Fingers Crossed Quotes

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

When she had gone, Thorne let out a low whistle. “I know, I know. She seems a little”—crossing his eyes, he swirled both fingers around his ears—“but it’s really part of her charm, once you get to know her.
Marissa Meyer (Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2))
Do you love me?' I asked her. She smiled. 'Yes.' 'Do you want me to be happy?' as I asked her this I felt my heart beginning to race. 'Of course I do.' 'Will you do something for me then?' She looked away, sadness crossing her features. 'I don't know if I can anymore.' she said. 'but if you could, would you?' I cannot adequately describe the intensity of what I was feeling at that moment. Love, anger, sadness, hope, and fear, whirling together sharpened by the nervousness I was feeling. Jamie looked at me curiously and my breaths became shallower. Suddenly I knew that I'd never felt as strongly for another person as I did at that moment. As I returned her gaze, this simple realization made me wish for the millionth time that I could make all this go away. Had it been possible, I would have traded my life for hers. I wanted to tell her my thoughts, but the sound of her voice suddenly silenced the emotions inside me. 'yes' she finally said, her voice weak yet somehow still full of promise. 'I would.' Finally getting control of myself I kissed her again, then brought my hand to her face, gently running my fingers over her cheek. I marveled at the softness of her skin, the gentleness I saw in her eyes. even now she was perfect. My throat began to tighten again, but as I said, I knew what I had to do. Since I had to accept that it was not within my power to cure her, what I wanted to do was give her something that she'd wanted. It was what my heart had been telling me to do all along. Jamie, I understood then, had already given me the answer I'd been searching for, the answer my heart needed to find. She'd told me outside Mr. Jenkins office, the night we'd asked him about doing the play. I smiled softly, and she returned my affection with a slight squeeze of my hand, as if trusting me in what I was about to do. Encouraged, I leaned closer and took a deep breath. When I exhaled, these were the words that flowed with my breath. 'Will you marry me?
Nicholas Sparks (A Walk to Remember)
As we crossed the Colorado-Utah border I saw God in the sky in the form of huge gold sunburning clouds above the desert that seemed to point a finger at me and say, "Pass here and go on, you're on the road to heaven.
Jack Kerouac (On the Road)
Everybody knows that the dice are loaded, Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed, Everybody knows that the war is over, Everybody knows the good guys lost.
Leonard Cohen (The Leonard Cohen Collection)
I love being a pavement artist; seriously, I do. It's like when guys who would normally hate being freakishly tall discover basketball, or when girls with abnormally long fingers sit down at a piano. Blending in, going unseen, being a shadow in the sun is what I'm good at. Seeing the shadows, it turns out, is not my natural gift.
Ally Carter (Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls, #2))
I have a plan.” He groaned. “I was afraid of that.” “My plans are not terrible.” “Isabelle’s plans are terrible.” He pointed a finger at her. “Your plans are suicidal. At best.” She sat back, her arms crossed over her chest. “Do you want to hear it or not? You have to keep it a secret.” “I would pluck out my own eyes with a fork before I would give away your secrets,” Simon said, then looked anxious. “Wait a second. Do you think that’s likely to be required?
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
It was a calculated risk.” “It was cross-your-fingers-and-hope-for-the-best. Believe me, I know the difference.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
i comb the crowd, and pick you out...my mouth moves too fast for you to figure it out..it starts eyes closed..to fingers crossed..to I swear I say..I swear i say..
Fall Out Boy
I flipped the good doctor the bird. Snorting, Gideon caught my hand and pulled me back down the hall. "What is it with you and giving people the finger?" "What? It's a classic.
Sylvia Day (Reflected in You (Crossfire, #2))
But stories don't end. They continue as long as you're alive. You just have to get on with things. Turn the page, start a new chapter, find out what's in store for you next, and keep your fingers crossed that it's not too awful. Even if you know in your heart and soul that it most probably will be.
Darren Shan (Slawter (The Demonata, #3))
His feelings for Adam were an oil spill; he’d let them overflow and now there wasn’t a damn place in the ocean that wouldn’t catch fire if he dropped a match. <...> “Headlights? That’s hardcore, Parrish.” Ronan held out his hand; Adam took it. Ronan hauled him up, his mind all palm against palm, thumb crossed over thumb, fingers pressed into wrist bone – and then Adam was facing him and he released his hand. The ocean burned.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
That's what being shy feels like. Like my skin is too thin, the light too bright. Like the best place I could possibly be is in a tunnel far under the cool, dark earth. Someone asks me a question and I stare at them, empty-faced, my brain jammed up with how hard I'm trying to find something interesting to say. And in the end, all I can do is nod or shrug, because the light of their eyes looking at me, waiting for me, is just too much to take. And then it's over and there's one more person in the world who thinks I'm a complete and total waste of space. The worst thing is the stupid hopefulness. Every new party, every new bunch of people, and I start thinking that maybe this is my chance. That I'm going to be normal this time. A new leaf. A fresh start. But then I find myself at the party, thinking, Oh, yeah. This again. So I stand on the edge of things, crossing my fingers, praying nobody will try to look me in the eye. And the good thing is, they usually don't.
Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
Every time I go to sleep, I know I may never wake up. How could anyone expect to? You drop your tiny, helpless mind into a bottomless well, crossing your fingers and hoping when you pull it out on its flimsy fishing wire it hasn't been gnawed to bones by nameless beasts below.
Isaac Marion (Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1))
As we walked toward the dean's office, he reached over, trailing his fingers along my arm. "Do they still react when I touch you?" Heat crawled through my veins, and I nodded. The marks had followed the path of his touch. "Yeah, they still like you." One side of his lips curled up, and a look of male pride crossed his face. I shook my head. Boys.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Sentinel (Covenant, #5))
We were getting ready to cross into another pack's territory, and my second-in-command was making spirit fingers.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Taken by Storm (Raised by Wolves, #3))
It's so quiet and peaceful out here I'm getting bored with breathing. Maybe we'll get lucky and the world will go to Hell again. Fingers crossed.
Richard Kadrey (Aloha from Hell (Sandman Slim, #3))
Ronan crossed his arms to wait, just looking. At Adam’s fine cheekbones, his furrowed fair eyebrows, his beautiful hands, everything washed out by the furious light. He had memorized the shape of Adam’s hands in particular: the way his thumb jutted awkwardly, boyishly; the roads of the prominent veins; the large knuckles that punctuated his long fingers. In dreams Ronan put them to his mouth.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
There was a soft chuckle beside me, and my heart stopped. "So this is Oberon's famous half-blood," Ash mused as I whirled around. His eyes, cold and inhuman, glimmered with amusement. Up close, he was even more beautiful, with high cheekbones and dark tousled hair falling into his eyes. My traitor hands itched, longing to run my fingers through those bangs. Horrified, I clenched them in my lap, trying to concentrate on what Ash was saying. "And to think," the prince continued, smiling, "I lost you that day in the forest and didn't even know what I was chasing." I shrank back, eyeing Oberon and Queen Mab. They were deep in conversation and did not notice me. I didn't want to interrupt them simply because a prince of the Unseelie Court was talking to me. Besides, I was a faery princess now. Even if I didn't quite believe it, Ash certainly did. I took a deep breath, raised my chin, and looked him straight in the eye. "I warn you," I said, pleased that my voice didn't tremble, "that if you try anything, my father will remove your head and stick it to a plaque on his wall." He shrugged one lean shoulder. "There are worse things." At my horrified look, he offered a faint, self-derogatory smile. "Don't worry, princess, I won't break the rules of Elysium. I have no intention of facing Mab's wrath should I embarrass her. That's not why I'm here." "Then what do you want?" He bowed. "A dance." "What!" I stared at him in disbelief. "You tried to kill me!" "Technically, I was trying to kill Puck. You just happened to be there. But yes, if I'd had the shot, I would have taken it." "Then why the hell would you think I'd dance with you?" "That was then." He regarded me blandly. "This is now. And it's tradition in Elysium that a son and daughter of opposite territories dance with each other, to demonstrate the goodwill between the courts." "Well, it's a stupid tradition." I crossed my arms and glared. "And you can forget it. I am not going anywhere with you." He raised an eyebrow. "Would you insult my monarch, Queen Mab, by refusing? She would take it very personally, and blame Oberon for the offense. And Mab can hold a grudge for a very, very long time." Oh, damn. I was stuck.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1))
Then one day, this kid named Darren Walsh touched the Cheese with his finger, and that's what started this thing called the Cheese Touch. It's basically like the Cooties. If you get the Cheese Touch, you're stuck with it until you pass it on to someone else. The only way to protect yourself from the Cheese Touch is to cross your fingers.
Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #1))
Ali Bell doesn't play hide-and-seek," Lucas said. "She plays hide-and-pray-I-don't-find-you." Mackenzie smiled. "When Ali Bell gives you the finger, she's telling you how many seconds you have to live." Cole chuckled, saying, "Fear of spiders is arachnophobia, and fear of tight spaces is claustrophobia, but fear of Ali Bell is just called logic." "Oh, oh." Kat clapped excitedly. "There used to be a street named after Ali Bell, but it was changed because nobody crosses Ali Bell and lives. True story.
Gena Showalter (Through the Zombie Glass (White Rabbit Chronicles, #2))
If anything she was a shade too plump, but she knew the ninety-seven ways of making love that the Hindus are supposed to set much store by―though mind you, it is all nonsense, for the seventy-fourth position turns out to be the same as the seventy-third, but with your fingers crossed.
George MacDonald Fraser (Flashman (The Flashman Papers, #1))
The club motto was changed in 1972 from “We shall conquer” to “Let’s all just keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.” Falmouth
J.K. Rowling (Quidditch Through the Ages)
The raft is used to cross the river. It isn't to be carried around on your shoulders. The finger which points at the moon isn't the moon itself.
Thich Nhat Hanh (The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation)
Somewhere someone thinks they love someone else exactly like I love you. Somewhere someone shakes from the ripple of a thousand butterflies inside a single stomach. Somewhere someone is packing their bags to see the world with someone else. Somewhere someone is reaching through the most terrifying few feet of space to hold the hand of someone else. Somewhere someone is watching someone else’s chest rise and fall with the breath of slumber. Somewhere someone is pouring ink like blood onto pages fighting to say the truth that has no words. Somewhere someone is waiting patient but exhausted to just be with someone else. Somewhere someone is opening their eyes to a sunrise in someplace they have never seen. Somewhere someone is pulling out the petals twisting the apple stem picking up the heads up penny rubbing the rabbits foot knocking on wood throwing coins into fountains hunting for the only clover with only 4 leaves skipping over the cracks snapping the wishbone crossing their fingers blowing out the candles sending dandelion seeds into the air ushering eyelashes off their thumbs finding the first star and waiting for 11:11 on their clock to spend their wishes on someone else. Somewhere someone is saying goodbye but somewhere someone else is saying hello. Somewhere someone is sharing their first or their last kiss with their or no longer their someone else. Somewhere someone is wondering if how they feel is how the other they feels about them and if both theys could ever become a they together. Somewhere someone is the decoder ring to all of the great mysteries of life for someone else. Somewhere someone is the treasure map. Somewhere someone thinks they love someone else exactly like I love you. Somewhere someone is wrong.
Tyler Knott Gregson
In the New Testament, grace means God's love in action toward people who merited the opposite of love. Grace means God moving heaven and earth to save sinners who could not lift a finger to save themselves. Grace means God sending his only Son to the cross to descend into hell so that we guilty ones might be reconciled to God and received into heaven.
J.I. Packer (Knowing God)
Quen's gaze went to Ivy and Jenks. Peeved, I crossed my legs and shook my head. "We're a team. I'm not asking them to leave so you can tell me of whatever piss-poor problem you've landed yourself in." The older elf's brow wrinkled. He took an angry breath. "Look," I said, my finger jabbing out to point at him. "I don't like you. Jenks doesn't like you. And Ivy wants to eat you. Start talking.
Kim Harrison (Every Which Way But Dead (The Hollows, #3))
I know, I know. She seems a little”—crossing his eyes, he swirled both fingers around his ears—“but it’s really part of her charm, once you get to know her.
Marissa Meyer (Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2))
When I come, I come for you. Because of you and your mouth, hands, and insatiable little cunt. And it’ll be that way for you in reverse. My tongue, my fingers, my cum inside you. Just you and me, Eva. Intimate and raw. --Gideon
Sylvia Day
Rosethorn had gone to her room the moment Niko started to cough. Now she returned with her syrup and a firm look in her eye. "I thought you were having trouble last night. Drink this." She poured some into a cup and held it out to him. Niko looked at it as if she offered him rotten fish. "I am fine. I am per-" He couldn't even finish the sentence for coughing. "It's not bad," said Tris, crossing her fingers behind her back. "Really, tastes like-like mangoes." Niko looked at her, then took the cup and downed its contents. The four watched with interest as his cheeks turned pale, then scarlet. "That's terrible (exclamation point)" he cried, his voice a thin squeak. "Maybe I was thinking of some other syrup," Tris remarked with a straight face.
Tamora Pierce (Daja's Book (Circle of Magic, #3))
I liked reading about the nun who ate so dainty with her fingers she never dripped any grease on herself. I've never been able to make that claim and I use a fork.
Helene Hanff (84, Charing Cross Road)
A handgun at two hundred feet is the same thing as crossing your fingers and making a wish.
Lee Child (A Wanted Man (Jack Reacher, #17))
What’s three?” I asked, hoping to move away from this uncomfortable topic. The smile pulled at his lips again. “Three.” One of his hands cupped my face and the other slid around my back. He pulled my body against his and my heart began to pound. I took advantage of my free hand and pushed at his chest. “I don’t think so, Lily,” he said. “If you want to get rid of me, you’ll need to do better than that.” I drew a sharp breath and tried to wiggle away, but he held me firmly in place, watching me struggle. He grinned as he lifted me up onto the sink. “What are you doing?” I started to panic. “Someone could come in!” “If they see us, they’ll just turn around and get out of here,” he murmured, lips touching my ear. “No one crosses me.” His hips pressed against my knees, opening them, pushing my skirt up my legs. I gripped his shirt, clinging to him so I wouldn’t fall into the sink. His hand pushed into my lower back. I gasped as his body fitted against mine. Heat flooded my chest, my pelvis. I thought I would drown in it. “We can’t—” His lips stopped my words. The kiss just made me dizzier. I dug my fingers into his shoulders. “You said you didn’t want to be left alone.” His tongue flicked over my cheekbone. “This is me pestering you.” “Aren’t you breaking the rules?” I could barely get the words out. “What about the union?” “I’d rather have you on my own terms.” His hand slipped between my thighs. All strength fled my limbs. “I can’t breathe.” “That means you like it.” He kissed me again.
Andrea Cremer (Nightshade (Nightshade, #1; Nightshade World, #4))
When his phone rang, he had to dig through his pocket to find it, and his fingers brushed against a pair of tiny earbuds he and Kat had last used in Monte Carlo. Hale smiled a little, realizing he hadn’t worn the tux in ages. It was just one of many ways his life had change in the years since a girl named Katarina Bishop crawled into his window and into his life." — Double Crossed by Ally Carter
Ally Carter (Double Crossed: A Spies and Thieves Story (Gallagher Girls, #5.5; Heist Society, #2.5))
I'd say..." Petra crossed her legs, tucked a wayward strand of hair behind her ear. "I'd say, I am too fucking fabulous for one gender. Oh, and can we please get rid of the cheesy dance numbers? It's like torture step-ball-change." "I'd say I am not a race. I am an individual," Nicole said. Sosie moved her fingers gracefully, but no one understood. She waited for a moment. "I would say, learn to hear me in my own voice. I'm hearing impaired, not invisible.
Libba Bray (Beauty Queens)
He turns another page, and I read: I'M NOT ETHAN. . . . . .AND I'M NOT GOING TO GIVE UP. . . . . .UNTIL I CAN PROVE TO YOU. . . . . .THAT YOU ARE THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS. He flips to the next page. SO KEEP SENDING ME AWAY. . . . . .BUT I'LL JUST KEEP COMING BACK TO YOU. AGAIN. . . He flips to the next page. . . .AND AGAIN. . . And the next: . . .AND AGAIN. Goose bumps rise to the surface of my skin. I shiver, hugging myself tightly. AND IF YOU CAN EVER FIND IT IN YOUR ❤ TO FORGIVE ME. . . . . .I WILL DO EVERYTHING IT TAKES TO MAKE IT UP TO YOU. . . He closes the notebook and tosses it beside him. It lands on the roof with a dull thwack. Then, lifting his index finger, he draws an X across his chest. Cross my heart.
Katie Klein (Cross My Heart (Cross My Heart, #1))
You need to be clever to best him. Are you clever, Rachel?” Oh God. She wants to know if I’m clever. I glanced at Al, and he stared at me, then shrugged. Licking my lips, I said, “It’s the shiny pot that puts a hole in the sky.” Al’s mouth dropped open, but Newt thought about it, her expression thoughtful and her fingers finally leaving her knife. “Very true,” she said as she eased back into the cushions. With a soft click of his teeth, Al’s mouth shut. His eyes were cross, and he seemed peeved that I’d found a way to satisfy her without compromising myself at all.
Kim Harrison (Pale Demon (The Hollows, #9))
Nate called out, “Team Meeting!” and pointed a finger in the air. When he had everyone’s attention, Nate cleared his throat. “There are a few Team Awesome things we need to discuss.” Tristan leaned over to Gabriel. “What’s Team Awesome?” “It’s our team name,” Heather smiled. “We’re not a team,” Gabriel said. “We are a team,” Nate corrected. “We’re Team Awesome and I’m team captain.” He looked at Tristan. “You can call me Captain. Or Captain America, if you’d like. I’m even willing to settle for Captain Jack.” Tristan crossed his arms. “Yeah, that’s not going to happen.” Heather’s eyes lit up. “Ooh! Can we choose code names? Can I be Catwoman?” “We’re not choosing code names.” Gabriel looked incredibly annoyed and Tristan almost smiled.
Chelsea Fine (Awry (The Archers of Avalon, #2))
Your going to be fine.I promise you."- with my finger I made an X sign on my chest-"cross my heart and hope to die,you have my word.You don't deserve to live like that,and we're going to turn things around.
Dave Pelzer
Cracking his knuckles, Cary dramatically prepared to open his fortune cookie. “Let’s see. Will I be rich? Famous? About to meet Mr. or Ms. Tall, Dark, and Tasty? Traveling to distant lands? What’d you guys get?” “Mine’s lame,” I said. “In the end all things will be known. Duh. I didn’t need a fortune to figure that out.” Gideon opened his and read, “Prosperity will knock on your door soon.” I snorted. Cary shot me a look. “I know, right? You snatched someone else’s cookie, Cross.” “He better not be anywhere near someone else’s cookie,” I said dryly. Reaching over, Gideon plucked half of mine out of my fingers. “Don’t worry, angel. Your cookie is the only one I want.” He popped it in his mouth with a wink. “Gag,” Cary muttered. “Get a room.” He cracked his fortune with a flourish, and then scowled. “What the fuck?” I leaned forward. “What’s it say?” “Confucius say,” Gideon ad-libbed, “man with hand in pocket feel cocky all day.” Cary threw half his cookie at Gideon, who caught it deftly and grinned. “Give me that.” I snatched the fortune out from between Cary’s fingers and read it. Then laughed. “Fuck you, Eva.” “Well?” Gideon prodded. “Pick another cookie.” Gideon smiled. “Pwned by a fortune.” Cary threw the other half of his cookie.
Sylvia Day (Bared to You (Crossfire, #1))
Wordlessly, she slipped off her shoes. Gently, she placed a palm on the floor, shifted to stand, but that was when Macey felt another hand pressing down on hers.Hard. Too Hard. "Just what do you think you're doing ?" Hale hissed in her ear. His fingers burned into her skin. And Macey knew if she was going to take out the gunman, she was first going to have to neutralize the boy beside her. "Why don't you let me go and I'll show you," she said with only a modicum of flirt in her voice. "Why don't you put your fancy shoes back on and sit there like a good little girl?" "First of all, I'm good at a lot of things. Taking orders from bored billionaires isn't one of them. Second of all, he's alone, and I can take him," Macey said. "No!" Hale said. "You don't know anything about this guy." "I know he's left handed and has an old injury to his right knee---probably a torn ACL at some point but the details don't matter. And the way he keeps his finger purposefully away from the safety of that gun means he's never fired it. And he doesn't want to." "You're kinda scary.
Ally Carter (Double Crossed: A Spies and Thieves Story (Gallagher Girls, #5.5; Heist Society, #2.5))
Bookselling is like prostitution, you sell your wares, you close your eyes, and you never fall in love with the clients. You also keep your fingers crossed that they won't ask for anything perverted.
Colin Bateman (Mystery Man (Mystery Man #1))
Bhikkhus, the teaching is merely a vehicle to describe the truth. Don’t mistake it for the truth itself. A finger pointing at the moon is not the moon. The finger is needed to know where to look for the moon, but if you mistake the finger for the moon itself, you will never know the real moon. The teaching is like a raft that carries you to the other shore. The raft is needed, but the raft is not the other shore. An intelligent person would not carry the raft around on his head after making it across to the other shore. Bhikkhus, my teaching is the raft which can help you cross to the other shore beyond birth and death. Use the raft to cross to the other shore, but don’t hang onto it as your property. Do not become caught in the teaching. You must be able to let it go.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Old Path White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha)
A pale, slightly luminescent form materialized in front of us. Mason. He looked the same as ever-or did he? The usual sadness was there, but I could see something else, something else I couldn't quite put my finger on. Panic? Frustration? I could have almost sworn it was fear, but honestly, what would a ghost have to be afraid of. "What's wrong?" asked Dimitri. "Do you see him?" I whispered. Dimitri followed my gaze. "See who?" "Mason." Mason's troubled expression grew darker. I might not have been able to adequately identify it, but I knew it wasn't anything good. The nauseous feeling within me intensified, but somehow, I knew it had nothing to do with him. "Rose...we should go back..." said Dimitri carefully. He still wasn't on board with me seeing ghosts. But I didn't move. Mason's face was saying something else to me-or trying to. There was something here, something important that I needed to know. But he couldn't communicate it. "What?" I asked. "What is it?" A look of frustration crossed his face. He pointed off behind me, the dropped his hand. "Tell me," I said, my frustration mirroring his. Dimitri was looking back and forth between me and Mason, though mason was probably only and empty space to him. I was too fixated on Mason to worry what Dimitri might think. There was something here. Something big. Mason opened his mouth, wanting to speak as in previous times but still unable to get the words out. Except, this time, after several agonizing seconds, he managed it. The words were nearly inaudible. "They're...coming....
Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))
That cat doesn't have a lick of sense,' I said, sighing. Well, honey, he's not right in the head,' Dad said, flipping his cigarette into the front yard. I glared at him. 'And just what do you mean by that?' Dad counted on his fingers. 'He's cross-eyed; he jumps out of trees after birds and then doesn't land on his feet; he sleeps with his head smashed up against the wall, and the tip of his tail is crooked.' Oh yeah? Well, how about this: he once got locked in a basement by evil Petey Scroggs in the middle of January and survived on snow and little frozen mice. When I'm cold at night he sleeps right on my face. Of that whole litter of kittens he came out of he's the only one left. One of his brothers didn't even have a butthole.' I stand corrected. PeeDink is a survivor.
Haven Kimmel (Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana)
You cold or something?' he said. She strained against him; she wanted to pass clear through him: 'It's a chill, it's nothing'; and then, pushing a little away: 'Say you love me.' I said it.' No, oh no. You haven't. I was listening. And you never do.' Well, give me time.' Please.' He sat up and glanced at a clock across the room. It was after five. Then decisively he pulled off his windbreaker and began to unlace his shoes. Aren't you going to, Clyde?' He grinned back at her. 'Yeah, I'm going to.' I don't mean that; and what's more, I don't like it: you sound as though you were talking to a whore.' Come off it, honey. You didn't drag me up here to tell you about love.' You disgust me,' she said. Listen to her! She's sore!' A silence followed that circulated like an aggrieved bird. Clyde said, 'You want to hit me, huh? I kind of like you when you're sore: that's the kind of girl you are,' which made Grady light in his arms when he lifted and kissed her. 'You still want me to say it?' Her head slumped on his shoulder. 'Because I will,' he said, fooling his fingers in her hair. 'Take off your clothes--and I'll tell it to you good.
Truman Capote (Summer Crossing)
The urge at that moment to reach across and touch Willow--to link his fingers through hers as she rested her hand on her thigh, or stroke her bright hair back from her temple--was almost overpowering. He crossed his arms over his chest. "Yep, definitely time for a coffee break," he said, closing his eyes. "You see right through me.
L.A. Weatherly (Angel)
Don't do that!" she exclaimed, shivering at the realization that it had been his fingers touching her. He gave her his lazy, slightly twisted smile and brushed a few pieces of unruly black hair out of his face. "Are you asking me or ordering me?” "Shut up." She glanced around, both to avoid his eyes and make sure no one saw them together. "What's the matter? Worried about what your slaves'll think if they see you talking to me?” "They're my friends," she retorted. "Oh.Right. Of course they are. I mean, from what I saw, Camille would probably do anything for you, right? Friends till the end." He crossed his arms over his chest, and in spite of her anger, she couldn't help but notice how the silvery gray of his shirt set off his black hair and blue eyes. (Lissa&Christian)
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
I just may be the strangest person you will ever know. I am filled with too many oddities and too few consistencies and I will always lack the spongey filter that should live between brain and mouth. These defining traits these enduring characteristics, and these fingers crossed that in all of it, you will find them irresistible.
Tyler Knott Gregson
Gideon opened his and read, “Prosperity will knock on your door soon.” I snorted. Cary shot me a look. “I know, right? You snatched someone else’s cookie, Cross.” “He better not be anywhere near someone else’s cookie,” I said dryly. Reaching over, Gideon plucked half of mine out of my fingers. “Don’t worry, angel. Your cookie is the only one I want.
Sylvia Day (Bared to You (Crossfire, #1))
No one crosses my friends and gets away with it. Not even the devil. If he so much as tries to lay a finger on you, I’ll glitter bomb the shit out of him.
Laura Thalassa (The Coveted (The Unearthly, #2))
I cross two fingers, a binary precaution against hex, effective as superconductor or simple superstition.
Neil Gaiman (Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fiction and Illusions)
Mother,” Alec’s voice as he interrupted his mother was firm, implacable, and not unkind. “Father. There’s something I have to tell you.” he smiled at them. “I‘m seeing someone.” Robert Lightwood looked at his son with some exasperation. “Alec,” he said. “This is hardly the time.” “Yes, it is. This is important. You see, I‘m not just seeing anyone.” Words seemed to be pouring out of Alec in a torrent, while his parents looked on in confusion. Isabelle and Magnus were staring at him with expressions of nearly identical astonishment. “I‘m seeing a Downworlder. In fact, I‘m seeing a war-” Magnus‘s fingers moved, quick as a flash of light, in Alec‘s direction. There was a faint shimmer in the air around Alec-his eyes rolled up-and he dropped to the floor, felled like a tree. “Alec!” Maryse clapped her hand to her mouth. Isabelle, who had been closest to her brother, dropped down beside him. But Alec had already begun to stir, his eyelids fluttering open. “Wha-what-why am I on the floor?” “That‘s a good question.” Isabelle glowered down at her brother. “What was that?” “What was what?” Alec sat up, holding his head. A look of alarm crossed his face. “Wait-did I say anything? Before I passed out, I mean.” Jace snorted. “You know how we were wondering if that thing Clary did would work or not?” he asked. “It works all right.” Alec looked supremely horrified. “What did I say?” “You said you were seeing someone,” his father told him. “Though you weren’t clear as to why that was important.” “Its not,” Alec said. “I mean, I‘m not seeing anyone. And its not important. Or it wouldn’t be if I was seeing someone, which I‘m not.” Magnus looked at him as if he were an idiot. “Alec‘s been delirious,” he said. “Side effect of some demon toxins. Most unfortunate, but he‘ll be fine soon.” ~pg.286-287~
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
When you got captured, I didn't know..." He trailed off, had to chug whiskey before he could continue. "If it'd be like..." "What?" "Like it was with Clotile." "Oh, Jackson, no. I was okay. I'm unharmed." "Didn't know if I'd get there too late," he said with a shudder. Then he crossed over to me, until we stood toe-to-toe. "Evie, if you ever get taken from me again, you better know that I'll be coming for you." He cupped my face with a bloodstained hand. "So you stay the hell alive! You don't do like Clotile, you doan take that way out. You and me can get through anything, just give me a chance."--his voice broke lower "just give me a chance to get to you." He buried his face in my hair, inhaling deeply. "There is nothing that can happen to you that we can't get past." ... "When you say we...?" He pulled back, gazing down at me, his eyes blazing. "I'm goan to lay it all out there for you. Laugh in my face--I don't care. But I'm goan to get this off my chest." "I won't laugh. I'm listening." "Evie, I've wanted you from the first time I saw you. Even when I hated you, I wanted you." He raked his fingers through his hair. "I got it bad, me." My heart felt like it'd stopped--so that I could hear him better. "For as long as you've been looking down your nose at me, I've been craving you, an envie like I've never known." "I don't look down at you! I'm too busy looking up to you." ... "The corners of his lips curled for an instant before he grew serious again. "You asked me if I had that phone with your pictures, if I'd looked at it. Damn right, I did! I saw you playing with a dog at the beach, and doing a crazy-ass flip off a high dive, and making faces for the camera. I learned about you"- his voice grew hoarse -"and I wanted more of you. To see you every day." With a humourless laugh, he admitted, "After the Flash, I was constantly sourcing ways to charge a goddamned phone--that would never make a call." I murmured, "I didn't know...I couldn't be sure." "It's you for me, peekon.
Kresley Cole (Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles, #1))
Empty knight, Harry! Morgan? Morgan? What's wrong with your head?" Thomas shrugged. "I don't think he did it." Morgan wouldn't cross the street to piss on you if you were on fire!" Thomas growled, "He's finally getting his comeuppance. Why should you lift a finger?
Jim Butcher (Turn Coat (The Dresden Files, #11))
...that left Francesca to slink into the chair opposite us. My feeling of superiority was short-lived, however, when she settled herself down and then crossed her legs. I didn't need a mirror to know my whole face had just turned red. With a hemline up to her thighs that gesture didn't leave anything to the imagination. Bones curled his fingers around mine and squeezed. His hand was still warmed from our contact moments ago. That's how fast he had to grab me again to keep me sitting where I was instead of yanking off my jacket to make her a pair of panties.
Jeaniene Frost (Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1))
Come over here so I can wipe my hands on your shirt," she said, holding up her beer-sticky hands. Eyebrows raised in amusement, Blue did as she asked. He stood between her legs at the front of the car, his knees against the bumper. "Go for it," he said. Her wet fingers grazed the muscle of his abdomen as she fumbled to dry her hands on his T-shirt. Blue sucked in a breath when her hands brushed his skin, and something electric ran through her. A flush burned her cheeks. She made herself focus on the artwork on his T-shirt. "Now the ick is on you, where it belongs," she said. "You are a very nasty princess," Blue said.
Sarah Cross (Kill Me Softly (Beau Rivage, #1))
Cross your fingers, throw salt over your shoulder, knock on wood...simple folk remedies for unfortunate situations. Silly superstitions...but were they based in truth from a past long forgotten? I didn't know, but it wouldn't hurt to just do it and let the Universe do its job if it was of a mind to. Don't you think?
Madelyn Alt (No Rest for the Wiccan (A Bewitching Mystery, #4))
Then he looked at her. That connection again. It seemed to be drawing them together-an almost physical feeling of attraction. It was exciting, but scary. Eric got up very slowly and crossed the room. He sat by Thea. Neither of them looked away. And then things just seemed to happen by themselves. Their fingers were intertwined. Thea was looking up and he was looking down. They were so close that their breath mingled. Thea shivered with the electricity. Everything seemed wrapped in a golden haze.
L.J. Smith (Night World, No. 1 (Night World, #1-3))
I kept the fingers of my left hand crossed all the time, while on my right-hand fingers I counted anything at all—steps to the refrigerator, seconds on the clock, words in a sentence—to keep my head occupied. The counting felt like something to hang on to, as if finding the right numbers might somehow crack the code on whatever system ran the slippery universe we were moving through.
Mary Karr (The Liars' Club)
She was like that, excited and delighted by little things, crossing her fingers before any remotely unpredictable event, like tasting a new flavor of ice cream, or dropping a letter in a mailbox. It was a quality he did not understand. It made him feel stupid, as if the world contained hidden wonders he could not anticipate, or see. He looked at her face, which, it occurred to him, had not grown out of its girlhood, the eyes untroubled, the pleasing features unfirm, as if they still had to settle into some sort of permanent expression. Nicknamed after a nursery rhyme, she had yet to shed a childhood endearment.
Jhumpa Lahiri (Interpreter of Maladies)
I almost jumped when the door opened. Alex came back inside, wearing black sweatpants; I swallowed as I saw his chest bare. "Forgot my T-shirt," he said sheepishly. His bag was on the floor near the bed, and I watched the lantern light play on his skin as he crossed to it. Squatting by the bag, he pulled out a T-shirt; I sat frozen, taking in the movement of his back and shoulders. I stood up, my heart hammering. "Wait. Can I just...?" I trailed off as he turned to look at me. "What?" he said, rising to his feet. An embarrassed laugh escaped me. I shook my head. "Just--before you put that on, can I...?" In slow motion, I went over to him. I reached out toward his chest and then stopped, my fingers hesitating an inch from his skin. "Is--this all right?" Alex stood very still, a soft smile on his face. "Anything you want is all right.
L.A. Weatherly (Angel (Angel, #1))
You could take me to Mass every day for the rest of my life and I’d still be the kind of guy who would finger you in the back row.
Tessa Bailey (Risking it All (Crossing the Line, #1))
Everybody knows that the dice are loaded Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed Everybody knows the war is over Everybody knows the good guys lost Everybody knows the fight was fixed The poor stay poor, the rich get rich That's how it goes Everybody knows
Leonard Cohen (Leonard Cohen: Poems and Songs)
I wish Mara knew that I’m jealous of her.” I whipped around to face him. “You can’t be serious.” Brooke shook her finger. “No interruptions, Mara.” My brother cleared his throat. “I wish she knew that I think she’s the most hilarious person on Earth. And that whenever she’s not home, I feel like I’m missing my partner in crime.” My throat tightened. Do not cry. Do not cry. “I wish she knew that she’s really Mom’s favorite—” I shook my head here. “—the princess she always wanted. That Mom used to dress her up like a little doll and parade her around like Mara was her greatest achievement. I wish Mara knew that I never minded, because she’s my favorite too.” A chin quiver. Damn. “I wish she knew that I’ve always had acquaintances instead of friends because I’ve spent every second I’m not in school studying or practicing piano. I wish she knew that she is literally as smart as I am—her IQ is ONE POINT lower,” he said, raising his eyes to meet mine. “Mom had us tested. And that she could get the same grades if she weren’t so lazy.” I slouched in my seat, and may or may not have crossed my arms over my chest defensively. “I wish she knew that I am really proud of her, and that I always will be, no matter what.
Michelle Hodkin (The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2))
People are always quick to call evil what they do not know. The unknown sprouts fear. It spreads like an infection, burrowing into every facet of their lives. They need a scapegoat, someone to blame. Fingers are pointed, accusations are made, and a target lands on somebody’s back. They grow angry. They turn violent. To history, human nature must be a stubborn and tiring student. No matter how many times history tries to show it the error of its ways, it never learns from its mistakes.
Kelseyleigh Reber (If I Resist (Circle and Cross, #2))
The horror that riveted through me, the absolute terror with a taint of nausea, stunned me speechless for three, maybe four seconds. I put the mug down and made a cross with my fingers, screaming, "Death before decaf!" as Garrett poured himself a cup. The fool.
Darynda Jones (Seventh Grave and No Body (Charley Davidson, #7))
Never believe it, Hal. Never believe your own lies. Because superstition was a trap – that was what she had learned, in the years of plying her trade on the pier. Touching wood, crossing fingers, counting magpies – they were all lies, all of them. False promises designed to give the illusion of control and meaning in a world in which the only destiny came from yourself. You can't predict the future, Hal knew.
Ruth Ware (The Death of Mrs. Westaway)
I come from a long line of tall-tale talkers. Our family crest is bullets over crossed fingers and underneath it says, ‘Bullshit Über Alles.
Richard Kadrey (Kill the Dead (Sandman Slim, #2))
I cross my fingers that if a demon dunks me in a vat of boiling lava I'll get thrown together naked with River Phoenix, and that he'll say I'm cute and try to kiss me.
Chuck Palahniuk (Damned (Damned, #1))
First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried letters from a girl named Martha, a junior at Mount Sebastian College in New Jersey. They were not love letters, but Lieutenant Cross was hoping, so he kept them folded in plastic at the bottom of his rusack. In the late afternoon, after a day's march, he would dig his foxhole, wash his hands under a canteen, unwrap the letters, hold them with the tips of his fingers, and spend the last hour of light pretending.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
He handed me a bandana. "Tie that on." "Why?" I said, but I did it anyway. "Norman, you are way too into ceremony." "It's important." I could hear him moving around, adjusting things, before he came to sit beside me. "Okay," he said. "Take a look." I pulled off the blindfold. Beside me, Norman watched me see myself for the first time. And it was me. At least, it was a girl who looked like me. She was sitting on the back stoop of the restaurant, legs crossed and dangling down. She had her head slightly tilted, as if she had been asked something and was waiting for the right moment to respond, smiling slightly behind the sunglasses that were perched on her nose, barely reflecting part of a blue sky. The girl was something else, though. Something I hadn't expected. She was beautiful. Not in the cookie-cutter way of all the faces encircling Isabel's mirror. And not in the easy, almost effortless style of a girl like Caroline Dawes. This girl who stared back at me, with her lip ring and her half smile - not quite earned - knew she wasn't like the others. She knew the secret. And she'd clicked her heels three times to find her way home. "Oh, my God," I said to Norman, reaching forward to touch the painting, which still didn't seem real. My own face, bumpy and textured beneath my fingers, stared back at me. "Is this how you see me?" "Colie." He was right beside me. "That's how you are.
Sarah Dessen (Keeping the Moon)
I crossed the room, and what you did was to feel my hair over and over again and in different ways, touch it, with the palm of your hand... felt it, strands of hair, with your fingers, touched it as if it were cloth, the way a child touches its favorite surfaces.
Edna O'Brien
We want you to tell us about vampires." Simon grinned. "What do you want to know? Scariest is Eli in Let the Right One In, cheesiest is late-era Lestat, most underrated is David Bowie in The Hunger. Sexiest is definitely Drusilla, though if you ask a girl, she'll probably say Damon Salvatore or Edward Cullen. But..." he shrugged, "You know girls." Julie's and Beatriz's eyes were wide. "I didn't think you'd know so many!" Beatriz exclaimed. "Are they... are they your friends?" "Oh, sure, Count Dracula and I are like this," Simon said, crossing his fingers to demonstrate. "Also Count Chocula. Oh, and my BFF Count Blintzula. He's a real charmer...." He trailed off as he realized no one else was laughing. In fact, no one seemed to realize he was joking. "They're from TV," he prompted them. "Or, uh, cereal." "What's he talking about?" Julie asked Jon, perfect nose wrinkling up in confusion. "Who cares?" Jon said.
Cassandra Clare (The Lost Herondale (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, #2))
I'm just looking for someone," I hedge. "Aren't we all?" Infinite Darlene vamps ruefully. I think I'm off the hook, but then she adds, "Is it someone special?" "It's nothing," I say, crossing my fingers. I pray that it's not nothing.
David Levithan (Boy Meets Boy)
Crossing your fingers, Neville? Knocking on wood? He ignored that, beginning to suspect his mind of harboring an alien. Once he might have termed it conscience. Now it was only an annoyance. Morality, after all, had fallen with society. He was his own ethic. Makes a good excuse, doesn’t it, Neville? Oh, shut up.
Richard Matheson (I Am Legend)
You're safe with me, Mira. And I'm safe with you." He kissed her again to prove it. And when the clock struck one - that lone, ominous tone hovering in the dark - they were still kissing. Her razor blade had snagged his shirt and nicked his chest, and they'd ended up lying in the grass, hidden inside a shadow, ignoring their names whenever someone called them. He traced her mouth again and again, like he still couldn't believe it was real. There would always be a part of him she couldn't know. A secret place where his heartbreak was stored, where lost innocence and regret filled the air like smoke. She had no desire to open that door ... but she didn't know if that would change one day. If the key would tempt her, if a fairy would manipulate her or she would just be curious. But she had to believe she could be strong enough to resist. That what she wanted - what they both wanted - mattered more than the path that had been laid out for them. She let her hand slip under his shirt to touch the heart mark on his back, and he brought her other hand to his lips, and kissed every finger he'd entrusted with the key. He was so much more than his curse, and she was so much more than the girl who could betray him. Together ... they could be anything.
Sarah Cross (Kill Me Softly (Beau Rivage, #1))
Troy closed the file with a sigh. "Bowen , you awake? I'm not going through this twice." Bowen held up his middle finger. "Great. Thanks for joining us.
Tessa Bailey (Risking it All (Crossing the Line, #1))
I’m the dark secret that he can’t keep hidden—his crossed fingers—his hold-my-breath-to-keep-from-feeling. But I make him feel everything.
Amy A. Bartol (Sea of Stars (Kricket, #2))
And truths, these days, are spoken The same way promises are made, With gritted teeth and crossed fingers.
Sanhita Baruah
I feel that my fingers have brushed one of life’s deep, coursing threads…Speak, even notice it, and it would disappear.
Barry Lopez (Crossing Open Ground)
There are those who will say that I brought this upon myself. By dabbling in that quiz show. They will wag a finger at me and remind me of what the elders in Dharavi say about never crossing the dividing line that separates the rich from the poor. After all, what business did a penniless waiter have to be participating in a brain quiz? The brain is not an organ we are authorized to use. We are supposed to use only our hands and legs.
Vikas Swarup (Q A: Slumdog Millionaire)
However, the majority of women are neither harlots nor courtesans; nor do they sit clasping pug dogs to dusty velvet all through the summer afternoon. But what do they do then? and there came to my mind’s eye one of those long streets somewhere south of the river whose infinite rows are innumerably populated. With the eye of the imagination I saw a very ancient lady crossing the street on the arm of a middle-aged woman, her daughter, perhaps, both so respectably booted and furred that their dressing in the afternoon must be a ritual, and the clothes themselves put away in cupboards with camphor, year after year, throughout the summer months. They cross the road when the lamps are being lit (for the dusk is their favourite hour), as they must have done year after year. The elder is close on eighty; but if one asked her what her life has meant to her, she would say that she remembered the streets lit for the battle of Balaclava, or had heard the guns fire in Hyde Park for the birth of King Edward the Seventh. And if one asked her, longing to pin down the moment with date and season, but what were you doing on the fifth of April 1868, or the second of November 1875, she would look vague and say that she could remember nothing. For all the dinners are cooked; the plates and cups washed; the children sent to school and gone out into the world. Nothing remains of it all. All has vanished. No biography or history has a word to say about it. And the novels, without meaning to, inevitably lie. All these infinitely obscure lives remain to be recorded, I said, addressing Mary Carmichael as if she were present; and went on in thought through the streets of London feeling in imagination the pressure of dumbness, the accumulation of unrecorded life, whether from the women at the street corners with their arms akimbo, and the rings embedded in their fat swollen fingers, talking with a gesticulation like the swing of Shakespeare’s words; or from the violet-sellers and match-sellers and old crones stationed under doorways; or from drifting girls whose faces, like waves in sun and cloud, signal the coming of men and women and the flickering lights of shop windows. All that you will have to explore, I said to Mary Carmichael, holding your torch firm in your hand.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)
It's so much easier to point a finger than to take responsibility yourself, isn't it? Maybe it isn't so simple as this person's fault or that one. Maybe we make up the dance together, as we go along, and no one knows what the result will be.
Claire Cross (Double Trouble (The Coxwells, #2))
Diesel rocked back on his heels and grinned at the monkey. “Carl?” “Eep!” The monkey stood, squinted at Diesel, and gave him the finger. “Looks like you know each other,” I said. “Our paths crossed in Trenton,” Diesel said. “How did he get here?” “Monkey Rescue,” Glo told him. “He was abandoned.” “Figures,” Diesel said. The monkey gave him the finger again. “Does he do that all the time?” I asked Diesel. “Not all the time.” “I got him by mistake,” Glo said. “And now we don’t know what to do with him.” “You could turn him loose and let him go play in traffic.” Diesel said. - Lizzy, Shirley, Diesel, and Carl, pages 132-134.
Janet Evanovich (Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel, #1))
Viv closed her eyes, sick with regret. "Why do you act like no one ever loved you? I loved you." For a second Regina's fingers were softer, almost caressing, at the nape of Viv's neck. "Hmm. Maybe you did. But it's funny ... how we want love from certain people, and if we don't get it from them, it'll never be enough coming from someone else.
Sarah Cross (Tear You Apart (Beau Rivage, #2))
Huh,” she said in a neutral voice, then looked out over the pasture again, at the sheep racing through the grass like frantic clouds. A defiant expression crossed her face, and she took a breath. “Razor!” she barked, making Keirran jump. “No! Bad gremlin! You stop that, right now!” The gremlin, shockingly, looked up from where he was bouncing on a rock, sheep scattering around him. He blinked and cocked his head, looking confused. Kenzie pointed to the ground in front of her. “I want to see you. Come here, Razor,. Now!” And, he did. Blipping into sight at her feet, he gazed up expectantly, looking like a mutant Chihuahua awaiting commands. Keirran blinked in astonishment as she snapped her fingers and pointed at him, and Razor scurried up his arm to perch on his shoulder. She smiled, giving us both a smug look, and crossed her arms. “Dog training classes,” She explained.
Julie Kagawa (The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #1))
Every time I go to sleep, I know I may never wake up. How could anyone expect to? You drop your tiny, helpless mind into a bottomless well, crossing your fingers and hoping that when you pull it out on its flimsy fishing wire it hasn't been gnawed to bones by the beasts below. Hoping you pull up anything at all.
Isaac Marion (Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1))
The evil heart is patient, cross her fingers, palms together, hope, pray and act with faith, that all your hard work may come to nothing
Dew Platt
Oh,” Jace said carelessly, as if he hadn’t been waiting out here for the express purpose of seeing Simon off. He looked up, golden gaze casual, then looked away. “You.” Being too cool for school was Jace’s thing. Simon supposed he must have understood and been fond of it, once. “Hey, I figured I wasn’t going to get the chance to ask this again. You and me,” Simon said. “We’re pretty tight, aren’t we?” Jace looked at him for a moment, face very still, and then bounded to his feet and said: “Absolutely. We’re like this.” He crossed two of his fingers together. “Actually, we’re more like this.” He tried to cross them again. “We had a little bit of initial tension, as you may later recall, but that was all cleared up when you came to me and confessed that you were struggling with your feelings of intense jealousy over my—these were your words—stunning good looks and irresistible charm.” “Did I,” said Simon. Jace clapped him on the shoulder. “Yeah, buddy. I remember it clearly.” “Okay, whatever. The thing is … Alec’s always really quiet around me,” Simon said. “Is he just shy, or did I tick him off and I don’t remember it? I wouldn’t like to go away without trying to make things right.” Jace’s expression took on that peculiar stillness again. “I’m glad you asked me that,” he said finally. “There is something more going on. The girls didn’t want me to tell you, but the truth is—
Cassandra Clare (Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, #1))
Ready to have some fun?” She didn’t give him time to answer. Weighed down with the chains, she flashed to a busy street in New York—fingers crossed he would be run over—then to a gay strip club in Italy—fingers crossed he would be groped—then to a zoo in Oklahoma—fingers crossed the elephant shit was ripe. “Enjoy,” she muttered with relish. Anya flashed one final time, back to where she’d begun: his home in Greece. Lucien was still following her trail. Lightning-quick, she hid the chains under the bed and palmed her Taser. When she straightened he was there, just in front of her. Her breath caught. He was still scowling, teeth bared and sharp, Death glowing in his eyes. He had a bleeding cut on his leg and he smelled like shit. Her nose wrinkled. “Step in something?” she asked innocently. “That, I did not mind.” He took a menacing step toward her. “What I did mind was being hit by a cab, then landing on the lap of a naked man. With an erection, Anya. He had an erection.” She grinned. She just couldn’t help herself.
Gena Showalter (The Darkest Kiss (Lords of the Underworld, #2))
When the bullets start flying, you may find I’m nice to have around. Those pretty pictures aren’t going to keep you alive.” “We need these plans. And in case you’ve forgotten, one of my flash bombs helped get us out of the Ketterdam harbor.” Jesper blew out a breath. “Brilliant strategy.” “It worked, didn’t it?” “You blinded our guys right along with the Black Tips.” “It was a calculated risk.” “It was cross-your-fingers-and-hope-for-the-best. Believe me, I know the difference.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
She stared heavenward and shook her head after finding out she'd sent me on a long-distance trip with the son of Lust. But the detail that sent her over the edge was the fact that my father had me haunted by those demons. No matter how much I tried to explain that it was necessary for me to be able to see the spirits, she was livid. When three o'clock approached and her mood hadn't lightened, I started to worry. When my dad arrived, Patti stood by the counter with her arms crossed. He appeared as large and frightening as ever. The kind of man nobody would dare to mess with. Patti walked right up and smacked him across the face. I jolted. He blinked. She stayed right in front of him and stabbed a finger at his chest, her other hand on her hip. “How dare you do that to her? I don't care what your reasons were. Did you hear her screaming? She was terrified! Don't you ever sic those monsters on her again. Ever!
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
You okay?" he says, touching my cheek. His hand cradles the side of my head, his long fingers slipping through my hair. He smiles and holds my head in place as he kisses me. Heat spreads through me slowly.And fear, buzzing like an alarm in my chest. His lips still on mine,he pushes the jacket from my shoulders.I flinch when I hear it drop,and push him back,my eyes burning. I don't know why I feel this way. I didn't feel like this when he kissed me on the train.I press my palms to my face,covering my eyes. "What? What's wrong?" I shake my head. "Don't tell me it's nothing." His voice is cold.He grabs my arm. "Hey. Look at me." I take my hands from my face and lift my eyes to his.The hurt in his eyes and the anger in his clenched jaw surprise me. "Sometimes I wonder," I say,as calmly as I can, "what's in it for you. This...whatever it is." "What's in it for me," he repeats. He steps back,shaking his head. "You're an idiot,Tris." "I am not an idiot," I say. "Which is why I know that it's a little weird that,of all the girls you could have chosen,you chose me.So if you're just looking for...um,you know...that..." "What? Sex?" He scowls at me. "You know, if that was all I wanted, you probably wouldn't be the first person I would go to." I feel like he just punched me in the stomach. Of course I'm not the first person he would go to-not the first, not the prettiest,not desirable. I press my hands to my abdomen and look away, fighting off tears. I am not the crying type.Nor am I the yelling type. I blink a few times, lower my hands, and stare up at him. "I'm going to leave now," I say quietly. And I turn toward the door. "No,Tris." He grabs my wrist and wrenches me back. I push him away,hard, but he grabs my other wrist, holding our crossed arms between us. "I'm sorry I said that," he says. "What I meant was that you aren't like that. Which I knew when I met you." "You were an obstacle in my fear landscape." My lower lip wobbles. "Did you know that?" "What?" He releases my wrists, and the hurt look is back. "You're afraid of me?" "Not you," I say. I bite my lip to keep it still. "Being with you...with anyone. I've never been involved with someone before,and...you're older, and I don't know what your expectations are,and..." "Tris," he says sternly, "I don't know what delusion you're operating under,but this is all new to me, too." "Delusion?" I repeat. "You mean you haven't..." I raise my eyebrows. "Oh. Oh.I just assumed..." That because I am so absorbed by him, everyone else must be too. "Um. You know." "Well,you assumed wrong." He looks away. His cheeks are bright,like he's embarrassed. "You can tell me anything, you know," he says. He takes my face in his hands,his fingertips cold and his palms warm. "I am kinder than I seemed in training. I promise." I believe him.But this has nothing to do with his kindness. He kisses me between the eyebrows, and on the tip of my nose,and then carefully fits his mouth to mine. I am on edge.I have electricity coursing through my veins instead of blood. I want him to kiss me,I want him to; I am afraid of where it might go.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
At this moment, in this place, the shifting action potential in my neurons cascade into certain arrangements, patterns, thoughts; they flow down my spine, branch into my arms, my fingers, until muscles twitch and thought is translated into motion; mechanical levers are pressed; electrons are rearranged; marks are made on paper. At another time, in another place, light strikes the marks, reflects into a pair of high-precision optical instruments sculpted by nature after billions of years of random mutations; upside-down images are formed against two screens made up of millions of light-sensitive cells, which translate light into electrical pulses that go up the optic nerves, cross the chiasm, down the optic tracts, and into the visual cortex, where the pulses are reassembled into letters, punctuation marks, words, sentences, vehicles, tenors, thoughts. The entire system seems fragile, preposterous, science fictional.
Ken Liu (The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories)
But simple as the Sign of the Cross is, it carries a brave weight: it names the Trinity, celebrates the Creator, and brings home all the power of faith to the brush of fingers on skin and bone and belly. So do we, sometimes well and sometimes ill, labor to bring home our belief in God's love to the stuff of our daily lives, the skin and bone of this world — and the Sign of the Cross helps us to remember that we have a Companion on the road.
Brian Doyle (Credo: Essays on Grace, Altar Boys, Bees, Kneeling, Saints, the Mass, Priests, Strong Women, Epiphanies, a Wake, and the Haun)
She used to imagine her parents and happy endings she would never have. Now she envisioned torments that were all too real. She pictured one of Cinderella's stepsisters planting her foot on a cutting board - and biting down hard as the cleaver chopped through the bone of her big toe. She imagined a princess used to safety, luxury, throwing the rank hide of a donkey over her shoulders, its boneless face drooping past her forehead like a hideous veil. And she imagined her future self, flat on her back in bed, limbs as heavy as if they'd been chained down. Mice scurried across her body, leaving footprints on her dress. Spiders spun an entire trousseau's worth of silk and draped her in it, so it appeared she wore a gown of the finest lace, adorned with rose petals and ensnared butterflies. Beetles nestled between her fingers like jeweled rings - lovely from a distance, horrific up close.
Sarah Cross (Kill Me Softly (Beau Rivage, #1))
The demon say’s “Do you view sexual acts between individuals of the same gender to be an abomination?”… “Do you approve,” the demon says, “of marriage between individuals of differing racial backgrounds?” The demon continues without hesitation, asking, “Should the Zionist state of Israel be allowed to exist?” Question after question, I’m stumped. Even fingers crossed. The paradox: Is God a racist, homophobic, anti-semantic ass? Or is God testing to see if I am?
Chuck Palahniuk
He kissed her lightly on the nose, and she laughed. Blue eyed her with faux seriousness. "How was that? Any weakness?" "No. But I don't think there would have been anyway." "Well, then, how about this?" His lips brushed hers, his mouth teasing her lower lip, and her eyes closed and she shivered as his fingers caught her hair. And then suddenly, there wasn't any space between them. The sensation of drowning was there, but it wasn't like her strength was leaving her. It was like she wanted to be part of him. Like she didn't know or care where she ended and he began. When they drew apart, she whispered, "No weakness." "Really?" he said. "'Cause I'm feeling a little weak." She felt him smile against her mouth. And they both laughed, shook with it. Their faces were too close, noses and cheeks pressed awkwardly together, but neither one of them moved. She tightened her arms around him, and he held her just as tightly. His breath murmured against her cheek. "You're safe with me, Mira. And I'm safe with you.
Sarah Cross (Kill Me Softly (Beau Rivage, #1))
They were Catholic, my lovers, All in an access of crossing themselves, Particularly their fingers Behind their suspendered backs-- And that was the women.
Shay Caroline (Gemini/Scorpio/Capricorn)
Since Sienna was in an unusually cooperative mood, the session went well. He was returning from it midmorning - after a short detour - when a small naked body barreled into him in one of the main corridors. Steadying the boy with Tk, he looked down. The child lifted a finger to his lips. "Shh. I'm hiding." With that, he went behind Judd and scrambled into a small alcove. "Quickly! Not sure why he obeyed the order, Judd backed up to stand in front of the alcove, arms crossed. A flustered Lara came running around the corner a few seconds later. "Have you seen Ben? Four-year-old. Naked as a jaybird?" "How tall is he?" Judd asked in his most overbearing Psy manner. Lara stared. "He's four. How tall do you think he is? Have you seen him or not?" "Let me think...did you say he was naked?" "He was about to be bathed. Slippery little monkey." A giggle from behind Judd. Lara's eyes widened and then her lips twitched. "So you haven't seen him?" "Without a proper description, I can't be sure." The healer was obviously trying not to laugh. "You shouldn't encourage him - he's incorrigible as it is." Judd felt childish hands on his left calf and then Ben poked his head out. "I'm incorwigeable, did ya hear?" Judd nodded. "I do believe you've been found. Why don't you go have your bath?" "Come on, munchkin." Lara held out a hand. Surprisingly strong baby arms and legs wrapped around Judd's leg. "No. I wanna stay with Uncle Judd." Lara anticipated his question. "Ben spends a lot of time with Marlee." "I spend a lot of time with Marlee," a small voice piped up.
Nalini Singh (Caressed by Ice (Psy-Changeling #3))
Is that … chocolate cake?” “I thought you might need some.” “Need, not want?” A ghost of a smile was on her lips, and he almost sagged in relief as he said, “For you, I’d say that chocolate cake is most definitely a need.” She crossed from the fireplace to where he stood, stopping a hand’s breadth away and staring up at him. Some of the color had returned to her face. He should step back, put more distance between them. But instead, he found himself reaching for her, a hand slipping around her waist and the other twining itself through her hair as he held her tightly to him. His heart thundered through him so hard he knew she could feel it. After a second, her arms came up around him, her fingers digging into his back in a way that made him realize how close they stood. He shoved that feeling down, even as the silken texture of her hair against his fingers made him want to bury his face in it, and the smell of her, laced with mist and night, had him grazing his nose against her neck. There were other kinds of comfort that he could give her than mere words, and if she needed that kind of distraction … He shoved down that thought, too, swallowing it until he nearly choked on it. Her fingers were moving down his back, still digging into his muscles with a fierce kind of possession. If she kept touching him like that, his control was going to slip completely. And then she pulled back, just far enough to look up at him again, still so close their breath mingled. He found himself gauging the distance between their lips, his eyes flicking between her mouth and her eyes, the hand he had entwined in her hair stilling. Desire roared through him, burning down every defense he’d put up, erasing every line he’d convinced himself he had to maintain.
Sarah J. Maas (Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2))
It is often said that the Buddha’s teaching is only a raft to help you cross the river, a finger pointing to the moon. Don’t mistake the finger for the moon. The raft is not the shore. If we cling to the raft, if we cling to the finger, we miss everything.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Being Peace)
No,” I hear myself say. “You’re not supposed to be here.” She’s sitting on my bed. She’s leaning back on her elbows, legs outstretched in front of her, crossed at the ankles. And while some part of me understands I must be dreaming, there’s another, overwhelmingly dominant part of me that refuses to accept this. Part of me wants to believe she’s really here, inches away from me, wearing this short, tight black dress that keeps slipping up her thighs. But everything about her looks different, oddly vibrant; the colors are all wrong. Her lips are a richer, deeper shade of pink; her eyes seem wider, darker. She’s wearing shoes I know she’d never wear. And strangest of all: she’s smiling at me. “Hi,” she whispers. It’s just one word, but my heart is already racing. I’m inching away from her, stumbling back and nearly slamming my skull against the headboard, when I realize my shoulder is no longer wounded. I look down at myself. My arms are both fully functional. I’m wearing nothing but a white T-shirt and my underwear. She shifts positions in an instant, propping herself up on her knees before crawling over to me. She climbs onto my lap. She’s now straddling my waist. I’m suddenly breathing too fast. Her lips are at my ear. Her words are so soft. “Kiss me,” she says. “Juliette—” “I came all the way here.” She’s still smiling at me. It’s a rare smile, the kind she’s never honored me with. But somehow, right now, she’s mine. She’s mine and she’s perfect and she wants me, and I’m not going to fight it. I don’t want to. Her hands are tugging at my shirt, pulling it up over my head. Tossing it to the floor. She leans forward and kisses my neck, just once, so slowly. My eyes fall closed. There aren’t enough words in this world to describe what I’m feeling. I feel her hands move down my chest, my stomach; her fingers run along the edge of my underwear. Her hair falls forward, grazing my skin, and I have to clench my fists to keep from pinning her to my bed. Every nerve ending in my body is awake. I’ve never felt so alive or so desperate in my life, and I’m sure if she could hear what I’m thinking right now, she’d run out the door and never come back. Because I want her. Now. Here. Everywhere. I want nothing between us. I want her clothes off and the lights on and I want to study her. I want to unzip her out of this dress and take my time with every inch of her. I can’t help my need to just stare; to know her and her features: the slope of her nose, the curve of her lips, the line of her jaw. I want to run my fingertips across the soft skin of her neck and trace it all the way down. I want to feel the weight of her pressed against me, wrapped around me. I can’t remember a reason why this can’t be right or real. I can’t focus on anything but the fact that she’s sitting on my lap, touching my chest, staring into my eyes like she might really love me. I wonder if I’ve actually died. But just as I lean in, she leans back, grinning before reaching behind her, never once breaking eye contact with me. “Don’t worry,” she whispers. “It’s almost over now.” Her words seem so strange, so familiar. “What do you mean?” “Just a little longer and I’ll leave.” “No.” I’m blinking fast, reaching for her. “No, don’t go—where are you going—” “You’ll be all right,” she says. “I promise.” “No—” But now she’s holding a gun. And pointing it at my heart.
Tahereh Mafi (Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5))
I’m hoping for a broadsword,” Patrick said, crossing his fingers. “We can go all Game of Thrones on Arkansas.” “I’ve always hated Arkansas,” Ben considered. “We all do, Ben. We all hate Arkansas.
Clayton Smith (Apocalypticon)
Everybody knows that the dice are loaded Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed Everybody knows that the war is over Everybody knows the good guys lost Everybody knows the fight was fixed The poor stay poor, the rich get rich That's how it goes Everybody knows Everybody knows that the boat is leaking Everybody knows that the captain lied Everybody got this broken feeling Like their father or their dog just died Everybody talking to their pockets Everybody wants a box of chocolates And a long stem rose Everybody knows
Leonard Cohen
River, I love you.” He hugs me tighter than I ever remember being hugged, and after a few moments of just embracing each other, he whispers into my ear, “I love you, too. So much. Please let me take care of this for you.” Pulling away, he crosses his finger over his heart. “I promise to pick up all the rest of the pearls off the floor.
Kim Karr (Connected (Connections, #1))
Was it all inevitable, John?" Reeve was pushing his fingers across the floor of the cell, seated on his haunches. I was lying on the mattress. Yes," I said. "I think it was. Certainly, it's written that way. The end of the book is there before the beginning's hardly started.
Ian Rankin (Knots & Crosses (Inspector Rebus, #1))
I can't hep but smile. We are here together. In this wide, wild world, we've managed to meet again. I reach out my hand and trace my finger along the path I took to get him until my hand meets his on the map.
Ally Condie (Crossed (Matched, #2))
The sniper puts the cellist in his sights. Arrow is about to send a bullet into him, but stops. His finger isn't on the trigger...His hand isn't even in the vicinity of the trigger...His head leans back slightly, and she sees that his eyes are closed, that he is no longer looking through his scope. She knows what he's doing. It's very clear to her, unmistakable. He's listening to the music. And then Arrow knows why he didn't fire yesterday...She is at once, sure of two things. The first is that she does not want to kill this man, and the second is that she must. Time is running out. There's no reason not to kill him. A sniper of his ability has wihtout doubt killed dozens, if not hundreds. Not just soldiers. Women crossing streets. Children in playgrounds. Old men in water lines. She knows this to a certainity. Yet she doesn't want to pull her trigger. All because she can see that he doesn't want to pull his...The final notes of the cellist's melody reach him, and he smiles.
Steven Galloway (The Cellist of Sarajevo)
Tatiana fretted over him before he left as if he were a five-year-old on his first day of school. Shura, don't forget to wear your helmet wherever you go, even if it's just down the trail to the river. Don't forget to bring extra magazines. Look at this combat vest. You can fit more than five hundred rounds. It's unbelievable. Load yourself up with ammo. Bring a few extra cartridges. You don't want to run out. Don't forget to clean your M-16 every day. You don't want your rifle to jam." Tatia, this is the third generation of the M-16. It doesn't jam anymore. The gunpowder doesn't burn as much. The rifle is self-cleaning." When you attach the rocket bandolier, don't tighten it too close to your belt, the friction from bending will chafe you, and then irritation follows, and then infection... ...Bring at least two warning flares for the helicopters. Maybe a smoke bomb, too?" Gee, I hadn't thought of that." Bring your Colt - that's your lucky weapon - bring it, as well as the standard -issue Ruger. Oh, and I have personally organized your medical supplies: lots of bandages, four complete emergency kits, two QuickClots - no I decided three. They're light. I got Helena at PMH to write a prescription for morphine, for penicillin, for -" Alexander put his hand over her mouth. "Tania," he said, "do you want to just go yourself?" When he took the hand away, she said, "Yes." He kissed her. She said, "Spam. Three cans. And keep your canteen always filled with water, in case you can't get to the plasma. It'll help." Yes, Tania" And this cross, right around your neck. Do you remember the prayer of the heart?" Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." Good. And the wedding band. Right around your finger. Do you remember the wedding prayer?" Gloria in Excelsis, please just a little more." Very good. Never take off the steel helmet, ever. Promise?" You said that already. But yes, Tania." Do you remember what the most important thing is?" To always wear a condom." She smacked his chest. To stop the bleeding," he said, hugging her. Yes. To stop the bleeding. Everything else they can fix." Yes, Tania.
Paullina Simons (The Summer Garden (The Bronze Horseman, #3))
Ian once suggested that in addition to the mystery stickers and the sci-fi and animal ones, there should be special stickers for books with happy endings, books with sad endings, books that will trick you into reading the next in the series. 'There should be ones with big teardrops,' he said, 'like for the side of Where the Red Fern Grows. Because otherwise it isn't fair. Like maybe you're accidentally reading it in public, and then everyone will make fun of you for crying.' But what could I affix to the marvelous and perplexing tale of Ian Drake? A little blue sticker with a question mark, maybe. Crossed fingers. A penny in a fountain.
Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower)
(Devon) “Cam, what’s wrong?” He cursed and held her tighter. “Help me,” he rasped. Her senses dizzy from the scent and feel of him, it took a few moments for the words to register. She stroked her fingers through his thick, soft hair. “Help you?” His head moved against her hand, as much a show of helpless pleasure as it was a nod. “Help me slow down.” She shook her head. “I don’t want you to slow down—” “I want to be gentle,” he said roughly, his warm breath tickling her neck. “But I’m so fucking turned on right now all I can think about is pounding into you.
Kaylea Cross (Deadly Descent (Bagram Special Ops, #1))
To anyone reading this who isn't already dead, I wish you luck, honestly I do. You just keep swallowing your vitamins. Keep jogging around reservoirs and avoiding second hand cigarette smoke. Cross your fingers! Maybe death won't happen to you.
Chuck Palahniuk (Damned (Damned, #1))
When I crossed the street, according to my mother, I still had to hold someone’s hand. At ten, I would be able to cross streets unhanded. I’d held on to Joseph’s many times before, for many years, but holding his was like holding a plant, and the disappointment of fingers that didn’t grasp back was so acute that at some point I’d opted to take his forearm instead. For the first few street crossings, that’s what I did, but on the corner at Oakwood, on an impulse, I grabbed George’s hand. Right away: fingers, holding back. The sun. More clustery vines of bougainvillea draping over windows in bulges of dark pink. His warm palm. An orange tabby lounging on the sidewalk. People in torn black T-shirts sitting and smoking on steps. The city, opening up. We hit the sidewalk, and dropped hands. How I wished, right then, that the whole world was a street.
Aimee Bender (The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake)
Love Letter" Not easy to state the change you made. If I'm alive now, then I was dead, Though, like a stone, unbothered by it, Staying put according to habit. You didn't just tow me an inch, no- Nor leave me to set my small bald eye Skyward again, without hope, of course, Of apprehending blueness, or stars. That wasn't it. I slept, say: a snake Masked among black rocks as a black rock In the white hiatus of winter- Like my neighbors, taking no pleasure In the million perfectly-chisled Cheeks alighting each moment to melt My cheeks of basalt. They turned to tears, Angels weeping over dull natures, But didn't convince me. Those tears froze. Each dead head had a visor of ice. And I slept on like a bent finger. The first thing I was was sheer air And the locked drops rising in dew Limpid as spirits. Many stones lay Dense and expressionless round about. I didn't know what to make of it. I shone, mice-scaled, and unfolded To pour myself out like a fluid Among bird feet and the stems of plants. I wasn't fooled. I knew you at once. Tree and stone glittered, without shadows. My finger-length grew lucent as glass. I started to bud like a March twig: An arm and a leg, and arm, a leg. From stone to cloud, so I ascended. Now I resemble a sort of god Floating through the air in my soul-shift Pure as a pane of ice. It's a gift.
Sylvia Plath (Crossing the Water)
So did you shoot him?” Cameron asked awkwardly before running his fingers across Julian’s cheek. “No,” Julian answered grudgingly. “He was just doing his job,” he sighed, as if that was the only thing he could say to console himself for not killing the animal that mauled him.
Abigail Roux (Warrior's Cross)
She sits and listens with crossed legs under the batik house-wrap she wears, with her heavy three-way-piled hair and cigarette at her mouth and refuses me - for the time being, anyway - the most important things I ask of her. It's really kind of tremendous how it all takes place. You'd never guess how much labor goes into it. Only some time ago it occurred to me how great an amount. She came back from the studio and went to take a bath, and from the bath she called out to me, "Darling, please bring me a towel." I took one of those towel robes that I had bought at the Bon Marche' department store and came along with it. The little bathroom was in twilight. In the auffe-eua machine, the brass box with teeth of gas burning, the green metal dropped crumbs inside from the thousand-candle blaze. Her body with its warm woman's smell was covered with water starting in a calm line over her breasts. The glass of the medicine chest shone (like a deep blue place in the wall, as if a window to the evening sea and not the ashy fog of Paris. I sat down with the robe over my; shoulder and felt very much at peace. For a change the apartment seemed clean and was warm; the abominations were gone into the background, the stoves drew well and they shone. Jacqueline was cooking dinner and it smelled of gravy. I felt settled and easy, my chest free and my fingers comfortable and open. And now here's the thing. It takes a time like this for you to find out how sore your heart has been, and, moreover, all the while you thought you were going around idle terribly hard work was taking place. Hard, hard work, excavation and digging, mining, moiling through tunnels, heaving, pushing, moving rock, working, working, working, working, panting, hauling, hoisting. And none of this work is seen from the outside. It's internally done. It happens because you are powerless and unable to get anywhere, to obtain justice or have requital, and therefore in yourself you labor, you wage and combat, settle scores, remember insults, fight, reply, deny, blab, denounce, triumph, outwit, overcome, vindicate, cry, persist, absolve, die and rise again. All by yourself? Where is everybody? Inside your breast and skin, the entire cast.
Saul Bellow (All Marbles Accounted for)
Four times during the first six days they were assembled and briefed and then sent back. Once, they took off and were flying in formation when the control tower summoned them down. The more it rained, the worse they suffered. The worse they suffered, the more they prayed that it would continue raining. All through the night, men looked at the sky and were saddened by the stars. All through the day, they looked at the bomb line on the big, wobbling easel map of Italy that blew over in the wind and was dragged in under the awning of the intelligence tent every time the rain began. The bomb line was a scarlet band of narrow satin ribbon that delineated the forward most position of the Allied ground forces in every sector of the Italian mainland. For hours they stared relentlessly at the scarlet ribbon on the map and hated it because it would not move up high enough to encompass the city. When night fell, they congregated in the darkness with flashlights, continuing their macabre vigil at the bomb line in brooding entreaty as though hoping to move the ribbon up by the collective weight of their sullen prayers. "I really can't believe it," Clevinger exclaimed to Yossarian in a voice rising and falling in protest and wonder. "It's a complete reversion to primitive superstition. They're confusing cause and effect. It makes as much sense as knocking on wood or crossing your fingers. They really believe that we wouldn't have to fly that mission tomorrow if someone would only tiptoe up to the map in the middle of the night and move the bomb line over Bologna. Can you imagine? You and I must be the only rational ones left." In the middle of the night Yossarian knocked on wood, crossed his fingers, and tiptoed out of his tent to move the bomb line up over Bologna.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
Something we’ve been working on in R and D for a while.” He crossed to her, ran his fingers over the lining himself. “It’s body armor.” “Get out.” Her forehead creased as she examined it more closely. “It’s too thin and light. Plus it moves.” “Trust me, it’s been thoroughly tested. Leonardo was able to take the material and fashion it into the coat. It will block a stun on full, though you’ll feel the impact. It’ll protect from a blaster, though the leather would suffer. And it will block a blade—though again, pity about the leather.” “Seriously?” She pulled her weapon again, offered it. “Try it.” He had to laugh even as he thought: Typical. Just typical. “I will not.” “Not very confident in your research and development.” “I’m not firing a stunner at my wife in our bedroom.
J.D. Robb (Celebrity in Death (In Death, #34))
I'm falling!" Lilliana cried loudly as she wrenched against the leather cuffs. Tucker's fingers laced with Lilliana's and he smashed her with the weight of his body against the cross. "I'll catch you Lilly," Tucker calmly breathed into her ear. "Let yourself go. Let it all go and fly pet. Fly...
Ella Dominguez (This Love's Not for Sale)
She studies the endless rows of titles on the bookshelf, then whirls toward me. “Okay. Admit it.” “Admit what?” She points an accusing finger at me. “You’re smart.” I snort loudly. “Of course I’m smart.” “You sure as hell don’t act like it.” Allie crosses her arms over the front of her loose striped sweater. “In fact, I feel like you go out of your way to make everyone believe you’re a dummy. With your ‘baby dolls’ and foul language and the way you throw ‘ain’t’ into a sentence every so often.” I flash her a grin. “Nope, that’s just how I fucking talk, baby doll. Ain’t nothing wrong with that.
Elle Kennedy (The Score (Off-Campus, #3))
Thou, -- dost thou pray?” cried Giovanni, still with the same fiendish scorn. “Thy very prayers, as they come from thy lips, taint the atmosphere with death. Yes, yes; let us pray! Let us to church and dip our fingers in the holy water at the portal! They that come after us will perish as by a pestilence! Let us sign crosses in the air! It will be scattering curses abroad in the likeness of holy symbols!
Nathaniel Hawthorne (Rappaccini's Daughter)
I went back in and grabbed my running clothes, then changed in the bathroom. I opened the door to the bathroom, stopping when I saw Kaidan's toiletry bag on the sink. I was overcome with curiosity about his cologne or aftershave, because I'd never smelled it on anyone else before. Feeling sneaky, I prodded one finger into the bag and peeked. No cologne bottle. Only a razor, shaving cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant. I picked up the deodorant, pulled off the lid, and smelled it. Nope, that wasn't it. The sound of Kaidan's deep chuckle close to the doorway made me scream and drop the deodorant into the sink with a clatter. I smacked one hand to my chest and grabbed the edge of the sink with the other. He laughed out loud now. “Okay, that must have looked really bad.” I spoke to his reflection in the mirror, then fumbled to pick up the deodorant. I put the lid on and dropped it in his bag. “But I was just trying to figure out what cologne you wear.” My face was on fire as Kaidan stepped into the small bathroom and leaned against the counter, crossing his arms over his chest. I stepped away. He seemed entertained by my predicament. “I haven't been wearing any cologne.” “Oh.” I cleared my throat. “Well, I didn't see any, so I thought it might be your deodorant, but that's not it either. Maybe it's your laundry detergent or something. Let's just forget about it.” “What is it you smell, exactly?” His voice took on a husky quality, and it felt like he was taking up a lot of room. I couldn't bring myself to look at him. Something strange was going on here. I stepped back, hitting the tub with my heel as I tried to put the scent into words. “I don't know. It's like citrus and the forest or something...leaves and tree sap. I can't explain it.” His eyes bored into mine while he wore that trademark sexy smirk, arms still crossed. “Citrus?” he asked. “Like lemons?” “Oranges mostly. And a little lime, too.” He nodded and flicked his head to the side to get hair out of his eyes. Then his smile disappeared and his badge throbbed. “What you smell are my pheromones, Anna.” A small, nervous laugh burst from my throat. “Oh, okay, then. Well...” I eyed the small space that was available to pass through the door. I made an awkward move toward it, but he shifted his body and I stepped back again. “People can't usually smell pheromones,” he told me. “You must be using your extra senses without realizing it. I've heard of Neph losing control of their senses with certain emotions. Fear, surprise...lust.” I rubbed my hands up and down my upper arms, wanting nothing more than to veer this conversation out of the danger zone. “Yeah, I do have a hard time reining in the scent sometimes,” I babbled. “It even gets away from me while I sleep now and then. I wake up thinking Patti's making cinnamon rolls and it ends up being from someone else's apartment. Then I'm just stuck with cereal. Anyway...” “Would you like to know your own scent?” he asked me. My heart swelled up big in my chest and squeezed small again. This whole scent thing was way too sensual to be discussed in this small space. Any second now my traitorous body would be emitting some of those pheromones and there'd be red in my aura. “Uh, not really,” I said, keeping my eyes averted. “I think I should probably go.” He made no attempt to move out of the doorway. “You smell like pears with freesia undertones.” “Wow, okay.” I cleared my throat, still refusing eye contact. I had to get out of there. “I think I'll just...” I pointed to the door and began to shuffle past him, doing my best not to brush up against him. He finally took a step back and put his hands up by his sides to show that he wouldn't touch me. I broke out of the confined bathroom and took a deep breath.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
But as I stood across from Archer, I couldn't forget that I was completely, stupidly in love with the one person I could never have. The laughter died on my lips, and I dashed at my eyes with the back of my hand. "I need to get back," I said. "Right," he replied. He was still holding his sword in his right hand, and he twirled the hilt, the point sratching the wooden floor. "So this is it. We're done." "Yeah," I said, my voice cracking. I cleared my throat. "And I have to say, the world's first and last Eye-demon reconnaissance mission went pretty well." It was a struggle to meet his eyes, but I managed it. "Thank you." He shrugged, his dark gaze full of something I couldn't quite read. "We were a good team." "We were." In more ways than one, I thought. Which is why this sucked so bad. I stepped back. "Anyway, I should go. See ya,Cross." Then I laughed, only it sounded suspiciously like another sob. "Except I won't, will I So I guess I should say goodbye." I felt like I was about to shatter into a million tiny shards, like the mirrors I'd broken with Dad. "okay, well, best of luck with the whole Eye thing, then. Try not to kill anyone I know." I turned away, but he reached out and caught my wrist. I could feel my pulse hammering under his fingers. "Mercer, that day in the cellar..." He searched my face, and I could sense him struggling for what he wanted to say. Then finally, "I didn't kiss you back because I had to. I kissed you because I wanted to." His eyes dropped to my lips,and it was like the whole world had shrunk to just me and him and the shaft of light between us. "I still want to," he said hoarsely. He tugged my wrist and pulled me into his arms. My brain registered the sound of his sword clattering to he ground as his other hand came up to grab the back of my neck, but once his lips were on mine, everything else faded away. I clutched at his shoulders, raising up on my tiptoes, and kissed him with everything I had in me. As the kiss deepened, we held each other tighter, so I didn't know if the pounding heartbeat I felt was mine or his. How stupid,I thought dreamily, to have ever thought I could give this up. Not just the kissing, although, as Archer's hands cupped my face, I had to admit that part was pretty awesome. But all of it: joking with him and working beside him. Being with a guy who was my friend and could still make me feel like this.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
Are you worried about Nina being out there?” Inej asked. “No.” “She’s very good at this, you know. She’s a natural actress.” “I’m aware,” he said grimly. “She can be anything to anyone.” “She’s best when she’s Nina.” “And who is that?” “I suspect you know better than any of us.” He crossed his huge arms. “She’s brave,” he said, grudgingly. “And funny.” “Foolish. Every last thing needn’t be a joke.” “Bold,” Inej said. “Loud.” “So why do your eyes keep searching the crowd for her?” “They do not,” Matthias protested. She had to laugh at the ferocity of his scowl. He drew a finger through a pile of crumbs, “Nina is everything you say. It’s too much.” “Mmm,” Inej murmured, taking a sip from her mug. “Maybe you’re just not enough.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
Who else knows about this besides us?” “Just Patti...” “Okay. That should be okay. Is that it?” “And Kaidan,” I added. My eyes darted everywhere but his face. I was in for it. “Who?” There was an edge to his voice. His eyes searched mine. I didn't want to tell him a single thing about Kaidan. I knew how it would sound. I took my hands from his, pulling the braid over my shoulder to mess with it. “He's my friend. He's the one who drove me here to see you.” “You told some human kid?” I coughed, buying time. “He's Neph, too.” Jonathan LaGray went rigid and his ruddy cheeks paled. I squirmed as his eyes bored into mine. “Which one's his father?” he asked through clenched teeth. “Richard Rowe. I guess you'd know him as Pharzuph.” Oh, boy. He wasn't pale anymore. “You came across the country—” “Shhh!” I warned him as people looked over. He lowered his voice to a shouted whisper. “-with the son of the Duke of Lust? Son of a—” He pounded a fist down on the table and a guard stepped toward us. I waved and nodded at the man, trying to reassure him it was fine, and my father pulled his balled hands down into his lap. After a moment the guard walked back to the wall and looked away. “Don't worry!” I whispered. “I told you; we're just friends.” He closed his eyes and massaged his forehead with his fingers to calm his temper. “You tell him that his father is never to know about you or whatever Sister Ruth tells you. Understand?” “He would never tell his father anything. But, um...” I swallowed. “Unfortunately, Pharzuph already knows about me.” His eyes flashed red again and it nearly stopped my heart. I pressed my back into the seat, causing it to wobble. “Aren't you worried people will see your eyes when you do that?” I asked, sure that my own eyes were gigantic at that moment. “Humans can't see it. And don't try to change the subject. I know Pharzuph,” he growled. “He's a real bastard on earth and in hell. He'd do anything to gain favour.” “Kaidan thinks he'll forget about me if I lie low.” “Maybe momentarily, while he's busy or distracted with his work, but you'll cross his mind again someday.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
Tell me, when he touches you, kisses you, does your skin sing for him? … Does your blood rush, your lips part just thinking about his kiss? Does your body vibrate when he’s close, remembering every orgasm he can wring from you?” I crossed the friendship line, sliding my fingers along her collarbone to rest inside her shirt, above her galloping heart. Her eyes flew open, and her lips parted … “Your heart doesn’t pound like this for him, does it?
Rebecca Yarros (Eyes Turned Skyward (Flight & Glory, #2))
So what's your doll's name?" Boo asked me. "Barbie," I said. "All their names are Barbie." "I see," she said. "Well, I'd think that would get boring, everyone having the same name." I thought about this, then said, "Okay, then her name is Sabrina." "Well, that's a very nice name," Boo said. I remember she was baking bread, kneading the dough between her thick fingers. "What does she do?" "Do?" I said. "Yes." She flipped the dough over and started in on it from the other side. "What does she do?" "She goes out with Ken," I said. "And what else?" "She goes to parties," I said slowly. "And shopping." "Oh," Boo said, nodding. "She can't work?" "She doesn't have to work," I said. "Why not?" "Because she's Barbie." "I hate to tell you, Caitlin, but somebody has to make payments on that town house and the Corvette," Boo said cheerfully. "Unless Barbie has a lot of family money." I considered this while I put on Ken's pants. Boo started pushing the dough into a pan, smoothing it with her hand over the top. "You know what I think, Caitlin?" Her voice was soft and nice, the way she always spoke to me. "What?" "I think your Barbie can go shopping, and go out with Ken, and also have a productive and satisfying career of her own." She opened the oven and slid in the bread pan, adjusting its position on the rack. "But what can she do?" My mother didn't work and spent her time cleaning the house and going to PTA. I couldn't imagine Barbie, whose most casual outfit had sequins and go-go boots, doing s.uch things. Boo came over and plopped right down beside me. I always remember her being on my level; she'd sit on the edge of the sandbox, or lie across her bed with me and Cass as we listened to the radio. "Well," she said thoughtfully, picking up Ken and examining his perfect physique. "What do you want to do when you grow up?" I remember this moment so well; I can still see Boo sitting there on the floor, cross- legged, holding my Ken and watching my face as she tried to make me see that between my mother's PTA and Boo's strange ways there was a middle ground that began here with my Barbie, Sab-rina, and led right to me. "Well," I said abruptly, "I want to be in advertising." I have no idea where this came from. "Advertising," Boo repeated, nodding. "Okay. Advertising it is. So Sabrina has to go to work every day, coming up with ideas for commercials and things like that." "She works in an office," I went on. "Sometimes she has to work late." "Sure she does," Boo said. "It's hard to get ahead. Even if you're Barbie." "Because she wants to get promoted," I added. "So she can pay off the town house. And the Corvette." "Very responsible of her," Boo said. "Can she be divorced?" I asked. "And famous for her commercials and ideas?" "She can be anything," Boo told me, and this is what I remember most, her freckled face so solemn, as if she knew she was the first to tell me. "And so can you.
Sarah Dessen (Dreamland)
Judd’s fists were so tight, he was in danger of fracturing his own bones. He understood why Brenna had needed to talk to Dorian. He even understood that the leopard saw Brenna as a young sister, not a potential lover. None of that made any difference. Judd wanted to be the one she turned to when in need. Ice picks of pain shoved through his skull, dissonance so vicious it nearly shut down his consciousness. The countdown was getting inexorably closer to the end. Uncurling his fingers with sheer force of will, he watched the blood rush back in. Last night had made it clear that he’d already crossed too many lines, broken too many rules. Soon, it would be too late to draw back. “Thank you, Dorian.” No, he would not pull back. Brenna was his. His to pleasure. And his to comfort...
Nalini Singh (Caressed by Ice (Psy-Changeling #3))
At that first preview, it was disorienting to watch more than 200 strangers stream into the theater, hailing from God-knows-where. They didn’t know they were obstructing what had very recently been Andy’s path to the stage, or occupying the spot where Tommy liked to preside, arms crossed, a couple of fingers to his lips. But as Alexander Hamilton kept trying to tell us, even the best-ordered societies need infusions of new blood to thrive. Keep it in mind the next time you go to the theater: Some gifted men and women have built a community in that room, and the immigrant is you.
Jeremy McCarter (Hamilton: The Revolution)
Silence rose and crossed to the connecting door and knocked. The door was opened almost at once. Michael leaned a shoulder against the doorjamb, a wicked smile playing about his sensuous lips. He was so very big this close—every time it surprised her and made her breathless. “Well, now, and when did ye decide to start knockin’ at me door?” Silence fought to keep her face from flaming as she remembered the last time she’d peeked through Michael’s door. She swallowed. “We’re bored.” “Is that so?” Michael glanced down. Silence followed his gaze and saw that Mary had crawled over to investigate. The baby grabbed a handful of her skirt and stood up. She kept one hand on Silence’s skirt and popped two fingers from the other into her mouth as she stared solemnly at Michael. “She looks a rare treat,” Michael said softly, watching the toddler. Silence smiled down at Mary. “She does indeed.” She glanced up and her heart squeezed at the gentle look on Michael’s face. As if she understood she was the subject of conversation, Mary lifted her arms—to Michael. “Up!” Michael arched an eyebrow. “Mouthy little thing, ain’t she?” But he bent and lifted the toddler.
Elizabeth Hoyt (Scandalous Desires (Maiden Lane, #3))
As we were about to cross the road, Davin suddenly grabbed my wrist and held me back a moment; a car peeled out of the driveway and roared past us. “Geez,” I gasped, and then, glancing at him curiously, I added, “Thanks.” He didn’t say anything, but slowly released my wrist. Before he completely withdrew, I took his hand and interlaced my fingers through his. He looked at me, his lips parted in surprise, but then he smiled shyly and gave my hand a squeeze as we kept walking. It gave me a feeling of nervous flutters in the best way. As we walked up to the doors, Jill and Laurel came bursting out the exit.
J.M. Richards (Tall, Dark Streak of Lightning (Dark Lightning Trilogy, #1))
We could just chill if you want." Emma raises a brow at Rachel. Rachel shrugs her innocence. "Nuh-uh. Don't look at me. I didn't teach him that." "Picked it up all on my own," he says, retrieving his pencil from the floor. "Figures," Emma sneers. "Aww, don't hate on me, boo." "Okay, I'm drawing the line at 'boo.' And don't call me 'shorty' either," Emma says. He laughs. "That was next." "No doubt. So, did anyone explain how you chill?" Galen shrugs. "As far as I can tell, chillin' is the equivalent of being in a coma, only awake." "That's about right." "Yeah. Doesn't sound that appealing. Are all humans lazy?" "Don't push it, Highness." But she's smirking. "If I'm Highness, then you're 'boo.' Period." Emma growls, but it doesn't sound as fierce as she intends. In fact, it's adorable. "Jeez! I won't call you Majesty either. And you Will. Not. Ever Call me 'boo' again." His grin feels like it reaches all the way to his ears as he nods. "Did...did I just win an argument?" She rolls her eyes. "Don't be stupid. We tied." He laughs. "If you say I won, I'll let you open your present." She glances at the gift bag and bites her lip-also adorable. She looks back at him. "Maybe I don't care about the present." "Oh, you definitely care," he says, confident. "No. I definitely do NOT," she says, crossing her arms. He runs a hand through his hair. If she makes it any more difficult, he'll have to tell her where they're going. He gives his best nonchalant shrug. "That changes everything. I just figured since you like history...Anyway, just forget it. I won't bother you about it anymore." He stands and walks over to the bag, fingering the polka-dot tissue paper Rachel engorged it with. "Even if I say you win, it's still a lie, you know." Emma huffs. Galen won't take the bait. Not today. "Fine. It's a lie. I just want to hear you say it." With an expression mixing surprise and suspicion in equal parts, she says it. And it sounds so sweet coming from those lips. "You won.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
If you're anything like me, You bite your nails, And laugh when you're nervous. You promise people the world, because that's what they want from you. You like giving them what they want... But darling, you need to stop, If you're anything like me, You knock on wood every time you make plans. You cross your fingers, hold your breath, Wish on lucky numbers and eyelashes Your superstitions were the lone survivors of the shipwreck. Rest In Peace, to your naive bravado... If life gets too good now, Darling, it scares you. If you're anything like me, You never wanted to lock your door, Your secret garden gate or your diary drawer Didn't want to face the you you don't know anymore For fear she was much better before... But Darling, now you have to. If you're anything like me, There's a justice system in your head For names you'll never speak again, And you make your ruthless rulings. Each new enemy turns to steel They become the bars that confine you, In your own little golden prison cell... But Darling, there is where you meet yourself. If you're anything like me You've grown to hate your pride To love your thighs And no amount of friends at 25 Will fill the empty seats At the lunch tables of your past The teams that picked you last... But Darling, you keep trying. If you're anything like me, You couldn't recognize the face of your love Until they stripped you of your shiny paint Threw your victory flag away And you saw the ones who wanted you anyway... Darling, later on you will thank your stars for that frightful day. If you're anything like me, I'm sorry. But Darling, it's going to be okay.
Taylor Swift
Leave!’ Hazel Motes cried. ‘Go ahead and leave! The truth don’t matter to you. Listen,’ he said, pointing his finger at the rest of them, ‘the truth don’t matter to you. If Jesus had redeemed you, what difference would it make to you? You wouldn’t do nothing about it. Your faces wouldn’t move, neither this way nor that, and if it was three crosses there and Him hung on the middle one, that wouldn’t mean no more to you and me than the other two. Listen here. What you need is something to take the place of Jesus, something that would speak plain. The Church Without Christ don’t have a Jesus but it needs one! It needs a new jesus! It needs one that’s all man, without blood to waste, and it needs one that don’t look like any other man so you’ll look at him. Give me such a jesus, you people. Give me such a new jesus and you’ll see how far the Church Without Christ can go!
Flannery O'Connor (Wise Blood)
Another sob came, harder than the first, but she couldn't cover her face and her mastectomy scars at the same time when he raised his head. When she tried, Luke merely caught her wrists and lightly pinned them on either side of her head. "It's all right, Em. Tears are part of this," he whispered, bending to kiss them away. He moved gently within her, another tender caress that soothed as much as it stimulated. It broke the seal on the dam of her tears. They came out in a quiet rush while he stayed above her, eyes on her face as he murmured soothing things she didn't quite catch. And when the tears slowed, she looked up into his handsome face with a sniffle and the smile he gave her filled her heart to overflowing. Dear God she loved him. Had always loved him and would never love another man but him. Her heart had known it all along. And so had her body. Still, she tensed when he released one of her wrists to touch the skin beneath her right collarbone. Luke shook his dark head, those liquid eyes looking right into her soul. "I won't let you hide from me. Or from yourself." Embedded deep inside her, he raised his upper body to gaze at her, and all she could do was close her eyes in resistance. "Look at me." After a long hesitation, she did. He stared down at her with a powerful mixture of tenderness and hunger. "You think a scar's going to change how I see you? Feel about you?" She swallowed and struggled to find her voice. "It's ugly." "You're beautiful to me, Em. Always." She opened her mouth to say something but he leaned down to kiss her again. "Give me your hand," he coaxed, his voice a seductive whisper. She did, tentatively, and his fingers closed around hers in a warm grip. Strong and reassuring. "Accept who you are. Be proud of your body. It's fighting a war for you.
Kaylea Cross
I can tell you what The Eye wanted with Sophie,” Archer spoke up. He was grinning, but his voice was tight with pain. “We heard she was particularly skilled at Chutes and Ladders, and since The Eye holds a Chutes and Ladders tournament every summer-“ His voice broke on a cry of pain as Lara twisted her fingers, and the glowing threads of magic around him burned white hot for a moment. I had to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from screaming. “Archer Cross is not only a member of L’Occhio di Dio, but he’s also a traitor to his people,” Lara said, moving to stand closer to him. “He represents the greatest threat any of us can ever face. Which is why he’ll be so very useful to us.” Jenna slipped her hand in mine and squeezed my fingers as Lara said, “Today, we’ll be using Mr. Cross for practice.
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
No problem," Eve said as he crossed to her. "I was just ... Hey -- " She jerked her chin as his hand cupped it, but his fingers held firm, turning her left cheek to the light. "Your face is bruised." His voice was cool on the statement, icily so. His eyes as they flicked over the injury betrayed nothing. But his fingers were warm, tensed, and jolted something in her gut. "A scuffle over a candy bar," she said with a shrug. His eyes met hers, held just an instant longer than comfortable. "Who won?" "I did. It's a mistake to come between me and food." "I'll keep that in mind.
J.D. Robb (Naked in Death (In Death #1))
She pushed and elbowed and knocked and strained to catch him, and finally, she did, reaching out for his hand--adoring the fact that neither of them wore gloves, loving the way their skin came together, the way his brought wonderful heat in a lush, irresistible current. He felt it too. She knew it because he stopped the instant they touched, turning to face her, grey eyes wild as Devonshire rain. She knew it because he whispered her name, aching and beautiful and soft enough for only her to hear. And she it because his free hand rose, captured her jaw and titled her face up to him even as he leaned down and stole her lips and breath and thought in a kiss that she would never in her lifetime forget. The was like food and drink, like sleep, like breath. She needed it with the same elemental desire and she cared not a bit that all of London was watching. Yes, she was masked, but it did not matter. She would have stripped to her chemise for this kiss. To her skin. Their fingers still intertwined, he wrapped their arms behind her back and pulled her to him, claiming her mouth with lips and tongue and teeth, marking her with one long luscious kiss that went on and on until she thought she might die from the pleasure of it. Her free hand was in his hair then, tangling in the soft locks, loving their silky promise. She was lost, claimed and fairly consumed by the intensity of the kiss, and for the first time in her life, Pippa gave herself up to emotion, pouring every bit of her desire and her passion and her fear and her need into this moment This caress. This man. This man, who was everything she had never allowed herself to dream she would find. This man, who made her believe in friendship. In partnership.. In love
Sarah MacLean (One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (The Rules of Scoundrels, #2))
And whether or not the educators who are trying to raise up America's students can actually set and meet higher academic standards, our cultural values make their job next to impossible. It's so much easier for pundits and politicians to point out figures and blame the people who are in the trenches every day than it is to get in there with them, or even to find out what actually goes on in those trenches. It's so much easier for parents to blame teachers when their kids get in trouble than to do the heavy lifting required at home to keep kids on track. And it's so much easier for us as a nation to cross our fingers and hope that we'll "get lucky" with the innovative "solutions" being tested on America's schools today than it is for us to roll up our sleeves and invest our own time, talent, and money in the schools that are even now-- with or without us-- shaping our nation's future.
Tony Danza (I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High)
I am a harmless old seller of apples," she said, in a voice more appropriate for the opening of hostilities in a middle-range war. "Pray let me past, dearie." The last word had knives in it. "No-one must enter the castle," said one of the guards. "Orders of the duke." Granny shrugged. The apple-seller gambit had never worked more than once in the entire history of witchcraft, as far as she knew, but it was traditional. "I know you, Champett Poldy," she said. "I recall I laid out your grandad and I brought you into the world." She glanced at the crowds, which had regathered a little way off, and turned back to the guard, whose face was already a mask of terror. She leaned a little closer, and said, "I gave you your first good hiding in this valley of tears and by all the gods if you cross me now I will give you your last." There was a soft metallic noise as the spear fell out of the man's fearful fingers. Granny reached and gave the trembling man a reassuring pat on the shoulder. "But don't worry about it," she added. "Have an apple.
Terry Pratchett (Wyrd Sisters (Discworld, #6; Witches #2))
He had scooped up another handful of sand and stared at each grain as it fell through his fingers. 'You are like these. Each a trifling speck. A hundred, many hundreds—what matter? Cast them into the air. You cannot even find them when they land upon the ground. But there are more grains than you can count. There is no end to them. You will pour across this land, and we will be smothered. Your stone walls, your dead trees, the hooves of your strange beasts trampling the clam beds. My uncle sees these things, here and now. And in his trance, he sees that worse is coming. You walls will rise everywhere until they shut us out. You will turn the land upside down with your ploughs until all the hunting grounds are gone. This, and more, my uncle sees.
Geraldine Brooks (Caleb's Crossing)
He motions to the glue brush. "Can I have some?" I start to grab it so I can pass it to him. He reaches for it at the same time. Our fingers touch, and the moment they do the fluorescent lights overhead flicker and then fizzle out. Everyone moans, even though we can all still see. There's enough light from the outside filtering in, just not enough for us to really focus on the finer details. Nick's fingers stroke mine lightly, so lightly that I'm almost not sure the touch is real. My insides flicker like the art room lights. They do not, however, fizzle. I turn my head to look him in the eye. He leans over and whispers, "It will be hard to be just your friend." The lights come back on. "Just a little brownout." The art teacher smiles and holds out her arms. "Welcome to Maine, Zara. Land of a million power failures." Nick's breath touches my ear. "I heard you didn't drive to school. I'll bring you home after cross-country,okay?" "Okay," I say, trying to be all calm, but what I really want to do is leap up and do a happy dance all over the art room. Nick is driving me home.
Carrie Jones (Need (Need, #1))
Mrs Islam is what you call a respectable type." Nazneen tried a snore. "Razia, on the other hand, I would not call a respectable type. I'm not saying anything against her. But what is her background? Her husband does some menial sort of job. He is uneducated. He is probably illiterate. Perhaps he can write his name. If he can't write his name, he will put a cross. Razia cuts her hair like a tramp. Perhaps she calls it fashion. I don't know. Her son is roaming around the estate like a vagabond, throwing stones and what have you. When I spoke to him he put his fingers in his nose, like this, and made a face like this.
Rohinton Mistry (A Fine Balance)
So,Batman,eh?" Effing St. Clair. I cross my arms and slouch into one of the plastic seats. I am so not in the mood for this.He takes the chair next to me and drapes a relaxed arm over the back of the empty seat on his other side. The man across from us is engrossed in his laptop,and I pretend to be engrossed in his laptop,too. Well,the back of it. St. Clair hums under his breath. When I don't respond,he sings quietly. "Jingle bells,Batman smells,Robin flew away..." "Yes,great,I get it.Ha ha. Stupid me." "What? It's just a Christmas song." He grins and continues a bit louder. "Batmobile lost a wheel,on the M1 motorway,hey!" "Wait." I frown. "What?" "What what?" "You're singing it wrong." "No,I'm not." He pauses. "How do you sing it?" I pat my coat,double-checking for my passport. Phew. Still there. "It's 'Jingle bells, Batman smells,Robin laid an egg'-" St. Clair snorts. "Laid an egg? Robin didn't lay an egg-" "'Batmobile lost a wheel,and the Joker got away.'" He stares at me for a moment,and then says with perfect conviction. "No." "Yes.I mean,seriously,what's up with the motorway thing?" "M1 motorway. Connects London to Leeds." I smirk. "Batman is American. He doesn't take the M1 motorway." "When he's on holiday he does." "Who says Batman has time to vacation?" "Why are we arguing about Batman?" He leans forward. "You're derailing us from the real topic.The fact that you, Anna Oliphant,slept in today." "Thanks." "You." He prods my leg with a finger. "Slept in." I focus on the guy's laptop again. "Yeah.You mentioned that." He flashes a crooked smile and shrugs, that full-bodied movement that turns him from English to French. "Hey, we made it,didn't we? No harm done." I yank out a book from my backpack, Your Movie Sucks, a collection of Roger Ebert's favorite reviews of bad movies. A visual cue for him to leave me alone. St. Clair takes the hint. He slumps and taps his feet on the ugly blue carpeting. I feel guilty for being so harsh. If it weren't for him,I would've missed the flight. St. Clair's fingers absentmindedly drum his stomach. His dark hair is extra messy this morning. I'm sure he didn't get up that much earlier than me,but,as usual, the bed-head is more attractive on him. With a painful twinge,I recall those other mornings together. Thanksgiving.Which we still haven't talked about.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
I'll be right here. Good luck, or break a leg, or something.” As Jay and Gregory turned and headed into the crowd, my traitorous eyes returned to the corner and found another pair or eyes staring darkly back. I dropped my gaze for three full seconds, and then lifted my eyes again, hesitant. The drummer was still staring at me, oblivious to the three girls trying to win back his attention. He put up one finger at the girls and said something that looked like, “Excuse me.” Oh, my goodness. Was he...? Oh, no. Yes, he was walking this way. My nerves shot into high alert. I looked around, but nobody else was near. When I looked back up, there he was, standing right in front of me. Good gracious, he was sexy-a word that had not existed in my personal vocabulary until that moment. This guy was sexy like it was his job or something. He looked straight into my eyes, which threw me off guard, because nobody ever looked me in the eye like that. Maybe Patti and Jay, but they didn't hold my stare like he was doing now. He didn't look away, and I found that I couldn't take my gaze off those blue eyes. “Who are you?” he asked in a blunt, almost confrontational way. I blinked. It was the strangest greeting I'd ever received. “I'm...Anna.” “Right. Anna. How very nice.” I tried to focus on his words and not his luxuriously accented voice, which made everything sound lovely. He leaned in closer. “But who are you?” What did that mean? Did I need to have some sort of title or social standing to enter his presence? “I just came with my friend Jay?” Oh, I hated when I got nervous and started talking in questions. I pointed in the general direction of the guys, but he didn't take his eyes off me. I began rambling. “They just wrote some songs. Jay and Gregory. That they wanted you to hear. Your band, I mean. They're really...good?” His eyes roamed all around my body, stopping to evaluate my sad, meager chest. I crossed my arms. When his gaze landed on that stupid freckle above my lip, I was hit by the scent of oranges and limes and something earthy, like the forest floor. It was pleasant in a masculine way. “Uh-huh.” He was closer to my face now, growling in that deep voice, but looking into my eyes again. “Very cute. And where is your angel?” My what? Was that some kind of British slang for boyfriend? I didn't know how to answer without continuing to sound pitiful. He lifted his dark eyebrows, waiting. “If you mean Jay, he's over there talking to some man in a suit. But he's not my boyfriend or my angel or whatever.” My face flushed with heat and I tightened my arms over my chest. I'd never met anyone with an accent like his, and I was ashamed of the effect it had on me. He was obviously rude, and yet I wanted him to keep talking to me. It didn't make any sense. His stance softened and he took a step back, seeming confused, although I still couldn't read his emotions. Why didn't he show any colors? He didn't seem drunk or high. And that red thing...what was that? It was hard not to stare at it. He finally looked over at Jay, who was deep in conversation with the manager-type man. “Not your boyfriend, eh?” He was smirking at me now. I looked away, refusing to answer. “Are you certain he doesn't fancy you?” Kaidan asked. I looked at him again. His smirk was now a naughty smile. “Yes,” I assured him with confidence. “I am.” “How do you know?” I couldn't very well tell him that the only time Jay's color had shown mild attraction to me was when I accidentally flashed him one day as I was taking off my sweatshirt, and my undershirt got pulled up too high. And even then it lasted only a few seconds before our embarrassment set in.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
I don’t know what it is that comes over me, but suddenly I’m crossing to his side of the table and sitting down in his lap, arms wrapping around his neck. His lips are soft against mine, and when I part them he tenderly obliges, tasting me delicately. His fingers prod at my back, never going further than the small indent at the base of the spine, and it’s all very lovely and nice. “I think I could get used to you,” I say, looking down into his beautiful brown eyes, deep like the color of autumn. (From "Undone, The Romance of Nick and Layla [Part 5"]).
Crystal Cierlak
Gently, I caressed along the puckered, angry scar slanting in a long, jagged line across my lower abdomen to where it crossed the smooth, silvered scar running in a horizontal line just above my pelvis, wishing she could somehow find comfort in my touch. Chills shook my body as I ran my fingers over the still sensitive skin, and just like every night, the bitterness and anger I found myself feeling faded away into sadness as I lost myself in this tangible reminder of my child. I loved her, so much. Steam filled the room, and I eased myself into the water, allowing myself to drift back to Daniel. I missed him, almost more than I could bear. This was never supposed to have happened to us. We were supposed to make it…we should have made it.
A.L. Jackson (Pulled)
What was that about?” “She’s a famous boyfriend stealer.” “Okay, one”—I held up a finger—“I’m not your boyfriend. I’m half of your binary pairing.” She pushed me so hard I had to take a step back or fall over. “You’re the one to my zero?” “I’m your mate. A boyfriend can be stolen. A mate can’t.” I held up a second finger. “Two, she’s not my type.” She crossed her arms and leaned on one hip. “Is there a three?” “Three.” I made a W. “Knew it.” “You need new friends if you can’t trust the ones you have.” “Did you text the kettle to tell him he was black, Mr. Pot?
C.D. Reiss (King of Code)
Just because I’m a reporter doesn’t mean I don’t get to have an opinion about people.” “And your opinion of me is?” “Very low.” His eyes narrowed infinitesimally. “Is it my hair?” I flinched back, automatically checking out his hair. “No. There’s nothing wrong with your hair.” “You don’t like Star Wars?” He gestured to his shirt. “You’re a Trekkie? You should know, I’m an equal opportunity space drama aficionado, whether it be BattleSTAR Galactica, STAR Trek, or STAR—” “I get it, you like science fiction.” “Ah ha!” He lifted his index finger between us. “Ah ha, what?” “You’re a fantasy reader, aren’t you? That’s what’s going on. What’s your favorite TV show? Buffy the Vampire Slayer, right?” I lifted an eyebrow and crossed my arms, disliking that he’d guessed correctly. “What I read and watch isn’t the central issue.” “Have you received your Hogwarts letter?” he asked, and his tone was so serious, I almost mistook it for a real question
Penny Reid (Dating-ish (Knitting in the City, #6))
When he’d seen her standing at the stove. . . . that familiar wave of possessiveness and love had welled up in him. He felt it every time he saw her. It was jarring, foreign and…perfect. She’d filled a hole inside him he hadn’t even realized existed. Making the transition to civilian life had been the hardest thing he’d ever done. Somehow she’d made it easier, just by being herself. He couldn’t imagine his life without her. Didn’t want to. Now that he’d finally surrendered to his feelings for her and they’d crossed over from friends to lovers he knew there was no going back for him. The fact that she’d agreed to move in so quickly soothed the most primal part of him. Because he wanted a hell of a lot more from her than that. He wanted forever. It was too soon to ask the big question just yet, but by Christmas of this year, he was going to make sure a diamond ring was on her left hand ring finger. He wanted the whole world to know she belonged with him.
Katie Reus (First Surrender (The Serafina: Sin City, #1))
The more it changes, the more it's the same thing. But overall, things have changed. I say changed and not "changed for the better" because I am no fool. Fate is a total drama queen. The second you say things are better than they were, she'll come stumbling toward you on her six-inch heels, nasty-ass wig crooked and on sideways. You'll wonder exactly how she got all that makeup slathered onto her face. One nicotine-caked fake fingernail will point at you, and she will make sure that things are anything but better from there on out. So no, thank you. Things are different but not better and, in fact, could get much much worse, so fuck off, Fate! Is she gone? Whew. Things had changed at school and not in a bad way(crosses fingers and hope that doesn't count as pissing Fate off).
John Goode (End of the Innocence (Tales of Foster High))
Wade sighed. “I’ll never understand why women wear bras to start with. They look uncomfortable as hell.” “They’re not that bad.” “Turn around so I can fasten the damn thing for you.” She refused to let go. Suddenly it seemed important to do this one small task alone. “I can do it, Wade. I need to get used to doing things with this cast.” He crossed his arms over his chest as he watched her struggle. “Is it so hard to ask for help from me, Gracie?” She tried the two small hooks once more, but failed to get them both attached. “No, it’s just that I’m not used to people offering, I guess.” He moved around her and helped fasten the contrary hook. When she turned to tell him thanks, he placed his finger over her lips and murmured, “If you thank me, I’ll spank you. Knowing I haven’t been able to catch your stalker, that he broke into your home and trashed your things and I wasn’t able to stop him makes me feel as fucking useless as tits on a bull. The least I can do is fasten your bra.
Anne Rainey (So Sensitive (Hard to Get, #1))
I want you both." I said quietly, not caring that my cheeks had grown warmer. "I have for a while." "If we try this—" Tyler took a deep breath. "And it doesn't feel right—" "We'll stop." Kacey promised as he slid his hand beneath my halter neck and began caressing my skin. "You say it baby, and we'll stop and forget all about it." My stomach flipped at the feel of his fingers circling my navel. "And if I don't want to stop?" An unreadable look crossed Tyler’s face and my heart skipped as Kacey moved behind me. The warmth of his body seeped into my back, while his fingers painted trails of heat across my abdomen and along my ribs. "Then what happens in Silver Creek, stays in Silver Creek. Unless you decide otherwise." Kacey pressed his lips to my ear. A shiver ran down my neck and spine. "Does that sound fair?
Elizabeth Morgan (Creak)
What's Toraf's favorite color?" She shrugs. "Whatever I tell him it is." I raise a brow at her. "Don't know, huh?" She crosses her arms. "Who cares anyway? We're not painting his toenails." "I think what's she's trying to say, honey bunches, is that maybe you should paint your nails his favorite color, to show him you're thinking about him," Rachel says, seasoning her words with tact. Rayna sets her chin. "Emma doesn't paint her nails Galen's favorite color." Startled that Galen has a favorite color and I don't know it, I say, "Uh, well, he doesn't like nail polish." That is to say, he's never mentioned it before. When a brilliant smile lights up her whole face, I know I've been busted. "You don't know his favorite color!" she says, actually pointing at me. "Yes, I do," I say, searching Rachel's face for the answer. She shrugs. Rayna's smirk is the epitome of I know something you don't know. Smacking it off her face is my first reflex, but I hold back, as I always do, because of the kiss I shared with Toraf and the way it hurt her. Sometimes I catch her looking at me with that same expression she had on the beach, and I feel like fungus, even though she deserved it at the time. Refusing to fold, I eye the buffet of nail polish scattered before me. Letting my fingers roam over the bottles, I shop the paints, hoping one of them stands out to me. To save my life, I can't think of any one color he wears more often. He doesn't have a favorite sport, so team colors are a no-go. Rachel picked his cars for him, so that's no help either. Biting my lip, I decide on an ocean blue. "Emma! Now I'm just ashamed of myself," he says from the doorway. "How could you not know my favorite color?" Startled, I drop the bottle back on the table. Since he's back so soon, I have to assume he didn't find what or who he wanted-and that he didn't hunt them for very long. Toraf materializes behind him, but Galen's shoulders are too broad to allow them both to stand in the doorway. Clearing my throat, I say, "I was just moving that bottle to get to the color I wanted." Rayna is all but doing a victory dance with her eyes. "Which is?" she asks, full of vicious glee. Toraf pushes past Galen and plops down next to his tiny mate. She leans into him, eager for his kiss. "I missed you," she whispers. "Not as much as I missed you," he tells her. Galen and I exchange eye rolls as he walks around to prop himself on the table beside me, his wet shorts making a butt-shaped puddle on the expensive wood. "Go ahead, angelfish," he says, nodding toward the pile of polish. If he's trying to give me a clue, he sucks at it. "Go" could mean green, I guess. "Ahead" could mean...I have no idea what that could mean. And angelfish come in all sorts of colors. Deciding he didn't encode any messages for me, I sigh and push away from the table to stand. "I don't know. We've never talked about it before." Rayna slaps her knee in triumph. "Ha!" Before I can pass by him, Galen grabs my wrist and pulls me to him, corralling me between his legs. Crushing his mouth to mine, he moves his hand to the small of my back and presses me into him. Since he's still shirtless and I'm in my bikini, there's a lot of bare flesh touching, which is a little more intimate than I'm used to with an audience. Still, the fire sears through me, scorching a path to the furthest, deepest parts of me. It takes every bit of grit I have not to wrap my arms around his neck. Gently, I push my hands against his chest to end the kiss, which is something I never thought I'd do. Giving him a look that I hope conveys "inappropriate," I step back. I've spent enough time in their company to know without looking that Rayna's eyes are bugging out of their sockets and Toraf is grinning like a nutcracker doll. With any luck, Rachel didn't even see the kiss. Stealing a peek at her, she meets my gaze with openmouthed shock. Okay, it looked as bad as I thought it did.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
It’s your fault that I’ve been reduced to such behavior,” he continued. “I assure you, I myself find it appalling that the only pleasure I obtain these days is chasing after you like an adolescent lordling with a housemaid.” “Did you chase after the housemaids when you were a boy?” “Good God, of course not. How could you ask such a thing?” Sebastian looked indignant. Just as she felt a twinge of guilt and began to apologize, he said smugly, “They chased after me.” Evie raised a cue stick as if to crown him with it. He caught her wrist easily in one hand and pried the stick from her fingers. “Easy, firebrand. You’ll knock out the few wits I have left—and then of what use would I be to you?” “You would be purely ornamental,” Evie replied, giggling. “Ah, well, I suppose there’s some value in that. God help me if I should ever lose my looks.” “I wouldn’t mind.” He gave her a quizzical smile. “What?” “If…” Evie paused, suddenly embarrassed. “If anything happened to your looks…if you became…less handsome. Your appearance wouldn’t matter to me. I would still…” She paused and finished hesitantly, “…want you as my husband.” Sebastian’s smile faded slowly. He gave her a long, intent stare, her wrist still clasped in his hand. Something strange crossed his expression…an undefinable emotion wrought of heat and vulnerability. When he answered, his voice was strained from the effort to sound cavalier. “Without a doubt, you’re the first one who’s ever said that to me. I hope you won’t be such a pea goose as to endow me with characteristics that I don’t have.” “No, you’re endowed enough as it is,” Evie replied, before the double meaning of the statement occurred to her. She burned a brilliant scarlet. “Th-that is…I didn’t mean…” But Sebastian was laughing quietly, the odd tension passing, and he pulled her against him. As she responded to him eagerly, his amusement dissolved like sugar in hot liquid. He kissed her longer, harder, his breath striking her cheek in rapid drives. “Evie,” he whispered, “you’re so warm, so lovely…oh, hell. I’ve got two months, thirteen days and six hours before I can take you to my bed. Little she-devil. This is going to be the death of me.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
What rhymes with insensitive?” I tap my pen on the kitchen table, beyond frustrated with my current task. Who knew rhyming was so fucking difficult? Garrett, who’s dicing onions at the counter, glances over. “Sensitive,” he says helpfully. “Yes, G, I’ll be sure to rhyme insensitive with sensitive. Gold star for you.” On the other side of the kitchen, Tucker finishes loading the dishwasher and turns to frown at me. “What the hell are you doing over there, anyway? You’ve been scribbling on that notepad for the past hour.” “I’m writing a love poem,” I answer without thinking. Then I slam my lips together, realizing what I’ve done. Dead silence crashes over the kitchen. Garrett and Tucker exchange a look. An extremely long look. Then, perfectly synchronized, their heads shift in my direction, and they stare at me as if I’ve just escaped from a mental institution. I may as well have. There’s no other reason for why I’m voluntarily writing poetry right now. And that’s not even the craziest item on Grace’s list. That’s right. I said it. List. The little brat texted me not one, not two, but six tasks to complete before she agrees to a date. Or maybe gestures is a better way to phrase it... “I just have one question,” Garrett starts. “Really?” Tuck says. “Because I have many.” Sighing, I put my pen down. “Go ahead. Get it out of your systems.” Garrett crosses his arms. “This is for a chick, right? Because if you’re doing it for funsies, then that’s just plain weird.” “It’s for Grace,” I reply through clenched teeth. My best friend nods solemnly. Then he keels over. Asshole. I scowl as he clutches his side, his broad back shuddering with each bellowing laugh. And even while racked with laughter, he manages to pull his phone from his pocket and start typing. “What are you doing?” I demand. “Texting Wellsy. She needs to know this.” “I hate you.” I’m so busy glaring at Garrett that I don’t notice what Tucker’s up to until it’s too late. He snatches the notepad from the table, studies it, and hoots loudly. “Holy shit. G, he rhymed jackass with Cutlass.” “Cutlass?” Garrett wheezes. “Like the sword?” “The car,” I mutter. “I was comparing her lips to this cherry-red Cutlass I fixed up when I was a kid. Drawing on my own experience, that kind of thing.” Tucker shakes his head in exasperation. “You should have compared them to cherries, dumbass.” He’s right. I should have. I’m a terrible poet and I do know it. “Hey,” I say as inspiration strikes. “What if I steal the words to “Amazing Grace”? I can change it to…um…Terrific Grace.” “Yup,” Garrett cracks. “Pure gold right there. Terrific Grace.” I ponder the next line. “How sweet…” “Your ass,” Tucker supplies. Garrett snorts. “Brilliant minds at work. Terrific Grace, how sweet your ass.” He types on his phone again. “Jesus Christ, will you quit dictating this conversation to Hannah?” I grumble. “Bros before hos, dude.” “Call my girlfriend a ho one more time and you won’t have a bro.” Tucker chuckles. “Seriously, why are you writing poetry for this chick?” “Because I’m trying to win her back. This is one of her requirements.” That gets Garrett’s attention. He perks up, phone poised in hand as he asks, “What are the other ones?” “None of your fucking business.” “Golly gee, if you do half as good a job on those as you’re doing with this epic poem, then you’ll get her back in no time!” I give him the finger. “Sarcasm not appreciated.” Then I swipe the notepad from Tuck’s hand and head for the doorway. “PS? Next time either of you need to score points with your ladies? Don’t ask me for help. Jackasses.” Their wild laughter follows me all the way upstairs. I duck into my room and kick the door shut, then spend the next hour typing up the sorriest excuse for poetry on my laptop. Jesus. I’m putting more effort into this damn poem than for my actual classes.
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
Fabian didn't flinch under Vlad's harsh analysis. "You have no idea what it's like, existing between worlds," he said, floating closer instead of backing away. "We are neither the living or the undead. It takes years to cope with the fact that even though over ninety-nine percent of everyone who dies crosses over to the next place, you are left behind. Years to accept that everything you worked for in your life is gone, and the shell of memory is all that remains. Years to recover from hopelessly trying to communicate with loved ones, only to fail time and again because no one except the crazed, psychics, the undead, or other ghosts can see you. Years to accept---even if you don't understand why---that vampires and ghouls will treat you worse that they do vermin, even though they are no human than you are." Fabian advanced again, until his finger disappeared into Vlad's chest. "I'd dare the strongest of your race or any other to say that they've conquered the same hardships my people have overcome. So think again before you question a ghost's worth, or judge those younger ones who are still in the process of becoming tougher than anyone tied to flesh will ever be." Stunned silence filled the air once Fabian was finished. I wanted to break out in apologies and applause all at the same time, but I was still recovering from my shock at how my mild-mannered, Casperesque friend had just unloaded a truck full of I-dare-yous onto one of the scariest vampires in existence. Damned if I would ever underestimate a ghost's chutzpah again, or question their fortitude. Being noncorporeal clearly didn't equate to lacking a pair of balls.
Jeaniene Frost (This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, #5))
S., a clever and truthful man, once told me the story of how he ceased to believe. On a hunting expedition, when he was already twenty-six, he once, at the place where they put up for the night, knelt down in the evening to pray -- a habit retained from childhood. His elder brother, who was at the hunt with him, was lying on some hay and watching him. When S. had finished and was settling down for the night, his brother said to him: 'So you still do that?' They said nothing more to one another. But from that day S. ceased to say his prayers or go to church. And now he has not prayed, received communion, or gone to church, for thirty years. And this not because he knows his brother's convictions and has joined him in them, nor because he has decided anything in his own soul, but simply because the word spoken by his brother was like the push of a finger on a wall that was ready to fall by its own weight. The word only showed that where he thought there was faith, in reality there had long been an empty space, and that therefore the utterance of words and the making of signs of the cross and genuflections while praying were quite senseless actions. Becoming conscious of their senselessness he could not continue them.
Leo Tolstoy (A Confession)
GO BACK TO DALLAS!” the man sitting somewhere behind us yelled again, and the hold Aiden still had on the back of my neck tightened imperceptibly. “Don’t bother, Van,” he demanded, pokerfaced. “I’m not going to say anything,” I said, even as I reached up with the hand furthest away from him and put it behind my head, extending my middle finger in hopes that the idiot yelling would see it. Those brown eyes blinked. “You just flipped him off, didn’t you?” Yeah, my mouth dropped open. “How do you know when I do that?” My tone was just as astonished as it should be. “I know everything.” He said it like he really believed it. I groaned and cast him a long look. “You really want to play this game?” “I play games for a living, Van.” I couldn’t stand him sometimes. My eyes crossed in annoyance. “When is my birthday?” He stared at me. “See?” “March third, Muffin.” What in the hell? “See?” he mocked me. Who was this man and where was the Aiden I knew? “How old am I?” I kept going hesitantly. “Twenty-six.” “How do you know this?” I asked him slowly. “I pay attention,” The Wall of Winnipeg stated. I was starting to think he was right. Then, as if to really seal the deal I didn’t know was resting between us, he said, “You like waffles, root beer, and Dr. Pepper. You only drink light beer. You put cinnamon in your coffee. You eat too much cheese. Your left knee always aches. You have three sisters I hope I never meet and one brother. You were born in El Paso. You’re obsessed with your work. You start picking at the corner of your eye when you feel uncomfortable or fool around with your glasses. You can’t see things up close, and you’re terrified of the dark.” He raised those thick eyebrows. “Anything else?” Yeah, I only managed to say one word. “No.” How did he know all this stuff? How? Unsure of how I was feeling, I coughed and started to reach up to mess with my glasses before I realized what I was doing and snuck my hand under my thigh, ignoring the knowing look on Aiden’s dumb face. “I know a lot about you too. Don’t think you’re cool or special.” “I know, Van.” His thumb massaged me again for all of about three seconds. “You know more about me than anyone else does.” A sudden memory of the night in my bed where he’d admitted his fear as a kid pecked at my brain, relaxing me, making me smile. “I really do, don’t I?” The expression on his face was like he was torn between being okay with the idea and being completely against it. Leaning in close to him again, I winked. “I’m taking your love of MILF porn to the grave with me, don’t worry.” He stared at me, unblinking, unflinching. And then: “I’ll cut the power at the house when you’re in the shower,” he said so evenly, so crisply, it took me a second to realize he was threatening me… And when it finally did hit me, I burst out laughing, smacking his inner thigh without thinking twice about it. “Who does that?” Aiden Graves, husband of mine, said it, “Me.” Then the words were out of my mouth before I could control them. “And you know what I’ll do? I’ll go sneak into bed with you, so ha.” What the hell had I just said? What in the ever-loving hell had I just said? “If you think I’m supposed to be scared…” He leaned forward so our faces were only a couple of inches away. The hand on my neck and the finger pads lining the back of my ear stayed where they were. “I’m not
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
I regard him anew, at last seeing him for what he is. “If you could just be who you are in here”—I place my palm over his heart—“instead of who they made you, then you would be a great Emperor.” I feel his pulse thud against my fingers. “But they won’t let you, will they? They won’t let you have compassion or kindness. They won’t let you keep your soul.” “My soul’s gone.” He looks away. “I killed it dead on that battlefield yesterday.” I think of Spiro Teluman then. Of what he said to me the last time I saw him. “There are two kinds of guilt,” I say softly. “The kind that’s a burden and the kind that gives you purpose. Let your guilt be your fuel. Let it remind you of who you want to be. Draw a line in your mind. Never cross it again. You have a soul. It’s damaged, but it’s there. Don’t let them take it from you, Elias.” His eyes meet mine when I say his name, and I reach up a hand to touch his mask. It is smooth and warm, like rock polished by water and then left to heat in the sun. I let my arm fall. Then I leave his room and walk to the doors of the barracks and out into the rising sun.
Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1))
Mr. Kadam bowed and said, “Miss Kelsey, I will leave you to your dining companion. Enjoy your dinner.” Then he walked out of the restaurant. “Mr. Kadam, wait. I don’t understand.” Dining companion? What is he talking about? Maybe he’s confused. Just then, a deep, all-too-familiar voice behind me said, “Hello, Kells.” I froze, and my heart dropped into my stomach, stirring up about a billion butterflies. A few seconds passed. Or was it a few minutes? I couldn’t tell. I heard a sigh of frustration. “Are you still not talking to me? Turn around, please.” A warm hand slid under my elbow and gently turned me around. I raised my eyes and gasped softly. He was breathtaking! So handsome, I wanted to cry. “Ren.” He smiled. “Who else?” He was dressed in an elegant black suit and he’d had his hair cut. Glossy black hair was swept back away from his face in tousled layers that tapered to a slight curl at the nape of his neck. The white shirt he wore was unbuttoned at the collar. It set off his golden-bronze skin and his brilliant white smile, making him positively lethal to any woman who might cross his path. I groaned inwardly. He’s like…like James Bond, Antonio Banderas, and Brad Pitt all rolled into one. I decided the safest thing to do would be to look at his shoes. Shoes were boring, right? Not attractive at all. Ah. Much better. His shoes were nice, of course-polished and black, just like I would expect. I smiled wryly when I realized that this was the first time I’d ever seen Ren in shoes. He cupped my chin and made me look at his face. The jerk. Then it was his turn to appraise me. He looked me up and down. And not a quick look. He took it all in slowly. The kind of slow that made a girl’s face feel hot. I got mad at myself for blushing and glared at him. Nervous and impatient, I asked, “Are you finished?” “Almost.” He was now staring at my strappy shoes. “Well, hurry up!” His eyes drifted leisurely back up to my face and he smiled at me appreciatively, “Kelsey, when a man spends time with a beautiful woman, he needs to pace himself.” I quirked an eyebrow at him and laughed. “Yeah, I’m a regular marathon alright.” He kissed my fingers. “Exactly. A wise man never sprints…in a marathon.” “I was being sarcastic, Ren.” He ignored me and tucked my hand under his arm then led me over to a beautifully lit table. Pulling the chair out for me, he invited me to sit. I stood there wondering if I could sprint for the nearest exit. Stupid strappy shoes, I’d never make it. He leaned in close and whispered in my ear. “I know what you’re thinking, and I’m not going to let you escape again. You can either take a seat and have dinner with me like a normal date,” he grinned at his word choice, “or,” he paused thoughtfully then threatened, “you can sit on my lap while I force-feed you.” I hissed, “You wouldn’t dare. You’re too much of a gentleman to force me to do anything. It’s an empty bluff, Mr. Asks-For-Permission.” “Even a gentleman has his limits. One way or another, we’re going to have a civil conversation. I’m hoping I get to feed you from my lap, but it’s your choice.” He straightened up again and waited. I unceremoniously plunked down in my chair and scooted in noisily to the table. He laughed softly and took the chair across from me. I felt guilty because of the dress and readjusted my skirt so it wouldn’t wrinkle.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
And so I make my way across the room steadily, carefully. Hands shaking, I pull the string, lifting my blinds. They rise slowly, drawing more moonlight into the room with every inch And there he is, crouched low on the roof. Same leather jacket. The hair is his, the cheekbones, the perfect nose . . . the eyes: dark and mysterious . . . full of secrets. . . . My heart flutters, body light. I reach out to touch him, thinking he might disappear, my fingers disrupted by the windowpane. On the other side, Parker lifts his hand and mouths: “Hi.” I mouth “Hi” back. He holds up a single finger, signalling me to hold on. He picks up a spiral-bound notebook and flips open the cover, turning the first page to me. I recognize his neat, block print instantly: bold, black Sharpie. I know this is unexpected . . . , I read. He flips the page. . . . and strange . . . I lift an eyebrow. . . . but please hear read me out. He flips to the next page. I know I told you I never lied . . . . . . but that was (obviously) the biggest lie of all. The truth is: I’m a liar. I lied. I lied to myself . . . . . . and to you. Parker watches as I read. Our eyes meet, and he flips the page. But only because I had to. I wasn’t supposed to fall in love with you, Jaden . . . . . . but it happened anyway. I clear my throat, and swallow hard, but it’s squeezed shut again, tight. And it gets worse. Not only am I a liar . . . I’m selfish. Selfish enough to want it all. And I know if I don’t have you . . . I hold my breath, waiting. . . . I don’t have anything. He turns another page, and I read: I’m not Parker . . . . . . and I’m not going to give up . . . . . . until I can prove to you . . . . . . that you are the only thing that matters. He flips to the next page. So keep sending me away . . . . . . but I’ll just keep coming back to you. Again . . . He flips to the next page. . . . and again . . . And the next: . . . and again. Goose bumps rise to the surface of my skin. I shiver, hugging myself tightly. And if you can ever find it in your (heart) to forgive me . . . There’s a big, black “heart” symbol where the word should be. I will do everything it takes to make it up to you. He closes the notebook and tosses it beside him. It lands on the roof with a dull thwack. Then, lifting his index finger, he draws an X across his chest. Cross my heart. I stifle the happy laugh welling inside, hiding the smile as I reach for the metal latch to unlock my window. I slowly, carefully, raise the sash. A burst of fresh honeysuckles saturates the balmy, midnight air, sickeningly sweet, filling the room. I close my eyes, breathing it in, as a thousand sleepless nights melt, slipping away. I gather the lavender satin of my dress in my hand, climb through the open window, and stand tall on the roof, feeling the height, the warmth of the shingles beneath my bare feet, facing Parker. He touches the length of the scar on my forehead with his cool finger, tucks my hair behind my ear, traces the edge of my face with the back of his hand. My eyes close. “You know you’re beautiful? Even when you cry?” He smiles, holding my face in his hands, smearing the tears away with his thumbs. I breathe in, lungs shuddering. “I’m sorry,” he whispers, black eyes sincere. I swallow. “I know why you had to.” “Doesn’t make it right.” “Doesn’t matter anymore,” I say, shaking my head. The moon hangs suspended in the sky, stars twinkling overhead, as he leans down and kisses me softly, lips meeting mine, familiar—lips I imagined, dreamed about, memorized a mil ion hours ago. Then he wraps his arms around me, pulling me into him, quelling every doubt and fear and uncertainty in this one, perfect moment.
Katie Klein (Cross My Heart (Cross My Heart, #1))
How I met Tyler was I went to a nude beach. This was the very end of summer, and I was asleep. Tyler was naked and sweating, gritty with sand, his hair wet and stringy, hanging in his face. Tyler had been around before we met. Tyler was pulling driftwood logs out of the surf and dragging them up the beach. In the wet sand, he’d already planted a half circle of logs so they stood a few inches apart and as tall as his eyes. There were four logs, and when I woke up, I watched Tyler pull a fifth log up the beach. Tyler dug a hole under one end of the log, then lifted the other end until the log slid into the hole and stood there at a slight angle. You wake up at the beach. We were the only people on the beach. With a stick, Tyler drew a straight line in the sand several feet away. Tyler went back to straighten the log by stamping sand around its base. I was the only person watching this. Tyler called over, “Do you know what time it is?” I always wear a watch, “Do you know what time it is?” I asked, where? “Right here,” Tyler said. “Right now.” It was 4:06 P.M. After a while, Tyler sat cross-legged in the shadow of the standing logs. Tyler sat for a few minutes, got up and took a swim, pulled on a T-shirt and a pair of sweatpants, and started to leave. I had to ask. I had to know what Tyler was doing while I was asleep. If I could wake up in a different place, at a different time, could I wake up as a different person? I asked if Tyler was an artist. Tyler shrugged and showed me how the five standing logs were wider at the base. Tyler showed me the line he’d drawn in the sand, and how he’d used the line to gauge the shadow cast by each log. Sometimes, you wake up and have to ask where you are. What Tyler had created was the shadow of a giant hand. Only now the fingers were Nosferatu-long and the thumb was too short, but he said how at exactly four-thirty the hand was perfect. The giant shadow hand was perfect for one minute, and for one perfect minute Tyler had sat in the palm of a perfection he’d created himself. You wake up, and you’re nowhere. One minute was enough Tyler said, a person had to work hard for it, but a minute of perfection was worth the effort. A moment was the most you could ever expect from perfection. You wake up, and that’s enough
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
I still stared at Daemon, completely aware that everyone else except him was watching me. Closely. But why wouldn’t he look at me? A razor-sharp panic clawed at my insides. No. This couldn’t be happening. No way.
 My body was moving before I even knew what I was doing. From the corner of my eye, I saw Dee shake her head and one of the Luxen males step forward, but I was propelled by an inherent need to prove that my worst fears were not coming true. After all, he’d healed me, but then I thought of what Dee had said, of how Dee had behaved with me. What if Daemon was like her? Turned into something so foreign and cold? He would’ve healed me just to make sure he was okay. I still didn’t stop.
 Please, I thought over and over again. Please. Please. Please. On shaky legs, I crossed the long room, and even though Daemon hadn’t seemed to even acknowledge my existence, I walked right up to him, my hands trembling as I placed them on his chest. “Daemon?” I whispered, voice thick. His head whipped around, and he was suddenly staring down at me. Our gazes collided once more, and for a second I saw something so raw, so painful in those beautiful eyes. And then his large hands wrapped around my upper arms. The contact seared through the shirt I wore, branding my skin, and I thought—I expected—that he would pull me against him, that he would embrace me, and even though nothing would be all right, it would be better. Daemon’s hands spasmed around my arms, and I sucked in an unsteady breath. His eyes flashed an intense green as he physically lifted me away from him, setting me back down a good foot back. I stared at him, something deep in my chest cracking. “Daemon?” He said nothing as he let go, one finger at a time, it seemed, and his hands slid off my arms. He stepped back, returning his attention to the man behind the desk. “So . . . awkward,” murmured the redhead, smirking. I was rooted to the spot in which I stood, the sting of rejection burning through my skin, shredding my insides like I was nothing more than papier-mâché. “I think someone was expecting more of a reunion,” the Luxen male behind the desk said, his voice ringing with amusement. “What do you think, Daemon?” One shoulder rose in a negligent shrug. “I don’t think anything.” My mouth opened, but there were no words. His voice, his tone, wasn’t like his sister’s, but like it had been when we first met. He used to speak to me with barely leashed annoyance, where a thin veil of tolerance dripped from every word. The rift in my chest deepened.
For the hundredth time since the Luxen arrived, Sergeant Dasher’s warning came back to me. What side would Daemon and his family stand on? A shudder worked its way down my spine. I wrapped my arms around myself, unable to truly process what had just happened. “And you?" the man asked. When no one answered, he tried again. “Katy?” I was forced to look at him, and I wanted to shrink back from his stare. “What?” I was beyond caring that my voice broke on that one word. The man smiled as he walked around the desk. My gaze flickered over to Daemon as he shifted, drawing the attention of the beautiful redhead. “Were you expecting a more personal greeting?” he asked. “Perhaps something more intimate?” I had no idea how to answer. I felt like I’d fallen into the rabbit hole, and warnings were firing off left and right. Something primal inside me recognized that I was surrounded by predators. Completely.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opposition (Lux, #5))
IT WAS THOUSANDS of years ago and thousands of miles away, but it is a visit that for all our madness and cynicism and indifference and despair we have never quite forgotten. The oxen in their stalls. The smell of hay. The shepherds standing around. That child and that place are somehow the closest of all close encounters, the one we are closest to, the one that brings us closest to something that cannot be told in any other way. This story that faith tells in the fairytale language of faith is not just that God is, which God knows is a lot to swallow in itself much of the time, but that God comes. Comes here. “In great humility.” There is nothing much humbler than being born: naked, totally helpless, not much bigger than a loaf of bread. But with righteousness and faithfulness the girdle of his loins. And to us came. For us came. Is it true—not just the way fairytales are true but as the truest of all truths? Almighty God, are you true? When you are standing up to your neck in darkness, how do you say yes to that question? You say yes, I suppose, the only way faith can ever say it if it is honest with itself. You say yes with your fingers crossed. You say it with your heart in your mouth. Maybe that way we can say yes. He visited us. The world has never been quite the same since. It is still a very dark world, in some ways darker than ever before, but the darkness is different because he keeps getting born into it. The threat of holocaust. The threat of poisoning the earth and sea and air. The threat of our own deaths. The broken marriage. The child in pain. The lost chance. Anyone who has ever known him has known him perhaps better in the dark than anywhere else because it is in the dark where he seems to visit most often.
Frederick Buechner (Listening to Your Life: Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechne)
What kind of party?” “The good kind.” “Yeah, right.” Greta knows that for me there are no good parties. I’m okay with one or two people, but more than that and I turn into a naked mole rat. That’s what being shy feels like. Like my skin is too thin, the light is too bright. Like the best place I could possibly be is in a tunnel far under the cool, dark earth. Someone asks me a question and I stare at them, empty-faced, my brain jammed up with how hard I’m trying to find something interesting to say. And in the end, all I can do is nod or shrug, because the light of their eyes looking at me, waiting for me, is just too much to take. And then it’s over and there’s one more person in the world who thinks I’m a complete and total waste of space. The worst thing is the stupid hopefulness. Every new party, every new bunch of people, and I start thinking that maybe this is my chance. That I’m going to be normal this time. A new leaf. A fresh start. But then I find myself at the party, thinking, Oh, yeah. This again. So I stand at the edge of things, crossing my fingers, praying nobody will try to look me in the eye. And the good thing is, they usually don’t.
Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
Has he lost his mind?” He dipped lower, sliding his lips against the soft patch of skin beneath her ear, inhaling her clean, night-flower scent. “Yes.” Unable to stop himself, he scraped his razor-sharp fangs against her skin, scoring lightly just enough to see red pebbles in a line. “He has lost his mind,” he whispered on a rasp. Her fingers curled at his shoulders. She sighed when he tongued the strip of blood away. “He has lost his body and soul, too.” He sucked her pretty earlobe, going rock-hard at her whimpering gasp. “You’ve gotten your claws in deep, kitten.” He trailed his mouth up her jaw, sliding his fingers up her nape and cupping her head to keep her where he wanted her. “And I’m bleeding inwardly.” Gently, he nipped at her bottom lip, sucking it between his lips and letting it slide out slowly. “I’m quite ready to die at your feet, if you’ll only give yourself to me.
Juliette Cross (The White Lily (Vampire Blood #3))
Never believe it, Hal. Never believe your own lies. Because superstition was a trap—that was what she had learned, in the years of plying her trade on the pier. Touching wood, crossing fingers, counting magpies—they were lies, all of them. False promises, designed to give the illusion of control and meaning in a world in which the only destiny came from yourself. You can’t predict the future, Hal, her mother had reminded her, time and time again. You can’t influence fate, or change what’s out of your control. But you can choose what you yourself do with the cards you’re dealt. That was the truth, Hal knew. The painful, uncompromising truth. It was what she wanted to shout at clients, at the ones who came back again and again looking for answers that she could not give. There is no higher meaning. Sometimes things happen for no reason. Fate is cruel, and arbitrary. Touching wood, lucky charms, none of it will help you see the car you never saw coming, or avoid the tumor you didn’t realize you had. Quite the opposite, in fact. For in that moment that you turn your head to look for the second magpie, in the hope of changing your fortune from sorrow to joy—that’s when you take your attention away from the things you can change, the crossing light, the speeding car, the moment you should have turned back. The people who came to her booth were seeking meaning and control—but they were looking in the wrong place. When they gave themselves over to superstition, they were giving up on shaping their own destiny.
Ruth Ware (The Death of Mrs. Westaway)
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))
Like a child, I close my eyes as if they can't see me either. The fire from the kiss broadcasts itself all over me in the form of a full-body blush. Galen laughs. "There it is," he says, running his thumb over my bottom lip. "That is my favorite color. Wow." I'm going to kill him. "Galen. Please. Come. With. Me," I coke out. Gliding past him, my bare feet slap against the tile until I'm stomping on carpet in the hallway, then up the stairs. I can tell by the prickles on my skin that he's following like a good dead fish. As I reach the ladder to the uppermost level, I nod to him to keep following before I hoist myself up. Pacing the room until he gets through the trap door, I count more Mississipis than I've ever counted in my whole life. He closes the door and locks it shut but makes no move to come closer. Still, for a person who's about to die, he seems more amused than he should. I point my finger at him, but can't decide what to accuse him of first, so I put it back down. After several moments of this, he breaks the silence. "Emma, calm down." "Don't tell me what to do, Highness." I dare him with my eyes to call me "boo." Instead of the apology I'm looking for, his eyes tell me he's considering kissing me again, right now. Which is meant to distract me. Tearing my gaze from his mouth, I stride to the window seat and move the mountains of pillows on it. Making myself comfortable, I lean my head against the window. He knows as well as I do that if we had a special spot, this would be it. For me to sit here without him is the worst kind of snub. In the reflection, I see him run his hand through his hair and cross his arms. After a few more minutes, he shifts his weight to the other leg. He knows what I want. He knows what will earn him entrance to the window seat and my good graces. I don't know if it's Royal blood or manly pride that keeps him from apologizing, but his extended delay just makes me madder. Now I won't accept an apology. Now, he must grovel. I toss a satisfied smirk into the reflection only to find he's not there anymore. His hand closes around my arm and he jerks me up against him. His eyes are stormy, intense. "You think I'm going to apologize for kissing you?" he murmurs. "I. Yes. Uh-huh." Don't look at his mouth! Say something intelligent. "We don't have any clothes on." Fan-flipping-tastic. I meant to say he shouldn't kiss me in front of everyone, especially half naked. "Mmm," he says, pulling me closer. Brushing his lips against my ear, he says, "I did happen to notice that. Which is why I shouldn't have followed you up here.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
It’s not like I could kill Curran now. Should. It’s not like I should kill Curran now. I could always try. Later. The Beast Lord crossed his arms on his chest. His face looked placid. Calm before the storm . . . The jaguar at my feet tensed and tried to look smaller. Nick needed a bit of a distraction while he rode like a bat out of hell on the horse commandeered from the Pack stables. I’d provided that distraction by leading Jim and his posse of pissy shapechangers on a merry chase through the countryside. “Just so we’re clear,” Curran said. “You did understand that I didn’t wish you or the Crusader to leave Keep?” “Yes.” “That’s what I thought,” Curran said. He grabbed me by the throat and slammed me against the wall. My feet felt no floor. His fingers crushed my neck. I clasped the hand that held me and jammed a long silver needle into his palmar nerve between the index finger and thumb. Curran’s fingers trembled. His hand opened releasing me. I slid to the floor, dropped, and swiped at his legs. He fell. I rolled away and came to my feet. On the opposite side of the room Curran rose to a half crouch, his eyes burning gold. The whole thing took maybe two seconds. The stunned audience never got a chance to react. Curran reached for the needle, pulled it out, and dropped it to the floor, never taking his eyes off me. “It’s okay,” I told him. “I have more.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1))
While white mob violence against African Americans was an obsession in the South, it was not limited to that region. White supremacy was and is an American reality. Whites lynched blacks in nearly every state, including New York, Minnesota, and California. Wherever blacks were present in significant numbers, the threat of being lynched was always real. Blacks had to “watch their step,” no matter where they were in America. A black man could be walking down the road, minding his business, and his life could suddenly change by meeting a white man or a group of white men or boys who on a whim decided to have some fun with a Negro; and this could happen in Mississippi or New York, Arkansas, or Illinois. By the 1890s, lynching fever gripped the South, spreading like cholera, as white communities made blacks their primary target, and torture their focus. Burning the black victim slowly for hours was the chief method of torture. Lynching became a white media spectacle, in which prominent newspapers, like the Atlanta Constitution, announced to the public the place, date, and time of the expected hanging and burning of black victims. Often as many as ten to twenty thousand men, women, and children attended the event. It was a family affair, a ritual celebration of white supremacy, where women and children were often given the first opportunity to torture black victims—burning black flesh and cutting off genitals, fingers, toes, and ears as souvenirs. Postcards were made from the photographs taken of black victims with white lynchers and onlookers smiling as they struck a pose for the camera. They were sold for ten to twenty-five cents to members of the crowd, who then mailed them to relatives and friends, often with a note saying something like this: “This is the barbeque we had last night.”[17]
James H. Cone (The Cross and the Lynching Tree)
One," said the recording secretary. "Jesus wept," answered Leon promptly. There was not a sound in the church. You could almost hear the butterflies pass. Father looked down and laid his lower lip in folds with his fingers, like he did sometimes when it wouldn't behave to suit him. "Two," said the secretary after just a breath of pause. Leon looked over the congregation easily and then fastened his eyes on Abram Saunders, the father of Absalom, and said reprovingly: "Give not sleep to thine eyes nor slumber to thine eyelids." Abram straightened up suddenly and blinked in astonishment, while father held fast to his lip. "Three," called the secretary hurriedly. Leon shifted his gaze to Betsy Alton, who hadn't spoken to her next door neighbour in five years. "Hatred stirreth up strife," he told her softly, "but love covereth all sins." Things were so quiet it seemed as if the air would snap. "Four." The mild blue eyes travelled back to the men's side and settled on Isaac Thomas, a man too lazy to plow and sow land his father had left him. They were not so mild, and the voice was touched with command: "Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise." Still that silence. "Five," said the secretary hurriedly, as if he wished it were over. Back came the eyes to the women's side and past all question looked straight at Hannah Dover. "As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman without discretion." "Six," said the secretary and looked appealingly at father, whose face was filled with dismay. Again Leon's eyes crossed the aisle and he looked directly at the man whom everybody in the community called "Stiff-necked Johnny." I think he was rather proud of it, he worked so hard to keep them doing it. "Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck," Leon commanded him. Toward the door some one tittered. "Seven," called the secretary hastily. Leon glanced around the room. "But how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity," he announced in delighted tones as if he had found it out by himself. "Eight," called the secretary with something like a breath of relief. Our angel boy never had looked so angelic, and he was beaming on the Princess. "Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee," he told her. Laddie would thrash him for that. Instantly after, "Nine," he recited straight at Laddie: "I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?" More than one giggled that time. "Ten!" came almost sharply. Leon looked scared for the first time. He actually seemed to shiver. Maybe he realized at last that it was a pretty serious thing he was doing. When he spoke he said these words in the most surprised voice you ever heard: "I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly." "Eleven." Perhaps these words are in the Bible. They are not there to read the way Leon repeated them, for he put a short pause after the first name, and he glanced toward our father: "Jesus Christ, the SAME, yesterday, and to-day, and forever!" Sure as you live my mother's shoulders shook. "Twelve." Suddenly Leon seemed to be forsaken. He surely shrank in size and appeared abused. "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up," he announced, and looked as happy over the ending as he had seemed forlorn at the beginning. "Thirteen." "The Lord is on my side; I will not fear; what can man do unto me?" inquired Leon of every one in the church. Then he soberly made a bow and walked to his seat.
Gene Stratton-Porter (Laddie: A True Blue Story)
Dating yes. But she thinks we're, uh, more than dating." "Oh," he says, thoughtful. Then he grins. "Oh." The reason her lips are turning his favorite color is because Emma's mom thinks they've been dating and mating. The blush extends down her neck and disappears into her T-shirt. He should probably say something to make her feel more comfortable. But teasing her seems so much more fun. "Well then, the least she could do is give us some privacy-" "Ohmysweetgoodness!" She snatches her backpack from the seat and marches around her car to the driver's side. Before she can get the door unlocked, he plucks the key from her fingers and tucks it into his jeans' pocket. She moves to retrieve it, but stops when she realizes where she's about to go fishing. He's never seen her this red. He laughs. "Calm down, Emma. I'm just kidding. Don't leave." "Yeah, well, it's not funny. You should have seen her this morning. She almost cried. my mom doesn't cry." She crosses her arms again but relaxes against her door. "She cried? That's pretty insulting." She cracks a tiny grin. "Yeah, it's an insult to me. She thinks I would...would..." "More than date me?" She nods. He steps toward her and puts his hand beside her on the car, leaning in. A live current seems to shimmy up his spine. What are you doing? "But she should know that you don't even think of me like that. That it would never even cross your mind," he murmurs. She looks away, satisfying his unspoken question-it has crossed her mind. The same way it crosses his. How often? Does she feel the voltage between them, too? Who cares, idiot? She belongs to Grom. Or are you going to let a few sparks keep you from uniting the kingdoms? He pulls back, clenching his teeth. His pockets are the only safe place for his hands at the moment. "Why don't I meet her then? You think that would make her feel better?" "Um." She swipes her hair to the other side of her face. Her expression falls somewhere between shock and expectation. And she had every right to expect it-he's been entertaining the idea of kissing her for over two weeks now. She fidgets the door handle. "Yeah, it might. She won't let me go anywhere-especially with you-if she doesn't meet you first." "Should I be afraid?" She sighs. "Normally I would say no. But after this morning..." She shrugs. "How about I follow you to your house so you can drop off your car? Then she can interrogate me. When she sees how charming I am, she'll let you ride to the beach with me." She rolls her eyes. "Just don't be too charming. If you're too smooth, she'll never believe-just don't overdue it, okay?" "This is getting complicated," he says, unlocking her car. "Just remember, this is your idea and your fault. Now would be the time to back out." He chuckles and opens the door for her. "Don't lose me on the road.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
He approached her, his voice taking on a seductive tenor. "Shall we seal it with a kiss, then?" Callie caught her breath and stiffened at the question. Ralston smiled at her obvious nerves. He ran a finger along the edge of her hairline, tucking a rogue lock of hair behind her ear gently. She looked up at him with her wide brown eyes, and he felt a burst of tenderness in his chest. He leaned close, moving slowly, as though she might scare at any moment, and his firm mouth brushed across hers, settling briefly, barely touching before she jumped back, one hand flying to her lips. He leveled her with a frank gaze and waited for her to speak. When she didn't, he asked, "Is there a problem?" "N-No!" she said, a touch too loudly. "Not at all, my lord. That is- Thank you." His breath exhaled on a half laugh. "I'm afraid that you have mistaken the experience." He paused, watching the confusion cross her face. "You see, when I agree to something, I do it wholeheartedly. That was not the kiss for which you came, little mouse." Callie wrinkled her nose at his words, and at the nickname he had used for her. "It wasn't?" "No." Her nervousness flared, and she resumed toying with her cloak tassel. "Oh, well. It was quite nice. I find I am quite satisfied that you have held up your end of our bargain." "Quite nice isn't what you should be aiming for," he said, taking her restless hands into his own and allowing his voice to deepen. "Neither should the kiss leave you satisfied." She tugged briefly, giving up when he would not free her and instead pulled her closer, setting her hands upon his shoulders. He trailed his fingers down her neck, leaving her breathless, her voice a mere squeak when she replied, "How should it leave me?" He kissed her then. Really kissed her. He pulled her against him and pressed his mouth to hers, possessing, owning in a way she could never have imagined. His lips, firm and warm, played across her own, tempting her until she was gasping for breath. He captured the sound in his mouth, taking advantage of her open lips to run his tongue along them, tasting her lightly until she couldn't bear the teasing. He seemed to read her thoughts, and just when she couldn't stand another moment, he gathered her closer and deepened the kiss, changing the pressure. He delved deeper, stroked more firmly. And she was lost. Callie was consumed, finding herself desperate to match his movements. Her hands seemed to move of their own volition, running along his broad shoulders and wrapping around his neck. Tentatively, she met Ralston's tongue with her own and was rewarded with a satisfied sound from deep in his throat as he tightened his grip, sending another wave of heat through her. He retreated, and she followed, matching his movements until his lips closed scandalously around her tongue and he sucked gently- the sensation rocked her to her core. All at once she was aflame.
Sarah MacLean (Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers, #1))
How are things going with your brothers?” “The judge set a date to hear me out after graduation. Mrs.Collins has been prepping me.” “That is awesome!” “Yeah.” “What’s wrong?” “Carrie and Joe hired a lawyer and I lost visitation.” Echo placed her delicate hand over mine.“Oh, Noah. I am so sorry." I’d spent countless hours on the couch in the basement, staring at the ceiling wondering what she was doing. Her laughter, her smile, the feel of her body next to mine, and the regret that I let her walk away too easily haunted me. Taking the risk, I entwined my fingers with hers. Odds were I’d never get the chance to be this close again. "No, Mrs. Collins convinced me the best thing to do is to keep my distance and follow the letter of the law." "Wow, Mrs. Collins is a freaking miracle worker. Dangerous Noah Hutchins on the straight and narrow. If you don’t watch out she’ll ruin your rep with the girls." I lowered my voice. "Not that it matters. I only care what one girl thinks about me." She relaxed her fingers into mine and stroked her thumb over my skin. Minutes into being alone together, we fell into each other again, like no time had passed. I could blame her for ending us, but in the end, I agreed with her decision. “How about you, Echo? Did you find your answers?” “No.” If I continued to disregard breakup rules, I might as well go all the way. I pushed her curls behind her shoulder and let my fingers linger longer than needed so I could enjoy the silky feel. “Don’t hide from me, baby. We’ve been through too much for that.” Echo leaned into me, placing her head on my shoulder and letting me wrap an arm around her. “I’ve missed you, too, Noah. I’m tired of ignoring you.” “Then don’t.” Ignoring her hurt like hell. Acknowledging her had to be better. I swallowed, trying to shut out the bittersweet memories of our last night together. “Where’ve you been? It kills me when you’re not at school.” “I went to an art gallery and the curator showed some interest in my work and sold my first piece two days later. Since then, I’ve been traveling around to different galleries, hawking my wares.” “That’s awesome, Echo. Sounds like you’re fitting into your future perfectly. Where did you decide to go to school?” “I don’t know if I’m going to school.” Shock jolted my system and I inched away to make sure I understood. “What the fuck do you mean you don’t know? You’ve got colleges falling all over you and you don’t fucking know if you want to go to school?” My damned little siren laughed at me. “I see your language has improved.” Poof—like magic, the anger disappeared. “If you’re not going to school, then what are your plans?” "I’m considering putting college off for a year or two and traveling cross-country, hopping from gallery to gallery.” “I feel like a dick. We made a deal and I left you hanging. I’m not that guy who goes back on his word. What can I do to help you get to the truth?” Echo’s chest rose with her breath then deflated when she exhaled. Sensing our moment ending, I nuzzled her hair, savoring her scent. She patted my knee and broke away. “Nothing. There’s nothing you can do.” "I think it’s time that I move on. As soon as I graduate, this part of my life will be over. I’m okay with not knowing what happened.” Her words sounded pretty, but I knew her better. She’d blinked three times in a row.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
Thanks for getting me out of there,” I murmur, lacing my fingers around my knees, and looking up at him on his step. “Yeah. You looked a little green. “ “I don’t handle crowds too well. I’ve always been that way, I guess.” “You might get in trouble,” he warns, staring at me in that strange, hungry way that unravels me. He strokes his bottom lip with a finger. For a flash of a second, his eyes look strange. Different. All glowing irises and thin dark pupils. Almost drake-like. I blink to clear my vision. His eyes are normal again. Just my imagination in overdrive. I’m probably projecting missing home and Az—everything--onto him. “Pep rallies are mandatory,” he continues. “A lot of people saw you leave. Teachers included.” “They saw you leave, too,” I point out. He leans to the side, propping an elbow on one of the steps behind him. “I’m not worried about that. I’ve been in trouble before.” He smiles a crooked grin and holds up crossed fingers. “The principal and I are like this. The guy loves me. Really.” Laughter spills from me, rusty and hoarse. His grin makes me feel good. Free. Like I’m not running from anything. Like I could stay here in this world, if only I have him. The thought unsettles me. Sinks heavily in my chest. Because I can’t have him. Not really. All he can ever be for me is a temporary fix. “But you’re worried I’ll get in trouble?” I try not to show how much this pleases me. I’ve managed to ignore him for days now and here I sit. Lapping up his attention like a neglected puppy. My voice takes on an edge. “Why do you care? I’ve ignored you for days.” His smile fades. He looks serious, mockingly so. “Yeah. You got to stop that.” I swallow back a laugh. “I can’t.” “Why?” There’s no humor in his eyes now, no mockery. “You like me. You want to be with me.” “I never said—” “You didn’t have to.” I inhale sharply. “Don’t do this.” He looks at me so fiercely, so intently. Angry again. “I don’t have friends. Do you see me hang with anyone besides my jerk cousins? That’s for a reason. I keep people away on purpose,” he growls. “But then you came along . . .” I frown and shake my head. His expression softens then , pulls at some part of me. His gaze travels my face, warming the core of me. “Whoever you are, Jacinda, you’re someone I have to let in.
Sophie Jordan (Firelight (Firelight, #1))
She sat at her dressing table, eyeing her reflection warily. Her hair was loose, spilling over her shoulders, a few shades darker than the dress. She gathered a handful and began to braid. “I hear you’re going to the ball tonight.” Kestrel glanced in the mirror to see Arin standing behind her. Then she focused on her own shadowed eyes. “You’re not allowed in here,” Kestrel said. She didn’t look again at him, but sensed him waiting. She realized that she was waiting, too--waiting for the will to send him away. She sighed and continued to braid. He said, “It’s not a good idea for you to attend the ball.” “I hardly think you’re in a position to advise me on what I should or shouldn’t do.” She glanced back at his reflection. His face frayed her already sheer nerves. The braid slipped from her fingers and unraveled. “What?” she snapped. “Does this amuse you?” The corner of his mouth lifted, and Arin looked like himself, like the person she had grown to know since summer’s end. “‘Amuse’ isn’t the right word.” Heavy locks fell forward to curtain her face. “Lirah usually does my hair,” she muttered. She heard Arin inhale as if to speak, but he didn’t. Then, quietly, he said, “I could do it.” “What?” “I could braid your hair.” “You?” “Yes.” Kestrel’s pulse bit at her throat. She opened her mouth, but before she could say anything he had crossed the room and swept her hair into his hands. His fingers began to move.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
Never believe it, Hal. Never believe your own lies. Because superstition was a trap—that was what she had learned, in the years of plying her trade on the pier. Touching wood, crossing fingers, counting magpies—they were lies, all of them. False promises, designed to give the illusion of control and meaning in a world in which the only destiny came from yourself. You can’t predict the future, Hal, her mother had reminded her, time and time again. You can’t influence fate, or change what’s out of your control. But you can choose what you yourself do with the cards you’re dealt. That was the truth, Hal knew. The painful, uncompromising truth. It was what she wanted to shout at clients, at the ones who came back again and again looking for answers that she could not give. There is no higher meaning. Sometimes things happen for no reason. Fate is cruel, and arbitrary. Touching wood, lucky charms, none of it will help you see the car you never saw coming, or avoid the tumor you didn’t realize you had. Quite the opposite, in fact. For in that moment that you turn your head to look for the second magpie, in the hope of changing your fortune from sorrow to joy—that’s when you take your attention away from the things you can change, the crossing light, the speeding car, the moment you should have turned back. The people who came to her booth were seeking meaning and control—but they were looking in the wrong place. When they
Ruth Ware (The Death of Mrs. Westaway)
The song she heard from the meadow was the same tune as the bird's call.She looked up in the trees.For a moment she thought she'd lost the bird, and she nearly cried out for him, but he fluttered down,landed right at her feet, and grew into a man." "Oh." Meg sighed.She'd always liked that part. "He whistled the tune once more, then the fey man said, 'My lady,will you dance?" "'I will.' She crossed the bridge to the meadow,and danced with the whistler." "Tell us they married," Meg said. "The story doesn't go like that," Poppy reminded. "It should." Meg stroked Tom's blood-clotted hair. I fumbled with the charcoal in my blackened fingers. As the story went, the girl danced through the seasons, but when she wandered home at last and reached her cottage door, she was a shriveled-up old women, for a hundred years had passed while she danced with the whistler,and everyone she'd known in her former life had died. Meg knew how it went.But when our eyes locked, I saw tonight she couldn't bear it. I found another bit of charcoal. "That very spring when the meadow was in bloom,the whistler, who had fey power to transform into a bird and sing any girl he wished to into the wood, chose the one girl who'd followed him so bravely and so far to be his wife. And she lived with him and the fey folk deep in Dragonswood in DunGarrow Castle, a place that blends into the mountainside and cannot be seen with human eyes unless the fairies will it so." I drew the couple hand in hand, rouch sketches on the cave wall; the stone wasn't smooth by any means. "She lived free among the fey folk and never wanted to return to her old life that had been full of hunger and sorrow under her father's roof." I sketched what came next before I could think of it. "A dragon came to their wedding," I said, drawing his right wing so large, I had to use the ceiling. "He lit a bonfire to celebrate their union." I drew the left wing spanning over the couple in the meadow. "And they lived all their lives content in Dragonswood.
Janet Lee Carey (Dragonswood (Wilde Island Chronicles, #2))
The things about you I appreciate May seem indelicate: I'd like to find you in the shower And chase the soap for half an hour. I'd like to have you in my power And see your eyes dilate. I'd like to have your back to scour And other parts to lubricate. Sometimes I feel it is my fate To chase you screaming up a tower Or make you cower By asking you to differentiate Nietzsche from Schopenhauer. I'd like successfully to guess your weight And win you at a fête. I'd like to offer you a flower. I like the hair upon your shoulders, Falling like water over boulders. I like the shoulders too: they are essential. Your collar-bones have great potential (I'd like your particulars in folders Marked Confidential). I like your cheeks, I like your nose, I like the way your lips disclose The neat arrangement of your teeth (Half above and half beneath) In rows. I like your eyes, I like their fringes. The way they focus on me gives me twinges. Your upper arms drive me berserk. I like the way your elbows work. On hinges … I like your wrists, I like your glands, I like the fingers on your hands. I'd like to teach them how to count, And certain things we might exchange, Something familiar for something strange. I'd like to give you just the right amount And get some change. I like it when you tilt your cheek up. I like the way you not and hold a teacup. I like your legs when you unwind them. Even in trousers I don't mind them. I like each softly-moulded kneecap. I like the little crease behind them. I'd always know, without a recap, Where to find them. I like the sculpture of your ears. I like the way your profile disappears Whenever you decide to turn and face me. I'd like to cross two hemispheres And have you chase me. I'd like to smuggle you across frontiers Or sail with you at night into Tangiers. I'd like you to embrace me. I'd like to see you ironing your skirt And cancelling other dates. I'd like to button up your shirt. I like the way your chest inflates. I'd like to soothe you when you're hurt Or frightened senseless by invertebrates. I'd like you even if you were malign And had a yen for sudden homicide. I'd let you put insecticide Into my wine. I'd even like you if you were Bride Of Frankenstein Or something ghoulish out of Mamoulian's Jekyll and Hyde. I'd even like you as my Julian Or Norwich or Cathleen ni Houlihan. How melodramatic If you were something muttering in attics Like Mrs Rochester or a student of Boolean Mathematics. You are the end of self-abuse. You are the eternal feminine. I'd like to find a good excuse To call on you and find you in. I'd like to put my hand beneath your chin, And see you grin. I'd like to taste your Charlotte Russe, I'd like to feel my lips upon your skin I'd like to make you reproduce. I'd like you in my confidence. I'd like to be your second look. I'd like to let you try the French Defence And mate you with my rook. I'd like to be your preference And hence I'd like to be around when you unhook. I'd like to be your only audience, The final name in your appointment book, Your future tense.
John Fuller
Then, quietly, he said, “I could do it.” “What?” “I could braid your hair.” “You?” “Yes.” Kestrel’s pulse bit at her throat. She opened her mouth, but before she could say anything he had crossed the room and swept her hair into his hands. His fingers began to move. It was strange that the room was so silent. It seemed that there should have been some kind of sound when a fingertip grazed her neck. Or when he drew a lock taut and pinned it in place. When he let a ribbon-thin braid fall forward so that it tapped her cheek. Every gesture of his was as resonant as music, and Kestrel didn’t quite believe that she couldn’t hear any notes, high or low. She let out a slow breath. His hands stilled. “Did I hurt you?” “No.” Pins disappeared from the dressing table at a rapid rate. Kestrel watched small braids lose themselves inside larger ones, dip in and under and out of an increasingly intricate design. She felt a gentle tug. A twist. A shiver of air. Although Arin wasn’t touching her, he was touching no living part of her, it felt as if a fine net had been cast over Kestrel, one that hazed her vision and shimmered against her skin. “There,” he said. Kestrel watched her reflection lift a hand to her head. She couldn’t think of what to say. Arin had drawn back, hands in his pockets. But his eyes held hers in the mirror, and his face had softened, like when she had played the piano for him. She said, “How…?” He smiled. “How did a blacksmith pick up such an unexpected skill?” “Well, yes.” “My older sister used to make me do this when I was little.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
Sleep claimed her eventually. She slept heavily, welcoming the escape. But some time later, while it was still very dark, she found herself struggling upward through layers of dreams. Someone or something was in the room. Her first thought was that it might be Beatrix's ferret, who sometimes slipped past the door to collect objects that intrigued him. Rubbing her eyes, Win began to sit up, when there was a movement beside the bed. A large shadow crossed over her. Before bewilderment could give way to fear, she heard a familiar murmur, and felt a man's warm fingers press across her lips. "It's me." Her lips moved soundlessly against his hand. "Kev." Win's stomach constricted with an ache of pleasure, and her heartbeat hammered in her throat. But she was still angry with him, she was done with him, and if he had come here for a midnight talk, he was sadly mistaken. She started to tell him so, but to her astonishment, she felt a thick piece of cloth descend over her mouth, and then he was tying it deftly behind her head. In a few more seconds, he had bound her wrists in front of her. Win was rigid with shock. Merripen would never do something like this. And yet it was him; she would know him if only by the touch of his hands. What did he want? What was going through his mind? His breath was faster than usual as it brushed against her hair. Now that her vision had adjusted to the darkness, she saw that his face was hard and austere. Merripen drew the ruby ring off her finger and set it off the bedside table. Taking her head in his hands, he stared into her wide eyes. He said only two words. But they explained everything he was doing, and everything he intended to do. "You're mine." He picked her up easily, draping her over one powerful shoulder, and he carried her from the room. Win closed her eyes, yielding, trembling. She pressed a few sobs against the gag covering her mouth, not of unhappiness or fear, but of wild relief. This was not an impulsive act. This was ritual. This was an ancient Romany courtship rite, and there would be nothing half-hearted about it. She was going to be kidnapped and ravished. Finally.
Lisa Kleypas (Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways, #2))
Every time he moved, with every breath he took, it seemed the man was carried along by iridescent orange and black wings. She tried to convey how it was like travelling through the inside of a living body at times, the joints and folds of the earth, the liver-smooth flowstone, the helictites threading upward like synapses in search of a connection. She found it beautiful. Surely God would not have invented such a place as His spiritual gulag. It took Ali’s breath away. Sometimes, once men found out she was a nun, they would dare her in some way. What made Ike different was his abandon. He had a carelessness in his manner that was not reckless, but was full of risk. Winged. He was pursuing her, but not faster than she was pursuing him, and it made them like two ghosts circling. She ran her fingers along his back, and the bone and the muscle and hadal ink and scar tissue and the callouses from his pack straps astonished her. This was the body of a slave. Down from the Egypt, eye of the sun, in front of the Sinai, away from their skies like a sea inside out, their stars and planets spearing your soul, their cities like insects, all shell and mechanism, their blindness with eyes, their vertiginous plains and mind-crushing mountains. Down from the billions who had made the world in their own image. Their signature could be a thing of beauty. But it was a thing of death. Ali got one good look, then closed her eyes to the heat. In her mind, she imagined Ike sitting in the raft across from her wearing a vast grin while the pyre reflected off the lenses of his glacier glasses. That put a smile on her face. In death, he had become the light. There comes a time on every big mountain when you descend the snows and cross a border back to life. It is a first patch of green grass by the trail, or a waft of the forests far below, or the trickle of snowmelt braiding into a stream. Always before, whether he had been gone an hour or a week or much longer – and no matter how many mountains he had left behind – it was, for Ike, an instant that registered in his whole being. Ike was swept with a sense not of departure, but of advent. Not of survival. But of grace.
Jeff Long (The Descent (Descent, #1))
We need a test!" I jump up out of the chair and pat my body down. "Where's my wallet?" "In your pocket," she replies dryly. "I'll be back!" I race out of the house and drive the short distance between Dom's estate and the nearest village. After I find a drug store and buy one of each kind of pregnancy test they have, I race back to my hopefully pregnant wife. "That was fast," she murmurs with a grin. She was still sitting in the lounge chair, sipping her coffee. "Should you be drinking coffee?" I ask. "Let's not get crazy," she responds. I need coffee. "I got one of each kind," I announce and opened the bag, sending small white and blue boxes scattering. "Uh, Caleb, we only need one." "What if we can't figure them out?" I ask and pick one up to examine it. "All of the instructions are in Italian." She laughs hysterically and then stands, wiping her eyes. "It's not funny." "Yes, it is. Pregnancy tests are pretty universal, Caleb. You pee on it and a line either appears or it doesn't." She rubs my arm sweetly and kisses my shoulder before plucking the box out of my fingers. "I'll be back." "I'm coming with you." I begin to follow her but she turns quickly with her hands out to stop me. "Oh no, you aren't. You are not going to watch me pee on this stick." I scowled down at her and cross my arms over my chest. "I've helped you bathe and dress and every other damn thing when you were hurt. I can handle watching you pee." "Absolutely not." She shakes her head but then leans in and kisses my chin. "But thank you for helping me when I was hurt." She turns and runs for the bathroom and it feels like an eternity before she comes back out, white stick in her hand. "Well?" I ask. "It takes about three minutes, babe." She sits in the lounge chair and stares out over the vineyard.
Kristen Proby (Safe with Me (With Me in Seattle, #5))
Magnus’s head was tipped back, his shimmering white suit rumpled like bedsheets in the morning, his white cloak swaying after him like a moonbeam. His mirrorlike mask was askew, his black hair wild, his slim body arching with the dance, and wrapped around his fingers like ten shimmering rings was the light of his magic, casting a spotlight on one dancer, then another. The faerie Hyacinth caught one radiant stream of magic and whirled, holding on to it as if the light were a ribbon on a maypole. The vampire woman in the violet cheongsam, Lily, was dancing with another vampire who Alec presumed was Elliott, given the blue and green stains around his mouth and all down his shirtfront. Malcolm Fade joined in the dance with Hyacinth, though he appeared to be doing a jig and she seemed very puzzled. The blue warlock who Magnus had called Catarina was waltzing with a tall horned faerie.The dark-skinned faerie whom Magnus had addressed as a prince was surrounded by others whom Alec presumed were courtiers, dancing in a circle around him. Magnus laughed as he saw Hyacinth using his magic like a ribbon, and sent shimmering streamers of blue light in several directions. Catarina batted away Magnus’s magic, her own hand glowing faintly white. The two vampires Lily and Elliott both let a magic ribbon wrap around one of their wrists. They did not seem like trusting types, but they instantly leaned into Magnus with perfect faith, Lily pretending to be a captive and Elliott shimmying enthusiastically as Magnus laughed and pulled them toward him in the dance. Music and starshine filled the room, and Magnus shone brightest in all that bright company. As Alec made for the stairs, he brushed past Raphael Santiago, who was leaning against the balcony rail and looking down at the dancing crowd, his dark eyes lingering on Lily and Elliott and Magnus. There was a tiny smile on the vampire’s face. When Raphael noticed Alec, the scowl snapped immediately back on. “I find such wanton expressions of joy disgusting,” he declaimed. “If you say so,” said Alec. “I like it myself.” He reached the foot of the stairs and was crossing the gleaming ballroom floor when a voice boomed out from above. “This is DJ Bat, greatest werewolf DJ in the world, or at least in the top five, coming to you live from Venice because warlocks make irresponsible financial decisions, and this one is for the lovers! Or people with friends who will dance with them. Some of us are lonely jerks, and we’ll be doing shots at the bar.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses #1))
No, when the stresses are too great for the tired metal, when the ground mechanic who checks the de-icing equipment is crossed in love and skimps his job, way back in London, Idlewild, Gander, Montreal; when those or many things happen, then the little warm room with propellers in front falls straight down out of the sky into the sea or on to the land, heavier than air, fallible, vain. And the forty little heavier-than-air people, fallible within the plane's fallibility, vain within its larger vanity, fall down with it and make little holes in the land or little splashes in the sea. Which is anyway their destiny, so why worry? You are linked to the ground mechanic's careless fingers in Nassau just as you are linked to the weak head of the little man in the family saloon who mistakes the red light for the green and meets you head-on, for the first and last time, as you are motoring quietly home from some private sin. There's nothing to do about it. You start to die the moment you are born. The whole of life is cutting through the pack with death. So take it easy. Light a cigarette and be grateful you are still alive as you suck the smoke deep into your lungs. Your stars have already let you come quite a long way since you left your mother's womb and whimpered at the cold air of the world. Perhaps they'll even let you go to Jamaica tonight. Can't you hear those cheerful voices in the control tower that have said quietly all day long, 'Come in BOAC. Come in Panam. Come in KLM'? Can't you hear them calling you down too: 'Come in Transcarib. Come in Transcarib'? Don't lose faith in your stars. Remember that hot stitch of time when you faced death from the Robber's gun last night. You're still alive, aren't you? There, we're out of it already. It was just to remind you that being quick with a gun doesn't mean you're really tough. Just don't forget it. This happy landing at Palisadoes Airport comes to you courtesy of your stars. Better thank them.
Ian Fleming (Live and Let Die (James Bond, #2))
She stared at him, at his face. Simply stared as the scales fell from her eyes. "Oh, my God," she whispered, the exclamation so quiet not even he would hear. She suddenly saw-saw it all-all that she'd simply taken for granted. Men like him protected those they loved, selflessly, unswervingly, even unto death. The realization rocked her. Pieces of the jigsaw of her understanding of him fell into place. He was hanging to consciousness by a thread. She had to be sure-and his shields, his defenses were at their weakest now. Looking down at her hands, pressed over the nearly saturated pad, she hunted for the words, the right tone. Softly said, "My death, even my serious injury, would have freed you from any obligation to marry me. Society would have accepted that outcome, too." He shifted, clearly in pain. She sucked in a breath-feeling his pain as her own-then he clamped the long fingers of his right hand about her wrist, held tight. So tight she felt he was using her as an anchor to consciousness, to the world. His tone, when he spoke, was harsh. "Oh, yes-after I'd expended so much effort keeping you safe all these years, safe even from me, I was suddenly going to stand by and let you be gored by some mangy bull." He snorted, soft, low. Weakly. He drew in a slow, shallow breath, lips thin with pain, but determined, went on, "You think I'd let you get injured when finally after all these long years I at last understand that the reason you've always made me itch is because you are the only woman I actually want to marry? And you think I would stand back and let you be harmed?" A peevish frown crossed his face. "I ask you, is that likely? Is it even vaguely rational?" He went on, his words increasingly slurred, his tongue tripping over some, his voice fading. She listened, strained to catch every word as he slid into semi delirium, into rambling, disjointed sentences that she drank in, held to her heart. He gave her dreams back to her, reshaped and refined. "Not French Imperial-good, sound, English oak. You can use whatever colors you like, but no gilt-I forbid it." Eventually he ventured further than she had. "And I want at least three children-not just an heir and a spare. At least three-if you're agreeable. We'll have to have two boys, of course-my evil ugly sisters will found us to make good on that. But thereafter...as many girls as you like...as long as they look like you. Or perhaps Cordelia-she's the handsomer of the two uglies." He loved his sisters, his evil ugly sisters. Heather listened with tears in her eyes as his mind drifted and his voice gradually faded, weakened. She'd finally got her declaration, not in anything like the words she'd expected, but in a stronger, impossible-to-doubt exposition. He'd been her protector, unswerving, unflinching, always there; from a man like him, focused on a lady like her, such actions were tantamount to a declaration from the rooftops. The love she'd wanted him to admit to had been there all along, demonstrated daily right before her eyes, but she hadn't seen. Hadn't seen because she'd been focusing elsewhere, and because, conditioned as she was to resisting the same style of possessive protectiveness from her brothers, from her cousins, she hadn't appreciated his, hadn't realized that that quality had to be an expression of his feelings for her. Until now. Until now that he'd all but given his life for hers. He loved her-he'd always loved her. She saw that now, looking back down the years. He'd loved her from the time she'd fallen in love with him-the instant they'd laid eyes on each other at Michael and Caro's wedding in Hampshire four years ago. He'd held aloof, held away-held her at bay, too-believing, wrongly, that he wasn't an appropriate husband for her. In that, he'd been wrong, too. She saw it all. And as the tears overflowed and tracked down her cheeks, she knew to her soul how right he was for her. Knew, embraced, and rejoiced.
Stephanie Laurens (Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue (Cynster, #16; The Cynster Sisters Trilogy, #1))
But how…how am I a dragon? How are you a starman?” “I don’t think of myself as a starman, exactly,” he said soberly, though I sensed he wanted to smile. His hand released mine, the bridge broken; he moved to hang the lantern on a shiny new hook dug into the wall behind us. “I was born here, on earth. Not even far from here, in fact. Just over in Devon. My parents died young, when I was only five. Hastings is my great-uncle and he took me in, and I’ve lived here ever since. But I’ve always known what I am, as far back as I can remember. I’ve always been able to do the things I do. The stars have always spoken to me.” “And you…speak back to them?” “Yes,” he said simply. “But not to people.” “No. Just to Hastings, and to you.” A shiver took me; I crossed my arms over my chest. “What do the stars say?” “All manner of things. Amazing things. Secret things. Things great and small, things profound and insignificant. They told me that, throughout time, there’ve been only a scattering of people like me, folk of both flesh and star. That even the whisper of their magic in my blood could annihilate me if I didn’t learn to control it. That I’d crisp to ash without control. Or, worse, crisp someone else.” His smile broke through. “And they told me about you. That you were born and would come to me when the time was right.” “Did you summon me here?” The muted echo of my voice rebounded against the firefly walls: here-here-here. “To Iverson, I mean?” …mean-mean-mean… He didn’t answer at first. He looked at his feet, then walked to the edge of the embankment and squatted down, raking his fingers through the bright water near the toes of his boots. “We are such stuff as dreams are made on,” he said softly to the water. “Both infinite and finite, human and not. I’m of comet and clay and the sparks of sun across the ocean waves.” He sighed. “I know what it’s like to doubt yourself, to comprehend that you’re so unique you’re forced to wonder about…everything. But, yes, I called you to Iverson.
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
Entering the office, Evie found Sebastian and Cam on opposite sides of the desk. They both mulled over account ledgers, scratching out some entries with freshly inked pens, and making notations beside the long columns. Both men looked up as she crossed the threshold. Evie met Sebastian’s gaze only briefly; she found it hard to maintain her composure around him after the intimacy of the previous night. He paused in mid-sentence as he stared at her, seeming to forget what he had been saying to Cam. It seemed that neither of them was yet comfortable with feelings that were still too new and powerful. Murmuring good morning to them both, she bid them to remain seated, and she went to stand beside Sebastian’s chair. “Have you breakfasted yet, my lord?” she asked. Sebastian shook his head, a smile glinting in his eyes. “Not yet.” “I’ll go to the kitchen and see what is to be had.” “Stay a moment,” he urged. “We’re almost finished.” As the two men discussed a few last points of business, which pertained to a potential investment in a proposed shopping bazaar to be constructed on St. James Street, Sebastian picked up Evie’s hand, which was resting on the desk. Absently he drew the backs of her fingers against the edge of his jaw and his ear while contemplating the written proposal on the desk before him. Although Sebastian was not aware of what the casual familiarity of the gesture revealed, Evie felt her color rise as she met Cam’s gaze over her husband’s downbent head. The boy sent her a glance of mock reproof, like that of a nursemaid who had caught two children playing a kissing game, and he grinned as her blush heightened further. Oblivious to the byplay, Sebastian handed the proposal to Cam, who sobered instantly. “I don’t like the looks of this,” Sebastian commented. “It’s doubtful there will be enough business in the area to sustain an entire bazaar, especially at those rents. I suspect within a year it will turn into a white elephant.” “White elephant?” Evie asked. A new voice came from the doorway, belonging to Lord Westcliff. “A white elephant is a rare animal,” the earl replied, smiling, “that is not only expensive but difficult to maintain. Historically, when an ancient king wished to ruin someone he would gift him with a white elephant.” Stepping into the office, Westcliff bowed over Evie’s hand and spoke to Sebastian. “Your assessment of the proposed bazaar is correct, in my opinion. I was approached with the same investment opportunity not long ago, and I rejected it on the same grounds.” “No doubt we’ll both be proven wrong,” Sebastian said wryly. “One should never try to predict anything regarding women and their shopping.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
We're all so happy you're feeling better, Miss McIntosh. Looks like you still have a good bump on your noggin, though," she says in her childlike voice. Since there is no bump on my noggin, I take a little offense but decide to drop it. "Thanks, Mrs. Poindexter. It looks worse than it feels. Just a little tender." "Yeah, I'd say the door got the worst of it," he says beside me. Galen signs himself in on the unexcused tardy sheet below my name. When his arm brushes against mine, it feels like my blood's turned into boiling water. I turn to face him. My dreams really do not do him justice. Long black lashes, flawless olive skin, cut jaw like an Italian model, lips like-for the love of God, have some dignity, nitwit. He just made fun of you. I cross my arms and lift my chin. "You would know," I say. He grins, yanks my backpack from me, and walks out. Trying to ignore the waft of his scent as the door shuts, I look to Mrs. Poindexter, who giggles, shrugs, and pretends to sort some papers. The message is clear: He's your problem, but what a great problem to have. Has he charmed he sense out of the staff here, too? If he started stealing kids' lunch money, would they also giggle at that? I growl through clenched teeth and stomp out of the office. Galen is waiting for me right outside the door, and I almost barrel into him. He chuckles and catches my arm. "This is becoming a habit for you, I think." After I'm steady-after Galen steadies me, that is-I poke my finger into his chest and back him against the wall, which only makes him grin wider. "You...are...irritating...me," I tell him. "I noticed. I'll work on it." "You can start by giving me my backpack." "Nope." "Nope?" "Right-nope. I'm carrying it for you. It's the least I can do." "Well, can't argue with that, can I?" I reach around for it, but he moves to block me. "Galen, I don't want you to carry it. Now knock it off. I'm late for class." "I'm late for it too, remember?" Oh, that's right. I've let him distract me from my agenda. "Actually, I need to go back to the office." "No problem. I'll wait for you here, then I'll walk you to class." I pinch the bridge of my nose. "That's the thing. I'm changing my schedule. I won't be in your class anymore, so you really should just go. You're seriously violating Rule Numero Uno." He crosses his arms. "Why are you changing your schedule? Is it because of me?" "No." "Liar." "Sort of." "Emma-" "Look, I don't want you to take this personally. It's just that...well, something bad happens every time I'm around you." He raises a brow. "Are you sure it's me? I mean, from where I stood, it looked like your flip-flops-" "What were we arguing about anyway? We were arguing, right?" "You...you don't remember?" I shake my head. "Dr. Morton said I might have some short-term memory loss. I do remember being mad at you, though." He looks at me like I'm a criminal. "You're saying you don't remember anything I said. Anything you said." The way I cross my arms reminds me of my mother. "That's what I'm saying, yes." "You swear?" "If you're not going to tell me, then give me my backpack. I have a concussion, not broken arms. I'm not helpless." His smile could land him a cover shoot for any magazine in the country. "We were arguing about which beach you wanted me to take you to. We were going swimming after school." "Liar." With a capital L. Swimming-drowning-falls on my to-do list somewhere below giving birth to porcupines. "Oh, wait. You're right. We were arguing about when the Titanic actually sank. We had already agreed to go to my house to swim.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
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.” He pulled her against him, until they were lying face-to-face, stretched across the length of the couch. It wasn’t long before she was restless, her hands moving impatiently, exploring him. She shuddered when she felt his fingers slip beneath her shirt and brush over her bare skin. He stroked her belly and higher, the skin of his hands rough against her soft flesh. His thumb brushed the base of her rib cage, making her breath catch. And then, like so many times before, he stopped, abruptly drawing back. He shifted only inches, but those inches felt like miles, and Violet felt the familiar surge of frustration. He didn’t say a word; he didn’t have to. Violet understood perfectly. They’d gone too far. Again. But Violet was frustrated, and it was getting harder and harder to ignore her disappointment. She knew they couldn’t play this unsatisfying game forever. “So you’re going to Seattle tomorrow?” He used the question to fill the rift between them, but his voice shook and Violet was glad he wasn’t totally unaffected. She wasn’t as quick to pretend that everything was okay, especially when what she really wanted to do was to rip his shirt off and unbutton his jeans. But they’d talked about this. And, time and time again, they’d decided that they needed to be sure. One hundred percent. Because once they crossed that line… She and Jay had been best friends since the first grade, and up until last fall that’s all they’d ever been. Now that she was in love with him, she couldn’t imagine losing him because they made the wrong decision. Or made it too soon. She decided to let Jay have his small talk. For now. “Yeah, Chelsea wants to go down to the waterfront and maybe do some shopping. It’s easier to be around her when it’s just the two of us. You know, when she’s not always…on.” “You mean when she’s not picking on someone?” “Exactly.
Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2))
Because you deserve a duke, damn it!” A troubled expression furrowed his brow. “You deserve a man who can give you the moon. I can’t. I can give you a decent home in a decent part of town with decent people, but you…” His voice grew choked. “You’re the most amazing woman I’ve ever known. It destroys me to think of what you’ll have to give up to be with me.” “I told you before-I don’t care!” she said hotly. “Why can’t you believe me?” He hesitated a long moment. “The truth?” “Always.” “Because I can’t imagine why you’d want me when you have men of rank and riches at your fingertips.” She gave a rueful laugh. “You grossly exaggerate my charms, but I can’t complain. It’s one of many things I adore about you-that you see a better version of me than I ever could.” Remembering the wonderful words he’d said last night when she’d been so self-conscious, she left the bed to walk up to him. “Do you know what I see when I look at you?” His wary gaze locked with hers. “Proper Pinter. Proud Pinter.” “Yes, but that’s just who you show to the world to protect yourself.” She reached up to stroke his cheek, reveling in the ragged breath that escaped him. “When you let down your guard, however, I see Jackson-who ferrets out the truth, no matter how hard. Who risks his own life to protect the weak. Who’d sacrifice anything to prevent me from having to sacrifice everything.” Catching her hand, he halted its path. “You see a saint,” he said hoarsely. “I’m not a saint; I’m a man with needs and desires and a great many rough edges.” “I like your rough edges,” she said with a soft smile. “If I’d really wanted a man of rank and riches, I probably would have married long ago. I always told myself I couldn’t marry because no one wanted me, but the truth was, I didn’t want any of them.” She fingered a lock of hair. “Apparently I was waiting for you, rough edges and all.” His eyes turned hot with wanting. Drawing her hand to his lips, he kissed the palm so tenderly that her heart leapt into her throat. When he lifted his head, he said, “Then marry me, rough edges and all.” She swallowed. “That’s what you say now, when we’re alone and you’re caught up in-“ He covered her mouth with his, kissing her so fervently that she turned into a puddle of mush. Blast him-he always did that, too, when they were alone; it was when they were with others that he reconsidered their being together forever. And he still had said nothing of live. “That’s enough of that,” she warned, drawing back from him. “Until you make a proper proposal, before my family, you’re not sharing my bed.” “Sweeting-“ “Don’t you ‘sweeting’ me, Jackson Pinter.” She edged away from him. “I want Proper Pinter back now.” A mocking smile crossed his lips. “Sorry, love. I threw him out when I saw how he was mucking up my private life.” Love? No, she wouldn’t let that soften her. Not until she was sure he wouldn’t turn cold later. “You told Oliver you’d behave like a gentleman.” “To hell with your brother.” He stalked her with clear intent. Even as she darted behind a chair to avoid him, excitement tore through her. “Aren’t you still worried Gran will cut me off, and you’ll be saddled with a spoiled wife and not enough money to please her?” “To hell with your grandmother, too. For that matter, to hell with the money.” He tossed the chair aside as if it were so much kindling; it clattered across the floor. “It’s you I want.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
Condom,” she gasped. A movement stopped. “What?” Phoebe felt the earth open up in preparation of swallowing her. How could she have not mentioned this before? “I’m not on anything right now,” she whispered. “Birth control. I’m not on the Pill.” She gestured helplessly. “Shit, fuck, damn.” Disappointment tied her in knots. “I was really only interested in that middle part,” she joked. There was a second of silence, followed by a low chuckle. “You’re never predictable, Phoebe. I’ll give you that. Cross your fingers.” “What?” “Cross your fingers. I might have a condom in my shaving kit.” There was movement and rustling, then the sound of a zipper being opened. “I’m going to have to put on the light.” She briefly debated being polite and closing her eyes, but who was she kidding? She wanted to see Zane naked. In preparation, she raised up on one elbow and stared in his general direction. When the light came on, she saw all she wanted and more. He was kneeling at the end of the sleeping bag. Naked, aroused and more physically perfect than any man had a right to be. She saw the definition in his arms, the broad strength of his chest and his flat stomach before lowering her attention to his large, hard penis. The physical proof of his desire for her made her so happy, she nearly cried. Her other instinct was to part her legs, tell him never mind with birth control and protection and demand he take her right there. As that last bit was only ever going to happen in her fantasies, she contended herself with stretching out her arm and lightly grazing the tip of him with her fingers. He stiffened instantly, then turned to look at her. If she’d had any doubts about his willingness to participate, they were put to rest by the fire in his eyes and the tightness of his expression. He was a man on the sexual edge, and she couldn’t wait to push him over. He shook his head and forced his attention back to the shaving kit. At first he set the various items on the foot of the sleeping bag, but after a couple of seconds, he simply turned the container over and dumped out the contents. “Be here, be here, be here,” he muttered as he pawed through everything. Then he grabbed a square packet in triumph. “Got one.” She couldn’t help smiling. “Only one?” He grinned. “We’ll have to be creative after that.” He handed her the condom, then clicked off the light. “Where was I?” he asked. “You can pretty much be anywhere you want to be,” she told him. “Good. Then I want to be here.” He pulled off her panties in one smooth move. Then there was nothing.
Susan Mallery (Kiss Me (Fool's Gold, #17))
He was almost at his door when Vik’s earsplitting shriek resounded down the corridor. Tom was glad for the excuse to sprint back toward him. “Vik?” He reached Vik’s doorway as Vik was backing out of it. “Tom,” he breathed, “it’s an abomination.” Confused, Tom stepped past him into the bunk. Then he gawked, too. Instead of a standard trainee bunk of two small beds with drawers underneath them and totally bare walls, Vik’s bunk was virtually covered with images of their friend Wyatt Enslow. There were posters all over the wall with Wyatt’s solemn, oval face on them. She wore her customary scowl, her dark eyes tracking their every move through the bunk. There was a giant marble statue of a sad-looking Vik with a boot on top of its head. The Vik statue clutched two very, very tiny hands together in a gesture of supplication, its eyes trained upward on the unseen stomper, an inscription at its base, WHY, OH WHY, DID I CROSS WYATT ENSLOW? Tom began to laugh. “She didn’t do it to the bunk,” Vik insisted. “She must’ve done something to our processors.” That much was obvious. If Wyatt was good at anything, it was pulling off tricks with the neural processors, which could pretty much be manipulated to show them anything. This was some sort of illusion she was making them see, and Tom heartily approved. He stepped closer to the walls to admire some of the photos pinned there, freeze-frames of some of Vik’s more embarrassing moments at the Spire: that time Vik got a computer virus that convinced him he was a sheep, and he’d crawled around on his hands and knees chewing on plants in the arboretum. Another was Vik gaping in dismay as Wyatt won the war games. “My hands do not look like that.” Vik jabbed a finger at the statue and its abnormally tiny hands. Wyatt had relentlessly mocked Vik for having small, delicate hands ever since Tom had informed her it was the proper way to counter one of Vik’s nicknames for her, “Man Hands.” Vik had mostly abandoned that nickname for “Evil Wench,” and Tom suspected it was due to the delicate-hands gibe. Just then, Vik’s new roommate bustled into the bunk. He was a tall, slim guy with curly black hair and a pointy look to his face. Tom had seen him around, and he called up his profile from memory: NAME: Giuseppe Nichols RANK: USIF, Grade IV Middle, Alexander Division ORIGIN: New York, NY ACHIEVEMENTS: Runner-up, Van Cliburn International Piano Competition IP: 2053:db7:lj71::291:ll3:6e8 SECURITY STATUS: Top Secret LANDLOCK-4 Giuseppe must’ve been able to see the bunk template, too, because he stuttered to a stop, staring up at the statue. “Did you really program a giant statue of yourself into your bunk template? That’s so narcissistic.” Tom smothered his laughter. “Wow. He already has your number, man.” Vik shot him a look of death as Tom backed out of the bunk.
S.J. Kincaid
But it wasn't all bad. Sometimes things wasn't all bad. He used to come home easing into bed sometimes, not too drunk. I make out like I'm asleep, 'casue it's late, and he taken three dollars out of my pocketbook that morning or something. I hear him breathing, but I don't look around. I can see in my mind's eye his black arms thrown back behind his head, the muscles like a great big peach stones sanded down, with veins running like little swollen rivers down his arms. Without touching him I be feeling those ridges on the tips of my fingers. I sees the palms of his hands calloused to granite, and the long fingers curled up and still. I think about the thick, knotty hair on his chest, and the two big swells his breast muscles make. I want to rub my face hard in his chest and feel the hair cut my skin. I know just where the hair growth slacks out-just above his navel- and how it picks up again and spreads out. Maybe he'll shift a little, and his leg will touch me, or I feel his flank just graze my behind. I don't move even yet. Then he lift his head, turn over, and put his hand on my waist. If I don't move, he'll move his hand over to pull and knead my stomach. Soft and slow-like. I still don't move, because I don't want him to stop. I want to pretend sleep and have him keep rubbing my stomach. Then he will lean his head down and bite my tit. Then I don't want him to rub my stomach anymore. I want him to put his hand between my legs. I pretend to wake up, and turn to him, but not opening my legs. I want him to open them for me. He does, and I be soft and wet where his fingers are strong and hard. I be softer than I ever been before. All my strength in his hand. My brain curls up like wilted leaves. A funny, empty feeling is in my hands. I want to grab holt of something, so I hold his head. His mouth is under my chin. Then I don't want his hands between my legs no more, because I think I am softening away. I stretch my legs open, and he is on top of me. Too heavy to hold, too light not to. He puts his thing in me. In me. In me. I wrap my feet around his back so he can't get away. His face is next to mine. The bed springs sounds like them crickets used to back home. He puts his fingers in mine, and we stretches our arms outwise like Jesus on the cross. I hold tight. My fingers and my feet hold on tight, because everything else is going, going. I know he wants me to come first. But I can't. Not until he does. Not until I feel him loving me. Just me. Sinking into me. Not until I know that my flesh is all that be on his mind. That he couldnt stop if he had to. That he would die rather than take his thing our of me. Of me. Not until he has let go of all he has, and give it to me. To me. To me. When he does, I feel a power. I be strong, I be pretty, I be young. And then I wait. He shivers and tosses his head. Now I be strong enough, pretty enough, and young enough to let him make me come. I take my fingers out of his and put my hands on his behind. My legs drop back onto the bed. I don't make a noise, because the chil'ren might hear. I begin to feel those little bits of color floating up into me-deep in me. That streak of green from the june-bug light, the purple from the berries trickling along my thighs, Mama's lemonade yellow runs sweet in me. Then I feel like I'm laughing between my legs, and the laughing gets all mixed up with the colors, and I'm afraid I'll come, and afraid I won't. But I know I will. And I do. And it be rainbow all inside. And it lasts ad lasts and lasts. I want to thank him, but dont know how, so I pat him like you do a baby. He asks me if I'm all right. I say yes. He gets off me and lies down to sleep. I want to say something, but I don't. I don't want to take my mind offen the rainbow. I should get up and go to the toilet, but I don't. Besides Cholly is asleep with his leg thrown over me. I can't move and I don't want to.
Toni Morrison (The Bluest Eye)
The street sprinkler went past and, as its rasping rotary broom spread water over the tarmac, half the pavement looked as if it had been painted with a dark stain. A big yellow dog had mounted a tiny white bitch who stood quite still. In the fashion of colonials the old gentleman wore a light jacket, almost white, and a straw hat. Everything held its position in space as if prepared for an apotheosis. In the sky the towers of Notre-Dame gathered about themselves a nimbus of heat, and the sparrows – minor actors almost invisible from the street – made themselves at home high up among the gargoyles. A string of barges drawn by a tug with a white and red pennant had crossed the breadth of Paris and the tug lowered its funnel, either in salute or to pass under the Pont Saint-Louis. Sunlight poured down rich and luxuriant, fluid and gilded as oil, picking out highlights on the Seine, on the pavement dampened by the sprinkler, on a dormer window, and on a tile roof on the Île Saint-Louis. A mute, overbrimming life flowed from each inanimate thing, shadows were violet as in impressionist canvases, taxis redder on the white bridge, buses greener. A faint breeze set the leaves of a chestnut tree trembling, and all down the length of the quai there rose a palpitation which drew voluptuously nearer and nearer to become a refreshing breath fluttering the engravings pinned to the booksellers’ stalls. People had come from far away, from the four corners of the earth, to live that one moment. Sightseeing cars were lined up on the parvis of Notre-Dame, and an agitated little man was talking through a megaphone. Nearer to the old gentleman, to the bookseller dressed in black, an American student contemplated the universe through the view-finder of his Leica. Paris was immense and calm, almost silent, with her sheaves of light, her expanses of shadow in just the right places, her sounds which penetrated the silence at just the right moment. The old gentleman with the light-coloured jacket had opened a portfolio filled with coloured prints and, the better to look at them, propped up the portfolio on the stone parapet. The American student wore a red checked shirt and was coatless. The bookseller on her folding chair moved her lips without looking at her customer, to whom she was speaking in a tireless stream. That was all doubtless part of the symphony. She was knitting. Red wool slipped through her fingers. The white bitch’s spine sagged beneath the weight of the big male, whose tongue was hanging out. And then when everything was in its place, when the perfection of that particular morning reached an almost frightening point, the old gentleman died without saying a word, without a cry, without a contortion while he was looking at his coloured prints, listening to the voice of the bookseller as it ran on and on, to the cheeping of the sparrows, the occasional horns of taxis. He must have died standing up, one elbow on the stone ledge, a total lack of astonishment in his blue eyes. He swayed and fell to the pavement, dragging along with him the portfolio with all its prints scattered about him. The male dog wasn’t at all frightened, never stopped. The woman let her ball of wool fall from her lap and stood up suddenly, crying out: ‘Monsieur Bouvet!
Georges Simenon
At noontime in midsummer, when the sun is at its highest and everything is in a state of embroiled repose, flashes may be seen in the southern sky. Into the radiance of daylight come bursts of light even more radiant. Exactly half a year later, when the fjord is frozen over and the land buried in snow, the very same spirit taunts creation. At night cracks in the ice race from one end of the fjord to the other, resounding like gunshots or like the roaring of a mad demon. The peasants dig tunnels from their door through the drifts over to the cow shed. Where are the trolls and the elves now, and where are the sounds of nature? Even the Beast may well be dead and forgotten. Life itself hangs in suspension - existence has shrunk to nothingness. Now it is only a question of survival. The fox thrashes around in a blizzard in the oak thicket and fights his way out, mortally terrified. It is a time of stillness. Hoarfrost lies in a timeless shroud over the fjord. All day long a strange, sighing sound is heard from out on the ice. It is a fisherman, standing alone at his hole and spearing eel. One night it snows again. The air is sheer snow and the wind a frigid blast. No living creature is stirring. Then a rider comes to the crossing at Hvalpsund. There is no difficulty in getting over­ - he does not even slacken his speed, but rides at a brisk trot from the shore out onto the ice. The hoofbeats thunder beneath him and the ice roars for miles around. He reaches the other side and rides up onto the land. The horse — a mighty steed not afraid to shake its shanks - cleaves the storm with neck outstretched. The blizzard blows the rider's ashen cape back and he sits naked, with his bare bones sticking out and the snow whistling about his ribs. It is Death that is out riding. His crown sits on three hairs and his scythe points triumphantly backward. Death has his whims. He takes it into his head to dis­mount when he sees a light in the winter night. He gives his horse a slap on the haunch and it leaps into the air and is gone. For the rest of the way Death walks like a carefree man, sauntering absentmindedly along. In the snow-streaked night a crow is sitting on a wayside branch. Its head is much too large for its body. Its beady eyes sparkle when it sees the wanderer's familiar face, and its cawing turns into silent laughter as it throws its beak wide open, with its spear-like tongue sticking far out. It seems almost ready to fall off the branch with its laughter, but it keeps on looking at Death with consuming merriment. Death moves on. Suddenly he finds himself beside a man. He raps the man on the back with his fingers and leaves him lying there. There is a light. Death keeps his eye on the light and walks toward it. He moves into the shaft of light and labors his way over a frozen field. But when he comes close enough to make out the house a strange fervor grips him. He has finally come home - yes, this has been his true home from the beginning. Thank goodness he has now found it again after so much difficulty. He goes in, and a solitary old couple make him welcome. They cannot know that he is anything more than a traveling tradesman, spent and sick. He lies down quickly on the bed without a word. They can see that he is really far gone. He lies on his back while they move about the room with the candle and chat. He forgets them. For a long time he lies there, quiet but awake. Finally there are a few low moans, faltering and tentative. He begins to cry, and then quickly stops. But now the moans continue, becoming louder, and then going over to tearless sobs. His body arches up, resting only on head and heels. He stares in anguish at the ceiling and screams, screams like a woman in labor. Finally he collapses, and his cries begin to subside. Little by little he falls silent and lies quiet.
Johannes V. Jensen (Kongens fald)
Honest to God, I hadn’t meant to start a bar fight. “So. You’re the famous Jordan Amador.” The demon sitting in front of me looked like someone filled a pig bladder with rotten cottage cheese. He overflowed the bar stool with his gelatinous stomach, just barely contained by a white dress shirt and an oversized leather jacket. Acid-washed jeans clung to his stumpy legs and his boots were at least twice the size of mine. His beady black eyes started at my ankles and dragged upward, past my dark jeans, across my black turtleneck sweater, and over the grey duster around me that was two sizes too big. He finally met my gaze and snorted before continuing. “I was expecting something different. Certainly not a black girl. What’s with the name, girlie?” I shrugged. “My mother was a religious woman.” “Clearly,” the demon said, tucking a fat cigar in one corner of his mouth. He stood up and walked over to the pool table beside him where he and five of his lackeys had gathered. Each of them was over six feet tall and were all muscle where he was all fat. “I could start to examine the literary significance of your name, or I could ask what the hell you’re doing in my bar,” he said after knocking one of the balls into the left corner pocket. “Just here to ask a question, that’s all. I don’t want trouble.” Again, he snorted, but this time smoke shot from his nostrils, which made him look like an albino dragon. “My ass you don’t. This place is for fallen angels only, sweetheart. And we know your reputation.” I held up my hands in supplication. “Honest Abe. Just one question and I’m out of your hair forever.” My gaze lifted to the bald spot at the top of his head surrounded by peroxide blonde locks. “What’s left of it, anyway.” He glared at me. I smiled, batting my eyelashes. He tapped his fingers against the pool cue and then shrugged one shoulder. “Fine. What’s your question?” “Know anybody by the name of Matthias Gruber?” He didn’t even blink. “No.” “Ah. I see. Sorry to have wasted your time.” I turned around, walking back through the bar. I kept a quick, confident stride as I went, ignoring the whispers of the fallen angels in my wake. A couple called out to me, asking if I’d let them have a taste, but I didn’t spare them a glance. Instead, I headed to the ladies’ room. Thankfully, it was empty, so I whipped out my phone and dialed the first number in my Recent Call list. “Hey. He’s here. Yeah, I’m sure it’s him. They’re lousy liars when they’re drunk. Uh-huh. Okay, see you in five.” I hung up and let out a slow breath. Only a couple things left to do. I gathered my shoulder-length black hair into a high ponytail. I looped the loose curls around into a messy bun and made sure they wouldn’t tumble free if I shook my head too hard. I took the leather gloves in the pocket of my duster out and pulled them on. Then, I walked out of the bathroom and back to the front entrance. The coat-check girl gave me a second unfriendly look as I returned with my ticket stub to retrieve my things—three vials of holy water, a black rosary with the beads made of onyx and the cross made of wood, a Smith & Wesson .9mm Glock complete with a full magazine of blessed bullets and a silencer, and a worn out page of the Bible. I held out my hands for the items and she dropped them on the counter with an unapologetic, “Oops.” “Thanks,” I said with a roll of my eyes. I put the Glock back in the hip holster at my side and tucked the rest of the items in the pockets of my duster. The brunette demon crossed her arms under her hilariously oversized fake breasts and sent me a vicious sneer. “The door is that way, Seer. Don’t let it hit you on the way out.” I smiled back. “God bless you.” She let out an ugly hiss between her pearly white teeth. I blew her a kiss and walked out the door. The parking lot was packed outside now that it was half-past midnight. Demons thrived in darkness, so I wasn’t surprised. In fact, I’d been counting on it.
Kyoko M. (The Holy Dark (The Black Parade, #3))