Reached Safely Quotes

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You just say the word, and I'll make the rest of the world go away. I'll take you someplace safe, where no one else can reach us.
Rachel Vincent (If I Die (Soul Screamers, #5))
You are safe inside your mind. No one can reach you there.
Stephenie Meyer (Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, #3))
I'd been convinced I was on the outside, but really, I'd always been within arm's reach. All I had to do was ask, and I, too, would be easily brought back, surrounded and immersed, finding myself safe, somewhere in between.
Sarah Dessen (Just Listen)
You deserve all that and more. It made me happy to see you suffer. I would do it all over again if I could.' I realized I was shaking as the words tumbled out of me. 'I would do it again and again. Every night I would torment you and laugh. Do you understand? You are never safe with me.' I drew a shuddering breath, trying to will away the sting of tears. He opened his eyes and stared up at me as if I were the door out of Arcadia and back to the true sky. 'That's what makes you my favorite.' He reached up and wiped a tear off my cheek with his thumb. 'Every wicked bit of you.
Rosamund Hodge (Cruel Beauty)
Night flight to San Francisco; chase the moon across America. God, it’s been years since I was on a plane. When we hit 35,000 feet we’ll have reached the tropopause, the great belt of calm air, as close as I’ll ever get to the ozone. I dreamed we were there. The plane leapt the tropopause, the safe air, and attained the outer rim, the ozone, which was ragged and torn, patches of it threadbare as old cheesecloth, and that was frightening. But I saw something that only I could see because of my astonishing ability to see such things: Souls were rising, from the earth far below, souls of the dead, of people who had perished, from famine, from war, from the plague, and they floated up, like skydivers in reverse, limbs all akimbo, wheeling and spinning. And the souls of these departed joined hands, clasped ankles, and formed a web, a great net of souls, and the souls were three-atom oxygen molecules of the stuff of ozone, and the outer rim absorbed them and was repaired. Nothing’s lost forever. In this world, there’s a kind of painful progress. Longing for what we’ve left behind, and dreaming ahead. At least I think that’s so.
Tony Kushner (Perestroika (Angels in America #2))
And then one student said that happiness is what happens when you go to bed on the hottest night of the summer, a night so hot you can't even wear a tee-shirt and you sleep on top of the sheets instead of under them, although try to sleep is probably more accurate. And then at some point late, late, late at night, say just a bit before dawn, the heat finally breaks and the night turns into cool and when you briefly wake up, you notice that you're almost chilly, and in your groggy, half-consciousness, you reach over and pull the sheet around you and just that flimsy sheet makes it warm enough and you drift back off into a deep sleep. And it's that reaching, that gesture, that reflex we have to pull what's warm - whether it's something or someone - toward us, that feeling we get when we do that, that feeling of being safe in the world and ready for sleep, that's happiness.
Paul Schmidtberger (Design Flaws of the Human Condition)
Well. I think it's safe to say that, in my absence, the power grabbing and backstabbing and political intrigue has officially reached an all-time Otherworld high.
Lesley Livingston (Wondrous Strange (Wondrous Strange, #1))
I felt a strange tightness coming over me, and I reacted instinctively – for the first time in a long, long while – by slipping my notebook into my belt and reaching down to take off my watch. The first thing to go in a street fight is your watch, and once you’ve lost a few, you develop a certain instinct that lets you know when it’s time to get the thing off your wrist and into a safe pocket.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72)
And I have Julian. I found him, and he followed me. I reach out in the half dark, wordlessly, and find his hands. We interlace our fingers, and though he doesn't say anything either, I can feel the warmth and energy passing between us, a soundless dialogue. Thank you, he is saying, and I am saying, I am so happy, I am so happy, I needed you to be safe. 
Lauren Oliver (Pandemonium (Delirium, #2))
Love is not leaning on each other, adjusting to fit a different size. Love is simply two hands reached out in the darkness, saying; I’ll be your light, if you’ll be mine.
Charlotte Eriksson
Soon after I began working for the Professor, I realized that he talked about numbers whenever he was unsure of what to say or do. Numbers were also his way of reaching out to the world. They were safe, a source of comfort.
Yōko Ogawa (The Housekeeper and the Professor)
Love doesn't give you very many choices. When you love someone, you just want to be with them. If they break your heart, you will still love them. Because hearts are easy to break, and though love is tender and sometimes fragile, love isn't. Love sort of envelops you. It covers you like a giant shadow, then pulls you in like a blanket. You are so warm. The feeling surrounds you, and no matter how you feel, it is always there. You can't escape it. But you wouldn't want to. You are so, so safe. You can't remember the last time you were this happy. Were you ever? This happy? Every second you are apart feels like hours. Sometimes, right before you fall asleep, you miss them so much it hurts. You ache for them. Their warmth. Their touch. Their smell. You need them. When you can't sleep you wish and wish and wish that they would wake up and talk to you. When you dream of them, you wake up smiling. When pain stabs into you, you reach out for them. You cry to them, begging them to hold you and make it all go away, make everything go away. Love addicts you to its feeling. You never, ever want to lose that feeling. Sometimes the fear of losing love drives people to do crazy things. Like buy a plane ticket. Make a phone call. Run out of a class. Cry. Write. Laugh. Because when you love someone, you really love them. You give them your whole heart. You trust them. You never want to be away from them. Sometimes, you don't even need their words. You just need them there. Love is such an amazing thing, and too many people take it for granted. If you're in love, don't let it go. Don't you dare let it go.
Alysha Speer
There’s something simmering inside of me. Something I’ve never dared to tap into, something I’m afraid to acknowledge. There’s a part of me clawing to break free from the cage I’ve trapped it in, banging on the doors of my heart, begging to be free. Begging to let go. Every day I feel like I’m reliving the same nightmare. I open my mouth to shout, to fight, to swing my fists, but my vocal cords are cut, my arms are heavy and weighted down as if trapped in wet cement and I’m screaming but no one can hear me, no one can reach me and I’m caught. And it’s killing me. I’ve always had to make myself submissive, subservient, twisted into a pleading, passive mop just to make everyone else feel safe and comfortable. My existence has become a fight to prove I’m harmless, and I’m not a threat, that I’m capable of living among other human beings without hurting them. And I’m so tired I’m so tire I’m so tired I’m so tired and sometimes I get so angry. I don’t know what’s happening to me.
Tahereh Mafi (Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5))
He touched the rough crucifix that lay against his chest and whispered to the moving air, "Lord, that she might be safe, she and my children." Then turned his cheek to her reaching hand and touched her throught the veils of time.
Diana Gabaldon (The Scottish Prisoner (Lord John Grey, #3))
With a deep regret, I wiggled out from under him despite his sleepy protests and grabbed articles of clothing as I tiptoed to his door. What amazing willpower I had. What fantastic self-control. I'd come over for one reason, and everything but that reason seemed to be resolved. When I reached the door, I saw what looked like another note. But this was his door, not mine. I peeled it off, then angled it until I could read it by the light of the fire. Is that all you've got? With a smile spreading slowly across my face, I dropped everything I'd just picked up and went back for more.
Darynda Jones (Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson, #5))
There’s no protecting anyone,” Fix said, and reached over from his wheelchair to put his hand on hers. “Keeping people safe is a story we tell ourselves.
Ann Patchett (Commonwealth)
It's just harder out there in the world of the living, and we cannot protect you out there as easily. I wanted to keep you perfectly safe...But there is only one perfectly safe place for your kind, and you will not reach it until all your adventures are over and none of them matter any longer.
Neil Gaiman (The Graveyard Book)
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)
Auri hopped down from the chimney and skipped over to where I stood, her hair streaming behind her. "Hello Kvothe." She took a half-step back. "You reek." I smiled my best smile of the day. "Hello Auri," I said. "You smell like a pretty young girl." "I do," she agreed happily. She stepped sideways a little, then forward again, moving lightly on the balls of her bare feet. "What did you bring me?" she asked. "What did you bring me?" I countered. She grinned. "I have an apple that thinks it is a pear," she said, holding it up. "And a bun that thinks it is a cat. And a lettuce that thinks it is a lettuce." "It's a clever lettuce then." "Hardly," she said with a delicate snort. "Why would anything clever think it was a lettuce?" "Even if it is a lettuce?" I asked. "Especially then," she said. "Bad enough to be a lettuce. How awful to think you are a lettuce too." She shook her head sadly, her hair following the motion as if she were underwater. I unwrapped my bundle. "I brought you some potatoes, half a squash, and a bottle of beer that thinks it is a loaf of bread." "What does the squash think it is?" she asked curiously, looking down at it. She held her hands clasped behind her back "It knows it's a squash," I said. "But it's pretending to be the setting sun." "And the potatoes?" she asked. "They're sleeping," I said. "And cold, I'm afraid." She looked up at me, her eyes gentle. "Don't be afraid," she said, and reached out and rested her fingers on my cheek for the space of a heartbeat, her touch lighter than the stroke of a feather. "I'm here. You're safe.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
She had asked: What is he? A friend or an enemy? The alethiometer answered: He is a murderer. When she saw the answer, she relaxed at once. He could find food, and show her how to reach Oxford, and those were powers that were useful, but he might still have been untrustworthy or cowardly. A murderer was a worthy companion. She felt as safe with him as she'd done with Iorek Byrnison the armoured bear.
Philip Pullman (The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, #2))
It occurred to me that the man I really wanted to hurt was safely out of my reach, standing behind a shield of years.
Stephen King (Rage)
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))
Safe places exist only where people aren’t.
Carrie Arcos (Out of Reach)
I reached out my hand, England's rivers turned and flowed the other way... I reached out my hand, my enemies's blood stopt in their veins... I reached out my hand; thought and memory flew out of my enemies' heads like a flock of starlings; My enemies crumpled like empty sacks. I came to them out of mists and rain; I came to them in dreams at midnight; I came to them in a flock of ravens that filled a northern sky at dawn; When they thought themselves safe I came to them in a cry that broke the silence of a winter wood... The rain made a door for me and I went through it; The stones made a throne for me and I sat upon it; Three kingdoms were given to me to be mine forever; England was given to me to be mine forever. The nameless slave wore a silver crown; The nameless slave was a king in a strange country... The weapons that my enemies raised against me are venerated in Hell as holy relics; Plans that my enemies made against me are preserved as holy texts; Blood that I shed upon ancient battlefields is scraped from the stained earth by Hell's sacristans and placed in a vessel of silver and ivory. I gave magic to England, a valuable inheritance But Englishmen have despised my gift Magic shall be written upon the sky by the rain but they shall not be able to read it; Magic shall be written on the faces of the stony hills but their minds shall not be able to contain it; In winter the barren trees shall be a black writing but they shall not understand it... Two magicians shall appear in England... The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me; The first shall be governed by thieves and murderers; the second shall conspire at his own destruction; The first shall bury his heart in a dark wood beneath the snow, yet still feel its ache; The second shall see his dearest posession in his enemy's hand... The first shall pass his life alone, he shall be his own gaoler; The second shall tread lonely roads, the storm above his head, seeking a dark tower upon a high hillside... I sit upon a black throne in the shadows but they shall not see me. The rain shall make a door for me and I shall pass through it; The stones shall make a throne for me and I shall sit upon it... The nameless slave shall wear a silver crown The nameless slave shall be a king in a strange country...
Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell)
Maybe it's because I can't have him that I feel safe wanting him. He's beyond my reach, so he won't hurt me.
Tess Gerritsen (Body Double (Rizzoli & Isles, #4))
You weren’t meant for the ice, you weren’t made for the pain. The world that lives inside of me was not the world you were meant to contain. You were meant for castles and living in the sun. Thecold running through me should have made you run. Yet you stay. Holding onto me, yet you stay, reachingout a hand that I push away. The cold is not meant for you yet you stay, you stay, you stay. When I know it’s not right for you. The ice fills my veins and I can’t feel the pain, yet you’re there like the heat that sends me screaming in fear. I can’t feel the warmth I need to feel the ice. I want to hold it all in and numb it till I can’t feel the knife. Your heat threatens to melt it all and I know I can’t bear the pain if the ice melts away. So I push you away and I scream out your name and I know I can’t need you yet you give anyway and I run wishing you would run too. Yet you stay. Holding onto me yet you stay reaching out a hand that I push away. The cold is not meant for you yet you stay, you stay, you stay. When I know it’s not right for you. The blackness is my shield. I pull it closer still. You’re the light that I hide from, the light that I hate. You’re the light to this darkness and I can’t let you stay. I need the dark around me like I need the ice in my veins. The cold is my healer. The cold is my safe place. Youaren’t welcome with your heat you don’t belong beside me. I hate you yet I love, I don’t want you yet I need you. The dark will always be my cloak and you are the threat to unveil my pain, so leave. Leave and erase the memories. I need to face the life that’s meant for me. Don’t stay and ruin all my plans. You can’t have my soul I’m not a man. The empty vessel I dwell in is not meant to feel the heat you bring. I push you away and I push you away. Yet you stay.
Abbi Glines (Existence (Existence, #1))
I felt the electricity of his body behind me as he reached around me and took the card from my hand. He didn't move away, and I battled the urge to lean back into him, seeking the comfort of his strength. Would he wrap his arms around me? Make me feel safe, if only for a moment, and if only a delusion?
Karen Marie Moning (Faefever (Fever, #3))
Ty braced himself as Julian walked directly up to him, not breaking stride, his jaw set, his blue-green eyes as dark as the deep part of the ocean. He reached Ty and caught hold of him, pulling him into a fierce hug. He pressed his face down into his little brother's black hair as Ty stood, frozen and astonished at Julian's lack of anger. "Jules?" he said. "Are you alright?" Julian's shoulders shook. He held his little brother tighter, as if he could crush Ty into himself, into a place where he'd always be safe. He put his cheek against Ty's curls, squeezing his eyes shut, his voice muffled. "I thought something happened to you," he said. "I thought Johnny Rook might--" He didn't finish his sentence. Ty put his arms carefully around Julian. He patted his back, gently, with his slender hands. It was the first time Emma had seen Ty comfort his older brother--almost the first time she'd ever actually seen Julian let someone else take care of him.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
I have seen a land shining with goodness, where each man protects his brother's dignity as readily as his own, where war and want have ceased and all races live under the same law of love and honour. I have seen a land bright with truth, where a man's word is his pledge and falsehood is banished, where children sleep safe in their mother's arms and never know fear or pain. I have seen a land where kings extend their hands in justice rather than reach for the sword; where mercy, kindness, and compassion flow like deep water over the land, and men revere virtue, revere truth, revere beauty, above comfort, pleasure or selfish gain. A land where peace reigns in the hill, and love like a fire from every hearth; where the True God is worshipped and his ways acclaimed by all.
Stephen R. Lawhead (Arthur (The Pendragon Cycle, #3))
It is tragic to see how the religious sentiment of the West has become so individualized that concepts such as "a contrite heart," have come to refer only to the personal experiences of guilt and willingness to do penance for it. The awareness of our impurity in thoughts, words and deeds can indeed put us in a remorseful mood and create in us the hope for a forgiving gesture. But if the catastrophical events of our days, the wars, mass murders, unbridled violence, crowded prisons, torture chambers, the hunger and the illness of millions of people and he unnamable misery of a major part of the human race is safely kept outside the solitude of our hearts, our contrition remains no more than a pious emotion.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life)
If I could blame it on all the mothers and fathers of the world, they of the lessons, the pellets of power, they of the love surrounding you like batter ... Blame it on God perhaps? He of the first opening that pushed us all into our first mistakes? No, I'll blame it on Man For Man is God and man is eating the earth up like a candy bar and not one of them can be left alone with the ocean for it is known he will gulp it all down. The stars (possibly) are safe. At least for the moment. The stars are pears that no one can reach, even for a wedding. Perhaps for a death.
Anne Sexton (The Awful Rowing Toward God)
I am frightened at the prospect of how much I might love you, because I know the price it brings, and just thinking of you has begun the investment process within my heart. It would be easier to never invest at all, to hold all vulnerability close to my chest, not allowing anyone to enter my safe. But what a cruel thing it would be, to deny an opportunity to love a soul as beautiful as yours. I’m going to hope, and hope, and hope, until one day I do something. Maybe then, we’ll be able to find that place that we have both wanted for so long. Maybe then, we’ll have each other. I’m not reaching for stars anymore. I’m reaching for you, and honestly, that’s far more beautiful than a night full of dancing flames. I am not good with words, but still my words dance out of chaos, forming something beautiful.
T.B. LaBerge (Unwritten Letters to You)
She was the only one left, and she was real. To be the only one, and to know that you are real - that's sanity, isn't it? But just to be on the safe side, maybe it was best to keep pretending that one was a stuffed figure. Not to move. Never to move. Just to sit here in the tiny room, forever and ever. If she sat there without moving, they wouldn't punish her. If she sat there without moving, they'd know that she was sane, sane, sane. She sat there for quite a long time, and then a fly came buzzing through the bars. It lighted on her hand. If she wanted to, she could reach out and swat the fly. But she didn't swat it. She didn't swat it, and she hoped they were watching, because that proved what sort of a person she really was. Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly...
Robert Bloch (Psycho (Psycho #1))
The lamp sizzled as it burned. It made everything seem close and safe, a little family circle they all knew and trusted. Outside this circle lay everything that was strange and frightening, and the darkness seemed to reach higher and higher and further and further away, right to the end of the world.
Tove Jansson (Moominpappa at Sea (The Moomins, #8))
Our marriage has always been an island, a safe place where sea-dragons and monstrous creatures can’t reach us. Now we’re letting them in, gnashing teeth and all, and we are failing to protect each other.
Nina Lane (Arouse (Spiral of Bliss, #1))
Neither his family nor his next taste of blood mattered as much as knowing that she was safe and within arm’s reach. If that was what it meant to be bewitched, he was a lost man.
Deborah Harkness (A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1))
Keefe reaches for Sophie’s shaky hand. “We’ll get them back safe. I promise.” Sophie squeezed his hand, twining their fingers together.
Shannon Messenger (Nightfall (Keeper of the Lost Cities #6))
Going back” had two distinct meanings at the school, depending on how it was said. It was the best thing in the world. It was also the worst thing that could happen to anybody. It was returning to a place that understood you so well that it had reached across realities to find you, claiming you as its own and only; it was being sent to a family that wanted to love you, wanted to keep you safe and sound, but didn’t know you well enough to do anything but hurt you.
Seanan McGuire (Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1))
Everybody asks why I started at the end and worked back to the beginning, the reason is simple, I couldn't understand the beginning until I had reached the end. There were too many pieces of the puzzle missing, too much you would never tell. I could sell these things. People want to buy them, but I'd set all this on fire first. She'd like that, that's what she would do. She'd make it just to burn it. I couldn't afford this one, but the beginning deserves something special. But how do I show that nothing, not a taste, not a smell, not even the color of the sky, has ever been as clear and sharp as it was when I belonged to her. I don't know how to express the being with someone so dangerous is the last time I felt safe... (White Oleander)
Janet Fitch
What do I know about love? Not much-that’s the safe answer. Even when I think I have a grasp on it, something comes along to make me realize I don’t know anything at all. It’s just a concept to me. It’s the thing that all the songs are written about, the thing that makes smart people act stupidly. If I can make love a concept, it makes me a better observer. And it also leaves a place inside of me hollow. Sometimes I can actually feel it. To reach down inside that part-I wonder how it would feel, to touch a void. That nameless empty. This makes me seem lonely, which isn’t really true. I have other parts of me—friendship, for one—which compensate for the void. I can’t feel the nothingness except in those rare times when there’s nothing else to feel.
David Levithan (How They Met, and Other Stories)
  You came and you left and I’m just looking to quick dry cement it, press and bend it, fold it up and tuck it away for safe keeping. I know that it’s reaching but I just want to leave your name on a page somewhere and never need to come back to it.
Trista Mateer (Honeybee)
Don’t defend him! This is bullshit!” he said as he turned for the door, and then turned back to face me. “I’ve been sitting at work this whole time, staring at those fucking things. I wanted to calm down before I got here, but this is just . . . it’s fucking disrespectful, is what it is! I bust my ass trying to prove to you that I’m better for you than he ever was. But he keeps pulling this shit, and showing up, and . . . I can’t compete with some rich college boy from California. I’m barely getting by, with no degree, and up until a few days ago I still lived with my dad. But I am so fucking in love you, Cami,” he said, reaching for me. “I have been since we were kids. The first time I saw you on the playground, I knew what beauty was. The first time you ignored me was my first broken heart. I thought I was playing this right, from the moment I sat down at your table at the Red. No one has ever wanted someone as much as I want you. For years I . . .” He was breathing hard, and he clenched his jaw. “When I heard about your dad, I wanted to rescue you,” he said, chuckling, but not out of humor. “And that night at your apartment, I thought I’d finally gotten something right.” He pointed to the ground. “That my purpose in life was to love you and keep you safe . . . but I didn’t prepare for having to share you.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Oblivion (The Maddox Brothers, #1))
The men re-tighten my bolts just for safe measure. The men open my car door, Ladies first. The men are always helping. One man asks how I reach the pedals. One man asks where my daddy is. One man opens his trunk and says, Bet you’re small enough to fit.
Olivia Gatwood (New American Best Friend)
The Pomegranate 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.
Eavan Boland
A pandemic-like crisis is an excellent time for you to serve your neighbors, as prudently and safely as possible, because no matter how bad you may have it, someone else has it worse. Crises also allow us to reflect on what truly matters and to put aside the trivial. Leave behind grudges and reconcile. Forgive the relative who slighted you, be the bigger person and reach out to see if they need help. If your marriage has fizzled, spice it up. Relight the passion. This is the perfect time to take toll and fix things that may have needed fixing for a long time.
Art Rios (Let's Talk: ...About Making Your Life Exciting, Easier, And Exceptional)
When men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe... that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas-- that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out. That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment. As all life is an experiment. Every year if not every day we wager our salvation upon some prophecy based upon imperfect knowledge.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
It's impossible to keep someone safe.
Carrie Arcos (Out of Reach)
He placed his hands against the Jeep on either side of my head and leaned forward, forcing me to press back against the door. He leaned in even closer, his face inches from mine. I had no room to escape. "Now," he breathed, and just his smell disturbed my thought processes, "what exactly are you worrying about?" "Well, um, hitting a tree -" I gulped "- and dying. And then getting sick." He fought back a smile. Then he bent his head down and touched his cold lips softly to the hollow at the base of my throat. "Are you still worried now?" he murmured against my skin. "Yes." I struggled to concentrate. "About hitting trees and getting sick." His nose drew a line up the skin of my throat to the point of my chin. His cold breath tickled my skin. "And now?" His lips whispered against my jaw. "Trees," I gasped. "Motion sickness." He lifted his face to kiss my eyelids. "Bella, you don't really think I would hit a tree, do you?" "No, but I might." There was no confidence in my voice. He smelled an easy victory. He kissed slowly down my cheek, stopping just at the corner of my mouth. "Would I let a tree hurt you?" His lips barely brushed against my trembling lower lip. "No," I breathed. I knew there was a second part to my brillant defense, but I couldn't quite call it back. "You see," he said, his lips moving against mine. "There's nothing to be afraid of, is there?" "No," I sighed, giving up. Then he took my face in his hands almost roughly, and kissed me in earnest, his unyielding lips moving against mine. There was really no excuse for my behavior. Obviously I knew better by now. And yet I couldn't seem to stop from reacting exactly as I had the first time. Instead of keeping safely motionless, my arms reached up to twine tightly around his neck, and I was suddenly welded to his stone figure. I sighed, and his lips parted.
Stephenie Meyer (Twilight (Twilight, #1))
Until you divest yourself of the notion that you are a collection of needs, an empty vessel that someone else must fill up, there will be no safe place to harbor yourself, no safe shore to reach. As long as you think mostly of getting, you will have nothing real to give.
Merle Shain (Hearts That We Broke Long Ago)
The water was lapping around my waist by the time Ivy and Gabriel found me. I was shivering, but I hardly noticed. I didn't move or speak, not even when Gabriel lifted me out of the water and carried me back to our house. Ivy helped me into the shower, and came to help me out half an hour later when I'd forgotten where I was and just stood under the pounding water. Gabriel bought me some dinner, but I couldn't eat it. I sat on my bed, staring into space and doing nothing but thinking of Xavier and trying not to think of him at the same time. The separation made me realize just how safe I felt with him. I craved his touch, his smell, even the awareness that he was nearby. But now he felt miles away, and I couldn't reach him, and that knowledge made me feel ready to crumble, to cease to exist.
Alexandra Adornetto
World War II. And just a little more than two decades before then marked the start of World War I, battles fought among men whose average age was twenty-four but reached as low as just twelve years. Fast-forward to today and students are demanding safe spaces on college campuses because they view it as a form of torture to be exposed to opposing viewpoints.
Candace Owens (Blackout: How Black America Can Make Its Second Escape from the Democrat Plantation)
She reached out and stroked my hair just as she had when I was a child. I closed my eyes and let sleep take me, feeling utterly safe.
Hillary Jordan (Mudbound)
Change happens when you extend your reach. Your comfort zone is your enemy. As long as you play it safe, you will never become all that you are destined to be.
Germany Kent
...he'd know about the role of mirror neurons in the brain, special cells in the premotor cortex that fire right before a person reaches for a rock, steps forward, turns away, begins to smile.Amazingly, the same neurons fire whether we do something or watch someone else do the same thing, and both summon similar feelings. Learning form our own mishaps isn't as safe as learning from someone else's, which helps us decipher the world of intentions, making our social whirl possible. The brain evolved clever ways to spy or eavesdrop on risk, to fathom another's joy or pain quickly, as detailed sensations, without resorting to words. We feel what we see, we experience others as self.
Diane Ackerman (The Zookeeper's Wife)
guess the question is, how paranoid do you want to be? How many guns does it take to make you feel safe? And how do you simultaneously keep them loaded and close at hand, but still out of reach of your inquisitive children or grandchildren? Are you sure you wouldn’t do better with a really good burglar alarm? It’s true you have to remember to set the darn thing before you go to bed, but think of this — if you happened to mistake your wife or live-in partner for a crazed drug addict, you couldn’t shoot her with a burglar alarm.
Stephen King (Guns (Kindle Single))
The world is chaotic. All artists know this, but they try to make sense of it. Sophia has made sense of it for him. She has stitched it together like the most beautiful cloak. Her love has sewn it together and they can wrap it around themselves and be safe from the world. Nobody can reach them.
Deborah Moggach (Tulip Fever)
Remember that for all the books we have in print, are as many that have never reached print, have never been written down-even now, in this age of compulsive reverence for the written word, history, even social ethic, are taught by means of stories, and the people who have been conditioned into thinking only in terms of what is written-and unfortunately nearly all the products of our educational system can do no more than this-are missing what is before their eyes. For instance, the real history of Africa is still in the custody of black storytellers and wise men, black historians, medicine men: it is a verbal history, still kept safe from the white man and his predations. Everywhere, if you keep your mind open, you will find the words not written down. So never let the printed page be your master. Above all, you should know that the fact that you have to spend one year, or two years, on one book, or one author means that you are badly taught-you should have been taught to read your way from one sympathy to another, you should be learning to follow you own intuitive feeling about what you need; that is what you should have been developing, not the way to quote from other people.
Doris Lessing
Meaning they’ll reach the wild safely,” he said. “They’ll find water, food, shade, whatever they need until they find a safe place to live.” “Why can’t you place a blessing like that on us?” I asked. “It only works on wild animals.” “So it would only affect Percy,” Annabeth reasoned. “Hey!” I protested.
Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1))
On my way to the living room, where my family was gathered, I stopped to look at the photo in the foyer. As always, my eyes were drawn to my own face first, then those of my sisters, and finally my mother, looking so small between us. But I saw it differently now. When that picture was taken, we were all gathered around my mother, sheltering her. But that was just one day, one shot. In the time since, we had arranged and rearranged ourselves so many times. We’d all gathered around Whitney, even when she didn’t want us to, and Kirsten and I had gotten closer when she pushed us both away. We were still in flux, as had been clear at the table that night as I watched my mother and sisters come together again. Then, I’d been convinced I was on the outside, but really, I’d always been within arm’s reach. All I had to do was ask, and I, too, would be easily brought back, surrounded and immersed, finding myself safe, somewhere in between.
Sarah Dessen (Just Listen)
[Philip's death was] beyond comparison the most afflicting of my life.... He was truly a fine youth. But why should I repine? It was the will of heaven and he is now out of the reach of the seductions and calamities of a world full of folly, full of vice, full of danger, of least value in proportion as it is best known. I firmly trust also that he has safely reached the haven of eternal repose and felicity. (Alexander Hamilton letter to Benjamin Rush about the death of his 19-year old son from mortal wounds inflicted from a duel.)
Ron Chernow (Alexander Hamilton)
This whole journey is a balancing act based on faith. We're all just hoping the The Infinity will eventually be able to reach somewhere safe. And for what? To satisfy the great human spirit of exploration? My life is a gambling chip thrown carelessly across the universe in the hope it'll land somewhere my descendants can survive.
Lauren James (The Loneliest Girl in the Universe)
I press into him, deepening our kiss. His arms wrap around me, constricting me, making me feel safe and warm. I reach up and cup his cheek. He pulls back a little and says, "Say it." Confused, I pull back further and look into his hooded eyes. He repeats, "Say it, baby." It dawns on me and with a small smile, I tell him sincerely, "I love you, Asher Collins." Looking pained, he closes his eyes and rests his forehead on mine. He whispers, "Don't deserve you. Not even a bit. But as long as you want me, you got me." My eyes close and I whisper, "Don't leave me. Ever." "Never. You're my girl," he replies seriously.
Belle Aurora (Love Thy Neighbour (Friend-Zoned, #2))
One of the main reasons people fail to reach their full potential is because they are unwilling to risk anything. They are fearful of losing, failing, or getting hurt and just want to do the things they believe will keep them safe.
Zig Ziglar (Born to Win: Find Your Success Code)
Do you remember when I told you that I sometimes believe that you’re not real? That I imagined you just to hurt myself?” Reed says softly with a bitterly self-effacing laugh that has nothing to do with humor. “I know now that you have to be real. This kind of pain cannot exist if you were imaginary,” Reed’s sexy voice breathes. I feel like I could reach out and touch him, he feels that close to me. “I know you exist, but you’re like a sunset to me now—beautiful and so distant that no matter how fast I fly, I cannot reach you. You are always on the next horizon,” Reed says sadly, and my breath catches in my throat as an unbelievable ache throbs in my chest. “Tel me where you are. I wil meet you— wherever you are in the world. I wil be there. Just you and me, I swear it. We don’t have to endanger anyone else— we’l make sure Buns and Brownie and Zephyr are safe. Just you and me, I promise…I wil meet you anywhere at anytime…I wil …
Amy A. Bartol
Education is a choice. We don't become educated by watching television, and we don't learn a whole lot having similar conversations with the same, safe people day after day. Our education comes from pushing up against boundaries, from taking risks that may seem at first to be overwhelming, and by persevering past the first disappointments or shortfalls until we reach a point at which actual learning takes place. Determination and perseverance are absolutely vital to developing a true education--rarely, if ever, do we learn the most valuable lessons in the first few steps of the journey.
Tom Walsh
What was better – a constant safeness that never grew and never changed, or a life of reaching, building, striving, even though you knew you’d never be completely satisfied?
Becky Chambers (Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers, #3))
If we are not graced with an instinctive knowledge of how to make our technologized world a safe and balanced ecosystem, we must figure out how to do it. We need more scientific research and more technological restraint. It is probably too much to hope that some great Ecosystem Keeper in the sky will reach down and put right our environmental abuses. It is up to us. It should not be impossibly difficult. Birds—whose intelligence we tend to malign—know not to foul the nest. Shrimps with brains the size of lint particles know it. Algae know it. One-celled microorganisms know it. It is time for us to know it too.
Carl Sagan (Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life & Death at the Brink of the Millennium)
The wide earth may harbor vicious affairs,     But high Heaven will a good man vindicate.     Footloose they’re safe on Tathāgata’s way,     Certain to reach Mount Spirit’s paradise gate.
Wu Cheng'en (The Journey to the West, Revised Edition, Volume 4)
Reaching up, he began using the exercise bar to do chin-ups. The repetitive act helped focus his mind as it multitasked. One thing was certain—he refused to never again experience the intimacy of being with Brenna. It wasn’t the sex, though that had been the most amazing experience of his life. It was the way he’d made her laugh, made her smile, made her complain and then cuddle. All because she’d felt safe, reassured by the strength of their emotional connection. He would not steal that feeling from her. And he most definitely was not going to surrender her to another male who could give her what she needed. The idea made him want to break something.
Nalini Singh (Caressed by Ice (Psy-Changeling #3))
That plain, middle-aged face, with a grave penetrating kindness in it, seeming to tell of a human being who had reached a firm, safe strand, but was looking with helpful pity towards the strugglers still tossed by the waves, had an effect on Maggie at this moment which was afterwards remembered by her as if it had been a promise.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
….I thought we’d be okay apart, but I was sorely mistaken. I don’t need much, Haven, but I do need you.” “I need you, too, you know,” she said. “You make me feel safe.” Despite everything, she trusted him. She believed in him. She loved him. And he loved her . . . more than anything in the world. She had given herself to him again, every barrier between them broken down. All of those unanswered questions, all of the worry, every single bit of it had been resolved the moment they came back together. “Haven,” he said. “If I could have anything, I know what I’d ask for now.” She pulled back from their hug to look at him with genuine curiosity. “What?” Carmine took a step back, reaching around his neck to pull off the gold chain. He unfastened it, removing the small ring, and eyed it in his palm momentarily before dropping to his knee. “If I could have anything in the world, it would be for you to marry me.
J.M. Darhower (Redemption (Sempre, #2))
It was funny, she thought, how often we stuck to the safe path in life, pulling on blinders and keeping our eyes to the ground, doing our best not to look at the fantastic view. Without seeing the heights we had reached, the opportunities actually awaiting us out there; without realizing we should just jump and fly, at least for a moment.
Katarina Bivald (The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend)
When you're alone, you are in the right place to watch sadness approach like storm clouds over an open field. You can sit in a chair and get ready for it. As it moves through you, you can reach out your hands and feel all the edges. When it passes and you can drink coffee again you even miss it because it has been loyal to you like a boyfriend.
Marie-Helene Bertino (Safe as Houses)
Marial and Uncle were no longer by his side, and they never would be again, but Salva knew that both of them would have wanted him to survive, to finish the trip and reach the Itang refugee camp safely. It was almost as if they had left their strength with him, to help him on his journey.
Linda Sue Park
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))
Everything’s gonna go to shit eventually, Sam.” She reaches out and plucks a loose thread off the front of my sweater. “I wish you’d stay away from us. Go somewhere safe. When it’s over, maybe things could be different . . .” I let loose with an incredulous laugh. “Ugh, seriously? That’s, like, the kind of crap that Spider-Man tells Mary Jane when he’s trying to break it off with her. Do you know how embarrassing it is to be talked to like I’m some superhero’s girlfriend?” Six laughs too, shaking her head. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it that way. I’m just realizing what a hypocrite I’m being. This is exactly the opposite of the advice I gave to John about Sarah.” “Maybe you’re right and things are going to get bad,” I say. “But that doesn’t mean you should cut yourself off. Being all about the war all the time? That can’t be good. Maybe you should spend like ninety-five percent of your time as Six and, uh, five percent with me, being Maren.” I didn’t plan that little speech; Six’s old human name just pops out. Her mouth opens a bit, but she doesn’t say anything at first, the name catching her off guard. “Maren,” she whispers. “I’m not sure I even remember how to be her.
Pittacus Lore (The Fall of Five (Lorien Legacies, #4))
Now I become myself. It's taken Time, may years and places; I have been dissolved and shaken, Worn other people's faces, Run madly, as if Time were there, Terribly old, crying a warning, "Hurry, you will be dead before--" (What? Before you reach the morning? Or the end off the poem is clear? Or love safe in the walled city?) Now to stand still, to be here, Feel my own weight and density! The black shadow on the paper Is my hand; the shadow of a word As thought shapes the shaper Falls heavy on the page, is heard. All fuses now, falls into place From wish to action, word to silence, My work, my love, my time, my face Gather into one intense Gesture of growing like a plant. As slowly as the ripening fruit Fertile, detached, and always spent, Falls but does not exhaust the root, So all the poem is, can give, Grows in me to become the song; Made so and rooted by love. Now there is time and Time is young. O, in this single hour I live All of myself and do not move. I, pursued, who madly ran, Stand still, stand still, and stop in the sun.
May Sarton
Rachel's mother slipped her arm around his waist. "Steven was just telling us about being gay, Fred." Rachel's father smiled and reached down to shake my hand. "Way to go, Steven. Just remember, safe sex, safe sex, safe sex.
David LaRochelle (Absolutely Positively Not)
The moon is beautiful partly because we cannot reach it, (the sea is impressive because one can never be sure of crossing it safely. Even the pleasure one takes in a flower — and this is true even of a botanist who knows all there is to be known about the flower is dependent partly on the sense of mystery.
George Orwell (Collected Essays)
Transformation is not a kind place, it’s chaotic and a source of inner conflict because it is not a ‘safe’ place, but it is a place of growth; a place of rebirth where you can restart and realign with who you are. We can learn so much from the caterpillar that grows its butterfly wings in the ache and darkness of its own cocoon; and is reborn, beautiful and free, with wings to fly. This is the true meaning and profoundness of transformation; it is where the truest parts of you can emerge and you transition into the most intuitive and vibrant canvas of yourself.
Christine Evangelou (Stardust and Star Jumps: A Motivational Guide to Help You Reach Toward Your Dreams, Goals, and Life Purpose)
Acknowledging that a woman's right to be safe from a gender-based attack was a "civil right," I believed, was critically important in changing the American consciousness. When a right reaches the status and categorization of a "civil right," it means the nation has arrived at a consensus that is nonnegotiable. Violence against women would no longer be written off ... Once our criminal justice system -- at the local, state and federal levels -- recognized these as serious and inexcusable crimes, women could stop blaming themselves.
Joe Biden (Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics)
Don’t worry,” he said. “I placed a satyr’s sanctuary on them.” “Meaning?” “Meaning they’ll reach the wild safely,” he said. “They’ll find water, food, shade, whatever they need until they find a safe place to live.” “Why can’t you place a blessing like that on us?” I asked. “It only works on wild animals.” “So it would only affect Percy,” Annabeth reasoned.
Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1))
In our path of life respect the Signals (Parents) to reach our destinations safely
D.K. Publishing
It felt safe under the duvet. The world couldn’t reach Patricia now she was hiding under a thick layer of polyester.
Emily Organ (The Last Day)
Was there any day for her that would not involve the same schedule, the same faces, the same tasks? What was better –a constant safeness that never grew and never changed, or a life of reaching, building, striving, even though you knew you’d never be completely satisfied?
Becky Chambers (Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers, #3))
Isn't the easiest thing at this point to start living in a guarded, safe, controlled way? To sop taking risks and to be ruled by our fears of what could happen? Turning inward is one way to respond; the other is to acknowledge our lack of control and reach out for God's help. IF life were stable, I'd never need God's help. Since it's not, I reach out for Him regularly. I am thankful for the unknowns and that I don't have control because it makes me run to God.
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
Your life’s course should not be determined by doing what’s safe and easy but by reaching for what’s challenging and hard: the classes that seem impossible on the first day, but you study enough to pass … the jobs you’re not quite qualified for, but you work like crazy to acquire the skills … the moments when you feel alone and overwhelmed, but you are brave enough to ask for help.
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: For Graduates)
Where was Bewcastle? But then he was there, standing on the terrace some distance away, and such was the power of his presence that everyone seemed to sense it an fell back away from Alleyne even as they stopped talking. There was still all sorts of noise, of course - horses, carriage wheels, voices, the water spouting out of the fountain - but it seemed to Alleyne as if complete silence fell. Bewcastle had already seen him. His gaze was steady and silver-eyed and inscrutable. His hand reached for the gold-handled, jewel-studded quizzing glass he always wore with formal attire and raised it halfway to his eyes in a characteristic gesture. Then he came striding along the terrace with uncharacteristic speed and did not stop coming until he had caught Alleyne up in a tight, wordless embrace that lasted perhaps a whole minute while Alleyne dipped his forehead to his brother's shoulder and felt at last that he was safe. It was an extraordinary moment. He had been little more than a child when his father died, but Wulfric himself had been only seventeen. Alleyne had never thought of him as a father figure. Indeed, he had often resented the authority his brother wielded over them with such unwavering strictness, and often with apparant impersonality and lack of humor. He had always thought of his eldest brother as aloof, unfeeling, totally self sufficient. A cold fish. And yet it was in Wulfric's arm that he felt his homecoming most acutely. He felt finally and completely and unconditionally loved. An extraordinary moment indeed.
Mary Balogh (Slightly Sinful (Bedwyn Saga, #5))
Louis found me in the rear parlor, the one more distant from the noises of the tourists in the Rue Royale, and with its windows open to the courtyard below. I was in fact looking out the window, looking for the cat again, though I didn't tell myself so, and observing how our bougainvillea had all but covered the high walls that enclosed us and kept us safe from the rest of the world. The wisteria was also fierce in its growth, even reaching out from the brick walls to the railing of the rear balcony and finding its way up to the roof. I could never quite take for granted the lush flowers of New Orleans. Indeed, they filled me with happiness whenever I stopped to really look at them and surrender to their fragrance, as though I still had the right to do so, as though I still were part of nature, as though I were still a mortal man.
Anne Rice (Merrick (The Vampire Chronicles, #7))
As much as I would like to know my path, a part of me is telling me that it is better not too know too many details about the end destination or the obstacles on the journey. If I can only see as much as my headlights will show me, I can travel safely through any kind of weather, knowing that there's life through every sunrise and sunset and when the light is not shining as I'm used to, I can always assure myself that the night sky will show me many fulfilled dreams and hopes portrayed through shining stars, and every now and then reveal me a part of the moon which reflects that everlasting light, whether fully or not, making me aware that the shadow will always have its' mysterious beauty as well in the process of underlying a part of the truth. So let's continue like this, with our eyes set out far away in the galaxy, but with our feet firm in the ground from which we have been raised. Only so will we be able to ground ourselves deeply and reach immeasurable heights, like a tree deeply rooted in mother Earth that stretches its' branches up to the heavens.
Virgil Kalyana Mittata Iordache
Yelling louder does not help me understand you any better! Don't be afraid of me. Come closer to me. Bring me your gentle spirit. Speak more slowly. Enunciate more clearly. Again! Please, try again. S-l-o-w down. Be kind to me. Be a safe place for me. See that I am a wounded animal, not a stupid animal. I am vulnerable and confused. Whatever my age, whatever my credentials, reach for me. Respect me. I am in here. Come find me.
Jill Bolte Taylor (My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey)
It was that summer, too, that I began the cutting, and was almost as devoted to it as to my newfound loveliness. I adored tending to myself, wiping a shallow red pool of my blood away with a damp washcloth to magically reveal, just above my naval: queasy. Applying alcohol with dabs of a cotton ball, wispy shreds sticking to the bloody lines of: perky. I had a dirty streak my senior year, which I later rectified. A few quick cuts and cunt becomes can't, cock turns into back, clit transforms to a very unlikely cat, the l and i turned into a teetering capital A. The last words I ever carved into myself, sixteen years after I started: vanish. Sometimes I can hear the words squabbling at each other across my body. Up on my shoulder, panty calling down to cherry on the inside of my right ankle. On the underside of a big toe, sew uttering muffled threats to baby, just under my left breast. I can quiet them down by thinking of vanish, always hushed and regal, lording over the other words from the safety of the nape of my neck. Also: At the center of my back, which was too difficult to reach, is a circle of perfect skin the size of a fist. Over the years I've made my own private jokes. You can really read me. Do you want me to spell it out for you? I've certainly given myself a life sentence. Funny, right? I can't stand to look myself without being completely covered. Someday I may visit a surgeon, see what can be done to smooth me, but now I couldn't bear the reaction. Instead I drink so I don't think too much about what I've done to my body and so I don't do any more. Yet most of the time that I'm awake, I want to cut. Not small words either. Equivocate. Inarticulate. Duplicitous. At my hospital back in Illinois they would not approve of this craving. For those who need a name, there's a gift basket of medical terms. All I know is that the cutting made me feel safe. It was proof. Thoughts and words, captured where I could see them and track them. The truth, stinging, on my skin, in a freakish shorthand. Tell me you're going to the doctor, and I'll want to cut worrisome on my arm. Say you've fallen in love and I buzz the outlines of tragic over my breast. I hadn't necessarily wanted to be cured. But I was out of places to write, slicing myself between my toes - bad, cry - like a junkie looking for one last vein. Vanish did it for me. I'd saved the neck, such a nice prime spot, for one final good cutting. Then I turned myself in.
Gillian Flynn (Sharp Objects)
Actually, when you look more closely at the sentence, it contains three separate cues: 1. You are part of this group. 2. This group is special; we have high standards here. 3. I believe you can reach those standards. These signals provide a clear message that lights up the unconscious brain: Here is a safe place to give effort.
Daniel Coyle (The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups)
When a person reaches the end of a book and says, 'I want to read that again,' what he's actually saying is that he wants to mentally merge with his favorite character and stroll among all the other creative personalities, feeding a hungry imagination through the vicarious reliving of each and every wild chapter that stirred his emotions, the whole while surrendering to a safe yet daring existence where any crazy, hopeful thing can and does happen. That's all.
Richelle E. Goodrich
Acknowledging vulnerability is possible only if we feel we can reach out for support. To do so, we must feel some competence in our relationships.” The likelihood of our finding the insight and courage to acknowledge our personal vulnerabilities is dependent on our ability to share and talk about those vulnerabilities with someone we trust and with whom we feel safe.
Brené Brown (I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame)
There have been Plagues all through history and that won't end with this one.' 'So we're never really safe,' I say. 'Oh no, my boy,' Oker says, almost gently. 'That might be the Society's greatest triumph -- that so many of us ever believed that we were.
Ally Condie (Reached (Matched, #3))
I'm so tired. Once, I wanted to watch the floods coming into a canyon, to stand on the edge and see it happen, on ground that was safe but shaking. I'd like to hear the trees snapy away and see the water come higher, I thought, but only from a place where it couldn't reach me. Now I think it might be a terrifying, bright relief to stand on the canyon floor and see the wall of water coming down, and to know this is it, I am finished, and before you could even complete the thought, you would be swallowed, and whole.
Ally Condie (Reached (Matched, #3))
KRIT "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))
A man must preserve himself for his work and must be thoroughly acquainted with the road to it. A man, dear, is like the pilot on a ship. In youth, as at high tide, go straight! A way is open to you everywhere. But you must know when it is time to steer. The waters recede — here you see a sandbank, there, a rock; it is necessary to know all this and to slip off in time, in order to reach the harbour safe and sound.
Maxim Gorky (The Works of Maxim Gorky)
Standing there, I had the feeling of putting on armour, taking up secret weapons, becoming like a dreamer, invulnerable for the moment—safe in my dream. Now I could face the world, having no part in life; the presence of waiting phantoms could be forgotten. I was outside everything, surrendered unconditionally to my dream, giving no thought to my next move, prepared to obey whatever impulse next reaches me from the unseen.
Anna Kavan (Eagles' Nest)
I lay on my stomach, reached down and poked him. He rolled up. Then, feeling safe, I suppose, he slowly unrolled. He travelled a few inches in his hundred legs and I touched him again. He rolled up. Feeling sleepy, I decided to end things. My hand was going down on him when Jem spoke.
Harper Lee (Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird)
Then I felt her hand .... ** ....while I tried to get away ..... "Please, Mrs. Pippin!" .... She took her ... **** ... panting and saying .......... as she ........ under the bed where I thought I'd be safe for a little while, but she reached under and ... ** ..... Just then someone opened the door and I said, "Help!Help!" as loud as I could but he only smiled and said, "Well that's one I'll have to try sometime." as Mrs. Pippin ....
Kenneth Patchen
So how does it happen that -- while most people instinctively try to save themselves and their families from a catastrophe -- a few slow down, look back, and suddenly reach out to strangers? Instead of fleeing in the opposite direction, a few wade into the rising waters to try to yank the drowning onto higher land. ... In the coming months and years, I would learn that -- just as there is no blood test to identify who will jump into the fray -- there is no simple biographical arc either. No resume can predict why this man or woman, at a safe remove from crisis, suddenly announces, "This is my fight.
Melissa Fay Greene (There Is No Me Without You: One Woman's Odyssey to Rescue Africa's Children)
On differing perspectives: "At birth, we're yanked from a warm, safe place and thrust into a world we have no way of comprehending. Childhood is a constant routine of punishment and confusion. Hell we're depressed and misunderstood as teenagers, then frightened and unprepared as we become adults. In midlife, we watch as our youth slowly slips away; our dreams for greatness becoming pathetic memories. Old age brings loneliness, infirmity, and the constant fear of death." "At birth, we're rescued from a dark, silent place and ushered into a world full of wonder. Childhood is a magical time, free from responsibility. We're curious and filled with energy as teenagers, and then challenged to reach our full potential as we become adults. In mid-life, we watch as our pretensions slowly slip away, our dreams for happiness finally becoming realized. Old age brings wisdom, wonderful memories, and a passionate love of life.
Rick Reynolds
Young girl, don't cry I'll be right here when your world starts to fall Young girl, it's alright Your tears will dry, you'll soon be free to fly When you're safe inside your room, you tend to dream Of a place where nothing's harder than it seems No one ever wants or bothers to explain Of the heartache life can bring and what it means When there's no one else, look inside yourself Like your oldest friend, just trust the voice within Then you'll find the strength that will guide your way You'll learn to begin to trust the voice within Young girl, don't hide You'll never change if you just run away Young girl, just hold tight Soon you're gonna see your brighter day Now in a world where innocence is quickly claimed It's so hard to stand your ground when you're so afraid No one reaches out a hand for you to hold When you look outside, look inside to your soul When there's no one else, look inside yourself Like your oldest friend, just trust the voice within Then you'll find the strength that will guide your way If you will learn to begin to trust the voice within Life is a journey It can take you anywhere you choose to go As long as you're learning You'll find all you'll ever need to know Be strong You'll break it Hold on You'll make it Be strong Just don't forsake it because Hold on No one can tell you what you can't do No one can stop you, you know that I'm talking to you When there's no one else, look inside yourself Like your oldest friend, just trust the voice within Then you'll find the strength that will guide your way You'll learn to begin to trust the voice within Young girl, don't cry, I'll be right here When your world starts to fall
Christina Aguilera
Making mistakes means you’re learning, growing, pushing… that you yearn for something and aren’t afraid to chase after it. You’re being creative and contributing to this world, even if it doesn’t work out as you hoped. Go ahead and make mistakes. For once in your life, quit playing it safe and make some spectacular mistakes… Make glorious mistakes that will echo through the ages. Make mistakes that no one has ever thought of! Don’t limit yourself, no matter how outlandish. Reach out and strive for something beyond all dreams.
Elizabeth Camden (Beyond All Dreams)
But be grateful that your dad left you with two people who loved you both, who provided you with an amazing childhood” She reaches out for my hand and I let her take it in hers “For whatever reason he had, he still made sure you were safe and taken care of, it could have been worse Ry. You could have been left with someone who hated your very existence.
Sarah Clay (Never Enough)
The inside of the Trace Italian, of course, does not exist. A player can get close enough to see it: it shines in the new deserts of Kansas, gleaming in the sun or starkly rising from the winter cold. The rock walls that protect it meet in points around it, one giving way to another, for days on end. But the dungeons into which you'll fall as you work through the pathways to its gates number in the low hundreds, and if you actually get into the entry hall, there are a few hundred more sub-dungeons before you'll actually reach somewhere that's truly safe. Technically, it's possible to get to the last room in the final chamber of the Trace Italian, but no one will ever do it. No one will ever live that long.
John Darnielle (Wolf in White Van)
It doesn’t matter how I arrive at my conclusions, so long as I reach my destination safe and sound. Especially sound.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
She reached out her arms to Blackie. The beautiful siren was calling her weary sailor safely to port.
Karen Cecil Smith (Pillow of Thorns)
Seeing isn't believing, feeling is believing." She reached out and patted his coat, finding the space above his heart, where the handbill was safely tucked away. "I feel you.
Jamie Ford (Songs of Willow Frost)
I embrace the rain like no one else and I call for storms because I live for the moments when I get through to the other side with all my organs intact. I change with the seasons and the seasons live in me, depending on the weather as if it's something to be trusted. I don't feel safe unless I'm far below or high above, near the ocean, or climbing the mountain. Where I can't be reached or seen by anyone or anything and not even myself, because it seems to me that these voices in my head get louder just to kill the noise from the outside, and so I need to go away from time to time. You will never see me surrender, never see me cry, but you will often see me walk away. Turn around and just leave, without looking back.
Charlotte Eriksson (Empty Roads & Broken Bottles: in search for The Great Perhaps)
I'd inquired him about being safe, he had reached into the drawer of the beside table and drawn out a satin-lined box of condoms. "Standard rock-star equipment," he'd said with a sly smile.
April Lindner (Jane)
I dreamt of Curran snarling “Fix her!” And Doolittle saying that he wasn’t a god and there was only so much he could do. I dreamt of Julie crying by my bed, of Jim sitting near, of Andrea telling me some frustratingly complicated story . . . The noises blended in my head until finally I could stand it no longer. “Would all of you just be quiet? Please.” I blinked and saw Curran’s face. “Hey,” he said. “Hey.” I smiled. There he was, alive. I was alive. “I was telling the people in my head to shut up.” “They have medication for that.” “I probably can’t afford it.” He caressed my cheek. “You came for me,” I whispered. “Always,” he told me. “You’re a damn idiot. Trying to throw your life away?” “Just staying sharp. Keeping you safe keeps me in shape.” He leaned in and kissed me softly on the lips. I reached for him and he hugged me to him and held on for a long moment. I closed my eyes, smiling at the simple pleasure of his skin on mine.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3))
I’m frightened. This is how it starts. Even if he is cured, even if he is safe—the fact is, I’m not safe, and this is how it starts. Phase One: preoccupation; difficulty focusing; dry mouth; perspiration; sweaty palms; dizziness and disorientation. I feel a rushing blend of sickness and relief, a feeling like find out that everyone actually knows your worst secret, has known all along. All this time Aunt Carol was right, my teachers were right, my cousins were right. I’m just like my mother, after all. And the thing, the disease, is inside of me, ready at any moment to start working on my insides, to start poisoning me. “I have to go.” I start up the hill again, nearly sprinting now, but again he comes after me. “Hey. Not so fast.” At the top of the hill he reaches out and puts a hand on my wrist to stop me. His touch burns, and I jerk away quickly. “Lena. Hold on a second.” Even though I know I shouldn’t, I stop. It’s the way he says my name: like music.
Lauren Oliver (Delirium (Delirium, #1))
Auri grew serious. “Now close your eyes and bend down so I can give you your second present.” Puzzled, I closed my eyes and bent at the waist, wondering if she had made me a hat as well. I felt her hands on either side of my face, then she gave me a tiny, delicate kiss in the middle of my forehead. Surprised, I opened my eyes. But she was already standing several steps away, her hands clasped nervously behind her back. I couldn’t think of anything to say. Auri took a step forward. “You are special to me,” she said seriously, her face grave. “I want you to know I will always take care of you.” She reached out tentatively and wiped at my cheeks. “No. None of that tonight. This is your third present. If things are bad, you can come and stay with me in the Underthing. It is nice there, and you will be safe.” “Thank you, Auri,” I said as soon as I was able. “You are special to me, too.” “Of course I am,” she said matter-of-factly. “I am as lovely as the moon.
Patrick Rothfuss
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)
You weren’t meant for the ice, you weren’t made for the pain. The world that lives inside of me was not the world you 75 Existence were meant to contain. You were meant for castles and living in the sun. The cold running through me should have made you run. Yet you stay. Holding onto me, yet you stay, reaching out a hand that I push away. The cold is not meant for you yet you stay, you stay, you stay. When I know it’s not right for you. The ice fills my veins and I can’t feel the pain, yet you’re there like the heat that sends me screaming in fear. I can’t feel the warmth I need to feel the ice. I want to hold it all in and numb it till I can’t feel the knife. Your heat threatens to melt it all and I know I can’t bear the pain if the ice melts away. So I push you away and I scream out your name and I know I can’t need you yet you give anyway and I run wishing you would run too. Yet you stay. Holding onto me yet you stay reaching out a hand that I push away. The cold is not meant for you yet you stay, you stay, you stay. When I know it’s not right for you. The blackness is my shield. I pull it closer still. You’re the light that I hide from, the light that I hate. You’re the light to this darkness and I can’t let you stay. I need the dark around me like I need the ice in my veins. The cold is my healer. The cold is my safe place. You aren’t welcome with your heat you don’t belong beside me. I hate you yet I love, I don’t want you yet I need you. The dark will always be my cloak and you are the threat to unveil my pain, so leave. Leave and erase the memories. I need to face the life that’s meant for me. Don’t stay and ruin all my plans. You can’t have my soul I’m not a man. The empty vessel I dwell in is not meant to feel the heat you bring. I push you away and I push you away. Yet you stay.
Abbi Glines (Existence (Existence, #1))
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.” “Good.” “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. “I’m fine.” “Are you sure?” With his other hand, Sonny reached up and brushed a stray auburn curl out of her eyes. “I’m sure.” 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))
What I have found is that a baby—though she doesn’t know words yet, or information, or the rules of life—is the most reliable judge of feelings. All a baby has with which to take in the world are her five senses. Hold her, sing to her, show her the night sky or a quivering leaf, or a bug. Those are the ways—the only ways—she learns about the world—whether it is a safe and loving place, or a harsh one. What she will register, at least, will be the fact that she is not alone. And it has been my experience that when you do this—slow down, pay attention, follow the simple instincts of love—a person is likely to respond favorably. It is generally true of babies, and most other people too, perhaps. Also dogs. Hamsters even. And people so damaged by life in the world that there might seem no hope for them, only there may be. So I talk to her. Sometimes we dance. When our daughter’s breathing is steady again—maybe she has fallen asleep, maybe not—we buckle her up in her car seat and continue north. I always know, whatever hour it may be when we pull down the long dirt road leading to their house, that the lights will be on, and the door will be open even before we reach it—my mother standing there, with Frank beside her. You brought the baby, she says.
Joyce Maynard (Labor Day)
I opened the bag and pulled out a small box of chocolates. “Happy anniversary.” “Oh. Thanks.” She flashed me a huge smile that would have looked totally real … if I didn’t know her better. “Simon said that’s what I should get you. That or flowers. So you like it?” “Sure.” “Liar.” Her face went bright red now as she stammered, “N-no, really. It’s great. It’s—” “Completely and totally impersonal. Like something you’d buy in bulk for all your teachers.” “No, I like this kind. You know I do and—” She stopped as I held out the bag. “Your real gift,” I said. She looked in and let out a choking laugh. Then, still grinning, she reached in and pulled out a penlight, a Swiss army knife and a purse-sized can of mace. She sputtered another laugh. “This is …” “Practical?” I said. “In my life, it is definitely practical. But I was going to say thoughtful.” She smiled up at me. “The most thoughtful gift I’ve ever gotten.” “And the most completely unromantic? Simon almost had a heart attack when I showed him. He made me get the chocolates, as a backup.” “I’m sure he did. Which I suppose explains why I ended up with you instead.” She rose on tiptoes again and put her arms around my neck. “Because buying me gifts to keep me safe? That’s my idea of romantic.”
Kelley Armstrong (Belonging (Darkest Powers, #3.5))
you would sleep beneath a roof tonight, you must climb off your horses and cross the mud with me. The path of faith, we call it. Only the faithful may cross safely. The wicked are swallowed by the quicksands, or drowned when the tide comes rushing in. None of you are wicked, I hope? Even so, I would be careful where I set my feet. Walk only where I walk, and you shall reach the other side.” The path of faith was a crooked one, Brienne could not help but note.
George R.R. Martin (A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire #4))
ACCIDENTAL GROWTH INTENTIONAL GROWTH Plans to Start Tomorrow Insists on Starting Today Waits for Growth to Come Takes Complete Responsibility to Grow Learns Only from Mistakes Often Learns Before Mistakes Depends on Good Luck Relies on Hard Work Quits Early and Often Perseveres Long and Hard Falls into Bad Habits Fights for Good Habits Talks Big Follows Through Plays It Safe Takes Risks Thinks Like a Victim Thinks Like a Learner Relies on Talent Relies on Character Stops Learning after Graduation Never Stops Growing
John C. Maxwell (The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential)
Tonight his father had caught up, carrying all the horrors of hell with him. His mother could no longer protect him—hide him—and now his father‟s wrath would fall on him. He ran across the fields and through the forest, his bare feet carrying him as fast as they could go, aching and bleeding into the night. He could feel his father‟s eyes on him and his stinking breath filling Raven‟s nostrils as he rushed toward the only place he had ever found safe. He sobbed, choking on his grief and his frustration—the horrible guilt of carrying all the anger from his father into their house making him sick and afraid. He ran with lungs and muscles burning from strain, throwing himself through the doors of the castle when he reached them and only then chancing to look back the way he‟d come.
Amanda M. Lyons (Eyes Like Blue Fire)
It is a land bright with truth, where a man’s word is his pledge, and falsehood is banished, where children sleep safe in their mothers’ arms and never know fear or pain. It is a land where kings extend their hands in justice rather than reach for the sword; where mercy, kindness and compassion flow like deep water over the land, and men revere virtue, revere truth, revere beauty, above comfort, pleasure, or selfish gain. A land where peace reigns in the hearts of men, where faith blazes like a beacon from every hill, and love like a fire from every hearth,
Stephen R. Lawhead (Merlin (The Pendragon Cycle #2))
Dalinar took one step forward, then drove his Blade point-first into the middle of the blackened glyph on the stone. He took a step back. “For the bridgemen,” he said. Sadeas blinked. Muttering voices fell silent, and the people on the field seemed too stunned, even, to breathe. “What?”Sadeas asked. “The Blade,”Dalinar said, firm voice carrying in the air. “In exchange for your bridgemen. All of them. Every one you have in camp. They become mine, to do with as I please, never to be touched by you again. In exchange, you get the sword.” Sadeas looked down at the Blade, incredulous. “This weapon is worth fortunes. Cities, palaces, kingdoms.” “Do we have a deal?”Dalinar asked. “Father, no!”Adolin Kholin said, his own Blade appearing in his hand. “You—” Dalinar raised a hand, silencing the younger man. He kept his eyes on Sadeas. “Do we have a deal?” he asked, each word sharp. Kaladin stared, unable to move, unable to think. Sadeas looked at the Shardblade, eyes full of lust. He glanced at Kaladin, hesitated just briefly, then reached and grabbed the Blade by the hilt. “Take the storming creatures.” Dalinar nodded curtly, turning away from Sadeas. “Let’s go,”he said to his entourage. “They’re worthless, you know,”Sadeas said. “You’re of the ten fools, Dalinar Kholin! Don’t you see how mad you are? This will be remembered as the most ridiculous decision ever made by an Alethi highprince!” Dalinar didn’t look back. He walked up to Kaladin and the other members of Bridge Four. “Go,” Dalinar said to them, voice kindly. “Gather your things and the men you left behind. I will send troops with you to act as guards. Leave the bridges and come swiftly to my camp. You will be safe there. You have my word of honor on it.” He began to walk away. Kaladin shook off his numbness. He scrambled after the highprince, grabbing his armored arm. “Wait. You—That—What just happened?” Dalinar turned to him. Then, the highprince laid a hand on Kaladin’s shoulder, the gauntlet gleaming blue, mismatched with the rest of his slate-grey armor. “I don’t know what has been done to you. I can only guess what your life has been like. But know this. You will not be bridgemen in my camp, nor will you be slaves.” “But…” “What is a man’s life worth?” Dalinar asked softly. “The slavemasters say one is worth about two emerald broams,” Kaladin said, frowning. “And what do you say?” “A life is priceless,” he said immediately, quoting his father. Dalinar smiled, wrinkle lines extending from the corners of his eyes. “Coincidentally, that is the exact value of a Shardblade. So today, you and your men sacrificed to buy me twenty-six hundred priceless lives. And all I had to repay you with was a single priceless sword. I call that a bargain.” “You really think it was a good trade, don’t you?” Kaladin said, amazed. Dalinar smiled in a way that seemed strikingly paternal.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
The weight of him pressed me out. I felt covered, safe; something dark in me retreated and, for what felt like the first time in the arms of a man, I felt safe. I was still me -- the switch was not flicked, but the terrible feeling haunting me then didn't reach me. Which is one of the things that love can feel like. Peter stayed there for some time. He may have fallen asleep at some point. And so it is that when I hear stories of how thin he became, I can't reconcile them with the weight of the boy who pinned me to myself, made me feel the place in me where I attached to the world.
Alexander Chee (How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays)
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)
Was I trying too hard to make this mean something? I asked Leah. Was that just buying into the industry's own narratives about itself? I tried to summarize the frantic, self-important work culture in Silicon Valley, how everyone was optimizing their bodies for longer lives, which would then be spent productively; how it was frowned upon to acknowledge that a tech job was a transaction rather than a noble mission or a seat on a rocket ship. In this respect, it was not unlike book publishing: talking about doing work for money felt like screaming the safe word. While perhaps not unique to tech--it may even have been endemic to a generation--the expectation was overbearing. Why did it feel so taboo, I asked, to approach work the way most people did, as a trade of my time and labor for money? Why did we have to pretend it was all so fun? Leah nodded, curls bobbing. "That's real," she said. "but I wonder if you're forcing things. Your job can be in service of the rest of your life." She reached out to squeeze my wrist, then leaned her head against the window. "You're allowed to enjoy your life," she said. The city streaked past, the bridge cables flickering like a delay, or a glitch.
Anna Wiener (Uncanny Valley)
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 dreams. 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. Or rest.
Neil Gaiman
Each of us had reached Eden in our own way.  Those who had survived the Fall had figured out that it wasn’t safe to be in the cities anymore.  With so much electricity and other mechanical resources available, the Fallen flocked to them.  If you were smart you ran as fast as you could toward the mountains or to the open country. 
Keary Taylor (Eden (The Eden Trilogy, #1))
That would make it easy for Amara. Not having a choice was always easy. It was always safer. However bad things were, you kept your head down and did as you were told in order to avoid worse. The world always wanted people like her to believe those lies. You were never safe as long as you were at someone else’s whim. Amara’s eyes met Cilla’s, dark and beaten and haunted. Not having a choice was the worst thing in the world. Amara pushed the knife down. Nolan didn’t stop her. And in that moment, with her enemy’s knife in her own hand, a point pressing on Cilla’s arm, Cilla’s skin familiar against hers, relief sneaked up on her and refused to let go. Because what she’d told Cilla wasn’t true. It wasn’t that she couldn’t go back to her old life; she could. If she went back, she’d hate herself, but it meant survival. It might be worth it or it might not be, and she’d never have to find out because it would never happen. She wasn’t going back. It wasn’t because of what Maart wanted, or because of what Cilla asked, or because of what Jorn said. She’d made the choice. It was hers alone. This or nothing. Blood welled up from Cilla’s arm. Amara let the knife clatter to the ground. She reached for the cut. She was almost smiling now, a desperate smile that had her lips trembling, that came with tears burning her eyes. This or nothing.
Corinne Duyvis (Otherbound)
This is Harry. As a boy, Harry was very, very shy. Some people may have even said he was painfully shy. As if his shyness caused them pain and not the other way around. There are many things that can cause a person to recede. To look away from other people’s eyes or to choose empty hallways over crowded ones. Some shy people try to reach out and try, and nothing seems to come back and then there just comes a point where they stop trying. In Harry’s case he was slapped in the face and called names designed to isolate him, designed to deliver maximum damage. This because he came from a different country and didn’t know the right words to use or the right way to say them. And so, Harry learned how to be still, to camouflage, to be the least. Some people describe this as receding into a shell, where the stillness hardens and protects. But the eyes, even when they look down and away, are still watching, still looking for some way out or in; painfully shy. Then in middle school, Harry found theater, where he forced himself to speak through other people’s words. And then dance, where he started to speak through the movements of his body. To be so still for so long when you’re young, means a lot of pent up energy and it was released there through work, endless work. If someone carves into a sapling with a knife, the injury is as wide as the entire trunk. Though that mark will never fully heal, you can grow the tree around it, and as you grow, the scar gets smaller in proportion. If you, right now, are in a shell, you should know that you’re are not alone and there are many, many people like you and that there is nothing wrong with you. It might even be necessary right now. It might keep you safe for a time. But once the danger is gone, or after it’s exhausted it’s use, you’ll find a way out. You may need help, you may need to work really hard, you may need to find some ways to laugh at yourself, or find a passion, or a friend, but you will find it. And, when you do, it will be so good to see you. This is Harry. As a boy, Harry was very, very shy.
Ze Frank
We have noted that gut feelings are an important part of the body’s sensory apparatus, helping us to evaluate the environment and assess whether a situation is safe. Gut feelings magnify perceptions that the emotional centres of the brain find important and relay through the hypothalamus. Pain in the gut is one signal the body uses to send messages that are difficult for us to ignore. Thus, pain is also a mode of perception. Physiologically, the pain pathways channel information that we have blocked from reaching us by more direct routes. Pain is a powerful secondary mode of perception to alert us when our primary modes have shut down. It provides us with data that we ignore at our peril.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
I pushed myself up onto my hands and knees, ignoring the bite of the frosty air on my bare skin. I launched myself in the direction of the door, fumbling around until I found it. I tried shaking the handle, jiggling it, still thinking, hoping, praying that this was some big birthday surprise, and that by the time I got back inside, there would be a plate of pancakes at the table and Dad would bring in the presents, and we could—we could—we could pretend like the night before had never happened, even with the evidence in the next room over. The door was locked. “I’m sorry!” I was screaming. Pounding my fists against it. “Mommy, I’m sorry! Please!” Dad appeared a moment later, his stocky shape outlined by the light from inside of the house. I saw Mom’s bright-red face over his shoulder; he turned to wave her off and then reached over to flip on the overhead lights. “Dad!” I said, throwing my arms around his waist. He let me keep them there, but all I got in return was a light pat on the back. “You’re safe,” he told me, in his usual soft, rumbling voice. “Dad—there’s something wrong with her,” I was babbling. The tears were burning my cheeks. “I didn’t mean to be bad! You have to fix her, okay? She’s…she’s…” “I know, I believe you.” At that, he carefully peeled my arms off his uniform and guided me down, so we were sitting on the step, facing Mom’s maroon sedan. He was fumbling in his pockets for something, listening to me as I told him everything that had happened since I walked into the kitchen. He pulled out a small pad of paper from his pocket. “Daddy,” I tried again, but he cut me off, putting down an arm between us. I understood—no touching. I had seen him do something like this before, on Take Your Child to Work Day at the station. The way he spoke, the way he wouldn’t let me touch him—I had watched him treat another kid this way, only that one had a black eye and a broken nose. That kid had been a stranger. Any hope I had felt bubbling up inside me burst into a thousand tiny pieces. “Did your parents tell you that you’d been bad?” he asked when he could get a word in. “Did you leave your house because you were afraid they would hurt you?” I pushed myself up off the ground. This is my house! I wanted to scream. You are my parents! My throat felt like it had closed up on itself. “You can talk to me,” he said, very gently. “I won’t let anyone hurt you. I just need your name, and then we can go down to the station and make some calls—” I don’t know what part of what he was saying finally broke me, but before I could stop myself I had launched my fists against him, hitting him over and over, like that would drive some sense back into him. “I am your kid!” I screamed. “I’m Ruby!” “You’ve got to calm down, Ruby,” he told me, catching my wrists. “It’ll be okay. I’ll call ahead to the station, and then we’ll go.” “No!” I shrieked. “No!” He pulled me off him again and stood, making his way to the door. My nails caught the back of his hand, and I heard him grunt in pain. He didn’t turn back around as he shut the door. I stood alone in the garage, less than ten feet away from my blue bike. From the tent that we had used to camp in dozens of times, from the sled I’d almost broken my arm on. All around the garage and house were pieces of me, but Mom and Dad—they couldn’t put them together. They didn’t see the completed puzzle standing in front of them. But eventually they must have seen the pictures of me in the living room, or gone up to my mess of the room. “—that’s not my child!” I could hear my mom yelling through the walls. She was talking to Grams, she had to be. Grams would set her straight. “I have no child! She’s not mine—I already called them, don’t—stop it! I’m not crazy!
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
significantly in his work by psychologist Mary Ainsworth, a Canadian researcher who helped give shape to his ideas and test them. Together, they identified four elements of attachment: •We seek out, monitor, and try to maintain emotional and physical connection with our loved ones. Throughout life, we rely on them to be emotionally accessible, responsive, and engaged with us. •We reach out for our loved ones particularly when we are uncertain, threatened, anxious, or upset. Contact with them gives us a sense of having a safe haven, where we will find comfort and emotional support; this sense of safety teaches us how to regulate our own emotions and how to connect with and trust others. •We miss our loved ones and become extremely upset when they are physically or emotionally remote; this separation anxiety can become intense and incapacitating. Isolation is inherently traumatizing for human beings. •We depend on our loved ones to support us emotionally and be a secure base as we venture into the world and learn and explore. The more we sense that we are effectively connected, the more autonomous and separate we can be.
Sue Johnson (Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships)
Suddenly, he's aware of something pushing onto his lap. The stupid monkey. "Give him a cuddle," Valentine says. He's slid his thumb to the corner of his mouth so he can talk, but it still sounds slurry from the way he's holding it, so it won't fall out. "He'll stop you being all grumpy and stressed. He smells nice." "It smells like its rotting," Lindsay says. He picks the thing up and sits it on the steering wheel so he can get a better look at it, trying not to touch its saliva-drenched foot. "No he don't. He smells like being sleepy, and hiding under your covers when everybody's pissed off and shouting. He smells like what it feels like being all warm and safe under your covers." Lindsay brings the thing to his face to give it an experimental sort of sniff. "Wrong. It smells like your spit." And his shampoo, and sort of musty, and something indefinable but unmistakable that makes him think of the way Valentine looks first think in the morning, when his hair's sticking up every which way and he's frowning slightly on opening his eyes like he can't remember where he is. He reaches over to tuck the monkey back between the kid's knees.
Richard Rider (Stockholm Syndrome (Stockholm Syndrome, #1))
I write a few lines in haste to say that I am safe—and well advanced on my voyage. This letter will reach England by a merchantman now on its homeward voyage from Archangel; more fortunate than I, who may not see my native land, perhaps, for many years. I am, however, in good spirits: my men are bold and apparently firm of purpose, nor do the floating sheets of ice that continually pass us, indicating the dangers of the region towards which we are advancing, appear to dismay them. We have already reached a very high latitude; but it is the height of summer, and although not so warm as in England, the southern gales, which blow us speedily towards those shores which I so ardently desire to attain, breathe a degree of renovating warmth which I had not expected.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus)
Oh," he said again and picked up two petals of cherry blossom which he folded together like a sandwich and ate slowly. "Supposing," he said, staring past her at the wall of the house, "you saw a little man, about as tall as a pencil, with a blue patch in his trousers, halfway up a window curtain, carrying a doll's tea cup-would you say it was a fairy?" "No," said Arrietty, "I'd say it was my father." "Oh," said the boy, thinking this out, "does your father have a blue patch on his trousers?" "Not on his best trousers. He does on his borrowing ones." 'Oh," said the boy again. He seemed to find it a safe sound, as lawyers do. "Are there many people like you?" "No," said Arrietty. "None. We're all different." "I mean as small as you?" Arrietty laughed. "Oh, don't be silly!" she said. "Surely you don't think there are many people in the world your size?" "There are more my size than yours," he retorted. "Honestly-" began Arrietty helplessly and laughed again. "Do you really think-I mean, whatever sort of a world would it be? Those great chairs . . . I've seen them. Fancy if you had to make chairs that size for everyone? And the stuff for their clothes . . . miles and miles of it . . . tents of it ... and the sewing! And their great houses, reaching up so you can hardly see the ceilings . . . their great beds ... the food they eat ... great, smoking mountains of it, huge bogs of stew and soup and stuff." "Don't you eat soup?" asked the boy. "Of course we do," laughed Arrietty. "My father had an uncle who had a little boat which he rowed round in the stock-pot picking up flotsam and jetsam. He did bottom-fishing too for bits of marrow until the cook got suspicious through finding bent pins in the soup. Once he was nearly shipwrecked on a chunk of submerged shinbone. He lost his oars and the boat sprang a leak but he flung a line over the pot handle and pulled himself alongside the rim. But all that stock-fathoms of it! And the size of the stockpot! I mean, there wouldn't be enough stuff in the world to go round after a bit! That's why my father says it's a good thing they're dying out . . . just a few, my father says, that's all we need-to keep us. Otherwise, he says, the whole thing gets"-Arrietty hesitated, trying to remember the word-"exaggerated, he says-" "What do you mean," asked the boy, " 'to keep us'?
Mary Norton (The Borrowers (The Borrowers, #1))
Like unto ships far off at sea, Outward or homeward bound, are we. Before, behind, and all around, Floats and swings the horizons bound, Seems at its distant rim to rise And climb the crystal wall of the skies, And then again to turn and sink, As if we could slide from its outer brink. Ah! it is not the sea, It is not the sea that sinks and shelves, But ourselves That rock and rise With endless and uneasy motion, Now touching the very skies, Now sinking into the depths of ocean. Ah! if our souls but poise and swing Like the compass in its brazen ring, Ever level and ever true To the toil and the task we have to do, We shall sail securely, and safely reach The Fortunate Isles, on whose shining beach The sights we see, and the sounds we hear, Will be those of joy and not of fear!
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Favorite Poems)
Do you get it now,Becks?" Jack wrapped a finger around a long strand of my hair, and we were quiet as it slipped through his grip. "You haven't moved on?" He chuckled. "I have a lifetime of memories made up of chestnut wars and poker games and midnight excursions and Christmas Dances...It's all you. It's only ever been you.I love you." The last part seemed to escape his lips unintentionally, and afterward he closed his eyes and put his head in his hands,as if he had a sudden headache. "I've gotta not say that out loud." The sight of how messed up he was made me want to wrap my arms around him and fold him into me and cushion him from everything that lay ahead. Instead,I reached for his hand. Brought it to my lips. Kissed it. He raised his head and winced. "You shouldn't do that," he said, even though he didn't pull his hand away. "Why?" "Because...it'll make everything worse...If you don't feel-" His voice cut off as I kissed his hand again, pausing with his fingers at my lips. He let out a shaky sigh and his hair flopped forward. Then he looked at my lips for a long moment. "What if...?" I bit my lower lip. "What?" "What if we could be like this again?" He leaned in closer with a smile, and as he did,he said, "Are you going to steal my soul?" "Um...it's not technically your soul that..." I couldn't finish my sentence. His lips brushed mine, and I felt the whoosh of transferring emotions,but it wasn't as strong as the last time. The space inside me was practically full again. The Shades were right. Six months was just long enough to recover. He kept his lips touching mine when he asked, "Is it okay?" Okay in that I wasn't going to suck him dry anymore. Not okay in that my own emotions were in hyperdrive. Only our lips touched.Thankfully there was space between us everywhere else. He took my silence to mean it was safe. We held our lips together, tentative and still. But he didn't let it stay that casual for long.He pressed his lips closer, parting his mouth against mine. I shivered,and he put his arms around me and pulled me closer so that our bodies were touching in so many places. He pulled back a little.His breath was on my lips. "What is it?" I asked. "I dreamed of you every night." He briefly touched his lips to mine again. "It felt so real.And when I'd wake up the next morning,it was like your disappearance was fresh. Like you'd left me all over again." I lowered my chin and tucked my head into his chest. "I'm sorry." He sighed and tightened his grip around me. "It never got easier.But the dreams themselves." I felt him shake his head. "It's like I had a physical connection to you. They were so real. Every night,you were in my room with me. It was so real." I tilted my head back so I could face him again, realizing for the first time how difficult it must've been for Jack. I kissed his chin, his cheek, and then his lips. "I'm sorry," I said again. He shook his head. "It's not your fault I dreamed of you, Becks.I just want to know if it was as real as it felt." "I don't know," I said. But I told him about the book I'd read on Orpheus and Eurydice, and my theory that it was her connection to Orpheus that saved her.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
Local Girl Missing, Feared Dead. Beneath it was a photo of me-my most recent school photo. “Oh, no.” My heart filling with dread, I took the paper from Mr. Smith’s hands. “Couldn’t they have found a better picture?” Mr. Smith looked at me sharply. “Miss Oliviera,” he said, his gray eyebrows lowered. “I realize it’s all the rage with you young people today to toss off flippant one-liners so you can get your own reality television shows. But I highly doubt MTV will be coming down to Isla Huesos to film you in the Underworld. So that can’t be all you have to say about this.” He was right, of course. Though I couldn’t say what I really wanted to, because John was in the room, and I didn’t want to make him feel worse than he already did. But what I wanted to do was burst into tears. “Is that about Pierce?” John looked uneasy. Outside, thunder rumbled again. This time, it sounded even closer than before. “Yes, of course, it is, John,” Mr. Smith said. There was something strange about his voice. He sounded almost as if he were mad at John. Only why would he be? John had done the right thing. He’d explained about the Furies. “What did you expect? Have you gotten to the part about the reward your father is offering for information leading to your safe return, Miss Oliviera?” My gaze flicked down the page. I wanted to throw up. “One million dollars?” My dad’s company, one of the largest providers in the world of products and services to the oil, gas, and military industries, was valued at several hundred times that. “That cheapskate.” This was all so very, very bad. “One million dollars is a lot of money to most people.” Mr. Smith said, with a strong emphasis on most people. He still had that odd note in his voice. “Though I recognize that money may mean little to a resident of the Underworld. So I’d caution you to use judiciousness, wherever it is that you’re going, as there are many people on this island who’ll be more than willing to turn you in for only a small portion of that reward money. I don’t suppose I might ask where you’re going? Or suggest that you pay a call on your mother, who is beside herself with worry?” “That’s a good idea,” I said. Why hadn’t I thought of it? I felt much better already. I could straighten out this whole thing with a single conversation. “I should call my mom-“ Both Mr. Smith’s cry of alarm and the fact that John grabbed me by the wrist as I was reaching into my book bag for my cell phone stopped me from making calls of any sort. “You can’t use you phone,” Mr. Smith said. “The police-and your father-are surely waiting for you to do just that. They’ll triangulate on the signal from the closest cell tower, and find you.” When I stared at him for his use of the word triangulate, Mr. Smith shook his head and said, “My partner, Patrick, is obsessed with Law & Order reruns.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
Too many of us are too comfortable in our “Jesus lifeboat.” Instead of the church preparing its members to reach out to other people who are still in the water and pulling them into the boat, we have settled in for the ride to heaven and are busy coming up with ways to make the trip more comfortable. We go to church each week and worship God because we are saved and safe, forgetting that the lifeboat is not yet full.
Tony Evans (God's Glorious Church: The Mystery and Mission of the Body of Christ (Understanding God Series))
Did you know that when the baby starts moving that it’s called the quickening?” Hope says. I snicker. “So she’s going to burst out of my stomach with a sword declaring there can be only one?” “Possibly. Women have died in childbirth, right? The baby is essentially a parasite. It lives off your nutrients, saps your energy.” She taps the bottom of a hanger against her lip. “So yeah, I think the Highlander motto could fit.” Carin and I look at her in horror. “Hopeless, you can shut up any time now,” Carin orders. “I was just saying, from a medical standpoint, it’s a possible theory. Not here, but maybe in other less developed nations.” She reaches over and pats my belly. “Don’t worry. You’re safe. You should’ve gotten more maternity clothes,” she says, moving on to another topic while I’m still digesting that my baby is a parasite.
Elle Kennedy (The Goal (Off-Campus, #4))
Galen picking you up for school?" "No, I'm driving myself." Vinegar turns to acid. Sure, it's irritating to take a lukewarm shower when you intended to scald the flesh from your body. But not being able to see Galen today is more disappointing than not having hot water all winter. And I hate it. Spending all of yesterday with him slaughtered my intention of keeping him at a distance. Even if he weren't worthy of his own billboard underwear ad, he's just too likeable. Except for his habit of almost-kissing me. But his obsession with trying to order me around is too cute. Especially the way his mouth gets all pouty when I don't listen. "You two fighting already?" She's fishing, but for what I don't know. Shrugging seems safe until I can figure out what she wants to hear. "Do you fight often?" Shrugging again, I ladle enough oatmeal into my mouth to make talking impossible for at least a minute, which is more than enough time for her to drop it. It doesn't work. After the exaggerated minute, I reach for my glass of milk. "You know, if he ever hit you-" The glass in mid-tilt, I swallow before the milk can escape through my nose. "Mom, he would never hit me!" "I didn't say he would." "Good, because he wouldn't. Ever. What's with you? Do you have to interrogate me about Galen every time you see me?" This time she shrugs. "Seems like the right thing to do. When you have children, you'll understand." "I'm not stupid. If Galen acts up, I'll either dump him or kill him. You have my word." Mom laughs and butters my muffin. "I guess I can't ask for more than that." Accepting the muffin-and the truce-I say, "Nope. Anything more would be unreasonable." "Just remember, I'm watching you like a hawk. Except for right now, because I'm going to bed.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Drugs and medical technology can be enormously beneficial when used to take care of real complications, but too often they are abused when applied to women birthing normally. These women are thus subjected to unnecessary risks. The key to this problem is informed consent, an ideal too seldom realized. Informed consent means that no woman during pregnancy or labor should ever be deceived into thinking that any drug or procedure (Demerol, Seconal, spinals, caudals, epidurals, paracervical block, etc.) is guaranteed safe. Not only are there no guaranteed safe drugs, but many of them have well-known, recognized side effects and potential side effects. Informed consent should mean that no woman would ever hear such falsehoods as, “This is harmless,” or, “I only give it in such a small dose that it can’t affect the baby,” or, “This is just a local and won’t reach the baby.
Susan McCutcheon (Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way)
Steve Sanetti of the NSSF told me on my radio program in July 2014 that Project Child Safe had reached out to Bloomberg for assistance as Bloomberg claimed to promote gun safety, but Bloomberg never responded. Instead, his money has gone to support a warped idea of “safety,” which is to incite furor and violence. To recap: It was gun control advocates who turned their backs on a national gun safety program that provided gun locks. Not the gun industry.
Dana Loesch (Hands Off My Gun: Defeating the Plot to Disarm America)
Tamper with my memory?" I asked nervously. "Something like that." He was watching me intently, carefully, but there was humor deep in his eyes. He placed his hands against the Jeep on either side of my head and leaned forward, forcing me to press back against the door. He leaned in even closer, his face inches from mine. I had no room to escape. "Now," he breathed, and just his smell disturbed my thought processes, "what exactly are you worrying about?" "Well, um, hitting a tree —" I gulped "— and dying. And then getting sick." He fought back a smile. Then he bent his head down and touched his cold lips softly to the hollow at the base of my throat. "Are you still worried now?" he murmured against my skin. "Yes." I struggled to concentrate. "About hitting trees and getting sick." His nose drew a line up the skin of my throat to the point of my chin. His cold breath tickled my skin. "And now?" His lips whispered against my jaw. "Trees," I gasped. "Motion sickness." He lifted his face to kiss my eyelids. "Bella, you don't really think I would hit a tree, do you?" "No, but I might." There was no confidence in my voice. He smelled an easy victory. He kissed slowly down my cheek, stopping just at the corner of my mouth. "Would I let a tree hurt you?" His lips barely brushed against my trembling lower lip. "No," I breathed. I knew there was a second part to my brilliant defense, but I couldn't quite call it back. "You see," he said, his lips moving against mine. "There's nothing to be afraid of, is there?" "No," I sighed, giving up. Then he took my face in his hands almost roughly, and kissed me in earnest, his unyielding lips moving against mine. There really was no excuse for my behavior. Obviously I knew better by now. And yet I couldn't seem to stop from reacting exactly as I had the first time. Instead of keeping safely motionless, my arms reached up to twine tightly around his neck, and I was suddenly welded to his stone figure. I sighed, and my lips parted. He staggered back, breaking my grip effortlessly. "Damn it, Bella!" he broke off, gasping. "You'll be the death of me, I swear you will." I leaned over, bracing my hands against my knees for support. "You're indestructible," I mumbled, trying to catch my breath. "I might have believed that before I met you.
Stephenie Meyer (Twilight (Twilight, #1))
The teacher asked once what did we talk about when we talked about happiness. And then one student said that happiness is what happens when you go to bed on the hottest night of the summer, a night so hot you can’t even wear a tee-shirt and you sleep on top of the sheets instead of under them, although try to sleep is probably the most accurate. And then at some point late, late, late at night, say just a bit before dawn, the heat finally breaks and the night turns cool and when you briefly wake up, you notice that you’re almost chilly, and in your groggy, half-consciousness, you reach over and pull the sheet around you and just that flimsy sheet makes it warm enough and you drift back off into a deep sleep. And it’s that reaching, that gesture, that reflex we have to pull what’s warm- whether it’s something or someone- towards us, that feeling we get when we do that, that feeling of being safe in the world and ready for sleep, that’s happiness.
Paul Schmidtberger (Design Flaws of the Human Condition)
I don’t know what you want to call it, what we are to each other now,” I said. “But I wanted you to know that your friendship has...quite literally altered me.” For a few long seconds, he just stared at me. There were new things to discover in his face still, even after so long spent in close company. Faint shadows under his cheekbones. The scar that ran through his eyebrow. “You don’t know what to call it?” he said, when he finally spoke again. His armor hit the ground with a clatter, and he reached for me. Wrapped an arm around my waist. Pulled me against him. Whispered against my mouth: “Sivbarat. Zethetet.” One Shotet word, one Thuvhesit. Sivbarat referred to a person’s dearest friend, someone so close that to lose them would be like losing a limb. And the Thuvhesit word, I had never heard before. We didn’t quite know how to fit together, lips too wet, teeth where they didn’t belong. But that was all right; we tried again, and this time it was like the spark that came from friction, a jolt of energy through my body. He clutched at my sides, pulled my shirt into his fists. His hands were deft from handling carving knives and powders, and he smelled like it, too, like herbs and potions and vapor. I pressed into him, feeling the rough stairwell wall against my hands, and his quick, hot breaths against my neck. I had wondered, I had wondered what it was like to go through life without feeling pain, but this was not the absence of pain I had always craved, it was the opposite, it was pure sensation. Soft, warm, aching, heavy, everything, everything. I heard, echoing through the safe house, a kind of commotion. But before I let myself pull away so we could see what it was, I asked him quietly, “What does it mean, ‘zethetet’?” He looked away, like he was embarrassed. I caught sight of that creeping blush around the collar of his shirt. “Beloved,” he said softly. He kissed me again, then picked up his armor and led the way toward the renegades. I couldn’t stop smiling.
Veronica Roth (Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark, #1))
She kept herself busy for a moment, pouring hot water into a mug and giving Jay a chance to absorb what she’d just asked of him, letting him consider her request. Before the dance and before they were a couple, there would have been nothing to think about; he would never have told on her. They’d kept each other’s secrets. No matter what. But now everything—everything—had changed, and Violet was sometimes surprised by how far he would go to keep her out of harm’s way. She knew that, for him anyway, it meant that he would even betray her secrets if it meant she’d be safer in the end. She carried her steaming mug, with the tea bag steeping inside, and set it on the table as she sat down. Jay reluctantly sat too. He leaned forward and rested his elbows on his knees, watching her warily. Finally he sighed, “I won’t tell . . . if you make me one promise.” She met his eyes, hesitating at the look she saw on his face. The unusual mixture of tenderness and fear were at odds, but it made Violet feel warm and soft inside. He reached out his hand to her, and she took it, letting him pull her toward him. She settled onto his lap as he wrapped his arms around her. He nuzzled her neck, inhaling deeply as if the scent of her was somehow reassuring. “Next time . . .” he insisted in a voice quieter than before, “you call me.” She nodded, satisfied that he would keep her safe . . . secrets and all. It was completely astonishing to her—even after all these months—being in love with her best friend.
Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2))
ON THE DEATH OF THE BELOVED Though we need to weep your loss, You dwell in that safe place in our hearts Where no storm or night or pain can reach you. Your love was like the dawn Brightening over our lives, Awakening beneath the dark A further adventure of color. The sound of your voice Found for us A new music That brightened everything. Whatever you enfolded in your gaze Quickened in the joy of its being; You placed smiles like flowers On the altar of the heart. Your mind always sparkled With wonder at things. Though your days here were brief, Your spirit was alive, awake, complete. We look toward each other no longer From the old distance of our names; Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath, As close to us as we are to ourselves. Though we cannot see you with outward eyes, We know our soul’s gaze is upon your face, Smiling back at us from within everything To which we bring our best refinement. Let us not look for you only in memory, Where we would grow lonely without you. You would want us to find you in presence, Beside us when beauty brightens, When kindness glows And music echoes eternal tones. When orchids brighten the earth, Darkest winter has turned to spring; May this dark grief flower with hope In every heart that loves you. May you continue to inspire us: To enter each day with a generous heart. To serve the call of courage and love Until we see your beautiful face again In that land where there is no more separation, Where all tears will be wiped from our mind, And where we will never lose you again.
John O'Donohue (To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Invocations and Blessings)
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))
You ask me how I became a madman. It happened thus: One day, long before many gods were born, I woke from a deep sleep and found all my masks were stolen – the seven masks I have fashioned and worn in seven lives, – I ran maskless through the crowded streets shouting, 'Thieves, thieves, the cursed thieves.' Men and women laughed at me and some ran to their houses in fear of me. And when I reached the market place, a youth standing on a house-top cried, 'He is a madman.' I looked up to behold him; the sun kissed my own naked face for the first time. For the first time the sun kissed my own naked face and my soul was inflamed with love for the sun, and I wanted my masks no more. And as if in a trance I cried, 'Blessed, blessed are the thieves who stole my masks.' Thus I became a madman. And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness; the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us. But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief.
Kahlil Gibran
Elizabeth,” he said with reassuring calm, “I gave you my word you’d be safe if you came today.” Elizabeth briefly closed her eyes and nodded, “I know. I also know I shouldn’t be here. I really ought to leave. I should, shouldn’t I?” Opening her eyes again, she looked beseechingly into his-the seduced asking the seducer for advice. “Under the circumstances, I don’t think I’m the one you ought to ask.” “I’ll stay,” she said after a moment and saw the tension in his shoulders relax. Unbuttoning her jacket, she gave it to him, along with her bonnet, and he took them over to the fireplace, hanging them on the pegs in the wall. “Stand by the fire,” he ordered, walking over to the table and filling two glasses with wine, watching as she obeyed. The front of her hair that had not been covered by her bonnet was damp, and Elizabeth reached up automatically, pulling out the combs that held it off her face on the sides and giving the mass a hard shake. Unconscious of the seductiveness of her gesture, she raised her hands, combing her fingers through the sides of it and lifting it. She glanced toward Ian and saw him standing perfectly still beside the table, watching her. Something in his expression made her hastily drop her hands, and the spell was broken, but the effect of that warmly intimate look in his eyes was vibrantly, alarmingly alive, and the full import of the risk she was taking by being here made Elizabeth begin to quake inside. She did not know this man at all; she’d only met him hours ago; and yet even now he was watching her with a look that was much too…personal. And possessive.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Hegel did not deceive himself about the revolutionary character of his dialectic, and was even afraid that his Philosophy of Right would be banned. Nor was the Prussian state entirely easy in its mind for all its idealization. Proudly leaning on its police truncheon, it did not want to have its reality justified merely by its reason. Even the dull-witted King saw the serpent lurking beneath the rose: when a distant rumor of his state philosopher's teachings reached him he asked suspiciously: but what if I don't dot the I's or cross the T's? The Prussian bureaucracy meanwhile was grateful for the laurel wreath that had been so generously plaited for it, especially since the strict Hegelians clarified their master's obscure words for the understanding of the common subjects, and one of them wrote a history of Prussian law and the Prussian state, where the Prussian state was proved to be a gigantic harp strung in God's garden to lead the universal anthem. Despite its sinister secrets Hegel's philosophy was declared to be the Prussian state philosophy, surely one of the wittiest ironies of world history. Hegel had brought together the rich culture of German Idealism in one mighty system, he had led all the springs and streams of our classical age into one bed, where they now froze in the icy air of reaction. but the rash fools who imagined they were safely hidden behind this mass of ice, who presumptuously rejoiced who bold attackers fell from its steep and slippery slopes, little suspected that with the storms of spring the frozen waters would melt and engulf them. Hegel himself experienced the first breath of these storms. He rejected the July revolution of 1830, he railed at the first draft of the English Reform Bill as a stab in the 'noble vitals' of the British Constitution. Thereupon his audience left him in hordes and turned to his pupil Eduard Gans, who lectured on his master's Philosophy of Right but emphasized its revolutionary side and polemicized sharply against the Historical School of Law. At the time it was said in Berlin that the great thinker died from this painful experience, and not of the cholera.
Franz Mehring (Absolutism And Revolution In Germany, 1525 1848)
Returning from a hunting trip, Orde-Lees, traveling on skis across the rotting surface of the ice, had just about reached camp when an evil, knoblike head burst out of the water just in front of him. He turned and fled, pushing as hard as he could with his ski poles and shouting for Wild to bring his rifle. The animal—a sea leopard—sprang out of the water and came after him, bounding across the ice with the peculiar rocking-horse gait of a seal on land. The beast looked like a small dinosaur, with a long, serpentine neck. After a half-dozen leaps, the sea leopard had almost caught up with Orde-Lees when it unaccountably wheeled and plunged again into the water. By then, Orde-Lees had nearly reached the opposite side of the floe; he was about to cross to safe ice when the sea leopard’s head exploded out of the water directly ahead of him. The animal had tracked his shadow across the ice. It made a savage lunge for Orde-Lees with its mouth open, revealing an enormous array of sawlike teeth. Orde-Lees’ shouts for help rose to screams and he turned and raced away from his attacker. The animal leaped out of the water again in pursuit just as Wild arrived with his rifle. The sea leopard spotted Wild, and turned to attack him. Wild dropped to one knee and fired again and again at the onrushing beast. It was less than 30 feet away when it finally dropped. Two dog teams were required to bring the carcass into camp. It measured 12 feet long, and they estimated its weight at about 1,100 pounds. It was a predatory species of seal, and resembled a leopard only in its spotted coat—and its disposition. When it was butchered, balls of hair 2 and 3 inches in diameter were found in its stomach—the remains of crabeater seals it had eaten. The sea leopard’s jawbone, which measured nearly 9 inches across, was given to Orde-Lees as a souvenir of his encounter. In his diary that night, Worsley observed: “A man on foot in soft, deep snow and unarmed would not have a chance against such an animal as they almost bound along with a rearing, undulating motion at least five miles an hour. They attack without provocation, looking on man as a penguin or seal.
Alfred Lansing (Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage)
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. ... CHOMP. CHOMP. '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) Hmm? ... RUSTLE. RUSTLE. (Namiki pauses, looks down at him) PAT. KNEAD. KNEAD. KNEAD. 'Heh heh.' (-Namiki) Not so rough! KNEAD. KNEAD. 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.) GROAN. GROAN. '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. But... (Namiki stops, and smiles down at him) Wait! 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.
Sakura Tsukuba
Levering himself over Evie’s prone body, Sebastian risked a glance upward at the second-floor balcony. Bullard was gone. With a grunt of pain, Sebastian rolled to his side and searched his wife for injuries, terrified that the bullet might have struck her as well. “Evie…sweetheart…are you hurt?” “Why did you push me like that?” she asked in a muffled voice. “No, I’m not hurt. What was that noise?” His shaking hand brushed over her face, pushing back a tumble of hair that had fallen across her eyes. Bemused, Evie wriggled out from beneath him and sat up. Sebastian remained on his side, panting for breath, while he felt a hot slide of blood over his chest and waist. People were crowding to flee the building, threatening to trample the couple on the floor. Suddenly a man came to crouch over them, having fought his way through the rushing horde. He used his body as a bulwark to keep them from being overrun. Blinking, Sebastian realized that it was Westcliff. Dizzily Sebastian reached up to clutch at his coat. “He aimed for Evie,” Sebastian said hoarsely. His lips had gone numb, and he licked at them before continuing. “Keep her safe…keep her…
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
Sile looked momentarily stymied, then shook his head sharply. "You wont go alone." "I can't ask anyone--" "You aren't asking," Sile said firmly. "I'm insisting--" "Grandfather, nay," Runach said, stunned. "I couldn't allow it." "Allow it?" Sile repeated, looking as if the gale were readying for another good blow. "Who do you think you are, whelp, to tell me what to do?" "I believe, your Majesty," Aisling said quietly, "he's someone who loves you..." Runach didn't dare smile, because his grandfather would have made the effort to get up out of his chair so he could deliver a brisk blow to the back of a grandson's head, of that he was certain. "Besides, I'm going to go along to keep him safe." Sile closed his eyes briefly before he leaned forward and looked at Aisling seriously. "You, my gel?" "Me, Your Majesty." Runach watched his grandfather look at his wife in consternation. "Are you listening to this?" he asked in disbelief. "She isn't even spawn of mine, and yet she exhibits this unsettling 'independence'." "I find it quite admirable, husband." Runach pushed away from the wall and walked over to squat down by Aisling's chair. He looked up at her. "I want you to stay here." She looked at him for a moment or two, then reached out and touched his scarred cheek. "This is my quest, and I must see it through to the end, wherever that end might lie." "I'll think about it," he said, and by that he meant not a chance in hell. He rose and glanced at his grandfather. "I appreciate your concern, but I'm going alone." Sile rubbed his hands over his face. "Breagha?" "Aye, my love?" "When did I lose control over my progeny?" "Several centuries ago, I believe, dear." "It seems more recent than that." "I don't think so, darling.
Lynn Kurland (River of Dreams (Nine Kingdoms, #8))
She nearly slipped on an icy rock, but he caught her, his shoepacks sure on the frozen ground. He led her up a shaded path to a limestone wall, where they squeezed through an opening like a loophole. On the other side, the earth fell away, and it seemed they stepped into open sky. She gave a little gasp, not of fear, but of awe. He turned to take her in, pressing his back against the cold cliff and drawing her in front of him. She looked down and found the toes of her boots in midair with only her heels on the ledge. But he had one hard arm around her, grounding her. His breath was warm against her cold cheek. “I wanted to show you Cherokee territory, not just tell you about it.” She followed the sweep of his arm south, his finger pointing to distant snow-dusted mountains and a wide opal river. Small puffs of smoke revealed few campfires or cabins. The land lay before them like a disheveled white coverlet, uninhabited and without end, broken by more mountains and wending waterways. The unspoiled beauty of it took her breath. For a moment he relaxed his hold on her. With a cry, she reached for him again, fearing she might fall into nothingness. “Careful,” he murmured, steadying her. “Trust me.” She shut her eyes tight as his arms settled around her, anchoring her to the side of the cliff. Frightened as she was, she felt a tingling from her bare head to her feet. ’Twas altogether bewildering and frightening . . . yet pleasing. Gingerly, as if doing a slow dance, he led her off the ledge onto safe ground, where he released her and turned toward the stallion grazing on a tuft of grass. His smile was tight. “We should return—soon, before your father thinks I took you captive.” Reluctantly she walked behind him, framing every part of him in her mind in those few, unguarded moments before he mounted.
Laura Frantz (Courting Morrow Little)
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))
The person who experiences disruption of bonding recoils and withdraws emotionally. He does not experience his need, the hunger for love. Instead, he buries his needs deep inside, so he can no longer be hurt. This withdrawal is called defensive devaluation. Defensive devaluation is a protective device that makes love bad, trust unimportant, and people “no darn good” anyway. People who have been deeply hurt in their relationships will often devalue love so it doesn’t hurt so much. And they often become resigned to never loving again. People who are unbonded do funny things in relationships: They don’t look for safe people: there’s no hunger. They don’t recognize safe people: no one is safe. They don’t reach out to safe people: why get hurt again? Although unbonded people often have friends and families, their isolation is deep and can cause many serious problems. A person who cannot bond may suffer from addictions, depression, emptiness, excessive caretaking, fear of being treated like an object, fears of closeness, feelings of guilt, feelings of unreality, idealism, lack of joy, loss of meaning, negative bonds, outbursts of anger, panic, shallow relationships, or thought problems such as confusion, distorted thinking, and irrational fears.
Henry Cloud (Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't)
He glanced down at her, keeping his expression carefully impassive. “I hate to leave you.” There was a gently mocking edge to his tone. “You need someone to follow you around and keep you safe from mishaps. On the other hand, you also need someone to find a beekeeper.” Realizing he was not going to talk about Leo, Amelia followed his lead. “Will you do that for us? I would consider it a great favor.” “Of course. Although…” His eyes held a wicked glitter. “As I mentioned before, I can’t keep doing favors for you with no reward. A man needs incentive.” “If … if you want money, I’ll be glad to—” “God, no.” Rohan was laughing now. “I don’t want money.” Reaching out, he smoothed back her hair, letting the heel of his hand graze the edge of her cheekbone. The brush of his skin was light and erotic, causing her to swallow hard. “Goodbye, Miss Hathaway. I’ll see myself out.” He flashed a smile at her and advised, “Stay away from the windows.” On the way down the stairs, Rohan passed Merripen, who was ascending at a measured pace. Merripen’s face darkened at the sight of the visitor. “What are you doing here?” “It seems I’m helping with pest eradication.” “Then you can begin by leaving,” Merripen growled. Rohan only grinned nonchalantly, and continued on his way.
Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1))
The worst pair of opposites is boredom and terror. Sometimes your life is a pendulum swing from one to the other. The sea is without a wrinkle. There is not a whisper of wind. The hours last forever. You are so bored you sink into a state of apathy close to a coma. Then the sea becomes rough and your emotions are whipped into a frenzy. Yet even these two opposites do not remain distinct. In your boredom there are elements of terror: you break down into tears; you are filled with dread; you scream; you deliberately hurt yourself And in the grip of terror - the worst storm - you yet feel boredom, a deep weariness with it all. Only death consistently excites your emotions, whether contemplating it when life is safe and stale, or fleeing it when life is threatened and precious. Life on a lifeboat isn't much of a life. It is like an end game in chess, a game with few pieces. The elements couldn't be more simple, nor the stakes higher. Physically it is extraordinarily arduous, and morally it is killing. You must make adjustments if you want to survive. Much becomes expendable. You get your happiness where you can. You reach a point where you're at the bottom of hell, yet you have your arms crossed and a smile on your face, and you feel you're the luckiest person on earth. Why? Because at your feet you have a tiny dead fish.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
Thank you,” I managed to say. Replying with a nod, he approached my horse. “Here, let me help you—” I slipped down myself before he could lend a hand, keeping the fur hide in my possession. “I’m not suddenly incapable because I wear a dress, Thaddeus.” “I wasn’t suggesting….” Wisely, he let the issue drop. Lifting an arm, he offered it to me. That’s when I noticed my sword in sheath belted to his waist. “That’s mine!” I declared, reaching for the hilt. Thaddeus managed a quick side-step. He hardened his jaw at my look of incredulity. I would only wait momentarily for an explanation. “I know the sword is yours, Catherine, everyone knows that. But you’re too beautiful tonight to ruin that radiant look with an ugly, leather belt strapped about you.” I was starting to think the man was using compliments as a weapon to defend himself against me. It did work to temper my anger somewhat. “I brought the sword as a cautionary act, just in case those nasty werewolves show up. Seeing how I’ll be standing beside you all evening, the blade will be at your disposal if needed.” I accepted his reasoning and stood down. “Besides,” Thaddeus added, apparently feeling safe, “what’s yours is mine now anyway.” I glared at the fool. “That works both ways, you know.” He rolled his eyes and shrugged. “If it must.” Again, he offered me his arm which I grudgingly accepted.
Richelle E. Goodrich (The Tarishe Curse)
Security had changed at the hotel as well, with armed SWAT teams deployed in the stairwells. Our family and closest friends were already in the suite, everyone smiling, kids racing around the room, and yet the atmosphere was still strangely muted, as if the reality of what was about to happen hadn’t yet settled in their minds. My mother-in-law, in particular, made no pretense of being relaxed; through the din, I noticed her sitting on the couch, her eyes fixed on the television, her expression one of disbelief. I tried to imagine what she must be thinking, having grown up just a few miles away during a time when there were still many Chicago neighborhoods that Blacks could not even safely enter; a time when office work was out of reach for most Blacks, and her father, unable to get a union card from white-controlled trade unions, had been forced to make do as an itinerant tradesman; a time when the thought of a Black U.S. president would have seemed as far-fetched as a pig taking flight. I took a seat next to her on the couch. “You okay?” I asked. Marian shrugged and kept staring at the television. She said, “This is kind of too much.” “I know.” I took her hand and squeezed it, the two of us sitting in companionable silence for a few minutes. Then suddenly a shot of my face flashed up on the TV screen and ABC News announced that I would be the forty-fourth president of the United States.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
He smiled, and some of the knots in my stomach loosened. He would keep my secret. Devon hesitated, then reached over and put his hand on top of mine. His skin was warm, as though the sun had soaked into his body. I breathed in, and the crisp, clean scent of him filled my nose, the one that made me want to bury my face in his neck and inhale the essence of him over and over again. But I forced myself to exhale and step back, putting some distance between us, even though our hands were still touching. “Look,” I said, my voice carefully neutral. “You’re a nice guy, a great guy. But I’m going to . . . be here for a while. You’re an important member of the Family, and I’m your bodyguard, so it’s my job to protect you, and we’re going to have to work together. But I don’t think there should be anything . . . else.” “Because of your mom, right?” he asked in a low voice. “Because you blame me for her death?” I sucked in a breath, so rattled that I couldn’t even pretend I didn’t know what he was talking about. First, my magic, and now this. Somehow, Devon knew all my secrets. “How do you know about my mom?” I croaked out. “I remember everything about that day in the park,” he said. “Including the girl with the blue eyes who helped save me.” I didn’t say anything. I could barely even hear him over the roar of my own heartbeat in my ears. “It took me a while to figure out why you seemed so familiar. When I realized you reminded me of the girl in the park, I knew it had to be you. Mom would never have brought you here otherwise. Plus, there are several photos of your mother in the library. You look just like her. I know what happened to her. I’m sorry that she died because of me—so sorry.” His green gaze locked with mine, that old, familiar guilt flaring to life in his eyes and punching me in the gut. And once again, I found myself wanting to comfort him. “I don’t blame you for her death,” I said. “It wasn’t your fault. None of it was your fault. It was all the Draconis.” “Do you really mean that?” he whispered. “I do.” Devon closed the distance between us and stared down at me. I let myself look into his eyes for another heartbeat. Then I pulled my hand out from under his and stepped away. Hurt flashed in his gaze before he could hide it. I wanted to stop. I wanted to tell him that I felt this thing, this attraction, this heat between us just as much as he did. I wanted to wrap my arms around his neck, pull his lips down to mine, and lose myself in him. But I couldn’t. Not when I was planning on leaving the mansion, the Family, and him, the second I thought it was safe. I already cared about Devon way too much. And Felix and Oscar and even Claudia. I didn’t need to fall any farther down that rabbit hole, especially where Devon was concerned, because I knew exactly where I would end up—with my heart broken.
Jennifer Estep (Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade, #1))
I would tell you the safe procedure to avoid lightning strikes while on an exposed ridge, but I see no reason you should not learn it as I did. If you get tweaked by God's long electric fingers, I can hardly be to blame. You are a fat-assed nerd anyway, without a pistol within reach and incapable of running more than three miles without the last rites. You, fart-brain, are a reader, and the only thing I despise more is a writer, who simply ought to announce himself a public masturbator and be done with it. But I am telling my story, you are listening, and so we have a truce, if not respect. I am a writer, you a reader, and if there were a God, he might be amused to have mercy on our souls. Or piss on them. In long electric streaks.
Howard McCord (The Man Who Walked to the Moon: A Novella)
Pay attention to everything the dying person says. You might want to keep pens and a spiral notebook beside the bed so that anyone can jot down notes about gestures, conversations, or anything out of the ordinary said by the dying person. Talk with one another about these comments and gestures. • Remember that there may be important messages in any communication, however vague or garbled. Not every statement made by a dying person has significance, but heed them all so as not to miss the ones that do. • Watch for key signs: a glassy-eyed look; the appearance of staring through you; distractedness or secretiveness; seemingly inappropriate smiles or gestures, such as pointing, reaching toward someone or something unseen, or waving when no one is there; efforts to pick at the covers or get out of bed for no apparent reason; agitation or distress at your inability to comprehend something the dying person has tried to say. • Respond to anything you don’t understand with gentle inquiries. “Can you tell me what’s happening?” is sometimes a helpful way to initiate this kind of conversation. You might also try saying, “You seem different today. Can you tell me why?” • Pose questions in open-ended, encouraging terms. For example, if a dying person whose mother is long dead says, “My mother’s waiting for me,” turn that comment into a question: “Mother’s waiting for you?” or “I’m so glad she’s close to you. Can you tell me about it?” • Accept and validate what the dying person tells you. If he says, “I see a beautiful place!” say, “That’s wonderful! Can you tell me more about it?” or “I’m so pleased. I can see that it makes you happy,” or “I’m so glad you’re telling me this. I really want to understand what’s happening to you. Can you tell me more?” • Don’t argue or challenge. By saying something like “You couldn’t possibly have seen Mother, she’s been dead for ten years,” you could increase the dying person’s frustration and isolation, and run the risk of putting an end to further attempts at communicating. • Remember that a dying person may employ images from life experiences like work or hobbies. A pilot may talk about getting ready to go for a flight; carry the metaphor forward: “Do you know when it leaves?” or “Is there anyone on the plane you know?” or “Is there anything I can do to help you get ready for takeoff?” • Be honest about having trouble understanding. One way is to say, “I think you’re trying to tell me something important and I’m trying very hard, but I’m just not getting it. I’ll keep on trying. Please don’t give up on me.” • Don’t push. Let the dying control the breadth and depth of the conversation—they may not be able to put their experiences into words; insisting on more talk may frustrate or overwhelm them. • Avoid instilling a sense of failure in the dying person. If the information is garbled or the delivery impossibly vague, show that you appreciate the effort by saying, “I can see that this is hard for you; I appreciate your trying to share it with me,” or “I can see you’re getting tired/angry/frustrated. Would it be easier if we talked about this later?” or “Don’t worry. We’ll keep trying and maybe it will come.” • If you don’t know what to say, don’t say anything. Sometimes the best response is simply to touch the dying person’s hand, or smile and stroke his or her forehead. Touching gives the very important message “I’m with you.” Or you could say, “That’s interesting, let me think about it.” • Remember that sometimes the one dying picks an unlikely confidant. Dying people often try to communicate important information to someone who makes them feel safe—who won’t get upset or be taken aback by such confidences. If you’re an outsider chosen for this role, share the information as gently and completely as possible with the appropriate family members or friends. They may be more familiar with innuendos in a message because they know the person well.
Maggie Callanan (Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Co)
I grab one of the lanterns we’ve left in the mudroom and head toward my parents’ room, expecting Ryder to follow. But he pauses at the bottom of the stairs. “I guess I should…you know. The guestroom. Should be safe upstairs now.” I just stare at him, trying to decide if he’s serious. But then he reaches for the banister, and I realize he is. “You don’t have to,” I say, my cheeks flushing hotly. “I mean…I’m fine with you down here. With me.” I can’t believe I just said that. But, jeez, everything’s so awkward now. “You sure?” he asks, taking a step toward me. I shift my weight from one foot to the other. “Yeah, I’m…you know, getting used to having you around. Anyway,” I say breezily, “we might get some more severe stuff tonight. Probably shouldn’t take any chances.” Oh my God, I’m practically begging him to stay with me. What is wrong with me? “You’re probably right,” Ryder says, relenting. I try to think of something clever to say, but come up blank. So I turn and stalk off to my parents’ room instead. Ryder finds me in the bathroom, brushing my teeth with bottled water. He stands in the doorway, leaning against the wooden frame, watching me. Our gazes meet in the mirror--which, of course, makes gooseflesh rise on my skin. I spit in the sink and take a swig of water to rinse. “Jem?” I turn, the marble countertop digging into my back. He moves toward me, closing the distance between us. I sway slightly on my feet as he reaches for me, his dark eyes filled with heat. His gaze sweeps across my face, warming my skin, making my breath catch in my throat. Oh man.
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
This city did not deserve what happened to it. Neither does any other shrinking city. Half a century after the Kerner Report tried to inspire a new approach to urban life, we are at another crossroads between how things were once done and how we can choose to do t hem in the future. In a way, public drinking water systems are the perfect embodiment of the ideal that we might reach toward. The sprawling pipelines articulate the shape of a community. House by house, they are a tangible affirmation that each person belongs. They tie the city together, and often the metropolitan region as well. If only some have good, clean water and others do not, the system breaks down. It isn't safe. The community gets sick. But when we are all connected to the water, and to each other, it is life-giving - holy, even.
Anna Clark (The Poisoned City: Flint's Water and the American Urban Tragedy)
Al’Akir and his Queen, el’Leanna, had Lan brought to them in his cradle. Into his infant hands they placed the sword of Malkieri kings, the sword he wears today. A weapon made by Aes Sedai during the War of Power, the War of the Shadow that brought down the Age of Legends. They anointed his head with oil, naming him Dai Shan, a Diademed Battle Lord, and consecrated him as the next King of the Malkieri, and in his name they swore the ancient oath of Malkieri kings and queens.” Agelmar’s face hardened, and he spoke the words as if he, too, had sworn that oath, or one much similar. “To stand against the Shadow so long as iron is hard and stone abides. To defend the Malkieri while one drop of blood remains. To avenge what cannot be defended.” The words rang in the chamber. “El’Leanna placed a locket around her son’s neck, for remembrance, and the infant, wrapped in swaddling clothes by the Queen’s own hand, was given over to twenty chosen from the King’s Bodyguard, the best swordsmen, the most deadly fighters. Their command: to carry the child to Fal Moran. “Then did al’Akir and el’Leanna lead the Malkieri out to face the Shadow one last time. There they died, at Herat’s Crossing, and the Malkieri died, and the Seven Towers were broken. Shienar, and Arafel, and Kandor, met the Halfmen and the Trollocs at the Stair of Jehaan and threw them back, but not as far as they had been. Most of Malkier remained in Trolloc hands, and year by year, mile by mile, the Blight has swallowed it.” Agelmar drew a heavyhearted breath. When he went on, there was a sad pride in his eyes and voice. “Only five of the Bodyguards reached Fal Moran alive, every man wounded, but they had the child unharmed. From the cradle they taught him all they knew. He learned weapons as other children learn toys, and the Blight as other children their mother’s garden. The oath sworn over his cradle is graven in his mind. There is nothing left to defend, but he can avenge. He denies his titles, yet in the Borderlands he is called the Uncrowned, and if ever he raised the Golden Crane of Malkier, an army would come to follow. But he will not lead men to their deaths. In the Blight he courts death as a suitor courts a maiden, but he will not lead others to it. “If you must enter the Blight, and with only a few, there is no man better to take you there, nor to bring you safely out again. He is the best of the Warders, and that means the best of the best.
Robert Jordan (The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, #1))
Organisms are Algorithms How can we be sure that animals such as pigs actually have a subjective world of needs, sensations and emotions? Aren’t we guilty of humanising animals, i.e. ascribing human qualities to non-human entities, like children believing that dolls feel love and anger? In fact, attributing emotions to pigs doesn’t humanise them. It ‘mammalises’ them. For emotions are not a uniquely human quality – they are common to all mammals (as well as to all birds and probably to some reptiles and even fish). All mammals evolved emotional abilities and needs, and from the fact that pigs are mammals we can safely deduce that they have emotions.16 In recent decades life scientists have demonstrated that emotions are not some mysterious spiritual phenomenon that is useful just for writing poetry and composing symphonies. Rather, emotions are biochemical algorithms that are vital for the survival and reproduction of all mammals. What does this mean? Well, let’s begin by explaining what an algorithm is. This is of great importance not only because this key concept will reappear in many of the following chapters, but also because the twenty-first century will be dominated by algorithms. ‘Algorithm’ is arguably the single most important concept in our world. If we want to understand our life and our future, we should make every effort to understand what an algorithm is, and how algorithms are connected with emotions. An algorithm is a methodical set of steps that can be used to make calculations, resolve problems and reach decisions. An algorithm isn’t a particular calculation, but the method followed when making the calculation.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow)
Put your glasses on mate ….. Come down from there, you’re gonna kill yourself …. Well, what does your Method Statement say? …. Right, let’s get you re-inducted. You need a reminder of site rules ….. Where are your outriggers, mate? ….. Put your glasses on ….. Put your glasses on …. Put your glasses on …. Oh, they steam up, do they? I’ve never heard that one before …. Where’s your mask? If you breathe this shit in you’re going to kill yourself. Silicosis is incurable ….. Right STOP! Do not reverse another inch without a banksman ….. Don’t put your glasses on just because you see me walk around the corner. They won’t protect MY eyes …. Hook yourself on, what’s the matter with you? Are all you scaffolders superhuman or something? ….. Put your glasses on ….. Oi! What stops me walking right in there? Where’s your barriers and signage? ….. Oi! I’m getting showered in fucking sparks here. And so is that can of petrol ….. Put your glasses on …. Where’s the flashback arrestor on this bottle of propane? ….. Hey, pal, stop welding until you’ve sheeted up ….. What are you doing climbing up there? Where’s your supervisor? What did he say about access in this morning’s Safe Start briefing? Nothing? Right, he can sit through another induction tomorrow ….. Where are the retaining pins to the joint clamps in this concrete pump line? SEAMUS! Fucking deal with this, will you? ….Put your glasses on …. Hey! Hey! Come here! Why have you got a nail instead of an ‘R’ clip to the quick-hitch system on your excavator bucket? NO! IT WON’T DO! WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? If that bucket falls on someone they’re not going to get up again. And you trust a fucking nail to hold it in position! Take this machine out of service immediately until you’ve got the proper ‘R’ clip! ….. Put your glasses on …. Where’s the edge protection. Who removed the edge protection? Right, let me phone for a scaffolder ….. Put your glasses on ….. Oi! Get out from under there! Never, ever stand underneath a suspended load. Even if all the equipment’s been inspected, which it obviously has, you can never trust the crane driver. He can be taken ill suddenly ….. Come here, mate, let’s have a little chat. Why are you working on Fall Arrest? You’re supposed to be working on Fall Restraint (FR ‘restrains’ you going near the perimeter edge of the building, FA ‘arrests’ your fall if, well, if you fall. If you’re hanging off a building we’ve got less than ten minutes to reach you before you start going into toxic shock brought on by suspension trauma. In other words, we need a Rescue Plan, which is why we’d prefer people work on Fall Restraint)
Karl Wiggins (Dogshit Saved My Life)
Livia, I’m here to say it’s okay. It’s okay if you want to leave, live a normal life, have a husband with a great job and beautiful children with your gray eyes.” His breath caught a little as he finished. Livia, just a gut feeling, but let him come to you…Listen to him. Livia stayed silent instead of rushing in with words. “I’m asking permission to watch you from a distance, just to make sure you’re safe,” Blake continued. “You won’t even know I’m there. I promise.” Blake removed his hands from her face. “Are you done?” Livia wanted to make sure. Blake stepped back and nodded as if they’d just completed a painful business transaction, like buying a coffin. Livia shook her head and launched herself at him. He caught her as she wrapped her legs around his waist. She held his face like he’d just held hers. His green eyes were unsure, but a tiny spark danced within them. “Blake Hartt, I choose you. I deserve you. I want you.” Livia proved it by kissing his cold lips until they were warm. Blake laughed and pulled away to look at her with tears and rain in his eyes. “Really? Really. Really!” Livia nodded. “Absolutely.” Blake kissed Livia this time. He started out gently and then became more serious. He carried her over to the station’s brick wall and pressed her back against it. He put her feet on the ground as he grabbed a fistful of her soaking wet hair. Livia reached under his T-shirt to feel his stomach and then his chest. Blake moaned and pushed her harder against the building. But again he pulled back to look at her. “Me? I want you to be sure,” he said. “You,” Livia whispered. “Me.” His eyes were full of intent. “Always you.” Livia gave him her biggest, heartfelt smile. “Five hundred.” Blake touched her face as if she might be a mirage and smiled back only when she didn’t disappear.
Debra Anastasia (Poughkeepsie (Poughkeepsie Brotherhood, #1))
I’m drawn to the Jewish notion of the soul, nephesh, which is not something preexistent but emergent—forming in and through physicality and relational experience. This suggests that we need our bodies to claim our souls. The body is where every virtue lives or dies, but more: our bodies are access points to mystery. And in some way that barely makes sense to me, I’m sure that we have to have feet planted on the ground, literally and metaphysically, to reach towards what is beyond and above us. Our bodies tell us the truth of life that our minds can deny: that we are in any moment as much about softness as fortitude. Always in need of care and tenderness. Life is fluid, evanescent, evolving in every cell, in every breath. Never perfect. To be alive is by definition messy, always leaning towards disorder and surprise. How we open or close to the reality that we never arrive at safe enduring stasis is the matter, the raw material, of wisdom.
Krista Tippett (Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living)
Pull out a match and light up a million notes and a million words, consume the energy on papers like its fuel, and all the long lost feelings are your coal. Set the whole thing on fire and never look back, an expert on regrets and mistakes, tell the story as easy as a philosophical theory; devils disguised as angels, angels turning into devils, and the perfectionist in between always stuck in the middle. Tired and hurt, but angry till I burn, watching a sinner blaming life and life taking his side still, anyway I took my advice and kept the things I loved from day one aside, so I'm not alone and love is also taking my side. Save the date, it's 365 days in training, and we finally reached the end of our magical tragic failure and if you are smart then it's not a surprise; you know that my sky is not raining. Take out a match and burn this house down, it took me two seconds to figure out that I deserve solid better-looking ground. So let me feel the heat in my brain blow out and my heart beating in its place safe and sound inside.
Mennah al Refaey
May I inquire what is the point?” he snapped impatiently. “Indeed you may,” Lucinda said, thinking madly for some way to prod him into remembering his long-ago desire for Elizabeth and to prick his conscience. “The point is that I am well apprised of all that transpired between Elizabeth and yourself when you were last together. I, however,” she decreed grandly, “am inclined to place the blame for your behavior not on a lack of character, but rather a lack of judgment.” He raised his brows but said nothing. Taking his silence as assent, she reiterated meaningfully, “A lack of judgment on both your parts.” “Really?” he drawled. “Of course,” she said, reaching out and brushing the dust from the back of a chair, then rubbing her fingers together and grimacing with disapproval. “What else except lack of judgment could have caused a seventeen-year-old girl to rush to the defense of a notorious gambler and bring down censure upon herself for doing it?” “What indeed?” he asked with growing impatience. Lucinda dusted off her hands, avoiding his gaze. “Who can possibly know except you and she? No doubt it was the same thing that prompted her to remain in the woodcutter’s cottage rather than leaving it the instant she discovered your presence.” Satisfied that she’d done the best she was able to on that score, she became brusque again-an attitude that was more normal and, therefore, far more convincing. “In any case, that is all water under the bridge. She has paid dearly for her lack of judgment, which is only right, and even though she is now in the most dire straits because of it, that, too, is justice.” She smiled to herself when his eyes narrowed with what she hoped was guilt, or at least concern. His next words disabused her of that hope: “Madam, I do not have all day to waste in aimless conversation. If you have something to say, say it and be done!” “Very well,” Lucinda said, gritting her teeth to stop herself from losing control of her temper. “My point is that it is my duty, my obligation to see to Lady Cameron’s physical well-being as well as to chaperon her. In this case, given the condition of your dwelling, the former obligation seems more pressing than the latter, particularly since it is obvious to me that the two of you are not in the least need of a chaperon to keep you from behaving with impropriety. You may need a referee to keep you from murdering each other, but a chaperon is entirely superfluous. Therefore, I feel duty-bound to now ensure that adequate servants are brought here at once. In keeping with that, I would like your word as a gentleman not to abuse her verbally or physically while I am gone. She has already been ill-used by her uncle. I will not permit anyone else to make this terrible time in her life more difficult than it already is.” “Exactly what,” Ian asked in spite of himself, “do you mean by a ‘terrible time’?” “I am not at liberty to discuss that, of course,” she said, fighting to keep her triumph from her voice. “I am merely concerned that you behave as a gentleman. Will you give me your word?” Since Ian had no intention of laying a finger on her, or even spending time with her, he didn’t hesitate to nod. “She’s perfectly safe from me.” “That is exactly what I hoped to hear,” Lucinda lied ruthlessly.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
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." "I won't!" 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))
He was smiling! That was it; her actual sunrise. It lit the candles of answers to every query of her life. . Having wings is one thing and flying another. Having eyes is one thing and dreaming another. Having a heart is one thing and falling in love, quite another. . Destiny is the root of all limitations and a dream is the seed for all liberations. . By the way, is it darkness that gives light an identity or is it the other way round? . If life is divided into two parts, then one part is definitely about living it and the other, about missing the moments lived. . How can I comfort anyone with words of hope when I am myself empty of it? . It might all sound bizarre to you because I am sharing my thoughts for her only today but believe me something happened from the first time I saw her. Something did happen. The air (or what was it?) told me she was mine though I was a little apprehensive to accept the fact then but now, I think I am in love. No, I know I am in love for the first time in my life. (Ritwika was just a crush). It’s crazy, I know. It’s only been few weeks that I first saw her. I haven’t even talked to her till now. But does that really matter? . What the fuck is it with first love? So many ifs and buts. Damn! . Seriously I do have something to tell God: It’s tough to be God, I know, but mind you it’s tougher to be human in this crazy fucking world of yours. . No one asked me or forced me not to hug happiness but I consciously chose to sleep with pain. . I am not happy so I can’t stand anyone who is. . But I am helpless…you are helpless…we are helpless…the world is helpless and even help is helpless. . It’s not about reaching the edge, it’s about the jump. A jump for onetime-the fall of a lifetime. . It was eight years ago but time doesn't heal all wounds. . Isn't it better to lie and encourage a significant construction than to speak the truth and witness destruction? . From today onwards Radhika is not only a part of my life but also a part of my heart, my mind, my soul, my will, my zeal, my happiness, my tears, my depression, my excitement, my interests, my decisions, my character and my identity. . The times that go away at the blink of an eye are actually the times which eventually get placed inside the safe of our most treasured memories. . Life is no movie where we need to necessarily get all things right by the end. . She is too sexy to forget.
Novoneel Chakraborty (A Thing Beyond Forever)
She broke off abruptly as she heard her name being called, and glanced over her shoulder, fearing that St. Vincent had discovered her escape. Her entire body stiffened in battle readiness. But there was no sign of St. Vincent, no betraying gleam of golden-amber hair. She heard the voice again, a deep sound that penetrated to her soul. “Lillian.” Her legs quivered beneath her as she saw a lean, dark-haired man coming from the front entryway. It can’t be, she thought, blinking hard to clear her vision, which must surely have been playing tricks on her. She stumbled a little as she turned to face him. “Westcliff,” she whispered, and took a few hesitant steps forward. The rest of the room seemed to vanish. Marcus’s face was pale beneath its tan, and he stared at her with searing intensity, as if he feared she might disappear. His stride quickened, and as he reached her, she was seized and caught in a biting grip. He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her hard against him. “My God,” he muttered, and buried his face in her hair. “You came,” Lillian gasped, trembling all over. “You found me.” She couldn’t conceive how it was possible. He smelled of horses and sweat, and his clothes were chilled from the outside air. Feeling her shiver, Marcus drew her tightly inside his coat, murmuring endearments against her hair. “Marcus,” Lillian said thickly. “Have I gone mad? Oh, please be real. Please don’t go away—” “I’m here.” His voice was low and shaken. “I’m here, and I’m not going anywhere.” He drew back slightly, his midnight gaze scouring her from head to toe, his hands searching urgently over her body. “My love, my own… have you been hurt?” As his fingers slid along her arm, he encountered the locked manacle. Lifting her wrist, he stared at the handcuffs blankly. He inhaled sharply, and his body began to shake with primitive fury. “G**damn it, I’ll send him to hell—” “I’m fine,” Lillian said hastily. “I haven’t been hurt.” Bringing her hand to his mouth, Marcus kissed it roughly, and kept her fingers against his cheek while his breath struck her wrist in swift repetitions. “Lillian, did he…” Reading the question in his haunted gaze, the words he couldn’t yet bring himself to voice, Lillian whispered scratchily, “No, nothing happened. There wasn’t time.” “I’m still going to kill him.” There was a deadly note in his voice that made the back of her neck crawl. Seeing the open bodice of her gown, Marcus released her long enough to pull off his coat and place it over her shoulders. He suddenly went still. “That smell… what is it?” Realizing that her skin and clothes still retained the noxious scent, Lillian hesitated before replying. “Ether,” she finally said, trying to form her trembling lips into a reassuring smile as she saw his eyes dilate into pools of black. “It wasn’t bad, actually. I’ve slept through most of the day. Other than a touch of queasiness, I’m—” An animal growl came from his throat, and he pulled her against him once more. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Lillian, my sweet love… you’re safe now. I’ll never let anything happen to you again. I swear it on my life. You’re safe.” He took her head in his hands, and his mouth slid over hers in a kiss that was brief, soft, and yet so shockingly intense that she swayed dizzily. Closing her eyes, she let herself rest against him, still fearing that none of this was real, that she would awaken to find herself with St. Vincent once more. Marcus whispered comforting words against her parted lips and cheeks, and held her with a grip that seemed gentle but could not have been broken by the combined efforts of ten men.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
My dear, dear ladies,” Sir Francis effused as he hastened forward, “what a long-awaited delight this is!” Courtesy demanded that he acknowledge the older lady first, and so he turned to her. Picking up Berta’s limp hand from her side, he presed his lips to it and said, “Permit me to introduce myself. I am Sir Francis Belhaven.” Lady Berta curtsied, her fear-widened eyes fastened on his face, and continued to press her handkerchief to her lips. To his astonishment, she did not acknowledge him at all; she did not say she was charmed to meet him or inquire after his health. Instead, the woman curtsied again. And once again. “There’s hardly a need for all that,” he said, covering his puzzlement with forced jovially. “I’m only a knight, you know. Not a duke or even an earl.” Lady Berta curtsied again, and Elizabeth nudged her sharply with her elbow. “How do!” burst out the plump lady. “My aunt is a trifle-er-shy with strangers,” Elizabeth managed weakly. The sound of Elizabeth Cameron’s soft, musical voice made Sir Francis’s blood sing. He turned with unhidden eagerness to his future bride and realized that it was a bust of himself that Elizabeth was clutching so protectively, so very affectionately to her bosom. He could scarcely contain his delight. “I knew it would be this way between us-no pretense, no maidenly shyness,” he burst out, beaming at her blank, wary expression as he gently took the bust of himself from Elizabeth’s arms. “But, my lovely, there’s no need for you to caress a hunk of clay when I am here in the flesh.” Momentarily struck dumb, Elizabeth gaped at the bust she’d been holding as he first set it gently upon its stand, then turned expectantly to her, leaving her with the horrifying-and accurate-thought that he now expected her to reach out and draw his balding head to her bosom. She stared at him, her mind in paralyzed chaos. “I-I would ask a favor of you, Sir Francis,” she burst out finally. “Anything, my dear,” he said huskily. “I would like to-to rest before supper.” He stepped back, looking disappointed, but then he recalled his manners and reluctantly nodded. “We don’t keep country hours. Supper is at eight-thirty.” For the first time he took a moment to really look at her. His memories of her exquisite face and delicious body had been so strong, so clear, that until then he’d been seeing the Lady Elizabeth Cameron he’d met long ago. Now he belatedly registered the stark, unattractive gown she wore and the severe way her hair was dressed. His gaze dropped to the ugly iron cross that hung about her neck, and he recoiled in shock. “Oh, and my dear, I’ve invited a few guests,” he added pointedly, his eyes on her unattractive gown. “I thought you would want to know, in order to attire yourself more appropriately.” Elizabeth suffered that insult with the same numb paralysis she’d felt since she set eyes on him. Not until the door closed behind him did she feel able to move. “Berta,” she burst out, flopping disconsolately onto the chair beside her, “how could you curtsy like that-he’ll know you for a lady’s maid before the night is out! We’ll never pull this off.” “Well!” Berta exclaimed, hurt and indignant. “Twasn’t I who was clutching his head to my bosom when he came in.” “We’ll do better after this,” Elizabeth vowed with an apologetic glance over her shoulder, and the trepidation was gone from her voice, replaced by steely determination and urgency. “We have to do better. I want us both out of here tomorrow. The day after at the very latest.” “The butler stared at my bosom,” Berta complained. “I saw him!” Elizabeth sent her a wry, mirthless smile. “The footman stared at mine. No woman is safe in this place. We only had a bit of-of stage fright just now. We’re new to playacting, but tonight I’ll carry it off. You’ll see. No matter what if takes, I’ll do it.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Making money in the markets is tough. The brilliant trader and investor Bernard Baruch put it well when he said, “If you are ready to give up everything else and study the whole history and background of the market and all principal companies whose stocks are on the board as carefully as a medical student studies anatomy—if you can do all that and in addition you have the cool nerves of a gambler, the sixth sense of a clairvoyant and the courage of a lion, you have a ghost of a chance.” In retrospect, the mistakes that led to my crash seemed embarrassingly obvious. First, I had been wildly overconfident and had let my emotions get the better of me. I learned (again) that no matter how much I knew and how hard I worked, I could never be certain enough to proclaim things like what I’d said on Wall $ treet Week: “There’ll be no soft landing. I can say that with absolute certainty, because I know how markets work.” I am still shocked and embarrassed by how arrogant I was. Second, I again saw the value of studying history. What had happened, after all, was “another one of those.” I should have realized that debts denominated in one’s own currency can be successfully restructured with the government’s help, and that when central banks simultaneously provide stimulus (as they did in March 1932, at the low point of the Great Depression, and as they did again in 1982), inflation and deflation can be balanced against each other. As in 1971, I had failed to recognize the lessons of history. Realizing that led me to try to make sense of all movements in all major economies and markets going back a hundred years and to come up with carefully tested decision-making principles that are timeless and universal. Third, I was reminded of how difficult it is to time markets. My long-term estimates of equilibrium levels were not reliable enough to bet on; too many things could happen between the time I placed my bets and the time (if ever) that my estimates were reached. Staring at these failings, I realized that if I was going to move forward without a high likelihood of getting whacked again, I would have to look at myself objectively and change—starting by learning a better way of handling the natural aggressiveness I’ve always shown in going after what I wanted. Imagine that in order to have a great life you have to cross a dangerous jungle. You can stay safe where you are and have an ordinary life, or you can risk crossing the jungle to have a terrific life. How would you approach that choice? Take a moment to think about it because it is the sort of choice that, in one form or another, we all have to make.
Ray Dalio (Principles: Life and Work)
Elizabeth, we’re going to have to stop.” Elizabeth’s swirling senses began to return to reality, slowly at first, and then with a sickening plummet. Passion gave way to fear and then to anguished shame as she realized she was lying in a man’s arms, her shirt unfastened, her flesh exposed to his gaze and touch. Closing her eyes, she fought back the sting of tears and shoved his hand away, lurching into an upright position. “Let me rise, please,” she whispered, her voice strangled with self-revulsion. Her skin flinched as he began to fasten her shirt, but in order to do it he had to release his hold on her, and the moment he did, she scrambled to her feet. Turning her back to him, she fastened her shirt with shaking hands and snatched her jacket from the peg beside the fire. He moved so silently that she had no idea he’d stood until his hands settled on her stiff shoulders. “Don’t be frightened of what is between us. I’ll be able to provide for you-“ All of Elizabeth’s confusion and anguish exploded in a burst of tempestuous, sobbing fury that was directed at herself, but which she hurtled at him. Tearing free of his grasp, she whirled around. “Provide for me,” she cried. “Provide what? A-a hovel in Scotland where I’ll stay while you dress the part of an English gentleman so you can gamble away everything-“ “If things go on as I expect,” he interrupted her in a voice of taut calm, “I’ll be one of the richest men in England within a year-two at the most. If they don’t, you’ll still be well provided for.” Elizabeth snatched her bonnet and backed away from him in a fear that was partly of him and partly of her own weakness. “This is madness. Utter madness.” Turning, she headed for the door. “I know,” he said gently. She reached for the door handle and jerked the door open. Behind her, his voice stopped her in midstep. “If you change your mind after we leave in the morning, you can reach me at Hammund’s town house in Upper Brook Street until Wednesday. After that I’d intended to leave for India. I’ll be gone until winter.” “I-I hope you have a safe voyage,” she said, too overwrought to wonder about the sharp tug of loss she felt at the realization he was leaving. “If you change your mind in time,” he teased, “I’ll take you with me.” Elizabeth fled in sheer terror from the gentle confidence she’d heard in his smiling voice. As she galloped through the thick fog and wet underbrush she was no longer the sensible, confident young lady she’d been before; instead she was a terrified, bewildered girl with a mountain of responsibilities and an upbringing that convinced her the wild attraction she felt for Ian Thornton was sordid and unforgivable.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
I’m very glad,” Jones continued fervently, sounding like a card-carrying Colin Firth impersonator. “So very glad. You can’t know how glad . . .” He cleared his throat. “I hate to be the bearer of more bad tidings, but your . . . friend was something of a criminal, the way I heard it. He had a price on his head—millions—from some druglord who wanted him dead. Chased him mercilessly, for years. I guess this Jones fellow used to work for him—it’s all very sordid, I’m afraid. And dangerous. He had to be on the move constantly. It was risky just to have a drink with Jones—you might’ve gotten killed in the crossfire. Of course, the big irony here is that the druglord died two weeks before Jones. He never knew it, but he was finally free.” As he looked at her with those eyes that she’d dreamed about for so many months, Molly understood. Jones was here, now, only because the druglord known as Chai, a dangerous and sadistic bastard who’d spent years hunting him, was finally dead. “It’s entirely possible that whoever’s taken over business for this druglord,” he continued, “would’ve gone after this Jones, too. Of course, he probably wouldn’t have searched to the ends of the earth for him . . . Although, when dealing with such dangerous types, it pays to be cautious, I suppose.” Message received. “Not that that’s anything Jones needs to worry about,” he added. “Considering he’s left his earthly cares behind. Still, I suspect it’s rather hot where he’s gone.” Yes, it certainly was hot in Kenya right now. Molly covered her mouth, pretending to sob instead of laugh. “Shhh,” Helen admonished him, thinking, of course, that he was referring to an unearthly heat. “Don’t say such a thing. She loved him.” She turned back to Molly. “This Jones is the man that you spoke of so many times?” Molly could see from the expression on Jones’s face that Helen had given her away. She might as well go big with the truth. She wipes her eyes with a handkerchief that Helen had at the ready, then met his gaze. “I loved him very much. I’ll always love him,” she told this man who’d traveled halfway around the world for her, who apparently had waited years for it to be safe enough for him to join her, who had actually thought that, once he arrived, she might send him away. If you don’t want me here—and I don’t blame you if you don’t—just say the word . . . “He was a good man,” Molly said, “with a good heart.” Her voice shook, because, dear Lord, there were now tears in his eyes, too. “He deserved forgiveness—I’m positive he’s in heaven.” “I don’t think it’s going to be that easy for him,” he whispered. “It shouldn’t be . . .” He cleared his throat, put his glasses back on. “I’m so sorry to have distressed you, Miss Anderson. And I haven’t even properly introduced myself. Where are my manners?” He held out his hand to her. “Leslie Pollard.” Even with his glasses on, she could see quite clearly that he’d far rather be kissing her. But that would have to wait for later, when he came to her tent . . . No, wait, Gina would be there. Molly would have to go to his. Later, she told him with her eyes, as she reached out and, for the first time in years, touched the hand of the man that she loved.
Suzanne Brockmann (Breaking Point (Troubleshooters, #9))
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. “Yes, milord.” “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))
Speculative Encounters New Stories from the Slipstream by C.L. Nichols Speculative Encounters: New Stories from the Slipstream -------------------------------------------------------------------- I hope you enjoy reading these Speculative Stories from the Slipstream as much as I enjoyed creating them. -------------------------------------------------------------------- The slipstream combines science fiction, fantasy and horror then plants the resulting blend into the potting soil of mainstream fiction. The 17 speculative stories cross the boundaries of genre. Is a lineman really transported to an alternate reality after a lightning strike or is he hallucinating? When vampires steal a man’s wife, he follows to seek revenge with the assistance of a female vampire who offers him eternity. Driving on a lonely country road at night, a man in a pickup sees a woman’s bloody arm reach out from the shoulder of the two-lane blacktop road. In the aftermath of a comet’s disintegration in Earth’s atmosphere, survivors must adapt – and was that an actual comet that exploded? --------------------------------------------------------------------- eam SPECULATIVE ENCOUNTERS: New Stories from the Slipstream Speculative fiction is comprised of three related genres: science fiction, fantasy and horror. The slipstream intermingles these genres then plants imagination’s resulting seeds into the potting soil of mainstream fiction. In the realm of the unknown, all possibilities and even mutations flower and co-exist abundantly. Slipstream is a state of mind. It disrupts and distorts reality, surprising readers into seeing the otherness in all things. It breaks through the safe borders that rationality seeks to enforce. -------------------------------------------------------------------- Now Available on Amazon in both Paperback and eBook!
C.L. Nichols
I'm unaccustomed to being cooped up all day-I really must insist that you permit me to enjoy a short walk." "Not on your life," Fletcher growled. From the sound, Breckenridge realized the group had moved closer to the tap. "You don't need to think you're going to give us the slip so easily," Fletcher said again. "My dear good man"-Heather with her nose in the air; Breckenridge could tell by her tone-"just where in this landscape of empty fields do you imagine I'm going to slip to?" Cobbins opined that she might try to steal a horse and ride off. "Oh,yes-in a round gown and evening slippers," Heather jeered. "But I wasn't suggesting you let me ramble on my own-Martha can come with me." That was Martha's cue to enter the fray, but Heather stuck to her guns, refusing to back down through the ensuing, increasingly heated verbal stoush. Until Fletcher intervened, aggravated frustration resonating in his voice. "Look you-we're under strict orders to keep you safe, not to let you wander off to fall prey to the first shiftless rake who rides past and takes a fancy to you." Silence reigned for half a minute, then Heather audibly sniffed. "I'll have you know that shiftless rakes know better than to take a fancy to me." Not true, Breckenridge thought, but that wasn't the startling information contained in Fletcher's outburst. "Come on, Heather-follow up." As if she'd heard his muttered exhortation, she blithely swept on. "But if rather than standing there arguing, you instead treated me like a sensible adult and told me what your so strict orders with respect to me were, I might see my way to complying-or at least to helping you comply with them." Breckenridge blinked as he sorted through that pronouncement; he could almost feel for Fletcher when he hissed out a sigh. "All right," Fletcher's frustration had reached breaking point. "If you must know, we're to keep you safe from all harm. We're not to let a bloody pigeon pluck so much as a hair from your head. We're to deliver you up in prime condition, exactly as you were when he grabbed you." From the change in Fletcher's tone, Breckenridge could visualize him moving closer to tower over Heather to intimidate her into backing down; he could have told him it wouldn't work. "So now you see," Fletcher went on, voice low and forceful, "that it's entirely out of the question for you to go out for any ramble." "Hmm." Heather's tone was tellingly mild. Fletcher was about to get floored by an uppercut. For once not being on the receiving end, Breckenridge grinned and waited for it to land. "If, as you say, your orders are to-do correct me if I'm wrong-keep me in my customary excellent health until you hand me over to your employer, then, my dear Fletcher, that will absolutely necessitate me going for a walk. Being cooped up all day in a carriage has never agreed with me-if you don't wish me to weaken or develop some unhealthy affliction, I will require fresh air and gentle exercise to recoup." She paused, then went on, her tone one of utmost reasonableness, "A short excursion along the river at the rear of the inn, and back, should restore my constitution." Breckenridge was certain he could hear Fletcher breathing in and out through clenched teeth. A fraught moment passed on, then, "Oh, very well! Martha-go with her. Twenty minutes, do you hear? Not a minute more." "Thank you, Fletcher. Come, Martha-we don't want to waste the light." Breckenridge heard Heather, with the rather slower Martha, leave the inn by the main door. He sipped his ale, waited. Eventually, Fletcher and Cobbins climbed the stairs, Cobbins grumbling, Fletcher ominously silent. The instant they passed out of hearing, Breckenridge stood, stretched, then walked out of the tap and into the foyer. Seconds later, he slipped out of the front door.
Stephanie Laurens (Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue (Cynster, #16; The Cynster Sisters Trilogy, #1))
What else do you want to know?’ he asked. Possessed by morbid curiosity, her eyes darted to the scar that cut just over his ear. She’d found it shortly after they met, while he lay unconscious in the grass. He didn’t need to ask what had caught her attention. ‘I got that in a fight against imperial soldiers. Ask me why.’ She shook her head, unable to bring herself to do it. The cocoon of warmth that had enveloped the entire afternoon unwound itself in an instant. ‘Are you having second thoughts about being here with me?’ He planted a hand into the grass, edging closer. ‘No. I trust you.’ He was giving her all the time in the world to shove him away, to rise, to flee. Her heartbeat quickened as she watched him. Moving ever so slowly, he braced an arm on either side of her, his fingers sinking into the moss. ‘I asked you to come with me.’ Despite her words, she dug her heels into the ground and inched backwards. ‘I feel safe with you.’ ‘I can see that.’ He affected a lazy smile as she retreated until her back pressed against the knotted roots that crawled along the ground. His boldness was so unexpected, so exciting. She held her breath and waited. Her pulse jumped when he reached for her. She’d been imagining this moment ever since their first duel and wondering whether it would take another swordfight for him to come near her again. His fingers curled gently against the back of her neck, giving her one last chance to escape. Then he lowered his mouth and kissed her. It was as natural as breathing to wrap his arms around her and lower her to the ground. He settled his weight against her hips. The perfume of her skin mixed with the damp scent of the moss beneath them. At some point, her sense of propriety would win over. Until then he let his body flood with raw desire. It felt good to kiss her the way he wanted to. It felt damn good. He slipped his tongue past her lips to where she was warm and smooth and inviting. Her hands clutched at his shirt as she returned his kiss. A muted sound escaped from her throat. He swallowed her cry, using his hands to circle her wrists: rough enough to make her breath catch, gentle enough to have her opening her knees, cradling his hips with her long legs. He stroked himself against her, already hard beyond belief. He groaned when she responded, instinctively pressing closer. ‘I need to see you,’ he said. The sash around her waist fell aside in two urgent tugs while his other hand stole beneath her tunic. She gasped when his fingers brushed the swath of cloth at her breasts. The faint, helpless sound nearly lifted him out of the haze of desire. He didn’t want to think too hard about this. Not yet. He felt for the edge of the binding. ‘In back.’ She spoke in barely a whisper, a sigh on his soul. She peered up at him, her face in shadow as he parted her tunic. She watched him in much the same way she had when they had first met: curious, fearless, her eyes a swirl of green and gold. He pulled at the tight cloth until Ailey’s warm, feminine flesh swelled into his hands. He soothed his palms over the cruel welts left by the bindings. She bit down against her lip as blood rushed back into the tortured flesh. With great care, he stroked her nipples, teasing them until they grew tight beneath his roughened fingertips. God’s breath. Perfect. He wanted his mouth on her and still it wouldn’t be enough. Her heart beat out a chaotic rhythm. His own echoed the same restless pulse. ‘I knew it would be like this.’ His words came out hoarse with passion. At that moment he’d have given his soul to have her. But somewhere in his thick skull, he knew he had a beautiful, vulnerable girl who trusted him pressed against the bare earth. He sensed the hitch in her breathing and how her fingers dug nervously into his shoulders, even as her hips arched into him. He ran his thumb gently over the reddened mark that ran just below her collarbone and felt her shiver beneath him.
Jeannie Lin (Butterfly Swords (Tang Dynasty, #1))
She slipped into the shadows and waited, like a she-wolf, for her quarry. Bay caught her breath when Owen Blackthorne stepped into the cool night air. He was close enough to touch. His shaggy black hair looked rumpled, as though he’d shoved both hands through it in agitation. When he started to move off the porch, Bay reached out and grasped his sleeve. A second later she was slammed back against the wall, a powerful male hand at her throat choking her. She could feel the heat of him, the solid maleness of him. And panicked. She clawed at Owen’s flesh with her nails and drove her knee upward toward his genitals. Her thrust her upraised knee aside, and the full weight of his over-six-foot frame shoved hard against her from shoulders to thighs. Bay froze, staring up at him in mute horror. Her body trembled in shock. She tried to speak, but there was no air to be had beneath the crushing pressure of his grip on her throat. “What the hell . . .?” He released her throat and grabbed her arms to yank her into the narrow stream of light from the kitchen doorway. She gasped a breath of air, coughed, then gasped another, pressing a shaky hand to her injured throat. She wrenched to free herself, but he let her go without a struggle and took a wary step back. She rubbed her arms where he’d held her, wishing she’d approached him more directly. “What are you doing out here, Mizz Creed?” His voice was clipped but controlled. The violence she’d felt in his touch was still there in his eyes, which glittered with hostility. “It’s Dr. Creed,” she rasped, glaring back at him. He lifted a black brow. “Well, Dr. Creed.” She opened her mouth to say I need your help. But the words wouldn’t come. There was nothing wrong with her voice. She just hated the thought of asking a Blackthorne for anything. “I haven’t got all night,” he said. “There’s an emergency at the barn—” “Ruby’s foal has already been delivered safely,” she said. “I made up that story because I wanted to speak privately with you.
Joan Johnston (The Texan (Bitter Creek, #2))
Footsteps behind her in the dark startled her out of her misery. She automtically reached for her knife, but a familiar voice broke the stillness. "The stars say it is not safe for women to be out alone." He did not sit down beside her, but waited for her to get up. Jesse straightened her back, wiped away tears,and stayed seated. "I needed to be alone....away from...I needed to pray." "Then I will leave you to your prayers." Something was gone from the well-known voice. Gentle concern had always been there for her.Where was it,now, when she needed it so much? He had already turned to go.She knew he would not go far.He would wait out of sight, watching to see that she was safe.But she did not want him out of sight. "No,I am finished.I..." her voice wavered. "There is no answer to my prayers." "There is always an answer.But the answer is not always what we want to hear." The truth of the simple reply cut deep.The answer to her plea for children was no. She couldn't understand it.She didn't want to accept it.But for years, now,the answer had been there.She knew it,but she couldn't bear it.Tears welled fresh in her eyes.He couldn't see them.The dark offered protection and enabled Rides the WInd to speak his fears. "I have had prayers too. I have prayed that you would learn to be happy among the Lakota.But you tell me of the white man's count of years.You talk of all the time that you have been here.I have not wanted to hear the answer to my prayers.The answer is no. I have prayed to know how to make the smile return to your face." The voice grew so quiet that she could barely hear the words, "Now I see that I cannot.You must tell me what you wish.Two Mothers is grown,now.You have done well among the people.You do not need to fear telling me that it is time for you to go.I am not like the others...I will not make you stay." He cleared his throat and forced the words out calmly. "The line of your people crossing the prairie never stops. We are a small band.We have tried to stay away from them.Now, I will take you to them.
Stephanie Grace Whitson (Walks The Fire (Prairie Winds, #1))
I go straight toward the last place where I felt safe: Tobias’s small apartment. The second I reach the door, I feel calmer. The door is not completely closed. I nudge it open with my foot. He isn’t there, but I don’t leave. I sit on his bed and gather the quilt in my arms, burying my face in the fabric and taking deep breaths of it through my nose. The smell it used to have is almost gone, it’s been so long since he slept on it. The door opens and Tobias slips in. My arms go limp, and the quilt falls into my lap. How will I explain my presence here? I’m supposed to be angry with him. He doesn’t scowl, but his mouth is so tense that I know he’s angry with me. “Don’t be an idiot,” he says. “An idiot?” “You were lying. You said you wouldn’t go to Erudite, and you were lying, and going to Erudite would make you an idiot. So don’t.” I set the blanket down and get up. “Don’t try to make this simple,” I say. “It’s not. You know as well as I do that this is the right thing to do.” “You choose this moment to act like the Abnegation?” His voice fills the room and makes fear prickle in my chest. His anger seems too sudden. Too strange. “All that time you spent insisting that you were too selfish for them, and now, when your life is on the line, you’ve got to be a hero? What’s wrong with you?” “What’s wrong with you? People died. They walked right off the edge of a building! And I can stop it from happening again!” “You’re too important to just…die.” He shakes his head. He won’t even look at me--his eyes keep shifting across my face, to the wall behind me or the ceiling above me, to everything but me. I am too stunned to be angry. “I’m not important. Everyone will do just fine without me,” I say. “Who cares about everyone? What about me?” He lowers his head into his hand, covering his eyes. His fingers are trembling. Then he crosses the room in two long strides and touches his lips to mine. Their gentle pressure erases the past few months, and I am the girl who sat on the rocks next to the chasm, with river spray on her ankles, and kissed him for the first time. I am the girl who grabbed his hand in the hallway just because I wanted to.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
once there was a great king who gazed down from a tall tower upon a gardener who sang as he worked, and the king cried, ‘Ah, to have a life of no cares! If only I could be that gardener.’ And the voice of the August Personage of Jade reached out from Heaven and said, ‘It shall be so,’ and lo, the king was a gardener singing in the sun. In time the sun grew hot and the gardener stopped singing, and a fine dark cloud brought coolness and then drifted away, and it was hot again and much work remained, and the gardener cried, ‘Ah, to carry coolness wherever I go and have no cares! If only I could be that cloud.’ And the voice of the August Personage reached out from Heaven and said, ‘It shall be so,’ and lo, the gardener was a cloud drifting across the sky. And the wind blew and the sky grew cold, and the cloud would have liked to go behind the shelter of a hill, but it could only go where the wind took it, and no matter how hard it tried to go this way the wind took it that way, and above the cloud was the bright sun. ‘Ah, to fly through wind and be warm and have no cares! If only I could be the sun,’ cried the cloud, and the voice of the August Personage of Jade reached out from Heaven and said, ‘It shall be so,’ and lo, he was the sun. It was very grand to be the sun, and he delighted in the work of sending down rays to warm some things and burn others, but it was like wearing a suit made of fire and he began to bake like bread. Above him the cool stars that were gods were sparkling in safety and serenity and the sun cried, ‘Ah, to be divine and free from care! If only I could be a god.’ And the voice of the August Personage of Jade reached out from Heaven and said, ‘It shall be so,’ and lo, he was a god, and he was beginning his third century of combat with the Stone Monkey, which had just transformed itself into a monster a hundred thousand feet tall and was wielding a trident made from the triple peaks of Mount Hua, and when he wasn’t dodging blows he could see the peaceful green earth down below him, and the god cried, ‘Ah, if only I could be a man who was safe and secure and had no cares!’ And the voice of the August Personage of Jade reached out from Heaven and said, ‘It shall be so.’ And lo, he was a king who was gazing down from a tall tower upon a gardener who sang as he worked.
Barry Hughart (The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox (The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox, #1-3))
I know you don’t want to feel superior, but it is so easy to control us.” He snorted his disagreement. “I have failed to control you at every turn. You have no idea how often I wanted to force your obedience when you placed yourself in danger. I should have gone with my instincts…but no, I allowed you to go back to the inn.” “Your love for me caused you to pull back.” She reached out to touch his hair. “Isn’t that how it should be between two people? If you really love who I am, and you want me to be happy, then you know I have to do what comes naturally to me, what I feel is right.” His finger traced down her throat, through the deep valley between her breasts, making her shiver with sudden heat. “That is true, little one, but that is also true of my needs. You can do no other than to make me happy. My happiness is completely dependent on whether or not you are safe.” Raven couldn’t help smiling. “Somehow I think your devious nature is showing. Perhaps you need to examine human ingenuity. You rely heavily on your gifts, Mikhail, but humans must find other ways. We are uniting two worlds. If we decide to have a child…” He stirred restlessly, his dark eyes glittering. She caught the imperious Carpathian decree before he could censor his thoughts. You must. “If we decide someday to have a child,” she persisted, ignoring his authority, “if it is male, he will be raised in both worlds. And if it is a girl, she will be raised with free will and a mind of her own. I mean it, Mikhail. I will never, ever, consent to bringing a child into this world to be a broodmare for one of these men. She will know her own power and choose her own life.” “Our women make their choices,” he said quietly. “I’m sure there’s some ritual that ensures that she wants to choose the right man,” Raven guessed. “You will give me your word you will agree to my terms, or I will not bear a child.” His fingertips brushed her face with exquisite tenderness. “More than anything I want your happiness. I would also want my children to be happy. We have years to decide these things, lifetimes, but yes, when we have learned to balance the two worlds and we know the time is right, I agree absolutely to your terms.” “You know I’ll hold you to it,” she warned. He laughed softly, cupping the side of her face in his palm. “As the years go by, your strength and power will grow. You already terrify me, Raven. I do not know if my heart will be able to stand the coming years.
Christine Feehan (Dark Prince (Dark, #1))
She spoke so passionately that some of the Historians believed her, even the ones like Dr. Karuna who had been passed over for promotion when Crome put Valentine in charge of their Guild. As for Bevis Pod, he watched her with shining eyes, filled with a feeling that he couldn’t even name; something that they had never taught him about in the Learning Labs. It made him shiver all over. Pomeroy was the first to speak. “I hope you’re right, Miss Valentine,” he said. “Because he is the only man who can hope to challenge the Lord Mayor. We must wait for his return.” “But …” “In the meantime, we have agreed to keep Mr. Pod safe, here at the Museum. He can sleep up in the old Transport Gallery, and help Dr. Nancarrow catalogue the art collection, and if the Engineers come hunting for him we’ll find a hiding place. It isn’t much of a blow against Crome, I know. But please understand, Katherine: We are old, and frightened, and there really is nothing more that we can do.” The world was changing. That was nothing new, of course; the first thing an Apprentice Historian learned was that the world was always changing, but now it was changing so fast that you could actually see it happening. Looking down from the flight deck of the Jenny Haniver, Tom saw the wide plains of the eastern Hunting Ground speckled with speeding towns, spurred into flight by whatever it was that had bruised the northern sky, heading away from it as fast as their tracks or wheels could carry them, too preoccupied to try and catch one another. “MEDUSA,” he heard Miss Fang whisper to herself, staring toward the far-off, flame-flecked smoke. “What is a MEDUSA?” asked Hester. “You know something, don’t you? About what my mum and dad were killed for?” “I’m afraid not,” the aviatrix replied. “I wish I did. But I heard the name once. Six years ago another League agent managed to get into London, posing as a crewman on a licensed airship. He had heard something that must have intrigued him, but we never learned what it was. The League had only one message from him, just two words: Beware MEDUSA. The Engineers caught him and killed him.” “How do you know?” asked Tom. “Because they sent us back his head,” said Miss Fang. “Cash on Delivery.” That evening she set the Jenny Haniver down on one of the fleeing towns, a respectable four-decker called Peripatetiapolis that was steering south to lair in the mountains beyond the Sea of Khazak. At the air-harbor there they heard more news of what had happened to Panzerstadt-Bayreuth. “I saw it!” said an aviator. “I was a hundred miles away, but I still saw it. A tongue of fire, reaching out from London’s Top Tier and bringing death to everything
Philip Reeve (Mortal Engines (The Hungry City Chronicles, #1))
He concluded the speech with an irritated motion of his hands. Unfortunately, Evie had been conditioned by too many encounters with Uncle Peregrine to discern between angry gestures and the beginnings of a physical attack. She flinched instinctively, her own arms flying up to shield her head. When the expected pain of a blow did not come, she let out a breath and tentatively lowered her arms to find Sebastian staring at her with blank astonishment. Then his face went dark. “Evie,” he said, his voice containing a bladelike ferocity that frightened her. “Did you think I was about to…Christ. Someone hit you. Someone hit you in the past—who the hell was it?” He reached for her suddenly—too suddenly—and she stumbled backward, coming up hard against the wall. Sebastian went very still. “Goddamn,” he whispered. Appearing to struggle with some powerful emotion, he stared at her intently. After a long moment, he spoke softly. “I would never strike a woman. I would never harm you. You know that, don’t you?” Transfixed by the light, glittering eyes that held hers with such intensity, Evie couldn’t move or make a sound. She started as he approached her slowly. “It’s all right,” he murmured. “Let me come to you. It’s all right. Easy.” One of his arms slid around her, while he used his free hand to smooth her hair, and then she was breathing, sighing, as relief flowed through her. Sebastian brought her closer against him, his mouth brushing her temple. “Who was it?” he asked. “M-my uncle,” she managed to say. The motion of his hand on her back paused as he heard her stammer. “Maybrick?” he asked patiently. “No, th-the other one.” “Stubbins.” “Yes.” Evie closed her eyes in pleasure as his other arm slid around her. Clasped against Sebastian’s hard chest, with her cheek tucked against his shoulder, she inhaled the scent of clean male skin, and the subtle touch of sandalwood cologne. “How often?” she heard him ask. “More than once?” “I…i-it’s not important now.” “How often, Evie?” Realizing that he was going to persist until she answered, Evie muttered, “Not t-terribly often, but…sometimes when I displeased him, or Aunt Fl-Florence, he would lose his temper. The l-last time I tr-tried to run away, he blackened my eye and spl-split my lip.” “Did he?” Sebastian was silent for a long moment, and then he spoke with chilling softness. “I’m going to tear him limb from limb.” “I don’t want that,” Evie said earnestly. “I-I just want to be safe from him. From all of them.” Sebastian drew his head back to look down into her flushed face. “You are safe,” he said in a low voice. He lifted one of his hands to her face, caressing the plane of her cheekbone, letting his fingertip follow the trail of pale golden freckles across the bridge of her nose. As her lashes fluttered downward, he stroked the slender arcs of her brows, and cradled the side of her face in his palm. “Evie,” he murmured. “I swear on my life, you will never feel pain from my hands. I may prove a devil of a husband in every other regard…but I wouldn’t hurt you that way. You must believe that.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
Come on, lovey, open up. These buckets is heavy.” The plea accompanied another tapping. “Patience, Molly.” Christopher paused for a brief moment, gathering the towel about him again. Then his muscles flexed, and if she had found the breath, Erienne would have shrieked as he lifted her and dumped her onto the bed. She half raised with her mouth open to hotly voice her objection to whatever he had in mind, but he flung the bedcovers over her head, squelching comment. “Lie still.” His whisper bore a tone of command that could prompt immediate obedience from even the most reluctant. Erienne froze, and with a smile Christopher reached across to turn down the other side of the bed to make it seem as if he had just left it. Frantic visions involving her possible fate flew through Erienne’s mind. She considered the horrible humiliation she would suffer if she were discovered in the man’s bed. Her fears burgeoned, her rage peaked, and she threw back the covers, intending to escape the trap he laid for her. In the next brief second she caught her breath sharply and snatched the covers back over her head again, for the sight of him standing stark naked beside the chair where his clothes were draped was too much for her virgin eyes to bear. It had been no more than a glimpse, but the vision of his tall, tanned, wide-shouldered form bathed in the pinkish light of the rising sun was forever branded in her brain. Christopher chuckled softly as Erienne curled into the bed and finally obeyed his warning. He slipped on his breeches, secured them, and moved across the room to unlock the door. Molly knew her trade and her competition, and the village of Mawbry suited her well, since there was an absolute lack of the latter. When Christopher opened the portal, she was through it in a trice and shrugging out of the yoke that bore the pails. Pressing herself tightly against the male form, she rubbed her fingers through the hair on his chest and fluttered her lashes. “Oh, lovey, ye are a wondrous sight for any girl to behold.” “I’ve already told you, Molly. I have no need of yer services,” Christopher stated bluntly. “I only want the water.” “Ah, come now, lovey,” she crooned. “I knows ye’ve been away ter sea and needs a li’l tussle in bed. Why, with such a man as yerself, I’d be more’n willin’ ter give ye all ye need without a hint o’ a coin.” Christopher swept his hand toward the mentioned furnishing, drawing the maid’s eyes to it. “I already have all I desire. Now be along with you.” Molly’s dark eyes widened in surprise as she turned to stare at the bed. Unable to mistake the curvaceous form hidden beneath the quilt, she straightened indignantly and with a swish of her skirts was gone from the room, slamming the door behind her. Erienne waited, not daring to come out from beneath the covering until Christopher tapped her on the shoulder. “ ’Tis safe now. You can come out.” “Are you dressed?” she asked cautiously, her voice muffled beneath the covers. Christopher chuckled. “I’ve got my breeches on, if that’s what you’re worried about." -Molly, Christopher, & Erienne
Kathleen E. Woodiwiss (A Rose in Winter)
Someone shakes my shoulder. I jerk awake, my eyes wide and searching, and I see Tobias kneeling over me. He wears a Dauntless traitor jacket, and one side of his head is coated with blood. The blood streams from a wound on his ear--the top of his hear is gone. I wince. “What happened?” I say. “Get up. We have to run.” “It’s too soon. It hasn’t been two weeks.” “I don’t have time to explain. Come on.” “Oh God. Tobias.” I sit up and wrap my arms around him, pressing my face into his neck. His arms tighten around me and squeeze. Warmth courses through me, and comfort. If he is here, that means I’m safe. My tears make his skin slippery. He stands and pulls me to my feet, which makes my wounded shoulder throb. “Reinforcements will be here soon. Come on.” I let him lead me out of the room. We make it down the first hallway without difficulty, but in the second hallway, we encounter two Dauntless guards, one a young man and one a middle-aged woman. Tobias fires twice in a matter of seconds, both hits, one in the head and one in the chest. The woman, who was hit in the chest, slumps against the wall but doesn’t die. We keep moving. One hallway, then another, all of them look the same. Tobias’s grip on my hand never falters. I know that if he can throw a knife so that it hits just the tip of my ear, he can fire accurately at the Dauntless soldiers who ambush us. We step over fallen bodies--the people Tobias killed in the way in, probably--and finally reach a fire exit. Tobias lets go of my hand to open the door, and the fire alarm screeches in my ears, but we keep running. I am gasping for air but I don’t care, not when I’m finally escaping, not when this nightmare is finally over. My vision starts to go black at the edges, so I grab Tobias’s arm and hold on tight, trusting him to lead me safely to the bottom of the stairs. I run out of steps to run down, and I open my eyes. Tobias is about to open the exit door, but I hold him back. “Got to…catch my breath…” He pauses, and I put my hands on my knees, leaning over. My shoulder still throbs. I frown, and look up at him. “Come on, let’s get out of here,” he says insistently. My stomach sinks. I stare into his eyes. They are dark blue, with a patch of light blue on his right iris. I take his chin in hand and pull his lips down to mine, kissing him slowly, sighing as I pull back. “We can’t get out of here,” I say. “Because this is a simulation.” He pulled me to my feet with my right hand. The real Tobias would have remembered the wound in my shoulder. “What?” He scowls at me. “Don’t you think I would know if I was under a simulation?” “You aren’t under a simulation. You are the simulation.” I look up and say in a loud voice, “You’ll have to do better than that, Jeanine.” All I have to do now is wake up, and I know how--I have done it before, in my fear landscape, when I broke a glass tank just by touching my palm to it, or when I made a gun appear in the grass to shoot descending birds. I take a knife from my pocket--a knife that wasn’t there a moment ago--and will my leg to be hard as diamond. I thrust the knife toward my thigh, and the blade bends.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))