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))
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 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))
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))
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))
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))
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))
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)
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)
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)
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)
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))
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)
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))
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))
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 like...like 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 fact...you 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 redfur...you 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.
Sumrit Shahi (NEVER KISS YOUR BEST FRIEND)
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)
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))
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)
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))
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)
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)
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)
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)
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))
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)
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))
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)
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)
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))
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))
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))
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))
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)
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)
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))
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))
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))
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))
—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))
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))
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))
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
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)
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
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
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))
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)
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))
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))
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))
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
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)
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))
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)
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))
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)
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))
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))
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))