Now he got out of bed and wrapped his blanket around himself, yawning. That evening, he'd talk to Jude. He didn't know where he was going, but he knew he would be safe; he would keep them both safe. He went to the kitchen to make himself coffee, and as he did, he whispered the lines back to himself, those lines he thought of whenever he was coming home, coming back to Greene Street after a long time away - "And tell me this: I must be absolutely sure. This place I've reached, is it truly Ithaca?"- as all around him, the apartment filled with light.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
I love you, Josie, and I am devoted to making your life full of happiness and accomplishments, ensuring that you thrive to your fullest potential and that while you reach for the sky, you remain grounded by the love of our family and our home.
Kristen Proby (Safe with Me (With Me in Seattle, #5))
The only legend I have ever loved is
the story of a daughter lost in hell.
And found and rescued there.
Love and blackmail are the gist of it.
Ceres and Persephone the names.
And the best thing about the legend is
I can enter it anywhere. And have.
As a child in exile in
a city of fogs and strange consonants,
I read it first and at first I was
an exiled child in the crackling dusk of
the underworld, the stars blighted. Later
I walked out in a summer twilight
searching for my daughter at bed-time.
When she came running I was ready
to make any bargain to keep her.
I carried her back past whitebeams
and wasps and honey-scented buddleias.
But I was Ceres then and I knew
winter was in store for every leaf
on every tree on that road.
Was inescapable for each one we passed.
And for me.
It is winter
and the stars are hidden.
I climb the stairs and stand where I can see
my child asleep beside her teen magazines,
her can of Coke, her plate of uncut fruit.
The pomegranate! How did I forget it?
She could have come home and been safe
and ended the story and all
our heart-broken searching but she reached
out a hand and plucked a pomegranate.
She put out her hand and pulled down
the French sound for apple and
the noise of stone and the proof
that even in the place of death,
at the heart of legend, in the midst
of rocks full of unshed tears
ready to be diamonds by the time
the story was told, a child can be
hungry. I could warn her. There is still a chance.
The rain is cold. The road is flint-coloured.
The suburb has cars and cable television.
The veiled stars are above ground.
It is another world. But what else
can a mother give her daughter but such
beautiful rifts in time?
If I defer the grief I will diminish the gift.
The legend will be hers as well as mine.
She will enter it. As I have.
She will wake up. She will hold
the papery flushed skin in her hand.
And to her lips. I will say nothing.
She’s soft, but sure. “I’m going with you. You kept telling me you’d take me home with you, and that’s what you’re going to do.” She squeezes my hand, climbing to her feet now. I want so badly to believe her, but the bitter twist of fear inside me says she’ll do anything to keep me safe. She’d lie to my face if she thought it would save me. I know she would. I’d do the same for her. She reaches up to curl a hand around the back of my neck, pulling my head down so her forehead can press against mine. “I know what you would’ve given up for me. I could never let that be for nothing.
Amie Kaufman (These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1))
"Fuck," Matty whispered.
He'd heard her.
It was me who couldn't breathe now. I had thought it was an accident. But she'd fucking done it on purpose. To protect me. Holy hell.
"I'm gonna go . . . ," Matty trailed off. I listened to his footsteps until he was gone before pulling back and looking down at Blythe.
"You got in front of a six-foot-three one hundred and eighty pounds of muscle because he was going to hit me?"
She nodded. "It was my fault he was going to hit you. I was just going to stop him."
She was going to stop him. This girl. Never in all my life did I imagine there was anyone like her. Never.
"Sweetheart, how did you intend to stop him? I could handle him. I've kicked his ass many, many times." I cupped her chin in my hand. "I had rather had him kick my ass than to have anything happen to you. That was fucking unbearable. You can't do that to me. If you get hurt, I won't be able to handle it."
She signed, and her eyes locked back toward the stage. " I made this worse. I'm sorry. Can you go fix things with the two of you so you can get back onstage?"
The distressed look on her face meant I wasn't going to be able to leave. I wanted nothing more than to take her back home and hold her all night. But she was really upset about this. I had overreacted. She had been sitting over here staring at the floor with the saddest lost expression, and I couldn't think straight. I had to get to her.
"I'll get Green, and we'll go back onstage. But you have to promise me that you won't try and save me again. I take care of you. Not the other way around," I told her.
She reached up and touched my face.
"Then who will take care of you?"
No one had ever cared about that before. That wasn't something I was going to tell her, though. "You safe in my arms is all I need. Okay?"
She frowned and glanced away from me. "I'm not agreeing to that," she said.
God, she was adorable. I pressed a kiss to her head. "Come with me to get the guys," I told her as I stood up and brought her with me.
"You won't do anything to Green then?" she said, sounding hopeful.
"No." Until you're asleep tonight. And then I'm beating his ass.
Abbi Glines (Bad for You (Sea Breeze, #7))
EPILOGUE This course is a beginning, not an end. Your Friend goes with you. You are not alone. No one who calls on Him can call in vain. Whatever troubles you, be certain that He has the answer, and will gladly give it to you, if you simply turn to Him and ask it of Him. He will not withhold all answers that you need for anything that seems to trouble you. He knows the way to solve all problems, and resolve all doubts. His certainty is yours. You need but ask it of Him, and it will be given you. You are as certain of arriving home as is the pathway of the sun laid down before it rises, after it has set, and in the half-lit hours in between. Indeed, your pathway is more certain still. For it can not be possible to change the course of those whom God has called to Him. Therefore obey your will, and follow Him Whom you accepted as your voice, to speak of what you really want and really need. His is the Voice for God and also yours. And thus He speaks of freedom and of truth. No more specific lessons are assigned, for there is no more need of them. Henceforth, hear but the Voice for God and for your Self when you retire from the world, to seek reality instead. He will direct your efforts, telling you exactly what to do, how to direct your mind, and when to come to Him in silence, asking for His sure direction and His certain Word. His is the Word that God has given you. His is the Word you chose to be your own. And now I place you in His hands, to be His faithful follower, with Him as Guide through every difficulty and all pain that you may think is real. Nor will He give you pleasures that will pass away, for He gives only the eternal and the good. Let Him prepare you further. He has earned your trust by speaking daily to you of your Father and your brother and your Self. He will continue. Now you walk with Him, as certain as is He of where you go; as sure as He of how you should proceed; as confident as He is of the goal, and of your safe arrival in the end. The end is certain, and the means as well. To this we say “Amen.” You will be told exactly what God wills for you each time there is a choice to make. And He will speak for God and for your Self, thus making sure that hell will claim you not, and that each choice you make brings Heaven nearer to your reach. And so we walk with Him from this time on, and turn to Him for guidance and for peace and sure direction. Joy attends our way. For we go homeward to an open door which God has held unclosed to welcome us. We trust our ways to Him and say “Amen.” In peace we will continue in His way, and trust all things to Him. In confidence we wait His answers, as we ask His Will in everything we do. He loves God’s Son as we would love him. And He teaches us how to behold him through His eyes, and love him as He does. You do not walk alone. God’s angels hover near and all about. His Love surrounds you, and of this be sure; that I will never leave you comfortless.
Foundation for Inner Peace (A Course in Miracles)
The Janus Guard will also be out that night,” he said, one hand reaching out to squeeze her shoulder. “Just as we have been and will be for every night of the Nine.”
“Speaking of which—Kelley…” Sonny seemed suddenly exhausted. He turned his face to the west, and she could see the fatigue etched into the lines and planes of his face. “It’s getting late. You need to leave the park. Please. Don’t argue with me this time. Just go. The sun will set soon, and I have to go to work.”
He squared his shoulders as though he expected her to put up a fight. She did—a little—but only out of actual concern for him. “Shouldn’t you be taking it easy? I mean, you try to hide it with the whole tough-guy-swagger thing and all, but I saw the bandages. You’re really hurt. Aren’t you?”
“It’s not so bad.”
“Wow. You are a terrible liar.”
He frowned fiercely at her.
“You also look like you haven’t slept in a week.” She took a tentative step toward him and put a hand on his chest, looking up into his silver-gray eyes. He put his hand over the top of hers, and she could feel the rhythm of his heart beating under her palm, through his shirt and the bandages.
“Are you sure?”
With his other hand, Sonny reached up and brushed a stray auburn curl out of her eyes.
He smiled down at her, and she felt her insides melt a little. His whole face changed when he smiled. It was like the sun coming out.
“But,” he continued, “I’ll be even better if you are safe at home and I don’t have to worry about you for tonight.”
“I can take care of myself, Sonny Flannery,” she bristled, halfheartedly.
“Please?” He turned up the wattage on his smile.
“I…okay.” She felt her own lips turn up in a shy, answering smile. “I’ll be good. This once.”
“That’s my girl.”
Kelley was silent. Those three words of Sonny’s had managed to render her utterly speechless.
Lesley Livingston (Wondrous Strange (Wondrous Strange, #1))
How did the American people ever reach this point where they believe that US aggression in the Middle East will make us safe when it does the opposite? How did the American people ever reach the point where they believe that fighting unconstitutional wars is required to protect our freedoms and our Constitution? Why do we allow the NSA, CIA, FBI, TSA, etc. to destroy our liberty at home, as part of the Global War on Terror, with a pretext that they are preserving our liberty? Why are the lying politicians reelected and allowed to bankrupt our country, destroy our money, and enter wars without the proper consent? Why do the American people suffer in silence and not scream “Enough is enough!”? We’ve had enough of the “humanitarian do-gooders” and the proponents of “American exceptionalism” who give us nothing but war, economic suffering, and less freedom. This can and must be stopped.
Ron Paul (Swords into Plowshares: A Life in Wartime and a Future of Peace and Prosperity)
Sweetheart," West murmured kindly, "listen to me. There's no need to worry. You'll either meet someone new, or you'll reconsider someone you didn't appreciate at first. Some men are an acquired taste. Like oysters, or Gorgonzola cheese."
She let out a shuddering sigh. "Cousin West, if I haven't married by the time I'm twenty-five... and you're still a bachelor... would you be my oyster?"
West looked at her blankly.
"Let's agree to marry each other someday," she continued, "if no one else wants us. I would be a good wife. All I've ever dreamed of is having my own little family, and a happy home where everyone feels safe and welcome. You know I never nag or slam doors or sulk in corners. I just need someone to take care of. I want to matter to someone. Before you refuse-"
"Lady Cassandra Ravenel," West interrupted, "that is the most idiotic idea anyone's come up with since Napoleon decided to invade Russia."
Her gaze turned reproachful. "Why?"
"Among a dizzying array of reasons, you're too young for me."
"You're no older than Lord St. Vincent, and he just married my twin."
"I'm older than him on the inside, by decades. My soul is a raisin. Take my word for it, you don't want to be my wife."
"It would be better than being lonely."
"What rubbish. 'Alone' and 'lonely' are entirely different things." West reached out to smooth back a dangling golden curl that had stuck against a drying tear track on her cheek. "Now, go bathe your face in cool water, and-"
"I'll be your oyster," Tom broke in.
Lisa Kleypas (Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6))
If an eagle gives you a feather, keep it safe.
Remember: that giants sleep too soundly; that
witches are often betrayed by their appetites;
dragons have one soft spot, somewhere, always;
hearts can be well-hidden,
and you betray them with your tongue.
Do not be jealous of your sister.
Know that diamonds and roses
are as uncomfortable when they tumble from one's lips as toads and frogs:
colder, too, and sharper, and they cut.
Remember your name.
Do not lose hope -- what you seek will be found.
Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped to help you in their turn.
Trust your heart, and trust your story.
When you come back, return the way you came.
Favors will be returned, debts be repaid.
Do not forget your manners.
Do not look back.
Ride the wise eagle (you shall not fall).
Ride the silver fish (you will not drown).
Ride the grey wolf (hold tightly to his fur).
There is a worm at the heart of the tower; that is why it will not stand.
When you reach the little house, the place your journey started,
you will recognize it, although it will seem much smaller than you remember.
Walk up the path, and through the garden gate you never saw before but once.
And then go home. Or make a home.
As soon as she releases me, Galen grabs my hand and I don’t even have time to gasp before he snatches me to the surface and pulls me toward shore, only pausing to dislodge his pair of swimming trunks from under his favorite rock, where he had just moments before taken the time to hide them.
I know the routine and turn away so he can change, but it seems like no time before he hauls me onto the beach and drags me to the sand dunes in front of my house. “What are we doing?” I ask. His legs are longer than mine so for every two of his strides I have to take three, which feels a lot like running.
He stops us in between the dunes. “I’m doing something that is none of anyone else’s business.” Then he jerks me up against him and crushes his mouth on mine. And I see why he didn’t want an audience for this kiss. I wouldn’t want an audience for this kiss, either, especially if the audience included my mother. This is our first kiss after he announced that he wanted me for his mate. This kiss holds promises of things to come.
When he pulls away I feel drunk and excited and nervous and filled with a craving that I’m not sure can ever be satisfied. And Galen looks startled. “Maybe I shouldn’t have done that,” he says. “That makes it about fifty times harder to leave, I think.”
He tucks my head under his chin and I wrap my arms around him until both our breathing returns to normal. I take the time to soak in his scent, his warmth, the hard contours of his-well, his everything. It’s really not fair that he has to leave when he’s only just gotten back. We didn’t have much time to talk on the way back home. We haven’t had much time for anything.
“Emma,” he murmurs. “The water isn’t safe for you right now. Please don’t get in it. Please.”
“I won’t.” I really won’t. He said please, after all.
He lifts my chin with the crook of his finger. His eyes hold all the gentleness and love in the world, with a pinch of mischief. “And take good notes in calculus, or I’ll be forced to cheat off you and for some weird reason that makes me feel guilty.”
I wonder what Grom the Triton king would think of that. That Galen basically just stated his intention to keep doing human things.
Galen pushes his lips against my forehead, then disentangles himself from me and leads me back toward the water. My body feels ten degrees cooler when his arms fall, and it’s got nothing to do with the temperature outside.
We reach the others just in time to see Rayna all but throw herself at Toraf. I can’t help but smile as they kiss. It’s like watching Beauty and the Beast. And Toraf’s not the Beast.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
I'm a dog. I don't have a name yet.
(a dazed Namiki)
This guy is "Namikisan". That's what Kanade calls him, anyway.
What...have we here? SNIFF. SNIFF.
'Hey! Did you just eat something off the ground?! Like you didn't stuff your belly at home.' (-Namiki)
Hmm? My instinct told me it was okay! And it's almost always right! Like that one time... That one time...
'I'm sure some good samaritan'll pick him up.' (-man)
'Yeah, who'll take him to the dog pound!' (-woman)
'Well, there's nothing we can do about it now...' (-man)
(Namiki pauses, looks down at him)
KNEAD. KNEAD. KNEAD.
'Heh heh.' (-Namiki)
Not so rough!
Oh, yeah? Try this on for size! NIP. NIP.
'Ha ha ha! Ha... ..... ...Oh. I see. You're...' (-Namiki)
? WAG. WAG.
'...gonna die.' (-Namiki)
That one time...my animal instinct told me...
(Namiki looks at him with a pained expression)
"He's the one!"
That's why, even when he walked away at first, even when it rained, I knew it would be okay.
(Namiki appears in the rain and reaches down for him, smiling)
My instinct was right on target.
[at the Animal Hospital]
'He probably ate something off the ground.' (-vet.)
'I knew it! Can't you even tell when something's safe to eat or not?! I thought dogs were supposed to have instincts for that!' (-Namiki) PAT. KNEAD.
Huh? That's really strange...
KNEAD. RUFFLE. RUFFLE.
(Namiki stops, and smiles down at him)
My instinct was right after all! I AM "okay".
(Namiki bends down to his level, still smiling)
WAG. WAG. WAG.
As long as I'm with HIM, I know everything will be okay.
His breath fell in a warm, even rhythm on the curve of her cheek. “Some people think of the bee as a sacred insect,” he said. “It’s a symbol of reincarnation.”
“I don’t believe in reincarnation,” she muttered.
There was a smile in his voice. “What a surprise. At the very least, the bees’ presence in your home is a sign of good things to come.”
Her voice was buried in the fine wool of his coat. “Wh-what does it mean if there are thousands of bees in one’s home?”
He shifted her higher in his arms, his lips curving gently against the cold rim of her ear. “Probably that we’ll have plenty of honey for teatime. We’re going through the doorway now. In a moment I’m going to set you on your feet.”
Amelia kept her face against him, her fingertips digging into the layers of his clothes. “Are they following?”
“No. They want to stay near the hive. Their main concern is to protect the queen from predators.”
“She has nothing to fear from me!”
Laughter rustled in his throat. With extreme care, he lowered Amelia’s feet to the floor. Keeping one arm around her, he reached with the other to close the door. “There. We’re out of the room. You’re safe.” His hand passed over her hair. “You can open your eyes now.”
Clutching the lapels of his coat, Amelia stood and waited for a feeling of relief that didn’t come. Her heart was racing too hard, too fast. Her chest ached from the strain of her breathing. Her lashes lifted, but all she could see was a shower of sparks.
“Amelia … easy. You’re all right.” His hands chased the shivers that ran up and down her back. “Slow down, sweetheart.”
She couldn’t. Her lungs were about to burst. No matter how hard she worked, she couldn’t get enough air. Bees … the sound of buzzing was still in her ears. She heard his voice as if from a great distance, and she felt his arms go around her again as she sank into layers of gray softness.
After what could have been a minute or an hour, pleasant sensations filtered through the haze. A tender pressure moved over her forehead. The gentle brushes touched her eyelids, slid to her cheeks. Strong arms held her against a comfortingly hard surface, while a clean, salt-edged scent filled her nostrils. Her lashes fluttered, and she turned into the warmth with confused pleasure.
“There you are,” came a low murmur.
Opening her eyes, Amelia saw Cam Rohan’s face above her. They were on the hallway floor—he was holding her in his lap. As if the situation weren’t mortifying enough, the front of her bodice was gaping, and her corset was unhooked. Only her crumpled chemise was left to cover her chest.
Amelia stiffened. Until that moment she had never known there was a feeling beyond embarrassment, that made one wish one could crumble into a pile of ashes. “My … my dress…”
“You weren’t breathing well. I thought it best to loosen your corset.”
“I’ve never fainted before,” she said groggily, struggling to sit up.
“You were frightened.” His hand came to the center of her chest, gently pressing her back down. “Rest another minute.” His gaze moved over her wan features. “I think we can conclude you’re not fond of bees.
Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1))
It wasn’t only the warning that kept us safe but our ability to keep that warning quiet. Like secret agents operating behind enemy lines, we couldn’t afford to get caught. And yet we risked it anyway. With voices hushed, we reached out to each other to offer our knowledge. We tried. Because we’d always wanted the best for each of our friends. We wanted her to dump that loser. We wanted her to stop worrying about losing five pounds. We wanted to tell her she looked great in that dress and that she should definitely buy it. We wanted her to crush the interview. We wanted her to text us when she got home. We wanted her to see what we saw: someone smart and brave and funny and worthy of love and success and peace. We wanted to kill whoever got in her way.
Chandler Baker (Whisper Network)
Your mother told you," he states flatly.
"Yeah," I snap. "She told me."
"She doesn't know everything. She doesn't know me...or how I feel. I would never force you to do anything against your will, and I would never, ever let anyone harm you."
His words enrage me. Lies, I'm convinced. My hand shoots out, ready to slap that earnest look off his face. The same earnest look he'd given me the first time he lid to my face.
He catches my hand, squeezes the wrist tight. "Jacinda-"
"I don't believe you. You gave me your word. Five weeks-"
"Five weeks was too long. I couldn't leave you for that long without checking on you."
"Because you're a liar," I assert.
His expression cracks. Emotion bleeds through. He knows I'm not talking about just the five weeks. With a shake of his head, he sounds almost sorry as he admits, "Maybe I didn't tell you everything, but it doesn't change anything I said. I will never hurt you. I want to try to protect you."
"Try," I repeat.
His jaw clenches. "I can. I can stop them."
After several moments, I twist my hand free. He lets me go. Rubbing my wrist, I glare at him. "I have a life here now." My fingers stretch, curl into talons at my sides, still hungry to fight him. "Make me go, and I'll never forgive you."
He inhales deeply, his broad chest lifting high. "Well. I can't have that."
"Then you'll go? Leave me alone?" Hope stirs.
He shakes his head. "I didn't say that."
"Of course not," I sneer. "What do you mean then?"
Panic washes over me at the thought of him staying here and learning about Will and his family. "There's no reason for you to stay."
His dark eyes glint. "There's you. I can give you more time. You can't seriously fit in here. You'll come around."
His voice cracks like thunder on the air. "I won't leave you! Do you know how unbearable it's been without you? You're not like the rest of them." His hand swipes through air almost savagely. I stare at him, eyes wide and aching. "You're not some well-trained puppy content to go alone with what you're told. You have fire." He laughs brokenly. "I don't mean literally, although there is that. There's something in you, Jacinda. You're the only thing real for me there, the only thing remotely interesting." He stares at me starkly and I don't breathe. He looks ready to reach out and fold me into his arms.
I jump hastily back. Unbelievably, he looks hurt. Dropping his immense hands, he speaks again, evenly, calmly. "I'll give you more space. Time for you to realize that this"-he motions to the living room-"isn't for you. You need mists and mountains and sky. Flight. How can you stay here where you have none of that? How can you hope to survive? If you haven't figured that out yet, you will."
In my mind, I see Will. Think how he has become the mist, the sky, everything, to me. I do more than survive here. I love. But Cassian can never know that.
“What I have here beats what waits for me back home. The wing clipping you so conveniently failed to mention-"
"Is not going to happen, Jacinda." He steps closer. His head dips to look into my eyes. "You have my word. If you return with me, you won't be harmed. I'd die first."
His words flow through me like a chill wind. "But your father-"
"My father won't be our alpha forever. Someday, I'll lead. Everyone knows it. The pride will listen to me. I promise you'll be safe.
Sophie Jordan (Firelight (Firelight, #1))
We traveled through Texas for a couple of weeks, then went to the West Coast. In San Diego, near where we’d lived, a friend came up to me and said she was so glad to see us together.
“We really haven’t had much quality time,” I confessed. “Chris is always so busy with the media and everything.”
“Yes, but I can tell he needs you.”
“Whenever you walk away, there’s a look on his face. He’s looking around, wondering where you are.”
Just being present for him turned out to be more important than I realized. Part of it was the toll the attention and the interviews were taking on Chris-he was reliving Iraq yet again, over and over, several times a day. But I came to realize the need was deeper than that. Having come through so much together, we had each reached the point where our love reinforced and nurtured us. Having me physically close gave him a safe base no matter how unusual or crazy the rest of the world got. With the tumult of demands for interviews and face time and all the rest, he knew he could just reach out and touch me to relax, if only for a moment.
He was my strength at home. Now, on the road, in a slightly different way, I was his.
He smiled and lifted a finger to stroke her cheek. Meredith’s stomach roiled. “Oh dear.” She quickly covered her mouth with one hand and her stomach with the other, thanking God for the excuse to cut their time together short. “I think something from lunch may not be agreeing with me.” That something being Roy Mitchell. An impatient frown darkened Roy’s face before he quickly replaced it with a look of concern. “Would you like to sit and rest for a moment? There’s a bench outside the drugstore across the street.” “No. I think I should lie down.” She hunched herself over and added a quiet moan for good measure. “Can you take me home, please?” “Are you sure?” Meredith nodded vigorously, keeping her hand over her mouth. “Very well.” Roy took her arm and helped her navigate the three blocks back to her uncle’s house. When they reached the front gate, however, he used his grip to slow her to a halt. “I’m so sorry to have ruined our afternoon,” she blurted, not wanting to give him the chance to ask her anything. Besides, the longer she thought about what he planned for Travis, the more ill she truly became. She looked up at the brick house, longing for the escape it promised. “Meredith, darling,” Roy said, turning her to face him, “please, just tell me that I can move ahead with our wedding plans.” The idea was so nauseating, Meredith didn’t have to prevaricate. Her stomach began to heave all on its own. Roy must have seen the truth in her face as she bent forward, for his eyes widened and he quickly stepped back. Meredith covered her mouth and ran for the house. “I’ll come by later this evening,” Roy called after her, but Meredith didn’t slow until she was safely inside.
Karen Witemeyer (Short-Straw Bride (Archer Brothers, #1))
Taking the catcher’s place, he sank to his haunches and gestured to Arthur.
“Throw some easy ones to begin with,” he called, and Arthur nodded, seeming to lose his apprehensiveness. “Yes, milord!”
Arthur wound up and released a relaxed, straight pitch. Squinting in determination, Lilian gripped the bat hard, stepped into the swing, and turned her hips to lend more impetus to the motion. To her disgust, she missed the ball completely. Turning around, she gave Westcliff a pointed glance. “Well, your advice certainly helped,” she muttered sarcastically.
“Elbows,” came his succinct reminder, and he tossed the ball to Arthur. “Try again.”
Heaving a sigh, Lillian raised the bat and faced the pitcher once more.
Arthur drew his arm back, and lunged forward as he delivered another fast ball.
Lillian brought the bat around with a grunt of effort, finding an unexpected ease in adjusting the swing to just the right angle, and she received a jolt of visceral delight as she felt the solid connection between the bat and the leather ball. With a loud crack the ball was catapulted high into the air, over Arthur’s head, beyond the reach of those in the back field. Shrieking in triumph, Lillian dropped the bat and ran headlong toward the first sanctuary post, rounding it and heading toward second. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Daisy hurtling across the field to scoop up the ball, and in nearly the same motion, throwing it to the nearest boy. Increasing her pace, her feet flying beneath her skirts, Lillian rounded third, while the ball was tossed to Arthur.
Before her disbelieving eyes, she saw Westcliff standing at the last post, Castle Rock, with his hands held up in readiness to catch the ball. How could he? After showing her how to hit the ball, he was now going to tag her out?
“Get out of my way!” Lillian shouted, running pellmell toward the post, determined to reach it before he caught the ball. “I’m not going to stop!”
“Oh, I’ll stop you,” Westcliff assured her with a grin, standing right in front of the post. He called to the pitcher. “Throw it home, Arthur!”
She would go through him, if necessary. Letting out a warlike cry, Lillian slammed full-length into him, causing him to stagger backward just as his fingers closed over the ball. Though he could have fought for balance, he chose not to, collapsing backward onto the soft earth with Lillian tumbling on top of him, burying him in a heap of skirts and wayward limbs. A cloud of fine beige dust enveloped them upon their descent. Lillian lifted herself on his chest and glared down at him. At first she thought that he had been winded, but it immediately became apparent that he was choking with laughter.
“You cheated!” she accused, which only seemed to make him laugh harder. She struggled for breath, drawing in huge lungfuls of air. “You’re not supposed…to stand in front…of the post…you dirty cheater!”
Gasping and snorting, Westcliff handed her the ball with the ginger reverence of someone yielding a priceless artifact to a museum curator. Lillian took the ball and hurled it aside. “I was not out,” she told him, jabbing her finger into his hard chest for emphasis. It felt as if she were poking a hearthstone. “I was safe, do you…hear me?”
She heard Arthur’s amused voice as he approached them. “Actually, miss—”
“Never argue with a lady, Arthur,” the earl interrupted, having managed to regain his powers of speech, and the boy grinned at him.
“Are there ladies here?” Daisy asked cheerfully, coming from the field. “I don’t see any.”
Still smiling, the earl looked up at Lillian.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
It was then that I made the discovery that his talk created reverberations, that the echo took a long time to reach one's ears. I began to compare it with French talk in which I had been enveloped for so long. The latter seemed more like the play of light on an alabaster vase, something reflective, nimble, dancing, liquid, evanescent, whereas the other, the Katsimbalistic language, was opaque, cloudy, pregnant with resonances which could only be understood long afterwards, when the reverberations announced the collision with thoughts, people, objects located in distant parts of the earth. The Frenchman puts walls about his talk, as he does about his garden: he puts limits about everything in order to feel at home. At bottom he lacks confidence in his fellow-man; he is skeptical because he doesn't believe in the innate goodness of human beings. He has become a realist because it is safe and practical. The Greek, on the other hand, is an adventurer: he is reckless and adaptable, he makes friends easily. The walls which you see in Greece, when they are not of Turkish or Venetian origin, go back to the Cyclopean age. Of my own experience I would say that there is no more direct, approachable, easy man to deal with than the Greek. He becomes a friend immediately: he goes out to you. With the Frenchman friendship is a long and laborious process: it may take a lifetime to make a friend of him. He is best in acquaintanceship where there is little to risk and where there are no aftermaths. The very word ami contains almost nothing of the flavor of friend, as we feel it in English. C'est mon ami cannot be translated by "this is my friend." There is no counterpart to this English phrase in the French language. It is a gap which has never been filled, like the word "home." These things affect conversation. One can converse all right, but it is difficult to have a heart to heart talk.
Henry Miller (The Colossus of Maroussi)
Bringing back the Golden Fleece,” I repeated, mocking him. “As if it exists.”
Castor frowned. “What’s biting you? Of course it exists! We told you what Jason said. It belonged to a marvelous ram sent by the gods to rescue two royal children, Phrixus and Helle, from their murderous stepmother. A pity it wasn’t a perfect rescue. Phrixus reached Colchis safely, but his sister, Helle, fell off in mid-flight and drowned. Jason says that’s why the place where she plunged into the sea’s called the Hellespont. If that doesn’t prove the story’s true, what will satisfy you?”
“Anyone can give a place a name,” I said, rolling my eyes. “When I get home, I’ll name that olive grove near our training ground Wolf Forest and see what happens. A ram with a fleece of real gold, a flying ram that could carry the children through the skies to Colchis, where there are dragons, oh yes, that’s believable! That’s worth risking your lives for on a voyage across the world! I’ll bet you don’t care if that story’s true or not. You just want an excuse to go off chasing fame!”
Polydeuces set a honey cake on my already heaping plate. “There must be something waiting for us in Colchis, little sister,” he said gently. “Maybe not the gold fleece of a flying ram, but something. Why would Jason go to the trouble and expense of outfitting a ship for such a long, dangerous voyage otherwise?” He smiled wistfully and added, “You mustn’t worry about us. We’ll come back; we’ll be fine.”
He was right: I was worried about what would become of my brothers on that great adventure. But more than that, I envied them with all my heart. So what if the goal of their expedition was the phantom fleece of a ram that never existed? The fascinating lands my brothers would see and the exploits they’d share would be real enough. And I’d be left behind.
They’ll see marvels I can’t being to imagine, I thought. Maybe they’ll even see that old sailor’s five-legged monster! Meanwhile, I’m going to be trundled home in an oxcart so thickly hedged around by Spartan soldiers that all I’ll see during my journey will be spears. It’s not fair! I can handle a sword almost as well as either of them, and I know I’m better with a bow and arrow!
Esther M. Friesner (Nobody's Princess (Nobody's Princess, #1))
This letter is for all mothers who choose exile, who walk away from everything they know in search of a safe haven. Who carry their tired children upon their backs through deserts, with home left behind them, and the hope of America at the end of that long, perilous journey. For the mothers who help their frightened children into crowded boats that sail into the tempest-tossed seas. For the mothers who ignore their own hunger so that they can feed their children until they reach the plenty they dream of giving. This letter is for the mothers who shield their bodies of their sleeping babes through the dark nights while planes fly overhead, mothers who pray of giving their children a home where they might sleep safely. America is yours. She always has been. America is the Mother of Exiles. That is her given name, and it is from this dream of mothers that she was conceived. She is the end to that perilous road, the safe shore of that stormy ocean, the refuge from the darkness, the terror, the suffering. She is the plenty, the giver, the one who holds the torch, the flame of which is the imprisoned lightning that will guide us home.
Parnaz Foroutan (Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times)
could have sworn that she saw the tip of Douglas’s tail wag. She left Bomber to his odious sister and tripped downstairs into the bright afternoon sunshine. The last thing she heard as she closed the door behind her was from Portia, in an altogether changed, but still unpleasant, wheedling tone: ‘Now, darling, when are you going to publish my book?’ At the corner of Great Russell Street she stopped for a moment, remembering the man she had smiled at. She hoped that the person he was meeting hadn’t left him waiting for too long. Just then, in amongst the dust and dirt at her feet, the glint of gold and glass caught her eye. She stooped down, rescued the small, round object from the gutter and slipped it safely into her pocket. Chapter 4 It was always the same. Looking down and never turning his face to the sky, he searched the pavements and gutters. His back burned and his eyes watered, full of grit and tears. And then he fell; back through the black into the damp and twisted sheets of his own bed. The dream was always the same. Endlessly searching and never finding the one thing that would finally bring him peace. The house was filled with the deep, soft darkness of a summer night. Anthony swung his weary legs out of bed and sat shrugging the stubborn scraps of dream from his head. He would have to get up. Sleep would not return tonight. He padded down the stairs, their creaking wood echoing his aching bones. No light was needed until he reached the kitchen. He made a pot of tea, finding more comfort in the making than the drinking, and took it through to the study. Pale moonlight skimmed across the edges of the shelves and pooled in the centre of the mahogany table. High on a shelf in the corner, the gold lid of the biscuit tin winked at him as he crossed the room. He took it down carefully and set it in the shimmering circle of light on the table. Of all the things that he had ever found, this troubled him the most. Because it was not a ‘something’ but a ‘someone’; of that he was unreasonably sure. Once again, he removed the lid and inspected the contents, as he had done every day for the past week since bringing it home. He had already repositioned the tin in the study several times, placing it higher up or hidden from sight, but its draw remained irresistible. He couldn’t leave it alone. He dipped his hand into the tin and gently rolled the coarse, grey grains across his fingertips. The memory swept through him, snatching his breath and winding him as surely as any punch to the gut. Once again, he was holding death in his hands. The life they could have had together was a self-harming fantasy in which Anthony rarely indulged. They might have been grandparents by now. Therese had never spoken about wanting children, but then they had both assumed that they had
Ruth Hogan (The Keeper of Lost Things)
It’s okay. There’s no one to contact or worry.” “No one?” Leigh asked and she could hear the frown in her voice. Valerie shook her head. “I was an only child. My grandparents died one after another of heart attacks and cancer as I was growing up and my parents died three years ago in a car accident. There’s just myself and an aunt who moved to Texas thirty years ago. I’ve only seen her twice since then. At her parents’ funerals.” She shrugged. “Other than Christmas cards, we don’t stay in touch.” “Oh,” Leigh said softly and fell silent. “What about friends?” Anders asked, and Valerie nearly jumped out of her skin. Both at his sudden joining of the conversation and because of his chest brushing her back as he reached around her to set a small Petsmart bag on the counter. “Waste pick-up bags,” he murmured by her ear, his fingers drifting lightly over her bare upper arm as his hand withdrew. “Since Lucian was here to keep you safe, I popped out and picked them up for you.” Valerie stared blankly at the bag, aware that shivers were running down her spine and goose bumps were popping up on her skin where his breath and fingers had passed. She had to wonder how she could be staring at something so unsexy and be so turned on at the same time. A muffled laugh drew Valerie’s confused gaze to Leigh and the other woman grinned at her as she said, “That was sweet of you, Anders.” “Yes, it was,” Valerie said and then paused to clear her throat when it came out froggy. “Thank you.” “Mind you,” Leigh added. “Red roses might have been sweeter than red doggie pooh bags.” “I’ll keep that in mind for next time,” Anders responded. Valerie flushed and turned back to the pancakes. What Leigh was suggesting would have been appropriate if they were dating or something, but they weren’t, and she did appreciate his running out to get her the bags. She didn’t want to repay Leigh for allowing her into her home by leaving little Roxy gifts all over their yard . . . And what did his response mean exactly?
Lynsay Sands (Immortal Ever After (Argeneau, #18))
I need to get back to the inn. All of my things are there.”
His eyebrow shot up. Now was not the time to tell her she really wouldn’t need clothes. Her personal things would help ease the transition. He reached a lazy arm for his own clothes. “I’m sure Mrs. Galvenstein will deliver your things for us. I will call and make sure it is done immediately. I will be going out for a short time, Raven. There are a few loose ends that need to be taken care of. You will be safe here.”
Her chin lifted in challenge. “I’ll throw something together and come with you. I never want to go through another day like the one I had when I couldn’t reach you. It was hell. It really was, Mikhail.”
At once his dark eyes touched her face with gentleness. “I never wanted that for you. Gregori placed me in a healing sleep, csitri--little one--and I could not answer your call. That was not supposed to happen. I sent Father Hummer to you, thinking I would be asleep, but if there was great need, I would surface enough to reassure you.”
“But it didn’t happen like that.”
He shook his head. “No, Raven. Gregori sent me into a healing sleep. One does not surface when Gregori has elected otherwise. He did not know about you, about your need for my touch. It was my failing, not his, and I am sorry.”
“I know,” she acknowledged. “You can see why I can’t be without you now. I’m afraid, Mikhail, afraid of everything, myself, you, what I’ve done here.”
“Not this time, little one,” he said very gently, wishing it could be otherwise. “It is essential to find the other assassins. I cannot let any danger come near you. You will be safe here. I am not asleep, and I can touch your mind with mine. You can just as easily reach for me if necessary. There is no need for fear.”
“I’m not the stay-at-home-and-be-safe type,” she objected.
Christine Feehan (Dark Prince (Dark, #1))
It is essential to find the other assassins. I cannot let any danger come near you. You will be safe here. I am not asleep, and I can touch your mind with mine. You can just as easily reach for me if necessary. There is no need for fear.”
“I’m not the stay-at-home-and-be-safe type,” she objected.
He turned, large, powerful, his face an implacable mask. Mikhail looked menacing, invincible. Raven stepped backward involuntarily, her blue eyes darkening to a deep sapphire. Instantly Mikhail took her hand and brought it to the warmth of his mouth.
“Do not look at me like that. Your life was nearly taken from me. Do you have any idea what it was like for me to awaken to your cry? To feel your fear, know that disgusting excuse for a man hit you? To feel the blade slice into your body again and again? You nearly died in my arms. I breathed for you, kept your heart beating. I made a decision I knew you might never forgive me for making. I am not ready to take a chance with your life. Can you possibly understand that?”
She could feel his body trembling with his intense emotion. His arms wrapped around her to drag her even closer to him. “Please, Raven, let me just keep you in a cocoon, at least until I get that sight out of my mind.” His fingers tunneled into the thick mass of blue-black hair. Mikhail molded her slender form to his larger frame, held her close as if he could shelter her from any further harm.
Raven wound her arms around his neck. “It’s all right, Mikhail. Nothing is going to happen to me.” She nuzzled his neck, seeking to reassure him, to push his fear away, as well as her own. “I guess both of us are going to have to make some adjustments.
Christine Feehan (Dark Prince (Dark, #1))
Yours is not like any other profession - upon your duty depends whether a little child in a corner of your neighborhood will sleep sound - upon your duty depends whether a woman can return home safe from work at night - upon your duty depends whether an elderly person can reach home from the bank without being mugged. You matter - your duty matters - not merely for you mark you, but for those countless civilians who rely on your individual sense of responsibility with their very life. You are to be the lion that keeps all vicious predators away when it roams the neighborhood.
Abhijit Naskar (Operation Justice: To Make A Society That Needs No Law)
It took me quite a while to begin to recover physically from Everest.
The thick, rich air of sea level, in comparison to the ultrathin air of Everest, was intoxicating--and at times it felt like too much.
Several times I fainted and had quite bad nosebleeds. As if from oxygen overload.
Above all, I slept like a baby.
For the first time in years, I had no fear, no doubts, no sense of foreboding. It felt amazing.
Everest had taken all my heart, soul, energy, and desire, and I was spent. The way I was after SAS Selection.
Funny that. Good things rarely come easy.
Maybe that is what makes them special.
I didn’t feel too guilty about taking a little time off to enjoy the British summer and catch up with my friends. It just felt so great to be safe.
I also did my first-ever newspaper interview, which carried the headline: “What Makes a Scruffy 23-Year-Old Want to Risk It All for a View of Tibet?” Nice.
Before I left I would have had a far slicker reply than I did afterward. My reasons for climbing seemed somehow more obscure. Maybe less important. I don’t know.
I just knew that it was good to be home.
The same journalist also finished up by congratulating me on having “conquered” Everest. But this instinctively felt so wrong. We never conquer any mountain. Everest allowed us to reach the summit by the skin of our teeth, and let us go with our lives.
Not everyone had been so lucky.
Everest never has been, and never will be, conquered. This is part of what makes the mountain so special.
One of the other questions I often got asked when we returned home was: “Did you find God on the mountain?” The real answer is you don’t have to climb a big mountain to find faith.
It’s simpler than that--thank God.
If you asked me did He help me up there, then the answer would be yes.
Every faltering step of the way.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
I have you. Settle…easy.”
She stiffened at the feel of being clasped firmly, his muscles working around her, his breath at her ear.
“This will teach you to bring baskets to ailing neighbors,” he said. “I hope you realize that all the selfish people are safe and dry at home.”
“Why did you come after me?” she managed to ask, trying to calm the little shocks that kept reverberating through her.
“Lady Helen was worried.” Once assured of her seat, Devon reached up with his left hand, tugged at her veil and headpiece, and tossed them to the ground. “Sorry,” he said before she could protest. “But that dye smells like the floor of an East End tavern. Here, slide your leg to the other side of the saddle.”
“I can’t, it’s caught in my skirts.” The horse’s weight shifted beneath them. Unable to find purchase on the smooth, flat saddle, Kathleen fumbled and accidentally gripped Devon’s thigh, the surface hard as stone. Gasping, she drew her hand back. It seemed that no matter how much air she took in, it wasn’t enough.
Temporarily transferring the reins to his left hand, Devon removed his felt hat and pushed it over Kathleen’s head. He proceeded to pull at the twisted, bunched layers of her skirts until she was able to unbend her knee enough to slide her leg over the horse’s withers.
In childhood she had ridden double with the Berwicks’ daughters when they had gone on pony rides. But there was no possible comparison with this, the feeling of a powerfully built man right behind her, his legs bracketing hers.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
I am all alone.
Who will love me? Who will care?
All my efforts have come to naught.
Abandoned, forgotten, friendless.
Yet, all along, my friend, he walks.
He talks to me in tender ways.
He tells me that I have missed
the love that is especially mine.
I did not see the little smiles.
I did not hear the morning's call.
I did not know life held me close.
My mind was lost in sorry thoughts.
In love’s kind way, we should not think
of what we want to grab and guard.
We share our light unashamed.
We reach and kiss an aching world.
I was mistaken to believe
I was so godforsaken.
How could I be when all the lovely things
have made their home in me?
Donna Goddard (Love's Longing)
So what are you doing in Florence?” Falco asked.
Cass fumbled for a reply. She almost spilled the story of what she had seen at Palazzo della Notte, but suddenly she felt ashamed. Perhaps she had stumbled into a fancy brothel. She didn’t want to tell Falco what she’d been doing, and what she’d seen.
He grinned. “Lured here by a dead body or a devastatingly handsome artist?” He pulled a dusty wooden chair from beneath the table. “Sit down. Have a drink. I promise to escort you safely back to your satin sheets once we’ve gotten reacquainted.”
Before she could speak, Falco’s eyes settled on the diamond pendant that had worked its way out from beneath her bodice. His face tightened. He reached toward Cass’s throat, but stopped just short of making contact. “Or maybe your husband is expecting you home,” he said, bringing his hand quickly to his side. “Enjoying all the trappings of married life, are you?”
“I’m not married,” Cass said sharply, tucking the lily safely away beneath her high lace collar. “And Luca’s not in Florence with me.”
Falco relaxed visibly, although he didn’t smile. “Then I insist on buying the beautiful signorina a drink.
Fiona Paul (Belladonna (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #2))
Let’s say a man really loves a woman; he sees her as his equal, his ally, his colleague; but she enters this other realm and becomes unfathomable. In the krypton spotlight, which he doesn’t even see, she falls ill, out of his caste, and turns into an untouchable. He may know her as confident; she stands on the bathroom scale and sinks into a keening of self-abuse. He knows her as mature; she comes home with a failed haircut, weeping from a vexation she is ashamed even to express. He knows her as prudent; she goes without winter boots because she spent half a week’s paycheck on artfully packaged mineral oil. He knows her as sharing his love of the country; she refuses to go with him to the seaside until her springtime fast is ended. She’s convivial; but she rudely refuses a slice of birthday cake, only to devour the ruins of anything at all in a frigid light at dawn. Nothing he can say about this is right. He can’t speak. Whatever he says hurts her more. If he comforts her by calling the issue trivial, he doesn’t understand. It isn’t trivial at all. If he agrees with her that it’s serious, even worse: He can’t possibly love her, he thinks she’s fat and ugly. If he says he loves her just as she is, worse still: He doesn’t think she’s beautiful. If he lets her know that he loves her because she’s beautiful, worst of all, though she can’t talk about this to anyone. That is supposed to be what she wants most in the world, but it makes her feel bereft, unloved, and alone. He is witnessing something he cannot possibly understand. The mysteriousness of her behavior keeps safe in his view of his lover a zone of incomprehension. It protects a no-man’s-land, an uninhabitable territory between the sexes, wherever a man and a woman might dare to call a ceasefire. Maybe he throws up his hands. Maybe he grows irritable or condescending. Unless he enjoys the power over her this gives him, he probably gets very bored. So would the woman if the man she loved were trapped inside something so pointless, where nothing she might say could reach him. Even where a woman and a man have managed to build and inhabit that sand castle—an equal relationship—this is the unlistening tide; it ensures that there will remain a tag on the woman that marks her as the same old something else, half child, half savage.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
Her body clenched with hot desire, and without thinking she bathed Jacques’ mind in her heat. She saw his body hunch, as if someone had physically punched him. Guilt stirred for a moment, but then he was stroking her throat, his mental touch every bit as exciting in her state of arousal as his physical one.
Gregori straightened up slowly and inhaled sharply, turned to glare at Jacques. Take your woman and find a place away from us. You know how dangerous Carpathian men can be at such a time. See to your needs, Jacques.
I have little memory of these parts. If you recall, our home was invaded, and the vampire knows where it is.
Go deeper into the earth. The cave continues until you find the very core, the hot springs. You will be safe there. And alone.
He cannot speak. As yours was, his voice is paralyzed. I doubt if he can recall his betrayer. I will put him in the ground to heal. And I will seek out Rand. Our prince has passed sentence upon such a betrayer. Make no mistake--I will make certain he is the one before I destroy him.
Jacques reached down and touched Byron’s shoulder. “Go to the sleep of our earth, Byron. I will return each day to see that you are fed and your wounds are healing. Do you trust me to do this?”
Byron nodded wearily and closed his eyes. He welcomed the solace of the healing earth. Already the blood was flowing through his veins, giving him strength to heal. He felt better knowing he had somehow warned the others of the trap the vampire had set. He had been used to lure the men away from the women. The vampire had even whispered to him of the plan to sacrifice Smith while Slovensky and his nephew killed Raven and took Shea. The earth opened, and his weightless body floated into the cradle. All around him the rich soil reached out for him, welcomed him. He gave himself up to sleep and earth.
Jacques nodded in a slight salute to Gregori and reached out to Shea. The moment his fingers closed around hers, the electricity arced sharply and cleanly between them. He pulled her out of the chamber and into the tunnel. To her horror, instead of going back up toward the forest, Jacques drew her down toward the very bowels of the earth. The tunnel was wide enough that they could walk together, but she didn’t move fast enough to suit him. With every step he took, Jacques’ body became tighter and more painful. His breath was coming in hoarse gasps. He swung her into his arms and raced down the tunnel’s twists and turns.
Christine Feehan (Dark Desire (Dark, #2))
That sort of vulnerability means, of course, that bad things are possible. Your parents might disown you. Your spouse might find someone else. Leukemia might ravage your child. The gospel doesn’t hide any of this from you. The gospel doesn’t promise you prosperity and tranquility. But the gospel does promise you that you are never outside the reach of the fatherly providence of God, a providence that fits you with a cross not to destroy you but to give you a future. Your skeleton is safe, even at the Place of the Skull.
Russell D. Moore (The Storm-Tossed Family: How the Cross Reshapes the Home)
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Death is a friend we have not met,
a voice we have not heard,
a face we have not seen.
Death is a slipping away,
a going beyond
a stepping through.
It is a fading,
as light slips from the sky at dusk,
tenderly, and with a silent beauty.
It is a leaf caught in the current,
too far for us to reach from shore.
It is a ship setting sail at dawn,
to lands we do not know,
and with friends we cannot follow.
It is a bird set free from a cage,
flying one last flight across our horizon
before we lose it to the clouds.
Death is the fall of a rose,
the drop of a sparrow,
the sigh of a barren bough.
It is a letting go,
a quieting of fear,
and a haven from pain.
Death is a coming home after a long journey.
It is a safe harbor after many storms,
and a sweet quiet rest after great labor.
Death is a road we have not walked.
a place we have not seen,
a friend we have not met.
It is a going and a coming,
and an arrival.
an end and a beginning.
Joan Walsh Anglund (The Friend We Have Not Met: Poems of Consolation)
He shrugged off the melancholy thoughts, turned his ship around and made his way to his own isolated home. That was the only place where he felt safe. The only place where he felt even the slightest bit like he belonged. It didn’t take long to reach the orange and yellow planet that wasn’t on most maps. It had a peculiar orbit that system engineers had deemed impossible for development. But it worked well for his needs. Besides, his home wasn’t on the planet itself. It hovered in the upper atmosphere where the outside was coated with reflekakor—a mineral that would keep it from showing up on any scanners.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Born of Night (The League, #1))
One spring day, I was away on a business trip; Karen was home with the kids. It was a warm afternoon, and she was sitting with our son Matthew at the computer in my office. The kitchen door that leads to the backyard was open. They were reviewing a homework project when they heard what sounded like fingernails scratching on the hardwood floors in the kitchen followed by a thumping gallop from our cat Sox. An instant later, a squirrel raced into the office with the cat at its heels. In a panic, Karen grabbed Matthew and the cat, and ran out of the office slamming the door behind her. Her plan was to leave the squirrel in my office and let me deal with it when I got home in a few days; the homework could wait. However, 30 minutes and two glasses of Merlot later, Karen saw the flaw in her plan. She wasn’t worried so much about sticking me with the task of removing a hungry, pissed-off squirrel from my office as she was the possibility of the squirrel shredding everything in there before I got home. Or worse, she feared the house would permanently smell of dead squirrel. There was a decent chance her scream gave it a heart attack. Luckily, the window in my office was open that afternoon. The only problem, there was a screen in the window. Karen figured if she could remove the screen, the squirrel, if it were still alive, would find its way back to the great outdoors. My office was on the first floor, so she was able to remove the screen easily from the outside. Standing in the backyard at a safe distance, she watched the open window, but no squirrel appeared. Venetian blinds were down covering the window opening. Karen thought, “If I just reach in and pull the cord on the blinds I can raise them enough for the little rodent to see his escape route.” Taking deep breaths while standing on the third rung of our stepladder, Karen thought through exactly what she had to do: raise the blinds with one hand, pull the cord with the other, lock it in place and get the hell out of there. No problem, the squirrel was no doubt cowering in the corner. Not quite. As soon as she raised the blinds, the squirrel – according to Karen who was the only witness – saw daylight and flew through the air, landing on her head. Its toes were caught in Karen’s hair as it made a desperate attempt to free itself. Karen said, “It was running in place on top of my head.” She fell off the ladder and ran screaming through the backyard with the squirrel stuck to her head. (I’m sure it was only a few seconds, but time stands still when there’s a squirrel on your head.) It eventually freed its claws, jumped off her head and ran away. Sue was the first person Karen called after she calmed down enough to speak. They discussed the situation thoroughly and agreed that shampooing several times with Head and Shoulders, rubbing the tiny scratch marks on her scalp with alcohol and drinking the rest of the bottle of Merlot were the proper steps to prevent rabies. I was her second call. Karen gave me a second-by-second recounting of the event, complete with sound effects and a graphic description of how the squirrel’s toes felt as they dug into her scalp. Then she told me the whole thing was my fault because I wasn’t home to protect the family when it happened. Apparently being away earning a living was not an acceptable excuse. She also said she learned a valuable lesson that day. “Not to leave the back door open?” I guessed. No, the lesson was that all squirrels are evil and out to get her. (She also decided that she doesn’t like “any animal related to squirrels,” whatever that means.) ~.~.~.~.~.~.~
Matt Smith (Dear Bob and Sue)
What ho!” Val emerged from the kitchen. “It’s the snow monster from Rosecroft village, with two heads and bright red ears on both of them.” He stepped closer and put down his mug of tea. “What’s wrong, princess? Not feeling so cheerful?” Winnie shook her head without looking at him, keeping her nose against St. Just’s neck. “We’re sad,” St. Just said, “because Emmie isn’t here.” “Ah.” Val nodded, his eyes conveying a world of understanding. “Win, you have to let Uncle Val teach you some of his sad-day songs.” He stepped closer, maybe intending to take the child from his brother’s arms, but as he reached out to encircle Winnie, his arms, whether by design or inadvertence, embraced his brother, as well. “We’re all sad,” Val murmured, hugging them both, “but we’re happy, too.” “Why are we happy?” Winnie was sufficiently affronted at that pronouncement that she glared at him. “Because.” He did lift Winnie away from St. Just and maneuvered her onto his own back, “my Princess Winnie is home safe and sound and she brought my big brother home, as well, and—best of all—she brought Scout back, too. I was really worried about Scout,” Val went on as he flounced her into the kitchen, “but I knew he had you to protect him.” “I’m
Grace Burrowes (The Soldier (Duke's Obsession, #2; Windham, #2))
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Beyond The Mart
inside. The heat that separates and tears you apart from your home, he thought. Would he make it back safe? Or even if he did make it back alive, would there even be a home to come back to? Downstairs, he caught sight of his mother packing food for his journey. He gazed at her face, memorizing every curve and line. He hoped she’d be all right. As if she knew what he was feeling, she reached out and hugged him and choked back the tears. “Nothing will keep us apart for long. You’ll come back to us, I feel it in my bones.” The weight of her words made him even sadder to leave. His father ambled down the hallway, carrying something wrapped in a red silk cloth. “I’ve something for you, son. I’d hope to give this to you when you came of age. It will prove valuable on your journey.” He handed him a sheathed short sword. Talis withdrew the sword and gaped at the red-tinged steel with ghost patterns and smoky lines running along the blade. A tremendous weight rushed up his arm from the sword as if imbued with some terrific power. His arm tensed and he winced. “This… this sword is for me?” Father was really giving him this treasure? The sheath was made of blackened leather and elaborate swirling patterns ran down the spine, with silver studs lining the edge. Talis gasped. It was immaculate. Why would Father give him such a priceless gift? He gazed at the ruby-studded hilt—a puma’s face with ruby eyes shaping the hilt’s edge. “It’s the finest sword in Naru.” Father narrowed his eyes at the expression on Talis' face. “What is it, what are you feeling?” “I’m not sure,” Talis stammered, fighting the power. “It’s so strong.” His father’s eyes sparkled. “You’re sensing the power within the sword—” “It’s magical?” What did his father know of such things? He was a man of commerce and trade. “The magical gift runs deep in our family history.” Father took the sword from Talis and raised it to the firelight. “This is no regular sword… it possesses great power. The red color is not from blood; there's fire magic within.” Fire magic… Master Viridian said his element was fire,
John Forrester (Fire Mage (Blacklight Chronicles, #1))
Hey,” a deep unfamiliar voice said from behind her. Every nerve went on alert. Her heart pounded with fear. Instinct told her to run, but how far could she go with him so close?
She grabbed a knife from the butcher block beside her and spun around, hurting her sore feet but not really feeling the pain. “Stay where you are. Don’t come any closer.”
Somewhere in her muddled mind he looked familiar, but the fear stole her rational thoughts. Her hands shook and she backed up into the counter, looking everywhere for an escape that seemed impossible.
“Hey now, you’re okay. I’m not going to hurt you.”
Tears filled her eyes. Too much to take in one night, she stammered, “Get out. Leave me alone.”
The stranger took a step toward her, and she took one toward him. “Get out, or I’ll gut you where you stand.”
One side of his mouth cocked up in a slanted grin. His eyes flashed with admiration, confusing her. “I’m not going to hurt you. I’m looking for Owen.”
“He doesn’t live here. Why does everyone think he lives here?” she yelled.
A flash of movement came from her left; she swung to face the new danger and inhaled when Owen rushed her, pushing the knife out of his way and pulling her close. She immediately dropped it and grabbed hold of him as he kept his back to the stranger, her back to the counter, and his big body protecting her. “You’re okay, sweetheart. That’s my brother, Brody. He came to help me board up the glass door.”
He hugged her closer when she grabbed fistfuls of his shirt and held him tighter, crying all over the front of his shirt, her face buried in his chest, her bravado from a moment ago drained away, overwhelmed by her fear. Owen was here, holding her, keeping her safe. She needed him and refused to let go, even when he tried to back away.
“Brody, man, you want to give us a minute.”
“Sure. I just wanted to let her know I’m here. She’s got a lot of guts, facing off with me with that knife. I like her.”
“Yeah, I like her, too.” Owen brushed his hand over her head and settled into her, holding her tight and close. Brody left with a chuckle and an “I bet you do.”
All of a sudden she felt foolish, but it didn’t stop her from staying in Owen’s arms. She shifted on her feet, and he slid his big hands down her back to her waist, hoisting her up onto the counter. His warm hands settled on her thighs, spreading them wide so he could stand between them. Close. Intimate. Their eyes met, and he reached up and swiped his thumbs across both her cheeks, taking away the tears.
She got hold of herself enough to say, “Your brother is huge.”
“You just faced off with an ex– Army Ranger. He could take you out with one lethal smile.”
“He wasn’t smiling.”
“He doesn’t much, since he got home. Unless he’s with Rain."
-Brody, Claire, & Owen
Jennifer Ryan (Falling for Owen (The McBrides, #2))
One hath said, "As oft as I have gone among men, so oft have I returned less a man." This is what we often experience when we have been long time in conversation. For it is easier to be altogether silent than it is not to exceed in word. It is easier to remain hidden at home than to keep sufficient guard upon thyself out of doors. He, therefore, that seeketh to reach that which is hidden and spiritual, must go with Jesus "apart from the multitude." No man safely goeth abroad who loveth not to rest
Lass, I know that ye have been searching for the ring so that ye can go home. While, we were away, Arran found it.” “He did?” Shocked, I tried to normalize my expression as he continued. “Aye,” he paused to retrieve it and held it out to me, eventually setting it in between us when I didn’t reach out for it. “I almost threw it in the ocean.” “You what?” The pitch of my voice was oddly high and screechy, making me sound angry rather than shocked. “Aye, lass. I’m verra sorry, but I dinna want to give ye the ring. I know that I canna keep it from ye, but I’d like to ask ye something before I let ye have it.” “Of course.” My heart restarted as hope began to crawl through the fear rooted in my stomach. “Doona go, lass.” He squeezed my hands tightly in between his own, and I was sure my heart was going to burst with happiness. “I’ve fallen in love with ye, Bri, and I doona wish to be parted from ye. If ye doona love me, I shall give ye the ring, but I could no let ye leave without telling ye.” My voice cracked as I spoke to him, and a tear broke free from my left eye. “No.” He didn’t give me a chance to finish. “I’m so verra sorry for keeping the ring from ye, lass. I just wasna ready to let ye go.” I pried my hands loose and reached up to grab hold of his face. “No, listen. Let me finish.” He stopped talking, pursing his lips awkwardly like a fish, and I couldn’t help but laugh. “Its no so funny, lass. Ye’re breaking my heart. I only ask that ye do it swiftly.” “Hush. It is funny. Your face looks ridiculous. I meant, ‘no,’ I’m not mad at you. I had something to tell you tonight as well.” “Aye?” “I was going to tell you that I wanted to stop looking for the ring. I can’t leave here. This is my home now and I’ve fallen in love with everyone. Mary, Kip, Arran, Griffin, even you.” I winked at him before continuing, “Before, I only thought I had to go back because of my mother and Blaire. She deserved the chance to return to her home, but she doesn’t want it. “How do ye know, lass?” “It’s the spell book. We can write messages to one another that cross over through time. My mother knows I’m safe here, and as long as she knows that, she’ll be okay with my decision. And Blaire, she said she wants to stay. That means I’m free, Eoin. I’m free to stay with you. If you’ll have me?” “Have ye, lass? Did ye no just hear what I said to ye? I’ll have ye and ye alone.
Bethany Claire (Love Beyond Time (Morna's Legacy, #1))
not only fought for my purity but for my life! I drove the heel of my hand up into his chin. Seizing his wrist, I wrenched his grip off me, then spun him around. I saw a startled look in his eyes. Stumbling, his feet slipped on the wet pavement as I shoved him away. In no time at all I freed myself from the man and then ran as fast as I could. I didn’t stop until I reached home. My tae kwon do outfit and New Testament were lost, but I was safe. I steadied myself before entering my home. I shook from the shock of the encounter but was afraid to tell my parents about my experience, fearing they would not let me go out at night anymore. I wanted to be able to come and go so I could get to our Friday night prayer session in a few hours. Every Friday the Muslims went to the mosque to pray, and that is why our church put on the weekly Friday nights of prayer—to intercede for our brothers and sisters who did not know Jesus. I was still planning to go with my sisters. We would wait until everyone in the apartment was asleep before sneaking out and heading there.
Samaa Habib (Face to Face with Jesus: A Former Muslim's Extraordinary Journey to Heaven and Encounter with the God of Love)
With a sigh, I whisked the moisture off my cheeks, then studied Narian’s handsome features, creating a portrait in my mind. I traced his cheekbones and jaw, lingering over his lips. Impulsively, I leaned down to kiss him and his eyelids flicked open.
“I will always love you, Alera,” he murmured, momentarily regaining clarity.
“And I will always love you.” I curled up beside him, my arm across his chest, willing him to stay with me for as long as possible. I continually fought against drowsiness, but exhaustion and grief eventually got the best of me, and I drifted off to sleep.
Someone was shaking my shoulder and I slowly came awake to see London crouched down beside me. I bolted upright, then reached out to touch his face, certain I was seeing a ghost.
“Alera, it’s all right. I’m here to bring you safely home.”
I nodded, then shifted onto my knees, my voice urgent. “The High Priestess has poisoned Narian. She doesn’t want him to fight against her if she sends reinforcements to Hytanica.”
London placed a hand upon Narian’s chest, feeling for a heartbeat, for the rise and fall of breathing, for warmth.
“He’s still alive,” he told me. “How long ago was he poisoned?”
“About ten hours now. He can’t have much time left. According to what the High Priestess told me about the poison, he should already be dead.”
“Listen to me. He may still have some of Nantilam’s healing power inside of him.”
“From when the Overlord tried to kill him?”
London nodded and hope surged within me. It had been the residual effect of Nantilam’s healing abilities that had enabled the deputy captain to withstand the Overlord’s torture.
“That’s probably why his dying is prolonged,” London continued. “With any luck, she may have miscalculated what it will take to kill him. But we need to help him fight, Alera.”
London retrieved his water flask and bedroll from his horse, handing them to me.
“Get as much water as possible into him, to dilute the toxin in his bloodstream, and we’ll cover him with all the blankets and cloaks we have. He’s fevered, so let’s help his body sweat out some of the poison.”
I began to cover Narian while London added wood to the fire. Then he removed his own cloak and tossed it to me.
“I’m going to gather some herbs that might help. I’ve learned a few things about Cokyrian compounds over the years, knowledge that I’m guessing the High Priestess would like to take away from me about now. You stay here and care for him as you have been doing. And, Alera, keep talking to him. He is strong and will fight to hear the sound of your voice--fight to come back to you.”
“I think the High Priestessis in love with you, London.”
“Just proves folly knows no limit.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
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까다로운 보안으로 여러분의 안전을 책임집니다.I could swim under the water and escape the fire of their guns. I could reach the other side of the river and get home through the forest. My house is outside of their military area, and my wife and children are safe there.
양방배팅 Swlook.com 가입코드 : win24
Some of us know by bitter experience what a long and weary time it is between the death of those we love and the hour when we bury them out of our sight. Such weeks are the slowest, saddest, heaviest weeks in all our lives.. But, blessed be God, the souls of departed saints are free from the very moment their last breath is drawn. While we are weeping, and the coffin is preparing, and the mourning being provided, and the last painful arrangements being made, the spirits of our beloved ones are enjoying the presence of Christ. They are freed forever from the burden of the flesh. They are ‘where the wicked cease troubling, and the weary be at rest’ (Job 3:17). The very moment that believers die they are in paradise. Their battle is fought; their strife is over. They have passed through that gloomy valley we must one day tread; they have gone over that dark river we must one day cross. They have drunk that last bitter cup which sin has mingled for man; they have reached that place where sorrow and sighing are no more. Surely we should not wish them back again! We should not weep for them, but for ourselves. We are warring still, but they are at peace. We are laboring, but they are at rest. We are watching, but they are sleeping. We are wearing our spiritual amour, but they have forever put it off. We are still at sea, but they are safe in harbor We have tears, but they have joy. We are strangers and pilgrims, but as for them they are at home. Surely, better are the dead in Christ than the living! Surely the very hour the poor saint dies, he is at once higher and happier than the highest upon earth.
Actually, last night is also a mystery to me and I guess I at least owe you that much to make sure you reach home safely.
Racheal Lachman (Second Chances Soulmate (Now, Forever & Always #1))
usual method. 20. ONLINE BANKING SERVICES Meaning : If a system allows an individual to perform his banking activities at his home, via internet is called Online banking. Now most of the traditional banks are also offering online banking services to the customers. Online banking services in traditional banks enable the customers to perform all usual transactions, such as account transfers, balance inquiries, bill payments, and stop-payment requests, online loan and credit card applications. Customers account information’s can also be accessed at anytime, day or night, and it can be done at any time and from any place. If once the information entered then there is no need to be re-entered for subsequent checks, and future payments can also be scheduled to occur automatically. Advantages of Online Banking Easy and safe - Customer’s can check their account balance and status of their account in online at anytime. Online visits “reduce the impact of an act of fraud. No fee : Many banks offer free bill pay Comfort : Process in online banking is easy and quick. A bank’s location can be easily identified and instantly a person can find the way to reach banks destinations, this system has more features, such as regular cash checks and it provides recent transaction reports including payments, transfers and deposits, and warn you at potential security threats. Fund transfer : Banks facilitates to transfer money from the account of one person to another person’s
A. Gajendran (A Text on Banking Law and Operations)
Mom, I want something.” Lora grinned at her daughter, knowing that at some point she would have to curb the ‘I-wants’, but not just yet. “What’s that, honey?” “I want Chad to stay here with us. All the time.” Chad went still beside her, but when she looked up, he was grinning at Mercy. He glanced at her, brows raised, to check her response. Lora sucked in a breath, knowing that she was on uncharted, sandy ground. In her deepest heart, she wanted the same thing, but did she dare say it? As she looked into the gentle reassurance in his expression, she knew it would just take a tiny leap of courage. “Chad, would you like to stay here with us?” Lora forgot how to breathe as she waited for some kind of response. Chad seemed to be dragging out the anticipation though. After several long seconds, he nodded his head. But he held up a cautioning finger. “I would love to be a kept man, but it kind of goes three ways.” Moving from the couch, he went down on one knee in front of Mercy, sitting on the floor. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a tiny gold ring. “Mercy O’Neil, will you marry me and be my awesome daughter? To have and to hold, in muddy times and clean? And help me keep your mother happy and safe?” Mercy nodded her head as hard as she could, laughing and crying at the same time. She flung her arms around Chad’s neck and sobbed. Lora’s eyes were leaking as well, so overcome with love that he had thought to include Mercy. But then he turned his damp eyes to her and she was rocked with the deep-in-her-heart knowledge of what was coming next. Levering to his feet, still holding Mercy against him, he circled the table to kneel in front of her. Then he reached into that pocket again and pulled out a shining white gold solitaire ring. His eyes incredibly kind, he held it out. “Lora O’Neil, would you do me the honor of wearing my ring? I promise to protect you and love you as long as I’m allowed, in whatever way I’m allowed, and I promise to always have Starlight mints at the ready.” Lora wept with fear and joy and laughter, knowing that she would never find another man like him. Nodding, she held her shaking hand out and allowed him to slip the ring onto her finger. Then she whipped her arms around his neck, and the three of them rocked back and forth. He pulled back enough to capture her lips with his own, sealing the love between them. “No rush,” he murmured in her ear. “We’ll take it a day at a time. Just know that I love you with all my heart.” “And I love you,” she whispered. “More than I ever dared dream I could.” Mercy
J.M. Madden (Embattled Home (Lost and Found, #3))
The few times Harper had come down the mountain, Mercy always managed to find him to tag along with whatever he was doing. She’d developed a strange attachment to the scary soldier. One morning she’d opened the front door to walk outside and had to slam to a stop in surprise. Harper was sitting on the porch stairs and her daughter stood behind him, with her arms wrapped as far around his massive shoulders as she could reach. She looked ridiculously tiny compared to the former soldier with the shaved head, but the man didn’t move for several long seconds. Finally, he patted her little hands and sent her running to the playground. Lora thought she’d escaped his notice, but when he stood up he caught her eye in the doorway. “She’s worth her weight in gold,” he rumbled. “I will do everything in my power to keep her safe.” Lora nodded and watched as he disappeared into the woods, huge gun held in his arms like a baby. When she’d asked Mercy about the incident later, her daughter had shrugged. “He seemed sad so I gave him a hug.” Those words had humbled her. But
J.M. Madden (Embattled Home (Lost and Found, #3))
Do you think we could stop at Roy’s Dinner on the way home? I have a craving for their apple pie and hot cocoa,” Rory said, sounding chipper and scaring the shit out of him. “You want to stop and get pie?” he asked cautiously, knowing that the wrong tone could get him killed. “Mmmhmm,” she said, nodding as she reached over and started playing with the radio. “Okay………..,” he said, not really sure how to proceed so he went with a safe question, or at least what he hoped was a safe question. “Do you need to use the bathroom?” “No,” she simply said with a shrug. “No?” “No, I’m good,” she said, shooting him a sweet smile. “Then what was all that back at the jail?” he asked, wondering if her hormones were starting to make him go crazy. “I had a craving for pie,” she said with another shrug as she settled back in her seat. He pulled to a stop at the light and for a moment he could only stare at her in wonder. “You did all that for pie?” “And cocoa,” she clarified with a nod. He laughed, he couldn’t help it.
R.L. Mathewson (Checkmate (Neighbor from Hell, #3))
Come on, Noodle. Let’s head back.”
Pulling my coffee closer, I hug it like it’s my last true friend. “I needed to make some changes anyway. This table is my home now. Forward my mail.”
Laughing, Benny reaches into his back pocket, fishing out his wallet. “You’ll feel better after you talk to Andrew.”
“Are they all waiting at the van?”
He shakes his head and pulls a clean hundred-dollar bill out, dropping it on the table. “They all headed back a while ago.” He stands. “We can take a cab.”
I stare at the bill on the table. “Holy Benjamin Franklin. My coffee was, like, four dollars.”
“I don’t have anything smaller on me.”
“Let me just pay with my debit card.” I start to stand, but he puts a hand on my arm.
“Mae. I got it. It’s almost Christmas, and this nice little restaurant has kept you safe from cars and awnings and all other dangerous flying objects.” He shrugs. “You ever hear of Spotify?”
He grins. “I got in early.”
“Early.” He lifts his chin to the door. “Let’s go.
Christina Lauren (In a Holidaze)
In 2021, let’s all strive to make our world smaller by taking care of ourselves—physically, spiritually, emotionally; reaching down to hug those who need comfort; making sure that our home is safe, happy, and filled with love.
Charles F Glassman
In life, you have to fall a few times to reach safely your destination.
Liviu C. Tudose