Guard Your Thoughts Quotes

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Guard well your thoughts when alone and your words when accompanied.
Roy T. Bennett
I don't think you realize who you're dealing with." The man clicked his tongue, "If you were that good, you would be more than just Captain of the Guard." Chaol let out a low, breathy laugh. "I wasn't talking about me." "She's just one girl." Though his guts were twisting at the thought of her in this place, with these people, though he was considering every possible way to get himself and Celaena out of here alive, he gave the man a grin. "Then you're really in for a big surprise.
Sarah J. Maas (Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2))
The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
I would so hate to be a first-person character! Always on your guard, always having people read your thoughts!
Jasper Fforde (Lost in a Good Book (Thursday Next, #2))
Be vigilant; guard your mind against negative thoughts.
Gautama Buddha
The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts; therefore guard accordingly.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
The Guards in front of the dais turned and froze. Then they scattered like roaches. Apollo moved up the aisle. “Yeah, that’s what I thought.” “I will find you! We’re connected. We are one!” Seth was still screaming. His gaze fell to the god. He sneered. “You want to fight me now, in your true form?” “I will fight you in any form, you little punk-ass brat.” Seth laughed. “You can’t kill me.” “But I can beat the living snot out of you.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Deity (Covenant, #3))
I thought you hated demons. Now you use them like servants. The Ravener, the Drevak demons, Agramon-they‘re your employees. Guards, butler-personal chef, for all I know.” -Jace to Valentine, pg.260-
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
Guard your thoughts, and there will be little fear about your actions.
J.C. Ryle
Neither torch nor dagger," Annabeth said firmly. "There is a third test, which I will pass." "A third test?" the pater demanded. "Mithras was born from rock," Annabeth said, hoping she was right. "He emerged fully grown from the stone, holding his dagger and torch." The screaming and wailing told her she had guessed correctly. "The big mother knows all!" a ghost cried. "That is our most closely guarded secret!" Then maybe you shouldn't put a statue of it on your altar, Annabeth thought.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
I trudged back to my bedroom and pushed the door open, intending to wash my face or brush my teeth or make some stab at smoothing my hair, because I thought it might make me feel a little less trampled. Eric was sitting on my bed, his face buried in his hands. He looked up at me as I entered, and he looked shocked. Well, no wonder, what with the very thorough takeover and traumatic changing of the guard. Sitting here on your bed, smelling your scent,” he said in a voice so low I had to strain to hear it. Sookie . . . I remember everything.” Oh, hell,” I said, and went in the bathroom and shut the door. I brushed my hair and my teeth and scrubbed my face, but I had to come out. I was being as cowardly as Quinn if I didn’t face the vampire. Eric started talking the minute I emerged. “I can’t believe I—” Yeah, yeah, I know, loved a mere human, made all those promises, was as sweet as pie and wanted to stay with me forever,” I muttered. Surely there was a shortcut we could take through this scene. I can’t believe I felt something so strongly and was so happy for the first time in hundreds of years,” Eric said with some dignity. “Give me some credit for that, too.
Charlaine Harris (From Dead to Worse (Sookie Stackhouse, #8))
She had said she didn’t feel fear, but it was a lie; this was her fear: being left alone. Because of one thing she was certain, and it was that she could never love, not like that. Trust a stranger with her flesh? The closeness, the quiet. She couldn’t imagine it. Breathing someone else’s breath as they breathed yours, touching someone, opening for them? The vulnerability of it made her flush. It would mean submission, letting down her guard, and she wouldn’t. Ever. Just the thought made her feel small and weak as a child...
Laini Taylor (Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2))
It's not reasonable to love people who are only going to die," she said. Nash thought about that for a moment, stroking Small's neck with great deliberation, as if the fate of the Dells depended on that smooth, careful movement. "I have two responses to that," he said finally. "First, everyone's going to die. Second, love is stupid. It has nothing to do with reason. You love whomever you love. Against all reasons I loved my father." He looked at her keenly. "Did you love yours?" "Yes," she whispered. He stroked Small's nose. "I love you," he said, "even knowing you'll never have me. And I love my brother, more than I ever realized before you came along. You can't help whom you love, Lady. Nor can you know what it's liable to cause you to do." She made a connection then. Surprised she sat back from him and studied his face, soft with shadows and light. She saw a part of him she hadn't seen before. "You came to me for lessons to guard your mind," she said, "and you stopped asking me to marry you, both at the same time. You did those things out of love for your brother." "Well" he said, looking a bit sheepishly at the floor. "I also took a few swings at him, but that's neither here nor there." "You're good at love," she said simply, because it seemed to her that it was true. "I'm not so good at love. I'm like a barbed creature. I push everyone I love away." He shrugged. "I don't mind you pushing me away if it means you love me, little sister.
Kristin Cashore (Fire (Graceling Realm, #2))
Tell them you came, and saw, and looked into my eyes and saw the shadow of the guard receding. Thoughts in time and out of season, the hitchinker stood by the side of the road and levelled his thumb in the calm calculus of reason. [...] Why does my mind circle around you? Why do planets wonder what it would be like to be you? All your soft wild promises were words, birds, endlessly in flight.
Jim Morrison (Wilderness: The Lost Writings, Vol. 1)
But her attention was on the prince across from her, who seemed utterly ignored by his father and his own court, shoved down near the end with her and Aedion. He ate so beautifully, she thought, watching him cut into his roast chicken. Not a drop moved out of place, not a scrap fell on the table. She had decent manners, while Aedion was hopeless, his plate littered with bones and crumbs scattered everywhere, even some on her own dress. She’d kicked him for it, but his attention was too focused on the royals down the table. So both she and the Crown Prince were to be ignored, then. She looked at the boy again, who was around her age, she supposed. His skin was from the winter, his blue-black hair neatly trimmed; his sapphire eyes lifted from his plate to meet hers. “You eat like a fine lady,” she told him. His lips thinned and color stained his ivory cheeks. Across from her, Quinn, her uncle’s Captain of the Guard, choked on his water. The prince glanced at his father—still busy with her uncle—before replying. Not for approval, but in fear. “I eat like a prince,” Dorian said quietly. “You do not need to cut your bread with a fork and knife,” she said. A faint pounding started in her head, followed by a flickering warmth, but she ignored it. The hall was hot, as they’d shut all the windows for some reason. “Here in the North,” she went on as the prince’s knife and fork remained where they were on his dinner roll, “you need not be so formal. We don’t put on airs.” Hen, one of Quinn’s men, coughed pointedly from a few seats down. She could almost hear him saying, Says the little lady with her hair pressed into careful curls and wearing her new dress that she threatened to skin us over if we got dirty. She gave Hen an equally pointed look, then returned her attention to the foreign prince. He’d already looked down at his food again, as if he expected to be neglected for the rest of the night. And he looked lonely enough that she said, “If you like, you could be my friend.” Not one of the men around them said anything, or coughed. Dorian lifted his chin. “I have a friend. He is to be Lord of Anielle someday, and the fiercest warrior in the land.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
I thought I told you to stop doing that," he snapped. A thin-lipped mouth opened; the jutting chin and nose knocked together indignantly. "Do what?" "Taking on such a hideous appearance. I've just had my breakfast." A section of brow lifted, allowing an eyeball to roll forward with a squelching sound.The face looked unapologetic."Sorry, mate," it said. "It's just my job." "Your job is to destroy anyone entering my study without authority. No more, no less." The door guard considered. "True. But I seek to preempt entry by scaring trespassers away. To my way of thinking, deterrence is more aesthetically satisfying than punishment." Mr. Mandrake snorted. "Trespassers apart, you'll likely frighten Ms. Piper here to death." The face shook from side to side, a process that caused the nose to wobble alarmingly. "Not so. When she comes alone, I moderate my features. I reserve the full horror for those I consider morally vicious." "But you just looked that way to me!" "The contradiction being...?
Jonathan Stroud (Ptolemy's Gate (Bartimaeus, #3))
To have ye with me again--to talk wi' you--to know I can say anything, not guard my words or hide my thoughts--God, Sassenach," he said, "the Lord knows I am lust-crazed as a lad, and I canna keep my hands from you--or anything else--"he added, wryly," but I would count that all well lost, had I no more than the pleasure of havin' ye by me, and to tell ye all my heart." .... "So tell me all your heart,"I said. "If there's time.
Diana Gabaldon (Voyager (Outlander, #3))
Lord, set a guard over my lips today and search my heart. Try me and know my thoughts. See if there is any evil way in me and lead me in the way everlasting (Ps. 139:23–24). If there is anything in my life that displeases You, Father, remove it in Jesus’s name. Circumcise my heart, and cause my desires and my words to line up with Yours. In Jesus’s name, amen. January 8 REAP WHAT YOU SOW For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind. —HOSEA 8:7, ESV What occupies your mind determines what eventually fills your mouth. Your outer world showcases all that has dominated—and at times subjugated—your inner world. Are you aware of the true meaning of the things you are speaking out? As the prophet Hosea remarked, each one of us must take responsibility for what we experience in life. We are the sum total of every choice we have ever made or let happen. If you do not like where you are, you are only one thought away from turning toward the life you desire. Father, make me more aware of the power of my words today. I declare that my season of frustration is over. As I guard my tongue, my life is changing for the best. In the name of Jesus I declare that everything this season should bring to me must come forth. Every invisible barrier must be destroyed. I declare that I am a prophetic trailblazer. I am taking new territory spiritually, emotionally, relationally, and professionally. I decree and declare that You are opening
Cindy Trimm (Commanding Your Morning Daily Devotional: Unleash God's Power in Your Life--Every Day of the Year)
Knowledge equals power... The string was important. After a while the Librarian stopped. He concentrated all his powers of librarianship. Power equals energy... People were stupid, sometimes. They thought the Library was a dangerous place because of all the magical books, which was true enough, but what made it really one of the most dangerous places there could ever be was the simple fact that it was a library. Energy equals matter... He swung into an avenue of shelving that was apparently a few feet long and walked along it briskly for half an hour. Matter equals mass. And mass distorts space. It distorts it into polyfractal L-space. So, while the Dewey system has its fine points, when you're setting out to look something up in the multidimensional folds of L-space what you really need is a ball of string.
Terry Pratchett (Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch, #1))
My teacher Jim Rohn taught me a simple principle: every day, stand guard at the door of your mind, and you alone decide what thoughts and beliefs you let into your life. For they will shape whether you feel rich or poor, cursed or blessed.
Anthony Robbins (MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom (Tony Robbins Financial Freedom))
It was at a church service in Munich that I saw him, a former S.S. man who had stood guard at the shower room door in the processing center at Ravensbruck. He was the first of our actual jailers that I had seen since that time. And suddenly it was all there – the roomful of mocking men, the heaps of clothing, Betsie's pain-blanched face. He came up to me as the church was emptying, beaming and bowing. “How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein.” He said. “To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!” His hand was thrust out to shake mine. And I, who had preached so often to the people in Bloemendaal the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side. Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him. I tried to smile, I struggles to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. Jesus, I prayed, I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness. As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me. And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.
Corrie ten Boom
The Inquisitor stared at him. “Your Highness, where is Iolanthe Seabourne?” Right here in this room. He was on guard, very, very much on guard. Yet he still felt his lips part and form the shape necessary to pronounce the first syllable of the truth. “I thought we had already established that I have neither interest in nor knowledge of your elemental mage.” “Why are you protecting her, Your Highness?” Because she is mine. You will have her over my dead body.
Sherry Thomas (The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy, #1))
Damon spoke without moving. “I’m not like you.” “You’re not as different from us as you want to think,” Matt said. “Look,” he added, an odd note of challenge in his voice, “I know you killed Mr. Tanner in self-defense, because you told me. And I know you didn’t come here to Fell’s Church because Bonnie’s spell dragged you here, because I sorted the hair and I didn’t make any mistakes. You’re more like us than you admit, Damon. The only thing I don’t know is why you didn’t go into Vickie’s house to help her.” Damon snapped, almost automatically, “Because I wasn’t invited!” Memory swept over Bonnie. Herself standing outside Vickie’s house, Damon standing beside her. Stefan’s voice: Vickie, invite me in. But no one had invited Damon. “But how did Klaus get in, then—?” she began, following her own thoughts. “That was Tyler’s job, I’m sure,” Damon said tersely. “What Tyler did for Klaus in return for learning how to reclaim his heritage. And he must have invited Klaus in before we ever started guarding the house—probably before Stefan and I came to Fell’s Church. Klaus was well prepared. That night he was in the house and the girl was dead before I knew what was happening.” “Why didn’t you call for Stefan?” Matt said. There was no accusation in his voice. It was a simple question. “Because there was nothing he could have done! I knew what you were dealing with as soon as I saw it. An Old One. Stefan would only have gotten himself killed—and the girl was past caring, anyway.” Bonnie heard the thread of coldness in his voice, and when Damon turned back to Stefan and Elena, his face had hardened. It was as if some decision had been made. “You see, I’m not like you,” he said. “It doesn’t matter.” Stefan had still not withdrawn his hand. Neither had Elena.
L.J. Smith (Dark Reunion (The Vampire Diaries, #4))
Her hands shot up. “See that’s exactly what I’m saying. You’re seeing what you want, and what you see you explain away and excuse things like you’re fixing me. I’m not perfect, Ephraim and I really wish you would see that.” “You drool.” “What?” That caught her off guard. “When you’re asleep you drool. I’ve woken up more than a few times with a little puddle forming on my chest.” After a thought he added. “And you snore. Not a delicate snore either mind you.” “I do not!” Her face colored with indignation. He sighed heavily as if the knowledge pained him. “Oh, but you do. I’ve even heard Jill talk about it. Did you know that’s the main reason she was happy about her room. Actually, she and Joshua thanked your Grandmother for putting you at the other end of the house, something about finally getting a decent night’s sleep. They compared your snore to a chainsaw. I can see why they’d say that.
R.L. Mathewson (Tall, Dark & Lonely (Pyte/Sentinel, #1))
The old man’s eyes sparked. “Elan of Ember, you I know, take me to your King.” He paused. “Now!” The old man spoke like a crack of thunder and red lightning flashed from his open hand. The portal gate beside Elan flashed with fire and disappeared. Without thought, Elan’s sword flew to his hand as he made towards the traveller. But again the red fire flashed. The sword glowed and like the gate, it was consumed by the fire. Elan collapsed, clutching the burnt fragments of his sword in his injured hand. “Take him to the King,” he grunted in pain. The guards did so without delay.
Robert Reid (White Light Red Fire)
Lord, if I thought you were listening, I'd pray for this above all: that any church set up in your name should remain poor, and powerless, and modest. That it should wield no authority except that of love. That it should never cast anyone out. That it should own no property and make no laws. That it should not condemn, but only forgive. That it should be not like a palace with marble walls and polished floors, and guards standing at the door, but like a tree with its roots deep in the soil, that shelters every kind of bird and beast and gives blossom in the spring and shade in the hot sun and fruit in the season, and in time gives up its good sound wood for the carpenter; but that sheds many thousands of seeds so that new trees can grow in its place. Does the tree say to the sparrow, 'Get out, you don't belong here?' Does the tree say to the hungry man, 'This fruit is not for you?' Does the tree test the loyalty of the beasts before it allows them into the shade?
Philip Pullman (The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ)
You believe that you keep yourself safe, she thought. You lock up your mind and guard your reactions so nobody, not an interrogator or a parent or a friend, will break in. You earn a graduate degree and a good position. You keep your savings in foreign currency and you pay your bills on time. When your colleagues ask you about your home life, you don't answer. You work harder. You exercise. Your clothing flatters. You keep the edge of your affection sharp, a knife, so that those near you know how to handle it carefully. You think you established some protection and then you discover that you endangered yourself to everyone you ever met.
Julia Phillips (Disappearing Earth)
Listen to everything that is said, and see everything that is done. Observe the looks and countenances of those who speak, which is often a surer way of discovering the truth than from what they say. But then keep all those observations to yourself, for your own private use, and rarely communicate them to others. Observe, without being thought an observer, for otherwise people will be upon their guard before you.
Philip Dormer Stanhope (Earl Of Chesterfield: Letters To His Son Part One)
If you would protect your body, guard your mind. If you would renew your body, beautify your mind. Thoughts of malice, envy, disappointment, despondency, rob the body of its health and grace.
James Allen (As a Man Thinketh)
Can't you get a guard or something to take me to the bathroom?" I asked. "I am the guard," Ludlow snapped, sounding huffy. "Oh,really?" I smirked at him, realizing this might be far easier than I thought. "Don't underestimate me, Princess," Ludlow growled. "I eat girls like you for breakfast." "So you're a cannibal?" I wrinkled my nose. "Ludlow, are you harassing the poor girl?" came a voice from behind Ludlow. He moved to the side, and through the slot I saw Loki swaggering toward us. "She's harassing me," Ludlow complained. "Yes,talking to a beautiful Princess-what a rough lot you have in life," Loki said dryly, and Matt snorted behind me.
Amanda Hocking (Torn (Trylle, #2))
I … There is no one I want more; there is nothing I want more than to be overwhelmed by you.” “But you don’t want to kiss me?” He inhaled slowly, trying to bring order to his thoughts. This was all wrong. “In Fjerda—” he began. “We’re not in Fjerda.” He needed to make her understand. “In Fjerda,” he persisted, “I would have asked your parents for permission to walk out with you.” “I haven’t seen my parents since I was a child.” “We would have been chaperoned. I would have dined with your family at least three times before we were ever left alone together.” “We’re alone together now, Matthias.” “I would have brought you gifts.” Nina tipped her head to one side. “Go on.” “Winter roses if I could afford them, a silver comb for your hair.” “I don’t need those things.” “Apple cakes with sweet cream.” “I thought drüskelle didn’t eat sweets.” “They’d all be for you,” he said. “You have my attention.” “Our first kiss would be in a sunlit wood or under a starry sky after a village dance, not in a tomb or some dank basement with guards at the door.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Sir," said the guard from behind me. "I'd appreciate it if you left your club here." I paused and looked over my shoulder, He had a gun. His hand wasn't exactly resting on it, but he'd tucked his thumb into his belt about half an inch away. "It isn't a club," I said calmly. "It's a walking stick." "Six feet long." "It's traditional Ozark folk art." "With dents and nicks all over it." I thought about it for a second. "I'm insecure?" "Get a blanket.
Jim Butcher (Turn Coat (The Dresden Files, #11))
so that the monotonous fall of the waves on the beach, which for the most part beat a measured and soothing tattoo to her thoughts seemed consolingly to repeat over and over again as she sat with the children the words of some old cradle song, murmured by nature, ‘I am guarding you—I am your support," but at other times suddenly and unexpectedly, especially when her mind raised itself slightly from the task actually in hand, had no such kindly meaning, but like a ghostly roll of drums remorsely beat the measure of life, made one think of the destruction of the island and its engulfment in the sea, and warned her whose day had slipped past in one quick doing after another that it was all ephemeral as a rainbow—this sound which had been obscured and concealed under the other sounds suddenly thundered hollow in her ears and made her look up with an impulse of terror.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
I can't wait for him to visit me again. He's just so handsome, don't you think?" she asked. I paused. "Yeah, he's cute." "Come on, America! You have to have noticed those eyes and his voice..." "Except when he laughs!" Just remembering Maxon's laugh had me grinning. It was cute but awkward. He pushed his breaths out, and then made a jagged noise when he inhaled, almost like another laugh in itself. "Yes, okay, he does have a funny laugh, but it's cute." "Sure, if you like the lovable sound of an asthma attack in your ear every time you tell a joke." Marlee lost it and doubled over in laughter. "All right, all right," she said, coming up for air. "You have to think there's something attractive about him." I opened my mouth and shut it two or three times. I was tempted to take another jab at Maxon, but I didn't want Marlee to see him in a negative light. So I thought about it. What was attractive about Maxon? "Well, when he lets his guard down, he's okay. Like when he just talks without checking his words or you catch him just looking at something he's really looking for the beauty in it." Marlee smiled, and I knew she'd seen that in him, too. "And I like that he seems genuinely involved when he's there, you know? Like even though he's got a country to run and a thousand things to do, it's like he forgets it all when he's with you. He just dedicates himself to what's right in front of him. I like that. "And...well, don't tell anyone this, but his arms. I like his arms." I blushed at the end. Stupid...why hadn't I just stuck to the general good things about his personality? Luckily, Marlee was happy to pick up the conversation. "Yes! You can really feel them under those thick suits, can't you? He must be incredibly strong." Marlee gushed. "I wonder why. I mean, what's the point of him being that strong? He does deskwork. It's weird." "Maybe he likes to flex in front of the mirror," Marlee said, making a face and flexing her own tiny arms. "Ha, ha! I bet that's it. I dare you to ask him!" "No way!
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
I smell guilt. There is a stench of guilt upon the air. I see you all, whole and healthy, with your powers intact — such prompt appearances! — and I ask myself . . . why did this band of wizards never come to the aid of their master, to whom they swore eternal loyalty? And I answer myself, they must have believed me broken, they thought I was gone. They slipped back among my enemies, and they pleaded innocence, and ignorance, and bewitchment. . . . And then I ask myself, but how could they have believed I would not rise again? They, who knew the steps I took, long ago, to guard myself against mortal death? They, who had seen proofs of the immensity of my power in the times when I was mightier than any wizard living? And I answer myself, perhaps they believed a still greater power could exist, one that could vanquish even Lord Voldemort . . . perhaps they now pay allegiance to another. . .
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4))
HOME no one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark you only run for the border when you see the whole city running as well your neighbors running faster than you breath bloody in their throats the boy you went to school with who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory is holding a gun bigger than his body you only leave home when home won’t let you stay. no one leaves home unless home chases you fire under feet hot blood in your belly it’s not something you ever thought of doing until the blade burnt threats into your neck and even then you carried the anthem under your breath only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets sobbing as each mouthful of paper made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back. you have to understand, that no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land no one burns their palms under trains beneath carriages no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled means something more than journey. no one crawls under fences no one wants to be beaten pitied no one chooses refugee camps or strip searches where your body is left aching or prison, because prison is safer than a city of fire and one prison guard in the night is better than a truckload of men who look like your father no one could take it no one could stomach it no one skin would be tough enough the go home blacks refugees dirty immigrants asylum seekers sucking our country dry niggers with their hands out they smell strange savage messed up their country and now they want to mess ours up how do the words the dirty looks roll off your backs maybe because the blow is softer than a limb torn off or the words are more tender than fourteen men between your legs or the insults are easier to swallow than rubble than bone than your child body in pieces. i want to go home, but home is the mouth of a shark home is the barrel of the gun and no one would leave home unless home chased you to the shore unless home told you to quicken your legs leave your clothes behind crawl through the desert wade through the oceans drown save be hunger beg forget pride your survival is more important no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear saying- leave, run away from me now i dont know what i’ve become but i know that anywhere is safer than here
Warsan Shire
You should always aim to be your own mouse, Lieam. In already are. You are not so quick to jump into danger as Saxon and not as pensive of mind as Kenzie. They rely on each other too much. Saxon knows he can afford to be reckless since Kenzie acts as his conscience. And Kenzie can linger in his thoughts and plans, because he knows Saxon can defend him. I tested Kenzie earlier. I wanted to see if he would be swayed by my advice. It took Saxon's coaxing to make up the greyfur's mind. Be compleete with in yourself young will never disappoint. Even in solitude.
David Petersen (Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 (Mouse Guard, #2))
With that friend you’ve shared your first smoke, your first sneak-out, got drunk for the first time and then let all your fiercely guarded emotions and thoughts flow out without the fear of judgement or an iota of embarrassment.
You believe that you keep yourself safe, she thought. You lock up your mind and guard your reactions so nobody, not an interrogator or a parent or a friend, will break in.
Julia Phillips (Disappearing Earth)
It was the thought of him that I had problems with, I realised. The reality was really rather desirable.
Dorothy Koomson (The Woman He Loved Before)
You're going to be okay," Winter said reassuringly. You don't understand," Leven snapped. What don't I understand?" Winters voice was stern. "Sorry you feel bad, but its not like you just met a person so beautiful that now you feel completely worthless." What?" Leven said. "What are you talking about?" Isaw the way you fell over yourselves to stare at her." That was Geth." Don't argue, you two," Geth said. Were not arguing." Leven felt light-headed. No," Winter confirmed. "We're just...." Winter looked at Leven. Leven looked right back at her. Winters cheeks burned red and her green eyes outshone Leven's. The two of them stared at one other. Leven closed his eyes. What are you doing?" Geth asked, concerned. Winter closed her eyes too and leaned closer. Both of them looked panicked and out of control, but it didn't stop them from moving closer and kissing each other. Clovers jaw dropped and he pulled something out of his void just so he could let go of it in shock. Even Geth looked caught off guard, as if he'd been given news that he never thought he'd hear in his lifetime. Leven stumbled back and looked at Winter. His face was almost as red as hers. He looked at Geth and Clover and then back to Winter. Well that was interesting," Clover said happily. I don't know what....." Leven tried to say. No, I......" Winter said. "Its not you.... it's just that my... I think I left something down below.
Obert Skye (Leven Thumps and the Wrath of Ezra (Leven Thumps, #4))
Guard your heart and mind against double-minded pretentious beings. Do not allow infiltration beyond the surface. If their influence travels on the inside, they become like an incurable disease.
Amaka Imani Nkosazana (Sweet Destiny)
You cannot take this with you, goodman. The wedding band on your hand is queer enough. The flower is too much." "Give me a petal then," I say. "I thought you would ask for that." He pulls out a necklace. It is the Sigil of Andromedus. My Sigil, I remember. It is golden. He drops it in my hand. "Whisper her name." I do and the Pegasus unfurls like a haemanthus bud. He sets a petal in the center. It closes again. "This is your heart. Then guard it with metal.
Pierce Brown (Red Rising (Red Rising Saga, #1))
Don't be afraid of who you are. You cannot hope to control your power if you do not understand it and who you are. You must protect yourself at all costs even against those you . . . love.' He hesitated lost for a moment and Victoria felt his thoughts flicker briefly into a strange nothingness before moving back to the consciousness she recognized. His words were hard. 'Love is a breeding ground for betrayal. Guard against it.
Amalie Howard (Bloodspell (The Cruentus Curse, #1))
Let me make a clean breast of it here, and frankly admit that I kept but sorry guard. With the problem of the universe revolving in me, how could I—being left completely to myself at such a thought-engendering altitude—how could I but lightly hold my obligations to observe all whaleships' standing orders, "Keep your weather eye open, and sing out every time.
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, The Whale)
While Emma pressed the unlock button on her key fob, Aidan started walking away, but then he stopped. He turned back and shook his head. “Oh f*ck it.” Taking Emma totally off guard, he shoved her against the car. He wrapped his arms around her waist, jerking her flush against him. Electricity tingled through her at his touch, and his scent invaded her nostrils, making her feel lightheaded. She squirmed in his arms. “What are you—” He silenced her by leaning over and crushing his lips against hers. She protested by pushing her hands against his chest, but the warmth of his tongue sliding open her lips caused her to feel weak. Her arms fell limply at her sides. Aidan’s hands swept from her waist and up her back. He tangled his fingers through her long hair as his tongue plunged in her mouth, caressing and teasing Emma’s. Her hands left her side to wrap around his neck, drawing him even closer to her. God, it had been so very long since someone had kissed her, and it had taken Travis a week to get up the nerve to kiss her like this. Aidan was hot and heavy right out of the gate. Using his hips, Aidan kept her pinned against the car as he kept up his assault on her mouth. Just when she thought she couldn’t breathe and might pass out, he released her lips. Staring down at her with eyes hooded and drunk with desire, Aidan smiled. “Maybe that will help you with your decision.
Katie Ashley (The Proposition (The Proposition, #1))
It’s very dangerous to have someone like you, because one day he’ll find that you are not the person he thought you were. He’ll end up someday having only one thing in common with you and that’ll be a shared sense of contempt and disgust for you. Of course you knew all along how foolish and worthless you were, you just hoped that if you crouched down behind yourself enough he wouldn’t see it. But one day when your guard is off-duty you see him see. You both catch you at yourself. Catch you behaving. And then you’re lost. No. You were lost all along.
Carrie Fisher (The Princess Diarist)
Emotions are given to us by God, so that we can fully experience our experiences. The only problem with emotions is that we get addicted or attached to them. We take them as final or substantive. Emotions do have the ability to open you to consciousness, but then they tend to become the whole show. Most human thought is just obsessive, compulsive commentary. It’s “repetitive and useless,” as Eckart Tolle says. I would say the same of emotions. Contemplation allows you to see (contemplata means “to see”) this happening in yourself. . . . Contemplation and silence nip the ego and its negatives in the bud by teaching you how to watch and guard your very thoughts and feelings—but from a place of love and not judgment.
Richard Rohr (Radical Grace: Daily Meditations)
What’s left of you when your arm can’t even put on a jacket and your leg can’t even take a step and your neck can’t straighten up enough to let you show your face to the world, what’s left? Are you your brain, which keeps sending out orders that won’t be followed? Or are you the thought itself, something that can’t be seen or touched beyond that furrowed organ guarded inside the cranium like a trove?
Claudia Piñeiro (Elena Knows)
Step number four to receiving answered prayer is guard against every evil thought that comes into your mind to try to make you doubt God’s Word. Thoughts are governed by observation, association, and teaching. So this step is closely associated
Kenneth E. Hagin (Bible Prayer Study Course)
Early on a difficult climb, especially a difficult solo climb, you constantly feel the abyss pulling at your back. To resist takes a tremendous conscious effort; you don’t dare let your guard down for an instant. The siren song of the void puts you on edge; it makes your movements tentative, clumsy, herky-jerky. But as the climb goes on, you grow accustomed to the exposure, you get used to rubbing shoulders with doom, you come to believe in the reliability of your hands and feet and head. You learn to trust your self-control. By and by your attention becomes so intensely focused that you no longer notice the raw knuckles, the cramping thighs, the strain of maintaining nonstop concentration. A trancelike state settles over your efforts; the climb becomes a clear-eyed dream. Hours slide by like minutes. The accumulated clutter of day-to-day existence—the lapses of conscience, the unpaid bills, the bungled opportunities, the dust under the couch, the inescapable prison of your genes—all of it is temporarily forgotten, crowded from your thoughts by an overpowering clarity of purpose and by the seriousness of the task at hand.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
Wall your life, guard your heart and mind your mind! A life without a wall least blocks something! A mind without a wall accepts anything at all!
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
Guard well your thoughts when alone and your words when accompanied.
Roy Bennett
It's OK! There will always be a next time, is a good self-comforting advice, but make sure to guard your thoughts against its addiction.
Shahenshah Hafeez Khan
Carefully guard your thoughts because they are the source of true life. Proverbs 4:23
You frequently state, and in your letter you imply, that I have developed a completely one-sided outlook and look at everything in terms of science. Obviously my method of thought and reasoning is influenced by a scientific training – if that were not so my scientific training will have been a waste and a failure. But you look at science (or at least talk of it) as some sort of demoralizing invention of man, something apart from real life, and which must be cautiously guarded and kept separate from everyday existence. But science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated. Science, for me, gives a partial explanation of life. In so far as it goes, it is based on fact, experience and experiment. Your theories are those which you and many other people find easiest and pleasantest to believe, but so far as I can see, they have no foundation other than they leaf to a pleasanter view of life (and an exaggerated idea of our own importance)... I agree that faith is essential to success in life (success of any sort) but I do not accept your definition of faith, i.e. belief in life after death. In my view, all that is necessary for faith is the belief that by doing our best we shall come nearer to success and that success in our aims (the improvement of the lot of mankind, present and future) is worth attaining. Anyone able to believe in all that religion implies obviously must have such faith, but I maintain that faith in this world is perfectly possible without faith in another world… It has just occurred to me that you may raise the question of the creator. A creator of what? ... I see no reason to believe that a creator of protoplasm or primeval matter, if such there be, has any reason to be interested in our significant race in a tiny corner of the universe, and still less in us, as still more significant individuals. Again, I see no reason why the belief that we are insignificant or fortuitous should lessen our faith – as I have defined it.
Rosalind Franklin
The King sighed. “Sam, ever since the day Morgan brought you to the castle, I knew there was something special about you. It had nothing to do with your magic or whatever Morgan thought you would one day be. It had to do with the size of your heart. You have so much to give to people and I think you sometimes hide it behind your wit and words. I want you to find that someone who makes you feel complete, who allows you to let your guard down and just be.
T.J. Klune (The Lightning-Struck Heart (Tales From Verania, #1))
And GUESS WHO ordered your guards to chain up Clay?” Tsunami demanded. She flung an accusing talon toward Shark. “COMMANDER SHARK! Of all the dragons who should obey you in everything! Is that not UTTERLY SHOCKING?” “It is,” Coral said. Tsunami thought she might be grinding her teeth, but she hid it well. “I find it quite hard to believe.” “Imagine the distress the poor guards felt,” Tsunami said, “when I explained to them that you would never have ordered those chains on Clay. To have to choose between their commander and their queen! Naturally they chose you, of course. That’s why they gave me the key to Clay’s chains. Because they understood that’s what you would have wanted them to do. Right?” Queen Coral gave Tsunami an appraising glance. Beside her, Blister was eating her soup with an amused expression. “Very good,” Coral said slowly. “It sounds like those guards are practically heroes.” “And Shark —” Tsunami prodded her. “To the dungeon with him as well,” the queen said with a wave. Shark didn’t protest like Lagoon had. He snarled at the guards who approached him, shot Tsunami a look full of hatred, and headed off to the dungeon without another word. Splendid,
Tui T. Sutherland (The Lost Heir (Wings of Fire, #2))
Your gravity, your grace have turned a tide In me, no lunar power can reverse; But in your narcoleptic eyes I spied A sightlessness tonight: or something worse, A disregard that made me feel unmanned. Meanwhile, insomniac, I catch my breath To think I saw my future traced in sand One afternoon "as still, as carved, as death,” And pray for an oblivion so deep It ends in transformation. Only dawn Can save me, flood this haunted house of sleep With light, and drown the thoughts that nightly warn: Another lifetime is the least you’ll need, to trace The guarded secrets of her gravity, her grace.
Jonathan Coe (The House of Sleep)
How do people get to this clandestine Archipelago? Hour by hour planes fly there, ships steer their course there, and trains thunder off to it--but all with nary a mark on them to tell of their destination. And at ticket windows or at travel bureaus for Soviet or foreign tourists the employees would be astounded if you were to ask for a ticket to go there. They know nothing and they've never heard of the Archipelago as a whole or any one of its innumerable islands. Those who go to the Archipelago to administer it get there via the training schools of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Those who go there to be guards are conscripted via the military conscription centers. And those who, like you and me, dear reader, go there to die, must get there solely and compulsorily via arrest. Arrest! Need it be said that it is a breaking point in your life, a bolt of lightning which has scored a direct hit on you? That it is an unassimilable spiritual earthquake not every person can cope with, as a result of which people often slip into insanity? The Universe has as many different centers as there are living beings in it. Each of us is a center of the Universe, and that Universe is shattered when they hiss at you: "You are under arrest." If you are arrested, can anything else remain unshattered by this cataclysm? But the darkened mind is incapable of embracing these dis­placements in our universe, and both the most sophisticated and the veriest simpleton among us, drawing on all life's experience, can gasp out only: "Me? What for?" And this is a question which, though repeated millions and millions of times before, has yet to receive an answer. Arrest is an instantaneous, shattering thrust, expulsion, somer­sault from one state into another. We have been happily borne—or perhaps have unhappily dragged our weary way—down the long and crooked streets of our lives, past all kinds of walls and fences made of rotting wood, rammed earth, brick, concrete, iron railings. We have never given a thought to what lies behind them. We have never tried to pene­trate them with our vision or our understanding. But there is where the Gulag country begins, right next to us, two yards away from us. In addition, we have failed to notice an enormous num­ber of closely fitted, well-disguised doors and gates in these fences. All those gates were prepared for us, every last one! And all of a sudden the fateful gate swings quickly open, and four white male hands, unaccustomed to physical labor but none­theless strong and tenacious, grab us by the leg, arm, collar, cap, ear, and drag us in like a sack, and the gate behind us, the gate to our past life, is slammed shut once and for all. That's all there is to it! You are arrested! And you'll find nothing better to respond with than a lamblike bleat: "Me? What for?" That's what arrest is: it's a blinding flash and a blow which shifts the present instantly into the past and the impossible into omnipotent actuality. That's all. And neither for the first hour nor for the first day will you be able to grasp anything else.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation V-VII)
In his lifetime, he had seen enough injustice to know the world was cold and remorseless and didn’t care one fig about the happiness of people. He tried to live a good life and devote that life to helping others, but he never thought the world would reward him for his efforts. Such a thought would be the ultimate in self-deluding self-aggrandizement, for why would the world care one iota about him?
Ray Smith (The Magnolia That Bloomed Unseen)
What does it mean to be a leftist? Eating vegan? Marching against the banks and then posting about it online with your iPad? The only truly untenable position is to be a militant member of the KKK, or to declare you’re a proud homophobe. Capitalism has completely devoured the Left to the point where it no longer has a hold on the very thing that made up its capital: the noble causes. Now the Left is just a more reactionary form of common sense. It has nothing to do with critical thought. It’s a groupthink party for people who consider themselves to be good people and feel morally superior to everyone else. The only thing they have in common with the old-guard Left is the will to mete out justice to anyone who goes astray—like Che, when he shot all those deserters in Bolivia. It’s a groupthink party
Pola Oloixarac (Mona)
I don’t know what to . . . to think.” There was a horrifying burn of tears crawling up my throat. “This is all overwhelming for you, I imagine. The whole world as you know it is on the brink of great change, and you’re here and don’t even know my name.” The man smiled so broadly, I wondered if it hurt. “You can call me Rolland.” Then he extended a hand. My gaze dropped to it and I made no attempt to take it. Rolland chuckled as he turned and strolled back to the desk. “So, you’re a hybrid? Mutated and linked to him on such an intense level that if one of you dies, so does the other?” His question caught me off guard, but I kept quiet. He sat on the edge of the desk. “You’re actually the first hybrid I’ve seen.” “She really isn’t anything special.” The redhead sneered. “Frankly, she’s rather filthy, like an unclean animal.” As stupid as it was, my cheeks heated, because I was filthy, and Daemon had just physically removed me from him. My pride—my everything—was officially wounded. Rolland chuckled. “She’s had a rough day, Sadi.” At her name, every muscle in my body locked up, and my gaze swung back to her. That was Sadi? The one Dee said was trying to molest Daemon—my Daemon? Anger punched through the confusion and hurt. Of course it would have to be a freaking walking and talking model and not a hag. “Rough day or not, I can’t imagine she cleans up well.” Sadi looked at Daemon as she placed a hand on his chest. “I’m kind of disappointed.” “Are you?” Daemon replied.
 Every hair on my body rose as my arms unfolded.
 “Yes,” she purred. “I really think you can do better. Lots better.” As she spoke, she trailed red-painted fingers down the center of his chest, over his abdomen, heading straight for the button on his jeans. And oh, hell to the no. “Get your hands off him.”
 Sadi’s head snapped in my direction. “Excuse me?”
 “I don’t think I stuttered.” I took a step forward. “But it looks like you need me to repeat it. Get your freaking hands off him.” One side of her plump red lips curled up. “You want to make me?”
 In the back of my head, I was aware that Sadi didn’t move or speak like the other Luxen. Her mannerisms were too human, but then that thought was quickly chased away when Daemon reached down and pulled her hand away. “Stop it,” he murmured, voice dropped low in that teasing way of his. I saw red. The pictures on the wall rattled and the papers on the desk started to lift up. Static charged over my skin. I was about to pull a Beth right here, seconds away from floating to the ceiling and ripping out every strand of red— “And you stop it,” Daemon said, but the teasing quality was gone from his words. There was a warning in them that took the wind right out of my pissed-off sails. The pictures settled as I gaped at him. Being slapped in the face would’ve been better.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opposition (Lux, #5))
The feelings I thought I had left behind returned when, almost nineteen years later, the Islamic regime would once again turn against its students. This time it would open fire on those it had admitted to the universities, those who were its own children, the children of the revolution. Once more my students would go to the hospitals in search of the murdered bodies that where stolen by the guards and vigilantes and try to prevent them from stealing the wounded. I would like to know where Mr. Bahri is right now, at this moment, and to ask him: How did it all turn out, Mr. Bahri - was this your dream, your dream of the revolution? Who will pay for all those ghosts in my memories? Who will pay for the snapshots of the murdered and the executed that we hid in our shoes and closets as we moved on to other things? Tell me, Mr. Bahri-or, to use that odd expression of Gatsby's, Tell me, old sport- what shell we do with all this corpses on our hands?
Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books)
Hey, Flo! It’s Lockwood!’ Silence. The figure straightened abruptly; I thought for a moment it was going to turn and run. But then the voice came again, faint, hostile and guarded. ‘You? What the bloody hell do you want?’ ‘Oh, that’s fine,’ Lockwood murmured. ‘She’s in a good mood.’ He cleared his throat, called out again. ‘Can you talk?’ The distant person considered; for a few seconds we heard nothing except the sloop and slosh of the river along the shore. ‘No. I’m busy! Go away.’ ‘I’ve brought liquorice!’ ‘What, you’re trying to bribe me now? Bring money!’ More silence; just the sucking of the water. Away in the haze a head was cocked to one side. ‘What kind of liquorice?
Jonathan Stroud (The Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co., #2))
Let me make a clean breast of it here, and frankly admit that I kept but sorry guard. With the problem of the universe revolving in me, how could I- being left completely to myself at such a thought-engendering altitude- how could I but lightly hold my obligations to observe all whaleships' standing orders, "Keep your weather eye open, and sing out every time." And let me in this place movingly admonish you, ye ship-owners of Nantucket! Beware of enlisting in your vigilant fisheries any lad with lean brow and hollow eye; given to unseasonable meditativeness...: your whales must be seen before they can be killed; and this sunken-eyed young Platonist will tow you ten wakes round the world, and never make you one pint of sperm the richer. Nor are these monitions at all unneeded. For nowadays, the whale-fishery furnishes an asylum for many romantic, melancholy, and absent-minded young men, disgusted with the corking care of earth, and seeking sentiment in tar and blubber. Childe Harold not unfrequently perches himself upon the mast-head of some luckless disappointed whale-ship, and in moody phrase ejaculates:- "Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean, roll! Ten thousand blubber-hunters sweep over thee in vain. " ... "Why, thou monkey," said a harpooneer to one of these lads, "we've been cruising now hard upon three years, and thou hast not raised a whale yet. Whales are scarce as hen's teeth whenever thou art up here." Perhaps they were; or perhaps there might have been shoals of them in the far horizon; but lulled into such an opium-like listlessness of vacant, unconscious reverie is this absent-minded youth by the blending cadence of waves with thoughts, that at last he loses his identity; takes the mystic ocean at his feet for the visible image of that deep, blue, bottomless soul, pervading mankind and nature; and every strange, half-seen, gliding, beautiful thing that eludes him; every dimly-discovered, uprising fin of some undiscernible form, seems to him the embodiment of those elusive thoughts that only people the soul by continually flitting through it. In this enchanted mood, thy spirit ebbs away to whence it came; becomes diffused through time and space; like Crammer's sprinkled Pantheistic ashes, forming at last a part of every shore the round globe over. There is no life in thee, now, except that rocking life imparted by a gentle rolling ship; by her, borrowed from the sea; by the sea, from the inscrutable tides of God. But while this sleep, this dream is on ye, move your foot or hand an inch; slip your hold at all; and your identity comes back in horror. Over Descartian vortices you hover. And perhaps, at midday, in the fairest weather, with one half-throttled shriek you drop through that transparent air into the summer sea, no more to rise for ever. Heed it well, ye Pantheists!
Herman Melville (Moby Dick)
We want them to have appropriate conversations. They need to live appropriate lives. We are guarding against all inappropriate ideas and thoughts that may arise inside their criminal minds. They are reborn here, they are like little fetuses, and we must raise these fetuses. Everything is gone.
Noah Cicero (Go to work and do your job. Care for your children. Pay your bills. Obey the law. Buy products.)
JANUARY 30 WORSHIP ME ONLY. Whatever occupies your mind the most becomes your god. Worries, if indulged, develop into idols. Anxiety gains a life of its own, parasitically infesting your mind. Break free from this bondage by affirming your trust in Me and refreshing yourself in My Presence. What goes on in your mind is invisible, undetectable to other people. But I read your thoughts continually, searching for evidence of trust in Me. I rejoice when your mind turns toward Me. Guard your thoughts diligently; good thought-choices will keep you close to Me. PSALM 112:7; 1 CORINTHIANS 13:11
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence)
You'd never have gotten it right. You have to hit the door just so. It took me weeks to learn." "And what were you doing sneaking out at night?" he demanded. "I fail to see how that is your business." "You became my business when you took up residence in my house." "Well, I wouldn't have moved in if you hadn'tkidnapped me!" "I wouldn't have kidnapped you if you hadn't been wandering about the countryside with no thought to your own safety." "I was certainly safer in the countryside than I was at Prewitt Hall, and you well know it." "You wouldn't be safe in a convent," he muttered. "If you two lovebirds can stop snapping at each other," James cut in, "I'd like to search the study before Prewitt returns home." Blake glared at Caroline as if this entire delay were her fault, causing her to hiss, "Don't forget that if it weren't for me-" "If it weren't for you," he shot back, "I would be a very happy man indeed." "We are wasting time," James reminded them. "The both of you may remain here, if you cannot cease your squabbling, but I am going in to search the south drawing room." "I'll go first," Caroline announced, "since I know the way." "You'll go behind me," Blake contradicted, "and give me directions as we go along." "Oh, for the love of Saint Peter," James finally burst out, exasperation showing in every line of his body. "I'll go first, if only to shut the two of you up. Caroline, you follow and give me directions. Blake, you guard her from the rear.
Julia Quinn (To Catch an Heiress (Agents of the Crown, #1))
It will catch you off guard one day. You’ll be so surprised by it you may even lose your concentration. One moment you are living idly by and the next they are on your mind nearly every moment. You’ll lose sleep over the next time you’ll hear their voice. You might even find yourself daydreaming about a future together. One day you are ordering coffee every morning and the next you can’t even order coffee without thinking about ordering theirs too.
Courtney Peppernell (Pillow Thoughts (Pillow Thoughts, #1))
If I could really love, I would take away these tubes dripping lipids and glucose into your blood. I would liquefy the things you love and flood them through your veins: our sleeping dogs' rhythmic breathing, huge orange trumpets of the amaryllis we thought would never bloom, the crunch of the gravel road coming home. If I could really love, I would climb onto your narrow back and wrap myself around, guarding like a ladybug, or Achilles' mighty shield.
Laurie Cooper
It is not your time, love. You will not die tonight. All this time she thought herself in love with the notion of Death. His gallantry, his beautiful soul. She believed he loved her because he had spared her from his grip. But it had not been Death, but Black. “Why?” she asked, and her body shook, knowing his sacrifice, knowing he knew her most guarded secret. “Because I loved you,” he murmured. “I couldn’t let you go, because I knew I could no longer see you, I couldn’t live, either.” Black had risked his life to save her from taking her own. He rose, helped her up and clutched her in his arms. “It is too soon for you to make your decision,” he said. “Come to me when you know what you want. My wishes will remain unchanged.” “What do you want?” He kissed her, pressed her body into his hot, hard one. “To be inside you. To lay you out and touch you with my hands, my mouth and tongue. I want to slip deep inside you and never leave. I want to wake up in the morning and open my eyes to find you lying there next to me. I want to look at my children and see you in their little faces.” “Jude,” she whispered, holding him, weakening. “But I want you to want that as much as I do, Isabella.” “We have too many secrets,” she began. “Our pasts…” “Secrets, like passion, are meant to be spent. I will bear all my sins, all my secrets, when you come to me. It’s all I can offer. You see, little love, I’m afraid, too, but the difference between us is that I believe it’s worth it to face that fear if it means that I’ll have you.
Charlotte Featherstone (Seduction & Scandal (The Brethren Guardians, #1))
THE POWER OF TWO If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. —MATTHEW 18:19 Imagine for a moment the unlimited power of a husband and wife who walk constantly in agreement—the power of a mother and father united in the raising of children who understand the power of relationships, are saturated in wisdom, and are full of faith! How different would our world be today if there were more couples like this? How different would the church be? How different would our communities be? How different would our nations be? Father, Your Word says one person can put a thousand to flight and two can chase off ten thousand. Strengthen the hedge of protection around my marriage and family and whisper peace into my relationships, ministry, workplace, and business. No evil shall come near to my dwelling place or my marriage. Cause my relationships to work in perfect harmony with You today. Break any unhealthy patterns in our relationship, guard our thoughts and words, and fill us with new levels of passion and zeal for your calling upon us as a couple. Remove every hindrance from the divinely ordained intimacy and unity You intend for our relationship. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Cindy Trimm (Commanding Your Morning Daily Devotional: Unleash God's Power in Your Life--Every Day of the Year)
Be you therefore, a wise gardener. Cultivate a deep love and respect for yourself, for you are not here to “fix” the world. You are not here to “fix” your brother or sister. It is only love that heals. And until you have loved yourself wholly by having purified the mind of every erroneous thought you have ever held—until you have loved yourself—you do not, in truth, love anyone or anything. Save in those brief moments when you let your guard down and the Love of God shines forth through you so quickly you do not even know what happened! The wise gardener cultivates a state of consciousness in which the Love of God is unimpeded.
Shanti Christo Foundation (The Way of Mastery ~ Part One: The Way of the Heart (The Way of Mastery))
You actually believe that you have no effect on me huh? You think that I don’t actually feel the need you do. I find it hard to think about you without feeling insanely hungry. I have thought about your body every f$$king day since I got my first taste. I control my hunger for you but it is there Sam. Every damn second it is there. I told you that you are under my skin and I meant it. I crave you so badly. Your soft skin, feeling your body and the taste of you, Sam you are so addicting. I want you so badly and today not being able to make love to you drove me out of my mind. I want to bury myself deep inside of you and forget about everything else.
C.A. Harms (Guarded Heart)
You must be the Italian cow now sharing my last name." He looked her up and down with disgust. As I stood, Mel glared, telling me to back the fuck down or else. She moved from behind the desk and stood directly in front of his face, causing his bodyguards to step forward as well. "Old man, you're in my house. That makes you a fucking guest. I don't owe you shit and you will respect me if you want my respect. My name is Melody. Mrs. Callahan if it suits you, but..." She leaned in until their noses were almost touching. She was shorter, but the black heels helped. "If you even call me a cow again I will kill you painfully slow. I don't care how many motherfucking body guards you have." Two of his bodyguards drew their guns and the last had a knife hidden in his sleeve. Shit. I thought as she pulled her gun. Declan and Neal were already backing her up. My father just rolled his eyes and took my mother into the corner, all while drinking his brandy. This was ridiculous. "Lower your weapons," Grandfather said as he glared into her eyes. "The Italian cow..." The moment he said it, three bullets went flying into them. One in the chest, one in the wrist and the other the knee; they all went down like cards. You don't out gun Mel. "What the fuck? Where did she pull the gun out from?" Neal whispered. "I swear, she's a motherfucking ninja.
J.J. McAvoy (The Untouchables (Ruthless People, #2))
Hey, guard!” Ian hollered out loud. “Do you think we could get a bathroom break?” The guard seemed to snicker as he pointed to the grass outside the cell. Eena smirked at how dead-on her thoughts had been after all. “Come on,” Ian complained. “She can’t do that, she’s a girl.” The soldier smiled wryly, a shrug communicating his indifference. Eena laughed in her mind. (I don’t know what you think’s so funny. You’re the one who’s gotta pee.) Oddly enough, that fact just made her laugh even more.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Eena, The Curse of Wanyaka Cave (The Harrowbethian Saga #3))
One snake wasn’t enough. Time for Perl’s suggestion. I handed everyone two capsules and a pin. “Get as close to the guards as you can. Poke a small hole in the capsule and squirt the liquid near them. Don’t get it on you,” I instructed. “Why not?” Leif asked. “You’ll have a necklace snake trying to mate with you.” “Gee, Yelena. I’m so glad you’re home,” Leif grumbled. “It’s good to know Mother is doing something useful with her time.” “I thought your mother madeperfumes,” Moon Man said. “It all depends on how you look at it
Maria V. Snyder (Fire Study (Study, #3))
Haiku: Guard your intellect Like the most valuable property you own.
Sanjo Jendayi
Beware! Your mind is a target!
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
Your choices become your directions the moment you start to implement them. When you make choices and you don’t implement them, your choices may be the best ever, but the most useless.
Israelmore Ayivor (Dream big!: See your bigger picture!)
She had said she didn't feel fear, but it was a lie; this was her fear: being left alone. Because of one thing she was certain, and it was that she could never love, not like that. Trust a stranger with her flesh? The closeness, the quiet. She couldn't imagine it. Breathing someone else's breath as they breathed yours, touching someone, opening for them? The vulnerability of it made her flush. It would mean submission, letting down her guard, and she wouldn't. Ever. Just the thought made her feel small and weak as a child - and Liraz did not like to feel small and weak. Her memories of childhood were not kind.
Laini Taylor (Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2))
Jessilyn, ain't no man can't get someplace he never thought he'd get to. You let enough bad thoughts into your head, you can end up doin' all sorts of things you never thought possible. Otis let evil into his mind and it took over his heart. We best be on our guard and keep our minds on what's right and true so we don't become things we'll regret. His words scared me. I wanted to always be able to trust people, to know that good people stayed good people, but I was realizing all too quickly that the human heart is fragile and needs constant attention. I'd seen enough bleakness in my own heart to know my daddy was speaking the truth. That's why we all need to know Jesus in our hearts, Daddy said. Ain't no one else who can keep watch over our hearts like He can. Ain't no one else who can take the bad and replace it with good.
Jennifer Erin Valent (Fireflies in December (Calloway Summers #1))
I was reminded of a married chatelaine who, after sleeping with a young vassal one night, had him seized by the palace guards the next morning and summarily executed in a dungeon on trumped-up charges, not only to eliminate all evidence of their adulterous night together and to prevent her young lover from becoming a nuisance now that he thought he was entitled to her favors, but to stem the temptation to seek him out on the following evening.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
I’m going to grant your motion, Mr. Stevenson, but I’ll be honest. I’m pretty fed up with people always talking about minority rights. African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans … When is someone going to come to my courtroom and protect the rights of Confederate Americans?” The judge had definitely caught me off guard. I wanted to ask if being born in the South or living in Alabama made me a Confederate American, but I thought better of it.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
They walked to the doors, and she unlocked them. Before she could say anything, I began the show. "Garrett! Oh, my God!" I rushed forward and threw my arms around him. "What happened? Who did this?" "I was mugged." "Do we say mugged in Albuquerque?" He glared at me. "I'm so sorry. I'll take you to the hospital." Disappointment lined the guard's face. But it quickly transformed into confusion. "Wait, I thought you said your name was Reyes. Reyes Farrow." After I gaped at him for an eternity, an eternity in which he struggled to conceal [a] mischievous grin, I turned back to her. "It is. It's Reyes Garrett Farrow. Not Reyes Alexander Farrow." I snorted and waved a dismissive hand. "That's another guy altogether." She wrinkled her forehead in suspicion. "Gotta go," I said, hurrying him along. "Have to get this man to a hospital for multiple stab wounds." "He was stabbed?" she asked with a concerned gasp. "Not yet, but the night is young.
Darynda Jones (The Trouble with Twelfth Grave (Charley Davidson, #12))
Now, don’t tell me that’s all the questions you have.’ Oh, I have more than you think. ‘Why can’t you sleep?’ She saw that she had caught him off guard; a look of hesitancy flashed across his face before he spoke. But why hesitate? she thought. He could always lie, or simply deflect, as Will would have. But Jem, she sensed instinctively, wouldn’t lie. “I have bad dreams.’ ‘I was dreaming too,’ she said. ‘I dreamed about your music.’ He grinned. ‘A nightmare, then?’ ‘No. It was lovely. The loveliest thing I’ve heard since I came to this horrible city.’ ‘London isn’t horrible,’ Jem said equably. ‘You simply have to get to know it. You must come with me out into London someday. I can show you the parts of it that are beautiful - that I love.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
—I’ve missed your company these long days.— What are you even doing here? You stayed away so long, I thought you weren’t coming. —You missed me, and now are piqued. Know that I was obtaining something that guarantees my success with you.— More coercion? —A gift for you. That’s why I’ve allowed the mortal leeway and refrained from a slaying. Because you’re about to be mine.— His confidence unsettled me. Good to know you were worried about your wife alone out on the road. You let me make the journey by myself. And face the twins! Though you knew how much they would hate me. —I felt confident that you and six other Arcana, one of the largest alliances yet, could take out a pair of insignificant carnates. To guard you on your way, I bade Lark to dispatch the wolf.—
Kresley Cole (Dead of Winter (The Arcana Chronicles, #3))
Tsunami spotted Snail and Herring among the guards. Their eyes darted anxiously from side to side, as if they were wondering how they were still alive. Because Mother wants to make a spectacle of them, Tsunami guessed. Coral was probably waiting for the right moment to punish them in public, the way she’d punished Tortoise. Well, two can play the spectacle game, Your Majesty. “MOTHER!” Tsunami declared dramatically as the waitstaff set bowls of soup in front of each dragon. Beside her, Whirlpool jumped and nearly tipped his bowl onto himself. Even Queen Coral looked startled. “I have something DREADFULLY SHOCKING to tell you!” Tsunami announced. She wanted this to be loud, so every dragon could witness it. “Oh?” said Coral. “Could we discuss it after breakfast? In a civilized fashion?” “NO,” Tsunami said, louder than before. “This is TOO SHOCKING.” Even SeaWings not invited to the feast were starting to peer out of their caves and poke their heads out of the lake to hear what was going on. “Well, perhaps —” Coral started. “WOULD YOU BELIEVE,” Tsunami said, “that my friends — the DRAGONETS OF DESTINY, remember — were CHAINED UP? And STARVED? In YOUR CAVES? By YOUR DRAGONS?” “What?” Coral said, flapping her wings. She looked thoroughly alarmed, but Tsunami couldn’t tell whether that was because the news actually surprised her or because she was being confronted openly with what she’d done. “I KNOW!” Tsunami practically bellowed. “It’s UNBELIEVABLE. I’m sure you didn’t know anything about it, of course.” “Of course,” Coral said in a hurry. “I would never treat any dragonets that way! Especially my dearest daughter’s dearest friends. Who are part of the prophecy and everything.” “And I’m sure you’ll want to punish the dragons who disobeyed you by treating my friends so terribly,” Tsunami said. “Right? Like, for instance, the one who lied to you about keeping them well fed?” She shot a glare at Lagoon, who froze with a sea snail halfway to her mouth, suddenly realizing what was going on. “Absolutely,” said the queen. “Guards! Throw Lagoon in one of the underwater dungeons!” “But —” Lagoon said. “But I was only —” “Next time you’ll obey my orders,” said the queen. A stripe quickly flashed under her wings, but Tsunami spotted it, and it was one Riptide had taught her. Silence. Oh, Mother, Tsunami thought sadly. “Can’t I even —” Lagoon said, reaching wistfully for her cauldron of soup as the guards pulled her away. “No breakfast for you,” the queen ordered. “Think about how that feels as you sit in my dungeon.” Tsunami was fairly sure Lagoon wouldn’t actually suffer very much. Queen Coral would have her back at Council meetings before long. But Tsunami wasn’t done. “And
Tui T. Sutherland (The Lost Heir (Wings of Fire, #2))
As passion’s object, dig with your ampersand: be cold & hot. The receptive earth will come to transform the root-end that your planting hand cut & abandoned, to new chrysanthemum. Heartfelt thought, drop your guard, keep clear, be slow; double your careful opposites & grow.
Marie Ponsot (Easy)
Years ago, a member of Congress slipped a laminated quote into my hand that he must have thought I would find meaningful. I paid little attention at first and unfortunately I don’t recall just who gave me the quote. I placed it next to my voting card and have carried it ever since. The quote came from Elie Wiesel’s book One Generation After. The quote was entitled “Why I Protest.” Author Elie Wiesel tells the story of the one righteous man of Sodom, who walked the streets protesting against the injustice of this city. People made fun of him, derided him. Finally, a young person asked: “Why do you continue your protest against evil; can’t you see no one is paying attention to you?” He answered, “I’ll tell you why I continue. In the beginning, I thought I would change people. Today, I know I cannot. Yet, if I continue my protest, at least I will prevent others from changing me.” I’m not that pessimistic that we can’t change people’s beliefs or that people will not respond to the message of liberty and peace. But we must always be on guard not to let others change us once we gain the confidence that we are on the right track in the search for truth.
Ron Paul (Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom)
My years of struggling against inequality, abusive power, poverty, oppression, and injustice had finally revealed something to me about myself. Being close to suffering, death, executions, and cruel punishments didn't just illuminate the brokenness of others; in a moment of anguish and heartbreak, it also exposed my own brokenness. You can't effectively fight abusive power, poverty, inequality, illness, oppression, or injustice and not be broken by it. We are all broken by something. We have all hurt someone and have been hurt. We all share the condition of brokenness even if our brokenness is not equivalent. The ways in which I have been hurt - and have hurt others - are different from the ways Jimmy Dill suffered and caused suffering. But our shared brokenness connected us. Thomas Merton said: We are bodies of broken bones. I guess I'd always known but never fully considered that being broken is what makes us human. We all have our reasons. Sometimes we're fractured by the choices we make; sometimes we're shattered by things we would never have chosen. But our brokenness is also the source of our common humanity, the basis for our shared search for comfort, meaning, and healing. Our shared vulnerability and imperfection nurtures and sustains our capacity for compassion. We have a choice. We can embrace our humanness, which means embracing our broken natures and the compassion that remains our best hope for healing. Or we can deny our brokenness, forswear compassion, and, as a result, deny our own humanity. I thought of the guards strapping Jimmy Dill to the gurney that very hour. I thought of the people who would cheer his death and see it as some kind of victory. I realized they were broken people, too, even if they would never admit it. So many of us have become afraid and angry. We've become so fearful and vengeful that we've thrown away children, discarded the disabled, and sanctioned the imprisonment of the sick and the weak - not because they are a threat to public safety or beyond rehabilitation but because we think it makes us seem tough, less broken. I thought of the victims of violent crime and the survivors of murdered loved ones, and how we've pressured them to recycle their pain and anguish and give it back to the offenders we prosecute. I thought of the many ways we've legalized vengeful and cruel punishments, how we've allowed our victimization to justify the victimization of others. We've submitted to the harsh instinct to crush those among us whose brokenness is most visible. But simply punishing the broken - walking away from them or hiding them from sight - only ensures that they remain broken and we do, too. There is no wholeness outside of our reciprocal humanity. I frequently had difficult conversations with clients who were struggling and despairing over their situations - over the things they'd done, or had been done to them, that had led them to painful moments. Whenever things got really bad, and they were questioning the value of their lives, I would remind them that each of us is more than the worst thing we've ever done. I told them that if someone tells a lie, that person is not just a liar. If you take something that doesn't belong to you, you are not just a thief. Even if you kill someone, you're not just a killer. I told myself that evening what I had been telling my clients for years. I am more than broken. In fact, there is a strength, a power even, in understanding brokenness, because embracing our brokenness creates a need and desire for mercy, and perhaps a corresponding need to show mercy. When you experience mercy, you learn things that are hard to learn otherwise. You see things that you can't otherwise see; you hear things you can't otherwise hear. You begin to recognize the humanity that resides in each of us.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
After watching—with a twinge of satisfaction—the letters burn to ashes in the fireplace, Evie felt sleepy. She went to the master bedroom for a nap. In spite of her weariness, it was difficult to relax while she was worried about Sebastian. Her thoughts chased round and round, until her tired brain put an end to the useless fretting and she dropped off to sleep. When she awakened an hour or so later, Sebastian was sitting on the bed beside her, a lock of her bright hair clasped loosely between a thumb and forefinger. He was watching her closely, his eyes the color of heaven at daybreak. She sat up and smiled self-consciously. Gently Sebastian stroked back her tumbled hair. “You look like a little girl when you sleep,” he murmured. “It makes me want to guard you every minute.” “Did you find Mr. Bullard?” “Yes, and no. First tell me what you did while I was gone.” “I helped Cam to arrange things in the office. And I burned all your letters from lovelorn ladies. The blaze was so large, I’m surprised no one sent for a fire brigade.” His lips curved in a smile, but his gaze probed hers carefully. “Did you read any of them?” Evie lifted a shoulder in a nonchalant half shrug. “A few. There were inquiries as to whether or not you’ve yet tired of your wife.” “No.” Sebastian drew his palm along the line of her thigh. “I’m tired of countless evenings of repetitive gossip and tepid flirtation. I’m tired of meaningless encounters with women who bore me senseless. They’re all the same to me, you know. I’ve never given a damn about anyone but you.” “I don’t blame them for wanting you,” Evie said, looping her arms around his neck. “But I’m not willing to share.” “You won’t have to.” He cupped her face in his hands and pressed a swift kiss to her lips.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
There is something in you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in other people. And if you can’t hear it, then you are reduced by that much. If I were to ask you what is the thing that you desire most in life this afternoon, you would say a lot of things off the top of your head, most of which you wouldn’t believe but you would think that you were saying the things that I thought you ought to think that you should say. But I think that if you were stripped to whatever there is in you that is literal and irreducible, and you tried to answer that question, the answer may be something like this: I want to feel that I am thoroughly and completely understood so that now and then I can take my guard down and look out around me and not feel that I will be destroyed with my defenses down. I want to feel completely vulnerable, completely naked, completely exposed and absolutely secure.
Howard Thurman
Why are you making that face?” he asked suddenly. I blinked up at him, caught off guard. I raised my eyebrows, trying to play dumb. “What face?” It didn’t work. With a fork hanging out of his mouth, he narrowed his dark eyes just the slightest bit. “That one.” He gestured toward me with his chin. I shrugged in an ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about’ expression. “Is there something you want to say?” There were a hundred things I wanted to tell him on a regular basis, but I knew him too well. He didn’t really care if there was something I wanted to say or not. He didn’t care if my opinion was different from his or if I thought he should do something differently. He was just reminding me who the boss was. AKA not me. Asswipe. “Me?” I blinked. “Nope.” He gave me a lazy glare before his eyes lowered to focus on the hand I had hidden on the other side of the kitchen island. “Then quit flipping me off. I’m not changing my mind about the signing,” he said in a deceptively casual voice. I pressed my lips together as I dropped my hand. He was a goddamn witch. I swear on my life, he was a freaking witch. A wizard. An oracle. A person with a third eye. Every single time I had ever flipped him off, he’d been aware of it. I didn’t think I was that obvious about it either.
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
Fire, fire! The branches crackle and the night wind of late autumn blows the flame of the bonfire back and forth. The compound is dark; I am alone at the bonfire, and I can bring it still some more carpenters' shavings. The compound here is a privileged one, so privileged that it is almost as if I were out in freedom -- this is an island of paradise; this is the Marfino "sharashka" -- a scientific institute staffed with prisoners -- in its most privileged period. No one is overseeing me, calling me to a cell, chasing me away from the bonfire, and even then it is chilly in the penetrating wind. But she -- who has already been standing in the wind for hours, her arms straight down, her head drooping, weeping, then growing numb and still. And then again she begs piteously "Citizen Chief! Please forgive me! I won't do it again." The wind carries her moan to me, just as if she were moaning next to my ear. The citizen chief at the gatehouse fires up his stove and does not answer. This was the gatehouse of the camp next door to us, from which workers came into our compound to lay water pipes and to repair the old ramshackle seminary building. Across from me, beyond the artfully intertwined, many-stranded barbed-wire barricade and two steps away from the gatehouse, beneath a bright lantern, stood the punished girl, head hanging, the wind tugging at her grey work skirt, her feet growing numb from the cold, a thin scarf over her head. It had been warm during the day, when they had been digging a ditch on our territory. And another girl, slipping down into a ravine, had crawled her way to the Vladykino Highway and escaped. The guard had bungled. And Moscow city buses ran right along the highway. When they caught on, it was too late to catch her. They raised the alarm. A mean, dark major arrived and shouted that if they failed to catch the girl, the entire camp would be deprived of visits and parcels for whole month, because of her escape. And the women brigadiers went into a rage, and they were all shouting, one of them in particular, who kept viciously rolling her eyes: "Oh, I hope they catch her, the bitch! I hope they take scissors and -- clip, clip, clip -- take off all her hair in front of the line-up!" But the girl who was now standing outside the gatehouse in the cold had sighed and said instead: "At least she can have a good time out in freedom for all of us!" The jailer had overheard what she said, and now she was being punished; everyone else had been taken off to the camp, but she had been set outside there to stand "at attention" in front of the gatehouse. This had been at 6 PM, and it was now 11 PM. She tried to shift from one foot to another, but the guard stuck out his head and shouted: "Stand at attention, whore, or else it will be worse for you!" And now she was not moving, only weeping: "Forgive me, Citizen Chief! Let me into the camp, I won't do it any more!" But even in the camp no one was about to say to her: "All right, idiot! Come on it!" The reason they were keeping her out there so long was that the next day was Sunday, and she would not be needed for work. Such a straw-blond, naive, uneducated slip of a girl! She had been imprisoned for some spool of thread. What a dangerous thought you expressed there, little sister! They want to teach you a lesson for the rest of your life! Fire, fire! We fought the war -- and we looked into the bonfires to see what kind of victory it would be. The wind wafted a glowing husk from the bonfire. To that flame and to you, girl, I promise: the whole wide world will read about you.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956 (Abridged))
A man is NOT weak if he cries. A man is NOT a punk if he cries. A man is NOT acting like a little b*tch if he cries. He’s a Man! And he’s allowed to have and show his true feelings without feeling less than. Ladies, some of you need to do better. Learn to be compassionate, loving, supportive, and understanding. There’s NOTHING wrong with a man being vulnerable. I encourage you to be his joy, peace, and his safe place. Lift him up and be mindful NOT to tear him down. If you truly care for and love your man, do and say everything with love. Let him know that it’s okay to cry and that he doesn’t have to pretend to be okay when he’s not. Real men DO cry! They experience sadness, disappointments, pain, and many other feelings. A man shouldn’t have to suppress his emotions. That’s pure nonsense! A man that can cry, smile, and let his guards down is a keeper in my book. I couldn’t imagine acting hard all of the time. That’s so unfair! Ladies, strive to be a Queen of substance. PEACE.
Stephanie Lahart
Rules for a happy marriage (over Time) 1. Kiss. A lot. The world can wait. 2. Clear your mind of your imaginary troubles, as the real ones need some neurons to bounce off of. 3. As to thoughts of “other people . . .” The spouse you pledged your heart to is an “other” person. Guard your words and actions in the sanctity of that. With
Carol Wall (Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening: How I Learned the Unexpected Joy of a Green Thumb and an Open Heart)
I ask for you.  I ask for all of you.”  The Princess took a small breath, let it out again.  “I ask for stories of your childhood in Terinto, of the family you scarcely remember, of the tinker who bought you, of how you escaped your second master, of your ku-sai, of your time serving my father in the Imperial Army.  I ask for your thoughts and your dreams, and in the quiet of night, I ask that you confess your fears.  You can have all of me, but that is the price I demand in return.” Joslyn stared at her without speaking, until silence itself rang loudly in Tasia’s ears. “Say something.” “It is a high price,” the guard said. “Say you’ll pay it,” said Tasia, a plea trembling
Eliza Andrews (Princess of Dorsa (The Chronicles of Dorsa, #1))
Early on a difficult climb, especially a difficult solo climb, you constantly feel the abyss pulling at your back. To resist takes a tremendous conscious effort; you don't dare let your guard down for an instant. The siren song of the void puts you on edge; it makes your movements tentative, clumsy, herky-jerky. But as the climb goes on, you grow accustomed to the exposure, you get used to rubbing shoulders with doom, you come to believe in the reliability of your hands and feet and head. You learn to trust your self-control. By and by your attention becomes so intensely focused that you no longer notice the raw knuckles, the cramping thighs, the strain of maintaining nonstop concentration. A trancelike state settles over your efforts; the climb becomes a clear-eyed dream. Hours slide by like minutes. The accumulated clutter of day-to-day existence — the lapses of conscience, the unpaid bills, the bungled opportunities, the dust under the couch, the inescapable prison of your genes — all of it is temporarily forgotten, crowded from your thoughts by an overpowering clarity of purpose and by the seriousness of the task at hand. At such moments something resembling happiness actually stirs in your chest, but it isn't the sort of emotion you want to lean on very hard. In solo climbing the whole enterprise is held together with little more than chutzpah, not the most reliable adhesive.
Jon Krakauer
It is a great wonder How Almighty God in his magnificence Favors our race with rank and scope And the gift of wisdom; His sway is wide. Sometimes He allows the mind of a man Of distinguished birth to follow its bent, Grants him fulfillment and felicity on earth And forts to command in his own country. He permits him to lord it in many lands Until the man in his unthinkingness Forgets that it will ever end for him. He indulges his desires; illness and old age Mean nothing to him; his mind is untroubled By envy or malice or thought of enemies With their hate-honed swords. The whole world Conforms to his will, he is kept from the worst Until an element of overweening Enters him and takes hold While the soul’s guard, its sentry, drowses, Grown too distracted. A killer stalks him, An archer who draws a deadly bow. And then the man is hit in the heart, The arrow flies beneath his defenses, The devious promptings of the demon start. His old possessions seem paltry to him now. He covets and resents; dishonors custom And bestows no gold; and because of good things That the Heavenly powers gave him in the past He ignores the shape of things to come. Then finally the end arrives When the body he was lent collapses and falls Prey to its death; ancestral possessions And the goods he hoarded and inherited by another Who lets them go with a liberal hand. “O flower of warriors, beware of that trap. Choose, dear Beowulf, the better part, Eternal rewards. Do not give way to pride. For a brief while your strength is in bloom But it fades quickly; and soon there will follow Illness or the sword to lay you low, Or a sudden fire or surge of water Or jabbing blade or javelin from the air Or repellent age. Your piercing eye Will dim and darken; and death will arrive, Dear warrior, to sweep you away.
Seamus Heaney
Lila had always thought of secrets like gold coins. They could be hoarded, or put to use, but once you spent them, or lost them, it was a beast to get your hands on more. Because of that, she’d always guarded her secrets, prized them above any take. The fences back in Grey London hadn’t known she was a street rat. The street patrols hadn’t known she was a girl.
V.E. Schwab (A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3))
Britta wanted to try to turn a guard. Tamara thought it was idiotic. “What are you going to do? Buy him beer and tell him about Kropotkin?” I envisioned the conversation: Vanguard: Wage Slave, are you aware that you are but a wire nail in the toolbox of capitalism? Wage Slave: I thought I was a chisel. Vanguard: No, the petit bourgeois are the chisels. Wage Slave: What about a washer set? Can I be a washer set? Vanguard: No, my ferret, run free! For I have unlocked your collar with knowledge! Wage Slave: I want to be a chisel. Vanguard pushes screaming ferret through hole in fence cut by the clippers of noblesse oblige. “Well, maybe we could bribe him,” said Britta. Tamara laughed. “With what? Health insurance?
Vanessa Veselka (Zazen)
The heartwood," Rob murmured, looking at me. "You wanted to marry me in the heart of Major Oak." I beamed at him grateful that he understood. "And Scar," he whispered. I leaned in close. "Are you wearing knives to our wedding?" Nodding, I laughed, telling him, "I was going to get you here one way or another, Hood." He laughed, a bright, merry sound. Standing in the heart of the tree, he reached again for my hand, fingers sliding over mine. Touching his hand, a rope of lightening lashed round my fingers, like it seared us together. Now, and for always. His fingers moved on mine, rubbing over my hand before capturing it tight and turning me to the priest. The priest looked over his shoulder, watching as the sun began to dip. He led us in prayer, he asked me to speak the same words I'd spoken not long past to Gisbourne, but that whole thing felt like a bad dream, like I were waking and it were fading and gone for good. "Lady Scarlet." he asked me with a smile, "known to some as Lady Marian of Huntingdon, will thou have this lord to thy wedded husband, will thou love him and honour him, keep him and obey him, in health and in sickness, as a wife should a husband, forsaking all others on account of him, so long as ye both shall live?" I looked at Robin, tears burning in my eyes. "I will," I promised. "I will, always." Rob's face were beaming back at me, his ocean eyes shimmering bright. The priest smiled. "Robin of Locksley, will thou have this lady to thy wedded wife, will thou love her and honor her, keep her and guard her, in health and in sickness, as a husband should a wife, forsaking all others on account of her, so long as ye both shall live?" the priest asked. "Yes," Rob said. "I will." "You have the rings?" the priest asked Rob. "I do," I told the priest, taking two rings from where Bess had tied them to my dress. I'd sent Godfrey out to buy them at market without Rob knowing. "I knew you weren't planning on this," I told him. Rob just grinned like a fool at me, taking the ring I handed him to put on my finger. Laughs bubbled up inside of me, and I felt like I were smiling so wide something were stuck in my cheeks and holding me open. More shy and proud than I thought I'd be, I said. "I take you as me wedded husband, Robin. And thereto I plight my troth." I pushed the ring onto his finger. He took my half hand in one of his, but the other- holding the ring- went into his pocket. "I may not have known I would marry you today Scar," he said. "But I did know I would marry you." He showed me a ring, a large ruby set in delicate gold. "This," he said to me, "was my mother's. It's the last thing I have of hers, and when I met you and loved you and realized your name was the exact colour of the stone- " He swallowed, and cleared his throat, looking at me with the blue eyes that shot right through me. "This was meant to be Scarlet. I was always meant to love you. To marry you." The priest coughed. "Say the words, my son, and you will marry her." Rob grinned and I laughed, and Rob stepped closer, cradling my hand. "I take you as my wedded wife, Scarlet. And thereto I plight my troth." He slipped the ring on my finger and it fit. "Receive the Holy Spirit," the priest said, and kissed Robin on the cheek. Rob's happy grin turned a touch wolflike as he turned back to me, hauling me against him and angling his mouth over mine. I wrapped my arms around him and my head spun- I couldn't tell if we were spinning, if I were dizzy, if my feet were on the ground anymore at all, but all I knew, all I cared for, were him, his mouth against mine, and letting the moment we became man and wife spin into eternity.
A.C. Gaughen (Lion Heart (Scarlet, #3))
Arthur said brightly, “Actually I quite liked it.” Ford turned and gaped. Here was an approach that had quite simply not occurred to him. The Vogon raised a surprised eyebrow that effectively obscured his nose and was therefore no bad thing. “Oh good …” he whirred, in considerable astonishment. “Oh yes,” said Arthur, “I thought that some of the metaphysical imagery was really particularly effective.” Ford continued to stare at him, slowly organizing his thoughts around this totally new concept. Were they really going to be able to bareface their way out of this? “Yes, do continue …” invited the Vogon. “Oh … and, er … interesting rhythmic devices too,” continued Arthur, “which seemed to counterpoint the … er … er …” he floundered. Ford leaped to his rescue, hazarding “… counterpoint the surrealism of the underlying metaphor of the … er …” He floundered too, but Arthur was ready again. “… humanity of the …” “Vogonity,” Ford hissed at him. “Ah yes, Vogonity—sorry—of the poet’s compassionate soul”—Arthur felt he was on the homestretch now—“which contrives through the medium of the verse structure to sublimate this, transcend that, and come to terms with the fundamental dichotomies of the other”—he was reaching a triumphant crescendo—“and one is left with a profound and vivid insight into … into … er …” (which suddenly gave out on him). Ford leaped in with the coup de grace: “Into whatever it was the poem was about!” he yelled. Out of the corner of his mouth: “Well done, Arthur, that was very good.” The Vogon perused them. For a moment his embittered racial soul had been touched, but he thought no—too little too late. His voice took on the quality of a cat snagging brushed nylon. “So what you’re saying is that I write poetry because underneath my mean callous heartless exterior I really just want to be loved,” he said. He paused, “Is that right?” Ford laughed a nervous laugh. “Well, I mean, yes,” he said, “don’t we all, deep down, you know … er …” The Vogon stood up. “No, well, you’re completely wrong,” he said, “I just write poetry to throw my mean callous heartless exterior into sharp relief. I’m going to throw you off the ship anyway. Guard! Take the prisoners to number three airlock and throw them out!” “What?” shouted Ford. A huge young Vogon guard stepped forward and yanked them out of their straps with his huge blubbery arms. “You can’t throw us into space,” yelled Ford, “we’re trying to write a book.” “Resistance is useless!” shouted the Vogon guard back at him. It was the first phrase he’d learned when he joined the Vogon Guard Corps.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide, #1))
I took the sweet parts of me and painted them on your rotten heart. I used my light to illuminate your dark parts. And when you didn’t change, when you didn’t bring your guard down, I gave you more. I poured and poured and poured all I had into your body, into your soul, until I had nothing left. My heart empty, my eyes tired, the light gone. I lost myself while loving you.
Makenzie Campbell (2am Thoughts)
When I’m given a role, the first thing I do is read the play over and over again. I scour the script and write down everything the character says about himself and everything that everyone else says about him. I immerse myself in my character and imagine what it might be like to be that person. When I played Cassio in Othello I imagined what it would be like to be a lieutenant in the Venetian navy in 1604. I sat down with Ewan McGregor and Chiwetel Ejiofor and together we decided that Othello, Iago and Cassio had soldiery in their bones. I took from the script that Cassio was talented and ambitious, with no emotional or physical guard - and that’s how I played the part. For me, acting is about recreating the circumstances that would make me feel how my character is feeling. In the dressing room, I practise recreating those circumstances in my head and I try to not get in the way of myself. For example, in act two of Othello, when Cassio is manipulated to fight Roderigo and loses his rank, some nights I would burst into tears; other nights I wouldn’t but I would still feel the same emotion, night after night. Just as in life, the way we respond to catastrophe or death will be different every time because the process is unconscious. By comparison, in Chekhov’s Ivanov I played the young doctor, Lvov. Lvov was described as “a prig and a bigot … uprightness in boots … tiresome … completely sincere”. His emotions were locked away. I worked around the key phrase: “Forgive me, I’m going to tell you plainly.” I practised speaking gravely and sincerely without emotion and I actually noticed how that carried over into my personal life: when I played the open-hearted Cassio, I felt really free; when I played the pent-up Lvov, I felt a real need to release myself from the shackles of that character. It’s exhilarating to act out the emotions of a character - it’s a bit like being a child again. You flex the same muscles that you did when you pretended to be a cowboy or a policeman: acting is a grown-up version of that with more subtlety and detail. You’re responding with real emotions to imaginary situations. When I’m in a production I never have a day when I haven’t laughed, cried or screamed. There are times when I wake up stiff from emotional exhaustion. Film is a much more intimate and thoughtful medium than theatre because of the proximity of the camera. The camera can read your thoughts. On stage, if you have a moment of vulnerability you can hide it from the other actors; on film, the camera will see you feel that emotion and try to suppress it. Similarly, if you’re pretending to feel something that isn’t there, it won’t be believable.
Tom Hiddleston
For the guard with the scar over her heart: I’ve been watching you. You’re not like the other guards — the bowing, scraping, mindlessly loyal lizards who live for your queen. You have your own thoughts, don’t you? You’re smarter than the average SandWing. And I think I know your secret. Let’s talk about it. Third cell down, the one with two NightWings in it. I’m the one who doesn’t snore. I HAVE NO INTEREST IN DISCUSSING ANYTHING WITH A NIGHTWING PRISONER. WHOSE IDEA WAS IT TO LET YOU HAVE PAPER AND INK? You should be interested. You’re going to need allies for what you’re planning … and when I get out of here, I’m going to be a very useful ally indeed. AMUSING ASSUMPTIONS. MY QUEEN BELIEVES YOU’RE GOING TO BE IN HERE FOR A LONG, LONG TIME. True … but she also believes she’s going to be queen for a long, long time … doesn’t she. An interesting silence after my last note. Perhaps it would reassure you to know I set your notes on fire as soon as I’ve read them. You can tell me anything, my new, venomous-tailed friend. Believe me, Night-Wings are exceptionally skilled at keeping secrets. WE ARE NOT FRIENDS. I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT YOU, OTHER THAN WHAT IT SAYS IN YOUR PRISONER FILE. FIERCETEETH: TRAITOR. KIDNAPPER. RINGLEADER OF ASSASSINATION PLOT. TO BE HELD INDEFINITELY WITH FELLOW TRAITOR STRONGWINGS, ON BEHALF OF THE NIGHTWING QUEEN. OH, YES, CERTAINLY SOUNDS LIKE A DRAGON ANYONE CAN TRUST. She’s not my queen. You can’t be a traitor to someone who shouldn’t be ruling over you in the first place. Which might be a thought you’ve had lately yourself, isn’t it? I know some things about you, even without a file. Saguaro: Prison guard. Schemer. Connected to great secret plans. We’re not so different, you and I. Particularly when it comes to trustworthiness. Just think, if my alleged “assassination plot” had worked, the NightWings would have a different queen right now. Perhaps it would even be me. Well, if at first you don’t succeed … I could tell you my story, if you get me more paper to write on. Or you could stop by one midnight and listen to it instead. But I’ve noticed you don’t like spending too much time in the dungeon. Is it the tip-tap of little scorpion claws scrabbling everywhere? The stench rising from the holes in the floor? The gibbering mad SandWing a few cages down who never shuts up, all night long? (What is her story? Has she really been here since the rule of Queen Oasis?) Or is it that you can too easily picture yourself behind these bars … and you know how close you are to joining us? ALL RIGHT, NIGHTWING, HERE’S A BLANK SCROLL. GO AHEAD AND TRY TO CONVINCE ME THAT YOU’RE A DRAGON WHO EVEN DESERVES TO LIVE, LET ALONE ONE I SHOULD WASTE MY TIME ON. I DO ENJOY BEING AMUSED.
Tui T. Sutherland (Escaping Peril (Wings of Fire, #8))
You know, Dorothy, you can’t let people bring you down so easily or you’ll have your nose in the dirt for the rest of your life. From what I make of it, for every person with a good thought, there are about fifty who’d try to spoil it. We have to guard our good ideas, our happy thoughts, and fight for them. Because if we let those others snuff them out, well, we didn’t after all deserve them.
J.M. Lavallee (The Wishing Stone and Other Myths Learned on Gull Cliff Island)
Your journey to capture her soul is one of patience and persistence as it lives in the hidden recess of her heart it is buried in her conscience and holds the key to her most private thoughts and hidden desires the journey is one of understanding and love, not any one can travel there as it is guarded by the heartbreaks of her past and hidden the sea of sorrow and regret. - Richard M Knittle Jr.
Richard M. Knittle Jr.
Help you?” he said without looking up. I glanced at Meg, silently double-checking that we were in the right building. She nodded. “We’re here to surrender,” I told the guard. Surely this would make him look up. But no. He could not have acted less interested in us. I was reminded of the guest entrance to Mount Olympus, through the lobby of the Empire State Building. Normally, I never went that way, but I knew Zeus hired the most unimpressible, disinterested beings he could find to guard the desk as a way to discourage visitors. I wondered if Nero had intentionally done the same thing here. “I’m Apollo,” I continued. “And this is Meg. I believe we’re expected? As in…hard deadline at sunset or the city burns?” The guard took a deep breath, as if it pained him to move. Keeping one finger in his novel, he picked up a pen and slapped it on the counter next to the sign-in book. “Names. IDs.” “You need our IDs to take us prisoner?” I asked. The guard turned the page in his book and kept reading. With a sigh, I pulled out my New York State junior driver’s license. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised that I’d have to show it one last time, just to complete my humiliation. I slid it across the counter. Then I signed the logbook for both of us. Name(s): Lester (Apollo) and Meg. Here to see: Nero. Business: Surrender. Time in: 7:16 p.m. Time out: Probably never. Since Meg was a minor, I didn’t expect her to have an ID, but she removed her gold scimitar rings and placed them next to my license. I stifled the urge to shout, Are you insane? But Meg gave them up as if she’d done this a million times before. The guard took the rings and examined them without comment. He held up my license and compared it to my face. His eyes were the color of decade-old ice cubes. He seemed to decide that, tragically, I looked as bad in real life as I did in my license photo. He handed it back, along with Meg’s rings. “Elevator nine to your right,” he announced. I almost thanked him. Then I thought better of it.
Rick Riordan (The Tower of Nero (The Trials of Apollo, #5))
She narrowed her eyes at him. She wanted to tell him that it was his fault, that she would never have tripped if he’d just stayed the same old Jay he’d always been, gangly and childlike. But she knew that she was being irrational. He was bound to grow up eventually; she’d just never imagined that he’d grow up so well. Instead she accused him: “Well, maybe if you hadn’t pushed me I wouldn’t have fallen.” She made the outlandish accusation with a completely straight face. He shook his head. “You’ll never be able to prove it. There were no witnesses—it’s just your word against mine.” She giggled and hopped down. “Yeah, well, who’s gonna believe you over me? Weren’t you the one who shoplifted a candy bar from the Safeway?” She limped over to the sink while she taunted him with her words, and she washed the dirt from the minor scrapes on her palms. “Whatever! I was seven. And I believe you were the one who handed it to me and told me to hide it in my sleeve. Technically that makes you the mastermind of that little operation, doesn’t it?” He came up behind her, and reaching around her, he poured some of the antibacterial wash onto her hands. She was taken completely off guard by the intimate gesture. She froze as she felt his chest pressing against her back until that was all she could think about for the moment and the temporarily forgot how to speak. She watched as the red scrapes fizzed with white bubbles from the disinfectant. He leaned over her shoulder, setting the bottle down and pulling her hands up toward him. He blew on them too. Violet didn’t even notice the sting this time. And then it was over. He released her hands, and as she stood there, dazed, he handed her a clean towel to dry them on. When she turned around to face him, she realized that she had been the only one affected by the moment, that his touch had been completely innocent. He was looking at her like he was waiting for her to say something, and she was suddenly aware that her mouth was still open. She finally gathered her wits enough to speak again. “Yeah, well, maybe if you hadn’t done it right in front of the cashier, we might have gotten away with it. Instead, you got both of us grounded for stealing.” He didn’t miss a beat, and he seemed unaware of her temporary lapse. “And some might say that our grounding saved us from a life of crime.” She hung the towel over the oven’s door handle. “Maybe it saved me, but the jury’s still out on you. I always thought you were kind of a bad seed.” He gave her a questioning look. “Seriously, a ‘bad seed’, Vi? When did you turn ninety and start saying things like ‘bad seed’?” She pushed him as she walked by, even though he really wasn’t in her way. He gave her a playful shove from behind and teased her, “Don’t make me trip you again.” Now more than ever, Violet hoped that this crush of hers passed soon, so she could get back to the business of being just friends. Otherwise, this was going to be a long—and painful—year.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
Did you ever think she was your mate?” Lucas asked unable to help himself. Clyde tensed, seemingly caught off-guard by the question. “I knew she wasn’t mine,” he said then exhaled. “Angels don’t mate, remember?” “Then why did you make it so hard for her?” “For her or for you?” “For her. I couldn’t care less how hard you made it for me.” “Because I love her,” Clyde responded simply. Lucas’ jaw clenched then he exhaled, acknowledging that hearing another man admit he loved Jenna would never get easier. “Not the way you do, but I love her. I wanted what was best for her. I thought you weren’t it,” Clyde added then turned to walk away. He paused and spun back around. “One more thing. If you ever hurt her, I’ll kill you.” Lucas let the fire in his heart fill his eyes. He would never hurt Jenna; they both knew it. “I know. That’s one of the reasons I haven’t killed you myself.
J.L. Sheppard (Demon King's Desire (Elemental Sisters, #1))
Step number four to receiving answered prayer is guard against every evil thought that comes into your mind to try to make you doubt God’s Word. Thoughts are governed by observation, association, and teaching. So this step is closely associated with step number three. The Bible says we are to cast down every imagination that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (2 Cor. 10:5). That’s why you should stay away from all places and things that do not support your affirmation that God has answered your prayer. Your thoughts are governed and affected by observations, associations, and teaching. That means that sometimes you will have to stay away from the kind of churches that can put more unbelief in you than anything else. Also, be sure to enjoy fellowship with those who contribute to your faith.   2 CORINTHIANS 10:5 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.   PHILIPPIANS 4:8 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are TRUE, whatsoever things are HONEST, whatsoever things are JUST, whatsoever things are PURE, whatsoever things are LOVELY, whatsoever things are OF GOOD REPORT; if there be ANY VIRTUE, and if there be ANY PRAISE, think on these things.   The Bible tells us in Philippians exactly what to think on. Many people are thinking on the wrong things, and they’re defeated in life as a result. But if you will guard against every evil thought and think only on those things which affirm that God has heard and answered your prayers, you will be cooperating with God in faith. You will have to guard your mind in order to develop in faith. And as you stand your ground firm in faith, your faith will see you through to victory.
Kenneth E. Hagin (Bible Prayer Study Course)
The gruff murmur, irregularly broken by the taking out of pipes and the putting in of pipes which had kept on assuring her, though she could not hear what was said (as she sat in the window which opened on the terrace), that the men were happily talking; this sound, which had lasted now half an hour and had taken its place soothingly in the scale of sounds pressing on top of her, such as the tap of balls upon bats, the sharp, sudden bark now and then, "How's that? How's that?" of the children playing cricket, had ceased; so that the monotonous fall of the waves on the beach, which for the most part beat a measured and soothing tattoo to her thoughts and seemed consolingly to repeat over and over again as she sat with the children the words of some old cradle song, murmured by nature, "I am guarding you––I am your support," but at other times suddenly and unexpectedly, especially when her mind raised itself slightly from the task actually in hand, had no such kindly meaning, but like a ghostly roll of drums remorselessly beat the measure of life, made one think of the destruction of the island and its engulfment in the sea, and warned her whose day had slipped past in one quick doing after another that it was all ephemeral as a rainbow––this sound which had been obscured and concealed under the other sounds suddenly thundered hollow in her ears and made her look up with an impulse of terror.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
By December 1975, a year had passed since Mr. Harvey had packed his bags, but there was still no sign of him. For a while, until the tape dirtied or the paper tore, store owners kept a scratchy sketch of him taped to their windows. Lindsey and Samuel walked in the neighboorhood or hung out at Hal's bike shop. She wouldn't go to the diner where the other kids went. The owner of the diner was a law and order man. He had blown up the sketch of George Harvey to twice its size and taped it to the front door. He willingly gave the grisly details to any customer who asked- young girl, cornfield, found only an elbow. Finallly Lindsey asked Hal to give her a ride to the police station. She wanted to know what exactly they were doing. They bid farewell to Samuel at the bike shop and Hal gave Lindsey a ride through a wet December snow. From the start, Lindsey's youth and purpose had caught the police off guard. As more and more of them realized who she was, they gave her a wider and wider berth. Here was this girl, focused, mad, fifteen... When Lindsey and Hal waited outside the captain's office on a wooden bench, she thought she saw something across the room that she recognized. It was on Detective Fenerman's desk and it stood out in the room because of its color. What her mother had always distinguished as Chinese red, a harsher red than rose red, it was the red of classic red lipsticks, rarely found in nature. Our mother was proud of her ability fo wear Chinese red, noting each time she tied a particular scarf around her neck that it was a color even Grandma Lynn dared not wear. Hal,' she said, every muscle tense as she stared at the increasingly familiar object on Fenerman's desk. Yes.' Do you see that red cloth?' Yes.' Can you go and get it for me?' When Hal looked at her, she said: 'I think it's my mother's.' As Hal stood to retrieve it, Len entered the squad room from behind where Lindsey sat. He tapped her on the shoulder just as he realized what Hal was doing. Lindsey and Detective Ferman stared at each other. Why do you have my mother's scarf?' He stumbled. 'She might have left it in my car one day.' Lindsey stood and faced him. She was clear-eyed and driving fast towards the worst news yet. 'What was she doing in your car?' Hello, Hal,' Len said. Hal held the scarf in his head. Lindsey grabbed it away, her voice growing angry. 'Why do you have m mother's scarf?' And though Len was the detective, Hal saw it first- it arched over her like a rainbow- Prismacolor understanding. The way it happened in algebra class or English when my sister was the first person to figure out the sum of x or point out the double entendres to her peers. Hal put his hand on Lindsey's shoulder to guide her. 'We should go,' he said. And later she cried out her disbelief to Samuel in the backroom of the bike shop.
Alice Sebold
Do you believe in love at first sight?” He made himself look at her face, at her wide-open eyes and earnest forehead. At her unbearably sweet mouth. “I don’t know,” he said. “Do you believe in love before that?” Her breath caught in her throat like a sore hiccup. And then it was too much to keep trying not to kiss her. She came readily into his arms. Lincoln leaned against the coffee machine and pulled her onto him completely. There it was again, that impossible to describe kiss. This is how 2011 should have ended, he thought. This is infinity. The first time Beth pulled away, he pulled her back. The second time, he bit her lip. Then her neck. Then the collar of her shirt. “I don’t know…,” she said, sitting up in his lap, laying her check on the top of his head. “I don’t know what you meant by love before love at first sight.” Lincoln pushed his face into her shoulder and tried to think of a good way to answer. “Just that… I knew how I felt about you before I ever saw you,” he said, “when I still thought I might never see you…” She held his head in her hands and titled it back, so she could see his face. “That’s ridiculous,” she said. Which made him laugh. “Absolutely,” he said. “No, I mean it,” Beth said. “Men fall in love with their eyes.” He closed his. “That’s practically science,” she said. “Maybe,” Lincoln said. Her fingers felt so good in his hair. “But I couldn’t see you, so…” “So, what did you see?” “Just…the sort of girl who would write the sort of things that you wrote.” “What things?” Lincoln opened his eyes. Beth was studying his face. She looked skeptical-maybe about more than just the last thing he said. This was important, he realized. “Everything,” he said, sitting straighter, keeping hold of her waist. “Everything you wrote about your work, about your boyfriend…The way you comforted Jennifer and made her laugh, through the baby and after. I pictured a girl who could be kind, and that kind of funny. I pictured a girl who was that alive…” She looked guarded. Lincoln couldn’t tell from her eyes whether he was pushing her away or winning her over. “A girl who never got tired of her favourite movies,” he said softly. “Who saved dresses like ticket stubs. Who could get high on the weather.. “I pictured a girl who made every moment, everything she touched, and everyone around her feel lighter and sweeter. I pictured you,” he said. “I just didn’t know what you looked like. And then, when I did know what you looked like, you looked like the girl who was all those things. You looked like the girl I loved.” Beth’s fingers trembled in his hair, and her forehead dropped against his. A heavy, wet tear fell onto Lincoln’s lips, and he licked it. He pulled her close, as close as he could. Like he didn’t care for the moment whether she could breath. Like there were two of them and only one parachute. “Beth,” he barely said, pressing his face against hers until their lashes brushed, pressing his hand into the small of her back. “I don’t think I can explain it. I don’t think I can make any more sense. But I’ll keep trying. If you want me to.” She almost shook her head. “No,” she said, “no more explaining. Or apologizing. I don’t think it matters how we ended up here. I just…I want to stay…I want.. He kissed her then. There. In the middle of the sentence.
Rainbow Rowell (Attachments)
My Lady," said Asho, stepping forward to kneel once more. "I ask that you let me serve you as your knight. I know your Lord regretted bringing my sister and me out of Bythos, and had no intention of letting me ever have the honor. But I'm a knight now, regardless, and I swear to dedicate my every breath and thought to guarding your family and your honor. I may be a Bythian, but I swear that I shall do my utmost to protect you. If you will have me, I will be your knight.
Phil Tucker (The Path of Flames (Chronicles of the Black Gate, #1))
I beg your pardon, Mrs. Graham - but you get on too fast. I have not yet said that a boy should be taught to rush into the snares of life, - or even wilfully to seek temptation for the sake of exercising his virtue by overcoming it; - I only say that it is better to arm and strengthen your hero, than to disarm and enfeeble the foe; - and if you were to rear an oak sapling in a hothouse, tending it carefully night and day, and shielding it from every breath of wind, you could not expect it to become a hardy tree, like that which has grown up on the mountain-side, exposed to all the action of the elements, and not even sheltered from the shock of the tempest.' 'Granted; - but would you use the same argument with regard to a girl?' 'Certainly not.' 'No; you would have her to be tenderly and delicately nurtured, like a hot-house plant - taught to cling to others for direction and support, and guarded, as much as possible, from the very knowledge of evil. But will you be so good as to inform me why you make this distinction? Is it that you think she has no virtue?' 'Assuredly not.' 'Well, but you affirm that virtue is only elicited by temptation; - and you think that a woman cannot be too little exposed to temptation, or too little acquainted with vice, or anything connected therewith. It must be either that you think she is essentially so vicious, or so feeble-minded, that she cannot withstand temptation, - and though she may be pure and innocent as long as she is kept in ignorance and restraint, yet, being destitute of real virtue, to teach her how to sin is at once to make her a sinner, and the greater her knowledge, the wider her liberty, the deeper will be her depravity, - whereas, in the nobler sex, there is a natural tendency to goodness, guarded by a superior fortitude, which, the more it is exercised by trials and dangers, is only the further developed - ' 'Heaven forbid that I should think so!' I interrupted her at last." 'Well, then, it must be that you think they are both weak and prone to err, and the slightest error, the merest shadow of pollution, will ruin the one, while the character of the other will be strengthened and embellished - his education properly finished by a little practical acquaintance with forbidden things. Such experience, to him (to use a trite simile), will be like the storm to the oak, which, though it may scatter the leaves, and snap the smaller branches, serves but to rivet the roots, and to harden and condense the fibres of the tree. You would have us encourage our sons to prove all things by their own experience, while our daughters must not even profit by the experience of others. Now I would have both so to benefit by the experience of others, and the precepts of a higher authority, that they should know beforehand to refuse the evil and choose the good, and require no experimental proofs to teach them the evil of transgression. I would not send a poor girl into the world, unarmed against her foes, and ignorant of the snares that beset her path; nor would I watch and guard her, till, deprived of self-respect and self-reliance, she lost the power or the will to watch and guard herself; - and as for my son - if I thought he would grow up to be what you call a man of the world - one that has "seen life," and glories in his experience, even though he should so far profit by it as to sober down, at length, into a useful and respected member of society - I would rather that he died to-morrow! - rather a thousand times!' she earnestly repeated, pressing her darling to her side and kissing his forehead with intense affection. He had already left his new companion, and been standing for some time beside his mother's knee, looking up into her face, and listening in silent wonder to her incomprehensible discourse. Anne Bronte, "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" (24,25)
Anne Brontë
But damn you to hell, Faust. I thought you were smart, but you’re a fool after all. If you’d guarded that prisoner properly, at least some good would have come out of this wretched situation. You saved her from the fire in the panzer, and you protected her, and it was all for no result at all.’ Helmann reached for his hip flask. ‘All for no verdamm result at all.’ He wiped his mouth and handed me the cognac. ‘But it’s done. Now let’s find ourselves a car, and get moving. Panzer Marsch!
Wolfgang Faust (Tiger Tracks - The Classic Panzer Memoir (Wolfgang Faust's Panzer Books))
Dex crouched down next to her, lips level with her ear. "You know, you were a lot more fun three years ago." It was like he wanted her to kill him. She turned, unfazed that their faces were separated by mere centimeters. So close she could see the pores in his caramel skin, the deep brown of his eyes, and the raised scar that rested near his temple. She'd given him that scar. What she also noticed was how her heart no longer fluttered like it used to when he looked at her. She used to love his eyes, their unspoken words. The feel of his skin against hers during their passionate nights, but now those thoughts made her cringe. She guarded herself against those details scrounged from distant memories. They were no longer part of a blissful reality but a hurtful past. "A lot has changed in three years, Dextro," Andi said calmly. "Now if you don't move, I'll give you a new scar, and this time," she said, pointing to his right temple, "it will be across your neck." He put his arms up in defense before rising, distancing himself from her.
Sasha Alsberg (Zenith Part 1)
It is no easy thing to be in your mid-twenties and realize that, holy shit, this is it, this is as good as it gets, and from here it's all downhill, the fun's over, the hijinks have jinked their last, nothing lies ahead but drudgery and toil and a sagging belly and death. It's harder yet when a stupid bitch, a numbfuck cunt, one of those horrible sweet-smelling OMG types who wouldn't talk to you in high school and sure as fuck won't talk to you now, takes position on your elbow with a cell phone jammed into her cheek, yammering away. Because who wants to listen to the stream of shit coming out of her mouth? Gossip about friends. Gossip about enemies. Gossip about celebrities. Gossip about gossip. Not a thought in her head. Not a fact. Nothing of interest. Nothing of worth. Just an avalanche of verbal rubbish. The Patriots took on the Redcoats, the Blue fought the Gray, the National Guard stormed the beaches of Normandy, so this submoronic cretin could stand here in her designer boots and talk about what happened at the club last night.
Miles Watson (A Fever In The Blood)
It shouldn't make any difference, but Friday and Saturday nights are the worst. They're the worst because the loneliness is magnified. The best you can do is hope that there is someone else like you out there, but if there is, you will never meet this person because she doesn't get out either. So, you're left with your thoughts, and your thoughts are living people in your brain who call and hang up and lounge around like armed security guards who happen to be beautiful. In between these thoughts, you think about what's going on out there. The girl of your dreams is being ravaged by a man who doesn't have a care in the world. Just to hear her voice would make you happy for a week, but he gets to spend the day and night with her and thinks nothing of it. (…), there are boyfriends and girlfriends, people in love, wide awake. They hang out. They hang out. They hang out. They do nothing worthwhile except each other. Friends, friends, friends. Fiends. Inside jokes. There are so many stupid conversations going on right now. You could be having a meaningful conversation with a taxi driver. You could talk to him about how Travis Bickle's taxi was a metaphor for loneliness. (…) You have a gray tint on your contact lenses. But you have your work. They don't have that. They are cowards. Everyone seems so afraid to be alone. It takes strength to lie there alone and take it. They just want to copulate, and that's their biggest concern of the night. You want a tragedy. An assassination. A massacre. An earthquake. A city falling to the ground. Something to get the people on TV to be on the same page as you.
Joey Goebel (Torture the Artist)
Arin nearly got his throat cut. “The god of life preserve you,” Cheat gasped. He staggered back, his knife glinting in the shadows of his small bedroom. “What the hell are you doing here? Breaking into my home like a thief in the night. Climbing through the window. You’re lucky I saw your face in time.” “There’s something I have to tell you.” “Start with why you couldn’t come by the auction house at a decent hour. I thought you had a free pass. What about the girl’s seal ring?” “Unavailable.” Cheat squinted up at Arin, tapping the flat of the short blade against his thigh. In the dim light of a streetlamp, a slow grin spread across his face. “Had a falling-out with your lady, did you? A lovers’ quarrel?” Arin felt his face go dark and tight. “Easy, lad. Just tell me: are the rumors true?” “No.” “All right.” Cheat held up his hands as if in surrender, the knife held loosely. “If you say they’re not, they’re not.” “Cheat. I broke curfew, scaled the general’s wall, and stole through a guarded city to speak with you. Don’t you think we have more important things to discuss than Valorian gossip?
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
In Chapter One, I discussed four of the seven steps to answered prayer. The four steps already covered are as follows: 1.Decide what you want from God and find the scripture or scriptures that definitely promise you these things. 2.Ask God for the things you want and believe that you receive them. 3.Let every thought and desire affirm that you have what you asked for. 4.Guard against every evil thought that comes into your mind to try to make you doubt God’s Word. Step Number Five: Meditate on God’s Promises Step number five to receiving answered prayer is meditate constantly on the promises upon which you based the answer to your prayer. In other words, you must see yourself in possession of what you’ve asked for and make plans accordingly as if it were already a reality.   PROVERBS 4:20-22 20 My son, ATTEND TO MY WORDS; incline thine ear unto my sayings. 21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. 22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.   God said, “My son, attend to my words . . .” (Prov. 4:20). God will make His Word good in your life if you’ll act on it.
Kenneth E. Hagin (Bible Prayer Study Course)
You are incredibly beautiful to me, and I do not just mean your appearance or your body. Down to your soul, you are beautiful. You are so honest about who you are. So free with your thoughts and emotions. Growing up, everyone around me was guarded. So closed off. But you…you have this divine light about you. This pure honesty and goodness. It shows when you work the everlass, and it shines through in your healing gifts. Your thoughtful expressions are so lovely because I can practically see the wheels in that big brain of yours turning. You’re so smart and capable, Finley. So tough and unyielding in your ability to survive. I am in awe of you. But most of all, I love your fire and your passion. I love that you refuse to let others dictate who you are. I love that you dig in and push back when I try to dominate you, challenging me to be better, stronger. It’s arousing but also… It’s just… You’re perfect. I wish I were a poet so I could express it properly. When others look at you, they might see your surface beauty. I wanted you to know that when I look at you, I see the beauty of your soul, and I am in rapture. I see you, Finley. That is what I wanted to say. I see all of you, and you are beautiful.
K.F. Breene (A Ruin of Roses (Deliciously Dark Fairytales, #1))
[O]ur thoughts and feelings are us. They are a part of ourselves. There is a temptation to look upon them, or at least some of them, as an enemy force which is trying to disturb the concentration and understanding of your mind. [...] When we have certain thoughts, we are those thoughts. We are both the guard and the visitor at the same time. We are both the mind and the observer of the mind. Therefore, chasing away or dwelling on any thought isn't the important thing. The important thing is to be aware of the thought. This observation is not an objectification of the mind: it does not establish distinction between subject and object.
Thich Nhat Hanh (The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation)
Crowley wrote Parsons, "You have got me completely puzzled by your remarks about the elemental -the danger of discussing or copying anything [Parsons' revelations were still a closely-guarded secret]. I thought I had a most morbid imagination, as good as any man's, but it seems I have not. I cannot form the slightest idea what you can possibly mean." (April 19, 1946.) Frater Saturnus (Karl Germer) was a California resident and Outer Head of the Order for North America at the time. To him Crowley wrote, "Apparently he, or Hubbard, or somebody, is producing a Moonchild. I get fairly frantic when I contemplate the idiocy of these louts.
Paul Rydeen (Jack Parsons and the Fall of Babalon)
It wasn’t until Clay felt the sand under his talons and heard the roaring of the dragons in the stands that he realized he hadn’t quite thought this plan through. He had no idea what his fighting skills would be like against an unknown dragon. His mind went blank as the SkyWing guards dropped a hissing IceWing onto the ground opposite him. Did he know anything about IceWings? The sun was high in the sky, and it was much warmer in the arena than up on their prison spires. Clay could see beads of silvery liquid dripping through the IceWing’s glacier-blue scales. Above them, Queen Scarlet smirked from her balcony, with Glory sleeping serenely beside her. The same SkyWing announcer from the day before strutted to the center of the arena and bellowed at the crowd. “After last month’s battle with Blaze’s army, our queen’s dungeons were stuffed with IceWing prisoners of war. Only nine have survived. After two wins, I give you — Fjord of the IceWings!” Fjord lashed his tail and snarled at Clay. “And in this corner, an unusual case — a MudWing, but not one of our allies. No, this dragonet was found hiding under our mountains, protected by the Talons of Peace. Is he one of the dragonets of destiny? Not if he loses this battle!” A murmur of laughter rippled around the seats, but in the closest faces Clay could see expressions of uneasiness and, he thought, concern. He spotted a large MudWing in one of the balconies, frowning down at him. Try to stop this, Clay thought at him, praying hard. Do something! I’m one of you! But the MudWing shifted his gaze away, as if he didn’t want to watch but couldn’t afford to leave. The SkyWing announcer went on. “If these prophesied dragonets are as wonderful and legendary as they’re supposed to be, this should be a showdown to remember. I hope you’re prepared to impress us, dragon of the mud. I present to you … Clay of the MudWings! Claws up, teeth ready! Fight!” Clay
Tui T. Sutherland (The Dragonet Prophecy (Wings of Fire, #1))
And at my age, I must consider any marriage prospect quite seriously.” “Your age?” he scoffed. “You’re only twenty-five.” “Twenty-six. And even at twenty-five, I would be considered long in the tooth. I lost several years—my best ones perhaps—because of my illness.” “You’re more beautiful now than you ever were. Any man would be mad or blind not to want you.” The compliment was not given smoothly, but with a masculine sincerity that heightened her blush. “Thank you, Kev.” He slid her a guarded look. “You want to marry?” Win’s willful, treacherous heart gave a few painfully excited thuds, because at first she thought he’d asked, “You want to marry me?” But no, he was merely asking her opinion of marriage as … well, as her scholarly father would have said, as a “conceptual structure with a potential for realization.” “Yes, of course,” she said. “I want children to love. I want a husband to grow old with. I want a family of my own.” “And Harrow says all of that is possible now?” Win hesitated a bit too long. “Yes, completely possible.” But Merripen knew her too well. “What are you not telling me?” “I am well enough to do anything I choose now,” she said firmly. “What does he—” “I don’t wish to discuss it. You have your forbidden topics; I have mine.” “You know I’ll find out,” he said quietly.
Lisa Kleypas (Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways, #2))
I don’t know when I started to realize that my country’s past was incomprehensible and obscure to me, a real shadowy terrain, nor can I remember the precise moment when all that i’d believed so trustworthy and predictable—the place I’d grown up, whose language I speak and customs I know, the place whose past I was taught in school and in university, whose present I have become accustomed to interpreting and pretending I understand—began to turn into a place of shadows out of whcih jumped horrible creatures as soon as we dropped our guard. With time I have come to think that this is the true reason why writers write aboutn the places of childhood and adolescence and even their early touth: you don’t write about what you know and understand, and much less do you write because you know and understand, but because you understand that all your knowledge and comprehension is false, a mirage and an illusion, so your books are not, could not be, more than elaborate displays of disorientation: extensive and multifarious declarations of preplexity. All that I thought was so clear, you then think, now turns out to be full of duplicities and hidden intentions, like a friend who betrays us. To that revelation, which is always annoying and often frankly painful, the writer responds in the only way one knows how: with a book. And that’s how you try to mitigate your disconcertion, reduce the space between what you don’t know and what can be known, and most of all resolve your profound disagreement with that unpredictable reality. “Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric,” wrote Yeats. “Out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry.” And what happens when both quarrels arise at the same time, when fighting with the world is a reflection or a transfiguration of the subterranean but constant confrontation you have with yourself? Then you write a book like the one I’m writing now, and blindly trust that the book will mean something to somebody else.
Juan Gabriel Vásquez (La forma de las ruinas)
You’re the one thing that makes my life bearable,” he said, and the sudden tension in him, suffusing every muscle, reminded me of how he had braced himself every time Vas came around. It was the way he looked when he was guarding himself against pain. “You’re this bright spot of light. You’re--Cyra, before I knew you, I thought about…” I raised my eyebrows. He drew a sharp breath. His gray eyes looked glassy. “Before I knew you,” he began again, “I didn’t intend to live past rescuing my brother. I didn’t want to serve the Noavek family. I didn’t want to give my life to them. But when it’s you…it seems like whatever the end is, it might be worthwhile.
Veronica Roth (The Fates Divide (Carve the Mark, #2))
When I mentioned the guard at the emperor’s gate, perhaps you imagined a front corridor with two doors, one entrance and one exit, with your mind as the guard. Whatever feeling or thought enters, you are aware of its entrance, and when it leaves, you are aware of its exit. But the image has a shortcoming: it suggests that those who enter and exit the corridor are different from the guard. In fact our thoughts and feelings are us. They are a part of ourselves. There is a temptation to look upon them, or at least some of them, as an enemy force which is trying to disturb the concentration and understanding of your mind. But, in fact, when we are angry, we ourselves are anger. When we are happy, we ourselves are happiness. When we have certain thoughts, we are those thoughts. We are both the guard and the visitor at the same time. We are both the mind and the observer of the mind. Therefore, chasing away or dwelling on any thought isn’t the important thing. The important thing is to be aware of the thought. This observation is not an objectification of the mind: it does not establish distinction between subject and object. Mind does not grab on to mind; mind does not push mind away. Mind can only observe itself. This observation isn’t an observation of some object outside and independent of the observer.
Thich Nhat Hanh (The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation)
TRUST ME and don’t be afraid, for I am your Strength and Song. Do not let fear dissipate your energy. Instead, invest your energy in trusting Me and singing My Song. The battle for control of your mind is fierce, and years of worry have made you vulnerable to the enemy. Therefore, you need to be vigilant in guarding your thoughts. Do not despise this weakness in yourself, since I am using it to draw you closer to Me. Your constant need for Me creates an intimacy that is well worth all the effort. You are not alone in this struggle for your mind. My Spirit living within you is ever ready to help in this striving. Ask Him to control your mind; He will bless you with Life and Peace.
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling, with Scripture References: Enjoying Peace in His Presence (A 365-Day Devotional) (Jesus Calling®))
To live life to the fullest, you must stand guard at the gate of your garden and let only the very best information enter. You truly cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought—not even one. The most joyful, dynamic and contented people of this world are no different from you or me in terms of their makeup. We are all flesh and bones. We all come from the same universal source. However, the ones who do more than just exist, the ones who fan the flames of their human potential and truly savor the magical dance of life do different things than those whose lives are ordinary. Foremost amongst the things that they do is adopt a positive paradigm about their world and all that is in it.
Torin began to fold the plaid, in the same way he liked to fold his own. He brought it behind her, then across her chest before cinching it in place at her right shoulder. Yes, he thought. It was perfect on her. He stepped back to regard Mirin’s handiwork. Sidra glanced down at it, and she still appeared confused until Torin laid his palm over her chest, where the plaid now granted her protection. He could feel the enchantment within the pattern, holding firm, like steel. He touched the place she had been kicked, where her bruises had been slow to heal, as if her heart had shattered beneath her skin and bones. She understood now. She gasped and glanced up at him. Again, he wished that he could speak to her. Their last conversation still rattled in his mind, and he didn’t like the distance that had come between them. Let my secret guard your heart, he thought. “Thank you,” Sidra whispered, as if she had heard him. It renewed his hope, and he sat at the table before his knees gave out. His gaze snagged on a pie, whose center had been eaten away in a perfect circle, the spoon still in the dish. He pointed to the gaping hole, brow arched. Sidra smiled. “The middle is the best part.” No, the crust is. He shook his head, reaching for the spoon to eat the crisp places she had left behind. He was halfway done when there came a bark, followed by a knock on the open door.
Rebecca Ross (A River Enchanted (Elements of Cadence, #1))
An incredulous scowl crossed his face as he saw a gathering of dockworkers, porters, and cabmen near his wife. A navvy called out to her- "Gi' me a smile, ye sweet tidbit! One little smile! What's yer name?" Cassandra tried to ignore the catcalls, while the coast guard stood by, doing nothing to shield her. "Now, now, Mr. Severin-" the old harbormaster said, following as Tom headed toward Cassandra with swift, ground-eating strides. Tom reached his wife, blocked her from view, and sent a chilling glance at the navvy. "My wife doesn't feel like smiling. Is there something you'd like to say to me?" The catcalls faded, and the navvy met his gaze, taking his measure... deciding to back down. "Only that you're the luckiest bastard alive," the navvy said cheekily. The crowd broke up with a mixture of chuckles and guffaws. "On your way now, lads," the harbormaster said, briskly dispersing the gathering. "Time to go about your business." As Tom turned to Cassandra, he was relieved to see that she didn't seem upset. "Are you all right?" he asked. She nodded immediately. "No harm done." The officer looked sheepish. "I thought they would tire of their sport if we ignored them long enough." "Ignoring doesn't work," Tom said curtly. "It's the same as permission. Next time, pick the ringleader and go for him." "He was twice my size," the officer protested. Tom shot him an exasperated glance. "The world expects a man to have a backbone. Especially when a woman is being harassed.
Lisa Kleypas (Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6))
Heavenly Father, I (we) ask You to camp Your angels around us, our homes, and our properties, to guard us and protect us, and to destroy any evil spirits, demonic spirits, strongmen or messengers of satan, witchcraft, acts of witchcraft, or curse, that try to come against us, against our homes, or against our properties. In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I (we) plead the Blood of Jesus Christ over us, over our sleep, over our thoughts, over everything in our rooms, over our homes, and over everything in our homes. I (we) plead the precious Blood of Jesus Christ as our protection. Heavenly Father, I (we) ask You to loose into each of us a Spirit of love, peace, joy, and restoration. Lord Jesus, I (we) ask You to give us sweet sleep tonight, give us peaceful sleep tonight and keep us safe according  to Psalms 4:8; and according to Psalms 127:2, I (we) ask that You give us Your beloved sleep tonight. I (we) ask You to keep Your hands on us while we sleep tonight and speak to our hearts tonight. I (we) ask You to do this in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Heavenly Father, fill us with Your Holy Ghost anointing and power, fill us with Your presence, in the Holy Name of Jesus Christ, I (we) pray with thanksgiving. Lord Jesus, I (we) ask you to do all of these things according to John 14:14; and Heavenly Father I (we) ask You to give us these things according to John 16:23. In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I (we) pray with thanksgiving. Amen.
Richard Broadbent III (Prayers)
. . so that the monotonous fall of the waves on the beach, which for the most part beat a measured and soothing tattoo to her thoughts and seemed consolingly to repeat over and over again as she sat with the children the words of some old cradle song, murmured by nature, “I am guarding you—I am your support,” but at other times suddenly and unexpectedly, especially when her mind raised itself slightly from the task actually in hand, had no such kindly meaning, but like a ghostly roll of drums remorselessly beat the measure of life, made one think of the destruction of the island and its engulfment in the sea, and warned her whose day had slipped past in one quick doing after another that it was all ephemeral as a rainbow . . .   —Virginia Woolf
David Hopson (All the Lasting Things)
The hallmark feature of intimacy is mutual responsiveness, that reassuring sense that you and your soul mate — or you and your best friend — really ‘get’ each other. This means that you come to your interactions with a well-developed understanding of each other’s inner workings, and you use that privileged knowledge thoughtfully, for each other’s benefit. Intimacy is that safe and comforting feeling you get when you can bask in the knowledge that this other person truly understands and appreciates you. You can relax in this person’s presence and let your guard down. Your mutual sense of trust, perhaps reinforced by your commitments of loyalty to each other, allows each of you to be more open with each other than either of you would be elsewhere.
Barbara L. Fredrickson (Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Feel, Think, Do, and Become)
Learn to win a lady's faith Nobly, as the thing is high; Bravely, as for life and death— With a loyal gravity. Lead her from the festive boards, Point her to the starry skies, Guard her, by your truthful words, Pure from courtship's flatteries.' MRS. BROWNING. “my own case it is no good luck, nor merit, nor talent,—but simply the habits of life which taught me to despise indulgences not thoroughly earned...” 'There's iron, they say, in all our blood, And a grain or two perhaps is good; But his, he makes me harshly feel, Has got a little too much of steel.' ANON. ‘I ask Thee for a thoughtful love, Through constant watching wise, To meet the glad with joyful smiles, And to wipe the weeping eyes; And a heart at leisure from itself To soothe and sympathise.' ANON.
Elizabeth Gaskell (North and South)
In a hurry to escape he let himself out of the house and walked to the truck. Before he could climb inside Marilee raced down the steps. Breathless,she came to a sudden halt in front of him. At the dark look in his eyes she swallowed. "Please don't go,Wyatt. I've been such a fool." "You aren't the only one." He studied her with a look that had her heart stuttering.A look so intense, she couldn't look away. "I've been neating myself up for days,because I wanted things to go my way or no way." "There's no need.You're not the only one." Her voice was soft,throaty. "You've always respected my need to be independent.But I guess I fought the battle so long,I forgot how to stop fighting even after I'd won the war." "You can fight me all you want. You know Superman is indestructable." Again that long,speculative look. "I know I caught you off guard with that proposal. It won't happen again. Even when I understood your fear of commitment, I had to push to have things my way.And even though I still want more, I'm willing to settle for what you're willing to give,as long as we can be together." She gave a deep sigh. "You mean it?" "I do." "Oh,Wyatt.I was so afraid I'd driven you away forever." He continued studying her. "Does this mean you're suffering another change of heart?" "My heart doesn't need to change. In my heart,I've always known how very special you are.It's my head that can't seem to catch up." She gave a shake of her head,as though to clear it. "I'm so glad you understand me. I've spent so many years fighting to be my own person, it seems I can't bear to give up the battle." A slow smile spread across his face, changing it from darkness to light. "Marilee,if it's a sparring partner you want,I'm happy to sigh on. And if,in time,you ever decide you want more, I'm your man." He framed her face with his hands and lowered his head,kissing her long and slow and deep until they were both sighing with pleasure. Her tears started again,but this time they were tears of joy. Wyatt brushed them away with his thumbs and traced the tracks with his lips. Marilee sighed at the tenderness. It was one of the things she most loved about this man. Loved. Why did she find it so hard to say what she was feeling? Because,her heart whispered, love meant commitment and promises and forever after,and that was more than she was willing to consider. At least for now. After a moment he caught her hand. "Where are we going?" "Your place.It's closer than the ranch, and we've wasted too much time already." "i can't leave the ambulance..." "All right." He turned away from the ranch truck and led her toward her vehicle. "See how easy I am?" At her little laugh he added, "I'm desperate for some time alone with you." Alone. She thought about that word. She'd been alone for so long.What he was offering had her heart working overtime. He was willing to compromise in order to be with her. She was laughing through her tears as she turned the key in the ignition. The key that had saved his life. "Wyatt McCord,I can't think of anything I'd rather be than alone with you.
R.C. Ryan (Montana Destiny)
When I look at him, I don’t see the cowardly young man who sold me out to Jeanine Matthews, and I don’t hear the excuses he gave afterward. When I look at him, I see the boy who held my hand in the hospital when our mother broke her wrist and told me it would be all right. I see the brother who told me to make my own choices, the night before the Choosing Ceremony. I think of all the remarkable things he is--smart and enthusiastic and observant, quiet and earnest and kind. He is a part of me, always will be, and I am a part of him, too. I don’t belong to Abnegation, or Dauntless, or even the Divergent. I don’t belong to the Bureau or the experiment or the fringe. I belong to the people I love, and they belong to me--they, and the love and loyalty I give them, form my identity far more than any word or group ever could. I love my brother. I love him, and he is quaking with terror at the thought of death. I love him and all I can think, all I can hear in my mind, are the words I said to him a few days ago: I would never deliver you to your own execution. “Caleb,” I say. “Give me the backpack.” “What?” he says. I slip my hand under the back of my shirt and grab my gun. I point it at him. “Give me the backpack.” “Tris, no.” He shakes his head. “No, I won’t let you do that.” “Put down your weapon!” the guard screams at the end of the hallway. “Put down your weapon or we will fire!” “I might survive the death serum,” I say. “I’m good at fighting off serums. There’s a chance I’ll survive. There’s no chance you would survive. Give me the backpack or I’ll shoot you in the leg and take it from you.” Then I raise my voice so the guards can hear me. “He’s my hostage! Come any closer and I’ll kill him!” In that moment he reminds me of our father. His eyes are tired and sad. There’s a shadow of a beard on his chin. His hands shake as he pulls the backpack to the front of his body and offers it to me. I take it and swing it over my shoulder. I keep my gun pointed at him and shift so he’s blocking my view of the soldiers at the end of the hallway. “Caleb,” I say, “I love you.” His eyes gleam with tears as he says, “I love you, too, Beatrice.” “Get down on the floor!” I yell, for the benefit of the guards. Caleb sinks to his knees. “If I don’t survive,” I say, “tell Tobias I didn’t want to leave him.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
Though all the brilliant intellects of the ages were to concentrate upon this one theme, never could they adequately express their wonder at this dense darkness of the human mind. Men do not suffer anyone to seize their estates, and they rush to stones and arms if there is even the slightest dispute about the limit of their lands, yet they allow others to trespass upon their life—nay, they themselves even lead in those who will eventually possess it. No one is to be found who is willing to distribute his money, yet among how many does each one of us distribute his life! In guarding their fortune men are often closefisted, yet, when it comes to the matter of wasting time, in the case of the one thing in which it is right to be miserly, they show themselves most prodigal. And so I should like to lay hold upon someone from the company of older men and say: "I see that you have reached the farthest limit of human life, you are pressing hard upon your hundredth year, or are even beyond it; come now, recall your life and make a reckoning. Consider how much of your time was taken up with a moneylender, how much with a mistress, how much with a patron, how much with a client, how much in wrangling with your wife, how much in punishing your slaves, how much in rushing about the city on social duties. Add the diseases which we have caused by our own acts, add, too, the time that has lain idle and unused; you will see that you have fewer years to your credit than you count. Look back in memory and consider when you ever had a fixed plan, how few days have passed as you had intended, when you were ever at your own disposal, when your face ever wore its natural expression, when your mind was ever unperturbed, what work you have achieved in so long a life, how many have robbed you of life when you were not aware of what you were losing, how much was taken up in useless sorrow, in foolish joy, in greedy desire, in the allurements of society, how little of yourself was left to you; you will perceive that you are dying before your season!"7 What, then, is the reason of this? You live as if you were destined to live forever, no thought of your frailty ever enters your head, of how much time has already gone by you take no heed. You squander time as if you drew from a full and abundant supply, though all the while that day which you bestow on some person or thing is perhaps your last. You have all the fears of mortals and all the desires of immortals. You will hear many men saying: "After my fiftieth year I shall retire into leisure, my sixtieth year shall release me from public duties." And what guarantee, pray, have you that your life will last longer? Who will suffer your course to be just as you plan it? Are you not ashamed to reserve for yourself only the remnant of life, and to set apart for wisdom only that time which cannot be devoted to any business? How late it is to begin to live just when we must cease to live! What foolish forgetfulness of mortality to postpone wholesome plans to the fiftieth and sixtieth year, and to intend to begin life at a point to which few have attained!
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life: Life Is Long if You Know How to Use It (Penguin Great Ideas))
hot and close. The walls were hung with deep-dyed tapestries and old weapons kept gleaming by servants. Achilles walked past them and knelt at his father’s feet. “Father, I come to ask your pardon.” “Oh?” Peleus lifted an eyebrow. “Speak then.” From where I stood his face looked cold and displeased. I was suddenly fearful. We had interrupted; Achilles had not even knocked. “I have taken Patroclus from his drills.” My name sounded strange on his lips; I almost did not recognize it. The old king’s brows drew together. “Who?” “Menoitiades,” Achilles said. Menoitius’ son. “Ah.” Peleus’ gaze followed the carpet back to where I stood, trying not to fidget. “Yes, the boy the arms-master wants to whip.” “Yes. But it is not his fault. I forgot to say I wished him for a companion.” Therapon was the word he used. A brother-in-arms sworn to a prince by blood oaths and love. In war, these men were his honor guard; in peace, his closest advisers. It was a place of highest esteem, another reason the boys swarmed Peleus’ son, showing off; they hoped to be chosen. Peleus’ eyes narrowed. “Come here, Patroclus.” The carpet was thick beneath my feet. I knelt a little behind Achilles. I could feel the king’s gaze on me. “For many years now, Achilles, I have urged companions on you and you have turned them away. Why this boy?” The question might have been my own. I had nothing to offer such a prince. Why, then, had he made a charity case of me? Peleus and I both waited for his answer. “He is surprising.” I looked up, frowning. If he thought so, he was the only one. “Surprising,” Peleus echoed. “Yes.” Achilles explained no further, though I hoped he would. Peleus rubbed his nose in thought. “The boy is an exile with a stain upon him. He will add no luster to your reputation.” “I do not need him to,” Achilles said. Not proudly or boastfully. Honestly. Peleus acknowledged this. “Yet other boys will be envious that you have chosen such a one. What will you tell them?” “I will tell them nothing.” The answer came with no hesitation, clear and crisp. “It is not for them to say what I will do.” I found my pulse beating thickly in my veins, fearing Peleus’ anger. It did not come. Father and son met each other’s gaze, and the faintest touch of amusement bloomed at the corner of Peleus’ mouth. “Stand up, both of you.” I did so, dizzily. “I pronounce your sentence. Achilles, you
Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles)
Caleb told me that our mother said there was evil in everyone, and the first step to loving someone else is to recognize that evil in ourselves, so we can forgive them. So how can I hold Tobias’s desperation against him, like I’m better than him, like I’ve never let my own brokenness blind me? “Hey,” I say, crushing Caleb’s directions into my back pocket. He turns, and his expression is stern, familiar. It looks the way it did the first few weeks I knew him, like a sentry guarding his innermost thoughts. “Listen,” I say. “I thought I was supposed to figure out if I could forgive you or not, but now I’m thinking you didn’t do anything to me that I need to forgive, except maybe accusing me of being jealous of Nita…” He opens his mouth to interject, but I hold up a hand to stop him. “If we stay together, I’ll have to forgive you over and over again, and if you’re still in this, you’ll have to forgive me over and over again too,” I say. “So forgiveness isn’t the point. What I really should have been trying to figure out is whether we were still good for each other or not.” All the way home I thought about what Amar said, about every relationship having its problems. I thought about my parents, who argued more often than any other Abnegation parents I knew, who nonetheless went through each day together until they died. Then I thought of how strong I have become, how secure I feel with the person I now am, and how all along the way he has told me that I am brave, I am respected, I am loved and worth loving. “And?” he says, his voice and his eyes and his hands a little unsteady. “And,” I say, “I think you’re still the only person sharp enough to sharpen someone like me.” “I am,” he says roughly. And I kiss him. His arms slip around me and hold me tight, lifting me onto the tips of my toes. I bury my face in his shoulder and close my eyes, just breathing in the clean smell of him, the smell of wind. I used to think that when people fell in love, they just landed where they landed, and they had no choice in the matter afterward. And maybe that’s true of beginnings, but it’s not true of this, now. I fell in love with him. But I don’t just stay with him by default as if there’s no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
Across the river he could see the burnt and crushed buildings of Fredericksburg, the debris piled along the streets, the scattered ruins of people's lives, lives that were changed forever. His men had done that. Not all of it, of course. The whole corps had seemed to go insane, had turned the town into some kind of violent party, a furious storm that blew out of control, and he could not stop it. The commanders had ordered the provost guards at the bridges to let no goods leave the town, nothing could be carried across the bridges, and so what the men could not keep, what they could not steal, they had just destroyed. And now, he thought, the people will return, trying to rescue some fragile piece of home, and they will find this...and they will learn something new about war, more than the quiet nightmare of leaving your home behind. They will learn that something happens to men, men who have felt no satisfaction, who have absorbed and digested defeat after bloody stupid defeat, men who up to now have done mostly what they were told to do. And when those men begin to understand that it is not anything in them, no great weakness or inferiority, but that it is the leaders, the generals and politicians who tell them what to do, that the fault is there, after a while they will stop listening. Then the beast, the collective anger, battered and bloodied, will strike out, will respond to the unending sights of horror, the deaths of friends and brothers, and it will not be fair or reasonable or just, since there is no intelligence in the beast. They will strike out at whatever presents itself, and here it was the harmless and innocent lives of the people of Fredericksburg.
Jeff Shaara (Gods and Generals (The Civil War Trilogy, #1))
Scared?" he asked a few minutes later. Willow glanced up in surprise. "Scared of what?" "Me." "Should I be?" "You're an attractive woman practically alone with a man who's reputation is questionable." When she didn't repsond, he moved out of the shadows to stand over her. He restated his question. "Are you worried?" His stance and narrow-eyed expression were almost menacing. Was his move meant to intimidate her? The thought miffed her. She abruptly stood and moved closer, staring up at him defiantly. "I don't scare easy. 'Sides, I can take care of myself." His smile was rueful. "Against a man my size?" "My brothers taught me tricks to make up for my smaller size-if you'll remember correctly." Rider scowled. "I was caught off guard that day. What you did wasn't a very ladylike thing to do, you know." Willow's ire flared. "You got a real thing about this ladylike stuff, don't you, mister?" She punctuated each word with a jab of her finger against his chest. "Well,let me tell you something. When a gentleman forgets to be a gentleman, I reckon a lady can forget to be a lady." Rider captured her finger in his hand, surprising her with his smile. "You know, you're absolutely right. I can't argue with the truth; it would't be gentlemanly. Shall we call a truce and agree to be friends?"" Willow tried to tug her finger out of his grasp but he held it tight. "Well?" he prodded. "We can call a truce, but I ain't ready to call you friend." He retained his hold on her finger. "Friendly acquaintances, perhaps?" His grin was infuriating, but her finger was going numb. "Maybe," she relented. "Well,that's better than nothing, I suppose." He released her stiff finger, and she shook it behind her back to restore the circulation.
Charlotte McPherren (Song of the Willow)
You aren’t sorry about anything you do.” He flashed a smile at me. “So you are learning.” “I’ve known that fact all my life.” “Then what have you learnt since coming here?” .... “That your house is disorganized,” I said. “That you’re less impressive than I thought and far more annoying. And that if the gods have any mercy, I will find a way to destroy you.” Then I realized I had said that last part out loud. I used to guard my words so well, I thought numbly as I sprang to my feet. What was it about this house, this demon, that made me tell the truth? ..... “Don’t leave the table yet.” Ignifex was on his feet. “The conversation was just getting interesting.” “Yes, of course,” I said, backing away slowly.... “Death is always interesting to you, isn’t it?” ...... “You want me to worry more about my own demise?” I took another step back and smacked into one of the pillars. With nowhere to run—and knowing that running wouldn’t save me—all I could do was stare him down. “Oh, no, I couldn’t possibly bother you. Do go ahead and rest in comfortable ignorance.” “The better to kill me in my sleep?” “It would be rude to wake you first.” It was like a dance over cracking ice. I felt dizzy with barely leashed terror, but I almost could have laughed, because I was keeping pace with him and I was still alive and that meant I was winning. Ignifex looked almost ready to laugh himself. “But that’s no fun for either of us. You could at least bring me breakfast in bed with death.” “What, poison? So you can show off how you’re immune like Mithridates?” “I’m comforted that you thought of him and not Tantalus.” “As much as you mean to me, husband, there are some things I won’t do for you.” Our eyes met, and for a moment there was nothing but shared glee between us— Between me and my enemy.
Rosamund Hodge
Archer was wild. “Will she be all right?” “Most certainly,” the healer said curtly, “if you will get out of my way and let me stop the flow of blood. My lord.” Archer let out a ragged breath and kissed Fire’s forehead. He untangled himself from her body and crouched on his heels, clenching and unclenching his fists. Then he turned to peer at the poacher held by his guards, and Fire thought warningly, Archer, for she knew that with his anxieties unsoothed, Archer was transitioning now to fury. “A nice man who must nonetheless be seized,” he hissed at the poacher, standing. “I can see that the arrow in her arm came from your quiver. Who are you and who sent you?” The poacher barely noticed Archer. He stared down at Fire, boggle-eyed. “She’s beautiful again,” he said. “I’m a dead man.” “He won’t kill you,” Fire told him soothingly. “He doesn’t kill poachers, and anyway, you saved me.” “If you shot her I’ll kill you with pleasure,” Archer said.
Kristin Cashore (Fire)
I assume you think you’re winning,” she remarked, beginning an uncannily perfect waltz once he set his hands upon her waist, though he would have expected no less. Somewhere music was playing. He assumed that had been her work. “You tell me,” he said. “You’re the one who can supposedly read my thoughts.” “You spend most of your existence in the singular belief that you’re winning,” she said. “To be honest, Callum, there’s nothing so very interesting to read.” “Oh?” “There’s not much going on in there.” Parisa assured him, her neck beautifully elongated as she carried out the waltz’s steps. “No particular ambition. No sense of inadequacy.” “Should I feel inadequate?” “Most people do.” “Perhaps I’m not most people. Isn’t that the point?” “Isn’t it just,” Parisa murmured, glancing up at him. “You’re so very guarded with me,” Callum told her disapprovingly. “It’s really starting to hurt my feelings.” “I wasn’t aware you had any feelings to hurt.
Olivie Blake (The Atlas Six (The Atlas, #1))
You have something to say to me, Cassidy, say it. Or shut the fuck up.” “All right,” Jules said. “I will.” He took a deep breath. Exhaled. “Okay, see, I, well, I love you. Very, very much, and . . .” Where to go from here . . .? Except, his plain-spoken words earned him not just a glance but Max’s sudden full and complete attention. Which was a little alarming. But it was the genuine concern in Max’s eyes that truly caught Jules off-guard. Max actually thought . . . Jules laughed his surprise. “Oh! No, not like that. I meant it, you know, in a totally platonic, non-gay way.” Jules saw comprehension and relief on Max’s face. The man was tired if he was letting such basic emotions show. “Sorry.” Max even smiled. “I just . . .” He let out a burst of air. “I mean, talk about making things even more complicated . . .” It was amazing. Max hadn’t recoiled in horror at the idea. His concern had been for Jules, about potentially hurting his tender feelings. And even now, he wasn’t trying to turn it all into a bad joke. And he claimed they weren’t friends. Jules felt his throat tighten. “You can’t know,” he told his friend quietly, “how much I appreciate your acceptance and respect.” “My father was born in India,” Max told him, “in 1930. His mother was white—American. His father was not just Indian, but lower caste. The intolerance he experienced both there and later, even in America, made him a . . . very bitter, very hard, very, very unhappy man.” He glanced at Jules again. “I know personality plays into it, and maybe you’re just stronger than he was, but . . . People get knocked down all the time. They can either stay there, wallow in it, or . . . Do what you’ve done—what you do. So yeah. I respect you more than you know.” Holy shit. Weeping was probably a bad idea, so Jules grabbed onto the alternative. He made a joke. “I wasn’t aware that you even had a father. I mean, rumors going around the office have you arriving via flying saucer—” “I would prefer not to listen to aimless chatter all night long,” Max interrupted him. “So if you’ve made your point . . .?” Ouch. “Okay,” Jules said. “I’m so not going to wallow in that. Because I do have a point. See, I said what I said because I thought I’d take the talk-to-an-eight-year-old approach with you. You know, tell you how much I love you and how great you are in part one of the speech—” “Speech.” Max echoed. “Because part two is heavily loaded with the silent-but-implied ‘you are such a freaking idiot.’” “Ah, Christ,” Max muttered. “So, I love you,” Jules said again, “in a totally buddy-movie way, and I just want to say that I also really love working for you, and I hope to God you’ll come back so I can work for you again. See, I love the fact that you’re my leader not because you were appointed by some suit, but because you earned very square inch of that gorgeous corner office. I love you because you’re not just smart, you’re open-minded—you’re willing to talk to people who have a different point of view, and when they speak, you’re willing to listen. Like right now, for instance. You’re listening, right?” “No.” “Liar.” Jules kept going. “You know, the fact that so many people would sell their grandmother to become a part of your team is not an accident. Sir, you’re beyond special—and your little speech to me before just clinched it. You scare us to death because we’re afraid we won’t be able to live up to your high standards. But your back is strong, you always somehow manage to carry us with you even when we falter. “Some people don’t see that; they don’t really get you—all they know is they would charge into hell without hesitation if you gave the order to go. But see, what I know is that you’d be right there, out in front—they’d have to run to keep up with you. You never flinch. You never hesitate. You never rest.
Suzanne Brockmann (Breaking Point (Troubleshooters, #9))
I can’t get over the view. I spent most of the night sitting on the third-floor balcony watching the boats.” Don’t sing to them or they’ll crash on the rocks. The thought catches me off guard, but it sticks. I can picture her up there, dark hair flying around in the wind, beckoning to passing sailors. Will I ever get to see her up there? “You like the house?” I rasp. She shrugs one shoulder. And coming from Addison, that’s a resounding yes. “It reminds me of you.” Why am I holding my breath? “Does it?” “Mmmhmm. Old-fashioned and charming…” She squints at my backside. “With a big old kitchen.” The heat that weaves up my neck is humiliating, but I cough my way through it. I’m not sure if my usual embarrassment is at play, or if I’m remembering for the thousandth time how hard I came when she used that damn finger on me. Was it supposed to make me shake like a damn teenager? “It’s not polite to make ass jokes about your tour guide.” “Oh come on. You know I love that thing.
Tessa Bailey (Getaway Girl (Girl, #1))
Colby arrived the next day, with stitches down one lean cheek and a new prosthesis. He held it up as Cecily came out to the car to greet him. He held it up as Cecily came out to the car to greet him. “Nice, huh? Doesn’t it look more realistic than the last one?” “What happened to the last one?” she asked. “Got blown off. Don’t ask where,” he added darkly. “I know nothing,” she assured him. “Come on in. Leta made sandwiches.” Leta had only seen Colby once, on a visit with Tate. She was polite, but a little remote, and it showed. “She doesn’t like me,” Colby told Cecily when they were sitting on the steps later that evening. “She thinks I’m sleeping with you,” she said simply.” So does Tate.” “Why?” “Because I let him think I was,” she said bluntly. He gave her a hard look. “Bad move, Cecily.” “I won’t let him think I’m waiting around for him to notice me,” she said icily. “He’s already convinced that I’m in love with him, and that’s bad enough. I can’t have him know that I’m…well, what I am. I do have a little pride.” “I’m perfectly willing, if you’re serious,” he said matter-of-factly. His face broke into a grin, belying the solemnity of the words. “Or are you worried that I might not be able to handle it with one arm?” She burst out laughing and pressed affectionately against his side. “I adore you, I really do. But I had a bad experience in my teens. I’ve had therapy and all, but it’s still sort of traumatic for me to think about real intimacy.” “Even with Tate?” he probed gently. She wasn’t touching that line with a pole. “Tate doesn’t want me.” “You keep saying that, and he keeps making a liar of you.” “I don’t understand.” “He came to see me last night. Just after I spoke to you.” He ran his fingers down his damaged cheek. She caught her breath. “I thought you got that overseas!” “Tate wears a big silver turquoise ring on his middle right finger,” he reminded her. “It does a bit of damage when he hits people with it.” “He hit you? Why?” she exclaimed. “Because you told him we were sleeping together,” he said simply. “Honest to God, Cecily, I wish you’d tell me first when you plan to play games. I was caught off guard.” “What did he do after he hit you?” “I hit him, and one thing led to another. I don’t have a coffee table anymore. We won’t even discuss what he did to my best ashtry.” “I’m so sorry!” “Tate and I are pretty much matched in a fight,” he said. “Not that we’ve ever been in many. He hits harder than Pierce Hutton does in a temper.” He scowled down at her. “Are you sure Tate doesn’t want you? I can’t think of another reason he’d try to hammer my floor with my head.” “Big brother Tate, to the rescue,” she said miserably. She laughed bitterly. “He thinks you’re a bad risk.” “I am,” he said easily. “I like having you as my friend.” He smiled. “Me, too. There aren’t many people who stuck by me over the years, you know. When Maureen left me, I went crazy. I couldn’t live with the pain, so I found ways to numb it.” He shook his head. “I don’t think I came to my senses until you sent me to that psychologist over in Baltimore.” He glanced down at her. “Did you know she keeps snakes?” he added. “We all have our little quirks.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
switching to a different channel, where I found Jason Stern mouthing off about me. It wasn’t an official interview; instead, Jason had been posting about me on social media—probably without his family’s permission—and the news was wantonly parroting everything he said. Unsurprisingly, Jason was being awful to me—and very supportive of himself. “My father would have been dead if it wasn’t for me,” Jason had proclaimed on his blog. “I suspected Ben Ripley was a possible assassin all along. The kid was real weird. So when he came over, I was on guard. When I heard his jacket ticking, I risked my own life to rip it off him. Sucks that it blew up the Oval Office, though. And that the Secret Service let him escape. Losers.” On Twitter, he had been much more succinct: “Stopped #AssassinBenRipley from killing my father today. You’re welcome America.” Since Jason wasn’t actually giving interviews, no one could ask him why he’d invited me over for a playdate if he suspected I was an assassin all along. Somehow, none of the news commentators thought to point this out either
Stuart Gibbs (Spy School Secret Service)
She sat back, eyeing the flames now leaping upward to lick at the wooden beams of the ceiling. "If this fire gets out of hand, or if the guards take too long to come, you and I may be in a lot of trouble." "We are already in a lot of trouble." "That was my reasoning, too. Of course, if that happens and the fire gets too big before the mighty citizens of Ringhmon stop it, it'll also gut this little palace and destroy everything inside it. Including the enormously expensive Model Six that I just fixed, which they'll be responsible for paying fo, and probably the other Model Six that they openly own." She shrugged, trying to appear unworried. "That'll teach them to kidnap me. But that won't happen. We'll be fine." "You say that and yet you are frightened." "Yes, I'm frightened! I admit it! Happy? No, wait, Mages are never happy. Just try not to die, all right? I don't want that to be my fault." Alain thought through her words. "I will attempt not to die. Your plan appears to be sound, as well as potentially very destructive. I see that it is a mistake to offend you.
Jack Campbell (The Dragons of Dorcastle (The Pillars of Reality, #1))
There’s my girl,” he said. “On her feet already. You’ll be a military officer in no time with an attitude like that.” Kestrel sat. She gave him a slight, ironic smile. He returned it. “What I meant to say is that I’m glad you’re better, and that I’m sorry I can’t go to the Firstwinter ball.” It was good that she was already sitting. “Why would you want to go to a ball?” “I thought I would take you.” She stared. “It occurred to me that I have never danced with my daughter,” he said. “And it would have been a wise move.” A wise move. A show of force, then. A reminder of the respect due to the general’s family. Quietly, Kestrel said, “You’ve heard the rumors.” He raised a hand, palm flat and facing her. “Father--” “Stop.” “It’s not true. I--” “We will not have this discussion.” His hand lifted to block his eyes, then fell. “Kestrel, I’m not here for that. I’m here to tell you that I’m leaving. The emperor is sending me east to fight the barbarians.” It wasn’t the first time in Kestrel’s memory that her father had been sent to war, but the fear she felt was always the same, always keen. “For how long?” “As long as it takes. I leave the morning of the ball with my regiment.” “The entire regiment?” He caught the tone in her voice. He sighed. “Yes.” “That means there will be no soldiers in the city or its surroundings. If there’s a problem--” “The city guard will be here. The emperor feels they can deal with any problem, at least until a force arrives from the capital.” “Then the emperor is a fool. The captain of the city guard isn’t up to the task. You yourself said that the new captain is nothing but a bungler, someone who got the position because he’s the governor’s toady--” “Kestrel.” His voice was quelling. “I’ve already expressed my reservations to the emperor. But he gave me orders. It’s my duty to follow them.” Kestrel studied her fingers, the way they wove together. She didn’t say Come back safely, and he didn’t say I always have. She said what a Valorian should. “Fight well.” “I will.” He was halfway to the door when he glanced back and said, “I’m trusting you to do what’s right while I’m gone.” Which meant that he didn’t trust her--not quite.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
I still refused to believe him and started walking towards the exit area. But Sam was faster. He strode behind me, grabbed me and whirled me around. He pointed a finger towards me and said, “Don’t you dare walk on me like that. I have had enough of your non sense for last one month. Don’t you think you owe me an explanation?” he hissed. I cocked my head. Craned my neck to meet his eyes, I purred like a kitten and started to speak. But suddenly a guard appeared out of nowhere and said, “I am really sorry to bother you but fighting is not allowed in the lobby. It distracts people like us from more important things you know. However if you want to continue I suggest you go to the north-east corner of the upper basement. We don’t have a CC Camera there.” I had never been more humiliated. My ears burnt hot. I murmured a note of thanks and boarded the elevator. Sam followed suit. He looked quite normal and amused. How could he be so normal after being whacked out by a security guard from his own office lobby? In fact, I thought, he was suppressing a grin. Was he insane? Sulking with mute anger I pressed the UB button in the elevator.
Rajrupa Gupta (The Crazy Algorithm of Love)
no one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark you only run for the border when you see the whole city running as well your neighbors running faster than you breath bloody in their throats the boy you went to school with who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory is holding a gun bigger than his body you only leave home when home won’t let you stay. no one leaves home unless home chases you fire under feet hot blood in your belly it’s not something you ever thought of doing until the blade burnt threats into your neck and even then you carried the anthem under your breath only tearing up your passport in an airport toilet sobbing as each mouthful of paper made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back. you have to understand, that no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land no one burns their palms under trains beneath carriages no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled means something more than journey. no one crawls under fences no one wants to be beaten pitied no one chooses refugee camps or strip searches where your body is left aching or prison, because prison is safer than a city of fire and one prison guard in the night is better than a truckload of men who look like your father no one could take it no one could stomach it no one skin would be tough enough the go home blacks refugees dirty immigrants asylum seekers sucking our country dry niggers with their hands out they smell strange savage messed up their country and now they want to mess ours up how do the words the dirty looks roll off your backs maybe because the blow is softer than a limb torn off or the words are more tender than fourteen men between your legs or the insults are easier to swallow than rubble than bone than your child body in pieces. i want to go home, but home is the mouth of a shark home is the barrel of the gun and no one would leave home unless home chased you to the shore unless home told you to quicken your legs leave your clothes behind crawl through the desert wade through the oceans drown save be hunger beg forget pride your survival is more important no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear saying- leave, run away from me now i dont know what i’ve become but i know that anywhere is safer than here
Warsan Shire
Ronan was waiting for her beyond the estate’s guarded gate. From the looks of things, he had been waiting for some time. His horse was nosing brown grass as Ronan sat on a nearby boulder, throwing pebbles at the general’s stone wall. When he saw Kestrel ride through the gate on Javelin, he flung his handful of rocks to the path. He remained sitting, elbows propped on his bended knees as he stared at her, his face pinched and white. He said, “I have half a mind to tear you down from your horse.” “You got my message, then.” “And rode instantly here, where guards told me that the lady of the house gave strict orders not to let anyone--even me--inside.” His eyes raked over her, taking in the black fighting clothes. “I didn’t believe it. I still don’t believe it. After you vanished last night, everyone at the party was talking about the challenge, yet I was sure it was just a rumor started by Irex because of whatever has caused that ill will between you. Kestrel, how could you expose yourself like this?” Her hands tightened around the reins. She thought about how, when she let go, her palms would smell like leather and sweat. She concentrated on imagining that scent. This was easier than paying heed to the sick feeling swimming inside her. She knew what Ronan was going to say. She tried to deflect it. She tried to talk about the duel itself, which seemed straightforward next to her reasons for it. Lightly, she said, “No one seems to believe that I might win.” Ronan vaulted off the rock and strode toward her horse. He seized the saddle’s pommel. “You’ll get what you want. But what do you want? Whom do you want?” “Ronan.” Kestrel swallowed. “Think about what you are saying.” “Only what everyone has been saying. That Lady Kestrel has a lover.” “That’s not true.” “He is her shadow, skulking behind her, listening, watching.” “He isn’t,” Kestrel tried to say, and was horrified to hear her voice falter. She felt a stinging in her eyes. “He has a girl.” “Why do you even know that? So what if he does? It doesn’t matter. Not in the eyes of society.” Kestrel’s feelings were like banners in a storm, snapping at their ties. They tangled and wound around her. She focused, and when she spoke, she made her words disdainful. “He is a slave.” “He is a man, as I am.” Kestrel slipped from her saddle, stood face-to-face with Ronan, and lied. “He is nothing to me.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
It was this motley band of modest peeps and plovers on the beach who reminded me of the human beings I loved best - the ones who didn't fit in. These birds may or may not have been capable of emotion, but the way they looked, beleaguered there, few in number, my outcast friends, was how I felt. I'd been told that it was bad to anthropomorphize, but I could no longer remember why. It was, in any case, anthropomorphic only to see yourself in other species, not to see them in yourself. To be hungry all the time, to be mad for sex, to not believe in global warming, to be shortsighted, to live without thought of your grandchildren, to spend half your life on personal grooming, to be perpetually on guard, to be compulsive, to be habit-bound, to be avid, to be unimpressed with humanity, to prefer your own kind: these were all ways of being like a bird. Later in the evening, in posh, necropolitan Naples, on a sidewalk outside a hotel whose elevator doors were decorated with huge blowups of cute children and the monosyllabic injunction SMILE, I spotted two disaffected teenagers, two little chicks, in full Goth plumage, and I wished that I could introduce them to the brownish-gray misfits on the beach.
Jonathan Franzen (The Discomfort Zone: A Personal History)
In those days I would come out of the house, turn onto Flatbush Avenue, and my face would tighten like a Mexican wrestler's mask, my eyes would dart from corner to corner, my arms loose, limber, and ready. This need to be always on guard was an unmeasured expenditure of energy, the slow siphoning of the essence. It contributed to the fast breakdown of our bodies. So I feared not just the violence of this world but the rules designed to protect you from it, the rules that would have you contort your body to address the block, and contort again to be taken seriously by colleagues, and contort again so as not to give the police a reason. All my life I;d heard people tell their black boys and black girls to "be twice as good," which is to say "accept half as much." These words would be spoken with a veneer of religious nobility, as thought they evidenced some unspoken quality, some undetected courage, when in fact all they evidenced was the gun to our heads and the hand in our pocket. This is how we lose our softness. This is how they steal our right to smile. No one told those little white children, with their tricycles, to be twice as good. I imagined their parents telling them to take twice as much.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
I make the very best halwa chebakia. With mint tea, or qamar-el-deen- you can take some home to your family." Such an offer cannot be refused. I know this from experience. Years of traveling with my mother have taught me that food is a universal passport. Whatever the constraints of language, culture or geography, food crosses over all boundaries. To offer food is to extend the hand of friendship; to accept is to be accepted into the most closed of communities. I wondered if Francis Reynaud had ever thought of this approach. Knowing him, he hasn't. Reynaud means well, but he isn't the type to buy halwa chebakia or to drink a glass of mint tea in the little café on the corner of the Boulevard P'tit Baghdad. I followed Fatima into the house, making sure to leave my shoes at the door. It was pleasantly cool inside and smelt of frangipani; the shutters closed since midday to guard against the heat of the sun. A door led into the kitchen, from which I caught the mingled scents of anise and almond and rosewater and chickpeas cooked in turmeric, and chopped mint, and toasted cardamom, and those wonderful halwa chebakia, sweet little sesame pastries deep-fried in oil, just small enough to pop into the mouth, flower-shaped and brittle and perfect with a glass of mint tea...
Joanne Harris (Peaches for Father Francis (Chocolat, #3))
Several years after the war, Corrie ten Boom was speaking about her experiences in Munich, when one of her former S.S. guards approached her at the end of the church service. ‘“How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein,” he said. “To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!” His hand was thrust out to shake mine. And I, who had preached so often the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side. ‘Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? “Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him.” I tried to smile, I struggled to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. “Jesus,” I prayed, “I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness.” As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me. And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.
Pete Greig (How to Pray: A Simple Guide for Normal People)
For a second he thought she might chuckle, and honest to God he didn't know what he would do if she did. "Grey, society didn't give you that scar. A woman you treated with no more regard than your dirty stockings gave you that scar. You cannot blame the actions of one on so many." HIs fingers tightened into fists at his side. "I do not blame all of society for her actions, of course not." "How could you? You don't even know who it was, do you?" "No." But he had suspicions. He was almost completely certain it had been Maggie-Lady Devane. He'd broken her heart the worst of them all. "Of course you don't." Suddenly her eyes were very dark and hard. "I suspect it could be one of a large list of names, all women who you toyed with and cast aside." A heavy chill settled over Grey's chest at the note of censure, and disapproval in her tone. He had known this day would come, when she would see him for what he truly was. He just hadn't expected it quite so soon. "Yes," he whispered. "A long list indeed." "So it's no wonder you would rather avoid society. I would too if I had no idea who my enemies were. It's certainly preferable to apologizing to every conquest and hope that you got the right one." She didn't say it meanly, or even mockingly, but there was definitely an edge to her husky voice. "Is this what we've come to, Rose?" he demanded. "You've added your name to the list of the women I've wronged?" She laughed then, knocking him even more off guard. "Of course not. I knew what I was getting myself into when I hatched such a foolhardy plan. No, your conscience need not bear the weight of me, grey." When she moved to stand directly before him, just inches away, it was all he could do to stand his ground and not prove himself a coward. Her hand touched his face, the slick satin of her gloves soft against his cheek. "I wish you would stop living under all this regret and rejoin the world," she told him in a tone laden with sorrow. "You have so much to offer it. I'm sure society would agree with me if you took the chance." Before he could engineer a reply, there was another knock at the door. Rose dropped her hand just as her mother stuck her head into the room. "Ah, there you are. Good evening, Grey. Rose, Lord Archer is here." Rose smiled. "I'll be right there, Mama." When the door closed once more, she turned to Grey. "Let us put an end to this disagreeable conversation and put it in the past where it belongs. Friends?" Grey looked down at her hand, extended like a man's. He didn't want to take it. In fact, he wanted to tell her what she could do with her offer of friendship and barely veiled insults. He wanted to crush her against his chest and kiss her until her knees buckled and her superior attitude melted away to pleas of passion. That was what he wanted.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
After several long, tense minutes, one of the hounds began to bark excitedly somewhere in the trees upstream. The other dogs rushed in that direction and resumed the deep-chested baying that meant they were in close pursuit of their quarry. When the clamor had receded, Roran slowly rose to his full height and swept his gaze over the trees and bushes. “All clear,” he said, keeping his voice subdued. As the others stood, Hamund--who was tall and shaggy-haired and had deep lines next to his mouth, although he was only a year older than Roran--turned on Carn, scowling, and said, “Why couldn’t you have done that before, instead of letting us go riding willy-nilly over the countryside and almost breaking our necks coming down that hill?” He motioned back toward the stream. Carn responded with an equally angry tone: “Because I hadn’t thought of it yet, that’s why. Given that I just saved you the inconvenience of having a host of small holes poked in your hide, I would think you might show a bit of gratitude.” “Is that so? Well, I think that you ought to spend more time working on your spells before we’re chased halfway to who-knows-where and--” Fearing that their argument could turn dangerous, Roran stepped between them. “Enough,” he said. Then he asked Carn, “Will your spell hide us from the guards?” Carn shook his head. “Men are harder to fool than dogs.” He cast a disparaging look at Hamund. “Most of them, at least.
Christopher Paolini (Inheritance (The Inheritance Cycle, #4))
But here, as she turned the page, suddenly her search for the picture of a rake or a mowing-machine was interrupted. The gruff murmur, irregularly broken by the taking out of pipes and the putting in of pipes which had kept on assuring her, though she could not hear what was said (as she sat in the window), that the men were happily talking; this sound, which had lasted now half an hour and had taken its place soothingly in the scale of sounds pressing on top of her, such as the tap of balls upon bats, the sharp, sudden bark now and then, “How’s that? How’s that?” of the children playing cricket, had ceased; so that the monotonous fall of the waves on the beach, which for the most part beat a measured and soothing tattoo to her thoughts and seemed consolingly to repeat over and over again as she sat with the children the words of some old cradle song, murmured by nature, “I am guarding you—I am your support”, but at other times suddenly and unexpectedly, especially when her mind raised itself slightly from the task actually in hand, had no such kindly meaning, but like a ghostly roll of drums remorselessly beat the measure of life, made one think of the destruction of the island and its engulfment in the sea, and warned her whose day had slipped past in one quick doing after another that it was all ephemeral as a rainbow—this sound which had been obscured and concealed under the other sounds suddenly thundered hollow in her ears and made her look up with an impulse of terror.
Virginia Woolf (Virginia Woolf: The Complete Works)
KEEP YOUR FOCUS ON ME. I have gifted you with amazing freedom, including the ability to choose the focal point of your mind. Only the crown of My creation has such remarkable capability; this is a sign of being made in My image. Let the goal of this day be to bring every thought captive to Me. Whenever your mind wanders, lasso those thoughts and bring them into My Presence. In My radiant Light, anxious thoughts shrink and shrivel away. Judgmental thoughts are unmasked as you bask in My unconditional Love. Confused ideas are untangled while you rest in the simplicity of My Peace. I will guard you and keep you in constant Peace, as you focus your mind on Me. You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. PSALM 8 : 5 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. GENESIS 1 : 26 – 27 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 CORINTHIANS 10 : 5 You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You. ISAIAH 26 : 3 (AMP)
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling, with Scripture References: Enjoying Peace in His Presence (A 365-Day Devotional) (Jesus Calling®))
You’re the one thing that makes my life bearable,” he said, and the sudden tension in him, suffusing every muscle, reminded me of how he had braced himself every time Vas came around. It was the way he looked when he was guarding himself against pain. “You’re this bright spot of light. You’re--Cyra, before I knew you, I thought about…” I raised my eyebrows. He drew a sharp breath. His gray eyes looked glassy. “Before I knew you,” he began again, “I didn’t intend to live past rescuing my brother. I didn’t want to serve the Noavek family. I didn’t want to give my life to them. But when it’s you…it seems like whatever the end is, it might be worthwhile.” Maybe, to another person, this might have sounded kind. Or at least realistic. A person couldn’t avoid fate. That was the whole point. Fate was the place at which all possible life paths converged--and when the oracles said “all,” they meant all. So was it really so bad, being something good in the fate Akos dreaded? Maybe not. To another person. Unfortunately, I was not another person. “What you’re telling me,” I said, “is that if you’re going to have your head chopped off anyway, it’s at least nice to have your head on a very soft chopping block.” “That’s…” He made a frustrated noise. “That’s the worst possible way to interpret what I said!” “Yeah? Well, it’s my way,” I snapped. “I don’t want to be the gift someone gets when they’ve already lost. I don’t want to be a happy inevitability. I want to be chosen. I want to be wanted.” “You think I don’t want you? Haven’t I made that clear? I still chose you over my family, Cyra, and it wasn’t because of fate!
Veronica Roth (The Fates Divide (Carve the Mark, #2))
And, so, what was it that elevated Rubi from dictator's son-in-law to movie star's husband to the sort of man who might capture the hand of the world's wealthiest heiress? Well, there was his native charm. People who knew him, even if only casually, even if they were predisposed to be suspicious or resentful of him, came away liking him. He picked up checks; he had courtly manners; he kept the party gay and lively; he was attentive to women but made men feel at ease; he was smoothly quick to rise from his chair when introduced, to open doors, to light a lady's cigarette ("I have the fastest cigarette lighter in the house," he once boasted): the quintessential chivalrous gent of manners. The encomia, if bland, were universal. "He's a very nice guy," swore gossip columnist Earl Wilson, who stayed with Rubi in Paris. ""I'm fond of him," said John Perona, owner of New York's El Morocco. "Rubi's got a nice personality and is completely masculine," attested a New York clubgoer. "He has a lot of men friends, which, I suppose, is unusual. Aly Khan, for instance, has few male friends. But everyone I know thinks Rubi is a good guy." "He is one of the nicest guys I know," declared that famed chum of famed playboys Peter Lawford. "A really charming man- witty, fun to be with, and a he-man." There were a few tricks to his trade. A society photographer judged him with a professional eye thus: "He can meet you for a minute and a month later remember you very well." An author who played polo with him put it this way: "He had a trick that never failed. When he spoke with someone, whether man or woman, it seemed as if the rest of the world had lost all interest for him. He could hang on the words of a woman or man who spoke only banalities as if the very future of the world- and his future, especially- depended on those words." But there was something deeper to his charm, something irresistible in particular when he turned it on women. It didn't reveal itself in photos, and not every woman was susceptible to it, but it was palpable and, when it worked, unforgettable. Hollywood dirt doyenne Hedda Hoppe declared, "A friend says he has the most perfect manners she has ever encountered. He wraps his charm around your shoulders like a Russian sable coat." Gossip columnist Shelia Graham was chary when invited to bring her eleven-year-old daughter to a lunch with Rubi in London, and her wariness was transmitted to the girl, who wiped her hand off on her dress after Rubi kissed it in a formal greeting; by the end of lunch, he had won the child over with his enthusiastic, spontaneous manner, full of compliments but never cloying. "All done effortlessly," Graham marveled. "He was probably a charming baby, I am sure that women rushed to coo over him in the cradle." Elsa Maxwell, yet another gossip, but also a society gadabout and hostess who claimed a key role in at least one of Rubi's famous liaisons, put it thus: "You expect Rubi to be a very dangerous young man who personifies the wolf. Instead, you meet someone who is so unbelievably charming and thoughtful that you are put off-guard before you know it." But charm would only take a man so far. Rubi was becoming and international legend not because he could fascinate a young girl but because he could intoxicate sophisticated women. p124
Shawn Levy (The Last Playboy : the High Life of Porfirio Rubirosa)
Jamie used the time away from me to do some soul-searching. She finally also did something she’d thought about for a long time. She walked into an Army recruitment office in Nashville and joined the military. She didn’t discuss it with me beforehand. Instead she called and said, “I’m joining the Army. It’s active duty and I’m going to be a truck driver with an airborne contract.” Shocked, I blurted out, “You’re going to do what? No you’re not.” “What do you mean? I’m gonna be a truck driver in a convoy.” I knew she was referring to a seventies country song she likes. Only this wasn’t a country song, this was real life. “Are you crazy? This is not a game. You will hate being a truck driver. You don’t even know if you’ll like being in the military. Go National Guard or Reserves and see if you like it.” “They said I’m already in. Basic is not for another few months but I’m in and I can’t change it.” “Yes you can. You are not in yet. You are not in the military. That was just a recruiter telling you that. Why aren’t you going in as an officer? You have a degree. You can make more money.” She seemed annoyed that I was raining on her parade, but I think it was also dawning on her that maybe I was right and she hadn’t done the research. “They told me that it’s not really that much more.” I explained to her, “They are lying to you. It is a lot more.” I had no problem with her joining the military. If that’s what she wanted to do, I supported it. But I was going to make sure she made the smartest moves she could make if that was in fact what she wanted to do with her life. I certainly wasn’t going to let her be talked into a lower-paid, higher-risk job.
Noah Galloway (Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier)
Why did you help AgriGen for so long?" The doctor's eyes narrow. "The same reason you run like a dog for your masters. They paid me in the coin I wanted most." Her slap rings across the water. The guards start forward, but Kanya is already drawing back, shaking off the sting in her hand, waving away the guards. "We're fine. Nothing is wrong." The guards pause, unsure of their duty and loyalties. The doctor touches his broken lip, examines the blood thoughtfully. Looks up. "A sore spot, there. . . How much of yourself have you already sold?" He smiles showing teeth rimed bloody from Kanya's strike. "Are you AgriGen's then? Complicit?" He looks into Kanya's eyes. "Are you here to kill me? To end my thorn in their side?" He watches closely, eyes peering into her soul, observant, curious. "It is only a matter of time. They must know that I am here. That I am yours. The Kingdom couldn't have fared so well for so long without me. Couldn't have released nightshades and ngaw without my help. We all know they are hunting. Are you my hunter, then? Are you my destiny?" Kanya scowls. "Hardly. We're not done with you yet." Gibbons slumps. "Ah, of course not. But then, you never will be. That is the nature of our beasts and plagues. They are not dumb machines to be driven about. They have their own needs and hungers. Their own evolutionary demands. They must mutate and adapt, and so you will never be done with me, and when I am gone, what will you do then? We have released demons upon the world, and your walls are only as good as my intellect. Nature has become something new. It is ours now, truly. And if our creation devours us, how poetic will that be?" "Kamma," she murmurs. "Precisely.
Paolo Bacigalupi (The Windup Girl)
Westcliff’s assessing gaze slid from her tumbled hair to the uncorseted lines of her figure, not missing the unbound shapes of her breasts. Wondering if he was going to give her a public dressing-down for daring to play rounders with a group of stable boys, Lillian returned his evaluating gaze with one of her own. She tried to look scornful, but that wasn’t easy when the sight of Westcliff’s lean, athletic body had brought another unnerving quiver to the pit of her stomach. Daisy had been right—it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find a younger man who could rival Westcliff’s virile strength. Still holding Lillian’s gaze, Westcliff pushed slowly away from the paddock fence and approached. Tensing, Lillian held her ground. She was tall for a woman, which made them nearly of a height, but Westcliff still had a good three inches on her, and he outweighed her by at least five stone. Her nerves tingled with awareness as she stared into his eyes, which were a shade of brown so intense that they appeared to be black. His voice was deep, textured like gravel wrapped in velvet. “You should tuck your elbows in.” Having expected criticism, Lillian was caught off-guard. “What?” The earl’s thick lashes lowered slightly as he glanced down at the bat that was gripped in her right hand. “Tuck your elbows in. You’ll have more control over the bat if you decrease the arc of the swing.” Lillian scowled. “Is there any subject that you’re not an expert on?” A glint of amusement appeared in the earl’s dark eyes. He appeared to consider the question thoughtfully. “I can’t whistle,” he finally said. “And my aim with a trebuchet is poor. Other than that…” The earl lifted his hands in a helpless gesture, as if he was at a loss to come up with another activity at which he was less than proficient.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
Lavender,' he commented, looking at the ribbons in her sleeve. 'The prince was tired, he said, of looking at so much black.' 'So am I,' he breathed. ... Sorrow caught her, as it did sometimes unexpectedly: a thumbprint of fire in the hollow of her throat. She swallowed it, said only, 'Because you have been working so hard, my lord.' 'I'm not used to it yet.' He measured a trailing end of the ribbon at her wrist between his fingers, oblivious of the guards and hovering officials who had followed him. ... He added impulsively, 'Perhaps I'll come with you this afternoon.' The thought made her smile. 'To my father's tavern? It's hardly for the likes of you.' 'I've been to --' 'I know, my lord: every tavern in Ombria but the Rose and Thorn. I wonder how you missed it.' Then, out of nowhere, a chill of fear blew through her; she heard herself say, 'We can't both leave the prince. Not both of us at once.' He gave her a strange look, not of surprise, but a reflection of her fear, which she found odder still. He loosed the ribbon, nodded, his eyes returning briefly to the prince's door. 'Perhaps you're right. He knows where you're going?' 'He knows, my lord. But I'll be back before he remembers that I'm gone.' 'Be careful,' he said. 'Tell your father that I will come and draw in his tavern some day.' But that was idle wishing, she knew. Already he was a legend in certain parts of the city, and legends, having made themselves so, rarely returned to repeat their feats. He seemed to read her mind. His eyes, clear, faintly smiling, held hers a moment. 'Not,' he said, 'an idle wish.' A promise, his eyes told her. She blinked, then dismissed the half-glimpsed idea that had rolled like a sea creature on the surface of her mind, then dove back down, so deeply that she had forgotten it before she returned to her chamber.
Patricia A. McKillip (Ombria in Shadow)
I could use a nice bath down at the river tonight. Guess I'll just have to settle for a spit bath." She smiled good-naturedly and picked up the bucket. "Come on up to the house when you're finished and I'll show you to a room." As she turned to leave, Rider nonchalantly stretched out his arm and grabbed her belt, pulling her up short. "I could walk you to the swimming hole and stand guard if you like." His grin was devilish. Willow smiled and pried loose the long fingers on her waist. "I thank you for the offer, but I like my privacy." "Are you suggesting that I would be like the fox guarding the henhouse?" he teased, wiggling his brows up and down. "Don't forget, we are supposed to be lovers." "We're only playacting that we're lovers." She laughed and headed torward the door. His chair tipped over as Rider beat her there and stretched an arm across the doorway to block her passage. "All good plays are well-rehearsed,Willow." His deep baritone was tantalizing in its implication. Her cheeks pinked and she uttered a nervous little laugh. "Let me through, you big galoot." Instead,he leaned closer. He smelled of leather,outdoors, and a familiar male scent she now realized was his alone. The heady combination aroused her desire to be closer, to be touched. Warning bells went off. Willow tried stepping back, but his other arm came up behind her and cut off her retreat. Her hammering heart skipped a beat as his desire-laden eyes touched where his hands dared not. "Let's rehearse, sweetheart." "Rehearse," she repeated in a dreamy whisper. She dropped the bucket, all thoughts of escape gone. Her body leaned into his of its own volition. What do I know of lovers? she asked herself. Practice, yes. I need practice. Hicks must be convinced. She tilted her head back for Rider's kiss. Rehearsal, that's all it is. Her lips met his.
Charlotte McPherren (Song of the Willow)
Grey wasn’t quite drunk, but he was far from sober when Rose entered his study later that evening. His heart stuttered at the sight of her, but his head…his head couldn’t take any more. “I’ve been drinking,” he warned her, just in case his sprawled posture and missing cravat wasn’t enough indication. “And I refuse to dance this ridiculous dance with you any more tonight.” “May I have a drink with you?” He glanced up. She stood beside the sofa where he half sat, half lay. She looked like someone who’d just lost her best friend or puppy or something equally as tragic. He sat up. “Of course.” Never mind that it wasn’t proper. Who the hell cared? They were well past proper. He was simply trying to hold on to sane. She poured herself a substantial glass of sherry and took a seat on the chair nearest him. He sat quietly, nursing the remainder of whiskey in his glass while she took several sips from her own. “Do you remember my come-out ball?” she asked after a few minutes. “Of course.” And he did. “I remember telling you that you looked lovely in pink.” She smiled. “You danced the first dance with me so I wouldn’t have to dance with Papa.” “You were afraid the other girls would laugh at you if you danced with your father.” “They didn’t laugh at me for dancing with you.” “No.” He chuckled at took a drink. “I wager they didn’t.” Rose sighed. “They thought you were so scandalous, you know. All night I had girls coming up to me wanting to know about you. I felt very important.” He saluted her with his glass. “Glad to be of service.” “I think I fell a little bit in love with you that night.” Grey choked on a mouthful of whiskey. Coughing, he cursed himself for being stupid enough to relax his guard with her. “Rose…” She held up her hand. “I’m not telling you this to make you uncomfortable, Grey. I wanted to tell you that you were a knight to me that evening-a knight on a big white horse. I didn’t know much about your reputation, all I knew was that you made me feel grown-up.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
While I was deep in my fantasy, in yet another episode of perfect timing, Marlboro Man called from the road. “Hey,” he said, the mid-1990s spotty cell phone service only emphasizing the raspy charm of his voice. “Oh! Just the person I want to talk to,” I said, grabbing paper and a pen. “I have a question for you--” “I bought your wedding present today,” Marlboro Man interrupted. “Huh?” I said, caught off guard. “Wedding present?” For someone steeped in the proper way of doing things, I was ashamed that a wedding gift for Marlboro Man had never crossed my mind. “Yep,” he said. “And you need to hurry up and marry me so I can give it to you.” I giggled. “So…what is it?” I asked. I couldn’t even imagine. I hoped it wasn’t a tennis bracelet. “You have to marry me to find out,” he answered. Yikes. What was it? Wasn’t the wedding ring itself supposed to be the present? That’s what I’d been banking on. What would I ever get him? Cuff links? An Italian leather briefcase? A Montblanc pen? What do you give a man who rides a horse to work every day? “So, woman,” Marlboro Man said, changing the subject, “what did you want to ask me?” “Oh!” I said, focusing my thoughts back to the reception. “Okay, I need you to name your absolute favorite foods in the entire world.” He paused. “Why?” “I’m just taking a survey,” I answered. “Hmmm…” He thought for a minute. “Probably steak.” Duh. “Well, besides steak,” I said. “Steak,” he repeated. “And what else?” I asked. “Well…steak is pretty good,” he answered. “Okay,” I responded. “I understand that you like steak. But I need a little more to work with here.” “But why?” he asked. “Because I’m taking a survey,” I repeated. Marlboro Man chuckled. “Okay, but I’m really hungry right now, and I’m three hours from home.” “I’ll factor that in,” I said. “Biscuits and gravy…tenderloin…chocolate cake…barbecue ribs…scrambled eggs,” he said, rattling off his favorite comfort foods. Bingo, I thought, smiling. “Now, hurry up and marry me,” he commanded. “I’m tired of waiting on you.” I loved it when he was bossy.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
It was said that the Old Folk controlled the power of fire, among other things, but that was in the Long and Long Ago. Before that, the fathers of the Old Folk caught a spark with flint and steel and their own desire to live. It was also said that the world was a great wheel, and everything came round to what it once had been, and so Steven Boughmount knelt in the snow with rocks in his hands, trying to catch a flame. He was having little luck. Just over the low hills, beyond this scrub of forest, the village was warm and sleeping behind its wall. That’s where I should be, Steven thought as he scraped the edge of one rock against the other. Not in bed, not yet, but stretched out in my chair with my feet up, a pipe smoking just right in my hand and Heather curled up beside me. The boys are all asleep, but maybe we’ll stay up for a while. Maybe we’ll move to the bedroom, maybe not. That’s where I should be, not up to my ass in snow trying to light a fire. “C’mon, bastard,” he said, and drug the sharp edge of the rock in his right hand against the flat of the one in his left. A white spark flew, and then died before it could reach the stripped branches and dried moss he had laid out on the frozen ground. Snow crunched somewhere off to the left of him. Steven heard soft, bare footsteps. They were coming, all right. And they were in a hurry, running toward a village protected by two drunks on either side of a leaning gate. That was why Steven sat in the snow. When the Guards slept, the Hunters went to work. And what sounded like a whole clan of goblins was passing him by because he couldn’t get a damn fire lit. Steven drew his sword. It was called Fangodoom, given to him by his mother just before she died. Fangodoom was a dwarf blade, of steel mined and forged deep within the Lyme Mountains centuries ago. Goblins near, the blade all but gleamed though there wasn’t any moon. Again he wondered if this would be the last time, and again he knew that if it was, it was. His hand turned into a fist on the hilt of his weapon, and he prayed. “Lord, make me Your hammer.
Michael Kanuckel (Winter's Heart)
This is…mad…” Anything this wonderful had to be some form of insanity. “Then I’ve been mad for twelve years.” He tugged at her nipple with his teeth, and she gasped. “Because I imagined this often. Holding you…touching you.” He laved her nipple with his tongue as if to soothe it. “I tried not to torture myself, but…it was impossible that I should never indulge in…the fantasy of you like this, in my arms again.” He’d thought of her all these years? And done nothing about it? “You could have…had me whenever you wanted,” she choked out, even as she thrilled to his words. “You just didn’t…want me.” “Not true.” His breathing labored, he dragged his mouth from her breast to kiss his way back up to her throat. “I couldn’t allow myself to want you. There’s a difference.” None that she could see. But just now, she could hardly think. One of Dom’s hands worked its magic on her breast, his mouth snaked around to cup her derriere and pull her flush against him. Something hard pressed into her through her skirts. What the devil? “Jane,” he rasped against her lips. “My darling Jane…still mine…” The possessive note in his voice drove out every other thought. She was losing the fight against him. Sweet Lord, she couldn’t. Mustn’t, until she was sure he wouldn’t become Dom the Almighty again. Until she was sure he wouldn’t trample her into dust, the way he had before when things hadn’t been exactly how he wanted them. She couldn’t go through that again. She pushed him back, breaking his hold on her. “Not yours,” she said firmly. Her breath still came in heavy gasps, and she fought to get it under control. To get herself under control. “Not anymore.” He stared at her a long moment, his eyes ablaze and his hands flexing at his sides as if regretting the loss of her already. “Will you never forgive me for what I did so long ago, Jane?” The soft question caught her off guard. “Would you do it again if you had the chance?” She could hardly breathe, awaiting his answer. With a low oath, he glanced away. Then his features hardened into those of the rigid and arrogant Dom he had become. “Yes. I did the only thing I could to keep you happy.” Her breath turned to ice in her throat. “That’s the problem. You still really believe that.” His gaze swung to her again, but before he could say anything more, noises in the hall arrested them both.
Sabrina Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4))
Chicago, Illinois 1896 Opening Night Wearing her Brünnhilda costume, complete with padding, breastplate, helm, and false blond braids, and holding a spear as if it were a staff, Sophia Maxwell waited in the wings of the Canfield-Pendegast theatre. The bright stage lighting made it difficult to see the audience filling the seats for opening night of Die Walküre, but she could feel their anticipation build as the time drew near for the appearance of the Songbird of Chicago. She took slow deep breaths, inhaling the smell of the greasepaint she wore on her face. Part of her listened to the music for her cue, and the other part immersed herself in the role of the god Wotan’s favorite daughter. From long practice, Sophia tried to ignore quivers of nervousness. Never before had stage fright made her feel ill. Usually she couldn’t wait to make her appearance. Now, however, nausea churned in her stomach, timpani banged pain-throbs through her head, her muscles ached, and heat made beads of persperation break out on her brow. I feel more like a plucked chicken than a songbird, but I will not let my audience down. Annoyed with herself, Sophia reached for a towel held by her dresser, Nan, standing at her side. She lifted the helm and blotted her forehead, careful not to streak the greasepaint. Nan tisked and pulled out a small brush and a tin of powder from one of the caprious pockets of her apron. She dipped the brush into the powder and wisked it across Sophia’s forehead. “You’re too pale. You need more rouge.” “No time.” A rhythmic sword motif sounded the prelude to Act ll. Sophia pivoted away from Nan and moved to the edge of the wing, looking out to the scene of a rocky mountain pass. Soon the warrior-maiden Brünnhilda would make an appearance with her famous battle cry. She allowed the anticpaptory energy of the audience to fill her body. The trills of the high strings and upward rushing passes in the woodwinds introduced Brünnhilda. Right on cue, Sophia made her entrance and struck a pose. She took a deep breath, preparing to hit the opening notes of her battle call. But as she opened her mouth to sing, nothing came out. Caught off guard, Sophia cleared her throat and tried again. Nothing. Horrified, she glanced around, as if seeking help, her body hot and shaky with shame. Across the stage in the wings, Sophia could see Judith Deal, her understudy and rival, watching. The other singer was clad in a similar costume to Sophia’s for her role as the valkerie Gerhilde. A triumphant expression crossed her face. Warwick Canfield-Pendegast, owner of the theatre, stood next to Judith, his face contorted in fury. He clenched his chubby hands. A wave of dizziness swept through Sophia. The stage lights dimmed. Her knees buckled. As she crumpled to the ground, one final thought followed her into the darkness. I’ve just lost my position as prima dona of the Canfield-Pendegast Opera Company.
Debra Holland (Singing Montana Sky (Montana Sky, #7))
Soon after I arrived on the island I had a run-in with my son’s first grade teacher due to my irreverent PJ sense of humor. When Billy lost a baby tooth I arranged the traditional parentchild Tooth Fairy ritual. Only six years old, Billy already suspected I was really the Tooth Fairy and schemed to catch me in the act. With each lost tooth, he was getting harder and harder to trick. To defeat my precocious youngster I decided on a bold plan of action. When I tucked him in I made an exaggerated show of placing the tooth under his pillow. I conspicuously displayed his tooth between my thumb and forefinger and slid my hand slowly beneath his pillow. Unbeknownst to him, I hid a crumpled dollar bill in the palm of my hand. With a flourish I pretended to place the tooth under Billy’s pillow, but with expert parental sleight of hand, I kept the tooth and deposited the dollar bill instead. I issued a stern warning not to try and stay awake to see the fairy and left Billy’s room grinning slyly. I assured him I would guard against the tricky fairy creature. I knew Billy would not be able to resist checking under his pillow. Sure enough, only a few minutes later he burst from his room wide-eyed with excitement. He clutched a dollar bill tightly in his fist and bounced around the room, “Dad! Dad! The fairy took my tooth and left a dollar!” I said, “I know son. I used my ninja skills and caught that thieving fairy leaving your room. I trapped her in a plastic bag and put her in the freezer.” Billy was even more excited and begged to see the captured fairy. I opened the freezer and gave him a quick glimpse of a large shrimp I had wrapped in plastic. Viewed through multiple layers of wrap, the shrimp kind of looked like a frozen fairy. I stressed the magnitude of the occasion, “Tooth fairies are magical, elusive little things with their wings and all. I think we are the first family ever to capture one!” Billy was hopping all over the house and it took me quite awhile to finally calm him down and get him to sleep. The next day I got an unexpected phone call at work. My son’s teacher wanted to talk to me about Billy, “Now what?” I thought. When I arrived at the school, Billy’s teacher met me at the door. Once we settled into her office, she explained she was worried about him. Earlier that day, Billy told his first grade class his father had killed the tooth fairy and had her in a plastic bag in the freezer. He was very convincing. Some little kids started to cry. I explained the previous night’s fairy drama to the teacher. I was chuckling—she was not. She looked at me as if I had a giant booger hanging out of a nostril. Despite the look, I could tell she was attracted to me so I told her no thanks, I already had a girlfriend. Her sputtering red face made me uncomfortable and I quickly left. Later I swore Billy to secrecy about our fairy hunting activities. For dinner that evening, we breaded and fried up a couple dozen fairies and ate them with cocktail sauce and fava beans.
William F. Sine (Guardian Angel: Life and Death Adventures with Pararescue, the World's Most Powerful Commando Rescue Force)
What are you so afraid of?” “Nothing!” He yelled so fiercely that a pair of oxen grazing in a nearby field snorted and moved farther away from us. It was the first time I ever saw fire in Milo’s eyes. “I’m no coward. That’s not why I wouldn’t go with your brothers. I have to go with you.” “Who said so? You’re free now, Milo. Don’t you know what that means? You can come and go anywhere you like. You ought to appreciate it.” “I appreciate you, Lady Helen!” Once Milo raised his voice, he couldn’t stop. He shouted so loudly that the two oxen trotted to the far side of the pasture as fast as they could move their massive bodies. “You’re the one who gave me my freedom. If I love to be fifty, I’ll never be able to repay you!” Milo’s uproar attracted the attention of the two guards, but I waved them back when I saw them coming toward us. “Do you think you could be grateful quietly?” I asked. “This is between us, not us and all Delphi. You owe me nothing. Listen, if you leave now, you might still be able to catch up to my brothers. I’ll ask the Pythia for help. There must be at least one of Apollo’s pilgrims heading north today, one who’s going on horseback. If she tells him to carry you with him, you’ll overtake Prince Jason’s party in no time! I’ll give you whatever you’ll need for the road and--” “Then I will be in your debt,” Milo encountered. “If you say I’m free, why aren’t I free to stay with you, if that’s what I want?” “Because it’s stupid!” I forgot my own caution about keeping our voices low. I’d decided that if I couldn’t win our argument with facts, I’d do it with volume. “Don’t you see, Milo? This is a better opportunity than anything that’s waiting for you in Sparta! What could you become if you went there? A potter, a tanner, a metalsmith, maybe a farmer’s boy or a shepherd. But if you sail to Colchis with my brothers, you could be--” “Seasick,” Milo finished for me. I raised my eyebrows. “Is that why you won’t go? Not even if it means passing up a once-in-a-lifetime chance for adventures? For a real future? I’m disappointed.” Milo folded his arms. “Why don’t you just command me not to be seasick? Command me to go away and leave you, while you’re at it. Command me to join your brothers. It’s not what I want, but I guess that doesn’t matter after all.” I was about to launch into another list of reasons why he should rush after my brothers when his words stopped me. Lord Oeneus was open-handed with commands, I thought. And it was worse for Milo when his hand closed into a fist. I shouldn’t bully Milo into joining the quest for the fleece just because I wish I could do it myself. In that instant, a happy inspiration struck me with the force of one of Zeus’s own thunderbolts: Why can’t I? I found an unripe acorn lying on the ground beside me and flicked it at Milo. “All right,” I told him. “You win. You can stay with me.” A look of utter relief spread across his face until I added, “But I win too. You’re going to go with my brothers.” “But how can I do that if--?” “And so am I.
Esther M. Friesner (Nobody's Princess (Nobody's Princess, #1))
Madison’s enthralled from the very first moment. I’m sitting on the blanket, my legs stretched out, while Kennedy lays down, her head in my lap. I cringe my way through the movie, absently stroking Kennedy’s hair. I glance down at her after a while, realizing she’s not watching the screen, her attention fixed on me. “What’s wrong?” “Nothing,” she says. “It’s just strange.” I caress her flushed cheek. “Being here with me?” “Yes,” she says. “Just when I was starting to doubt I’d ever see you again.” “You didn’t think I’d keep popping up every so often?” “Oh, sure, but that’s not you,” she says. “I knew that guy would keep coming back. I thought I’d be dealing with him for the rest of my life. Drunk, high, out of his mind… but I never thought I’d see you again, real you, yet you’re here. I thought it would always be him.” I know what she means as she motions toward the screen. I can tell I was strung out. It’s painful. “I’m here,” I say, “and I’m not going anywhere.” “I want to believe that.” “You can.” She smiles, and I don’t know if she believes it yet, but she looks content in the moment. I brush my thumb along her lips as they part, and I want to kiss her so fucking bad right now, but I know I’ll catch hell from my daughter if I try. “Ohhhh, Daddy!” Madison says, grabbing my attention, catching me off guard as she launches herself my way. Laughing, Kennedy sits up, moving out of the line of fire as Madison damn near tackles me, leaping on my back and trying to cover my face with her hands from behind. “You’re not supposed to do that!” “What?” I laugh. “I didn’t do anything!” “You’re kissing her!” she says as I pull her hands away from my mouth when she tries to cover it. I playfully pretend to bite her, making her squeal. “Stop, Daddy!” She flings herself on me, falling into my lap, as I glance up at the screen, realizing Breezeo is kissing Maryanne. I scowl, tickling Madison. “It’s just a movie. It’s not real.” She giggles, slapping my hands away. “You didn’t really kiss her?” “Well, yeah, but it doesn’t count.” “Why not?” “Because it’s Breezeo, not me.” “It’s still yucky,” she says, making a face. “You think kissing me is yucky?” I tickle her again, and she struggles, laughing, trying to get away, but I’m not going to let it go that easy. Grabbing ahold of her, pinning her to me, I nuzzle against her cheek as she shoves my face. “Help, Mommy!” “Oh, no, you’re on your own there,” Kennedy says. “You got yourself into that one.” “Ugh, no fair!” Madison says, slapping her hands over my mouth. “No kissing ‘till the end!” “Fine.” I let out a long, exaggerated sigh. “You win.” She sticks her tongue out at me. The girl seriously sticks her tongue out, gloating, as she leaps at her mother and kisses on her—planting big, sloppy kisses right on Kennedy, making sure I see it. She’s gone again then, right back to her movie now that the love scene is over. “Unbelievable.” I shake my head. “I get no love.” Grinning, Kennedy lays back down with her head in my lap. She stares at me, reaching up, her fingertips brushing across my lips. “You be good, and I’ll make it worth it for you later.” I cock an eyebrow at her. “Is that right?
J.M. Darhower (Ghosted)
Robert.” It was a sigh and a call at the same time. She ignored the lump in her throat and called again. In an instant, her view was obscured. “Lydia!” They were eye-to-eye, and neither said anything for a moment or two. Finally, after an audible gulp, Robert spoke in a whisper. “Are you all right?” “I’ve had better days,” she said in seriousness, and then realized the absurdity of her words and chuckled. “I’m covered in dirt, cuts, and bruises and sporting a lovely goose egg above my ear. One of my favorite gowns is nothing but a ruin, but other than that, I am fine. And now that you are here, I am better.” “Thank the Lord. I cannot tell you how relieved I am to hear you say so. I have been imagining all sorts … well, let’s talk about this later.” “Yes, when we don’t have to whisper through a wall.” “Indeed.” “So what is the plan?” “Hmm … well, plans are a little lacking at this moment. I had expected to rush in and simply grab you, but there are three guards by the door. I procured a thick stick, but three to one … well, not good odds. My second idea was to loosen some of these boards and pull you out. I have also acquired a horse. So once out, we can sneak or run, whichever is the most prudent.” “Yes, but the getting-out part seems to be the problem. For, if I am not mistaken, none of the boards on this side of the barn are loose, and the other sides are too close to the villains.” “There does seem to be a decided lack of cooperation on the part of the building. I have, however, noticed something that might offer another possibility. It would require a great deal of trust on your part.” “Oh?” Lydia was almost certain she was not going to like this new possibility. “Yes. There is a hay door above me. Is there a loft inside?” “Are you thinking that I should climb a rickety ladder to the loft and then try to escape through the hay door?” “Just a thought.” “How would I get down?” “That would be the trust part.” “Ahh. I would jump, and you would catch me.” Lydia visualized her descent, skirts every which way, and a very hard landing that might produce a broken body part. “Yes. Not a brilliant plan. Do you have another?” Robert sounded hopeful. “Not really. But might I suggest a variation to yours?” “By all means.” “I will return to my cell and get the rope that the thugs used to tie me up.” “They tied you up?” “Yes. But don’t let it bother you.…” “No?” “No. Because if they hadn’t, then I wouldn’t have a rope to lower myself from the hay door. I can use the one they used on my feet; it’s thick and long.” “I like that so much better than watching you fling yourself from a high perch.” “Me too. It might take a few minutes as I must return to my original cell—I escaped, you know.” “I didn’t. That is quite impressive.” “Thank you. Anyway, I must return to my cell for the rope, climb the ladder, cross the loft to the door … et cetera, et cetera. All in silence, of course.” “Of course.” “It might take as much as twenty minutes.” “I promise to wait. Won’t wander off … pick flowers or party with the thugs.” “Good to know.” “Just warn me before you jump.” “Oh, yes. I will most certainly let you know.” With a deep sigh, Lydia headed back to her cell, slowly and quietly.
Cindy Anstey (Duels & Deception)
Syn paid the bill and they headed to the door with lust so thick around them, Syn couldn’t help but wonder if anyone else could see it. Furi reached back for Syn’s hand and he gladly offered it. He looked over his shoulder and threw him a seductive wink when Syn crowded in close behind him. As soon as Syn made it out the door, he saw four members of his team walking up the sidewalk. Well fuck me. “Hey, Sarge.” Pendleton, his demolitions expert was the first to speak up. Syn threw down Furi’s hand and quickly put some distance between them. “Yeah, hey fellas.” They’d all stopped and were staring back and forth between him and Furi. Syn couldn’t even look Furious in his eye after what he’d just done. Detective Green cleared his throat and pointed at Furi. “Don’t I know you?” “Hardly,” Furi mumbled. “Um, this is ... uh, uh. He’s my ... uh.” Syn cursed under his breath. Obviously his team already knew who Furious was. They all had detailed lists of Illustra’s entertainers and Furious’ image was not easy to forget. “Sarge, who’s your friend?” Detective Ruxsburg asked, a sly smile playing on his handsome face. “He’s um.” “He’s leaving,” Furi’s deep voice cut in as he eased his way through and walked in the opposite direction of Syn’s truck. “Fuck,” Syn whispered as he watched Furi turn the corner. “You better go after him and be ready to do some serious groveling,” his IT Detective said in his calm, cool voice. Syn didn’t say anything. His guys walked around him and went into the bar, leaving him feeling ashamed. He thought about running after Furi but choose to get in his truck and cut him off at the corner. He sped around the block and pulled into an alley hoping to intercept his angry date. When Syn got out of the truck Furi was turning the corner coming toward him. Oh hell. Furi had his hands crammed into his pockets and if the scowl on his face didn’t indicate how angry Furious was, then his choice of words when he finally reached Syn sure as hell did. “Get the fuck away from me.” “Furious, I know you're upset.” Furi spun around and glared at him with midnight eyes. “Upset! Upset! Look at my face goddamnit! Does this just look upset to you?” Syn put his hands up in a calming gesture. “Alright, you’re angry, and you have every right to be. I reacted badly back there. I was just caught off guard.” Furi was in Syn’s face and people on the street had begun to stop and stare. “Can we please move this off the sidewalk?” Syn tried to usher Furi farther into the alley and away from the nosy fuckers on the street. “Don’t fuckin’ touch me!” “I’m not gonna touch you! Damn, calm down. I just want to explain,” Syn argued. It seemed every time he was around Furi he was apologizing for something. “I’m sorry, okay. I should have introduced you properly to my team.” “How would the–” “Please, Furious. Let me finish. I should’ve told them your name and introduced you as my friend at a minimum. I’m sorry. I told you I fuckin’ suck at this dating shit, and if you don’t tell me to go fuck myself and give me another–” “Go fuck yourself,” Furi interrupted. He tried to move around Syn but Syn grabbed him around the wrist and backed him against the side of his truck. “No! I will not go fuck myself. I would rather fuck you.” “Well you pretty much shot that chance all to hell,” Furi yelled right back at him. “Have I?” “What do you think?
A.E. Via
I don’t…believe you,” she lied, her blood running wild through her veins. His gleaming gaze impaled her. “Then believe this.” And suddenly his mouth was on hers. This was not what she’d set out to get from him. But oh, the joy of it. The heat of it. His mouth covered hers, seeking, coaxing. Without breaking the kiss, he pushed her back against the wall, and she grabbed for his shoulders, his surprisingly broad and muscular shoulders. As he sent her plummeting into unfamiliar territory, she held on for dear life. Time rewound to when they were in her uncle’s garden, sneaking a moment alone. But this time there was no hesitation, no fear of being caught. Glorying in that, she slid her hands about his neck to bring him closer. He groaned, and his kiss turned intimate. He used lips and tongue, delving inside her mouth in a tender exploration that stunned her. Enchanted her. Confused her. Something both sweet and alien pooled in her belly, a kind of yearning she’d never felt with Edwin. With any man but Dom. As if he sensed it, he pulled back to look at her, his eyes searching hers, full of surprise. “My God, Jane,” he said hoarsely, turning her name into a prayer. Or a curse? She had no time to figure out which before he clasped her head to hold her for another darkly ravishing kiss. Only this one was greedier, needier. His mouth consumed hers with all the boldness of Viking raiders of yore. His tongue drove repeatedly inside in a rhythm that made her feel all trembly and hot, and his thumbs caressed her throat, rousing the pulse there. Thank heaven there was a wall to hold her up, or she was quite sure she would dissolve into a puddle at his feet. Because after all these years apart, he was riding roughshod over her life again. And she was letting him. How could she not? His scent of leather and bergamot engulfed her, made her dizzy with the pleasure of it. He roused urges she’d never known she had, sparked fires in places she’d thought were frozen. Then his hands swept down her possessively as if to memorize her body…or mark it as belonging to him. Belonging to him. Oh, Lord! She shoved him away. How could she have fallen for his kisses after what he’d done? How could she have let him slip that far under her guard? Never again, curse him! Never! For a moment, he looked as stunned by what had flared between them as she. Then he reached for her, and she slipped from between him and the wall, panic rising in her chest. “You do not have the right to kiss me anymore,” she hissed. “I’m engaged, for pity’s sake!” As soon as her words registered, his eyes went cold. “It certainly took you long enough to remember it.” She gaped at him. “You have the audacity to…to…” She stabbed his shoulder with one finger. “You have no business criticizing me! You threw me away years ago, and now you want to just…just take me up again, as if nothing ever happened between us?” A shadow crossed his face. “I did not throw you away. You jilted me, remember?” That was the last straw. “Right. I jilted you.” Turning on her heel, she stalked back toward the road. “Just keep telling yourself that, since you’re obviously determined to believe your own fiction.” “Fiction?” He hurried after her. “What are you talking about?” “Oh, why can’t you just admit what you really did and be done with it?” Grabbing her by the arm, he forced her to stop just short of the street. He stared into her face, and she could see when awareness dawned in his eyes. “Good God. You know the truth. You know what really happened in the library that night.” “That you manufactured that dalliance between you and Nancy to force me into jilting you?” She snatched her arm free. “Yes, I know.” Then she strode out of the alley, leaving him to stew in his own juices.
Sabrina Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4))
Her enormous eyes were staring straight into his silver ones. He couldn’t look away, couldn’t let go of her hand. He couldn’t have moved if his life depended on it. He was lost in those blue-violet eyes, somewhere in their mysterious, haunting, sexy depths. What was it he had decided? Decreed? He was not going to allow her anywhere near Peter’s funeral. Why was his resolve fading away to nothing? He had reasons, good reasons. He was certain of it. Yet now, drowning in her huge eyes, his thoughts on the length of her lashes, the curve of her cheek, the feel of her skin, he couldn’t think of denying her. After all, she hadn’t tried to defy him; she didn’t know he had made the decision to keep her away from Peter’s funeral. She was including him in the plans, as if they were a unit, a team. She was asking his advice. Would it be so terrible to please her over this? It was important to her. He blinked to keep from falling into her gaze and found himself staring at the perfection of her mouth. The way her lips parted so expectantly. The way the tip of her tongue darted out to moisten her full lower lip. Almost a caress. He groaned. An invitation. He braced himself to keep from leaning over and tracing the exact path with his own tongue. He was being tortured. Tormented. Her perfect lips formed a slight frown. He wanted to kiss it right off her mouth. “What is it, Gregori?” She reached up to touch his lips with her fingertip. His heart nearly jumped out of his chest. He caught her wrist and clamped it against his pumping heart. “Savannah,” he whispered. An ache. It came out that way. An ache. He knew it. She knew it. God, he wanted her with every cell in his body. Untamed. Wild. Crazy. He wanted to bury himself so deep inside her that she would never get him out. Her hand trembled in answer, a slight movement rather like the flutter of butterfly wings. He felt it all the way through his body. “It is all right, mon amour,” he said softly. “I am not asking for anything.” “I know you’re not. I’m not denying you anything. I know we need to have time to become friends, but I’m not going to deny what I feel already. When you’re close to me, my body temperature jumps about a thousand degrees.” Her blue eyes were dark and beckoning, steady on his. He touched her mind very gently, almost tenderly, slipped past her guard and knew what courage it took for her to make the admission. She was nervous, even afraid, but willing to meet him halfway. The realization nearly brought him to his knees. A muscle jumped in his jaw, and the silver eyes heated to molten mercury, but his face was as impassive as ever. “I think you are a witch, Savannah, casting a spell over me.” His hand cupped her face, his thumb sliding over her delicate cheekbone. She moved closer, and he felt her need for comfort, for reassurance. Her arms slid tentatively around his waist. Her head rested on his sternum. Gregori held her tightly, simply held her, waiting for her trembling to cease. Waiting for the warmth of his body to seep into hers. Gregori’s hand came up to stroke the thick length of silken, ebony hair, taking pleasure in the simple act. It brought a measure of peace to both of them. He would never have believed what a small thing like holding a woman could do to a man. She was turning his heart inside out; unfamiliar emotions surged wildly through him and wreaked havoc with his well-ordered life. In his arms, next to his hard strength, she felt fragile, delicate, like an exotic flower that could be easily broken. “Do not worry about Peter, ma petite,” he whispered into the silken strands of her hair. “We will see to his resting place tomorrow.” “Thank you, Gregori,” Savannah said. “It matters a lot to me.” He lifted her easily into his arms. “I know. It would be simpler if I did not. Come to my bed, chérie, where you belong.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
My poor boy!” he cried. “It’s not you anymore! Hey! I’m not saying that those idiots at Vassetot and that scoundrel Roffieux were right when they said there was something wrong with your brain; but there’s something strange, something unnerving, going on with you. I want to take care of you here—right here. No mental hospitals, no annoying treatments! I know people who will understand that it’s simply a problem of nerves and who will pull you through with nothing but a little mental discipline, laying out a nice, calm program for you with a few distractions and outings…” Kmôhoûn kept me from hearing the rest of the sentence. I thought my head was going to explode. The Tkoukrian howled and stormed, but for me alone. Only I could hear his awful racket and his abominable explosion of rage made me panic. I was about to say something stupid again—after so many other things—but I could not talk reasonably anymore. It was a psychic racket that no one would be scared of, except me—but I was stunned by it. I did not miss a single word that Kmôhoûn yelled, even though he did not articulate any of them. But I do not have the least desire to repeat them all here; it tumbled out like a torrent of trash. I would be forced to write pages and pages on which the most terrifying curses and the most revolting obscenities would be repeated again and again. This whole flood of filth, moreover, could be boiled down pretty much to this: “You lunatic, moron, agitated idiot! Don’t you see your crook brother’s scam? Ha! I knew it! They’re not doing it to me! Let’s f…ly the coop—and quick! They’re going to have some fun in this… this… whorehouse! And you will have your rotten… whoremonger of a sister in-law to stir up the foul… pimp guards that they’ll give us. Your brother is a crap-stained pig, walking dung,” etc, etc. And I’m softening up many of Kmôhoûn’s terms! Pretty, yes, pretty, my expression psychic racket. Charming soul, that Kmôhoûn!
John-Antoine Nau (Enemy Force)
A few years from now, far away from here, a young woman will be sitting on a sofa at a party. Everyone around will be dancing and drinking but his eyes will be glued to the television. It's just a short clip from concert by one of the country's most female performers right now. Her name is Maya Andersson, and the young man has always loved that name. How ordinary it sounds. He's never thought about her accent, has never reflected upon why it sound so familiar to hin, But now he sees her on television and she's singing a song about someone she loved,because it's hit birthday, and on the huge screen behind ger a photograph of him flashes up for moment. She knows no one will really see it, a thousand more images flash past right after it, she just inclided that particular photograph for her own sake. But he man on sofa recognizes it. Because he remembers fingertips and glances. Beer bottles on a worn bar counter and smoke in a silent forest. The way snow feels as it falls on your skin while a boy with sad eyes and a wild heart teaches you to skate. The man on the sofa pack almost nothing. He takes just a light bag and the case containing his bass guitar and travels to the next town on Maya's tour. He elbows past her security guard and almost gets knocked to the floor and he he calls out: "I knew him! I knew Benji! I loved him too!" Maya stops mid-stride. They look each other in the eye and see only him, the boy in the forest, sad and wild. "Do you play?" May asks. "I'm a bass player," he says. From then on he is her bass player. No one plays her songs like he does. No one else cries as much each night.
Fredrick Backman, The Winners
And it wasn’t only Lily who knew, because here he was, forty-one years old, and yet no one in his family had ever asked him whether he had a girlfriend. No one had said, at weddings, “Your turn next, Eddie!” And he remembered how his cousin Robby the Boy, watching TV with him years ago, had abruptly switched channels when somebody onscreen called somebody else a faggot. You would think this realization would come as a relief to him. And it did, in part. He felt a rush of love for his whole family, whom it seemed he had underestimated. He had thought that guarding his secret was a kindness to them; he was protecting them from knowledge that would hurt them. But now he saw that not telling them had been more hurtful, and it was they who had been kind.
Anne Tyler (French Braid)
I … I thought you’d need … that is, I thought you might want … companionship tonight.” There was no hiding her vulnerability now. Her heart was open to him. He could either take it or insert a blade. He looked at her and hesitated, but only for a moment. “Good God, Ayn, close your robe.” She did. And tied it so tightly, it felt like a Victorian corset, crushing the air out of her. “I’m sorry – I thought—” “I know what you thought. I know what you’ve been thinking since the moment I was revived.” “But you said you felt an attraction…” “No,” Goddard corrected, “I said this body feels an attraction. But I am not ruled by biology!” Ayn fought back every last emotion threatening to overtake her. She just shut them down cold. It was either that, or fall apart in front of him. She would rather self-glean than do that. “Guess I misunderstood. You’re not always easy to read, Robert.” “Even if I did desire that sort of relationship with you, we could never have one. It is clearly forbidden for scythes to have relations with one another. We satisfy our passions out there in the world with no emotional connections. There is a reason for that!” “Now you sound like the old guard,” she said. He took that like a slap in the face … but then he looked at her – really looked at her – and suddenly arrived at a revelation that she hadn’t even considered herself. “You could have expressed this desire of yours in the daytime, but you didn’t. You came to me at night. In the dark. Why is that, Ayn?” he asked. She had no answer for him. “If I had accepted your advances, would you have imagined it was him?” he asked. “Your weak-minded party boy?” “Of course not!” She was horrified. Not just by the suggestion, but by how much truth there might be to it. “How could you even think that?
Neal Shusterman (Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2))
To this day, it is embarrassment that is the most perplexing emotion I've felt in response to death. I know this might sound strange and, frankly, I find it impossible to even describe. But I felt like a failure. I felt like I'd been caught unaware, like I'd been ambushed. I felt irresponsible somehow, like I'd let my guard down or been naive. I look at old pictures of my family—smiling, happy, and blissfully unaware of the catastrophe that would befall us. And I think, We were so stupid. We were such suckers. How did we not see it coming? Why weren't we prepared? Why didn't we build a bunker or something? Tim likes to tease me because if ever I'm hosting a dinner party and the meal is a bit overdone, I like to announce garishly to the group: "I just want everyone to know that I know the food is burned!" The thought of serving a bad-tasting meal, or having broccoli in my teeth, or of having my pants zipper down without my knowledge is horrifying to me. I don't exactly mind failing, but I like to do it on my own terms, undergirded by my own self-awareness. The thought of being oblivious petrifies me. But death plays by no rules and doesn't care how it might sully your reputation. No amount of self-awareness lessens its sting. It will come for you and the ones you love the most, whether you are oblivious or if you see it coming a million miles away.
Amanda Held Opelt (A Hole in the World: Finding Hope in Rituals of Grief and Healing)
Alright! Settle down!” yelled my guard friend to the crowd. “If you don’t settle down, things are going to get ugly!” “You’re ugly!” yelled back a reporter who was covered by a shield of a guard. “What did you say?!” “You heard me!” “Who said that?!” “Whoa, whoa,” I said to Sealable. “I think we’re getting a bit off track here.” “Nobody calls me ugly and gets away with it!” said the guard. “So, you’re gonna fight him?” “No, I’m going to arrest him and throw him in jail for disorderly conduct.” “Oh, for a second there, I thought you were gonna fight him.
Steve the Noob (Steve the Noob in a New World: Book 2 (Steve the Noob in a New World (Saga 2)))
I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are the good people and thee bad people... you're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them on opposite sides... A great rolling sea of evil, shallower in some places, oh, so much deeper in others. But people like you put together little raft of rules and vaguely good intentions and say, this is the opposite, this will triumph in the end. Amazing!... Down there are people who will follow any dragon, worship any god, ignore and iniquity. All kind of humdrum, everyday badness. Not the really high, creative loathsomeness of the great sinners, but a sort of mass-produced darknessof the soul. Sin, you might say, without a trace of orinality. They accept evil not because they say yes, but because they don't say no. I'm sorry if this offends you, but you fellows really need us.
Terry Pratchett (Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch, #1))
Father, thank You for Your instruction to meditate on Your Word and fill my mind with thoughts of faith and hope and victory. Thank You for Your equipping power to water the right thoughts and see them take root and guard them from attack. I believe You will bring me to good success and prosper me in everything I do. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Joel Osteen (Daily Readings from Think Better, Live Better: 90 Devotions to a Victorious Life)
In the beginning, some brothers could sea the sea if they stood on their sink and looked through their window. In the rec yard, I found that if I lay down on my stomach in the corner, I could tear away a tiny piece of green tarp covering the fence and steal glimpses of a turquoise sea. I told my brothers and soon many of us would lie down and spend our recreation time looking at the sea through that small secret window. Eventually the guards noticed the hole. "Why can I look at the sea?" I asked the watch commander when he caught me. "It's for your own safety and security," he said through an interpreter. I suspected he thought Osama bin Laden might land on the beach one day with an al Qaeda army and break us all out. America was supposed to be a smart country, but the things we believed made us question this.
Mansoor Adayfi (Don't Forget Us Here: Lost and Found at Guantanamo)
Who knew winter meant vegetables? Chef. No asparagus shipped in from Peru, no avocados from Mexico, no eggplants from Asia. What I assumed would be a season of root vegetables and onions was actually the season of chicories. Chef had his sources, which he guarded. Scott walked through the restaurant in the morning with unmarked brown paper bags, sometimes crates. He told me that the chicories would really brighten when the first freezes came. It sweetened their natural bitterness. I could barely keep track of them. The curly tangle of frisée didn't seem the same species as the heliotrope balls of radicchio, or the whitened lobes of endive. Their familial trait was a bite---I thought of them as lettuces that bit back. Scott agreed. He said we should be hard on them. Eggs, anchovies, cream, a streak of citrus. "Don't trust the French with your vegetables," Scott said. "The Italians know how to let something breathe.
Stephanie Danler (Sweetbitter)
How about a damned fool?” Chaol said. “I don’t think you realize who you’re dealing with.” The man clicked his tongue. “If you were that good, you would be more than the Captain of the Guard.” Chaol let out a low, breathy laugh. “I wasn’t talking about me.” “She’s just one girl.” Though his guts were twisting at the thought of her in this place, with these people, though he was considering every possible way to get himself and Celaena out of here alive, he gave the man a grin. “Then you’re really in for a surprise.
Sarah J. Maas (Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2))
The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts. Therefore, guard accordingly, and take that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.” - Marcus Aurelius
Gary John Bishop (Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life (Unfu*k Yourself series))
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.6
Jennie Allen (Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts)