It's Been Rough Quotes

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And let’s face it people, no one is ever honest with you about child birth. Not even your mother.       “It’s a pain you forget all about once you have that sweet little baby in your arms.”     Bullshit.   I CALL BULLSHIT.   Any friend, cousin, or nosey-ass stranger in the grocery store that tells you it’s not that bad is a lying sack of shit.   Your vagina is roughly the size of the girth of a penis.   It has to stretch and open andturn into a giant bat cave so the life-sucking human you’ve been growing for nine months can angrily claw its way out.   Who in their right mind would do that willingly?   You’re just walking along one day and think to yourself, “You know, I think it’s time I turn my vagina into an Arby’s Beef and Cheddar (minus the cheddar) and saddle myself down for a minimum of eighteen years to someone who will suck the soul and the will to live right out of my body so I’m a shell of the person I used to be and can’t get laid even if I pay for it.
Tara Sivec (Seduction and Snacks (Chocolate Lovers, #1))
I’m a modern man, a man for the millennium. Digital and smoke free. A diversified multi-cultural, post-modern deconstruction that is anatomically and ecologically incorrect. I’ve been up linked and downloaded, I’ve been inputted and outsourced, I know the upside of downsizing, I know the downside of upgrading. I’m a high-tech low-life. A cutting edge, state-of-the-art bi-coastal multi-tasker and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond! I’m new wave, but I’m old school and my inner child is outward bound. I’m a hot-wired, heat seeking, warm-hearted cool customer, voice activated and bio-degradable. I interface with my database, my database is in cyberspace, so I’m interactive, I’m hyperactive and from time to time I’m radioactive. Behind the eight ball, ahead of the curve, ridin the wave, dodgin the bullet and pushin the envelope. I’m on-point, on-task, on-message and off drugs. I’ve got no need for coke and speed. I've got no urge to binge and purge. I’m in-the-moment, on-the-edge, over-the-top and under-the-radar. A high-concept, low-profile, medium-range ballistic missionary. A street-wise smart bomb. A top-gun bottom feeder. I wear power ties, I tell power lies, I take power naps and run victory laps. I’m a totally ongoing big-foot, slam-dunk, rainmaker with a pro-active outreach. A raging workaholic. A working rageaholic. Out of rehab and in denial! I’ve got a personal trainer, a personal shopper, a personal assistant and a personal agenda. You can’t shut me up. You can’t dumb me down because I’m tireless and I’m wireless, I’m an alpha male on beta-blockers. I’m a non-believer and an over-achiever, laid-back but fashion-forward. Up-front, down-home, low-rent, high-maintenance. Super-sized, long-lasting, high-definition, fast-acting, oven-ready and built-to-last! I’m a hands-on, foot-loose, knee-jerk head case pretty maturely post-traumatic and I’ve got a love-child that sends me hate mail. But, I’m feeling, I’m caring, I’m healing, I’m sharing-- a supportive, bonding, nurturing primary care-giver. My output is down, but my income is up. I took a short position on the long bond and my revenue stream has its own cash-flow. I read junk mail, I eat junk food, I buy junk bonds and I watch trash sports! I’m gender specific, capital intensive, user-friendly and lactose intolerant. I like rough sex. I like tough love. I use the “F” word in my emails and the software on my hard-drive is hardcore--no soft porn. I bought a microwave at a mini-mall; I bought a mini-van at a mega-store. I eat fast-food in the slow lane. I’m toll-free, bite-sized, ready-to-wear and I come in all sizes. A fully-equipped, factory-authorized, hospital-tested, clinically-proven, scientifically- formulated medical miracle. I’ve been pre-wash, pre-cooked, pre-heated, pre-screened, pre-approved, pre-packaged, post-dated, freeze-dried, double-wrapped, vacuum-packed and, I have an unlimited broadband capacity. I’m a rude dude, but I’m the real deal. Lean and mean! Cocked, locked and ready-to-rock. Rough, tough and hard to bluff. I take it slow, I go with the flow, I ride with the tide. I’ve got glide in my stride. Drivin and movin, sailin and spinin, jiving and groovin, wailin and winnin. I don’t snooze, so I don’t lose. I keep the pedal to the metal and the rubber on the road. I party hearty and lunch time is crunch time. I’m hangin in, there ain’t no doubt and I’m hangin tough, over and out!
George Carlin
It’s 11 am and I’m sitting in a restaurant 3 beers in. Believe me, even I’m surprised I’m still alive sometimes. I have been drinking about you for 2 days. Lately you remind me of a wild thing chewing through its foot. But you are already free and I don’t know what to do except trace the rough line of your jaw and try not to place blame. Here is the truth: It is hard to be in love with someone who is in love someone else. I don’t know how to turn that into poetry.
Clementine von Radics
Please don't go." He let out an uneven breath. "You'll be fine without me. You always have been." Maybe once, but not now. "How can I convince you to stay?" "You can't." She threw down the torch. "Do you want me to beg, is that it?" "No-never." "Then tell me-" "What more can I say?" he exploded, his whisper rough and harsh "I’ve already told you everything—I’ve already told you that if I stay here, if I have to live with Arobynn, I'll snap his damned neck.” “But why? Why can’t you let it go?” He grabbed her shoulders and shook her. “Because I love you!” Her mouth fell open. “I love you,” he repeated, shaking her again. “I have for years. And he hurt you and made me watch because he’s always known how I felt, too. But if I asked you to pick, you’d choose Arobynn, and I. Can’t. Take. It.” The only sounds were their breathing, an uneven beat against the rushing of the sewer river. “You’re a damned idiot,” she breathed, grabbing the front of his tunic. “You’re a moron and an ass and a damned idiot.” He looked like she had hit him. But she went on, and grasped both sides of his face, "Because I'd pick you." And then she kissed him.
Sarah J. Maas (The Assassin and the Underworld (Throne of Glass, #0.4))
A Thousand Mornings All night my heart makes its way however it can over the rough ground of uncertainties, but only until night meets and then is overwhelmed by morning, the light deepening, the wind easing and just waiting, as I too wait (and when have I ever been disappointed?) for redbird to sing
Mary Oliver (A Thousand Mornings: Poems)
There was a wall. It did not look important. It was built of uncut rocks roughly mortared. An adult could look right over it, and even a child could climb it. Where it crossed the roadway, instead of having a gate it degenerated into mere geometry, a line, an idea of boundary. But the idea was real. It was important. For seven generations there had been nothing in the world more important than that wall. Like all walls it was ambiguous, two-faced. What was inside it and what was outside it depended upon which side of it you were on.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia)
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))
Everything failed to subdue me. Soon everything seemed dull: another sunrise, the lives of heroes, falling in love, war, the discoveries people made about each other. The only thing that didn't bore me, obviously enough, was how much money Tim Price made, and yet in its obviousness it did. There wasn't a clear, identifiable emotion within me, except for greed and, possibly, total disgust. I had all the characteristics of a human being - flesh, blood, skin, hair - but my depersonalization was so intense, had gone so deep, that the normal ability to feel compassion had been eradicated, the victim of a slow, purposeful erasure. I was simply imitating reality, a rough resemblance of a human being, with only a dim corner of my mind functioning. Something horrible was happening and yet I couldn't figure out why - I couldn't put my finger on it.
Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho)
I found myself within a forest dark, for the straightfoward pathway had been lost. Ah me! How hard a thing is to say, what was this forest savage, rough, and stern, which in the very thought renews the fear. So bitter is it, death is little more...
Dante Alighieri (The Divine Comedy)
You ever heard the phrase 'nice guys finish last'? It's true. Been true my whole life. So, maybe it'd be nice for me for a change, if someone thought I was worth fightin' for.
Lorelei James (Tied Up, Tied Down (Rough Riders, #4))
Suicide is just a moment, Lexy told me. This is how she described it to me. For just a moment, it doesn't matter that you've got people who love you and the sun is shining and there's a movie coming out this weekend that you've been dying to see. It hits you all of a sudden that nothing is ever going to be okay, ever, and you kind of dare yourself. You pick up a knife and press it gently to your skin, you look out a nineteenth-story window and you think, I could just do it. I could just do it. And most of the time, you look at the height and you get scared, or you think about the poor people on the sidewalk below - what if there are kids coming home from school and they have to spend the rest of their lives trying to forget this terrible thing you're going to make them see? And the moment's over. You think about how sad it would've been if you never got to see that movie, and you look at your dog and wonder who would've taken care of her if you had gone. And you go back to normal. But you keep it there in your mind. Even if you never take yourself up on it, it gives you a kind of comfort to know that the day is yours to choose. You tuck it away in your brain like sour candy tucked in your cheek, and the puckering memory it leaves behind, the rough pleasure of running your tongue over its strange terrain, is exactly the same.... The day was hers to choose, and perhaps in that treetop moment when she looked down and saw the yard, the world, her life, spread out below her, perhaps she chose to plunge toward it headlong. Perhaps she saw before her a lifetime of walking on the ruined earth and chose instead a single moment in the air
Carolyn Parkhurst (The Dogs of Babel)
People are afraid to merge on freeways in Los Angeles. This is the first thing I hear when I come back to the city. Blair picks me up from LAX and mutters this under her breath as she drives up the onramp. She says, "People are afraid to merge on freeways in Los Angeles." Though that sentence shouldn't bother me, it stays in my mind for an uncomfortably long time. Nothing else seems to matter. Not the fact that I'm eighteen and it's December and the ride on the plane had been rough and the couple from Santa Barbara, who were sitting across from me in first class, had gotten pretty drunk. Not the mud that had splattered on the legs of my jeans, which felt kind of cold and loose, earlier that day at an airport in New Hampshire. Not the stain on the arm of the wrinkled, damp shirt I wear, a shirt which looked fresh and clean this morning. Not the tear on the neck of my gray argyle vest, which seems vaguely more eastern than before, especially next to Blair's clean tight jeans and her pale-blue shirt. All of this seems irrelevant next to that one sentence. It seems easier to hear that people are afraid to merge than "I'm pretty sure Muriel is anorexic" or the singer on the radio crying out about magnetic waves. Nothing else seems to matter to me but those ten words. Not the warm winds, which seem to propel the car down the empty asphalt freeway, or the faded smell of marijuana which still faintly permeates Blaire's car. All it comes down to is the fact that I'm a boy coming home for a month and meeting someone whom I haven't seen for four months and people are afraid to merge.
Bret Easton Ellis (Less Than Zero)
As that fucking chandelier twinkled overhead, Blay said roughly, "I'm still in love with him." Saxton dropped his eyes and brushed a the top of his thigh, as if there might have been a tiny piece of lint there. "I know. You thought you weren't?" As if that were rather stupid of him. "I'm so fucking tired of it. I really am." "That I believe." "Im so fucking..." God, those sounds, that muted pounding , that audible confirmation of what he had been ignoring for the past year-- On a sudden wave of violence, he pitched the brandy snifter at the marble fireplace, shattering the thing. "Fuck, Fuck!" If he'd been able to, he'd have jumped up and torn that goddamn cocksucking light fixture off the goddamn cocksucking ceiling.
J.R. Ward (Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10))
Of course, it wouldn’t have mattered if I’d seen it coming or not. Adrian was totally unsuitable for me, and it had nothing to do with his many vices or potential descent into insanity. Adrian was a vampire. True, he was a Moroi—one of the good, living vampires—but it made no difference. Humans and vampires couldn’t be together. This was one point the Moroi and Alchemists stood firmly together on. It was still amazing to me that Adrian had voiced those feelings to me. It was amazing that he could even have them or that he’d had the nerve to kiss me, even if it was a kiss that had left me dizzy and breathless. I’d had to reject him, of course. My training would allow nothing less. Our situation here in Palm Springs forced the two us to constantly be together in social situations, and it had been rough since his declaration. For me, it wasn’t just the awkwardness of our new relationship. I…well, I missed him. Before this debacle, he and I had been friends and spent a lot of time together. I’d gotten used to his smirky smile and the quick banter that always flowed between us. Until those things were gone, I hadn’t realized how much I relied on them. How much I needed them. I felt empty inside...which was ridiculous, of course. Why should I care so much about one vampire? Sometimes it made me angry. Why had he ruined such a good thing between us? Why had he made me miss him so much? And what had he expected me to do? He had to have known it was impossible for us to be together. I couldn’t have feelings for him. I couldn’t. If we’d lived among the Keepers—a group of uncivilized vampires, humans, and dhampirs—maybe he and I could have…no. Even if I had feelings for him—and I firmly told myself I didn’t—it was wrong for us to even consider such a relationship. Now, Adrian spoke to me as little as possible. And always, always, he watched me with a haunted look in his green eyes, one that made my heart ache and—
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
It’s only been one day since I was deep inside here, but it’s been too long.” Unexpectedly, he gave her a rough squeeze through her panties. “I know ways to get it deeper.
Tessa Bailey (Chase Me (Broke and Beautiful, #1))
.. As far as they're conserned, I've been kind of a poor second best all my life, or I don't qualify at all compared to my brother. It's rough being around them and feeling like you never measure up." Collin
Danielle Steel (Big Girl)
Until he was right in front of her, his lips curling with the world’s saddest smile. “Back to nervous habits, huh?” he asked as he brushed a fallen eyelash off her cheek. “It’s been a rough few weeks,” she whispered. “Yeah. It really has.” He blew the eyelash away and she wondered if he’d made a wish—until she remembered that elves didn’t have silly superstitions like that. She
Shannon Messenger (Lodestar (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #5))
To the eyes of the American soldiers who drove past, I looked no different from the women around me; and as I thought of it, who could say I was any different? If you no longer have leaves, or bark, or roots, can you go on calling yourself a tree? "I am a peasant," I said to myself, "and not a geisha at all any longer." It was a frightening feeling to look at my hands and see their roughness. To draw my mind away from my fears, I turned my attention again to the truckloads of soldiers driving past. Weren't these the very American soldiers we'd been taught to hate, who had bombed our cities with such horrifying weapons? Now they rode through our neighborhood, throwing pieces of candy to the children.
Arthur Golden (Memoirs of a Geisha)
There wasn’t a clear, identifiable emotion within me, except for greed and, possibly, total disgust. I had all the characteristics of a human being—flesh, blood, skin, hair—but my depersonalization was so intense, had gone so deep, that the normal ability to feel compassion had been eradicated, the victim of a slow, purposeful erasure. I was simply imitating reality, a rough resemblance of a human being, with only a dim corner of my mind functioning. Something horrible was happening and yet I couldn’t figure out why—I couldn’t put my finger on it.
Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho (Vintage Contemporaries))
I’ve been dog rough, half blind and barking mad for years but you don’t catch me going on about it.
Alan Moore (Jerusalem)
I had all the characteristics of a human being-- flesh, blood, skin, hair-- but my depersonalization was so intense, had gone so deep, that the normal ability to feel compassion had been eradicated, the victim of a slow, purposeful erasure. I was simply imitating reality, a rough resemblance of a human being, with only a dim corner of my mind functioning. Something horrible was happening and yet I couldn't figure out why-- I couldn't put my finger on it. The only thing that calmed me was the satisfying sound of ice being dropped into a glass of J&B.
Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho)
The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts. The most obvious part was a hollow, echoing quiet, made by things that were lacking. If there had been a wind it would have sighed trough the trees, set the inn’s sign creaking on its hooks, and brushed the silence down the road like trailing autumn leaves. If there had been a crowd, even a handful of men inside the inn, they would have filled the silence with coversation and laughter, the clatter and clamour one expects from a drinking house during the dark hours of the night. If there had been music…but no, of curse there was no music. In fact there were none of these things, and so the silence remained. Inside the Waystone a pair of men huddled at one corner of the bar. they drank with quiet determination, avoiding serious discussions of troubling news. In doing these they added a small, sullen silenceto the lager, hollow one. it made an alloy of sorts, a counterpoint. The third silence was not an easy thing to notice. If you listened for an hour, you might begin to feel it in the wooden floor underfoot and in the rough, splintering barrels behind the bar. It was in the weight of the black stone heart that held the heat of a long-dead fire. It was in the slow back and forth of a white linen cloth rubbing along the grain of the bar. and it was in the hands of the man who stood there, polishing a strech of mahogany that already gleamed in the lamplight. The man had true-red hair, red as flame. his eyes was dark and distant, and he moved with the subtle certainty that comes from knowing many things. The Waystone was is, just as the third silence was his. This was appropriate, as it was the greatest silence of the three, wapping the other inside itself. It was deep and wide as autumn’s ending. It was heavy as a great river-smooth stone. It was the patient, cut-flower sound of a man who is waiting to die.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
My mouth blooms like a cut. I've been wronged all year, tedious nights, nothing but rough elbows in them and delicate boxes of Kleenex calling crybaby crybaby, you fool! Before today my body was useless. Now it's tearing at its square corners. It's tearing old Mary's garments off, knot by knot and see - Now it's shot full of these electric bolts. Zing! A resurrection! Once it was a boat, quite wooden and with no business, no salt water under it and in need of some paint. It was no more than a group of boards. But you hoisted her, rigged her. She's been elected. My nerves are turned on. I hear them like musical instruments. Where there was silence the drums, the strings are incurably playing. You did this. Pure genius at work. Darling, the composer has stepped into fire.
Anne Sexton (Love Poems)
All people need to be treated gently and respectfully, especially those who have been wounded. They will be unusually sensitive to rough handling. Nevertheless, all people must be challenged to see that their self-centeredness hasn’t been caused by the people who hurt them; it’s only been aggravated by the abuse. And they must do something about it, or they’re going to be miserable forever.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
No," Roma finally said. "Then we would not have met. Then I would have lived an ordinary life, pining for some great love I would never find, because ordinary things happen to ordinary people, and ordinary people settle for something that satisfies them, never knowing if there would have been greater happiness in another life." His voice was rough, but it was certain. "I will fight this war to love you, Juliette Cai. I will fight this feud to have you, because it was this feud that gave you to me, twisted as it is, and now I will take you away from it.
Chloe Gong (Our Violent Ends (These Violent Delights, #2))
Dear Yesteryear, I do not feel alone anymore. I have found love. Maybe I should say love has found me. Well, to be fair, we found each other. Yesterday, I didn’t have a home. Yesterday, I didn’t have a pillow where I could lay my head. Yesterday, it was hard to find peace. Yesterday, I wondered if morning would ever come. Yesterday, I was unable to love, dream, and trust. Yesterday, I didn’t understand life. Yesterday, I was walking in my shadow. I didn’t know if I had meaning or a purpose. I am healing from my yesteryears. However, I am still rough around the edges and still have a lot to learn. I used to be so empty inside, but now I have lovely people to fill my no-longer-empty arms. Yesterday, my path was different. I was confused, not knowing if I should go right or left— move forward or turn around. I do not know what life has in store, but I know for a fact that I do not have to worry about the deadly and narrow path anymore. Yesterday, my sun was blocked by my shadows and everything thing else that came along that didn’t serve me. However, today, the sun is shining brighter than it ever has in my entire life. Yesterday, I will never forget you. You’ve taught me many lessons. I was taught lessons that a young person should never experience or even know about. Some lessons in life leave permitted marks. There have been many lessons I’ve learned that have left so many scars on my heart, but life goes on. I use to be overwhelmed by hate, disbelief, and not knowing if I was going to make it. Now, I am surrounded by warm hugs, smiles, love, and peace. Yesteryear, you will never be forgotten. I am healing, and it is a beautiful thing.
Charlena E. Jackson (Pinwheels and Dandelions)
You will know recycling has been picked up because your recycling bags will be gone and there will be a large, reddish brown smear across your front door roughly in the shape of an X. Or maybe it’s a cross. It’s not clear in the brochure I’ve been handed, which has no words, only dark black-and-white photographs of angled shadows along brick walls. I mean, municipal one-sheets are kind of useless, but this one is at least haunting.
Joseph Fink (Welcome to Night Vale (Welcome to Night Vale, #1))
All the books were beginning to turn against me. Indeed, I must have been blind as a bat not to have seen it long before, the ludicrous contradiction between my theory of life and my actual experiences as a reader. George MacDonald had done more to me than any other writer; of course it was a pity that he had that bee in his bonnet about Christianity. He was good in spite of it. Chesterton has more sense than all the other moderns put together; bating, of course, his Christianity. Johnson was one of the few authors whom I felt I could trust utterly; curiously enough, he had the same kink. Spenser and Milton by a strange coincidence had it too. Even among ancient authors the same paradox was to be found. The most religious (Plato, Aeschylus, Virgil) were clearly those on whom I could really feed. On the other hand, those writers who did not suffer from religion and with whom in theory my sympathy ought to have been complete -- Shaw and Wells and Mill and Gibbon and Voltaire -- all seemed a little thin; what as boys we called "tinny". It wasn't that I didn't like them. They were all (especially Gibbon) entertaining; but hardly more. There seemed to be no depth in them. They were too simple. The roughness and density of life did not appear in their books.
C.S. Lewis (Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life)
I want to tell you something." He placed her palm against her cheek, rough with stubble. "In my life, I've been with women I didn't care about and women I cared a great deal about. But I've never been with a woman who makes me feel the way you do." He lowered his head and whispered against her lips, "Sometimes when I look at you, it's hard to breath. When you touch me, I don't care about breathing." He kissed her slow and sweet, and with each press of his lips and touch of his tongue, her heart swelled and ached. It was wonderful and awful and brand-new. Then he pulled back to say, "I don't know how this is all going to work out, but I want to be with you. You are important to me.
Rachel Gibson (True Confessions (Gospel, Idaho #1))
The sun was just beginning to rise when we reached the corn mill, which surprised me until I remembered that A) England has freakishly early sunrises in the summer, and B) we'd been gone nearly two hours. I was pretty sure I'd never been so wiped out in my entire life. I felt hollow and exhausted, and as I looked at Archer, almost unbearably sad. I tried to tell myself that it was just because I'd been nearly squished by the space-time continuum,but I knew that wasn't it. I think Archer was feeling something similar, because his hands shook slightly as he lifted the chain from around our necks. It hit the floor with a heavy thump, sending up a cloud of dust motes. They sparkled in the shaft of pale pink light that fell between us, looking surprisingly pretty for dirt. Archer's face was streaked with sweat, and there was a smudge above his left eyebrow, as well as a dark stain on his torso that was probably ghoul blood. I had a feeling I looked just as rough. "Well," he said at last, his voice slightly hoarse. "That was the worst first date I've ever been on.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
She stared into the dark, motionless, envisioning again the reaction she’d seen when Madame Hasard told René that the money was gone. The way his fists had clenched on the back of his neck, the roughness of his voice that had not been from the rope. It had taken her a little time to analyze, but now she knew. What she had seen was more than shock or the loss of money. More than just pain. What she had seen was the loss of hope. And to lose hope, you must have had hope in the first place. René had been hoping to pay the fee. He’d been hoping to have her. And without the money, he thought he’d lost her. How ridiculous. What could the money have to do with it? How could René Hasard think any such thing, when it was perfectly clear that he belonged to no one but her?
Sharon Cameron (Rook)
All in all, it was the goldarndest, Barnum-and-Baileyest, rib-stickinest, rough-and-tumblest infernal foofaraw of a media circus anybody had seen since grandpaw chased the possum down the road and lost his store teeth, and I was heartily sorry to have been a part of it.
John Varley
Psychoanalysis provides truth in an infantile, that is, a schoolboy fashion: we learn from it, roughly and hurriedly, things that scandalize us and thereby command our attention. It sometimes happens, and such is the case here, that a simplification touching upon the truth, but cheaply, is of no more value than a lie. Once again we are shown the demon and the angel, the beast and the god locked in Manichean embrace, and once again man has been pronounced, by himself, not culpable.
Stanisław Lem (His Master's Voice)
I hear some rustling on the other end of the line, like he’s moving around. Then he exhales. “I’m sorry you’ve had such a rough time.” “Oh god. Please don’t feel sorry for me. I hate pity more than anything else in the world.” “It’s not pity. It’s empathy.” “I’m not sure they’re so different.” “They are. One is condescending. The other is understanding what someone’s going through because you’ve been there. And you wouldn’t wish that kind of suffering on anyone else. And you wish you could make it better.
J.T. Geissinger (Ruthless Creatures (Queens & Monsters, #1))
Yet I had not been many days shut up with them before I began to be ashamed of my first judgment, when I had drawn away from them at the Ferry pier, as though they had been unclean beasts. No class of man is altogether bad, but each has its own faults and virtues; and these shipmates of mine were no exception to the rule. Rough they were, sure enough; and bad, I suppose; but they had many virtues. They were kind when it occurred to them, simple even beyond the simplicity of a country lad like me, and had some glimmerings of honesty.
Robert Louis Stevenson (Kidnapped)
People are by nature illiterate and innumerate, quantifying the world by “one, two, many” and by rough guesstimates.21 They understand physical things as having hidden essences that obey the laws of sympathetic magic or voodoo rather than physics and biology: objects can reach across time and space to affect things that resemble them or that had been in contact with them in the past (remember the beliefs of pre–Scientific Revolution Englishmen).22 They think that words and thoughts can impinge on the physical world in prayers and curses. They underestimate the prevalence of coincidence.23 They generalize from paltry samples, namely their own experience, and they reason by stereotype, projecting the typical traits of a group onto any individual that belongs to it. They infer causation from correlation. They think holistically, in black and white, and physically, treating abstract networks as concrete stuff. They are not so much intuitive scientists as intuitive lawyers and politicians, marshaling evidence that confirms their convictions while dismissing evidence that contradicts them.24 They overestimate their own knowledge, understanding, rectitude, competence, and luck.25
Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
This purpose had not been preponderantly to make money--it had been rather to learn something and to do something. To learn something interesting, and to do something useful--this was, roughly speaking, the programme he had sketched, and of which the accident of his wife having an income appeared to him in no degree to modify the validity.
Henry James (Washington Square (Signet Classics))
My arms broke free from my control. My left hand reached for his face, his hair, to wind my fingers in it. My right hand was faster, was not mine. Melanie's fist punched his jaw, knocked his face away from mine with a blunt, low sound. Flesh against flesh, hard and angry. The force of it was not enough to move him far, but he scrambled away from me the instant our lips were no longer connected, gaping with horrorstruck eyes at my horrorstruck expression. I stared down at the still-clenched fist, as repulsed as if I'd found a scorpion growing on the end of my arm. A gasp of revulsion choked its way out of my throat. I grabbed the right wrist with my left hand, desperate to keep Melanie from using my body for violence again. I glanced up at Jared. He was staring at the fist I restrained, too, the horror fading, surprise taking its place. In that second, his expression was entirely defenseless. I could easily read his thoughts as they moved across his unlocked face. This was not what he had expected. And he's had expectations; that was plain to see. This had been a test. A test he'd thought he was prepared to evaluate. But he'd been surprised. Did that mean pass or fail? The pain in my chest was not a surprise. I already knew that a breaking heart was more than an exaggeration. In a flight-or-fight situation, I never had a choice; it would always be flight for me. Because Jared was between me and the darkness of the tunnel exit, I wheeled and threw myself into the box-packed hole. I was sobbing because it had been a test, and, stupid, stupid, stupid, emotional creature that I was, I wanted it to be real. Melanie was writhing in agony inside me, and it was hard to make sense of the double pain. I felt as thought I was dying because it wasn't real; she felt as though she was dying because, to her, it had felt real enough. In all that she'd lost since the end of the world, so long ago, she'd never before felt betrayed. 'No one's betrayed you, stupid,' I railed at her. 'How could he? How?' she ranted, ignoring me. We sobbed beyond control. One word snapped us back from the edge of hysteria. From the mouth of the hole, Jared's low, rough voice - broken and strangely childlike - asked, "Mel?" "Mel?" he asked again, the hope he didn't want to feel colouring his tone. My breath caught in another sob, an aftershock. "You know that was for you, Mel. You know that. Not for h- it. You know I wasn't kissing it." "If you're in there, Mel..." He paused. Melanie hated the "if". A sob burst up through my lungs and I gasped for air. "I love you," Jared said. "Even if you're not there, if you can't hear me, I love you.
Stephenie Meyer (The Host (The Host, #1))
Today, of course, there’s no need to forage and hunt to survive. Yet our genes are coded for this activity, and our brains are meant to direct it. Take that activity away, and you’re disrupting a delicate biological balance that has been fine-tuned over half a million years. Quite simply, we need to engage our endurance metabolism to keep our bodies and brains in optimum condition. The ancient rhythms of activity ingrained in our DNA translate roughly to the varied intensity of walking, jogging, running, and sprinting. In broad strokes, then, I think the best advice is to follow our ancestors’ routine: walk or jog every day, run a couple of times a week, and then go for the kill every now and then by sprinting.
John J. Ratey (Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain)
Once upon a raindrop, I landed on Depression. My umbrella broke and broke me with it's bones. It hurt but didn't, and it eased my rain. Curious a little afraid, I tried it once again. Bitter feeling, my starburst shrunk with fear. Sadness filled me up and now I'm here. Repeat, repeat, feeling numb and blue. Cutting became my flight from Depression to Okay and I pushed through. Though a bad solution, it became the one. It's lasted years, it's never done. Once upon a raindrop, I smile and blink a tear. Sometimes my plane flies me back to Depression and cutting then appears. I try and try to stop, but I always round the bend. I can stay on Okay for months, but then I reach an end. It's been a rough road, maybe it will end. It's been a rough road, I know cutting's not my friend. So my starburst searches for solutions, not sure which to choose. And once upon a raindrop, I might land in Happy's shoes.
Alysha Speer
Had we been wed in Scotland, we could have spoken the old vows. Do you know what words, what promises we would have spoken had we been there, not here, this morning?” His hand slid up to her cheek, cupping it as if to soften the effect of his tone, and as Elizabeth gazed at his hard, beloved face in the candlelight her shyness and fears slid away. “No,” she whispered. “I would have said to you,” he told her quietly and without shame, “’With my body, I thee worship.’” He spoke the words now, as a vow, and when Elizabeth realized it, the poignancy of it made her eyes sting with tears. Turning her face into his hand, she kissed his palm, covering his hand with hers, and a groan tore from his chest, his mouth descending on hers in a kiss that was both rough and tender as he parted her lips for the demanding invasion of his tongue.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Colored people had it rough. Imagine: You’ve been brainwashed into believing that your blood is tainted. You’ve spent all your time assimilating and aspiring to whiteness. Then, just as you think you’re closing in on the finish line, some fucking guy named Nelson Mandela comes along and flips the country on its head. Now the finish line is back where the starting line was, and the benchmark is black. Black is in charge. Black is beautiful. Black is powerful. For centuries colored people were told: Blacks are monkeys. Don’t swing from the trees like them. Learn to walk upright like the white man. Then all of a sudden it’s Planet of the Apes, and the monkeys have taken over.
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood)
I came to a sketch where the space between my arm and Greta’s arm, the shape of the place between us, had been darkened in. The negative space. That’s what Finn called it. He was always trying to get me to understand negative space. And I did. I could understand what he was saying, but it didn’t come naturally to me. I had to be reminded to look for it. To see the stuff that’s there but not there. In this sketch, Finn had colored in the negative space, and I saw that it made a shape that looked like a dog’s head. Or, no—of course, it was a wolf’s head, tilted up, mouth open and howling. It wasn’t obvious or anything. Negative space was kind of like constellations. The kind of thing that had to be brought to your attention. But the way Finn did it was so skillful. It was all in the way Greta’s sleeve draped and the way my shoulder angled in. So perfect. It was almost painful to look at that negative space, because it was so smart. So exactly the kind of thing Finn would think of. I touched my finger to the rough pencil lines, and I wished I could let Finn know that I saw what he’d done. That I knew he’d put that secret animal right between Greta and me.
Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
[Stares at dead knight, killed by the Direwolves] Ersen: If he had sounded his horn... Theon: Try and imagine it was you up there, Ersen. Its dark and cold. You have been walking century for hours looking forward to the end of your watch. Then you hear a noise and you move forward to the gate, and suddenly, you see eyes glowing green and gold in the torchlight. Two shadows come rushing toward you faster than you can believe. You catch a glimpse of teeth, start to level your spear, and they slam into you and open your belly, tearing through leather as if it was cheese cloth. [Shoves Ersen hard] Theon: And now you're down on you back, your guts are spilling out and one of them has his teeth around your neck. [Grabs Ersen around the neck and sqeezes] Theon: Tell me, at what moment during all of this do you stop to blow your Fucking horn?" [Shoves Ersen roughly]
George R.R. Martin (A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2))
Chastity and moral purity were qualities McCandless mulled over long and often. Indeed, one of the books found in the bus with his remains was a collection of stories that included Tol¬stoy’s “The Kreutzer Sonata,” in which the nobleman-turned-ascetic denounces “the demands of the flesh.” Several such passages are starred and highlighted in the dog-eared text, the margins filled with cryptic notes printed in McCandless’s distinc¬tive hand. And in the chapter on “Higher Laws” in Thoreau’s Walden, a copy of which was also discovered in the bus, McCand¬less circled “Chastity is the flowering of man; and what are called Genius, Heroism, Holiness, and the like, are but various fruits which succeed it.” We Americans are titillated by sex, obsessed by it, horrified by it. When an apparently healthy person, especially a healthy young man, elects to forgo the enticements of the flesh, it shocks us, and we leer. Suspicions are aroused. McCandless’s apparent sexual innocence, however, is a corol¬lary of a personality type that our culture purports to admire, at least in the case of its more famous adherents. His ambivalence toward sex echoes that of celebrated others who embraced wilderness with single-minded passion—Thoreau (who was a lifelong virgin) and the naturalist John Muir, most prominently— to say nothing of countless lesser-known pilgrims, seekers, mis¬fits, and adventurers. Like not a few of those seduced by the wild, McCandless seems to have been driven by a variety of lust that supplanted sexual desire. His yearning, in a sense, was too pow¬erful to be quenched by human contact. McCandless may have been tempted by the succor offered by women, but it paled beside the prospect of rough congress with nature, with the cosmos it¬self. And thus was he drawn north, to Alaska.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
What's the use of crying, and retching, and belching, all day long, like your lady downstairs? Life has its sad side, and we must take the rough with the smooth. Why, maids have died on their marriage eve, or, what's worse, bringing their first baby into the world, and the world's wagged on all the same. Life's sad enough, in all conscience, but there's nothing to be frightened about in it or to turn one's stomach. I was country-bred, and as my old granny used to say, "There's no clock like the sun and no calendar like the stars." And why? Because it gets one used to the look of Time. There's no bogey from over the hills that scares one like Time. But when one's been used all one's life to seeing him naked, as it were, instead of shut up in a clock, like he is in Lud, one learns that he is as quiet and peaceful as an old ox dragging the plough. And to watch Time teaches one to sing. They say the fruit from over the hills makes one sing. I've never tasted so much as a sherd of it, but for all that I can sing.
Hope Mirrlees (Lud-in-the-Mist)
I wish you didn't first see me takin' my clothes off for drunks. I wish we didn't meet in a strip club. I wish you could've known me before I started with that kind of thing. Before I got like I am. Before I did all the things I wish I could take back. You know how people pay more money to buy furniture that's been roughed up a little? What do they call it? Things that have been distressed? That's because something that's seen a little wear is just more interesting than something brand-new that hasn't ever had a scuff on it.
Joe Hill (Heart-Shaped Box)
This is roughly the worldview for Neon Genesis Evangelion. This is a worldview drenched in a vision of pessimism. A worldview where the story starts only after any traces of optimism have been removed. [...] They say, "To live is to change." I started this production with the wish that once the production complete, the world, and the heroes would change. That was my "true" desire. I tried to include everything of myself in Neon Genesis Evangelion-myself, a broken man who could do nothing for four years. A man who ran away for four years, one who was simply not dead. Then one thought. "You can't run away," came to me, and I restarted this production. It is a production where my only thought was to burn my feelings into film. I know my behavior was thoughtless, troublesome, and arrogant. But I tried. I don't know what the result will be. That is because within me, the story is not yet finished. I don't know what will happen to Shinji, Misato or Rei. I don't know where life will take them. Because I don't know where life is taking the staff of the production. I feel that I am being irresponsible. But... But it's only natural that we should synchronize ourselves with the world within the production. I've taken on a risk: "It's just an imitation." And for now I can only write this explanation. But perhaps our "original" lies somewhere within there.
Hideaki Anno
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. "Marry me.
Katharine McGee (American Royals (American Royals, #1))
Steris,” he whispered, “I’ve been considering how to proceed once we decide how to infiltrate. I’ve thought about bringing you in with us, and I just don’t see that it’s feasible. I think it would be best if you stayed and watched the horses.” “Very well.” “No, really. Those are armed soldiers. I can’t even fathom how I’d feel if I brought you in there and something happened. You need to stay out here.” “Very well.” “It isn’t subject to—” Wax hesitated. “Wait. You’re all right with this?” “Why wouldn’t I be?” she asked. “I barely have any sense of where to point a gun, and have hardly any capacity for sneaking—that’s really quite a scandalous talent if you think about it, Lord Waxillium. While I do believe that people tend to be safest when near you, riding into an enemy compound is stretching the issue. I’ll stay here.” Wax grinned in the darkness. “Steris, you’re a gem.” “What? Because I have a moderately healthy sense of self-preservation?” “Let’s just say that out in the Roughs, I was accustomed to people always wanting to try things beyond their capacity. And they always seemed determined to do it right when it was the most dangerous.” “Well, I shall endeavor to stay out of sight,” Steris said, “and not get captured.” “I doubt you need to worry about that all the way out here.” “Oh, I agree,” she said. “But that is the sort of statistical anomaly that plagues my life, so I’ll plan for it nonetheless.
Brandon Sanderson (The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn, #6))
A change in direction was required. The story you finished was perhaps never the one you began. Yes! He would take charge of his life anew, binding his breaking selves together. Those changes in himself that he sought, he himself would initiate and make them. No more of this miasmic, absent drift. How had he ever persuaded himself that his money-mad burg would rescue him all by itself, this Gotham in which Jokers and Penguins were running riot with no Batman (or even Robin) to frustrate their schemes, this Metropolis built of Kryptonite in which no Superman dared set foot, where wealth was mistaken for riches and the joy of possession for happiness, where people lived such polished lives that the great rough truths of raw existence had been rubbed and buffed away, and in which human souls had wandered so separately for so long that they barely remembered how to touch; this city whose fabled electricity powered the electric fences that were being erected between men and men, and men and women, too? Rome did not fall because her armies weakened but because Romans forgot what being Roman meant. Might this new Rome actually be more provincial than its provinces; might these new Romans have forgotten what and how to value, or had they never known? Were all empires so undeserving, or was this one particularly crass? Was nobody in all this bustling endeavor and material plenitude engaged, any longer, on the deep quarry-work of the mind and heart? O Dream-America, was civilization's quest to end in obesity and trivia, at Roy Rogers and Planet Hollywood, in USA Today and on E!; or in million-dollar-game-show greed or fly-on-the-wall voyeurism; or in the eternal confessional booth of Ricki and Oprah and Jerry, whose guests murdered each other after the show; or in a spurt of gross-out dumb-and-dumber comedies designed for young people who sat in darkness howling their ignorance at the silver screen; or even at the unattainable tables of Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Alain Ducasse? What of the search for the hidden keys that unlock the doors of exaltation? Who demolished the City on the Hill and put in its place a row of electric chairs, those dealers in death's democracy, where everyone, the innocent, the mentally deficient, the guilty, could come to die side by side? Who paved Paradise and put up a parking lot? Who settled for George W. Gush's boredom and Al Bore's gush? Who let Charlton Heston out of his cage and then asked why children were getting shot? What, America, of the Grail? O ye Yankee Galahads, ye Hoosier Lancelots, O Parsifals of the stockyards, what of the Table Round? He felt a flood bursting in him and did not hold back. Yes, it had seduced him, America; yes, its brilliance aroused him, and its vast potency too, and he was compromised by this seduction. What he opposed in it he must also attack in himself. It made him want what it promised and eternally withheld. Everyone was an American now, or at least Americanized: Indians, Uzbeks, Japanese, Lilliputians, all. America was the world's playing field, its rule book, umpire, and ball. Even anti-Americanism was Americanism in disguise, conceding, as it did, that America was the only game in town and the matter of America the only business at hand; and so, like everyone, Malik Solanka now walked its high corridors cap in hand, a supplicant at its feast; but that did not mean he could not look it in the eye. Arthur had fallen, Excalibur was lost and dark Mordred was king. Beside him on the throne of Camelot sat the queen, his sister, the witch Morgan le Fay.
Salman Rushdie (Fury)
I don’t know what to . . . to think.” There was a horrifying burn of tears crawling up my throat. “This is all overwhelming for you, I imagine. The whole world as you know it is on the brink of great change, and you’re here and don’t even know my name.” The man smiled so broadly, I wondered if it hurt. “You can call me Rolland.” Then he extended a hand. My gaze dropped to it and I made no attempt to take it. Rolland chuckled as he turned and strolled back to the desk. “So, you’re a hybrid? Mutated and linked to him on such an intense level that if one of you dies, so does the other?” His question caught me off guard, but I kept quiet. He sat on the edge of the desk. “You’re actually the first hybrid I’ve seen.” “She really isn’t anything special.” The redhead sneered. “Frankly, she’s rather filthy, like an unclean animal.” As stupid as it was, my cheeks heated, because I was filthy, and Daemon had just physically removed me from him. My pride—my everything—was officially wounded. Rolland chuckled. “She’s had a rough day, Sadi.” At her name, every muscle in my body locked up, and my gaze swung back to her. That was Sadi? The one Dee said was trying to molest Daemon—my Daemon? Anger punched through the confusion and hurt. Of course it would have to be a freaking walking and talking model and not a hag. “Rough day or not, I can’t imagine she cleans up well.” Sadi looked at Daemon as she placed a hand on his chest. “I’m kind of disappointed.” “Are you?” Daemon replied.
 Every hair on my body rose as my arms unfolded.
 “Yes,” she purred. “I really think you can do better. Lots better.” As she spoke, she trailed red-painted fingers down the center of his chest, over his abdomen, heading straight for the button on his jeans. And oh, hell to the no. “Get your hands off him.”
 Sadi’s head snapped in my direction. “Excuse me?”
 “I don’t think I stuttered.” I took a step forward. “But it looks like you need me to repeat it. Get your freaking hands off him.” One side of her plump red lips curled up. “You want to make me?”
 In the back of my head, I was aware that Sadi didn’t move or speak like the other Luxen. Her mannerisms were too human, but then that thought was quickly chased away when Daemon reached down and pulled her hand away. “Stop it,” he murmured, voice dropped low in that teasing way of his. I saw red. The pictures on the wall rattled and the papers on the desk started to lift up. Static charged over my skin. I was about to pull a Beth right here, seconds away from floating to the ceiling and ripping out every strand of red— “And you stop it,” Daemon said, but the teasing quality was gone from his words. There was a warning in them that took the wind right out of my pissed-off sails. The pictures settled as I gaped at him. Being slapped in the face would’ve been better.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opposition (Lux, #5))
He cupped my chin with his big hand and watched me. He breathed hard through his nose. His shoulders heaved way harder than they should have after a few minutes of kissing. I was about to suggest some additional conditioning exercises before football season started. I opened my mouth to tell him. He kissed me again. His tongue passed my lips and played across my teeth. We’d only been kissing like this for a week, but it seemed very natural when I kissed him back the same way. My body was on autopilot as I reached blindly for his waist and dragged him even closer, his torso skin-to-skin with mine against the tree. Who were we? I was turning into any of the assorted older girls who’d been seen leaving the cab of Sean’s truck at night. I’d always viewed those girls with a mixture of awe and derision. Sexual attraction was funny. Lust was hilarious. Now, not so much. Those girls had my sympathy, because I totally got it. I ran my fingers lightly up Adam’s bare back. He gasped. I opened my eyes to see if I’d done something wrong. He still touched the tree, but his muscles were taut, holding on to it for dear life. His eyes were closed. He rubbed his rough cheek slowly against mine. I had done nothing wrong. He was savoring. I knew how he felt. Tracing my fingernails down his back again, I whispered, “Stubble or what?” Eyes still closed, he chuckled. “I’m not shaving until our parents let us date again.” He kissed my cheek. “What if it takes… a… while?” I asked, struggling to talk.
Jennifer Echols (Endless Summer (The Boys Next Door, #1-2))
To-day all our novels and newspapers will be found to be swarming with numberless allusions to the popular character called a Cave-Man. He seems to be quite familiar to us, not only as a public character but as a private character. His psychology is seriously taken into account in psychological fiction and psychological medicine. So far as I can understand, his chief occupation in life was knocking his wife about, or treating women in general with what is, I believe, known in the world of the film as 'rough stuff.' I have never happeend to come upon the evidence for this idea; and I do not know on what primitive diaries or prehistoric divorce-reports it is founded. Nor, as I have explained elsewhere, have I ever been able to see the probability of it, even considered a priori. We are always told without any explanation or authority that primitive man waved a club and knocked the woman down before he carried her off. But on every animal analogy, it would seem an almost morbid modesty and reluctance, on the part of the lady, always to insist on being knocked down before consenting to be carried off. And I repeat that I can never comprehend why, when the male was so very rude, the female should have been so very refined. The cave-man may have been a brute, but there is no reason why he should have been more brutal than the brutes. And the loves of the giraffes and the river romances of the hippopotami are affected without any of this preliminary fracas or shindy.
G.K. Chesterton (The Everlasting Man)
It was night again. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts. The most obvious part was a hollow, echoing quiet, made by things that were lacking. If there had been a wind it would have sighed through the trees, set the inn’s sign creaking on its hooks, and brushed the silence down the road like trailing autumn leaves. If there had been a crowd, even a handful of men inside the inn, they would have filled the silence with conversation and laughter, the clatter and clamor one expects from a drinking house during the dark hours of night. If there had been music...but no, of course there was no music. In fact there were none of these things, and so the silence remained. Inside the Waystone a pair of men huddled at one corner of the bar. They drank with quiet determination, avoiding serious discussions of troubling news. In doing this they added a small, sullen silence to the larger, hollow one. It made an alloy of sorts, a counterpoint. The third silence was not an easy thing to notice. If you listened for an hour, you might begin to feel it in the wooden floor underfoot and in the rough, splintering barrels behind the bar. It was in the weight of the black stone hearth that held the heat of a long dead fire. It was in the slow back and forth of a white linen cloth rubbing along the grain of the bar. And it was in the hands of the man who stood there, polishing a stretch of mahogany that already gleamed in the lamplight. The man had true-red hair, red as flame. His eyes were dark and distant, and he moved with the subtle certainty that comes from knowing many things. The Waystone was his, just as the third silence was his. This was appropriate, as it was the greatest silence of the three, wrapping the others inside itself. It was deep and wide as autumn’s ending. It was heavy as a great river-smooth stone. It was the patient, cut-flower sound of a man who is waiting to die.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1))
I Ask for Silence" Now they can leave me in peace. Now they grow used to my absence. I am going to close my eyes. I want only five things, five chosen roots. One is an endless love. Two is to see the autumn. I cannot exist without leaves flying and falling to the earth. The third is the solemn winter, the rain I loved, the caress of fire in the rough cold. Fourth, the summer, plump as a watermelon. And fifthly, your eyes, Matilde, my dear love, I won’t sleep without your eyes, I won’t exist without your gaze, I adjust the spring for you to follow me with your eyes. That, friends, is all I want. Next to nothing, close to everything. Now they can go if they wish. I have lived so much that some day they will have to forget me forcibly, rubbing me off the blackboard. My heart was inexhaustible. But because I ask for silence, don’t think I’m going to die. The opposite is true; it happens I am going to live. To be, and to go on being. I will not be, however, if inside me, the crop does not keep sprouting, the shoots first, breaking through the earth to reach the light; but the mothering earth is dark, and, deep inside me, I am dark. I am a well in the water of which the night leaves behind stars and goes on alone across fields. It’s a question of having lived so much that I want to live a bit more. I never felt my voice so clear, never have been so rich in kisses. Now, as always, it is early. The light is a swarm of bees. Let me alone with the day. I ask leave to be born.
Pablo Neruda (I Explain a Few Things: Selected Poems (English and Spanish Edition))
You think what people say is what matters, an older friend told me long ago. You think it's all about words. Well, that's natural, isn't it? I'm a writer, I can float for hours on a word like "amethyst" or "broom" or the way so many words sound like what they are: "earth" so firm and basic, "air" so light, like a breath. You can't imagine them the other way around: She plunged her hands into the rich brown air. Sometimes I think I would like to be a word - not a big important word, like "love" or "truth," just a small ordinary word, like "orange" or "inkstain" or "so," a word that people use so often and so unthinkingly that its specialness has all been worn away like the roughness on a pebble in a creekbed, but that has a solid heft when you pick it up, and if you hold it to the light at just the right angle you can glimpse the spark at its core. But of course what my friend meant was that I ignored inconvenient subtexts, the meaning behind the meaning: that someone might say he loved you, but what really mattered was the way he let your hand go after he said it. It did not occur to me, either, that somebody might just lie, that there are people who lie for pleasure, for the feeling of superiority and power. And yet it should have.
Katha Pollitt
(Jen gets completely sloshed and it's not her wedding) I was supposed to meet Carol and her family at the aquarium the next morning, and somehow had the presence of mind to leave a voicemail apologizing in advance for not being able to make it. I was please at myself for being so responsible and considerate. After I left the message, I blissfully headed off to bed, wearing a face full of makeup, all my grown up jewelry, and a relatively restrictive girdle. Suffice it to say, yesterday was rough, what with my apartment spinning and all. But today I felt better. That is, until Carol played me the voice mail I left for her at 1:03 AM. Somehow I thought I had been able to hold it together on the phone. Following is a transcript of the message I left: 30 seconds of heavy breathing, giggling, and intermittent hiccups (At first Carol thought it was a 911 call.) Oh, heeheehee, I waassshh wayyyting for a beep. But noooooo beeeeeeep. Why don't you hash a beep on your, your, ummmmmm...celery phone? Noooooo beeeeeeep, hic, heeheeeheee. Um, hiiiiii, itsch JEENNNNNNNN!! It's thirteen o'clock in the peeeeeee eeeemmmmmmm. Heeeeeeeellllllllllloooooooo! I went to my wedding tonight and it wash sooooo niiiiiiiiiice. Hic." More giggling and the sound of a phone being dropped and retrieved Nannyway, I am calling to telllll you noooooooooo fishies tomorry...no fishies for meeee! I hic, heeeee, can't smake it to the quariyummm. Maybeeee you can call me so I can say HIIIIIIIIIIIIIII later hich in the day hee hee hee. Call me at, um, 312, ummmmmmm, 312, uummmmm, hee hee hee I can't member my phone, Hic. Do you know my number? Can you call me and tell me what it isssch? I LIKESH TURKEY SAMMICHES! 10 seconds of chewing, giggling, and what may be gobbling sounds Okay, GGGGGGGGooooooodniiiiiiiiiggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhttttt! No fish! Um, how do I turn this tthing off? Shhhhh, callllls' over. Beeee quiiiiiiietttt, hee hee hee." 15 more seconds of giggles, hiccups, shushing, and a great deal of banging Perhaps this is why most people only have one wedding?
Jen Lancaster (Bitter Is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office)
And the days move on and the names of the months change and the four seasons bury one another and it is spring again and yet again and the small streams that run over the rough sides of Gormenghast Mountain are big with rain while the days lengthen and summer sprawls across the countryside, sprawls in all the swathes of its green, with its gold and sticky head, with its slumber and the drone of doves and with its butterflies and its lizards and its sunflowers, over and over again, its doves, its butterflies, its lizards, its sunflowers, each one an echo-child while the fruit ripens and the grotesque boles of the ancient apple trees are dappled in the low rays of the sun and the air smells of such rotten sweetness as brings a hunger to the breast, and makes of the heart a sea-bed, and a tear, the fruit of salt and water, ripens, fed by a summer sorrow, ripens and falls … falls gradually along the cheekbones, wanders over the wastelands listlessly, the loveliest emblem of the heart’s condition. And the days move on and the names of the months change and the four seasons bury one another and the field-mice draw upon their granaries. The air is murky, and the sun is like a raw wound in the grimy flesh of a beggar, and the rags of the clouds are clotted. The sky has been stabbed and has been left to die above the world, filthy, vast and bloody. And then the great winds come and the sky is blown naked, and a wild bird screams across the glittering land. And the Countess stands at the window of her room with the white cats at her feet and stares at the frozen landscape spread below her, and a year later she is standing there again but the cats are abroad in the valleys and a raven sits upon her heavy shoulder. And every day the myriad happenings. A loosened stone falls from a high tower. A fly drops lifeless from a broken pane. A sparrow twitters in a cave of ivy. The days wear out the months and the months wear out the years, and a flux of moments, like an unquiet tide, eats at the black coast of futurity. And Titus Groan is wading through his boyhood.
Mervyn Peake (The Illustrated Gormenghast Trilogy)
Everything went black in the shocking folds of his embrace. She was very startled and near to sobbing. 'Caw, caw,' echoed his raincoat. 'Don't be frightened,' he said. 'It is only poor Finn, who will do you no harm.' She recovered herself a little, though she was still trembling. She could see her own face reflected in little in the black pupils of his subaqueous eyes. She still looked the same. She saluted herself. He was only a little taller than she and their eyes were almost level. Remotely, she wished him three inches taller. Or four. She felt the warm breath from his wild beast's mouth softly, against her cheek. She did not move. Stiff, wooden, and unresponsive, she stood in his arms and watched herself in his eyes. It was a comfort to see herself as she thought she looked. 'Oh, get it over with, get it over with,' she urged furiously under her breath. He was grinning like Pan in a wood. He kissed her, closing his eyes so that she could not see herself any more. His lips were wet and rough, cracked. It might have been anybody, kissing her, and besides, she did not know him well, if at all. She wondered why he was doing this, putting his mouth on her own undesiring one, softly moving his body against her. What was the need? She felt a long way away from him, and superior, also.
Angela Carter (The Magic Toyshop)
You’re sure you want to do this,” Galen says, eyeing me like I’ve grown a tiara of snakes on my head. “Absolutely.” I unstrap the four-hundred-dollar silver heels and spike them into the sand. When he starts unraveling his tie, I throw out my hand. “No! Leave it. Leave everything on.” Galen frowns. “Rachel would kill us both. In our sleep. She would torture us first.” “This is our prom night. Rachel would want us to enjoy ourselves.” I pull the thousand-or-so bobby pins from my hair and toss them in the sand. Really, both of us are right. She would want us to be happy. But she would also want us to stay in our designer clothes. Leaning over, I shake my head like a wet dog, dispelling the magic of hairspray. Tossing my hair back, I look at Galen. His crooked smile almost melts me where I stand. I’m just glad to see a smile on his face at all. The last six months have been rough. “Your mother will want pictures,” he tells me. “And what will she do with pictures? There aren’t exactly picture frames in the Royal Caverns.” Mom’s decision to mate with Grom and live as his queen didn’t surprise me. After all, I am eighteen years old, an adult, and can take care of myself. Besides, she’s just a swim away. “She keeps picture frames at her house though. She could still enjoy them while she and Grom come to shore to-“ “Okay, ew. Don’t say it. That’s where I draw the line.” Galen laughs and takes off his shoes. I forget all about Mom and Grom. Galen, barefoot in the sand, wearing an Armani tux. What more could a girl ask for? “Don’t look at me like that, angelfish,” he says, his voice husky. “Disappointing your grandfather is the last thing I want to do.” My stomach cartwheels. Swallowing doesn’t help. “I can’t admire you, even from afar?” I can’t quite squeeze enough innocence in there to make it believable, to make it sound like I wasn’t thinking the same thing he was. Clearing his throat, he nods. “Let’s get on with this.” He closes the distance between us, making foot-size potholes with his stride. Grabbing my hand, he pulls me to the water. At the edge of the wet sand, just out of reach of the most ambitious wave, we stop. “You’re sure?” he says again. “More than sure,” I tell him, giddiness swimming through my veins like a sneaking eel. Images of the conference center downtown spring up in my mind. Red and white balloons, streamers, a loud, cheesy DJ yelling over the starting chorus of the next song. Kids grinding against one another on the dance floor to lure the chaperones’ attention away from a punch bowl just waiting to be spiked. Dresses spilling over with skin, matching corsages, awkward gaits due to six-inch heels. The prom Chloe and I dreamed of. But the memories I wanted to make at that prom died with Chloe. There could never be any joy in that prom without her. I couldn’t walk through those doors and not feel that something was missing. A big something. No, this is where I belong now. No balloons, no loud music, no loaded punch bowl. Just the quiet and the beach and Galen. This is my new prom. And for some reason, I think Chloe would approve.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
If the ghost that haunts the towns of Ypres and Arras and Albert is the staturory British Tommy, slogging with rifle and pack through its ruined streets to this well-documented destiny ‘up the line’, then the ghost of Boulogne and Etaples and Rouen ought to be a girl. She’s called Elsie or Gladys or Dorothy, her ankles are swollen, her feet are aching, her hands reddened and rough. She has little money, no vote, and has almost forgotten what it feels like to be really warm. She sleeps in a tent. Unless she has told a diplomatic lie about her age, she is twenty-three. She is the daughter of a clergyman, a lawyer or a prosperous businessman, and has been privately educated and groomed to be a ‘lady’. She wears the unbecoming outdoor uniform of a VAD or an army nurse. She is on active service, and as much a part of the war as Tommy Atkins.
Lyn Macdonald (The Roses of No Man's Land)
But what the long walk had not done was reveal the cause of the inherent distaste that had sprung out of nowhere overtaking her there under the tree. On the cold, damp grass, or up against the rough tree trunk. He had done it many times without a second thought, and in more challenging situations. It would have been nothing at all to wrap her long legs around his waist, brace one hand against the tree trunk, hold her tight with his other arm, and give the lady exactly what she wanted. But for some reason he had not been able to do it. For the first time in his life, his body had been willing but his mind had not. Labeling the experience unpleasant would be a severe understatement.
Evangeline Collins (Her Ladyship's Companion)
I’m a writer; I can float for hours on a word like “amethyst” or “broom” or the way so many words sound like what they are: “earth” so firm and basic, “air” so light, like a breath. You can’t imagine them the other way around: She plunged her hands into the rich brown air. Sometimes I think I would like to be a word - not a big important word, like “love” or “truth,” just a small ordinary word, like “orange” or “inkstain” or “so,” a word that people use so often and so unthinkingly that its specialness has all been worn away, like the roughness on a pebble in a creek bed, but that has a solid heft when you pick it up, and if you hold it to the light at just the right angle you can glimpse the spark at its core.
Katha Pollitt
And yet (this was the murky part, this was what bothered me) there had also been other, way more confusing and fucked-up nights, grappling around half-dressed, weak light sliding in from the bathroom and everything haloed and unstable without my glasses: hands on each other, rough and fast, kicked-over beers foaming on the carpet – fun and not that big of a deal when it was actually happening, more than worth it for the sharp gasp when my eyes rolled back and I forgot about everything; but when we woke the next morning stomach-down and groaning on opposite sides of the bed it receded into an incoherence of backlit flickers, choppy and poorly lit like some experimental film, the unfamiliar twist of Boris’s features fading from memory already and none of it with any more bearing on our actual lives than a dream. We never spoke of it; it wasn’t quite real; getting ready for school we threw shoes, splashed water at each other, chewed aspirin for our hangovers, laughed and joked around all the way to the bus stop. I knew people would think the wrong thing if they knew, I didn’t want anyone to find out and I knew Boris didn’t either, but all the same he seemed so completely untroubled by it that I was fairly sure it was just a laugh, nothing to take too seriously or get worked up about. And
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
I keeled over sideways. The world turned fluffy, bleached of all color. Nothing hurt anymore. I was dimly aware of Diana’s face hovering over me, Meg and Hazel peering over the goddess’s shoulders. “He’s almost gone,” Diana said. Then I was gone. My mind slipped into a pool of cold, slimy darkness. “Oh, no, you don’t.” My sister’s voice woke me rudely. I’d been so comfortable, so nonexistent. Life surged back into me—cold, sharp, and unfairly painful. Diana’s face came into focus. She looked annoyed, which seemed on-brand for her. As for me, I felt surprisingly good. The pain in my gut was gone. My muscles didn’t burn. I could breathe without difficulty. I must have slept for decades. “H-how long was I out?” I croaked. “Roughly three seconds,” she said. “Now, get up, drama queen.” She helped me to my feet. I felt a bit unsteady, but I was delighted to find that my legs had any strength at all. My skin was no longer gray. The lines of infection were gone. The Arrow of Dodona was still in my hand, though he had gone silent, perhaps in awe of the goddess’s presence. Or perhaps he was still trying to get the taste of “Sweet Caroline” out of his imaginary mouth. I beamed at my sister. It was so good to see her disapproving I-can’t-believe-you’re-my-brother frown again. “I love you,” I said, my voice hoarse with emotion. She blinked, clearly unsure what to do with this information. “You really have changed.” “I missed you!” “Y-yes, well. I’m here now. Even Dad couldn’t argue with a Sibylline invocation from Temple Hill.” “It worked, then!” I grinned at Hazel and Meg. “It worked!” “Yeah,” Meg said wearily. “Hi, Artemis.” “Diana,” my sister corrected. “But hello, Meg.” For her, my sister had a smile. “You’ve done well, young warrior.” Meg blushed. She kicked at the scattered zombie dust on the floor and shrugged. “Eh.” I checked my stomach, which was easy, since my shirt was in tatters. The bandages had vanished, along with the festering wound. Only a thin white scar remained. “So…I’m healed?” My flab told me she hadn’t restored me to my godly self. Nah, that would have been too much to expect. Diana raised an eyebrow. “Well, I’m not the goddess of healing, but I’m still a goddess. I think I can take care of my little brother’s boo-boos.” “Little brother?” She smirked.
Rick Riordan (The Tyrant’s Tomb (The Trials of Apollo, #4))
As for describing the smell of a spaniel mixed with the smell of torches, laurels, incense, banners, wax candles and a garland of rose leaves crushed by a satin heel that has been laid up in camphor, perhaps Shakespeare, had he paused in the middle of writing Antony and Cleopatra — But Shakespeare did not pause. Confessing our inadequacy, then, we can but note that to Flush Italy, in these the fullest, the freest, the happiest years of his life, meant mainly a succession of smells. Love, it must be supposed, was gradually losing its appeal. Smell remained. Now that they were established in Casa Guidi again, all had their avocations. Mr. Browning wrote regularly in one room; Mrs. Browning wrote regularly in another. The baby played in the nursery. But Flush wandered off into the streets of Florence to enjoy the rapture of smell. He threaded his path through main streets and back streets, through squares and alleys, by smell. He nosed his way from smell to smell; the rough, the smooth, the dark, the golden. He went in and out, up and down, where they beat brass, where they bake bread, where the women sit combing their hair, where the bird-cages are piled high on the causeway, where the wine spills itself in dark red stains on the pavement, where leather smells and harness and garlic, where cloth is beaten, where vine leaves tremble, where men sit and drink and spit and dice — he ran in and out, always with his nose to the ground, drinking in the essence; or with his nose in the air vibrating with the aroma. He slept in this hot patch of sun — how sun made the stone reek! he sought that tunnel of shade — how acid shade made the stone smell! He devoured whole bunches of ripe grapes largely because of their purple smell; he chewed and spat out whatever tough relic of goat or macaroni the Italian housewife had thrown from the balcony — goat and macaroni were raucous smells, crimson smells. He followed the swooning sweetness of incense into the violet intricacies of dark cathedrals; and, sniffing, tried to lap the gold on the window- stained tomb. Nor was his sense of touch much less acute. He knew Florence in its marmoreal smoothness and in its gritty and cobbled roughness. Hoary folds of drapery, smooth fingers and feet of stone received the lick of his tongue, the quiver of his shivering snout. Upon the infinitely sensitive pads of his feet he took the clear stamp of proud Latin inscriptions. In short, he knew Florence as no human being has ever known it; as Ruskin never knew it or George Eliot either.
Virginia Woolf (Flush)
That was true, Iris would sometimes think, about marriage: it was only a boat, too. A wooden boat, difficult to build, even more difficult to maintain, whose beauty derived at least in part from its unlikelihood. Long ago the pragmatic justifications for both marriage and wooden-boat building had been lost or superseded. Why invest countless hours, years, and dollars in planing and carving, gluing and fastening, caulking and fairing, when a fiberglass boat can be had at a fraction of the cost? Why struggle to maintain love and commitment over decades when there were far easier ways to live, ones that required no effort or attention to prevent corrosion and rot? Why continue to pour your heart into these obsolete arts? Because their beauty, the way they connect you to your history and to the living world, justifies your efforts. A long marriage, like a classic wooden boat, could be a thing of grace, but only if great effort was devoted to its maintenance. At first your notions of your life with another were no more substantial than a pattern laid down in plywood. Then year by year you constructed the frame around the form, and began layering memories, griefs, and small triumphs like strips of veneer planking bent around the hull of everyday routine. You sanded down the rough edges, patched the misunderstandings, faired the petty betrayals. Sometimes you sprung a leak. You fell apart in rough weather or were smashed on devouring rocks. But then, as now, in the teeth of a storm, when it seemed like all was lost, the timber swelled, the leak sealed up, and you found that your craft was, after all, sea-kindly.
Ayelet Waldman (Red Hook Road)
While Dantès was speaking, Villefort examined his face, at once so mild and so frank, and recalled the words of Renée who, without knowing the prisoner, had begged indulgence for him. The deputy already had some acquaintance with crime and with criminals; so, in every word that Dantès spoke, he saw proof of his innocence. This young man, one might even say this child, plain, unaffected, eloquent with the heartfelt eloquence that is never found by those who seek it, full of affection for everyone, because he was happy and happiness makes even wicked men good, was so effectively spreading the warmth that overflowed from his heart that the accuser himself was not immune to it. Rough and stern though Villefort had been towards him, Edmond’s look, tone and gestures expressed nothing but kindness and goodwill towards his interrogator.
Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
I wiped my eyes on my sleeve and jumped when I turned and found Ren’s brother standing behind me as a man. Ren got up, alert, and watched him carefully, suspicious of Kishan’s every move. Ren’s tail twitched back and forth, and a deep grumble issued from his chest. Kishan look down at Ren, who had crept even closer to keep an eye on him, and then looked back at me. He reached out his hand, and when I placed mine in it, he lifted it to his lips and kissed it, then bowed deeply with great aplomb. “May I ask your name?” “My name is Kelsey. Kelsey hayes.” “Kelsey. Well, I, for one, appreciate all the efforts you have made on our behalf. I apologize if I frightened you earlier. I am,” he smiled, “out of practice in conversing with young ladies. These gifts you will be offering to Durga. Would you kindly tell me more about them?” Ren growled unhappily. I nodded. “Is Kishan your given name?” “My full name is actually Sohan Kishan Rajaram, but you can call me Kishan if you like.” He smiled a dazzling white smile, which was even more brilliant due to the contrast with his dark skin. He offered an arm. “Would you please sit and talk with me, Kelsey?” There was something very charming about Kishan. I surprised myself by finding I immediately trusted and liked him. He had a quality similar to his brother. Like Ren, he had the ability to set a person completely at ease. Maybe it was their diplomatic training. Maybe it was how their mother raised them. Whatever it was made me respond positively. I smiled at him. “I’d love to.” He tucked my arm under his and walked with me over to the fire. Ren growled again, and Kishan shot a smirk in his direction. I noticed him wince when he sat, so I offered him some aspirin. “Shouldn’t we be getting you two to a doctor? I really think you might need stitches and Ren-“ “Thank you, but no. You don’t need to worry about our minor pains.” “I wouldn’t exactly call your wounds minor, Kishan.” “The curse helps us to heal quickly. You’ll see. We’ll both recover swiftly enough on our own. Still, it was nice to have such a lovely young woman tending to my injuries.” Ren stood in front of us and looked like he was a tiger suffering from apoplexy. I admonished, “Ren, be civil.” Kishan smiled widely and waited for me to get comfortable. Then he scooted closer to me and rested his arm on the log behind my shoulders. Ren stepped right between us, nudged his brother roughly aside with his furry head, creating a wider space, and maneuvered his body into the middle. He dropped heavily to the ground and rested his head in my lap. Kishan frowned, but I started talking, sharing the story of what Ren and I had been through. I told him about meeting Ren at the circus and about how he tricked me to get me to India. I talked about Phet, the Cave of Kanheri, and finding the prophecy, and I told him that we were on our way to Hampi. As I lost myself in our story, I stroked Ren’s head. He shut his eyes and purred, and then he fell asleep. I talked for almost an hour, barely registering Kishan’s raised eyebrow and thoughtful expression as he watched the two of us together. I didn’t even notice when he’d changed back into a tiger.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
…I notice that people always make gigantic arrangements for bathing when they are going anywhere near the water, but that they don’t bathe much when they are there. It is the same when you go to the sea-side. I always determine—when thinking over the matter in London—that I’ll get up early every morning, and go and have a dip before breakfast, and I religiously pack up a pair of drawers and a bath towel. I always get red bathing drawers. I rather fancy myself in red drawers. They suit my complexion so. But when I get to the sea I don’t feel somehow that I want that early morning bathe nearly so much as I did when I was in town. On the contrary, I feel more that I want to stop in bed till the last moment, and then come down and have my breakfast. Once or twice virtue has triumphed, and I have got out at six and half-dressed myself, and have taken my drawers and towel, and stumbled dismally off. But I haven’t enjoyed it. They seem to keep a specially cutting east wind, waiting for me, when I go to bathe in the early morning; and they pick out all the three-cornered stones, and put them on the top, and they sharpen up the rocks and cover the points over with a bit of sand so that I can’t see them, and they take the sea and put it two miles out, so that I have to huddle myself up in my arms and hop, shivering, through six inches of water. And when I do get to the sea, it is rough and quite insulting. One huge wave catches me up and chucks me in a sitting posture, as hard as ever it can, down on to a rock which has been put there for me. And, before I’ve said “Oh! Ugh!” and found out what has gone, the wave comes back and carries me out to mid-ocean. I begin to strike out frantically for the shore, and wonder if I shall ever see home and friends again, and wish I’d been kinder to my little sister when a boy (when I was a boy, I mean). Just when I have given up all hope, a wave retires and leaves me sprawling like a star-fish on the sand, and I get up and look back and find that I’ve been swimming for my life in two feet of water. I hop back and dress, and crawl home, where I have to pretend I liked it.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (Three Men, #1))
I’ve learned, from working with translators over the years, that the original novel is, in a way, a translation itself. It is not, of course, translated into another language but it is a translation from the images in the author’s mind to that which he is able to put down on paper. Here’s a secret. Many novelists, if they are pressed and if they are being honest, will admit that the finished book is a rather rough translation of the book they’d intended to write. It’s one of the heartbreaks of writing fiction. You have, for months or years, been walking around with the idea of a novel in your mind, and in your mind it’s transcendent, it’s brilliantly comic and howlingly tragic, it contains everything you know, and everything you can imagine, about human life on the planet earth. It is vast and mysterious and awe-inspiring. It is a cathedral made of fire. But even if the book in question turns out fairly well, it’s never the book that you’d hoped to write. It’s smaller than the book you’d hoped to write. It is an object, a collection of sentences, and it does not remotely resemble a cathedral made of fire. It feels, in short, like a rather inept translation of a mythical great work. The translator, then, is simply moving the book another step along the translation continuum. The translator is translating a translation.
Michael Cunningham
Our main difference from chimps and gorillas is that over the last 3 million years or so, we have been shaped less and less by nature, and more and more by culture. We have become experimental creatures of our own making. This experiment has never been tried before. And we, its unwitting authors, have never controlled it. The experiment is now moving very quickly and on a colossal scale. Since the early 1900s, the world’s population has multiplied by four and its economy — a rough measure of the human load on nature — by more than forty. We have reached a stage where we must bring the experiment under rational control, and guard against present and potential dangers. It’s entirely up to us. If we fail — if we blow up or degrade the biosphere so it can no longer sustain us — nature will merely shrug and conclude that letting apes run the laboratory was fun for a while but in the end a bad idea.
Ronald Wright (A Short History of Progress (The CBC Massey Lectures))
All the people within reach had suspended their business, or their idleness, to run to the spot and drink the wine. The rough, irregular stones of the street, pointing every way, and designed, one might have thought, expressly to lame all living creatures that approached them, had dammed it into little pools; these were surrounded, each by its own jostling group or crowd, according to its size. Some men kneeled down, made scoops of their two hands joined, and sipped, or tried to help women, who bent over their shoulders, to sip, before the wine had all run out between their fingers. Others, men and women, dipped in the puddles with little mugs of mutilated earthenware, or even with handkerchiefs from women’s heads, which were squeezed dry into infants’ mouths; others made small mud-embankments, to stem the wine as it ran; others, directed by lookers-on up at high windows, darted here and there, to cut off little streams of wine that started away in new directions; others devoted themselves to the sodden and lee-dyed pieces of the cask, licking, and even champing the moister wine-rotted fragments with eager relish. There was no drainage to carry off the wine, and not only did it all get taken up, but so much mud got taken up along with it, that there might have been a scavenger in the street, if anybody acquainted with it could have believed in such a miraculous presence.
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities (Bantam Classics))
People try to get away from it all—to the country, to the beach, to the mountains. You always wish that you could too. Which is idiotic: you can get away from it anytime you like. By going within. Nowhere you can go is more peaceful—more free of interruptions—than your own soul. Especially if you have other things to rely on. An instant’s recollection and there it is: complete tranquillity. And by tranquillity I mean a kind of harmony. So keep getting away from it all—like that. Renew yourself. But keep it brief and basic. A quick visit should be enough to ward off all < . . . > and send you back ready to face what awaits you. What’s there to complain about? People’s misbehavior? But take into consideration: • that rational beings exist for one another; • that doing what’s right sometimes requires patience; • that no one does the wrong thing deliberately; • and the number of people who have feuded and envied and hated and fought and died and been buried. . . . and keep your mouth shut. Or are you complaining about the things the world assigns you? But consider the two options: Providence or atoms. And all the arguments for seeing the world as a city. Or is it your body? Keep in mind that when the mind detaches itself and realizes its own nature, it no longer has anything to do with ordinary life—the rough and the smooth, either one. And remember all you’ve been taught—and accepted—about pain and pleasure. Or is it your reputation that’s bothering you? But look at how soon we’re all forgotten. The abyss of endless time that swallows it all. The emptiness of all those applauding hands. The people who praise us—how capricious they are, how arbitrary. And the tiny region in which it all takes place. The whole earth a point in space—and most of it uninhabited. How many people there will be to admire you, and who they are. So keep this refuge in mind: the back roads of your self. Above all, no strain and no stress. Be straightforward. Look at things like a man, like a human being, like a citizen, like a mortal. And among the things you turn to, these two: i. That things have no hold on the soul. They stand there unmoving, outside it. Disturbance comes only from within—from our own perceptions. ii. That everything you see will soon alter and cease to exist. Think of how many changes you’ve already seen. “The world is nothing but change. Our life is only perception.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
We went through the Happy Valley to the little cove. The azaleas were finished now, the petals lay brown and crinkled on the moss. The bluebells had not faded yet, they made a solid carpet in the woods above the valley, and the young bracken was shooting up, curling and green. The moss smelt rich and deep, and the bluebells were earthy, bitter. I lay down in the long grass beside the bluebells with my hands behind my head, and Jasper at my side. He looked down at me panting, his face foolish, saliva dripping from his tongue and his heavy jowl. There were pigeons somewhere in the trees above. It was very peaceful and quiet. I wondered why it was that places are so much lovelier when one is alone. How commonplace and stupid it would be if I had a friend now, sitting beside me, someone I had known at school, who would say “By the way, I saw old Hilda the other day. You remember her, the one who was so good at tennis. She’s married, with two children.” And the bluebells beside us unnoticed, and the pigeons overhead unheard. I did not want anyone with me. Not even Maxim. If Maxim had been there I should not be lying as I was now, chewing a piece of grass, my eyes shut. I should have been watching him, watching his eyes, his expression. Wondering if he liked it, if he was bored. Wondering what he was thinking. Now I could relax, none of these things mattered. Maxim was in London. How lovely it was to be alone again. No, I did not mean that. It was disloyal, wicked. It was not what I meant. Maxim was my life and my world. I got up from the bluebells and called sharply to Jasper. We set off together down the valley to the beach. The tide was out, the sea very calm and remote. It looked like a great placid lake out there in the bay. I could not imagine it rough now, any more than I could imagine winter in summer. There was no wind, and the sun shone on the lapping water where it ran into the little pools in the rocks.
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
Look now. Look at what you value, what you hold dear. Objects, first. And not necessarily because of their innate value (although that might figure into it), but because they are endowed - by your mind and imagination, by your memories - with what is know as "sentimental value." Sentiment has been defined as ascribing a value to something above and beyond what its value is to God. This presumes a belief in God, and furthermore a belief in a kind of God that passes judgment on the inexplicable fondness of the human heart; there is an expression, isn't there: "the object of my affections." But perhaps you do not believe in that kid of God, or any other, for that matter. Look then at the faces and bodies of people you love. The explicit beauty that comes not from smoothness of skin or neutrality of expression, but from the web of experience that has left its mark. Each face, each body is its own lving fossilized record. A record of cats, combatants, difficult births; of accidents, cruelties, blessings. Reminders of folly, greed, indiscretion, impatience. A moment of time, of memory, preserved, internalized, and enshrined within and upon the body. You need not be told that these records are what render your beloved beautiful. If God exists, He is there, in the small, cast-off pieces, rough and random and no two alike.
Stephanie Kallos
Ohm found that the results could be summed up in such a simple law that he who runs may read it, and a schoolboy now can predict what a Faraday then could only guess at roughly. By Ohm's discovery a large part of the domain of electricity became annexed by Coulomb's discovery of the law of inverse squares, and completely annexed by Green's investigations. Poisson attacked the difficult problem of induced magnetisation, and his results, though differently expressed, are still the theory, as a most important first approximation. Ampere brought a multitude of phenomena into theory by his investigations of the mechanical forces between conductors supporting currents and magnets. Then there were the remarkable researches of Faraday, the prince of experimentalists, on electrostatics and electrodynamics and the induction of currents. These were rather long in being brought from the crude experimental state to a compact system, expressing the real essence. Unfortunately, in my opinion, Faraday was not a mathematician. It can scarcely be doubted that had he been one, he would have anticipated much later work. He would, for instance, knowing Ampere's theory, by his own results have readily been led to Neumann's theory, and the connected work of Helmholtz and Thomson. But it is perhaps too much to expect a man to be both the prince of experimentalists and a competent mathematician.
Oliver Heaviside (Electromagnetic Theory (Volume 1))
4. Or else: Rough draft of a letter I think of you, often sometimes I go back into a cafe, I ist near the door, I order a coffee I arrange my packet of cigarettes, a box of matches, a writing pad, my felt-pen on the fake marble table I Spend a long time stirring my cup of coffee with the teasspoon (yet I don't put any sugar in my coffee, I drink it allowing the sugar to melt in my mouth, like the people of North, like the Russians and Poles when they drink tea) I pretend to be precoccupied, to be reflecting, as if I had a decision to make At the top and to the right of the sheet of paaper, I inscribe the date, sometimes the place, sometimes the time, I pretend to be writing a letter I write slowly, very slowly, as slowly as I can, I trace, I draw each letter, each accent, I check the punctuation marks I stare attentively at a small notice, the price-list for ice-creams, at a piece of ironwork, a blind, the hexagonal yellow ashtray (in actual fact, it's an equilaterial triangle, in the cutoff corners of which semi-circular dents have been made where cigarettes can be rested) (...) Outside there's a bit of sunlight the cafe is nearly empty two renovatior's men are having a rum at the bar, the owner is dozing behind his till, the waitress is cleaning the coffee machine I am thinking of you you are walking in your street, it's wintertime, you've turned up your foxfur collar, you're smiling, and remote (...)
Georges Perec
A small container of Rocky Road lands on the counter next to me. “I figured Rocky Road was appropriate to pave the way to brown town,” she says with a laugh. The man in front of me takes his receipt, and the cashier, a younger woman, reaches for our purchases as soon as Banner starts laughing at her own joke. The cashier’s eyes go wide when she comprehends. “Brown Town? Is that up in the foothills, Logan? I’m not sure I’ve heard of it,” a familiar voice says from behind me. Oh, for Christ’s sake. I turn around to face Mrs. Harris, her hands full with a box of tea and a bottle of melatonin, but when I open my mouth to respond, nothing comes out. Banner smiles sweetly and says, “It’s just south of Pussy Ridge. At least, I’m pretty sure it is.” I choke, and the cashier’s face turns red. “Pussy Ridge. I haven’t heard of that either. I’ll have to ask Mr. Harris to get out the Rand McNally so we can take a drive there this weekend. I do love my weekend drives.” I have no idea how Banner is keeping a straight face, but she replies, “I love a good long ride too. Especially when it gets a little rough.” The older woman smiles. “Me too. Emmy has never been a fan, though. She’s always gotten carsick at the littlest bump.” Banner finally grins. “That explains so much about her.” The cashier’s eyes are tearing up as I shove money at her before I bag the ice cream, Doritos, and lube myself. “See you later, Mrs. Harris. You’ll have to let us know how that drive goes.
Meghan March (Real Good Man (Real Duet, #1))
She felt him relax and his voice softened. “Is that what this is all about? You feel like you can’t talk to me anymore? We haven’t changed; we’re still the same people.” She slipped her hands beneath the front of his shirt, slowly running her fingertips over his chest and back down to his waist. He turned in her arms and smiled, but his grin was filled with mocking suspicion. “Are you trying to distract me, Violet Ambrose?” “I guess you’re smarter than you look,” she teased as he pushed her backward so that they both fell on her bed. “And you are not as funny as you think you are.” His mouth hovered over hers, his arms tightening, crushing her against him. Violet giggled and tried to squirm free, but Jay wouldn’t let her. He kissed her throat, his lips teasing her until it wasn’t his grip that made it hard for Violet to breathe. “Oh, and Violet,” he whispered against her ear, his breath tickling her cheek, “I’m still your best friend. Don’t ever forget it.” His words were fervent and touching. Violet tried to think of a response that made sense, something appropriate, but all she could manage was: “Please. Don’t stop.” She didn’t mind begging if it meant getting her way. Apparently that was enough to satisfy Jay, and he kissed her possessively. Thoroughly. Deeply. He eased her back until she was lying against the pillows, and she waited for him to stop, to tell her that they’d gone far enough for tonight. But she didn’t want him to. She wanted him to keep going. She wanted him to touch her, to kiss her, to explore her. Her body ached for it. She reached for him, clinging so tightly that her fingers hurt. Everything inside of her hurt. Jay settled over her, covering her with his body, reacting to her. Violet wrapped her legs around him, pulling his hip closer, telling him with her every movement that she wanted him, that she wanted this. Now. “Are you sure?” Jay asked into the warm breath between them, barely lifting his mouth from hers. She nodded, but when she tried to speak, her voice trembled. She hoped he didn’t read it wrong. “Of course I am.” She was nervous and terrified and thrilled all at the same time. He smiled against her mouth, still kissing her, and she melted into him, unable to stop her heart from thundering. He reached around for his wallet. “I have a condom.” His voice was rough. Violet smiled. She’d been waiting for this moment for far too long not to be prepared, but she was happy to hear that he’d been considering it seriously also. “Me too,” she told him, reaching into her nightstand drawer and pulling out a handful of them. “I knew you’d give in.” He groaned, his lips moving to her neck as he tugged at his shirt and pulled it over his head. Violet thought he was beautiful. He was right for her; he always had been. And as he slowly slid her shirt up, his fingertips stroking her bare skin and making goose bumps prickle in the wake of his touch, she wondered why it had taken them so long to get to this place.
Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2))
Shukhov had been told that this old man'd been in camps and prisons more years than you could count and had never come under any amnesty. When one ten-year stretch was over they slapped on another. Shukhov took a good look at him close up. In the camp you could pick him out among all the men with their bent backs because he was straight as a ramrod. When he sat at the table it looked like he was sitting on something to raise himself up higher. There hadn't been anything to shave off his head for a long time-he'd lost all his hair because of the good life. His eyes didn't shift around the mess hall all the time to see what was going on, and he was staring over Shukhov's head and looking at something nobody else could see. He ate his thin gruel with a worn old wooden spoon, and he took his time. He didn't bend down low over the bowl like all the others did, but brought the spoon up to his mouth. He didn't have a single tooth either top or bottom-he chewed the bread with his hard gums like they were teeth. His face was all worn-out but not like a goner's-it was dark and looked like it had been hewed out of stone. And you could tell from his big rough hands with the dirt worked in them he hadn't spent many of his long years doing any of the soft jobs. You could see his mind was set on one thing-never to give in. He didn't put his eight ounces of bread in all the filth on the table like everybody else but laid it on a clean little piece of rag that'd been washed over and over again.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich)
The door suddenly jerks open. A wide-eyed teenager bursts out. She stares at me in dazed horror. In a strange way, I both know and don’t know what has just happened. As the fragments begin to converge, they convey a horrible reality: I must have been hit by this car as I entered the crosswalk. In confused disbelief, I sink back into a hazy twilight. I find that I am unable to think clearly or to will myself awake from this nightmare. A man rushes to my side and drops to his knees. He announces himself as an off-duty paramedic. When I try to see where the voice is coming from, he sternly orders, “Don’t move your head.” The contradiction between his sharp command and what my body naturally wants—to turn toward his voice—frightens and stuns me into a sort of paralysis. My awareness strangely splits, and I experience an uncanny “dislocation.” It’s as if I’m floating above my body, looking down on the unfolding scene. I am snapped back when he roughly grabs my wrist and takes my pulse. He then shifts his position, directly above me. Awkwardly, he grasps my head with both of his hands, trapping it and keeping it from moving. His abrupt actions and the stinging ring of his command panic me; they immobilize me further. Dread seeps into my dazed, foggy consciousness: Maybe I have a broken neck, I think. I have a compelling impulse to find someone else to focus on. Simply, I need to have someone’s comforting gaze, a lifeline to hold onto. But I’m too terrified to move and feel helplessly frozen.
Peter A. Levine (In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness)
You are real," she said to herself. "Aye." His voice was deep and resonant, a caress in her ears. But then it cracked, as if he were in pain. "And you are with young." "I am." He closed his eyes again, but now it was as if he'd been struck by a body blow. "I saw you." "When?" "At the clinic. Nights and nights ago. I thought they had beaten you." "The Brotherhood? Why ever - " "Because of me." His eyes opened, and there was such anguish in them, she wanted to comfort him in some way. "I would never have chosen for you to be in this position. You are not of the war, and my lieutenant should never, ever have brought you into it." His voice grew deeper and deeper. "You are an innocent. Even I, who have no honor, recognized that instantly." If he had no honor, why had he disarmed himself just now, she thought. "Are you mated?" he said roughly. "No." Abruptly, his upper lip peeled back from tremendous fangs. "If you were raped - " "No. No, no - I chose this for myself. For the male." Her hand went to her abdomen. "I wanted a young. My needing came, and all I could think of was how much I wanted to be a mahmen to something that was mine." Those narrowed eyes closed again, and he brought up a callused hand to his face. Hiding his irregular mouth, he said, "I wish that I..." "What?" "...I were worthy to have given you what you desired." Layla again felt an unholy need to reach out and touch him, to ease him in some way. His reaction was so raw and honest, and his suffering seemed rather like her own whenever she thought of him.
J.R. Ward (Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11))
She sometimes takes her little brother for a walk round this way," explained Bingo. "I thought we would meet her and bow, and you could see her, you know, and then we would walk on." "Of course," I said, "that's enough excitement for anyone, and undoubtedly a corking reward for tramping three miles out of one's way over ploughed fields with tight boots, but don't we do anything else? Don't we tack on to the girl and buzz along with her?" "Good Lord!" said Bingo, honestly amazed. "You don't suppose I've got nerve enough for that, do you? I just look at her from afar off and all that sort of thing. Quick! Here she comes! No, I'm wrong!" It was like that song of Harry Lauder's where he's waiting for the girl and says, "This is her-r-r. No, it's a rabbut." Young Bingo made me stand there in the teeth of a nor'-east half-gale for ten minutes, keeping me on my toes with a series of false alarms, and I was just thinking of suggesting that we should lay off and give the rest of the proceedings a miss, when round the corner there came a fox-terrier, and Bingo quivered like an aspen. Then there hove in sight a small boy, and he shook like a jelly. Finally, like a star whose entrance has been worked up by the personnel of the ensemble, a girl appeared, and his emotion was painful to witness. His face got so red that, what with his white collar and the fact that the wind had turned his nose blue, he looked more like a French flag than anything else. He sagged from the waist upwards, as if he had been filleted. He was just raising his fingers limply to his cap when he suddenly saw that the girl wasn't alone. A chappie in clerical costume was also among those present, and the sight of him didn't seem to do Bingo a bit of good. His face got redder and his nose bluer, and it wasn't till they had nearly passed that he managed to get hold of his cap. The girl bowed, the curate said, "Ah, Little. Rough weather," the dog barked, and then they toddled on and the entertainment was over.
P.G. Wodehouse
We were all pretty quiet until Jeremiah broke the silence like breaking the top of a crème brulee. He said, “This potato salad tastes like bad breath.” “I think that would be your upper lip,” Conrad said. We all laughed, and it felt like a relief. For it to be okay to laugh. To be something other than sad. Then Conrad said, “This rib has mold on it,” and we all started to laugh again. It felt like I hadn’t laughed in a long time. My mother rolled her eyes. “Would it kill you to eat a little mold? Just scrape it off. Give it to me. I’ll eat it.” Conrad put his hands up in surrender, and then he stabbed the rib with his fork and dropped it on my mother’s plate ceremoniously. “Enjoy it, Laurel.” “I swear, you spoil these boys, Beck,” my mother said, and everything felt normal, like any other last night. “Belly was raised on leftovers, weren’t you, bean?” “I was,” I agreed. “I was a neglected child who was fed only old food that nobody else wanted.” My mother suppressed a smile and pushed the potato salad toward me. “I do spoil them,” Susannah said, touching Conrad’s shoulder, Jeremiah’s cheek. “They’re angels. Why shouldn’t I?” The two boys looked at each other from across the table for a second. Then Conrad said, “I’m an angel. I would say Jere’s more of a cherub.” He reached out and tousled Jeremiah’s hair roughly. Jeremiah swatted his hand away. “He’s no angel. He’s the devil,” he said. It was like the fight had been erased. With boys it was like that; they fought and then it was over. My mother picked up Conrad’s rib, looked down at it, and then put it down again. “I can’t eat this,” she said, sighing.
Jenny Han (The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1))
When people dream something as a child, it doesn’t always come true. But my childhood dream of what kind of man I would marry and spend the rest of my life with did come true. I always knew my husband would be tall, dark, and handsome, but he also had to have a rugged look, as if he’d just walked out of the wilderness. He had to love the outdoors and be able to survive there if needed. I also wanted him to be able to take command of any situation when needed. I wanted him to be a leader but with a sense of humor, too. I wanted him to work and make a living. I wanted him to be a man’s man, but with gentleness and love for me and his children, and be ready to defend us at all times. More than anything else, I wanted to feel loved and protected. What I didn’t know when I found the man who filled my dreams was that I had found a diamond in the rough. It would take a lifetime to perfect that diamond on the long journey of life. Phil and I have had many good years, some hard years, a few sad years, and a lot of struggling years to get where we are now. God put us in each other’s paths. It has always been a wonderful ride for me. I have a husband who is my best buddy and friend, my lover, my Christian brother, my champion, and the person who will always be there through thick and thin. There is no greater love than your love for God, but right under that is your love for your husband, your partner in life. One of the greatest tragedies I see is people not putting every effort into the foundation of their marriage. My grandmother told me that it’s one man and one woman for life and that your marriage is worth fighting for. We had a few hard and bumpy years, but prayer, patience, and some suffering and hope-plus remembering an old lady’s words-were what got me through the difficult times. We have given it our all for our marriage and family, and my dreams did come true. Phil is and will always be my hero!
Phil Robertson (Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander)
In roughly that same time period, while General George Armstrong Custer achieved world fame in failure and catastrophe, Mackenzie would become obscure in victory. But it was Mackenzie, not Custer, who would teach the rest of the army how to fight Indians. As he moved his men across the broken, stream-crossed country, past immense herds of buffalo and prairie-dog towns that stretched to the horizon, Colonel Mackenzie did not have a clear idea of what he was doing, where precisely he was going, or how to fight Plains Indians in their homelands. Neither did he have the faintest idea that he would be the one largely responsible for defeating the last of the hostile Indians. He was new to this sort of Indian fighting, and would make many mistakes in the coming weeks. He would learn from them. For now, Mackenzie was the instrument of retribution. He had been dispatched to kill Comanches in their Great Plains fastness because, six years after the end of the Civil War, the western frontier was an open and bleeding wound, a smoking ruin littered with corpses and charred chimneys, a place where anarchy and torture killings had replaced the rule of law, where Indians and especially Comanches raided at will. Victorious in war, unchallenged by foreign foes in North America for the first time in its history, the Union now found itself unable to deal with the handful of remaining Indian tribes that had not been destroyed, assimilated, or forced to retreat meekly onto reservations where they quickly learned the meaning of abject subjugation and starvation. The hostiles were all residents of the Great Plains; all were mounted, well armed, and driven now by a mixture of vengeance and political desperation. They were Comanches, Kiowas, Arapahoes, Cheyennes, and Western Sioux. For Mackenzie on the southern plains, Comanches were the obvious target: No tribe in the history of the Spanish, French, Mexican, Texan, and American occupations of this land had ever caused so much havoc and death. None was even a close second.
S.C. Gwynne (Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History)
You’d think someone as resourceful as Rachel would know whether or not Toraf was the identical twin of a known terrorist. But nooooo. So we wait by our guard in the corridor of the security office of LAX airport while about a dozen people work to verify our identity. My identity comes back fine and clean and boring. Toraf’s identity doesn’t come back for a few hours. Which is not cool, because he’s been puking in the trash can next to our bench seats and it’s got to be almost full by now. Because of the regional storms in Jersey, we’d had a rough takeoff. Coupled with the reaction Toraf had to the Dramamine-excitability, no less-it was all I could do to coax him out of the tiny bathroom to get him to sit still and not puke while doing so. His fingerprints could not be matched and his violet eyes were throwing them for a loop, since they physically verified that they aren’t contacts. A lady security officer asked us several times in several different ways why our tickets would be one-way to Hawaii if we lived in Jersey and only had a carry-on bag full of miscellaneous crap that you don’t really need. Where were we going? What were we doing? I’d told them we were going to Honolulu to pick a place to get married and weren’t in a hurry to come back, so we only purchased one-way tickets and blah blah blah. It’s a BS story and they know it, but sometimes BS stories can’t be proven false. Finally, I asked for an attorney, and since they hadn’t charged us with anything, and couldn’t charge us with anything, they decided to let us go. For crying out loud. I can’t decide if I’m relieved or nervous that Toraf’s seat is a couple of rows back on our flight to Honolulu. On the plus side, I don’t have to be bothered every time he goes to the bathroom to upchuck. Then again, I can’t keep my eye on him, either, in case he doesn’t know how to act or respond to nosy strangers who can’t mind their own business. I peek around my seat and roll my eyes. He’s seated next to two girls, about my age and obviously traveling together, and they’re trying nonstop to start a conversation with him. Poor, poor Toraf. It must be a hard-knock life to have inherited the exquisite Syrena features. It’s all he can do not to puke in their laps. A small part of me wishes that he would, so they’d shut up and leave him alone and I could maybe close my eyes for two seconds. From here I can hear him squirm in his seat, which is about four times too small for a built Syrena male. His shoulder and biceps protrude into the aisle, so he’s constantly getting bumped. Oy.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
I fancy my father thought me an odd child, and had little fondness for me; though he was very careful in fulfilling what he regarded as a parent's duties. But he was already past the middle of life, and I was not his only son. My mother had been his second wife, and he was five-and-forty when he married her. He was a firm, unbending, intensely orderly man, in root and stem a banker, but with a flourishing graft of the active landholder, aspiring to county influence: one of those people who are always like themselves from day to day, who are uninfluenced by the weather, and neither know melancholy nor high spirits. I held him in great awe, and appeared more timid and sensitive in his presence than at other times; a circumstance which, perhaps, helped to confirm him in the intention to educate me on a different plan from the prescriptive one with which he had complied in the case of my elder brother, already a tall youth at Eton. My brother was to be his representative and successor; he must go to Eton and Oxford, for the sake of making connexions, of course: my father was not a man to underrate the bearing of Latin satirists or Greek dramatists on the attainment of an aristocratic position. But intrinsically, he had slight esteem for "those dead but sceptred spirits"; having qualified himself for forming an independent opinion by reading Potter's Aeschylus, and dipping into Francis's Horace. To this negative view he added a positive one, derived from a recent connexion with mining speculations; namely, that scientific education was the really useful training for a younger son. Moreover, it was clear that a shy, sensitive boy like me was not fit to encounter the rough experience of a public school. Mr. Letherall had said so very decidedly. Mr. Letherall was a large man in spectacles, who one day took my small head between his large hands, and pressed it here and there in an exploratory, suspicious manner - then placed each of his great thumbs on my temples, and pushed me a little way from him, and stared at me with glittering spectacles. The contemplation appeared to displease him, for he frowned sternly, and said to my father, drawing his thumbs across my eyebrows - 'The deficiency is there, sir-there; and here,' he added, touching the upper sides of my head, 'here is the excess. That must be brought out, sir, and this must be laid to sleep.' I was in a state of tremor, partly at the vague idea that I was the object of reprobation, partly in the agitation of my first hatred - hatred of this big, spectacled man, who pulled my head about as if he wanted to buy and cheapen it. ("The Lifted Veil")
George Eliot (The Lifted Veil (Fantasy and Horror Classics))
Feeling the slight tremor of his fingers against her skin, Daisy was emboldened to remark, “I’ve never been attracted to tall men before. But you make me feel—” “If you don’t keep quiet,” he interrupted curtly, “I’m going to strangle you.” Daisy felt silent, listening to the rhythm of his breath as it turned deeper, less controlled. By contrast his fingers became more certain in their task, working along the row of pearls until her dress gaped open and the sleeves slipped from her shoulders. “Where is it?” he asked. “The key?” His tone was deadly. “Yes, Daisy. The key.” “It fell inside my corset. Which means… I’ll have to take that off too.” There was no reaction to the statement, no sound or movement. Daisy twisted to glance at Matthew. He seemed dazed. His eyes looked unnaturally blue against the flush on his face. She realized he was occupied with a savage inner battle to keep from touching her. Feeling hot and prickly with embarrassment, Daisy pulled her arms completely out of her sleeves. She worked the dress over her hips, wriggling out of the filmy white layers, letting them slide to the floor in a heap. Matthew stared at the discarded dress as if it were some kind of exotic fauna he had never seen before. Slowly his eyes returned to Daisy, and an incoherent protest came from his throat as she began to unhook her corset. She felt shy and wicked, undressing in front of him. But she was encouraged by the way he seemed unable to tear his gaze from each newly revealed inch of pale skin. When the last metal hook came apart, she tossed the web of lace and stays to the floor. All that remained over her breasts was a crumpled chemise. The key had dropped into her lap. Closing her fingers around the metal object, she risked a cautious glance at Matthew. His eyes were closed, his forehead scored with furrows of pained concentration. “This isn’t going to happen,” he said, more to himself than to her. Daisy leaned forward to tuck the key into his coat pocket. Gripping the hem of her chemise, she stripped it over her head. A tingling shock chased over her naked upper body. She was so nervous that her teeth had begun to chatter. “I just took my chemise off,” she said. “Don’t you want to look?” “No.” But his eyes had opened, and his gaze found her small, pink-tipped breasts, and the breath hissed through his clenched teeth. He sat without moving, staring at her as she untied his cravat and unbuttoned the layers of his waistcoat and shirt. She blushed everywhere but continued doggedly, rising to her knees to tug the coat from his shoulders. He moved like a dreamer, slowly pulling his arms from the coat sleeves and waistcoat. Daisy pushed his shirt open with awkward determination, her gaze drinking in the sight of his chest and torso. His skin gleamed like heavy satin, stretched taut over broad expanses of muscle. She touched the powerful vault of his ribs, trailing her fingertips to the rippled tautness of his midriff. Suddenly Matthew caught her hand, seemingly undecided whether to push it away or press it closer. Her fingers curled over his. She stared into his dilated blue eyes. “Matthew,” she whispered. “I’m here. I’m yours. I want to do everything you’ve ever imagined doing with me.” He stopped breathing. His will foundered and collapsed, and suddenly nothing mattered except the demands of a desire that had been denied too long. With a rough groan of surrender, he lifted her onto his lap.
Lisa Kleypas (Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4))
She was suddenly self-conscious of the fact that she and Jay were on the bed together, even though they'd been there, together like that, hundreds, maybe even thousands, of times before. And it had never bothered her then, when they were still just friends; but somehow with her father just a few feet away, especially right after they'd been making out, she felt like they were doing something wrong. "We're fine, Dad!" she called back, trying to sound cool and composed. And then she glared at Jay for his part in making her shout to begin with. They listened to the sound of her father walking away, and Violet noticed that even his footsteps were soft and unobtrusive. There was a long silence once they were alone again. Words that needed to be said, and maybe some that didn't, were like invisible fireworks exploding in the empty space between them. Jay was the first to give in. He reached out and took her hand, wrapping it tightly in both of his. "Look, Vi, I don't know exactly how to say this, but I don't want anything bad to happen to you. I don't think I could handle it if something, or someone, hurt you." The tone of his voice was still immovable and stubborn, despite the sweet sentiment lurking behind it. He squeezed her hand, though...firmly, as if emphasizing his point. "I know it's selfish, and I don't really care if it is, but I'm not gonna stand by and let you put yourself in danger, even if it is to catch a killer." He eased up on her throbbing fingers, and his voice got all husky and rough again. "I can't lose you," he explained, shrugging as if those weren't the most wonderful words she'd ever heard before. "Not now that I finally have you." She felt tears prickling in her eyes, and she blinked hard to try to stop them from coming. She was completely overwhelmed by what she'd just figured out...she'd realized it even before he'd finished talking. She knew what it was that he wasn't saying while he lectured her about safety. He loved her. Jay Heaton, her best friend since childhood, was in love with her. He didn't say it, but she knew that it was true. And the part that really freaked her out, the part of it that caught her completely off guard, was that he wasn't in it alone. Because even though she'd been denying it for a long long time, it had always been there...waiting just beneath the surface of their friendship. And now that it was out, there was no going back. And it was so weird to even be thinking it, but... ...she was in love with him too.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
They will eat him alive. On his current course, Henry will fail spectacularly.” My chest constricts so tight it feels like my bones may crack. Because she’s right. “He won’t.” “You don’t know that,” she swipes back. “I damn well do! I never would have abdicated otherwise.” “What?” “Don’t mistake me—I wouldn’t have married anyone but Olivia, and I would’ve waited a lifetime if I had to, until the laws were changed. But I didn’t because I knew in my heart and soul that Henry will not just be a good king, he will be better than I ever could’ve been.” For a moment I don’t breathe. I can’t. The shock of my brother’s words has knocked the air right out of my lungs. Granny’s too, if her whisper is any indication. “You truly believe that?” “Absolutely. And, frankly, I’m disheartened that you don’t.” “Henry has never been one to rise to the occasion,” she states plainly. “He’s never needed to,” my brother insists. “He’s never been asked—not once in his whole life. Until now. And he will not only rise to the occasion . . . he will soar beyond it.” The Queen’s voice is hushed, like she’s in prayer. “I want to believe that. More than I can say. Lend me a bit of your faith, Nicholas. Why are you so certain?” Nicholas’s voice is rough, tight with emotion. “Because . . . he’s just like Mum.” My eyes close when the words reach my ears. Burning and wet. There’s no greater compliment—not to me—not ever. But, Christ, look at me . . . it’s not even close to true. “He’s exactly like her. That way she had of knowing just what a person needed—whether it was strength or guidance, kindness or comfort or joy—and effortlessly giving it to them. The way people used to gravitate to her . . . at parties, the whole room would shift when she walked in . . . because everyone wanted to be nearer to her. She had a light, a talent, a gift—it doesn’t matter what it’s called—all that matters is that Henry has it too. He doesn’t see it in himself, but I do. I always have.” There’s a moment of quiet and I imagine Nicholas leaning in closer to the Queen. “The people would have followed me or Dad for the same reason they follow you—because we are dependable, solid. They trust our judgment; they know we would never let them down. But they will follow Henry because they love him. They’ll see in him their son, brother, best friend, and even if he mucks it up now, they will stick with him because they will want him to succeed. I would have been respected and admired, but Grandmother . . . he will be beloved. And if I have learned anything since the day Olivia came into my life, it’s that more than reasoning or duty, honor or tradition . . . love is stronger.
Emma Chase (Royally Matched (Royally, #2))
ESTABLISHING A DAILY MEDITATION First select a suitable space for your regular meditation. It can be wherever you can sit easily with minimal disturbance: a corner of your bedroom or any other quiet spot in your home. Place a meditation cushion or chair there for your use. Arrange what is around so that you are reminded of your meditative purpose, so that it feels like a sacred and peaceful space. You may wish to make a simple altar with a flower or sacred image, or place your favorite spiritual books there for a few moments of inspiring reading. Let yourself enjoy creating this space for yourself. Then select a regular time for practice that suits your schedule and temperament. If you are a morning person, experiment with a sitting before breakfast. If evening fits your temperament or schedule better, try that first. Begin with sitting ten or twenty minutes at a time. Later you can sit longer or more frequently. Daily meditation can become like bathing or toothbrushing. It can bring a regular cleansing and calming to your heart and mind. Find a posture on the chair or cushion in which you can easily sit erect without being rigid. Let your body be firmly planted on the earth, your hands resting easily, your heart soft, your eyes closed gently. At first feel your body and consciously soften any obvious tension. Let go of any habitual thoughts or plans. Bring your attention to feel the sensations of your breathing. Take a few deep breaths to sense where you can feel the breath most easily, as coolness or tingling in the nostrils or throat, as movement of the chest, or rise and fall of the belly. Then let your breath be natural. Feel the sensations of your natural breathing very carefully, relaxing into each breath as you feel it, noticing how the soft sensations of breathing come and go with the changing breath. After a few breaths your mind will probably wander. When you notice this, no matter how long or short a time you have been away, simply come back to the next breath. Before you return, you can mindfully acknowledge where you have gone with a soft word in the back of your mind, such as “thinking,” “wandering,” “hearing,” “itching.” After softly and silently naming to yourself where your attention has been, gently and directly return to feel the next breath. Later on in your meditation you will be able to work with the places your mind wanders to, but for initial training, one word of acknowledgment and a simple return to the breath is best. As you sit, let the breath change rhythms naturally, allowing it to be short, long, fast, slow, rough, or easy. Calm yourself by relaxing into the breath. When your breath becomes soft, let your attention become gentle and careful, as soft as the breath itself. Like training a puppy, gently bring yourself back a thousand times. Over weeks and months of this practice you will gradually learn to calm and center yourself using the breath. There will be many cycles in this process, stormy days alternating with clear days. Just stay with it. As you do, listening deeply, you will find the breath helping to connect and quiet your whole body and mind. Working with the breath is an excellent foundation for the other meditations presented in this book. After developing some calm and skills, and connecting with your breath, you can then extend your range of meditation to include healing and awareness of all the levels of your body and mind. You will discover how awareness of your breath can serve as a steady basis for all you do.
Jack Kornfield (A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life)
Snowbound up here with you. Without books or business to occupy my time, I wonder what I’ll do,” he added with a leer. She blushed gorgeously, but her voice was serious as she studied his face. “If things hadn’t gone so well for you-if you hadn’t accumulated so much wealth-you could have been happy up here, couldn’t you?” “With you?” “Of course.” His smile was as somber as hers. “Absolutely.” “Although,” he added, linking her hands behind her back and drawing her a little closer, “you may not want to remain up here when you learn your emeralds are back in their cases at Montmayne.” Her head snapped up, and her eyes shone with love and relief. “I’m so glad. When I realized Robert’s story had been fabrication, it hurt beyond belief to realize I’d sold them.” “It’s going to hurt more,” he teased outrageously, “when you realize your bank draft to cover their cost was a little bit short. It cost me $45,000 to buy back the pieces that had already been sold, and $5,000 to buy the rest back from the jeweler you sold them to.” “That-that unconscionable thief!” she burst out. “He only gave me $5,000 for all of them!” She shook her head in despair at Ian’s lack of bargaining prowess. “He took dreadful advantage of you.” “I wasn’t concerned, however,” Ian continued teasing, enjoying himself hugely, “because I knew I’d get it all back out of your allowance. With interest, of course. According to my figures,” he said, pausing to calculate in his mind what it would have taken Elizabeth several minutes to figure out on paper, “as of today, you now owe me roughly $151,126.” “One hundred and- what?” she cried, half laughing and half irate. “There’s the little matter of the cost of Havenhurst. I added that in to the figure.” Tears of joy clouded her magnificent eyes. “You bought it back from that horrid Mr. Demarcus?” “Yes. And he is ‘horrid.’ He and your uncle ought to be partners. They both possess the instincts of camel traders. I paid $100,000 for it.” Her mouth fell open, and admiration lit her face. “$100,000! Oh, Ian-“ “I love it when you say my name.” She smiled at that, but her mind was still on the splendid bargain he’d gotten. “I could not have done a bit better!” she generously admitted. “That’s exactly what he paid for it, and he told me after the papers were signed that he was certain he could get $150,000 if he waited a year or so.” “He probably could have.” “But not from you!” she announced proudly. “Not from me,” he agreed, grinning. “Did he try?” “He tried for $200,000 as soon as he realized how important it was to me to buy it back for you.” “You must have been very clever and skillful to make him agree to accept so much less.” Trying desperately not to laugh, Ian put his forehead against hers and nodded. “Very skillful,” he agreed in a suffocated voice. “Still, I wonder why he was so agreeable?” Swallowing a surge of laughter, Ian said, “I imagine it was because I showed him that I had something he needed more than he needed an exorbitant profit.” “Really?” she said, fascinated and impressed. “What did you have?” “His throat.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Moving on, while he wondered, the dark through which Mr. Lecky's light cut grew more beautiful with scents. Particles of solid matter so minute, gases so subtle, that they filtered through stopping and sealing, hung on the unstirred air. Drawn in with Mr. Lecky's breath came impalpable dews cooked out of disintegrating coal. Distilled, chemically split and reformed, they ended in flawless simulation of the aromas of gums, the scent of woods and the world's flowers. The chemists who made them could do more than that. Loose on the gloom were perfumes of flowers which might possibly have bloomed but never had, and the strong-smelling saps of trees either lost or not yet evolved. Mixed in the mucus of the pituitary membrane, these volatile essences meant more than synthetic chemistry to Mr. Lecky. Their microscopic slime coated the bushed-out ends of the olfactory nerve; their presence was signaled to the anterior of the brain's temporal lobe. At once, thought waited on them, tossing down from the great storehouse of old images, neglected ideas - sandalwood and roses, musk and lavender. Mr. Lecky stood still, wrung by pangs as insistent and unanswerable as hunger. He was prodded by the unrest of things desired, not had; the surfeit of things had, not desired. More than anything he could see, or words, or sounds, these odors made him stupidly aware of the past. Unable to remember it, whence he was, or where he had previously been, all that was sweet, impermanent and gone came back not spoiled by too much truth or exact memory. Volatile as the perfumes, the past stirred him with longing for what was not - the only beloved beauty which you will have to see but which you may not keep. Mr. Lecky's beam of light went through glass top and side of a counter, displayed bottles of colored liquid - straw, amber, topaz - threw shadows behind their diverse shapes. He had no use for perfume. All the distraction, all the sense of loss and implausible sweetness which he felt was in memory of women. Behind the counter, Mr. Lecky, curious, took out bottles, sniffed them, examined their elaborately varied forms - transparent squares, triangles, cones, flattened ovals. Some were opaque, jet or blue, rough with embedded metals in intricate design. This great and needless decoration of the flasks which contained it was one strange way to express the inexpressible. Another way was tried in the names put on the bottles. Here words ran the suggestive or symbolic gamut of idealized passion, or festive night, of desired caresses, or of abstractions of the painful allure yet farther fetched. Not even in the hopeful, miracle-raving fancy of those who used the perfumes could a bottle of liquid have any actual magic. Since the buyers at the counters must be human beings, nine of every ten were beyond this or other help. Women, young, but unlovely and unloved, women, whatever they had been, now at the end of it and ruined by years or thickened to caricature by fat, ought to be the ones called to mind by perfume. But they were not. Mr. Lecky held the bottle in his hand a long while, aware of the tenth woman.
James Gould Cozzens
I have been so great a lover: filled my days So proudly with the splendour of Love's praise, The pain, the calm, and the astonishment, Desire illimitable, and still content, And all dear names men use, to cheat despair, For the perplexed and viewless streams that bear Our hearts at random down the dark of life. Now, ere the unthinking silence on that strife Steals down, I would cheat drowsy Death so far, My night shall be remembered for a star That outshone all the suns of all men's days. Shall I not crown them with immortal praise Whom I have loved, who have given me, dared with me High secrets, and in darkness knelt to see The inenarrable godhead of delight? Love is a flame; -- we have beaconed the world's night. A city: -- and we have built it, these and I. An emperor: -- we have taught the world to die. So, for their sakes I loved, ere I go hence, And the high cause of Love's magnificence, And to keep loyalties young, I'll write those names Golden for ever, eagles, crying flames, And set them as a banner, that men may know, To dare the generations, burn, and blow Out on the wind of Time, shining and streaming.... These I have loved: White plates and cups, clean-gleaming, Ringed with blue lines; and feathery, faery dust; Wet roofs, beneath the lamp-light; the strong crust Of friendly bread; and many-tasting food; Rainbows; and the blue bitter smoke of wood; And radiant raindrops couching in cool flowers; And flowers themselves, that sway through sunny hours, Dreaming of moths that drink them under the moon; Then, the cool kindliness of sheets, that soon Smooth away trouble; and the rough male kiss Of blankets; grainy wood; live hair that is Shining and free; blue-massing clouds; the keen Unpassioned beauty of a great machine; The benison of hot water; furs to touch; The good smell of old clothes; and other such -- The comfortable smell of friendly fingers, Hair's fragrance, and the musty reek that lingers About dead leaves and last year's ferns.... Dear names, And thousand other throng to me! Royal flames; Sweet water's dimpling laugh from tap or spring; Holes in the ground; and voices that do sing; Voices in laughter, too; and body's pain, Soon turned to peace; and the deep-panting train; Firm sands; the little dulling edge of foam That browns and dwindles as the wave goes home; And washen stones, gay for an hour; the cold Graveness of iron; moist black earthen mould; Sleep; and high places; footprints in the dew; And oaks; and brown horse-chestnuts, glossy-new; And new-peeled sticks; and shining pools on grass; -- All these have been my loves. And these shall pass, Whatever passes not, in the great hour, Nor all my passion, all my prayers, have power To hold them with me through the gate of Death. They'll play deserter, turn with the traitor breath, Break the high bond we made, and sell Love's trust And sacramented covenant to the dust. ---- Oh, never a doubt but, somewhere, I shall wake, And give what's left of love again, and make New friends, now strangers.... But the best I've known, Stays here, and changes, breaks, grows old, is blown About the winds of the world, and fades from brains Of living men, and dies. Nothing remains. O dear my loves, O faithless, once again This one last gift I give: that after men Shall know, and later lovers, far-removed, Praise you, "All these were lovely"; say, "He loved.
Rupert Brooke
Because you deserve a duke, damn it!” A troubled expression furrowed his brow. “You deserve a man who can give you the moon. I can’t. I can give you a decent home in a decent part of town with decent people, but you…” His voice grew choked. “You’re the most amazing woman I’ve ever known. It destroys me to think of what you’ll have to give up to be with me.” “I told you before-I don’t care!” she said hotly. “Why can’t you believe me?” He hesitated a long moment. “The truth?” “Always.” “Because I can’t imagine why you’d want me when you have men of rank and riches at your fingertips.” She gave a rueful laugh. “You grossly exaggerate my charms, but I can’t complain. It’s one of many things I adore about you-that you see a better version of me than I ever could.” Remembering the wonderful words he’d said last night when she’d been so self-conscious, she left the bed to walk up to him. “Do you know what I see when I look at you?” His wary gaze locked with hers. “Proper Pinter. Proud Pinter.” “Yes, but that’s just who you show to the world to protect yourself.” She reached up to stroke his cheek, reveling in the ragged breath that escaped him. “When you let down your guard, however, I see Jackson-who ferrets out the truth, no matter how hard. Who risks his own life to protect the weak. Who’d sacrifice anything to prevent me from having to sacrifice everything.” Catching her hand, he halted its path. “You see a saint,” he said hoarsely. “I’m not a saint; I’m a man with needs and desires and a great many rough edges.” “I like your rough edges,” she said with a soft smile. “If I’d really wanted a man of rank and riches, I probably would have married long ago. I always told myself I couldn’t marry because no one wanted me, but the truth was, I didn’t want any of them.” She fingered a lock of hair. “Apparently I was waiting for you, rough edges and all.” His eyes turned hot with wanting. Drawing her hand to his lips, he kissed the palm so tenderly that her heart leapt into her throat. When he lifted his head, he said, “Then marry me, rough edges and all.” She swallowed. “That’s what you say now, when we’re alone and you’re caught up in-“ He covered her mouth with his, kissing her so fervently that she turned into a puddle of mush. Blast him-he always did that, too, when they were alone; it was when they were with others that he reconsidered their being together forever. And he still had said nothing of live. “That’s enough of that,” she warned, drawing back from him. “Until you make a proper proposal, before my family, you’re not sharing my bed.” “Sweeting-“ “Don’t you ‘sweeting’ me, Jackson Pinter.” She edged away from him. “I want Proper Pinter back now.” A mocking smile crossed his lips. “Sorry, love. I threw him out when I saw how he was mucking up my private life.” Love? No, she wouldn’t let that soften her. Not until she was sure he wouldn’t turn cold later. “You told Oliver you’d behave like a gentleman.” “To hell with your brother.” He stalked her with clear intent. Even as she darted behind a chair to avoid him, excitement tore through her. “Aren’t you still worried Gran will cut me off, and you’ll be saddled with a spoiled wife and not enough money to please her?” “To hell with your grandmother, too. For that matter, to hell with the money.” He tossed the chair aside as if it were so much kindling; it clattered across the floor. “It’s you I want.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
Well, what happened to your scruples in the woodcutter’s cottage? You knew I thought you’d already left when I went inside.” “Why did you stay,” he countered smoothly, “when you realized I was still there?” In confused distress Elizabeth raked her hair off her forehead. “I knew I shouldn’t do it,” she admitted. “I don’t know why I remained.” “You stayed for the same reason I did,” he informed her bluntly. “We wanted each other.” “I was wrong,” she protested a little wildly. “Dangerous and-foolish!” “Foolish or not,” he said grimly, “I wanted you. I want you now.” Elizabeth made the mistake of looking at him, and his amber eyes captured hers against her will, holding them imprisoned. The shawl she’d been clutching as if it was a lifeline to safety slid from her nerveless hand and dangled at her side, but Elizabeth didn’t notice. “Neither of us has anything to gain by continuing this pretense that the weekend in England is over and forgotten,” he said bluntly. “Yesterday proved that it wasn’t over, if it proved nothing else, and it’s never been forgotten-I’ve remembered you all this time, and I know damn well you’ve remembered me.” Elizabeth wanted to deny it; she sensed that if she did, he’d be so disgusted with her deceit that he’d turn on his heel and leave her. She lifted her chin, unable to tear her gaze from his, but she was too affected by the things he’d just admitted to her to lie to him. “All right,” she said shakily, “you win. I’ve never forgotten you or that weekend. How could I?” she added defensively. He smiled at her angry retort, and his voice gentled to the timbre of rough velvet. “Come here, Elizabeth.” “Why?” she whispered shakily. “So that we can finish what we began that weekend.” Elizabeth stared at him in paralyzed terror mixed with violet excitement and shook her head in a jerky refusal. “I’ll not force you,” he said quietly, “nor will I force you to do anything you don’t want to do once you’re in my arms. Think carefully about that,” he warned, “because if you come to me now, you won’t be able to tell yourself in the morning that I made you do this against your will-or that you didn’t know what was going to happen. Yesterday neither of us knew what was going to happen. Now we do.” Some small, insidious voice in her mind urged her to obey, reminded her that after the public punishment she’d taken for the last time they were together she was entitled to some stolen passionate kisses, if she wanted them. Another voice warned her not to break the rules again. “I-I can’t,” she said in a soft cry. “There are four steps separating us and a year and a half of wanting drawing us together,” he said. Elizabeth swallowed. “Couldn’t you meet me halfway?” The sweetness of the question was almost Ian’s undoing, but he managed to shake his head. “Not this time. I want you, but I’ll not have you looking at me like a monster in the morning. If you want me, all you have to do is walk into my arms.” “I don’t know what I want,” Elizabeth cried, looking a little wildly at the valley below, as if she were thinking of leaping off the path. “Come here,” he invited huskily, “and I’ll show you.” It was his tone, not his words, that conquered her. As if drawn by a will stronger than her own, Elizabeth walked forward and straight into his arms that closed around her with stunning force. “I didn’t think you were going to do it,” he whispered gruffly against her hair.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
I pulled at the knot again and heard threads begin to pop. “Allow me, Miss Jones,” said Armand, right at my back. There was no gracious way to refuse him. Not with Mrs. Westcliffe there, too. I exhaled and dropped my arms. I stared at the lotus petals in my painting as the new small twists and tugs of Armand’s hands rocked me back and forth. Jesse’s music began to reverberate somewhat more sharply than before. “There,” Armand said, soft near my ear. “Nearly got it.” “Most kind of you, my lord.” Mrs. Westcliffe’s voice was far more carrying. “Do you not agree, Miss Jones?” Her tone said I’d better. “Most kind,” I repeated. For some reason I felt him as a solid warmth behind me, behind all of me, even though only his knuckles made a gentle bumping against my spine. How blasted long could it take to unravel a knot? “Yes,” said Chloe unexpectedly. “Lord Armand is always a perfect gentleman, no matter who or what demands his attention.” “There,” the gentleman said, and at last his hands fell away. The front of the smock sagged loose. I shrugged out of it as fast as I could, wadding it up into a ball. “Excuse me.” I ducked a curtsy and began my escape to the hamper, but Mrs. Westcliffe cut me short. “A moment, Miss Jones. We require your presence.” I turned to face them. Armand was smiling his faint, cool smile. Mrs. Westcliffe looked as if she wished to fix me in some way. I raised a hand instinctively to my hair, trying to press it properly into place. “You have the honor of being invited to tea at the manor house,” the headmistress said. “To formally meet His Grace.” “Oh,” I said. “How marvelous.” I’d rather have a tooth pulled out. “Indeed. Lord Armand came himself to deliver the invitation.” “Least I could do,” said Armand. “It wasn’t far. This Saturday, if that’s all right.” “Um…” “I am certain Miss Jones will be pleased to cancel any other plans,” said Mrs. Westcliffe. “This Saturday?” Unlike me, Chloe had not concealed an inch of ground. “Why, Mandy! That’s the day you promised we’d play lawn tennis.” He cocked a brow at her, and I knew right then that she was lying and that she knew that he knew. She sent him a melting smile. “Isn’t it, my lord?” “I must have forgotten,” he said. “Well, but we cannot disappoint the duke, can we?” “No, indeed,” interjected Mrs. Westcliffe. “So I suppose you’ll have to come along to the tea instead, Chloe.” “Very well. If you insist.” He didn’t insist. He did, however, sweep her a very deep bow and then another to the headmistress. “And you, too, Mrs. Westcliffe. Naturally. The duke always remarks upon your excellent company.” “Most kind,” she said again, and actually blushed. Armand looked dead at me. There was that challenge behind his gaze, that one I’d first glimpsed at the train station. “We find ourselves in harmony, then. I shall see you in a few days, Miss Jones.” I tightened my fingers into the wad of the smock and forced my lips into an upward curve. He smiled back at me, that cold smile that said plainly he wasn’t duped for a moment. I did not get a bow. Jesse was at the hamper when I went to toss in the smock. Before I could, he took it from me, eyes cast downward, no words. Our fingers brushed beneath the cloth. That fleeting glide of his skin against mine. The sensation of hardened calluses stroking me, tender and rough at once. The sweet, strong pleasure that spiked through me, brief as it was. That had been on purpose. I was sure of it.
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))