Silence Means Yes Quotes

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Silence does not mean yes. No can be thought and felt but never said. It can be screamed silently on the inside. It can be in the wordless stone of a clenched fist, fingernails digging into palm. Her lips sealed. Her eyes closed. His body just taking, never asking, never taught to question silence
Amy Reed (The Nowhere Girls)
Everyone always asks, was he mad at you for writing the book? and I have to say, Yes, yes, he was. He still is. It is one of the most fascinating things to me about the whole episode: he cheated on me, and then got to behave as if he was the one who had been wronged because I wrote about it! I mean, it's not as if I wasn't a writer. It's not as if I hadn't often written about myself. I'd even written about him. What did he think was going to happen? That I would take a vow of silence for the first time in my life?
Nora Ephron (Heartburn)
Do you love me?" There was an awkward silence for a moment. Then Father gave a little chuckle. "Jonas. You, of all people. Precision of language, please!" "What do you mean?" Jonas asked. Amusement was not at all what he had anticipated. "Your father means that you used a very generalized word, so meaningless that it's become almost obsolete," his mother explained carefully. Jonas stared at them. Meaningless? He had never before felt anything as meaningful as the memory. "And of course our community can't function smoothly if people don't use precise language. You could ask, 'Do you enjoy me?' The answer is 'Yes,'" his mother said. "Or," his father suggested, "'Do you take pride in my accomplishments?' And the answer is wholeheartedly 'Yes.'" "Do you understand why it's inappropriate to use a word like 'love'?" Mother asked. Jonas nodded. "Yes, thank you, I do," he replied slowly. It was his first lie to his parents.
Lois Lowry (The Giver (The Giver, #1))
No, I mean with us. Do you think we would have made it?" It took a moment for her to answer. "I don't know, Noah. I really don't, and you don't either. We're not the same people we were then. We've changed. Both of us." She paused. He didn't respond, and in the silence she looked towards the creek. She went on. "But yes, Noah, I think we would have. At least, I'd like to think we would have.
Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook (The Notebook, #1))
Marie came that evening and asked me if I'd marry her. I said I didn't mind; if she was keen on it, we'd get married. Then she asked me again if I loved her. I replied, much as before, that her question meant nothing or next to nothing--but I supposed I didn't. 'If that's how you feel,' she said, 'why marry me?' I explained that it had no importance really, but, if it would give her pleasure, we could get married right away. I pointed out that, anyhow, the suggestion came from her; as for me, I'd merely said, 'Yes.' Then she remarked that marriage was a serious matter. To which I answered: 'No.' She kept silent after that, staring at me in a curious way. Then she asked: 'Suppose another girl had asked you to marry her--I mean, a girl you liked in the same way as you like me--would you have said 'Yes' to her, too?' 'Naturally.' Then she said she wondered if she really loved me or not. I, of course, couldn't enlighten her as to that. And, after another silence, she murmured something about my being 'a queer fellow.' 'And I daresay that's why I love you,' she added. 'But maybe that's why one day I'll come to hate you.
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
Yes means yes and no means no, but what is the meaning of silence?
Tayari Jones (An American Marriage)
The popular concept–that we should each determine our own morality–is based on the belief that the spiritual realm is nothing at all like the rest of the world. Does anyone really believe that? For many years after each of the morning and evening Sunday services I remained in the auditorium for another hour to field questions. Hundreds of people stayed for the give-and-take discussions. One of the most frequent statements I heard was that 'Every person has to define right and wrong for him- or herself.' I always responded to the speakers by asking, 'Is there anyone in the world right now doing things you believe they should stop doing no matter what they personally believe about the correctness of their behavior?' They would invariable say, 'Yes, of course.' Then I would ask, “Doesn’t that mean that you do believe there is some kind of moral reality that is "there" that is not defined by us, that must be abided by regardless of what a person feels or thinks?' Almost always, the response to that question was silence, either a thoughtful or a grumpy one.
Timothy J. Keller (The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism)
It was unearthly, and the men were--No, they were not inhuman. Well, you know, that was the worst of it--this suspicion of their not being inhuman. It would come slowly to one. They howled, and leaped, and spun, and made horrid faces; but what thrilled you was just the thought of their humanity--like yours--the thought of your remote kinship with this wild and passionate uproar. Ugly. Yes, it was ugly enough; but if you were man enough you would admit to yourself that there was in you just the faintest trace of a response to the terrible frankness of that noise, a dim suspicion of there being a meaning in it which you--you so remote from the night of first ages--could comprehend. And why not? The mind of man is capable of anything--because everything is in it, all the past as well as all the future. What was there after all? Joy, fear, sorrow, devotion, valor, rage--who can tell?--but truth--truth stripped of its cloak of time. Let the fool gape and shudder--the man knows, and can look on without a wink. But he must at least be as much of a man as these on the shore. He must meet that truth with his own true stuff--with his own inborn strength. Principles? Principles won't do. Acquisitions, clothes, pretty rags--rags that would fly off at the first good shake. No; you want a deliberate belief. An appeal to me in this fiendish row--is there? Very well; I hear; I admit, but I have a voice too, and for good or evil mine is the speech that cannot be silenced. Of course, a fool, what with sheer fright and fine sentiments, is always safe. Who's that grunting? You wonder I didn't go ashore for a howl and a dance? Well, no--I didn't. Fine sentiments, you say? Fine sentiments, be hanged! I had no time. I had to mess about with white-lead and strips of woolen blanket helping to put bandages on those leaky steam-pipes--I tell you.
Joseph Conrad (Heart of Darkness)
But…” Hazel gripped his shoulders and stared at him in amazement. “Frank, what happened to you?” “To me?” He stood, suddenly self-conscious. “I don’t…” He looked down and realized what she meant. Triptolemus hadn’t gotten shorter. Frank was taller. His gut had shrunk. His chest seemed bulkier. Frank had had growth spurts before. Once he’d woken up two centimeters taller than when he’d gone to sleep. But this was nuts. It was as if some of the dragon and lion had stayed with him when he’d turned back to human. “Uh…I don’t…Maybe I can fix it.” Hazel laughed with delight. “Why? You look amazing!” “I—I do?” “I mean, you were handsome before! But you look older, and taller, and so distinguished—” Triptolemus heaved a dramatic sigh. “Yes, obviously some sort of blessing from Mars. Congratulations, blah, blah, blah. Now, if we’re done here…?” Frank glared at him. “We’re not done. Heal Nico.” The farm god rolled his eyes. He pointed at the corn plant, and BAM! Nico di Angelo appeared in an explosion of corn silk. Nico looked around in a panic. “I—I had the weirdest nightmare about popcorn.” He frowned at Frank. “Why are you taller?” “Everything’s fine,” Frank promised. “Triptolemus was about to tell us how to survive the House of Hades. Weren’t you, Trip?” The farm god raised his eyes to the ceiling, like, Why me, Demeter? “Fine,” Trip said. “When you arrive at Epirus, you will be offered a chalice to drink from.” “Offered by whom?” Nico asked. “Doesn’t matter,” Trip snapped. “Just know that it is filled with deadly poison.” Hazel shuddered. “So you’re saying that we shouldn’t drink it.” “No!” Trip said. “You must drink it, or you’ll never be able to make it through the temple. The poison connects you to the world of the dead, lets you pass into the lower levels. The secret to surviving is”—his eyes twinkled—“barley.” Frank stared at him. “Barley.” “In the front room, take some of my special barley. Make it into little cakes. Eat these before you step into the House of Hades. The barley will absorb the worst of the poison, so it will affect you, but not kill you.” “That’s it?” Nico demanded. “Hecate sent us halfway across Italy so you could tell us to eat barley?” “Good luck!” Triptolemus sprinted across the room and hopped in his chariot. “And, Frank Zhang, I forgive you! You’ve got spunk. If you ever change your mind, my offer is open. I’d love to see you get a degree in farming!” “Yeah,” Frank muttered. “Thanks.” The god pulled a lever on his chariot. The snake-wheels turned. The wings flapped. At the back of the room, the garage doors rolled open. “Oh, to be mobile again!” Trip cried. “So many ignorant lands in need of my knowledge. I will teach them the glories of tilling, irrigation, fertilizing!” The chariot lifted off and zipped out of the house, Triptolemus shouting to the sky, “Away, my serpents! Away!” “That,” Hazel said, “was very strange.” “The glories of fertilizing.” Nico brushed some corn silk off his shoulder. “Can we get out of here now?” Hazel put her hand on Frank’s shoulder. “Are you okay, really? You bartered for our lives. What did Triptolemus make you do?” Frank tried to hold it together. He scolded himself for feeling so weak. He could face an army of monsters, but as soon as Hazel showed him kindness, he wanted to break down and cry. “Those cow monsters…the katoblepones that poisoned you…I had to destroy them.” “That was brave,” Nico said. “There must have been, what, six or seven left in that herd.” “No.” Frank cleared his throat. “All of them. I killed all of them in the city.” Nico and Hazel stared at him in stunned silence. Frank
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
For a moment, there was silnece, and then at Brooke's nod, the rest of the Squad, minus me, chimed in. "Yes, sir." I said nothing. For one thing, I wasn't exactly keen on speaking in unison, and for another, I wasn't about to make any promises I couldn't keep. "Toby." I jumped in my seat. The Voice actually knew my name. And somehow, he had the freaky ability to ascertain that of all of us, I was the one who hadn't responded. "Do you understand?" I contemplated telling him what I didn't understand was his familial relationshiops, but stayed momentarily silent, causing everyone within a three-foot radius to kick me under the table at once. "Ow!" I cleared my throat. "I mean, yes." I didn't throw the sir on the end, but apparently, that was good enough for the Voice. "Excellent. Report in tonight, and we'll have more information for you all tomorrow. And girl?" "Yes?" "Congratulations on the homecoming nominations. We're all very proud.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Killer Spirit (The Squad, #2))
When I said I wasn’t with another girl the January after we fell in love for the 3rd time, it’s because it wasn’t actual sex. In the February that began our radio silence, it was actual sex. I hate the tight shirts that go below your waistline. Not only do they make you look too young, but then your torso is a giraffe’s neck attached to tiny legs. I screamed at myself in the subway for writing poems about you still. I made a scene. I think about you almost each morning, and roughly every five days, I still believe you’re there. I still masturbate to you. When we got really bad, I would put another coat of mop water on the floor of the bar to make sure you were asleep when I got to my side of the bed. You are the only person to whom I’ve lied, knowing I was telling the truth. I miss the way your neck wraps around my face like a cave we are both lost in. I remember when you said being with me is like being alone with company. My friend Sarah wrote a poem about pink ponies. I’m scared you’re my pink pony. Hers is dead. It is really sad. You’re not dead. You live in Ohio, or Washington, or Wherever. You are a shadow my body leaves on other girls. I have a growing queue of things I know will make you laugh and I don’t know where to put them. I mourn like you’re dead. If you had asked me to stay, I would not have said no. It would never mean yes.
Jon Sands
NOTHING MAKES SENSE. Do not look for any sense in things. It is not there. It is you who ascribe it to what you live or get to know. A defeat or a victory is neither a message from the gods nor a trick of fate. Neither means anything — and, if they seem to, it is but an interpretation you yourself make of them —, inasmuch as things in themselves are only indifference and silence. So, do not waste your precious time in looking for signs everywhere around you. Try and interpret happenings, those which bleed and those which make you smile, as maturing experiences. Oh, yes, what is most important: live!
Camilo Gomes Jr.
motioned for her to follow. “Uh-hu and so if Katie Peri’s E.T. suddenly started playing, you wouldn’t have the sudden urge to de-robe?” “Urge, yes,” Jen admitted. “I mean, come on, the song has a sick beat.
Quinn Loftis (Piercing Silence (The Grey Wolves #8.5))
The corridor dissolved, and the scene took a little longer to reform: Harry seemed to fly through shifting shapes and colors until his surroundings solidified again and he stood on a hilltop, forlorn and cold in the darkness, the wind whistling through the branches of a few leafless trees. The adult Snape was panting, turning on the spot, his wand gripped tightly in his hand, waiting for something or for someone… His fear infected Harry too, even though he knew that he could not be harmed, and he looked over his shoulder, wondering what it was that Snape was waiting for — Then a blinding, jagged jet of white light flew through the air. Harry thought of lightning, but Snape had dropped to his knees and his wand had flown out of his hand. “Don’t kill me!” “That was not my intention.” Any sound of Dumbledore Apparating had been drowned by the sound of the wind in the branches. He stood before Snape with his robes whipping around him, and his face was illuminated from below in the light cast by his wand. “Well, Severus? What message does Lord Voldemort have for me?” “No — no message — I’m here on my own account!” Snape was wringing his hands. He looked a little mad, with his straggling black hair flying around him. “I — I come with a warning — no, a request — please —” Dumbledore flicked his wand. Though leaves and branches still flew through the night air around them, silence fell on the spot where he and Snape faced each other. “What request could a Death Eater make of me?” “The — the prophecy… the prediction… Trelawney…” “Ah, yes,” said Dumbledore. “How much did you relay to Lord Voldemort?” “Everything — everything I heard!” said Snape. “That is why — it is for that reason — he thinks it means Lily Evans!” “The prophecy did not refer to a woman,” said Dumbledore. “It spoke of a boy born at the end of July —” “You know what I mean! He thinks it means her son, he is going to hunt her down — kill them all —” “If she means so much to you,” said Dumbledore, “surely Lord Voldemort will spare her? Could you not ask for mercy for the mother, in exchange for the son?” “I have — I have asked him —” “You disgust me,” said Dumbledore, and Harry had never heard so much contempt in his voice. Snape seemed to shrink a little, “You do not care, then, about the deaths of her husband and child? They can die, as long as you have what you want?” Snape said nothing, but merely looked up at Dumbledore. “Hide them all, then,” he croaked. “Keep her — them — safe. Please.” “And what will you give me in return, Severus?” “In — in return?” Snape gaped at Dumbledore, and Harry expected him to protest, but after a long moment he said, “Anything.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
The only thing we can do now,” said Benjy, crouching and stroking his whiskers in thought, “is to try and fake a question, invent one that will sound plausible.” “Difficult,” said Frankie. He thought. “How about, What's yellow and dangerous?” Benjy considered this for a moment. “No, no good,” he said. “Doesn't fit the answer.” They sank into silence for a few seconds. “All right,” said Benjy. “What do you get if you multiply six by seven?” “No, no, too literal, too factual,” said Frankie, “wouldn't sustain the punter's interest.” Again they thought. Then Frankie said: “Here's a thought. How many roads must a man walk down?” “Ah!” said Benjy. “Aha, now that does sound promising!” He rolled the phrase around a little. “Yes,” he said, “that's excellent! Sounds very significant without actually tying you down to meaning anything at all. How many roads must a man walk down? Forty-two. Excellent, excellent, that'll fox 'em. Frankie, baby, we are made!
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
Matt said, “I need to go. I have other appointments today.” Without a single ounce of hesitation, he cupped Priss’s shoulders, drew her forward, and gave her a smacking kiss right on her slightly parted lips. It was a toss-up who was more surprised, Priss or Trace. Priss blinked rapidly, Trace snarled and Chris laughed at them both. “I enjoyed working with you, Priss. You were more than entertaining, and a font of information on all things kinky.” Trace narrowed his eyes. Was Matt trying to rile him? All things kinky? Just what the hell had they discussed? “What does that mean, Matt?” “She schooled us on the porn marketplace. Very informative.” After a meaningful glance at Trace, he turned back to Priss. “I hope to see you again.” She went still, unsure what to say. Trace filled in the silence. “Did you want to bill me, or get paid now?” “I almost hate to charge, it was all so fascinating.” Trace growled. “But you will.” Grinning, Matt said, “Yes.” As he turned away, he added, “I’ll get something in the mail to Dare. He can pass it along to you. I certainly trust you.” Matt’s emphasis meant that Priss didn’t trust him—not that Trace needed a reminder of that.
Lori Foster (Trace of Fever (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor, #2))
Arin,” she said, searching his face. “Was it my house? I mean, the villa. Did you live there, before the war?” He yanked on the reins. His stallion ground to a halt. When he spoke, Arin’s voice was like the music he had asked her to play. “No,” he said. “That family is gone.” They rode on in silence until Arin said, “Kestrel.” She waited, then realized that he wasn’t speaking to her, exactly. He was simply saying her name, considering it, exploring the syllables of the Valorian word. She said, “I hope you’re not going to pretend you don’t know what it means.” He shot her a wry, sidelong look. “A kestrel is a hunting hawk.” “Yes. The perfect name for a warrior girl.” “Well.” His smile was slight, but it was there. “I suppose neither of us is the person we were believed we would become.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
So, tomorrow night. My house or yours?" "Mine. I...want to show you something." "Oh yes?” Will said hopefully, suggestively. There was a smile in Taylor's voice, but he sounded absent. “Will?" "Right here." There was a pause. “When I was shot—" Will's heart quickened; he wasn't even sure why. “Yeah?" "It wasn't because of you...turning me down. It wasn't because my mind wasn't on the job." "No?" "No. I know—at least, I think I do—that you thought you were somehow to blame for me getting nailed. It wasn't anything to do with you.” He heard Taylor sigh. “It was when I saw how young they were. Kids. And I hesitated. I hesitated a couple of seconds too long. That's all." Something inside Will relaxed, like the clutch of a child's hand on a balloon. The balloon went sailing free and happy. (...) He couldn't even explain why he felt so happy. “You think I'm with you out of guilt?" "No, you ass. Of course not. I just mean—" "You're a nut, MacAllister. I'm with you because I love you." There it was, out. Three little words. Three of the most common words in the world, but string them together and they were more powerful than any warrant, any extradition papers, or even treaty. Stronger than any magical spell. Had he really never said them aloud to Taylor? Something in the ringing silence that followed made him think he maybe hadn't. It was a relief when Taylor said, at last, in that irritable voice that always signified nerves or great emotion, “That's fine. I just thought you should know." "I love you,” Will repeated firmly, having got the hang of it. “I'll see you tomorrow night, you lunatic." "Love you,” Taylor said tersely and hung up. Taylor stared at the receiver in its cradle and then got ready for bed.
Josh Lanyon (Old Poison (Dangerous Ground, #2))
How was your journey?" he asked. "You don't have to make small talk with me," she said. "I don't like it, and I'm not very good at it." They paused at the shade of portico, beside a sweet-scented bower of roses. Casually Lord St. Vincent leaned a shoulder against a cream-painted column. A lazy smile curved his lips as he looked down at her. "Didn't Lady Berwick teach you?" "She tried. But I hate trying to make conversation about weather. Who cares what the temperature is? I want to talk about things like... like..." "Yes?" he prompted as she hesitated. "Darwin. Women's suffrage. Workhouses, war, why we're alive, if you believe in séances or spirits, if music has ever made you cry, or what vegetable you hate most..." Pandora shrugged and glanced up at him, expecting the familiar frozen expression of a man who was about to run for his life. Instead she found herself caught by his arrested stare, while the silence seemed to wrap around them. After a moment, Lord St. Vincent said softly, "Carrots." Bemused, Pandora tried to gather her wits. "That's the vegetable you hate most? Do you mean cooked ones?" "Any kind of carrots." "Out of all vegetables?" At his nod, she persisted, "What about carrot cake?" "No." But it's cake." A smile flickered across his lips. "Still carrots." Pandora wanted to argue the superiority of carrots over some truly atrocious vegetable, such as Brussels sprouts, but heir conversation was interrupted by a silky masculine voice. "Ah, there you are. I've been sent out to fetch you." Pandora shrank back as she saw a tall msn approach in a graceful stride. She knew instantly that he must be Lord Sy. Vincent's father- the resemblance was striking. His complexion was tanned and lightly time-weathered, with laugh-lines at the outer corners of his blue eyes. He had a full head of tawny-golden hair, handsomely silvered at the sides and temples. Having heard of his reputation as a former libertine, Pandora had expected an aging roué with coarse features and a leer... not this rather gorgeous specimen who wore his formidable presence like an elegant suit of clothes. "My son, what can you be thinking, keeping this enchanting creature out in the heat of midday?
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
Scythe Anastasia was equally dumbfounded. "You?" she said. "No," Morrison blurted, "not me! I mean, yes, it's me, but I'm not the Toll, I mean." Any hope of strong, silent intimidation was gone. Now he was little more than a stammering imbecile, which is how he always felt around Scythe Anastasia. "What are you even doing here?" she asked. He started to explain, but realized it was way too long a story for the moment. And besides, he was sure her story was a better one. The other scythe in her entourage—Amazonian by the look of his robe—chimed in, several beats behind the curve. "You mean to say you two know each other?" But before either of them could answer, Mendoza came up behind Morrison, tapping him on the shoulder. "As usual, you're in the way, Morrison," he grumbled, having completely missed the conversation. Morrison stepped aside and allowed the curate to exit. And the moment Mendoza saw Anastasia, he became just as befuddled as Morrison. Although his eyes darted wildly, he managed to hold his silence. Now they stood on either side of the entrance to the cave in their usual formation. Then the Toll emerged from the cave between them. He paused short, just as Morrison and Mendoza had, gaping in a way that a holy man probably never should. "Okay," said Scythe Anastasia. "Now I know I've lost my mind.
Neal Shusterman (The Toll (Arc of a Scythe, #3))
Well, yes,” Daniel said. “We did spend the night together, but—” “Daniel,” Grace gasped in horror. Daniel looked away from the parson, his skin now fully flaming red. “Well, we did. Do you want me to add lying to the parson in on top of having you in bed…I mean, sleeping together…I mean, having you here without your clothes…I mean…” Daniel lapsed into silence. “Pa brung her home to be our ma, but he tried her out for the night and he decided to return her,” Mark said.
Mary Connealy (Calico Canyon (Lassoed in Texas, #2))
We began before words, and we will end beyond them. It sometimes seems to me that our days are poisoned with too many words. Words said and not meant. Words said ‘and’ meant. Words divorced from feeling. Wounding words. Words that conceal. Words that reduce. Dead words. If only words were a kind of fluid that collects in the ears, if only they turned into the visible chemical equivalent of their true value, an acid, or something curative – then we might be more careful. Words do collect in us anyway. They collect in the blood, in the soul, and either transform or poison people’s lives. Bitter or thoughtless words poured into the ears of the young have blighted many lives in advance. We all know people whose unhappy lives twist on a set of words uttered to them on a certain unforgotten day at school, in childhood, or at university. We seem to think that words aren’t things. A bump on the head may pass away, but a cutting remark grows with the mind. But then it is possible that we know all too well the awesome power of words – which is why we use them with such deadly and accurate cruelty. We are all wounded inside one way or other. We all carry unhappiness within us for some reason or other. Which is why we need a little gentleness and healing from one another. Healing in words, and healing beyond words. Like gestures. Warm gestures. Like friendship, which will always be a mystery. Like a smile, which someone described as the shortest distance between two people. Yes, the highest things are beyond words. That is probably why all art aspires to the condition of wordlessness. When literature works on you, it does so in silence, in your dreams, in your wordless moments. Good words enter you and become moods, become the quiet fabric of your being. Like music, like painting, literature too wants to transcend its primary condition and become something higher. Art wants to move into silence, into the emotional and spiritual conditions of the world. Statues become melodies, melodies become yearnings, yearnings become actions. When things fall into words they usually descend. Words have an earthly gravity. But the best things in us are those that escape the gravity of our deaths. Art wants to pass into life, to lift it; art wants to enchant, to transform, to make life more meaningful or bearable in its own small and mysterious way. The greatest art was probably born from a profound and terrible silence – a silence out of which the greatest enigmas of our life cry: Why are we here? What is the point of it all? How can we know peace and live in joy? Why be born in order to die? Why this difficult one-way journey between the two mysteries? Out of the wonder and agony of being come these cries and questions and the endless stream of words with which to order human life and quieten the human heart in the midst of our living and our distress. The ages have been inundated with vast oceans of words. We have been virtually drowned in them. Words pour at us from every angle and corner. They have not brought understanding, or peace, or healing, or a sense of self-mastery, nor has the ocean of words given us the feeling that, at least in terms of tranquility, the human spirit is getting better. At best our cry for meaning, for serenity, is answered by a greater silence, the silence that makes us seek higher reconciliation. I think we need more of the wordless in our lives. We need more stillness, more of a sense of wonder, a feeling for the mystery of life. We need more love, more silence, more deep listening, more deep giving.
Ben Okri (Birds of Heaven)
I hate that word. Mingle. I mean, the word itself is fine; I just hate the concept. When has anyone in the history of earth ever made a meaningful connection while mingling? It’s like, hey, let’s have only the worst parts of a conversation—the approach, the small talk, the trying-to-figure-out-when-and-how-to-disengage part. It’s not that I dislike being around people. I just wish we could skip to the sitting-in-comfortable-silence part, or the inside-jokes part, or even the we-both-love-The-Office-so-let’s-overanalyze-it part.
Becky Albertalli (Yes No Maybe So)
You and Beatrix haven’t known each other long enough to consider matrimony. A matter of weeks, to my knowledge. And what about Prudence Mercer? You’re practically betrothed, aren’t you?” “Those are valid points,” Christopher said. “And I will answer them. But you should know right away that I’m against the match.” Leo blinked in bemusement. “You mean you’re against a match with Miss Mercer?” “Well…yes. But I’m also against a match with Beatrix.” Silence fell over the room. “This is a trick of some sort,” Leo said. “Unfortunately, it’s not,” Christopher replied. Another silence. “Captain Phelan,” Cam asked, choosing his words with care. “Have you come to ask for our consent to marry Beatrix?” Christopher shook his head. “If I decide to marry Beatrix, I’ll do it with or without your consent.” Leo looked at Cam. “Good God,” he said in disgust. “This one’s worse than Harry.” Cam wore an expression of beleaguered patience. “Perhaps we should both talk to Captain Phelan in the library. With brandy.” “I want my own bottle,” Leo said feelingly, leading the way.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
No,” she whispered. “No more.” His breath came hot and heavy against her ear as his arm crept back around her waist. “Why not?” For a moment her mind was blank. What reason could she give that would make sense to him? If she protested that they weren’t married, he would simply put an end to that objection by marrying her, and that would be disastrous. Then she remembered Petey’s plan. “Because I’ve already promised myself to another.” His body went still against hers. An oppressive silence fell over them both, punctuated only by the distant clanging of the watch bell. But he didn’t move away, and at first she feared he hadn’t heard her. “I said—” she began. “I heard you.” He drew back, his face taught with suspicion. “What do you mean ‘another?’ Someone in England?” She considered inventing a fiancé in London. But that would have no weight with him, would it? “Another sailor. I . . . I’ve agreed to marry one of your crew.” His expression hardened until it looked chiseled from the same oak that formed his formidable ship. “You’re joking.” She shook her head furiously. “Peter Hargraves asked me to . . . to be his wife last night. And I agreed.” A stunned expression spread over his face before anger replaced it. Planting his hands on either side of her hips, he bent his head until his face was within inches from her. “He’s not one of my crew. Is that why you accepted his proposal—because he’s not one of my men? Or do you claim to have some feeling for him?” He sneered the last words, and shame spread through her. It would be too hard to claim she had feelings for Petey when she’d just been on the verge of giving herself to Gideon. But that was the only answer that would put him off her. Her ands trembled against his immovable chest. “I . . . I like him, yes.” “The way you ‘like’ me?” When she glanced away, uncertain what to say to that, he caught her chin and forced her to look at him. Despite the dim light, she could tell that desire still held him. And when he spoke again, his voice was edged with the tension of his need. “I don’t care what you agreed to last night. Everything has changed. You can’t possibly still want to marry him after the way you just responded to my touch.” “That was a mistake,” she whispered, steeling herself to ignore the flare of anger in his eyes. “Petey and I are well suited. I knew him from before, from the Chastity. I know he’s an honorable man, which is why I still intend to marry him.” A muscle ticked in Gideon’s jaw. “He’s not a bully, you mean. He’s not a wicked pirate like me, out to ‘rape and pillage.’” He pushed away from the trunk with an oath, then spun towards the steps. “Well, he’s not for you, Sara, no matter what you may think. And I’m going to put a stop to his courtship of you right now!
Sabrina Jeffries (The Pirate Lord)
How long have you known about him?” I asked Jesse, using my free hand to gesture toward his guest. “Forever. Nearly as long as I did about you.” “God, Jesse. Why didn’t you say anything?” “He was a shadow of you.” Jesse shrugged. “His background is diluted, his dragon blood les strong. Even with you in his proximity, I wasn’t certain any of his drakon traits would emerge. He hasn’t anywhere near your potential.” “Pardon me,” Armand said, freezingly polite, “but he is still right here with you in this room.” “Do you mean…I did it?” I asked. “I made him figure it out? What he is?” Jesse gave me an assessing look. “Like is drawn to like. We’re all three of us thick with magic now, even if it’s different kinds. It’s inevitable that we’ll feed off one another. The only way to prevent that would be to separate. And even then it might not be enough. Too much has already begun.” “I don’t want to separate from you,” I said. “No.” Jesse lifted our hands and gave mine a kiss. “Don’t worry about that.” Armand practically rolled his eyes. “If you two are quite done, might we talk some sense tonight? It’s late, I’m tired, and your ruddy chair, Holms, is about as comfortable as sitting on a tack. I want to…” But his voice only faded into silence. He closed his eyes and raised a hand to his face and squeezed the bridge of his nose. I noted again those shining nails. The elegance of his bones beneath his flawless skin. Skin that was marble-pale, I realized. Just like mine. “Yes?” I said, more gently than I’d intended. “Excuse me. I’m finding this all a bit…impossible to process. I’m beginning to believe that this is the most profoundly unpleasant dream I’ve ever been caught in.” “Allow me to assure you that you’re awake, Lord Armand,” I retorted, all gentleness gone. “To wit: You hear music no one else does. Distinctive music from gemstones and all sorts of metals. That day I played the piano at Tranquility, I was playing your father’s ruby song, one you must have heard exactly as I did. Exactly as your mother would have. You also have, perhaps, something like a voice inside you. Something specific and base, stronger than instinct, hopeless to ignore. Animals distrust you. You might even dream of smoke or flying.” He dropped his arm. “You got that from the diary.” “No, I got that from my own life. And damned lucky you are to have been brought into this world as a pampered little prince instead of spending your childhood being like this and still having to fend for yourself, as I did.” “Right. Lucky me.” Armand looked at Jesse, his eyes glittering. “And what are you? Another dragon? A gargoyle, perchance, or a werecat?” “Jesse is a star.” The hand went up to conceal his face again. “Of course he is. The. Most. Unpleasant. Dream. Ever.” I separated my hand from Jesse’s, angling for more bread. “I think you’re going to have to show him.” “Aye.” A single blue eye blinked open between Armand’s fingers. “Show me what?
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
Yeah, someone like that,” I say with a wistful smile. “A dramatic whirlwind romance that takes the world and turns it upside down.” Ryan isn’t smiling. He watches me for a good long while, silent and still. “I don’t think I believe that. Even if you could experience what you write about, you would be way too uptight to do that kind of stuff, let alone enjoy it.” I take in his accusation and once again sit up straight. “That’s not true. What happens in my books just doesn’t happen in real life. If I could experience something like that, I wouldn’t be too uptight to enjoy it.” “You’re sure about that?” “Yes, I’m sure.” “Okay. Prove it.” I think back on Ryan’s words. “What do you mean?” I ask. “I mean let’s choose a book and we’ll see if you can read it and act out what the characters are doing without you being too afraid to stop.” “You want me to read what’s in a romance novel and then act it out?” “Yes.” “And who am I supposed to act it out with?” “Me, of course.” Ryan’s proposition crashes over me like a cold, unexpected wave. “You’re kidding.” “I’m entirely serious. This way, we can see who’s right about your novels once and for all, or you can just admit that you would never really do any of the things you write about.” I continue to stare at him in total silence. “I knew it,” he says a few moments later. And then my stubborn nature, strengthened by the alcohol, takes the wheel. “Fine,” I say defiantly. “Fine?” he asks. “Are you sure?” I get up from the couch without hesitating. “Pick a book.” Ryan smiles. “How about the one you’re writing now?
Kate Bromley (Talk Bookish to Me)
Mama,” the child exclaimed, breathless and agitated. Phoebe looked down at him in concern. “Justin, what is it?” “Galoshes brought me a dead mouse. She dropped it on the floor right in front of me!” “Oh, dear.” Tenderly Phoebe smoothed his dark, ruffled hair. “I’m afraid that’s what cats do. She thought it was a fine gift.” “Nanny won’t touch it, and the housemaid screamed, and I had a fight with Ivo.” Although Phoebe’s younger brother Ivo was technically Justin’s uncle, the boys were close enough in age to play together and quarrel. “About the mouse?” Phoebe asked sympathetically. “No, before the mouse. Ivo said there’s going to be a honeymoon and I can’t go because it’s for grownups.” The boy tilted his head back to look up at her, his lower lip quivering. “You wouldn’t go to the honeymoon without me, would you, Mama?” “Darling, we’ve made no plans to travel yet. There’s too much to be done here, and we all need time to settle in. Perhaps in the spring—” “Dad wouldn’t want to leave me behind. I know he wouldn’t!” In the electrified silence that followed, Tom shot a glance at West, who looked blank and startled. Slowly Phoebe lowered to the ground until her face was level with her son’s. “Do you mean Uncle West?” she asked gently. “Is that what you’re calling him now?” Justin nodded. “I don’t want him to be my uncle—I already have too many of those. And if I don’t have a dad, I’ll never learn how to tie my shoes.” Phoebe began to smile. “Why not call him Papa?” she suggested. “If I did, you’d never know which one I was talking about,” Justin said reasonably, “the one in heaven or the one down here.” Phoebe let out a breath of amusement. “You’re right, my clever boy.” Justin looked up at the tall man beside him with a flicker of uncertainty. “I can call you Dad … can’t I? Do you like that name?” A change came over West’s face, his color deepening, small muscles contorting with some powerful emotion. He snatched Justin up, one of his large hands clasping the small head as he kissed his cheek. “I love that name,” West said unsteadily. “I love it.” The boy’s arms went around his neck. “Can we go to Africa for our honeymoon, Dad?” he heard Justin ask. “Yes,” came West’s muffled voice. “Can I have a pet crocodile, Dad?” “Yes.” Phoebe produced a handkerchief from seemingly out of nowhere and tucked it discreetly into one of West’s hands.
Lisa Kleypas (Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6))
Softly, he said, “Why are you crying?” His words made the tears flow faster. “Kestrel.” She drew a shaky breath. “Because when my father comes home, I will tell him that he has won. I will join the military.” There was a silence. “I don’t understand.” Kestrel shrugged. She shouldn’t care whether he understood or not. “You would give up your music?” Yes. She would. “But your bargain with the general was for spring.” Arin still sounded confused. “You have until spring to marry or enlist. Ronan…Ronan would ask the god of souls for you. He would ask you to marry him.” “He has.” Arin didn’t speak. “But I can’t,” she said. “Kestrel.” “I can’t.” “Kestrel, please don’t cry.” Tentative fingers touched her face. A thumb ran along the wet skin of her cheekbone. She suffered for it, suffered for the misery of knowing that whatever possessed him to do this could be no more than compassion. He valued her that much. But not enough. “Why can’t you marry him?” he whispered. She broke her word to herself and looked at him. “Because of you.” Arin’s hand flinched against her cheek. His dark head bowed, became lost in its own shadow. Then he slipped from his seat and knelt before hers. His hands fell to the fists on her lap and gently opened them. He held them as if cupping water. He took a breath to speak. She would have stopped him. She would have wished herself deaf, blind, made of unfeeling smoke. She would have stopped his words out of terror, longing. The way terror and longing had become indistinguishable. Yet his hands held hers, and she could do nothing. He said, “I want the same thing you want.” Kestrel pulled back. It wasn’t possible his words could mean what they seemed. “It hasn’t been easy for me to want it.” Arin lifted his face so that she could see his expression. A rich emotion played across his features, offered itself, and asked to be called by its name. Hope. “But you’ve already given your heart,” she said. His brow furrowed, then smoothed. “Oh. No, not the way you think.” He laughed a little, the sound soft yet somehow wild. “Ask me why I went to the market.” This was cruel. “We both know why.” He shook his head. “Pretend that you’ve won a game of Bite and Sting. Why did I go? Ask me. It wasn’t to see a girl who doesn’t exist.” “She…doesn’t?” “I lied.” Kestrel blinked. “Then why did you go to the market?” “Because I wanted to feel free.” Arin raised a hand to brush the air by his temple, then awkwardly let it fall. Kestrel suddenly understood this gesture she’d seen many times. It was an old habit. He was brushing away a ghost, hair that was no longer there because she had ordered it cut. She leaned forward, and kissed his temple. Arin’s hand held her lightly to him. His cheek slid against hers. Then his lips touched her brow, her closed eyes, the line where her jaw met her throat. Kestrel’s mouth found his. His lips were salted with her tears, and the taste of that, of him, of their deepening kiss, filled her with the feeling of his quiet laugh moments ago. Of a wild softness, a soft wildness. In his hands, running up her thin dress. In his heat, burning through to her skin…and into her, sinking into him.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
I want to be married,” I blurted. “I want you to marry me.” Fuuuuuuuck. And so my entire carefully constructed speech was thrown out the window. My grandmother’s antique ring was in a box in the dresser—nowhere near me—and my plan to kneel and do everything right just evaporated. In the circle of my arms, Chloe grew very still. “What did you just say?” I had completely botched the plan, but it was too late to turn back now. “I know we have only been together for a little over a year,” I explained, quickly. “Maybe it’s too soon? I understand if it’s too soon. It’s just that how you feel about the way we kiss? I feel that way about everything we do together. I love it. I love to be inside you, I love working with you, I love watching you work, I love fighting with you, and I love just sitting on the couch and laughing with you. I’m lost when I’m not with you, Chloe. I can’t think of anything, or anyone, who is more important to me, every second. And so for me, that means we’re already sort of married in my head. I guess I wanted to make it official somehow. Maybe I sound like an idiot?” I looked over at her, feeling my heart try to jackhammer its way up my throat. “I never expected to feel this way about someone.” She stared at me, eyes wide and lips parted as if she couldn’t believe what she was hearing. I stood and ran over to the dresser, pulling the box from the drawer and carrying it over to her. When I opened the box and let her see my grandmother’s antique diamond and sapphire ring, she clapped a hand over her mouth. “I want to be married,” I said again. Her silence was unnerving, and fuck, I’d completely botched this with my rambling nonsense. “Married to you, I mean.” Her eyes filled with tears and she held them, unblinking. “You. Are such. An ass.” Well, that was unexpected. I knew it might be too soon, but an ass? Really? I narrowed my eyes. “A simple ‘It’s too soon’ would have sufficed, Chloe. Jesus. I lay my heart out on the—” She pushed off the bed and ran over to one of her bags, rummaging through it and pulling out a small blue fabric bag. She carried it back to me with the ribbon hooked over her long index finger, and dangled the bag in my face. I ask her to marry me and she brings me a souvenir from New York? What the fuck is that? “What the fuck is that?” I asked. “You tell me, genius.” “Don’t get smart with me, Mills. It’s a bag. For all I know you have a granola bar, or your tampons, in there.” “It’s a ring, dummy. For you.” My heart was pounding so hard and fast I half wondered if this was what a heart attack felt like. “A ring for me?” She pulled a small box out of the bag and showed it to me. It was smooth platinum, with a line of coarse titanium running through the middle. “You were going to propose to me?” I asked, still completely confused. “Do women even do that?” She punched me, hard, in the arm. “Yes, you chauvinist. And you totally stole my thunder.” “So, is that a yes?” I asked, my bewilderment deepening. “You’ll marry me?” “You tell me!” she yelled, but she was smiling. “Technically you haven’t asked yet.” “Goddamnit, Bennett! You haven’t, either!” “Will you marry me?” I asked, laughing. “Will you marry me?” With a growl, I took the box and dropped it on the floor, flipping her onto her back.
Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bitch (Beautiful Bastard, #1.5))
I prop my guitar up against the nightstand. Then I turn toward the bed and fall into it face first. The mattress is soft but firm, like a sheet of steel wrapped in a cloud. I roll around, moaning loud and long. “Oh, that’s good. Really, really good. What a grand bed!” Sarah clears her throat. “Well. We should probably get to sleep, then. Big day tomorrow.” The pillow smells sweet, like candy. I can only imagine it’s from her. I wonder if I pressed my nose to the crook of her neck, would her skin smell as delicious? I brush away the thought as I watch her stiffly gather a pillow and blanket from the other side of the bed, dragging them to . . . the nook. “What are you doing?” She looks up, her doe eyes widening. “Getting ready for bed.” “You’re going to sleep there?” “Of course. The sofa’s very uncomfortable.” “Why can’t we share the bed?” She chokes . . . stutters. “I . . . I can’t sleep with you. I don’t even know you.” I throw my arms out wide. “What do you want to know? Ask me anything—I’m an open book.” “That’s not what I mean.” “You’re being ridiculous! It’s a huge bed. You could let one rip and I wouldn’t hear it.” And the blush is back. With a vengeance. “I’m not . . . I don’t . . .” “You don’t fart?” I scoff. “Really? Are you not human?” She curses under her breath, but I’d love to hear it out loud. I bet uninhibited Sarah Von Titebottum would be a stunning sight. And very entertaining. She shakes her head, pinning me with her eyes. “There’s something wrong with you.” “No.” I explain calmly, “I’m just free. Honest with myself and others. You should try it sometime.” She folds her arms, all tight, trembling indignation. It’s adorable. “I’m sleeping in the nook, Your Highness. And that’s that.” I sit up, pinning her gaze right back at her. “Henry.” “What?” “My name is not Highness, it’s fucking Henry, and I’d prefer you use it.” And she snaps. “Fine! Fucking Henry—happy?” I smile. “Yes. Yes, I am.” I flop back on the magnificent bed. “Sleep tight, Titebottum.” I think she growls at me, but it’s muffled by the sound of rustling bed linens and pillows. And then . . . there’s silence. Beautiful, blessed silence. I wiggle around, getting comfy. I turn on my side and fluff the pillow. I squeeze my eyes tight . . . but it’s hopeless. “Fucking hell!” I sit up. And Sarah springs to her feet. “What? What’s wrong?” It’s the guilt. I’ve barged into this poor girl’s room, confiscated her bed, and have forced her to sleep in a cranny in the wall. I may not be the man my father was or the gentleman my brother is, but I’m not that much of a prick. I stand up, rip my shirt over my head. and march toward the window seat. I feel Sarah’s eyes graze my bare chest, arms. and stomach, but she circles around me, keeping her distance. “You take the bloody bed,” I tell her. “I’ll sleep in the bloody nook.” “You don’t have to do that.” I push my hand through my hair. “Yes, I do.” Then I stand up straight and proper, an impersonation of Hugh Grant in one of his classic royal roles. “Please, Lady Sarah.” She blinks, her little mouth pursed. “Okay.” Then she climbs onto the bed, under the covers. And I squeeze onto the window bench, knees bent, my elbow jammed against the icy windowpane, and my neck bent at an odd angle that I’m going to be feeling tomorrow. The light is turned down to a very low dim, and for several moments all I hear is Sarah’s soft breaths. But then, in the near darkness, her delicate voice floats out on a sigh. “All right, we can sleep in the bed together.” Music to my ears. I don’t make her tell me twice—I’ve fulfilled my noble quota for the evening. I stumble from the nook and crash onto the bed. That’s better.
Emma Chase (Royally Matched (Royally, #2))
It was some time before she heard galloping behind her, and then she did ease up, instinctively wheeling Javelin around to see the blur of horse and rider coming down the path. Arin slowed, and sidled alongside Kestrel. The horses whickered. Arin looked at her, at the smile she couldn’t hide, and his face seemed to hold equal parts frustration and amusement. “You are a bad liar,” she told him. He laughed. She found it hard to look at him then, and her gaze dropped to his stallion. Her eyes widened. “That is the horse you chose?” “He is the best,” Arin said seriously. “He is my father’s.” “I won’t hold that against the horse.” It was Kestrel’s turn to laugh. “Come.” Arin nudged the stallion forward. “Let’s not be late,” he said, and yet, without discussing it, they rode more slowly than was allowed on the path. Kestrel no longer doubted that ten years ago Arin had been in a position much like hers: one of wealth, ease, education. Although she was aware she had not won the right to ask him a question, and didn’t even want to voice her creeping worry, Kestrel couldn’t bear remaining silent. “Arin,” she said, searching his face. “Was it my house? I mean, the villa. Did you live there, before the war?” He yanked on the reins. His stallion ground to a halt. When he spoke, Arin’s voice was like the music he had asked her to play. “No,” he said. “That family is gone.” They rode on in silence until Arin said, “Kestrel.” She waited, then realized that he wasn’t speaking to her, exactly. He was simply saying her name, considering it, exploring the syllables of the Valorian word. She said, “I hope you’re not going to pretend you don’t know what it means.” He shot her a wry, sidelong look. “A kestrel is a hunting hawk.” “Yes. The perfect name for a warrior girl.” “Well.” His smile was slight, but it was there. “I suppose neither of us is the person we were believed we would become.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
Forty-two," said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm. It was a long time before anyone spoke. Out of the corner of his eye Phouchg could see the sea of tense expectant faces down in the square outside. "We're going to get lynched aren't we?" he whispered. "It was a tough assignment," said Deep Thought mildly. "Forty-two!" yelled Loonquawl. "Is that all you've got to show for seven and a half million years' work?" "I checked it very thoroughly," said the computer, "and that quite definitely is the answer. I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you've never actually known what the question is." "But it was the Great Question! The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything!" howled Loonquawl. "Yes," said Deep Thought with the air of one who suffers fools gladly, "but what actually is it?" A slow stupefied silence crept over the men as they stared at the computer and then at each other. "Well, you know, it's just Everything ... Everything ..." offered Phouchg weakly. "Exactly!" said Deep Thought. "So once you do know what the question actually is, you'll know what the answer means.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
I swallowed back a wave of concern as her focus jumped from my face to the indigo jewel at my chest. The blue light in the heart of the jewel glowed only faintly. A yank on the braided chain made me lurch forward and I heard Vada cry out in pain. When I looked, the vampiress was cupping her hand as if it hurt. I then understood what had happened: she had attempted to grab the enchanted gemstone and it had shocked her in the process. I flashed an accusatory glare at Vallatrece. “Do you mean to steal from me?” “Apparently no. It seems the stone has chosen you.” “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” “I’m not surprised.” “Well, it’s mine—that I do know. You can’t take it from me. No one can.” “How many have tried?” I refused an answer to the question. My silence was undaunting. “Where did you get that pretty trinket anyway? Who gave it to you?” “No one gave it to me; I found it.” Vallatrece scrunched up her face, communicating that she didn’t believe me. “And now that I have it,” I continued, “I no longer require your services.” “You no longer require my services? Is that so?” Again, her cheeks dimpled with amusement at my words. “Yes, it is so.
Richelle E. Goodrich (The Tarishe Curse)
Working with people is basically not a question of formal education; working with people is a question of energy and awareness. Everyone can basically work with people. It is a question of developing a presence and a quality to work from. It is also about discovering our own unique way to be and work with people from our authentic inner being. The most important healing- and therapeutic ability is the capacity to be present. To be present means to develop a presence and a quality to work from. It means to be present with an open and relaxed heart, and to be grounded in our inner being, in the meditative quality within. Presence means to work from a meditative quality, from an inner "yes"-quality, from a state of non-doing. It is to be present for another person as a supporting light, as a supporting presence. Meditation is the way to deepen our capacity to be present, and explore how to bring the meditative presence into the healing- and therapeutic process. It is about developing a meditative presence and quality, to develop the inner "yes"-quality, the silence and emptiness within ourselves, the inner source of healing and wholeness, the capacity to surrender to life.
Swami Dhyan Giten
I think Hannah had two brothers. Yes, I’m sure she did. Theo and, and--this boy.” I shook my head. “If he’s Hannah’s brother, why isn’t he in any of the other pictures?” Aunt Blythe didn’t answer right away. In the silence, rain pattered against the windows and dripped through holes in the roof. The wind crept in through cracks and stirred the folds of a long white dress hanging from the rafters. Finally, my aunt raised her eyes from the photograph. “I think his name was Andrew. Isn’t that strange? You share a face and a name with a boy who died years before you were born.” My throat tightened. “He died? Andrew died?” Aunt Blythe looked at me. “Oh, dear,” she said, “I didn’t mean to frighten you.” “I’m not scared!” My voice came out as high and squeaky as a girl’s. Furious at myself for being such a baby, I leapt to my feet and headed for the stairs. “Slow down, Drew,” my aunt called. “You’ll go through the floor!” Before the words were out of her mouth, a board split under my weight, and I fell flat on my face. In seconds my aunt was beside me. “Are you all right?” she asked. “Did you hurt yourself?” “I’m fine.” Too embarrassed to meet her eyes, I peered into the hole I’d made.
Mary Downing Hahn (Time for Andrew: A Ghost Story)
You wished to discuss something before you depart?” “Yes, regarding the estate, I’ve come to some conclusions--” “I do hope--” she began, and broke off. “Forgive me, I didn’t mean to--” “Go on.” Kathleen dropped her gaze to her clenched hands as she spoke. “My lord, if you decide to dismiss any of the servants…or indeed all of them…I hope you take into account that some have served the Ravenels for their entire lives. Perhaps you might consider giving small parting sums to the oldest ones who have little hope of securing other employment.” “I’ll bear it in mind.” She could feel him looking at her, his gaze as tangible as the heat of sunlight. The mahogany bracket clock on the mantel measured out the silence with delicate ticks. His voice was soft. “You’re nervous with me.” “After yesterday--” She broke off and swallowed hard, and nodded. “No one but the two of us will ever know about that.” Even if Kathleen chose to believe him, it didn’t set her at ease. The memory was an unwanted bond with him. He had seen her at her weakest, her lowest, and she would have preferred him to be mocking rather than treat her with gentleness. She forced herself to meet his gaze as she admitted with vexed honesty, “It’s easier to think of you as an adversary.” Devon smiled faintly. “That puts us in an awkward situation, then, as I’ve decided against selling the estate.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
Let me go!” “Not until I find out what you’re plotting. Is Catherine Marks even your real name? Who the hell are you?” He swore as she began to struggle in earnest. “Hold still, you little she-devil. I just want to’ouch!” This last as she turned and jabbed a sharp elbow in his side. The maneuver gained Marks the freedom she sought, but her spectacles went flying to the ground. “My spectacles!” With an aggravated sigh, she dropped to her hands and knees and began feeling for them. Leo’s fury was instantly smothered by guilt. From the looks of it, she was practically blind without the spectacles. And the sight of her crawling on the ground made him feel like a brute. A jackass. Lowering to his knees, he began to hunt for them as well. “Did you see the direction they went in?” he asked. “If I did,” she said, fuming, “I wouldn’t need spectacles, would I?” A short silence. “I’ll help you find them.” “How kind of you,” she said acidly. For the next few minutes the two of them traversed the garden on their hands and knees, searching among the daffodils. They both chewed on the gristly silence as if it were a mutton chop. “So you actually need spectacles,” Leo finally said. “Of course I do,” Marks said crossly. “Why would I wear spectacles if I didn’t need them?” “I thought they might be part of your disguise.” “My disguise?” “Yes, Marks, disguise. A noun describing a means of concealing someone’s identity. Often used by clowns and spies. And now apparently governesses. Good God, can anything be ordinary for my family?
Lisa Kleypas (Married By Morning (The Hathaways, #4))
Have you…” “Have I what?” Gray prompted, promptly kicking himself for doing so. God only knew what she’d ask now. Or what damn fool thing he’d say in response. “Have you ever seen a Botticelli? Painting, I mean. A real one, in person?” The breath he’d been holding whooshed out of him. “Yes.” “Oh.” She bit her lip. “What was it like?” “I…” His hand gestured uselessly. “I haven’t words to describe it.” “Try.” Her eyes were too clear, too piercing. He swallowed and shifted his gaze to a damp lock of hair curling at her temple “Perfect. Luminous. So beautiful, your chest aches. And so smooth, like glass. Your fingers itch to touch it.” “But you can’t.” “No,” he said quietly, his gaze sliding back to meet hers. “It isn’t allowed.” “And you care what others will allow?” She took a step toward him, her fingers trailing along the grooved tabletop. “What if you were alone, and there was no one to see? Would you touch it then?” Gray shook his head and dropped his gaze to his hands. “It’s not…” He paused, picking over his words like fruits in an island market. Testing and discarding twice as many as he chose. “There’s a varnish, you see. Some sort of gloss. If I touched it with these rough hands, I’d mar it somehow. Make it a bit less beautiful. Couldn’t live with myself then.” “So-“ She leaned one hip against the table’s edge, making her whole body one sinuous, sweeping curve. Gray sucked in a lungful of heat. “It isn’t the rules that prevent you.” “Not really. No.” Silence again. Vast and echoing, like the long, marble-tiled galleries of the Uffizi.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
Oh,Ella. I wish you'd had a better time at the ball." "Fuhgeddaboudit," I muttered. Greaseball. Freddy. Freak. "It's not like she and I were ever going to be BFFs." "I wasn't just referring to Amanda." Of course he wasn't. "I'll try," I moaned into the crook of my elbow. "Oh, Lord.I'll try to carry on." "That sounds rather dramatic, even for you." "It's Styx," I told him. "After your time, before mine. I don't know all the words,but those work for the moment. And for the record, I'm being ironic, not dramatic." "If you say so." I ignored him. "I have had my last flutter over Alex Bainbridge. I mean it. Frankie was right.How many signs do I need that we are never, ever going to have...anything...before I get it? Obviously, it doesn't matter that we realte to the same schizo seventies songs. Or that we can discuss antique Japanese woodblock prints. Or that when he sits next to me, he kinda takes my breath away. You would think that would count for a lot,wouldn't you?" Edward gets the concept of rhetorical questions, so I went on. "I wouldn't even want to hazard a guess about what makes Amanda's pulse go all skittery, but I would bet anything it's not Alex. And he's still with her. He doesn't belong with her, but apparently he feels he belongs to her. Explain that,please." "Oh,Ella.We men are not always the best at looking beyond" "Boobs,Edward. You can say it. Amanda Alstead has boobs and blonda hair. Beyond that, I can't see a single thing that's special about her." "Because there isn't a single thing. Beyond, obvious. You,on the other hand,are a creature of infinite charms. Shall I list them alphabetically or from the top down?" I scowled up at him. "Y'know, you are beginning to sound a little too much like Frankie and Sadie,my deluded Greek chorus." "yes,well,I rather thought that's what friends are for." "You're not supposed to be my friend," I muttered. "You're supposed to be my Prince Charming." "Ahem." Edward's sculpted lips compressed into a grim line. "Have you looked at me lately? I am supposed to be startling and even a bit scary." "Nope.Neither." I rested my chin on my forearm. "To me,you are perfect. You are loyal and reliable and completely lacking in surprises." "That is a good thing?" "Absolutely," I said. "It's an excellent thing.I don't want any more surprises, over." "Hardly an admirable goal,that." "Maybe not," I agreed, "but pleasant. Among all the other bizarreness tonight, I found something new to be afraid of. Evil girlfriends." "Now,Ella. You can't go on being afraid forever." "Oh,yes,I can. As far as Amanda Alstead is concerned, I can." Edward tilted his head and studied me for a moment. He looked annoyed. "Why do you insist on having these conversations with me when you ignore everything I have to say?" It was a pretty good question. "Fine." I sat up straight and folded my hands in my lap. Home Truth time. "Go ahead. On this night when we celebrate the mysteries of life and death..Say something profound, something startling." There was a long silence. Then, "Boo," Edward said. "Thank you,Mr. Willing." "Don't mention it, Miss Marino. I am yours to command.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
—and I say you still haven't answered my question, Father Bleu." "Haven't I, dear lady? I thought I stated that death is merely the beginning of—" "No, no, no!" Her voice was as high as a harpy's. "Don't go all gooey and metaphysical. I mean to ask, what is death the act, the situation, the moment?" She watched him foxily. The priest in turn struggled to remain polite. "Madame, I'm not positive I follow." "Let me say it another way. Most people are afraid of dying, yes?" "I disagree. Not those who find mystical union with the body of Christ in—" "Oh, come off it!" Madame Kagle shrilled. "People are frightened of it, Father Bleu. Frightened and screaming their fear silently every hour of every day they live. Now I put it to you. Of what are they afraid? Are they afraid of the end of consciousness? The ultimate blackout, so to speak? Or are they afraid of another aspect of death? The one which they can't begin to foresee or understand?" "What aspect is that, Madame Kagle?" "The pain." She glared. "The pain, Father. Possibly sudden. Possibly horrible. Waiting, always waiting somewhere ahead, at an unguessable junction of time and place. Like that bootboy tonight. How it must have hurt. One blinding instant when his head hit, eh? I suggest, Father Bleu, that is what we're afraid of, that is the wholly unknowable part of dying—the screaming, hurting how, of which the when is only a lesser part. The how is the part we never know. Unless we experience it." She slurped champagne in the silence. She eyed him defiantly. "Well, Father? What have you got to say?" Discreetly Father Bleu coughed into his closed fist. "Theologically, Madame, I find the attempt to separate the mystical act of dying into neat little compartments rather a matter of hairsplitting. And furthermore—" "If that's how you feel," she interrupted, "you're just not thinking it out." "My good woman!" said Father Bleu gently. "Pay attention to me!" Madame Wanda Kagle glared furiously. "I say you pay attention! Because you have never stopped to think about it, have you? If death resembles going to sleep, why, that's an idea your mind can get hold of, isn't it? You may be afraid of it, yes. Afraid of the end of everything. But at least you can get hold of some notion of something of what it's like. Sleep. But can you get hold of anything of what it must feel like to experience the most agonizing of deaths? Your head popping open like that bootboy's tonight, say? A thousand worms of pain inside every part of you for a second long as eternity? Can you grasp that? No, you can't, Father Bleu. And that's what death is at it's worst—the unknown, the possibly harrowing pain ahead." She clamped her lips together smugly. She held out her champagne glass for a refill. A woman in furs clapped a hand over her fashionably green lips and rushed from the group. Though puzzled, Joy was still all eyes and ears. "Even your blessed St. Paul bears me out, Father." The priest glanced up, startled. "What?" "The first letter to the Corinthians, if I remember. The grave has a victory, all right. But it's death that has the sting." In the pause the furnace door behind her eyes opened wide, and hell shone out. "I know what I'm talking about, Father. I've been there." Slowly she closed her fingers, crushing the champagne glass in her hand. Weeping, blood drooling from her palm down her frail veined arms, she had to be carried out. The party broke up at once.
John Jakes (Orbit 3)
Why didn’t they ask two of the guards to go with them?” Milo asked. “A soldier’s not a servant,” I told him. “The most loyal Spartan warrior would be insulted if he was asked to be a weapons bearer, even for a prince. It looks like Castor and Polydeuces will have to take care of themselves.” Milo looked away from me. I was puzzled by this sudden shyness and tried to catch his eye, but he deliberately avoided my gaze. He reeked of guilty secrets. “You’re the one,” I said. “You’re the scrawn--the boy Castor asked to go with him.” His silence was the same as shouting Yes! I knew it. “You just told me you wanted to join the quest for the fleece. You could have done it: Why didn’t you?” “I couldn’t,” he mumbled. “Why not? Because it’s safer to talk about dreams than to try making them real? What are you so afraid of?” “Nothing!” He yelled so fiercely that a pair of oxen grazing in a nearby field snorted and moved farther away from us. It was the first time I ever saw fire in Milo’s eyes. “I’m no coward. That’s not why I wouldn’t go with your brothers. I have to go with you.” “Who said so? You’re free now, Milo. Don’t you know what that means? You can come and go anywhere you like. You ought to appreciate it.” “I appreciate you, Lady Helen!” Once Milo raised his voice, he couldn’t stop. He shouted so loudly that the two oxen trotted to the far side of the pasture as fast as they could move their massive bodies. “You’re the one who gave me my freedom. If I love to be fifty, I’ll never be able to repay you!” Milo’s uproar attracted the attention of the two guards, but I waved them back when I saw them coming toward us. “Do you think you could be grateful quietly?” I asked. “This is between us, not us and all Delphi.
Esther M. Friesner (Nobody's Princess (Nobody's Princess, #1))
Well, I saved you today, didn’t I? Just like I saved you before. You walked out of the Bastion free, without a scratch, and if any Cokyrian but me had caught you with that dagger, you might be drawn and quartered by now.” “You didn’t save me from that butcher,” I said irritably. “But you’re right. About today, I mean.” I could sense his satisfaction, which irritated me all the more. “So accept my thanks, but stay away from me. We’re not friends, you know.” I was nearing my neighborhood and didn’t want anyone to see me with him. He stepped in front of me, forcing me to stop. “We’re not friends yet. But you’ve thought about it. And you just thanked me.” “Are you delusional?” “No. You just said thank you to the faceless Cokyrian soldier who arrested you.” “Don’t you ever stop?” I demanded, trying in vain to move around him. “I haven’t even started.” “What does that mean?” There was silence as Saadi glanced up and down the street. “I want to know where you got that dagger. Or at least what story you told.” “Why don’t you ask Commander Narian? The two of you seemed fairly close.” “Quit making jokes.” “I haven’t made a single one.” “Well?” “It was my father’s,” I said, clinging to the lie Queen Alera had provided, whether by mistake or not. “Oh.” This seemed to take Saadi aback. “And now, because of you, I don’t have it anymore.” I knew I was pressing my luck, but I wanted to make him feel bad. “I’m sorry,” he muttered, seeming sincere enough. Thinking I had maybe, finally, succeeded in getting him to leave me alone, I stepped around him. “Shaselle?” I stopped again, without the slightest idea why. “Your father--what was he like?” The question shocked me; I also wasn’t sure I could answer it without crying. But Saadi appeared so genuinely interested that I couldn’t disregard him. “You have no right to ask me that,” I answered out of principle. “But for your information, he was the strongest, bravest, kindest and best-humored man I ever knew. And none of it was because he took what was handed to him.” For the second time, I attempted a dramatic departure. “Shaselle?” “What now?” I incredulously exclaimed. “Do you have plans tomorrow?” “What?” “I have a day off duty. We could--” “No!” I shouted. “What is this? You expect me to spend a day with you, a Cokyrian--a Cokyrian I can’t stand?” “Yes,” he affirmed, despite my outburst. I laughed in disbelief. “I won’t. This is ridiculous. You’re ridiculous. Enjoy your time off duty with your own kind.” Turning, I sprinted down the street, and though he called after me yet again, I ignored him. As I neared my house, I glanced behind once or twice to assure myself he wasn’t following. He was nowhere in sight. I reached the security of my home just in time for dinner, and just in time to cut off Mother’s growing displeasure--the first step in her progression to anger. I smiled at her, hurried to wash, and was a perfect lady throughout the meal. Afterward I retired to my room, picking a book from my shelf to occupy me until my eyes drooped. Instead of words on pages, however, I kept seeing Saadi’s face--his clear blue eyes, that irritating hair, those freckles across his nose that made me lose willpower. What if I had offended him earlier? He had only asked to spend time with me, and I had mocked him. But he was Cokyrian. It was ludicrous for him to be pursuing my company. It was dangerous for me to be in his. And that, I suddenly realized, was part of the reason I very much wanted to be with him. Saadi aggravated me, confused me, scared me, and yet I could no longer deny that he intrigued me in a way no one else ever had.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
Softly, he said, “Why are you crying?” His words made the tears flow faster. “Kestrel.” She drew a shaky breath. “Because when my father comes home, I will tell him that he has won. I will join the military.” There was a silence. “I don’t understand.” Kestrel shrugged. She shouldn’t care whether he understood or not. “You would give up your music?” Yes. She would. “But your bargain with the general was for spring.” Arin still sounded confused. “You have until spring to marry or enlist. Ronan…Ronan would ask the god of souls for you. He would ask you to marry him.” “He has.” Arin didn’t speak. “But I can’t,” she said. “Kestrel.” “I can’t.” “Kestrel, please don’t cry.” Tentative fingers touched her face. A thumb ran along the wet skin of her cheekbone. She suffered for it, suffered for the misery of knowing that whatever possessed him to do this could be no more than compassion. He valued her that much. But not enough. “Why can’t you marry him?” he whispered. She broke her word to herself and looked at him. “Because of you.” Arin’s hand flinched against her cheek. His dark head bowed, became lost in its own shadow. Then he slipped from his seat and knelt before hers. His hands fell to the fists on her lap and gently opened them. He held them as if cupping water. He took a breath to speak. She would have stopped him. She would have wished herself deaf, blind, made of unfeeling smoke. She would have stopped his words out of terror, longing. The way terror and longing had become indistinguishable. Yet his hands held hers, and she could do nothing. He said, “I want the same thing you want.” Kestrel pulled back. It wasn’t possible his words could mean what they seemed. “It hasn’t been easy for me to want it.” Arin lifted his face so that she could see his expression. A rich emotion played across his features, offered itself, and asked to be called by its name. Hope.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
 I walk away, feeling Brody’s gaze on me. There’s no doubt that as soon as we get back in the car, I’m going to get it—good. Instead, Brody stays quiet while I assemble the paperwork. He may not be speaking, but he’s saying a whole lot in the silence. “Just say it,” I mumble and finally look over. “I’m not saying a word.” He raises his hands. “Clearly, you two know each other, and it ain’t from growing up here. You tell me everything, so there is no way you wouldn’t have told me you know him,” Brody pauses and leans back. “I’m not saying a word about who you may or may not have slept with recently. Even though, it’s pretty obvious.” “You know, you not saying a word took you a long time.” “It’s not like you’ve had a five-year drought since your divorce. Or that you slept with a singer/actor. Nope. I have nothing to say about that. Not a thing.” I groan. “Could you not say anything for real this time?” “Sure thing, boss. I’ll just be over here, watching Hell start to thaw.” This is not going to get any better. I’d almost rather hear the questions. This is Brody Webber. My partner, my friend, and the one person who I have enough dirt on to make his life hell if he repeats this. “Okay, fine. Yes, I slept with Eli Walsh. I was crazy and dumb. I also had about six beers, which is two over my threshold, and I was trying to be in the moment for once. Fucking Nicole and her pep talks.” Brody coughs a laugh and then recovers. “Sorry, go on.” “I swear, you better keep this to yourself. If you tell anyone . . .” I give him my best threatening face. “I mean anyone, I’ll make your life a living nightmare.” He shakes his head and laughs again. “I won’t say a word, but you had a one-night stand with one of the most famous men in the boy band atmosphere. You’re too cool for me, Heather. I don’t think we can be friends. I’m sure you and the band will be happy without me.” I huff and grab the papers. “I’m getting a new partner.” I walk back over to the car, praying this will be painless
Corinne Michaels (We Own Tonight (Second Time Around, #1))
The flight to Reykjavik was proceeding uneventfully and the patient was stable and doing well, so I thought this was a good opportunity to have a little fun with the flight crew. I called the pilot on intercom. “Go ahead PJ.” the pilot responded. “I’ve been talking to this doctor back here and he seems to think it’s not looking good for this arm.” I explained. “What do you mean?” asked the pilot. “Well,” I said, “he says the arm was unattached for a long time, probably too long to sew it back on.” “That’s too bad.” The pilot sounded understandably disappointed. I waited a few minutes before giving the pilot further fictitious updates. “The doctor says he’s a hundred percent certain they won’t be able to sew on the arm now. It’s been detached too long. The patient also realizes they can’t sew his arm back on and has accepted the bad news. He’s a pretty tough character. Anyway, I talked to the doctor and patient about this whole situation. Since they can’t sew the arm back on, they said I could have it.” There was shocked silence on the intercom. “What?” asked the pilot. “They won’t be able to sew the arm back on because it’s been separated from his body for too long. The muscles and nerves have been without blood and oxygen for so long that cell death is irreversible. The hospital will just throw the arm away, so I asked them if I could have it, and they said yes.” Once again, there was an uncomfortable silence on the intercom. I could almost hear the gears whirring inside the pilots head. “Wha … what will you do with it?” stammered the pilot. I answered, “I’m not really sure. At first I’ll just keep it in my freezer. I just think it would be a waste to just throw a good arm away.” “Are you serious?” asked the pilot. “No.” I said, “I’m just messing with you.” But, the doctor told me that, ironically, right before the accident the man was heard to say, “I’d give my right arm to be ambidextrous.” Another crewmember chimed in, “That guys pretty tough. I think we should give him a hand!” I heard laughter over the intercom.
William F. Sine (Guardian Angel: Life and Death Adventures with Pararescue, the World's Most Powerful Commando Rescue Force)
You mean you’re not going to kiss my wrist again,” I said. “But that’s all right, because I am going to kiss you.” And I did. If I could keep a single moment for all time, that would be the one. I became the very air; I was full of stars. I was the soaring spaces between the spires of the cathedral, the solemn breath of chimneys, a whispered prayer upon the winter wind. I was silence, and I was music, one clear transcendent chord rising toward Heaven. I believed, then, that I would have risen bodily into the sky but for the anchor of his hand in my hair and his round soft perfect mouth. No Heaven but this! I thought, and I knew that it was true to a standard even St. Clare could not have argued. Then it was done, and he was holding both my hands between his and saying, “In some ballad or Porphyrian romance, we would run off together.” I looked quickly at his face, trying to discern whether he was proposing we do just that. The resolve written in his eyes said no, but I could see exactly where I would have to push, and how hard, to break that resolve. It would be shockingly easy, but I found I did not wish it. My Kiggs could not behave so shabbily and still remain my Kiggs. Some other part of him would break, along with his resolve, and I did not see a way to make it whole again. The jagged edge of it would stab at him all his life. If we were to go forward from here, we would proceed not rashly, not thoughtlessly, but Kiggs-and-Phina fashion. That was the only way it could work. “I think I’ve heard that ballad,” I said. “It’s beautiful but it ends sadly.” He closed his eyes and leaned his forehead against mine. “Is it less sad that I’m going to ask you not to kiss me again?” “Yes. Because it’s just for now. The day will come.” “I want to believe that.” “Believe it.” He took a shaky breath. “I’ve got to go.” “I know.” I let him go inside first; my presence was not appropriate for tonight’s ritual. I leaned against the parapet, watching my breath puff gray against the blackening sky as if I were a dragon whispering smoke into the wind. The conceit made me smile, and then an idea caught me. Cautiously, avoiding ice, I hauled myself up onto the parapet. It had a wide balustrade, adequate for sitting, but I did not intend merely to sit. With comical slowness, like Comonot attempting stealth, I drew my feet up onto the railing. I removed my shoes, wanting to feel the stone beneath my feet.
Rachel Hartman (Seraphina (Seraphina, #1))
I tilted my head and kissed his cheek.  The whiskers abraded my lips, but I didn’t mind.  I moved lower, finding his lips.  He didn’t resist me, but didn’t join in as he had in the car.  I frowned slightly.  A stab of doubt pierced my heart.  This didn’t feel right, yet.  He still hid from me. Nudging his jaw with my nose, I made room to nuzzle his neck.  My lips skimmed his smooth skin.  His pulse jumped under my mouth.  Finally, he reacted.  Both his hands came up, holding my sides, kneading me, encouraging.  My breath quickened, and my heart hammered.  Yes!  This was right. Something took possession of me.  With one hand, I gripped his hair and tugged it.  He tilted his head to the side and exposed his neck, giving in willingly.  My eyes traced his neck where his pulse skipped erratically.  The beat matched my own.  I couldn’t look away from that clean-shaven spot.  I recalled when he had started shaving it.  He’d known I would need to see it.  For this.  I kissed it lightly and felt him shudder.  Before the shudder ended, I bit him hard on the same spot.  Hard enough to draw blood. The taste of his blood on my tongue broke the hold he had on me and created a new one somewhere deep inside.  I pulled back slightly to look at the small marks I’d left.  They had already begun to heal. The pull he had on me and the euphoria of the moment faded as the horror of what I’d just done washed over me. Clay stared at me in stunned silence...versus his everyday silence.  Behind me, someone moved and called attention to the fact that we still had an audience.  A Claiming typically occurred in private. A deep blush seized my cheeks, and embarrassed tears began to gather.  I wiped the blood from my mouth with a shaky hand.  I didn’t regret Claiming him, but wished we could have talked first.  I needed reassurance.  Would this mean I’d have to quit school?  Would he want me to live in the woods with him?  If he did, I owed it to him to try after everything he’d done for me. Then, a really ugly question floated to the surface.  Had I just forced him? Panic bloomed in my chest.  Before I could scramble off his lap, he reached up and gently stroked my hair.  I froze, hands braced on his chest for stability, ready to flee. “I’ve been waiting for that since the moment I saw you,” he said in a deep and husky voice.  He sounded like a midnight radio DJ. Hearing his perfect voice ignited my temper.  Now, he could talk?  I scowled at him.  The man had the audacity to laugh then scoop me up in his arms. The
Melissa Haag (Hope(less) (Judgement of the Six #1))
No, she couldn’t blame this one on him. This one was entirely hers. She’d sent him running away. Everyone knew it, too, which was nowhere more apparent than in the carriage once they were all settled in and headed off. Lisette was unusually silent. The duke’s wooden expression said that he wished he could be anywhere else but here. And Tristan was studying her with a cold gaze. He did that for a mile or so before he spoke. “You’re a cruel woman, Jane Vernon.” “Tristan!” Lisette chided. “Don’t be rude.” “I’ll be as rude as I please to her,” he told his sister, with a jerk of his head toward Jane. “That man is mad for her, and she just keeps toying with him.” Guilt swamped Jane. And she’d thought that spending half a day trapped with Dom would be bad? She must have been dreaming. “It’s none of our concern,” Lisette murmured. “The hell it isn’t.” Tristan stared hard at Jane. “Is this about Nancy? About the fact that if she has a child, Dom will lose the title and the estate?” “No, of course not!” How dared he! “Tristan, please--” Lisette began. “That’s why you jilted him years ago, isn’t it?” Tristan persisted. “Because he no longer had any money, and you’d lose your fortune if you married him?” “I did not jilt him!” Jane shouted. An unnatural silence fell in the carriage, and she cursed her quick tongue. But really, this was all Dom’s fault for never telling his family the truth. She was tired of being made to look the villainess when she’d done nothing wrong. “What do you mean?” Lisette asked. Jane released an exasperated breath. “I mean, I did jilt him. But only because he tricked me into it.” When that brought a smug smile to Tristan’s face, she narrowed her eyes on him. “You knew.” “Not the details. I just knew something wasn’t right. But since it was clear that neither you nor my idiot brother were going to say anything without being prodded into it, I…er…did a bit of prodding.” He smirked at her. “You do tend to speak your mind when you get angry.” Jane scowled at him. “You’re just like him, manipulative and arrogant and--” “I beg to differ,” Tristan said jovially. “He’s just like me. I taught him everything he knows.” “Yes, indeed,” Lisette said with a snort. “You taught him to be as much an idiot as you.” She glanced from Tristan to Jane. “So, is one of you going to tell me what is going on? About the jilting, I mean?” Tristan cocked an eyebrow at Jane. “Well?” She sighed. The cat was out of the bag now. Might as well reveal the rest. So she related the whole tale, from Dom’s plotting with Nancy at the ball to George’s involvement to how she’d finally discovered the truth. When she finished, Tristan let out a low whistle. “Hell and thunder. My big brother has a better talent for deception than I realized.” “Not as good as you’d think,” Jane muttered. “If I hadn’t been so wounded and angry at the time, I would have noticed how…manufactured the whole thing felt.” Lisette patted her hand. “You were young. We were all more volatile then.” Her voice hardened. “And he hit you just where it hurt, the curst devil. No wonder you want to strangle him half the time. I would have strung him up by his toes if he’d done such a thing to me!
Sabrina Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4))
Robert.” It was a sigh and a call at the same time. She ignored the lump in her throat and called again. In an instant, her view was obscured. “Lydia!” They were eye-to-eye, and neither said anything for a moment or two. Finally, after an audible gulp, Robert spoke in a whisper. “Are you all right?” “I’ve had better days,” she said in seriousness, and then realized the absurdity of her words and chuckled. “I’m covered in dirt, cuts, and bruises and sporting a lovely goose egg above my ear. One of my favorite gowns is nothing but a ruin, but other than that, I am fine. And now that you are here, I am better.” “Thank the Lord. I cannot tell you how relieved I am to hear you say so. I have been imagining all sorts … well, let’s talk about this later.” “Yes, when we don’t have to whisper through a wall.” “Indeed.” “So what is the plan?” “Hmm … well, plans are a little lacking at this moment. I had expected to rush in and simply grab you, but there are three guards by the door. I procured a thick stick, but three to one … well, not good odds. My second idea was to loosen some of these boards and pull you out. I have also acquired a horse. So once out, we can sneak or run, whichever is the most prudent.” “Yes, but the getting-out part seems to be the problem. For, if I am not mistaken, none of the boards on this side of the barn are loose, and the other sides are too close to the villains.” “There does seem to be a decided lack of cooperation on the part of the building. I have, however, noticed something that might offer another possibility. It would require a great deal of trust on your part.” “Oh?” Lydia was almost certain she was not going to like this new possibility. “Yes. There is a hay door above me. Is there a loft inside?” “Are you thinking that I should climb a rickety ladder to the loft and then try to escape through the hay door?” “Just a thought.” “How would I get down?” “That would be the trust part.” “Ahh. I would jump, and you would catch me.” Lydia visualized her descent, skirts every which way, and a very hard landing that might produce a broken body part. “Yes. Not a brilliant plan. Do you have another?” Robert sounded hopeful. “Not really. But might I suggest a variation to yours?” “By all means.” “I will return to my cell and get the rope that the thugs used to tie me up.” “They tied you up?” “Yes. But don’t let it bother you.…” “No?” “No. Because if they hadn’t, then I wouldn’t have a rope to lower myself from the hay door. I can use the one they used on my feet; it’s thick and long.” “I like that so much better than watching you fling yourself from a high perch.” “Me too. It might take a few minutes as I must return to my original cell—I escaped, you know.” “I didn’t. That is quite impressive.” “Thank you. Anyway, I must return to my cell for the rope, climb the ladder, cross the loft to the door … et cetera, et cetera. All in silence, of course.” “Of course.” “It might take as much as twenty minutes.” “I promise to wait. Won’t wander off … pick flowers or party with the thugs.” “Good to know.” “Just warn me before you jump.” “Oh, yes. I will most certainly let you know.” With a deep sigh, Lydia headed back to her cell, slowly and quietly.
Cindy Anstey (Duels & Deception)
Beauty Void lay the world, in nothingness concealed, Without a trace of light or life revealed, Save one existence which second knew- Unknown the pleasant words of We and You. Then Beauty shone, from stranger glances free, Seen of herself, with naught beside to see, With garments pure of stain, the fairest flower Of virgin loveliness in bridal bower. No combing hand had smoothed a flowing tress, No mirror shown her eyes their loveliness No surma dust those cloudless orbs had known, To the bright rose her cheek no bulbul flown. No heightening hand had decked the rose with green, No patch or spot upon that cheek was seen. No zephyr from her brow had fliched a hair, No eye in thought had seen the splendour there. Her witching snares in solitude she laid, And love's sweet game without a partner played. But when bright Beauty reigns and knows her power She springs indignant from her curtained bower. She scorns seclusion and eludes the guard, And from the window looks if doors be barred. See how the tulip on the mountain grown Soon as the breath of genial Spring has blown, Bursts from the rock, impatient to display Her nascent beauty to the eye of day. When sudden to thy soul reflection brings The precious meaning of mysterious things, Thou canst not drive the thought from out thy brain; Speak, hear thou must, for silence is such pain. So beauty ne'er will quit the urgent claim Whose motive first from heavenly beauty came When from her blessed bower she fondly strayed, And to the world and man her charms displayed. In every mirror then her face was shown, Her praise in every place was heard and known. Touched by her light, the hearts of angels burned, And, like the circling spheres, their heads were turned, While saintly bands, whom purest at the sight of her, And those who bathe them in the ocean sky Cries out enraptured, "Laud to God on high!" Rays of her splendour lit the rose's breast And stirred the bulbul's heart with sweet unrest. From her bright glow its cheek the flambeau fired, And myriad moths around the flame expired. Her glory lent the very sun the ray Which wakes the lotus on the flood to-day. Her loveliness made Laila's face look fair To Majnún, fettered by her every hair. She opened Shírín's sugared lips, and stole From Parvíz' breast and brave Farhád's the soul. Through her his head the Moon of Canaan raised, And fond Zulaikha perished as she gazed. Yes, though she shrinks from earthly lovers' call, Eternal Beauty is the queen of all; In every curtained bower the screen she holds, About each captured heart her bonds enfolds. Through her sweet love the heart its life retains, The soul through love of her its object gains. The heart which maidens' gentle witcheries stir Is, though unconscious, fired with love of her. Refrain from idle speech; mistake no more: She brings her chains and we, her slaves, adore. Fair and approved of Love, thou still must own That gift of beauty comes from her alone. Thou art concealed: she meets all lifted eyes; Thou art the mirror which she beautifies. She is that mirror, if we closely view The truth- the treasure and the treasury too. But thou and I- our serious work is naught; We waste our days unmoved by earnest thought. Cease, or my task will never end, for her Sweet beauties lack a meet interpreter. Then let us still the slaves of love remain For without love we live in vain, in vain. Jámí, "Yúsuf and Zulaikha". trans. Ralph T. H. Griffith. Ballantyne Press 1882. London. p.19-22
Nūr ad-Dīn 'Abd ar-Rahmān Jāmī
Yes, I just…” Should I be honest and sound like a complete loser? Oh why the hell not? “I have not had a kiss like that in a while.” I licked my lips. He looked me dead in the eye. “Good.” A wave of silence crashed over us. I didn’t know what to say to that. “Well, I better get going. See you soon?” I nodded dumbly. “Mmm-hmm.” He smiled and began to walk away. I couldn’t just let him go! “Declan!” He turned. “Yes, Cake?” Come on, brain! Think of something! “What should I wear? I mean, what kind of place is Shellshock?” Yes, yes, that was fine… damage averted. “California casual.” “Oh, ok.” I think I knew what that meant. Spend three hours getting ready to make it look like you just threw any-ol’-thing on. “Have a nice night.” He flicked his head my way. “You too.” Then he was gone. And then I was sad. It was ridiculous. Preposterous, even. I was going to have to come clean about the ring- eventually. I hoped he didn’t bring it up because I would probably tell the poor guy my life story to get to why the ring he bought meant so much to me.
Nicole Castro (Winner's Curse)
Ham or roast beef?” he asked. “Yes,” she said, stretching. He hesitated, then smiled crookedly. “You are a dreamer if you think you get both sandwiches.” “Two?” she yelped. “You mean you only made two sandwiches?” “Well, after that breakfast . . .” He shrugged. She looked at him in a silence that was broken by her rumbling stomach. He glanced sideways at her, chuckled, and put two sandwiches in front of her. “No, you need it more than I do,” she said hastily, trying to give the lunch back to him. “You’re the one who’s doing all the work.” He let her put the sandwiches in front of him. Then he pulled two more sandwiches from the lunch bag and waited. It didn’t take two seconds. With an indignant sound she snatched her sandwiches and ignored his laughter. Muttering about men who had been out in the sun too long, she bit into the yeasty bread.
Elizabeth Lowell (Beautiful Dreamer)
Tony: Listen... I need to... Um... Say... I mean... I know we only met earlier... And I know I nearly set you on fire... And we're both going out with other people. Obviously that's quite tricky. But... Well... You are the most beautiful woman I have ever laid eyes on in my entire life. I saw you and my heart leapt. You make me want to change my life. To... participate. I know it's not possible and that you have a boyfriend and we're not compatible or whatever but... I just... I know it's stupid... But maybe just hear me out for a second and the. You can tell me I'm an idiot and we'll both go back in and pretend this never happened but... I want to travel the world with you. I want to bring the ice cold Amstel to your Greek shore. And sit in silence and sip with you. I want to go to Tesco's with you of a Sunday. Watch you sleep, scrub your back, suck your toes. I want to write crap poetry about you, lay my coat over puddles for you. I want to get drunk and bore my friends about you, I want them to phone up and moan about how little they see me because I'm spending so much time with you. I want to feel the tingle of our lips meeting, the lock of our eyes joining, the fizz of our fingertips touching. I want to touch your fat tummy and tell you you look gorgeous in maternity dresses, I want to stand next to you wide-eyed and hold my nose as we open that first used nappy, I want to watch you grow old and love you more and more each day. I want to fall in love with you. I think I could. And I think it would be good. And I want you to say yes. You might feel the same. Could you? Maybe?
Chris Chibnall (Kiss Me Like You Mean It)
Every time we people please, we are saying yes to someone else and no to our truth. In that moment we are dimming our light.
Melissa Ambrosini (Mastering Your Mean Girl: The No-BS Guide to Silencing Your Inner Critic and Becoming Wildly Wealthy, Fabulously Healthy, and Bursting with Love)
Her name is Vera. The Lady Vera Drake. And I never said she died; I said we lost her.” Utter silence. “Do you understand now, Mr. Somerset?” “My God, do you mean to tell me that—that—” “Yes,” said the dowager duchess.
Sherry Thomas (Delicious (The Marsdens, #1))
I stepped into the room and bent down to lift up two or three of the papers. Some were proposals for increases in taxes for certain nobles; the fourth was a list of people “to be watched.” I looked at him in surprise. “You found these just lying around?” “Yes,” he said, sitting back on his cushion. The morning light highlighted the smudges of tiredness under his eyes. “He did not expect to be defeated. Your brother and I rode back here in haste, as soon as we could, in order to prevent looting; but such was Galdran’s hold on the place that, even though the news had preceded us by two days, I found his rooms completely undisturbed. I don’t think anyone believed he was really dead--they expected one of his ugly little ploys to catch out ‘traitors.’” I whistled, turning over another paper. “Wish I could have been there,” I said. “You could have been.” This brought me back to reality with a jolt. Of course I could have been there--but I had left without warning, without saying good-bye even to my own brother, in my haste to retreat to home and sanity. And memory. I glanced at him just in time to see him wince slightly and shake his head. Was that regret? For his words--or for my actions that day? “What you said last night,” I demanded, “about battles and me being used to them. What did you mean by that?” “It was merely an attempt to make you laugh.” “I did laugh,” I admitted, then frowned. “But did you really intend some kind of courtly double meaning? Hinting that I’m used to battles in the sense that I lost every one I was in? Or merely that I get into quarrels?” “Neither.” His tone was flat. “Forgive my maladroitness.” “Well, I don’t get into quarrels,” I said, suddenly desperate to explain, to accuse. “Except with--” There came a tap outside the opposite doorway then. I shut my mouth; and for a moment, there we were, in silence, me wishing I could run but feeling I ought not to. There was--something--I had to do, or say, though I had no idea what. So I watched him rise, move the few steps to the other tapestry, and lift it. I did not see whoever was outside--I realized he was shielding me from sight. I could not hear the voice beyond, but I heard his: “Please inform Lady Trishe I will be along shortly. Thank you.” He dropped the tapestry back into place and stood with his back to it, looking at me across the width of the room. “It seems,” he said, “that seeking your opinion will not cease to embroil us in argument, whatever the cause. I apologize. I also realize trying to convince you of my good intentions is a fruitless effort, but my own conscience demanded that I make the attempt.” I couldn’t think of any reply to make to that, so I whirled around and retreated into the library, my insides boiling with a nasty mixture of embarrassment and anger. Why did I always have to bring up that war--and pick a fight? What kind of answer was I looking for? All I do is repeat the humiliations of last year. As if I haven’t had enough of those, I thought grimly. And the worst thing was, I wouldn’t dare to go near that room again, despite his offer at the beginning of the encounter--an encounter which was thoroughly my own fault.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
I had hoped,” he said, “that you would honor me with a few moments’ further discourse.” “About what?” I demanded. “I came here at your brother’s invitation.” He spoke in a conversational tone, as though I’d been pleasant and encouraging. “My reasons for accepting were partly because I wanted an interlude of relative tranquility, and partly for diplomatic reasons.” “Yes, Nimiar told me about your wanting to present a solid front with the infamous Astiars. I understand, and I said I’d go along.” “Please permit me to express my profound gratitude.” He bowed gracefully. I eyed him askance, looking for any hint of mockery. All I sensed was humor as he added, “I feel obliged to point out that…an obvious constraint…every time we are in one another’s company will not go unnoticed.” “I promise you I’ve no intention of trying again for a crown.” “Thank you. What concerns me are the individuals who seem to wish to taste the ambrosia of power--” “--without the bitter herb of responsibility. I read that one, too,” I said, grinning despite myself. He smiled faintly in response, and said, “These individuals might seek you out--” My humor vanished. I realized then that he knew about the letter. He had to. Coincidence his arrival might be, but this conversation on our last day in Tlanth was not. It could only mean that he’d had someone up in our mountains spying on me, for how else could he know? My temper flared brightly, like a summer fire. “So you think I’m stupid enough to lend myself to the schemes of troublemakers just for the sake of making trouble, is that what you think?” I demanded. “I don’t believe you’d swallow their blandishments, but you’ll still be approached if you seem even passively my enemy. There are those who will exert themselves to inspire you to a more active role.” I struggled to get control of my emotions. “I know,” I said stiffly. “I don’t want to be involved in any more wars. All I want is the good of Remalna. Bran and I promised Papa when he died. “ Even if my brother has forgotten, I almost added, but I knew it wasn’t true. In Bran’s view, he had kept his promise. Galdran was gone, and Tlanth was enjoying peace and prosperity. Bran had never pretended he wanted to get involved in the affairs of kings beyond that. As if his thoughts had paralleled mine, Shevraeth said, “And do you agree that your brother--estimable as he is--would not have made a successful replacement for Galdran Merindar?” The parallel was unsettling. I said with less concealed hostility, “What’s your point?” “No…point,” he said, his tone making the word curiously ambiguous. “Only a question.” He paused, and I realized he was waiting for my answer to his. “Yes,” I said. “Bran would make a terrible king. So what’s your next question?” “Can you tell me,” he said slowly, “why you seem still to harbor your original resentment against me?” Several images--spies, lying courtiers--flowed into my mind, to be instantly dismissed. I had no proof of any of it. So I looked out the window as I struggled for an answer. After the silence grew protracted, I glanced back to see if he was still there. He hadn’t moved. His attitude was not impatient, and his gaze was on my hands, which were tightly laced in my lap. His expression was again reflective. “I don’t know,” I said finally. “I don’t know.” There was a pause, then he said, “I appreciate your honesty.” He gave me a polite bow, a brief smile, and left.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
You do seem different.” He touched her arms, pulled her in closer. “I’m happy to see you too, if you’d know. I think I missed you a bit.” “That’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me.” “I’m certain I could think of something nicer.” He looked up, thinking before turning back to her again. “I’m sorry about what I said before. All the other women I’ve seen at Pembrook Park seemed to be toying with ideas of affairs while their husbands were on business trips. I couldn’t reconcile what I knew of the women who come here and what I knew of you. When I saw you that day walking with Mr. Nobley and the others, I realized you’re here because you’re not satisfied--you’re looking for something. And when I finally realized that, can you imagine how lucky I felt that out of everyone, you would choose me?” “Thanks,” she said. “That was honest and encouraging, but Martin, you were going for nice.” “I wasn’t finished yet! I also wanted to tell you that you’re beautiful.” “That’s better.” “Unbelievably beautiful. And…and I don’t know how to say it. I’m not very good at saying what I’m thinking. But you make me feel like myself.” He swept a loose lock of hair from her forehead. “You remind me of my sister.” “Oh, really? You have that kind of sister?” “Yes, confident, funny…” “No, I meant the kind that you want to smooch.” Martin swept her up again, this time in a more romantic style than the over-the-shoulder baggage. She fit her arm around his neck and let him kiss her. She pressed her hand to his chest, trying to detect if his heart was pounding like hers. She peered at him and saw a little frown line between his eyes. “No, my sister doesn’t kiss half so well.” He walked her around, singing some ludicrous lullaby as though she were a baby, then set her down on a tree stump so they were nearly the same height. “Martin, could you lose your job over this?” He traced the line of her cheek with his finger. “At the moment, I don’t care.” “I’ll talk to Mrs. Wattlesbrook about it at our departure meeting tomorrow, but I don’t think my opinion means much to her.” “It might. Thank you.” Then there was silence and with it a hint of ending, and Jane realized she wasn’t quite ready for it. Martin was the first real guy she’d ever been able to relax with, turn off the obsessive craziness and just have fun. She needed to be with him longer and practice up for the real world. “I’m supposed to leave tomorrow,” she said, “but I can stay a couple more days, change my flight. I could find a hotel in London, far away from Wattlesbrook’s scope of vision, and I could see you. Just hang out a bit before I go home, no weirdness, no pressure, I promise.” He smiled broadly. “That’s an offer I can’t refuse because I’m simply mad to see you in pants. I have a feeling you have a very nice bum.
Shannon Hale (Austenland (Austenland, #1))
But a day came when the sky was a haze of snow-clouds, and all the beauty of autumn had gone by. As evening drew on, Kyril summoned the cousins to his private chamber. Philip found him seated by the window. The first stars of snow had just fallen on the ledge outside. Philip bowed low. ‘”My lord, Linda means no disrespect, but she begged me to tell you that she promised to dance with Thawn. She cannot come until her promise is fulfilled.” Kyril laughed. “Most proper! But I do not honor her too highly, for no doubt she enjoys paying such a debt. This is well, for I wished to speak to you alone. Sit down.” Philip took the stool beside him. Kyril’s smile faded; his face was serious as he gazed down at his young guest. “But I think you know what I will say.” “You mean to send us home.” Kyril nodded. “Ygerna made a pact; it is for me now to fulfill it. But even if I offered it to you, Philip, would you choose to stay?” Philip shook his head. “No, my lord. The strangest and most wonderful adventures of my life have happened here, but this is not my home.” “And what of Linda?” For a long moment there was silence. At last Philip stirred and looked up at Kyril’s face. Very quietly he replied, “You were right when you said that the thought of rescuing her sustained me. And at that time I didn’t care whether she wanted to come back with me or not, because I was certain I knew what was best. Now…” He stopped and then with an effort continued. “I can’t imagine being without her; I can’t imagine what my uncle and aunt would say. But I know I cannot force her to return. She must make her own decision.” “I rejoice,” said Kyril gently, “that you have grown in wisdom. For no human being can possess another, Philip: not even out of love.” The door opened, and Linda stood on the threshold. She made Kyril a deep curtsey; her cheeks were flushed from dancing. He smiled and held out his hand. “Welcome, Linda! Are you discharged of all your debts?” “Yes, my lord!” She laughed and, running toward him, kissed the outstretched hand. “Why did you summon us?” “The time has come to speak of your return.” Philip looked at her. “I’ve decided to go back, Linda.” Kyril said, “For Philip, the good sorrow of leave-taking is unmixed with doubt. He knows what he must do. But for you, Linda, the decision may not be so easy. Therefore, I ask you once again: which of the two worlds is your home?” “Here I was born,” said Linda softly, “and here I discovered what I truly am. I am grateful for that knowledge; perhaps a time will come when I can remember it without pain. But I don’t belong here.” She drew a deep, uncertain breath. “I’ve tried to persuade myself, but I can’t. As a baby I might have died but for the love Philip’s family has shown me. I belong with them. If he goes, I will go with him.
Ruth Nichols (The Marrow of the World)
There’s something else too and it’s really important. What do you know about something called a mating scent?” “Mating scent?” Sophie could almost see her sister shrug. “Uh, I may have heard the term. I know the Kindred place a lot of importance on smells.” “That’s because they use them to seduce their brides. When a Kindred warrior claims a woman as his own, his body immediately begins making a pheromone that’s specifically tailored to her DNA,” Sophie said rapidly, quoting as well as she could remember from what Sylvan had told her. “Well, Baird does smell really good. But…so?” “So? So, it’s irresistible. I mean, it makes him irresistible to you. Remember how we were wondering why nobody ever turned the Kindred down and came back to Earth? This is why, Liv—they can’t help themselves. His mating scent is like a drug and you’re being subjected to it every minute you’re with him!” Sophie was panting she was so upset but on the other end of whatever strange connection they had there was a lengthy silence. It went on for so long that she began to wonder if her twin had hung up on her. “Liv?” she asked at last, looking up in the air as though she could see her floating there. “Liv, are you still there?” “I’m here.” Liv’s voice was flat. “Are you sure about this? I mean, how did you get this information?” “Sylvan told me. You know, Baird’s brother?” “Yes, I know.” There was another lengthy silence and then Liv muttered, “Son of a bitch.” “Liv, are you okay?” “Yeah, I’m okay. You’re absolutely certain this is right?” “Positive. He didn’t try to hide it or anything. He said that even if you knew, you wouldn’t be able to fight it—it’s that strong. Your body will react to his mating scent—” “Whether I want it to or not,” Liv said, finishing her sentence in the familiar way they had. “Exactly.” Sophie sighed. “Didn’t Baird tell you any of this?” “He talked about smells being important and said I would find that I wanted him more and more but no. He never told me he was using biological warfare on me.” Now Liv sounded really upset and Sophie felt her heart twist. “Look, Liv, I’m sorry, really I am. I feel horrible now—were you beginning to like him?” “Maybe. I don’t know. I’ve been fighting what I felt so hard but I didn’t even know what I was fighting—just that I couldn’t, uh, help myself when I was close to him. And all this time he was lying to me. God…it’s Mitch all over again.” “Oh honey, no.” Sophie wished that her sister was there in person so she could give her a hug. “It’s not like you caught him with another woman.” “No—it’s worse. At least Mitch didn’t drug me to force me to stay with him.
Evangeline Anderson (Claimed (Brides of the Kindred, #1))
Well, have your way. The quest is ended. We all return. Get the boat up again.” “Sire,” said Reepicheep, “we do not all return. I, as I explained before--” “Silence!” thundered Caspian. “I’ve been lessoned but I’ll not be baited. Will no one silence that Mouse?” “Your Majesty promised,” said Reepicheep, “to be good lord to the Talking Beasts of Narnia.” “Talking beasts, yes,” said Caspian. “I said nothing about beasts that never stop talking.” And he flung down the ladder in a temper and went into the cabin, slamming the door. But when the others rejoined him a little later they found him changed; he was white and there were tears in his eyes. “It’s no good,” he said. “I might as well have behaved decently for all the good I did with my temper and swagger. Aslan has spoken to me. No--I don’t mean he was actually here. He wouldn’t fit into the cabin, for one thing.
C.S. Lewis (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, #3))
Let me have a bucket, Rynelf,” said Drinian. It was handed him and he lowered it and up it came again. The water shone in it like glass. “Perhaps your Majesty would like to taste it first,” said Drinian to Caspian. The King took the bucket in both hands, raised it to his lips, sipped, then drank deeply and raised his head. His face was changed. Not only his eyes but everything about him seemed to be brighter. “Yes,” he said, “it is sweet. That’s real water, that. I’m not sure that it isn’t going to kill me. But it is the death I would have chosen--if I’d known about it till now.” “What do you mean?” asked Edmund. “It--it’s like light more than anything else,” said Caspian. “That is what it is,” said Reepicheep. “Drinkable light. We must be very near the end of the world now.” There was a moment’s silence and then Lucy knelt down on the deck and drank from the bucket. “It’s the loveliest thing I have ever tasted,” she said with a kind of gasp. “But oh--it’s strong. We shan’t need to eat anything now.
C.S. Lewis (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, #3))
As she approached the library, she felt her heartbeat quicken uncomfortably. Squaring her shoulders, she crossed the threshold. Devon appeared to be browsing over a row of books, reaching up to straighten a trio of volumes that had fallen sideways. “My lord,” Kathleen said quietly. Devon turned, his gaze finding hers at once. He was stunningly handsome, dressed in a dark suit of clothes that had been tailored in the new looser-fitting fashion, the coat, waistcoat, and trousers all made of matching fabric. The informal cut of the suit did nothing to soften the hard lines of his body. For a moment Kathleen couldn’t help remembering the feel of his arms around her, his solid chest beneath her cheek. Heat swept over her face. Devon bowed, his face inscrutable. He appeared relaxed at first glance, but a closer look revealed faint shadows beneath his eyes, and finespun tension beneath his calm veneer. “I hope you’re well this morning,” he said quietly. Her blush deepened uncomfortably. “Yes, thank you.” She curtsied and wove her fingers together in a stiff knot. “You wished to discuss something before you depart?” “Yes, regarding the estate, I’ve come to some conclusions--” “I do hope--” she began, and broke off. “Forgive me, I didn’t mean to--” “Go on.” Kathleen dropped her gaze to her clenched hands as she spoke. “My lord, if you decide to dismiss any of the servants…or indeed all of them…I hope you take into account that some have served the Ravenels for their entire lives. Perhaps you might consider giving small parting sums to the oldest ones who have little hope of securing other employment.” “I’ll bear it in mind.” She could feel him looking at her, his gaze as tangible as the heat of sunlight. The mahogany bracket clock on the mantel measured out the silence with delicate ticks. His voice was soft. “You’re nervous with me.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
Yes, silence can be an opinion,” said Mishka. “Silence can be a form of protest. It can be a means of survival. But it can also be a school of poetry—one with its own meter, tropes, and conventions. One that needn’t be written with pencils or pens; but that can be written in the soul with a revolver to the chest.
Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
I mean, what is a family anyway but the organized cruelty of the state shrunk down, uppercase “Daddy” swapped for the lowercase? The silence of mothers to their daughters; the drunken absence of fathers; vicious sibling rivalries impinging upon the small, threatened field of love. Yes, there is love, and I don’t mean to dismiss it. But given form through the family, the love is so often not an exception to but a part of the disavowals of private citizenship. Circle the wagons, there’s not enough of our meager portion to share with others. My grandmother, a Brazilian expatriate, sat in a living room in Florida in 1980 and watched the footage on television of the Salvadoran military massacring people attending the funeral of Archbishop Óscar Romero. She commented to my father, her son-in-law, that that was what they got for rebelling against the government. Should such people be loved? In a world where we are not always forced to make our positions visible, we live warily with our enemies, fingering our weapons, waiting for the drawing of lines.
Laura Martin
Silence does not mean yes.
Amy Reed (The Nowhere Girls)
Yes, silence can be an opinion,” said Mishka. “Silence can be a form of protest. It can be a means of survival. But it can also be a school of poetry—one with its own meter, tropes, and conventions.
Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
Are you smoking?” said Granny, staring grimly ahead. “Something’s burning.” “It was just to calm my nerves what with all this headlong plunging through the air, madam.” “Well, put it out this minute. And hold on.” The broomstick lurched upward and increased its speed to that of a geriatric jogger. “Mr. Wizard.” “Hallo?” “When I said hold on—” “Yes?” “I didn’t mean there.” There was a pause. “Oh. Yes. I see. I’m terribly sorry.” “That’s all right.” “My memory isn’t what it was…I assure you…no offense meant.” “None taken.” They flew in silence for a moment. “Nevertheless,” said Granny thoughtfully, “I think that, on the whole, I would prefer you to move your hands.
Terry Pratchett (Equal Rites (Discworld, #3; Witches, #1))
Yes, silence can be an opinion,” said Mishka. “Silence can be a form of protest. It can be a means of survival.
Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
Wife's Letter (excerpt) It was not the mask that died among the boots, but you. The girl with the yoyo was not the only one to know about your masked play. From the very first instant, when, elated with pride, you talked about the distortion of the magnetic field, I too saw through you completely. Please don’t insult me any more by asking how I did it. Of course, I was flustered, confused, and frightened to death. Under any circumstances, it was an unimaginably drastic way of acting, so different from your ordinary self. It was hallucinatory, seeing you so full of self-confidence. Even you knew very well that I had seen through you. You knew and yet demanded that we go on with the play in silence. ... But you went from one misunderstanding to the next, didn’t you? You write that I rejected you, but that’s not true. Didn’t you reject yourself all by yourself?.. In a happy frame of mind, I reflected that love strips the mask from each of us, and we must endeavor for those we love to put the mask on so that it can be taken off again. For if there is no mask to start with, there is no pleasure in removing it, is there? ... Is what you think to be the mask in reality your real face, or is what you think to be your real face really a mask? Yes, you do understand. Anyone who is seduced is seduced realizing this. ... At first you were apparently trying to get your own self back by means of the mask, but before you knew it you had come to think of it only as your magician’s cloak for escaping from yourself. So it was not a mask, but somewhat the same as another real face, wasn’t it? You finally revealed your true colors. It was not the mask, but you yourself. It is meaningful to put a mask on, precisely because one makes others realize it is a mask. Even with cosmetics, which you abominate so, we never try to conceal the fact that it is make-up. After all, it was not that the mask was bad, but that you were too unaware of how to treat it. Even though you put the mask on, you could not do a thing while you were wearing it. Good or bad, you could not do a thing. All you could manage was to wander through the streets and write long, never-ending confessions, like a snake with its tail in its mouth. It was all the same to you whether you burned your face or didn’t, whether you put on a mask or didn’t. You were incapable of calling the mask back. Since the mask will not come back, there is no reason for me to return either. ... While you spoke of the face as being some kind of roadway between fellow human beings, you were like a snail that thinks only of its own doorway. You were showing off. Even though you had forced me into a compound where I had already been, you set up a fuss as if I had scaled a prison wall, as if I had absconded with money. And so, when you began to focus on my face you were flustered and confused, and without a word you at once nailed up the door of the mask. Indeed, as you said, perhaps death filled the world. I wonder if scattering the seeds of death is not the deed of men who think only of themselves, as you do. You don’t need me. What you really need is a mirror. Because any stranger is for you simply a mirror in which to reflect yourself.
Kōbō Abe (The Face of Another)
*Wife's Letter* Pt1 ... It was not the mask that died among the boots, but you. The girl with the yoyo was not the only one to know about your masked play. From the very first instant, when, elated with pride, you talked about the distortion of the magnetic field, I too saw through you completely. Please don’t insult me any more by asking how I did it. Of course, I was flustered, confused, and frightened to death. Under any circumstances, it was an unimaginably drastic way of acting, so different from your ordinary self. It was hallucinatory, seeing you so full of self-confidence. Even you knew very well that I had seen through you. You knew and yet demanded that we go on with the play in silence. I considered it a dreadful thing at first, but I soon changed my mind, thinking that perhaps you were acting out of sympathy for me. Then, though the things you did seemed a little embarrassing, they began to present the appearance of a delicate and suave invitation to a dance. And as I watched you become amazingly serious and go on pretending to be deceived, my heart began to fill with a feeling of gratitude, and so I followed after you meekly. But you went from one misunderstanding to the next, didn’t you? You write that I rejected you, but that’s not true. Didn’t you reject yourself all by yourself? I felt that I could understand your wanting to. In view of the accident and all, I had more than half resigned myself to sharing your suffering. For that very reason, your mask seemed quite good to me. In a happy frame of mind, I reflected that love strips the mask from each of us, and we must endeavor for those we love to put the mask on so that it can be taken off again. For if there is no mask to start with, there is no pleasure in removing it, is there? Do you understand what I mean? I think you do. After all, don’t even you have your doubts? Is what you think to be the mask in reality your real face, or is what you think to be your real face really a mask? Yes, you do understand. Anyone who is seduced is seduced realizing this. But the mask did not return. At first you were apparently trying to get your own self back by means of the mask, but before you knew it you had come to think of it only as your magician’s cloak for escaping from yourself. So it was not a mask, but somewhat the same as another real face, wasn’t it? You finally revealed your true colors. It was not the mask, but you yourself. It is meaningful to put a mask on, precisely because one makes others realize it is a mask. Even with cosmetics, which you abominate so, we never try to conceal the fact that it is make-up. After all, it was not that the mask was bad, but that you were too unaware of how to treat it. Even though you put the mask on, you could not do a thing while you were wearing it. Good or bad, you could not do a thing. All you could manage was to wander through the streets and write long, never-ending confessions, like a snake with its tail in its mouth. It was all the same to you whether you burned your face or didn’t, whether you put on a mask or didn’t. You were incapable of calling the mask back. Since the mask will not come back, there is no reason for me to return either.
Kōbō Abe (The Face of Another)
The casting away of things is symbolic, you know. Talismanic. When you cast away things, you're also casting away the self-related others that are symbolically related to those things. You start a cleaning-out process. You begin to empty the vessel." Larry shook his head slowly. "I don't follow that." "Well, take an intelligent pre-plague man. Break his TV, and what does he do at night?" "Reads a book," Ralph said. "Goes to see his friends," Stu said. "Plays the stereo," Larry said, grinning. "Sure, all those things," Glen said. "But he's also missing that TV. There's a hole in his life where that TV used to be. In the back of his mind he's still thinking, At nine o'clock I'm going to pull a few beers and watch the Sox on the tube. And when he goes in there and sees that empty cabinet, he feels as disappointed as hell. A part of his accustomed life has been poured out, is it not so?" "Yeah," Ralph said. "Our TV went on the fritz once for two weeks and I didn't feel right until it was back." "It makes a bigger hole in his life if he watched a lot of TV, a smaller hole if he only used it a little bit. But something is gone. Now take away all his books, all his friends, and his stereo. Also remove all sustenance except what he can glean along the way. It's an emptying-out process and also a diminishing of the ego. Your selves, gentlemen--they are turning into a window-glass. Or better yet, empty tumblers." "But what's the point?" Ralph asked. "Why go through all the rigmarole?" Glen said, "If you read your Bible, you'll see that it was pretty traditional for these prophets to go out into the wilderness from time to time--Old Testament Magical Mystery Tours. The timespan given for these jaunts was usually forty days and forty nights, a Hebraic idiom that really means 'no one knows exactly how long he was gone, but it was quite a while.' Does that remind you of anyone?" "Sure. Mother," Ralph said. "Now think of yourself as a battery. You really are, you know. Your brain runs on chemically converted electrical current. For that matter, your muscles run on tiny charges, too--a chemical called acetylcholine allows the charge to pass when you need to move, and when you want to stop, another chemical, cholinesterase, is manufactured. Cholinesterase destroys acetylcholine, so your nerves become poor conductors again. Good thing, too. Otherwise, once you started scratching your nose, you'd never be able to stop. Okay, the point is this: Everything you think, everything you do, it all has to run off the battery. Like the accessories in a car." They were all listening closely. "Watching TV, reading books, talking with friends, eating a big dinner ... all of it runs off the battery. A normal life--at least in what used to be Western civilization--was like running a car with power windows, power brakes, power seats, all the goodies. But the more goodies you have, the less the battery can charge. True?" "Yeah," Ralph said. "Even a big Delco won't ever overcharge when it's sitting in a Cadillac." "Well, what we've done is to strip off the accessories. We're on charge." Ralph said uneasily: "If you put a car battery on charge for too long, she'll explode." "Yes," Glen agreed. "Same with people. The Bible tells us about Isaiah and Job and the others, but it doesn't say how many prophets came back from the wilderness with visions that had crisped their brains. I imagine there were some. But I have a healthy respect for human intelligence and the human psyche, in spite of an occasional throwback like East Texas here--" "Off my case, baldy," Stu growled. "Anyhow, the capacity of the human mind is a lot bigger than the biggest Delco battery. I think it can take a charge almost to infinity. In certain cases, perhaps beyond infinity." They walked in silence for a while, thinking this over. "Are we changing?" Stu asked quietly. "Yes," Glen answered. "Yes, I think we are.
Stephen King
Language may have limits. But it isn’t just a dim likeness in a mirror. Yes, gestures, glances, touches, taps on walls mean something. So do silences. But sometimes the word is the thing. The bridge. Sometimes we only know what we feel once it’s been said. Words may be daughters of the earth instead of heaven. But they’re not dim. And even in the faintest shimmer, there is light.
Alena Graedon (The Word Exchange)
I don’t want to die.” I say, defiantly. “Bright Side, what?” He’s confused. Of course he’s confused. No one starts a conversation like that. I repeat, “I don’t want to fucking die.” “Oh, shit, Bright Side.” I hear him take a deep breath, a primer for the conversationthat’s about to unfold. “Talk to me. What’s going on?” “I’m fucking dying, Gus. I don’t want to die. That’s what’s fucking going on.” I hit the steering wheel with my palms. “Goddammit!” I scream... Gus doesn’t deserve this, but I know he’ll deal with it better than anyone else would. “Calm down, dude. Where are you?” “I don’t know. I’m sitting in my car in a fucking parking garage in the middle of motherfucking Minneapolis, Minnesota.” That was hostile. “Are you by yourself?” “Yes,” I snap. “You’re not supposed to be driving while you’re on your pain meds.” I don’t want his fatherly tone. “I know that.” “Are you in danger or hurt?” I burst out laughing, surprised that I can’t even laugh without sounding angry. The question is absurd to me though. I’m dying. “Bright Side, shut up for a second and talk to me. Do I need to call 911? What the fuck is going on?” He sounds scared. I shake my head like he can see me. “No, no. I’m just ... I’m fucking mad, Gus. That’s all.” And at a loss for words because my mind is jumbled up into this bitter, resentful ball. I don’t know what else to say so I repeat myself. “I’m really fucking mad.” “Well shit, by all means, there’s plenty of room at my table for anger.” He gets it. That’s why I called him, after all. “I’ve been dishing out heaping servings of fury for the past month. I feel better knowing I’m not the only one in this whole debacle with some rage issues. So fire away. Fucking give it to me.” I do. An explosive, steady stream of expletives flows out of me. I’m cursing it all, shouting out questions, pounding the steering wheel, and wiping away hot, angry tears. Occasionally Gus joins in, yelling affirmations. Sometimes he waits for a pause on my part and takes his turn and sometimes he just steamrolls over the top of me... Eventually, my tears stop, and I’m able to take normal breaths. My throat feels tight and my head hurts a little, but I’m calm. On the other end of the line, Gus gets quiet, too. Silence falls between us... My voice is raspy when I decide to break the silence. “Gus?” “Yeah, Bright Side.” He sounds like himself again. Calm. “Thanks.” I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of me. And now I need to apologize. “Sorry, dude.” He laughs. “No worries. You feel better?” I can actually smile now. “Yeah, I really do.” “Good, me too. I think we should’ve done this weeks ago.” “I think I should’ve done it months ago.” I mean it. It felt so good to let it all out. “Bright Side, you know I love you all happy and adorable in your little world of sunshine and rainbows, but you’re kinda hot when you’re angry. I dig aggressive chicks. And that was crazy aggressive.” He knows I’m going to say it, but I can’t help myself. “Whatever.” I even roll my eyes. “I think I’m gonna rename you Demon Seed.” “What? I show you my dark side and now I have to be the fucking antichrist? I don’t like that. Why can’t I just be Angry Bitch?” He laughs hard and my heart swellsbecause I haven’t heard this laugh out of Gus in a month. And I love this laugh. “Well dude, since it seems my therapysession has wrapped up, I’d better get going. I need to get home.” “Sure. Drive slowly and text me when you get there so I know you made it. And no more driving after this trip.” “Yes sir. I love you, Gus.” “Love you, too, Angry Bitch,” his voice low and dramatic. He pauses because he knows I’m not going to hang up to that. “I was just trying it out,” he says innocently.
Kim Holden (Bright Side (Bright Side, #1))
Polly?' Said Wazzer. 'Yes?' 'You don't believe in The Duchess, do you? I mean the real Duchess, not your inn.' Polly looked into the small, pinched, intense face. 'Well I mean, they say she's dead, and I prayed to her when I was small, but since you asked I don't exactly, um, believe as-' She gabbled. 'She is standing just behind you. Just behind your right shoulder.' In the silence of the wood, Polly turned. 'I can't see her,' she said. 'I am happy for you,' said Wazzer, handing her the empty mug. 'But I didn't see anything,' said Polly. 'No,' said Wazzer. 'But you turned around.
Terry Pratchett (Monstrous Regiment (Discworld, #31; Industrial Revolution, #3))
That’s why you get in shit,” Hylas said. “You and Nick both. You’re too goddamned pragmatic about everything and so, you carry blithely on and walk right into the crocodile’s mouth.” “There is nothing blithe about myself or Nick,” Tobias said. “We are not cheerful people, though I am not an unhappy person. Nick doesn’t seem to be either. Furthermore, since when have you ever known me to get into shit, as you so inelegantly put it?” “Hey, asshole, don’t criticize my parlance,” Hylas said. “I know words. I’m just not so prim that I refuse to use the dirty ones. I like the dirty ones best.” “Oh and how,” Tobias said. Cursing did not offend him, he just seldom ever did so himself. “And another thing,” Hylas carried on, ignoring Tobias for the moment. “Blithe also means ‘thoughtlessly indifferent’. So there.” “Yes, you certainly told me what’s for,” Tobias said. “I am neither thoughtless nor indifferent, if I was then I would be terrible at being pragmatic. Your argument is therefore invalid. Rephrase or shut up.” “I love you, man,” Hylas said after a drawn-out silence. He positively beamed at Tobias. “You’re the only person who can argue words with me.” “I
Justine Sebastian (Falls the Shadow (Sparrow Falls #2))
When she finally grew still, a taut silence settled over them. From the corner of his eye he could see her worrying her lip, her small white teeth sinking into the soft pink flesh. Remembering how those lips felt beneath his, another surge of longing knotted his guts, making him recall the plans he had made for the evening--plans that were now drifting away on the wind. He wanted her, yes, but not if it meant forcing her. “I suppose that…” Her voice trailed off. She plucked nervously at her skirt, then ran her fingertips up the line of buttons on her bodice. She glanced around nervously, still nibbling her lip. “I, um, haven’t forgotten my promises to you.” “This is good.” Hunter watched her with gentle amusement. “A promise is a promise, even when given under unusual circumstances. You kept up your part, and--” She seemed unable to meet his gaze. “I’m sure you expect me to keep up mine.” A dark flush crept up her neck. “I, um, guess you had Amy taken to your mother’s so we could--so we could…” She looked so distressed that Hunter took pity on her. “Ah, yes, we have a bargain, do we not?” He forced a long and very loud yawn. “My heart is heavy to say these words, Blue Eyes, but I am sure enough weary after traveling so far, eh?” Her expression brightened so visibly that he nearly chuckled. “Oh, but of course!” she exclaimed in a shaky little voice. “You’ve ridden a very long way. You must be exhausted.” He yawned again and patted the fur beside him. “You will lie beside me.” “But what about Amy?” “Your Aye-mee is with my mother, yes? The woman who is mean like a buffalo. She is safe. You will be easy about her until the sun shows its face.” His voice turned husky. “Keemah, come.
Catherine Anderson (Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1))
When at last she scooted over to him, Hunter experienced a feeling like none he had ever felt. It went beyond satisfaction, beyond contentment. Having her fair head on his shoulder felt perfectly right, as if the Great Ones had hollowed the spot for her long ago, and he had been waiting all his life for her to fill it. He curled his arm around her, his hand on her back. “It is good, eh?” She placed a palm lightly on his chest. In a dubious tone she replied, “Yes, it is good.” Another silence settled over them. He measured the thrums of her heart beneath his hand, pleased that the rhythm no longer reminded him of the frantic wing beats of a trapped bird. Staring at the conical roof, he longed for the weariness he had pretended. It didn’t come. He was relieved when she broke the silence. “Hunter, what did you mean when you said you had made no talk of marriage because I’m a White Eyes?” He brushed his lips across the top of her head, loving the flower smell that still clung to her hair. He would never again smell springtime and not think of her. “My chief wife will be a woman of my own blood.” He felt her stiffen and, seeking to mollify her, added, “You can be second wife, eh? Or third?” To his surprise she bolted upright, shaking again, this time in anger. With an indignant lift of her small chin, she flung herself away from him. “You are angry?” Her reply was frigid silence. “Blue Eyes, what wrong words have I said?” “What have you said?” Hunter frowned. “It would not please you to marry with me? Better a wife than a slave, yes?” “I will never play second fiddle, never!” Hunter studied her, trying to figure out why she had switched the topic of conversation from marriage to making music. “How dare you!” she cried. “Of all the-- You arrogant, simple-- Oh, never mind! Just you understand this! Amongst my people, a man has one wife, only one, and he looks at no other, thinks of no other, touches no other, until death do they part. I wouldn’t marry you if you got on your knees and begged me!
Catherine Anderson (Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1))
You will go from this place with me, walk in my footsteps?” A strained silence settled between them. “Oh, yes, Hunter, yes.” “Do not make a promise of it quick. We must go west. Alone, Blue Eyes, leaving all that we are behind. All those we love, your people, my people.” Loretta caught his face between her hands, shaking with the intensity of her emotions. “Hunter, you are my people. I’ll follow you anywhere.” “I do not know the way.” His voice was gravelly, the words he spoke halting. Admitting his own vulnerability didn’t come easily. But this was no time for pride. If Loretta chose to follow him, her life could be at risk. He wanted her to know that. “The song says we will make a new nation, but this Comanche fears he cannot feed even two. If you walk behind me, you follow a man who is lost.” Loretta encircled his waist with her arms and pressed her cheek against his chest, inhaling the scent of his skin, loving it. Her gaze settled on the gigantic moon that shone down on them. Mother Moon, watching over them. “You aren’t lost, Hunter. The words in your song will guide you. And when you falter, your Great Ones will lead you--to the place we’re meant to find. We will sing the People’s songs to our children. The Comanche and tosi tivo will live as one forever. Don’t you see? You and I are the beginning.” She arched her back to see into his eyes. “Hunter and his yellow-hair, together as one.” “You believe?” Hunter studied her, more than a little amazed. “The words of my song are inside your heart?” Smiling through tears, Loretta told him the meaning of her name. “Yes, I do believe. I believe in your Great Ones, I believe in your song, but, most important, I believe in you.” She touched her fingertips to the scar that lined his cheek. “I’m not afraid of anything except being without you. This morning I thought you’d been killed…I’ve never been so frightened. Never.
Catherine Anderson (Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1))
You will tell me of this anger that burns within you, eh?” “As if you don’t know!” He propped his elbows on his bent knees. Women. He’d never understand them. If she was still angry because he had mentioned taking other wives, why didn’t she say the words to him? It wasn’t as if he planned on marrying someone else today. “Blue Eyes, you are my woman, eh? This Comanche wishes for your heart to be filled with sunshine.” She threw him a contemptuous glare. “I may be your woman, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it! Besides, why worry about me? With so many wives, I’ll be lost in the shuffle. You won’t know if I’m happy or not. And you certainly won’t care.” Two bright spots of color dotted her cheeks. “And that suits me just fine.” Silence fell over them for a moment. “When will you take Amy home?” she asked suddenly. “Her father hides behind his wooden walls and lets Comancheros steal her. She stays with this Comanche.” “You can’t possibly mean to keep her here! Her mother will be worried sick.” “That is a sad thing, yes?” “You promised!” “I made the promise to bring her to you. I have.” “She isn’t a horse, Hunter! You can’t keep her here!” He lifted an eyebrow. “Ah, yes? Who will take her from me?” “You are an insufferable, arrogant, bullheaded--” Hunter gave a snort and rose to his feet. His lodge suddenly seemed too small for the both of them. He would go to visit his father, where women showed proper respect.
Catherine Anderson (Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1))
Kestrel had forgotten. She had thought that she remembered only too well the lines of his face. The restless quality to how he would stand still. The way he looked fully into her eyes as if each glance was an irrevocable choice. Her blood felt laced with black powder. How could she have forgotten what it was like to burn on a fuse before him? He looked at her, and she knew that she had remembered nothing at all. “I can’t be seen with you,” she said. Arin’s eyes flashed. He raked the curtain shut behind him. The closed-off balcony became deeply dark. “Better?” he said. Kestrel backed away until the heel of her shoe met the balustrade and her bare shoulder blades touched the glass. The air had changed. It was warm now. And scented, strangely, with brine. “The sea,” she managed to say. “You came by sea.” “It seemed wiser than riding my horse to death through the mountains.” “My horse.” “If you want Javelin, come home and claim him.” She shook her head. “I can’t believe you sailed here.” “Technically, the ship’s captain did, cursing me the entire time. Except when I got sick. Then he just laughed.” “I thought you weren’t coming.” “I changed my mind.” Arin came to lean against the balustrade beside her. It was too much. He was too close. “I’ll thank you to keep your distance.” “Ah, the empress speaks. Well, I must obey.” Yet he didn’t move except to turn his head toward her. Light from the curtain’s seam cut a thin line down his cheek in a bright scar. “I saw you. With the prince. He seems bitter medicine to swallow, even for the sweets of the empire.” “You know nothing of him.” “I know you helped him cheat. Yes, I watched you. I saw you play at Borderlands. Others might not have noticed, but I know you.” His voice grew rough. “Gods, how can you respect someone like that? You’ll make a fool of him.” “I wouldn’t.” “You’re a bad liar.” “I won’t.” Arin went quiet. “Maybe you won’t mean to.” He edged away, and that line of light no longer touched him. His form was pure shadow. But her sight had adjusted, and she saw him tip his head back against the window. “Kestrel…” An emotion clamped down on her heart. It squeezed her into a terrible silence. But he said nothing after that, only her name, as if her name were not a name but a question. Or perhaps that wasn’t how he had said it, and she was wrong, and she’d heard a question simply because the sound of him speaking her name made her wish that she were his answer. Something was tugging inside her. It yanked at her soul. Tell him, that part of her said. He needs to know. Yet those words had a quality of horror to them. Her mind was sluggish to understand why, so caught it was in the temptation to tell Arin that her engagement had been the bargain for Herran’s freedom.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2))
Oh, my,” she breathed. “She’s here?” he asked unnecessarily, refusing to look. Resisting temptation. “I’m assuming it must be her; I pretty much know everyone else in the room.” There was a short silence as she inspected the newcomer thoroughly. “My heavens, I didn’t realize scientists came like this. She’s simply . . . magnificent.” “There’s not one thing that’s simple about Lily Banyon.” Evelyn’s eyes were still focused on the other end of the room. “Hmm, I think I see what you mean.” A smile played over her lips. “How utterly refreshing and fascinating—you’ll have your work cut out for you. Come, Mayor McDermott, duty calls.” “I don’t need to meet her. I already know her. Too well.” Evelyn made a tsking sound. “My, my, don’t we sound like we’ve missed our afternoon nap?” she murmured as she brushed by him, assuming the role of Coral Beach’s welcome wagon, fully equipped with bells, whistles, and highlighters. His secretary had abandoned him for the enemy. How much worse could things get? A clause should be inserted into their contracts prohibiting secretaries from treating their bosses as though they were three-year-olds. Had there been dirt instead of mocha-colored industrial carpeting underfoot, he’d have kicked it. It wasn’t anyone’s business but his if he refused to rush over and blurt, Hey, Lily, long time no see! So, tell me, what’ve you been up to since Rome, when you slammed the door in my face so hard you almost broke my nose for the second time? He was the mayor. He could do as he liked. And what he most wanted, right after making Lily Banyon disappear from his life as suddenly as she’d reappeared, was an armed guard. Then maybe he could confront her and walk away in one piece. Reluctantly, Sean turned and looked. Three seconds was all he permitted himself. Lily Banyon wasn’t going to catch him staring like some hormone-crazed adolescent. Three seconds was more than enough, though. Lily’s image burned, a brilliant flame behind his retinas. She looked good. No, make that great, incredible . . . yes, magnificent. She’d chopped off her hair, about a foot and a half of it. Her wheat-blonde locks fell in a casual, tousled style, framing her face, accentuating those startling, ice-crystal blue eyes. She looked even better than he remembered, a memory hot enough to make him lie awake at night, aching.
Laura Moore (Night Swimming)
The morning wore on. And then the afternoon, and so far the only real danger had been from boredom. Romeo must have been feeling the same, because he started reciting poetry to himself—not out loud, but saying it in his head, and Paris couldn’t help hearing it. Pale flowers like snow have covered the ground, said Romeo in Mahyanai, and waited. It was a very pointed silence. He didn’t need a word or a look to let Paris know that he was waiting for a response. You know what comes next, said Romeo. No, I don’t, said Paris. Except he did. He could hear the next line in the back of his mind: The year has turned to spring, but the ground is still cold. If he just opened his mouth, the words would flow out in perfect, unaccented Mahyanai. Yes, you do, said Romeo, sounding gleeful. Because even though Paris had trained for years, somehow Romeo was able to slip past his walls and speak in his head. Is there a point to this? Paris demanded. To pass the time, said Romeo. Do you Catresou never play at turning phrases? I have no idea what that means, said Paris, craning his neck to examine a new clump of people forcing their way into the marketplace. It’s a game. One of us says a line from a poem, the other says the next. Back and forth. Sounds like a game for girls, said Paris. Juliet liked it, Romeo said agreeably. Juliet liked you, said Paris. I don’t
Rosamund Hodge (Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, #1))
I’m sorry if my words hurt you earlier. I thought I’d been pretty clear about my not wanting kids.” Alex winced, but tried to cover it by tucking her hair behind her right ear. “You were. I remember you saying it the first night. But we clicked on everything else and I guess I thought you might possibly start to rethink your position.” He could understand why she would think that. They had clicked on everything. She’d fit into his house as if she’d always been here. Hell, she fit into his life as if she’d always been there. All of the worries he’d had about her youth had faded. She was more mature for her age than most of the men he knew, and that was the truth. “I don’t want this,” he motioned between them, “to end because of just this one thing.” She frowned. “I hope you didn’t mean that the way it sounded, because that one thing is very important to me. I’m almost thirty-two. As trite as it is to say, my childbearing time is ticking away.” Duncan growled, pissed that he couldn’t articulate his feelings the way he needed to. He was losing her, he could see it in her eyes. “I don’t want the responsibility of children, but I don’t want our physical or emotional relationship to end. I enjoy having you in my life.” She gave him a narrow-eyed look. “It’s convenient, right? Having a woman in your house and bed, falling in love with you? I can’t just be ‘enjoyed’ Duncan, I need more that that. I felt like we had a deeper connection than that.” Scowling, he turned to look at the cold fireplace. Then her words slowly sank in. She’d said she was falling in love with him. Fuck… Alex muttered a curse under her breath and pushed to her feet to pace. Duncan watched her move, thoughts swirling in his mind. She thought she loved him, but she’d only been here a couple of days. Yes, they’d been together the entire time since she’d been here, but surely she didn’t think she loved him. Maybe she was less mature than he thought. No one could decide to tie themselves to a man that quickly, let alone a disabled veteran destined to have long-term emotional and medical issues. She paused in her pacing, as if coming to a decision. “I think I’m going to go home.” The words fell into the silence and he lost his breath. But he couldn’t blame her. She wanted more than he could give her. Once again, like with Melanie, he was being tossed over for another man, this one just so far unnamed. “If you make your reservations, I can drive you whenever you need me to.” She blinked at him, a strange expression on her face, then she shook her head as if she couldn’t believe it was ending. He couldn’t either. “All right. Goodnight.” Duncan
J.M. Madden (Embattled Ever After (Lost and Found #5))
Now the muted setting made sense: a neutral setting, soothing light, a book. The deep magic fed the beast within him. It took a monumental effort of will to restrain it. With the flare so close, Curran was a powder keg with a short fuse. I had to be careful not to light that fuse. Nobody outside the Pack, except for Andrea, knew I was here. He could kill me right now and they would never find my body. We shared a silence for a long moment. Magic blossomed, filling me with giddy energy. The short waves again. They would ebb in a minute, and then I’d be exhausted. Guilt gnawed at me. He could control himself in my presence, but I apparently couldn’t control myself in his. “Curran, up on the roof . . . That is, my brakes don’t work sometimes.” He leaned forward, suddenly animated. “Do I smell an apology?” “Yes. I said things I shouldn’t have. I regret saying them.” “Does this mean you’re throwing yourself at my feet?” “No. I pretty much meant that part. I just wish I could’ve put it in less offensive terms.” I glanced at him and saw a lion. He didn’t change, his face was still fully human, but there was something disturbingly lionlike in the way he sat, completely focused on me, as if ready to pounce. Stalking me without moving a muscle. The primordial urge to freeze shackled my limbs. I just sat there, unable to look away. A slow, lazy, carnivorous smile touched Curran’s lips. “Not only will you sleep with me, but you will say ‘please.’” I stared at him, shocked. The smile widened. “You will say ‘please’ before and ‘thank you’ after.” Nervous laughter bubbled up. “You’ve gone insane. All that peroxide in your hair finally did your brain in, Goldilocks.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2))
Instead, the thing that had captured my attention was this big metal column topped by…absolutely nothing. It was doing this in the parking lot of what I had to figure was the main supplier of off-campus food: a retro-fifties fast-food joint. Maybe it’s supposed to be some kind of art, I thought as I stared at the column. I was living in the big city now, after all. Public art happened. Not only that, it didn’t have to make sense. In fact, having it not make sense was probably a requirement. “They took it down for repairs,” a voice beside my suddenly said. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit this, but the truth is, I jumped about a mile. I’d been so mesmerized by the sight of that column extending upward into space, supporting empty air, that I’d totally lost track of all my soon-to-be-fellow students rushing by me. To this day, I can’t quite explain the fascination. But I’ve promised to tell you the 100 percent truth, which means I’ve got to include even the parts which make me appear less than impressive. “Huh?” Yes, all right, I know. Nowhere even near the list of incredibly clever replies. “They took it down for repairs,” the voice said again. “Took it down,” I echoed. By this time, I knew I was well on my way to breaking my own blending-in rule, big time. Sounding like a total idiot can generally be considered a foolproof method of getting yourself noticed. “The car that’s usually up there.” The guy--it was a guy; I’d calmed down enough to realize that--said. I snuck a quick glance at him out of the corner of my eye. First fleeting impression: tall and blond. The kind of muscular-yet-lanky build I’ve always been a sucker for. Faded jeans. Letterman jacket with just about every sport there was represented on it. Gotcha! I thought. BMOC. Big Man on Campus. This made me feel a little better for a couple of reasons. The first was that it showed my skills hadn’t abandoned me completely after all. I could still identify the players pretty much on sight. The second was that in my vast, though admittedly from-a-distance, experience of them, BMOCs have short attention spans for anyone less BOC than they are. Disconcerting and intense as it was at the moment, I could nevertheless take comfort in the fact that this guy’s unexpected and unnatural interest in me was also unlikely to last very long. “An old Chevy, I think,” he was going on now. “It’s supposed to be back soon, though. Not really the same without it, is it?” He actually sounded genuinely mournful. I was surprised to find myself battling back a quick, involuntary smile. He did seem to be more interesting than your average, run-of-the-mill BMOC. I had to give him that. Get a grip, O’Connor, I chastised myself. “Absolutely not,” I said, giving my head a semi-vigorous nod. That ought to move him along, I thought. You may not be aware of this fact, but agreeing with people is often an excellent way of getting them to forget all about you. After basking in the glow of agreement, most people are then perfectly content to go about their business, remembering only the fact that someone agreed and allowing the identity of the person who did the actual agreeing to fade into the background. This technique almost always works. In fact, I’d never known it not to. There was a moment of silence. A silence in which I could feel the BMOC’s eyes upon me. I kept my own eyes fixed on the top of the carless column. But the longer the silence went on, the more strained it became. At least it did on my side. This guy was simply not abiding by the rules. He was supposed to have basked and moved on by now.
Cameron Dokey (How Not to Spend Your Senior Year)
When we’re outside, I hear Brittany take a deep breath. I swear it sounds as if she’s holding herself together by a thin thread. Not the way it’s supposed to go down: bring girl home, kiss girl, mom insults girl, girl leaves crying. “Don’t sweat it. She’s just not used to me bringin’ girls in the house.” Brittany’s expressive blue eyes appear remote and cold. “That shouldn’t have happened,” she says, throwing back her shoulders in a stance as stiff as a statue’s. “What? The kiss or you likin’ it so much?” “I have a boyfriend,” she says as she fidgets with the strap on her designer book bag. “You tryin’ to convince me, or yourself?” I ask her. “Don’t turn this around. I don’t want to upset my friends. I don’t want to upset my mom. And Colin…I’m just really confused right now.” I hold out my hands and raise my voice, something I usually avoid because like Paco says, it means I actually care. I don’t care. Why should I? My mind says to shut the fuck up at the same time words spout from my mouth. “I don’t get it. He treats you like you’re his damn prize.” “You don’t even know what it’s like with me and Colin…” “Tell me, dammit,” I say, unable to hide the edge to my voice. Initially I hold myself back from what I really want to say, but I can’t resist and tell it to her straight up. “’Cause that kiss back there…it meant somethin’. You know it as well as I do. I dare you to tell me bein’ with Colin is better than that.” She looks away hastily. “You wouldn’t understand.” “Try me.” “When people see Colin and me together, they comment on how perfect we are. You know, the Golden Couple. Get it?” I stare at her in disbelief. That is beyond fucked up. “I get it. I just can’t believe I’m hearin’ it. Does bein’ perfect mean that much to you?” There’s a long, brittle silence. I catch a flicker of sadness in those sapphire eyes, but then it’s gone. In an instant her expression stills and grows serious. “I haven’t been doing a bang-up job at it lately, but yes. It does,” she finally admits. “My sister isn’t perfect, so I have to be.” That is the most pathetic shit I’ve ever heard. I shake my head in disgust and point to Julio. “Get on and I’ll take you back to school to get your car.” Silently, Brittany straddles my motorcycle. She holds herself so far away from me I can barely feel her behind me. I almost take a detour to make the ride last longer. She treats her sister with patience and adoration. God knows I wouldn’t be able to spoon-feed one of my brothers and wipe his mouth. The girl I once accused of being self-absorbed is not one-dimensional. Dios mío, I admire her. Somehow, being with Brittany brings something to my life that’s missing, something…right. But how am I going to convince her of that?
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
I’m required to read this admonition. Your silence can be deemed as insubordination and lead to administrative discipline, which could result in your discharge or removal from office. You understand what this means?” “Yes, sir.” Do what we say, or we can fire you. VanMeter placed a printed form and a pen on the table. “This is an acknowledgment you received the admonition. Sign and date here. If you refuse to sign, I’ll mark the space ‘refused,’ and sign as the witnessing supervisor. Up to you.” Scott signed. Ignacio
Robert Crais (The Promise (Elvis Cole, #16; Joe Pike, #5; Scott James & Maggie, #2))
This way please,' said a voice. In the door stood Dr Sesame, the famous Dr Sesame, whose reputation as a sympathetic and, according to some, also a kind-hearted man had spread throughout the town and beyond. He had also written a popular pamphlet on sexual problems, which had given Pinneberg the courage to write making an appointment for Emma and himself. This, then, was the Dr Sesame at present standing in the doorway, and saying 'This way, please.' Dr Sesame searched on his desk for the letter. 'You wrote to me, Mr Pinneberg... saying you couldn't have any children just yet because you couldn't afford it?' 'Yes,' said Pinneberg, dreadfully embarrassed. 'You can start undressing,' said the doctor to Emma, and carried on: 'And you want to know an entirely reliable means of prevention. Hm, an entirely reliable means...' He smiled sceptically behind his gold-rimmed spectacles. 'I read about it in your book... These pessoirs...' 'Pessaries,' said the doctor. 'Yes, but they don't suit every woman. And it's always a bit of a business. It depends on whether your wife would be nimble-fingered enough...' He looked up at her. She had already taken off her blouse and skirt. Her slim legs made her look very tall. 'Well, let's go next door,' said the doctor. 'You needn't have taken your blouse off for this, young lady.' Emma went a deep red. 'Oh well, leave it off now. Come this way. One moment, Mr Pinneberg.' The two of them went into the next room. Pinneberg watched them go. The top of the doctor's head reached no farther than the 'young lady's' shoulders. How beautiful she was! thought Pinneberg yet again; she was the greatest girl in the world, the only one for him. He worked in Ducherow, and she worked here in Platz, and he never saw her more than once a fortnight, so his joy in her was always fresh, and his desire for her absolutely inexpressible. Next door he heard the doctor asking questions on and off in a low voice, and an instrument clinking on the side of a bowl. He knew that sound from the dentist's; it wasn't a pleasant one. Then he winced violently. Never had he heard that tone from Emma. She was saying in a high, clear voice that was almost a shriek - 'No, no, no!' And once again, 'No!' And then, very softly, but he still heard it: 'Oh God.' Pinneberg took three steps to the door - What was that? What could it be? What about these rumours that those kind of doctors were terrible lechers? But then Dr Sesame spoke again - impossible to hear what he said - and the instrument clinked again. There was a long silence.
Hans Fallada (Little Man, What Now?)
Which one of you should I talk to?” Christopher asked. They pointed to each other and replied at the same time. “Him.” Cam spoke to Leo. “You’re the viscount.” “You’re the one who usually deals with that sort of thing,” Leo protested. “Yes. But you won’t like my opinion on this one.” “You’re not actually considering giving them your approval, are you?” “Of all the Hathaway sisters,” Cam said equably, “Beatrix is the one most suited to choose her own husband. I trust her judgment.” Beatrix gave him a brilliant smile. “Thank you, Cam.” “What are you thinking?” Leo demanded of his brother-in-law. “You can’t trust Beatrix’s judgment.” “Why not?” “She’s too young,” Leo said. “I’m twenty-three,” Beatrix protested. “In dog years I’d be dead.” “And you’re female,” Leo persisted. “I beg your pardon?” Catherine interrupted. “Are you implying that women have poor judgment?” “In these matters, yes.” Leo gestured to Christopher. “Just look at the fellow, standing there like a bloody Greek god. Do you think she chose him because of his intellect?” “I graduated from Cambridge,” Christopher said acidly. “Should I have brought my diploma?” “In this family,” Cam interrupted, “there is no requirement of a university degree to prove one’s intelligence. Lord Ramsay is a perfect example of how one has nothing to do with the other.” “Phelan,” Leo said, “I don’t intend to be offensive, however--” “It’s something that comes naturally to him,” Catherine interrupted sweetly. Leo sent his wife a scowl and returned his attention to Christopher. “You and Beatrix haven’t known each other long enough to consider matrimony. A matter of weeks, to my knowledge. And what about Prudence Mercer? You’re practically betrothed, aren’t you?” “Those are valid points,” Christopher said. “And I will answer them. But you should know right away that I’m against the match.” Leo blinked in bemusement. “You mean you’re against a match with Miss Mercer?” “Well…yes. But I’m also against a match with Beatrix.” Silence fell over the room. “This is a trick of some sort,” Leo said. “Unfortunately, it’s not,” Christopher replied. Another silence. “Captain Phelan,” Cam asked, choosing his words with care. “Have you come to ask for our consent to marry Beatrix?” Christopher shook his head. “If I decide to marry Beatrix, I’ll do it with or without your consent.” Leo looked at Cam. “Good God,” he said in disgust. “This one’s worse than Harry.” Cam wore an expression of beleaguered patience. “Perhaps we should both talk to Captain Phelan in the library. With brandy.” “I want my own bottle,” Leo said feelingly, leading the way.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
You mean you’re against a match with Miss Mercer?” “Well…yes. But I’m also against a match with Beatrix.” Silence fell over the room. “This is a trick of some sort,” Leo said. “Unfortunately, it’s not,” Christopher replied.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
It’s funny how things work out,” she said, wrapping her arms around the dog and squeezing her tight. “All this time we spent hating each other when we could have spent it--” “Together.” Jeremy kneeled beside the dog and looked directly at Madison. “I guess that’s irony to the tenth power.” His mention of irony and math reminded her that he not only was Jeremy, but he was also her Heart-2-Heart pal, Blue. And only two hours before, she had stood him up. Madison didn’t know how to bring it up. If she confessed to being Pinky, would it look like another conspiracy to make a fool out of him? She couldn’t decide. Jeremy’s face was inches from hers. She could see little gold flecks in his eyes. Yes, he definitely was weak-in-the-knees handsome. She managed to murmur, “I guess we’re older now and, well, you have that girlfriend.” Jeremy’s face reddened, and he looked down at his dog. “Um, I’m not so sure about that,” he admitted, embarrassed. “I was supposed to meet her at the Space Needle today, but she never showed.” Madison’s heart ached seeing him look so defeated. She wanted to blurt everything out right then, but something made her keep her secret. Instead, she said, “Well, it may have been a big misunderstanding. I mean, there I was, following you around and screaming like a lunatic. She may have thought we meant something to each other.” Jeremy laughed. “That would be pretty ridiculous, wouldn’t it?” “Maybe you should call her,” Madison said, knowing he didn’t know “Pinky’s” phone number. “Or write her and explain.” Jeremy nodded briskly. “I’ll do that.” They sat for a few moments in awkward silence. Finally, Madison clapped her hands together. “In the meantime, we have another big problem on our hands.” “You’re right,” Jeremy agreed. “I’m thirsty. What do you say we go for a Coke at Ruby’s favorite watering hole? My treat.” At the mention of her name, Ruby leaped to her feet, wagging her tail. Madison chuckled. “I’m up for that. And while we’re at it, we can figure out what to do about Reed Rawlings.
Jahnna N. Malcolm (Perfect Strangers (Love Letters, #1))
His hands cradled her head as he kissed her again, openmouthed and deep, as if he were trying to draw the soul from her body. Beatrix answered eagerly, holding him with her arms and legs. But then he let go with a hoarse exclamation, and moved away. “No,” she heard herself moan. “Please--” His fingers came to her lips, gently stroking her into silence. They lay side by side, facing each other, struggling to regain their breath. “My God, I want you.” Christopher sounded far from pleased by the fact. His thumb swpt over her kiss-swollen lips. “Even though I annoy you?” “You don’t annoy me.” Carefully he rebuttoned the placket of her skirt. “I thought you did, at first. But now I realize it was more like the feeling you get when your foot’s been asleep. And when you start moving, the blood coming back into it is uncomfortable…but also good. Do you understand what I mean?” “Yes. I make your feet tingle.” A smile came to his lips. “Among other things.” They continued to lie together, staring at each other.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
Life really is temporary.” I felt him nod beside me. “Yes, it is. And there’s something comforting knowing that each time I climb the mountain, I’m a little bit lighter. Hard to harbor any stress when you’re on top of the world, seeing that view.” I thought of Colin’s quote on his Facebook photo, about climbing mountains so the world could see him. And I was sure I asked to only confuse me even more, but the words tumbled from my mouth anyway. “Why do you climb mountains, Jude? Is it so the world can see what you’ve done?” He was silent for a minute and I began to realize that in his silences, he was thinking, feeling what I said. Jude wasn’t one to give me an answer if it didn’t mean something to him. “I climb mountains so that I can see the world. The world doesn’t care what I’ve done.
Whitney Barbetti (Into the Tomorrows (Bleeding Hearts #1))
Are you all right, Vanni?” he asked. “Hmm, just a little melancholy, that’s all.” “It’s hard to tell what’s bothering you most—Midge’s passing or some problem you’re having with Paul.” She turned to look at him and he said, “Anything you want to talk about?” She shrugged. “There’s not too much to talk about, Dad.” “You could help me understand a couple of things, you know.” “For instance?” “Oh, don’t be coy—you stood Paul up to go away with the doctor and if I know anything about you, you’re not that interested in the doctor. Hell, you’ve been in a strange mood since Paul left after Mattie was born. You knew Paul was coming for the weekend—and despite his best efforts to be circumspect, you knew he was coming for you.” “I wasn’t so sure about that.” “I heard you fight with him, Vanni. Did you and Paul have some kind of falling-out?” “Not exactly, Dad.” Walt took a breath. “Vanessa, I don’t mean to pry, but it’s pretty apparent to me how you feel about Paul. And how Paul feels about you. And yet…” “Dad, while Paul was here last autumn, we got a lot closer. We were good friends before, but of course with all we went through together… Dad, before all that happened, Paul had a life in Grants Pass. One that’s not so easily left behind.” “Vanni, Paul loves you, but something happened between you recently…” “He let me know—there are complications in Grants Pass. Something he’s been struggling with. It’s kept him from being honest about his feelings,” she said. “He has commitments, Dad.” “A woman?” Walt asked. Vanni laughed softly. “We shouldn’t be so surprised that Paul actually had women in his life, should we? Yes, apparently there was a woman. Is a woman…” “Jesus,” Walt said under his breath. “He’s not married, is he?” “Of course not. He wouldn’t keep something like that from us.” “Engaged?” “He says there’s enough of an entanglement there to make his position difficult. That’s why he wasn’t around after Mattie was born.” Walt drove in silence for a while and Vanni resumed gazing out the window. After a few moments of silence Walt asked, “What about you, Vanni? I know you care about him.” “Dad, Matt’s only been gone a few months. Should I even have such feelings? Should I be completely embarrassed? I’ll miss him forever, but I—” “Please don’t do that to yourself, honey,” he said. “Haven’t we learned by now? Life is too short to suffer needlessly.” “Will people say I—” “I don’t give a good goddamn what people say,” he growled. “Everyone is entitled to a little happiness, wherever that is. And I think for you, it’s with Paul.” She sighed and said, “I’m asking myself why I thought I had some claim on him. He was very good to us all, I’m so grateful—but why didn’t I realize that a man like Paul wouldn’t have any trouble attracting the attention—the love—of a woman? I’ve been so angry with him for not telling me, but… Why didn’t I ask?” “Now what, Vanni? Is he trying to make a choice, is that it?” “We were having a discussion, not a very pleasant one, right when the call came from Shelby. It left his intentions up in the air a bit. But there’s one thing I won’t do, I can’t do—I can’t ask Paul to choose me over a woman he has an obligation to. I tried to make it very clear, his duty to me as his best friend’s widow has expired. He doesn’t have to take care of me anymore.” “I have a feeling it’s more than duty,” Walt said. “I have a feeling it always has been…” “He has to do the right thing,” she said. “I’m not getting in the way of that. A man like Paul—he could regret the wrong decision for the rest of his life. And frankly, I don’t want to be the one left to live with his regret.” “Oh, boy. You two have some talking to do.” “No. Paul has business to take care of. I have nothing more to say about this.” *
Robyn Carr (Second Chance Pass)
Why young men,” Lily demanded, “and not girls?” Caleb put a hand over hers in a gesture that had become familiar. She knew he wasn’t silencing her, but merely asking her to wait. “I’d be willing to invest in something like that,” he said. Rupert looked embarrassed and chagrined. “I couldn’t take money from you.” “Why not?” Lily wanted to know. She was still ruffled and spoke peevishly. “He must have piles of it, the way he throws it around.” In that instant the tension was broken and both men laughed. “Perhaps I should discuss this with Winola,” Rupert conceded. “I still want to know why it’s going to be a boarding school for boys,” Lily put in. Rupert smiled at her and took her hand. “Lily, dear, so many people don’t believe in educating girls. Boys, now, they have to make their way in the world—” Lily was outraged. “And girls don’t?” she snapped, looking from Caleb to Rupert. Caleb was distinctly uncomfortable, while Rupert wore his prejudices and complacency as easily as a pair of old slippers. “You and Winola are both notable exceptions, of course,” Rupert allowed with a benevolent smile. “Mostly, though, girls just need to be taught to cook and sew and care for children, and they can learn those things right at home.” Caleb closed his eyes as though bracing for an explosion. Lily leapt to her feet, waggling one finger in her brother’s face. “Is that what you’ll want for daughters of your own?” she sputtered. “Nothing but babies, and slaving for some man?” Rupert’s expression was one of kindly bafflement. Obviously Winola’s progressive ideas had not affected him. “It’s what a woman wants—” Lily wouldn’t have begrudged Rupert a penny if it hadn’t been for his narrow and unfair views. “If you give this man money for a school that admits only boys, Caleb Halliday,” she railed, “I’ll make you sleep in the chicken house!” “Sit down,” Caleb said quietly. Lily sat, but grudgingly. “I’ll be happy to give you the money you need,” Caleb told Rupert. Lily favored him with a horrified glare. “You mean you would support such a prejudice?” She was back on her feet again. “Tell me this, Caleb Halliday—do you want your daughters to be ignorant? I can assure you they won’t be, because I will not permit it!” “That,” said Caleb evenly, “is enough. You and I will discuss this later, in private.” Lily’s cheeks were flaming, but she resisted an impulse to storm off to the hotel in high dudgeon because she knew Caleb would not follow or try to assuage her anger in any way. “Yes, Major,” she said sweetly. Caleb narrowed his eyes at her but said nothing. Rupert looked concerned. “I can’t be the cause of trouble between the two of you,” he said. “Winola and I will think of some other solution to the problem.” “You could at least include girls in the classes,” Lily said stiffly. But Rupert shook his head. “Their parents would never permit them to live in such close quarters with young men, Lily,” he reasoned, “and rightly so.” Lily still felt as though her entire gender had been insulted, but she kept silent. Finally,
Linda Lael Miller (Lily and the Major (Orphan Train, #1))
Myron shook his head. “The kid would have told us eventually.” “Doubtful. This Sam character had the boy scared.” “So you had to scare him more?” “That would be a yes,” Win said. “You can’t do that again, Win. You can’t hurt innocent people.” “Uh-hmm,” Win said again. He checked his watch. “Are you through now? Is your need to feel morally superior satiated?” “What the hell does that mean?” Win looked at him. “You know what I do,” he said slowly. “Yet you always call on me.” Silence. The echo of Win’s words hung in the air, caught in the humidity like the car fumes. Myron gripped the steering wheel. His knuckles turned white. They did not speak again until they reached Mabel Edwards’s house.
Harlan Coben (One False Move (Myron Bolitar, #5))
Don’t you want to know what your father and I discussed?” “No. I mean, not unless you want me to know. I understand that you might want to keep that conversation private.” “Really? That’s very mature of you.” He leaned back on the chaise, closing his eyes, a hint of a smile playing across his lips. “Thank you.” She folded her hands in her lap, not knowing what to say. She couldn’t ask. That wasn’t very ladylike. They sat in silence for what seemed like an eternity, until she was certain she would go mad with curiosity. “Fine! Yes! Of course, I want to know!” Before the words had left her lips, he had started to laugh. “Nine seconds. That’s how long you could go without asking.” She smiled. “Truly? It felt like much longer. A quarter of an hour at least.” He laughed again, pulling her to him, letting her rest her head on his chest. She could hear his heartbeat beneath her ear, slow and steady. When he spoke, she felt the words as much as she heard them. “We talked about my being in love with you. And about my wanting to court you.” Her heart began to pound. “And what did he say?” “He launched into a remarkably detailed lecture regarding the proper order of events when making this kind of request. Specifically, he thought the father should be consulted before the daughter runs any risk whatsoever of being ruined.” She winced, flushing with embarrassment at the idea that her father thought she might be ruined. She looked up at him and said, “What did you say?” “You have beautiful eyes.” “You told my father that he has beautiful eyes?” He smiled. “No. You distracted me. I told your father that, while I was very grateful for the lesson, I doubted I would ever have need of it again—because I was planning to court only one woman in my lifetime.” Her breath caught. “And what did he say?” “Does it matter?” “Not entirely, no.” “You realize that if you allow me to court you, all your opposition to marriage is going to have to be reconsidered.” She smiled, feigning innocence. “What opposition to marriage?” “Excellent.” “But I am thinking we should have a long courtship.” “Why?” He looked surprised. “Because I find I’ve developed a taste for adventure.” “That sounds dangerous. Not at all in character for a delicate flower.” She laughed. “We know I’ve never been good at being a delicate flower. Besides, it shan’t be too dangerous.” “How can you be so sure?” She smiled brilliantly at him, taking his breath away. “Because, on my next adventure, I’ll have you by my side.” He
Sarah MacLean (The Season)
Example 3. (T: Male Mandarin teacher in his late twenties. B1 and B2 boys about 13 years old; G1: a 12-year-old girl.) T: (Speaking slowly as he writes on the whiteboard) 摆-乌-龙 (bai wulong). Mess up. 乌龙 (wulong), black dragon. 乌龙茶 知道吗? Wulong Tea, do you know? Black Dragon tea. 乌龙 (wulong)? means /mI ∫eIp/. (Silence) T: 乌龙 (wulong) /mI ∫eIp/. 摆乌龙 (bai wulong). Mess up. B1: What? T: Made a mistake. Accident. /mI ∫eIp/. G1: /mIshǽp/, you mean? B1: Oh I see. T: What? B2: /mIshǽp/. It’s /mIshǽp/. B1: Not /mI ∫eIp/. T: /mIshǽp/. B1: Yes.
Stephen May (The Multilingual Turn: Implications for SLA, TESOL, and Bilingual Education)
The demolition of the wall of silence, against which the theme of child abuse constantly runs up, marks only the beginning of a long overdue development. It creates the conditions that make it possible to free the truth from the prison of misleading opinions and well-established lies. But for the full unfolding of the truth and its deployment in the service of life, more is required than a merely statistical grasp of the facts. Some people may, for instance, say, "Yes, I was often spanked as a child," while remaining, emotionally, miles from the truth—because they cannot feel. They lack the consciousness, the emotional knowledge, of what it means, as small, defenseless children, to be beaten and shoved around by incensed adults. They say the word "spanked" but thereby identify with the mindless, destructive behavior of the adult who violates, abuses, and destroys the child without the slightest knowledge of or concern for what he is doing and what it may result in. Even Adolf Hitler never denied that he had been beaten. What he denied was that these beatings were painful. And by totally falsifying his feelings, he would become a mass murderer. That would never have occurred had he been capable of feeling, and weeping about, his situation and had he not repressed his justifiable hatred of those responsible for his distress but consciously experienced and comprehended it. Instead he perverted this hatred into ideology. The same holds for Stalin, Ceausescu, and all the other beaten and humiliated children who later turn into tyrants and criminals.
Alice Miller (Breaking Down the Wall of Silence: The Liberating Experience of Facing Painful Truth)
Effective Pauses: Silence is powerful. We told Benjie to use it for emphasis, to encourage Sabaya to keep talking until eventually, like clearing out a swamp, the emotions were drained from the dialogue. 2.​Minimal Encouragers: Besides silence, we instructed using simple phrases, such as “Yes,” “OK,” “Uh-huh,” or “I see,” to effectively convey that Benjie was now paying full attention to Sabaya and all he had to say. 3.​Mirroring: Rather than argue with Sabaya and try to separate Schilling from the “war damages,” Benjie would listen and repeat back what Sabaya said. 4.​Labeling: Benjie should give Sabaya’s feelings a name and identify with how he felt. “It all seems so tragically unfair, I can now see why you sound so angry.” 5.​Paraphrase: Benjie should repeat what Sabaya is saying back to him in Benjie’s own words. This, we told him, would powerfully show him you really do understand and aren’t merely parroting his concerns. 6.​Summarize: A good summary is the combination of rearticulating the meaning of what is said plus the acknowledgment of the emotions underlying that meaning (paraphrasing + labeling = summary). We told Benjie he needed to listen and repeat the “world according to Abu Sabaya.” He needed to fully and completely summarize all the nonsense that Sabaya had come up with about war damages and fishing rights and five hundred years of oppression. And once he did that fully and completely, the only possible response for Sabaya, and anyone faced with a good summary, would be “that’s right.
Chris Voss (Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It)
Daniel.” “Ma.” “Are you well?” She was angry. If the straight-to-voicemail treatment for the last week hadn’t tipped me off, her tone now was a dead giveaway. “I’m great,” I lied. “And how are you?” “Fine.” I laughed, silently. If she heard me laugh, she’d have my balls. “Did you get my messages?” “Yes. Thank you for calling.” I waited for a minute, for her to say more. She didn’t. “I leave you twenty-one messages, three calls a day, and that’s all you got for me?” “I’m not going to apologize for needing some time to cool off and I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Who do you think I am? Willy Wonka? You missed my birthday.” She sniffed. And these weren’t crocodile tears either. I’d hurt her feelings. Ahh, there it is. The acrid taste of guilt. “Ma . . .” “I don’t ask for a lot. I love you. I love my children. I want you to call me on my birthday.” “I know.” I was clutching my chest so my heart didn’t fall out and bleed all over the grass. “What could have been so important that you couldn’t spare a few minutes for your mother? I was so worried.” “I did call you—” “Don’t shit on a plate and tell me it’s fudge, Daniel. You called after midnight.” I hadn’t come up with a plausible lie for why I hadn’t called on her birthday, because I wasn’t a liar. I hated lying. Premeditated lying, coming up with a story ahead of time, crafting it, was Seamus’s game. If I absolutely had to lie, I subscribed to spur-of-the-moment lying; it made me less of a soulless maggot. “That’s true, Ma. But I swear I—” “Don’t you fucking swear, Daniel. Don’t you fucking do that. I raised you kids better.” “Sorry, sorry.” “What was so important, huh?” She heaved a watery sigh. “I thought you were in a ditch, dying somewhere. I had Father Matthew on standby to give you your last rights. Was your phone broken?” “No.” “Did you forget?” Her voice broke on the last word and it was like being stabbed. The worst. “No, I sw—ah, I mean, I didn’t forget.” Lie. Lying lie. Lying liar. “Then what?” I grimaced, shutting my eyes, taking a deep breath and said, “I’m married.” Silence. Complete fucking silence. I thought maybe she wasn’t even breathing. Meanwhile, in my brain: Oh. Shit. What. The. Fuck. Have. I. Done. . . . However. However, on the other hand, I was married. I am married. Not a lie. Yeah, we hadn’t had the ceremony yet, but the paperwork was filed, and legally speaking, Kat and I were married. I listened as my mom took a breath, said nothing, and then took another. “Are you pulling my leg with this?” On the plus side, she didn’t sound sad anymore. “No, no. I promise. I’m married. I—uh—was getting married.” “Wait a minute, you got married on my birthday?” Uh . . . “Uh . . .” “Daniel?” “No. We didn’t get married on your birthday.” Shit. Fuck. “We’ve been married for a month, and Kat had an emergency on Wednesday.” Technically, not lies. “That’s her name? Cat?” “Kathleen. Her name is Kathleen.” “Like your great aunt Kathleen?” Kat wasn’t a thing like my great aunt. “Yeah, the name is spelled the same.” “Last month? You got married last month?” She sounded bewildered, like she was having trouble keeping up. “Is she—is she Irish?” “No.” “Oh. That’s okay. Catholic?” Oh jeez, I really hadn’t thought this through. Maybe it was time for me to reconsider my spur-of-the-moment approach to lying and just surrender to being a soulless maggot. “No. She’s not Catholic.” “Oh.” My mom didn’t sound disappointed, just a little surprised and maybe a little worried. “Daniel, I—you were married last month and I’m only hearing about it now? How long have you known this woman?” I winced. “Two and a half years.” “Two and a half years?” she screeched...
Penny Reid (Marriage of Inconvenience (Knitting in the City, #7))
You’re still kind of pale though,” she worried, gazing at his face, running her finger along one of his cheekbones. “And your face is still pretty thin.” Gage glanced sideways, trying to avoid the attention. “I’m fine. My leg looks worse than it feels.” “No, it doesn’t,” Etienne teased him. “You’re just being brave.” “No, I’m not. It really doesn’t feel that bad.” “Well, at least you can feel something now,” Parker remarked offhandedly. “The night you got hurt, you couldn’t feel much of anything.” “I couldn’t?” “You mean, the girls didn’t tell you?” Feigning concern, Parker shook his head. “Well, they had to…you know…test a lot of places on you. Just to see if you could still feel.” The flush had already started up Gage’s cheeks. “That’s true,” Roo agreed. “Of course…some places were a lot more fun to test than others.” “A whole lot more fun to test than others,” Ashley insisted. Gage’s embarrassment reached full blush. Hiding a smile, Ashley pressed her palm to his forehead. “But you’re sure you feel fine now? Because you look a little hot.” “He is hot,” Roo answered. “Oh. Oh, you mean his temperature.” “Stop,” poor Gage mumbled. “I’m fine.” Etienne motioned to Ashley, his expression perfectly serious. “Come on. Y’all know how Gage is--he’s suffering in silence ’cause he doesn’t want to look weak in front of you women.” “Cut it out,” Gage said. “No, really. We all know you’re just being modest.” “Shut up.” Roo fixed Gage with an owlish stare. “You cried when you broke your leg.” “I did not.” “Yes, you did. You cried. You’re a crybaby.” The best Parker could offer was a sympathetic shrug. “Sorry, little soldier. You cried.” Gage looked longingly at the truck. Taking pity on him at last, the others stopped teasing and turned their attention back to their project.
Richie Tankersley Cusick (Walk of the Spirits (Walk, #1))
Was there anything in it?” she asked, not bothering to wipe the tear tracing the rim of her nose. “Our summer here, all those long walks and even longer conversations? When you kissed me that night, did it mean anything to you?” When he did not answer, she took three paces in his direction. “I know how proud you must be of those enigmatic silences, but I believe I deserve an answer.” She stood between his icy silence and the heated aura of the fire. Scorched on one side, bitterly cold on the other— like a slice of toast someone had forgotten to turn. “What sort of answer would you like to hear?” “An honest one.” “Are you certain? It’s my experience that young ladies vastly prefer fictions. Little stories, like Portia’s gothic novel.” “I am as fond of a good tale as anyone,” she replied, “but in this instance, I wish to know the truth.” “So you say. Let us try an experiment, shall we?” He rose from his chair and sauntered toward her, his expression one of jaded languor. His every movement a negotiation between aristocratic grace and sheer brute strength. Power. He radiated power in every form— physical, intellectual, sensual— and he knew it. He knew that she sensed it. The fire was unbearably warm now. Blistering, really. Sweat beaded at her hairline, but Cecily would not retreat. “I could tell you,” he said darkly, seductively, “that I kissed you that night because I was desperate with love for you, overcome with passion, and that the color of my ardor has only deepened with time and separation. And that when I lay on a battlefield bleeding my guts out, surrounded by meaningless death and destruction, I remembered that kiss and was able to believe that there was something of innocence and beauty in this world, and it was you.” He took her hand and brought it to his lips. Almost. Warm breath caressed her fingertips. “Do you like that answer?” She gave a breathless nod. She was a fool; she couldn’t help it. “You see?” He kissed her fingers. “Young ladies prefer fictions.” “You are a cad.” Cecily wrenched her hand away and balled it into a fist. “An arrogant, insufferable cad.” “Yes, yes. Now we come to the truth. Shall I give you an honest answer, then? That I kissed you that night for no other reason than that you looked uncommonly pretty and fresh, and though I doubted my ability to vanquish Napoleon, it was some balm to my pride to conquer you, to feel you tremble under my touch? And that now I return from war, to find everything changed, myself most of all. I scarcely recognize my surroundings, except . . .” He cupped her chin in his hand and lightly framed her jaw between his thumb and forefinger. “Except Cecily Hale still looks at me with stars in her eyes, the same as she ever did. And when I touch her, she still trembles.” Oh. She was trembling. He swept his thumb across her cheek, and even her hair shivered. “And suddenly . . .” His voice cracked. Some unrehearsed emotion pitched his dispassionate drawl into a warm, expressive whisper. “Suddenly, I find myself determined to keep this one thing constant in my universe. Forever.” -Cecily & Luke
Tessa Dare (The Legend of the Werestag)
I love watching from high up like this,” she said. “Me too,” said Peashot. “It’s like walking across the bridge over Regent Street where you can see the whole city market underneath you, and there are lots of nice piles of goat and horse dung that … some other children drop on those ratty, bribe-collecting hygiene inspectors that the whole city hates.” Liru chuckled. “I have been doing that for years.” “So you’re one of us! I’ve never been able to hit the chief inspector though. He’s really been –” “I meant watching from the bridge.” Peashot’s face drained. “Uh, yes, I meant that too. What I was trying to say was that I couldn’t get a good view of him. Sometimes when I use ‘hit’ like that I actually mean ‘see’.” The silence was rigid. Aedan squirmed for Peashot. Liru turned back after a while. “I got him once,” she said and grinned, jabbing Peashot in the ribs. Aedan laughed. “I warned you about her sense of humour,” he said.
Jonathan Renshaw (Dawn of Wonder (The Wakening, #1))
Every Saturday, my brother and I helped our parents with household chores, such as dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning. My dad often said, “Cleanliness is next to godliness,” and after meeting Jase, I quickly realized that the Robertson family did not regard this proverb as highly as my family did. I remember one Saturday when Jase called me and asked if we could go out that night. I told him I’d like to but I had to dust first. “Dust?” he asked. “What does that mean?” “You know, dust the furniture.” Silence. “Like, take a rag, spray Pledge onto the furniture, and wipe it clean.” Yes, I actually had to explain to Jase that the word dust could be used as a verb as well as a noun.
Missy Robertson (Blessed, Blessed ... Blessed: The Untold Story of Our Family's Fight to Love Hard, Stay Strong, and Keep the Faith When Life Can't Be Fixed)
Servants entered with soup and bread, no doubt delicious, but neither Grayden nor I had much of an appetite. We didn’t speak, either. This, ironically, Steldor found interesting. His eyes flicked to me several times during the meal, and he made no effort to hide his mirth. Finally, my suitor managed to ask, “How have you been?” “Well.” The awful silence recommenced, and I started counting the seconds, hoping Steldor would interrupt and take me home. He didn’t; he was enjoying our plight. “How h-have you been?” I stuttered. “Oh, I’ve been well, as well.” I laughed. “’Well, as well.’ How very…articulate.” I paled, for he could consider my comment an insult. I needed to win him over in a hurry if I were to salvage our time together. Grayden chuckled, rescuing me from embarrassment. “I thought I heard your uncle say that you have been ill. Is that true?” And here I thought the situation could not get any more awkward. “My uncle is an honest man,” I said, trying to dodge the topic. “Of course! I certainly didn’t mean to imply otherwise.” “And I didn’t mean to imply that you meant to imply…anything.” We stared at each other, and I could see that Grayden was on the verge of laughing. I probably would have laughed myself, but the spatter of freckles across his nose forced me to look down at my napkin. My eyes welled at the powerful recollections sweeping through me, and at the images of handsome, strong, charismatic Saadi that rose unbidden in my mind. “Are you all right?” Grayden asked. I raised my gaze to his and forced my tone to brighten. “Yes, I’m sorry, just a speck of dust in my eye.” “I understand. Perhaps some fresh air would help.” He was unexpectedly astute, but at least was not asking any more questions. He glanced at Steldor, who motioned us from the room with but one piece of advice for me. “You’ll have to scream more loudly from out there.” Grayden escorted me into the corridor and through a back door that I anticipated would open upon a garden. But what I saw instead was my version of Eden--a row of paddocks beside a large stable, all filled with beautiful horses. “I’m afraid it’s not exactly fresh air,” Grayden jested, walking to lean against the nearest fence, leaving me to follow. “It’s fresh enough.” I gaped at the well-bred animals, not even aware of Grayden’s eyes on me. “Your uncle told me of your love for horses, Shaselle,” he said, startling me out of my trance.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
Father? Mother?” Jonas asked tentatively after the evening meal. “I have a question I want to ask you.” “What is it, Jonas?” his father asked. He made himself say the words, though he felt flushed with embarrassment. He had rehearsed them in his mind all the way home from the Annex. “Do you love me?” There was an awkward silence for a moment. Then Father gave a little chuckle. “Jonas. You, of all people. Precision of language, please!” “What do you mean?” Jonas asked. Amusement was not at all what he had anticipated. “Your father means that you used a very generalized word, so meaningless that it’s become almost obsolete,” his mother explained carefully. Jonas stared at them. Meaningless? He had never before felt anything as meaningful as the memory. “And of course our community can’t function smoothly if people don’t use precise language. You could ask, ‘Do you enjoy me?’ The answer is ‘Yes,’” his mother said. “Or,” his father suggested, “‘Do you take pride in my accomplishments?’ And the answer is wholeheartedly ‘Yes.’” “Do you understand why it’s inappropriate to use a word like ‘love’?” Mother asked. Jonas nodded. “Yes, thank you, I do,” he replied slowly. It was his first lie to his parents.
Lois Lowry (The Giver (The Giver, #1))
You have an accent I do not recognize," he was saying. 'Tis certainly not local…." "Really, Lord Gareth — you should rest, not try to talk. Save your strength." "My dear angel, I can assure you I'd much rather talk to you, than lie here in silence and wonder if I shall live to see the next sunrise. I ... do not wish to be alone with my thoughts at the moment. Pray, amuse me, would you?" She sighed. "Very well, then. I'm from Boston." "County of Lincolnshire?" "Colony of Massachusetts." His smile faded. "Ah, yes ... Boston."  The town's name fell wearily from his lips and he let his eyes drift shut, as though that single word had drained him of his remaining strength. "You're a long way from home, aren't you?" "Farther, perhaps, than I should be," she said, cryptically. He seemed not to hear her. "I had a brother who died over there last year, fighting the rebels.... He was a captain in the Fourth. I miss him dreadfully." Juliet leaned the side of her face against the squab and took a deep, bracing breath. If this man died, he would never know just who the little girl playing so contentedly with his cravat was. He would never know that the stranger who was caring for him during his final moments was the woman his brother had loved, would never know just why she — a long way from home, indeed — had come to England. It was now or never. "Yes," she whispered, tracing a thin crack in the squab near her face. "So do I." "Sorry?" "I said, yes. I miss him too." "Forgive me, but I don't quite understand...."  And then he blanched and stiffened as the truth hit him with debilitating force. His eyes widened, their lazy dreaminess fading. His head rose halfway out of her lap. He stared at her and blinked, and in the sudden, charged silence that filled the coach, Juliet heard the pounding tattoo of her own heart, felt his gaze boring into the underside of her chin as his mind, dulled by pain and shock, quickly put the pieces together. Boston. Juliet. I miss him, too. He gave an incredulous little laugh. "No," he said, slowly shaking his head, as though he suspected he was the butt of some horrible joke or worse, knew she was telling the truth and could not find a way to accept it. He scrutinized her features, his gaze moving over every aspect of her face. "We all thought ... I mean, Lucien said he tried to locate you ... No, I am hallucinating, I must be!  You cannot be the same Juliet. Not his Juliet —" "I am," she said quietly. "His Juliet. And now I've come to England to throw myself on the mercy of his family, as he bade me to do should anything happen to him." "But this is just too extraordinary, I cannot believe —" Juliet was gazing out the window into the darkness again. "He told you about me, then?" "Told us? His letters home were filled with nothing but declarations of love for his 'colonial maiden,' his 'fair Juliet' — he said he was going to marry you. I ... you ... dear God, you have shocked my poor brain into speechlessness, Miss Paige. I do not believe you are here, in the flesh!" "Believe it," she said, miserably. "If Charles had lived, you and I would have been brother and sister. Don't die, Lord Gareth. I have no wish to see yet another de Montforte brother into an early grave." He settled back against her arm and flung one bloodstained wrist across his eyes, his body shaking. For a moment she thought the shock of her revelation had killed him. But no. Beneath the lace of his sleeve she could see his gleaming grin, and Juliet realized that he was not dying but convulsing with giddy, helpless mirth. For the life of her, she did not see what was so funny. "Then this baby —" he managed, sliding his wrist up his brow to peer up at her with gleaming eyes — "this baby —" "Is your niece.
Danelle Harmon (The Wild One (The de Montforte Brothers, #1))
Er. Shouldn’t be too much of a problem,’ he added. ‘People used to think it was, but I’m pretty sure it’s all a matter of energy absorption and attention to relative velocities.’ The statement was followed with the kind of mystified and suspicious silence that generally succeeded one of his remarks. ‘Relative velocities,’ said Ridcully. ‘Yes, Archchancellor.’ Ponder looked down at his prototype slide rule and waited. He knew that Ridcully would feel it necessary to add a comment at this point in order to demonstrate that he’d grasped something. ‘My mother could move like lightning when—’ ‘I mean how fast things are going when compared to other things,’ Ponder said quickly, but not quite quickly enough.
Terry Pratchett (Interesting Times (Discworld, #17))
The Vase The bouquet of flowers in the vase is two weeks old, Or maybe a little older? They are all wilted and dead now. The scene is much like a mass grave, Each flower has died in its own way. The first flower—the biggest in the bunch— Opened as widely as it could. Each of its petals dried up. The second one seemed as though it had tried To bend itself towards the end of her life, It broke her neck as she dried in silence. The third flower tried to close after opening, As she felt her life was coming to an end. She died closed. The fourth flower looked like she had started to sacrifice herself For the sake of everyone else around her. She, too, dropped most of her petals, And died naked, except for one or two petals. The fifth flower didn’t have time to open, Or perhaps she realized the futility of opening up in such a tight vase. She also wilted and dried prematurely and half-opened. The sixth flower died very young, Before having a chance to bloom. The colorless water in the vase is now yellowish and dead. Yes, waters die too. For colorless waters, death can be colorful. April 12, 2013
Louis Yako (أنا زهرة برية [I am a Wildflower])
What do you want with me?” I ask, toeing a nearby pebble. I sense rather than see War’s eyes draw down my face. “Isn’t it obvious?” My gaze moves to his. “No.” It’s not. From the few stories I’ve heard, this man has bagged himself a city’s worth of women—a big fucking city’s worth—and yet he hasn’t done more than touched my cheek and claimed that I’m his wife. “Would you like me to tell you then?” he asks, his voice deceptively soft. My pulse picks up. “Yes.” “I want you to surrender.” A beat of silence passes. I have no clue what that actually means, but I note that chaining me to a bed and feasting on my pussy were not mentioned. Shame. Under the right circumstances (a.k.a., lots and lots of booze), I could actually get behind that one.
Laura Thalassa (War (The Four Horsemen, #2))
Yes,’ said Raphael. ‘Here you can only see a representation of a river or a mountain, but in our world – the other world – you can see the actual river and the actual mountain.’ This annoyed me. ‘I do not see why you say I can only see a representation in this World,’ I said with some sharpness. ‘The word “only” suggests a relationship of inferiority. You make it sound as if the Statue was somehow inferior to the thing itself. I do not see that that is the case at all. I would argue that the Statue is superior to the thing itself, the Statue being perfect, eternal and not subject to decay.’ ‘Sorry,’ said Raphael. ‘I didn’t mean to disparage your world.’ There was a silence. ‘What is the Other World like?’ I asked. Raphael looked as if she did not know quite how to answer this question. ‘There are more people,’ she said at last. ‘A lot more?’ I asked. ‘Yes.’ ‘As many as seventy?’ I asked, deliberately choosing a high, rather improbable number. ‘Yes,’ she said. Then she smiled. ‘Why do you smile?’ I asked. ‘It’s the way you raise your eyebrow at me. That dubious, rather imperious look. Do you know who you look like when you do that?’ ‘No. Who?’ ‘You look like Matthew Rose Sorensen. Like photos of him that I’ve seen.’ ‘How do you know that there are more than seventy people?’ I asked. ‘Have you counted them yourself?’ ‘No, but I’m fairly sure,’ she said. ‘It’s not always a pleasant world, the other world. There’s a lot of sadness.’ She paused. ‘A lot of sadness,’ she said again. ‘It’s not like here.’ She sighed. ‘I need you to understand something. Whether you come back with me or not, it’s up to you. Ketterley tricked you. He kept you here with lies and deceit. I don’t want to trick you. You must only come if you want to.’ ‘And if I stay here will you come back and visit me?’ I said. ‘Of course,’ she said. Other
Susanna Clarke (Piranesi)
There was no one else in the elevator, and we rode in a silence that became increasingly tense. I shifted my weight from side to side and fiddled with one of the two plastic cards the desk clerk had given us. I cleared my throat. “So here we are,” I said. “Heading up to our hotel room.” Murphy’s cheeks turned pink. “You are a pig, Dresden.” “Hey, I didn’t put any innuendo into that. You did it yourself.” She rolled her eyes, smiling a little. I watched numbers change on the elevator panel. I coughed. “Yes, sirree. Alone together.” “It’s a little weird,” she admitted. “A little weird,” I agreed. “Should it be?” she asked. “I mean, we’re just working together. We’ve done that before.
Jim Butcher (Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files, #8))
Mystery is the sugar in the cup,' said the Doctor. She picked up the container of white crystals the delicatessen had included in the picnic basket and poured a large dollop into her cognac. 'I don’t think I’d do that, Gunilla,' said Darcourt. 'Nobody wants you to do it, Simon. I am doing it, and that’s enough. That is the curse of life—when people want everybody to do the same wise, stupid thing. Listen: Do you want to know what life is? I’ll tell you. Life is a drama.' 'Shakespeare was ahead of you, Gunilla,' said Darcourt. '"All the world’s a stage,"' he declaimed. 'Shakespeare had the mind of a grocer,' said Gunilla. 'A poet, yes, but the soul of a grocer. He wanted to please people.' 'That was his trade,' said Darcourt. 'And it’s yours, too. Don’t you want this opera to please people?' 'Yes, I do. But that is not philosophy. Hoffmann was no philosopher. Now be quiet, everybody, and listen, because this is very important. Life is a drama. I know. I am a student of the divine Goethe, not that grocer Shakespeare. Life is a drama. But it is a drama we have never understood and most of us are very poor actors. That is why our lives seem to lack meaning and we look for meaning in toys—money, love, fame. Our lives seem to lack meaning but'—the Doctor raised a finger to emphasize her great revelation—'they don’t, you know.' She seemed to be having some difficulty in sitting upright, and her natural pallor had become ashen. 'You’re off the track, Nilla,' said Darcourt. 'I think we all have a personal myth. Maybe not much of a myth, but anyhow a myth that has its shape and its pattern somewhere outside our daily world.' 'This is all too deep for me,' said Yerko. 'I am glad I am a Gypsy and do not have to have a philosophy and an explanation for everything. Madame, are you not well?' Too plainly the Doctor was not well. Yerko, an old hand at this kind of illness, lifted her to her feet and gently, but quickly, took her to the door—the door to the outside parking lot. There were terrible sounds of whooping, retching, gagging, and pitiful cries in a language which must have been Swedish. When at last he brought a greatly diminished Gunilla back to the feast, he thought it best to prop her, in a seated position, against the wall. At once she sank sideways to the floor. 'That sugar was really salt,' said Darcourt. 'I knew it, but she wouldn’t listen. Her part in the great drama now seems to call for a long silence.' 'When she comes back to life I shall give her a shot of my personal plum brandy,' said Yerko. 'Will you have one now, Priest Simon?
Robertson Davies (The Lyre of Orpheus (Cornish Trilogy, #3))
From the bathroom came an unpleasant and characteristic sound. "Is there anything the matter?" Helmholtz called. There was no answer. The unpleasant sound was repeated, twice; there was silence. Then, with a click the bathroom door opened and, very pale, the Savage emerged. "I say," Helmholtz exclaimed solicitously, "you do look ill, John!" "Did you eat something that didn't agree with you?" asked Bernard. The Savage nodded. "I ate civilization." "What?" "It poisoned me; I was defiled. And then," he added, in a lower tone, "I ate my own wickedness." "Yes, but what exactly? ... I mean, just now you were ..." "Now I am purified," said the Savage. "I drank some mustard and warm water.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
Several years ago, Edward Farrell of Detroit took his two-week summer vacation to Ireland to celebrate his favorite uncle's eightieth birthday. On the morning of the great day, Ed and his uncle got up before dawn, dressed in silence, and went for a walk along the shores of Lake Killarney. Just as the sun rose, his uncle turned and stared straight at the rising orb. Ed stood beside him for twenty minutes with not a single word exchanged. Then the elderly uncle began to skip along the shoreline, a radiant smile on his face. After catching up with him, Ed commented, "Uncle Seamus, you look very happy. Do you want to tell me why?" "Yes, lad," the old man said, tears washing down his face. "You see, the Father is very fond of me. Ah, me Father is very fond of me." ... If you too can answer with gut-level honesty, "Oh yes, the Father is very fond of me," there comes a relaxedness and serenity, a compassionate attitude toward yourself in your brokenness, that elucidates the meaning of tenderness.
Brennan Manning (The Wisdom of Tenderness: What Happens When God's Fierce Mercy Transforms Our Lives)
mattered very much. was That evening, Marie came to see me and asked me if I wanted to marry her. I said that it was all the same to me and that we could get married if she wanted to. Then she wanted to know if I loved her. I replied as I had once before that that didn't mean anything, but said I was pretty sure I didn't love her. 'Why marry me, then?' she asked. I explained that it was of no importance whatsoever but if that was what she wanted, we could get married. And besides, she was the one asking and I was happy to say yes. She then remarked that marriage was a serious business. I said: 'Not at all. She said nothing for a moment, just looked at me in silence. Then she spoke. She simply wanted to know if I would say yes to any other woman who asked me, if I were involved with her in the same way. I said: 'Of course.' She then wondered if she loved me, but there was no way I could know anything about that. After another moment's silence, she murmured that I was very strange, that she undoubtedly loved me for that very reason, but that one day she might find me repulsive, for the same reason. When I said nothing, because I had nothing more to say, she smiled, put her arm through mine and said that she wanted to marry me. I said we could do it as soon as she wanted.
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
That evening, Marie came to see me and asked me if I wanted to marry her. I said that it was all the same to me and that we could get married if she wanted to. Then she wanted to know if I loved her. I replied as I had once before that that didn't mean anything, but said I was pretty sure I didn't love her. 'Why marry me, then?' she asked. I explained that it was of no importance whatsoever but if that was what she wanted, we could get married. And besides, she was the one asking and I was happy to say yes. She then remarked that marriage was a serious business. I said: 'Not at all. She said nothing for a moment, just looked at me in silence. Then she spoke. She simply wanted to know if I would say yes to any other woman who asked me, if I were involved with her in the same way. I said: 'Of course.' She then wondered if she loved me, but there was no way I could know anything about that. After another moment's silence, she murmured that I was very strange, that she undoubtedly loved me for that very reason, but that one day she might find me repulsive, for the same reason. When I said nothing, because I had nothing more to say, she smiled, put her arm through mine and said that she wanted to marry me. I said we could do it as soon as she wanted.
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
Far away beyond the pine-woods," he answered, in a low, dreamy voice, "there is a little garden. There the grass grows long and deep, there are the great white stars of the hemlock flower, there the nightingale sings all night long. All night long he sings, and the cold crystal moon looks down, and the yew-tree spreads out its giant arms over the sleepers." Virginia's eyes grew dim with tears, and she hid her face in her hands. "You mean the Garden of Death," she whispered. "Yes, death. Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one's head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no to-morrow. To forget time, to forget life, to be at peace. You can help me. You can open for me the portals of death's house, for love is always with you, and love is stronger than death is.
Oscar Wilde (The Canterville Ghost)