Seeing My Baby Smile Quotes

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Baby you light up my world like nobody else. The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed. And when you smile at the ground it ain't hard to tell. You don't know-oh-oh, you don't know you're beautiful. If only you saw what I can see, you'd understand why I want you so desperately. Right now I'm looking at you and I can't believe, you don't know-oh-oh, you don't know you're beautiful. That's What Makes You Beautiful.
One Direction
Once upon a time they was two girls," I say. "one girl had black skin, one girl had white." Mae Mobley look up at me. She listening. "Little colored girl say to little white girl, 'How come your skin be so pale?' White girl say, 'I don't know. How come your skin be so black? What you think that mean?' "But neither one a them little girls knew. So little white girl say, 'Well, let's see. You got hair, I got hair.'"I gives Mae Mobley a little tousle on her head. "Little colored girl say 'I got a nose, you got a nose.'"I gives her little snout a tweak. She got to reach up and do the same to me. "Little white girl say, 'I got toes, you got toes.' And I do the little thing with her toes, but she can't get to mine cause I got my white work shoes on. "'So we's the same. Just a different color', say that little colored girl. The little white girl she agreed and they was friends. The End." Baby Girl just look at me. Law, that was a sorry story if I ever heard one. Wasn't even no plot to it. But Mae Mobley, she smile and say, "Tell it again.
Kathryn Stockett (The Help)
So, come on,” he said softly, taunting me. “What’s the plan here, Ev? How were you going to convince me?” “Oh. Well, I was um … I was going to seduce you, I guess. And see what happened. Yeah…” “How? By complaining about me buying you stuff?” “No. That was just an added bonus. You’re welcome.” He licked his lips, but I saw the smile. “Right. Come on then, show me your moves.” “My moves?” “Your seduction techniques. Come on, time’s a-wasting.” I hesitated and he clicked his tongue, impatient. “I’m only wearing a towel, baby. How hard can this be?
Kylie Scott (Lick (Stage Dive, #1))
LADY LAZARUS I have done it again. One year in every ten I manage it-- A sort of walking miracle, my skin Bright as a Nazi lampshade, My right foot A paperweight, My face a featureless, fine Jew linen. Peel off the napkin O my enemy. Do I terrify?-- The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth? The sour breath Will vanish in a day. Soon, soon the flesh The grave cave ate will be At home on me And I a smiling woman. I am only thirty. And like the cat I have nine times to die. This is Number Three. What a trash To annihilate each decade. What a million filaments. The peanut-crunching crowd Shoves in to see Them unwrap me hand and foot-- The big strip tease. Gentlemen, ladies These are my hands My knees. I may be skin and bone, Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman. The first time it happened I was ten. It was an accident. The second time I meant To last it out and not come back at all. I rocked shut As a seashell. They had to call and call And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls. Dying Is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well. I do it so it feels like hell. I do it so it feels real. I guess you could say I've a call. It's easy enough to do it in a cell. It's easy enough to do it and stay put. It's the theatrical Comeback in broad day To the same place, the same face, the same brute Amused shout: 'A miracle!' That knocks me out. There is a charge For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge For the hearing of my heart-- It really goes. And there is a charge, a very large charge For a word or a touch Or a bit of blood Or a piece of my hair or my clothes. So, so, Herr Doktor. So, Herr Enemy. I am your opus, I am your valuable, The pure gold baby That melts to a shriek. I turn and burn. Do not think I underestimate your great concern. Ash, ash-- You poke and stir. Flesh, bone, there is nothing there-- A cake of soap, A wedding ring, A gold filling. Herr God, Herr Lucifer Beware Beware. Out of the ash I rise with my red hair And I eat men like air.
Sylvia Plath (Ariel)
Tell her I'm sorry I sold the diamond, eh?" Sammy said. "I broke my promise. When she disappeared in Alaska... ah, so long ago, I finally used that diamond, moved to Texas as I always dreamed. I started my machine shop. Started my family! It was a good life, but Haze; was right. The diamond came with a curse. I never saw her again." "Oh, Sammy," Hazel said. "No, a curse didn't keep me away. I wanted to come back. I died!" The old man didn't seem to hear. He smiled down at the baby, and kissed him on the head. "I give you my blessing, Leo. First male great-grandchild! I have a feeling you are special, like Hazel was. You are more than a regular baby, eh? You will carry on for me. You will see her someday. Tell her hello for me.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
Shepley walked out of his bedroom pulling a T-shirt over his head. His eyebrows pushed together. “Did they just leave?” “Yeah,” I said absently, rinsing my cereal bowl and dumping Abby’s leftover oatmeal in the sink. She’d barely touched it. “Well, what the hell? Mare didn’t even say goodbye.” “You knew she was going to class. Quit being a cry baby.” Shepley pointed to his chest. “I’m the cry baby? Do you remember last night?” “Shut up.” “That’s what I thought.” He sat on the couch and slipped on his sneakers. “Did you ask Abby about her birthday?” “She didn’t say much, except that she’s not into birthdays.” “So what are we doing?” “Throwing her a party.” Shepley nodded, waiting for me to explain. “I thought we’d surprise her. Invite some of our friends over and have America take her out for a while.” Shepley put on his white ball cap, pulling it down so low over his brows I couldn’t see his eyes. “She can manage that. Anything else?” “How do you feel about a puppy?” Shepley laughed once. “It’s not my birthday, bro.” I walked around the breakfast bar and leaned my hip against the stool. “I know, but she lives in the dorms. She can’t have a puppy.” “Keep it here? Seriously? What are we going to do with a dog?” “I found a Cairn Terrier online. It’s perfect.” “A what?” “Pidge is from Kansas. It’s the same kind of dog Dorothy had in the Wizard of Oz.” Shepley’s face was blank. “The Wizard of Oz.” “What? I liked the scarecrow when I was a little kid, shut the fuck up.” “It’s going to crap every where, Travis. It’ll bark and whine and … I don’t know.” “So does America … minus the crapping.” Shepley wasn’t amused. “I’ll take it out and clean up after it. I’ll keep it in my room. You won’t even know it’s here.” “You can’t keep it from barking.” “Think about it. You gotta admit it’ll win her over.” Shepley smiled. “Is that what this is all about? You’re trying to win over Abby?” My brows pulled together. “Quit it.” His smile widened. “You can get the damn dog…” I grinned with victory. “…if you admit you have feelings for Abby.” I frowned in defeat. “C’mon, man!” “Admit it,” Shepley said, crossing his arms. What a tool. He was actually going to make me say it. I looked to the floor, and everywhere else except Shepley’s smug ass smile. I fought it for a while, but the puppy was fucking brilliant. Abby would flip out (in a good way for once), and I could keep it at the apartment. She’d want to be there every day. “I like her,” I said through my teeth. Shepley held his hand to his ear. “What? I couldn’t quite hear you.” “You’re an asshole! Did you hear that?” Shepley crossed his arms. “Say it.” “I like her, okay?” “Not good enough.” “I have feelings for her. I care about her. A lot. I can’t stand it when she’s not around. Happy?” “For now,” he said, grabbing his backpack off the floor.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
Looking at you reminds me of the kind of man I should be with." "And what kind of man is that? Drunken, poor, pathetic?" "No. I´ve never met him, but I see him plain as day. He has crinkles around his eyes when he smiles and tanned skin from working outdoors. Honest labor has callused his hands. He and I will hunt together, cook and eat big family meals together. He´ll marry me and love my family, too." Voice gone soft, she said, "He´ll give me a baby boy and a girl.
Kresley Cole (Lothaire (Immortals After Dark, #11))
You're hair was softer than I expected it to be, more beautiful when it's down than I expected it to be. You're sweeter than I expected you to be, funnier, more loyal and I expected all that to be phenomenal so, I gotta tell you, baby, it pleases me no fuckin' end to learn the reality is off-the-charts. Better than that, when you get pissed, I gotta fight against goin' hard. When you smile, I gotta fight against goin' hard. And when you look deep into my eyes and see whatever the fuck you see and I know how much you like it because it's written all over your face, I gotta fight against goin' hard. But even with the promise of that, finally havin' you is another reality that's off-the-charts.
Kristen Ashley (Law Man (Dream Man, #3))
Toasted almond pancakes. Sweet soft 'okays'. Makin' me laugh more in a few weeks than I have in decades. 'Yes, Daddys' I feel in my dick. The first voicemail you left me, babe. I saved it and I listen to it once a day. If I lose focus, I see you on your back, knees high, legs wide, offering your sweet, wet pussy to me. You smile at me in bed every time you wander outta my bedroom in my shirts, my tees, or your work clothes and honest to Christ, it sets me up for the day. And no matter what shit goes down, I get through it knowin' whichever bed I climb into at night, you're in it ready to snuggle into me or give me what I wanna take. Your girl, a headache. You, never. And in a life that's been full of headaches, babe, having that, there is no price tag. You gotta get it and do it fuckin' now that there's a lotta different kinds of give and take. And you give as good as you get, baby, trust me.
Kristen Ashley (Knight (Unfinished Hero, #1))
Loving you is no more a beautiful memory, but now just a pain, I cry and weep every time I walk down the memory lane, Your love always completed me in every sense as a whole, But now it’s just emptiness and sorrow in my heart that drains, Of all the people in the world, you choose me to be hurt, Of all the hearts in the world, you choose mine to break… Why did you leave me I ask myself every morning and dawn? Why my love was incomplete tell me why you were gone? A silence surrounds my heart and fills it again with despair, Oh this pain is just too much, and the damage beyond repair, Please come back baby, just come back and bring that old smile, Or just come to see me every once in a while, So my heart no more bleeds, and no more my soul aches, So I can be peaceful after my death, in my ashes and burnt flakes…
Mehek Bassi (Chained: Can you escape fate?)
You won't find me dancing in a club at night but you will find me climbing mountains to see the sunrise, with a glimmer of hope and a smile on my face ~ this is life baby and freedom fills my days.
Nikki Rowe
Luce," he said at last, his voice soft. "what do you want me to do?" He paused, waiting for my response, but I wasn't sure what he was asking, so no response came. "Please, just tell me," he continued. "Tell me what you want me to say, and do, when it comes to Adriana or any other girl that looks my way, and I'll do it. You want me to fire a spit wad between their eyes? So be it. You want me to flip them off any time any one of them looks my way? You got it. You want me to poke my eyes out so I can't see another one of their suggestive smiles again?" he trailed on, half of his face squishing together. "Well, that would suck, but I'd do it. For you." Cradling my face in his hands again, he leaned forward so his eyes were staring into mine from half a foot away. "Just tell me, baby. What do you want me to do?
Nicole Williams (Clash (Crash, #2))
He smiled down at the baby, and kissed him on the head. "I give you my blessing, Leo. First male great-grandchild! I have a feeling you are special, like Hazel was. You are more than a regular baby, eh? You will carry on for me. You will see her someday. Tell her hello for me." "Bisabuelo," Ezperanza said, a little more insistently. "yes, yes." Sammy chuckled. "El viejo loco rambles on. I am tired, Ezperanza. You are right. But I'll rest soon. It's been a good life. Raise him well, nieta." The scene faded. Leo was standing on the deck of the Argo II, holding Hazel's hand. The sun had gone down, and the ship was lit only by bronze lanterns. Hazel's eyes were puffy from crying. What they'd seen was too much. The whole ocean heaved under them, and now for the first time Leo felt as if they were totally adrift. "Hello, Hazel Levesque," he said, his voice gravelly.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
I'm sorry," she says. "Did we make it a big deal?" "Oh my God. Seriously? You guys make everything a big deal." "Really?" she says. "When I started drinking coffee. When I started shaving . When I got a girlfriend." "That stuff is exciting," she says. "It's not that exciting," I say. "It's like—I don't even know. You guys are so freaking obsessed with everything I do. It's like I can't change my socks without someone mentioning it." "Ah," says my dad. "So, what you're trying to say is that we're really creepy." "Yes," I say. My mom laughs. "See, but you're not a parent yet, so you can't understand. It's like—you have this baby, and eventually, he starts doing stuff. And I used to be able to see every tiny change, and it was so fascinating." She smiles sadly. "And now I'm missing stuff. The little things. And it's hard to let go of that.
Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Simonverse, #1))
I wish I could explain how I feel, but nothing can explain this moment. Not a vase of stars. Not a book. Not a song. Not even a poem. Nothing can explain the moment when the woman you would give your life for sees her daughter for the very first time. Tears are streaming down her face. She’s stroking our baby girl’s cheek, smiling. Crying. Laughing. “I don’t want to count her fingers or toes,” Lake whispers. “I don’t care if she has two toes or three fingers or fifty feet. I love her so much, Will. She’s perfect.” She is perfect. So perfect. “Just like her mom,” I say. I lean my head against Lake’s and we just stare. We stare at the daughter who is so much more than I could have asked for. The daughter who is so much more than I dreamt of. So much more than I ever thought I would have. This girl. This baby girl is my life. Her mother is my life. These girls are both my life. I reach down and pick up her hand. Her tiny fingers reflexively wrap around my pinky and I can’t choke back my tears any longer. “Hey, Julia. It’s me. It’s your daddy.
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
What - what - what are you doing?" he demanded. "I am almost six hundred years old," Magnus claimed, and Ragnor snorted, since Magnus changed his age to suit himself every few weeks. Magnus swept on. "It does seem about time to learn a musical instrument." He flourished his new prize, a little stringed instrument that looked like a cousin of the lute that the lute was embarrassed to be related to. "It's called a charango. I am planning to become a charanguista!" "I wouldn't call that an instrument of music," Ragnor observed sourly. "An instrument of torture, perhaps." Magnus cradled the charango in his arms as if it were an easily offended baby. "It's a beautiful and very unique instrument! The sound box is made from an armadillo. Well, a dried armadillo shell." "That explains the sound you're making," said Ragnor. "Like a lost, hungry armadillo." "You are just jealous," Magnus remarked calmly. "Because you do not have the soul of a true artiste like myself." "Oh, I am positively green with envy," Ragnor snapped. "Come now, Ragnor. That's not fair," said Magnus. "You know I love it when you make jokes about your complexion." Magnus refused to be affected by Ragnor's cruel judgments. He regarded his fellow warlock with a lofty stare of superb indifference, raised his charango, and began to play again his defiant, beautiful tune. They both heard the staccato thump of frantically running feet from within the house, the swish of skirts, and then Catarina came rushing out into the courtyard. Her white hair was falling loose about her shoulders, and her face was the picture of alarm. "Magnus, Ragnor, I heard a cat making a most unearthly noise," she exclaimed. "From the sound of it, the poor creature must be direly sick. You have to help me find it!" Ragnor immediately collapsed with hysterical laughter on his windowsill. Magnus stared at Catarina for a moment, until he saw her lips twitch. "You are conspiring against me and my art," he declared. "You are a pack of conspirators." He began to play again. Catarina stopped him by putting a hand on his arm. "No, but seriously, Magnus," she said. "That noise is appalling." Magnus sighed. "Every warlock's a critic." "Why are you doing this?" "I have already explained myself to Ragnor. I wish to become proficient with a musical instrument. I have decided to devote myself to the art of the charanguista, and I wish to hear no more petty objections." "If we are all making lists of things we wish to hear no more . . . ," Ragnor murmured. Catarina, however, was smiling. "I see," she said. "Madam, you do not see." "I do. I see it all most clearly," Catarina assured him. "What is her name?" "I resent your implication," Magnus said. "There is no woman in the case. I am married to my music!" "Oh, all right," Catarina said. "What's his name, then?" His name was Imasu Morales, and he was gorgeous.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
Give Your Heart A Break lyrics The day I first met you You told me you'd never fall in love But now that I get you I know fear is what it really was Now here we are, so close Yet so far, haven't I passed the test? When will you realize Baby, I'm not like the rest Don't wanna break your heart I wanna give your heart a break I know you're scared it's wrong Like you might make a mistake There's just one life to live And there's no time to waste, to waste So let me give your heart a break Give your heart a break Let me give your heart a break Your heart a break Oh, yeah yeah On Sunday, you went home alone There were tears in your eyes I called your cell phone, my love But you did not reply The world is ours, if you want it We can take it, if you just take my hand There's no turning back now Baby, try to understand Don't wanna break your heart Wanna give your heart a break I know you're scared it's wrong Like you might make a mistake There's just one life to live And there's no time to waste, to waste So let me give your heart a break Give your heart a break Let me give your heart a break Your heart a break There's just so much you can take Give your heart a break Let me give your heart a break Your heart a break Oh, yeah yeah When your lips are on my lips And our hearts beat as one But you slip right out of my fingertips Every time you run, whoa Don't wanna break your heart Wanna give your heart a break I know you're scared it's wrong Like you might make a mistake There's just one life to live And there's no time to waste, to waste So let me give your heart a break Cuz you've been hurt before I can see it in your eyes You try to smile it away Some things, you can't disguise Don't wanna break your heart Baby, I can ease the ache, the ache So, let me give your heart a break Give your heart a break Let me give your heart a break Your heart a break There's just so much you can take Give your heart a break Let me give your heart a break Your heart a break Oh yeah,yeah The day I first met you You told me you'd never fall in love
Demi Lovato
Do you believe in God?” Her small hand grips onto my larger one. “Yeah, baby girl,” I say, looking down and watching her smile at my answer. “Do you think God will let me see you again?” She continues to ask questions that keep breaking me. “I know he will,” I say, believing it more than anything. My faith has now been shaken, but I can't lose hope that where she is going will be somewhere beautiful and amazing. “When I go to God, will I see Charlie the goldfish?” She yawns, almost drifting off as the hospital machines beep around us. I nearly smile at her question, but I can’t, because at the end of the day we’re talking about death, and the inevitable end that’s fast approaching. “I don’t know, baby girl,” I tell her, wishing I had the right answers for her.
River Savage (Affliction (Knights Rebels MC, #2))
Dimitri held up a car seat with one hand, which was almost comical. “We can go whenever you’re ready. Lana gave us this and swears it’s easy to install.” Rose laughed at that. “Oh, this I’ve got to see, comrade. Dimitri Belikov, badass god, installing a baby’s car seat.” He smiled good-naturedly, and we scurried around, gathering up things. Sydney had to call Jackie back, and since my hands were full, she handed Declan off to Rose. “Just rock him,” I said, seeing her panic. Rose blanched but complied, earning laughter in return from Dimitri. “Rose Hathaway, notorious rebel, showing her maternal side.” She stuck her tongue out at him. “Enjoy it while you can, comrade. This is as close as you’ll ever get to it.
Richelle Mead (The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6))
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))
She still took my breath away with how beautiful she was. “Hei, Poppymin,” I said and sat on the edge of her bed. “Hey, baby,” she replied, her voice now barely above a whisper. I brought my hand to hers and pressed a kiss to her mouth. Poppy smiled and melted my heart. A loud gust of wind blew past the window, whistling against the glass. Poppy inhaled sharply. I turned to see what she was seeing. A mass of blossom petals went sailing in the wind. “They’re leaving…,” she said. I closed my eyes briefly. It was apt that Poppy left the same day that the cherry blossoms lost their petals too. They were guiding her soul home.
Tillie Cole (A Thousand Boy Kisses)
It’s everything, isn’t it? It’s the quiet dinners when not much gets said. It’s the sunny days at the beach. It’s hearing your laughter in my head when I see Kayla giggling. It’s seeing the love in your eyes when you watch our baby sleep. It’s watching the sun rise in your smile and set in your tears. It’s the contentment in seeing you eat and sleep and study and play. It’s the small, everyday things, like never getting tired of watching you tuck that same stubborn strand of hair behind your ear twenty times a day, and it’s the huge life-altering things like seeing your smile and my eyes on our beautiful little girl’s face. It’s knowing that even if you turn away from me forever, I’ll always be the better for having had you in my life.
Natasha Anders (A Husband's Regret (Unwanted, #2))
Dad pressed against my mind. Please, Allison. Let me, just this once, hold my son. I shouldn't. Nothing good ever came from letting my father have his way. But I could feel his love for this baby. And even if he couldn't love me, I knew that at this moment, before the baby could grow up and become a disappointment to him, he truly loved him. I slowly stepped away from the front of my mind, letting him fill that space, letting him feel through my hands, see through my eyes. "He's amazing," Dad said through me. "You're amazing." He looked up at Violet, and she smiled.
Devon Monk (Magic on the Hunt (Allie Beckstrom, #6))
The Lover Reconsiders Wait... You. Come hither come closer come here, shrug and wriggle your way out of those clothes, shed them like baby teeth, like snakeskin, like feathers from the molt of a phoenix come here let me hold you let my arms draw you closer come hither let me be suffused with your scent come here now. I want to kiss you, I want to kiss you, I want to kiss my way down your body and back up again give me your guided tour, teach me of your landmarks those hips of yours are strangers to my touch but I mean to make their acquaintance so yes there here I want to kiss you I want to learn what you whisper when you kiss with your heart’s shutters open I want to nip at your lower lip I want the rush of blood to make that mouth tingle I want to talk in quiet tones to all of you come hither come closer come here Now, bolt the door, now, unplug the phone, now warn the neighbors to ignore the racket I do not want fifteen minutes of your time I want the whole fucking night. Now let me see the smile you save for special occasions Now don’t pick a favorite position pick five Now I want to bathe myself in you Now now now like the Ganges, like the Red Sea, like the Amazon I want to follow you down to your ocean Now I want to savor you, lover, come to me make time and I will make you breakfast I want to become overfamiliar with your tastes come hither come closer come here come now you.
Patrick Honovich (Thirst)
I'm fucking done with sadness, and I don't know what's up the ass of the universe lately, but I'VE HAD IT. I AM GOING TO BE FURIOUSLY HAPPY, OUT OF SHEER SPITE. Can you hear that? That's me smiling, y'all. I'm smiling so loud you can fucking hear it. I'm going to destroy the goddamn universe with my irrational joy and I will spew forth pictures of clumsy kittens and baby puppies adopted by raccoons and MOTHERFUCKING NEWBORN LLAMAS DIPPED IN GLITTER AND THE BLOOD OF SEXY VAMPIRES AND IT'S GOING TO BE AWESOME. In fact, I'm starting a whole movement right now. The FURIOUSLY HAPPY movement. And it's going to be awesome because first of all, we're all going to be VEHEMENTLY happy, and secondly because it will freak the shit out of everyone that hates you because those assholes don't want to see you even vaguely amused, much less furiously happy, and it will make their world turn a little sideways and will probably scare the shit out of them. Which will make you even more happy. Legitimately.
Jenny Lawson
This is my wish for you. Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to chase the clouds away, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for you when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth and love to complete your life. I love you, baby boy.
Sophie Monroe (Second Chance Romance)
Well it seems to me that there are books that tell stories, and then there are books that tell truths...," I began. "Go on," she said "The first kind, they show you life like you want it to be. With villains getting what they deserve and the hero seeing what a fool he's been and marrying the heroine and happy ending and all that. Like Sense and Sensibility or Persuasion. But the second kind, they show you life more like it is. Like in Huckleberry Finn where Huck's pa is a no-good drunk and Jim suffers so. The first kind makes you cheerful and contented, but the second kind shakes you up." "People like happy ending, Mattie. They don't want to be shaken up." "I guess not, ma'am. It's just that there are no Captain Wentworths, are there? But there are plenty of Pap Finns. And things go well for Anne Elliot in the end, but they don't go well for most people." My voice trembled as I spoke, as it did whenever I was angry. "I feel let down sometimes. The people in the books-the heroes- they're always so...heroic. And I try to be, but..." "'re not," Lou said, licking deviled ham off her fingers. ", I'm not. People in books are good and noble and unselfish, and people aren't that way... and I feel, well... hornswoggled sometimes. By Jane Austen and Charles Dickens and Louisa May Alcott. Why do writers make things sugary when life isn't that way?" I asked too loudly. "Why don't they tell the truth? Why don't they tell how a pigpen looks after the sow's eaten her children? Or how it is for a girl when her baby won't come out? Or that cancer has a smell to it? All those books, Miss Wilcox," I said, pointing at a pile of them," and I bet not one of them will tell you what cancer smells like. I can, though. It stinks. Like meat gone bad and dirty clothes and bog water all mixed together. Why doesn't anyone tell you that?" No one spoke for a few seconds. I could hear the clock ticking and the sound of my own breathing. Then Lou quietly said, "Cripes, Mattie. You oughtn't to talk like that." I realized then that Miss Wilcox had stopped smiling. Her eyes were fixed om me, and I was certain she'd decided I was morbid and dispiriting like Miss Parrish had said and that I should leave then and there. "I'm sorry, Miss Wilcox," I said, looking at the floor. "I don't mean to be coarse. I just... I don't know why I should care what happens to people in a drawing room in London or Paris or anywhere else when no one in those places cares what happens to people in Eagle Bay." Miss Wilcox's eyes were still fixed on me, only now they were shiny. Like they were the day I got my letter from Barnard. "Make them care, Mattie," she said softly. "And don't you ever be sorry.
Jennifer Donnelly (A Northern Light)
All of these lines across my face Tell you the story of who I am So many stories of where I've been And how I got to where I am But these stories don't mean anything When you've got no one to tell them to It's true, I was made for you I climbed across the mountaintops Travel across the ocean blue I cross over lines and I broke all the rules And baby I broke them all for you Oh because even when I was flat broke You made me feel like a million bucks You do, I was made for you You see the smile that's on my mouth It's hiding the words that don't come out All of the friends who think that I'm blessed They don't know my head's a mess No they don't know who I really am And they don't know what I've been through Like you do, and I was made for you All of these lines across my face Tell you the story of who I am So many stories of where I've been And how I got to where I am Oh but these stories don't mean anything When you've got no one to tell them to It's true, I was made for you Oh yeah, and it's true that I was made for you
Brandi Carlile
I am not better than you because of my religion, color, culture, education, status, wealth, etc. I am not, and neither are you, I must accept, and so should you, that there are differences between us that we were born into. Why do we focus on these differences? Put your hand in mine and let us accept that our differences should not come in the way of us uniting for the basic human values that we share: compassion, peacefulness, respect, honesty, innocence, humbleness and sympathy. Does a baby born here smile differently from a baby born anywhere in the world? Do they cry any differently? We may not speak the same language and we may not live the same lifestyle, but a smile I put on my face when I see you puts a smile on your face before you can even think of it. Now, THAT is powerful. I hope that every sense of arrogance or greed in my heart is deviated to a sense of humility, so the wall of ignorance to the real issues in the world can be shattered by the common rights that I share with all of my brothers and sisters in humanity.
Najwa Zebian (Mind Platter)
To Bury A Star" "I pulled a star from the darkest corner of night and hid it within my bosom. When the Earth beneath my feet gave way, moist and fertile, I knelt to the ground and cupped the radiant treasure in my hands. In a shallow hole I buried it—layer upon layer of black dirt tossed upon the spot until it no longer glowed. This I did for you, my love. Now, come with me and see what has been born from a single wishing star. Hand in hand we walk to the same spot of dirt to find the black and fertile soil sucked dry, the color blanched as pale as desert sands. Look how a ring of white fire jumps and dances around the buried starling! We catch our breath, beholding what has sprouted from this magical seed. The illusion of twisted branches glowing in the darkness like tails of comets soaring skyward—tails of baby stars that shoot like fireworks from that ring of fire. Up, up, up they fly to light a neglected corner of the night. From a single wishing star a thousand more have been born. They are for you, my love—a thousand dreams destined to come true.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
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))
I don’t remember a time in my life that Jules and her family weren’t in it. You have shared everything that has ever mattered with me, even the birth of my baby. When Jules and Nate got together,” Natalie turns to the audience and smiles. Will takes my hand in his and kisses my knuckles. “I was astonished to watch the change in her. Jules is a kick-ass girl. She’s not big on public displays of affection, which she reminds me of almost daily.” “Seriously, you guys are gross,” Jules rolls her eyes, but I can see the tears threatening to spill over. “But Nate brought out that soft side of her. He makes her better. And I think she does the same for him. I just couldn’t have found anyone more suited to you, my friend, if I tried.” Nat raises her glass and we all follow suit. “So, to my new brother-in-law Nate, and my sister of the heart, his Julianne. May your love continue to grow every day.
Kristen Proby (Play with Me (With Me in Seattle, #3))
His eyes were more intense, the gaze more intimate. He put just the last inch or so of the fingers of both hands on the table to either side of his plate and said, “Love makes them run. That is not my lineage, my idea. That is a fact just like when water gets cold it ices. Like that. Some people cannot see this is a fact, but this is. They are blind in different ways but this is a fact: Love makes the atoms go where they go and stick where they stick. Everybody when they see a baby, a small boy or girl, they smile? Why? Because inside themself they know this fact. They know love made this baby, this boy, this girl. They feel this natural rising up of love in themself. Okay, yes? Before, I said to you about God’s music that is playing all the time, for everyone. God’s music is this love. And this love that runs our world, sometimes it means that there is help coming from that love, from that . . . source you would
Roland Merullo (Breakfast with Buddha)
There’s good reason for such worries. About a year after Pole created his pregnancy prediction model, a man walked into a Minnesota Target and demanded to see the manager. He was clutching an advertisement. He was very angry. “My daughter got this in the mail!” he said. “She’s still in high school, and you’re sending her coupons for baby clothes and cribs? Are you trying to encourage her to get pregnant?” The manager didn’t have any idea what the man was talking about. He looked at the mailer. Sure enough, it was addressed to the man’s daughter and contained advertisements for maternity clothing, nursery furniture, and pictures of smiling infants gazing into their mothers’ eyes. The manager apologized profusely, and then called, a few days later, to apologize again. The father was somewhat abashed. “I had a talk with my daughter,” he said. “It turns out there’s been some activities in my house I haven’t been completely aware of.” He took a deep breath. “She’s due in August. I owe you an apology.
Charles Duhigg (The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do and How to Change)
To Roam Well, I like this world Well, I like this world Well, I like this world I like it how it was I pray how it was I like it how it was Ghosts in the rain Cold walk of freedom Well, I'm walking a hallway I'm walking a hallway I'm walking a hallway Said, I'm walking a hallway I'm walking a hallway Well, I'm walking a hallway I am proud and I'm gloried Thinking 'bout the day what'll surely come When on the scene, I'm smile evaded When outta nowhere, I'm gonna run But I know where I go, I will be gone Somewhere to run to - if you see You could see it through my mind You wouldn't know it - no way You'd know when my eyes roam Through the fog and hail and sleet I missed the snow and nowhere Nowhere, nowhere, nowhere You should've known where Should've known where You should've known where Should've known better, baby 'Cause I like this world And I like this world Some people want to roam Some people, they roam this world alone Some people were born to roam Some people they roam this world alone Alone
Robert Pattinson
Looking at a human being or even a picture of a human being is different from looking at an object. Newborn babies, only hours old, copy the expressions of adults. They pucker up, try to grin, look surprised, and stick out their tongues. The photographs of imitating infants are both funny and touching. They do not know they are doing it; this response is in them from the beginning. Later, people learn to suppress the imitation mechanism; it would not be good if we went on forever copying every facial expression we saw. Nevertheless, we human beings love to look at faces because we find ourselves there. When you smile at me, I feel a smile form on my own face before I am aware it is happening, and I smile because I am seeing me in your eyes and know that you like what you see.
Siri Hustvedt (Living, Thinking, Looking: Essays)
Ruby and Aaron are both crazy patient; they’re good parents.” “I could be a good dad,” Ivan whispered, still feeding Jess. I could have told him he’d be good at anything he wanted to be good at, but nah. “Do you want to have kids?” he asked me out of the blue. I handed Benny another block. “A long time from now, maybe.” “A long time… like how long?” That had me glancing at Ivan over my shoulder. He had his entire attention on Jessie, and I was pretty sure he was smiling down at her. Huh. “My early thirties, maybe? I don’t know. I might be okay with not having any either. I haven’t really thought about it much, except for knowing I don’t want to have them any time soon, you know what I mean?” “Because of figure skating?” “Why else? I barely have enough time now. I couldn’t imagine trying to train and have kids. My baby daddy would have to be a rich, stay-at-home dad for that to work.” Ivan wrinkled his nose at my niece. “There are at least ten skaters I know with kids.” I rolled my eyes and poked Benny in the side when he held out his little hand for another block. That got me a toothy grin. “I’m not saying it’s impossible. I just wouldn’t want to do it any time soon. I don’t want to half-ass or regret it. If they ever exist, I’d want them to be my priority. I wouldn’t want them to think they were second best.” Because I knew what that felt like. And I’d already screwed up enough with making grown adults I loved think they weren’t important. If I was going to do something, I wanted to do my best and give it everything. All he said was, “Hmm.” A thought came into my head and made my stomach churn. “Why? Are you planning on having kids any time soon?” “I wasn’t,” he answered immediately. “I like this baby though, and that one. Maybe I need to think about it.” I frowned, the feeling in my stomach getting more intense. He kept blabbing. “I could start training my kids really young…. I could coach them. Hmm.” It was my turn to wrinkle my nose. “Three hours with two kids and now you want them?” Ivan glanced down at me with a smirk. “With the right person. I’m not going to have them with just anybody and dilute my blood.” I rolled my eyes at this idiot, still ignoring that weird feeling in my belly that I wasn’t going to acknowledge now or ever. “God forbid, you have kids with someone that’s not perfect. Dumbass.” “Right?” He snorted, looking down at the baby before glancing back at me with a smile I wasn’t a fan of. “They might come out short, with mean, squinty, little eyes, a big mouth, heavy bones, and a bad attitude.” I blinked. “I hope you get abducted by aliens.” Ivan laughed, and the sound of it made me smile. “You would miss me.” All I said, while shrugging was, “Meh. I know I’d get to see you again someday—” He smiled. “—in hell.” That wiped the look right off his face. “I’m a good person. People like me.” “Because they don’t know you. If they did, somebody would have kicked your ass already.” “They’d try,” he countered, and I couldn’t help but laugh. There was something wrong with us. And I didn’t hate it. Not even a little bit.
Mariana Zapata (From Lukov with Love)
I know William,” Kaldar said. “He’s married to my cousin, Cerise, who is more like my baby sister. If her life and happiness were at stake, William would burn the world just to see her smile. Jack is a changeling like William. He would move the earth and the moon to protect his brother. “So
Ilona Andrews (Fate's Edge (The Edge, #3))
Darn! what a beautiful night! Heading towards Pandara Road-Gulati Restaurant, with open windows of my baby sedan and this broad chest guy with big brown eyes. He hums the oldies well and his Issey Miyake is making me lose the grip over my senses. One more thing is distracting me, he ain't wearing anything inside but a transparent white, V necked, cotton short Kurta. I can see the hair winking out and his collar bones!! Not only men get excited by transparent dresses but women as well. His broad shoulders and chest is my weakness and he knows it. This man is not doing good to me! It's a crime to seduce in this way, when you are not touched, when you are distracted by the aroma of his skin, when you know, he is well aware of the intentions.. when you can't do anything except getting seduced by the corner stretching smile of a man with animal instinct.. I certainly am missing myself to be tied up to the bedpost,choked and groaning his name!
Himmilicious (The Knot : A Relationship beyond marriage.)
This morning I was walking through Manhattan, head down, checking directions, when I looked up to see a fruit truck selling lychee, two pounds for five bucks, and I had ten bucks in my pocket! Then while buying my bus ticket for later that evening I witnessed the Transbridge teller’s face soften after she had endured a couple unusually rude interactions in front of me as I kept eye contact and thanked her. She called me honey first (delight), baby second (delight), and almost smiled before I turned away. On my way to the Flatiron building there was an aisle of kousa dogwood—looking parched, but still, the prickly knobs of fruit nestled beneath the leaves. A cup of coffee from a well-shaped cup. A fly, its wings hauling all the light in the room, landing on the porcelain handle as if to say, “Notice the precise flare of this handle, as though designed for the romance between the thumb and index finger that holding a cup can be.” Or the peanut butter salty enough. Or the light blue bike the man pushed through the lobby. Or the topknot of the barista. Or the sweet glance of the man in his stylish short pants (well-lotioned ankles gleaming beneath) walking two little dogs. Or the woman stepping in and out of her shoe, her foot curling up and stretching out and curling up.
Ross Gay (The Book of Delights: Essays)
And as for what I’ve learned: be an instrument of peace. Be a gentleman at all costs. Enjoy yourself—have fun with your existence. Learn to listen to your inner voice and don’t overdose on yourself. Keep your darkness in check. Let music be a healing force. Be a real musician: once you start counting money before notes, you’re a full-time wannabe. Put your guitar down and go outside and take a long drink of light with your eyes. Go walk in the park and take off your shoes and socks and feel the grass under your feet and mud between your toes. Go see a baby smiling, go see a wino crawling, go see life. Feel life—all of it, as much as possible. Find a human melody, then write a song about it. Make it all come through your music.
Carlos Santana (The Universal Tone: My Life)
When I first met you, I knew, somehow, that you were going to change my life. I just didn’t know in what way. I didn’t know that you’d make me love you. And most importantly, I didn’t know that you’d make me love me. Baby, you make me see the good in myself and the good in everything on this damn earth. You chase my ghosts away, and…” He cleared his throat, and to my surprise, I saw his eyes were watering. Oh fuck. Please don’t cry, Dex, cuz I will fucking lose it. He swallowed hard, blinking tears back. “And you bring me peace. I can’t thank you enough for being in my life. And I want you there for the whole journey. Through everything—the good and the bad, the batshit crazy and the sane, the scary and the sexy. Especially the sexy. Just you and me, baby, until death do us part.” Somehow I found my voice. “Even though we’ve only known each other for eight months?” I asked quietly, afraid of his answer. But he just smiled up at me. “Time has no bearing on the truth. And what we have, that’s true as fucking anything.” He gave my hand a squeeze and reached into his pocket. I sucked in my breath, feeling all my emotions flood me at once, and watched as he took out a beautiful, sparkling ring, and held it poised at my finger. He gazed at me, and it was like I saw every moment we had with each other captured in his eyes. “Perry Palomino, kiddo, baby—will you be my wife?” I didn’t even have to think about it. “Yes!” I blurted out in a sob as the tears started
Karina Halle (Ashes to Ashes (Experiment in Terror, #8))
5. When Begging Ends I love the idea of Divine Source. It reminds us that everything, the fulfillment of every need, always emanates from the One. So if you learn how to keep your vibration high and attuned to That, whatever is needed to sustain you can always occur, often in surprising and delightful ways. Your Source is never a particular person, place, or thing, but God Herself. You never have to beg. Furthermore, Divine Source says that whatever resonates with you will always find you. That which does not, will fall away. It’s that simple. When Outrageous Openness first came out, I experienced this as I took the book around—some stores were simply not drawn to it. But knowing about Divine Source and resonance, I didn’t care. I remember taking it to a spiritual bookstore in downtown San Francisco. The desultory manager sort of half-growled, “Oh, we have a long, long wait here. You can leave a copy for our ‘pile’ in the back room. Then you could call a ton and plead with us. If you get lucky, maybe one day we’ll stock it. Just keep hoping.” “Oh, my God, no!” I shuddered. “Why would I keep twisting your arm? It’ll go easily to the places that are right. You never have to convince someone. The people who are right will just know.” He looked stunned when I thanked him, smiling, and left. And sure enough, other store clerks were so excited, even from the cover alone. They nearly ripped the book out of my hands as I walked in. When I brought it to the main bookstore in San Francisco’s Castro district, I noticed the manager striding toward me was wearing a baseball cap with an image of the goddess Lakshmi. “Great sign,” I mused. He held the book for a second without even cracking it open, then showed the cover to a coworker, yelling, “Hey, let’s give this baby a coming-out party!” So a few weeks later, they did. Sake, fortune cookies, and all. Because you see, what’s meant for you will always, always find you. You never have to be bothered by the people who aren’t meant to understand. And anyway, sometimes years later, they are ready . . . and they do. Change me Divine Beloved into One who knows that You alone are my Source. Let me trust that You fling open every door at the right time. Free me from the illusion of rejection, competition, and scarcity. Fill me with confidence and faith, knowing I never have to beg, just gratefully receive.
Tosha Silver (Change Me Prayers: The Hidden Power of Spiritual Surrender)
I like names. I collect them: names, origins, meanings. They're an easy thing to collect. They don't cost anything and they don't really take up any space. I like to look at them and pretend that they mean something; and maybe they don't, but the pretending is nice. I keep most of them on the walls of my bedroom at home - home where I used to live. I keep the ones that echo. Good names with significance. Not the crap everyone seems to be using these days. I like foreign names, too; the unusual ones that you rarely see. If I ever had a baby I'd pick one of those, but babies aren't really something I see in my future, even the far off one. I fold up the papers to put them away, glancing one more time. Out of the corner of my eye, I catch one of the Sarahs again, and I smile. It reminds me of the one amusing part of my day.
Katja Millay (The Sea of Tranquility)
How are things going with your brothers?” “The judge set a date to hear me out after graduation. Mrs.Collins has been prepping me.” “That is awesome!” “Yeah.” “What’s wrong?” “Carrie and Joe hired a lawyer and I lost visitation.” Echo placed her delicate hand over mine.“Oh, Noah. I am so sorry." I’d spent countless hours on the couch in the basement, staring at the ceiling wondering what she was doing. Her laughter, her smile, the feel of her body next to mine, and the regret that I let her walk away too easily haunted me. Taking the risk, I entwined my fingers with hers. Odds were I’d never get the chance to be this close again. "No, Mrs. Collins convinced me the best thing to do is to keep my distance and follow the letter of the law." "Wow, Mrs. Collins is a freaking miracle worker. Dangerous Noah Hutchins on the straight and narrow. If you don’t watch out she’ll ruin your rep with the girls." I lowered my voice. "Not that it matters. I only care what one girl thinks about me." She relaxed her fingers into mine and stroked her thumb over my skin. Minutes into being alone together, we fell into each other again, like no time had passed. I could blame her for ending us, but in the end, I agreed with her decision. “How about you, Echo? Did you find your answers?” “No.” If I continued to disregard breakup rules, I might as well go all the way. I pushed her curls behind her shoulder and let my fingers linger longer than needed so I could enjoy the silky feel. “Don’t hide from me, baby. We’ve been through too much for that.” Echo leaned into me, placing her head on my shoulder and letting me wrap an arm around her. “I’ve missed you, too, Noah. I’m tired of ignoring you.” “Then don’t.” Ignoring her hurt like hell. Acknowledging her had to be better. I swallowed, trying to shut out the bittersweet memories of our last night together. “Where’ve you been? It kills me when you’re not at school.” “I went to an art gallery and the curator showed some interest in my work and sold my first piece two days later. Since then, I’ve been traveling around to different galleries, hawking my wares.” “That’s awesome, Echo. Sounds like you’re fitting into your future perfectly. Where did you decide to go to school?” “I don’t know if I’m going to school.” Shock jolted my system and I inched away to make sure I understood. “What the fuck do you mean you don’t know? You’ve got colleges falling all over you and you don’t fucking know if you want to go to school?” My damned little siren laughed at me. “I see your language has improved.” Poof—like magic, the anger disappeared. “If you’re not going to school, then what are your plans?” "I’m considering putting college off for a year or two and traveling cross-country, hopping from gallery to gallery.” “I feel like a dick. We made a deal and I left you hanging. I’m not that guy who goes back on his word. What can I do to help you get to the truth?” Echo’s chest rose with her breath then deflated when she exhaled. Sensing our moment ending, I nuzzled her hair, savoring her scent. She patted my knee and broke away. “Nothing. There’s nothing you can do.” "I think it’s time that I move on. As soon as I graduate, this part of my life will be over. I’m okay with not knowing what happened.” Her words sounded pretty, but I knew her better. She’d blinked three times in a row.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
I'm Sorry for Hurting You <3 I'm writing this message cause I feel really bad, thinking about the way I hurt you makes me really sad. I'm sorry for all the hurt I've caused you and I regret the things I've done. I've lost the 1 girl I've ever loved and it was cause of the things I've done. Baby I feel so bad right now, cause I tore your world apart, and now all I can think about is how I broke your heart. These tears that run down my cheek are filled with sadness and hurt, because I loved you so much and now I know that it will never work :( I messed up and now I see that you mean the absolute world to me. I know sorry is not enough because I'm such a screw up.. But for whatever its worth I wanted to say, that you cross my mind every single day... The thought of you makes me smile, and I know our love was real, so I'm writing you this letter so that you know how I truly feel. What I really want to say is that I'm sorry, I know that you didn't deserve to be hurt like that, and I know that you will find someone who will love you and treat you right, they will make you happy and that person won't hurt you like I did. So I'm sooo SORRY for everything I've done, so all i have to say is that I love you and I'm so sooo sorry hun. :( Dedicated to Natasha
Simbarashe Dungare
In the campaign of 1876, Robert G. Ingersoll came to Madison to speak. I had heard of him for years; when I was a boy on the farm a relative of ours had testified in a case in which Ingersoll had appeared as an attorney and he had told the glowing stories of the plea that Ingersoll had made. Then, in the spring of 1876, Ingersoll delivered the Memorial Day address at Indianapolis. It was widely published shortly after it was delivered and it startled and enthralled the whole country. I remember that it was printed on a poster as large as a door and hung in the post-office at Madison. I can scarcely convey now, or even understand, the emotional effect the reading of it produced upon me. Oblivious of my surroundings, I read it with tears streaming down my face. It began, I remember: "The past rises before me like a dream. Again we are in the great struggle for national life.We hear the sounds of preparation--the music of boisterous drums--the silver voices of heroic bugles. We see the pale cheeks of women and the flushed faces of men; and in those assemblages we see all the dead whose dust we have covered with flowers..." I was fairly entranced. he pictured the recruiting of the troops, the husbands and fathers with their families on the last evening, the lover under the trees and the stars; then the beat of drums, the waving flags, the marching away; the wife at the turn of the lane holds her baby aloft in her arms--a wave of the hand and he has gone; then you see him again in the heat of the charge. It was wonderful how it seized upon my youthful imagination. When he came to Madison I crowded myself into the assembly chamber to hear him: I would not have missed it for every worldly thing I possessed. And he did not disappoint me. A large handsome man of perfect build, with a face as round as a child's and a compelling smile--all the arts of the old-time oratory were his in high degree. He was witty, he was droll, he was eloquent: he was as full of sentiment as an old violin. Often, while speaking, he would pause, break into a smile, and the audience, in anticipation of what was to come, would follow him in irresistible peals of laughter. I cannot remember much that he said, but the impression he made upon me was indelible. After that I got Ingersoll's books and never afterward lost an opportunity to hear him speak. He was the greatest orater, I think, that I have ever heard; and the greatest of his lectures, I have always thought, was the one on Shakespeare. Ingersoll had a tremendous influence upon me, as indeed he had upon many young men of that time. It was not that he changed my beliefs, but that he liberated my mind. Freedom was what he preached: he wanted the shackles off everywhere. He wanted men to think boldly about all things: he demanded intellectual and moral courage. He wanted men to follow wherever truth might lead them. He was a rare, bold, heroic figure.
Robert Marion La Follette (La Follette's Autobiography: A Personal Narrative of Political Experiences)
At that moment, I felt small beside such a genuinely kind heart. I looked at her face in the moonlight. She did not see it coming, so I lifted my hand to her face and gently rested it on the back of her neck. Slowly, I pulled her towards me and kissed her on the lips. She lifted her arm and ran her fingers through the hair on the back of my head. As we pulled away from the kiss, Lynn asked, “What was that for?” After the usual pause and smile, I said, “That’s for you being you, baby. That’s for you being you.
Nicholas Tanek (The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself)
PROLOGUE   Zoey “Wow, Z, this is a seriously awesome turnout. There are more humans here than fleas on an old dog!” Stevie Rae shielded her eyes with her hand as she looked around at the newly lit-up campus. Dallas was a total jerk, but we all admitted that the twinkling lights he’d wrapped around the trunks and limbs of the old oaks gave the entire campus a magickal, fairy-like glow. “That is one of your more disgusting bumpkin analogies,” Aphrodite said. “Though it’s accurate. Especially since there are a bunch of city politicians here. Total parasites.” “Try to be nice,” I said. “Or at least try to be quiet.” “Does that mean your daddy, the mayor, is here?” Stevie Rae’s already gawking eyes got even wider. “I suppose it does. I caught a glimpse of Cruella De Vil, a.k.a. She Who Bore Me, not long ago.” Aphrodite paused and her brows went up. “We should probably keep an eye on the Street Cats kittens. I saw some cute little black and white ones with especially fluffy fur.” Stevie Rae sucked air. “Ohmygoodness, your mamma wouldn’t really make a kitten fur coat, would she?” “Faster than you can say Bubba’s drinkin’ and drivin’ again,” Aphrodite mimicked Stevie Rae’s Okie twang. “Stevie Rae—she’s kidding. Tell her the truth,” I nudged Aphrodite. “Fine. She doesn’t skin kittens. Or puppies. Just baby seals and democrats.” Stevie Rae’s brow furrowed. “See, everything is fine. Plus, Damien’s at the Street Cats booth, and you know he’d never let one little kitten whisker be hurt—let alone a whole coat,” I assured my BFF, refusing to let Aphrodite mess up our good mood. “Actually, everything is more than fine. Check out what we managed to pull off in a little over a week.” I sighed in relief at the success of our event and let my gaze wander around the packed school grounds. Stevie Rae, Shaylin, Shaunee, Aphrodite, and I were manning the bake sale booth (while Stevie Rae’s mom and a bunch of her PTA friends moved through the crowd with samples of the chocolate chip cookies we were selling, like, zillions of). From our position near Nyx’s statue, we had a great view of the whole campus. I could see a long line at Grandma’s lavender booth. That made me smile. Not far from Grandma, Thanatos had set up a job application area, and there were a bunch of humans filling out paperwork there. In the center of the grounds there were two huge silver and white tents draped with more of Dallas’s twinkling lights. In one tent Stark and Darius and the Sons of Erebus Warriors were demonstrating weaponry. I watched as Stark was showing a young boy how to hold a bow. Stark’s gaze lifted from the kid and met mine. We shared a quick, intimate smile
P.C. Cast (Revealed (House of Night #11))
In a private room down the hall, a tired but delighted Cecily was watching her husband with his brand-new son. Cecily had thought that the expression on Tate’s face at their wedding would never be duplicated. But when they placed the tiny little boy in his father’s gowned arms in the delivery room, and he saw his child for the first time, the look on his face was indescribable. Tears welled in his eyes. He’d taken the tiny little fist in his big, dark hand and smoothed over the perfect little fingers and then the tiny little face, seeking resemblances. “Generations of our families,” he said softly, “all there, in that face.” He’d looked down at his wife with unashamedly wet eyes. “In our son’s face.” She wiped her own tears away with a corner of the sheet and coaxed Tate’s head down so that she could do the same for him where they were, temporarily, by themselves. Now she was cleaned up, like their baby, and drowsy as she lay on clean white sheets and watched her husband get acquainted with his firstborn. “Isn’t he beautiful?” he murmured, still awed by the child. “Next time, we have to have a little girl,” he said with a tender smile, “so that she can look like you.” Her heart felt near to bursting as she stared up at that beloved face, above the equally beloved face of their firstborn. “My heart is happy when I see you,” she whispered in Lakota. He chuckled, having momentarily forgotten that he’d taught her how to say it. “Mine is equally happy when I see you,” he replied in English. She reached out and clasped his big hand with her small one. On the table beside her was a bouquet of roses, red and crisp with a delightful soft perfume. Her eyes traced them, and she remembered the first rose he’d ever given her, when she was seventeen: a beautiful red paper rose that he’d brought her from Japan. Now the roses were real, not imitation. Just as her love for him, and his for her, had become real enough to touch. He frowned slightly at her expression. “What is it?” he asked softly. “I was remembering the paper rose you brought me from Japan, just after I went to live with Leta.” She shrugged and smiled self-consciously. He smiled back. “And now you’re covered in real ones,” he discerned. She nodded, delighted to see that he understood exactly what she was talking about. But, then, they always had seemed to read each others’ thoughts-never more than now, with the baby who was a living, breathing manifestation of their love. “Yes,” she said contentedly. “The roses are real, now.” Outside the window, rain was coming down in torrents, silver droplets shattering on the bright green leaves of the bushes. In the room, no one noticed. The baby was sleeping and his parents were watching him, their eyes full of warm, soft dreams.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
I admit it, I'm tired. Over the years, I've hidden away my suffering. I smile when I feel like crying. I laugh when I feel like dying. I have to stare at pictures of my children and my grandchildren to see them grow up. I miss the simplest things of ordinary life — having dinner with friends, taking walks in the woods. I miss gardening. I miss children's laughter. I miss dogs barking. I miss the feel of the rain on my face. I miss babies. I miss the sound of birds singing and of women laughing. I miss winter and summer and spring and fall. Yes, I miss my freedom. So would you.
Leonard Peltier (Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance)
Never, not in her wildest dreams, had she dared to imagine that she'd be that important to someone. As if she was air and without her, he couldn't breathe. "I love you too," she whispered. "And I forgive future Sailor for being a dumbass." Linking her arms around his neck, she spoke through the storm inside her. "In fact, I think future Sailor is going to be an incredible man I'll adore more with each and every day." "Yeah?" His lips kicked up in that familiar smile, but there was a question in his eyes, a quiet hunger. "What's he going to do?" Ísa knew what he was asking her, what he needed her to tell him. "He's going to be a man who works hard but who has time for the people he loves. And he definitely has time to get up to wicked things with a certain redhead." "I like this guy's priorities already." "He's also the kind of father who takes a turn doing the school run because he enjoys spending time with his child." It was scary doing this, laying out her dreams, but Sailor had given her everything. Ísa would be brave enough to give him the same back. "He has time to play with his baby, and to kiss his wife, and even if he forgets things now and then, or if he gets a little busy for a while, it's all right because his wife and child and all the members of his family know they're loved beyond measure." Perfection had never been what Ísa wanted. "Because when it matters, he's there. He sees the people who love him." Demon-blue eyes solemn, Sailor said, "I can do that." It was a vow. "I can be that guy." "You already are." Ísa whispered. "You're my dream, Sailor." But Sailor shook his head. "You ain't seen nothing yet, spitfire. I'm going to court the hell out of you." After a meditative pause, he added, "Nakedness during said courting is optional but highly encouraged." He was wonderful. And he was hers.
Nalini Singh (Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1))
Stay with us,” Adrian said urgently. My own vision was blurred with tears. “A little longer. Spirit’s coming back to me. I know it.“ Declan stirred in Adrian’s arms and began to cry again. Olive’s eyes open a slit, and she smiled. “So sweet,” she said softly. Her eyelids fell closed again, and all the tension went out of her body as she slumped forward. “There,” Adrian gasped out. “I’ve got it … a spark of spirit … enough to see auras …” I clutched his arm and felt tears running down my cheeks. “Adrian…” “The baby’s is so bright,” Adrian said. There were tears on his face now too. “Like a star. But in her … there’s nothing. No aura left to see…
Richelle Mead (The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6))
My eyes blinked like a camera shutter clicking through the frames of my life, except the images were mismatched and haphazard: a ragged-looking doll with a rose-colored dress; crocheted white baby mittens, slightly unraveled; a row of tulips, vibrant red; Rex's smile; a rusty weather vane whirling in the wind. My eyelids fluttered, fighting to remain open, but when they closed, the welcoming image that waited beckoned me to stay, promising to give me the comfort, the peace I longed for. The camellias. I could see them, seemingly endless rows of big, bushy green trees with waxy leaves and showy flowers the size of saucers. Pinks, reds- bursting into bloom, as if they'd been painted by the Queen of Hearts.
Sarah Jio (The Last Camellia)
So what are your intentions toward my daughter?” Mom asks. “She’s still in love with her ex-husband, you know. Owen. A doctor. He and his wife just had a baby.” “I’m really not, Mom. But thanks for sharing.” “I’ve met Owen. I wasn’t impressed.” Leo raises his eyebrows and leans back in his chair. The gauntlet has been thrown. “Not impressed with Owen?” Mom squeaks. “He’s wonderful! He’s a doctor. You should see his work. He changes lives.” “He dumped your daughter.” “Now, now,” I say, pouring wine into Leo’s glass. “You’ll dump me, too, someday.” Mom huffs. “Then, honey, why are you wasting your time with this… piano teacher?” “She has needs,” Leo says. “Physical needs. You understand, right, Lenore?” She glares. I bite down on a smile.
Kristan Higgins (If You Only Knew)
Speaking of… I gotta go. I need to be at the field.” His voice rumbled through his chest and against my ear as he spoke. I sighed and stepped out of his arms. I was sad that our couple days together were over and I would be here tonight without him. Classes started tomorrow, and I knew we were going to see a lot less of each other now that the semester was starting. “I’ll walk you out,” I said and followed him to the door. Ivy was still digging through my clothes and called out a good-bye. “Just stay inside,” he said, palming the handle. “It’s cold and slippery out there. You’ll be safer in here.” I grimaced. “You’re probably right.” He grinned. “I’ll call you later, ‘kay?” I nodded. He released the door handle and closed the distance between us with one step. The toes of his shoes bumped against my boots and the front of his jacket brushed against me. My stomach fluttered and my heart rate doubled. The effect he had on me was nothing short of amazing. I tipped my head back so I could look up into his eyes, and the corner of his mouth lifted. He looked at me with so much affection in his gaze that emotion caught in my throat. He didn’t have to say anything because I heard everything just by looking in his eyes. My fingers curled around the hem of his shirt and tangled in the cotton fabric, and at the same time I stretched up, he bent down. The feel of his lips against me was my favorite sensation. Nothing compared to the way his mouth owned mine. His tongue stretched out, sweeping through my mouth with gentle pressure, and I sighed into him and sagged forward. A low laugh vibrated his chest and he pulled back. “Be careful walking to class tomorrow, huh? Don’t fall and hurt yourself.” I nodded, barely comprehending his words. He slipped out the door before reality came flooding back. I rushed forward, caught the closing door, and called out his name. He stopped and turned. The lopsided, knowing smile on his face was smug. “Good luck at practice,” I called, ignoring the few girls who stopped to watch us. “Thanks, baby.” I swear every girl within earshot sighed. I couldn’t even blame them. I shut the door and leaned against it. Ivy put her hands on her hips and looked at me. “I’m gonna need a mega supply of barf bags to put up with you two this semester.” I smiled.
Cambria Hebert (#Hater (Hashtag, #2))
Everyone has been overjoyed with the birth of their first son, bringing celebratory sweets, new clothes for the baby, fennel tea to bolster her milk supply. They have showered on her all the traditional gifts, as if this is her first baby, their first child. What about the other times I’ve carried a baby in my womb, given birth, held my child in my arms? But no one acknowledges this, not even Jasu. Only Kavita has an aching cavity in her heart for what she’s lost. She sees the pride in Jasu’s eyes as he holds his son and forces herself to smile while saying a silent prayer for this child. She hopes she can give him the life he deserves. She prays she will be a good mother to her son, prays she has enough maternal love left in her heart for him, prays it didn’t die along with her daughters.
Shilpi Somaya Gowda (Secret Daughter)
I’m at the point of banging my head against my laptop screen when Adele starts singing to me. Glancing down I see Jake’s name flashing. The smile it brings to my lips stays there as I answer it. “Hey, baby.” “How’s it going?” “Not good. You’re incredibly hard to write about, you know.” “But incredibly easy to love.” “Well, yeah, but that’s only because you have a big willy,” I joke. “Cock, baby. Call it cock, or dick. I’ll even swing for snake. But not willy. Willy just sounds so wrong, on so many levels.” “No it doesn’t! It’s a British term. Have you forgotten those altogether?” “No, but that’s one I will gladly forget.” I hear voices in the background. “Are you with someone?” “I’m in the studio with the guys. Zane’s here.” “You just said ‘cock,’ ‘dick,’ and ‘willy’ in front of them.” I groan. He lets out a loud laugh. “They’ve heard me say worse, baby, trust me.
Samantha Towle (Wethering the Storm (The Storm, #2))
So… hypothetically speaking, you’d be okay with me being pregnant?” He stops to think about it. “Hypothetically speaking, I want to marry your ass and have babies with you. How’s that?” I’m smiling so wide I’m sure you can see it from outer-space. I respond the only way I can think of, by gripping his collar into my fists and crashing my lips to his for a long, heated kiss. “Hypothetically speaking, you’re crazy.” I pant. Xavier pouts. “Why?” “For starters, we’re nineteen and you’ll change your mind.” “Okay, but what if—” Xavier pecks the tip of my nose. —hypothetically speaking, I ask you in a year or two once you understand how much I could never change my fucking mind about you even if I wanted to?” My heart is beating so fast you’d think it’s trying to go into cardiac arrest. “Well, then, hypothetically, I’d say yes.” “Cool. So, hypothetically, can we go the fuck home now so I can strip you naked and—” he leans forward to whisper the rest in my ear.
Eliah Greenwood (Dear Love, I Hate You (Easton Boys, #1))
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. ''I'm okay." 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." Oh boy. 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)
Remus,” said Hermione tentatively, “is everything all right . . . you know . . . between you and—” “Everything is fine, thank you,” said Lupin pointedly. Hermione turned pink. There was another pause, an awkward and embarrassed one, and then Lupin said, with an air of forcing himself to admit something unpleasant, “Tonks is going to have a baby.” “Oh, how wonderful!” squealed Hermione. “Excellent!” said Ron enthusiastically. “Congratulations,” said Harry. Lupin gave an artificial smile that was more like a grimace, then said, “So . . . do you accept my offer? Will three become four? I cannot believe that Dumbledore would have disapproved, he appointed me your Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, after all. And I must tell you that I believe that we are facing magic many of us have never encountered or imagined.” Ron and Hermione both looked at Harry. “Just—just to be clear,” he said. “You want to leave Tonks at her parents’ house and come away with us?” “She’ll be perfectly safe there, they’ll look after her,” said Lupin. He spoke with a finality bordering on indifference. “Harry, I’m sure James would have wanted me to stick with you.” “Well,” said Harry slowly, “I’m not. I’m pretty sure my father would have wanted to know why you aren’t sticking with your own kid, actually.” Lupin’s face drained of color. The temperature in the kitchen might have dropped ten degrees. Ron stared around the room as though he had been bidden to memorize it, while Hermione’s eyes swiveled backward and forward from Harry to Lupin. “You don’t understand,” said Lupin at last. “Explain, then,” said Harry. Lupin swallowed. “I—I made a grave mistake in marrying Tonks. I did it against my better judgment and I have regretted it very much ever since.” “I see,” said Harry, “so you’re just going to dump her and the kid and run off with us?” Lupin sprang to his feet: His chair toppled over backward, and he glared at them so fiercely that Harry saw, for the first time ever, the shadow of the wolf upon his human face. “Don’t you understand what I’ve done to my wife and my unborn child? I should never have married her, I’ve made her an outcast!” Lupin kicked aside the chair he had overturned. “You have only ever seen me amongst the Order, or under Dumbledore’s protection at Hogwarts! You don’t know how most of the Wizarding world sees creatures like me! When they know of my affliction, they can barely talk to me! Don’t you see what I’ve done? Even her own family is disgusted by our marriage, what parents want their only daughter to marry a werewolf? And the child—the child—” Lupin actually seized handfuls of his own hair; he looked quite deranged. “My kind don’t usually breed! It will be like me, I am convinced of it—how can I forgive myself, when I knowingly risked passing on my own condition to an innocent child? And if, by some miracle, it is not like me, then it will be better off, a hundred times so, without a father of whom it must always be ashamed!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
I’m fucking done with sadness, and I don’t know what’s up the ass of the universe lately but I’ve HAD IT. I AM GOING TO BE FURIOUSLY HAPPY, OUT OF SHEER SPITE. Can you hear that? That’s me smiling, y’all. I’m smiling so loud you can fucking hear it. I’m going to destroy the goddamn universe with my irrational joy and I will spew forth pictures of clumsy kittens and baby puppies adopted by raccoons and MOTHERFUCKING NEWBORN LLAMAS DIPPED IN GLITTER AND THE BLOOD OF SEXY VAMPIRES AND IT’S GOING TO BE AWESOME. In fact, I’m starting a whole movement right now. The FURIOUSLY HAPPY movement. And it’s going to be awesome because first of all, we’re all going to be VEHEMENTLY happy, and secondly because it will freak the shit out of everyone that hates you because those assholes don’t want to see you even vaguely amused, much less furiously happy, and it will make their world turn a little sideways and will probably scare the shit out of them. Which will make you even more happy. Legitimately.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
Stepping closer, I wiped away a tear from her cheek. “You’ll make a great mom.” “I guess we’re going to find out,” she said, melting into my arms. “I was on the pill. I can’t even do that part right.” Taking a deep breath and accepting this direction in my life, I said softly, “Don’t listen to the crap in your head. Listen to my heart. It’s known you from the beginning.” Lark tightened her grip on me. “You’re not mad.” “Why would I be mad?” “We just started dating.” “Oh, I had our whole lives planned out before you walked into my shop to fix your worm.” Lark smiled up at me. “Do you feel like I tried to trap you?” “Shit, you really have no idea how I see you. None at all. In fact, I’m happy on two levels. As the guy who wants to spend his life with you, I’m excited to think of our baby growing inside you. Plus, the caveman part of me is just excited that I beat Cooper.” Laughing, Lark nuzzled my chest. “And you knocked me up when I was on the pill. You have the mighty Thor of sperm.
Bijou Hunter (Damaged and the Cobra (Damaged, #3))
TO MY BELOVED, Its neither a piece of paper nor a letter, rather it's my small heart which I'm gifting it to you darling.It seems time stood still without ur presence around me. My days and nights have gone worthless. All my heart could do is to recall the memories of time which we have spend together. My heart gets rejoiced whenever your beautiful face comes before my eyes. Your mesmerizing eyes drive me to another world. Your flowing hair looks tantalizing and your rosy lips seems to be meant only for saying lovely words. While having a cup of coffee yesterday, numerous moments striked my heart. Our first meeting, when you were looking like a fairy in white salwar-suit. Still fresh in my mind, your pretty smile and bowing your head down to laugh with your hand on your lips. I confess that your every action was stealing my heart and I couldn't withdraw myself from lookig you. The gift you presented me on my birthday gives me a sigh of relief that you are always there with me. Sweetheart, In the classroom, I cracked useless jokes and PJ's just to see your charming smile. Kept gazing your lips, just to heat some golden words. You had stolen my heart. Dedicated '' I don't know when and how you arrived in my life, Don't know when my heart star beating for you, day n night.... My eyes kept staring the window pane, Wishing one day u'll come in my lane.... Darling you're the only one whom I admire, It's you whom my heart desperately desires... Being with you is my only need, You are now the medicine of my heartbeat... I Craved your name on my heart, The day when I decided not to loose you ever, And I promise you sweetheart that, I love you & i'll love you for ever, ever n ever...... It's true my baby that, i love you like anything. Miss you from very morning 2 the night. MY senses are active to feel you, to hear you, to see you, to taste every sorrow and happiness of your life. Jaana, get embedded in me, in my soul so that i can live with you, for you........ Dying to have your reply..... Truly Your's PK
Prabhat Kumar
I open the back door of my car for Ginger to buckle the baby in. She smiles and goes to it. I spin around and I'm face-to-face with Logan Kilgore. “Hey, good lookin',” he says, leaning against my door to block my path. “What do you want?” I ask, cracking a slight smile as I wait. He's wearing a dirty, Auburn Football t-shirt, worn out jeans and the same bedraggled baseball cap he always wears. His hair is sticking out just around the edges of the cap in messy twigs and the occasional curl. His curious eyes are dancing around like maybe he's in a very good mood. Despite the obvious, he's kind of beautiful, a little. “Not a thing,” he tells me before turning to walk away. “...was just passing through, wanted to say hello. See you.” I watch him amble away. Ginger shuts Chucky in and opens the door across from mine. She stops before getting in to look up at Logan too. “He's kind of charming,” she tells me, giggling a little. “No offense, but you thought Doug was charming,” I tell her, skeptically. “Good point,” she agrees, before getting into the car.
Elizabeth Nicole (September, After Everything)
At last they came to the lower slopes of the great mountains. Here she met a wild and bedraggled boy. He stumbled across her when she had stopped to rest and suckle the baby. The boy stared at the unlikely pair for a moment, then seated himself on the ground at a respectful distance, obviously preparing to converse. He was the strangest looking boy she had ever seen. Evidently a changeling like herself, for he was tall and straight with long slender limbs, but his hair was golden like the sun and his eyes a deep blue like the sky. He looked to be about fifteen years old, not quite a man, yet man enough to survive. She guessed he must have originated from the fabled district of Shor, in the far south, where it was rumoured that all the people were changelings, and all golden-haired. Astelle tensed, fully expecting Torking to deliver one of his pain bolts to the curious boy, but the child seemed unperturbed, and simply carried on suckling. This boy's attention was obviously not deemed as a threat. She relaxed and smiled at the youth. He returned the smile, white teeth startling against his tanned and dirty face. ‘Why are you travelling all alone?’ he asked. Encouraged by Torking's mindwhispers, Astelle managed to concoct a story very close to the truth. ‘As you can see, my child is rather unusual,’ she explained. ‘I could not bear to raise him among mortals who would constantly deride and insult him – and his father has left me, so I had no choice but to run from my tribe.’ Sympathy appeared in the deep blue eyes. ‘I understand that very well,’ he said. ‘I am an escaped slave. I was captured in infancy, and have no memory of my own people, but all my life I have been mocked and abused because I am different. My name is Bren. I would like to travel with you, if you don't mind. I could take care of you both.’ ‘Keep him,’ Torking mindwhispered. ‘He will be useful to fish and hunt for us. But do not tell him that I speak to you.’ Astelle smiled. ‘Thank you Bren,’ she said. ‘I will be glad of your company. I am called Astelle.’ ‘A Faen name...’ he said wonderingly. They began to climb the mountains of Clor.
Bernie Morris (The Fury of the Fae)
Ryder’s in jeans and his shirt from last night, and he’s staring at the fridge. When I pad closer, I see he’s not just staring at the door. I’ve hung my various ultrasound pictures to the silvery surface, and he’s studying them. His index finger is poised over my recent twenty-week one, and he’s tracing the outline of the baby’s legs. “Hi,” I say, clearing my throat. He straightens and then smiles. It’s a sheepish look, as if he’s been caught. “Just checking out Papaya.” I love that the name Papaya has stuck. That must be a sign he feels the same. I gesture to the thirteen-week picture, when I first heard the heartbeat. “I think Papaya was a fig in that one. Funny thing—when I was so sick, Papaya was only a kidney bean.” “Kidney beans are known to be troublemakers.” He steps closer, drops a strangely chaste kiss to my forehead, and sets his hands on my belly. “And I think Papaya is almost a mango now, right?” I nod. “How did you know?” “I might have googled pregnancy-to-fruit comparisons. Papaya will be an eggplant in a little while.” I blink. Holy shit. He really knows his pregnancy fruits. Better than I do.
Lauren Blakely (The Knocked up Plan (One Love, #3))
Swift came to the table and bowed politely. “My lady,” he said to Lillian, “what a pleasure it is to see you again. May I offer my renewed congratulations on your marriage to Lord Westcliff, and…” He hesitated, for although Lillian was obviously pregnant, it would be impolite to refer to her condition. “…you are looking quite well,” he finished. “I’m the size of a barn,” Lillian said flatly, puncturing his attempt at diplomacy. Swift’s mouth firmed as if he was fighting to suppress a grin. “Not at all,” he said mildly, and glanced at Annabelle and Evie. They all waited for Lillian to make the introductions. Lillian complied grudgingly. “This is Mr. Swift,” she muttered, waving her hand in his direction. “Mrs. Simon Hunt and Lady St. Vincent.” Swift bent deftly over Annabelle’s hand. He would have done the same for Evie except she was holding the baby. Isabelle’s grunts and whimpers were escalating and would soon become a full-out wail unless something was done about it. “That is my daughter Isabelle,” Annabelle said apologetically. “She’s teething.” That should get rid of him quickly, Daisy thought. Men were terrified of crying babies. “Ah.” Swift reached into his coat and rummaged through a rattling collection of articles. What on earth did he have in there? She watched as he pulled out his pen-knife, a bit of fishing line and a clean white handkerchief. “Mr. Swift, what are you doing?” Evie asked with a quizzical smile. “Improvising something.” He spooned some crushed ice into the center of the handkerchief, gathered the fabric tightly around it, and tied it off with fishing line. After replacing the knife in his pocket, he reached for the baby without one trace of self-consciusness. Wide-eyed, Evie surrendered the infant. The four women watched in astonishment as Swift took Isabelle against his shoulder with practiced ease. He gave the baby the ice-filled handkerchief, which she proceeded to gnaw madly even as she continued to cry. Seeming oblivious to the fascinated stares of everyone in the room, Swift wandered to the window and murmured softly to the baby. It appeared he was telling her a story of some kind. After a minute or two the child quieted. When Swift returned to the table Isabelle was half-drowsing and sighing, her mouth clamped firmly on the makeshift ice pouch. “Oh, Mr. Swift,” Annabelle said gratefully, taking the baby back in her arms, “how clever of you! Thank you.” “What were you saying to her?” Lillian demanded. He glanced at her and replied blandly, “I thought I would distract her long enough for the ice to numb her gums. So I gave her a detailed explanation of the Buttonwood agreement of 1792.” Daisy spoke to him for the first time. “What was that?” Swift glanced at her then, his face smooth and polite, and for a second Daisy half-believed that she had dreamed the events of that morning. But her skin and nerves still retained the sensation of him, the hard imprint of his body. “The Buttonwood agreement led to the formation of the New York Stock and Exchange Board,” Swift said. “I thought I was quite informative, but it seemed Miss Isabelle lost interest when I started on the fee-structuring compromise.” “I see,” Daisy said. “You bored the poor baby to sleep.” “You should hear my account of the imbalance of market forces leading to the crash of ’37,” Swift said. “I’ve been told it’s better than laudanum.
Lisa Kleypas (Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4))
Where do you think you're going? I turn to see him, Cameron's dad. He is tall, a lot taller than my mom and most of the teachers at school, and has Cameron's big eyes. I recognize you, he says, studying me with a smile. You're Cam's little girlfriend. He's got a picture of you in his room. He sounds nicer now. Maybe he's just a regular dad, maybe what I heard him saying to Cameron before wasn't really mean, maybe it was like a joke. I don't know how fathers are. Mine's been gone since I was two years old. Maybe they are like this-a little scary and big but mostly teasing. But then he says: I guess my little guy is a chubby chaser, huh? Well at least he's not a fairy. Tears come to my eyes and my face is hot. I pull the hem of my T-shirt down to cover the part of my stomach that always pokes out, white and lumpy. It's baby fat, my mom says, baby fat that is also on the tops of my knees and inside my thighs that rub together and under my chin. She says I'll grow out of it. I don't want to be here. It's only one step to the door. And then Cameron is standing there, behind his father, looking at me and I can't leave him. I can't leave him here alone.
Sara Zarr (Sweethearts)
I’m happy here, Tate. I’ll let you know when the baby comes,” she added quietly. “Certainly, you’ll have access to him any time you like.” Doors were closing. Walls were going up around her. He clenched his teeth together in impotent fury. “I want you,” he said forcefully, which was not at all what he wanted to say. “I don’t want you,” she replied, lying through her teeth. She wasn’t about to become an obligation again. She even smiled. “Thanks for coming to see about me. I’ll phone Leta when she and Matt come home from Nassau.” “They’re already home,” he said flatly. “I’ve been to make peace with them.” “Have you?” She smiled gently. “I’m glad. I’m so glad. It broke Leta’s heart that you wouldn’t speak to her.” “What do you think it’s going to do to her when she hears that you won’t marry the father of your child?” She gaped at him. “She…knows?” “They both know, Cecily,” he returned. “They were looking forward to making a fuss over you.” He turned toward the door, bristling with hurt pride and rejection. “You can call my mother and tell her yourself that you aren’t coming back. Then you can live here alone in the middle of ‘blizzard country,; and I wish you well.” He turned at the door with his black eyes flashing. “As for me, hell will freeze over before I come near you again!” He went out and slammed the door. Cecily stared after him with her heart in her throat. Why was he so angry that she’d relieved him of any obligations about the baby? He couldn’t want her for herself. If he had, if he’d had any real feeling for her, he’d have married her years ago. It was only the baby. She let the tears rush down her face again with pure misery as she heard the four-wheel drive roar out of the driveway and accelerate down the road. She hoped he didn’t run over anybody. Her hand went to her stomach and she remembered with anguish the look on his face when he’d put his big, strong hand over his child. She’d sent him away for the sake of his own happiness, didn’t he know that? She supposed it was just hurt pride that had caused his outburst. But she wished he hadn’t come. It would be so much harder to live here now that she could see him in this house, in these rooms, and be haunted by the memory of him all over again. He wouldn’t come back. She’d burned her bridges. There was no way to rebuild them.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
You’re worried about Anna?” “Anna and the baby, who, I can assure you, are not worried about me.” “Westhaven, are you pouting?” Westhaven glanced over to see his brother smiling, but it was a commiserating sort of smile. “Yes. Care to join me?” The commiserating smile became the signature St. Just Black Irish piratical grin. “Only until Valentine joins us. He’s so eager to get under way, we’ll let him break the trail when we depart in the morning.” “Where is he? I thought you were just going out to the stables to check on your babies.” “They’re horses, Westhaven. I do know the difference.” “You know it much differently than you knew it a year ago. Anna reports you sing your daughter to sleep more nights than not.” Two very large booted feet thunked onto the coffee table. “Do I take it your wife has been corresponding with my wife?” “And your daughter with my wife, and on and on.” Westhaven did not glance at his brother but, rather, kept his gaze trained on St. Just’s feet. Devlin could exude great good cheer among his familiars, but he was at heart a very private man. “The Royal Mail would go bankrupt if women were forbidden to correspond with each other.” St. Just’s tone was grumpy. “Does your wife let you read her mail in order that my personal marital business may now be known to all and sundry?” “I am not all and sundry,” Westhaven said. “I am your brother, and no, I do not read Anna’s mail. It will astound you to know this, but on occasion, say on days ending in y, I am known to talk with my very own wife. Not at all fashionable, but one must occasionally buck trends. I daresay you and Emmie indulge in the same eccentricity.” St. Just was silent for a moment while the fire hissed and popped in the hearth. “So I like to sing to my daughters. Emmie bears so much of the burden, it’s little enough I can do to look after my own children.” “You love them all more than you ever thought possible, and you’re scared witless,” Westhaven said, feeling a pang of gratitude to be able to offer the simple comfort of a shared truth. “I believe we’re just getting started on that part. With every child, we’ll fret more for our ladies, more for the children, for the ones we have, the one to come.” “You’re such a wonderful help to a man, Westhaven. Perhaps I’ll lock you in that nice cozy privy next time nature calls.” Which
Grace Burrowes (Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (The Duke's Daughters, #1; Windham, #4))
It all suddenly made me nervous, and a little, tiny, baby bit worried. Pulling one of the stools at the island back, I plopped into it and simply stared at that discolored, harsh face in unease. “I just want to know whether I need to steal a bat or make a phone call.” His mouth had been open and poised to argue with me… until he heard the last thing I said. “What?” “I need to know—” “What do you need to steal a bat for?” “Well, no one I know owns one, and I can’t go buy one at the store and have it caught on videotape.” “Videotape?” Did he know nothing? “Aiden, come on, if you beat the shit out of someone with a bat, they’re going to look for suspects. Once they have suspects, they’ll look through their things or their purchases. They’ll see I bought one recently and know it was premeditated. Why are you looking at me like that?” His mauve-colored eyelids went heavy over the bright whites of his eyes, and the expression on his face was filled such a vast range of emotions, one after another after another, that I wasn’t sure which one I was supposed to hold on to. He switched the icepack to the other side of his bruised jaw and shook his head. “The amount you know about committing crimes is terrifying, Van.” His mouth twitched under the rainbow of whatever he was thinking. “It scares the hell out of me, and I don’t get scared easily.” I snorted, pretty pleased with myself. “Calm down. I went through this phase when I was into watching a lot of crime TV shows. I’ve never even stolen a pen in my life.” Aiden’s careful expression didn’t go anywhere. “I’m not trying to kill anyone… unless we had to,” I joked weakly. His nostrils flared so slightly I almost missed it. But what I didn’t miss was the way the corners of his mouth tipped up into a tiny smile. I smiled at him as innocently as possible. “So do you want to tell me who’s going to get the fists of fury?” I hoped I sounded as harmless as I intended, even though I felt the exact opposite as every second passed. “Fists of fury?” “Yep.” I held up my hands just a little so he could see them. He had no idea the number of fights I’d gotten into with my sisters over the years. I didn’t always win—I rarely won if I was going to be honest—but I never gave up. The sigh that came out of him was so long and drawn out, I kind of prepped myself for the half-assed answer that was going to come out of his mouth. “It’s nothing.” There it was
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
Colby was quietly shocked to find Tate not only at his door the next morning, but smiling. He was expecting an armed assault following their recent telephone conversation. “I’m here with a job offer.” Colby’s dark eyes narrowed. “Does it come with a cyanide capsule?” he asked warily. Tate clapped the other man on the shoulder. “I’m sorry about the way I’ve treated you. I haven’t been thinking straight. I’m obliged to you for telling me the truth about Cecily.” “You know the baby’s yours, I gather?” Tate nodded. “I’m on my way to Tennessee to bring her home,” he replied. Colby’s eyes twinkled. “Does she know this?” “Not yet. I’m saving it for a surprise.” “I imagine you’re the one who’s going to get the surprise,” Colby informed him. “She’s changed a lot in the past few weeks.” “I noticed.” Tate leaned against the wall near the door. “I’ve got a job for you.” “You want me to go to Tennessee?” Colby murmured dryly. “In your dreams, Lane,” Tate returned. “No, not that. I want you to head up my security force for Pierce Hutton while I’m away.” Colby looked around the room. “Maybe I’m hallucinating.” “You and my father,” Tate muttered, shaking his head. “Listen, I’ve changed.” “Into what?” “Pay attention. It’s a good job. You’ll have regular hours. You can learn to sleep without a gun under your pillow. You won’t lose any more arms.” He added thoughtfully, “I’ve been a bad friend. I was jealous of you.” “But why?” Colby wanted to know. “Cecily is special. I look out for her, period. There’s never been a day since I met her when she wasn’t in love with you, or a time when I didn’t know it.” Tate felt warmth spread through his body at the remark. “I’ve given her hell. She may not feel that way, now.” “You can’t kill love,” Colby said heavily. “I know. I’ve tried.” Tate felt sorry for the man. He didn’t know how to put it into words. Colby shrugged. “Anyway, I’ve learned to live with my ghosts, thanks to that psychologist Cecily pushed me into seeing.” He scowled. “She keeps snakes, can you imagine? I used to see mine crawling out of whiskey bottles, but hers are real.” “Maybe she’s allergic to fur,” Tate pointed out. Colby chuckled. “Who knows. When do I start?” he added. “Today.” He produced a mobile phone and dialed a number. “I’m sending Colby Lane over. He’s my relief while I’m away. If you have any problems, report them to him.” He nodded as the person on the other end of the line replied in the affirmative. He closed up the phone. “Okay, here’s what you need to do…
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
I hurried over to Conrad, walking so fast I kicked up sand behind me. “Hey, I’m gonna get a ride,” I said breathlessly. The blond Red Sox girl looked me up and down. “Hello,” she said. Conrad said, “With who?” I pointed at Cam. “Him.” “You’re not riding with someone you don’t even know,” he said flatly. “I do so know him. He’s Sextus.” He narrowed his eyes. “Sex what?” “Never mind. His name is Cam, he’s studying whales, and you don’t get to decide who I ride home with. I was just letting you know, as a courtesy. I wasn’t asking for your permission.” I started to walk away, but he grabbed my elbow. “I don’t care what he’s studying. It’s not gonna happen,” he said casually, but his grip was tight. “If you want to go, I’ll take you.” I took a deep breath. I had to keep cool. I wasn’t going to let him goad me into being a baby, not in front of all these people. “No, thanks,” I said, trying to walk away again. But he didn’t let go. “I thought you already had a boyfriend?” His tone was mocking, and I knew he’d seen through my lie the night before. I wanted so badly to throw a handful of sand in his face. I tried to twist out of his grip. “Let go of me! That hurts!” He let go immediately, his face red. It didn’t really hurt, but I wanted to embarrass him the way he was embarrassing me. I said loudly, “I’d rather ride with a stranger than with someone who’s been drinking!” “I’ve had one beer,” he snapped. “I weigh a hundred and seventy-five pounds. Wait half an hour and I’ll take you. Stop being such a brat.” I could feel tears starting to spark my eyelids. I looked over my shoulder to see if Cam was watching. He was. “You’re an asshole,” I said. He looked me dead in the eyes and said, “And you’re a four-year-old.” As I walked away, I heard the girl ask, “Is she your girlfriend?” I whirled around, and we both said “No!” at the same time. Confused, she said, “Well, is she your little sister?” like I wasn’t standing right there. Her perfume was heavy. It felt like it filled all the air around us, like we were breathing her in. “No, I’m not his little sister.” I hated this girl for being a witness to all this. It was humiliating. And she was pretty, in the same kind of way Taylor was pretty, which somehow made things worse. Conrad said, “Her mom is best friends with my mom.” So that was all I was to him? His mom’s friend’s daughter? I took a deep breath, and without even thinking, I said to the girl, “I’ve known Conrad my whole life. So let me be the one to tell you you’re barking up the wrong tree. Conrad will never love anyone as much as he loves himself, if you know what I mean-“ I lifted up my hand and wiggled my fingers. “Shut up, Belly,” Conrad warned. The tops of his ears were turning bright red. It was a low blow, but I didn’t care. He deserved it. Red Sox girl frowned. “What is she talking about, Conrad?” To her I blurted out, “Oh, I’m sorry, do you not know what the idiom ‘barking up the wrong tree’ means?” Her pretty face twisted. “You little skank,” she hissed. I could feel myself shrinking. I wished I could take it back. I’d never gotten into a fight with a girl before, or with anyone for that matter. Thankfully, Conrad broke in then and pointed to the bonfire. “Belly, go back over there, and wait for me to come get you,” he said harshly. That’s when Jeremiah ambled over. “Hey, hey, what’s going on?” he asked, smiling in his easy, goofy way. “Your brother is a jerk,” I said. “That’s what’s going on.” Jeremiah put his arm around me. He smelled like beer. “You guys play nice, you hear?” I shrugged out of his hold and said, “I am playing nice. Tell your brother to play nice.” “Wait, are you guys brother and sister too?” the girl asked. Conrad said, “Don’t even think about leaving with that guy.
Jenny Han (The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1))
Harper walked over to her reception desk. “What’s with the Tyson look-alikes out there? I almost couldn’t get in here.” Pixie frowned. “Better go ask your boy-o. Famous rock star in the house.” Pixie accentuated her comment with the poke of her pen. Jeez, he was huge. And built. And shirtless. Okay, enough staring. Well, maybe just for another second. Trent was leaning over the guy, and she could tell from the wide-reaching spread of purple transfer lines that he was just beginning a sleeve on the other man’s lower arm. The guy in the chair might well be a rock star— although Harper would never admit she had no clue who he was— but he was wincing. Harper could totally feel for him. Trent was in his usual position— hat on backward, gloves on, and perched on a stool. Harper approached them nervously. The big guy’s size and presence were a little intimidating. “I don’t bite.” Oh God. He was talking to her. “Excuse me?” He sucked air in between clenched teeth. “I said I don’t bite. You can come closer.” His blue eyes were sparkling as he studied her closely. Trent looked up. “Hey, darlin’,” he said, putting the tattoo machine down and reaching for her hand. “Dred, this is my girl, Harper. Harper, this is Dred Zander from the band Preload. He’s one of the other judges I told you about.” Wow. Not that she knew much about the kind of music that Trent listened to, but even she had heard of Preload. That certainly explained the security outside. Dred reached out his hand and shook hers. “Nice to meet you, Harper. And a pity. For a minute, I thought you were coming over to see me.” “No,” Harper exclaimed quickly, looking over at Trent, who was grinning at her. “I mean, no, I was just bringing Trent some cookies.” Holy shit. Was she really that lame? It was like that moment in Dirty Dancing when Baby told Johnny she carried a watermelon. Dred turned and smiled enigmatically at Trent. “I see what you mean, man.” “Give.” Smiling, Trent held out his hand. Reaching inside her bag, she pulled out the cookies and handed the container to him. “Seriously, dude, she’s the best fucking cook on the planet.” Trent paused to take a giant bite. “You got to try one,” he mumbled, offering the container over. Harper watched, mortified, as a modern-day rock legend bit into one of her cookies. Dred chewed and groaned. “These are almost as good as sex.” Harper laughed. “Not quite,” Trent responded, giving her a look that made her burn. “You should try her pot roast. Could bring a grown man to his knees.
Scarlett Cole (The Strongest Steel (Second Circle Tattoos, #1))
We’d been together for a year when he lost his job in Chicago and I started noticing a change in him. Gone was his ever present smile when we were together; more often than not he would be withdrawn and seemed as if he was carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. Then, he got a job offer from his Uncle in Dalton, Ohio. He needed a new mechanic and wanted to help Beau out. Beau begged me to go with him; said he loved me and couldn’t bear to live without me. My parents and my best friend, Kate, were dead against it. They had noticed the change in Beau. They’d never been happy with our relationship, so they weren’t shy at expressing their concerns about moving across a whole other state to live with my “bad boy” boyfriend, and were vehemently against me giving up nursing school to do so. In the end, Beau used the ace up his sleeve, something I didn’t see coming until it was too late. He blackmailed me into moving with him. We were lying in bed one night, having just made love, and I was stuck in the post-coital haze that had my mind thinking of fluffy bunnies and rainbows. He rolled over and brushed the hair out of my face. “I can’t leave you behind, so I’ve decided you’re coming with me, Mac. It’s you and me against the world. I can’t survive without you, baby.” And
B.J. Harvey (Temporary Bliss (Bliss, #1))
The next morning I showed up at dad’s house at eight, with a hangover. All my brothers’ trucks were parked in front. What are they all doing here? When I opened the front door, Dad, Alan, Jase, and Willie looked at me. They were sitting around the living room, waiting. No one smiled, and the air felt really heavy. I looked to my left, where Mom was usually working in the kitchen, but this time she was still, leaning over the counter and looking at me too. Dad spoke first. “Son, are you ready to change?” Everything else seemed to go silent and fade away, and all I heard was my dad’s voice. “I just want you to know we’ve come to a decision as a family. You’ve got two choices. You keep doing what you’re doing--maybe you’ll live through it--but we don’t want nothin’ to do with you. Somebody can drop you off at the highway, and then you’ll be on your own. You can go live your life; we’ll pray for you and hope that you come back one day. And good luck to you in this world.” He paused for a second then went on, a little quieter. “Your other choice is that you can join this family and follow God. You know what we stand for. We’re not going to let you visit our home while you’re carrying on like this. You give it all up, give up all those friends, and those drugs, and come home. Those are your two choices.” I struggled to breathe, my head down and my chest tight. No matter what happened, I knew I would never forget this moment. My breath left me in a rush, and I fell to my knees in front of them all and started crying. “Dad, what took y’all so long?” I burst out. I felt broken, and I began to tell them about the sorry and dangerous road I’d been traveling down. I could see my brothers’ eyes starting to fill with tears too. I didn’t dare look at my mom’s face although I could feel her presence behind me. I knew she’d already been through the hell of addiction with her own mother, with my dad, with her brother-in-law Si, and with my oldest brother, Alan. And now me, her baby. I remembered the letters she’d been writing to me over the last few months, reaching out with words of love from her heart and from the heart of the Lord. Suddenly, I felt guilty. “Dad, I don’t deserve to come back. I’ve been horrible. Let me tell you some more.” “No, son,” he answered. “You’ve told me enough.” I’ve seen my dad cry maybe three times, and that was one of them. To see my dad that upset hit me right in the gut. He took me by my shoulders and said, “I want you to know that God loves you, and we love you, but you just can’t live like that anymore.” “I know. I want to come back home,” I said. I realized my dad understood. He’d been down this road before and come back home. He, too, had been lost and then found. By this time my brothers were crying, and they got around me, and we were on our knees, crying. I prayed out loud to God, “Thank You for getting me out of this because I am done living the way I’ve been living.” “My prodigal son has returned,” Dad said, with tears of joy streaming down his face. It was the best day of my life. I could finally look over at my mom, and she was hanging on to the counter for dear life, crying, and shaking with happiness. A little later I felt I had to go use the bathroom. My stomach was a mess from the stress and the emotions. But when I was in the bathroom with the door shut, my dad thought I might be in there doing one last hit of something or drinking one last drop, so he got up, came over, and started banging on the bathroom door. Before I could do anything, he kicked in the door. All he saw was me sitting on the pot and looking up at him while I about had a heart attack. It was not our finest moment. That afternoon after my brothers had left, we went into town and packed up and moved my stuff out of my apartment. “Hey bro,” I said to my roommate. “I’m changing my life. I’ll see ya later.” I meant it.
Jep Robertson (The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, and Forgiveness)
She sat and watched the dockhand when it was sunny and she sat and watched him when it rained. Or when it was foggy, which is what it was nearly every morning at eight o’clock. This morning was none of the above. This morning was cold. The pier smelled of fresh water and of fish. The seagulls screeched overhead, a man’s voice shouted. Where is my brother to help me, my sister, my mother? Pasha, help me, hide in the woods where I know I can find you. Dasha, look what’s happened. Do you even see? Mama, Mama. I want my mother. Where is my family to ask things of me, to weigh on me, to intrude on me, to never let me be silent or alone, where are they to help me through this? Deda, what do I do? I don’t know what to do. This morning the dockhand did not go over to see his friend at the next pier for a smoke and a coffee. Instead, he walked across the road and sat next to her on the bench. This surprised her. But she said nothing, she just wrapped her white nurse’s coat tighter around herself, and fixed the kerchief covering her hair. In Swedish he said to her, “My name is Sven. What’s your name?” After a longish pause, she replied. “Tatiana. I don’t speak Swedish.” In English he said to her, “Do you want a cigarette?” “No,” she replied, also in English. She thought of telling him she spoke little English. She was sure he didn’t speak Russian. He asked her if he could get her a coffee, or something warm to throw over her shoulders. No and no. She did not look at him. Sven was silent a moment. “You want to get on my barge, don’t you?” he asked. “Come. I will take you.” He took her by her arm. Tatiana didn’t move. “I can see you have left something behind,” he said, pulling on her gently. “Go and retrieve it.” Tatiana did not move. “Take my cigarette, take my coffee, or get on my barge. I won’t even turn away. You don’t have to sneak past me. I would have let you on the first time you came. All you had to do was ask. You want to go to Helsinki? Fine. I know you’re not Finnish.” Sven paused. “But you are very pregnant. Two months ago it would have been easier for you. But you need to go back or go forward. How long do you plan to sit here and watch my back?” Tatiana stared into the Baltic Sea. “If I knew, would I be sitting here?” “Don’t sit here anymore. Come,” said the longshoreman. She shook her head. “Where is your husband? Where is the father of your baby?” “Dead in the Soviet Union,” Tatiana breathed out. “Ah, you’re from the Soviet Union.” He nodded. “You’ve escaped somehow? Well, you’re here, so stay. Stay in Sweden. Go to the consulate, get yourself refugee protection. We have hundreds of people getting through from Denmark. Go to the consulate.” Tatiana shook her head. “You’re going to have that baby soon,” Sven said. “Go back, or move forward.” Tatiana’s hands went around her belly. Her eyes glazed over. The dockhand patted her gently and stood up. “What will it be? You want to go back to the Soviet Union? Why?” Tatiana did not reply. How to tell him her soul had been left there? “If you go back, what happens to you?” “I die most likely,” she barely whispered. “If you go forward, what happens to you?” “I live most likely.” He clapped his hands. “What kind of a choice is that? You must go forward.” “Yes,” said Tatiana, “but how do I live like this? Look at me. You think, if I could, I wouldn’t?” “So you’re here in the Stockholm purgatory, watching me move my paper day in and day out, watching me smoke, watching me. What are you going to do? Sit with your baby on the bench? Is that what you want?” Tatiana was silent. The first time she laid eyes on him she was sitting on a bench, eating ice cream. “Go forward.” “I don’t have it in me.” He nodded. “You have it. It’s just covered up. For you it’s winter.” He smiled. “Don’t worry. Summer’s here. The ice will melt.” Tatiana struggled up from the bench. Walking away, she said in Russian, “It’s not the ice anymore, my seagoing philosopher. It’s the pyre.
Paullina Simons (Tatiana and Alexander (The Bronze Horseman, #2))
she whipped around and placed the bouquet in my hand. Looking at her crazy, I tried to hand it back but, instead, she forcefully turned me around. On his knees, there was Hood with his hand extended with a beautiful diamond ring. Dropping the flowers, tears immediately formed in my eyes as I realized what was going on. Looking around the room, I saw both my mother and father nod their heads in approval and all of our family in friends either smiling or shedding happy tears. I looked back to Hood, who was nervously smiling before he began to speak. “Rhythm, from day one, my heart’s tune changed into a beat that only you could hear. You know we’ve had our ups and we’ve had our downs, but baby, none of it would have been worth it if it was not for you. The love we share is so rare that I make sure to pray twice a day that the Lord sees fit for me to have you and hold you for the rest of my life. Baby, you a nigga heartbeat, will you be my wife?” Pausing for a moment, all the good and bad flashed through my memory before I was able to answer. I guess I was taking too long because someone in the audience yelled out, “Girl, you better tell that fine ass man yes!” and everyone started to laugh. “Yes, Hood, yes!” I yelled, as he slipped the beautiful ring on my finger before standing and grabbing me in a tight hug. Our lips locked in a passionate kiss as everyone clapped and whistled, congratulating us. “Congrats the two of you.” I felt my father’s hand on my shoulder after Hood and I let go of each other. “Thanks
Niqua Nakell (Rhythm & Hood (A STAND ALONE NOVEL): A Dope Boy's Heartbeat)
She was interviewing one of my favorite television actors, Don Johnson of Miami Vice. As he reclined on a couch in his lovely home, Don told Barbara about the joys and difficulties in his life. He talked of past struggles with drug and alcohol abuse and work addiction. Then he spoke of his relationships with women—how exciting and attractive he found them. I could see his energy rise and his breath quicken as he spoke. An air of intoxication seemed to fill the room. Don said his problem was he liked women too much and found it hard to be with one special partner over a long period. He would develop a deep friendship and intimacy, but then his eyes would wander. I thought to myself, this man has been sexually abused! His problems sounded identical to those of adult survivors I counsel in my practice. But then I reconsidered: Maybe I’ve been working too hard. Perhaps I’m imagining a sexual abuse history that isn’t really there. Then it happened. Barbara leaned forward and, with a smile, asked, “Don, is it true that you had your first sexual relationship when you were quite young, about twelve years old, with your seventeen-year-old baby-sitter?” My jaw dropped. Don grinned back at Barbara. He cocked his head to the side; a twinkle came into his blue eyes. “Yeah,” he said, “and I still get excited just thinking about her today.” Barbara showed no alarm. The next day I wrote Barbara Walters a letter, hoping to enlighten her about the sexual abuse of boys. Had Don been a twelve-year-old girl and the baby-sitter a seventeen-year-old boy, we wouldn’t hesitate to call what had happened rape. It would make no difference how cooperative or seemingly “willing” the victim had been. The sexual contact was exploitive and premature, and would have been whether the twelve-year-old was a boy or a girl. This past experience and perhaps others like it may very well be at the root of the troubles Don Johnson has had with long-term intimacy. Don wasn’t “lucky to get a piece of it early,” as some people might think. He was sexually abused and hadn’t yet realized it.   Acknowledging past sexual abuse is an important step in sexual healing. It helps us make a connection between our present sexual issues and their original source. Some survivors have little difficulty with this step: They already see themselves as survivors and their sexual issues as having stemmed directly from sexual abuse. A woman who is raped sees an obvious connection if she suddenly goes from having a pleasurable sex life to being terrified of sex. For many survivors, however, acknowledging sexual abuse is a difficult step. We may recall events, but through lack of understanding about sexual abuse may never have labeled those experiences as sexual abuse. We may have dismissed experiences we had as insignificant. We may have little or no memory of past abuse. And we may have difficulty fully acknowledging to ourselves and to others that we were victims. It took me years to realize and admit that I had been raped on a date, even though I knew what had happened and how I felt about it. I needed to understand this was in fact rape and that I had been a victim. I needed to remember more and to stop blaming myself before I was able to acknowledge my experience as sexual abuse.
Wendy Maltz (The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse (Third Edition))
Once the vehicle started moving, she realized she had no idea where she was going. Wasn’t that always the case? Her phone chimed. Nick. Where did you go? Quinn deleted it. Then she started a new text. Playing sentry again tonight? The response text took less than three seconds. Why? Need rescuing, baby girl? Quinn smiled. Now that you mention it, yeah. I do. Her phone vibrated almost immediately. What’s up? I’m on a bus, bound for nowhere. Sweetheart, it’s a TRAIN bound for nowhere. Her heart gave a little squee at the endearment. It meant nothing and everything all at once. She smiled over her phone while she texted back. Well, I’m on a bus with no destination in mind. Want me to come get you? Quinn stopped and stared at the phone. Was this dangerous? It didn’t feel dangerous. Tyler had had ample opportunity to hurt her last night and he hadn’t. When Becca had first told her about finding Chris in the middle of a fight with Tyler and Seth in the parking lot, Quinn’s first question had been, “Why?” She’d never gotten a good answer. She slid her thumbs across the face of her phone. Are more taquitos in my future? Play your cards right and there might be a soda, too. His texts were teasing, so she wasn’t sure if his offer to come get her was genuine. She didn’t want to get off the bus until she knew for sure. Then her phone lit up with a new message. Don’t make me ride the bus all night. Where should I pick you up? “Excuse me,” she called to the driver. “What’s the next stop?” “Annapolis Mall. West side.” Next stop is Annapolis Mall. West side. Well look at that. You just got upgraded to a soft pretzel. See you in 10.
Brigid Kemmerer (Secret (Elemental, #4))
It's all that's left,' Leon said in a suddenly weak voice. 'It's what is left of civilization. You take raw material and you transform it. That is civilization. Physical love is all raw meat. That's why everyone's so preoccupied with it now. I have been told by a colleague ten years older than myself--as if it were possible for anybody to be ten years older than I am--that salvation comes from staring at the pubic region of strangers, and freedom, from inducing in myself, by the use of a chemical, the kind of ecstatic lunacy in which I spent most of my adolescence, a condition I attribute solely to the strength of my body at that time and the conviction I had then that I would see socialism in the United States during my lifetime. Now that my bones are weak, my brain is stronger. I don't expect . . . anything. But I cannot bear the grotesque, lying piety of my own unhinged contemporaries. One man, a literary star'--and here he broke off, laughed once, choked and shook his head--'oh, yes, a star, told me he only regretted the pill had not yet been developed in his own youth. All those girls who might have been his! In this age of generalized cock, is this the whole revelation toward which my life has been directed? I would, in any case, prefer to contemplate the organ of a horse. It is handsomer, larger and more comic than anything my fellow man has to show. It is the age of baby shit, darling. Don't kid yourself. My privacy has been violated--what I've admired and thought about all my life has been debased. Poor bodies . . . poor evil-smiling gross flesh. Perhaps we're going downhill, all of us.' He reached out and pressed her shoulder. 'Do you understand me?' he asked.
Paula Fox (Desperate Characters)
I could do this. I just had to be careful and not punch her. Piece of cake. “Hi,” Heather said, stretching the word. She walked carefully, as if worried I’d bite her. “Hi!” Kate Daniels, a good neighbor. Would you like some cookies? “I’m sorry to bother you . . . What is that smell?” Spider guts. “How can I help you?” “Umm, the neighbors asked me to bring some issues to your attention.” I bet they did, and she bravely soldiered under that burden. “Shoot.” “It’s about the mailbox.” I could see the communal mailbox out of the corner of my eye. It seemed intact. “You see, the mailman saw your husband during one of his walks.” “He’s my fiancé,” I told her. “We are living in sin.” Heather blinked, momentarily knocked off her stride, but recovered. “Oh, that’s nice.” “It’s very nice. I highly recommend it.” “As I was saying, he saw your fiancé when he was in his animal shape. How to put it . . . He became alarmed.” That was generally a normal reaction when encountering Curran for the first time. “We are not sure if they will deliver mail again.” “Did you receive any official notices from the post office?” “No, but . . .” Heather tried a smile. “We were thinking maybe your fiancé could not do that anymore.” “Do what?” I had a sudden urge to strangle Heather. I was so tired of people acting like Curran was an inhuman spree killer who would murder babies in their sleep. “Walk around in his animal shape.” No strangling. Strangling would not be neighborly. “It would also be nice if he limited the range of his walks.” I had had a really long day. My nerves were stretched thin and she was jumping up and down on the last of them. I inhaled slowly. Two years of sorting shapeshifter politics and their run-ins with humans had to count for something.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels, #8))
Nobody ever talked about what a struggle this all was. I could see why women used to die in childbirth. They didn't catch some kind of microbe, or even hemorrhage. They just gave up. They knew that if they didn't die, they'd be going through it again the next year, and the next. I couldn't understand how a woman might just stop trying, like a tired swimmer, let her head go under, the water fill her lungs. I slowly massaged Yvonne's neck, her shoulders, I wouldn't let her go under. She sucked ice through threadbare white terry. If my mother were here, she'd have made Melinda meek cough up the drugs, sure enough. "Mamacita, ay," Yvonne wailed. I didn't know why she would call her mother. She hated her mother. She hadn't seen her in six years, since the day she locked Yvonne and her brother and sisters in their apartment in Burbank to go out and party, and never came back. Yvonne said she let her boyfriends run a train on her when she was eleven. I didn't even know what that meant. Gang bang, she said. And still she called out, Mama. It wasn't just Yvonne. All down the ward, they called for their mothers. ... I held onto Yvonne's hands, and I imagined my mother, seventeen years ago, giving birth to me. Did she call for her mother?...I thought of her mother, the one picture I had, the little I knew. Karin Thorvald, who may or may not have been a distant relation of King Olaf of Norway, classical actress and drunk, who could recite Shakespeare by heart while feeding the chickens and who drowned in the cow pond when my mother was thirteen. I couldn't imagine her calling out for anyone. But then I realized, they didn't mean their own mothers. Not those weak women, those victims. Drug addicts, shopaholics, cookie bakers. They didn't mean the women who let them down, who failed to help them into womanhood, women who let their boyfriends run a train on them. Bingers and purgers, women smiling into mirrors, women in girdles, women in barstools. Not those women with their complaints and their magazines, controlling women, women who asked, what's in it for me? Not the women who watched TV while they made dinner, women who dyed their hair blond behind closed doors trying to look twenty-three. They didn't mean the mothers washing dishes wishing they'd never married, the ones in the ER, saying they fell down the stairs, not the ones in prison saying loneliness is the human condition, get used to it. They wanted the real mother, the blood mother, the great womb, mother of a fierce compassion, a woman large enough to hold all the pain, to carry it away. What we needed was someone who bled, someone deep and rich as a field, a wide-hipped mother, awesome, immense, women like huge soft couches, mothers coursing with blood, mothers big enough, wide enough, for us to hide in, to sink down to the bottom of, mothers who would breathe for is when we could not breathe anymore, who would fight for us, who would kill for us, die for us. Yvonne was sitting up, holding her breath, eyes bulging out. It was the thing she should not do. "Breathe," I said in her ear. "Please, Yvonne, try." She tried to breathe, a couple of shallow inhalations, but it hurt too much. She flopped back on the narrow bed, too tired to go on. All she could do was grip my hand and cry. And I thought of the way the baby was linked to her, as she was linked to her mother, and her mother, all the way back, insider and inside, knit into a chain of disaster that brought her to this bed, this day. And not only her. I wondered what my own inheritance was going to be. "I wish I was dead," Yvonne said into the pillowcase with the flowers I'd brought from home. The baby came four hours later. A girl, born 5:32 PM.
Janet Fitch (White Oleander)
A new wife is not a matter. She is my family. Their Graces have had thirty years to spend holidays with us, and this my first—” Westhaven sighed, took a sip of punch, and glanced over at Val. “It doesn’t get easier the longer you’re married. You still fret, more in fact, once the babies start coming.” Val’s head cocked, as if he’d just recalled his brother was also his friend. “Well, as to that…” Val smiled at his punch. Baby Brother sported a devastating smile when he wanted to, but this expression was… St. Just lifted his mug. “Congratulations, then. How’s Ellen faring?” “She’s in fine spirits, in glowing good health, and I’m a wreck. I think she sent me off to Peterborough with something like relief in her eye.” Westhaven was staring morosely at his grog. “Anna isn’t subtle about it anymore. She tells me to get on my horse and not come back until I’ve worked the fidgets out of us both. She’s quite glad to see me when I return, though. Quite glad.” For Westhaven, that was the equivalent of singing a bawdy song in the common. St. Just propped his mug on his stomach. “Emmie says I’m an old campaigner, and I get twitchy if I’m confined to headquarters too long. Winnie says I need to go on scouting patrol. The reunions are nice, though. You’re right about that.” Val took a considering sip of his drink then speared St. Just with a look. “I wouldn’t know about those reunions, but I intend to find out soon. Dev, you are the only one of us experienced at managing a marching army, and I’m not in any fit condition to be making decisions, or I’d be on my way back to Oxfordshire right now.” “Wouldn’t advise that,” Westhaven said, still looking glum. “Your wife will welcome you sweetly into her home and her bed, but you’ll know you didn’t quite follow orders—our wives are in sympathy with Her Grace—and they have their ways of expressing their…” Both brothers chimed in, “Disappointment.” A
Grace Burrowes (Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (The Duke's Daughters, #1; Windham, #4))
I didn’t know my dad in person and I never got to say goodbye to him at his funeral and I thought it would be nice to say a few words now that I sort of feel I know him a bit better.’ She gave a nervous smile, and pushed a strand of hair from her face. ‘So. Will … Dad. When I first found out you were my real father, I’ll be honest, I was a bit freaked out. I’d hoped my real dad was going to be this wise, handsome man, who would want to teach me stuff and protect me and take me on trips to show me amazing places that he loved. And what I actually got was an angry man in a wheelchair who just, you know, killed himself. But because of Lou, and your family, over the last few months I’ve come to understand you a bit better. ‘I’ll always be sad and maybe even a bit angry that I never got to meet you, but now I want to say thank you too. “. You gave me a lot, without knowing it. I think I’m like you in good ways – and probably a few not-so-good ways. You gave me blue eyes and my hair colour and the fact that I think Marmite is revolting and the ability to do black ski runs and … Well, apparently you also gave me a certain amount of moodiness – that’s other people’s opinion, by the way. Not mine.’ ‘But mostly you gave me a family I didn’t know I had. And that’s cool. Because, to be honest, it wasn’t going that well before they all turned up.’ Her smile wavered. ‘ So, um, Will … Dad, I’m not going to go on and on because speeches are boring and also that baby is going to start wailing any minute, which will totally harsh the mood. But I just wanted to say thank you, from your daughter, and that I … love you and I’ll always miss you, and I hope if you’re looking down, and you can see me, you’re glad. That I exist. Because me being here sort of means you’re still here, doesn’t it?’ Lily’s voice cracked and her eyes filled with tears. Her gaze slid towards Camilla, who gave a small nod.
Jojo Moyes (After You (Me Before You, #2))
I opened the door with a smile on my face that soon melted when I saw his messy appearance. The doorframe held him up as he leaned all of his weight against it. Expressionless, bloodshot eyes stared back at me as he lifted his hand and ran it roughly down his unshaved face. His hair was disheveled and there was blood on the front of his shirt. Panic rose up as I took him in. I rushed to him and ran my fingers down his body, as I checked for injuries. “You’re bleeding! Oh my God, Devin! What happened? Are you OK?” “It’s not my blood,” he slurred. I took a better look at his gorgeous face. His unfocused eyes attempted to meet mine and it was then that the smell of liquor reached me. “You’re drunk?” “Abso-fucking-lutely.” He attempted to move toward me and almost fell over. I wrapped my arms around him and helped him into my apartment. Once we made it to the couch I let him collapse onto the cushion before I went straight to work on his clothes. I removed his blood-stained shirt first and threw it to the side. Quickly checked him over again just to be sure that he wasn’t injured somewhere. His skin felt cold and clammy against my fingertips. His knuckles were busted open, so I went to the bathroom and got a wet towel and the first aid kit. I cleaned his fingers then wrapped them up. I felt fingers in my hair and looked up to see a very drunk Devin staring back at me. “You’re so fucking beautiful,” he whispered as his heavy head fell against the back of my couch again. Shaking my head, I dropped onto my knees on the floor and removed his boots. Once I was done getting Devin out of his shoes, I went to the hallway closet and pulled out a blanket for him. When I got back to the couch, he was standing there looking back at me in all his tattooed, muscled glory. He was still leaning a bit to the side when his eyes locked on mine. “Come here,” he rasped. He looked as if he was about to crumble and I couldn’t tell if it was the alcohol or if something was really breaking him down. “Are you OK, baby?” I asked. He closed his eyes and sighed. “I love it when you call me baby.” I went to him and he groaned as I softly ran my hands up his chest and put my arms around his neck. On my tiptoes, I softly kissed the line of his neck and his chin. “Tell me what happened, Devin.” When he finally opened his eyes, he looked at me differently. The calm and collected Devin was gone and an anxiety-ridden shell of a man stood before me. His shoulders felt tense beneath my fingers and his eyes held a crazed demeanor. “I need you, Lilly.” He captured my face softly in his hands as he slurred the words. “Please tell me what happened?” “Make it go away, baby,” he whispered as he leaned in and started to kiss me. I let him as I melted against his body. He collapsed against the couch once more, but this time he took me with him. Not once did he break our kiss, and soon, I felt his velvet tongue against mine. I kissed him back and let my fingers play in the hair at the back of his neck. He broke the kiss and started down the side of my neck. “I need you, Lilly,” he repeated against my skin. “I’m here.” I bit at my bottom lip to stop myself from moaning. “Please, just make it all go away,” he drunkenly begged. “I don’t know what’s going on, but tell me what to do to make it better. I want to make it better, Devin.” I stopped him and stared into his eyes as I waited for his response. “Don’t leave me,” he said desperately. “I’m not going anywhere. I’m here. I’ll do whatever it takes to make it better.” I wanted to cry. He looked so hurt and afraid. It was strange to see such a strong, confident man so lost and unsure. He flipped me onto my back on the couch and crawled on top of me. His movements were less calculated—slower than usual. “I want you. I need to be inside you,” he said aggressively.
Tabatha Vargo (On the Plus Side (Chubby Girl Chronicles, #1))
When I come down the stairs, Peter is sitting on the couch with his mom. He is shaking his knee up and down, which is how I know he’s nervous too. As soon as he sees me, he stands up. He raises his eyebrows. “You look--wow.” For the past week, he’s been asking for details on what my dress looks like, and I held him at bay for the surprise, which I’m glad I did, because it was worth it to see the look on his face. “You look wow too.” His tux fits him so nicely, you’d think it was custom, but it’s not; it’s a rental from After Hours Formal Wear. I wonder if Mrs. Kavinsky made a few sly adjustments. She’s a marvel with a needle and thread. I wish guys could wear tuxedos more often, though I suppose that would take some of the thrill away. Peter slides my corsage on my wrist; it is white ranunculus and baby’s breath, and it’s the exact corsage I would have picked for myself. I’m already thinking of how I’ll hang it over my bed so it dries just so. Kitty is dressed up too; she has on her favorite dress, so she can be in the pictures. When Peter pins a daisy corsage on her, her face goes pink with pleasure, and he winks at me. We take a picture of me and her, one of me and Peter and her, and then she says in her bossy way, “Now just one of me and Peter,” and I’m pushed off to the side with Trina, who laughs. “The boys her age are in for it,” she says to me and Peter’s mom, who is smiling too. “Why am I not in any of these pictures?” Daddy wonders, so of course we do a round with him too, and a few with Trina and Mrs. Kavinsky. Then we take pictures outside, by the dogwood tree, by Peter’s car, on the front steps, until Peter says, “Enough pictures! We’re going to miss the whole thing.” When we go to his car, he opens the door for me gallantly. On the way over, he keeps looking at me. I keep my eyes trained straight ahead, but I can see him in my periphery. I’ve never felt so admired. This must be how Stormy felt all the time.
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
We had planned to spend Christmas morning with my family, and then head over to Phil and Kay’s for Christmas night. The whole family was there, including all the grandkids. Bella, Willie and Korie’s daughter, was the youngest and still an infant. We opened presents, ate dinner, and the whole evening felt surreal. Tomorrow morning I’ll have a baby in this world, I thought. When Jep and I left that night, I said, “I’m gonna go have a baby. See you all later!” For all the worry and concern and tears and prayers we’d spent on our unborn baby, when it came to her birth, she was no trouble at all. I went to the hospital, got prepped for the C-section, and within thirty minutes she was out. Lily was beautiful and healthy. I was overwhelmed with happiness and joy. I felt God had blessed me. He’d created life inside of me--a real, beautiful, breathing little human being--and brought her into this world through me. It was an unbelievable miracle. And the best part? Jep was in the delivery room. Unlike his dad, he wanted to be there, and he shared it all with me. I’ll never forget the sight of Jep decked out in blue scrubs, with the blue head cover, holding his baby girl for the first time. I’ll never forget how she nestled down in the crook of his arm, his hand wrapped up and around, gently holding her. He stared down at her, and I could see a smile behind his white surgical mask. He was already in love--I knew that look. After we admired the baby together, I fell asleep, and Jep took his newborn daughter out to meet the family. He told me later he bawled like a baby. Later, when she went to the hospital nursery, Jep kept going over there to stare at her. I think he was in shock and overwhelmed and excited. Lily had a light creamy complexion and little pink rosebud lips, and she was born December 26, 2002. Despite the rough pregnancy, she was perfect. God answered our prayers, and now we were a family of three. We’d been married just a little over a year.
Jessica Robertson (The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, and Forgiveness)
Where’s the baby?” “I just fed and changed him,” Haven said. Hardy lifted Luke’s carrier and gave it to Jack, who took it with his free hand. “Thank you.” I gave Haven a woeful glance as she handed me the diaper bag. “I’m sorry.” “For what?” “For falling asleep like that.” Haven smiled and reached out to hug me. “There’s nothing to be sorry about. What’s a little narcolepsy among friends?” Her body was slim and strong, one small hand patting my back. The gesture surprised me in its naturalness and ease. I returned the embrace awkwardly. Haven said over my shoulder, “I like this one, Jack.” Jack didn’t answer, only nudged me out into the hallway. I trudged forward, nearly blind with exhaustion, staggering with it. It took extreme focus to keep one foot in front of the other. “I don’t know why I’m so tired tonight,” I said. “It’s all caught up with me, I guess.” I felt Jack’s hand descend to the center of my back, guiding me forward. I decided to talk to keep myself awake. “You know, chronic sleep deper . . . dep . . .” “Deprivation?” “Yes.” I shook my head to clear it. “It gives you memory problems and raises your blood pressure. And it results in occupational hazards. It’s lucky I can’t get hurt doing my job. Unless I fall forward and hit my head on the keyboard. If you ever see QWERTY imprinted on my forehead, you’ll know what happened.” “Here we go,” Jack said, loading me onto the elevator. I squinted at the row of buttons and reached for one. “No,” he said patiently, “that’s the nine, Ella. Press the upside-down one.” “They’re all upside-down,” I told him, but I managed to find the 6. Propping myself up in the corner, I wrapped my arms around my midriff. “Why did Haven tell you ‘I like this one’?” “Why shouldn’t she like you?” “It’s just . . . if she says it to you, it implies . . .”— I tried to wrap my foggy brain around the idea—“. . . something.” A quiet laugh escaped him. “Don’t try thinking just now, Ella. Save it for later.” That sounded like a good idea. “Okay.
Lisa Kleypas (Smooth Talking Stranger (Travises, #3))
Then Janie’s baby voice rose above the din. “Ma-ma!” My steps halted. So did my heart. The plaintive cry filled every crevice of my being. “Ma-ma!” The caterwauling ceased. I turned. Ollie’s horror-stricken face told me I’d heard right. Gripping the handle of my suitcase and clenching my teeth, I tried to hold in my own keening. Janie dropped to her pudgy knees in the middle of the road. “Ma-ma!” She fell on her face in the dirt and sobbed. My gaze rose past her to Frank, who stood at the top of the steps. His horror seemed to mirror my own. I’d thought by leaving I’d alleviate his suffering, but it seemed I’d only deepened it. He made his way across the yard, his eyes fixed on mine. He passed his frozen children as if they were merely trees in a human forest and stopped in front of me, so close I could smell Ol’ Bob on his shirt. I tilted my head back, looked into his face. My heart bumped against my chest, though I’d felt sure it had stopped beating altogether. His arms reached for me, then fell back to his side. “Please, Rebekah. Please stay. They need you. I told you that.” “I can’t.” My vision blurred as I shook my head. His thumb caught a tear on my cheek, wiped it dry. I glanced at Janie, still lying heartbroken in the dirt. I ached to go to her, but I didn’t want to make things worse. Ollie seemed to read my thoughts. She picked up her sister, but her attention remained on me. I looked back at Frank. “Can’t you see? I’m giving you your life back. Your whole life. Your house. Your family.” I tasted the salt of my tears. He grabbed my shoulders. “But don’t you understand, Rebekah? I can’t have my whole life back. When I left for the war, I knew nothing would ever be the same. And it isn’t. Clara is gone. I have to make a new life now.” He sucked in a deep breath. “And I want to make it with you.” “Me? Are you saying . . . ” I held my breath, holding the words inside me, afraid they’d meet the air and burst like a soap bubble. His lips curled into a smile that chased every trace of gray from his eyes. “Marry me?
Anne Mateer (Wings of a Dream)
There was something about the scent of apple, she thought, that was truly unique to just that fruit-- it really did touch on so many childhood memories. Probably because it was among the first baby foods so many ate. "This is going to be so very popular," she said thoughtfully. "I might tone down some of the earth notes, maybe bring up some of the brightness." Dylan observed as she made some exacting adjustments to the dials while simultaneously watching their correlating meters. Grace took a few quick sniffs, smiled, and then held the nose cup to his face again. He put his hand on hers and drew the cup even closer. "I think this balance would make a lovely cider or a blend to an organic cinnamon and apple oatmeal," she said. "Yes," said Dylan, nodding. "Hot from the pan on a cold autumn morning. I can absolutely smell that." "Let's bring up a spice note, warm up the composition a bit." Watching his face, her left hand still with his, her right hand reaching out to the dials, Grace adjusted the machine, and she could see from his face when she was hitting just the right notes. Dylan started laughing. "What?" she asked happily. "I smell my mother's apple pie." He pressed his warm hand to hers on the cup as he inhaled. "That's amazing!" Then he grabbed her hand and moved the cup toward her. "Here, you have to try this." Their hands still together, she inhaled. "Oh, this 'is' amazing. Yum." Grace reached for a dial and adjusted it. "I think I can bring up a butter note in here." A blissful expression came over her face as she sniffed the computer's new modulation. "Try this," she said, moving the cup toward Dylan. Eagerly, he leaned in to her, his head nearly against hers, their hair touching as she held the nose cup out for him. He took in a whiff. "How about just a little more butter?" She adjusted a dial and leaned even closer, so that they were both taking in the scent from the one nose cup. Grace turned to him and they locked eyes, their faces together, their hands together on the nose cup before them, which eased forth the intoxicating aroma of hot apple pie.
Jeffrey Stepakoff (The Orchard)
I wanted to be alone.” “I see.” Except she didn’t, exactly. When had this child become a mystery to her own mother? “Why?” Sophie glanced at herself in the mirror, and Esther could only hope her daughter saw the truth: a lovely, poised woman—intelligent, caring, well dowered, and deserving of more than a stolen interlude with a convenient stranger and an inconvenient baby—Sophie’s brothers’ assurances notwithstanding. “I am lonely, that’s why.” Sophie’s posture relaxed with this pronouncement, but Esther’s consternation only increased. “How can you be lonely when you’re surrounded by loving family, for pity’s sake? Your father and I, your sisters, your brothers, even Uncle Tony and your cousins—we’re your family, Sophia.” She nodded, a sad smile playing around her lips that to Esther’s eyes made her daughter look positively beautiful. “You’re the family I was born with, and I love you too, but I’m still lonely, Your Grace. I’ve wished and wished for my own family, for children of my own, for a husband, not just a marital partner…” “You had many offers.” Esther spoke gently, because in Sophie’s words, in her calm, in her use of the present tense—“I am lonely”—there was an insight to be had. “Those offers weren’t from the right man.” “Was Baron Sindal the right man?” It was a chance arrow, but a woman who had raised ten children owned a store of maternal instinct. Sophie’s chin dropped, and she sighed. “I thought he was the right man, but it wasn’t the right offer, or perhaps it was, but I couldn’t hear it as such. And then there was the baby… It wouldn’t be the right marriage.” Esther took her courage in both hands and advanced on her daughter—her sensible daughter—and slipped an arm around Sophie’s waist. “Tell me about this baby. I’ve heard all manner of rumors about him, but you’ve said not one word.” She meant to walk Sophie over to the vanity, so she might drape Oma’s pearls around Sophie’s neck, but Sophie closed her eyes and stiffened. “He’s a good baby. He’s a wonderful baby, and I sent him away. Oh, Mama, I sent my baby away…” And then, for the first time in years, sensible Lady Sophia Windham cried on her mother’s shoulder as if she herself were once again a little, inconsolable baby. ***
Grace Burrowes (Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (The Duke's Daughters, #1; Windham, #4))
We eat in silence for a few minutes, and then Alexandra says, “That reminds me. Matthew, could you escort me to a charity dinner the second Saturday in December? Steven is going to be out of town.” She looks toward me. “I would ask my darling brother to do it, but we all know he spends his Saturday nights with the city slu—” she glances at her daughter “—undesirables.” Before Matthew can answer, Mackenzie puts her two cents in. “I don’t think Uncle Matthew can come, Momma. He been too busy bein’ pussy whipped. Wha’s pussy whipped, Daddy?” As soon as the words leave her angelic little lips, a horrendous chain reaction is set off: Matthew chokes on the black olive in his mouth, which flies out and nails Steven right in the eye. Steven doubles over, holding his eye and yelling, “I’m hit! I’m hit!” and then goes on about how the salt from the olive juice is eating away at his cornea. My father starts coughing. George stands up and begins pounding on his back while asking no one in particular if he should perform the Heimlich. Estelle knocks over her glass of red wine, which quickly seeps into my mother’s lace tablecloth. She makes no move to clean up the mess, but instead chants, “Oh, my goodness. Oh, my goodness.” My mother runs around the dining room like a chicken with its head cut off, searching for non-cloth napkins to wipe up the stain, all the while assuring Estelle that everything’s fine. And Frank…well…Frank just keeps eating. While the chaos continues around us, Alexandra’s death-ray glare never wavers from Matthew and me. After squirming under it for about thirty seconds, Matthew caves. “It wasn’t me, Alexandra. I swear to Christ it wasn’t me.” Chicken shit. Thanks, Matthew. Way to leave my ass blowing in the wind. Remind me never to go to war with him as my wingman. But as The Bitch glower is turned full force on me alone, I forgive him. I feel like at any moment I’ll be reduced to a smoking pile of Drew ash on the chair. I dig deep and give her the sweetest Baby Brother smile I can manage. Take a look. Is it working? I’m so fucking dead. See, there’s one thing about Bitch Justice you should know. It’s swift and merciless. You won’t know when it’s coming; all you can be certain of is that it will come. And when it does, it will be painful. Very, very painful.
Emma Chase (Tangled (Tangled, #1))
She keeps her fingers on Faye’s face. Faye closes her eyes against tears. When she opens them Julie is still looking at her. She’s smiling a wonderful smile. Way past twenty. She takes Faye’s hands.“‘Then tell them to look closely at men’s faces. Tell them to stand perfectly still, for time, and to look into the face of a man. A man’s face has nothing on it. Look closely. Tell them to look. And not at what the faces do–men’s faces never stop moving–they’re like antennae. But all the faces do is move through different configurations of blankness.’ Faye looks for Julie’s eyes in the mirror. Julie says, ‘Tell them there are no holes for your fingers in the masks of men. Tell them how could you ever even hope to have what you can’t grab onto.’ Julie turns her makeup chair and looks up at Faye. ‘That’s when I love you, if I love you,’ she whispers, running a finger down her white powdered cheek, reaching to trace an angled line of white onto Faye’s own face. 'Is when your face moves into expression. Try to look out from yourself, different, all the time. Tell people that you know your face is at least pretty at rest.’ 'You asked me once how poems informed me,’ she says. Almost a whisper–her microphone voice. 'And you asked whether we, us, depended on the game, to even be. Baby?’–lifting Faye’s face with one finger under the chin–'Remember? Remember the ocean? Our dawn ocean, that we loved? We loved it because it was like us, Faye. That whole ocean was obvious. We were looking at something obvious, the whole time.’ She pinches a nipple, too softly for Faye even to feel. 'Oceans are only oceans when they move,’ Julie whispers. 'Waves are what keep oceans from just being very big puddles. Oceans are just their waves. And every wave in the ocean is finally going to meet what it moves toward, and break. The whole thing we looked at, the whole time you asked, was obvious. It was obvious and a poem because it was us. See things like that, Faye. Your own face, moving into expression. A wave, breaking on a rock, giving up its shape in a gesture that expresses that shape. See?’ It wasn’t at the beach that Faye had asked about the future. It was in Los Angeles. And what about the anomalous wave that came out of nowhere and broke on itself? Julie is looking at Faye. 'See?’ Faye’s eyes are open. They get wide. 'You don’t like my face at rest?
David Foster Wallace (Girl with Curious Hair)
I told you before--you mustn’t let Edward scare you. He’s a bully and a coward. What would Frank Merriwell do if he were you?” Frank Merriwell--I was thoroughly sick of hearing that name. “I don’t care what some dumb guy in a story would do. I’m not going to fight Edward.” “Fight me then.” Hannah raised her fists and danced around on her bare feet, bouncing, ducking, and swinging at the air around my head. “Pretend I’m Edward!” I ducked a punch, and she swung again. “Put up your dukes,” she ordered, “defend yourself, sir.” This time Hannah clipped my chin hard enough to knock me down. Her shirtwaist was completely untucked, her face was smudged, her hair was tumbling down her back and hanging in her eyes. “On your feet, sir,” she shouted. “Let’s see your fighting spirit!” Hannah was making so much noise she didn’t hear John Larkin push aside the branches and enter the grove. When he saw her take another swing at me, he started laughing. Hannah whirled around, her face scarlet, and stared at John. “What do you mean by sneaking up on us like a common Peeping Tom?” “With the noise you’ve been making, you wouldn’t have noticed a herd of rampaging elephants.” John was still laughing, but Hannah was furious. Putting her fists on her hips, she scowled at him. “Well, now you know the truth about me. I’m no lady and I never claimed to be one. I suppose you’ll start taking Amelia Carter for rides in your precious tin lizzie and treating her to sodas at your father’s drugstore. I’m sure she’d never brawl with her brothers.” Theo and I looked at each other. We were both hoping Hannah would make John leave. Before he came along and ruined everything, we’d been having fun. To my disappointment, John didn’t seem to realize he was unwanted. Leaning against a tree, he watched Hannah run her hands through her hair. “I don’t know what you’re so fired up about,” he said. “Why should I want to take Amelia anywhere? I’ve never met a more boring girl. As for her brothers--a little brawling wouldn’t hurt them. Or Amelia either.” Hannah turned away, her face flushed, and John winked at me. “Your sister’s first rate,” he said, “but I wager I know a sight more about boxing than she does. Why not let me show you a thing or two?” Happy again, Hannah smiled at John. “What a grand idea! But go slow, Andrew’s still weak.” When John took off his jacket, I edged closer to Hannah. “I like your lessons,” I said to her, scowling at John. He was rolling up his sleeves, probably to show off his muscles. Next to him, I was nothing but a skinny little baby. He’d knock me flat and everyone would laugh at me.
Mary Downing Hahn (Time for Andrew: A Ghost Story)
After situating herself on a huge flat-sided rock, Baby Suggs bowed her head and prayed silently. The company watched her from the trees. They knew she was ready when she put her stick down. Then she shouted, 'Let the children come!' and they ran from the trees toward her. 'Let your mothers hear you laugh,' she told them, and the woods rang. The adults looked on and could not help smiling. Then 'Let the grown men come,' she shouted. They stepped out one by one from among the ringing trees. 'Let your wives and your children see you dance,' she told them, and groundlife shuddered under their feet. Finally she called the women to her. 'Cry,' she told them. 'For the living and the dead. Just cry.' And without covering their eyes the women let loose. It started that way: laughing children, dancing men, crying women and then it got mixed up. Women stopped crying and danced; men sat down and cried; children danced, women laughed, children cried until, exhausted and riven, all and each lay about the Clearing damp and gasping for breath. In the silence that followed, Baby Suggs, holy, offered up to them her great big heart. She did not tell them to clean up their lives or to go and sin no more. She did not tell them they were the blessed of the earth, its inheriting meek or its glorybound pure. She told them that the only grace they could have was the grace they could imagine. That if they could not see it, they would not have it. 'Here,' she said, 'in this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh. They despise it. They don't love your eyes; they'd just as soon pick em out. No more do they love the skin on your back. Yonder they flay it. And O my people they do not love your hands. These they only use, tie, bind, chop off and leave empty. Love your hands! Love them. Raise them up and kiss them. Touch others with them, pat them together, stroke them on your face 'cause they don't love that either. You got to love it, you! And nom they ain't in love with your mouth. Yonder, out there, they will see it broken and break it again. What you say out of it they will not heed. What you scream from it they do not hear. Flesh that needs to be loved. Feet that need to rest and to dance; backs that need support; shoulders that need arms, strong arms I'm telling you. And O my people, out yonder, hear me, they do not love your neck unnoosed and straight. So love your neck; put a hand on it, grace it, stroke it and hold it up. And all your inside parts that they'd just as soon slop for hogs, you got to love them. The dark, dark liver-love it, love it, and the beat and beating heart, love that too. More than eyes or feet. More than lungs that have yet to draw free air. More than your life-holding womb and your life-giving private parts, hear me now, love your heart. For this is the prize.
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
I got your flowers. They’re beautiful, thank you.” A gorgeous riot of Gerber daisies and lilies in a rainbow of reds, pinks, yellows and oranges. “Welcome. Bet Duncan loved sending one of his guys out to pick them up for me.” She could hear the smile in his voice, imagined the devilish twinkle in his eyes. “Oh, he did. Said it’s probably the first time in the history of WITSEC that a U.S. Marshal delivered flowers to one of their witnesses.” A low chuckle. “Well, this was a special circumstance, so they helped me out.” “I loved the card you sent with them the best though.” Proud of you. Give ‘em hell tomorrow. He’d signed it Nathan rather than Nate, which had made her smile. “I had no idea you were romantic,” she continued. “All these interesting things I’m learning about you.” She hadn’t been able to wipe the silly smile off her face after one of the security team members had knocked on her door and handed them to her with a goofy smile and a, “special delivery”. “Baby, you haven’t seen anything yet. When the trial’s done you’re gonna get all the romance you can handle, and then some.” “Really?” Now that was something for a girl to look forward to, and it sure as hell did the trick in taking her mind off her worries. “Well I’m all intrigued, because it’s been forever since I was romanced. What do you have in mind? Candlelit dinners? Going to the movies? Long walks? Lazy afternoon picnics?” “Not gonna give away my hand this early on, but I’ll take those into consideration.” “And what’s the key to your heart, by the way? I mean, other than the thing I did to you this morning.” “What thing is that? Refresh my memory,” he said, a teasing note in his voice. She smiled, enjoying the light banter. It felt good to let her worry about tomorrow go and focus on what she had to look forward to when this was all done. Being with him again, seeing her family, getting back to her life. A life that would hopefully include Nathan in a romantic capacity. “Waking you up with my mouth.” He gave a low groan. “I loved every second of it. But think simpler.” Simpler than sex? For a guy like him? “Food, then. I bet you’re a sucker for a home-cooked meal. Am I right?” He chuckled. “That works too, but it’s still not the key.” “Then what?” “You.” She blinked, her heart squeezing at the conviction behind his answer. “Me?” “Yeah, just you. And maybe bacon,” he added, a smile in his voice. He was so freaking adorable. “So you’re saying if I made and served you a BLT, you’d be putty in my hands?” Seemed hard to imagine, but okay. A masculine rumble filled her ears. “God, yeah.” She couldn’t help the sappy smile that spread across her face. “Wow, you are easy. And I can definitely arrange that.” “I can hardly wait. Will you serve it to me naked? Or maybe wearing just a frilly little apron and heels?” She smothered a laugh, but a clear image of her doing just that popped into her head, serving him the sandwich in that sexy outfit while watching his eyes go all heated. “Depends on how good you are.” “Oh, baby, I’ll be so good to you, you have no idea.
Kaylea Cross (Avenged (Hostage Rescue Team #5))
The back of my neck breaks out in a sweat, and I’m getting nervous. Why is he just standing there, staring at me? “What do you want?” I press, my tone curt. He opens his mouth but then closes it swallowing. “Pike, Jesus—” “The day you left,” he blurts out, and I stop. I wait, listening as a look of fear crosses his eyes. “The house was so empty,” he continues. “Like a quiet that was never there before. I couldn’t hear your footsteps upstairs or your hairdryer or anticipate you walking into a room. You were gone. Everything was…” he drops his eyes, “gone.” A ball lodges in my throat, and I feel tears threaten, but I tense my jaw, refusing to let it out. “But I could still feel you,” he whispers. “You were still everywhere. The container of cookies in the fridge, the backsplash you picked out, the way you put all my pictures back in the wrong spot after you dusted my bookshelves.” He smiles to himself. “But I couldn’t rearrange them, because you were the last to touch them, and I wanted everything the way you had it.” My chin trembles, and I fold my arms over my chest, hiding my balled fists under my arms. He pauses and then goes on. “Nothing would ever go back to the way it was before you came into my house. I didn’t want it to.” He shakes his head. “I went to work, and I came home, and I stayed there every night and all weekend, every weekend, because that’s where we were together. That’s where I could still feel you.” He steps closer, dropping his voice. “That’s where I could wrap myself up in you and hang on to every last thread in that house that proved you were mine for just a little while.” His tone grows thick, and I see his eyes water. “I really thought I was doing what was best,” he says, knitting his brow. “I thought I was taking advantage of you, because you’re young and beautiful and so happy and hopeful despite everything you’d been through. You made me feel like the world was a big place again.” My breathing shakes, and I don’t know what to do. I hate that he’s here. I hate that I love that he’s here. I hate him. “I couldn’t steal your life from you and keep you to myself, you know?” he explains. “But then I realized that you’re not happy or hopeful or making me feel good because you’re young. You are those things and you’re capable of those things, because you’re a good person. It’s who you are.” A tear spills over, gliding down my cheek. “Baby,” he whispers, his hands shaking. “I hope you love me, because I love you like crazy, and I’m going to want you the rest of my life. I tried to stay away, because I thought it was the right thing, but I fucking can’t. I need you, and I love you. This doesn’t happen twice, and I’m not going to be stupid again. I promise.” My chin trembles, and something lodges in my throat, and I try to hold it in, but I can’t. My face cracks, and I break down, turning away from him. The tears come like a goddamn waterfall, and I hate him. I fucking hate him. His arms are around me in a second, and he hugs me from behind, burying his face in my neck. “I’m sorry I took so long,” he whispers in my ear.
Penelope Douglas, Birthday Girl
Hi.” Sarah says and lifts her hand to wiggle her fingers. She’s grinning, the goofy grin of a woman on some serious painkillers. “Aww, you came to see me.” I can’t move yet. I’m paralyzed with overwhelming relief and love and fear. “They said you were shot.” “Well, I was grazed, really,” Sarah says with a giggle. “It’s just a flesh wound.” “Whatever, Monty Python." I’m left with the woman of my dreams. And she’s whole and healthy and she’s going to be okay. “Hi there, handsome,” she says with that goofy smile. “Hi.” I sit on the bed at her hip and drag my fingers down her flawless cheek. “You just took about ten years off my life.” “It’s only a flesh wound,” she says again in that horrible British accent, making me smile at her. “God, baby,” I inhale deeply and bury my face in her neck, breathing her in. “God, if it had been two inches to the right—” “I know,” she assures me and plunges her fingers in my hair, holding on tight. “I know. But it wasn’t. And I’m okay.” She shifts on the bed and hisses in pain. “But it burns like a mother ducker.” I pull back and grin. “Ducker?” “Auto correct of the mouth. I have to have it turned on because I have a five-year-old.” She smirks. “You’re hot.” “You’re drunk.” “Really good drugs for this flesh wound.” “Your British accent is horrible.” “There’s no need to insult me,” she says with a frown. “I’ve been shot for godsake. You’re supposed to baby me and pamper me and bend to my will.” “I’ve been bending to your will since day one.” “As if.” She rolls her eyes, then closes them and moans softly. “Do you need more medicine?” “Nah.” She smiles, but her eyes are still closed. “I’m just sleepy.” “Sweetheart, I need you to stay awake for a minute, okay?” “Okay.” But she doesn’t open her eyes. I lean in and kiss her forehead, her cheek, her lips. “Wake up, baby.” “Okay,” she repeats and forces her eyes open. “There you are.” “Here I am.” I swallow and look at her perfect lips, then into her amazing eyes. Why have I been such a stubborn ass? Why couldn’t I admit before how much I love her? God, I almost lost her. “I love you, Sarah.” “Wow. These drugs are good. I just dreamed that you said you love me.” I grin again and kiss her cheek. “I did. I love you so much. For those few moments that I thought I might lose you…it was agony, Sarah. I didn’t want another minute to go by without telling you that I love you because I realize how short life can be, and we shouldn’t waste it.” “This is a very serious conversation for someone on hard narcotics,” she says, but she cups my face in her hands and looks deeply into my eyes. “But I love you too, handsome. I love you so much that it hurts, and let me tell you, that’s a lot.” “It sounds like a lot,” I reply and lean my forehead on hers. “Don’t ever scare me like this again.” “Scared me too,” she admits softly. “I just found you.” “You’re stuck with me, baby.” “Good. I love you, too. Both of you.” “Both of us?” “There are two of you right now.” She giggles softly. “And I think I’m going to pass out.” “Go ahead. I have you, sweetheart. I’m not going anywhere.
Kristen Proby (Easy For Keeps (Boudreaux #3.5))
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 punched 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! The 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.” She laid her head back on the pillow, her ebony hair curling around his arm, then her arm, weaving them together. His lips found her throat, then moved lower and found the spot over her breast that burned with need, with invitation. Savannah caught his head firmly in her hands and lifted him determinedly away from her before her treacherous body succumbed completely to his magic. “And the dog episode?” He tried for innocence, but his laughter was echoing in her mind. “What do you mean?” “You know very well what I mean,” she insisted. “When Dragon walked me home.” “Ah, yes, I seem to recall now. The big bad wolf decked out in chains and spikes, afraid of a little dog.” “Little? A hundred-and-twenty-pound Rottweiler mix? Foaming at the mouth. Roaring. Charging him!” “He ran like a rabbit.” Gregori’s soft, caressing voice echoed his satisfaction. He had taken great pleasure in running that particular jackass off. How dare the man try to lay a hand on Savannah? “No wonder I couldn’t touch the dog’s mind and call him off. You rotten scoundrel.” “After Dragon left you, I chased him for two blocks, and he went up a tree. I kept him there for several hours, just to make a point. He looked like a rooster with his orange comb.” She laughed in spite of her desire not to. “He never came near me again.” “Of course not. It was unacceptable,” he said complacently, with complete satisfaction, the warmth of his breath heating her blood.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
to look at Louisa, stroked her cheek, and was rewarded by a dazzling smile. She had been surprised by how light-skinned the child was. Her features were much more like Eva’s than Bill’s. A small turned-up nose, big hazel eyes, and long dark eyelashes. Her golden-brown hair protruded from under the deep peak of her bonnet in a cascade of ringlets. “Do you think she’d come to me?” Cathy asked. “You can try.” Eva handed her over. “She’s got so heavy, she’s making my arms ache!” She gave a nervous laugh as she took the parcel from Cathy and peered at the postmark. “What’s that, Mam?” David craned his neck and gave a short rasping cough. “Is it sweets?” “No, my love.” Eva and Cathy exchanged glances. “It’s just something Auntie Cathy’s brought from the old house. Are you going to show Mikey your flags?” The boy dug eagerly in his pocket, and before long he and Michael were walking ahead, deep in conversation about the paper flags Eva had bought for them to decorate sand castles. Louisa didn’t cry when Eva handed her over. She seemed fascinated by Cathy’s hair, and as they walked along, Cathy amused her by singing “Old MacDonald.” The beach was only a short walk from the station, and it wasn’t long before the boys were filling their buckets with sand. “I hardly dare open it,” Eva said, fingering the string on the parcel. “I know. I was desperate to open it myself.” Cathy looked at her. “I hope you haven’t built up your hopes, too much, Eva. I’m so worried it might be . . . you know.” Eva nodded quickly. “I thought of that too.” She untied the string, her fingers trembling. The paper fell away to reveal a box with the words “Benson’s Baby Wear” written across it in gold italic script. Eva lifted the lid. Inside was an exquisite pink lace dress with matching bootees and a hat. The label said, “Age 2–3 Years.” Beneath it was a handwritten note:   Dear Eva, This is a little something for our baby girl from her daddy. I don’t know the exact date of her birthday, but I wanted you to know that I haven’t forgotten. I hope things are going well for you and your husband. Please thank him from me for what he’s doing for our daughter: he’s a fine man and I don’t blame you for wanting to start over with him. I’m back in the army now, traveling around. I’m due to be posted overseas soon, but I don’t know where yet. I’ll write and let you know when I get my new address. It would be terrific if I could have a photograph of her in this little dress, if your husband doesn’t mind. Best wishes to you all, Bill   For several seconds they sat staring at the piece of paper. When Eva spoke, her voice was tight with emotion. “Cathy, he thinks I chose to stay with Eddie!” Cathy nodded, her mind reeling. “Eddie showed me the letter he sent. Bill wouldn’t have known you were in Wales, would he? He would have assumed you and Eddie had already been reunited—that he’d written with your consent on behalf of you both.” She was afraid to look at Eva. “What are you going to do?” Eva’s face had gone very pale. “I don’t know.” She glanced at David, who was jabbing a Welsh flag into a sand castle. “He said he was going to be posted overseas. Suppose they send him to Britain?” Cathy bit her lip. “It could be anywhere, couldn’t it? It could be the other side of the world.” She could see what was going through Eva’s mind. “You think if he came here, you and he could be together without . . .” Her eyes went to the boys. Eva gave a quick, almost imperceptible nod, as if she was afraid someone might see her. “What about Eddie?” “I don’t know!” The tone of her voice made David look up. She put on a smile, which disappeared the
Lindsay Ashford (The Color of Secrets)
What I have been doing lately from my WIP "In Hiding" is available on my website. *Strong language warning* Wayne sat in the hygienic emergency room trying to ignore the bitch of a headache that began radiating at the back of his skull. His worn jeans, a blood-stained t-shirt, and his makeshift bandage sat on a nearby chair. The hysteria created by his appearance in the small hospital ward had died down. A local cop greeted him as soon as he was escorted to the examination room. The conversation was brief, once he revealed he was a bail enforcer the topic changed from investigation to shooting the bull. The experienced officer shook his hand before leaving then joked he hoped this would be their only encounter. The ER doc was a woman about his age. Already the years of long hours, rotating shifts and the rarity of a personal life showed on her face. Her eyelids were pink-rimmed, her complexion sallow; all were earmarks of the effect of long-term exhaustion. Wayne knew it all too well as he rubbed his knuckle against his own grainy eyes. Despite this, she attended to him with an upbeat demeanor and even slid in some ribbing at his expense. He was defenseless, once the adrenaline dropped off Wayne felt drained. He accepted her volleys without a response. All he mustered was a smile and occasional nod as she stitched him up. Across the room, his cell toned, after the brief display of the number a woman’s image filled the screen. Under his breath, he mumbled, “Shit.” He intends for his exclamation to remain ignored, having caught it the doctor glanced his direction with a smile. Without invitation, she retrieved his phone handing it to him without comment. Wayne noted the raised eyebrow she failed to hide. The phone toned again as he glanced at the flat image on the device. The woman’s likeness was smiling brightly, her blue eyes dancing. Just looking at her eased the pain in his head. He swiped the screen and connected the call as the doctor finished taping his injury. Using his free uninjured arm, he held the phone away from him slightly, utilizing the speaker option. “Hey Baby.” “What the hell, Wayne!” Her voice filled the small area, in his peripheral vision he saw the doc smirk. Turning his head, he addressed the caller. “Babe, I was getting ready to call.” The excuse sounded lame, even to him. “Why the hell do I have to hear about this secondhand?” Wayne placed the phone to his chest, loudly he exclaimed; “F***!” The ER doc touched his arm, “I will give you privacy.” Wayne gave her a grateful nod. With a snatch, she grabbed the corner of the thin curtain suspended from the ceiling and pulled it close. Alone again, he refocused on the call. The woman on the other end had continued in her tirade without him. When he rejoined the call mid-rant, she was issuing him a heartfelt ass-chewing. “...bullshit Wayne that I have to hear about this from my cousin. We’ve talked about this!” “Honey...” She interrupts him before he can explain himself. “So what the hell happened?” Wisely he waited for silence to indicate it was his turn to speak. “Lou, Honey first I am sorry. You know I never meant to upset you. I am alright; it is just a flesh wound.” As he speaks, a sharp pain radiates across his side. Gritting his teeth, Wayne vows to continue without having the radiating pain affect his voice. “I didn’t want you to worry Honey; you know calling Cooper first is just business.” Silence. The woman miles away grits her teeth as she angrily brushes away her tears. Seated at the simple dining table, she takes a napkin from the center and dabs at her eyes. Mentally she reminds herself of her promise that she was done crying over this man. She takes an unsteady breath as she returns her attention to the call. “Lou, you still there?” There is something in his voice, the tender desperation he allows only her to see. Furrowing her brow she closes her eyes, an errant tear coursed down her cheek.
Caroline Walken
The translucent, golden punch tastes velvety, voluptuous and not off-puttingly milky. Under its influence, I stage a party for my heroines in my imagination, and in my flat. It's less like the glowering encounter I imagined between Cathy Earnshaw and Flora Poste, and more like the riotous bash in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Not everyone is going to like milk punch. So there are also dirty martinis, and bagels and baklava, and my mother's masafan, Iraqi marzipan. The Little Mermaid is in the bath, with her tail still on, singing because she never did give up her soaring voice. Anne Shirley and Jo March are having a furious argument about plot versus character, gesticulating with ink-stained hands. Scarlett is in the living room, her skirts taking up half the space, trying to show Lizzy how to bat her eyelashes. Lizzy is laughing her head off ut Scarlett has acquired a sense of humour, and doesn't mind a bit. Melanie is talking book with Esther Greenwood, who has brought her baby and also the proofs of her first poetry collection. Franny and Zooey have rolled back the rug and are doing a soft shoe shuffle in rhinestone hats. Lucy Honeychurch is hammering out some Beethoven (in this scenario I have a piano. A ground piano. Well, why not?) Marjorie Morningstar is gossiping about directors with Pauline and Posy Fossil. They've come straight from the shows they're in, till in stage make-up and full of stories. Petrova, in a leather aviator jacket, goggles pushed back, a chic scarf knotted around her neck, is telling the thrilling story of her latest flight and how she fixed an engine fault in mid-air. Mira, in her paint-stained jeans and poncho, is listening, fascinated, asking a thousand questions. Mildred has been persuaded to drink a tiny glass of sherry, then another tiny glass, then another and now she and Lolly are doing a wild, strange dance in the hallway, stamping their feet, their hair flying wild and electric. Lolly's cakes, in the shape of patriarchs she hates, are going down a treat. The Dolls from the Valley are telling Flora some truly scandalous and unrepeatable stories, and she is firmly advising them to get rid of their men and find worthier paramours. Celie is modelling trousers of her own design and taking orders from the Lace women; Judy is giving her a ten-point plan on how to expand her business to an international market. She is quite drunk but nevertheless the plan seems quite coherent, even if it is punctuated by her bellowing 'More leopard print, more leopard print!' Cathy looks tumultuous and on the edge of violent weeping and just as I think she's going to storm out or trash my flat, Jane arrives, late, with an unexpected guest. Cathy turns in anticipation: is it Heathcliff? Once I would have joined her but now I'm glad it isn't him. It's a better surprise. It's Emily's hawk. Hero or Nero. Jane's found him at last, and has him on her arm, perched on her glove; small for a bird of prey, he is dashing and patrician looking, brown and white, observing the room with dark, flinty eyes. When Cathy sees him, she looks at Jane and smiles. And in the kitchen is a heroine I probably should have had when I was four and sitting on my parents' carpet, wishing it would fly. In the kitchen is Scheherazade.
Samantha Ellis
my heart. So I fancied that your boy might fill the empty place if he tried now." "No, Mother, it is better as it is, and I'm glad Amy has learned to love him. But you are right in one thing. I am lonely, and perhaps if Teddy had tried again, I might have said 'Yes', not because I love him any more, but because I care more to be loved than when he went away." "I'm glad of that, Jo, for it shows that you are getting on. There are plenty to love you, so try to be satisfied with Father and Mother, sisters and brothers, friends and babies, till the best lover of all comes to give you your reward." "Mothers are the best lovers in the world, but I don't mind whispering to Marmee that I'd like to try all kinds. It's very curious, but the more I try to satisfy myself with all sorts of natural affections, the more I seem to want. I'd no idea hearts could take in so many. Mine is so elastic, it never seems full now, and I used to be quite contented with my family. I don't understand it." "I do," and Mrs. March smiled her wise smile, as Jo turned back the leaves to read what Amy said of Laurie. "It is so beautiful to be loved as Laurie loves me. He isn't sentimental, doesn't say much about it, but I see and feel it in all he says and does, and it makes me so happy and so humble that I don't seem to be the same girl I
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women (Illustrated))
Things I'll Neva Forget I'll never Forget my mother The one who loves me most her pretty,priceless smile will forever be kept my life "so called" file her motherly touch had no comparison nor equal it could never be replaced,stopped or re-enacted into a sequel i felt as if her life was all but drawn up without perfection it was done wrong Now she's gone But I'll never Forget my MOTHER I'll never forget father The one who changed my life thanks to him I'll know how to treat my own wife the ultimate villein on my hoodlum chart he's at the top......Wonder Y?........ my daddy es a Flop thus he did lie,cheat & steal in my heart I denounce I'll never forget my FATHER I'll never forget my Family 'My People" The Mohasoa Pride & that 2% Bopape Tribe Our individual ups & downs made it one hell of a roller coaster ride jokes aside "we miss you" the one who died like my mom she was our escutcheon against the dark what a tragic lose of our artery of traffic see throw mi eyes "divided we'll fall....together we shall rise" I'll never forget my FAMILY I'll never forget You Guys "My Friends" Mmmm aaargh "writers block" over-loading there's just too many of y'all BUT I never forget " My Friends" I'll never forget......Who I Am Me the man of my dreams "Lebogang Bopape" The boy who never knew his abilities till he was 7 fucked up everything by the time he turned 11 my 1st day at school "quite funny" didn't talk to anyone for like a week or so till I fell cried so hard I accidentally ran into my very own Jezebel so wrong was I thinking she's the one my feelings weren't intact I had none Uncle said "you'll get them when you turn into a man SON" What happened next an emotional recession the leading cause factor 4 this deception............LIES! call them what y'all want black or white they'er still LIES! all you'll get trouble Shit I'm seeing double losing sight of what is right got my life blue,black,cherry.......Bleary Time will tell I am a bit blind but look behind you Deep in the back of your mind you are who you are I'll never forget ME! Lebogang Yep thats Me Baby!
Lebogang Lynx Bopape
The tulips are too excitable, it is winter here. Look how white everything is, how quiet, how snowed-in. I am learning peacefulness, lying by myself quietly As the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands. I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions. I have given my name and my day-clothes up to the nurses And my history to the anesthetist and my body to surgeons. They have propped my head between the pillow and the sheet-cuff Like an eye between two white lids that will not shut. Stupid pupil, it has to take everything in. The nurses pass and pass, they are no trouble, They pass the way gulls pass inland in their white caps, Doing things with their hands, one just the same as another, So it is impossible to tell how many there are. My body is a pebble to them, they tend it as water Tends to the pebbles it must run over, smoothing them gently. They bring me numbness in their bright needles, they bring me sleep. Now I have lost myself I am sick of baggage—— My patent leather overnight case like a black pillbox, My husband and child smiling out of the family photo; Their smiles catch onto my skin, little smiling hooks. I have let things slip, a thirty-year-old cargo boat stubbornly hanging on to my name and address. They have swabbed me clear of my loving associations. Scared and bare on the green plastic-pillowed trolley I watched my teaset, my bureaus of linen, my books Sink out of sight, and the water went over my head. I am a nun now, I have never been so pure. I didn’t want any flowers, I only wanted To lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty. How free it is, you have no idea how free—— The peacefulness is so big it dazes you, And it asks nothing, a name tag, a few trinkets. It is what the dead close on, finally; I imagine them Shutting their mouths on it, like a Communion tablet. The tulips are too red in the first place, they hurt me. Even through the gift paper I could hear them breathe Lightly, through their white swaddlings, like an awful baby. Their redness talks to my wound, it corresponds. They are subtle : they seem to float, though they weigh me down, Upsetting me with their sudden tongues and their color, A dozen red lead sinkers round my neck. Nobody watched me before, now I am watched. The tulips turn to me, and the window behind me Where once a day the light slowly widens and slowly thins, And I see myself, flat, ridiculous, a cut-paper shadow Between the eye of the sun and the eyes of the tulips, And I have no face, I have wanted to efface myself. The vivid tulips eat my oxygen. Before they came the air was calm enough, Coming and going, breath by breath, without any fuss. Then the tulips filled it up like a loud noise. Now the air snags and eddies round them the way a river Snags and eddies round a sunken rust-red engine. They concentrate my attention, that was happy Playing and resting without committing itself. The walls, also, seem to be warming themselves. The tulips should be behind bars like dangerous animals; They are opening like the mouth of some great African cat, And I am aware of my heart: it opens and closes Its bowl of red blooms out of sheer love of me. The water I taste is warm and salt, like the sea, And comes from a country far away as health.
Sylvia Plath (Ariel)
There’s this new glitch messing everything up. He calls himself Pigrothbrine. He only showed up a couple days ago and already he is in control of everything!” Otis growled and stomped on the ground. “Where is he?” “You … you’ve heard of him?” Trevor gasped. “Look at me, kid,” said Otis. “How do you think I got to look like this?” Trevor looked at Otis and gasped. “But … weren’t you a zombie pigman when you rescued Baby Zeke a couple months ago?” Otis thumped his chest. “I still am. But I have to kill Pigrothbrine in order to get my skin back.” “If that works,” I said. I turned back to Trevor. “What’s Pigrothbrine doing?” Trevor took a deep breath and sighed. He shook his cube sadly. “You remember Cassius the husk, right? Well, after he stirred up all the anger and anxiety of the nether mobs against the surface dwellers, there have been mutterings about his ideology. Pigrothbrine found out about it and is exploiting the anger to mobilize another army. They’re calling themselves the Sons of Cassius.” I shook my head. “That’s terrible. Do you think they’ll actually carry out Cassius’ plans to conquer the Overworld?” “I don’t know. All I know is that anyone who disobeys Pigrothbrine or his generals ends up despawned.” Trevor paused, sniffed, and then began to cry. “Just … just like my parents.” I reached out and touched his cube to console him. “What happened?” “They tried to keep the promise they made to you not to do anything against Minecraft. But when they refused to let their people become members of the Sons of Cassius, they were struck down by bolts of lightning that came out nowhere.” “So, he can make lightning work even in the Nether?” said Heidi. “That’s amazing.” I nodded and then looked at Trevor. “What did you do after your parents were … despawned?” “I had to join the army. Pigrothbrine wouldn’t let me ascend to my rightful place on the throne. He appointed one of his magma cube generals to run the kingdom.” “How did you escape?” I asked. “Pigrothbrine and his generals have us building canals to channel lava rivers into big pools. No one knows why. Earlier today, when I was walking next to a lava stream, I jumped in. I drifted downstream for a while before jumping out and locating a nether portal to the surface. Then, I hopped here as quickly as I could.” Otis looked at me with fire in his eyes. I could tell that his attitude toward pursuing Pigrothbrine had changed from his reluctance just a few hours ago. “Let’s go. Pigrothbrine has only been in existence for a couple of days and it sounds like he’s already causing apocalyptic damage. Let’s go see what we can do about it.” “I don’t know. It seems dangerous.” Otis scowled at me. “Aren’t you the Warrior? We didn’t even know where Pigrothbrine was a few minutes ago, but now we do. We have to take the fight to him.” I looked at Trevor. “Is Pigrothbrine actually down there? I mean, have you seen him recently?” “Part pig, part enderman?” said Trevor. “Exactly.” Trevor nodded his head. “He’s living in the nether fortress inside the kingdom of the magma cubes in a nether wastes biome. If anyone needs to go talk to him that’s where they go. I’ve never been inside the fortress, but that’s where everyone says he is living.” Heidi reached into her inventory and pulled out her newly-acquired netherite sword. “Let’s go get him. With the three of us working together ….” She looked at Trevor and smiled. “With the four of us working together, maybe we can take him out.” “Maybe,” I said. “I guess we go and conduct reconnaissance at least. Maybe when we get back Zeb will have figured something out.” “Well, if we find Pigrothbrine, I’m going to kill him,” snarled Otis. “Reconnaissance is for wimps.” Trevor ignored Otis and said, “Thank you, Baby Zeke. Thank you, everybody.” “So how do we get to this nether portal you used?” “I could take you there, but it comes out inside the Nether near a worksite controlled by Pigrothbrine.
Dr. Block (Baby Zeke: A New Enemy: The diary of a chicken jockey, book 13 (an unofficial Minecraft book) (Baby Zeke: The Diary of a Jockey))
Darren just kissed me. As many times as I’ve imagined him kissing me, the shock of it as a reality sends a quake through my entire body. “I don’t believe it.” I straighten and stare at his chin, his cheeks, his sharp jawline. He almost gets knocked over by a wave that slams in the chest. “What?” “You shaved! How did I not see that earlier?” “Finally she notices!” He laughs. “I went through great pains to smooth out this face for you. Even cut myself.” He juts out his chin and points to a spot so small I can hardly see it. “Aww, poor baby,” I tease and give it a swift peck, still in shock that I’m suddenly allowed to get this close to him. To touch him with my lips. “You knew this was going to happen, didn’t you?” He smirks, resting his hands on my waist. “Hoped.” My cheeks ache from smiling, but I don’t care. I don’t care about anything but Darren and him kissing me again. I trace the smooth skin around his mouth. “You better be careful,” he says, kissing the tip of my finger with each word. “I’ve been known to bite.
Kristin Rae (Wish You Were Italian (If Only . . ., #2))
Watching you and my daughter, seeing how you’ve survived things other women couldn’t--” She licked her lips. “That steel in your backbones came from your bringin’ up, from me. I’ve taught you to stand up and fight back. I’ve raised you proud. Lately, I’ve been staring into my looking glass, wondering where the old Rachel has got off to.” “Oh, Aunt Rachel, you’ve only done what you felt you had to for me and Amy.” Rachel nodded. “Yes. But there comes a time when a body must draw the line." She sighed and rolled her eyes, a reluctant smile tugging at her mouth. “If it’s a draw between a baby and Henry, I’ll kick his ornery butt all the way to the fancy house in Jacksboro and tell him to stay there this time.” Appalled and uncertain how to react, Loretta said, “Fancy house?” “You don’t really think he goes there to get tobacco and coffee and the Godey’s Lady’s Book for us, do you?” Rachel touched Loretta’s shoulder. “Don’t look so woebegone. He leaves me alone for nigh on a month after. I consider it a blessing.” Loretta threw back her head and gave a weak laugh. “Uncle Henry visiting a fancy house? Oh, Aunt Rachel, I bet those ladies double their rates when they see the likes of him coming!” “No doubt,” Rachel said grimly. “A lover, Henry ain’t. I’ve wasted a lot of years kowtowing to him. I don’t plan to waste any more. I can make it without a man. Just you watch me.” She pushed to her feet and extended Loretta a helping hand. “Come on, little mother. I’ll fix you some remedy for that rolling tummy.” “Oh, Aunt Rachel, do you think it’s for sure?” “Sure enough that we’d best start cutting out nightshirts. I got flannel tucked away in my barrel. That’ll make up nice.” Loretta smiled, and taking a deep breath, she passed a hand over her brow. “I am powerful pleased, Aunt Rachel!” “Just keep thinkin’ that way until I get Henry told.” “Do we have to tell him right now?” “Honey, if you go to upchucking of a morning before you can reach the privacy, he’s gonna know anyway. May as well light his fuse when we’re expecting the explosion.
Catherine Anderson (Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1))
I wrote down, things like: Untangle yourself. Stop saying you love him. You're wearing a groove in your mind. Say it when you mean it. Save money. Small steps. Save money every month. Remember you're a grown woman now. Be more proud and more relaxed. Don't feel persecuted by stupid students. Don't think about them. Don't let your mind get colonized. Get on with your work. Don't pet him. Don't act like a baby. Don't be a cat. Be decent to him and to yourself. Respect yourself and him. See your friends. Don't be sly. Don't be deceitful. Don't snoop. Don't ask him questions for the sake of it, it's lonely-making to sit and listen when he's said it before, when he won't let you in. Keep your footing. Leave the room if he calls you a name. If you save money you can leave the flat if he's nasty. Stand up for yourself but don't waste your energy. This is your time and your energy. Don't try and 'manage' him. Be natural and let him be natural. That's what love is. No more cramped feelings, on either side. How did these small steps fare? Strangely. Keeping myself to myself more. Sometimes it felt like we'd done it. Sometimes not. Sometimes he whimpered in pain and I was Mrs Pusskins again, and what was wrong with that? It felt soothing. Coming home from work, standing on the landing, he'd open his mouth and lift his arms for a hug, and we'd hold each other and I'd feel safe and happy, with someone I could love in a natural way. Once, when I was in the living room after he'd gone to bed, he came in and did a little pirouette in his Y-fronts, trying to get me to look. I did look up and smile, but I didn't run to him, like I used to, didn't fuss him. Was that wrong? He performed a hurt little moue in the proscenium, before walking off slowly with an 'I say' and a sort of half toddlerish wobbling walk. 'That was a good dance!' I called after him, stupidly. I did see my friends more, stayed later at work to do my own work.
Gwendoline Riley (First Love)
Our anxieties were driving us to become other people-he was Earner; I was Mother, like characters in some phenomenally boring Ionesco play. We both worried all the time and often didn't remember to laugh. I could find relief in the baby's smile, or with my friends, or now, in yoga. I didn't see that Bruce was headed someplace where there was no relief.
Claire Dederer (Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses)
I think I arrived just in time,” Leo announced a second before he grabbed a swinging Jeoff. Leo plopped Arabella’s brother onto the couch. “Stay or I’ll sit on you.” A wise man— some of the time— Jeoff didn’t budge. “You were told,” Hayder taunted. “Don’t make me duct tape your mouth again.” Count on Leo to take the wind out of Hayder’s sail. Few people argued with the massive man. Nor did anyone ever tell him to leave, even if Hayder really wished both Leo and Jeoff would go so he could resume the interesting moment he’d shared with Arabella just before all hell broke loose. Alas, judging by Arabella’s guarded expression, that sensual moment was gone. He’d have to find another way to recapture it. But first he needed to convince Jeoff to let her stay, as well as get Leo to depart— without enforcing an omega-calming moment— and have Arabella lose the rounded shoulders as they fought over her. Poor baby. How overwhelming this must be for her. How upsetting. And partially his fault. Shit. Ignoring the others, Hayder dropped to his knees in front of her. “I’m sorry, baby. Don’t get upset. I promise to behave. After all, it’s normal your brother would want to protect you, and I shouldn’t have beaten the hell out of him for it.” “I think it was the other way around, cat,” Jeoff muttered. “Shhh!” Leo said in a loud whisper. “He’s apologizing. Don’t ruin it.” Arabella’s gaze briefly met Hayder’s. “It’s okay.” “No, it’s obviously not. I can see you’re disturbed. You know I didn’t mean for that to happen. I never meant to upset you.” “I’m not upset about the fight.” Her lips twitched into a small smile. “Boys will be boys, my mom used to say. I’m just sorry to cause all this trouble. Jeoff’s right. I shouldn’t be here.” “Ha. Told you so.” Jeoff crowed in triumph. “And I shouldn’t be with his pack either. With this danger hanging over me, I should flee the country and keep my problems away from all of you.” Leave? He meant to say no, but his lion spoke first. More like rawr-ed. And in reply? She sneezed. A few times as a matter of fact. “What’s wrong with you?” Jeoff asked his sister. “Stupid allergies,” she grumbled. Jeoff snickered. “You still suffering from those? That’s hilarious. And yet the cat thinks you’re true mates?” “She’s mine, and a little sneeze and spit won’t change that.” “Is he completely insane?” Jeoff muttered. “Utterly, but the doctors say he’s not a danger to himself or the pride. But I wouldn’t push him. And given these two are talking about the future, a future that isn’t ours to decide, we should leave them to work things out,” Leo politely suggested. “But—” Jeoff never got a chance to finish that thought because Leo had spoken. And when Leo spoke, he acted. “No buts. You. Come.” Leo grabbed a hold of Arabella’s brother, tossed him over a shoulder, and marched him out with a tossed, “Don’t you screw anything up with the girl. I’d hate to have to come back and teach you a lesson.
Eve Langlais (When a Beta Roars (A Lion's Pride, #2))
Are you all right, my queen?” Lutian asked as he drew near her “I am crushed, Lutian. Crushed. There’s nothing to be done for it, I fear. Christian has broken my heart.” “What has he done? Say the word and I shall go and…well, he will beat my posterior all the way back to this tent. But I shall muss his clothes for the effort and bleed on him for spite.” Adara smiled at his noble words. “I told him that I’m with child and he wasn’t happy to hear my news. Should he not be overjoyed?” She never expected Lutian to disagree with her. “Perhaps not, my queen.” “Excuse me?” Lutian looked a bit sheepish. “’Tis quite a burden to place on any man. Even I would be fretful over it.” “Why should one baby be worth fretting over when he leads hundreds of men? You don’t see me fretting, do you?” “Actually, my queen, I do.” She narrowed her eyes on him. “What is it with you men, that you take up for each other on such a matter? May you roast for eternity, too!” Adara immediately reversed course and left the tent, only to run headlong into Phantom. She glared at him. “Out of my way, male, and to the devil with you and all of your ilk.” Phantom arched a single brow as she pushed past him. Completely amused, he watched her walk away. “My queen!” Lutian said as he left his tent. She didn’t pause. “So when is she expecting the child?” Phantom asked. Lutian paused. “How did you know she’s pregnant?” “An emotional outburst for no apparent reason, in which she curses all men? Pregnant, no doubt.” He shook his head. “Poor Christian. I pity any man who has a pregnant wife to contend with. They can be most irrational.” “As would you if you had something kicking you every time you moved.” They turned to see Corryn behind them. She gave both men a chiding glare. “You should both be ashamed of yourselves. ’Tis a fearful time when a woman finds herself in such a condition. Know either of you how many women die in childbirth?” That sobered both men instantly. Phantom felt his gullet knot over the realization and he wondered if the same thing had occurred to Christian.
Kinley MacGregor (Return of the Warrior (Brotherhood of the Sword #6))
You do seem different.” He touched her arms, pulled her in closer. “I’m happy to see you too, if you’d know. I think I missed you a bit.” “That’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me.” “I’m certain I could think of something nicer.” He looked up, thinking before turning back to her again. “I’m sorry about what I said before. All the other women I’ve seen at Pembrook Park seemed to be toying with ideas of affairs while their husbands were on business trips. I couldn’t reconcile what I knew of the women who come here and what I knew of you. When I saw you that day walking with Mr. Nobley and the others, I realized you’re here because you’re not satisfied--you’re looking for something. And when I finally realized that, can you imagine how lucky I felt that out of everyone, you would choose me?” “Thanks,” she said. “That was honest and encouraging, but Martin, you were going for nice.” “I wasn’t finished yet! I also wanted to tell you that you’re beautiful.” “That’s better.” “Unbelievably beautiful. And…and I don’t know how to say it. I’m not very good at saying what I’m thinking. But you make me feel like myself.” He swept a loose lock of hair from her forehead. “You remind me of my sister.” “Oh, really? You have that kind of sister?” “Yes, confident, funny…” “No, I meant the kind that you want to smooch.” Martin swept her up again, this time in a more romantic style than the over-the-shoulder baggage. She fit her arm around his neck and let him kiss her. She pressed her hand to his chest, trying to detect if his heart was pounding like hers. She peered at him and saw a little frown line between his eyes. “No, my sister doesn’t kiss half so well.” He walked her around, singing some ludicrous lullaby as though she were a baby, then set her down on a tree stump so they were nearly the same height. “Martin, could you lose your job over this?” He traced the line of her cheek with his finger. “At the moment, I don’t care.” “I’ll talk to Mrs. Wattlesbrook about it at our departure meeting tomorrow, but I don’t think my opinion means much to her.” “It might. Thank you.” Then there was silence and with it a hint of ending, and Jane realized she wasn’t quite ready for it. Martin was the first real guy she’d ever been able to relax with, turn off the obsessive craziness and just have fun. She needed to be with him longer and practice up for the real world. “I’m supposed to leave tomorrow,” she said, “but I can stay a couple more days, change my flight. I could find a hotel in London, far away from Wattlesbrook’s scope of vision, and I could see you. Just hang out a bit before I go home, no weirdness, no pressure, I promise.” He smiled broadly. “That’s an offer I can’t refuse because I’m simply mad to see you in pants. I have a feeling you have a very nice bum.
Shannon Hale (Austenland (Austenland, #1))
She'd discreetly asked a few of her customers today and found out, much to her dismay, that everyone was under the impression Jack was back, and not just for a visit. She let her head fall back and sighed heavily. Damn him. Damn him and my sister both. She knew it wasn't fair to be mad at Jack just for coming home, but she couldn't help it. After everything she'd sacrificed to keep Amanda's secret, it was ready to be blown to bits by his arrival. She was going to drive herself crazy if she didn't stop dwelling on it. Cassie picked up her phone and slid her finger across the screen. With a couple taps on the glass, it was ringing. Time to call in the reinforcements. "Hey girl, what's shaking?" came the sound of Lissa's voice. "Hey." She sat there, unsure what to say to her best friend, just knowing she needed her support. "Uh oh. What's going on?" "Jack came in my shop this morning." "I'll be right there." The line went dead. Cassie smiled. Of course she would. She closed her eyes and rested while she waited. She and Melissa Winters had been through everything side by side, so why should this be any different? Lissa was the only person in the world besides Cassie that knew the secret about Sarah. She had helped her adjust to a new baby, teaching her everything she had learned from growing up the oldest sister of five. It was always in times like those that Cassie wished she had her mother around, but Lissa had stepped up. Caroline Powell would have loved helping with Sarah, but as it was, she often didn't even remember who Sarah was when Cassie would take her for visits to the full-time care facility she lived at in The city. Footsteps on the porch stairs shook her out of her reverie, and she opened her eyes to see Lissa walking up, Chinese takeout bags in hand. "General Tso to the rescue," she proclaimed, dropping into the rocker next to Cassie. "And some sweet and sour chicken for Miss Priss, of course." "Of course," Cassie smiled. "You're the best." They sat in silence for a few moments, Cassie turning her glass round and round in her hands until Lissa couldn't take it any longer. "Okay, spill. You can't drop a bomb on me like that and then just sit there in silence," Lissa chided. "I just don't know what to say. I'm terrified, Liss." "Let's think rationally. There is no reason for him to suspect anything." "He seemed really confused about Sarah. Surprised. He kept asking about her.
Christine Kingsley (Hometown Hearts)
Not a day has gone by for me that I haven't been waiting for you. That I haven't dreamed of a faceless you. That I haven't imagined what you would feel like under my palms. Waiting was never the problem, it was doubting. I began to doubt that you were real, that you were actually coming to me. But I should never have doubted you. I'm amazed when I look at your face to see the love I feel for you smiling back at me. I would do anything you asked of me to keep that smile there. You are all there is, my world... I'm honored just to be in your presence, let alone have your heart. I adore the way you look at my world. The love you have for my family. How you can be so completely innocent and so achingly sexy all at the same time. How you're always selfless, and there, and full of love even after everything you've been through. Baby, I've said it a million times and I'll continue to say it 'til my last breath… You're amazing. Tomorrow you'll be mine in every way, every sense, every second, but I know that no matter how tight I hold you, it'll never be close enough. No matter how long or hard or passionately I kiss your lips, it'll never be sating. You're my soul-mate, my reason to keep pulling air into my lungs, my gorgeous significant that fits in my arms and my life perfectly, my whole life, my love, my partner in crime, my very heart, my amazing girl. Marry me. Take the beating heart in my chest and do with it what you wish. It's been yours since the day you saved my life. You've been saving it ever since. I love you, baby, more than will ever be understandable, but I dare you to try. Every tomorrow is all that matters, my love. The
Shelly Crane (Independence (Significance, #4))
The little case opened to make a stand, so when I went up to my bedroom I set the miniature on my dressing table, next to my framed photograph of Papa. Seeing them side by side, I smiled. They belonged together, Papa and Isabella. Isabella. Suddenly it seemed wrong to call her by her first name. She was my mother. “Mama.” As I said it out loud, tears came to my eyes. I’d resisted that word for a long time. It seemed disloyal to Ma and Pa, who’d adopted me when I was just a tiny baby. They had been simple working people, kind and honest and loving, with no money for fripperies like portraits or photographs.
Susan Green (Verity Sparks and the Scarlet Hand (Verity Sparks, #3))
You might have tried to stop her,” she exclaimed. As she glanced up at Christopher, a scowl flitted across her face. “Oh. It’s you.” “Miss Hathaway--” he began. “Hold this.” Something warm and wriggling was thrust into his grasp, and Beatrix dashed off to pursue the goat. Dumbfounded, Christopher glanced at the creature in his hands. A baby goat, cream colored, with a brown head. He fumbled to keep from dropping the creature as he glanced at Beatrix’s retreating form and realized she was wearing breeches and boots. Christopher had seen women in every imaginable state of dress or undress. But he had never seen one wearing the clothes of a stablehand. “I must be having a dream,” he told the squirming kid absently. “A very odd dream about Beatrix Hathaway and goats…” “I have her!” the masculine voice called out. “Beatrix, I told you the pen needed to be made taller.” “She didn’t leap over it,” came Beatrix’s protest, “she ate through it.” “Who let her into the house?” “No one. She butted one of the side doors open.” An inaudible conversation followed. As Christopher waited, a dark-haired boy of approximately four or five years of age made a breathless entrance through the front door. He was carrying a wooden sword and had tied a handkerchief around his head, which gave him the appearance of a miniature pirate. “Did they catch the goat?” he asked Christopher without preamble. “I believe so.” “Oh, thunderbolts. I missed all the fun.” The boy sighed. He looked up at Christopher. “Who are you?” “Captain Phelan. The child’s gaze sharpened with interest. “Where’s your uniform?” “I don’t wear it now that the war is over.” “Did you come to see my father?” “No, I…came to call on Miss Hathaway.” “Are you one of her suitors?” Christopher gave a decisive shake of his head. “You might be one,” the boy said wisely, “and just not know it yet.” Christopher felt a smile--his first genuine smile in a long time--pulling at his lips. “Does Miss Hathaway have many suitors?” “Oh, yes. But none of them want to marry her.” “Why is that, do you imagine?” “They don’t want to get shot,” the child said, shrugging. “Pardon?” Christopher’s brows lifted. “Before you marry, you have to get shot by an arrow and fall in love,” the boy explained. He paused thoughtfully. “But I don’t think the rest of it hurts as much as the beginning.” Christopher couldn’t prevent a grin. At that moment, Beatrix returned to the hallway, dragging the nanny goat on a rope lead. Beatrix looked at Christopher with an arrested expression. His smile faded, and he found himself staring into her blue-on-blue eyes. They were astonishingly direct and lucid…the eyes of a vagabond angel. One had the sense that no matter what she beheld of the sinful world, she would never be jaded. She reminded him that the things he had seen and done could not be polished away like tarnish from silver. Gradually her gaze lowered from his. “Rye,” she said, handing the lead to the boy. “Take Pandora to the barn, will you? And the baby goat as well.” Reaching out, she took the kid from Christopher’s arms. The touch of her hands against his shirtfront elicited an unnerving response, a pleasurable heaviness in his groin. “Yes, Auntie.” The boy left through the front door, somehow managing to retain possession of the goats and the wooden sword. Christopher stood facing Beatrix, trying not to gape. And failing utterly. She might as well have been standing there in her undergarments. In fact, that would have been preferable, because at least it wouldn’t have seemed so singularly erotic. He could see the feminine outline of her hips and thighs clad in the masculine garments. And she didn’t seem at all self-conscious. Confound her, what kind of woman was she?
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
Gareth didn't need to open his eyes to know his brother was there, gazing down at him with his black stare that was severe enough to freeze the Devil in his lair of fire. And he didn't need to see Lucien's stark face to know what he would read there:  blatant disapproval. Fury. He felt Lucien's cool hand on his cheek. "Ah, Gareth," the duke said blandly, in a tone that didn't fool anyone in the room. "Another scrape you've got yourself into, I see. What is it this time, eh? No, let me guess. You were posing as a target and taking bets that none of your friends could hit you. Or perhaps you got so foxed that you fell from Crusader and impaled yourself on a fence? Do tell, dear boy. I have all night." "Go to hell, Luce." "I'm sure I will, but I'll have an explanation from you first." Bastard. Gareth refused to respond to the mocking taunts. Instead, he reached up, his fingers closing around Lucien's immaculate velvet sleeve. "Don't send her away, Luce. She's here. She needs us.... We owe it to Charles to take care of her and the baby." Footsteps came running down the hall, into the room. "Over here, Dr. Highworth!" Chilcot cried, suddenly. Lucien never moved. "Take care of whom, Gareth?" he inquired, with deadly menace. Weakly, Gareth turned his head on the pillow and looked up at his brother through a swirling fog of pain and alcohol. "Juliet Paige," he whispered, meeting Lucien's cool, veiled gaze. "The woman Charles was to marry ... she's here ... downstairs ... with his baby. Don't send her away, Lucien. I swear I'll kill you if you do." "My dear boy," Lucien murmured, with a chilling little smile, "I would not dream of it." But he had straightened up and was already moving toward the door. Gareth raised himself on one elbow even as the doctor tried to hold him down. "Lucien ... damn you, don't!" The duke kept walking. "Lucien!"  With the last of his strength, Gareth lunged from the bed, but the effort — and the Irish whiskey — did him in at last. As his feet hit the rug, his legs gave out beneath him, and he crashed heavily to the floor in a dead faint. Doctor, servants, and friends all rushed to his assistance. The duke never looked back.   ~~~~
Danelle Harmon (The Wild One (The de Montforte Brothers, #1))
One evening Steve and I didn’t feel like cooking, and we had ordered a pizza. I noticed that I was a bit leaky, but when you are enormously pregnant, all kinds of weird things happen with your body. I didn’t pay any particular attention. The next day I called the hospital. “You should come right in,” the nurse told me over the phone. Steve was fairly nearby, on the Gold Coast south of Brisbane, filming bull sharks. I won’t bother him, I thought. I’ll just go in for a quick checkup. “If everything checks out okay,” I told them at the hospital, “I’ll just head back.” The nurse looked to see if I was serious. She laughed. “You’re not going anywhere,” she said. “You’re having a baby.” I called Steve. He came up from the Gold Coast as quickly as he could, after losing his car keys, not remembering where he parked, and forgetting which way home was in his excitement. When he arrived at the hospital, I saw that he had brought the whole camera crew with him. John was just as flustered as anyone but suggested we film the event. “It’s okay with me,” Steve said. I was in no mood to argue. I didn’t care if a spaceship landed on the hospital. Each contraction took every bit of my attention. When they finally wheeled me into the delivery room at about eight o’clock that night, I was so tired I didn’t know how I could go on. Steve proved to be a great coach. He encouraged me as though it were a footy game. “You can do it, babe,” he yelled. “Come on, push!” At 9:46 p.m., a little head appeared. Steve was beside himself with excitement. I was in a fog, but I clearly remember the joy on his face. He helped turn and lift the baby out. I heard both Steve and doctor announce simultaneously, “It’s a girl.” Six pounds and two ounces of little baby girl. She was early but she was fine. All pink and perfect. Steve cut the umbilical cord and cradled her, gazing down at his newborn daughter. “Look, she’s our little Bindi.” She was named after a crocodile at the zoo, and it also fit that the word “bindi” was Aboriginal for “young girl.” Here was our own young girl, our little Bindi. I smiled up at Steve. “Bindi Sue,” I said, after his beloved dog, Sui. Steve gently handed her to me. We both looked down at her in utter amazement. He suddenly scooped her up in the towels and blankets and bolted off. “I’ve got a baby girl!” he yelled, as he headed down the hall. The doctor and midwives were still attending to me. After a while, one of the midwives said nervously, “So, is he coming back?” I just laughed. I knew what Steve was doing. He was showing off his beautiful baby girl to the whole maternity ward, even though each and every new parent had their own bundle of joy. Steve was such a proud parent. He came back and laid Bindi beside me. I said, “I couldn’t have done it if you hadn’t been here.” “Yes, you could have.” “No, I really needed you here.” Once again, I had that overwhelming feeling that as long as we were together, everything would be safe and wonderful. I watched Bindi as she stared intently at her daddy with dark, piercing eyes. He gazed back at her and smiled, tears rolling down his cheeks, with such great love for his new daughter. The world had a brand-new wildlife warrior.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
I hope I’m not intruding on his work. I’m happy to pitch in if I can.” “No worries,” Hannah said, then smiled at her inadvertent use of his Australian colloquialism. “And you’re on vacation so we aren’t going to make you pitch hay.” Calder smiled. “Truth be told, I wouldn’t mind a bit of hard labor. Feels odd not to be putting in the hours.” “Your body is probably thanking you.” Cooper looked down at his booted toes at that, not wanting Kerry’s sister to spy even a hint of just how spent his body had felt when he’d woken up that morning, much less why. “Big Jack--my dad--would tell you that taking so much as a day off makes a man soft.” As soon as the words came out of his mouth, he realized the double entendre, then realized she wouldn’t get that it was a double entendre and decided maybe he’d just stare at his booted feet all day long. Then he thought he caught just a hint of a knowing smile on Hannah’s lovely face before she too decided to check out her footwear for an extended moment. Cheeky, like her sister, he thought. And sharp, like a defense attorney. The afternoon had barely gotten underway, too. Sweet Mary. Another few minutes of this and he wouldn’t be surprised to see Logan pulling up with the paddy wagon, ready to haul him off for putting his hands--and a whole lot more--on his baby sister.
Donna Kauffman (Starfish Moon (Brides of Blueberry Cove, #3))
You are so much more than I bargained for,” I confessed, which gained her attention. “I knew I wanted to know you, that I had to. There was just something about you that no matter how hard I tried to shake it wouldn’t dissipate. But never in a million years did I realize I would fall so hard.” I let my thumb trail lightly over her lip. The wound was healing and was less sore but it still angered me that she had to face that night. “I love you,” I said as my gaze wandered back to meet hers. I could see the unshed tears that formed in her eyes as she smiled up at me. “Not just because you’re carrying my baby, but that was the turning point that made me realize the love I had for you. It was the moment I truly understood just how much I want you in my life. I want it all with you, the house, the babies, the growing old together and bickering about what to watch on Sunday night television.” She laughed as she blinked and the tears ran along her cheeks. “I love you,” I repeated. “And I love this baby,” I assured her as I rested my hand against her stomach. “I love you,” she said in a whisper as her tears continued to fall. “And I want all those things too. But just so we’re clear, I get to control what we watch on Sunday nights.” I didn’t argue; how could I when she wore that smile? She was happy, so fucking happy. And that was all I wanted. It was what I craved. Her smile, her laughter, it was as if those were the only things of importance with the acceptance of her safety, because never again would anyone hurt her or my child. That was a promise.
C.A. Harms (Trinity's Trust (Sawyer Brothers #5))
Why are you talking about Milo and me as if I weren’t here?” I asked angrily. “What are you afraid will happen between us? Half the Argonauts believe it already did, but that doesn’t make it so.” “Not yet,” Castor said. “People change, especially on a long voyage.” “Why does this matter so much to you?” “Because now, Helen, you can have a child,” Polydeuces replied. He lifted my chin gently. “You are the next ruler of Sparta. The man you marry will be Sparta’s king, and your children will rule our land after you. If you have a baby now, that child could grow up to challenge your other children for the throne. Sparta’s enemies would be only too happy to help that child raise an army, then swoop down on our lands in the wake of the war and devour anything that remains. When you’re dead, do you want to leave your people peace or chaos?” I didn’t have to give him an answer. We both knew it. “Now, Polydeuces, let her be,” Castor said, hugging me again. “Look at that face! Her brow’s all creased with worry, and for nothing. As if our little sister would ever give her heart to anyone less than a prince! As if a slave’s child could ever raise an army to take Sparta!” I whirled out from under Castor’s arm. “Milo is no slave, and he’s worth ten princes!” Castor sucked in his breath sharply and looked to Polydeuces. “All right, now I’m worried,” he said. “Either you trust me or you don’t,” I said. “That’s your only worry. I’ve made my decision. I’m going to the waterfront, I’m praying to Poseidon that I’ll find the ship I need, and I’m going home. As a boy. With Milo.” My brothers smiled. “It’s good to see you so confident again.” Polydeuces said. “But not too confident to reject some help from your devoted brothers?” I threw my arms around their necks. “Never.
Esther M. Friesner (Nobody's Prize (Nobody's Princess, #2))
I closed my eyes, laid my head back on the pillow, and savored my first moments alone with my child. Seconds later, the door to my room opened and my brother-in-law, Tim, walked in. He’d just finished working a huge load of cattle. Marlboro Man would have been, too, if I hadn’t gone into labor the night before. “Hey!” Tim said enthusiastically. “How’s it going?” I yanked the bedsheet far enough north to cover the baby’s head and my exposed breast; as much as I loved my new brother-in-law, I just couldn’t see myself being that open with him. He caught on immediately. “Oops--did I come at a bad time?” Tim asked, a deer caught in the headlights. “You just missed your brother,” I said. The baby’s lips fell off my nipple and she rooted around and tried to find it again. I tried to act like nothing was happening under the covers. “No kidding?” Tim asked, looking nervously around the room. “Oh, I should have called first.” “Come on in,” I said, sitting up in the bed as tall as I could. The epidural had definitely worn off. My bottom was beginning to throb. “How’s the baby?” he asked, wanting to look but unsure if he should look in her direction. “She’s great,” I answered, pulling the little one out from under the covers. I prayed I could get my nipple quickly tucked away without incident. Tim smiled as he regarded his new niece. “She’s so cute,” he said tenderly. “Can I hold her?” He reached out his arms like a child wanting to hold a puppy. “Sure,” I said, handing her over, my bottom stinging by now. All I could think about was getting in the shower and spraying it with the nozzle I’d noticed earlier in the day when the nurse escorted me to the bathroom. I’d started obsessing over it, in fact. The nozzle was all I could think about. Tim seemed as surprised at the baby’s gender as his brother had been. “I was shocked when I heard!” he said, looking at me with a smile. I laughed, imagining what Marlboro Man’s dad might be thinking. That the first grandchild in such a male-dominated ranching family turned out to be a girl was becoming more humorous to me each minute. This was going to be an adventure.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
See--she forced laughter into her thoughts--I took care of the problem all by my little feminine self. Amazing, isn’t it? From the other side of a grove of trees, out of her sight, Jacob suddenly screamed in terror, the sound fading to a thin wail. The roar of an enraged bear mingled with Jacob’s second scream. Something heavy crashed through the underbrush in the opposite direction of Raven. She felt Mikhail’s laughter, low, amused, very male. Very funny, Mikhail. Jacob was broadcasting fear, but not pain. You have a questionable sense of humor. I need sleep. Quit getting into trouble, woman. If you wouldn’t stay up all night, you might not need to sleep the day away, she reprimanded. How do you get work done? A computer. He said it with a note of pride in his voice. A computer? So you are one of the lucky few. Yes. It takes up the entire desk but is quite handy. Now for certain she knew he was bragging. She found herself laughing at the thought of him with a computer. He didn’t seem to belong in an era with cars or computers. He seemed more like the villagers with their carts and horses, yet he knew more of the modern world than she did. Go back to sleep, you big baby. I can handle things just fine, thank you very much, without any great big he-man to protect me. I would much prefer that you return to the safety of the inn until I rise. There was the merest hint of command in his voice. He was trying to soften his manner with her, and she found herself smiling at his efforts. It isn’t going to happen, so learn to live with it. American women are very difficult. She continued on her way up the mountain, his laughter still playing softly in her head.
Christine Feehan (Dark Prince (Dark, #1))
My dick bobs up and down in satisfaction, loving that we did this to her. I thought once I had her cunt, and then her asshole, it would go down, but it’s only gotten harder. I lean in, not able to help myself, and give her gentle licks. “Daddy, I love your kisses on my kitty. They make me feel like such a special princess.” Looking up, I see her lazing against the cool tile, legs spread, and the biggest smile on her face. I suck her clit a little, trying not to be too rough, but giving her the feeling she wants. “You are my special princess, baby girl. You are the most special princess in the world.” It doesn’t take me long to bring her to the edge again, her body primed and ready to take what I give it. I’m so fucking hard. I know she’s sore, but I need her just one more time. I sit up on my knees and position the tip of my slick cock at her opening. “I know you’re sore, sweet princess, but Daddy needs you to be brave and let me fuck your kitty one more time.” “Okay, Daddy. Do you want my bottom instead?” My dick weeps a little cum, and I moan at her
Alexa Riley (Innocence’s Series Bundle (Innocence, #1-3))
Just a moon ago, at dawn, I was drunk. Very drunk. I wasn’t thinking of you. You were the last thing on my mind. I was trying to get up from where I lay on the riverbank without falling in. I couldn’t tell the water from the sky. I was seeing two skies and two rivers and knew that if I took a wrong step I would probably drown, and I was deciding whether or not that would be a bad thing. The next thing I knew I was in the center of the river on that flat rock you used to sit on, and I looked up into the sky, and suddenly my vision cleared. I knew that you wanted me back. I knew, at that moment, we were both seeing into your heart.” She didn’t tell him that was probably the morning the baby came, but he saw her struggle and her resignation and her surprise. There’s no real reason for this, she thought. There’s no good reason. I can’t believe such nonsense, but it happened. I don’t know my own mind even now when he’s standing right in front of me, so dear, so beautiful, and much too good. Much too good. Why can’t I have his faith? Rising Hawk watched her face, and he began to believe that if he could just touch her, kiss her the way he had on the trail, she would give in. But then she said, “Rising Hawk. Would you do something for me?” Her voice suggested some new torment. His vulnerable expression fled. He wasn’t going to be made to look like a fool. Not even by Livy, no matter how dear she was to him. He thought about the winter. She made him laugh. Most of the time, she made him happy. They all believed she still had him bewitched. Maybe she did. Against his better judgment and his gut feeling, he felt himself nod yes. She took a deep breath. “Turn around and walk away.” “What?” “Turn around and walk away.” She had done all the thinking she could. By itself it held no answers. This was her last chance. “That’s what you want?” “Yes.” His next words had to fight their way out. His teeth were set like a bear trap. “I don’t know why I love you. It never makes any sense to me. Nothing about you does.” He turned. Livy watched him walk away. His familiar stride, the way he held his head, and the slight limp helped her remember the trail, their strange journey, and the gunshot. It’s not fair, she told herself as the pain of seeing him walk away one last time took hold of her. “It’s not enough,” she said aloud in an angry sob that rose in her throat and nearly choked her next words. “But I can’t help it. I can’t, and I don’t care anymore. I don’t care. Rising Hawk, wait!” she called, and broke into a run. He slowed at the sound of her voice and looked over his shoulder. The old smile returned to his face, gentle, mocking, assured. He didn’t wait for her to reach him, but turned to meet her halfway.
Betsy Urban (Waiting for Deliverance)
Look in the tub. There’s a huge freaking spider in it.” “Is that all?” I ask, relieved. Hell, the way she screamed, I thought someone was stabbing her to death with a rusty knife. “Is that all?” she counters, her voice rising hysterically. “Go and see it. That—thing is a monster.” “Don’t be such a baby,” I reply as I move to the tub and look inside. It’s bright blue, furry, the size of a goddamn softball. “Shit. That is big.” “I told you,” she cries fearfully. “I can’t believe I was in there with that—thing. It looks like a tarantula had sex with a smurf.” My back is to her, so I didn’t have to hide my smile, but seriously, the spiders in the tropics are something else. “I’m sure he was just trying to get a peek at you,” I tease. “Don’t worry. I’ll take care of this little peeping Tom.” I go back out to my room and grab one of my shoes. I return and it is still trying to climb the slippery sides of the bath. Alright, you little pervert. No more ogling my sexy assistant. The arthropod makes a squashing sound. Wadding up some toilet paper in my hand I scoop up the blob that looks like crushed blueberries. I flush its remains down the toilet, chuck my splattered shoe in the trashcan, and turn around.
River Laurent (The CEO & I)
Let me get it,” he says, standing much too close for my comfort. It’s downright suffocating. “Not a chance, darlin’,” I drawl, giving him a dose of his own medicine. I hand the youngish sales lady my tags and bury my gaze inside my purse in search of my wallet. When I look up, I find a loopy smile on her face and it’s directed at him. The happy bastard smiles right back. “Are you two done? Can I pay for these, or would you like to go on a date before you ring me up?” They both turn to stare. She’s cherry red and pushing all the wrong buttons on the register while Dane’s busy scowling at me. I hand her my credit card without taking my eyes off of him. “Did I do something to you, Stella?” The thing is, I’m not mad at him. I’m mad at myself. I cannot believe that I allowed myself to fall under his spell. I don’t blame the sales girl either. She never stood a chance under the magnetic force that is Dane Wylder. I fell for it and I’ve been vaccinated against this particular virulent disease. I have Paul Donovan to thank for that. Turning back to the sales person, I take the receipt she hands me. “I’m sorry,” I murmur. “Hormones––they’re wreaking havoc.” “Oh, I get the same way when I get my period,” she replies in the sweetest drawl. “Thanks for your help,” I tell her in an apologetic tone. With that I walk away from the counter, and the two of them. A second later a big hand grabs a hold of my upper arm. I stop and turn, my expression not a happy one. “You didn’t answer me?” “No, Dane. You did nothing. Like I said, it’s the hormones.” He looks pensive, his sexy lips pursed as he’s mulling this over. “We should get you some ice cream.” I don’t know whether to laugh, or cry. He genuinely thinks ice cream is the solution to our problem? Then again he doesn’t have a problem. I’m the one with the urge. I’m the one with the craving. Unless ice cream comes in a flavor called Sweaty Sex With Dane, I don’t want it…and about as smart as jumping out of a plane with no parachute. The ride will be fast and thrilling and most certainly prove painful when I hit bottom. “What does ice cream have to do with it?” “Maybe it’ll make you nicer. You know, take the edge off.” My eyes automatically narrow. “Maybe we need to give each other space.” “No,” he huffs, arms crossed in front of his broad chest, his shirt straining against the swell of his pecs, expression locked in the determined position. “No?” “No. No space. I see what you’re doing here. This is some kinda female mental jujitsu. You say you want space, but you don’t really want it.” I’m seconds from punching him in the nut sac, which is almost directly in my line of sight. There is something to be said about being short. Or for him being grotesquely tall. “I…I’m going to…I can’t.” I flee to the cosmetics department in search of the Holy Grail, a flat iron, before I do or say something I’ll regret. And find one. Thank the Lord. This goes a small way to propping up my mood. I’m almost tempted to purchase two.
P. Dangelico (Baby Maker (It Takes Two, #1))
I know the food isn’t…okay but…” he tells his father. Trying to pacify Mr. Wylder is beginning to seem an impossible task and to Dane’s credit, he’s been having this conversation since the crack of dawn and hasn’t lost his temper once. Side note: it hasn’t escaped my notice that witnessing how patient he is with his father means he’ll be patient with our child. I grasp onto this discovery with both hands and hold it close to my heart. “No, you’re not. And if you give me one more minute of grief, Stella and I are gettin’ on the next flight back to New York…that’s what I thought…okay. We’ll see you in a couple of hours. Yep.” I stand corrected. Ending the call, he exhales tiredly. “Don’t look at me like that.” “That was a bit harsh, don’t you think?” “He was seconds from runnin’ out of there bare-assed. I had to steal his clothes last night ’cause I knew what was coming.” “Oh,” is all I can say, a smile overtaking my face.
P. Dangelico (Baby Maker (It Takes Two, #1))
I agree with you. I can't do this anymore either." She stiffened against him and made to turn around, but he stopped her. "I owe you an apology," he began quietly. "I'm sorry I made you feel like you couldn't trust me. I know you have no reason to, not with my track record, but I want you to know you can. When I met you, my whole life changed. If I could, I would go back and tell you the truth about everything - my name, Erin, all of it. I had no idea you were going to be.. the one." This time when she tried to sit up, Josh didn't stop her. "What?" she asked with trembling lips. "You're the one, Nicole," he said softly, his eyes meeting hers. "When I woke up the next morning and you were gone. I went crazy trying to find you. I didn't even know where to begin to look And then, last month, when I came to your house? I couldn't believe my good fortune. I was getting a second chance. I should have been honest with you that first night when I came back and told you I loved you. I had been looking for you. Waiting for you. There is no other woman for me, Nicole. Not now. Not ever. It's you." Her eyes welled with tears. "I don't know how to believe you." The honest admission hurt for her to even say, and when she saw understanding in his eyes, she felt her first glimmer of hope. Taking her hands in his, he pulled her close. "Let me what I've been up to." he began. "First those meetings in RTP? Those were with real estate agents. I'm moving my business here." "But what about--?" "Shh," he interrupted. "After we spoke Monday night, I sort of went a little crazy. I knew I had already gotten the ball rolling with moving the business but I knew it wasn't enough. So I did a little restructuring and promoted two of my guys. They'll be handling most of the traveling from now on. I may still have to go to a job site from time to time, but if I do then I want you and Ellie with me." "Josh, that wasn't--" "Hear me out." He placed one finger on her lips. "I'd like to keep the house in Wilmington because it's right on the beach and I'd love for us to have a place to go just to get away, but if you'd like to pick one of your own, I can sell it." "What are you saying?" He smiled as he leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss on her forehead. "What I'm saying is I love you. I want a life with you. I want to be there every day for you and Ellie. I want us to have more babies, and I want to be there to see them grow. I love you Nicole." "Oh my..." "I didn't plan on doing this today," he said as he shifted and dropped to one knee on the floor in front of her. "And I don't have your ring with me; it's back at David's." He winked. "But, Nicole Taylor, I want you to be my wife. I love you, and i want to spend every day of my life with you. Will you marry me?" "I knew everything I needed to know about you three years ago. Coming here and finding you again and seeing the way you have loved and cared for our daughter? That just confirmed it all. You are everything I've ever wanted, all I ever needed." "Me?" she mouthed, unable to speak. He nodded. "Always.
Samantha Chase (Baby, I'm Yours (Life, Love and Babies, #2))
He’s going to have months of physical therapy. He might have to relearn things like talking. But he’s still in there.” Valerie came in and Sloan grinned up at her. “Ready for today’s sedation vacation?” Valerie asked, fiddling with a drip bag. Sloan was practically bouncing. “This is what I wanted to show you. Every day they lift the sedation a little to see how his vitals respond. Not too much, or he’ll fight the ventilator, but just enough to make him a little aware.” We sat and watched him for a few moments. “All right, baby girl,” Valerie said. “Do your thing.” Sloan smiled and picked up Brandon’s hand. “Babe, can you hear me? Squeeze my hand if you can hear me.” I held my breath and watched his fingers. They squeezed. Sloan let out a laugh that pushed tears from her eyes. “Did you see? Babe, squeeze twice if you love me.” Two squeezes. Our laughter was the sound of relief. Hers was that Brandon was still in there. Mine was that she was. She kissed his hand. “One more day, babe. One more day and then I’m going to get to see you, okay? I love you so much.
Abby Jimenez
Couldn’t you let us see the baby, miss?” The nurse nodded. She was a lanternjawed grayfaced woman with tight lips. “I hate her,” whispered Susie. “She gives me the fidgets that woman does; she’s nothing but a mean old maid.” “Never mind dear, it’s just for a day or two.” Susie closed her eyes. “Do you still want to call her Ellen?” The nurse brought back a basket and set it on the bed beside Susie. “Oh isn’t she wonderful!” said Ed. “Look she’s breathing. . . . And they’ve oiled her.” He helped his wife to raise herself on her elbow; the yellow coil of her hair unrolled, fell over his hand and arm. “How can you tell them apart nurse?” “Sometimes we cant,” said the nurse, stretching her mouth in a smile. Susie was looking querulously into the minute purple face. “You’re sure this is mine.” “Of course.” “But it hasnt any label on it.” “I’ll label it right away.” “But mine was dark.” Susie lay back on the pillow, gasping for breath. “She has lovely little light fuzz just the color of your hair.” Susie stretched her arms out above her head and shrieked: “It’s not mine. It’s not mine. Take it away. . . . That woman’s stolen my baby.
John Dos Passos (Manhattan Transfer: A Novel)
I told you,” he said in the darkness behind my lids. “So stubborn, all the time.” “No. Sometimes I’m asleep. And anyway, you don’t know my life.” He laughed. “Yeah, actually, I do. I know all about you.” I scoffed. “Mm-hmm.” “What? I do. I know you can eat a whole sleeve of Thin Mints by yourself.” I snorted. “Who can’t?” He went on. “I know your favorite thing is having your back scratched after you take off your bra. You’re in a better mood when you go to bed at eleven thirty and wake up at seven than when you go to bed at twelve thirty and wake up at eight. You like purple. You love the smell of carnations but hate it when guys buy you flowers because you think it’s a waste of money…” I opened an eye and looked at him. He was talking to the window, watching the road. “You like to argue when you think you might be wrong. When you know you’re right, you don’t bother. You hate sharing your food, but you pick at my plate every time. That’s why I always order extra fries.” He looked over at me and smiled. “And you’d rather give me shit for my driving than admit you get carsick when you’re on your phone. See?” He arched an eyebrow. “I know you.” My heart felt like it might crack in half. He did know me. He’d been paying attention to me. And I knew him too. I knew him inside and out. I could tell what work had been like by the set of his shoulders when he came over, and I knew it helped him to de-stress to talk to me about a bad call. I always listened, even though sometimes they were hard to hear. When he got quiet, it meant he was tired. He’d choose pistachio ice cream at Baskin-Robbins every time, but at Cold Stone he got sweet cream instead. I knew he liked Stuntman, though he’d never admit it. And he secretly liked it when I gave him shit. I could tell by the sparkle in his eyes. And I also knew he hoped he had more sons than daughters. That he liked the name Oliver for his first boy and Eva for his first girl. He planned on teaching all his kids to hunt and had a collection of camo baby clothes. He wanted to build the cribs himself from wood in the forest around his grandparent’s house in South Dakota. He wanted no fewer than five children, and he planned for nine. And he hoped all his kids got the signature Copeland dimples and cowlick. I hoped for that too. I wanted him to get all the things he dreamed about. Yes. I knew him. I knew him well.
Abby Jimenez (The Friend Zone (The Friend Zone, #1))
But in Westbrook, I have no idea what might come at us, but I know something is already in the works for both of us. I just need her to stand with me. “Why does it feel like this is just the beginning of a war?” She sniffles in my sweatshirt but I don’t fucking care. “That’s because we are in the middle of it and the enemy just showed up.” “She doesn’t want us together.” “They want us to dance to their tune for the sake of the great land.” “What do we do, Ace?” She questions, looking up at me. I lift my hand and wipe the remaining tears that fall on her cheek and my fingers. Her tears burn into my skin and I just want them fucking gone. I wish I had better words to tell her. I wish I had the courage to tell her that everything is going to be alright but I’m not going to lie to her. Everything is going to go to shit, but I refuse for that to include us. “We do what we do best.” “And what’s that?” I lean down and kiss her forehead, lingering there as I take a whiff of her. She smells like a heaven and temptation at the same time, I might just die in her scent. “We fuck shit up.” I groan, as I look down at her, feeling the tenseness of my entire body. She smiles then, a sad, tired smile. Tonight has been too much but I don’t think it’s over. Not for us anyway. “Promise me something.” She starts, looking up at me, with the wind blowing her hair into her face. I move the silky strands away, staring into her eyes—hard eyes filled with so much confusion right now. “Anything.” The entire world if you want it. The moon and the stars are yours, you rule them all. Me, baby. I promise you me. . . “Promise me that you will never lie to me. Or keep anything from me.” I had a feeling this was coming. At this point, I’m not sure if lying will keep her safe or if it will make things worse. Something tells me that the latter is much more probable now with the stench of war in the air. Will she lie to me too? “So long as you promise to do that too . . .” She nods her head, then reaches for my hand that cups her cheek. She loops our pinkies, mirroring something we used to do whenever the boys were around. I couldn’t bring myself to talk to her with the boys watching but sometimes, I could sense she was sad or she could sense that something was happening with me. So, she would come stand close to me, but we wouldn’t look at each other as our pinky fingers interlocked under the table, or at our backs where no one could see. God, I’m a sucker for this girl. Been a fool for her my whole life. “I promise.” We whisper at the same time.
Thandiwe Mpofu (Vicious Hate (Westbrook Blues #2))
stomach—which is where the stupid baby is. “I don’t think I’m going to like this dumb baby,” I said. Mother stopped hugging me. “Don’t say that, Junie B. Of course you will,” she said. “Of course I won’t,” I talked back. “Because it won’t even let me hug you very good. And anyway, I don’t even know its stupid dumb name.” Then Mother sat down in the new rocking chair. And she tried to put me on her lap. Only I wouldn’t fit. So she just holded my hand. “That’s because Daddy and I haven’t picked a name for the baby yet,” she explained. “We want a name that’s a little bit different. You know, something cute like Junie B. Jones. A name that people will remember.” And so I thought and thought very hard. And then I clapped my hands together real loud. “Hey! I know one!” I said very excited. “It’s the cafeteria lady at my school. And her name is Mrs. Gutzman!” Mother frowned a little bit. And so maybe she didn’t hear me, I think. “MRS. GUTZMAN!” I hollered. “That’s a cute name, don’t you think? And I remembered it, too! Even after I only heard it one time, Mrs. Gutzman sticked right in my head!” Mother took a big breath. “Yes, honey. But I’m not sure that Mrs. Gutzman is a good name for a tiny baby.” And so then I scrunched my face up. And I thought and thought all over again. “How ’bout Teeny?” I said. “Teeny would be good.” Mother smiled. “Well, Teeny might be cute while the baby was little. But what would we call him when he grows up?” “Big Teeny!” I called out very happy. Then Mother said, “We’ll see.” Which means no Big Teeny. After that, I didn’t feel so happy anymore. “When’s this dumb bunny baby getting here
Barbara Park (Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business (Junie B. Jones, #2))
hasn’t been missing long. If she’s upset, she’ll go someplace where she feels safe.” “But she might not be thinking clearly,” Adelia protested, her panic returning. “She’s only thirteen, Gabe. I’m afraid I’ve been forgetting that myself. I should have been paying more attention. Instead, I was so worried about my younger kids, I missed all the signs that Selena was in real trouble. I was just grateful that she was no longer rebelling against the world.” In front of the gym, she bolted from the car practically before it could come to a stop. Inside, she scanned the room until her gaze landed on her brother. He regarded her with alarm, which grew visibly when Gabe came in right on her heels. Misreading the situation, Elliott stepped between them. “Is this guy bothering you, Adelia?” She held up a hand. “No, it’s nothing like that. Selena’s missing. Gabe is helping me look for her. I thought maybe she’d come here to see you.” Elliott shook his head. “I haven’t seen her. Let me check with Karen. She’s not working today. She’s at the house with the baby.” Adelia felt herself starting to shake as her brother made the call to his wife. Then she felt Gabe’s steadying hand on her shoulder. He didn’t say a word, just kept his hand there until the moment passed. Elliott listened intently to whatever Karen was saying, his expression brightening. “Thanks, querida. Adelia will be there in a few minutes.” Smiling, he turned to her. “Selena’s at my house playing with the baby. Karen didn’t think to call anyone because Selena told her she only had a half day at school and swore you knew where she was.” Adelia finally let out the breath she felt like she’d been holding for hours. “Of course Karen believed her,” she said wryly. “Selena’s very convincing when she wants to be.” “Want me to drive you over there?” Elliott offered. “I can get one of the other trainers to take my next client.” “I can take her,” Gabe said. He looked at her. “Unless you’d prefer to have your brother go with you.” Adelia hesitated, then shook her head. “If you don’t mind making the drive, that would be great,” she told him. “Elliott, there’s no reason for you to miss an appointment. I can handle this.” Elliott looked worried but eventually nodded. “You’ll be there when I get home? I want to have a talk with my niece about skipping school and worrying you.” She smiled. “Believe me, she’ll get more than enough talking from me tonight. You can save your lecture for another day.” Elliott nodded with unmistakable reluctance. “Whatever you think, but I will have a word with her. You can be sure of that.” “Not a doubt in my mind,” she said, then turned to Gabe. “Let’s go. That
Sherryl Woods (Swan Point (The Sweet Magnolias #11))
Set Me Free/I've Got The Key Hey babe You got somethin’ Somethin’ special I only dreamed about Y’know babe You’re so special You got somethin’ Really knocks me out Honey child Drive me crazy You got somethin’ People dream about Oh honey Well you look so sweet Yeah babe Ah, you look so neat Just the way that you walk Just the way that you smile Just the way that you laugh when you’re talkin’ to me Makes my life worthwhile Come on babe You got somethin’ Somethin’ special You really knock me out Honey child Come on closer You got somethin’ Most people dream about Oh honey Ah, you look so sweet Yeah babe Ah, you look so neat Just the way that you walk Just the way that you talk You got somethin’ Most people dream about Set me free Set me free Set me free Set me free Set me free Set me free Set me free Just the way that you walk Just the way that you talk Just the way you […] Cuts me so free [really?] Baby I got the key Baby I got the key Baby I got the key Baby I got the key Set me free Let me help you to see Come on just let me show you how we could be Baby I got the key Baby I got the key Baby I got the key Baby I got the key
Spacemen 3
And late late late when he thought they had gone—or he had gone— to sleep maybe, to a place inside his head where they couldn’t reach him, in the dark, he opened his eyes, and next to him sat Anthony. Alexander shut his eyes, not wanting Anthony to see all the things he was carrying, and Anthony leaned deeply in and lowered his forehead onto Alexander’s bandaged chest. “Dad,” he whispered, “I swear to God, you have to stop it. You’ve been doing this for weeks now, turning away every time you look at me. Please. Stop. I’m hurt enough. Think of yourself, remember your-self—did you want my mother to turn her face from you when you came back from war? Please. I don’t give a fuck about the arm. I don’t. I’m not like Nick Moore. I’m like Mom. I’ll adjust, little by little. I’m just glad to be alive, to be back. I thought my life was over. I didn’t think I would ever come back, Dad,” said Anthony, raising his head. “What are you so upset about? It wasn’t even my good arm.” He smiled lightly. “I never liked it. Couldn’t pitch ball with it, couldn’t write with it. Certainly, unlike you, couldn’t shoot fucking Dudley with it. Now come on. Please.” “Yes,” whispered Alexander. “But you’ll never play guitar again.” And other things you will never do. Play basketball. Pitch. Hold your newborn baby in your palms. Anthony swallowed. “Or go to war again.” He broke off. “I know. I have some adjusting to do. It is what it is. Mom says this, and you should listen to her. She says I got away with my life, and I’m going to do just fine. All we want is for you to be all right,” Anthony said. “That’s all any of us ever wanted.” “Antman,” said Alexander, his hand on his son’s lowered head, his wounded chest drawn and quartered, “you’re a good kid.
Paullina Simons (The Summer Garden (The Bronze Horseman, #3))
Someday Tatiana must tell Alexander how glad she is that her sister Dasha did not die without once feeling what it was like to love. Alexander. Here he is, before he was Tatiana’s, at the age of twenty, getting his medal of valor for bringing back Yuri Stepanov during the 1940 Winter War. Alexander is in his dress Soviet uniform, snug against his body, his stance at-ease and his hand up to his temple in teasing salute. There is a gleaming smile on his face, his eyes are carefree, his whole man-self full of breathtaking, aching youth. And yet, the war was on, and his men had already died and frozen and starved... and his mother and father were gone... and he was far away from home, and getting farther and farther, and every day was his last—one way or another, every day was his last. And yet, he smiles, he shines, he is happy. Anthony is gone so long that his daughters say something must have happened to him. But then he appears. Like his father, he has learned well the poker face and outwardly remains imperturbable. Just as a man should be, thinks Tatiana. A man doesn’t get to be on the President’s National Security Council without steeling himself to some of life’s little adversities. A man doesn’t go through what Anthony went through without steeling himself to some of life’s little adversities. In this hand Anthony carries two faded photographs, flattened by the pages of the book, grayed by the passing years. The kitchen falls quiet, even Rachel and Rebecca are breathless in anticipation. “Let’s see...” they murmur, gingerly picking up the fragile, sepia pictures with their long fingers. Tatiana is far away from them. “Do you want to see them with us, Grammy? Grandpa?” “We know them well,” Tatiana says, her voice catching on something. “You kids go ahead.” The grandchildren, the daughter, the son, the guests circle their heads, gaping. “Washington, look! Just look at them! What did we tell you?” Shura and Tania, 23 and 18, just married. In full bloom, on the steps of the church near Lazarevo, he in his Red Army dress uniform, she in her white dress with red roses, roses that are black in the monochrome photo. She is standing next to him, holding his arm. He is looking into the camera, a wide grin on his face. She is gazing up at him, her small body pressed into him, her light hair at her shoulders, her arms bare, her mouth slightly parted. “Grammy!” Rebecca exclaims. “I’m positively blushing. Look at the way you’re coming the spoon on Grandpa!” She turns to Alexander from the island. “Grandpa, did you catch the way she is looking at you?” “Once or twice,” replies Alexander. The other colorless photo. Tania and Shura, 18 and 23. He lifts her in the air, his arms wrapped around her body, her arms wrapped around his neck, their fresh faces tilted, their enraptured lips in a breathless open kiss. Her feet are off the ground. “Wow, Grammy,” murmurs Rebecca. “Wow, Grandpa.” Tatiana is busily wiping the granite island. “You want to know what my Washington said about you two?” Rebecca says, not looking away from the photograph. “He called you an adjacent Fibonacci pair!” She giggles. “Isn’t that sexy?” Tatiana shakes her head, despite herself glancing at Washington with reluctant affection. “Just what we need, another math expert. I don’t know what you all think math will give you.” And Janie comes over to her father who is sitting at the kitchen table, holding her baby son, bends over Alexander, leans over him, kisses him, her arm around him, and murmurs into his ear, “Daddy, I’ve figured out what I’m going to call my baby. It’s so simple.” “Fibonacci?” She laughs. “Why, Shannon, of course. Shannon.” The
Paullina Simons (The Summer Garden (The Bronze Horseman, #3))
Stereo Love" When you gonna stop breaking my heart? I don't wanna be another one, Paying for the things I never done. Don't let go, don't let go to my love. Can I get to your soul? Can you get to my thoughts? Can you promise we won't let go? All the things that I need. All the things that you need. You can make it feel so real. 'Cause you can't deny, You've blown my mind. When I touch your body, I feel I'm losing control. 'Cause you can't deny, You've blown my mind. When I see you baby, I just don't wanna let go. When you gonna stop breaking my heart? I don't wanna be another one, Paying for the things I never done. Don't let go, don't let go to my love. I hate to see you cry, Your smile is a beautiful lie. I hate to see you cry, My love is dying inside. I hate to see you cry, Your smile is a beautiful lie. I hate to see you cry, My love is dying inside. I can fix all those lies. Oh, babe, oh babe, I run, but I'm running to you. You won't see me cry, I'm hiding inside. My heart is in pain but I'm smiling for you. Oh baby, I'll try to make things right. I need you more than air when I'm not with you. Please don't ask me why, just kiss me this time. My only dream, is about you and I. Can I get to your soul? Can you get to my thoughts? Can you promise we won't let go? All the things that I need. All the things that you need. You can make it feel so real. 'Cause you can't deny, You've blown my mind. When I touch your body, I feel I'm losing control. 'Cause you can't deny, You've blown my mind. When I see you baby, I just don't wanna let go. When you gonna stop breaking my heart? I don't wanna be another one, Paying for the things I never done. Don't let go, don't let go to my love. I hate to see you cry, Your smile is a beautiful lie. I hate to see you cry, My love is dying inside. I can fix all those lies Oh babe, oh babe, I run, but I'm running to you You won't see me cry, I'm hiding inside My heart is in pain, but I'm smiling for you. Oh, baby, I'll try to make things right I need you more than air, when I'm not with you Please, don't ask me why, just kiss me this time My only dream is about you and I.
Edward Maya
She moved to the other side, then around behind him, her hands in his hair nothing short of intoxicating. Then he felt something push him hard in the back and he turned around. “What was that?” “Jake, be careful! I have scissors in my hand!” “But . . . I felt something.” She sighed, the ghost of a smile—and maybe embarrassment—touching her lips. “That was the baby.” He looked from her face to her belly then back again. “That was the baby?” She laughed, despite looking like she wished she hadn’t. “You’ve never felt a baby move inside a woman’s womb.” “I believe that goes without saying, Aletta.” She smiled then, the natural response he’d grown accustomed to seeing, and looked at him for a moment. She laid the scissors aside. “Give me your hand.” Never one to be shy, Jake hesitated for a second, then did as she asked. She placed his hand toward the top of her belly then covered it with hers before gently pressing her belly in on the other side. Then Jake felt it—movement beneath the palm of his hand. Not a quick punch like before. But a gentle pressure that moved across his palm and took his breath along with it. He looked up at Aletta, her eyes bright even as his blurred. “That’s—” “Life,” she whispered. He started to take his hand away, but she held it there. “Wait.” She briefly closed her eyes. “I think he—or she—is starting to turn.” Jake’s mouth slipped open, and he stared at her belly as he not only felt but saw the child within her moving. He sat speechless until she finally lifted her hand. He drew his hand away and looked up at her, not sure his voice would hold. “Thank you.
Tamera Alexander (Christmas at Carnton (Carnton #0.5))
Once I reached the gate, a wave of relief swept over me. It was obvious the whole thing was being stage-managed. The Chinese government was in control. I would soon be on my way. We walked out onto the runway. It was cloudy. Cold. I could see a big airplane in front of me with silver wings. I climbed the steps with the First Secretary. When I reached the door, two women appeared in front of me. Flight attendants. All smiles. “Welcome back!” I peered into the plane. There was no one on board. It was a charter. Just for us. I turned back to say goodbye, and the consul and his staff were all waving at me. I tried to say, “Thank you,” but I couldn’t get the words out because I was crying like a baby.
Masaji Ishikawa (A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea)
It’s a forlorn little place,” he said, trying to raise himself on one elbow to see it, frowning deeply with pain as he did so. “I don’t believe they have any milk there that is fit to drink. Besides, how could a body get to it? They would get up to their ears in mud. Those fields look as though they had no bottom to them. My, how quick I would skip over there if I had the use of my feet!” Christie could not help smiling again at the apparent contradictions in his words; but she kept looking out at the little house, between her soothing of the baby.
Pansy (Christie's Christmas)
Uncle Jarrod groaned. “What are you doing here?” “I came to have a word. Good thing I did, too, I see you’re up to your usual tyranny. Do me a favor and get that blade away from her throat.” “Gerda!” the duke barked. “Go home at once! This is not your concern!” “Not my concern, eh?” Miss Gerda approached Uncle Jarrod, her arms folded. “I assure you, what I have to say concerns every one of us. Jarrod, do you not recognize this child?” “Nothing you say is going to spare her. She is arrested for treason.” Miss Gerda watched him. Being much shorter, she had to look up to meet his eyes. Her plain dress and apron looked very drab beside the king, but she regarded him without embarrassment. “You’ve been friendly with the duke a long time, Jarrod. Came an awful lot in your younger days. And you liked me then, remember? Especially that summer when you came for a long stay. You like me… quite often. And I was stupid enough to think it would last.” “Silence, woman, your words are meaningless. Nobody wants to hear this.” A trace of dread lurked behind Uncle Jarrod’s eyes. “That fall, I left the duke’s manor and returned to my home kingdom of Clerlione. I had told the duke my mother was ill, but that wasn’t it. You see, Jarrod, something came of the time you and I spent together.” She raised a hand to the duke and his prisoner. “Briette.” Briette, still pinned against the duke, suffered a jolt so hard it nearly stopped her heart. She could not have moved even if the duke had let her. Uncle Jarrod’s face was pinched with contempt. “Don’t be a fool.” “Think about it, Jarrod. That summer. It was eighteen years ago. Briette is seventeen. Look at her face, you’ll see.” Uncle Jarrod cleared his throat and stared at the floor. He raised a hand and stroked his beard. It seemed a long time before he spoke. “Let the child come here.” The duke lowered his hands. Briette started walking, though she felt separated from herself, as if watching this happen to somebody else. She made the mistake of letting her eyes drift to her sisters. They stared at her with a mixture of wide-eyed horror and pale disbelief. Arialain had covered her face and was shaking. It seemed a very long walk though in truth it was only six or seven paces. Uncle Jarrod gripped her chin and lifted her face. Briette stared into his clear blue eyes and tried not to think. He looked deeply troubled. Shaken. He released her chin. “It is hard to say. There are little things…. But I’m not sure.” “Then you must take my word,” said Miss Gerda. “If she is what you say, then why didn’t you raise her? She came here as an orphan.” Miss Gerda grew somber. “I wasn’t ready to have a child. Without a husband to support me, how could I care for it? I had to work. I left the baby with my sister in Clerlione. She was married but had no children, and was happy to take Briette. I returned to work for the duke and for two years, all was well. And then came the Red Fever plague.” Briette hugged her sides, her eyes shut. This was too much to bear. She wanted Miss Gerda to stop talking. “By the time I reached Clerlione, my sister and her husband were dead. I was frantic, thinking Briette had died too. But I found a neighbor who told me that my sister had given the baby to the king of Runa Realm. I was shocked. And for a while, quite miserable. But in time, I came to be glad of it. As a princess, she would never know poverty or hardship. So I stayed at the duke’s and kept my silence. But occasionally, at a festival or in the market square, I’d see her. And I was proud.” She smiled at Briette. A short silence followed. Then Heidel spoke up. “Let me be quite clear on this. Briette is Uncle Jarrod’s daughter?” “And
Anita Valle (Briette (The Nine Princesses Book 4))
I am so proud of you.” It was the last thing Eve expected her mother to say, much less in a public location. “Proud of me?” “Oh, you rode like a Windham. I wish Bartholomew had been alive to see his baby sister out there, soaring over one fence after another. I wish St. Just had been here to brag on you properly. I wish… oh, I wish…” She reached for Eve and enfolded her daughter in a fierce, tight hug. “You showed them, Eve. You showed us all. Deene will be wroth with you for such a stunt, but he’ll get over it. A man in love forgives a great deal. Just ask your father.” Her Grace whispered this between hugs, tighter hugs, and teary smiles. “Mama, Deene is the one who said I ought to ride. I would never have had the…” The courage. The faith in herself. The determination… All the things she’d called upon time after time in the past seven years, her own strengths, and she’d been blind to them. “I could not have ridden that race without my husband’s blessing and support, Mama.” “But you did ride it,” Her Grace said, pulling Eve in for another hug. “I about fainted when you had that bad moment. Your father had to watch the last fences for me, but then the finish… You were a flat streak, you and that horse. I’ve no doubt he’d jump the Channel for you did you ask it. Oh, Eve… You must promise me never to do such a thing again, though. I could not bear it. Your father nearly had another heart seizure.” “I did no such thing, and I will ask you, Duchess, to keep your voice down if you’re going to slander my excellent health in such a manner.” His Grace was capable of bellowing, of shouting down the rafters, of letting every servant on three floors know at once of his frequent displeasures, but the duke was not using ducal volume as he approached his wife and youngest daughter. He was using his husband-voice, his volume respectful, even if his tone was a trifle testy. “Papa.” Eve pulled back from her mother’s embrace to meet her father’s blue-eyed gaze. Mama might be willing to make allowances, but His Grace was another matter entirely. “Evie.” He glanced from daughter to mother. “You’ve upset your mother, my girl. Gave her a nasty moment there at that oxer.” She was to be scolded? That was perhaps inevitable, given that His Grace— Her father pulled her into his arms. “But what’s one bad moment, if it means you’re finally back on the horse, though, eh? I particularly liked how you took the water—that showed style and heart. And that last fence… quite a race you rode, Daughter. I could not be more proud of you.” He extended an arm to the duchess, who joined the embrace with a whispered, “Oh, Percival…” So
Grace Burrowes (Lady Eve's Indiscretion (The Duke's Daughters, #4; Windham, #7))
Hello, ladies, I’m your uncle Devlin. Has Westhaven scared you witless with his fuming and fretting?” This fellow looked to be great fun, with a nice smile and kind green eyes. “Mama and Papa didn’t say anything about getting uncles for Christmas,” Amanda observed, but she was smiling back at the big uncle. The biggest uncle—they were all as tall as Papa. “Well, that’s because we’re a surprise,” the other dark-haired fellow said. “I’m your uncle Valentine, and we have an entire gaggle of aunties waiting out in the coach to spoil you rotten. Westhaven here is just out of sorts because Father Christmas gave him a headache for being naughty yesterday.” “I was not naughty.” The other two uncles thought this was quite funny, judging by their smiles. “There’s your problem,” said Uncle Devlin. “I’m thinking it’s a fine day for a pair of ladies to join their aunts for a ride in the traveling coach.” Uncle Gayle—it didn’t seem fair to call him by the same name as Fleur’s puppy—appeared to consider this. “For what purpose?” “To keep the peace. Emmie and I never haul out our big guns around the children,” said Uncle Devlin, which made no sense. “Do you like to play soldiers?” Fleur asked. Amanda appeared intrigued by the notion. She was forever galloping up hills and charging down banisters in pursuit of the French. Uncle Devlin’s brows knitted—he had wonderful dark eyebrows, much like Papa’s. “As a matter of fact, on occasion, if I’ve been an exceedingly good fellow, my daughter lets me join her in a game of soldiers.” “I’m not exactly unfamiliar with the business myself,” said Uncle Valentine. “I excel at the lightning charge and have been known to take even the occasional doll prisoner.” “Missus Wolverhampton would not like being a prisoner,” Fleur said, though Uncle Valentine was teasing—wasn’t he?” “Perhaps you gentlemen can arrange an assignation to play soldiers with our nieces on some other day,” Westhaven said. He sounded like his teeth hurt, which Fleur knew might be from the seasonal hazard of eating too much candy. “You can play too,” Fleur allowed, because it was Christmas, and one ought to be kind to uncles who strayed into one’s nursery. “We’ll let you be Wellington,” Amanda added, getting into the spirit of the day. “Which leaves me to be Blucher’s mercenaries,” Uncle Devlin said, “saving the day as usual.” “Oh, that’s brilliant.” Uncle Valentine wasn’t smiling now. “Leave your baby brother to be the infernal French again, will you? See if I write a waltz for your daughter’s come out, St. Just.” Uncle Gayle wasn’t frowning quite so mightily. In fact, he looked like he wanted to smile but was too grown-up to allow it. “Perhaps you ladies will gather up a few soldiers and fetch a doll or two. We’re going on a short journey to find your mama and papa, so we can all share Christmas with them.” Fleur noticed his slip, and clearly, Amanda had too—but it was the same slip Amanda had made earlier, and one Fleur was perfectly happy to let everybody make. Uncle Gayle had referred to their papa’s new wife not as their stepmama, but as their mama. What a fine thing that would be, if for Christmas they got a mama again for really and truly. Amanda fetched their dolls, Fleur grabbed their favorite storybook, and the uncles herded them from the nursery, all three grown men arguing about whose turn it was to be the blasted French. ***
Grace Burrowes (Lady Louisa's Christmas Knight (The Duke's Daughters, #3; Windham, #6))
When warm weather came, Baby Suggs, holy, followed by every black man, woman, and child who could make it through, took her great heart to the Clearing--a wide-open place cut deep in the woods nobody knew for what at the end of the path known only to deer and whoever cleared the land in the first place. In the heat of every Saturday afternoon, she sat in the clearing while the people waited among the trees. After situating herself on a huge flat-sided rock, Baby Suggs bowed her head and prayed silently. The company watched her from the trees. They knew she was ready when she put her stick down. Then she shouted, "Let the children come!" and they ran from the trees toward her. "Let your mothers hear you laugh,"she told them, and the woods rang. The adults looked on and could not help smiling. Then "Let the grown men come," she shouted. They stepped out one by one from among the ringing trees. "Let your wives and your children see you dance," she told them, and groundlife shuddered under their feet. Finally she called the women to her. “Cry,” she told them. “For the living and the dead. Just cry.” And without covering their eyes the women let loose. It started that way: laughing children, dancing men, crying women and then it got mixed up. Women stopped crying and danced; men sat down and cried; children danced, women laughed, children cried until, exhausted and riven, all and each lay about the Clearing damp and gasping for breath. In the silence that followed, Baby Suggs, holy, offered up to them her great big heart…“Here,” she said, “in this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh. They despise it… No more do they love the skin on your back. Yonder they flay it. And O my people they do not love your hands. Those they only use, tie, bind, chop off and leave empty. Love your hands! Love them! Raise them up and kiss them. Touch others with them, pat them together, stroke them on your face ‘cause they don’t love that either. You got to love it - you! And no, they ain’t in love with your mouth. Yonder, out there, they will see it broken and break it again. What you say out of it they will not heed…What you put into it to nourish your body they will snatch away and give leavins instead. No they don’t love your mouth. You got to love it." "This is flesh I’m talking about here. Flesh that needs to be loved. Feet that need to rest and to dance; backs that need support; shoulders that need arms, strong arms I’m telling you. And oh my people, out yonder, hear me, they do not love your neck unnoosed and straight. So love your neck; put a hand on it, grace it, stroke it, and hold it up. And all your inside parts that they’d just as soon slop for hogs, you got to love them. The dark, dark liver - love it, love it, and the beat and beating heart, love that too. More than eyes or feet…More than your life-holding womb and your live-giving private parts, hear me now, love your heart. For this is the prize."" -Baby Suggs
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
But now they must’ve worn off. He thought he may have groaned. It was hard to be sure in his kinda awake state. He tried to move his hand and yelled out at the pain. Oh yeah, fractured wrist. “Easy there, bad boy.” Oh my lord. Curtis would know that sexy whisky-dripped baritone anywhere. He’d force open his own eyes now just to see those green eyes looking down at him. He didn’t care if his head exploded into a million pieces. It’d be worth it for this sight. “Open those beautiful baby blues,” Genesis said in a hushed drawl. Curtis fought through the fog and the pain and cracked open his eyes. He blinked a few times at the harsh light above his head but he kept on until Genesis’ gorgeous face was in focus. Curtis’ lips parted in a smile. What on earth was he doing there? He believed it was a Monday now. Genesis should be in school. “Gen.
A.E. Via (Here Comes Trouble (Nothing Special #3))
And I’ll let you. Kit seems to enjoy healthy digestion.” Vim pushed aside the coffee table to lay a receiving blanket on the sofa, took the baby from Sophie’s lap, and laid the child on his back on the blanket. “Have at it, madam. I wish you every success.” He remained kneeling beside the sofa, resting on his heels. Sophie was at once glad for his proximity… and mortified. She untied the tapes holding the nappy onto the child and lifted it away. “Careful.” Vim’s big hand folded the cloth back up over the child loosely. “He’ll make a mess all over you half the time if you don’t take evasive maneuvers.” Sophie’s face heated as she realized the child was… wetting the already soiled nappy. “Something about fresh air seems to inspire them. Probably saves you a change in the long run. I think it’s safe now.” So matter of fact! Sophie unfolded the now damp and odoriferous cloth. “My… goodness.” “Quite a mess.” She glanced over to see the blasted man grinning at her. “You put him up to this, Mr. Charpentier. Corrupted the morals of a mere baby.” “Quit stalling. It isn’t good for him to be messy. He’ll get the nastiest rash and have to sport about in the altogether for days.” Not grinning now, smiling from ear to ear. Smiling like a naughty man. Sophie smiled too, and peeled the diaper away from the child. Mr. Charpentier slapped a damp cloth into her hand, wrung out but still warm. “Do a proper job of it,” he said. “I wasn’t kidding about the rash. Poor little things scream themselves to exhaustion with it. For the same reason, you’ll also want to dry him thoroughly after his bath.” Sophie tended the baby, though looking at even such little male parts was mortifying. Worse yet, the child started grinning and kicking as she dealt with a certain area. “He likes it, Sophie. Best be grateful for it too.” “Grateful?” Grateful the little beast had no more modesty than her brothers had had as adolescents? “Can you imagine this same exercise if he didn’t want you touching him? Coyness would hardly make the business easier or tidier.” He accepted the dirty nappy from her and passed her a clean one. Amid kicking feet and surprisingly agile little paws, Sophie managed to get the diaper changed. It took concentration and dexterity, and when she finished, the result was disappointingly asymmetric. “It doesn’t look as tidy as yours.” “Looks hardly matter. He’s just going to consign the clean one to the wash the same as all the others. I’ll take this one back to the laundry.” He rolled up the linen in his hand while Sophie busied herself slipping socks back on the baby’s feet. She didn’t want to see Mr. Charpentier grinning at her, because she was feeling foolishly proud of having changed her very first—very nasty—soiled nappy. “Good job, Sophie Windham. You’re off to a fine start.” He
Grace Burrowes (Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (The Duke's Daughters, #1; Windham, #4))
Oh, Carter. What am I going to do with you?” “Love me?” “Uh … no.” I laughed at his playfully hurt expression, “Nice try though.” When our laughter quieted, I said in a soft voice, “He really is amazing Carter.” “I know.” The corner of his mouth tilted up in a sad smile, “I wish it were me Blaze. I’ll always wish it was me instead of him. But I know he’s good for you and your baby.” “Babies.” “What? You’re pregnant again?” His face was pained through his smile for me, “Well damn. I guess I really don’t have a shot with you now.” I knew he was joking, but I stayed serious, “You need to find someone who is good for you too. I know she’s out there somewhere.” “But all I see is you. For the last three years, all I’ve seen was you Blaze.” “You have to stop. You need to know that it’s never going to happen between us, and start living your life for you. And not a life where you wait for something to separate Brandon and me, because that will never happen. Get out there, date some girls, and find the one that was meant for you. I do love you Carter, but it’s never been the way you want it. So find someone that you love, and loves you the way Brandon and I love each other.” “Maybe one day I will.” He said doubtfully. “I hope you do.” I yawned and got off the couch, wrapping the blanket tighter around me, “Now get out of my house so I can go back to sleep with my husband or I’ll kick your ass.” “Puh-lease. Preggos aren’t supposed to kick ass. Isn’t it bad for the baby or something?” “Well fine, then I’ll let Brandon do it.” “Alright,
Molly McAdams (Taking Chances (Taking Chances, #1))
Abruptly, the sea of people parted . . . and then there they were. Bella, with Nalla in her arms, Z standing beside his girls. Beth broke down all over again as the female came forward. God, it was impossible not to remember how Nalla had started this, putting into motion the need that had become undeniable. Bella was tearing up, too, as she stopped. “We just want to say yay!” At that moment, Nalla reached out to Beth, a gummy smile on her face, pure joy radiating out. No turning that down, nope, not at all. Beth took the little girl out of her mother’s arms and positioned her on her chest, capturing one of the pinwheeling hands and giving kisses, kisses, kisses. “You ready to be a big . . .” Beth glanced at Z and then her husband. “. . . a big sister?” Yes, Beth thought. Because that’s what the Brotherhood and their families were. Close as siblings, tighter than blood because they were chosen. “Yes, she is,” Bella said as she wiped under her eyes and looked back at Z. “She is so ready.” “My brother.” Z shoved out his palm, his scarred face in a half smile, his yellow eyes warm. “Congratulations.” Instead of shaking anything, Wrath shoved that ultrasound picture into his Brother’s face. “Do you see him? See my son? He’s big, right, Beth?” She kissed Nalla’s supersoft hair. “Yes.” “Big and healthy, right?” Beth laughed some more. “Big and healthy. Absolutely perfect.” “Perfect!” Wrath bellowed. “And this is a doctor saying it—I mean, she went to medical school.” Even Z started laughing at that point. Beth gave Nalla back to her parents. “And Dr. Sam told me she’s delivered over fifteen thousand babies over the course of her career—” “See!” Wrath yelled. “She knows these things. My son is perfect! Where’s the champagne? Fritz! Get the fucking champagne!
J.R. Ward (The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #12))
What have you got in the truck? What’s that awful smell?” “A bear. Wanna see?” he asked, smiling. “A bear? Why on earth…?” “He was really pissed,” Jack said. “Come and see—he’s huge.” “Who shot him?” she asked. “Who’s taking credit or who actually shot him? Because I think everyone is taking credit.” He slipped an arm around her waist and walked her the rest of the way. She began to pick up the voices. “I swear, I heard Preacher scream,” someone said. “I didn’t scream, jag-off. That was a battle cry.” “Sounded like a little girl.” “More holes in that bear than in my head.” “He didn’t like that repellant so much, did he?” “I never saw one go through that stuff before. They usually just rub their little punkin eyes and run back in the woods.” “I’m telling you, Preacher screamed. Thought he was gonna cry like a baby.” “You wanna eat, jag-off?” There
Robyn Carr (Virgin River (Virgin River, #1))
What have you got in the truck? What’s that awful smell?” “A bear. Wanna see?” he asked, smiling. “A bear? Why on earth…?” “He was really pissed,” Jack said. “Come and see—he’s huge.” “Who shot him?” she asked. “Who’s taking credit or who actually shot him? Because I think everyone is taking credit.” He slipped an arm around her waist and walked her the rest of the way. She began to pick up the voices. “I swear, I heard Preacher scream,” someone said. “I didn’t scream, jag-off. That was a battle cry.” “Sounded like a little girl.” “More holes in that bear than in my head.” “He didn’t like that repellant so much, did he?” “I never saw one go through that stuff before. They usually just rub their little punkin eyes and run back in the woods.” “I’m telling you, Preacher screamed. Thought he was gonna cry like a baby.” “You wanna eat, jag-off?” There was laughter all around. A carnival-like atmosphere ensued. The serious group that had left town in the morning had come back like soldiers from war, elated, victorious. Except this war turned out to be with a bear. Mel glanced in the back of the truck and jumped back. The bear not only filled the bed, he hung out the end. The claws on his paws were terrifying. He was tied in, tied down, even though he was dead. His eyes were open but sightless and his tongue hung out of his mouth. And he stunk to high heaven. “Who’s calling Fish and Game?” “Aw, do we have to call them? You know they’re gonna take the frickin’ bear. That’s my bear!” “It ain’t your bear, jag-off. I shot the bear,” Preacher insisted loudly. “You screamed like a girl and the rest of us shot the bear.” “Who really shot the bear?” Mel asked Jack. “I think Preacher shot the bear when he came at him. Then so did everybody else. And yeah, I think he screamed. I would have. That bear got so damn close.” But as he said this, he grinned like a boy who had just made a touchdown. Preacher stomped over to Jack and Mel. He bent down and whispered to Mel, “I did not scream.” He turned and stomped off. “Honey,
Robyn Carr (Virgin River (Virgin River, #1))
Leaning back until I was lying on the bed, I rolled us over and hovered over her body. She dragged her hands through my hair and giggled when I bent low and kissed her stomach over and over. “What does it feel like?” “Nothing,” she said on a laugh as her fingertips continued to trail across my head. “You haven’t really been sick, have you? I remember that day last week, but I can’t think of anything else.” I felt shitty for not noticing, if she had been. I should have picked up on this, shouldn’t I? “Not really. There’s been times here and there, but from the horror stories I’ve heard, I don’t have it bad at all.” I nodded and kissed her stomach again before reaching over to the nightstand. Grabbing the ultrasound picture, I laid it down on the bottom of her stomach and hopped off the bed, looking for my pants. After I found them, and took my phone out of the pocket, I walked back over to Rachel and opened up the camera app. “What are you doing?” “Letting everyone know about my present.” That soft smile was back, before her eyes went wide in horror. “No! I’m in my bra and underwear!” “Calm down, Sour Patch. I’m not about to let anyone see the rest of you. You’re mine, not theirs.” All that you could see in the picture was her torso and the ultrasound picture. As soon as she gave me the okay, I set up a text to go to Mason, Candice, Maddie, Eli, and all our parents. Above the picture I typed out: MY WEDDING PRESENT, and underneath, I did a twist on Rachel’s words from the envelope: BABY RYAN 1 AND BABY RYAN 2 WILL BE HERE IN MARCH. Once
Molly McAdams (Deceiving Lies (Forgiving Lies, #2))
Don’t be afraid, sweetheart. Just believe. Believe in love.” She smiled crookedly. “If you have fireworks set to go off, I’m going to think something’s really fishy.” He took a risk. “I think we have to wait at least four weeks after the babies are born for the fireworks. At least, that’s what they said in my childbirth class.” She gave a little smile that broke his heart but at the same time gave him hope, so he persisted. “When I came to Eternity Springs, I’d lost my ability to believe in anything but pain. This place healed me. You healed me. Your love healed me.” Her lips pouted, and with a touch of petulance in her voice she replied, “I never told you I loved you.” Not gonna make it easy for me, are you? But he had won. He could see it in her eyes, the subtle softening of her body. He kissed her hands, gently nipped her skin, and said, “Then tell me now.” She wrinkled her nose and kept her mouth stubbornly silent. “I love you, Nicole,” he repeated. “You are my heart, my soul, my world. You and Eternity Springs have taught me an invaluable lesson. Even if tragedy strikes my life again and God takes you away from me, as horrible as that would be, I know that I’d survive it. Love can hurt, but if you’ll let it, love also can heal. It truly is a miraculous medicine. You believe that, too, don’t you?” When she nodded, her eyes now swimming in tears, he said, “That’s why I know that eventually you’ll forgive me. Love heals. Now, my love, you say it. Tell me you love me.” She reached out, grasped the silver medal that hung around his neck, and rubbed her thumb over the angel’s wings. Then she released the medal and tenderly touched his cheek. “I do love you, John Gabriel Callahan. I forgive you. Just don’t do anything so stupid again, okay?
Emily March (Angel's Rest (Eternity Springs, #1))
Harper, wait up!” He caught my arm and spun me around so I was facing him. “You’re not even going to say hi now?” “Hi.” My voice cracked and I kept my eyes to the ground. Chase gently placed his hand under my chin and lifted until I was staring at him through unshed tears. “Baby what’s wrong?” God I didn’t want to hear him call me that. Memories of our times together flashed through my mind and my cheeks instantly filled with heat. “Nothing,” I cleared my throat and blinked back the tears, “it’s just allergies or something.” His look told me he wasn’t buying that, but didn’t push that subject further. Stepping back he hung his head and sighed roughly, shifting his weight a few times, “I haven’t seen you around my house much. I know you don’t want to be with me, but don’t feel like you can’t be there, I won’t bother you and Brandon.” “That’s not why I haven’t been there. I um, I broke up with him.” Chase’s head snapped up, “You did? When, why didn’t you tell me?” He was failing miserably at trying to hide his elated smile. “A little over a week ago. But it hurt me more than I could ever explain to do it, and I need time to get over that. I can’t just rush back to you because Brandon and I aren’t together anymore.” He cupped my cheeks and hunched down so he was almost eye level, “I love you, I’ll give you all the time you need. Unless. Unless you don’t want me anymore?” I pressed my face harder into his left hand and closed my eyes, inhaling his clean masculine scent. “I’ve told you, I will always love you Chase, but I’m still not sure you won’t eventually leave me. Because of that fear, I don’t know if I can be with you. And some things have changed since we talked last, you might change your mind about me altogether.” “That’s not possible.” I pulled his hands off my face and wrapped his tattooed arms around my shoulders. After placing a kiss on his throat I buried my head in his chest, “I wish that were true.” My life had drastically changed in such a short amount of time. For obvious reasons, I’d had to break up with Brandon and now Chase and I were going to have a baby. Because of the turn of events, I found myself wanting a life with Chase more and more, I wanted him to be there for me and his baby. Here, wrapped up in his strong arms, I could almost let myself believe it might happen. But Chase was about to graduate college, he was a tattoo artist and spent most of his mornings surfing. I couldn’t see him settling down with me and our baby. “It is Harper,” his voice cracked when he said my name, and tears started falling down his face, “I love you so damn much, why can’t you see that?” Oh
Molly McAdams (Taking Chances (Taking Chances, #1))
He lifted me up and sat me on the counter, gave me another kiss that almost reduced me to a puddle and walked over to Jeremy, “Come help me with the ice chests.” “Brandon! I just barely got down from the counter, and Jeremy had to help me!” “I know.” He smiled wickedly and walked out to the garage. I turned to Konrad, “Care to help?” “Ya know, I forgot to get the ice from the store … wanna go with me baby?” He grabbed Bree’s hand and led her quickly out of the kitchen. Jerks. Looking to the only person left in the room I added dryly, “Want to join?” Aubrey walked up next to me and had to jump three times before she got enough leverage to lift herself all the way up. “They’re really high up, right? It’s not just me?” “No, it’s definitely not just you.” She said softly and tucked her hair behind her ears, “Thank you so much for having us, this is really sweet of you.” “Of course! It’s fun to do. I apologize in advance if it gets rowdy. I don’t know much about the guys coming.” She laughed and swung her legs back and forth, “That’s fine.” Man, did I talk this soft too? “So tell me, how did you meet Jeremy?” “Um, school.” “Oh yeah? How long have you been dating?” Aubrey blushed fiercely and looked over to the door leading to the garage, “Only a week. He asked me out a few times last year, we were Chemistry partners, but I don’t know … he scared me.” “What? Why?” “Well I mean, besides his size, he’s really popular and outgoing. He was already popular after his first week at the school, and I knew a lot of girls liked him. I don’t know. Guys like him don’t date girls like me, I thought it was a joke.” The first half of that didn’t surprise me one bit. He’d really filled out in the last year, was built just like Brandon, and looked exactly like him. Their size was intimidating, and they were incredibly handsome. But what the hell? “I’m sorry, I must be missing something, girls like you?” “He plays football and is the captain of the soccer team, I’m not into sports or anything school related really.” “If he’s dating you, then I’m pretty sure that doesn’t matter at all to him. You’re gorgeous Aubrey, and you seem really sweet, it’s not hard to see why he likes you. Jeremy doesn’t just date girls … actually, he hasn’t had a girlfriend in the two years that I’ve been with Brandon. So for him to ask you out is a big thing for him. And those boys don’t have a cruel bone in their body, he would never date you as a joke. He’s just like his brother, they’re extremely protective and devoted to the girls in their life. Nothing less.” She blushed again, “You and Brandon are so perfect together. Jeremy’s told me so much about you both, and seeing you together is cute. It’s obvious how much you love each other.” I smiled and leaned back on my hands, “We are definitely in love.” Brandon
Molly McAdams (Taking Chances (Taking Chances, #1))
It really has been good to see you Carter. I’ve missed you.” “I’ve missed you too Blaze. These last couple years have gone,” he took another swig and sighed deeply, “a lot different than I thought they were going to.” “For me too.” I leaned onto the island and shook my head, laughing softly, “I didn’t think I would be married or have a baby, that’s for sure.” “I did, but I definitely thought it would be with me. I had it all planned out, I was gonna sweep you off your feet, you were going to drop out of college and marry me immediately.” He puffed a small laugh and ran a hand through his short hair. “Well, obviously that didn’t happen.” I smirked at him. “Obviously. What did you see yourself doing?” “Continuing school, trying to enjoy the ‘college experience’, I guess. I don’t really know Carter, I just wanted to get away, be me, or find out who I was.” “And then you met Brandon, and your whole world changed?” He looked sad, even through his smile, “I’ve gotta admit, I thought getting you to marry me anytime soon was a long shot, but I couldn’t believe the girl I knew was already head over heels for some guy she’d just met. You were so different when I got here, confident, feminine and outgoing. I had to keep reminding myself that you were my Blaze. I’d already lost you to everyone here though. It was painfully obvious after those first few minutes on the beach. And seeing you with him, I just – I don’t know. It shocked the hell out of me and killed me.” “To be honest, I wasn’t even thinking about dating when I left home. I mean, I figured I would, but never thought I’d meet someone I wanted to spend the rest of my life with after just two weeks of being here, ya know?” I laughed softly and the corners of my mouth tilted up, “Definitely thought marriage and babies would happen sometime after graduation. Like you said though, life doesn’t always go as planned, does it? It caused me to grow up, too soon probably, but I’m fine with that because it was the result of my actions. I just hate that those actions forced the people closest to me to grow up too.
Molly McAdams (Taking Chances (Taking Chances, #1))
I think I’m the only woman you’ve loved in forever. And you were going to pitch me out that fast, just because I make you nervous. I thought you didn’t trust me, but now I think you don’t trust yourself.” She shook her head. “I don’t want a man like that. I need a man with guts, who’s sure of himself. Confident enough to stand by me. I need a man who’s not afraid to take a risk or two for something important.” “I’ve taken a risk or two,” he said. “And you don’t scare me. Come up here on the porch.” “No. Not until you say that if we stay solid, there will be a real relationship and a family. I don’t want any of this ‘I don’t get involved’ shit. It’s all crap, Luke. You can have some time to be sure, I’m patient. But I’m not giving you up.” He smiled at her. “I don’t need time to be sure. I know how I feel.” “Still on that? Still that ‘never gonna happen’ bullshit?” “Okay, I guess it could happen,” he said. “If it did happen, it would happen with you. I just always thought you deserved more.” “More than everything I’ve ever wanted in the world? See what an idiot you turned out to be?” He had to laugh. She was something, this woman. “Shelby, come here. I don’t have to think about it—you’re the most solid thing I’ve ever had in my life. Now come here.” “I thought I wasn’t enough for you—but I was too much,” she said. “And you don’t get to decide what I deserve. What I deserve is a man who looks at me grow fat on his baby and feels pride. Love and pride.” “Okay then,” he said. “I love you. Come here.” “Not good enough. You have to say something to convince me this is worth the gamble. I came a long way and I came alone. I was betting on you, on us. I love you and you love me and I’m sick of screwing around. Say the right thing for once. Say something profound.” He stared at her and his smile slowly faded. He put his hands on his hips. He took a deep breath and felt tears gather in his eyes. “You’re all I need to be happy, Shelby,” he said. “You’re everything I need…” He actually surprised her. Her arms dropped from over her chest and she gaped at him for a second. “You’re everything,” he said. “It scares me to death, but I want it all with you. I want you for life. I want what you want, and I want it right now.” “Huh?” “Everything, Shelby. I want you to be the lead in my shoes that keeps me on the ground. The mother of my children. My best friend, my wife, my mistress. It’s a tall order.” He took a breath. “If you won’t quit, I won’t.” “You’re sure about that?” she asked him. “Sure it scares the hell out me you’ll change your mind? Or sure I want it all? Oh, yeah, honey. I’m sure.” “I won’t change my mind,” she said softly. “I can’t hear you!” he yelled. “I can’t hear you because you won’t come out of the frickin’ rain!” She ran up the porch steps and into his arms.
Robyn Carr (Temptation Ridge)
Melinda, what are you doing?” he asked, unzipping his jeans to take them off and take a shower of his own. “Nothing,” she said, averting her eyes. He frowned and stepped toward her. He lifted her chin and looked into her eyes. “Were you covering up? In front of me?” he asked, astonished. “Jack, I’m going to pot,” she said, cinching the towel tighter. “What?” he asked, laughter in his voice. “What are you talking about?” She took a deep breath. “My boobs are drooping, my butt fell into my thighs, I have a potbelly, and if that’s not bad enough, I’m so covered with stretch marks, I look like a deflated balloon.” She put a hand against his rock-hard chest. “You’re eight years older than I am and you’re in perfect shape.” He started to laugh. “I thought you were trying to cover a tattoo or something. Mel, I didn’t have two children, a year apart. Emma’s only a few months old. Give yourself a little time, huh?” “I can’t help it. I miss my old body.” “Oh-oh,” he said, putting his arms around her. “If you’re thinking like that, I’m not doing my job.” “But it’s true,” she said, laying her head against the soft mat of hair on his chest. “Mel, you are more beautiful every day. I love your body.” “It’s not what it was…” “Hmm. But it’s better,” he said. He tugged at the towel and she hung on. “Come on,” he said. She let go and he pulled it away. “Ah,” he said, smiling down at her. “This body is amazing to me—incredible. More lush and irresistible every day.” “You can’t mean that,” she said. “But I do.” He leaned down and touched her lips with his, one hand on her breast, the other moving smoothly down her back and over her bottom. “This body has given me so much—I worship this body.” He lifted her breast slightly. “Look,” he said. “I can’t bear it,” she complained. “Look, Mel. Look in the mirror. Sometimes when I see you like this, uncovered, I can’t breathe. Every small change just makes you better, more delicious to me. You can’t think I’d have anything but complete admiration for the body that gave me my children. You give me so much pleasure, sometimes I think I might be losing my mind. Baby, you’re perfect.” “I’m twenty pounds heavier than when you met me,” she said. He laughed at her. “What are you now? A size four?” “You don’t know anything. It’s much more than a four. We’re headed for double digits…” “God above,” he said. “Twenty more pounds for me to gobble up.” “What if I just keep getting fatter and fatter?” “Will you still be in there? Because it’s you I love. I love your body, Mel, because it’s you. You understand that, right?” “But…” “If I had an accident that blew my legs off, would you stop loving me, wanting me?” “Of course not! That’s not the same thing!” “We’re not our bodies. We’ve been lucky with our bodies, but we’re more than that.” “It was my butt in a pair of jeans that got your attention….” “My love for you is a lot deeper than that, and you know it. However—” he grinned “—you still knock me out in those jeans. If you’ve gained twenty pounds, it went to all the right places.” “I’m thinking—tummy tuck,” she said. “What nonsense,” he said, leaning down to cover her mouth in a bold and serious kiss.
Robyn Carr (Temptation Ridge)
What’s up, Sam?” “What birthday?” he panted. “What?” “What birthday, Anna?” It took a while for her to absorb his fear. It took a while for the reason for his fear to dawn on her. “Fifteen,” Anna said in a whisper. “What’s the matter?” Emma asked, sensing her twin’s mood. “It doesn’t mean anything.” “It doesn’t,” Anna whispered. “You’re probably right,” Sam said. “Oh, my God,” Anna said. “Are we going to disappear?” “When were you born?” Sam asked. “What time of day?” The twins exchanged scared looks. “We don’t know.” “You know what, no one has blinked out since that first day, so it’s probably—” Emma disappeared. Anna screamed. The other older kids took notice, the littles, too. “Oh, my God!” Anna cried. “Emma. Emma. Oh, God!” She grabbed Sam’s hands and he held her tight. The prees, some of them, caught the fear. Mother Mary came over. “What’s going on? You’re scaring the kids. Where’s Emma?” Anna just kept saying, “Oh, my God,” and calling her sister’s name. “Where’s Emma?” Mary demanded again. “What’s going on?” Sam didn’t want to explain. Anna was hurting him with the pressure of her fingers digging into the backs of his hands. Anna’s eyes were huge, staring holes in him. “How far apart were you born?” Sam asked. Anna just stared in blank horror. Sam lowered his voice to an urgent whisper. “How far apart were you born, Anna?” “Six minutes,” she whispered. “Hold my hands, Sam,” she said. “Don’t let me go, Sam,” she said. “I won’t, Anna, I won’t let you go,” Sam said. “What’s going to happen, Sam?” “I don’t know, Anna.” “Will we go to where our mom and dad are?” “I don’t know, Anna." “Am I going to die?” “No, Anna. You’re not going to die.” “Don’t let go of me, Sam.” Mary was there now, a baby on her hip. John was there. The prees, some of them, watched with serious, worried looks on their faces. “I don’t want to die,” Anna repeated. “I…I don’t know what it’s like.” “It’s okay, Anna.” Anna smiled. “That was a nice date. When we went out.” “It was.” For a split second it was like Anna blurred. Too fast to be real. She blurred, and Sam could almost swear that she had smiled at him. And his fingers squeezed on nothing. For a terribly long time no one moved or said anything. The littles didn’t cry out. The older kids just stared. Sam’s fingertips still remembered the feel of Anna’s hands. He stared at the place where her face had been. He could still see her pleading eyes. Unable to stop himself, he reached a hand into the space she had occupied. Reaching for a face that was no longer there. Someone sobbed. Someone cried out, other voices then, the prees started crying. Sam felt sick. When his teacher had disappeared he hadn’t been expecting it. This time he had seen it coming, like a monster in a slow-motion nightmare. This time he had seen it coming, like standing rooted on the railroad tracks, unable to jump aside.
Michael Grant
Paul, the baby is coming very soon.” He smiled. “That’s getting real obvious.” “You’re my very best friend, Paul.” “Thanks, Vanni,” he said, but he furrowed his eyebrows. Suspicious. “I want you to be with me during the delivery.” “With you how?” he asked. “I want you to be the one to encourage me, coach me, coax me. Hold my hand. Support me.” “Um… Isn’t that Mel’s job?” “Mel is going to be very much a coach, but she’s also going to be the midwife and she’ll be busy with other things. Especially when the baby is coming out. I need you to do this.” “Vanni,” he said, scooting forward on his chair, “I’m a guy.” “I know. Guys do this.” “I can’t…Vanni, I shouldn’t…. Vanessa, listen. I can’t see you like that. It wouldn’t be…appropriate.” “Well, actually, I thought about my brother or my dad and frankly, that really doesn’t appeal to me. So,” she said, lifting a video from the table beside her, “I got us a childbirth movie from Mel.” “Aw, no,” he said, pleading. She stood up and popped it into the VCR, then sat down again with the remote in her hand. “Jack delivered his own son,” she said. “I know, but in case you’re interested, he wasn’t thrilled about it at the time. And he refuses to do it again—he’s adamant about that. And, Vanni, this isn’t my son. This is my best friend’s son.” “Of course I know that, Paul. But since it is your best friend’s son, he’d be so grateful.” She started the video. “Now, I want you to concentrate on what the partner is doing. Don’t worry about the mother. Most of the time while I’m in labor you’ll either be behind me, or helping me walk or squat to use gravity to help with the dilating, or reminding me to breathe properly. It’s not like you’re going to have your face in the field of birth.” “I’m starting to feel kind of weak,” he said. “Why don’t you ask Brie or Paige, if you need someone for that?” “I could do that, but to tell you the truth, I’m much closer to you. And you’re here—right here. You can do this. We’ll watch the movie together and if you have any questions, just ask me.” He looked at the screen, his brows drawn together. He squinted. This was an unattractive woman, giving birth. Well, not just yet—she was working up to it. Her big belly was sticking out, which was not what made her plain. It was the stringy hair, monobrow, baggy socks on her feet and—“Vanni, she has very hairy legs.” “If that’s what worries you I can still manage to shave my legs, even though I have to admit I’ve lost interest.” The hospital gown on the woman was draped over her belly and legs in such a way that when she started to rise into a sitting position, spreading her thighs and grabbing them to bear down, she was covered. Then the doctor or midwife or whoever was in charge flipped that gown out of the way and there, right in Paul’s face, was the top of a baby’s head emerging from the woman’s body. “Aw, man,” he whined, putting his head in his hands. “I said watch the coach—don’t worry about the woman,” Vanni lectured. “It’s pretty damn hard to not look at that, Vanni,” he said. “Concentrate.” So
Robyn Carr (Whispering Rock (Virgin River, #3))
The next thing I knew, my heavy eyelids slowly opened when Brandon lowered me to my bed. “I’m sorry,” I whispered, my voice raspy from the short nap, “I didn’t mean to fall asleep.” He smiled and tucked a loose chunk of hair behind my ear, “Don’t worry about it, you were tired.” “Mhmm. I had a great time though, thanks for taking me.” “Anytime, get some sleep.” He leaned over and kissed my forehead softly once. As soon as his lips touched me, my gummy bear woke up. I laughed once, “I don’t think that will be happening, he’s been asleep until now, he’ll start kicking soon and won’t stop for the next few hours.” Brandon slid onto the bed and put his hands under my shirt, resting them on my stomach. I sucked in a quick gasp but didn’t say anything. We’d already gone way past our friend-only-touching-zone when he’d held me and I kissed him on the cheek this morning. He may talk to my gummy bear every day, but when his hands were on me, they were always over my shirt. Not now though. Now, I was lying in bed, he had his hands on my bare stomach, gently caressing it, and was looking at me from under thick black eyelashes. All I could think about was kissing him. My baby was going crazy, moving his legs and arms back and forth, and Brandon looked so happy I closed my eyes and pictured a world where this could be okay. A world where Brandon and I had stayed together, eventually gotten married and were now expecting. After what must have been at the very least ten minutes later, Brandon leaned forward, his deep voice husky and hypnotic, “Be good to your mom little man, she needs to sleep.” and then he kissed my stomach. So soft, so tender, I couldn’t be sure if I’d imagined it. Then he straightened and came closer to me, “Good night, I’ll see you tomorrow sweetheart.” I
Molly McAdams (Taking Chances (Taking Chances, #1))
I’m afraid I’m going to move too fast for you. You were with Chase and planning a future and family with him up until the accident. All I’ve been able to think about is you, I knew there wouldn’t ever be anyone else. Over the last couple months, I tried to only be your friend, and I would have stayed that way if you asked me to. That didn’t stop me from thinking of everything I would do if I ever got you back though. But now that I have you again, the only thing the time away from you did, was make me want you more. So now I’m right back to where I was before we broke up, wanting nothing more than to buy a house with you and marry you. But I don’t know when it would be okay to do any of that because of what happened. And I know what you said about raising him with you, but I don’t know if that’s all you actually want me to do when it comes to him, just be the guy that helps you raise him. I want to be the dad that raises him, his dad. I just don’t know if that’s okay with you or if you think I’ll be trying to take Chase’s place.” “Brandon,” I frowned a little, with what we’d been talking about earlier, I thought we were on the same page. Apparently not. “okay let’s clear this all up, so there’s no more confusion. Considering everything we had before, I think we are way beyond worrying about moving too fast. I want to marry you, more than anything. But I don’t care when that happens, it can happen tomorrow or it can happen two years from now. I had tried to explain it to Chase, but I don’t think he actually understood that I didn’t need to be married just because I was having a baby. With Chase though, I hadn’t been planning a future with him until after he found out about the baby, I had already known way before that, that I wanted to marry you. “I’ll admit I was worried just being with you would be moving too fast after the accident for other people, but with the way I feel, and after talking to Mom, Bree and Konrad, I don’t think we are. Mom was right, our situation is completely different, and it doesn’t matter what other people think. This is our life together, not theirs.” I laid down on my back, and put a hand over my eyes to shield the sun, “Answer me something before I continue. Being his dad, you really want that?” He turned onto his side, his face hovering over mine, “I do.” “Good.” I smiled and wrapped a hand around his neck, “I don’t want you to just be the guy that raises him. What you said this morning, was more than perfect. I want you to be his dad, I want him to be your son. I want you to be my husband and if we have more kids later on in life, I don’t want them to be our kids, and him” I pointed to my stomach, “be my kid. I agree he needs to know about Chase, but you’re going to be Dad to him, and he’s going to be ours. Just like any other child we have. “I want you to be at the rest of the appointments if you want to, and don’t worry, Dr. Lowdry already knows about you. She pulled me aside during my second appointment and asked about the father, I ended up breaking down and telling her the whole story. I swear those Doctors are trained to be therapists too. She knows that Chase died, and she knows you’ve been there for me. Honestly, she’s like Bree and Mom, I doubt she’ll be surprised to see you there. So if you want to be there, then I would love for you to come with me. I want you to help me name him, and if it’s okay, I want you in the room with me when I deliver. I’m telling you, I’m not going to pick and choose what you can and can’t do, I want you there for everything. I’ve wanted you there for everything, but I’ve been denying myself of what I want and pushing my emotions away. Now that we’re done pretending, I’m ready for it all, but you need to tell me if you’re uncomfortable with any of this.” “If you were any other girl, I would be. But you’re my world Harper, no matter how strange our situation may be, being with you and starting a family with you feels right.” “I
Molly McAdams (Taking Chances (Taking Chances, #1))
So I’m guessing that’s why you looked pissed off when I came in?” “Yeah, I knew he was still in there, but I didn’t know where and I didn’t want him to see you. I’m sorry, I know that’s immature, but he’s not my favorite person in the world.” “Babe, I’m surprised you let him even become a member. I would have escorted him out as soon as I’d seen him.” I smiled at Liam as he took another bite of baby food. “The thought crossed my mind.” He laughed softly, “Are you going to talk to him?” I leaned back into the chair as I got another scoop of pureed carrots, “I don’t know. If that night at the party wouldn’t have happened, I would in a heartbeat. But he changed things, I don’t think we can go back to being friends you know?” I shook my head, “God I still feel so stupid for not seeing it sooner.” He smirked at me, “You were the only person who didn’t get it. Even with Bree constantly saying something to you, you were so sure she was wrong.” “He was my best friend! He treated me like every other guy in Sir’s unit.” “Oh okay,” he scoffed, “‘my Blaze, my girl, I couldn’t just let you go to California without me’.” “Brandon Taylor … were you jealous of Carter?” “Me? Jealous? Of my girl running away from me to throw herself in some random guy’s arms? Not even close.” “Hmm,” I fed Liam another scoop of nastiness, “I seem to remember yelling at him and telling him to leave before running into your arms and kissing you.” He smiled wide, “I don’t remember that at all, you may need to remind me how that went.” His eyes had a wicked gleam in them as I leaned over Liam and stopped less than an inch away from his lips, “Brandon.” I whispered low and sultry. “Yeah?” He moved closer and I backed up a fraction of an inch. I smiled when he growled and lightly brushed my mouth over his lips before sitting down, “Well if you don’t remember it, I guess it never happened.” I said cheerfully and went back to feeding our son. “Tease.” “Oh yes, that’s me … the tease.” I winked and sat up for a chaste kiss. “And
Molly McAdams (Taking Chances (Taking Chances, #1))
She looked over to answer it and froze as she saw the name Jayne and the picture of an incredibly beautiful female blowing a kiss. What the hell was that? Before she could recover from the shock, it rolled to the speaker voice mail he used whenever he was home. “Hey, sexy baby. It’s Jaynie calling about your girl problems. As always, I’m more than happy to take care of your needs, and will be there as soon as I can. Just hold tight and stay precious, my beautiful sweet cheeks. Don’t want to see no frownie baby when I get there. I promise, I’m going to put a giant smile on that gorgeous face of yours. Love you, sexy T! See you soon.” Her jaw slack, Felicia wasn’t sure what pissed her off the most. The woman’s looks. Her words. Or that exaggerated high-pitched sopping, sweet, sultry voice. Maybe it was all three that came together to light a fury in her so foul, she could taste the Talyn-blood she intended to let. Oh, forget the Ring. The Splatterdome was here. Tonight. This condo. And she was going to get her pound of Iron Hammer flesh. *
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Born of Defiance (The League, #7))
reaches for her purse, but I stretch out and catch her hand in mine. “Please don’t go,” I say. “Please.” She nods, biting her lower lip between her teeth. “Okay,” she breathes. She sits down beside me and fidgets. I lean over and place Kit in her arms and then press a kiss to her temple. “Let me love you,” I say softly. Then I sit back and I watch her as she arranges Kit in her lap so that she can look into the baby’s face. Silence sinks over the room like a wet, heavy blanket. “He was perfect,” she says quietly. “He looked like me. He had dark-blue eyes and freckles and he wasn’t but a minute old. Then I never got to see him again. Not close up. They took him from me, and I didn’t even get to hold him.” “Where is he now?” My throat clogs so tight with emotion that I have to cough past it. “He’s with a wonderful family that adopted him when he was a day old.” She finally looks up at me, and her eyes shimmer with tears. One drops down her cheek, and she doesn’t brush it away. “They send me pictures every six months. He’s beautiful. He plays baseball, and he loves trains.” “We all do what we have to do to survive,” I say. She snorts. I pass her a tissue because it almost comes out like a sob. “I was fifteen and completely alone.” She unwraps Kit and counts her toes and fingers. “She’s going to play guitar like her mom,” she says. “Look at these fingers.” Kit grips Friday’s finger in her sleep, and Friday wraps her back up. I don’t say anything because I don’t think she wants me to. “His name is Jacob,” she says. She smiles. “I have his footprints and his date of birth on my inner thigh. Pete did it for me.” Fucking Pete. He knew all this time and didn’t tell me. “Little fucker,” I grumble. “Pete knows the value of a well-placed secret.” I’m glad she had someone to tell her secrets to. I hope someday, it’ll be me. “I treasure your secrets. I’ll hold them close to my heart and keep them between us and only us, always.” She smiles. “I know.” She takes a deep breath, and I feel like she’s just relieved some of her burden. “You’ve never seen him?” “No. I’m allowed to. It was an open adoption. But I never have.” “Why not?” “I’m afraid that if I ever get my hands on him I won’t be able to let him go.” Her voice breaks again. “Or worse—what if I see him and he hates me? I wouldn’t be able to stand myself. It’s hard enough knowing that he doesn’t know who I am. If he hates me, too, I won’t be able to take it.” “Thank you for telling me,” I say softly.
Tammy Falkner (Proving Paul's Promise (The Reed Brothers, #5))
Friday reaches for her purse, but I stretch out and catch her hand in mine. “Please don’t go,” I say. “Please.” She nods, biting her lower lip between her teeth. “Okay,” she breathes. She sits down beside me and fidgets. I lean over and place Kit in her arms and then press a kiss to her temple. “Let me love you,” I say softly. Then I sit back and I watch her as she arranges Kit in her lap so that she can look into the baby’s face. Silence sinks over the room like a wet, heavy blanket. “He was perfect,” she says quietly. “He looked like me. He had dark-blue eyes and freckles and he wasn’t but a minute old. Then I never got to see him again. Not close up. They took him from me, and I didn’t even get to hold him.” “Where is he now?” My throat clogs so tight with emotion that I have to cough past it. “He’s with a wonderful family that adopted him when he was a day old.” She finally looks up at me, and her eyes shimmer with tears. One drops down her cheek, and she doesn’t brush it away. “They send me pictures every six months. He’s beautiful. He plays baseball, and he loves trains.” “We all do what we have to do to survive,” I say. She snorts. I pass her a tissue because it almost comes out like a sob. “I was fifteen and completely alone.” She unwraps Kit and counts her toes and fingers. “She’s going to play guitar like her mom,” she says. “Look at these fingers.” Kit grips Friday’s finger in her sleep, and Friday wraps her back up. I don’t say anything because I don’t think she wants me to. “His name is Jacob,” she says. She smiles. “I have his footprints and his date of birth on my inner thigh. Pete did it for me.” Fucking Pete. He knew all this time and didn’t tell me. “Little fucker,” I grumble. “Pete knows the value of a well-placed secret.” I’m glad she had someone to tell her secrets to. I hope someday, it’ll be me. “I treasure your secrets. I’ll hold them close to my heart and keep them between us and only us, always.” She smiles. “I know.” She takes a deep breath, and I feel like she’s just relieved some of her burden. “You’ve never seen him?” “No. I’m allowed to. It was an open adoption. But I never have.” “Why not?” “I’m afraid that if I ever get my hands on him I won’t be able to let him go.” Her voice breaks again. “Or worse—what if I see him and he hates me? I wouldn’t be able to stand myself. It’s hard enough knowing that he doesn’t know who I am. If he hates me, too, I won’t be able to take it.” “Thank you for telling me,” I say softly.
Tammy Falkner (Proving Paul's Promise (The Reed Brothers, #5))
Baby, please say something.” He pleaded as he rubbed soothing circles into my back. “Brandon will be back in a couple hours.” I finally spoke. He hissed a curse through his teeth and sagged into the headboard with a thud. “I thought he wouldn’t be back ‘til tomorrow night.” “He got scared when I didn’t answer the phone. Bree told him I was sick and alone, and since no one could get a hold of me …” “Bree called me a few times, begging me to come check on you. Looks like they’re all heading home today too.” “Chase, what should I do?” I began to search his face for answers, but he looked so pained I had to stare at my hands instead. “I can’t answer that for you Princess. No one can.” After a few minutes of intense silence he continued hesitantly, “Who do you want?” “I don’t know!” I blurted out quickly, “I want you Chase, but I can’t hurt him. I won’t hurt him anymore than I have. I love him too much.” He flinched away like I’d slapped him. “No matter who I choose, people will get hurt. And then what happens if I leave him? He lives in your house Chase. He’ll have to see us together, it will kill him, I can’t do that to him! He loves me, he hopped the first flight he could because he was scared for me and wants to come back to take care of me. How am I supposed to tell him I’m in love with someone else after that?” I took three deep breaths in and out in an attempt to calm my shaking, “If I left him for you, it would be bad for us. He’d come after you, the guys in the house would take sides. We would be miserable. My body craves you Chase, but I feel like I’m being torn in two. I just – I need a few weeks to think about this. Can you please give me that?” His jaw was clenched so tightly I thought it might break, “Are you going to ask him to give you time too?” “No, I can’t.” Chase’s eyes turned to ice and his mouth popped open, “So you’re just going to go back to him? Pretend like last night never happened? You’re so worried about hurting everyone else, do you even realize you’ll be hurting me?” He shot up off the bed and started pacing back and forth, “Damn it Harper, don’t you see that? I’m the one that will have to watch you with your boyfriend while waiting for you to figure out what you want!” I flinched when the bedroom door slammed shut behind him. He was right, and I didn’t want to hurt him either, but I didn’t know what else to do at the moment. I was more in love with Chase than I’d realized, but I couldn’t live without Brandon. If I thought I’d hated myself for kissing Chase, I now felt like I was dying thinking about how I’d just betrayed the man I love more than my own life. Even if I thought it was too soon, I’d overheard him talking to his mom telling her he thought I was “the one”, and I couldn’t help but smile at thoughts of our future together. I briefly considered a future with Chase, it didn’t go far. There’s no way Chase felt the same way I did for him. I’m not saying he doesn’t love me, but it can’t mean the same as it does for me. If I were to choose him, would he go back to being hot and cold once I did, and would he want to be with me for any length of time? As much as I wanted to believe everything he said to me last night, deep down I was terrified he’d up and leave me like he has every other girl.
Molly McAdams (Taking Chances (Taking Chances, #1))
What happened?” Harper swallowed, unsure what to tell his daughter. What had Cat told her? “I was shot a couple of weeks ago.” Her eyes flashed to his as if to see if he were telling the truth. “Seriously?” He nodded. “But I’m okay. No big deal,” he assured her. She shook her head, stepping closer. Her hand lifted as if she wanted to touch the wound but she stopped. “Does it still hurt?” “Not much. I’m kind of used to it.” Crossing her arms, she looked up at him, considering. “Mom told me you had been hurt but she didn’t say how or why. I thought she was lying to me again.” Harper winced. “She wasn’t lying. I was shot in the chest and I was hit by glass when my scope was hit. I lost the vision in my right eye.” He rubbed at the scars on his face a little self-consciously. She blinked. “Isn’t that your shooting eye?” Harper looked at her, considering. Damn, she was sharp. “Yes, it is. I’m going to have to teach myself to shoot again. I don’t really shoot much at work, but it’s a skill I need to keep.” Dillon shook her head again, her expression forlorn. “Where do you work now? Mom didn’t know. And we haven’t heard from you in so long. It was like you disappeared off the earth. And now you’re hurt.” Tears filled her eyes again and one slipped down her cheek. She swiped it away angrily, but more began to follow. “Oh, honey.” Harper dared to take a step toward her, heartened when she didn’t bolt. “I’m okay. I really am. And I’m sorry I haven’t talked to you. Believe it or not I’ve missed you too—I just didn’t feel like I could be at home with you for a while. Not because of anything you did, but because of things that were going on in my head. I had to get them straightened out so that I could be with you guys.” Dillon didn’t look like she believed him, but at least she was listening. “I swear to you I wanted to come home, but I couldn’t risk you guys. In my old job with the SEALs I had to go to war in bad places.” “Afghanistan?” He stopped, surprised. But then, why was he surprised? Dillon was damn smart. “Yes. I was there for a good while. And a bunch of other places. And when you get used to doing something, like fighting in a war, it’s hard to change when you come home. I had problems getting used to not fighting. Do you understand?” She nodded, arms still wrapped around herself. “So rather than run the chance of maybe waking up one night and hurting you guys I moved out. It wasn’t because your mom and I had problems, it wasn’t because I didn’t love you and it definitely wasn’t because of anything you kids did. It was just me. Fighting myself in my head. And I worried that if I talked to you guys I wouldn’t be able to stay away.” Tears were still dripping down her cheeks. Harper dared to reach out and tuck a mussed strand of her dark hair behind her ear. “But I promise you I won’t leave you again. Not like this. And I promise I will always talk to you. Okay?” She nodded and took a step forward, as if seeking reassurance. Harper opened his arms for a hug and she folded into him, sobbing. “Oh, baby girl, I love you so much. I’m sorry I hurt you but I really did think it would be better if I just disappeared.” He ran his hands down her long hair and pressed a kiss to the top of her head. “Do you think you can forgive me? I really miss talking to you.” She nodded her head against him and wrapped her arms around him to squeeze, then pulled back with a gasp. “I didn’t hurt you, did I?” Harper smiled. “Nope. Not enough to notice.” He pulled her back for another hug and another kiss on top of her head. “Wanna grab some breakfast?” Dillon nodded and they headed to the kitchen, his arm around her shoulders.
J.M. Madden (Embattled SEAL (Lost and Found #4))
Vanessa, you have the worst goddamn temper.” “I…” “And you’re the bossiest woman I’ve ever known. I want you to listen to me—I can’t change what I feel, what I’ve felt for years. I tried, because I never thought I’d have any kind of chance, I never imagined that we’d lose Matt. And even with you in my arms, finally, I’d give anything to have him back. But we can’t, Vanni. It’s going to be you and me now. That’s all it can be. Now stop all this fucking around—because I want you so bad, my head is pounding!” “I never knew how you felt.” “I know that, Vanni,” he said quietly. “You weren’t supposed to.” “I loved Matt, you know.” “I know. And he loved you.” He took a breath. “And I loved you both.” “But you were the guy who caught my eye the night we all met. You. Yet you never even talked to me. Maybe if you’d talked to me…” “He beat me to it. And once that happens…” “What did she do, Paul? The woman in Grants Pass? How’d she manage to get your attention?” “I told you. She was pretty. Seductive,” he said. “And I was lonely. I let it happen, Vanni, because there was no reason for me not to. You belonged to someone else. Not just anyone else, but Matt.” “And later? When I didn’t belong to anyone?” “I thought you still belonged to Matt, to a memory,” he said. “And I was pretty much out of my mind. It was stupid. I told you—I’m not good with women. I never have been, or you’d have belonged to me, not my best friend.” “I don’t have any regrets, you know. Matt was good for me, good to me. He made me happy, he gave me a beautiful son. I’ll never regret a day…” “Vanni,” he whispered, brushing that thick, copper hair away from her face. “Vanni, as much as I love you, as much as I wish I’d had the guts to pursue you before he got to you, in the end I wanted you happy. I wanted him happy. But now…” He gave her a kiss. “It is what it is. I want us to go forward. I want to take care of you and Mattie. And probably one more…” “You’re still not certain?” she asked him. He shook his head. “Vanni, be prepared—I don’t think I’m getting out of that one. If I’m responsible for a child, I’ll see it through.” “I know.” She sighed. “Could be a large family in the end.” “You’ll stand by me through that?” She shrugged. “You’d stand by little Matt, wouldn’t you? That’s how it is. We don’t leave babies out there alone, without parents who love them.” He smiled into her eyes. “You’re wonderful, you know. But very hard to shut up.
Robyn Carr (Second Chance Pass)
When the last dish was put up, Vanni asked Marianne if she could borrow a bedroom to nurse the baby. “Of course, sweetheart,” the older woman answered. “But no one in this family is uncomfortable with a nursing mom, not even the children. Do whatever you’d rather—take a bedroom or sit with us, it’s entirely up to you. We’re kind of homespun around here.” “What about the men?” Vanni asked. “They’re even less uncomfortable.” North’s wife laughed. “The first time I put Angie to the breast, demurely covered by a blanket, Stan walked right over to me, lifted the blanket and said, ‘Marianne, honey, come and see how good this little critter sucks!’” “Oh, my,” Vanni said. “Think they’ll stay outside a while?” “I think Stan will give you time to get used to us before he pulls his tricks,” Marianne said with a smile. “Not much time, though—take that as fair warning.” So
Robyn Carr (Second Chance Pass)
She’s giving me a hard time.” “Oh?” “She hates me.” Jerry waited patiently, irritating Rick. “I knew it was going to be hard on her, telling her we couldn’t be a couple anymore. I figured there’d be tears and stuff. But then she’d get over it. I knew it would take a while, but then some guy would ask her out or something. Eventually she’s going to be all right.” “What about this is keeping you awake at night?” Jerry asked. “You know, this isn’t easy on me, either,” Rick snapped. “Staying away from her isn’t exactly simple. But it’s better this way.” Jerry leaned forward. “Listen, I think you’re going to have to try to be more specific. I’m not sure I’m following. We’ve talked about the girlfriend before and as I understand it, you explained to her that you couldn’t be her boyfriend anymore and that upset her. Correct?” “Correct,” he answered tightly. “And now she’s angry?” “Whew,” Rick said, shaking his head. “I go to Jack’s every Friday afternoon for about an hour or so. After a week of PT and you, I’m wrecked, so Jack lets me have a beer and some dinner. She comes to the bar every week, knowing I’m going to be there, and she won’t look at me. I mean, she won’t even accidentally see me. Won’t speak to me. Smiles pretty at everyone else and it’s like I’m not there.” Jerry tilted his head. “You don’t want to be her boyfriend anymore,” he pointed out. “Well, I can’t be. It’s no good that way. For her. Believe me.” “Okay, let me get this right,” Jerry said. “You told her you’re through—you two cannot be together. Sounds like maybe she believes you. Did you expect her to be a little more gracious about it?” Rick glared through narrowed eyes. “You’re a smart-ass, you know that?” “Sorry, that’s not my intention at all. I’m really trying to understand what about this is off. What about this is costing you sleep?” “She could say hello,” he barked. “Is it possible she’s angry with your decision to break it off with her?” “Well, no shit! She even told me to grow up, like I’m being a real baby about having my leg blown off!” “Did she say that?” Jerry asked. “No, but that’s what she meant!” “Are you certain?” “Of course I’m certain!” “Did she tell you exactly why she thought you should grow up?” Jerry asked. “Listen to me! She didn’t have to!” “I
Robyn Carr (Paradise Valley)
A Tribute to my Daughter well well well....twenty nine years have come and gone and oh so too quickly.... I tearfully remember my very first child and the dramatic night you came into our changed us forever Blessed our lives....I remember also the first day you looked me straight in my eyes.. you were being held in my right hand after a turned your head towards me and stared at me like you had never done before...the instant that happened I knew you were acknowledging the fact that I was yours...that's how that look felt... you placed the stamp of your soul in my hands... I knew in that moment that my role as a Father had truly begun... that look told me so... you made it very person on this planet ever touched my very soul the way my baby girl did with that first stare..the beautiful brown eyes.. the inquisitive little look that quickly turned in to a very meaningful stare... I actually had to take a sharp breath....I was hooked...hooked for life... now you have grown from the baby we so loved and took care of... the little girl we watched grow...the smart little teenager you became.. I remember our lovely trip to England and Paris.. somehow that trip was meant to be...just the two of little girl and were so very young....I remember the flight...the landing...the excitement in your face...the look in your eyes...and somehow on that trip as we walked along the Champs-Elysees in Paris....I caught a glimpses of the young lady that was in you... I saw the big heart, the loving smiles. the kindness you so openly show... and here we are now.. many years have matured into a very fine young woman.. a bright future... a work of art. At 58 I have met many souls, thousands I think... people of so many types and many differences, in so many different places.. yet every time I look at you and especially when I see that beautiful smile...I think to myself... God is real...and man oh man He's really...really....good. I wish you a wonderful Birthday Xio and many many more to come....God Bless you Xio... God Bless you. Love you this much, Dad
Chris Robertson Trinidad
I know I’ve been nothing but a pain to you ever since I came here.” “Not true,” I said, kissing her palm. “You’ve helped me and healed me. Fed me more bacon than any one man—or wolf—ought to eat in one sitting…” “Victor…” She laughed at that and I was glad to see the smile on her face. “Come on, it was only three packs.” “But now I got nothing to make BLTs with,” I complained. “So that’s what the lettuce and tomato in the fridge are for,” she said. “I thought maybe they were for salad.” “Salad? No fucking way.” I grinned at her. “I’m a wolf, baby—I can’t live on bunny food.” “How about a steak then?” She looked at the clock on the bedside table. “It’s almost dinnertime and I thought I saw one in there. Let me make you something to eat.” “The only thing I want to eat right now…” I started and saw her creamy cheeks flush red. “Victor…” “Is a big juicy medium rare steak,” I finished. Taylor slapped me on the chest. “Now stop that—you’re making me embarrassed.” “What?” I spread my hands innocently. “I was just saying how hungry I am. So yes, I’d love a steak. Uh, do you know how to cook though?” “I’ve only been a vampire for six years,” she reminded me. “I’m an excellent cook.” “Go to it, then, woman.” I pointed at the door. “Go make me a steak.” “Yes, sir!” She gave me a little salute and giggled, a soft sound that made me want to take her down to the bed and kiss her and tickle her until she made that sound again—as well as a lot of others.
Evangeline Anderson (Scarlet Heat (Born to Darkness, #2; Scarlet Heat, #0))
Is this a date? Are you on a date with him? And who the hell’s car is this?” Before I can answer, Genevieve makes a move toward me, which I dodge. I run behind the pillar. “Don’t be such a baby, Lara Jean,” she says. “Just accept that you lose and I win!” I peek from behind the pillar, and John is giving me a look--a look that says, Get in. Quickly I nod. Then he throws open the passenger door, and I run for it, as fast as I can. I’ve barely got the door closed before he’s driving off, Peter and Gen in our dust. I turn back to look. Peter is staring after us, his mouth open. He’s jealous, and I’m glad. “Thanks for the save,” I say, still trying to catch my breath. My heart is pounding in my chest so hard. John is looking straight ahead, a broad smile on his face. “Anytime.” We stop at a stoplight, and he turns his head and looks at me, and then we’re looking at each other, laughing like crazy, and I’m breathless again. “Did you see the looks on their faces?” John gasps, dropping his head on the steering wheel. “It was classic!” “Like a movie!” He grins at me, jubilant, blue eyes alight. “Just like a movie,” I agree, leaning my head back against the seat and opening my eyes wide up at the moon, so wide it hurts. I’m in a red Mustang convertible sitting next to a boy in uniform, and the night air feels like cool satin on my skin, and all the stars are out, and I’m happy. The way John is still grinning to himself, I know he is too. We got to play make-believe for the night.
Jenny Han (P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2))
I know you sometimes feel bad because you think you’re taking away my opportunity to be a father. But I don’t care about that. If you tell me today that you want to stop trying for a baby, I’ll be relieved, because that would mean you might stop being sad. I’m only going through this fertility process with you because I know you want to be a mother more than anything. I would walk through fire to see you happy. I’d give up everything I have to see a genuine smile on your face. If we had to forego sex forever, I would. Hell, I’d even give up cheese to see you finally get your dream of becoming a mother. And you know how much I love cheese.
Collleen Hoover, All Your Perfects
Darlin’,” he pants and reaches out a hand for me to take. I don’t move. I can’t imagine what my face looks like right now, but whatever he sees brings a smile to his lips the likes of which I’ve never seen before. “Take it, baby. Take my hand.” With a trembling arm, I reach up and finally take his hand.
Harper Sloan (Bleeding Love (Hope Town, #2))
Alexander’s intense eyes were only on Tatiana, who smiled and said, Carolyn, can’t you see? He is pushing you out of the way. I see. Tell him to stop. Let him, Carolyn, Tatiana whispered. Let him. Show him how to catch that baby. Tania, no! What are you afraid of? Just look at him. Let him catch his baby. Thank you, Tatiana. And Alexander went on one knee between her legs, as Carolyn was anxiously bent by his side, her hands next to his. The order of the universe, Alexander felt, was restored. The belly tightened, Tatiana clenched up, one soft slippery push, and the purple baby glided out, swam out face down, front down into the waiting, grasping, open hands of his father. It’s a boy, Tania, Alexander breathed out without turning his son over. Hold him, just like that, don’t move, Carolyn was saying as she cleaned out his mouth and Alexander finally heard his first sound all night. “Wah . . . Wah . . . Wah . . . Wah . . .” Like a little wailing warble. And with his first breath he became pink not purple. Alexander let the boy be placed front down on Tatiana’s stomach, keeping his hand over him and over her, and after Carolyn tied up the cord, he picked up his warm sticky infant, holding him in his palms, and brought him close to Tatiana’s face, whispering, Tania, our boy. Look how small he is. He pressed his wet forehead into her wet cheek. Look at him flailing, squirming, wailing. Buddy, what? Been cooped up too long? He held the boy in his fanned-out palms. Oh God, how can he be so blessedly tiny? He is smaller than my hands. Yes, my love, said Tatiana, one hand on her husband, one hand on her child. But then you do have very big hands. Standing up, Alexander walked over to the open French doors so he could take a better look at the baby in the moonbeam light. Charles Gordon Pasha, he whispered. Pasha. The baby stopped squirming, moving, crying; he relaxed all his limbs and lay sticky and small and completely still in Alexander’s open palms, blinking, clearing his eyes, blinking, clearing his eyes, trying to focus on his father’s face so close. Tania, whispered Alexander, pressing his damp son to his bare chest, to his heart. Look, Tania, look, what a small, little, lovely, tiny baby.
Paullina Simons (The Summer Garden (The Bronze Horseman, #3))
Sighing, I scooted down in the booth and pulled away my hand. “You can’t control everything. It’s like you’re a finished product and I’m a brand new idea. You’re making all the decisions about who I can be and what I can do, but I can’t make any decisions about who you are.” “Well, for one thing, I’m not eighteen. For another, you have control over how I feel and that’s still power. Finally, maybe you grew up with a boot on the back of your neck so you need all of this independence to feel like you’ve accomplished shit, but you need to get over that. I take care of the people I love. My money can make your life easier and that makes my life easier. I’m not molding you and I don’t think you need molding anyway. The only difference between us is that I know I’m a finished product and you think you still need to change. You don’t and working this weekend so you can buy new clothes you don’t need won’t make you better. It won’t make you stronger or smarter. It’ll wear you down and give you a false sense of accomplishment. In the long run, your grades will suffer and you’ll hate your job and school and, God forbid, me.” “I’ve dreamed of this life for a long time and I want it to be like my dream.” “Dream bigger, baby.” “You mean dream of you.” “A dream with me in it, yes, but I know you want to be a teacher. I see on your face what that means to you. I’m not saying give up everything for me and be my bitch. I’m saying live your dream along with being my bitch.” “Fuck you,” I hissed, grinning. Cooper shared my smile. “I have to protect you. I have to feel like I’m doing right by you because my heart hurts when you aren’t happy. The last day sucked worse than any time in my life. I just couldn’t give two shits about anything because I’d lost you.” “I don’t know. I still feel like I should work this weekend.” Cooper sighed for nearly a minute then shook his head. “Healthy relationships are about compromise. Don’t work this weekend and go to the fair with me and I’ll buy you new clothes. See, compromise?” “You get everything you want. How is that compromise?” “I’m buying you new clothes that I don’t think you need,” he said, grinning. “I’m wasting money on your delusion. You’re welcome.” Laughing, I finished my soda then stood up. “I’ll think about it.” “And say yes when I take you home later.
Bijou Hunter (Damaged and the Beast (Damaged, #1))
Finishing her cigarette, Raven put it out in the ashtray then sighed. “I never really bought into the God thing. Religion felt like a lie men told to make people listen to them. Mostly, it seemed dumb to think a magic man in the sky cared about us. Like if I was a magic man and could make the earth or whatever, I wouldn’t waste time on helping out losers.” Raven set the ashtray on the ground and crossed her arms as if cold. “I see what Lark has now with you, this house, the ugly dogs, her friends, and now the baby. It makes me think God might exist. While losers run in our family, Lark could be more if she let herself. Now she has more and I think God might have helped her out. I prayed someone would. Even not believing, I prayed and told God if He was real and wanted me to believe that He needed to help Lark. I guess He heard me because she’s happy like I’ve never seen her happy before. Not even when Phoenix was alive and we were the best we ever were as a family.” “I’m glad you’re here and you’re welcome to stay as long as you want, but, Raven, my dogs aren’t ugly.” She laughed and tapped her foot against mine. “You’re a good guy. I know I said that before, but I didn’t think you would be. I’ve been around and good guys are rare.” “They exist though.” Raven nodded. “I need to quit men the way I need to quit smoking. Just go cold turkey. If I try to be rational about it, I’ll fool myself into falling for another creep. No, just say enough is enough all that shit. Focus on other stuff like a job and roller derby and family.” “If you ever get sick of living here, the Johanssons have an apartment that Cooper used to live in.” “There are plenty of apartments in Ellsberg.” “Yeah, but if you want to avoid loser men, those apartments won’t help. They’re full of assholes. College shitheads and lowlife fuckers. If you stay out there with the Johanssons, no man will bother you. You might even like Bailey. She’s an acquired taste, but a good friend if you can deal with her mouth.” “Bossy bitches are my favorite,” Raven said, pulling her knees up to her chest. “No hurry moving out though. Lark is feeling unsure about stuff and having you here makes her feel more centered. Like she’s combining her old life with her new one and it fits.” “I just have one question, bud,” Raven said, standing up and ready to leave the cold evening. “Are you planning to fix her damn worm?” “I don’t normally tattoo pregnant women.” “You really going to have your kid born to a chick with a worm tattoo?” Smiling at Raven, I nodded. “I don’t want to do anything to jinx the pregnancy. Since we’ve been together, Lark was hurt by Larry, got into a fight with my ex, and had to hide under the table during a bar brawl. I want the rest of her pregnancy to be as pain free as possible.” “Sissy,” she said, grinning. “I’m really glad you aren’t an asshole. It was a pleasant surprise.” “Glad you approve, but don’t mock my dogs again and stop barking at Pollack.” “Fuck off,” she said over her shoulder while walking inside.
Bijou Hunter (Damaged and the Cobra (Damaged, #3))
Farah looked freaked out until Tawny hugged her and the tension faded from her face. A minute later, the table cloth lifted and Bailey appeared with beer bottles in her hands. “I figured you’d need booze to deal with the boredom of hiding.” “I can’t drink,” Farah said. “I’m off the pill and trying to get knocked up.” “I am knocked up. I also don’t like that brand of beer.” Handing the beers to Tawny, Bailey nodded. “Be back in a sec.” A minute later, Bailey returned with two cans of Coke for Farah and me. “So what are we talking about?” Bailey asked. “Men needing to protect their women,” I explained. “Lame. Talk about something I can join in on. What’s your sister like? Is she hotter than me?” “Yes.” “I hate her and you should tell her to watch out. If I see her, that pretty face is dead meat.” Grinning, I cuddled up with her as the table shook from fighting bodies knocking against it. “You’re having a baby?” she asked, wrapping her arms around me. “Everyone is getting married or having babies.” “Raven isn’t,” I said as Farah peeked out from under the table cloth to check on Cooper. She smiled and returned to her spot. “Judd and Aaron have stripped Mac down and are shoving him out the door.” Tawny laughed. “Judd finally got to punish Mac for letting me touch his arm months ago. Good for him.” Laughing, I leaned my head against Bailey. “Raven has bad taste in men. Going out with her will be great for you. If Raven likes someone, you’ll know he’s a loser. So she’ll distract all the shitty guys from you.” “Huh. And she’s hot, so she’ll draw guys to us. I think she might be my new best friend,” Bailey said, taking a swig. ‘Don’t be jealous. I just need a man because all of the kissing and fucking and marrying and baby making you guys keep doing. I can’t be the only one alone and Vaughn doesn’t count because he’ll be dead in a few months and shouldn’t be dating anyway.” We all frowned at Bailey who shrugged. “Those Devils fuck are going to kill him or he’ll try to kill them and get killed. Why do you think they call him Dead Man Walking?” “You’re bumming me out,” I told her while finishing my soda. “I wish Aaron was here.” “As you wish,” Aaron said, leaning down. “Look at you pretty girls hiding under here.” “We’re not hiding,” I said, crawling out. “We’re planning our attack. You know, just in case you couldn’t handle things.” When Aaron grinned, I noticed blood on his lip. “You’re hurt.” “You should see the other guys.” Glancing around, I noticed Mac’s friend was propped up on the pool table and the other guys were throwing pretzels and peanuts at him. In the corner, Kirk and Jodi sat as if on their porch drinking lemonade and admiring the sunset. “My hero,” I said, caressing the cobra. “Are you talking to me or the tattoo?” “Both, baby. Always both.
Bijou Hunter (Damaged and the Cobra (Damaged, #3))
Taking my hand, she walked out of the room where we found Vaughn and Judd playing pool in the dining room. The guys were deep in silent competition, so we admired their hot bodies quietly. Our giggling finally drew their attention. “Where are we eating?” Vaughn asked, hitting a ball. “We should eat somewhere that preggos can’t enjoy,” I suggested and Tawny grinned. “I think they can’t eat deli meat, but I don’t want that crap.” Tawny searched info on her phone then smiled. “Sushi is supposed to be iffy.” “Barf,” Vaughn said and Judd grimaced. “We should go to a fish place and share a little sushi to celebrate our powerful birth control.” Judd smiled at this comment. “Poor Aaron.” “Screw Aaron,” I grunted. “Lark’s the one carrying two babies.” Vaughn and Judd looked at each other then burst out laughing. “What’s so funny?” “He hooks up with a chick whose birth control is defective and ends up with twins,” Vaughn said, walking to me. “Dumb fuck probably didn’t know what hit him.” “He gets to spend his life with an amazing person. Fuck you for laughing at his good luck.” “Don’t go big sis on me, daffodil. One day, I’m knocking you up with twins too. No harm in making double the hot kids.” “I’m still mad.” “Wanna make a baby right now?” he whispered in my ear. “Sushi first.” “Barf.” “We’ll see.” Thirty minutes later, Vaughn proved me wrong. He hated sushi and nearly threw up after trying a bite. Watching him freak-out nearly killed me. I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe. Tawny was also in hysterics. Like any good friend would, Judd took a picture of a gagging Vaughn with his phone. “Sent it to the crew. You’re welcome.” “Jackass,” Vaughn said, wiping his tongue with a napkin. Calming my laughter, I stroked his ponytail. “Poor baby. I’ll make it up to you later.” Vaughn’s horrified expression immediately shifted into a smirk. “Yeah, you will.
Bijou Hunter (Damaged and the Outlaw (Damaged, #4))
You okay?” he asked quietly. “Sure. Why wouldn’t I be?” “Brad. I know you were crushing on him, and now he’s packed it up and moved next door. I wanted to make sure you weren’t having trouble dealing with it.” “I can’t believe Allie told you about my crush.” “Give me a break, Kate. I’ve known since family weekend. When was the last time you wanted to take a picture of me? Document my freshman year? What? Do I have clueless tattooed across my forehead?” Narrowing my eyes, I leaned toward him. “Yeah, I think maybe you do.” Even in the shadows I could see him grin. This was so totally weird. Sitting out here, having an almost normal conversation with my brother. “He’s not your type, Kate.” I scoffed. “How do you know my type? I don’t even know my type.” “Trust me, when you do figure your type out, you’re gonna realize it’s not Brad. I mean, I like him, and he’s a great roommate, but what I want in a friend and what you need in a boyfriend aren’t the same. He’d just end up hurting you. Then I’d have to beat the crap out of him.” I couldn’t stop myself from smiling. “Would you really do that for me, Sam?” “You know I would.” His voice was totally serious. And I realized that he was so not joking. His revelation stunned me almost as much as Joe’s kiss. No, wait, nothing would ever throw me off balance as much as that kiss. “You do know that, don’t you, Kate?” Sam asked. “You’re my sister and I . . .” He waved his hand. “That L-word. You know.” “Love?” I asked. “Don’t make me say it, okay? Just know it’s true. I know I give you a hard time, but hey, that’s what brothers do. It’s part of our genetic makeup, a little chip inside our brains that gets activated when our parents shove a screaming baby sister in our face.” “Like you’d have a memory of that moment. You were only fifteen months old.” “Whatever. Look, I’m out here right now because I’ve been a little worried about you, and I haven’t really been able to get you alone to talk.” “You’ve been able to get Allie alone.” And for a lot more than conversation. He grimaced. “Yeah, she told me you know about us. Are you okay with that?” “What if I’m not?” “Then tough. Get over it.” “Some understanding brother you are.” “I’ve got my limits.” “So you really like her, huh?” “Yeah, I have for a long time, but geez, she’s my sister’s best friend. How weird is that?” “Totally weird. When she described the way you kiss—” “What?” Horror echoed his voice. His eyes were wide, his mouth open. “Payback for the snowball,” I said snidely. “I already paid you back for that.” “So? Maybe there’s a little chip inside a girl’s brain that gets activated when her brother is a jerk and erases paybacks as soon as they happen so we need a steady stream of them.” “You’re definitely not playing nice, Kate.” I heard him heave a sigh. “You know, that’s part of the reason I’ve steered clear of Allie. I don’t want her discussing my . . . moves with my sister.” “Yeah, like you’ve got moves.” He gave me a cocky look. “Hey, I’ve got moves.” I held up a hand. “Definitely don’t want to hear about them.” “Definitely don’t want you to hear about them.
Rachel Hawthorne (Love on the Lifts)
You know what you were and it wasn’t a job.” His words taunted me, offering a glimmer of hope. Yet, his words on the driveway less than two months ago lingered in my thoughts. “Why are you bothering me?” “You’re not to go around Mac again. Do you understand?” “I don’t have to listen to you.” Judd narrowed his eyes at me. “Fine. I’ll tell him to stay away from you. He’ll listen if he wants to keep both eyes.” “Whatever. He’s one guy and the college is full of them. Bailey and I are going to a frat party this weekend. Can’t take all of those guys’ eyes.” “Is that a challenge?” “You got me here safe,” I said, trying to look away, but unable to. “You did your job and I’m sure you got paid. What more do you want?” Judd glanced at approaching Harleys then focused on me. When he erased the space between us again, I shivered at the feel of his breath on my cheek. “You know what I want.” “To fuck me because I’m hot.” Judd stared in my eyes and I saw the walls come down. Even staring into those pained baby blues, I remembered how coldly he discarded me. Over a month passed with no word from him. Yet, one guy sniffed around me and Judd was suddenly interested. “Is your birthday present to me to make me a woman?” I whispered, holding his gaze. “You have to know I’m not a virgin and you’d do nothing someone hasn’t done before. There’s no prize between my legs. Maybe you outta stop threatening random men and go find yourself a real woman.” Judd opened his mouth to speak until he heard Cooper’s voice from inside the house. When the arriving guests called back to their boss, Judd stepped away from me. Sighing, he shoved his hands into the pockets of his brown leather jacket. “I see a prize when I look at you,” he said softly as he walked past, “but it’s not between your legs.” He pressed a little wrapped box into my hand. “Happy birthday, angel.” Appearing on the porch, Cooper lost his smile when he saw Judd and me. The men gave each other a little nod before Judd stepped off the porch and past the men who also did their male hello gestures. The men disappeared inside, but Cooper remained next to me as I watched Judd drive away on a black Harley.
Bijou Hunter (Damaged and the Knight (Damaged, #2))
Well?” the guard who discovered me prompted. “I recognize her,” Saadi answered, staring directly at the woman. “She works for my sister as an errand girl.” I briefly closed my eyes in relief. Saadi waved the guard back to her post and issued an order to the man behind him to retrieve his cloak. When it was thrust into his hands, he escorted me back across the base, not speaking until we were out of earshot of those on patrol. “So, Rava has a message for me?” I shoved him unthinkingly, teasingly, and he laughed, jumping away. “You wanted to see me, remember?” I pointed out. “But you never picked a time or place!” “So you decided to do it for me. Fair enough, but I’m dying to know what you have in mind to do.” “I don’t have anything in mind.” We had reached the thoroughfare, and he chuckled. “You braved Cokyrian soldiers and the stronghold of the military base, but don’t have a thing in mind for us to do?” “That’s right,” I admitted, irritated that he was laughing at me. “Would you grow up please?” “Shaselle, there’s nothing ‘grown-up’ about what we’re doing. I assume you snuck away from home to see me, and I have a five o’clock call in the morning.” I came to a halt and turned to face him, my eyes issuing a challenge. “If you want to go back, feel free. Tell those soldiers that Rava just wanted to make sure her baby brother went to bed on time.” He grinned, enjoying my feisty responses, and smoothed his bronze hair forward, a habit I still found annoying. It also served to make my heart flutter. “Trust me, I’ve survived many a night without sleep.” He came closer, putting his hands on my hips, and I spontaneously leaned in to kiss him. He drew me close, his mouth more hungry than it had been in the barn, and a tingle ran from my lips to my toes. Then I pulled away, smiling mischievously, loving how reckless my actions were. He took my hand, kissing each of my fingers before tugging me down the street. “Come on, Shaselle.” “Where are we going?” Saadi didn’t answer, but led me in the direction of the Market District. As a Cokyrian solider on horseback trotted by, he pulled me into the shadows of a storefront, placing a finger upon his lips. “I’ve thought of something for us to do,” he whispered. “Since you came so unprepared.” Once more he took my hand, and I went with him blindly, happily, until we reached the shop from which I’d stolen fruit and wine when I’d run away from home. “What are you--?” He gave the door a strong kick, and I winced at the crack of the wood in the stillness. “Saadi!” I hissed, glancing around, expecting the mounted Cokyrian to come galloping back. He ignored me, pushing the door open. “Come on now. No errand girl of Rava’s would be such a coward!
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
You there! What are you doing?” A sentry was approaching, her strides swift and purposeful. “Identify yourself!” She held a lantern close to me, and I squinted in the light, my heart thrumming loudly. On the chance that I could still pull off the charade, I attempted to mimic a Cokyrian accent. The inflection was subtle, but not terribly different from our own, and I hoped that guard would be none the wiser. “I was sent to deliver a message.” “And what message is that?” Her voice was skeptical and she laid a hand on the hilt of the sword at her hip. “The message is not for you.” The sentry laughed. “Get out of here, girl. I have no interest in arresting you. I’ll consider this an amusing part of my night duty as long as you don’t cause any trouble.” “The message is from Rava,” I tried again, my natural stubbornness overcoming my fear. “For her brother.” “Messages should be taken to the main building,” she pronounced, no longer confident that she should send me away. “Rava instructed me to deliver it to no one but Saadi. She said he would be in the officer’s barracks.” The woman deliberated, looking dubiously at me, although she ultimately decided in my favor. “Then I’ll take you to him. We’ll see what he has to say about this.” The sentry grabbed my arm and led me toward the building. There were two guards at its entrance, and she instructed one of them to fetch Saadi. Despite the coolness of the weather, I could feel myself sweating. If Saadi refused to come, I would be locked up and likely taken to Rava in the morning. But if he did come, how did I know he would be happy to see me? He might not approve of the game I was playing. Nausea roiled my stomach, and I glanced at the Cokyrians on each side of me, trying to decide if I should beat a hasty retreat. Too afraid of the consequences if I failed to get away, I waited, praying the fates would smile upon me. It wasn’t long before footfalls reached my ears, and the door to the barracks swung open. Saadi stood there in breeches and a loose, unlaced shirt, strapping on his weapons, obviously having been awakened. Would he be angry that I had disturbed his sleep? “Well?” the guard who discovered me prompted. “I recognize her,” Saadi answered, staring directly at the woman. “She works for my sister as an errand girl.” I briefly closed my eyes in relief. Saadi waved the guard back to her post and issued an order to the man behind him to retrieve his cloak. When it was thrust into his hands, he escorted me back across the base, not speaking until we were out of earshot of those on patrol. “So, Rava has a message for me?” I shoved him unthinkingly, teasingly, and he laughed, jumping away. “You wanted to see me, remember?” I pointed out. “But you never picked a time or place!” “So you decided to do it for me. Fair enough, but I’m dying to know what you have in mind to do.” “I don’t have anything in mind.” We had reached the thoroughfare, and he chuckled. “You braved Cokyrian soldiers and the stronghold of the military base, but don’t have a thing in mind for us to do?” “That’s right,” I admitted, irritated that he was laughing at me. “Would you grow up please?” “Shaselle, there’s nothing ‘grown-up’ about what we’re doing. I assume you snuck away from home to see me, and I have a five o’clock call in the morning.” I came to a halt and turned to face him, my eyes issuing a challenge. “If you want to go back, feel free. Tell those soldiers that Rava just wanted to make sure her baby brother went to bed on time.” He grinned, enjoying my feisty responses, and smoothed his bronze hair forward, a habit I still found annoying. It also served to make my heart flutter.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
Dylan lifted my chin so my lips could meet his. I kissed him hard, suddenly overwhelmed with emotion I’d held tight inside me. “Good things happen,” I said, crying now. “Sometimes I forget that even when I have a blessing right in front of me.” Dylan wrapped me tighter in his arms and smiled against my lips. “Me too, but I never lost faith in little Lark. If anyone could kick death in the ass, it would be her.” I laughed at the thought of Lark versus the Grim Reaper. When my laughter drew the attention of the others, they laughed too, even without knowing why. All the tension faded as our fears turned to celebration. “Shit, I’m gonna get teary-eyed,” Vaughn announced, looking at his phone. We all received the same message from Raven with pictures of the babies. “Which one’s the girl?” Judd asked, squinting at Tawny’s phone. “The one with the pink hat,” his wife said. Everyone laughed again. “You can’t see if they have curly hair,” Cooper muttered. “Man, I hope at least one of them does. I’m never letting Aaron live that shit down.” More laughter as everyone enjoyed the additional photos Raven sent.
Bijou Hunter (Damaged and the Bulldog (Damaged, #6))
I vaguely remember having a waist,” Lark said, waddling into the room. “I could see my feet too. They weren’t great feet, but I liked looking at them.” “You’ll see them soon then you won’t appreciate it. All the stuff that bothers you now will become a faint memory once you have the babies.” “How do you know?” she said, teasing me. “You read that in a book? I get enough know-it-all crap from Raven who watched a TV show and is therefore an expert.” I brought her a glass of low fat milk and English muffins with low fat cream. Lark frowned at the food then smiled up at me. “If I sound bitchy, blame the hormones. You didn’t know me before I was preggers, but I was a saint.” Grinning, I handed her the remote and placed a pillow under her feet.
Bijou Hunter (Damaged and the Bulldog (Damaged, #6))
As the sun set, I ate a hospital meal and watched TV. Every few minutes, I glanced at the girl on the bed and tried to see Raven. I struggled to remember her smile and laugh. With her face so swollen, she didn’t seem like my love. I worried I’d lost her because I brought Caleb to Ellsberg. Eventually, the nurse showed me how to turn the chair into a pull out bed. I thanked her, but the thing was too damn small for me to fit on. Besides, I didn’t want to sleep until Raven woke up. Finally, I gave into my weird little urge to kiss the sleeping beauty. I needed to know she was okay. Know she wanted me to stay because she still loved me. I felt nervous until her swollen lips twitched into a smile after my kiss. “Tell me a story,” she mumbled while gripping my shirt with her good hand and tugging me into the bed with her. I adjusted our bodies just enough for me to rest next to her. While the position wasn’t comfortable, I finally relaxed at knowing my woman wanted me close. Caressing her battered face with my fingers, I loved how she smiled for me. Even in pain and after a hellish day, she soothed my fears. “Once upon a time,” I said and she smiled again, “there was a lonely fool who wasted one day after another of his life. One day, he met the most fascinating chick and she quickly wrapped the fool around her finger. She loved him in the best way and saved him from himself. He loved her too and only wanted for her to be happy and safe.” Hesitating, I frowned at the sight of her suffering. As if knowing what I was thinking, she reached up and ran a finger of my lips. “More.” “After the evil… let’s call them gnomes because I hate those ugly little fuckers. So, once the gnomes were destroyed, the fool and his lovely savior bought a big house for all the beautiful blond babies they would have together.” As Raven smiled at this idea, my uneasiness faded. “Their kids all had names with a V in them to honor their hot parents.” Raven laughed then moaned at the gesture. Still, she kept smiling for me. “The fool, his beautiful woman, and their army of glorious babies played videogames, bowled, and roller skated. They were always happy and never sad in a town with their friends and family. They all lived happily ever after.” Raven swollen lips smiled enough to show her missing tooth. Even though she was essentially blind with her battered eyes, she knew I’d seen her mouth and covered it with her hand. “You’re beautiful, darling. Nothing will ever change that.” Raven grunted, unconvinced. “There’s more to love about you than your beauty.” Another grunt followed by a hint of a pout. “Sugar, if I got all banged up and my stunning good looks were damaged, you’d still love me, right?” Raven laughed, but said nothing, so I answered for her. “Of course, you would. My amazing personality and giant brain would keep you horny even if my hot body wasn’t at its best.” Laughing harder now, Raven leaned against me. “I liked your story.” “Unlike most fairytales, this one is coming true.
Bijou Hunter (Damaged and the Outlaw (Damaged, #4))
We must send Daisy to London as soon as possible,” Lillian fretted. “It’s the height of the season, and she’s buried in Hampshire away from all the balls and soirées—” “It was her choice to come here,” Marcus reminded her, reaching for her other foot. “She would never forgive herself if she missed the baby’s birth.” “Oh, bother that. I would rather Daisy miss the birth and meet eligible men instead of having to wait here with me until her time runs out and she has to marry Matthew Swift and move with him to New York and then I’ll never see her again—” “I’ve already thought of that,” Marcus said. “Which is why I undertook to invite a number of eligible men to Stony Cross Park for the stag-and-hind hunt.” “You did?” Her head lifted from the pillow. “St. Vincent and I came up with a list and debated the merits of each candidate at length. We settled on an even dozen. Any one of them would do for your sister.” “Oh, Marcus, you are the most clever, most wonderful—” He waved away the praise and shook his head with a grin, remembering the lively arguments. “St. Vincent is damned finicky, let me tell you. If he were a woman, no man would be good enough for him.” “They never are,” Lillian told him impudently. “Which is why we women have a saying…‘Aim high, then settle.’” He snorted. “Is that what you did?” A smile curved her lips. “No, my lord. I aimed high and got far more than I’d bargained for.” And she giggled as he crawled over her prone body and kissed her soundly.
Lisa Kleypas (Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4))
Lillian’s slender fingers played absently in his hair as she commented, “It’s been a long time since Mr. Swift went to find Daisy. And it’s too quiet. Aren’t you going to go up there and check on them?” “Not for all the hemp in China,” Marcus said, repeating one of Daisy’s new favorite phrases. “God knows what I might be interrupting.” “Good God.” Lillian sounded appalled. “You don’t think they’re…” “I wouldn’t be surprised.” Marcus paused deliberately before adding, “Remember how we used to be.” As he had intended, the remark diverted her instantly. “We’re still that way,” Lillian protested. “We haven’t made love since before the baby was born.” Marcus sat up, filling his gaze with the sight of his dark-haired young wife in the firelight. She was, and would always be, the most tempting woman he had ever known. Unspent passion roughened his voice as he asked, “How much longer must I wait?” Propping her elbow on the back of the sofa, Lillian leaned her head on her hand and smiled apologetically. “The doctor said at least another fortnight. I’m sorry.” She laughed as she saw his expression. “Very sorry. Let’s go upstairs.” “If we’re not going to bed together, I fail to see the point,” Marcus grumbled. “I’ll help you with your bath. I’ll even scrub your back.” He was sufficiently intrigued by the offer to ask, “Only my back?” “I’m open to negotiation,” Lillian said provocatively. “As always.” Marcus reached out to gather her against his chest and sighed. “At this point I’ll take whatever I can get.” “You poor man.” Still smiling, Lillian turned her face to kiss him. “Just remember…some things are worth waiting for.
Lisa Kleypas (Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4))
Honey Honey, won’t you take me home tonight? Honey, won’t you take me home tonight? Honey, won’t you take me home tonight? The night is warm and the starts are bright Take my hand, baby, hold me tight Every move gonna feel so right See the moon smiling through the night I feel so good and my mood is right Oh, honey, won’t you take me home tonight? Honey, won’t you take me home tonight? Feels so right Feels so right Honey, won’t you take me home tonight? Feels so right Feels so right Listen to the wind whistling through Surely ain’t nothin’ that we can’t do Surely ain’t nothin’ that we can’t do
Spacemen 3
Speaking of those children...."  He tried to turn his head within the curve of Juliet's arm so that he could look at Charlotte. "It appears that one of them ... is yours." "Yes, my daughter. She's just over six months." "Will you lift her up so I may see her? I adore children." Juliet hesitated, thinking that sleeping babes were best left alone. But it was not in her to deny the wishes of a man who might very well be dying. Carefully, she picked up the infant and held her so that Gareth could see her. Charlotte whimpered and opened her eyes. Immediately, the lines of pain about Gareth's mouth relaxed. Smiling weakly, he reached up and ran his fingers over one of the tiny fists, unaware that he was touching his own niece. A lump rose in Juliet's throat. It was not hard at all to imagine that he was Charles, reaching up to touch his daughter. Not hard at all. "You're just ... as pretty as your mama," he murmured. "A few more years ... and all the young bucks shall be after you ... like hounds to the fox."  To Juliet he said, "What is her name?" "Charlotte."  The baby was wide awake now and tugging at the lace of his sleeve. "Charlotte. Such a pretty name ... and where is your papa, little Charlie-girl? Should he ... not be here to ... protect you and your mama?" Juliet stiffened. His innocent words had slammed a fresh bolt of pain through her. Tight-lipped, she pried the lace from Charlotte's fist and cradled her close. Deprived of her amusement, the baby screwed up her face and began to wail at the top of her lungs while Juliet stared out the window, her mouth set and her hand clenched in a desperate bid to control her emotions. Gareth managed to make himself heard over Charlotte's angry screams. "I am sorry. I think I have offended you, somehow...." "No." "Then what is it?" "Her papa's dead." "Oh. I, ah ... I see."  He looked distressed, and remorse stole the brightness that Charlotte had brought to his eyes. "I am sorry, madam. I am forever saying the wrong thing, I fear." Charlotte was now crying harder, beating her fists and kicking her feet in protest. The blanket fell away. Juliet attempted to put it back. Charlotte screamed louder, her angry squalls filling the coach until Juliet felt like crying herself. She made a noise of helpless despair. "Here ... set her on your lap, beside my head," Lord Gareth said at last. "She can play with my cravat." "No, you're hurt." He smiled. "And your daughter is crying. Oblige me, and she will stop."  He stretched a hand toward the baby, offering his fingers, but she batted him away and continued to wail. "I'm told I have a way ... with children." With a sigh, Juliet did as he asked. Immediately, Charlotte quieted and fell to playing with his cravat.
Danelle Harmon (The Wild One (The de Montforte Brothers, #1))
You have an accent I do not recognize," he was saying. 'Tis certainly not local…." "Really, Lord Gareth — you should rest, not try to talk. Save your strength." "My dear angel, I can assure you I'd much rather talk to you, than lie here in silence and wonder if I shall live to see the next sunrise. I ... do not wish to be alone with my thoughts at the moment. Pray, amuse me, would you?" She sighed. "Very well, then. I'm from Boston." "County of Lincolnshire?" "Colony of Massachusetts." His smile faded. "Ah, yes ... Boston."  The town's name fell wearily from his lips and he let his eyes drift shut, as though that single word had drained him of his remaining strength. "You're a long way from home, aren't you?" "Farther, perhaps, than I should be," she said, cryptically. He seemed not to hear her. "I had a brother who died over there last year, fighting the rebels.... He was a captain in the Fourth. I miss him dreadfully." Juliet leaned the side of her face against the squab and took a deep, bracing breath. If this man died, he would never know just who the little girl playing so contentedly with his cravat was. He would never know that the stranger who was caring for him during his final moments was the woman his brother had loved, would never know just why she — a long way from home, indeed — had come to England. It was now or never. "Yes," she whispered, tracing a thin crack in the squab near her face. "So do I." "Sorry?" "I said, yes. I miss him too." "Forgive me, but I don't quite understand...."  And then he blanched and stiffened as the truth hit him with debilitating force. His eyes widened, their lazy dreaminess fading. His head rose halfway out of her lap. He stared at her and blinked, and in the sudden, charged silence that filled the coach, Juliet heard the pounding tattoo of her own heart, felt his gaze boring into the underside of her chin as his mind, dulled by pain and shock, quickly put the pieces together. Boston. Juliet. I miss him, too. He gave an incredulous little laugh. "No," he said, slowly shaking his head, as though he suspected he was the butt of some horrible joke or worse, knew she was telling the truth and could not find a way to accept it. He scrutinized her features, his gaze moving over every aspect of her face. "We all thought ... I mean, Lucien said he tried to locate you ... No, I am hallucinating, I must be!  You cannot be the same Juliet. Not his Juliet —" "I am," she said quietly. "His Juliet. And now I've come to England to throw myself on the mercy of his family, as he bade me to do should anything happen to him." "But this is just too extraordinary, I cannot believe —" Juliet was gazing out the window into the darkness again. "He told you about me, then?" "Told us? His letters home were filled with nothing but declarations of love for his 'colonial maiden,' his 'fair Juliet' — he said he was going to marry you. I ... you ... dear God, you have shocked my poor brain into speechlessness, Miss Paige. I do not believe you are here, in the flesh!" "Believe it," she said, miserably. "If Charles had lived, you and I would have been brother and sister. Don't die, Lord Gareth. I have no wish to see yet another de Montforte brother into an early grave." He settled back against her arm and flung one bloodstained wrist across his eyes, his body shaking. For a moment she thought the shock of her revelation had killed him. But no. Beneath the lace of his sleeve she could see his gleaming grin, and Juliet realized that he was not dying but convulsing with giddy, helpless mirth. For the life of her, she did not see what was so funny. "Then this baby —" he managed, sliding his wrist up his brow to peer up at her with gleaming eyes — "this baby —" "Is your niece.
Danelle Harmon (The Wild One (The de Montforte Brothers, #1))
But first, please tell me your name. I really would like to know it.” “Sophia.” She looked up at him at last. “But my friends call me Sophie.” Sylvan smiled, being careful not to show his fangs this time. “I hope to someday call you that but I think I’d better stick to Sophia for now.” She sighed. “Look, I’m sorry I was nasty to you earlier. I know you’re not exactly to blame for what’s happened and you’re just doing what you do, making a genetic trade or whatever. It’s just that…my sister is my best friend and I can’t stand the thought of never seeing her again.” “You’ll still see her,” Sylvan objected. “Kindred brides are allowed to return to their home planet on most of the major holidays.” “Great, so I get to see her for Christmas and Thanksgiving? Two or three days out of the year? Thanks a lot!” Sophia leaned forward and looked at him. “Let me tell you something—Liv and I have never gone a whole day without speaking to each other in our lives. Even when we were babies my mom said we would cry and cry if you took one of us out of the room, away from the other one. And after our parents died, we got even closer. So please try to understand. I love her—she’s all I have left and I just can’t lose her like this.” Sylvan nodded gravely. “I can see your point. There is a similar bond between Baird and myself. We have the same father and we’ve saved each other’s lives many times in battle. I would be sad to only see him a few days of the year.” “So you get it.” She touched his knee lightly for emphasis and Sylvan felt his shaft harden in response. “How would you feel if I was threatening to take your brother and best friend away from you for basically the rest of his life?” she asked earnestly. “I wouldn’t like it.” Sylvan shifted uncomfortably, hoping she couldn’t see the evidence of her effect on him in his tight black uniform pants. “I guess the only way around your dilemma is for you to be claimed by a warrior yourself. Then you could see your sister every day on our ship.” “Oh…oh, no!
Evangeline Anderson (Claimed (Brides of the Kindred, #1))
What the fuck happened between you two?” Logan asks as soon as the door closes. I shrug. Logan is famous for his shrugs. He should accept mine. But he doesn’t. Instead, he punches me in the shoulder. Shit, that hurt. “What the fuck?” I ask. “What happened?” he asks. He looks straight into my eyes. “Nothing,” I say. I shake my head. “Not a fucking thing.” “Dude, you had a pillow shoved in your lap, and you were getting off her bed when we walked in. Something happened.” He shoves my shoulder, almost knocking me over. Logan’s a big boy. A little bigger than me, and I’m a big guy. “Not to mention that she looked like she’d just been fucked.” I stop and turn to face him. I lay both lands flat on his chest and shove him as hard as I can. “Don’t ever fucking talk about her like that again,” I warn. Logan takes a few steps back. Then he grins. “It’s about fucking time,” he says. He holds up a hand to high five me. “Fuck you,” I say instead, and I keep walking toward my dorm. I can’t get there fast enough. “Did you kiss her?” he asks. He grins at me again, and I feel a smile tugging at my own lips. But it doesn’t last for more than a minute. His joviality isn’t contagious. “I was about to…. Then you guys busted in,” I admit. “She wants you, man. She’s got it as bad as you do. Trust me.” I shake my head. “She doesn’t.” “She does.” He claps a hand on my shoulder. “She told Emily. Emily told me.” He pauses and then says, “You’re welcome.” “What did she say?” I ask. I probably don’t want to know. “She said she wants to have your babies.” He jumps back when I go to punch him, and he laughs. “Shut up,” I say. “This is serious.” “Why’s it so serious all of a sudden?” Logan asks.  “This shit’s been going on between you two for a long time. Why does it suddenly matter so much?” “The contest is today. They’re raffling off a kiss from her.” I heave a sigh. “One lucky winner is going to get to kiss the woman I love. In front of everybody.” “Oh, fuck,” Logan breathes. “That’s shit.” “I asked her not to go,” I confess. “So, go buy all the tickets,” he says with a shrug, as though he just solved world poverty or AIDS. “It doesn’t work like that. You have to guess the number of jelly beans in her jar. If you get the wrong number, you don’t get anything. If you get the right number, you get to kiss her.” “So, we need to figure out how many jelly beans are in her jar,” he says simply. He looks at me. “Did you see the jar?” I nod. “It’s a pickle jar.” I hold out my hands to show him the size. “The big kind.” “So we need a jar that size, and we need to fill it with jelly beans and then count them. At least then you can get close, right?” I scrub a hand down my face. “This is stupid. I’ll never get it. Every guess costs a dollar.” I reach into my pocket and pull out my wallet. It’s nearly empty. “You’re just going to let somebody else kiss her?” “If I’m not there, I won’t see it.” I shrug my shoulders, trying to hide the fact that I feel as if I’m being gutted. He stares at me. He doesn’t say anything. “If it were Emily, I’d buy every fucking pickle and every damn jelly bean in the state of New York. There’s no way my girl would kiss some asshole.” “You’re right,” I say. “We need to go to the store.” Hope swells inside me. Do I have a chance? I won’t know until I try, I guess. Logan
Tammy Falkner (Just Jelly Beans and Jealousy (The Reed Brothers, #3.4))
What’s that?” Liv asked as he gave her the flower. She couldn’t tell if it was real or not but it had silky, periwinkle blue petals and a mild, sweet fragrance that reminded her of baby lotion. “Your answer,” Sylvan said. “If the results were negative, you would have received a white flower. If you were carrying a female baby, the flower would have been pink—that’s a very rare result indeed.” “But blue means…” Liv looked up at him, her heart pounding. “A little boy? I’m carrying a boy?” “You are,” Sylvan said gravely. “May I be the first to congratulate you, mate-of-my-kin, and wish you a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery.” “Oh my God!” Liv was so excited she couldn’t speak. Instead she rushed forward and pulled him down into a hug. Sylvan was stiff at first, clearly surprised by her exuberance. But then he loosened up a little and hugged her back carefully. “Wait ‘til I tell Baird,” she exclaimed. “He’s going to be so surprised!” “He’ll be extremely pleased and so proud there’ll be no living with him.” Sylvan smiled when she finally let him go. “Are you going to tell him at once?” “Yes, him first and then the girls. Oh, Sophie’s going to be so excited to be an aunt!” “I’m excited to be a…what is your term for it?” “An uncle. You’ll be the baby’s uncle.” Liv grinned at him. “Oh, I have so much to do! And no time to do it.” “You have plenty of time,” Sylvan assured her. “According to the results and the size of the flower you received, you’re still in your first quadmester.” “My first what?” Liv frowned. “You mean trimester, right?” “No.” He shook his head. “Carrying a Kindred baby to term takes twelve of your Earth months, not just nine. So you see, Olivia, you have plenty of time to get everything done.” “Wow.” Liv was a little nonplussed. “Uh…a whole year, huh? You guys should really put that in the brochure.” “We don’t hide anything,” Sylvan protested. “You just have to ask about some things if you want to know.” Liv laughed. “All right—I’m so excited right now I don’t even care. Although by my eleventh or twelfth month I may want to shoot myself. Or Baird, for that matter.” Sylvan gave her one of his rare, one-sided smiles. “Go tell him now before you start wanting to shoot.” “I will.
Evangeline Anderson (Hunted (Brides of the Kindred, #2))