Shut Up Little Man Quotes

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Leo lowered his screwdriver. He looked at the ceiling and shook his head like, What am I gonna do with this guy? "I try very hard to be annoying," Leo said. "Don't insult my ability to annoy. And how am I supposed to resent you if you go apologizing? I'm a lowly mechanic. You're like the prince of the sky, son of the Lord of the Universe. I'm supposed to resent you." "Lord of the Universe?" (Jason) "Sure, you're all-bam! Lightning man. And 'Watch me fly. I am the eagle that soars-" (Leo) "Shut up, Valdez." (Jason) Leo managed a little smile. "Yeah, see. I do annoy you." "I apologize for apologizing." (Jason) "Thank you." He went back to work, but the tension had eased between them. Leo still looked sad and exhausted-just not quite so angry.
Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1))
Ayden and Blake stared each other down. "Oh. My. God," Luna blurted from Ayden's back seat. "It's a love triangle." We all looked at her like she'd sprouted an alien from her head. "it's just like in a book. Two guys after one girl and-" I groaned. "That's ridiculous, Luna, this is not a love triangle." "Says the girl in the middle of a love triangle. Luna ignored my protests and prattled on. "Not one Hexy Boy but two. I've got to call Danica. Oooo," she squealed and clapped her hands,"We could have teams. Team Ayden and Team Blake. With T-shirt and buttons and-" "I could make a website," Lucian offered. "No!" My voice pitched with panic. "No teams. No shirts. No-" "I'll get you some headshots," Blake said, turning his profile towards Luna and Lucian. "I've been told the left is my best side. What do you think?" "Aurora's right," Ayden said. "This is buts. Blake you can follow us-" "Dude, you know no one would pick Team Ayden. You're just jealous." "That's not true. My team would be way bigger than yours." "Dare to dream, little man, dare to dream." "Care to make a wager on it?" "Absolutely." "Fine. How about-" "You two shut up!" I shoved myself out of the car.
A. Kirk (Demons at Deadnight (Divinicus Nex Chronicles, #1))
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))
Did I ever tell you about the man who taught his asshole to talk? His whole abdomen would move up and down, you dig, farting out the words. It was unlike anything I ever heard. Bubbly, thick, stagnant sound. A sound you could smell. This man worked for the carnival,you dig? And to start with it was like a novelty ventriloquist act. After a while, the ass started talking on its own. He would go in without anything prepared... and his ass would ad-lib and toss the gags back at him every time. Then it developed sort of teethlike... little raspy incurving hooks and started eating. He thought this was cute at first and built an act around it... but the asshole would eat its way through his pants and start talking on the street... shouting out it wanted equal rights. It would get drunk, too, and have crying jags. Nobody loved it. And it wanted to be kissed, same as any other mouth. Finally, it talked all the time, day and night. You could hear him for blocks, screaming at it to shut up... beating at it with his fists... and sticking candles up it, but... nothing did any good, and the asshole said to him... "It is you who will shut up in the end, not me... "because we don't need you around here anymore. I can talk and eat and shit." After that, he began waking up in the morning with transparentjelly... like a tadpole's tail all over his mouth. He would tear it off his mouth and the pieces would stick to his hands... like burning gasoline jelly and grow there. So, finally, his mouth sealed over... and the whole head... would have amputated spontaneously except for the eyes, you dig? That's the one thing that the asshole couldn't do was see. It needed the eyes. Nerve connections were blocked... and infiltrated and atrophied. So, the brain couldn't give orders anymore. It was trapped inside the skull... sealed off. For a while, you could see... the silent, helpless suffering of the brain behind the eyes. And then finally the brain must have died... because the eyes went out... and there was no more feeling in them than a crab's eye at the end of a stalk.
William S. Burroughs (Naked Lunch)
Thank you, Mr. Secretary General, UNICEF Executive Director, Excellencies and distinguished guests from across the world. My name is Kim Nam Jun, also known as RM, the leader of the group BTS. It’s an incredible honour to be invited to an occasion with such significance for today’s young generation. Last November, BTS launched the “Love Myself” campaign with UNICEF, building on our belief that “true love first begins with loving myself.” We have been partnering with UNICEF’s #ENDviolence program to protect children and young people all over the world from violence. Our fans have become a major part of this campaign with their action and enthusiasm. We truly have the best fans in the world! I would like to begin by talking about myself. I was born in Ilsan, a city near Seoul, South Korea. It’s a beautiful place, with a lake, hills, and even an annual flower festival. I spent a happy childhood there, and I was just an ordinary boy. I would look up at the night sky in wonder and dream the dreams of a boy. I used to imagine that I was a superhero, saving the world. In an intro to one of our early albums, there is a line that says, “My heart stopped…I was maybe nine or ten.” Looking back, that’s when I began to worry about what other people thought of me and started seeing myself through their eyes. I stopped looking up at the stars at night. I stopped daydreaming. I tried to jam myself into moulds that other people made. Soon, I began to shut out my own voice and started to listen to the voices of others. No one called out my name, and neither did I. My heart stopped and my eyes closed shut. So, like this, I, we, all lost our names. We became like ghosts. I had one sanctuary, and that was music. There was a small voice in me that said, ‘Wake up, man, and listen to yourself!” But it took me a long time to hear music calling my name. Even after making the decision to join BTS, there were hurdles. Most people thought we were hopeless. Sometimes, I just wanted to quit. I think I was very lucky that I didn’t give it all up. I’m sure that I, and we, will keep stumbling and falling. We have become artists performing in huge stadiums and selling millions of albums. But I am still an ordinary, twenty-four-year-old guy. If there’s anything that I’ve achieved, it was only possible because I had my other BTS members by my side, and because of the love and support of our ARMY fans. Maybe I made a mistake yesterday, but yesterday’s me is still me. I am who I am today, with all my faults. Tomorrow I might be a tiny bit wiser, and that’s me, too. These faults and mistakes are what I am, making up the brightest stars in the constellation of my life. I have come to love myself for who I was, who I am, and who I hope to become. I would like to say one last thing. After releasing the “Love Yourself” albums and launching the “Love Myself” campaign, we started to hear remarkable stories from our fans all over the world, how our message helped them overcome their hardships in life and start loving themselves. These stories constantly remind us of our responsibility. So, let’s all take one more step. We have learned to love ourselves, so now I urge you to "speak yourself". I would like to ask all of you. What is your name? What excites you and makes your heart beat? Tell me your story. I want to hear your voice, and I want to hear your conviction. No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin colour, gender identity: speak yourself. Find your name, find your voice by speaking yourself. I’m Kim Nam Jun, RM of BTS. I’m a hip-hop idol and an artist from a small town in Korea. Like most people, I made many mistakes in my life. I have many faults and I have many fears, but I am going to embrace myself as hard as I can, and I’m starting to love myself, little by little. What is your name? Speak Yourself!
Kim Namjoon
Suddenly gator was framed in the doorway, grinning at them, his black unruly hair tumbling into his face and his piercing blue eyes bright with laughter. "Oh, I see you are most friendly with each other. And Lily was so worried." He turned his head. "Ian Tucker, come look at this. Our man has found himself a little kitty cat." "Shut up, Gator, or I'm going to shoot you." Nicholas put the gun away and looked down at dahlia. She had the covers pulled up to her chin. Here eyes were enormous and getting bigger by the moment as more Ghost Walkers crowded into the doorway to gape at the sight of Nicholas, the loner, in bed with Dahlia. "And you said he didn't know what to do with a woman," Tucker Addison accused the tallest of the group, Ian McGillicuddy. "I stand corrected." Ian gave Nicholas a small salute. Dahlia made a small distressed squeak. Nicholas picked up the gun. "I'm going to start shooting if the lot of you don't get out and close the door." "What a poor sport," Gator groused. "And this is my house.
Christine Feehan (Mind Game (GhostWalkers, #2))
A man steps out. Strong. Brilliant. Controlled. Predator. Unbreakable. He's everything I admire plus things I can't even put into words. I crush on Jericho Barrons violently. My brain almost shuts down every time I see him and that's a lot of gray matter to stupefy. Used to be, if I couldn't fall asleep I'd fantasize all kinds of ways I'd impress Barrons by killing monsters or saying something really smart or saving the world, and he'd see me as a grown up woman and I'd glow just from the look on his face. But then Ryodan began popping into my fantasies like he had some kind of business being there, and he'd look all, well...like...Ryodan and he'd laugh and do that husky groan thing he did on level four, so I terminated that happy little exercise in somnolence. Now I count sheep. Lately even those buggers look like Ryodan with clear, cold eyes and some weird kind of hypnotic hold on me. Fecker. I'm beginning to think I'm going to have to figure out a way to kill him, permanent-like just to get him out of my head.
Karen Marie Moning (Burned (Fever, #7))
He that will not set himself proudly at the top of all things, but will consider the immensity of this fabric, and the great variety that is to be found in this little and inconsiderable part of it which he has to do with, may be apt to think that, in other mansions of it, there may be other and different intelligent beings, of whose faculties he has as little knowledge or apprehension as a worm shut up in one drawer of a cabinet hath of the senses or understanding of a man; such variety and excellency being suitable to the wisdom and power of the Maker. -- 1690
John Locke (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding)
[excerpt] The usual I say. Essence. Spirit. Medicine. A taste. I say top shelf. Straight up. A shot. A sip. A nip. I say another round. I say brace yourself. Lift a few. Hoist a few. Work the elbow. Bottoms up. Belly up. Set ‘em up. What’ll it be. Name your poison. I say same again. I say all around. I say my good man. I say my drinking buddy. I say git that in ya. Then a quick one. Then a nightcap. Then throw one back. Then knock one down. Fast & furious I say. Could savage a drink I say. Chug. Chug-a-lug. Gulp. Sauce. Mother’s milk. Everclear. Moonshine. White lightning. Firewater. Hootch. Relief. Now you’re talking I say. Live a little I say. Drain it I say. Kill it I say. Feeling it I say. Wobbly. Breakfast of champions I say. I say candy is dandy but liquor is quicker. I say Houston, we have a drinking problem. I say the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. I say god only knows what I’d be without you. I say thirsty. I say parched. I say wet my whistle. Dying of thirst. Lap it up. Hook me up. Watering hole. Knock a few back. Pound a few down. My office. Out with the boys I say. Unwind I say. Nurse one I say. Apply myself I say. Toasted. Glow. A cold one a tall one a frosty I say. One for the road I say. Two-fisted I say. Never trust a man who doesn’t drink I say. Drink any man under the table I say. Then a binge then a spree then a jag then a bout. Coming home on all fours. Could use a drink I say. A shot of confidence I say. Steady my nerves I say. Drown my sorrows. I say kill for a drink. I say keep ‘em comin’. I say a stiff one. Drink deep drink hard hit the bottle. Two sheets to the wind then. Knackered then. Under the influence then. Half in the bag then. Out of my skull I say. Liquored up. Rip-roaring. Slammed. Fucking jacked. The booze talking. The room spinning. Feeling no pain. Buzzed. Giddy. Silly. Impaired. Intoxicated. Stewed. Juiced. Plotzed. Inebriated. Laminated. Swimming. Elated. Exalted. Debauched. Rock on. Drunk on. Bring it on. Pissed. Then bleary. Then bloodshot. Glassy-eyed. Red-nosed. Dizzy then. Groggy. On a bender I say. On a spree. I say off the wagon. I say on a slip. I say the drink. I say the bottle. I say drinkie-poo. A drink a drunk a drunkard. Swill. Swig. Shitfaced. Fucked up. Stupefied. Incapacitated. Raging. Seeing double. Shitty. Take the edge off I say. That’s better I say. Loaded I say. Wasted. Off my ass. Befuddled. Reeling. Tanked. Punch-drunk. Mean drunk. Maintenance drunk. Sloppy drunk happy drunk weepy drunk blind drunk dead drunk. Serious drinker. Hard drinker. Lush. Drink like a fish. Boozer. Booze hound. Alkie. Sponge. Then muddled. Then woozy. Then clouded. What day is it? Do you know me? Have you seen me? When did I start? Did I ever stop? Slurring. Reeling. Staggering. Overserved they say. Drunk as a skunk they say. Falling down drunk. Crawling down drunk. Drunk & disorderly. I say high tolerance. I say high capacity. They say protective custody. Blitzed. Shattered. Zonked. Annihilated. Blotto. Smashed. Soaked. Screwed. Pickled. Bombed. Stiff. Frazzled. Blasted. Plastered. Hammered. Tore up. Ripped up. Destroyed. Whittled. Plowed. Overcome. Overtaken. Comatose. Dead to the world. The old K.O. The horrors I say. The heebie-jeebies I say. The beast I say. The dt’s. B’jesus & pink elephants. A mindbender. Hittin’ it kinda hard they say. Go easy they say. Last call they say. Quitting time they say. They say shut off. They say dry out. Pass out. Lights out. Blackout. The bottom. The walking wounded. Cross-eyed & painless. Gone to the world. Gone. Gonzo. Wrecked. Sleep it off. Wake up on the floor. End up in the gutter. Off the stuff. Dry. Dry heaves. Gag. White knuckle. Lightweight I say. Hair of the dog I say. Eye-opener I say. A drop I say. A slug. A taste. A swallow. Down the hatch I say. I wouldn’t say no I say. I say whatever he’s having. I say next one’s on me. I say bottoms up. Put it on my tab. I say one more. I say same again
Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City)
With a deliberate shrug, he stepped free of the hold on his shoulder. “Tell me something, boys,” he drawled. “Do you wear that leather to turn each other on? I mean, is it a dick thing with you all?” Butch got slammed so hard against the door that his back teeth rattled. The model shoved his perfect face into Butch’s. “I’d watch your mouth, if I were you.” “Why bother, when you’re keeping an eye on it for me? You gonna kiss me now?” A growl like none Butch had ever heard came out of the guy. “Okay, okay.” The one who seemed the most normal came forward. “Back off, Rhage. Hey, come on. Let’s relax.” It took a minute before the model let go. “That’s right. We’re cool,” Mr. Normal muttered, clapping his buddy on the back before looking at Butch. “Do yourself a favor and shut the hell up.” Butch shrugged. “Blondie’s dying to get his hands on me. I can’t help it.” The guy launched back at Butch, and Mr. Normal rolled his eyes, letting his friend go this time. The fist that came sailing at jaw level snapped Butch’s head to one side. As the pain hit, Butch let his own rage fly. The fear for Beth, the pent-up hatred of these lowlifes, the frustration about his job, all of it came out of him. He tackled the bigger man, taking him down onto the floor. The guy was momentarily surprised, as if he hadn’t expected Butch’s speed or strength, and Butch took advantage of the hesitation. He clocked Blondie in the mouth as payback and then grabbed the guy’s throat. One second later, Butch was flat on his back with the man sitting on his chest like a parked car. The guy took Butch’s face into his hand and squeezed, crunching the features together. It was nearly impossible to breathe, and Butch panted shallowly. “Maybe I’ll find your wife,” the guy said, “and do her a couple of times. How’s that sound?" “Don’t have one.” “Then I’m coming after your girlfriend.” Butch dragged in some air. “Got no woman.” “So if the chicks won’t do you, what makes you think I’d want to?” “Was hoping to piss you off.” “Now why’d you want to do that?” Blondie asked. “If I attacked first”—Butch hauled more breath into his lungs—“your boys wouldn’t have let us fight. Would’ve killed me first. Before I had a chance at you.” Blondie loosened his grip a little and laughed as he stripped Butch of his wallet, keys, and cell phone. “You know, I kind of like this big dummy,” the guy drawled. Someone cleared a throat. Rather officiously. Blondie leaped to his feet, and Butch rolled over, gasping. When he looked up, he was convinced he was hallucinating. Standing in the hall was a little old man dressed in livery. Holding a silver tray. “Pardon me, gentlemen. Dinner will be served in about fifteen minutes.” “Hey, are those the spinach crepes I like so much?” Blondie said, going for the tray. “Yes, Sire.” “Hot damn.” The other men clustered around the butler, taking what he offered. Along with cocktail napkins. Like they didn’t want to drop anything on the floor. What the hell was this? “Might I ask a favor?” the butler said. Mr. Normal nodded with vigor. “Bring out another tray of these and we’ll kill anything you want for you.” Yeah, guess the guy wasn’t really normal. Just relatively so. The butler smiled as if touched. “If you’re going to bloody the human, would you be good enough to do it in the backyard?” “No problem.” Mr. Normal popped another crepe in his mouth. “Damn, Rhage, you’re right. These are awesome.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
Look. I know why you gave me that speech earlier today. I know you have an obligation to protect your vampires. But irrespective of the way that I was made, I have done everything that you’ve asked of me. I’ve taken training, I gave up my dissertation, I moved into the House, I got you in to see my father, I got you into the Breckenridge house, and I’ve dated the man you asked me to.” I pointed at the house behind us. “And even though I was supposed to get a few hours free from the drama of Cadogan House tonight with said man, I followed you here because you requested it. At some point, Ethan, you might consider giving me a little credit.” I didn’t wait for him to answer, but turned on my heel and went to the car. I opened the back door, climbed inside, and slammed it shut behind me. Catcher caught my gaze in the rearview mirror. “Feel better?” “Is he still standing there with that dumbstruck expression on his face?” There was a pause while he checked, then a chuckle. “Yes, he is.” “Then, yes, I feel better.
Chloe Neill (Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires, #2))
She was fifteen years old, going on thirty-five, Doc, and she told me she was eighteen, she was very willing, I practically had to take to sewing my pants shut. Between you and me, uh, she might have been fifteen, but when you get that little red beaver right up there in front of you, I don't think it's crazy at all and I don't think you do either. No man alive could resist that, and that's why I got into jail to begin with. And now they're telling me I'm crazy over here because I don't sit there like a goddamn vegetable. Don't make a bit of sense to me. If that's what being crazy is, then I'm senseless, out of it, gone-down-the-road, wacko. But no more, no less, that's it.
Ken Kesey (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)
When Magnus looked at Imasu, he saw Imasu had dropped his head into his hands. "Er," Magnus said. "Are you quite all right?" "I was simply overcome," Imasu said in a faint voice. Magnus preened slightly. "Ah. Well." "By how awful that was," Imasu said. Magnus blinked. "Pardon?" "I can't live a lie any longer!" Imasu burst out. "I have tried to be encouraging. Dignitaries of the town have been sent to me, asking me to plead with you to stop. My own sainted mother begged me, with tears in her eyes - " "It isn't as bad as all that - " "Yes, it is!" It was like a dam of musical critique had broken. Imasu turned on him with eyes that flashed instead of shining. "It is worse than you can possibly imagine! When you play, all of my mother's flowers lose the will to live and expire on the instant. The quinoa has no flavor now. The llamas are migrating because of your music, and llamas are not a migratory animal. The children now believe there is a sickly monster, half horse and half large mournful chicken, that lives in the lake and calls out to the world to grant it the sweet release of death. The townspeople believe that you and I are performing arcane magic rituals - " "Well, that one was rather a good guess," Magnus remarked. " - using the skull of an elephant, an improbably large mushroom, and one of your very peculiar hats!" "Or not," said Magnus. "Furthermore, my hats are extraordinary." "I will not argue with that." Imasu scrubbed a hand through his thick black hair, which curled and clung to his fingers like inky vines. "Look, I know that I was wrong. I saw a handsome man, thought that it would not hurt to talk a little about music and strike up a common interest, but I don't deserve this. You are going to get stoned in the town square, and if I have to listen to you play again, I will drown myself in the lake." "Oh," said Magnus, and he began to grin. "I wouldn't. I hear there is a dreadful monster living in that lake." Imasu seemed to still be brooding about Magnus's charango playing, a subject that Magnus had lost all interest in. "I believe the world will end with a noise like the noise you make!" "Interesting," said Magnus, and he threw his charango out the window. "Magnus!" "I believe that music and I have gone as far as we can go together," Magnus said. "A true artiste knows when to surrender." "I can't believe you did that!" Magnus waved a hand airily. "I know, it is heartbreaking, but sometimes one must shut one's ears to the pleas of the muse." "I just meant that those are expensive and I heard a crunch.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
A dozen men are shut up together in a little bark upon the wide, wide sea, and for months and months see no forms and hear no voices but their own, and one is taken suddenly from among them, and they miss him at every turn. It is like losing a limb. There are no new faces or new scenes to fill up the gap. There is always an empty berth in the forecastle, and one man wanting when the small night-watch is mustered. There is one less to take the wheel, and one less to lay out with you upon the yard. You miss his form, and the sound of his voice, for habit had made them almost necessary to you, and each of your senses feels the loss.
Richard Henry Dana Jr. (Two Years Before the Mast: A Sailor's Life at Sea)
Then there was organ music, a sort of feverish dirge, and then I was stepping out of my shorts and into the shower with Chenault. I remember the feel of those soapy little hands washing my back, keeping my eyes tightly shut while my soul fought a hopeless battle with my groin, then giving up like a drowning man and soaking the bed with our bodies.
Hunter S. Thompson (The Rum Diary)
My Chocolate Mudslide is going down smooth when we hear the three bells. Bing. Bing. Bing. But instead of Dan Dan the Party Man, it’s a woman’s voice and she’s breathing heavily. She sounds Filipina, if that’s even a thing. “Bravo… Bravo… Bravo,” she pants. “Main engine. Starboard side. Bravo… Bravo… Bravo.” We hear the speaker shut off. People look around a little nervously. The dancer warming up on stage makes a beeline for backstage. Within seconds the three bells are back. Oh, thank God, it’s our Greek captain. “Laydis and gentlemen, thissis your captain spicking. Pliss proceed to your muster stations.” This is not what I wanted him to say. We get up and make our way painfully slowly through the completely full theater. Everyone is quiet. Which is the wooooooorst. It’s scary when a group of people all know instinctively not to joke around. Another voice comes over the PA, repeating, “Please, remain calm. Please proceed to your muster stations.” The German half of me is thinking, “Shove the old people out of the way. Shove the old and the infirm! If they are strong enough to resist you, they deserve to live.” The Greek half of me wants to scream at our Greek captain. I do neither and proceed obediently.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
Every time I glanced at Ren, I saw that he was watching me. When we finally reached the end of the tunnel and saw the stone steps that led to the surface, Ren stopped. “Kelsey, I have one final request of you before we head up.” “And what would that be? Want to talk about tiger senses or monkey bites in strange places maybe?” “No. I want you to kiss me.” I sputtered, “What? Kiss you? What for? Don’t you think you got to kiss me enough on this trip?” “Humor me, Kells. This is the end of the line for me. We’re leaving the place where I get to be a man all the time, and I have only my tiger’s life to look forward to. So, yes, I want you to kiss me one more time.” I hesitated. “Well, if this works, you can go around kissing all the girls you want to. So why bother with me right now?” He ran a hand through his hair in frustration. “Because! I don’t want to run around kissing all the other girls! I want to kiss you!” “Fine! If it will shut you up!” I leaned over and pecked him on the cheek. “There!” “No. Not good enough. On the lips, my prema.” I leaned over and pecked him on the lips. “There. Can we go now?” I marched up the first two steps, and he slipped his hand under my elbow and spun me around, twisting me so that I fell forward into his arms. He caught me tightly around the waist. His smirk suddenly turned into a sober expression. “A kiss. A real one. One that I’ll remember.” I was about to say something brilliantly sarcastic, probably about him not having permission, when he captured my mouth with his. I was determined to remain stiff and unaffected, but he was extremely patient. He nibbled on the corners of my mouth and pressed soft, slow kisses against my unyielding lips. It was so hard not to respond to him. I made a valiant struggle, but sometimes the body betrays the mind. He slowly, methodically swept aside my resistance. And, feeling he was winning, he pressed ahead and began seducing me even more skillfully. He held me tightly against his body and ran a hand up to my neck where he began to massage it gently, teasing my flesh with his fingertips. I felt the little love plant inside me stretch, swell, and unfurl its leaves, like he was pouring Love Potion # 9 over the thing. I gave up at that point and decided what the heck. I could always use a rototiller on it. And I rationalized that when he breaks my heart, at least I will have been thoroughly kissed. If nothing else, I’ll have a really good memory to look back on in my multi-cat spinsterhood. Or multi-dog. I think I will have had my fill of cats. I groaned softly. Yep. Dogs for sure.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
To me, a world which thinks of itself in terms of puny, squalid, bickering little nations and not as one glorious field for the crusade of mankind is a world in which to succeed is the highest indignity that ca befall a good man, it is a world in which geed men are shut up like gods in a lavatory.
Michael Arlen (The Green Hat)
I don’t want all these germs all over my kid. “What’s her name?” the woman asks. “Jamie.” I stare steadily at the crosswalk signal, willing the little green man to pop up before the chick starts flirting. “And what’s her daddy’s name?” Too late. “Tucker, but my wife calls me Tuck.” That shuts her up fast. Normally I’m not this rude during these random street pick-ups, but I really don’t like the way she touched my child without permission. Fuck that.
Elle Kennedy (The Goal (Off-Campus, #4))
Listen to me, you little idiot," Sin hissed, leaning forward until his nose nearly touched hers. "You and your friends nearly got me killed, and someone else is in danger because of you oblivious, drug addicted morons bringing us to the attention of a bunch of fanatic psychopaths. So tell me what you know or I will rip your fucking jugular open with my teeth." "There's my boy," Emilio said proudly, grinning. "Shut the fuck up," Sin didn't even look at the other man.
Santino Hassell (Fade (In the Company of Shadows, #4))
After tea, when the door was shut and all was made snug (the nights being cold and misty now), it seemed to me the most delicious retreat that the imagination of man could conceive. To hear the wind getting up out at sea, to know that the fog was creeping over the desolate flat outside, and to look at the fire, and think that there was no house near but this one, and this one a boat, was like enchantment. Little Em'ly had overcome her shyness, and was sitting by my side upon the lowest and least of the lockers, which was just large enough for us two, and just fitted into the chimney corner.
Charles Dickens (David Copperfield)
Pessimism is a towering skyscraper eighty stories high in the suburbs of the soul at the end of a long avenue with waste ground on either side and a few poorly-stocked little shops. Several ultra-fast staircases give access to the building, running up from the cellars to the roof-gardens. The comfort of this place leaves nothing to be desired and only the greatest luxury is acceptable, but every Friday the residents gather on the ground floor to read from a bible bound in the skin of a blind man. The psalmic words they intone rise up through the pipes, sigh in the stoves and sweep the chimneys coated inside with black grease which leaves dirt on the skin. Water runs constantly in the bathrooms and the showers beat down on the numbered bodies, peppering them with sand. On Sundays the bed linen unrolls by itself and nobody makes love. For this tower block, like an obscure phallus scraping the vulva of the sky, is usually a hive of sexual activity. The most beautiful woman lives there, but no-one has ever known her. It is said, that dressed in furs and feathers, she keeps herself shut away in a first-floor apartment as if in a white safe. Her windows are scissors which cut short both shadow and breath. Her name is AURORA.
Michel Leiris (Aurora)
I knew a young fellow once, who was studying to play the bagpipes, and you would be surprised at the amount of opposition he had to contend with. Why, not even from the members of his own family did he receive what you could call active encouragement. His father was dead against the business from the beginning, and spoke quite unfeelingly on the subject. My friend used to get up early in the morning to practise, but he had to give that plan up, because of his sister. She was somewhat religiously inclined, and she said it seemed such an awful thing to begin the day like that. So he sat up at night instead, and played after the family had gone to bed, but that did not do, as it got the house such a bad name. People, going home late, would stop outside to listen, and then put it about all over the town, the next morning, that a fearful murder had been committed at Mr. Jefferson's the night before; and would describe how they had heard the victim's shrieks and the brutal oaths and curses of the murderer, followed by the prayer for mercy, and the last dying gurgle of the corpse. So they let him practise in the day-time, in the back-kitchen with all the doors shut; but his more successful passages could generally be heard in the sitting-room, in spite of these precautions, and would affect his mother almost to tears. She said it put her in mind of her poor father (he had been swallowed by a shark, poor man, while bathing off the coast of New Guinea - where the connection came in, she could not explain). Then they knocked up a little place for him at the bottom of the garden, about quarter of a mile from the house, and made him take the machine down there when he wanted to work it; and sometimes a visitor would come to the house who knew nothing of the matter, and they would forget to tell him all about it, and caution him, and he would go out for a stroll round the garden and suddenly get within earshot of those bagpipes, without being prepared for it, or knowing what it was. If he were a man of strong mind, it only gave him fits; but a person of mere average intellect it usually sent mad.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (Three Men, #1))
You are well off, you are alone, Hasse had said. All very well—the man who is alone cannot be forsaken. But sometimes, at night, the whole artificial structure collapses, life turns into a sobbing insistent melody; out of the senseless grinding of the everlasting barrel organ, rises up a whirlwind of wild desires, cravings, melancholy, hope, without direction seeking an object. Ach, this pitiful need for a little bit of warmth—couldn’t it be two hands then and a face bowed near? Or was that too only deception, surrender, and flight? Was there nothing then, but to be alone? I shut the window. No, there was nothing. For anything more, there was too little solid ground under one’s feet.
Erich Maria Remarque (Three Comrades)
Doc awakened very slowly and clumsily like a fat man getting out of a swimming pool. His mind broke the surface and fell back several times. There was red lipstick on his beard. He opened one eye, saw the brilliant colors of the quilt and closed his eye quickly. But after a while he looked again. His eye went past the quilt to the floor, to the broken plate in the corner, to the glasses standing on the table turned over on the floor, to the spilled wine and the books like heavy fallen butterflies. There were little bits of curled red paper all over the place and the sharp smell of firecrackers. He could see through the kitchen door to the steak plates stacked high and the skillets deep in grease. Hundreds of cigarette butts were stamped out on the floor. And under the firecracker smell was a fine combination of wine and whiskey perfume. His eye stopped for a moment on a little pile of hairpins in the middle of the floor. He rolled over slowly and supporting himself on one elbow he looked out the broken window. Cannery Row was quiet and sunny. The boiler was open. The door of the Palace Flophouse was closed. A man slept peacefully among the weeds in the vacant lot. The Bear Flag was shut up tight.
John Steinbeck
What a skeletal wreck of man this is. Translucent flesh and feeble bones, the kind of temple where the whores and villains try to tempt the holistic domes. Running rampid with free thought to free form, and the free and clear. When the matters at hand are shelled out like lint at a laundry mat to sift and focus on the bigger, better, now. We all have a little sin that needs venting, virtues for the rending and laws and systems and stems are ripped from the branches of office, do you know where your post entails? Do you serve a purpose, or purposely serve? When in doubt inside your atavistic allure, the value of a summer spent, and a winter earned. For the rest of us, there is always Sunday. The day of the week the reeks of rest, but all we do is catch our breath, so we can wade naked in the bloody pool, and place our hand on the big, black book. To watch the knives zigzag between our aching fingers. A vacation is a countdown, T minus your life and counting, time to drag your tongue across the sugar cube, and hope you get a taste. WHAT THE FUCK IS ALL THIS FOR? WHAT THE HELL’S GOING ON? SHUT UP! I can go on and on but lets move on, shall we? Say, your me, and I’m you, and they all watch the things we do, and like a smack of spite they threw me down the stairs, haven’t felt like this in years. The great magnet of malicious magnanimous refuse, let me go, and punch me into the dead spout again. That’s where you go when there’s no one else around, it’s just you, and there was never anyone to begin with, now was there? Sanctimonious pretentious dastardly bastards with their thumb on the pulse, and a finger on the trigger. CLASSIFIED MY ASS! THAT’S A FUCKING SECRET, AND YOU KNOW IT! Government is another way to say better…than…you. It’s like ice but no pick, a murder charge that won’t stick, it’s like a whole other world where you can smell the food, but you can’t touch the silverware. Huh, what luck. Fascism you can vote for. Humph, isn’t that sweet? And we’re all gonna die some day, because that’s the American way, and I’ve drunk too much, and said too little, when your gaffer taped in the middle, say a prayer, say a face, get your self together and see what’s happening. SHUT UP! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! I’m sorry, I could go on and on but their times to move on so, remember: you’re a wreck, an accident. Forget the freak, your just nature. Keep the gun oiled, and the temple cleaned shit snort, and blaspheme, let the heads cool, and the engine run. Because in the end, everything we do, is just everything we’ve done.
Stone Sour (Stonesour)
We had had many joggers in prison. I found them smug. About the young man and his radio. I decided that he had bought the thing as a prosthetic devices, as an artificial enthusiasm for the planet. He paid as little attention to it as I paid to my false front tooth. I have since seen several young men like that in groups - with their radios tuned to different stations, with the radios engaged in a spirited conversation. The young men themselves, perhaps having been told nothing but "shut up" all their lives, had nothing to say.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Jailbird)
Stop that." Mortified, she reached out to slam the door shut. "Somebody could come in." "Then stop squirming," he suggested, and gently peeled back the bandage. He nodded in approval. "You did a decent job." Even as she hissed at him, he lowered his head and touched his lips to the cut. "All better," he said with a grin just as the door opened. Peabody gaped, flushed, then stammered out, "Excuse me." "Just leaving," Roarke said, patting the bandage back in place while Eve ground her teeth. "How did you come through this morning's excitement, Peabody?" "Okay, it was... well, actually." She cleared her throat and shot him a hopeful glance. "I got this little nick right here." She rubbed her finger at her jawline, heart fluttering pleasantly when he smiled at her. "So you do." He stepped to her, angled his head, and touched his lips to the tiny cut. "Take care of yourself." "Man, man, oh man," was the best she could manage when he'd left. "He's got such a great mouth. How do you stop yourself from just biting it?" "Wipe the drool off your chin, for Christ's sake. And sit down. We've got a report to write for the commander." "I almost got blown up and got kissed by Roarke all in the same morning. I'm writing it on my calendar." "Settle down." "Yes, sir." She took out her log and got to work. But with a smile on her face.
J.D. Robb (Loyalty in Death (In Death, #9))
I think," Paul said delicately, "she might be a little… concerned about your current choice of boyfriends." Which one? Chloe almost asked. "Alyec? What the fuck, man? I wasn't pissed or rude to her face about Ottavio or that loser Steve who brought fucking ecstasy into my mom's house and tried to sell it at my Halloween party." Paul nodded again, getting quieter as she got louder. He did not disagree. "Alyec is completely hot, doesn't take himself seriously, and doesn't deal drugs. Look, whatever," Chloe said, calming down. She could feel her fingertips beginning to itch again. "I think she's acting like a real bitch about everything, and frankly, I don't have time to deal with her shit right now. If she's not going to be around to lend an ear, at least she can keep her distance and shut the fuck up.
Celia Thomson (The Fallen (The Nine Lives of Chloe King #1))
He was no woman’s idea of a romantic hero.  He was Mr. Darcy only if Mr. Darcy got loaded at the ball at Netherfield, started a fight with Bingley because the man was a fucking pussy, kicked Mr. Collins in the balls just to get him to shut the hell up, and then hit on Lizzy’s sexy little ass like a motherfucker.
Elizabeth Gannon (The Guy Your Friends Warned You About (Consortium of Chaos))
God's forgot that ever I lived... He's forgot...and He never cared, nohow...." He smoothed her brown, rough-palmed hand; he held her hands to keep her from jerking herself away from his admonishing: "Oh, 'tis not true, the words yere a-sayin', Cean Smith; and well ye know it. Never does He forget a child o' His'n. 'Tis His children that forget that He is rememberin'. Get on yere knees and climb on them up to the shelter o' His arms. Knock on His ears with yere prayers. Creep into His arms, Cean Smith, and lay yere head on His bosom, and He'll hold ye closer than inny man ye ever love can ever hold ye. He'll lay His hand on yere head and ye'll stop yere restless fightin' against His will. He'll shut yere pitiful little mouth from complainin' against Him. Ye'll hush and be comforted...." She dared him to prove his saying: "Then pray fer Him to do them things fer me!" He prayed; and when he had finished, Cean's will was as water to God's will, and Cean's tears were softening and healing to her heart.
Caroline Miller (Lamb in His Bosom)
You seem disappointed that I am not more responsive to your interest in "spiritual direction". Actually, I am more than a little ambivalent about the term, particularly in the ways it is being used so loosely without any sense of knowledge of the church's traditions in these matters. If by spiritual direction you mean entering into a friendship with another person in which an awareness and responsiveness to God's Spirit in the everydayness of your life is cultivated, fine. Then why call in an awkward term like "spiritual direction"? Why not just "friend"? Spiritual direction strikes me as pretentious in these circumstances, as if there were some expertise that can be acquired more or less on its own and then dispensed on demand. The other reason for my lack of enthusiasm is my well-founded fear of professionalism in any and all matters of the Christian life. Or maybe the right label for my fear is "functionalism". The moment an aspect of Christian living (human life, for that matter) is defined as a role, it is distorted, debased - and eventually destroyed. We are brothers and sisters with one another, friends and lovers, saints and sinners. The irony here is that the rise of interest in spiritual direction almost certainly comes from the proliferation of role-defined activism in our culture. We are sick and tired of being slotted into a function and then manipulated with Scripture and prayer to do what someone has decided (often with the help of some psychological testing) that we should be doing to bring glory to some religious enterprise or other. And so when people begin to show up who are interested in us just as we are - our souls - we are ready to be paid attention to in this prayerful, listening, non-manipulative, nonfunctional way. Spiritual direction. But then it begins to develop a culture and language and hierarchy all its own. It becomes first a special interest, and then a specialization. That is what seems to be happening in the circles you are frequenting. I seriously doubt that it is a healthy (holy) line to be pursuing. Instead, why don't you look over the congregation on Sundays and pick someone who appears to be mature and congenial. Ask her or him if you can meet together every month or so - you feel the need to talk about your life in the company of someone who believes that Jesus is present and active in everything you are doing. Reassure the person that he or she doesn't have to say anything "wise". You only want them to be there for you to listen and be prayerful in the listening. After three or four such meetings, write to me what has transpired, and we'll discuss it further. I've had a number of men and women who have served me in this way over the years - none carried the title "spiritual director", although that is what they have been. Some had never heard of such a term. When I moved to Canada a few years ago and had to leave a long-term relationship of this sort, I looked around for someone whom I could be with in this way. I picked a man whom I knew to be a person of integrity and prayer, with seasoned Christian wisdom in his bones. I anticipated that he would disqualify himself. So I pre-composed my rebuttal: "All I want you to do is two things: show up and shut up. Can you do that? Meet with me every six weeks or so, and just be there - an honest, prayerful presence with no responsibility to be anything other than what you have become in your obedient lifetime." And it worked. If that is what you mean by "spiritual director," okay. But I still prefer "friend". You can see now from my comments that my gut feeling is that the most mature and reliable Christian guidance and understanding comes out of the most immediate and local of settings. The ordinary way. We have to break this cultural habit of sending out for an expert every time we feel we need some assistance. Wisdom is not a matter of expertise. The peace of the Lord, Eugene
Eugene H. Peterson (The Wisdom of Each Other (Growing Deeper))
One stood behind me and ran her hands down my chest, her breasts rubbing against my back. The next stood in front of me holding onto my shirt and pulling me close to her as she ground into me seductively. The third danced slowly and seductively with the second girl, giving the girl-on-girl effect. I knew I was going to burst at any moment, so I had to close my eyes and take repeated deep breaths to calm down. "What’s the matter Aid-man, you feeling a little frustrated?" Dixon boasted from under his lap dancer. "Shut up Dixon." Though I didn’t really want him to shut up, his teasing was distracting me pretty well. "I’m going to kill you for this." "Oh no little man!" He laughed loudly. "Thank your future wife! That one is on her!" he howled.
Sadie Grubor
One stood behind me and ran her hands down my chest, her breasts rubbing against my back. The next stood in front of me holding onto my shirt and pulling me close to her as she ground into me seductively. The third danced slowly and seductively with the second girl, giving the girl-on-girl effect. I knew I was going to burst at any moment, so I had to close my eyes and take repeated deep breaths to calm down. "What’s the matter Aid-man, you feeling a little frustrated?" Dixon boasted from under his lap dancer. "Shut up Dixon." Though I didn’t really want him to shut up, his teasing was distracting me pretty well. "I’m going to kill you for this." "Oh no, little man!" He laughed loudly. "Thank your future wife! That one is on her!" he howled
Sadie Grubor (Save the Date (Modern Arrangements, #1))
A woman is like a universe; there are many things that even she still needs to discover about herself. Men on the other hand are miners, which means they are in a better position to uncover, perceive and appreciate things about women that they themselves have not yet come to the full realization of. Men know more about women than they can tell (it's for their own safety that they keep their mouths shut and pretend like they don't know anything, lest they get slammed for claming to know anything at all about women in the first place). Sadly, women are losing out on a wealth of knowledge and understanding about themselves by debunking men's ideas and notions about them especially when it comes to their femininity and sensuality. I think there is a need for women to start gently and safely asking men what they 'inherently' know about their femininity. I'm not a chauvinist nor a proponent for men's rights, but I strongly believe that men hold the keys to a lot of treasure chests that most women are daily striving to open up. Perhaps you should start inviting your man to get a little bit more involved in your feminine/sensual journey. It's only a suggestion...
Lebo Grand (Sensual Lifestyle)
I squeezed through a horde of gum-snapping girls I recognized as seniors from my school. “He did not say that!” “Yes, he did! And you wouldn’t believe what she said!” Please, someone tell me I wouldn’t be that annoying if I had girlfriends. “Sure, you will be.” I whipped around and nearly got a faceful of cotton candy. I moved the purple sugar cloud to the side and glared at my mother. She wore a white, short-sleeved blouse and a patchwork skirt. “You have to stop listening in on my thoughts without my permission, Mom. It’s not cool.” She shoved a piece of cotton candy in my mouth to shut me up. “I didn’t do it on purpose, Clarity. I was strolling along listening in to the crowd.” “Pick up anything interesting?” “Actually, I did. That detective’s son can’t stop checking out your legs. He loves this little pink dress you’ve got on. So much so that he’s actually mad at himself for it.” She shook her head. I blushed. “Did you happen to pick up anything important?” “Like a man walking along thinking, ‘I killed Victoria Happel’?” “Exactly.” “No such luck. But dear, people don’t wander around thinking about their biggest secrets all the time. The killer could be standing right next to me and all I might pick up from him is how he wants to buy some barbequed chicken.” “Have you seen Billy Rawlinson or Frankie Creedon?” I asked. Distaste turned her mouth down. “No. Why are you looking for those scoundrels?” “Billy might be a witness in the case. Or a suspect.” “I’ll keep my eyes out and my mind open.” “Thanks,” I said. “Enjoy invading everyone’s privacy.
Kim Harrington (Clarity (Clarity, #1))
Telegraph Road A long time ago came a man on a track Walking thirty miles with a pack on his back And he put down his load where he thought it was the best Made a home in the wilderness He built a cabin and a winter store And he ploughed up the ground by the cold lake shore And the other travellers came riding down the track And they never went further, no, they never went back Then came the churches, then came the schools Then came the lawyers, then came the rules Then came the trains and the trucks with their loads And the dirty old track was the telegraph road Then came the mines - then came the ore Then there was the hard times, then there was a war Telegraph sang a song about the world outside Telegraph road got so deep and so wide Like a rolling river ... And my radio says tonight it's gonna freeze People driving home from the factories There's six lanes of traffic Three lanes moving slow ... I used to like to go to work but they shut it down I got a right to go to work but there's no work here to be found Yes and they say we're gonna have to pay what's owed We're gonna have to reap from some seed that's been sowed And the birds up on the wires and the telegraph poles They can always fly away from this rain and this cold You can hear them singing out their telegraph code All the way down the telegraph road You know I'd sooner forget but I remember those nights When life was just a bet on a race between the lights You had your head on my shoulder, you had your hand in my hair Now you act a little colder like you don't seem to care But believe in me baby and I'll take you away From out of this darkness and into the day From these rivers of headlights, these rivers of rain From the anger that lives on the streets with these names 'Cos I've run every red light on memory lane I've seen desperation explode into flames And I don't want to see it again ... From all of these signs saying sorry but we're closed All the way down the telegraph road
Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits - 1982-91)
New Rule: Americans must realize what makes NFL football so great: socialism. That's right, the NFL takes money from the rich teams and gives it to the poorer one...just like President Obama wants to do with his secret army of ACORN volunteers. Green Bay, Wisconsin, has a population of one hundred thousand. Yet this sleepy little town on the banks of the Fuck-if-I-know River has just as much of a chance of making it to the Super Bowl as the New York Jets--who next year need to just shut the hell up and play. Now, me personally, I haven't watched a Super Bowl since 2004, when Janet Jackson's nipple popped out during halftime. and that split-second glimpse of an unrestrained black titty burned by eyes and offended me as a Christian. But I get it--who doesn't love the spectacle of juiced-up millionaires giving one another brain damage on a giant flatscreen TV with a picture so real it feels like Ben Roethlisberger is in your living room, grabbing your sister? It's no surprise that some one hundred million Americans will watch the Super Bowl--that's forty million more than go to church on Christmas--suck on that, Jesus! It's also eighty-five million more than watched the last game of the World Series, and in that is an economic lesson for America. Because football is built on an economic model of fairness and opportunity, and baseball is built on a model where the rich almost always win and the poor usually have no chance. The World Series is like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. You have to be a rich bitch just to play. The Super Bowl is like Tila Tequila. Anyone can get in. Or to put it another way, football is more like the Democratic philosophy. Democrats don't want to eliminate capitalism or competition, but they'd like it if some kids didn't have to go to a crummy school in a rotten neighborhood while others get to go to a great school and their dad gets them into Harvard. Because when that happens, "achieving the American dream" is easy for some and just a fantasy for others. That's why the NFL literally shares the wealth--TV is their biggest source of revenue, and they put all of it in a big commie pot and split it thirty-two ways. Because they don't want anyone to fall too far behind. That's why the team that wins the Super Bowl picks last in the next draft. Or what the Republicans would call "punishing success." Baseball, on the other hand, is exactly like the Republicans, and I don't just mean it's incredibly boring. I mean their economic theory is every man for himself. The small-market Pittsburgh Steelers go to the Super Bowl more than anybody--but the Pittsburgh Pirates? Levi Johnston has sperm that will not grow and live long enough to see the Pirates in a World Series. Their payroll is $40 million; the Yankees' is $206 million. The Pirates have about as much chance as getting in the playoffs as a poor black teenager from Newark has of becoming the CEO of Halliburton. So you kind of have to laugh--the same angry white males who hate Obama because he's "redistributing wealth" just love football, a sport that succeeds economically because it does just that. To them, the NFL is as American as hot dogs, Chevrolet, apple pie, and a second, giant helping of apple pie.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
XII. If there pushed any ragged thistle-stalk Above its mates, the head was chopped, the bents Were jealous else. What made those holes and rents In the dock's harsh swarth leaves, bruised as to baulk All hope of greenness? Tis a brute must walk Pashing their life out, with a brute's intents. XIII. As for the grass, it grew as scant as hair In leprosy; thin dry blades pricked the mud Which underneath looked kneaded up with blood. One stiff blind horse, his every bone a-stare, Stood stupified, however he came there: Thrust out past service from the devil's stud! XIV. Alive? he might be dead for aught I knew, With that red gaunt and colloped neck a-strain. And shut eyes underneath the rusty mane; Seldom went such grotesqueness with such woe; I never saw a brute I hated so; He must be wicked to deserve such pain. XV. I shut my eyes and turned them on my heart, As a man calls for wine before he fights, I asked one draught of earlier, happier sights, Ere fitly I could hope to play my part. Think first, fight afterwards, the soldier's art: One taste of the old time sets all to rights. XVI. Not it! I fancied Cuthbert's reddening face Beneath its garniture of curly gold, Dear fellow, till I almost felt him fold An arm to mine to fix me to the place, The way he used. Alas, one night's disgrace! Out went my heart's new fire and left it cold. XVII. Giles then, the soul of honour - there he stands Frank as ten years ago when knighted first, What honest man should dare (he said) he durst. Good - but the scene shifts - faugh! what hangman hands Pin to his breast a parchment? His own bands Read it. Poor traitor, spit upon and curst! XVIII. Better this present than a past like that: Back therefore to my darkening path again! No sound, no sight as far as eye could strain. Will the night send a howlet or a bat? I asked: when something on the dismal flat Came to arrest my thoughts and change their train. XIX. A sudden little river crossed my path As unexpected as a serpent comes. No sluggish tide congenial to the glooms; This, as it frothed by, might have been a bath For the fiend's glowing hoof - to see the wrath Of its black eddy bespate with flakes and spumes. XX. So petty yet so spiteful! All along, Low scrubby alders kneeled down over it; Drenched willows flung them headlong in a fit Of mute despair, a suicidal throng: The river which had done them all the wrong, Whate'er that was, rolled by, deterred no whit. XXI. Which, while I forded - good saints, how I feared To set my foot upon a dead man's cheek, Each step, of feel the spear I thrust to seek For hollows, tangled in his hair or beard! - It may have been a water-rat I speared, But, ugh! it sounded like a baby's shriek. XXII. Glad was I when I reached the other bank. Now for a better country. Vain presage! Who were the strugglers, what war did they wage, Whose savage trample thus could pad the dank soil to a plash? Toads in a poisoned tank Or wild cats in a red-hot iron cage - XXIII. The fight must so have seemed in that fell cirque, What penned them there, with all the plain to choose? No footprint leading to that horrid mews, None out of it. Mad brewage set to work Their brains, no doubt, like galley-slaves the Turk Pits for his pastime, Christians against Jews.
Robert Browning
ON THE A TRAIN There were no seats to be had on the A train last night, but I had a good grip on the pole at the end of one of the seats and I was reading the beauty column of the Journal-American, which the man next to me was holding up in front of him. All of a sudden I felt a tap on my arm, and I looked down and there was a man beginning to stand up from the seat where he was sitting. "Would you like to sit down?" he said. Well, I said the first thing that came into my head, I was so surprised and pleased to be offered a seat in the subway. "Oh, thank you very much," I said, "but I am getting out at the next station." He sat back and that was that, but I felt all set up and I thought what a nice man he must be and I wondered what his wife was like and I thought how lucky she was to have such a polite husband, and then all of a sudden I realized that I wasn't getting out at the next station at all but the one after that, and I felt perfectly terrible. I decided to get out at the next station anyway, but then I thought, If I get out at the next station and wait around for the next train I'll miss my bus and they only go every hour and that will be silly. So I decided to brazen it out as best I could, and when the train was slowing up at the next station I stared at the man until I caught his eye and then I said, "I just remembered this isn't my station after all." Then I thought he would think I was asking him to stand up and give me his seat, so I said, "But I still don't want to sit down, because I'm getting off at the next station." I showed him by my expression that I thought it was all rather funny, and he smiled, more or less, and nodded, and lifted his hat and put it back on his head again and looked away. He was one of those small, rather glum or sad men who always look off into the distance after they have finished what they are saying, when they speak. I felt quite proud of my strong-mindedness at not getting off the train and missing my bus simply because of the fear of a little embarrassment, but just as the train was shutting its doors I peered out and there it was, 168th Street. "Oh dear!" I said. "That was my station and now I have missed the bus!" I was fit to be fled, and I had spoken quite loudly, and I felt extremely foolish, and I looked down, and the man who had offered me his seat was partly looking at me, and I said, "Now, isn't that silly? That was my station. A Hundred and Sixty-eighth Street is where I'm supposed to get off." I couldn't help laughing, it was all so awful, and he looked away, and the train fidgeted along to the next station, and I got off as quickly as I possibly could and tore over to the downtown platform and got a local to 168th, but of course I had missed my bus by a minute, or maybe two minutes. I felt very much at a loose end wandering around 168th Street, and I finally went into a rudely appointed but friendly bar and had a martini, warm but very soothing, which cost me only fifty cents. While I was sipping it, trying to make it last to exactly the moment that would get me a good place in the bus queue without having to stand too long in the cold, I wondered what I should have done about that man in the subway. After all, if I had taken his seat I probably would have got out at 168th Street, which would have meant that I would hardly have been sitting down before I would have been getting up again, and that would have seemed odd. And rather grasping of me. And he wouldn't have got his seat back, because some other grasping person would have slipped into it ahead of him when I got up. He seemed a retiring sort of man, not pushy at all. I hesitate to think of how he must have regretted offering me his seat. Sometimes it is very hard to know the right thing to do.
Maeve Brennan
He was beautiful. Whatever else he was, Sage was by far the most magnetic man I had ever seen. I had felt it in my dreams, and it was even more true in real life. I welcomed the chance to study him without his knowledge. He glanced up, and I quickly closed my eyes, feigning sleep. Had he seen me? The scratching stopped. He was looking at me, I knew it. I held my breath and willed my eyes not to pop open and see if he was staring. Finally the scratching started up again. I forced myself to slowly count to ten before I opened my eyelids the tiniest bit and peeked through my lashes. Good-he wasn’t looking at me. I opened my eyes a little wider. What was he doing? Moving only my eyes, I glanced down at the dirt floor in front of him… …and saw a picture of me, fast asleep. It was incredible. I could see his tools laid out beside the picture: rocks in several sizes and shapes, a couple of twigs…the most rudimentary materials, and yet what he was etching into the floor wouldn’t look out of place on an art gallery wall. It was beautiful…far more beautiful than I thought I actually looked in my sleep. Is that how he saw me? Sage lifted his head again, and I shut my eyes. I imagined him studying me, taking careful note of my features and filtering them through his own senses. My heartbeat quickened, and it took all my willpower to remain still. “You can keep pretending to be asleep if you’d like, but I don’t see a career for you as an actress,” he teased. My eyes sprang open. Sage’s head was again bent over his etching, but a grin played on his face as he worked. “You knew?” I asked, mortified. Sage put a finger to his lips, glancing toward Ben. “About two minutes before you woke up, I knew,” he whispered. “Your breathing hanged.” He bent back over the drawing, then impishly asked, “Pleasant dreams?” My heart stopped, and I felt myself blush bright crimson as I remembered our encounter in the bottom of the rowboat. I sent a quick prayer to whoever or whatever might be listening that I hadn’t re-enacted any of it in my sleep, then said as nonchalantly as possible, “I don’t know, I can’t remember what I dreamed about. Why?” He swapped out the rock in his hand for one with a thinner edge and worked for another moment. “No reason…just heard my name.” I hoped the dim moonlight shadowed the worst of my blush. “Your name,” I reiterated. “That’s…interesting. They say dreams sort out things that happen when we’re awake.” “Hmm. Did you sort anything out?” he asked. “Like I said, I can’t remember.” I knew he didn’t believe me. Time to change the subject. I nodded to the etching. “Can I come look?
Hilary Duff (Elixir (Elixir, #1))
Poor fool! If he had only left that shutter alone. He had no restraint, no restraint—just like Kurtz—a tree swayed by the wind. As soon as I had put on a dry pair of slippers, I dragged him out, after first jerking the spear out of his side, which operation I confess I performed with my eyes shut tight. His heels leaped together over the little doorstep; his shoulders were pressed to my breast; I hugged him from behind desperately. Oh! he was heavy, heavy; heavier than any man on earth, I should imagine. Then without more ado I tipped him overboard. The current snatched him as though he had been a wisp of grass, and I saw the body roll over twice before I lost sight of it for ever. All the pilgrims and the manager were then congregated on the awning–deck about the pilot–house, chattering at each other like a flock of excited magpies, and there was a scandalized murmur at my heartless promptitude. What they wanted to keep that body hanging about for I can’t guess. Embalm it, maybe. But I had also heard another, and a very ominous, murmur on the deck below. My friends the wood–cutters were likewise scandalized, and with a better show of reason—though I admit that the reason itself was quite inadmissible. Oh, quite! I had made up my mind that if my late helmsman was to be eaten, the fishes alone should have him. He had been a very second–rate helmsman while alive, but now he was dead he might have become a first–class temptation, and possibly cause some startling trouble. Besides, I was anxious to take the wheel, the man in pink pyjamas showing himself a hopeless duffer at the business.
Joseph Conrad (Heart of Darkness)
Hey, ya'll should come home with us. Verdie has a pot roast in the oven that will melt in your mouth," Finn said. He was as tall as Sawyer and had the bluest eyes Jill had ever seen on a man. Callie nodded at his side as she corralled four kids, and Verdie poked her head out around Finn's shoulder to say, "Yes, we'd love to have you. Got plenty of food and plenty of these wild urchins to entertain you. If that don't keep you laughing, then there's a parrot that never shuts up and a bunch of dogs." "And a cat," a little girl said shyly.
Carolyn Brown (The Trouble with Texas Cowboys (Burnt Boot, Texas, #2))
Duroy, who felt light hearted that evening, said with a smile: "You are gloomy to-day, dear master." The poet replied: "I am always so, young man, so will you be in a few years. Life is a hill. As long as one is climbing up one looks towards the summit and is happy, but when one reaches the top one suddenly perceives the descent before one, and its bottom, which is death. One climbs up slowly, but one goes down quickly. At your age a man is happy. He hopes for many things, which, by the way, never come to pass. At mine, one no longer expects anything - but death." Duroy began to laugh: "You make me shudder all over." Norbert de Varenne went on: "No, you do not understand me now, but later on you will remember what I am saying to you at this moment. A day comes, and it comes early for many, when there is an end to mirth, for behind everything one looks at one sees death. You do not even understand the word. At your age it means nothing; at mine it is terrible. Yes, one understands it all at once, one does not know how or why, and then everything in life changes its aspect. For fifteen years I have felt death assail me as if I bore within me some gnawing beast. I have felt myself decaying little by little, month by month, hour by hour, like a house crumbling to ruin. Death has disfigured me so completely that I do not recognize myself. I have no longer anything about me of myself - of the fresh, strong man I was at thirty. I have seen death whiten my black hairs, and with what skillful and spiteful slowness. Death has taken my firm skin, my muscles, my teeth, my whole body of old, only leaving me a despairing soul, soon to be taken too. Every step brings me nearer to death, every movemebt, every breath hastens his odious work. To breathe, sleep, drink, eat, work, dream, everything we do is to die. To live, in short, is to die. Oh, you will realize this. If you stop and think for a moment you will understand. What do you expect? Love? A few more kisses and you will be impotent. Then money? For what? Women? Much fun that will be! In order to eat a lot and grow fat and lie awake at night suffering from gout? And after that? Glory? What use is that when it does not take the form of love? And after that? Death is always the end. I now see death so near that I often want to stretch my arms to push it back. It covers the earth and fills the universe. I see it everywhere. The insects crushed on the path, the falling leaves, the white hair in a friend's head, rend my heart and cry to me, 'Behold it!' It spoils for me all I do, all I see, all that I eat and drink, all that I love; the bright moonlight, the sunrise, the broad ocean, the noble rivers, and the soft summer evening air so sweet to breath." He walked on slowly, dreaming aloud, almost forgetting that he had a listener: "And no one ever returns - never. The model of a statue may be preserved, but my body, my face, my thoughts, my desires will never reappear again. And yet millions of beings will be born with a nose, eyes, forehead, cheeks, and mouth like me, and also a soul like me, without my ever returning, without even anything recognizable of me appearing in these countless different beings. What can we cling to? What can we believe in? All religions are stupid, with their puerile morality and their egotistical promises, monstrously absurd. Death alone is certain." "Think of that, young man. Think of it for days, and months and years, and life will seem different to you. Try to get away from all the things that shut you in. Make a superhuman effort to emerge alive from your own body, from your own interests, from your thoughts, from humanity in general, so that your eyes may be turned in the opposite direction. Then you understand how unimportant is the quarrel between Romanticism and Realism, or the Budget debates.
Guy de Maupassant
Maybe I . . . shouldn’t tell him what I thought I’d heard. Not until I knew more. How exactly would I put the revelation anyway? Jack’s alive, but apparently he kept that little detail secret. Ah, but Matthew spilled the beans! Buying myself time, I waved Aric on. I was scarcely listening as he began talking about Paul, of all people. How the EMT had grown worried when I’d been shut in with my grandmother for so long. How I had lost weight and become listless. The man had pleaded with me to get a checkup, even offering to source contraception after Aric and I had started sleeping together. Wait. I glanced up. “After?” Aric nodded. “He said you told him you had no need of contraception.” The hell? “I went to him and got a shot prior to us getting together. I told you about it.” “As I told him in turn, but he swears that never happened.” Real? Unreal? Had I . . . imagined my meeting with Paul? I’d already feared gaps in my memory; Gran had told me things that I’d had no recollection of. Was I now inventing memories? Had I invented Jack’s return? In a soothing voice, Aric said, “I’m not angry, love. Just talk to me.” He wasn’t the first person to look at me as if I’d gone insane, like I was trouble with the possibility of rubble. Won’t be the last. No. I refused this. I had heard Jack, and I had gotten that shot. “It did happen, which means Paul’s a liar.” But why would he lie? “I’m going to confront him.” In time. Right now, all I wanted was to hear from Matthew again. Yet I frowned as a thought occurred. “Why would you be talking to Paul about contraception?” Aric tucked my hair behind my ear. “Sievā,” he said gently, “do you not know you’re pregnant?” Tick-tock.
Kresley Cole (Arcana Rising (The Arcana Chronicles, #4))
Oh my god.” He didn’t turn or say anything even though the frustration in Honor’s voice made it difficult. “My pants are stuck. I don’t think I can get them off without some help. Jesus, wet jeans are heavy and uncooperative.” A grin stretched across his face. “You want my help?” She let out a deep breath. “Yes, but you have to close your eyes.” “You going commando tonight?” he teased. “No, but…” He shut his eyes and turned. She took his outstretched hand and tugged him down to the ground. Once there, she helped him latch on to the bunched up denim at her thighs, he guessed. Do not peek, Bishop. Do not peek. “But?” “My panties are white and now see-through and there’s not a lot to them.” “Gotcha.” There wasn’t a red-blooded man alive who wouldn’t peek. “Let’s get these off you.” He pulled, she pushed and wiggled, and he got the pants to her feet in no time. “Thank you,” she said, a little out of breath. “No problem.” “Bryce!” “What?” Christ, she had sexy legs, and the barely-there material at their juncture left little to the imagination, so his thoughts leaped to about a dozen dirty scenarios. “Your eyes are open!
Robin Bielman (Blame it on the Kiss (Kisses in the Sand, #2))
To hell with your money No no come on I belong to the family now see I know how it is with a young fellow he has lots of private affairs it's always pretty hard to get the old man to stump up for I know haven't I been there and not so long ago either but now I'm getting married and all specially up there come on don't be a fool listen when we get a chance for a real talk I want to tell you about a little widow over in town I've heard that too keep your damned money Call it a loan then just shut your eyes a minute and you'll be fifty Keep your hands off of me you'd better get that cigar off the mantel
William Faulkner
But I've still better things about children. I've collected a great, great deal about Russian children, Alyosha. There was a little girl of five who was hated by her father and mother, 'most worthy and respectable people, of good education and breeding.' You see, I must repeat again, it is a peculiar characteristic of many people, this love of torturing children, and children only. To all other types of humanity these torturers behave mildly and benevolently, like cultivated and humane Europeans; but they are very fond of tormenting children, even fond of children themselves in that sense. it's just their defencelessness that tempts the tormentor, just the angelic confidence of the child who has no refuge and no appeal, that sets his vile blood on fire. In every man, of course, a demon lies hidden- the demon of rage, the demon of lustful heat at the screams of the tortured victim, the demon of lawlessness let off the chain, the demon of diseases that follow on vice, gout, kidney disease, and so on. "This poor child of five was subjected to every possible torture by those cultivated parents. They beat her, thrashed her, kicked her for no reason till her body was one bruise. Then, they went to greater refinements of cruelty- shut her up all night in the cold and frost in a privy, and because she didn't ask to be taken up at night (as though a child of five sleeping its angelic, sound sleep could be trained to wake and ask), they smeared her face and filled her mouth with excrement, and it was her mother, her mother did this. And that mother could sleep, hearing the poor child's groans! Can you understand why a little creature, who can't even understand what's done to her, should beat her little aching heart with her tiny fist in the dark and the cold, and weep her meek unresentful tears to dear, kind God to protect her? Do you understand that, friend and brother, you pious and humble novice? Do you understand why this infamy must be and is permitted? Without it, I am told, man could not have existed on earth, for he could not have known good and evil. Why should he know that diabolical good and evil when it costs so much? Why, the whole world of knowledge is not worth that child's prayer to dear, kind God'! I say nothing of the sufferings of grown-up people, they have eaten the apple, damn them, and the devil take them all! But these little ones! I am making you suffer, Alyosha, you are not yourself. I'll leave off if you like
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
As with so many other things that are plainly obvious to most people, I had to be told that annoyances were to be expected and tolerated in any relationship, and especially in a marriage. Though I may not have realized that on my own, once it was explained to me, I understood exactly what it meant. Kristen put it this way: “You hog the blankets, Dave. You take months deciding which computer to buy. The instant we all pile into the car and shut the doors, you fart. That stuff is so annoying, and so not a problem.” What was a problem, she explained, was beating myself up over every little thing and creating drama that nobody needed.
David Finch (The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband)
Cecily let her cheek fall to Leta’s shoulder and hugged her back. It felt so nice to be loved by someone in the world. Since her mother’s death, she’d had no one of her own. It was a lonely life, despite the excitement and adventure her work held for her. She wasn’t openly affectionate at all, except with Leta. “For God’s sake, next you’ll be rocking her to sleep at night!” came a deep, disgusted voice at Cecily’s back, and Cecily stiffened because she recognized it immediately. “She’s my baby girl,” Leta told her tall, handsome son with a grin. “Shut up.” Cecily turned a little awkwardly. She hadn’t expected this. Tate Winthrop towered over both of them. His jet-black hair was loose as he never wore it in the city, falling thick and straight almost to his waist. He was wearing a breastplate with buckskin leggings and high-topped mocassins. There were two feathers straight up in his hair with notches that had meaning among his people, marks of bravery. Cecily tried not to stare at him. He was the most beautiful man she’d ever known. Since her seventeenth birthday, Tate had been her world. Fortunately he didn’t realize that her mad flirting hid a true emotion. In fact, he treated her exactly as he had when she came to him for comfort after her mother had died suddenly; as he had when she came to him again with bruises all over her thin, young body from her drunken stepfather’s violent attack. Although she dated, she’d never had a serious boyfriend. She had secret terrors of intimacy that had never really gone away, except when she thought of Tate that way. She loved him… “Why aren’t you dressed properly?” Tate asked, scowling at her skirt and blouse. “I bought you buckskins for your birthday, didn’t I?” “Three years ago,” she said without meeting his probing eyes. She didn’t like remembering that he’d forgotten her birthday this year. “I gained weight since then.” “Oh. Well, find something you like here…” She held up a hand. “I don’t want you to buy me anything else,” she said flatly, and didn’t back down from the sudden menace in his dark eyes. “I’m not dressing up like a Lakota woman. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m blond. I don’t want to be mistaken for some sort of overstimulated Native American groupie buying up artificial artifacts and enthusing over citified Native American flute music, trying to act like a member of the tribe.” “You belong to it,” he returned. “We adopted you years ago.” “So you did,” she said. That was how he thought of her-a sister. That wasn’t the way she wanted him to think of her. She smiled faintly. “But I won’t pass for a Lakota, whatever I wear.” “You could take your hair down,” he continued thoughtfully. She shook her head. She only let her hair loose at night, when she went to bed. Perhaps she kept it tightly coiled for pure spite, because he loved long hair and she knew it. “How old are you?” he asked, trying to remember. “Twenty, isn’t it?” “I was, give years ago,” she said, exasperated. “You used to work for the CIA. I seem to remember that you went to college, too, and got a law degree. Didn’t they teach you how to count?” He looked surprised. Where had the years gone? She hadn’t aged, not visibly.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
I went up the stairs of the little hotel, that time in Bystřice by Benešov, and at the turn of the stairs there was a bricklayer at work, in white clothes; he was chiselling channels in the wall to cement in two hooks, on which in a little while he was going to hang a Minimax fire-extinguisher; and this bricklayer was already and old man, but he had such an enormous back that he had to turn round to let me pass by, and then I heard him whistling the waltz from The Count of Luxembourg as I went into my little room. It was afternoon. I took out two razors, and one of them I scored blade-up into the top of the bathroom stool, and the other I laid beside it, and I, too, began to whistle the waltz from The Count of Luxembourg while I undressed and turned on the hot-water tap, and then I reflected, and very quietly I opened the door a crack. And the bricklayer was standing there in the corridor on the other side of the door, and it was as if he also had opened the door a crack to have a look at me and see what I was doing, just as I had wanted to have a look at him. And I slammed the door shut and crept into the bath, I had to let myself down into it gradually, the water was so hot; I gasped with the sting of it as carefully and painfully I sat down. And then I stretched out my wrist, and with my right hand I slashed my left wrist ... and then with all my strength I brought down the wrist of my right hand on the upturned blade I'd grooved into the stool for that purpose. And I plunged both hands into the hot water, and watched the blood flow slowly ouf of me, and the water grew rosy, and yet al the time the pattern of the red blood flowing remained so clearly perceptible, as though someone was drawing out from my wrists a long, feathery red bandage, a film, dancing veil ... and presently I thickened there in the bath, as that red paint thickened when we were painting the fence all round the state workshops, until we had to thin it with turpentine - and my head sagged, and into my mouth flowed pink raspberryade, except that it tasted slightly salty .. and then those concentric circles in blue and violet, trailing feathery fronds like coloured spirals in motion ... and then there was a shadow stooping over me, and my face was brushed lightly by a chin overgrown with stubble. It was that bricklayer in the white clothes. He hoisted me out and landed me like a red fish with delicate red fins sprouting from its wrists. I laid my head on his smock, and I heard the hissing of lime as my wet face slaked it, and that smell was the last thing of which I was conscious.
Bohumil Hrabal (Closely Observed Trains: A Film)
Speaking generally, sociability stands in inverse ratio with age. A little child raises a piteous cry of fright if it is left alone for only a few minutes; and later on, to be shut up by itself is a great punishment. Young people soon get on very friendly terms with one another; it is only the few among them of any nobility of mind who are glad now and then to be alone;—but to spend the whole day thus would be disagreeable. A grown-up man can easily do it; it is little trouble to him to be much alone, and it becomes less and less trouble as he advances in years. An old man who has outlived all his friends, and is either indifferent or dead to the pleasures of life, is in his proper element in solitude; and in individual cases the special tendency to retirement and seclusion will always be in direct proportion to intellectual capacity. For
Arthur Schopenhauer (The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; Counsels and Maxims)
There is a sort of subdued pandemonium in the air, a note of repressed violence, as if the awaited explosion required the advent of some utterly minute detail, something microscopic but thoroughly unpremeditated, completely unexpected. In that sort of half-reverie which permits one to participate in an event and yet remain quite aloof, the little detail which was lacking began obscurely but insistently to coagulate, to assume a freakish, crystalline form, like the frost which gathers on the windowpane. And like those frost patterns which seem so bizarre, so utterly free and fantastic in design, but which are nevertheless determined by the most rigid laws, so this sensation which commenced to take form inside me seemed also to be giving obedience to ineluctable laws. My whole being was responding to the dictates of an ambience which it had never before experienced; that which I could call myself seemed to be contracting, condensing, shrinking from the stale, customary boundaries of the flesh whose perimeter knew only the modulations of the nerve ends. And the more substantial, the more solid the core of me became, the more delicate and extravagant appeared the close, palpable reality out of which I was being squeezed. In the measure that I became more and more metallic, in the same measure the scene before my eyes became inflated. The state of tension was so finely drawn now that the introduction of a single foreign particle, even a microscopic particle, as I say, would have shattered everything. For the fraction of a second perhaps I experienced that utter clarity which the epileptic, it is said, is given to know. In that moment I lost completely the illusion of time and space: the world unfurled its drama simultaneously along a meridian which had no axis. In this sort of hair-trigger eternity I felt that everything was justified, supremely justified; I felt the wars inside me that had left behind this pulp and wrack; I felt the crimes that were seething here to emerge tomorrow in blatant screamers; I felt the misery that was grinding itself out with pestle and mortar, the long dull misery that dribbles away in dirty handkerchiefs. On the meridian of time there is no injustice: there is only the poetry of motion creating the illusion of truth and drama. If at any moment anywhere one comes face to face with the absolute, that great sympathy which makes men like Gautama and Jesus seem divine freezes away; the monstrous thing is not that men have created roses out of this dung heap, but that, for some reason or other, they should want roses. For some reason or other man looks for the miracle, and to accomplish it he will wade through blood. He will debauch himself with ideas, he will reduce himself to a shadow if for only one second of his life he can close his eyes to the hideousness of reality. Everything is endured – disgrace, humiliation, poverty, war, crime, ennui – in the belief that overnight something will occur, a miracle, which will render life tolerable. And all the while a meter is running inside and there is no hand that can reach in there and shut it off. All the while someone is eating the bread of life and drinking the wine, some dirty fat cockroach of a priest who hides away in the cellar guzzling it, while up above in the light of the street a phantom host touches the lips and the blood is pale as water. And out of the endless torment and misery no miracle comes forth, no microscopic vestige of relief. Only ideas, pale, attenuated ideas which have to be fattened by slaughter; ideas which come forth like bile, like the guts of a pig when the carcass is ripped open.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer (Tropic, #1))
Little Bit Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh Hands down, I'm too proud for love But with eyes shut it's you I'm thinking of But how we move from A to B? It can't be up to me 'cause you don't know Eye to eye, thigh to thigh, I let go I think I'm a little bit, little bit A little bit in love With you But only if you're a little bit, little bit Little bit in l-l-l-l love for me, oh, oh Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh And for you I keep my legs apart And forget about my tainted heart And I will never ever be the first To say it but still I, you know I, I, I I would do it Push a button, pull a trigger Climb a mountain, jump off a cliff 'Cause you know, baby I love you, love you a little bit I would do it, I would say it I would mean it and we could do it It was you and I and I only I think I'm a little bit, little bit A little bit in love for you But only if you're a little, little bit Little bit in l-l-love for me I think I'm a little bit, little bit A little bit in love for you But only if you're a little, little bit Little bit in l-l-love for me, oh Come here, stay with me Stroke me by the hair 'Cause I would give anything, anything To have you as my man Come here, stay with me Stroke me by the hair 'Cause I would give anything, anything To have you as my man Little bit, little bit A little bit in love for you But only if you're a little, little bit Little bit in l-l-love for me I think I'm a little bit, little bit A little bit in love for you But only if you're a little, little bit Little bit in l-l-love for me I think I'm a little bit, little bit A little bit in love with you But only if you're a little, little bit Little bit Little bit, little bit Little bit, little bit Little bit
Lykke Li
His massive hand gripped the closet doorknob, dagger now angled at his side. “Come out, little Crochan,” he crooned. Silent as death, Manon slid up behind him. The fool didn’t even know she was there until she brought her mouth close to his ear and whispered, “Wrong kind of witch.” The man whirled, slamming into the closet door. He raised the dagger between them, his chest heaving. Manon merely smiled, her silver-white hair glinting in the moonlight. He noticed the shut door then, drawing in breath to shout. But Manon smiled broader, and a row of dagger-sharp iron teeth pushed from the slits high in her gums, snapping down like armor. The man started, hitting the door behind him again, eyes so wide that white shone all around them. His dagger clattered on the floorboards. And then, just to really make him soil his pants, she flicked her wrists in the air between them. The iron claws shot over her nails in a stinging, gleaming flash.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
You have something to say to me, Cassidy, say it. Or shut the fuck up.” “All right,” Jules said. “I will.” He took a deep breath. Exhaled. “Okay, see, I, well, I love you. Very, very much, and . . .” Where to go from here . . .? Except, his plain-spoken words earned him not just a glance but Max’s sudden full and complete attention. Which was a little alarming. But it was the genuine concern in Max’s eyes that truly caught Jules off-guard. Max actually thought . . . Jules laughed his surprise. “Oh! No, not like that. I meant it, you know, in a totally platonic, non-gay way.” Jules saw comprehension and relief on Max’s face. The man was tired if he was letting such basic emotions show. “Sorry.” Max even smiled. “I just . . .” He let out a burst of air. “I mean, talk about making things even more complicated . . .” It was amazing. Max hadn’t recoiled in horror at the idea. His concern had been for Jules, about potentially hurting his tender feelings. And even now, he wasn’t trying to turn it all into a bad joke. And he claimed they weren’t friends. Jules felt his throat tighten. “You can’t know,” he told his friend quietly, “how much I appreciate your acceptance and respect.” “My father was born in India,” Max told him, “in 1930. His mother was white—American. His father was not just Indian, but lower caste. The intolerance he experienced both there and later, even in America, made him a . . . very bitter, very hard, very, very unhappy man.” He glanced at Jules again. “I know personality plays into it, and maybe you’re just stronger than he was, but . . . People get knocked down all the time. They can either stay there, wallow in it, or . . . Do what you’ve done—what you do. So yeah. I respect you more than you know.” Holy shit. Weeping was probably a bad idea, so Jules grabbed onto the alternative. He made a joke. “I wasn’t aware that you even had a father. I mean, rumors going around the office have you arriving via flying saucer—” “I would prefer not to listen to aimless chatter all night long,” Max interrupted him. “So if you’ve made your point . . .?” Ouch. “Okay,” Jules said. “I’m so not going to wallow in that. Because I do have a point. See, I said what I said because I thought I’d take the talk-to-an-eight-year-old approach with you. You know, tell you how much I love you and how great you are in part one of the speech—” “Speech.” Max echoed. “Because part two is heavily loaded with the silent-but-implied ‘you are such a freaking idiot.’” “Ah, Christ,” Max muttered. “So, I love you,” Jules said again, “in a totally buddy-movie way, and I just want to say that I also really love working for you, and I hope to God you’ll come back so I can work for you again. See, I love the fact that you’re my leader not because you were appointed by some suit, but because you earned very square inch of that gorgeous corner office. I love you because you’re not just smart, you’re open-minded—you’re willing to talk to people who have a different point of view, and when they speak, you’re willing to listen. Like right now, for instance. You’re listening, right?” “No.” “Liar.” Jules kept going. “You know, the fact that so many people would sell their grandmother to become a part of your team is not an accident. Sir, you’re beyond special—and your little speech to me before just clinched it. You scare us to death because we’re afraid we won’t be able to live up to your high standards. But your back is strong, you always somehow manage to carry us with you even when we falter. “Some people don’t see that; they don’t really get you—all they know is they would charge into hell without hesitation if you gave the order to go. But see, what I know is that you’d be right there, out in front—they’d have to run to keep up with you. You never flinch. You never hesitate. You never rest.
Suzanne Brockmann (Breaking Point (Troubleshooters, #9))
But of course he was only being dramatic. He was not going to die. “You insufferable man-child. You idiot prince.” Her fondest derivative for him, or at least her most frequent. So much so it felt like something he might have accidentally colonized and put to use. “You are not going to do something so utterly unforgivable as to waste your talent and die, I won’t have it,” Libby informed him, jerking his shoulders upright. He would have mumbled I know that Rhodes shut up had he not been busy focusing on the task of not dying, and more specifically, on aiming what was currently oozing out of him, which was probably something he needed to survive. “You deplorable little Philistine,” Libby said. “What on earth were you thinking? No, don’t answer that,” she grumbled, shoving him none-too-gently so that his back rested against something hard, like the leg of a Victorian chair. “Just tell me what you’re doing so I can help you—even though I ought to defenestrate you from that window instead,” she muttered in an afterthought, ostensibly to herself.
Olivie Blake (The Atlas Six (The Atlas, #1))
But I went on thinking about false teeth, and then about piano-keys and about that time the blind man from Martinique came to tune the piano and then he played and we listened to him sitting in the dark with the jalousies shut because it was pouring with rain and my father said, 'You are a real musician.' He had a red moustache, my father. And Hester was always saying, 'Poor Gerald, poor Gerald.' But if you'd seen him walking up Market Street, swinging his arms and with his brown shoes flashing in the sun, you wouldn't have been sorry for him. That time when he say, 'The Welsh word for grief is hiraeth.' Hiraeth. And that time when I was crying about nothing and I thought he'd be wild, but he hugged me up and he didn't say anything. I had on a coral brooch and it got crushed. He hugged me up and then he said, 'I believe you're going to be like me, you poor little devil.' And that time when Mr Crowe said, 'You don't mean to say you're backing up that damned French monkey?' meaning the Governor, 'I've met some Englishmen,' he said, 'who were monkeys too.
Jean Rhys (Voyage in the Dark)
Ever since he’d set eyes on Elizabeth Cameron he’d been blind-no, he corrected himself with furious self-disgust, in England he’d recognized instinctively what she was-gentle and proud, brave and innocent and…rare. He’d known damned well she wasn’t a promiscuous little flirt, yet he’d later convinced himself she was, and then he’d treated her like one here-and she had endured it the entire time she’d been here! She had let him say those things to her and then tried to excuse his behavior by blaming herself for behaving like “a shameless wanton” in England! Bile rose up in his throat, suffocating him, and he closed his eyes. She was so damned sweet, and so forgiving, that she even did that for him. Duncan hadn’t moved; in taut silence he watched his nephew standing at the window, his eyes clenched shut, his stance like that of a man who was being stretched on the rack. Finally Ian spoke, and his voice was rough with emotion, as if the words were being gouged out of him: “Did the woman say that, or was that your own opinion?” “About what?” Drawing a ragged breath, he asked, “Did she tell you that Elizabeth was in love with me two years ago, or was that your opinion?” The answer to that obviously meant so much to Ian that Duncan almost smiled. At the moment, however, the vicar was more concerned with the two things he wanted above all else: He wanted Ian to wed Elizabeth and rectify the damage he’d done to her, and he wanted Ian to reconcile with his grandfather. In order to do the former, Ian would have to do the latter, for Elizabeth’s uncle was evidently determined that her husband should have a title if possible. So badly did Duncan want those two things to happen that he almost lied to help the cause, but the precepts of his conscience forbade it. “It was Miss Throckmorton-Jones’s opinion when she was under the influence of laudanum. It is also my opinion, based on everything I saw in Elizabeth’s character and behavior to you.” He waited through another long moment of awful suspense, knowing exactly where Ian’s thoughts would have to turn next, and then he plunged in, ready to press home his advantage with hard, systematic logic. “You have no choice except to rescue her from that repugnant marriage.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Get off your horse, Jack." "Why don't you just ride outta here, missy, and I'll forget this ever happened." Willow's voice trembled with fury. "Get off your horse," she repeated. "Slow and easy." Still grinning his contempt, he did as he asked. "That's good. Now, real slow like, take your gunbelt off and toss it my way." "Like hell!" A shot rang out and nicked a chunk of leather from his boot. Cursing, he unbuckled his gun and tossed it at her mare's feet. "Now,strip them britches off, underwear, too," she ordered. "You little shi-" Bang! Jack's hat whizzed off his head. He dropped his pants in a puddle over his boots, trying his best to shelter his privates from her view. "My,my,Jack." Willow laughed humorlessly. "Is that puny thing you're trying to hide the same thing you were threatening me with?" If looks could kill, Willow would have been dead and buried ten times over, then and there. "Take them confounded boots off so's you can get your pants clear off," she ordered in mock exasperation. He wheeled around, gaining a modicum of privacy while he complied. "You're puny all over, Jack. You got the boniest bee-hind I ever did see. You sure you ain't picked up a worm somewheres?" "You're gonna pay for this,you little slut!" "Shut your filthy mouth and pick them pants off the ground and toss 'em over here at my horse's feet. Then you can put your boots back on." He gave the pants a toss, put his boots on, and turned around to face her, cuping his privates in his hands. "Okay,Jack, finish the job. You've been real generous but I'm a greedy cuss. Give me the shirt off your back, too." Cursing, he again turned around and obeyed. "Oh,ah,Jack, you better reach behind you there,and get your hat. I'll let you keep it. We wouldn't want your bald spot to get sunburned." Scofield now stood in nothing but his boots, using his hat to shield his lower half. Humiliated, the gunslinger's eyes burned with bloody intent. Willow suddenly regretted her damnable quick temper and realized the folly of her reckless retaliation. No doubt,the heinous man would seek revenge. But the damage was done and the man was so mad that backing off now would be the same as signing her death warrant. "Step away from your horse and start walking toward the ranch, Scofield." "You're out of your mind!" "Maybe,but I bet you'll think twice before threatening to poke that puny thing at another lady." "You? A lady? Ha!" Willow's temper flared anew. "Walk, Jack. Real fast. Cuz if you don't, I'm gonna use your puny thing for target practice." Her bullet kicked up the dust at his feet and started him on his way.
Charlotte McPherren (Song of the Willow)
You’re back,” I said, refusing to embarrass myself further by getting angry. “I took Tag home. He had big plans to train for his next fight old school, like Rocky, but discovered that it’s a little more appealing in the movies. Plus, I don’t do a very good Apollo Creed.” “Tag’s a fighter?” “Yeah. Mixed martial arts stuff. He’s pretty good.” “Huh.” I didn’t know what else to say. I didn’t know anything about the sport. “Didn’t Apollo Creed die in one of the movies?” “Yeah. The black guy always dies at the hands of the white man.” I rolled my eyes, and he grinned, making me grin with him before I remembered that I was embarrassed and ticked off that he had kissed me and left town. It felt a little too much like the past. The grin slipped from my face and I turned away, busying myself shaking out the saddle blankets. “So why did you come back?” I kept my eyes averted. He was quiet for a minute, and I bit my lips so I wouldn’t start to babble into the awkward silence. “The house needs more work,” he replied at last. “And I’m thinking of changing my name.” My head shot up, and I met his smirk with confusion. “Huh?” “I heard there was this new law in Georgia. Nobody named Moses can even visit. So I’m thinking a name change is in order.” I just shook my head and laughed, both embarrassed and pleased at his underlying meaning. “Shut up, Apollo,” I said, and it was his turn to laugh.
Amy Harmon (The Law of Moses (The Law of Moses, #1))
Did I ever tell you about the man who taught his asshole to talk? His whole abdomen would move up and down you dig farting out the words. It was unlike anything I ever heard. This ass talk had sort of a gut frequency. It hit you right down there like you gotta go. You know when the old colon gives you the elbow and it feels sorta cold inside, and you know all you have to do is turn loose? Well this talking hit you right down there, a bubbly, thick stagnant sound, a sound you could smell. This man worked for a carnival you dig, and to start with it was like a novelty ventriliquist act. Real funny, too, at first. He had a number he called “The Better ‘Ole” that was a scream, I tell you. I forget most of it but it was clever. Like, “Oh I say, are you still down there, old thing?” “Nah I had to go relieve myself.” After a while the ass start talking on its own. He would go in without anything prepared and his ass would ad-lib and toss the gags back at him every time. Then it developed sort of teeth-like little raspy in-curving hooks and started eating. He thought this was cute at first and built an act around it, but the asshole would eat its way through his pants and start talking on the street, shouting out it wanted equal rights. It would get drunk, too, and have crying jags nobody loved it and it wanted to be kissed same as any other mouth. Finally it talked all the time day and night, you could hear him for blocks screaming at it to shut up, and beating it with his fist, and sticking candles up it, but nothing did any good and the asshole said to him: “It’s you who will shut up in the end. Not me. Because we dont need you around here any more. I can talk and eat and shit.” After that he began waking up in the morning with a transparent jelly like a tadpole’s tail all over his mouth. This jelly was what the scientists call un-D.T., Undifferentiated Tissue, which can grow into any kind of flesh on the human body. He would tear it off his mouth and the pieces would stick to his hands like burning gasoline jelly and grow there, grow anywhere on him a glob of it fell. So finally his mouth sealed over, and the whole head would have have amputated spontaneous — (did you know there is a condition occurs in parts of Africa and only among Negroes where the little toe amputates spontaneously?) — except for the eyes you dig. Thats one thing the asshole couldn’t do was see. It needed the eyes. But nerve connections were blocked and infiltrated and atrophied so the brain couldn’t give orders any more. It was trapped in the skull, sealed off. For a while you could see the silent, helpless suffering of the brain behind the eyes, then finally the brain must have died, because the eyes went out, and there was no more feeling in them than a crab’s eyes on the end of a stalk.
William S. Burroughs
Meanwhile, God seeks to raise them higher, to draw them out of this miserable manner of loving to a higher state of the love of God, to deliver them from the low usage of the senses and meditation whereby they seek after God, as I said before,4 in ways so miserable and so unworthy of Him. He seeks to place them in the way of the spirit wherein they may the more abundantly, and more free from imperfections, commune with God now that they have been for some time tried in the way of goodness, persevering in meditation and prayer, and because of the sweetness they found therein have withdrawn their affections from the things of this world, and gained a certain spiritual strength in God, whereby they in some measure curb their love of the creature, and are able, for the love of God, to carry a slight burden of dryness, without going back to that more pleasant time when their spiritual exercises abounded in delights, and when the sun of the divine graces shone, as they think, more clearly upon them. God is now changing that light into darkness, and sealing up the door of the fountain of the sweet spiritual waters, which they tasted in God as often and as long as they wished. For when they were weak and tender, this door was then not shut, as it is written, “Behold, I have given before thee an opened door, which no man can shut; because thou hast a little strength, and hast kept My word, and hast not denied My name.”5 4. God thus leaves them in darkness so great
Juan de la Cruz (Dark Night of the Soul)
A woman is like a universe; there are many things that even she still needs to discover about herself. Men on the other hand are miners, which means they are in a better position to uncover, perceive and appreciate things about women that they themselves have not yet come to the full realization of. Men know more about women than they can tell (it's for their own safety that they keep their mouths shut and pretend like they don't know anything, lest they get slammed for claiming to know anything at all about women in the first place). Sadly, women are losing out on a wealth of knowledge and understanding about themselves by debunking men's ideas and notions about them especially when it comes to their femininity and sensuality. I think women need to start gently and safely asking men what they 'inherently' know about their femininity. I'm not a chauvinist nor a proponent for men's rights, but I strongly believe that men hold the keys to a lot of treasure chests that most women are daily striving to open up. Perhaps you should start inviting your man to get a little bit more involved in your feminine/sensual journey. It's only a suggestion... I have to add this however, since some women may struggle to catch my point the first time around: I'm not insinuating that women cannot experience their femininity "without" men because they certainly can, but I am saying that men are a very crucial and in fact indispensable component when it comes to women fully discovering, unlocking and tapping into their ultimate sensual/feminine 'mystery'.
Lebo Grand (Sensual Lifestyle)
He’s a murdering chud,” Zil was yelling. “What do you want to do? Lynch him?” Astrid demanded. That stopped the flow for a second as kids tried to figure out what “lynch” meant. But Zil quickly recovered. “I saw him do it. He used his powers to kill Harry.” “I was trying to stop you from smashing my head in!” Hunter shouted. “You’re a lying mutant freak!” “They think they can do anything they want,” another voice shouted. Astrid said, as calmly as she could while still pitching her voice to be heard, “We are not going down that path, people, dividing up between freaks and normals.” “They already did it!” Zil cried. “It’s the freaks acting all special and like their farts don’t stink.” That earned a laugh. “And now they’re starting to kill us,” Zil cried. Angry cheers. Edilio squared his shoulders and stepped into the crowd. He went first to Hank, the kid with the shotgun. He tapped him on the shoulder and said, “Give me that thing.” “No way,” Hank said. But he didn’t seem too certain. “You want to have that thing fire by accident and blow someone’s face off?” Edilio held his hand out. “Give it to me, man.” Zil rounded on Edilio. “You going to make Hunter give up his weapon? Huh? He’s got powers, man, and that’s okay, but the normals can’t have any weapon? How are we supposed to defend ourselves from the freaks?” “Man, give it a rest, huh?” Edilio said. He was doing his best to sound more weary than angry or scared. Things were already bad enough. “Zil, you want to be responsible if that gauge goes off and kills Astrid? You want to maybe give that some thought?” Zil blinked. But he said, “Dude, I’m not scared of Sam.” “Sam won’t be your problem, I will be,” Edilio snapped, losing patience. “Anything happens to her, I’ll take you down before Sam ever gets the chance.” Zil snorted derisively. “Ah, good little boy, Edilio, kissing up to the chuds. I got news for you, dilly dilly, you’re a lowly normal, just like me and the rest of us." “I’m going to let that go,” Edilio said evenly, striving to regain his cool, trying to sound calm and in control, even though he could hardly take his eyes off the twin barrels of the shotgun. “But now I’m taking that shotgun.” “No way!” Hank cried, and the next thing was an explosion so loud, Edilio thought a bomb had gone off. The muzzle flash blinded him, like camera flash going off in his face. Someone yelled in pain. Edilio staggered back, squeezed his eyes shut, trying to adjust. When he opened them again the shotgun was on the ground and the boy who’d accidentally fired it was holding his bruised hand, obviously shocked. Zil bent to grab the gun. Edilio took two steps forward and kicked Zil in the face. As Zil fell back Edilio made a grab for the shotgun. He never saw the blow that turned his knees to water and filled his head with stars. He fell like a sack of bricks, but even as he fell he lurched forward to cover the shotgun. Astrid screamed and launched herself down the stairs to protect Edilio. Antoine, the one who had hit Edilio, was raising his bat to hit Edilio again, but on the back swing he caught Astrid in the face. Antoine cursed, suddenly fearful. Zil yelled, “No, no, no!” There was a sudden rush of running feet. Down the walkway, into the street, echoing down the block.
Michael Grant (Hunger (Gone, #2))
Man overboard!” Then everyone was busy. Some of the sailors hurried aloft to take in the sail; others hurried below to get to the oars; and Rhince, who was on duty on the poop, began to put the helm hard over so as to come round and back to the man who had gone overboard. But by now everyone knew that it wasn’t strictly a man. It was Reepicheep. “Drat that mouse!” said Drinian. “It’s more trouble than all the rest of the ship’s company put together. If there is any scrape to be got into, in it will get! It ought to be put in irons--keelhauled--marooned--have its whiskers cut off. Can anyone see the little blighter?” All this didn’t mean that Drinian really disliked Reepicheep. On the contrary he liked him very much and was therefore frightened about him, and being frightened put him in a bad temper--just as your mother is much angrier with you for running out into the road in front of a car than a stranger would be. No one, of course, was afraid of Reepicheep’s drowning, for he was an excellent swimmer; but the three who knew what was going on below the water were afraid of those long, cruel spears in the hands of the Sea People. In a few minutes the Dawn Treader had come round and everyone could see the black blob in the water which was Reepicheep. He was chattering with the greatest excitement but as his mouth kept on getting filled with water nobody could understand what he was saying. “He’ll blurt the whole thing out if we don’t shut him up,” cried Drinian. To prevent this he rushed to the side and lowered a rope himself, shouting to the sailors, “All right, all right. Back to your places. I hope I can heave a mouse up without help.
C.S. Lewis (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, #3))
So why was tonight not so good?” he asked, desperate to shut himself the fuck up. “My father. And then…well, I got stood up.” Rehv frowned so hard he actually felt a slight sting between his eyes. “For a date?” “Yeah.” He hated the idea of her out with another male. And yet envied the motherfucker, whoever he was. “What an ass. I’m sorry, but what an ass.” Ehlena laughed, and he loved everything about the sound, especially the way his body warmed a little more in response. Man, to hell with a hot shower. That soft, quiet chuckle was what he needed. “Are you smiling,” he said softly. “Yeah. I mean, I guess. How did you know?” “Was just hoping you were.” “Well, you can be kind of charming.” Quickly, as if to cover up the compliment, she said, “The date wasn’t a big deal or anything. I didn’t know him that well. It was just coffee.” “But you ended the night on the phone with me. Which is so much better.” She laughed again. “Well, I won’t ever know what it’s like to go out with him.” “You won’t?” “I just…well, I thought about it, and I don’t think dating is a good idea for me right now.” His surge of triumph was sacked when she tacked on, “With anyone.” “Hm.” “Hm? What does hm mean?” “It means I have your phone number.” “Ah, yes, you do—” Her voice caught as he shifted around. “Wait, are you…in bed?” “Yeah. And before you go any farther, you don’t want to know.” “I don’t want to know what?” “How much I’m not wearing.” “Er…” As she hesitated, he knew she was smiling again. And probably blushing. “I so won’t ask.” “Wise of you. It’s just me and the sheets—oops, did I just spill that?” “Yes. Yes, you did.” -Rehv & Ehlena
J.R. Ward (Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7))
My dwelling was small, and I could hardly entertain an echo in it; but it seemed larger for being a single apartment and remote from neighbors. All the attractions of a house were concentrated in one room; it was kitchen, chamber, parlor, and keeping-room; and whatever satisfaction parent or child, master or servant, derive from living in a house, I enjoyed it all. Cato says, the master of a family (patremfamilias) must have in his rustic villa "cellam oleariam, vinariam, dolia multa, uti lubeat caritatem expectare, et rei, et virtuti, et gloriae erit," that is, "an oil and wine cellar, many casks, so that it may be pleasant to expect hard times; it will be for his advantage, and virtue, and glory." I had in my cellar a firkin of potatoes, about two quarts of peas with the weevil in them, and on my shelf a little rice, a jug of molasses, and of rye and Indian meal a peck each. I sometimes dream of a larger and more populous house, standing in a golden age, of enduring materials, and without gingerbread work, which shall still consist of only one room, a vast, rude, substantial, primitive hall, without ceiling or plastering, with bare rafters and purlins supporting a sort of lower heaven over one's head—useful to keep off rain and snow, where the king and queen posts stand out to receive your homage, when you have done reverence to the prostrate Saturn of an older dynasty on stepping over the sill; a cavernous house, wherein you must reach up a torch upon a pole to see the roof; where some may live in the fireplace, some in the recess of a window, and some on settles, some at one end of the hall, some at another, and some aloft on rafters with the spiders, if they choose; a house which you have got into when you have opened the outside door, and the ceremony is over; where the weary traveller may wash, and eat, and converse, and sleep, without further journey; such a shelter as you would be glad to reach in a tempestuous night, containing all the essentials of a house, and nothing for house-keeping; where you can see all the treasures of the house at one view, and everything hangs upon its peg, that a man should use; at once kitchen, pantry, parlor, chamber, storehouse, and garret; where you can see so necessary a thing, as a barrel or a ladder, so convenient a thing as a cupboard, and hear the pot boil, and pay your respects to the fire that cooks your dinner, and the oven that bakes your bread, and the necessary furniture and utensils are the chief ornaments; where the washing is not put out, nor the fire, nor the mistress, and perhaps you are sometimes requested to move from off the trap-door, when the cook would descend into the cellar, and so learn whether the ground is solid or hollow beneath you without stamping. A house whose inside is as open and manifest as a bird's nest, and you cannot go in at the front door and out at the back without seeing some of its inhabitants; where to be a guest is to be presented with the freedom of the house, and not to be carefully excluded from seven eighths of it, shut up in a particular cell, and told to make yourself at home there—in solitary confinement. Nowadays the host does not admit you to his hearth, but has got the mason to build one for yourself somewhere in his alley, and hospitality is the art of keeping you at the greatest distance. There is as much secrecy about the cooking as if he had a design to poison you. I am aware that I have been on many a man's premises, and might have been legally ordered off, but I am not aware that I have been in many men's houses. I might visit in my old clothes a king and queen who lived simply in such a house as I have described, if I were going their way; but backing out of a modern palace will be all that I shall desire to learn, if ever I am caught in one.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
Do me a favor, Ro,” Day said calmly. “What’s that?” Ronowski peeked around Johnson again. “Johnson won’t be with you all the time. Remind me to kick your ass later,” Day said. Ronowski came to stand in front of Day, looked at his watch and smirked. “Sure, what time works for you?” Day looked at his watch too. “Uhhh, let’s see. How’s five thirty, is that good?” “I just remembered I’m busy at five thirty.” “So what time can you be there?” “I can do five thirty-five.” “Damn, that’s cutting it close. I might be a little late, but wait on my ass whippin’.” “Will you dumb asses shut up? Lord help us…they’ve bonded.” The captain tried to suppress his laugh. “God, how the hell do you put up with Day’s mouth?” “I got something that’ll make him shut him up,” God said in a deep voice. Everyone groaned and scrunched their faces up in disgust. “We don’t want to hear that shit, God. Ugh,” the captain said while pouring his cup of coffee. God looked at Day and saw he wasn’t the slightest bit fazed and if he knew his lover—which he most certainly did—Day would not let him get the last word. “It’s all a mind game that I play with God. He thinks he’s shutting me up…but when he’s finished with my mouth…I start talking again.” Day winked. “I’m leaving. I should write your asses up for inappropriate conduct in front of a superior.” The captain hauled ass out of the room. Johnson and Ronowski were shaking their heads too and telling Day “he sure knew how to clear a room.” “I got to get back across town,” Johnson said and bent down and whispered something in Ronowski’s ear that made the man turn red. God tried to pull Day away but he refused to budge. When Johnson said good-bye to them and left out the room, Day mock whispered to Ronowski. “I told you. One good pounding is all you—” “For fucks sake, Leo,” Ronowski groaned, grabbing his soda hightailing it out of there before Day could finish his sentence.
A.E. Via
I flip the lock back in place and turn, hitting a concrete wall of a man. “What’s he made of? Concrete and sex?” I whisper into the phone like the man in front of me can’t hear me. “Good, he’s already there,” I hear Elle say as my eyes travel up and up an endless span of chest. Up, up, up, until my eyes finally land on a hard face with a clenched jaw. He’s hot in that oh-my-God-he-could-crush-me way. Wait, is that hot? “Listen here, Hulk. You can take your incredible body and vacate my home. I won’t be needing your services.” “I’m standing in the middle of your apartment, and you didn't so much as scream. This is despite you knowing someone has been stalking you. I could have been that someone. Fuck. I could be that someone.” I snort and roll my eyes. “Yeah right, Hulk-man.” I pat him on the chest before resting my hand there. I start to rub. I only meant to do a quick pat, but now I can’t seem to remove my hand. I like the feel of him. I don’t think I’ve ever liked the feel of a man before. I don’t think I’ve ever had the urge to touch one before. “You think I couldn’t hurt you?” He grabs my wrist, pulling it away from his chest. The action makes me frown. Oh, I know he could hurt me, but someone like him would never stalk me. That just didn’t add up to me. If anything, I’d end up stalking him. “Oh, I’m sure you could Hulk smash me.” Now that I’m not touching him, I bring my other hand up to his chest and continue doing what I was doing before, but he just grabs that wrist, too. “Then why aren’t you worried?” His words are hard and laced with anger. So unlike the soft hold he has on my wrist. I could easily pull away with one good tug. Maybe. “Someone like you wouldn’t stalk me.In fact, I don’t see anyone stalking me. There has to be a mi...” His mouth hits mine, cutting off my words. He gives a little tug on my wrist, and I fall into him, gasping when I feel his erection press into me. He takes the opening and pushes his tongue into my mouth. I let my eyes close as he devours me. My body feels like I’m buzzing. I push further into him, wanting to be closer. I deepen the kiss. He goes to pull back, but I wrap my hands around his neck, not even noticing that I’m eye level with him and that my feet are no longer on the floor as I pull him back to me. I move against him, needing the friction. His cock is settled against my core, and I move my hips against him, taking what I want. What I need. Everything else is forgotten, my mind just shuts off. He growls into my mouth, and I swear the sound vibrates through my whole body and goes straight to where I need it. My body explodes. A moan falls from my lips as I finally pull them from his. I let my head drop back and enjoy the sensations rocking through my whole body. I feel like I’m floating. When I finally come back down, I realize I kind of am. My legs are wrapped around his waist and I’ve somehow ended up with my back to a wall. I feel his tongue come out and lick my neck, making my body jerk. “I wanna do that again,” I say lazily. I think I could do that over and over again. “Your place isn’t secure. Come to mine and I’ll do it over and over again.” “Mmkay,” is all I say. I’d probably go anywhere he asked me at the moment. “Holy shit.” I roll my head to the side and see my sister standing in the doorway. A man stands beside her with a shocked looked on his face, mirroring Elle’s expression. I’m guessing that’s her guard. “I’m keeping this one,” I say, locking my arms around him, not wanting to do a trade. “Fuck,” Hart says, placing me on the floor. I regretfully let my arms fall from around his neck. He steps in front of me, blocking my view of my sister and the other man. “I don’t think you should be her guard, Hart,” I hear the other man say. His words make my heart drop. “I’m moving in with him,” I retort, popping my head out from behind him. Elle giggles.
Alexa Riley (Guarding His Obsession)
Suddenly I realized I was standing on the hot wood of the dock, still touching elbows with Adam, staring at the skull-and-crossbones pendant. And when I looked up into his light blue eyes, I saw that he was staring at my neck. No. Down lower. “What’cha staring at?” I asked. He cleared his throat. “Tank top or what?” This was his seal of approval, as in, Last day of school or what? or, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders or what? Hooray! He wasn’t Sean, but he was built of the same material. This was a good sign. I pumped him for more info, to make sure. “What about my tank top?” “You’re wearing it.” He looked out across the lake, showing me his profile. His cheek had turned bright red under his tan. I had embarrassed the wrong boy. Damn, it was back to the football T-shirt for me. No it wasn’t, either. I couldn’t abandon my plan. I had a fish to catch. “Look,” I told Adam, as if he hadn’t already looked. “Sean’s leaving at the end of the summer. Yeah, yeah, he’ll be back next summer, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to compete once he’s had a taste of college life and sorority girls. It’s now or never, and desperate times call for desperate tank tops.” Adam opened his mouth to say something. I shut him up by raising my hand. Imitating his deep boy-voice, I said, “I don’t know why you want to hook up with that jerk.” We’d had this conversation whenever we saw each other lately. I said in my normal voice, “I just do, okay? Let me do it, and don’t get in my way. Stay out of my net, little dolphin.” I bumped his hip with my hip. Or tried to, but he was a lot taller than me. I actually hit somewhere around his mid-thigh. He folded his arms, stared me down, and pressed his lips together. He tried to look grim. I could tell he was struggling not to laugh. “Don’t call me that.” “Why not?” “Dolphins don’t live in the lake,” he said matter-of-factly, as if this were the real reason. The real reason was that the man-child within him did not want to be called “little” anything. Boys were like that. I shrugged. “Fine, little brim. Little bass.” He walked toward the stairs. “Little striper.” He turned. “What if Sean actually asked you out?” I didn’t want to be teased about this. It could happen! “You act like it’s the most remote poss-“ “He has to ride around with the sunroof open just so he can fit his big head in the truck. Where would you sit?” “In his lap?” A look of disgust flashed across Adam’s face before he jogged up the stairs, his weight making the weathered planks creaked with every step.
Jennifer Echols (Endless Summer (The Boys Next Door, #1-2))
I agree with Miss Erstwhile, you are acting like a scarecrow. I do not know why you put on this act, Nobley, when around the port table or out in the field you’re rather a pleasant fellow.” “Really? That is curious,” Jane said. “Why, Mr. Nobley, are you generous in your attentions with gentlemen and yet taciturn and withdrawn around the fairer sex?” Mr. Nobley’s eyes were back on the printed page, though they didn’t scan the lines. “Perhaps I do not possess the type of conversation that would interest a lady.” “You say ‘perhaps’ as though you do not believe it yourself. What else might be the reason, sir?” Jane smiled. Needling Mr. Nobley was feeling like a very productive use of the evening. “Perhaps another reason might be that I myself do not find the conversation of ladies to be very stimulating.” His eyes were dark. “Hm, I just can’t imagine why you’re still unmarried.” “I might say the same for you.” “Mr. Nobley!” cried Aunt Saffronia. “No, it’s all right, Aunt,” Jane said. “I asked for it. And I don’t even mind answering.” She put a hand on her hip and faced him. “One reason why I am unmarried is because there aren’t enough men with guts to put away their little boy fears and commit their love and stick it out.” “And perhaps the men do not stick it out for a reason.” “And what reason might that be?” “The reason is women.” He slammed his book shut. “Women make life impossible until the man has to be the one to end it. There is no working it out past a certain point. How can anyone work out the lunacy?” Mr. Nobley took a ragged breath, then his face went red as he seemed to realize what he’d said, where he was. He put the book down gently, pursed his lips, cleared his throat. No one in the room made eye contact. “Someone has issues,” said Miss Charming in a quiet, singsongy voice. “I beg you, Lady Templeton,” Colonel Andrews said, standing, his smile almost convincingly nonchalant, “play something rousing on the pianoforte. I promised to engage Miss Erstwhile in a dance. I cannot break a promise to such a lovely young thing, not and break her heart and further blacken her view of the world, so you see my urgency.” “An excellent suggestion, Colonel Andrews,” Aunt Saffronia said. “It seems all our spirits could use a lift. I think we feel the lack of Sir Templeton’s presence, indeed I do.” Mr. Nobley, of course, declined to dance, so Jane and the colonel stood up with Captain East and Miss Charming, whose spirits were speedily improving. Twice she turned the wrong way, ramming herself into the captain’s shoulder, saying “pip, pip” and “jolly good.” Jane spied Mr. Nobley on the sofa, staring at the window and a reflection of the dancers.
Shannon Hale (Austenland (Austenland, #1))
I don’t know what to do with you,” he said, his voice growing curt with anger again. “Deceitful little minx. I’m of half a mind to put you to work, milking the goats. But that’s out of the question with these hands, now isn’t it?” He curled and uncurled her fingers a few times, testing the bandage. “I’ll tell Stubb to change this twice a day. Can’t risk the wound going septic. And don’t use your hands for a few days, at least.” “Don’t use my hands? I suppose you’re going to spoon-feed me, then? Dress me? Bathe me?” He inhaled slowly and closed his eyes. “Don’t use your hands much.” His eyes snapped open. “None of that sketching, for instance.” She jerked her hands out of his grip. “You could slice off my hands and toss them to the sharks, and I wouldn’t stop sketching. I’d hold the pencil with my teeth if I had to. I’m an artist.” “Really. I thought you were a governess.” “Well, yes. I’m that, too.” He packed up the medical kit, jamming items back in the box with barely controlled fury. “Then start behaving like one. A governess knows her place. Speaks when spoken to. Stays out of the damn way.” Rising to his feet, he opened the drawer and threw the box back in. “From this point forward, you’re not to touch a sail, a pin, a rope, or so much as a damned splinter on this vessel. You’re not to speak to crewmen when they’re on watch. You’re forbidden to wander past the foremast, and you need to steer clear of the helm, as well.” “So that leaves me doing what? Circling the quarterdeck?” “Yes.” He slammed the drawer shut. “But only at designated times. Noon hour and the dogwatch. The rest of the day, you’ll remain in your cabin.” Sophia leapt to her feet, incensed. She hadn’t fled one restrictive program of behavior, just to submit to another. “Who are you to dictate where I can go, when I can go there, what I’m permitted to do? You’re not the captain of this ship.” “Who am I?” He stalked toward her, until they stood toe-to-toe. Until his radiant male heat brought her blood to a boil, and she had to grab the table edge to keep from swaying toward him. “I’ll tell you who I am,” he growled. “I’m a man who cares if you live or die, that’s who.” Her knees melted. “Truly?” “Truly. Because I may not be the captain, but I’m the investor. I’m the man you owe six pounds, eight. And now that I know you can’t pay your debts, I’m the man who knows he won’t see a bloody penny unless he delivers George Waltham a governess in one piece.” Sophia glared at him. How did he keep doing this to her? Since the moment they’d met in that Gravesend tavern, there’d been an attraction between them unlike anything she’d ever known. She knew he had to feel it, too. But one minute, he was so tender and sensual; the next, so crass and calculating. Now he would reduce her life’s value to this cold, impersonal amount? At least back home, her worth had been measured in thousands of pounds not in shillings. “I see,” she said. “This is about six pounds, eight shillings. That’s the reason you’ve been watching me-“ He made a dismissive snort. “I haven’t been watching you.” “Staring at me, every moment of the day, so intently it makes my…my skin crawl and all you’re seeing is a handful of coins. You’d wrestle a shark for a purse of six pounds, eight. It all comes down to money for you.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
Any prize off this bottom row,” the guy tells us, walking away to a waiting customer. “You did it!” I jump down off the counter and wrap my arms around his neck. “You won me a prize!” “Thank fuck.” His arms wrap around me. “I was starting to worry for a moment there. Felt like I was losing my man card.” I reach up on my tiptoes and kiss his lips. “Never. And thank you.” I tip my head back to look into his face. His hands slide down my back to my ass, and he gives it a squeeze. “Go pick your prize, Boston.” Leaving Liam, I head back to the counter and lean over, looking at the bottom row of prizes. I see all kinds of crap here, including really cheap-looking stuffed animals and dolls. I definitely do not want a doll. They freak me out. Then, I spy this sad-looking odd toy. Reaching over, I grab it. Liam comes up behind me as I right myself. His chest is pressed to my back. “Is that a…fucking knitted jellyfish?” I turn my head to look up at him. He’s squinting at the toy I’ve picked up. I look back down at it in my hands, and I think he’s right. It is a knitted jellyfish toy. “I think so.” It’s white and pink and looks like a little princess jellyfish. And the more I look at it, the cuter it becomes…in a weird knitted jellyfish way. “She looks like a jellyfish princess,” I say. “It looks like a piece of shit.” “Hey! You’ll hurt her feelings.” I jab him in the arm. Then, I hug her. “I shall call her Squishy, and she shall be mine.” I laugh, meeting Liam’s blank expression. “Finding Nemo? No?” I say. Liam slowly shakes his head, looking at me like I’ve lost my mind. “Okay, makes sense. You were probably too old to watch it when it first came out—you know, when I was still in diapers and you were out serenading teenage girls with the Backstreet Boys—hey!” I squeal when he digs me in the ribs with his fingers. “We’ll watch Nemo later, and then you’ll get the reference.” I turn to the guy. “I’ll take Squishy,” I tell him, holding the stuffed animal up. “Okay, what’s next?” I hook my arm through Liam’s, holding Squishy to my chest. “Hook a Duck.” “Hook a what?” I give him a confused look. “Duck.” “And what’s Hook a Duck?” “You don’t know what Hook a Duck is?” Liam looks appalled. “No…but I feel like I should.” “You should.” “What’s so special about it?” “Well, nothing special per se, but it’s like a rite of passage. Every kid plays Hook a Duck when they come to the fair.” “Hate to break it to you, Hunter, but we’re not kids.” “Maybe not. But it’s your first time at a fair in England, and you have to play.” Liam grabs my hand and sets off, I assume, in search of this Hook a Duck game. We find one a few minutes later, and it’s closed. All shut up with the tarpaulin covering the booth. “It’s closed. Never mind,” I say to him. I start to walk away, but Liam tugs me back by the hand he’s holding. “Like a little thing like it being closed is going to stop us from playing.” He gives me a grin and drops my hand. I watch as he unhooks the tarpaulin at the bottom and lifts it just enough so that he can sneak in underneath it. “Hunter, what are you doing?” I hiss. He ducks his head back out. “Come on,” he whispers, holding the material up for me to go under. “I’m not going in there.” “Yes you are. Now hurry the fuck up, or you’ll get me arrested for breaking into a Hook a Duck tent,” he whispers. “Ugh,” I complain.
Samantha Towle (The Ending I Want)
Tell me what happened.” “He was here,” I said, hoarse. “He lit the can on fire and took the extinguisher nearby. I ran to the back to get the other and he pushed one of the shelves over on me.” The muscles in Holt’s jaw clenched and flexed beneath the stubble that lined his face. “Do you ever shave?” I wondered out loud. He smiled and rubbed at the gruffness. “I just trim it.” I nodded. “Do you like it?” he asked. Once again, I touched him, brazenly running my hand along his jaw. It was soft and rough at the same time—the perfect balance. “Yeah, I do.” “Good to know,” he said, taking my hand, linking our fingers together, and then his face grew serious again. “Obviously, I avoided the shelf.” “Did you get a look at his face?” I cringed at the hopefulness in his voice. “No,” I admitted. “I tried, but he kicked me.” His eyes went murderous. Maybe I shouldn’t have said that. “He. Kicked. You,” he ground out, making each word into a pointed sentence. This time I kept my mouth shut. “Where?” he demanded. I wasn’t going to reply, but his eyes narrowed and I knew he would eventually make me tell him. I was going to have to tell the cops anyway. Weariness floated over me at the thought of enduring yet another one of their hours-long interrogations. I lifted my wrist, the bandage just dangling from the area now, not covering or protecting a thing. The waves of hatred that rolled off him made me sincerely glad that all that emotion wasn’t directed at me. He stared at my delicately injured skin (some of it had gotten torn in the struggle and was slick with some sort of puss… Eww, gross), and I kind of thought the top of his head might explode. I was going to reassure him that I was okay, but the police rushed inside, followed closely behind by a medic with a first aid kit. “She needs medical attention,” Holt barked, authority ringing through his tone. The medic hurried to comply, slamming down his kit and springing it open. Holt dropped his hand onto the man’s shoulder and squeezed. “Bryant, I don’t even want to see a flick of pain cross her face when you touch her.” Bryant looked at me and swallowed thickly. “Yes, Chief.” “Chief?” I said, looking up at Holt. “I’ll be right back,” he said to me in a much gentler tone and then moved away. Bryant was fumbling with his supplies, Holt’s words clearly making him nervous. “Relax.” I tried to soothe him. “He’s just on edge about what happened. I’m fine. I promise to smile the whole time you fix me up.” “But it’s going to hurt,” he blurted apologetically. “Yeah, I know. Just do it. I’ll be fine.” That seemed to calm him a little, and he got to work. It did hurt. Incredibly. I felt Holt’s stare and I glanced up, giving him a fake smile. He rolled his eyes and turned back to one of the officers. “Hey,” I said to the medic. “Why did you call him chief?” He gave me a quizzical look. “Arkain’s the Wilmington Fire Chief.” My eyes jerked back to Holt where he stood talking to the police force and the firefighters that responded to the call. His firefighters. “I didn’t realize,” I murmured. Bryant nodded. “I guess I can understand that. He’s a humble guy. Doesn’t like to throw his position around.” I made a sound of agreement as he applied something to my wrist that made my entire body jerk. I bit down on my lip to keep from crying out. “I’m sorry!” he said a little too loudly. Holt stiffened and he turned, looking at me over his shoulder. I blinked back the tears that flooded my eyes and waved at him with my free hand. He said a few more words to the men standing around him and then he left them, coming to stand over poor Bryant. I never realized how intimidating he was when he wanted to be.
Cambria Hebert (Torch (Take It Off, #1))
Evening,” Zane said. It was a pretty wordy opening for him. Phoebe debated inviting him in, then decided it would be too much like an offer to sleep with him. Instead of stepping back and pointing to the bed, which was really what she wanted to do, she moved down the hallway, shutting the door behind her, and did her best to look unimpressed. “Hi, Zane. How are the preparations coming?” He gave her one of his grunts, then shrugged. She took that to mean, “Great. And thanks so much for asking.” They weren’t standing all that close, but she was intensely aware of him. Despite the fact that he’d probably been up at dawn and that it was now close to ten, he still smelled good. He wasn’t wearing his cowboy hat, so she could see his dark hair. Stubble defined his jaw. She wanted to rub her hands over the roughness, then maybe hook her leg around his hip and slide against him like the sex-starved fool she was turning out to be. “Maya’ll be here tomorrow,” he said. “Elaine Mitchell is bringing her out to the ranch with all of the greenhorns in her tourist bus.” She had to clear her throat before speaking. “Maya called me about an hour ago to let me know she’d be getting here about three.” He folded his arms across his broad chest, then leaned sideways against the doorjamb beside her. So very close. Her attention fixed on the strong column of his neck, and a certain spot just behind his jaw that she had a sudden urge to kiss. Would it be warm? Would she feel his pulse against her lips? “She doesn’t need to know what happened,” Zane said. Phoebe couldn’t quite make sense of his words, and he must have read the confusion in her eyes. They were alone, it was night and the man seemed to be looming above her in the hallway. She’d never thought she would enjoy being loomed over, but it was actually very nice. She had the feeling that if she suddenly saw a mouse or something, she could shriek and jump, and he would catch her. Of course he would think she was an idiot, but that was beside the point. “Between us,” he explained. “Outside. She doesn’t need to know about the kiss.” A flood of warmth rushed to her face as she understood that he regretted kissing her. She instinctively stepped backward, only to bump her head against the closed bedroom door. Before she had time to be embarrassed about her lack of grace or sophistication, he groaned, reached for her hips and drew her toward him. “She doesn’t need to know about this one, either.” His lips took hers with a gentle but commanding confidence. Her hands settled on either side of the strong neck she’d been eyeing only seconds ago. His skin was as warm as she’d imagined it would be. The cords of his muscles moved against her fingers as he lifted his head to a better angle. His hands were still, except his thumbs, which brushed her hip bones, slow and steady. His fingers splayed over the narrowest part of her waist and nearly met at the small of her back. She wished she could feel his fingertips against her skin, but her thin cotton top got in the way. He kept her body at a frustrating distance from his. In fact, when she tried to move closer, he held her away even as he continued the kiss. Lips on lips. Hot and yielding. She waited for him to deepen the kiss, but he didn’t. And she couldn’t summon the courage to do it herself. Finally, he drew back and rested his forehead against hers for a long moment. “Do me a favor,” he said. “Try to be a little more resistible. I don’t think I can take a week of this.” Then he turned on his heel, walked to a door at the end of the long hallway, and went inside. She stood in place, her fingers pressed against her still-tingling lips. More than a minute passed before she realized she was smiling.
Susan Mallery (Kiss Me (Fool's Gold, #17))
Jane, the captain, and the colonel begged out of cards, sat by the window, and made fun of Mr. Nobley. She glanced once at the garden, imagined Martin seeing her now, and felt popular and pretty--Emma Woodhouse from curls to slippers. It certainly helped that all the men were so magnificent. Unreal, actually. Austenland was feeling cozier. “Do you think he hears us?” Jane asked. “See how he doesn’t lift his eyes from that book? In all, his manners and expression are a bit too determined, don’t you think?” “Right you are, Miss Erstwhile,” Colonel Andrews said. “His eyebrow is twitching,” Captain East said gravely. “Why, so it is, Captain!” the colonel said. “Well observed.” “Then again, the eyebrow twitch could be caused by some buried guilt,” Jane said. “I believe you’re right again, Miss Erstwhile. Perhaps he does not hear us at all.” “Of course I hear you, Colonel Andrews,” said Mr. Nobley, his eyes still on the page. “I would have to be deaf not to, the way you carry on.” “I say, do not be gruff with us, Nobley, we are only having a bit of fun, and you are being rather tedious. I cannot abide it when my friends insist on being scholarly. The only member of our company who can coax you away from those books is our Miss Heartwright, but she seems altogether too pensive tonight as well, and so our cause is lost.” Mr. Nobley did look up now, just in time to catch Miss Heartwright’s face turn away shyly. “You might show a little more delicacy around the ladies, Colonel Andrews,” he said. “Stuff and nonsense. I agree with Miss Erstwhile, you are acting like a scarecrow. I do not know why you put on this act, Nobley, when around the port table or out in the field you’re rather a pleasant fellow.” “Really? That is curious,” Jane said. “Why, Mr. Nobley, are you generous in your attentions with gentlemen and yet taciturn and withdrawn around the fairer sex?” Mr. Nobley’s eyes were back on the printed page, though they didn’t scan the lines. “Perhaps I do not possess the type of conversation that would interest a lady.” “You say ‘perhaps’ as though you do not believe it yourself. What else might be the reason, sir?” Jane smiled. Needling Mr. Nobley was feeling like a very productive use of the evening. “Perhaps another reason might be that I myself do not find the conversation of ladies to be very stimulating.” His eyes were dark. “Hm, I just can’t imagine why you’re still unmarried.” “I might say the same for you.” “Mr. Nobley!” cried Aunt Saffronia. “No, it’s all right, Aunt,” Jane said. “I asked for it. And I don’t even mind answering.” She put a hand on her hip and faced him. “One reason why I am unmarried is because there aren’t enough men with guts to put away their little boy fears and commit their love and stick it out.” “And perhaps the men do not stick it out for a reason.” “And what reason might that be?” “The reason is women.” He slammed his book shut. “Women make life impossible until the man has to be the one to end it. There is no working it out past a certain point. How can anyone work out the lunacy?” Mr. Nobley took a ragged breath, then his face went red as he seemed to realize what he’d said, where he was. He put the book down gently, pursed his lips, cleared his throat. No one in the room made eye contact. “Someone has issues,” said Miss Charming in a quiet, singsongy voice. “I beg you, Lady Templeton,” Colonel Andrews said, standing, his smile almost convincingly nonchalant, “play something rousing on the pianoforte. I promised to engage Miss Erstwhile in a dance. I cannot break a promise to such a lovely young thing, not and break her heart and further blacken her view of the world, so you see my urgency.” “An excellent suggestion, Colonel Andrews,” Aunt Saffronia said. “It seems all our spirits could use a lift.
Shannon Hale (Austenland (Austenland, #1))
FOREWORD When Commander Perry opened up to the occidental world that shut-tight little island Kingdom, Japan, he did more than merely contact for our manufacturers a people who bought "Nifty Clothes," with two pair of pants. He gave us an insight into a world that was thoroughly organized and civilized long before Columbus discovered West where the East should have been. The Japanese learned much from the so-called civilized world, -but they taught us something we could never have learned from intercourse with any other nation. They gave our governmental forces of law and order a weapon that aided materially in the suppression of disorderly elements throughout our great cities. It took time, of course, to break down the prejudices that our early enforcement officers, in common with our then wild and wooly population, had against anything that was foreign. But when the great police forces of our largest metropolises realized that guns and billies alone would not be proof against big, burly lawbreakers, and that to instil respect in the hearts of "bruisers" they needed something other than armaments—pistols that could not be drawn fast enough,—they then discovered the wonder of Jiu-jitsu. They found that the wily little brown man depended on brain instead of brawn and that he had developed a Science and an Art that utilized another's strength to his own undoing. Strangely enough it was the layman who first appreciated the potential value of Jiu-jitsu. For many years before the Police Forces of our cities put a study of this Science into the training of every rookie policeman, there were physical culture experts in America who advocated the use of it by everyone who had any respect for physical prowess but who found the spirit more willing than the flesh. They showed that it needed no possession of unusual strength to overcome an opponent that depended entirely on his bulk and ferocious appearance to cow the meeker ones of the earth into submission. The Japanese, by the very fact of their small stature, are compelled to place more emphasis on strategy than on force. Thus they have thoroughly developed Jiu-jitsu and there is barely a saffron-hued tot in Japan that doesn't know something about the "Gentle-Art" as it is known. President Masaryk of Czechoslovakia, one of the world's greatest educators, who, together with millions of his enlightened and progressive countrymen, is a firm believer in "a strong mind in a strong body," sought to teach every schoolboy in his country some knowledge of the wisest of all physical sciences. While it does not itself develop and build muscle, it is an invaluable aid to the sensible use of the body. It is a form of wrestling that combines the cunning of the fox with the lithe grace and agility of the panther. It sharpens the brain and quickens the nerve centers. The man or woman who has self-respect must not sit by and permit our people to become a nation of spectators watching athletic specialists perform, while we become obese and ungainly applauders. Jiu-jitsu gives the man, woman and child, denied by nature a great frame, the opportunity to walk without fear, to resist successfully the bullies of their particular world, and the self-confidence which only a "well-armed" athlete can have. By its use, differences in weight, height and reach are practically wiped out, so that he who knows, may smilingly face superior odds and conquer.
Louis Shomer (Police Jiu-Jitsu: and Vital Holds In Wrestling)
down. He’d expected Rex to argue with him, to negotiate the price down some. Amos would have gladly taken two-hundred dollars to keep his mouth shut and go away. It actually hurt him a little that Rex hadn’t begged him to stay on as a ranch hand; he’d expected the younger Tovey to at least bring up the notion. Amos shook his head as he rode on toward the spot where he would connect with the road that led to town. It probably wasn’t Rex’s decision anyway, it occurred to him. Old Man Tovey called all the shots on the ranch. Amos had had a hard time believing that at first, given how aged and ill and decrepit the senior Tovey was. But gradually he’d come to accept the truth of the situation. His ultimate boss for the past several months had been a man who had one foot—hell, one foot and three toes—in the grave. After tucking the money away, Amos Fitch rode on, determined that he would put the whole affair behind him. I’ll move on west, he told himself. California. Five-hundred dollars is enough to give a man a good start on a new life . . . A few minutes later, with the road in sight a couple hundred years before him, Amos became aware of movement nearby. At first, he assumed that a small or mid-sized animal was darting out from the brush, but it quickly became apparent that the source of the movement was something
James Leonard (The First to Draw (Western Justice))
HE DO THE POLICE IN DIFFERENT VOICES: Part I THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD First we had a couple of feelers down at Tom's place, There was old Tom, boiled to the eyes, blind, (Don't you remember that time after a dance, Top hats and all, we and Silk Hat Harry, And old Tom took us behind, brought out a bottle of fizz, With old Jane, Tom's wife; and we got Joe to sing 'I'm proud of all the Irish blood that's in me, 'There's not a man can say a word agin me'). Then we had dinner in good form, and a couple of Bengal lights. When we got into the show, up in Row A, I tried to put my foot in the drum, and didn't the girl squeal, She never did take to me, a nice guy - but rough; The next thing we were out in the street, Oh it was cold! When will you be good? Blew in to the Opera Exchange, Sopped up some gin, sat in to the cork game, Mr. Fay was there, singing 'The Maid of the Mill'; Then we thought we'd breeze along and take a walk. Then we lost Steve. ('I turned up an hour later down at Myrtle's place. What d'y' mean, she says, at two o'clock in the morning, I'm not in business here for guys like you; We've only had a raid last week, I've been warned twice. Sergeant, I said, I've kept a decent house for twenty years, she says, There's three gents from the Buckingham Club upstairs now, I'm going to retire and live on a farm, she says, There's no money in it now, what with the damage don, And the reputation the place gets, on account off of a few bar-flies, I've kept a clean house for twenty years, she says, And the gents from the Buckingham Club know they're safe here; You was well introduced, but this is the last of you. Get me a woman, I said; you're too drunk, she said, But she gave me a bed, and a bath, and ham and eggs, And now you go get a shave, she said; I had a good laugh, couple of laughs (?) Myrtle was always a good sport'). treated me white. We'd just gone up the alley, a fly cop came along, Looking for trouble; committing a nuisance, he said, You come on to the station. I'm sorry, I said, It's no use being sorry, he said; let me get my hat, I said. Well by a stroke of luck who came by but Mr. Donovan. What's this, officer. You're new on this beat, aint you? I thought so. You know who I am? Yes, I do, Said the fresh cop, very peevish. Then let it alone, These gents are particular friends of mine. - Wasn't it luck? Then we went to the German Club, Us We and Mr. Donovan and his friend Joe Leahy, Heinie Gus Krutzsch Found it shut. I want to get home, said the cabman, We all go the same way home, said Mr. Donovan, Cheer up, Trixie and Stella; and put his foot through the window. The next I know the old cab was hauled up on the avenue, And the cabman and little Ben Levin the tailor, The one who read George Meredith, Were running a hundred yards on a bet, And Mr. Donovan holding the watch. So I got out to see the sunrise, and walked home. * * * * April is the cruellest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land....
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land Facsimile)
But alas, I’m here, drunk off my ass, boobs practically spilling out of my shirt, and my mascara slowly melting off my eyelashes and onto my face, morphing me from new-in-town college girl, to trash panda from the raccoon clan. “Dottie, Lindsay,” I say weakly, moving my head from side to side. “Where art thou?” “You need help?” a deep voice slurs next to me. I look to my right through very blurry vision and make out what I’m going to assume is an incredibly attractive man. But then again, I’m drunk—the whole mascara melting off my eyes in full swing—and I’ve been fooled once before. But hey, I think those are blue eyes. Can’t go wrong with that . . . reasoning that will be thought better of in the morning. “Have you seen Dottie or Lindsay?” “Can’t say that I have,” he answers, resting against the wall with me. “Damn it. I think they’re making out with some baseball players. Have you seen any of those around?” “Baseball players?” “Mm-hmm.” I nod, shutting my eyes for a second but then shooting them back open when I feel myself wobble to the side. The guy catches me by the hand before I topple over, but thanks to his alcohol intake, he’s not steady enough to hold us up and . . . timber . . . we fall to the couch next to me. “Whoa, great placement of furniture,” I say, as the guy topples on top of me. “Damn near saved our lives.” I rub my face against the scratchy and worn-out fabric. “How many people do you think have had sex on this thing?” “Probably less than what you’re thinking.” The couch is deep, giving me enough room to lie on my side with the guy in front of me, so we’re both facing each other. He smells nice, like vodka and cupcakes. “So, have you seen any baseball players around? I’m looking for my friends.” “Nah, but if you see any, let me know. I can’t find my room.” “You live here?” I ask, eyes wide. “Yup,” he answers, enunciating the P. “For two years now.” “And you don’t remember where your room is?” “It has a yellow door. If the damn room would stop spinning I’d be able to find it.” “Well . . . maybe if we find your room, we’ll find my friends,” I say, my drunk mind making complete sense. “That’s a great idea.” He rolls off the couch and then stands to his feet, wobbling from side to side as he holds out his hand to me. Without even blinking, I take it in mine and let him help me to my feet. “Yellow door, let’s go,” I say, raising my crumpled cup to the air. “We’re on the move.” He keeps my hand clasped in his and we stumble together past beer pong, people making out against walls, the kitchen, to an open space full of doors. “Yellow door, do you see one?” I blink a few times and then see a flash of sunshine. “There.” I point with force. “Yellow, right there.” His head snaps to where I’m pointing. A beam of light illuminates the color of the door, making it seem like we’re about to walk right into the sun. I’m a little chilly, so I welcome the heat. “Fuck, there it is. You’re good.” 
Meghan Quinn (The Locker Room (The Brentwood Boys, #1))
I’m just happy because I like it when you call me Joshua,” he said, smiling. His fingers brushed the hair at the top of my forehead and he kissed me gently. There was something so intimate in the way he was with me I had to change the subject. “What’s this, Joshua?” I asked, looking away from him, picking up a dog-eared copy of Under a Flaming Sky from the upside-down box he used as a nightstand. I flopped onto my back. “I didn’t know you like to read.” He scooted down to lie next to me and propped himself on his elbow. “I like to read about fires.” I held the book over my face. “Is it any good? What’s it about?” I smiled at him. “Will you read me a chapter?” He took the book from me and leaned over the other side of the bed. “It’s about a firestorm in Minnesota, back in 1894.” When he came back up, he was wearing glasses. I blinked at him as he flipped to the dog-eared page, scooting to sit up against his pillows. “Shut the fuck up,” I said, staring at him. He looked over at me. “What?” “You wear glasses?” “Just for reading. Why?” Just when I thought the man couldn’t get any more attractive, he goes and puts on motherfucking glasses. “This is a joke, right? You are not allowed to get hotter than you already are. I forbid it.” He set the book down across his lap and grinned at me. “You like the glasses, huh?” He bounced his eyebrows. “Want me to keep them on the next time?” I giggled. “Yes, please.” He pulled the glasses down and then put them back on. His eyes got wide. “Oh, wow. Look how pretty you are!” I laughed and moved his book, climbing over his lap until I straddled him. His sweatshirt rode up my thighs. Then I held his cheeks in my hands and peppered kisses all over his face. He closed his eyes and let me, beaming like a happy little kid.
Abby Jimenez
Leo turns to him, eyes bright with anticipation and a kind of hunger. "How's your mother?" he asks. "Is she happy now? After dragging us out here in the middle of the night, just to get a little attention?" Dagou struggles against the light-headedness of sudden fury. "Shut up," he manages. "You have no right---" Leo sniggers. "Look at you. Tears in your eyes!" "You're the one who put her here!" His voice shakes. "You couldn't help tracking your shit into her temple! Even there, you had to torment her!" "Mama's boy!" Leo sneers, his face grotesque and knowing. Something shatters in Dagou's mind. He lunges at his father, fingers reaching for his windpipe. "You deserve to die! I hate you. I'm going to kill you!" Leo is pushing back. He's a strong old man, but Dagou has not been working out for nothing. Dagou brings his father closer, tightens his grip on Leo's throat. A woman is shouting, giving orders, but Dagou can't listen. He feels his father's pulse: hot, human. Leo's eyes bulge.
Lan Samantha Chang (The Family Chao)
They spent three more long days in the whitened mountain ash trees on the whitened bay. Tatiana baked pies in Nellie’s big kitchen. Alexander read all the papers and magazines from stem to stern and talked post-war politics to Tatiana and Jimmy, and even to indifferent Nellie. In Nellie’s potato fields, Alexander built snowmen for Anthony. After the pies were in the oven, Tatiana came out of the house and saw six snowmen arrayed like soldiers from big to little. She tutted, rolled her eyes and dragged Anthony away to fall down and make angels in the snow instead. They made thirty of them, all in a row, arrayed like soldiers. On the third night of winter, Anthony was in their bed restfully asleep, and they were wide awake. Alexander was rubbing her bare buttocks under her gown. The only window in their room was blizzarded over. She assumed the blue moon was shining beyond. His hands were becoming very insistent. Alexander moved one of the blankets onto the floor, silently; moved her onto the blanket, silently; laid her flat onto her stomach, silently, and made love to her in stealth like they were doughboys on the ground, crawling to the frontline, his belly to her back, keeping her in a straight line, completely covering her tiny frame with his body, clasping her wrists above her head with one hand. As he confined her, he was kissing her shoulders, and the back of her neck, and her jawline, and when she turned her face to him, he kissed her lips, his free hand roaming over her legs and ribs while he moved deep and slow! amazing enough by itself, but even more amazingly he turned her to him to finish, still restraining her arms above her head, and even made a brief noise not just a raw exhale at the feverish end...and then they lay still, under the blankets, and Tatiana started to cry underneath him, and he said shh, shh, come on, but didn’t instantly move off her, like usual. “I’m so afraid,” she whispered. “Of what?” “Of everything. Of you.” He said nothing. She said, “So you want to get the heck out of here?” “Oh, God. I thought you’d never ask.” “Where do you think you’re going?” Jimmy asked when he saw them packing up the next morning. “We’re leaving,” Alexander replied. “Well, you know what they say,” Jim said. “Man proposes and God disposes. The bridge over Deer Isle is iced over. Hasn’t been plowed in weeks and won’t be. Nowhere to go until the snow melts.” “And when do you think that might be?” “April,” Jimmy said, and both he and Nellie laughed. Jimmy hugged her with his one good arm and Nellie, gazing brightly at him, didn’t look as if she cared that he had just the one. Tatiana and Alexander glanced at each other. April! He said to Jim, “You know what, we’ll take our chances.” Tatiana started to speak up, started to say, “Maybe they’re right—” and Alexander fixed her with such a stare that she instantly shut up, ashamed of questioning him in front of other people, and hurried on with the packing. They said goodbye to a regretful Jimmy and Nellie, said goodbye to Stonington and took their Nomad Deluxe across Deer Isle onto the mainland. In this one instant, man disposed. The bridge had been kept clear by the snow crews on Deer Isle. Because if the bridge was iced over, no one could get any produce shipments to the people in Stonington. “What a country,” said Alexander, as he drove out onto the mainland and south.
Paullina Simons (The Summer Garden (The Bronze Horseman, #3))
The trembly fellow sighed and said, “I’m all out of whack. I’m going uptown and see my doctor.” Mr. Flood snorted again. “Oh, shut up,” he said. “Damn your doctor! I tell you what you do. You get right out of here and go over to Libby’s oyster house and tell the man you want to eat some of his big oysters. Don’t sit down. Stand up at that fine marble bar they got over there, where you can watch the man knife them open. And tell him you intend to drink the oyster liquor; he’ll knife them on the cup shell, so the liquor won’t spill. And be sure you get the big ones. Get them so big you’ll have to rear back to swallow, the size that most restaurants use for fries and stews; God forgive them, they don’t know any better. Ask for Robbins Islands, Mattitucks, Cape Cods, or Saddle Rocks. And don’t put any of that red sauce on them, that cocktail sauce, that mess, that gurry. Ask the man for half a lemon, poke it a time or two to free the juice, and squeeze it over the oysters. And the first one he knifes, pick it up and smell it, the way you’d smell a rose, or a shot of brandy. That briny, seaweedy fragrance will clear your head; it’ll make your blood run faster. And don’t just eat six; take your time and eat a dozen, eat two dozen, eat three dozen, eat four dozen. And then leave the man a generous tip and go buy yourself a fifty-cent cigar and put your hat on the side of your head and take a walk down to Bowling Green. Look at the sky! Isn’t it blue? And look at the girls a-tap-tap-tapping past on their pretty little feet! Aren’t they just the finest girls you ever saw, the bounciest, the rumpiest, the laughingest? Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for even thinking about spending good money on a damned doctor? And along about here, you better be careful. You’re apt to feel so bucked-up you’ll slap strangers on the back, or kick a window in, or fight a cop, or jump on the tailboard of a truck and steal a ride.
Joseph Mitchell (Old Mr Flood)
The sky had changed again; a reddish glow was spreading up beyond the housetops. As dusk set in, the street grew more crowded. People were returning from their walks, and I noticed the dapper little man with the fat wife amongst the passers-by. Children were whimpering and trailing wearily after their parents. After some minutes the local picture houses disgorged their audiences. I noticed that the young fellows coming from them were taking longer strides and gesturing more vigorously than at ordinary times; doubtless the picture they‟d been seeing was of the wild-West variety. Those who had been to the picture houses in the middle of the town came a little later, and looked more sedate, though a few were still laughing. On the whole, however, they seemed languid and exhausted. Some of them remained loitering in the street under my window. A group of girls came by, walking arm in arm. The young men under my window swerved so as to brush against them, and shouted humorous remarks, which made the girls turn their heads and giggle. I recognized them as girls from my part of the town, and two or three of them, whom I knew, looked up and waved to me. Just then the street lamps came on, all together, and they made the stars that were beginning to glimmer in the night sky paler still. I felt my eyes getting tired, what with the lights and all the movement I‟d been watching in the street. There were little pools of brightness under the lamps, and now and then a streetcar passed, lighting up a girl‟s hair, or a smile, or a silver bangle. Soon after this, as the streetcars became fewer and the sky showed velvety black above the trees and lamps, the street grew emptier, almost imperceptibly, until a time came when there was nobody to be seen and a cat, the first of the evening, crossed, unhurrying, the deserted street. It struck me that I‟d better see about some dinner. I had been leaning so long on the back of my chair, looking down, that my neck hurt when I straightened myself up. I went down, bought some bread and spaghetti, did my cooking, and ate my meal standing.I‟d intended to smoke another cigarette at my window, but the night had turned rather chilly and I decided against it. As I was coming back, after shutting the window, I glanced at the mirror and saw reflected in it a corner of my table with my spirit lamp and some bits of bread beside it. It occurred to me that somehow I‟d got through another Sunday, that Mother now was buried, and tomorrow I‟d be going back to work as usual.Really, nothing in my life had changed18
Anonymous
Lazarus had studied those eyes during the long hours they had been shut up together in the control room. They bore an expression Lazarus had seen many times before in his long life. The condemned man who has lost his final appeal, the fully resolved suicide, little furry things exhausted and defeated by struggle with the unrelenting steel of traps-the eyes of each of these hold a single expression, born of hopeless conviction that his time has run out. Ford’s eyes had it. Lazarus had seen it grow and had been puzzled by it. To be sure, they were all in a dangerous spot, but Ford no more I than the rest. Besides, awareness of danger brings a live expression; why should Ford’s eyes hold the signal of death? Lazarus finally decided that it could only be because Ford had reached the dead-end state of mind where suicide is necessary.
Robert A. Heinlein
Oh, just shut the hell up. God didn’t create man to go stinking up town and scaring little children. I’ll tell you what God created. He created soap, you old jackass.
Eliza Maxwell (The Unremembered Girl)
was lost and the other fortress was likewise lost. These two forts were besieged by seventy-five thousand Turkish regulars and more than four hundred thousand Moors and Arabs from all parts of Africa and, accompanying this vast force, was an abundance of munitions and engines of war and so many sappers that, with their bare hands, they could have covered the Goleta and the half-built fortress with just a handful of earth each. The Goleta, until then accounted to be impregnable, was the first to be lost, and it was not taken through any default of valor of its defenders who, in its defense did all they could do or ought to have done, but because experience had shown with what ease entrenchments might be dug in that desert sand. Though water had, at one time, been found sixteen inches below the surface, the Turks did not find any at a depth of two yards. And, therefore, filling many sacks full of sand, they raised their earthworks so high that they did surmount the walls of the fort and, thus, they could fire at the defenders from a superior height, so that it was impossible to mount a defense. “It was the general opinion that our troops should not have shut themselves up inside the Goleta, but should have waited in the open field to meet the adversary at the place of their disembarkation. But those who say this speak from a comfortable remove and with little experience in matters of this kind. For, if in the Goleta and the other fort there were scarce seven thousand soldiers, how could so few in number, be they ever so resolute, have sallied forth into the field and, at the same time, remained inside the fortifications against so great a number of enemies? And how is it possible not to lose a fort when it is not reinforced and resupplied, especially when it is besieged by so many determined enemies fighting on their own soil? But many were of the opinion, and so it seemed to me as well, that Heaven granted Spain a special favor by permitting the destruction of that source of iniquity, that monster of insatiable appetite, that devourer of innumerable sums of money spent there unprofitably without serving any end, other than to preserve the memory of its capture by the invincible Charles V, as if those stones of the Goleta were necessary to sustain his eternal fame, as it is and forever shall be. “The other fort was also lost, but the Turks were constrained to win it inch by inch, for the soldiers who defended it fought so manfully and so resolutely that they killed more than five and twenty thousand of the enemy over the course of two and twenty general assaults. Of the three hundred of our men who were taken prisoner, not one was left without a wound, a clear and manifest sign of their valor and strength,
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Don Quixote)
That’s very trusting.” Iris watches Anke search our backpacks. “We’re saving people’s lives. We thought we could be,”Anke says. I’m more fixated on her arm in my backpack than on what she’s saying, though. That bag is nearly empty, but it’s mine. She’s messing it up. Her hands might not even be clean. When she does stop, I immediately wish she hadn’t. “Denise,” she says, “I need to search your bed next.” My gaze flicks to my pillow. “I. I. Could I.” “She doesn’t like people touching her bed.” Iris stands, guarding me. “You’re touching it,” Captain Van Zand’s brother says. Iris shoots him a withering look. “I sat at the foot, which is the only place that’s OK for even me to touch, and I’m her sister.” Anke’s sigh sounds closer to a hiss. “Look, we have more rooms to search.” I squirm. No. Not squirm. I’m rocking. Back and forth. “Wait,” I say. “You can’t—” Iris goes on. “Just ’cause she’s too precious to—” the man argues. “Wait,” I repeat, softer this time, so soft that I’m not even sure Iris hears it. “Can I, can I just, wait. I can lift the sheets and mattress myself. You can look. Right? Is that good? Right? Is that good? If I lift them?” I force my jaw shut. No one says anything for several moments. I can’t tell if Anke is thinking of a counterargument or if she really is trying to make this work. Her lips tighten. “OK. If you listen to my instructions exactly.” “You’re indulging her?” Captain Van Zand’s brother says. “She’s just being difficult. Have you ever seen an autistic kid? Trust me, they’re not the kind to take water scooters into the city like she did.” “Denise, just get it done,” Anke snaps. I don’t stand until they’re far enough away from the bed, as if they might jump at me and touch the bed themselves regardless. I blink away tears. It’s dumb, I know that—I’m treating Anke’s hands like some kind of nuclear hazard—but this is my space, mine, and too little is left that’s mine as is. I can’t even face Iris. With the way she tried to help, it feels as though I’m betraying her by offering this solution myself. I keep my head low and follow Anke’s orders one-handed. Take off both the satin and regular pillowcases, show her the pillow, shake it (although I tell her she can feel the pillow herself: that’s OK, since the pillowcases will cover it again anyway)—lift the sheets, shake them, lift the mattress long enough for her to shine her light underneath, let her feel the mattress (which is OK, too, since she’s just touching it from the bottom) . . . They tell us to stay in our room for another hour. I wash my hands, straighten the sheets, wash my hands again, and wrap the pillow in its cases. “That was a good solution,” Iris says. “Sorry,” I mutter. “For what?” Being difficult. Not letting her help me. I keep my eyes on the sheets as I make the bed and let out a small laugh.
Corinne Duyvis (On the Edge of Gone)
Well, go in,” said Pandora. “It’s open to the public.” “So, for once, we won’t have to destroy private property,” Uncle Mort said, opening the door. “Look how far we’ve come, gang—” A shriveled, bony fist punched him in the face. Since there wasn’t much force behind the blow, however, it just sort of shoved him off balance for a second. Uncle Mort rubbed his cheek, as if he’d been stung by a mosquito. “Ow.” “Don’t you dare come in here!” a little man in a bow tie and suspenders yelled. He stared out at them from behind a pair of humongous old-man glasses, his wispy white hairs quivering as he shouted. When the Juniors came in anyway, he got even angrier. “Don’t you dare take another step!” They took another step. “Don’t you dare—” “Turlington!” Pandora blared, holding up a balled fist of her own. “You shut that pie hole of yours or I’ll stuff it with a hearty slice of knuckle cobbler!” “Knuckle cobbler?” Lex whispered to Driggs. “Good name for a band,” he replied. The man almost fainted. “Pan—Pandora?” “Damn straight!” She puffed out her chest and trapped him up against the wall. “Now, you’re going to let these friends of mine bunk here for the evening, and you’re going to be real nice and real pleasant about it, and above all, you’re not even going to think of ratting us out. Got it?” “Yes, yes,” he said, shaking. “Whatever you need. I think I might even have some pillows and blankets left over from the last overnight camp, in the closet behind the—” Pandora karate-chopped the side of his head. The Juniors watched as he went down like a sack. “What’d you do that for?” Uncle Mort asked once the poor man stopped twitching. “He would have ratted,” Pandora said with confidence. “Old Turly was my partner for a brief stint back in our younger days. Thick as thieves, we were. But he’s a squirrelly bastard, I know that much.” “So are you,” Uncle Mort pointed out. “That’s why we were such good friends!” Uncle Mort stared at her for a moment more, then rubbed his eyes. “Okay. Fine. Make yourselves at home, kids. Just step right on over the unconscious senior citizen.
Gina Damico (Rogue (Croak, #3))
Kerry had headed up the back stairs of the pub, and even as exhausted as she was, she’d still found it impossible to wipe that image of Cooper from her mind. The sun setting over his back, highlighting the breadth of his shoulders, sending shadows under those cheekbones, made more chiseled by the ridiculously gorgeous, shit-eating grin that had been on his face when he made it clear he was in town to stay. “For another twenty-nine days anyway.” Kerry pulled her pillow over her face and groaned. Part of her was still in utter shock that he was actually there, in her town. Hell, in her orbit at all. Other parts of her--most of them hormonally activated--were still all aquiver from that kiss. She groaned again and ground clenched fists into the mattress on either side of her hips. Damn, but that kiss… How many times had she lain in bed, just like this, only in a bunkhouse at Cameroo Downs, and wondered what it would be like to be kissed by Cooper Jax? Okay, okay, a whole lot more than kissed. But damn…that kiss alone had been worlds better than the best sex she’d ever had. So much so, he’d probably ruined her for having sex with mere mortals. So I guess you’ll just have to have sex with him, then. “Not helpful,” she grunted at her little voice, jerking the pillow off her face and thumping it on the bed beside her. Besides, even if she was willing to have some kind of fling with Cooper, fulfill even a sliver of the many, oh, so very many fantasies she’d had about the man, he’d made it clear from pretty much the moment he’d set foot back into her world that he wasn’t looking for a fling. He’d strolled right in and made it clear he was looking for a--no. She squeezed her eyes shut and tightened her lips, willing her mind to go blank. It didn’t work. She couldn’t shut it out. Cooper Jax had, basically, proposed to her. Then he’d walked all up and down a kelp-covered, low-tide seashore and listened to her enumerate the reasons why they couldn’t even contemplate such a union. Right before kissing her in a way that defied science and made her wonder if she might need a pregnancy test, before pretty much declaring he was going to spend the next four weeks making it as impossible for her to say no to his doing that again, and maybe more, as he could.
Donna Kauffman (Starfish Moon (Brides of Blueberry Cove, #3))
I typed the winery address into the GPS and then proceeded to pull out of the rental company driveway. I screeched and slammed on the brakes every four feet until I got out onto the street. There was going to be a learning curve. The GPS lady successfully got me over the Golden Gate, but I didn’t get to enjoy one minute of it. Paranoid that I was going to hit a pedestrian or a cyclist or launch myself off the massive bridge, I couldn’t take my eyes off of the car in front of me. Once I was out of the city, I spotted a Wendy’s and pulled off the highway. GPS lady started getting frantic. “Recalculating. Head North on DuPont for 1.3 miles.” I did a quick U-turn to get to the other side of the freeway and into the loving arms of a chocolate frosty. “Recalculating.” Shit. Shut up, lady. I was frantically hitting buttons until I was able to finally silence her. I made a right turn and then another turn immediately into the Wendy’s parking lot and into the drive-thru line. I glanced at the clock. It was three forty. I still had time. I pulled up to the speaker and shouted, “I’ll take a regular French fry and a large chocolate frosty.” Just then, I heard a very loud, abbreviated siren sound. Whoop. I looked into my rearview mirror and spotted the source. It was a police officer on a motorcycle. What’s he doing? I sat there waiting for the Wendy’s speaker to confirm my order, and then again, Whoop. “Ma’am, please pull out of the drive-thru and off to the side.” What’s going on? I quickly rolled the window all the way down, stuck my head out, and peered around until the policeman was in my view. “Are you talking to me?” To my absolute horror, he used the speaker again. “Yes, ma’am, I am talking to you. Please pull out of the drive-thru.” Holy shit, I’m being pulled over in a Wendy’s drive-thru. “Excuse me, Wendy’s people? You need to scratch that last order.” A few seconds went by and then a young man’s voice came over the speaker. “Yeah, we figured that,” he said before bursting into laughter and cutting the speaker off. The policeman was very friendly and seemed to find a little humor in the situation as well. Apparently I had made an illegal right turn at a red light just before I pulled into the parking lot. After completely and utterly humiliating me, he let me off with a warning, which was nice, but I still didn’t have a frosty. Pulling my old Chicago Cubs cap from my bag, I decided that nothing was going to get in the way of my beloved frosty. Going incognito, I made my way through the door. Apparently the cap was not enough because the Justin Timberlake–looking fellow behind the counter could not contain himself. “Hi,” I said. “Hi, what can I get you?” he said, and then he clapped his hand over his mouth, struggling to hold back a huge amount of laughter and making gagging noises in the back of his throat in the process. “Can I get an extra-large chocolate frosty please, and make it snappy.” “Do you still want the fries with that?” There was more laughter and then I heard laughter from the back as well. “No, thank you.” I paid, grabbed my cup, and hightailed it out of there.
Renee Carlino (Nowhere but Here)
Next time, I’m a be like, ‘What you stoppin’ me for?’ ” Buck went on. “ ’Cause you have a right to ask ’em….They gotta see, smell, hear, or something.” “They ain’t gotta see nothing ,” Lamar replied. “Yes they do, Pops! They teachin’ me this at schooool .” “They teaching you wrong, then.” DeMarcus laughed and put a cigarette lighter to a blunt he had just licked shut. He drew in and passed it. The game got under way—quick at first, then slower as players’ hands thinned. “When the police come up,” Buck persisted, “even if they pull you over, you ain’t even gotta let your window down. You just gotta roll it down a little bit.” “It ain’t that sweet.” Lamar grinned. “Na, Pops!” “Don’t be trying to change things, man,” cut in DeMarcus, who had just been arrested—because of his “slick mouth,” according to Lamar. “A hard head makes a soft ass.
Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City)
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))
The intruders spoke no words as they rushed in. Five boys carrying baseball bats and tire irons. They wore an assortment of Halloween masks and stocking masks. But Derek knew who they were. “No! No!” he cried. All five boys wore bulky shooter’s earmuffs. They couldn’t hear him. But more importantly, they couldn’t hear Jill. One of the boys stayed in the doorway. He was in charge. A runty kid named Hank. The stocking pulled down over his face smashed his features into Play-Doh, but it could only be Hank. One of the boys, fat but fast-moving and wearing an Easter Bunny mask, stepped to Derek and hit him in the stomach with his aluminum baseball bat. Derek dropped to his knees. Another boy grabbed Jill. He put his hand over her mouth. Someone produced a roll of duct tape. Jill screamed. Derek tried to stand, but the blow to his stomach had winded him. He tried to stand up, but the fat boy pushed him back down. “Don’t be stupid, Derek. We’re not after you.” The duct tape went around and around Jill’s mouth. They worked by flashlight. Derek could see Jill’s eyes, wild with terror. Pleading silently with her big brother to save her. When her mouth was sealed, the thugs pulled off their shooter’s earmuffs. Hank stepped forward. “Derek, Derek, Derek,” Hank said, shaking his head slowly, regretfully. “You know better than this.” “Leave her alone,” Derek managed to gasp, clutching his stomach, fighting the urge to vomit. “She’s a freak,” Hank said. “She’s my little sister. This is our home.” “She’s a freak,” Hank said. “And this house is east of First Avenue. This is a no-freak zone.” “Man, come on,” Derek pleaded. “She’s not hurting anyone.” “It’s not about that,” a boy named Turk said. He had a weak leg, a limp that made it impossible not to recognize him. “Freaks with freaks, normals with normals. That’s the way it has to be.” “All she does is—” Hank’s slap stung. “Shut up. Traitor. A normal who stands up for a freak gets treated like a freak. Is that what you want?” “Besides,” the fat boy said with a giggle, “we’re taking it easy on her. We were going to fix her so she could never sing again. Or talk. If you know what I mean.” He pulled a knife from a sheath in the small of his back. “Do you, Derek? Do you understand?” Derek’s resistance died. “The Leader showed mercy,” Turk said. “But the Leader isn’t weak. So this freak either goes west, over the border right now. Or…” He let the threat hang there. Jill’s tears flowed freely. She could barely breathe because her nose was running. Derek could see that by the way she sucked tape into her mouth, trying for air. She would suffocate if they didn’t let her go soon. “Let me at least get her doll.
Michael Grant (Lies (Gone, #3))
You got me so fucking turned on I couldn’t stand up if the place were on fucking fire, princess.” He points toward my chocolate-milk container. “And all you did was touch your pretty little lips to a fucking milk carton.” He rubs his forehead as if he wants to rub the thoughts away. He looks into my eyes. “All I know is if you ever touched me with that mouth of yours, I would go off like a cannon, princess. I’d be the happiest man in the world, but ashamed of myself, because I have no control when it comes to you, apparently.” He grimaces and looks down toward his lap, adjusting his pants as he wiggles his hips. “Our situation is messed up for so many reasons that I can’t even think about going there with you. But all I can think about is going there with you.” He groans and shoves a piece of bacon in his mouth. His eyes don’t leave mine, though. “I got up this morning thoroughly prepared to ignore you today. But then there you were, and you were smiling at me.” He looks down at my mouth. “I couldn’t ignore you if I tried.” I take a deep breath, trying to rationalize my thoughts. But I can’t. I have never, ever felt like this before. My girlfriends have talked about it, but I have never felt it. Even when I go on dates, it’s like some part of me shuts down. But with Pete, nothing shuts down. Everything wakes up. He goes on to say, “I don’t want to want you.” My heart stutters. I get it. I don’t like it. But I get it. I nod. Nobody likes damaged goods. I get up from the table and pick up my plate. “Wait,” he calls. I can’t wait. If I wait, he might see the tears that are brimming in my eyes. “Princess,” he calls again. Suddenly, my shirt jerks and I can’t walk any farther. I look back and see his hand twisted in the tail end of my shirt. He leans over the table and presses his lips together. “Don’t walk away,” he says. But all I see is the hand fisted in my shirt. My heart stutters, and my breaths freeze in my chest. I can’t get away. I turn back and punch him directly in the face with the heel of my hand. He jerks, his eyes closing as he winces and snaps his head back. I chop his wrist with my fist. One, two… Next, I’ll go for his eyes. “Reagan!” Dad yells as he drops what he’s holding and rushes in my direction. He tackles Pete, who is still stunned from my punch to the face. They drop to the ground, with Pete rolling to the bottom. Dad flips him over and pulls his hands behind his back. “Reagan,” Dad grunts. “What happened?” Pete lays there on the ground. He’s not even putting up a fight. He just winces, his eyes shut tightly as a slow trickle of blood streams from his nose. “Stay down,” Dad warns. Pete nods, and he doesn’t move. But his eyes finally open, and they meet mine. I don’t know how to interpret that look at all or what to say. So, I turn and run back to the house. I run like the terrified little girl I am.
Tammy Falkner (Calmly, Carefully, Completely (The Reed Brothers, #3))
Interesting,” Stu said, looking up at him. “Beautiful girl, adores you, and you shut her down. You have a brain tumor?” “Maybe,” Rick said, looking away. “That’s one thing I haven’t had yet.” “I know the leg hurts, but your lips don’t.” “Why don’t you mind your own business?” “This is a little town here, this ward. It’s impossible to mind your own business. And you’re FUBAR, man.” “Well, we knew that,” Rick said, smiling meanly. “No reason for me to fuck her up, too.” “From what I heard, just minding my own business in this little town of ours, you already fucked her up, and now you’re cutting her loose. We need to get you a new MRI on your head—you definitely have a brain tumor.” “Leave it alone.” “Maybe you don’t get this yet, but people care about you. They come running all the way from the States when you’re hurt. And you’re going to walk back into that homeplace of yours, looking just like you looked before you left until you take your pants off. Everything’s going to work just fine. But you’re too lame to see that right now. You working on pissing everyone off till they hate you? You could just be happy you have this much going for you. How about that?” Rick glared at him. “No, Stu. I can’t just be happy.
Robyn Carr (Paradise Valley)
It’s over between them.” “Seriously?” Jake shrugged. “She didn’t give me the details, but the ring’s gone, and she said it was over.” “Is she upset?” “Doesn’t seem to be.” That was good, right? “Hmm.” Wyatt handed him a plate. “You gonna make your move now?” Jake elbowed Wyatt in the ribs. “She just broke her engagement.” “Or he did.” Jake frowned. “I prefer to think of it the other way.” Wyatt shrugged. “Just saying. She doesn’t sound too distressed. Hey, maybe she broke up because she has the hots for you.” “Shut up.” The thought was too ludicrous to entertain. Meridith might be attracted to him, but that was a far cry from what Wyatt suggested. “It’s about the kids,” Jake said. “I’m sure of it. They spent the day together yesterday, and Max told me that Ben puked on Stephen.” Wyatt laughed. “Classic!” “Yeah, I enjoyed that little tidbit.” He was surprised the man hadn’t gone running home the day before. From what Max said, Stephen hadn’t been very friendly. They washed and dried in silence for a minute, and Jake’s thoughts turned to Meridith. She’d told him the engagement was broken so matter-of-factly. How could she love the guy and react so calmly? “You know,” Wyatt said, pulling him from his thoughts. “It’s pretty remarkable, what she’s doing. Not every chick would take on three kids at the expense of her engagement.” Wyatt was right, and it only deepened his feelings for Meridith. He hated that she was planning to take the children away, but there was no doubt she cared about them. And his suspicions about the bipolar illness had all but disappeared. He’d found no medications, seen no symptoms. “You guys would make a cute couple,” Wyatt said. “You could get married and have a ready-made family.” “You’re forgetting one little detail.” “Ah, yeah. You’re the uncle she called—what was it—self-absorbed and irresponsible?” Jake scowled and grabbed the plate from Wyatt. “So tell her the truth.” “Yeah, right. That’ll go over well.” She’d be furious. She’d kick him from Summer Place and might not let him see the kids anymore. His gut clenched. “Gotta tell her eventually.” “When the house is finished.” “The longer you wait, the worse it’ll be.” “Maybe not.” Maybe he could change her mind about staying. Maybe he could make her see that he cared for her. Maybe they really could be a family.
Denise Hunter (Driftwood Lane (Nantucket, #4))
Already she felt the loss of him, of their unique closeness. Somehow she knew there would never be another man, another time in her life when she laughed and talked the way they had and was totally accepted and comfortable. “You don’t need to say anything else, Mikhail. I ‘saw’ your ‘little scratch’ firsthand. You were right; you weren’t alone out there--I was watching. Honesty in my language means truth.” Raven took a deep breath, tugged off the ring, and laid it carefully, regretfully, on the small table beside the bed. “I’m sorry, Mikhail, I really am. I know I’m letting you down, but I don’t fit into this world of yours. I don’t understand it, or the rules. Please do me the courtesy of staying away, of not trying to contact me. We both know I’m no real match for you. I’m leaving on the first available train.” She turned and started toward the door. It flew shut with a loud crash. She stared at it, not turning around. The air was thick with tension, with some dark feeling, one she couldn’t put a name to. “I don’t think it’s going to do any good to prolong this. You need help right now. Obviously however they intend to help you is some secret thing not to be shown to outsiders. I am just that--an outsider. Let me go home where I belong, Mikhail, and let them help you now.” “Leave us,” Mikhail ordered the others. “You need…,” Eric began, but broke off under Mikhail’s black scowl. With a sigh he followed the others out and closed the door. “Raven, come here to me, please. I am weak and it would take most of my strength to come to you.” There was gentleness in his voice, an honesty she found heartbreaking. She closed her eyes against the power in his voice, the soft caressing tone that rubbed sensuously like black velvet over her skin and crawled into her body, wrapping itself around her heart. “Not this time, Mikhail. We not only live in two different worlds, we have two separate value systems. We tried--I know you wanted to--but I can’t do this. Maybe I never could have. It happened too fast and we don’t really know one another.” “Raven.” Heat curled in her very name. “Come here to me.” She pressed her fingers to her forehead. “I can’t, Mikhail. If I let you get around me again, I’ll lose respect for myself.” “Then I have no choice but to come to you.” He shifted his weight, using his hands to move his injured leg. “No!” Alarmed, she whirled around. “Stop it, Mikhail. I’m calling the others back inside.” She pressed him back among the pillows. His hand caught the nape of her neck with unexpected strength. “You are the only reason I am living right now. I told you I would make mistakes. You cannot give up on me, on us. You do know me, everything important. You can look into my mind and know I need you. I would never hurt you.
Christine Feehan (Dark Prince (Dark, #1))
She has a genius,” distinguished Simon Iff. “Her dancing is a species of angelic possession, if I may coin a phrase. She comes off the stage from an interpretation of the subtlest and most spiritual music of Chopin or Tschaikowsky; and forthwith proceeds to scold, to wheedle, or to blackmail. Can you explain that reasonably by talking of ‘two sides to her character’? It is nonsense to do so. The only analogy is that of noble thinker and his stupid, dishonest, and immoral secretary. The dictation is taken down correctly, and given to the world. The last person to be enlightened by it is the secretary himself! So, I take it, is the case with all genius; only in many cases the man is in more or less conscious harmony with his genius, and strives eternally to make himself a worthier instrument for his master’s touch. The clever man, so-called, the man of talent, shuts out his genius by setting up his conscious will as a positive entity. The true man of genius deliberately subordinates himself, reduces himself to a negative, and allows his genius to play through him as It will. We all know how stupid we are when we try to do things. Seek to make any other muscle work as consistently as your heart does without your silly interference—you cannot keep it up for forty-eight hours. All this, which is truth ascertained and certain, lies at the base of the Taoistic doctrine of non-action; the plan of doing everything by seeming to do nothing. Yield yourself utterly to the Will of Heaven, and you become the omnipotent instrument of that Will. Most systems of mysticism have a similar doctrine; but that it is true in action is only properly expressed by the Chinese. Nothing that any man can do will improve that genius; but the genius needs his mind, and he can broaden that mind, fertilize it with knowledge of all kinds, improve its powers of expression; supply the genius, in short, with an orchestra instead of a tin whistle. All our little great men, our one-poem poets, our one-picture painters, have merely failed to perfect themselves as instruments.
Aleister Crowley
Terrible cultural struggle is kindled by the demand that that which is great shall be eternal. For everything else that lives exclaims 'No!' The customary, the small, and the common fill up the crannies of the world like a heavy atmosphere which we are all condemned to breathe. Hindering, suffocating, choking, darkening, and deceiving: it billows around what is great and blocks the road which it must travel towards immortality. This road leads through human brains — through the brains of miserable, short-lived creatures who, ever at the mercy of their restricted needs, emerge again and again to the same trials and with difficulty avert their own destruction for a little time. They desire to live, to live a bit at any price. Who could perceive in them that difficult relay race by means of which only what is great survives? And yet again and again a few persons awaken who feel themselves blessed in regard to that which is great, as if human life were a glorious thing and as if the most beautiful fruit of this bitter plant is the knowledge that someone once walked proudly and stoically through this existence, while another walked through it in deep thoughtfulness and a third with compassion. But they all bequeathed one lesson: that the person that lives life most beautifully is the person who does not esteem it. Whereas the common man takes this span of being with such gloomy seriousness, those on their journey to immortality knew how to treat it with Olympian laughter, or at least with lofty disdain. Often they went to their graves ironically — for what was there in them to bury? The boldest knights among these addicts of fame, those who believe that they will discover their coat of arms hanging on a constellation, must be sought among philosophers. Their efforts are not dependent upon a 'public,' upon the excitation of the masses and the cheering applause of contemporaries. It is their nature to wander the path alone. Their talent is the rarest and in a certain respect most unnatural in nature, even shutting itself off from the hostile towards similar talents. The wall of their self-sufficiency must be made of diamond if it is not to be demolished and shattered. For everything in man and nature is on the move against them. Their journey towards immortality is more difficult and impeded than any other, and yet no one can be more confident than the philosopher that he will reach his goal. Because the philosopher knows not where to stand, if not on the extended wings of all ages. For it is the nature of philosophical reflection to disregard the present and momentary. He possesses the truth: let the wheel of time roll where it will, it will never be able to escape from the truth.
Friedrich Nietzsche
A man may shut himself up in a dark room, and deny that the light exists, but it is everywhere without, and darkness exists only in his own little room.
Napoleon Hill (The Prosperity Bible: The Greatest Writings of All Time on the Secrets to Wealth and Prosperity)
She was using the metal detector on Thursday morning, running it along the banks of the creek, when a pair of men’s hiking boots appeared at the edge of her vision. Her gaze traveled up a set of long, nicely muscled legs encased in faded denim, past a worn leather belt, over a flat stomach that vee’d to a man’s wide chest. She must have been staring, because Call reached over and shut off the metal detector. “Hi,” she said lamely. He cleared his throat and she wondered if he was as nervous as she. “I saw you working your way along the creek. I figured I owed you an apology for…for what happened the other day.” He glanced over her head, then looked back into her face. “I don’t usually attack helpless women. I hope I didn’t scare you.” She was a lot of things that morning, but afraid of those burning-hot kisses wasn’t one of them. “No apology needed. What happened was my fault as much as yours. Why don’t we just chalk it up to an adrenal rush with nowhere to go?” He nodded and turned to leave. “Actually, I was thinking of coming over to your place,” she said, stopping him. “I never thanked you for saving me. If you hadn’t shown up when you did, I’d probably be bear food by now.” His mouth edged into a faint half-smile. “I doubt it. You don’t really need to be afraid of them. Most of the time, bears leave you pretty much alone. You just need to use a little good judgment and be cautious whenever one’s near.” She studied his face, the chiseled lines and valleys, the square chin and solid jaw. There was something different this morning, but she couldn’t quite figure… “You shaved,” she blurted out, feeling like an idiot the instant the words let her mouth. His lips curved up. She remembered exactly the way they felt pressing into hers and a little sliver of heat trickled into her belly. “Believe it or not, I shave every once in a while.” “You look good.” God, did he. If she’d thought he was handsome before, now she realized how disturbingly attractive he was. “Do I?” A hint of color crept beneath the bones in his cheeks. “Then I guess I’ll have to do it more often.
Kat Martin (Midnight Sun (Sinclair Sisters Trilogy, #1))
When the headmen walked out of the gate in front, beyond the delicate and civilized little white fence, they were met and surrounded by soldiers and the soldiers reached out to them in a moving confusion of blue woolen arms and boots. The headmen were disarmed and handcuffed. A man named Big Tree fought for a short while but three soldiers flattened him on the ground and cuffed his hands behind him. A revolver fell from beneath the buffalo robe of Eaten Alive and it went off with a startling bang but nobody was hit. A soldier picked it up delicately by the grip between thumb and forefinger. He said that Agent Hammond might want to make out a receipt for this but the sergeant told him to shut up. The men walked away between the soldiers quietly and stepped into the army transport wagon. It was not dignified to struggle. The women and children had scattered to the horses and within moments they were gone. Jiles, Paulette. The Color of Lightning: A Novel (p. 306). HarperCollins e-books. Kindle Edition.
Paulette Jiles (The Colour Of Lightning)
She was quiet for a long time before she answered me. “Josh, if you knew that being with me would take away the one thing I’ve always wanted, would you do it?” I understood her reasoning. I did. But it didn’t make it easier. “What if it were me who couldn’t have kids?” I asked. “Would you leave me?” She sighed. “Josh, it’s different.” “How? How is it different?” “Because you’re worth it. You’re worth any flaw you might have. I’m not.” I moved her away from me so I could look her in the eye. “You don’t think you’re worth it? Are you kidding me?” Her exhausted eyes just stared back at me, empty. “I’m not worth it. I’m a mess. I’m irritable and impatient. I’m bossy and demanding. And I have all these health issues. I can’t give you babies. I’m not worth it, Josh. I’m not. Another woman would be so much easier.” “I don’t want an easy woman. I want you.” I shook my head. “Don’t you get it? You are perfect to me. I feel like a better man just knowing that I can do anything for you—make you lunch, make you laugh, take you dancing. These things feel like a privilege to me. All those things that you think are flaws are what I love about you. Look at me.” I tipped her chin up. “I’m miserable. I’m so fucking miserable without you.” She started to cry again, and I pulled her back in and held her. This was the longest talk we’d had about this. I don’t know if she was just too tired and sick to shut me down, or if she just didn’t have anywhere to run to, stuck in my truck like she was, but it made me feel hopeful that she was at least talking to me about it. I nuzzled into her hair, breathed her in. “I don’t want any of it without you.” She shook her head against my chest. “I wish I could love you less. Maybe if I did, I could stomach taking this dream from you. But I don’t know how to even begin letting someone give up something like that for me. I would feel like apologizing every day of my life.” I took a deep breath. “You have no idea how much I wish I could go back and never put that shit in your head.” Her fingers opened and closed on my chest. I felt happy. Just sitting there in my truck in a Burger King parking lot, I felt more peace than I’d felt in weeks just because she was there with me, touching me, talking to me, telling me she loved me. And then that joy drained away when I remembered that this wasn’t going to last. She was going to leave again, and Brandon was still gone. But it was this temporary reprieve that told me that with her by my side, I could get through anything. I could navigate the worst days of my life as long as she stayed by me. If only she’d let me get her through the worst days of hers. She spoke against my chest. “You know you’re the only man I’ve ever cried over?” I laughed a little. “I saw you cry over Tyler. More than once.” She shook her head. “No. That was always about you. Because I was so in love with you and I knew I couldn’t be with you. You turned me into some sort of crazy person.” She lifted her head and looked at me. “I’m so proud to know you, Josh. And I feel so lucky to have been loved by someone like you.” She was crying, and I couldn’t keep my own eyes dry anymore. I just couldn’t. And I didn’t care if she saw me cry. I’d lost the two people I needed most in this life, and I’d never be ashamed for grieving over either one of them. I let the tears well, and she leaned in and kissed me. The gasp when she touched me and the tightness of her lips told me she was trying not to break down. She held my cheeks in her hands, and we kissed and held each other like we were saying goodbye—lovers about to be separated by an ocean or a war, desperate, and too grieved to let go. But she didn’t have to let me go. And she would anyway.
Abby Jimenez
Horst, you are a good man. You have always been so, and your soul is an untrammelled thing indeed.’ Horst winced and interrupted. ‘Ah. Well. Maybe not. There was that business with a lacrosse team…’ Now it was Cabal’s turn to wince. ‘Did anyone suffer?’ ‘Oh, no. Nothing like that.’ ‘Was everyone happy?’ ‘I flatter myself a little to think, yes. Everyone was very nice afterwards, anyway.’ ‘Then shut up. In a world as grimy and sin-ridden as ours, you’re a paragon precisely because your intentions are always good.’ ‘Johannes, I killed a man.’ ‘Pffft.
Jonathan L. Howard (The Brothers Cabal (Johannes Cabal, #4))
Without conversion of heart we cannot serve God on earth. We have naturally neither faith, nor fear, nor love, toward God and His Son Jesus Christ. We have no delight in His Word. We take no pleasure in prayer or communion with Him. We have no enjoyment in His ordinances, His house, His people, or His day. We may have a form of Christianity, and keep up a round of ceremonies and religious performances. But without conversion we have no more heart in our religion than a brick or a stone. Can a dead corpse serve God? We know it cannot. Well, without conversion we are dead toward God. Look round the congregation with which you worship every Sunday. Mark how little interest the great majority of them take in what is going on. Observe how listless, and apathetic, and indifferent, they evidently are about the whole affair. It is clear their hearts are not there! They are thinking of something else, and not of religion. They are thinking of business, or money, or pleasure, or worldly plans, or bonnets, or gowns, or new dresses, or amusements. Their bodies are there, but not their hearts. And what is the reason? What is it they all need? They need conversion. Without it they only come to church for fashion and form’s sake, and go away from church to serve the world or their sins. But this is not all. Without conversion of heart we could not enjoy heaven, if we got there. Heaven is a place where holiness reigns supreme, and sin and the world have no place at all. The company will all be holy; the employments will all be holy; it will be an eternal Sunday. Surely if we go to heaven, we must have a heart in tune and able to enjoy it, or else we shall not be happy. We must have a nature in harmony with the element we live in, and the place where we dwell. Can a fish be happy out of water? We know it cannot. Well, without conversion of heart we could not be happy in heaven. Look round the neighborhood in which you live and the persons with whom you are acquainted. Think what many of them would do if they were cut off for ever from money, and business, and newspapers, and cards, and balls, and races, and hunting, and shopping, and worldly amusements! Would they like it? Think what they would feel if they were shut up forever with Jesus Christ, and saints, and angels! Would they be happy? Would the eternal company of Moses, and David, and St. Paul be pleasant to those who never take the trouble to read what those holy men wrote? Would heaven’s everlasting praise suit the taste of those who can hardly spare a few minutes in a week for private religion, even for prayer? There is but one answer to be given to all these questions. We must be converted before we can enjoy heaven. Heaven would be no heaven to any child of Adam without conversion. Let no man deceive us. There are two things which are of absolute necessity to the salvation of every man and woman on earth. One of them is the mediatorial work of Christ for us, His atonement, satisfaction, and intercession. The other is the converting work of the Spirit in us, His guiding, renewing, and sanctifying grace. We must have both a title and a heart for heaven. Sacraments are only generally necessary to salvation: a man may be saved without them, like the penitent thief. An interest in Christ and conversion are absolutely necessary: without them no one can possibly be saved. All, all alike, high or low, rich or poor, old or young, gentle or simple, churchmen or dissenters, baptized or unbaptized, all must be converted or perish.
J.C. Ryle
The sound of pounding started again. “He’s not going to just go away,” Millie yelled. “Besides, we still have his dog.” “Oh, very well, I’ll deal with him,” Harriet said, struggling to her feet and heading out of the kitchen. She stalked down the short hallway, reached the door, pushed aside the bolt that secured it, twisted the lock, and then wrenched it open, her temper steadily rising when she looked at Oliver and found him smiling back at her, although his eyes held a distinct trace of temper. “What?” “Is that any way to greet your fiancé?” “You’re not my fiancé, you’ve only ever been my pretend fiancé, or maybe temporary fiancé would be a better way to put it. But since I’ve decided I can’t be trusted not to harm you if I have to spend any additional time in your company, you need to go away and leave me alone.” “Don’t you think you’re being a little overly dramatic? I mean—” Not allowing the annoying man to finish his sentence, Harriet shut the door in his face, locked it, brushed her hands together, turned, and pretended not to hear his demands for her to open up as she headed back toward the kitchen.
Jen Turano (After a Fashion (A Class of Their Own #1))
He raked a hand through his thick hair. He needed to feed soon. There was a dark, cold anger in him. It crawled through his body, dangerous and deadly. Jacob was unscrupulous, even with his sister, it seemed. And he had looked upon Raven with lust. Raven looked up and found unblinking eyes on her. They were dark, fathomless, the eyes of a hunter. A prickle of unease ran down her spine. She felt her hand tremble as she smoothed out her skirt. “What is it?” Sometimes Mikhail looked like a strange, not the warm man she knew with laughter and tenderness in his heated gaze but someone calculating and cold, someone more lethal and cunning than she could imagine. Automatically her mind reached out to his. Do not. He slammed a block down hard. Raven’s lashes fluttered against a sudden spurt of tears. Rejection was painful anytime, and coming from Mikhail it hurt like hell. “Why, Mikhail? Why are you shutting me out? You need me. I know you do. You’re so willing to help everybody, be everything for everybody. I’m supposed to be your partner, be all things, everything to you. Let me help you.” She approached him slowly, cautiously. “You do not know what could happen, Raven.” He stepped backward, away from temptation, away from her pain. She smiled. “You always help me, Mikhail. You look after me. I’m asking you to trust me enough to let me be what you need.” He was allowing his mind block to fragment, bit by bit. She sensed grief mixed with rage at Noelle’s senseless murder and fear for Raven’s safety. Love, strong and growing, a hunger, sexual and physical. Raw need. Someone definitely needed to love and comfort this man. “I need you to do as I ask you,” he said in desperation, fighting the beast lifting its head hungrily. Her laughter was soft, enticing, the sound dancing over his skin. “No, you don’t. Too many people think your word is law. You need someone to defy you a little bit. I know you won’t hurt me, Mikhail. I can feel your fear of yourself. You think there’s something in you I can’t love, some kind of monster you’re afraid for me to see. I know you better than you know yourself.
Christine Feehan (Dark Prince (Dark, #1))
I am your doctor. You are my patient. This…” She waved a hand, searching for the right words. “This sort of thing is unethical. And another thing. I am in charge here. You follow my orders, not the other way around. Absolutely never, under any circumstances, do that again.” Involuntarily she touched her fingers to her lower lip. “It wouldn’t have happened at all if you hadn’t infected me with some sort of, I don’t know, rabies strain.” She glared at him. He simply watched her with his disconcertingly steady gaze. Shea inhaled, wrinkled her nose, desperate to change the subject to something safe. He was supposed to be half-dead. He should have been dead. No one should be able to kiss like that after the agony he had been through. She had never, ever responded to anyone the way she had to him. Never. It was shocking, the effect he had on her. There was a sudden glint in his eyes, somewhere between a flame dancing and amusement. No other man must ever make you respond to him. I would not be pleased. “Quit reading my mind!” Her cheeks flushed a bright red; she glared at him. “This is a totally improper conversation between a doctor and a patient.” Perhaps, but not between us. She clenched her teeth, her green eyes smoldering. “Shut up,” she said rudely, a little desperately. She had to find a way to get control back, and he wasn’t cooperating. She took a deep, calming breath to restore her dignity. “You need a bath. And your hair could use a good wash.” Shea stood up and gingerly touched his thick ebony hair, unaware that the gesture was curiously intimate.
Christine Feehan (Dark Desire (Dark, #2))
I heard you have a date with Oliver, and from the looks of it, you definitely do. You’re sweating like a whore in church!” Rob says as soon as he sees me. I punch him in the shoulder. “No I’m not! Oh God, am I?” I head toward the bathroom and look at myself, realizing that he was exaggerating. But, damn. I am nervous. “Why am I so nervous about this? And where is Meep?” “She’s in the shower, and you’re nervous because this is your first date together. I mean, real date. Shenanigans don’t count.” He raises a blonde eyebrow and laughs when I glare at him. “I need a drink,” I announce, heading to the kitchen. “No, you don’t. You need to sit and relax and be still. You’re going to give me a heart attack!” “Stop being a pest,” I mutter, plopping down on the couch. “Okay, but on your date, do not sit like that. Nothing is more gross than a careless sitter in a dress.” My eyes widen, and I cross my legs, sitting upright. “Damn you. Maybe I should have worn jeans.” Robert laughs, throwing his head back. He looks so much like Mia when he does that. “I was joking! Geez, you really are nervous.” “Who’s nervous?” Mia asks, walking over to us. “Jitterbug over here is acting like a virgin going to prom,” Rob says, earning a laugh from me, and a look from Mia. “Way to lay it all out there,” I say. “She looks fine,” Mia says walking over to me. “It’s just Bean.” “Exactly. It’s just Bean . . . do I look okay?” Mia gives me a once-over and nods. “You look beautiful, like you do every other day, when you wear make-up and brush your hair and dress up.” “Meaning not like every other day?” “Well, you have to save beauty for special occasions, Chicken.” “Bitch,” I say, laughing until the knock on the door swallows my smile. “Ohh here he comes,” Rob starts singing like he was singing Man Eater, and I want to crawl into a hole and die. Mia swings the door open and whistles loudly. “Looks like somebody wants to get laid tonight,” she announces. And this time, for real, I want to crawl into a hole and die. I can feel my face burning as I walk to the door and tell Mia and Robert to shut up. Oliver is wearing dark jeans, black shoes, a gray button-down, and a fedora on his head. It’s simple and hot, and it matches the gray dress I’m wearing, so I have to laugh. “It’s like they’re meant to be!” Rob states loudly. “They match! This is too fucking cute! Mia! Get the camera!” “I hate you.” I say, looking at him. “I hate you.” I say, turning to Mia’s face, red from laughing. “I don’t hate you . . . yet.” I say, turning to Oliver, who gives me a slow, cocky half grin that makes me melt a little. “Please have her home by midnight, and make sure she lays off the vodka,” As Mia starts rattling off her list, she stops to look at my blushing face and bursts out laughing. “Awww . . . I’m sorry, Elle, this is so cute though. You haven’t been this nervous since you lost your virginity to Hunter Grayson.” She stops laughing and turns to Oliver with a serious face. “All jokes aside, if you hurt her again, I will fucking murder you, and I’m not talking about a nice quiet murder, I’m talking dick cut off, internal organs everywhere kind of murder. So please, be mindful of that.
Claire Contreras (Kaleidoscope Hearts (Hearts, #1))
Next to him sat a stooping little man who made his presence felt by the stench of sweat that came wafting from him every time he made any movement. This man was fiddling around with his feet in the darkness, and, although Pierre couldn’t see his face, he could sense him continually glancing his way. As his eyes grew more used to the dark Pierre realized that this man was unwrapping his footcloths, and the way he was doing it caught Pierre’s imagination. After unwinding the strings from one of his legs he tidied them away and then tackled the other leg, glancing up at Pierre. While one hand was still hanging up the first leg-string, the other hand was busy unwinding the string on the other leg. With this meticulous procedure, in a swift succession of neat and tidy circular movements, the man unrolled his footcloths and hung them up on pegs in the wall overhead, took out a knife, cut off a piece of something, snapped the knife shut, put it away at the head of his sleeping-place, eased himself into a more comfortable position and sat there with his arms clasped round his knees, staring straight at Pierre. Pierre was aware of something rather pleasant, something rounded and reassuring, in those neat, circular movements, the man’s nicely tidied corner, even the very smell of him. He couldn’t take his eyes off him.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
And then the screen went white. Like, blinding white. He grunted and covered his eyes. “I told you not to do that.” “Fuck you, man. I totally got you again. Feel that heavenly light, you little bitch. Feel it all over you. Drink it in, for I am the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.” “I hate you so much.” “Shut up. Whatever. You love me.” “Turn it down.” “Oh, is the pretty light hurting Satan’s wittle eyes? Aw. There, there, wittle Satan. I’ll turn it down for you.” The light faded. Satan dropped his hand and glared at the screen. There, with a dipshit grin on his face, was God himself.
T.J. Klune (Blasphemy!)
Delilah discretely checked her watch, wondering how long she needed to stay in order to politely tap out and call it a night. At least another half hour. No, make that twenty minutes. She wouldn’t survive another half hour. She was so focused on appearing focused on Jeff, that she felt the harsh shove at her hip before she saw anything. Jostled to the side, she looked up, startled, already having figured out that someone had slid into the booth next to her, mercilessly bumping her out of the way. She could not have been more surprised to see Brandon or the sweet smile that spread across his face at the sight of her. Blinking a few times, she rapidly took in the scene, once again regretting that she hadn’t finished that second forget spell on him. She also saw that Jeff was just mortified by the intrusion. At least it shut him up for a moment. Before she could think of anything to say, Brandon gave her a sad pitying look and odd words started tumbling from his lips. “Lilah, baby, come home.” “Huh?” What the hell was he talking about? Jeff’s spine got straighter, if that was possible. He huffed and crossed his arms. Brandon gazed deeply into her eyes and kept talking. “We miss you.” We? “Delilah,” Jeff’s tone demanded attention and both she and Brandon turned to face the other man. “Do you know this . . . gentleman?” Clearly ‘gentleman’ was not what he thought Brandon was. Delilah thought maybe ‘insane asylum inmate’ was a better option. What did Brandon mean, ‘we’? She took a sip of her drink to cover for her confusion. Brandon put his right hand out across the table as though to introduce himself, his left arm snaked possessively around Delilah’s shoulders, but she was too confused to react. “I’m Brandon Stewart. Delilah’s husband.” Immediately she choked. Husband? Her wide eyes swung to his face, only to find that he looked perfectly serious. He gave her a sad smile as Jeff voiced her concerns. “Husband?” Brandon didn’t take his eyes off hers. Even as she sat there choking on her drink. Not that he volunteered to hit her on the back or ask if she was going to survive. He just looked sad. “Baby, have you been dating again? You know the doctors think that’s a bad idea.” Then, he turned his sympathetic face to Jeff, “She isn’t well.” That was it! Her anger poured out in her voice, which she barely managed to keep from screeching above the noise level and broadcasting to the entire bar. “Brandon!” Jeff looked taken aback. “You know him? Are you married?” “No!” She shook her head violently. What was Brandon doing? He made his next play before she could form words. “She’s not only married, we have a family.” He shifted his weight, pressing intimately along her from shoulder to thigh, as he fished in his pants pocket for his wallet. He drew out the leaning and fishing a little longer than necessary. Especially considering she was boiling mad. She was married? To him? He deftly plucked a studio portrait of two small children, clearly his own. Delilah had to hand it to him, the little blonde-haired, blue-eyed cuties could easily have been hers. One boy and one girl smiled at the camera, sweet and perfect for all the world, heads pressed together. Brandon made sure she saw the photo before he handed it over to Jeff. “That’s our Tiger and Muffin there. Well,” He smiled like he was all chagrined, “Tyler and Madison.” Then he turned to her, still sweet and sad. “You can’t do this again, baby. Come home.” She simmered, but didn’t speak.
Savannah Kade
Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York and currently the de facto leader of the country’s COVID-19 response, has committed not only the sin of insufficiently kissing Donald’s ass but the ultimate sin of showing Donald up by being better and more competent, a real leader who is respected and effective and admired. Donald can’t fight back by shutting Cuomo up or reversing his decisions; having abdicated his authority to lead a nationwide response, he no longer has the ability to counter decisions made at the state level. Donald can insult Cuomo and complain about him, but every day the governor’s real leadership further reveals Donald as a petty, pathetic little man—ignorant, incapable, out of his depth, and lost in his own delusional spin. What Donald can do in order to offset the powerlessness and rage he feels is punish the rest of us. He’ll withhold ventilators or steal supplies from states that have not groveled sufficiently. If New York continues not to have enough equipment, Cuomo will look bad, the rest of us be damned. Thankfully, Donald doesn’t have many supporters in New York City, but even some of those will die because of his craven need for “revenge.” What Donald thinks is justified retaliation is, in this context, mass murder.
Mary L. Trump (Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man)
At the unexpected sight of Spence, Colbie startled hard. How was it that he was the one who needed glasses and yet she’d not seen him standing against the window? “No, I don’t kill a lot of people,” she said cautiously because she was wearing only a towelin front of a strange man. “But I’m happy to make an exception.” He laughed, a rough rumble that was more than a little contagious but she controlled herself because, hello, she was once again dripping wet before the man who seemed to make her knees forget to hold her up. “I didn’t mean to scare you,” he said and pushed off the wall to come close. She froze, but he held up his hands like, I come in peace, and crouched at her feet to scoop up the clothes she hadn’t realized she’d dropped. Leggings, a long forgiving tee, and the peach silk bra-and-panty set that hadn’t gotten so much as a blink from the TSA guy. But it got one out of Spence. He also swallowed hard as she snatched them back from him. “Hold on,” he said and caught her arm, pulling it toward him to look at her bleeding elbow. “Sit,” he said and gently pushed her down to a weight bench. He vanished into the bathroom and came back out with a first aid kit. It took him less than two minutes to clean and bandage the scrape. Then, easily balanced at her side on the balls of his feet, he did the same for both her knees, which she hadn’t noticed were also scraped up. “You must’ve hit the brick coping as you fell in the fountain,” he said and let his thumb slide over the skin just above one bandaged knee. She shivered, and not from the cold either. “Not going to kiss it better?” she heard herself ask before biting her tongue for running away with her good sense. She’d raised her younger twin brothers. Scrappy, roughhouse wild animals, the both of them, so there’d been plenty of injuries she’d kissed over the years. But no one had ever kissed hers. Not surprising, since most of her injuries tended to be on the inside, where they didn’t show. Still, she was horrified she’d said anything at all. “I didn’t mean—” She broke off, frozen like a deer in the headlights as Spence slowly lowered his head, brushing his lips over the Band-Aid on her elbow, then her knees. When he lifted his head, he pushed his glasses higher on his nose, those whiskey eyes warm and amused behind his lenses. “Better?” Shockingly better. Since she didn’t quite trust her voice at the moment, she gave a jerky nod and took her clothes back into the bathroom. She shut the door and then leaned against it, letting out a slow, deliberate breath. Holy cow, she was out of her league. He was somehow both cute and hot, and those glasses .
Jill Shalvis (Chasing Christmas Eve (Heartbreaker Bay, #4))
Clarisse would have ignored him if it were not for the fact that as she passed, he took something long, white and oddly familiar from his coat and proceeded to chew on it, as on a peppermint stick. Its end devoured, his extraordinary tongue darted within the white confection, sucking out the filling, making contented noises. He was still crunching his goody as she proceeded up the sidewalk to her house, turned the doorknob and walked in. "Darling?" she called, smiling around. "Darling, where are you?" She shut the door, walked down the hall and into the living room. "Darling. . ." She stared at the floor for twenty seconds, trying to understand. She screamed. Outside in the sycamore darkness, the little man pierced a long white stick with intermittent holes; then, softly, sighing, his lips puckered, played a little sad tune upon the improvised instrument to accompany the shrill and awful singing of Clarisse's voice as she stood in the living room. Many times as a little girl Clarisse had run on the beach sands, stepped on a jellyfish and screamed. It was not so bad, finding an intact, gelatin-skinned jellyfish in one's living room. One could step back from it. It was when the jellyfish called you by name . . .
Ray Bradbury (The October Country)
Mid June 2012 …Young, as time passed, I missed you more than ever. My exasperation with Toby festered with each passing day. When I finally could not tolerate our tempestuous relationship, I confronted the young man. After a heated emotional argument, Toby left our unfinished discussion in a state of vexation. I did not realize he was using the age-old psychological threat of overdosing himself to obtain my attention. I found him unconscious, foaming at the corner of his mouth from consuming an entire bottle of sleeping pills. He was rushed to hospital. I would not have been able to live with my guilt if Toby had died. He recovered from this ordeal, but my respect for him had plummeted. Instead of loving him, I felt sorry and pitied him. This was a malignant sign of what was to come. To appease him, we often kissed and made up after impassioned disputes. I made false promises that I had no intention of keeping. These desolate pledges soon dissolved into self-abhorrence. I had allowed myself to be trapped into a situation, and I could not figure out a solution. Throughout this ordeal, I threw myself into my engineering studies, channeling my unhappiness into what I enjoyed best. I could not give myself fully to the boy, and had little respect for him. When we made love, I shut him out. Instead, I saw you in our sexual liaisons. Toby was merely a vehicle to satisfy my sexual desires to be with you. Throughout the years we were together, it was you I made love to, not Toby or anyone else. I could not and would not release you from my mind. The pain of losing you was too oppressive, until the fateful day I suffered a nervous breakdown. I ended up in a hospital, in the psychiatric ward. Aria and Ari came to nurse me back to health. Aria stayed for two weeks until I could commence classes again. I knew I had to get away from this toxic relationship. The day I graduated I enrolled in a postgraduate program in Alberta, Canada. I desired to be as far away from New Zealand as possible; I needed to be away from Toby and to find myself again. I finally had a solid and legitimate excuse to separate from the boy. I was glad when Toby’s parents demanded their son’s return to the Philippines after his graduation so that he could take over his father’s business. Toby did not wish to return to Manila, but had no choice. His father threatened to cut off his financial support if he did not return. Thanks to universal intervention, my freedom was restored. I began a new life in Canada. That, my dearest Young, was the beginning of a new chapter in my life. The rest will be revealed to you in our next correspondence. For now, be happy, be well, and most importantly, be you at all times: the Young whom I love and cherish. Andy, Xoxoxo
Young (Unbridled (A Harem Boy's Saga, #2))
He continued his one-man show. “Wait, you’re not talking about the smokin’-hot brunette who shut you down when you asked her to go as your date tonight.” Her attempts to conceal her smile were futile. The corners of her lips turned up into a wide grin as she shook her head. “Yep. That’s the one,” Lucky confirmed…to himself. “And while it’s true that she did pass on going as my date, I would like the record to show that she sat right next to me at dinner and was flirting shamelessly—” A gasp flew from her mouth. “I was not!” “I’m sorry, but no one was talking to you.” He looked over at her as if she had truly interrupted a private conversation. Despite herself, she burst out laughing. “Rude,” he said under his breath as he once again stared out the windshield, pretending to be offended. “As I was saying, after flirting subtly but shamelessly with me during dinner, we shared one of the most…I don’t even have the words…intimate slow dances in the history of all time. Then, said smokin’-hot brunette asked me for a ride home. Sooo, was it a date? I think so.” Deanna was still chuckling as they drove onto the main road, all the tension she’d been feeling gone. She was relaxed now and surprisingly having fun. After composing herself, she crossed her arms. “Are you finished?” Lucky turned his head slightly towards her, acting surprised. “Oh, I’m sorry. Did you want to join the conversation?” “Only to set the record straight that, one, I did not flirt with you at dinner. Shamelessly or subtly. And, two, I did not ask for a ride home. That was all you.” “Duly noted. Is that it?” he asked casually, but she had a bad feeling the question was leading somewhere. She narrowed her eyes, knowing she was playing right into his hand. “Yes.” He grinned—one of victory. “So you admit that was one of the most intimate slow dances in the history of all time.” “I didn’t say that.” Heat once again rushed to her cheeks, and she was glad the only light in the SUV was from the moon. “You didn’t submit any evidence disproving it, so by default, ya kinda did say that.” He sounded more than a little pleased with himself. “Whatever.” She was still grinning like an idiot as she looked back out the window. It was the lamest of all possible comebacks, but she hadn’t known what else to say. If her brain wasn’t consumed with the fact that they were alone in a small, enclosed area and she’d had six glasses of wine, she would’ve been able to come up with a wittier retort.
Melanie Shawn (Lucky Kiss (Hope Falls #12; Kiss #2))
undo that cloak — and accepted the pistol. The seconds retired, the gentleman on the camp-stool did the same, and the belligerents approached each other. Mr. Winkle was always remarkable for extreme humanity. It is conjectured that his unwillingness to hurt a fellow-creature intentionally was the cause of his shutting his eyes when he arrived at the fatal spot; and that the circumstance of his eyes being closed, prevented his observing the very extraordinary and unaccountable demeanour of Doctor Slammer. That gentleman started, stared, retreated, rubbed his eyes, stared again, and, finally, shouted, ‘Stop, stop!’ ‘What’s all this?’ said Doctor Slammer, as his friend and Mr. Snodgrass came running up; ‘that’s not the man.’ ‘Not the man!’ said Doctor Slammer’s second. ‘Not the man!’ said Mr. Snodgrass. ‘Not the man!’ said the gentleman with the camp-stool in his hand. ‘Certainly not,’ replied the little doctor. ‘That’s not the person who insulted me last night.’ ‘Very extraordinary!’ exclaimed the officer. ‘Very,’ said the gentleman with the camp-stool.
Charles Dickens (The Complete Works of Charles Dickens)
Judge ground himself against Michaels’ ass again, content with taking a little for himself too. “Does it feel like a joke?” His dick was hard and aching behind his own zipper. It was torturous and dangerous. Honestly that shit was getting exciting. He was pissed at first about the fight, but things were getting interesting. The fiery detective had many layers to him that Judge was going to enjoy unveiling little by little. Judge slowed his stroke. Relished the length and girth Michaels was blessed with. No wonder that punk bastard was begging in that email. Goddamn. It’d been a long damn time since he’d enjoyed a thick cock up… No. Fuck no! Michaels bucked in his arms, jolting Judge out of his thoughts. Squeezing tighter, Judge worked him from base to tip, twisting the cap before going back down and repeating over and over. Michaels shuddered and cursed in his arms, letting his head fall back on Judge’s shoulder. If he turned his head, he could kiss that coarse cheek; run his mouth and nose all the way down that alluring smell of testosterone, sweat, and bitterness that clung to Michaels, and bite him hard on that stubborn jaw he liked to jut out in defiance. He could feel how close Michaels was. Liked how he’d accepted defeat in this round. His hands were still braced against the wall, those swollen, bruised knuckles a testament that he’d put up a good fight, but he was no longer pushing. His taut body had gone lax and his jaw slack, panting in rhythm with Judge’s stroking. Oh god, the expression on his face… frowning in deep concentration to take what he needed. He’s fuckin’ beautiful. Jesus. “Judge. Make me come,” Michaels whispered, so painfully that Judge needed to witness the bliss he was getting ready to give the bruised man in his arms. He increased the speed of his fist, the slicking sound obscene in the small, dark room. Michaels was leaking for him, aching, pleading for him. For him to do what he promised. Judge buried his nose at the base of Michaels’ throat and squeezed his eyes shut, damn he couldn’t watch. He ground his hips forward at the same time he pulled Michaels back into him. “Fuuuuck.” Did that come from him?
A.E. Via (Don't Judge (Nothing Special, #4))
Saffron, how are you?" Logan asks and he sounds genuinely interested. How am I? Small talk, right. I rest my hip on the table and give my back to Logan as I look down at his date. "Would you think it odd for a man to come to a small town and proceed to not speak to you for six months?" Her perfect lips form a grin. "Everyone or just me specifically?" "You, specifically." Her eyes light with humor. "Yes, that is odd." "Odder still for that man to then take you to bed and blow your mind with sex for almost twenty-four hours before ditching you and then staying off the radar for a week?" The humor has left her gaze now, but she answers anyway. "Indeed." "So what would you think when that same man shows up at your place of employment with a beautiful woman and attempts to engage you in small talk?" Her eyes leave mine for Logan's, but I don't miss the emotion in her gaze. She's mad. "Exactly." I turn and give Logan my full attention. "So how am I, Logan?" I pull out the chair next to him and sit down. "I could pretend to be a cool, sophisticated woman and lie to you and say I'm fabulous, but that just isn't me. What I am is hurt and more than a little pissed, so the idea of making small talk with you is repugnant to me, unless that talk is centered on what I'd like to do to you. For example, I'd love to reach for that dull butter knife and stick it in your eye, giving it a hard turn just for good measure. The idea of strapping you to a man-sized lobster trap and throwing you into the ocean holds a great deal of appeal, as does the thought of running your ass over with my car, repeatedly. I could sit here all day making small talk about that, or you could just shut up and order some goddamn lunch.
L.A. Fiore (Waiting for the One (Harrington, Maine, #1))
She had no idea where Fergus had suddenly gotten to and was surprised he hadn’t tried to orchestrate something, anything, between Kerry and Cooper. Hopefully with her little demonstration just now, he’d never have the chance. No sooner had the thought passed through her mind than Fergus was there at her elbow. “I’ve got this,” he said, uncharacteristically low key as he edged her out of the way. “Gus--” He nudged her again with a bit more force than was necessary, then wedged his cane in between them to emphasize the point. “I’ll pour and pass. You go talk to your young man.” “He’s not my--” Fergus turned his bright blue eyes on her. “I know who he is.” His voice might brook no argument, but there was a world more feeling in his gaze than in his quietly spoken words. “So get on out while the getting’s good. We’re not too far from closing. I’ll get Sandy to help shut the place down. You’re officially off duty until tomorrow.” “But--” Now his gaze did turn steely, reminding her where she got the look from. “I believe I still own and run this place. So when I say you’re off until tomorrow, you’re off until tomorrow.” Kerry swallowed hard and was as shocked as anyone to feel the tiniest prickles behind her eyes. No matter what her latest exploit, he’d never, not once, looked at her with even a hint of disappointment. Until now. “Yes, sir.” His gaze softened, even if the set of his face did not. He leaned in and bussed her on the cheek, then whispered in her ear, “And I’m taking this round out of your pay, Sprite. Giving away my ale,” he added in a grumble. The grumble made her smile, and she gave him a quick, one-armed squeeze around his shoulders and a kiss on the side of his forehead, taking care not to put him off balance on his bad side. “I had to do something to throw them off the scent.” “I believe the something that is still on your scent is waiting for you by the door,” he said, then turned back to help Sandy, who manned the griddle in the kitchen on busy nights, fill and slide mugs down the bar. Kerry glanced up and over the heads of the folks crowding the bar to the tall man who, indeed, was standing by the door, his old Akubra in hand. Her gaze shifted from the ever-present drover’s hat he always wore for work to the penetrating and unwavering look in his beautiful eyes.
Donna Kauffman (Starfish Moon (Brides of Blueberry Cove, #3))
But, Emmie”—Bothwell’s cultured tones drifted through the back doors of the hall—“you know I’ve missed you.” Emmie’s reply was murmured in low, unintelligible tones, causing St. Just to pause. The damned Kissing Vicar was about to strike again, but as a gentleman… As a gentleman, hell… St. Just did not pull the door shut loudly behind him, which would have afforded Bothwell a moment to protect the lady’s privacy. He charged into the hall, boots thumping on the wooden floor, jar of icing at the ready. “Now, Emmie…” Bothwell was kissing her, one of those teasing little kisses to the cheek that somehow wandered down to the corner of her mouth in anticipation of landing next on her lips. “Excuse me, Bothwell, didn’t realize you were about.” “Rosecroft.” Bothwell grinned at him, looking almost pleased to be caught at his flagrant flirting. “I’d heard you were back. My thanks for the use of your stables.” “And my thanks for keeping those juvenile hellions in shape. You need a horse, man, congregational politics be damned.” “Maybe someday.” Bothwell’s smile dimmed a little as his gaze turned to Emmie. “But for today, I’ve a wedding to perform.” And Bothwell had known, probably from experience, Emmie would be bringing her cake over. Absent a special license, the wedding would have to start in the next couple of hours, and St. Just suspected the vicar had been all but lying in wait for Emmie. “Em?” He brought her the icing. “Shall I go offer up a few for my immortal soul, or will we be going shortly?” “I won’t be long,” she said, brows knit as she positioned the second layer atop the little pedestals set on the first. “I just need to put the candied violets around the base when I’ve got the thing assembled, and maybe a few finishing touches.” “She’ll be hours.” The vicar smiled at her so indulgently that St. Just’s fist ached to put a different expression on the man’s face. “Come along, St. Just, and we can at least spend a few minutes in the sunshine.
Grace Burrowes (The Soldier (Duke's Obsession, #2; Windham, #2))
You do seem to get on well with her, but I have an advantage, my lord. One you will never be able to compete with.” “An advantage?” “Yes.” Emmie said, feeling a little sorry for him, because he really would not be able to argue the point much further. “I am a female, you see. A girl. Well, a grown woman, but I was a girl, as Bronwyn is.” “You are a female?” The earl looked her up and down, and Emmie felt herself blushing. It was a thorough and thoroughly dispassionate perusal. “Why so you are, but how does this make yours the better guidance?” “There are certain things, my lord…” Emmie felt her blush deepening but refused to capitulate to embarrassment. “Things a lady knows a gentleman will not, things somebody must pass along to a little girl in due course if she’s to manage in this life.” “Things.” The earl’s brow knit. “Things like childbirth, perhaps?” Emmie swallowed, resenting his bluntness even while she admired him for it. “Well, yes. I doubt you’ve given birth, my lord.” “Have you?” he countered, peering down at her. “That is not the point.” “So no advantage to you there, particularly as I have attended a birth or two in my time, and I doubt you’ve managed that either.” “Why on earth would…?” Emmie’s mouth snapped shut before she could ask the obvious, rude, burning question. “I was a soldier,” he said gently. “And war is very hard on soldiers, but even harder on women and children, Miss Farnum. A woman giving birth in a war zone is generally willing to accept the assistance of whomever is to hand, regardless of standing, gender, or even what uniform he wears.” “So you’ve a little experience, but you aren’t going to tell me you’re familiar with the details of a lady’s bodily… well, that is to say. Well.” “Her menses?” The earl looked amused again. “You might have some greater degree of familiarity than I. I will grant that much, but as a man with five sisters, I am far more knowledgeable and sympathetic regarding female lunation than I had ever aspired to be. And surely, these matters you raise—childbirth and courses—they are a ways off for Miss Winnie?” “Bronwyn,” Emmie muttered. Standing so close to him, she could catch the earl’s scent, and it managed to combine both elegance and barbarism. It was spicy rather than floral, but also fresh, like meadows and breezes and cold, fast-running streams. “She answers to Winnie,” he said, “and she got away from you.” “She did.
Grace Burrowes (The Soldier (Duke's Obsession, #2; Windham, #2))
yellow, traced with black, and moored in spongy-looking gums. “That’s better, you little bastard. Old Alice got ye. Alice got you fine. You can be fresh or you can be dead, doesn’t matter to me. The kids’ll mind a bit, but not for long, I wager. Not for long. Then I can get back to me flowers on the roof. Heeee! The flowers are in bloom up there. You should see em. But you can’t. Youcan’tyoucan’tyou can’t, HEEE!” While she babbled, the scalpel drifted upwards, where she punctuated each can’t by jabbing the surgical tool at his right eye. Terrified, Gus squeezed his eyelid shut and expected any moment to have two inches of blade lick his cornea. “That’s it, that’s it, shhhhh shhhhhh,” Alice coddled him. “You be fine. You be quiet. It won’t
Keith C. Blackmore (The Hospital (Mountain Man, #0.5))
You’re not responsible with what God gave you if you’re hanging out with time wasters who have no goals and no dreams. You have a destiny to fulfill. God has amazing things in your future. It’s critical that you surround yourself with the right people. If you’re the smartest one in your group, then your group is too small. You need to be around people who know more than you and have more talent than you. Don’t be intimidated by them; be inspired. If you take an oak tree seed and plant it in a five-gallon pot, that tree will never grow to the size it was created to be. Why? It’s restricted by the size of the pot. In the same way, God has created you to do great things. He’s put talent, ability, and skills on the inside. You don’t want to be restricted by your environment. It may be too small. Some of you are being restricted by your environment. It’s too small. The people you hang around are negative and drag you down. You need to get out of that little pot. God created you to soar. It’s fine to help people in need, but don’t spend all your time with them. You need talented and smart people in your life; winners who are farther along than you and can inspire you and challenge you to rise higher. My question for you is this: Are you doing anything strategic and intentional to keep growing? If not, you can start right now. Come up with a personal growth plan. It can be something like, “I will get up every morning and spend the first twenty minutes meditating on the scripture. I will listen to a teaching CD driving to work. I will read a book fifteen minutes every night before I go to bed. I will meet with my mentor twice a month. I will be in church every weekend.” That’s a definite plan. When you take responsibility for your growth, God will honor your efforts. Promotion, good breaks, businesses, books, and divine connections are in your future. But now is the time to prepare. Don’t get caught with destination disease. There is treasure in you, waiting to be developed. Redeem the time. Make a decision to grow in some way every day. If you keep sharpening your skills, and getting better, God promises your gifts will make room for you. Like David, because you are prepared, I believe and declare God is about to thrust you into the fullness of your destiny. He will open doors that no man can shut. You will go further than you could imagine and become the winner He’s created you to be.
Joel Osteen (You Can You Will: 8 Undeniable Qualities of a Winner)
Look through the heavy pine forest and see a fire glowing. Beside it sits a bear of a man, knife in one hand, a clay bowl on the ground in front of him. It has been a long time since he last shed blood for his Gods. Tonight would satisfy them a little while longer. The screech of a doomed animal is cut short and the bowl fills with its steaming blood. He puts it on a flat stone by the fire. He cuts his scarred wrist to let his own blood drip into the warming mixture. For many days he has thrown his runes and has had no clear sight. He has marked each one with his blood and still they reveal nothing. A tune starts deep in his gut. It stretches and twists like an unborn child, travelling up like a snake through his chest, setting his bones to shake. He grinds his jaw shut to keep it from escaping as it creeps up his throat. His lips start to vibrate with the tune as it tries to push its way out. The man is well learned in the ways of the song and knows how to control it. The bowl is steaming heavily and he leans over it to breathe in the blood fumes that will give his visions. This man’s name is Vasilli and he is trying to find his brother.
Amy Kuivalainen
Oh, look!” I bent down and dislodged the Tolkien from the toppled books, pretending surprise. “The Hobbit! Look, darling, isn’t that little Jimmy’s favorite book?” Geoff just grinned at me, refusing to play, and I turned a hopeful, enquiring face up to the gentle old man, hoping that I had retained at least some of the childish appeal I’d had as a seven-year-old. “I don’t suppose,” I said, faltering a little, “I don’t suppose that you’d…” “You can have it,” he said generously. “It’s the mysteries I want. You take that book, for your little boy.” To my credit, I felt a tiny twinge of guilt. “Let me pay you for it,” I offered, handing him a ten-pound note, which, to my great relief, he accepted. “After all,” I said, smiling broadly, “it must be worth something.” Geoff slammed the trunk shut with a curious cough and opened the passenger door for me. “Come along, darling,” he said. “We have to get going.
Susanna Kearsley (Mariana)
So we forgive. We send away the wrongs done to us. We let people out of the little cages we keep them in while we enjoy our feelings of moral superiority. We hand the feelings of wrong to God and refuse to ever take them back. Then we shut up and never mention the matter again. When the time comes, we put our arm around the offender and we ask him how he is.
Stephen Mansfield (Mansfield's Book of Manly Men: An Utterly Invigorating Guide to Being Your Most Masculine Self)
You are the most amazing woman. You’ve put up with so much of my crap and I pray that you’ll put up with a little more. I’m trying to do the best I can but it’s a process, you know?” She snorted and sniffed, nodding. Wrapping her arms around his neck she buried her face against him. “I love you, Harper. I would have waited for you, but it was getting so hard.” Fresh tears dripped from her jaw but he wiped them away and cupped her face to look at him. “I know, babe, but you don’t have to do it alone now. I promise you I will be here when you need me, any time. And I will never shut off communication like that again. Just write off that year and a half to me being a stupid, stubborn, idiotic man, okay?” Sputtering, she rocked her head against him. “I will,” she whispered. “I love you, Cat. So very much.” “I love you too, you stubborn man.” They
J.M. Madden (Embattled SEAL (Lost and Found #4))
Oh, dear,” she gasped, pulling back. “I just thought of something horrible.” Nigel blinked a few times in confusion. “I don’t mean to criticize, Amelia, but that is hardly the reaction a man looks for when he first kisses the girl he loves.” She clutched at his cravat again, completely demolishing it this time. “You love me?” “Of course I love you,” he said simply. “How could I not? Now, tell me what’s wrong.” “My parents,” she said, feeling rather dazed by everything. “They’ll be furious if I reject Lord Broadmore. Especially for a man…” She trailed off, hating to insult Nigel. And, strictly speaking, he hadn’t yet asked her to marry him. “A man like me,” he finished. “Is it because I don’t have a title?” “Yes, and because you’re not rich. I know how awful that sounds, but you mustn’t think less of them because of it. Mamma and Papa just want the best for me.” He studied her. He didn’t seem offended, but he did look wary. “Are those things important to you, as well?” She winced, hating that she might have made him doubt himself. “No. Well, of course I don’t want to be poor, but I don’t need to be rich, either. And a title means little to me.” She huffed out a sigh. “I’ll just have to reconcile myself to the notion that Mamma and Papa will be angry with me for not marrying Lord Broadmore. Or anyone else, simply because they’re rich.” The tension seemed to bleed from Nigel’s shoulders as his hands drifted down to her waist. “And would you consider marrying a mere gentleman?” “Of course I would, but…” “But what?” She glanced anxiously at Gwen to make sure she was still asleep. Nigel waited patiently for her to respond. “What if my father cuts me off?” When Nigel frowned, Amelia’s heart sank. “Are you sure he would do that?” he asked. She sighed. “It’s certainly possible. I do hope that wouldn’t...” He leaned down to press a swift kiss on her lips. “My dear girl, while I might not be a nobleman, I am as rich as Croesus. Your parents might lament the lack of a title, but I’m sure the marriage settlements will make up for it nicely.” She stared at him. “I thought your fortune was quite modest, by all accounts.” He grinned. “I rarely talk about money, but for you I’ll make an exception.” After he named a staggering sum, Amelia could only gape at him like an idiot. With a little snort of laughter, he tapped her mouth shut. “I do hope your esteemed father will approve,” he said. Amelia pressed a hand over her heart, right where a bubble of joy was expanding outward. “Oh, I think he’ll be able to reconcile himself to the notion. Not that I give a fig how much you’re worth, Mr. Dash.” Nigel made a great show of wiping his brow. “Well, that’s a relief,” he said in a voice warm with laughter. “I’d hate to disappoint either of you.” Amelia went up on her toes to press a kiss on his lips. “That, my dear, wonderful sir, would be quite impossible. After all, you are the nicest, most dependable man in the world.
Anna Campbell (A Grosvenor Square Christmas)
I’m trying to make a profit. I’m using batteries, toilet paper, and paper towels as currency. Each is something that will eventually be in short supply.” “You’re trying to get all the toilet paper in town?” Astrid shrilled. “Are you kidding?” “No, Astrid, I’m not kidding,” Albert said. “Look, right now, kids are playing with the stuff. I saw little kids throwing rolls of it around on their lawns like it was a toy. So—” “So your solution is to try and take it all away from people?” “You’d rather see it wasted?” “Yeah, actually,” Astrid huffed. “Rather than you getting it all for yourself. You’re acting like a jerk.” Albert’s eyes flared. “Look, Astrid, now kids know they can buy their way into the club with it. So they’re not going to waste it anymore.” “No, they’re going to give it all to you,” she shot back. “And what happens when they need some?” “Then there will still be some left because I made it valuable.” “Valuable to you.” “Valuable to everyone, Astrid.” “It’s you taking advantage of kids dumb enough not to know any better. Sam, you have to put a stop to this.” Sam had drifted away from the conversation, his head full of the music. He snapped back. “She’s right, Albert, this isn’t okay. You didn’t get permission—” “I didn’t think I needed permission to give kids what they want. I mean, I’m not threatening anyone, saying, ‘Give me your toilet paper, give me your batteries.’ I’m just playing some music and saying, ‘If you want to come in and dance, then it’ll cost you.’” “Dude, I respect you being ambitious and all,” Sam said. “But I have to shut this down. You never got permission, even, let alone asked us if it was okay to charge people.” Albert said, “Sam, I respect you more than I can even say. And Astrid, you are way smarter than me. But I don’t see how you have the right to shut me down.” That was it for Sam. “Okay, I tried to be nice. But I am the mayor. I was elected, as you probably remember, since I think you voted for me.” “I did. I’d do it again, man. But Sam, Astrid, you guys are wrong here. This club is about all these kids have that can get them together for a good time. They’re sitting in their homes starving and feeling sad and scared. When they’re dancing, they forget how hungry and sad they are. This is a good thing I’m doing.” Sam stared hard at Albert, a stare that kids in Perdido Beach took seriously. But Albert did not back down. “Sam, how many cantaloupes did Edilio manage to bring back with kids who were rounded up and forced to work?” Albert asked. “Not many,” Sam admitted. “Orc picked a whole truckload of cabbage. Before the zekes figured out how to get at him. Because we paid Orc to work.” “He did it because he’s the world’s youngest alcoholic and you paid him with beer,” Astrid snapped. “I know what you want, Albert. You want to get everything for yourself and be this big, important guy. But you know what? This is a whole new world. We have a chance to make it a better world. It doesn’t have to be about some people getting over on everyone else. It can be fair to everyone.” Albert laughed. “Everyone can be equally hungry. In a week or so, everyone can starve.
Michael Grant (Hunger (Gone, #2))
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))
I uh ... think I'd better go," Juliet said. "A pity, that."  He lifted the glass to his lips, his eyes watching her from above its rim. "I cannot talk you into staying, then?" "No. But I'll come back later if you like. Maybe I can bring your supper up to you or something...." "Would you? I would like that. In fact, I would like that very much indeed. Otherwise boredom will force me to read those silly letters, and I confess, Miss Paige, that I would much rather spend the time with you."  He grinned. "And Charlotte, if you will bring her." "I will bring her." "Good. I am looking forward to getting to know both my niece and her lovely mama. When you return, I want to hear all about America, your sea-crossing, everything. And I want a full report on how — Oh, dear —"  He suddenly started and blinked several times in rapid succession, as though the whiskey had just caught him very much by surprise (which in itself was no surprise, Juliet thought, given the amount he had downed and the speed with which he had consumed it). He shook his head, slowly, and tipped it back against the pillows with an apologetic little smile. "That is to say, I want a full report on how Lucien is treating you." "You shall have it then, Lord Gareth."  She plucked the empty glass from his hand and placed it back on the table. "But for now, I think you had better rest." "Yes ... I fear I have no choice about that, given the way those spirits have just hit me!  I am sorry, Miss Paige; I have no wish to be rude, it usually takes much more than three glasses to get me to this state ... but oh, isn't it strange, how the loss of a little blood seems to carry a man's vitality off with it, as well...." "I wouldn't know."  She smiled and moved forward to gently pull the sheet up over his chest. He looked up at her through his lashes and gave her a slow, sleepy smile, content to let her fuss over him, grateful for the attention, a man completely at ease in the company of a woman. "Thank you," he murmured, smiling as he let his eyes drift shut. "I think I shall enjoy ... my dreams." She
Danelle Harmon (The Wild One (The de Montforte Brothers, #1))
Something was pushing me, something that had very little to do with the look the Mongol had given me. Something dark that had spread its wings on the low-key misery of the cabin, something uncontrolled that Virginia Vidaura would have bawled me out for. I could hear Jimmy de Soto whispering in my ear. “You waiting for me?” I asked the Mongol’s back, and saw how the muscles in it tensed. Maybe one of the dealers felt it coming. He held up his exposed hand in a placatory gesture. “Look, man,” he began weakly. I sliced him a glance out of the corner of my eye, and he shut up. “I said—” That was when it all came apart.
Richard K. Morgan (Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovacs, #1))
Falco’s eyes flickered when he saw Cristian. “This one is actually with me,” he said, slipping an arm around Cass’s waist. “Then you might want to keep a closer eye on her.” Cristian nodded curtly at Falco and turned back toward the salon. Looking back over his shoulder, Falco added, “They tell me she’s got special skills.” He let his hand slide even lower, onto one of Cass’s slender hips, as he directed her back out into the night. Cass pulled away from Falco the second the door shut and they were out of the man’s line of vision. “Special skills?” Her voice burned with acid. Falco grinned. “You mean you don’t?” He leaned in close and snaked both his arms around her waist. “I’m going to require a refund then.” His breath was hot against her neck. Cass couldn’t help it. She saw the room with the candles again, her naked body intertwined with Falco’s, the two of them so close together they were practically wearing the same skin. Her whole body went rigid at the thought. “Oh come on,” Falco whispered in her ear. “I was joking. Acting the part.” Cass softened a little bit but still pulled back from his embrace. She couldn’t think of him that way when she was angry. She shouldn’t think of him that way at all. She took a deep breath and tried to regain control of her thoughts. “And acting the part requires you to put your hands all over me? Or is that just an extra benefit?” She didn’t know if she was more angry at Falco for treating her like a common prostitute or for leaving her alone in that house full of brutes. Falco rolled his eyes. “Don’t flatter yourself, Cassandra. I prefer my women a little less…repressed.” Without thinking, Cass reached out and slapped him. Her palm connected with the side of Falco’s face with a satisfying smack. She withdrew her hand immediately, horrified at what she’d done. To her surprise, Falco started laughing. “That’s more like it,” he said, his blue eyes lighting up the night. He rubbed the side of his face. “I think that’s going to leave a mark.” “I--I’m sorry,” Cass said. A red blotch began to form across Falco’s cheekbone. “Don’t be. I’m sure I deserved it. If not now, then at sometime in the past.” He winked. “Or the future.
Fiona Paul (Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #1))
It must be disheartening work learning a musical instrument. You would think that Society, for its own sake, would do all it could to assist a man to acquire the art of playing a musical instrument. But it doesn’t! I knew a young fellow once, who was studying to play the bagpipes, and you would be surprised at the amount of opposition he had to contend with. Why, not even from the members of his own family did he receive what you could call active encouragement. His father was dead against the business from the beginning, and spoke quite unfeelingly on the subject. My friend used to get up early in the morning to practise, but he had to give that plan up, because of his sister. She was somewhat religiously inclined, and she said it seemed such an awful thing to begin the day like that. So he sat up at night instead, and played after the family had gone to bed, but that did not do, as it got the house such a bad name. People, going home late, would stop outside to listen, and then put it about all over the town, the next morning, that a fearful murder had been committed at Mr. Jefferson’s the night before; and would describe how they had heard the victim’s shrieks and the brutal oaths and curses of the murderer, followed by the prayer for mercy, and the last dying gurgle of the corpse. So they let him practise in the day-time, in the back-kitchen with all the doors shut; but his more successful passages could generally be heard in the sitting-room, in spite of these precautions, and would affect his mother almost to tears. She said it put her in mind of her poor father (he had been swallowed by a shark, poor man, while bathing off the coast of New Guinea — where the connection came in, she could not explain). Then they knocked up a little place for him at the bottom of the garden, about quarter of a mile from the house, and made him take the machine down there when he wanted to work it; and sometimes a visitor would come to the house who knew nothing of the matter, and they would forget to tell him all about it, and caution him, and he would go out for a stroll round the garden and suddenly get within earshot of those bagpipes, without being prepared for it, or knowing what it was. If he were a man of strong mind, it only gave him fits; but a person of mere average intellect it usually sent mad. There is, it must be confessed, something very sad about the early efforts of an amateur in bagpipes.
Various (100 Eternal Masterpieces of Literature - volume 2)
For nine months, the engineers had been testing and calibrating and retesting all aspects of the system, especially the behemoth Westinghouse dynamos. Lead engineer B. J. Lamme described what happened during one early test in Pittsburgh of a giant dynamo when numerous little temporary steel bolts had “loosened up under vibration, and finally shook into contact with each other, thus forming a short circuit…. In a moment there was one tremendous [electric] arc around the end of the windings of the entire machine…. It looked, at first glance, as though the whole infernal regions had broken loose. Everybody jumped for cover.” One man managed to shut down the machine, and gradually the huge flaming electrical arc that had engulfed the dynamo subsided. Peering forth from their shelters, the engineers then rushed back and “someone climbed underneath to see what had become of our man inside … expecting him to be badly scorched…. He said the fire came in all around him but did not touch him.”30 No one present had ever seen such a sight.
Jill Jonnes (Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World)