In life, finding a voice is speaking and living the truth. Each of you is an original. Each of you has a distinctive voice. When you find it, your story will be told. You will be heard.
My name is Ashallyn'darkmyr Tallyn, third son of the Unseelie Court...Let it be known--from this day forth, I vow to protect Meghan Chase, daughter of the Summer King, with my sword, my honor, and my life. Her desires are mine. Her wishes are mine. Should even the world stand against her, my blade will be at her side. And should it fail to protect her, let my own existence be forfeit. This I swear, on my honor, my True Name, and my life. From this day on..." His voice went even softer, but I still heard it as though he whispered it into my ear. "I am yours.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3))
I love you Layla. Do you hear me? I've loved you since the first moment I heard your voice and I will continue to love you. No matter what. I love you.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements, #2))
If I were dead and buried And I heard your voice, Beneath the sod My heart of dust Would still rejoice.
I don't like you, Park," she said, sounding for a second like she actually meant it. "I..." - her voice nearly disappeared - "think I live for you."
He closed his eyes and pressed his head back into his pillow.
"I don't think I even breathe when we're not together," she whispered. "Which means, when I see you on Monday morning, it's been like sixty hours since I've taken a breath. That's probably why I'm so crabby, and why I snap at you. All I do when we're apart is think about you, and all I do when we're together is panic. Because every second feels so important. And because I'm so out of control, I can't help myself. I'm not even mine anymore, I'm yours, and what if you decide that you don't want me? How could you want me like I want you?"
He was quiet. He wanted everything she'd just said to be the last thing he heard. He wanted to fall asleep with 'I want you' in his ears.
Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park)
Rose. Roza. Open your eyes." I've never heard heard his voice so strained, so frantic. "Don't go to sleep on me. Not yet.
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
When two souls fall in love, there is nothing else but the
yearning to be close to the other. The presence that is felt
through a hand held, a voice heard, or a smile seen.
Souls do not have calendars or clocks, nor do they understand
the notion of time or distance. They only know it feels right to
be with one another.
This is the reason why you miss someone so much when they
are not there— even if they are only in the very next room.
Your soul only feels their absence— it doesn’t realize the
separation is temporary.
To gain your own voice, forget about having it heard. Become a saint of your own province and your own consciousness.
I can't explain why your name seems so familiar to me, or why it feels like I've heard your voice a thousand times before, but I can explain this ~ your the type of chaos Id bleed for.
I get to keep you,” he said, staring at me with an
intensity that made me shiver.
“Keep me?” I asked, reaching up to kiss his chin and trail
kisses down his perfect neck.
“Not here. I can’t take much more, Pagan. I’m only so
strong,” he said in a husky voice as he pulled me against his
chest. “You’re mine now. While you walk the Earth you
belong to me. Nothing can hurt you.” I heard a touch of
humor in his voice. “It’s pretty impossible to hurt what Death
Abbi Glines (Existence (Existence, #1))
For every door that’s been opened to me, I’ve tried to open my door to others. And here is what I have to say, finally: Let’s invite one another in. Maybe then we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases and stereotypes that unnecessarily divide us. Maybe we can better embrace the ways we are the same. It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
I'm going to die with Alexander's hand on my face, Tatiana thought. That is not a bad way to die. I cannot move. I can't get up. Just can't. She closed her eyes and felt herself drifting. Through the haze in front of her she heard Alexander's voice. "Tatiana, I love you. Do you hear me? I love you like I've never loved anyone in my whole life. Now, get up. For me, Tatia. For me, please get up and go take care of your sister. Go on. And I'll take care of you.
You used your power to toss one rock at me?" he exclaimed, an almost comic note of incredulity in his voice.
"On the contrary," I heard Dorian say pleasantly. "I didn't use magic for that. I just threw it.
Richelle Mead (Storm Born (Dark Swan, #1))
Two people have been living in you all your life. One is the ego, garrulous, demanding, hysterical, calculating; the other is the hidden spiritual being, whose still voice of wisdom you have only rarely heard or attended to.
I can feel you
staring at me,” he said in the softest wake-up voice I’d ever heard. “I only
hope you’re a girl and not one of the drunken guys.
Piper Shelly (Play With Me (Grover Beach Team, #1))
You’re alive," she whispered. "Really alive."
With a slow wonderment he reached to touch her face. "I was in the dark," he said softly.
"There was nothing there but shadows, and I was a shadow, and I knew that I was dead, and that it was over, all of it. And then I heard your voice. I heard you say my name, and it brought me back."
"Not me." Clary’s throat tightened. "The Angel brought you back."
"Because you asked him to." Silently he traced the outline of her face with his fingers, as if reassuring himself that she was real. "You could have had anything else in the world, and you asked for me."
She smiled up at him. Filthy as he was, covered in blood and dirt, he was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen. "But I don’t want anything else in the world.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
I do understand that you can look into someone’s eyes,” I heard myself saying, “and suddenly know that life will be impossible without them. Know that their voice can make your heart miss a beat and that their company is all your happiness can ever desire and that their absence will leave your soul alone, bereft and lost.
Bernard Cornwell (The Winter King (The Warlord Chronicles, #1))
Haven't I? - he thought. Haven't I thought of it since the first time I saw you? Haven't I thought of nothing else for two years? ...He sat motionless, looking at her. He heard the words he had never allowed himself to form, the words he had felt, known, yet had not faced, had hoped to destroy by never letting them be said within his own mind. Now it was as sudden and shocking as if he were saying it to her ...Since the first time I saw you ...Nothing but your body, that mouth of yours, and the way your eyes would look at me, if ...Through every sentence I ever said to you, through every conference you thought so safe, through the importance of all the issues we discussed ...You trusted me, didn't you? To recognize your greatness? To think of you as you deserved - as if you were a man? ...Don't you suppose I know how much I've betrayed? The only bright encounter of my life - the only person I respected - the best business man I know - my ally - my partner in a desperate battle ...The lowest of all desires - as my answer to the highest I've met ...Do you know what I am? I thought of it, because it should have been unthinkable. For that degrading need, which would never touch you, I have never wanted anyone but you ...I hadn't known what it was like, to want it, until I saw you for the first time. I had thought : Not I, I couldn't be broken by it ...Since then ...For two years ...With not a moments respite ...Do you know what it's like, to want it? Would you wish to hear what I thought when I looked at you ...When I lay awake at night ...When I hear your voice over a telephone wire ...When I worked, but could not drive it away? ...To bring you down to things you cant conceive - and to know that it's I who have done it. To reduce you to a body, to teach you an animal's pleasure, to see you need it, to see you asking me for it, to see your wonderful spirit dependent on the upon the obscenity of your need. To watch you as you are, as you face the world with your clean, proud strength - then to see you, in my bed, submitting to any infamous whim I may devise, to any act which I'll preform for the sole purpose of watching your dishonor and to which you'll submit for the sake of an unspeakable sensation ...I want you - and may I be damned for it!
You see!" said a strained voice. Tonks was glaring at Lupin. "She still wants to marry him, even though he's been bitten! She doesn't care!"
"It's different," said Lupin, barely moving his lips and looking suddenly tense. "Bill will not be a full werewolf. The cases are completely-"
"But I don't care either, I don't care!" said Tonks, seizing the front of Lupin's robes and shaking them. "I've told you a million times...."
And the meaning of Tonk's Patronus and her mouse-colored hair, and the reason she had come running to find Dumbledore when she had heard a rumor someone had been attacked by Greyback, all suddenly became clear to Harry; it had not been Sirius that Tonks had fallen in love with after all.
"And I've told you a million times," said Lupin, refusing to meet her eyes, staring at the floor, "that I am too old for you, too poor....too dangerous...."
"I've said all along you're taking a ridiculous line on this, Remus," said Mrs. Weasley over Fleur's shoulder as she patted her on the back.
"I am not being ridiculous," said Lupin steadily. "Tonks deserves somebody young and whole."
"But she wants you," said Mr. Weasley, with a small smile. "And after all, Remus, young and whole men do not necessarily remain so."
He gestured sadly at his son, lying between them.
"This is....not the moment to discuss it," said Lupin, avoiding everybody's eyes as he looked around distractedly. "Dumbledore is dead...."
"Dumbledore would have been happier than anybody to think that there was a little more love in the world," said Professor McGonagall curtly...
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
After you died I couldn't hold a funeral,
So these eyes that once beheld you became a shrine.
These ears that once heard your voice became a shrine.
These lungs that once inhaled your breath became a shrine.
Han Kang (Human Acts)
The truth is you already know what it's like. You already know the difference between the size and speed of everything that flashes through you and the tiny inadequate bit of it all you can ever let anyone know. As though inside you is this enormous room full of what seems like everything in the whole universe at one time or another and yet the only parts that get out have to somehow squeeze out through one of those tiny keyholes you see under the knob in older doors. As if we are all trying to see each other through these tiny keyholes.
But it does have a knob, the door can open. But not in the way you think...The truth is you've already heard this. That this is what it's like. That it's what makes room for the universes inside you, all the endless inbent fractals of connection and symphonies of different voices, the infinities you can never show another soul. And you think it makes you a fraud, the tiny fraction anyone else ever sees? Of course you're a fraud, of course what people see is never you. And of course you know this, and of course you try to manage what part they see if you know it's only a part. Who wouldn't? It's called free will, Sherlock. But at the same time it's why it feels so good to break down and cry in front of others, or to laugh, or speak in tongues, or chant in Bengali--it's not English anymore, it's not getting squeezed through any hole.
So cry all you want, I won't tell anybody.
David Foster Wallace (Oblivion: Stories)
Years after the war, after marriages, children, divorces, books, he came to Paris with his wife. He phoned her. It's me. She recognized him at once from the voice. He said, I just wanted to hear your voice. She said, it's me, hello. He was nervous, afraid, as before. His voice suddenly trembled. And with the trembling, suddenly, she heard again the voice of China. He knew she'd begun writing books, he'd heard about it through her mother whom he'd met again in Saigon. And about her younger brother, and he'd been grieved for her. Then he didn't know what to say. And then he told her. Told her that it was as before, that he still loved her, he could never stop loving her, that he'd love her until death.
Marguerite Duras (The Lover (The Lover, #1))
What is your name?” I asked, voice hoarse.
“Alexandria,” she repeated in a soft voice I’d never heard Alex use in real life.
“And who am I?”
“Aiden.” She smiled, and I flinched. “You are my Master.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Elixir (Covenant, #3.5))
But...surely you know where your nephew is going?' she asked, looking bewildered.
'Certainly we know,' said Vernon Dursley. 'He's off with some of your lot, isn't he?
Right, Dudley, let's get in the car, you heard the man, we're in a hurry.'
Again, Vernon Dursley marched as far as the front door, but Dudley did not follow.
'Off with some of our lot?'
Hestia looked outraged. Harry had met the attitude before: witches and wizards seemed stunned that his closest living family took so little interest in the famous Harry Potter.
'It's fine,' Harry assured her. 'It doesn't matter, honestly.'
'Doesn't matter?' repeated Hestia, her voice rising ominously.
'Don't these people realise what you've been through? What danger you are in? The unique position you hold in the hearts of the anti-Voldemort movement?
'Er - no, they don't,' said Harry. 'They think I'm a waste of space, actually, but I'm used to -'
'I don't think you're a waste of space.'
If Harry had not seen Dudley's lips move, he might not have believed it.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
What a woman you are,” he murmured, and she heard the emotion in it, the
way the Irish thickened just a bit in his voice. And saw it in those vivid eyes when he drew back. “That you would think of this. That you would do this.”
He shook his head, kissed her. Like the breath, long and quiet.
“I can’t thank you enough. There isn’t enough thanks. I can’t say what this means to me, even to you. I don’t have the words for it.” He took her hands,
brought them both to his lips. “A ghra. You stagger me.”
He framed her face now, touched his lips to her brow. “You’re the beat of my heart, the breath in my body, the light in my soul.
J.D. Robb (Indulgence in Death (In Death, #31))
Then I went to the morgue and saw that those bones weren't yours, heard your voice again in my head" -his eyes closed- "and once more, nothing else mattered.
Jeaniene Frost (Twice Tempted (Night Prince, #2))
You're gonna fall now,' I heard Angel say in a normal voice. I swung my head to see gravely watching an Eraser who looked confused, paralyzed. Angel shifted her gaze to the water below. Fear entered the Eraser's eyes, and his wings folded. He dropped like a rock.
You're getting scary, you know that?'I said to Angel, not really kidding. I mean, making an Eraser drop right out of the sky just by telling him to - jeez.
James Patterson (School's Out—Forever (Maximum Ride, #2))
The main thing about ghosts – most of them have lost their voices. In Asphodel, millions of them wander around aimlessly, trying to remember who they were. You know why they end up like that? Because in life they never took a stand one way or another. They never spoke out, so they were never heard. Your voice is your identity. If you don’t use it,’ Nico said with a shrug, ‘you’re halfway to Asphodel already.’
He hated when his own advice applied to himself.
Rick Riordan (The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5))
Party lights hang over the street, yellow and red and green. Sadie stumbles over someone’s chair, but I’m ready for this and I catch her easily by the arm.
“Sorry, clumsy,” she says.
“You always were, Sadie. One of your more endearing traits.”
Before she can ask about that I slip my arm around her waist. She slips hers around mine, still looking up at me. The lights skate across her cheeks and shine in her eyes. We clasp hands, fingers folding together naturally, and for me the years fall away like a coat that’s too heavy and too tight. In that moment, I hope on thing above all others: that she was not too busy to find at least one good man …
She speaks in a voice almost too low to be heard over the music. But I hear her – I always did. “Who are you, George?”
“Someone you knew in another life, honey.
Stephen King (11/22/63)
One thing, though," Qhuinn murmured.
The voice that came out his throat was unlike anything he'd ever heard from himself before. "If any guy breaks your heart or treats you like shit, I will bust him apart with my bare hands and leave his broken, bloody body for the sun."
Blay's laughter rumbled around the tiled walls. "Of course you will--"
"I'm dead fucking serious."
Blay's blue eyes shot over his shoulder.
"If there are any who dare to hurt you," Qhuinn growled in the Old Language, "I shall see them staked afore me and shall leave their bodies in ruin.
J.R. Ward (Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6))
While this is all very amusing, the kiss that will free the girl is the kiss that she most desires,” she said. “Only that and nothing more.”
Jace’s heart started to pound. He met the Queen’s eyes with his own. “Why are you doing this?”
… “Desire is not always lessened by disgust…And as my words bind my magic, so you can know the truth. If she doesn’t desire your kiss, she won’t be free.”
“You don’t have to do this, Clary, it’s a trick—” (Simon)
...Isabelle sounded exasperated. ‘Who cares, anyway? It’s just a kiss.”
“That’s right,” Jace said. Clary looked up, then finally, and her wide green eyes rested on him. He moved toward her... and put his hand on her shoulder, turning her to face him… He could feel the tension in his own body, the effort of holding back, of not pulling her against him and taking this one chance, however dangerous and stupid and unwise, and kissing her the way he had thought he would never, in his life, be able to kiss her again. “It’s just a kiss,” he said, and heard the roughness in his own voice, and wondered if she heard it, too.
Not that it mattered—there was no way to hide it. It was too much. He had never wanted like this before... She understood him, laughed when he laughed, saw through the defenses he put up to what was underneath. There was no Jace Wayland more real than the one he saw in her eyes when she looked at him… All he knew was that whatever he had to owe to Hell or Heaven for this chance, he was going to make it count.
He...whispered in her ear. “You can close your eyes and think of England, if you like,” he said.
Her eyes fluttered shut, her lashes coppery lines against her pale, fragile skin. “I’ve never even been to England,” she said, and the softness, the anxiety in her voice almost undid him. He had never kissed a girl without knowing she wanted it too, usually more than he did, and this was Clary, and he didn’t know what she wanted. Her eyes were still closed, but she shivered, and leaned into him — barely, but it was permission enough.
His mouth came down on hers. And that was it. All the self-control he’d exerted over the past weeks went, like water crashing through a broken dam. Her arms came up around his neck and he pulled her against him… His hands flattened against her back... and she was up on the tips of her toes, kissing him as fiercely as he was kissing her... He clung to her more tightly, knotting his hands in her hair, trying to tell her, with the press of his mouth on hers, all the things he could never say out loud...
His hands slid down to her waist... he had no idea what he would have done or said next, if it would have been something he could never have pretended away or taken back, but he heard a soft hiss of laughter — the Faerie Queen — in his ears, and it jolted him back to reality. He pulled away from Clary before he it was too late, unlocking her hands from around his neck and stepping back... Clary was staring at him. Her lips were parted, her hands still open. Her eyes were wide. Behind her, Alec and Isabelle were gaping at them; Simon looked as if he was about to throw up.
...If there had ever been any hope that he could have come to think of Clary as just his sister, this — what had just happened between them — had exploded it into a thousand pieces... He tried to read Clary’s face — did she feel the same? … I know you felt it, he said to her with his eyes, and it was half bitter triumph and half pleading. I know you felt it, too…She glanced away from him... He whirled on the Queen. “Was that good enough?” he demanded. “Did that entertain you?”
The Queen gave him a look: special and secretive and shared between the two of them. “We are quite entertained," she said. “But not, I think, so much as the both of you.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
Let's invite one another in. Maybe then we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases and stereotypes that unnecessarily divide us. Maybe we can better embrace the ways we are the same. It's not about being perfect. It's not about where you get yourself in the end. There's power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there's grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
Close your eyes,” he said. Without waiting for me, he pressed his hand over my eyelids, shutting them for me. I felt the love seat shift as he slid in beside me, heard the inexplicably loud sound of the cover opening, the pages inside scraping against each other as he turned them.
Then I felt his breath on my ear as he said, voice barely audible, “‘I am alone in the world, and yet not alone enough to make each hour holy. I am lowly in this world, and yet not lowly enough for me to be just a thing to you, dark and shrewd. I want my will and I want to go with my will as it moves towards action.’” He paused, long, the only sound his breath, a little ragged, before he went on, “‘And I want, in those silent, somehow faltering times, to be with someone who knows, or else alone. I want to reflect everything about you, and I never want to be too blind or too ancient to keep your profound wavering image with me. I want to unfold. I don’t want to be folded anywhere, because there, where I’m folded, I am a lie.
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
Your voice has haunted every inch of my soul since the last time I heard it…my world had been so dark, void of sound and then I heard you sing again—and it exploded. Everything came crashing down on me that I’d been holding in, and then I was just a mess. But I wasn’t suffering in silence anymore. I was suffering from the impenetrable sound of your voice on repeat in my head.
Cassandra Giovanni (Finding Perfection (Beautifully Flawed, #3))
Did you eat my Twinkies?"
She gulped. Keeping her eyes glued to the whip, she said, "Exactly what Twinkies are we talking about?"
"The Twinkies in the cupboard over the sink. The only Twinkies in the trailer." His fingers convulsed around the coils of leather.
Oh, Lord, she thought. Flayed to death for a Twinkle.
"It, uh — it won't happen again, I promise you. But they didn't have any special marking on them, so there was no way I could tell they were yours." Her eyes remained riveted on the whip. "And normally I wouldn't have eaten them— I never eat junk food-—but I was hungry last night, and, well, when you think about it, you'll have to admit I did you a favor because they're clogging my arteries now instead of yours."
His voice was quiet. Too quiet. In her mind she heard the howl of a rampaging Cossack baying at a Russian moon. "Don't touch my Twinkies. Ever. If you want Twinkies, buy your own.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Kiss an Angel)
Okay. I don’t know if I have the right words, but love is this feeling I get when I look at you. A feeling that as long as you’re near me, or in the world even, then everything will be okay. That everything has meaning. It’s as if the world was all shades of sepia—like an old movie reel—and that everywhere I looked I saw suffering and pain. Then I heard your voice, I saw your face, and somehow the color came into everything.
Ryan Winfield (Jane's Melody (Jane's Melody, #1))
When two souls fall in love, there is nothing else but the yearning to be close to the other. The presence that is felt through a hand held, a voice heard, or a smile seen.
Souls do not have calendars or clocks, nor do they understand the notion of time or distance. They only know it feels right to be with one another.
This is the reason why you miss someone so much when they are not there—even if they are only in the very next room. Your soul only feels their absence—it doesn't realize the separation is temporary.
Lang Leav (Love & Misadventure)
I heard the car door shut and then Fabian's voice. "You won't believe what I found around the edge of your property," the ghost announced. "A cave with prehistoric painting inside it!" I rolled my eyes. That was the best tactic Fabian could come up with? This was a vampire he was trying to stall, not a paleontologist.
Jeaniene Frost (The Bite Before Christmas (Argeneau, #15.5; Night Huntress, #6.5))
When I was mad, I didn’t raise my voice. Instead, I lowered it to a register that you heard with your bones, not your ears.
Tayari Jones (An American Marriage)
Professor Langdon,' called a young man with curly hair in the back row, 'if Masonry is not a secret society, not a corporation, and not a religion, then what is it?'
'Well, if you were to ask a Mason, he would offer the following definition: Masonry is a system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.'
'Sounds to me like a euphemism for "freaky cult." '
'Freaky, you say?'
'Hell yes!' the kid said, standing up. 'I heard what they do inside those secret buildings! Weird candlelight rituals with coffins, and nooses, and drinking wine out of skulls. Now that's freaky!'
Langdon scanned the class. 'Does that sound freaky to anyone else?'
'Yes!' they all chimed in.
Langdon feigned a sad sigh. 'Too bad. If that's too freaky for you, then I know you'll never want to join my cult.'
Silence settled over the room. The student from the Women's Center looked uneasy. 'You're in a cult?'
Langdon nodded and lowered his voice to a conspiratorial whisper. 'Don't tell anyone, but on the pagan day of the sun god Ra, I kneel at the foot of an ancient instrument of torture and consume ritualistic symbols of blood and flesh.'
The class looked horrified.
Langdon shrugged. 'And if any of you care to join me, come to the Harvard chapel on Sunday, kneel beneath the crucifix, and take Holy Communion.'
The classroom remained silent.
Langdon winked. 'Open your minds, my friends. We all fear what we do not understand.
Dan Brown (The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3))
How very like you, Puck.” Ash’s voice came from a great distance, and the room started to spin. “Offer them a taste of faery wine, and act surprised when they’re consumed by it.”
That struck me as hilarious, and I broke into hysterical giggles. And once I began, I couldn’t stop. I laughed until I was gasping for breath, tears streaming down my face. My feet itched and my skin crawled. I needed to move, to do something. I tried standing up, wanting to spin and dance, but the room tilted violently and I fell, still shrieking with laughter.
Somebody caught me, scooping me off my feet and into their arms. I smelled frost and winter, and heard an exasperated sigh from somewhere above my head.
“What are you doing, Ash?” I heard someone ask. A familiar voice, though I couldn’t think of his name, or why he sounded so suspicious.
“I’m taking her back to her room.” The person above me sounded wonderfully calm and deep. I sighed and settled into his arms. “She’ll have to sleep off the effects of the fruit. We’ll likely be here another day because of your idiocy.”
The other voice said something garbled and unintelligible. I was suddenly too sleepy and light-headed to care. Relaxing against the mysterious person’s chest, I fell into a heady sleep.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1))
Don't let me go off to the front without having touched you for the first time, without having heard your voice say my name. Don't let me go off to the front without a memory of you in my heart.
Jessica Brockmole (Letters from Skye)
Good,” said Gideon. “It means the effect of the alcohol is wearing off. One question, by the way: what did you want a hairbrush for?”
“I wanted it as a substitute for a mike,” I murmured through my fingers. “Oh, my God! I’m so horrible.”
“But you have a pretty voice,” said Gideon. “Even I liked it, and I told you I hate musicals.”
“Then how come you can play songs from them so well?” I put my hands in my lap and looked at him. “You were amazing! Is there anything you can’t do?” Good heavens, I heard myself sounding like a groupie.
“No. Go ahead, you’re welcome to think me some kind of god!” He was grinning now. “It’s rather sweet of you!
Kerstin Gier (Saphirblau (Edelstein-Trilogie, #2))
I have loved you from the moment I heard your voice. Thank you for coming here, and being my Christmas miracle.
Alexa Riley (Snow and Mistletoe)
And that was as far as he got before i heard it. The thumping of footsteps, running up the lawn toward me: It seemed like I could hear it through the grass, like leaning your ear to a railroad track and feeling the train coming, miles away. As the noise got closer I could hear ragged breaths, and then a voice.
It was my mother.
Sarah Dessen (Dreamland)
Not a cat moved
Tigerstar's amber eyes widened and he screeched "Attack, I order you!"
Still none of the warriors moved, eccept for the small black cat who took a pace forward. He glanced twored Firestar. "I am Scourge, leader of Bloodclan," he meowed, his voice cold and quiet. "Tigerstar, my warriors are not yours to command. They will attack when I tell them, and not before."
The look Tigerstar gave him was incredulous and glittered with all the hatred he had ever shown to Firestar, as is he couldn't beleive that this scrap of a cat was defying him. Firestar seized his oppertunity. He paced forward untill he stood right infront of the two leaders. Behind him, he heard graystripe hiss, "Firestar,be
But this was no time for being careful. The very future of the forest was at stake, balanced on the breadth of a hair between Tigerstar's bloodthirsty quest for power and the whims of the unknown bloodclan.
Now Firestar could see that the collar Scourge wore around his neck was studded with teath--The teath of dogs, and...CATS' teath too. Great Starclan! Did they kill their own kind and wear there teath as trophies?
Erin Hunter (The Darkest Hour (Warriors, #6))
I laid back the lounge chair and rolled to my stomach, content.
Sounds of splashing faded as I dozed.
And then I heard a beautiful voice. . . .
“Cover your arse, and nobody gets hurt.”
I lifted my head to see Kaidan crouched next to me. He was here! Just as I was about to get up and throw my arms around him, his gaze slid down my body to my butt and stayed there. Hello, stormy eyes.
I felt twice as hot under the sun as I had one minute ago.
I threw the towel over my body, which forced his eyes back to mine.
“Hey,” I whispered.
He touched my face, and I leaned into his palm.
“I feel like it’s been a year since I saw you,” he said softly. “I’ve missed you.”
I reached up and cupped his hand. “I’ve missed you, too.”
“But you’re still in trouble.” His voice was low and gravelly.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Reckoning (Sweet, #3))
These days, I strive to be a bitch, because not being one sucks. Not being a bitch means not having your voice heard. Not being a bitch means you agree with all the bullshit. Not being a bitch means you don't appreciate all the other bitches who have come before you. Not being a bitch means since Eve ate that apple, we will forever have to pay for her bitchiness with complacence, obedience, acceptance, closed eyes, and opened legs.
Margaret Cho (Bitchfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine)
O Lord my God, tell me what you are to me. Say to my soul, I am your salvation. Say it so that I can hear it. My heart is listening, Lord; open the ears of my heard and say to my soul, I am your salvation. Let me run toward this voice and seize hold of you. Do not hide your face from me: let me die so that I may see it, for not to see it would be death to me indeed.
Augustine of Hippo (Confessions)
Then I heard your voice as clear as day,
And you told me I should concentrate,
It was all so strange,
And so surreal,
That a ghost should be so practical.
Only if for a night
And the only solution was to stand and fight,
And my body was bruised and
I was set alight,
But you came over me like some holy rite,
And although I was burning,
You're the only light
Only if for a night
How can you sleep at a time like this?” she asked, but the only answer was a low snore. She looked at him suspiciously. In the short time she had been with him, she had never before heard him snore.
“You’re faking,” she said.
“No. I’m really fast asleep,” came his voice from under the cowl.
John Flanagan (The Royal Ranger (Ranger's Apprentice #12 Ranger's Apprentice: The Royal Ranger #1))
Edward spoke in a voice so peaceful and gentle that it made the words strangely more threatening. "I'm not going to kill you now, because it would upset Bella."
"Hmph," I grumbled.
Edward turned slightly to throw me a quick smile. His face was still calm. "It would bother you in the morning," he said, brushing his fingers across my cheek.
The he turned back to Jacob. "But if you ever bring her back damaged again--and I don't care whose fault it is; I don't care if she merely trips, or if a meteor falls out of the sky and hits her in the head--if you return her to me in less than the perfect condition that I left her in, you will be running with three legs. Do you understand that, mongrel?"
Jacob rolled his eyes.
"who's going back?" I muttered
Edward continued as if he hadn't heard me. "And if you ever kiss her again, I wiil break your jaw for her," he promised, his voice still gentle and velvet deadly.
"What if she wants me to?" Jacob drawled, arrogant.
"Hah!" I snorted.
"If that's what she wants, then I won't object." Edward shrugged, untroubled. "You might want to wait for her to say it, rather than trust your interpretation of body language-but it's your face."
"You wish," I grumbled.
"Yes, he does," Edward murmured.
"Well, if you're done rummaging through my head," Jacob said with a think edge of annoyance, "why don't you go take care of her hand?"
"One more thing," Edward said slowly. "I'll be fighting for her, too. You should know that. I'm not taking anything for granted, and I'll be fighting twice as hard as you will."
"Good," Jacob growled. "it's no fun beating someone who forfeits."
She is mine." Edward's low voice was suddenly dark, not as composed as before, "i did't say I would fight fair."
"Neither did I."
"Best of luck."
Jacob nodded. "Yes, may the best man win."
"That sounds about right...pup.
Stephenie Meyer (Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, #3))
I've heard fate talked of. It's not a word I use. I think we make our own choices. I think how we live our lives is our own doing, and we cannot fully hope on dreams and stars. But dreams and stars can guide us, perhaps. And the heart's voice is a strong one. Always is.
Your heart's voice is your true voice. It is easy to ignore it, for sometimes it says what we'd rather it did not - and it is so hard to risk the things we have. But what life are we living, if we don't live by our hearts? Not a true one. And the person living it is not the true you.
Susan Fletcher (Corrag)
I...I'm sorry," Kylie mumbled.
"Don't you even try to talk your way out of me being pissed!" Burnett growled. "Not a word!"
"That's two words and I said not one!" he snapped, and he swiped his hand through the air for emphasis.
Kylie bit down on her lip, and wouldn't you know it that's when the tears started flowing. Big, fat, and fast tears. She sniffled and wiped her cheeks with the back of her hand. Her breath caught in her chest. But damn it. Why couldn't this have happened when she was alone?
"Those tears do not affect me, young lady!" He pointed a finger at her. While she couldn't hear his heart beat to the rhythm of a lie, she heard it in his voice.
"Did I say you could talk?" he asked. He did three more pacing laps, as if working off steam, before he looked at her again. "Where were you going, Kylie?"
When she just looked at him, he bit out, "Answer me."
"You said I couldn't talk.
C.C. Hunter (Chosen at Nightfall (Shadow Falls, #5))
I heard a cry in the night,
A thousand miles it came,
Sharp as a flash of light,
My name, my name!
It was your voice I heard,
You waked and loved me so --
I send you back this word,
I know, I know!
Sara Teasdale (Love Songs)
What I was still out of it, I heard your voice in my head- I think it’s why I woke up.”
Her face tried its best to burst into flames. “Sorry, I-“
“Don’t be,” he interrupted. “I’m glad I’m awake.”
“So am I,” she admitted. “But... you have to be super careful, okay?”
“I will if you will,” he made her promise.
He waited for her to meet his eyes, and when she did, he gave her the sweetest smile she’d ever seen.
“By the way,” he murmured, pressing Mr. Snuggles against his heart. “I missed you too.
Shannon Messenger (Flashback (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #7))
I'll just be your brother from now on."
he said, looking at her with a hopeful expectation that she would be pleased, which made her want to scream that he was smashing her heart into pieces and he had to stop. "That's what you wanted, isn't it?"
It took her a long time to answer, and when she did, her own voice sounded like an echo, coming from very far away.
"Yes," she said, and she heard the rush of waves in her ears and her eyes stung as if from sand or salt spray. "That's what I wanted.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
Imagine a person created for you. Another being so in tune with you that their voice was the clearest you’ve ever heard in your mind.
Elizabeth Hunter (The Scribe (Irin Chronicles, #1))
Bella: "Why am I covered in feathers?"
Bella:"You… bit a pillow? Why?"
Bella: "You listen to me, Edward Cullen. I am not pretending anything for your sake, okay? I didn’t even know there was a reason to make you feel better until you started being all miserable. I’ve never been so happy in all my life – I wasn’t this happy when you decided that you loved me more than you wanted to kill me, or the first morning I woke up and you were there waiting for me… Not when I heard your voice in the ballet studio, or when you said ‘I do’ and I realized that, somehow, I get to keep you forever. Those are the happiest memories I have, and this is better than any of it. So just deal with it."
Edward: "We’re just lucky it was the pillows and not you."
Edward: "You are making me insane, Bella."
Edward: "You are so human, Bella. Ruled by your hormones."
Edward :"So you seduced your all-too-willing husband. That’s not a capital offense.
Stephenie Meyer (Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, #4))
How strange, Royce thought, that, after emerging victorious from more than a hundred real battles, the greatest moment of triumph he had ever known had come to him on a mock battlefield where he'd stood alone, unhorsed, and defeated. This morning, his life had seemed as bleak as death. Tonight, he held joy in his arms. Someone or something—fate or fortune or Jenny's God—had looked down upon him this morning and seen his anguish. And, for some reason, Jenny had been given back to him.
Closing his eyes, Royce brushed a kiss against her smooth forehead. Thank you, he thought.
And in his heart, he could have sworn he heard a voice answer, You're welcome.
Judith McNaught (A Kingdom of Dreams (Westmoreland, #1))
How nice for you. Now I want you to promise me that if I move, you won't do something stupid." Macey was just starting to protest when Hale stopped and brought his hand to his ear. "Besides, there's someone who wants to talk to you." He held out the extra earbud, whispering softly in the too quiet room. "It goes in your ear and---"
But before he could finish, Macey rolled her eyes and placed the bud in her ear. "This is peacock," she whispered.
She watched Hale's eyes go wide as she heard a very familiar voice say, "You're not getting extra credit for this. Now"---Macey's teacher took a long, easy breath---"whats going on in there?
Ally Carter (Double Crossed: A Spies and Thieves Story (Gallagher Girls, #5.5; Heist Society, #2.5))
As I exclaimed 'Jane! Jane! Jane!' a voice- I cannot tell whence the voice came, but I know whose voice it was- replied, 'I am coming: wait for me;' and a moment after, went whispering on the wind the words- 'Where are you?' "I'll tell you, if I can, the idea, the picture these words opened to my mind: yet it is difficult to express what I want to express. Ferndean is buried, as you see, in a heavy wood, where sound falls dull, and dies unreverberating. 'Where are you?' seemed spoken amongst mountains; for I heard a hill-sent echo repeat the words. Cooler and fresher at the moment the gale seemed to visit my brow: I could have deemed that in some wild, lone scene, I and Jane were meeting. In spirit, I believe we must have met. You no doubt were, at that hour, in unconscious sleep, Jane: perhaps your soul wandered from its cell to comfort mine; for those were your accents- as certain as I live- they were yours!" Reader, it was on Monday night- near midnight- that I too had received the mysterious summons: those were the very words by which I replied to it.
(Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre)
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
To sing, to laugh, to dream, to walk in my own way and be alone, free, with an eye to see things as they are, a voice that means manhood—to cock my hat where I choose—
At a word, a Yes, a No, to fight—or write. To travel any road under the sun, under the stars, nor doubt if fame or fortune lie beyond the bourne—
Never to make a line I have not heard in my own heart; yet, with all modesty to say: "My soul, be satisfied with flowers, with fruit, with weeds even; but gather them in the one garden you may call your own.
Edmond Rostand (Cyrano de Bergerac)
Don't let fear keep you quiet. You have a voice, so use it. Speak up. Raise your hands. Shout your answers. Make yourself heard. Whatever it takes, just find your voice and when you do, fill the damn silence.
Whenever anyone has called me a bitch, I have taken it as a compliment. To me, a bitch is assertive, unapologetic, demanding, intimidating, intelligent, fiercely protective, in control — all very positive attributes. But it’s not supposed to be a compliment, because there’s that stupid double standard: When men are aggressive and dominant, they are admired, but when a woman possesses those same qualities, she is dismissed and called a bitch.
These days, I strive to be a bitch, because not being one sucks. Not being a bitch means not having your voice heard. Not being a bitch means you agree with all the bullshit. Not being a bitch means you don’t appreciate all the other bitches who have come before you. Not being a bitch means since Eve ate that apple, we will forever have to pay for her bitchiness with complacence, obedience, acceptance, closed eyes, and open legs.
I listened for the voice I knew so well, the one I always heard at the beginning.
Good girl, Macy! You're doing great! You know the first steps are the hardest part!
They were. Sometimes I felt so out of sync, it was all could do not to quit after a few strides. But I kept on, as I did now. I had to, to get to the next part, this part, where I finally caught up with Wes, my shadow aligning itself with his, an dhe turned to look at me, pushing his hair our of his eyes.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
Zhi yin. Jem had told her once that it meant understanding music, and also a bond that went deeper than friendship. Jem played, and he played the years of Will's life as he had seen them. He played two little boys in the training room, one showing the other how to throw knives, and he played the ritual of parabatai: the fire and the vows and burning runes. He played two young men running through the streets of London in the dark, stopping to lean up against a wall and laugh together. He played the day in the library when he and Will had jested with Tessa about ducks, and he played the train to Yorkshire on which Jem had said that parabatai were meant to love each other as they loved their own souls. He played that love, and he played their love for Tessa, and hers for them, and he played Will saying, In your eyes I have always found grace. He played the too few times he had seen them since he had joined the Brotherhood- the brief meetings at the Institute; the time when Will had been bitten by a Shax demon and nearly died, and Jem had come from the Silent City and sat with him all night, risking discovery and punishment. And he played the birth of their first son, and the protection ceremony that had been carried out on the child in the Silent City. Will would have no other Silent Brother but Jem perform it. And Jem played the way he had covered his scarred face with his hands and turned away when he'd found out the child's name was James.
He played of love and loss and years of silence, words unsaid and vows unspoken, and all the spaces between his heart and theirs; and when he was done, and he'd set the violin back in its box, Will's eyes were closed, but Tessa's were full of tears. Jem set down his bow, and came toward the bed, drawing back his hood, so she could see his closed eyes and his scarred face. And he had sat down beside them on the bed, and taken Will's hand, the one that Tessa was not holding, and both Will and Tessa heard Jem's voice in their minds.
I take your hand, brother, so that you may go in peace.
Will had opened the blue eyes that had never lost their color over all the passing years, and looked at Jem and then Tessa, and smiled, and died, with Tessa's head on his shoulder and his hand in Jem's.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
I said, "I'll take the T-bone steak."
A soft voice mooed, "Oh wow."
And I looked up and realized
The waitress was a cow.
I cried, "Mistake--forget the the steak.
I'll take the chicken then."
I heard a cluck--'twas just my luck
The busboy was a hen.
I said, "Okay no, fowl today.
I'll have the seafood dish."
Then I saw through the kitchen door
The cook--he was a fish.
I screamed, "Is there anyone workin' here
Who's an onion or a beet?
No? Your're sure? Okay then friends,
A salad's what I'll eat."
They looked at me. "Oh,no," they said,
"The owner is a cabbage head.
Let your words be your voice. And let your voice be heard within the hearts of others.
Anasia Nicole Hixon (In the Midst of It All)
I heard my name." Ash's voice startles me. "You tow better not be making fun of me about this stupid bra Mama's making me wear. I've had it with the jokes. I'll break both your noses if it doesn't stop.
Abbi Glines (The Vincent Boys (The Vincent Boys, #1))
In the time she had been with him, she had never before heard him snore. “You’re faking,” she said. “No. I’m really fast asleep,” came his voice from under the cowl.
John Flanagan (The Royal Ranger (Ranger's Apprentice, #12))
What was she thinking?” muttered Alexander, closing his eyes and imagining his Tania.
“She was determined. It was like some kind of a personal crusade with her,” Ina said. “She gave the doctor a liter of blood for you—”
“Where did she get it from?”
“Herself, of course.” Ina smiled. “Lucky for you, Major, our Nurse Metanova is a universal donor.”
Of course she is, thought Alexander, keeping his eyes tightly shut.
Ina continued. “The doctor told her she couldn’t give any more, and she said a liter wasn’t enough, and he said, ‘Yes, but you don’t have more to give,’ and she said, ‘I’ll make more,’ and he said, ‘No,’ and she said, ‘Yes,’ and in four hours, she gave him another half-liter of blood.”
Alexander lay on his stomach and listened intently while Ina wrapped fresh gauze on his wound.
He was barely breathing.
“The doctor told her, ‘Tania, you’re wasting your time. Look at his burn. It’s going to get infected.’ There wasn’t enough penicillin to give to you, especially since your blood count was so
low.” Alexander heard Ina chuckle in disbelief. “So I’m making my rounds late that night, and who do I find next to your bed? Tatiana. She’s sitting with a syringe in her arm, hooked up to a
catheter, and I watch her, and I swear to God, you won’t believe it when I tell you, Major, but I see that the catheter is attached to the entry drip in your IV.” Ina’s eyes bulged. “I watch her
draining blood from the radial artery in her arm into your IV. I ran in and said, ‘Are you crazy? Are you out of your mind? You’re siphoning blood from yourself into him?’ She said to me in
her calm, I-won’t-stand-for-any-argument voice, ‘Ina, if I don’t, he will die.’ I yelled at her. I said, ‘There are thirty soldiers in the critical wing who need sutures and bandages and their wounds cleaned. Why don’t you take care of them and let God take care of the dead?’ And she said, ‘He’s not dead. He is still alive, and while he is alive, he is mine.’ Can you believe it, Major? But that’s what she said. ‘Oh, for God’s sake,’ I said to her. ‘Fine, die yourself. I don’t care.’ But the next morning I went to complain to Dr. Sayers that she wasn’t following procedure,
told him what she had done, and he ran to yell at her.” Ina lowered her voice to a sibilant, incredulous whisper. “We found her unconscious on the floor by your bed. She was in a dead faint, but you had taken a turn for the better. All your vital signs were up. And Tatiana got up from the floor, white as death itself, and said to the doctor coldly, ‘Maybe now you can give him the penicillin he needs?’ I could see the doctor was stunned. But he did. Gave you penicillin and more plasma and extra morphine. Then he operated on you, to get bits of the shell fragment out
of you, and saved your kidney. And stitched you. And all that time she never left his side, or yours. He told her your bandages needed to be changed every three hours to help with drainage,
to prevent infection. We had only two nurses in the terminal wing, me and her. I had to take care of all the other patients, while all she did was take care of you. For fifteen days and nights she unwrapped you and cleaned you and changed your dressings. Every three hours. She was a ghost by the end. But you made it. That’s when we moved you to critical care. I said to her, ‘Tania, this man ought to marry you for what you did for him,’ and she said, ‘You think so?’ ” Ina tutted again. Paused. “Are you all right, Major? Why are you crying?
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
She laughed at him then, because he sounded like a small boy, not like a very large grown-up Beast with a voice so deep it made the hair on the back of your neck stir when you heard it. 'But vegetables are good for you,' she said, and added caressingly, 'They make you grow up big and strong.'
He smiled, showing a great many teeth. 'You see why I wish to eat no more vegetables.
Robin McKinley (Rose Daughter)
You once told me I was so good at this game because it's all I'll ever have.' The sadness in his voice had drawn me up short. 'Your words were true, though I didn't wish them to be. Not then. Or now.'
I'd heard Aric enraged, playful, fierce, in pain, and in lust. I'd never heard this soft sadness before.
Kresley Cole (Dead of Winter (The Arcana Chronicles, #3))
You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino's new novel, If on a winter's night a traveler. Relax. Concentrate. Dispel every other thought. Let the world around you fade. Best to close the door; the TV is always on in the next room. Tell the others right away, "No, I don't want to watch TV!" Raise your voice -- they won't hear you otherwise -- "I'm reading! I don't want to be disturbed!" Maybe they haven't heard you, with all that racket; speak louder, yell: "I'm beginning to read Italo Calvino's new novel!" Or if you prefer, don't say anything: just hope they'll leave you alone.
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
But I liked you from the moment I first heard your voice,” he said, “when I had no idea what you looked like. I thought it delicious, the way you bargained for me, as though I were an old rug. Then I loved the way you looked at me. Then I loved the way you ordered me about. I loved your patient and impatient ways of explaining things to me. I love the sound of your voice and the way you move. I love your courage and your kindness and your generosity and your obstinacy and your passion.” He paused. “You’re the genius. What do you think that means?
Loretta Chase (Mr. Impossible (Carsington Brothers, #2))
Probably one or two moments in your whole life you will hear a dark whispering spirit, a voice coming from the center of things. It will have blades for lips and will not stop until it speaks the one secret thing at the heart of it all. Kneeling on the floor, unable to stop shuddering, I heard it plainly. It said, You are unlovable...
Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees)
I put my freezing hands on his cheeks and instead of pushing them away, he said, “Ahh, feels good.” I laughed and said, “That’s because you’re coldhearted.” He put my hands in his coat pockets and said in a voice so soft I wondered if I heard him right, “For everyone else, maybe. But not for you.
Jenny Han (It's Not Summer Without You (Summer, #2))
My eyes flickered when I heard the Voice inside my head. (You mean you don’t have one? You can get ‘em at Target.)
James Patterson (The Final Warning (Maximum Ride, #4))
I have never seen Tsargrad, or angels, or heard the voice of God. But I think you should be careful, Batyushka, that God does not speak in the voice of your own wishing.
Katherine Arden (The Bear and the Nightingale (The Winternight Trilogy, #1))
To those who struggle to find peace amongst the chaos of your silence. May your voices be heard.
Jay McLean (More Than Enough (More Than, #5))
<…>….That's how he made his living. He gave me a pen and ink. This," he lifted his left arm then dropped it back to the bed. "After he died, I had it inked on me. Took what he gave me to a tattoo parlor right after the funeral and got it started."
Her voice held a tone of light dawning as she whispered, "So he was your Ella."
Her light dawned clear for her and for Walker because she was right.
"Yeah, he was my Ella."
"So it was Tuku who brought out my Ty."
Two words. Just two words. Walker had no clue until that moment that two words could mean so fucking much. He'd never belonged to anyone. He'd never belonged anywhere. Never thought he wanted to.
Until he heard those two words.
He couldn't keep the thick out of his voice when he confirmed, "Yeah, it was him."<…>
Kristen Ashley (Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain, #3))
Kestrel's eyes slipped shut. She faded in and out of sleep. When Arin spoke again, she wasn't sure whether he expected her to to hear him.
'I remember sitting with my mother in a carriage.' There was a long pause. Then Arin's voice came again in that slow, fluid way that showed the singer in him. 'In my memory, I am small and sleepy, and she is doing something strange. Every time the carriage turns into the sun, she raises her hand as if reaching for something. The light lines her fingers with fire. Then the carriage passes through shadows, and her hand falls. Again sunlight beams through the window, and again her hand lifts. It becomes and eclipse.'
Kestrel listened, and it was as if the story itself was an eclipse, drawing its darkness over her.
'Just before I fell asleep,' he said, 'I realized that she was shading my eyes from the sun.'
She heard Arin shift, felt him look at her.
'Kestrel.' She imagined how he would sit, lean forward. How he would look in the glow of the carriage lantern. 'Survival isn't wrong. You can sell your honor in small ways, so long as you guard yourself. You can pour a glass of wine like it's meant to be poured, and watch a man drink, and plot your revenge.' Perhaps his head tilted slightly at this. 'You probably plot even in your sleep.'
There was a silence as long as a smile.
'Plot away, Kestrel. Survive. If I hadn't lived, no one would remember my mother, not like I do.'
Kestrel could no longer deny sleep. It pulled her under.
'And I would never have met you.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
Life is an island in an ocean of solitude and seclusion.
Life is an island, rocks are its desires, trees its dreams, and flowers its loneliness, and it is in the middle of an ocean of solitude and seclusion.
Your life, my friend, is an island separated from all other islands and continents. Regardless of how many boats you send to other shores, you yourself are an island separated by its own pains,secluded its happiness and far away in its compassion and hidden in its secrets and mysteries.
I saw you, my friend, sitting upon a mound of gold, happy in your wealth and great in your riches and believing that a handful of gold is the secret chain that links the thoughts of the people with your own thoughts and links their feeling with your own.
I saw you as a great conqueror leading a conquering army toward the fortress, then destroying and capturing it.
On second glance I found beyond the wall of your treasures a heart trembling in its solitude and seclusion like the trembling of a thirsty man within a cage of gold and jewels, but without water.
I saw you, my friend, sitting on a throne of glory surrounded by people extolling your charity, enumerating your gifts, gazing upon you as if they were in the presence of a prophet lifting their souls up into the planets and stars. I saw you looking at them, contentment and strength upon your face, as if you were to them as the soul is to the body.
On the second look I saw your secluded self standing beside your throne, suffering in its seclusion and quaking in its loneliness. I saw that self stretching its hands as if begging from unseen ghosts. I saw it looking above the shoulders of the people to a far horizon, empty of everything except its solitude and seclusion.
I saw you, my friend, passionately in love with a beautiful woman, filling her palms with your kisses as she looked at you with sympathy and affection in her eyes and sweetness of motherhood on her lips; I said, secretly, that love has erased his solitude and removed his seclusion and he is now within the eternal soul which draws toward itself, with love, those who were separated by solitude and seclusion.
On the second look I saw behind your soul another lonely soul, like a fog, trying in vain to become a drop of tears in the palm of that woman.
Your life, my friend, is a residence far away from any other residence and neighbors.
Your inner soul is a home far away from other homes named after you. If this residence is dark, you cannot light it with your neighbor's lamp; if it is empty you cannot fill it with the riches of your neighbor; were it in the middle of a desert, you could not move it to a garden planted by someone else.
Your inner soul, my friend, is surrounded with solitude and seclusion. Were it not for this solitude and this seclusion you would not be you and I would not be I. If it were not for that solitude and seclusion, I would, if I heard your voice, think myself to be speaking; yet, if I saw your face, i would imagine that I were looking into a mirror.
Kahlil Gibran (Mirrors of the Soul)
It is amazing to me," said Bingley, "How young ladies can have patience to be so very accomplished as they all are."
"All young ladies accomplished? My dear Charles, what do you mean?"
"Yes, all of them, I think. They all paint tables, cover screens and net purses. I scarcely know any one who cannot do all this, and I am sure I never heard a young lady spoken of for the first time without being informed that she was very accomplished."
"Your list of the common extent of accomplishments," said Darcy, "has too much truth. The word is applied to many a woman who deserves it no otherwise than by netting a purse or covering a screen. But I am very far from agreeing with you in your estimation of ladies in general. I cannot boast of knowing more than half a dozen, in the whole range of my acquaintance, that are really accomplished."
"Nor I, I am sure." said Miss Bingley.
"Then," observed Elizabeth, "you must comprehend a great deal in your idea of an accomplished woman."
"Yes, I do comprehend a great deal in it."
"Oh! certainly," cried his faithful assistant, "no one can really be esteemed accomplished who does not greatly surpass knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half deserved."
"All this she must possess," added Darcy, "and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading."
"I am no longer surprised at your knowing only six accomplished women. I rather wonder at your knowing any.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
Everyone has a "greatness within" to be of service and to benefit their family, friends, neighbors, their community and humanity. From that "Greatness," the beautiful and holy intention to benefit all life springs forth. At that moment when you have heard your inner voice, what did you do? The moment you became aware of your greatness within, what did you do? Did you acknowledge and accept it? Or did you turn away from it?
Ilchi Lee (The Call of Sedona: Journey of the Heart)
It was the first time I had heard the truth of what happened that afternoon said in a voice that was not my own. Hearing what happened from Ann was like the difference between seeing your face in a mirror and seeing it in a photograph.
Scott Spencer (Endless Love)
Never apologize for being over sensitive and emotional when defending the welfare of wildlife.
Let this be a sign that you have a big heart and aren't afraid to show your true feelings.
These emotions give you the strength to fight for what is right and to be the voice of those who cannot be heard.
I smiled sweetly at his embarressment, beginning to walk again, kicking up golden leaves. I heard him scuffling leaves behind me. "And what was the point of this again?"
Forget it!" Sam said. "Do you you like this place or not?"
I stoped in my tracks, spinning to face him. "Hey." I pointed at him; he raised his eyebrows and stopped in his tracks. "You didn't think Jack would be here at all, did you?"
His thick black eyebrows went up even farther.
Did you evan intend to look for him at all?"
He held his hands up as if a surrender. "What do you want me to say?"
You were trying to see if I would reconize it, wern't you?" I took anouther step, colsing the distance between us. I could feel the heat of his body, even without touching him, in the increasing cold of the day. "YOU told me about this wood somehow. How did you show it to me?"
I keep trying to tell you. You wont listen. Because you're stubbon. It's how we speek- it's the only words we have. Just pictures. Just simple little picters. You HAVE changed Grace. Just not your skin. I want you to believe me." His hands were still raise, but he was starting to grin at me in the failing light.
So you brought me here to see this." I stepped forward again, and he stepped back.
Do you like it?"
Under false pretence." Anouther step forward; anouther back. The grine widened
So do you like it?"
When you knew we wouldn't come across anybody else."
His teeth flashed in his grin. "Do you like it?"
I punched my hands into his chest. "You know I love it. You knew I would." I went to punch him, and he grabed my wrists. For a moment we stood there like that, him looking down at me with a grin half-caught on his face, and me lookingup at him: Still Life with Boy and Girl. It would've been the perfect moment to kiss me, but he didn't. He just looked at me and looked at me, and by the time I relizeed I could just as easily kiss him, I noticed that his grin was slipping away.
Sam slowly lowered my wrists and relesed them. "I'm glad." he said very quietly.
My arms still hung by my sides, right where Sam had put them. I frowned at him. "You were supposed to kiss me."
I thought about it."
I just kept looking at the soft, sad shape of his lips, looking just like his voice sounded. I was probably staring, but I couldn't stop thinking about how much I wanted him to kiss me and how stupide it was to want it so badly. "Why don't you?"
He leaned over and gave mr the lightest of kisses. His lips, cool and dry, ever so polite and incredibly maddening. "I have to get inside soon," he whispered "It's getting cold
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
Gemma Davidson,” she answered, her voice as groggy as I felt.
“Where are you?” I asked.
“Who is this?”
“What time is it?”
“Did you text me? Did your car break down?”
“No and no. Why are you doing this to me?” She was funny.
“Check your cell.”
I heard a loud, sleepy sigh, some rustling of sheets, then, “It won’t come on.”
“Not at all?”
“No. What did you do to it?”
“I ate it for breakfast. Check the battery compartment.”
“Where the hell is that?”
“Um, behind the battery door.”
“Are you punking me?” I heard her fumbling with the phone.
“Gem, if I was going to punk you, I wouldn't simply turn off your phone. I would pour honey in your hair while you slept. Or, you know, something like that.”
“That was you?” she asked, appalled.
Darynda Jones (Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson, #3))
Brian's face broke out in a wide grin as he slapped Roarke on the back. "That's a woman, isn't it?"
"Delicate as a rose, my Eve. Fragile and quiet natured." He grinned himself when he heard her curse, loud and vicious. "A voice like a flute."
"And you're sloppy in love with her."
J.D. Robb (Vengeance in Death (In Death, #6))
I have heard it said we are the uninvited.
We are the unwelcome.
We should take our misfortune elsewhere.
But I hear your mother's voice,
over the tide.
and she whispers in my ear,
"Oh, but if they saw, my darling.
Even half of what you have.
If only they saw.
They would say kinder things, surely.
Khaled Hosseini (Sea Prayer)
Claire, I-Look, my life is one long series of screw-ups and bad decisions, and I know that. I own that. But you...I just want you to be happy. And it cuts me when you're not."
"I'm happy with you."
She heard the smile in his voice this time. "So what do you really want? A storybook life in Vampireville, with your life on the line every day and a half?"
"I'm considering it," she said. And she was.
Rachel Caine (Fall of Night (The Morganville Vampires, #14))
She remembered the story from her childhood, about Adam and Eve in the garden, and the talking snake. Even as a little girl she had said - to the consternation of her family - What kind of idiot was Eve, to believe a snake? But now she understood, for she had heard the voice of the snake and had watched as a wise and powerful man had fallen under its spell.
Eat the fruit and you can have the desires of your heart. It's not evil, it's noble and good. You'll be praised for it.
And it's delicious.
Orson Scott Card (Shadow of the Hegemon (The Shadow Series, #2))
This time Clary concentrated, trying to focus her mind on Simon-The Simon-ness of him, the shape of the way he thought, the feeling of hearing his voice, the sence of him close. His whispers, his secrets, the way he made her laugh.
'So', she thought conversationally, 'now that I'm in your mind, wnat to see some naked mental pictures of Jace?'
Simon jumped. "I heard that! And, no.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
Worrying about me won't help you get your job done."
"Who says I'm worried?"
He stayed where he was; simply held out his hand.
She crossed to him, took it, gripped hard. "When I met you," she said carefully, "I didn't want you in my life. You were one big complication. Every time I looked at you, or heard your voice, or so much as thought about you, the complication got bigger."
"Now? You are my life." She gave his hand one last squeeze, then released. "Okay, enough mushy stuff. Olympus.
J.D. Robb (Betrayal in Death (In Death, #12))
I stay back, because if i get close I'll have to roll him over and look in his eyes, and what if they're empty like Alina's were ? Then I'll know he's gone, like I knew she was gone, too far beyond my reach to ever hear my voice again, to hear me say, I'm sorry, Alina. I wish I'd called more often; I wish I'd heard the truth beneath our vapid sister talk; I wish I'd come to Dublin and fought beside you, or raged at you, because you were acting from fear, too, Alina, not hope at all, or you would have trusted me to help you. Or maybe just apologize, Barrons, for being too young to have my priorities reffined, like you, because I haven't suffered whatever the hell it is you suffered, and then shove you up against a wall and kiss you until you can't breathe, do what I wanted to do the first day I saw you there in your bloody damned bookstore. Disturb you like you disturbed me, make you see me, make you want me-pink me!-shatter your self-control, bring you crashing to your knees in front of me, even though I told myself I'd never want a man like you, that you were too old, too carnal, more animal than man, with one foot in the swamp and no desire to come all the way out, when the truth was that I was terrified by what you made me feel.
Karen Marie Moning (Shadowfever (Fever, #5))
Let it be known--from this day forth, I vow to protect Meghan Chase, daughter of the Summer King, with my sword, my honor, and my life. Her desires are mine. Her wishes are mine. Should even the world stand against her, my blade will be at her side. And should it fail to protect her, let my own existence be forfeit. This I swear, on my honor, my True Name, and my life. From this day on..." His voice went even softer, but I still heard it as though he whispered it into my ear. "I am yours."
I couldn't stop the tears anymore. They clouded my vision and rolled down my cheeks, and I didn't bother to wipe them away. Ash stood, and I threw myself into his arms, feeling him tremble as he crushed me close. He was mine now, my knight, and nothing would come between us.
I seem to remember only centuries of heroic war, in which you were always heroes--epic on epic, Iliad on Iliad, and you always brothers in arms. Whether it was but recently (for time is nothing), or at the beginning of the world, I sent you out to war. I sat in the darkness, where there is not any created thing, and to you I was only a voice commanding valour and an unnatural virtue. You heard the voice in the dark, and you never heard it again. The sun in heaven denied it, the earth and sky denied it, all human wisdom denied it. And when I met you in the daylight I denied it myself...But you were men. You did not forget your secret honour, though the whole cosmos turned an engine of torture to tear it out of you.
G.K. Chesterton (The Man Who Was Thursday)
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))
If you think Atticus Finch went home at night and slept easy because he knew he was doing the right thing, you're wrong....Because even one voice in a wilderness of ignorance is a voice that is heard by someone. Because every woman and man, no matter their color or their religion, is entitled to a good defense. And because Jem and Scout would grow up to be like their father, spreading his wisdom, understanding his compassion and sharing his strength which are the only, the only weapons we have against injustice.
To be read. To be heard. To be seen. I want to be read, I want to be heard. I don't need to be seen. To write requires an ego, a belief that what you say matters. Writing also requires an aching curiosity leading you to discover, uncover, what is gnawing at your bones. Words have a weight to them. How you choose to present them and to whom is a matter of style and choice.
Terry Tempest Williams (When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice)
In a low voice, Blue asked meaningfully, “Seen enough?” “Of — oh, Orla?” “Yeah.” The question annoyed him. It judged him, and in this case, he didn’t feel he’d done anything to deserve it. He was not Blue’s business, not in that way. “What care is it of yours,” he asked, “what I think of Orla?” This felt dangerous, for some reason. He possibly shouldn’t have asked it. In retrospect, it wasn’t the question itself at fault. It was the way that he’d asked it. His thoughts had been far away, and he hadn’t been minding how he looked on the outside, and now, too late, he heard the dip of his own words. How the inflection seemed to contain a dare. Come on, Gansey, he thought. Don’t ruin things. Blue held his gaze, unflinching. Crisp, she replied, “None at all.” And it was a lie.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
As soon as I got back to the apartment, through the pain of throwing away Braden came the fear. I stared down the hall at Ellie's bedroom door, and I had to stop myself from going back on my promise not to run from her.
So I did the opposite.
I kicked off my boots, shrugged out of my coat and crept silently into her darkened room. In the moonlight shining through her window, I saw Ellie curled up in a protective ball on her side. I made a move toward her and the floor creaked under my foot, and Ellie's eyes flew open immediately.
She gazed up at me, wide-eyed but wary.
I started to cry harder and at the sight of my tears, a tear slid down Ellie's cheek. Without a word, I crawled onto her bed and right up beside her as she turned onto her back. We lay side by side, my head on her shoulder, and I grabbed her hand and held it in both of mine.
"I'm sorry," I whispered.
"It's okay," Ellie's voice was hoarse with emotion. "You came back."
And because life was too short... "I love you, Ellie Carmichael. You're going to get through this."
I heard her hitch on a sob. "I love you too, Joss.
Samantha Young (On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1))
We are all lonely voyagers sailing on life's ebb tide,
To a far off place were all stripling warriors have died,
Sometime at eve when the tide is low,
The voices call us back to the rippling water's flow,
Even though our boat sailed with love in our hearts,
Neither our dreams or plans would keep heaven far apart,
We drift through the hush of God's twilight pale,
With no response to our friendly hail,
We raise our sails and search for majestic light,
While finding company on this journey to the brighten our night,
Then suddenly he pulls us through the reef's cutting sea,
Back to the place that he asked us to be,
Friendly barges that were anchored so sweetly near,
In silent sorrow they drop their salted tears,
Shall our soul be a feast of kelp and brine,
The wasted tales of wishful time,
Are we a fish on a line lured with bait,
Is life the grind, a heartless fate,
Suddenly, "HUSH", said the wind from afar,
Have you not looked to the heavens and seen the new star,
It danced on the abyss of the evening sky,
The sparkle of heaven shining on high,
Its whisper echoed on the ocean's spray,
From the bow to the mast they heard him say,
"Hope is above, not found in the deep,
I am alive in your memories and dreams when you sleep,
I will greet you at sunset and with the moon's evening smile,
I will light your path home.. every last lonely mile,
My friends, have no fear, my work was done well,
In this life I broke the waves and rode the swell,
I found faith in those that I called my crew,
My love will be the compass that will see you through,
So don't look for me on the ocean's floor to find,
I've never left the weathered docks of your loving mind,
For I am in the moon, the wind and the whale's evening song,
I am the sailor of eternity whose voyage is not gone.
Shannon L. Alder
Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem
Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
Flood waters await us in our avenues.
Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche
Over unprotected villages.
The sky slips low and grey and threatening.
We question ourselves.
What have we done to so affront nature?
We worry God.
Are you there? Are you there really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold?
Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.
It is the Glad Season.
Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner.
Flood waters recede into memory.
Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
As we make our way to higher ground.
Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things,
Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.
In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.
We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But, true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.
We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.
Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you, to stay a while with us.
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look beyond complexion and see community.
It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.
On this platform of peace, we can create a language
To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.
At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
All the earth's tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.
We, Angels and Mortal's, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.
Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.
Maya Angelou (Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem)
Are you going to try it with me? Or do
you only take pleasure in attacking those
who cannot defend themselves?" Damen
heard the hardness in his own voice. He
held his ground. Around them, the tower
room was empty. He had sent everyone
else out. "I remember the last time you
were like this. You blundered so badly
you gave your uncle the excuse he
needed to have you stripped of your
C.S. Pacat (Captive Prince: Volume Two (Captive Prince, #2))
You'll want all your strength for the wedding night."
I cannot think why I should need strength," she said, ignoring a host of spine-tingling images rising in her mind's eye. "All I have to do is lie there."
"Naked," he said grimly.
"Truly?" She shot him a glance from under her lashes. "Well, if I must, I must, for you have the advantage of experience in these matters. Still, I do wish you'd told me sooner. I should not have put the modiste to so much trouble about the negligee."
"It was ghastly expensive," she said, "but the silk is as fine as gossamer, and the eyelet work about the neckline is exquisite. Aunt Louisa was horrified. She said only Cyprians wear such things, and it leaves nothing to the imagination."
Jessica heard him suck in his breath, felt the muscular thigh tense against hers.
"But if it were left to Aunt Louisa," she went on,"I should be covered from my chin to my toes in thick cotton ruffled with monstrosities with little bows and rosebuds. Which is absurd, when an evening gown reveals far more, not to mention--"
"What color?" he asked. His low voice had roughened.
"Wine red," she said, "With narrow black ribbons threaded through the neckline. Here." She traced a plunging U over her bosom. "And there's the loveliest openwork over my...well, here." She drew her finger over the curve of her breast a bare inch above the nipple. "And openwork on the right side of the skirt. From here" --she pointed to her hip--"down to the hem. And I bought---"
"Jess." Her name was a strangled whisper.
"--slippers to match," she continued." Black mules with--"
"Jess." In one furious flurry of motion he threw down the reins and hauled her into his lap.
Loretta Chase (Lord of Scoundrels (Scoundrels, #3))
Through the haze in front of her she heard Alexander's voice, "Tatiana, I love you. Do you hear me? I love you like I've never loved anyone in my whole life. Now, get up. For me, Tatia. For me, please get up and go take care of your sister. Go on. And I'll take care of you." His lips kissed her cheek.
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
Small people need to talk more loudly to be heard.
Well I'm small aren't I, I'm not even 1.6 metres tall, but you don't see me raising my voice.
Maybe you're okay with not being heard.
I just want to be heard by the right people. The right person.
Amanda Lee Koe (Ministry of Moral Panic)
It’s what you didn’t say, Dad.” Cooper could hear his voice loud and steady, like it had been growing inside him and waiting to burst out for years. “You never even mentioned it. Like it didn’t exist. Like it didn’t even cross your mind that I could be gay or bi or anything else. How was I to know it was okay? I never heard it from you. It wasn’t my job to tell you. It was yours to make me feel like I didn’t have to hide it from you.
Charlie Adhara (The Wolf at Bay (Big Bad Wolf, #2))
Now that I'm in your mind, want to see some naked mental pictures of Jace?
Simon jumped. "I heard that! And, no."
Excitement fizzed in Clary's veins; it was working. "Think something back at me."
It took less than a second. She heard Simon, the way she heard Brother Zachariah, a voice without sound inside her mind. You've seen him naked?
Well, not entirely. But I-
Hua Cheng quietly sighed, extended his arms, and once again folded him into his embrace. "Your Highness, I've always watched you."
This was the second time he had said this, but his voice was softer than before. Xie Lian clutched the red robes at his chest, asking, his mind blank, "I know, I know. But... what should I do now?"
Hua Cheng's long and slender fingers gently combed through Xie Lian's mussed hair. "Then, Your Highness, do you know why I refuse to leave this world?"
Xie Lian couldn't understand why Hua Cheng could still be so calm at a time like this, he was panicking so hard he was trembling. But, while feeling lost, he still simple-mindedly asked, "Why?"
Hua Cheng replied quietly, "Because I have a beloved who is still in this world."
Hearing this, Xie Lian was slightly stunned. He seemed to have heard this somewhere before.
Hua Cheng continued, "My beloved is a brave, noble, and gracious special someone. He's saved my life; I've looked up to him ever since I was young. But, I wanted to catch up to him more, and become and even stronger person for him. Although he might not remember me well. We never really talked. I want to protect him."
He gazed at Xie Lian. "If your dream is to save the common people, then my dream is only you."
"..." Relying on his memory, Xie Lian asked with a trembling voice, "But... you won't... be able to rest in peace... like this...?"
Hua Cheng answered, "I pray to never rest in peace.
Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù (天官赐福 [Tiān Guān Cì Fú])
The dirty secret she’d learned about grief was that nobody wanted to hear about your loss a week after the funeral. People you’d once considered friends would turn their heads in church or cross to another side of a shopping mall to avoid the contamination of your suffering. “You might imagine I’m coping day by day,” she murmured. “But it’s more a case of hour by hour, and during my worst times, minute by minute.
Susan Dormady Eisenberg (The Voice I Just Heard)
But don't you know, Mr. Stoner?" Sloane asked. "Don't you understand about yourself yet? You're going to be a teacher."
Suddenly Sloane seemed very distant, and the walls of the office receded. Stoner felt himself suspended in the wide air, and he heard his voice ask, "Are you sure?"
"I'm sure," Sloane said softly.
"How can you tell? How can you be sure?"
"It's love, Mr. Stoner," Sloane said cheerfully. "You are in love. It's as simple as that.
John Williams (Stoner)
Gansey despised raising his voice (in his head, his mother said, People shout when they don't have the vocabulary to whisper), but he heard it happening despite himself and so, with effort, he kept his voice even. "Not like this. At least you have a place to go. 'End of the world'... What is your problem, Adam? I mean, is there something about my place that's too repugnant for you to imagine living there? Why is it that everything kind I do is pity to you? Everything is charity. Well, here it is: I'm sick of tiptoeing around your principles."
"God, I'm sick of your condescension, Gansey," Adam said. "Don't try to make me feel stupid. Who whips out repugnant? Don't pretend you're not trying to make me feel stupid."
"This is the way I talk. I'm sorry your father never taught you the meaning of repugnant. He was too busy smashing your head against the wall of your trailer while you apologized for being alive."
Both of them stopped breathing.
Gansey knew he'd gone too far. It was too far, too late, too much.
Adam shoved open the door.
"Fuck you, Gansey. Fuck you," he said, voice low and furious.
Gansey close his eyes.
Adam slammed the door, and then he slammed it again when the latch didn't catch. Gansey didn't open his eyes. He didn't want to see if people were watching some kid fight with a boy in a bright orange Camaro and an Aglionby jumper. Just then he hated his raven-breasted uniform and his loud car and every three- and four-syllable word his parents had used in casual conversation at the dinner table and he hated Adam's hideous father and Adam's permissive mother and most of all, most of all, he hated the sound of Adam's last words, playing over and over.
He couldn't stand it, all of this inside him.
In the end, he was nobody to Adam, he was nobody to Ronan. Adam spit his words back at him and Ronan squandered however many second chances he gave him. Gansey was just a guy with a lot of stuff and a hole inside him that chewed away more of his heart every year.
They were always walking away from him. But he never seemed able to walk away from them.
Gansey opened his eyes. The ambulance was still there, but Adam was gone.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
There is evidence that the honoree [Leonard Cohen] might be privy to the secret of the universe, which, in case you're wondering, is simply this: everything is connected. Everything. Many, if not most, of the links are difficult to determine. The instrument, the apparatus, the focused ray that can uncover and illuminate those connections is language. And just as a sudden infatuation often will light up a person's biochemical atmosphere more pyrotechnically than any deep, abiding attachment, so an unlikely, unexpected burst of linguistic imagination will usually reveal greater truths than the most exacting scholarship. In fact. The poetic image may be the only device remotely capable of dissecting romantic passion, let alone disclosing the inherent mystical qualities of the material world.
Cohen is a master of the quasi-surrealistic phrase, of the "illogical" line that speaks so directly to the unconscious that surface ambiguity is transformed into ultimate, if fleeting, comprehension: comprehension of the bewitching nuances of sex and bewildering assaults of culture. Undoubtedly, it is to his lyrical mastery that his prestigious colleagues now pay tribute. Yet, there may be something else. As various, as distinct, as rewarding as each of their expressions are, there can still be heard in their individual interpretations the distant echo of Cohen's own voice, for it is his singing voice as well as his writing pen that has spawned these songs.
It is a voice raked by the claws of Cupid, a voice rubbed raw by the philosopher's stone. A voice marinated in kirschwasser, sulfur, deer musk and snow; bandaged with sackcloth from a ruined monastery; warmed by the embers left down near the river after the gypsies have gone.
It is a penitent's voice, a rabbinical voice, a crust of unleavened vocal toasts -- spread with smoke and subversive wit. He has a voice like a carpet in an old hotel, like a bad itch on the hunchback of love. It is a voice meant for pronouncing the names of women -- and cataloging their sometimes hazardous charms. Nobody can say the word "naked" as nakedly as Cohen. He makes us see the markings where the pantyhose have been.
Finally, the actual persona of their creator may be said to haunt these songs, although details of his private lifestyle can be only surmised. A decade ago, a teacher who called himself Shree Bhagwan Rajneesh came up with the name "Zorba the Buddha" to describe the ideal modern man: A contemplative man who maintains a strict devotional bond with cosmic energies, yet is completely at home in the physical realm. Such a man knows the value of the dharma and the value of the deutschmark, knows how much to tip a waiter in a Paris nightclub and how many times to bow in a Kyoto shrine, a man who can do business when business is necessary, allow his mind to enter a pine cone, or dance in wild abandon if moved by the tune. Refusing to shun beauty, this Zorba the Buddha finds in ripe pleasures not a contradiction but an affirmation of the spiritual self. Doesn't he sound a lot like Leonard Cohen?
We have been led to picture Cohen spending his mornings meditating in Armani suits, his afternoons wrestling the muse, his evenings sitting in cafes were he eats, drinks and speaks soulfully but flirtatiously with the pretty larks of the street. Quite possibly this is a distorted portrait. The apocryphal, however, has a special kind of truth.
It doesn't really matter. What matters here is that after thirty years, L. Cohen is holding court in the lobby of the whirlwind, and that giants have gathered to pay him homage. To him -- and to us -- they bring the offerings they have hammered from his iron, his lead, his nitrogen, his gold.
Decebel looked over at Fane. "A face tu fiecare a lua ce ei say?(Do you ever get what they say?)"
Fane smiled at his Beta. "Nu mai incerce sa, (No longer try)."
"Good call." Decebel nodded.
Jen looked over at Decebel, her eyes narrowing. "No talking in foreign tongue when around the Americans."
Decebel leaned towards her, the gleam in his eyes causing Jen to tremble. "But Jennifer, I thought you spoke Romanian." He looked around at Sally and Jacque. "Weren't you two under the impression that she spoke Romanian?"
Jacque and Sally nodded despite the daggers Jen was staring their way.
"That was thoroughly impressed upon us, wouldn't you say, Sally?" Jacque turned to look at her.
"Wait. Uh yeah, I distinctly remember a bar...vodka...and I'm almost positive Jen speaking in Romanian to the hot bartender."
Sally was grinning from ear to ear as Jen's face grew red.
"I hope you two aren't attached to your undergarments because I just got the sudden urge to have a bonfire," Jen growled out.
"Note to self: hide underwear."
"Or you could just solve that problem by not wearing any." Jacque heard Fane's voice through their bond. Her jaw dropped open and her face turned bright red as she turned to look at her mate.
Jen looked at Sally. "Looks like Fane had a suggestion about the princess' undergarments. If I had my guess, I'd say he told her I couldn't burn them if she didn't own any."
If Jacque could've turned any redder she would have. "How? What..." Jacque stuttered as she looked at her blonde friend, trying to figure out how she knew what Fane had been thinking.
"It's a gift, Watson. But really what it boils down to is when it comes to chicks and underwear, guys will always say they don't mix."
Decebel coughed as he choked on his laughter while Fane had buried his face in Jacque's back, his shoulders shaking. Jacque and Sally both looked at their friend with open mouths.
Quinn Loftis (Just One Drop (The Grey Wolves, #3))
Winter’s head snapped around, away from Scarlet. Scarlet’s pace slowed, dread pulsing through her as she, too, heard the footsteps. Pounding footsteps, like someone was running at full speed toward them. She reached for the knife Jacin had given her. A man barrelled around the corner, heading straight for the princess. Winter tensed half a second before he reached her. Grabbing Winter’s elbow, he yanked back the red hood.
Scarlet gasped. Her knees weakened. The man stared at Winter with a mixture of confusion and disappointment and maybe even anger, all locked up in eyes so vividly green that Scarlet could see them glowing from here. She was the one hallucinating now.
She took a stumbling, uncertain step forward. Wanting to run toward him, but terrified it was a trick. Her hand tightened around the knife handle as Wolf, ignoring how Winter was trying to pull away, grabbed her arm and smelled the filthy red sleeve of Scarlet’s hoodie, streaked with dirt and blood. He growled, ready to tear the princess apart. “Where did you get this?” So desperate, so determined, so him. The knife slipped out of Scarlet’s hand. Wolf’s attention snapped to her. “Wolf?” she whispered.
His eyes brightened, wild and hopeful. Releasing Winter, he strode forward. His tumultuous eyes scooped over her. Devoured her.
When he was in arm’s reach, Scarlet almost collapsed into him, but at the last moment she had the presence of mind to step back. She planted a hand on his chest. Wolf froze, hurt flickering across his face.
“I’m sorry,” said Scarlet, her voice teetering with exhaustion. “It’s just…I smell so awful, I can hardly stand to be around myself right now, so I can’t even imagine what it’s like for you with your sense of sm-“
Batting her hand away, Wolf dug his fingers into Scarlet’s hair and crushed his mouth against hers. Her protests died with a muffled gasp. This time, she did collapse, her legs unable to hold her a second longer. Wolf fell with her, dropping his knees to break Scarlet’s fall and cradling her body against his. He was here. He was here.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
It's about women of color owning their own space and their voices being treated with dignity and respect. It's about women of color not having to shout over voices to be heard. We are the dominant force almost all the time. White women are the stars of all the movies. White women are the lead speakers in feminist debates, and it's little white girls that send the nation into a frenzy when they've been kidnapped. ...check your privilege. We're the ones that need to give women of color space for their voices.
Gabby Rivera (Juliet Takes a Breath)
Until-as often happened during those first months travel, whenever I would feel such happiness-my guilt alarm went off. I heard my ex-husband's voice speaking disdainfully in my ear: So this is what you gave up everything for? This is why you gutted our entire life together? For a few stalks of asparagus and an Italian newspaper?
I replied aloud to him: "First of all," I said, "I'm very sorry, but this isn't your business anymore. And secondly, to answer you question...yes.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia)
Green heard her voice, murmuring,
and Adrian’s, murmuring back. Something inside of him made an actual
glass-cracking noise—and before he could convince himself that that it was
his imagination, Blissa and three of the other nymphs danced through the
hallway and into the living room.
“We heard that.” Blissa said, sweetly.
“Heard what?” He asked, genuinely surprised.
“Heard your heart breaking.” Said Grace.
Jacob, what's wrong with you? Why would you want to do this? What kind of husband . . . what kind of man are you?”
“I don't know.” Jacob's voice was a whisper. “But before I pledged myself to Annie, I pledged myself to God.”
“I hope you know what you're doing.” Montrose glanced back towards the kitchen. In their silence, they heard Annie's low sobs. “I hope it's worth it.
Willowy Whisper (Only Children Chase Sawdust)
What would you have me do?
Seek for the patronage of some great man,
And like a creeping vine on a tall tree
Crawl upward, where I cannot stand alone?
No thank you! Dedicate, as others do,
Poems to pawnbrokers? Be a buffoon
In the vile hope of teasing out a smile
On some cold face? No thank you! Eat a toad
For breakfast every morning? Make my knees
Callous, and cultivate a supple spine,-
Wear out my belly grovelling in the dust?
No thank you! Scratch the back of any swine
That roots up gold for me? Tickle the horns
Of Mammon with my left hand, while my right
Too proud to know his partner's business,
Takes in the fee? No thank you! Use the fire
God gave me to burn incense all day long
Under the nose of wood and stone? No thank you!
Shall I go leaping into ladies' laps
And licking fingers?-or-to change the form-
Navigating with madrigals for oars,
My sails full of the sighs of dowagers?
No thank you! Publish verses at my own
Expense? No thank you! Be the patron saint
Of a small group of literary souls
Who dine together every Tuesday? No
I thank you! Shall I labor night and day
To build a reputation on one song,
And never write another? Shall I find
True genius only among Geniuses,
Palpitate over little paragraphs,
And struggle to insinuate my name
In the columns of the Mercury?
No thank you! Calculate, scheme, be afraid,
Love more to make a visit than a poem,
Seek introductions, favors, influences?-
No thank you! No, I thank you! And again
I thank you!-But...
To sing, to laugh, to dream
To walk in my own way and be alone,
Free, with a voice that means manhood-to cock my hat
Where I choose-At a word, a Yes, a No,
To fight-or write.To travel any road
Under the sun, under the stars, nor doubt
If fame or fortune lie beyond the bourne-
Never to make a line I have not heard
In my own heart; yet, with all modesty
To say:"My soul, be satisfied with flowers,
With fruit, with weeds even; but gather them
In the one garden you may call your own."
So, when I win some triumph, by some chance,
Render no share to Caesar-in a word,
I am too proud to be a parasite,
And if my nature wants the germ that grows
Towering to heaven like the mountain pine,
Or like the oak, sheltering multitudes-
I stand, not high it may be-but alone!
Edmond Rostand (Cyrano de Bergerac)
Well, well, well,” Santa said once the elf had retreated. “Come and sit on my lap, little boy.”
This Santa’s beard was real, and so was his hair. He wasn’t fucking around.
“I’m not really a little boy,” I pointed out.
“Get on my lap, then, big boy.”
I walked up to him. There wasn’t much lap under his belly. And even though he tried to disguise it, as I went up there, I swear he adjusted
“Ho ho ho!” he chortled.
I sat gingerly on his knee, like it was a subway seat with gum on it.
“Have you been a good little boy this year?” he asked.
I didn’t feel that I was the right person to determine my own goodness or badness, but in the interest of speeding along this encounter, I said yes.
He actually wobbled with joy.
“Good! Good! Then what can I bring you this Christmas?”
I thought it was obvious.
“A message from Lily,” I said. “That’s what I want for Christmas. But I want it right now.”
“So impatient!” Santa lowered his voice and whispered in my ear. “But Santa does have a little something for you”—he shifted a little in
his seat—“right under his coat. If you want to have your present, you’ll have to rub Santa’s belly.”
“What?” I asked.
He gestured with his eyes down to his stomach. “Go ahead.”
I looked closely and saw the faint outline of an envelope beneath his red velvet coat.
“You know you want it,” he whispered.
The only way I could survive this was to think of it as the dare it was.
Fuck off, Lily. You can’t intimidate me.
I reached right under Santa’s coat. To my horror, I found he wasn’t wearing anything underneath. It was hot, sweaty, Geshy, hairy … and
his belly was this massive obstacle, blocking me from the envelope. I had to lean over to angle my arm in order to reach it, the whole time
having Santa laugh, “Oh ho ho, ho ho oh ho!” in my ear.
I heard the elf scream, “What the hell!” and various parents start to shriek. Yes, I was feeling up Santa. And now the corner of the envelope was in my hand. He tried to jiggle it away from me, but I held tight and yanked it
out, pulling some of his white belly hair with me. “OW ho ho!” he cried. I jumped o1 his lap.
“Security’s here!” the elf proclaimed.
The letter was in my hand, damp but intact.
“He touched Santa!” a young child squealed.
Rachel Cohn (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
But nobody wanted to speak on the true disposition of the world. And no one wanted to hear it...
The whites came to this land for a fresh start and to escape the tyranny of their masters, just as the Freeman had fled theirs. But the ideals they held up for themselves, they denied others. Cora had heard Michael recite the Declaration of Independence back on the Randall plantation many times, his voice drifting through the village like an angry phantom. She didn't understand the words, most of them at any rate, but created equal was not lost on her. The white men who wrote it didn't understand it either, if all men did not truly mean all men. Not if they snatched away what belonged to other people, whether it was something you could hold in your hand, like dirt, or something you could not, like freedom.
Colson Whitehead (The Underground Railroad)
In my heart, I knew that Whorf was right. I knew I thought differently in Turkish and English - not because thought and language were the same, but because different languages forced you to think about different things. Turkish, for example, had a suffix, -mis, that you put on verbs to report anything you didn't witness personally. You were always stating your degree of subjectivity. You were always thinking about it, every time you opened your mouth.
The suffix -mis had not exact English equivalent. It could be translated as "it seems" or "I heard" or "apparently." I associated it with Dilek, my cousin on my father's side - tiny, skinny, dark-complexioned Dilek, who was my age but so much smaller. "You complained-mis to your mother," Dilek would tell me in her quiet, precise voice. "The dog scared-mis you." "You told-mis your parents that if Aunt Hulya came to America, she could live in your garage." When you heard -mis, you knew that you had been invoked in your absence - not just you but your hypocrisy, cowardice, and lack of generosity. Every time I heard -mis, I felt caught out. I was scared of the dogs. I did complain to my mother, often. The -mis tense was one of the things I complained to my mother about. My mother thought it was funny.
Elif Batuman (The Idiot)
She heard Rowan awake with a start before he reconciled himself to his surroundings. His back scraped across the trunk of the tree as he slid sideways--trying to see around the branch she was sitting on to get a look at her.
"Are you awake?" he asked, his voice still rough from sleep.
"Did you sleep at all?"
"No." She heard him mumble something to himself and decided to cut him off before he could scold her again. "My butt did, though. Slept like a log all night."
"Well, obviously, your butt has more sense than you do."
"You're a funny man, Rowan whatever your last name is."
"I'd rather not."
She managed to get a tiny chuckle out of him, which she considered a huge achievement. Rowan stood up on his branch, bringing his head level with Lily's, and started to untie her. His lips were still pursed in a near smile.
"My name is Rowan Fall.
Josephine Angelini (Trial by Fire (Worldwalker, #1))
Speaking of names and all-time favorite romances, Bailey told me you write under a pen name. I've been really curious about that."
Fern groaned loudly. She shook her fist toward Bailey's house. "Curse your big mouth, Bailey Sheen" She looked at Ambrose with trepidation. "You are going to think I'm some stalker chick. That I'm totally obsessed. But you have to remember that I came up with this alter ego when I was sixteen and I was a bit obsessed. Okay, I'm still a bit obsessed."
"With what?" Ambrose was confused.
"With you," Fern's response was muffled as she buried her forehead in his chest, but Ambrose still heard her. He laughed and forced her chin up so he could see her face. "I still don't understand what that has to do with your pen name."
Fern sighed. "It's Amber Rose."
"Amber Rose," Fern corrected.
"Amber Rose?" Ambrose sputtered.
"Yes," Fern said in a very, very small voice. And Ambrose laughed for a very, very long time.
Amy Harmon (Making Faces)
Do not write. I am sad, and want my light put out.
Summers in your absence are as dark as a room.
I have closed my arms again. They must do without.
To knock at my heart is like knocking at a tomb.
Do not write!
Do not write. Let us learn to die, as best we may.
Did I love you? Ask God. Ask yourself. Do you know?
To hear that you love me, when you are far away,
Is like hearing from heaven and never to go.
Do not write!
Do not write. I fear you. I fear to remember,
For memory holds the voice I have often heard.
To the one who cannot drink, do not show water,
The beloved one's picture in the handwritten word.
Do not write!
Do not write those gentle words that I dare not see,
It seems that your voice is spreading them on my heart,
Across your smile, on fire, they appear to me,
It seems that a kiss is printing them on my heart.
Do not write!
And this is what mere humanity always does. It's made up of these inventors or artists, millions and millions of them, each in his own way trying to recruit other people to play a supporting role and sustain him in his make-believe. The great chiefs and leaders recruit the greatest number, and that's what their power is. There's one image that gets out in front to lead the rest and can impose its claim to being genuine with more force than others, or one voice enlarged to thunder is heard above the others. Then a huge invention, which is the invention maybe of the world itself, and of nature, becomes the actual world - with cities, factories, public buildings, railroads, armies, dams, prisons, and movies - becomes the actuality. That’s the struggle of humanity, to recruit others to your version of what’s real. Then even the flowers and the moss on the stones become the moss and the flowers of a version.
Saul Bellow (The Adventures of Augie March)
You can keep walking away from this, and I’m going to keep letting you, because even when you think you leave, your heard always stays, and it’s something I carry with pride, and it’s something I don’t…” He paused, his gaze tearing away from mine for a second, his voice thick with emotion. “It’s something I don’t fuck with. Ever. So if you feel like you need a break, I’ll give you a break, but don’t think for a second I’m not coming after you again, Mia. And I swear to God, the next time I do, it’s forever.
Claire Contreras (Paper Hearts (Hearts, #2))
Rory, are you okay?” Lena asked. “Yeah, you’ve been sighing a lot.” Chase was so concerned he even put down his fudge. “Do you have a crush on me too?” I stared at him incredulously, not sure I had heard him right, and Melodie said, “You are remarkably self-involved.” Chase looked insulted. “Adelaide sighed a lot right before she said she had a crush on me.” “She had to tell you?” Lena said, surprised. I snorted. “That’s totally it. It was the paint on your face. ‘My heart awakens in sight of your green skin/as clean and warty as a toad’s has ever been—’” I said in my best reciting voice, and we all laughed.
Shelby Bach (Of Giants and Ice (Ever Afters, #1))
Adam ” Lori called loudly enough for me to hear her but not so loud that her voice would carry up to my mom in the marina office- or to her dad who might be listening from their screened porch facing the water.
“I came over to get some tips from the boys about teaching Tammy and Rachel to board. Of course I did not come over here to see you. How could you think such a thing That would be disobedient.”
I held up the wax.
“For my own disobedience I have to buff the boat. Then I’m going for a jog.”
She tilted her head. Probably her eyes widened but I couldn’t see them behind her sunglasses. I hated not being able to see her eyes.
She asked “In this heat?”
I didn’t mind jogging in the heat. The heat was a big friendly animal that liked to wrestle and only occasionally sat on me until I lost my breath. Anyway she was missing the point.
I repeated carefully ”I am GOING for a JOG.”
“I HEARD you the FIRST time ” she said. “It’s late afternoon in the middle of June. It’s ninety-five degrees out here.”
“He means he’s GOING for a JOG” Rachel and Tammy said at the same time.
“He’s GOING for a JOG.”
Lori still didn’t get it. Normally her blondeness was one of the things I loved about her. At the moment not so much.
Exasperated Cameron told her “Adam wants you to go for a jog too.”
She said “Oh ”
“If you two airheads have to hook up secretly for very long ” Sean said “you’re not going to make it.
Jennifer Echols (Endless Summer (The Boys Next Door, #1-2))
Take the Cup, Sophia Collins,"she said, and the room was breathlessly silent. The Council chamber was not full, but the row Tessa sat at the end was:Gideon and Gabriel, Cecily and Henry, and her and Will, all leaning forward eagerly, waiting for Sophie to Ascend. At each end of the dais stood a Silent Brother, their heads bent, their parchment robes looking as if they had been carved out of marble. Charlotte lowered the Cup, and held it out to Sophie, who took it carefully. "Do you swear, Sophia Collins, to forsake the mundane world and follow the path of the Shadowhunter? Will you take into yourself the blood of the Angel Raziel and honor that blood? Do you swear to serve the Clave, to follow the Law as set forth by the Covernant, and to obey the word of the Council? Will you defend that which is human and mortal, knowing that for your service there will be no recompense and no thanks but honor?"I swear,"said Sophie, her voice very steady. "Can you be a shield for the weak, a light in the dark, a truth among falsehoods, a tower in the flood, an eye to see when all others are blind?" I can." "And when you are dead, will you give up your body to the Nephilim to be burned, that your ashes may be used to build the City of Bones?" "I will." "The drink,"said Charlotte. Tessa heard Gideon draw in his breath. This was the dangerous part of the ritual. This was the part that would kill the untrained and unworthy. Sophie bent her dark head and set the Cup to her lips. Tessa sat forward, her chest tight with aprehension. She felt Will's hand slide over hers, a warm, comforting weight. Sophie's throat moved as she swallowed. The circle that surrounded her and Charlotte flared up once with a cold, blue-white light, obscuring them both. When it faded, Tessa was left blinking stars from her eyes as the light dwindled. She blinked hastily, and saw Sophie hold up the Cup. there was a glow about the Cup she held as she handed it back to Charlotte, who smiled broadly. "You are Nehilim now,"she said. "I name you Sophia Shadowhunter, of the blood of Jonathan Shadowhunter, child of the Nehilim. Arise, Sophia.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
He called her on the road
From a lonely cold hotel room
Just to hear her say I love you one more time
But when he heard the sound
Of the kids laughing in the background
He had to wipe away a tear from his eye
A little voice came on the phone
Said "Daddy when you coming home"
He said the first thing that came to his mind
I'm already there
Take a look around
I'm the sunshine in your hair
I'm the shadow on the ground
I'm the whisper in the wind
I'm your imaginary friend
And I know I'm in your prayers
Oh I'm already there
She got back on the phone
Said I really miss you darling
Don't worry about the kids they'll be alright
Wish I was in your arms
Lying right there beside you
But I know that I'll be in your dreams tonight
And I'll gently kiss your lips
Touch you with my fingertips
So turn out the light and close your eyes
I'm already there
Don't make a sound
I'm the beat in your heart
I'm the moonlight shining down
I'm the whisper in the wind
And I'll be there until the end
Can you feel the love that we share
Oh I'm already there
We may be a thousand miles apart
But I'll be with you wherever you are
I'm already there
Take a look around
I'm the sunshine in your hair
I'm the shadow on the ground
I'm the whisper in the wind
And I'll be there until the end
Can you feel the love that we share
Oh I'm already there
Oh I'm already
Like I said, when I get pissed I say a lotta shit I don't mean and what I said about you I didn't mean," he repeated, beginning to look as impatient as he sounded.
"And like I said, you're old enough to learn you shouldn't do that," I repeated too, probably also looking impatient.
"That isn't me," he replied.
"Well, then, this obviously is eating you and that's your consequence because I have feelings and you walked all over them and you can't order me to shake it off so you can feel better. It's there, burned in my brain and I can't just forget it because you tell me to. So you have to live with that. You can't and want me gone, say it now because I'm beginning to like Betty and I met Shambles and Sunny and I'm having dinner with them tomorrow night and I'd rather not make ties when I'm going to need to hit the road because my boss is going to get rid of me."
"Shambles and Sunny?" he asked.
"Shambles and Sunny," I answered but didn't share more. "Now, can we just move on and do our best to work together and all other times avoid each other or do you want me to go?"
He moved forward an inch and I again fought the urge to retreat.
"Forgiveness is divine," he said softly and I'd never heard him talk soft. He had a very nice voice but when it went soft, it was beautiful.
This also sucked. (BTW, in the beginning a lot of things sucked! :D) I mean Lauren uses this word 'sucks'.
"I'm not divine," I returned. "I'm also not Ace and I'm not Babe. I'm Lauren. You don't like my name, don't call me anything at all. Now can I clean the danged table?"
I had my head tipped back to look him in the eye but I could tell he was expending effort to hold his whole body still.
Then he said in that soft voice, "I'm sorry, Ace."
"Me too," I replied instantly being clear I didn't accept his apology...
Kristen Ashley (Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain, #2))
But hey, I had the best times during each sprint,” I added.
His laugh was soft and possibly a little disappointed. “That’s my girl. Running every morning?”
“Every morning and I’ve been swimming more.” I stopped talking when I heard a voice in the background.
All I heard was my dad mumbling, “It’s Sal… you wanna talk to her?... Okay… Sal, your mom says hi.”
“Tell her I said hi back.”
“My daughter says hi… no, she’s mine. The other one is yours… Ha! No!... Sal are you mine or your mom’s?” he asked me.
“I’m the milkman’s.”
“I knew it!” He finally laughed with a deep pleased sigh.
I was smiling like a total fool. “I love you too, old man.
Mariana Zapata (Kulti)
I have only one memory of getting here, and even that is just a single image: black ink curling around the side of a neck, the corner of a tattoo, and the gentle sway that could only mean he was carrying me.
He turns off the bathroom light and gets an ice pack from the refrigerator in the corner of the room. As he walks toward me, I consider closing my eyes and pretending to be asleep,but then our eyes meet and it's too late.
"Your hands," I croak.
"My hands are none of your concern," he replies. He rests his knee on the mattress and leans over me,slipping the ice pack under my head. Before he pulls away,I reach out to touch the cut on the side of his lip but stop when I realize what I am about to do, my hand hovering.
What do you have to lose? I ask myself. I touch my fingertips lightly to his mouth.
"Tris," he says, speaking against my fingers. "I'm all right."
"Why were you there?" I ask, letting my hand drop.
"I was coming back from the control room. I heard a scream."
"What did you do to them?" I say.
"I deposited Drew at the infirmary a half hour ago," he says. "Peter and Al ran. Drew claimed they were just trying to scare you.At least,I think that's what he was trying to say."
"He's in bad shape?"
"He'll live," he replies. He adds bitterly, "In what condition, I can't say."
It isn't right to wish pain on other people just because they hurt me first. But white-hot triumph races through me at the thought of Drew at the infirmary, and I squeeze Four's arm.
"Good," I say.My voice sounds tight and fierce.Anger builds inside me, replacing my blood with bitter water and filling me, consuming me.I wantt o break something,or hit something, but I am afraid to move,so I start crying instead.
Four crouches by the side of the bed, and watches me. I see no sympathy in his eyes.I would have been disappointed if I had. He pulls his wrist free and, to my surprise, rests his hand on the side of my face, his thumb skimming my cheekbone.His fingers are careful.
"I could report this," he says.
"No," I reply. "I don't want them to think I'm scared."
He nods.He moves his thumb absently over my cheekbone, back and forth. "I figured you would say that."
"You think it would be a bad idea if I sat up?"
"I'll help you."
Four grips my shoulder with one hand and holds my head steady with the other as I push myself up.Pain rushes through my body in sharp bursts,but I try to ignore it,stifling a groan.
He hands me the ice pack. "You can let yourself be in pain," he says. "It's just me here.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Keeping The City
"Unless the Lord keepeth the city, the watchman guardeth in vain" - John F. Kennedy's unspoken words in Dallas on November 23, 1963.
head on your chest,
I heard wings
battering up the place,
something inside trying to fly out
and I was silent
I was your small public,
your small audience
but it was you that was clapping,
it was you untying the snarls and knots,
the webs, all bloody and gluey;
you with your twelve tongues and twelve wings
beating, wresting, beating, beating
your way out of childhood,
that airless net that fastened you down.
Since then I was more silent
though you had gone miles away,
tearing down, rebuilding the fortress.
I was there
but could do nothing
but guard the city
lest it break.
I was silent.
I had a strange idea I could overhear
but that your voice, tongue, wing
belonged solely to you.
The Lord was silent too.
I did not know if he could keep you whole,
where I, miles away, yet head on your chest,
could do nothing. Not a single thing.
The wings of the watchman,
if I spoke, would hurt the bird of your soul
as he nested, bit, sucked, flapped.
I wanted him to fly, burst like a missile from your throat,
burst from the spidery-mother-web,
burst from Woman herself
where too many had laid out lights
that stuck to you and left a burn
that smarted into your middle age.
of my choice
that I guard
like a butterfly, useless, useless
in her yellow costume, swirling
swirling around the gates.
The city shifts, falls, rebuilds,
and I can do nothing.
should be on the alert,
but never cocksure.
And The Lord -
who knows what he keepeth?
Anne Sexton (45 Mercy Street)
There's one way. Only one. Mine." Balthazar stepped closer, using every inch he had on Lucas, who was tall but not that tall. "Charity is a person. The same as you, the same as me."
"You and me aren't the same."
Balthazar cocked his head. "Then let's say the same as Bianca. Will that make you listen?"
"Bianca's no killer! She didn't have a choice about what she is."
"Guys, don't do this," I pleaded, but they paid no attention.
"A choice? You think we all get a choice?" Although Balthazar spoke softly, there was a roughness to his voice I'd never heard before. It sent chills down my spine. "Try being hunted down in the night. Try running as far and as fast as you can and finding out their faster. Try coming to in a stable, with your parents' dead bodies on the ground in front of you, your hands roped above your head and a dozen hungry vampires arguing with each other about who gets you next. See how much choice you have then."
Lucas just stared at him. Obviously he'd never imagined anything like that; neither had I.
Even more quietly, Balthazar continued, "Try watching your baby sister die, and then tell me that you wouldn't spend the rest of eternity trying to make up for it. When you've done all that, Lucas, then you can talk to me about choices. Until that time, tell me what I need to know and then shut your mouth.
Claudia Gray (Stargazer (Evernight, #2))
Our minds are creative and knowledgeable.
Yet time and time again, our needs and wants fell on deaf ears. We were told we weren’t good enough. We were abused mentally, physically, and emotionally. We were told with nasty sarcastic remarks at times, and here and there maybe a laugh that made the insult worse; “It would be your word against mine, and guess who they are going believe? Not you.”
One by one we took a chance to speak up, but our voices weren’t heard. They tried to make us feel threatened; as if we were going to lay down and be stepped on like shit on the bottom on their shoe. We interrupted their comfort zone and showed them their time was up!
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
Fine, then," she said. "If you don't want to talk, that's fine. I don't think I would want to in your situation either, frankly, but then again I don't know if I could help myself. Humans are very social creatures; we like to communicate in order to feel--"
"You talk too much."
Kira stopped, eyes wide. His voice was dry and hoarse from days of disuse--as far as she knew, it hadn't said a word since they'd captured it, now more than fifty hours ago. She almost wasn't sure she heard him right. The first human to communicate with another species in eleven years, she though, and he tells me to shut up.
Dan Wells (Partials (Partials Sequence, #1))
A sound of laughter was heard-they turned sharply. Vera Claythorne was standing in the yard. She cried out in a high shrill voice, shaken with wild bursts of laughter:
"Do they keep bees on this island? Tell me that. Where do we go for honey? Ha! ha!"
They stared at her uncomprehendingly. It was as though the sane well-balanced girl had gone mad right before their eyes. She went on in that high unnatural voice:
"Don't stare like that! As though you thought I was mad. It's sane enough what I'm asking. Bees, hives, bees! Oh, don't you understand? Haven't you read that idiotic rhyme? It's up in all of your bedrooms-put it there for you to study! We might have come here straightaway if we'd had sense. Seven little soldiers chopping up sticks. And the next verse, I know the whole thing by heart, I tell you! Six little soldier boys playing with a hive. And that's why I'm asking-do they keep bees on this island- isn't it damned funny...?
Agatha Christie (And Then There Were None)
The Earth was created by the assistance of the sun, and it should be left as it was. The country was made with no lines of demarcation, and it's no man's business to divide it. I see the whites all over the country gaining wealth, and I see the desire to give us lands which are worthless.
The Earth and myself are of one mind. Perhaps you think the Creator sent you here to dispose of us as you see fit. If I thought you were sent by the creator, I might he induced to think you had a right to dispose of me.
Do not misunderstand me; but understand me fully with reference to my affection for the land. I never said the land was mine to do with as I choose. The one who has a right to dispose of it is the one who created it. I claim a right to live on my land, and accord you the privilege to return to yours.
Brother, we have listened to your talk coming from our father, the Great White Chief in Washington, and my people have called upon me to reply to you.
The winds which pass through these aged pines we hear the moaning of departed ghosts, and if the voice of our people could have been heard, that act would never have been done. But alas though they stood around they could neither be seen nor heard. Their tears fell like drops of rain.
I hear my voice in the depths of the forest but no answering voice comes back to me. All is silent around me. My words must therefore be few. I can now say no more. He is silent for he has nothing to answer when the sun goes down.
I’m also really sorry that I’ve been so rude to you. I’m not normally. I don’t know where all the sarcasm comes from.”
Ren raised an eyebrow.
“Okay. I have a cynical, evil side that is normally hidden. But when I’m under great stress or extremely desperate, it comes out.”
He set down my foot, picked up the other one, and began massaging it with his thumbs. He didn’t say anything, so I continued, “Being cold-hearted and nasty was the only thing I could do to push you away. It was kind of a dense mechanism.”
“So you admit you were trying to push me away.”
“Yes. Of course.”
“And it’s because you’re a radish.”
Frustrated, I said, “Yes! Now that you’re a man again, you’ll find someone better for you, someone who complements you. It’s not your fault. I mean, you’ve been a tiger so long that you just don’t know how the world works.”
“Right. And how does the world work, Kelsey?”
I could hear the frustration in his voice but pressed on. “Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but you could be going out with some supermodel-turned-actress. Haven’t you been paying attention?”
Angrily, he shouted, “Oh, yes, indeed I am paying attention! What you are saying is that I should be a stuck-up, rich, shallow, libertine who cares only about wealth, power, and bettering my status. That I should date superficial, fickle, pretentious, brainless women who care more about my connections than they do about me. And that I am not wise enough, or up-to-date enough, to know who I want or what I want in life! Does that sum it up?”
I squeaked out a small, “Yes.”
“You truly feel this way?”
I flinched. “Yes.” Ren leaned forward. “Well, you’re wrong, Kelsey. Wrong about yourself and wrong about me!”
He was livid. I shifted uncomfortably while he went on.
“I know what I want. I’m not operating under any delusions. I’ve studied people from a cage for centuries, and that’s given me ample time to figure out my priorities. From the first moment I saw you, the first time I heard your voice, I knew you were different. You were special. The first time you reached your hand into my cage and touched me, you made me feel alive in a way I’ve never felt before.”
“Maybe it’s all just a part of the curse. Did you ever think of that? Maybe these aren’t your true feelings. Maybe you sensed that I was the one to help you, and you’ve somehow misinterpreted your emotions.”
“I highly doubt it. I’ve never felt this way about anyone, even before the curse.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
The god abandons Antony
When at the hour of midnight
an invisible choir is suddenly heard passing
with exquisite music, with voices ―
Do not lament your fortune that at last subsides,
your life’s work that has failed, your schemes that have proved illusions.
But like a man prepared, like a brave man,
bid farewell to her, to Alexandria who is departing.
Above all, do not delude yourself, do not say that it is a dream,
that your ear was mistaken.
Do not condescend to such empty hopes.
Like a man for long prepared, like a brave man,
like the man who was worthy of such a city,
go to the window firmly,
and listen with emotion
but not with the prayers and complaints of the coward
(Ah! supreme rapture!)
listen to the notes, to the exquisite instruments of the mystic choir,
and bid farewell to her, to Alexandria whom you are losing.
Constantinos P. Cavafy (Selected Poems)
When Magnus looked at Imasu, he saw Imasu had dropped his head into his hands.
"Er," Magnus said. "Are you quite all right?"
"I was simply overcome," Imasu said in a faint voice.
Magnus preened slightly. "Ah. Well."
"By how awful that was," Imasu said.
Magnus blinked. "Pardon?"
"I can't live a lie any longer!" Imasu burst out. "I have tried to be encouraging. Dignitaries of the town have been sent to me, asking me to plead with you to stop. My own sainted mother begged me, with tears in her eyes - "
"It isn't as bad as all that - "
"Yes, it is!" It was like a dam of musical critique had broken. Imasu turned on him with eyes that flashed instead of shining. "It is worse than you can possibly imagine! When you play, all of my mother's flowers lose the will to live and expire on the instant. The quinoa has no flavor now. The llamas are migrating because of your music, and llamas are not a migratory animal. The children now believe there is a sickly monster, half horse and half large mournful chicken, that lives in the lake and calls out to the world to grant it the sweet release of death. The townspeople believe that you and I are performing arcane magic rituals - "
"Well, that one was rather a good guess," Magnus remarked.
" - using the skull of an elephant, an improbably large mushroom, and one of your very peculiar hats!"
"Or not," said Magnus. "Furthermore, my hats are extraordinary."
"I will not argue with that." Imasu scrubbed a hand through his thick black hair, which curled and clung to his fingers like inky vines. "Look, I know that I was wrong. I saw a handsome man, thought that it would not hurt to talk a little about music and strike up a common interest, but I don't deserve this. You are going to get stoned in the town square, and if I have to listen to you play again, I will drown myself in the lake."
"Oh," said Magnus, and he began to grin. "I wouldn't. I hear there is a dreadful monster living in that lake."
Imasu seemed to still be brooding about Magnus's charango playing, a subject that Magnus had lost all interest in. "I believe the world will end with a noise like the noise you make!"
"Interesting," said Magnus, and he threw his charango out the window.
"I believe that music and I have gone as far as we can go together," Magnus said. "A true artiste knows when to surrender."
"I can't believe you did that!"
Magnus waved a hand airily. "I know, it is heartbreaking, but sometimes one must shut one's ears to the pleas of the muse."
"I just meant that those are expensive and I heard a crunch.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
You expect me to marry him."
"Yes,of course," Finn said, almost wearily.
"You're not even gonna try to..." I swallowed back tears and looked away from him. "When Elora told me, I fought with her. I fought for you."
"I am sorry,Wendy." His voice had gotten low and thick. He stepped closer and raised his hand as if he meant to touch me,but dropped it instead. "But you will be happy with Tove. He can protect you."
"I wish everyone would stop talking about him that way!" I sat back on the bed, exasperated. "Tove is a person! This is his life! Doesn't he deserve better than being somebody's watchdog?"
"I can imagine worse things in life than being married to you," Finn said quietly.
"Don't." I shook my head. "Don't joke. Don't be nice." I glared up at him. "You kept this from me. But worse still, you didn't fight for me."
"You know why I can't,Wendy." His dark eyes smoldered, and his fists clenched at his side. "Now you know who you are and what you mean to the kingdom. I can't fight for something that isn't mine. Especially not when you mean so much to our people."
"You're right,Finn,I'm not yours." I nodded, looking down at the floor. "I'm not anybody's. I have a choice in all of this, and so do you.But you have no right to take my choice away from me,to tell me who I should marry."
"I didn't arrange this marriage," Finn said incredulously.
"But you think I should marry him, and you've done nothing to stop it." I shrugged. "You might as well have arranged it yourself."
I wiped at my eyes, and he didn't say anything. I lay down on my bed and rolled over so my back was to him. After a few mintues, I heard him walk away and the door shut behind him.
Amanda Hocking (Torn (Trylle, #2))
A quiet but indomitable voice behind me said, “I believe this is my dance.”
It was Ren. I could feel his presence. The warmth of him seeped into my back, and I quivered all over like spring leaves in a warm breeze.
Kishan narrowed his eyes and said, “I believe it is the lady’s choice.”
Kishan looked down at me. I didn’t want to cause a scene, so I simply nodded and removed my arms from his neck. Kishan glared at his replacement and stalked angrily off the dance floor.
Ren stepped in front of me, took my hands gently in his, and placed them around his neck, bringing my face achingly close to his. Then he slid his hands slowly and deliberately over my bare arms and down my sides, until they encircled my waist. He traced little circles on my exposes lower back with his fingers, squeezed my waist, and drew my body up tightly against him.
He guided me expertly through the slow dance. He didn’t say anything, at least not with words, but he was still sending lots of signals. He pressed his forehead against mine and leaned down to nuzzle my ear. He buried his face in my hair and lifted his hand to stroke down the length of it. His fingers played along my bare arm and at my waist.
When the song ended, it took both of us a min to recover our senses and remember where we were. He traced the curve of my bottom lip with his finger then reached up to take my hand from around his neck and led me outside to the porch.
I thought he would stop there, but he headed down the stairs and guided me to a wooded area with stone benches. The moon made his skin glow. He was wearing a white shirt with dark slacks. The white made me think of him as the tiger.
He pulled me under the shadow of a tree. I stood very still and quiet, afraid that if I spoke I’d say something I’d regret.
He cupped my chin and tilted my face up so he could look in my eyes. “Kelsey, there’s something I need to say to you, and I want you to be silent and listen.”
I nodded my head hesitantly.
“First, I want to let you know that I heard everything you said to me the other night, and I’ve been giving your words some very serious thought. It’s important for you to understand that.”
He shifted and picked up a lock of hair, tucked it behind my ear, and trailed his fingers down my cheek to my lips. He smiled sweetly at me, and I felt the little love plant bask in his smile and turn toward it as if it contained the nourishing rays of the sun. “Kelsey,” he brushed a hand through his hair, and his smile turned into a lopsided grin, “the fact is…I’m in love with you, and I have been for some time.”
I sucked in a deep breath.
He picked up my hand and played with my fingers. “I don’t want you to leave.” He began kissing my fingers while looking directly into my eyes. It was hypnotic. He took something out of his pocket. “I want to give you something.” He held out a golden chain covered with small tinkling bell charms. “It’s an anklet. They’re very popular here, and I got this one so we’d never have to search for a bell again.”
He crouched down, wrapping his hand around the back of my calf, and then slid his palm down to my ankle and attached the clasp. I swayed and barely stopped myself from falling over. He trailed his warm fingers lightly over the bells before standing up. Putting his hands on my shoulders, he squeezed, and pulled me closer.
“Kells . . . please.” He kissed my temple, my forehead, and my cheek. Between each kiss, he sweetly begged, “Please. Please. Please. Tell me you’ll stay with me.” When his lips brushed lightly against mine, he said, “I need you,” then crushed his lips against mine.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
And what, you think you can fix me?” she asks, turning in her stool to face me, shifting her body closer, so close I can smell the liquor on her warm breath as she whispers, “Think you can make me whole again? Save me from the world? Save me from myself? Fill me up, maybe fuck the feeling back into me, like the big, strong, man you are? Make me a real woman, instead of a broken little girl?”
There’s a sickening sweetness to her voice that sends a chill down my spine. If I never heard a thinly veiled ‘fuck you’ before, that was certainly one for the books. I move closer to her, uncomfortably so, cocking my head slightly as I lean in, watching as her body tenses. She thinks I’m about to kiss her, my mouth just inches from hers, before I stop, my voice gritty as I say, “On the contrary, Scarlet, I don’t think you need to be fixed at all.”
“No,” I say. “I think you’re perfect the way you are.
J.M. Darhower (Menace (Scarlet Scars, #1))
But you haven't tried. You haven't tried once. First you refused to admit that there was a menace at all! Then you reposed an absolutely blind faith in the Emperor! Now you've shifted it to Hari Seldon. Throughout you have invariably relied on authority or on the past—never on yourselves."
His fists balled spasmodically. "It amounts to a diseased attitude—a conditioned reflex that shunts aside the independence of your minds whenever it is a question of opposing authority. There seems no doubt ever in your minds that the Emperor is more powerful than you are, or Hari Seldon Wiser. And that's wrong don't you see?"
For some reason, no one cared to answer him.
Hardin continued: "It isn't just you. It's the whole Galaxy. Pirenne heard Lord Dorwin's idea of scientific research. Lord Dorwin thought the way to be a good archaeologist was to read all the books on the subject—written by men who were dead for centuries. He thought that the way to solve archaeological puzzles was to weight the opposing authorities. And Pirenne listened and made no objections. Don't you see that there's something wrong with that?"
Again the note of near-pleading in his voice.
Again no answer. He went on: "And you men and half of Terminus as well are just as bad.. We sit here, considering the Encyclopedia the all-in-all. We consider the greatest end of science is the classification of past data. It is important, but is there no further work to be done? We're receding and forgetting, don't you see? Here in the Periphery they've lost nuclear power. In Gamma Andromeda, a power plant has undergone meltdown because of poor repairs, and the Chancellor of the Empire complains that nuclear technicians are scarce. And the solution? To train new ones? Never! Instead they're to restrict nuclear power."
And for the third time: "Don't you see? It's galaxy-wide. It's a worship of the past. It's a deterioration—a stagnation!
Isaac Asimov (Foundation (Foundation, #1))
Consider that, if you talk, if you babble, you will sacrifice the head of your master, who has so much confidence in your fidelity that he has answered for you to us. But remember also that if by any fault of yours any such calamity should befall d'Artagnanan I will hunt you out wherever you may be and completely perforate you."
"Oh, sir!" cried Planchet, humiliated at the suspicion, and particularly alarmed by the calmness of the musketeer.
"And I," said Porthos, rolling his great eyes, "remember, that I will skin you alive."
"And I," said Aramis, with his soft and melodious voice, "remember, that I will roast you at a slow fire, as if you were an untutored savage."
And Planchet began to cry; but we cannot venture to say whether it was from terror on account of the threats he had heard, or from being affected at seeing so close a union of hearts between the four friends.
Alexandre Dumas (The Three Musketeers (The D'Artagnan Romances, #1))
I scooted out of the laundry room and skipped down the hallway, arms flaying around my head like one of the hot pink puppets from the movie Labyrinth. “A scent and a sound, I’m lost and I’m found. And I’m hungry like the wolf. Something on a line, it’s discord and rhyme—whatever, whatever, la la la—Mouth is alive, all running inside, and I’m hungry like the—” Warmth spread down my neck.
“It’s actually, ‘I howl and I whine. I’m after you,’ and not blah or whatever.”
Startled by the deep voice, I shrieked and whipped around. My foot slipped on a section of well-cleaned wood and my butt smacked on the floor.
“Holy crap,” I gasped, clutching my chest. “I think I’m having a heart attack.”
“And I think you broke your butt.” Laughter filled Daemon’s voice.
I remained sprawled across the narrow hallway, trying to catch my breath. “What the hell? Do you just walk into people’s houses?”
“And listen to girls absolutely destroy a song in a matter of seconds? Well, yes, I make a habit out of it. Actually, I knocked several times, but I heard your…singing, and your door was unlocked.” He shrugged.
“So I just let myself in.”
“I can see that.” I stood, wincing. “Oh, man, maybe I did break my butt.”
“I hope not. I’m kind of partial to your butt.” He flashed a smile. “Your face is pretty red. You sure you didn’t smack that on the way down?”
I groaned. “I hate you.
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Thank you for inviting me here today " I said my voice sounding nothing like me. "I'm here to testify about things I've seen and experienced myself. I'm here because the human race has become more powerful than ever. We've gone to the moon. Our crops resist diseases and pests. We can stop and restart a human heart. And we've harvested vast amounts of energy for everything from night-lights to enormous super-jets. We've even created new kinds of people, like me.
"But everything mankind" - I frowned - "personkind has accomplished has had a price. One that we're all gonna have to pay."
I heard coughing and shifting in the audience. I looked down at my notes and all the little black words blurred together on the page. I just could not get through this.
I put the speech down picked up the microphone and came out from behind the podium.
"Look " I said. "There's a lot of official stuff I could quote and put up on the screen with PowerPoint. But what you need to know what the world needs to know is that we're really destroying the earth in a bigger and more catastrophic was than anyone has ever imagined.
"I mean I've seen a lot of the world the only world we have. There are so many awesome beautiful tings in it. Waterfalls and mountains thermal pools surrounded by sand like white sugar. Field and field of wildflowers. Places where the ocean crashes up against a mountainside like it's done for hundreds of thousands of years.
"I've also seen concrete cities with hardly any green. And rivers whose pretty rainbow surfaces came from an oil leak upstream. Animals are becoming extinct right now in my lifetime. Just recently I went through one of the worst hurricanes ever recorded. It was a whole lot worse because of huge worldwide climatic changes caused by... us. We the people."
"A more perfect union While huge corporations do whatever they want to whoever they want and other people live in subway tunnels Where's the justice of that Kids right here in America go to be hungry every night while other people get four-hundred-dollar haircuts. Promote the general welfare Where's the General welfare in strip-mining toxic pesticides industrial solvents being dumped into rivers killing everything Domestic Tranquility Ever sleep in a forest that's being clear-cut You'd be hearing chain saws in your head for weeks. The blessings of liberty Yes. I'm using one of the blessings of liberty right now my freedom of speech to tell you guys who make the laws that the very ground you stand on the house you live in the children you tuck in at night are all in immediate catastrophic danger.
James Patterson (The Final Warning (Maximum Ride, #4))
I went back in and grabbed my running clothes, then changed in the bathroom. I opened the door to the bathroom, stopping when I saw Kaidan's toiletry bag on the sink. I was overcome with curiosity about his cologne or aftershave, because I'd never smelled it on anyone else before. Feeling sneaky, I prodded one finger into the bag and peeked. No cologne bottle. Only a razor, shaving cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant. I picked up the deodorant, pulled off the lid, and smelled it. Nope, that wasn't it.
The sound of Kaidan's deep chuckle close to the doorway made me scream and drop the deodorant into the sink with a clatter. I smacked one hand to my chest and grabbed the edge of the sink with the other. He laughed out loud now.
“Okay, that must have looked really bad.” I spoke to his reflection in the mirror, then fumbled to pick up the deodorant. I put the lid on and dropped it in his bag. “But I was just trying to figure out what cologne you wear.”
My face was on fire as Kaidan stepped into the small bathroom and leaned against the counter, crossing his arms over his chest. I stepped away. He seemed entertained by my predicament.
“I haven't been wearing any cologne.”
“Oh.” I cleared my throat. “Well, I didn't see any, so I thought it might be your deodorant, but that's not it either. Maybe it's your laundry detergent or something. Let's just forget about it.”
“What is it you smell, exactly?” His voice took on a husky quality, and it felt like he was taking up a lot of room. I couldn't bring myself to look at him. Something strange was going on here. I stepped back, hitting the tub with my heel as I tried to put the scent into words.
“I don't know. It's like citrus and the forest or something...leaves and tree sap. I can't explain it.”
His eyes bored into mine while he wore that trademark sexy smirk, arms still crossed.
“Citrus?” he asked. “Like lemons?”
“Oranges mostly. And a little lime, too.”
He nodded and flicked his head to the side to get hair out of his eyes. Then his smile disappeared and his badge throbbed.
“What you smell are my pheromones, Anna.”
A small, nervous laugh burst from my throat.
“Oh, okay, then. Well...” I eyed the small space that was available to pass through the door. I made an awkward move toward it, but he shifted his body and I stepped back again.
“People can't usually smell pheromones,” he told me. “You must be using your extra senses without realizing it. I've heard of Neph losing control of their senses with certain emotions. Fear, surprise...lust.”
I rubbed my hands up and down my upper arms, wanting nothing more than to veer this conversation out of the danger zone.
“Yeah, I do have a hard time reining in the scent sometimes,” I babbled. “It even gets away from me while I sleep now and then. I wake up thinking Patti's making cinnamon rolls and it ends up being from someone else's apartment. Then I'm just stuck with cereal. Anyway...”
“Would you like to know your own scent?” he asked me.
My heart swelled up big in my chest and squeezed small again. This whole scent thing was way too sensual to be discussed in this small space. Any second now my traitorous body would be emitting some of those pheromones and there'd be red in my aura.
“Uh, not really,” I said, keeping my eyes averted. “I think I should probably go.”
He made no attempt to move out of the doorway.
“You smell like pears with freesia undertones.”
“Wow, okay.” I cleared my throat, still refusing eye contact. I had to get out of there. “I think I'll just...” I pointed to the door and began to shuffle past him, doing my best not to brush up against him. He finally took a step back and put his hands up by his sides to show that he wouldn't touch me. I broke out of the confined bathroom and took a deep breath.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
If you're dizzy at all, sit down. Just sit down wherever you are. It's better than falling. Range of motion in the shoulder?"
Eve demonstrated it by raising her arms and scrubbing shampoo into her hair.
Eve wiggled her butt and made Louise laugh. "Glad to see you're feeling frisky."
"That wasn't frisky. I was mooning you, which is supposed to be insulting."
"But you have such a cute little butt."
"So I've always said," Roarke added.
"Jesus, are you still in here? Go away, everybody go away." She flipped back her hair, turned, and let out a thin scream when Peabody walked in.
"Hey! How're you feeling?"
"Naked. I'm feeling naked and very crowded."
"The face doesn't look half-bad." Peabody looked around. "She's in here, McNab, doing a lot better."
"He comes in here," Eve said ominously, "and somebody's going to die."
"Bathrooms—veritable death traps," Roarke added. "Why don't I just take Peabody and McNab, and Feeney," he added when he heard the EDD captain's voice join McNab's, "up to your office. Louise will stay until she's satisfied you're fit to return to duty."
"I'm fit to kick righteous ass if one more person sees my tits this morning."
She turned away again and tried to bury herself in water and steam.
J.D. Robb (Reunion in Death (In Death, #14))
Ms. Terwilliger didn’t have a chance to respond to my geological ramblings because someone knocked on the door. I slipped the rocks into my pocket and tried to look studious as she called an entry. I figured Zoe had tracked me down, but surprisingly, Angeline walked in.
"Did you know," she said, "that it’s a lot harder to put organs back in the body than it is to get them out?"
I closed my eyes and silently counted to five before opening them again. “Please tell me you haven’t eviscerated someone.”
She shook her head. “No, no. I left my biology homework in Miss Wentworth’s room, but when I went back to get it, she’d already left and locked the door. But it’s due tomorrow, and I’m already in trouble in there, so I had to get it. So, I went around outside, and her window lock wasn’t that hard to open, and I—”
"Wait," I interrupted. "You broke into a classroom?"
"Yeah, but that’s not the problem."
Behind me, I heard a choking laugh from Ms. Terwilliger’s desk.
"Go on," I said wearily.
"Well, when I climbed through, I didn’t realize there was a bunch of stuff in the way, and I crashed into those plastic models of the human body she has. You know, the life size ones with all the parts inside? And bam!" Angeline held up her arms for effect. "Organs everywhere." She paused and looked at me expectantly. "So what are we going to do? I can’t get in trouble with her."
"We?" I exclaimed.
"Here," said Ms. Terwilliger. I turned around, and she tossed me a set of keys. From the look on her face, it was taking every ounce of self-control not to burst out laughing. "That square one’s a master. I know for a fact she has yoga and won’t be back for the rest of the day. I imagine you can repair the damage—and retrieve the homework—before anyone’s the wiser.”
I knew that the “you” in “you can repair” meant me. With a sigh, I stood up and packed up my things. “Thanks,” I said.
As Angeline and I walked down to the science wing, I told her, “You know, the next time you’ve got a problem, maybe come to me before it becomes an even bigger problem.”
"Oh no," she said nobly. "I didn’t want to be an inconvenience."
Her description of the scene was pretty accurate: organs everywhere. Miss Wentworth had two models, male and female, with carved out torsos that cleverly held removable parts of the body that could be examined in greater detail. Wisely, she had purchased models that were only waist-high. That was still more than enough of a mess for us, especially since it was hard to tell which model the various organs belonged to.
I had a pretty good sense of anatomy but still opened up a textbook for reference as I began sorting. Angeline, realizing her uselessness here, perched on a far counter and swing her legs as she watched me. I’d started reassembling the male when I heard a voice behind me.
"Melbourne, I always knew you’d need to learn about this kind of thing. I’d just kind of hoped you’d learn it on a real guy."
I glanced back at Trey, as he leaned in the doorway with a smug expression. “Ha, ha. If you were a real friend, you’d come help me.” I pointed to the female model. “Let’s see some of your alleged expertise in action.”
"Alleged?" He sounded indignant but strolled in anyways.
I hadn’t really thought much about asking him for help. Mostly I was thinking this was taking much longer than it should, and I had more important things to do with my time. It was only when he came to a sudden halt that I realized my mistake.
"Oh," he said, seeing Angeline. "Hi."
Her swinging feet stopped, and her eyes were as wide as his. “Um, hi.”
The tension ramped up from zero to sixty in a matter of seconds, and everyone seemed at a loss for words. Angeline jerked her head toward the models and blurted out. “I had an accident.”
That seemed to snap Trey from his daze, and a smile curved his lips. Whereas Angeline’s antics made me want to pull out my hair sometimes, he found them endearing.
Richelle Mead (The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4))
You have the lovers,
they are nameless, their histories only for each other,
and you have the room, the bed, and the windows.
Pretend it is a ritual.
Unfurl the bed, bury the lovers, blacken the windows,
let them live in that house for a generation or two.
No one dares disturb them.
Visitors in the corridor tip-toe past the long closed door,
they listen for sounds, for a moan, for a song:
nothing is heard, not even breathing.
You know they are not dead,
you can feel the presence of their intense love.
Your children grow up, they leave you,
they have become soldiers and riders.
Your mate dies after a life of service.
Who knows you? Who remembers you?
But in your house a ritual is in progress:
It is not finished: it needs more people.
One day the door is opened to the lover's chamber.
The room has become a dense garden,
full of colours, smells, sounds you have never known.
The bed is smooth as a wafer of sunlight,
in the midst of the garden it stands alone.
In the bed the lovers, slowly and deliberately and silently,
perform the act of love.
Their eyes are closed,
as tightly as if heavy coins of flesh lay on them.
Their lips are bruised with new and old bruises.
Her hair and his beard are hopelessly tangled.
When he puts his mouth against her shoulder
she is uncertain whether her shoulder
has given or received the kiss.
All her flesh is like a mouth.
He carries his fingers along her waist
and feels his own waist caressed.
She holds him closer and his own arms tighten around her.
She kisses the hand besider her mouth.
It is his hand or her hand, it hardly matters,
there are so many more kisses.
You stand beside the bed, weeping with happiness,
you carefully peel away the sheets
from the slow-moving bodies.
Your eyes filled with tears, you barely make out the lovers,
As you undress you sing out, and your voice is magnificent
because now you believe it is the first human voice
heard in that room.
The garments you let fall grow into vines.
You climb into bed and recover the flesh.
You close your eyes and allow them to be sewn shut.
You create an embrace and fall into it.
There is only one moment of pain or doubt
as you wonder how many multitudes are lying beside your body,
but a mouth kisses and a hand soothes the moment away.
You are precious to me. What is so wrong with wanting to take care of you?”
“If I needed or wanted to be taken care of, I would be no better than the women in here! I am nothing like them.”
“No, you are not! I love you, Lada.” He closed his eyes and lowered his voice, trying to regain control. “Please allow me to love you. You are the most important person in my life. You and your brother are the only people who truly know me.”
Lada flinched, and Mehmed’s eyebrows raised as he noticed her reaction. He did not understand why, though. Lada had not told him about her last fight with Radu, nor that she had heard nothing from him since they parted. Mehmed remained blind to the true depths of Radu’s love—and to how much Lada missed her brother.
“Please,” Mehmed said. “I have already lost Radu to my father. He rarely writes, and when he does it is as though he addresses a stranger. I cannot afford to lose you, too.”
“You cannot lose something you do not own. Take me with you.
Kiersten White (And I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga, #1))
At the mention of children, Connor halted his steps. For a moment Beatrice thought he was going to storm off, turn away from her and never look back.
Instead he fell to one knee before her. Time went momentarily still. In some dazed part of her mind Beatrice remembered Teddy, kneeling stiffly at her feet as he swore to be her liege man. This felt utterly different. Even kneeling, Connor looked like a warrior, every line of his body radiating a tensed power and strength.
"It kills me that I don't have more to offer you," he said roughly. "I have no lands, no fortune, no title. All I can give you is my honor, and my heart. Which already belongs to you."
She would have fallen in love with him right then, if she didn't already love him so fiercely that every cell of her body burned with it.
"I love you, Bee. I've loved you for so long I've forgotten what it felt like not to love you."
"I love you, too." Her eyes stung with tears.
"I get that you have to marry someone before your dad dies. But you can't marry Teddy Eaton."
She watched as he fumbled in his jacket for something - had he bought a ring? She thought wildly - but what he pulled out instead was a black Sharpie. Still kneeling before her, he slid the diamond engagement ring off Beatrice's finger and tucked it in the pocket of her jacket. Using the Sharpie, he traced a thin loop around the skin of Beatrice's finger, where the ring had been.
"I'm sorry it isn't a real ring, but I'm improvising here." There was a nervous catch to Connor's voice that Beatrice hadn't heard before. But when he looked up and spoke his next words, his face glowed with a fierce, fervent hope.
Katharine McGee (American Royals (American Royals, #1))
I came to another passageway and paused to examine the scene. I saw myself dead and lying on the ground with Ren kneeling beside me. He leaned over my inert body investigating. I heard him whisper, “Kelsey? Is it you? Kelsey, please. Talk to me. I need to know if it’s really you.”
He picked my body up and cradled it lovingly in his arms. I checked to make sure he had the gada and the backpack, which he did, but I’d been fooled before. Then he said, “Don’t leave me, Kells.”
I closed my eyes and listened to his voice begging me to live. My heart started thumping wildly, a different reaction than I’d had in the past visions. I took a step closer and hit a barrier again.
I spoke to him softly, “Ren? I’m here. Don’t give up.”
He raised his head as if he’d heard me.
“Kelsey? I can hear you, but I can’t see you. Where are you?” He lowered me, or the body that looked like me, to the ground, and it disappeared.
I told him, “Close your eyes and feel your way to me.” He stood slowly and closed his eyes.
I closed my eyes too, and tried to focus not on his voice but on his heart. I imagined my hand on his chest, feeling the strong thump of his heart beneath my fingers. My body seemed to move of its own volition, and I took several steps forward. I concentrated on Ren, his laugh, his smile, how I felt being near him, then, suddenly, my hand touched his chest, and I could feel his heart beating. He was there. I opened my eyes slowly and looked at him.
He reached out a hand to touch my hair, but then he pulled it back. “Is it really you this time, Kells?”
“Well, I’m no maggoty corpse, if that’s what you mean.”
He grinned. “That’s a relief. No maggoty corpse would be that sarcastic.”
I countered, “Well, how do I know it’s really you?”
He considered my question for a moment and then ducked his head to kiss me. He tugged me flush up against his chest, pulling me closer than I even thought possible, and then his lips touched mine. His kiss started out warm and soft, but quickly turned hungry and demanding. His hands ran up my arms, to my shoulders, and then cupped my neck. I wrapped my arms around his waist and luxuriated in the kiss. When he finally pulled back, my heart was pounding in response.
When the power of speech returned, I quipped, “Well, even if it isn’t really you, I’ll take this version.”
He laughed and relief flooded both of us. “Kells, I think you’d better hold my hand the rest of the way.”
I smiled gaily back at him. “No problem.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
You are not really dying,” he said, the oddest tone to his voice, “are you?”Jem nodded. “So they tell me.”“I am sorry,” Will said.“No,” Jem said softly. He drew his jacket aside and took a knife from the belt at his waist.“Don’t be ordinary like that. Don’t say you’re sorry. Say you’ll train with me.”
He held out the knife to Will, hilt rst. Charlotte held her breath, afraid to move. She feltas if she were watching something very important happen, though she could not have saidwhat.Will reached out and took the knife, his eyes never leaving Jem’s face. His fingers brushedthe other boy’s as he took the weapon from him. It was the rst time, Charlotte thought,that she had ever seen him touch any other person willingly.“I’ll train with you,” he said.
Jem, Will’s parabatai, treated her with the distant sweet kindness reserved for the littlesisters of one’s friends, but he would always side with Will. Kindly, but rmly, he put Willabove everything else in the world.Well, nearly everything. She had been most struck by Jem when she rst came to theInstitute—he had an unearthly, unusual beauty, with his silvery hair and eyes and delicate features. He looked like a prince in a fairy-tale book, and she might have considered developing an attachment to him, were it not so absolutely clear that he was entirely inlove with Tessa Gray. His eyes followed her where she went, and his voice changed when hespoke to her. Cecily had once heard her mother say in amusement that one of theirneighbors’ boys looked at a girl as if she were “the only star in the sky” and that was theway Jem looked at Tessa.Cecily didn’t resent it: Tessa was pleasant and kind to her, if a little shy, and with herface always stuck in a book, like Will. If that was the sort of girl Jem wanted, she and henever would have suited—and the longer she remained at the Institute, the more sherealized how awkward it would have made things with Will. He was ferociously protectiveof Jem, and he would have watched her constantly in case she ever distressed or hurt him inany way. No—she was far better out of the whole thing.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
We used to hang out all the time. St. Clair and me.But after you arrived,I hardly saw him. He'd sit next to you in class,at lunch,at the movies. Everywhere. And even though I was suspicious,I knew the first time I heard you call him Etienne-I knew you loved him.And I knew by his response-the way his eyes lit up every time you said it-I knew he loved you,too. And I ignored it,because I didn't want to believe it."
The struggle rises inside me again. "I don't know if he loves me.I don't know if he does,or if he ever did.It's all so messed up."
"It's obvious he wants more than friendship." Mer takes my shaking mug. "Haven't you seen him? He suffers every time he looks at you.I've never seen anyone so miserable in my life."
"That's not true." I'm remembering he said the situation with his father is really terrible right now. "He has other things on his mind,more important things."
"Why aren't the two of you together?"
The directness of her question throws me. "I don't know.Sometimes I think there are only so many opportunies...to get together with someone.And we've both screwed up so many times"-my voice grows quiet-"that we've missed our chance."
"Anna." Mer pauses. "That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard."
"But what? You love him,and he loves you, and you live in the most romantic city in the world."
I shake my head. "It's not that simple."
"Then let me put it another way.A gorgeous boy is in love with you, and you're not even gonna try to make it work?
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
When we don’t pay close attention to the decisions made by our leaders, when we fail to educate ourselves about the major issues of the day, when we choose not to make our voices and opinions heard, that’s when democracy breaks down. That’s when power is abused. That’s when the most extreme voices in our society fill the void that we leave. That’s when powerful interests and their lobbyists are most able to buy access and influence in the corridors of power –- because none of us are there to speak up and stop them.
Participation in public life doesn’t mean that you all have to run for public office -– though we could certainly use some fresh faces in Washington. (Laughter and applause.) But it does mean that you should pay attention and contribute in any way that you can. Stay informed. Write letters, or make phone calls on behalf of an issue you care about. If electoral politics isn’t your thing, continue the tradition so many of you started here at Michigan and find a way to serve your community and your country –- an act that will help you stay connected to your fellow citizens and improve the lives of those around you.
I ask you to come down to earth," said the Baron in a calm, rather faint voice, "and to take up the duties of your station!"
"I have no intention of obeying you, my Lord Father," said Cosimo. "I am very sorry."
They were ill at ease, both of them, bored. Each knew what the other would say. "And what about your studies? Your devotions as a Christian?" said the father. "Do you intend to grown up like an American Savage?"
Cosimo was silent. These were thoughts he had not yet put to himself and had no wish to. Then he exclaimed: "Just because I'm a few yards higher up, does it mean that good teaching can't reach me?"
This was an able reply too, though it diminished, in a way, the range of his gesture; a sign of weakness.
His father realized this and became more pressing. "Rebellion cannot be measured by yards," said he. "Even when a journey seems no distance at all, it can have no return."
Now was the moment for my brother to produce some other noble reply, perhaps a Latin maxim, but at that instant none came into his head, though he knew so many by heart. Instead he suddenly got bored with all this solemnity, and shouted: "But from the trees I can piss farther," a phrase without much meaning, but which cut the discussion short.
As though they had heard the phrase, a shout went up from the ragamuffins around Porta Capperi. The Baron of Rondo's horse shied, the Baron pulled the reins and wrapped himself more tightly in his cloak, ready to leave. Then he turned, drew an arm out of his cloak, pointed to the sky, which had suddenly become overcast with black clouds, and exclaimed: "Be careful, son, there's Someone who can piss on us all!"...
This letter, is what I needed to read today.
Let's share Hope.
We trust you.
“Dear Future Me, I hope that today you are the person you always set out to be. I hope you accomplished everything that they said you could never do. How many lives do you change in a day? Do you speak out for what is right, or sit there regretting your silence? I hope you are what I’m not. I hope you speak out with such a voice that everyone around you can hear it even when you aren’t speaking. I want you to have power in the way you speak- giving light into someone’s world filled with darkness. I hope you live as if you are the only one capable of making a difference, and embracing that ability in the best way possible. You don’t need to have your name written in the text of a history book, but you need to live to make your words give life to the ones who thought they didn’t deserve one.
When you read this letter, I hope you are somewhere where all of you previous goals can be made accomplishments. I hope you still remember your past, and pass on your story to those who need to hear it most- to show them that they are not alone. I hope you achieved that brighter, happier life you used to daydream about when you were younger. I hope all of your dreams became your reality, and I hope that eventually your nightmares dissolved into the depths of your past- never haunting you again. I hope that you one day took off the mask that hid the truth. That you broke down the barriers you built, and learned to trust someone- really trust them- somewhere along your journey. I hope that you look in the mirror with a small, true smile and be proud of what you see. I hope that you learned to break through the surface of the water drowning you- anxiety. I hope that you now see the world from a whole new perspective, and learned to enjoy the sun more than the rain.. Most of all, I hope you learned to speak. To speak in such a voice that must be heard; a voice that embroiders your words onto a heart that needed them most. I hope you are happy, and teach ones who are like the old you to be happy as well. I hope that today you are the person you always set out to be.
You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.
For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons,
and to step out of life's procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.
When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.
Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?
Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune.
But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth's furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,
And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,
And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life's inmost secret.
But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that naught but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is written.
You have been told also that life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary.
And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,
And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge,
And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,
And all work is empty save when there is love;
And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.
And what is it to work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart,
even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.
It is to build a house with affection,
even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.
It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy,
even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.
It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit,
And to know that all the blessed dead
are standing about you and watching.
Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, "He who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is nobler than he who ploughs the soil.
And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet."
But I say, not in sleep but in the overwakefulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass;
And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.
Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man's hunger.
And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine.
And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man's ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
Her voice was small, nearly lost in the dripping of waterfrom the fountain. But the power it carried - and the effect it had on me - was monumental. I'd heard the expression "weak-kneed" before but had never lived it until now. My muscles didn't feel as though they could sustain me, and there was a great swelling in my chest, the result of a tangle of emotions I couldn't even begin to describe. Love. Joy. Relief. Disbelief. And mixed in with all of them were the emotions that I'd endured these last few months as well: despair, fear, rossow. It spread out from my heart, and I felt tears form in my eyes. It wasn't possible that one person could make you experience so many emotions at once, that one person could trigger a universe of feelings, simply with the sound of your name.
I also knew then that they were wrong - all of them. My mom. My dad. Nina. Anyone who thought love could simply be built on shared goals alone had never, ever experienced anything like what I had with Sydney. I couldn't believe I'd almost lost this through my own ignorance. Until I looked into her eyes now, I didn't truly realize what a hollow life I'd been living.
Richelle Mead (Silver Shadows (Bloodlines, #5))
Seasons is a wise metaphor for the movement of life, I think. It suggests that life is neither a battlefield nor a game of chance but something infinitely richer, more promising, more real. The notion that our lives are like the eternal cycle of the seasons does not deny the struggle or the joy, the loss or the gain, the darkness or the light, but encourages us to embrace it all-and to find in all of it opportunities for growth.
If we lived close to nature in an agricultural society, the seasons as metaphor and fact would continually frame our lives. But the master metaphor of our era does not come from
agriculture-it comes from manufacturing. We do not believe that we "grow" our lives-we believe that we "make" them. Just listen to how we use the word in everyday speech: we make time, make friends, snake meaning, make money, make a living, make love.
I once heard Alan Watts observe that a Chinese child will ask, "How does a baby grow?" But an American child will ask, "How do you make a baby?" From an early age, we absorb our culture's arrogant conviction that we manufacture everything, reducing the world to mere "raw material" that lacks all value until we impose our designs and labor on it.
Parker J. Palmer (Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation)
Harry took a deep, steadying breath and then said, “Okay, I can’t see the World Cup. Can I go now, then? Only I’ve got a letter to Sirius I want to finish. You know — my godfather.” He had done it. He had said the magic words. Now he watched the purple recede blotchily from Uncle Vernon’s face, making it look like badly mixed black currant ice cream. “You’re — you’re writing to him, are you?” said Uncle Vernon, in a would-be calm voice — but Harry had seen the pupils of his tiny eyes contract with sudden fear. “Well — yeah,” said Harry, casually. “It’s been a while since he heard from me, and, you know, if he doesn’t, he might start thinking something’s wrong.” He stopped there to enjoy the effect of these words. He could almost see the cogs working under Uncle Vernon’s thick, dark, neatly parted hair. If he tried to stop Harry writing to Sirius, Sirius would think Harry was being mistreated. If he told Harry he couldn’t go to the Quidditch World Cup, Harry would write and tell Sirius, who would know Harry was being mistreated. There was only one thing for Uncle Vernon to do. Harry could see the conclusion forming in his uncle’s mind as though the great mustached face were transparent. Harry tried not to smile, to keep his own face as blank as possible. And then — “Well, all right then. You can go to this ruddy … this stupid … this World Cup thing. You write and tell these — these Weasleys they’re to pick you up, mind. I haven’t got time to go dropping you off all over the country. And you can spend the rest of the summer there. And you can tell your — your godfather … tell him … tell him you’re going.” “Okay then,” said Harry brightly.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4))
Jack was led out of the dark room into the strong light, and as they guided him up the steps he could see nothing for the glare. 'Your head here sir, if you please,' said the sheriff's man in a low, nervous, conciliating voice, 'and your hands just here.'
The man was slowly fumbling with the bolt, hinge and staple, and as Jack stood there with his hands in the lower half-rounds, his sight cleared: he saw that the broad street was filled with silent, attentive men, some in long togs, some in shore-going rig, some in plain frocks, but all perfectly recognizable as seamen. And officers, by the dozen, by the score: midshipmen and officers. Babbington was there, immediately in front of the pillory, facing him with his hat off, and Pullings, Stephen of course, Mowett, Dundas . . . He nodded to them, with almost no change in his iron expression, and his eye moved on: Parker, Rowan, Williamson, Hervey . . . and men from long, long ago, men he could scarcely name, lieutenants and commanders putting their promotion at risk, midshipmen and master's mates their commissions, warrant-officers their advancement.
'The head a trifle forward, if you please, sir,' murmured the sheriff's man, and the upper half of the wooden frame came down, imprisoning his defenceless face. He heard the click of the bolt and then in the dead silence a strong voice cry 'Off hats'. With one movement hundreds of broad-brimmed tarpaulin-covered hats flew off and the cheering began, the fierce full-throated cheering he had so often heard in battle.
Patrick O'Brian (The Reverse of the Medal (Aubrey/Maturin, #11))
Nick turned at the tentative, feminine voice, to find two young women standing nearby, watching him eagerly. Nick spoke, wary.
“We—” one of them began to speak, then stopped, uncertain. The other nudged her toward him.
“We are fans.”
Nick blinked. “Of?”
“Indeed!” The second girl smiled broadly and stepped closer, holding out what looked suspiciously like—
Nick swore under his breath.
“Would you be willing to autograph our magazine? ”
Nick held up a hand. “I would, girls, but you’ve got the wrong brother.” He pointed to Gabriel. “That is Lord Nicholas.”
Rock snorted as the two shifted their attention to the Marquess of Ralston, a dazzlingly handsome copy of their prey, and tittered their excitement.
Gabriel instantly eased into his role, turning a brilliant smile on the girls. “I would be happy to autograph your magazine.” He took the journal and the pen they proffered and said, “You know, I must confess, this is the first time I’ve ever drawn the attention of ladies when in the company of my brother. Ralston has always been considered the more handsome of us.”
“No!” the girls protested.
Nick rolled his eyes.
“Indeed. Ask anyone. They’ll tell you it’s the marquess who is the best specimen. Surely you’ve heard that.” He looked up at them with a winning smile. "You can admit it, girls. My feelings shan’t be hurt."
Gabriel held up the magazine, displaying the cover, which boasted: Inside! London’s Lords to Land! “Yes … there’s no question that this is going to do wonders for my reputation. I’m so happy to see that it’s getting around that I’m on the hunt for a wife!”
The girls nearly expired from delight.
Sarah MacLean (Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord (Love By Numbers, #2))
There was a muffled tap again, and I heard a familiar voice whisper faintly, “Kelsey, it’s me.”
I unlocked the door and peeked out. Ren was standing there dressed in his white clothes, barefoot, with a triumphant grin on his face. I pulled him inside and hissed out thickly, “What are you doing here? It’s dangerous coming into town! You could have been seen, and they’d send hunters out after you!”
He shrugged his shoulders and grinned. “I missed you.”
My mouth quirked up in a half smile. “I missed you too.”
He leaned a shoulder nonchalantly against the doorframe. “Does that mean you’ll let me stay here? I’ll sleep on the floor and leave before daylight. No one will see me. I promise.”
I let out a deep breath. “Okay, but promise you’ll leave early. I don’t like you risking yourself like this.”
“I promise.” He sat down on the bed, took my hand, and pulled me down to sit beside him. “I don’t like sleeping in the dark jungle by myself.”
“I wouldn’t either.”
He looked down at our entwined hands. “When I’m with you, I feel like a man again. When I’m out there all alone, I feel like a beast, an animal.” His eyes darted up to mine.
I squeezed his hand. “I understand. It’s fine. Really.”
He grinned. “You were hard to track, you know. Lucky for me you two decided to walk to dinner, so I could follow your scent right to your door.”
Something on the nightstand caught his attention. Leaning around me, he reached over and picked up my open journal. I had drawn a new picture of a tiger-my tiger. My circus drawings were okay, but this latest one was more personal and full of life. Ren stared at it for a moment while a bright crimson flush colored my cheeks.
He traced the tiger with his finger, and then whispered gently, "Someday, I'll give you a portrait of the real me."
Setting the journal down carefully, he took both of my hands in his, turned to me with an intense expression, and said, "I don't want you to see only a tiger when you look at me. I want you to see me. The man."
Reaching out, he almost touched my cheek but he stopped and withdrew his hand. "I've worn the tiger's face for far too many years. He's stolen my humanity."
I nodded while he squeezed my hands and whispered quietly, "Kells, I don't want to be him anymore. I want to be me. I want to have a life."
"I know," I said softly. I reached up to stroke his cheek. "Ren, I-" I froze in place as he pulled my hand slowly down to his lips and kissed my palm. My hand tingled. His blue eyes searched my face desperately, wanting, needing something from me.
I wanted to say something to reassure him. I wanted to offer him comfort. I just couldn't frame the words. His supplication stirred me. I felt a deep bond with him, a strong connection. I wanted to help him, I wanted to be his friend, and I wanted...maybe something more. I tried to identify and categorize my reactions to him. What I felt for him seemed too complicated to define, but it soon became obvious to me that the strongest emotion I felt, the one that was stirring my heart, was...love.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
In his malodorous brain what slugs and mire,
Lanthorned in his oblique eyes, guttering burned!
His body lodged a rat where men nursed souls.
The world flashed grape-green eyes of a foiled cat
To him. On fragments of an old shrunk power,
On shy and maimed, on women wrung awry,
He lay, a bullying hulk, to crush them more.
But when one, fearless, turned and clawed like bronze,
Cringing was easy to blunt these stern paws,
And he would weigh the heavier on those after.
Who rests in God's mean flattery now? Your wealth
Is but his cunning to make death more hard.
Your iron sinews take more pain in breaking.
And he has made the market for your beauty
Too poor to buy, although you die to sell.
Only that he has never heard of sleep;
And when the cats come out the rats are sly.
Here we are safe till he slinks in at dawn
But he has gnawed a fibre from strange roots,
And in the morning some pale wonder ceases.
Things are not strange and strange things are forgetful.
Ah! if the day were arid, somehow lost
Out of us, but it is as hair of us,
And only in the hush no wind stirs it.
And in the light vague trouble lifts and breathes,
And restlessness still shadows the lost ways.
The fingers shut on voices that pass through,
Where blind farewells are taken easily ....
Ah! this miasma of a rotting God!
Isaac Rosenberg (The Poems and Plays of Isaac Rosenberg)
Our minds are creative and knowledgeable.
Yet time and time again, our needs and wants fell on deaf ears. We were told we weren’t good enough. We were abused mentally, physically, and emotionally. We were told with nasty sarcastic remarks at times, and here and there maybe a laugh that made the insult worse; “It would be your word against mine, and guess who they are going believe? Not you.”
One by one we took a chance to speak up, but our voices weren’t heard. They tried to make us feel threatened; as if we were going to lay down and be stepped on like shit on the bottom on their shoe. We interrupted their comfort zone and showed them their time was up!
Their time of talking and belittling us this way has expired. They tried, but they failed to realize we are strong and we will never give up.
Their time of thinking they can touch us inappropriately and we will keep quiet has expired. No! We will rise up and bring the world to its feet. Trust me… We will be seen and heard!
Their time of trying to break us down has expired. No! We can move mountains!
Their time of pointing their fingers at us and putting F.E.A.R (False Evidence Appearing Real) into our minds by making us believe it is our fault has expired. No! It is not our fault. It never was!
Their time of nasty insults has expired. They fail to realize we catch every nasty word and throw back the insult to show we can give as good as we get.
Their time of preying off vulnerable women who have to “make a deal” to get a higher position they earned has expired. No! Your “man”ipulation has no effect. We, as women, have full ownership of our minds, bodies, and souls.
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
I understand it was Derian who spoiled everything. He purposefully tainted your view of me and forced you to go along with him. I know none of what happened was your idea or your desire, Eena.”
She didn’t get up, but spoke from her curled position. Her voice was weak, still heavy with despair. “Derian didn’t force me to do anything.”
“But if he hadn’t influenced you, we would be enjoying a pleasant dinner again, telling stories and laughing. I’m sure that would be the case. You would be happy……and so would I.”
Eena chuckled without amusement.
“You have to admit we shared some very enjoyable evenings, didn’t we? There’s really no reason we can’t put this whole mess behind us and start from where we left off.” He sounded genuinely serious.
“You forget,” she reminded him, “I heard your conversation with the Ghengats. This isn’t about Derian, it’s about you.”
“Alright,” he admitted with an acquiescent sigh, “so I’m not everything you’d hoped for. But really, what man can ever live up to any woman’s terribly high expectations?”
This got her attention. She almost stood up to face him, but decided it wasn’t worth the effort. Leaning forward, she retorted, “Expecting a man to respect you, to be honest with you, and, oh yes, to not be a shameless murderer—I don’t think those are overly high expectations!”
He shrugged, casually excusing his faults. “Nobody’s perfect.”
“What do you want?” she finally asked, exasperated.
He squatted to her level and stated his desire. “I want you.”
Eena thought the expression on his face—the look in his weary blue eyes—appeared strangely sincere. But there was one thing she had learned from all this: never trust a master of deceit.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Eena, The Dawn and Rescue (The Harrowbethian Saga #1))
That looks cozy," I said in a timid voice.
He turned at the sound and-taking in my appearance-immediately spit hot chocolate all over.
"What?" I demanded.
With an obvious effort to compose himself, he forced his lips into a frown and wiped his chin with the back of his hand. "Breathtaking."
I raised an eyebrow,and his lips started to quiver, and then there was no stopping him. The laughter came in waves.
"Well,that's not exactly the reaction I was going for," I said.
"Isn't it?" he said, gasping for breath.
I put my hand on my hip and tapped my foot as he inhaled deeply and rubbed his eyes with the palm of his hand. "Finished?" I asked.
He shook his head. "I love you."
"You heard me." He stood and walked toward me.
I glanced down at my sweats,and then back at his face. "Did you not notice my getup?"
He halved the distance between us. "Oh yeah. I noticed," he said,like it was the sexiest thing he'd ever seen. His lips curled up into a smile.
"Okay,so that's not the reaction I was going for either," I said,taking a small step backward as he closed the gap between us.
He grabbed my hands in his and his grin disappeared. "Becks.I think I know what you're worried about,but I meant what I said.I love you. And I would never push you."
My entire body turned red. "But don't you mythological higher beings-" I tried to remember how Jules had put it-"need...the...um..."
Jack looked confused,and then he chuckled. "Please don't even try to finish that sentence.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
What in Bursin’s holy name is that?” he snarled.
If it were possible to die of embarrassment, Martise was sure she wouldn’t survive the next few minutes. “I was singing.”
His eyebrows rose almost to his hairline. “Singing. Is that what you call it? It sounded like someone was torturing a cat.”
“I thought I might work faster if I sang.” She wiped the perspiration from her forehead with a gloved hand and regretted the action. The swipe of citrus oil she’d left on her skin burned. Cael continued to howl, and a door shut with a bang.
"That will be Gurn coming to rescue us from whatever demon he thinks is attacking." The branch supporting Silhara creaked as he adjusted his stance and leaned closer to her. “Tell me something, Martise.” A leaf slapped him in the eye, and he ripped it off its twig with an irritated snap. “How is it that a woman, blessed with a voice that could make a man come, sings badly enough to frighten the dead?”
She was saved from having to answer the outlandish question by the quick thud of running footsteps. Silhara disappeared briefly from view when he bent to greet their visitor. Unfortunately, his answers to Gurn’s unspoken questions were loud and clear. “That was Martise you heard. She was…singing.
“Trust me, I’m not jesting. You can unload your bow.” His next indignant response made her smile. “No, I wasn’t beating her! She’s the one tormenting me with that hideous wailing!”
Martise hid her smile when he reappeared before her. His scowl was ferocious. “Don’t sing.” He pointed a finger at her for emphasis. “You’ve scared my dog, my birds and my servant with your yowling.” He paused. “You’ve even managed to scare me.
Grace Draven (Master of Crows (Master of Crows, #1))
The story of the rapper and the story of the hustler are like rap itself, two kinds of rhythm working together, having a conversation with each other, doing more together than they could do apart. It's been said that the thing that makes rap special, that makes it different both from pop music and from written poetry, is that it's built around two kinds of rhythm. The first kind of rhythm is the meter. In poetry, the meter is abstract, but in rap, the meter is something you literally hear: it's the beat. The beat in a song never stops, it never varies. No matter what other sounds are on the track, even if it's a Timbaland production with all kinds of offbeat fills and electronics, a rap song is usually built bar by bar, four-beat measure by four-beat measure. It's like time itself, ticking off relentlessly in a rhythm that never varies and never stops.
When you think about it like that, you realize the beat is everywhere, you just have to tap into it. You can bang it out on a project wall or an 808 drum machine or just use your hands. You can beatbox it with your mouth. But the beat is only one half of a rap song's rhythm. The other is the flow. When a rapper jumps on a beat, he adds his own rhythm. Sometimes you stay in the pocket of the beat and just let the rhymes land on the square so that the beat and flow become one. But sometimes the flow cops up the beat, breaks the beat into smaller units, forces in multiple syllables and repeated sounds and internal rhymes, or hangs a drunken leg over the last bap and keeps going, sneaks out of that bitch. The flow isn't like time, it's like life. It's like a heartbeat or the way you breathe, it can jump, speed up, slow down, stop, or pound right through like a machine. If the beat is time, flow is what we do with that time, how we live through it. The beat is everywhere, but every life has to find its own flow.
Just like beats and flows work together, rapping and hustling, for me at least, live through each other. Those early raps were beautiful in their way and a whole generation of us felt represented for the first time when we heard them. But there's a reason the culture evolved beyond that playful, partying lyrical style. Even when we recognized the voices, and recognized the style, and even personally knew the cats who were on the records, the content didn't always reflect the lives we were leading. There was a distance between what was becoming rap's signature style - the relentlessness, the swagger, the complex wordplay - and the substance of the songs. The culture had to go somewhere else to grow.
It had to come home.
You never told me your name," he says, his voice so hauntingly familiar it causes a rush of heat to blanket my skin.
I sigh,staring blankly down the hall when I say, "Psycho Girl-Psycho Horseback Singing Girl..." I shrug. "I've heard it both ways."
He squints.His hand reaching for my shoulder,then falling away the instant he catches the look of reproach on my face.
"Look," I say,knowing I need to stop him before he can go any further.His kindness will only distract me at a time when I need to stay focused. "I've had a really bad day.And if my calculations are right,I have three hundred and eight more,give or take, before I get to graduate and get the heck out of this place. So,why don't you just call me whatever you want. Everyone else does.It's not like it matters..." My cheeks go hot,my eyes start to sting, and I know I'm rambling like a lunatic,but I cant seem to stop,can't seem to care.The world's most socially inept Seeker-that's me in a nutshell.
"Don't let them reduce you to that," he says,his gaze instense, his voice surprising me with its sincerity, its urgency. "Don't let them define how you see yourself,or your place here. And if you ever need someone to talk to,I'm not hard to find.I'm either in class, reading in the library,or eating lunch in the North hallway."
The second he says it,my gaze flies down the length of him.Slipping past a gray V-neck tee and dark denim jeans,not the least bit surprised when I land on the same heavy,black, thick-soled shoes I spied earlier.
Then before he can say anything more, I'm gone. Trying to ignore the comforting stream of kindness and love that swarms all around me.
Alyson Noel (Fated (Soul Seekers, #1))
Where shall you seek beauty, and how shall you find her unless she herself be your way and your guide?
And how shall you speak of her except she be the weaver of your speech?
The aggrieved and the injured say, "Beauty is kind and gentle.
Like a young mother half-shy of her own glory she walks among us."
And the passionate say, "Nay, beauty is a thing of might and dread.
Like the tempest she shakes the earth beneath us and the sky above us."
The tired and the weary say, "Beauty is of soft whisperings. She speaks in our spirit.
Her voice yields to our silences like a faint light that quivers in fear of the shadow."
But the restless say, "We have heard her shouting among the mountains,
And with her cries came the sound of hoofs, and the beating of wings and the roaring of lions."
At night the watchmen of the city say, "Beauty shall rise with the dawn from the east."
And at noontide the toilers and the wayfarers say,
"We have seen her leaning over the earth from the windows of the sunset."
In winter say the snow-bound, "She shall come with the spring leaping upon the hills."
And in the summer heat the reapers say,
"We have seen her dancing with the autumn leaves,
and we saw a drift of snow in her hair."
All these things have you said of beauty,
Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied,
And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.
It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,
But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.
It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear,
But rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears.
It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw,
But rather a garden for ever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight.
People of Orphalese, beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.
But you are life and you are the veil.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
He brought his other foot to the ground and gingerly tested his ankle. It would be a little sore, but it was still sound. He kept his back half turned from her as he ground his teeth, waiting for the insolent giggle he’d heard in so many other courts when he’d been maneuvered into looking foolish. He was furious for failing, furious because of the sudden despair he felt that she would think him an inadequate companion. He had forgotten that Jaenelle was Jaenelle. “I’m sorry, Daemon,” said a wavering, whispery voice behind him. “I’m sorry. Are you hurt?”
“Only my pride,” Daemon said as he turned around, his lips set in a rueful smile.
“Lady?” Then, alarmed. “Lady! Jaenelle, no, darling, don’t cry.” He gathered her into his arms while her shoulders shuddered with the effort not to make a sound. “Don’t cry,” Daemon crooned as he stroked her hair. “Please don’t cry. I’m not hurt. Honestly I’m not.” Since her face was buried against his chest, he allowed himself a pained smile as he kissed her hair. “I guess I’m too much of a grown-up to learn magic.”
“No, you’re not,” Jaenelle said, pushing away from him and scrubbing the tears off her face with the backs of her hands. “I’ve just never tried to explain it to anyone before.”
“Well, there you are,” he said too brightly. “If you’ve never shown anyone—” “Oh, I’ve shown lots of my other friends,” Jaenelle said brusquely. “I’ve just never tried to explain it.” Daemon was puzzled. “How did you show them?” Instantly he felt her pull away from him. Not physically—she hadn’t moved—but within. Jaenelle glanced at him nervously before ducking behind her veil of hair. “I…touched…them so they could understand.
Anne Bishop (Daughter of the Blood (The Black Jewels, #1))
Magnus, his silver mask pushed back into his hair, intercepted the New York vampires before they could fully depart. Alec heard Magnus pitch his voice low.
Alec felt guilty for listening in, but he couldn’t just turn off his Shadowhunter instincts.
“How are you, Raphael?” asked Magnus.
“Annoyed,” said Raphael. “As usual.”
“I’m familiar with the emotion,” said Magnus. “I experience it whenever we speak. What I meant was, I know that you and Ragnor were often in contact.”
There was a beat, in which Magnus studied Raphael with an expression of concern, and Raphael regarded Magnus with obvious scorn.
“Oh, you’re asking if I am prostrate with grief over the warlock that the Shadowhunters killed?”
Alec opened his mouth to point out the evil Shadowhunter Sebastian Morgenstern had killed the warlock Ragnor Fell in the recent war, as he had killed Alec’s own brother.
Then he remembered Raphael sitting alone and texting a number saved as RF, and never getting any texts back.
Alec felt a sudden and unexpected pang of sympathy for Raphael, recognizing his loneliness. He was at a party surrounded by hundreds of people, and there he sat texting a dead man over and over, knowing he’d never get a message back.
There must have been very few people in Raphael’s life he’d ever counted as friends.
“I do not like it,” said Raphael, “when Shadowhunters murder my colleagues, but it’s not as if that hasn’t happened before. It happens all the time. It’s their hobby. Thank you for asking. Of course one wishes to break down on a heart-shaped sofa and weep into one’s lace handkerchief, but I am somehow managing to hold it together. After all, I still have a warlock contact.”
Magnus inclined his head with a slight smile.
“Tessa Gray,” said Raphael. “Very dignified lady. Very well-read. I think you know her?”
Magnus made a face at him. “It’s not being a sass-monkey that I object to. That I like. It’s the joyless attitude. One of the chief pleasures of life is mocking others, so occasionally show some glee about doing it. Have some joie de vivre.”
“I’m undead,” said Raphael.
“What about joie de unvivre?”
Raphael eyed him coldly. Magnus gestured his own question aside, his rings and trails of leftover magic leaving a sweep of sparks in the night air, and sighed.
“Tessa,” Magnus said with a long exhale. “She is a harbinger of ill news and I will be annoyed with her for dumping this problem in my lap for weeks. At least.”
“What problem? Are you in trouble?” asked Raphael.
“Nothing I can’t handle,” said Magnus.
“Pity,” said Raphael. “I was planning to point and laugh. Well, time to go. I’d say good luck with your dead-body bad-news thing, but . . . I don’t care.”
“Take care of yourself, Raphael,” said Magnus.
Raphael waved a dismissive hand over his shoulder. “I always do.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
Who is he?”
Eleanor lowered her voice, the name rolling off her tongue like a dark secret. “Dante Berlin.”
I laughed. “Dante? Like the Dante who wrote the Inferno? Did he pick that name just to cultivate his ‘dark and mysterious’ persona?”
Eleanor shook her head in disapproval. “Just wait till you see him. You won’t be laughing then.”
I rolled my eyes. “I bet his real name is something boring like Eugene or Dwayne.”
I expected Eleanor to laugh or say something in return, but instead she gave me a concerned look. I ignored it.
“He sounds like a snob to me. I bet he’s one of those guys who know they’re good-looking. He probably hasn’t even read the Inferno. It’s easy to pretend you’re smart when you don’t to anyone.”
Eleanor still didn’t respond. “Shh . . .” she muttered under her breath.
But before I could say “What?” I heard a cough behind me. Oh God, I thought to myself, and slowly turned around.
“Hi,” he said with a half grin that seemed to be mocking me.
And that’s how I met Dante Berlin.
So how do you describe someone who leaves you speechless?
He was beautiful. Not Monet beautiful or white sandy beach beautiful or even Grand Canyon beautiful. It was both more overwhelming and more delicate. Like gazing into the night sky and feeling incredibly small in comparison. Like holding a shell in your hand and wondering how nature was able to make something so complex yet to perfect: his eyes, dark and pensive; his messy brown hair tucked behind one ear; his arms, strong and lean beneath the cuffs of his collared shirt.
I wanted to say something witty or charming, but all I could muster up was a timid “Hi.”
He studied me with what looked like a mix of disgust and curiosity.
“You must be Eugene,” I said.
“I am.” He smiled, then leaned in and added, “I hope I can trust you to keep my true identity a secret. A name like Eugene could do real damage to my mysterious persona.”
I blushed at the sound of my words coming from his lips. He didn’t seem anything like the person Eleanor had described.
“And you are—”
“Renee,” I interjected.
“I was going to say, ‘in my seat,’ but Renee will do.”
My face went red. “Oh, right. Sorry.”
“Renee like the philosopher Rene Descartes? How esoteric of you. No wonder you think you know everything. You probably picked that name just to cultivate your overly analytical persona.”
I glared at him. I knew he was just dishing back my own insults, but it still stung. “Well, it was nice meeting you,” I said curtly, and pushed past him before he could respond, waving a quick good-bye to Eleanor, who looked too stunned to move.
I turned and walked to the last row, using all of my self-control to resist looking back.
Yvonne Woon (Dead Beautiful (Dead Beautiful, #1))
I have seen," he said, "the most beautiful scenes of my own country; I have visited the lakes of Lucerne and Uri, where the snowy mountains descend almost perpendicularly to the water, casting black and impenetrable shades, which would cause a gloomy and mournful appearance, were it not for the most verdant islands that relieve the eye by their gay appearance; I have seen this lake agitated by a tempest, when the wind tore up whirlwinds of water, and gave you an idea of what the waterspout must be on the great ocean; and the waves dash with fury the base of the mountain, where the priest and his mistress were overwhelmed by an avalanche, and where their dying voices are still said to be heard amid the pauses of the nightly wind; I have seen the mountains of La Valais, and the Pays de Vaud: but this country, Victor, pleases me more than all those wonders. The mountains of Switzerland are more majestic and strange; but there is a charm in the banks of this divine river, that I never before saw equalled. Look at that castle which overhangs yon precipice; and that also on the island, almost concealed amongst the foliage of those lovely trees; and now that group of labourers coming from among their vines; and that village half hid in the recess of the mountain. Oh, surely, the spirit that inhabits and guards this place has a soul more in harmony with man than those who pile the glacier, or retire to the inaccessible peaks of the mountains of our own country. "Clerval! beloved friend! even now it delights me to record your words, and to dwell on the praise of which you are so eminently deserving. He was a being formed in the "very poetry of nature." His wild and enthusiastic imagination was chastened by the sensibility of his heart.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein)
You have a visitors," Maximus stated. His face was impassive, but I still cringed, trying to discreetly tug my hand out of Vlad's. He let me go and folded his arms, smiling in that scary, pleasant way at Maximus.
“And they are so important that you had to find me at once and enter without knocking?”
I heard the threat behind those words and blanched. He wasn’t about to throw down on Maximus over this, was he? Don’t, I sent him, not adding the please only because I knew the word didn’t work on him.
“Forgive me, but it’s Mencheres and his co-ruler,” Maximus stated, not sounding apologetic even though he bowed. “Their wives as well.” I started to slink away, sanity returning now that I wasn’t caught up by Vlad’s mesmerizing nearness. What had I been doing? Nothing smart, that was for sure.
“Leila Stop,” Vlad said I kept heading for the door. “You have company, so I’ll just make myself scarce-“
I did at his commanding tone, and then cursed. I wasn’t one of his employees-he had no right to order me around. “NO,” I said defiantly. “I’m sweaty, and bloody and I want to take a shower, so whatever you have to say, it can wait.”
Maximus lost his impassive expression and looked at me as if I’d suddenly sprouted a second head. Vlad’s brow drew together and he opened his mouth, but before he could speak, laughter rang out from the hallway.
“I simply must meet whoever has put you in your place so thoroughly, Tepesh,” an unfamiliar British voice stated. “Did I mention they were on their way down?” Maximus muttered before the gym door swung open and four people entered.
The first was a short-haired brunet whose grin made me assume he was the one who’d greeted Vlad with the taunt. He was also handsome in a too-pretty way that made me think with less muscles, a wig, and some makeup he’d look great in a dress.
Vlad’s scowl vanished into a smile as the brunet’s gaze swung in my direction as though he’d somehow heard that. “Looks as though she’s put you in your place as well, Bones,” Vlad drawled. “So it seems.” Bones replied, winking at me.” “But while I’ve worn many disguises, I draw the line at a dress.”
My mouth dropped another mind reader?
Jeaniene Frost (Once Burned (Night Prince, #1))
Once I was asked by a seatmate on a trans-Pacific flight, a man who took the liberty of glancing repeatedly at the correspondence in my lap, what instruction he should give his fifteen-year-old daughter, who wanted to be a writer. I didn't know how to answer him, but before I could think I heard myself saying, 'Tell your daughter three things.'
"Tell her to read, I said. Tell her to read whatever interests her, and protect her if someone declares what she's reading to be trash. No one can fathom what happens between a human being and written language. She may be paying attention to things in the world beyond anyone else's comprehension, things that feed her curiosity, her singular heart and mind. Tell her to read classics like The Odyssey. They've been around a long time because the patterns in them have proved endlessly useful, and, to borrow Evan Connell's observation, with a good book you never touch bottom. But warn your daughter that ideas of heroism, of love, of human duty and devotion that women have been writing about for centuries will not be available to her in this form. To find these voices she will have to search. When, on her own, she begins to ask, make her a present of George Eliot, or the travel writing of Alexandra David-Neel, or To the Lighthouse.
"Second, I said, tell your daughter that she can learn a great deal about writing by reading and by studying books about grammar and the organization of ideas, but that if she wishes to write well she will have to become someone. She will have to discover her beliefs, and then speak to us from within those beliefs. If her prose doesn't come out of her belief, whatever that proves to be, she will only be passing on information, of which we are in no great need. So help her discover what she means.
"Finally, I said, tell your daughter to get out of town, and help her do that. I don't necessarily mean to travel to Kazakhstan, or wherever, but to learn another language, to live with people other than her own, to separate herself from the familiar. Then, when she returns, she will be better able to understand why she loves the familiar, and will give us a fresh sense of how fortunate we are to share these things.
"Read. Find out what you truly are. Get away from the familiar. Every writer, I told him, will offer you thoughts about writing that are different, but these three I trust.
Barry Lopez (About This Life)
One went to the door of the Beloved and knocked.
A voice asked: “Who is there?” He answered: “It is I.”
The voice said: “There is no room here for me and thee.”
The door was shut.
After a year of solitude and deprivation
this man returned to the door of the Beloved.
A voice from within asked: “Who is there?”
The man said: “It is Thou.”
The door was opened for him.
The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere,
they’re in each other all along.
Love is from the infinite, and will remain until eternity.
The seeker of love escapes the chains of birth and death.
Tomorrow, when resurrection comes,
The heart that is not in love will fail the test.
When your chest is free of your limiting ego,
Then you will see the ageless Beloved.
You can not see yourself without a mirror;
Look at the Beloved, He is the brightest mirror.
Your love lifts my soul from the body to the sky
And you lift me up out of the two worlds.
I want your sun to reach my raindrops,
So your heat can raise my soul upward like a cloud.
There is a candle in the heart of man, waiting to be kindled.
In separation from the Friend, there is a cut waiting to be
O, you who are ignorant of endurance and the burning
fire of love–
Love comes of its own free will, it can’t be learned
in any school.
There are two kinds of intelligence: one acquired,
as a child in school memorizes facts and concepts
from books and from what the teacher says,
collecting information from the traditional sciences
as well as from the new sciences.
With such intelligence you rise in the world.
You get ranked ahead or behind others
in regard to your competence in retaining
information. You stroll with this intelligence
in and out of fields of knowledge, getting always more
marks on your preserving tablets.
There is another kind of tablet, one
already completed and preserved inside you.
A spring overflowing its springbox. A freshness
in the center of the chest. This other intelligence
does not turn yellow or stagnate. It’s fluid,
and it doesn’t move from outside to inside
through conduits of plumbing-learning.
This second knowing is a fountainhead
from within you, moving out.
In your madness you said you loved me," she murmured shyly.
His humor fled, and the smile left her lips as she continued, "You said it before, too. When the storm struck, I asked you to love me, and you said you did." Her voice was the barest of whispers.
Ruark's gaze turned away from her, and he rubbed the bandage on his leg before he spoke. "Strange that madness should speak the truth, but truth it is." He met her questioning eyes directly. "Aye, I love you." The pain of longing marked his face with a momentary sadness. "And that is madness, in all truth."
Shanna raised herself form his side and sat on her heels, staring down at him. "Why do you love me?" Her tone was wondrous. "I beset you at every turn. I deny you as a fit mate. I have betrayed you into slavery and worse. There is no sanity in your plea at all. How can you love me?"
"Shanna! Shanna! Shanna!" he sighed, placing his fingers on her hand and gently tracing the lines of her finely boned fingers. "What man would boast the wisdom of his love? How many time has this world heard, 'I don't care, I love.' Do I count your faults and sins to tote them in a book?"
"I dream of unbelievable softness. I remember warmth at my side the likes of which can set my heart afire. I see in the dark before me softly glowing eyes of aqua, once tender in a moment of love, then flashing with defiance and anger, now dark and blue with some stirring I know I have caused, now green and gay with laughter spilling from them. There is a form within my arms that I tenderly held and touched. There is that one who has met my passion with her own and left me gasping."
Ruark caressed Shanna's arm and turned her face to him, making her look into his eyes and willing her to see the truth in them as he spoke.
"My beloved Shanna. I cannot think of betrayal when I think of love. I can count no denials when I hold you close. I only wait for that day when you will say, 'I love."
Shanna raised her hands as if to plead her case then let them fall dejectedly on her knees. Tears coursed down her cheeks, and she begged helplessly, "But I do not want to love you." She began to sob. "You are a colonial. You are untitled, a murderer condemned, a rogue, a slave. I want a name for my children. I want so much more of my husband." She rolled her eyes in sudden confusion. "And I do not want to hurt you more."
Ruark sighed and gave up for the moment. He reached out and gently wiped away the tears as they fell. "Shanna, love," he whispered tenderly, "I cannot bear to see you cry. I will not press the matter for a while. I only beg you remember the longest journey is taken a step at a time. My love can wait, but it will neither yield nor change.
Kathleen E. Woodiwiss (Shanna)
once there was a beautiful young panther who had a co-wife and a husband. Her name was Lara and she was unhappy because her husband and her co-wife were really in love; being nice to her was merely a duty panther society imposed on them. They had not even wanted to take her into their marriage as co-wife, since there were already perfectly happy. But she was an "extra" female in the group and that would not do. Her husband sometimes sniffed her breath and other emanations. He even, sometimes, made love to her. but whenever this happened, the co-wife, whose name was Lala, became upset. She and the husband, Baba, would argue, then fight, snarling and biting and whipping at each other's eyes with their tails. Pretty soon they'd become sick of this and would lie clutched in each other's paws, weeping.
I am supposed to make love to her, Baba would say to Lala, his heartchosen mate. She is my wife just as you are. I did not plan things this way. This is the arrangement that came down to me.
I know it, dearest, said Lala, through her tears. And this pain that I feel is what has come down to me. Surely it can't be right?
These two sat on a rock in the forest and were miserable enough. But Lara, the unwanted, pregnant by now and ill, was devastated. Everyone knew she was unloved, and no other female panther wanted to share her own husband with her. Days went by when the only voice she heard was her inner one.
Soon, she began to listen to it.
Lara, it said, sit here, where the sun may kiss you. And she did.
Lara, it said, lie here, where the moon can make love to you all night long. and she did.
Lara, it said, one bright morning when she knew herself to have been well kissed and well loved: sit here on this stone and look at your beautiful self in the still waters of this stream.
Calmed by the guidance offered by her inner voice, Lara sat down on the stone and leaned over the water. She took in her smooth, aubergine little snout, her delicate, pointed ears, her sleek, gleeming black fur. She was beautiful! And she was well kissed by the sun and well made love to by the moon.
For one whole day, Lara was content. When her co-wife asked her fearfully why she was smiling, Lara only opened her mouth wider, in a grin. The poor co-wife ran trembling off and found their husband, Baba, and dragged him back to look at Lara.
When Baba saw the smiling, well kissed, well made love to Lara, of course he could hardly wait to get his paws on her! He could tell she was in love with someone else, and this aroused all his passion.
While Lala wept, Baba possessed Lara, who was looking over his shoulder at the moon.
Each day it seemed to Lara that the Lara in the stream was the only Lara worth having - so beautiful, so well kissed, and so well made love to. And her inner voice assured her this was true.
So, one hot day when she could not tolerate the shrieks and groans of Baba and Lala as they tried to tear each other's ears off because of her, Lara, who by now was quite indifferent to them both, leaned over and kissed her own serene reflection in the water, and held the kiss all the way to the bottom of the stream.
Q. Would you repeat, Dr. Seldon, your thoughts concerning the future of Trantor?
A. I have said, and I say again, that Trantor will lie in ruins within the next three centuries.
Q. You do not consider your statement a disloyal one?
A. No, sir. Scientific truth is beyond loyalty and disloyalty."
Q. You are sure that your statement represents scientific truth?
A. I am.
Q. On what basis?
A. On the basis of the mathematics of psychohistory.
Q. Can you prove that this mathematics is valid?
A. Only to another mathematician.
Q. ( with a smile) Your claim then is that your truth is of so esoteric a nature that it is beyond the understanding of a plain man. It seems to me that truth should be clearer than that, less mysterious, more open to the mind.
A. It presents no difficulties to some minds. The physics of energy transfer, which we know as thermodynamics, has been clear and true through all the history of man since the mythical ages, yet there may be people present who would find it impossible to design a power engine. People of high intelligence, too. I doubt if the learned Commissioners—
At this point, one of the Commissioners leaned toward the Advocate. His words were not heard but the hissing of the voice carried a certain asperity. The Advocate flushed and interrupted Seldon.
Q. We are not here to listen to speeches, Dr. Seldon. Let us assume that you have made your point. Let me suggest to you that your predictions of disaster might be intended to destroy public confidence in the Imperial Government for purposes of your own!
A. That is not so.
Q. Let me suggest that you intend to claim that a period of time preceding the so-called ruin of Trantor will be filled with unrest of various types.
A. That is correct.
Q. And that by the mere prediction thereof, you hope to bring it about, and to have then an army of a hundred thousand available.
A. In the first place, that is not so. And if it were, investigation will show you that barely ten thousand are men of military age, and none of these has training in arms.
Q. Are you acting as an agent for another?
A. I am not in the pay of any man, Mr. Advocate.
Q. You are entirely disinterested? You are serving science?
A. I am.
Isaac Asimov (Foundation (Foundation, #1))
Everything belonged to him--but that was a trifle. The thing was to know what he belonged to, how many powers of darkness claimed him for their own. That
was the reflection that made you creepy all over. It was impossible--it was not good for one either--trying to imagine. He had taken a high seat amongst the devils of the land--I mean literally. You can't understand.
How could you?--with solid pavement under your feet, surrounded by kind neighbors ready to cheer you or to fall on you, stepping delicately between the butcher and the policeman, in the holy terror of scandal and gallows and lunatic asylums--how can you imagine what particular region of the first ages a man's untrammeled feet may take him into by the way of solitude--utter solitude without a policeman--by the way of silence, utter silence, where no warning voice of a kind neighbor can be heard whispering of public opinion?
These little things make all the great difference.
When they are gone you must fall back upon your own innate strength, upon your own capacity for faithfulness. Of course you may be too much of a fool to go wrong--too dull even to know you are being assaulted by the powers of darkness. I take it, no fool ever made a bargain for his soul with the devil: the fool is too much of a fool, or the devil too much of a devil--I don't know which. Or you may be such a thunderingly exalted creature as to be altogether deaf and blind to
anything but heavenly sights and sounds. Then the earth for you is only a standing place -- and whether to be like this is your loss or your gain I won't pretend to say. But most of us are neither one nor the other.
The earth for us is a place to live in, where we must put up with sights, with sounds, with smells too, by Jove!-- breathe dead hippo, so to speak, and not be contaminated. And there, don't you see?
Your strength comes in, the faith in your ability for the digging of unostentatious holes to bury the stuff in--your power of devotion, not to yourself, but to an obscure, back-breaking business. And that's difficult enough.
Mind, I am not trying to excuse or even explain--I am trying to account to myself for--for--Mr. Kurtz--for the shade of Mr. Kurtz.
This initiated wraith from the back of Nowhere honored me with its amazing confidence before it vanished altogether. This was because it could speak English to me.
The original Kurtz had been educated partly in England, and--as he was good enough to say himself--his sympathies were in the right place. His mother was half-English, his father was half-French.
All Europe contributed to the making of Kurtz.
Joseph Conrad (Heart of Darkness)
I’ve been in your skin,” he taunted. “I know you inside and out. There’s nothing there. Do us all a favor and die so we can start working on another plan and quit thinking maybe you’ll grow the fuck up and be capable of something.”
Okay, enough! “You don’t know me inside and out,” I snarled. “You may have gotten in my skin, but you have never gotten inside my heart. Go ahead, Barrons, make me slice and dice myself. Go ahead, play games with me. Push me around. Lie to me. Bully me. Be your usual constant jackass self. Stalk around all broody and pissy and secretive, but you’re wrong about me. There’s something inside me you’d better be afraid of. And you can’t touch my soul. You will never touch my soul!”
I raised my hand, drew back the knife, and let it fly. It sliced through the air, straight for his head.
He avoided it with preternatural grace, a mere whisper of a movement, precisely and only as much as was required to not get hit.
The hilt vibrated in the wood of the ornate mantel next to his head.
“So, fuck you, Jericho Barrons, and not the way you like it. Fuck you—as in, you can’t touch me. Nobody can.”
I kicked the table at him. It crashed into his shins. I picked up a lamp from the end table. Flung it straight at his head. He ducked again. I grabbed a book. It thumped off his chest.
He laughed, dark eyes glittering with exhilaration.
I launched myself at him, slammed a fist into his face. I heard a satisfying crunch and felt something in his nose give.
He didn’t try to hit me back or push me away. Merely wrapped his arms around me and crushed me tight to his body, trapping my arms against his chest.
Then, when I thought he might just squeeze me to death, he dropped his head forward, into the hollow where my shoulder met my neck.
“Do you miss fucking me, Ms. Lane?” he purred against my ear. Voice resonated in my skull, pressuring a reply.
I was tall and strong and proud inside myself. Nobody owned me. I didn’t have to answer any questions I didn’t want to, ever again.
“Wouldn’t you just love to know?” I purred back. “You want more of me, don’t you, Barrons? I got under your skin deep. I hope you got addicted to me. I was a wild one, wasn’t I? I bet you never had sex like that in your entire existence, huh, O Ancient One? I bet I rocked your perfectly disciplined little world. I hope wanting me hurts like hell!”
His hands were suddenly cruelly tight on my waist.
“There’s only one question that matters, Ms. Lane, and it’s the one you never get around to asking. People are capable of varying degrees of truth. The majority spend their entire lives fabricating an elaborate skein of lies, immersing themselves in the faith of bad faith, doing whatever it takes to feel safe. The person who truly lives has precious few moments of safety, learns to thrive in any kind of storm. It’s the truth you can stare down stone-cold that makes you what you are. Weak or strong. Live or die. Prove yourself. How much truth can you take, Ms. Lane?”
Karen Marie Moning
Mr. Kadam bowed and said, “Miss Kelsey, I will leave you to your dining companion. Enjoy your dinner.” Then he walked out of the restaurant.
“Mr. Kadam, wait. I don’t understand.”
Dining companion? What is he talking about? Maybe he’s confused.
Just then, a deep, all-too-familiar voice behind me said, “Hello, Kells.”
I froze, and my heart dropped into my stomach, stirring up about a billion butterflies. A few seconds passed. Or was it a few minutes? I couldn’t tell.
I heard a sigh of frustration. “Are you still not talking to me? Turn around, please.”
A warm hand slid under my elbow and gently turned me around. I raised my eyes and gasped softly. He was breathtaking! So handsome, I wanted to cry.
He smiled. “Who else?”
He was dressed in an elegant black suit and he’d had his hair cut. Glossy black hair was swept back away from his face in tousled layers that tapered to a slight curl at the nape of his neck. The white shirt he wore was unbuttoned at the collar. It set off his golden-bronze skin and his brilliant white smile, making him positively lethal to any woman who might cross his path. I groaned inwardly.
He’s like…like James Bond, Antonio Banderas, and Brad Pitt all rolled into one.
I decided the safest thing to do would be to look at his shoes. Shoes were boring, right? Not attractive at all. Ah. Much better. His shoes were nice, of course-polished and black, just like I would expect. I smiled wryly when I realized that this was the first time I’d ever seen Ren in shoes.
He cupped my chin and made me look at his face. The jerk. Then it was his turn to appraise me. He looked me up and down. And not a quick look. He took it all in slowly. The kind of slow that made a girl’s face feel hot. I got mad at myself for blushing and glared at him.
Nervous and impatient, I asked, “Are you finished?”
“Almost.” He was now staring at my strappy shoes.
“Well, hurry up!”
His eyes drifted leisurely back up to my face and he smiled at me appreciatively, “Kelsey, when a man spends time with a beautiful woman, he needs to pace himself.”
I quirked an eyebrow at him and laughed. “Yeah, I’m a regular marathon alright.”
He kissed my fingers. “Exactly. A wise man never sprints…in a marathon.”
“I was being sarcastic, Ren.”
He ignored me and tucked my hand under his arm then led me over to a beautifully lit table. Pulling the chair out for me, he invited me to sit.
I stood there wondering if I could sprint for the nearest exit. Stupid strappy shoes, I’d never make it.
He leaned in close and whispered in my ear. “I know what you’re thinking, and I’m not going to let you escape again. You can either take a seat and have dinner with me like a normal date,” he grinned at his word choice, “or,” he paused thoughtfully then threatened, “you can sit on my lap while I force-feed you.”
I hissed, “You wouldn’t dare. You’re too much of a gentleman to force me to do anything. It’s an empty bluff, Mr. Asks-For-Permission.”
“Even a gentleman has his limits. One way or another, we’re going to have a civil conversation. I’m hoping I get to feed you from my lap, but it’s your choice.”
He straightened up again and waited. I unceremoniously plunked down in my chair and scooted in noisily to the table. He laughed softly and took the chair across from me. I felt guilty because of the dress and readjusted my skirt so it wouldn’t wrinkle.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Oh, you're right. I'm just a human with thick skin, purple eyes, and hard bones. Which means you can go home. Tell Galen I said hi."
Toraf opens and shuts his mouth twice. Both times it seems like he wants to say something, but his expression tells me his brain isn't cooperating. When his mouth snaps shut a third time, I splash water in his face. "Are you going to say something, or are you trying to catch wind and sail?
A grin the size of the horizon spreads across his face. "He likes that, you know. Your temper."
Yeahfreakingright. Galen's a classic type A personality-and type A's hate smartass-ism. Just ask my mom. "No offense, but you're not exactly an expert at judging people's emotions."
"I'm not sure what you mean by that."
"Sure you do."
"If you're talking about Rayna, then you're wrong. She loves me. She just won't admit it."
I roll my eyes. "Right. She's playing hard to get, is that it? Bashing your head with a rock, splitting your lip, calling you squid breath all the time."
"What does that mean? Hard to get?"
"It means she's trying to make you think she doesn't like you, so that you end up liking her more. So you work harder to get her attention."
He nods. "Exactly. That's exactly what she's doing."
Pinching the bridge of my nose, I say, "I don't think so. As we speak, she's getting your mating seal dissolved. That's not playing hard to get. That's playing impossible to get."
"Even if she does get it dissolved, it's not because she doesn't care about me. She just likes to play games."
The pain in Toraf's voice guts me like the catch of the day. She might like playing games, but his feelings are real. And can't I relate to that? "There's only one way to find out," I say softly.
"If all she wants is games."
"You play hard to get. You know how they say. 'If you love someone, set them free. If they return to you, it was meant to be?'"
"I've never heard that."
"Right. No, you wouldn't have." I sigh. "Basically, what I'm trying to say is, you need to stop giving Rayna attention. Push her away. Treat her like she treats you."
He shakes his head. "I don't think I can do that."
"You'll get your answer that way," I say, shrugging. "But it sounds like you don't really want to know."
"I do want to know. But what if the answer isn't good?" His face scrunches as if the words taste like lemon juice.
"You've got to be ready to deal with it, no matter what."
Toraf nods, his jaw tight. The choices he has to consider will make this night long enough for him. I decide not to intrude on his time anymore. "I'm pretty tired, so I'm heading back. I'll meet you at Galen's in the morning. Maybe I can break thirty minutes tomorrow, huh?" I nudge his shoulder with my fist, but a weak smile is all I get in return.
I'm surprised when he grabs my hand and starts pulling me through the water. At least it's better than dragging me by the ankle. I can't but think how Galen could have done the same thing. Why does he wrap his arms around me instead?
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
The smile that curled his lips was as arrogant as it was beautiful.
“You need to accept the fact that you’re Orange and that you’re always going to be alone because of it.” A measure of calm had returned to Clancy’s voice. His nostrils flared when I tried to turn the door handle again. He slammed both hands against it to keep me from going anywhere, towering over me.
“I saw what you want,” Clancy said. “And it’s not your parents. It’s not even your friends. What you want is to be with him, like you were in the cabin yesterday, or in that car in the woods. I don’t want to lose you, you said. Is he really that important?”
Rage boiled up from my stomach, burning my throat. “How dare you? You said you wouldn’t—you said—”
He let out a bark of laughter. “God, you’re naive. I guess this explains how that League woman was able to trick you into thinking you were something less than a monster.”
“You said you would help me,” I whispered.
He rolled his eyes. “All right, are you ready for the last lesson? Ruby Elizabeth Daly, you are alone and you always will be. If you weren’t so stupid, you would have figured it out by now, but since it’s beyond you, let me spell it out: You will never be able to control your abilities. You will never be able to avoid being pulled into someone’s head, because there’s some part of you that doesn’t want to know how to control them. No, not when it would mean having to embrace them. You’re too immature and weak-hearted to use them the way they’re meant to be used. You’re scared of what that would make you.”
I looked away.
“Ruby, don’t you get it? You hate what you are, but you were given these abilities for a reason. We both were. It’s our right to use them—we have to use them to stay ahead, to keep the others in their place.”
His finger caught the stretched-out collar of my shirt and gave it a tug.
“Stop it.” I was proud of how steady my voice was.
As Clancy leaned in, he slipped a hazy image beneath my closed eyes—the two of us just before he walked into my memories. My stomach knotted as I watched my eyes open in terror, his lips pressed against mine.
“I’m so glad we found each other,” he said, voice oddly calm. “You can help me. I thought I knew everything, but you…”
My elbow flew up and clipped him under the chin. Clancy stumbled back with a howl of pain, pressing both hands to his face. I had half a second to get the hell out, and I took it, twisting the handle of the door so hard that the lock popped itself out.
“Ruby! Wait, I didn’t mean—!”
A face appeared at the bottom of the stairs. Lizzie. I saw her lips part in surprise, her many earrings jangling as I shoved past her.
“Just an argument,” I heard Clancy say, weakly. “It’s fine, just let her go.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
When I close my eyes to see, to hear, to smell, to touch a country I have known, I feel my body shake and fill with joy as if a beloved person had come near me.
A rabbi was once asked the following question: ‘When you say that the Jews should return to Palestine, you mean, surely, the heavenly, the immaterial, the spiritual Palestine, our true homeland?’ The rabbi jabbed his staff into the ground in wrath and shouted, ‘No! I want the Palestine down here, the one you can touch with your hands, with its stones, its thorns and its mud!’
Neither am I nourished by fleshless, abstract memories. If I expected my mind to distill from a turbid host of bodily joys and bitternesses an immaterial, crystal-clear thought, I would die of hunger. When I close my eyes in order to enjoy a country again, my five senses, the five mouth-filled tentacles of my body, pounce upon it and bring it to me. Colors, fruits, women. The smells of orchards, of filthy narrow alleys, of armpits. Endless snows with blue, glittering reflections. Scorching, wavy deserts of sand shimmering under the hot sun. Tears, cries, songs, distant bells of mules, camels or troikas. The acrid, nauseating stench of some Mongolian cities will never leave my nostrils. And I will eternally hold in my hands – eternally, that is, until my hands rot – the melons of Bukhara, the watermelons of the Volga, the cool, dainty hand of a Japanese girl…
For a time, in my early youth, I struggled to nourish my famished soul by feeding it with abstract concepts. I said that my body was a slave and that its duty was to gather raw material and bring it to the orchard of the mind to flower and bear fruit and become ideas. The more fleshless, odorless, soundless the world was that filtered into me, the more I felt I was ascending the highest peak of human endeavor. And I rejoiced. And Buddha came to be my greatest god, whom I loved and revered as an example. Deny your five senses. Empty your guts. Love nothing, hate nothing, desire nothing, hope for nothing. Breathe out and the world will be extinguished.
But one night I had a dream. A hunger, a thirst, the influence of a barbarous race that had not yet become tired of the world had been secretly working within me. My mind pretended to be tired. You felt it had known everything, had become satiated, and was now smiling ironically at the cries of my peasant heart. But my guts – praised be God! – were full of blood and mud and craving. And one night I had a dream. I saw two lips without a face – large, scimitar-shaped woman’s lips. They moved. I heard a voice ask, ‘Who if your God?’ Unhesitatingly I answered, ‘Buddha!’ But the lips moved again and said: ‘No, Epaphus.’
I sprang up out of my sleep. Suddenly a great sense of joy and certainty flooded my heart. What I had been unable to find in the noisy, temptation-filled, confused world of wakefulness I had found now in the primeval, motherly embrace of the night. Since that night I have not strayed. I follow my own path and try to make up for the years of my youth that were lost in the worship of fleshless gods, alien to me and my race. Now I transubstantiate the abstract concepts into flesh and am nourished. I have learned that Epaphus, the god of touch, is my god.
All the countries I have known since then I have known with my sense of touch. I feel my memories tingling, not in my head but in my fingertips and my whole skin. And as I bring back Japan to my mind, my hands tremble as if they were touching the breast of a beloved woman.
Nikos Kazantzakis (Travels in China & Japan)
I pushed myself up onto my hands and knees, ignoring the bite of the frosty air on my bare skin. I launched myself in the direction of the door, fumbling around until I found it. I tried shaking the handle, jiggling it, still thinking, hoping, praying that this was some big birthday surprise, and that by the time I got back inside, there would be a plate of pancakes at the table and Dad would bring in the presents, and we could—we could—we could pretend like the night before had never happened, even with the evidence in the next room over.
The door was locked.
“I’m sorry!” I was screaming. Pounding my fists against it. “Mommy, I’m sorry! Please!”
Dad appeared a moment later, his stocky shape outlined by the light from inside of the house. I saw Mom’s bright-red face over his shoulder; he turned to wave her off and then reached over to flip on the overhead lights.
“Dad!” I said, throwing my arms around his waist. He let me keep them there, but all I got in return was a light pat on the back.
“You’re safe,” he told me, in his usual soft, rumbling voice.
“Dad—there’s something wrong with her,” I was babbling. The tears were burning my cheeks. “I didn’t mean to be bad! You have to fix her, okay? She’s…she’s…”
“I know, I believe you.”
At that, he carefully peeled my arms off his uniform and guided me down, so we were sitting on the step, facing Mom’s maroon sedan. He was fumbling in his pockets for something, listening to me as I told him everything that had happened since I walked into the kitchen. He pulled out a small pad of paper from his pocket.
“Daddy,” I tried again, but he cut me off, putting down an arm between us. I understood—no touching. I had seen him do something like this before, on Take Your Child to Work Day at the station. The way he spoke, the way he wouldn’t let me touch him—I had watched him treat another kid this way, only that one had a black eye and a broken nose. That kid had been a stranger.
Any hope I had felt bubbling up inside me burst into a thousand tiny pieces.
“Did your parents tell you that you’d been bad?” he asked when he could get a word in. “Did you leave your house because you were afraid they would hurt you?”
I pushed myself up off the ground. This is my house! I wanted to scream. You are my parents! My throat felt like it had closed up on itself.
“You can talk to me,” he said, very gently. “I won’t let anyone hurt you. I just need your name, and then we can go down to the station and make some calls—”
I don’t know what part of what he was saying finally broke me, but before I could stop myself I had launched my fists against him, hitting him over and over, like that would drive some sense back into him. “I am your kid!” I screamed. “I’m Ruby!”
“You’ve got to calm down, Ruby,” he told me, catching my wrists. “It’ll be okay. I’ll call ahead to the station, and then we’ll go.”
“No!” I shrieked. “No!”
He pulled me off him again and stood, making his way to the door. My nails caught the back of his hand, and I heard him grunt in pain. He didn’t turn back around as he shut the door.
I stood alone in the garage, less than ten feet away from my blue bike. From the tent that we had used to camp in dozens of times, from the sled I’d almost broken my arm on. All around the garage and house were pieces of me, but Mom and Dad—they couldn’t put them together. They didn’t see the completed puzzle standing in front of them.
But eventually they must have seen the pictures of me in the living room, or gone up to my mess of the room.
“—that’s not my child!” I could hear my mom yelling through the walls. She was talking to Grams, she had to be. Grams would set her straight. “I have no child! She’s not mine—I already called them, don’t—stop it! I’m not crazy!
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
One," said the recording secretary.
"Jesus wept," answered Leon promptly.
There was not a sound in the church. You could almost hear the butterflies pass. Father looked down and laid his lower lip in folds with his fingers, like he did sometimes when it wouldn't behave to suit him.
"Two," said the secretary after just a breath of pause.
Leon looked over the congregation easily and then fastened his eyes on Abram Saunders, the father of Absalom, and said reprovingly: "Give not sleep to thine eyes nor slumber to thine eyelids."
Abram straightened up suddenly and blinked in astonishment, while father held fast to his lip.
"Three," called the secretary hurriedly.
Leon shifted his gaze to Betsy Alton, who hadn't spoken to her next door neighbour in five years.
"Hatred stirreth up strife," he told her softly, "but love covereth all sins."
Things were so quiet it seemed as if the air would snap.
The mild blue eyes travelled back to the men's side and settled on Isaac Thomas, a man too lazy to plow and sow land his father had left him. They were not so mild, and the voice was touched with command: "Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise."
Still that silence.
"Five," said the secretary hurriedly, as if he wished it were over. Back came the eyes to the women's side and past all question looked straight at Hannah Dover.
"As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman without discretion."
"Six," said the secretary and looked appealingly at father, whose face was filled with dismay.
Again Leon's eyes crossed the aisle and he looked directly at the man whom everybody in the community called "Stiff-necked Johnny."
I think he was rather proud of it, he worked so hard to keep them doing it.
"Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck," Leon commanded him.
Toward the door some one tittered.
"Seven," called the secretary hastily.
Leon glanced around the room.
"But how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity," he announced in delighted tones as if he had found it out by himself.
"Eight," called the secretary with something like a breath of relief.
Our angel boy never had looked so angelic, and he was beaming on the Princess.
"Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee," he told her.
Laddie would thrash him for that.
Instantly after, "Nine," he recited straight at Laddie: "I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?"
More than one giggled that time.
"Ten!" came almost sharply.
Leon looked scared for the first time. He actually seemed to shiver. Maybe he realized at last that it was a pretty serious thing he was doing. When he spoke he said these words in the most surprised voice you ever heard: "I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly."
Perhaps these words are in the Bible. They are not there to read the way Leon repeated them, for he put a short pause after the first name, and he glanced toward our father: "Jesus Christ, the SAME, yesterday, and to-day, and forever!"
Sure as you live my mother's shoulders shook.
Suddenly Leon seemed to be forsaken. He surely shrank in size and appeared abused.
"When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up," he announced, and looked as happy over the ending as he had seemed forlorn at the beginning.
"The Lord is on my side; I will not fear; what can man do unto me?" inquired Leon of every one in the church. Then he soberly made a bow and walked to his seat.
Gene Stratton-Porter (Laddie: A True Blue Story)