Maintain Composure Quotes

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I’ve often been asked about this personality trait—my ability to maintain composure in the middle of crisis. Sometimes I’ll say that it’s just a matter of temperament, or a consequence of being raised in Hawaii, since it’s hard to get stressed when it’s eighty degrees and sunny and you’re five minutes from the beach. If I’m talking to a group of young people, I’ll describe how over time I’ve trained myself to take the long view, about how important it is to stay focused on your goals rather than getting hung up on the daily ups and downs.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
I survived by keeping my emotions in check – by maintaining my composure and tucking it all away. I managed to stay under the radar, skating through school without anyone truly remembering I was here. My teachers acknowledged my academic successes and my coaches depended upon my athletic abilities, but I wasn’t important enough to make a recognizable social contribution. I was easily forgettable. That’s what I counted on.
Rebecca Donovan (Reason to Breathe (Breathing, #1))
She figured that any day now she was going to start feeling the simple composure of normalcy that Jane Austen's heroines always sought to maintain, the state described in those days as "countenance," and later as "being cool.
Eve Babitz (Sex & Rage: Advice to Young Ladies Eager for a Good Time)
Most parents think that if our child would just “behave,” we could maintain our composure as parents. The truth is that managing our own emotions and actions is what allows us to feel peaceful as parents. Ultimately we can’t control our children or the hand life deals them—but we can always control our own actions. Parenting isn’t about what our child does, but about how we respond.
Laura Markham (Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting)
You judge very properly," said Mr. Bennet, "and it is happy for you that you possess the talent of flattering with delicacy. May I ask whether these pleasing attentions proceed from the impulse of the moment, or are the result of previous study?" "They arise chiefly from what is passing at the time, and thought I sometimes amuse myself with suggesting and arranging such little elegant compliments as may be adapted to ordinary occasions, I always wish to give them as unstudied an air as possible." Mr. Bennet's expectations were fully answered. His cousin was as absurd as he had hoped, and he listened with the keenest enjoyment, maintaining at the same time the most resolute composure of countenance, and except in an occasional glance at Elizabeth, requiring no partner in his pleasure.
Jane Austen
We attended church Sunday as a family, and it was an even balance as to who was harder to keep still, the four Elliot children or Captain Elliot himself. Jack kept up a stream of secretive winks at me in a most suggestive fashion, which made me blush despite the fact that I desperately tried to maintain my composure. Two year old Suzanne squirmed in my lap but was still for him, so he bounced her quietly on his knee. The boys, true to their deeply spiritual natures, snored softly through the entire sermon, and April sat still but looked out the windows, bored and restlessly shifting in her seat.
Nancy E. Turner (These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901)
I’m glad nothing requires my intervention, because I’m trying hard to maintain my composure. This is the first time I’ve ever seen a woman naked and I don’t think I’ll ever be the same.
Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
Obsidian rests around your neck as if you are carrying the history of every night sky in one stone Smile young girl Your eyes are moonless, grimmer than the rock revolved around your throat Your voice is weak when you speak of the things you love You do not love things properly Your jaw was battered against the ceramic when your father screamed of your selfishness and slapped you with all the anger your grandfather bred in him You conduct yourself in spite of his judgement In spite of being just like him But while you chase after reckless habits and restless bodies you are mirroring his tantrums Drain the anger from your blood, young girl Do not make this tempered interpretation a trio Your Obsidian is the cooling heat of lava and only pure when it maintains its darkness But there is more power in your will than in the frozen anger of the stone Your body does not have to erupt when you feel the heat of an outrage bubbling at the rim Keep your composure, you are not a volcano You do not have to hang around someone’s neck like a chunk of lava wishing to explode
Alessia Di Cesare
Contentment maintains control over the spirit and does not allow ungoverned passions and unrestrained emotions to bring discomposure right at the moment when the greatest composure is called for. Contentment calms the heart and leads the heart to act and speak wisely, even when under great provocation.
Nancy Wilson (Learning Contentment)
How are you?" he asked gently. Had he started any other way, she might have been able to maintain her composure. But that simple question, and the wealth of concern and tenderness in his gaze, caused the blank, sick feeling to melt away, far too fast. Cassandra tried to answer, but no sound emerged: She could only breathe in quick, shallow pulls. In the next moment, she shocked both of them, and undoubtedly everyone else in the library, by bursting into tears. Mortified, she put her hands over her face. In the next moment, she felt him pulling her into a deep embrace. His voice was low and soothing in her ear. "No... no... it's all right, easy now. My sweet darling. Poor buttercup.
Lisa Kleypas (Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6))
In another study, white Australian students were served food, but in this case it was something they found revolting: a chicken foot cooked in a Chinese style that preserved the entire foot intact, claws included. The challenge for the subjects was that this was served by a Chinese experimenter, creating some pressure to act civilized. As in the cake study, some subjects’ minds were loaded: they were asked to remember an eight-digit number. Those whose minds were not loaded managed to maintain composure, keeping their thoughts to themselves. Not so with the cognitively loaded subjects. They would blurt out rude comments, such as “This is bloody revolting,” despite their best intentions.
Sendhil Mullainathan (Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much)
Entering the office, Evie found Sebastian and Cam on opposite sides of the desk. They both mulled over account ledgers, scratching out some entries with freshly inked pens, and making notations beside the long columns. Both men looked up as she crossed the threshold. Evie met Sebastian’s gaze only briefly; she found it hard to maintain her composure around him after the intimacy of the previous night. He paused in mid-sentence as he stared at her, seeming to forget what he had been saying to Cam. It seemed that neither of them was yet comfortable with feelings that were still too new and powerful. Murmuring good morning to them both, she bid them to remain seated, and she went to stand beside Sebastian’s chair. “Have you breakfasted yet, my lord?” she asked. Sebastian shook his head, a smile glinting in his eyes. “Not yet.” “I’ll go to the kitchen and see what is to be had.” “Stay a moment,” he urged. “We’re almost finished.” As the two men discussed a few last points of business, which pertained to a potential investment in a proposed shopping bazaar to be constructed on St. James Street, Sebastian picked up Evie’s hand, which was resting on the desk. Absently he drew the backs of her fingers against the edge of his jaw and his ear while contemplating the written proposal on the desk before him. Although Sebastian was not aware of what the casual familiarity of the gesture revealed, Evie felt her color rise as she met Cam’s gaze over her husband’s downbent head. The boy sent her a glance of mock reproof, like that of a nursemaid who had caught two children playing a kissing game, and he grinned as her blush heightened further. Oblivious to the byplay, Sebastian handed the proposal to Cam, who sobered instantly. “I don’t like the looks of this,” Sebastian commented. “It’s doubtful there will be enough business in the area to sustain an entire bazaar, especially at those rents. I suspect within a year it will turn into a white elephant.” “White elephant?” Evie asked. A new voice came from the doorway, belonging to Lord Westcliff. “A white elephant is a rare animal,” the earl replied, smiling, “that is not only expensive but difficult to maintain. Historically, when an ancient king wished to ruin someone he would gift him with a white elephant.” Stepping into the office, Westcliff bowed over Evie’s hand and spoke to Sebastian. “Your assessment of the proposed bazaar is correct, in my opinion. I was approached with the same investment opportunity not long ago, and I rejected it on the same grounds.” “No doubt we’ll both be proven wrong,” Sebastian said wryly. “One should never try to predict anything regarding women and their shopping.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
I silently assessed our predicament before deciding to implement the only real plan I could come up with. It was a risky plan—a plan that could easily backfire. But it was my only option. I was going to have to scare my mother out of the forest. Normally, I wouldn’t have been able to think of anything frightening enough to breach her grown-up resistance to scary kid stories. But a few nights earlier, she had watched The Texas Chainsaw Massacre while she thought I was asleep. Unfortunately, I wasn’t asleep. I was hiding behind the couch. And I had imprinted everything I’d seen that night. I imagine it would be pretty terrifying to be wandering through the forest at night when, out of nowhere, your eight-year-old child begins describing the plot from the horror film you watched the other night, which, as far as you know, she hadn’t seen. But my mother maintained her composure very well—until a twig snapped, at which point she whirled around shrieking, “WE HAVE A DOG!” As if Murphy’s presence were enough to deter a homicidal psychopath with a chainsaw. It was too much. All the helplessness and frustration that she had been trying so hard to hide from us came rushing to the surface.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half)
I have to call your mom,” Stephen said. “You don’t have to do that,” I insisted, my voice mellowing as I returned, almost instantly, to my old self. Manic episodes can fade away as quickly as they arise. “I don’t want her to worry.” Mom was a worrier by nature, and I had tried to spare her the full story of what was happening to me so far. “I have to,” he insisted and coaxed her home number out of me. He stepped into the hallway and waited two interminably long rings before Allen, my stepfather, picked up the phone. “Hello,” he said groggily in his thick Bronx accent. “Allen, it’s Stephen. I’m at the hospital. Susannah had a seizure, but she’s doing fine.” In the background, my mom shouted, “Allen, what is it?” “She’s going to be okay. They’re discharging her,” Stephen continued. Despite my mom’s rising panic, Allen maintained his composure, telling Stephen to go back home and sleep. They would come in the morning. When he hung up the phone, my mom and Allen looked at each other. It was Friday the Thirteenth. My mom felt the foreboding, and she began to cry uncontrollably, certain that something was seriously wrong. It was the first and last time she would allow herself to completely succumb to her emotions in the frightening months that followed.
Susannah Cahalan (Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness)
Why did you cry off?” She stiffened in surprise; then, trying to match his light, mocking tone, she said, “Viscount Mondevale proved to be a trifle high in the instep about things like his fiancé cavorting about in cottages and greenhouses with you.” She fired and missed. “How many contenders are there this Season?” he asked conversationally as he turned to the target, pausing to wipe the gun. She knew he meant contenders for her hand, and pride absolutely would not allow her to say there were none, nor had there been for a long time. “Well…” she said, suppressing a grimace as she thought of her stout suitor with a houseful of cherubs. Counting on the fact that he didn’t move in the inner circles of the ton, she assumed he wouldn’t know much about either suitor. He raised the gun as she said, “There’s Sir Francis Belhaven, for one.” Instead of firing immediately as he had before, he seemed to require a long moment to adjust his aim. “Belhaven’s an old man,” he said. The gun exploded, and the twig snapped off. When he looked at her his eyes had chilled, almost as if he thought less of her. Elizabeth told herself she was imagining that and determined to maintain their mood of light conviviality. Since it was her turn, she picked up a gun and lifted it. “Who’s the other one?” Relieved that he couldn’t possibly find fault with the age of her reclusive sportsman, she gave him a mildly haughty smile. “Lord John Marchman,” she said, and she fired. Ian’s shout of laughter almost drowned out the report from the gun. “Marchman!” he said when she scowled at him and thrust the butt of the gun in his stomach. “You must be joking!” “You spoiled my shot,” she countered. “Take it again,” he said, looking at her with a mixture of derision, disbelief, and amusement. “No, I can’t shoot with you laughing. And I’ll thank you to wipe that smirk off your face. Lord Marchman is a very nice man.” “He is indeed,” said Ian with an irritating grin. “And it’s a damned good thing you like to shoot, because he sleeps with his guns and fishing poles. You’ll spend the rest of your life slogging through streams and trudging through the woods.” “I happen to like to fish,” she informed him, striving unsuccessfully not to lose her composure. “And Sir Francis may be a trifle older than I, but an elderly husband might be more kind and tolerant than a younger one.” “He’ll have to be tolerant,” Ian said a little shortly, turning his attention back to the guns, “or else a damned good shot.” It angered Elizabeth that he was suddenly attacking her when she had just worked it out in her mind that they were supposed to be dealing with what had happened in a light, sophisticated fashion. “I must say, you aren’t being very mature or very consistent!
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
She figured that any day now she was going to start feeling the simple composure of normalcy that Jane Austen’s heroines always sought to maintain, the state described in those days as “countenance,” and later as “being cool.
Eve Babitz (Sex and Rage)
I’m not scared of anything,” he says through gritted teeth, but he’s still holding me, still clenching, refusing to let go. In fact, his face is closer to me than it ever was. Almost close enough … to kiss. I know he wants to. I can see it in the way his lips part when mine do, how his eyes keep zooming in on every inch of my skin as though he wants to lick it. “Remember how much fun we had?” I murmur, teasing him with a hum. The same noise I make when I come. Hard. “Oh … I remember all right,” he says, his voice strenuous. As if he’s trying his best to maintain his composure. I lean in, pressing my body against his. “I’m yours if you want … now … whenever … in whatever way you want,” I whisper into his ear.
Clarissa Wild (Hotel O)
A woman whose emotions have been compromised due to her insecurities will attempt to shake you as well. When she dangles the bait (her snarky statement) in front of you, ignore it, maintain your composure, and if needed, address it when you both have more emotional balance.
Bruce Bryans (The Authentic Alpha: How To Secure A Woman's Loyalty, Increase Attraction, And Bring Order To Your Relationship)
Shamron had always believed careers were defined less by the successes achieved than the calamities survived. “Any fool can take a victory lap,” he once famously remarked during a lecture at the Academy, “but only a truly great officer can maintain his composure and his cover when his heart is breaking.
Daniel Silva (Portrait Of A Spy (Gabriel Allon, #11))
Our equilibrium improves as we use the Wedge to maintain composure in the face of stress. At an unexpected moment of disappointment, frustration, anger, or professional crisis, inserting a wedge allows us to regain our poise before reacting. And the Wedge helps us redefine our relationship with waiting. Waiting for the tank to fill, waiting in line, or waiting for our coffee to brew—all these moments now can be recast as opportunities for a lucky, liberating, involuntary pause.
Juliet Funt (A Minute to Think: Reclaim Creativity, Conquer Busyness, and Do Your Best Work)
Wherever you go there will be people watching, so composure under scrutiny is vital to the job. The discipline to maintain that composure is your first line of defense against any attack.
TS Paul (The Etheric Academy Boxed Set: The Complete Series)
Maybe if I was more assertive or self-confident I could have put up more of a fight, maintained composure, explained myself. But there’s the rub. How many people have to consider the possibility of having to explain their right to be in a facility, at eight, at ten, at twelve years old or, indeed, at any age? I wonder what would come of it if cis people took a step back and thought about what it must feel like to have that conversation with yourself, to have to go thus armed into a gendered space.
Caspar Baldwin (Not Just a Tomboy: A Trans Masculine Memoir)
It was clearly a lot more difficult in the field than in the office, where you could keep your distance and maintain a calculated composure. Being faced with real people was a far tougher call on one’s judgement.
Sara Sheridan (Brighton Belle)
The thing I can’t figure out,” Axel turned to gaze directly at the gorgeous Elf. “Is how we got drawn into this mess? A week ago we were just boys, bumbling about in our last year of study, and now we’re in the midst of events that will change the course of Alba’s future! How did that happen?” He tossed his hands in the air and shook his head. “These are our parents’ battles. This is our parents’ world. They’re supposed to hand over something valuable and precious, not suck us into a scarred and shattered wreck!” Carolyn struggled to maintain her composure. She bit her bottom lip until it quivered in pain. “I don’t know how it happened,” she whispered, shaking her head, feeling guilty and tortured and evil and awful. “It’s not fair though.” “Well, we’re in the game now,” said Axel, as he stared down at the deadly black blade. “And heaven help all those who stand in our way.
Aaron D'Este (Weapon of Choice)
In spite of difficulties and suffering, you can remain firm and maintain your composure
Dalai Lama XIV (The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World)
Mr. Bennet’s expectations were fully answered. His cousin was as absurd as he had hoped, and he listened to him with the keenest enjoyment, maintaining at the same time the most resolute composure of countenance, and, except in an occasional glance at Elizabeth, requiring no partner in his pleasure.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
There is immense power in silence, we must learn to be silent and not react to the different types of people we encounter or will encounter on our journey towards a greater life. We remember to always maintain our class and composure under all circumstances and to ignore the naysayers and those who try to bring us down to their level.
Donald Pillai
A high EQ mind maintains its composure whatever the situation, whether it is being glorified or vilified.
Pearl Zhu (Thinkingaire: 100 Game Changing Digital Mindsets to Compete for the Future)
Garvey sighed. “I expect I should say a few words.” “It would seem apropos,” said Cope. Garvey considered for a moment, and then began to speak. “This here preacher . . . well, there’s no doubt he was narrow-minded enough to see through a keyhole with both eyes. That don’t mean he deserved this. I expect he believed that when men die, they go to a better place.” Garvey frowned. “I’m not so sure about that . . . and I’d soon as not risk finding out for myself . . . but for his sake, I hope that’s the case.” Garvey turned around to face a second, nearly identical grave beside the first. “The stage driver . . . well, he made his choice, and paid for it. I heard his nickname was ‘Whiskey Jack.’ I expect his breath had more than a little to do with that. Whiskey Jack was . . . well, he was a capable driver. Too bad he wasn’t a faster draw. May they both rest in peace.” Cope and Sternberg fought off grins and tried to maintain their solemn composures. “Amen,” said Cope. “Indeed,” added Sternberg.
Wynne McLaughlin (The Bone Feud)
To Helen’s mingled consternation and excitement, Winterborne accepted an invitation to dinner the very next evening. She wanted very much to see him, almost as much as she dreaded it. Winterborne arrived punctually and was shown to the main floor drawing room, where the Ravenels had gathered. His powerful form was dressed with elegant simplicity in a black coat, gray trousers, and a gray waistcoat. Although his broken leg was still healing, the cast had been removed and he walked with the use of a wooden cane. One could have easily singled him out in a crowd, not only from his distinctive height and size, but also from his raven hair and swarthy complexion. The coloring, thought to be the result of Spanish Basque influence in Wales, was not considered aristocratic…but Helen thought it very handsome and striking. His gaze came to Helen, dark heat framed with black lashes, and she felt a nervous flutter. Maintaining her composure, she gave him a neutral smile, wishing she had the confidence to say something charming or flirtatious. To her chagrin, Pandora and Cassandra--two years younger than she--were both far more comfortable with Winterborne. They amused him with nonsense such as asking whether there was a sword concealed in his cane (regrettably, no) and describing the mummified dogs in the Egyptian gallery.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
Tamera did her best to keep her thoughts off of mysterious visitors as she finished straightening up the tables in the dining area. She started to head to the back to work on the storage in the freezer when all of a sudden the lights began to flicker on and off. She froze in her tracks. Her brown eyes scanned the room for a moment as her heart’s beat got faster. After a few seconds the lights stopped flickering, and she was able to maintain a fairly calm composure. But then something pushed up against the front door behind her, and the startled beauty nearly came out of her flats as she spun around to take a look. But all that her widened brown eyes could see was the darkness outside the window.
Calvin W. Allison (The Sunset of Science and the Risen Son of Truth)
Although the above verse is very concise, it nevertheless implies or expresses the following thoughts of the writer: that in his time of distress he would flee to God; that he would maintain his spiritual composure under the darkest of circumstances; and that in the midst of everything, he would delight himself with a sacred joy in God and have cheerful expectations of Him
Lettie B. Cowman (Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings)
Handsome as the devil,” Samantha commented, following her gaze. “Is he as wicked as they say, Lottie?” “Not in the least,” Lottie lied. “Lord Sydney is as mild-tempered and obliging a gentleman as could be found anywhere.” It was a case of unfortunate timing that at that moment, Nick happened to glance in her direction. His gaze encompassed her in a smoldering sweep that threatened to singe her clothing to ashes. Knowing what that look meant, and what would happen in the evening hours after the ball, Lottie felt a thrill deep inside, and she struggled to maintain her composure. Samantha and Arabella, meanwhile, had snapped open their fans and were employing them vigorously. “Good heavens,” Samantha exclaimed in a low voice, “the way he looks at you is positively indecent, Lottie.” “I don’t know what you mean,” Lottie said demurely, though she felt her own cheeks heating. Arabella giggled behind her own painted silk fan. “The only time I’ve ever seen that expression on my Harry’s face is when a plate of Yorkshire pudding is set before him.
Lisa Kleypas (Worth Any Price (Bow Street Runners, #3))
The more you practice keeping composure and remaining calm, the more positive outlets you develop to help you divert your reactions away from harmful or negative aspects, the more you begin to control your emotions.
Omar Johnson (Managing Your Emotions: Critical Steps to Maintaining Control In Life)
Why are you crying?” She didn’t answer. He watched her swallow down something, eyes still closed and he waited. And still, she offered no enlightenment. “Gabrielle, why are you crying?” Women were so fickle. She had no issue expressing herself any other time. He watched her inhale a breath through her nose, watched her chest rise and fall and then she opened her eyes and looked up at him like an insubordinate student; but still her lips didn’t part. Power tried to maintain composure, but ‘why the fuck are you crying and fucking answer me now’ was on the tip of his tongue and ready to spill. “Gabrielle, why are you-” “Because I cry!” Power’s lids widened a bit as she leaped to her feet with that, then they returned to normal size. “I cry! It’s what I do. I cry, okay?” She flailed her arms and paced the tiny space with the words. “I go all day – waking up, making breakfast, smiling, and taking shit from my boss, serving customers and arguing with dead beat dads, and…and… and barely making PTA meetings, putting off church fund contribution begging-ass folk, and checking homework, and…and making dinner, and stomaching I found the love of my life stories from Glo, and fighting off a crack head mother…worrying about a stupid, reckless teenager who I want the best for, and loving a son, and scraping and…and scouring everything I have to pay stupid bills and I can never catch up! Something’s always due, something’s always…broke! Something is always needed.
Takerra Allen (An Affair in Munthill)
The king was intrigued. "You are teacher?" he said at last. "I am, yes," said Anna, flustered. "You do not look sufficient of age for scientific teaching. How many years have you?" Anna fought to maintain her composure. "Enough to know that age and wisdom do not necessarily go hand in hand, Your Majesty." The King's eyes narrowed. He considered whether or not to return this volley, then: "I doubt you would say same for being bold and English." Anna smiled ruefully. "They are rather inseparable, I'm afraid.
Elizabeth Hand (Anna and the King)
maintaining your composure when everything seems to be working against you is far more impressive,
Ben Bergeron (Chasing Excellence: A Story About Building the World’s Fittest Athletes)
Minerva’s heart sank as she realized just how far out of her depth she actually was. In less than an hour she had crossed over to a world of darkness and cruelty. And her own arrogance had led her to it. ‘Please,’ she said. She struggled to maintain her composure. ‘Please.’ Kong adjusted his grip on the knife. ‘Don’t look away now, little girl. Watch and remember who’s boss.’ Minerva could not avert her eyes. Her gaze was trapped by this terrible tableau. It was like a scene from a scary movie, complete with its own soundtrack. Minerva frowned. Real life did not have a soundtrack. There was music coming from somewhere. The somewhere proved to be Kong’s trouser pocket. His polyphonic phone was playing ‘The Toreador Song’ from Carmen. Kong pulled the phone from his pocket. ‘Who is this?’ he snapped. ‘My name is not important,’ said a youthful voice. ‘The important thing is that I have something you want.’ ‘How did you get this number?’ ‘I have a friend,’ replied the mystery caller. ‘He knows all the numbers. Now, to business. I believe you’re in the market for a demon?
Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl: Books 5-8)
Mr. Bennet’s expectations were fully answered. His cousin was as absurd as he had hoped, and he listened to him with the keenest enjoyment, maintaining at the same time the most resolute composure of countenance, and, except in an occasional glance at Elizabeth, requiring no partner in his pleasure.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
It can be rough going to maintain both composure and empathy in these situations, but a doctor's failure to do that is probably the number one reason why patients feel dissatisfied with their physicians and end up doctor-shopping endlessly.
Danielle Ofri (What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine)
Looking at him like he’d grown another head, she raised her hands up as she asked, “Don’t you have some other girl you want to harass? Maybe a girl who would actually appreciate it?” “Nope. You are the only girl I want to harass.” Which was the truth. Since he’d met Deanna, no other woman had existed for him. If he wasn’t with her, he was thinking about her. When he was with her, he wanted to stay with her, get to know her—and not only in the biblical sense, but that was definitely on top of his list. More attendees started filing out of the double doors, and Deanna’s head fell back as she let out a small groan. She might not have meant for the gesture to be or sound sexual, but that’s exactly what it’d been. He wanted to lean forward and press his lips to the soft skin on her neck, slide his hands up her dress and find out if she was wearing lace panties, silk panties, or no panties… “You win.You can drive me home.” She sounded anything but happy at her acquiescence, but Lucky was happy…Very happy. Well, this night had gone from bad, to worse, to horrible, to just plain humiliating. As Lucky opened the passenger side door to his SUV and held her hand while she got in, she immediately sent up a silent prayer that he didn’t notice the way a shiver ran up her arm from the touch of his large, rough hands. Deanna took a deep breath and pushed down the frustration and panic that was battling inside of her for top billing. Once he shut the door, she tugged her skirt down. When he got in, the entire left side of her body broke out in goosebumps from the intense stare he directed at her, but she kept her eyes trained ahead, looking out the windshield. She sat with her jaw set, her hands folded in her lap, and her back straight, hoping to convey that she just wanted to go home. “You’re quiet,” Lucky observed as they drove out of the parking lot. Proving his point, Deanna continued focusing out the window, at the moonlight dancing off the river. She knew she was being rude. She was a little too emotional and didn’t trust herself to speak. Especially considering the six glasses of wine she’d had this evening. Loose lips sank ships, and alcohol made her one Chatty Cathy capable of taking down an armada of ocean liners. “How was your evening tonight, Lucky?” he asked himself before answering his own question. “Oh, it was great, actually. Thanks for asking.” Deanna bit her lips to keep from smiling. She should’ve been annoyed at his adolescent behavior, and if it were any other guy, she was sure she would’ve been. But this was Lucky. And, whether she liked it or not (which, for the record, she didn’t), what should’ve been annoying or irritating on him always landed in the charming and amusing columns. “Of course!” he replied enthusiastically, still talking to himself. “I’m so glad you had a good time! What was the highlight of your evening, if you don’t mind me asking?” If he kept going, she was going to start cracking up, so she worked to maintain her composure. She didn’t want to give him the satisfaction. Which she was fully aware made her behavior even more adolescent than his. She was being ridiculous. Still, trying to disguise her amusement, Deanna sighed. “Fine. You win again. What do you want to talk about?” Lucky shook his head as he clicked his tongue. “Sorry, Pop-Tart. You had your chance.” Pop-Tart? Had he seriously just called her Pop-Tart!? Before she was able to form an appropriately indignant response, he continued the conversation he was having with himself. “Wow. Highlight of my evening…” He hissed through his teeth. “That’s a tough one. I’m going to have to go with the dance that I had with this smokin’-hot brunette.” Her cheeks burned at his description. Then she tried to remind herself that he was joking around, but the message got to her head and, she feared, her heart too late.
Melanie Shawn
While in uniform, he never let his hair down or allowed people into the intimacy of his own soul. He maintained his composure in all circumstances.
David Brooks (The Road to Character)
God almighty, involve a female and a situation was never simple. Involve a rich, spoiled, aristocratic English one who felt she was above everyone else on God’s green earth and it made things even more complicated. And amusing. He enjoyed baiting her. Making her angry. Thawing the ice in her lovely blue eyes and watching her try to maintain her composure, probably thinking he didn’t notice when he couldn’t help but notice ever damned thing about her. Like her pretty pink mouth that he ached to kiss—and almost had. The willowy elegance of her body that he longed to mold with his hands. The curve of her cheek and the shade of her hair, like wheat bleached by the late summer sun or the sand on a Connemara beach.
Danelle Harmon (The Wayward One (The de Montforte Brothers, #5))
Why are you building that house, Caleb Halliday, when we both know you’re going to hightail it back to Pennsylvania and drag me right along with you?” She couldn’t read his expression, but she saw that he was climbing deftly down the roof. He reached the ladder and descended to stand facing her, his shirt in one hand, his muscular chest glistening with sweat even as the first chill of twilight came up from the creek. “Half of that farm is mine,” he said. Lily sighed. “So go back to Pennsylvania and fight for it,” she said, exasperated. “You’re not the only one with problems, you know.” Caleb looked at her closely as he shrugged back into his shirt and began doing up the buttons, but he didn’t speak. He seemed to know that Lily was going to go on talking without any urging from him. “It just so happens that my mother is dead, and I’ll probably never find out where my sisters are.” “So that’s why you were willing to marry me all of a sudden—you’ve given up. I don’t know as I like that very much, Lily.” “What you like is of no concern to me,” Lily said briskly. She started to turn away, but Caleb caught her by the arm and made her stay. “You can’t just up and quit like this. It isn’t like you.” “You’ve said it yourself, Caleb: The West is a big place. My sisters could be married, with no time in their busy lives for a lost sister they haven’t seen in thirteen years. They might even be dead.” Caleb’s mouth fell open, but he recovered himself quickly. “I don’t believe I’m hearing this. You’ve fought me from the day we met because you wanted to find your sisters, and now you’re standing there telling me that it’s no use looking for them. What about that letter you had from Wyoming?” “It said Caroline had disappeared, Caleb. That’s hardly reason for encouragement.” “Maybe we’d better go there and find out.” Lily had never dared to think such a thought. “Travel all the way to Wyoming? But what about the chickens?” “What’s more important to you, Lily—your sister or those damn chickens?” Despite herself, Lily was beginning to believe her dreams might come true after all. “My sister,” she said quietly. Caleb reached out at long last and laid his hands on Lily’s shoulders, drawing her close. “Lily, come to Fox Chapel with me,” he said hoarsely. “I’m going to need you.” Lily looked up at her husband. He was, for all practical purposes, the only family she had, and she couldn’t imagine living without him. “What if I hate it there?” she asked, her voice very quiet. “What if I miss my house and my chickens so much I can’t stand it?” He gave her a light, undemanding kiss, and his lips were warm and soft as they moved against hers. “If you hate Fox Chapel, I’ll bring you back here.” “Is that a promise?” “Yes.” “Even if you work things out with your brother and want to stay?” Caleb sighed. “I told you—your happiness is as important to me as my own.” Lily was not a worldly woman, but she’d seen enough to know that such an attitude was rare in a man. She hugged Caleb. “In that case, maybe you won’t be mad that there’s nothing for supper but biscuits.” Although his lips curved into a slight smile, Caleb’s eyes were serious. He lifted one hand to caress Lily’s cheek. “I’m sorry about your mother,” he said quietly. Lily straightened in his arms. “I didn’t even know the woman, really,” she said lightly. “So it’s not as though I’m grieving.” She would have walked away toward the house, but Caleb held her fast. “I think you are,” he said. Lily swallowed. Damn the man—now he had her on the verge of tears. She struggled all the harder to maintain her composure. “If I wept for her, Caleb, I’d be weeping for a woman who never existed—the woman I needed her to be. She was never a real mother to us.” At
Linda Lael Miller (Lily and the Major (Orphan Train, #1))