Kick Me When Im Down Quotes

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I'm the one who steps from the shadows, all trenchcoat and cigarette and arrogance, ready to deal with the madness. Oh, I've got it all sewn up. I can save you. If it takes the last drop of your blood, I'll drive your demons away. I'll kick them in the bollocks and spit on them when they're down and then I'll be gone back into darkness, leaving only a nod and a wink and a wisecrack. I walk my path alone... who would walk with me?
Garth Ennis (Hellblazer: Dangerous Habits)
A lot of cheap seats in the arena are filled with people who never venture onto the floor. They just hurl mean-spirited criticisms and put-downs from a safe distance. The problem is, when we stop caring what people think and stop feeling hurt by cruelty, we lose our ability to connect. But when we’re defined by what people think, we lose the courage to be vulnerable. Therefore, we need to be selective about the feedback we let into our lives. For me, if you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.
Brené Brown (Rising Strong: The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution.)
It never works out! *kicks rock, it hits a window, sirens go off* (iggy) Uh oh. (max) Up and away guys! Come on iggy, we gotta go. (iggy) No. *sits down* (max) Iggy, come on! (iggy) No! It's different for you, you don't know what it's like, Yeah I make jokes- I'm the blind kid, but don't you see? Every time we move I'm lost all over again, you guys- It's much easier for you. Even your lost isn't as bad as my lost. You know *sirens coming closer* (max) Ig, i know it's hard, but if you think I'm going to let you give up on us now, you've got another think coming. Yes, you're a blind mutant freak, but you're my blind mutant freak, and you're coming with me, now, you're coming with us right now, or I swear I will kick your skinny white ass from here to the middle of next week. *Iggy raises his head lights flashing telling max that he cops were almost on top of them* (max) Iggy, I need you, I love you. I need all of you, all five of you, to fell whole myself. Now get up, before I kill you." *Iggy stands* "Well, when you put it that way..." *max smiles* come on ig *they fly off*
James Patterson (School's Out—Forever (Maximum Ride, #2))
Noah was no longer at my side when I turned. He had Kent from algebra pinned against the car. "I should injure you considerably," he said in a low voice "Dude, chill." Kent was completely calm. "Noah," I heard myself say. "Its not worth it." Noah's eyes narrowed, but apon hearing my voice, he released Kent who straightened his shirt and brushed the front of his khakis. "Get fucked, Kent," Noah said as he turned away. The idiot laughed, "Oh, I will." Noah whirled around and I heard the unmistakable impact of knuckles meeting face. Kent was on the concrete, his hands clutching his nose. When he started to get up, Noah said, "I wouldn't. I'm barely above kicking the shit out of you on the ground. Barely." "You broke my nose!" Blood streamed down Kents shirt and a crowd formed a small circle around the three of us. A teacher parted the throng and called out, "Principals office NOW, Shaw." Noah ignored him and walked over to me, inordinately calm. He placed his good hand on the small of my back and my legs threatened to dissolve. The bell rang and I looked at Noah as he leaned in and brushed his lips against my ear. He whispered into my hair, "It was worth it." - The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer
Michelle Hodkin
I have this demon who wants me to run away screaming if I am going to be flawed, fallible. It wants me to think I’m so good I must be perfect. Or nothing. I am, on the contrary, something: a being who gets tired, has shyness to fight, has more trouble than most facing people easily. If I get through this year, kicking my demon down when it comes up, I’ll be able, piece by piece, to face the field of life, instead of running from it the minute it hurts.
Sylvia Plath
I'm afraid it's not nonsense," Genghis said, shaking his turbaned head and continuing his story. "As I was saying before the little girl interrupted me, the baby didn't dash off with the other orphans. She just sat there like a sack of flour. So I walked over to her and gave her a kick to get her moving." "Excellent idea!" Nero said. "What a wonderful story this is! And then what happened?" "Well, at first it seemed like I'd kicked a big hole in the baby," Genghis said, his eyes shining, "which seemed lucky, because Sunny was a terrible athlete and it would have been a blessing to put her out of her misery." Nero clapped his hands. "I know just what you mean, Genghis," he said. "She's a terrible secretary as well." "But she did all that stapling," Mr. Remora protested. "Shut up and let the coach finish his story," Nero said. "But when I looked down," Genghis continued, "I saw that I hadn't kicked a hole in a baby. I'd kicked a hole in a bag of flour! I'd been tricked!" "That's terrible!" Nero cried.
Lemony Snicket (The Austere Academy (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #5))
I wasn't going to have dessert, but it was right there, all gooey and sweet. It's like sex. I mean, when it's right there, what are you supposed to do? I wasn't going to have that either--sex--with my parents bunking in the office, but, well, it was right there." "I'll tolerate the gooey and sweet, Peabody, but I'm not thinking about you having sex with McNab, especially in the same sentence as 'my parents.'" "I think they had sex, too." Eve struggled not to wince or twitch. "Do you want me to kick you down four flights of steps and make you walk up again?" "I'd probably bounce all the way down, too, with all this gooey and sweet in my butt. So I guess not." "Good choice.
J.D. Robb (New York to Dallas (In Death, #33))
I paid you five thousand instead and promised the balance only if you made the match. As it turns out, this is your lucky day because I've decided to write you the full check, whether the match comes from you or from Portia. As long as I have a wife and you've been part of the process, you'll get your money." He toasted her with his beer mug. "Congratulations." She put down her fork. "Why would you do that?" "Because it's efficient." "Not as efficient as having Powers handle her own introductions. You're paying her a fortune to do exactly that." "I'd rather have you." Her pulse kicked. "Why?" He gave her the melty smile he must have been practicing since the cradle, one that made her feel as though she was the only woman in the world. "Because you're easier to bully. Do we have a deal or not?" "You don't want a matchmaker. You want a lackey." "Semantics. My hours are erratic, and my schedule changes without warning. It'll be your job to cope with all that. You'll soothe ruffled feathers when I need to cancel at the last minute. You'll keep my dates company when I'm going to be late, entertain them if I have to take a call. If things are going well, you'll disappear. If not, you'll make the woman disappear. I told you before. I work hard at my job. I don't want to have to work hard at this, too." "Basically, you expect me to find your bride, court her, and hand her over at the altar. Or do I have to come on the honeymoon, too?" "Definitely not." He gave her a lazy smile. "I can take care of that all by myself.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Match Me If You Can (Chicago Stars, #6))
I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time. Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage. A lot of cheap seats in the arena are filled with people who never venture onto the floor. They just hurl mean-spirited criticisms and put-downs from a safe distance. The problem is, when we stop caring what people think and stop feeling hurt by cruelty, we lose our ability to connect. But when we’re defined by what people think, we lose the courage to be vulnerable. Therefore, we need to be selective about the feedback we let into our lives. For me, if you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.
Brené Brown (Rising Strong)
I left Abnegation because I wasn't selfless enough,no matter how hard I tried to be." "That's not entirely true." He smiles at me. "That girl who let someone throw knives at her to spare a friend,who hit my dad with a belt to protect me-that selfless girl,that's not you?" He's figured out more about me than I have. And even though it seems impossible that he could feel something for me,given all that I'm not...maybe it isn't.I frown at him. "You've been paying close attention,haven't you?" "I like to observe people." "Maybe you were cut out for Candor, Four, because you're a terrible liar." He puts his hand on the rock next to him, his fingers lining up with mine. I look down at our hands. He has long, narrow fingers. Hands made for mine, deft movements.Not Dauntless hands, which should be thick and tough and ready to break things. "Fine." He leans his face closer to mine, his eyes focusing on my chin, and my lips,and my nose. "I watched you because I like you." He says it plainly, boldly, and his eyes flick up to mine. "And don't call me 'Four," okay? It's nice to hear my name again." Just like that,he has finally declared himself, and I don't know how to respond. My cheeks warm,and all I can think to say is, "But you're older than I am...Tobias." He smiles at me. "Yes,that whopping two-year gap really is insurmountable, isn't it?" "I'm not trying to be self-deprecating," I say, "I just don't get it. I'm younger. I'm not pretty.I-" He laughs,a deep laugh that sounds like it came from deep inside him, and touches his lips to my temple. "Don't pretend," I say breathily. "You know I'm not. I'm not ugly,but I am certainly not pretty." "Fine.You're not pretty.So?" He kisses my cheek. "I like how you look. You're deadly smart.You're brave. And even though you found out about Marcus..." His voice softens. "You aren't giving me that look.Like I'm a kicked puppy or something." "Well," I say. "You're not." For a second his dark eyes are on mine, and he's quiet. Then he touches my face and leans in close, brushing my lips with his.The river roars and I feel its spray on my ankles.He grins and presses his mouth to mine. I tense up at first,unsure of myself, so when he pulls away,I'm sure I did something wrong,or badly.But he takes my face in his hands,his figners strong against my skin,and kisses me again, firmer this time, more certain. I wrap an arm around him,sliding my hand up his nack and into his short hair. For a few minutes we kiss,deep in the chasm,with the roar of water all around us. And when we rise,hand in hand, I realize that if we had both chosen differently,we might have ended up doing the same thing, in a safer place, in gray clothes instead of black ones.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
What are you doing?” Ya!” said Jane, whirling around, her hands held up menacingly. It was Mr. Nobley with coat, hat, and cane, watching her with wide eyes. Jane took several quick (but oh so casual) steps away from Martin’s window. Um, did I just say, ‘Ya’?” You just said ‘Ya,”’ he confirmed. “If I am not mistaken, it was a battle cry, warning that you were about to attack me.” I, uh. . .“ She stopped to laugh. “I wasn’t aware until this precise and awkward moment that when startled in a strange place, my instincts would have me pretend to be a ninja.” *** Surely a young beauty like yourself is lonely, too. It can be part of the game, if you like.” Get off,” she said, thoroughly done with this. His answer was to lean in closer. So she kneed him in groin. As hard as she could. Aw, ow, dammit!” He doubled over and thudded onto knees. Jane brushed off her knee, feeling like it had touched son thing dirty. “Aw, ow, dammit indeed! What’re you thinking?” Jane heard hurried footsteps coming down the stairs. It Mr. Nobley. Miss Erstwhile!” He was barefoot in his breeches, his shirt untucked. He glanced down at the groaning man. “Sir Templeton!” Ow, she kicked me,” said Sir Templeton. Kneed him, I kneed him,” Jane said. “I don’t kick. Not even when 1m a ninja.” Mr. Nobley stood a moment in silence, looking over the scene. “I hope you remembered to shout ‘Ya’ when taking him down. I hear that is very effective.” I’m afraid I neglected that bit, but I’ll certainly ‘ya’ from here to London if he ever touches me again.
Shannon Hale
I’m not sure what to say about struggle except that it feels like a long, dark tunnel with no light at the end. You never notice until it’s over the ways it has changed you, and there is no going back. We struggled a lot this year. For everyone who picked a fight with life and got the shit kicked out of them: I’m proud of you for surviving. This year I learned that cities are beautiful from rooftops even when you’re sad and that swimming in rivers while the sun sets in July will make you feel hopeful, no matter what’s going on at home. I found out my best friend is strong enough to swing me over his shoulder like I’m weightless and run down the street while I’m squealing and kicking against his chest. I found out vegan rice milk whipped cream is delicious, especially when it’s licked off the stomach of a boy you love. This year I kissed too many people with broken hearts and hands like mousetraps. If I could go back and unhurt them I would. If I could go back even farther and never meet them I would do that too. I turned 21. There’s no getting around it. I’m an adult now. Navigating the world has proved harder than I expected. There were times I was reckless. In my struggle to survive I hurt others. Apologies do not make good bandages. I’m not sure what to say about change except that it reminds me of the Bible story with the lions’ den. But you are not named Daniel and you have not been praying, so God lets the beasts get a few deep, painful swipes at you before the morning comes and you’re pulled into the light, exhausted and cut to shit. The good news is you survived. The bad news is you’re hurt and no one can heal you but yourself. You just have to find a stiff drink and a clean needle before you bleed out. And then you get up. And start over.
Clementine von Radics (Mouthful of Forevers)
Bastien rolled his eyes, "Calm down, Hauk. All you're going to do is hurt yourself." He glared at Bastien. "If you want to see exactly how angry someone can get, tell them to calm down when they're already pissed off!" Bellowing, he tried his best to break free. "Is that helping? I just gotta know." "When I get loose, Cabarro, your ass is the first one I'm kicking." "Oh good. Hope you get out soon. Been awhile since I had a good ass-kicking." Bastien made a kissy face at him. "Says the man who's so bruised, he looks like a two-year old banana." "Now that's just mean and hurtful." "Telise! He's awake again." She moved forward and kicked Hauk in the face. "I wouldn't do that," Bastien warned. "Don't motivate the Andarion for murder. It ain't going to work out well for any of us. 'Specially me, since mine's the first ass he's planning to come after.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Born of Fury (The League: Nemesis Rising #8))
Dorothy and Alice and the Pevensie children didn't suffer like this." I couldn't help myself, "I didn't know you could read," I said through my fingers... "You would kick me when I'm down?" Tyler said, almost in a whisper.
Krystal Sutherland (House of Hollow)
Ruby and Aaron are both crazy patient; they’re good parents.” “I could be a good dad,” Ivan whispered, still feeding Jess. I could have told him he’d be good at anything he wanted to be good at, but nah. “Do you want to have kids?” he asked me out of the blue. I handed Benny another block. “A long time from now, maybe.” “A long time… like how long?” That had me glancing at Ivan over my shoulder. He had his entire attention on Jessie, and I was pretty sure he was smiling down at her. Huh. “My early thirties, maybe? I don’t know. I might be okay with not having any either. I haven’t really thought about it much, except for knowing I don’t want to have them any time soon, you know what I mean?” “Because of figure skating?” “Why else? I barely have enough time now. I couldn’t imagine trying to train and have kids. My baby daddy would have to be a rich, stay-at-home dad for that to work.” Ivan wrinkled his nose at my niece. “There are at least ten skaters I know with kids.” I rolled my eyes and poked Benny in the side when he held out his little hand for another block. That got me a toothy grin. “I’m not saying it’s impossible. I just wouldn’t want to do it any time soon. I don’t want to half-ass or regret it. If they ever exist, I’d want them to be my priority. I wouldn’t want them to think they were second best.” Because I knew what that felt like. And I’d already screwed up enough with making grown adults I loved think they weren’t important. If I was going to do something, I wanted to do my best and give it everything. All he said was, “Hmm.” A thought came into my head and made my stomach churn. “Why? Are you planning on having kids any time soon?” “I wasn’t,” he answered immediately. “I like this baby though, and that one. Maybe I need to think about it.” I frowned, the feeling in my stomach getting more intense. He kept blabbing. “I could start training my kids really young…. I could coach them. Hmm.” It was my turn to wrinkle my nose. “Three hours with two kids and now you want them?” Ivan glanced down at me with a smirk. “With the right person. I’m not going to have them with just anybody and dilute my blood.” I rolled my eyes at this idiot, still ignoring that weird feeling in my belly that I wasn’t going to acknowledge now or ever. “God forbid, you have kids with someone that’s not perfect. Dumbass.” “Right?” He snorted, looking down at the baby before glancing back at me with a smile I wasn’t a fan of. “They might come out short, with mean, squinty, little eyes, a big mouth, heavy bones, and a bad attitude.” I blinked. “I hope you get abducted by aliens.” Ivan laughed, and the sound of it made me smile. “You would miss me.” All I said, while shrugging was, “Meh. I know I’d get to see you again someday—” He smiled. “—in hell.” That wiped the look right off his face. “I’m a good person. People like me.” “Because they don’t know you. If they did, somebody would have kicked your ass already.” “They’d try,” he countered, and I couldn’t help but laugh. There was something wrong with us. And I didn’t hate it. Not even a little bit.
Mariana Zapata (From Lukov with Love)
What rhymes with insensitive?” I tap my pen on the kitchen table, beyond frustrated with my current task. Who knew rhyming was so fucking difficult? Garrett, who’s dicing onions at the counter, glances over. “Sensitive,” he says helpfully. “Yes, G, I’ll be sure to rhyme insensitive with sensitive. Gold star for you.” On the other side of the kitchen, Tucker finishes loading the dishwasher and turns to frown at me. “What the hell are you doing over there, anyway? You’ve been scribbling on that notepad for the past hour.” “I’m writing a love poem,” I answer without thinking. Then I slam my lips together, realizing what I’ve done. Dead silence crashes over the kitchen. Garrett and Tucker exchange a look. An extremely long look. Then, perfectly synchronized, their heads shift in my direction, and they stare at me as if I’ve just escaped from a mental institution. I may as well have. There’s no other reason for why I’m voluntarily writing poetry right now. And that’s not even the craziest item on Grace’s list. That’s right. I said it. List. The little brat texted me not one, not two, but six tasks to complete before she agrees to a date. Or maybe gestures is a better way to phrase it... “I just have one question,” Garrett starts. “Really?” Tuck says. “Because I have many.” Sighing, I put my pen down. “Go ahead. Get it out of your systems.” Garrett crosses his arms. “This is for a chick, right? Because if you’re doing it for funsies, then that’s just plain weird.” “It’s for Grace,” I reply through clenched teeth. My best friend nods solemnly. Then he keels over. Asshole. I scowl as he clutches his side, his broad back shuddering with each bellowing laugh. And even while racked with laughter, he manages to pull his phone from his pocket and start typing. “What are you doing?” I demand. “Texting Wellsy. She needs to know this.” “I hate you.” I’m so busy glaring at Garrett that I don’t notice what Tucker’s up to until it’s too late. He snatches the notepad from the table, studies it, and hoots loudly. “Holy shit. G, he rhymed jackass with Cutlass.” “Cutlass?” Garrett wheezes. “Like the sword?” “The car,” I mutter. “I was comparing her lips to this cherry-red Cutlass I fixed up when I was a kid. Drawing on my own experience, that kind of thing.” Tucker shakes his head in exasperation. “You should have compared them to cherries, dumbass.” He’s right. I should have. I’m a terrible poet and I do know it. “Hey,” I say as inspiration strikes. “What if I steal the words to “Amazing Grace”? I can change it to…um…Terrific Grace.” “Yup,” Garrett cracks. “Pure gold right there. Terrific Grace.” I ponder the next line. “How sweet…” “Your ass,” Tucker supplies. Garrett snorts. “Brilliant minds at work. Terrific Grace, how sweet your ass.” He types on his phone again. “Jesus Christ, will you quit dictating this conversation to Hannah?” I grumble. “Bros before hos, dude.” “Call my girlfriend a ho one more time and you won’t have a bro.” Tucker chuckles. “Seriously, why are you writing poetry for this chick?” “Because I’m trying to win her back. This is one of her requirements.” That gets Garrett’s attention. He perks up, phone poised in hand as he asks, “What are the other ones?” “None of your fucking business.” “Golly gee, if you do half as good a job on those as you’re doing with this epic poem, then you’ll get her back in no time!” I give him the finger. “Sarcasm not appreciated.” Then I swipe the notepad from Tuck’s hand and head for the doorway. “PS? Next time either of you need to score points with your ladies? Don’t ask me for help. Jackasses.” Their wild laughter follows me all the way upstairs. I duck into my room and kick the door shut, then spend the next hour typing up the sorriest excuse for poetry on my laptop. Jesus. I’m putting more effort into this damn poem than for my actual classes.
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
I want to tell you a story. I'm going to ask you all to close your eyes while I tell you the story. I want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to yourselves. Go ahead. Close your eyes, please. This is a story about a little girl walking home from the grocery store one sunny afternoon. I want you to picture this little girl. Suddenly a truck races up. Two men jump out and grab her. They drag her into a nearby field and they tie her up and they rip her clothes from her body. Now they climb on. First one, then the other, raping her, shattering everything innocent and pure with a vicious thrust in a fog of drunken breath and sweat. And when they're done, after they've killed her tiny womb, murdered any chance for her to have children, to have life beyond her own, they decide to use her for target practice. They start throwing full beer cans at her. They throw them so hard that it tears the flesh all the way to her bones. Then they urinate on her. Now comes the hanging. They have a rope. They tie a noose. Imagine the noose going tight around her neck and with a sudden blinding jerk she's pulled into the air and her feet and legs go kicking. They don't find the ground. The hanging branch isn't strong enough. It snaps and she falls back to the earth. So they pick her up, throw her in the back of the truck and drive out to Foggy Creek Bridge. Pitch her over the edge. And she drops some thirty feet down to the creek bottom below. Can you see her? Her raped, beaten, broken body soaked in their urine, soaked in their semen, soaked in her blood, left to die. Can you see her? I want you to picture that little girl. Now imagine she's white.
John Grisham (A Time to Kill (Jake Brigance, #1))
How long are you going to wait for this guy?” I’m thrown by his sudden shift. “Ah . . . I don’t know.” “Give me your keys.” “What?” “Give me your keys. I’m going to change your tire while we’re waiting.” I fish in my purse and come up with a handful of keys. “You’re going to—” “Stay in the car.” He grabs the keys and practically yanks them out of my fingers. Then he slams the door in my face. I watch him in the path of his headlights, mystified. He opens my trunk, and, moments later, emerges with the spare tire. He lays it beside the car, then pulls something else from the darkened space. I’ve never changed a tire, so I have no idea what he’s doing. His movements are quick and efficient, though. I shouldn’t be sitting here, just watching, but I can’t help myself. There’s something compelling about him. Dozens of cars have passed, but he was the only one to stop—and he’s helping me despite the fact that I’ve been less than kind to him all night. He gets down on the pavement—on the wet pavement, in the rain—and slides something under the car. A hand brushes wet hair off his face. I can’t sit here and watch him do this. He doesn’t look at me when I approach. “I told you to wait in the car.” “So you’re one of those guys? Thinks the ‘little woman’ should wait in the car?” “When the little woman doesn’t know her tires are bald and her battery could barely power a stopwatch?” He attaches a steel bar to . . . something . . . and starts twisting it. “Yeah. I am.” My pride flinches. “So what are you saying?” I ask, deadpan. “You don’t want my help?” His smile is rueful. “You’re kind of funny when you’re not so busy being judgmental.” “You’re lucky I’m not kicking you while you’re down there.” He loses the smile but keeps his eyes on whatever he’s doing. “Try it, sister.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
The reward is in the risk. I wanted so badly to believe, but the fear felt as great and overwhelming as the desire. I abruptly stood up from my chair so I could return to my room and feel terribly sorry for myself and eat away too much chocolate in private “Can we try to be wise with each other for a very long time??” -“You mean, can we share our fuckups and see if we can get any wisdom out of them?” “Yeah, that would be nice” They think that fate is playing with them. That we’re all just participants in this romantic reality show that God gets a kick our of watching. But the universe doesn’t decide what’s right or not right. You do Dullness is the spice of live. Which is why we must always use other spices I don’t know what I’m doing. Please don’t laugh at me. If I’m a disaster, please be kind and let me down gently Was it possible my heart was shaking as hard as my hands? I thought about the bigger picture of my life, and about the people I would encounter during my lifetime. How would I ever know when that moment was right, when expectation met anticipation and formed…connection?
Rachel Cohn (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
You and McNab sat around talking about women and sports." "I don't believe we got to sports. He had a woman on his mind." Eve's sneer vanished. "You talked to him about Peabody? Damn it, Roarke." "I could hardly slap him back. He's so pitifully smitten." "Oh." She winced. "Don't use that word." "It fits. In fact, if he took my advice ..." He turned his wrist, glanced at the unit fastened there. "They should be well into their first date by now." "Date? Date? Why did you do that? Why did you go and do something like that? Couldn't you leave it alone? They'd have had sex until they burned out on it, and everything would go back to normal." He angled his head. "That didn't work for us, did it?" "We don't work together." Then, when his eyes brightened with pure amusement, she showed her teeth. "Officially. You start mixing cops and romance and case files and gooey looks at briefings, you've got nothing but a mess. Next thing you know, Peabody will be wearing lip dye and smelly girl stuff and dragging body skimmers under her uniform." She dropped her head in her hands. "Then they'll have tiffs and misunderstandings that have nothing whatsoever to do with the job. They'll come at me from both sides, and before you know it, they'll be telling me things I absolutely do not want to know. And when they break it off and decide they hate each other down to the guts, I'll have to hear about that, too, and why they can't possibly work together, or breathe the same air, until I have no choice, absolutely no choice, but to kick both of their asses." "Eve, your sunny view on life never fails to lift my spirits." "And -- " She poked him in the chest. "It's all your fault." He grabbed her finger, nipped it, not so gently. "If that's the case, I'm going to insist they name their first child after me.
J.D. Robb (Witness in Death (In Death, #10))
Paranoid Android Please could you stop the noise, I’m trying to get some rest From all the unborn chicken voices in my head What’s that…? (I may be paranoid, but not an android) What’s that…? (I may be paranoid, but not an android) When I am king, you will be first against the wall With your opinion which is of no consequence at all What’s that…? (I may be paranoid, but no android) What’s that…? (I may be paranoid, but no android) Ambition makes you look pretty ugly Kicking and squealing gucci little piggy You don’t remember You don’t remember Why don’t you remember my name? Off with his head, man Off with his head, man Why don’t you remember my name? I guess he does…. Rain down, rain down Come on rain down on me From a great height From a great height… height… Rain down, rain down Come on rain down on me From a great height From a great height… height… Rain down, rain down Come on rain down on me That’s it, sir You’re leaving The crackle of pigskin The dust and the screaming The yuppies networking The panic, the vomit The panic, the vomit God loves his children, God loves his children, yeah!
Radiohead
Things I Used to Get Hit For: Talking back. Being smart. Acting stupid. Not listening. Not answering the first time. Not doing what I’m told. Not doing it the second time I’m told. Running, jumping, yelling, laughing, falling down, skipping stairs, lying in the snow, rolling in the grass, playing in the dirt, walking in mud, not wiping my feet, not taking my shoes off. Sliding down the banister, acting like a wild Indian in the hallway. Making a mess and leaving it. Pissing my pants, just a little. Peeing the bed, hardly at all. Sleeping with a butter knife under my pillow. Shitting the bed because I was sick and it just ran out of me, but still my fault because I’m old enough to know better. Saying shit instead of crap or poop or number two. Not knowing better. Knowing something and doing it wrong anyway. Lying. Not confessing the truth even when I don’t know it. Telling white lies, even little ones, because fibbing isn’t fooling and not the least bit funny. Laughing at anything that’s not funny, especially cripples and retards. Covering up my white lies with more lies, black lies. Not coming the exact second I’m called. Getting out of bed too early, sometimes before the birds, and turning on the TV, which is one reason the picture tube died. Wearing out the cheap plastic hole on the channel selector by turning it so fast it sounds like a machine gun. Playing flip-and-catch with the TV’s volume button then losing it down the hole next to the radiator pipe. Vomiting. Gagging like I’m going to vomit. Saying puke instead of vomit. Throwing up anyplace but in the toilet or in a designated throw-up bucket. Using scissors on my hair. Cutting Kelly’s doll’s hair really short. Pinching Kelly. Punching Kelly even though she kicked me first. Tickling her too hard. Taking food without asking. Eating sugar from the sugar bowl. Not sharing. Not remembering to say please and thank you. Mumbling like an idiot. Using the emergency flashlight to read a comic book in bed because batteries don’t grow on trees. Splashing in puddles, even the puddles I don’t see until it’s too late. Giving my mother’s good rhinestone earrings to the teacher for Valentine’s Day. Splashing in the bathtub and getting the floor wet. Using the good towels. Leaving the good towels on the floor, though sometimes they fall all by themselves. Eating crackers in bed. Staining my shirt, tearing the knee in my pants, ruining my good clothes. Not changing into old clothes that don’t fit the minute I get home. Wasting food. Not eating everything on my plate. Hiding lumpy mashed potatoes and butternut squash and rubbery string beans or any food I don’t like under the vinyl seat cushions Mom bought for the wooden kitchen chairs. Leaving the butter dish out in summer and ruining the tablecloth. Making bubbles in my milk. Using a straw like a pee shooter. Throwing tooth picks at my sister. Wasting toothpicks and glue making junky little things that no one wants. School papers. Notes from the teacher. Report cards. Whispering in church. Sleeping in church. Notes from the assistant principal. Being late for anything. Walking out of Woolworth’s eating a candy bar I didn’t pay for. Riding my bike in the street. Leaving my bike out in the rain. Getting my bike stolen while visiting Grandpa Rudy at the hospital because I didn’t put a lock on it. Not washing my feet. Spitting. Getting a nosebleed in church. Embarrassing my mother in any way, anywhere, anytime, especially in public. Being a jerk. Acting shy. Being impolite. Forgetting what good manners are for. Being alive in all the wrong places with all the wrong people at all the wrong times.
Bob Thurber (Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel)
The answer to that question is…I won’t. You belong with me. Which leads me to the discussion I wanted to have with you.” “Where I belong is for me to decide, and though I may listen to what you have to say, that doesn’t mean I will agree with you.” “Fair enough.” Ren pushed his empty plate to the side. “We have some unfinished business to take care of.” “If you mean the other tasks we have to do, I’m already aware of that.” “I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about us.” “What about us?” I put my hands under the table and wiped my clammy palms on my napkin. “I think there are a few things we’ve left unsaid, and I think it’s time we said them.” “I’m not withholding anything from you, if that’s what you mean.” “You are.” “No. I’m not.” “Are you refusing to acknowledge what has happened between us?” “I’m not refusing anything. Don’t try to put words in my mouth.” “I’m not. I’m simply trying to convince a stubborn woman to admit that she has feelings for me.” “If I did have feelings for you, you’d be the first one to know.” “Are you saying that you don’t feel anything for me?” “That’s not what I’m saying.” “Then what are you saying?” “I’m saying…nothing!” I spluttered. Ren smiled and narrowed his eyes at me. If he kept up this line of questioning, he was bound to catch me in a lie. I’m not a very good liar. He sat back in his chair. “Fine. I’ll let you off the hook for now, but we will talk about this later. Tigers are relentless once they set their minds to something. You don’t be able to evade me forever.” Casually, I replied, “Don’t get your hopes up, Mr. Wonderful. Every hero has his Kryptonite, and you don’t intimidate me.” I twisted my napkin in my lap while he tracked my every move with his probing eyes. I felt stripped down, as if he could see into the very heart of me. When the waitress came back, Ren smiled at her as she offered a smaller menu, probably featuring desserts. She leaned over him while I tapped my strappy shoe in frustration. He listened attentively to her. Then, the two of them laughed again. He spoke quietly, gesturing to me, and she looked my way, giggled, and then cleared all the plates quickly. He pulled out a wallet and handed her a credit card. She put her hand on his arm to ask him another question, and I couldn’t help myself. I kicked him under the table. He didn’t even blink or look at me. He just reached his arm across the table, took my hand in his, and rubbed the back of it absentmindedly with his thumb as he answered her question. It was like my kick was a love tap to him. It only made him happier. When she left, I narrowed my eyes at him and asked, “How did you get that card, and what were you saying to her about me?” “Mr. Kadam gave me the card, and I told her that we would be having our dessert…later.” I laughed facetiously. “You mean you will be having dessert later by yourself this evening because I am done eating with you.” He leaned across the candlelit table and said, “Who said anything about eating, Kelsey?” He must be joking! But he looked completely serious. Great! There go the nervous butterflies again. “Stop looking at me like that.” “Like what?” “Like you’re hunting me. I’m not an antelope.” He laughed. “Ah, but the chase would be exquisite, and you would be a most succulent catch.” “Stop it.” “Am I making you nervous?” “You could say that.” I stood up abruptly as he was signing the receipt and made my way toward the door. He was next to me in an instant. He leaned over. “I’m not letting you escape, remember? Now, behave like a good date and let me walk you home. It’s the least you could do since you wouldn’t talk with me.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
From the line, watching, three things are striking: (a) what on TV is a brisk crack is here a whooming roar that apparently is what a shotgun really sounds like; (b) trapshooting looks comparatively easy, because now the stocky older guy who's replaced the trim bearded guy at the rail is also blowing these little fluorescent plates away one after the other, so that a steady rain of lumpy orange crud is falling into the Nadir's wake; (c) a clay pigeon, when shot, undergoes a frighteningly familiar-looking midflight peripeteia -- erupting material, changing vector, and plummeting seaward in a corkscrewy way that all eerily recalls footage of the 1986 Challenger disaster. All the shooters who precede me seem to fire with a kind of casual scorn, and all get eight out of ten or above. But it turns out that, of these six guys, three have military-combat backgrounds, another two are L. L. Bean-model-type brothers who spend weeks every year hunting various fast-flying species with their "Papa" in southern Canada, and the last has got not only his own earmuffs, plus his own shotgun in a special crushed-velvet-lined case, but also his own trapshooting range in his backyard (31) in North Carolina. When it's finally my turn, the earmuffs they give me have somebody else's ear-oil on them and don't fit my head very well. The gun itself is shockingly heavy and stinks of what I'm told is cordite, small pubic spirals of which are still exiting the barrel from the Korea-vet who preceded me and is tied for first with 10/10. The two brothers are the only entrants even near my age; both got scores of 9/10 and are now appraising me coolly from identical prep-school-slouch positions against the starboard rail. The Greek NCOs seem extremely bored. I am handed the heavy gun and told to "be bracing a hip" against the aft rail and then to place the stock of the weapon against, no, not the shoulder of my hold-the-gun arm but the shoulder of my pull-the-trigger arm. (My initial error in this latter regard results in a severely distorted aim that makes the Greek by the catapult do a rather neat drop-and-roll.) Let's not spend a lot of time drawing this whole incident out. Let me simply say that, yes, my own trapshooting score was noticeably lower than the other entrants' scores, then simply make a few disinterested observations for the benefit of any novice contemplating trapshooting from a 7NC Megaship, and then we'll move on: (1) A certain level of displayed ineptitude with a firearm will cause everyone who knows anything about firearms to converge on you all at the same time with cautions and advice and handy tips. (2) A lot of the advice in (1) boils down to exhortations to "lead" the launched pigeon, but nobody explains whether this means that the gun's barrel should move across the sky with the pigeon or should instead sort of lie in static ambush along some point in the pigeon's projected path. (3) Whatever a "hair trigger" is, a shotgun does not have one. (4) If you've never fired a gun before, the urge to close your eyes at the precise moment of concussion is, for all practical purposes, irresistible. (5) The well-known "kick" of a fired shotgun is no misnomer; it knocks you back several steps with your arms pinwheeling wildly for balance, which when you're holding a still-loaded gun results in mass screaming and ducking and then on the next shot a conspicuous thinning of the crowd in the 9-Aft gallery above. Finally, (6), know that an unshot discus's movement against the vast lapis lazuli dome of the open ocean's sky is sun-like -- i.e., orange and parabolic and right-to-left -- and that its disappearance into the sea is edge-first and splashless and sad.
David Foster Wallace (A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments)
the six of us are supposed to drive to the diner in Hastings for lunch. But the moment we enter the cavernous auditorium where the girls told us to meet them, my jaw drops and our plans change. “Holy shit—is that a red velvet chaise lounge?” The guys exchange a WTF look. “Um…sure?” Justin says. “Why—” I’m already sprinting toward the stage. The girls aren’t here yet, which means I have to act fast. “For fuck’s sake, get over here,” I call over my shoulder. Their footsteps echo behind me, and by the time they climb on the stage, I’ve already whipped my shirt off and am reaching for my belt buckle. I stop to fish my phone from my back pocket and toss it at Garrett, who catches it without missing a beat. “What is happening right now?” Justin bursts out. I drop trou, kick my jeans away, and dive onto the plush chair wearing nothing but my black boxer-briefs. “Quick. Take a picture.” Justin doesn’t stop shaking his head. Over and over again, and he’s blinking like an owl, as if he can’t fathom what he’s seeing. Garrett, on the other hand, knows better than to ask questions. Hell, he and Hannah spent two hours constructing origami hearts with me the other day. His lips twitch uncontrollably as he gets the phone in position. “Wait.” I pause in thought. “What do you think? Double guns, or double thumbs up?” “What is happening?” We both ignore Justin’s baffled exclamation. “Show me the thumbs up,” Garrett says. I give the camera a wolfish grin and stick up my thumbs. My best friend’s snort bounces off the auditorium walls. “Veto. Do the guns. Definitely the guns.” He takes two shots—one with flash, one without—and just like that, another romantic gesture is in the bag. As I hastily put my clothes back on, Justin rubs his temples with so much vigor it’s as if his brain has imploded. He gapes as I tug my jeans up to my hips. Gapes harder when I walk over to Garrett so I can study the pictures. I nod in approval. “Damn. I should go into modeling.” “You photograph really well,” Garrett agrees in a serious voice. “And dude, your package looks huge.” Fuck, it totally does. Justin drags both hands through his dark hair. “I swear on all that is holy—if one of you doesn’t tell me what the hell just went down here, I’m going to lose my shit.” I chuckle. “My girl wanted me to send her a boudoir shot of me on a red velvet chaise lounge, but you have no idea how hard it is to find a goddamn red velvet chaise lounge.” “You say this as if it’s an explanation. It is not.” Justin sighs like the weight of the world rests on his shoulders. “You hockey players are fucked up.” “Naah, we’re just not pussies like you and your football crowd,” Garrett says sweetly. “We own our sex appeal, dude.” “Sex appeal? That was the cheesiest thing I’ve ever—no, you know what? I’m not gonna engage,” Justin grumbles. “Let’s find the girls and grab some lunch
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
You’re lucky you’re good in bed.” “Oh.” He grabbed at my foot. “I think you keep me around for other reasons.” I slanted him a look out of the corner of my eye. “Right now, for the life of me I can’t think what those reasons are.” Braden tugged harder on my foot, raising his fingers towards it. “Take it back or the foot getsit.” Oh hell no! I yanked at my appendage. “Braden, no.” Deaf to my warning, he started to tickle me,his grip tightening as I laughed breathlessly and kicked out, trying to get free. He wouldn’t stop. Ruthless! “Braden,” I panted hysterically, attempting to shove at him with my arms but struggling as he continued his war on my feet. I laughed harder, ribs aching, and then… horror. I broke wind. Big time. Braden immediately let go of my feet, his loud, rumbling laugh filling the room, laughter that only deepened when I lost balance, from kicking out at him and then being abruptly let go, and fell off the couch with an undignified thud. Mortified as he collapsed against the couch belly laughing at my fart then fall, I grabbed a cushion and launched it at him from my position on the floor. Of course this only made the idiot laugh harder. I warred between feeling humiliation at farting in front of him, something you just didn’t do in company, and laughing, since his was so infectious. “Braden!” I whined. “Shut up. It’s not funny,” I huffed, my lips caught in part smile, part grimace. “Oh babe,” he tried to catch his breath, wiping a tear from the corner of his eye as he grinned down at me. “That was definitely funny.” He held out a hand to help me up. I slapped it away. “You’re such an immature a-hole.” “Hey, I’m not the one who just let off.” Oh God, it was so awful. I groaned, falling onto my back and covering my eyes with my hands. “Jocelyn,” I felt his hand on my knee and heard the amusement in his voice. “Babe, why are you so embarrassed? It was just a fart. Brilliantly timed I might add.” I sucked in the mortification. “Oh my God, shut up.” He chuckled again and I snapped open my furious eyes. “You’re enjoying this!” “Well yeah,” he huffed, eyes bright. “I’ve never seen you embarrassed before. Even when I walked in on you naked you gave me attitude and acted like you didn’t care. That you’re mortified by a fart is really quite adorable.” “I am not adorable!” “Oh I think you are.
Samantha Young
Katerina, stop! Or I'll shoot!" "Then fucking shoot!" "Okay, I'm gonna shoot you in the ankle, okay? They say that's the safest place." "Don't shoot me, just go home." "I can't! Okay, I'm gonna shoot you now, and then when I do, just stay down, okay?" "Why are you so weird?! If you are going to shot, then fucking shoot!" "O-kay! Are you ready?!" BANG. She goes down. I run up to her, bleeding out the side of her calf. "Oh, I meant to hit a little lower, actually." She gets up. I think she actually believes she's going to catch up with these guys. Gunshot and all. I kick her in the chest. "This is interesting friendship.
Andrea Portes (Liberty: The Spy Who (Kind of) Liked Me)
I hurried over to Conrad, walking so fast I kicked up sand behind me. “Hey, I’m gonna get a ride,” I said breathlessly. The blond Red Sox girl looked me up and down. “Hello,” she said. Conrad said, “With who?” I pointed at Cam. “Him.” “You’re not riding with someone you don’t even know,” he said flatly. “I do so know him. He’s Sextus.” He narrowed his eyes. “Sex what?” “Never mind. His name is Cam, he’s studying whales, and you don’t get to decide who I ride home with. I was just letting you know, as a courtesy. I wasn’t asking for your permission.” I started to walk away, but he grabbed my elbow. “I don’t care what he’s studying. It’s not gonna happen,” he said casually, but his grip was tight. “If you want to go, I’ll take you.” I took a deep breath. I had to keep cool. I wasn’t going to let him goad me into being a baby, not in front of all these people. “No, thanks,” I said, trying to walk away again. But he didn’t let go. “I thought you already had a boyfriend?” His tone was mocking, and I knew he’d seen through my lie the night before. I wanted so badly to throw a handful of sand in his face. I tried to twist out of his grip. “Let go of me! That hurts!” He let go immediately, his face red. It didn’t really hurt, but I wanted to embarrass him the way he was embarrassing me. I said loudly, “I’d rather ride with a stranger than with someone who’s been drinking!” “I’ve had one beer,” he snapped. “I weigh a hundred and seventy-five pounds. Wait half an hour and I’ll take you. Stop being such a brat.” I could feel tears starting to spark my eyelids. I looked over my shoulder to see if Cam was watching. He was. “You’re an asshole,” I said. He looked me dead in the eyes and said, “And you’re a four-year-old.” As I walked away, I heard the girl ask, “Is she your girlfriend?” I whirled around, and we both said “No!” at the same time. Confused, she said, “Well, is she your little sister?” like I wasn’t standing right there. Her perfume was heavy. It felt like it filled all the air around us, like we were breathing her in. “No, I’m not his little sister.” I hated this girl for being a witness to all this. It was humiliating. And she was pretty, in the same kind of way Taylor was pretty, which somehow made things worse. Conrad said, “Her mom is best friends with my mom.” So that was all I was to him? His mom’s friend’s daughter? I took a deep breath, and without even thinking, I said to the girl, “I’ve known Conrad my whole life. So let me be the one to tell you you’re barking up the wrong tree. Conrad will never love anyone as much as he loves himself, if you know what I mean-“ I lifted up my hand and wiggled my fingers. “Shut up, Belly,” Conrad warned. The tops of his ears were turning bright red. It was a low blow, but I didn’t care. He deserved it. Red Sox girl frowned. “What is she talking about, Conrad?” To her I blurted out, “Oh, I’m sorry, do you not know what the idiom ‘barking up the wrong tree’ means?” Her pretty face twisted. “You little skank,” she hissed. I could feel myself shrinking. I wished I could take it back. I’d never gotten into a fight with a girl before, or with anyone for that matter. Thankfully, Conrad broke in then and pointed to the bonfire. “Belly, go back over there, and wait for me to come get you,” he said harshly. That’s when Jeremiah ambled over. “Hey, hey, what’s going on?” he asked, smiling in his easy, goofy way. “Your brother is a jerk,” I said. “That’s what’s going on.” Jeremiah put his arm around me. He smelled like beer. “You guys play nice, you hear?” I shrugged out of his hold and said, “I am playing nice. Tell your brother to play nice.” “Wait, are you guys brother and sister too?” the girl asked. Conrad said, “Don’t even think about leaving with that guy.
Jenny Han (The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1))
I play it cool. "Uh,yeah, I think so," I say, furioously kicking my feet in the air. "You?" "Yeah,it should be pretty fun," he says. "Yeah,it should be," I say. Pause,pause,pause,heartbeat racing. I can't catch my breath. "You know who you're going with?" he asks. I'm sorry,but OH.MY.GOD. "Nah," I say, pulling off nonchalance like a pro. "You know me; it's hard to choose when half the school is beating down my door." He chuckles. "I don't doubt it." Beat down my door, Wolf. Beat it down right now.I'll say yes!
Alecia Whitaker (The Queen of Kentucky)
I squirm away, digging my feet into the ground and trying to escape, when Penn’s hand—warm and big—grasps my other wrist. Via releases me immediately. I want to kick him away and yell at him for preventing me from escaping, but I’m defenseless against his touch. I break down on his chest, and his arms wrap around me, shielding me from the rest of the world. The tears are falling, and his chest rumbles, telling me that he is breaking, too. And somehow, at this moment, it’s enough. The world is against us—everyone knows about every single awful thing I ever did—and still…
L.J. Shen (Pretty Reckless (All Saints High, #1))
I mean to taste you, mo chridhe. Try not to kick me in the head this time." Despite the warning, her hips still bucked when he laid his tongue to her most intimate place. Oh, he was good. Verra... verra... verra good. Within moments he had her writhing beneath him. He explored every fold and hollow with his tongue, circling her bud before sliding down to dip his tongue inside her. "Logan, please. I'm too close to-" He showed no signs of stopping. Or even acknowledging her pleas. To the contrary, he redoubled his efforts, nuzzling and licking her to a fierce, sudden climax.
Tessa Dare (When a Scot Ties the Knot (Castles Ever After, #3))
Scared?” Terrified. “Of you? Nah. If you grow claws, I might get my sword, but I’ve fought you in your human shape.” It took all my will to shrug. “You aren’t that impressive.” He cleared the distance between us in a single leap. I barely had time to jump to my feet. Steel fingers grasped my left wrist. His left arm clasped my waist. I fought, but he outmuscled me with ridiculous ease, pulling me close as if to tango. “Curran! Let . . . “ I recognized the angle of his hip but I could do nothing about it. He pulled me forward and flipped me in a classic hip-toss throw. Textbook perfect. I flew through the air, guided by his hands, and landed on my back. The air burst from my lungs in a startled gasp. Ow. “Impressed yet?” he asked with a big smile. Playing. He was playing. Not a real fight. He could’ve slammed me down hard enough to break my neck. Instead he had held me to the end, to make sure I landed right. He leaned forward a little. “Big bad merc, down with a basic hip toss. In your place I’d be blushing.” I gasped, trying to draw air into my lungs. “I could kill you right now. It wouldn’t take much. I think I’m actually embarrassed on your behalf. At least do some magic or something.” As you wish. I gasped and spat my new power word. “Osanda.” Kneel, Your Majesty. He grunted like a man trying to lift a crushing weight that fell on his shoulders. His face shook with strain. Ha-ha. He wasn’t the only one who got a boost from a flare. I got up to my feet with some leisure. Curran stood locked, the muscles of his legs bulging his sweatpants. He didn’t kneel. He wouldn’t kneel. I hit him with a power word in the middle of a bloody flare and it didn’t work. When he snapped out of it, he would probably kill me. All sorts of alarms blared in my head. My good sense screamed, Get out of the room, stupid! Instead I stepped close to him and whispered in his ear, “Still not impressed.” His eyebrows came together, as a grimace claimed his face. He strained, the muscles on his hard frame trembling with effort. With a guttural sigh, he straightened. I beat a hasty retreat to the rear of the room, passing Slayer on the way. I wanted to swipe it so bad, my palm itched. But the rules of the game were clear: no claws, no saber. The second I picked up the sword, I’d have signed my own death warrant. He squared his shoulders. “Shall we continue?” “It would be my pleasure.” He started toward me. I waited, light on my feet, ready to leap aside. He was stronger than a pair of oxen, and he’d try to grapple. If he got ahold of me, it would be over. If all else failed, I could always try the window. A forty-foot drop was a small price to pay to get away from him. Curran grabbed at me. I twisted past him and kicked his knee from the side. It was a good solid kick; I’d turned into it. It would’ve broken the leg of any normal human. “Cute,” Curran said, grabbed my arm, and casually threw me across the room. I went airborne for a second, fell, rolled, and came to my feet to be greeted by Curran’s smug face. “You’re fun to play with. You make a good mouse.” Mouse? “I was always kind of partial to toy mice.” He smiled. “Sometimes they’re filled with catnip. It’s a nice bonus.” “I’m not filled with catnip.” “Let’s find out.” He squared his shoulders and headed in my direction. Houston, we have a problem. Judging by the look in his eyes, a kick to the face simply wouldn’t faze him. “I can stop you with one word,” I said. He swiped me into a bear hug and I got an intimate insight into how a nut feels just before the nutcracker crushes it to pieces. “Do,” he said. “Wedding.” All humor fled his eyes. He let go and just like that, the game was over.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2))
We’re walking to our cars when Gabe says, “Hey, Lara Jean, did you know that if you say your name really fast, it sounds like Large? Try it! LaraJean.” Dutifully I repeat, “LaraJean. Larjean. Largy. Actually I think it sounds more like Largy, not Large.” Gabe nods to himself and announces, “I’m going to start calling you Large. You’re so little it’s funny. Right? Like those big guys who go by the name Tiny?” I shrug. “Sure.” Gabe turns to Darrell. “She’s so little she could be our mascot.” “Hey, I’m not that small,” I protest. “How tall are you?” Darrell asks me. “Five two,” I fib. It’s more like five one and a quarter. Tossing his spoon in the trash, Gabe says, “You’re so little you could fit in my pocket!” All the guys laugh. Peter’s smiling in a bemused way. Then Gabe suddenly grabs me and throws me over his shoulder like I’m a kid and he’s my dad. “Gabe! Put me down!” I shriek, kicking my legs and pounding on his chest. He starts spinning around in a circle, and all the guys are cracking up. “I’m going to adopt you, Large! You’re going to be my pet. I’ll put you in my old hamster cage!” I’m giggling so hard I can’t catch my breath and I’m starting to feel dizzy. “Put me down!” “Put her down, man,” Peter says, but he’s laughing too. Gabe runs toward somebody’s pickup truck and sets me down in the back. “Get me out of here!” I yell. Gabe’s already running away. All the guys start getting into their cars. “Bye, Large!” they call out. Peter jogs over to me and extends his hand so I can hop down. “Your friends are crazy,” I say, jumping onto the pavement. “They like you,” he says. “Really?” “Sure. They used to hate when I would bring Gen places. They don’t mind if you hang out with us.” Peter slings his arm around me. “Come on, Large. I’ll take you home.” As we walk to his car, I let my hair fall in my face so he doesn’t see me smiling. It sure is nice being part of a group, feeling like I belong.
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
I walk outside and the green on the trees seems greener, so potent I can almost taste it. Maybe I can taste it, and it is like the grass I decided to chew when I was a child just to see what it was like. I almost fall down the stairs because of the swaying and burst into laughter when the grass tickles my bare feet. I wander toward the orchard. “Four!” I call out. Why am I calling out a number? Oh yes. Because that’s his name. I call out again. “Four! Where are you?” “Tris?” says a voice from the trees on my right. It almost sounds like the tree is talking to me. I giggle, but of course it’s just Tobias, ducking under a branch. I run toward him, and the ground lurches to the side, so I almost fall. His hand touches my waist, steadies me. The touch sends a shock through my body, and all my insides burn like his fingers ignited them. I pull closer to him, pressing my body against his, and lift my head to kiss him. “What did they--” he starts, but I stop him with my lips. He kisses me back, but too quickly, so I sigh heavily. “That was lame,” I say. “Okay, no it wasn’t, but…” I stand on my tiptoes to kiss him again, and he presses his finger to my lips to stop me. “Tris,” he says. “What did they do to you? You’re acting like a lunatic.” “That’s not very nice of you to say,” I say. “They put me in a good mood, that’s all. And now I really want to kiss you, so if you could just relax--” “I’m not going to kiss you. I’m going to figure out what’s going on,” he says. I pout my lower lip for a second, but then I grin as the pieces come together in my mind. “That’s why you like me!” I exclaim. “Because you’re not very nice either! It makes so much more sense now.” “Come on,” he says. “We’re going to see Johanna.” “I like you, too.” “That’s encouraging,” he replies flatly. “Come on. Oh, for God’s sake. I’ll just carry you.” He swings me into his arms, one arm under my knees and the other around my back. I wrap my arms around his neck and plant a kiss on his cheek. Then I discover that the air feels nice on my feet when I kick them, so I move my feet up and down as he walks us toward the building where Johanna works.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
She was especially taken with Matt. Until he said, “It’s time to fess up, hon. Tell Trace how much you care. You’ll feel better when you do.” Climbing up the ladder, Chris said, “Better sooner than later.” He nodded at the hillside behind them. “Because here comes Trace, and he doesn’t look happy.” Both Priss and Matt turned, Priss with anticipation, Matt with tempered dread. Dressed in jeans and a snowy-white T-shirt, Trace stalked down the hill. Priss shielded her eyes to better see him. When he’d left, being so guarded about his mission, she’d half wondered if he’d return before dinner. Trace wore reflective sunglasses, so she couldn’t see his eyes, but his entire demeanor—heavy stride, rigid shoulders, tight jaw—bespoke annoyance. As soon as he was close enough, Priss called out, “What’s wrong?” Without answering her, Trace continued onto the dock. He didn’t stop until he stood right in front of . . . Matt. Backing up to the edge of the dock, Matt said, “Uh . . . Hello?” Trace didn’t say a thing; he just pushed Matt into the water. Arms and legs flailing out, Matt hit the surface with a cannonball effect. Stunned, Priss shoved his shoulder. “What the hell, Trace! Why did you do that?” Trace took off his sunglasses and looked at her, all of her, from her hair to her body and down to her bare toes. After working his jaw a second, he said, “If you need sunscreen, ask me.” Her mouth fell open. Of all the nerve! He left her at Dare’s, took off without telling her a damn thing and then had the audacity to complain when a friend tried to keep her from getting sunburned. “Maybe I would have, if you’d been here!” “I’m here now.” Emotions bubbled over. “So you are.” With a slow smile, Priss put both hands on his chest. The shirt was damp with sweat, the cotton so soft that she could feel every muscle beneath. “And you look a little . . . heated.” Trace’s beautiful eyes darkened, and he reached for her. “A dip will cool you down.” Priss shoved him as hard as she could. Taken by surprise, fully dressed, Trace went floundering backward off the end of the dock. Priss caught a glimpse of the priceless expression of disbelief on Trace’s face before he went under the water. Excited by the activity, the dogs leaped in after him. Liger roused himself enough to move out of the line of splashing. Chris climbed up the ladder. “So that’s the new game, huh?” He laughed as he scooped Priss up into his arms. “Chris!” She made a grab for his shoulders. “Put me down!” “Afraid not, doll.” Just as Trace resurfaced, Chris jumped in with her. They landed between the swimming dogs. Sputtering, her hair in her face and her skin chilled from the shock of the cold water, Priss cursed. Trace had already waded toward the shallower water off the side of the dock. His fair hair was flattened to his head and his T-shirt stuck to his body. “Wait!” Priss shouted at him. He was still waist-deep as he turned to glare at her. Kicking and splashing, Priss doggy-paddled over to him, grabbed his shoulders and wrapped her legs around his waist. “Oh, no, you don’t!” Startled, Trace scooped her bottom in his hands and struggled for balance on the squishy mud bottom of the lake. “What the hell?” And then lower, “You look naked in this damn suit.” Matt and Chris found that hilarious. Priss looked at Trace’s handsome face, a face she loved, and kissed him. Hard. For only a second, he allowed the sensual assault. He even kissed her back. Then he levered away from her. “You ruined my clothes, damn it.” “Only because you were being a jealous jerk.” His expression dark, he glared toward Matt. Christ started humming, but poor Matt said, “Yeah,” and shrugged. “If you think about it, you’ll agree that you sort of were—and we both know there’s no reason.
Lori Foster (Trace of Fever (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor, #2))
I’m just getting to the good stuff (Cressida must seduce Nigel to gain access to the spy codes!) when Josh walks out of his house to get the mail. He sees me too; he lifts his hand like he’s just going to wave and not come over, but then he does. “Hey, nice onesie,” he says as he makes his way across the driveway. It’s faded light blue with sunflowers and it ties around the neck. I got it from the vintage store, 75 percent off. And it’s not a onesie. “This is a sunsuit,” I tell him, going back to my book. I try to subtly hide the cover with my hand. The last thing I need is Josh giving me a hard time for reading a trashy book when I’m just trying to enjoy a relaxing afternoon. I can feel him looking at me, his arms crossed, waiting. I look up. “What?” “Wanna see a movie tonight at the Bess? There’s a Pixar movie playing. We can take Kitty.” “Sure, text me when you want to head over,” I say, turning the page of my book. Nigel is unbuttoning Cressida’s blouse and she’s wondering when the sleeping pill she slipped in his Merlot will kick in, while simultaneously hoping it won’t kick in too soon, because Nigel is actually quite a good kisser. Josh reaches down and tries to get a closer look at my book. I slap his hand away, but not before he reads out loud, “Cressida’s heart raced as Nigel moved his hand along her stockinged thigh.” Josh cracks up. “What the heck are you reading?” My cheeks are burning. “Oh, be quiet.” Chuckling, Josh backs away. “I’ll leave you to Cressida and Noel then.” To his back, I call out, “For your information, it’s Nigel!
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
My, my,” Chloe murmured, studying the chocolate she held. “I do believe this one’s gone off. It stinks like a cesspit.” Her eyes lifted. “Oh, wait. It’s only the guttersnipe.” “Or perhaps it’s your perfume,” I said cordially. “You always smell like a whore.” “It’s French,” retorted Runny-Nose, before Chloe could speak. “Then she smells like a French whore.” “Aren’t you the eloquent young miss.” Chloe’s gaze cut to Sophia, standing close behind me. “Slumming, little sister? I can’t confess I’m surprised.” “I’m merely here for the show,” Sophia said breezily. “Something tells me it’s going to be good.” I took the brooch from my pocket and let it slide down my index finger, giving it a playful twirl. “A fine try. But, alas, no winner’s prize for you, Chloe. I’m sure you’ve been waiting here for Westcliffe to raise the alarm about her missing ring, ready with some well-rehearsed story about how you saw me sneaking into her office and sneaking out again, and oh, look isn’t that Eleanore’s brooch there on the floor? But I’ve news for you, dearie. You’re sloppy. You’re stupid. And the next time you go into my room and steal from me, I’ll make certain you regret it for the rest of your days.” “How dare you threaten me, you little tart!” “I’m not threatening. You have no idea how easy it would be to, say, pour glue on your hair while you sleep. Cut up all your pretty dresses into ribbons.” Chloe dropped her half-eaten chocolate back into its box, turning to her toadies. “You heard her! You all head her! When Westcliffe finds out about this-“ “I didn’t hear a thing,” piped up Sophia. “In fact, I do believe that Eleanore and I aren’t even here right now. We’re both off in my room, diligently studying.” She sauntered to my side, smiling. “And I’ll swear to that, sister. Without hesitation. I have no misgivings about calling you all liars right to Westcliffe’s face.” “What fun,” I said softly, into the hush. “Shall we give it a go? What d’you say, girls? Up for a bit of blood sport?” Chloe pushed to her feet, kicking the chocolates out of her way. All the toadies cringed. “You,” she sneered, her gaze scouring me. “You with your ridiculous clothing and that preposterous bracelet, acting as if you actually belong here! Really, Eleanore, I wonder that you’ve learned nothing of real use yet. Allow me to explain matters to you. You may have duped Sophia into vouching for you, but your word means nothing. You’re no one. No matter what you do here or who you may somehow manage to impress, you’ll always be no one. How perfectly sad that you’re allowed to pretend otherwise.” “I’m the one he wants,” I said evenly. “No one’s pretending that.” I didn’t have to say who. She stared at me, silent, her color high. I saw with interest that real tears began to well in her eyes. “That’s right.” I gave the barest smile. “Me, not you. Think about that tomorrow, when I’m with him on the yacht. Think about how he watches me. How he listens to me. Another stunt like this”-I held up the circlet-“and you’ll be shocked at what I’m able to convince him about you.” “As if you could,” she scoffed, but there was apprehension behind those tears. “Try me.” I brought my foot down on one of the chocolates, grinding it into a deep, greasy smear along the rug. “Cheerio,” I said to them all, and turned around and left.
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
They got to the classroom she and Jay shared this period, but it wasn’t Grady’s class. Instead of walking on, Grady paused. “Violet, can I talk to you for a minute?” His deep voice surprised her again. “Yeah, okay,” Violet agreed, curious about what he might have to say to her. Jay stopped and waited too, but when Grady didn’t say anything, it became clear that he’d meant he wanted to talk to her . . . alone. Jay suddenly seemed uncomfortable and tried to excuse himself as casually as he could. “I’ll see you inside,” he finally said to Violet. She nodded to him as he left. Violet was a little worried that the bell was going to ring and she’d be tardy again, but her curiosity had kicked up a notch when she realized that Grady didn’t want Jay to hear what he had to say, and that far outweighed her concern for late slips. When they were alone, and Grady didn’t start talking right away, Violet prompted him. “What’s going on?” She watched him swallow, and his Adam’s apple bobbed up and down along the length of his throat. It was strange to see her old guy friends in this new light. He’d always been a good-looking kid, but now he looked like a man . . . even though he still acted like a boy. He shifted back and forth, and if she had taken the time to think about it, she would have realized that he was nervous. But she misread his discomfort altogether. She thought that, like her, he was worried about being late. “Do you want to talk after school? I could meet you in the parking lot.” “No. No. Now’s good.” He ran his hand through his hair in a discouraged gesture. He took a deep breath, but his voice was still shaking when he spoke. “I . . . I was wondering . . .” He looked Violet right in the eye now, and suddenly she felt very nervous about where this might be going. She was desperately wishing she hadn’t let Jay leave her here alone. “I was wondering if you’re planning to go to Homecoming,” Grady finally blurted out. She stood there, looking at him, feeling trapped by the question and not sure what she was going to say. The bell rang, and both of them jumped. Violet was grateful for the excuse, and she clung to it like a life preserver. Her eyes were wide, and she pointed to the door behind her. “I gotta . . . can we . . .” She pointed again, and she knew she looked and sounded like an idiot, incapable of coherent speech. “Can we talk after school?” Grady seemed relieved to have been let off the hook for the moment. “Sure. Yeah. I’ll talk to you after school.” He left without saying good-bye, and Violet, thankful herself, tried to slip into her classroom unnoticed. But she had no such luck. The teacher marked her tardy, and everyone in class watched as she made her way to her seat beside Jay’s. Her face felt flushed and hot. “What was that all about?” Jay asked in a loud whisper. She still felt like her head was reeling. She had no idea what she was going to say to Grady when school was out. “I think Grady just asked me to Homecoming,” she announced to Jay. He looked at her suspiciously. “The game?” Violet cocked her head to the side and gave him a look that told him to be serious. “No, I’m pretty sure he meant the dance,” Violet clarified, exasperated by the obtuse question. Jay frowned at her. “What did you say?” “I didn’t say anything. The bell rang and I told him we’d have to talk later.” The teacher glanced their way, and they pretended not to be talking to each other.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
You need some help, Rosie?” His footsteps quicken behind me, and before I can respond, I feel his calloused hands on my waist. I accidently slide back against his chest and inhale the scent that has always clung to his whole family—something like forests, damp leaves, and sunshine. I suppose when your father is a woodsman you’re bound to carry the scent of oak in your veins. One breath is all I get the chance for, though; he kicks the door open and sets me down on the front stoop, then takes a step back. I turn to face him, hoping to thank him for the help and in the same sentence admonish him for carrying me like a little girl. Instead, I smile. He’s still Silas—Silas who left a year ago, the boy just a little older than my sister. His eyes are still sparkling and expressive, hair still the brown-black color of pine bark, body broad-shouldered and a little too willowy for his features. He’s still there, but it’s as if someone new has been layered on top of him. Someone older and stronger who isn’t looking a me as if I’m Scarlett’s kid sister . . . someone who makes me feel dizzy and quivery. How did this happen? Calm down. It’s just Silas. Sort of. “You’re staring,” he says cautiously, looking worried. “Oh. Um, sorry,” I say, shaking my head. Silas shoves his hands into his pockets with a familiar sway. “It’s just been a while, that’s all.” “Yeah, no kidding. You’re heavier than I remember.” I frown, mortified. “Oh, no, wait. I didn’t mean it like that, just that you’ve gotten older. Wait, that doesn’t sound much better . . .” Silas runs a hand through his hair and curses under his breath. “No, I get it.” I let him off the hook, grinning. Something about seeing him nervous thaws some of my shyness.
Jackson Pearce (Sisters Red (Fairytale Retellings, #1))
a cute girl. And her body… I take the hand suffering from exposure and it’s still very cold. I touch her cheek with the back of my other hand and it’s warm. She leans into that like she’s starving for a gentle gesture. It makes me close my eyes for a minute. She’s so needy. It would be easy to just take care of that need. Instead, I kick off my boots and take my shirt off, then place her hand under my armpit. She tries to pull away but I hold her still and smile. “It’s a nice warm place, Syd. You have to heat up this hand. I’m pretty sure it’s gonna blister no matter what, but it needs to be warmed up.” “It’s gross,” she says. “I can do it—” “No,” I tell her back, sitting down on the bed and pulling on her at the same time, so she can’t remove it. “I’ll do it.” I scoot all the way back on the half-moon-shaped bed, which takes up roughly one half of the circular room, making her crawl along with me. Her tits are nice and firm, and hang down and bounce a little in a very alluring way. I keep pulling her until she’s sitting next to me, her frozen hand slipping out of place. So I put my arm around her and place her hand under my opposite arm, making her hug me a little. She stiffens when I do this and that makes me laugh a little. “You afraid of intimacy, Sydney? Tough girl like you?” “You’re tricking me somehow, I can feel it.” But even as she says this, she rests her head on my chest. “Probably. If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I don’t give anything away for free. So now that I’m taking care of your mistake out there, let’s talk about that deal. I went above and beyond. I didn’t let you freeze, I came out of my nice warm house to save your ass. So the way I see it, you owe me. Start
J.A. Huss (Meet Me in the Dark)
You weren’t supposed to choose me,” he said. Behind them, Ira approached, stunned and speechless for what must have been the first time in his life. He helped lift Samuel, whose cheeks had blanched as well. Camille prodded Oscar’s arms and stomach and face. It was truly him. The unbearable grief over losing him flipped inside out. Her joy ran so deep and strong she thought she might burst from it. “The night the Christina went down, you rowed to me,” she answered, her throat knotted as she thought of her father. She forced it down. “This time, I must have needed to row to you.” Oscar kissed her, his lips still cold but filled with life. She leaned into him and hung on as though he might disappear. Ira let out a playful high-pitched whistle. Samuel coughed. Oscar and Camille reluctantly pulled apart and blushed. “Holy gallnipper,” Ira said. Camille grinned, not minding in the least that he was using that annoying turn of phrase again. “I can’t believe that little rock…I mean you were dead, mate. Dead as this bloke right here.” Ira kicked McGreenery in the leg. Oscar nodded, rubbing his hand over the fading red mark, as if to feel for himself that the deadly wound was gone. “I was in the dory,” he whispered. Ira cocked his head. “Say again?” Camille lifted her ear from his chest, where she’d wanted to listen to the smooth rhythm of his heart. She looked up at him before hearing its strong beat. “The dory?” Oscar nodded again, eyebrows creased. “I heard your voice. At the cave,” he said to Camille. “This force kept pulling me backward, away from you, like I was being sucked into the ground.” So this was how it had felt for him to die. She remembered the way he’d looked right through her and how it had chilled her to the marrow. Her own brush with death had been different, and somehow better, if death could even be measured in levels of bad or good. The image of her father had drawn her to safety, making her forget her yearning for air. He had been there for her, but she hadn’t been able to do the same for him. All this time, all this trouble, and all she’d wanted was to bring him back, make him proud of the lengths to which she’d gone for him. In the end, she’d failed him miserably. “And then you were gone. Your voice faded, and I was in the dory, adrift in the Tasman, the dawn after the Christina went down,” Oscar continued. Samuel and Ira glanced at each other with marked expressions of doubt and confusion. “But I wasn’t alone.” He gently pulled Camille away from him and gripped her arms. “Your father was with me. He was sitting there, smiling. It all seemed so real. I could taste the salt air, and…and I remember touching the water, and it was cold. It wasn’t like in a dream, when you can’t do those things.” Camille sucked in a deep breath, trying to inflate her crushing lungs. Oscar had seen him, too. She’d give anything to see her father again, to hear his voice, to feel at home by just being in his presence. At least, that’s what she’d once believed. But Camille hadn’t been willing to give up Oscar. Did that mean she loved her father less? Never. She could never love her fatherless. So then why hadn’t her heart chosen him? "Did he say anything?" she asked, anxious to know yet afraid to hear. "It's all jumbled," Oscar said, again shaking his head and rubbing his chest. "I remember him saying a few things. Bits and pieces." Camille looked to Ira and Samuel. Their parted mouths and bugged eyes hung on Oscar's every word. Oscar squinted at the ground and seemed to be working hard to piece together what her father had said on the other side. "I'm still here to guide her?" he said, questioning his own memory. "It doesn't make any sense, I'm sorry." She shook her head, eyes tearing up again. It had been real. He really had come to her in the black water of the underground pool. "No, don't be sorry," she said, tears spilling. "It does make sense. It makes sense to me.
Angie Frazier (Everlasting (Everlasting, #1))
Down at the foamy shoreline, where small tight waves explode against black rocks, a lifeguard with feet wedged in the wet and vaguely tangerine sand stands shirtless like a magnificent sea-Jesus. An ill-timed journey into a breaker knocks a boy on his little back. A bald man throws a tennis ball for his Labrador and a second, unrelated dog bounds in after it. Through a gauze of mist a brunette—tall, and from where we’re sitting seemingly riddled with breasts—kicks water on the sunlit torso of her blond companion. There are three other drinkers in the place, already tethered to the sunbleached bar. It is eleven a.m. Slumped in his cumbersome mechanised wheelchair that squeaks somewhere down by the left back wheel when he’s doing pressure lifts, Aldo squints out from sand-whipped windows into the tumour of searing light. He turns to me and says, ‘I’m nobody’s muse.’ I think: That’s a great line right there. I take out my notebook and when he shoots me an outraged look I say, ‘That’s right, motherfucker. I’m writing it down.
Steve Toltz (Quicksand)
Tris,” he says. “What did they do to you? You’re acting like a lunatic.” “That’s not very nice of you to say,” I say. “They put me in a good mood, that’s all. And now I really want to kiss you, so if you could just relax--” “I’m not going to kiss you. I’m going to figure out what’s going on,” he says. I pout my lower lip for a second, but then I grin as the pieces come together in my mind. “That’s why you like me!” I exclaim. “Because you’re not very nice either! It makes so much more sense now.” “Come on,” he says. “We’re going to see Johanna.” “I like you, too.” “That’s encouraging,” he replies flatly. “Come on. Oh, for God’s sake. I’ll just carry you.” He swings me into his arms, one arm under my knees and the other around my back. I wrap my arms around his neck and plant a kiss on his cheek. Then I discover that the air feels nice on my feet when I kick them, so I move my feet up and down as he walks us toward the building where Johanna works. When we reach her office, she is sitting behind a desk with a stack of paper in front of her, chewing on a pencil eraser. She looks up at us, and her mouth drifts open slightly. A hunk of dark hair covers the left side of her face. “You really shouldn’t cover up your scar,” I say. “You look prettier with your hair out of your face.” Tobias sets me down too heavily. The impact is jarring and hurts my shoulder a little, but I like the sound my feet made when they hit the floor. I laugh, but neither Johanna nor Tobias laughs with me. Strange. “What did you do to her?” Tobias says, terse. “What in God’s name did you do?” “I…” Johanna frowns at me. “They must have given her too much. She’s very small; they probably didn’t take her height and weight into account.” “They must have given her too much of what?” he says. “You have a nice voice,” I say. “Tris,” he says, “please be quiet.” “The peace serum,” Johanna says. “In small doses, it has a mild, calming effect and improves the mood. The only side effect is some slight dizziness. We administer it to members of our community who have trouble keeping the peace.” Tobias snorts. “I’m not an idiot. Every member of your community has trouble keeping the peace, because they’re all human. You probably dump it into the water supply.” Johanna does not respond for a few seconds. She folds her hands in front of her. “Clearly you know that is not the case, or this conflict would not have occurred,” she says. “But whatever we agree to do here, we do together, as a faction. If I could give the serum to everyone in this city, I would. You would certainly not be in the situation you are in now if I had.” “Oh, definitely,” he says. “Drugging the entire population is the best solution to our problem. Great plan.” “Sarcasm is not kind, Four,” she says gently. “Now, I am sorry about the mistake in giving too much to Tris, I really am. But she violated the terms of our agreement, and I’m afraid that you might not be able to stay here much longer as a result. The conflict between her and the boy--Peter--is not something we can forget.” “Don’t worry,” says Tobias. “We intend to leave as soon as humanly possible.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
You know, Micah, that first night, when I saw you on Bridge Street, I wanted to kill you. I wanted to cut your throat and watch your blood soak into the dirt. I wanted to wrap a strangle cord around your neck and throttle you while you kicked and messed yourself." "I'm shaking in my boots," Micah said, looking Han dead in the eyes. Han stood and took a step toward him. "I'm what's hiding in the side street when you walk home from The Four Horses," he said. "I'm the shadow in Greystone Alley when you go out to take a piss. I'm the foot pad in the corridor when you visit the girlie at Grievous Hall." Micah's eyes narrowed, his self-assurance wilting a bit. Han could tell he was going back over a hundred suspicious sights and sounds. "You've been following me?" "I can come and go from your room, any time I want," Han said. "I can tell you what you say when you talk in your sleep. I know what your down low girlie whispers in your ear." He laughed... Michah licked his lips. "Perhaps you take some kind of perverse pleasure in stalking me...
Cinda Williams Chima (The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms, #2))
On the third day after all hell broke loose, I come upstairs to the apartment, finished with my shift and so looking forward to a hot shower. Well, lukewarm—but I’ll pretend it’s hot. But when I pass Ellie’s room, I hear cursing—Linda Blair-Exorcist-head-spinning-around kind of cursing. I push open her door and spot my sister at her little desk, yelling at her laptop. Even Bosco barks from the bed. “What’s going on?” I ask. “I just came up but Marty’s down there on his own—he won’t last longer than ten minutes.” “I know, I know.” She waves her hand. “I’m in a flame war with a toxic bitch on Twitter. Let me just huff and puff and burn her motherfucking house down…and then I’ll go sell some coffee.” “What happened?” I ask sarcastically. “Did she insult your makeup video?” Ellie sighs, long and tortured. “That’s Instagram, Liv—I seriously think you were born in the wrong century. And anyway, she didn’t insult me—she insulted you.” Her words pour over me like the ice-bucket challenge. “Me? I have like two followers on Twitter.” Ellie finishes typing. “Boo-ya. Take that, skank-a-licious!” Then she turns slowly my way. “You haven’t been online lately, have you?” This isn’t going to end well, I know it. My stomach knows it too—it whines and grumbles. “Ah, no?” Ellie nods and stands, gesturing to her computer. “You might want to check it out. Or not—ignorance is bliss, after all. If you do decide to take a peek, you might want to have some grain alcohol nearby.” Then she pats my shoulder and heads downstairs, her blond ponytail swaying behind her. I glance at the screen and my breath comes in quick, semi-panicked bursts and my blood rushes like a runaway train in my veins. I’ve never been in a fight, not in my whole life. The closest I came was sophomore year in high school, when Kimberly Willis told everyone she was going to kick the crap out of me. So I told my gym teacher, Coach Brewster—a giant lumberjack of a man—that I got my period unexpectedly and had to go home. He spent the rest of the school year avoiding eye contact with me. But it worked—by the next day, Kimberly found out Tara Hoffman was the one talking shit about her and kicked the crap out of her instead
Emma Chase (Royally Screwed (Royally, #1))
The tornadic bundle of legs and arms and feet and hands push farther into the kitchen until only the occasional flailing limb is visible from the living room, where I can’t believe I’m still standing. A spectator in my own life, I watch the supernova of my two worlds colliding: Mom and Galen. Human and Syrena. Poseidon and Triton. But what can I do? Who should I help? Mom, who lied to me for eighteen years, then tried to shank my boyfriend? Galen, who forgot this little thing called “tact” when he accused my mom of being a runaway fish-princess? Toraf, who…what the heck is Toraf doing, anyway? And did he really just sack my mom like an opposing quarterback? The urgency level for a quick decision elevates to right-freaking-now. I decide that screaming is still best for everyone-it’s nonviolent, distracting, and one of the things I’m very, very good at. I open my mouth, but Rayna beats me to it-only, her scream is much more valuable than mine would have been, because she includes words with it. “Stop it right now, or I’ll kill you all!” She pushed past me with a decrepit, rusty harpoon from God-knows-what century, probably pillaged from one of her shipwreck excursions. She waves it at the three of them like a crazed fisherman in a Jaws movie. I hope they don’t notice she’s got it pointed backward and that if she fires it, she’ll skewer our couch and Grandma’s first attempt at quilting. It works. The bare feet and tennis shoes stop scuffling-out of fear or shock, I’m not sure-and Toraf’s head appears at the top of the counter. “Princess,” he says, breathless. “I told you to stay outside.” “Emma, run!” Mom yells. Toraf disappears again, followed by a symphony of scraping and knocking and thumping and cussing. Rayna rolls her eyes at me, grumbling to herself as she stomps into the kitchen. She adjusts the harpoon to a more deadly position, scraping the popcorn ceiling and sending rust and Sheetrock and tetanus flaking onto the floor like dirty snow. Aiming it at the mound of struggling limbs, she says, “One of you is about to die, and right now I don’t really care who it is.” Thank God for Rayna. People like Rayna get things done. People like me watch people like Rayna get things done. Then people like me round the corner of the counter as if they helped, as if they didn’t stand there and let everyone they love beat the shizzle out of one another. I peer down at the three of them all tangled up. Crossing my arms, I try to mimic Rayna’s impressive rage, but I’m pretty sure my face is only capable of what-the-crap-was-that. Mom looks up at me, nostrils flaring like moth wings. “Emma, I told you to run,” she grinds out before elbowing Toraf in the mouth so hard I think he might swallow a tooth. Then she kicks Galen in the ribs. He groans, but catches her foot before she can re-up. Toraf spits blood on the linoleum beside him and grabs Mom’s arms. She writhes and wriggles, bristling like a trapped badger and cussing like sailor on crack. Mom has never been girlie. Finally she stops, her arms and legs slumping to the floor in defeat. Tears puddle in her eyes. “Let her go,” she sobs. “She’s got nothing to do with this. She doesn’t even know about us. Take me and leave her out of this. I’ll do anything.” Which reinforces, right here and now, that my mom is Nalia. Nalia is my mom. Also, holy crap.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
You, my dear, do not know how to have fun." "I do, too!" "You do not. You are as bad as Lucien. And do you know something? I think it's time someone showed you how to have fun. Namely, me. You can worry all you like about our situation tomorrow, but tonight ... tonight I'm going to make you laugh so hard that you'll forget all about how afraid of me you are." "I am not afraid of you!" "You are." And with that, he pushed his chair back, stalked around the table, and in a single easy movement, swept her right out of her chair and into his arms. "Gareth!  Put me down!" He only laughed, easily carrying her toward the bed. "Gareth, I am a grown woman!" "You are a grown woman who behaves in a manner far too old for her years," he countered, still striding toward the bed. "As the wife of a Den member, that just will not do." "Gareth, I don't want — I mean, I'm not ready for that!" "That? Who said anything about that?"  He tossed her lightly onto the bed. "Oh, no, my dear Juliet. I'm not going to do that —" She tried to scoot away. "Then what are you going to do?" "Why, I'm going to wipe that sadness out of your eyes if only for tonight. I'm going to make you forget your troubles, forget your fears, forget everything but me. And you know how I'm going to do that, O dearest wife?"  He grabbed a fistful of her petticoats as she tried to escape. "I'm going to tickle you until you giggle ... until you laugh ... until you're hooting so loudly that all of London hears you!" He fell upon the bed like a swooping hawk, and Juliet let out a helpless shriek as his fingers found her ribs and began tickling her madly. "Stop!  We just ate!  You'll make me sick!" "What's this? Your husband makes you sick?" "No, it's just that — aaaoooooo!" He tickled her harder. She flailed and giggled and cried out, embarrassed about each loud shriek but helpless to prevent them. He was laughing as hard as she. Catching one thrashing leg, he unlaced her boot and deftly removed it. She yelped as his fingers found the sensitive instep, and she kicked out reflexively. He neatly ducked just in time to avoid having his nose broken, catching her by the ankle and tickling her toes, her soles, her arch through her stockings. "Stop, Gareth!"  She was laughing so hard, tears were streaming from her eyes. "Stop it, damn it!" Thank goodness Charlotte, worn out by her earlier tantrum, was such a sound sleeper! The tickling continued. Juliet kicked and fought, her struggles tossing the heavy, ruffled petticoats and skirts of her lovely blue gown halfway up her thigh to reveal a long, slender calf sheathed in silk. She saw his gaze taking it all in, even as he made a grab for her other foot. "No!  Gareth, I shall lose my supper if you keep this up, I swear it I will — oooahhhhh!" He seized her other ankle, yanked off the remaining boot, and began torturing that foot as well, until Juliet was writhing and shrieking on the bed in a fit of laughter. The tears streamed down her cheeks, and her stomach ached with the force of her mirth. And when, at last, he let up and she lay exhausted across the bed in a twisted tangle of skirts, petticoats, and chemise, her chest heaving and her hair in a hopeless tumbled-down flood of silken mahogany beneath her head, she looked up to see him grinning down at her, his own hair hanging over his brow in tousled, seductive disarray.
Danelle Harmon (The Wild One (The de Montforte Brothers, #1))
Evelyn looks at me as if I am stupid. “She’s gone now,” Evelyn says. “The love of my life is gone, and I can’t just call her and say I’m sorry and have her come back. She’s gone forever. So yes, Monique, that is something I do regret. I regret every second I didn’t spend with her. I regret every stupid thing I did that caused her an ounce of pain. I should have chased her down the street the day she left me. I should have begged her to stay. I should have apologized and sent roses and stood on top of the Hollywood sign and shouted, ‘I’m in love with Celia St. James!’ and let them crucify me for it. That’s what I should have done. And now that I don’t have her, and I have more money than I could ever use in this lifetime, and my name is cemented in Hollywood history, and I know how hollow it is, I am kicking myself for every single second I chose it over loving her proudly. But that’s a luxury. You can do that when you’re rich and famous. You can decide that wealth and renown are worthless when you have them. Back then, I still thought I had all the time I needed to do everything I wanted. That if I just played my cards right, I could have it all.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo)
The next morning I showed up at dad’s house at eight, with a hangover. All my brothers’ trucks were parked in front. What are they all doing here? When I opened the front door, Dad, Alan, Jase, and Willie looked at me. They were sitting around the living room, waiting. No one smiled, and the air felt really heavy. I looked to my left, where Mom was usually working in the kitchen, but this time she was still, leaning over the counter and looking at me too. Dad spoke first. “Son, are you ready to change?” Everything else seemed to go silent and fade away, and all I heard was my dad’s voice. “I just want you to know we’ve come to a decision as a family. You’ve got two choices. You keep doing what you’re doing--maybe you’ll live through it--but we don’t want nothin’ to do with you. Somebody can drop you off at the highway, and then you’ll be on your own. You can go live your life; we’ll pray for you and hope that you come back one day. And good luck to you in this world.” He paused for a second then went on, a little quieter. “Your other choice is that you can join this family and follow God. You know what we stand for. We’re not going to let you visit our home while you’re carrying on like this. You give it all up, give up all those friends, and those drugs, and come home. Those are your two choices.” I struggled to breathe, my head down and my chest tight. No matter what happened, I knew I would never forget this moment. My breath left me in a rush, and I fell to my knees in front of them all and started crying. “Dad, what took y’all so long?” I burst out. I felt broken, and I began to tell them about the sorry and dangerous road I’d been traveling down. I could see my brothers’ eyes starting to fill with tears too. I didn’t dare look at my mom’s face although I could feel her presence behind me. I knew she’d already been through the hell of addiction with her own mother, with my dad, with her brother-in-law Si, and with my oldest brother, Alan. And now me, her baby. I remembered the letters she’d been writing to me over the last few months, reaching out with words of love from her heart and from the heart of the Lord. Suddenly, I felt guilty. “Dad, I don’t deserve to come back. I’ve been horrible. Let me tell you some more.” “No, son,” he answered. “You’ve told me enough.” I’ve seen my dad cry maybe three times, and that was one of them. To see my dad that upset hit me right in the gut. He took me by my shoulders and said, “I want you to know that God loves you, and we love you, but you just can’t live like that anymore.” “I know. I want to come back home,” I said. I realized my dad understood. He’d been down this road before and come back home. He, too, had been lost and then found. By this time my brothers were crying, and they got around me, and we were on our knees, crying. I prayed out loud to God, “Thank You for getting me out of this because I am done living the way I’ve been living.” “My prodigal son has returned,” Dad said, with tears of joy streaming down his face. It was the best day of my life. I could finally look over at my mom, and she was hanging on to the counter for dear life, crying, and shaking with happiness. A little later I felt I had to go use the bathroom. My stomach was a mess from the stress and the emotions. But when I was in the bathroom with the door shut, my dad thought I might be in there doing one last hit of something or drinking one last drop, so he got up, came over, and started banging on the bathroom door. Before I could do anything, he kicked in the door. All he saw was me sitting on the pot and looking up at him while I about had a heart attack. It was not our finest moment. That afternoon after my brothers had left, we went into town and packed up and moved my stuff out of my apartment. “Hey bro,” I said to my roommate. “I’m changing my life. I’ll see ya later.” I meant it.
Jep Robertson (The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, and Forgiveness)
We walk around inside that house like everything is okay, but it’s not, Quinn. We’ve been broken for years and I have no idea how to fix us. I find solutions. It’s what I do. It’s what I’m good at. But I have no idea how to solve me and you. Every day I come home, hoping things will be better. But you can’t even stand to be in the same room with me. You hate it when I touch you. You hate it when I talk to you. I pretend not to notice the things you don’t want me to notice because I don’t want you to hurt more than you already do.” He releases a rush of air. “I am not blaming you for what I did. It’s my fault. I did that. I fucked up. But I didn’t fuck up because I was attracted to her. I fucked up because I miss you. Every day, I miss you. When I’m at work, I miss you. When I’m home, I miss you. When you’re next to me in bed, I miss you. When I’m inside you, I miss you.” Graham presses his mouth to mine. I can taste his tears. Or maybe they’re my tears. He pulls back and presses his forehead to mine. “I miss you, Quinn. So much. You’re right here, but you aren’t. I don’t know where you went or when you left, but I have no idea how to bring you back. I am so alone. We live together. We eat together. We sleep together. But I have never felt more alone in my entire life.” Graham releases me and falls back against his seat. He rests his elbow against the window, covering his face as he tries to compose himself. He’s more broken than I’ve ever seen him in all the years I’ve known him. And I’m the one slowly tearing him down. I’m making him unrecognizable. I’ve strung him along by allowing him to believe there’s hope that I’ll eventually change. That I’ll miraculously turn back into the woman he fell in love with. But I can’t change. We are who our circumstances turn us into. “Graham.” I wipe at my face with my shirt. He’s quiet, but he eventually looks at me with his sad, heartbroken eyes. “I haven’t gone anywhere. I’ve been here this whole time. But you can’t see me because you’re still searching for someone I used to be. I’m sorry I’m no longer who I was back then. Maybe I’ll get better. Maybe I won’t. But a good husband loves his wife through the good and the bad times. A good husband stands at his wife’s side through sickness and health, Graham. A good husband- a husband who truly loves his wife - wouldn’t cheat on her and then blame his infidelity on the fact that he’s lonely.” Graham’s expression doesn’t change. He’s as still as a statue. The only thing that moves is his jaw as he works it back and forth. And then his eyes narrow and he tilts his head. “You don’t think I love you, Quinn?” “I know you used to. But I don’t think you love the person I’ve become.” Graham sits up straight. He leans forward, looking me hard in the eye. His words are clipped as he speaks. “I have loved you every single second of every day since the moment I laid eyes on you. I love you more now than I did the day I married you. I love you, Quinn. I fucking love you!” He opens his car door, gets out and then slams it shut with all his strength. The whole car shakes. He walks toward the house, but before he makes it to the front door, he spins around and points at me angrily. “I love you, Quinn!” He’s shouting the words. He’s angry. So angry. He walks toward his car and kicks at the front bumper with his bare foot. He kicks and he kicks and he kicks and then pauses to scream it at me again. “I love you!” He slams his fist against the top of his car, over and over, until he finally collapses against the hood, his head buried in his arms. He remains in this position for an entire minute, the only thing moving is the subtle shaking of his shoulders. I don’t move. I don’t even think I breathe. Graham finally pushes off the hood and uses his shirt to wipe at his eyes. He looks at me, completely defeated. “I love you,” he says quietly, shaking his head. “I always have. No matter how much you wish I didn’t.
Colleen Hoover (All Your Perfects)
His hand felt odd against her swollen belly. She started to speak at the same moment that the baby suddenly moved. Tate’s hand jerked back as if it had been stung. He stared at her stomach with pure horror as it fluttered again. She couldn’t help it. She burst out laughing. “Is that…normal?” he wanted to know. “It’s a baby,” she said softly. “They move around. He kicks a little. Not much, just yet, but as he grows, he’ll get stronger.” “I never realized…” He drew in a long breath and put his hand back against her body. “Cecily, does it hurt you when he…” He hesitated. His black, stunned eyes met hers. “He?” She nodded. “They can tell, so soon?” “Yes,” she said simply. “They did an ultrasound.” His fingers became caressing. A son. He was going to have a son. He swallowed. It was a shock. He hadn’t thought past her pregnancy, but now he realized that there was going to be a miniature version of himself and Cecily, a child who would embody the traits of all his ancestors. All his ancestors. It made him feel humble. “How did you find me?” she asked. He glared into her eyes. “Not with any help from you, let me tell you! It took me forever to track down the driver who brought you to Nashville. He was off on extended sick leave, and it wasn’t until this week that anybody remembered he’d worked that route before Christmas.” She averted her eyes. “I didn’t want to be found.” “So I noticed. But you have been, and you’re damned well coming home,” he said furiously. “I’m damned if I’m going to leave you here at the mercy of people who go nuts over an inch of snow!” She sat up, displacing his hand, noticed that she was too close to him for comfort, swung her legs off the sofa and got up. “I’m not going as far as the mailbox with you!” she told him flatly. “I’ve made a new life for myself here, and I’m staying!” “That’s what you think.” He got up, too, and went toward the bedroom. He found her suitcase minutes later, threw it open on the bed and started filling it. “I’m not going with you,” she told him flatly. “You can pack. You can even take the suitcase and all my clothes. But I’m not leaving. This is my life now. You have no place in it!” He whirled. He was furious. “You’re carrying my child!” The sight of him was killing her. She loved him, wanted him, needed him, but he was here only out of a sense of duty, maybe even out of guilt. She knew he didn’t want ties or commitments; he’d said so often enough. He didn’t love her, either, and that was the coldest knowledge of all. “Colby asked me to marry him for the baby’s sake,” she said bitterly. “Maybe I should have.” “Over my dead body,” he assured her.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
What did Kavinsky say about it?” Chris asks me. “Nothing yet. He’s still at lacrosse practice.” My phone immediately starts to buzz, and the three of us look at each other, wide-eyed. Margot picks it up and looks at it. “It’s Peter!” She hot-potatoes the phone to me. “Let’s give them some privacy,” she says, nudging Chris. Chris shrugs her off. I ignore both of them and answer the phone. “Hello.” My voice comes out thin as a reed. Peter starts talking fast. “Okay, I’ve seen the video, and the first thing I’m going to say to you is don’t freak out.” He’s breathing hard; it sounds like he’s running. “Don’t freak out? How can I not? This is terrible. Do you know what they’re all saying about me in the comments? That I’m a slut. They think we’re having sex in that video, Peter.” “Never read the comments, Covey! That’s the first rule of--” “If you say ‘Fight Club’ to me right now, I will hang up on you.” “Sorry. Okay, I know it sucks but--” “It doesn’t ‘suck.’ It’s a literal nightmare. My most private moment, for everybody to see. I’m completely humiliated. The things people are saying--” My voice breaks. Kitty and Margot and Chris are all looking at me with sad eyes, which makes me feel even sadder. “Don’t cry, Lara Jean. Please don’t cry. I promise you I’m going to fix this. I’m going to get whoever runs Anonybitch to take it down.” “How? We don’t even know who they are! And besides, I bet our whole school’s seen it by now. Teachers, too. I know for a fact that teachers look at Anonybitch. I was in the faculty lounge once and I overheard Mr. Filipe and Ms. Ryan saying how bad it makes our school look. And what about college admission boards and our future employers?” Peter guffaws. “Future employers? Covey, I’ve seen much worse. Hell, I’ve seen worse pictures of me on here. Remember that picture of me with my head in a toilet bowl, and I’m naked?” I shudder. “I never saw that picture. Besides, that’s you; that’s not me. I don’t do that kind of stuff.” “Just trust me, okay? I promise I’ll take care of it.” I nod, even though I know he can’t see me. Peter is powerful. If anyone could fix such a thing, it would be him. “Listen, I’ve gotta go. Coach is gonna kick my ass if he sees me on the phone. I’ll call you tonight, okay? Don’t go to sleep.” I don’t want to hang up. I wish we could talk longer. “Okay,” I whisper. When I hang up, Margot, Chris, and Kitty are all three staring at me. “Well?” Chris says. “He says he’ll take care of it.” Smugly Kitty says, “I told you so.” “What does that even mean, ‘he’ll take care of it’?” Margot asks. “He hasn’t exactly proven himself to be responsible.” “It’s not his fault,” Kitty and I say at the same time.
Jenny Han (P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2))
Your belly’s getting big,” he said one night. “I know,” I answered, looking down. It was kind of hard to deny. “I love it,” he said, stroking it with the palm of his hand. I recoiled a little, remembering the black bikini I’d worn on our honeymoon and how comparatively concave my belly looked then, and hoping Marlboro Man had long since put the image out of his mind. “Hey, what are we naming this thing?” he asked, even as the “thing” fluttered and kicked in my womb. “Oh, man…” I sighed. “I have no idea. Zachary?” I pulled it out of my wazoo. “Eh,” he said, uninspired. “Shane?” Oh no. Here go the old movies. “I went to my senior prom with a Shane,” I answered, remembering dark and mysterious Shane Ballard. “Okay, scratch that,” he said. “How about…how about Ashley?” How far was he going to take this? I remembered a movie we’d watched on our fifteenth date or so. “How about Rooster Cogburn?” He chuckled. I loved it when he chuckled. It meant everything was okay and he wasn’t worried or stressed or preoccupied. It meant we were dating and sitting on his old porch and my parents weren’t divorcing. It meant my belly button wasn’t bulbous and deformed. His chuckles were like a drug to me. I tried to elicit them daily. “What if it’s a girl?” I said. “Oh, it’s a boy,” he said with confidence. “I’m positive.” I didn’t respond. How could I argue with that?
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Homie caught a body Got a naughty shawty Throw her in the trunk of my purple buggati Opps on my tail damn making this a party Firing shots man I think they might’ve got me Bleeding and speeding on the 401 This is hood economics 101 Got that gangsta archetype like Carl Yung Damn making me ask who am I running from? When I know I got balls and a fuckin loaded gun Roll out on the freeway while takin some heat One cop two cop three’s on his feet Yeah bullseye put one his knee Cryin oh please don’t hurt me you know I got family Put him to sleep with nice slick kick As I head to his home to go meet his kids His wife’s crying in the corner as I fire from the hip Yeah there’s heart in this clip I put my all in this shit Leaving their home while unfulfilled Got a taste for killing need more blood to spill God looking down asking me to chill Fire shots in the air tellin him no deal Already dug my grave and wrote my will Therapist tells me just stay home and masturbate man Tell him fuck off you know I’m Patrick Bateman Killers don’t discriminate you know I still kill women Brutally beat them into mush on the pavement Screaming for help with no-one here to save them My life has purpose and I know who I am A cold blooded killer with two glocks in his hands Better run mothafucka you know you stand no chance Cause it takes two to tango and damn I wanna dance
Gubba
Is it Randall?” Oscar sounded out the name with care, as if testing dangerous waters. Camille closed her eyes and turned her face away from him, not wanting to have to see him when she said what she needed to say. “I have a duty, Oscar, just like my mother did. She failed at hers and look what happened; she destroyed so much. My father asked me not to say anything, but if I don’t marry Randall…I’m sorry, Oscar, I just have to.” Camille tried to edge by him, but Oscar held her back with his arm. “Do you think I’m a fool, Camille? Don’t try to blame marrying Randall on some duty you think you have.” She parted her lips to insist he was wrong. He cut her off. “If this is how you really feel, then you had no right to ask me to stay with you that night. You gave me a taste of what being with you might be like, and now you’re asking me to walk away. Who do you think you are?” Camille shook her head. He wasn’t listening. He had no idea how difficult it was for her, too, to have that one taste, that single moment of pure bliss to feed off of for the rest of her life. “I don’t have a choice-“ He slammed his fist against the pantry shelf behind her. “I don’t have a bank vault filled with money, or ten suits hanging in my closet to choose from each morning. I know I couldn’t give you all the things he could, but I can give you something he’ll never be able to. I love you, Camille,” he said, his mouth so close to hers his breath moistened her lips. “I love you. Not your last name or your pretty face or all the business opportunities you could bring me.” He laid his palm just beneath her neck, his thumb caressing the skin above where her heart lay. “Just you.” She stared at him, unblinking, unable to breathe, let alone speak. Oscar’s arm fell away. “You do have a choice, Camille. Or should I already be calling you Mrs. Jackson?” He stormed from the pantry, Camille on his heels. Promise or no promise to her father, she had to tell Oscar everything. “Please, Oscar, wait, if you’ll just listen-“ The companionway steps rattled, and Ira bounded into the galley. Oscar scooped up his shirt and shoved his arms inside the sleeves as Ira kicked out a bench at the table and sat down. “I’ve never been so friggin’ tried in my life,” Ira said, grabbing a mug for coffee. “And I once played a game of poker that lasted two days. Camille ignored him, Oscar’s anger still stinging. She’d created a massive mass. Ira peered at her, then at Oscar. “Why’re you two all red in the face?” he asked. Then his cheeks drew up and his teeth glistened. Oscar caught him before he could speak. “Save it, Ira,” he said, quickly glancing at Camille. She couldn’t plead with him to listen to her explain with Ira there. Oscar buttoned his shirt and left the galley. Ira directed his wily grin toward her. “Save it, Ira,” she echoed, and resumed scrubbing the floor.
Angie Frazier (Everlasting (Everlasting, #1))
Matthew, we need your help. What do we do?” “Look at my new kicks.” He raised one boot. “Finn said I’m ballin’ like a pimp now.” Then he frowned. “Good thing?” “Yes, yes, but—” “He took care of me when you abandoned me.” God, the guilt. In a rush, I said, “I thought you’d be safer at Finn’s than going back out on the road with me! You know how dangerous it’ll be to reach the coast.” But then, I’d believed that before I’d understood how lethal I could be. “Dangerous Empress!” “This isn’t working!” “Tapped out.” My glyphs were dark, the fuel gauge blinking E. Selena’s hand shot out and smacked my face. “What the hell?” When I raised my palm to my cheek, she slapped the other one harder. I felt my glyphs stirring. “If you don’t want these cards to die, then get to work, Evie! You need to look like the Empress of Old, slithery and creepy and sexy all at the same time.” “Touch me again, and you’ll see slithery and creepy—” With her enhanced speed, she shoved me back before I could even react. I tripped over my pack, landing on my ass. “You bitch!” I bounded up, thorn claws bared. “That’s it! Sell it, sister, or we are dead!” I gazed down at my body, at my skin glowing through the fabric of my clothes. Sharp emotions like fury and utter terror always sparked my powers; Selena had pissed me off enough to give me a jump-start. I narrowed my eyes at Matthew. “This is why you want me angry, terrified, and sad for the rainy season?” Blank smile.
Kresley Cole (Endless Knight (The Arcana Chronicles, #2))
You know why you won fights as an initiate?” I say as I get to my feet. “Because you’re cruel. Because you like to hurt people. And you think you’re special, you think everyone around you is a bunch of sissies who can’t make the tough choices like you can.” He starts to get up, and I kick him in the side so he goes sprawling again. Then I press my foot to his chest, right under his throat, and our eyes meet, his wide and innocent and nothing like what’s inside him. “You are not special,” I say. “I like to hurt people too. I can make the cruelest choice. The difference is, sometimes I don’t, and you always do, and that makes you evil.” I step over him and start down Michigan Avenue again. But before I take more than a few steps, I hear his voice. “That’s why I want it,” he says, his voice shaking. I stop. I don’t turn around. I don’t want to see his face right now. “I want the serum because I’m sick of being this way,” he says. “I’m sick of doing bad things and liking it and then wondering what’s wrong with me. I want it to be over. I want to start again.” “And you don’t think that’s the coward’s way out?” I say over my shoulder. “I think I don’t care if it is or not,” Peter says. I feel the anger that was swelling within me deflate as I turn the vial over in my fingers, inside my pocket. I hear him get to his feet and brush the snow from his clothes. “Don’t try to mess with me again,” I say, “and I promise I’ll let you reset yourself, when all this is said and done. I have no reason not to.” He nods, and we continue through the unmarked snow to the building where I last saw my mother.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
He’s a murdering chud,” Zil was yelling. “What do you want to do? Lynch him?” Astrid demanded. That stopped the flow for a second as kids tried to figure out what “lynch” meant. But Zil quickly recovered. “I saw him do it. He used his powers to kill Harry.” “I was trying to stop you from smashing my head in!” Hunter shouted. “You’re a lying mutant freak!” “They think they can do anything they want,” another voice shouted. Astrid said, as calmly as she could while still pitching her voice to be heard, “We are not going down that path, people, dividing up between freaks and normals.” “They already did it!” Zil cried. “It’s the freaks acting all special and like their farts don’t stink.” That earned a laugh. “And now they’re starting to kill us,” Zil cried. Angry cheers. Edilio squared his shoulders and stepped into the crowd. He went first to Hank, the kid with the shotgun. He tapped him on the shoulder and said, “Give me that thing.” “No way,” Hank said. But he didn’t seem too certain. “You want to have that thing fire by accident and blow someone’s face off?” Edilio held his hand out. “Give it to me, man.” Zil rounded on Edilio. “You going to make Hunter give up his weapon? Huh? He’s got powers, man, and that’s okay, but the normals can’t have any weapon? How are we supposed to defend ourselves from the freaks?” “Man, give it a rest, huh?” Edilio said. He was doing his best to sound more weary than angry or scared. Things were already bad enough. “Zil, you want to be responsible if that gauge goes off and kills Astrid? You want to maybe give that some thought?” Zil blinked. But he said, “Dude, I’m not scared of Sam.” “Sam won’t be your problem, I will be,” Edilio snapped, losing patience. “Anything happens to her, I’ll take you down before Sam ever gets the chance.” Zil snorted derisively. “Ah, good little boy, Edilio, kissing up to the chuds. I got news for you, dilly dilly, you’re a lowly normal, just like me and the rest of us." “I’m going to let that go,” Edilio said evenly, striving to regain his cool, trying to sound calm and in control, even though he could hardly take his eyes off the twin barrels of the shotgun. “But now I’m taking that shotgun.” “No way!” Hank cried, and the next thing was an explosion so loud, Edilio thought a bomb had gone off. The muzzle flash blinded him, like camera flash going off in his face. Someone yelled in pain. Edilio staggered back, squeezed his eyes shut, trying to adjust. When he opened them again the shotgun was on the ground and the boy who’d accidentally fired it was holding his bruised hand, obviously shocked. Zil bent to grab the gun. Edilio took two steps forward and kicked Zil in the face. As Zil fell back Edilio made a grab for the shotgun. He never saw the blow that turned his knees to water and filled his head with stars. He fell like a sack of bricks, but even as he fell he lurched forward to cover the shotgun. Astrid screamed and launched herself down the stairs to protect Edilio. Antoine, the one who had hit Edilio, was raising his bat to hit Edilio again, but on the back swing he caught Astrid in the face. Antoine cursed, suddenly fearful. Zil yelled, “No, no, no!” There was a sudden rush of running feet. Down the walkway, into the street, echoing down the block.
Michael Grant (Hunger (Gone, #2))
Wanna play in the snow? I text back right away: YES! It’s really hot in here. Meet me in the hallway in two min? K. I stand up so fast in my sleeping bag I nearly trip. I use my phone to find my coat, my boots. Stormy is snoring away. I can’t find my scarf, but I don’t want to keep John waiting, so I run out without it. He’s already in the hallway waiting for me. His hair is sticking up in the back, and on that basis alone I think I could fall in love with him if I let myself. When he sees me, he holds his arms out and sings, “Do you want to build a snowman?” and I burst out laughing so hard John says, “Shh, you’re going to wake up the residents!” which only makes me laugh harder. “It’s only ten thirty!” We run down the long carpeted hallway, both of us laughing as quietly as we can. But the more you try to laugh quietly, the harder it is to stop. “I can’t stop laughing,” I gasp as we run through the sliding doors and to the courtyard. We’re both out of breath; we both stop short. The ground is blanketed in thick white snow, thick as sheep’s wool. It’s so beautiful and hushed, my heart almost hurts with the pleasure of it. I’m so happy in this moment, and I realize it’s because I haven’t thought of Peter once. I turn to look at John, and he’s already looking at me with a half smile on his face. It gives me a nervous flutter in my chest. I spin around in a circle and sing, “Do you want to build a snowman?” And then we’re both giggling again. “You’re going to get us kicked out of here,” he warns. I grab his hands and make him spin around with me as fast as I can. “Quit acting like you really belong in a nursing home, old man!” I yell.
Jenny Han (P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2))
It's hard to form a lasting connection when your permanent address is an eight-inch mailbox in the UPS store. Still,as I inch my way closer, I can't help the way my breath hitches, the way my insides thrum and swirl. And when he turns,flashing me that slow, languorous smile that's about to make him world famous,his eyes meeting mine when he says, "Hey,Daire-Happy Sweet Sixteen," I can't help but think of the millions of girls who would do just about anything to stand in my pointy blue babouches. I return the smile, flick a little wave of my hand, then bury it in the side pocket of the olive-green army jacket I always wear. Pretending not to notice the way his gaze roams over me, straying from my waist-length brown hair peeking out from my scarf, to the tie-dyed tank top that clings under my jacket,to the skinny dark denim jeans,all the way down to the brand-new slippers I wear on my feet. "Nice." He places his foot beside mine, providing me with a view of the his-and-hers version of the very same shoe. Laughing when he adds, "Maybe we can start a trend when we head back to the States.What do you think?" We. There is no we. I know it.He knows it.And it bugs me that he tries to pretend otherwise. The cameras stopped rolling hours ago, and yet here he is,still playing a role. Acting as though our brief, on-location hookup means something more. Acting like we won't really end long before our passports are stamped RETURN. And that's all it takes for those annoyingly soft girly feelings to vanish as quickly as a flame in the rain. Allowing the Daire I know,the Daire I've honed myself to be, to stand in her palce. "Doubtful." I smirk,kicking his shoe with mine.A little harder then necessary, but then again,he deserves it for thinking I'm lame enough to fall for his act. "So,what do you say-food? I'm dying for one of those beef brochettes,maybe even a sausage one too.Oh-and some fries would be good!" I make for the food stalls,but Vane has another idea. His hand reaches for mine,fingers entwining until they're laced nice and tight. "In a minute," he says,pulling me so close my hip bumps against his. "I thought we might do something special-in honor of your birthday and all.What do you think about matching tattoos?" I gape.Surely he's joking. "Yeah,you know,mehndi. Nothing permanent.Still,I thought it could be kinda cool." He arcs his left brow in his trademark Vane Wick wau,and I have to fight not to frown in return. Nothing permanent. That's my theme song-my mission statement,if you will. Still,mehndi's not quite the same as a press-on. It has its own life span. One that will linger long after Vane's studio-financed, private jet lifts him high into the sky and right out of my life. Though I don't mention any of that, instead I just say, "You know the director will kill you if you show up on set tomorrow covered in henna." Vane shrugs. Shrugs in a way I've seen too many times, on too many young actors before him.He's in full-on star-power mode.Think he's indispensable. That he's the only seventeen-year-old guy with a hint of talent,golden skin, wavy blond hair, and piercing blue eyes that can light up a screen and make the girls (and most of their moms) swoon. It's a dangerous way to see yourself-especially when you make your living in Hollywood. It's the kind of thinking that leads straight to multiple rehab stints, trashy reality TV shows, desperate ghostwritten memoirs, and low-budget movies that go straight to DVD.
Alyson Noel (Fated (Soul Seekers, #1))
But here’s the tricky part about compassion and connecting: We can’t call just anyone. It’s not that simple. I have a lot of good friends, but there are only a handful of people whom I can count on to practice compassion when I’m in the dark shame place. If we share our shame story with the wrong person, they can easily become one more piece of flying debris in an already dangerous storm. We want solid connection in a situation like this—something akin to a sturdy tree firmly planted in the ground. We definitely want to avoid the following: The friend who hears the story and actually feels shame for you. She gasps and confirms how horrified you should be. Then there is awkward silence. Then you have to make her feel better. The friend who responds with sympathy (I feel so sorry for you) rather than empathy (I get it, I feel with you, and I’ve been there). If you want to see a shame cyclone turn deadly, throw one of these at it: “Oh, you poor thing.” Or, the incredibly passive-aggressive southern version of sympathy: “Bless your heart.” The friend who needs you to be the pillar of worthiness and authenticity. She can’t help because she’s too disappointed in your imperfections. You’ve let her down. The friend who is so uncomfortable with vulnerability that she scolds you: “How did you let this happen? What were you thinking?” Or she looks for someone to blame: “Who was that guy? We’ll kick his ass.” The friend who is all about making it better and, out of her own discomfort, refuses to acknowledge that you can actually be crazy and make terrible choices: “You’re exaggerating. It wasn’t that bad. You rock. You’re perfect. Everyone loves you.” The friend who confuses “connection” with the opportunity to one-up you: “That’s nothing. Listen to what happened to me one time!
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are)
As Mrs. Armiger drew near, the fountain clerk put my sundae in front of me. “Here you are,” he said. “I made this one especially for you, Andrew. Plenty of chocolate sauce and whipped cream--just the way you like it.” Glad Andrew and I had at least one thing in common, I scooped up a big spoonful of ice cream. My mouth was watering for chocolate, but before I had a chance to taste it, Mrs. Armiger pounced on me. “How wonderful to see you up and about, dear boy. I was just plain worried to death when I heard you’d come down with diphtheria.” Her perfume hung around me in a cloud so dense I could hardly breathe. “Yes, ma’am,” I stammered, trying hard not to cough. “Thank you, ma’am.” Laying a plump hand on my shoulder, Mrs. Armiger smiled. “Why, Andrew, I believe a touch of the dark angel’s wings has improved your manners.” Theo gave me one of the sharp little kicks he specialized in. Blowing through his straw, he made loud bubbling sounds in his drink. He expected me to do something outrageous too. They all did--the whole family was watching, waiting for me to mortify them. I could almost hear Mama holding her breath. I knew Andrew would never have sat as still as a stone, ears burning with embarrassment, but, unlike him, I couldn’t think what to do or say. “That’s a very rude noise, Theodore,” Mrs. Armiger said. Mama snatched Theo’s glass. “If you want to finish your phosphate, apologize to Mrs. Armiger.” Without looking at anyone, Theo mumbled, “I’m sorry.” Mama wasn’t satisfied. “Sorry for what, Theodore Aloysius?” Theo kept his head down. Trying not to giggle, he said, “I’m sorry for making a rude noise, Mrs. Armiger.” Mama gave him his phosphate. “That’s better.” Theo kicked me again, harder this time. From the way he was scowling, I guessed he was mad that he’d gotten into trouble and I hadn’t.
Mary Downing Hahn (Time for Andrew: A Ghost Story)
Cooper grinned. “You should listen to me, man. After all, I’ve got a way with the ladies.” When Judd said nothing, I realized he wasn’t even looking at Cooper. Everyone followed his gaze until we realized he was glaring at Mac. Tucker laughed for the simple reason that he was hammered. Maddy rubbed his face and they started making out. Bailey rolled her eyes. “What did Mac do? Should I kick his ass?” Cooper patted his sister. “You could so take him too, midget.” Nuzzling Judd, I ignored Cooper tugging my shirt as if to separate me from my man. “I never liked him even a little bit.” “You touched his arm.” Bailey stepped closer and slapped Cooper’s hand off me. “Judd, the only way to make things right is to cut off Mac’s arm and feed it to our dogs.” “Sounds about right,” Judd muttered, still glaring at Mac who moved around the large packed family room as if trying to dodge the eyes on him. “Bailey,” I whispered, giving her the look. “What I meant was that Tawny is all kinds of loyal and shit, so cutting off Mac’s arm, while fun, isn’t necessary. Trust your woman.” “I do trust her,” Judd muttered. “I still want to stab Mac’s face.” “Yeah, that takes me back,” Cooper said, grinning at Farah who frowned. Rolling his eyes, he sighed. “Trust your woman. You know, what the dipshit said.” “Don’t call her a dipshit,” I told Cooper who glared down at me. “I’m not having a staring contest with you.” “Cause you’d lose.” “Farah,” I said and she wrapped her arms around Cooper who sighed.   Seeing a way to fix my other problem, I hugged Judd to me. As he looked down and grinned, I murmured, “Pay attention to me.” Exhaling hard, Judd caressed my face. “Sorry, but that guy had your fingers on him. I feel like I should make an example of him, but I won’t. That wouldn’t be respectable.” Bailey leaned in and whispered, “Are you training him too?” “I’m training everyone,” I whispered back.
Bijou Hunter (Damaged and the Knight (Damaged, #2))
Do me a favor, Ro,” Day said calmly. “What’s that?” Ronowski peeked around Johnson again. “Johnson won’t be with you all the time. Remind me to kick your ass later,” Day said. Ronowski came to stand in front of Day, looked at his watch and smirked. “Sure, what time works for you?” Day looked at his watch too. “Uhhh, let’s see. How’s five thirty, is that good?” “I just remembered I’m busy at five thirty.” “So what time can you be there?” “I can do five thirty-five.” “Damn, that’s cutting it close. I might be a little late, but wait on my ass whippin’.” “Will you dumb asses shut up? Lord help us…they’ve bonded.” The captain tried to suppress his laugh. “God, how the hell do you put up with Day’s mouth?” “I got something that’ll make him shut him up,” God said in a deep voice. Everyone groaned and scrunched their faces up in disgust. “We don’t want to hear that shit, God. Ugh,” the captain said while pouring his cup of coffee. God looked at Day and saw he wasn’t the slightest bit fazed and if he knew his lover—which he most certainly did—Day would not let him get the last word. “It’s all a mind game that I play with God. He thinks he’s shutting me up…but when he’s finished with my mouth…I start talking again.” Day winked. “I’m leaving. I should write your asses up for inappropriate conduct in front of a superior.” The captain hauled ass out of the room. Johnson and Ronowski were shaking their heads too and telling Day “he sure knew how to clear a room.” “I got to get back across town,” Johnson said and bent down and whispered something in Ronowski’s ear that made the man turn red. God tried to pull Day away but he refused to budge. When Johnson said good-bye to them and left out the room, Day mock whispered to Ronowski. “I told you. One good pounding is all you—” “For fucks sake, Leo,” Ronowski groaned, grabbing his soda hightailing it out of there before Day could finish his sentence.
A.E. Via
I find that while each partner might have needed some specific coaching, the real tests we faced were basically the same, season after season. We had to learn to move as a team. We had to master complex, carefully timed choreography. We had to face the hot lights and live action and the idea that millions of eyes were upon us. But beyond that, I needed to inspire and instill confidence in each person I coached and danced with. I needed to communicate with an open heart and empathetic, encouraging words. I had to critique usefully and praise strategically. I also needed to be my authentic self--exposing my personal vulnerabilities to win their trust. Ultimately, I had to make each of my partners embrace not just me, but also her own sill and power. Every partner I’ve danced with has it within them to kick ass and climb mountains. When you put yourself in a situation when you’re vulnerable, that’s when your power is revealed. And it’s always there; it’s part of your DNA. It’s like a woman walking into a room looking for the diamond necklace and realizing it’s around her neck. I’m not changing any of these ladies; I’m helping them rediscover themselves. And truth be told, that was never my goal. I never walked into a studio thinking, I’m going to transform this person’s life. I’m no therapist! I was just trying to put some damn routines together! But I realized after all these seasons that the dance is a metaphor for the journey. Every one of my partners has had a very different one. What they brought to the table was different; what they needed to overcome was different. But despite that, the same thing happens time and time again: the walls come tumbling down and they find their true selves. That I have anything at all to do with that is both thrilling and humbling. In the beginning, I thought I was just along for the ride--army candy. To touch a person’s life, to help them find their footing, is a gift, and I’m thankful I get to do it season after season.
Derek Hough (Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion)
Hey cupcake!” he says, like he just had a great idea. “I’m so glad you’re here.” “Me too,” I say. “I thought you were ready to kick me to the curb.” I was. But when I found out he was hurt, it nearly gutted me. “Would if I could,” I say. “Do you think you could fall in love with me, cupcake?” he blurts out. I’m startled. I know he’s medicated, so I shouldn’t put any stock into his words, but I can’t help it. “You should get some rest,” I say. Tap. Tap. “So, that would be a no.” He whistles. Then he scrunches up his face when it makes his head hurt. “I’m in trouble,” he whispers quietly. “What?” He squeezes my hand. “I’m pretty sure I’m in love with you, cupcake,” he says. “I just wish you could love me back.” “You’ve had a lot of pain meds,” I say. Suddenly, he grabs the neck of my shirt and jerks me so that I fall over his chest. His lips are right next to mine. “Listen to me,” he says. “Okay,” I whisper. “I don’t have much going for me, but I know what love feels like.” “How?” “It just is, cupcake. You don’t get to pick who you fall in love with. And God knows, if my head could pick, it wouldn’t be you.” I push back to get off his chest, because I’m offended. But he holds me tight. “You’re not easy to love, because you can’t love me back. But you might one day. I’ll wait. But you got to start taking my calls.” He cups the back of my head and brings my face toward his. A cough from the doorway startles us apart. I stand up and pull my shirt down where he rucked it up. “Visiting hours are over,” a nurse says. “She’s not a visitor,” he says. She comes and inserts a needle into his IV, and his eyes close. He doesn’t open them when he says, “She’s going to marry me one day. She just doesn’t know it yet.” His head falls to the side and he starts to softly snore. His hand goes slack around mine. I pull back, my heart skipping like mad. “They say some of the most ridiculous things when they’re medicated.” The nurse shakes her head. “He probably won’t remember any of this tomorrow.” Pete
Tammy Falkner (Zip, Zero, Zilch (The Reed Brothers, #6))
Fatigue has built up after all this training, and I can’t seem to run very fast. As I’m leisurely jogging along the Charles River, girls who look to be new Harvard freshmen keep on passing me. Most of these girls are small, slim, have on maroon Harvard-logo outfits, blond hair in a ponytail, and brand-new iPods, and they run like the wind. You can definitely feel a sort of aggressive challenge emanating from them. They seem to be used to passing people, and probably not used to being passed. They all look so bright, so healthy, attractive, and serious, brimming with self-confidence. With their long strides and strong, sharp kicks, it’s easy to see that they’re typical mid-distance runners, unsuited for long-distance running. They’re more mentally cut out for brief runs at high speed. Compared to them I’m pretty used to losing. There are plenty of things in this world that are way beyond me, plenty of opponents I can never beat. Not to brag, but these girls probably don’t know as much as I do about pain. And, quite naturally, there might not be a need for them to know it. These random thoughts come to me as I watch their proud ponytails swinging back and forth, their aggressive strides. Keeping to my own leisurely pace, I continue my run down along the Charles. Have I ever had such luminous days in my own life? Perhaps a few. But even if I had a long ponytail back then, I doubt if it would have swung so proudly as these girls’ ponytails do. And my legs wouldn’t have kicked the ground as cleanly and as powerfully as theirs. Maybe that’s only to be expected. These girls are, after all, brand-new students at the one and only Harvard University. Still, it’s pretty wonderful to watch these pretty girls run. As I do, I’m struck by an obvious thought: One generation takes over from the next. This is how things are handed over in this world, so I don’t feel so bad if they pass me. These girls have their own pace, their own sense of time. And I have my own pace, my own sense of time. The two are completely different, but that’s the way it should be.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
I spin around in a circle and sing, “Do you want to build a snowman?” And then we’re both giggling again. “You’re going to get us kicked out of here,” he warns. I grab his hands and make him spin around with me as fast as I can. “Quit acting like you really belong in a nursing home, old man!” I yell. He drops my hands and we both stumble. Then he grabs a fistful of snow off the ground and starts to pack it into a ball. “Old man, huh? I’ll show you an old man!” I dart away from him, slipping and sliding in the snow. “Don’t you dare, John Ambrose McClaren!” He chases after me, laughing and breathing hard. He manages to grab me around the waist and raises his arm like he’s going to put the snowball down my back, but at the last second he releases me. His eyes go wide. “Oh my God. Are you wearing my grandma’s nightgown under your coat?” Giggling, I say, “Wanna see? It’s really racy.” I start to unzip my coat. “Wait, turn around first.” Shaking his head, John says, “This is weird,” but he obeys. As soon as his back is turned, I snatch a handful of snow, form it into a ball, and put it in my coat pocket. “Okay, turn around.” John turns, and I lob the snowball directly at his head. It hits him in the eye. “Ouch!” he yelps, wiping it with his coat sleeve. I gasp and move toward him. “Oh my God. I’m so sorry. Are you okay--” John’s already scooping up more snow and lunging toward me. And so begins our snowball fight. We chase each other around, and I get in another great hit square in his back. We call a truce when I nearly slip and fall on my butt. Luckily, John catches me just in time. He doesn’t let go right away. We stare at each other for a second, his arm around my waist. There’s a snowflake on his eyelashes. He says, “If I didn’t know you were still hung up on Kavinsky, I would kiss you right now.” I shiver. Up until Peter, the most romantic thing that ever happened to me was with John Ambrose McClaren, in the rain, with the soccer balls. Now this. How strange that I’ve never even dated John, and he’s in two of my most romantic moments. John releases me. “You’re freezing. Let’s go back inside.
Jenny Han (P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2))
Carajo!" Paco says, throwing down his lunch. "They think they can buy a U-shaped shell, stuff it, and call it a taco, but those cafeteria workers wouldn't know taco meat from a piece of shit. That's what this tastes like, Alex." "You're makin' me sick, man," I tell him. I stare uncomfortably at the food I brought from home. Thanks to Paco everything looks like mierda now. Disgusted, I shove what's left of my lunch into my brown paper bag. "Want some of it?" Paco says with a grin as he holds out the shitty taco to me. "Bring that one inch closer to me and you'll be sorry," I threaten. "I'm shakin' in my pants." Paco wiggles the offending taco, goading me. He should seriously know better. "If any of that gets on me--" "What'cha gonna do, kick my ass?" Paco sings sarcastically, still shaking the taco. Maybe I should punch him in the face, knocking him out so I won't have to deal with him right now. As I have that thought, I feel something drop on my pants. I look down even though I know what I'll see. Yes, a big blob of wet, gloppy stuff passing as taco meat lands right on the crotch of my faded jeans. "Fuck," Paco says, his face quickly turning from amusement to shock. "Want me to clean it off for you?" "If your fingers get anywhere close to my dick, I'm gonna personally shoot you in the huevos," I growl through clenched teeth. I flick the mystery meat off my crotch. A big, greasy stain lingers. I turn back to Paco. "You got ten minutes to get me a new pair of pants." "How the hell am I s'posed to do that?" "Be creative." "Take mine." Paco stands and brings his fingers to the waistband of his jeans, unbuttoning right in the middle of the courtyard. "Maybe I wasn't specific enough," I tell him, wondering how I'm going to act like the cool guy in chem class when it looks like I've peed in my pants. "I meant, get me a new pair of pants that will fit me, pendejo. You're so short you could audition to be one of Santa Claus's elves." "I'm toleratin' your insults because we're like brothers." "Nine minutes and thirty seconds." It doesn't take Paco more than that to start running toward the school parking lot.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
to exonerate him. Given the personalities involved, Skarpellos and Lama, I would suddenly discover that Tony was playing cribbage with a dozen elderly matrons the night Ben was killed. “Suspects are your job,” I tell Nelson. “I think we’re satisfied with the defendant we have. All we need to know is who helped her. Who carried the body, used the shotgun,” he says. “It’s an offer made to fail. Even if she were willing to enter a plea to a crime she didn’t commit in order to save her life, she can’t fulfill the terms.” He looks at me, like “Nice story, but it won’t wash.” Lama kicks in. “Have you heard,” he says, “we got a photo ID party goin’ down at the office? Seems the lady was a creature of habit. Ended up at the same place every night. A motel clerk from hell says she brought her entire stable of studs to his front door. We got him lookin’ at pictures of all her friends. Only a matter of time. Then the deal’s off.” Harry meets this with some logic. “To listen to you, our client already had all the freedom she could ask for. Lovers on every corner, and a cozy home to come home to when she got tired,” says Harry. “Why would she want to kill the meal ticket?” “Seems the victim was getting a little tired of her indiscretions. He was considering a divorce,” says Nelson. “You have read the prenuptial agreement? A divorce, and it was back to work for your client.” Harry and I look at one another. “Who told you Ben was considering a divorce?” I ask. “We have a witness,” says Nelson. He is not the kind to gloat over bad news delivered to an adversary. “You haven’t disclosed him to us.” “True,” he says. “We discovered him after the prelim. We’re still checking it out. When we have everything we’ll pass it along. But I will tell you, it sounds like gospel.” Lama’s expression is Cheshire cat-like, beaming from the corner of the couch. I sense that this is his doing. “I think you should talk to your client. I’m sure she’ll see reason,” says Nelson. “If you move, I think I can convince the judge to go along with the deal.” “I’ll have to talk to her,” I tell him, “but I can’t hold out much hope.” “Talk,” he says. “But let me know your answer soon. If we’re going to trial, I intend to ask for an early date.
Steve Martini (Compelling Evidence (Paul Madriani ,#1))
In chem, Peter sits a row in front of me. I write him a note. Why would you tell Josh that we’re-- I hesitate and then finish with a thing? I kick the back of his chair, and he turns around and I hand him the note. He slouches in his seat to read it; then I watch as he scribbles something. He tips back in his chair and drops the note on my desk without looking at me. A thing? Haha. I press down so hard my pencil tip chips off. Please answer the question. We’ll talk later. I let out a frustrated sigh and Matt, my lab partner, gives me a funny look. After class Peter is swept away with all his friends; they leave in a big group. I’m packing up my backpack when he returns, alone. He hops up on the table. “So let’s talk,” he says, super casual. I clear my throat and try to gather my bearings. “Why did you tell Josh we were--” I almost say “a thing” again, but then change it to “together?” “I don’t get what you’re so upset about. I did you a favor. I could have just as easily blown up your spot.” I pause. He’s right. He could have. “So why didn’t you?” “You’ve sure got a funny way of saying thank you. You’re welcome, by the way.” Automatically I say, “Thank you.” Wait. Why am I thanking him? “I appreciate you letting me kiss you, but--” “You’re welcome,” he says again. Ugh! He’s so insufferable. Just for that I’m going to toss a little dig his way. “That was…really generous of you. To let me do that. But I’ve already explained to Josh that it’s not going to work out with us because Genevieve has you whipped, so it’s all good. You can stop pretending now.” Peter glares at me. “I’m not whipped.” “But aren’t you, though? I mean, you guys have been together since the seventh grade. You’re basically her property.” “You don’t know what you’re talking about,” Peter scoffs. “There was a rumor last year that she made you get a tattoo of her initials on your butt for her birthday.” I pause. “So did you?” I reach around him and fake try to lift up the back of his shirt. He yelps and jumps away from me, and I collapse in a fit of giggles. “So you do have a tattoo!” “I don’t have a tattoo!” he yells. “And we’re not even together anymore, so can you stop with this shit? We broke up. We’re over. I’m done with her.” “Wait, didn’t she break up with you?” I ask. Peter shoots me a dirty look. “It was mutual.
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
He ought to be more clever in his murder attempt. Done properly, he could make a wealthy widow of you, and then you’d both have your happy ending.” Harry knew instantly that he shouldn’t have said it—the comment was the kind of cold-blooded sarcasm he had always resorted to when he felt the need to defend himself. He regretted it even before he saw Merripen out of the periphery of his vision. The Rom was giving him a warning shake of his head and drawing a finger across his throat. Poppy was red faced, her brows drawn in a scowl. “What a dreadful thing to say!” Harry cleared his throat. “I’m sorry,” he said brusquely. “I was joking. It was in poor—” He ducked as something came flying at him. “What the devil—” She had thrown something at him, a cushion. “I don’t want to be a widow, I don’t want Michael Bayning, and I don’t want you to joke about such things, you tactless clodpole!” As all three of them stared at her openmouthed, Poppy leapt up and stalked away, her hands drawn into fists. Bewildered by the immediate force of her fury—it was like being stung by a butterfly—Harry stared after her dumbly. After a moment, he asked the first coherent thought that came to him. “Did she just say she doesn’t want Bayning?” “Yes,” Win said, a smile hovering on her lips. “That’s what she said. Go after her, Harry.” Every cell in Harry’s body longed to comply. Except that he had the feeling of standing on the edge of a cliff, with one ill-chosen word likely to send him over. He gave Poppy’s sister a desperate glance. “What should I say?” “Be honest with her about your feelings,” Win suggested. A frown settled on Harry’s face as he considered that. “What’s my second option?” “I’ll handle this,” Merripen told Win before she could reply. Standing, he slung a great arm across Harry’s shoulders and walked him to the side of the terrace. Poppy’s furious form could be seen in the distance. She was walking down the drive to the caretaker’s house, her skirts and shoes kicking up tiny dust storms. Merripen spoke in a low, not unsympathetic tone, as if compelled to guide a hapless fellow male away from danger. “Take my advice, gadjo . . . never argue with a woman when she’s in this state. Tell her you were wrong and you’re sorry as hell. And promise never to do it again.” “I’m still not exactly certain what I did,” Harry said. “That doesn’t matter. Apologize anyway.” Merripen paused and added in whisper, “And whenever your wife is angry . . . for God’s sake, don’t try logic.” “I heard that,” Win said from the chaise.
Lisa Kleypas (Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3))
She clicks on the last slide, and that’s when it happens. “Me So Horny” blasts out of the speakers and my video, mine and Peter’s, flashes on the projector screen. Someone has taken the video from Anonybitch’s Instagram and put their own soundtrack to it. They’ve edited it too, so I bop up and down on Peter’s lap at triple speed to the beat. Oh no no no no. Please, no. Everything happens at once. People are shrieking and laughing and pointing and going “Oooh!” Mr. Vasquez is jumping up to unplug the projector, and then Peter’s running onstage, grabbing the microphone out of a stunned Reena’s hand. “Whoever did that is a piece of garbage. And not that it’s anybody’s fucking business, but Lara Jean and I did not have sex in the hot tub.” My ears are ringing, and people are twisting around in their seats to look at me and then shifting back around to look at Peter. “All we did was kiss, so fuck off!” Mr. Vasquez, the junior class advisor, is trying to grab the mic back from Peter, but Peter manages to maintain control of it. He holds the mic up high and yells out, “I’m gonna find whoever did this and kick their ass!” In the scuffle, he drops the mic. People are cheering and laughing. Peter’s being frog-marched off the stage, and he frantically looks out into the audience. He’s looking for me. The assembly breaks up then, and everyone starts filing out the doors, but I stay low in my seat. Chris comes and finds me, face alight. She grabs me by the shoulders. “Ummm, that was crazy! He freaking dropped the F bomb twice!” I am still in a state of shock, maybe. A video of me and Peter hot and heavy was just on the projector screen, and everyone saw Mr. Vasquez, seventy-year-old Mr. Glebe who doesn’t even know what Instagram is. The only passionate kiss of my life and everybody saw. Chris shakes my shoulders. “Lara Jean! Are you okay?” I nod mutely, and she releases me. “He’s kicking whoever did it’s ass? I’d love to see that!” She snorts and throws her head back like a wild pony. “I mean, the boy’s an idiot if he thinks for one second it wasn’t Gen who posted that video. Like, wow, those are some serious blinders, y’know?” Chris stops short and examines my face. “Are you sure you’re okay?” “Everybody saw us.” “Yeah…that sucked. I’m sure that was Gen’s handiwork. She must’ve gotten one of her little minions to sneak it onto Reena’s PowerPoint.” Chris shakes her head in disgust. “She’s such a bitch. I’m glad Peter set the record straight, though. Like, I hate to give him credit, but that was an act of chivalry. No guy has ever set the record straight for me.
Jenny Han (P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2))
It was my father who called the city the Mansion on the River. He was talking about Charleston, South Carolina, and he was a native son, peacock proud of a town so pretty it makes your eyes ache with pleasure just to walk down its spellbinding, narrow streets. Charleston was my father’s ministry, his hobbyhorse, his quiet obsession, and the great love of his life. His bloodstream lit up my own with a passion for the city that I’ve never lost nor ever will. I’m Charleston-born, and bred. The city’s two rivers, the Ashley and the Cooper, have flooded and shaped all the days of my life on this storied peninsula. I carry the delicate porcelain beauty of Charleston like the hinged shell of some soft-tissued mollusk. My soul is peninsula-shaped and sun-hardened and river-swollen. The high tides of the city flood my consciousness each day, subject to the whims and harmonies of full moons rising out of the Atlantic. I grow calm when I see the ranks of palmetto trees pulling guard duty on the banks of Colonial Lake or hear the bells of St. Michael’s calling cadence in the cicada-filled trees along Meeting Street. Deep in my bones, I knew early that I was one of those incorrigible creatures known as Charlestonians. It comes to me as a surprising form of knowledge that my time in the city is more vocation than gift; it is my destiny, not my choice. I consider it a high privilege to be a native of one of the loveliest American cities, not a high-kicking, glossy, or lipsticked city, not a city with bells on its fingers or brightly painted toenails, but a ruffled, low-slung city, understated and tolerant of nothing mismade or ostentatious. Though Charleston feels a seersuckered, tuxedoed view of itself, it approves of restraint far more than vainglory. As a boy, in my own backyard I could catch a basket of blue crabs, a string of flounder, a dozen redfish, or a net full of white shrimp. All this I could do in a city enchanting enough to charm cobras out of baskets, one so corniced and filigreed and elaborate that it leaves strangers awed and natives self-satisfied. In its shadows you can find metalwork as delicate as lace and spiral staircases as elaborate as yachts. In the secrecy of its gardens you can discover jasmine and camellias and hundreds of other plants that look embroidered and stolen from the Garden of Eden for the sheer love of richness and the joy of stealing from the gods. In its kitchens, the stoves are lit up in happiness as the lamb is marinating in red wine sauce, vinaigrette is prepared for the salad, crabmeat is anointed with sherry, custards are baked in the oven, and buttermilk biscuits cool on the counter.
Pat Conroy (South of Broad)
The Robot With Human Hair Pt2" Said it's the coming of man And I forget when you went away Like a kick to the face Not winning the race (Lion, I've seen you from afar) I've seen her in the car Knowing that you deserve such more Deserved to know you're free Leave, I'm the director Agree to the role of the pilot inspector Breathe, pilot inspector Feed off the role of the radar detector Leave, I'm the director Agree to the role of the pilot inspector Breathe, pilot inspector Feed off the role of the radar detector Well, then, you said you could do this on your own I'm sorry baby, I can't aid you (And then you say, hands down, right now, I'll let this go) You... Well, now it's up to god to save you Save you from all of those bruised, bruised and battered wounds (Wave right with a gun in his hand wave right) Can you taste this blood Dripping sweeter than...? And over your eyes And I, and I fall to both knees Not to beg for your forgiveness But to hate the word And you speak Take a right off these cliffs The ground is staring at your wounded weapons Wounded weapons (And I can't believe that you're right) You can bank the night on this its round And glaring at your well I get hyphy Tell 'em I get hyphy And this is where it ends Well, then, you said you could do this on your own I'm sorry baby, I can't aid you (And then you say, hands down, right now, I'll let this go) You... Well, now it's up to god to save you Save you, save you Save you, save you I can't believe these long words Come from many national absurd This is a line cut across Hope, defeat, the line, the loss I can never be this lone wolf You can never see me across this earth This will be a light that I run from You thought you were so strong You pleaded to never be wrong (Brace yourself, fasten belts) Well, now that you go (Close the hatch, flip the latch) I sit here and wonder (They're not dead, speed ahead) Times have changed It's like we've been trashing silos (Well, now that you go) In the time bomb aisle (I sit here and wonder) Maybe they'll dodge the spill Oil kills, sure it will And I can't breathe the air (Hide your daughter 'cause I'm coming over) To reach for this light (You know I'm not lying about) (Trashing silos in the time bomb aisle) And you can't breathe the air (About trashing silos in the time bomb aisle) Not leaving her to reach The line, the work, the rope, the love And I have seen such worse for you It's a no, I'm not coming back It's a no, I'm not coming back It's a no, I'm not coming back And now you see the sky has turned black Why do think everyone has turned back? It's cause he's gone And now you see the sky has turned black Why do think everyone has turned back? It's cause he's gone And now you see the sky has turned black Why do think everyone has turned back? It's cause he's gone
Dance Gavin Dance
Real Quick" [Intro:] Valuable lesson, man I had to grow up That's why I never ask for help I'll do it for you niggaz and do it for myself [Chorus:] I go 0 to 100 nigga, real quick Real quick, whole squad on that real shit 0 to 100 nigga, real quick Real quick, real fuckin quick nigga 0 to 100 nigga, real quick Real quick, whole squad on that real shit 0 to 100 nigga, real quick Real quick, real fuckin quick nigga! [50 Cent:] I'll run my blade 'cross a nigga ass {"real quick"} I'm so for real I'm on some real real nigga shit You playin boy I'll get you hit {"real quick"} You better hope the parademics come {"real quick"} Got me fucked up you think it's different now a nigga rich Before I get to cuttin know you niggaz better cut the shit Boy, you gon' have ya head popped, pull a trigger for me And my lil' niggaz trigger op' like it's legal homie No game when I bang, boy I empty the clip You run like a bitch, you ain't 'bout that shit Hey hey hey hey, I'll catch you another day day day day It's the Unit back to the bullshit [Tony Yayo:] Yeah! Nothin in life is out of bounds AK hold about a hundred rounds 60 shots like K.D. at the Rucker's Okay! When I see you on respirators Southside nigga 'til the day I'm gone Indulge in the violence when the drama on Yeah, these rap niggaz lukewarm I'm two sleeves of dope, when the mic on [Chorus] [Kidd Kidd:] Real quick, Rida Gang fuck nigga, huh! Don't Tweet me, see me when you see me Down to make the news just to say that I'm on TV (Kidd Kidd) This clip rated R, niggaz PG Them shells burn like a bootleg CD (huh?) Fuck love, I want the money When you get too much of it they gon' say you actin funny "Kidd, how you feel now that the Unit's back?" Like a million bucks, muh'fucker do the math! [Young Buck:] Cold-blooded, boy my heart don't feel shit Get with me, ask 50, I'll take the hit {"real quick"} Balenciagas, you can still get ya ass kicked Take a rapper nigga bitch and make a real flick I know I'm different from what you usually be dealin with Don't need a mic, give me some white to make a million with Single borough, six shots on the Brooklyn Bridge I'll let the nigga Drake tell you what I just did (yeah) [Chorus] [Lloyd Banks:] Nigga gettin money new to you (uh) I give a fuck if shit get ugly, there'll be a beautiful funeral You fit the script I'm gon' assume it's true Can't manuever through the street without a strategy, ain't nobody to tutor you And man was lucky Unit's through, you know why he flows 15 years, switchin dealers like casinos And my goon'll clip you on the arm (uhh) I'm out the country every week and dumpin ash out on the Autobahn Auto-pilot's always on Rather better livin, I've been [?] green bills callin me all day long This is homicide, more tears in your mama eyes More reason to wake up, real niggaz arrive [Chorus]
G-Unit
Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta Verse 1 Damn it feels good to be a gangsta A real gangsta-ass nigga plays his cards right A real gangsta-ass nigga never runs his f**kin mouth Cuz real gangsta-ass niggas don't start fights And niggas always gotta high cap Showin' all his boys how he shot em But real gangsta-ass niggas don't flex nuts Cuz real gangsta-ass niggas know they got em And everythings cool in the mind of a gangsta Cuz gangsta-ass niggas think deep Up three-sixty-five a year 24/7 Cuz real gangsta ass niggas don't sleep And all I gotta say to you Wannabe, gonnabe, cocksuckin', pussy-eatin' prankstas 'Cause when the fire dies down what the f**k you gonna do Damn it feels good to be a gangsta Verse 2 Damn it feels good to be a gangsta Feedin' the poor and helpin out with their bills Although I was born in Jamaica Now I'm in the US makin' deals Damn it feels good to be a gangsta I mean one that you don't really know Ridin' around town in a drop-top Benz Hittin' switches in my black six-fo' Now gangsta-ass niggas come in all shapes and colors Some got killed in the past But this gangtsa here is a smart one Started living for the lord and I last Now all I gotta say to you Wannabe, gonnabe, pussy-eatin' cocksuckin' prankstas When the sh*t jumps off what the f**k you gonna do Damn it feels good to be a gangsta Verse 3 Damn it feels good to be a gangsta A real gangta-ass nigga knows the play Real gangsta-ass niggas get the flyest of the b**ches Ask that gangsta-ass nigga Little Jake Now b**ches look at gangsta-ass niggas like a stop sign And play the role of Little Miss Sweet But catch the b**ch all alone get the digit take her out and then dump-hittin' the ass with the meat Cuz gangsta-ass niggas be the gang playas And everythings quiet in the clique A gangsta-ass nigga pulls the trigger And his partners in the posse ain't tellin' off sh*t Real gangsta-ass niggas don't talk much All ya hear is the black from the gun blast And real gangsta-ass niggas don't run for sh*t Cuz real gangsta-ass niggas can't run fast Now when you in the free world talkin' sh*t do the sh*t Hit the pen and let the mothaf**kas shank ya But niggas like myself kick back and peep game Cuz damn it feels good to be a gangsta Verse 4 And now, a word from the President! Damn it feels good to be a gangsta Gettin voted into the White House Everything lookin good to the people of the world But the Mafia family is my boss So every now and then I owe a favor gettin' down like lettin' a big drug shipment through And send 'em to the poor community So we can bust you know who So voters of the world keep supportin' me And I promise to take you very far Other leaders better not upset me Or I'll send a million troops to die at war To all you Republicans, that helped me win I sincerely like to thank you Cuz now I got the world swingin' from my nuts And damn it feels good to be a gangsta
Geto Boys
Archer arrived early the next morning. Grey was still asleep on the sofa in his study when he heard tapping on the window. He opened his eyes and immediately regretted it as the sharp light of day pierced his brain. Squinting, he tried to focus on his brother, since he already knew who his visitor was. Only one person ever announced himself so annoyingly. “Open the bloody window, Grey!” Grumbling, Grey slowly rose into a full sitting position. His back and neck were stiff and his head felt as though someone had kicked it repeatedly from all sides. And his mouth! Christ, he didn’t want to even think about what might have died inside it. He staggered to the window, unlatched it and swung it open. “What the hell do you want?” Wide-eyed, Archer made a tsking noise. “Is that any way to greet your favorite brother?” “You’re not my favorite,” Grey scowled. Unaffected, Archer easily adapted. “Is that any way to greet your second-favorite brother?” Grey grinned, he couldn’t help it. Archer had always had a knack for making him smile, just as he had a knack for pissing him off as well. “I’m hung over and feel like shite. What do you want?” “You look like shite. What’s this I hear about you making an appearance at Saint’s Row last night?” “Rose tell you that?” “She did. I’m surprised you took such a risk just to see her.” Grey thought of her in that teal gown, the lights illuminating the luster of her skin. “It was worth it.” “Worth it, eh? So worth it you immediately came home and got sloshed.” “Something like that. And then Rose came home and I got even more sloshed.” Archer’s expression turned to concern as he leaned against the window frame. “What happened?” Grey shrugged. He’d already revealed more than he’d wanted. “Suffice it to say she now knows what kind of man I am.” His brother snorted. “That girl has always known exactly what kind of man you are.” The words were plain enough, but there was a cryptic edge to them that had Grey puzzled. “What the hell does that mean?” Arch shook his head. “Come to the stables with me. I want to show you something.” He looked down at himself. He was wearing the same clothes he’d worn last night and he was wrinkled beyond hope. Not to mention that he smelled like a distillery-an unwashed one at that. And his mask was up in his room. What if someone happened by and saw him… He wasn’t a coward. He just didn’t wish to be seen looking less than his best. An oath punctuated the early morning air. Grey was grabbed by the front of the shirt and yanked-hard. His only course of action was to brace one booted foot on the bottom sill to keep from falling. Of course, that action only succeeded in making it easier for Archer to haul him completely out onto the lawn. He landed hard on both feet, the impact going straight to his ready-to-implode skull. “What the hell?” Fist cocked, Grey punched his brother in the shoulder. “Jesus, man! What are you about?” Archer punched him back. It hurt, and oddly enough it seemed to wake him up-clear the fog and some of the pressure surrounding his brain. “I’m trying to help you, you bugger.” “To do what?” Grey demanded. “Die?
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
I’ll let you off your leash, but you have to show some manners. No humping, no pissing on anything man made, and keep the crotch greetings exclusive to your four-legged fury friends. Got it?” Swarley nods because I’ve made him part human over the past few months and I’m pretty sure I saw him roll his eyes at me too. Guess I’d better start getting used to sassiness and eye rolling … read that on a parenting blog too. Note to self. Find more positive bloggers that paint the picture of parenthood with rainbows, fairies, and pixie dust. “Sydney?” I turn. “Hey, Dane!” He bends down to let his dogs off their leashes. “Gosh, I didn’t think you’d be back. How was Paris?” Which part? The view of the ceiling from the couch or the drain from the top of the toilet? “Great!” Extremely sugarcoated … maybe teetering on an outright lie. “So how long are you staying?” He rests his hands on his hips. Dane is adorable. I’m sure grown men don’t like to be called adorable; hell, I didn’t like it when Lautner said it to me, but Dane is just that. Tall, dark, and admittedly handsome with a boyish grin that makes me want to take him home, bake him cookies, and pour him a tall glass of milk. “I’m not sure. Trevor and Elizabeth just moved to San Diego and I’m staying at their house until it sells or until I find something else.” He cocks his head to the side. “Yet, they left Swarley?” Turning my gaze to look for the wild pooch, I shake my head. “Their condo association doesn’t allow large pets. They’ve been looking for a new home for him, but for now I have him.” “You two have come a long way since the first day you showed up at my office.” Clasping my hands behind my back, I look down and kick at the dirt. “Yeah, you’re right. As of lately, I’ve considered taking him myself. But until I know where I’m going to end up, offering it would be a little premature if not irresponsible.” “Grad school with a dog. You’d have to find some place to live that allows pets.” My faces wrinkles as I peek up at him. “I’m not going to grad school, at least not for a while. Something’s kind of come up.” “Oh?” Dane’s hands shift from his hips to crossing over his chest as he widens his stance. I blow out a long breath, scrubbing my hands over my face. My fingers trace my eyebrows as I meet his eyes again. “I’m … pregnant.” Dane’s eye are going to pop out of his head and the dogs will be chasing them if he opens them any wider. “I’m sorr—or congrat—or—” I smile because his adorableness doubles when he gets all nervous and starts stuttering. “It’s congratulations now … ‘I’m sorry’ was last month.” He nods in slow motion. “So you came back for Lautner?” “No … well, yes, but that backfired on me. He’s … moved on.” “Moved on? Are you serious? From … you?” I shrug, bobbing my head up and down. “Well … he’s a fuc—a freaking idiot.” As much pain as this conversation brings me, I still manage to let a giggle escape with an accompanying smile. “You’re right. He is a fucafreaking idiot.” Dane grins. “Especially because he’s with Claire.” His eyes go wide again. “Dr. Brown?” I nod. “Dr. Fucafreaking Brown.” Dane mouths WOW! “Exactly.
Jewel E. Ann (Undeniably You)
This rich pork flavor, which lands on the tongue with a thump... It's Chinese Dongpo Pork! He seasoned pork belly with a blend of spices and let it marinate thoroughly... ... before finely dicing it and mixing it into the fried rice!" "What? Dongpo Pork prepared this fast?! No way! He didn't have nearly enough time to simmer the pork belly!" "Heh heh. Actually, there's a little trick to that. I simmered it in sparkling water instead of tap water. The carbon dioxide that gives sparkling water its carbonation helps break down the fibers in meat. Using this, you can tenderize a piece of meat in less than half the normal time!" "That isn't the only protein in this dish. I can taste the seafood from an Acqua Pazza too!" "And these green beans... it's the Indian dish Poriyal! Diced green beans and shredded coconut fried in oil with chilies and mustard seeds... it has a wonderfully spicy kick!" "He also used the distinctly French Mirepoix to gently accentuate the sweetness of the vegetables. So many different delicious flavors... ... all clashing and sparking in my mouth! But the biggest key to this dish, and the core of its amazing deliciousness... ... is the rice!" "Hmph. Well, of course it is. The dish is fried rice. If the rice isn't the centerpiece, it isn't a..." "I see. His dish is fried rice while simultaneously being something other than fried rice. A rice lightly fried in butter before being steamed in some variety of soup stock... In other words, it's actually closer to that famous staple from Turkish cuisine- a Pilaf! In fact, it's believed the word "pilaf" actually comes from the Turkish word pilav. To think he built the foundation of his dish on pilaf of all things!" "Heh heh heh! Yep, that's right! Man, I've learned so much since I started going to Totsuki." "Mm, I see! When you finished the dish, you didn't fry it in oil! That's why it still tastes so light, despite the large volume and variety of additional ingredients. I could easily tuck away this entire plate! Still... I'm surprised at how distinct each grain of rice is. If it was in fact steamed in stock, you'd think it'd be mushier." "Ooh, you've got a discerning tongue, sir! See, when I steamed the rice... ... I did it in a Donabe ceramic pot instead of a rice cooker!" Ah! No wonder! A Donabe warms slowly, but once it's hot, it can hold high temperatures for a long time! It heats the rice evenly, holding a steady temperature throughout the steaming process to steam off all excess water. To think he'd apply a technique for sticky rice to a pilaf instead! With Turkish pilaf as his cornerstone... ... he added super-savory Dongpo pork, a Chinese dish... ... whitefish and clams from an Italian Acqua Pazza... ... spicy Indian green bean and red chili Poriyal... ... and for the French component, Mirepoix and Oeuf Mayonnaise as a topping! *Ouef is the French word for "egg."* By combining those five dishes into one, he has created an extremely unique take on fried rice! " "Hold it! Wait one dang minute! After listening to your entire spiel... ... it sounds to me like all he did was mix a bunch of dishes together and call it a day! There's no way that mishmash of a dish could meet the lofty standards of the BLUE! It can't nearly be gourmet enough!" "Oh, but it is. For one, he steamed the pilaf in the broth from the Acqua Pazza... ... creating a solid foundation that ties together the savory elements of all the disparate ingredients! The spiciness of the Poriyal could have destabilized the entire flavor structure... ... but by balancing it out with the mellow body of butter and soy sauce, he turned the Poriyal's sharp bite into a pleasing tingle!
Yuto Tsukuda (食戟のソーマ 36 [Shokugeki no Souma 36] (Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma, #36))
Tell me what happened.” “He was here,” I said, hoarse. “He lit the can on fire and took the extinguisher nearby. I ran to the back to get the other and he pushed one of the shelves over on me.” The muscles in Holt’s jaw clenched and flexed beneath the stubble that lined his face. “Do you ever shave?” I wondered out loud. He smiled and rubbed at the gruffness. “I just trim it.” I nodded. “Do you like it?” he asked. Once again, I touched him, brazenly running my hand along his jaw. It was soft and rough at the same time—the perfect balance. “Yeah, I do.” “Good to know,” he said, taking my hand, linking our fingers together, and then his face grew serious again. “Obviously, I avoided the shelf.” “Did you get a look at his face?” I cringed at the hopefulness in his voice. “No,” I admitted. “I tried, but he kicked me.” His eyes went murderous. Maybe I shouldn’t have said that. “He. Kicked. You,” he ground out, making each word into a pointed sentence. This time I kept my mouth shut. “Where?” he demanded. I wasn’t going to reply, but his eyes narrowed and I knew he would eventually make me tell him. I was going to have to tell the cops anyway. Weariness floated over me at the thought of enduring yet another one of their hours-long interrogations. I lifted my wrist, the bandage just dangling from the area now, not covering or protecting a thing. The waves of hatred that rolled off him made me sincerely glad that all that emotion wasn’t directed at me. He stared at my delicately injured skin (some of it had gotten torn in the struggle and was slick with some sort of puss… Eww, gross), and I kind of thought the top of his head might explode. I was going to reassure him that I was okay, but the police rushed inside, followed closely behind by a medic with a first aid kit. “She needs medical attention,” Holt barked, authority ringing through his tone. The medic hurried to comply, slamming down his kit and springing it open. Holt dropped his hand onto the man’s shoulder and squeezed. “Bryant, I don’t even want to see a flick of pain cross her face when you touch her.” Bryant looked at me and swallowed thickly. “Yes, Chief.” “Chief?” I said, looking up at Holt. “I’ll be right back,” he said to me in a much gentler tone and then moved away. Bryant was fumbling with his supplies, Holt’s words clearly making him nervous. “Relax.” I tried to soothe him. “He’s just on edge about what happened. I’m fine. I promise to smile the whole time you fix me up.” “But it’s going to hurt,” he blurted apologetically. “Yeah, I know. Just do it. I’ll be fine.” That seemed to calm him a little, and he got to work. It did hurt. Incredibly. I felt Holt’s stare and I glanced up, giving him a fake smile. He rolled his eyes and turned back to one of the officers. “Hey,” I said to the medic. “Why did you call him chief?” He gave me a quizzical look. “Arkain’s the Wilmington Fire Chief.” My eyes jerked back to Holt where he stood talking to the police force and the firefighters that responded to the call. His firefighters. “I didn’t realize,” I murmured. Bryant nodded. “I guess I can understand that. He’s a humble guy. Doesn’t like to throw his position around.” I made a sound of agreement as he applied something to my wrist that made my entire body jerk. I bit down on my lip to keep from crying out. “I’m sorry!” he said a little too loudly. Holt stiffened and he turned, looking at me over his shoulder. I blinked back the tears that flooded my eyes and waved at him with my free hand. He said a few more words to the men standing around him and then he left them, coming to stand over poor Bryant. I never realized how intimidating he was when he wanted to be.
Cambria Hebert (Torch (Take It Off, #1))
✓My music had roots which I'd dug up from my own childhood, musical roots buried in the darkest soil. ✓What makes my approach special is that I do different things. I do jazz, blues, country music and so forth. I do them all, like a good utility man ✓What is a soul? It's like electricity - we don't really know what it is, but it's a force that can light a room ✓There are many spokes on the wheel of life. First, we're here to explore new possibilities. ✓I did it to myself. It wasn't society... it wasn't a pusher, it wasn't being blind or being black or being poor. It was all my doing. ✓What makes my approach special is that I do different things. I do jazz, blues, country music and so forth. I do them all, like a good utility man. ✓There's nothing written in the Bible, Old or New testament, that says, 'If you believe in Me, you ain't going to have no troubles.' ✓Music to me is like breathing. I don't get tired of breathing, I don't get tired of music. ✓Just because you can't see anything , doesn't mean you should shut your eyes. ✓Don't go backwards - you've already been there. ✓Affluence separates people. Poverty knits 'em together. You got some sugar and I don't; I borrow some of yours. Next month you might not have any flour; well, I'll give you some of mine. ✓Sometimes my dreams are so deep that I dream that I'm dreaming. ✓I don't think any of us really knows why we're here. But I think we're supposed to believe we're here for a purpose. ✓I'd like to think that when I sing a song, I can let you know all about the heartbreak, struggle, lies and kicks in the ass I've gotten over the years for being black and everything else, without actually saying a word about it. ✓.There's nothing written in the Bible, Old or New testament, that says, 'If you believe in Me, you ain't going to have no troubles.' ✓Other arms reach out to me, Other eyes smile tenderly, Still in peaceful dreams I see, The road leads back to you. ✓I can't help what I sound like. What I sound like is what i am. You know? I cannot be anything other that what I am. ✓Music is about the only thing left that people don't fight over. ✓My version of 'Georgia' became the state song of Georgia. That was a big thing for me, man. It really touched me. Here is a state that used to lynch people like me suddenly declaring my version of a song as its state song. That is touching. ✓Absence makes the heart grow fonder and tears are only rain to make love grow. ✓If you can play the blues, you can do anything. ✓I never considered myself part of rock 'n' roll. My stuff was more adult. It was more difficult for teenagers to relate to; my stuff was filled with more despair than anything you'd associate with rock 'n' roll. Since I couldn't see people dancing, I didn't write jitterbugs or twists. I wrote rhythms that moved me. My style requires pure heart singing. ✓It's like Duke Ellington said, there are only two kinds of music - good and bad. And you can tell when something is good. ✓Rhythm and blues used to be called race music. ... This music was going on for years, but nobody paid any attention to it. ✓Crying's always been a way for me to get things out which are buried deep, deep down. When I sing, I often cry. Crying is feeling, and feeling is being human. ✓I cant retire from music any more than I can retire from my liver. Youd have to remove the music from me surgically—like you were taking out my appendix. ✓The words to country songs are very earthy like the blues. They're not as dressed up and the people are very honest and say, 'Look, I miss you darlin', so I went out and got drunk in this bar.' That's the way you say it. Where in Tin Pan Alley they would say, 'Oh I missed you darling, so I went to this restaurant and I sat down and had a dinn
Ray Charles
So, what did you want to watch?’ ‘Thought we might play a game instead,’ he said, holding up a familiar dark green box. ‘Found this on the bottom shelf of your DVD cupboard … if you tilt the glass, the champagne won’t froth like that.’ Neve finished pouring champagne into the 50p champagne flutes she’d got from the discount store and waited until Max had drunk a good half of his in two swift swallows. ‘The thing is, you might find it hard to believe but I can be very competitive and I have an astonishing vocabulary from years spent having no life and reading a lot – and well, if you play Scrabble with me, I’ll totally kick your arse.’ Max was about to eat his first bite of molten mug cake but he paused with the spoon halfway to his mouth. ‘You’re gonna kick my arse?’ ‘Until it’s black and blue and you won’t be able to sit down for a week.’ That sounded very arrogant. ‘Really, Max, Mum stopped me from playing when I was thirteen after I got a score of four hundred and twenty-seven, and when I was at Oxford, I used to play with two Linguistics post-grads and an English don.’ ‘Well, my little pancake girlfriend, I played Scrabble against Carol Vorderman for a Guardian feature and I kicked her arse because Scrabble has got nothing to do with vocabulary; it’s logic and tactics,’ Max informed her loftily, taking a huge bite of the cake. For a second, Neve hoped that it was as foul-tasting as she suspected just to get Max back for that snide little speech, but he just licked the back of the spoon thoughtfully. ‘This is surprisingly more-ish, do you want some?’ ‘I think I’ll pass.’ ‘Well, you’re not getting out of Scrabble that easily.’ Max leaned back against the cushions, the mug cradled to his chest, and propped his feet up on the table so he could poke the Scrabble box nearer to Neve. ‘Come on, set ’em up. Unless you’re too scared.’ ‘Max, I have all the two-letter words memorised, and as for Carol Vorderman – well, she might be good at maths but there was a reason why she wasn’t in Dictionary Corner on Countdown so I’m not surprised you beat her at Scrabble.’ ‘Fighting talk.’ Max rapped his knuckles gently against Neve’s head, which made her furious. ‘I’ll remind you of that little speech once I’m done making you eat every single one of those high-scoring words you seem to think you’re so good at.’ ‘Right, that does it.’ Neve snatched up the box and practically tore off the lid, so she could bang the board down on the coffee table. ‘You can’t be that good at Scrabble if you keep your letters in a crumpled paper bag,’ Max noted, actually daring to nudge her arm with his foot. Neve knew he was only doing it to get a rise out of her, but God, it was working. ‘Game on, Pancake Boy,’ she snarled, throwing a letter rack at Max, which just made him laugh. ‘And don’t think I’m going to let you win just because it’s your birthday.’ It was the most fun Neve had ever had playing Scrabble. It might even have been the most fun she had ever had. For every obscure word she tried to play in the highest scoring place, Max would put down three tiles to make three different words and block off huge sections of the board. Every time she tried to flounce or throw a strop because ‘you’re going against the whole spirit of the game’, Max would pop another Quality Street into her mouth because, as he said, ‘It is Treat Sunday and you only had one roast potato.’ When there were no more Quality Street left and they’d drunk all the champagne, he stopped each one of her snits with a slow, devastating kiss so there were long pauses between each round. It was a point of honour to Neve that she won in the most satisfying way possible; finally getting to use her ‘q’ on a triple word score by turning Max’s ‘hogs’ into ‘quahogs’ and waving the Oxford English Dictionary in his face when he dared to challenge her.
Sarra Manning (You Don't Have to Say You Love Me)
[...] Kevin had grown up playing left-handed. Seeing him take on Andrew right-handed was ballsy enough, seeing him actually score was surreal. Kevin kicked them off the court [...], but instead of following [...] he stayed behind with Andrew to keep practicing. Neil watched them over his shoulder. "I saw him first," Nicky said. "I thought you had Erik," Neil said. "I do, but Kevin's on the List," Nicky said. When Neil frowned, Nicky explained. "It's a list of celebrities we're allowed to have affairs with. Kevin is number three." Neil pretended to understand and changed the topic. "How does anyone lose against the Foxes with Andrew in your goal?" "He's good, right? [...] Coach bribed Andrew into saving our collective asses with some really nice booze." "Bribed?" Neil echoed. "Andrew's good," Nicky said again, "but it doesn't really matter to him if we win or lose. You want him to care, you gotta give him incentive." "He can't play like that and not care." "Now you sound like Kevin. You'll find out the hard way, same as Kevin did. Kevin gave Andrew a lot of grief this spring [...]. Up until then they were fighting like cats and dogs. Now look at them. They're practically trading friendship bracelets and I couldn't fit a crowbar between them if it'd save my life." "But why?" Neil asked. "Andrew hates Kevin's obsession with Exy." "The day they start making sense to you, let me know," Nicky said [...]. "I gave up trying to sort it all out weeks ago. [...] But as long as I'm doling out advice? Stop staring at Kevin so much. You're making me fear for your life over here." "What do you mean?" "Andrew is scary territorial of him. He punched me the first time I said I'd like to get Kevin too wasted to be straight." Nicky pointed at his face, presumably where Andrew had decked him. "So yeah, I'm going to crush on safer targets until Andrew gets bored of him. That means you, since Matt's taken and I don't hate myself enough to try Seth. Congrats." "Can you take the creepy down a level?" Aaron asked. "What?" Nikcy asked. "He said he doesn't swing, so obviously he needs a push." "I don't need a push," Neil said. "I'm fine on my own." "Seriously, how are you not bored of your hand by now?" "I'm done with this conversation," Neil said. "This and every future variation of it [...]." The stadium door slammed open as Andrew showed up at last. [...] "Kevin wants to know what's taking you so long. Did you get lost?" "Nicky's scheming to rape Neil," Aaron said. "There are a couple flaws in his plan he needs to work out first, but he'll get there sooner or later." [...] "Wow, Nicky," Andrew said. "You start early." "Can you really blame me?" Nicky glanced back at Neil as he said it. He only took his eyes off Andrew for a second, but that was long enough for Andrew to lunge at him. Andrew caught Nicky's jersey in one hand and threw him hard up against the wall. [...] "Hey, Nicky," Andrew said in stage-whisper German. "Don't touch him, you understand?" "You know I'd never hurt him. If he says yes-" "I said no." "Jesus, you're greedy," Nicky said. "You already have Kevin. Why does it-" He went silent, but it took Neil a moment to realize why. Andrew had a short knife pressed to Nicky's Jersey. [...] Neil was no stranger to violence. He'd heard every threat in the book, but never from a man who smiled as bright as Andrew did. Apathy, anger, madness, boredom: these motivators Neil knew and understood. But Andrew was grinning like he didn't have a knife point where it'd sleep perfectly between Nicky's ribs, and it wasn't because he was joking. Neil knew Andrew meant it. [...] "Hey, are we playing or what?" Neil asked. "Kevin's waiting." [...] Andrew let go of Nicky and spun away. [...] Nicky looked shaken as he stared after the twins, but when he realized Neil was watching him he rallied with a smile Neil didn't believe at all. "On second thought, you're not my type after all [...].
Nora Sakavic (The Foxhole Court (All for the Game, #1))
I’m a guy with a disease that eventually kills everybody who has it, and eventually it’s going to kill me. I am glad it wasn’t today. I hope it’s not for a long, long time. But let’s not kid ourselves. It’s going to happen, and when it happens, I don’t want Marjani or Travis or my mom or this Jennifer person who is suddenly the matriarch of this weird little family to be kicking themselves up and down over it.
Will Leitch (How Lucky)
You do know scones are not donuts, right?" Nina wasn't one to pass up any baked goods, but a donut was a donut. No scone would do. "This is not your white, British-royals high tea, my friend. This is Highland Park high tea. It opened a month ago, and I think we're about to have our whole world rocked." The Jam's exterior was black-and-white---- if you blinked you'd miss it. But when they went inside Nina immediately spotted a colorful mural of dinosaurs seated on velvet cushions, eating donuts and drinking out of porcelain cups. A pristine glass display case on the opposite wall featured rows and rows of endless donuts--- a happy welcoming committee of frosting and dough. "We'll be having tea for two," Jasmine said at the counter. "And for my donut, could I get the Swirly Rosewater, please?" As soon as she saw the names and flavors of the donuts, she instantly knew two things: one, she was going to love these, and two, Leo would absolutely hate them. Nina suddenly felt sympathy for Leo any time a contestant created a unique flavor pairing on the show. She raced to find the donut her friend had ordered in the case, and landed on a frosted pink cake donut that had a lemon rosewater glaze topped with roasted pistachios. "You live your life in pink, Jas." "No better color. So from what I read online, the deal is that instead of scones, they do vegan donuts---" Nina's eyes narrowed, and Jasmine glared right back. "Don't judge. What are you going to get?" "I need chocolate," Nina said. She scanned the rows in search of the perfect solution. "May I recommend our Chocolate from the Crypt donut?" the saleswoman suggested from behind the display. Her sharp bangs and blunt ponytail bobbed as she explained, "It's our fall-themed donut--- chocolate cake with a chocolate glaze, and it's got a kick from the cayenne pepper and cinnamon we add in." "Oh, my donut," Nina said. In the case was an absolutely gorgeous chocolate confection--- the cayenne and cinnamon flakes on the outside created a black-and-orange effect. "I am sold." "You got it." The saleswoman nodded and rang them up. A narrow hallway covered in murals of cartoon animals drinking tea led them to the official tearoom. Soaring ceilings revealed exposed beams and brick walls, signaling that the building was likely older and newly restored. Modern, barrel-back walnut chairs were clustered around ultrasleek Scandinavian round tables. Nina felt like she'd followed Jasmine down a rabbit hole and emerged into the modern interpretation of the Mad Hatter's tea party. "This is like..." Nina began. "It's a fun aesthetic." "I know, right?" Jasmine replied as they sat down. "It makes me feel like I'm not cool enough to be here, but glad I got invited." Nina picked up the prix fixe high tea menu on the table. The Jam's version of finger sandwiches were crispy "chicken" sliders, potato-hash tacos and mini banh mi, and in lieu of scones, they offered cornbread with raspberry jam and their signature donuts. "And it's all vegan...?" "Yes, my friendly carnivore, and hopefully delicious.
Erin La Rosa (For Butter or Worse)
Crosby, Sinatra, and Martin were three major male singing stars whose careers overlapped, with the emergence of their stardom in that order. They had distinctly different approaches to the cinematic frame. Sinatra’s entrance, even if he seemed cool, indifferent, and casual, was tantamount to kicking the door down. Crosby slipped in from the side, all low-key and “Don’t mind me.” Martin, perhaps as a result of having to stand around for years while Jerry Lewis swung on the chandelier, always established himself as outside the frame: “I’m just hangin’ loose out here and watchin’ the action.” These three men were all really good actors—great actors, even—but their singing defined them, and in that race Bing was the pacesetter. Although both Sinatra and Martin are probably better known today, and Sinatra is the gold standard of male singers, his role model was always Crosby. Nobody could upstage Crosby, partly because he was so good at appearing not to care. When he was present, everyone else seemed to be sweating it out.*18 Crosby never lost it. He presented himself to any audience as if the very idea weren’t in his brain pan.
Jeanine Basinger (The Movie Musical!)
He leaned down and kissed me, warm and soft. "I do have a trick to get you to relax though." And I knew exactly what his idea of "relaxing" was. "We're at work!" "We're alone at work," he teased, lifting me off my feet and walking away with me in his arms. "You're insatiable!" I laughed as he bound up the stairs. "Only when it comes to you, love." In his office, he kicked the door shut behind him before setting me on the small couch by the bookshelves. He caged me in his arms and leaned down to kiss my neck. "What do you think you're doing?" My lips protested, but my head moved to the side, giving him more room to kiss me. "Are we still trying for a faeling?" he asked. "These things can take quite a bit of time, you know." "It could take decades!" "A sacrifice I'm willing to make," he teased. Wrapping my fingers around his tie, I gently tugged his face down to mine so I could kiss him, reminiscent of our first kiss that had cemented the bond between us half a year ago. "Whatever happens, happens. I'm not as impatient as you, Lord of Winter." "Only for you," Devin answered. "Only ever for you, love." He kissed me again, deeper and hungrier than before, and I wrapped my arms around his neck and melted into him.
Sabrina Blackburry (Dirty Lying Faeries)
I had to use a public restroom today. Isn't that the worst when you have to, god damb it! Why when you walk into a public restroom why is everything fucking wet? There's puddles, waters all over the counter, it's dripping it's like being in a fucking cave. What happen was there like a shaggy dog in there after a bath? And god fabid you have to use the stall you go in there, you sit down, you try to close the door, which apparently Van-Damme kicked in. Why are they all broken? Who's running in the bathroom like "I gotta shit... I can't shit with the door in front of me! Fucking door! I don't like being in a perfect square when I'm trying to shit!
Dane Cook
His words caused a rush of heat in her already damp passage. Yeah, she was ready, but it was too fast. They had all night, and she wanted to take advantage. “Too soon,” she whispered, and moved her lower body out of his reach. “Jill,” he warned. “I’m close. You want me in you, then don’t make me come.” She didn’t answer, and instead lowered her mouth to swallow as much of his penis as she could fit. “Urgh,” Rowan made an incomprehensible noise, and she suddenly found herself on her back with him looming over her. “It’s my turn to dare you. Ready?” He held her down, with his knees on her thighs and his one arm pressed against her shoulder. She could try to overpower him, but it wouldn’t work. He was stronger. And that’s when it hit her how far she’d come under Rowan’s love and care. She’d never dreamed a man could hold her down, and not only wouldn’t it scare her; it aroused her. Because she liked feeling him dominate her. “Dare me,” she said. “It’s not going to be easy,” he warned. “I’m still a little pissed you ran from me, and I had to chase you down. We could’ve had our orgasms and been sleeping in our own bed already.” “I’m sorry,” she said. “Don’t feel too bad. I got a hotel room with my nearly naked girl. Life is good.” They smiled at each other. “Take off your jeans,” he ordered. “Is that the dare?” she teased, “because that’s easy. I’ve been doing it since kindergarten.” “Smart ass,” he muttered, but it was obvious he was distracted by her shimmying out of her worn jeans. “Naked ass,” she corrected and shook it at him while on her hands and knees. “Yep.” He gave it a sharp spank, and her head whirled around to stare at him in shock. She’d been hit on nearly every body part by Jack, and every punch and slap caused humiliation and pain, but when Rowan spanked her, she wanted to arch back and demand more. “You okay?” he asked, clearly attuned to her stunned surprise. She nodded and remained on all fours. “What’s the dare?” she asked, expecting a demand to get on her knees and open wide or on her back and spread her legs. Therefore she was stunned at his challenge. “I dare you to try to run from me again.” He lay back against the headboard and watched her reaction. It took her three seconds to catch on and another second to be off the bed, springing naked to the door. He’d better catch her before she made it to the hallway. She didn’t want to get kicked out of her hotel stay. Bam! Her hand was reaching for the doorknob, when Rowan’s big body slammed into her from behind, pressing her breasts against the wood of the door. His hand gripped one wrist and held it above their heads against the door. Her right hand shimmied out from between their bodies to try to free herself, but he managed to grab that too and bound both her wrists in his left hand, holding them captive above her head. “Get on your toes,” he growled in her ear. As she rose onto tippy–toes, every inch of his erection slid along her lower back and down the crease of her ass until it bobbed between her legs. She adjusted her stance so the head of his penis probed at her entrance. His hips shifted and he was embedded deep inside. With this angle, she felt full to bursting and every nerve ending touched a part of his body. He overwhelmed her, crushing her front to the door, and pressing his chest to her back. The wood of the door felt scratchy against her cheek, and her toes felt as though they might fly off the ground entirely as he thrust upward. “Move with me. I dare you,” he said in his deep voice against her right ear. “It’s my turn to dare,” she said and gasped on a deep thrust. “Go for it,” he grunted and continued thrusting. “I dare you to make me come,” she said.
Lynne Silver (Desperate Match (Coded for Love, #5))
Hey, buddy,” she says and sits him on her lap. He leans over, gently poking Quinn’s belly. Then he looks at me and Quinn’s belly again. “Is that what Uncle Dean is mad?” heasks. “What do you mean?” Quinn turns her head down to look athim. “I heard Uncle Dean say Uncle Archer put a baby inside you. But how? Did it hurt? Did you swallow it like a watermelon seed and now it’s going to grow big and big and bigger?” Quinn’s mouth falls open and she looks at me for help. I have no idea what to say either, and I’m becoming more and more aware of everyone else staring atus. “If she swallowed it,” Owen starts, “then there wouldn’t—”  He cuts off when Logan kicks him hard under the table. Quinn’s cheeks are turning red, and everyone from her grandma to my dad are staring at her. Weston twists in his chair, glaring at his younger brother. “Why don’t we let Uncle Dean explain this one since he’s going around talking aboutit.” “Okay,” Jackson says with a smile and looks at Dean. “Where did Uncle Archer get the baby? Why is it in Winnie’s belly? Why didn’t he just give it to her?” His brows furrow together and then he looks horrified. “How does it comeout?” Everyone sits in stunned silence for a good thirty seconds. “Excellent questions,” Mrs. Dawson says, getting up. She goes around the table and takes Jackson from Quinn and goes into the kitchen, saying something about chocolate.
Emily Goodwin (End Game (Dawson Family, #2))
Wilf slammed the apartment door with a boom and headed downstairs, swinging himself along using the railings. He had to hustle to catch the bus, even though that was the last thing he wanted to ride. It was surprising how quickly you could get used to having someone drive you everywhere. Especially when the bus on your route smelled like a combination of gas, rotten tuna fish, and sweat. Wilf kicked the building’s front door open and jumped down the entrance steps, almost slamming into some guy standing in the middle of the sidewalk. “Sorry,” he muttered. But really, what kind of guy just stands in the middle of the sidewalk? “What, forget me already?” Wilf looked up and broke into a surprised grin. “Frank?” Frank shrugged. “Funny thing, looks like they want you to keep going with those clues, anyway.” “Even though that Bondi kid won?” “Even though.” Frank reached into his pocket and pulled out a folded-up piece of paper. “So we’re going to have to get moving if we want to finish up before I’m reassigned. So what’s next?” He scanned the page. “Seadog boat trip?” Wilf grinned. “You said it, Skipper.
Emily Ecton (The Ambrose Deception)
I understand you, Marco Antonio Guerra said to him. I mean, if I’m right, I think I understand you. You’re like me and I’m like you. We aren’t happy. The atmosphere around us is stifling. We pretend there’s nothing wrong, but there is. What’s wrong? We’re being fucking stifled. You let off steam your own way. I beat the shit out of people or let them beat the shit out of me. But the fights I get into aren’t just any fights, they’re fucking apocalyptic mayhem. I’m going to tell you a secret. Sometimes I go out at night, to bars you can’t even imagine. And I pretend to be a faggot. But not just any kind of faggot: smooth, stuck-up, sarcastic, a daisy in the filthiest pigsty in Sonora. Of course, I don’t have a gay bone in me, I can swear that on the grave of my dead mother. But I pretend that’s what I am. An arrogant little faggot with money who looks down on everyone. And then the inevitable happens. Two or three vultures ask me to step outside. And then the shit kicking begins. I know it and I don’t care. Sometimes they’re the ones who get the worst of it, especially when I have my gun. Other times it’s me. I don’t give a fuck. I need the fucking release. Sometimes my friends, the few friends I have, guys my age who are lawyers now, tell me I should be careful, I’m a time bomb, I’m a masochist. One of them, someone I was really close to, told me that only somebody like me could get away with what I did because I had my father to bail me out. Pure coincidence, that’s all. I’ve never asked my father for a thing. The truth is, I don’t have friends. I don’t want any. At least, I’d rather not have friends who’re Mexicans. Mexicans are rotten inside, did you know? Every last one of them. No one escapes. From the president of the republic to that clown Subcomandante Marcos. If I were Subcomandante Marcos, you know what I’d do? I’d launch an attack with my whole army on any city in Chiapas, so long as it had a strong military garrison. And there I’d sacrifice my poor Indians. And then I’d probably go live in Miami. What kind of music do you like? asked Amalfitano. Classical music, Professor, Vivaldi, Cimarosa, Bach. And what books do you read? I used to read everything, Professor, I read all the time. Now all I read is poetry. Poetry is the one thing that isn’t contaminated, the one thing that isn’t part of the game. I don’t know if you follow me, Professor. Only poetry—and let me be clear, only some of it—is good for you, only poetry isn’t shit.
Roberto Bolaño (2666)
AT: oKAYYYY, mY BROMO SAPIEN, AT: r U READY, AT: tO GET STRAIGHT IN, FLAT DOWN, BROAD SIDE, SCHOOL FED UP THE BONE BULGE, AT: bY A DOPE SMACKED, TRINKED OUT, SMOTHER FUDGING, AT: tROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL, TG: dont care AT: oK, lET ME, AT: oRGANIZE MY NOTES HERE, AT: oKAYYY, AT: (tURN ON SOME STRICT BEATS MAYBE, iT WILL HELP TO LISTEN TO THEM WHILE i DESTROY YOU,) AT: wHEN THE POLICE MAN BUSTS ME, aND POPS THE TRUNK, AT: hE'S ALL SUPRISED TO FIND I'M TOTING SICK BILLY, AT: wHOSE, AT: gOAT IS THAT, hE ASKS, wHILE HE STOPS TO THUNK AT: aBOUT IT, aND i'S JUST SAY IT'S DAVE'S, yOU SILLY AT: gOOSE, AT: bUT THE MAN SAYS, gOOSE! wHERE, lET ME SEE YOUR HANDS, AT: aND i SAY SHIT SORRY, i DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS HONKTRABAND, AT: wOW, oK, AT: i AM GETTING OFF THE POINT, wHICH WAS, AT: aBOUT THIS HOT MESS DAVE, tHAT YOU GOT LANDED IN, AT: lIKE THE COP i MENTIONED, bUT INSTEAD OF YOUR BADGE, AT: aND YOUR GUN, IT'S YOUR ASS THAT YOU HANDED IN, AT: (aND THEN GOT HANDED BACK TO YOU,) AT: cAUSE THAT'S HOW HUMANS GET SERVED, AT: aND GUYS LIKE YOU DESERVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT iT'S, AT: a CIRCLE AND HORNS IN YOUR BUTT THAT GOT BRANDED IN, AT: (uMM, bEFORE i GAVE YOUR ASS BACK TO YOU, i DID THAT, iS WHAT i MEAN,) AT: bUT i MEAN, gETTING BACK TO THE POINT, oR MAYBE TWO ACTUALLY, AT: tHE FIRST IS YOU SUCK, aND THE SECOND IS HOW i SMACKEDYOUFULLY, AT: (oH YEAH, tHAT RHYME WAS SO ILLLLLLLLL,) AT: bUT NO, jUST JOKING, lET'S SEE, hOW CAN i PUT THIS TACTFULLULLY, AT: i MEAN THE POINTS ON THE HORNS ON MY HEAD, AT: cOMING AT YOU THROUGH TRAFFIC, AT: aIMED AT THE TARGET ON YOUR SHIRT THAT IS RED, AT: wE'RE ABOUT TO GET MAD HORNOGRAPHIC, AT: (i MEAN SORT OF LIKE A GRAPHIC CRIME SCENE, nOT LIKE,) AT: (aNYTHING SEXUAL,) AT: (eRR, wHOAAAAA,) AT: (nEVERMIND,) AT: oK, gETTING BACK TO THE ACTUAL, tACTICAL, vERNACULAR SMACKCICLE, AT: i'M FORCING YOU TO BE LICKING, (aND lIKING,) AT: gRAB MY HORNS AND START KICKING, lIKE YOU'RE RIDING A VIKING, AT: cAUSE i'M YOUR BULLY, aND YOU'RE NOT IN CHARGE, AT: yOU THINK YOU'RE IN CHARGE BUT YOU'RE NOT IN CHARGE, AT: i'M IN CHARGE, cAUSE i'M CHARGING IN, AT: yOUR CHINASHOP, AT: bREAKING, uH, yOUR PLATES AND STUFF, WHICH i DON'T REALLY KNOW, AT: wHAT THE PLATES ARE SUPPOSED TO REPRESENT, bUT, AT: (fUCK,) AT: iT'S JUST THAT YOU THINK YOU ARE THE COCK OF THE WALK'S HOT SHIT AT: bUT WHEN IN FACT YOU ARE NOT, mORE LIKE YOU ARE, AT: sOMETHING THAT RHYMES WITH THE COCK OF THE WALK'S HOT SHIT, AT: bUT IS SO MUCH WORSE THAN THE COCK'S SHIT, AT: sO, gIVEN THAT, lET ME BE THE FIRST, AT: tO SAY YOU ACT LIKE YOU'RE GOLD FROM PROSPIT, AT: wHEN YOU'RE REALLY COLD SHIT FLUSHED FROM DERSE,
Andrew Hussie (Homestuck)
Gunner! Get in the fucking car! We have to go! Now! Right fucking now!” I yell, as I run around to the front of the vehicle and then back to where Gunner is since he is not moving fast enough for me. Gunner bolts upward and takes off running for the house. I have no idea why. For some stupid reason, I think he’s bailing on Ava so I rush forward and tackle him to the ground. “We have to go, Gunner! Get a fucking grip, brother!” I shout in his face while we’re rolling around on the ground. “Get off of me, fuckface!” “You’re going to the hospital and becoming a dad whether you like it or not!” I bellow in his face as he shoves me off of him and breaks for the house again. “I dive and snag a leg, at least enough to send him headfirst back into the ground. I stand and start trying to drag him to the vehicle while he’s kicking at me trying to get loose. He lands a hefty kick, just as I bend over to grab his other leg and I take a shot to the eyebrow. Blood starts pouring down my face from the wound. “Fuck! That shit hurt, Gunner! You ass!” I can hear Loki going wild in the house, barking, and Mac is in the window running his beak. He gets to his feet, again, and bolts to the house while I’m wiping the blood out of my eye. When he re-emerges a moment later, I punch him in the jaw. It rocks him back a step and I get a happy feeling in my stomach when I see a trickle of blood. “What the fuck, Axel? What is wrong with you?” “Girlie punch, Assman!” shouts Mac. “Both of you, stop right now! What the fuck is wrong with you two?” Dad’s voice booms in my ear. “He kicked me in the face!” “He punched me!” we say at the same time. That’s when I notice the diaper bag and suitcase that Gunner is holding. Huh. Well, shit. That’s probably what he was running to the house to get. “Where is Ava?” shouts Gunner, dropping the bags and running to the spot the SUV is no longer parked in. “Bailey is driving her and Trudy to the hospital while you two jackholes decided to slug it out in the front yard!
Lola Wright (Axel (The Devil's Angels MC #2))
I’m dying. After all this time, how ironic it is that the one thing I spent my life trying to save will be the thing that kills me. Fate is a fickle b*tch that kicks you when you're down.
K.M. Seager (Spirit Walker (Spirit of the Runestone Book 1))
Hey, we’ll let Huckleberry enjoy his lunch. Speaking of something, if you are in a better mood now, come with me to the Rainforest Room. I have something to show you. I wanted to wait until you calmed down because it means a lot to me, and I hoped you might be happy for me. Here, come with me.” He led her back to the previous room, which had amazing, rare rainforest plants in it. “Check this out!” He tossed her a magazine that said Horticultural Digest on the cover. Holly neatly caught it and opened it up to the dog-eared page. Blaring across the page in huge font was the title: WILLIAM SMITH, THE RAINMAKER OF SHELLESBY COLLEGE’S FAMOUS RAINFOREST ROOM. It was a five-page spread with big glossy photos of the Rainforest Room sprinkled throughout the article. “Five, count ‘em, five pages! That’s my record. Until now, they’ve only given me four. Check it out: I’m the Rainmaker, baby! Let it rain, let it rainnnn!” William stomped around in make-believe puddles on the floor. He picked up a garden hose lying along the side of the room and held it upright like an umbrella. “I’m singing in the rain, just singing in the rain. What a glorious feeling. I’m happy again.” Holly squealed with laughter and applauded. William jumped up on a large over-turned pot and shifted the hose to now play air guitar while he repeated the verse. “William, there is no air guitar in that song!” “There is now, baby!” Holly exploded again in laughter, clutching her sides. After a few more seconds of air guitar, William jumped off the pot and lowered his voice considerably. “Thank you, thank you very much,” William said in his Elvis impersonation. He now held the garden hose like a microphone and said, “My next song is dedicated to my beagle, my very own hound dog, my Sweetpea. Sweetpea, girl, this is for youuuuuuu.” He now launched into Elvis’s famous “Hound Dog.” “You ain’t nothing but a hound dogggg.” With this, he also twirled the hose by holding it tight two feet from the nozzle, then twirling the nozzle in little circles above his head like a lasso. “Work it, William! Work it!” Holly screamed in laughter. He did some choice hip swivels as he sang “Hound Dog,” sending Holly into peals of laughter. “William, stop! Stop! Where are you? I can’t see I’m crying so hard!” William dropped his voice even lower and more dramatically. In his best Elvis voice, he said, “Well, if you can’t find me darlin’, I’ll find you.” He dropped on one knee and gently picked up her hand. “Thank you, thank you very much,” he said in Elvis mode. “My next song, I dedicate to my one and only, to my Holly-Dolly. Little prickly pear, this one’s for youuuuuu.” He now launched into Elvis’s famous “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You.” “Take my hand, take my whole life, too, for I can’t help falling in love with you.” With that, he gave her hand a soft kiss. He then jumped up onto an empty potting table and spun around once on his butt, then pushed himself the length of the entire table, and slid off the far end. “Loose, footloose!” William picked up his garden-hose microphone again and kept singing. “Kick off the Sunday shoes . . .” He sang the entire song, and then Holly exploded in appreciative applause. He was breathing heavily and had a million-dollar smile on his face. “Hoo-wee, that was fun! I am so sweaty now, hoo-boy!” He splashed some water on his face, and then shook his hair. “William! When are you going to enter that karaoke contest at the coffee shop in town? They’re paying $1,000 to the winner of their contest. No one can beat you! That was unbelievable!” “That was fun.” William laughed. “Are in a better mood now?” “How can I not be? You are THE best!
Kira Seamon (Dead Cereus)
Why do you try to get others to notice you, Adimar, when I’m the one who matters?” She stood up. “I’m the one who can fund your way to the top. I’ll help you overthrow the Lakotas and the Ghiblas. No more working for the Muslims. Christians won’t save you from other Christians. Your accounts are paid and closed.” “What are you?” “Your fucking guardian angel. Whatever. Now sit down. We need to talk.” As if something had clicked in his mind, “Get the fuck out of my apartment.” This was just a magic trick. A show. A test of loyalty. She cocked her head. “Really? I just handed you what you want on a silver platter and you’re kicking me out?” He raised his gun once more, coming to his senses. “Dude, that’s not going to work on me. Let me be upfront. I’m immortal.” “You’re no angel. Angels don’t help men like me.
B.L.A. (The Pre-programming)
The best thing to do," said one of the malingerers, "is to sham madness. In the next room there are two other men from the school where I teach and one of them keeps shouting day and night : 'Giordano Bruno's stake is still smoldering ; renew Galileo's trial !'” “I meant at first to act the fool too and be a religious maniac and preach about the infallibility of the Pope, but finally I managed to get some cancer of the stomach for fifteen crowns from a barber down the road." "That's nothing," said another man. "Down our way there's a midwife who for twenty crowns can dislocate your foot so nicely that you're crippled for the rest of your life.” “My illness has run me into more than two hundred crowns already," announced his neighbor, a man as thin as a rake. "I bet there's no poison you can mention that I haven't taken. I'm simply bung full of poisons. I've chewed arsenic, I've smoked opium, I've swallowed strychnine, I've drunk vitriol mixed with phosphorus. I've ruined my liver, my lungs, my kidneys, my heart—in fact, all my insides. Nobody knows what disease it is I've got." "The best thing to do," explained someone near the door, "is to squirt paraffin oil under the skin on your arms. My cousin had a slice of good luck that way. They cut off his arm below the elbow and now the army'll never worry him any more.” “Well," said Schweik, "When I was in the army years ago, it used to be much worse. If a man went sick, they just trussed him up, shoved him into a cell to make him get fitter. There wasn't any beds and mattresses and spittoons like what there is here. Just a bare bench for them to lie on. Once there was a chap who had typhus, fair and square, and the one next to him had smallpox. Well, they trussed them both up and the M. O. kicked them in the ribs and said they were shamming. When the pair of them kicked the bucket, there was a dust-up in Parliament and it got into the papers. Like a shot they stopped us from reading the papers and all our boxes was inspected to see if we'd got any hidden there. And it was just my luck that in the whole blessed regiment there was nobody but me whose newspaper was spotted. So our colonel starts yelling at me to stand to attention and tell him who'd written that stuff to the paper or he'd smash my jaw from ear to ear and keep me in clink till all was blue. Then the M.O. comes up and he shakes his fist right under my nose and shouts: 'You misbegotten whelp ; you scabby ape ; you wretched blob of scum ; you skunk of a Socialist, you !' Well, I stood keeping my mouth shut and with one hand at the salute and the other along the seam of my trousers. There they was, running round and yelping at me. “We'll knock the newspaper nonsense out of your head, you ruffian,' says the colonel, and gives me 21 days solitary confinement. Well, while I was serving my time, there was some rum goings-on in the barracks. Our colonel stopped the troops from reading at all, and in the canteen they wasn't allowed even to wrap up sausages or cheese in newspapers. That made the soldiers start reading and our regiment had all the rest beat when it came to showing how much they'd learned.
Jaroslav Hašek (The Good Soldier Schweik)
Your love is the one you look upon.’ Oh, Ren,” she whispers, throwing her arm around me and kissing my neck. “This is insanely sweet. And thank goodness you weren’t ‘looking upon’ the wonton soup when you read it.” I laugh as I kiss her back. “I’m so glad it was you instead.” “You didn’t really love me at first sight,” she says skeptically. “That doesn’t exist.” “I don’t know, buttercup. You walked through the door on my first day, and my heart kicked in my chest. Knocked the wind right out of me.” “Hm. Well, for my part, I realized I liked you when I bumped into that fabulous naked chest.” “Francesca.” I growl softly against her neck and nip it. “Okay. It was when you were doing shirtless push-ups.” Pressing her into the sofa and sliding down the blanket, I settle between her legs. “Gumdrop, you’re taunting me.” “Doodlebug.” Frankie slides her arms down my back. “I’m going to be real honest and confess the first thing I liked about you was your butt, but only because you’d passed me while my head was down, walking into the meeting room, so I only caught the back half of you.” She gives the backside in question an affectionate squeeze. “But then I walked in, and saw this copper hair, those wintry eyes.” She sighs. “And I thought, ‘Well, damn. He’s off-limits, Frankie. So fuhgeddaboudit.
Chloe Liese (Always Only You (Bergman Brothers, #2))
The first step in dealing with negative automatic thoughts about a task or plan is to catch them by asking, “What am I thinking right now?” These thoughts often do not occur in the form of grammatically correct sentences, but may be expressed in brief phrases (e.g., “Oh no,” “I hate this stuff,” a string of expletives, etc.). In fact, sometimes procrastination starts with an accurate statement (e.g., “The gym is crowded after work.”), but that can kick off a string of assumptions that result in procrastination (e.g., “I won’t be able to find any open machines. It will either take me 3 hours to finish my workout or I won’t be able to do my full workout. I’m tired and I’m not up to dealing with crowds tonight. There is no use in going to the gym.”). The subsequent evening spent watching lousy television shows while eating way too many cheese puffs leads to self-critical thoughts and frustration with the missed workout (e.g., “I could have gone to the gym. I would have been done by now. Now I have to find time to make up this workout.”). At the outset, it is vital to be aware of how your thoughts make you prone to procrastinate. Automatic thoughts are often distorted and impact your feelings about tasks. Hence, you start to psych yourself out of doing something without having a chance to get started on it, which increases the likelihood of resorting to avoiding the task through an escape behavior. In Chapter 7, we will discuss in greater detail some of the distorted thoughts and strategies for modifying them, particularly with regard to the emotions they trigger, including pure and simple discomfort about a task (i.e., “Ugh”). When dealing with procrastination, however, the most common distortion we encounter is magnification/minimization. That is, you pull out and embellish all the negative elements about performing a task and you overlook or play down the positive elements and your ability to handle the task in question.
J. Russell Ramsay (The Adult ADHD Tool Kit: Using CBT to Facilitate Coping Inside and Out)
When I am gone Karly- I think back on it my great x4 Grandmother Hope went to school on black and wood 1919 Ford Model T Ford, I don’t get that, there were not even windows in the piece of crap. And then I can get my car. My dad was telling me this unbelievable story. About this old car like a red 28 ford coupe or so he thought. My dad was showing me the roof from it, somewhere down the line someone thought it was okay to cut up this cute little car just to be a d*ick about it, it must have been my great x4 granddad baby that someone was jealous of, saying he wanted to pass it down yet never to Neveah, so he junked it out for parts, and that explains why someone wanted the rooftop. Maybe someone thought it was going to go to her and the sisters’ family cut it up, really- I think that is how I got these parts. Emallie- I feel that my little nine-year-old sisters are in her room as I am at school, however since that day she’s never once stepped foot in my room. It’s a bummer she more freaked up than me in some ways is it not? Like- since she never surprises me by fixing up my sheets anymore, she leaves all that should be folded laundry or a new sundress on my bed like she did when I was in middle school, yet all messy and crap, but at least I know she’s not rooting through my drawers while I’m at school, looking for my sex toys or thongs. ‘If you want to come out here, why do you drag me? I’ll get the thermometer, and crap and say I'm sick,’ she says, she is- very- hyperactive and more! She needs to be on Methylphenidate or (Ritalin) as they call it. She does something that I don’t like yet that what they say is needed. Her name is Judcël. Yet we just call her Judie, she hates that just say I am the boy she said, she not yet she might want to be on this crap. ‘I don’t think I have a temperature.’ There’s a yell kicking and screaming my mom hitting my mom in the face, pushed in the wall, and punched off is how I lost my hearing that to this little brat… I was fine until she was impetus out of my mother. She should have had a d*ick it would have been a lot easier, than putting up with this… and get this mom is single, and on her own now with her. I think sex before marriage is not a sin. I think the big deal should be about SEX BEFORE LOVE. If you have been with somebody for a long time and you can easily see yourself growing old with them, getting married, maybe having children, then sure, I think it would be fine to make love. Sex is a natural desire found in all animals. Why should we deny Mother Nature's ways? (Of course, I respect all religions and beliefs, and I mean no offense if you believe in abstinence until marriage.) Well... uh, for one thing, you can get diseases. And then if you’re not married before having sex, what's keeping the guy from leaving you? Nothing... He'll use you then leave. I think it's pretty dumb that you think it's no big deal...
Marcel Ray Duriez (Nevaeh They Call Out)
I’ll have to throw these jeans away and get new ones,” Luca said. “Unless you want these to make a pair of cut-offs?” “Your jeans would be way too big on me,” she said, not looking up from the bowl of ingredients she was mixing. “But there’s something in them for you.” She chuckled. “I bet there is.” “Naughty girl,” he said. “I mean there’s something in the pocket for you. Do you want it?” She walked over to him and held out her hand. “Sure. Whatever.” He placed a tiny charm in the palm of her hand. A heart. “It’s all yours now,” he said. “Even if you drop it, and step on it, and bend it out of shape, it’s still yours. I don’t want it back.” “You had this in your pocket?” “I’ve had it in my pocket every day for the last three months. Except one day when I thought I lost it in the washing machine, but then I found it in the filter. Don’t worry. It’s clean.” She stared at the heart and thought about all the times she’d taken the alley to work, or ducked into a store to avoid seeing Luca on the street. All the times she’d missed her chance to get Luca’s heart back. “I can understand if you don’t want my stupid heart,” he said. “If I were you, I wouldn’t take me back either, because I’m not always a fan of Luca Lowell. He doesn’t always do the right thing.” “Don’t say that.” “It’s true. If I hadn’t gotten backed into by a truck last night and hadn’t gone to the hospital, I don’t know if you ever would have brought me back to your house. Back into your life.” “My tiny house, and my tiny life.” He shrugged. “It’s big enough for me.” He stretched out on the sectional. “You’ll have a hard time kicking me out again.” “Luca, I can’t make you any promises.” “Yes, you can. You can promise to give me a second chance the next time I screw up.” “You didn’t screw up. I did. I’m the one who kicked you out.” “Then I’ll give you a second chance. I won’t be a chicken and take the alley to work so I don’t run into you.” “You did that?” “Only for about a week, until your sister busted me sneaking through the alley like a burglar, and tore me a new one.” He rubbed his beard. “You know, now that I’m thinking over my conversations with her, it’s all making sense. She must have thought Chris’s wife was my girlfriend. The two of them stop by the garage a lot, but not always together. I thought your sister was being—well, you know how she is—but now I think I understand what was really going on.” Tina looked down at the heart in her palm then at Luca. She closed her fingers around the charm. “Don’t worry,” she said. “I’m not going to drop it again.” There was a scratch at the door. Luca rolled himself along the couch, reached out with one long arm, and opened the door. Muffins strolled in like he owned the place. Luca exclaimed, “Kitty!” Muffins jumped up on the couch and started sniffing Luca’s cast. Then he meowed about dinner. Luca picked the cat up gently and held him like a baby. “You are a cutie patootie,” he said, then he cleared his throat and said gruffly, “Yes, uh. This is a healthy cat specimen. A strong hunter. I can tell by his, uh, ample midsection.” Tina said, “That’s some pretty impressive baby talk for a big, tough guy like you.” “Big, tough guys have feelings, too,” Luca said. “And they like cats.
Angie Pepper (Romancing the Complicated Girl)
Lily fought like a lynx caught in a steel trap. She scratched and bit and kicked with a force that took Connell by surprise. Her teeth sank into the sensitive flesh of his palm and forced him to let go. “Calm down, Lily. It’s just me, Connell.” The beginning of her scream died away, and she spun on him, her eyes flashing with fury. “Why did you sneak up on me like that?” “I didn’t mean to.” He brought his smarting hand to his mouth and sucked at the blood she’d drawn. “When you didn’t hear me approach, I thought I might startle you. And I didn’t want you to scream—a sure way to get every shanty boy in the camp to come running.” The tempest in her eyes turned into a low gale. He glanced at the teeth marks she’d left in his hand. “You sure know how to greet a fellow.” “And you sure know how to scare a girl half to death.” “Why exactly were you so scared?” “Because I thought you were someone else.” “And what if I had been someone else?” She paused, her pretty lips stalled around the shape of her next word. “Any number of the rough men from this camp could have followed you out here.” He’d seen the way the men were looking at her, how they hadn’t been able to take their eyes off her from the moment she’d arrived. “What would you have done then?” When she’d run off into the woods after the stupid cat, he’d had to yell at several of the men to stop them from chasing after her. “I would have screamed.” She pulled herself up to her full height, which he estimated to be five feet six inches. “Since apparently I’d get lots of attention that way.” “I’m serious,” he started. But then at the glimpse of the twinkle in her eyes, his ready lecture stalled. He stuck his aching hand into his pocket and pressed his wound against the scratchy wool. “I appreciate your concern,” she offered with the hint of a smile. “But I’m a much stronger woman than you realize.” She’d be no match for any of his strong shanty boys. “You were reckless to wander off by yourself.” He tried to soften his accusation, but he wanted her to realize the constant danger she was in simply by being an attractive woman in a place populated by lusty men. “I strongly suggest you refrain from doing so again—especially if you hope to avoid any further run-ins.
Jody Hedlund (Unending Devotion (Michigan Brides, #1))
Real Quick [Intro:] Valuable lesson, man I had to grow up That's why I never ask for help I'll do it for you niggaz and do it for myself [Chorus:] I go 0 to 100 nigga, real quick Real quick, whole squad on that real shit 0 to 100 nigga, real quick Real quick, real fuckin quick nigga 0 to 100 nigga, real quick Real quick, whole squad on that real shit 0 to 100 nigga, real quick Real quick, real fuckin quick nigga! [50 Cent:] I'll run my blade 'cross a nigga ass {"real quick"} I'm so for real I'm on some real real nigga shit You playin boy I'll get you hit {"real quick"} You better hope the parademics come {"real quick"} Got me fucked up you think it's different now a nigga rich Before I get to cuttin know you niggaz better cut the shit Boy, you gon' have ya head popped, pull a trigger for me And my lil' niggaz trigger op' like it's legal homie No game when I bang, boy I empty the clip You run like a bitch, you ain't 'bout that shit Hey hey hey hey, I'll catch you another day day day day It's the Unit back to the bullshit [Tony Yayo:] Yeah! Nothin in life is out of bounds AK hold about a hundred rounds 60 shots like K.D. at the Rucker's Okay! When I see you on respirators Southside nigga 'til the day I'm gone Indulge in the violence when the drama on Yeah, these rap niggaz lukewarm I'm two sleeves of dope, when the mic on [Chorus] [Kidd Kidd:] Real quick, Rida Gang fuck nigga, huh! Don't Tweet me, see me when you see me Down to make the news just to say that I'm on TV (Kidd Kidd) This clip rated R, niggaz PG Them shells burn like a bootleg CD (huh?) Fuck love, I want the money When you get too much of it they gon' say you actin funny "Kidd, how you feel now that the Unit's back?" Like a million bucks, muh'fucker do the math! [Young Buck:] Cold-blooded, boy my heart don't feel shit Get with me, ask 50, I'll take the hit {"real quick"} Balenciagas, you can still get ya ass kicked Take a rapper nigga bitch and make a real flick I know I'm different from what you usually be dealin with Don't need a mic, give me some white to make a million with Single borough, six shots on the Brooklyn Bridge I'll let the nigga Drake tell you what I just did (yeah) [Chorus] [Lloyd Banks:] Nigga gettin money new to you (uh) I give a fuck if shit get ugly, there'll be a beautiful funeral You fit the script I'm gon' assume it's true Can't manuever through the street without a strategy, ain't nobody to tutor you And man was lucky Unit's through, you know why he flows 15 years, switchin dealers like casinos And my goon'll clip you on the arm (uhh) I'm out the country every week and dumpin ash out on the Autobahn Auto-pilot's always on Rather better livin, I've been [?] green bills callin me all day long This is homicide, more tears in your mama eyes More reason to wake up, real niggaz arrive [Chorus]
Drake
¡Carajoǃ” Paco says, throwing down his lunch. “They think they can buy a U-shaped shell, stuff it, and call it a taco, but those cafeteria workers wouldn’t know taco meat from a piece of shit. That’s what this tastes like, Alex.” “You’re makin’ me sick, man,” I tell him. I stare uncomfortably at the food I brought from home. Thanks to Paco everything looks like mierda now. Disgusted, I shove what’s left of my lunch into my brown paper bag. “Want some of it?” Paco says with a grin as he holds out the shitty taco to me. “Bring that one inch closer to me and you’ll be sorry,” I threaten. “I’m shakin’ in my pants.” Paco wiggles the offending taco, goading me. He should seriously know better. “If any of that gets on me--” “What’cha gonna do, kick my ass?” Paco sings sarcastically, still shaking the taco. Maybe I should punch him in the face, knocking him out so I won’t have to deal with him right now. As I have that thought, I feel something drop on my pants. I look down even though I know what I’ll see. Yes, a big blob of wet, gloppy stuff passing as taco meat lands right on the crotch of my faded jeans. “Fuck,” Paco says, his face quickly turning from amusement to shock. “Want me to clean it off for you?” “If your fingers come anywhere close to my dick, I’m gonna personally shoot you in the huevos,” I growl through clenched teeth. I flick the mystery meat off my crotch. A big, greasy stain lingers. I turn back to Paco. “You got ten minutes to get me a new pair of pants.” “How the hell am I s’posed to do that?” “Be creative.” “Take mine.” Paco stands and brings his fingers to the waistband of his jeans, unbuttoning right in the middle of the courtyard. “Maybe I wasn’t specific enough,” I tell him, wondering how I’m going to act like the cool guy in chem class when it looks like I’ve peed in my pants. “I meant, get me a new pair of pants that will fit me, pendejo. You’re so short you could audition to be one of Santa Claus’s elves.” “I’m toleratin’ your insults because we’re like brothers.” “Nine minutes and thirty seconds.” It doesn’t take Paco more than that to start running toward the school parking lot. I seriously don’t give a crap how I get the pants; just that I get ‘em before my next class. A wet crotch is not the way to show Brittany I’m a stud.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
Giving her a second, I stood up and walked into my room, threw a pair of sweatpants over my shorts, and shrugged into a sweatshirt. God, how was she shivering? I was already sweating with this on. But if I couldn’t comfort her in the way I wanted to, I was going to do it in the only other way I knew how. I’d just be there for her. When I walked back through the living room, her sobs had quieted, but she was still in a ball. Heading into the kitchen, I grabbed two bottled waters, a spoon, and the pint of Ben and Jerry’s she always made sure I had in the freezer. I put everything on the coffee table, grabbed the remote, and searched the DVR until I found Bridesmaids. I didn’t give a shit about the two hundred dollars or breakfasts I would owe her for this. Sitting down next to her this time, I picked up the water and ice cream, balanced them on my legs, and turned the volume up. When the movie started, she brought her red face up and glanced at the TV with a furrowed brow before looking over at me. Her eyebrows shot straight up when she saw me. “What are you wearing?” Her voice was hoarse from crying and I handed her the bottle of water. “Well, you came over in sweats. I figured I missed the memo or something and had to get in on the party.” She looked at the TV and back to me, and a small smile cracked when she took the ice cream and spoon from me. I’d pushed her enough today. I hated knowing what I knew and vowed to one day find out who this guy was. Hopefully now that she knew she could talk to me, she’d open up more when she was ready. But anything more today would be too much. So I settled into the couch and pretended to watch the movie instead of her every move. After a while, she handed me back the half-empty container and leaned against my shoulder. My arm automatically went around her and I pulled her close to my side. “Thank you, Kash,” she whispered a couple minutes later. “Anything for you, Rach. I’m here whenever you need to talk.” Pressing my lips to her forehead, I kept them there as I said, “And I will always protect you.” We were still sitting there watching the movie when Mason came back from his run. He nodded at us, and when he came back out of his room after a shower, he was dressed in sweats as well. He grabbed the melting ice cream and tried to squeeze himself onto the couch on the other side of Rachel. She laughed and curled closer into my side. “You guys are the best.” “You think we’re going to let you veg on the couch alone?” Mason said, scoffing. “Sweetheart, you obviously don’t know us that well. I mean, it’s gonna be a hundred degrees today. How else would I spend the day than in sweats?” Rachel kicked at his leg and he squeezed her knee. After a few minutes of watching the movie, Mason caught my gaze over Rachel’s head. He quickly looked down at her and raised an eyebrow, the question clear in his eyes. I nodded once and the color drained from his face. He swallowed hard and grabbed one of Rachel’s hands. She laughed lightly at something from the movie and his eyes came back to mine. They were determined, and he looked like he was struggling at relaxing his now-murderous expression. I knew exactly how he felt. He didn’t have to say anything to me. We’d worked together long enough to know that we’d both just agreed to find the bastard. And make him pay.
Molly McAdams (Forgiving Lies (Forgiving Lies, #1))
So I smile as best I can, saunter over to the Vespa, take the helmet, and say casually as I put it on: “Grazie! I’ve never been on one of these before.” Luca promptly paralyzes me by leaning down, pulling the helmet strap tight, and fastening the buckle under my chin. His aftershave smells like seawater, cool aquamarine, fresh and light; his breath on my face is warm and touched lightly with wine. “Ecco,” he says softly. His fingertips touch my skin. “It must be tight.” He wheels away from me and swings one long leg over the seat, putting the key in the ignition. Over his shoulder he says: “You must hold on to my waist. And when I lean, you must lean with me. Okay?” He’s waiting for me to get on. I mustn’t hesitate, or I’ll look as if I’m scared; I hike my skirt up and climb onto the back. The little scooter’s revving up, rattling noisily and cheerfully, like the cat purring on the wall; Luca looks back and says, “Aspetta.” Quickly, he shrugs off his jacket and hands it to me. It’s leather, butter-soft, like fabric in my hands. “Put it on. It is not cold, but there is wind when we drive,” he says. I slip it on, my head spinning. The collar smells of him, as if he’s wrapped around me. And then, in turn, I wrap my arms around his narrow waist, I feel his warm skin beneath the light cotton of his shirt. He’s just lean muscle over bone, almost skinny, but as the scooter kicks into motion, I can instantly tell how strong he is, because he controls it with small, seemingly effortless flexes of his muscles. His shoulders bunch lightly, taking the strain of bouncing an old Vespa with two people on it over a road that suddenly feels much more rutted and potholed when you’re not traveling in a jeep with good suspension.
Lauren Henderson (Flirting in Italian (Flirting in Italian #1))
But she could make one decision- to change her environment. And if she could change her environment, she would be subject to a whole different set of cues and unconscious cultural influences. It's easier to change your environment than to change your insides. Change your environment and then let the new cues do the work. She spent the first part of eighth grade learning about the Academy, talking to students, asking her mother, and quizzing her teachers. One day in February, she heard that the board of the school had arrived for a meeting, and she decided in her own junior-warrior manner that she'd demand that they let her in. She snuck into the school when a group of kids came out the back door for gym class, and she made her way to the conference room. She knocked, and entered the room. There was a group of tables pushed toward the middle of the room, with about twenty-five adults sitting around the outside of them. The two Academy founders were sitting in the middle on the far side of the tables. "I would like to come to your school," she said loud enough for the whole room to hear. "How did you get in here?" somebody at the table barked. "May I please come to your school next year?" One of the founders smiled. "You see, we have a lottery system. If you enter your name, there is a drawing in April-" "I would like to come to your school," Erica interrupted, launching into the speech she had rehearsed in her head for months. "I tried to get into New Hope when I was ten, and they wouldn't let me. I went down to the agency and I told the lady, but she wouldn't let me. It took them three cops to get me out of there, but I'm thirteen now, and I've worked hard. I get good grades. I know appropriate behavior. I feel I deserve to go to your school. You can ask anyone. I have references." She held out a piece of binder paper with teachers' names on it. "What's your name?" the founder asked. "Erica." "You see, we have rules about this. Many people would like to come to the Academy, so we decided the fairest thing to do is to have a lottery each spring." "That's just a way of saying no." "You'll have as fair a chance as anyone." "That's just a way of saying no. I need to go to the Academy. I need to go to college." Erica had nothing more to say. She just stood there silently. She decided it would take some more cops to take her away. Sitting across from the founders was a great fat man. He was a hedge-fund manager who had made billions of dollars and largely funded the school. He was brilliant, but had the social graces of a gnat. He took a pen from his pocket and wrote something on a piece of paper. He looked at Erica one more time, folded the paper, and slid it across the table to the founders. They opened it up and read the note. It said, "Rig the fucking lottery." The founders were silent for a moment and looked at each other. Finally, one of them looked up and said in a low voice. "What did you say your name was?" "Erica." "Listen, Erica, at the Academy we have rules. We have one set of rules for everybody. Those rules we follow to the letter. We demand discipline. Total discipline. So I'm only going to say this to you once. If you ever tell anybody about bursting in here and talking to us like that, I will personally kick you out of our school. Are we clear about that?" "Yes, sir." "The write your name and address on a piece of paper. Put it on the table and I will see you in September".
David Brooks (The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement)
It’s more an affliction than the expression of any high-minded ideals. I watch Mark Bittman enjoy a perfectly and authentically prepared Spanish paella on TV, after which he demonstrates how his viewers can do it at home—in an aluminum saucepot—and I want to shove my head through the glass of my TV screen and take a giant bite out of his skull, scoop the soft, slurry-like material inside into my paw, and then throw it right back into his smug, fireplug face. The notion that anyone would believe Catherine Zeta-Jones as an obsessively perfectionist chef (particularly given the ridiculously clumsy, 1980s-looking food) in the wretched film No Reservations made me want to vomit blood, hunt down the producers, and kick them slowly to death. (Worse was the fact that the damn thing was a remake of the unusually excellent German chef flick Mostly Martha.) On Hell’s Kitchen, when Gordon Ramsay pretends that the criminally inept, desperately unhealthy gland case in front of him could ever stand a chance in hell of surviving even three minutes as “executive chef of the new Gordon Ramsay restaurant” (the putative grand prize for the finalist), I’m inexplicably actually angry on Gordon’s behalf. And he’s the one making a quarter-million dollars an episode—very contentedly, too, from all reports. The eye-searing “Kwanzaa Cake” clip on YouTube, of Sandra Lee doing things with store-bought angel food cake, canned frosting, and corn nuts, instead of being simply the unintentionally hilarious viral video it should be, makes me mad for all humanity. I. Just. Can’t. Help it. I wish, really, that I was so far up my own ass that I could somehow believe myself to be some kind of standard-bearer for good eating—or ombudsman, or even the deliverer of thoughtful critique. But that wouldn’t be true, would it? I’m just a cranky old fuck with what, I guess, could charitably be called “issues.” And I’m still angry. But eat the fucking fish on Monday already. Okay? I wrote those immortal words about not going for the Monday fish, the ones that’ll haunt me long after I’m crumbs in a can, knowing nothing other than New York City. And times, to be fair, have changed. Okay, I still would advise against the fish special at T.G.I. McSweenigan’s, “A Place for Beer,” on a Monday. Fresh fish, I’d guess, is probably not the main thrust of their business. But things are different now for chefs and cooks. The odds are better than ever that the guy slinging fish and chips back there in the kitchen actually gives a shit about what he’s doing. And even if he doesn’t, these days he has to figure that you might actually know the difference. Back when I wrote the book that changed my life, I was angriest—like a lot of chefs and cooks of my middling abilities—at my customers. They’ve changed. I’ve changed. About them, I’m not angry anymore.
Anthony Bourdain (Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook)
Would you like to take a walk with me?” she asked. “I always walk on the beach in the mornings when you’re working. That is, if you aren’t too busy?” He caught her hand and brought it to his lips. “I’m not too busy for you and our child. But should you be resting?” An exasperated shriek left her lips, startling him with her ferocity. She yanked her hand from him and parked both of her fists on her hips. “Do I look like I need to be resting?” Anger and disappointment burned in her eyes. “Look, Chrysander, if you don’t want to spend time with me, just say so, but stop throwing out your pat ‘You need to be resting’ line.” She turned and stalked farther down the beach, leaving him there feeling like she’d punched him in the stomach. He ran a hand through his hair as he watched her hurry away, and then he strode after her, his feet kicking up sand as he closed the distance between them. “Marley! Marley, wait,” he called as he caught her elbow. When he turned her around, he was gutted by the tears streaking down her cheeks. She turned her face away and swiped blindly at her eyes with her other hand. “Please, just go away,” she choked out. “Go do whatever it is you do with your time. I’ll wait for my appointment with you in the afternoon.” It came out bitter and full of hurt, and he realized that he hadn’t fooled her at all with the distance he put between them. He reached for her chin and gently tugged until she faced him. With his thumb, he wiped at a tear that slipped over her cheekbone. “You aren’t an appointment, Marley.” “No?” She yanked away from his touch and retreated a few feet until there was a respectable distance between them. “I’ve tried to be patient and understanding even though I don’t understand any of it. Us. You or even me. I can’t figure you out, Chrysander, and I’m tired of trying. I’ve tried to be strong and undemanding, but I can’t do it anymore. I’m scared to death. I don’t know who I am. I wake up one day to find myself pregnant, and there’s a stranger by my bed who says he’s my fiancé and the father of my child. One would think this would tell me that at least I was loved and cherished, but nothing you’ve done has made me feel anything but confusion. You run hot and cold, and I never know which one to expect. I can’t do this.” Coldness wrapped around Chrysander’s chest, squeezing until he couldn’t draw a breath. “What are you saying?” he demanded.
Maya Banks (The Tycoon's Rebel Bride (The Anetakis Tycoons, #2))
driveway, her hip scraping as she tumbled, her skin torn and bleeding. She knew she should have worn trousers. The world rocked to a stop, balanced itself out and she opened her eyes. The Infected were standing looking at her, and Dusk strode through them, his eyes narrowed and his lips curled in hatred. And then Valkyrie was up and running. She was sore, she felt blood on her legs and arms, but she ignored the pain. She looked back, saw the mass of Infected surge after her. She passed the club gates and took the first road to her left, losing a shoe in the process and cursing herself for not wearing boots. It was narrow, and dark, with fields on one side and a row of back gardens on the other. She came to a junction. Up one way she could see headlights, so she turned down the other, leading the Infected away from any bystanders. She darted in off the road, running behind the Pizza Palace and the video store, realising her mistake when she heard the voices around the next corner. The pub had a back door that smokers used. She veered off to her right, ran for the garden wall and leaped over it. She stayed low, and wondered for a moment if she’d managed to lose the Infected so easily. Dusk dropped on to her from above and she cried out. He sent her reeling. “I’m not following the rules any more,” he said. She looked at him, saw him shaking. He took a syringe from his coat and let it drop. “No more rules. No more serum. This time, there’ll be nothing to stop me tearing you limb from limb.” He grunted as the pain hit. “I’m sorry I cut you,” Valkyrie tried, backing away. “Too late. You can run if you want. Adrenaline makes the blood taste sweeter.” He smiled and she saw the fangs start to protrude through his gums. He brought his hands to his shirt, and then, like Superman, he ripped the shirt open. Unlike Superman, however, he took his flesh with it, revealing the chalk-white skin of the creature underneath. Valkyrie darted towards him and his eyes widened in surprise. She dived, snatched the syringe from the ground and plunged it into his leg. Dusk roared, kicked her on to her back, his transformation interrupted. He tried to rip off the rest of his humanity, but his human skin tore at the neck. This wasn’t the smooth shucking she’d seen the previous night. This was messy and painful. Valkyrie scrambled up. The Infected had heard Dusk’s anguished cries, and they were closing in. he Edgley family reunion was taking up the main function hall, at the front of the building, leaving the rear of the golf club in darkness. That was probably a good thing, Tanith reflected, as she watched Skulduggery fly backwards through the air. The Torment-spider turned to her and she dodged a slash from one of his talons. She turned and ran, but he was much faster. Tanith jumped for the side of the building and ran upwards, a ploy that had got her out of a lot of trouble in the past, but then, she had never faced a giant spider before. His talons clacked as he followed her up, chattering as he came.
Derek Landy (Playing with Fire (Skulduggery Pleasant, #2))
The colt closed its eyes. I was still kneeling next to it and something felt wrong. “I think it stopped breathing.” Maurus knelt beside me. The colt’s chest was definitely not moving. I bent and pressed my ear to its chest. The wet hide was slick and warm. “His heart is beating,” I said, “but weak and fast.” Maurice rubbed the colt’s chest briskly, but it did not start breathing. He strongly massaged the spine along its neck and smacked its flank, but it did not respond. He grimaced with sadness. “So close, little son. So close! Why won’t you breathe?” Owiti seemed on the verge of tears. “Let me try,” I said. I had once seen my cousin breathe into a lamb’s nostrils after a rough birth to prompt its respiration. The lamb had not resuscitated. But I needed to try whatever I could to help the newborn colt. I lifted the colt’s heavy head into my lap and opened my mouth wide, wrapping my lips around its soft nostrils. Holding its mouth closed with a hand pressed above and below its jaws, I breathed into it. Its lungs inflated, and I paused. The air spilled out. I filled its lungs and let them deflate again. I kept up a rhythm breathing into the nostrils, its lungs swelling and spilling like bellows, but it would not breathe on its own. Tears sprang to my eyes. The colt was so beautiful—new life still damp with the dew from the dawn of creation. A loud cry erupted from my heart and I slugged its chest with the heel of my palm, commanding it with all my love and hope, “Ata khayav likhiot—You must live!” The colt snorted and bucked in a spasm, kicked its long legs and jerked up its head, eyes wide open. He began inhaling and exhaling. I looked at Maurus, delighted. He regarded me with open wonder, then pulled me up off my knees into a crushing hug. He lifted me over his head like a straw doll and twirled around once, then set me down and repeated his ecstatic dance with Owiti. When he had set Owiti back on the dirt floor, Maurus beamed at me. “Did I just witness a miracle? Tell me the truth. Can you command the spirit of life?” “Of course not,” I said, laughing. “I’m Martis, not Mithras! No man tells the spirit what to do.” Yet in that moment in the lamp-lit stable, I knew what the Tanakh calls Ruach ha’Kodesh, the Whole Breath. The one breath the newborn colt and I shared, the very same breath the Giver of Life shared with man, blowing into Adam’s nostrils. The mutual breath of all existence.
Mark Canter (The Bastard)
No, it’s not that. Or not just that,” Kat protested. “I don’t get along with them at all—one of them, anyway.” “Now let me guess—that would be your dark twin. Am I right?” Piper raised an eyebrow at her and Kat nodded. “Lock is really sweet. But Deep…we just can’t get along.” She looked down at her hands. “My parents divorced when I was twelve and my grandmother raised me but before then, they were constantly yelling and screaming at each other. I just…I don’t want to be stuck for life in a relationship like that and…” She looked up. “And I don’t even know why I’m telling you this when I just met you.” “That’s ‘cause I’m easy to talk to.” Piper smiled at her. “Everybody says so. I was a bartender back on Earth back before my men called me as a bride. Worked at a club in downtown Houston called Foolish Pride. I bet I listened to fifty sob stories a night and you know what? I kinda miss it.” “You’re good at it.” Kat smiled at her. “Did…do you have the same problem with your, uh, guys? Not that Deep and Lock are mine or anything,” she continued hurriedly. “I mean, we kind of all got stuck together by accident and now I’m having a really hard time getting away.” “Isn’t that just the way?” Piper nodded sympathetically. “As for dark twins—they’re always a problem. Ask any female on God’s green Earth who’s mated to one. They’re contrary and irritating and just plain ornery and yours seems to be worse than most.” “He certainly is,” Kat agreed, thinking of Deep’s tendency to get under her skin. “He’s sarcastic and moody and dark…” She sighed. “But he’s very protective, too. And loyal and gentle when he wants to be. And…” “And you’re really confused,” Piper finished for her. Kat nodded gratefully. “I really am. But I do know I don’t want to be bonded to anyone until I’m ready. And I am so far from being ready right now it isn’t funny.” “Then stay away from them tonight when the bonding fruit kicks in,” Piper said seriously. “Ask for a private room or lock yourself in the bathroom but whatever you do, don’t wind up between them or it’s gonna be game, set, and match. I promise you that.” “Okay,
Evangeline Anderson (Sought (Brides of the Kindred, #3))
Jack’s. He’d only been there a minute, waiting for someone to come from the back to serve him, when Mel struggled into the bar, baby against her chest, toddler in hand, diaper bag slung over her shoulder. Right inside the door, the toddler took a tumble down onto his knees and sent up a wail. “Oh, punkin,” she said. She spied Luke and said, “Oh, Luke, here.” She thrust the baby into his hands so she could stoop to lift up the boy. “Oh, you’re okay,” she said, brushing off his knees. “Don’t cry now, you didn’t even break the floor. It’s okay.” She was just about to stand, when she heard her husband’s voice. “Mel,” he said. She looked up from the floor. Jack was behind the bar. He inclined his head toward Luke with a smile on his face. Luke was holding the baby out in front of him at arm’s length, a startled expression on his face while Emma kicked her little legs and squirmed. Mel burst out laughing, then covered her mouth. She rose and went to him, taking the baby. “I’m sorry, Luke,” she said. “It’s been such a long time since I’ve been around a man who didn’t know exactly what to do with a baby.” “Sorry,” he said. “I don’t have much experience with this.” “It’s okay—my mistake.” She couldn’t help but laugh again. “The first day I met Jack, there was a newborn at the clinic and he scooped her up like an old pro.” “Because I was an old pro, Mel,” Jack said, coming around to the front of the bar. “Four sisters, eight nieces and one on the way,” he told Luke. “Prolific family,” Luke observed. “I don’t know much about babies.” “If you’re looking to learn babies, this is the place,” Mel said. “I don’t think there are any virgins left in Virgin River. The birth rate around here is on the rise.” “Me and babies—incompatible. And I like it that way.” Jack
Robyn Carr (Temptation Ridge)
Carter!” I gasped, “I swear to God if you went UA …” I knew what the punishment was for leaving base without authorization, and if Carter did … well let’s just say it wouldn’t be good. He laughed, “No, no. I didn’t. Everyone knows I’m here. I requested for a transfer to Camp Pendleton when you decided to move to San Diego, it got accepted right after you left. I got here on Monday.” “Wait, you moved here because I was moving here?” “Of course.” “Did Sir make you do that?” “Not at all. I just couldn’t let you go.” “Oh shit.” Bree muttered. Brandon sat up straighter, I didn’t have to look up to know he was glaring and sizing up Carter. This could get bad, I was about to say something when Carter spoke up again. “I mean I can’t let my little sister go across the country alone, right?” I smiled at Carter and felt Brandon relax from behind me. Sean, one of the guys that came with Carter, looked at the other two guys then back to Carter with a confused look and started to speak, but when he looked back to me and Brandon, he shut his mouth. “So … I’m sorry what was your name again? Brady?” I glared at Carter but remained quiet. I knew he could tell me everyone’s name that he’d just met. I’d always envied that he could remember anything as long as he read or heard it once. Brandon’s arm tensed around my waist, “Brandon.” “Right, my bad. So how did you meet my girl?” “Through school. I live with Chase, Bree’s his sister and Harper’s roommate.” Carter’s head tilted back a bit, his eyes lit up like he was just told valuable information, “Chase huh? Good for you two, I don’t judge.” Brandon snorted and trailed his other hand down my arm to intertwine our fingers, “Hear that Chase? Apparently we’re together.” “Ah. It all finally makes sense. Why you’re always at my house and such. Guess I should take you on a date or something.” Chase smirked but kept his glare on Carter. I kicked Carter’s leg and gave him a be nice look. He
Molly McAdams (Taking Chances (Taking Chances, #1))
The zombie fell over the generator, too, and laid on the ground next to me—its eyes seemed to glow in the dark. I was so scared, I almost lost it. Shaking, I sprayed it in the face and rolled away. It started smoking the same way the other zombies had, but then did something unexpected—it caught fire. Instantly, the entire area went up in flames. I stepped back, and still standing, jumped up and down, kicking my gas-soaked pants and shoes off. The flames sprouted up as if they had a life of their own.  I shot them with the Super Soaker, but it didn't do any good. The flames spread up the side of a rack of cheesy Hawaiian shirts. I knew I had to put the fire out fast. I ran to the aisle with the fire extinguishers and stopped. I'd dropped my flashlight back by the generator. A couple aisles over, something moved in the shadows. I started to lift my Super Soaker when I got hit in the face. "Oww, it burns," I cried, "Darn it. It burns." My eyes started watering like a busted drinking fountain. "Nathan, is that you? Were you bit? Did I kill you?" "No, no. I'm fine, it's just the lemonade; that stuff burns." "What's going on? You're burning the place down." I could hear panic in her voice. "Grab a fire extinguisher and follow me." My eyes dribbled lemonade-flavored tears as I grabbed two of the largest fire extinguishers and ran back. It took four extinguishers, but we managed to put the fire out. "Wow, the generator's still running," I said. Charred clothes were everywhere. Smoke filled the place—it smelled like fresh-roasted zombie. And I'd thought my day couldn't get any worse. "What the heck happened?" Misty held her nose and looked around at the blackened remains. "Security zombie in the bathroom; it was a close call." "I'll say. We're lucky the fire sprinklers didn't come on." "If this is lucky, I'd hate to see cursed." "Umm, Nate?" "Yeah?" I exhaled in relief. It would have been embarrassing if I'd burnt the place down. "Where's your pants?
M.J. Ware (Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb)
Sky pulls her arm back, right as I turn back to walk to the couch, and suddenly the controller flies out of her hand and smacks directly into my nose. “Ugh!” I grunt out. Sky puts her hand over her mouth and gasps. But then she runs toward me when she sees the blood dripping down my face. I walk into the kitchen because I don’t want to get blood on the carpet. “Oh thit,” I swear, when I see that the kids didn’t follow us. She sits me down in a chair and puts a towel under my nose. “That hurts wike a mudder fudder.” I sound like I’m all stopped up with a cold, but the blood is still dripping, so I pinch my nose closed. “I’m so sorry,” she says as she drops down in front of me. She rests her forearms on my thighs. I can smell the pizza she just ate on her breath, and I really, really want to kiss her, but I have blood all over my face and hands. “I’m so sorry,” she says again. “I didn’t know it would fly out of my hand like that.” “You hab ta wap it awound your wist,” I say. “I have to wrap it around my wrist?” she repeats. “To keep it fwom fwying.” “Crap,” she says again. “I am so sorry.” She already said that. She gets up and goes to get a wet towel. She cleans my hands and wipes gently beneath my nose. My nose hurts like a son of a bitch. I jerk my head back, but she just follows, probing and prodding. “I think the bleeding has stopped,” she says. But I let her continue to fuss over me, just because I like it. “Do you want some ice?” she asks. Yeah, but I need it for my dick and not for my nose. “Pwease,” I say. Her face is only inches from mine. But then she goes to the fridge. She comes back with a small bag of ice. She’d probably get offended if I shoved it in my pants, so I lay it against my nose, instead. I brace my chin with one hand and hold the ice with the other. “I really didn’t mean to hit you,” she says. She looks so worried that I have to let her off the hook. Hell, I lived with four brothers. I have had more nosebleeds than I could ever begin to count. “I’ll wiv,” I say. She leans close and kisses my cheek. I want to turn my head and press my lips to hers, but I don’t. “You in lub wif me yet?” I ask. She laughs and turns her head away, closing her eyes. Her giggle is so damn cute. She winces. “I gwess dats a no,” I say. I lift my shirt and wipe the edge of my nose, since she took my wet towel. When I do, her eyes go to my frog prince, and she leans forward and presses her lips to him. She looks up at me, her blue eyes wide, as she holds her lips there for a second. Then she makes a loud smacking noise and pops back up, grinning. “There. All better?” Fuck no. We’re just getting started. Seth sticks his head into the room. He smirks at me and shakes his head. “Dude,” he says. He laughs. “That’s the saddest thing I’ve ever seen.” I throw down the ice. “Dat’s it. I’m going to kick your ath at bow’ing, Seth. You are going down.” I follow him into the other room, take a controller, and try to pretend like she didn’t just rock my world.
Tammy Falkner (Maybe Matt's Miracle (The Reed Brothers, #4))
Rolling my eyes, I took Dylan’s hand and followed Harlow inside. Jace sat in the front of the TV. I knew he was grumpy based on the way he didn’t look at me. When I flopped next to him on the couch, he did smile. “You smell like a strip club,” he said, narrowing his eyes at me. “How would you know?” “I’m not telling you my secrets.” Shaking my head, I sighed loudly. “Why do you make me do this to you? It’s like you want to suffer.” Jace knew what was coming, but his escape came too late. I pinned him on the couch and tickled him. Despite his efforts to seem unfazed, he couldn’t withstand armpit tickling. While I tormented my laughing brother, Dad and Mom walked out from the kitchen. “He missed you,” Mom said as I finally let Jace up. Catching his breath, my brother leaned next to me on the couch. “I miss beating you at videogames.” “I miss you beating me too,” I said, kissing his head. Harlow flopped on the couch next to us and I smiled at the familiar comfort of my family. Dylan watched us with a slight grin. When he caught Tad and Toni’s gazes, his smile grew. Suspicious now, I glanced at Harlow who was busy gluing herself to me. “Are they up to something?” I whispered. “Am I going to be embarrassed?” “I don’t know. If you feel embarrassed, I’ll punch Dylan in the crotch and distract everyone.” Rolling my eyes at her threat, I studied Dylan who grinned at me. “What?” I asked, nervous now. “She’s on to you,” Dad said. “Better ask now before she gets squirrely.” “Squirrely,” Jace snorted. “She gets batty too.” Harlow laughed. “Winnie can do so many animal impressions.” Ignoring them, I stood up and walked to a still smiling Dylan. “What?” “What happened to patience?” Without thinking, I reached to pinch my hand. Dylan took both hands then knelt on one knee. “Don’t,” Harlow blurted, grabbing for me. Everyone frowned at her. A moment passed where she stared at me in horror. Suddenly, she shrugged. “I meant don’t stop. Go ahead, Dylan.” The mood in the room shifted back to anticipation. Our gaze focused on Dylan who smiled up at me. “I know it’s been a few weeks. I don’t care. I love you and you love me, right?” “I love you so much.” “I’m not stupid. I know we’ll have problems. We run into issues. When we do, we’ll work them out. We’ll figure them out because we belong together. You believe that, don’t you?” “Yes,” I whispered, staring into his beautiful dark eyes. “Winona Todds, you are perfection and I refuse to live without you. Will you marry me?” My legs turning to jelly, I knelt down too. “Yes,” I whispered, afraid he was about to change his mind. Maybe it was a trick. All these awful things rushed through my mind. I wasn’t good enough for Dylan. He was going to leave me one day. I didn’t deserve to be happy when I was so weak. “You love me,” he whispered, pressing his forehead against mine. “You want me to be happy.” “Yes,” I said, tears rolling down my cheeks. “You’re what I need to survive.” “I’m not really strong yet.” “I love you now. I don’t want to wait. Do you want to wait for me?” Shaking my head, I looked at my smiling parents then back at Dylan. “We’re in love and planning to live together. We need to make our relationship official, so your daddy won’t kick my ass.” Even laughing, I asked, “You want this?” “I can give up everything else in my life, but never you. Married or not, you belong with me.” I exhaled uneasily then smiled. “Yes, I will marry you.
Bijou Hunter (Damaged and the Bulldog (Damaged, #6))
I had no idea you’d be here,” he said, refusing to take his arms from around her. “I wanted to surprise you. My dad’s retirement ranch is just down the road and I’m staying there while Matt’s in Iraq. Mel’s going to deliver my baby.” “When?” “A few months. Gosh, it’s so good to see you. I haven’t seen you since—” “The wedding,” he answered. “God, Vanni—you’re gorgeous.” He touched her belly. “Jesus, he kicked me.” “We don’t know what it is yet.” “Gotta be a guy,” Paul said. She
Robyn Carr (Whispering Rock (Virgin River, #3))
He urged the horse a little faster and when he was within her hearing, he whistled. The piercing sound cut through the air and Vanni turned her mount toward him. She took one look at him, turned and kicked Chico’s flank, taking off. “Goddammit!” he swore. So, this was how it would be—not easy. He was going to have to take off the gloves. He risked being thrown by giving Liberty a snap with the end of his rein. The stallion reared. Paul hung on, then leaned low in the saddle while Liberty closed the space between them. By God, he was going to catch her, make her listen, get through to her. There was no one within shouting distance to distract them. For once in his life, he was going to finish! Even if he had to cover Vanessa’s mouth with his hand! It only took him a few minutes to catch up to her, thanks to Liberty, the champion of the stable. Pulling alongside Vanni he reached out over her hands and grabbed her reins, pulling Chico to a stop. The expression she turned on him was fierce. “What?” she demanded. “Listen to me!” he retorted. “Make it quick!” “Fine. Here’s quick. I love you. I’ve always loved you.I loved you before Matt saw you, but I didn’t have hisguts and I hung back. I’ve regretted that forever. Now I have—” “A baby coming,” she interrupted, lifting her chin. “Listen! I don’t know much about being a father! Just what I watched when I was growing up! And you know what I saw? I saw my parents with their arms around each other all the time! I saw them look at each other with all kinds of emotions—love and trust and commitment and—Vanni, here’s the ugly truth—if I made a baby, I’m not angry about that. It wasn’t on purpose, but I’m not angry. I’ll do my damn best, and I’m real sorry that I’m not in love with the baby’s mother. I’ll still take care of them—and not just by writing a check. I’ll be involved—take care of the child like a real father, support the mother the best I can. What that child is not going to see is his parents looking at each other like they’ve made a terrible mistake. I want him to see his dad with his arms around his wife and—” “Did you try?” she asked. “Did you give the woman who’s got your baby in her a chance?” “Is that what you want for her? She’s a decent person, Vanessa—she didn’t get pregnant on purpose. You want her stuck with a man who’s got another woman on his mind? I didn’t want this to happen to her—I’m not sticking her with half a husband! She deserves a chance to find someone who can give her the real thing.” “But she loves you. She does, doesn’t she? She wanted to get married.” “Vanessa, she’s scared and alone. It’s what comes to mind. She’ll be all right when she realizes I’m not going to let her down. And I’m not going to—” “All this because you couldn’t open your mouth and say how you felt, what you wanted,” she said hotly. “I wanted so little from you—just a word or gesture—some hint that you had feelings for me. Instead, you took your wounded little heart to another woman and—” She stopped her tirade as she saw his eyes narrow and his frown deepen. He glared at her for a long moment, then he jumped off the stallion, her mount’s reins still in his hands. He led the horses the short distance to the river’s edge, to a bank of trees. “What are you doing?” she asked, hanging on to the pommel. He secured the horses at a fallen tree, then reached up to her, grabbed her around the waist and pulled her none too gently out of the saddle. He whirled her around and pressed her up against a tree, holding her wrists over her head and pinioning her there with the whole length of his body. His face was close to hers. “You never opened your mouth, either,” he said. She was stunned speechless. She couldn’t remember a time Paul had ever behaved like this—aggressive, commanding. He leaned closer. “Open it now,” he demanded of her just before he covered her mouth with his.
Robyn Carr (Second Chance Pass)
He wrapped his arms around her. “Have I told you today how happy I am that you gave up the good fight and moved back in with me?” “Not today,” she said, sucking in his sex-and-sin scent. “But last night you mentioned it quite a few times.” She’d tried for six weeks to live by herself in the apartment over Gracie’s garage, thinking she needed to experience life on her own before living with Mitch. She’d hated every minute of it. When she’d taken to sneaking into the farmhouse and crawling into bed with him in the middle of the night, he’d finally put his foot down. She sighed. Contentment had her curling deeper into his embrace. She didn’t care if it was wrong: Mitch and this farmhouse made her happy. “Maddie,” he said, his voice catching in a way that had her lifting her chin. “You know I love you.” “I know. I love you too.” His fingers brushed a lock of hair behind her chin. “Come with me.” He clasped her hand and led her into the bedroom before motioning her to the bed. She sat, and he walked over to the antique dresser and took a box out of the dresser. He walked back to the bed and sat down next to her. “I wanted to give this to you tonight, but then I saw you standing in the doorway and I knew I couldn’t wait.” Maddie looked at the box, it was wooden, etched with an intricate fleur-de-lis design on it and words in another language. “What is it?” “It was my grandmother’s. They bought it on their honeymoon. It’s French. It says, ‘There is only one happiness in life: to love and be loved.’” “It’s beautiful.” That he would give her something so treasured brought the threat of tears to her eyes. He handed it to her. “Open it.” She took the box and suddenly her heart started to pound. She lifted the lid and gasped, blinking as her vision blurred. Mitch grasped her left hand. “I know it’s only been three months, but in my family, meeting the night your car breaks down is a sign of a long, happy marriage.” Maddie couldn’t take her eyes off the ring. It was a gorgeous, simple platinum band with two small emerald stones flanking what had to be a three-carat rectangular diamond. She looked at Mitch. “Maddie Donovan, will you please marry me?” “Yes.” She kissed him, a soft, slow, drugging kiss filled with hope and promises. There was no hesitation. Not a seed of worry or shred of doubt. Her heart belonged to only one man, and he was right in front of her. “It would be my honor.” He slipped the ring on her finger. “My grandma would be thrilled that you have her ring.” “It’s hers?” It sparkled in the sunlight. It looked important on her hand. “It’s been in the family vault since she died. My mom sent it a couple of weeks ago. She’s been a little pushy about the whole thing. I think she’s worried I’ll do something to screw it up and she’ll lose the best daughter-in-law ever.” Maddie laughed. “I love her, too.” He ran his finger over the platinum band. “I changed the side stones to emeralds because they match your eyes. Do you think I made the right choice?” She put her hands on the sides of his face. “It is the most gorgeous ring I have ever laid eyes on. I love it. I love you. You know I’d take you with a plastic ring from Wal-Mart.” “I know.” She kissed him. “But I’m not going to lie: this is a kick-ass ring.” He grinned. “You know, I think that’s what my grandma used to say.” “She was obviously a smart woman.” “For the record, don’t even think about running.” Mitch pushed her back on the bed and captured her beneath him. “I will hunt you down to the ends of the earth and bring you back where you belong.” She reached for him, this man who’d been her salvation. “I will run down the aisle to meet you.
Jennifer Dawson (Take a Chance on Me (Something New, #1))
ahead. He urged the horse a little faster and when he was within her hearing, he whistled. The piercing sound cut through the air and Vanni turned her mount toward him. She took one look at him, turned and kicked Chico’s flank, taking off. “Goddammit!” he swore. So, this was how it would be—not easy. He was going to have to take off the gloves. He risked being thrown by giving Liberty a snap with the end of his rein. The stallion reared. Paul hung on, then leaned low in the saddle while Liberty closed the space between them. By God, he was going to catch her, make her listen, get through to her. There was no one within shouting distance to distract them. For once in his life, he was going to finish! Even if he had to cover Vanessa’s mouth with his hand! It only took him a few minutes to catch up to her, thanks to Liberty, the champion of the stable. Pulling alongside Vanni he reached out over her hands and grabbed her reins, pulling Chico to a stop. The expression she turned on him was fierce. “What?” she demanded. “Listen to me!” he retorted. “Make it quick!” “Fine. Here’s quick. I love you. I’ve always loved you.I loved you before Matt saw you, but I didn’t have hisguts and I hung back. I’ve regretted that forever. Now I have—” “A baby coming,” she interrupted, lifting her chin. “Listen! I don’t know much about being a father! Just what I watched when I was growing up! And you know what I saw? I saw my parents with their arms around each other all the time! I saw them look at each other with all kinds of emotions—love and trust and commitment and—Vanni, here’s the ugly truth—if I made a baby, I’m not angry about that. It wasn’t on purpose, but I’m not angry. I’ll do my damn best, and I’m real sorry that I’m not in love with the baby’s mother. I’ll still take care of them—and not just by writing a check. I’ll be involved—take care of the child like a real father, support the mother the best I can. What that child is not going to see is his parents looking at each other like they’ve made a terrible mistake. I want him to see his dad with his arms around his wife and—” “Did you try?” she asked. “Did you give the woman who’s got your baby in her a chance?” “Is that what you want for her? She’s a decent person, Vanessa—she didn’t get pregnant on purpose. You want her stuck with a man who’s got another woman on his mind? I didn’t want this to happen to her—I’m not sticking her with half a husband! She deserves a chance to find someone who can give her the real thing.” “But she loves you. She does, doesn’t she? She wanted to get married.” “Vanessa, she’s scared and alone. It’s what comes to mind. She’ll be all right when she realizes I’m not going to let her down. And I’m not going to—” “All this because you couldn’t open your mouth and say how you felt, what you wanted,” she said hotly. “I wanted so little from you—just a word or gesture—some hint that you had feelings for me. Instead, you took your wounded little heart to another woman and—” She stopped her tirade as she saw his eyes narrow and his frown deepen. He glared at her for a long moment, then he jumped off the stallion, her mount’s reins still in his hands. He led the horses the short distance to the river’s edge, to a bank of trees. “What are you doing?” she asked, hanging on to the pommel. He secured the horses at a fallen tree, then reached up to her, grabbed her around the waist and pulled her none too gently out of the saddle. He whirled her around and pressed her up against a tree, holding her wrists over her head and pinioning her there with the whole length of his body. His face was close to hers. “You never opened your mouth, either,” he said. She was stunned speechless. She couldn’t remember a time Paul had ever behaved like this—aggressive, commanding. He leaned closer. “Open it now,” he demanded of her just before he covered her mouth with his.
Robyn Carr (Second Chance Pass)
What is it ye hope to gain from sharing my bed?” His voice stopped her. “You already have a bairn.” The creak of a stall door followed his question. Footsteps whispered on the packed-dirt floor. With her eyes adjusted to the dark, she saw him as a towering shadow emerging into the broad aisle of the barn. He must have been checking on Rand. She frowned at his question. He made it sound like she had some ulterior motive besides being attracted to him. “I’m not sure what you mean,” she hedged. “You want to couple with me. Why?” She rolled her eyes; she’d understood that much of the question. It was the part where he seemed to have a problem with “sharing a bed” with her she didn’t get. Tamping down her offense was getting old. If he was going to be bold, she would be, too. “You’re easy on the eyes,” she clipped. “I’m attracted to you, and we’re married, so why not, right? Am I missing something here? Shouldn’t I be the one asking you why you don’t want to ‘couple’? Oh, wait, I did. And you wouldn’t give me a straight answer.” He moved closer, stopping a foot away, which meant his voice now came from high above her. “Are you a wanton woman?” The question had been dark. Dangerous. And it kicked her offense into full-on anger. “I’m knocked up and I want sex with my husband. If that makes a girl wanton, then I suppose I am. What of it?” She lifted her chin in challenge. “I’ll ask again. What is it ye hope to gain? The truth, Melanie.” Her heart sank to hear him call her by her given name, and this sudden edge of hostility confused her. It felt like he was accusing her of something, but what? She was also insanely aroused. Not only had her eyes adjusted to the dark well enough to see his serious and seriously handsome face, but his looming presence filled her with an irrational sense of security. Add to that his scent of leather and man, and her lips trembled for another kiss. She didn’t want to lash out any more. Anger released itself to the night like steam from a mug of cocoa. “Pleasure,” she whispered, her breasts reaching for him with her quickening breath. “That’s the truth. I want to feel your body under my hands. I want to feel you inside me as you make me your wife in more than just name. And I want pleasure for you, too. Especially for you. You’ve given up almost everything for me. Giving you pleasure is the only way I can think of to thank you.” He blinked with surprise. “I dinna expect your thanks. ’Tis not why I stole ye away from Steafan.” She rolled her eyes, but this time with affection instead of annoyance. “Duh, I know that. You’re so darned honorable you’d never do anything for something as paltry as my thanks. It’s not just about thanks. I love you, you stubborn Highlander.” She cupped her hand over her mouth. The ornery thing had just blurted that which she had yet to fully admit to herself. Considering how much it hurt to have Darcy reject her physical advances, she was in no mood to bear his inevitable rejection of her heart. Mortified, she turned to run away. But his arms went around her. He hadn’t lied when he’d claimed to be quicker. “Do ye mean that, lass?” he asked, bending over her back, holding her. “No,” she lied, trying to pry his arms away. “I’m out of my mind. Don’t listen to a thing I say. Let me go.” “No. I willna. And I think a confession spoken in ire is more trustworthy than one spoken in calm.” He turned her around and lifted her face to his. “I love you, too, lass.” He kissed her.
Jessi Gage (Wishing for a Highlander (Highland Wishes Book 1))
Hello, Major,” Lily said, and she went right on scrubbing. Caleb approached. “Put down those long Johns and look at me, Lily. I’ve got something to give you.” She glared resentfully at his perfectly pressed coat, thinking of his plans to escort Sandra back to Tylerville. “Who washed your clothes?” she demanded. “Your competition,” he answered easily. “After all, if I brought my laundry to you, it would be like paying you, wouldn’t it? And I know how you feel about that.” Lily stiffened at having her own logic thrown back in her face, then went on scrubbing. The washboard was rubbing her knuckles raw. “Sandra tells me you’re going to Tylerville with her,” she said, careful not to look at him. “Lily, if you don’t stop that washing and look at me, I swear I’ll throw you over my shoulder and carry you inside like a sack of grain.” Because she knew Caleb wouldn’t be afraid to carry out his threat she stopped working and glared up at him impatiently. He laughed. “You’re a bad-tempered little creature. Maybe it will take me two months to get you in line rather than one.” Lily’s eyes were drawn to the satin box despite valiant efforts to avoid looking at it. “Is that for me?” “Yes.” She reached for the box, knowing it contained her favorite indulgence: chocolate. Caleb withheld the temptation. “Not only bad-tempered,” he teased, “but greedy, too.” Defiantly, Lily went back to her washing, and Caleb immediately hoisted her off her feet. The breath went out of her when her stomach struck his shoulder, but she managed to kick. Caleb gave her a hard swat on the bottom and strode through the maze of clotheslines to the back door, where he stood her summarily on the stoop. The expression snapping in his eyes was not one of mischief when he jammed the box of chocolates into her hands. “I’ve had enough of this nonsense,” he announced. “You’re moving in with me. From now on, you’re going to be my housekeeper.” Lily’s backside was stinging as badly as her cheeks. “I’m staying right here!” she said fiercely. Caleb remained on the ground, his eyes level with Lily’s. “My house is two doors down from the Tibbets’. I’ll expect you to be there waiting when I get home. Preferably with dinner on the table.” Lily would have clouted him over the head with the candy box if not for the distinct possibility that her chocolates would be squashed. She whirled, stormed into her little house, slammed the door closed, and drove the bolt home. “Saturday,” Caleb called to her, and she watched through the window as he put his hat back on and strode out of the yard. Thirty
Linda Lael Miller (Lily and the Major (Orphan Train, #1))
Here I stand, regretting our missed opportunity to walk. A year ago I would have happily run up in the hills, whether it rained or not. And I was thinking that I could go out, in spite of the weather, but I wouldn’t enjoy it like I used to.” She gestured in amicable agreement. “There’s no fault in misliking the feel of a water-soaked gown.” “That’s part of it,” I said, seizing on the image. “Last year I wore the same clothes year round. My only hat was a castoff that Julen found me somewhere. I loved the feel of rain against my face, and never minded being soaked. I never noticed it! Now I own carriage hats, and walking hats, and riding hats, and ball headdresses--and none of them except the riding hats can get wet, and even those get ruined in a good soak. My old hat never had any shape to begin with, or any color, so it was never ruined.” I turned to face the window again. “Sometimes I feel like I didn’t lose just my hat, I lost my self that horrible night when I walked into Bran’s trap.” Nee was silent. I ran my thumb around the gilt rim of the cup a couple of times, then I made myself face her. “You think I’m being foolish?” She put her palms together in Peaceful Discourse mode. “Yes I do,” she said, but her tone was not unkind. “One doesn’t lose a self, like a pair of gloves or a pin. We learn and change, or we harden into stone.” “Maybe I’ve changed too fast. Or haven’t changed enough,” I muttered. “Have you compromised yourself in any important way?” she asked. I opened my mouth to say Of course, when we were forced to give up our plans to defeat Galdran, but I knew it would be an untruth as soon as it left my lips. “I think,” I said slowly, “I lost my purpose that day. Life was so easy when all I lived for was the revolt, the accomplishment of which was to bring about all these wondrous miracles. Nothing turned out to be the way we so confidently expected it to. Nothing.” “So…” She paused to sip. “…if you hadn’t walked into that trap, what would be different?” “Besides the handsomeness of my foot?” I forced a grin as I kicked my slippered toes out from under my hem. No one could see my scarred foot, not with all the layers of fine clothing I now wore, but the scars were there. She smiled, but waited for me to answer her question. I said, “I suppose the outcome in the larger sense would have been the same. In the personal sense, though, I suspect I would have been spared a lot of humiliation.” “The humiliation of finding out that your political goals were skewed by misinformation?” “By ignorance. But that wasn’t nearly as humiliating as---” my encounters with a specific individual. But I just shook my head, and didn’t say it. “So you blame Vidanric,” she said neutrally. “Yes…no…I don’t know,” I said, trying not to sound cross. “I don’t.” I looked down, saw my hand fidgeting with the curtain and dropped it to my side.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
You’re really going to kick me out?” “Yes, I really am.” Mrs. Wattlesbrook folded her arms. Jane bit her lip and bent her head back to look at the sky. Funny that it looked so far away. It felt as if it were pressing down on her head, shoving her into the dirt. What a mean bully of a sky. Much of the household was present now. Miss Heartwright was huddled with the main actors, whispering, like rubberneckers shocked at a roadside accident but unable to look away. A couple of gardeners strolled up as well, tools in hand. Martin wiped his brow, confusion (sadness?) heavy on his face. Jane was embarrassed to see him, remembering how she’d ended things, and feeling less than appealing at the moment. The whole scene was rather Hester Prynne, and Jane imagined herself on a scaffold with a scarlet C for “cell phone” on her chest. She realized she was still holding her croquet mallet and wondered that no one felt threatened by her. She hefted it. Would it be fun to bash in a window? Nah. She handed it to Miss Charming. “Go get ‘em, Charming.” “Okay,” Miss Charming said uncertainly. “If you would be so kind as to step into the carriage,” said Mrs. Wattlesbrook. Curse the woman. Jane had just started to have such fun, too. Why didn’t one of the gentlemen come forward to defend her? Wasn’t that, like, their whole purpose of existence? She supposed they’d be fired if they did. The cowards. She stood on the carriage’s little step and turned to face the others. She’d never left a relationship with the last word, something poetic and timeless, triumphant amid her downfall. Oh, for a perfect line! She opened her mouth, hoping something just right would come to her, but Miss Heartwright spoke first. “Mrs. Wattlesbrook! Oh dear, I have only now realized what transpired.” She lifted the hem of her skirts and minced her way to the carriage. “Please wait, this is all my fault. Poor Miss Erstwhile was only doing me a favor. You see, the modern contraption was mine. I did not realize I had it until I arrived, and I was so distressed, Miss Erstwhile kindly offered to keep it for me among her own things where I would not have to look upon it.” Jane stood very still. She thought to wonder what instinct made her body rigid when shocked. Was she prey by nature? A rabbit afraid to move when a hawk wheels overhead? Mrs. Wattlesbrook had not moved either, not even to blink. A silent minute limped forward as everyone waited. “I see,” the proprietress said at last. She looked at Jane, at Miss Heartwright, then fumbled with the keys at her side. “Well, now, ahem, since it was an accident, I think we should forget it ever happened. I do hope, Miss Heartwright, that you will continue to honor us with your presence.” Ah, you old witch, Jane thought. “Yes, of course, thank you.” Miss Heartwright was in her best form, all proper feminine concern, artless and pleasant. Her eyes twinkled. They really did. Everyone began to move off, nothing disturbing left to view. Jane caught a glimpse of Martin smiling, pleased, before he turned away. “I’m so sorry, Jane. I do hope you will forgive me.” “Please don’t mention it, Miss Heartwright.” “Amelia.” She held Jane’s hand to help her descend from the carriage. “You must call me Amelia now.” “Thank you, Amelia.” It was such a sisterly moment, Jane thought they might actually embrace. They didn’t.
Shannon Hale (Austenland (Austenland, #1))
In her hurry, though, she’d forgotten to grab her pajamas, which was a dilemma. She could either go out and get them and return to the bathroom to change, or she could go out there and put them on. If Sean didn’t like it, he didn’t have to watch. After leaving the bathroom, she turned off the overhead light in the bedroom, but it didn’t do much good. The night was clear, the moon was bright, and she knew she was all too visible when she undid her jeans and shimmied them down over her hips. “What the hell are you doing?” “Changing into my pajamas.” “You always do that in the bathroom.” His voice was low and rough, but she noticed he didn’t look away. “I forgot them, and there’s no point in going back in there.” She kicked off the jeans and was going to pull on the shorts before changing shirts, but then she remembered his stupid answers to the stupid questions in that game and changed her mind. “The point is that you don’t do it in front of me.” “Oh, did you forget? Being watched turns me on.” And she pulled her T-shirt over her head. She had to bite down on a surprised yelp once she was free of it because suddenly Sean was standing in front of her, wearing nothing but blue boxer briefs and a scowl. “You said I had no imagination.” “And having no imagination is so much worse than your best friend’s family thinking you’re an exhibitionist.” “And we’re not ever going to talk about the other thing you said. Ever.” He was crowding her personal space, so she put her hands on his chest to push him back, but he caught her wrists. Standing there with her palms pressed against his naked skin, she could feel his heart beating at a quickened pace that matched her own and she knew she had two choices. Walk away or end up in bed with him. She leaned her body a little closer and splayed her fingers across his chest. “Which thing aren’t we talking about? The fast-food-joint bathroom or—” “Don’t push me too far, Emma. It’s been a long time for me.” “How long?” “Too damn long.” He lifted her hands from his chest, but didn’t let go of her wrists. “And I never even got to scope out the dating situation here before you showed up at my door with this half-assed scheme.” “And since we… You haven’t…” “The last thing I need is to get caught cheating on a woman I can’t tell anybody I’m not really in a relationship with.” His gaze dropped from her face to her lacy white bra and he sighed. “You’re killing me.” “Lying awake on the couch every night, wondering what it would be like to slide into bed with you has been killing me for two weeks.” “Yeah.” He let go of her wrists and slid his hands up the back of her neck and into her hair. “I’ve thought about that, too. A lot. Pretty much constantly, actually.
Shannon Stacey (Yours to Keep (Kowalski Family, #3))
Daddy?” “I’m right here, baby.” Lumps form in my throat, going all the way down into the core of me. It’s his voice. His. Right there. I reach toward the doorknob but I don’t get to turn it. Nick smashes at me with his head, pushing against my lower jaw and cheek, like a blow. His muzzle moves my head away from the door. He presses his face in between me and the wood. Fur gets in my mouth. I spit it out and push at him. “That’s my dad. My dad.” I slap the door. “He’s on the other side. The pixies will get him.” Nick shows me his teeth. “I can’t lose him again, Nick.” The wolf snarls like he’s ready to bite. My head jerks back and away, but then I steady myself. “Get . . . out . . . of . . . the . . . way.” Pushing against his thick neck, I slam my hands against him over and over again, pummeling him. He doesn’t budge. “Move!” I order. “Move.” “Zara, is there a wolf in there with you? Do not trust him,” my dad’s voice says, calmly, really calmly. I grab a fistful of fur and freeze. All at once it hits me that something is not right. My dad would never be calm if I was in my bedroom with a wolf. He’d be stressed and screaming, breaking the door down, kicking it in like he did once when I was really little and had accidentally locked myself in the bathroom and couldn’t get the lock out of the bolt because it was so old. He’d kicked that door down, splintering the wood, clutching me to him. He’d kissed my forehead over and over again. “I’d never let anything happen to you, princess,” he’d said. “You’re my baby.” My dad would be kicking the door in. My dad would be saving me. “Let me in,” he says. “Zara . . .” Letting go of Nick, I stagger backward. My hands fly up to my mouth, covering it. Nick stops snarling at me and wags his fluffy tail. How would my dad know that it is a wolf in here and not a dog? How would he know that it isn’t pixies? I shudder. Nick pounds next to me, pressing his side against my legs. I drop my hands and plunge my fingers into his fur, burying them there, looking for something. Maybe comfort. Maybe warmth. Maybe strength. Maybe all three.
Carrie Jones (Need (Need, #1))
A smaller screen near us pans to Sam. He’s pacing back and forth down the sideline, and he’s not even looking in our direction. But then one of his teammates smacks him on the shoulder and he looks toward me. He stops. He unstraps his helmet, pulls it from his head and stares up at me. Star motions for everyone in our section to be quiet, and they all lower their signs. Emily swipes a tear from her cheek and says, “Go for it.” Logan wraps an arm around her and Kit and holds them tight. Logan is grinning like a fool, though. The camera guy is right in front of me. “Forty-five seconds,” he reminds me. I see my image on the big screen and one of the guys on the field points to it, so Sam looks in that direction. I hold up my signs. I have them grouped in order, one after the other. I show the first one. I love you, 51! I flip to the next. I don’t want to be just a Zero anymore. Flip. I want to be a Zero-plus-one. Flip. Or a Zero-plus-two. Flip. Maybe even a Zero-plus-three. Flip. I want to make little cupcakes with you. Flip. Only you. Flip. Forever. Flip. Check yes or no. I take this last card and walk out of my section. I have hands of people I don’t even know reaching out to steady me, and they’re all saying encouraging things. The camera guy runs along behind me, cursing as he chases me down the stairs. I run with my last card all the way down to the bottom bleacher and I lean over the side, holding it down against the concrete block wall. I pull a marker from my pocket and hold it out, too. Then I wait. It’s the longest forty-five seconds of my life. Sam stands completely still. He scratches his head. His teammates say things to him and he still stands there. The clock is ticking. Maybe he doesn’t want what I want after all. Then he starts to run toward me. He jogs in my direction, and my heart is in my throat. I have tears running down my face, and I don’t care. When he gets to the wall, he stares up at me. There’s no way he can come up this high, so I drop the board with the check boxes and the pen on the ground in front of him. He grins up at me and lays the board on the grass. He takes the pen and starts to check a box. Then he stops and looks up. Then he moves like he’s finally going to do it. Then he stops and looks up. I’m going to kick his ass if he keeps messing with me. Then he checks the yes box and holds the board up for the whole stadium to see. The buzzer goes off and he has to run with his teammates back onto the field to play the last two minutes of the half. When that’s over, just before he goes into the tunnel, he turns back and flashes me the I love you sign, along with a big smile. My heart settles. I
Tammy Falkner (Zip, Zero, Zilch (The Reed Brothers, #6))
Come here, cupcake,” I hear Sam say softly. He pulls me against him and holds me close as I sob on his shoulder. I pull myself together when the elevator stops on our floor. Sam leads me into the apartment and over to the sofa. He sits down and tugs me onto his lap. I curl into him and he holds me close. “It’s been so long since I’ve seen her,” I say when the hiccupping sobs finally subside. “I know.” He rubs my back. “She still looks the same. But it’s wrong. So wrong.” “I know.” “She didn’t even come to see me. She just came for money.” “Yes, she did.” “She doesn’t care. She never did.” My voice breaks again, and I want to kick myself for letting her get to me like this. “I know.” “What should I do?” “What do you want to do?” “I want her to go away! I want her to have never existed. Ever. I want a do-over.” He hums, but doesn’t say anything. “But if I had a do-over, I wouldn’t have Emilio and Marta, or any of my sisters. And without them, I wouldn’t have you.” I look up. “I do have you, right?” “You got me, cupcake.” “I’m squishing you.” I move to get up, but he holds me tightly. “I’m made of stronger stuff than you might think.” “You told her you love me,” I say quietly. He goes still under me. His hand stops sweeping down my hair. “Do you?” He turns my head with a finger under my chin so he can look into my eyes. “You doubt it?” “Well,” I hedge, “I told you yesterday and you didn’t tell me back, so I didn’t know.” “Oh, fuck,” he breathes. “I thought it was a given.” “A given?” “God, I can’t breathe when I’m around you, Peck. I can’t think. I love you, and I don’t want to be apart from you. Ever.” “You love me.” It’s not a question this time. The birds in my head start to sing, and my heart does this happy glug-glug thing in my chest. “Yes, I fucking love you.” I
Tammy Falkner (Zip, Zero, Zilch (The Reed Brothers, #6))
WOMAN!” I SHOUTED, and shook Rachel’s bed roughly. “Wake up.” She shot straight up, her eyes wide in panic as she looked around her room before settling them on me. “God, I thought earthquakes had followed me to Texas.” Taking a calming breath, she brushed her wild hair back from her face and scowled at me. “What is wrong with you? And what time is it—seven? Really, Kash?” “Get up and get ready.” “No.” Pulling the covers up past her shoulders, she sank back into the mattress and shut her eyes. Hell. No. “This is your last warning, Rach. Get up.” A single snort was her only reply. “Such a pain in my ass,” I mumbled, and walked to the foot of the bed. Grabbing the bottom of the comforter, I ripped it off the bed and dropped it on the ground. “Oh my God, what if I had been naked?!” I raised an eyebrow and let my gaze run over her body. I wouldn’t have minded. Ah shit, now I was getting hard and the jersey material of these shorts wouldn’t hide that fact. Think about Mrs. Adams and her fake cats. Think about Mrs. Adams and her fake cats! “Moot point; you’re not. Now, get your ass out of bed.” “Give me at least another couple hours. I just went to sleep.” “Not my fault, and you’ve had more than enough chances to get up yourself.” “Kash, please,” she whined. “Don’t whine. It’s not attractive.” Without giving her any more time, I scooped her into my arms and threw her over my shoulder before heading toward her bathroom. A low oompf left her before she began bitching at me. “I am going to gut you, you freakin’ asshole! Seven in the damn morning, what the hell is wrong with you?! Put me down—ugh! Easy, this shit hurts. You have really bony shoulders, has anyone ever told you that?” She gasped when I turned the shower water on. “Put me down right now, Logan Hendricks, or I swear to all that is holy you will regret the day you moved in across from me and almost took my Jeep door off!” “No can do, my little Sour Patch.” Thank God I was still only in my workout shorts. Kicking off my running shoes, I stepped into the large tub and winced when she shrieked. “You evil bastard, let me go!” “You sure have a mouth on you when you wake up.” “I will murder you!” I couldn’t help but smile. She was just so damn cute. “And you’re a little dramatic.” “This water is freezing,” she whined, and I’d bet she was pouting just as bad as Candice usually did. At least her anger was dying down and her fists had stopped pounding on my back. “What did I ever do to you?” “I gave you every opportunity to get yourself ready. You were the one who wouldn’t get out of bed.” “I had barely gone to sleep!” “Rach,” I snorted, “it’s seven in the morning and you left my place at nine last night. Why had you just gone to sleep?” She didn’t answer and stopped wiggling against me. She just hung there, limp. “What—no more threats? No more whining?” Silence. “Woman, I swear to God, if you fell asleep on my damn shoulder . . .” I trailed off when I heard her mumble something. “What’d you say?” “I was afraid to fall back asleep,” she whispered, and my eyes clenched shut. “Ah, Rach.” I slid her awkwardly down my body until she was standing in front of me. I tried to block the water that was directed at her, but little droplets were bouncing off my bare shoulders and hitting her face. She blinked rapidly against them before dropping her head. “Why didn’t you call me or something?” She huffed and shook her head. “What for, Kash? To make you sit there with me in sweats longer? So you could act like what happened yesterday morning didn’t? I don’t need you to babysit me when I’m being ridiculous.” “That’s not ridiculous.
Molly McAdams (Forgiving Lies (Forgiving Lies, #1))
Daniel belayed back down as I got into position. His feet hit the ground with a thump, then he looked over at me. “Ready?” “Always.” Nicole did the countdown from the top. I started fast, reaching the halfway mark head and shoulders above him. But that’s when things got tricky, the holds and grips a little farther apart, and he had the advantage. By the three-quarter mark, he’d caught up. “Better kick it up a notch,” he said, as he drew alongside me. “I know you really want those extra holds.” “And I’m sure you really don’t want to make them. But don’t forget the second part. You win, you gotta kiss me. Might be better to stick with the holds.” He laughed and heaved up to the next grip, pulling away now. I grabbed another and found toeholds first, shooting a couple inches above him, the advantage lost a second later when his longer arms found the next grips as I was still getting leverage. I kept my face forward now, climbing in earnest for the first time since we’d started. A hiss and boo from below told me I was in the lead. Then a grunt from beside me. A sharp intake of breath and I knew he was pulling up. The crowd cheered. I looked up to see Brooke leaning over the side, ropes in hand, urging me on. Only three feet to go. I could see Daniel out of the corner of my eye, his chin level with my nose, just a scant inch advantage, but I knew it was enough and as soon as he grabbed that top ledge and heaved himself up-- A grunt. Daniel wobbled and the grip slid out of his hand. He dropped only a few inches, but by the time he’d recovered, I was pulling myself over the top. Brooke and Nicole were cheering. The others below called up good-natured boos. I took a breather as I hung off the ledge. I could hear Daniel panting beside me, but I didn’t look over. There was no way he’d lost his hold on that grip. He’d let go. Given me the win at the last second as he realized what was coming if he’d won. A kiss he didn’t want.
Kelley Armstrong (The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1))
Daniel belayed back down as I got into position. His feet hit the ground with a thump, then he looked over at me. “Ready?” “Always.” Nicole did the countdown from the top. I started fast, reaching the halfway mark head and shoulders above him. But that’s when things got tricky, the holds and grips a little farther apart, and he had the advantage. By the three-quarter mark, he’d caught up. “Better kick it up a notch,” he said, as he drew alongside me. “I know you really want those extra holds.” “And I’m sure you really don’t want to make them. But don’t forget the second part. You win, you gotta kiss me. Might be better to stick with the holds.
Kelley Armstrong (The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1))
Before I can say anything, the door to my parents’ apartment bursts open. My little sister darts out, and she dashes down the concrete stairs. “Tina, Tina!” She cannons into me; I grab hold of her. We squeeze each other hard. She’s getting so big now—she’s just an inch shorter than I am—and she hugs my breath out. “Stop,” I croak. “Mayday, mayday!” “I’m so glad you’re here. Can you tell Mom that I am too old enough to go to a coed sleepover?” I give her a once over. “Sure,” I say, “as long as the parents kick it off by caponizing all the boys.” Beside me, Blake chokes. “What’s caponizing?” “Removing the testicles,” I say. “It improves the temperament of the male animal. Try it sometime.” Blake clears his throat. “Oh,” I say. “Mayday, this is Blake Rivers.” We’ve agreed—and by we’ve agreed I mean I’ve insisted—that we won’t give his real name. No point opening that door. Mom is bad enough when she thinks he doesn’t have any money. I can’t imagine what it would be like if she knew the truth. “Blake, this is my little sister. Her name is Mabel, but I call her anything that starts with an M. Mayday, Maple, and Muggle are my favorites.” She wrinkles her nose at Blake. “You can call me Mabel.” Mabel purses her lips and looks at Blake. Blake looks at her right back. Some people say that Mabel and I look alike, and I guess we do, in the most superficial sense. We’re both Chinese. But Mabel’s hair is short and dyed blue, and she wears it pulled over her eyes. Her eyes are set more narrowly than mine. And—this is really unfair, but I swear I am not bitter about this—she is thirteen and she’s already in B-cups. Which, ahem. Is more than I will ever manage. Mabel shrugs. “Hi Blake. You’re the guy who is definitely not Tina’s boyfriend.” Blake shifts the shoulder strap of his bag. “One of many, I presume.” “Nope.” Mabel twirls away. “You’re the only one. The rest of the boys aren’t dating her.” “Oh, well,” Blake says vaguely. “That is an important distinction.” I try to jab my elbow into his side, but he sidles away. “And you’re the only she talks about like this: ‘Mom, he’s not my boyfriend.’” Oh, that imitation. It’s just a little too spot on. I raise a finger at her, but she twirls away before I can get her back. “Come on. Mom is cooking. This is the first time you’ve brought a boyfriend home from college.” “He’s not my—” I stop, because my sister’s lips are twitching. “Fine.” I pick up my own bag. “Lay on, Macduff,” Blake says. Mabel stops and turns to him. “Hey. Only Tina can call me M-words other than Mabel.” “Sorry.” “Tina and her boyfriend,” she corrects. “So you’re okay.
Courtney Milan (Trade Me (Cyclone, #1))
It’s nice for me. Sometimes I feel like I’m forcing myself on him.” She smiled, like she completely understood. “That’s what being a teenager is all about. They’re confused as hell, so it’s only natural for their parents to be confused, too. I say, give them rope. Tug them in when they need it, and give ’em more rope when they earn it. If they don’t hang themselves, you’ve done well. If they do, then you probably still did well, but you missed a hint of trouble along the way.” She set the frame back on the mantel and looked at the others. When she continued, her tone was serious but cushioned with compassion. “What’s most important is that if you did miss something, you don’t leave him hanging until his eyes pop out and he can’t find his way back. You lift him up by the bootstraps and kick him in the ass—figuratively, not literally. Walk with him down a better path. Give him the tools he needs and the understanding to become a better person. Teach yourself to become a better parent; then you both move forward together. A little bruised, a little embarrassed, but whole.
Melissa Foster (Seaside Dreams (Love in Bloom: Seaside Summers, #1))
Surely a young beauty like yourself is lonely, too. It can be a part of the game, if you like.” “Get off,” she said, thoroughly done with this. His answer was to lean in closer. So she kneed him in the groin. As hard as she could. “Aw, ow, dammit!” He doubled over and thudded onto his knees. Jane brushed off her knee, feeling like it had touched something dirty. “Aw, ow, dammit indeed! What’re you thinking?” Jane heard hurried footsteps coming down the stairs. It was Mr. Nobley. “Miss Erstwhile!” He was barefoot in his breeches, his shirt untucked. He glanced down at the groaning man. “Sir Templeton!” “Ow, she kicked me,” said Sir Templeton. “Kneed him, I kneed him,” Jane said. “I don’t kick. Not even when I’m a ninja.” Mr. Nobley stood a moment in silence, looking over the scene. “I hope you remembered to shout ‘Ya’ when taking him down. I hear that is very effective.” “I’m afraid I neglected that bit, but I’ll certainly ‘ya’ from here to London if he ever touches me again.” “Miss Erstwhile, were you perhaps employed by your president’s armed forces in America?” “What? Don’t British women know how to use their knees?” “Happily, I have never put myself in a position to find out.” He stared at the prostrate Sir Templeton. “Did he hurt you?” “Frankly, your arm-yanking earlier was worse.” “I see. Perhaps you should retire to your chambers, Miss Erstwhile. Would you like me to escort you?” “I’m fine,” she said, “as long as there aren’t any other Sir Templetons lurking upstairs.” “Well, I cannot give Colonel Andrews a glowing reference, but I believe the way is safe.” She stepped closer to Mr. Nobley and whispered, “Are you going to out me to Mrs. Wattlesbrook for the servants’ quarters lurking?” “I think,” he said, nudging the prostrate Sir Templeton with his foot, “that you have suffered enough tonight.” Mr. Nobley smiled at her, the first time she had seen his real smile. She wouldn’t go so far as to call it a grin. His lips were closed, but his eyes brightened and the corners of his mouth definitely turned up, creating pleasing little cheek wrinkles on either side as though the smile were in parentheses. It bothered her in a way she couldn’t explain, like feeling itchy but not knowing exactly where to scratch. He was not particularly amused, she saw, but smiled to reassure her. Wait, who wanted to reassure her? Mr. Nobley or the actual man, Actor X? “Thanks. Good night, Mr. Nobley.” “Good night, Miss Erstwhile.” She hesitated, then left, Sir Templeton’s groans following her up the stairs. On the second floor, Aunt Saffronia was emerging from her room, clutching a white shawl over her nightgown. “What was that noise? Is everything all right?” “Yes. It was…your husband. He was being inappropriate.” Aunt Saffronia blinked. “Inebriated?” “Yes.” She nodded slowly. “I’m sorry, Jane.” Jane wasn’t sure if Aunt Saffronia was speaking to Jane the niece or Jane the client. For the first time it didn’t matter; both Janes felt exactly the same. She acknowledged the apology with a nod, went to her room, and locked the door behind her. She thought she was angry but instead she plopped herself down on her bed, put her face in her pillow, and laughed. “What a joke,” she said, sounding to herself like the movie incarnation of Lydia Bennet. “I come for Mr. Darcy, fall for the gardener, and get propositioned by the drunk husband.” Tomorrow would be different. Tomorrow she would play for real. She was going to drive full force into the game, have a staggering good time, and kick the nasty Darcy habit for good. She fell asleep with the ticklish thought of Mr. Nobley’s smile.
Shannon Hale (Austenland (Austenland, #1))
Well?” the guard who discovered me prompted. “I recognize her,” Saadi answered, staring directly at the woman. “She works for my sister as an errand girl.” I briefly closed my eyes in relief. Saadi waved the guard back to her post and issued an order to the man behind him to retrieve his cloak. When it was thrust into his hands, he escorted me back across the base, not speaking until we were out of earshot of those on patrol. “So, Rava has a message for me?” I shoved him unthinkingly, teasingly, and he laughed, jumping away. “You wanted to see me, remember?” I pointed out. “But you never picked a time or place!” “So you decided to do it for me. Fair enough, but I’m dying to know what you have in mind to do.” “I don’t have anything in mind.” We had reached the thoroughfare, and he chuckled. “You braved Cokyrian soldiers and the stronghold of the military base, but don’t have a thing in mind for us to do?” “That’s right,” I admitted, irritated that he was laughing at me. “Would you grow up please?” “Shaselle, there’s nothing ‘grown-up’ about what we’re doing. I assume you snuck away from home to see me, and I have a five o’clock call in the morning.” I came to a halt and turned to face him, my eyes issuing a challenge. “If you want to go back, feel free. Tell those soldiers that Rava just wanted to make sure her baby brother went to bed on time.” He grinned, enjoying my feisty responses, and smoothed his bronze hair forward, a habit I still found annoying. It also served to make my heart flutter. “Trust me, I’ve survived many a night without sleep.” He came closer, putting his hands on my hips, and I spontaneously leaned in to kiss him. He drew me close, his mouth more hungry than it had been in the barn, and a tingle ran from my lips to my toes. Then I pulled away, smiling mischievously, loving how reckless my actions were. He took my hand, kissing each of my fingers before tugging me down the street. “Come on, Shaselle.” “Where are we going?” Saadi didn’t answer, but led me in the direction of the Market District. As a Cokyrian solider on horseback trotted by, he pulled me into the shadows of a storefront, placing a finger upon his lips. “I’ve thought of something for us to do,” he whispered. “Since you came so unprepared.” Once more he took my hand, and I went with him blindly, happily, until we reached the shop from which I’d stolen fruit and wine when I’d run away from home. “What are you--?” He gave the door a strong kick, and I winced at the crack of the wood in the stillness. “Saadi!” I hissed, glancing around, expecting the mounted Cokyrian to come galloping back. He ignored me, pushing the door open. “Come on now. No errand girl of Rava’s would be such a coward!
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
Want me hold the bag?” Cooper said from behind me. Never slowing my punches, I muttered, “Not really.” Cooper took the bag like I knew he would and held it still. “We should talk.” “Then talk.” “You’re into my sister,” he said then continued after I remained quiet, “You were into my girl. You seem to have a thing for my stuff.” “I’m telling Bailey you said she’s your stuff,” I grunted, punching harder. “I suspect she’ll kick you in the balls.” “She thinks she’s your second choice.” “I know, but she’s wrong.” “You wanted Farah.” “I liked Farah. She was my second choice. I wanted Bailey.” Cooper said nothing while I pounded on the bag. Finally, he shoved it back at me. “Why did you fuck with me that day if you didn’t want Farah?” “Because you’re an asshole and I don’t back down to assholes,” I said, taking a break. I grabbed my bottle of water and downed half of it. When I looked back at Cooper, he was frowning in a weird way. “Wait, did you not know you were an asshole? I just assumed someone must have mentioned it before.” Cooper rolled his dark eyes. “You’re an idiot. I could have killed you that day.” “So?” “So you would have died for a chick you didn’t want.” “No, I would have died standing up to an asshole.” “I saw you always looking at Farah.” “She seemed overwhelmed by college. I was looking out for her. She’s hot, but she’s not Bailey.” Cooper clearly wasn’t convinced. “If you wanted Bailey, why wait so long? I think you’re full of shit.” “Because you’re an asshole. Guys like you have shit handed to them. Guys like me have to work for what we want.” “And you want Bailey.” “She’s mine. I just haven’t sealed the deal yet. If you want to fight for her, fine. I should warn you that I’m stronger than I was last year. It’ll take more to beat me.” Cooper grinned. “You hurt my sister and I won’t kick your ass, Nick. I’ll feed you to my fucking dogs.” “Fair enough. Did you want something else?
Bijou Hunter (Damaged and the Dragon (Damaged, #5))
you can switch from calm and loving to enraged and furious within a split second. I know as soon as I open my eyes to see you standing over me that I’m going to regret sitting down for five minutes’ peace, remembering that I haven’t tidied the garden before stopping for a moment. When we returned from the beach Maggie was lively after her nap in the car and headed straight outside to play while I prepared us some dinner. She spent the rest of the afternoon in the garden, sitting in the sandpit playing dolls. Exhaustion had kicked in again by the time we had eaten and I ended
Lisa Hall (Between You and Me)
I must have fallen asleep on a rock. It’s digging into my shoulder blade. I scrunch up and start to roll over, but then freeze. It’s not just a single rock. It’s a giant one. Like concrete. I go numb as I realize what this means. It can’t be…I ease open my eye, and then in an instant I’m sitting upright and looking around. And all I see are cars. And people in blue jeans. And street signs. And I smell smog and I hear radios crackling in the passing cabs. I close my eyes for at least ten seconds and then open them again, but it’s all still there. The twenty-first century. I can’t stop my face from falling. I’m back. Just when I’d realized I don’t want this at all, I’m back. My shopping bags are strewn around me. I’m wearing jeans. A T-shirt. My heels. I glance back to realize the Prada shop is still a few yards behind me, just where I’d left it. I’m sitting in the exact spot I’d fallen down. I never left at all. I stay put for a few moments as a pounding headache fades. Alex. Emily. Even Victoria. They were all make-believe. Some figment of my banged-up brain. That means the kiss…God, I made it all up! Every single thing! I want to lie back down, close my eyes, and go back. I want horrible soup and stiff corsets and lump mattresses. I’ll trade it all to see Alex again. To go to Emily’s wedding. A man trips on my foot and then has the nerve to glare at me, even though he basically kicked me in the shin. Yes, I’m definitely in the twenty-first century. I scramble to my feet and wipe the dirt off my jeans and lean over to pick up my bags. And then I notice them. My heels. My beautiful, damaged heels. I glance over my shoulder. Yes, the Prada shop is definitely still behind me. I’ve gone maybe four steps from the door. Nowhere near enough to ruin the heels like this. They’re scuffed, dented, and scratched. I gather up the rest of my bags, my grin in full-force. It wasn’t fake. It wasn’t make-believe or a dream or anything. It happened. As sure as the mud on the heels, it happened. There’s even a dent where the front door of Harksbury bounced off the toe. I don’t know how or why or anything, but somehow, I was there. I danced with Alex and helped Emily. I played a piano for a duke and a countess, and I ate more exotic animals than I ever wanted to. But it happened. I don’t understand it; I only know that the last month was real, and it was the best of my life. I sling the bags over my shoulder and practically skip down the block. No matter what happens next, no matter what happens for the rest of my life, I have something no one else will ever have. An adventure to rival Indiana Jones. A crazy month that can never be replicated.
Mandy Hubbard (Prada & Prejudice)
Could this be a dream? Maybe I was knocked unconscious and I’m really sitting in a hospital bed coming up with this whole crazy story. That’s plausible. Sort of. Argh! I can’t believe this. Tears spring to my eyes again, only this time, I let them roll down my cheeks. This isn’t fair. I didn’t do anything to deserve this. Angela should be the one showcasing her survival skills. She made fun of me. Karma is supposed to catch up with things like that, not kick me when I’m down. Today is officially the worst day of my life.
Mandy Hubbard (Prada & Prejudice)
Dylan lifted my chin so my lips could meet his. I kissed him hard, suddenly overwhelmed with emotion I’d held tight inside me. “Good things happen,” I said, crying now. “Sometimes I forget that even when I have a blessing right in front of me.” Dylan wrapped me tighter in his arms and smiled against my lips. “Me too, but I never lost faith in little Lark. If anyone could kick death in the ass, it would be her.” I laughed at the thought of Lark versus the Grim Reaper. When my laughter drew the attention of the others, they laughed too, even without knowing why. All the tension faded as our fears turned to celebration. “Shit, I’m gonna get teary-eyed,” Vaughn announced, looking at his phone. We all received the same message from Raven with pictures of the babies. “Which one’s the girl?” Judd asked, squinting at Tawny’s phone. “The one with the pink hat,” his wife said. Everyone laughed again. “You can’t see if they have curly hair,” Cooper muttered. “Man, I hope at least one of them does. I’m never letting Aaron live that shit down.” More laughter as everyone enjoyed the additional photos Raven sent.
Bijou Hunter (Damaged and the Bulldog (Damaged, #6))
Don’t get it confused. We are the hunted. We are the motherfucking target. You better wake the fuck up. And I don’t believe in peaceful protest. Peaceful protest will just get your ass kicked again. It’s just like in life. If a motherfucker is fucking with you in the hood and you keep turning the other cheek, you’re gonna keep getting your ass kicked. The only way to beat a bully is to fight. Win, lose, or draw, you’ve gotta fight. And I don’t give a fuck what anybody says, the same goes for the state. Honestly, I’m happy when I see niggas fight back. Like that shit in Ferguson was great to me. Or when they rioted in L.A. after the Rodney King trial? I love that shit. I’m for anything radical when it comes to the mistreatment of minorities. You can’t lay down in the face of oppression.
Brad "Scarface" Jordan (Diary of a Madman: The Geto Boys, Life, Death, and the Roots of Southern Rap)
Let’s go, little man.” “I’m not your little man. And you can’t make me.” His eyebrows scrunched down over his eyes, and his fingers curled into fists. “Oh yes, I can.” I lifted him off the floor, his feet kicking out behind me. “What are you doing to him?” Ollie blocked my way out of the kitchen. “I’m taking him to bed.” Her eyes narrowed. “You’re not his mother, you know.” How many times had I said those words to her over the past few weeks? And she dared throw them back at me now? “Neither are you.” I set Dan on the ground but kept his hand imprisoned in mine. Ollie’s eyes flashed. “When are you goin’ home, Rebekah?” “Ollie Elizabeth!” Frank stood at the kitchen door, James at his side. Ollie’s face paled. “But, Daddy, she—” “Get on up to bed. We’ll talk about this in the morning.” Ollie darted from the room, dragging Dan with her. James tugged at my hand. I knelt down in front of him. “You’re not going anywhere, are you?” His bottom lip trembled. “No.” I ran my hand through his blond curls. “I won’t leave you, sweet boy. I promise.” He lurched into my arms, nearly knocking me to the ground. Tears gruffed my voice as I whispered, “Let’s get you tucked in, too.” His head nodded against my shoulder. I carried him from the room without so much as a glance at his daddy. My heart couldn’t bear to know whose side Frank had taken—Ollie’s or James’s.
Anne Mateer (Wings of a Dream)
You’ve been paying close attention, haven’t you?” she asks, like she just read my mind. But she’s not talking about me looking at her face. “I like to observe people,” I say slyly. “Maybe you were cut out for Candor, Four, because you’re a terrible liar.” I set my hand down next to hers and lean closer. “Fine.” Her long, narrow nose is no longer swollen from the attack, and neither is her mouth. She has a nice mouth. “I watched you because I like you. And…don’t call me ‘Four,’ okay? It’s…nice. To hear my name again.” She looks momentarily bewildered. “But you’re older than I am…Tobias.” It sounds so good when she says it. Like it’s nothing to be ashamed of. “Yes, that whopping two-year gap really is insurmountable, isn’t it?” “I’m not trying to be self-deprecating,” she says stubbornly. “I just don’t get it. I’m younger. I’m not pretty. I--” I laugh, and kiss her temple. “Don’t pretend,” she says, sounding a little breathless. “You know I’m not. I’m not ugly, but I am certainly not pretty.” The word “pretty,” and all that it represents, seems so completely useless right now that I have no patience for it. “Fine. You’re not pretty. So?” I move my lips to her cheek, trying to work up some courage. “I like how you look.” I pull back. “You’re deadly smart. You’re brave. And even though you found out about Marcus…you aren’t giving me that look. Like I’m…a kicked puppy, or something.” “Well,” she says factually. “You’re not.” My instincts were right: She is worth trusting. With my secrets, with my shame, with the name that I abandoned. With the beautiful truths and the awful ones. I know it. I touch my lips to hers. Our eyes meet, and I grin, and kiss her again, this time more sure of it. It’s not enough. I pull her closer, kiss her harder. She comes alive, putting her arms around me and leaning into me and it’s still not enough, how can it be?
Veronica Roth (Four: A Divergent Story Collection (Divergent, #0.1-0.4))
As I walk across the lobby, I hear a scream coming from below, coming from the Pit. It’s not a good-natured Dauntless shout, or the shriek of someone who is scared but delighted, or anything but the particular tone, the particular pitch of terror. Small rocks scatter behind us as I run down to the bottom of the Pit, my breathing fast and heavy, but even. Three tall, dark-clothed people stand near the railing below. They are crowded around a fourth, smaller target, and even though I can’t see much about them, I know a fight when I see one. Or, I would call it a fight, if it wasn’t three against one. One of the attackers wheels around, sees me, and sprints in the other direction. When I get closer I see one of the remaining attackers holding the target up, over the chasm, and I shout, “Hey!” I see her hair, blond, and I can hardly see anything else. I collide with one of the attackers--Drew, I can tell by the color of his hair, orange-red--and slam him into the chasm barrier. I hit him once, twice, three times in the face, and he collapses to the ground, and then I’m kicking him and I can’t think, can’t think at all. “Four.” Her voice is quiet, ragged, and it’s the only thing that could possibly reach me in this place. She’s hanging from the railing, dangling over the chasm like a piece of bait from a fishing hook. The other one, the last attacker, is gone. I run toward her, grabbing her under her shoulders, and pull her over the edge of the railing. I hold her against me. She pressed her face to my shoulder, twisting her fingers into my shirt. Drew is on the ground, collapsed. I hear him groan as I carry her away--not to the infirmary, where the others who went after her would think to look for her, but to my apartment, in its lonely, removed corridor. I shove my way through the apartment door and lay her down on my bed. I run my fingers over her nose and cheekbones to check for breaks, then I feel for her pulse, and lean in close to listen to her breathing. Everything seems normal, steady. Even the bump on the back of her head, though swollen and scraped, doesn’t seem serious. She isn’t badly injured, but she could have been. My hands shake when I pull away from her. She isn’t badly injured, but Drew might be. I don’t even know how many times I hit him before she finally said my name and woke me up. The rest of my body starts to shake, too, and I make sure there’s a pillow supporting her head, then leave the apartment to go back to the railing next to the Pit.
Veronica Roth (Four: A Divergent Story Collection (Divergent, #0.1-0.4))
I shimmied up a tree and waited for her to pass my way. But once she got close enough for me to see her through the branches, she sat down to rest. When she didn’t come closer, I started crawling along a branch, planning to cross to the next tree. She started to look up, then caught herself, waited a moment, gave a loud sigh and slumped back against the trunk, giving her an excuse to look up. I waited until she looked up, then bent to catch her gaze. She held mine and mouthed “trap,” ending it with a yawn to fool anyone watching. I looked around. I might still be able to rescue her. Whoever was watching couldn’t be too close. Hayley rose a couple of inches from the ground, rubbed her butt, and scowled, as if she’d sat on a root or a rock. She got up and made some noise, kicking the ground then shaking a young oak, dead leaves rustling. In other words, assuring her captors that she was trying to attract our attention. Then she walked beneath my tree and sat down again. She picked up a stick and began idling poking around a patch of bare earth. Then she wrote “Don’t be stupid.” She erased it, doodled a bit, then wrote, “I’m fine.” I hesitated, but she was right. It was a trap and my chances of foiling it were slim to none. If I got caught, could I trust Daniel not to come after me? No. Could I trust Corey and Sam to make it to safety alone? No.
Kelley Armstrong (The Calling (Darkness Rising, #2))
Kevin Swift… where am I? What are you doing here?” “You’re awake.” Polydora’s lips twisted into a displeased frown. “Of course, I am awake. Now answer my questions.” Kevin sat down. He slowly lowered himself to the ground and crossed his legs. Polydora’s eyes watched him like a hawk. “I’m not exactly sure where to start,” Kevin said after a moment. “The place where you and I are currently staying is called New Genbu, and I’m here because Monstrang and Kuroneko asked me to try and convince Orin, one of the Four Saints, to join forces with them.” “I understand your situation. Yes, that makes sense. However, I still don’t know what I’m doing here. The last thing I remember is…” Polydora trailed off, her eyes widening as she looked at something behind Kevin. “You! You are one of the fiends who was chasing me!” Cien was unruffled by the woman’s anger. “I was. However, I am not anymore. Try not to blow your top off, old hag.” “O-old hag?!” Polydora shrieked. “I’m only twenty-two years old.” “Really?” Cien sounded surprised, but Kevin thought he saw vindictive joy gleaming in the inu’s eyes. “You certainly don’t look that young. I guess that’s what happens to women who don’t know their place.” Kevin winced. He’d noticed it before, but male inu tended to be chauvinistic, and it seemed this particular inu wasn’t going to act in a way that might have suggested otherwise. “My place?” Polydora’s glare could’ve melted steel, but Cien looked unconcerned. “And what place is that?” “In the kitchen, of course.” Oh, boy. Kevin felt sweat gather on his forehead. This isn’t going to turn out well. “In the kitchen?” Polydora was beyond angry. The look on her face, which had taken on the vibrant red hue of rage, made her appear like she was ready to murder someone. “You foul, sexist, heathen! If I hadn’t lost my weapons in our first engagement, I would kill you where you stand—where you lay!” “So, the yama uba needs her weapons to kill, does she?” Cien’s grin was the utter definition of superiority. “I guess that’s what it means to be a race of nothing but women. You need weapons to be strong.” “That does it! I think this despicable mutt needs a lesson in manners!” “Bring it on, hag! I’ll beat you to a pulp!” Before Cien or Polydora could do much more than stand up, Kevin acted. Cien was taken down with a swift kick to the stomach, while Polydora tripped when Kevin kicked the back of her foot. She fell onto her bottom with a harsh “Oof!” “That’s enough out of the both you,” Kevin said calmly. “Polydora, I understand that you’re angry, but I need him to tell me what he knows about the Yamata Alliance, or do you not want to rescue Phoebe?” Polydora, who’d been about to shout at him, snapped her mouth closed. Kevin nodded. “And you.” He pointed at Cien. “Insult one of my friends again, and I will be sure to humiliate you so thoroughly your pride will be in tatters by the time I’m done.” Cien hesitated, but then he jutted out his chin in defiance. “Just try it. There’s nothing you can do to me that you haven’t already done.” Kevin’s creepy smile made Cien lean back. “I wouldn’t be too sure of that. You forget that I’m the mate to a kitsune. Pranking is in their blood, you know? Keep insulting my friend and I’ll drug you, strip you naked, cover you in tar and feathers, attach you to the back of a car, and have it drag you through a heavily populated city. Don’t push me.” Needless to say, Cien shut up.
Brandon Varnell (A Fox's Mission (American Kitsune, #11))
Ken was thrown backwards by Kevin’s powerful double heel kick. Kevin, having used the kitsune as a springboard, flipped through the air and landed in a crouch. The two-tailed fox was not so lucky. After sailing through the air, he hit the ground. Hard. “Urk!” Ken nearly swallowed his tongue as he slammed into the ground. He continued to tumble across the asphalt for several more feet before coming to a halt. Kevin stood back up and clapped his hands several times, wearing an expression that epitomized satisfaction. He turned his head to look at his mate and the flabbergasted kappa. “You just kicked a kitsune,” Kyle stated the obvious. “That I did.” Kevin nodded, quite proud of himself. This was the first time he’d managed that kick without landing on his back. “You two should get going. I can handle things here.” “You sure?” Kyle appeared dubious. “You may have gotten the drop on him, but that guy is still a kitsune, and, well, you’re just a human.” Two sets of cheeks puffed up simultaneously. “Don’t underestimate me! Who the hell do you think I am?” Kevin shouted, pointing at Kyle. Don’t underestimate my mate! Who the hell do you think he is?” Lilian also shouted. She was also pointing at Kyle. The kappa looked at the two of them, his face slowly deadpanning. “You two just did that in synch.” Kevin and Lilian tilted their heads at the same time. Their expressions were almost identical. “We did?” “Yes, you did.” The two might have responded to Kyle’s words, but they were forced to scramble out of the way when a drill made of water crashed into the ground, which cracked underneath the intense pressure. They looked at the person who’d created it—Ken, once again on his feet, with blood trailing down his forehead, and his two tails writhing in furious agitation. “Quit ignoring me!” “Oh, right,” Kevin muttered. “You’re still here.” “Are you saying you forgot about me already?!” “I’m sorry. You’re just not that important.” “What?!” Ken gawked. “That’s what happens when you’re a fop,” Lilian added. “Ugh.” “Yeah, nobody likes a fop,” Kevin agreed. “Gurk.” “Especially not pretty boy fops,” even Kyle got in on the action. “Shut up!” Ken growled, his cheeks almost neon red. “Shut up, shut up, shut up! I’ll show you! I’ll prove to all of you that I’m not a fop!” “Only someone who’s a fop would bother trying to prove that he’s not a fop,” Kevin chided.
Brandon Varnell (A Fox's Vacation (American Kitsune, #5))
We should get you some ice." "F*ck you. If I did half my job, you'll be stuffing you jock with every piece of cold thing we have." "Yeah, but you can have it when I'm done though." She managed another bloody smile and turned towards the door. "Hey Babs, no hard feelings right?" "Just next time you need to beat someone up, how about you don't insult me first." He chuckled. It hurt. "If I need to beat someone up, I got a whole station of possibilities. But if I'm looking to lose a fight, I'm pretty much down to just you.
James S.A. Corey (Persepolis Rising (The Expanse, #7))
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m a wimp. I admit it. But it hit me, just now, what a good person you are. How noble you are. You’re down-to-earth and likable. I see it everywhere you go. Me? Yeah, not so much. People fear me, even if they don’t know what I am. Those who do? Yeah, then they really fear me. “So I sit here looking at you, thinking what a wonderful person you are, and it hits me right between the eyes. I need you like I need blood to survive. I need you to survive. I didn’t believe I could fall this fast for somebody, even though I know about the mate-draw thing. I don’t deserve you, but I’ll damn sure fight to keep—” There was a blur of movement, and I found myself flat on my back, both of my arms held above my head. I stared at Remi. Whoa. “You love me? You tell me that while I am spread out and helpless?” “Um, not looking too helpless now.” “I ought to shake you senseless. No, I ought to chain you down and beat your ass, then shake you senseless. And what was that rot you were spewing about me being so good and you being so not? Do not put me up on some damn pedestal. I’m not perfect. I’m as far from perfect as I can get. I’m no better than you, you fanged fucker.” “Fanged fucker?” I snorted, then got serious. “Look, I—” Remi released my wrists and put a finger to my lips… a finger with a nice sharp claw on the end. Well, hell. I found myself looking into the brightly glowing electric-blue eyes of his cat “I love you too. I don’t care what you’ve done in your past. Also don’t care about whatever you’ve done to survive. You are all I care about. “When that asshole stabbed you, I thought I lost you. I thought I lost everything. Yes, what I feel hit me quickly, and the intensity sometimes scares me, but I’ll fight tooth and nail to keep you. I’ll also gladly kick your ass when I think you need reminding.” I hiked an eyebrow at him. “You’ll try to kick my ass.” “No, I will.” Remi rubbed his cheek against mine, then sat up. “Together we can handle anything.” I caressed that strong jawline of his. “You love me?” “I love you. In fact, I love you more.” “Not too sure of that.” My world finally settled in place around me. He was right. Together we could handle anything. “I love you too.” “Good. Now that we’ve got that straightened out, let’s go take a shower. I, ah… yeah.” Remi pulled me up off the bed. “To the shower we go.” Laughing, I followed him. I had every intention of helping him get totally and intimately clean, then taking his ass back to bed.
M.A. Church (It Takes Two to Tango (Fur, Fangs, and Felines #3))
Naomi stretched as she woke with an exaggerated yawn in her own bed. How the hell did I get here? Recollection of the dirty trick the two men played on her the previous night made her sit up abruptly. The sheet fell away and she noticed her clothing of the previous eve gone, replaced with a t-shirt and shorts. “Those dirty, rotten pigs,” she cursed as she swung her legs out of bed and sat on the edge. “You called?” A head topped with tousled hair poked out from around the door frame of the bathroom. Number sixty-nine’s dark eyes twinkled and his lips curled in a sensual smile. Despite her irritation, her body flooded with warmth. “You!” She pointed at him and shot him a dark glare. He grinned wider. “What about me, darling?” “I’m going to kick your balls so hard you’re going to choke on them. How dare you drug me and then do despicable things to my body while I was unconscious?” Stepping forward from the bathroom, he raised his arms in surrender and her eyes couldn’t help drinking in the sight of him. No one should look that delicious, especially in the morning, was her disgruntled thought. Shirtless, Javier’s tight and toned muscles beckoned. Encased in smooth, tanned skin, his muscular torso tapered down to lean hips where his jeans hung, partially unbuttoned and displayed a bulge that grew as she watched. Unbidden heat flooded her cleft and her nipples shriveled so tight she could have drilled holes with them. She forced herself to swallow and look away before she did something stupid— say, like, licking her way down from his flat nipples to the dark vee of hair that disappeared into his pants. “It would take a braver man than me to disobey your mother’s orders. Besides, you needed the sleep,” he added in a placating tone. Scowling, Naomi mentally planned a loud diatribe for her mother. “Let me ask you, how does your head feel now?” His question derailed her for a second, and she paused to realize she actually felt pretty damned good— but now I’m horny and it’s all his friggin’ fault. She dove off the bed and stalked toward him, five foot four feet of annoyed woman craving coffee, a Danish, and him— naked inside her body. The first two she’d handle shortly, the third, she’d make him pay for. He stood his ground as she approached, the idiot. “What did you do to me while I was out?” she growled as she patted her neck looking for a mating mark. “Nothing. Contrary to your belief, snoring women with black and blue faces just don’t do it for me.” His jibe hurt, but not as much as her foot when it connected with his undefended man parts. He ended up bent over, wheezing while Naomi smirked in satisfaction. “That’s for knocking me out. But, if I find out you did anything to me other than dress me, like cop a feel or take nudie pictures, I’m going hurt you a lot worse.” “Has anyone ever told you you’re hot when you’re mad?” said the man with an obvious death wish. Only his speed saved him from her swinging fist as she screeched at him. “Go away. Can’t you tell I’m not interested?” “Liar.” He threw that comment at her from the other side of her bed. “I can smell your arousal, sweetheart. And might I say, I can’t wait to taste it.
Eve Langlais (Delicate Freakn' Flower (Freakn' Shifters, #1))
I’ve always said I didn’t want an ordinary life. Nothing average or mundane for me. But as I stared at the rather ample naked derriere wiggling two inches from my face today, I realized I should have been more specific with my goals. Definitely not ordinary, but not exactly what I had in mind. The Texas-flag tattoo emblazoned across the left cheek waved at me as she shifted her weight from foot to foot. The flag was distorted and stretched, as was the large yellow rose on the right cheek, both tattoos dotted with dimples and pock marks. An uneven script scrawled out “The Yellow Rose of Texas” across the top of her rump. Her entire bridal party—her closest friends and relatives, mind you—had left her high and dry. They’d stormed off the elevator as I tried to enter it, a flurry of daffodil-yellow silk, spouting and sputtering about their dear loved one, Tonya the bride. “That’s it! We’re done!” They sounded off in a chorus of clucking hens. “We ain’t goin’ back in there. She can get ready on her own!” “Yeah, she can get ready on her own!” “Known her since third grade and she’s gonna talk to me like that?” “Third grade? She’s my first cousin. I’ve known her since the day she was born. She’s always been that way. I don’t know why y’all acting all surprised.” I felt more than a little uneasy about what all this meant for our schedule. The ceremony was supposed to start in fifteen minutes. The bride should have already been downstairs and loaded in the carriage to make her way to the hotel’s beach. My unease grew to panic when I knocked on Tonya’s door and she opened it clad only in a skimpy little satin robe. “Honey, you’re supposed to be dressed and downstairs already.” I tried to say it as sweetly as possible, but I’m sure my panic came through. My Southern accent kicked in thick, which usually only happens when I’m panicked or frustrated. Or pissed. Or drunk. “Do you think I don’t know that?” she asked, arching a perfectly drawn-on eyebrow. “Do you think somehow when I booked this wedding and had invitations printed and planned the entire damned event, I somehow didn’t realize what time the ceremony started? And just who the hell are you anyway?” Well, alrighty then. Obviously this was going to be a fun day. “Um, I’m Tyler Warren. I’m assisting Lillian with your wedding today.” “Fine. Those bitches left me with my nails wet.” She held up both hands to show me the glossy, fresh manicure. “How the hell am I supposed to get dressed with wet nails?” she asked, arching both eyebrows now and glaring at me like I was somehow responsible for this. “Oh.” My mind spun with the limited time frame I had available, the amount of clothing she still needed to put on, and the amount of time it would take to get her in the carriage and to the ceremony. “Give me just a second to let Lillian know we’ll be down shortly.” I smiled what I hoped was my sweetest smile and stepped backward into the hallway. She slammed the door as I frantically dialed Lillian’s cell. “You’d better be calling to tell me she is in the carriage and on her way,” Lillian said. “It is hotter than Hades out here. I have several people looking like they’re about to faint, and I may possibly dunk a cranky, tuxedoed five-year-old
Violet Howe (Diary of a Single Wedding Planner (Tales Behind the Veils, #1))
The lights went out in the dining room and Owen entered the kitchen, stopping several feet away. She leaned on her hands, her head bent nearly to her chest. She could only see his feet and legs. “Claire, you’re exhausted. Why didn’t you just go up to bed?” “The meds kicked in. Too tired to move.” Unexpected and exciting, he plucked her right off the counter and settled her in his arms and against his broad, hard chest. Too tired to make a fuss and exert her independence, she gave in to something else entirely and snuggled closer, nestling her face in his neck and settling her head on his strong shoulder. His chest rumbled with a laugh. “You’re like a contented cat, snuggling in for the night.” “Deep down, I’m fine on my own. The meds have made me mushy and weak.” “Not weak. After the night you’ve had, you just need a hug.” He squeezed her to his chest. She tried to hide the wince of pain, but he felt her stiffen in his arms. “Sorry, overstepped.” They reached the top of the stairs, and he stopped. “No, you didn’t. I didn’t realize how banged up I got. I feel like I got hit by a car,” she joked. “The meds are helping out considerably. My room’s on the right.” Owen walked down the hall and entered her room, stopping just inside and looking around. “Wow. It’s like another house in here.” “I moved in over a year ago, but I spent all my time opening the shop and running it. A couple of months ago, I started on the house. I spend so much time at the shop, the most time I spend here is sleeping, so I redid the master bedroom first. I’ve upgraded the bathroom, but I still need to add the finishing touches.” “You added the flower pots on the back patio with the lounge and table set.” “I like to drink my coffee out there in the morning when the weather is nice.” “You spend a lot of time working, so spending the morning outside is relaxing.” “Yes. Sounds like the same is true for you, too.” He nodded. “I spend most evenings outside reading over briefs and preparing for court. I take care of the horses and barn cats. It gets me out of my head.” “You can put me down now.” “I knew you’d say that.” She laughed, and he set her on her bed. -Owen & Claire
Jennifer Ryan (Falling for Owen (The McBrides, #2))
So, what time do you get off work? Would you like to grab something to eat afterward?” She released a soft exhale. “Derrick, you seem like a really nice guy, but didn’t you notice that I’m a lot older than you? How are you even in medical school? I know what you are ... you’re one of those young princes from overseas, aren’t you? From Romania maybe? You have such dark hair and eyes, like a gypsy.” He laughed. “I’m not so sure if that was a compliment or if I should be offended, but you’re not even close.” He continued to chuckle as he pulled out his wallet. “I was born in Massachusetts, I assure you, and I’m older than you think.” He was also ten years older than his driver’s license indicated, but he couldn’t share that with her. She peeked at his date of birth. “Twenty-five? I’m twenty-five! You barely look eighteen, while I probably look thirty,” she groaned. He furrowed his brow. “Most people say I look at least nineteen, so I’m above the legal age to date. That’s why I showed you my license, though. No one ever believes me,” he said through a laugh, attempting to set her at ease. “And you don’t look thirty. Twenty-nine tops,” he said, grinning. She smacked his arm. “Hey, that’s just mean to kick a girl when she’s already feeling inferior.” “Maybe that’s why I can’t get a pretty young woman to have dinner with me.” “I’m sure you get turned down all the time. Not!” He chuckled softly. “Actually, you’re the first woman I’ve asked out in a year.” She released a non-believing puff of air. “I’m flattered. But honestly, I really don’t have time to date. And ...” She paused, reaching into her backpack and pulling out her wallet too. She flipped it open and held it out for his inspection. “I have an eight-year-old daughter.” He stole a peek into the rearview mirror, then glanced at the picture of Janelle and her daughter. It appeared to be one of those shots taken at a cheap photo box booth in the mall. Her daughter had the same color hair, identical features, same smile. Even with the seventeen-year difference, they looked more like sisters than mother and daughter. “Nice try, but you failed to deter me. How about we study together at a coffee shop.” She released a long sigh. “You’re sweet —” “Oh, no ...” He laughed harder than before. He felt so natural with her. “Not sweet, anything but sweet.” She
Carmen DeSousa (Creatus (Creatus, #1))
Oh, well…they’ve been a little relaxed because of Gram’s passing, but I’ve been assured once school starts my life will be all work and no play.” I kick my feet under the water and watch the surface swirl. “Well, we better take advantage.” He pulls me in for another kiss and when we break apart, I’m overcome with laughter. This is so the opposite of how I saw my summer ending even just a few hours ago. “You’re really here. I can’t get over it.” “When I called and heard your voice mail greeting this morning, something inside me just clicked. I had to see you. Today.” He leans toward me until our foreheads press together, his fingertips trailing tortuously slowly up and down each of my arms. “I tried all summer to talk myself out of liking you, to stay away from Cinque Terre once I knew you were there. Especially when I thought you might be with someone else. But I couldn’t. I want to make this work, Pippa. I knew we met for a reason.” His breath is warm on my face as he whispers, “I can’t not be with you.” I close my eyes and absorb his words. He wants to make this work. I want to make this work. It will. Somehow. “You really like me that much?” I hear him swallow. “I’m not sure like is a strong enough word.
Kristin Rae (Wish You Were Italian (If Only . . ., #2))
God could no longer see the faces of the men, only red and orange hazes. He heard taunting voices in his mind spurring him on, calling him a “pussy,” and old, hairy hands reaching out to grab him. His gripped tightened on the punk’s neck and he cocked his right arm back ready to do some serious damage. “Let him go.” God shook his head at the familiar deep voice. “I said, let him go now!” He felt two strong hands land on his shoulders and heat seeped its way into him from behind. “Put him down, God. Right now before you kill him. Listen to my voice.” Day was up on his tiptoes speaking into his ear. His breath was hot on his neck and it gave him a tingling in his spine. “Cashel, stop,” Day whispered. God put his right arm down and released the man from his grip. He didn’t wait to see the man’s body drop. He spun around and looked into his friend’s eyes, and was relieved when he didn’t see judgment, sorrow, or pity…all he saw was relief and then concern. Day grabbed him and held on to him tightly. His embrace was strong and confident…exactly what God needed to feel right then. “Come on, we gotta get out of here.” Day gripped the back of his arm and moved them quickly out of the alley and into a waiting taxi. “Wait…my truck.” “It’s taken care of.” Day kept him from getting out of the vehicle. “What do you mean?” “I mean you owe me two hundred dollars because that’s what I just paid the bartender to follow us back to my place in your truck.” God spun around and saw his huge truck’s headlights behind them. “You have a stranger driving my truck…my fucking guns are in there, Leo.” “You should’ve thought about that earlier, Cash,” Day growled right back. “If you’re going to lecture me, Leo…fucking save it.” God slid down farther and let his aching head rest on the back of the seat as the cab accelerated onto the highway. “You know me better than that, Cash. I’m not going to lecture you. I’m going to kick your ass,” Day said matter-of-factly and turned to look out the window. Neither one said anything else the rest of the ride.
A.E. Via
Very sexy, babe,” Sierra says, eyeing Doug’s Speedo. Doug is walking like a penguin, waddling while trying to get comfortable. “I swear to God I’m taking these off as soon as I get in the hot tub. They’re choking my balls.” “TMI,” Brittany chimes in, covering her ears with her palms. She’s wearing a yellow bikini, leaving very little to the imagination. Does she realize she looks like a sunflower, ready to rain sunshine on all who look down upon her? Doug and Sierra climb into the tub. I hop into the tub and sit beside Brittany. I’ve never been in a hot tub before, and am not sure about hot-tub protocol. Are we going to sit here and talk, or do we break off into couples and make out? I like the second option, but Brittany looks nervous. Especially when Doug tosses his Speedo out of the tub. I wince. “Come on, man.” “What? I want to be able to have kids one day, Fuentes. That thing was cutting off my circulation.” Brittany hops out of the tub and pulls a towel around her. “Let’s go inside, Alex.” “You guys can stay in here,” Sierra says. “I’ll make him put the marble bag back on.” “Forget it. You two enjoy the tub. We’ll be inside,” Brittany says. When I’m out of the tub, Brittany hands me an extra towel. I put my arm around her as we walk to the cabin. “You okay?” “Absolutely. I was thinking you were upset.” “I’m cool. But…” Inside, I pick up a blown-glass figurine and study it. “Seein’ this house, this life…I want to be here with you, but I look around and realize this will never be me.” “You’re thinking too much.” She kneels on the carpet and pats the floor. “Come here and lie on your stomach. I know how to give Swedish massages. It’ll relax you.” “You’re not Swedish,” I say. “Yeah, well, neither are you. So if I do it wrong you’ll never know the difference.” I lie next to her. “I thought we were gonna take this relationship slow.” “A back rub is harmless.” My eyes roam over her kick-ass bikini-covered bod. “I’ll have you know I’ve been intimate with girls wearin’ a lot more.” She slaps me on the butt. “Behave yourself.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
Seein’ this house, this life…I want to be here with you, but I look around and realize this will never be me.” “You’re thinking too much.” She kneels on the carpet and pats the floor. “Come here and lie on your stomach. I know how to give Swedish massages. It’ll relax you.” “You’re not Swedish,” I say. “Yeah, well, neither are you. So if I do it wrong you’ll never know the difference.” I lie next to her. “I thought we were gonna take this relationship slow.” “A back rub is harmless.” My eyes roam over her kick-ass bikini-covered bod. “I’ll have you know I’ve been intimate with girls wearin’ a lot more.” She slaps me on the butt. “Behave yourself.” When her hands move over my back, I let out a groan. Man, this is torture. I’m trying to behave, but her hands feel too damn good and my body has a mind of its own. “You’re tense,” she says in my ear. Of course I’m tense. Her hands are all over me. My answer is another groan. After a few minutes of Brittany’s mind-numbing massage, loud moaning, groaning, and grunting from the hot tub floats into the room. Doug and Sierra have obviously skipped the back rub portion of the evening. “Do you think they’re doing it?” she asks. “Either that, or Doug’s a very religious guy,” I say, referring to the screaming Oh, God! every two seconds. “Does it make you horny?” she sings quietly into my ear. “No, but you keep massagin’ me like that and you can forget about that goin’ slow bullshit.” I sit up and face her. “What I can’t figure out is if you know you’re a tease and are fuckin’ with me or whether you really are innocent.” “I’m not a tease.” I cock an eyebrow, then look down at my upper thigh where she’s parked her hand. She snatches it away. “Okay, I didn’t mean to put my hand there. Well, I mean, not really. It just kinda…wh…what I mean to say is--” “I like it when you stutter,” I say as I pull her down next to me and show her my own version of a Swedish massage until we’re interrupted by Sierra and Doug.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
He’s fucking gorgeous. I can’t believe I’m saying that about another dude, but fuck me, he’s beautiful. His eyes are amazing. These really pale silvery pools—pools, Sloane! I’m calling his eyes fucking pools. Just seeing him makes me smile. He’s funny, sweet, damn sexy, and I don’t know why the hell he fell in love with me. No clue. I do know when I see him with Seb, I want to seriously punch Seb in the face, and if he wasn’t such a fucking nice guy and Hobbs’s brother, I would have already done it. God, I want to kick his ass! And I don’t give a fuck he’s a tiger Therian. I can totally take him down. It’s driving me fucking crazy.” Ash let out a frustrated growl. He turned to face Sloane. “I know I hurt Cael, but….” He returned to the chair and dropped down into it. “Fuck me sideways. I don’t know what to do with all this emotional shit. It’s fucking exhausting.” He let his head fall back. “Fuck this shit.” “Jesus, Ash. Why don’t you talk to Cael?” Damn. Usually he could gauge how upset his friend was over something by the number of times he dropped the “F” bomb. “And
Charlie Cochet (Rise & Fall (THIRDS, #4))
Dad, I’m going out in the field later. I’m undercover. Have you forgotten what you used to look like when you were the most respected homicide detective in your squad? Back before you got stuck behind a desk, forced to kiss bureaucratic ass?” His father’s glare was enough to make him back off. “How dare you insult me or my position?” Michaels looked his father in the eye. “I apologize, Sir. That was disrespectful and completely out of line.” “You’re damn right it was.” Michaels sighed, rubbing the back of his neck. “I just don’t know what the hell I have to do to make you proud.” His dad looked at him dolefully before placing his strong hands on both of his shoulders, and turning Michaels to face him. “I am proud of you, son. Everyday. I just—” A sigh escaped his father before he continued. “I just don’t want you limiting yourself. You have the potential to lead, son. It’s in your blood. Following God and Day is not going to put you in that position. You’re the leader, not the follower.” “I can make sergeant, lieutenant and any other rank as long as I continue to be a good cop.  Working with them, I’m able to finally show what I’m capable of. So many departments have egomaniac lieutenants that are so afraid of rules and regulations that they’re barely able to let their detectives make an arrest. I just want to be able to show what I can do, and God and Day let me do that.” “Like dropkicking a man through a window.” He saw the amused glint in his father’s eye. “Yeah. Like that.” Michaels laughed. The story of their last bust - when he’d taken down three men, one of whom he’d kicked through a window - had circulated pretty fast. His father laughed with him, patting his cheek. “I’m damn proud of you, son. I’m just being a father I guess.” “I’m good Dad. Really. I’m happy with what I do. The guys are great, I trust them, and they trust me. We do good work together.” “You do, son. I can’t dispute that. I didn’t mean to insult you, either.” “I know.” His father turned to get in his car. “I’ll see you at the house tomorrow night, right?” “Tomorrow?
A.E. Via (Don't Judge (Nothing Special, #4))
Face the facts. Your life is too perfect. You probably lie awake at night, fantasizing about spicin’ up all that lily whiteness you live in.” But damn it, I get a whiff of vanilla from her perfume or lotion. It reminds me of cookies. I love cookies, so this is not good at all. “Gettin’ near the fire, chica, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get burned.” “You touch her and you’ll regret it, Fuentes,” Colin’s voice rings out. He resembles a burro, with his big white teeth and ears sticking out from his buzz cut. “Get the hell away from her.” “Colin,” Brittany says. “It’s okay. I can handle this.” Burro Face brought reinforcements: three other pasty white dudes, standing behind him for backup. I size up Burro Face and his friends to see if I can take them all on, and decide I could give all four a run for their money. “When you’re strong enough to play in the big leagues, jock boy, then I’ll listen to the mierda flyin’ out of your mouth,” I say. Other students are gathering around us, leaving room for a fight that is sure to be fast, furious, and bloody. Little do they know Burro Face is a runner. This time he’s got backup, though, so maybe he’ll stay to duke it out. I’m always prepared for a fight, been in more of ‘em than I can count on my fingers and toes. I’ve got the scars to prove it. “Colin, he’s not worth it,” Brittany says. Thanks, mamacita. Right back at ya. “You threatening me, Fuentes?” Colin barks, ignoring his girlfriend. “No, asshole,” I say, staring him down. “Little dicks like you make threats.” Brittany parks her body in front of Colin and puts her hand on his chest. “Don’t listen to him,” she says. “I’m not afraid of you. My dad’s a lawyer,” Colin brags, then puts his arm around Brittany. “She’s mine. Don’t ever forget that.” “Then keep a leash on her,” I advise. “Or she might be tempted to find a new owner.” My friend Paco comes up beside me. “Andas bien, Alex?” “Yeah, Paco,” I tell him, then watch as two teachers walk down the hall escorted by a guy in a police uniform. This is what Adams wants, perfectly planned to get my ass kicked out of school. I’m not falling into his trap only to end up on Aguirre’s hit list. “Si, everything’s bien.” I turn to Brittany. “Catch ya later, mamacita. I’m looking forward to researching our chemistry.” Before I leave and save myself from suspension on top of my detention, Brittany sticks that perky nose of hers in the air as if I’m the scum of the earth.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
An old Chevy, I think,” he was going on now. “It’s supposed to be back soon, though. Not really the same without it, is it?” He actually sounded genuinely mournful. I was surprised to find myself battling back a quick, involuntary smile. He did seem to be more interesting than your average, run-of-the-mill BMOC. I had to give him that. Get a grip, O’Connor, I chastised myself. “Absolutely not,” I said, giving my head a semi-vigorous nod. That ought to move him along, I thought. You may not be aware of this fact, but agreeing with people is often an excellent way of getting them to forget all about you. After basking in the glow of agreement, most people are then perfectly content to go about their business, remembering only the fact that someone agreed and allowing the identity of the person who did the actual agreeing to fade into the background. This technique almost always works. In fact, I’d never known it not to. There was a moment of silence. A silence in which I could feel the BMOC’s eyes upon me. I kept my own eyes fixed on the top of the carless column. But the longer the silence went on, the more strained it became. At least it did on my side. This guy was simply not abiding by the rules. He was supposed to have basked and moved on by now. “You don’t have the faintest idea what I’m talking about, do you?” he said at last. I laughed before I quite realized what I’d done. “Not a clue,” I said, turning to give him my full attention for the very first time, an action I could tell right away spelled trouble. You just had to do it, didn’t you? I thought. He was even better looking when I took a better look. He flashed me a smile, and I felt my pulse kick up several notches. My brain knew perfectly well that that smile had not been invented just for me. My suddenly-beating-way-too-fast heart wasn’t paying all that much attention to my brain, though. “You must be new, then,” he commented. “I’d remember you if we’d met before.” All of a sudden, his face went totally blank. “I cannot believe I just said that,” he said. “That is easily the world’s oldest line.” “If it isn’t, it’s the cheesiest,” I said. He winced. “I’d ask you to let me make it up to you, but I’m thinking that would make things even worse.” “You’d be thinking right.” This time he was the one who laughed, the sound open and easy, as if he was genuinely enjoying the joke on himself. In retrospect I think it was that laugh that did it. That finished the job his smile had started. You just didn’t find all that many guys, all that many people, who were truly willing to laugh at themselves. “I’m Alex Crawford,” he said. “Jo,” I said. “Jo O’Connor.” At this Alex actually stuck out his hand. His eyes, which I probably don’t need to tell you were this pretty much impossible shade of blue, focused directly on my face. “Pleased to meet you, Jo O’Connor.” I watched my hand move forward to meet his, as if it belonged to a stranger and was moving in slow motion. At that exact moment, an image of the robot from the movie Lost in Space flashed through my mind. Arms waving frantically in the air, screaming, “Danger! Danger!” at the top of its inhuman lungs. My hand kept moving anyhow. Our fingers connected. I felt the way Alex’s wrapped around mine, then tightened. Felt the way that simple action caused a flush to spread across my cheeks and a tingle to start in the palm of my hand and slowly begin to work its way up my arm. To this day, I’d swear I heard him suck in a breath, saw his impossibly blue eyes widen. As if, at the exact same moment I looked up at him, he’d discovered something as completely unexpected as I had, gazing down. He released me. I stuck my hand behind my back. “Pleased to meet you, Jo O’Connor,” he said again. Not quite the way he had the first time.
Cameron Dokey (How Not to Spend Your Senior Year)
Brittany has been wary this whole week. She’s waiting for me to play a joke on her, to get her back for tossing my keys into the woods. After school, as I’m at my locker picking books to take home, she storms up to me wearing her sexy pom uniform. “Meet me in the wrestling gym,” she orders. Now I can do two things: meet her like she told me to or leave the school. I take my books and enter the small gym. Brittany is standing, holding out her keychain without keys dangling from it. “Where have my keys magically disappeared to?” she asks. “I’m going to be late for the game if you don’t tell me. Ms. Small will kick me off the squad if I’m not at the game.” “I tossed them somewhere. You know, you should really get a purse that has a zipper. You never know when someone will reach in and grab somethin’.” “Glad to know you’re a klepto. Wanna give me a hint as to where you’ve hidden them?” I lean against the wall of the wrestling gym, thinking about what people would think if they caught us in here together. “It’s in a place that’s wet. Really, really wet,” I say, giving her a clue. “The pool?” I nod. “Creative, huh?” She tries to push me into the wall. “Oh, I’m going to kill you. You better go get them.” If I didn’t know her better, I’d think she was flirting with me. I think she likes this game we have going on. “Mamacita, you should know me better than that. You’re all on your own, like I was when you left me in the library parking lot.” She cocks her head, gives me sad eyes, and pouts. I shouldn’t concentrate on her pouty lips, it’s dangerous. But I can’t help it. “Show me where they are, Alex. Please.” I let her sweat it out a minute before I give in. By now most of the school is deserted. Half of the students are on their way to the football game. The other half is glad they’re not on their way to the football game. We walk to the pool. The lights are off, but sunlight is still shining through the windows. Brittany’s keys are where I threw ‘em--in the middle of the deep end. I point to the shiny pieces of silver under the water. “There they are. Have at it.” Brittany stands with her hands on her short skirt, contemplating how she’s going to get them. She struts over to the long stick hanging on the wall that’s used to pull drowning people from the water. “Piece of cake,” she tells me. But as she sticks the pole into the water, she finds out it’s not a piece of cake. I suppress a laugh as I stand at the edge of the pool and watch her attempt the impossible. “You can always strip and go in naked. I’ll watch to make sure nobody comes in.” She walks up to me, the pole gripped firmly in her fingers. “You’d like that, wouldn’t you?” “Uh, yeah,” I say, stating the obvious. “I have to warn you, though. If you have granny undies on, you’ll blow my fantasy.” “For your information, they’re pink satin. As long as we’re sharing personal info, are you a boxers or briefs guy?” “Neither. My boys go free, if you know what I mean.” Okay, I don’t let my boys go free. She’ll just have to figure that out herself. “Gross, Alex.” “Don’t knock it till you try it,” I tell her, then walk toward the door. “You’re leaving?” “Uh…yeah.” “Aren’t you going to help me get the keys?” “Uh…nope.” If I stay, I’ll be tempted to ask her to ditch the football game to be with me. I’m definitely not ready to hear the answer to that question. Toying with her I can handle. Showing my true colors like I did the other day made me take my guard down. I’m not about to do that again. I push the door open after taking one last glance at Brittany, wondering if leaving her right now makes me an idiot, a jerk, a coward, or all of the above.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
The menu: legendary deep-fried Turkeyzilla, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and green beans. The theme: dysfunction. “So,” Elysia said to Lex’s parents with her ever-friendly grin, “how are you?” “How do you think they are?” Ferbus whispered. She kicked him under the table. “I mean—um—what do you do? For a living?” Lex’s mother, who hadn’t said much, continued to stare down the table at the sea of black hoodies while picking at her potatoes. Lex’s father cleared his throat. “I’m a contractor,” he said. “And she’s a teacher.” “Omigod! I wanted to be a teacher!” Elysia turned to Mrs. Bartleby. “Do you love it?” “Hmm?” She snapped back to attention and smiled vacantly at Elysia. “Oh, yes. I do. The kids are a nice distraction.” “From what?” Pip asked. Bang smacked her forehead. Lex squeezed Driggs’s hand even tighter, causing him to choke on his stuffing. He coughed and hacked until the offending morsel flew out of his mouth, landing in Sofi’s glass of water. “Ewww!” she squealed. “Drink around it,” Pandora scolded. “So! I hear New York City is lovely this time of year.” Well, it looks nice, I guess,” Mr. Bartleby said. “But shoveling out the driveway is a pain in the neck. The girls used to help, but now . . .” Sensing the impending awkwardness, Corpp jumped in. “Well, Lex has been a wonderful addition to our community. She’s smart, friendly, a joy to be around—” “And don’t you worry about the boyfriend,” Ferbus said, pointing to Driggs. “I keep him in line.” Mrs. Bartleby’s eyes widened, looking at Lex and then Driggs. “You have a—” she sputtered. “He’s your—” Ferbus went white. “They didn’t know?” “Oops!” said Uncle Mort in a theatrical voice, getting up from the table. “Almost forgot the biscuits!” “Let me help you with those,” Lex said through clenched teeth, following him to the counter. A series of pained hugs and greetings had ensued when her parents arrived—but the rest of the guests showed up so soon thereafter that Lex hadn’t gotten a chance to talk to them, much to her relief. Still, she hadn’t stopped seething. “What were you thinking?” Uncle Mort gave her a reproachful look. “I was thinking that your parents were probably going to feel more lonely and depressed this Thanksgiving than they’ve ever felt in their lives, and that maybe we could help alleviate some of that by hosting a dinner featuring the one and only daughter they have left.” “A dinner of horrors? You know my track record with family gatherings!” He ignored her. “Here we are!” he said, turning back to the table with a giant platter. “Biscuits aplenty!” Lex grunted and took her seat. “I’m not sure how much longer I can do this,” she whispered to Driggs. “Me neither,” he replied. “I think my hand is broken in three places.” “Sorry.” “And your dad seems to be shooting me some sort of a death stare.” Lex glanced at her father. “That’s bad.” “Think he brought the shotgun?” “It’s entirely possible.” “All I’m saying,” Ferbus went on, trying to redeem himself and failing, “is that we all look out for one another here.” Mr. Bartleby looked at him. Ferbus began to sweat. “Because, you know. We all need somebody. Uh, to lean on.” “Stop talking,” Bang signed. Elysia gave Lex’s parents a sympathetic grin. “I think what my idiot partner is trying to say—through the magic of corny song lyrics, for some reason—is that you don’t need to worry about Lex. She’s like a sister to me.” She realized her poor choice of words as a pained look came to Mrs. Bartleby’s face. “Or an especially close cousin.” She shut her mouth and stared at her potatoes. “Frig.” Lex was now crushing Driggs’s hand into a fine paste. Other than the folding chairs creaking and Pip obliviously scraping the last bits of food off his plate, the table was silent. “Good beans!” Pip threw in.
Gina Damico (Scorch (Croak, #2))
JENNA SMILED WHEN Easy walked into the bedroom, carrying what appeared to be half the refrigerator on a bowing cookie sheet. How much more sweet could he be? He glanced between her and Sara like he was unsure what to do next. Jenna pulled the covers back so the surface would be flat and patted the bed next to her. “Put it anywhere.” Easy set the makeshift tray down and rubbed a hand over his head. “I tried to think of things that would be gentle on your stomach,” he said in a low voice. “But if you want something different—” “No, this looks perfect.” Her gaze settled on a tall glass of . . . She gasped. “You made me a milk shake?” At that, Sara patted her on the knee. “Okay, I’m gonna go. Let me know if you need anything?” “Oh, uh, Shane was making you all something to eat,” Easy said. Sara smiled. “Good timing. This is making me hungry,” she said, gesturing to the tray. Jenna grabbed up the milk shake and hugged the glass against her chest. “Get your own.” Holding up her hands in surrender, Sara smiled. “All yours. Besides, Nick and Jeremy have the world’s biggest sweet tooths. There’s an endless supply of ice cream downstairs. I’m not even joking. So there’s more where that came from.” She squeezed Easy’s arm. “You know where to find me if you need me,” she said. And then they were alone. Jenna was glad. Not because having Easy here warded off her panic and fear but because she just wanted to be with him. She fished a spoon out from between two plates and took a taste of her treat. Freaking heaven. “Oh, my God,” she said, scooping another big bite. “This is so good. I can’t believe you made me a milk shake.” Even when her father had been alive, no one was really taking care of Jenna. So maybe Easy’s thoughtfulness wouldn’t have been so earthshaking to someone else, but to her, it meant everything. She peered up at him, which made her realize he was still standing. Crisscrossing her legs, she pointed at the foot of the bed. “Come sit down. Some of this has to be for you, right?” “Yeah,” Easy said. “You sure this is okay?” “It’s great, really. I can’t even remember the last time I ate, so this is like filet mignon and Maine lobster rolled into one. Seriously.” She exchanged the milk shake for the bowl of soup, and the warm, salty broth tasted every bit as good. They ate in companionable silence for a while, then he asked, “So, what are you studying in school?” “International business,” Jenna said around a spoonful of soup. “I always wanted to travel.” And, to put it more plainly, she’d always wanted to get the hell out of here. “Sounds ambitious,” Easy said. “Did you have to learn languages?” Jenna nodded. “I minored in Spanish, and I’ve taken some French, too. What I’d really like to learn is Chinese since there are so many new markets opening up there. But I’ve heard it’s really hard. Do you speak any other languages?” Wiping his mouth with a napkin, Easy nodded. “Hablo español, árabe, y Dari.” Grinning, Jenna reached for her bagel. She’d thought him hard to resist just being his usual sexy, thoughtful, protective self. If he was going to throw speaking to her in a foreign language into the mix, she’d be a goner. “What is Dari?” “One of the main languages in Afghanistan,” he said. “Oh. Guess that makes sense. Are Arabic and Dari hard to learn?” “Yeah. Where I grew up in Philly, there were a lot of Hispanic kids, so Spanish was like a second language. But coming to languages as an adult about kicked my ass. Cultural training is a big part of Special Forces training, though. We’re not out there just trying to win battles, but hearts and minds, too. . .” He frowned. “Or, we were, anyway.
Laura Kaye (Hard to Hold on To (Hard Ink, #2.5))
Mom.’ ‘Hmm?’ She replies from miles away in her planter’s paradise. Deepest of breaths. ‘When Luke comes over later, would it be okay if we watched a movie in my bedroom?’ The paper goes down and she eyeballs me from over the top of her wire reading glasses. ‘Should I be worried?’ ‘No.’ I shake my head, whip my hair into a frenzy. ‘Have you gotten comfortable with him touching you yet?’ ‘Sort of . . .’ In retrospect, I could have probably said no. ‘What does that mean? Exactly?’ She folds You and Your Garden Monthly in half, sets it down beside her empty bowl. ‘It means we take all our clothes off, and he turns into a koala, clings to me like a tree while we watch TV.’ Mom chokes on the sip of tea she’s just taken. ‘Norah Jane Dean.’ ‘It was a joke.’ ‘Obviously,’ she says. ‘I’m just a little shocked you made it.’ Her shock would be less, I’m sure, if she knew how hard I was working to keep a mental image of the aforementioned out of my mind. I take half a second to wonder if Luke would find my quip amusing. It’s a joke at his expense, after all, having an abnormal girlfriend, one he can’t touch. ‘So what is “sort of” comfortable?’ Mom prods. ‘I touched his hand last week, you know, before the fear kicked in.
Louise Gornall (Under Rose-Tainted Skies)
He peered through a broken window and saw a face. The face of The Great Chaffalo. “You saved me, for certain,” declared Touch, his heart still banging away. “I’m mighty grateful, sir. And thankful for the horse.” For the first time Touch looked down at the high-legged stallion under him. It was a bay with a golden mane and a hide as fine as China silk. “More’n I reckoned for, sir!” Touch exclaimed. “A plow horse would have done me fine. This must be the prettiest horse this side of sunset.” “It is,” agreed The Great Chaffalo with an air of pride. “Although I might have done a tad better with the tail. I’m somewhat out of practice.” Touch felt bedazzled. “I can’t imagine how you do it, sir!” “A bit of straw and a touch of midnight,” remarked The Great Chaffalo with a lofty smile. “It was a secret passed on to me by a Hey Hey Man in the Black Forest. A fellow trickster.” And Touch said, “I was in the coach early this morning when you jumped on the roof.” “I do like to kick up my heels, now and then. Did I frighten you?” “No, sir. Not exactly. I was almighty curious, though. I’d never seen a haunt before.” “A haunt! I’ve never haunted anything. I regard that as slander. Do I look like a frail wisp of smoke?” “No, sir,” replied Touch quickly. “You look big as life.” “Bigger!” declared The Great Chaffalo, with a sharp lift of one eyebrow. “Of course, sir,” said Touch, becoming a little nervous. The magician kept piercing him with his black poster eyes. “You must swear not to tell anyone how you came by this horse,” said the Great Chaffalo. “I don’t want every farm boy turning up with a bundle of straw.” “I swear it, sir.” “Ride on, Touch.” And with a snap of his long fingers, The Great Chaffalo was gone.
Sid Fleischman (The Midnight Horse)
Do ye like fish, lass?” “What?” “We’ll catch ye one for breakfast tomorrow. A big one. Nice and fresh, best ye’ll ever have.” “A fish?” She raised a brow. “Will you prepare it yourself?” “I might, if it’ll make ye happy.” He looked down at her. “Of course, ye don’t know if I’m any better a cook than that useless looby who’s charged with feedin’ us all now, do ye? On the other hand, ’twould be hard to bollocks up a fish.” “You are going to cook me a fish.” “I could.” “And why are you smiling, Captain O’ Devir?” He hadn’t realized he was. Another thing she did to him. Charmed him right out of his melancholy, kicked out the darkness that was English hatred and Josiah’s death and Dolores Ann’s betrayal and filled it with sweet, warm sunshine, even when she was being prickly. “Am I?” “You were.” “Well, lass, I was just thinkin’ how nice it is to be standin’ here with a pretty girl and enjoyin’ a bit of life before her lauded brother catches up to and kills me in the most gruesome manner a body might imagine, before the Royal Navy finds a way to try and annihilate me, before I head back to America with her brother’s explosive.” He looked down at her. “Puttin’ it all in me memory bank, I am. Moments like this don’t last forever.
Danelle Harmon (The Wayward One (The de Montforte Brothers, #5))
Amy was mentally packing for a midnight flight to the mail coach to Dover (plan C), when Jane’s gentle voice cut through the listing of ovine pedigrees. "Such a pity about the tapestries," was all she said. Her voice was pitched low but somehow it carried over both the shouting men. Amy glanced sharply at Jane, and was rewarded by a swift kick to the ankle. Had that been a ‘say something now!’ kick, or a ‘be quiet and sit still’ kick? Amy kicked back in inquiry. Jane put her foot down hard over Amy’s. Amy decided that could be interpreted as either ‘be quiet and sit still’ or ‘please stop kicking me now!' Aunt Prudence had snapped out of her reverie with what was nearly an audible click. "Tapestries?" she inquired eagerly. "Why, yes, Mama," Jane replied demurely. "I had hoped that while Amy and I were in France we might be granted access to the tapestries at the Tuilleries." Jane’s quiet words sent the table into a state of electric expectancy. Forks hovered over plates in mid-air; wineglasses tilted halfway to open mouths; little Ned paused in the act of slipping a pea down the back of Agnes’s dress. Even Miss Gwen stopped glaring long enough to eye Jane with what looked more like speculation than rancour. "Not the Gobelins series of Daphne and Apollo!" cried Aunt Prudence. "But, of course, Aunt Prudence," Amy plunged in. Amy just barely restrained herself from turning and flinging her arms around her cousin. Aunt Prudence had spent long hours lamenting that she had never taken the time before the war to copy the pattern of the tapestries that hung in the Tuilleries Palace. "Jane and I had hoped to sketch them for you, hadn’t we, Jane?" "We had," Jane affirmed, her graceful neck dipping in assent. "Yet if Papa feels that France remains unsafe, we shall bow to his greater wisdom." At the other end of the table, Aunt Prudence was wavering. Literally. Torn between her trust in her husband and her burning desire for needlepoint patterns, she swayed a bit in her chair, the feather in her small silk turban quivering with her agitation. "It surely can’t be as unsafe as that, can it, Bertrand?" She leant across the table to peer at her husband through eyes gone nearsighted from long hours over her embroidery frame. "After all, if dear Edouard is willing to take responsibility for the girls…" "Edouard will take very good care of us, I’m sure, Aunt Prudence! If you’ll just read his letter, you’ll see – ouch!" Jane had kicked her again.
Lauren Willig (The Secret History of the Pink Carnation (Pink Carnation, #1))
Why is she mad at you?” She’s all innocence and wonder. “What makes you think she’s mad at me?” I narrow my eyes at her. “She looked like she was going to cry.” Fuck. She did. I pick up my phone and call Matt. “Hey,” I say. “What the fuck do you want?” he replies. But he has that playful tone in his voice that’s all Matt. “Hayley wants to come over and touch Sky’s belly.” “Oh,” he says. He puts his hand over the phone and says something to someone. “Bring her over. Sky’s belly will be waiting.” I wait a beat. “What’s wrong?” he says. “I think I messed up.” “Friday?” “Yeah.” “Bad?” “Yeah.” “You want us to watch Hayley so you can go talk Friday down off the ledge?” “I just want to climb up with her and hold her hand.” I scrub my palm down my face. “How far away are you?” “Five minutes.” He hangs up on me. I hate it when he does that; I taught him better manners. I look down at Hayley. “You want to go touch Matt and Sky’s babies? See if they’re kicking?” She puts her hands on her hips. “You’re despecting.” I sputter. “I’m what?” “Despecting. Making me think about one thing when I want to think about another. Like why Friday is crying.” I scratch my head. “Despecting?” “Despecting,” she says again. She puts her hands up like she’s blocking karate chops. “Despecting.” “Oh, deflecting!” I laugh. “Yeah, I’m deflecting. That okay with you?” “Do I still get to go see Sky’s belly?” I nod, and she grins. Apparently, deflecting is okay as long as Matt’s babies are involved.
Tammy Falkner (Proving Paul's Promise (The Reed Brothers, #5))
Hey cupcake!” he says, like he just had a great idea. “I’m so glad you’re here.” “Me too,” I say. “I thought you were ready to kick me to the curb.” I was. But when I found out he was hurt, it nearly gutted me. “Would if I could,” I say. “Do you think you could fall in love with me, cupcake?” he blurts out. I’m startled. I know he’s medicated, so I shouldn’t put any stock into his words, but I can’t help it. “You should get some rest,” I say. Tap. Tap. “So, that would be a no.” He whistles. Then he scrunches up his face when it makes his head hurt. “I’m in trouble,” he whispers quietly. “What?” He squeezes my hand. “I’m pretty sure I’m in love with you, cupcake,” he says. “I just wish you could love me back.” “You’ve had a lot of pain meds,” I say. Suddenly, he grabs the neck of my shirt and jerks me so that I fall over his chest. His lips are right next to mine. “Listen to me,” he says. “Okay,” I whisper. “I don’t have much going for me, but I know what love feels like.” “How?” “It just is, cupcake. You don’t get to pick who you fall in love with. And God knows, if my head could pick, it wouldn’t be you.” I push back to get off his chest, because I’m offended. But he holds me tight. “You’re not easy to love, because you can’t love me back. But you might one day. I’ll wait. But you got to start taking my calls.” He cups the back of my head and brings my face toward his. A cough from the doorway startles us apart. I stand up and pull my shirt down where he rucked it up. “Visiting
Tammy Falkner (Zip, Zero, Zilch (The Reed Brothers, #6))
I’ve eaten about half the carton when a knock sounds on my door. I startle. I don’t go to the door. No one I know would come here. My phone bleeps. Matt: Answer your door. Me: No. Go away. My heart starts to trip. He’s here. Shit. I uncurl my feet from under me and perch my bottom on the edge of the couch. He’ll go away if I wait long enough. He knocks again, and I jerk, dropping my spoon to the floor. I get up and toss it in the sink as I walk past. It clatters loudly. I walk over to the door, press my ear against it, and listen. I don’t hear anything. Matt: I’m not leaving. Me: How did you find me? Matt: Your father felt sorry for me. Me: Traitor. I hear a chuckle through the door. Matt: He loves you. Me: What did you tell him? Matt: I told him that I’m an idiot. I wait. Matt: He agreed. A grin tugs at my lips. Matt: You’re laughing, right? I don’t respond. Matt: Please tell me you’re not crying. Me: Not anymore. You should go home, Matt. Matt: You first. I hear Matt speak softly through the crack in the door. “You should go home, Sky.” I sink down onto my bottom and lay the back of my head against the door. “I can’t go home,” I say. “Why not?” he asks, his voice soft, and I think he is sitting down now, too, just on the other side of the door. “Because you’ll go there.” He chuckles. “I’m here.” I sigh heavily. “Go home, Matt. My feelings are hurt, and I don’t want to see you right now.” “It wasn’t what you thought it was. I thought you knew who she was, and you obviously didn’t. I never meant to hurt you.” “You still love her, Matt,” I say. “No,” he protests. “I don’t. And I made that very clear when you forced me to dance with her tonight.” “You wrote her a fucking letter when you were dying,” I say. “Ugh!” he cries. “That letter will haunt me until the day I die.” “Only because it tells how you really feel.” He chuckles. “It does tell how I really felt when I wrote it.” I bang the back of my head against the door. I want to stop talking about it. “I want you to read it,” he says. “I don’t want to read it.” “Yes, you do.” I hear a rustle, and an envelope slides under my door. It has the word April written across the front. I push it back to him. He laughs and shoves it through again. “I need to tell you something,” he says. “What?” I ask. I don’t touch the letter. I just let it lie there on my carpet. “Seth and Mellie and Joey, they depend on you. They don’t deserve for you to leave them.” That hits me like he just kicked me in the chest. “I didn’t leave them.” “You’re here so you can avoid me, and they’re there.” I don’t say anything because he’s right. I did leave them. “I’ll go away if you’ll go home,” he says. “I won’t like it, but I love you, and I love them enough to give up for tonight so you can go back to them. They need you. And you need them.” Tears burn my eyes, and I blink them back. “Matt,” I say. “Will you read the letter?” he asks. “Maybe,” I grouse. He chuckles, and I hear a sniffle from his side. “Will you call me when you’re ready?” “Maybe,” I say again. “Go home to the kids, Sky. I promise to give you some space. Read the letter, though. It might help.
Tammy Falkner (Maybe Matt's Miracle (The Reed Brothers, #4))
The love of my life is gone, and I can’t just call her and say I’m sorry and have her come back. She’s gone forever. So yes, Monique, that is something I do regret. I regret every second I didn’t spend with her. I regret every stupid thing I did that caused her an ounce of pain. I should have chased her down the street the day she left me. I should have begged her to stay. I should have apologized and sent roses and stood on top of the Hollywood sign and shouted, ‘I’m in love with Celia St. James!’ and let them crucify me for it. That’s what I should have done. And now that I don’t have her, and I have more money than I could ever use in this lifetime, and my name is cemented in Hollywood history, and I know how hollow it is, I am kicking myself for every single second I chose it over loving her proudly. But that’s a luxury. You can do that when you’re rich and famous. You can decide that wealth and renown are worthless when you have them. Back then, I still thought I had all the time I needed to do everything I wanted. That if I just played my cards right, I could have it all.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo)