Soul Alone by Hannah Baker
I meet your eyes
you don't even see me
You hardly respond
when I whisper
Could be my soul mate
two kindred spirits
Maybe we're not
I guess we'll never
My own mother
you carried me in you
Now you see nothing
but what I wear
People ask you
how I'm doing
You smile and nod
don't let it end
underneath God's sky and
don't just see me with your eyes
this mask of flesh and bone and
for my soul
Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why)
Abe shook his head, and now the smile was gone altogether. "That's not the reason either. Don't lie to me little girl."
I felt my hackles going up. "And don't interrogate me, old man.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
I believe everything happens for a reason. Whether it is decided by the Mother, or the Cauldron, or some sort of tapestry of Fate, I don't know. I don't really care. But I am grateful for it, whatever it is. Grateful that it brought you all into my life. If it hadn't... I might have become as awful as that prick we're going to face today. If I had not met an Illyrian warrior-in-training," he said to Cassian, "I would not have known the true depths of strength, of resilience, of honor and loyalty." Cassian's eyes gleamed bright. Rhys said to Azriel, "If I had not met a shadowsinger, I would not have known that it is the family you make, not the one you are born into, that matters. I would not have known what it is to truly hope, even when the world tells you to despair." Azriel bowed his head in thanks.
Mor was already crying when Rhys spoke to her. "If I had not met my cousin, I would neer have learned that light can be found in even the darkest of hells. That kidness can thrive even amongst cruelty." She wiped away her teas as she nodded.
I waited for Amren to offer a retort. But she was only waiting.
Rhys bowed his head to her. "If I had not met a tiny monster who hoards jewels more fiercely than a firedrake..." A quite laugh from all of us at that. Rhys smiled softly. "My own power would have consumed me long ago."
Rhys squeezed my hand as he looked to me at last. "And if I had not met my mate..." His words failed him as silver lined his eyes.
He said down the bond, I would have waited five hundred more years for you. A thousand years. And if this was all the time we were allowed to have... The wait was worth it.
He wiped away the tears sliding down my face. "I believe that everything happened, exactly the way it had to... so I could find you." He kissed another tear away.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3))
Tell you what," I said. "After the testing after the Demon Days, when things settle down -"
"Things won't settle down."
"- I'm going to take you to the mall."
She blinked. "The mall? For what reason?"
"To hang out," I said. "We'll get some hamburgers. See a movie."
Zia hesitated. "Is this what you'd call a 'date'?"
My expression must have been priceless, because Zia actually cracked a smile. "You look like a cow hit with a shovel.
Rick Riordan (The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, #1))
Let me introduce my friend, Cat.’ The redhead, and for some reason, she looked familiar. ‘Her husband Bones’ – here Vlad smiled coolly at the short-haired brunet – ‘is not my friend.
Jeaniene Frost (Once Burned (Night Prince, #1))
I was afraid of..."
"Go on..." I press.
"Of unloading my baggage on someone as sweet as you."
I can't keep the smile off my lips. "Oh, wow."
"I guess we're both oblivious. That's the same reason I kept running from my feelings for you."
"Because I'm sweet?" That dimpled, boyish grin flashed over his face.
A.G. Howard (Splintered (Splintered, #1))
Every day was like a day out of someone else's life. Nothing had ever happened to me, and now everything was happening to me -- and by everything, I really meant Lena. An hour was both faster and slower. I felt like I had sucked the air out of a giant balloon, like my brain wasn't getting enough oxygen. Clouds were more interesting, the lunchroom less disgusting, music sounded better, the same old jokes were funnier, and Jackson went from being a clump of grayish-green industrial buildings to a map of times and places where I might run into her. I found myself smiling for no reason, keeping my earphones in and replaying our conversations in my head, just so I could listen to them again. I had seen this kind of thing before. I had just never felt it.
Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1))
Hades allowed himself the faintest smile, but there was nothing cruel in his eyes.
‘I can entertain the possibility that you acted for multiple reasons. My point is this: you and I rose to the aid of Olympus because you convinced me to let go of my anger. I would encourage you to do likewise. My children are so rarely happy. I … I would like to see you be an exception.’
Nico stared at his father. He didn’t know what to do with that statement. He could accept many unreal things – hordes of ghosts, magical labyrinths, travel through shadows, chapels made of bones. But tender words from the Lord of the Underworld?
No. That made no sense.
Rick Riordan (The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5))
Later,” I said to the room at large as I didn’t want to appear rude.
For some reason this was met by Shirleen saying, "I’ll put money down that she’s living with him in four days.”
My confused gaze swung to Shirleen but she was looking at the movie star glamour girl who was looking at me.
“Three days,” Glamour girl said, smiling at me and I thought, in other circumstances, I would have liked to meet her.
“A week, she’s got spirit,” The other black lady said. She was smiling at me too, not like I was the butt of some joke, but in a kind way.
I opened the outer door.
Before it closed behind me, I heard Luke say strangely, “Tonight.”
Then everyone laughed.
Kristen Ashley (Rock Chick Revenge (Rock Chick, #5))
So tonight I reach for my journal again. This is the first time I’ve done this since I came to Italy. What I write in my journal is that I am weak and full of fear. I explain that Depression and Loneliness have shown up, and I’m scared they will never leave. I say that I don’t want to take the drugs anymore, but I’m frightened I will have to. I am terrified that I will never really pull my life together.
In response, somewhere from within me, rises a now-familiar presence, offering me all the certainties I have always wished another person would say to me when I was troubled. This is what I find myself writing on the page:
I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long. I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it—I will love you through that, as well. If you don’t need the medication, I will love you, too. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and Braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.
Tonight, this strange interior gesture of friendship—the lending of a hand from
me to myself when nobody else is around to offer solace—reminds me of something that happened to me once in New York City. I walked into an office building one afternoon in a hurry, dashed into the waiting elevator. As I rushed in, I caught an unexpected glance of myself in a security mirror’s reflection. In that moment, my brain did an odd thing—it fired off this split-second message: “Hey! You know her! That’s a friend of yours!” And I actually ran forward toward my own reflection with a smile, ready to welcome that girl whose name I had lost but whose face was so familiar. In a flash instant of course, I realized my mistake and laughed in embarrassment at my almost doglike confusion over how a mirror works. But for some reason that incident comes to mind again tonight during my sadness in Rome, and I find myself writing this comforting reminder at the bottom of the page.
Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a FRIEND…
I fell asleep holding my notebook pressed against my chest, open to this most recent assurance. In the morning when I wake up, I can still smell a faint trace of depression’s lingering smoke, but he himself is nowhere to be seen. Somewhere during the night, he got up and left. And his buddy loneliness beat it, too.
What happened to the rest of my clothes?”
“They left,” he said, face serious.
“You took them?”
He shrugged. “You wouldn’t have been comfortable sleeping in them.”
“How on earth did you manage to get my bra off without waking me?”
“He gave me a sly smile. “I didn’t do anything else. I swear. I just … removed it for safety reasons. Underwire is dangerous.
Kylie Scott (Lick (Stage Dive, #1))
You know, I do believe in magic. I was born and raised in a magic time, in a magic town, among magicians. Oh, most everybody else didn’t realize we lived in that web of magic, connected by silver filaments of chance and circumstance. But I knew it all along. When I was twelve years old, the world was my magic lantern, and by its green spirit glow I saw the past, the present and into the future. You probably did too; you just don’t recall it. See, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves.
After you go so far away from it, though, you can’t really get it back. You can have seconds of it. Just seconds of knowing and remembering. When people get weepy at movies, it’s because in that dark theater the golden pool of magic is touched, just briefly. Then they come out into the hard sun of logic and reason again and it dries up, and they’re left feeling a little heartsad and not knowing why. When a song stirs a memory, when motes of dust turning in a shaft of light takes your attention from the world, when you listen to a train passing on a track at night in the distance and wonder where it might be going, you step beyond who you are and where you are. For the briefest of instants, you have stepped into the magic realm.
That’s what I believe.
The truth of life is that every year we get farther away from the essence that is born within us. We get shouldered with burdens, some of them good, some of them not so good. Things happen to us. Loved ones die. People get in wrecks and get crippled. People lose their way, for one reason or another. It’s not hard to do, in this world of crazy mazes. Life itself does its best to take that memory of magic away from us. You don’t know it’s happening until one day you feel you’ve lost something but you’re not sure what it is. It’s like smiling at a pretty girl and she calls you “sir.” It just happens.
These memories of who I was and where I lived are important to me. They make up a large part of who I’m going to be when my journey winds down. I need the memory of magic if I am ever going to conjure magic again. I need to know and remember, and I want to tell you.
Robert McCammon (Boy's Life)
Nothing in my life would mean anything if you weren't here to share it. There'd be no reason to get up in the morning without you to light the sun with your smile.
Maggie Osborne (Silver Lining)
Vampires smiled for many reasons, but when a vampire male smiled at you from this distance with that kind of look in his eyes it was done for one purpose only: to impress. Look at my big teeth. I’m an apex predator. My genetic material is awesome.
Ilona Andrews (Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1))
So I feared not just the violence of this world but the rules designed to protect you from it, the rules that would have you contort your body to address the block, and contort again to be taken seriously by colleagues, and contort again so as not to give the police a reason. All my life I’d heard people tell their black boys and black girls to “be twice as good,” which is to say “accept half as much.” These words would be spoken with a veneer of religious nobility, as though they evidenced some unspoken quality, some undetected courage, when in fact all they evidenced was the gun to our head and the hand in our pocket. This is how we lose our softness. This is how they steal our right to smile.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
She was staring at you.'
'What can I say? Irresistible.'
'Shane, it’s not funny. I just—you should be careful.
'Always am.' Which was an absolute lie. Shane’s eyes fixed on hers, and she felt a burst of heat inside that crept up to burn in her cheeks. He smiled slowly. 'Jealous?'
'No reason. I like my ladies with a pulse.
Rachel Caine (Feast of Fools (The Morganville Vampires, #4))
I measure every Grief I meet
With narrow, probing, Eyes;
I wonder if It weighs like Mine,
Or has an Easier size.
I wonder if They bore it long,
Or did it just begin?
I could not tell the Date of Mine,
It feels so old a pain.
I wonder if it hurts to live,
And if They have to try,
And whether, could They choose between,
It would not be, to die.
I note that Some --
gone patient long --
At length, renew their smile.
An imitation of a Light
That has so little Oil.
I wonder if when Years have piled,
Some Thousands -- on the Harm
Of early hurt -- if such a lapse
Could give them any Balm;
Or would they go on aching still
Through Centuries above,
Enlightened to a larger Pain
By Contrast with the Love.
The Grieved are many,
I am told;
The reason deeper lies, --
Death is but one
and comes but once,
And only nails the eyes.
There's Grief of Want
and Grief of Cold, --
A sort they call "Despair";
There's Banishment from native Eyes,
In sight of Native Air.
And though I may not guess the kind
Correctly, yet to me
A piercing Comfort it affords
In passing Calvary,
To note the fashions of the Cross,
And how they're mostly worn,
Still fascinated to presume
That Some are like My Own.
Emily Dickinson (I'm Nobody! Who Are You?)
He walked into my life and slowly, gently he showed me how to smile again, how to start living again. He gave me a reason to breathe again. Showed me that living was worth it and it was worth fighting for. That it was worth taking a risk and making the choices you wanted to make. That he was choosing me, fighting for me and he wanted me to fight for him, for us.
Natalie Ward (I Love You to Death (I Love You, #1))
She Was A Phantom of Delight
She was a Phantom of delight
When first she gleam'd upon my sight;
A lovely Apparition, sent
To be a moment's ornament:
Her eyes as stars of twilight fair;
Like twilight's, too, her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful dawn;
A dancing shape, an image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay.
I saw her upon nearer view,
A Spirit, yet a Woman too!
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin liberty;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A creature not too bright or good
For human nature's daily food,
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.
And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine;
A being breathing thoughtful breath,
A traveller between life and death:
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
A perfect Woman, nobly plann'd
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a Spirit still, and bright
With something of an angel light.
My mom told me that I should trust the man who could see the sorrow behind my smile, the love behind my anger, and the reasons behind my silence.
Jill Shalvis (Always on My Mind (Lucky Harbor, #8))
Papa sat with me tonight. He brought the accordion down and sat close to where Max used to sit. I often look at his fingers and face when he plays. the accordion breathes. There are lines on his cheeks. They look drawn on, and for some reason, when I see them, I want to cry. It is not for any sadness or pride. I just like the way they move and change. Sometimes I think my papa is an accordion. When he looks at me and smiles and breathes, I hear the notes.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
She holds herself with such reserve. She smiles, but the smile doesn't reach her eyes, even in the company of the girls she's chosen to eat with. Why?
I have no clue, and I really don't want to spend my time worrying about it. But my brain pushes at the question anyway.
Why are people aloof?
Because they don't want to let others in.
Why don't they want to let others in?
Well, sometimes because they're shy, and sometimes because they're convinced of their own superiority.
But those aren't the only reasons. Sometimes it's because thay have something to hide.
Lauren Myracle (Bliss (Crestview Academy, #1))
And then to Leo’s surprise, Catherine smiled at him. A sweet, natural, brilliant smile, the first she had ever given him. Leo felt his chest tighten, and he went hot all over, as if some euphoric drug had gone straight to his nervous system.
It felt like … happiness.
He remembered happiness from a long time ago. He didn’t want to feel it. And yet the giddy warmth kept washing over him for no reason whatsoever.
“Thank you,” Catherine said, the smile still hovering on her lips. “That is kind of you, my lord. But I will never dance with you.”
Which, of course, made it the goal of Leo’s life.
Lisa Kleypas (Married by Morning (The Hathaways, #4))
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))
In My Daughter's Eyes Lyrics
In my daughter's eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I want to be
In my daughter's eyes
In my daughter's eyes
Everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light
And the world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me
Gives me strength when I'm weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter's eyes
And when she wraps her hand around my finger
Oh it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about
It's hangin' on when your heart
Is had enough
It's givin' more when you feel like givin' up
I've seen the light
It's in my daughter's eyes
In my daughter's eyes
I can see the future
A reflection of who I am
And what we'll be
And though she'll grow and someday leave
Maybe raise a family
When I'm gone
I hope you'll see
How happy she made me
For I'll be there
In my daughter's eyes
You hand fits in mine like its made to be but bear this in mind it was meant to be and im joining up the dots with the freckles on you cheeks and it all makes sense to me. I know you've never loved the crinkles by your eyes when you smile you've never loved your stomach or your thighs and the dimples in your back at the bottom of your spine but I love them endlessly.I won't let these little things slip out of my mouth but if i do its you oh its you they add up to and Im in love with you and all your little thing. You can't go to bed without a cup of tea and maybe thats the reason that you talk in you sleep and all those conversations are the secrets that I keep though it makes no sense to me. I know you've never loved the sound of your voice on tape you never want to know how much you weigh you still have to squeeze into to your jeans but you're perfect to me. I won't let these little things slip out of my mouth but if its true its you its these they add up to and Im in love with you and all you little things. You'll never love yourself half as much as I love you and you'll never treat yourself right darlin' but I want you to if I let you know I'm here for you then maybe you'll love yourself like I love you ohhhhh. And I've just let these little things slip out of my mouth cause its you oh its you its you they add up to and Im in love with you and all your little things I wont let these little things slip out of my mouth but if its true its you its you they add up to and im in love with you and all your little things. <3
He uttered a curse that startled her with its foulness, and gripped her head between his hands, forcing her to stare at him. His voice was savage. "For twelve years I have been in constant torment, wanting you in my arms and believing it would never be possible. I want you for a thousand reasons other than your legs, and...no, damn it, I want you for no reason at all, other than the fact that you're you. I want to shove myself deep inside you and stay for hours...days...weeks. I want morning and noon and nightfall with you. I want your tears, your smiles, your kisses...the smell of your hair, the taste of your skin, the touch of your breath on my face. I want to see you in the final hour of my life...to lie in your arms as I take my last breath.
Lisa Kleypas (Again the Magic (Wallflowers, #0))
You are not showing her my baby pictures!” He sounded horrified, which made me laugh.
“Come on, Evan,” I teased with a laughing smile, “you were adorable.
Rebecca Donovan (Reason to Breathe (Breathing, #1))
I told Quynn that I'm in love with you."
Her face gets real red. That damn cute red that drives me crazy. "Um, why would you do that?"
I shake my head, smiling at her. "Cause its the truth, you dork.
Becca Ann (Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend)
Roark smiled, "Gail, if this boat were sinking, I'd give my life to save you. Not because it's any kind of duty. Only because I like you, for reasons and standards of my own. I could die for you. But I couldn't and wouldn't live for you.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
"You with me?"
I blinked in confusion and said, "Yes." And I was, wasn't I? I was standing in his arms for goodness sake.
"This is Sadie?" Hector went on.
I blinked again. "Yes."
"My Sadie?" he kept at it.
This time I blinked for a different reason.
His Sadie? Was there a Hector's Sadie? Was I Hector's Sadie? Did Hector think I was his Sadie?
Before I could process what he said or get close to processing what that meant, I watched him smile, then he bent his head and kissed my lips.
"Yeah," he said, his face an inch away. "It's my Sadie.
Kristen Ashley (Rock Chick Regret (Rock Chick, #7))
I've been wanting to do that for a very long time," I growled
Victor smiled through the pain and the blood. "Of course you have. I used to think Belikov was the savage one, but it's really you, isn't it? You're the animal with no control, no higher reasoning except to fight and kill."
I clenched his shirt and leaned him over him. "Me? I'm not the one who tortured Lissa for my own benefit. I'm not the one who turned my daughter Strigoi. And I'm sure as hell not the one who used compulsion to kidnap a fifteen-year-old girl!
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
There was no way that I wanted him to stop touching me, even for a few hours. My pulse thudded as I glanced across at the camp bed. I cleared my throat. "Wel...is there a reason we can't both take the bed? The sleeping bags zip together, don't they?" Alex stared at me without moving. "Would that be OK?" I asked, feeling nervous suddenly.
The lantern light made his eyes look darker, his hair almost black. He started to smile, a grin spreading across his face. "Yes, that would be extremely OK.
L.A. Weatherly (Angel (Angel, #1))
Honestly, half the reason I like you is because you’re so...I don’t know. You like life.” He looked away from my eyes, amused as his thoughts spun, considering. “You’re fearless. Bold. Not afraid to enjoy yourself. You just go out there and do what you want. I like the whirlwind you exist in. I envy it. It’s funny, really.” He smiled. “I used to think I wanted someone exactly like me, but now I think I’d be bored to death with another version of myself. I’m surprised I don’t bore you sometimes.”
I gaped. “Are you kidding? You’re the most interesting person I know. Aside from Hugh maybe. But then, he installs breast implants and buys souls. That’s a hard combination to beat. But he’s not nearly as cute.
Richelle Mead (Succubus on Top (Georgina Kincaid, #2))
I just stood there and looked up at Rush. When I’d first laid eyes on him I’d been awed at his beauty. Never had I thought that the moody playboy could have a heart the size of his underneath all that swagger. “What changed you? You’re so completely different than that guy I met back in June,” I said, smiling at his confused face.
Rush reached out and slipped his hand into my hair and tangled his fingers around the strands. “This sweet, determined, sexy-as-hell blonde walked into my life and gave me a reason to live.
Abbi Glines (Forever Too Far (Rosemary Beach, #3; Too Far, #3))
Stephen can, of course, use my power, for two reasons. Firstly, because it’s his, just as all I am and all I have are his. Not that he ever asks, of course. I’m not sure that he quite believes it.” He looked round at Stephen, a rueful smile dawning, ignoring Fairley’s loud noises of disgust. “But I do hope you are aware, my sweet, somewhere in that absurd heart, that I am ever, entirely, and quite pathetically yours.
K.J. Charles (Flight of Magpies (A Charm of Magpies, #3))
They got their happy ending. That’s the only reason why I can make myself walk away, make myself say goodbye to my girls, even though it kills me that I’m not the reason behind their smiles. And I will never be.
Mia Asher (Arsen: A Broken Love Story)
Rose," Alberta said, leaning toward me. "I'm going to be blunt with you. I'm not going to give you lectures or demand any explanations. Honestly, since you aren't my student anymore, I don't have the right to ask or tell you anything."
"You can lecture," I told her. "I've always respected you and want to hear what you have to say."
The ghost of a smile flashed on her face. "All right, here it is. You screwed up."
"Wow. You weren't kidding about bluntness."
"The reasons don't matter. You shouldn't have left. You shouldn't have dropped out. Your education and training are too valuable—no matter how much you think you know—and you are too talented to risk throwing away your future."
I almost laughed. "To tell you the truth? I'm not sure what my future is anymore."
"Which is why you need to graduate."
"But I dropped out."
She snorted. "Then drop back in!"
"With paperwork. Just like everything else in the world.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
I keep my kindness in my eyes
Gently folded around my iris
Like a velvety, brown blanket
That warms my vision
I keep my shyness in my hair
Tucked away into a ponytail
Looking for a chance to escape
On a few loose strands in the air
I keep my anger on my lips
Just waiting to unleash into the world
But trust me; it’s never in my heart
It evaporates into words
I keep my dignity upon my chin
Like a torch held up high
For those who have betrayed me
Radiating a silent, strong message
I keep my gratitude in my smile
A glistening waterfall in the sun
Gently splashing at that person
Who made me happy for some reason
I keep my sensitivity in my hands
Reaching out for your wet cheek
Holding you, with all the love
The love I want to share, and feel
I keep my passion in my writing
My words breathing like fire
Screeching against an endless road
As I continue to be inspired
I keep my simplicity in my soul
Spread over me like a clear sky
Reflecting all that I am
And all that’s ever passed me by
And I hope you will look
Beyond my ordinary face
My simple, tied hair
My ordinary tastes
And I hope you will see me
As I keep my beauty
in my heart.
Today something unusual happened; I was walking without even knowing, where I was going. I was smiling without any cause. I was just happy without reasons. I can tell you that birds do sing, leaves of trees, do dance, and it’s beautiful. I am, a complete nature boy! Maybe, I was fully satisfied that sunlight was falling on my cheek. I got the power to love myself, nature and rest of humankind. Cheers, Everyone!
I tend to think too much, Bast. My greatest successes came from decisions I made when I stopped thinking and simply did what felt right. Even if there was no good explanation for what I did." He smiled wistfully. "Even if there were very good reasons for me not to do what I did."
Bast ran a hand along the side of his face. "So you're trying to avoid second-guessing yourself?"
Kote hesitated. "You could say that," he admitted.
"I could say that, Reshi," Bast said smugly. "You, on the other hand, would complicate things needlessly.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
My dogs have been the reason I have woken up every single day of my life with a smile on my face.
Jennifer Skiff (The Divinity of Dogs: True Stories of Miracles Inspired by Man's Best Friend)
Those were the days when I believed my life would turn out special. I secretly sneered at cowards who compromised with reality. But this silly arrogance of mine is the reason why I am nothing now.
Choi Eunyoung (Shoko's Smile: Stories)
I’d been unable to stop questioning if I knew what I was doing, even just kissing, and I’d sort of sheepishly apologized for my inexperience. Lucius had drawn back, a strange look in his eyes and a half smile on his lips as he’d said, 'I don’t think I could allow another man who’d touched you to continue walking this earth. The only reason Zinn survives is the debt that I owe him.' He’d smiled a little more broadly, joking, 'Your inexperience saves lives, Antanasia.
Beth Fantaskey (The Wedding of Antanasia Jessica Packwood and Lucius Valeriu Vladescu (Jessica, #1.5))
Living is about capturing the essence of things. I go through my life every day with a vial, a vial wherein can be found precious essential oils of every kind! The priceless, fragrant oils that are the essence of my experiences, my thoughts. I walk inside a different realm from everybody else, in that I am existing in the essence of things; every time there is reason to smile, I hold out my glass vial and capture that drop of oil, that essence, and then I smile. And that is why I have smiled, and so you and I may be smiling at the same time but I am smiling because of that one drop of cherished, treasured oil that I have extracted. When I write, I find no need to memorize an idea, a plot, a sequence of things: no. I must only capture the essence of a feeling or a thought and once I have inhaled that aroma, I know that I have what I need.
C. JoyBell C.
I cry because I've never smiled like that, not once in my life. I cry because I love. For some reason, I always have.
David Arnold (Mosquitoland)
Do I look like a commitment sort of girl to you?”
“You look like trouble,” he grinned. “When I was growing up, my mother used to tell me to never trust a redhead.”
I frowned. “There are only two reasons she’d say something like that.” Caleb raised his eyebrows. “And they are?”
“Your father either slept with one, or she is one.”
I buzzed under his crooked smile. It extended all the way to his eyes this time.
“I like you,” he said.
“That’s swell, Boy Scout. Real swell.
Tarryn Fisher (Dirty Red (Love Me with Lies, #2))
While I was backstage before presenting the Best New Artist award, I talked to George Strait for a while. He's so incredibly cool. So down-to-earth and funny. I think it should be known that George Strait has an awesome, dry, subtle sense of humor. Then I went back out into the crowd and watched the rest of the show. Keith Urban's new song KILLS ME, it's so good. And when Brad Paisley ran down into the front row and kissed Kimberley's stomach (she's pregnant) before accepting his award, Kellie, my mom, and I all started crying. That's probably the sweetest thing I've ever seen.
I thought Kellie NAILED her performance of the song we wrote together "The Best Days of Your Life". I was so proud of her. I thought Darius Rucker's performance RULED, and his vocals were incredible. I'm a huge fan. I love it when I find out that the people who make the music I love are wonderful people. I love Faith Hill and how she always makes everyone in the room feel special. I love Keith Urban, and how he told me he knows every word to "Love Story" (That made my night). I love Nicole Kidman, and her sweet, warm personality. I love how Kenny Chesney always has something hilarious or thoughtful to say. But the real moment that brought on this wave of gratitude was when Shania Twain HERSELF walked up and introduced herself to me. Shania Twain, as in.. The reason I wanted to do this in the first place. Shania Twain, as in.. the most impressive and independent and confident and successful female artist to ever hit country music. She walked up to me and said she wanted to meet me and tell me I was doing a great job. She was so beautiful, guys. She really IS that beautiful. All the while, I was completely star struck. After she walked away, I realized I didn't have my camera. Then I cried.
You know, last night made me feel really great about being a country music fan in general. Country music is the place to find reality in music, and reality in the stars who make that music. There's kindness and goodness and....honesty in the people I look up to, and knowing that makes me smile. I'm proud to sing country music, and that has never wavered. The reason for the being.. nights like last night.
What the hell," I said, pushing off the wall, ready to take off the head of whatever stupid salesperson had decided to get cozy with me. My elbow was still buzzing, and I could feel a hot flush creeping up my neck: bad signs. I knew my temper.
I turned my head and saw it wasn't a salesman at all. It was a guy with black curly hair, around my age, wearing a bright orange T-shirt. And for some reason he was smiling.
"Hey there," he said cheerfully. "How's it going?"
"What is your problem?" I snapped, rubbing my elbow.
"You just slammed me into the wall, asshole."
He blinked. "Goodness," he said finally. "Such language."
I just looked at him. Wrong day, buddy, I thought. You caught me on the wrong day.
"The thing is," he said, as if we'd been discussing the weather or world politics, "I saw you out in the showroom. I was over by the tire display?"
I was sure I was glaring at him. But he kept talking.
"I just thought to myself, all of a sudden, that we had something in common. A natural chemistry, if you will. And I had a feeling that something big was going to happen. To both of us. That we were, in fact, meant to be together."
"You got all this," I said, clarifying, "at the tire display?"
"You didn't feel it?" he asked.
"No. I did, however, feel you slamming me into the wall," I said evenly.
"That," he said, lowering his voice and leaning closer to me, "was an accident. An oversight. Just an unfortunate result of the enthusiasm I felt knowing I was about to talk to you.
Sarah Dessen (This Lullaby)
What's your name?" I ask.
I don't need to know. In fact, don't want to know. Giving him a name makes it sound like we're somehow on the same side, which we can never be. It's like acknowledging that we could become friends. But that's not possible. It's pointless to make friends with your executioner.
I only asked him his name to distract him from thinking about having to use his feet instead of his wings. But now that I know his name, it feels right. "Rah-fie," I repeat slowly. "I like the sound of that."
His eyes soften as though he smiles even though his expression doesn't change from his stony look. For some reason, it makes my face heat up.
I clear my throat to break the tension. "Raffe sounds like Raw Feet. Coincidence?" That gets a smile out of him. When he smiles, he really does look like someone you'd want to get to know. Some otherworldly handsome guy a girl could dream about.
Only he's not a guy. And he's too otherworldly. Not to mention that this girl is beyond dreaming about anything other than food, shelter, and the safety of her family.
Susan Ee (Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1))
Zane let his head loll back and lifted one hand to gently prod his split lip. "Ow."
"Whine about it. It'll make it better," Ty offered as he stood in front of his locker, his back to Zane, and unwrapped the tape from his hands with jerky, irritated movements.
"Bite me," Zane muttered as he dug into his locker for a towel before starting in on the tape on his own hands. He spared an evil glance for Ty. "Teaching me to advance in a fight is a bad idea."
"Teaching you to fight at all is an exercise in futility," Ty responded in a matter-of-fact tone. "Luckily for you, I enjoy things like banging my head against a wall."
"I enjoy banging your head against a wall too," Zane replied as he tossed the balled-up tape at a nearby trash can. He let a small smile quirk his lips as he sat on the bench to unlace his shoes.
"Shut up," Ty grunted at him. But even though his back was still turned to him, Zane could hear the smile in his voice. "And cut it out with the damn cat jokes, huh? They're starting to catch on."
"Fine, fine. No reason to get catty about it," Zane told his partner with a barely concealed grin.
"A for effort," Ty conceded charitably.
Abigail Roux (Fish & Chips (Cut & Run, #3))
Sometimes I liked him for his smile. Sometimes I liked him because he didn’t smile. Sometimes I got an erection because of the way he brushed his hair away from his face. It didn’t matter to my brain that these were odd reasons to care for someone. My brain, my body, my everything wanted to be Jeremey’s boyfriend.
Heidi Cullinan (Carry the Ocean (The Roosevelt, #1))
Shane was just leaving, too.”
“What?” he cried.
I slammed my palms flat against his body. Dear God, there were some nice ridges hiding under that shirt! My hands slid up to his pecks and pushed. “Yeah. You have to go now.”
“Are you for real?” he asked. He was slowly backing his way through the room, but it had nothing to do with the strength of my push…or lack thereof.
“Very. I can’t. I need to sleep on this.”
With a wicked smile, he flattened his hands over mine and sassed, “I’m all for you sleeping on me. Let’s go.
Devon Ashley (Waiting On My Reason)
Ten thousand!" I shouted at the walls, back in the room with the wooden shutters, now open, so that anyone could hear me, on the porch or probably across the compound. "That arrogant bastard landed ten thousand men at Tas-Elisa. In my port! Mine!" When I was a child and playmates snatched my toys out of my hands, I tended to smile weakly and give in. Years later I was acting the way I should have as a child. Probably not the most mature behavior for a king, but I was still cursing as I swung around to find a delegation of barons in the doorway behind me. My father, Baron Comeneus, and Baron Xorcheus among them.
They thought it was how a king behaved.
I ran my fingers through my hair and tried to pursue a more reasonable line of thought, but more reasonable thoughts made me angry again.
Megan Whalen Turner (A Conspiracy of Kings (The Queen's Thief, #4))
I have of late—but wherefore
I know not—lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of
exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily with my
disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to
me a sterile promontory, this most excellent canopy,
the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament,
this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why,
it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent
congregation of vapors. What a piece of work is a man!
How noble in reason, how infinite in faculties,
in form and moving how express and admirable,
in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like
a god! The beauty of the world, the paragon of animals!
And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man
delights not me—no, nor woman neither, though by
your smiling you seem to say so.
William Shakespeare (Hamlet)
You’re right,” Jacks said. “You’re not part of my world. You’re not one of those girls. And maybe that’s why.”
“Why I can’t stop thinking about you.”
Maddy rolled her eyes. “Guys like you don’t say that to girls like me.”
“I’ve never said that to anyone, actually,” Jacks corrected. “In fact, I’ve never done anything like this before.” He let out a little laugh. “How am I doing?”
He swallowed hard, trying to push down his nervousness. He was astonished to realize he was nervous. Somehow being around Maddy just put him in a different space. Jacks felt so present.
Maddy stared at him, letting the anger and frustration surge through her.
“Why are you doing this to me?” she asked finally.
He paused, considering.
“I’m being honest. I know you may not believe me. But I haven’t been able to not think about you. When we were in the back at the restaurant, and . . .” Jacks’s voice trailed off, his face coloring. “I still feel terrible about what I did. I lied to you and, even though I had good reasons for it, it was wrong of me.”
Maddy studied him. Was he telling the truth?
Jacks smiled. “I mean this in the best possible way: I’m not going to leave you alone until you let me make it up to you. I’m serious. I’ll be here every night. You might as well get me some pajamas and a toothbrush.”
Despite her best efforts not to, Maddy laughed. She looked at Jacks and could see the faintest twinkle of light in his eyes.
“So what you’re saying is that I should just give in and let you make it up to me. Otherwise you’ll be tormenting me like this for the rest of my life?”
“Pretty much. Yeah.”
“Well.” She sighed. “What do you have in mind?”
“Come fly with me.
Scott Speer (Immortal City (Immortal City, #1))
Alex sat playing with the remote, turning it over in his hand. A long moment passed, and then he cleared his throat."Look... I'm sorry," he said.
"What I said i that first night- " He stopped and sighed, tossing the remote onto the bed. Scraping his hand through his hair, he said, "When I first found out, it just threw me,OK? For a lot of reasons. I don't-I don't think you're like the angels. And I've been acting like a jerk. I'm sorry."
A smile grew slowley across my face. "Yes you have," I said "But apology accepted.
L.A. Weatherly (Angel Burn (Angel, #1))
He slumped down into the pen, and the puppies immediately leapt on him. "Perhaps I'll see you later tonight."
"If you're lucky," Celaena purred, and walked away. She smiled to herself as they strode through the castle.
Eventully Nehemia turned to her. "Do you like him?"
Celaena made a face. "Of course not. Why would I?"
You converse easily. It seems as if you have...a connection."
"A connection?" Celaena choked on the word. "I just enjoy teasing him."
"It's not a crime if you consider him handsome. I'll admit I judged him wrong; I thought him to be a pompous, selfish idiot, but he's not so bad."
"He's a Havilliard."
"My mother was the daughter of a chief who sought to overthrow my grandfather."
"We're both silly. It's nothing."
"He seems to take great interest in you."
Celaena's head whipped around, her eyes full of long-forgotten fury that made her belly ache and twist. "I would sooner cut out my own heart than love a Havilliard," she snarled.
They completed their walk in silence, and when they parted ways, Celaena quickly wished Nehemia a pleasant evening before striding to her part of the castle.
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
Well, I can feel superior for my good deed.” I flashed him a smile. “How’s that for a selfish reason?
Kim Harrington (Perception (Clarity, #2))
I am so out of my league with this guy. He should have a warning label on his back, 'Proceed with caution; smile will dazzle you'.
C.P. Smith (A Reason to Breathe (Reason, #1))
A woman in her thirties came to see me. As she greeted me, I could sense the pain behind her polite and superficial smile. She started telling me her story, and within one second her smile changed into a grimace of pain. Then, she began to sob uncontrollably. She said she felt lonely and unfulfilled.
There was much anger and sadness. As a child she had been abused by a physically violent father. I saw quickly that her pain was not caused by her present life circumstances but by an extraordinarily heavy pain-body. Her pain-body had become the filter through which she viewed her life situation.
She was not yet able to see the link between the emotional pain and her thoughts, being completely identified with both. She could not yet see that she was feeding the pain-body with her thoughts. In other words, she lived with the burden of a deeply unhappy self. At some level, however, she must have realized that her pain originated within herself, that she was a burden to herself. She was ready to awaken, and this is why she had come.
I directed the focus of her attention to what she was feeling inside her body and asked her to sense the emotion directly, instead of through the filter of her unhappy thoughts, her unhappy story. She said she had come expecting me to show her the way out of her unhappiness, not into it.
Reluctantly, however, she did what I asked her to do. Tears were rolling down her face, her whole body was shaking. “At this moment, this is what you feel.” I said. “There is nothing you can do about the fact that at this moment this is what you feel. Now, instead of wanting this moment to be different from the way it is, which adds more pain to the pain that is already there, is it possible for you to completely accept that this is what you feel right now?”
She was quiet for a moment. Suddenly she looked impatient, as if she was about to get up, and said angrily, “No, I don't want to accept this.” “Who is speaking?” I asked her. “You or the unhappiness in you? Can you see that your unhappiness about being unhappy is just another layer of unhappiness?” She became quiet again. “I am not asking you to do anything. All I'm asking is that you find out whether it is possible for you to allow those feelings to be there. In other words, and this may sound strange, if you don't mind being unhappy, what happens to the unhappiness? Don't you want to find out?”
She looked puzzled briefly, and after a minute or so of sitting silently, I suddenly noticed a significant shift in her energy field. She said, “This is weird. I 'm still unhappy, but now there is space around it. It seems to matter less.”
This was the first time I heard somebody put it like that: There is space around my unhappiness. That space, of course, comes when there is inner acceptance of whatever you are experiencing in the present moment.
I didn't say much else, allowing her to be with the experience. Later she came to understand that the moment she stopped identifying with the feeling, the old painful emotion that lived in her, the moment she put her attention on it directly without trying to resist it, it could no longer control her thinking and so become mixed up with a mentally constructed story called “The Unhappy Me.” Another dimension had come into her life that transcended her personal past – the dimension of Presence. Since you cannot be unhappy without an unhappy story, this was the end of her unhappiness. It was also the beginning of the end of her pain-body. Emotion in itself is not unhappiness. Only emotion plus an unhappy story is unhappiness.
When our session came to an end, it was fulfilling to know that I had just witnessed the arising of Presence in another human being. The very reason for our existence in human form is to bring that dimension of consciousness into this world. I had also witnessed a diminishment of the pain-body, not through fighting it but through bringing the light of consciousness to it.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
My dogs have been the reason I have woken up every single day with a smile on my face. I am among the ranks of millions of people who appreciate the souls of dogs and know they are a gift of pure love and an example of all that is good.
Jennifer Skiff (The Divinity of Dogs: True Stories of Miracles Inspired by Man's Best Friend)
You'd think the very thought of a romance writer would bring a smile to people's lips. Ah, how nice. Love. Making love. Laughter. Kissing.
But no, the world is upside down as far as I can see, and romances and their writers are ridiculed, hisses and generally spat upon.
For what reason? One of my favorites is that women who read them might get mixed up about reality and imagine a man is going to rescue them from Life. According to this theory, women are so stupid that they can't tell a story from reality. Is anyone worried that the MEN who read spy thrillers are going to go after their neighbors with an automatic weapon? No, I don't remember anyone thinking that. Nor do I remember anyone worrying about murder mysteries or science fiction. It just seems to be dumb ol' women who might think some gorgeous, thoughtful, giving hunk is going to rescue them.
Honey, if any woman thought a gorgeous hunk was going to rescue her, romance novels wouldn’t be forty percent of the publishing industry.
Jude Deveraux (Remembrance)
You may not know my reasons, but you can assume I have them and be kind.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
There are moments in every relationship that define when two people start to fall in love.
A first glance
A first smile
A first kiss
A first fall…
(I remove the Darth Vader house shoes from my satchel and look down at them.)
You were wearing these during one of those moments.
One of the moments I first started to fall in love with you.
The way you gave me butterflies that morning
Had absolutely nothing to do with anyone else,
and everything to do with you.
I was falling in love with you that morning
because of you.
(I take the next item out of the satchel. When I pull it out and look up, she brings her hands to her mouth in shock.)
This ugly little gnome
With his smug little grin…
He's the reason I had an excuse to invite you into my house.
Into my life.
You took a lot of aggression out on him over those next few months.
I would watch from my window as you would kick him over every time you walked by him.
Poor little guy.
You were so tenacious.
That feisty, aggressive, strong-willed side of you….
The side of you that refused to take crap from this concrete gnome?
The side of you that refused to take crap from me?
I fell in love with that side of you
because of you.
(I set the gnome down on the stage and grab the CD)
This is your favorite CD
Although now I know you intended for shit to be possessive, rather than descriptive.
The banjo started playing through the speakers of your car
and I immediately recognized my favorite band.
Then when I realized it was your favorite band, too?
The fact that these same lyrics inspired both of us?
I fell in love with that about you.
That had absolutely nothing to do with anyone else.
I fell in love with that about you
because of you.
(I take a slip of paper out of the satchel and hold it up. When I look at her, I see Eddie slide her a napkin. I can’t tell from up here, but that can only mean she’s crying.)
This is a receipt I kept.
Only because the item I purchased that night was on the verge of ridiculous.
Chocolate milk on the rocks? Who orders that?
You were different, and you didn’t care.
You were being you.
A piece of me fell in love with you at that moment,
because of you.
This? (I hold up another sheet of paper.)
This I didn’t really like so much.
It’s the poem you wrote about me.
The one you titled 'mean?'
I don’t think I ever told you…
but you made a zero.
And then I kept it
to remind myself of all the things I never want to be to you.
(I pull her shirt from my bag. When I hold it into the light, I sigh into the microphone.)
This is that ugly shirt you wear.
It doesn’t really have anything to do with why I fell in love with you.
I just saw it at your house and thought I’d steal it.
Colleen Hoover (Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2))
Tris," a low voice says behind me. I don't know why it doesn't startle me. Maybe because I am becoming Dauntless, and mental readiness is something I'm supposed to develop. Maybe because his voice is low and smooth and almost soothing. Whatever the reason over my shoulder. Four stands behind me with his gun slung across his back, just like mine. "Yes?" I say. "I came to find out what you think you're doing." "I'm seeking higher ground," I say. "I don't think I'm doing anything." I see his smile in the dark. "All right. I'm coming." I pause a second. He doesn't look at me the way Will, Christina, and Al sometimes do- like I am too small and too weak to be any use, and they pity me for it. But if he insists on coming with me, it is probably because he doubts me.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
I tend to think too much, Bast. My greatest successes came from decisions I made when I stopped thinking and simply did what felt right. Even if there was no good explanation for what I did." He smiled wistfully. "Even if there were very good reasons for me not to do
what I did.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
In the end, I take my shoes off and stick my feet in, letting the lukewarm water lick at my ankles. It feels good, and not just because I’m stoned. I make a mental note to add this to Dulcie’s list of things worth living for. For some reason, I keep seeing her rolling her eyes at me, that big, goofy grin stretching her face like Silly Putty. On my private list, I add her smile. She doesn’t have to know.
Libba Bray (Going Bovine)
Not easy when you can't talk, is it?" I grinned. "Well, not easy for you but I could get used to it."
He grumbled, but I could see relif in his eyes, like he was glad to see me smile.
"SO i was right, wasn't I? It's still youm even in wolf form."
"No sudden uncontrollable urges to go kill something?"
He rolled his eyes.
"Hey, you're the one who was worried." I paused. "And i don't smell like dinner, right?"
I got a real look for that one.
"Just covering all the bases."
He gave a rumbling groul, like a chuckle, and settled in, lowering his head to his front paws, gaze on me. I tried to get comfortable, but the ground was ice-cold through his swearshirt, and i was wearing only my new pajamas, a light jacket, and sneakers.
Seeing me shiver, he stretched a front leg toward the swearshirt, pawing the edge and snarling when he realized he couldnt grab it.
"The lack of opposanle thumbs is going to take some getting used to, huh?"
He motioned me closer with his muzzel. When I pretended not to understand, he twisted and gingerly took the hem of the swearshirt between his teeth, lips curled in discust as he tugged it.
"Okay, okay. I'm just trying not to croud you."
That wasnt the only reason i was uncomfortanle getting too cozy with him now, but he just grunted, again seeming to say it was fine. i moved over beside himm. He shifted, his torso making a partial wind block, the boddy heat from the change still blasting like a furnace.
"Yes, thats better.thanks. now get some rest."
i had no idea what would happen now. i doubted derek did either. he'd been focused on getting through the change. what i did know was that this was only half the process. he had to change back, and he'd need time and rest for that.
and how would it happen? did he have to wait until his body was ready, like he did with the change to a wolf? how long would that be?hours?days?
Feeling his gaze on me, i forced a smile and pushed back my worries. it would be okat. he could change. that was the important thing.
when i relaxed, he shifted closer, fur brushing my hand. i tentatively touched it, feeling the coarse top layer and soft undercoar. he leaned against my hand, as if to sat it was okaym and i buried my hand in his fur, his skin so hot from the change it was like putting my numb hands on a radiator. my cool fingers must have felt just as good, because he closed his eyes and shifte until i was leaning on him. within minutes he was asleep.
i closed my eyes, meaning to rest for just a moment, but the next thing i knew, i was waking up, curled on my side, using derek as a pillow. i jumped. he looked over at me.
"S-sorry, I didn't mean-"
He cut me short with a growl, telling me off for apologizing.
i didn't think you remembered my name."Lucas narrowed his eyes back as a tiny smile flitted across his face. He wrapped an arm around my shoulders and placed his mouth close to my ear. "Of course i did, love. I always remember the names i moan out in pleasure.
J.L. Paul (All The Wrong Reasons (Wrong Reasons, #1))
Never regret something that once made you smile" Kai-The GazettE
"My motto is “Impossible Is Nothing.” It’s like “If you set your mind to it, you can do anything.” Gazette was something where impossible was nothing." Ruki-the GazettE
"Something unexpected always happens. Maybe you'll die tomorrow. So I try to live each second to the fullest. "Reita-The GazettE
"Yeah, just do it. Even though you did not achieve what you dreamt of, you won't lose anything. You'll be gaining something great by just doing it. Having your dreams come true comes second. Take the first move, work for your dream." Aoi-The GazettE
"When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you've a thousand reasons to smile." Uruha- The GazettE, my favorite qoute
Leila, this is my friend and honorary sire, Menecheres, and his wife, Kira," he said, indicating the lopng-haired Middle Eastern man and the blonde. "Also let me introduce my friend, Cat." The redhead, and for some reason she looked familiar. "Her husband, Bones"-here Vlad smiled coolly at the short-haired brunet-"is not my friend.
I start to cross the street, stop, turn back. "You are not what I thought."
He smiles. A devastatingly beautiful smile.
I race across the street to my apartment building, to home, to safety. Because that smile scares me for reasons I can't explain. I only know that it makes me want to see him smile again.
J.A. London (Darkness Before Dawn (Darkness Before Dawn #1))
After Reason had left the dining room, Valor’s mouth softened into smile. “Let us know if you have any symptoms.”
“Symptoms?” I asked, and jerked my gaze to his eyes. “What kind of symptoms?”
“Tell us if your fingernails turn to stone,” Victor chuckled.
Taylor Longford (Valor (Greystone, #1))
If... if I didn't try to get my life moving on my own account, I should think it just absurd to go on living.'
A look of smiling obstinacy had come into Marcelle's face.
'Yes, yes - it's your vice.'
'It's not a vice. It's how I'm made.'
'Why aren't other people made like that, if it isn't a vice?'
'They are, only they don't know it.
Jean-Paul Sartre (The Age of Reason (Roads to Freedom, #1))
I had no idea kissing felt like this. Sensory overload.
At some point, Ren reluctantly let me down. He still supported my weight, which was good because I was ready to fall over. He cupped my cheek and ran a thumb slowly across my bottom lip. He stood close to me, keeping one arm wrapped around my waist. His other hand moved to my hair, and his fingers began to slowly twist the loose strands.
I had to blink my eyes a few times to clear my vision.
He laughed quietly. “Breathe, Kelsey.” He had a very self-satisfied, smug grin on his face, which, for some reason, got my ire up.
“You seem very happy with yourself.”
He raised an eyebrow. “I am.”
I smirked back to him and said, “Well, you didn’t ask for permission.”
“Hmm, perhaps we should rectify that.” He trailed his fingers up my arm, swirling little circles as he went. “Kelsey?”
I watched his progress and mumbled, distracted, “Yes?”
He stepped closer. “Do I-“
“Hmm?” I wiggled slightly.
He started nuzzling my neck then moved up to my ear. His lips ticked me as he whispered, and I felt him smile, “Permission-“
Goose bumps broke out on my arms and I trembled.
“To kiss you?”
I nodded weakly. Standing on my tiptoes, I slipped my arms around his neck showing him that I was definitely giving permission. He trailed kisses from my ear across to my cheek in achingly slow motion, grazing along a path of his choosing. He stopped, hovering just over my lips, and waited.
I knew what he was waiting for. I paused only a brief second before whispering faintly, “Yes.”
Smiling victoriously, he crushed me against his chest and kissed me again. This time, the kiss was bolder and playful. I ran my hands from his powerful shoulders, up to his neck, and pressed him close to me.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
England once there lived a big
And wonderfully clever pig.
To everybody it was plain
That Piggy had a massive brain.
He worked out sums inside his head,
There was no book he hadn't read.
He knew what made an airplane fly,
He knew how engines worked and why.
He knew all this, but in the end
One question drove him round the bend:
He simply couldn't puzzle out
What LIFE was really all about.
What was the reason for his birth?
Why was he placed upon this earth?
His giant brain went round and round.
Alas, no answer could be found.
Till suddenly one wondrous night.
All in a flash he saw the light.
He jumped up like a ballet dancer
And yelled, "By gum, I've got the answer!"
"They want my bacon slice by slice
"To sell at a tremendous price!
"They want my tender juicy chops
"To put in all the butcher's shops!
"They want my pork to make a roast
"And that's the part'll cost the most!
"They want my sausages in strings!
"They even want my chitterlings!
"The butcher's shop! The carving knife!
"That is the reason for my life!"
Such thoughts as these are not designed
To give a pig great piece of mind.
Next morning, in comes Farmer Bland,
A pail of pigswill in his hand,
And piggy with a mighty roar,
Bashes the farmer to the floor…
Now comes the rather grizzly bit
So let's not make too much of it,
Except that you must understand
That Piggy did eat Farmer Bland,
He ate him up from head to toe,
Chewing the pieces nice and slow.
It took an hour to reach the feet,
Because there was so much to eat,
And when he finished, Pig, of course,
Felt absolutely no remorse.
Slowly he scratched his brainy head
And with a little smile he said,
"I had a fairly powerful hunch
"That he might have me for his lunch.
"And so, because I feared the worst,
"I thought I'd better eat him first.
Have you never outright sinned, then?”
“I disobeyed Patti when she told me to stay away from you.”
“Right. I remember that one. So just once, then?”
“There was this other time...” I thought about the two girls in the bathroom and stopped myself, blanching.
“Yes? Go on,” he urged.
He watched the road, but excitement underscored his tone. I rubbed my dampening palms down my shorts.
“The night we met, I sort of...well, I flat-out told a lie. On purpose.”
I thought he was trying not to smile.
“To me?” he asked.
“No. About you.”
Now he unleashed that devastating smile of his, crinkling the corners of his eyes. My face was aflame.
“There were these girls in the bathroom talking about you, and for some reason, I don't know why, it upset me, and I told them...thatyouhadanSTD.”
I covered my face in shame and he burst into laughter. I thought he might drive off the road.
Well, it was kind of funny in an ironic way, because he couldn't keep a disease anyhow, even if he had gotten one. I found myself beginning to giggle, too, mostly out of relief that he wasn't offended.
“I wondered if you were ever going to tell me!” he said through spurts of hilarity.
Duh! Of course he'd been listening! My giggles increased, and it felt so nice that we kept going until we were cracking up. It was the good kind of laughter: the soul-cleansing, ab-crunching, lose-control-of-yourself kind.
We started catching our breath again a few minutes later, only to break into another round of merriment.
“Do you forgive me, then?” I asked when we finally settled down and I wiped my eyes.
“Yes, yes. I've had worse said about me.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
I was Mrs. Taylor yesterday.” I grin at Taylor, who flushes.
“That has a nice ring to it, Miss Steele,” Taylor says matter-of-factly.
“I thought so, too.”
Christian tightens his hold on my hand, scowling. “If you two have quite finished, I’d like a debrief.” He glares at Taylor, who now looks uncomfortable, and I cringe inwardly. I have overstepped the mark.
“Sorry,” I mouth at Taylor, who shrugs and smiles kindly before I turn to follow Christian.
“I’ll be with you shortly. I just want a word with Miss Steele,” Christian says to Taylor, and I know I’m in trouble.
Christian leads me into his bedroom and closes the door.
“Don’t flirt with the staff, Anastasia,” he scolds.
I open my mouth to defend myself—then close it again, then open it. “I wasn’t flirting. I was being friendly—there is a difference.”
“Don’t be friendly with the staff or flirt with them. I don’t like it.”
Oh. Good-bye, carefree Christian. “I’m sorry,” I mutter and stare down at my fingers. He hasn’t made me feel like a child all day. Reaching down he cups my chin, pulling my head up to meet his eyes.
“You know how jealous I am,” he whispers.
“You have no reason to be jealous, Christian. You own me body and soul.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2))
Ian!" she cried, afraid to believe it. "I don’t want you to ever regret that you married me."
He smiled, and his fingertips caressed her cheeks. "Regret it? How could I?" You are my passionate Italian wife. You are the woman who is going to give me children and whose bed I intend to sleep in every night. You’re the reason I’ll wake up every morning with a smile on my face. I love you, I will be in love with you every day of my life, and the only day I’m leaving you is the day they put me in the ground.
Laura Lee Guhrke (She's No Princess (Guilty, #4))
My dear boy," said Lord Henry, smiling, "anybody can be good in the country. There are no temptations there. That is the reason why people who live out of town are so absolutely uncivilized. Civilization is not, by any means, an easy thing to attain to. There are only two ways by which men can reach it. One is by being cultured, the other by being corrupt. Country people have no opportunity of being either, so they stagnate.
I want more with you. I can’t promise you what that is or where it will go, but it’s more than just physical. I’m attracted to everything about you – you’re smart, honest, funny, brave, a little nutty – and you make me smile for no reason. There’s no denying I want you in my bed. I think you’ve caught on to that part by now. But I want this, too. I’m tired of looking back. It’s been a long time since I’ve wanted to live in the moment.
Vi Keeland (Bossman)
I'm not difficult," Violet said. "I'm simple. I like good books and clever conversation and being left alone much of the time. How does that make me difficult? I make sense? I don't talk about my feelings, of course, but then, I don't want to." She shrugged. "So that's reasonable."
Sebastian smiled despite himself, a smile that felt bitter even to him. "God, no. Not feelings. Heaven forbid that you have anything so messy."
"I have feelings." She spoke stiffly. "I just don't talk about them. What's the point? Talking never changes them.
Courtney Milan (The Countess Conspiracy (Brothers Sinister, #3))
I'm thinking that it will be autumn soon," she said, lifting her gaze to his. "Autumn is my absolute favorite season. Spring is overrated. It's soggy and the trees are still bare from winter. Winter drags on and on, and summer is nice, but it's all the same. Autumn is different. I mean, is there any perfume in the world that can compare with the smell of burning leaves?" she asked with an engaging smile. Matt thought she smelled a hell of a lot better than burning leaves, but he let her continue. "Autumn —is thexincgitsinagre
changing. It's like dusk." "Dusk?"
"Dusk is my favorite time of day, for the same reason. When I was young, I used to walk down our driveway at dusk in the summer and stand at the fence, watching all the cars going by with their headlights on. Everyone had a place to go, something to do. The night was just beginning ..." She trailed off in embarrassment. "That must sound incredibly silly."
"It sounds incredibly lonely.
Judith McNaught (Paradise (Second Opportunities, #1))
In one of her more philosophical moments, she decided that the reason virginity was so prized for a bride was because early man must have realized that a bride who knew what was in store for her on her wedding night, would not be smiling quite so radiantly when she walked down that aisle!
Judith McNaught (Whitney, My Love (Westmoreland, #2))
Go out in the early days of winter, after the first cold snap of the season. Find a pool of water with a sheet of ice across the top, still fresh and new and clear as glass. Near the shore the ice will hold you. Slide out farther. Farther. Eventually you'll find the place where the surface just barely bears your weight. There you will feel what I felt. The ice splinters under your feet. Look down and you can see the white cracks darting through the ice like mad, elaborate spiderwebs. It is perfectly silent, but you can feel the sudden sharp vibrations through the bottoms of your feet.
That is what happened when Denna smiled at me.I don't mean to imply imply I felt as if I stood on brittle ice about to give way beneath me. No. I felt like the ice itself, suddenly shattered, with cracks spiraling out from where she had touched my chest. The only reason I held together was because my thousand pieces were all leaning together. If i moved, i feared I would fall apart.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Sheridan bit back a teary smile at his quip, afraid to believe him, afraid to trust him, and unable to stop herself because she loved him. "Look at me," Stephen said, tipping her chin up again, and this time her glorious eyes looked into his. "I have several reasons for asking you to walk into that chapel, where there is a vicar waiting for us, but guilt is not among them. I also have several things to ask of you before you agree to go in there with me."
"What sort of things?"
"I would like you to give me daughters with your hair and your spirit," he said, beginning to enumerate his reasons and requests. "I would like my sons to have your eyes and your courage. Now, if that's not what you want, then give me any combination you like, and I will humbly thank you for giving me any child we make."
Happiness began to spread through Sheridan until it was so intense she ached from it. "I want to change your name," he said with a tender smile, "so there's no doubt who you are ever again, or who you belong to." He slid his hands up and down her arms, looking directly into her eyes. "I want the right to share your bed tonight and every night from this day onward. I want to make you moan in my arms again, and I want to wake up wrapped in yours."
He shifted his hands and cradled her cheeks, his thumbs brushing away two tears at the edges of her shimmering eyes. "Last of all, I want to hear you say 'I love you' every day of my life. If you aren't ready to agree to that last request right now, I would be willing to wait until tonight, when I believe you will. In return for all those concessions, I will grant you every wish that is within my power to grant you.
Judith McNaught (Until You (Westmoreland, #3))
Perhaps,' said Darcy, 'I should have judged better, had I sought an introduction, but I am ill qualified to recommend myself to strangers.'
'Shall we ask your cousin the reason of this?' said Elizabeth, still addressing Colonel Fitzwilliam. 'Shall we ask him why a man of sense and education, and who has lived in the world, is ill qualified to recommend himself to strangers?'
'I can answer your question,' said Fitzwilliam, 'without applying to him. It is because he will not give himself the trouble.'
'I certainly have not the talent which some people possess,' said Darcy, 'of conversing easily with those I have never seen before. I cannot catch their tone of conversation, or appear interested in their concerns, as I often see done.'
'My fingers,' said Elizabeth, 'do not move over this instrument in the masterly manner which I see so many women's do. They have not the same force or rapidity, and do not produce the same expression. But then I have always supposed it to be my own fault -- because I would not take the trouble of practising. It is not that I do not believe my fingers as capable as any other woman's of superior execution.'
Darcy smiled, and said, 'You are perfectly right. You have employed your time much better. No one admitted to the privilege of hearing you, can think any thing wanting. We neither of us perform to strangers.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
The hardest lessons come from the solutions people, who are already a little disappointed that I am not saving myself. There is always a nutritional supplement, Bible verse or mental process I have not adequately tried. “Keep smiling! Your attitude determines your destiny!” said a stranger named Jane in an email, having heard my news somewhere, and I was immediately worn out by the tyranny of prescriptive joy.
Kate Bowler (Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved)
Connor pockets his cell. “Lily,” he says. “If I wanted to date for a last name, I’d have a girl on my arm every single day. I would never be single.” He leans forward. “I promise you, that my intentions are pure. And I think it’s sweet you’re looking out for Rose, but she’s more than capable of taking care of herself, which is one of the many reasons why I want to pursue her.” “What’s another reason?” I test him. He smiles. “I won’t have to taxingly explain to her menu items in a real French restaurant.” He knows she’s fluent? “I won’t have to explain financial statements or dividends. I’ll be able to discuss anything and everything in the world, and she’ll have an answer.
Krista Ritchie (Addicted to You (Addicted, #1))
Panic punched me in the chest. So far today she'd been willing to touch me, laugh with me, confide in me, and now she was wondering if Chas shouldn't go out with me? Had I misread something somewhere?
Chas shook her head and grinned. "Nah. Bram's too busy waiting."
"Waiting?" Nora didn't take her eyes from me. Maybe she wanted me to answer.
"For the right girl," I said curtly.
"And he has very specific physical preferences," Chas said. I grabbed her wrist and squeezed. She'd better not.
She did. "For some reason, he is terribly attracted to black hair. Tom's a leg man, himself...attached, unattached, doesn't really mtter. But Bram likes the hair."
With all the various methods of Chastity Disposal flying through my imagination-should I just shoot her, or should I open her skull and puree her brains with a motorized mixer, or perhaps set her on fire?-It took me a minute to notice me a very shy smile.
I dropped Chas's wrist. I almost dropped my machete.
Nora looked away and moved a few steps in front of us, leaping into the grass to flatten it for herself as she went.
"I win," Chas whispered.
"Smoke all you want," I whispered back.
Lia Habel (Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1))
Friendship is the most beautiful relation in ones life, It gives us the best part of our life, a reason to smile,some happy moments,sharing the worse feeling,Love you forever my dear friend,miss you every moment
In my dream I apologize to everyone I meet. Instead of introducing myself, I apologize for not knowing why I am alive. I am sorry. I am sorry. I apologize. In real life, oddly enough, when I am fully awake and out and about, if I catch someone’s eye, I quickly look away. Perhaps this too is a form of apology. Perhaps this is the form apologies take in real life. In real life the looking away is the apology, despite the fact that when I look away I almost always feel guilty; I do not feel as if I have apologized. Instead I feel as if I have created a reason to apologize, I feel the guilt of having ignored that thing—the encounter. I could have nodded, I could have smiled without showing my teeth. In some small way I could have wordlessly said, I see you seeing me and I apologize for not knowing why I am alive. I am sorry. I am sorry. I apologize. Afterwards, after I have looked away, I never feel as if I can say, Look, look at me again so that I can see you, so that I can acknowledge that I have seen you, so that I can see you and apologize.
Claudia Rankine (Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric)
She takes out a piece of paper that looks like the list I gave her months ago. Smiling her Hayley smile, she puts it in my hand.
"These are my reasons."
"You made me a list?"
She nods, smile still glued on her face.
"Gosh darn it, Brody. I love the heck out of you. You should know why too." (...)
There's one thing on the list. And its in big letters, and I bark out my laughter.
You're good in the sack.
"You dork." I toss the paper over my shoulder, and she laughs against my lips.
"Thought that would be the only one you cared about."
I shake my head, wiggling my nose against hers. I still amazes me that she's my girl.
Becca Ann (Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend)
Did you wish upon a star and take the time to try to make your wish come true?
Did you try to paint the sunrise and find the gift of life within?
Did you write a song just for the joy of it?
Or write a poem just to feel the pain?
Did you find a reason to ignore the petty injustices, the spoken barbs, or the envies, jealousies and greed that crossed your path?
Did you wake up this morning and whisper inside, “Today, I’ll find every reason to smile, and ignore the excuses to frown.”
Today will be the day I’ll whisper nothing snide, I’ll say nothing cruel. I’ll be kind to my enemy, I’ll embrace my friends, and for this
one day, I’ll forget the slights of the past.
Today will be the day I’ll live for the joy of it, laugh for the fun of it, and today, I’ll love whether it’s returned, forsaken, or simply
And if you did, then your heart has joined the others who have as well, uniting, strengthening, and in a single heartbeat you’ve created
a world of hope.
Lora Leigh (Lawe's Justice (Breeds, #18; Feline Breeds, #15))
I endeavoured to crush these fears and to fortify myself for the trial which in a few months I resolved to undergo; and sometimes I allowed my thoughts, unchecked by reason, to ramble in the fields of Paradise, and dared to fancy amiable and lovely creatures sympathizing with my feelings and cheering my gloom; their angelic countenances breathed smiles of consolation. But it was all a dream; no Eve soothed my sorrows nor shared my thoughts ; I was alone. I remembered Adam's supplication to his Creator. But where was mine? He had abondoned me, and in the bitterness of my heart I cursed him."---Frankenstein's monster, Frankenstein
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein (Illustrated Classic Editions))
I meet your eyes. You don't even see me. You hardly respond when I whisper hello. Could be my soul mate, two kindred spirits. Maybe we're not. I guess we'll never know. My own mother, you carried me in you. Now you see nothing but what I wear. People ask you how I am doing. You smile and nod. Don't let it end there. Put me underneath God's sky and know me. Don't just see me with your eyes. Take away this mask of flesh and bone and see me for my soul, alone.
Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why)
I want you. I want to give you pleasure, both mentally and physically all day and every night for the rest of our lives. I want to be the reason you smile.” I watched as a slight flush crept up her neck, pleased. She longed for that too, it seemed. “I want to spend hours and years of my life figuring out ways of making you happy. I want you to feel the same way about me. Not because I’ve demanded it of you, but because every piece of you longs for me. I want our passion to ignite the world around us, making even the stars jealous.
Kerri Maniscalco (Becoming the Dark Prince (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #3.5))
Harry looked into her eyes, then at her face and gently glided the tip of a finger over her cheek and traced the outline of her nose, his face and eyes in a soft and tender smile, You could really make my life worth while. A guy needs something to give his life a reason or whats the point of living? I need more than the streets. I don’t want to be a floating crap game all my life. I want to be something … anything.
Hubert Selby Jr. (Requiem for a Dream)
I can honestly say I could go two or three days without wondering what Savannah was doing or even thinking about her. Did this make my love less real? I asked myself that question dozens of times during that trip, but I always decided it didn't, for the simple reason that her image would ambush me when I least expected it, overwhelming me with the same ache I had the day I'd left. Anything might set it off: a friend talking about his wife, the sight of a couple holding hands, or even the way some of the villagers would smile as we passed.
Nicholas Sparks (Dear John)
amusement in her eyes and had to grin.
"How are you feeling?" he asked, his voice dropping to a low, intimate tone that excluded everyone else in the cafe and made several women draw in their
Her mouth quirked in that self-amusement that made him want to grab her to him.
"This isn't one of my good days. The only thing holding me together is static cling."
"Come home with me, and I'll take care of you."
She looked him in the eye and said quietly, "Give me one good reason why I should."
Right there in front of God and most of Crook, Montana, he drew in a deep breath and took the gamble of a lifetime, his words plain and heard by all, because no one was making even the pretense of not listening.
"Because I love you."
Maddie blinked, and to his surprise he saw her eyes glitter with tears. Before he could start forward, however, her smile broke through like sunshine through a cloud bank. She didn't take the time to go around the counter; she climbed on top of it and slid off on the other side.
"It's about time," she said as she went into his arms.
Linda Howard (Duncan's Bride (Patterson-Cannon Family, #1))
Here I was just thinking all these wonderful things about you and now you’re trying to strip down before we can have sex.”
His hands casually held in the air, he explained, “I was hot.”
“It’s seventy degrees in here.”
His hands went to his cotton pants, thumbing the cinched band, preparing for a total strip down. Gawd, how I secretly wanted him to do it, but for some reason, the word stop came out of my mouth. At least I agreed with myself when I said, “That is so not fair.”
Neither was the way the left side of his mouth curled up, smiling wickedly as his eyes swept across my body. “You’re right. Your ogling is making me uncomfortable. You should remove your top to compensate.
Devon Ashley (Waiting On My Reason)
“Yes, baby?” I replied.
“Have you been happy? Have you…” He cleared his throat. “Have you loved your life?”
Answering with one hundred percent honesty, I said, “I’ve loved my life. Everything. And I’ve loved you. As clichéd as this sounds, it was always enough. You were always the best part of my every day. You were the reason for my every smile.”
I closed my eyes and replayed our lives in my mind. I remembered the times I hugged him and he hugged me harder. I remembered how I kissed him and he kissed me deeper. And best of all, I remembered how I would love him and he would always strive to love me more.
“Yes, Rune,” I said with complete certainty. “I’ve loved my life.
Tillie Cole (A Thousand Boy Kisses)
No,” I hear myself say. “You’re not supposed to be here.”
She’s sitting on my bed. She’s leaning back on her elbows, legs outstretched in front of her, crossed at the ankles. And while some part of me understands I must be dreaming, there’s another, overwhelmingly dominant part of me that refuses to accept this. Part of me wants to believe she’s really here, inches away from me, wearing this short, tight black dress that keeps slipping up her thighs. But everything about her looks different, oddly vibrant; the colors are all wrong. Her lips are a richer, deeper shade of pink; her eyes seem wider, darker. She’s wearing shoes I know she’d never wear. And strangest of all: she’s smiling at me.
“Hi,” she whispers.
It’s just one word, but my heart is already racing. I’m inching away from her, stumbling back and nearly slamming my skull against the headboard, when I realize my shoulder is no longer wounded. I look down at myself. My arms are both fully functional. I’m wearing nothing but a white T-shirt and my underwear.
She shifts positions in an instant, propping herself up on her knees before crawling over to me. She climbs onto my lap. She’s now straddling my waist. I’m suddenly breathing too fast.
Her lips are at my ear. Her words are so soft. “Kiss me,” she says.
“I came all the way here.” She’s still smiling at me. It’s a rare smile, the kind she’s never honored me with. But somehow, right now, she’s mine. She’s mine and she’s perfect and she wants me, and I’m not going to fight it.
I don’t want to.
Her hands are tugging at my shirt, pulling it up over my head. Tossing it to the floor. She leans forward and kisses my neck, just once, so slowly. My eyes fall closed.
There aren’t enough words in this world to describe what I’m feeling.
I feel her hands move down my chest, my stomach; her fingers run along the edge of my underwear. Her hair falls forward, grazing my skin, and I have to clench my fists to keep from pinning her to my bed.
Every nerve ending in my body is awake. I’ve never felt so alive or so desperate in my life, and I’m sure if she could hear what I’m thinking right now, she’d run out the door and never come back.
Because I want her.
I want nothing between us.
I want her clothes off and the lights on and I want to study her. I want to unzip her out of this dress and take my time with every inch of her. I can’t help my need to just stare; to know her and her features: the slope of her nose, the curve of her lips, the line of her jaw. I want to run my fingertips across the soft skin of her neck and trace it all the way down. I want to feel the weight of her pressed against me, wrapped around me.
I can’t remember a reason why this can’t be right or real. I can’t focus on anything but the fact that she’s sitting on my lap, touching my chest, staring into my eyes like she might really love me.
I wonder if I’ve actually died.
But just as I lean in, she leans back, grinning before reaching behind her, never once breaking eye contact with me. “Don’t worry,” she whispers. “It’s almost over now.”
Her words seem so strange, so familiar. “What do you mean?”
“Just a little longer and I’ll leave.”
“No.” I’m blinking fast, reaching for her. “No, don’t go—where are you going—”
“You’ll be all right,” she says. “I promise.”
But now she’s holding a gun.
And pointing it at my heart.
Tahereh Mafi (Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5))
Whether it was the power of suggestion or whether her eyes really hadn't deceived her, I began noticing too that my face was occasionally going rogue the rest of the afternoon, smiling when I had little reason to smile. Maybe my facial nerves were developing a neurological condition; I resolved to keep a close eye on it.
Cary Attwell (The Other Guy)
If you are reading this, I am probably dead. I would assume this because I can honestly foresee no other situation where you’d be interested in anything I’ve done. Right now, you are actually more interested in preventing me from doing things like working, sleeping, and smiling. I’m kidding, of course. Kind of. I love you with all of my heart, but you are probably the reason I’m dead.
Jim Gaffigan (Dad Is Fat)
He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever - in case I need him. And I expect I will - as I always have. He is just my dog.
Yeah, you're probably right,' I said, forcing myself to smile at him. Logan grinned back at me. 'Of course, I'm right. I'm always right.' I rolled my eyes, leaned over, and lightly punched him in the shoulder. 'And now you sound like Vic.' 'No, he doesn't,' Vic piped up from his spot in the chair I'd propped him up in. 'I am much more confident than the Spartan is.' He sniffed. 'And with good reason.
What are you doing here?" I whispered, smiling in the dark.
"I had to see you," he breathed into my cheek as he wrapped his arms around me, pulling me down until we were lying side by side on the bed.
"I have so much to tell you, Aspen."
"Shhh, don't say a word. If anyone hears, there'll be hell to pay. Just let me look at you."
And so I obeyed. I stayed there, quiet and still, while Aspen stared into my eyes. When he had his fill of that, he went to nuzzling his nose into my neck and hair. And then his hands were moving up and down the curve of my waist to my hip over and over and over. I heard his breathing get heavy, and something about that drew me in.
His lips, hidden in my neck, started kissing me. I drew in sharp breaths. I couldn't help it. Aspen's lips traveled up my chin and covered my mouth, effectively silencing my gasps. I wrapped myself around him, our rushed grabbing and the humidity of the night covering us both in sweat.
It was a stolen moment.
Aspen's lips finally slowed, though I was nowhere near ready to stop. But we had to be smart. If we went any further, and there was ever evidence of it, we'd both be thrown in jail.
Another reason everyone married young: Waiting is torture.
"I should go," he whispered.
"But I want you to stay." My lips were by his ears. I could smell his soap again.
"America Singer, one day you will fall asleep in my arms every night. And you'll wake up to my kisses every morning. And them some." I bit my lip at the thought. "But now I have to go. We're pushing our luck."
I sighed and loosened my grip. He was right.
"I love you, America."
"I love you, Aspen."
These secret moments would be enough to get me through everything coming: Mom's disappointment when I wasn't chosen, the work I'd have to do to help Aspen save, the eruption that was coming when he asked Dad for my hand, and whatever struggles we'd go through once we were married. None of it mattered. Not if I had Aspen.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
Why do any of us do what we don't want to do?" I don't respond, unsure what answer he's looking for.
He smiles, but it's sad. "Because we're afraid of what will happen if we don't."
I always considered fear to be a motivator or a reason not to do something, but I never considered it a reason to continue an ongoing behavior. This opens a vault full or questions about my own life. I've always assumed I'm afraid to engage in activities because I'm afraid of what might happen. But maybe I'm looking at it all wrong. Maybe I should be asking myself if I'm really afraid of leaving what makes me comfortable.
Denise Grover Swank (After Math (Off the Subject, #1))
Ask me in the morning, after I’ve spent hours weighed down by nightmares, drugged beyond reason just to hold back the memories of dying, which was not so bad as coming back, and I’d say yes. I wish you’d let me die.”
Kell looked ill. “I—”
“But ask me in the afternoon,” cut in Rhy, “when I’ve felt the sun cutting through the cold, or the warmth of Alucard’s smile, or the steady weight of your arm around my shoulders, and I would tell you it was worth it. It is worth it.
V.E. Schwab (A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3))
What? Do you dare smile and suggest for a moment that just because of the Absence between us I cannot make myself vivid to you? Ho! Silly boy! Don't you know that the plainest sort of black ink throbs more than some blood—and the touch of the softest hand is a harsh caress compared to the touch of a reasonably shrewd pen? Here—now, I say—this very moment: Lift this letter of mine to your face, and swear—if you're honestly able to—that you can't smell the rose in my hair!
Eleanor Hallowell Abbott (Molly Make-Believe)
You’ve been downgraded from a thrill-kill to a simple bill-kill. (Nykyrian)
Kill you any way possible and send the bill in for payment. (Nykyrian)
I can’t believe that someone’s life can be bartered and sold so easily. That it’s so common that there are even names for the different ways to take a person’s life. For torturing them? My God, what is wrong with you people? (Kiara)
We’re not the ones who are sick, mu Tara. With us –the predators– you know what we’ll do and why we do it. What we’re capable of. We make no bones about it and we wear the uniform so that you can see us coming. The ones who are sickening are the cowards who masquerade as sheep. The ones who lull you into trusting them and smile at your face while they plot your downfall behind your back for any number of psychotic reasons. The friends who turn on you out of jealousy or greed. Who try to ruin you for no reason at all. They are the ones who should be put down. And they’re the ones who are truly sickening. (Nykyrian)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Born of the Night (The League, #1))
I was desperate.”
“That wasn’t the entire reason.” His low voice sounded like a purr. “You also had a taste for the devil.”
“I didn’t! I don’t!”
“You enjoyed cornering me, an infamous rake, in my own home with an offer I couldn’t afford to refuse. Don’t try to deny it— I know you well enough by now.”
Incredibly, despite her grief and worry, Evie felt a smile working up to her lips. “Perhaps I did enjoy it, for a moment,” she admitted.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
Ah, the ancient language of sarcasm. How it suits you."
"Why thank you, petal. It is one of my many talents, and I happen to be fluent in the language." I dazzled him with my smile.
"You need to give me a manly nickname."
"You haven't given me any reason to give you one yet."
Elizabeth Morgan (She-Wolf (Blood, #0.5)))
A hedgehog flies from the safety of a bush, startling me. It darts past us in a terrible hurry. Kartik nods toward the furry little thing. "Don't mind him. He's off to meet his lady friend."
"How can you be sure?"
"He has on his best hedgehog suit."
"Ah, I should have noticed." I say, happy to be playing this game-any game-with him. I put my hand on the tree's trunk and swing myself around it slowly, letting my body feel gravity's pull. "And why has he worn his best?"
"He's been away in London, you see, and now he has returned to her," Kartik continues.
"And what if she is angry with him for being away so long?"
Kartik circles just behind me. "She will forgive him."
"Will she?" I say pointedly.
"It is his hope that she will, for he didn't mean to upset her." Kartik answers, and I am no longer sure we speak of the hedgehog.
"And is he happy to see her again?"
"Yes," Kartik says. "He should like to stay longer, but he cannot."
The bark chafes against my hand. "Why is that?"
"He has his reasons, and hopes his lady will understand them one day." Kartik has changed direction. He comes around the other side of the tree. We are face to face. A palm of moonglow reaches through the branches to caress his face.
"Oh," I say, heart beating fast.
"And what would the lady hedgehog say to that?" he asks. His voice soft and low.
"She would say..." I swallow hard.
Kartik steps closer. "Yes?"
"She would say," I whisper, "'If you please, I am not a hedgehog. I am a woodchuck.'"
A small smile plays at Kartik's lips.
"He is fortunate to have so witty a lady friend," he says, and I wish I could have the moment back again to play differently.
Libba Bray (The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, #3))
My path is the nice one. The one filled with friends who will smile when I buy their children books for their birthdays. Who will take me out, sometimes, when I call on a random night because I can't settle down. The path with peaceful holidays with my parents, and reasonable work promotions at reasonable times.
The path with nice men, who take me on nice dates where I learn their last names the minute we shake hands at the bar.
A path clear of a man with eyes that drift into some private sorrow. A path that will never lead to a man whose hands shake when he holds my face for a kiss that feels like falling.
Mary Ann Rivers (The Story Guy)
I smiled at him. Leaning down, I kissed him gently. He probably thought I was doing it for the reasons I always did, out of attraction and desire. In truth, it was a goodbye kiss. His mouth answered mine, his lips warm and eager. I held out the kiss a little longer, both to fight back the tears leaking out of my eyes and to lull him into an unsuspecting state. My hand closed around the chair leg, which I'd hidden in my hoodie pocket.
I would never forget Dimitri, not for the rest of my life. And this time, I wouldn't forget his lessons.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
She pressed her hands against my chest and tried to push me away. "I can't think straight when you 're this close."
I backed her up against the wall. "I don't like the thoughts running through your head. I plan on staying here until you look me in the eye and tell me you 're mine."
"This isn't going to work. It never would have."
"Bullshit. We belong together." Echo sniffed and the sound tore at me. I softened my voice. "Look at me, baby. I know you love me. Three nights ago you were willing to offer everything to me. There is no way you can walk away from us."
"God Noah..." Her voice broke. "I'm a mess."
A mess? "You 're beautiful."
"I'm a mental mess. In two months you 're going to face some judge and convince him that you are the best person to raise your brothers. I'm a liability."
"Not true. My brothers will love you and you 'll love them. You are not a liability."
"But how will the judge see me? Are you really willing too take that risk? [...] What happens if the judge find out about me? What if he discovers what a mess you 're dating?"
Breathing became a painful chore. Her lips turned down while her warm fingers caressed my cheek. That touch typically brought me to knees, but now it cut me open.
"Did you know that when you stop being stubborn and accept i may be right on something, your eyes widen a little and you tilt your head to the side?" she asked.
I forced my head straight and narrowed my eyes. "I love you."
She flashed her glorious smile and then it became the saddest smile in the world. "You love your brothers more. I'm okay with that. In fact, it's one of the things i love about you. You were right the other day. I do want to be a part of a family. But i'd never forgive myself if i was the reason you didn't get yours."
To my horror, tears pricked my eyes and my throat swelled shut. "No, you 're not pulling this sacrificial bullshit on me. I love you and you love me and we 're supposed to be together."
Echo pressed her body to mine and her fingers clung to my hair. Water glistened in her eyes. "I love you enough to never make you choose."
She pushed off her toes toward me, guiding my head down, and gently kissed my lips. No. This wouldn't be goudbye. I'd fill her up and make her realize she'd always be empty without me.
I made Echo mine. My hands claimed her hair, her back. My lips claimed her mouth, her tongue. Her body shook against mine and i tasted salty wetness on her skin. She forced her lips away and i latched tighter to her. "No, baby, no," i whispered into her hair.
She pushed her palms against my chest, then became a blur as she ran past. "I'm sorry.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
Still writing?" I usually nod and smile, then quickly change the subject. But here is what I would like to put down my fork and say: Yes, yes, I am. I will write until the day I die, or until I am robbed of my capacity to reason. Even if my fingers were to clench and wither, even if I were to grow deaf or blind, even if I were unable to move a muscle in my body save for the blink of one eye, I would still write. Writing saved my life. Writing has been my window -- flung wide open to this magnificent, chaotic existence -- my way of interpreting everything within my grasp. Writing has extended that grasp by pushing me beyond comfort, beyond safety, past my self-perceived limits. It has softened my heart and hardened my intellect. It has been a privilege. It has whipped my ass. It has burned into me a valuable clarity. It has made me think about suffering, randomness, good will, luck, memory responsibility, and kindness, on a daily basis -- whether I feel like it or not. It has insisted that I grow up. That I evolve. It has pushed me to get better, to be better. It is my disease and my cure. It has allowed me not only to withstand the losses in my life but to alter those losses -- to chip away at my own bewilderment until I find the pattern in it. Once in a great while, I look up at the sky and think that, if my father were alive, maybe he would be proud of me. That if my mother were alive, I might have come up with the words to make her understand. That I am changing what I can. I am reaching a hand out to the dead and to the living and the not yet born. So yes. Yes. Still writing.
Dani Shapiro (Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life)
For some reason the neatly ordered and abandoned books make me feel sad. Tired. I wish Cassia were with me. She'd turn each page and read every word. I can picture her in the dim light of the cave with her bright eyes and her smile and I close my eyes. That shadowy memory might be as close as I come to seeing her again. We have the map, but the distance we still have to cross looks almost insurmountable.
Ally Condie (Crossed (Matched, #2))
Under the redwood tree my grave was laid, and I beguiled my true love to lie down. The stream of our kiss put a waterway around the world, where love like a refugee sailed in the last ship. My hair made a shroud, and kept the coyotes at bay while we wrote our cyphers with anatomy. The winds boomed triumph, our spines seemed overburdened, and our bones groaned like old trees, but a smile like a cobweb was fastened across the mouth of the cave of fate.
Fear will be a terrible fox at my vitals under my tunic of behaviour.
Oh, canary, sing out in the thunderstorm, prove your yellow pride. Give me a reason for courage or a way to be brave. But nothing tangible comes to rescue my besieged sanity, and I cannot decipher the code of the eucalyptus thumping on my roof.
I am unnerved by the opponents of God, and God is out of earshot. I must spin good ghosts out of my hope to oppose the hordes at my window. If those who look in see me condescend to barricade the door, they will know too much and crowd in to overcome me.
The parchment philosopher has no traffic with the night, and no conception of the price of love. With smoky circles of thought he tries to combat the fog, and with anagrams to defeat anatomy. I posture in vain with his weapons, even though I am balmed with his nicotine herbs.
Moon, moon, rise in the sky to be a reminder of comfort and the hour when I was brave.
Elizabeth Smart (By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept)
You," she says,pointing at me. "I expected. All the trouble with your aptitude test results made me suspicious from the beginning.But you..."
She shakes her had as she sifts her eyes to Tobias.
"You, Tobias-or should I call you Four?-managed to elude me," she says quietly. "Everything about you checked out: test results, initiation simulations, everything. But here you are nonetheless." She folds her hands and sets her chin on top of them. "Perhaps you could explain to me how that is?"
"You're the genius," he says coolly. "Why don't you tell me?"
Her mouth curls into a smile. "My theory is that you really do belong in Abnegation. That your Divergence is weaker."
She smiles wider. Like she's amused. I grit my teeth and consider lunging across the table and strangling her. If I didn't have a bullet in my shoulder, I might.
"Your powers of deductive reasoning are stunning," spits Tobias. "Consider me awed."
I look sideways at him. I had always forgotten about this side of him-the part that is more likely to explode than to lie down and die."
"Now that your intelligence has been verified, you might want to get on with killing us." Tobias closes his eyes. "You have a lot of Abnegation leaders to murder, after all.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
You won’t lose me. There is nothing in this world that matters more to me than you. Absolutely nothing. You come first. Always. I love you. I don’t think you realize how much. Or how much I need you in my life. How whole and totally at peace I feel when you’re in my arms and I’m deep inside you. You’re the one, princess. The reason I wake up with a smile on my lips. The reason it stays on my face all fucking day. When I hurry home from work, I’m hurrying back to you. To you, Tate. Do you understand what I’m saying? I’ve made my choice. Don’t you ever say I deserve better.
Elle Aycart (Inked Ever After (Bowen Boys, #2.5))
I think my heart is defective," Jillian says. I have to force myself to smile Jan looks at me. I get the joke, but for some reason it just isn't funny right now.
"I can fix that," Jeremy says, taking Jillian's headband from her. He pulls out the battery and looks at the wires that run from it. He twists one of them a little with his fingers and reinserts the battery.
"You are so nerdy," Jillian says. I look over at her. It's not what she said, but how she said it. It almost sounded like a compliment. "Yay," Jillian says, when he flips the switch and both hearts stay lit. Jillian takes the headband from him and slips it on. She wobbles her head making them clack together. "Jeremy," she says, grinning at him. "You fixed my broken heart.
Heather Hepler (Love? Maybe)
I can see him juggling the words inside his head. Fumbling. I tried to juggle once, with three apples I'd found in the pantry. But I just ended up bruising them all so badly my mother had to make apple bread. The whole time I was trying, I kept getting lost in the movements. I couldn't concentrate on all of them at once.
I wish Cole would give me an apple. And then he looks at me, and there's that same sad, almost smile, like he's decided to pass me one, but he knows I can't juggle either. Like there's no reason for both of us to bruise things any more than needed.
I hold out my hand. "Let me help.
Victoria Schwab (The Near Witch (The Near Witch, #1))
Friendship is a difficult thing to define. Oscar here is my oldest friend. How would you define friendship, Oscar?"
Oscar grunts slightly, as though the answer is obvious.
"Friendship is about choice and chemistry. It cannot be defined."
"But surely there's something more to it than that."
"It is a willingness to overlook faults and to accept them. I would let a friend hurt me without striking back," he says, smiling. "But only once."
De Souza laughs. "Bravo, Oscar, I can always rely on you to distill an argument down to its purest form. What do you think, Dayel?"
The Indian rocks his head from side to side, proud that he has been asked to speak next.
"Friendship is different for each person and it changes throughout our lives. At age six it is about holding hands with your best friend. At sixteen it is about the adventure ahead. At sixty it is about reminiscing." He holds up a finger. "You cannot define it with any one word, although honesty is perhaps the closest word-"
"No, not honesty," Farhad interrupts. "On the contrary, we often have to protect our friends from what we truly think. It is like an unspoken agreement. We ignore each other's faults and keep our confidences. Friendship isn't about being honest. The truth is too sharp a weapon to wield around someone we trust and respect. Friendship is about self-awareness. We see ourselves through the eyes of our friends. They are like a mirror that allows us to judge how we are traveling."
De Souza clears his throat now. I wonder if he is aware of the awe that he inspires in others. I suspect he is too intelligent and too human to do otherwise.
"Friendship cannot be defined," he says sternly. "The moment we begin to give reasons for being friends with someone we begin to undermine the magic of the relationship. Nobody wants to know that they are loved for their money or their generosity or their beauty or their wit. Choose one motive and it allows a person to say, 'is that the only reason?'"
The others laugh. De Souza joins in with them. This is a performance.
He continues: "Trying to explain why we form particular friendships is like trying to tell someone why we like a certain kind of music or a particular food. We just do.
Michael Robotham (The Night Ferry)
Are they not fresh and beautiful?" [Watson] cried...
Holmes shook his head gravely.
"... You look at these scattered houses, and you are impressed bu their beauty. I look at them, and the only thought which comes to me is a feeling of their isolation and of the impunity with which crime may be committed here... They always filled me with a certain horror. It is my belief, Watson... that the lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beauty of the countryside... But the reason is obvious. The pressure of public opinion can do in the town what the law cannot accomplish.
Arthur Conan Doyle (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes, #3))
I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation
Prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the king
And queen moult no feather. I have of late--but
Wherefore I know not--lost all my mirth, forgone all
Custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily
With my disposition that this goodly frame, the
Earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most
Excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave
O'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted
With golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to
Me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.
What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason!
How infinite in faculty! in form and moving how
Express and admirable! in action how like an angel!
In apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the
World! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me,
What is this quintessence of dust? man delights not
Me: no, nor woman neither, though by your smiling
You seem to say so.
William Shakespeare (Hamlet (Classics Illustrated #99))
Well, this is the reason. We bow to the inevitable. We're not wheat, we're buckwheat! When a storm comes along it flattens ripe wheat because it's dry and can't bend with the wind. But ripe buckwheat's got sap in it and it bends. And when the wind has passed, it springs up almost as straight and strong as before. We aren't a stiff-necked tribe. We're mighty limber when a hard wind's blowing, because we know it pays to be limber. When trouble comes we bow to the inevitable without any mouthing, and we work and we smile and we bide our time. And we play along with lesser folks and we take what we can get from them. And when we're strong enough, we kick the folks whose necks we've climbed over. That, my child, is the secret of the survival.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
( Notice Me)
I was sent here on a journey that has no end.
I hear you joke of going nowhere fast.
Well, maybe life’s a joke and I’m the fool
That dreams of being first but ends up last.
Life’s a trial—a sentence I can’t escape.
Confusion and desperation tear me down and turn to hate.
There’s so much more to figure out,
But it’s growing way too late.
If I could answer half the questions in my mind,
If I could find the place where I belong,
If words were near as strong and deep as the wall of emotions I climb
Then sorrow wouldn’t be so wrong.
There’s no way to make you understand.
An entire symphony could not play the broken notes in one child’s soul.
That child screams and no one hears her,
Until the tears have dried and now she’s just too old.
I don’t want to hear the philosophies, the opinions,
The remarks, the horrible reasonings.
Words are to pad the mind and fight with the solitude of the heart.
Still, silence chills to the bone and tears the soul apart.
She never means to hurt or harm, only to belong.
To find the truth ‘mid mortal lies, to sing her only song.
But someday this race will end, and if she comes in last,
I pray the first will look deeper than the others, smile, and then pass.
Richelle E. Goodrich
I don't understand this," I said softly. "I wanted to fuck you that first night on the raft, but that was just because I wanted to get off and you were there. I still want to fuck you, but the reasons are all different. I've never felt like this after sleeping with someone...or during it...shit. This didn't feel like I was fucking you...it was something else. I don't know what it is. I want to be with you, and touch you, and hold you. I have this overwhelming desire to protect you and make sure you're safe. Every time I look at you, it's like my chest gets crushed, and I just want to stare at you and hold on to you and tell you everything is going to be all right. I don't know what this is, Raine. I don't understand what you're doing to me."
I felt her fingers against my jaw and glanced down into her opened eyes. Fuck. She hadn't been asleep after all. Her mouth turned up into a beautiful smile, and her response ended me.
I love you too, Bastian.
Shay Savage (Surviving Raine (Surviving Raine, #1))
Fuck off, bitch," the girl stood too and was shooting arrows through her eyes, but I just smiled.
"Fuck off, Bitch?" I mimicked and forced a laugh. "If you want a slanging match with me, I suggest you broaden your vocabulary considerably before uttering another word and giving me further reason to believe that you came from a settlement of inbred idiots."
The girl turned pink under her thick layer of foundation.
"Do yourself a favour and sit down." I shook my head, "You won't win with me." I spat.
Cora Hawkes (Rocked Under (Rocked, #1))
What is the spirit of Christmas, you ask? Let me give you the answer in a true story...
On a cold day in December, feeling especially warm in my heart for no other reason than it was the holiday season, I walked through the store sporting a big grin on my face. Though most people were far too busy going about their business to notice me, one elderly gentleman in a wheelchair brought his eyes up to meet mine as we neared each other traveling opposite directions. He slowed in passing just long enough to speak to me.
"Now that's a Christmas smile if I ever saw one," he said.
My lips stretched to their limit in response, and I thanked him for the compliment. Then we went our separate ways. But, as I thought about the man and how sweetly he'd touched me, I realized something simply wonderful! In that brief, passing interaction we'd exchanged heartfelt gifts!
And that, my friend, is the spirit of Christ~mas.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
I remember I once asked my mother I said mom, how did I behave with you when I was a baby? Did I cry a lot and disturb you? I remember she looked at me gently with smile, and said yes, yes son you did cried a lot but with valid reason. Because there is nothing then for me to eat for you to get enough milk in my breast to be fed, you suck and suck it'sempty. So you cried and cried and cried to the point that I began crying with you. I don't know how she did it, but look at me today, alive strong and healthy. I strongly believe in the strength and the sensitivity of women in general. But my mother is an angel.
I feel completely embarrassed and remember the lock on the door and think: He knows, he knows, it shows, shows completely.
“He’s out back,” Mr. Garret tells me mildly, “unpacking shipments.” Then he returns to the papers.
I feel compelled to explain myself. “I just thought I’d come by. Before babysitting. You, know, at your house. Just to say hi. So . . . I’m going to do that now. Jase’s in back, then? I’ll just say hi.”
I’m so suave.
I can hear the ripping sound of the box cutter before I even open the rear door to find Jase with a huge stack of cardboard boxes. His back’s to me and suddenly I’m as shy with him as I was with his father.
This is silly.
Brushing through my embarrassment, I walk up, put my hand on his shoulder.
He straightens up with a wide grin. “Am I glad to see you!”
“Really. I thought you were Dad telling me I was messing up again. I’ve been a disaster all day. Kept knocking things over. Paint cans, our garden display. He finally sent me out here when I knocked over a ladder. I think I’m a little preoccupied.”
“Maybe you should have gotten more sleep,” I offer.
“No way,” he says. Then we just gaze at each other for a long moment.
For some reason, I expect him to look different, the way I expected I would myself in the mirror this morning . . . I thought I would come across richer, fuller, as happy outside as I was inside, but the only thing that showed was my lips puffy from kisses. Jase is the same as ever also.
“That was the best study session I ever had,” I tell him.
“Locked in my memory too,” he says, then glances away as though embarrassed, bending to tear open another box. “Even though thinking about it made me hit my thumb with a hammer putting up a wall display.”
“This thumb?” I reach for one of his callused hands, kiss the thumb.
“It was the left one.” Jase’s face creases into a smile as I pick up his other hand.
“I broke my collarbone once,” he tells me, indicating which side. I kiss that. “Also some ribs during a scrimmage freshman year.”
I do not pull his shirt up to where his finger points now. I am not that bold. But I do lean in to kiss him through the soft material of his shirt.
His eyes twinkle. “In eighth grade, I got into a fight with this kid who was picking on Duff and he gave me a black eye.”
My mouth moves to his right eye, then the left. He cups the back of my neck in his warm hands, settling me into the V of his legs, whispering into my ear, “I think there was a split lip involved too.”
Then we are just kissing and everything else drops away. Mr. Garret could come out at any moment, a truck full of supplies could drive right on up, a fleet of alien spaceships could darken the sky, I’m not sure I’d notice.
Huntley Fitzpatrick (My Life Next Door)
Why is everything an argument with you?”
For some reason, that made her smile. “You like it that way and you know it. What would you do with someone who obeyed every command you gave her?”
He snorted. “I’d give her a lot of filthy commands that she could fulfill.”
“Really? You’re the one who mentioned this theoretical woman obeying all my commands.”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake, I’ll sleep first,” she grumbled, crawling in the back just to shut him up . Next thing, he’d be telling her what those commands would be— and she didn’t need to hear it.
Lynn Raye Harris (HOT Rebel (Hostile Operations Team® - Strike Team 1 #6))
But that’s not what I’m trying to tell you,” Violet said, her eyes taking on a slightly determined expression. “What I’m trying to say is that when you were born, and they put you into my arms—it’s strange, because for some reason I was so convinced you would look just like your father. I thought for certain I would look down and see his face, and it would be some sort of sign from heaven.”
Hyacinth’s breath caught as she watched her, and she wondered why her mother had never told her this story. And why she’d never asked.
“But you didn’t,” Violet continued. “You looked rather like me. And then—oh my, I remember this as if it were yesterday—you looked into my eyes, and you blinked. Twice.”
“Twice?” Hyacinth echoed, wondering why this was important.
“Twice.” Violet looked at her, her lips curving into a funny little smile. “I only remember it because you looked so deliberate. It was the strangest thing. You gave me a look as if to say, ‘I know exactly what I’m doing.’ ”
A little burst of air rushed past Hyacinth’s lips, and she realized it was a laugh. A small one, the kind that takes a body by surprise.
“And then you let out a wail,” Violet said, shaking her head. “My heavens, I thought you were going to shake the paint right off the walls. And I smiled. It was the first time since your father died that I smiled.”
Violet took a breath, then reached for her tea. Hyacinth watched as her mother composed herself, wanting desperately to ask her to continue, but somehow knowing the moment called for silence.
For a full minute Hyacinth waited, and then finally her mother said, softly, “And from that moment on, you were so dear to me. I love all my children, but you…” She looked up, her eyes catching Hyacinth’s. “You saved me.”
Something squeezed in Hyacinth’s chest. She couldn’t quite move, couldn’t quite breathe. She could only watch her mother’s face, listen to her words, and be so very, very grateful that she’d been lucky enough to be her child.
“In some ways I was a little too protective of you,” Violet said, her lips forming the tiniest of smiles, “and at the same time too lenient. You were so exuberant, so completely sure of who you were and how you fit into the world around you. You were a force of nature, and I didn’t want to clip your wings.”
“Thank you,” Hyacinth whispered, but the words were so soft, she wasn’t even sure she’d said them aloud.
Julia Quinn (It's in His Kiss (Bridgertons, #7))
You can say whatever you like to me. I'm your oyster."
Before she could restrain herself, an appalled giggle escaped her. "Please don't say that. You're no such thing."
"You can choose another word, if you like." Mr. Severin extended his arm to escort her downstairs. "But the fact is, if you ever need anything- any favor, any service, large or small- I'm the one to send for. No questions asked. No obligations attached. Will you remember that?"
Cassandra hesitated before taking his arm. "I'll remember." As they proceeded to the first floor, she asked in bewilderment, "But why would you make such a promise?"
"Haven't you ever liked someone or something right away, without knowing exactly why, but feeling sure you would discover the reasons later?"
She couldn't help smiling at that, thinking, Yes, as a matter of fact. Just now. But it would be too forward to say so, and besides, it would be wrong to encourage him. "I would be glad to call you a friend, Mr. Severin. But I'm afraid marriage will never be a possibility. We don't suit. I could please you only in the most superficial ways."
"I would be happy with that," he said. "Superficial relationships are my favorite kind."
A regretful smile lingered at her lips. "Mr. Severin, you couldn't give me the life I've always dreamed of."
"I hope your dream comes true, my lady. But if it doesn't, I could offer you some very satisfying substitutes."
"Not if you're heart is frozen," Cassandra said.
Mr. Severin grinned at that, and made no reply. But as they neared the last step, she heard his reflective, almost puzzled murmur.
"Actually... I think it just thawed a little.
Lisa Kleypas (Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6))
Eroan Ilanea, you’re my everything. I don’t need a dragon, I’m all-dragon with you. I’m not going anywhere, because I have everything I need right here. I love you now, I loved you yesterday, and I’ll love you a hundred years from now, until you’re as old as that ancient Order elf in Ashford and I’m so old I’ll frighten all the little elflings with inappropriate war stories.”
“You already do that,” Eroan said, but smiling again.
Lysander touched his nose to Eroan’s. “I’ll love you until all the other dragons are gone and the world is as it was, with billions of humans and hidden elves and houses and cities, and it’s just you and me, wondering when we got old. I’ll love you until your Ashford tree is as tall as the highest mountain. I’m never going to stop loving you because you’re my heart and my soul and my reason for living.” Eroan sighed against Lysander’s mouth, and it was all he could do not to ravish him right there. “Did you doubt it?” he asked.
“Not you,” Eroan said, a touch of heat in his face. “I doubted myself.”
Ariana Nash (Reunion (Silk & Steel #4.5))
Well, why not? I guess the reasons against having more children always seem uninspiring and superficial. What exactly am I missing out on? Money? A few more hours of sleep? A more peaceful meal? More hair? These are nothing compared to what I get from these five monsters who rule my life. I believe each of my five children has made me a better man. So I figure I only need another thirty-four kids to be a pretty decent guy. Each one of them has been a pump of light into my shriveled black heart. I would trade money, sleep, or hair for a smile from one of my children in a heartbeat. Well, it depends on how much hair.
Jim Gaffigan (Dad Is Fat)
The night we met, I sort of... well, I flat-out told a lie. On purpose.” I thought he was trying not to smile. “To me?” he asked. “No. About you.” Now he unleashed that devastating smile of his, crinkling the corners of his eyes. My face was aflame. “Continue. Please.” “There were these girls in the bathroom talking about you, and for some reason, I don’t know why, it upset me, and I told them... thatyouhadanSTD.” I covered my face in shame and he burst into laughter. I thought he might drive off the road. Well, it was kind of funny in an ironic way, because he couldn’t keep a disease anyhow, even if he had gotten one. I found myself beginning to giggle, too, mostly out of relief that he wasn’t offended. “I wondered if you were ever going to tell me!” he said through spurts of hilarity. Duh! Of course he’d been listening! My giggles increased, and it felt so nice that we kept going until we were cracking up. It was the good kind of laughter: the soul-cleansing, ab-crunching, lose-control-of-yourself kind.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy, #1))
Teaching you to fight at all is an exercise in futility," Ty responded in a matter-of-fact tone. "Luckily for you, I enjoy things like banging my head against a wall."
"I enjoy banging your head against a wall too," Zane replied as tossed the balled-up tape at a nearby trash can. He let a small smile quirk his lips as he sat on the bench to unlace his shoes.
"Shut up," Ty grunted at him. But even though his back was still turned to him, Zane could hear a smile in his voice. "And cut it out with the damn cat jokes, huh? They're starting to catch on."
"Fine, fine. No reason to get catty about it," Zane told his partner with a barely concealed grin.
Abigail Roux (Fish & Chips (Cut & Run, #3))
I don’t remember when first I heard Them calling, with their silvery voices, The little Angels of the trees and flowers. They offered to unlock my mind And take my soul away, to clean. And oh! I welcomed them, and lay Stretched out upon the fragrant Grass, light as an empty husk. Then they, with rueful smiles, did oil The rusty hinges of my mind, and swept Away the cobwebs, and hung my soul Upon a topmost bough, to air, Close to the purifying sun. And I was lucky For as it fluttered there, a robin chat’s sweet Song rose through the trees till every fiber Of my soul was bathed in harmony. When all was clean and new they fetched My soul and slipped it back and, smiling, Danced away. And I—well, for a day or two— I looked upon the world with all the Innocence and wonder of a newborn babe. And now, if I am sad, or filled With sudden rage, I find some quiet place With grass and leaves and earth, and sit there Silently, and hope that they will come And call me, with their silvery voices, And make me clean again, those Little Angels of the trees and flowers.
Jane Goodall (Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey)
There's a reason I've always relied on you for the necessary political miracles, Emily," Hamish told her with a smile. "Give me a fleet problem, or a naval battle to fight, and I “know exactly what to do. But dealing with scum like High Ridge and Descroix—?" He shook his head. "I just can't wrap my mind around how to handle them."
"Be honest, dear," Emily corrected him gently. "It's not that you really can't do it, and you know it. It's that you get so furious with them that you wind up climbing onto your high moral horse so you can ride them under the hooves of your righteous fury. But when you close your knight errant's helmet, the visibility through that visor is just a little limited, isn't it?
David Weber (War of Honor (Honor Harrington, #10))
Straight up, Mels, the only reason I haven't completely jumped you is because I can't. I...can't." He threw up his free hand and let it fall back down to the bedspread. "And you know what sucks? I've been with a lot of women."
Annnnnnnd that made her chest hurt. "Before you were injured..."
He nodded. "Of all the things for my memory to come back on, right?"
Cue another kick in the solar plexus. "You remember them?"
"I hate it– because I would trade every single random fuck for just one night with you." He brushed her face with his fingertips and then brought his thumb to her mouth. With the same gentle pressure he'd put against her wrist, he caressed her lower lip. "I'd give up every one of them. Matter of fact, it feels like...a curse to have finally found someone like you, only to have it be too late. And that's where it's at. It's too late for me, Mels, and that's how you're killing me. When I look at you, when I see you move, when you smile or take a deep breath, I just... I die a little. Every time.
J.R. Ward (Rapture (Fallen Angels, #4))
The change will do you good,” she said simply, when he had finished; “and you must be sure to go and see Ellen,” she added, looking him straight in the eyes with her cloudless smile, and speaking in the tone she might have employed in urging him not to neglect some irksome family duty.
It was the only word that passed between them on the subject; but in the code in which they had both been trained it meant: “Of course you understand that I know all that people have been saying about Ellen, and heartily sympathize with my family in their effort to get her to return to her husband. I also know that, for some reason you have not chosen to tell me, you have advised her against this course, which all the older men of the family, as well as our grandmother, agree in approving; and that it is owing to your encouragement that Ellen defies us all, and exposes herself to the kind of criticism of which Mr. Sillerton Jackson probably gave you this evening, the hint that has made you so irritable… Hints have indeed not been wanting; but since you appear unwilling to take them from others, I offer you this one myself, in the only form in which well-bred people of our kind can communicate unpleasant things to each other: by letting you understand that I know you mean to see Ellen when you are in Washington, and are perhaps going there expressly for that purpose; and that, since you are sure to see her, I wish you to do so with my full and explicit approval—and to take the opportunity of letting her know what the course of conduct you have encouraged her in is likely to lead to.”
Her hand was still on the key of the lamp when the last word of this mute message reached him. She turned the wick down, lifted off the globe, and breathed on the sulky flame.
“They smell less if one blows them out,” she explained, with her bright housekeeping air. On the threshold she turned and paused for his kiss.
Edith Wharton (The Age of Innocence)
You’re sure you want to do this,” Galen says, eyeing me like I’ve grown a tiara of snakes on my head.
“Absolutely.” I unstrap the four-hundred-dollar silver heels and spike them into the sand. When he starts unraveling his tie, I throw out my hand. “No! Leave it. Leave everything on.”
Galen frowns. “Rachel would kill us both. In our sleep. She would torture us first.”
“This is our prom night. Rachel would want us to enjoy ourselves.” I pull the thousand-or-so bobby pins from my hair and toss them in the sand. Really, both of us are right. She would want us to be happy. But she would also want us to stay in our designer clothes.
Leaning over, I shake my head like a wet dog, dispelling the magic of hairspray. Tossing my hair back, I look at Galen.
His crooked smile almost melts me where I stand. I’m just glad to see a smile on his face at all. The last six months have been rough. “Your mother will want pictures,” he tells me.
“And what will she do with pictures? There aren’t exactly picture frames in the Royal Caverns.” Mom’s decision to mate with Grom and live as his queen didn’t surprise me. After all, I am eighteen years old, an adult, and can take care of myself. Besides, she’s just a swim away.
“She keeps picture frames at her house though. She could still enjoy them while she and Grom come to shore to-“
“Okay, ew. Don’t say it. That’s where I draw the line.”
Galen laughs and takes off his shoes. I forget all about Mom and Grom. Galen, barefoot in the sand, wearing an Armani tux. What more could a girl ask for?
“Don’t look at me like that, angelfish,” he says, his voice husky. “Disappointing your grandfather is the last thing I want to do.”
My stomach cartwheels. Swallowing doesn’t help. “I can’t admire you, even from afar?” I can’t quite squeeze enough innocence in there to make it believable, to make it sound like I wasn’t thinking the same thing he was.
Clearing his throat, he nods. “Let’s get on with this.” He closes the distance between us, making foot-size potholes with his stride. Grabbing my hand, he pulls me to the water. At the edge of the wet sand, just out of reach of the most ambitious wave, we stop.
“You’re sure?” he says again.
“More than sure,” I tell him, giddiness swimming through my veins like a sneaking eel. Images of the conference center downtown spring up in my mind. Red and white balloons, streamers, a loud, cheesy DJ yelling over the starting chorus of the next song. Kids grinding against one another on the dance floor to lure the chaperones’ attention away from a punch bowl just waiting to be spiked. Dresses spilling over with skin, matching corsages, awkward gaits due to six-inch heels. The prom Chloe and I dreamed of.
But the memories I wanted to make at that prom died with Chloe. There could never be any joy in that prom without her. I couldn’t walk through those doors and not feel that something was missing. A big something.
No, this is where I belong now. No balloons, no loud music, no loaded punch bowl. Just the quiet and the beach and Galen. This is my new prom. And for some reason, I think Chloe would approve.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
I have a theory," she said. I nodded at her to continue and she said, "There's this fireplace downstairs. I think I went down there for some reason. To hide, maybe. I thought it was all my fault my mother died. And I hit my head on the marble. My brain bled. I died."
She watched me.
"Right," I said. "I don't think that's possible."
"Why don't you think it's possible?" she asked. "Because everyone can see me?"
"It's not that. It's just that it seems to me that the dead only return for love or for revenge. Who did you come back for?"
Neither of us smiled. I felt light-headed I couldn't believe that we were discussing this.
"Love or revenge," she sighed. "Neither."
"Miranda," I said, "You're not dead. Okay?"
"Ore," she said. "I'm not alive.
Helen Oyeyemi (White Is for Witching)
After dinner, I went upstairs and found Ren standing on the veranda again, looking at the sunset. I approached him shyly and stood behind him. “Hello, Ren.”
He turned and openly studied my appearance. His gaze drifted ever so slowly down my body. The longer he looked, the wider his smile got. Eventually, his eyes worked their way back up to my bright red face.
He sighed and bowed deeply. “Sundari. I was standing here thinking nothing could be more beautiful than this sunset tonight, but I was mistaken. You standing here in the setting sun with your hair and skin aglow is almost more than a man can…fully appreciate.”
I tried to change the subject. “What does sundari mean?”
“It means ‘most beautiful.’”
I blushed again, which made him laugh. He took my hand, tucked it under his arm, and led me to the patio chairs. Just then, the sun dipped below the trees leaving its tangerine glow in the sky for just a few more moments.
We sat again, but this time he sat next to me on the swinging patio seat and kept my hand in his.
I ventured shyly, “I hope you don’t mind, but I explored your house today, including your room.”
“I don’t mind. I’m sure you found my room the least interesting.”
“Actually, I was curious about the note I found. Did you write it?”
“A note? Ah, yes. I just scribbled a few notes to help me remember what Phet had said. It just says seek Durga’s prophecy, the Cave of Kanheri, Kelsey is Durga’s favored one, that sort of thing.”
“Oh. I…also noticed a ribbon. Is it mine?”
“Yes. If you’d like it back, you can take it.”
“Why would you want it?”
He shrugged, looking embarrassed. “I wanted a memento, a token from the girl who saved my life.”
“A token? Like a fair maiden giving her handkerchief to a knight in shining armor?”
He grinned. “Exactly.”
I jested wryly, “Too bad you didn’t wait for Cathleen to get a little older. She’s going to be very pretty.”
He frowned. “Cathleen from the circus?” He shook his head. “You were the chosen one, Kelsey. And if I had the option of choosing the girl to save me, I still would have picked you.”
“A number of reasons. I liked you. You are interesting. I enjoyed listening to your voice. I felt like you saw through the tiger skin to the person underneath. When you spoke, it felt like you were saying exactly the things I needed to hear. You’re smart. You like poetry, and you’re very pretty.”
I laughed at his statement. Me, pretty? He can’t be serious. I was average in so many ways. I didn’t really concern myself with current makeup, hairstyles, or fashionable, but uncomfortable, clothes like other teenagers. My complexion was pale, and my eyes were so brown that they were almost black. By far, my best feature was my smile, which my parents paid dearly for and so did I-with three years of metal braces.
Still, I was flattered. “Okay, Prince Charming, you can keep your memento.” I hesitated, and then said softly, “I wear those ribbons in memory of my mom. She used to brush out my hair and braid ribbons through it while we talked.”
Ren smiled understandingly. “Then it means even more to me.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
I would not hurt you, little man,' he said.
'I think that I got the disorder in Mullingar,' I explained. I knew that I had gained his confidence and that the danger of violence was now passed. He then did something which took me by surprise. He pulled up his own ragged trouser and showed me his own left leg. It was smooth, shapely and fairly fat but it was made of wood also.
'That is a funny coincidence,' I said. I now perceived the reason for his sudden change of attitude.
'You are a sweet man,' he responded, 'and I would not lay a finger on your personality. I am the captain of all the one-legged men in the country. I knew them all up to now except one—your own self—and that one is now also my friend into the same bargain. If any man looks at you sideways, I will rip his belly.'
'That is very friendly talk,' I said.
'Wide open,' he said, making a wide movement with his hands. 'If you are ever troubled, send for me and I will save you from the woman.'
'Women I have no interest in at all,' I said smiling. 'A fiddle is a better thing for diversion.'
'It does not matter. If your perplexity is an army or a dog, I will come with all the one-leggèd men and rip the bellies. My real name is Martin Finnucane.'
'It is a reasonable name,' I assented.
'Martin Finnucane,' he repeated, listening to his own voice as if he were listening to the sweetest music in the world.
Flann O'Brien (The Third Policeman)
Absentmindedly, I started doodling in the margins of my paper.
Renee, I wrote in cursive, and then again in bubble letters and then in the loopy handwriting of the mystery note. I drew a tiny picture of the moon above the lake. And then stick figures of people swimming in it. And then for some reason, I wrote Dante. First in print, and then in large, wavy letters, and then in all caps. Dante. Dante. DANTE. I had just finished writing, when I heard someone say my name.
I shook myself out of my daze to discover that Mr. B. and the entire class were staring at me.
“Earth to Renee. The most primitive tombs. What were they called?” he repeated.
I glanced at my notes for the answer, but they were covered in doodles.
“Dante,” I blurted out, reading the first word I saw. Immediately my face went red. “No, sorry, I meant . . . I meant dolmen.”
I winced, hoping I was right so that I would be saved from further embarrassment. Thankfully, Dante wasn’t in my class.
Mr. B. smiled. “Correct,” he said, returning to the board. He drew a diagram of a stonelike lean-to, which I recognized from the reading. I took notes and kept my head down for the rest of class.
Yvonne Woon (Dead Beautiful (Dead Beautiful, #1))
Her partner now drew near, and said, "That gentleman would have put me out of patience, had he stayed with you half a minute longer. He has no business to withdraw the attention of my partner from me. We have entered into a contract of mutual agreeableness for the space of an evening, and all our agreeableness belongs solely to each other for that time. Nobody can fasten themselves on the notice of one, without injuring the rights of the other. I consider a country-dance as an emblem of marriage. Fidelity and complaisance are the principal duties of both; and those men who do not choose to dance or marry themselves, have no business with the partners or wives of their neighbours."
But they are such very different things!"
-- That you think they cannot be compared together."
To be sure not. People that marry can never part, but must go and keep house together. People that dance only stand opposite each other in a long room for half an hour."
And such is your definition of matrimony and dancing. Taken in that light certainly, their resemblance is not striking; but I think I could place them in such a view. You will allow, that in both, man has the advantage of choice, woman only the power of refusal; that in both, it is an engagement between man and woman, formed for the advantage of each; and that when once entered into, they belong exclusively to each other till the moment of its dissolution; that it is their duty, each to endeavour to give the other no cause for wishing that he or she had bestowed themselves elsewhere, and their best interest to keep their own imaginations from wandering towards the perfections of their neighbours, or fancying that they should have been better off with anyone else. You will allow all this?"
Yes, to be sure, as you state it, all this sounds very well; but still they are so very different. I cannot look upon them at all in the same light, nor think the same duties belong to them."
In one respect, there certainly is a difference. In marriage, the man is supposed to provide for the support of the woman, the woman to make the home agreeable to the man; he is to purvey, and she is to smile. But in dancing, their duties are exactly changed; the agreeableness, the compliance are expected from him, while she furnishes the fan and the lavender water. That, I suppose, was the difference of duties which struck you, as rendering the conditions incapable of comparison."
No, indeed, I never thought of that."
Then I am quite at a loss. One thing, however, I must observe. This disposition on your side is rather alarming. You totally disallow any similarity in the obligations; and may I not thence infer that your notions of the duties of the dancing state are not so strict as your partner might wish? Have I not reason to fear that if the gentleman who spoke to you just now were to return, or if any other gentleman were to address you, there would be nothing to restrain you from conversing with him as long as you chose?"
Mr. Thorpe is such a very particular friend of my brother's, that if he talks to me, I must talk to him again; but there are hardly three young men in the room besides him that I have any acquaintance with."
And is that to be my only security? Alas, alas!"
Nay, I am sure you cannot have a better; for if I do not know anybody, it is impossible for me to talk to them; and, besides, I do not want to talk to anybody."
Now you have given me a security worth having; and I shall proceed with courage.
Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
She's just nervous, Paddy. Don't worry, hon," saidSharon , her lips pulled into a generous smile. Her eyes sparkled with warmth and sincerity. "I'm used to these neck nibblers."
"No offense,Sharon . But I'd rather have the chocolate," I said.
She laughed and slapped her thigh. "Hell's bells, Patrick! She's the reason you've had me eating these Godiva truffles all day?"
I looked at Patrick. "You're mean." His black brows formed question marks. Then his lips curled into a smile. "No, not just mean. Cruel."
"I had her eat truffles for you," he said.
"Are you insane? How is her eating my chocolate in any way helpful?"
Sharon chortled. "You might not be able to eat the truffle, sweetie, but you'll taste it. Prob'ly be the best chocolate you ever eat, too."
I looked at Sharon , then at Patrick. "Are you telling me that she's gonna taste like chocolate?"
Michele Bardsley (I'm the Vampire, That's Why (Broken Heart #1))
You know when I first met you, you scared the shit out of me.” She pulls a “whoops” face and glances at the minister, who sighs because he knows us well enough to know this is just how we talk. Then she returns her focus to me and clears her throat. “You were so intense and determined to get to know me and I couldn’t understand why you would want to, for a lot of reasons, reasons that you know about because you know me better than anyone.” Her voice wobbles a little and she lets go of the paper and wipes her sweaty palm on her jacket. “But eventually you sort of wore on me.” Her lips quirk and it makes me grin. “You became my light in my dark life and you made me feel so loved that I’d forget how to breathe. You were the only one who could make me laugh, smile, have fun, not give up. You were always there for me and somehow, through the crazy, intense years, you fought your way into my soul and ended up becoming my everything. You became my lifeline, the one person I could rely on no matter what, whether I was upset or pushing you away—you were always there for me. And I love you for it and for the amazing person that you are, for writing me songs and tattooing them on your skin, for wearing a ridiculous O ring on your finger,” she says, trying to smile but I can tell she’s getting overwhelmed by her emotions. “And for loving me enough not to let me give up, not matter how hard I fought.
Jessica Sorensen (The Ever After of Ella and Micha (The Secret, #4))
Long black hair and deep clean blue eyes and skin pale white and lips blood red she's small and thin and worn and damaged. She is standing there.
What are you doing here?
I was taking a walk and I saw you and I followed you.
What do you want.
I want you to stop.
I breathe hard, stare hard, tense and coiled. There is still more tree for me to destroy I want that fucking tree. She smiles and she steps towards me, toward toward toward me, and she opens he r arms and I'm breathing hard staring hard tense and coiled she puts her arms around me with one hand not he back of my head and she pulls me into her arms and she holds me and she speaks.
I breathe hard, close my eyes, let myself be held.
Her voice calms me and her arms warm me and her smell lightens me and I can feel her heart beat and my heart slows and I stop shaking an the Fury melts into her safety an she holds me and she says.
Something else comes and it makes me feel weak and scared and fragile and I don't want to be hurt and this feeling is the feeling I have when I know I can be hurt and hurt deeper and more terribly than anything physical and I always fight it and control it and stop it but her voice calms me and her arms warm me and her smell lightens me and I can feel her heart beat and if she let me go right now I would fall and the need and confusion and fear and regret and horror and shame and weakness and fragility are exposed to the soft strength of her open arms and her simple word okay and I start to cry. I start to cry. I want to cry.
It comes in waves. THe waves roll deep and from deep the deep within me and I hold her and she holds me tighter and i let her and I let it and I let this and I have not felt this way this vulnerability or allowed myself to feel this way this vulnerability since I was ten years old and I don't know why I haven't and I don't know why I am now and I only know that I am and that it is scary terrifying frightening worse and better than anything I've ever felt crying in her arms just crying in her ams just crying.
She guides me to the ground, but she doesn't let me go. THe Gates are open and thirteen years of addiction, violence, hell and their accompaniments are manifesting themselves in dense tears and heavy sobs and a shortness of breath and a profound sense of loss. THe loss inhabits, fills and overwhelms me. It is the loss of a childhood of being a Teeenager of normalcy of happiness of love of trust anon reason of God of Family of friends of future of potential of dignity of humanity of sanity f myself of everything everything everything. I lost everything and I am lost reduced to a mass of mourning, sadness, grief, anguish and heartache. I am lost. I have lost. Everything. Everything.
It's wet and Lilly cradles me like a broken Child. My face and her shoulder and her shirt and her hair are wet with my tears. I slow down and I start to breathe slowly and deeply and her hair smells clean and I open my eyes because I want to see it an it is all that I can see. It is jet black almost blue and radiant with moisture. I want to touch it and I reach with one of my hands and I run my hand from the crown along her neck and her back to the base of her rib and it is a thin perfect sheer and I let it slowly drop from the tips of my fingers and when it is gone I miss it. I do it again and again and she lets me do it and she doesn't speak she just cradles me because I am broken. I am broken. Broken.
THere is noise and voices and Lilly pulls me in tighter and tighter and I know I pull her in tighter and tighter and I can feel her heart beating and I know she can feel my heart beating and they are speaking our hearts are speaking a language wordless old unknowable and true and we're pulling and holding and the noise is closer and the voices louder and Lilly whispers.
I need a job; okay. Is that any reason why the job I get has to louse me up? Look. All I want is to get enough dough coming in to keep us solvent for the next year or so, till I can figure things out; meanwhile I want to retain my own identity. Therefore the thing I’m most anxious to avoid is any kind of work that can be considered ‘interesting’ in its own right. I want something that can’t possibly touch me. I want some big, swollen old corporation that’s been bumbling along making money in its sleep for a hundred years, where they have to hire eight guys for every one job because none of them can be expected to care about whatever boring thing it is they’re supposed to be doing. I want to go into that kind of place and say, Look. You can have my body and my nice college-boy smile for so many hours a day, in exchange for so many dollars, and beyond that we’ll leave each other strictly alone.
Richard Yates (Revolutionary Road)
What happened isn't your fault."
"Maybe. But maybe this wouldn't have happened if I'd run away with you."
"You still can."
"No, I can't." I shook my head. "I have so much I need to do here. I can't just leave it all behind. But you can stay here. I will grant you amnesty."
"Mmm, I knew it." He smiled. "You'd miss me too much if I left."
I laughed. "Hardly."
"Hardly?" Loki smirked.
He'd lowered his arm, so his hand was on my waist. Loki was incredibly near, and his muscles pressed against me. I knew that I should move away, that I had no justifiable reason to be this close to him, but I didn't move.
"Would you?" Loki asked, his voice low.
"Would I what?"
"Would you run away with me, if you didn't have all the responsibilities and the palace and all that?"
"I don't know," I said.
"I think you would."
"Of course you do." I looked away from him, but I didn't move away. "Where did you get the pajamas, by the way? You didn't bring anything with you when you came."
"I don't want to tell you."
"Why not?" I looked sharply at him.
"Because. I'll tell you, and it will ruin this whole mood," Loki said. "Can't we just sit here and look longingly into each other's eyes until we fall into each other's arms, kissing passionately?"
"No," I said and finally started to pull away from him. "Not if you don't tell me-"
"Tove," Loki said quickly, trying to hang on to me. He was much stronger than me, but he let me push him off.
"Of course." I stood up. "That's exactly the kind of thing my fiancé would do. He's always thinking of other people."
"It's just pajamas!" Loki insisted, like that would mean something. "Sure, he's a terrifically nice guy, but that doesn't matter."
"How does that not matter?" I asked.
"Because you don't love him."
"I care about him," I said, and he shrugged. "And it's not like I love you."
"Maybe not," he allowed. "But you will."
"You think so?" I asked.
"Mark my words, Princess," Loki said. "One day, you'll be madly in love with me."
"Okay." I laughed, because I didn't know how else to respond. "But I should go. If I've given you amnesty, that means I have to go about enacting it, and getting everyone to agree that it's not a suicidal decision."
"You're welcome," I said and opened the door to go.
"It was worth it," Loki said suddenly.
"What was?" I turned back to him.
"Everything I went through," he said. "For you. It was worth it.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
You going to the game tonight?"
I was about to answer,but another voice rang out from just behind me.
"She'd better," Jack said as he wrapped an arm around my waist and pulled me back against him. I could smell the fresh leather on his letterman jacket as I crunched against it.
"Why is that?" I asked,smiling and instantly warm in his arms.I still couldn't get over the fact that Jack Caputo and I were...together. It was hard to think the word. We had been friends for so long.To be honest, he had been friends with me and I had been secretly pining for him since...well, since forever.
But now he was here. It was my waist he held. It didn't seem real.
"I can't carry the team to victory without you," he said. "You're my rabbit's foot."
I craned my neck around to look at him. "I've always dreamed of some guy saying that to me."
He pressed his lips to the base of my neck, and heat rushed to my cheeks. "I love making you turn red," he whispered.
"It doesn't take much. We're in the middle of the hallway."
"You want to know what else I love?" His tone was playful.
"No," I said, but he wasn't listening. He took his fingers and lightly railed them up my spine,to the back of my neck.Instant goose bumps sprang up all over my body,and I shuddered.
I could feel his smile against my ear. Jack was always smiling.It was what made him so likable.
By this time,Jules had snaked her way through the throng of students. "Hello, Jack.I was in the middle of a conversation with Becks.Do you mind?" she said with a smirk.
Right then a bunch of Jack's teammates rounded the corner at the end of the hallway,stampeding toward us.
"Uh-oh," I said.
Jack pushed me safely aside just before they tackled him, and Jules and I watched as what seemed like the entire football team heaped on top of their starting quarterback.
"Dating Jack Caputo just might kill you one day." Jules laughed. "You sure it's worth it?"
I didn't answer,but I was sure. In the weeks following my mother's death, I had spent nearly every morning sitting at her grave.Whispering to her, telling her about my day, like I used to each morning before she died. Jack came with me to the cemetary most days. He'd bring a book and read under a tree several headstones away,waiting quietly, as if what I was doing was totally normal.
We hadn't even been together then.
It had been only five months since my mom died. Five months since a drunk driver hit her during her evening jog. Five months since the one person who knew all my dreams disappeared forever. Jack was the reason I was still standing.
Yeah,I was sure he was worth it.The only thing I wasn't sure about was why he was with me.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
Colored like a sunset tide is a gaze sharply slicing through the reflective glass. A furrowed brow is set much too seriously, as if trying to unfold the pieces of the face that stared back at it. One eyebrow is raised skeptically, always calculating and analyzing its surroundings. I tilt my head trying to see the deeper meaning in my features, trying to imagine the connection between my looks and my character as I stare in the mirror for the required five minutes.
From the dark brown hair fastened tightly in a bun, a curl as bright as woven gold comes loose. A flash of unruly hair prominent through the typical browns is like my temper; always there, but not always visible. I begin to grow frustrated with the girl in the mirror, and she cocks her hip as if mocking me. In a moment, her lips curve in a half smile, not quite detectable in sight but rather in feeling, like the sensation of something good just around the corner. A chin was set high in a stubborn fashion, symbolizing either persistence or complete adamancy. Shoulders are held stiff like ancient mountains, proud but slightly arrogant.
The image watches with the misty eyes of a daydreamer, glazed over with a sort of trance as if in the middle of a reverie, or a vision. Every once and a while, her true fears surface in those eyes, terror that her life would amount to nothing, that her work would have no impact. Words written are meant to be read, and sometimes I worry that my thoughts and ideas will be lost with time.
My dream is to be an author, to be immortalized in print and live forever in the minds of avid readers. I want to access the power in being able to shape the minds of the young and open, and alter the minds of the old and resolute. Imagine the power in living forever, and passing on your ideas through generations. With each new reader, a new layer of meaning is uncovered in writing, meaning that even the author may not have seen.
In the mirror, I see a girl that wants to change the world, and change the way people think and reason. Reflection and image mean nothing, for the girl in the mirror is more than a one dimensional picture. She is someone who has followed my footsteps with every lesson learned, and every mistake made. She has been there to help me find a foothold in the world, and to catch me when I fall. As the lights blink out, obscuring her face, I realize that although that image is one that will puzzle me in years to come, she and I aren’t so different after all.
Tatiana turns to him, looks up at him, and smiles. “Do you know what a happy ending is to a Russian?” she says. “When the hero, at the end of his own story, finally learns the reason for his suffering.” Taking another swig of Coke, Alexander says, “Your jokes are getting so lame.” He knocks into her with his stretched-out leg. She takes hold of his hand. “What?” he asks. “Nothing, soldier,” says Tatiana. He is thinking of sailboats in distant oceans, the desert from dimmest childhood, the ghost of fortune, the girl on the bench. When he saw her, he saw something new. He saw it because he wanted to see it, because he wanted to change his life. He stepped off the curb and out of the deadfall. To cross the street. To follow her. And she will give your life meaning, she will save you. Yes, yes—to cross. “We’ll meet again in Lvov, my love and I ...” Tatiana hums, eating her ice cream, in our Leningrad, in jasmine June, near Fontanka, the Neva, the Summer Garden, where we are forever young.
Paullina Simons (The Summer Garden (The Bronze Horseman, #3))
Wanting his mind on other matters, she deliiberately challenged his statement. "You don't know so much about me. There was a man once. He was crazy about me." She tried to look wordly. "Absolutely crazy for me."
His answering laughter was warm against her neck, her throat. His lips touched the skin over her pulse and skimmed lightly up to her ear. "Are you, by any chance, referring to that foppish boy with the orange hair and spiked collar? Dragon something?"
Savannah gasped and pulled away to glare at im. "How could you possibly know about him? I dated him last year."
Gregori nuzzled her neck, inhaling her fragrance, his hand sliding over her shoulder, moving gently over her satin skin to take possession of her breast. "He wore boots and rode a Harley." His breath came out in a rush as his palm cupped the soft weight, his thumb brushing her nipple into a hard peak.
The feel of his large hand-so strong, so warm and possessive on her-sent heat curling through her body. Desire rose sharply. He was seducing her with tenderness. Savannah didn't want it to happen. Her body felt better, but the soreness was there to remind her where this could all lead. Her hand caught at his wrist. "How did you find out about Dragon?" she asked, desperate to distract him, to distract herself. How could he make her body burn for his when she was so afraid of him, of having sex with him?
"Making love," he corrected, his voice husky, caressing, betraying the ease with which his mind moved like a shadow through hers."And to answer your question, I live in you, can touch you whenever I wish.I knew about all of them. Every damn one." He growled the worrds, and her breath caught in her throat. "He was the only one you thought of kissing." His mouth touched hers. Gently. Lightly. Returned for more. Coaxing, teasing, until she opened to him. He stole her breath, her reason, whirling her into a world of feeling.Bright colors and white-hot heat, the room falling away until there was only his broad shoulders,strong arms, hard body, and perfect,perfect mouth.
When he lifted his head, Savannah nearly pulled him back to her.He watched her face,her eyes cloudy with desire, her lips so beautiful, bereft of his. "Do you have any idea how beautiful you are, Savannah? There is such beauty in your soul,I can see it shining in your eyes."
She touched his face, her palm molding his strong jaw. Why couldn't she resist his hungry eyes? "I think you're casting a spell over me. I can't remember what we were talking about."
Gregori smiled. "Kissing." His teeth nibbled gently at her chin. "Specifically,your wanting to kiss that orange-bearded imbecile."
"I wanted to kiss every one of them," she lied indignantly.
"No,you did not.You were hoping that silly fop would wipe my taste from your mouth for all eternity." His hand stroked back the fall of hair around her face.He feathered kisses along the delicate line of her jaw. "It would not have worked,you know.As I recall,he seemed to have a problem getting close to you."
Her eyes smoldered dangerously. "Did you have anything to do with his allergies?" She had wanted someone, anyone,to wipe Gregori's taste from her mouth,her soul.
He raised his voice an octave. "Oh, Savannah, I just have to taste your lips," he mimicked. Then he went into a sneezing fit. "You haven't ridden until you've ridden on a Harley,baby." He sneezed, coughed, and gagged in perfect imitation.
Savannah pushed his arm, forgetting for a moment her bruised fist. When it hurt, she yelped and glared accusingly at him. "It was you doing all that to him! That poor man-you damaged his ego for life. Each time he touched me, he had a sneezing fit."
Gregori raised an eyebrow, completely unrepentant. "Technically,he did not lay a hand on you.He sneezed before he could get that close.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
Annabelle…” His mouth drifted along her throat. “I’ve wanted you since the first moment I saw you standing outside that panorama, digging for coins in your purse. I couldn’t take my eyes from you. I could hardly believe you were real.”
“You stared at me for the entire show,” she said, gasping a little as he nibbled at the silken lobe of her ear. “I doubt you learned a single thing about the fall of the Roman Empire.”
“I learned that you have the softest lips I’ve ever kissed.”
“You have a novel way of introducing yourself.”
“I couldn’t help it.” His hand skimmed gently up and down her side. “Standing next to you in the darkness was the most unholy temptation I’d ever experienced. All I could think about was how adorable you were and how much I wanted you. When the lights went out completely, I couldn’t stand it any longer.” A note of masculine smugness entered his voice as he added, “And you didn’t push me away.”
“I was too surprised!”
“That was the reason you didn’t object?”
“No,” Annabelle admitted, tilting her face so that her cheek brushed against his. “I liked your kiss. You know that I did.”
He smiled at that.
-Annabelle & Simon
Lisa Kleypas (Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers, #1))
I suppose you have a perfectly good reason for destroying my sign?” Jericho appeared beside me. “I had to paint the bloody thing myself,” he said pissily. “There’s not a sign-maker left in the city. I have better things to do than paint.”
I gaped. Jericho Barrons was standing beside me.
Inside my head.
I shook it, half expecting him to be knocked off his feet and go rattling around.
He remained standing, urbane and implacable as ever.
“This isn’t possible,” I told him. “You can’t be here. This is my head.”
“You push into mine. I merely projected an image with the push this time, to give you something to look at.” He gave me a faint smile. “Wasn’t easy getting in. You give a whole new meaning to ‘rock head.’”
I laughed. I couldn’t help it. He invaded my thoughts and gave me guff even here.
“I found you standing in the street, staring at the sign over the bookstore. Tried talking to you but you didn’t respond. Thought I’d better take a look around. What are you doing, Mac?” he said softly—Barrons at his most alert and dangerous.
My laughter died and tears sprang to my eyes. He was in my head. I saw little point in hiding anything. He could take a good look around and see the truth for himself.
“I didn’t get the spell.” My voice broke. I’d failed him. I hated myself for that. He’d never failed me.
My gaze flicked to his face, bewildered. “You . . . know?”
“I knew it was a lie the moment you said it.”
I searched his eyes. “But you looked happy! You smiled. I saw things in your eyes!”
“I was happy. I knew why you’d lied.” His dark gaze was ancient, inhuman, and uncharacteristically gentle. Because you love me.
Karen Marie Moning (Shadowfever (Fever, #5))
I think if you wanted a peaceful marriage and orderly household, you should have proposed to any one of the well-bred simpletons who've been dangled in front of you for years. Ivo's right: Pandora is a different kind of girl. Strange and marvelous. I wouldn't dare predict-" She broke off as she saw him staring at Pandora's distant form. "Lunkhead, you're not even listening. You've already decided to marry her, and damn the consequences."
"It wasn't even a decision," Gabriel said, baffled and surly. "I can't think of one good reason to justify why I want her so bloody badly."
Phoebe smiled, gazing toward the water. "Have I ever told you what Henry said when he proposed, even knowing how little time we would have together? 'Marriage is far too important a matter to be decided with reason.' He was right, of course."
Gabriel took up a handful of warm, dry sand and let it sift through his fingers. "The Ravenels will sooner weather a scandal than force her to marry. And as you probably overheard, she objects not only to me, but the institution of marriage itself."
"How could anyone resist you?" Phoebe asked, half-mocking, half-sincere.
He gave her a dark glance. "Apparently she has no problem. The title, the fortune, the estate, the social position... to her, they're all detractions. Somehow I have to convince her to marry me despite those things." With raw honesty, he added, "And I'm damned if I even know who I am outside of them."
"Oh, my dear..." Phoebe said tenderly. "You're the brother who taught Raphael to sail a skiff, and showed Justin how to tie his shoes. You're the man who carried Henry down to the trout stream, when he wanted to go fishing one last time." She swallowed audibly, and sighed. Digging her heels into the sand, she pushed them forward, creating a pair of trenches. "Shall I tell you what your problem is?"
"Is that a question?"
"Your problem," his sister continued, "is that you're too good at maintaining that façade of godlike perfection. You've always hated for anyone to see that you're a mere mortal. But you won't win this girl that way." She began to dust the sand from her hands. "Show her a few of your redeeming vices. She'll like you all the better for it.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
I, for example, quiet plainly and simply insist upon annihilation for myself. “No,” they say, “you must go on living, for without you there would be nothing. If everything on earth were reasonable, nothing would ever happen. Without you there would be no events, and it is necessary that there should be events.” Well, and so on I drudge with unwilling heart so that there be events, and bring about unreason by command. People think toute cette comedie is something serious, all there unquestionable intelligence notwithstanding. There lies there tragedy. Well, and they suffer, of course, but … al the same they live, they live in reality, not in fantasy; for suffering is also life. Without suffering what pleasure would there be in it? Everything would turn into one single, endless church service: much holy soaring, but rather boring. Well, and I? I suffer, but even so I do not live. I am the “x” in an indeterminate equation. I am one of life’s ghosts, who has lost all the ends and the beginnings, and even at last forgotten what to call myself. You are laughing . . . No, you are not laughing, you are angry again. You are eternally angry, you would like there to be nothing but intelligence, but I will tell you again that I would renounce all this empyrean existence, all these honours and ranks just in order to be able to take fleshy form in the person of a seven-pood merchant’s wife and set up candles to God in church.
‘So, you don’t believe in God either?’ Ivan said, smiling with hatred.
‘Well, how can I explain it to you, if you are serious, that is . . . ‘
‘Does God exist or not?’ Ivan barked, again with ferocious insistence.
‘Ah, so you are serious? My dear little dove, I swear to God I do not know, pour vous dire le grand mot.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Noemy says, “I guess it’s just the idea of love I miss. And, well, it was a good kiss.” Her smile turns rueful. “At least I got some practice.”
A wonderful idea occurs to Abel. “Do you need more practice?”
“We could practice, if you wanted."He smiles as he starts to explain."Remember what I told you on Genesis? I’m programmed with a wide array of techniques for providing physical pleasure, via every activity from kissing to the more arcane positions for sexual intercourse. Although I’ve never performed any of them before, I’m confident I could do so very skillfully.” She stares at him, eyes wide. Since she is swift to voice objections if she has them, Abel takes her silence as an encouraging sign.
So he sits up on the bed to explain the further compelling reasons now coming to mind. “Humans need a certain amount of physical release and comfort in order to be psychologicallly healthy. You’ve been away from your family and friends for some time, and have endured considerable trauma, suggesting you are in even greater need than usual. I have all the information and technique necessary to be an excellent partner, my body is designed to be appealing, and of course I can neither carry disease nor impregnate you. We have total privacy and many hours of spare time. Conditions for intercourse would seem to be ideal.
Claudia Gray (Defy the Stars (Constellation, #1))
Mr. Wonderful was probably taking his sweet time, right?”
“No, it was actually my fault this morning. I was busy with…paperwork.”
“Oh. Well, that’s alright. Don’t worry about it. What kind of paperwork?”
He smiled. “Nothing important.”
Mr. Kadam held the door for me, and we walked out into an empty hallway. I was just starting to relax at the elevator doors when I heard a hotel room door close. Ren walked down the hall toward us. He’d purchased new clothes. Of course, he looked wonderful. I took a step back from the elevator and tried to avoid eye contact.
Ren wore a brand new pair of dark-indigo, purposely faded, urban-destruction designer jeans. His shirt was long-sleeved, buttoned-down, crisp, oxford-style and was obviously of high quality. It was blue with thin white stripes that matched is eyes perfectly. He’d rolled up the sleeves and left his shirt untucked and open at the collar. It was also an athletic cut, so it fit tightly to his muscular torso, which made me suck in an involuntary breath in appreciation of his male splendor.
He looks like a runway model. How in the world am I going to be able to reject that? The world is so unfair. Seriously, it’s like turning Brad Pitt down for a date. The girl who could actually do it should win an award for idiot of the century.
I again quickly ran through my list of reasons for not being with Ren and said a few “He’s not for me’s.” The good thing about seeing his mouthwatering self and watching him walk around like a regular person was that it tightened my resolve. Yes. It would be hard because he was so unbelievably gorgeous, but it was now even more obvious to me that we didn’t belong together.
As he joined us at the elevator, I shook my head and muttered under my breath, “Figures. The guy is a tiger for three hundred and fifty years and emerges from his curse with expensive taste and keen fashion sense too. Incredible!”
Mr. Kadam asked, “What was that, Miss Kelsey?”
Ren raised an eyebrow and smirked.
He probably heard me. Stupid tiger hearing.
The elevator doors opened. I stepped in and moved to the corner hoping to keep Mr. Kadam between the two of us, but unfortunately, Mr. Kadam wasn’t receiving the silent thoughts I was projecting furiously toward him and remained by the elevator buttons. Ren moved next to me and stood too close. He looked me up and down slowly and gave me a knowing smile. We rode down the elevator in silence.
When the doors opened, he stopped me, took the backpack off my shoulder, and threw it over his, leaving me with nothing to carry. He walked ahead next to Mr. Kadam while I trialed along slowly behind, keeping distance between us and a wary eye on his tall frame.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Gustavo Tiberius speaking."
“It’s so weird you do that, man,” Casey said, sounding amused. “Every time I call.”
“It’s polite,” Gus said. “Just because you kids these days don’t have proper phone etiquette.”
“Oh boy, there’s the Grumpy Gus I know. You miss me?”
Gus was well aware the others could hear the conversation loud and clear. He was also aware he had a reputation to maintain. “Hadn’t really thought about it.”
“I miss you.”
“I miss you too,” Gus mumbled into the phone, blushing fiercely.
“Yeah? How much?”
Gus was in hell. “A lot,” he said truthfully. “There have been allegations made against my person of pining and moping. False allegations, mind you, but allegations nonetheless.”
“I know what you mean,” Casey said. “The guys were saying the same thing about me.”
Gus smiled. “How embarrassing for you.”
“Completely. You have no idea.”
“They’re going to get you packed up this week?”
“Ah, yeah. Sure. Something like that.”
“You’re being cagey.”
“I have no idea what you mean. Hey, that’s a nice Hawaiian shirt you’ve got on. Pink? I don’t think I’ve seen you in that color before.”
Gus shrugged. “Pastor Tommy had a shitload of them. I think I could wear one every day for the rest of the year and not repeat. I think he may have had a bit of a….” Gus trailed off when his hand started shaking. Then, “How did you know what I was wearing?”
There was a knock on the window to the Emporium. Gus looked up.
Standing on the sidewalk was Casey. He was wearing bright green skinny jeans and a white and red shirt that proclaimed him to be a member of the 1987 Pasadena Bulldogs Women’s Softball team. He looked ridiculous. And like the greatest thing Gus had ever seen.
Casey wiggled his eyebrows at Gus. “Hey, man.”
“Hi,” Gus croaked.
“Come over here, but stay on the phone, okay?”
Gus didn’t even argue, unable to take his eyes off Casey. He hadn’t expected him for another week, but here he was on a pretty Saturday afternoon, standing outside the Emporium like it was no big deal.
Gus went to the window, and Casey smiled that lazy smile.
He said, “Hi.”
Gus said, “Hi.”
“So, I’ve spent the last two days driving back,” Casey said. “Tried to make it a surprise, you know?”
“I’m very surprised,” Gus managed to say, about ten seconds away from busting through the glass just so he could hug Casey close.
The smile widened. “Good. I’ve had some time to think about things, man. About a lot of things. And I came to this realization as I drove past Weed, California. Gus. It was called Weed, California. It was a sign.”
Gus didn’t even try to stop the eye roll. “Oh my god.”
“Right? Kismet. Because right when I entered Weed, California, I was thinking about you and it hit me. Gus, it hit me.”
Casey put his hand up against the glass. Gus did the same on his side. “Hey, Gus?”
“I’m going to ask you a question, okay?”
Gustavo’s throat felt very dry. “Okay.”
“What was the Oscar winner for Best Song in 1984?”
Automatically, Gus answered, “Stevie Wonder for the movie The Woman in Red. The song was ‘I Just Called to Say I Love You.’” It was fine, of course. Because he knew answers to all those things. He didn’t know why Casey wanted to—
And then he could barely breathe.
Casey’s smile wobbled a little bit. “Okay?”
Gus blinked the burn away. He nodded as best he could.
And Casey said, “Yeah, man. I love you too.”
Gus didn’t even care that he dropped his phone then. All that mattered was getting as close to Casey as humanely possible. He threw open the door to the Emporium and suddenly found himself with an armful of hipster. Casey laughed wetly into his neck and Gus just held on as hard as he could. He thought that it was possible that he might never be in a position to let go. For some reason, that didn’t bother him in the slightest.
T.J. Klune (How to Be a Normal Person (How to Be, #1))
It’s funny, but when I talk about this business of my father and Valentina with my women friends, they’re absolutely appalled. They see a vulnerable old man who’s being exploited. Yet all the men I talk to—without any exception, Mike” (I wag my finger) “they respond with these wry knowing smiles, these little admiring chuckles. Oh, what a lad he is. What an achievement, pulling this much younger bird. Best of luck to him. Let him have his bit of fun.”
“You must admit, it’s done him good.”
“I don’t admit anything.”
(It’s much less satisfying arguing with Mike than with Vera or Pappa. He’s always so irritatingly reasonable.)
“Are you sure you’re not just being a bit puritanical?”
“Of course I’m not!” (So what if I am?) “It’s because he’s my father—I just want him to be grown up.”
“He is being grown up, in his way.”
“No he’s not, he’s being a lad. An eighty-four-year-old lad. You’re all being lads together. Wink wink. Nudge nudge. What a great pair of knockers. For goodness’ sake!” My voice has risen to a shriek.
“But you can see it’s doing him good, this new relationship. It’s breathed new life into him. Just goes to show that you’re never too old for love.”
“You mean for sex.”
“Well, maybe that as well. Your Dad is just hoping to fulfil every man’s dream—to lie in the arms of a beautiful younger woman.”
“Every man’s dream?”
That night Mike and I sleep in separate beds.
Marina Lewycka (A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian)
You’re lucky you’re good in
“Oh.” He grabbed at my foot. “I think you keep me around for other reasons.”
I slanted him a look out of the corner of my eye. “Right now, for the life of me I can’t think what those reasons are.”
Braden tugged harder on my foot, raising his fingers towards it. “Take it back or the foot getsit.”
Oh hell no! I yanked at my appendage.
Deaf to my warning, he started to tickle me,his grip tightening as I laughed breathlessly and
kicked out, trying to get free.
He wouldn’t stop. Ruthless!
“Braden,” I panted hysterically, attempting to shove at him with my arms but struggling as he continued his war on my feet. I laughed harder,
ribs aching, and then… horror.
I broke wind.
Braden immediately let go of my feet, his loud, rumbling laugh filling the room, laughter that only deepened when I lost balance, from kicking out
at him and then being abruptly let go, and fell off the couch with an undignified thud.
Mortified as he collapsed against the couch
belly laughing at my fart then fall, I grabbed a cushion and launched it at him from my position on the floor.
Of course this only made the idiot laugh
harder. I warred between feeling humiliation at farting in front of him, something you just didn’t do in
company, and laughing, since his was so
infectious. “Braden!” I whined. “Shut up. It’s not funny,” I huffed, my lips caught in part smile, part
“Oh babe,” he tried to catch his breath, wiping
a tear from the corner of his eye as he grinned
down at me. “That was definitely funny.” He held out a hand to help me up.
I slapped it away. “You’re such an immature a-hole.”
“Hey, I’m not the one who just let off.”
Oh God, it was so awful. I groaned, falling onto my back and covering my eyes with my hands.
“Jocelyn,” I felt his hand on my knee and heard the amusement in his voice. “Babe, why are you so embarrassed? It was just a fart.
Brilliantly timed I might add.”
I sucked in the mortification. “Oh my God, shut up.” He chuckled again and I snapped open my furious eyes. “You’re enjoying this!”
“Well yeah,” he huffed, eyes bright. “I’ve never seen you embarrassed before. Even when I walked in on you naked you gave me attitude and acted like you didn’t care. That you’re
mortified by a fart is really quite adorable.”
“I am not adorable!”
“Oh I think you are.
The smile that curled his lips was as arrogant as it was beautiful.
“You need to accept the fact that you’re Orange and that you’re always going to be alone because of it.” A measure of calm had returned to Clancy’s voice. His nostrils flared when I tried to turn the door handle again. He slammed both hands against it to keep me from going anywhere, towering over me.
“I saw what you want,” Clancy said. “And it’s not your parents. It’s not even your friends. What you want is to be with him, like you were in the cabin yesterday, or in that car in the woods. I don’t want to lose you, you said. Is he really that important?”
Rage boiled up from my stomach, burning my throat. “How dare you? You said you wouldn’t—you said—”
He let out a bark of laughter. “God, you’re naive. I guess this explains how that League woman was able to trick you into thinking you were something less than a monster.”
“You said you would help me,” I whispered.
He rolled his eyes. “All right, are you ready for the last lesson? Ruby Elizabeth Daly, you are alone and you always will be. If you weren’t so stupid, you would have figured it out by now, but since it’s beyond you, let me spell it out: You will never be able to control your abilities. You will never be able to avoid being pulled into someone’s head, because there’s some part of you that doesn’t want to know how to control them. No, not when it would mean having to embrace them. You’re too immature and weak-hearted to use them the way they’re meant to be used. You’re scared of what that would make you.”
I looked away.
“Ruby, don’t you get it? You hate what you are, but you were given these abilities for a reason. We both were. It’s our right to use them—we have to use them to stay ahead, to keep the others in their place.”
His finger caught the stretched-out collar of my shirt and gave it a tug.
“Stop it.” I was proud of how steady my voice was.
As Clancy leaned in, he slipped a hazy image beneath my closed eyes—the two of us just before he walked into my memories. My stomach knotted as I watched my eyes open in terror, his lips pressed against mine.
“I’m so glad we found each other,” he said, voice oddly calm. “You can help me. I thought I knew everything, but you…”
My elbow flew up and clipped him under the chin. Clancy stumbled back with a howl of pain, pressing both hands to his face. I had half a second to get the hell out, and I took it, twisting the handle of the door so hard that the lock popped itself out.
“Ruby! Wait, I didn’t mean—!”
A face appeared at the bottom of the stairs. Lizzie. I saw her lips part in surprise, her many earrings jangling as I shoved past her.
“Just an argument,” I heard Clancy say, weakly. “It’s fine, just let her go.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
Jealousy is a fever that arises from a stupid, baseless excitement in our unthinking brain.
Jealousy is a phenomenon of auto-suggestion.
The woman you love has gone to bed with X. You hate X, you hate her, and you have perpetually before your eyes the vision of your loved one and X embracing in an act that fills you with horror.
But you too in your time have deceived the woman you love and have done with Y what X did in bed with woman you love.
Well, what remains in your skin ,your mind of Mrs Y? Nothing whatever. No more than X left with your woman.
In other words, auto suggestion. Do you want evidence of that? Well, then, if you don't know the man, you imagine him to be hateful, offensive, repulsive, and you feel that if you met him you'd kill him.
But, if you happen to see his photograph, you begin to realize that it's possible to look at him without horror; and believe me, if you were actually introduced to him you'd approach him with a cordial smile on your lips, look him in the eye without trembling and, if you have reached my degree of perfection, you'd actually be capable of cheerfully patting him on the back and telling him he's a good chap.
In a not too distant future, reason and education will have driven home the lesson of the futility of jealousy.
I'm jittery.It's like the animatronic band from Chuck E. Cheese is throwing a jamboree in my stomach. I've always hated Chuck E. Cheese. Why am I thinking about Chuck E. Cheese? I don't know why I'm nervous.I'm just seeing my mom again. And Seany.And Bridge! Bridge said she'd come.
St. Clair's connecting flight to San Francisco doesn't leave for another three hours,so we board the train that runs between terminals,and he walks me to the arrivals area.We've been quiet since we got off the plane. I guess we're tired. We reach the security checkpoint,and he can't go any farther. Stupid TSA regulations.I wish I could introduce him to my family.The Chuck E. Cheese band kicks it up a notch,which is weird, because I'm not nervous about leaving him. I'll see him again in two weeks.
"All right,Banana.Suppose this is goodbye." He grips the straps of his backpack,and I do the same.
This is the moment we're supposed to hug. For some reason,I can't do it.
"Tell your mom hi for me. I mean, I know I don't know her. She just sounds really nice. And I hope she's okay."
He smiles softly. "Thanks.I'll tell her."
"Yeah,whatever. You'll be so busy with Bridge and what's-his-name that you'll forget all about your English mate, St. Clair."
"Ha! So you are English!" I poke him in the stomach.
He grabs my hand and we wrestle, laughing. "I claim....no...nationality."
I break free. "Whatever,I totally caught you. Ow!" A gray-haired man in sunglasses bumps his red plaid suitcase into my legs.
"Hey,you! Apologize!" St. Clair says,but the guy is already too far away to hear.
I rub my shins. "It's okay, we're in the way. I should go."
Time to hug again. Why can't we do it? Finally, I step forward and put my arms around him. He's stiff,and it's awkward, especially with our backpacks in the way.I smell his hair again. Oh heavens.
We pull apart. "Have fun at the show tonight" he says.
"I will.Have a good flight."
"Thanks." He bites his thumbnail,and then I'm through security and riding down the escalator. I look back one last time. St. Clair jumps up and down, waving at me.I burst into laughter, and his face lights up.The escalator slides down.
He's lost from view.
I swallow hard and turn around.And then-there they are.Mom has a gigantic smile, and Seany is jumping and waving, just like St. Clair.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Now you've done it." His tone was quietly playful.
I couldn't help it.I looked up at him questioningly.
"You've added a third word to your repitoire. Hi,thanks,and now yes." His lips turned up at the corners,and the heat rushed to my face. He noticed. "At least that much hasn't changed."
I turned back to my notebook,my hands trembling.
He leaned toward me. "Now that we have our first conversation out of the way, do you want to tell me where you've been?" From the way he spoke I knew his smile was gone.
I could feel little beads of sweat form on my forehead.
"You left me.Without a word," he said. He sounded tentative, as if he were trying to keep his voice even. I took in a deep breath,but I couldn't figure out what he was feeling. There wasn't one singular emotion that was stronger than the others. "Don't you have anything to say to me?"
He waited. My heart felt like it would burst through my chest into a million little pieces,and I could see this wasn't going to work.
I started to close my book.
"Don't-" he blurted, and I froze. "Don't go.You don't have to talk to me.I'm the one who should go." His voice sounded achingly sad. I could hear him packing his bag.
Say something.Say something. "Um..."
Jack paused, as if further movement might stop my words.
He was the reason I came back.I couldn't scare him off. As hard as it would be to talk to him,it would be much harder to watch him walk out that door. "No," I said. I took a shaky breath. "You don't...have to leave. Please."
He took his book back out and put it on his desk. I followed,setting my own books out.
"Thank you," Jack whispered.
We didn't talk for the rest of the hour.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
EVERY WEDNESDAY, I teach an introductory fiction workshop at Harvard University, and on the first day of class I pass out a bullet-pointed list of things the students should try hard to avoid. Don’t start a story with an alarm clock going off. Don’t end a story with the whole shebang having been a suicide note. Don’t use flashy dialogue tags like intoned or queried or, God forbid, ejaculated. Twelve unbearably gifted students are sitting around the table, and they appreciate having such perimeters established. With each variable the list isolates, their imaginations soar higher. They smile and nod. The mood in the room is congenial, almost festive with learning. I feel like a very effective teacher; I can practically hear my course-evaluation scores hitting the roof. Then, when the students reach the last point on the list, the mood shifts. Some of them squint at the words as if their vision has gone blurry; others ask their neighbors for clarification. The neighbor will shake her head, looking pale and dejected, as if the last point confirms that she should have opted for that aseptic-surgery class where you operate on a fetal pig. The last point is: Don’t Write What You Know.
The idea panics them for two reasons. First, like all writers, the students have been encouraged, explicitly or implicitly, for as long as they can remember, to write what they know, so the prospect of abandoning that approach now is disorienting. Second, they know an awful lot. In recent workshops, my students have included Iraq War veterans, professional athletes, a minister, a circus clown, a woman with a pet miniature elephant, and gobs of certified geniuses. They are endlessly interesting people, their lives brimming with uniquely compelling experiences, and too often they believe those experiences are what equip them to be writers. Encouraging them not to write what they know sounds as wrongheaded as a football coach telling a quarterback with a bazooka of a right arm to ride the bench. For them, the advice is confusing and heartbreaking, maybe even insulting. For me, it’s the difference between fiction that matters only to those who know the author and fiction that, well, matters.
Bret Anthony Johnston
You heard me. Let someone else send you to your blaze of glory. You're a speck, man. You're nothing. You're not worth the bullet or the mark on my soul for taking you out."
You trying to piss me off again, Patrick?" He removed Campbell Rawson from his shoulder and held him aloft.
I tilted my wrist so the cylinder fell into my palm, shrugged. "You're a joke, Gerry. I'm just calling it like I see it."
Absolutely." I met his hard eyes with my own. "And you'll be replaced, just like everything else, in maybe a week, tops. Some other dumb, sick shit will come along and kill some people and he'll be all over the papers, and all over Hard Copy and you'll be yesterday's news. Your fifteen minutes are up, Gerry. And they've passed without impact."
They'll remember this," Gerry said. "Believe me."
Gerry clamped back on the trigger. When he met my finger, he looked at me and then clamped down so hard that my finger broke.
I depressed the trigger on the one-shot and nothing happened.
Gerry shrieked louder, and the razor came out of my flesh, then swung back immediately, and I clenched my eyes shut and depressed the trigger frantically three times.
And Gerry's hand exploded.
And so did mine.
The razor hit the ice by my knee as I dropped the one shot and fire roared up the electrical tape and gasoline on Gerry's arm and caught the wisps of Danielle's hair.
Gerry threw his head back and opened his mouth wide and bellowed in ecstasy.
I grabbed the razor, could barely feel it because the nerves in my hand seemed to have stopped working.
I slashed into the electric tape at the end of the shotgun barrel, and Danielle dropped away toward the ice and rolled her head into the frozen sand.
My broken finger came back out of the shotgun and Gerry swung the barrels toward my head.
The twin shotgun bores arced through the darkness like eyes without mercy or soul, and I raised my head to meet them, and Gerry's wail filled my ears as the fire licked at his neck.
Good-bye, I thought. Everyone. It's been nice.
Oscar's first two shots entered the back of Gerry's head and exited through the center of his forehead and a third punched into his back.
The shotgun jerked upward in Gerry's flaming arm and then the shots came from the front, several at once, and Gerry spun like a marionette and pitched toward the ground. The shotgun boomed twice and punched holes through the ice in front of him as he fell.
He landed on his knees and, for a moment, I wasn't sure if he was dead or not. His rusty hair was afire and his head lolled to the left as one eye disappeared in flames but the other shimmered at me through waves of heat, and an amused derision shone in the pupil.
Patrick, the eye said through the gathering smoke, you still know nothing.
Oscar rose up on the other side of Gerry's corpse, Campbell Rawson clutched tight to his massive chest as it rose and fell with great heaving breaths. The sight of it-something so soft and gentle in the arms of something so thick and mountaineous-made me laugh.
Oscar came out of the darkness toward me, stepped around Gerry's burning body, and I felt the waves of heat rise toward me as the circle of gasoline around Gerry caught fire.
Burn, I thought. Burn. God help me, but burn.
Just after Oscar stepped over the outer edge of the circle, it erupted in yellow flame, and I found myself laughing harder as he looked at it, not remotely impressed.
I felt cool lips smack against my ear, and by the time I looked her way, Danielle was already past me, rushing to take her child from Oscar.
His huge shadow loomed over me as he approached, and I looked up at him and he held the look for a long moment.
How you doing, Patrick?" he said and smiled broadly.
And, behind him, Gerry burned on the ice.
And everything was so goddamned funny for some reason, even though I knew it wasn't. I knew it wasn't. I did. But I was still laughing when they put me in the ambulance.
The way I feel about you, Jacinda...I know you feel it, too."
He stares at me so starkly, so hungrily that I can only nod. Agree. Of course, I feel it. "I do," I admit.
But I don't understand him. Don't get why he should feel this way about me. Why should he want me so much? What do I offer him? Why did he save me that day in the mountains? And why does he pursue me now? When no girl spiked his interest before?
"Good," he says. "Then how about a date?"
"A date?" I repeat, like I've never heard the word.
"Yeah. A real date. Something official. You. Me. Tonight. We're long overdue." His smile deepens, revealing the deep grooves on the sides of his cheeks. "Dinner. Movie. Popcorn."
"Yes." The word slips past.
For a moment I forget. Forget that I'm not an ordinary girl. That he's not an ordinary boy.
For the first time, I understand Tamra. And the appeal of normal.
"Yes." It feels good to say it. To pretend. To drink in the sight of him and forget there's an ulterior reason I need to go out with him. A reason that's going to tear us apart forever.
Stupid. Did you think you might have a future with him? Mom's right. Time to grow up.
He smiles. Then he's gone. Out the door. For a second, I'm confused. Then he's at my door, opening it, helping me out.
Together we walk through the parking lot. Side by side. We move only a few feet before he slips his hand around mine. As we near the front of the building, I see several kids hanging out around the flagpole. Tamra with her usual crowd. Brooklyn at the head.
I try to tug my hand free. His fingers tighten on mine.
I glance at him, see the resolve in his eyes. His hazel eyes glint brightly in the already too hot morning. "Coward."
"Oh." The single sound escapes me. Outrage. Indignation.
I stop. Turn and face him. Feel something slip, give way, and crumble loose inside me. Set free, it propels me.
Standing on my tiptoes, I circle my hand around his neck and pull his face down to mine. Kiss him. Right there in front of the school. Reckless. Stupid. I stake a claim on him like I've got something to prove, like a drake standing before the pride in a bonding ceremony.
But then I forget our audience. Forget everything but the dry heat of our lips. My lungs tighten, contract. I feel my skin shimmer, warm as my lungs catch. Crackling heat works its way up my chest.
Not the smartest move I've ever made.
Sophie Jordan (Firelight (Firelight, #1))
I think we must only a few of us go," Laurence said, low. "I will take a few volunteers - "
"Oh, the devil you will!" Granby exclaimed furiously. "No, this time I damned well put my foot down, Laurence. Send you off to go scrambling about in that warren with no notion where you are going, and nothing more likely than running into a dozen guards round every corner; I should like to see myself do it. I am not going back to England to tell them I sat about twiddling my thumbs whilst you got yourself cut to pieces. Temeraire, you are not to let him go, do you hear me? He is sure to be killed; I give you my word."
"If the party are sure to be killed, I am not going to let anyone go!" Temeraire said, in high alarm, and sat up sharp, quite prepared to physically hold anyone back who made an attempt to leave.
"Temeraire, this is plain exaggeration," Laurence said. "Mr. Granby, you overstate the case, and you overstep your bounds."
"Well, I don't," Granby said defiantly. "I have bit my tongue a dozen times over, because I know it is wretched hard to sit about watching and you haven't been trained up to it, but you are a captain, and you must be more careful of your neck. It isn't only your own but the Corps' affair if you snuff it, and mine too."
"If I may," Tharkay said quietly, interrupting when Laurence would have remonstrated further with Granby, "I will go; alone I am reasonably sure I can find a way to the eggs, without rousing any alarm, and then I can return and guide the rest of the party there."
"Tharkay," Laurence said, "this is no service you owe us; I would not order even a man under oath of arms to undertake it, without he were willing."
"But I am willing," Tharkay gave his faint half-smile, "and more likely to come back whole from it than anyone else here."
"At the cost of running thrice the risk, going and coming back and going again," Laurence said, "with a fresh chance of running into the guards every time through."
"So it is very dangerous, then," Temeraire said, overhearing to too much purpose, and pricking up his ruff further. "You are not to go, at all, Granby is quite right; and neither is anyone else."
"Oh, Hell," Laurence said, under his breath.
"It seems there is very little alternative to my going," Tharkay said.
"Not you either!" Temeraire contradicted, to Tharkay's startlement, and settled down as mulish as a dragon could look; and Granby had folded his arms and wore an expression very similar. Laurence had ordinarily very little inclination to profanity, but he was sorely tempted on this occasion. An appeal to Temeraire's reason might sway him to allow a party to make the attempt, if he could be persuaded to accept the risk as necessary for the gain, like a battle; but he would surely balk at seeing Laurence go, and Laurence had not the least intention of sending men on so deadly an enterprise if he were not going himself, Corps rules be damned.
Naomi Novik (Black Powder War (Temeraire, #3))
But they had been down on all fours naked, not touching except their lips right down there on the floor where the tie is pointing to, on all fours like (uh huh, go on, say it) like dogs. Nibbling at each other, not even touching, not even looking at each other, just their lips, and when I opened the door they didn't even look for a minute and I thought the reason they are not looking up is because they are not doing that. So it's all right. I am just standing here. They are not doing that. I am just standing here and seeing it, but they are not really doing it. But then they did look up. Or you did. You did, Jude. ... And I did not know how to move my feet or fix my eyes or what. I just stood there seeing it and smiling, because maybe there was some explanation, something important that I did not know about that would have made it all right. I waited for Sula to look up at me any minute and say one of those lovely college words like aesthetic or rapport, which I never understood but which I loved because they sounded so comfortable and firm. And finally you just got up and started putting clothes on and your privates were hanging down, so soft, and you buckled your pants but forgot to button the fly and she was sitting on the bed not even bothering to put on her clothes because actually she didn't need to because somehow she didn't look naked to me, only you did. Her chin was in her hand and she sat like a visitor from out of town waiting for the hosts to get some quarreling done and over with so the card game could continue and me wanting her to leave so I could tell you privately that you had forgotten to button your fly because I didn't want to say it in front of her, Jude. And even when you began to talk, I couldn't hear because I was worried about you not knowing that your fly was open ...
Remember how big that bedroom was, Jude? How when we moved here we said, Well, at least we got us a real big bedroom, but it was small then, Jude, and so shambly and maybe it was that way all along but it would have been better if I had gotten all the dust out from under the bed because I was ashamed of it in that small room. And you walked past me saying, "I'll be back for my things." And you did but you left your tie.
Toni Morrison (Sula)
A few days later, I found myself back in the cellar. But this time, I was involved in an activity way more fun than cataloging magic junk.
“What happened to the promise of making out in castles?” I asked as Archer and I pulled back for a breather. I was leaning back against one of the shelves, my hands clutching Archer’s waist. Over his shoulder, there was a jar of eyeballs staring at me, and I nodded toward it. “Because, see, things like that? Kind of a mood killer.”
He glanced at the jar and then turned back to me, waggling his eyebrows. “Really? I find it has the opposite effect.”
Giggling, I elbowed him in the stomach and pushed myself off the shelf. “You’re sick.”
He smiled and ducked his head to kiss me again, but I skirted around him. “Come on, Cross, we came down here for a reason, and it wasn’t fooling around.”
Smirking, Archer folded his arms over his chest. “May not have been your reason, but-“
I cut him off. “No. Don’t distract me with your sexy talk. We need to search this place, and that spell Elodie did will only last so long.” Elodie had swooped into my body at the cellar door, doing a quick spell to unlock it. She hadn’t even looked at Archer, much less said anything. And the second the lock clicked open, she’d vanished.
The smirk disappeared from Archer’s face, and he actually looked kind of sullen.
“Are you honestly that bummed about not hooking up right now?” I teased.
But he was deadly serious when he shook his head and said, “It’s not that. It’s Elodie.”
“What about her?”
Archer rolled his eyes. “I don’t know, Mercer. Maybe it’s that I’m not completely crazy about the ghost of my ex-girlfriend occasionally inhabiting the body of my current girlfriend.”
I backed up another step and ran into another shelf. Something fell off and thunked against the dirt floor. “Whoa, I’m your girlfriend now?”
Archer shrugged. “We’ve tried to kill each other, fought ghouls, and kissed a lot. I’m pretty sure we’re married in some cultures.”
Now it was my turn to roll my eyes. “Whatever. Look, the fact of the matter is, I don’t have any magic right now. Elodie does. If her occasionally using me as her puppet means that I have powers again, then I’m fine with it. And you should be, too. My body, my ghost, and all that.
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
Thanks for getting me out of there,” I murmur, lacing my fingers around my knees, and looking up at him on his step.
“Yeah. You looked a little green. “
“I don’t handle crowds too well. I’ve always been that way, I guess.”
“You might get in trouble,” he warns, staring at me in that strange, hungry way that unravels me. He strokes his bottom lip with a finger. For a flash of a second, his eyes look strange. Different. All glowing irises and thin dark pupils. Almost drake-like. I blink to clear my vision. His eyes are normal again. Just my imagination in overdrive. I’m probably projecting missing home and Az—everything--onto him. “Pep rallies are mandatory,” he continues. “A lot of people saw you leave. Teachers included.”
“They saw you leave, too,” I point out.
He leans to the side, propping an elbow on one of the steps behind him. “I’m not worried about that. I’ve been in trouble before.” He smiles a crooked grin and holds up crossed fingers. “The principal and I are like this. The guy loves me. Really.”
Laughter spills from me, rusty and hoarse.
His grin makes me feel good. Free. Like I’m not running from anything. Like I could stay here in this world, if only I have him.
The thought unsettles me. Sinks heavily in my chest. Because I can’t have him. Not really. All he can ever be for me is a temporary fix.
“But you’re worried I’ll get in trouble?” I try not to show how much this pleases me. I’ve managed to ignore him for days now and here I sit. Lapping up his attention like a neglected puppy. My voice takes on an edge. “Why do you care? I’ve ignored you for days.”
His smile fades. He looks serious, mockingly so. “Yeah. You got to stop that.”
I swallow back a laugh. “I can’t.”
“Why?” There’s no humor in his eyes now, no mockery. “You like me. You want to be with me.”
“I never said—”
“You didn’t have to.”
I inhale sharply. “Don’t do this.”
He looks at me so fiercely, so intently. Angry again. “I don’t have friends. Do you see me hang with anyone besides my jerk cousins? That’s for a reason. I keep people away on purpose,” he growls. “But then you came along . . .”
I frown and shake my head.
His expression softens then , pulls at some part of me. His gaze travels my face, warming the core of me. “Whoever you are, Jacinda, you’re someone I have to let in.
Sophie Jordan (Firelight (Firelight, #1))
His hands came to her wrists, squeezed reflexively, before he got quickly to his feet. "You're mixing things up." Panic arrowed straight into his heart. "I told you sex complicates things."
"Yes,you did.And of course since you're the only man I've been with, how could I knew the difference between sex and love? Then again, that doesn't take into account that I'm a smart and self-aware woman, and I know the reason you're the only man I've been with is that you're the only man I've loved.Brian..."
She stepped toward him, humor flashing into her eyes when he stepped back. "I've made up my mind.You know how stubborn I am."
"I train your father's horses."
"So what? My mother groomed them."
"That's a different matter."
"Why? Oh, because she's a woman.How foolish of me not to realize we can't possibly love each other, build a life with each other.Now if you owned Royal Meadows and I worked here, then it would be all right."
"Stop making me sound ridiculous."
"I can't." She spread her hands. "You are ridiculous.I love you anyway. Really, I tried to approach it sensibly.I like doing things in a structured order that makes a beeline for the goal.But..." She shrugged, smiled. "It just doesn't want to work that way with you.I look at you and my heart,well, it just insists on taking over.I love you so much,Brian. Can't you tell me? Can't you look at me and tell me?"
He skimmed his fingertips over the bruise high on her temple. He wanted to tend to it, to her. "If I did there'd be no going back."
"Coward." She watched the heat flash into his eyes,and thought how lovely it was to know him so well.
"You won't push me into a corner."
Now she laughed. "Watch me," she invited and proceeded to back him up against the steps. "I've figured a lot of things out today,Brian.You're scared of me-of what you feel for me. You were the one always pulling back when we were in public, shifting aside when I'd reach for you.It hurt me."
The idea quite simply appalled him. "I never meant to hurt you."
"No,you couldn't.How could I help but fall for you? A hard head and a soft heart.It's irresistable. Still, it did hurt. But I thought it was just the snob in you.I didn't realize it was nerves."
"I'm not a snob, or a coward."
"Put your arms around me.Kiss me. Tell me."
"Damn it." he grabbed her shoulders, then simply held on, unable to push her back or draw her in. "It was the first time I saw you, the first instant. You walked in the room and my heart stopped. Like it had been struck by lightning.I was fine until you walked into the room."
Her knees wanted to buckle.Hard head, soft heart, and here, suddenly, a staggering sweep of romance. "Why didn't you tell me? Why did you make me wait?"
"I thought I'd get over it."
"Get over it?" Her brow arched up. "Like a head cold?"
"Maybe." He set her aside, paced away to stare out at the hills.
Keeley closed her eyes, let the breeze ruffle her hair, cool her cheeks. When the calm descended, she opened her eyes and smiled. "A good strong head cold's tough to shake off.
Nora Roberts (Irish Rebel (Irish Hearts, #3))
You may attempt to defy me, but I assure you, it is a waste of your energy." He spoke gently, that mocking male superiority setting her teeth on edge. "I am your lifemate, cherie, and I will give any order I deem necessary for your safety."
She thumped his chest hard with her clenched fist. "You make me so mad, Gregori! I'm trying very hard to get along with you and your arrogant orders. You don't even change expression! We could be discussing the weather instead of having a fight."
His eyebrows shot up. "This is no fight, ma petite. A fight is where we both are angry and have a contest of wills,a battle.There cannot be such a thing between us.I do not feel anger when I look at you,only the need to care for you and protect you. I am responsible for your health and safety, Savannah. I can do no other than to protect you,even from your own folly.You cannot hope to win.I know this absolutely, so there is no reason to become agitated over the issue."
She thumped him again.He looked startled, then caught her flying fist in his hand and gently pried her fingers open.Very carefully he pressed a kiss into the exact center of her palm. "Savannah? Were you trying to hit me?"
"I did hit you-twice,you scum.You didn't even notice the first time." She sounded very irritated with him.
For some reason it made him want to smile. "I apologize,mon amour. Next time,I promise I will notice when you strike me." The hard edge to his mouth softened into a semblance of a smile. "I will even go so far as to pretend that it hurts,if you wish it."
Her blue eyes flashed at him. "Ha,ha, ha, you're so funny,Gregori. Stop being so smug."
"It is not being smug to know my own power, cherie. I am trying to care for you as best I know how.YOu do not make it easy for me. I find myself making poor decisions just to see that smile on your face," he admitted reluctantly.
Savannah laid her head on his chest. "I'm sorry I'm so much trouble, Gregori." She wasn't certain if that was the strict truth.She rather liked stirring him up.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
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))
But I can cite ten other reasons for not being a father."
"First of all, I don't like motherhood," said Jakub, and he broke off pensively. "Our century has already unmasked all myths. Childhood has long ceased to be an age of innocence. Freud discovered infant sexuality and told us all about Oedipus. Only Jocasta remains untouchable; no one dares tear off her veil. Motherhood is the last and greatest taboo, the one that harbors the most grievous curse. There is no stronger bond than the one that shackles mother to child. This bond cripples the child's soul forever and prepares for the mother, when her son has grown up, the most cruel of all the griefs of love. I say that motherhood is a curse, and I refuse to contribute to it."
"Another reason I don't want to add to the number of mothers," said Jakub with some embarrassment, "is that I love the female body, and I am disgusted by the thought of my beloved's breast becoming a milk-bag."
"The doctor here will certainly confirm that physicians and nurses treat women hospitalized after an aborted pregnancy more harshly than those who have given birth, and show some contempt toward them even though they themselves will, at least once in their lives, need a similar operation. But for them it's a reflex stronger than any kind of thought, because the cult of procreation is an imperative of nature. That's why it's useless to look for the slightest rational argument in natalist propaganda. Do you perhaps think it's the voice of Jesus you're hearing in the natalist morality of the church? Do you think it's the voice of Marx you're hearing in the natalist propaganda of the Communist state? Impelled merely by the desire to perpetuate the species, mankind will end up smothering itself on its small planet. But the natalist propaganda mill grinds on, and the public is moved to tears by pictures of nursing mothers and infants making faces. It disgusts me. It chills me to think that, along with millions of other enthusiasts, I could be bending over a cradle with a silly smile."
"And of course I also have to ask myself what sort of world I'd be sending my child into. School soon takes him away to stuff his head with the falsehoods I've fought in vain against all my life. Should I see my son become a conformist fool? Or should I instill my own ideas into him and see him suffer because he'll be dragged into the same conflicts I was?"
"And of course I also have to think of myself. In this country children pay for their parents' disobedience, and parents for their children's disobedience. How many young people have been denied education because their parents fell into disgrace? And how many parents have chosen permanent cowardice for the sole purpose of preventing harm to their children? Anyone who wants to preserve at least some freedom here shouldn't have children," Jakub said, and fell into silence.
"The last reason carries so much weight that it counts for five," said Jakub. "Having a child is to show an absolute accord with mankind. If I have a child, it's as though I'm saying: I was born and have tasted life and declare it so good that it merits being duplicated."
"And you have not found life to be good?" asked Bertlef.
Jakub tried to be precise, and said cautiously: "All I know is that I could never say with complete conviction: Man is a wonderful being and I want to reproduce him.
Milan Kundera (Farewell Waltz)
I hadn't told him the news yet, but in that same preternatural way he was always aware of what I was feeling or thinking, he could smell my lies a mile away. He was just giving me time to come to him.
To tell him I'd be baking his bun for the next seven and a half months.
Dex's chuckle filled my ears as he wrapped his arms around my chest from behind, his chin resting on the top of my head. "Just okay?"
He was taunting me, I knew it.
This man never did anything without a reason. And this reason had him resembling a mama bear. A really aggressive, possessive mama bear. Which said something because Dex was normally that way. I couldn't even sit around Mayhem without him or Sonny within ten feet.
I leaned my head back against his chest and laughed. "Yeah, just okay."
He made a humming noise deep in his throat. "Ritz," he drawled in that low voice that reached the darkest parts of my organs. "You're killin' me, honey."
Did I want to officially break the news on the side of the road with chunks of puke possibly still on my face? Nah. So I went with the truth. "I have it all planned out in my head. I already ordered the cutest little toy motorcycle to tell you, so don't ruin it."
A loud laugh burst out of his chest, so strong it rocked my body alongside his. I friggin' loved this guy. Every single time he laughed, I swear it multiplied. At this rate, I loved him more than my own life cubed, and then cubed again.
"All right," he murmured between these low chuckles once he'd calmed down a bit. His fingers trailed over the skin of the back of my hand until he stopped at my ring finger and squeezed the slender bone. "I can be patient."
That earned him a laugh from me. Patience? Dex? Even after more than three years, that would still never be a term I'd use to describe him. And it probably never would. He'd started to lose his shit during our layover when Trip had called for instructions on how to set the alarm at the new bar.
"Dex, Ris, and Baby Locke, you done?" Sonny yelled, peeping out from over the top of the car door.
"Are you friggin' kidding me?" I yelled back. Did everyone know?
That slow, seductive smile crawled over his features. Brilliant and more affectionate than it was possible for me to handle, it sucked the breath out of me. When he palmed my cheeks and kissed each of my cheeks and nose and forehead, slowly like he was savoring the pecks and the contact, I ate it all up. Like always, and just like I always would.
And he answered the way I knew he would every single time I asked him from them on, the way that told me he would never let me down. That he was an immovable object. That he'd always be there for me to battle the demons we could see and the invisible ones we couldn't.
"Fuckin' love you, Iris," he breathed against my ear, an arm slinking around my lower back to press us together. "More than anything.
Mariana Zapata (Under Locke)
How nice that our former stable boy has begotten a namesake from my elder daughter,” the countess remarked acidly. “This will be the first of many brats, I am sure. Regrettably there is still no heir to the earldom…which is your responsibility, I believe. Come to me with news of your impending marriage to a bride of good blood, Westcliff, and I will evince some satisfaction. Until then, I see little reason for congratulations.”
Though he displayed no emotion at his mother’s hard-hearted response to the news of Aline’s child, not to mention her infuriating preoccupation with the begetting of an heir, Marcus was hard-pressed to hold back a savage reply. In the midst of his darkening mood, he became aware of Lillian’s intent gaze.
Lillian stared at him astutely, a peculiar smile touching her lips. Marcus arched one brow and asked sardonically, “Does something amuse you, Miss Bowman?”
“Yes,” she murmured. “I was just thinking that it’s a wonder you haven’t rushed out to marry the first peasant girl you could find.”
“Impertinent twit!” the countess exclaimed.
Marcus grinned at the girl’s insolence, while the tightness in his chest eased. “Do you think I should?” he asked soberly, as if the question was worth considering.
“Oh yes,” Lillian assured him with a mischievous sparkle in her eyes. “The Marsdens could use some new blood. In my opinion, the family is in grave danger of becoming overbred.”
“Overbred?” Marcus repeated, wanting nothing more than to pounce on her and carry her off somewhere. “What has given you that impression, Miss Bowman?”
“Oh, I don’t know…” she said idly. “Perhaps the earth-shattering importance you attach to whether one should use a fork or spoon to eat one’s pudding.”
“Good manners are not the sole province of the aristocracy, Miss Bowman.” Even to himself, Marcus sounded a bit pompous.
“In my opinion, my lord, an excessive preoccupation with manners and rituals is a strong indication that someone has too much time on his hands.”
Marcus smiled at her impertinence. “Subversive, yet sensible,” he mused. “I’m not certain I disagree.”
“Do not encourage her effrontery, Westcliff,” the countess warned.
“Very well—I shall leave you to your Sisyphean task.”
“What does that mean?” he heard Daisy ask.
Lillian replied while her smiling gaze remained locked with Marcus’s. “It seems you avoided one too many Greek mythology lessons, dear. Sisyphus was a soul in Hades who was damned to perform an eternal task…rolling a huge boulder up a hill, only to have it roll down again just before he reached the top.”
“Then if the countess is Sisyphus,” Daisy concluded, “I suppose we’re…”
“The boulder,” Lady Westcliff said succinctly, causing both girls to laugh.
“Do continue with our instruction, my lady,” Lillian said, giving her full attention to the elderly woman as Marcus bowed and left the room. “We’ll try not to flatten you on the way down.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
Gregori stepped away from the huddled mass of tourists, putting distance between himself and the guide. He walked completely erect,his head high, his long hair flowing around him. His hands were loose at his sides, and his body was relaxed, rippling with power.
"Hear me now, ancient one." His voice was soft and musical, filling the silence with beauty and purity. "You have lived long in this world, and you weary of the emptiness. I have come in anwer to your call."
"Gregori.The Dark One." The evil voice hissed and growled the words in answer. The ugliness tore at sensitive nerve endings like nails on a chalkboard. Some of the tourists actually covered their ears. "How dare you enter my city and interfere where you have no right?"
"I am justice,evil one. I have come to set your free from the bounaries holding you to this place." Gregori's voice was so soft and hypnotic that those listening edged out from their sanctuaries.It beckoned and pulled, so that none could resist his every desire.
The black shape above their head roiled like a witch's cauldron. A jagged bolt of lightning slammed to earth straight toward the huddled group. Gregori raised a hand and redirected the force of energy away from the tourists and Savannah. A smile edged the cruel set of his mouth. "You think to mock me with display,ancient one? Do not attempt to anger what you do not understand.You came to me.I did not hunt you.You seek to threaten my lifemate and those I count as my friends.I can do no other than carry the justice of our people to you." Gregori's voice was so reasonable, so perfect and pure,drawing obedience from the most recalcitrant of criminals.
The guide made a sound,somewhere between disbelief and fear.Gregori silenced him with a wave of his hand, needing no distractions. But the noise had been enough for the ancient one to break the spell Gregori's voice was weaving around him. The dark stain above their heads thrashed wildly, as if ridding itself ot ever-tightening bonds before slamming a series of lightning strikes at the helpless mortals on the ground.
Screams and moans accompanied the whispered prayers, but Gregori stood his ground, unflinching. He merely redirected the whips of energy and light, sent them streaking back into the black mass above their heads.A hideous snarl,a screech of defiance and hatred,was the only warning before it hailed. Hufe golfball-sized blocks of bright-red ice rained down toward them. It was thick and horrible to see, the shower of frozen blood from the skies. But it stopped abruptly, as if an unseen force held it hovering inches from their heads.
Gregori remained unchanged, impassive, his face a blank mask as he shielded the tourists and sent the hail hurtling back at their attacker.From out of the cemetery a few blocks from them, an army of the dead rose up. Wolves howled and raced along beside the skeletons as they moved to intercept the Carpathian hunter.
Savannah. He said her name once, a soft brush in her mind.
I've got it, she sent back instantly.Gregori had his hands full dealing with the abominations the vampire was throwing at him; he did't need to waste his energy protecting the general public from the apparition. She moved out into the open, a small, fragile figure, concentrating on the incoming threat.
To those dwelling in the houses along the block and those driving in their cars, she masked the pack of wolves as dogs racing down the street.The stick=like skeletons, grotesque and bizarre, were merely a fast-moving group of people. She held the illusion until they were within a few feet of Gregori.Dropping the illusion, she fed every ounce of her energy and power to Gregori so he could meet the attack.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
All right, now that the weirdness between us has caused actual physical damage, I think it’s time we talked it out, don’t you?”
He gave a half smile and then turned back to the path. “We don’t need to be weird,” he said. “These past few days, since the thing with Elodie, I’ve been thinking.” He took a deep breath, and I knew that this was one of those rare occasions when Cal was about to say a lot of words at once. “I like you, Sophie. A lot. For a while, I thought it might be more than that. But you love Cross.”
He said it matter-of-factly, but I still caught the way his ears reddened. “I know I’ve said some pretty awful stuff about him, but…I was wrong. He’s a good guy. So, I guess what I’m saying is that as the guy who’s betrothed to you, I wish we could be more than friends.” He stopped, turning around to face me. “But as your friend, I want you to be happy. And if Cross is who you want, then I’m not gonna stand in the way of that.”
“I’m the worst fiancé ever, aren’t I?”
Cal lifted one shoulder. “Nah. This one warlock I knew, his betrothed set him on fire.”
Laughing so I wouldn’t cry, I tentatively lifted my arms to hug him. He folded me against his chest, and there was no awkwardness between us, and I knew the warmth in the pit of my stomach was love. Just a different kind.
Sniffling, I pulled back and rubbed at my nose. “Okay, now that the hard part’s over, let’s go tackle the Underworld.”
“Got room for two more?”
Startled, I turned to see Jenna and Archer standing on the path, Jenna’s hand clutching Archer’s sleeve as she tried to stay on her feet. “What?” was all I could say.
Archer took a few careful steps forward. “Hey, this has been a group effort so far. No reason to stop now.”
“You guys can’t go into the Underworld with me,” I told them. “You heard Dad, I’m the only one with-“
“With powers strong enough. Yeah, we got that,” Jenna said. “But how are you supposed to carry a whole bunch of demonglass out of that place? It’ll burn you. And hey, maybe your powers will be strong enough to get all of us in, too.” She gestured to herself and the boys. “Plus it’s not like we don’t have powers of our own.”
I knew I should tell them to go back. But having the three of them there made me feel a whole lot better and whole lot less terrified. So in the end, I gave an exaggerated sign and said, “Okay, fine. But just so you know, following me into hell means you’re all definitely the sidekicks.”
“Darn, I was hoping to be the rakishly charming love interest,” Archer said, taking my hand.
“Cal, any role you want?” I asked him, and he looked ruefully at the craggy rock looming over us. As he did, there was the grinding sound of stone against stone. We all stared at the opening that appeared.
“I’m just hoping to be the Not Dead Guy,” Cal muttered.
We faced the entrance. “Between the four of us, we fought ghouls, survived attacks by demons and L’Occhio di Dio, and practically raised the dead,” I said. “We can do this.”
“See, inspiring speeches like that are why you get to be the leader,” Archer said, and he squeezed my hand.
And then, moving almost as one, we stepped into the rock.
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
To which he immediately cut her off with a very testy, "Bloody hell it is." Though he did halt his progress to offer her a brief smile, adding, "Good to see you,Molly," then in the very same breath, "Where's that worthless brother of mine?"
She was surprised enough to ask, "Ah,which brother would that be?" when she knew very well he would never refer to Edward or Jason, whom the two younger brothers termed the elders, in that way.But then,Jason shared everything with her about his family, so she knew them as well as he did.
So his derogatory answer didn't really add to her surprise. "The infant."
She winced at his tone,though, as well as his expression, which had reverted to deadly menace at mention of the "infant." Big,blond, and handsome, James Malory was,just like his elder brothers, and rarely did anyone actually see him looking angry. When James was annoyed with someone, he usually very calmly ripped the person to shreds with his devilish wit, and by his inscrutable expression, the victim had absolutely no warning such pointed barbs would be headed his or her way.
The infant, or rather, Anthony, had heard James's voice and, unfortunately, stuck his head around the parlor door to determine James's mood, which wasn't hard to misinterpret with the baleful glare that came his way. Which was probably why the parlor door immediately slammed shut.
"Oh,dear," Molly said as James stormed off. Through the years she'd become accustomed to the Malorys' behavior, but a times it still alarmed her. What ensued was a tug of war in the reverse, so to speak, with James shoving his considerable weight against the parlor door, and Anthony on the other side doing his best to keep it from opening. Anthony managed for a bit. He wasn't as hefty as his brother, but he was taller and well muscled. But he must have known he couldn't hold out indefinitely, especially when James started to slam his shoulder against the door,which got it nearly half open before Anthony could manage to slam it shut again.
But what Anthony did to solve his dilemma produced Molly's second "Oh,dear."
When James threw his weight against the door for the third time, it opened ahead of him and he unfortunately couldn't halt his progress into the room. A rather loud crash followed. A few moments later James was up again suting pine needles off his shoulders.
Reggie and Molly,alarmed by the noise, soon followed the men into the room.
Anthony had picked up his daughter Jamie who had been looking at the tree with her nursemaid and was now holding her like a shield in front of him while the tree lay ingloriously on its side. Anthony knew his brother wouldn't risk harming one of the children for any reason, and the ploy worked.
"Infants hiding behind infants, how apropos," James sneered.
"Is,aint it?" Anthony grinned and kissed the top of his daughter's head. "Least it works."
James was not amused, and ordered, barked, actually. "Put my niece down."
"Wouldn't think of it, old man-least not until I find out why you want to murder me."
Anthony's wife, Roslynn, bent over one of the twins, didn't turn about to say, "Excuse me? There will be no murdering in front of the children.
Johanna Lindsey (The Holiday Present)
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)
Sophie shrieked with laughter as she ran down the stone steps that led to the garden behind Bridgerton House. After three children and seven years of marriage, Benedict could still make her smile, still make her laugh . . . and he still chased her around the house any chance he could get.
“Where are the children?” she gasped, once he’d caught her at the base of the steps.
“Francesca is watching them.”
“And your mother?”
He grinned. “I daresay Francesca is watching her, too.”
“Anyone could stumble upon us out here,” she said, looking this way and that.
His smile turned wicked. “Maybe,” he said, catching hold of her green-velvet skirt and reeling her in, “we should adjourn to the private terrace.”
The words were oh-so-familiar, and it was only a second before she was transported back nine years to the masquerade ball.
“The private terrace, you say?” she asked, amusement dancing in her eyes. “And how, pray tell, would you know of a private terrace?”
His lips brushed against hers. “I have my ways,” he murmured.
“And I,” she returned, smiling slyly, “have my secrets.”
He drew back. “Oh? And will you share?”
“We five,” she said with a nod, “are about to be six.”
He looked at her face, then looked at her belly. “Are you sure?”
“As sure as I was last time.”
He took her hand and raised it to lips. “This one will be a girl.”
“That’s what you said last time.”
“I know, but—”
“And the time before.”
“All the more reason for the odds to favor me this time.”
She shook her head. “I’m glad you’re not a gambler.”
He smiled at that. “Let’s not tell anyone yet.”
“I think a few people already suspect,” Sophie admitted.
“I want to see how long it takes that Whistledown woman to figure it out,” Benedict said.
“Are you serious?”
“The blasted woman knew about Charles, and she knew about Alexander, and she knew about William.”
Sophie smiled as she let him pull her into the shadows. “Do you realize that I have been mentioned in Whistledown two hundred and thirty-two times?”
That stopped him cold. “You’ve been counting?”
“Two hundred and thirty-three if you include the time after the masquerade.”
“I can’t believe you’ve been counting.”
She gave him a nonchalant shrug. “It’s exciting to be mentioned.”
Benedict thought it was a bloody nuisance to be mentioned, but he wasn’t about to spoil her delight, so instead he just said, “At least she always writes nice things about you. If she didn’t, I might have to hunt her down and run her out of the country.”
Sophie couldn’t help but smile. “Oh, please. I hardly think you could discover her identity when no one else in the ton has managed it.”
He raised one arrogant brow. “That doesn’t sound like wifely devotion and confidence to me.”
She pretended to examine her glove. “You needn’t expend the energy. She’s obviously very good at what she does.”
“Well, she won’t know about Violet,” Benedict vowed. “At least not until it’s obvious to the world.”
“Violet?” Sophie asked softly.
“It’s time my mother had a grandchild named after her, don’t you think?”
Sophie leaned against him, letting her cheek rest against the crisp linen of his shirt. “I think Violet is a lovely name,” she murmured, nestling deeper into the shelter of his arms. “I just hope it’s a girl. Because if it’s a boy, he’s never going to forgive us . . .
Julia Quinn (An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons, #3))
Is there a bird among them, dear boy?” Charity asked innocently, peering not at the things on the desk, but at his face, noting the muscle beginning to twitch at Ian’s tense jaw.
“Then they must be in the schoolroom! Of course,” she said cheerfully, “that’s it. How like me, Hortense would say, to have made such a silly mistake.”
Ian dragged his eyes from the proof that his grandfather had been keeping track of him almost from the day of his birth-certainly from the day when he was able to leave the cottage on his own two legs-to her face and said mockingly, “Hortense isn’t very perceptive. I would say you are as wily as a fox.”
She gave him a little knowing smile and pressed her finger to her lips. “Don’t tell her, will you? She does so enjoy thinking she is the clever one.”
“How did he manage to have these drawn?” Ian asked, stopping her as she turned away.
“A woman in the village near your home drew many of them. Later he hired an artist when he knew you were going to be somewhere at a specific time. I’ll just leave you here where it’s nice and quiet.” She was leaving him, Ian knew, to look through the items on the desk. For a long moment he hesitated, and then he slowly sat down in the chair, looking over the confidential reports on himself. They were all written by one Mr. Edgard Norwich, and as Ian began scanning the thick stack of pages, his anger at his grandfather for this outrageous invasion of his privacy slowly became amusement. For one thing, nearly every letter from the investigator began with phrases that made it clear the duke had chastised him for not reporting in enough detail. The top letter began,
I apologize, Your Grace, for my unintentional laxness in failing to mention that indeed Mr. Thornton enjoys an occasional cheroot…
The next one opened with,
I did not realize, Your Grace, that you would wish to know how fast his horse ran in the race-in addition to knowing that he won.
From the creases and holds in the hundreds of reports it was obvious to Ian that they’d been handled and read repeatedly, and it was equally obvious from some of the investigator’s casual comments that his grandfather had apparently expressed his personal pride to him:
You will be pleased to know, Your Grace, that young Ian is a fine whip, just as you expected…
I quite agree with you, as do many others, that Mr. Thornton is undoubtedly a genius…
I assure you, Your Grace, that your concern over that duel is unfounded. It was a flesh wound in the arm, nothing more.
Ian flipped through them at random, unaware that the barricade he’d erected against his grandfather was beginning to crack very slightly.
“Your Grace,” the investigator had written in a rare fit of exasperation when Ian was eleven,
“the suggestion that I should be able to find a physician who might secretly look at young Ian’s sore throat is beyond all bounds of reason. Even if I could find one who was willing to pretend to be a lost traveler, I really cannot see how he could contrive to have a peek at the boy’s throat without causing suspicion!”
The minutes became an hour, and Ian’s disbelief increased as he scanned the entire history of his life, from his achievements to his peccadilloes. His gambling gains and losses appeared regularly; each ship he added to his fleet had been described, and sketches forwarded separately; his financial progress had been reported in minute and glowing detail.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen?”
Dragging his gaze from the beauty of the gardens, Ian looked down at the beauty beside him. “Any place,” he said huskily, “were you are.”
He saw the becoming flush of embarrassed pleasure that pinkened her cheeks, but when she spoke her voice was rueful. “You don’t have to say such things to me, you know-I’ll keep our bargain.”
“I know you will,” he said, trying not to overwhelm her with avowals of love she wouldn’t yet believe. With a grin he added, “Besides, as it turned out after our bargaining session, I’m the one who’s governed by all the conditions, not you.”
Her sideways glance was filled with laughter. “You were much too lenient at times, you know. Toward the end I was asking for concessions just to see how far you’d go.”
Ian, who had been multiplying his fortune for the last four years by buying shipping and import-export companies, as well as sundry others, was regarded as an extremely tough negotiator. He heard her announcement with a smile of genuine surprise. “You gave me the impression that every single concession was of paramount importance to you, and that if I didn’t agree, you might call the whole thing off.”
She nodded with satisfaction. “I rather thought that was how I ought to do it. Why are you laughing?”
“Because,” he admitted, chuckling, “obviously I was not in my best form yesterday. In addition to completely misreading your feelings, I managed to buy a house on Promenade Street for which I will undoubtedly pay five times its worth.”
“Oh, I don’t think so,” she said, and, as if she was embarrassed and needed a way to avoid meeting his gaze, she reached up and pulled a leaf off an overhanging branch. In a voice of careful nonchalance, she explained, “In matters of bargaining, I believe in being reasonable, but my uncle would assuredly have tried to cheat you. He’s perfectly dreadful about money.”
Ian nodded, remembering the fortune Julius Cameron had gouged out of him in order to sign the betrothal agreement.
“And so,” she admitted, uneasily studying the azure-blue sky with feigned absorption, “I sent him a note after you left itemizing all the repairs that were needed at the house. I told him it was in poor condition and absolutely in need of complete redecoration.”
“And I told him you would consider paying a fair price for the house, but not one shilling more, because it needed all that.”
“And?” Ian prodded.
“He has agreed to sell it for that figure.”
Ian’s mirth exploded in shouts of laughter. Snatching her into his arms, he waited until he could finally catch his breath, then he tipped her face up to his. “Elizabeth,” he said tenderly, “if you change your mind about marrying me, promise me you’ll never represent the opposition at the bargaining table. I swear to God, I’d be lost.” The temptation to kiss her was almost overwhelming, but the Townsende coach with its ducal crest was in the drive, and he had no idea where their chaperones might be. Elizabeth noticed the coach, too, and started toward the house.
"About the gowns," she said, stopping suddenly and looking up at him with an intensely earnest expression on her beautiful face. "I meant to thank you for your generosity as soon as you arrived, but I was so happy to-that is-" She realized she'd been about to blurt out that she was happy to see him, and she was so flustered by having admitted aloud what she hadn't admitted to herself that she completely lost her thought.
"Go on," Ian invited in a husky voice. "You were so happy to see me that you-"
"I forgot," she admitted lamely.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
She was especially taken with Matt.
Until he said, “It’s time to fess up, hon. Tell Trace how much you care. You’ll feel better when you do.”
Climbing up the ladder, Chris said, “Better sooner than later.” He nodded at the hillside behind them. “Because here comes Trace, and he doesn’t look happy.”
Both Priss and Matt turned, Priss with anticipation, Matt with tempered dread.
Dressed in jeans and a snowy-white T-shirt, Trace stalked down the hill.
Priss shielded her eyes to better see him. When he’d left, being so guarded about his mission, she’d half wondered if he’d return before dinner.
Trace wore reflective sunglasses, so she couldn’t see his eyes, but his entire demeanor—heavy stride, rigid shoulders, tight jaw—bespoke annoyance.
As soon as he was close enough, Priss called out, “What’s wrong?”
Without answering her, Trace continued onto the dock. He didn’t stop until he stood right in front of . . . Matt.
Backing up to the edge of the dock, Matt said, “Uh . . . Hello?”
Trace didn’t say a thing; he just pushed Matt into the water.
Arms and legs flailing out, Matt hit the surface with a cannonball effect.
Stunned, Priss shoved his shoulder. “What the hell, Trace! Why did you do that?”
Trace took off his sunglasses and looked at her, all of her, from her hair to her body and down to her bare toes. After working his jaw a second, he said, “If you need sunscreen, ask me.”
Her mouth fell open. Of all the nerve! He left her at Dare’s, took off without telling her a damn thing and then had the audacity to complain when a friend tried to keep her from getting sunburned. “Maybe I would have, if you’d been here!”
“I’m here now.”
Emotions bubbled over. “So you are.” With a slow smile, Priss put both hands on his chest. The shirt was damp with sweat, the cotton so soft that she could feel every muscle beneath. “And you look a little . . . heated.”
Trace’s beautiful eyes darkened, and he reached for her.
“A dip will cool you down.” Priss shoved him as hard as she could. Taken by surprise, fully dressed, Trace went floundering backward off the end of the dock.
Priss caught a glimpse of the priceless expression of disbelief on Trace’s face before he went under the water.
Excited by the activity, the dogs leaped in after him. Liger roused himself enough to move out of the line of splashing.
Chris climbed up the ladder. “So that’s the new game, huh?” He laughed as he scooped Priss up into his arms.
“Chris!” She made a grab for his shoulders. “Put me down!”
“Afraid not, doll.” Just as Trace resurfaced, Chris jumped in with her. They landed between the swimming dogs.
Sputtering, her hair in her face and her skin chilled from the shock of the cold water, Priss cursed. Trace had already waded toward the shallower water off the side of the dock. His fair hair was flattened to his head and his T-shirt stuck to his body.
“Wait!” Priss shouted at him.
He was still waist-deep as he turned to glare at her.
Kicking and splashing, Priss doggy-paddled over to him, grabbed his shoulders and wrapped her legs around his waist. “Oh, no, you don’t!”
Startled, Trace scooped her bottom in his hands and struggled for balance on the squishy mud bottom of the lake. “What the hell?” And then lower, “You look naked in this damn suit.”
Matt and Chris found that hilarious.
Priss looked at Trace’s handsome face, a face she loved, and kissed him. Hard.
For only a second, he allowed the sensual assault. He even kissed her back. Then he levered away from her. “You ruined my clothes, damn it.”
“Only because you were being a jealous jerk.”
His expression dark, he glared toward Matt.
Christ started humming, but poor Matt said, “Yeah,” and shrugged. “If you think about it, you’ll agree that you sort of were—and we both know there’s no reason.
Lori Foster (Trace of Fever (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor, #2))
I remember." I nod. Wanting to say: I remember everything-all of it-the question is: Do you? But instead, I stare down at my feet, smiling stupidly. Everything I do around him is stupid. Some Seeker I've turned out to be. Attempting to redeem myself,say something normal,not let on that I already know he's employed here-thanks to the raven who allowed me to spy on him earlier,I say, "So,I guess you hang out here a lot then?"
He pushes a hand through his hair, as his eyes-the color of aquamarines-glide down the length of me.And damn if I can't feel their trajectory. It's like showering in a stream of warm, molten honey-dripping from the top of my forehead all the way down to my feet. "I guess you could say that," he says,voicelow and deep. "More than most, anyway." He waves a damp towel, tugs on the string of his apron, and I blush in reply. The sight of it reminding me of what I saw in the alleyway-watching him lean against the wall,his face so soft anddreamy I longed to touch him-kiss him-like I did in the dream.
I study him closely,seeking traces of recognition, remembrance-some small token of evidence to assure me that, as odd as it seems,that kiss in the cave was as real as it felt-but coming up empty.
"So,how long have you worked here?" I ask, returning to the topic at hand. My gaze drifting over the black V-necked T-shirt skimming the sinuous line of his body-telling myself it's all part of my reconnaissance,my need to gather as uch information as I can about him and his kin. But knowing that's not really it.The truth is,I like looking at him, being near him.
"I guess you could say somewhere between too long and not long enough-depending on the state of my wallet." His laugh is good-natured and easy-the kid that starts at the belly and trips all the way up. "It's pretty much the only decent game in town." He shrugs. "One way or another,you end up working for the Richters,and believe me, this is one of the better gigs."
I peer at him closely,remembering what Cade said when I was here via the raven. How he referred to him by another name. "You're not a Richter?" I ask,holding my breath in my cheeks.Despite what Paloma told me, I need to hear it from him,confirm that he doesn't identify with their clan.
"I go by Whitefeather," he says,gaze steady and serious. "I was raised by my mom,didn't even know the Richters when I was a kid."
Despite getting the answer I wanted, I frown in return. His being a Richter was a good reason to avoid him-without it,I'm out of excuses.
"Is that okay?" He dips his head toward mine,his mouth tugging at the side. "You seem a little upset by the news."
I shake my head,break free of my reverie, and say, "No-not at all. Believe me,it's more like a relief." I meet his gaze,seeing the way it narrows in question. "Guess I'm not a big fan of your brother," I add,watching as he throws his head back and laughs,the sight of that long,glorious column of neck forcing me to look away,it's too much to take.
"If it makes you feel any better, most of the time I'd have to agree." He returns to me,the warmth of his gaze solely reponsible for the wave of comfort that flows through me.
Alyson Noel (Fated (Soul Seekers, #1))
Well, she would marry a man who didn't need or want her fortune. Mr. Pinter didn't fall into that category.
And given how blank his expression became as his gaze met hers, she'd been right to be skeptical. he would never be interested in her in that way.
He confirmed it by saying, with his usual formality, "I doubt any man would consider your ladyship unacceptable as a wife."
Oh, when he turned all hoity-toity, she could just murder him. "Then we agree that the gentlemen in question would find me satisfactory," she said, matching his cold tone. "So I don't see why you assume they'd be unfaithful."
"Some men are unfaithful no matter how beautiful their wives are," Mr. Pinter growled.
He thought her beautiful?
There she went again, reading too much into his words. He was only making a point. "But you have no reason to believe that these gentleman would be. Unless there's some dark secret you already know about them that I do not?"
Glancing away, he muttered a curse under his breath. "No."
"Then here's your chance to find out the truth about their characters. Because I prefer facts to opinions. And I was under the impression that you do, too."
Take that, Mr. Pinter! Hoist by your own petard. The man always insisted on sticking to the facts.
And he was well aware that she'd caught him out, for he scowled, then crossed his arms over his chest. His rather impressive chest, from what she could tell beneath his black coat and plain buff waistcoat.
"I can't believe I'm the only person who would object to these gentlemen," he said. "What about your grandmother? Have you consulted her?"
She lifted her eyes heavenward. He was being surprisingly resistant to her plans. "I don't need to. Every time one of them asks to dance with me, she beams. She's forever urging me to smile at them or attempt flirtation. And if they so much as press my hand or take my for a stroll, she quizzes me with great glee on what was said and done."
"She's been letting you go out on private strolls with these scoundrels?" Mr. Pinter said in sheer outrage.
"They aren't scoundrels."
"I swear to God, you're a lamb among the wolves," he muttered.
That image of her, so unlike how she saw herself, made her laugh. "I've spent half my life in the company of my brothers. Every time Gabe went to shoot, I went with him. At every house party that involved his friends, I was urged to show off my abilities with a rifle. I think I know how to handle a man, Mr. Pinter."
His glittering gaze bored into her. "There's a vast difference between gamboling about in your brother's company with a group of his friends and letting a rakehell like Devonmont or a devilish foreigner like Basto stroll alone with you down some dark garden path."
A blush heated her cheeks. "I didn't mean strolls of that sort, sir. I meant daytime walks about our gardens and such, with servants in plain view. All perfectly innocent."
He snorted. "I doubt it will stay that way."
"Oh, for heaven's sake, why are you being so stubborn? You know I must marry. Why do you even care whom I choose?"
"I don't care," he protested. "I'm merely thinking of how much of my time will be wasted investigating suitors I already know are unacceptable."
She let out an exasperated breath. Of course. With him, it was always about money. Heaven forbid he should waste his time helping her.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
Yesterday while I was on the side of the mat next to some wrestlers who were warming up for their next match, I found myself standing side by side next to an extraordinary wrestler.
He was warming up and he had that look of desperation on his face that wrestlers get when their match is about to start and their coach is across the gym coaching on another mat in a match that is already in progress.
“Hey do you have a coach.” I asked him.
“He's not here right now.” He quietly answered me ready to take on the task of wrestling his opponent alone.
“Would you mind if I coached you?”
His face tilted up at me with a slight smile and said. “That would be great.”
Through the sounds of whistles and yelling fans I heard him ask me what my name was.
“My name is John.” I replied.
“Hi John, I am Nishan” he said while extending his hand for a handshake.
He paused for a second and then he said to me: “John I am going to lose this match”.
He said that as if he was preparing me so I wouldn’t get hurt when my coaching skills didn’t work magic with him today.
I just said, “Nishan - No score of a match will ever make you a winner. You are already a winner by stepping onto that mat.”
With that he just smiled and slowly ran on to the mat, ready for battle, but half knowing what the probable outcome would be.
When you first see Nishan you will notice that his legs are frail - very frail. So frail that they have to be supported by custom made, form fitted braces to help support and straighten his limbs.
Braces that I recognize all to well.
Some would say Nishan has a handicap.
I say that he has a gift.
To me the word handicap is a word that describes what one “can’t do”.
That doesn’t describe Nishan.
Nishan is doing.
The word “gift” is a word that describes something of value that you give to others.
And without knowing it, Nishan is giving us all a gift.
I believe Nishan’s gift is inspiration.
The ability to look the odds in the eye and say “You don’t pertain to me.”
The ability to keep moving forward.
A “Whatever it takes” attitude.
As he predicted, the outcome of his match wasn’t great.
That is, if the only thing you judge a wrestling match by is the actual score. Nishan tried as hard as he could, but he couldn’t overcome the twenty-six pound weight difference that he was giving up to his opponent on this day in order to compete. You see, Nishan weighs only 80 pounds and the lowest weight class in this tournament was 106. Nishan knew he was spotting his opponent 26 pounds going into every match on this day. He wrestled anyway.
I never did get the chance to ask him why he wrestles, but if I had to guess I would say, after watching him all day long, that Nishan wrestles for the same reasons that we all wrestle for.
We wrestle to feel alive, to push ourselves to our mental, physical and emotional limits - levels we never knew we could reach.
We wrestle to learn to use 100% of what we have today in hopes that our maximum today will be our minimum tomorrow. We wrestle to measure where we started from, to know where we are now, and to plan on getting where we want to be in the future. We wrestle to look the seemingly insurmountable opponent right in the eye and say, “Bring it on. - I can take whatever you can dish out.”
Sometimes life is your opponent and just showing up is a victory.
You don't need to score more points than your opponent in order to accomplish that.
No Nishan didn’t score more points than any of his opponents on this day, that would have been nice, but I don’t believe that was the most important thing to Nishan. Without knowing for sure - the most important thing to him on this day was to walk with pride like a wrestler up to a thirty two foot circle, have all eyes from the crowd on him, to watch him compete one on one against his opponent - giving it all that he had. That is what competition is all about. Most of the times in wrestlin
When she finally reached it, she bent forward and looked through the peephole.
Jay was grinning back at her from outside.
Her heart leaped for a completely different reason.
She set aside her crutches and quickly unbolted the door to open it.
"What took you so long?"
Her knee was bent and her ankle pulled up off the ground. She balanced against the doorjamb. "What d'you think, dumbass?" she retorted smartly, keeping her voice down so she wouldn't alert her parents. "You scared the crap out of me, by the way. My parents are already in bed, and I was all alone down here."
"Good!" he exclaimed as he reached in and grabbed her around the waist, dragging her up against him and wrapping his arms around her.
She giggled while he held her there, enjoying everything about the feel of him against her. "What are you doing here? I thought I wouldn't see you till tomorrow."
"I wanted to show you something!" He beamed at her, and his enthusiasm reached out to capture her in its grip. She couldn't help smiling back excitedly.
"What is it?" she asked breathlessly.
He didn't release her; he just turned, still holding her gently in his arms, so that she could see out into the driveway. The first thing she noticed was the officer in his car, alert now as he kept a watchful eye on the two of them. Violet realized that it was late, already past eleven, and from the look on his face, she thought he must have been hoping for a quiet, uneventful evening out there.
And then she saw the car. It was beautiful and sleek, painted a glossy black that, even in the dark, reflected the light like a polished mirror. Violet recognized the Acura insignia on the front of the hood, and even though she could tell it wasn't brand-new, it looked like it had been well taken care of.
"Whose is it?" she asked admiringly. It was way better than her crappy little Honda.
Jay grinned again, his face glowing with enthusiasm. "It's mine. I got it tonight. That's why I had to go. My mom had the night off, and I wanted to get it before..." He smiled down at her. "I didn't want to borrow your car to take you to the dance."
"Really?" she breathed. "How...? I didn't even know you were..." She couldn't seem to find the right words; she was envious and excited for him all at the same time.
"I know right?" he answered, as if she'd actually asked coherent questions. "I've been saving for...for forever, really. What do you think?"
Violet smiled at him, thinking that he was entirely too perfect for her. "I think it's beautiful," she said with more meaning than he understood. And then she glanced back at the car. "I had no idea that you were getting a car. I love it, Jay," she insisted, wrapping her arms around his neck as he hoisted her up, cradling her like a small child."
"I'd offer to take you for a test-drive, but I'm afraid that Supercop over there would probably Taser me with his stun gun. So you'll have to wait until tomorrow," he said, and without waiting for an invitation he carried her inside, dead bolting the door behind him.
He settled down on the couch, where she'd been sitting by herself just moments before, without letting her go. There was a movie on the television, but neither of them paid any attention to it as Jay reclined, stretching out and drawing her down into the circle of his arms. They spent the rest of the night like that, cradled together, their bodies fitting each other perfectly, as they kissed and whispered and laughed quietly in the darkness.
At some point Violet was aware that she was drifting into sleep, as her thoughts turned dreamlike, becoming disjointed and fuzzy and hard to hold on to. She didn't fight it; she enjoyed the lazy, drifting feeling, along with the warmth created by the cocoon of Jay's body wrapped protectively around her.
It was the safest she'd felt in days...maybe weeks...
And for the first time since she'd been chased by the man in the woods, her dreams were free from monsters.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))