I have been stabbed, shot, burned, bitten, beaten unconscious too many times to count, and even staked. None of those held a candle to the pain I felt at seeing his mouth on hers.
Jeaniene Frost (One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, #2))
You are my whole heart, Scarlet. And this is breaking it.'
My heart cracked open and clear dropped out of me. My mouth opened, and I looked round me and stamped my foot. 'Does this look like a good time to tell me that, you damn stupid boy?' I meant to sound mean but my voice wobbled. 'Now?'
He gave a little smile. 'My foul-mouthed warrior.
A.C. Gaughen (Scarlet (Scarlet, #1))
Many couples, many people, are not living with real human beings, but with their ghosts. Who has not followed for years the spell of a particular tone of voice, from voice to voice, as the fetishist follows a beautiful foot, scarcely seeing the woman herself? A voice, a mouth, an eye, all stemming from the original fountain of our first desire, directing it, enslaving us, until we choose to unravel the fatal web and free ourselves.
Bring me liquor, Bones, fast, to take my foot out of my mouth.
Cat to Bones
One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about human beings was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious, as in It's a nice day, or You're very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you all right? At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behaviour. If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months' consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favour of a new one. If they don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
If talk is cheap, then being silent is expensive. And many people it seems, can't afford to buy into it.
A Litany for Survival
For those of us who live at the shoreline
standing upon the constant edges of decision
crucial and alone
for those of us who cannot indulge
the passing dreams of choice
who love in doorways coming and going
in the hours between dawns
looking inward and outward
at once before and after
seeking a now that can breed
like bread in our children's mouths
so their dreams will not reflect
the death of ours:
For those of us
who were imprinted with fear
like a faint line in the center of our foreheads
learning to be afraid with our mother's milk
for by this weapon
this illusion of some safety to be found
the heavy-footed hoped to silence us
For all of us
this instant and this triumph
We were never meant to survive.
And when the sun rises we are afraid
it might not remain
when the sun sets we are afraid
it might not rise in the morning
when our stomachs are full we are afraid
when our stomachs are empty we are afraid
we may never eat again
when we are loved we are afraid
love will vanish
when we are alone we are afraid
love will never return
and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
but when we are silent
we are still afraid
So it is better to speak
we were never meant to survive.
Audre Lorde (The Black Unicorn: Poems)
I opened my mouth-and had nothing to refute that with. Damn people who argued using logic. Talk about unfair.
Jeaniene Frost (One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, #2))
Ezra.’ The dawn of hope in her whisper.
He nods, swallowing hard.
She pushes to her feet, swaying, and the movement seems to release him— the next moment he’s running across the shuttle bay, watched by the debrief crew in the doorway, who know better than to move a muscle.
She steps forward, one foot in front of the other, and then he reaches her, and they come together with a crash. Her arms curl up around his neck, and his mouth finds her like he’s drowning and she’s air and her feet come clean off the ground as the world is forgotten. And they’re together.
Amie Kaufman (Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1))
Poor George [Bush], he can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.
What, you didn’t pack your lunch?” Ty asked sarcastically as he
shifted around in the seat and wedged himself against the door. He kicked a
foot up and propped it on the console between the two front seats.
“Sure, in my SpongeBob SquarePants lunch box. I have the thermos,
too,” Morrison shot right back.
Zane kept his mouth shut, eyes moving between the two men, and
occasionally back to the driver, who was casually paying attention.
Ty stared at the kid and narrowed his eyes further. “Spongewhat?” he
Zane didn’t even try to hold back the chuckle when Morrison looked
at Ty like he’d lost his mind.
“Spongewha … you’re yanking my chain, aren’t you?” Morrison
said. “Henny, he’s yanking my chain.”
“Yeah, well, that’s what you getting for waving it in his face,” the
driver answered reasonably.
“What the hell is a SpongeBob?” Ty asked Zane quietly in the
Madeleine Urban (Cut & Run (Cut & Run, #1))
Does giving your piece of mind, bring a peace of mind? Or is it better to be silent and let the war inside subside?
It was a lone tree burning on the desert. A heraldic tree that the passing storm had left afire. The solitary pilgrim drawn up before it had traveled far to be here and he knelt in the hot sand and held his numbed hands out while all about in that circle attended companies of lesser auxiliaries routed forth into the inordinate day, small owls that crouched silently and stood from foot to foot and tarantulas and solpugas and vinegarroons and the vicious mygale spiders and beaded lizards with mouths black as a chowdog's, deadly to man, and the little desert basilisks that jet blood from their eyes and the small sandvipers like seemly gods, silent and the same, in Jeda, in Babylon. A constellation of ignited eyes that edged the ring of light all bound in a precarious truce before this torch whose brightness had set back the stars in their sockets.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West)
A hint of a frown touched his mouth. “I told you that wasn’t about feeding.”
“No, it was about you making your point.” I skewered a bite and chewed. “Next time, maybe use something other than my
jugular as your Exhibit A?
Jeaniene Frost (One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, #2))
You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.
Dave Barry (Dave Barry Turns Fifty)
Caroline stamped her foot in frustration, but when it landed, it landed on something considerably
less flat than the floor.
"Owww!" he yelled.
Oh! His foot!Sorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorry , she mouthed.I didn't mean it.
"If you think I can understand that," he growled, "you're crazier than I'd originally thought.
Julia Quinn (To Catch an Heiress (Agents of the Crown, #1))
Death arrives among all that sound
like a shoe with no foot in it,
like a suit with no man in it,
comes and knocks,
using a ring with no stone in it,
with no finger in it,
comes and shouts with no mouth,
with no tongue,with no throat.
Nevertheless its steps can be heard and its clothing makes a hushed sound, like a tree.
See! See, she's gone and put her foot in her mouth again! Right in, heel and all.
Anne Elisabeth Stengl (Heartless (Tales of Goldstone Wood, #1))
O yes youwl want to think on that you dont want your mouf to walk you where your feet dont want to go.
Russell Hoban (Riddley Walker)
Okay, Kylie had put her foot in her mouth before, but she'd never had it in there so deep she felt her toes wiggling against her tonsils.
C.C. Hunter (Awake at Dawn (Shadow Falls, #2))
You got off on the wrong foot. I merely watched you shove it into your mouth.
Sabrina Jeffries (What the Duke Desires (The Duke's Men, #1))
Willow's eyes flew to his, startled. They stared at each other. Her foot felt small under his hand; he rubbed it lightly with his thumb, feeling the silky heat of her skin, his pulse hammering through his veins. He felt like he was falling. All he could see was her.
She looked closed to tears. "Alex--"
Leaning across the corner of the table, he cradled her face in his hands and kissed her.
Her lips were soft and warm. With a sob, Willow returned the kiss, throwing her arms around his neck. He opened his mouth, tasting her; felt her hair tumble down around his hands. Happiness burst through him, exploding through his chest. Willow. Oh, God. Willow.
L.A. Weatherly (Angel)
Then I guess the rest of my life will be resigned to doggy style sex." The words were out of my mouth before I could think about them. "I mean however long...when we're...that wasn't a fucking proposal."
"Don't smile that. Smugness doesn't become you."
"Scoot the fuck over. You're hogging the bed."
Austin and Peter. :')
Dani Alexander (Shattered Glass (Shattered Glass, #1))
He poked his finger into my chest again. “Well, I have something to tell you: don’t let the sun set on you in this county, because…”
I grabbed his wrist and yanked him forward, tripping him with my foot. He went down back first and I caught him by his throat, three feet above the ground, lifted him up a bit and bent down to his face. My eyes glowed with murderous red. My voice turned rough with an animal growl. “Listen well, because I won’t be repeating myself, you racist prick. If you make any trouble for me or my people, I’ll hunt you down like the pig you are and carve a second mouth across your gut. They’ll find you hanging by your own intestines. The next time you hear something laugh and howl in the night, hug your family, because you won’t see the sunrise.”
I opened my fingers. He crashed on the ground, his face white as a sheet. He scrambled backward, rolled to his feet, and took off.
The three shapeshifters stared at me, openmouthed.
“That’s how you intimidate people. No witnesses and not a mark on him. Get your asses to the car.
Ilona Andrews (Gunmetal Magic (World of Kate Daniels, #6 & #6.5; Andrea Nash, #1, Kate Daniels, #5.5))
Now they are empty, Ramon replied with a shrug of broad, muscled shoulders on his six-foot-three-inch frame....For the first time, a glint of humor touched Ramon Galverra's finely sculpted mouth and arrogant dark eyes.
Judith McNaught (Tender Triumph)
They say, that when I was born,
my mother taught me to suck the milk.
And every night beside my crib,
she taught me to sleep as soft as silk.
With a smile she pressed her lips to mine,
till my mouth with joy oversplit.
She took my hand and guided my foot,
till I learned to walk with a happy lilt.
One word, two words, then three and more...
that's how she taught me to talk.
That's why my life is part of her life,
and will remain so as long as I live
You think this is some sort of comedy going on here?” Collins gave him his tough stare.
A little red spark flared in Barabas’s eyes. “Excuse me.” He struck with preternatural quickness and yanked a five-foot snake from the counter, an inch away from Tsoi’s elbow. Tsoi jumped, clearing half the room in a single bound. The snake body flailed in my lawyer’s fist. Barabas jerked the snake to his mouth and bit its neck.
“Jesus Christ!” Collins took a step back. Tsoi clamped her hand over her mouth.
Barabas spat the head onto the counter. “Pit viper—my favorite. Where were we? Ah, yes. You were trying to intimidate me. I apologize for the interruption. Please, resume your staring.
Ilona Andrews (Gunmetal Magic (World of Kate Daniels, #6 & #6.5; Andrea Nash, #1, Kate Daniels, #5.5))
Alex gazed at her. Her mouth was slightly open; she ran her fingernail against her lower teeth as she thought. She'd knotted her hair at the nape of her neck again, and a strand had slipped loose onto her shoulder, gleaming in the lantern light. Suddenly all of his objections seemed meaningless. Don't, he thought. You'll regret it.
He didn't care anymore.
Slowly, unable to stop himself, he reached out and cupped his hand around her foot.
L.A. Weatherly (Angel)
Tristan followed so close behind her she could feel his hot breath on the back of her neck. Again.
“Ten foot rule,” called Nate.
“Bite me!” Tristan hollered back, more hot breath caressing her skin with his words. A wonderful shiver ran through her body. Damn him and his beautiful mouth and hot breath and his leather-smelling shirt. She assumed he was headed to his own room in the basement, but when she walked into the guest bedroom, he followed her inside. She turned around to tell him to leave her alone, but his bright green eyes derailed her words. He was so pretty…
No! No. He was not pretty. He was in danger of dying. Focus on the danger, Scarlet. She glared at him. “What are you doing?”
“I’m sleeping with you.”
Was he insane? She lifted a brow. “I thought you were mad at me.”
“I’m concerned. Not mad.”
“Huh. Well either way you’re not sleeping with me.”
“Yes, I am.”
He was insane. “No,” Scarlet repeated. “You’re not. You could die, Tristan. We can’t touch and we certainly can’t…sleep together.” She felt her face flush.
A look of amusement crossed his face. “I meant sleep, Scar.”
“Oh. Well.” She cleared her throat. “I don’t want to wake up next to a corpse, so, like…scram.
Chelsea Fine (Avow (The Archers of Avalon, #3))
Your grandfather’s hands were brown.
Your grandmother kissed each knuckle,
circled an island into his palm
and told him which parts they would share,
which part they would leave alone.
She wet a finger to draw where the ocean would be
on his wrist, kissed him there,
named the ocean after herself.
Your grandfather’s hands were slow but urgent.
Your grandmother dreamt them,
a clockwork of fingers finding places to own–
under the tongue, collarbone, bottom lip,
arch of foot.
Your grandmother names his fingers after seasons–
index finger, a wave of heat,
middle finger, rainfall.
Some nights his thumb is the moon
nestled just under her rib.
“Your grandparents often found themselves
in dark rooms, mapping out
each other’s bodies,
claiming whole countries
with their mouths.
Warsan Shire (Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth)
Kiss my foot, sir; my face is for mouths of consequence.
Thomas Hardy (Far From the Madding Crowd)
Riley was quiet for a minute. She gathered her blanket all around her. "Paul always loved you, Alice. He knows I know that. I know he loves me, too. But it's different."
Alice opened her mouth, but nothing came out at first. "He loved me once. But I think that part is over," she said slowly.
"No, it's not. It hasn't even begun." Riley took Alice's bare foot in her hand and squeezed it. "I told him, though, that he better be good to you. When you came along, I said I'd share you, but I told him to remember that you're my sister. I loved you first."
Ann Brashares (The Last Summer (of You and Me))
I wish to ask for Audrey Rose’s hand and fear putting a foot in my mouth instead. The taste of leather soles doesn’t suit me. You know what I think of fools, and I’m the worst sort. Please help.
Your massively intelligent yet moronic brother,
Kerri Maniscalco (Becoming the Dark Prince (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #3.5))
Oompf! That was the sound of me jamming my foot into my mouth. The silence drew out into long awkward moments. Leticia said nothing. She stared fixedly down at her notebook, not daring even to glance up at me. I picked up the thread of the story and continued as if nothing had happened.
Jason Luke (Interview with a Master (Interview with a Master, #1))
Did you have one of those days today, like a nail in the foot? Did the pterodactyl corpse dropped by the ghost of your mother from the spectral Hindenburg forever circling the Earth come smashing through the lid of your glass coffin? Did the New York strip steak you attacked at dinner suddenly show a mouth filled with needle-sharp teeth, and did it snap off the end of your fork, the last solid-gold fork from the set Anastasia pressed into your hands as they took her away to be shot? Is the slab under your apartment building moaning that it cannot stand the weight on its back a moment longer, and is the building stretching and creaking? Did a good friend betray you today, or did that good friend merely keep silent and fail to come to your aid? Are you holding the razor at your throat this very instant? Take heart, comfort is at hand. This is the hour that stretches. Djan karet. We are the cavalry. We're here. Put away the pills. We'll get you through this bloody night. Next time, it'll be your turn to help us.
There are some people that should stay quiet, because they understand. As there are those that should stay quiet, because they don't understand. Some things are better left unsaid or voiced.
He had absolutely no plan beyond opening his mouth and planting his foot in it.
Haley Walsh (Foxe Tail (Skyler Foxe Mystery, #1))
You just put one foot in front of the other and ’opefully not in yer mouth.
Mary Weber (Storm Siren (Storm Siren, #1))
The most common English word spoken in the nail salon was sorry. It was the one refrain for what it meant to work in the service of beauty. Again and again, I watched as manicurists, bowed over a hand or foot of a client, some young as seven, say, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry," when they had nothing wrong. I have seen workers, you included, apologize dozens of times throughout a forty-five-minute manicure, hoping to gain warm traction that would lead to the ultimate goal, a tip--only to say sorry anyway when none was given.
In the nail salon, sorry is a tool one uses to pander until the word itself becomes currency. It no longer merely apologizes, but insists, reminds: I'm here, right here, beneath you. It is the lowering of oneself so that the client feels right, superior, and charitable. In the nail salon, one's definition of sorry is deranged into a new word entirely, one that's charged and reused as both power and defacement at once. Being sorry pays, being sorry even, or especially, when one has no fault, is worth every self-deprecating syllable the mouth allows. Because the mouth must eat.
Ocean Vuong (On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous)
At the stair-foot Hephaistion was waiting. He happened to be there, as he happened to have a ball handy if Alexander wanted a game, or water if he was thirsty; not by calculation, but in a constant awareness by which no smallest trifle was missed. Now, when he came down the stairs with a shut mouth and blue lines under his eyes, Hephaistion received some mute signal he understood, and fell into step beside him.
Mary Renault (Fire from Heaven (Alexander the Great, #1))
I'm a librarian in town,' she began.
'You sure about that?'
The words popped out before he could stop them.
Annabelle raised her eyebrows. 'Fairly. It's my job and so far no one has told me to go away when I show up for work.'
smooth, Stryker, he thought, very smooth.
'I was expecting someone wearing glasses. You know. Because librarians read a lot.'
The raised eyebrows turned into a frown. 'You need to get out of the barn more.
Susan Mallery (Summer Nights (Fool's Gold, #8))
I was the girl with cake batter in her hair, egg on her shirt and her foot in her mouth. Always.
Kari Luna (The Theory of Everything)
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blixen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Clement C. Moore (The Night Before Christmas)
Even though they’re often doing it out of love and concern, having others smear their fear and worry all over you is the last thing you need when you’re strengthening your superhero muscles to step out and take some risks, so I highly recommend keeping your mouth shut around people who are gonna bring you down. Instead, seek out those who are already totally kicking butt (or who are lifting up their foot to do so), or people who you know will be supportive, and confide in them. Because you’ll have your own internal freak show to deal with as you try to overcome the objections from your own BS.
Jen Sincero (You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life)
There was a scuffle and crash in the audience. Neil didn't want to take his eyes off Riko, but it was instinctive to look. Renee was sitting sideways in Andrew's lap, one foot braced against the ground to keep him from shoving her off. She had a hand over his mouth as they both stared up at the stage. Matt had one of Andrew's wrists in both hands. Wymack had the other. The looks on the Foxes' faces ranged from horror to fury.
Nora Sakavic (The Foxhole Court (All for the Game, #1))
Until recently, I believed all horses were alike. They’ve been giant, four-footed animals with ugly dispositions and alarmingly large teeth for so long that it’s a bit startling to notice how different they are from each other. Mara’s mare, for instance, is a chestnut bay except for a wide white blaze down her nose that makes her seem perpetually surprised. My huge plodding mount is a dark brown near to black creature, with the most unruly mane I’ve ever seen. Her shaggy forelock covers her right eye and reaches almost to her mouth.
Mara’s mare head-butts her in the chest. Grinning, Mara plants a kiss between her wide, dumb eyes, then murmurs something.
“Have you named her?” I ask.
“Yes! Her name is Jasmine.”
I grimace. “But jasmine is such a sweet, pretty flower.”
Mara laughs. “Have you named yours?”
“Her name is Horse.”
She rolls her eyes. “If you want to get along with your mount you have to learn each others’ languages. That means starting with a good name.”
“All right.” I pretend to consider. “What about Imbecile? Or Poops A Lot?
Rae Carson (The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns, #3))
Xhex couldn't stop herself from torturing them both. She sent him a mental scene, drilling the image right into his head : the two of them in a private bathroom, him up on the sink and leaning back, her with one foot planted on the counter, his sex deep in hers, the two of them panting. While he stared accross the crowded room, John's mouth parted, and the flush on his cheeks had nothing to do with embarrassment and everything to do with the orgasm that was no doubt pounding up his shaft. God, she wanted him. His buddy, the readhead, snapped her out of the madness. Blaylock came back to the table with three beers hanging from their necks, and as he took a look at John's hard, sexep-up face, he stopped short and glanced over at her in surprise.
Xhex waved off the bouncers who were coming up to her and walked out of the VIP section so fast, she nearly bowling-pinned a waitress. Her office was the only place that was safe, and she headed there at a dead run.
J.R. Ward (Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7))
Just curious,she mouthed.
"What? I didn't catch that."
Jjuussttccuurriioouuss.She drew it out this time, hoping he'd be able to read her lips.
"If you spoke out loud," he drawled, "I might understand what you're saying."
Caroline stamped her foot in frustration, but when it landed, it landed on something considerably
'flat than the floor.
"Owww!" he yelled.
Oh! His foot!Sorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorry , she mouthed.I didn't mean it.
"If you think I can understand that," he growled, "you're crazier than I'd originally thought.
Julia Quinn (To Catch an Heiress (Agents of the Crown, #1))
She forks up a little nibble and wedges it in her mouth. "Yum," she croaks.
Mrs. Wong looks pleased. "It's made with tofu."
I can't resist. "Free-range tofu?"
My mother looks over at me sharply.
Mrs. Wong takes the bait. "Now, Cassidy, tofu isn't an animal," she chides. "It's soy bean curd. Soy bean curd doesn't need to roam free."
On the floor below me, Emma lets out a little snort. I nudge her again with my foot. We're both grinning at the thought of a corral somewhere with little cubes of tofu wandering around. "Home, home on the range," I sing to her under my breath. "Where the deer and the tofu roam free...
Heather Vogel Frederick
A closed mouth gathers no foot.
Karin Gillespie (Dollar Daze: The Bottom Dollar Girls in Love (Bottom Dollar Girls #3))
After practice today, Coach pulled me aside and gave me a ten-minute lecture about the importance of keeping my grades up. Well, lecture is too generous a description—his exact words had been “maintain your average or I’ll shove my foot so far up your ass you’ll be able to taste my shoe polish in your mouth for years to come.
Elle Kennedy (The Deal (Off-Campus, #1))
I used to think love was two people sucking
on the same straw to see whose thirst was stronger,
but then I whiffed the crushed walnuts of your nape,
traced jackals in the snow-covered tombstones of your teeth.
I used to think love was a non-stop saxophone solo
in the lungs, till I hung with you like a pair of sneakers
from a phone line, and you promised to always smell
the rose in my kerosene. I used to think love was terminal
pelvic ballet, till you let me jog beside while you pedaled
all over hell on the menstrual bicycle, your tongue
ripping through my prairie like a tornado of paper cuts.
I used to think love was an old man smashing a mirror
over his knee, till you helped me carry the barbell
of my spirit back up the stairs after my car pirouetted
in the desert. You are my history book. I used to not believe
in fairy tales till I played the dunce in sheep’s clothing
and felt how perfectly your foot fit in the glass slipper
of my ass. But then duty wrapped its phone cord
around my ankle and yanked me across the continent.
And now there are three thousand miles between the u
and s in esophagus. And being without you is like standing
at a cement-filled wall with a roll of Yugoslavian nickels
and making a wish. Some days I miss you so much
I’d jump off the roof of your office building
just to catch a glimpse of you on the way down. I wish
we could trade left eyeballs, so we could always see
what the other sees. But you’re here, I’m there,
and we have only words, a nightly phone call - one chance
to mix feelings into syllables and pour into the receiver,
hope they don’t disassemble in that calculus of wire.
And lately - with this whole war thing - the language machine
supporting it - I feel betrayed by the alphabet, like they’re
injecting strychnine into my vowels, infecting my consonants,
naming attack helicopters after shattered Indian tribes:
Apache, Blackhawk; and West Bank colonizers are settlers,
so Sharon is Davey Crockett, and Arafat: Geronimo,
and it’s the Wild West all over again. And I imagine Picasso
looking in a mirror, decorating his face in war paint,
washing his brushes in venom. And I think of Jenin
in all that rubble, and I feel like a Cyclops with two eyes,
like an anorexic with three mouths, like a scuba diver
in quicksand, like a shark with plastic vampire teeth,
like I’m the executioner’s fingernail trying to reason
with the hand. And I don’t know how to speak love
when the heart is a busted cup filling with spit and paste,
and the only sexual fantasy I have is busting
into the Pentagon with a bazooka-sized pen and blowing
open the minds of generals. And I comfort myself
with the thought that we’ll name our first child Jenin,
and her middle name will be Terezin, and we’ll teach her
how to glow in the dark, and how to swallow firecrackers,
and to never neglect the first straw; because no one
ever talks about the first straw, it’s always the last straw
that gets all the attention, but by then it’s way too late.
Potter! Weasley! What are you doing?” It was Professor McGonagall, and her mouth was the thinnest of thin lines. “We were — we were —” Ron stammered. “We were going to — to go and see —” “Hermione,” said Harry. Ron and Professor McGonagall both looked at him. “We haven’t seen her for ages, Professor,” Harry went on hurriedly, treading on Ron’s foot, “and we thought we’d sneak into the hospital wing, you know, and tell her the Mandrakes are nearly ready and, er, not to worry —” Professor McGonagall was still staring at him, and for a moment, Harry thought she was going to explode, but when she spoke, it was in a strangely croaky voice. “Of course,” she said, and Harry, amazed, saw a tear glistening in her beady eye. “Of course, I realize this has all been hardest on the friends of those who have been … I quite understand. Yes, Potter, of course you may visit Miss Granger. I will inform Professor Binns where you’ve gone. Tell Madam Pomfrey I have given my permission.” Harry and Ron walked away, hardly daring to believe that they’d avoided detention. As they turned the corner, they distinctly heard Professor McGonagall blow her nose. “That,” said Ron fervently, “was the best story you’ve ever come up with.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2))
ON THE DAY I DIE
On the day I die, when I'm being carried
toward the grave, don't weep. Don't say,
He's gone! He's gone. Death has nothing to do with going away. The sun sets and
the moon sets, but they're not gone.
Death is a coming together. The tomb
looks like a prison, but it's really
release into union. The human seed goes
down in the ground like a bucket into
the well where Joseph is. It grows and
comes up full of some unimagined beauty.
Your mouth closes here, and immediately
opens with a shout of joy there.
One who does what the Friend wants done
will never need a friend.
There's a bankruptcy that's pure gain.
The moon stays bright when it
doesn't avoid the night.
A rose's rarest essence
lives in the thorn.
Childhood, youth, and maturity,
and now old age.
Every guest agrees to stay
three days, no more.
Master, you told me to
remind you. Time to go.
The angel of death arrives,
and I spring joyfully up.
No one knows what comes over me
when I and that messenger speak!
When you come back inside my chest no matter how far I've wandered off,
I look around and see the way.
At the end of my life, with just one breath left, if you come then, I'll sit up and sing.
Last night things flowed between us
that cannot now be said or written.
Only as I'm being carried out
and down the road, as the folds of my shroud open in the wind,
will anyone be able to read, as on
the petal-pages of a turning bud,
what passed through us last night.
I placed one foot on the wide plain
of death, and some grand
immensity sounded on the emptiness.
I have felt nothing ever
like the wild wonder of that moment.
Longing is the core of mystery.
Longing itself brings the cure.
The only rule is, Suffer the pain.
Your desire must be disciplined,
and what you want to happen
in time, sacrificed.
Rumi (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
I will give you a few guarantees of my own, Mukthar. I guarantee that before the sun sets, even if you win, even if my cold, dead body is lying on the field, you will rue the day you ever set foot in the Plains. For every inch you advance I'll exact gallons of Mukthar blood. I guarantee that there will be not one family of the Bear Mukthars or they will mourn at least one of theirs. I guarantee that even if you are triumphant the fruits of victory will taste like dust in your mouth. I guarantee that if you fail to kill me today, you will meet me again. You will meet me at the Ximerionian border. You will meet me at every city, town, village, and hamlet. You will meet me on every Amirathan crossroad, on every hill. I will fight you with every sword at my command, with every arrow, with every dagger. I will fight you with pitchforks. I will fight you with the very rocks of the land you try to conquer. I will never, never, never give up.
~Anaxantis, before the Battle of the Zinchara (May 29th, 1453 aed)
Andrew Ashling (The Invisible Chains - Part 3: Bonds of Blood (Dark Tales of Randamor the Recluse, #3))
We were friends, somehow. But in the end, somehow, he intended to be a mortal enemy. All the while that he was making the gestures of a close and precious friend he was fattening my soul in a coop till it was ready for killing
Saul Bellow (Him With His Foot in His Mouth and Other Stories)
He studied me with his predator's gaze, assessing me from head to toe. I studied him back. He didn't just occupy space; he saturated it. The room had been full of books before, now it was full of him. About thirty, six foot two or three, he had dark hair, golden skin, and dark eyes. His features were strong, chiseled. I couldn't pinpoint his nationality any more than I could his accent; some kind of European crossed with Old World Mediterranean or maybe an ancestor with dark Gypsy blood. He wore an elegant, dark gray Italian suit, a crisp white shirt, and a muted patterned tie. He wasn't handsome. That was too calm a word. He was intensely masculine. He was sexual. He attracted. There was an omnipresent carnality about him, in his dark eyes, in his full mouth, in the way he stood. He was the kind of man I wouldn't flirt with in a million years.
Karen Marie Moning (Darkfever (Fever, #1))
Forgive me, madam, it appears that you and I got off on the wrong foot."
"You got off on the wrong foot. I merely watched you shove it into your mouth.
Sabrina Jeffries (What the Duke Desires (The Duke's Men, #1))
I’m exceptional at taking my foot out of my mouth.
Priscilla Glenn (Coming Home)
Right. Of course. Well, then that makes sense, I guess." Open mouth, insert sand-covered foot.
Catherine Clark (Picture Perfect)
Let's see if your right foot is as fearless as your mouth.
Doug Solter (Skid (Skid, #1))
They will put that on my gravestone. 'Here lies Tinker, her heart was in the right place, but her foot was in her mouth and god knows where her brain went.
Wen Spencer (Wolf Who Rules (Elfhome, #2))
A professor from UBC observed that he agreed with Alexander Pope about the ultimate unreality of evil. Seen from the highest point of metaphysics. To a rational mind, nothing bad ever really happens. He was talking high-minded balls. Twaddle! I thought. I said, 'Oh? Do you mean that every gas chamber has a silver lining?
Saul Bellow (Him With His Foot in His Mouth and Other Stories)
I cannot tell you how fucking brutal it is to constantly shove your foot into your own mouth. Although you’d think after how many times I’d done it, I would have stretched it out by now. “It’s hard being this big of an ass,” I said as I let my head hang low.
Mark Tufo (Tattered Remnants (Zombie Fallout, #9))
Puck Mulligan footed featly, trilling:
I HARDLY HEAR THE PURLIEU CRY
OR A TOMMY TALK AS I PASS ONE BY
BEFORE MY THOUGHTS BEGIN TO RUN
ON F. M'CURDY ATKINSON,
THE SAME THAT HAD THE WOODEN LEG
AND THAT FILIBUSTERING FILIBEG
THAT NEVER DARED TO SLAKE HIS DROUTH,
MAGEE THAT HAD THE CHINLESS MOUTH.
BEING AFRAID TO MARRY ON EARTH
THEY MASTURBATED FOR ALL THEY WERE WORTH.
Jest on. Know thyself.
James Joyce (Ulysses)
I guess we’re pretty lucky that we can’t give each other alien STD’s or babies, huh?” And THAT, folks, is why I’m still single. I’d like to blame the fermented tree sap, but I think we all know that I just have a horrible case of foot-in-mouth disease. It might even be lethal.
Mara Frost (Saved (Alien Space Pirates, #3))
Little girls are the nicest things that can happen to people. They are born with a bit of angel-shine about them, and though it wears thin sometimes, there is always enough left to lasso your heart—even when they are sitting in the mud, or crying temperamental tears, or parading up the street in Mother’s best clothes.
A little girl can be sweeter (and badder) oftener than anyone else in the world. She can jitter around, and stomp, and make funny noises that frazzle your nerves, yet just when you open your mouth, she stands there demure with that special look in her eyes. A girl is Innocence playing in the mud, Beauty standing on its head, and Motherhood dragging a doll by the foot.
God borrows from many creatures to make a little girl. He uses the song of a bird, the squeal of a pig, the stubbornness of a mule, the antics of a monkey, the spryness of a grasshopper, the curiosity of a cat, the speed of a gazelle, the slyness of a fox, the softness of a kitten, and to top it all off He adds the mysterious mind of a woman.
A little girl likes new shoes, party dresses, small animals, first grade, noisemakers, the girl next door, dolls, make-believe, dancing lessons, ice cream, kitchens, coloring books, make-up, cans of water, going visiting, tea parties, and one boy. She doesn’t care so much for visitors, boys in general, large dogs, hand-me-downs, straight chairs, vegetables, snowsuits, or staying in the front yard.
She is loudest when you are thinking, the prettiest when she has provoked you, the busiest at bedtime, the quietest when you want to show her off, and the most flirtatious when she absolutely must not get the best of you again. Who else can cause you more grief, joy, irritation, satisfaction, embarrassment, and genuine delight than this combination of Eve, Salome, and Florence Nightingale.
She can muss up your home, your hair, and your dignity—spend your money, your time, and your patience—and just when your temper is ready to crack, her sunshine peeks through and you’ve lost again. Yes, she is a nerve-wracking nuisance, just a noisy bundle of mischief. But when your dreams tumble down and the world is a mess—when it seems you are pretty much of a fool after all—she can make you a king when she climbs on your knee and whispers, "I love you best of all!
I don’t have any regrets,” a famous movie actor said in an interview I recently witnessed. “I’d live everything over exactly the same way.”
“That’s really pathetic,” the talk show host said. “Are you seeking help?”
“Yeah. My shrink says we’re making progress. Before, I wouldn’t even admit that I would live it all over,” the actor said, starting to choke up. “I thought one life was satisfying enough.”
“My God,” the host said, cupping his hand to his mouth.
“The first breakthrough was when I said I would live it over, but only in my dreams. Nocturnal recurrence.”
“You’re like the character in that one movie of yours. What’s it called? You know, the one where you eat yourself.”
“The Silence of Sam.”
“That’s it. Can you do the scene?”
The actor lifts up his foot to stick it in his mouth. I reach over from my seat and help him to fit it into his bulging cheeks. The audience goes wild.
Benson Bruno (A Story That Talks about Talking Is Like Chatter to Chattering Teeth, and Every Set of Dentures Can Attest to the Fact That No..)
When we reached them, Viking sat up and withdrew the cigarette from his mouth. “Fuck me, Little One…” he trailed off as he pointed his finger at me from head to foot with his cigarette. “You, and fucking leather, are a match made in cowhide heaven.
Tillie Cole (Souls Unfractured (Hades Hangmen, #3))
Ava motioned to the darkening passage that led from the cave. “This is the first time I’ve set foot on an alien planet. And even though it bears a general similarity to Earth, there are enough differences to make me want to walk around like this all the time.” Widening her eyes, she dropped her jaw until her mouth formed a large O and gaped at the walls around them in exaggerated amazement.
“I’m serious,” she insisted with a grin. “I saw a butterfly today that was the size of a duck!
Dianne Duvall (The Purveli (Aldebarian Alliance #3))
Peachy. Alrighty, then. She’d just get in her car, run home to check her clothes, hair, and makeup, walk across the street to Jason’s apartment, knock on his door, stare at his masculine hotness in stupid adoration, probably insert her foot into her mouth fifty-five times in under five minutes, then go back to her place and relive the embarrassment all night long while replaying what she should’ve done or said had she been a sophisticated woman, instead of a blundering moron.
Done and done. Piece of cake.
Kelly Moran (Residual Burn (Redwood Ridge, #4))
I AM ROWING (a hex poem)
i have cursed your forehead, your belly, your life
i have cursed the streets your steps plod through
the things your hands touch
i have cursed the inside of your dreams
i have placed a puddle in your eye so that you cant see anymore
an insect in your ear so that you cant hear anymore
a sponge in your brain so that you cant understand
i have frozen you in the soul of your body
iced you in the depths of your life
the air you breathe suffocates you
the air you breathe has the air of a cellar
is an air that has already been exhaled
been puffed out by hyenas
the dung of this air is something no one can breathe
your skin is damp all over
your skin sweats out waters of great fear
your armpits reak far and wide of the crypt
animals drop dead as you pass
dogs howl at night their heads raised toward your house
you cant run away
you cant muster the strength of an ant to the tip of your feet
your fatigue makes a lead stump in your body
your fatigue is a long caravan
your fatigue stretches out to the country of nan
your fatigue is inexpressible
your mouth bites you
your nails scratch you
no longer yours, your wife
no longer yours, your brother
the sole of his foot bitten by an angry snake
someone has slobbered on your descendents
someone has drooled in the mouth of your laughing little girl
someone has walked by slobbering all over the face of your domain
the world moves away from you
i am rowing
i am rowing
i am rowing against your life
i am rowing
i split into countless rowers
to row more strongly against you
you fall into blurriness
you are out of breath
you get tired before the slightest effort
you go off drunk tied to the tail of a mule
drunkenness like a huge umbrella that darkens the sky
and assembles the flies
dizzy drunkenness of the semicircular canals
unnoticed beginnings of hemiplegia
drunkeness no longer leaves you
lays you out to the left
lays you out to the right
lays you out on the stony ground of the path
i am rowing against your days
you enter the house of suffering
on a black blinfold your life is unfolding
on the great white eye of a one eyed horse
your future is unrolling
I AM ROWING
Where I come from, Annagramma, they have the Sheepdog Trials. Shepherds travel there from all over to show off their dogs. And there're silver crooks and belts with silver buckles and prizes of all kinds, Annagramma, but do you know what the big prize is? No, you wouldn't. Oh, there are judges, but they don't count, not for the big prize. There is - there was a little old lady who was always at the front of the crowd, leaning on the hurdles with her pipe in her mouth with the two finest sheepdogs ever pupped sitting at her feet. Their names were Thunder and Lightning, and they moved so fast, they set the air on fire and their coats outshone the sun, but she never, ever put them in the Trials. She knew more about sheep than even sheep know. And what every young shepherd wanted, really wanted, wasn't some silly cup or belt but to see her take pipe out of her mouth as he left the arena and quietly say 'That'll do,' because that meant he was a real shepherd and all the other shepherds knew it, too. And if you'd told him he had to challenge her, he'd cuss at you and stamp his foot and tell you he'd sooner spit the sun dark. How could he ever win? She was shepherding. It was the whole of her life. What you took away from her you'd take away from yourself. You don't understand that, do you? But it's the heart and the soul and center of it! The soul... and... center!
Terry Pratchett (A Hat Full of Sky (Discworld, #32; Tiffany Aching, #2))
Dentopedology is the science of opening your mouth and putting your foot in it. I've been practicing it for years.
Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
far too many politicians suffer from foot and mouth disease; they always put a foot in their mouths
rassool jibraeel snyman
I was just, uh...looking at your bush.
Cassie Mae (How to Seduce a Band Geek (How To, #2))
The Bible makes it plain and simple in Matthew 12:34: For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
Annie F. Downs (Perfectly Unique: Praising God from Head to Foot)
Thank you,” Archer said again. She kept walking, listening for any sign of him moving to attack her back. “I knew you were a good woman,” he said. Celaena halted. Turned. There was a hint of triumph in his eyes. He thought he’d won. Manipulated her again. One foot after another, she walked back toward him with predatory calmness. She stopped, close enough to kiss him. He gave her a wary smile. “No, I’m not,” she said. Then she moved, too fast for him to stand a chance. Archer’s eyes went wide as she slid the dagger home, jamming it up into his heart. He sagged in her arms. She brought her mouth to his ear, holding him upright with one hand and twisting the dagger with the other as she whispered, “But Nehemia was.
Sarah J. Maas (Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2))
In a vast space left free between the crowd and the fire, a young girl was dancing.
Whether this young girl was a human being, a fairy, or an angel, is what Gringoire, sceptical philosopher and ironical poet that he was, could not decide at the first moment, so fascinated was he by this dazzling vision.
She was not tall, though she seemed so, so boldly did her slender form dart about. She was swarthy of complexion, but one divined that, by day, her skin must possess that beautiful golden tone of the Andalusians and the Roman women. Her little foot, too, was Andalusian, for it was both pinched and at ease in its graceful shoe. She danced, she turned, she whirled rapidly about on an old Persian rug, spread negligently under her feet; and each time that her radiant face passed before you, as she whirled, her great black eyes darted a flash of lightning at you.
All around her, all glances were riveted, all mouths open; and, in fact, when she danced thus, to the humming of the Basque tambourine, which her two pure, rounded arms raised above her head, slender, frail and vivacious as a wasp, with her corsage of gold without a fold, her variegated gown puffing out, her bare shoulders, her delicate limbs, which her petticoat revealed at times, her black hair, her eyes of flame, she was a supernatural creature.
Then I wondered if I could crawl into a hole and die for a while, maybe taking a little break from that to savor the taste of the foot I’d crammed in my mouth repeatedly over the last few days.
Eliot Grayson (The Alpha's Warlock (Mismatched Mates #1))
I scooted out of the laundry room and skipped down the hallway, arms flaying around my head like one of the hot pink puppets from the movie Labyrinth. “A scent and a sound, I’m lost and I’m found. And I’m hungry like the wolf. Something on a line, it’s discord and rhyme—whatever, whatever, la la la—Mouth is alive, all running inside, and I’m hungry like the—” Warmth spread down my neck.
“It’s actually, ‘I howl and I whine. I’m after you,’ and not blah or whatever.”
Startled by the deep voice, I shrieked and whipped around. My foot slipped on a section of well-cleaned wood and my butt smacked on the floor.
“Holy crap,” I gasped, clutching my chest. “I think I’m having a heart attack.”
“And I think you broke your butt.” Laughter filled Daemon’s voice.
I remained sprawled across the narrow hallway, trying to catch my breath. “What the hell? Do you just walk into people’s houses?”
“And listen to girls absolutely destroy a song in a matter of seconds? Well, yes, I make a habit out of it. Actually, I knocked several times, but I heard your…singing, and your door was unlocked.” He shrugged.
“So I just let myself in.”
“I can see that.” I stood, wincing. “Oh, man, maybe I did break my butt.”
“I hope not. I’m kind of partial to your butt.” He flashed a smile. “Your face is pretty red. You sure you didn’t smack that on the way down?”
I groaned. “I hate you.
Jennifer L. Armentrout
“Go away.” He’d heard Brenna enter, had decided to ignore her.
But Brenna had never been easily dissuaded. “Drew said you’re not sleeping well- that you were up most of last night.”
He went through a vicious series of moves and ended a foot from her, breath calm, eyes furious. “Drew has a big fucking mouth.”
“Yeah, tell me something I don’t know.” She grinned, but there was worry in those magnificent eyes she’d turned from a scar to a badge of courage. “Riley, is this… I…”
Scowling, he closed the distance between them to cup her cheek. “It’s not about you.” Her hurt haunted him, but he wasn’t going to put that weight on her back. That was his cross to bear. “I’m not sleeping well because I want sex.”
Her mouth dropped open. Then she went bright red. “Too. Much. Information!
Nalini Singh (Branded by Fire (Psy-Changeling, #6))
He watched her face, and her eyes never shifted; they were with him while she moved out of her clothes and while she slipped his jeans down his legs, stroking his thighs. She unbuttoned his shirt, and all he was aware of was the heat of his own breathing and the warmth radiating from his belly, pulsing between his legs. He was afraid of being lost, so he repeated trail marks to himself: this is my mouth tasting the salt of her brown breasts; this is my voice calling out to her. He eased himself deeper within her and felt the warmth close around him like river sand, softly giving way under foot, then closing firmly around the ankle in cloudy warm water. But he did not get lost, and he smiled at her as she held his hips and pulled him closer. He let the motion carry him, and he could feel the momentum within, at first almost imperceptible, gathering in his belly. When it came, it was the edge of a steep riverbank crumbling under the downpour until suddenly it all broke loose and collapsed into itself.
Leslie Marmon Silko
Four brothers,” Daphne said, shoving the wicket into the ground, “provide quite a marvelous education.”
“The things you must have learned,” Kate said, quite impressed. “Can you give a man a black eye? Knock him to the ground?”
Daphne grinned wickedly. “Ask my husband.”
“Ask me what?” the duke called out from where he and Colin were placing a wicket on a tree root on the opposite side of the tree.
“Nothing,” the duchess called out innocently. “I’ve also learned,” she whispered to Kate, “when it’s best just to keep one’s mouth shut. Men are much easier to manage once you understand a few basic facts about their nature.”
“Which are?” Kate prompted.
Daphne leaned forward and whispered behind her cupped hand, “They’re not as smart as we are, they’re not as intuitive as we are, and they certainly don’t need to know about fifty percent of what we do.”
She looked around. “He didn’t hear that, did he?”
Simon stepped out from behind the tree. “Every word.”
Kate choked on a laugh as Daphne jumped a foot.
“But it’s true,” Daphne said archly.
Simon crossed his arms. “I’ll let you think so.” He turned to Kate. “I’ve learned a thing or two about women over the years.”
“Really?” Kate asked, fascinated.
He nodded and leaned in, as if imparting a grave state secret. “They’re much easier to manage if one allows them to believe that they are smarter and more intuitive than men. And,” he added with a superior glance at his wife, “our lives are much more peaceful if we pretend that we’re only aware of about fifty percent of what they do.”
Colin approached, swinging a mallet in a low arc. “Are they having a spat?” he asked Kate.
“A discussion,” Daphne corrected.
“God save me from such discussions,” Colin muttered.
Julia Quinn (The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2))
She’s whacked with happy, which kind of infects anyone within a ten-foot radius.” She stuffed salad in her mouth to get it over with. “Like an airborne virus.”
“God, you romantic fool. No wonder I adore you.
there is a life to come – wait and see – and that in the life to come we will feel the pains that we inflicted on others. We will suffer all that we made them suffer, for after death all experience is reversed.
Saul Bellow (Him With His Foot in His Mouth and Other Stories)
So, good day, Your Grace.” She started to close the door, but he pushed forward to block the motion. When she lifted her livid gaze, she found him staring at her with the merest hint of respect. “Forgive me, madam, it appears that you and I got off on the wrong foot.” “You got off on the wrong foot. I merely watched you shove it into your mouth.
Sabrina Jeffries (What the Duke Desires (The Duke's Men, #1))
I would rather go mad, gone down the dark road to Mexico, heroin dripping in my veins,
eyes and ears full of marijuana,
eating the god Peyote on the floor of a mudhut on the border
or laying in a hotel room over the body of some suffering man or woman;
rather jar my body down the road, crying by a diner in the Western sun;
rather crawl on my naked belly over the tincans of Cincinnati;
rather drag a rotten railroad tie to a Golgotha in the Rockies;
rather, crowned with thorns in Galveston, nailed hand and foot in Los Angeles, raised up to die in Denver,
pierced in the side in Chicago, perished and tombed in New Orleans and resurrected in 1958 somewhere on Garret Mountain,
come down roaring in a blaze of hot cars and garbage,
streetcorner Evangel in front of City I-Tall, surrounded by statues of agonized lions,
with a mouthful of shit, and the hair rising on my scalp,
screaming and dancing in praise of Eternity annihilating the sidewalk, annihilating reality,
screaming and dancing against the orchestra in the destructible ballroom of the world,
blood streaming from my belly and shoulders
flooding the city with its hideous ecstasy, rolling over the pavements and highways
by the bayoux and forests and derricks leaving my flesh and my bones hanging on the trees.
I can’t do this. They’re going to know I’m a fraud.” “Everyone’s a fraud, you idiot. You’ll be same as the rest of ’em. You just put one foot in front of the other and ’opefully not in yer mouth. Now ’urry up cuz I’m missin’ my dinner.” But
Mary Weber (Storm Siren (Storm Siren, #1))
Perishable, It Said
Perishable, it said on the plastic container,
And below, in different ink,
The date to be used by, the last teaspoon consumed.
I found myself looking;
Now at the back of each hand,
Now inside the knees,
Now turning over each foot to look at the sole.
Then at the leaves of the young tomato plants,
Then at the arguing jays.
Under the wooden table and lifted stones, looking.
Coffee cups, olives, cheeses,
Hunger, sorrow, fears-
These too would certainly vanish, without knowing when.
How suddenly then
The strange happiness took me,
Like a man with strong hands and strong mouth,
Inside that hour with its perishing perfumes and clashings.
Jane Hirshfield (Come, Thief)
I’m from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,” Sistine said, “home of the Liberty Bell, and I hate the South because the people in it are ignorant. And I’m not staying here in Lister. My father is coming to get me next week.” She looked around the room defiantly. “Well,” said Mrs. Soames, “thank you very much for introducing yourself, Sistine Bailey. You may take your seat before you put your foot in your mouth any farther.” The
Kate DiCamillo (The Tiger Rising)
That was when General Johnston rode up. He came right past where I was standing, a fine big man on a bay stallion. He had on a broad-brim hat and a cape and thigh boots with gold spurs that twinkled like sparks of fire. I watched him ride by, his mustache flaring out from his mouth and his eyes set deep under his forehead. He was certainly the handsomest man I ever saw, bar none; he made the other officers on his staff look small.
Shelby Foote (Shiloh)
Dried mud flats, sun-warmed, have a delicious touch, cushioned and smooth; so has long grass at morning, hot in the sun, but still cool and wet when the foot sinks into it, like food melting to a new flavour in the mouth. And a flower caught by the stalk between the toes is a small enchantment.
Nan Shepherd (The Living Mountain)
I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess we’re going to a party.”Her mood suddenly lifts and she grins impishly. “What gave it away?”I eye her outfit and count down on my fingers.“Four things: leather shorts, pink highheels,knee high socks,and a sparkling top. ”She sticks out her hip and pops up her foot, striking a pose. “Come on, admit it,I look
hot.”“You look like a—”She tosses a pillow at me.“Watch that dirty mouth of yours, Death Girl.
his exact words had been “maintain your average or I’ll shove my foot so far up your ass you’ll be able to taste my shoe polish in your mouth for years to come.”
Like the smartass I am, I asked if people actually still use shoe polish, and he responded with a string of colorful expletives before storming off.
Elle Kennedy (The Deal (Off-Campus, #1))
So I said, “Hey, Joe,” and hoped it was a start. He was startled. He opened and closed his mouth a few times. He made a growling noise deep in his chest, a low rumble that made my skin itch. It was pleased, that sound, like even just me saying his name was enough to make him happy. For all I knew, it was. It cut off as quickly as it started. He looked faintly embarrassed. I scuffed my foot in the dirt, waiting. He said, “Hey, Ox.” He cleared his throat and looked down. “Hi.” It was weird, that disconnect between the boy I’d known and the man before me. His voice was deeper and he was bigger than he’d ever been. He radiated power that had never been there before. It fit him well. I remembered that day that I’d really seen him for the first time, wearing those running shorts and little else. I pushed those thoughts away. I didn’t want him sniffing me out. Not yet. Because attraction wasn’t the problem right now. Especially not right now. I
T.J. Klune (Wolfsong (Green Creek, #1))
Shamash grant your wish.
What your mouth has said, may your eyes see.
May he open for you the barred path,
unclose the road for your footsteps,
unlock the mountain for your foot.
May the night give you things that please you,
and may Lugalbanda stand beside you
and satisfy your wish.
May you be granted your wish as a child is.
John Gardner (Gilgamesh)
You must be excessively hungry, Mr. Merritt,” she said
graciously. Mademoiselle would have been so proud of her.
“Perhaps you are not a morning person?”
He smiled, finally bringing his devastating sky blue
morning gaze fully upon her face.
“I thought perhaps if I filled my mouth with biscuits, I
might keep my foot out of it for a while.
Ren...Did you know that Winston Churchill, the greatest orator of all time and one of the greatest leaders in the world, had a speech impediment? All of us botch our words from time to time. And honestly I'd much rather stammer than put my foot in my mouth, and I've done more than my fair share of that. You have no reason to be embarrassed or ashamed for a biological misfire you can't help. It's not an indictment on your intelligence, but it is on the the humanity and decency of anyone cruel enough to mock you for it.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Time Untime (Dark-Hunter #21; Hellchaser, #4; Were-Hunter, #7))
She thumped her weapon (others might call it a cane, but he
knew better) against the floor. “Fell off your horse?”
“Tripped down the stairs? Dropped a bottle on your foot?” Her
expression grew sly. “Or does it involve a woman?”
He fought the urge to cross his arms. She was looking up at him
with a bit of a smirk. She liked poking fun at her companions; she’d
once told him that the best part of growing old was that she could
say anything she wanted with impunity.
He leaned down and said with great gravity, “Actually, I was
stabbed by my valet.”
It was, perhaps, the only time in his life he’d managed to stun
her into silence.
Her mouth fell open, her eyes grew wide, and he would have
liked to have thought that she even went pale, but her skin had such
an odd tone to begin with that it was hard to say. Then, after a
moment of shock, she let out a bark of laughter and said, “No,
really. What happened?”
“Exactly as I said. I was stabbed.” He waited a moment, then
added, “If we weren’t in the middle of a ballroom, I’d show you.”
“You don’t say?” Now she was really interested. She leaned in,
eyes alight with macabre curiosity. “Is it gruesome?”
“It was,” he confirmed.
She pressed her lips together, and her eyes narrowed as she
asked, “And where is your valet now?”
“At Chatteris House, likely nicking a glass of my best brandy.”
She let out another one of her staccato barks of laughter.
Julia Quinn (Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet #1))
Remember, a closed mouth gathers no foot.
Sharon Green (Challenges (The Blending, #3))
The words had somehow managed to bypass reason on the way out of his mouth
Julie Anne Long
I was Ms. Put My Foot in My Mouth, Speak Before Thinking, and Trip over Imaginary Lint.
Christy Barritt (Mucky Streak (Squeaky Clean Mysteries #7))
Where are you?” she shouted. “Don’t you see us?” taunted the woman’s voice. “I thought Hecate chose you for your skill.” Another bout of queasiness churned through Hazel’s gut. On her shoulder, Gale barked and passed gas, which didn’t help. Dark spots floated in Hazel’s eyes. She tried to blink them away, but they only turned darker. The spots consolidated into a twenty-foot-tall shadowy figure looming next to the Doors. The giant Clytius was shrouded in the black smoke, just as she’d seen in her vision at the crossroads, but now Hazel could dimly make out his form—dragon-like legs with ash-colored scales; a massive humanoid upper body encased in Stygian armor; long, braided hair that seemed to be made from smoke. His complexion was as dark as Death’s (Hazel should know, since she had met Death personally). His eyes glinted cold as diamonds. He carried no weapon, but that didn’t make him any less terrifying. Leo whistled. “You know, Clytius…for such a big dude, you’ve got a beautiful voice.” “Idiot,” hissed the woman. Halfway between Hazel and the giant, the air shimmered. The sorceress appeared. She wore an elegant sleeveless dress of woven gold, her dark hair piled into a cone, encircled with diamonds and emeralds. Around her neck hung a pendant like a miniature maze, on a cord set with rubies that made Hazel think of crystallized blood drops. The woman was beautiful in a timeless, regal way—like a statue you might admire but could never love. Her eyes sparkled with malice. “Pasiphaë,” Hazel said. The woman inclined her head. “My dear Hazel Levesque.” Leo coughed. “You two know each other? Like Underworld chums, or—” “Silence, fool.” Pasiphaë’s voice was soft, but full of venom. “I have no use for demigod boys—always so full of themselves, so brash and destructive.” “Hey, lady,” Leo protested. “I don’t destroy things much. I’m a son of Hephaestus.” “A tinkerer,” snapped Pasiphaë. “Even worse. I knew Daedalus. His inventions brought me nothing but trouble.” Leo blinked. “Daedalus…like, the Daedalus? Well, then, you should know all about us tinkerers. We’re more into fixing, building, occasionally sticking wads of oilcloth in the mouths of rude ladies—” “Leo.” Hazel put her arm across his chest. She had a feeling the sorceress was about to turn him into something unpleasant if he didn’t shut up. “Let me take this, okay?
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
It seems like he’s keeping my foot within his grasp for longer than necessary when I see his eyes wander up my legs again. I tingle in every spot his gaze touches.
His voice sends shivers up my spine when he asks, “Have you ever been fucked, Eve?”
My eyelids flutter and I let out a small surprised gasp at his question, breath gushing from my lips. I’m not exactly a virgin, not too far off though, and I can safely say that I have never been fucked in the way that Phoenix is insinuating. Most of the sex I’ve had has been the fantasy kind. Our eyes lock and he moves his hand from the heel of my foot up along the back of my leg, massaging my shin.
I actually moan when his fingers press in, releasing the tension from a knotted muscle. His mouth opens as he watches me.
“I don’t think that’s a very appropriate question to ask of a friend,” I finally manage to croak out.
He smiles darkly. “I told you I was bad news.
Raine Anthony (Phoenix)
I don’t get it,” Clarence whispered to me. “We’re the only ones in the place. When are your friends supposed to get here?”
“Why, bab?” asked the cream pitcher, its top opening and closing like a tiny silver mouth. “Are you thinking about asking one of the waitresses out instead?” The chuckle that followed was a little coarser than the silvery-bell variety one usually expects from invisible spirits. Clarence let out a yelp like a dog whose tail has just found its way under a foot and was halfway to the front door before I could convince him to come back. At the other end of the long room the waitresses looked up without interest, then went back to discussing particle physics or whatever else was keeping them from bringing me a glass of water
Tad Williams (The Dirty Streets of Heaven (Bobby Dollar, #1))
Only Jesus can hold things like this in tandem. Only Jesus can simultaneously attend to the one with the broken foot and the one with stage IV cancer. Only Jesus can concurrently care about the child withering away from starvation and the child weeping over his parents’ divorce. Only Jesus can cry with the girl sobbing over a high school breakup and the wife who is widowed, left with mouths to feed and an empty bed. He is the only one who can see that all pain is real and valid, regardless of how the world would rank it. He is the only one who can validate our suffering—and he does.
Ann Swindell (Still Waiting: Hope for When God Doesn’t Give You What You Want)
Standing in the doorway, wearing only a white towel latched under his pelvic muscles.
Tommy Bianchi is dripping wet.
My mouth turns bone dry.
Lord Jesus. Whoever made his image needs a big fucking bonus.
Inked body. Olive skin. Defined muscles. Miles and miles of protruding veins. Dusting of dark body hair. And that’s without adding in his six-foot three stature. Yeah, I checked his wiki page last night to see what details his fangirls knew about him.
He isn’t hard on the eyes.
It doesn’t hurt to look at all that wet skin.
Not at all.
I can see why he’s been voted People’s Sexiest Man Alive.
V. Theia (Manhattan Muse (From Manhattan #8))
And she was blushing a lot herself, for absolutely no reason other than she'd found herself sitting next to Chad at the table.
Their knees bumped. Their elbows collided. Marian whispered apologies each time,even for those that weren't her fault. He didn't seem to hear though, as he was too busy listening to every word out of Amanda's mouth. She stepped on his foot deliberately. Hard. He even missed that.
Dessert was being served when Chad said in an aside to her, "If I didn't already know how lacking in coordination you are,I'd think I was under attack.Now what the hell are you blushing for? I was only teasing.
Johanna Lindsey (A Man to Call My Own)
One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious, as in 'It's a nice day,' or 'You're very tall,' or 'Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you all right?' At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behavior. If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months' consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favor of a new one. If they don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
At that, Ascher stood up. “Hi,” she said, smiling brightly. “You don’t know me. I’m Hannah. Back off my partner before you get hurt.” “I know who you are, hot stuff,” I drawled, not standing. I set my staff down across the table. “And I already backed off your partner. You can tell from how there aren’t any splatter marks. Play nice, Ascher.” Her smile vanished at my response, and her dark eyes narrowed. She drummed her nails on the tabletop exactly once, slowly, as if contemplating a decision. A smirk touched her mouth. “So you’re the infamous Dresden.” Her eyes went past me, to Karrin. Ascher was a foot taller than she was. “And this is your bodyguard? Seriously? Aren’t they supposed to be a little bigger?” “She represents the Lollipop Guild,” I replied. “She’ll represent them right through the front and out the back of your skull if you don’t show a little respect.
Jim Butcher (Skin Game (The Dresden Files, #15))
All was still: dark crawlers with their frozen treads, bulldozers motionless as boulders, backhoes with bent necks and sleeping hearts and shove-mouth jaws pillowed on gravel. And tractors. An antique Case Model DEX in signature flambeau red, last year's twenty-foot-tall New Holland TV140 gleaming like a groomed thoroughbred, Minneapolis-Molines and John Deeres and Steigers and Fords and still, among them all, nothing quite like the Deutz.
Josh Weil (The New Valley: Novellas)
He could do little. Brandy might help, he thought, but when he poured some into the hurt man’s mouth it ran back out again. Presently a colonel, Johnston’s chief of staff, came hurrying into the ravine. But he could do nothing either. He knelt down facing the general. “Johnston, do you know me? Johnston, do you know me?” he kept asking, over and over, nudging the general’s shoulder as he spoke. But Johnston did not know him. Johnston was dead.
Shelby Foote (The Civil War, Vol. 1: Fort Sumter to Perryville)
Have you ever done something that you were really ashamed of? I mean somehing so bad you felt sick just thinking about it?'
'Everyone has. Why, what'd you do?'
'I didn't say goodbye to Mum.'
'That's not so bad.'
'Did you say goodbye to your mum before she left?' I'd never asked Martin about this before. I didn't want to hear the answer.
'She left before I had a chance.'
'That's what I like about you, Faltrain.You always know just what to say.
Cath Crowley (The Life and Times of Gracie Faltrain (Gracie Faltrain, #1))
Bernie Jackson found his daughter wrapped up in her sheets, whimpering mutedly as her pillow was shoved into her mouth. He shook her awake, and she lashed out, kicking him in the rib cage with her one free foot.
Melody opened her eyes wide, and stared at him as though in terror. A moment later the girl relaxed her expression as the image of her father, and not a saliva-producing Wolf, was standing over her.
“I'm going to let that slide because you seemed to have been in the middle of being eaten by a monster.” He was clutching his midsection as if from pain, the squashed remnants of a soft brown cookie squeezing between his fingers as though dough from a pasta machine.
BMB Johnson (Melody Jackson v. the Hound from Hell (It happened on Lafayette Street Season One Book 2))
How can I make a stranger see her as she stopped in the hall at the foot of the stairs and turned to us? I have never been able to describe even my fictitious characters except by their actions. It has always seemed to me that in a novel the reader should be allowed to imagine a character in any way he chooses: I do not want to supply him with ready-made illustrations. Now I am betrayed by my own technique, for I do not want any other woman substituted for Sarah, I want the reader to see the one broad forehead and bold mouth, the conformation of the skull, but all I can convey is an indeterminate figure turning in the dripping mackintosh, saying, 'Yes, Henry?' and then 'You?
Graham Greene (The End of the Affair)
dont get me wrong oblivion
I never loved you kiddo
you that was always sticking around
spoiling me for everyone else
telling me how it would make
you nutty if I didnt let you
go the distance
and I gave you my breasts to feel
and my mouth to kiss
O I was too good to you oblivion old kid thats all
and when I might have told you
to go ahead and croak yourselflike
you was always threatning you are
are going to do
I said go on you inter-
I let you hang around
and Ive been getting mine
theres a fellow I love like I never love anyone else thats six
foot two tall with a face like any girl would die to kiss and a skin
like a little kittens
thats asked me to go to Murrays tonight with him and see the cab-
aret and dance you know
if he asks me to take another Im going to and if he asks me to take
another after that Im going to do that and if he puts me into a taxi
and tells the driver to take her easy and steer for the morning Im
going to let him and if he starts in right away putting it to me in
Im not going to whisper
do you get me
not that Im tired of automats and Childss and handling out ribbon to
old ladies that aint got three teeth and being followed home by pimps
and stewed guys and sleeping lonely in a whitewashed room three thou-
sand below Zero oh no
I could stand that
but its that Im O Gawd how tired
of seeing the white face of you and
feeling the old hands of you and
being teased and jollied about you
and being prayed and implored and
bribed and threatened
to give you my beautiful white body
Tall, way taller than her five foot five frame, his body bulged with muscles covered in tanned skin. He possessed layered down brown hair with gold highlights, vivid turquoise eyes and chiseled features, including a strong straight nose--surprising because with a taunting mouth like his she expected he'd gotten it broken more than once in his life--a square chin, and wickedly full lips that now quirked into a grin.
-"Enjoying the view?" he taunted.
-"Deciding what part to carve off your body first," she replied."Do you have a name by the way? Or should I just refer to you as 'that asshole'?"
-"You can call me Remy, but when I get your thighs around my neck, feel free to call me God. It totally pisses Lucifer's brother off, which means brownie points for me.
Eve Langlais (A Demon and His Witch (Welcome to Hell, #1))
When I stopped I begun to hear all sorts of things I hadnt heard while I was running. It was like being born again, coming into a new world. There was a great crash and clatter of firing, and over all this I could hear them all around me, screaming and yelping like on a foxhunt except there was something crazy mixed up in it too, like horses trapped in a burning barn. I thought theyd all gone crazy—they looked it, for a fact. Their faces were split wide open with screaming, mouths twisted every which way, and this wild lunatic yelping coming out. It wasnt like they were yelling with their mouths: it was more like the yelling was something pent up inside them and they were opening their mouths to let it out. That was the first time I really knew how scared I was.
Shelby Foote (Shiloh)
Here is what I do on the first day of snowfall every year: I step out of the house early in the morning, still in my pajamas, hugging my arms against the chill. I find the driveway, my father’s car, the walls, the trees, the rooftops, and the hills buried under a foot of snow. I smile. The sky is seamless and blue, the snow so white my eyes burn. I shovel a handful of the fresh snow into my mouth, listen to the muffled stillness broken only by the cawing of crows. I walk down the front steps, barefoot, and call for Hassan to come out and see.
Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner)
Look, the Latin name for this fish is Carcharodon carcharias, okay? The closest ancestor we can find for it is something called Carcharodon megalodon, a fish that existed maybe thirty or forty thousand years ago. We have fossil teeth from megalodon. They’re six inches long. That would put the fish at between eighty and a hundred feet. And the teeth are exactly like the teeth you see in great whites today. What I’m getting at is, suppose the two fish are really one species. What’s to say megalodon is really extinct? Why should it be? Not lack of food. If there’s enough down there to support whales, there’s enough to support sharks that big. Just because we’ve never seen a hundred-foot white doesn’t mean they couldn’t exist. They’d have no reason to come to the surface. All their food would be way down in the deep. A dead one wouldn’t float to shore, because they don’t have flotation bladders. Can you imagine what a hundred-foot white would look like? Can you imagine what it could do, what kind of power it would have?It would be like a locomotive with a mouth full of butcher knives.
Thought I saw you on the beach this morning...Thought I saw you standing on the white strand, your back to the wind. The rain had stopped and there was a brisk clarity in the air. You watched me over your left shoulder, head tucked in coyly. Seabirds flying low in the sky, and the grey-green waves at your foot. A whole panorama thrown up behind you.
I was on the coast road coming back from the shops. I stopped walking once I caught sight of you. You were wearing a reefer jacket with the collar turned up against the weather. It might have been navy, but it looked black in the distance. As did your trousers. As did your shoes. All of you was black except your face and hair. You wore no hat...Never once saw you in Winter clothes, yet there you were as clear as day for a whole moment. Only your eyes were visible above the upturned collar. Your hair was in your eyes. You watched me through those pale strands. And I watched you. Intently.
The man from down the road drove by in his faded red car. He was going the other way, so he didn't offer a lift. He just waved. I waved back. And then I turned to you again, and we looked at each other a little longer. Very calm. Heart barely shifted. Too far away to see your features. No matter. There was salt on your face. Sea salt. It was in your hair. It was on your mouth. It was all over you, as though you gazed at me through ice. And it was all over me. It tingled on my skin.
After a time I moved off, and you broke into two. You realigned yourself into driftwood and stone. I came inside and lit a fire. Sat in front of it and watched it burn. The window fogged up as my clothes and hair dried out. That was hours ago. The fire is nearly gone. But I can still taste the salt on my lips. It is a dry and stinging substance and it is everywhere now. It has touched everything that is left. Coated every surface with its sparkling silt.
I will always be thirsty.
Claire Kilroy (All Summer)
Wow wow wow is all I can say! Remember how I always buy lunchtime Scratch-Off ticket? Have I said? Maybe did not say? Well, every Friday, to reward self for good week, I stop at store near home, treat self to Butterfinger, plus Scratch-Off ticket. Sometimes, if hard week, two Butterfingers. Sometimes, if very hard week, three Butterfingers. But, if three Butterfingers, no Scratch-Off. But Friday won ten grand!! On Scratch-Off! Dropped both Butterfingers, stood there holding dime used to scratch, mouth hanging open. Kind of reeled into magazine rack. Guy at register took ticket, read ticket, said, Winner! Guy righted magazine rack, shook my hand.
Raced home on foot, forgetting car. Raced back for car. Halfway back, thought, What the heck, raced home on foot. Pam raced out, said, Where is car? Showed her Scratch-Off ticket. She stood stunned in yard.
Are we rich now? Thomas said, racing out, dragging Ferber by collar.
Not rich, Pam said.
Richer, I said.
Richer, Pam said. Damn.
All began dancing around yard, Ferber looking witless at sudden dancing, then doing dance of own, by chasing own tail.
George Saunders (Tenth of December)
Listen very carefully. Because I'm only going to lay this out for you once. I'm no longer the easy prey I once was and if you go up against me I will make sure you end up behind bars. You've fraudulently pocketed the money from the video. Our lawyers already have a criminal suit against you ready to go. Unless you're particularly keen on jail, you will leave my family alone, and you will withdraw the video and return all that money to the people you stole it from."
Julia opened her mouth, but Trisha held up her hand and she closed it. "And if you do one thing to harm DJ"- because suddenly Trisha was sure Julia had something on DJ; her nineties-Bollywood-plot theory didn't seem so farfetched- "I will make sure that every one of the families you've preyed on to make money off their tragedies gets together and sues your ass until every penny you've ever leeched is gone. Now get out of my office. Get out of my building- which by the way is private property. Soliciting business here is illegal. So the next time you think of setting foot here, know that I will have security throw you out on your cowardly, pathetic ass.
Sonali Dev (Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors (The Rajes, #1))
Are you falling asleep before midnight?" Cassie leaned over the edge of the couch to look at Jack. He was stretched out on the floor, his head resting against a pillow near the center of the couch, his eyes closed. She was now wide awake and headache free. He wasn't in so good a shape. "The new year is eighteen minutes away."
"Come kiss me awake in seventeen minutes."
She blinked at that lazy suggestion, gave a quick grin, and dropped Benji on his chest.
He opened one eye to look up at her as he settled his hand lightly on the kitten. "That's a no?"
She smiled. She was looking forward to dating him, but she was smart enough to know he'd value more what he had to work at.
He sighed. "That was a no. How much longer am I going to be on the fence with you?"
"Is that a rhetorical question or do you want an answer?" If this was the right relationship God had for her future, time taken now would improve it, not hurt it. She was ready to admit she was tired of being alone.
He scratched Benji under the chin and the kitten curled up on his chest and batted a paw at his hand. "Rhetorical. I'd hate to get my hopes up."
She leaned her chin against her hand, looking down at him. "I like you, Jack."
"You just figured that out?"
"I'll like you more when you catch my mouse."
"The only way we are going to catch T.J. is to turn this place into a cheese factory and help her get so fat and slow that she can no longer run and hide."
Or you could move your left hand about three inches to the right right and catch her."
Jack opened one eye and glanced toward his left. The white mouse was sitting motionless beside the plate he had set down earlier. "Let her have the cheeseburger. You put mustard on it."
He smiled. "I'm serious."
"So am I."
Jack leaned over, caught Cassie's foot, and tumbled her to the floor. "Oops."
"That wasn't fair. You scared my mouse."
Jack set the kitten on the floor. "Benji, go get her mouse."
The kitten took off after it.
"You're teaching her to be a mouser."
"Working on it. Come here. You owe me a kiss for the new year."
"Do I?" She reached over to the bowl of chocolates on the table and unwrapped a kiss. She popped the chocolate kiss into his mouth. "I called your bluff."
He smiled and rubbed his hand across her forearm braced against his chest. "That will last me until next year."
She glanced at the muted television. "That's two minutes away."
"Two minutes to put this year behind us." He slid one arm behind his head, adjusting the pillow.
She patted his chest with her hand. "That shouldn't take long." She felt him laugh. "It ended up being a very good year," she offered.
"Next year will be even better."
"Absolutely." He reached behind her ear and a gold coin reappeared. "What do you think? Heads you say yes when I ask you out, tails you say no?"
She grinned at the idea. "Are you cheating again?" She took the coin. "This one isn't edible," she realized, disappointed. And then she turned it over. "A real two-headed coin?"
"A rare find." He smiled. "Like you."
"That sounds like a bit of honey."
"I'm good at being mushy."
He glanced over her shoulder. "Turn up the TV. There's the countdown."
She grabbed for the remote and hit the wrong button. The TV came on full volume just as the fireworks went off. Benji went racing past them spooked by the noise to dive under the collar of the jacket Jack had tossed on the floor. The white mouse scurried to run into the jacket sleeve.
"Tell me I didn't see what I think I just did."
"I won't tell you," Jack agreed, amused. He watched the jacket move and raised an eyebrow. "Am I supposed to rescue the kitten or the mouse?
Dee Henderson (The Protector (O'Malley, #4))
But even as he reached out to cup he face he heard an angry buzzing, and a huge black bee dive-bombed him from out of nowhere. With an oath, Thomas jumped back, swatting ineffectually at the persistent insect. As his left foot came down he turned his ankle and nearly fell.
Alexandria’s hand covered her mouth in horror. Aidan, stop it right now!
I cannot imagine what you are accusing me of, Aidan returned innocently from the living room. But I have not done anything. He smiled and moved slowly toward her. Yet.
“Marie!” In a panic, Alexandria called out as loudly as she could.
Aidan laughed as the housekeeper hurried in. Little coward, run while you can.
Though they were half a room apart and Marie was squarely between them, Alexandria felt the brush of his fingers on her skin, her face, her throat. They trailed lower, feather-light, to touch the aching swell of her breast before the sensation was gone.
“What is it, Alexandria?” Marie asked, her hands on her hips, glaring at Aidan.
He held up a placating hand, laughing. “I am innocent. I was a perfect gentleman to her visitor.”
“He spilled Thomas’s coffee, made him sneeze, smeared whipped cream over him, and chased him with a bee,” Alexandria accused.
While Marie struggled to keep a straight face, Alexandria delivered a final outrage. “And he was going to wither my flowers.”
“Aidan!” Marie reprimanded sharply, but there was laughter in her eyes.
Christine Feehan (Dark Gold (Dark, #3))
One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious, as in It’s a nice day, or You’re very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you all right? At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behaviour. If human beings don’t keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months’ consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favour of a new one. If they don’t keep exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working. After a while he abandoned this one as well as being obstructively cynical and decided he quite liked human beings after all, but he always remained desperately worried about the terrible number of things they didn’t know about.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
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.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opposition (Lux, #5))
The six elephants stood, roped each by the foreleg side by side in the vast thirty-foot tent put up several days since for their comfort; their trunks peacefully swaying as the cowardie scuttled back and forth with limp forkloads of hay. Small puffs of steam came from their mouths. Their breath was sweet, filling the sun-warmed, crisp air; and their hides, soothed, clean and lustrous from the water, lay calm on their great hips like the skin of the moon. Only at the end of the line the great bull stirred a little, the towering back swathed and padded and the knowing eye blurred.
Dorothy Dunnett (Queens' Play (The Lymond Chronicles, #2))
The solitary pilgrim drawn up before it had traveled far to be here and he knelt in the hot sand and held his numbed hands out while all about in that circle attended companies of lesser auxiliaries routed forth into the inordinate day, small owls that crouched silently and stood from foot to foot and tarantulas and solpugas and vinegarroons and the vicious mygale spiders and beaded lizards with mouths black as a chowdog’s, deadly to man, and the little desert basilisks that jet blood from their eyes and the small sandvipers like seemly gods, silent and the same, in Jedda, in Babylon.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West)
This disease, however, had entered their lives treacherously, without warning. Now he traveled around the town wrapped from head to foot in thick clothes, with a scarf over his mouth, protective gloves over his hands, and his head covered. He visited the endless dying and did not dare to have skin-to-skin contact with them. He visited those to whom he could not give words of reassurance or hope in their agony, and those whom, in his outfit, he could not offer the comfort of seeing a friendly face at the end of life. For whenever they saw him arrive, they knew that it was to sentence them to death.
Sofía Segovia (The Murmur of Bees)
The model stripped down naked and stood with her arms out to her sides while genderless cohorts sprayed her body with large silver canisters of foundation. They wore masks over there faces and sprayed her from head to toe like they were putting out a fire. They airbrushed her into a mono-toned six-foot-two column of a human being with no visible veins, nipples, nails, lips, or eyelashes. When every single thing that was real about the model was gone, the make up artist fug through a suite case of brushes and plowed through hundreds of tubes of flesh colored colors and began to draw human features onto her face. At the same time, the hair stylist meticulously sewed with a needle and thread strand after strand of long blond hairs onto her thin light brown locks, creating a thick full mane of shimmering gold. The model had brought her own chef, who cooked her spinach soup from scratch. The soup was fed to her by one of her lackeys, who existed solely for this purpose. The blond boy stood in front of her, blowing on the soup and then feeding it to her from a small silver child's spoon, just big enough to fit between her lips. the model's mouth was barely open, maybe a quarter of an inch wide, so that she would not crack the flesh colored paint.
Margot Berwin (Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire)
After so much imposture, so much fraud, it is comforting to contemplate a beggar. He, at least, neither lies nor lies to himself: his doctrine, if he has one, he embodies; work he dislikes, and he proves it; wanting to possess nothing, he cultivates his impoverishment, the condition of his freedom. His thought is resolved into his being and his being into his thought. He has nothing, he is himself, he endures: to live on a footing with eternity is to live from day to day, from hand to mouth. Thus, for him, other men are imprisoned in illusion. If he depends on them, he takes his revenge by studying them, a specialist in the underbelly of “noble” sentiments. His sloth, of a very rare quality, truly “delivers” him from a world of fools and dupes. About renunciation he knows more than many of your esoteric works. To be convinced of this, you need only walk out into the street … But you prefer the texts that teach mendicancy. Since no practical consequence accompanies your meditations, it will not be surprising that the merest bum is worth more than you … Can we conceive a Buddha faithful to his truths and to his palace? One is not “delivered-alive” and still a land-owner. I reject the generalization of the lie, I repudiate those who exhibit their so-called “salvation” and prop it with a doctrine which does not emanate from themselves. To unmask them, to knock them off the pedestal they have hoisted themselves on, to hold them up to scorn is a campaign no one should remain indifferent to. For at any price we must keep those who have too clear a conscience from living and dying in peace.
Emil M. Cioran (The Temptation to Exist)
At Sea Oak there's no sea and no oak, just a hundred subsidized apartments and a rear view of FedEx. Min and Jade are feeding their babies while watching How My Child Died Violently. Min's my sister. Jade's our cousin. How My Child Died Violently is hosted by Matt Merton, a six-foot-five blond who's always giving the parents shoulder rubs and telling them they've been sainted by pain. Today's show features a ten-year-old who killed a five-year-old for refusing to join his gang. The ten-year-old strangled the five-year-old with a jump rope, filled his mouth with baseball cards, then locked himself in the bathroom and wouldn't come out until his parents agreed to take him to FunTimeZone, where he confessed, then dove screaming into a mesh cage full of plastic balls. The audience is shrieking threats at the parents of the killer while the parents of the victim urge restraint and forgiveness to such an extent that finally the audience starts shrieking threats at them too. Then it's a commercial.
George Saunders (Pastoralia)
The door opened, and it was
like an apparition materializing before me, some sort of heavenly messenger descended from above.
I’d never been away from her for this long, and after all this time, part of me wondered if I was
Her hand went to her mouth, and she stared at me wide-eyed. I think she felt the same way-and she
hadn’t even had warning of my visit. She’d just been told I was coming “soon.” No doubt I seemed
like a phantom to her, too.
And with that reunion… it was like I was emerging from a cave-one I’d been in for almost five
weeks-into the bright light of day. When Dimitri had turned, I’d felt like I’d lost part of my soul. When
I’d left Lissa, another piece had gone. Now, seeing her… I began to think maybe my soul might be
able to heal. Maybe I could go on after all. I didn’t feel 100 percent whole yet, but her presence filled
up that missing part of me. I felt more like myself than I had in ages.
A world of questions and confusion hung in the silence between us. In spite of everything we’d been
through with Avery, there was still a lot of unresolved business from when I had first left the school.
For the first time since I’d set foot on the Academy’s grounds, I felt afraid. Afraid that Lissa would
reject me or scream at me for what I’d done.
Instead, she drew me into a giant hug. “I knew it,” she said. She was already choking on her sobs. “I
knew you’d come back.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
She needs to think you're still a couple. And you'll need to be convincing about it, too. Lots of kissing and stuff in case your mother tries to spy on you."
Emma stops chewing. Galen drops his fork.
"Uh, I don't think we need to take it that far-" Emma starts.
"Oh, no? Teenagers don't kiss their sweethearts anymore?" Rachel crosses her arms, wagging the spatula to the beat of her tapping foot.
"They do, but-"
"No buts. Come on, sweetie. You think your mom's going to believe you keep your hands off Galen?"
"Probably not, but-"
"I said no buts. Look at you two. You're not even sitting next to each other! You need some practice, I'd say. Galen, go sit beside her. Hold her hand."
"Rachel," he says, shaking his head, "this can wait-"
"Fine," Emma grinds out. They both turn to her. Still frowning, she nods. "We'll make it a point to kiss and hold hands when she's around."
Galen almost drops his fork again. No way. Kissing Emma is the last thing I need to do. Especially when her lips turn that red. "Emma, we don't have to kiss. She already knows I want to sleep with you." He cringes as soon as he says it. He doesn't have to look up to know the sizzling sound in the kitchen is from Rachel spitting her pineapple juice into the hot skillet. "What I mean is, I already told her I want to sleep with you. I mean, I told her I wanted to sleep with you because she already thinks I do. Want to, I mean-" If a Syrena could drown, this is what it would feel like.
Emma holds up her hand. "I get it, Galen. It's fine. I told her the same thing."
Rachel plops down beside Emma, wiping the juice spittle from her face with a napkin. "So you're telling me your mom thinks you two want to sleep with each other, but you don't think she'll be expecting you to kiss."
Emma shakes her head and shovels a forkful of omelet into her mouth, then chases it with some juice. She says, "You're right, Rachel. We'll let her catch us making out or something."
Rachel nods. "That should work."
"What does that mean? Making out?" Galen says between bites.
Emma puts her fork down. "It means, Galen, that you'll need to force yourself to kiss me. Like you mean it. For a long time. Think you can do that? Do Syrena kiss?"
He tries to swallow the bite he forgot to chew. Force myself? I'll be lucky if I can stop myself. It had never occurred to him to kiss anyone-before he met Emma. These days, it's all he can think about, her lips on his. He decides it was better for both of them when Emma kept rejecting him. Now she's ordering him to kiss her-for a long time. Great. "Yes, they kiss. I mean, we kiss. I mean, I can force myself, if I have to." He doesn't meet Rachel's eyes as she plunks more fish onto his plate, but he can almost feel her smirking down at him.
"We'll just have to plan it, that's all. Give you time to prepare," Emma tells him.
"Prepare for what?" Rachel scoffs. "Kissing isn't supposed to be planned. That's why it's so fun."
"Yeah, but this isn't for fun, remember?" Emma says. "This is just for show."
"You don't think kissing Galen would be fun?"
Emma sighs, putting her hands on her cheeks. "You know, I appreciate that you're trying to help us, Rachel. But I can't talk about this anymore. Seriously, I'm going to break out into hives. We'll make it work when the time comes."
Rachel laughs and removes Emma's plate after she declines a second helping. "If you say so. But I still think you should practice.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
The first warp-spasm seized Cúchulainn, and made him into a monstrous thing, hideous and shapeless, unheard of. His shanks and his joints, every knuckle and angle and organ from head to foot, shook like a tree in the flood or a reed in the stream. His body made a furious twist inside his skin, so that his feet and shins and knees switched to the rear and his heels and calves switched to the front. The balled sinews of his calves switched to the front of his shins, each big knot the size of a warrior’s bunched fist. On his head the temple-sinews stretched to the nape of his neck, each mighty, immense, measureless knob as big as the head of a month-old child. His face and features became a red bowl: he sucked one eye so deep into his head that a wild crane couldn’t probe it onto his cheek out of the depths of his skull; the other eye fell out along his cheek. His mouth weirdly distorted: his cheek peeled back from his jaws until the gullet appeared, his lungs and liver flapped in his mouth and throat, his lower jaw struck the upper a lion-killing blow, and fiery flakes large as a ram’s fleece reached his mouth from his throat.
Thomas Kinsella (The Táin: From the Irish epic Táin Bó Cuailnge)
I did dream about you," she confessed.
Derek smoothed his hand over her chestnut hair and brought her head closer to his. "What was I doing in your dreams?" he asked against her lips.
"Chasing me," she admitted in a mortified whisper.
A delicious grin curved his mouth. "Did I catch you?"
Before she could reply his lips were on hers. His mouth twisted gently, his tongue hunting for an intimate taste of her. Closing her eyes, Sara made no protest as he took her wrists in his hands and twined her arms around his neck. He stretched one of his legs out to rest his foot on the seat. Caught in the lee of his powerful thighs, she had no choice but to let her body rest on the hard length of his. Leisurely he fondled and kissed her, wringing succulent delight from every nerve. As he began to slide his hand into her bodice, the thick wool fabric of her gown resisted his efforts. Foiled in his attempt to reach her breasts, he pushed a lock of hair aside and dragged his mouth over her throat. She stiffened, unable to hold back a whimper of pleasure. The carriage swayed and jolted suddenly, forcing their bodies closer with the impact.
Derek felt himself approaching a flashpoint beyond which there was no return. With a tortured groan he pried Sara's voluptuous body away from his and held her away, while he struggled to emerge from a scarlet fog of desire. "Angel," he said hoarsely, nudging her toward the opposite seat. "You... you'd better go over there."
Bemused, Sara nearly toppled to the floor from his gentle push. "But why?"
Derek lowered his head and tunneled his fingers into his black hair. He started as he felt her hand brush the nape of his neck. "Don't touch me," he said, more roughly than he intended. Raising his head, he stared into Sara's perplexed face with a crooked smile. "Sorry," he muttered. "But if you don't move away, sweet, you're going to be lifting your heels for me right here.
Lisa Kleypas (Dreaming of You (The Gamblers of Craven's, #2))
The door suddenly opened. A leggy young brunette took two steps into the office and stopped short. Her brown eyes widened, she hastily excused herself and turned to leave. Pérez’s jaw dropped as he looked up at her high heels and ankles. He crawled out from under the desk and turned questioningly to his partner. Thorne didn't hesitate. He took one swift stride from behind, clamped a hand tightly over her mouth, and pulled her back into the room, disregarding her wildly flailing legs and frantic attempts to claw his hands away. He shut the door with a backward thrust of his foot.
"What do we do now?" Pérez whined.
"Observe." Thorne spoke calmly, as would a professor demonstrating a familiar operation to a beginner. Using both hands, he briskly snapped her neck. She stopped struggling.
Clark Zlotchew (The Caucasian Menace)
I swear, I stick my foot in my mouth more times than I’d like to count with this girl and the reminder of her earlier suggestion comes to mind, but my foot is going nowhere near my ass. Shuddering, the memory of that sorority girl sticking her finger in that place makes me cringe. Sure, I know some guys are cool with that and they like it, but I swear my cock deflated the moment she touched me there. Never fucking again.
Tessa Teevan (Incinerate (Explosive, #2))
All of a sudden, she was there, breaking away from the little group of women and running toward him. She raced across the space between them and threw her arms around his neck. The force of her body knocked him back a few steps as she wrapped around him like a trumpet vine on a cornstalk.
He regained his footing and snaked his arms around her, holding her close. His
exhaustion disappeared in a moment, erased by the incredible fact that Catherine was in his arms right here on the street in front of half the town, lifting her face to kiss him. He
couldn’t refuse her offer and bent his head to cover her soft lips with his. The heat and pressure of her mouth took away all the residual anxiety and fear still floating in him and filled him with wild elation instead.
After several long minutes of feasting on her mouth like a starving man, he pulled away and his eyes opened. Her tear-streaked face filled his vision. His stomach dropped.
Why was she crying? What had happened to her?
He was aware of the crowd of people around them. Glancing up, he saw many eyes focused on him and Catherine, mouths talking, expressions of surprise and shock. He let go of her and stepped back, although it was far too late to protect her reputation.
Catherine cupped his face, drawing his attention back to her, and her lips were
moving. “…don’t you? Never again!” She frowned and signed as she spoke. “Never!
Understand? I love you.” Her graceful hands made the love sign, which looked as though she was offering her heart to him.
At last Jim realized she was upset with him for putting himself in danger. If he’d doubted that she cared, those doubts evaporated under the force of her fury. He nodded and promised.
Bonnie Dee (A Hearing Heart)
To fill the days up of his dateless year
Flame from Queen Helen to Queen Guenevere?
For first of all the sphery signs whereby
Love severs light from darkness, and most high,
In the white front of January there glows
The rose-red sign of Helen like a rose:
And gold-eyed as the shore-flower shelterless
Whereon the sharp-breathed sea blows bitterness,
A storm-star that the seafarers of love
Strain their wind-wearied eyes for glimpses of,
Shoots keen through February's grey frost and damp
The lamplike star of Hero for a lamp;
The star that Marlowe sang into our skies
With mouth of gold, and morning in his eyes;
And in clear March across the rough blue sea
The signal sapphire of Alcyone
Makes bright the blown bross of the wind-foot year;
And shining like a sunbeam-smitten tear
Full ere it fall, the fair next sign in sight
Burns opal-wise with April-coloured light
When air is quick with song and rain and flame,
My birth-month star that in love's heaven hath name
Iseult, a light of blossom and beam and shower,
My singing sign that makes the song-tree flower;
Next like a pale and burning pearl beyond
The rose-white sphere of flower-named Rosamond
Signs the sweet head of Maytime; and for June
Flares like an angered and storm-reddening moon
Her signal sphere, whose Carthaginian pyre
Shadowed her traitor's flying sail with fire;
Next, glittering as the wine-bright jacinth-stone,
A star south-risen that first to music shone,
The keen girl-star of golden Juliet bears
Light northward to the month whose forehead wears
Her name for flower upon it, and his trees
Mix their deep English song with Veronese;
And like an awful sovereign chrysolite
Burning, the supreme fire that blinds the night,
The hot gold head of Venus kissed by Mars,
A sun-flower among small sphered flowers of stars,
The light of Cleopatra fills and burns
The hollow of heaven whence ardent August yearns;
And fixed and shining as the sister-shed
Sweet tears for Phaethon disorbed and dead,
The pale bright autumn's amber-coloured sphere,
That through September sees the saddening year
As love sees change through sorrow, hath to name
Francesca's; and the star that watches flame
The embers of the harvest overgone
Is Thisbe's, slain of love in Babylon,
Set in the golden girdle of sweet signs
A blood-bright ruby; last save one light shines
An eastern wonder of sphery chrysopras,
The star that made men mad, Angelica's;
And latest named and lordliest, with a sound
Of swords and harps in heaven that ring it round,
Last love-light and last love-song of the year's,
Gleams like a glorious emerald Guenevere's.
Algernon Charles Swinburne (Tristram of Lyonesse: And Other Poems)
Returning from a hunting trip, Orde-Lees, traveling on skis across the rotting surface of the ice, had just about reached camp when an evil, knoblike head burst out of the water just in front of him. He turned and fled, pushing as hard as he could with his ski poles and shouting for Wild to bring his rifle. The animal—a sea leopard—sprang out of the water and came after him, bounding across the ice with the peculiar rocking-horse gait of a seal on land. The beast looked like a small dinosaur, with a long, serpentine neck. After a half-dozen leaps, the sea leopard had almost caught up with Orde-Lees when it unaccountably wheeled and plunged again into the water. By then, Orde-Lees had nearly reached the opposite side of the floe; he was about to cross to safe ice when the sea leopard’s head exploded out of the water directly ahead of him. The animal had tracked his shadow across the ice. It made a savage lunge for Orde-Lees with its mouth open, revealing an enormous array of sawlike teeth. Orde-Lees’ shouts for help rose to screams and he turned and raced away from his attacker. The animal leaped out of the water again in pursuit just as Wild arrived with his rifle. The sea leopard spotted Wild, and turned to attack him. Wild dropped to one knee and fired again and again at the onrushing beast. It was less than 30 feet away when it finally dropped. Two dog teams were required to bring the carcass into camp. It measured 12 feet long, and they estimated its weight at about 1,100 pounds. It was a predatory species of seal, and resembled a leopard only in its spotted coat—and its disposition. When it was butchered, balls of hair 2 and 3 inches in diameter were found in its stomach—the remains of crabeater seals it had eaten. The sea leopard’s jawbone, which measured nearly 9 inches across, was given to Orde-Lees as a souvenir of his encounter. In his diary that night, Worsley observed: “A man on foot in soft, deep snow and unarmed would not have a chance against such an animal as they almost bound along with a rearing, undulating motion at least five miles an hour. They attack without provocation, looking on man as a penguin or seal.
Alfred Lansing (Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage)
The man under the bed The man who has been there for years waiting The man who waits for my floating bare foot The man who is silent as dustballs riding the darkness The man whose breath is the breathing of small white butterflies The man whose breathing I hear when I pick up the phone The man in the mirror whose breath blackens silver The boneman in closets who rattles the mothballs The man at the end of the end of the line I met him tonight I always meet him He stands in the amber air of a bar When the shrimp curl like beckoning fingers ride through the air on their toothpick skewers When the ice cracks & I am about to fall through he arranges his face around its hollows he opens his pupilless eyes at me For years he has waited to drag me down & now he tells me he has only waited to take me home We waltz through the street like death & the maiden We float through the wall of the wall of my room If he’s my dream he will fold back into my body His breath writes letters of mist on the glass of my cheeks I wrap myself around him like the darkness I breathe into his mouth & make him real
Erica Jong (Fear of Flying)
Put yourself in his place and let the white man ask himself this question: What would I do if threatened as the Indian has been and is? Suppose a race superior to mine were to land upon the shores of this great continent, trade or cheat us out of our land foot by foot, gradually encroach upon our domain until we were finally driven, a degraded, demoralized band into a small corner of the continent, where to live at all it was necessary to steal, perhaps to do worse? Suppose that in a spirit of justice, this superior race should recognize the fact that it was in duty bound to place food in our mouths and blankets on our backs, what would we do in the premises? I have seen one who hates an Indian as he does a snake, and thinks there is no good Indian but a dead one, on having the proposition put to him in this way, grind his teeth in rage and exclaim, “I would cut the heart out of everyone I could lay my hand on,” and so he would; and so we all would.
Peter Cozzens (The Earth Is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West)
Can you sharpen this for me, please?”
Logan leaned across the table and took the pencil from him. “You want me to play with your pencil, Tate?”
“Hilarious. The sharpener is right by you. You just have to pick it up and slide it in.”
As soon as the words left his mouth and Logan’s quirked into an arrogant line, Tate bit his tongue.
“Really? Did you really just say that to me?”
Feeling more comfortable than ever with Logan and this group, Tate shrugged and nodded. Time to give it to Logan as good as he gives.
“Yeah. Is there a problem? You just line it up...and slide it in.”
“You know, Tate—”
“Don't do it.” Tate cut him off as he moved his foot, the one he’d had sitting between Logan’s feet all night, so his shin bumped Logan’s calf.
“Say something dirty. I know you're dying to, but just sharpen the pencil.”
Logan picked up the sharpener and made a big show of inserting the tip in the hole.
“Jesus,” Shelly muttered from beside Logan. “I thought Rachel and Cole were bad.
Ella Frank (Take (Temptation, #2))
His thumb rubbed over her knee, and Priss wondered if he was aware of doing it, if he did it on purpose to turn her on, or if it was extension of the thoughts she saw flickering across his face.
“Trace . . .”
“It occurs to me that I didn’t see a single freckle on you. Not on your face.” He gave her a quick, level look. “And not on your body.”
“That’s kind of curious, don’t you think, given the color of your hair?”
Priss lifted his hand and dropped it over next to him. “Okay, first off, hands to yourself. Got it?”
He said nothing, but she saw the corner of his mouth tilt up in the slightest of smiles.
“Secondly, did you happen to notice that my brows and lashes are a darker brown without a hint of red?”
“Meaning I’m not like other redheads who are . . .” Her face heated. “Red all over.”
“Yeah?” He glanced at her lap meaningfully. “Do tell.”
Priss punched him in the shoulder. “I don’t like what you’re thinking.”
“You don’t know what I’m thinking.” And with another provoking grin, “Do you?”
Like she’d say it out loud? No way. Priss crossed her arms. “If you were hinting that you think I dye my hair, I don’t. Everything on me is natural.”
“No, we will not see a damn thing!”
Under his breath, Trace said, “I damn near saw today. If I’d moved a foot closer for a better look—”
“Stop it!” Priss felt heat throbbing in her face, and she hated it. “And that reminds me. I want you to delete that damned picture.”
“Not a chance. Seeing you in that getup was a trophy moment for me.
Lori Foster (Trace of Fever (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor, #2))
You have to stop letting me do this,” he bit off, half-angrily.
“If you’ll stop leaning on me so that I can get my hands on a blunt object, I’ll be happy to…!”
He kissed the words into oblivion. “It isn’t a joke,” he murmured into her mouth. His hips moved in a gentle, sensuous sweep against her hips. He felt her shiver.
“That’s…new,” she said with a strained attempt at humor.
“It isn’t,” he corrected. “I’ve just never let you feel it before.” He kissed her slowly, savoring the submission of her soft, warm lips. His hands swept under the blouse and up under her breasts in their lacy covering. He was going over the edge. If he did, he was going to take her with him, and it would damage both of them. He had to stop it, now, while he could. “Is this what Colby gets when he comes to see you?” he whispered with deliberate sarcasm.
It worked. She stepped on his foot as hard as she could with her bare instep. It surprised him more than it hurt him, but while he recoiled, she pushed him and tore out of his arms. Her eyes were lividly green through her glasses, her hair in disarray. She glared at him like a female panther.
“What Colby gets is none of your business! You get out of my apartment!” she raged at him.
She was magnificent, he thought, watching her with helpless delight. There wasn’t a man alive who could cow her, or bend her to his will. Even her drunken, brutal stepfather hadn’t been able to force her to do something she didn’t want to do.
“Oh, I hate that damned smug grin,” she threw at him, swallowing her fury. “Man, the conqueror!”
“That isn’t what I was thinking at all.” He sobered little by little. “My mother was a meek little thing when she was younger,” he recalled. “But she was forever throwing herself in front of me to keep my father from killing me. It was a long time until I grew big enough to protect her.”
She stared at him curiously, still shaken. “I don’t understand.”
“You have a fierce spirit,” he said quietly. “I admire it, even when it exasperates me. But it wouldn’t be enough to save you from a man bent on hurting you.”
He sighed heavily. “You’ve been…my responsibility…for a long time,” he said, choosing his words carefully. “No matter how old you grow, I’ll still feel protective about you. It’s the way I’m made.”
He meant to comfort, but the words hurt. She smiled anyway. “I can take care of myself.”
“Can you?” he said softly. He searched her eyes. “In a weak moment…”
“I don’t have too many of those. Mostly, you’re responsible for them,” she said with black humor. “Will you go away? I’m supposed to try to seduce you, not the reverse. You’re breaking the rules.”
His eyebrow lifted. Her sense of humor seemed to mend what was wrong between them. “You stopped trying to seduce me.”
“You kept turning me down,” she pointed out. “A woman’s ego can only take so much rejection.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
Suddenly, he's aware of something pushing onto his lap. The stupid monkey.
"Give him a cuddle," Valentine says. He's slid his thumb to the corner of his mouth so he can talk, but it still sounds slurry from the way he's holding it, so it won't fall out. "He'll stop you being all grumpy and stressed. He smells nice."
"It smells like its rotting," Lindsay says. He picks the thing up and sits it on the steering wheel so he can get a better look at it, trying not to touch its saliva-drenched foot.
"No he don't. He smells like being sleepy, and hiding under your covers when everybody's pissed off and shouting. He smells like what it feels like being all warm and safe under your covers."
Lindsay brings the thing to his face to give it an experimental sort of sniff. "Wrong. It smells like your spit." And his shampoo, and sort of musty, and something indefinable but unmistakable that makes him think of the way Valentine looks first think in the morning, when his hair's sticking up every which way and he's frowning slightly on opening his eyes like he can't remember where he is. He reaches over to tuck the monkey back between the kid's knees.
Richard Rider (Stockholm Syndrome (Stockholm Syndrome, #1))
I REMEMBER the day the Aleut ship came to our island. At first it seemed like a small shell afloat on the sea. Then it grew larger and was a gull with folded wings. At last in the rising sun it became what it really was—a red ship with two red sails. My brother and I had gone to the head of a canyon that winds down to a little harbor which is called Coral Cove. We had gone to gather roots that grow there in the spring. My brother Ramo was only a little boy half my age, which was twelve. He was small for one who had lived so many suns and moons, but quick as a cricket. Also foolish as a cricket when he was excited. For this reason and because I wanted him to help me gather roots and not go running off, I said nothing about the shell I saw or the gull with folded wings. I went on digging in the brush with my pointed stick as though nothing at all were happening on the sea. Even when I knew for sure that the gull was a ship with two red sails. But Ramo’s eyes missed little in the world. They were black like a lizard’s and very large and, like the eyes of a lizard, could sometimes look sleepy. This was the time when they saw the most. This was the way they looked now. They were half-closed, like those of a lizard lying on a rock about to flick out its tongue to catch a fly. “The sea is smooth,” Ramo said. “It is a flat stone without any scratches.” My brother liked to pretend that one thing was another. “The sea is not a stone without scratches,” I said. “It is water and no waves.” “To me it is a blue stone,” he said. “And far away on the edge of it is a small cloud which sits on the stone.” “Clouds do not sit on stones. On blue ones or black ones or any kind of stones.” “This one does.” “Not on the sea,” I said. “Dolphins sit there, and gulls, and cormorants, and otter, and whales too, but not clouds.” “It is a whale, maybe.” Ramo was standing on one foot and then the other, watching the ship coming, which he did not know was a ship because he had never seen one. I had never seen one either, but I knew how they looked because I had been told. “While you gaze at the sea,” I said, “I dig roots. And it is I who will eat them and you who will not.” Ramo began to punch at the earth with his stick, but as the ship came closer, its sails showing red through the morning mist, he kept watching it, acting all the time as if he were not. “Have you ever seen a red whale?” he asked. “Yes,” I said, though I never had. “Those I have seen are gray.” “You are very young and have not seen everything that swims in the world.” Ramo picked up a root and was about to drop it into the basket. Suddenly his mouth opened wide and then closed again. “A canoe!” he cried. “A great one, bigger than all of our canoes together. And red!” A canoe or a ship, it did not matter to Ramo. In the very next breath he tossed the root in the air and was gone, crashing through the brush, shouting as he went. I kept on gathering roots, but my hands trembled as I dug in the earth, for I was more excited than my brother. I knew that it was a ship there on the
Scott O'Dell (Island of the Blue Dolphins)
One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious, as in It’s a nice day, or You’re very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you all right? At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behavior. If human beings don’t keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months’ consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favor of a new one. If they don’t keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide, #1))
All right, you. Stand straight. Pull your belly in. Pull your chin in. Keep your shoulders back. Hold your head level. Look straight front. Turn left. Turn right. Face front again and hold your hands out. Palms up. Palms down. Pull your sleeves back. No visible scars. Hair dark brown, some gray. Eyes brown. Height six feet, one half inch. Weight about one ninety. Name Philip Marlowe. Occupation private detective. Well, well, nice to see you, Marlowe. That’s all. Next man.” Much obliged, Captain. Thanks for the time. You forgot to have me open my mouth. I have some nice inlays and one very high-class porcelain jacket crown. Eighty-seven dollars worth of porcelain jacket crown. You forgot to look inside my nose too, Captain. A lot of scar tissue in there for you. Septum operation and was that guy a butcher! Two hours of it in those days. I hear they do it in twenty minutes now. I got it playing football, Captain, a slight miscalculation in an attempt to block a punt. I blocked the guy’s foot instead—after he kicked the ball. Fifteen yards penalty, and that’s about how much stiff bloody tape they pulled out of my nose an inch at a time the day after the operation. I’m not bragging, Captain. I’m just telling you. It’s the little things that count.
Raymond Chandler (The Long Goodbye (Philip Marlowe, #6))
When it passes us, the driver tips his cap our way, eying us as if he thinks we're up to no good-the kind of no good he might call the cops on. I wave to him and smile, wondering if I look as guilty as I feel. Better make this the quickest lesson in driving history. It's not like she needs to pass the state exam. If she can keep the car straight for ten seconds in a row, I've upheld my end of the deal.
I turn off the ignition and look at her. "So, how are you and Toraf doing?"
She cocks her head at me. "What does that have to do with driving?"
Aside from delaying it? "Nothing," I say, shrugging. "Just wondering."
She pulls down the visor and flips open the mirror. Using her index finger, she unsmudges the mascara Rachel put on her. "Not that it's your business, but we're fine. We were always fine."
"He didn't seem to think so."
She shoots me a look. "He can be oversensitive sometimes. I explained that to him."
Oversensitive? No way. She's not getting off that easy. "He's a good kisser," I tell her, bracing myself.
She turns in her seat, eyes narrowed to slits. "You might as well forget about that kiss, Emma. He's mine, and if you put your nasty Half-Breed lips on him again-"
"Now who's being oversensitive?" I say, grinning. She does love him.
"Switch places with me," she snarls. But I'm too happy for Toraf to return the animosity.
Once she's in the driver's seat, her attitude changes. She bounces up and down like she's mattress shopping, getting so much air that she'd puncture the top if I hadn't put it down already. She reaches for the keys in the ignition. I grab her hand. "Nope. Buckle up first."
It's almost cliché for her to roll her eyes now, but she does. When she's finished dramatizing the act of buckling her seat belt-complete with tugging on it to make sure it won't unclick-she turns to me in pouty expectation. I nod.
She wrenches the key and the engine fires up. The distant look in her eyes makes me nervous. Or maybe it's the guilt swirling around in my stomach. Galen might not like this car, but it still feels like sacrilege to put the fate of a BMW in Rayna's novice hands. As she grips the gear stick so hard her knuckles turn white, I thank God this is an automatic.
"D is for drive, right?" she says.
"Yes. The right pedal is to go. The left pedal is to stop. You have to step on the left one to change into drive."
"I know. I saw you do it." She mashes down on the brake, then throws us into drive. But we don't move.
"Okay, now you'll want to step on the right pedal, which is the gas-"
The tires start spinning-and so do we. Rayna stares at me wide-eyed and mouth ajar, which isn't a good thing since her hands are on the wheel. It occurs to me that she's screaming, but I can't hear her over my own screeching. The dust wall we've created whirls around us, blocking our view of the trees and the road and life as we knew it.
"Take your foot off the right one!" I yell. We stop so hard my teeth feel rattled.
"Are you trying to get us killed?" she howls, holding her hand to her cheek as if I've slapped her. Her eyes are wild and glassy; she just might cry.
"Are you freaking kidding me? You're the one driving!
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Then why did you return to England if not to get the diary?"
"I returned because you asked me to."
She looked at him, too startled to even speak for a moment. [She said,] "That's all it would have taken."
"Oh!" She stomped her foot, tugging even harder on her hand. "I hate that!"
Max's brow lowered. "You hate what?"
"How you've made it all my fault! Not only did you leave because of me, but now, you return because of me! Maxwell, you are - you are -" She snapped her mouth together, took a deep breath, then burst out, "You are a beast!" She yanked her hand free, jumped up, and marched from the room, slamming the door behind her.
Karen Hawkins (Lady Whistledown Strikes Back (Lady Whistledown, #2))
Astarte has come again, more powerful than before. She possesses me. She lies in wait for me.
My cruelty has also returned: the cruelty which frightens me. It lies dormant for months, for years, and then all at once awakens, bursts forth and - once the crisis is over - leaves me in mortal terror of myself.
Just now in the avenue of the Bois, I whipped my dog till he bled, and for nothing - for not coming immediately when I called! The poor animal was there before me, his spine arched, cowering close to the ground, with his great, almost human, eyes fixed on me... and his lamentable howling! It was as though he were waiting for the butcher! But it was as if a kind of drunkenness had possessed me. The more I struck out the more I wanted to strike; every shudder of that quivering flesh filled me with some incomprehensible ardour. A circle of onlookers formed around me, and I only stopped myself for the sake of my self-respect.
Afterwards, I was ashamed.
I am always ashamed of myself nowadays. The pulse of life has always filled me with a peculiar rage to destroy. When I think of two beings in love, I experience an agonising sensation; by virtue of some bizarre backlash, there is something which smothers and oppresses me, and I suffocate, to the point of anguish.
Whenever I wake up in the middle of the night to the muted hubbub of bumps and voices which suddenly become perceptible in the dormant city - all the cries of sexual excitement and sensuality which are the nocturnal respiration of cities - I feel weak. They rise up around me, submerging me in a sluggish flux of embraces and a tide of spasms. A crushing weight presses down on my chest; a cold sweat breaks out on my brow and my heart is heavy - so heavy that I have to get up, run bare-foot and breathless, to my window, and open both shutters, trying desperately to breathe. What an atrocious sensation it is! It is as if two arms of steel bear down upon my shoulders and a kind of hunger hollows out my stomach, tearing apart my whole being! A hunger to exterminate love.
Oh, those nights! The long hours I have spent at my window, bent over the immobile trees of the square and the paving-stones of the deserted street, on watch in the silence of the city, starting at the least noise! The nights I have passed, my heart hammering in anguish, wretchedly and impatiently waiting for my torment to consent to leave me, and for my desire to fold up the heavy wings which beat inside the walls of my being like the wings of some great fluttering bird!
Oh, my cruel and interminable nights of impotent rebellion against the rutting of Paris abed: those nights when I would have liked to embrace all the bodies, to suck in all the breaths and sup all the mouths... those nights which would find me, in the morning, prostrate on the carpet, scratching it still with inert and ineffectual fingers... fingers which never know anything but emptiness, whose nails are still taut with the passion of murder twenty-four hours after the crises... nails which I will one day end up plunging into the satined flesh of a neck, and...
It is quite clear, you see, that I am possessed by a demon... a demon which doctors would treat with some bromide or with all-healing sal ammoniac! As if medicines could ever be imagined to be effective against such evil!
Jean Lorrain (Monsieur De Phocas)
Where the hell did the Pack find you two? At a beach volleyball tournament? Great tan. Love those curls.” LeBlanc shook his head. “He’s not even as big as I am. He’s what, six foot nothing? Two hundred pounds in steel-toed boots? Christ. I’m expecting some ugly bruiser bigger than Cain and what do I find? The next Baywatch star. Looks like his IQ would be low enough. Can he chew gum and tie his shoes at the same time?”
Clay stopped playing with his chair and turned to face the mirror. He got up, crossed the room, and stood in front of me. I was leaning forward, one hand pressed against the glass. Clay touched his fingertips to mine and smiled. LeBlanc jumped back.
“Fuck,” he said. “I thought that was one-way glass.”
Clay turned his head toward LeBlanc and mouthed three words. Then the door to his room opened and one of the officers called him out. Clay grinned at me, then sauntered out with the officer. As he left, a surge of renewed confidence ran through me.
“What did he say?” LeBlanc asked.
“Wait for me.”
“It’s a challenge,” Marsten murmured from across the room. He didn’t look up from his magazine. “He’s inviting you to stick around and get to know him better.”
“Are you going to?” LeBlanc asked.
Marsten’s lips curved in a smile. “He didn’t invite me.”
LeBlanc snorted. “For a bunch of killer monsters, the whole lot of you are nothing but hot air. All your rules and challenges and false bravado.” He waved a hand at me. “Like you. Standing there so nonchalantly, pretending you aren’t the least bit concerned about having the two of us in the room.”
“You should be. Do you know how fast I could kill you? You’re standing two feet away from me. If I had a gun or knife in my pocket, you’d be dead before you had time to scream.”
LeBlanc’s cheek twitched. “You don’t believe me, do you? How do you know I’m not packing a gun? There’s no metal detector at the door. I could pull one out now, kill you, and escape in thirty seconds.”
“Then do it. I know, you don’t like our little games, but humor me. If you have a gun or a knife, pull it out. If not, pretend to. Prove you could do it."
“I don’t need to prove anything. Certainly not to a smart-mouthed—”
He whipped his hand up in mid-sentence. I grabbed it and snapped his wrist. The sound cracked through the room. The receptionist glanced over, but LeBlanc had his back to her. I smiled at her and she turned away.
“You—fucking—bitch,” LeBlanc gasped, cradling his arm. “You broke my wrist.”
“So I win.”
His face purpled. “You smug—”
“Nobody likes a sore loser,” I said. “Grit your teeth and bear it. There’s no crying in werewolf games. Didn’t Daniel teach you that?
Kelley Armstrong (Bitten (Otherworld, #1))
The Drunken Fisherman"
Wallowing in this bloody sty,
I cast for fish that pleased my eye
(Truly Jehovah's bow suspends
No pots of gold to weight its ends);
Only the blood-mouthed rainbow trout
Rose to my bait. They flopped about
My canvas creel until the moth
Corrupted its unstable cloth.
A calendar to tell the day;
A handkerchief to wave away
The gnats; a couch unstuffed with storm
Pouching a bottle in one arm;
A whiskey bottle full of worms;
And bedroom slacks: are these fit terms
To mete the worm whose molten rage
Boils in the belly of old age?
Once fishing was a rabbit's foot--
O wind blow cold, O wind blow hot,
Let suns stay in or suns step out:
Life danced a jig on the sperm-whale's spout--
The fisher's fluent and obscene
Catches kept his conscience clean.
Children, the raging memory drools
Over the glory of past pools.
Now the hot river, ebbing, hauls
Its bloody waters into holes;
A grain of sand inside my shoe
Mimics the moon that might undo
Man and Creation too; remorse,
Stinking, has puddled up its source;
Here tantrums thrash to a whale's rage.
This is the pot-hole of old age.
Is there no way to cast my hook
Out of this dynamited brook?
The Fisher's sons must cast about
When shallow waters peter out.
I will catch Christ with a greased worm,
And when the Prince of Darkness stalks
My bloodstream to its Stygian term . . .
On water the Man-Fisher walks.
Dark gray, flexible, and infinitely tough. Seven-foot membranous wings of same color, found folded, spread out of furrows between ridges. Wing framework tubular or glandular, of lighter gray, with orifices at wing tips. Spread wings have serrated edge. Around equator, one at central apex of each of the five vertical, stave-like ridges are five systems of light gray flexible arms or tentacles found tightly folded to torso but expansible to maximum length of over three feet. Like arms of primitive crinoid. Single stalks three inches diameter branch after six inches into five substalks, each of which branches after eight inches into small, tapering tentacles or tendrils, giving each stalk a total of twenty-five tentacles.
At top of torso blunt, bulbous neck of lighter gray, with gill-like suggestions, holds yellowish five-pointed starfish-shaped apparent head covered with three-inch wiry cilia of various prismatic colors. Head thick and puffy, about two feet point to point, with three-inch flexible yellowish tubes projecting from each point. Slit in exact center of top probably breathing aperture. At end of each tube is spherical expansion where yellowish membrane rolls back on handling to reveal glassy, red-irised globe, evidently an eye. Five slightly longer reddish tubes start from inner angles of starfish-shaped head and end in saclike swellings of same color which, upon pressure, open to bell-shaped orifices two inches maximum diameter and lined with sharp, white tooth like projections - probably mouths. All these tubes, cilia, and points of starfish head, found folded tightly down; tubes and points clinging to bulbous neck and torso. Flexibility surprising despite vast toughness.
At bottom of torso, rough but dissimilarly functioning counterparts of head arrangements exist. Bulbous light-gray pseudo-neck, without gill suggestions, holds greenish five-pointed starfish arrangement. Tough, muscular arms four feet long and tapering from seven inches diameter at base to about two and five-tenths at point. To each point is attached small end of a greenish five-veined membranous triangle eight inches long and six wide at farther end. This is the paddle, fin, or pseudofoot which has made prints in rocks from a thousand million to fifty or sixty million years old. From inner angles of starfish-arrangement project two-foot reddish tubes tapering from three inches diameter at base to one at tip. Orifices at tips. All these parts infinitely tough and leathery, but extremely flexible. Four-foot arms with paddles undoubtedly used for locomotion of some sort, marine or otherwise. When moved, display suggestions of exaggerated muscularity. As found, all these projections tightly folded over pseudoneck and end of torso, corresponding to projections at other end.
Well,” Leigh said, because there was nothing else. She looked back at the picture of herself and Pam in the blue dresses. “We did have it easier than she did. I’m sure we did. And I should thank her for that, I guess.”
Pam nodded. She looked calm, untroubled. Leigh, tapped her foot on the ottoman and glanced at her mother’s photographs. “But it felt like that was all she saw when she looked at us.” She leaned forward to get Pam’s attention. She wanted her sister to understand, to see things the way she had. “You know? I always felt like she never saw me, me as a individual. Do you know what I am saying? She gave us everything she ever wanted. But she never thought about what we wanted that it may be different. Or that we might need something that she didn’t. She never saw us separate from herself. She never saw us.” She paused, nodding in agreement with herself. That was it. She decided. She’d never put words to the feeling before, but that was it. That had been the whole trouble between them.
But when she looked back at Pam, her satisfaction vanished. Her sister’s mouth was pulled tight, her eyes wide. She looked away from Leigh, saying nothing, still the loyal confidante. But Leigh already knew. She knew what she couldn’t guess before, what Pam thought of the two of them on the porch swing, Kara talking, Pam listening. Leigh didn’t have to guess anymore. She could hear the words come out of her daughter’s mouth as clearly as they’d just come out of her own.
Laura Moriarty (The Rest of Her Life)
Zet and Lottie swam into New York City from the skies—that was how it felt in the Pacemaker, rushing along the Hudson at sunrise. First many blue twigs overhanging the water, than a rosy color, and then the heavy flashing of the river under the morning sun. They were in the dining car, their eyes were heavy. They were drained by a night of broken sleep in the day coach, and they were dazzled. They drank coffee from cups as heavy as soapstone, and poured from New York Central pewter. They were in the East, where everything was better, where objects were different. Here there was deeper meaning in the air.
After changing at Harmon to an electric locomotive, they began a more quick and eager ride. Trees, water, sky, and the sky raced off, floating, and there came bridges, structures, and at last the tunnel, where the air breaks gasped and the streamliner was checked. There were yellow bulbs in wire mesh, and subterranean air came through the vents. The doors opened, the passengers, pulling their clothing straight, flowed out and got their luggage, and Zet and Lottie, reaching Forty-second Street, refugees from arid and inhibited Chicago, from Emptyland, embraced at the curb and kissed each other repeatedly on the mouth. They had come to the World City, where all behavior was deeper and more resonant, where they could freely be themselves, as demonstrative as they liked. Intellect, art, the transcendent, needed no excuses here. Any cabdriver understood, Zet believed.
Saul Bellow (Him With His Foot in His Mouth and Other Stories)
Are you a relative of her late husband?” the woman asked.
His eyes widened. “I beg your pardon?”
“It must be so hard for her, pregnant and just widowed,” the middle-aged woman continued. “We’ve all done what we could to make her happy here. Mr. Johnson, the curator, is a widower himself. He’s already sweet on her. But you’re probably anxious to see Mrs. Peterson. Shall I ring her and let her know you’re coming?”
Tate’s eyes were blazing. “No,” he said with forced politeness. “I want to surprise her!”
He stalked out, leaving the rented vehicle where it was as he trudged through the small layer of snow and glared contemptuously at the cars sliding around in the street as they passed. This little bit of snow was nothing compared to the six-foot snowdrifts on the reservation. Southerners, he considered, must not get much winter precipitation if this little bit of white dust paralyzed traffic!
As for Cecily’s mythical dead husband, he considered, going up the walkway to the small brick structure where she lived, he was about to make a startling, resurrected appearance!
He knocked on the door and waited.
There was an irritated murmur beyond the closed door and the sound of a lock being unfastened. The door opened and a wan Cecily looked straight into his eyes.
He managed to get inside the screen door and catch her before she passed out.
She came to on the sofa with Tate sitting beside her, smoothing back her disheveled hair. The nausea climbed into her throat and, fortunately, stayed there. She looked at him with helpless delight, wishing she could hide what the sight of him was doing to her after so many empty, lonely weeks.
He didn’t speak. He touched her hair, her forehead, her eyes, her nose, her mouth, with fingers that seemed bent on memorizing her. Then his hands went to the robe carelessly fastened over her cotton nightdress and pushed it aside. He touched her belly, his face radiant as he registered the very visible and tangible signs of her condition.
“When did we make him?” he asked without preamble.
She felt her world dissolve. He knew about the baby. Of course. That was why he was here.
He met her eyes, found hostility and bitter disillusionment in them. His hand pressed down over her belly. “I would have come even if I hadn’t known about the baby,” he said at once.
“The baby is mine.”
“Audrey is not getting her avaricious little hands on my child…!
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
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))
Ascent To The Sierras
poet Robinson Jeffers #140 on top 500 poets Poet's PagePoemsCommentsStatsE-BooksBiographyQuotationsShare on FacebookShare on Twitter
Poems by Robinson Jeffers : 8 / 140 « prev. poem next poem »
Ascent To The Sierras
Beyond the great valley an odd instinctive rising
Begins to possess the ground, the flatness gathers
to little humps and
barrows, low aimless ridges,
A sudden violence of rock crowns them. The crowded
orchards end, they
have come to a stone knife;
The farms are finished; the sudden foot of the
slerra. Hill over hill,
snow-ridge beyond mountain gather
The blue air of their height about them.
Here at the foot of the pass
The fierce clans of the mountain you'd think for
thousands of years,
Men with harsh mouths and eyes like the eagles' hunger,
Have gathered among these rocks at the dead hour
Of the morning star and the stars waning
To raid the plain and at moonrise returning driven
Their scared booty to the highlands, the tossing horns
And glazed eyes in the light of torches. The men have
Standing above these rock-heads to bark laughter
At the burning granaries and the farms and the town
That sow the dark flat land with terrible rubies...
lighting the dead...
It is not true: from this land
The curse was lifted; the highlands have kept peace
with the valleys; no
blood in the sod; there is no old sword
Keeping grim rust, no primal sorrow. The people are
all one people, their
homes never knew harrying;
The tribes before them were acorn-eaters, harmless
as deer. Oh, fortunate
earth; you must find someone
To make you bitter music; how else will you take bonds
of the future,
against the wolf in men's hearts?
Water was not my element. It dragged at my clothes as I swam. A little farther, I told myself. I could hear him coming, his arms stronger than mine from a lifetime of lifting marble. I felt the water shiver near my foot where he had grabbed and almost caught me. I looked back, and saw how close he was and how far the shore behind. Then his hand seized my ankle and yanked, pulling me to him like a rope, hand over hand, and then he had me up and by the throat, his face pressed to mine.
I think he expected me to fight and claw. I didn’t fight. I seized him close around the ribs, holding my wrists so he could not get free. The sudden weight pulled us both under. He kicked and flailed back to the surface, but I was heavier than he had thought, and the waves slopped at our mouths. Let it be now, I prayed.
At first I thought it was just the cold of the water. It crept up my fingers and my arms, which stiffed around him. He struggled and fought, but my hands were fused together and nothing he tried could break them. Then it was in my legs too, and my belly and my chest, and no matter how he kicked, he could not haul us back up to the air. He hit at me, but it was watery and weak and I felt nothing, just the solid circle of my arms, and the inexorable drag of my body.
He had no chance, really. He was only flesh. We fell through the darkness, and the coolness slid up my neck and bled the color from my lips and cheeks. I thought of Paphos and how clever she was. I thought of her stone sister, peaceful on her couch. We fell through the currents and I thought of how the crabs would come for him, climbing over my pale shoulders. The ocean floor was sandy and soft as pillows. I settled into it and slept.
Madeline Miller (Galatea)
Ahoy!” a seaman called out. “The English frigate Polaris, ten days out from Antigua, bound for Portsmouth.”
“Ahoy, yerself!” It was O’Shea’s rough brogue. She’d never heard sweeter music. “This be the clipper Sophia, of no particular country at the moment. Seven days out from Tortola, bound for…well, bound for here. Captain requests permission to board.”
Gray. It had to be Gray.
The officers of the Polaris exchanged wary looks.
“Oh, for Heaven’s sake.” Sophia pushed forward to the ship’s rail and cupped her hands around her mouth, calling, “Permission to board granted!”
A cheer rose up from the other ship’s deck. “It’s her, all right!” a voice called. Stubb’s, Sophia thought.
Oh, but she hardly cared who was on the other deck. She cared only for the strong figure swinging across the watery divide as the two ships came abreast. Turning back toward the center of the ship, she pushed her way through the sweaty throng of sailors, desperate to get to him. Her foot caught on a rope, and she tripped-
But it didn’t matter. Gray was there to catch her.
And he was still wearing those sea-weathered, fire-scarred boots. No doubt for sentimental reasons.
“Steady there,” he murmured, catching her by the elbows. She looked up to meet his beautiful blue-green eyes. “I have you.”
“Oh, Gray.” She launched herself into his arms, clinging to his neck as he laughed and spun her around. “You’re here.”
And he was. Every strong, solid, handsome inch of him. Sophia buried her face in his throat, breathing in his scent. Lord, how she’d missed him.
She pulled away, bracing her hands on his shoulders to study his face. “I can’t believe you came after me.”
“I can’t believe you actually left.” He lowered her to the deck, and her hands slid to his arms. “I thought you were bluffing with that bit. I’d have never allowed you to go.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
Why would you do that with me? A simple kiss was enough. What could you be thinking?"
"What indeed." He pushed a hand through his hair, more than a little offended at her accusatory tone. "I'm male. You rubbed your... femaleness all over me. I didn't think. I reacted."
"To..." She shifted her weight from one foot to the other. "To me."
"It is a natural response. Aren't you a scientist? Then you should understand. Any red-blooded man would react to such stimulus."
She stepped back. She dipped her chin and peered at him over her spectacles. "So you find me stimulating."
"That's not what I-" He bit off the rest of that sentence. The only way to end a nonsensical conversation was to simply cease talking.
Colin drew a deep breath and squared his shoulders. He closed his eyes briefly. And then he opened them and looked at her. Really looked at her, as though for the first time. He saw thick, dark hair a man could gather by the fistful. Prim spectacles, perched on a gently sloped nose. Behind the lenses, wide-set eyes- dark and intelligent. And that mouth. That ripe, pouting, sensual mouth.
He let his gaze drift down her form. There was a wicked thrill to knowing lushness smoldered beneath that modest sprigged muslin gown. To having felt her shape, scouting and chartering her body with all the nerve endings of his own.
Their bodies had met. More than that. They'd grown acquainted.
Nothing more would come from it, of course. Colin had rules for himself, and as for her... she didn't even liked him, or pretend to. But she showed up in the middle of the night, hatching schemes that skirted the line between academic logic and reckless adventure. She started kisses she had no notion how to continue.
Taken all together, she was simply...
A surprise. A fresh, bracing gust of the unexpected, for good or ill.
"Perhaps," he said cautiously, "I do find you stimulating.
Tessa Dare (A Week to Be Wicked (Spindle Cove, #2))
Despite the chaos that was tearing her head apart, Tevi understood what scene Yenneg was attempting to play out, with herself as a conscripted actor. She needed to force out an explanation or denial, but no words could get past her lips. Jemeryl's presence was paralysing her, an effect far more irresistible than anything Yenneg had achieved.
Tevi watched Jemeryl take another few steps forwards and then crouch down so that their eyes were no more than a foot apart. Tevi thought she would die from the shock. Yet somehow, she forced her mouth to shape the words, "Wine. Love potion."
Her voice was not loud enough even to count as a whisper. Certainly nobody else in the room would have heard, yet Tevi could not control her breathing to manage anything else.
At first Jemeryl showed no sign of comprehension, but then suddenly, the bewilderment on her face transformed into fury. She leapt up, her arms moving in a blurred aggressive swirl. The gesture ended with an action like hurling a ball. Blue fire erupted from Jemeryl's hands and shot towards Yenneg.
The other sorcerer had obviously recognised the gesture and made an effort to protect himself. A shimmering shield sprung up before Yenneg, but it was not strong enough, and the shockwave knocked him off his feet. His shoulders slammed into the wall behind him and he crumpled to the floor. Jemeryl had been telling the truth when she claimed to vastly excel the acolytes in magical ability, not that Tevi had ever entertained doubts. Jemeryl's hands moved again, and this time Yenneg was sprawled on the floor and in no state to mount a defence. A second bolt of blue fire burst in his direction.
Lightning in the form of a whip snapped across the room, intercepting Jemeryl's attack before it struck. The diverted fireball hit the wall of the summerhouse two feet from Yenneg's head and smashed through it, as if it were a stone going through wet paper.
Jane Fletcher (The Empress And the Acolyte (Lyremouth Chronicles, #3))
Gary Cooper called to invite me to a dinner party he was giving for Clark Gable at his house. When I accepted and he asked if I would mind picking up Barbara Stanwyck, I was delighted. I had always thought she was one of the greatest. The Lady Eve and Double Indemnity are two of my favorite films and feature two of the many terrific performances she gave through the years. I arrived at her door promptly at 6:30 P.M., a huge bouquet of pink peonies in hand. The maid said she would be right down, took the flowers, and offered me a glass of champagne. Barbara came down a few minutes later, looking terrific in something silver and slinky. She carried on about the flowers as the maid brought them in and joined me for some champagne. I was anxious to get things off to a good start with the right kind of small talk, but unfortunately I was out of touch with the latest gossip. I asked how and where her husband was. An expletive told me how she felt about her husband: “That son of a bitch ran off with some kraut starlet.” As I struggled to pull my foot out of my mouth, she started to laugh and said, “Don’t worry about it, baby, he’s not worth sweating over,” and the rest of the evening went like gangbusters. We arrived at 7:30 on the dot and were met at the door by Rocky, Mrs. Gary Cooper, who hugged Barbara and said, “He’s going to be so glad to see you.” Cooper and Stanwyck had made a couple of great films together, Meet John Doe and Ball of Fire, the latter for Sam Goldwyn, whom she liked even though she referred to him as “that tough old bastard.” Rocky sent Barbara out to the garden to see Coop, took my arm, and showed me around their lovely home. As we walked into the garden, I spotted him laughing with Barbara. Rocky took me over to meet him. He was tall, lean, warm, and friendly. The thing I remember most about him is the twinkle in his deep blue eyes, which were framed by thick dark lashes. He was a movie star.
Farley Granger (Include Me Out: My Life from Goldwyn to Broadway)
Diana” was the first thing out of her mouth. “I’m dying,” the too familiar voice on the other end moaned.
I snorted, locking the front door behind me as I held the phone up to my face with my shoulder. “You’re pregnant. You’re not dying.”
“But it feels like I am,” the person who rarely ever complained whined. We’d been best friends our entire lives, and I could only count on one hand the number of times I’d heard her grumble about something that wasn’t her family. I’d had the title of being the whiner in our epic love affair that had survived more shit than I was willing to remember right then.
I held up a finger when Louie tipped his head toward the kitchen as if asking if I was going to get started on dinner or not. “Well, nobody told you to get pregnant with the Hulk’s baby. What did you expect? He’s probably going to come out the size of a toddler.”
The laugh that burst out of her made me laugh too. This fierce feeling of missing her reminded me it had been months since we’d last seen each other. “Shut up.”
“You can’t avoid the truth forever.” Her husband was huge. I didn’t understand why she wouldn’t expect her unborn baby to be a giant too.
“Ugh.” A long sigh came through the receiver in resignation. “I don’t know what I was thinking—”
“You weren’t thinking.”
She ignored me. “We’re never having another one. I can’t sleep. I have to pee every two minutes. I’m the size of Mars—”
“The last time I saw you”—which had been two months ago—“you were the size of Mars. The baby is probably the size of Mars now. I’d probably say you’re about the size of Uranus.”
She ignored me again. “Everything makes me cry and I itch. I itch so bad.”
“Do I… want to know where you’re itching?”
“Nasty. My stomach. Aiden’s been rubbing coconut oil on me every hour he’s here.”
I tried to imagine her six-foot-five-inch, Hercules-sized husband doing that to Van, but my imagination wasn’t that great. “Is he doing okay?” I asked, knowing off our past conversations that while he’d been over the moon with her pregnancy, he’d also turned into mother hen supreme. It made me feel better knowing that she wasn’t living in a different state all by herself with no one else for support. Some people in life got lucky and found someone great, the rest of us either took a long time… or not ever.
“He’s worried I’m going to fall down the stairs when he isn’t around, and he’s talking about getting a one-story house so that I can put him out of his misery.”
“You know you can come stay with us if you want.”
She made a noise.
“I’m just offering, bitch. If you don’t want to be alone when he starts traveling more for games, you can stay here as long as you need. Louie doesn’t sleep in his room half the time anyway, and we have a one-story house. You could sleep with me if you really wanted to. It’ll be like we’re fourteen all over again.”
She sighed. “I would. I really would, but I couldn’t leave Aiden.”
And I couldn’t leave the boys for longer than a couple of weeks, but she knew that. Well, she also knew I couldn’t not work for that long, too.
“Maybe you can get one of those I’ve-fallen-and-I-can’t-get-up—”
Vanessa let out another loud laugh. “You jerk.”
“What? You could.”
There was a pause. “I don’t even know why I bother with you half the time.”
“Because you love me?”
“I don’t know why.”
“Tia,” Louie hissed, rubbing his belly like he was seriously starving.
“Hey, Lou and Josh are making it seem like they haven’t eaten all day. I’m scared they might start nibbling on my hand soon. Let me feed them, and I’ll call you back, okay?”
Van didn’t miss a beat. “Sure, Di. Give them a hug from me and call me back whenever. I’m on the couch, and I’m not going anywhere except the bathroom.”
“Okay. I won’t call Parks and Wildlife to let them know there’s a beached whale—”
I laughed. “Love you. I’ll call you back. Bye!”
“Vanny has a whale?” Lou asked.
Mariana Zapata (Wait for It)
The night is filled with intermittent panicked shouts and pained wails, followed by the occasional laughter of an Evrallonic soldier. Fury warms me and I don’t feel the bite of the wintry air anymore, but I control my rage, filter and focus it, so that when two soldiers run past me, chasing after a young boy, I am able to act swiftly. I step out of the shadows and grab the first soldier by the hair, which has been left exposed after he either discarded or dropped his helmet. He opens his mouth to shout but it dies on his lips when I slit his throat, dropping him to the ground as he chokes. The soldier chasing the boy stops and turns around, drawing his sword upon seeing me. It’s the last thing he does. Before he moves an inch, I’ve thrown my dagger into his forehead. A wave of shock rolls through the soldiers body and I walk past him, snatching the blade from his skull just before he falls to the ground. The boy has disappeared but he’s none of my concern now. I move through the community like the wraith I’ve been labeled. Anyone wearing soldier’s attire is brought to their knees and left to die in the streets. Fishing families scurry out of my way like they know who I am and take refuge in their homes as I make my way to the other side of the community. An Evrallonic soldier stands on the doorstep of a home, hovering over a young woman whose blouse has been torn. The young woman is sobbing, her body trembling under the pressing soldier. The Evrallonic man is leaning towards her when I approach. He barely has time to look up before I’ve brought my knee up and connected it with his nose. The satisfying crack sounds through the air and the soldier shouts in disbelief, holding his nose. He drops his hand a moment later and unsheathes his sword, swinging a deadly strong blow at me. I sidestep and place my foot between his, easily knocking him to the ground when he trips over me. His sword spills from his hands and I snatch it up, jabbing it through the man’s chest before he can even utter a plea for mercy.
Rose Reid (Crown of Crimson (The Afterlight Chronicles, #1))
Sunday evening, when Mr. Klum left me at the foot of our driveway, I felt serene, sun-tinged, and happy. Mother’s first words were “Beverly! You’ve ruined your complexion!” I flopped into the nearest chair. “Mother,” I said, pleading and without anger, “it does seem as if no matter what I do, you make me feel guilty.” “Why, that’s ridiculous,” she said. Somehow I found the courage to contradict. “No, it isn’t ridiculous. You do make me feel guilty,” I insisted, still without anger. I wanted so much to talk honestly with Mother, to tell her my feelings, to become her friend. Mother stiffened, her mouth a straight line. “Well, excuse me for living,” she said. For the first time, I understood that I was afraid of Mother for the guilt she made me bear, and that I could never have an honest conversation with her. The woman I wanted for a friend would always be right; I would always be wrong. I have never understood why, for Mother was genuinely kind to others and could be kind to me when I did exactly as she wished.
Beverly Cleary (A Girl from Yamhill)
He paused and eyed her as if she were an agate discovered in gravel. "But what a very sharp tongue you have for a housekeeper."
Bridget's heart sank- she knew better than to speak so frankly. It was never good for a servant to be noticed by a master- particularly this master.
"Come." He beckoned her closer with his forefinger and she saw the flash of a jeweled gold ring on his left thumb.
She swallowed and opened her right hand, silently dropping the miniature to the lush carpet. As she walked toward him she nudged the little painting under the enormous bed with the side of her foot.
She stopped a pace away from him.
His lips curved, sly and sensual. "Closer."
She stepped nearer until her plain, practical black linsey-woolsey skirts were crushed against his purple velvet knees. Her heart beat hard and swift, but she was confident her expression didn't show her fear.
Still smiling, he held out his hands, palms upward. His hands were long-fingered and elegant. The hands of a musician- or a swordsman.
She stared down at them a moment, confused.
He quirked an eyebrow and nodded.
Bridget placed her hands on top of his. Palm to palm. She expected searing heat or deathly cold and was a little surprised to instead feel human warmth.
She'd been hired little more than a fortnight before the duke had supposedly been banished. In that time he had never struck her as human- or humane.
"Ah," His Grace murmured, cocking his head with interest. "What feminine hands you have, despite your station in life."
His blue eyes flashed at her from under dark eyelashes, a secretive smile playing about his mouth.
She met his gaze stonily.
His lips quirked and he looked down again. "Small, plump, with neat, round nails." He turned her hands over so that they now rested palms-up in his. "I once knew a Greek girl who swore she could read a man's life story from the lines on his hands." He dropped her left hand to trace the lines on her right palm with a forefinger.
His touch sent a frisson along her nerves and Bridget couldn't hold back a shudder.
Elizabeth Hoyt (Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane, #10))
I go straight toward the last place where I felt safe: Tobias’s small apartment. The second I reach the door, I feel calmer.
The door is not completely closed. I nudge it open with my foot. He isn’t there, but I don’t leave. I sit on his bed and gather the quilt in my arms, burying my face in the fabric and taking deep breaths of it through my nose. The smell it used to have is almost gone, it’s been so long since he slept on it.
The door opens and Tobias slips in. My arms go limp, and the quilt falls into my lap. How will I explain my presence here? I’m supposed to be angry with him.
He doesn’t scowl, but his mouth is so tense that I know he’s angry with me.
“Don’t be an idiot,” he says.
“You were lying. You said you wouldn’t go to Erudite, and you were lying, and going to Erudite would make you an idiot. So don’t.”
I set the blanket down and get up.
“Don’t try to make this simple,” I say. “It’s not. You know as well as I do that this is the right thing to do.”
“You choose this moment to act like the Abnegation?” His voice fills the room and makes fear prickle in my chest. His anger seems too sudden. Too strange. “All that time you spent insisting that you were too selfish for them, and now, when your life is on the line, you’ve got to be a hero? What’s wrong with you?”
“What’s wrong with you? People died. They walked right off the edge of a building! And I can stop it from happening again!”
“You’re too important to just…die.” He shakes his head. He won’t even look at me--his eyes keep shifting across my face, to the wall behind me or the ceiling above me, to everything but me. I am too stunned to be angry.
“I’m not important. Everyone will do just fine without me,” I say.
“Who cares about everyone? What about me?”
He lowers his head into his hand, covering his eyes. His fingers are trembling.
Then he crosses the room in two long strides and touches his lips to mine. Their gentle pressure erases the past few months, and I am the girl who sat on the rocks next to the chasm, with river spray on her ankles, and kissed him for the first time. I am the girl who grabbed his hand in the hallway just because I wanted to.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
You said to step on the brake to put us into drive, then to step on the right one to-"
"Not at the same time!"
"Well, you should have told me that. How was I supposed to know?"
I snort. "You acted like the freaking Dalai Lama when I tried to tell you how to shift gears. I told you, one was for go and one was for stop. You can't stop and go at the same time! You have to make up your mind."
From the expression on her face, she's either about to punch me or call me something really bad. She opens her mouth, but the really bad something doesn't come out; she shuts it again. Then she giggles. Now I've seen everything.
"Galen tells me that all the time," she chortles. "That I can never make up my mind." Then she bursts out laughing so hard she spits all over the steering wheel. She keeps laughing until I'm convinced an unknown force is tickling her senseless.
What? As far as I can tell, her indecisiveness almost got us killed. Killed isn't funny.
"You should have seen your face," she says, between gulps of breaths. "You were all, like-" And she makes the face of a drunk clown. "I bet you wet yourself, didn't you?" She cracks herself up so much she clutches her side as if she's holding in her own guts.
I feel my lips fracture into a smile before I can stop them. "You were more scared than me. You swallowed like ten flies while you were screaming."
She spits all over the steering wheel again. And I spew laughter onto the dash. It takes a good five minutes for us to sober up enough for another driving lesson. My throat is dry, and my eyes are wet when I say, "Okay, now. Let's concentrate. The sun is going down. These woods probably get pretty creepy at night."
She clears her throat, still giggling a little. "Okay. Concentrate. Right."
"So, this time, when you take your foot off the brake, the car will go on its own. There, see?" We slink along the road at an idle two miles per hour.
She huffs up at her bangs. "This is boring. I want to go faster."
I start to say, "Not too fast," but she squashes the gas under her foot, and my words are snatched away by the wind. She gives a startled shout, which I find hypocritical because after all, I'm the one helpless in the passenger seat, and she's the one screaming like a teapot, turning the wheel back and forth like the road isn't straight as a pencil.
"Brake, brake, brake!" I shout, hoping repetition will somehow penetrate the small part of her brain that actually thinks.
Everything happens fast. We stop. There's a crunching sound. My face slams into the dash. No wait, the dash becomes an airbag. Rayna's scream is cut off by her airbag. I open my eyes. A tree. A freaking tree. The metal frame groans, and something under the hood lets out a mechanical hiss. Smoke billows up from the front, the universal symbol for "you're screwed."
I turn to the rustling sound beside me. Rayna is wrestling with the airbag like it has attacked her instead of saved her life.
"What is this thing?" she wails, pushing it out of her way and opening the door.
One Mississippi...two Mississippi...
"Well, are you just going to sit there? We have a long walk home. You're not hurt are you? Because I can't carry you."
Three Mississippi...four Mississippi...
"What are those flashing blue lights down there?
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
The tornadic bundle of legs and arms and feet and hands push farther into the kitchen until only the occasional flailing limb is visible from the living room, where I can’t believe I’m still standing.
A spectator in my own life, I watch the supernova of my two worlds colliding: Mom and Galen. Human and Syrena. Poseidon and Triton. But what can I do? Who should I help? Mom, who lied to me for eighteen years, then tried to shank my boyfriend? Galen, who forgot this little thing called “tact” when he accused my mom of being a runaway fish-princess? Toraf, who…what the heck is Toraf doing, anyway? And did he really just sack my mom like an opposing quarterback?
The urgency level for a quick decision elevates to right-freaking-now. I decide that screaming is still best for everyone-it’s nonviolent, distracting, and one of the things I’m very, very good at.
I open my mouth, but Rayna beats me to it-only, her scream is much more valuable than mine would have been, because she includes words with it. “Stop it right now, or I’ll kill you all!” She pushed past me with a decrepit, rusty harpoon from God-knows-what century, probably pillaged from one of her shipwreck excursions. She waves it at the three of them like a crazed fisherman in a Jaws movie. I hope they don’t notice she’s got it pointed backward and that if she fires it, she’ll skewer our couch and Grandma’s first attempt at quilting.
It works. The bare feet and tennis shoes stop scuffling-out of fear or shock, I’m not sure-and Toraf’s head appears at the top of the counter. “Princess,” he says, breathless. “I told you to stay outside.”
“Emma, run!” Mom yells.
Toraf disappears again, followed by a symphony of scraping and knocking and thumping and cussing.
Rayna rolls her eyes at me, grumbling to herself as she stomps into the kitchen. She adjusts the harpoon to a more deadly position, scraping the popcorn ceiling and sending rust and Sheetrock and tetanus flaking onto the floor like dirty snow. Aiming it at the mound of struggling limbs, she says, “One of you is about to die, and right now I don’t really care who it is.”
Thank God for Rayna. People like Rayna get things done. People like me watch people like Rayna get things done. Then people like me round the corner of the counter as if they helped, as if they didn’t stand there and let everyone they love beat the shizzle out of one another.
I peer down at the three of them all tangled up. Crossing my arms, I try to mimic Rayna’s impressive rage, but I’m pretty sure my face is only capable of what-the-crap-was-that.
Mom looks up at me, nostrils flaring like moth wings. “Emma, I told you to run,” she grinds out before elbowing Toraf in the mouth so hard I think he might swallow a tooth. Then she kicks Galen in the ribs.
He groans, but catches her foot before she can re-up. Toraf spits blood on the linoleum beside him and grabs Mom’s arms. She writhes and wriggles, bristling like a trapped badger and cussing like sailor on crack.
Mom has never been girlie.
Finally she stops, her arms and legs slumping to the floor in defeat. Tears puddle in her eyes. “Let her go,” she sobs. “She’s got nothing to do with this. She doesn’t even know about us. Take me and leave her out of this. I’ll do anything.”
Which reinforces, right here and now, that my mom is Nalia. Nalia is my mom. Also, holy crap.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
When I opened my eyes, we were still surrounded by darkness. A lantern, standing on the ground, showed a bubbling well. The water splashing from the well disappeared, almost at once, under the floor on which I was lying, with my head on the knee of the man in the black cloak and the black mask. He was bathing my temples and his hands smelt of death. I tried to push them away and asked, ‘Who are you? Where is the voice?’ His only answer was a sigh. Suddenly, a hot breath passed over my face and I perceived a white shape, beside the man’s black shape, in the darkness. The black shape lifted me on to the white shape, a glad neighing greeted my astounded ears and I murmured, ‘Cesar!’ The animal quivered. Raoul, I was lying half back on a saddle and I had recognized the white horse out of the PROFETA, which I had so often fed with sugar and sweets. I remembered that, one evening, there was a rumor in the theater that the horse had disappeared and that it had been stolen by the Opera ghost. I believed in the voice, but had never believed in the ghost. Now, however, I began to wonder, with a shiver, whether I was the ghost’s prisoner. I called upon the voice to help me, for I should never have imagined that the voice and the ghost were one. You have heard about the Opera ghost, have you not, Raoul?”
“Yes, but tell me what happened when you were on the white horse of the Profeta?”
“I made no movement and let myself go. The black shape held me up, and I made no effort to escape. A curious feeling of peacefulness came over me and I thought that I must be under the influence of some cordial. I had the full command of my senses; and my eyes became used to the darkness, which was lit, here and there, by fitful gleams. I calculated that we were in a narrow circular gallery, probably running all round the Opera, which is immense, underground. I had once been down into those cellars, but had stopped at the third floor, though there were two lower still, large enough to hold a town. But the figures of which I caught sight had made me run away. There are demons down there, quite black, standing in front of boilers, and they wield shovels and pitchforks and poke up fires and stir up flames and, if you come too near them, they frighten you by suddenly opening the red mouths of their furnaces … Well, while Cesar was quietly carrying me on his back, I saw those black demons in the distance, looking quite small, in front of the red fires of their furnaces: they came into sight, disappeared and came into sight again, as we went on our winding way. At last, they disappeared altogether. The shape was still holding me up and Cesar walked on, unled and sure-footed. I could not tell you, even approximately, how long this ride lasted; I only know that we seemed to turn and turn and often went down a spiral stair into the very heart of the earth. Even then, it may be that my head was turning, but I don’t think so: no, my mind was quite clear. At last, Cesar raised his nostrils, sniffed the air and quickened his pace a little. I felt a moistness in the air and Cesar stopped. The darkness had lifted. A sort of bluey light surrounded us. We were on the edge of a lake, whose leaden waters stretched into the distance, into the darkness; but the blue light lit up the bank and I saw a little boat fastened to an iron ring on the wharf!”
- Chapter 12: Apollo’s Lyre
Gaston Leroux (The Phantom of the Opera)
I suggest you stand slowly and walk out with my men,” Zrakovi said, tapping a napkin against his lying, two-faced mouth and putting a twenty on the table to cover the drinks. “If you make a scene, innocent humans will be injured. I have a Blue Congress cleanup team in place, however, so if you want to fight in public and damage a few humans, knock yourself out. It will only add to your list of crimes.”
I stood slowly, gritting my teeth when Squirrel Chin patted me down while feeling me up and making it look like a romantic moment. He’d been so busy feeling the naughty bits that he missed both Charlie, sitting in my bag next to my foot, and the dagger attached to my inner forearm.
Idiot. Alex would never have been so sloppy. If Alex had patted me down, he’d have found not only the weapons but also the portable magic kit.
From the corner of my eye, I saw a tourist taking mobile phone shots of us. He’d no doubt email them to all his friends back home with stories of those crazy New Orleanians and their public displays of affection.
I considered pretending to faint, but I was too badly outnumbered for it to work. Like my friend Jean
Lafitte, whose help I could use about now, I didn’t want to try something unless it had a reasonable chance at succeeding. I also didn’t want to pull Charlie out and risk humans getting hurt.
“Walk out the door onto Chartres and turn straight toward the cathedral.” Zrakovi pulled his jacket aside enough for me to see a shoulder holster. I hadn’t even known the man could hold a gun, although for all I knew about guns it could be a water pistol.
The walk to the cathedral transport was three very long city blocks. My best escape opportunity would be near Jackson Square. When the muscular goons tried to turn me left toward the cathedral, I’d try to break and run right toward the river, where I could get lost among the wharves and docks long enough to draw and power a transport. Of course in order to run, I’d have to get away from the clinch of Dreadlocks and Squirrel Chin. Charlie could take care of that.
I slipped the messenger bag over my head slowly, and not even Zrakovi noticed the stick of wood protruding from the top by a couple of inches.
Not to be redundant, but . . . idiots.
None of us spoke as we proceeded down Chartres Street, where, to our south, the clouds continued to build. The wind had grown stronger and drier. The hurricane was sucking all the humidity out of the air, all the better to gain intensity. I hoped Zrakovi, a Bostonian, would enjoy his first storm. I hoped a live oak landed on his head.
Suzanne Johnson (Belle Chasse (Sentinels of New Orleans #5))
Lying sprawled uncouthly at the foot of the Red Dragon where the men had tumbled him down, there was a certain splendor about him still. An old man, an old giant, with bright hairs that shone like gold wires in the gray jut of his beard and the mane of wild hair outflung about his head. I recognized him first by the earl's bracelet twisted about his sword arm, for a spear had taken him between the eyes, but as I looked down more closely into the smashed and blood-pooled face, I recognized the cunning iron-bound mouth, drawn back now in a frozen snarl. I recognized above all, I think the greatness that seemed to cling about him still, an atmosphere of the thing that had made him a giant in more than body; this ancient enemy of Ambrosius's. Hengest, the Jutish adventurer who had grown to be a war lord of the Saxon hordes, lying flung down like a tribute at the foot of the British standard that stirred faintly in the night air above him.
That left the son and the grandson to deal with.
'So-o,' Bedwyr said softly. 'Earl Hengest goes at last to his own Storm Lords again. He should have died on a night of tempest, with the lightning leaping from hill to hill, not on a still summer evening with the scent of hawthorn in the air.'
'He was a royal stag,' I said. 'Thank God he is dead.
Rosemary Sutcliff (Sword at Sunset)
O my body! I dare not desert the likes of you in other men and women, nor the likes of the parts of you,
I believe the likes of you are to stand or fall with the likes of the soul, (and that they are the soul,)
I believe the likes of you shall stand or fall with my poems, and that they are my poems,
Man’s, woman’s, child’s, youth’s, wife’s, husband’s, mother’s, father’s, young man’s, young woman’s poems,
Head, neck, hair, ears, drop and tympan of the ears,
Eyes, eye-fringes, iris of the eye, eyebrows, and the waking or sleeping of the lids,
Mouth, tongue, lips, teeth, roof of the mouth, jaws, and the jaw-hinges,
Nose, nostrils of the nose, and the partition,
Cheeks, temples, forehead, chin, throat, back of the neck, neck-slue,
Strong shoulders, manly beard, scapula, hind-shoulders, and the ample side-round of the chest,
Upper-arm, armpit, elbow-socket, lower-arm, arm-sinews, arm-bones,
Wrist and wrist-joints, hand, palm, knuckles, thumb, forefinger, finger-joints, finger-nails,
Broad breast-front, curling hair of the breast, breast-bone, breast-side,
Ribs, belly, backbone, joints of the backbone,
Hips, hip-sockets, hip-strength, inward and outward round, man-balls, man-root,
Strong set of thighs, well carrying the trunk above,
Leg fibres, knee, knee-pan, upper-leg, under-leg,
Ankles, instep, foot-ball, toes, toe-joints, the heel;
All attitudes, all the shapeliness, all the belongings of my or your body or of any one’s body, male or female,
The lung-sponges, the stomach-sac, the bowels sweet and clean,
The brain in its folds inside the skull-frame,
Sympathies, heart-valves, palate-valves, sexuality, maternity,
Womanhood, and all that is a woman, and the man that comes from woman,
The womb, the teats, nipples, breast-milk, tears, laughter, weeping, love-looks, love-perturbations and risings,
The voice, articulation, language, whispering, shouting aloud,
Food, drink, pulse, digestion, sweat, sleep, walking, swimming,
Poise on the hips, leaping, reclining, embracing, arm-curving and tightening,
The continual changes of the flex of the mouth, and around the eyes,
The skin, the sunburnt shade, freckles, hair,
The curious sympathy one feels when feeling with the hand the naked meat of the body,
The circling rivers the breath, and breathing it in and out,
The beauty of the waist, and thence of the hips, and thence downward toward the knees,
The thin red jellies within you or within me, the bones and the marrow in the bones,
The exquisite realization of health;
O I say these are not the parts and poems of the body only, but of the soul,
O I say now these are the soul!
Walt Whitman (I Sing the Body Electric)
We walk around inside that house like everything is okay, but it’s not, Quinn. We’ve been broken for years and I have no idea how to fix us. I find solutions. It’s what I do. It’s what I’m good at. But I have no idea how to solve me and you. Every day I come home, hoping things will be better. But you can’t even stand to be in the same room with me. You hate it when I touch you. You hate it when I talk to you. I pretend not to notice the things you don’t want me to notice because I don’t want you to hurt more than you already do.” He releases a rush of air. “I am not blaming you for what I did. It’s my fault. I did that. I fucked up. But I didn’t fuck up because I was attracted to her. I fucked up because I miss you. Every day, I miss you. When I’m at work, I miss you. When I’m home, I miss you. When you’re next to me in bed, I miss you. When I’m inside you, I miss you.” Graham presses his mouth to mine. I can taste his tears. Or maybe they’re my tears. He pulls back and presses his forehead to mine. “I miss you, Quinn. So much. You’re right here, but you aren’t. I don’t know where you went or when you left, but I have no idea how to bring you back. I am so alone. We live together. We eat together. We sleep together. But I have never felt more alone in my entire life.” Graham releases me and falls back against his seat. He rests his elbow against the window, covering his face as he tries to compose himself. He’s more broken than I’ve ever seen him in all the years I’ve known him. And I’m the one slowly tearing him down. I’m making him unrecognizable. I’ve strung him along by allowing him to believe there’s hope that I’ll eventually change. That I’ll miraculously turn back into the woman he fell in love with. But I can’t change. We are who our circumstances turn us into. “Graham.” I wipe at my face with my shirt. He’s quiet, but he eventually looks at me with his sad, heartbroken eyes. “I haven’t gone anywhere. I’ve been here this whole time. But you can’t see me because you’re still searching for someone I used to be. I’m sorry I’m no longer who I was back then. Maybe I’ll get better. Maybe I won’t. But a good husband loves his wife through the good and the bad times. A good husband stands at his wife’s side through sickness and health, Graham. A good husband- a husband who truly loves his wife - wouldn’t cheat on her and then blame his infidelity on the fact that he’s lonely.” Graham’s expression doesn’t change. He’s as still as a statue. The only thing that moves is his jaw as he works it back and forth. And then his eyes narrow and he tilts his head. “You don’t think I love you, Quinn?” “I know you used to. But I don’t think you love the person I’ve become.” Graham sits up straight. He leans forward, looking me hard in the eye. His words are clipped as he speaks. “I have loved you every single second of every day since the moment I laid eyes on you. I love you more now than I did the day I married you. I love you, Quinn. I fucking love you!” He opens his car door, gets out and then slams it shut with all his strength. The whole car shakes. He walks toward the house, but before he makes it to the front door, he spins around and points at me angrily. “I love you, Quinn!” He’s shouting the words. He’s angry. So angry. He walks toward his car and kicks at the front bumper with his bare foot. He kicks and he kicks and he kicks and then pauses to scream it at me again. “I love you!” He slams his fist against the top of his car, over and over, until he finally collapses against the hood, his head buried in his arms. He remains in this position for an entire minute, the only thing moving is the subtle shaking of his shoulders. I don’t move. I don’t even think I breathe. Graham finally pushes off the hood and uses his shirt to wipe at his eyes. He looks at me, completely defeated. “I love you,” he says quietly, shaking his head. “I always have. No matter how much you wish I didn’t.
Colleen Hoover (All Your Perfects)
So, my dear…”
She faced him with thudding heart, the crystal piece clutched desperately in her hand, but she was hardly aware that she even held it.
“… You say I have let another man into my bed.”
Erienne opened her mouth to speak. Her first impulse was to chatter some inanity that could magically take the edge from his callous half statement, half question. No great enlightenment dawned, however, and her dry, parched throat issued no sound of its own. She inspected the stopper closely, turning it slowly in her hand rather than meet the accusing stare.
From behind the mask, Lord Saxton observed his wife closely, well aware that the next moments would form the basis for the rest of his life or leave it an empty husk. After this, there could be no turning back.
“I think, my dear,” his words made her start, “that whatever the cost, ’tis time you met the beast of Saxton Hall.”
Erienne swallowed hard and clasped the stopper with whitened knuckles, as if to draw some bit of courage from the crystal piece.
As she watched, Lord Saxton doffed his coat, waistcoat, and stock, and she wondered if it was a trick of her imagination that he seemed somewhat lighter of frame. After their removal, he caught the heel of his right boot over the toe of the left and slowly drew the heavy, misshapen encumbrance from his foot. She frowned in open bemusement, unable to detect a flaw. He flexed the leg a moment before slipping off the other boot. His movements seemed pained as he shed the gloves, and Erienne’s eyes fastened on the long, tan, unscarred hands that rose to the mask and, with deliberate movements, flipped the lacings loose. She half turned, dropping the stopper and colliding with the desk as he reached to the other side of the leather helm and lifted it away with a single motion.
She braved a quick glance and gasped in astonishment when she found translucent eyes calmly smiling at her.
She could not form a question, though her mind raced in a frantic search for logic. He rose from the chair with an effort.
“Christopher Stuart Saxton, lord of Saxton Hall.”
His voice no longer bore a hint of a rasp. “Your servant, my lady.”
“But… but where is…?”
The truth was only just beginning to dawn on her, and the name she spoke sounded small and thin.
“One and the same, madam.”
He stepped near, and those translucent eyes commanded her attention.
“Look at me, Erienne. Look very closely.”
He towered over her, and his lean, hard face bore no hint of humor.
“And tell me again if you think I would ever allow another man in your bed while I yet breathe.”
-Christopher & Erienne
Kathleen E. Woodiwiss (A Rose in Winter)
It wasn’t until she had almost reached its lights that she heard another rider in the hills behind her.
Ice slid down Kestrel’s spine. Fear, that the rider was Arin.
Fear, at her sudden hope that it was.
She pulled Javelin to a stop and swung to the ground. Better to go on foot through the narrow streets to the harbor. Stealth was more important now than speed.
Beating hooves echoed in the hills. Closer.
She hugged Javelin hard around the neck, then pushed him away while she still could bear to do it. She slapped his rump in an order to head home. Whether he’d go to her villa or Arin’s, she couldn’t say. But he left, and might draw the other rider after him if she was indeed being pursued.
She slipped into the city shadows.
And it was magic. It was as if the Herrani gods had turned on their own people. No one noticed Kestrel skulking along walls or heard her cracking the thin ice of a puddle. No late-night wanderer looked in her face and saw a Valorian. No one saw the general’s daughter. Kestrel made it to the harbor, down to the docks.
Where Arin waited.
His breath heaved white clouds into the air. His hair was black with sweat. It hadn’t mattered that Kestrel had been ahead of him on the horse path. Arin had been able to run openly through the city while she had crept through alleys.
Their eyes met, and Kestrel felt utterly defenseless.
But she had a weapon. He didn’t, not that she could see. Her hand instinctively fell to her knife’s jagged edge.
Arin saw. Kestrel wasn’t sure what came first: his quick hurt, so plain and sharp, or her certainty--equally plain, equally sharp--that she could never draw a weapon on him.
He straightened from his runner’s crouch. His expression changed. Until it did, Kestrel hadn’t perceived the desperate set of his mouth. She hadn’t recognized the wordless plea until it was gone, and his face aged with something sad. Resigned.
Arin glanced away. When he looked back it was as if Kestrel were part of the pier beneath her feet. A sail stitched to a ship. A black current of water.
As if she were not there at all.
He turned away, walked into the illuminated house of the new Herrani harbormaster, and shut the door behind him.
For a moment Kestrel couldn’t move. Then she ran for a fishing boat docked far enough from its fellows that she might cast off from shore unnoticed by an sailors on the other vessels. She leaped onto the deck and took rapid stock of the boat. The tiny cabin was bare of supplies.
As she lifted the anchor and uncoiled the rope tethering the boat to its dock, she knew, even if she couldn’t see, that Arin was talking with the harbormaster, distracting him while Kestrel prepared to set sail.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
Saying goodbye to everyone, I picked up my bag and began walking away as a deep husky voice called my name. I didn’t stop walking, but looked over my shoulder in time to see Brandon walking around the table toward me, and Chase holding the brunette’s head away from his as he watched us, she just continued onto his neck. Falling into step with me, he held out a hand, “We haven’t met yet, I’m Brandon Taylor.” Dear Lord that voice could warm me on the coldest day of the year. “Harper Jackson, nice to meet you.” He smiled as he held the door open for me, “You too. You seem to know the rest of the guys pretty well though we’re just meeting, they said you’re Bree’s roommate?” “Uh, yeah. I am, but I don’t really know them well. I’ve only talked to them for a total of about ten minutes before today.” “Really?” The corners of his mouth twitched up, “You seem to make quite an impression in a short amount of time then.” “Oh I definitely made an impression with them.” I muttered. He looked at me quizzically but I shook my head so he wouldn’t push it. We stopped walking when we got to the path that would take me to the dorms and him to his next class. I turned towards him and shamelessly took in his worn jeans resting low on his narrow hips and fitted black shirt before going back to his face. I hadn’t realized how tall he was when we were walking out, but he had to be at least a foot taller than me. His height and muscled body made me want to curl up in his arms, it looked like I’d fit perfectly there. I nervously bit my bottom lip while I watched his cloudy eyes slowly take in my small frame. It didn’t feel like the guys at the party, looking at me like I was something to eat. His eyes made me feel beautiful, and it thrilled me that they were on me. Thrilled me that they were on me? Get a grip Harper you just met him two seconds ago. “Come on PG, let’s go.” Chase grabbed my arm and started dragging me away. “Chase! Stop!” I yanked my arm out and shot him a dirty look. “What is your problem?” “I’m taking you and Bree to the house, and you need to pack for the weekend so let’s go.” He grabbed for me again but I dodged his hand. “The weekend, what?” “You’re staying with me, go pack.” I narrowed my eyes and started to turn towards Brandon, “Fine, hold on.” “Harper.” “Go away Chase, I’ll meet you in the room in a minute. Go find Bree.” He moved to stand closer behind me so I just sighed and gave Brandon a lame smile. “Sorry, apparently I have to go. I’ll see you tonight?” I don’t know why I asked, he actually lived there. A sexy smile lit up his face as his hand reached out to quickly brush against my arm, “See you then.” With a hard nod directed towards Chase, he turned and walked away.
Molly McAdams (Taking Chances (Taking Chances, #1))
Satan Tempts Yahshua Then Yahshua was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 G2So when the tempter came to Him, she said; If You are the Son of Yahweh, command that these stones be turned to bread. 4 aBut He answered, and said; It is written: 1Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Yahweh. 5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, and set Him on the pinnacle of the sacred precincts of the House of Yahweh, 6 And said to Him; G3If You are the Son of Yahweh, throw Yourself down; for it is written: 2For He will give His malakim charge concerning You, to keep You in all Your ways. They will bear You up in their hands, if You should strike Your foot against a stone. 7 Yahshua said to her; It is also written: 3,G4,W2You must not test Yahweh your Father. 8 Again, the devil took Him up into an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the magnificence of them, 9 And said to Him; I will give You all these things, if You will fall down and worship me. 10 bThen Yahshua said to her; You get away, Satan! For it is written: 4Yahweh your Father you must reverence, and Him only you must serve! 11 G5The devil then left Him, and, behold, malakim came and ministered to Him.
Yisrayl Hawkins (The Book of Yahweh: The Holy Scriptures)
You're in there somewhere." He tapped at her collarbone. "You'll pop out again when-Well,when the time is right. But for now,you've slipped entirely inside your past. Like a cute little turtle in a borrowed shell.Except it's more than that.When you're in Lys's body, your very beings are entwined, so all sorts of good stuff comes with the package.Her memories,her passions,her manners-lucky for you.Of course,you also have to grapple with her shortcomings.This one,if I recall,puts her foot in her mouth with some regularity.So watch out."
"Amazing," Luce whispered. "So if I could just find Daniel,I'd be able to feel exactly what she feels toward him."
"Sure,I guess,but you do realize that once I snap my fingers,Lys has obligations at this ball that don't include Daniel.This isn't really his scene,and by that I mean,no way the guards would let a poor stable boy in here."
Luce didn't care about any of that. Poor stable boy or not,she would find him. She couldn't wait. Inside Lys's body she could even hold him, maybe even kiss him.The anticipation of it was almost overwhelming.
"Hello?" Bill flicked a hard finger against her temple. "You ready yet? Get in there,see what you can see-then get out while the getting's good, if you know what I mean."
Luce nodded.She straightened Lsys's black gown and held her head a little higher. "Snap to it."
"And...go." Bill snapped his fingers.
Lauren Kate (Passion (Fallen, #3))
I jumped a foot. "Nonna!"
She was standing in my doorway, beaming like a demented gnome. "For your underwater dance."
"It looks like....a toga."
"Toga," she sniffed as she stalked across the room to lift the dress from its hanger, "is for boys at silly parties. This is for a goddess." She held it up to me. "You will be Salacia, Roman goddess of water."
It still looked like a toga, and not a very big one, although it did almost reach the floor. My legs would be covered, which was all well and good, except that, other than going a little too long without defuzzing, I didn't have much of a problem with my legs. I did know this wasn't going to work. I just had no idea at the moment how I was going to make it not happen.
"This is awfully...pagan of you, Nonna."
She rolled her eyes. "Ai, sixteen, with the smart mouth and such certainty. You think I just read the Bible? A goddess, she has more fun than a saint."
"Ah!" She poked me in the center of the chest with her middle finger. "Fun, si, but a bad end if she thinks to hold the heart of a boy who wants only to play. Salacia, she let Neptune chase her and chase her and prove his heart was true."
I didn't argue. My grasp of Greco-Roman mythology is shaky at best, and derived mostly from the Percy Jackson books. I had my doubts about Neptune's heart, but figured it would only be smart-assy to mention that to my grandmother.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
You’re the one who didn’t keep his word. And speaking of your word and its dubious worth, don’t change the subject. I saw the looks you and Miss Turner were exchanging. The lady goes bright pink every time you speak to her. For God’s sake, you put food on her plate without even asking.”
“And where’s the crime in that?” Gray was genuinely curious to hear the answer. He hadn’t forgotten that shocked look she’d given him.
“Come on, Gray. You know very well one doesn’t take such a liberty with a mere acquaintance. It’s…it’s intimate. The two of you are intimate. Don’t deny it.”
“I do deny it. It isn’t true.” Gray took another swig from his flask and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “Damn it, Joss. Sooner or later, you’re going to have to trust me. I gave you my word. I’ve kept it.”
And it was the truth, Gray told himself. Yes, he’d touched her tonight, but he’d never pledged not to touch her. He had kept his word. He hadn’t bedded her. He hadn’t kissed her.
God, what he wouldn’t give just to kiss her…
He rubbed the heel of his hand against his chest. That same ache lingered there-the same sharp tug he’d felt when she’d brought her foot down on his and pursed her lips into a silent plea. Please, she’d said. Don’t. As if she appealed to his conscience.
His conscience. Where would the girl have gathered such a notion, that he possessed a conscience? Certainly not form his treatment of her.
A bitter laugh rumbled through his chest, and Joss shot him a skeptical look.
“Believe me, I’ve scarcely spoken to the girl in weeks. You can’t know the lengths I’ve gone to, avoiding her. And it isn’t easy, because she won’t stay put in her cabin, now will she? No, she has to go all over the ship, flirting with the crew, tacking her little pictures in every corner of the boat, taking tea in the galley with Gabriel. I can’t help but see her. And I can see she’s too damn thin. She needs to eat; I put food on her plate. There’s nothing more to it than that.”
Joss said nothing, just stared at him as though he’d grown a second head.
“Damn it, what now? Don’t you believe me?”
“I believe what you’re saying,” his brother said slowly. “I just can’t believe what I’m hearing.”
Gray folded his arms and leaned against the wall. “And what are you hearing?”
“I wondered why you’d done all this…the dinner. Now I know.”
“You know what?” Gray was growing exasperated. Most of all, because he didn’t know.
“You care for this girl.” Joss cocked his head. “You care for her. Don’t you?”
“Care for her.”
Joss’s expression was smug. “Don’t you?”
The idea was too preposterous to entertain, but Gray perked with inspiration. “Say I did care for her. Would you release me from that promise? If my answer is yes, can I pursue her?”
Joss shook his head. “If the answer is yes, you can-and should-wait one more week. It’s not as though she’ll vanish the moment we make harbor. If the answer is yes, you’ll agree she deserves that much.”
Wrong, Gray thought, sinking back into a chair.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
If man had wings, he would have polluted the sky.
Houston we have a problem.
The era when scientific progress seemed unstoppable has stopped today, showing the weaknesses of governments and peoples to the whole world in the face of any virus. Fifty years ago the question that afflicted some "powerful" states, concerned the ability to reach the mysterious space, an undertaking that, given the age, seemed increasingly difficult. Today, however, the biggest mission the world is facing is to survive, trying to make people holed up in their homes.
But where is the meaning of all this? How did we go from the time when everything was possible and the economy seemed unstoppable, to that in which there are no ways to produce simple masks in a short time? Why did we spend almost a century trying to reach the Moon, Mars and the whole Universe, rather than taking care of our fellow men and our planet that collapsed towards extinction minute by minute?
It is certainly no coincidence that while the world is facing a Covid-19 pandemic, NASA is committed to managing the upcoming "Mars 2020" mission with launch scheduled for 17 July 2020. The main objective of this new mission it to look for traces of possible Martian microbes and collect soil samples.
You would agree with me in affirming that the sense of the space mission, nowadays, could look more like a demonstration of man's superiority over nature and towards the unknown, than a journey to get to know and understand the infinite mysteries of space and its planets?
There is something within our world that pushes us to never appreciate what we have, to want more and more, to the point where we begin to sacrifice the most important and indispensable things, in order to reach questionable new horizons. In this way, governments prefer to invest in weapons rather than in health, in multinationals, rather than supporting education, in space missions rather than taking care of our environment, making the world unprepared for an emergency like a pandemic.
And here we are, while fifty years ago we were with our eyes glued to a screen and our breath suspended in order to become witnesses of the Apollo 13 mission, today we stare at our televisions while we see the hundreds of thousands in the mouth of death that our world has to spare them. And so, while we have to deal with our indifference and our mistakes, Mother Nature, who for centuries and centuries has been disfigured of all beauty, today comes back to life, showing herself more alive than ever.
Nature is regaining its footing and repopulating lands and seas, cities are less polluted and finally you can breathe clean air. Once again, our planet shows us how powerful it is and how it can put man in his place in a few moments.
So, for the umpteenth time we are forced to face the fate that we built with indifference and arrogance, forgetting about our eternal vulnerability.
Yes Houston, we still have a problem. It's called "human ignorance" disguised as a philosophy of futility.
Sweet to me your voice, said Caolcrodha Mac Morna, brother to sweet-worded sweet-toothed Goll from Sliabh Riabhach and Brosnacha Bladhma, relate then the attributes that are to Finn's people.
I will relate, said Finn. Till a man has accomplished twelve books of poetry, the same is not taken for want of poetry but is forced away. No man is taken till a black hole is hollowed in the world to the depth of his two oxters and he put into it to gaze from it with his lonely head and nothing to him but his shield and a stick of hazel. Then must nine warriors fly their spears at him, one with the other and together. If he be spear-holed past his shield, or spear-killed, he is not taken for want of shield-skill. No man is taken till he is run by warriors through the woods of Erin with his hair bunched-loose about him for bough-tangle and briar-twitch. Should branches disturb his hair or pull it forth like sheep-wool on a hawthorn, he is not taken but is caught and gashed. Weapon-quivering hand or twig-crackling foot at full run, neither is taken. Neck-high sticks he must pass by vaulting, knee-high sticks by stooping. With the eyelids to him stitched to the fringe of his eye-bags, he must be run by Finn's people through the bogs and the marsh-swamps of Erin with two odorous prickle-backed hogs ham-tied and asleep in the seat of his hempen drawers. If he sink beneath a peat-swamp or lose a hog, he is not accepted of Finn's people. For five days he must sit on the brow of a cold hill with twelve-pointed stag-antlers hidden in his seat, without food or music or chessmen. If he cry out or eat grass-stalks or desist from the constant recital of sweet poetry and melodious Irish, he is not taken but is wounded. When pursued by a host, he must stick a spear in the world and hide behind it and vanish in its narrow shelter or he is not taken for want of sorcery. Likewise he must hide beneath a twig, or behind a dried leaf, or under a red stone, or vanish at full speed into the seat of his hempen drawers without changing his course or abating his pace or angering the men of Erin. Two young fosterlings he must carry under the armpits to his jacket through the whole of Erin, and six arm-bearing warriors in his seat together. If he be delivered of a warrior or a blue spear, he is not taken. One hundred head of cattle he must accommodate with wisdom about his person when walking all Erin, the half about his armpits and the half about his trews, his mouth never halting from the discoursing of sweet poetry. One thousand rams he must sequester about his trunks with no offence to the men of Erin, or he is unknown to Finn. He must swiftly milk a fat cow and carry milk-pail and cow for twenty years in the seat of his drawers. When pursued in a chariot by the men of Erin he must dismount, place horse and chariot in the slack of his seat and hide behind his spear, the same being stuck upright in Erin. Unless he accomplishes these feats, he is not wanted of Finn. But if he do them all and be skilful, he is of Finn's people.
Flann O'Brien (At Swim-Two-Birds)
Hiya, cutie! How was your first day of school?" She pops the oven shut with her hip.
He shakes his head and pulls up a bar stool next to Rayna, who's sitting at the counter painting her nails the color of a red snapper. "This won't work. I don't know what I'm doing," he says.
"Sweet pea, what happened? Can't be that bad."
He nods. "It is. I knocked Emma unconscious."
Rachel spits the wine back in her glass. "Oh, sweetie, uh...that sort of thing's been frowned upon for years now."
"Good. You owed her one," Rayna snickers. "She shoved him at the beach," she explains to Rachel.
"Oh?" Rachel says. "That how she got your attention?"
"She didn't shove me; she tripped into me," he says. "And I didn't knock her out on purpose. She ran from me, so I chased her and-"
Rachel holds up her hand. "Okay. Stop right there. Are the cops coming by? You know that makes me nervous."
"No," Galen says, rolling his eyes. If the cops haven't found Rachel by now, they're not going to. Besides, after all this time, the cops wouldn't still be looking. And the other people who want to find her think she's dead.
"Okay, good. Now, back up there, sweet pea. Why did she run from you?"
Rachel clasps her hands together. "I know, sweet pea. I do. But in order for me to help you, I need to know the specifics. Us girls are tricky creatures."
He runs a hand through his hair. "Tell me about it. First she's being nice and cooperative, and then she's yelling in my face."
Rayna gasps. "She yelled at you?" She slams the polish bottle on the counter and points at Rachel. "I want you to be my mother, too. I want to be enrolled in school."
"No way. You step one foot outside this house, and I'll arrest you myself," Galen says. "And don't even think about getting in the water with that human paint on your fingers."
"Don't worry. I'm not getting in the water at all."
Galen opens his mouth to contradict that, to tell her to go home tomorrow and stay there, but then he sees her exasperated expression. He grins. "He found you."
Rayna crosses her arms and nods. "Why can't he just leave me alone? And why do you think it's so funny? You're my brother! You're supposed to protect me!"
He laughs. "From Toraf? Why would I do that?"
She shakes her head. "I was trying to catch some fish for Rachel, and I sensed him in the water. Close. I got out as fast as I could, but probably he knows that's what I did. How does he always find me?"
"Oops," Rachel says.
They both turn to her. She smiles apologetically at Rayna. "I didn't realize you two were at odds. He showed up on the back porch looking for you this morning and...I invited him to dinner. Sorry."
As Galen says, "Rachel, what if someone sees him?" Rayna is saying, "No. No, no, no, he is not coming to dinner."
Rachel clears her throat and nods behind them.
"Rayna, that's very hurtful. After all we've been through," Toraf says.
Rayna bristles on the stool, growling at the sound of his voice. She sends an icy glare to Rachel, who pretends not to notice as she squeezes a lemon slice over the fillets.
Galen hops down and greets his friend with a strong punch to the arm. "Hey there, tadpole. I see you found a pair of my swimming trunks. Good to see your tracking skills are still intact after the accident and all."
Toraf stares at Rayna's back. "Accident, yes. Next time, I'll keep my eyes open when I kiss her. That way, I won't accidentally bust my nose on a rock again. Foolish me, right?"
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
I push my eye farther into the crack, smushing my cheek. The door rattles.
Her arm freezes. The needle stops. Instantly, her shadow fills the room, a mountain on the wall.
I hold my breath. No hiding in the wood-box this time. Before I even have time to pull my eye away, the door opens. My mother's face, like the moon in the dark hallway. She squints and takes a step toward me. “Lei-lee?”
I want to tell her I’ve had a nightmare about the Sisters, that I can’t sleep with all this whispering and worrying from her—and what are you sewing in the dark, Mamma? I try to move my lips, but I have no mouth. My tongue is gone; my nose is gone. I don’t have a face anymore.
It has happened again.
I am lying on my back, flatter than bread. My mother’s bare feet slap against my skin, across my belly, my chest. She digs her heel in, at my throat that isn’t there. I can see her head turning toward her bedroom. Snores crawl under the closed door. The door to my room is open, but she can’t see my bed from where she stands, can’t see that my bed is empty. She nods to herself: everything as it should be. Her foot grinds into my chin. The door to the sewing room closes behind her.
I struggle to sit up. I wiggle my hips and jiggle my legs. It is no use. I am stuck, pressed flat into the grain of wood under me.
But it’s not under me. It is me.
I have become the floor.
I know it’s true, even as I tell myself I am dreaming, that I am still in bed under the covers. My blood whirls inside the wood knots, spinning and rushing, sucking me down and down. The nicks of boot prints stomp and kick at my bones, like a bruise. I feel the clunk of one board to the next, like bumps of a wheel over stone. And then I am all of it, every knot, grain, and sliver, running down the hall, whooshing like a river, ever so fast, over the edge and down a waterfall, rushing from room to room. I pour myself under and over and through, feeling objects brush against me as I pass by. Bookshelves, bedposts, Pappa’s slippers, a fallen dressing gown, the stubby ends of an old chair. A mouse hiding inside a hole in the wall. Mor’s needle bobbing up and down.
How is this possible?
I am so wide, I can see both Mor and Far at the same time, even though they are in different rooms, one wide awake, the other fast asleep. I feel my father’s breath easily, sinking through the bed into me, while Mor’s breath fights against me, against the floor. In and out, each breath swimming away, away, at the speed of her needle, up up up in out in out outoutout—let me out, get me out, I want out.
That’s what Mamma is thinking, and I hear it, loud and clear. I strain my ears against the wood to get back into my own body. Nothing happens. I try again, but this time push hard with my arms that aren’t there. Nothing at all. I stop and sink, letting go, giving myself into the floor.
Seven, soon to be eight… it’s time, time’s up, time to go.
The needle is singing, as sure as stitches on a seam. I am inside the thread, inside her head. Mamma is ticking—onetwothreefourfivesix—
Seven. Seven what? And why is it time to go?
Don’t leave me, Mamma. I beg her feet, her knees, her hips, her chest, her heart, my begging spreading like a big squid into the very skin of her.
It’s then that I feel it.
Something is happening to Mamma. Something neither Pappa nor I have noticed.
She is becoming dust.
She is drier than the wood I have become.
- Becoming Leidah
Quoted by copying text from the epub version using BlueFire e-reader.
Michelle Grierson (Becoming Leidah)
She slipped into the shadows and waited, like a she-wolf, for her quarry.
Bay caught her breath when Owen Blackthorne stepped into the cool night air. He was close enough to touch. His shaggy black hair looked rumpled, as though he’d shoved both hands through it in agitation. When he started to move off the porch, Bay reached out and grasped his sleeve.
A second later she was slammed back against the wall, a powerful male hand at her throat choking her. She could feel the heat of him, the solid maleness of him. And panicked. She clawed at Owen’s flesh with her nails and drove her knee upward toward his genitals. Her thrust her upraised knee aside, and the full weight of his over-six-foot frame shoved hard against her from shoulders to thighs.
Bay froze, staring up at him in mute horror. Her body trembled in shock. She tried to speak, but there was no air to be had beneath the crushing pressure of his grip on her throat.
“What the hell . . .?” He released her throat and grabbed her arms to yank her into the narrow stream of light from the kitchen doorway.
She gasped a breath of air, coughed, then gasped another, pressing a shaky hand to her injured throat. She wrenched to free herself, but he let her go without a struggle and took a wary step back. She rubbed her arms where he’d held her, wishing she’d approached him more directly.
“What are you doing out here, Mizz Creed?” His voice was clipped but controlled. The violence she’d felt in his touch was still there in his eyes, which glittered with hostility.
“It’s Dr. Creed,” she rasped, glaring back at him.
He lifted a black brow. “Well, Dr. Creed.”
She opened her mouth to say I need your help. But the words wouldn’t come. There was nothing wrong with her voice. She just hated the thought of asking a Blackthorne for anything.
“I haven’t got all night,” he said. “There’s an emergency at the barn—”
“Ruby’s foal has already been delivered safely,” she said. “I made up that story because I wanted to speak privately with you.
Joan Johnston (The Texan (Bitter Creek, #2))
Gray helped himself to more toast, taking the opportunity to slide an extra slice onto Miss Turner’s plate.
She glanced up at him, her expression a mixture of shock and reproach.
And this was his reward for generosity.
He gave a tense shrug by way of excuse, then replaced the knife and fork and busied himself with his own food. He felt her staring at him.
That was it. If she was entitled to stare at him, he was damned well going to stare back. And if this governess was going to reprimand him like an incorrigible charge…well, then Gray was going to misbehave.
Letting his silver clatter to the china, he balled his hands into fists and plunked them down on either side of his plate. “You say you miss your family, Miss Turner? I wonder at it.
Her glare was cold. “You do?”
“You told me in Gravesend you’d nowhere to turn.”
“I spoke the truth.” Her chin lifted. “I’ve been missing my family since long before I felt England.”
“So they’re dead?”
She fidgeted with her fork. “Some.”
“But not all?”
He leaned toward her and spoke in a low voice, though anyone who cared to listen might hear. “What sort of relations allow a young woman to cross an ocean unaccompanied, to labor as a plantation governess? I should think you’d be glad to be free of them.”
He picked up his fork and jabbed at a hunk of meat. His voice a low murmur, he directed the next question at his plate. “Or perhaps they’re glad to be free of you?”
Something crushed his foot under the table. A pointy-heeled boot. Then, just as quickly, the pressure eased. But her foot remained atop his. The gesture was infuriating, and somehow wildly erotic.
He met her gaze, and this time found no coldness, no reproach. Instead, her eyes were wide, beseeching. They called to something deep inside him he hadn’t known was there.
Please, she mouthed. Don’t.
She bit her lip, and he felt it as a visceral tug. That unused part of him stretched and ached. And at that instant, Gray would have sworn they were the only two souls in the room. In the world.
Until Wiggins spoke again, confound the man.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
I kept my head down and my mouth full. I didn't want Frankie's sharp eyes or tongue focused on me any more than necessary. It was a lot easier with Daniel taking up half of the food and most of the air.
"What about it, Ella?" he asked when everything was gone except the parsley garnish. "When do we get the pleasure of your vocal stylings?"
"I don't sing."
"You mean you won't sng," Sadie corrected. I tried to be charitable about her treason; she goes pretty brainless around Daniel. "Ella sings really well."
"I'm sure she does." Daniel tipped his beer glass in my direction. "In fact, I bet she could totally murder 'Don't Stop Believin'." A song that is actually one of my guilty pleasures. I think he probably knew that. I think he probably had himself a lovely chuckle over it.Then he whispered, "Coward."
In another story, the plucky little heroine would have slapped both hands onto the table, making it wobble a little on its predicatbly uneven fourth leg. She would then have taken both hands, ripped the long scarf from around her neck and, chin high and scar spotlit, stalked to the dais, leaped up, and slayed the audience with her kick-ass version of "Respect." Or maybe "Single Ladies," for the sheer Yay factor.
In this version,I gave Daniel what I hoped was a slayer look and busied myself refolding my napkin.
He was,not surprisingly, unfazed. "Can I ask you a question?"
I sighed. "Will my answer to that one make any difference?"
"Fine," I grumbled. "Ask." I didn't have to answer.He wasn't my Hobbes.
"Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii?"
I gaped at him. "That's your question?"
"Nope." He leaned back in his chair, propping one foot on the other knee. "That's a question. My question is this: What's the one thing you should ask yourself before getting involved with someone?"
"Do I look serious?"
Maybe not serious, but vaguely deadly. Still,it was an interesting question, especially coming from Daniel Hobbes. I thought for a second. "'Will he make me happy?'"
"You think?" Daniel asked, the unfolded himself and got to his feet. "I'm outta here. Who's coming?
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
How vainly men themselves amaze
To win the palm, the oak, or bays,
And their uncessant labours see
Crown’d from some single herb or tree,
Whose short and narrow verged shade
Does prudently their toils upbraid;
While all flow’rs and all trees do close
To weave the garlands of repose.
Fair Quiet, have I found thee here,
And Innocence, thy sister dear!
Mistaken long, I sought you then
In busy companies of men;
Your sacred plants, if here below,
Only among the plants will grow.
Society is all but rude,
To this delicious solitude.
No white nor red was ever seen
So am’rous as this lovely green.
Fond lovers, cruel as their flame,
Cut in these trees their mistress’ name;
Little, alas, they know or heed
How far these beauties hers exceed!
Fair trees! wheres’e’er your barks I wound,
No name shall but your own be found.
When we have run our passion’s heat,
Love hither makes his best retreat.
The gods, that mortal beauty chase,
Still in a tree did end their race:
Apollo hunted Daphne so,
Only that she might laurel grow;
And Pan did after Syrinx speed,
Not as a nymph, but for a reed.
What wond’rous life in this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on melons as I pass,
Ensnar’d with flow’rs, I fall on grass.
Meanwhile the mind, from pleasure less,
Withdraws into its happiness;
The mind, that ocean where each kind
Does straight its own resemblance find,
Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other worlds, and other seas;
Annihilating all that’s made
To a green thought in a green shade.
Here at the fountain’s sliding foot,
Or at some fruit tree’s mossy root,
Casting the body’s vest aside,
My soul into the boughs does glide;
There like a bird it sits and sings,
Then whets, and combs its silver wings;
And, till prepar’d for longer flight,
Waves in its plumes the various light.
Such was that happy garden-state,
While man there walk’d without a mate;
After a place so pure and sweet,
What other help could yet be meet!
But ’twas beyond a mortal’s share
To wander solitary there:
Two paradises ’twere in one
To live in paradise alone.
How well the skillful gard’ner drew
Of flow’rs and herbs this dial new,
Where from above the milder sun
Does through a fragrant zodiac run;
And as it works, th’ industrious bee
Computes its time as well as we.
How could such sweet and wholesome hours
Be reckon’d but with herbs and flow’rs!
Andrew Marvell (Miscellaneous Poems)
Holy gallnipper, how long till we hit the magic trail? It’s gloomier than my own funeral I here.”
Camille adjusted the bag’s rope and looked at Ira. “Don’t even joke about that.”
Since the moment they’d entered the forest, she’d felt like something was listening. Like they’d woken some sleeping creature, and now it followed them with silent cunning. The deafening chants had not returned to pierce her eardrums, but danger still felt close.
A few paces ahead of her, Oscar peeled away another cobweb, the octagonal spinning so massive Camille didn’t even want to imagine the size of the spider that had created it.
“Mate, you got a stomach made of iron,” Ira said.
A flash of orange and black swept in front of Camille’s eyes and she felt an odd tug on her dress. She looked down and froze. A spider with a body the size of her first flexed its hairy legs on her skirt. It started to scuttle up. Her scream echoed through the forest as she swiped the spider off. It hit the marshy ground and scampered under a log. Oscar grabbed her arm and pulled her toward him.
“Did it bite you?”
She shook her head, arms and legs stiff with fear.
“I’ve never seen one so bloody big,” Ira said, running past the log as though the spider would leap out at him. Oscar started walking again, his hand on the small of her back. She exhaled with more than one kind of relief. He was at least still concerned for her.
As they started to pick up their pace, another black critter swung down from a nearby tree. Camille say it flying toward them, but her warning shout was too slow. The spider landed on Oscar’s shoulder, fat and furry and swift as its legs darted up his neck.
Oscar shouted an obscenity as he whacked the giant from his skin. Camille heard it thud against the leafy forest floor. Unfazed, the spider quickly sprang to its finger-length legs and darted toward her boot. Her shrieks echoed again as it leaped onto her hem. With his foot, Ira knocked the spider back to the ground, and before it could bounce back up, Oscar smashed it with a stick. The squashed giant oozed yellow-and-green blood onto the marshy ground. Camille gagged and tasted her breakfast oats in the back of her mouth.
“What in all wrath are those monsters?” Ira panted as he twisted around, looking for more.
Camille looked up to the trees to try and spot any others that might be descending from glossy webbing. Terror paralyzed her as her eyes landed on a colony of glistening webs in the treetops. An endless number of black dots massed above their heads, dangling from tree limbs. Oscar and Ira followed her horrified stare.
“Run,” Oscar whispered. Camille sprinted forward, her skin and scalp tingling with imaginary spider legs. The bag of provisions slammed against her back, tugging at her neck, but she didn’t care. They didn’t slow down until the gigantic spiderwebs grew sparse and the squawk of birds took over.
Angie Frazier (Everlasting (Everlasting, #1))
Archer arrived early the next morning. Grey was still asleep on the sofa in his study when he heard tapping on the window.
He opened his eyes and immediately regretted it as the sharp light of day pierced his brain. Squinting, he tried to focus on his brother, since he already knew who his visitor was. Only one person ever announced himself so annoyingly.
“Open the bloody window, Grey!”
Grumbling, Grey slowly rose into a full sitting position. His back and neck were stiff and his head felt as though someone had kicked it repeatedly from all sides. And his mouth! Christ, he didn’t want to even think about what might have died inside it.
He staggered to the window, unlatched it and swung it open. “What the hell do you want?”
Wide-eyed, Archer made a tsking noise. “Is that any way to greet your favorite brother?”
“You’re not my favorite,” Grey scowled.
Unaffected, Archer easily adapted. “Is that any way to greet your second-favorite brother?”
Grey grinned, he couldn’t help it. Archer had always had a knack for making him smile, just as he had a knack for pissing him off as well. “I’m hung over and feel like shite. What do you want?”
“You look like shite. What’s this I hear about you making an appearance at Saint’s Row last night?”
“Rose tell you that?”
“She did. I’m surprised you took such a risk just to see her.”
Grey thought of her in that teal gown, the lights illuminating the luster of her skin. “It was worth it.”
“Worth it, eh? So worth it you immediately came home and got sloshed.”
“Something like that. And then Rose came home and I got even more sloshed.”
Archer’s expression turned to concern as he leaned against the window frame. “What happened?”
Grey shrugged. He’d already revealed more than he’d wanted. “Suffice it to say she now knows what kind of man I am.”
His brother snorted. “That girl has always known exactly what kind of man you are.”
The words were plain enough, but there was a cryptic edge to them that had Grey puzzled. “What the hell does that mean?”
Arch shook his head. “Come to the stables with me. I want to show you something.”
He looked down at himself. He was wearing the same clothes he’d worn last night and he was wrinkled beyond hope. Not to mention that he smelled like a distillery-an unwashed one at that. And his mask was up in his room. What if someone happened by and saw him…
He wasn’t a coward. He just didn’t wish to be seen looking less than his best.
An oath punctuated the early morning air. Grey was grabbed by the front of the shirt and yanked-hard. His only course of action was to brace one booted foot on the bottom sill to keep from falling.
Of course, that action only succeeded in making it easier for Archer to haul him completely out onto the lawn. He landed hard on both feet, the impact going straight to his ready-to-implode skull.
“What the hell?” Fist cocked, Grey punched his brother in the shoulder. “Jesus, man! What are you about?”
Archer punched him back. It hurt, and oddly enough it seemed to wake him up-clear the fog and some of the pressure surrounding his brain. “I’m trying to help you, you bugger.”
“To do what?” Grey demanded. “Die?
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
Speaking of shooting, my lady,” Mr. Pinter said as he came around the table, “I looked over your pistol as you requested. Everything seems to be in order.”
Removing it from his coat pocket, he handed it to her, a hint of humor in his gaze. As several pair of male eyes fixed on her, she colored. To hide her embarrassment, she made a great show of examining her gun. He’d cleaned it thoroughly, which she grudgingly admitted was rather nice of him.
“What a cunning little weapon,” the viscount said and reached for it. “May I?”
She handed him the pistol.
“How tiny it is,” he exclaimed.
“It’s a lady’s pocket pistol,” she told him as he examined it.
Oliver frowned at her. “When did you acquire a pocket pistol, Celia?”
“A little while ago,” she said blithely.
Gabe grinned. “You may not know this, Basto, but my sister is something of a sharpshooter. I daresay she has a bigger collection of guns than Oliver.”
“Not bigger,” she said. “Finer perhaps, but I’m choosy about my firearms.”
“She has beaten us all at some time or another at target shooting,” the duke said dryly. “The lady could probably hit a fly at fifty paces.”
“Don’t be silly,” she said with a grin. “A beetle perhaps, but not a fly.” The minute the words were out of her mouth, she could have kicked herself. Females did not boast of their shooting-not if they wanted to snag husbands.
“You should come shooting with us,” Oliver said. “Why not?”
The last thing she needed was to beat her suitors at shooting. The viscount in particular would take it very ill. She suspected that Portuguese men preferred their women to be wilting flowers.
“No thank you,” she said. “Target shooting is one thing, but I don’t like hunting birds.”
“Suit yourself,” Gabe said, clearly happy to make it a gentlemen-only outing, though he knew perfectly well that hunting birds didn’t bother her.
“Come now, Lady Celia,” Lord Devonmont said. “You were eating partridges at supper last night. How can you quibble about shooting birds?”
“If she doesn’t want to go, let her stay,” Gabe put in.
“It’s not shooting birds she has an objection to,” Mr. Pinter said in a taunting voice. “Her ladyship just can’t hit a moving target.”
She bit back a hot retort. Don’t scare off the suitors.
“That’s ridiculous, Pinter,” Gabe said. “I’ve seen Celia-ow! What the devil, Oliver? You stepped on my foot!”
“Sorry, old chap, you were in the way,” Oliver said as he went to the table. “I think Pinter’s right, though. Celia can’t hit a moving target.”
“Oh, for heaven’s sake,” she protested, “I most certainly can hit a moving target! Just because I choose not to for the sake of the poor, helpless birds-“
“Convenient, isn’t it, her sudden dislike of shooting ‘poor, helpless birds’?” Mr. Pinter said with a smug glance at Lord Devonmont.
“Convenient, indeed,” Lord Devonmont agreed. “But not surprising. Women don’t have the same ability to follow a bird in flight that a man-“
“That’s nonsense, and you know it!” Celia jumped to her feet. “I can shoot a pigeon or a grouse on the wing as well as any man here.”
“Sounds like a challenge to me,” Oliver said. “What do you think, Pinter?”
“A definite challenge, sir.” Mr. Pinter was staring at her with what looked like satisfaction.
Blast it all, had that been his purpose-to goad her into it?
Oh, what did it matter? She couldn’t let a claim like this or Lord Devonmont’s stand. “Fine. I’ll join you gentlemen for the shooting.”
“Then I propose that whoever bags the most birds gets to kiss the lady,” Lord Devonmont said with a gleam in his eye.
“That’s not much of a prize for me,” Gabe grumbled.
She planted her hands on her hips. “And what if I bag the most birds?”
“Then you get to shoot whomever you wish,” Mr. Pinter drawled.
As the others laughed, Celia glared at him. He was certainly enjoying himself, the wretch. “I’d be careful if I were you, Mr. Pinter. That person would most likely be you.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
His eyes flickered with amusement, reflecting sunlight and shade. The rough beard on his chin gave him a wild, dangerous look. Stiffly, she lifted herself onto her toes, bracing a hand against his shoulders. He was steel beneath her grasp. Did he have to watch her so intently? She closed her eyes. It was the only way she would have the courage to do this. Still he waited. It would be a brief meeting of lips. Nothing to be afraid of. If only her heart would remember to keep beating. Holding her breath, she let her lips brush over his. It was the first time she’d ever kissed a man and her mind raced with it. She hardly had a sense of his mouth at all, though the shock of the single touch rushed like liquid fire to her toes. Her part of the bargain was fulfilled. It could be done and over right then. Recklessly, after a moment’s hesitation, she touched her lips once again to him. This time she lingered, exploring the feel of him little by little. His mouth was warm and smooth and wonderful, all of it new and unexpected. He still hadn’t moved, even though her knees threatened to crumble and her heart beat like a thunder drum. Finally he responded with the barest hint of pressure. The warmth of his breath mingled with hers. Without thinking, she let her fingers dig into the sleek muscle of his arms. A low, husky sound rumbled in his throat before he wrapped his arms around her. Heaven and earth. She hadn’t been kissing him at all. The thin ribbon of resistance uncoiled within her as he took control of the kiss. His stubble scraped against her mouth, raking a raw path of sensation through her. She could do nothing but melt against him, clutching the front of his tunic to stay on her feet. A delicious heat radiated from him. His hands sank low against the small of her back to draw her close as he teased her mouth open. His breath mingled with hers for one anguished second before his tongue slipped past her lips to taste her in a slow, indulgent caress. A sigh of surrender escaped from her lips, a sound she hadn’t imagined she was capable of uttering. His hands slipped from her abruptly and she opened her eyes to see his gaze fixed on her.
‘Well,’ he breathed, ‘you do honour your bets.’ Though he no longer touched her, it was as if the kiss hadn’t ended. He was still so close, filling every sense and thought. She stumbled as she tried to step away and he caught her, a knowing smile playing over his mouth. Her balance was impeccable. She never lost her footing like that, just standing there. His grip tightened briefly before he let her go. Even that tiny, innocent touch filled her with renewed longing. In a daze, she bent to pick up her fallen swords. Her pulse throbbed as if she had run a li without stopping. In her head she was still running, flying fast. ‘Now that our bargain is settled…’ she began hoarsely ‘…we should be going.’ To her horror her hands would not stop shaking. Brushing past him, she gathered up her knapsack and slung it over her shoulder. ‘You said the next town was hours from here?’ He collected his sword while a slow grin spread over his face. She couldn’t look at him without conjuring the feel and the taste of him. Head down, she ploughed through the tall grass. ‘A good match,’ she attempted. He caught up to her easily with his long stride. ‘Yes, quite good,’ he replied, the tone rife with meaning. Her cheeks burned hot as she forced her gaze on the road ahead. She could barely tell day from night, couldn’t give her own name if asked. She had to get home and denounce Li Tao. Warn her father. She had thought of nothing else since her escape, until this blue-eyed barbarian had appeared. It was fortunate they were parting when they reached town. When he wasn’t looking she pressed her fingers over her lips, which were still swollen from that first kiss. She was outmatched, much more outmatched than when they had crossed swords.
Jeannie Lin (Butterfly Swords (Tang Dynasty, #1))