Lisa Kleypas (Married By Morning (The Hathaways, #4))
A true gift is providing what someone really needs. Don’t hesitate to ask others how you can help. — Jane M. Abeln —
Gary Chapman (Love is a Verb Devotional: 365 Daily Inspirations to Bring Love Alive)
Everyone knows there are spies in the area. I know everyone in Jericho, and besides I can tell by your voice and by your dress. The soldiers are coming. My house is right there. I will hide you.” “Who are you?” the wounded man gasped. “I told you my name is Rahab.” She hesitated, then said, “I will not lead you into harm. I am…a harlot.” The wounded man laughed weakly. “Wouldn’t you know it, Othniel, the only help we have and she’s a harlot.” “I don’t care what she is,” Othniel said. “They’re coming. I can hear them.” “We won’t go with a harlot!” “Yes we will. Why would you hide an enemy, Rahab?” he said. “I have heard of your god. He is a strong god. He’s going to destroy this place.
Gilbert Morris (Daughter of Deliverance (Lions of Judah Book #6))
I was losing control, my body taking over and I loved it. Without hesitation I sat up, straddling him, and yanked my nightshirt off. Avery put his hands up to say stop, but then, as if he knew he was defeated, he reached out and brought me back down to him. I kissed his neck, my hands on his chest, pausing only to help push his shirt off over his head. Amazingly I didn’t hyperventilate; I was too busy feeling his bare skin against mine to even bother looking at him. I had wasted enough moments looking. He moved his hands down my back and grabbed my rear end. For a second I considered stopping and telling him that I needed to go home, that I didn’t know what I was doing out here half naked on a park bench. That I was sure I was going to hell for all of the things I wanted to do to him. But it felt so good. The headlights from a passing car flashed over us. “Whoa!” Avery clamped his arms around me. We lie there nose to nose, looking at each other. I totally got the giggles. “Are you trying to shield me?” He grinned. “Um, don’t know if you’ve noticed, but you don’t have a shirt on.” I pulled away and slapped him on the chest. “You don’t either!” He
Stacey Wallace Benefiel (Glimpse (Zellie Wells, #1))
The next morning, Steve took his boat out and saw what had happened. The big male had triggered the trap and was snared in the mesh--sort of. Even though the rectangular-shaped net was the biggest he had, the croc’s tail and back leg stuck out. But the black ghost had finally been caught. At Steve’s approach, the animal thrashed wildly, smashing apart mangrove trees on either side of the trap. Steve tried to top-jaw-rope the croc, but it was fighting too violently. Normally Chilli acted as a distraction, giving Steve the chance to secure the croc. But the dog wanted no part of this. She cowered on the floor of the dinghy, unwilling to face this monstrously large croc. Steve was truly on his own. He finally secured a top-jaw rope and tied the other end to a tree. With a massive “death roll”--a defensive maneuver in which the reptile spins its enormous body--the big croc smashed the tree flat and snapped it off. Steve tried again; the croc thrashed, growling and roaring in protest at the trapper in khaki, lunging again and again to tear Steve apart. Finally, the giant croc death-rolled so violently that he came off the bank and landed in the boat, which immediately sank. Chilli had jumped out and was swimming for shore as Steve worked against time. With the croc underwater, Steve lashed the croc, trap and all, in the dinghy. But moving the waterlogged boat and a ton of crocodile was simply too much. Steve sprinted several miles in the tropical heat to reach a cane farm, where he hoped to get help. The cane farmers were a bit hesitant to lend a hand, so Steve promised them a case of beer, and a deal was made. With a sturdy fishing boat secured to each side of Steve’s dinghy, they managed to tow it downriver where they could winch croc and boat onto dry land to get him into a crate. By this time, a crowd of spectators had gathered. When Steve told me the story of the capture, I got the sense that he felt sorry he had to catch the crocodile at all. “It seemed wrong to remove the king of the river,” Steve said. “That croc had lasted in his territory for decades. Here I was taking him out of it. The local people just seemed relieved, and a couple even joked about how many boots he’d make.” Steve was very clever to include the local people and soon won them over to see just how special this crocodile really was. Just as he was dragged into his crate, the old croc attempted a final act of defiance, a death roll that forced Steve to pin him again. “I whispered to him to calm him down,” Steve said. “What did you say to him?” I asked. “Please don’t die.” The black crocodile didn’t die. Steve brought him back to Beerwah, named him Acco, and gave him a beautiful big pond that Bob had prepared, with plenty of places to hide. We were in the Crocodile Environmental Park at the zoo when Steve first told me the story of Acco’s capture. I just had to revisit him after hearing his story. There he was, the black ghost himself, magnificently sunning on the bank of his billabong.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
We'll help you to your feet," she told Rhys. "You won't have to walk far. I have the proper facilities and supplies to treat your shoulder." Severin scowled. "Miss, I have to object-" "Dr. Gibson," she said crisply. "Dr. Gibson," he said, with an emphasis on the "Dr." that sounded distinctly insulting. "This is Mr. Winterborne. The one with the department store. He needs to be treated by a real physician with experience and proper training, not to mention-" "A penis?" she suggested acidly. "I'm afraid I don't have one of those. Nor is it a requirement for a medical degree. I am a real physician, and the sooner I treat Mr. Winterborne's shoulder, the better it will go for him." At Severin's continued hesitation, she said, "The limited external rotation of the shoulder, impaired elevation of the arm, and the prominence of the coracoid process all indicate posterior dislocation. Therefore, the joint must be relocated without delay if we are to prevent further damage to the neurovascular status of the upper extremity." Had Rhys not been in such acute discomfort, he would have relished Severin's stunned expression. "I'll help you move him," Severin muttered.
Lisa Kleypas (Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels, #2))
Dreaming is impossible without myths. If we ll latch onto those of others -- even if don't have enough myths of our own, we'll latch onto those of others -- even if those myths make us believe terrible or false things about ourselves... Call it superego, call it common sense, call it pragmatism, call it learned helplessness, but the mind craves boundaries. Depending on the myths we believe in, those boundaries can be magnificently vast or crushingly tight. Throughout my life as I've sought to become a published writer of speculative fiction, my strongest detractors and discouragers have been other African Americans... Having swallowed these ideas, people regurgitate them at me at nearly every turn. And for a time, I swallowed them, too... Myths tell us what those like us have done, can do, should do. Without myths to lead the way, we hesitate to leap forward. Listen to the wrong myths, and we might even go back a few steps... Because Star Trek takes place five hundred years from now, supposedly long after humanity has transcended racism, sexism, etc. But there's still only one black person on the crew, and she's the receptionist. This is disingenuous. I know now what I did not understand then: That most science fiction doesn't realistically depict the future; it reflects the present in which it is written. So for the 1960s, Uhura's presence was groundbreaking - and her marginalization was to be expected. But I wasn't watching the show in the 1960s. I was watching it in the 1980s... I was watching it as a tween/teen girl who'd grown up being told that she could do anything if she only put her mind to it, and I looked to science fiction to provide me with useful myths about my future: who I might become, what was possible, how far I and my descendants might go... In the future, as in the present, as in the past, black people will build many new worlds. This is true. I will make it so. And you will help me. -- "Dreaming Awake" by N.K. Jemisin
Glory Edim (Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves)
In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets."[16] — C.S. Lewis If you're either at the edge of depression or thinking of harming yourself right now, please don't hesitate to call a friend. If they don't answer, leave a long message. You might be surprised that it helps. Also,
J.S. Park (How Hard It Really Is: A Short, Honest Book About Depression)
only the dead keep secrets." "it is not easy. Taking a life, even when we knew it was required." "most people want only to be cared for. If I had no softness, I'd get nowhere at all." "a flaw of humanity. The compulsion to be unique, which is at war with the desire to belong to a single identifiable sameness." "someone always gains, just like someone always loses." "most women are less in love with the partners they choose than they are simply desperate for their approval, starving for their devotion. They want most often to be touched as no one else can touch them, and most of them inaccurately assume this requires romance. But the moment we realize we can feel fulfilled without carrying the burdens of belonging to another, that we can experience rapture without being someone's other half, and therefore beholden to their weaknesses, to their faults and failures and their many insufferable fractures, then we're free, aren't we? " " enough, for once, to feel, and nothing else. " " there was no stopping what one person could believe. " " I noticed that if I did certain things, said things in certain way, or held her eye contact while I did them, I could make her... Soften toward me. " " I think I've already decided what I'm going to do, and I just hope it's the right thing. But it isn't, or maybe it is. But I suppose it doesn't matter, because I've already started, and looking back won't help. " " luck is a matter of probabilities. " "you want to believe that your hesitation makes you good, make you feel better? It doesn't. Every single one of us is missing something. We are all too powerful, too extraordinary, and don't you see it's because we're riddled with vacancies? We are empty and trying to fill, lighting ourselves on fire just to prove that we are normal, that we are ordinary. That we, like anything, can burn. " " ask yourself where power comes from, if you can't see the source, don't trust it. " " an assassin acting on his own internal compass. Whether he lived or died as a result of his own choice? Unimportant. He didn't raise an army didn't fight for good, didn't interfere much with the queen's other evils. It was whether or not he could live with his own decision because life was the only thing that truly matters. " " the truest truth : mortal lifetimes were short, inconsequential. Convictions were death sentences. Money couldn't buy happiness, but nothing could buy happiness, so at least money could buy everything else. In term of finding satisfaction, all a person was capable of controlling was himself. " " humans were mostly sensible animals. They knew the dangers of erratic behavior. It was a chronic condition, survival. My intention is as same as others. Stand taller, think smarter, be better. " " she couldn't remember what version of her had put herself into that relationship, into that life, or somehow into this shape, which still looked and felt as it always had but wasn't anymore. " " conservative of energy meant that there must be dozens of people in the world who didn't exist because of she did. " " what replace feelings when there were none to be had? " " the absence of something was never as effective as the present of something. " "To be suspended in nothing, he said, was to lack all motivation, all desire. It was not numbness which was pleasurable in fits, but functional paralysis. Neither to want to live nor to die, but to never exist. Impossible to fight." "apology accepted. Forgiveness, however, declined." "there cannot be success without failure. No luck without unluck." "no life without death?" "Everything collapse, you will, too. You will, soon.
Olivie Blake (The Atlas Six (The Atlas, #1))
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dharmender kumar
My faith isn’t in time, it’s in God.” “Then why are you hesitant to help your people? Why do you insist on pawning off the hard jobs to others? Tell me”—he leans forward again—“what is your purpose here?” I fumble for an answer. “To ask you questions. And to help Wilbur Sherrod with his work.” He shakes his head with a patient blink. “As much as I relish discussing Wilbur Sherrod’s skill with design, I must redirect you. Why are you here? In the world. The big picture.” I stare at him. He stares back, waiting, calm. I’m ruffled. “A-Actually, that’s one of my questions for you. How do I find out God’s plan for my life?” “He doesn’t have one.” My head jerks. “What do you mean? He’s God. Doesn’t He have a specific purpose for everything? Everyone? For me?” At this, the Preacher laughs. “Purpose?” he asks when he takes a breath. “Life is meaningless.” Anger just short of panic threatens to block my throat. “No, it’s not. He has a plan, I know it.” “What is it?” I throw my arms up. “I was hoping you’d help me find out. Is it to save Radicals? Write my biography? Start life over in Ivanhoe? Keep Mrs. Newton company? What is it?” “Tell me, are you a pregnant virgin?” My breath seizes and I’m in front of Trevor Rain again, answering whether or not I’ve been kissed. It’s so embarrassing I struggle against the urge to laugh. “No.” I shake my head. “I mean, no, I’m not pregnant, but yes . . .” I swallow. “I’m a . . .” He spares me. “Have you spoken to a burning bush?” My eyes narrow. “Are you mocking me?” “I’m just pointing out that if God has a specific plan for your life, He’ll tell you like he told Mary and Moses. But the disturbing truth is, you have to decide what you want, just decide it with prayer.” I stand limp. Defeated. “I don’t know what I want.” “If you were in a ditch with your life seeping out of you, what’s the one thing you’d want? What do you want today?
Nadine Brandes (A Time to Die (Out of Time, #1))
He sighed and grabbed my left arm, examining the tattoo. 'What were you thinking? Didn't you know I'd come as soon as I could?' I yanked my arm from him. 'I was dying! I had a fever- I was barely able to keep conscious! How was I supposed to know you'd come? That you even understood how quickly humans can die of that sort of thing? You told me you hesitated that time with the naga.' 'I swore an oath to Tamlin-' 'I had no other choice! You think I'm going to trust you after everything you said to me at the manor?' 'I risked my neck for you during your task. Was that not enough?' His metal eye whirred softly. 'You offered up your name for me- after all that I said to you, all I did, you still offered up your name. Didn't you realise I would help you after that? Oath or no oath?' I hadn't realised it would mean anything to him at all. 'I had no other choice,' I said again, breathing hard. 'Don't you understand what Rhys is?' 'I do!' I barked, then sighed. 'I do,' I repeated, and glared at the eye in my palm. 'It's done with. So you needn't hold to whatever oath you swore to Tamlin to protect me- or feel like you owe me anything for saving you from Amarantha. I would have done it just to wipe the smirk off your brothers' faces.' Lucien clicked his tongue, but his remaining russet eye shone. 'I'm glad to see you didn't sell your lively human spirit or stubbornness to Rhys.' 'Just a week of my life every month.' 'Yes, well- we'll see about that when the time comes,' he growled, that metal eye flicking to the door.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
I take the comb from a pocket of my new dress and then hesitate. If I begin to untangle my nimbus of snarls, he will see how badly my hair is matted and be reminded of where he found me. He stands. Good. He will leave, and then I will be able to wrangle my hair alone. But instead he steps behind me and takes the comb from my hands. 'Let me do that,' he says, taking strands of my hair in his fingers. 'It's the colour of primroses.' My shoulders tense. I am unused to people touching me. 'You don't need to-' I start. 'It's no trouble,' he says. 'I had three older sisters brushing and braiding mine, no matter how I howled. I had to learn to do theirs, in self-defence. And my mother...' His fingers are clever. He holds each lock at the base, slowly teasing out the knots at the very end and then working backward to the scalp. Under his hands, it becomes smooth ribbons. If I had done this, I would have yanked half of it out in frustration. 'Your mother...,' I echo, prompting him to continue in a voice that shakes only a little. He begins to braid, sweeping my hair up so that thick plaits become something like his circlet, wrapping around my head. 'When we were in the mortal world, away from her servants, she needed help arranging it.' His voice is soft. This, along with the slightly painful pull against my scalp, the brush of his fingertips against my neck as he separates a section, the slight frown of concentration on his face, is overwhelming. I am not accustomed to someone being this close. When I look up, his smile is all invitation. We are no longer children, playing games and hiding beneath his bed, but I feel as though this is a different kind of game, one where I do not understand the rules. With a shiver, I take up the mirror from the dresser. In this hair, and with this dress, I look pretty. The kind of pretty that allows monsters to deceive people into forests, into dances where they will find their doom.
Holly Black (The Stolen Heir (The Stolen Heir Duology, #1))
God most certainly has a plan for your life. He can do great things through you if you have the courage to ask for His guidance and His help. So be fervent in prayer and don't hesitate to ask Him for the tools you need to accomplish His plan for your life.
The "model minority" myth is a dangerous drug manufactured and promoted by the Whiteness. It ignores all of our diverse experiences and narratives, eliminates all nuances, and lumps us with a convenient stereotype that always renders us as foreigners. It overlooks the discrimination, bias, and hate experienced by our communities and, perhaps worst of all, uses us, Asian and South Asian immigrants in particular, to launder systemic racism and discrimination against poor Black and Latino communities. Why can't they be "models" like us? Because they are lazy freeloaders who don't take personal responsibility, whine about racism, and refuse to pull themselves up by their bootstraps! The system turns us into enforcers and defenders of Whiteness, promising success and safety in exchange for loyalty and obedience. But it's an abusive, toxic relationship, in which the system has always betrayed us on a whim, without remorse or hesitation. Being a "model minority" doesn't live up to the hype.
Wajahat Ali (Go Back to Where You Came From: And Other Helpful Recommendations on How to Become American)