I will not trust you, I,
Nor longer stay in your curst company.
Your hands than mine are quicker for a fray,
My legs are longer though, to run away.
William Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night's Dream)
Why, aren’t you just about as sweet as syrup on a sundae? I sure would appreciate that, ma’am.” He winked. “How’d you like ta stroll the deck of this fine ship with me and watch the sunset? I need a purty girl to put her arm around me and steady this bow-legged cowboy as he finds his sea legs.” I raised an eyebrow and affected a southern accent. “Why, I think you’re a pullin’ my leg there, Texas. You’ve had your sea legs a lot longer than I have.” He rubbed the stubble on his face. “You might be right at that. Well then, how about you taggin’ along to keep me warm?” “It’s about eighty degrees.” “Shoot, you’re a smart one, you are. Then how ‘bout I jes say that a feller can get pretty lonesome by hisself in a strange country and he’d like to keep compn’y with you fer a while longer.
Hey you, dragging the halo-
how about a holiday in the islands of grief?
Tongue is the word I wish to have with you.
Your eyes are so blue they leak.
Your legs are longer than a prisoner's
last night on death row.
I'm filthier than the coal miner's bathtub
and nastier than the breath of Charles Bukowski.
You're a dirty little windshield.
I'm standing behind you on the subway,
hard as calculus. My breath
be sticking to your neck like graffiti.
I'm sitting opposite you in the bar,
waiting for you to uncross your boundaries.
I want to rip off your logic
and make passionate sense to you.
I want to ride in the swing of your hips.
My fingers will dig in you like quotation marks,
blazing your limbs into parts of speech.
But with me for a lover, you won't need
catastrophes. What attracted me in the first place
will ultimately make me resent you.
I'll start telling you lies,
and my lies will sparkle,
become the bad stars you chart your life by.
I'll stare at other women so blatantly
you'll hear my eyes peeling,
because sex with you is like Great Britain:
cold, groggy, and a little uptight.
Your bed is a big, soft calculator
where my problems multiply.
Your brain is a garage
I park my bullshit in, for free.
You're not really my new girlfriend,
just another flop sequel of the first one,
who was based on the true story of my mother.
You're so ugly I forgot how to spell.
I'll cheat on you like a ninth grade math test,
break your heart just for the sound it makes.
You're the 'this' we need to put an end to.
The more you apologize, the less I forgive you.
So how about it?
One morning early, I couldn't sleep, so I walked down to the beach. And I saw you. For a minute- I didn't realize it was you. You were wearing this long scarf thing tied around your waist, lots of wild colors, and it blew around your legs. You had on a red bathing suit under it."
"You..." She literally had to catch her breath. "You remember what I was wearing?"
"Yes I do. And I remember your hair was longer than it is now, halfway down your back. All those mad curls flying. Bare feet. All that golden skin, wild colors, mad curls. My heart just stopped. I thought: That's the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. And I wanted that woman, in a way I'd never wanted one before."
He stopped, turned a little as she simply stared at him. "Then I saw it was you. You walked off, down the beach, the surf foaming up over your bare feet, your ankles, your calves. And I wanted you. I thought I'd lost my my mind.
Nora Roberts (Bed of Roses (Bride Quartet, #2))
Ms. Terwilliger didn’t have a chance to respond to my geological ramblings because someone knocked on the door. I slipped the rocks into my pocket and tried to look studious as she called an entry. I figured Zoe had tracked me down, but surprisingly, Angeline walked in.
"Did you know," she said, "that it’s a lot harder to put organs back in the body than it is to get them out?"
I closed my eyes and silently counted to five before opening them again. “Please tell me you haven’t eviscerated someone.”
She shook her head. “No, no. I left my biology homework in Miss Wentworth’s room, but when I went back to get it, she’d already left and locked the door. But it’s due tomorrow, and I’m already in trouble in there, so I had to get it. So, I went around outside, and her window lock wasn’t that hard to open, and I—”
"Wait," I interrupted. "You broke into a classroom?"
"Yeah, but that’s not the problem."
Behind me, I heard a choking laugh from Ms. Terwilliger’s desk.
"Go on," I said wearily.
"Well, when I climbed through, I didn’t realize there was a bunch of stuff in the way, and I crashed into those plastic models of the human body she has. You know, the life size ones with all the parts inside? And bam!" Angeline held up her arms for effect. "Organs everywhere." She paused and looked at me expectantly. "So what are we going to do? I can’t get in trouble with her."
"We?" I exclaimed.
"Here," said Ms. Terwilliger. I turned around, and she tossed me a set of keys. From the look on her face, it was taking every ounce of self-control not to burst out laughing. "That square one’s a master. I know for a fact she has yoga and won’t be back for the rest of the day. I imagine you can repair the damage—and retrieve the homework—before anyone’s the wiser.”
I knew that the “you” in “you can repair” meant me. With a sigh, I stood up and packed up my things. “Thanks,” I said.
As Angeline and I walked down to the science wing, I told her, “You know, the next time you’ve got a problem, maybe come to me before it becomes an even bigger problem.”
"Oh no," she said nobly. "I didn’t want to be an inconvenience."
Her description of the scene was pretty accurate: organs everywhere. Miss Wentworth had two models, male and female, with carved out torsos that cleverly held removable parts of the body that could be examined in greater detail. Wisely, she had purchased models that were only waist-high. That was still more than enough of a mess for us, especially since it was hard to tell which model the various organs belonged to.
I had a pretty good sense of anatomy but still opened up a textbook for reference as I began sorting. Angeline, realizing her uselessness here, perched on a far counter and swing her legs as she watched me. I’d started reassembling the male when I heard a voice behind me.
"Melbourne, I always knew you’d need to learn about this kind of thing. I’d just kind of hoped you’d learn it on a real guy."
I glanced back at Trey, as he leaned in the doorway with a smug expression. “Ha, ha. If you were a real friend, you’d come help me.” I pointed to the female model. “Let’s see some of your alleged expertise in action.”
"Alleged?" He sounded indignant but strolled in anyways.
I hadn’t really thought much about asking him for help. Mostly I was thinking this was taking much longer than it should, and I had more important things to do with my time. It was only when he came to a sudden halt that I realized my mistake.
"Oh," he said, seeing Angeline. "Hi."
Her swinging feet stopped, and her eyes were as wide as his. “Um, hi.”
The tension ramped up from zero to sixty in a matter of seconds, and everyone seemed at a loss for words. Angeline jerked her head toward the models and blurted out. “I had an accident.”
That seemed to snap Trey from his daze, and a smile curved his lips. Whereas Angeline’s antics made me want to pull out my hair sometimes, he found them endearing.
Richelle Mead (The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4))
I’ll cry if I want to. You will cease ordering
He raised an eyebrow. “You dare to issue
She flushed, but at least she wasn’t crying
“Now tell me about this brand on your
thigh. Your father’s crest. I’d like to see it.”
She went crimson and she backed up a
step until her back met with the ledge of the
window. “I will not do something so indecent
as to show you my leg!”
“When we’re married, I’ll see more than
that,” he said mildly.
“Married? Married? I’m not marrying you,
Laird. I’m not marrying anyone. Not yet
Maya Banks (In Bed with a Highlander (McCabe Trilogy, #1))
To any woman out there who is fed up with trying the same thing over and over, I offer this suggestion. Instead of getting back on the treadmill “one more time,” try this. Alter your diet so that you eat no grain-based carbohydrate: no flour, no sugar, no bread, no pasta, and no high-fructose corn syrup. Then go to the gym and perform a workout of leg press, pull down, chest press, row and overhead press. Lift slowly and smoothly but with as much effort as possible. Go to complete fatigue, or as close to it as you can tolerate. Work out once, or at most, twice a week. Make sure your workouts last no longer than 20 minutes. Then sit back and watch what happens. —Doug McGuff, MD
Jonathan Bailor (The Calorie Myth: How to Eat More, Exercise Less, Lose Weight, and Live Better)
It was like one of those dreams where you can’t move your feet as fast as you want to, or one leg is longer than the other. I’ve had lots of those.
Kimberly Raiser (The Family Bones)
Never take a step longer than your leg
New Rule: Not everything in America has to make a profit. If conservatives get to call universal health care "socialized medicine," I get to call private, for-profit health care "soulless vampire bastards making money off human pain." Now, I know what you're thinking: "But, Bill, the profit motive is what sustains capitalism." Yes, and our sex drive is what sustains the human species, but we don't try to fuck everything.
It wasn't that long ago when a kid in America broke his leg, his parents took him to the local Catholic hospital, the nun stuck a thermometer in his ass, the doctor slapped some plaster on his ankle, and you were done. The bill was $1.50; plus, you got to keep the thermometer.
But like everything else that's good and noble in life, some bean counter decided that hospitals could be big business, so now they're not hospitals anymore; they're Jiffy Lubes with bedpans. The more people who get sick, and stay sick, the higher their profit margins, which is why they're always pushing the Jell-O.
Did you know that the United States is ranked fiftieth in the world in life expectancy? And the forty-nine loser countries were they live longer than us? Oh, it's hardly worth it, they may live longer, but they live shackled to the tyranny of nonprofit health care. Here in America, you're not coughing up blood, little Bobby, you're coughing up freedom. The problem with President Obama's health-care plan isn't socialism. It's capitalism. When did the profit motive become the only reason to do anything? When did that become the new patriotism? Ask not what you could do for your country, ask what's in it for Blue Cross Blue Shield.
And it's not just medicine--prisons also used to be a nonprofit business, and for good reason--who the hell wants to own a prison? By definition, you're going to have trouble with the tenants. It's not a coincidence that we outsourced running prisons to private corporations and then the number of prisoners in America skyrocketed.
There used to be some things we just didn't do for money. Did you know, for example, there was a time when being called a "war profiteer" was a bad thing? FDR said he didn't want World War II to create one millionaire, but I'm guessing Iraq has made more than a few executives at Halliburton into millionaires. Halliburton sold soldiers soda for $7.50 a can. They were honoring 9/11 by charging like 7-Eleven. Which is wrong. We're Americans; we don't fight wars for money. We fight them for oil.
And my final example of the profit motive screwing something up that used to be good when it was nonprofit: TV news. I heard all the news anchors this week talk about how much better the news coverage was back in Cronkite's day. And I thought, "Gee, if only you were in a position to do something about it.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
Ruby?” His hair was pale silver in this light, curled and tangled in its usual way. I couldn’t hide from him. I had never been able to.
“Mike came and got me,” he said, taking a careful step toward me. His hands were out in front of him, as if trying to coax a wild animal into letting him approach. “What are you doing out here? What’s going on?”
“Please just go,” I begged. “I need to be alone.”
He kept coming straight at me.
“Please,” I shouted, “go away!”
“I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what’s going on!” Liam said. He got a better look at me and swallowed, his Adam’s apple bobbing. “Where were you this morning? Did something happen? Chubs told me you’ve been gone all day, and now you’re out here like…this…did he do something to you?”
I looked away. “Nothing I didn’t ask for.”
Liam’s only response was to move back a few paces back. Giving me space.
“I don’t believe you for a second,” he said, calmly. “Not one damn second. If you want to get rid of me, you’re going to have to try harder than that.”
“I don’t want you here.”
He shook his head. “Doesn’t mean I’m leaving you here alone. You can take all the time you want, as long as you need, but you and me? We’re having this out tonight. Right now.” Liam pulled his black sweater over his head and threw it toward me. “Put it on, or you’ll catch a cold.”
I caught it with one hand and pressed it to my chest. It was still warm.
He began to pace, his hands on his hips. “Is it me? Is it that you can’t talk to me about it? Do you want me to get Chubs?”
I couldn’t bring myself to answer.
“Ruby, you’re scaring the hell out of me.”
“Good.” I balled up his sweater and threw it into the darkness as hard as I could.
He blew out a shaky sigh, bracing a hand against the nearest tree. “Good? What’s good about it?”
I hadn’t really understood what Clancy had been trying to tell me that night, not until right then, when Liam looked up and his eyes met mine. The trickle of blood in my ears turned into a roar. I squeezed my eyes shut, digging the heels of my palms against my forehead.
“I can’t do this anymore,” I cried. “Why won’t you just leave me alone?”
“Because you would never leave me.”
His feet shuffled through the underbrush as he took a few steps closer. The air around me heated, taking on a charge I recognized. I gritted my teeth, furious with him for coming so close when he knew I couldn’t handle it. When he knew I could hurt him.
His hands came up to pull mine away from my face, but I wasn’t about to let him be gentle. I shoved him back, throwing my full weight into it. Liam stumbled.
I pushed him again and again, harder each time, because it was the only way I could tell him what I was desperate to say. I saw bursts of his glossy memories. I saw all of his brilliant dreams. It wasn’t until I knocked his back into a tree that I realized I was crying. Up this close, I saw a new cut under his left eye and the bruise forming around it.
Liam’s lips parted. His hands were no longer out in front of him, but hovering over my hips. “Ruby…”
I closed what little distance was left between us, one hand sliding through his soft hair, the other gathering the back of his shirt into my fist. When my lips finally pressed against his, I felt something coil deep inside of me. There was nothing outside of him, not even the grating of cicadas, not even the gray-bodied trees. My heart thundered in my chest. More, more, more—a steady beat. His body relaxed under my hands, shuddering at my touch. Breathing him in wasn’t enough, I wanted to inhale him. The leather, the smoke, the sweetness. I felt his fingers counting up my bare ribs. Liam shifted his legs around mine to draw me closer.
I was off-balance on my toes; the world swaying dangerously under me as his lips traveled to my cheek, to my jaw, to where my pulse throbbed in my neck. He seemed so sure of himself, like he had already plotted out this course.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
The burgundy dress she's wearing stops just above her knees, showing the perfect amount of leg, but the sleeves are long and covered by some kind of lace overlay. It is the ideal attire for a corporate dinner party. Annika has the kind of body that isn't overtly noticeable. Her breasts never feel like they're in your face, but they make you wonder what they look like under her clothes. Her legs are only slightly longer than average, but they're toned. She is the most perfectly proportioned woman I've ever had the pleasure of seeing naked, and has the softest skin I've ever run my hands across. Tonight, she looks both sexy and conservative, and I look forward to introducing her to my fellow team members.
Tracey Garvis Graves (The Girl He Used to Know)
Think back to yourself as a preteen. Puberty hasn't hit yet, but it's starting to peek around the corner, so you're all kinds of awkward. Braces. Training bras that are flat fabric on an even flatter chest. Hairy legs. Weird growth spurts that leave some parts of your body longer than they should be and other shorter. Nothing about you is proportionate. Nothing is cute.
Naya Rivera (Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up)
You've never seen my legs, Marcus. You don't know what you're talking about. And coming from a man who takes his pick of the most beautiful women in London as if he were sampling from a tin of bonbons-"
"Are you implying that I'm some shallow fool who values a woman only for her appearance?"
Aline was tempted to retract her charge in the interest of maintaining peace between them. But as she considered the last few women that Marcus had carried on with... "I'm sorry to say, Marcus, that each of your recent choice of companions- the last four or five, at least- displayed all the intelligence of a turnip. And yes, they were all quite beautiful, and I doubt that you were able to to have a sensible conversation with any of them for longer than five minutes."
Marcus stood back and glared at her. "How does that pertain to what we were discussing?"
"It illustrates the point that even you, one of the finest and most honorable men I've ever known, place great importance on physical attractiveness. And if I ever see you consort with a woman who is less than stunningly perfect, then perhaps I'll listen to your lectures on how appearance doesn't matter.
Lisa Kleypas (Again the Magic (Wallflowers, #0.5))
Remembering his creative exposition on the subject of purple-spotted dingy-dippers, Lillian gave a little huff of amusement. She had always considered Westcliff an utterly humorless man…and in that, she had misjudged him. “I thought you never lied,” she said.
His lips twitched. “Given the options of seeing you become ill at the dinner table, or lying to get you out of there quickly, I chose the lesser of two evils. Do you feel better now?”
“Better…yes.” Lillian realized that she was resting in the crook of his arm, her skirts draped partially over one of his thighs. His body was solid and warm, perfectly matched to hers. Glancing downward, she saw that the fabric of his trousers had molded firmly around his muscular thighs. Unladylike curiosity awakened inside her, and she clenched her fingers against the urge to slide her palm over his leg. “The part about the dingy-dipper was clever,” she said, dragging her gaze up to his face. “But inventing a Latin name for it was positively inspired.”
Westcliff grinned. “I always hoped my Latin would be good for something.” Shifting her a little, he reached into the pocket of his waistcoat and glanced at his watch. “We’ll return to the dining hall in approximately a quarter hour. By that time the calves’ heads should be removed.”
Lillian made a face. “I hate English food,” she exclaimed. “All those jellies and blobs, and wiggly puddings, and the game that is aged until by the time it’s served, it is older than I am, and—” She felt a tremor of amusement run through him, and she turned in the half circle of his arm. “What is so amusing?”
“You’re making me afraid to go back to my own dinner table.”
“You should be!” she replied emphatically, and he could no longer restrain a deep laugh.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
He pointed at the paper. “I want you to write me a description of every foot you’ve put wrong since we met. Make sure I can read your writing. You have five minutes.”
Write about every foot I’d put wrong. I peered down at my feet.
I started to write: My left foot is a size eight point five. It has a high arch, and my big toe is longer than my second toe. There is a light smattering of hair on the top of my foot. I paused and stuck my left leg out, studying my shoe. Right now I am wearing Nike Frees for m—
“Bring me your paper.”
I glanced at my paper. “I’m not done yet.”
“One . . . two . . .”
I brought him the paper.
J.A. Rock (The Subs Club (The Subs Club, #1))
If I wanted to punish myself, I’d keep looking at your face.”
“Isn’t my face in half the pictures taped to your bunk wall?”
“Maybe I keep them there to scare away the devil.”
“Just show him your feet,” he said, going for her weak spot. She had adorable toes, but she hated that her second one was longer than the first. “He’ll run screaming back to hell with his forked tail between his legs.”
“Keep talking and I’ll send you there to meet him.”
“I’ll say hello to your demon-spawn mother while I’m there.”
“Try not to wet yourself like you did at the palace.”
“Hey!” He drew back an inch. That was hitting below the belt. “I was only four when that happened, and your mom was legitimately scary.
Melissa Landers (Starfall (Starflight, #2))
My dear Princess, if you could creep unseen about your City, peeping at will through the curtain-shielded windows, you would come to think that all the world was little else than a big nursery full of crying children with none to comfort them. The doll is broken: no longer it sweetly sqeaks in answer to our pressure, "I love you, kiss me." The drum lies silent with the drumstick inside, no longer do we make a brave noise in the nursery. The box of tea-things we have clumsily put out foot upon; there will be no more merry parties around the three-legged stool. The tin trumpet will not play the note we want to sound; the wooden bricks keep falling down; the toy has exploded and burnt our fingers. Never mind, little man, little woman, we will try and mend things to-morrow
Jerome K. Jerome
Animals tame and animals feral
prowled the Dark Ages in search of a moral:
the canine was Loyal, the lion was Virile,
rabbits were Potent and gryphons were Sterile.
Sloth, Envy, Gluttony, Pride—every peril
was fleshed into something phantasmic and rural,
while Courage, Devotion, Thrift—every bright laurel
crowned a creature in some mythological mural.
Scientists think there is something immoral
in singular brutes having meat that is plural:
beasts are mere beasts, just as flowers are floral.
Yet between the lines there’s an implicit demurral;
the habit stays with us, albeit it’s puerile:
when Darwin saw squirrels, he saw more than Squirrel.
1. THE ANT
The ant, Darwin reminded us,
defies all simple-mindedness:
Take nothing (says the ant) on faith,
and never trust a simple truth.
The PR men of bestiaries
eulogized for centuries
this busy little paragon,
but look here, Darwin said: some ants
make slaves of smaller ants, and end
exploiting in their peonages
the sweating brows of their tiny drudges.
Thus the ant speaks out of both
sides of its mealy little mouth:
its example is extolled
to the workers of the world,
but its habits also preach
the virtues of the idle rich.
2. THE WORM
Eyeless in Gaza, earless in Britain,
lower than a rattlesnake’s belly-button,
deaf as a judge and dumb as an audit:
nobody gave the worm much credit
till Darwin looked a little closer
at this spaghetti-torsoed loser.
Look, he said, a worm can feel
and taste and touch and learn and smell;
and ounce for ounce, they’re tough as wrestlers,
and love can turn them into hustlers,
and as to work, their labors are mythic,
small devotees of the Protestant Ethic:
they’ll go anywhere, to mountains or grassland,
south to the rain forests, north to Iceland,
fifty thousand to every acre
guzzling earth like a drunk on liquor,
churning the soil and making it fertile,
earning the thanks of every mortal:
proud Homo sapiens, with legs and arms—
his whole existence depends on worms.
So, History, no longer let
the worm’s be an ignoble lot
unwept, unhonored, and unsung.
Moral: even a worm can turn.
3. THE RABBIT
a. Except in distress, the rabbit is silent,
but social as teacups: no hare is an island.
silence is golden—or anyway harmless;
rabbits may run, but never for Congress.)
b. When a rabbit gets miffed, he bounds in an orbit,
kicking and scratching like—well, like a rabbit.
to thine own self be true—or as true as you can;
a wolf in sheep’s clothing fleeces his skin.)
c. He populates prairies and mountains and moors,
but in Sweden the rabbit can’t live out of doors.
to know your own strength, take a tug at your shackles;
to understand purity, ponder your freckles.)
d. Survival developed these small furry tutors;
the morals of rabbits outnumber their litters.
you needn’t be brainy, benign, or bizarre
to be thought a great prophet. Endure. Just endure.)
4. THE GOSSAMER
Sixty miles from land the gentle trades
that silk the Yankee clippers to Cathay
sift a million gossamers, like tides
of fluff above the menace of the sea.
These tiny spiders spin their bits of webbing
and ride the air as schooners ride the ocean;
the Beagle trapped a thousand in its rigging,
small aeronauts on some elusive mission.
The Megatherium, done to extinction
by its own bigness, makes a counterpoint
to gossamers, who breathe us this small lesson:
for survival, it’s the little things that count.
So, my dear…”
She faced him with thudding heart, the crystal piece clutched desperately in her hand, but she was hardly aware that she even held it.
“… You say I have let another man into my bed.”
Erienne opened her mouth to speak. Her first impulse was to chatter some inanity that could magically take the edge from his callous half statement, half question. No great enlightenment dawned, however, and her dry, parched throat issued no sound of its own. She inspected the stopper closely, turning it slowly in her hand rather than meet the accusing stare.
From behind the mask, Lord Saxton observed his wife closely, well aware that the next moments would form the basis for the rest of his life or leave it an empty husk. After this, there could be no turning back.
“I think, my dear,” his words made her start, “that whatever the cost, ’tis time you met the beast of Saxton Hall.”
Erienne swallowed hard and clasped the stopper with whitened knuckles, as if to draw some bit of courage from the crystal piece.
As she watched, Lord Saxton doffed his coat, waistcoat, and stock, and she wondered if it was a trick of her imagination that he seemed somewhat lighter of frame. After their removal, he caught the heel of his right boot over the toe of the left and slowly drew the heavy, misshapen encumbrance from his foot. She frowned in open bemusement, unable to detect a flaw. He flexed the leg a moment before slipping off the other boot. His movements seemed pained as he shed the gloves, and Erienne’s eyes fastened on the long, tan, unscarred hands that rose to the mask and, with deliberate movements, flipped the lacings loose. She half turned, dropping the stopper and colliding with the desk as he reached to the other side of the leather helm and lifted it away with a single motion.
She braved a quick glance and gasped in astonishment when she found translucent eyes calmly smiling at her.
She could not form a question, though her mind raced in a frantic search for logic. He rose from the chair with an effort.
“Christopher Stuart Saxton, lord of Saxton Hall.”
His voice no longer bore a hint of a rasp. “Your servant, my lady.”
“But… but where is…?”
The truth was only just beginning to dawn on her, and the name she spoke sounded small and thin.
“One and the same, madam.”
He stepped near, and those translucent eyes commanded her attention.
“Look at me, Erienne. Look very closely.”
He towered over her, and his lean, hard face bore no hint of humor.
“And tell me again if you think I would ever allow another man in your bed while I yet breathe.”
-Christopher & Erienne
Kathleen E. Woodiwiss (A Rose in Winter)
That was amazing,” she told him.
He kissed the top of her thigh. “For me, too.”
She heard him sit up and prepared to pass over the condom. But before she could, she felt his finger enter her again. Just the finger.
It shouldn’t have been that exciting, but there was something about the way he touched her. She’d just had more than her fill of orgasms, but she couldn’t help clamping around him, drawing him in deeper.
“Good?” he asked.
“Oh, yeah. Don’t stop.”
Without thinking, she reached down and grabbed his wrist. Holding his hand still, she thrust her hips forward and back, finding the right pace until the heavy tension returned, and she felt the telltale contractions begin again.
He swore softly. “Can you do that while I’m inside of you?”
She pulled his hand free and pressed the condom into his palm. “Can you put this on in the dark?”
He chuckled. “With you as motivation, I could probably put it on after I was dead.”
Then he was pressing against her.
She reached between them and guided him inside of her. As he entered her, she contracted around him. He filled her slowly, stretching her, delighting her. Each thrust was enough to send her flying.
Zane shifted so he could hold on to her hips. “I can feel you coming,” he murmured. “You’re killing me. I can’t hold on much longer.”
“Go for it,” she told him.
He took her at her word. Moving faster and faster, he pulled out of her, then slipped back inside. She lost herself in the movement, in what she was feeling. The pleasure was greater than any she’d ever experienced. Maybe it was a fluke. Maybe it was something about being outdoors or the placement of the moon. Whatever. At this point, she didn’t much care.
Instead, as she felt Zane tensing for his own release, she wrapped her legs around him and pulled him close. One last shudder rippled through her.
She gave herself up to the feel of him, to the sudden weight as he wrapped his arms around her and groaned his surrender.
Susan Mallery (Kiss Me (Fool's Gold, #17))
There's a million dark little corners in Baytowne for you two to snuggle-"
"Ohmysweetgoodness, Chloe, stop!" I giggle and shiver at the same time and accidentally imagine walking around The Village in Baytowne Wharf with Galen. The Village is exactly that-a sleepy little village of tourist shops in the middle of a golf-course resort. During the daytime anyway. At night though...that's when the dance club wakes up and opens its doors to all the sunburned partiers roaming the cobblestoned walkways with their daiquiris. Galen would look great under the twinling lights, even with a shirt on...
Chloe smirks. "Uh-huh. Already thought of that, huh?"
"Uh-huh. Then why are your cheeks as red as hot sauce?"
"Nuh-uh!" I laugh. She does, too.
"You want me to go ask him to meet us, then?"
I nod. "How old do you think he is?"
She shrugs. "Not creepy-old. Old enough for me to be jailboat, though. Lucky for him, you just turned eighteen...What the...did you just kick me?" She peers into the water, wswipes her hand over the surface as if clearing away something to see better. "Something just bumped me.”
She cups her hands over her eyes and squints, leaving down so close that one good wave could slap her chin. The concentration on her face almost convinces me. Almost. But I grew up with Chloe-we’ve been next-door neighbors since the third grade. I’ve grown used to fake rubber snakes on my front porch, salt in the sugar dish, and Saran wrap spread across the toilet seat-well, actually, Mom fell prey to that one. The point is Chloe loves pranks almost as much as she loves running. And this is definitely a prank.
“Yep, I kicked you,” I tell her, rolling my eyes.
“But…but you can’t reach me, Emma. My legs are longer than yours, and I can’t reach you…There it is again! You didn’t feel that?”
I didn’t feel it, but I did see her leg twitch. I wonder how long she’s been planning this. Since we got here? Since we boarded the plane in Jersey? Sine we turned twelve?
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
He is thinking if there is any way by which he can explain just how and what it is he suffers. He is wondering if there is anyone in the whole wide world with a heart big enough to comprehend what
it is he wants to tell. There are so many little things to say first, and will anyone have the patience to listen to the end? Suffering is no one thing: it is composed of invisible atoms infinite in number,
each one a universe in the great macrocosm of pain. He could begin anywhere, with anything, with a silly word even, a word such as flapdoodle, and he could erect a cathedral of staggering dimensions which would not occupy so much as a pocket in the crevice of the tiniest atom. To say nothing of the surrounding terrain, of the circumambient aura, of things like coast lines, volcanic craters, fathomless lagoons, pearl studs and tons of chicken feathers. The musician has an instrument to work with, the surgeon has his implements, the architect his plans, the general his pawns, the idiot his idiocy, but the one who is suffering has everything in the universe except relief. He can run out to the periphery a trillion times but the circle never straightens out. He knows every diameter but no egress. Every exit is closed, whether it be an inch away or a billion light years distant. You crash a gate made of arms and legs only to get a butt blow behind the ear. You pick up and run on bloody, sawed-off stumps, only to fall into an endless ravine. You sit in the very center of emptiness, whimpering inaudibly, and the stars blink at you. You fall into a coma, and just when you think you've found your way back to the womb they come after you with pick and shovel, with acetylene torches. Even if you found the place of death they would find a way to blow you out of it. You know time in all its curves and infidelities. You have lived longer than it takes to grow all the countless separate parts of a thousand new universes. You have watched them grow and fall apart again.
And you are still intact, like a piece of music which goes on being played forever. The instruments wear out, and the players too, but the notes are eternal, and you are made of nothing but invisible notes which even the faintest zephyr can shake a tune out of.
Henry Miller (The Air-Conditioned Nightmare)
Marlboro Man paused, his eyes piercing through to my marrow. We’d started out watching the sunset over the ranch, sitting on the tailgate of his pickup, legs dangling playfully over the edge. By the time the sun had gone down, we were lying down, legs overlapping, as the sky turned blacker and blacker. And making out wildly. Making out, oh, so very wildly.
I didn’t want to wait for him to bring it up again--the dreaded subject of Chicago. I’d avoided it like the plague for the past several days, not wanting to face the reality of my impending move, of walking away from my new love so soon after we’d found each other. But now the subject wasn’t so scary; it was safe. I’d made the decision, at least for now, to stay--I just had to tell Marlboro Man. And finally, in between kisses, the words bubbled suddenly and boldly to the surface; I could no longer contain them. But before I had a chance to say them, Marlboro Man opened his mouth and began to speak.
“Oh no,” he said, a pained expression on his face. “Don’t tell me--you’re leaving tomorrow.” He ran his fingers through my hair and touched his forehead to mine.
I smiled, giggling inside at the secret I was seconds away from spilling. A herd of cows mooed in the distance. Serenading us.
“Um…no,” I said, finding it hard to believe what I was about to tell him. “I’m not…I’m…I’m not going.”
He paused, then pulled his face away from mine, allowing just enough distance between us for him to pull focus. “What?” he asked, is strong fingers still grasping my hair. A tentative smile appeared on his face.
I breathed in a deep dose of night air, trying to calm my schoolgirl nervousness. “I, umm…” I began. “I decided to stick around here a little while.” There. I’d said it. This was all officially real.
Without a moment of hesitation, Marlboro Man wrapped his ample arms around my waist. Then, in what seemed to be less than a second, he hoisted me from my horizontal position on the bed of his pickup until we were both standing in front of each other. Scooping me off my feet, he raised me up to his height so his icy blue eyes were level with mine.
“Wait…are you serious?” he asked, taking my face in his hands. Squaring it in front of his. Looking me in the eye. “You’re not going?”
“Nope,” I answered.
“Whoa,” he said, smiling and moving in for a long, impassioned kiss on the back of his Ford F250. “I can’t believe it,” he continued, squeezing me tightly.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
When a Single Glance Can Cost a Million Dollars Under conditions of stress, the human body responds in predictable ways: increased heart rate, pupil dilation, perspiration, fine motor tremors, tics. In high-pressure situations, such as negotiating an employment package or being cross-examined under oath, no matter how we might try to play it cool, our bodies give us away. We broadcast our emotional state, just as Marilyn Monroe broadcast her lust for President Kennedy. We each exhibit a unique and consistent pattern of stress signals. For those who know how to read such cues, we’re essentially handing over a dictionary to our body language. Those closest to us probably already recognize a few of our cues, but an expert can take it one step further, and closely predict our actions. Jeff “Happy” Shulman is one such expert. Happy is a world-class poker player. To achieve his impressive winnings, he’s spent much of his life mastering mystique. At the highest level of play, winning depends not merely on skill, experience, statistics, or even luck with the cards, but also on an intimate understanding of human nature. In poker, the truth isn’t written just all over your face. The truth is written all over your body. Drops of Sweat, a Nervous Blink, and Other “Tells” Tournament poker is no longer a game of cards, but a game of interpretation, deception, and self-control. In an interview, Happy says that memorizing and recognizing your opponent’s nuances can be more decisive than luck or skill. Imperceptible gestures can reveal a million dollars’ worth of information. Players call these gestures “tells.” With a tell, a player unintentionally exposes his thoughts and intentions to the rest of the table. The ability to hide one’s tells—and conversely, to read the other players’ tells—offers a distinct advantage. At the amateur level, tells are simpler. Feet and legs are the biggest moving parts of your body, so skittish tapping is a dead giveaway. So is looking at a hand of cards and smiling, or rearranging cards with quivering fingertips. But at the professional level, tells would be almost impossible for you or me to read. Happy spent his career learning how to read these tells. “If you know what the other player is going to do, it’s easier to defend against it.” Like others competing at his level, Happy might prepare for a major tournament by spending hours reviewing tapes of his competitors’ previous games in order to instantly translate their tells during live competition.
Sally Hogshead (Fascinate: Unlocking the Secret Triggers of Influence, Persuasion, and Captivation)
Muffled footsteps sounded in the distance. Goldie heard a shout, and the heavy clank of punishment chains. The footsteps came closer. A boy began to sing in a hoarse, adolescent voice. "Awa-a-a-y, across the ocean-a-an, awa-a-a-y, across the sea-a-a-a-."
There was a slap, and a yell. The singing stopped, but only for a moment. When it started up again, there were a dozen or more voices, all caterwauling at the top of their lungs. "-I'll go-o-o-o where my heart takes me, where my-y-y-y love waits for me-e-e-e-e."
A pause. A furious adult's voice said, "It's not your love that's waiting for you, you little villains, it's the House of Repentance! Deliberate destruction of property, putting the lives of others at risk, oh you're in for it, you are!"
Clank clank clank, went the punishment chains. "I’ve be-e-e-e-en away so long, dear, I've tra-a-a-aveled far and wi-i-i-i-i-ide-" sang the voices.
Goldie edged along the wall and eased the door open. There was a bustle and a shoving and a clanking, and suddenly the corridor in front of her was full of boys, milling backward and forward, rattling their chains and singing loudly. They were all older than Goldie, but they wore the same gray threadbare smock and leggings. Somewhere in the middle of them were two Blessed Guardians. The smell of burning hung over them all.
There was no time to think. Goldie couldn't see Toadspit, but she was sure he must be there somewhere. She whispered a quick "thank you" to Bald Thoke, then she stepped out into the corridor and tucked herself between two of the boys.
For a heart-stopping moment the song faltered. The boys on either side of Goldie shot incredulous glances at her-
Then they closed smoothly around her and began to sing louder than ever, their voices bouncing off the high ceilings. "Three yea-a-a-a-ars I rowed the galley-y-y-ys, three year-a-a-a-ars I was a sla-a-a-a-ave-."
They spilled out into the foyer, a laughing, shouting, singing rabble. The Guardians who led them were shouting too. Only Goldie was silent. She crouched between the tall, raucous boys, her smock blending with theirs, her pulse thundering in her ears.
"What's this?" shouted the toad-like Guardian. "Where are you taking them at this time of night?"
"Set fire to their beds?" shouted one of the other Guardians. "Don't know what's got into them! Marching them off to Repentance!"
"I'll need their names!"
"If I-I-I-I-I could turn back time, dea-a-a-a-ar, if I-I-I-I-I-I could start aga-a-a-a-a-in-"
"For Great Wooden's sake, we'll give them to you when we come back. I can't bear this appalling racket a moment longer!"
And with that, the boys, Goldie and the two Guardians spilled out the front door of Care, across the yard and through the gate.
Lian Tanner (Museum of Thieves (The Keepers, #1))
After all,” she said, her eyes meeting his, “it’s not as though you lack sufficient charm to woo ladies. And you’re certainly handsome enough, in your own way.”
She bent her head again. “Oh, stop looking s smug. I’m not flattering you, I’m merely stating facts. Privateering was not your only profitable course of action. You might have married, if you’d wished to.”
“Ah, but there’s the snag, you see. I didn’t wish to.”
She picked up a brush and tapped it against her palette. “No, you didn’t. You wished to be at sea. You wished to go adventuring, to seize sixty ships in the name of the Crown and pursue countless women on four continents. That’s why you sold your land, Mr. Grayson. Because it’s what you wanted to do. The profit was incidental.”
Gray tugged at the cuff of his coat sleeve. It unnerved him, how easily she stared down these truths he’d avoided looking in the eye for years. So now he was worse than a thief. He was a selfish, lying thief. And still she sat with him, flirted with him, called him “charming” and “handsome enough.” How much darkness did the girl need to uncover before she finally turned away?
“And what about you, Miss Turner?” He leaned forward in his chair. “Why are you here, bound for the West Indies to work as a governess? You, too, might have married. You come from quality; so much is clear. And even if you’d no dowry, sweetheart…” He waited for her to look up. “Yours is the kind of beauty that brings men to their knees.”
She gave a dismissive wave of her paintbrush. Still, her cheeks darkened, and she dabbed her brow with the back of her wrist.
“Now, don’t act missish. I’m not flattering you, I’m merely stating facts.” He leaned back in his chair. “So why haven’t you married?”
“I explained to you yesterday why marriage was no longer an option for me. I was compromised.”
Gray folded his hands on his chest. “Ah, yes. The French painting master. What was his name? Germaine?”
“Gervais.” She sighed dramatically. “Ah, but the pleasure he showed me was worth any cost. I’d never felt so alive as I did in his arms. Every moment we shared was a minute stolen from paradise.”
Gray huffed and kicked the table leg. The girl was trying to make him jealous. And damn, if it wasn’t working. Why should some oily schoolgirl’s tutor enjoy the pleasures Gray was denied? He hadn’t aided the war effort just so England’s most beautiful miss could lift her skirts for a bloody Frenchman.
She began mixing pigment with oil on her palette. “Once, he pulled me into the larder, and we had a feverish tryst among the bins of potatoes and turnips. He held me up against the shelves and we-“
“May I read my book now?” Lord, he couldn’t take much more of this.
She smiled and reached for another brush. “If you wish.”
Gray opened his book and stared at it, unable to muster the concentration to read. Every so often, he turned a page. Vivid, erotic images filled his mind, but all the blood drained to his groin.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
So,” I cleared my throat, unable to tolerate his moans of pleasure and praise any longer, “uh, what are your plans for the weekend?”
“The weekend?” He sounded a bit dazed.
“Yes. This weekend. What do you have planned? Planning on busting up any parties?” I asked lightly, not wanting him to know that I was unaccountably breathless. I moved to his other knee and discarded the towel.
“Ha. No. Not unless those wankers down the hall give me a reason to.” Removing his arms from his face, Bryan’s voice was thick, gravelly as he responded, “I, uh, have some furniture to assemble.”
“Really?” Surprised, I stilled and stared at the line of his jaw. The creases around his mouth—when he held perfectly still—made him look mature and distinguished. Actually, they made him even more classically handsome, if that was even possible.
“Yes. Really. Two IKEA bookshelves.”
I slid my hands lower, behind his ankle, waiting for him to continue. When he didn’t, I prompted, “That’s it?”
“No.” He sighed, hesitated, then added, “I need to stop by the hardware store. The tap in my bathroom is leaking and one of the drawer handles in the kitchen is missing a screw. I just repainted the guest room, so I have to take the excess paint cans to the chemical disposal place; it’s only open on Saturdays before noon. And then I promised my mam I’d take her to dinner.”
My mouth parted slightly because the oddest thing happened as he rattled off his list of chores.
It turned me on.
Even more so than running my palms over his luscious legs.
That’s right. His list of adult tasks made my heart flutter.
I rolled my lips between my teeth, not wanting to blurt that I also needed to go to the hardware store over the weekend. As a treat to myself, I was planning to organize Patrick’s closet and wanted to install shelves above the clothes rack. Truly, Sean’s penchant for buying my son designer suits and ties was completely out of hand. Without some reorganization, I would run out of space.
That’s right. Organizing closets was something I loved to do. I couldn’t get enough of those home and garden shows, especially Tiny Houses, because I adored clever uses for small spaces. I was just freaky enough to admit my passion for storage and organization.
But back to Bryan and his moans of pleasure, adult chores, and luscious legs.
I would not think about Bryan Leech adulting. I would not think about him walking into the hardware store in his sensible shoes and plain gray T-shirt—that would of course pull tightly over his impressive pectoral muscles—and then peruse the aisles for . . . a screw.
I. Would. Not.
Ignoring the spark of kinship, I set to work on his knee, again counting to distract myself. It worked until he volunteered, “I’d like to install some shelves in my closet, but that’ll have to wait until next weekend. Honestly, I’ve been putting it off. I’d do just about anything to get someone to help me organize my closet.” He chuckled.
I’d like to organize your closet.
I fought a groan, biting my lip as I removed my hands, turned from his body, and rinsed them under the faucet.
“We’re, uh, finished for today.
L.H. Cosway (The Cad and the Co-Ed (Rugby, #3))
When it was done and he took the mess away to bury, I lay back and breathed deeply, doing my best to settle my boiling stomach.
“All right,” he said, “that’s that. Now it’s time to go, if we’re to reach Lumm by green-change.” He whistled, and the dapple-gray trotted obediently up, head tossing.
I realized I ought to have been more observant about chances for escape, and I wondered if there were any chance of taking him by surprise now.
First to see if I could even stand. As he went about the chore of resaddling the horse, I eased myself to my feet. I took my time at it, too, not just because my ankle was still protesting its recent rebandaging; I wanted to seem as decrepit as possible. My head felt weirdly light when I made it to my feet, and I had to hang on to a branch of the oak--my foot simply wouldn’t take any weight. As soon as I tried it, my middle turned to water and I groped for the branch again.
Which meant if I did try anything, it was going to have to be within reach of the horse. I watched for a moment as he lashed down the saddlebags then rammed the rapier into the saddle sheath. There was already that knife at his belt. This did not look promising, I thought, remembering all the lessons on close fighting that Khesot had drilled into us. If your opponent is better armed and has the longer reach, then surprise is your only ally. And then you’d better hope he’s half asleep. Well, the fellow had to be tired if he’d sat up all night, I thought, looking around for any kind of weapon.
The branch he’d handed me to hang on to was still lying at my feet. I stooped--cautiously--and snatched it up. Dropping one end, I discovered that it made a serviceable cane, and with its aid I hobbled my way a few paces, watching carefully for any rocks or roots that might trip me.
Then a step in the grass made me look up. The Marquis was right in front of me, and he was a lot taller than he looked seated across a campfire. In one hand were the horse’s reins, and he held the other hand out in an offer to boost me up. I noticed again that his palm was crossed with calluses, indicating years of swordwork. I grimaced, reluctantly surrendering my image of the Court-bred fop who never lifted anything heavier than a fork.
“Ready?” His voice was the same as always--or almost the same.
I tipped my head back to look at his face, instantly suspicious. Despite his compressed lips he was clearly on the verge of laughter.
For a moment I longed, with all my heart, to swing my stick right at his head. My fingers gripped…and his palm turned, just slightly; but I knew a block readying when I saw one. The strong possibility that anything I attempted would lead directly to an ignominious defeat did not improve my mood at all, but I dropped the stick and wiped my hand down the side of my rumpled tunic.
Vowing I’d see that smile wiped off his cursed face, I said shortly, “Let’s get it over with.”
He put his hands on my waist and boosted me up onto the horse--and I couldn’t help but notice it didn’t take all that much effort.
All right, defeat so far, I thought as I winced and gritted my way through arranging my leg much as it had been on the previous ride. All I have to do is catch him in a single unwary moment…He mounted behind me and we started off, while I indulged myself with the image of grabbing that stick and conking him right across his smiling face.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
Will Winterborne regain his sight?”
“The doctor thinks so, but there’s no way of knowing for certain until he’s tested.”
“And the leg?”
“The break was clean--it will heal well. However, Winterborne will be staying with us for quite a bit longer than we’d planned. At least a month.”
“Good. That will give him more time to become acquainted with Helen.”
West’s face went blank. “You’re back to that idea again? Arranging a match between them? What if Winterborne turns out to be lame and blind?”
“He’ll still be rich.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
Will Winterborne regain his sight?”
“The doctor thinks so, but there’s no way of knowing for certain until he’s tested.”
“And the leg?”
“The break was clean--it will heal well. However, Winterborne will be staying with us for quite a bit longer than we’d planned. At least a month.”
“Good. That will give him more time to become acquainted with Helen.”
West’s face went blank. “You’re back to that idea again? Arranging a match between them? What if Winterborne turns out to be lame and blind?”
“He’ll still be rich.”
Looking sardonic, West said, “Evidently a brush with death hasn’t changed your priorities.”
“Why should it? The marriage would benefit everyone.”
“How exactly would you stand to benefit?”
“I’ll stipulate that Winerborne settle a large dower on Helen, and name me as the trustee of her finances.”
“And then you’ll use the money as you see fit?” West asked incredulously. “Sweet Mother of God, how can you risk your life to save drowning children one day, and plot something so ruthless the next day?”
Annoyed, Devon gave him a narrow-eyed glance. “There’s no need to carry on as if Helen’s going to be dragged to the altar in chains. She’ll have a choice in the matter.”
“The right words can bind someone more effectively than chains. You’ll manipulate her into doing what you want regardless of how she feels.”
“Enjoy the view from your moral pedestal,” Devon said. “Unfortunately I have to keep my feet on the ground.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
His time aboard the Argo had been good to him. He’d put on healthy weight and gained a sense of confidence. He no longer looked as if he feared to wake up one day and find that his freedom was only a dream. “I’ll see what I can find, then,” he said. “There were plenty of amphorae in the crew’s sleeping chambers this morning, wine and water both.”
“Do you think there’s any left?”
“Water or wine?” He grinned.
“By the way, where are all the men?” I asked.
“The ones who aren’t busy bothering the serving girls are practicing their battle skills with Lord Aetes’ guards. There’s a training ground, but it’s a fair distance from the citadel. I think the palace weapons bearers get more exercise than the men, carrying their gear there and back.”
“Except for one lazybones who’s hiding in the queen’s garden instead of doing his proper work. Poor Iolaus! This is the thanks he gets for hiring you.” I was teasing, and Milo knew it.
“And what about a weapons bearer so lazy that he’d rather turn into a girl than do his job?” Milo countered, laughing.
I stood up. “A girl who can carry two amphorae of wine to your one,” I said.
“One to my three, you mean!” Milo declared, getting into the spirit. “But you’ll have to find them first.” He made a taunting face at me and darted into the palace.
I raced after him gladly, our laughter echoing through the halls. We had a few near collisions with Lord Aetes’ slaves and servants, and drew our fair share of outraged curses from stuffy palace officials, but it felt so good to run! Milo soon forgot all about going back to the crew’s chambers to search for those amphorae. He ran right past the doorway and didn’t give it a glance. Though my dress hindered me and my sword slapped against my left leg at every stride, I was enjoying myself.
Esther M. Friesner (Nobody's Prize (Nobody's Princess, #2))
Yes, you are. That shit written all over your face. You been trying to get some of this dick for months now, so don’t act scared now,” Jah said, kissing my lips one final time. Jah grabbed my hands and interlocked them with his as he held them up above my head. I looked at him, scared for my life as I watched him slowly try to work his dick inside of me. It hurt so badly, causing a lone tear to fall from my eyes that Jah quickly kissed away. To keep my mind off of the pain, Jah brought his lips to mine and I whimpered against them, still feeling the pain. “Hmmm, Jahh,” I cried against his lips as he worked his pelvis into my body. Jah began to make slow, circular grinds that were beginning to feel good now. I was no longer crying as I hungrily kissed him. “It feel better now, baby?” Jah asked me. The way he called me baby caused a flow of juices to come out of my body. I didn’t even think that I could get any wetter for him than I already was. I nodded my head yes because I couldn’t find the words to answer him right away. Jah removed his hands from over my head and brought his hands to my knees, spreading my legs as far as they could go, stroking me deeper. “It’s so wet and tight, baby,” Jah grunted as he made love to my body. The look on his face was as if he were in heaven and he had never experienced a feeling so good before. When he pulled my legs up, putting them behind my head, I started moaning like crazy because I could feel all of the pressure now. “Ohh Jahh. Ohh Jahhh,” I moaned repeatedly as tears of pleasure seeped out of my eyes. “I swear I will kill over this pussy, Antonia. You’re mine now! You understand that?” Jah asked me, sinking his hips deeper into me. “Ohhh,” I screamed as he continued to work me. “Answer my question, Antonia!” Jah said, slapping me hard on my thigh. “Yes, I understand” I moaned. “Godddd, I’m cumming,
Diamond D. Johnson (Little Miami Girl: Antonia and Jahiem's Love Story)
You’ll seize on any excuse to sell Eversby Priory because you don’t want to take on a challenge.”
“It’s only a challenge when there’s some small hope of success. This is a debacle. The list of creditors is longer than my bloody arm, the coffers are empty, and the annual yields have been cut in half.”
“I don’t believe you. You’re planning to sell the estate to settle personal debts that have nothing to do with Eversby Priory.”
Devon’s hands knotted with the urge to destroy something. His rising bloodlust would only be satisfied with the sound of shattering objects. He had never faced a situation like this, and there was no one to give him trustworthy advice, no kindly aristocratic relation, no knowledgeable friends in the peerage. And this woman could only accuse and insult him.
“I had no debt,” he growled, “until I inherited this mess. God’s bollocks, did your idiot husband never explain any of the estate’s issues to you? Were you completely ignorant of how dire the situation was when you married him? No matter--someone has to face reality, and Christ help us all, it seems to be me.” He turned his back on her and returned to the desk. “Your presence isn’t wanted,” he said without looking back. “You will leave now.”
“Eversby Priory has survived four hundred years of revolutions and foreign wars,” he heard Kathleen say contemptuously, “and now it will take but one self-serving rake to bring it all to ruins.”
As if he were entirely to blame for the situation. As if he alone would be accountable for the estate’s demise. Damn her to hell.
With effort, Devon swallowed back his outrage. Deliberately he stretched out his legs with relaxed indolence and glanced at his brother. “West, are we quite certain that Cousin Theo perished in a fall?” he asked coolly. “It seems far more likely that he froze to death in the marital bed.”
West chuckled, not above the enjoyment of a malicious quip.
Totthill and Fogg, for their part, kept their gazes down.
Kathleen crossed the threshold and sent the door shuddering with a violent slam.
“Brother,” West said with mock chiding, “that was beneath you.”
“Nothing’s beneath me,” Devon replied, stone-faced. “You know that.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
Ash.” Beau’s voice entered my fantasy.
“Hmm…” I managed to respond as my hand touched his abs.
“What’re you doing?” His voice didn’t sound right. There was a panicked tone to it that snapped me out of my dream and into reality. I gasped when I realized my leg was hiked up on Beau’s thigh. The hem of my sundress was barley covering my panties. To make matters worse, my hand was under his black shirt; his skin felt so warm and soft. The soft, circular patterns on my arm had stopped, and his hand was no longer touching me. Horror washed over me, and I jerked my hand out of his shirt and sat up.
“Oh my God,” I blurted out. “I’m sorry…I didn’t mean…I’m sorry.” I couldn’t look at him. Not after I’d been all over him! Instead I did the only thing I could think of: I ran for my room.
I pushed the door hard enough to slam it, but the loud crack never came.
“Ash, wait.” Beau’s voice made me cringe. Oh God, why did he have to follow me? Couldn’t he have just left?
I couldn’t face him.
“I’m sorry. Just…go, okay?” I crossed my arms and stared hard at the window, waiting for him to leave. His arms wrapped around me from behind, and I whimpered as the humiliation just got worse. He was going to try to comfort me.
“I don’t know what’s going on in that head of yours, but from the way you’re acting, I can imagine it’s pretty bad.” He lowered his head to my shoulder. “You want me to leave and I’m going to go. But first I want to make sure you understand something.”
My throat was tight and sobs constricted my airway. Responding wasn’t possible.
“I stated that in there. Not you. I wasn’t prepared for the reaction I got. I thought you’d push me away--not…snuggle closer.” He stopped again, and his breath was warm on my neck as his lips touched my bare shoulder. I shivered, and his hands ran down my arms until they covered mine. “I shouldn’t have touched you. But I couldn’t help myself,” he murmured into my ear.
I wanted to argue. It wasn’t his fault. I wanted to tell him I was the one who got carried away. But I couldn’t manage more than just a small snivel. “I can’t do this, Ash. God knows I want to, but I can’t.” And then he was gone. I turned to see him walking out my door. More than anything, I wanted to call him back. But I didn’t.
Abbi Glines (The Vincent Boys (The Vincent Boys, #1))
Ode to the Beloved’s Hips"
Bells are they—shaped on the eighth day—silvered
percussion in the morning—are the morning.
Swing switch sway. Hold the day away a little
longer, a little slower, a little easy. Call to me—
I wanna rock, I-I wanna rock, I-I wanna rock
right now—so to them I come—struck-dumb
chime-blind, tolling with a throat full of Hosanna.
How many hours bowed against this Infinity of Blessed
Trinity? Communion of Pelvis, Sacrum, Femur.
My mouth—terrible angel, ever-lasting novena,
O, the places I have laid them, knelt and scooped
the amber—fast honey—from their openness—
Ah Muzen Cab’s hidden Temple of Tulúm—licked
smooth the sticky of her hip—heat-thrummed ossa
coxae. Lambent slave to ilium and ischium—I never tire
to shake this wild hive, split with thumb the sweet-
dripped comb—hot hexagonal hole—dark diamond—
to its nectar-dervished queen. Meanad tongue—
come-drunk hum-tranced honey-puller—for her hips,
I am—strummed-song and succubus.
They are the sign: hip. And the cosign: a great book—
the body’s Bible opened up to its Good News Gospel.
Alleluias, Ave Marías, madre mías, ay yay yays,
Ay Dios míos, and hip-hip-hooray.
Cult of Coccyx. Culto de cadera.
Oracle of Orgasm. Rorschach’s riddle:
What do I see? Hips:
Innominate bone. Wish bone. Orpheus bone.
Transubstantiation bone—hips of bread,
wine-whet thighs. Say the word and healed I shall be:
Bone butterfly. Bone wings. Bone Ferris wheel.
Bone basin bone throne bone lamp.
Apparition in the bone grotto—6th mystery—
slick rosary bead—Déme la gracia of a decade
in this garden of carmine flower. Exile me
to the enormous orchard of Alcinous—spiced fruit,
laden-tree—Imparadise me. Because, God,
I am guilty. I am sin-frenzied and full of teeth
for pear upon apple upon fig.
More than all that are your hips.
They are a city. They are Kingdom—
Troy, the hollowed horse, an army of desire—
thirty soldiers in the belly, two in the mouth.
Beloved, your hips are the war.
At night your legs, love, are boulevards
leading me beggared and hungry to your candy
house, your baroque mansion. Even when I am late
and the tables have been cleared,
in the kitchen of your hips, let me eat cake.
O, constellation of pelvic glide—every curve,
a luster, a star. More infinite still, your hips are
kosmic, are universe—galactic carousel of burning
comets and Big Big Bangs. Millennium Falcon,
let me be your Solo. O, hot planet, let me
circumambulate. O, spiral galaxy, I am coming
for your dark matter.
Along las calles de tus muslos I wander—
follow the parade of pulse like a drum line—
descend into your Plaza del Toros—
hands throbbing Miura bulls, dark Isleros.
Your arched hips—ay, mi torera.
Down the long corridor, your wet walls
lead me like a traje de luces—all glitter, glowed.
I am the animal born to rush your rich red
muletas—each breath, each sigh, each groan,
a hooked horn of want. My mouth at your inner
thigh—here I must enter you—mi pobre
Manolete—press and part you like a wound—
make the crowd pounding in the grandstand
of your iliac crest rise up in you and cheer.
If you like wearing slim skirts, there’s nothing uglier than having two additional bulges just below where the hips naturally curve. And of course if you have them you can’t possibly wear pants. The first three exercises, all done from the same starting position, are good for the buttocks as well as the outside of the thighs. They should be done as often as possible, on both sides, and as long as possible for the quickest results.
1. Lie on your side with one arm stretched out under your head. Bring the knee of the upper leg slowly up to your chest, and slowly back into position again. Do this a few times (to dreamy music) and then roll over and do it with the other leg.
2. In the same position on your side, raise the upper leg and move it forward and back as far as you comfortably can. Roll over and do this with the other leg.
3. Raise the top leg and raise the bottom leg up to meet it. Slowly lower the bottom leg, and then the top one.
4. For the inside of the thighs, lie on your back with your knees up, feet flat on the floor, and a small rubber ball between your knees. Squeeze the ball, and hold it with all the muscle pressure you can.
5. Kneel, with your knees apart, and try to bring the knees together. But don’t let them move. Pull until you feel the tug on the inside thigh muscles and hold it as long as you comfortably can – or a little longer.
6. Now sit on the floor, and press the soles of your feet together. Press your knees down, to either side, as far as you can. Keep pressing till it hurts.
7. The simple old ballet warm-up of kicking will wake up the thigh muscles all around. Put one hand on a sturdy chair or railing and, HOLDING YOURSELF ABSOLUTELY ERECT and keeping both legs straight, kick forward as high as you can, several times. Then kick out to the side, making sure your body is straight as a ramrod. Then kick straight back. Do the same thing with the other leg.
You may not get very high kicks the first day or two, but you’ll be surprised at the way you can gain an inch in altitude each time until you’re making a pretty good showing.
Joan Crawford (My Way of Life)
He is thinking if there is any way by which he can explain just how and what it is he suffers. He is wondering if there is anyone in the whole wide world with a heart big enough to comprehend what it is he wants to tell. There are so many little things to say first, and will anyone have the patience to listen to the end? Suffering is no one thing: it is composed of invisible atoms infinite in number, each one a universe in the great macrocosm of pain. He could begin anywhere, with anything, with a silly word even, a word such as flapdoodle, and he could erect a cathedral of staggering dimensions which would not occupy so much as a pocket in the crevice of the tiniest atom. To say nothing of the surrounding terrain, of the circumambient aura, of things like coast lines, volcanic craters, fathomless lagoons, pearl studs and tons of chicken feathers. The musician has an instrument to work with, the surgeon has his implements, the architect his plans, the general his pawns, the idiot his idiocy, but the one who is suffering has everything in the universe except relief. He can run out to the periphery a trillion times but the circle never straightens out. He knows every diameter but no egress. Every exit is closed, whether it be an inch away or a billion light years distant. You crash a gate made of arms and legs only to get a butt blow behind the ear. You pick up and run on bloody, sawed-off stumps, only to fall into an endless ravine. You sit in the very center of emptiness, whimpering inaudibly, and the stars blink at you. You fall into a coma, and just when you think you've found your way back to the womb they come after you with pick and shovel, with acetylene torches. Even if you found the place of death they would find a way to blow you out of it. You know time in all its curves and infidelities. You have lived longer than it takes to grow all the countless separate parts of a thousand new universes. You have watched them grow and fall apart again. And you are still intact, like a piece of music which goes on being played forever. The instruments wear out, and the players too, but the notes are eternal, and you are made of nothing but invisible notes which even the faintest zephyr can shake a tune out of.
Henry Miller (The Air-Conditioned Nightmare)
closed his eyes and tried to concentrate on pushing his orgasm down. When Ruxs topped him it sure as hell took longer than two minutes. He lowered himself and aimed for a higher angle. Ruxs lurched in his arms and Green pulled out, went back in with power, keeping that angle and strong momentum. Ruxs was quieter now. His only sounds a mix between a groan and sob each time Green pegged his gland. He looked down and Ruxs cock was harder than a choirboy’s in a porn shop. Fuck yeah. But he needed a better position, needed to go deeper. He rolled pulling Ruxs with him. “Don’t stop.” Ruxs voice was barely recognizable. “I’m not.” Green pulled Ruxs on top. Ruxs’ heavy legs on either side of his. His back to his chest, his rigid cock pointing to the ceiling. Damn. He was heavy but the weight felt good and it put Green just as deep as he needed to be. Ruxs shuddered on top of him when Green gripped him between his thighs, holding his balls in a diamond created by his hands and slid him up and down his body while he thrust up into him on the down stroke. “Fuuuuuuck,” Ruxs keened. “Right th—oh… god.” “You’re
A.E. Via (Here Comes Trouble (Nothing Special #3))
Caleb rode up just as she was trying to submerge herself in an ice-cold creek no more than six inches deep. Calmly he hung his hat on the horn of his saddle, then he put his hands on his hips, an infuriating grin spreading across his face. “Ants?” he inquired cordially. He was at once the first and last person Lily would have wanted to see. She sat up in the creek, her hair dripping, her arms covering her breasts, ants banished at last. Her legs and bottom were so numb from the cold that she couldn’t even feel them. Teeth chattering, she made a strangled sound of rage and shouted, “G-give me my clothes!” Caleb picked up the trousers and the shirt and the stockings, which were scattered about with abandon, and assessed them with mischief twinkling in his eyes. “These can’t be your things, Lily—they look like they’d belong to a half-grown boy.” Lily struggled to her feet. She didn’t want to show herself to Caleb, but if she stayed in the water any longer she wouldn’t be able to walk. Furiously, shivering with cold, she struggled to the shore. “You know very well they belong to me!” she raged, tearing the clothes from Caleb’s hand and starting to put them on. It
Linda Lael Miller (Lily and the Major (Orphan Train, #1))
A stentorian bellow shook the candles in their sconces.
Unconsciously, Amy grabbed Richard’s arm, looking about anxiously for the source of the roar. About the room, people went on chatting as before.
"Steady there." Richard patted the delicate hand clutching the material of his coat. "It’s just the First Consul."
Snatching her hand away as though his coat were made of live coals, Amy snapped, "You would know."
The dreadful noise repeated itself, cutting off any further remarks. Out of an adjoining room charged a blur of red velvet, closely followed by the scurrying form of a young man. Amy sidestepped just in time, swaying on her slippers to avoid toppling into Lord Richard.
The red velvet came to an abrupt stop beside Mme Bonaparte’s chair. "Oh. Visitors."
Once still, the red velvet resolved into a man of slightly less than medium height, clad in a long red velvet coat with breeches that must once have been white, but which now bore assorted stains that proclaimed as clearly as a menu what the wearer had eaten for supper.
"I do wish you wouldn’t shout so, Bonaparte." Mme Bonaparte lifted one white hand and touched him gently on the cheek.
Bonaparte grabbed her hand and planted a resounding kiss on the palm. "How else am I to make myself heard?" Affectionately tweaking one of her curls, he demanded, "Well? Who is it tonight?"
"We have some visitors from England, sir,"his stepdaughter responded. "I should like to present…" Hortense began listing their names. Bonaparte stood, legs slightly apart, eyes hooded with apparent boredom, and one arm thrust into the opposite side of his jacket, as though in a sling.
Bonaparte inclined his head, looked down at his wife, and demanded, "Are we done yet?"
Everyone within earshot jumped at the sound of Miss Gwen’s reticule connecting with Bonaparte’s arm.
"Sir! Take that hand out of your jacket! It is rude and it ruins your posture. A man of your diminutive stature needs to stand up straight."
Something suspiciously like a chuckle emerged from Lord Richard’s lips, but when Amy glanced sharply up at him, his expression was studiedly bland.
A dangerous hush fell over the room. Flirtations in the far corners of the room were abandoned. Business deals were dropped. The non-English speakers among the assemblage tugged at the sleeves of those who had the language, and instant translations began to be whispered about the room – suitably embellished, of course.
"It’s an assassination attempt!" a woman next to Amy cried dramatically, swooning back into the arms of an officer who looked as though he didn’t quite know what to do with her, but would really be happiest just dropping her.
"No, it’s not, it’s just Miss Gwen," Amy tried to explain.
Meanwhile, Miss Gwen was advancing on Bonaparte, backing him up so that he was nearly sitting on Josephine’s lap. "While we are speaking, sir, this habit you have of barging into other people’s countries without invitation – it is most rude. I will not have it! You should apologise to the Italians and the Dutch at the first opportunity!"
"Mais zee Italians, zey invited me!" Bonaparte exclaimed indignantly.
Miss Gwen cast Bonaparte the severe look of a governess listening to substandard excuses from a wayward child.
"That may well be," she pronounced in a tone that implied she thought it highly unlikely. "But your behaviour upon entering their country was inexcusable! If you were to be invited to someone’s home for a weekend, sirrah, would you reorganise their domestic arrangements and seize the artwork from their walls? Would you countenance any guest who behaved so? I thought not."
Amy wondered if Bonaparte could declare war on Miss Gwen alone without breaking his peace with England. "So much for the Peace of Amiens!" she started to whisper to Jane, but Jane was no longer beside her.
Lauren Willig (The Secret History of the Pink Carnation (Pink Carnation, #1))
Well, your legs are much longer than ours,” Sarah panted. “Next time we race, Amy and I need a head start to make it fair.” Only eight years old, she was the younger of Joe’s two siblings and had short blonde hair.
Paul Moxham (The Mystery of Smugglers Cove (The Mystery Series #1))
After a moment to regain his composure, he propped himself up on his elbow to look down at me, desire still lurking in his mesmerizing eyes.
“Alera? Are you…all right?”
“Narian, we can’t do this.” I was more than a little shocked at the both of us.
His brow furrowed, and he ran a hand through his disheveled hair. He took a breath and opened his mouth, then stopped, apparently unable to decide exactly what he wanted to say.
“Because,” I said, pushing myself upright. “We’re not married!”
He sat up as well and lit the lantern on my bedside table. I pulled my chemise back onto my shoulders and wrapped my arms around my legs while I waited for his reaction.
“And marriage, that’s…important to you…for this,” he surmised, trying to work out the basis for my objection.
“Yes,” I told him fervently. “Isn’t it to you?”
He glanced at the bedclothes, as though he anticipated an unpleasant reaction to what he would say.
“Well, no. We don’t have marriage in Cokyri.”
My eyebrows shot upward. “You don’t have…marriage? Well then, how do you…I mean, where…where do your children come from?”
“We just choose a partner,” he said, ignoring the absurdity of my question. “A woman chooses a man, and if he accepts, he is marked with a tattoo around his forearm. The tattoo is a great honor--men in Cokyri are proud to bear it.”
“What about the church?”
He shrugged, no longer worrying about how I might react. “Cokyri has no official religion. Some people seek the High Priestess’s approval to be bound, but they come to her of their own accord. Again, it is a choice.”
“So…in order to be with me, all you would need is a tattoo?” I spoke tentatively, trying to absorb and understand his words.
“Only to signify that I am yours and no one else’s. If that is what we both want.”
His closing statement, though subtle, sough confirmation, his steel-blue eyes filled with love and longing.
“I choose you,” I said, leaning toward him, and his mouth met mine with such ardor that my senses reeled all over again. He lay down with me on top of him, and it took all my strength of will to pull away.
“But we have to be married.”
He studied me, concluding that I truly believed in what I said.
“Then let’s go get married.”
“Now?” I blurted, eyes wide.
“Is now a problem?
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
He’s a criminal.”
Arik shrugged. “Perhaps, but that’s in Russia. Here he’s a business man, one who got attacked by the omega of my pride.”
“What do I need to do to fix things?”
Apologize? He was a big enough man to do that. Pay him off? He had funds stashed for a rainy day.
“We could give him Meena,” Arik mused aloud.
Who growled? Surely not him.
“Oh shit. The rumors are true. She’s his bloody mate.” Hayder no longer sounded so amused. “No. Say it isn’t so. If you claim her, then that means”— he swallowed hard— “she’ll stay here. Like forever. Noooooo!”
Hayder wasn’t the only one having a melodramatic moment. Arik eyeballed him, a pained expression on his face. “Please, please, please tell me you’re not actually going to mate with her. I don’t know if we could survive having Meena here full time.”
“Dude, she’s a walking disaster,” Hayder commented.
“A magnet for trouble,” Arik added while Hayder nodded.
“A hurricane on two legs.”
“A destructive force greater than Mother Nature.”
Leo held up a hand. “Um, guys, you might want to stop before I crack your skulls together. You aren’t telling me anything I don’t know, but…” He sighed. “I’m afraid, and I mean really afraid, she might be right. I think she’s my mate.
Eve Langlais (When an Omega Snaps (A Lion's Pride, #3))
Drops of Sweat, a Nervous Blink, and Other “Tells” Tournament poker is no longer a game of cards, but a game of interpretation, deception, and self-control. In an interview, Happy says that memorizing and recognizing your opponent’s nuances can be more decisive than luck or skill. Imperceptible gestures can reveal a million dollars’ worth of information. Players call these gestures “tells.” With a tell, a player unintentionally exposes his thoughts and intentions to the rest of the table. The ability to hide one’s tells—and conversely, to read the other players’ tells—offers a distinct advantage. At the amateur level, tells are simpler. Feet and legs are the biggest moving parts of your body, so skittish tapping is a dead giveaway. So is looking at a hand of cards and smiling, or rearranging cards with quivering fingertips. But at the professional level, tells would be almost impossible for you or me to read. Happy spent his career learning how to read these tells. “If you know what the other player is going to do, it’s easier to defend against it.” Like others competing at his level, Happy might prepare for a major tournament by spending hours reviewing tapes of his competitors’ previous games in order to instantly translate their tells during live competition.
Sally Hogshead (Fascinate: Unlocking the Secret Triggers of Influence, Persuasion, and Captivation)
Joe nudged Sean’s arm. “I swear, I could tell time by how often Emma looks at you just by counting off the seconds.”
Sean resisted the urge to turn and look. “She’s nervous, that’s all.”
“That’s not nerves.”
“I think I know her better than you do.”
Joe laughed. “You’ve known her a week.”
“Hate to burst your bubble, but I’ve known her longer than ten days. Not well, but I’ve run into her at Mike and Lisa’s. Not that it matters. That look on a woman’s face is pretty universal.”
“There’s no look.”
“Oh, there’s a look,” Kevin said.
“There might be a look,” Leo added.
“Mike and I can’t see,” Evan added. “We’re facing the wrong way. We could turn around, but she might wonder why we’re all staring at her.”
Even though he figured his cousins were pulling his leg, Sean angled his body a little so he could see her in his peripheral vision.
Okay, so she was looking at him. A lot. But Joe and Kevin were still full of crap because there was no look.The glances were too quick to read anything into, never mind the kind of message they were implying she was sending.
He watched her watching him for a while, and then Aunt Mary told them to get the meat ready so they could fire the grill. Since his cousins made for more than enough chefs stirring the soup and he needed a break from the visual game of tag he and Emma were playing he grabbed a beer and made his way to the big toolshed. It was the unofficial Kowalski man cave, where females feared to tread. Even Aunt Mary would just stand outside and bellow rather than cross the threshold.
Shannon Stacey (Yours to Keep (Kowalski Family, #3))
Celia as she continued the tour of the newly renovated office space. Her legs were longer than his, which made him have to move quickly to keep up. Her height was also intimidating, but being short was never something he ever complained about. Celia must’ve been four or five inches taller! From Ragert’s estimation, Celia might have been pushing two and half feet! At just under two feet himself, or 22 inches tall, he’d always been the little elf. “And this section of cubicles is part of our emergency dispatch team,” Cilia said, looking back at Ragert. “I hope you’re listening to me, mister.” Ragert nodded nervously. “Of course I am! I wouldn’t want to miss a thing,
Marcus Emerson (LOL Collection: Stories to Make You Laugh-Out-Loud: From the Creator of Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja)
After the punches, I went over how to kick. The deer women were at an extreme advantage when it came to kicking. Not only were their legs super powerful and full of muscles from all the climbing and running they did, but they were way longer than any dragon woman’s or orc’s legs could ever hope to be. One well placed kick from the deer women could stop an orc in his tracks, and he’d never even get close to her. “Always remember, aim for the balls,” I instructed while I walked amongst the group. “It’ll hurt like hell and almost definitely send your attacker to his knees. Then, you can come in with a spear, or bow and arrow, whatever you want.
Logan Jacobs (Monster Girl Islands 4 (Monster Girl Islands, #4))
Sam Underwater, everything is quiet. Tranquil. Like heaven is all around you, caressing your body, pulling you into its embrace. Deeper and deeper, it pulls at your legs until they beg to be released. I hold my water-resistant camera in front of me and take multiple pictures of the cold depths of the ocean. Its beauty never fails to mesmerize me. But I can’t stay for too long; sooner or later, that urge to breathe always pulls me back to the surface toward the dark sky littered with a million flickering lights … back into the noise of swooshing water and rushing wind. The shore is mostly deserted, except for a few beer cans, party cups, and some clothes and trash lying scattered all around. The only other person there is Nate Wilson … the most handsome guy at school and so much more than that. He’s sitting on a few rocks near the edge of the beach with a girl by his side. I can’t stop watching. Their hands touch briefly, but then the wave overtakes me and blocks my view. When the water lowers, I shake my head, but the waves keep picking up. Still, I hold up my camera and take a few pictures. Right as he turns his head toward me, I dive underwater again. Here, there are no boys, no girls, and no secret touches. Just me and the water, and all the beautiful creatures below that need to meet my camera. A single picture says more than words ever will. No matter how powerful they are. Nate People say it only takes a few minutes for your life to be destroyed. I never believed them … until today. With just the snap of a finger, a stupid decision and a simple push, I marked my own fate. My body grows colder and colder the longer I stay in the water. It consumes me whole as I stray farther and farther away from myself. From reality. I’m so damn dizzy, but I can’t collapse here. Not now, not in the middle of the ocean. I take a deep breath and peel my eyes open, forcing myself to go. That’s when I spot her … the girl and her camera. FLASH. I cover my eyes with my hand. Salty seawater enters my nostrils and mouth as I struggle to swim. When I open my eyes again, the girl is gone; swallowed by the same waves that drag me back to the shore. As my feet sink into the sand and the water creeps up against my toes, I stop and turn around, clutching the long red hairs in my hand as though they’re my last lifeline. This is now the place where not only my life changed forever. But hers too.
Clarissa Wild (Cruel Boy)
It was probably only a few intervals, though it seemed longer with Ryzven lurking and radiating impatience. At last Beryl and Kurr returned, markedly cleaner and fresher, and he heard Beryl telling the Greenspirit about the garden. His human hurried toward him, though her steps slowed when she spotted Ryzven nearby. Snaps squirmed in Zylar’s arms, so he set him down after checking the cord looped around his neck. Beryl reached for the leash as she eyed Ryzven, but she didn’t address him. Instead, she knelt and spoke nonsense words to the fur-person while rubbing him all over with her grabbers.
Kurr filled the awkward silence with a stiff, formal greeting. “Honor to your kith and kin, renowned Ryzven. I am Kurr.”
“A pleasure! Everyone who has been following the Choosing knows who you are, esteemed Greenspirit.”
While Zylar would be pleased if Ryzven forgot his business with Beryl while dallying with Kurr, he doubted he’d be so lucky. And as Beryl rose, Ryzven turned to her, making sure she got the full impact of his rare colors. He even puffed out his thorax a little, and Beryl let out a breath, a sound Zylar identified as annoyance. She said something the translator couldn’t process.
“I came to congratulate you on your—” Before Ryzven could finish his pompous sentence, Snaps ambled forward, lifted a leg, and eliminated on him.
“I don’t like him,” Snaps said. “Beryl doesn’t like him. Let’s go!”
“So sorry about that,” Beryl said in a flat tone. “Snaps is nervous around strangers.”
Zylar had heard sincerity from her many times before, and on this occasion, she wasn’t remotely apologetic. In fact, her eyes were twinkling and she seemed to be having a hard time restraining herself from making the battle face, which she’d said indicated amusement or enjoyment.
“You should clean that up,” he told Ryzven, who was sputtering incoherent outrage.
Most likely, he would live to regret all of this, but it felt so good to get the best of his arrogant nest-mate for once that he didn’t even look back when Beryl grabbed his claw and led him toward the exit. It occurred to him that she was leading him like Snaps, only by the limb instead of using a cord, but it would have lessened the impact of their departure if he mentioned as much.
Once they reached the public corridors, Kurr finally said, “I hope we have not given serious offense. I am…fearful.”
The Greenspirit must know Ryzven’s reputation well. He wouldn’t accept such a humiliation without striking back. “Do not let it lessen your satisfaction in what you’ve achieved today. I will apologize more fully another time.”
“Why would you apologize for something Snaps did?” Beryl cut in. “If anyone’s going to make amends, it should be me. Though for the record, I said ‘sorry’ already.”
“It was insincere,” Kurr noted.
Beryl stared for a long moment, then said, “That’s fair.” She took a step closer to the two of them and added in a whisper, “So when I apologize sincerely, I probably shouldn’t let on that I told Snaps to pee on him? I mean, theoretically.”
The Greenspirit emitted a shocked rustling sound while Zylar simply could not contain his glee. He churred louder than he ever had in his life. “Truly? That’s what you said that the translator could not comprehend?”
Then Beryl did show her fearsome aspect, displaying all her teeth. “I will neither confirm nor deny those allegations.”
“Confirmed,” said Snaps. “I was promised extra snacks.”
Still delighted with his intended, Zylar led the way to the garden, wondering how he should reward Beryl for improving his life in every conceivable way.
Ann Aguirre (Strange Love (Galactic Love, #1))
Asleep at the wheel nearly
dead I think
and feeling nothing on my skin
but the dark eyes of the antelopes
all around me in the Wyoming night
watching me pass—a small animal
growling down the highway
with both eyes aglow.
To keep awake
I force my head out the window
as into a guillotine
the black sleet-filled air
slipping under each eyelid
like a child’s thin silver spoon.
Looking back into the car
through the ice and tears
I do not recognize that body sleeping there.
I no longer know that leg pressed hard
to the gas, the blue coat or scarf or
the hand reaching out to the wheel.
Folks, you know I am doing my best—
pushing hard toward you
through this winter sky
but reduced to this—
just this head out a window
streaming through space like a bearded rock,
a hunk of pocked iron with melting eyes.
A trail of fiery mist
is growing out of the back of my head
and stretches now for miles across the night.
The odds, I know, are a thousand to one
I'll burn up before touching earth
but if somehow I do make it home
smashing across the farmyard
and lighting up the sky
I will throw a red glow across the barn's silver roof
and crash into the rough wood of your back door
smaller than a grain of sand
making its one childlike knock.
The porch light will hesitate
then snap on, as it always does
when a car comes up the lane
late at night.
The two sleepy old faces
will come to the door
in their long soft robes—
will stand there bewildered
rubbing their eyes
looking around and wondering
who it was at their door
no sooner come than gone
a cinder in the eye.