Silently Missing You Quotes

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Boy is he pissed," said Adrian. "Do you blame him?" asked Christian. "He just lost memerbship in the evil mastermind club. His brilliant plan fell apart, and now his daughter's missing when he thought she was somewhere safe." Adrian stayed pointedly silent.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
I miss your silent stature, your avoided days of disaster, your present state of distress. I’m cinnamon, cloves and fire, you are the rested cedarwood of desire.
Coco J. Ginger
Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron,” Sebastian said approvingly. “Excellent choice.” “You have read this?” Alexei asked. “It’s not as good as Miss Davenport and the Dark Marquis, of course, but worlds better than Miss Sainsbury and the Mysterious Colonel.” Harry found himself rendered speechless. “I’m reading Miss Truesdale and the Silent Gentleman right now.” “Silent?” Harry echoed. “There is a noticeable lack of dialogue,” Sebastian confirmed.
Julia Quinn (What Happens in London (Bevelstoke, #2))
You don't become an 'artist' unless you've got something missing somewhere. Blaise Pascal called it a God-shaped hole. Everyone's got one but some are blacker and wider than others. It's a feeling of being abandoned,cut adrift in space and time-sometimes following the loss of a loved one. You can never completely fill that hole-you can try with songs,family,faith and by living a full life...but when things are silent, you can still hear the hissing of what's missing.
Bono
I miss our Would You Rather conversations and your hilarious answers. I miss your laugh. I miss the way I feel when I make you laugh. Like I just won something really important. I miss just sitting with you in perfect, silent understanding. I miss the way you never judge anyone. It’s such a rare find, Liv. And I miss watching how kind you are with everyone. I miss being able to call you and talk to you about random shit and important shit. I miss my best friend. I miss you. I love you.
Samantha Young (Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street, #3))
Gods, how I’ve missed you. (Stryker) I hate you with every beat of my heart. (Zephyra)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (One Silent Night (Dark-Hunter, #15))
The opportunity was too perfect to miss. Harry crept silently around behind Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle, bent down, and scooped a large handful of mud out of the path. 'We were just talking about your friend Hagrid,' Malfoy said to Ron. 'Just trying to imagine what he's saying to the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures. D'you think he'll cry when they cut off his hippogriff's—' SPLAT. Malfoy's head jerked back as the mud hit him; his silverblond hair was suddenly dripping in muck.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
Looks like I missed a party. Good. I wasn’t really in the mood to off demons this evening. Haven’t had my coffee yet. (Jared) You drink coffee? (Stryker) No, but it was my pathetic attempt at humor. (Jared)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (One Silent Night (Dark-Hunter, #15))
The man hates your guts more than Stryker does. You’ll be lucky if he doesn’t pull your spine out through your nostrils. (Tory) Nice to have Miss Merry Sunshine back again. Any other Eeyore outlooks you’d like to share? (Acheron)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (One Silent Night (Dark-Hunter, #15))
That said, in the two weeks before I leave for the Dark Days tour, I am going radio silent, which means I will be avoiding the Internet at all costs in order to revise, revise, revise. I will miss you. Tris says hi, though.
Veronica Roth
No. I came here to see you. I didn’t believe the rumors,but after hearing it on so many continents I had to come andsee for myself.” “See what?” His eyes widened in adulation, his voice taking on areverent tone. “If it was true that Helen of Troy, nay, Aphrodite herself had been reincarnated in gym teacher form.” The room was utterly silent. Except Vicious Redhead’s jaw dropping to the ground with a little plink. Or maybe I imagined that. And then the class did the worst thingpossible: They started giggling. Miss Lynn was going tomurder me.
Kiersten White (Supernaturally (Paranormalcy, #2))
He scanned the skies beyond her for the Thirteen, for Asterin Blackbeak, undoubtedly roaring her victory to the stars. Manon said quietly, “You will not find them. In this sky, or any other.” His heart strained as he understood. As the loss of those twelve fierce, brilliant lives carved another hole within him. One he would not forget, one he would honor. Silently, he crossed the balcony. Manon did not back away as he slid his arms around her. “I am sorry,” he said into her hair. Tentatively, slowly, her hands drifted across his back. Then settled, embracing him. “I miss them,” she whispered, shuddering. Dorian only held her tighter, and let Manon lean on him for as long as she needed, Abraxos staring toward that blasted bit of earth on the plain, toward the mate who would never return, while the city below celebrated.
Sarah J. Maas (Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7))
It turned out missing someone never became easier, it just became quieter. You learned to live with the longing pain inside you. You mourned the moments you’d shared and allowed yourself to hurt sometimes, too.
Brittainy C. Cherry (The Silent Waters (Elements, #3))
You were a quiet man, yet you took up a vast amount of silent space and that was what I missed.
Tatiana de Rosnay (The House I Loved)
during this century (the twentieth) we have for the first time been dominated by non-interactive forms of entertainment: cinema, radio, recorded music and television. Before they came along all entertainment was interactive: theatre, music, sport - the performers and audience were there together, and even a respectfully silent audience exerted a powerful shaping presence on the unfolding of whatever drama they were there for. We didn't need a special word for interactivity in the same way that we don't (yet) need a special word for people with only one head. I expect that history will show "normal" mainstream twentieth century media to be the aberration in all this. 'Please, miss, you mean they could only just sit there and watch? They couldn't do anything? Didn't everybody feel terribly isolated or alienated or ignored?' Yes, child, that's why they all went mad. Before the Restoration.' What was the Restoration again, please, miss?' The end of the twentieth century, child. When we started to get interactivity back.
Douglas Adams
It turned out missing someone never became easier, it just became quieter. You learned to live with the longing pain inside you.
Brittainy C. Cherry (The Silent Waters (Elements, #3))
What are you doing here? (Stryker) (She answered his question with a stroke of her dagger that narrowly missed his throat.) I thought we’d catch up on old times. Maybe play Parcheesi. (Stryker)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (One Silent Night (Dark-Hunter, #15))
And my biggest fear would be forever missing a piece. You see our story was never complete, and it's supposed to be finished but you haven't yet heard all of me. So listen because my biggest fear would be missing out on how it truly feels . I will forever miss a touch though i never tried it on my face; i might miss how cold it is and i might miss how warm it left me, i might miss how it perfectly traces every line and i might miss how it gets lost everytime. I will forever miss a hand that held my heart, one that only learnt how to wave goodbye, one that only learnt how to part, i will never know how your fingers interlaced with mine, though i have been always sure that they fit perfectly inside. And I know i will definitely miss waking up to your eyes, i will miss knowing they see right through me, i will miss having that subtle silent stare reassure my heart. And a very long playlist will go to waste, no slow dancing not on the kitchen floor and never once in the rain.Just know I already miss having your back, but you are the one who turned yours and i don't know if i should ever forgive that.
Mennah al Refaey
Though people are laughing at the dirt surrounding you, they are missing to see the seeds also planted, growing silently within.
Anthony Liccione
We have to ask ourselves why we are so focused on silent girly-girls in G-strings faking lust. This is not a sign of progress, it's a testament to what's still missing from our understanding of human sexuality with all its complexity and power. We are still so uneasy with the vicissitudes of sex we need to surround ourselves with caricatures of female hotness to safely conjure up the concept of 'sexy.' When you think about it, it's kind of pathetic.
Ariel Levy
Then I guess we cannot miss the famous festival in New Orleans," he found himself saying, just to take the shadows from her eyes. She was silent a moment, her fingers twisting in the blanket. "Do you mean it, Gregori? We can go?" "You know how much I love crowds of humans," he said, straight-faced. She laughed at him. "They don't bite." "I do," he said, the words low and soft, his silver gaze at once possessive.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
Up steps, three, six, nine, twelve! Slap! Their palms hit the library door. * * * They opened the door and stepped in. They stopped. The library deeps lay waiting for them. Out in the world, not much happened. But here in the special night, a land bricked with paper and leather, anything might happen, always did. Listen! and you heard ten thousand people screaming so high only dogs feathered their ears. A million folk ran toting cannons, sharpening guillotines; Chinese, four abreast marched on forever. Invisible, silent, yes, but Jim and Will had the gift of ears and noses as well as the gift of tongues. This was a factory of spices from far countries. Here alien deserts slumbered. Up front was the desk where the nice old lady, Miss Watriss, purple-stamped your books, but down off away were Tibet and Antarctica, the Congo. There went Miss Wills, the other librarian, through Outer Mongolia, calmly toting fragments of Peiping and Yokohama and the Celebes.
Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2))
You do not esteem good deeds?" She shifted the basket handle to both hands, just as a cool breeze blew a bonnet string across her face. "My dear Miss Keene, what would the world be without them?" He brushed the string from her cheek. "Are we not admonished to be doers and not merely hearers of His word? Yet not on a mountain of good deeds can we climb our way to heaven.
Julie Klassen (The Silent Governess)
Why do you ask?" "Because I can." "You can what?" "I can go in the private collection!" I scurried toward him. "My father had a lifetime subscriptioin, Mr. Sheridan, and not just that, but he had special privileges. I'm certain I could use his name to get you into the private collection." Daniel's jaw fell. "Why didn't you say so before?" "What?" I recoiled. "How was I supposed to know you needed it?" "We could've gone ages ago!" My enthusiasm transformed into outrage. "In that case, why didn't you say you needed it?" "Because I didn't know you had a subscription!" "Aha!" I cried, thrusting a finger at him. "Your argument's a circle!" Daniel sprang up. "We wasted all this time-" "Silence!" Joseph roared. "You are like squawking parrots, and I have had quite enough. Miss Fitt, I would ask that you take Mr. Sheridan to the library immediately. Daniel, I would ask that you keep that big mouth of yours silent.
Susan Dennard (Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1))
I’m in love with you, Clay,” I tell her. The car falls silent, like my brothers are afraid to breathe because they might miss something. Her lips open a little, and God, the softness that hits her eyes makes her look like she’d blow over in a light breeze. I swear I see a smile desperate to get out, and I want to say it again. “Just kidding.” I force a scoff. “Just wanted you to see how fucking gay you are.
Penelope Douglas (Tryst Six Venom)
As I brush my teeth, I scroll through my phone to see if Sabrina texted when my phone was on silent last night. She didn’t. Damn. I was hoping my speech—and that amazing fucking kiss—might’ve changed her mind about going out with me, but I guess it didn’t. I do, however, find the most mind-boggling conversation in the group chat I have with my roommates. All the messages are from last night, and they’re bizarre as fuck. Garrett: The hells, D?! Dean: It’s not what you think!! Logan: It’s hard to mistake ur romantic bath with that giant pink thing! In ur ass! Dean: It wasn’t in my ass! Garrett: I’m not even going to ask where it was Dean: I had a girl over! Garrett: Suuuuuuuuure Logan: Suuuuuuuuure Dean: I hate you guys Garrett: <3 Logan: <3 I rinse my mouth out, spit, and drop the toothbrush into the little cup on the sink. Then I quickly type out a text. Me: Wait… what did I miss? Since we have practice in twenty minutes, the guys are already awake and clearly on their phones. Two photos pop up simultaneously. Garrett and Logan have both sent me pics of pink dildos. I’m even more confused now. Dean messages immediately with, Why do you guys have dildo pics handy? Logan: ALINIMB Dean: ?? Me: ?? Garrett: At Least It’s Not In My Butt. I snort to myself, because I’m starting to piece it together. Logan: Nice, G! U got that on the first try! Garrett: We spend too much time 2gether. Me: PLEASE tell me u caught D playing w/ dildos. Logan: Sure did. Dean is quick to object again. I HAD A GIRL OVER! The guys and I rag on him for a couple more minutes, but I have to stop when Fitzy stumbles into the bathroom and shoves me aside. He’s got crazy bedhead and he’s buck-naked. “Gotta piss,” he mumbles. “Mornin’, sunshine,” I say cheerfully. “Want me to make you some coffee?” “God. Yes. Please.” Chuckling, I duck out of the bathroom and walk the four or so steps into his kitchenette. When he finally emerges, I shove a cup of coffee in his hand, sip my own, and say, “Dean shoved a dildo up his ass last night.” Fitzy nods. “Makes sense.” I snicker mid-sip. Coffee spills over the rim of my cup. “It really does, huh?
Elle Kennedy (The Goal (Off-Campus, #4))
Lindsey took my father's hand and watched his face for movement. My sister was growing up before my eyes. I listened as she whispered the words he had sung to the two of us before Buckley was born: Stones and bones; snow and frost seeds and beansand polliwogs. Paths and twigs, assorted kisses, We all who knowwho Daddy misses! His two little frogs of girls, that's who. They know where they are, do you, do you? When her eyes closed and they both slept silently together, I whispered to them: Stones and bones; snow and frost; seeds and beans and polliwogs. Paths and twigs, assorted kisses, We all know who Susie misses.....
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
Now he was gone. She said a silent prayer. Sent it up to heaven. Sam, if you can hear me, I hope you’ve got nice food where you are. Some vegetables like these. They’re meant to be good for you. So eat them all up, like I’m doing. When I die I’ll come and see you, and we’ll be together again. But for now I’m going to think of you safe and happy and playing knights with a friend. Love from Ella. Your sister. P.S. I got a good long turn with Godzilla today after we got here. Godzilla is very happy. P.P.S. I forgot, you never met Godzilla. He is a puppy and is very cute. He belonged to a boy called Joel who got killed by monkeys. I think the monkeys were sick. Monkeys are usually nice. At least in stories. P.P.P.S. Maybe you’ll meet Joel where you are. Say hello. He is nice. P.P.P.P.S. Good night, Sam. The others call you Small Sam. To me you’re just Sam—my brother. I miss you. I wish I was with you.
Charlie Higson
Fairy tales are about trouble, about getting into and out of it, and trouble seems to be a necessary stage on the route to becoming. All the magic and glass mountains and pearls the size of houses and princesses beautiful as the day and talking birds and part-time serpents are distractions from the core of most of the stories, the struggle to survive against adversaries, to find your place in the world, and to come into your own. Fairy tales are almost always the stories of the powerless, of youngest sons, abandoned children, orphans, of humans transformed into birds and beasts or otherwise enchanted away from their own lives and selves. Even princesses are chattels to be disowned by fathers, punished by step-mothers, or claimed by princes, though they often assert themselves in between and are rarely as passive as the cartoon versions. Fairy tales are children's stories not in wh they were made for but in their focus on the early stages of life, when others have power over you and you have power over no one. In them, power is rarely the right tool for survival anyway. Rather the powerless thrive on alliances, often in the form of reciprocated acts of kindness -- from beehives that were not raided, birds that were not killed but set free or fed, old women who were saluted with respect. Kindness sewn among the meek is harvested in crisis... In Hans Christian Andersen's retelling of the old Nordic tale that begins with a stepmother, "The Wild Swans," the banished sister can only disenchant her eleven brothers -- who are swans all day look but turn human at night -- by gathering stinging nettles barehanded from churchyard graves, making them into flax, spinning them and knitting eleven long-sleeved shirts while remaining silent the whole time. If she speaks, they'll remain birds forever. In her silence, she cannot protest the crimes she accused of and nearly burned as a witch. Hauled off to a pyre as she knits the last of the shirts, she is rescued by the swans, who fly in at the last moment. As they swoop down, she throws the nettle shirts over them so that they turn into men again, all but the youngest brother, whose shirt is missing a sleeve so that he's left with one arm and one wing, eternally a swan-man. Why shirts made of graveyard nettles by bleeding fingers and silence should disenchant men turned into birds by their step-mother is a question the story doesn't need to answer. It just needs to give us compelling images of exile, loneliness, affection, and metamorphosis -- and of a heroine who nearly dies of being unable to tell her own story.
Rebecca Solnit (The Faraway Nearby)
I’m a lawyer. I meet people every day who are on the surface considerably worse than you are. You, Janx, Alban, you’re really all so…normal. You can do stuff I can’t, but so can Michael Jordan.” Dismay hit her palpably enough to make her want to step back, though she held her ground even as she groaned. “Please don’t tell me he’s one of you.” Daisani’s shoulders rose and fell, a single admission of silent laughter. “I believe Mr. Jordan is as human as you are, Miss Knight.
C.E. Murphy (Heart of Stone (Negotiator Trilogy/Old Races Universe #1))
And she wanted to say not one thing, but everything. Little words that broke up the thought and dismembered it said nothing. “About life, about death; about Mrs. Ramsay”—no, she thought, one could say nothing to nobody. The urgency of the moment always missed its mark. Words fluttered sideways and struck the object inches too low. Then one gave it up; then the idea sunk back again; then one became like most middle-aged people, cautious, furtive, with wrinkles between the eyes and a look of perpetual apprehension. For how could one express in words these emotions of the body? express that emptiness there? (She was looking at the drawing-room steps; they looked extraordinarily empty.) It was one’s body feeling, not one’s mind. The physical sensations that went with the bare look of the steps had become suddenly extremely unpleasant. TO want and not to have, sent all up her body a hardness, a hollowness, a strain. And then to want and not to have—to want and want—how that wrung the heart, and wrung it again and again! Oh, Mrs. Ramsay! She called out silently, to that essence which sat by the boat, that abstract one made of her, that woman in grey, as if to abuse her for having gone, and then having gone, come back again. It seemed so safe, thinking of her. Ghost, air, nothingness, a thing you could play with easily and safely at any time of day or night, she had been that, and then suddenly she put her hand out and wrung the heart thus. Suddenly, the empty drawing-room steps, the frill of the chair inside, the puppy tumbling on the terrace, the whole wave and whisper of the garden became like curves and arabesques flourishing around a centre of complete emptiness.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
I think it's degrading of you, Flora,' cried Mrs Smiling at breakfast. 'Do you truly mean that you don't ever want to work at anything?' Her friend replied after some thought: 'Well, when I am fifty-three or so I would like to write a novel as good as "Persuasion", but with a modern setting, of course. For the next thirty years or so I shall be collecting material for it. If anyone asks me what I work at, I shall say "Collecting material." No one can object to that. Besides, I shall be.' Mrs Smiling drank some coffee in silent disapproval. 'If you ask me,' continued Flora, 'I think I have much in common with Miss Austen. She liked everything to be tidy and pleasant and comfortable around her, and so do I. You see Mary,' - and here Flora began to grow earnest and to wave one finger about - 'unless everything is tidy and pleasant and comfortable all about one, people cannot even begin to enjoy life. I cannot endure messes.
Stella Gibbons (Cold Comfort Farm)
Of all the deep longings, this ache for missing intimacy, cuts through sharply, like a scream in a silent room, like the last gasping breath under a stifling mask, like the huge lump in the throat that one is unable to swallow. This deep ache to be held, to know touch both the casual and intense variety, to catch an eye in answering laughter, to merge into oneness, to sing through existence in resonance with another, to simply be in deep love in openness. to live and die in intimacy and vulnerability in a loved one's arms. And, you ache alone...
Srividya Srinivasan
Sometimes family trauma skips a generation altogether and redoubles its hold on the following one. You may encounter grandchildren who silently shoulder the hurts and sufferings of their grandparents.
Elif Shafak (The Island of Missing Trees)
A study by psychologists at the University of Essex found that the mere presence of a phone on the table—even if it’s silent—makes those sitting around the table feel more disconnected and disinclined to talk about anything important or meaningful, knowing if they do, they will probably be interrupted.
Kate Murphy (You're Not Listening: What You're Missing and Why It Matters)
They were all right here with him still but he missed them with a ferocity that threatened to turn him inside-out. Only Andrew saw the strain in Neil's mask. He crossed the room to stand in front of Neil, a silent demand in his stare. Neil wanted to answer that, but he didn't know how. German was the obvious answer because it would afford them a little bit of privacy, but Romero and Jackson didn't understand German. They wouldn't know what he was saying and they would have to react like he was spilling every dark secret. Neil couldn't allow that. He didn't want to leave Andrew with nothing, but what could he possibly say? "Thank you," he finally said. He couldn't say he meant thanks for all of it: the keys, the trust, the honesty, and the kisses. Hopefully Andrew would figure it out eventually. "You were amazing." He meant it for Andrew's ears only, but Allison was close enough to overhear. She sent Matt a significant look. Neil saw it in his peripheral vision but didn't take his eyes off Andrew to see Matt's reaction. He didn't want to look away, as if by holding Andrew's gaze he could somehow save this moment.
Nora Sakavic (The King's Men (All for the Game, #3))
Occasionally my mother called from California. My parents had hurried and difficult conversations. She asked after Buckley and Linsey and Holiday. She asked how the house was holded up and whether there was anything he needed to tell her. 'We still miss you,' he said in December 1977, when the leaves had all fallen and been blown or raked away but even still, with the ground waiting to recieve it, there had been no snow. 'I know that,' she said. 'What about teaching? I thought that was your plan,' 'It was,' she conceded. She was on the phone in the office of the winery. Things had slowed up after the lunch crowd, but five limos of old ladies, three sheets to the wind, were soon due in. She was silent and then she said something that no one, least of all my father, could have argued with. 'Plans change.' ~pgs 226; Changing plans
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
I think it is right that you should know I am here in the capacity of a private enquiry agent." If she had announced that she was there in the capacity of a Fairy Godmother or of First Murderer, she could hardly have surprised him more. In fact, the Fairy Godmother would have seemed quite appropriate by comparison.
Patricia Wentworth (The Silent Pool (Miss Silver, #25))
Ms. Terwilliger didn’t have a chance to respond to my geological ramblings because someone knocked on the door. I slipped the rocks into my pocket and tried to look studious as she called an entry. I figured Zoe had tracked me down, but surprisingly, Angeline walked in. "Did you know," she said, "that it’s a lot harder to put organs back in the body than it is to get them out?" I closed my eyes and silently counted to five before opening them again. “Please tell me you haven’t eviscerated someone.” She shook her head. “No, no. I left my biology homework in Miss Wentworth’s room, but when I went back to get it, she’d already left and locked the door. But it’s due tomorrow, and I’m already in trouble in there, so I had to get it. So, I went around outside, and her window lock wasn’t that hard to open, and I—” "Wait," I interrupted. "You broke into a classroom?" "Yeah, but that’s not the problem." Behind me, I heard a choking laugh from Ms. Terwilliger’s desk. "Go on," I said wearily. "Well, when I climbed through, I didn’t realize there was a bunch of stuff in the way, and I crashed into those plastic models of the human body she has. You know, the life size ones with all the parts inside? And bam!" Angeline held up her arms for effect. "Organs everywhere." She paused and looked at me expectantly. "So what are we going to do? I can’t get in trouble with her." "We?" I exclaimed. "Here," said Ms. Terwilliger. I turned around, and she tossed me a set of keys. From the look on her face, it was taking every ounce of self-control not to burst out laughing. "That square one’s a master. I know for a fact she has yoga and won’t be back for the rest of the day. I imagine you can repair the damage—and retrieve the homework—before anyone’s the wiser.” I knew that the “you” in “you can repair” meant me. With a sigh, I stood up and packed up my things. “Thanks,” I said. As Angeline and I walked down to the science wing, I told her, “You know, the next time you’ve got a problem, maybe come to me before it becomes an even bigger problem.” "Oh no," she said nobly. "I didn’t want to be an inconvenience." Her description of the scene was pretty accurate: organs everywhere. Miss Wentworth had two models, male and female, with carved out torsos that cleverly held removable parts of the body that could be examined in greater detail. Wisely, she had purchased models that were only waist-high. That was still more than enough of a mess for us, especially since it was hard to tell which model the various organs belonged to. I had a pretty good sense of anatomy but still opened up a textbook for reference as I began sorting. Angeline, realizing her uselessness here, perched on a far counter and swing her legs as she watched me. I’d started reassembling the male when I heard a voice behind me. "Melbourne, I always knew you’d need to learn about this kind of thing. I’d just kind of hoped you’d learn it on a real guy." I glanced back at Trey, as he leaned in the doorway with a smug expression. “Ha, ha. If you were a real friend, you’d come help me.” I pointed to the female model. “Let’s see some of your alleged expertise in action.” "Alleged?" He sounded indignant but strolled in anyways. I hadn’t really thought much about asking him for help. Mostly I was thinking this was taking much longer than it should, and I had more important things to do with my time. It was only when he came to a sudden halt that I realized my mistake. "Oh," he said, seeing Angeline. "Hi." Her swinging feet stopped, and her eyes were as wide as his. “Um, hi.” The tension ramped up from zero to sixty in a matter of seconds, and everyone seemed at a loss for words. Angeline jerked her head toward the models and blurted out. “I had an accident.” That seemed to snap Trey from his daze, and a smile curved his lips. Whereas Angeline’s antics made me want to pull out my hair sometimes, he found them endearing.
Richelle Mead (The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4))
AN EMPTY GARLIC "You miss the garden, because you want a small fig from a random tree. You don't meet the beautiful woman. You're joking with an old crone. It makes me want to cry how she detains you, stinking mouthed, with a hundred talons, putting her head over the roof edge to call down, tasteless fig, fold over fold, empty as dry-rotten garlic. She has you tight by the belt, even though there's no flower and no milk inside her body. Death will open your eyes to what her face is: leather spine of a black lizard. No more advice. Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.
Rumi (The Essential Rumi)
She looked now at the drawing-room step. She saw, through William’s eyes, the shape of a woman, peaceful and silent, with downcast eyes. She sat musing, pondering (she was in grey that day, Lily thought). Her eyes were bent. She would never lift them. . . . [N]o, she thought, one could say nothing to nobody. The urgency of the moment always missed its mark. Words fluttered sideways and struck the object inches too low. Then one gave it up; then the idea sunk back again; then one became like most middle-aged people, cautious, furtive, with wrinkles between the eyes and a look of perpetual apprehension. For how could one express in words these emotions of the body? Express that emptiness there? (She was looking at the drawing-room steps; they looked extraordinarily empty.) It was one’s body feeling, not one’s mind. The physical sensations that went with the bare look of the steps had become suddenly extremely unpleasant. To want and not to have, sent all up her body a hardness, a hollowness, a strain. And then to want and not to have – to want and want – how that wrung the heart, and wrung again and again! Oh, Mrs. Ramsay! she called out silently, to that essence which sat by the boat, that abstract one made of her, that woman in grey, as if to abuse her for having gone, and then having gone, come back again. It had seemed so safe, thinking of her. Ghost, air, nothingness, a thing you could play with easily and safely at any time of day or night, she had been that, and then suddenly she put her hand out and wrung the heart thus. Suddenly, the empty drawing-room steps, the frill of the chair inside, the puppy tumbling on the terrace, the whole wave and whisper of the garden became like curves and arabesques flourishing round a centre of complete emptiness. . . . A curious notion came to her that he did after all hear the things she could not say. . . . She looked at her picture. That would have been his answer, presumably – how “you” and “I” and “she” pass and vanish; nothing stays; all changes; but not words, not paint. Yet it would be hung in the attics, she thought; it would be rolled up and flung under a sofa; yet even so, even of a picture like that, it was true. One might say, even of this scrawl, not of that actual picture, perhaps, but of what it attempted, that it “remained for ever,” she was going to say, or, for the words spoken sounded even to herself, too boastful, to hint, wordlessly; when, looking at the picture, she was surprised to find that she could not see it. Her eyes were full of a hot liquid (she did not think of tears at first) which, without disturbing the firmness of her lips, made the air thick, rolled down her cheeks. She had perfect control of herself – Oh, yes! – in every other way. Was she crying then for Mrs. Ramsay, without being aware of any unhappiness? She addressed old Mr. Carmichael again. What was it then? What did it mean? Could things thrust their hands up and grip one; could the blade cut; the fist grasp? Was there no safety? No learning by heart of the ways of the world? No guide, no shelter, but all was miracle, and leaping from the pinnacle of a tower into the air? Could it be, even for elderly people, that this was life? – startling, unexpected, unknown? For one moment she felt that if they both got up, here, now on the lawn, and demanded an explanation, why was it so short, why was it so inexplicable, said it with violence, as two fully equipped human beings from whom nothing should be hid might speak, then, beauty would roll itself up; the space would fill; those empty flourishes would form into shape; if they shouted loud enough Mrs. Ramsay would return. “Mrs. Ramsay!” she said aloud, “Mrs. Ramsay!” The tears ran down her face.
Virginia Woolf
This is what your faith means, she told Miss Broadstairs silently. You can dress it up with cherubs if you wish, but the man who painted this picture was rather more honest. He knew that it all boils down to a threat to keep people in line. That sketchy promise of Heaven if you do what you're told - and the certainty of endless torture if you don't. Take that, peasant. Now back to the fields and don't even think about improving your lot.
Michelle Paver (Wakenhyrst)
Silence is another element we find in classic fairy tales — girls muted by magic or sworn to silence in order to break enchantment. In "The Wild Swans," a princess is imprisoned by her stepmother, rolled in filth, then banished from home (as her older brothers had been before her). She goes in search of her missing brothers, discovers that they've been turned into swans, whereupon the young girl vows to find a way to break the spell. A mysterious woman comes to her in a dream and tells her what to do: 'Pick the nettles that grow in graveyards, crush and spin them into thread, then weave them into coats and throw them over your brothers' backs.' The nettles burn and blister, yet she never falters: picking, spinning, weaving, working with wounded, crippled hands, determined to save her brothers. All this time she's silent. 'You must not speak,' the dream woman has warned, 'for a single world will be like a knife plunged into your brothers' hearts.' You must not speak. That's what my stepfather said: don't speak, don't cry, don't tell. That's what my mother said as well, as we sat in hospital waiting rooms -- and I obeyed, as did my brothers. We sat as still and silent as stone while my mother spun false tales to explain each break and bruise and burn. Our family moved just often enough that her stories were fresh and plausible; each new doctor believed her, and chided us children to be more careful. I never contradicted those tales. I wouldn't have dared, or wanted to. They'd send me into foster care. They'd send my young brothers away. And so we sat, and the unspoken truth was as sharp as the point of a knife.
Terri Windling (Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales)
It was like this: you were happy, then you were sad, then happy again, then not. It went on. You were innocent or you were guilty. Actions were taken, or not. At times you spoke, at other times you were silent. Mostly, it seems you were silent—what could you say? Now it is almost over. Like a lover, your life bends down and kisses your life. It does this not in forgiveness— between you, there is nothing to forgive— but with the simple nod of a baker at the moment he sees the bread is finished with transformation. Eating, too, is a thing now only for others. It doesn't matter what they will make of you or your days: they will be wrong, they will miss the wrong woman, miss the wrong man, all the stories they tell will be tales of their own invention. Your story was this: you were happy, then you were sad, you slept, you awakened. Sometimes you ate roasted chestnuts, sometimes persimmons.
Jane Hirshfield (After)
The missing girl—there had been unceasing news reports, always flashing to that achingly ordinary school portrait of the vanished teen, you know the one, with the rainbow-swirl background, the girl's hair too straight, her smile too self-conscious, then a quick cut to the worried parents on the front lawn, microphones surrounding them, Mom silently tearful, Dad reading a statement with quivering lip—that girl, that missing girl had just walked past Edna Skylar.
Harlan Coben (Promise Me (Myron Bolitar, #8))
Kerrigan?" she tried again. "Aye, Lady Mouse. I am here." Relieved, she smiled at the sound of his voice in her head. During the day, he was oft silent. But at night…at night he would speak softly to her and tell her of his travels through time as he eluded those who were after him. "Where are you today, my lord?" "I'm in Venice, during a carnival. It's beautiful here. There are minstrels and acrobats all around. Plenty of places to hide from Morgen and her spies." "You are safe?" "Aye, Lady Mouse. I am always safe. But I've no wish to talk about me. How are you doing?" "I miss you." She swore she could feel his pain as well as her own. "I miss you as well and I think of you constantly." -Kerrigan and Seren communicating though their thoughts as they were apart.
Kinley MacGregor (Sword of Darkness (Lords of Avalon, #1))
And what I said was I’ll miss you, What I meant to say was that I love you, What I wanted to say was that I meant what I said I miss you like I miss my own bed after too many nights of sleeping on couches or hardwood floors Or sitting silently behind the doors Of hotel rooms became wounds Breathing life in to this loneliness I miss you Like a burn victim must miss their own skin I miss you like a sad ending Must miss someplace new to begin Because some say that the highway becomes a flat line if you travel it for too long I can’t tell if that’s true or false, But I’m racing down it towards you trying to find my Pulse.
Shane L. Koyczan (Remembrance Year)
Mary didn't know just what prompted her answer. She was the most candid of women, but you don't tell a man everything where another woman is concerned.
Patricia Wentworth (The Silent Pool (Miss Silver, #25))
It says in the brochure," said Arthur, pulling it out of his pocket and looking at it again, "that I can have a special prayer, individually tailored to me and my special needs." - "Oh, all right," said the old man. "Here's a prayer for you. Got a pencil?" - "Yes," said Arthur. - "It goes like this. Let's see now: "Protect me from knowing what I don't need to know. Protect me from even knowing that there are things to know that I don't know. Protect me from knowing that I decided not to know about the things that I decided not to know about. Amen." That's it. It's what you pray silently inside yourself anyway, so you may as well have it out in the open." - "Hmmm," said Arthur. "Well, thank you" - "There's another prayer that goes with it that's very Important," continued the old man, "so you'd better jot this down, too, just in case. You can never be too sure. "Lord, lord, lord. Protect me from the consequences of the above prayer. Amen." And that's it. Most of the trouble people get into in life comes from missing out that last part.
Douglas Adams
My Dearest, I miss you, my darling, as I always do, but today is especially hard because the ocean has been singing to me, and the song is that of our life together. I can almost feel you beside me as I write this letter, and I can smell the scent of wildflowers that always reminds me of you. But at this moment, these things give me no pleasure. Your visits have been coming less often, and I feel sometimes as if the greatest part of who I am is slowly slipping away. I am trying, though. At night when I am alone, I call for you, and whenever my ache seems to be the greatest, you still seem to find a way to return to me. Last night, in my dreams, I saw you on the pier near Wrightsville Beach. The wind was blowing through your hair, and your eyes held the fading sunlight. I am struck as I see you leaning against the rail. You are beautiful, I think as I see you, a vision that I can never find in anyone else. I slowly begin to walk toward you, and when you finally turn to me, I notice that others have been watching you as well. “Do you know her?” they ask me in jealous whispers, and as you smile at me, I simply answer with the truth. “Better than my own heart.” I stop when I reach you and take you in my arms. I long for this moment more than any other. It is what I live for, and when you return my embrace, I give myself over to this moment, at peace once again. I raise my hand and gently touch your cheek and you tilt your head and close your eyes. My hands are hard and your skin is soft, and I wonder for a moment if you’ll pull back, but of course you don’t. You never have, and it is at times like this that I know what my purpose is in life. I am here to love you, to hold you in my arms, to protect you. I am here to learn from you and to receive your love in return. I am here because there is no other place to be. But then, as always, the mist starts to form as we stand close to one another. It is a distant fog that rises from the horizon, and I find that I grow fearful as it approaches. It slowly creeps in, enveloping the world around us, fencing us in as if to prevent escape. Like a rolling cloud, it blankets everything, closing, until there is nothing left but the two of us. I feel my throat begin to close and my eyes well up with tears because I know it is time for you to go. The look you give me at that moment haunts me. I feel your sadness and my own loneliness, and the ache in my heart that had been silent for only a short time grows stronger as you release me. And then you spread your arms and step back into the fog because it is your place and not mine. I long to go with you, but your only response is to shake your head because we both know that is impossible. And I watch with breaking heart as you slowly fade away. I find myself straining to remember everything about this moment, everything about you. But soon, always too soon, your image vanishes and the fog rolls back to its faraway place and I am alone on the pier and I do not care what others think as I bow my head and cry and cry and cry.
Nicholas Sparks (Message in a Bottle)
I hit Crash's button and we heard the phone inside start to ring. After four, he answered. "Hey, PsyPig." His voice was husky. "I'd normally tell you not to call me at this ungodly hour, but evidently someone's running a cockfghting ring in the hall, so I wasn't actually asleep...." "It's me. Open up." He was actually silent for a second. "Aren't /you/ butch?" "Don't fuck around. I need to see Miss Mattie." "Okay, okay, don't get your handcuffs in a twist. I can't find my pants." I wondered if he could say the word "pants" without making something dirty out of it. "Unless, of course, this visit is clothing-optional." And there it was. I rolled my eyes, even though he couldn't see me since the door was still shut.
Jordan Castillo Price (Secrets (PsyCop, #4))
I keeled over sideways. The world turned fluffy, bleached of all color. Nothing hurt anymore. I was dimly aware of Diana’s face hovering over me, Meg and Hazel peering over the goddess’s shoulders. “He’s almost gone,” Diana said. Then I was gone. My mind slipped into a pool of cold, slimy darkness. “Oh, no, you don’t.” My sister’s voice woke me rudely. I’d been so comfortable, so nonexistent. Life surged back into me—cold, sharp, and unfairly painful. Diana’s face came into focus. She looked annoyed, which seemed on-brand for her. As for me, I felt surprisingly good. The pain in my gut was gone. My muscles didn’t burn. I could breathe without difficulty. I must have slept for decades. “H-how long was I out?” I croaked. “Roughly three seconds,” she said. “Now, get up, drama queen.” She helped me to my feet. I felt a bit unsteady, but I was delighted to find that my legs had any strength at all. My skin was no longer gray. The lines of infection were gone. The Arrow of Dodona was still in my hand, though he had gone silent, perhaps in awe of the goddess’s presence. Or perhaps he was still trying to get the taste of “Sweet Caroline” out of his imaginary mouth. I beamed at my sister. It was so good to see her disapproving I-can’t-believe-you’re-my-brother frown again. “I love you,” I said, my voice hoarse with emotion. She blinked, clearly unsure what to do with this information. “You really have changed.” “I missed you!” “Y-yes, well. I’m here now. Even Dad couldn’t argue with a Sibylline invocation from Temple Hill.” “It worked, then!” I grinned at Hazel and Meg. “It worked!” “Yeah,” Meg said wearily. “Hi, Artemis.” “Diana,” my sister corrected. “But hello, Meg.” For her, my sister had a smile. “You’ve done well, young warrior.” Meg blushed. She kicked at the scattered zombie dust on the floor and shrugged. “Eh.” I checked my stomach, which was easy, since my shirt was in tatters. The bandages had vanished, along with the festering wound. Only a thin white scar remained. “So…I’m healed?” My flab told me she hadn’t restored me to my godly self. Nah, that would have been too much to expect. Diana raised an eyebrow. “Well, I’m not the goddess of healing, but I’m still a goddess. I think I can take care of my little brother’s boo-boos.” “Little brother?” She smirked.
Rick Riordan (The Tyrant’s Tomb (The Trials of Apollo, #4))
You're interesting when you sleep." He spoke matter-of-factly. "You talk." "No!" I gasped, heat flooding my face all the way to my hairline. I gripped the kitchen counter for support. I knew I talked in my sleep, of course; my mother teased me about it. I hadn't thought it was something I needed to worry about here, though. His expression shifted instantly to chagrin. "Are you very angry with me?" "That depends!" I felt and sounded like I'd had the breath knocked out of me. He waited. "On?" he urged. "What you heard!" I wailed. Instantly, silently, he was at my side, taking my hands carefully in his. "Don't be upset!" he pleaded. He dropped his face to the level of my eyes, holding my gaze. I was embarrassed. I tried to look away. "You miss your mother," he whispered. "You worry about her. And when it rains, the sound makes you restless. You used to talk about home a lot, but it's less often now. Once you said, 'It's too green.'" He laughed softly, hoping, I could see, not to offend me further. "Anything else?" I demanded. He knew what I was getting at. "You did say my name," he admitted. I sighed in defeat. "A lot?" "How much do you mean by 'a lot,' exactly?" "Oh no!" I hung my head. He pulled me against his chest, softly, naturally. "Don't be self-conscious," he whispered in my ear. "If I could dream at all, it would be about you. And I'm not ashamed of it.
Stephenie Meyer (Twilight (The Twilight Saga, #1))
Peter, Adam's Son," said Father Christmas. "Here, sir," said Peter. "These are your presents," was the answer, "and they are tools, not toys. The time to use them is perhaps near at hand. Bear them well." With these words he handed to Peter a shield and a sword. The shield was the color of silver and across it there ramped a red lion, as bright as a ripe strawberry at the moment when you pick it. The hilt of the sword was of gold and it had a sheath and a sword belt and everything it needed, and it was just the right size and weight for Peter to use. Peter was silent and solemn as he received these gifts, for he felt they were a very serious kind of present. "Susan, Eve's Daughter," said Father Christmas. "These are for you," and he handed her a bow and a quiver full of arrows and a little ivory horn. "You must use the bow only in great need," he said, "for I do not mean you to fight in the battle. It does not easily miss. And when you put this horn to your lips and blow it, then, wherever you are, I think help of some kind will come to you." Last of all he said, "Lucy, Eve's Daughter," and Lucy came forward. He gave her a little bottle of what looked like glass (but people said afterwards that it was made of diamond) and a small dagger. "In this bottle," he said, "there is a cordial made of the juice of one of the fire-flowers that grow on the mountains of the sun. If you or any of your friends is hurt, a few drops of this will restore them. And the dagger is to defend yourself at great need. For you also are not to be in the battle." "Why, sir?" said Lucy. "I think- I don't know- but I think I could be brave enough." "That is not the point," he said. "But battles are ugly when women fight.
C.S. Lewis (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1))
The list of correlations to that night is as long as the Jersey coast. And so is the list of reasons I shouldn't be looking forward to seeing him at school. But I can't help it. He's already texted me three times this morning: Can I pick you up for school? and Do u want 2 have breakfast? and R u getting my texts? My thumbs want to answer "yes" to all of the above, but my dignity demands that I don't answer at all. He called my his student. He stood there alone with me on the beach and told me he thinks of me as a pupil. That our relationship is platonic. And everyone knows what platonic means-rejected. Well, I might be his student, but I'm about to school, him on a few things. The first lesson of the day is Silent Treatment 101. So when I see him in the hall, I give him a polite nod and brush right by him. The zap from the slight contact never quite fades, which mean he's following me. I make it to my locker before his hand is on my arm. "Emma." The way he whispers my name sends goose bumps all the way to my baby toes. But I'm still in control. I nod to him, dial the combination to my locker, then open it in his face. He moves back before contact. Stepping around me, he leans his hand against the locker door and turns me around to face him. "That's not very nice." I raise my best you-started-this brow. He sighs. "I guess that means you didn't miss me." There are so many things I could pop off right now. Things like, "But at least I had Toraf to keep my company" or "You were gone?" Or "Don't feel bad, I didn't miss my calculus teacher either." But the goal is to say nothing. So I turn around. I transfer books and papers between my locker and backpack. As I stab a pencil into my updo, his breath pushes against my earlobe when he chuckles. "So your phone's not broken; you just didn't respond to my texts." Since rolling my eyes doesn't make a sound, it's still within the boundaries of Silent Treatment 101. So I do this while I shut my locker. As I push past him, he grabs my arm. And I figure if stomping on his toe doesn't make a sound... "My grandmother's dying," he blurts. Commence with the catching-Emma-off-guard crap. How can I continue Silent Treatment 101 after that? He never mentioned his grandmother before, but then again, I never mentioned mine either. "I'm sorry, Galen." I put my hand on his, give it a gentle squeeze. He laughs. Complete jackass. "Conveniently, she lives in a condo in Destin and her dying request is to meet you. Rachel called your mom. We're flying out Saturday afternoon, coming back Sunday night. I already called Dr. Milligan." "Un-freaking-believable.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
I have performed the following experiment in workshops for nearly 40 years now: Everybody in the class is asked to describe the hall they passed through to get to the classroom. I must have tried this several hundred times by now, and I have never encountered two people who agreed totally about what was or was not in the hall, the color of the walls, or any similar data. We do not walk through the “same” hall: we walk through a reality-tunnel constructed by our imprinted, conditioned and learned brain circuits. The same experiment works with hearing, and other senses, as well as with vision and memory. Try it with a half-dozen friends. Let somebody with a watch say “Go!” and then all of you be silent and listen for one full minute — 60 surprisingly long seconds. You will all hear some sounds nobody else hears and miss some sounds everybody else caught. From 'In Doubt We Trust: Cults, religions, and BS in general
Robert Anton Wilson
Arren was silent, pondering this. Presently the mage said, speaking softly, “Do you see, Arren, how an act is not, as young men think, like a rock that one picks up and throws, and it hits or misses, and that’s the end of it. When that rock is lifted, the earth is lighter; the hand that bears it heavier. When it is thrown, the circuits of the stars respond, and where it strikes or falls the universe is changed. On every act the Balance of the Whole depends. The winds and seas, the powers of water and earth and light, all that these do, and all that the beasts and green things do, is well done, and rightly done. All these act within the Equilibrium. From the hurricane and the great whale’s sounding to the fall of a dry leaf and the gnat’s flight, all they do is done within the Balance of the Whole. But we, insofar as we have power over the world and over one another, we must learn to do what the leaf and the whale and the wind do of their own nature. We must learn to keep the Balance. Having intelligence, we must not act in ignorance. Having choice, we must not act without responsibility. Who am I—though I have the power to do it—to punish and reward, playing with men’s destinies?” “But then,” the boy said, frowning at the stars, “is the Balance to be kept by doing nothing? Surely a man must act, even not knowing all the consequences of his act, if anything is to be done at all?” “Never fear. It is much easier for men to act than to refrain from acting. We will continue to do good and to do evil. . . . But if there were a king over us all again and he sought counsel of a mage, as in the days of old, and I were that mage, I would say to him: My lord, do nothing because it is righteous or praiseworthy or noble to do so; do nothing because it seems good to do so; do only that which you must do and which you cannot do in any other way.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Farthest Shore (Earthsea Cycle, #3))
MOMENTS I saw you first You looked exactly The same as before Tall and awkward and shy I walked towards you My hands clammy I felt cold inside My insides were shaking Cant run This is it. U saw me Your face brightened A smile painted on your face I missed it Your smile It brought back the past You walked I walked Nearer It feels like in the Movies Two people A boy and a girl Meeting halfway Hoping for a happy Ever after I stopped Right before I reached you I realized This isn't like the movies I turned I told myself Don’t smile You reached me Close So close I felt the urge To touch you Hug you And maybe Kiss you There weren't Hellos Only silent prayers Smiling You reached for my hand Giving me something You knew I love It was awkward You standing there Me standing there So close Too close Yet so far I looked up to you I tried to ask myself Are you for real? You smiled wider Shy but happy You left as fast As you came back It was for a second I hated time I wished it was A little bit longer With that, I knew I still want you.
Marianne Escobar
I will kill you, and I shall do so in such a way, this world will cease its wars. The world shall be unified in its mourning, not because it misses you, but because of the atrocities which I, alone, will have wrought upon your mangled corpse. And even after the cannons fall silent, I will never be caught. New monsters will be born into folklore to explain what I have done to you.
Barack Obama (After Osama Bin Laden: America's New Counterterrorism Strategy (Expended edition))
Even with the questions and worries that flooded her, Lillian was overcome with sudden exhaustion. The waking nightmare had come to a precipitate end, and it seemed that for now there was nothing more she could do. She waited docilely, her cheek resting against the steady support of Marcus’s shoulder, only half hearing the conversation that ensued. “… have to find St. Vincent…” Marcus was saying. “No,” Simon Hunt said emphatically, “I’ll find St. Vincent. You take care of Miss Bowman.” “We need privacy.” “I believe there is a small room nearby— more of a vestibule, actually…” But Hunt’s voice trailed away, and Lillian became aware of a new, ferocious tension in Marcus’s body. With a lethal shift of his muscles, he turned to glance in the direction of the staircase. St. Vincent was descending, having entered the rented room from the other side of the inn and found it empty. Stopping midway down the stairs, St. Vincent took in the curious tableau before him… the clusters of bewildered onlookers, the affronted innkeeper… and the Earl of Westcliff, who stared at him with avid bloodlust. The entire inn fell silent during that chilling moment, so that Westcliff’s quiet snarl was clearly audible. “By God, I’m going to butcher you.” Dazedly Lillian murmured, “Marcus, wait—” She was shoved unceremoniously at Simon Hunt, who caught her reflexively as Marcus ran full-bore toward the stairs. Instead of skirting around the banister, Marcus vaulted the railings and landed on the steps like a cat. There was a blur of movement as St. Vincent attempted a strategic retreat, but Marcus flung himself upward, catching his legs and dragging him down. They grappled, cursed, and exchanged punishing blows, until St. Vincent aimed a kick at Marcus’s head. Rolling to avoid the blow of his heavy boot, Marcus was forced to release him temporarily. The viscount lurched up the stairs, and Marcus sprang after him. Soon they were both out of sight. A crowd of enthusiastic men followed, shouting advice, exchanging odds, and exclaiming in excitement over the spectacle of a pair of noblemen fighting like spurred roosters. White-faced, Lillian glanced at Simon Hunt, who wore a faint smile. “Aren’t you going to help him?” she demanded. “Oh no. Westcliff would never forgive me for interrupting. It’s his first tavern brawl.” Hunt’s gaze flickered over Lillian in friendly assessment. She swayed a little, and he placed a large hand on the center of her back and guided her to the nearby grouping of chairs. A cacophony of noise drifted from upstairs. There were heavy thudding sounds that caused the entire building to shake, followed by the noises of furniture breaking and glass shattering. “Now,” Hunt said, ignoring the tumult, “if I may have a look at that remaining handcuff, I may be able to do something about it.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
One of the students raised his had and said, matter-of-factly, "I'm afraid I can't stop drinking." The room went silent. All eyes went to our teacher, David. Without missing a beat, he smiled, looked at him, and said, "Of course you can. Are you drinking now?" "No." "And now?" He smiled, and said softly, "No." "...and how about right now?" We all smiled this time. "No." This is how it is done - how anything is done. One moment, then the next, then the next. This is how this book is being written: I type this word, then this one, then this one. The words build sentences. The sentences build a paragraph. A book is impossible, but a word and then another word is not. A lifetime of sobriety was impossible, but a moment of sobriety was not. I was doing it, and I was doing it, and I was doing it again.
Laura McKowen (We Are the Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life)
Every single parent is doing the best he or she can. Never judge an angry parent who screams at their child, or judge any parent for any behavior. You don’t know them, you don’t know their story, you don’t know about their silent struggles or childhood traumas, you don’t know how hard it is for them, you don’t know anything about anyone. you don’t know what you would do if you were in their shoes. Viktor Frankl said, “No man should judge unless he asks himself in absolute honesty whether, in a similar situation, he might not have done the same.” We all do the best we can. It is hands down the hardest never-ending but fulfilling job on this planet. It isn’t easy to create, shape, and raise another human being when most of us aren’t raised, shaped, or grown up. So, one of the biggest lessons I also learned is to stay in my lane, don’t judge any parent, to never say never, and be compassionate toward myself and others. Of course, if you see a parent spanking a child, you have to stop them, if you know a child is in an unsafe environment, you have to change it and help any child in need, but try as hard as you can not to judge them and just let go of your thoughts when they arise. At the end of the day, we all do the best we can with the tools we have.
Ani Rich (A Missing Drop: Free Your Mind From Conditioning And Reconnect To Your Truest Self)
If you tell me no, I will be silent. If you prefer, I shall never ask again. But you should know that I would plead on my knees. If I thought you wanted me there.' "To win my help?" "Be damned to your help. I want your mouth, and your hands, and your hair, and your eyes. I want to stop feeling as though half of my world has gone missing. That puts no obligation on you, none at all, but it is the truth. Do as you wish with it.
K.J. Charles (A Gentleman's Position (Society of Gentlemen, #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))
But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you. It stays on through October and, in rare years, on into November. Day after day the skies are a clear, hard blue, and the clouds that float across them, always west to east, are calm white ships with gray keels. The wind begins to blow by the day, and it is never still. It hurries you along as you walk the roads, crunching the leaves that have fallen in mad and variegated drifts. The wind makes you ache in some place that is deeper than your bones. It may be that it touches something old in the human soul, a chord of race memory that says Migrate or die – migrate or die. Even in your house, behind square walls, the wind beats against the wood and the glass and sends its fleshless pucker against the eaves and sooner or later you have to put down what you were doing and go out and see. And you can stand on your stoop or in your dooryard at mid-afternoon and watch the cloud shadows rush across Griffen’s pasture and up Schoolyard Hill, light and dark, light and dark, like the shutters of the gods being opened and closed. You can see the goldenrod, that most tenacious and pernicious and beauteous of all New England flora, bowing away from the wind like a great and silent congregation. And if there are no cars or planes, and if no one’s Uncle John is out in the wood lot west of town banging away at a quail or pheasant; if the only sound is the slow beat of your own heart, you can hear another sound, and that is the sound of life winding down to its cyclic close, waiting for the first winter snow to perform last rites.
Stephen King (Salem's Lot)
You're trying to be charming again," Shelby muttered. "Am I succeeding?" Some questions were best ignored. "I really don't know how to be more succinct, Alan." Was that part of the appeal? he wondered. The fact that the free-spirited Gypsy could turn into the regal duchess in the blink of an eye. He doubted she had any notion she was as much one as the other. "You have a wonderful speaking voice.What time will you be ready?" Shelby huffed and frowned and considered. "If I agree to spend some time with you today, will you stop sending me things?" Alan was silent for a long moment. "Are you going to take a politician's word?" Now she had to laugh. "All right, you've boxed me in on that one." "It's a beautiful day, Shelby.I haven't had a free Saturday in over a month. Come out with me." She twined the phone cord around her finger. A refusal seemed so petty, so bad-natured.He was really asking her for very little, and-dammit-she wanted to see him. "All right, Alan, every rule needs to be bent a bit now and again to prove it's really a rule after all." "If you say so.Where would you like to go? There's an exhibition of Flemish art at the National Gallery." Shelby's lips curved. "The zoo," she said and waited for his reaction. "Fine," Alan agreed without missing a beat. "I'll be there in ten minutes." With a sigh,Shelby decided he just wasn't an easy man to shake. "Alan, I'm not dressed." "I'll be there in five." On a burst of laughter, she slammed down the phone.
Nora Roberts (The MacGregors: Alan & Grant (The MacGregors, #3-4))
She was swamped by a feeling of utter hopelessness as she waited for him to destroy her with a few caustic words. But he continued to watch her silently, his face unreadable. It seemed almost as if he were waiting for some cue from her. The dilemma lasted for several seconds, until Sara solved it by bursting into tears. She jerked her hands up to her face, blotting her streaming eyes. "I'm so sorry," she gasped. Suddenly he was next to her, touching her shoulders and arms lightly and then jerking his hands back as if burned. "No, don't. Don't. You're all right now." Gingerly he reached out to pat her back. "Don'y cry. Everything's fine. Bloody hell. Don't do that." As she continued to weep, Derek hovered over her in baffled dismay. He excelled at seducing women, charming and deceiving them, breaking down their defenses... everything but comforting them. No one had ever required it of him. "There, now," he muttered, as he had heard Lily Raiford say a thousand times to her crying children. "There, now." Suddenly she was leaning on him, her small head testing at the center of his chest. The long skeins of her hair draped everywhere, entangling him in a fine russet web. Alarmed, he lifted his hands to ease her away. Instead his arms slid around her until she was pressed against him length to length. "Miss Fielding," he said with great effort. "Sara..." She nestled deeper against him, muffling her gulping sobs in his shirtfront. Derek swore and furtively pressed his lips to the top of her head. He concentrated on the chilly night air, but his loins began to throb with an all-too-familiar pain. It was impossible to stay indifferent to the feel of her body molded to his. He was a bloody charlatan... no gentleman, no chivalrous comforter of women, only a scoundrel filled with raw desire. He smoothed his hand over her hair and urged her head into his shoulder until she was in danger of being smothered. "It's all right," he said gruffly. "Everything's fine now. Don't cry anymore.
Lisa Kleypas (Dreaming of You (The Gamblers of Craven's, #2))
How came you to tumble down the stairs as soon as my back was turned?' ... The Earl slipped his arm behind her, and raised the hand he was still holding to his lips ... Miss Morville, finding his shoulder so invitingly close, was glad to rest her head against it ... Her overstrained nerves then found relief in a burst of tears. But as the Earl chose to kiss her at this moment, she was obliged to stop crying, the merest civility compelling her to return his embrace. As soon as she was able to speak, she said, however, in a voice meant only for his ears: 'Oh, no! Pray do not! It was all my folly, behaving in this missish way! You felt yourself obliged to comfort me! I assure you, I don't regard it - shall never think of it again! ... You would become disgusted with my odious commonsense. Try as I will, I *cannot* be romantic!' said Miss Morville despairingly. His eyes danced. 'Oh, I forbid you to try! Your practical observations, my absurd robin, are the delight of my life!' Miss Morville looked at him. Then, with a deep sigh, she laid her hand in his. But what she said was: 'You mean a sparrow!' 'I will not allow you to dictate to me, now or ever, Miss Morville! I mean a robin!' said the Earl firmly, lifting her hand to his lips. This interlude, which was watched with interest by the three servants, with complacence by Mrs Morville, critically by the Viscount, who was trying to unravel the puzzle just set before him, and with hostility by the Dowager and Mr Morville, seemed to break the spell which had hitherto held the rest of the company silent.
Georgette Heyer (The Quiet Gentleman)
When I’m with you, it feels like I’ve been given a second chance at living. I never thought I’d get that.” He lowered his head for a brief second, his fingers splayed over my back stroking with the slightest touch. “I can breathe easily with you. When we were apart …” His finger slid over my lower lip back and forth. “You ever feel like your body is silently screaming? Like you’re constantly missing something, but you can’t figure out what?” Yeah, all the time, but I’d never admit that to anyone. “For almost three fuckin’ years, I felt like that. I didn’t know at first, but then when I figured out it was you I was missing all the time, Jesus, the screaming, it stopped, Kat. And it became tranquil and beautiful. “You think I brought you here for you? I’m not that nice of a guy, Kat. I brought you here for me. So I could glue you back to me.” He leaned forward and kissed me then whispered against my lips, “It’s permanent glue, baby.” Holy shit. I didn’t know what to say. My heart pounded so fast with my lips parted, my breath was hesitant and uncontrolled.
Nashoda Rose (Overwhelmed by You (Tear Asunder, #2))
. Nature's so terribly good. Don't you think so, Mr. Stanhope?" Stanhope was standing by, silent, while Mrs. Parry communed with her soul and with one or two of her neighbours on the possibilities of dressing the Chorus. He turned his head and answered, "That Nature is terribly good? Yes, Miss Fox. You do mean 'terribly'?" "Why, certainly," Miss Fox said. "Terribly--dreadfully--very." "Yes," Stanhope said again. "Very. Only--you must forgive me; it comes from doing so much writing, but when I say 'terribly' I think I mean 'full of terror'. A dreadful goodness." "I don't see how goodness can be dreadful," Miss Fox said, with a shade of resentment in her voice. "If things are good they're not terrifying, are they?" "It was you who said 'terribly'," Stanhope reminded her with a smile, "I only agreed." "And if things are terrifying," Pauline put in, her eyes half closed and her head turned away as if she asked a casual question rather of the world than of him, "can they be good?" He looked down on her. "Yes, surely," he said, with more energy. "Are our tremors to measure the Omnipotence?
Charles Williams (Descent into Hell)
When you understand silence, you understand words; when you understand words, you understand silence. When you think of silence, you think of words. Until you mistakenly utter bad words, you shall never appreciate the real essence of silence that can speak better at the most tempting moment. Until you miss the opportunity when you should have spoken whilst you kept silent, you shall never value the real value and the timing of words. A good orator knows the right time and timing to blend words and silence in oration. A good orator is good because of words and silence.
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
To say her goodbye …!! I knew there was something In wink of your smile In touch of your voice With the hurt of good bye Precious moments are not lasting long Controlling my life And I don’t know why I won’t see her anymore For long … So much to say .. But words are missing & time is running To say her goodbye The beauty of imperfect Speechless moment Was not enough for silent tears To way back in this life All my memories Keeps you near brings me far From home … I ll remember .. The silent whisper To say her goodbye.. Waving hand to sky … And a kiss to winds I’ll remember..!! Rhitwik
rhitwik vashishtha
The last time I’d been unwell, suicidally depressed, whatever you want to call it, the reactions of my friends and family had fallen into several different camps: The Let’s Laugh It Off merchants: Claire was the leading light. They hoped that joking about my state of mind would reduce it to a manageable size. Most likely to say, ‘Feeling any mad urges to fling yourself into the sea?’ The Depression Deniers: they were the ones who took the position that since there was no such thing as depression, nothing could be wrong with me. Once upon a time I’d have belonged in that category myself. A subset of the Deniers was The Tough Love people. Most likely to say, ‘What have you got to be depressed about?’ The It’s All About Me bunch: they were the ones who wailed that I couldn’t kill myself because they’d miss me so much. More often than not, I’d end up comforting them. My sister Anna and her boyfriend, Angelo, flew three thousand miles from New York just so I could dry their tears. Most likely to say, ‘Have you any idea how many people love you?’ The Runaways: lots and lots of people just stopped ringing me. Most of them I didn’t care about, but one or two were important to me. Their absence was down to fear; they were terrified that whatever I had, it was catching. Most likely to say, ‘I feel so helpless … God, is that the time?’ Bronagh – though it hurt me too much at the time to really acknowledge it – was the number one offender. The Woo-Woo crew: i.e. those purveying alternative cures. And actually there were hundreds of them – urging me to do reiki, yoga, homeopathy, bible study, sufi dance, cold showers, meditation, EFT, hypnotherapy, hydrotherapy, silent retreats, sweat lodges, felting, fasting, angel channelling or eating only blue food. Everyone had a story about something that had cured their auntie/boss/boyfriend/next-door neighbour. But my sister Rachel was the worst – she had me plagued. Not a day passed that she didn’t send me a link to some swizzer. Followed by a phone call ten minutes later to make sure I’d made an appointment. (And I was so desperate that I even gave plenty of them a go.) Most likely to say, ‘This man’s a miracle worker.’ Followed by: ‘That’s why he’s so expensive. Miracles don’t come cheap.’ There was often cross-pollination between the different groupings. Sometimes the Let’s Laugh It Off merchants teamed up with the Tough Love people to tell me that recovering from depression is ‘simply mind over matter’. You just decide you’re better. (The way you would if you had emphysema.) Or an All About Me would ring a member of the Woo-Woo crew and sob and sob about how selfish I was being and the Woo-Woo crew person would agree because I had refused to cough up two grand for a sweat lodge in Wicklow. Or one of the Runaways would tiptoe back for a sneaky look at me, then commandeer a Denier into launching a two-pronged attack, telling me how well I seemed. And actually that was the worst thing anyone could have done to me, because you can only sound like a self-pitying malingerer if you protest, ‘But I don’t feel well. I feel wretched beyond description.’ Not one person who loved me understood how I’d felt. They hadn’t a clue and I didn’t blame them, because, until it had happened to me, I hadn’t a clue either.
Marian Keyes
Dear solitude, how I missed you in the times I was so attached to the illusion of loneliness, how I secretly longed for you in times of distraction with music and addiction, how I desired to dive into the creativity of your silent whispers.. oh solitude, I remember you there when I wrote my first book, I recall your inspiring voice when that pen hit the paper.. When I was no longer by your side, oh solitude, how you silently tried to draw me back to you, by showing me the continuous struggle to feel full among unfulfilling relationships or restless nights of loneliness.. Oh solitude, if it wasn't for you, where would I find all that you could provide, only you..
Virgil Kalyana Mittata Iordache
Published mathematical papers often have irritating assertions of the type: “It now follows that…,” or: “It is now obvious that…,” when it doesn't follow, and isn't obvious at all, unless you put in the six hours the author did to supply the missing steps and checking them. There is a story about the English mathematician G.H. Hardy, whom we shall meet later. In the middle of delivering a lecture, Hardy arrived at a point in his argument where he said, “It is now obvious that….” Here he stopped, fell silent, and stood motionless with furrowed brow for a few seconds. Then he walked out of the lecture hall. Twenty minutes later he returned, smiling, and began, “Yes, it is obvious that….” If he
John Derbyshire (Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics)
Our party soon broke up; Mrs. Blair went below to sleep and I went out on deck. Colonel Race followed me. “You’re very elusive, Miss Beddingfeld. I looked for you everywhere last night at the dance.” “I went to bed early,” I explained. “Are you going to run away to-night too? Or are you going to dance with me?” “I shall be very pleased to dance with you,” I murmured shyly. “But Mrs. Blair——” “Our friend, Mrs. Blair, doesn’t care for dancing.” “And you do?” “I care for dancing with you.” “Oh!” I said nervously. I was a little afraid of Colonel Race. Nevertheless I was enjoying myself. This was better than discussing fossilized skulls with stuffy old professors! Colonel Race was really just my ideal of a stern silent Rhodesian. Possibly I might marry him!
Agatha Christie (The Man in the Brown Suit (Colonel Race, #1))
I miss my mother." Mrs. Norton touched Trudy's shoulder in silent sympathy. "She never had a chance to see any of her daughters get married." Trudy laid the veil on the bed. "It's hard to completely enjoy your wedding day when your mother isn't with you." "Your mother did see your sisters wed and I'm sure she'll be with you today." Trudy looked at the woman, astonished she hadn't received a more pious answer from a minister's wife. She pointed a finger upward. "I know she's in heaven." Mrs. Norton gently folded Trudy's hand until her palm rested on her chest, "In heaven and in your heart, love never fails, my dear Ms. Bower. I know it's not the same as feeling your mother's arms around you on such a special day, nevertheless, I'm sure she's sending you plenty of love.
Debra Holland (Trudy (Mail-Order Brides of the West, #1; Montana Sky))
In another corner Nathaniel murmured to Maura, "You must know, Miss O'Connell, I . . . I loved you even before I saw you. It was your father's way of talking." Maura shook her head. "You mustn't say that. It's not my dear da's words that should do the wooing," she said gently. "I'd rather be cared for . . . for what I am myself." Nathaniel nodded. "I'll not say more. But I will tell you what I think I'm going to do." And what is that I'm going to California to search for gold." And do you think, Nathaniel Brewster, you'll find it?" I do. But it won't be as fine as what's here," Nathaniel said with a shy smile. "Maura O'Connell . . . will . . . will you . . . wait for me to come back?" Maura was silent. Will you?" You're a fine young man, Mr. Brewster. I can only say I'll not forget you.
Avi (Lord Kirkle's Money (Beyond the Western Sea, #2))
looked for the TV remote but couldn’t see it. Then I located it, peeking out from behind Kathy’s open laptop on the coffee table. I reached for it, but was so stoned I knocked over the laptop. I propped the laptop up again—and the screen came to life. It was logged into her email account. For some reason, I kept staring at it. I was transfixed—her in-box stared at me like a gaping hole. I couldn’t look away. All kinds of things jumped out before I knew what I was reading: words such as “sexy” and “fuck” in the email headings—and repeated emails from BADBOY22. If only I’d stopped there. If only I’d got up and walked away—but I didn’t. I clicked on the most recent email and opened it: Subject: Re: little miss fuck From: Katerama_1 To: BADBOY22 I’m on the bus. So horny for you. I can smell you on me. I feel like a slut! Kxx
Alex Michaelides (The Silent Patient)
My, my,” Chloe murmured, studying the chocolate she held. “I do believe this one’s gone off. It stinks like a cesspit.” Her eyes lifted. “Oh, wait. It’s only the guttersnipe.” “Or perhaps it’s your perfume,” I said cordially. “You always smell like a whore.” “It’s French,” retorted Runny-Nose, before Chloe could speak. “Then she smells like a French whore.” “Aren’t you the eloquent young miss.” Chloe’s gaze cut to Sophia, standing close behind me. “Slumming, little sister? I can’t confess I’m surprised.” “I’m merely here for the show,” Sophia said breezily. “Something tells me it’s going to be good.” I took the brooch from my pocket and let it slide down my index finger, giving it a playful twirl. “A fine try. But, alas, no winner’s prize for you, Chloe. I’m sure you’ve been waiting here for Westcliffe to raise the alarm about her missing ring, ready with some well-rehearsed story about how you saw me sneaking into her office and sneaking out again, and oh, look isn’t that Eleanore’s brooch there on the floor? But I’ve news for you, dearie. You’re sloppy. You’re stupid. And the next time you go into my room and steal from me, I’ll make certain you regret it for the rest of your days.” “How dare you threaten me, you little tart!” “I’m not threatening. You have no idea how easy it would be to, say, pour glue on your hair while you sleep. Cut up all your pretty dresses into ribbons.” Chloe dropped her half-eaten chocolate back into its box, turning to her toadies. “You heard her! You all head her! When Westcliffe finds out about this-“ “I didn’t hear a thing,” piped up Sophia. “In fact, I do believe that Eleanore and I aren’t even here right now. We’re both off in my room, diligently studying.” She sauntered to my side, smiling. “And I’ll swear to that, sister. Without hesitation. I have no misgivings about calling you all liars right to Westcliffe’s face.” “What fun,” I said softly, into the hush. “Shall we give it a go? What d’you say, girls? Up for a bit of blood sport?” Chloe pushed to her feet, kicking the chocolates out of her way. All the toadies cringed. “You,” she sneered, her gaze scouring me. “You with your ridiculous clothing and that preposterous bracelet, acting as if you actually belong here! Really, Eleanore, I wonder that you’ve learned nothing of real use yet. Allow me to explain matters to you. You may have duped Sophia into vouching for you, but your word means nothing. You’re no one. No matter what you do here or who you may somehow manage to impress, you’ll always be no one. How perfectly sad that you’re allowed to pretend otherwise.” “I’m the one he wants,” I said evenly. “No one’s pretending that.” I didn’t have to say who. She stared at me, silent, her color high. I saw with interest that real tears began to well in her eyes. “That’s right.” I gave the barest smile. “Me, not you. Think about that tomorrow, when I’m with him on the yacht. Think about how he watches me. How he listens to me. Another stunt like this”-I held up the circlet-“and you’ll be shocked at what I’m able to convince him about you.” “As if you could,” she scoffed, but there was apprehension behind those tears. “Try me.” I brought my foot down on one of the chocolates, grinding it into a deep, greasy smear along the rug. “Cheerio,” I said to them all, and turned around and left.
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
Minutes later, as they lay tangled together, dazed in the aftermath of their loving, Callie began to chuckle silently against Gabriel's side. Lifting his head to find her grinning a wide, silly grin, he drawled, "What is it that has you so amused, lovely?" "I was simply thinking"- she stopped to catch her breath from the laughter and started again- "I was merely thinking that if that is what riding astride is like, the female population is missing out on one of life's finer experiences." The last word was lost as she dissolved once more onto giggles. He caught her against him in a fierce hug and sighed, unable to keep himself from smiling up at the ceiling as he said, "You know, Empress, men do not appreciate laughter at this particular moment. It's devastating to the self-confidence." Her head snapped up and she took in his amused countenance. "Oh, my apologies, good sir," she teased. "I would hate to damage such a fragile ego as that of the Marquess of Ralston." With a playful growl, he pinned her to the mattress. "Minx. You shall pay for that." And he began to kiss down the side of her neck, nibbling across her collarbone until she sighed with pleasure. "If this is how I must pay for it, my lord, you may guarantee I shall tease you a great deal in the coming months." "More than months, I hope," he drawled, distracted by her lovely white breasts. "Years. Decades even." "Decades," she repeated, awestruck. My God. He's going to be my husband. "Mmm-hmm," he murmured against her skin before pulling away from her. "Which is why, despite how very difficult it shall be for me to leave you warm and lush in your bed, I shall console myself with the fact that, very soon, I shan't have to do so ever again.
Sarah MacLean (Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers, #1))
Reagan,” he breathed and my chest swelled from the pure devotion of my name on his lips. I waited for him to say more but for a while he was just silent and serious. Finally, a small smirk played at the corners of his lips and in a lighter tone, he said, “It was close today, though, wasn’t it?” “Yes,” I agreed. He seemed to gather confidence and said impishly, “Makes you realize what you could have lost.” I nodded but didn’t speak- I had been thinking that for hours now. “Makes you realize that you have things to do before you die.” I laughed a little at that. I had given up all those dreams a long time ago, and I was surprised Hendrix hadn’t too. “Like what? Go sky-diving?” Without missing a beat, without taking his eyes off me, or changing his reverent tone he said, “Like kiss you.” And his soft lips were on mine and I stopped breathing. Sensation and desire flooded me as his mouth moved over mine- consuming me, breaking me, making me whole again. His beard scratched and tickled my face but I reveled in the feel of his body moving against mine. His tongue swept across my bottom lip and I opened my mouth on instinct. His lips were so perfect they were otherworldly, they didn’t even belong in the dark world we lived in. Nothing this amazing did. And yet here he was. With me. He deepened the kiss and I felt him everywhere. I felt his hands as they clutched my waist and dragged me against his firm, unyielding body. I felt his body heat as he drew me into him and wrapped his arms around me. I felt his tongue, the hot wetness of his mouth, his beard as it abraded my skin. I felt his happiness call to mine, his soul drink mine in, his essence consume me until I was entirely captivated by him and his kiss.
Rachel Higginson (Love and Decay, Volume One (Love and Decay #1-6))
Dhiren broke the silence by starting to hum a tune under his breath,,,, 'The smile of the moon has spilled over its banks'......I was filled with - with what? An affectionate contempt? A sense of ridicule? Shock that Dhiren, the earthy, self-styled tough guy, had any truck with the kind of music he'd consider effeminate? Tagore seemed to be carried inside all Bengalis, regardless of class or social background, like some inheritable disease, silent, unknown, until it manifested itself at the unlikeliest of times. How irredeemably middle class all this was: The Little Red Book and On Practice on the one hand; on the other hand, the poetry of Jibanananda Das in his cloth sidebag and a coy, cloying Tagore song almost involuntary on his lips. There really was no hope of escape for us. ...... For god's sake, Mao by day and Tagore by moonlight? Dhiren didn't miss a beat - That's quintessential Bengali soul for you.
Neel Mukherjee (The Lives of Others)
From Sister by ROSAMUND LUPTON    The rain hammered down onto your coffin, pitter-patter; ‘Pitter-patter, pitter-patter, I hear raindrops’; I was five and singing it to you, just born. Your coffin reached the bottom of the monstrous hole. And a part of me went down into the muddy earth with you and lay down next to you and died with you. Then Mum stepped forwards and took a wooden spoon from her coat pocket. She loosened her fingers and it fell on top of your coffin. Your magic wand. And I threw the emails I sign ‘lol’. And the title of older sister. And the nickname Bee. Not grand or important to anyone else, I thought, this bond that we had. Small things. Tiny things. You knew that I didn’t make words out of my alphabetti spaghetti but I gave you my vowels so you could make more words out of yours. I knew that your favourite colour used to be purple but then became bright yellow; (‘Ochre’s the arty word, Bee’) and you knew mine was orange, until I discovered that taupe was more sophisticated and you teased me for that. You knew that my first whimsy china animal was a cat (you lent me 50p of your pocket money to buy it) and that I once took all my clothes out of my school trunk and hurled them around the room and that was the only time I had something close to a tantrum. I knew that when you were five you climbed into bed with me every night for a year. I threw everything we had together - the strong roots and stems and leaves and beautiful soft blossoms of sisterhood - into the earth with you. And I was left standing on the edge, so diminished by the loss, that I thought I could no longer be there. All I was allowed to keep for myself was missing you. Which is what? The tears that pricked the inside of my face, the emotion catching at the top of my throat, the cavity in my chest that was larger than I am. Was that all I had now? Nothing else from twenty-one years of loving you. Was the feeling that all is right with the world, my world, because you were its foundations, formed in childhood and with me grown into adulthood - was that to be replaced by nothing? The ghastliness of nothing. Because I was nobody’s sister now. I saw Dad had been given a handful of earth. But as he held out his hand above your coffin he couldn’t unprise his fingers. Instead, he put his hand into his pocket, letting the earth fall there and not onto you. He watched as Father Peter threw the first clod of earth instead and broke apart, splintering with the pain of it. I went to him and took his earth-stained hand in mine, the earth gritty between our soft palms. He looked at me with love. A selfish person can still love someone else, can’t they? Even when they’ve hurt them and let them down. I, of all people, should understand that. Mum was silent as they put earth over your coffin. An explosion in space makes no sound at all.
Rosamund Lupton
It had only been two days – two days – since he’d seen her last, and yet he’d missed her every step of the way. How was that possible? To miss someone you’d scarcely had in your life at all? For all his knowledge, he had no answer, only knew that every moment spent by her side made it that much more difficult to leave again. To accept the incoming battering of noise, the necessary barrenness of his life. The loneliness. He could hear the music of her voice so clearly as she spoke now, every inflection, every intonation. And the world around them, too – birds on the wing and children laughing. Her presence was a continual surprise, one that made him by turns calm and edgy and covetous. And mindful, his responsibilities, self-appointed though they were, crowding back into his mind on a silent sigh. The Descent was still closing in on him, and Dmitri still lived, which meant there was too much left to do and no time for distraction. But still...
Angela B. Wade (Breaking Sea)
Samwell Tarly looked at him for a long moment, and his round face seemed to cave in on itself. He sat down on the frost-covered ground and began to cry, huge choking sobs that made his whole body shake. Jon Snow could only stand and watch. Like the snowfall on the barrowlands, it seemed the tears would never end. It was Ghost who knew what to do. Silent as shadow, the pale direwolf moved closer and began to lick the warm tears off Samwell Tarly's face. The fat boy cried out, startled... and somehow, in a heartbeat, his sobs turned to laughter. Jon Snow laughed with him. Afterward they sat on the frozen ground, huddled in their cloaks with Ghost between them. Jon told the story of how he and Robb had found the pups newborn in the late summer snows. It seemed a thousand years ago now. Before long he found himself talking of Winterfell. "Sometimes I dream about it," he said. "I'm walking down this long empty hall. My voice echoes all around, but no one answers, so I walk faster, opening doors, shouting names. I don't even know who I'm looking for. Most nights it's my father, but sometimes it's Robb instead, or my little sister Arya, or my uncle." The thought of Benjen Stark saddened him; his uncle was still missing. The Old Bear had sent out rangers in search of him. Ser Jaremy Rykker had led two sweeps, and Quorin Halfhand had gone forth from the Shadow Tower, but they'd found nothing aside from a few blazes in the trees that his uncle had left to mark his way. In the stony highlands to the northwest, the marks stopped abruptly and all trace of Ben Stark vanished. "Do you ever find anyone in your dream?" Sam asked. Jon shook his head. "No one. The castle is always empty." He had never told anyone of the dream, and he did not understand why he was telling Sam now, yet somehow it felt good to talk of it. "Even the ravens are gone from the rookery, and the stables are full of bones. That always scares me. I start to run then, throwing open doors, climbing the tower three steps at a time, screaming for someone, for anyone. And then I find myself in front of the door to the crypts. It's black inside, and I can see the steps spiraling down. Somehow I know I have to go down there, but I don't want to. I'm afraid of what might be waiting for me. The old Kings of Winter are down there, sitting on their thrones with stone wolves at their feet and iron swords across their laps, but it's not them I'm afraid of. I scream that I'm not a Stark, that this isn't my place, but it's no good, I have to go anyway, so I start down, feeling the walls as I descend, with no torch to light the way. It gets darker and darker, until I want to scream." He stopped, frowning, embarrassed. "That's when I always wake." His skin cold and clammy, shivering in the darkness of his cell. Ghost would leap up beside him, his warmth as comforting as daybreak. He would go back to sleep with his face pressed into the direwolf s shaggy white fur.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
It isn’t the height that scares me—the height makes me feel alive with energy, every organ and vessel and muscle in my body singing at the same pitch. Then I realize what it is. It’s him. Something about him makes me feel like I am about to fall. Or turn to liquid. Or burst into flames. My hand almost misses the next rung. “Now tell me…,” he says through a bursting breath, “what do you think learning strategy has to do with…bravery?” The question reminds me that he is my instructor, and I am supposed to learn something from this. A cloud passes over the moon, and the light shifts across my hands. “It…it prepares you to act,” I say finally. “You learn strategy so you can use it.” I hear him breathing behind me, loud and fast. “Are you all right, Four?” “Are you human, Tris? Being up this high…” He gulps for air. “It doesn’t scare you at all?” I look over my shoulder at the ground. If I fall now, I will die. But I don’t think I will fall. A gust of air presses against my left side, throwing my body weight to the right. I gasp and cling to the rungs, my balance shifting. Four’s cold hand clamps around one of my hips, one of his fingers finding a strip of bare skin just under the hem of my T-shirt. He squeezes, steadying me and pushing me gently to the left, restoring my balance. Now I can’t breathe. I pause, staring at my hands, my mouth dry. I feel the ghost of where his hand was, his fingers long and narrow. “You okay?” he asks quietly. “Yes,” I say, my voice strained. I keep climbing, silently, until I reach the platform. Judging by the blunted ends of metal rods, it used to have railings, but it doesn’t anymore. I sit down and scoot to the end of it so Four has somewhere to sit. Without thinking, I put my legs over the side. Four, however, crouches and presses his back to the metal support, breathing heavily. “You’re afraid of heights,” I say. “How do you survive in the Dauntless compound?” “I ignore my fear,” he says. “When I make decisions, I pretend it doesn’t exist.” I stare at him for a second. I can’t help it. To me there’s a
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Barbie seemed much more emotional. “Alicia, darling, I’ve missed you. You’re so thin, there’s nothing left of you. I’m so jealous. How are you? That awful woman nearly didn’t let me see you. It’s been a nightmare—” So it went, an endless stream of inane chatter from Barbie, details of her trip to San Diego to visit her mother and brother. Alicia just sat there, silent, her face a mask, betraying nothing, showing nothing. After about twenty minutes, the monologue mercifully ended. Alicia was led away by Yuri, as uninterested as she was when she had entered. I approached Barbie as she was leaving the Grove. “Can I have a word?” Barbie nodded, as if she had been expecting this. “You want to talk to me about Alicia? It’s about time somebody asked me some goddamn questions. The police didn’t want to hear anything—which was crazy, because Alicia confided in me all the time, you know? About everything. She told me things you wouldn’t believe.” Barbie said this with a definite emphasis and gave me a coy smile. She knew she had piqued my interest.
Alex Michaelides (The Silent Patient)
Robert gestured Lydia ahead of him across the threshold of number nineteen. Once inside, the atmosphere was entirely different from his previous visits. Silent calm had been replaced by chatter, laughter, and scolding that bounced into the three-story entrance from various regions of the house. There was a smell of newly lit fires, and the accompanying puffs of smoke, as well as the enticing aroma of cooking wafting up from the kitchens. It was a bustling, busy household. Shodster stepped into the hall and rushed toward Robert, hands outstretched ready to take Robert’s hat and cane. “Thank you, no. Miss Whitfield and I are going for a walk.” Robert took a half step back. “We will be leaving shortly.” Looking to Lydia for confirmation, Shodster nodded. “I do beg your pardon, Miss Whitfield. I was not here for the door. It will not happen again.” “Worry not, Shodster.” Lydia shrugged. “I learned how to open a door some time ago. The trick is to turn the handle.” The butler blinked at Lydia’s lightheartedness. “Yes. That would, indeed, be the trick.
Cindy Anstey (Duels & Deception)
Okay, so I shouldn't have fucked with her on the introduction thing. Writing nothing except, Saturday night. You and me. Driving lessons and hot sex ... in her notebook probably wasn't the smartest move. But I was itching to make Little Miss Perfecta stumble in her introduction of me. And stumbling she is. "Miss Ellis?" I watch in amusement as Perfection herself looks up at Peterson. Oh, she's good. This partner of mine knows how to hide her true emotions, something I recognize because I do it all the time. "Yes?" Brittany says, tilting her head and smiling like a beauty queen. I wonder if that smile has ever gotten her out of a speeding ticket. "It's your turn. Introduce Alex to the class." I lean an elbow on the lab table, waiting for an introduction she has to either make up or fess up she knows less than crap about me. She glances at my comfortable position and I can tell from her deer-in-the-headlights look I've stumped her. "This is Alejandro Fuentes," she starts, her voice hitching the slightest bit. My temper flares at the mention of my given name, but I keep a cool facade as she continues with a made-up introduction. "When he wasn't hanging out on street corners and harassing innocent people this summer, he toured the inside of jails around the city, if you know what I mean. And he has a secret desire nobody would ever guess." The room suddenly becomes quiet. Even Peterson straightens to attention. Hell, even I'm listening like the words coming out of Brittany's lying, pink-frosted lips are gospel. "His secret desire," she continues, "is to go to college and become a chemistry teacher, like you, Mrs. Peterson." Yeah, right. I look over at my friend Isa, who seems amused that a white girl isn't afraid of giving me smack in front of the entire class. Brittany flashes me a triumphant smile, thinking she's won this round. Guess again, gringa. I sit up in my chair while the class remains silent. "This is Brittany Ellis," I say, all eyes now focused on me. "This summer she went to the mall, bought new clothes so she could expand her wardrobe, and spent her daddy's money on plastic surgery to enhance her, ahem, assets." It might not be what she wrote, but it's probably close enough to the truth. Unlike her introduction of me. Chuckles come from mis cuates in the back of the class, and Brittany is as stiff as a board beside me, as if my words hurt her precious ego. Brittany Ellis is used to people fawning all over her and she could use a little wake-up call. I'm actually doing her a favor. Little does she know I'm not finished with her intro. "Her secret desire," I add, getting the same reaction as she did during her introduction, "is to date a Mexicano before she graduates." As expected, my words are met by comments and low whistles from the back of the room. "Way to go, Fuentes," my friend Lucky barks out. "I'll date you, mamacita, " another says. I give a high five to another Latino Blood named Marcus sitting behind me just as I catch Isa shaking her head as if I did something wrong. What? I'm just having a little fun with a rich girl from the north side. Brittany's gaze shifts from Colin to me. I take one look at Colin and with my eyes tell him game on. Colin's face instantly turns bright red, resembling a chile pepper. I have definitely invaded his territory.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
My kin would sooner have a badger in their house than a Campbell." Alan saw his mother open hermouth and shook his head to silence her. He not only knew Shelby could hold her own but wanted to see her do it. "Most MacGregors were comfortable enough with badgers in the parlor." "Barbarians!" Daniel sucked in his breath. "The Campbells were barbarians, each and every one of them." Shelby tilted her head as if to study him from a new angle. "The MacGregors have a reputation for being sore losers." Instantly Daniel's face went nearly as red as his hair. "Losers? Hah! There's never been a Campbell born who could stand up to a MacGregor in a fair fight. Backstabbers." "We'll have Rob Roy's biography again in a minute," Shelby heard Caine mutter. "You don't have a drink, Dad," he said, hoping to distract him. "Shelby?" "Yes." She shifted her gaze to him, noting he was doing his best to maintain sobriety. "Scotch," she told him, with a quick irrepressible wink. "Straight up.If the MacGregors had been wiser," she continued without missing a beat, "perhaps they wouldn't have lost their land and their kilts and the name.Kings," she went on mildly as Daniel began to huff and puff, "have a habit of getting testy when someone's trying to overthrow them." "Kings!" Daniel exploded. "An English king, by God! No true Scotsman needed an English king to tell him how to live on his land." Shelby's lips curved as Caine handed her a glass. "That's a truth I can drink to." "Hah!" Daniel lifted his glass and drained it in one swallow before he thumped it onto the table at his side. Cocking a brow,Shelby eyed the Scotch in her glass,then proceeded to follow Daniel's example. For a moment,he frowned at the empty glass beside his. Slowly,with the room deadly silent,he shifted his gaze back to Shelby.His eyes were fierce, hers insolent. Heaving himself out of his chair, he towered over here, a great bear of a man with fiery hair.She put both hands on her hips, a willow-slim woman with curls equally dramtic. Alan wished fleetingly he could paint. Daniel's laugh, when he threw back his head and let it loose,was rich and loud and long. "Aye,by God,here's a lass!" Shelby found herself swept off her feet in a crushing hug that held welcome.
Nora Roberts (The MacGregors: Alan & Grant (The MacGregors, #3-4))
What are we talking about?” Alex says. “This is fucking nonsense.” The couple ahead of us turns slightly. “What are you looking at?” Alex says to them. I don’t bother to reprimand her, because really, what are they looking at? I slow my pace and Alex punches Scottie in the arm. “Ow!” Scottie screams. “Alex! Why are we still on this pattern?” “Hit her back, Dad,” Scottie yells. Alex grabs Scottie’s neck. “You’re hurting me,” Scottie says. “That’s kind of the point,” Alex says. I grab both children by the arm and pull them down to the sand. Sid covers his mouth with his hand and bends over, laughing silently. “‘What do you love about Mom?’” Alex says, mimicking her sister. “Shut up, already. And stop babying her.” I sit down between them and don’t say a word. Sid sits next to Alex. “Easy, tiger,” he says. I look at the waves crashing down on the sand. A few women walk by and give me this knowing look, as though a father with his kids is such a precious sight. It takes so little to be revered as a father. I can tell the girls are waiting for me to say something, but what can I say that hasn’t been said? I’ve shouted, I’ve reasoned, I’ve even spanked. Nothing works. “What do you love about Mom, Scottie?” I ask, glaring at Alex. She takes a moment to think. “Lots of stuff. She’s not old and ugly, like most moms.” “What about you, Alex?” “Why are we doing this?” she asks. “How did we get here in the first place?” “Swimming with the sharks,” I say. “Scottie wanted to swim with sharks.” “You can do that,” Sid says. “I read about it in the hotel.” “She’s not afraid of anything,” Alex says. She’s wrong, and besides, I think this is a statement and not something that Alex truly loves. “Let’s get back,” I say. I stand up and wipe the sand off of me. I look at our hotel on the cliff, pink from the sunset. The girls’ expressions when I told them about their mom made me feel so alone. They won’t ever understand me the way Joanie does. They won’t know her the way I do. I miss her despite the fact that she envisioned the rest of her life without me. I look at my daughters, utter mysteries, and for a brief moment I have a sick feeling that I don’t want to be alone in the world with these two girls. I’m relieved they haven’t asked me what it is I love about them.
Kaui Hart Hemmings (The Descendants)
No one but she had realized that the ballroom bore a rather startling resemblance to the gardens at Charise Dumont’s country house, and that the arbor at the side, with its trellised entrance, was a virtual replica of the place where she and Ian had first waltzed that long-ago night. Across the room, the vicar was standing with Jake Wiley, Lucinda, and the Duke of Stanhope, and he raised his glass to her. Elizabeth smiled and nodded back. Jake Wiley watched the silent communication and beamed upon his little group of companions. “Exquisite bride, isn’t she?” he pronounced, not for the first time. For the past half-hour, the three men had been merrily congratulating themselves on their individual roles in bringing this marriage about, and the consumption of spirits was beginning to show in Duncan and Jake’s increasingly gregarious behavior. “Absolutely exquisite,” Duncan agreed. “She’ll make Ian an excellent wife,” said the duke. “We’ve done well, gentlemen,” he added, lifting his glass in yet another congratulatory toast to his companions. “To you, Duncan,” he said with a bow, “for making Ian see the light.” “To you, Edward,” said the vicar to the duke, “for forcing society to accept them.” Turning to Jake, he added, “And to you, old friend, for insisting on going to the village for the servingwomen and bringing old Attila and Miss Throckmorton-Jones with you.” That toast belatedly called to mind the silent duenna who was standing stiffly beside them, her face completely devoid of expression. “And to you, Miss Throckmorton-Jones,” said Duncan with a deep, gallant bow, “for taking that laudanum and spilling the truth to me about what Ian did two years ago. ‘Twas that, and that alone, which caused everything else to be put into motion, so to speak. But here,” said Duncan, nonplussed as he waved to a servant bearing a tray of champagne, “you do not have a glass, my dear woman, to share in our toasts.” “I do not take strong spirits,” Lucinda informed Duncan. “Furthermore, my good man,” she added with a superior expression that might have been a smile or a smirk, “I do not take laudanum, either.” And on that staggering announcement, she swept up her unbecoming gray skirts and walked off to dampen the spirits of another group. She left behind her three dumbstruck, staring men who gaped at each other and then suddenly erupted into shouts of laughter.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Silence of the Waves My dear, did you remember the star when the night fell to greet you? Trying to hear a whisper, who is there calling your name? God? Or any human? For decades I searched the sea only to remember the sound of the waves, and then I composed a dream palace from grains of sand on the beach. But what a pity, the wind so quickly made it pass. Miss longing for foam, scrambling to kiss your white marble legs. Once, we met on the beach. Even though it's only once. After that, all memories are peeled away like a shadow. Together with the sun, which drifted toward the evening. A blurry portrait that stammers keeps memories, clutches of the wind and a faint smile on your lips. A wound in my heart, like a trickle of rain that hardens, becomes pointed at the needle in time. Lost direction, unable to determine the wind. The silent wing flap interpreted the dream once more, in the face of my lover increasingly blurred face. In the distance. When they were busy, they worked on the waves, catching wounds that never healed all over their bodies. Limp hands stretching the pain of a heart. A broken moon that was painstakingly storing crushed flakes of a thorn. Endlessly.
Titon Rahmawan
If you’re hoping for a good meal, you’ve come to the wrong place. Miss Cameron has already attempted to sacrifice herself on the altar of domesticity this morning, and we both narrowly escaped death from her efforts. I’m cooking supper,” he finished, “and it may not be much better.” “I’ll try my hand at breakfast,” the vicar volunteered good-naturedly. When Elizabeth was out of earshot, Ian said quietly, “How badly is the woman hurt?” “It’s hard to say, considering that she was almost too angry to be coherent. Or it might have been the laudanum that did it.” “Did what?” The vicar paused a moment to watch a bird hop about in the rustling leaves overhead, then he said, “She was in a rare state. Quite confused. Angry, too. On the one hand, she was afraid you might decide to express your ‘tender regard’ for Lady Cameron, undoubtedly in much the way you were doing it when I arrived.” When his gibe evoked nothing but a quirked eyebrow from his imperturbable nephew, Duncan sighed and continued, “At the same time, she was equally convinced that her young lady might try to shoot you with your own gun, which I distinctly understood her to say the young lady had already tried to do. It is that which I feared when I heard the gunshots that sent me galloping up here.” “We were shooting at targets.” The vicar nodded, but he was studying Ian with an intent frown. “Is something else bothering you?” Ian asked, noting the look. The vicar hesitated, then shook his head slightly, as if trying to dismiss something from his mind. “Miss Throckmorton-Jones had more to say, but I can scarcely credit it.” “No doubt it was the laudanum,” Ian said, dismissing the matter with a shrug. “Perhaps,” he said, his frown returning. “Yet I have not taken laudanum, and I was under the impression you are about to betroth yourself to a young woman named Christina Taylor.” “I am.” His face turned censorious. “Then what excuse can you have for the scene I just witnessed a few minutes ago?” Ian’s voice was clipped. “Insanity.” They walked back to the house, the vicar silent and thoughtful, Ian grim. Duncan’s untimely arrival had not bothered him, but now that his passion had finally cooled he was irritated as hell with his body’s uncontrollable reaction to Elizabeth Cameron. The moment his mouth touched hers it was as if his brain went dead. Even though he knew exactly what she was, in his arms she became an alluring angel.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Prayer and Meditation Matthew 14 AND HE WENT UP INTO THE MOUNTAIN APART TO PRAY This was always the practice of Jesus when he would move into the masses, the crowd, afterwards he would go alone into deep prayer and meditation. Why did he do this? If you have been meditating, you will understand. You will understand that once you start meditating, a very fragile and delicate quality of consciousness is born in you. A flower of the unknown, of the beyond, starts opening, which is delicate. And whenever you move into the crowd, you lose something. Whenever you come back from the crowd, you come back lesser than you had gone. Something has been lost, some contact has been lost. The crowd pulls you down, it has a gravitation of it's own. You may not feel it if you live on the same plane of consciousness. Then there is no problem, then you have nothing to lose. In fact, when you live in the crowd, on the same plane, alone you feel very uneasy. When you are with people, you feel good and happy. But alone, you feel sad, your aloneness is not aloneness. It is loneliness, you miss the other. You do not find yourself in the aloneness, you simply miss the other. When you are alone, you are not alone, beacuse you are not there. Only the desire to be with others is there - that is what loneliness is. Always remember the distinction between aloneness and loneliness. Aloneness is a peak experience - loneliness is a valley. Aloneness has light in it, loneliness is dark. Loneliness is when you desire others; aloneness is when you enjoy yourself. When Jesus would move into the masses, into the crowd, he would tell his disciples to got to the other shore of the lake, and he would move into total aloneness. Not even the disciples were allowed to be with him. This was a constant practice with him. Whenever you go into the crowd, you are infected by it. You need a higher altitude to purify yourself, you need to be alone so that you can become fresh again. You need to be alone with yourself, so that you become together again. You need to be alone, so that you become centered and rooted in yourself again. Whenever you move with others, they push you off centre. AND WHEN THE EVENING WAS COME, HE WAS THERE ALONE Nothing is said about his prayer in the Bible, just the word "prayer". Before God or before existence, you simply need to be vulnerable - that is prayer. You are no to say something. So when you go into prayer, don't start saying something. It will all be desires, demands and deep complaints to God. And prayer with complaints is no prayer, a prayer with deep gratitude is prayer. There is no need to say something, you can just be silent. Hence nothing is said about what Jesus did in his aloneness. It simply says "apart to pray". He went apart, he became alone. That is what prayer is, to be alone, where the other is not felt, where the other is not standing between you and existence. When God's breeze can pass througn you, unhindered. It is a cleansing experience. It revejunates your spirit. To be with God simply means to be alone. You can miss the point, if you start thinking about God, then you are not alone. If you start talking to God, then in imagination you have created the other. And then you God is a projection, it will be a projection of your father. A prayer is not to say something. It is to be silent, open, available. And there is no need to believe in God, because that too is a projection. The only need is to be alone, to be capable of being alone - and immediately you are with God. Whenever you are alone, you are with God.
Swami Dhyan Giten (The Way, the Truth and the Life: On Jesus Christ, the Man, the Mystic and the Rebel)
You own a sweet shop?” St. Just fell in step beside Westhaven, all bonhomie and good cheer. “Diversification of assets, Kettering calls it. Get your own sweet shop, why don’t you?” “My brother, a confectioner. Marriage has had such a positive impact on you, Westhaven. How long have you owned this fine establishment?” It was a fine establishment, which was to say, it was warm. The scents of chocolate and cinnamon thick in the air didn’t hurt, either. Westhaven waited silently while St. Just peered around the place with unabashed curiosity. There was a prodigious amount of pink in the decor, and ribbon bows and small baskets and tins artfully decorated. “You own a bordello for sweets,” St. Just observed in a carrying voice likely honed on the parade grounds of Spain. “It’s charming.” “Unlike you.” “You’re just cold and missing your countess. One must make allowances.” Mercifully, those allowances meant St. Just kept quiet while Westhaven purchased a quantity of marzipan. “You aren’t going to tell the troops to carry on, God Save the King, and all that?” St. Just asked as they left the shop. He reached over and stuffed his fingers into the bag of sweets Westhaven was carrying. “Help yourself, by all means.” “Can’t leave all the heavy lifting to my younger brothers.
Grace Burrowes (Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (The Duke's Daughters, #1; Windham, #4))
Colonel Melchett silently marvelled at the amount of aids to beauty that women could use. Rows of jars of face cream, cleansing cream, vanishing cream, skin-feeding cream! Boxes of different shades of powder. An untidy heap of every variety of lipstick. Hair lotions and “brightening” applications. Eyelash black, mascara, blue stain for under the eyes, at least twelve different shades of nail varnish, face tissues, bits of cotton wool, dirty powder-puffs. Bottles of lotions—astringent, tonic, soothing, etc. “Do you mean to say,” he murmured feebly, “that women use all these things?” Inspector Slack, who always knew everything, kindly enlightened him. “In private life, sir, so to speak, a lady keeps to one or two distinct shades, one for evening, one for day. They know what suits them and they keep to it. But these professional girls, they have to ring a change, so to speak. They do exhibition dances, and one night it’s a tango and the next a crinoline Victorian dance and then a kind of Apache dance and then just ordinary ballroom, and, of course, the makeup varies a good bit.” “Good lord!” said the Colonel. “No wonder the people who turn out these creams and messes make a fortune.” “Easy money, that’s what it is,” said Slack. “Easy money. Got to spend a bit in advertisement, of course.” Colonel
Agatha Christie (The Body in the Library (Miss Marple, #3))
He was taking another hit from his short-and-squat of Goose when his eyes skipped to the arched doorway of the room. Jane hesitated as she glanced inside, her white coat opening as she leaned to the side, as if she were looking for him. When their eyes met, she smiled a little. And then a lot. His first impulse was to hide his own grin behind his Goose. But then he stopped himself. New world order. Come on, smile, motherfucker, he thought. Jane gave a short wave and played it cool, which was what they usually did when they were together in public. Turning away, she headed over to the bar to make herself something. “Hold up, cop,” V murmured, putting his drink down and bracing his cue against the table. Feeling like he was fifteen, he put his hand-rolled between his teeth and tucked his wife-beater tightly into the waistband of his leathers. A quick smooth of the hair and he was . . . well, as ready as he could be. He approached Jane from behind just as she struck up a convo with Mary—and when his shellan pivoted around to greet him, she seemed a little surprised that he’d come up to her. “Hi, V . . . How are—” Vishous stepped in close, putting them body to body, and then he wrapped his arms around her waist. Holding her with possession, he slowly bent her backward until she gripped his shoulders and her hair fell from her face. As she gasped, he said exactly what he thought: “I missed you.” And on that note, he put his mouth on hers and kissed the ever-living hell out of her, sweeping one hand down to her hip as he slipped his tongue in her mouth, and kept going and going and going . . . He was vaguely aware that the room had fallen stone silent and that everything with a heartbeat was staring at him and his mate. But whatever. This was what he wanted to do, and he was going to do it in front of everyone—and the king’s dog, as it turned out. Because Wrath and Beth came in from the foyer. As Vishous slowly righted his shellan, the catcalls and whistling started up, and someone threw a handful of popcorn like it was confetti. “Now that’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout,” Hollywood said. And threw more popcorn. Vishous cleared his throat. “I have an announcement to make.” Right. Okay, there were a lot of eyes on the pair of them. But he was so going to suck up his inclination to bow out. Tucking his flustered and blushing Jane into his side, he said loud and clear: “We’re getting mated. Properly. And I expect you all to be there and . . . Yeah, that’s it.” Dead. Quiet. Then Wrath released the handle on George’s harness and started to clap. Loud and slow. “About. Fucking. Time.
J.R. Ward (Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #9))
Perhaps I’m off the mark,” Westcliff said, “but I suspect it may have something to do with Miss Hathaway.” Cam sent him a damning glare. St. Vincent looked alertly from Cam’s stony face to Westcliff’s. “You didn’t tell me there was a woman.” Cam stood so quickly the chair nearly toppled backward. “She has nothing to do with it.” “Who is she?” St. Vincent always hated being left out of gossip. “One of Lord Ramsay’s sisters,” came Westcliff’s reply. “They reside at the estate next door.” “Well, well,” St. Vincent said. “She must be quite something to provoke such a reaction in you, Rohan. Tell me about her. Is she fair? Dark? Well formed?” To remain silent, or to deny the attraction, would have been to admit the full extent of his weakness. Cam lowered back into his chair and strove for an offhand tone. “Dark-haired. Pretty. And she has … quirks.” “Quirks.” St. Vincent’s eyes glinted with enjoyment. “How charming. Go on.” “She’s read obscure medieval philosophy. She’s afraid of bees. Her foot taps when she’s nervous.” And other, more personal things he couldn’t reveal … like the beautiful paleness of her throat and chest, the weight of her hair in his hands, the way strength and vulnerability were pleated inside her like two pieces of fabric folded together. Not to mention a body that had been designed for mortal sin.
Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1))
I got up to get another glass of water when Zac asked from his spot still at the stove, breaking up the two pounds of ground beef he’d added to the vegetables. “Vanny, were you gonna want me to help you with your draft list again this year?” I groaned. “I forgot. My brother just messaged me about it. I can’t let him win again this year, Zac. I can’t put up with his crap.” He raised his hand in a dismissive gesture. “I got you. Don’t worry about it.” “Thank—what?” Aiden had his glass halfway to his mouth and was frowning. “You play fantasy football?” he asked, referring to the online role-playing game that millions of people participated in. Participants got to build imaginary teams during a mock draft, made up of players throughout the league. I’d been wrangled into playing against my brother and some of our mutual friends about three years ago and had joined in ever since. Back then, I had no idea what the hell a cornerback was, much less a bye week, but I’d learned a lot since then. I nodded slowly at him, feeling like I’d done something wrong. The big guy’s brow furrowed. “Who was on your team last year?” I named the players I could remember, wondering where this was going and not having a good feeling about it. “What was your defensive team?” There it went. I slipped my hands under the counter and averted my eyes to the man at the stove, cursing him silently. “So you see…” The noise Zac tried to muffle was the most obvious snicker in the world. Asshole. “Was I not on your team?” I gulped. “So you see—” “Dallas wasn’t your team?” he accused me, sounding… well, I didn’t know if it was hurt or outraged, but it was definitely something. “Ahh…” I slid a look at the traitor who was by that point trying to muffle his laugh. “Zac helped me with it.” It was the thump that said Zac’s knees hit the floor. “Look, it isn’t that I didn’t choose you specifically. I would choose you if I could, but Zac said Minnesota—” “Minne-sota.” Jesus, he’d broken the state in two. The big guy, honest to God, shook his head. His eyes went from me to Zac in… yep, that was outrage. Aiden held out his hand, wiggling those incredibly long fingers. “Let me see it.” “See what?” “Your roster from last year.” I sighed and pulled my phone out of the fanny pack I still had around my waist, unlocking the screen and opening the app. Handing it over, I watched his face as he looked through my roster and felt guilty as hell. I’d been planning on choosing Dallas just because Aiden was on the team, but I really had let Zac steer me elsewhere. Apparently, just because you had the best defensive end in the country on your team, didn’t mean everyone else held up their end of the bargain. Plus, he’d missed almost the entire season. He didn’t have to take it so personally.
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
That’s the Thornton place up there atop yon hill,” the farmer said, pointing. Lucinda gazed in mounting anger at the large, but unimpressive cottage that was barely visible through the thick trees, then she turned the full force of her authority on the hapless farmer. “You’re mistaken, my good man,” she said stoutly. “No gentleman of consequence or sense would live in such a godforsaken place as this. Kindly turn this decrepit vehicle around and return us to the village whence we came so that we can ask directions again. There was obviously a misunderstanding.” At that, both the horse and the farmer swung their heads around and looked at her with identical expressions of weary resentment. The horse remained silent, but the farmer had heard Lucinda’s irate complaints for the last twelve miles, and he was heartily sick of them. “See here, my lady,” he began, but Lucinda cut him off. “Do not address me as ‘my lady.’ ‘Miss Throckmorton-Jones’ will do very well.” “Aye. Well, whoever ye be, this is as far as I’m takin’ ye, and that thar is the Thornton cottage.” “You can’t mean to abandon us here!” she said as the tired old man exhibited a surge of renewed energy-obviously brought on by the prospect of ridding himself of his unwanted guests-and leapt off the wagon, whereupon he began to drag their trunks and bandboxes off the wagon and onto the side of the narrow ledge that passed for a road.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
You’re the one who didn’t keep his word. And speaking of your word and its dubious worth, don’t change the subject. I saw the looks you and Miss Turner were exchanging. The lady goes bright pink every time you speak to her. For God’s sake, you put food on her plate without even asking.” “And where’s the crime in that?” Gray was genuinely curious to hear the answer. He hadn’t forgotten that shocked look she’d given him. “Come on, Gray. You know very well one doesn’t take such a liberty with a mere acquaintance. It’s…it’s intimate. The two of you are intimate. Don’t deny it.” “I do deny it. It isn’t true.” Gray took another swig from his flask and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “Damn it, Joss. Sooner or later, you’re going to have to trust me. I gave you my word. I’ve kept it.” And it was the truth, Gray told himself. Yes, he’d touched her tonight, but he’d never pledged not to touch her. He had kept his word. He hadn’t bedded her. He hadn’t kissed her. God, what he wouldn’t give just to kiss her… He rubbed the heel of his hand against his chest. That same ache lingered there-the same sharp tug he’d felt when she’d brought her foot down on his and pursed her lips into a silent plea. Please, she’d said. Don’t. As if she appealed to his conscience. His conscience. Where would the girl have gathered such a notion, that he possessed a conscience? Certainly not form his treatment of her. A bitter laugh rumbled through his chest, and Joss shot him a skeptical look. “Believe me, I’ve scarcely spoken to the girl in weeks. You can’t know the lengths I’ve gone to, avoiding her. And it isn’t easy, because she won’t stay put in her cabin, now will she? No, she has to go all over the ship, flirting with the crew, tacking her little pictures in every corner of the boat, taking tea in the galley with Gabriel. I can’t help but see her. And I can see she’s too damn thin. She needs to eat; I put food on her plate. There’s nothing more to it than that.” Joss said nothing, just stared at him as though he’d grown a second head. “Damn it, what now? Don’t you believe me?” “I believe what you’re saying,” his brother said slowly. “I just can’t believe what I’m hearing.” Gray folded his arms and leaned against the wall. “And what are you hearing?” “I wondered why you’d done all this…the dinner. Now I know.” “You know what?” Gray was growing exasperated. Most of all, because he didn’t know. “You care for this girl.” Joss cocked his head. “You care for her. Don’t you?” “Care for her.” Joss’s expression was smug. “Don’t you?” The idea was too preposterous to entertain, but Gray perked with inspiration. “Say I did care for her. Would you release me from that promise? If my answer is yes, can I pursue her?” Joss shook his head. “If the answer is yes, you can-and should-wait one more week. It’s not as though she’ll vanish the moment we make harbor. If the answer is yes, you’ll agree she deserves that much.” Wrong, Gray thought, sinking back into a chair.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
History is storytelling,’” Yaw repeated. He walked down the aisles between the rows of seats, making sure to look each boy in the eye. Once he finished walking and stood in the back of the room, where the boys would have to crane their necks in order to see him, he asked, “Who would like to tell the story of how I got my scar?” The students began to squirm, their limbs growing limp and wobbly. They looked at each other, coughed, looked away. “Don’t be shy,” Yaw said, smiling now, nodding encouragingly. “Peter?” he asked. The boy who only seconds before had been so happy to speak began to plead with his eyes. The first day with a new class was always Yaw’s favorite. “Mr. Agyekum, sah?” Peter said. “What story have you heard? About my scar?” Yaw asked, smiling still, hoping, now to ease some of the child’s growing fear. Peter cleared his throat and looked at the ground. “They say you were born of fire,” he started. “That this is why you are so smart. Because you were lit by fire.” “Anyone else?” Timidly, a boy named Edem raised his hand. “They say your mother was fighting evil spirits from Asamando.” Then William: “I heard your father was so sad by the Asante loss that he cursed the gods, and the gods took vengeance.” Another, named Thomas: “I heard you did it to yourself, so that you would have something to talk about on the first day of class.” All the boys laughed, and Yaw had to stifle his own amusement. Word of his lesson had gotten around, he knew. The older boys told some of the younger ones what to expect from him. Still, he continued, making his way back to the front of the room to look at his students, the bright boys from the uncertain Gold Coast, learning the white book from a scarred man. “Whose story is correct?” Yaw asked them. They looked around at the boys who had spoken, as though trying to establish their allegiance by holding a gaze, casting a vote by sending a glance. Finally, once the murmuring subsided, Peter raised his hand. “Mr. Agyekum, we cannot know which story is correct.” He looked at the rest of the class, slowly understanding. “We cannot know which story is correct because we were not there.” Yaw nodded. He sat in his chair at the front of the room and looked at all the young men. “This is the problem of history. We cannot know that which we were not there to see and hear and experience for ourselves. We must rely upon the words of others. Those who were there in the olden days, they told stories to the children so that the children would know, so that the children could tell stories to their children. And so on, and so on. But now we come upon the problem of conflicting stories. Kojo Nyarko says that when the warriors came to his village their coats were red, but Kwame Adu says that they were blue. Whose story do we believe, then?” The boys were silent. They stared at him, waiting. “We believe the one who has the power. He is the one who gets to write the story. So when you study history, you must always ask yourself, Whose story am I missing? Whose voice was suppressed so that this voice could come forth? Once you have figured that out, you must find that story too. From there, you begin to get a clearer, yet still imperfect, picture.
Yaa Gyasi (Homegoing)
Speaking of debutantes,” Jake continued cautiously when Ian remained silent, “what about the one upstairs? Do you dislike her especially, or just on general principle?” Ian walked over to the table and poured some Scotch into a glass. He took a swallow, shrugged, and said, “Miss Cameron was more inventive than some of her vapid little friends. She accosted me in a garden at a party.” “I can see how bothersome that musta been,” Jake joked, “having someone like her, with a face that men dream about, tryin’ to seduce you, usin’ feminine wiles on you. Did they work?” Slamming the glass down on the table, Ian said curtly, “They worked.” Coldly dismissing Elizabeth from his mind, he opened the deerskin case on the table, removed some papers he needed to review, and sat down in front of the fire. Trying to suppress his avid curiosity, Jake waited a few minutes before asking, “Then what happened?” Already engrossed in reading the documents in his hand, Ian said absently and without looking up, “I asked her to marry me; she sent me a note inviting me to meet her in the greenhouse; I went there; her brother barged in on us and informed me she was a countess, and that she was already betrothed.” The topic thrust from his mind, Ian reached for the quill lying on the small table beside his chair and made a note in the margin of the contract. “And?” Jake demanded avidly. “And what?” “And then what happened-after the brother barged in?” “He took exception to my having contemplated marrying so far above myself and challenged me to a duel,” Ian replied in a preoccupied voice as he made another note on the contract. “So what’s the girl doin’ here now?” Jake asked, scratching his head in bafflement over the doings of the Quality. “Who the hell knows,” Ian murmured irritably. “Based on her behavior with me, my guess is she finally got caught in some sleezy affair or another, and her reputation’s beyond repair.” “What’s that got to do with you?” Ian expelled his breath in a long, irritated sigh and glanced at Jake with an expression that made it clear he was finished answering questions. “I assume,” he bit out, “that her family, recalling my absurd obsession with her two years ago, hoped I’d come up to scratch again and take her off their hands.” “You think it’s got somethin’ to do with the old duke talking about you bein’ his natural grandson and wantin’ to make you his heir?” He waited expectantly, hoping for more information, but Ian ignored him, reading his documents. Left with no other choice and no prospect for further confidences, Jake picked up a candle, gathered up some blankets, and started for the barn. He paused at the door, struck by a sudden thought. “She said she didn’t send you any note about meetin’ her in the greenhouse.” “She’s a liar and an excellent little actress,” Ian said icily, without taking his gaze from the papers. “Tomorrow I’ll think of some way to get her out of here and off my hands.” Something in Ian’s face made him ask, “Why the hurry? You afraid of fallin’ fer her wiles again?” “Hardly.” “Then you must be made of stone,” he teased. “That woman’s so beautiful she’d tempt any man who was alone with her for an hour-includin’ me, and you know I ain’t in the petticoat line at all.” “Don’t let her catch you alone,” Ian replied mildly. “I don’t think I’d mind.” Jake laughed as he left.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Teddy actually cries, he misses her so bad, and eventually he convinces her that she”—here Sadie makes quote marks with her fingers—“‘owes’ him the chance to explain.” “And she agrees to meet?” I ask, mostly because I worry I’ve been silent too long. “Yes.” “This,” I say. “This is the part I never get.” Sadie leans forward and tilts her head to the side. “That’s because while you’re trying, Win, you’re still too male to get it. Women have been conditioned to please. We are responsible not just for ourselves but everyone in our orbit. We think it is our job to comfort the man. We think we can make things better by sacrificing a bit of ourselves. But you’re also right to ask. It’s the first thing I tell my clients: If you’re ready to end it, end it. Make a clean break and don’t look back. You don’t owe him anything.” “Did Sharyn go back to him?” I ask. “For a little while. Don’t shake your head like that, Win. Just listen, okay? That’s what these psychos do. They manipulate and gaslight. They make you feel guilty, like it’s your fault. They sucker you back in.” I still don’t get it, but that’s not important, is it? “Anyway, it didn’t last. Sharyn saw the light fast. She ended it again. She stopped replying to his calls and texts. And that’s when Teddy upped his assholery to the fully psychotic. Unbeknownst to her, he bugged her apartment. He put keyloggers on her computers. Teddy has a tracker on her phone. Then he starts texting her anonymous threats. He stole all her contacts, so he floods mailboxes with malicious lies about her—to her friends, her family. He writes emails and pretends he’s Sharyn and he trashes her professors and friends. On one occasion, he contacts Sharyn’s best friend’s fiancé—as Sharyn—and
Harlan Coben (Win (Windsor Horne Lockwood III, #1))
What do ego-lessness and becoming unattached mean in connection with today's mystical way in the form of resistance? . . . What is missing is a reflection that shows more clearly how complicit we are ourselves in the consumerist ego that the economy desires. I want to elucidate this in terms of a question that every nonconformist group, every critical minority wishing to contribute to the establishment of a different life has to face, namely, the question of success. Decisions about possible actions are weighed in a world governed by market considerations by one and only one criterion: success . . . Whenever such topics are raised, questions like the following are regularly heard: "What's the use of protesting, everything has been decided long ago?" "Can anything he changed anyway?" "What do you think you will accomplish?" "Whom do you want to influence?" "Who is paying attention?" "Will the media report it?" "How much publicity will it have?" "Do you really believe that this can succeed?" . . . Martin Buber said that "success is not a name of God." It could not he said more mystically nor more helplessly. The nothing that wants to become everything and needs us cannot he named in the categories of power . . . To let go of the ego means, among other things, to step away from the coercion to succeed. It means to "go where you are nothing." Without this form of mysticism, resistance loses it focus and dies before our very eyes. It is not that creating public awareness, winning fellow participants, and changing how we accept things is beside the point. But the ultimate criterion for taking part in actions of resistance and solidarity cannot he success because that would mean to go on dancing to the tunes of the bosses of this world.
Dorothee Sölle (The Silent Cry: Mysticism and Resistance)
Lady Thornton,” Sutherland said in an awful, silky voice that made Elizabeth shake inside, “does the word ‘perjury’ have any meaning to you?” “I believe,” Elizabeth said, “it means to tell a lie in a place like this.” “Do you know how the Crown punishes perjurers? They are sentenced to gaol, and they live their lives in a dark, dank cell. Would you want that to happen to you?” “It certainly doesn’t sound very agreeable,” Elizabeth said. “Would I be able to take my jewels and gowns?” Shouts of laughter shook the chandeliers that hung from the vaulted ceilings. “No, you would not!” “Then I’m certainly happy I haven’t lied.” Sutherland was no longer certain whether he’d been duped, but he sensed that he’d lost his effort to make Elizabeth sound like a clever, scheming adulteress or a terrified, intimidated wife. The bizarre story of her flight with her brother had now taken on a certain absurd credibility, and he realized it with a sinking heart and a furious glower. “Madam, would you perjure yourself to protect that man?” His arm swung toward Ian, and Elizabeth’s gaze followed helplessly. Her heart froze with terror when she saw that, if anything, Ian looked more bored, more coldly remote and unmoved than he had before. “I asked you,” Sutherland boomed, “if you would perjure yourself to save that man from going to the gallows next month.” Elizabeth would have died to save him. Tearing her gaze from Ian’s terrifying face, she pinned a blank smile on her face. “Next month? What a disagreeable thing to suggest! Why, next month is-is Lady Northam’s ball, and Kensington very specifically promised that we would go”-thunderous guffaws exploded, rocking the rafters, drowning out Elizabeth’s last words-“and that I could have a new fur!!” Elizabeth waited, sensing that she had succeeded, not because her performance had been so convincing, but because many of the lords and wives who never thought beyond the next gown or ball or fur, and so she seemed entirely believable to them. “No further questions!” Sutherland rapped out, casting a contemptuous glance over her. Peterson Delham slowly arose, and though his expression was carefully blank, even bemused, Elizabeth sensed rather than saw that he was silently applauding her. “Lady Thornton,” he said in formal tones, “is there anything else you have to say to this court?” She realized that he wanted her to say something else, and in her state of relieved exhaustion Elizabeth couldn’t think what it was. She said the only thing she could think of, and she knew soon after she began speaking that he was pleased. “Yes, my lord. I wish to say how very sorry I am for the bother Bobby and I have caused everyone. I was wrong to believe him and to dash off without a word to anyone. And it was wrong of him to remain so angry with my husband all this time over what was, after all, rather an act of kindness on his part.” She sensed that she was going too far, sounding too sensible, and she hastily added, “If Kensington had had Bobby tossed into gaol for trying to shoot him, I daresay Bobby would have found it nearly as disagreeable a place as I. He is,” she confided, “a very fastidious person!” “Lady Thornton!” the Lord Chancellor said when the fresh waves of laughter had diminished to ripples. “You may step down.” At the scathing tone in his voice, Elizabeth dared a look in his direction, and then she almost missed her step when she saw the furious scorn on his face. The other lords might think her an incorrigible henwit, but the Lord Chancellor looked as if he would personally have enjoyed throttling her.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Directly Mr Pye stepped ashore he heard her voice. 'The name is Dredger,' it said. Mr Pye lifted his head again, his thorn-shaped nose veering towards her and the rest of his round face following it, as a ship must follow its bowsprit. His little mouth continued to smile gently but it gave nothing away. As he remained silent, Miss Dredger raised her voice as though to establish the fact of her forthright nature from the outset. 'Mr Pye, I imagine!' Her new acquaintance removed his glasses, wiped them carefully, and re-set them on his nose. 'Who else?' he murmured. 'Who else, dear lady?' As Miss Dredger could not think 'who' else could possibly be Mr Pye, and had no wish to follow so foolish a train of conjecture, she blew some smoke out of her nostrils. Mr Pye watched the smoke-jets with interest, ad then, as though he were suggesting an alternative attitude to life, he drew a little box from his waistcoat pocket and helped himself to a fruit-drop. At this, Miss Dredger raised one of her black eyebrows, and as she did so she caught sight of young Pépé - and seeing him reminded her of Mr Pye's luggage. She turned to Mr Pye, her scrubbed hands on her tweed hips. 'What have you brought with you?' she said. Mr Pye turned his gaze upon her. 'Love,' he said. 'Just ... Love ...' and then he transferred the fruit-drop from one cheek to the other with a flick of his experience tongue. His fat little hands that held the lapels of his coat were quite green with the light reflected from the harbour water. Miss Dredger's face had turned the most dreadful colour and she had shut her eyes. The smoke drifted out of her nostrils with no enthusiasm. There were some things that simply are not mentioned - unless one wishes to be offensive and embarrassing. Religion, Art, and now this new horror - Love. What on earth did the man mean?
Mervyn Peake (Mr Pye)
You look lovely tonight, my lady,” Kellan said for her ears alone as he took her into his arms-not too close, of course. His flattery pleased her but did not discompose her as Grey’s did. Rose smiled sincerely in response. “Thank you, sir. Might I say that you are in very fine looks as well.” “You always know exactly the right thing to say to woo me, Lady Rose.” He grinned as they moved through a turn. “Have a care, else you’re likely to break my heart.” “If it is so easily broken, perhaps you should hold it a little more dear,” she advised archly. He winced, but it was apparent that he had taken the remark with the humor she intended. “She mocks me.” “You are mistaken, sir. I am merely thinking of your best interests.” They shared a smile and were silent for a turn. “I am surprised that Ryeton allowed you to come tonight.” Rose raised a brow. “The duke does not dictate where I can and cannot go.” Grey might be her benefactor, but he was not her guardian. “That is good to hear,” Kellan replied, ignoring the edge to her tone. “So he cannot prevent you from taking a drive in Hyde Park with me tomorrow afternoon.” She chuckled. “No, I suppose not. But first, you might want to ask me if I care to take a drive with you.” “Do you?” She did. Did that make her awful? Just a few minutes ago she’d been missing Grey and thinking about how much she cared for him, and now here she was flirting with Kellan and fluttering over the prospect of going for a carriage ride. It wasn’t fickleness, she told herself. It was practicality. She was doing what she was supposed to do. Kellan had yet to lay any claim to her feelings or her heart, but she owed him the opportunity to try. She would never get over Grey and find love if she didn’t try as well. And it wouldn’t hurt Grey to see another man take interest in her. Perhaps a little jealousy would do him good.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
Violet’s not getting out of our sight,” Arion adds. There’s a moment of just staring…like everyone is trying to silently argue. “No one naked in my car,” Mom states when I just stand in my spot, waiting on them to hurry through the push and pull. You really can tell how thick the air is when too many alphas are in the room at one time, but weirdly it never feels this way when it’s just the four of them. Unless punches are thrown. Then it gets a little heavier than normal. Arion pulls on his clothes, and threads whir in the air as I quickly fashion Emit a lopsided toga that lands on his body. Everyone’s gaze swings to him like it’s weird for him and normal for me to be in a toga. Awesome. Damien muffles a sound, Emit arches an eyebrow at me, and Arion remains rigid, staying close to me but never touching me. All of us squeezing into a car together while most of them hate each other…should be fun. The storm finally stops before we board the elevator, and it’s one of those super awkward elevator moments where no one is looking at anyone or saying anything, and everyone is trying to stay in-the-moment serious. We stop on the floor just under us, after the longest thirty-five seconds ever. The doors open, and two men glance around at Emit and I in our matching togas, even though his is the fitted sheet and riding up in some funny places. He looks like a caveman who accidentally bleached and shrank his wardrobe. I palm my face, embarrassed for him. The next couple of floors are super awkward with the addition of the two new, notably uncomfortable men. Worst seventy-nine seconds ever. Math doesn’t add up? Yeah. I’m upset about those extra nine seconds as well. Poor Emit has to duck out of the unusually small elevator, and the bottom of his ass cheek plays peek-a-boo on one side. Damien finally snorts, and even Mom struggles to keep a straight face. That really pisses her off. “You’re seeing him on an off day,” I tell the two guys, who stare at my red boots for a second. I feel the need to defend Emit a little, especially since I now know he overheard all that gibberish Tiara was saying… I can’t remember all I said, and it’s worrying me now that my mind has gone off on this stupid tangent. I trip over the hem of my toga, and Arion snags me before I hit the floor, righting me and showing his hands to my mother with a quick grin. “Can’t just let her fall,” he says unapologetically. “You’re going to have to learn to deal with that,” she bites out. She has a very good point. I don’t trip very often, but things and people usually knock me around a good bit of my life. The two guys look like they want to run, so I hurry to fix this. “Really, it’s a long story, but I swear Emit—the tallest one in the fitted-sheet-toga—generally wears pants…er…I guess you guys call them trousers over here. Anyway, we had some plane problems,” I carry on, and then realize I have to account for the fact we’re both missing clothing. “Then there was a fire that miraculously only burned our clothes, because Emit put all my flames out by smothering me with his body,” I state like that’s exactly what happened. Why do they look so scared? I’m not telling a scary lie. At this point, I’ve just made it worse, and fortunately Damien takes mercy, clamping his hand over my mouth as he starts steering me toward the door before I can make it…whatever comes after worse but before the worst. “Thank you,” sounds more like “Mmdi ooooo,” against his hand, but he gets the gist, as he grins. Mom makes a frustrated sound. “Another minute, and she’d be bragging about his penis size in quest to save his dignity. Did you really want to hear that?” Damien asks her, forcing me to groan against his hand.
Kristy Cunning (Gypsy Moon (All The Pretty Monsters, #4))
The crowd as silent,holding their breaths.Hot wind rustled in the trees as the ax gleamed in the sun.Luce could feel that the end was coming,but why? Why had her soul dragged her here? What insight abouther past,or the curse, could she possibly gain from having her head cut off? Then Daniel dropped the ax to the ground. "What are you doing?" Luce asked. Daniel didn't answer.He rolled back his shoulders, turned his face toward the sky, and flung out her arms. Zotz stepped forward to interfere,but when he touched Daniel's shoulder,he screamed and recoiled as if he'd been burned. And then- Daniel's white wings unfurled from his shoulders.As they extended fully from his sides,huge and shockingly bright against the parched brown landscape, they sent twenty Mayans hurtling backward. Shouts rang out around the cenote: "What is he?" "The boy is winged!" "He is a god! Sent to us by Chaat!" Luce thrashed against the ropes binding her wrists and her ankles.She needed to run to Daniel.She tried to move toward him,until- Until she couldn't move anymore. Daniel's wings were so bright they were almost unbearable. Only, now it wasn't just Daniel's wings that were glowing. It was...all of him. His entire body shone.As if he'd swallowed the sun. Music filled the air.No,not music, but a single harmonious chord.Deafening and unending,glorious and frightening. Luce had heard it before...somewhere. In the cemetery at Sword&Cross, the last night she'd been there,the night Daniel had fought Cam,and Luce hadn't been allowed to watch.The night Miss Sophia had dragged her away and Penn had died and nothing had ever been the same.It had begun with that very same chord,and it was coming out of Daniel.He was lit up so brightly,his body actually hummed. She swayed where she stood,unable to take her eyes away.An intense wave of heat stroked her skin. Behind Luce,someone cried out.The cry was followed by another,and then another,and then a whole chorus of voices crying out. Something was burning.It was acrid and choking and turned her stomach instantly. Then,in the corner of her vision,there was an explosion of flame, right where Zotz had been standing a moment before. The boom knocked her backward,and she turned away from the burning brightness of Daniel,coughing on the black ash and bitter smoke. Hanhau was gone,the ground where she'd stood scorched black.The gap-toothed man was hiding his face,trying hard not to look at Daniel's radiance.But it was irresistible.Luce watched as the man peeked between his fingers and burst into a pillar of flame. All around the cenote,the Mayans stared at Daniel.And one by one,his brilliance set them ablaze.Soon a bright ring of fire lit up the jungle,lit up everyone but Luce. "Ix Cuat!" Daniel reached for her. His glow made Luce scream out in pain,but even as she felt as if she were on the verge of asphyxiation, the words tumbled from her mouth. "You're glorious." "Don't look at me," he pleaded. "When a mortal sees an angel's true essence, then-you can see what happened to the others.I can't let you leave me again so soon.Always so soon-" "I'm still here," Luce insisted. "You're still-" He was crying. "Can you see me? The true me?" "I can see you." And for just a fraction of a second,she could.Her vision cleared.His glow was still radiant but not so blinding.She could see his soul. It was white-hot and immaculate,and it looked-there was no other way to say it-like Daniel. And it felt like coming home.A rush of unparalleled joy spread through Luce.Somewhere in the back of her mind,a bell of recognition chimed. She'd seen him like this before. Hadn't she? As her mind strained to draw upon the past she couldn't quite touch,the light of him began to overwhelm her. "No!" she cried,feeling the fire sear her heart and her body shake free of something.
Lauren Kate (Passion (Fallen, #3))
Remain still; breathe naturally,” he whispered right in her ear, very, very quietly. She did as he suggested, not wanting to be found in the darkness with him by people too inebriated to observe a little discretion. And while she stood so close to him, the night breeze stirred the air, bringing Hazlit’s scent to Maggie’s nose. She puzzled over it, because it was faint but alluring. Complicated, like the man who wore it. Honeysuckle was the primary note, as sweet a scent as ever graced a bottle—and as intoxicating. She was marveling over that bit of deduction and deciding the undertone was bergamot, when she felt Hazlit’s hand in her hair. Holding her still? He gathered a few of the locks drifting over her right shoulder and rubbed them silently between his fingers. When had he taken off his gloves? Remain still; breathe naturally. It was good advice, when her heart wanted to pound, when she wanted both to run and to stand there forever, his fingers playing with her hair. His hand shifted so he brushed her hair back over her shoulder, just once. Maggie’s heart started to thud in her chest. She wasn’t frightened, exactly, but she was rattled. Men never touched her, not if they knew what was good for them, and she ought to abhor being rattled like this. She held still, waiting for him to repeat that simple caress. “They’re gone,” he said, still whispering. He took her by the wrist again and led her to the path, offering her his arm with perfect propriety. They returned to the house without incident, and Maggie thanked every merciful god in the pantheon she and her escort had missed the dancing. “Will you be going in to supper?” he asked. “I’d prefer not to.” And what had that business been with her hair? Was he going to pretend he hadn’t taken such a liberty? “I’ll fetch your coach. Find your wrap, and if you brought one, your reticule.” He offered her an ironic little bow and went off on his gentlemanly errand. Maggie was home and fighting her way toward sleep before she realized Hazlit hadn’t been pretending he’d never touched her hair. He’d been letting her ignore the fact that she’d allowed it. ***
Grace Burrowes (Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal (The Duke's Daughters, #2; Windham, #5))
She asked about my intentions toward you.” He steadied his nerve to speak words that might hurt her. “I told her there was nothing between us.” “Did you?” Her expression was impenetrable as she shifted her gaze to the road ahead. “Fortunately, I told her the same thing.” He gripped the reins. So much for hurting her. “But you know Gran,” Celia went on lightly. “She’ll think what she wants, no matter what either of us say.” “Well,” he managed, “her mind will surely be put to rest about you and me when you announce that you’re marrying the duke.” “When I announce?” she echoed, then fell silent for a long moment. “There’s something I…ought to have mentioned before.” He gritted his teeth. Damn, damn, damn. She must have already announced it, last night after he’d left the ball. It was set in stone now. She was planning to let that bloody duke into her bed and her life, even though she didn’t- “I never had any intention of marrying the duke.” Stunned, he turned to gape at her, a jolt of relief shooting straight to his soul. Then he caught himself. He could be reading her words entirely wrong. “Oh? Have you fixed on one of the others instead?” She took a deep breath. “Actually I’d planned for another outcome entirely.” His blood clamored in his chest. “What do you mean?” “I was hoping that if I gained an offer from a man of high rank, I could throw it in Gran’s face to prove I am just as marriageable as any woman. Then she would realize that her ultimatum was foolish, and she would rescind it.” Sweet God. That, he hadn’t expected. “I see,” he muttered, rendered practically speechless by her revelation. All this time he’d assumed that she wanted to marry one of those arses. If she hadn’t really… No, he couldn’t allow himself to hope. Nothing had really changed. “I know, I know,” she went on, “you don’t have to say it-it was a stupid plan. I didn’t think it through.” He weighed his words. “If it was a stupid plan-and I’m not saying it was-it’s only because you misconstrue your grandmother’s feelings about your eligibility to marry.” She snorted. “She thinks no one would ever marry ‘a reckless society miss’ and a ‘troublemaker.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
Hey Princess.” Good God I missed hearing his voice. “Chase,” I had to clear my throat to continue, “I didn’t think you were going to be here.” “I asked if you were coming to the house.” He replied hesitantly. “Right, I just figured you meant your house.” The room was thick with the tension that always followed us around. My heart started racing from his nearness and I silently cursed myself. I really didn’t want any kind of feelings for this guy, and here I was wishing he would try to kiss me again. We sat there watching each other for who knows how long before he walked over and sank down on the floor next to me, handing me a small wrapped box. “Merry Christmas Harper.” I picked it up and just stared at it, all I could say was “Why?” “Because you’re my favorite, remember?” he huffed and his lips tilted up a little, “When I saw it, there was no way I couldn’t get it for you. Please open it.” So slowly I probably drove him crazy, I took off the wrapping and opened the little leather box. I gasped when I saw the ring inside there. It was a silver band that wrapped into the trinity symbol on top. I’d always wanted that symbol as a tattoo. I looked up at Chase and shook my head in wonder. “How did you know?” “You doodle it on everything put in front of you.” He was right of course, if I had a pen and paper or napkin, it always ended up on there at some point. I just hadn’t realized anyone other than Brandon noticed that, especially him. “Chase …” I couldn’t hold them back any longer, tears started falling down my cheeks and I quickly dropped my head hoping he wouldn’t notice. He did. “Don’t cry Harper. If you don’t like it, or you don’t like that it’s from me I’ll take it back.” My laugh sounded more like a sob than anything else. “I love it, please don’t take it.” “Then what’s wrong?” He tilted my head up and brushed away a few tears with his thumbs. I had to force myself to not lean into his hands, it was the first time we’d had any type of physical contact in over a month. He was a whole new kind of Chase on Sundays, but I’d never seen him like this. So gentle and kind. It made my entire being crave him. “I’ve never had this before. Not just the presents … the love that your family has for me. I’ve never had it until now, and it’s so overwhelming. I don’t know what I did to deserve it and I don’t know if I show them that too.” “You do. Trust me.” He searched my face for a long time and wiped the remaining tears from my cheeks. “You’re special Harper, it’s not hard to love you.
Molly McAdams (Taking Chances (Taking Chances, #1))
I look back now and can see how much my father also found his own freedom in the adventures we did together, whether it was galloping along a beach in the Isle of Wight with me behind him, or climbing on the steep hills and cliffs around the island’s coast. It was at times like these that I found a real intimacy with him. It was also where I learned to recognize that tightening sensation, deep in the pit of my stomach, as being a great thing to follow in life. Some call it fear. I remember the joy of climbing with him in the wintertime. It was always an adventure and often turned into much more than just a climb. Dad would determine that not only did we have to climb a sheer hundred-and-fifty-foot chalk cliff, but also that German paratroopers held the high ground. We therefore had to climb the cliff silently and unseen, and then grenade the German fire position once at the summit. In reality this meant lobbing clumps of manure toward a deserted bench on the cliff tops. Brilliant. What a great way to spend a wet and windy winter’s day when you are age eight (or twenty-eight, for that matter). I loved returning from the cliff climbs totally caked in mud, out of breath, having scared ourselves a little. I learned to love that feeling of the wind and rain blowing hard on my face. It made me feel like a man, when in reality I was a little boy. We also used to talk about Mount Everest, as we walked across the fields toward the cliffs. I loved to pretend that some of our climbs were on the summit face of Everest itself. We would move together cautiously across the white chalk faces, imagining they were really ice. I had this utter confidence that I could climb Everest if he were beside me. I had no idea what Everest would really involve but I loved the dream together. These were powerful, magical times. Bonding. Intimate. Fun. And I miss them a lot even today. How good it would feel to get the chance to do that with him just once more. I think that is why I find it often so emotional taking my own boys hiking or climbing nowadays. Mountains create powerful bonds between people. It is their great appeal to me. But it wasn’t just climbing. Dad and I would often go to the local stables and hire a couple of horses for a tenner and go jumping the breakwaters along the beach. Every time I fell off in the wet sand and was on the verge of bursting into tears, Dad would applaud me and say that I was slowly becoming a horseman. In other words, you can’t become a decent horseman until you fall off and get up again a good number of times. There’s life in a nutshell.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
It is one of the great beauties of our system, that a working-man may raise himself into the power and position of a master by his own exertions and behaviour; that, in fact, every one who rules himself to decency and sobriety of conduct, and attention to his duties, comes over to our ranks; it may not be always as a master, but as an over-looker, a cashier, a book-keeper, a clerk, one on the side of authority and order.' 'You consider all who are unsuccessful in raising themselves in the world, from whatever cause, as your enemies, then, if I under-stand you rightly,' said Margaret' in a clear, cold voice. 'As their own enemies, certainly,' said he, quickly, not a little piqued by the haughty disapproval her form of expression and tone of speaking implied. But, in a moment, his straightforward honesty made him feel that his words were but a poor and quibbling answer to what she had said; and, be she as scornful as she liked, it was a duty he owed to himself to explain, as truly as he could, what he did mean. Yet it was very difficult to separate her interpretation, and keep it distinct from his meaning. He could best have illustrated what he wanted to say by telling them something of his own life; but was it not too personal a subject to speak about to strangers? Still, it was the simple straightforward way of explaining his meaning; so, putting aside the touch of shyness that brought a momentary flush of colour into his dark cheek, he said: 'I am not speaking without book. Sixteen years ago, my father died under very miserable circumstances. I was taken from school, and had to become a man (as well as I could) in a few days. I had such a mother as few are blest with; a woman of strong power, and firm resolve. We went into a small country town, where living was cheaper than in Milton, and where I got employment in a draper's shop (a capital place, by the way, for obtaining a knowledge of goods). Week by week our income came to fifteen shillings, out of which three people had to be kept. My mother managed so that I put by three out of these fifteen shillings regularly. This made the beginning; this taught me self-denial. Now that I am able to afford my mother such comforts as her age, rather than her own wish, requires, I thank her silently on each occasion for the early training she gave me. Now when I feel that in my own case it is no good luck, nor merit, nor talent,—but simply the habits of life which taught me to despise indulgences not thoroughly earned,—indeed, never to think twice about them,—I believe that this suffering, which Miss Hale says is impressed on the countenances of the people of Milton, is but the natural punishment of dishonestly-enjoyed pleasure, at some former period of their lives. I do not look on self-indulgent, sensual people as worthy of my hatred; I simply look upon them with contempt for their poorness of character.
Elizabeth Gaskell (North and South)
I’m the living dead. I feel no connection to any other human. I have no friends and I don’t really care much about my family any longer. I feel no love for them. I can feel no joy. I’m incapable of feeling physical pleasure. There’s nothing to ever look forward to as a result. I don’t miss anyone or anything. I eat because I feel hunger pangs, but no food tastes like anything I like. I wear a mask when I’m with other people but it’s been slipping lately. I can’t find the energy to hide the heavy weight of survival and its effect on me. I’m exhausted all the time from the effort of just making it through the day. This depression has made a mockery of my memory. It’s in tatters. I have no good memories to sustain me. My past is gone. My present is horrid. My future looks like more of the same. In a way, I’m a man without time. Certainly, there’s no meaning in my life. What meaning can there be without even a millisecond of joy? Ah, scratch that. Let’s even put aside joy and shoot for lower. How about a moment of being content? Nope. Not a chance. I see other people, normal people, who can enjoy themselves. I hear people laughing at something on TV. It makes me cock my head and wonder what that’s like. I’m sure at sometime in my past, I had to have had a wonderful belly laugh. I must have laughed so hard once or twice that my face hurt. Those memories are gone though. Now, the whole concept of “funny” is dead. I stopped going to movies a long time ago. Sitting in a theater crowded with people, every one of them having a better time than you, is incredibly damaging. I wasn’t able to focus for that long anyway. Probably for the best. Sometimes I fear the thought of being normal again. I think I wouldn’t know how to act. How would I handle being able to feel? Gosh it would be nice to feel again. Anything but this terrible, suffocating pain. The sorrow and the misery is so visceral, I find myself clenching my jaw. It physically hurts me. Then I realize that it’s silly to worry about that. You see, in spite of all the meds, the ketamine infusions and other treatments, I’m not getting better. I’m getting worse. I was diagnosed 7 years ago but I’m sure I was suffering for longer. Of course, I can’t remember that, but depression is something that crept up on me. It’s silent and oppressive. I don’t even remember what made me think about going to see someone. But I did and it was a pretty clear diagnosis. So, now what? I keep waking up every morning unfortunately. I don’t fear death any more. That’s for sure. I’ve made some money for the couple of decades I’ve been working and put it away in retirement accounts. I think about how if I was dead that others I once cared for would get that money. Maybe it could at least help them. I don’t know that I’ll ever need it. Even if I don’t end it myself, depression takes a toll on the body. My life expectancy is estimated to be 14 years lower as a result according to the NIH. It won’t be fast enough though. I’m just an empty biological machine that doesn’t know that my soul is gone. My humanity is no more
Ahmed Abdelazeem
Olive,’ Mum said, stroking my fringe. ‘I need you to listen to me, and I need you to be brave.’ Opening my eyes again, I swallowed nervously. ‘What’s happened?’ ‘Your sister didn’t arrive at work today.’ Sukie was a typist for an insurance company in Clerkenwell. She said it was the dullest job ever. ‘Isn’t today Saturday, though?’ I asked. ‘She was due in to do overtime. No one’s seen her since she was with you and Cliff last night. She’s missing.’ ‘Missing?’ I didn’t understand. Mum nodded. The nurse added rather unhelpfully: ‘We’ve had casualties from all over London. It’s been chaos. All you can do is keep hoping for the best.’ It was obvious what she meant. I glanced at Mum, who always took the opposite view in any argument. But she stayed silent. Her hands, though, were trembling. ‘Missing isn’t the same as dead,’ I pointed out. Mum grimaced. ‘That’s true, and I’ve spoken to the War Office: Sukie’s name isn’t on their list of dead or injured but-’ ‘So she’s alive, then. She must be. I saw her in the street talking to a man,’ I said. ‘When she realised I’d followed her she was really furious about it.’ Mum looked at me, at the nurse, at the bump on my head. ‘Darling, you’re concussed. Don’t get overexcited now.’ ‘But you can’t think she’s dead.’ I insisted. ‘There’s no proof, is ther?’ ‘Sometimes it’s difficult to identify someone after…’ Mum faltered. I knew what she couldn’t say: sometimes if a body got blown apart there’d be nothing left to tie a name tag to. It was why we’d never buried Dad. Perhaps if there’d been a coffin and a headstone and a vicar saying nice things, it would’ve seemed more real. This felt different, though. After a big air raid the telephones were often down, letters got delayed, roads blocked. It might be a day or two before we heard from Sukie, and worried though I was, I knew she could look after herself. I wondered if it was part of Mum being ill, this painting the world black when it was grey. My head was hurting again so I lay back against the pillows. I was fed up with this stupid, horrid war. Eighteen months ago when it started, everyone said it’d be over before Christmas, but they were wrong. It was still going on, tearing great holes in people’s lives. We’d already lost Dad, and half the time these days it felt like Mum wasn’t quite here. And now Sukie – who knew where she was? I didn’t realise I was crying again until Mum touched my cheek. ‘It’s not fair,’ I said weakly. ‘War isn’t fair, I’m afraid,’ Mum replied. ‘You only have to walk through this hospital to see we’re not the only ones suffering. Though that’s just the top of the iceberg, believe me. There’s plenty worse going on in Europe.’ I remembered Sukie mentioning this too. She’d got really upset when she told me about the awful things happening to people Hitler didn’t like. She was in the kitchen chopping onions at the time so I wasn’t aware she was crying properly. ‘What sort of awful things?’ I’d asked her. ‘Food shortages, people being driven from their homes.’ Sukie took a deep breath, as if the list was really long. ‘People being attacked for no reason or sent no one knows where – Jewish people in particular. They’re made to wear yellow stars so everyone knows they’re Jews, and then barred from shops and schools and even parts of the towns where they live. It’s heartbreaking to think we can’t do anything about it.’ People threatened by soldiers. People queuing for food with stars on their coats. It was what I’d seen on last night’s newsreel at the cinema. My murky brain could just about remember those dismal scenes, and it made me even more angry. How I hated this lousy war. I didn’t know what I could do about it, a thirteen-year-old girl with a bump on her head. Yet thinking there might be something made me feel a tiny bit better.
Emma Carroll (Letters from the Lighthouse)
PROLOGUE Some years ago in the Planet Orfheus ... It was dark when Lucius reached the rendezvous which had been chosen to be the new hideout. The latter had been used for several months and they were concerned that they were being followed and were close to being discovered. "I thought you were not coming. I've been waiting for you for almost an hour. I was getting anxious," Sofia said, relieved. "Sorry, love. It is becoming increasingly difficult. I almost didn't make it today. The troops were ambushed in the last invasion. Igor and many warriors returned seriously injured," Lucius replied. He looked worried. Why this sudden encounter? They had agreed that the next would be the following week. Lucius gave her a big hug, pulled her close to him, and remained silent for a few moments. His longing and desire consumed him. She meant the world to him. Without Sofia, his life would never make sense. He would never forget those eyes, serene and sincere, with a blue so bright and clear that were able to see the soul of the tormented warrior that was he. With her golden hair, Sofia looked like an angel. "Is there a problem? You're so quiet and deep in thought," she asked, puzzled. He answered, "I'm thinking about us. How long are we keeping it secret?" He walked away from her, sighing. "We can't keep lying and pretending that all is well. You have no idea how much I have to endure when you are away from me, or when I see you with him." "Love, not now. We have already discussed this subject several times. You know that our only alternative would be to flee and pray they will never find us," she replied. Sofia knew very well that the laws of the kingdom could not be disregarded. Love, respect, and loyalty were key factors that were part of the hierarchy of Orfheus. Although she had always been in love with Lucius who had never shown any interest in her, Sofia was bound to his brother Alex as a result of a pact. Over the centuries, Lucius began to change and express loving feelings for her. She never ceased to love him and both succumbed to the temptation and passion of it. Inevitably, a love affair developed between the two. Interrupting her thoughts, Lucius grabbed her by the hand and led her into the hut. This hut was located inside a vast and beautiful forest. He pulled her by the waist, gave her a passionate kiss, stroked her hair, and said softly, "Love, I missed you so much." "I also felt homesick but the real reason I came here today is to tell you something very important. I need you to listen carefully and keep calm," she said as she ran her hands through her hair which contrasted with her pale skin. Sofia did not want to scare him. However, she imagined that he would be upset and angry with the news. Unfortunately, the revelation was inevitable and sooner or later, everything would come out. "I'm pregnant," she said unceremoniously. For a brief moment, Lucius said nothing. He just stared at her without any reaction. He seemed to be in a silent battle with his own thoughts. "But how?" he babbled, not believing what he had just heard. It was surely a bombshell revelation. That would be the end for them. Sofia said, "Stay calm, love. I know this changes everything. What we were planning for months is no longer possible." She sat on a makeshift stool and continued with tears in her eyes. "With the baby coming, I cannot simply go through the portal. The baby and I would die during the crossing." Lucius replied, "Could we ask for help from Aunt Wilda? She is very powerful. Probably she would be able to break through the magic of the portals." Sofia had already thought of that. She was well aware that it was the only choice left. Aunt Wilda had always been like a mother to her. The sorceress adopted her when she was a girl, soon after her family had died in combat.
Gisele de Assis
At the end of the lane Elizabeth put down her side of the trunk and sank down wearily beside Lucinda upon its hard top, emotionally exhausted. A wayward chuckle bubbled up inside her, brought on by exhaustion, fright, defeat, and the last remnants of triumph over having gotten just a little of her own back from the man who’d ruined her life. The only possible explanation for Ian Thornton’s behavior today was that he was a complete madman. With a shake of her head Elizabeth made herself stop thinking of him. At the moment she had so many new worries she hardly knew how to begin to cope. She glanced sideways at her stalwart duenna, and an amused smile touched her lips as she recalled Lucinda’s actions at the cottage. On the one hand, Lucinda rejected all emotional displays as totally unseemly-yet at the same time she herself was possessed of the most formidable temper Elizabeth had ever witnessed. It was as if Lucinda did not regard her own outbursts of ire as emotional. Without the slightest hesitation or regret Lucinda could verbally flay a wrongdoer into small, bite-sized pieces and then mentally stamp him into the ground and grind him beneath the heel of her sturdy shoe. On the other hand, were Elizabeth to exhibit the smallest bit of fear right now over their daunting predicament, Lucinda would instantly stiffen up with disapproval and deliver one of her sharp reprimands. Cognizant of that, Elizabeth glanced worriedly at the sky, where black clouds were rolling in, heralding a storm; but when she spoke she sounded deliberately and absurdly bland. “I believe it’s starting to rain, Lucinda,” she remarked while cold drizzle began to slap the leaves of the tree over their heads. “So it would seem,” said Lucinda. She opened her umbrella with a smart snap, holding it over them both. “It’s fortunate you have your umbrella.” “We aren’t likely to drown from a little rain.” “I shouldn’t think so.” Elizabeth drew a steadying breath, looking around at the harsh Scottish cliffs. In the tone of one asking someone’s opinion on a rhetorical question, Elizabeth said, “Do you suppose there are wolves out here?” “I believe,” Lucinda replied, “they probably constitute a larger threat to our health at present than the rain.” The sun was setting, and the early spring air had a sharp bite in it; Elizabeth was almost positive they’d be freezing by nightfall. “It’s a bit chilly.” “Rather.” “We have warmer clothes in the trunks, though.” “I daresay we won’t be too uncomfortable, in that case.” Elizabeth’s wayward sense of humor chose that unlikely moment to assert itself. “No, we shall be snug as can be while the wolves gather around us.” “Quite.” Hysteria, hunger, and exhaustion-combined with Lucinda’s unswerving calm and her earlier unprecedented entry into the cottage with umbrella flailing-were making Elizabeth almost giddy. “Of course, if the wolves realize how hungry we are, there’s every change they’ll give us a wide berth.” “A cheering possibility.” “We’ll build a fire,” Elizabeth said, her lips twitching. “That will keep them at bay, I believe.” When Lucinda remained silent for several moments, occupied with her own thoughts, Elizabeth confided with an odd surge of happiness. “Do you know something, Lucinda? I don’t think I would have missed today for anything.” Lucinda’s thin gray brows shot up, and she cast a dubious sideways glance at Elizabeth. “I realize that must sound extremely peculiar, but can you imagine how absolutely exhilarating it was to have that man at the point of a gun for just a few minutes? Do you find that-odd?” Elizabeth asked when Lucinda stared straight ahead in angry, thoughtful silence. “What I find off,” she said in a tone of frosty disapproval mingled with surprise, “is that you evoke such animosity in that man.” “I think he’s quite demented.” “I would have said embittered.” “About what?” “That is an interesting question.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
The Way the Cards Fall " Why did you stay away so long? I’ve buried another husband, since I last saw you holding to the horizon. I hear where you now live it snows year-round. The pear & apple trees have even missed you– dead branches scattered about like war. Come closer, my eyes have grown night-dim. Across the field white boxes of honeybees silent as dirt, silent as your missent postcards. Evening sunlight’s faded my hair, the old stable’s slouched to the ground. I dug a hole for that calico, Cyclops, two years ago. Now milkweed & blackberries are keepers of the cornfield. That’s how the cards fall; & Anna, that beautiful girl you once loved enough to die over & over again for, now lives in New Orleans on both sides of Bourbon Street.
Yusef Komunyakaa (Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems)
Danny fills a pitcher with water as R2-D2 gallops into the room to nuzzle my thigh. He is a two-year-old unexercised and panicky Labrador who looks as if he will at any moment speak. Everything in him wants to run. R2-D2 hunts scraps on the floor underneath Danny, who holds the pitcher brimming with water. I worry about his grip, but he wants to tell a story like an intact man about a fair he went to where a man balanced on top of a Ferris wheel. A tremor grows in his forearm. I say, “Why don’t you let me hold that?” “Are you listening? I’m talking to you.” He sways as if regaining his balance. The pitcher slips silently out of his grip, barely missing the dog as it shatters against the floor. R2-D2 yelps, scrabbles out of the room. I collect the chunks of glass. “Was I holding that?” he says. “Don’t move,” I say. He says he won’t but forgets. “Don’t.” He roots in place. I’ve never raised my voice to him. “Did you drop the pitcher?” he says, when I am transferring the large chunks to the trash can. “Yes.” I guide him over the mess and into the family room. I motion for him to sit and hand him the remote. I wipe the kitchen floor and take the garbage to the outside patio where several other bags are stacked. The dog jogs beside me, sniffs a tree trunk.
Marie-Helene Bertino (Parakeet)
The Juez de Instrucción did not miss it. He said stiffly, ‘Presumably you are aware how our system works here in Spain?’ ‘I am,’ Mackenzie said. ‘Very similar to the French. A Guardia Civil which is part of the army, like the French Gendarmerie. A fragmented civilian police force which doesn’t talk to the military, and a system of judges who know nothing about police work but somehow contrive to direct investigations.’ Judge Aguado’s pallor darkened, and a clenching of his jaw was betrayed by the depressions that appeared in each of his cadaverous cheeks. He said, ‘While the British police divide and subdivide themselves into so many different forces that they lack any coherence.’ ‘I couldn’t agree more,’ Mackenzie said, oblivious of the judge’s intention to offend him in return. ‘They are uncoordinated and completely disjointed. Criminals are slipping through the cracks all the time.’ No one knew what to say. And it was only when Mackenzie caught Cristina’s smirk
Peter May (A Silent Death)
Certainly, affairs should not even be thought of before you are thirty. Once you have reached this age, if you will not hurt any third person and can take all that you will have to take - take it silently, with dignity, with a little humor, and without any weeping or wailing or gnashing of teeth - perhaps the experience will be worth it to you. Or perhaps not. The sad truth is that whatever you decide, you'll think you regret it. You'll hate the shabby end of romance, and you'll detest missing it altogether.
Marjorie Hillis (Live Alone and Like It)
I’m sorry you never got my note that night,” said Minty. “I was arranging for us to go and live with them. You’ll like that, won’t you?” she asked Maia. Maia was silent, looking down at her plate. “Of course she will,” jeered Finn. “Sergei will be able to kneel at her feet like a person in a book.” Miss Minton quelled him with a look. “The Keminskys have been kindness itself. They’re prepared a room for Maia at the top of the house with a view of the river.” But Maia did not want to look at the river; she wanted to be on it. The grand house, the rich food, the Russian babble meant nothing to her now. She wanted to be with Finn, and free… “Do I have to go back?” she asked quietly. “Yes. First thing tomorrow morning,” said Miss Minton. “Bring your belongings as soon as you’ve washed.
Eva Ibbotson (Journey to the River Sea)
Making brief eye contact with Tristan, Gabriel casually marched around the gazebo and yanked the Ashman back further into the shadowy cover of the dark trees. The Ashman struggled, but Tristan came up beside Gabriel and caught the Ashman’s hands behind his back. Another Ashman appeared in the darkness beyond Tristan. “Watch your back,” Gabriel said, and Tristan whipped around. In one fluid movement, Tristan pulled a dagger from his coat—because, apparently, Tristan carted bloody weapons around in his coat—and cut through the Ashman’s skull with forceful movement. Without missing a beat, Tristan turned back around and helped Gabriel pin the Ashman that was struggling beneath Gabriel’s grasp.Gabriel punched the Ashman in the face, giving Tristan an opportunity to restrain the Ashman’s hands behind his back. Gabriel pulled Scarlet’s butcher knife from his coat—okay, so maybe they both carted weapons around in their jackets—and with silent movement, he thrust the blade directly into the Ashman’s heart and twisted. Stiffness, cracking, crumbling…then ash. Murder accomplished. Gabriel tucked the blade back into his coat and dusted off his hands as he looked at the two piles of ash on the forest floor. “See how simple that was?” He looked at Tristan. “You hold him down, I stab him, end of threat. With Nate it’s all weird battle cries and plastic hammers.” Gabriel shook his head. “Fighting with you is much less dramatic.” “Yeah, well.” Tristan stretched his neck. “We make a good killing team.” Gabriel rolled his eyes as they headed out of the trees and back to the fair. “What is with everyone wanting to be on teams?
Chelsea Fine (Awry (The Archers of Avalon, #2))
Miss Minton, what on earth made you let a young girl travel up the Amazon and spend weeks living with savages? What made you do it? The British consul thinks that you must all have been drugged.” “Perhaps. Yes, perhaps we were drugged. Not by the things the Xanti smoked--none of us touched them--but by…peace…by happiness. By a different sense of time.” “I don’t think you have explained why you let Maia--” Miss Minton interrupted him. “I will explain. At least I will try to. You see, I have looked after some truly dreadful children in my time, and it was easy not to get fond of them. After all, a governess is not a mother. But Maia…well, I’m afraid I grew to love her. And that meant I began to think what I would do if she were my child.” “And you would let her--” began Mr. Murray. But Miss Minton stopped him. “I would let her…have adventures. I would let her…choose her path. It would be hard…it was hard…but I would do it. Oh, not completely, of course. Some things have to go on. Cleaning one’s teeth, arithmetic. But Maia fell in love with the Amazon. It happens. The place was for her--and the people. Of course there was some danger, but there is danger everywhere. Two years ago, in this school, there was an outbreak of typhus, and three girls died. Children are knocked down and killed by horses every week, here in these streets--” She broke off, gathering her thoughts. “When she was traveling and exploring…and finding her songs, Maia wasn’t just happy, she was…herself. I think something broke in Maia when her parents died, and out there it was healed. Perhaps I’m mad--and the professor, too--but I think children must lead big lives…if it is in them to do so. And it is in Maia.” The old lawyer was silent, rolling his silver pencil over and over between his fingers. “You would take her back to Brazil?” “Yes.” “To live among savages?” “No. To explore and discover and look for giant sloths and new melodies and flowers that only blossom once every twenty years. Not to find them necessarily, but to look--” She broke off, remembering what they had planned, the four of them, as they sailed up the Agarapi. To build a proper House of Rest near the Carters’ old bungalow and live there in the rainy season, studying hard so that if Maia wanted to go to music college later, or Finn to train as a doctor, they would be prepared. And in the dry weather, to set off and explore. Mr. Murray had risen to his feet. He walked over to the window and stood with his back to her, looking out at the square. “It’s impossible. It’s madness.” There was a long pause. “Or is it?” the old man said.
Eva Ibbotson (Journey to the River Sea)
Grief isn't always a knife-sharp twist in your heart or a dull bludgeon in your stomach, sometimes it's a net, cast suddenly and silently over your soul so that you feel trapped and suffocated by its grasp. I feel the loss in the deepest recesses of myself, hidden parts of my mind and my matter, united in missing someone I will never see again.
Non Pratt
had not slept. Her gaze was somewhere else. Three half-smoked cigarettes lay in the ashtray on her nightstand. A pile of briefs was strewn across his side of the bed. He could tell she was angry, and she had dealt with it the way she always did—throwing herself into her work. Michael undressed silently. “What time is it?” she asked, without looking at him. “Late.” “Why didn’t you call? Why didn’t you tell me you were going to be so late tonight?” “There were developments in the case. I thought you’d be asleep.” “I don’t care if you wake me up, Michael. I needed to hear your voice.” “I’m sorry, Elizabeth. The place was crashing. I couldn’t get away.” “Why didn’t you come to the appointment?” Michael was unbuttoning his shirt. He stopped and turned to look at her. Her face was red, her eyes damp. “Elizabeth, I’m the officer assigned to the terrorist group that may have shot down that jetliner. I can’t walk out in the middle of the day and come to Washington for a doctor’s appointment.” “Why not?” “Because I can’t, that’s why. The President of the United States is making decisions based on what we tell him, and in a situation like this it’s impossible for me to leave the office, even for a couple of hours.” “Michael, I have a job too. It may not be as important as working for the CIA, but it is damned important to me. I’m juggling three cases right now, I’ve got Braxton breathing down my neck, and I’m trying desperately to have a—” Her composure cracked, just for an instant. “I’m sorry, Elizabeth. I wanted to come, but I couldn’t. Not on a day like today. I felt horrible about missing the appointment. What did the doctor say?” She opened her mouth to speak, but no sound came out. Michael crossed the room, sat down beside her on
Daniel Silva (The Mark Of The Assassin (Michael Osbourne, #1))
Jacob!” I call, not minding when my voice echoes off the library building, so loud he and his friends turn to me. For once, Jacob doesn’t look sure what he wants to do, whether he wants to stop or keep going. But I do. I know. I shut the car door behind me and venture into the Unknown. His walls are up, fortified by days and days of silence. To my relief, while his face is carefully blank, he doesn’t turn away when I near. I feel his friends, both guys and girls, watching me. And I realize this might be a colossal mistake, a public humiliation. Maybe Jacob is seeing someone else now. Maybe he’ll never forgive me. His friends draw behind him like bodyguards. I have no words, just myself and this piece of used paper, which I hold out to him. Jacob takes my note silently and reads the two coordinates. “What’s this?” he asks gruffly. This is what I want, I tell myself. He, of all people, is worth this risk of being transparent, of letting him know how I feel, what I want. So despite his friends who are watching, I straighten, throw my hair over my shoulder, and stand before him, utterly vulnerable. “A geocache,” I say. “A geocache.” “If you’ve got the guts to find it.” For the first time, his eyes glint with something like amusement, something like curiosity. “Well,” he drawls, “that depends on the cache.” I shrug and shake my head. “It’s a new one. No one has ever found it.” “So tell me more.” “It’d take . . . oh, gosh, an entire day at least to tell you all about it.” “I’ve got time,” he says easily. “Give me a clue.” “You?” I ask in mock horror. “You, an expert geocacher, are asking for a clue?” “For especially gnarly caches, I make exceptions.” “Gnarly?” I frown. “Complicated,” he amends. The beginning of his crooked smile begins to form, and the murky Unknown solidifies into familiar terrain. “So what’s the cache called?” That, I hadn’t prepped for. So I improvise: “I’m a Moron and I’m So Sorry. But then really good geocachers know it by its nickname: I’ve Missed You So Much.” A breeze tangles my hair, and when Jacob reaches out to brush a strand off my cheek, the tension releases in me.
Justina Chen (North of Beautiful)
First- to Mr. Ronald Weasley..." Ron went purple in the face; he looked like a radish with a bad sunburn. "... for the best-played game of chess Hogwarts has seen in many years, I award Gryffindor house fifty points." Gryffindor cheers nearly raised the bewitched ceiling; the stars overhead seemed to quiver. Percy could be heard telling the other prefects, "My brother, you know! My youngest brother! Got past McGonagall's giant chess set!" At last there was silence again. "Second- to Miss Hermione Granger... for the use of cool logic in the face of fire, I award Gryffindor house fifty points." Hermione buried her face in her arms; Harry strongly suspected she had burst into tears. Gryffindors up and down the table were beside themselves- they were a hundred points up. "Third- to Mr. Harry Potter..." said Dumbledore. The room went deadly quiet. "... for pure nerve and outstanding courage, I award Gryffindor house sixty points." The din was deafening. Those who could add up while yelling themselves hoarse knew that Gryffindor now had four hundred and seventy-two points- exactly the same as Slytherin. They had tied for the house cup- if only Dumbledore had given Harry just one more point. Dumbledore raised his hand. The room gradually fell silent. "There are all kinds of courage," said Dumbledore, smiling. "It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends. I therefore award ten points to Mr. Neville Longbottom." Someone standing outside the Great Hall might well have thought some sort of explosion had taken place, so loud was the noise that erupted from the Gryffindor table. Harry, Ron, and Hermione stood up to yell and cheer as Neville, white with shock, disappeared under a pile of people hugging him. He had never won so much as a point for Gryffindor before. Harry, still cheering, nudged Ron in the ribs and pointed at Malfoy, who couldn't have looked more stunned and horrified if he'd just had the Body-Bind Curse put on him. "Which means," Dumbledore called over the storm of applause, for even Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff were celebrating the downfall of Slytherin, "we need a little change of decoration." He clapped his hands. In an instant, the green hangings became scarlet and the silver became gold; the huge Slytherin serpent vanished and a towering Gryffindor lion took its place. Snape was shaking Professor McGonagall's hand, with a horrible, forced smile. He caught Harry's eye and Harry knew at once that Snape's feelings toward him hadn't changed one jot. This didn't worry Harry. It seemed as though life would be back to normal next year, or as normal as it ever was at Hogwarts. It was the best evening of Harry's life, better than winning at Quidditch, or Christmas, or knocking out mountain trolls... he would never, ever forget tonight.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
two and a half,’ Jack was saying. ‘And?’ she muttered, half asleep and not really paying attention. ‘I was just thinking,’ Jack went on, his voice coming to her almost like a lullaby. ‘Maybe we should begin to think about another one.’ ‘Another one?’ Stella repeated sleepily. Then she was suddenly wide awake. ‘A child, you mean?’ She felt Jack nod, his head brushing her own, then she heard him chuckle. ‘Of course a child! We haven’t got a dog or a goldfish, thank God.’ He was silent for a moment. ‘It’d be just over a three-year gap, if you got pregnant right away, like you did with Jonny.’ Stella looked up at him, his face just visible in the glow from the streetlight filtering through the calico blinds. They had always wanted a second child. Neither she nor Jack had siblings and they both felt they’d missed out. Stella didn’t want Jonny growing up with the sort of maternal monitoring – the need to be perfect because you’re the only one – that had blighted her own childhood. ‘He’ll need someone to visit the nursing home with, when we both go dotty,’ Jack said. Which made them laugh in disbelief that they could ever be old, let alone demented.
Hilary Boyd (The Anniversary)
Miss Noavek,” the woman said, offering your hand. “I am Aza. I sit on our council here.” I glanced at Akos, asking a silent question. He rested his hand on the bare skin where my neck met my shoulder, extinguishing my currentshadows. I knew without trying that I was not capable of controlling my gift right now, as I had learned to in the renegade hideout in Voa. Not in Ogra’s currentgift-enhancing atmosphere, with days of limited sleep behind me. It was taking all the energy I had just to keep it contained, so it wouldn’t explode out of me as it had when we first landed. I took the woman’s hand, and shook it. Akos may not have commanded her attention before, but his ability to extinguish my gift certainly did. In fact, everyone around us looked at him--specifically, at the hand he kept on my skin. “Call me Cyra, please,” I said to Aza. Aza’s gaze was curious, and sharp. When I dropped her hand, Akos dropped his, and my currentshadows returned. His cheeks were bright with color, and it was spreading to his neck. “And you are?” Aza asked him. “Akos Kereseth,” he said, a little too quietly. I wasn’t used to the meek side of him, but now that we weren’t constantly surrounded by the people who had kidnapped him or killed his father or otherwise tormented him--well. Perhaps this was what he was like, under somewhat more normal circumstances.
Veronica Roth (The Fates Divide (Carve the Mark, #2))
I cannot dance with you because I... well..." She cleared her throat. "... That is to say..." "Miss Greene cannot dance with you," a deep, smooth voice rumbled behind her, "because she has already promised the next to me." She swallowed a lurch of dread, instantly recognizing to whom the sultry, lazy drawl belonged. Witherby recoiled from the intrusion. "I say," he replied, looking up at Rothbury with distrust, "no wonder the young lady hesitated over my offer. I know for a fact Miss Greene is not permitted to dance with you." Rothbury only chortled, low and deep. Charlotte could feel it thrum through her spine and down to the soles of her slippered feet. Turning, she stole a sidelong glance at him. He stood with his feet braced firmly on the floor, his hands behind his back. His burnished gold hair was swept back into place but for a thick lock that hung low on one side of his forehead. His hooded eyes stared down Witherby as he gave a lopsided grin that on any other man, she supposed, would appear utterly charming in a boyish sort of way. On Rothbury's handsome face, however, it looked watchful, lethal. Quite like he was silently daring Witherby to touch her just so Rothbury could have the pleasure of breaking his fingers.
Olivia Parker (To Wed a Wicked Earl (Devine & Friends, #2))
I will not be blackmailed by a nine year old boy. No sweets, and I mean it. Now behave!” “I saw you with Daddy’s willy in your mouth!” The mother had told Miss Jones that as those words were shouted out, everything seemed to suddenly go into slow motion as she saw heads turn towards her from every direction. She could feel a hot flush start from her feet and spread upwards, burning her cheeks en route. Everything fell silent as those words echoed down the aisles. Just as quickly, everything slipped into normal speed again, noises returned as the trolleys clashed into each other and chatter filled the store. She quickly put her head down and reached out to the nearest object she could find. “Oooh, chocolate buttons, they’re nice, let’s get some of them.” Back to class Four…
John Donoghue (Police, Crime & 999 - The True Story of a Front Line Officer)
I turned around--and nearly bumped into a small group of soldiers in Renselaeus colors. They all stopped, bowed silently, and would have stepped out of my way, but I recognized one of them from my ride to Renselaeus just before the end of the war, and I cried, “Captain Nessaren!” “My lady.” Nessaren smiled, her flat cheeks tinged slightly with color. “Is your riding assigned here now?” “As you see, my lady.” The others bowed and withdrew silently, leaving us alone. “Are you not supposed to talk to the civs?” Raindrops stung my face. Her eyes crinkled. “They usually don’t talk to us.” “Is this a good duty, or is it boring now that nothing is going on?” Her eyes flickered to my face then down to the ground, and her lips just parted. After a moment she said, “We’re well enough, my lady.” Which wasn’t quite what I had asked. Resolving to think that over later, I said, “You know what I miss? The practice sessions we had when we were riding cross-country last year. I did some practice at home…but there doesn’t seem to be opportunity anymore.” “We have open practice each day at dawn, in the garrison court when the weather’s fine, the gym when it isn’t. You’re welcome to join us. There’s no hierarchy, except that of expertise, by order of the Marquis himself.” “The Marquis?” I repeated faintly, realizing how close I’d come to making an even worse fool of myself than my spectacular attempts so far. “There every day,” she said. “Others as well--Lady Renna. Duke of Savona there most days, same as Baron Khialem. You wouldn’t be alone.” I won’t be there at all. But out loud I just thanked her. She bowed. Her companions were still waiting at a discreet distance, despite the spatter of rain, so I said, “I won’t keep you any longer.” As she rejoined her group, I started back toward the Residence. The wind had turned chill, and the rain started falling faster, but I scarcely noticed. Was there still some kind of danger? Instinct attributed Nessaren’s deliberate vagueness to a military reason. If the threat was from the borders, it seemed unlikely that I’d find Renselaeus warriors roaming around the royal palace Athanarel. So, was there a threat at home?
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
Here I stand, regretting our missed opportunity to walk. A year ago I would have happily run up in the hills, whether it rained or not. And I was thinking that I could go out, in spite of the weather, but I wouldn’t enjoy it like I used to.” She gestured in amicable agreement. “There’s no fault in misliking the feel of a water-soaked gown.” “That’s part of it,” I said, seizing on the image. “Last year I wore the same clothes year round. My only hat was a castoff that Julen found me somewhere. I loved the feel of rain against my face, and never minded being soaked. I never noticed it! Now I own carriage hats, and walking hats, and riding hats, and ball headdresses--and none of them except the riding hats can get wet, and even those get ruined in a good soak. My old hat never had any shape to begin with, or any color, so it was never ruined.” I turned to face the window again. “Sometimes I feel like I didn’t lose just my hat, I lost my self that horrible night when I walked into Bran’s trap.” Nee was silent. I ran my thumb around the gilt rim of the cup a couple of times, then I made myself face her. “You think I’m being foolish?” She put her palms together in Peaceful Discourse mode. “Yes I do,” she said, but her tone was not unkind. “One doesn’t lose a self, like a pair of gloves or a pin. We learn and change, or we harden into stone.” “Maybe I’ve changed too fast. Or haven’t changed enough,” I muttered. “Have you compromised yourself in any important way?” she asked. I opened my mouth to say Of course, when we were forced to give up our plans to defeat Galdran, but I knew it would be an untruth as soon as it left my lips. “I think,” I said slowly, “I lost my purpose that day. Life was so easy when all I lived for was the revolt, the accomplishment of which was to bring about all these wondrous miracles. Nothing turned out to be the way we so confidently expected it to. Nothing.” “So…” She paused to sip. “…if you hadn’t walked into that trap, what would be different?” “Besides the handsomeness of my foot?” I forced a grin as I kicked my slippered toes out from under my hem. No one could see my scarred foot, not with all the layers of fine clothing I now wore, but the scars were there. She smiled, but waited for me to answer her question. I said, “I suppose the outcome in the larger sense would have been the same. In the personal sense, though, I suspect I would have been spared a lot of humiliation.” “The humiliation of finding out that your political goals were skewed by misinformation?” “By ignorance. But that wasn’t nearly as humiliating as---” my encounters with a specific individual. But I just shook my head, and didn’t say it. “So you blame Vidanric,” she said neutrally. “Yes…no…I don’t know,” I said, trying not to sound cross. “I don’t.” I looked down, saw my hand fidgeting with the curtain and dropped it to my side.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
Wollard looked up from his papers to survey the assembled staff. He had walked in looking at the floor and launched into the greeting immediately. Now, he took a moment to select his next words. “Why are there multiple people missing?” he asked. Kreet raised his hand and said, “Aren’t you supposed to start your question with query?” Wollard regarded Kreet silently, raising an impatient eyebrow. Kreet grimaced, then said, “Query.” “Recognized.” “Aren’t you supposed to start a question with query?” “You’re supposed to. I, as the chair of the meeting, have the power to ask questions at will, as long as they are pertinent to the matter at hand.
Scott Meyer (Master of Formalities)
He bows to the two of us, and when he speaks, his voice fills the room, far louder and more booming than a voice should be before noon. “I intend to ride the estate today, if you two would like to join me.” I open my mouth to give him a quick, No thanks, I’d rather pull out my own hair, but Emily beats me to it. “How kind of you to offer! We would love to.” Huh? I can’t figure out why Emily doesn’t hate Alex. He’s a jerk and he’s done nothing to help her out of her engagement. And now she’s volunteering to hang out with him? An excuse…I need some kind of excuse to get out of this. Alex walks to the window and looks out, offering a rather flattering view of the back of his riding pants. “Did you enjoy the dance last evening?” Is he making small talk? That’s a first. “Yes, very much so,” Emily says. “It was delightful.” I nod. “Yeah. I guess so.” I won’t say I had fun because I don’t want him to get the wrong idea. I don’t want him to know dancing with him was the most exciting part of my evening and the most agonizingly long half hour of my life. Alex looks at me for a long silent moment. You’d think he’d bring up the big “lady” versus “miss” debacle. Or just that we’d danced. But he doesn’t. “Yes, I rather enjoyed myself as well,” he says. Seriously, what does that mean? I was the only girl he danced with. The entire night. Is he trying to tell me something? Ha. Right. He probably means that it was all sorts of fun to insult me. And that’s when Emily starts rubbing her temple. She sets her needlepoint down and frowns, massaging in circular motions on the side of her face. Oh, no, she’s not-- “Dear cousin, I am coming down with a headache. Perhaps you and Rebecca ought to ride without me.” I get a twinge when I hear Rebecca. Every day it feels more like we’re friends--and more like I’m betraying her. And then she turns to me, knowing Alex can’t see her, and winks. “Oh, no, I--” I start to say, because I suddenly realize what she’s trying to do. This can not happen. A horseback ride alone with Alex? No thank you! But Alex cuts in before I can stop her. “Yes, I would not have you overexerting yourself. We shall check on you when we return.” Okay, this is not how I want to spend my afternoon. Alone with Alex? I’d rather get a root canal. But…maybe it’s my chance to talk to him about Emily. Maybe he doesn’t know about Trent. Emily said Trent was wealthy, right? He’s not titled, but he has money. If Alex knew about him…maybe he would get Emily off the hook with Denworth. Maybe that’s why Emily is trying to arrange for me to spend time with Alex. She so owes me after this. I can do this. I can hang out with him for a couple hours--long enough to talk him into helping us. Emily jumps up from her chair far too quickly for someone with a headache and leaves the room before I can do anything. I rub my eyes. It’s going to be a long afternoon.
Mandy Hubbard (Prada & Prejudice)
You’re really going to kick me out?” “Yes, I really am.” Mrs. Wattlesbrook folded her arms. Jane bit her lip and bent her head back to look at the sky. Funny that it looked so far away. It felt as if it were pressing down on her head, shoving her into the dirt. What a mean bully of a sky. Much of the household was present now. Miss Heartwright was huddled with the main actors, whispering, like rubberneckers shocked at a roadside accident but unable to look away. A couple of gardeners strolled up as well, tools in hand. Martin wiped his brow, confusion (sadness?) heavy on his face. Jane was embarrassed to see him, remembering how she’d ended things, and feeling less than appealing at the moment. The whole scene was rather Hester Prynne, and Jane imagined herself on a scaffold with a scarlet C for “cell phone” on her chest. She realized she was still holding her croquet mallet and wondered that no one felt threatened by her. She hefted it. Would it be fun to bash in a window? Nah. She handed it to Miss Charming. “Go get ‘em, Charming.” “Okay,” Miss Charming said uncertainly. “If you would be so kind as to step into the carriage,” said Mrs. Wattlesbrook. Curse the woman. Jane had just started to have such fun, too. Why didn’t one of the gentlemen come forward to defend her? Wasn’t that, like, their whole purpose of existence? She supposed they’d be fired if they did. The cowards. She stood on the carriage’s little step and turned to face the others. She’d never left a relationship with the last word, something poetic and timeless, triumphant amid her downfall. Oh, for a perfect line! She opened her mouth, hoping something just right would come to her, but Miss Heartwright spoke first. “Mrs. Wattlesbrook! Oh dear, I have only now realized what transpired.” She lifted the hem of her skirts and minced her way to the carriage. “Please wait, this is all my fault. Poor Miss Erstwhile was only doing me a favor. You see, the modern contraption was mine. I did not realize I had it until I arrived, and I was so distressed, Miss Erstwhile kindly offered to keep it for me among her own things where I would not have to look upon it.” Jane stood very still. She thought to wonder what instinct made her body rigid when shocked. Was she prey by nature? A rabbit afraid to move when a hawk wheels overhead? Mrs. Wattlesbrook had not moved either, not even to blink. A silent minute limped forward as everyone waited. “I see,” the proprietress said at last. She looked at Jane, at Miss Heartwright, then fumbled with the keys at her side. “Well, now, ahem, since it was an accident, I think we should forget it ever happened. I do hope, Miss Heartwright, that you will continue to honor us with your presence.” Ah, you old witch, Jane thought. “Yes, of course, thank you.” Miss Heartwright was in her best form, all proper feminine concern, artless and pleasant. Her eyes twinkled. They really did. Everyone began to move off, nothing disturbing left to view. Jane caught a glimpse of Martin smiling, pleased, before he turned away. “I’m so sorry, Jane. I do hope you will forgive me.” “Please don’t mention it, Miss Heartwright.” “Amelia.” She held Jane’s hand to help her descend from the carriage. “You must call me Amelia now.” “Thank you, Amelia.” It was such a sisterly moment, Jane thought they might actually embrace. They didn’t.
Shannon Hale (Austenland (Austenland, #1))
After she swore herself to secrecy and did her best to seem trustworthy and closemouthed, Mr. Nobley revealed that those two had been more than fond acquaintances. In fact, last year he’d proposed and she’d accepted. “Her mother disapproved, as he was merely a sailor. Mr. Heartwright, her brother, informed East that he was dismissed from being her suitor, and Miss Heartwright never had an opportunity to explain that it hadn’t been her wish. She fears it is too late now, but I don’t believe her heart ever let go of the man.” “Ah,” Jane said, now fitting their story into the correct Austen novel context--Persuasion, more or less. And that was a real bummer. Captain East had offered Jane the best shot at curative love. Oh well. Two down…one to go? She studied Mr. Nobley and wondered why she had the impression that he was dangerous--or would be if he didn’t so often look tired or bored. Was he a sleeping tiger? Or a sack of potatoes? “And how do you feel about this, Mr. Nobley?” she asked. “It does not matter how I feel about Miss Heartwright.” He nudged his horse forward, and hers followed. She hadn’t been talking about Miss Heartwright, but, okay. “Wait, are you heartbroken?” She knew Miss Erstwhile shouldn’t ask the question, but Jane couldn’t help it. “No, of course not.” “Not about Miss Heartwright, anyway.” Jane watched Mr. Nobley’s face closely for signs of Henry Jenkins. His mouth was still, unrevealing, but his eyes were sad. She’d never noticed before. “Maybe you’re not heartbroken anymore, maybe you’ve passed that part, and now you’re just lonely.” Mr. Nobley smiled, but with just half of his mouth. “You are very good at nettling me, Miss Erstwhile. As I said, it does not matter how I feel. We are speaking of Miss Heartwright and Captain East. I think it nonsense how they have kept silent about it these past days. They should speak their minds.” “You approve of speaking one’s mind? So, do you approve of me?” As it appeared Mr. Nobley had no intention of answering the question, and Jane was stumped at how to restart the conversation, they rode on in silence. Of course just at that moment, she would see Martin by a line of trees, looking her way. Why couldn’t she be chatting and laughing and having a wonderful time? She smiled generously at the world around her and hoped that Martin would think she was enthralled with Mr. Nobley’s company and perfectly happy. Mr. Nobley turned to ask her a question, but when he saw her grinning without apparent cause, the words hung in his mouth. His eyes widened. “What? You are laughing at me again. What have I done now?” Jane did laugh. “I’m sorry, but I can’t seem to help myself around you. You are so teas-able.” Which was precisely not true, and yet saying it somehow made it so. Mr. Nobley looked over his shoulder just as the line of trees hid Martin from view. Jane wasn’t sure if he saw him. “I’m sorry I annoy you so much,” said Jane. “I’ll stop. I really will.” “Hm,” said Mr. Nobley as if he doubted it. He looked at his hands thoughtfully, not speaking again for several moments. In the silence, Jane became aware of her heart beating. Why was that?
Shannon Hale (Austenland (Austenland, #1))
Jane, may I introduce our house guest Miss Elizabeth Charming of Hertfordshire?” “How do you do, Miss Erstwhile, what-what?” said Miss Charming, her tightened lips trembling with the effort of approximating a British accent. “Spit spot I hope, rather.” “How do you do?” They both curtsied and Miss Charming made a silent “shh” with her lips, as though Jane would out her for the stairway meeting. Jane had a burst of maternal instinct that made her want to cuddle Miss Charming and help her through this crazy Austenland maze. If she only knew the way herself. “Miss Charming is about your age, I believe,” Aunt Saffronia said. “Oh no, Aunt, I’m quite certain that Miss Charming, still in the bloom of her youth, is several years my junior.” Miss Charming giggled. Aunt Saffronia smiled graciously as she took Jane’s arm, and the three walked into the drawing room. At their entrance, two gentlemen stood. Ah, the gentlemen. They wore the high-collared vests, cravats, buttoned coats with long tails, and tight little breeches that had driven Jane’s imagination mad on many an uneventful Tuesday night. Her heart bumped around in her chest like a bee at a window, and everything seemed to move in closer, the world pressing against her, insisting that all was real and there for the touching. She was really here. Jane held her hands behind her back in case they trembled with eagerness.
Shannon Hale (Austenland (Austenland, #1))
You never told him?” Taylor whispered quickly, but loud enough that both guys heard. “No, she didn’t,” Declan answered for me. “You were there looking for another guy?” It took all of my energy to keep my eyes from going back to Jentry as I silently pleaded for Declan to understand. I tried to keep my voice from shaking and my tone nonchalant. “It was nothing, really. I’d just talked with him the week before—” Taylor snorted. “And when was this?” Jentry asked. “Beginning of September,” Declan answered without taking his eyes from me. “So about the time I was there,” Jentry said with a guessing tone. I wanted nothing more than to shoot a glare in his direction. Declan finally looked at Jentry as he thought for a second, then shrugged. “Yeah, I think I met Rorie a week or two after you visited me at Duke.” “Huh.” Jentry sent me another challenging smirk. “Guess I’d just missed meeting you back then.” “Guess so,” I bit out with a smile. At that same instant, Taylor’s hand slapped down on my thigh and squeezed. Declan looked back at me, his brows pulled low over his eyes. “If it wasn’t a big deal, why didn’t you tell me why you’d been there? I thought you’d been there for Taylor.” “Well, hey!” Taylor interjected—her hand was squeezing my leg so tightly, I didn’t know if I would have feeling when she let go. “If we hadn’t gone back to find him, she never would’ve met you. Right? Right. Moving on.” I
Molly McAdams (I See You)
In the ensuing pause, he heard the sound of Albert barking outside. With despairing impatience, Christopher wondered if the blasted dog was ever going to be quiet. “He wants to protect you,” Beatrix said. “He’s wondering where I’ve taken you.” Christopher let out a taut sigh. “Perhaps I shouldn’t stay. He’ll bark for hours.” “Nonsense. Albert must learn to adapt to your plans. I’ll bring him inside.” Her authoritative manner rankled Christopher, no matter that she was right. “He might damage something,” he said, rising to his feet. “He can’t do any worse than the goat,” Beatrix replied, standing to face him. Politely Rohan stood as well, watching the two of them. “Miss Hathaway--” Christopher continued to object, but he fell silent, blinking, as she reached out and touched his chest. Her fingertips rested over his heart for the space of one heartbeat. “Let me try,” she said gently. Christopher fell back a step, his breath catching. His body responded to her touch with disconcerting swiftness. A lady never put her hand to any area of a man’s torso unless the circumstances were so extreme that…well, he couldn’t even imagine what would justify it. Perhaps if his waistcoat was on fire, and she was trying to put it out. Other than that, he couldn’t think of any defensible reason. And yet if he were to point out the breach of etiquette, the act of correcting a lady was just as graceless. Troubled and aroused, Christopher gave her a single nod.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
Miss Hathaway--” Christopher continued to object, but he fell silent, blinking, as she reached out and touched his chest. Her fingertips rested over his heart for the space of one heartbeat. “Let me try,” she said gently. Christopher fell back a step, his breath catching. His body responded to her touch with disconcerting swiftness. A lady never put her hand to any area of a man’s torso unless the circumstances were so extreme that…well, he couldn’t even imagine what would justify it. Perhaps if his waistcoat was on fire, and she was trying to put it out. Other than that, he couldn’t think of any defensible reason. And yet if he were to point out the breach of etiquette, the act of correcting a lady was just as graceless. Troubled and aroused, Christopher gave her a single nod. The men resumed their seats after Beatrix had left the room. “Forgive us, Captain Phelan,” Amelia murmured. “I can see that my sister startled you. Really, we’ve tried to learn better manners, but we’re Philistines, all of us. And while Beatrix is out of hearing, I would like to assure you that she doesn’t usually dress so outlandishly. However, every now and then she goes on an undertaking that makes long skirts inadvisable. Replacing a bird in a nest, for example, or training a horse, and so forth.” “A more conventional solution,” Christopher said carefully, “would be to forbid the activity that necessitated the wearing of men’s garments.” Rohan grinned. “One of my private rules for dealing with Hathaways,” he said, “is never to forbid them anything. Because that guarantees they’ll keep doing it.” “Heavens, we’re not as bad as all that,” Amelia protested. Rohan gave his wife a speaking glance, his smile lingering. “Hathaways require freedom,” he told Christopher, “Beatrix in particular. An ordinary life--being contained in parlors and drawing rooms--would be a prison for her. She relates to the world in a far more vital and natural way than any gadji I’ve ever known.” Seeing Christopher’s incomprehension, he added, “That’s the word the Rom uses for females of your kind.” “And because of Beatrix,” Amelia said, “we possess a menagerie of creatures no one else wants: a goat with an undershot jaw, a three-legged cat, a portly hedgehog, a mule with an unbalanced build, and so forth.” “A mule?” Christopher stared at her intently, but before he could ask about it, Beatrix returned with Albert on the leash.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
Never Trust A Shepherdess Never trust a shepherdess Although she may look pretty Beneath her lacy frilly dress A heart beats without pity. There’s furtive tales of Miss Bo Peep Told behind closed doors And just what happened to her sheep Upon those silent moors They never did return, you see Though many tried to find them They disappeared in mystery Complete with tails behind them. Dark doings lurk in hill and dale Untold in nursery rhymes ‘Tis best that we should draw a veil Across these rural crimes. Don’t think of cruelty in the grass Don’t think of woolly plight Don’t think those thoughts that will not pass Or let you sleep at night So do not think of Miss Bo Peep Or of that crook she wields Or of those dark deeds buried deep In England’s pleasant fields. Unknowing we can only guess The horrors that went down Beware the Wicked Shepherdess Who stalks Old London Town.
Lee Leon
That trip was epic. Every day was an adventure. Bindi sat down for her formal schooling at a little table under the big trees by the river, with the kookaburras singing and the occasional lizard or snake cruising through camp. She had the best scientists from the University of Queensland around to answer her questions. I could tell Steve didn’t want it to end. We had been in bush camp for five weeks. Bindi, Robert, and I were now scheduled for a trip to Tasmania. Along with us would be their teacher, Emma (the kids called her “Miss Emma”), and Kate, her sister, who also worked at the zoo. It was a trip I had planned for a long time. Emma would celebrate her thirtieth birthday, and Kate would see her first snow. Steve and I would go our separate ways. He would leave Lakefield on Croc One and go directly to rendezvous with Philippe Cousteau for the filming of Ocean’s Deadliest. We tried to figure out how we could all be together for the shoot, but there just wasn’t enough room on the boat. Still, Steve came to me one morning while I was dressing Robert. “Why don’t you stay for two more days?” he said. “We could change your flight out. It would be worth it.” When I first met Steve, I made a deal with myself. Whenever Steve suggested a trip, activity, or project, I would go for it. I found it all too easy to come up with an excuse not to do something. “Oh, gee, Steve, I don’t feel like climbing that mountain, or fording that river,” I could have said. “I’m a bit tired, and it’s a bit cold, or it’s a bit hot and I’m a bit warm.” There always could be some reason. Instead I decided to be game for whatever Steve proposed. Inevitably, I found myself on the best adventures of my life. For some reason, this time I didn’t say yes. I fell silent. I thought about how it would work and the logistics of it all. A thousand concerns flitted through my mind. While I was mulling it over, I realized Steve had already walked off. It was the first time I hadn’t said, “Yeah, great, let’s go for it.” And I didn’t really know why.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
Uh . . . am I missing something?” Blake looked a little smug as he glanced at his watch, then the sky. “Nope, give it a couple minutes. We got here just in time.” Aaron, his sexuality, and the fact that Blake had gotten jealous over my flaming gay friend completely forgotten, I looked at the sky, then pulled out my phone to check the time. There was nothing special about the time from what I could tell. As for the sky, it was nearly dusk, and although it was beautiful I didn’t know why that was anything worth noting either. Glancing at the people and the street around us, I turned and saw the street sign and did a double take. We were on Congress Avenue. “Oh no. No, no, no, no, no!” I started backing up but ended up against Blake’s chest. His arms circled around me, effectively keeping me there. I felt his silent laughter. “I take it you know about this then. Ever seen it?” “No, and there’s a reason. I’m terrified of—” Just then, close to a million bats took flight from underneath the bridge. A small shriek escaped my lips and I clamped my hands over my mouth, like my sound would attract the bats to me. There was nothing silent about his next laugh. Blake tightened his arms around me and I leaned into him more. I’d like to say it was purely because my biggest fear was flying out around me, but I’d be lying if I said his musky cologne, strong arms, and chest had nothing to do with it either. This was something I’d wanted for years, and I almost couldn’t believe that I was finally there, in his arms. I continued to watch in utter horror and slight fascination as the stream of bats, which seemed to never end, continued to leave the shelter of the bridge and fly out into the slowly darkening sky. Minutes later, Blake leaned in and put his lips up against my ear. “Was that really so bad?” Forcing my hand from my mouth, I exhaled shakily and shook my head. “Not as bad as I’d imagined. Doesn’t change the fact that they are ugly and easily the grossest thing I’ve ever seen.” “But now you can say you’ve faced one of your fears.” “The biggest.” “See?” He let go of me and started walking again in the direction we’d come from.
Molly McAdams (Forgiving Lies (Forgiving Lies, #1))
You about ready for some input?” Noah asked. “It’s free advice, and you’re under no obligation.” “Go for it,” Sean said. “Forget all that—it’s in the past. You’ll work through it, hopefully without hurting each other. Right now? Get to know your daughter. It’s the most important part of this whole drama. Get to know Rosie. Whether you want to be a father or not, you are one, so press on—start a relationship with her right away. Both of you have been missing out.” “How’m I gonna do that?!” “Show up. Talk to her. Play with her. I let Ellie’s daughter put ribbons and clips and stuff in my hair. It’s a bonding experience for us both—I get to look stupid and she gets control.” “What if she asks…?” “Tell her before she asks,” Noah advised. “If you know for sure you’re her father, you better tell her the second you meet her. There’s a period of adjustment for both of you. Get started on it. All that stuff that went before? That separated you from Franci? You don’t have to work on that with Rosie. You and Franci will work that out. I’m available if you need me. I can help with that.” Sean just stared at him for a long moment, silent. Finally he asked, “Do you really know what you’re doing here?” “I do,” Noah said. “I actually studied and practiced counseling before the seminary. I have a degree and everything.” “What
Robyn Carr (Angel's Peak (Virgin River #10))
You about ready for some input?” Noah asked. “It’s free advice, and you’re under no obligation.” “Go for it,” Sean said. “Forget all that—it’s in the past. You’ll work through it, hopefully without hurting each other. Right now? Get to know your daughter. It’s the most important part of this whole drama. Get to know Rosie. Whether you want to be a father or not, you are one, so press on—start a relationship with her right away. Both of you have been missing out.” “How’m I gonna do that?!” “Show up. Talk to her. Play with her. I let Ellie’s daughter put ribbons and clips and stuff in my hair. It’s a bonding experience for us both—I get to look stupid and she gets control.” “What if she asks…?” “Tell her before she asks,” Noah advised. “If you know for sure you’re her father, you better tell her the second you meet her. There’s a period of adjustment for both of you. Get started on it. All that stuff that went before? That separated you from Franci? You don’t have to work on that with Rosie. You and Franci will work that out. I’m available if you need me. I can help with that.” Sean just stared at him for a long moment, silent. Finally he asked, “Do you really know what you’re doing here?” “I do,” Noah said. “I actually studied and practiced counseling before the seminary. I have a degree and everything.” “What am I going to tell Luke?” “Everything or nothing,” Noah said. “The most important thing right now is not what you tell other people, it’s what you tell Rosie. She’s a little girl. Whether she knows it or not, she wants a father. She needs a father. You’re that person. Good luck—you’re going to have to learn fast to fully understand what that means.” “The next person who needs to know about this has to be my mother. In case you haven’t noticed, my mother is a very strong woman with very firm ideas.” “I’m not as good with mothers,” Noah admitted. “You’ll be fine. I bet she loves you.” Sean shook his head. “It never kept her from whacking me in the back of the head if I didn’t do what she liked. Strict. My mother was strict. All five of us were altar boys. She’s wanted grandchildren for a long, long time. The fact that she’s had one for this long without knowing? Oh, man, I’m never going to hear the end of that.” Noah chuckled. “Just duck,” he advised. *
Robyn Carr (Angel's Peak (Virgin River #10))
So you’ve run off from him, have you?” Beatrix asked, smoothing the wiry ruff on his head. “Naughty boy. I suppose you’ve had a fine old time chasing rabbits and squirrels. And there’s a damaging rumor about a missing chicken. You had better stay out of poultry yards, or it won’t go well for you in Stony Cross. Shall I take you home, boy? He’s probably looking for you. He--” She stopped at the sound of something…someone…moving through the thicket. Albert turned his head and let out a happy bark, bounding toward the approaching figure. Beatrix was slow to lift her head. She struggled to moderate her breathing, and tried to calm the frantic stutters of her heart. She was aware of the dog bounding joyfully back to her, tongue dangling. He glanced back at his master as if to convey Look what I found! Letting out a slow breath, Beatrix looked up at the man who had stopped approximately three yards away. Christopher. It seemed the entire world stopped. Beatrix tried to compare the man standing before her with the cavalier rake he had once been. But it seemed impossible that he could be the same person. No longer a god descending from Olympus…now a warrior hardened by bitter experience. His complexion was a deep mixture of gold and copper, as if he had been slowly steeped in sun. The dark wheaten locks of his hair had been cut in efficiently short layers. His face was impassive, but something volatile was contained in the stillness. How bleak he looked. How alone. She wanted to run to him. She wanted to touch him. The effort of standing motionless caused her muscles to tremble in protest. She heard herself speak in a voice that wasn’t quite steady. “Welcome home, Captain Phelan.” He was silent, staring at her without apparent recognition. Dear Lord, those eyes…frost and fire, his gaze burning through her awareness. “I’m Beatrix Hathaway,” she managed to say. “My family--” “I remember you.” The rough velvet of his voice was a pleasure-stroke against her ears. Fascinated, bewildered, Beatrix stared at his guarded face. To Christopher Phelan, she was a stranger. But the memories of his letters were between them, even if he wasn’t aware of it. Her hand moved gently over Albert’s rough fur. “You were absent in London,” she said. “There was a great deal of hullabaloo on your behalf.” “I wasn’t ready for it.” So much was expressed in that spare handful of words. Of course he wasn’t ready. The contrast would be too jarring, the blood-soaked brutality of war followed by a fanfare of parades and trumpets and flower petals. “I can’t imagine any sane man would be,” she said. “It’s quite an uproar. Your picture is in all the shop windows. And they’re naming things after you.” “Things,” he repeated cautiously. “There’s a Phelan hat.” His brows lowered. “No there isn’t.” “Oh, yes there is. Rounded at the top. Narrow-brimmed. Sold in shades of gray or black. They have one featured at the milliner’s in Stony Cross.” Scowling, Christopher muttered something beneath his breath.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
Jackaby did not speak as we left the building. We were three or four blocks away from the station house when Lydia Lee caught up to us, the coach rattling and clinking and the dappled gray horse stamping its hooves impatiently on the cobblestones. Miss Lee managed to convince the Duke to clop to a halt just ahead of us, and my employer climbed into the carriage wordlessly. Miss Lee gave me an inquisitive look, but Jackaby finally broke his silence before I could explain. “Don’t bother with niceties. Take me home, Miss Lee.” He thought for a moment. “I’m going to need you to go to jail for me afterward.” “That is the second time a man’s said those words to me,” she replied gamely. “Although the last time I got flowers and a dance first, if memory serves.” “Bail,” amended Jackaby as Miss Lee hopped back into the driver’s box. “They usually do, in the end,” she said, sighing. “What? Listen, I have a jar of banknotes in my office earmarked for bail. I’ll bring it out to you as soon as we arrive. I need you to bring it to the processing officer at the Mason Street Station. He’ll sort out the paperwork. Just sign where he tells you to. Ask for Alton.” “Allan,” I corrected. “I’m fairly sure it’s Alton,” said Jackaby. “You want me to post bail for somebody?” Miss Lee called down as the carriage began to rattle on down the street. “I guess I can do that.” “Thank you,” Jackaby called back to her. “Who am I bailing out?” “Everyone.” The carriage bumped along the paving stones for a silent stretch. “By everyone, you mean . . . ?” “It is a rather large jar of banknotes,” said Jackaby. “Right,” came Miss Lee’s voice at length. “You’re the boss.
William Ritter (The Dire King (Jackaby, #4))
Not all healthy families are healthy all the time, and not all dysfunctional families are dysfunctional all the time. Each type, however, has patterns of behaving that keep it either in or out of balance. One way to determine the difference between the two types is to examine how each handles a crisis. During a crisis the healthy family knows and uses alternatives to its usual patterns, and as a result can return to balance when the crisis is over. For example, when an argument occurs between the spouses in a healthy family, each listens and negotiates with the other. Compromise is used, the real problem is confronted, and the family returns to balance. Healthy families must be flexible to maintain balance. A dysfunctional family’s patterns are very rigid. One individual controls family decisions or dominates conversations, adherence to restrictive rules is strictly enforced, and there is absolute denial of family problems, to cite just a few examples. Maintaining these patterns during a crisis doesn’t allow any alternatives to resolving it. In fact, a dysfunctional family is likely to become even more rigid during a crisis and, as a result, become even more dysfunctional. Few things are ever resolved in a dysfunctional family, and a given crisis becomes just one more unresolved issue. As a result, most dysfunctional families are in constant crisis. In an abusive family, for example, the threat of violence never goes away. Most dysfunctional families will grow increasingly more dysfunctional unless someone seeks help. But getting help requires breaking rigid patterns, and this, of course, is against the dysfunctional family’s rules. For example, many dysfunctional families engage in what is called “group think.”1 While group think maintains rigidity, it also ensures that everyone thinks alike. Some aspects of group think include: The family has a single-minded purpose which defies corrective action. The family insists on a closed information system. The family demands absolute loyalty. The family avoids internal or external criticism. The family welcomes you only to the extent that you conform to its beliefs and patterns. Another major difference between functional and dysfunctional family systems involves the victimization of family members either physically or emotionally, as well as a loss of healthy opportunities for growth. Victimization is such a common theme in dysfunctional families that those from all types of dysfunctional families joined the adult children of alcoholics movement, not because they identified with alcoholism, but because they identified with family victimization. Another common theme is anger over lost opportunities, which frequently remains overlooked. We have become so obsessed with talking about victimization that we sometimes fail to understand that not only are dysfunctional family members victimized, but they also suffer from and become angry about what they missed while growing up in their families. For example, a silent son with a dysfunctional father not only was intimidated or abused by his father, but also missed out on the opportunity to have a healthy father-son relationship. The pain of physical abuse goes away, but pain of lost opportunity remains. In my interviews, most silent sons of dysfunctional fathers talked more about the “fathering” they missed than about their father’s dysfunctional behaviors.
Robert J. Ackerman (Silent Sons: A Book for and About Men)
Children growing up in healthy families have a feeling of completeness and wellness. Children from dysfunctional families have a feeling of loss and emptiness. “We never did that in my family” or “I never got a chance to try that” are not uncommon statements made by men from dysfunctional families. As adults, they know something is missing. Many spend most of their lives trying to find it and understand its source. Others try to pretend it doesn’t exist, but they can’t ignore the unexplained emptiness. How do you know if something was missing in your family? Usually you don’t, until you become aware of something different. For example, most young children who are physically abused do not consider themselves wronged until the abuse is discovered by others or until they witness how healthy families function. Read the following list of characteristics which are often found in a healthy family. How often did healthy behaviors occur in your family? How often were they missing? Use the following scale to assess your family background while you were growing up.
Robert J. Ackerman (Silent Sons: A Book for and About Men)
My parents shaped me in so many ways. They didn’t have a lot of things, yet in many ways they had everything: they had the courage of their convictions, they had superb values, and they had self-respect. I still miss them deeply and not a day goes by that I forget to appreciate them. In my quieter moments, I sometimes reflect on the fact that we generally take the people we love the most for granted. Until we lose them. Then we take long, silent walks and pray for a second chance to treat them the way they deserved to have been treated. Please don’t let that sort of regret infect your life. It happens too often, to too many among us. If you are blessed enough to still have your parents, honor them. And do it today.
Robin S. Sharma (The Leader Who Had No Title: A Modern Fable on Real Success in Business and in Life)
Then Eaten Alive came into the tipi with a five-or six-year-old child. The boy’s brown skin was broken with sores and lacerations, he was thin and shivering and dressed in a piece of bed-ticking that nearly enveloped him. You see here, said Toshana. We just got him from the Apache, see how they treat them. If you want to take him with you, you can. I will not ask you to pay. “Where did he come from?” Samuel held his hand out to the boy and felt an anguish in his heart at the sight of the child. The boy ducked his head and shrank away. We don’t know. The Apaches didn’t say where he came from. “I will contact the military in Santa Fe. Maybe they have a report of a missing child.” Toshana was silent for a while, and then he said, But there are thousands. Samuel nodded. Thousands. Jiles, Paulette. The Color of Lightning: A Novel (pp. 294-295). HarperCollins e-books. Kindle Edition.
Paulette Jiles (The Colour Of Lightning)
1 = often 2 = occasionally 3 = rarely 1. My family communicated and listened. _____ 2. My family affirmed and supported its members. _____ 3. My family taught respect for others. _____ 4. My family developed in me a sense of trust. _____ 5. My family had time for play and humor. _____ 6. My family exhibited a sense of shared responsibility. _____ 7. My family taught me right and wrong. _____ 8. My family observed rituals and traditions. _____ 9. My family had an equal balance of interaction among its members. _____ 10. My family shared a sense of values. _____ 11. My family respected privacy. _____ 12. My family valued service to others. _____ 13. My family fostered honest conversation. _____ 14. My family shared leisure time. _____ 15. My family admitted problems and sought help. _____ 16. My family appreciated children. _____ 17. My family had many outside friends. _____ 18. My parents liked each other. _____ Now add up your score. The higher your score, the more that was missing. The more that was missing from your family, the more likely it was dysfunctional. You might come from a dysfunctional family, but you may have still have experienced some of the healthy behaviors above. Just as healthy families are not healthy all the time, dysfunctional families are not dysfunctional all the time. Families are dysfunctional by degree. Also, the more dysfunctional the family, the fewer of the child’s needs are met. Behaviors necessary for a healthy childhood are missing in a dysfunctional family. In fact, in most dysfunctional families, childhood is missing.
Robert J. Ackerman (Silent Sons: A Book for and About Men)
into the drawing room, where she and Connie waited, Kathleen anxiously walking back and forth, Connie noisily gulping her tea and silently congratulating herself. Suddenly there was a lot of shouting, much closer now. Then a loud, rattling bang. ‘Stay here,’ Kathleen told Connie. She hurried out of the room and across to the study. The door was wide
Josephine Cox (Miss You Forever)
You know, Miss Giles, you're all wrong about yourself. People who have lost the poser of love don't grieve over its apparent loss. They don't grieve over anything. If you've lost the power of love you've lost the power of grief. Hold on and the tide will turn." "Hold on to what?" asked Miss Giles. "To grief," said John. Miss Giles was silent. "I've never done that," she said at last. "I mean, I've never welcomed anything difficult or painful. I've always resented it and hit back. I can see now that to have welcomed the slings and arrows might have been to welcome love." "There's never any 'might have been' with those who retain the power of grief and the power of tenacity," said John.
Elizabeth Goudge (The Rosemary Tree)
It was like this: you were happy, then you were sad, then happy again, then not. It went on. You were innocent or you were guilty. Actions were taken, or not. At times you spoke, at other times you were silent. Mostly, it seems you were silent - what could you say? Now it is almost over. Like a lover, your life bends down and kisses your life. It does this not in forgiveness- between you, there is nothing to forgive- but with the simple nod of a baker at the moment he sees the bread is finished with transformation. Eating, too, is a thing now only for others. It doesn't matter what they will make of you or your days; they will be wrong, they will miss the wrong woman, miss the wrong man, all the stories they tell will be tales of their own invention. Your story was this: you were happy, then you were sad, you slept, you awakened. Sometimes you ate roasted chestnuts, sometimes persimmons.
Jane Hirshfield (After)
Firstly, Inspector,” Miss Trent interrupted. “The safety of the Society’s members is paramount to me. Secondly, I have the utmost trust in Lady Owston and Mr Locke. They would’ve intervened had Miss Webster not returned when expected. Therefore, your accusations are without foundation. They are also symptomatic of your categorical hatred of the Bow Street Society, and of what we are trying to do.” “Which is what, exactly?” “Ensuring justice is served for those who ask for it.” “And putting your members’ lives at risk in the process!” “Enough, Inspector!” Miss Trent stood and glared down at him. In a heartbeat, he, too, was on his feet. Towering over her five feet seven inches with his six feet four, he bellowed, “You will listen to me, Miss Trent, and you will listen carefully!” Miss Trent put her hand on her hip but remained silent. “If you and your Society insist on facing danger unnecessarily, you will do so under my terms. You will give me a full list of your members so I, and the Metropolitan Police, can stop them from being murdered, attacked, and robbed. Try to justify what you do as much as you like, Miss Trent, but, at the end of the day, you are all just bloody civilians playing at a copper’s game!” “And yet, we are the ones people look to when the police refuse to help them,” Miss Trent retorted as she stepped closer to the desk. Leaning forward, so their faces were mere inches apart, she went on, “Not every case we investigate is a crime, Inspector, and our clients expect discretion with the confidences they grant us.
T.G. Campbell (The Case of The Spectral Shot (Bow Street Society #3))
I shall miss you,' said Perley. 'Of course I shall miss you, Maverick. So should I miss the piano, if it were taken out of the parlor.
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (The Silent Partner: Including "The Tenth of January")
Dear Goodreads diary, Thanks for receiving me all this time with hands wide open… Thanks for being patient to listen to all my gibberish. Still, I gotta go now. I’ll be absent for some time… But I want to tell you one last story… 2 years ago, a little boy came to me and asked for my help. He was desperate and tired of his life. He asked for my friendship and I was reluctant to accept his offer. I’ve always denied his emails or text messages. I know that boys are BASTARDS, though he looked like a little bird, lost and without wings…The way he talks in missing and dreams, oh GOD I wanna forget about all… it disgusts me each time to remember that he didn’t respect that I’m a conservative girl and tried his ways on me even though I’ve always asked him to stop it…. I mean, I’m 5 years older than him…. His father got sick. They reaaaaaaaally needed help. Though I’ve always known he was a “bastard” like everybody else, I couldn’t possibly leave his mom’s calls unanswered when she always asked for my help. I’ve been through all they’ve been through. I couldn’t give up on them while I knew how much it means to stand for someone who’s been tested for his father. I’m an orphan. How could I possibly walk away? + Our dear Prophet (PBUH) would never treat a misdeed with a misdeed…I’m a girl who loves GOD…I wouldn’t be as mean as him… Still, each time he was acting like bastards act. That meanness I can read in his text messages. That DISRESPECT…. I knew he used every possible memory for his ulterior motives. I kept silent for two years…I knew he was making a show… I mean even if he wasn’t making it because he saw something in me (that everybody saw, not only him), he would be making a show for his friends … Still, I’m not the one who would leave a friend in the middle of the dark…at one point in time, I called him brother…. hhh…. Thought maybe if he knows that I’m his older sister, he’ll think that the way he talked or the things he asked are things you only ask from a girlfriend and not me… he persisted…. I tested him once and he like a fool fell into the trap… I knew I should walk away even if I’d hear that his father would die… I spent whole night throwing in my disbelief…. How could people be so tricky…I’m 5 years older…. Eventually, he made his show… Thank GOD, a colleague… a mouthy colleague… started talking about everyone at school including me and him…that was heaven’s door wide open for me. Though 14 years ago, my friends started talking about me and another boy, I wouldn’t leave him for the world because I knew he was a decent boy… This time, I dived in… One month later, he came into my class not caring what my colleagues would talk…That made me sure that he wants to carry his show over… You know diary, what kills a person the most is not death. Hurt can kill…deception can kill…not apologizing can kill… Bad memories can kill…and I didn’t want to leave him with bad memories…I sent my last text message, told him to fulfill all his dreams and said goodbye…. Still I’ve never felt relieved… I texted him again, faced him with the facts, he thought he fooled me again….I said sorry and goodbye… forever…I waited for some time and then I quit my job so they don’t understand a thing about my motives… I spent two amazing months home; that I would always remember because they’ve changed me a lot…They brought me back to life again…But when I came back, all the bad memories came back again… Dear diary, I know you’ve got tired of my complaints, but I have nobody else to talk to the way I talk to you… I need to forget all the bad memories he left me with… I know I CAN, but I need some time away from you…Even though he’s like a “tafcha” in my life now… still, I have to forgive him… I’m not someone who would spend her time hating people…People like me talk in books and ideas in their social networks… Wait for me diary…I’ll be back…
Goodbye Bro
In my restless dreams, I see that town. Silent Hill. You promised me you'd take me there again someday. But because of me, you were never able to. Well, I'm alone there now… In our ”“special place.” Waiting for you… Waiting for you to come to see me. But you never do. And so I wait, wrapped in my cocoon of pain and loneliness. I know I've done a terrible thing to you. Something you'll never forgive me for. I wish I could change that, but I can't. I feel so pathetic and ugly lying here, waiting for you... Every day I stare up at the cracks in the ceiling, and all I can think about is how unfair it all is... The doctor came today. He told me I could go home for a short stay. It's not that I'm getting better. It's just that this may be my last chance... I think you know what I mean... Even so, I'm glad to be coming home. I've missed you terribly. But I'm afraid James. I'm    afraid you don't really want me to come home. Whenever you come see me, I can tell how hard it is on you... I don't know if you hate me or pity me... Or maybe I just disgust you.... I'm sorry about that. When I first learned that I was going to die, I just didn't want to accept it. I was so angry all the time, and I struck out at everyone I loved most. Especially you, James. That's why I understand if you do hate me. But I want you to know this, James. I'll always love you. Even though our life together had to end like this, I still wouldn't trade it for the world. We had some wonderful years together. Well, this letter has gone on too long, so I'll say goodbye. I told the nurse to give this to you after I'm gone. That means that when you read this, I'll already be dead. I can't tell you to remember me, but I can't bear for you to forget me. These last few years since I became ill...I'm so sorry for what I did to you, did to us... You've given me so much and I haven't been able to return a single thing. That's why I want you to live for yourself now. Do what's best for you, James. James... You made me happy. “I love you, Mary.”  As the car began to slowly sink to the bottom of the lake, James pulled his wife close and gently held her. Their wish had finally come true. They would be together. And now they had an eternity to enjoy their happiness.
Sadamu Yamashita (Silent Hill 2: The Novel)
hundred mile journey. He had little cash left. No ATMs were working and nothing was open anyway. They approached a motel, its sign said ‘Vacancies’. His mood lifted. Hungry and tired, they approached a door which hung askew, hanging on just one hinge. Bill walked into a deserted reception area. A few keys hung on hooks behind the desk. He grabbed a couple and walked through to a small dining area. It too was deserted. A door at the back led through to a kitchen. Its doors were wide open. Not a morsel of food was left. They walked through and out into the courtyard. The keys were surplus to requirements, every door was wide open. Each room had been picked bare. The flat screen TVs that were advertised were nowhere to be seen, likewise the coffee makers and radios. However, the beds were still there. What the thieves could have done with the electrical equipment without power seemed irrelevant. They would sleep in a bed, hungry, but a lot more comfortable than they had been for the previous two nights. Bill settled Mike and Lauren into one room and told them to keep the door closed. He couldn’t buy food but he could damn well hunt for it. He walked out of the motel, across the almost desolate highway and with a vast expanse of open ground before him, settled down and waited for a target. It wasn’t long in coming. A deer came into his sights, over eight hundred yards away, but well within his range. He heard a rustle behind him but remained on target and fired. The deer went down, an instant kill. “That’s damn fine shooting, sir,” said a voice from behind. Bill had heard the two men approach but hadn’t wanted to turn and risk missing the deer. They had been almost silent in their approach, understanding what he was doing. They were hunters themselves. “Thanks,” he said, turning to greet them. “Too much for us though, happy to share.” “No that’s okay, friend, we’re fine,” they said, much to his astonishment. He was actually wondering if they would have let him have any without a fight. “Are you sure? It’s too big for me to carry all this way. I’m afraid I’m just going to cut what I need and leave the rest. By the time I come back, I imagine it’ll be picked clean.” “We were just driving past and saw you line up that shot. That is really impressive shooting.” “You’ve got gas?” asked Bill, surprised. “Friend, we have everything you can imagine, food, gas, what we don’t have much of is folks that shoot as fine as that over that distance.” “Okay,” said Bill suspiciously. “We’re a couple of miles ahead of our main party, how’d you fancy joining us?” “Joining you for what?” “Teaching these Chinese bastards that they fucked with the wrong country!” spat the one that had remained quiet up until then. Bill could see why the other one had done most of the talking. He had also probably done his fair share of teaching the Chinese or at least their president that they had messed with the wrong country. “I’ve got a niece who’d have to come with us, and her boyfriend,” he said. He wouldn’t miss the chance of helping in any way he could, but he wouldn’t leave Lauren to fend for herself. “What age?” “They’re in their twenties.” “Can they shoot?” “Absolutely!” “Welcome to the Patriotic Guard of America, friend, Montana Division,” said the man smiling widely. “Next stop, Washington!” Chapter 77 General Petlin’s desk was littered with updates from across America.
Murray McDonald (America's Trust)
I used to think I could teach young people the whole of life, but I know better now, and all my teaching of George has come down to this: beware of muddle. Do you remember in that church, when you pretended to be annoyed with me and weren't? Do you remember before, when you refused the room with the view? Those were muddles--little, but ominous--and I am fearing that you are in one now." She was silent. "Don't trust me, Miss Honeychurch. Though life is very glorious, it is difficult." She was still silent. "'Life' wrote a friend of mine, 'is a public performance on the violin, in which you must learn the instrument as you go along.' I think he puts it well. Man has to pick up the use of his functions as he goes along--especially the function of Love." Then he burst out excitedly; "That's it; that's what I mean. You love George!" And after his long preamble, the three words burst against Lucy like waves from the open sea.
E.M. Forster (A Room With A View: ( Annotated ) 100th Anniversary Collection. An Unabridged Edition.)
Sir Henry Clithering, ex-Commissioner of Scotland Yard, sat silent, twisting his moustache—or rather stroking it—and half smiling, as though at some inward thought that amused him. “Sir Henry,” said Mrs. Bantry at last. “If you don’t say something I shall scream. Are there a lot of crimes that go unpunished, or are there not?
Agatha Christie (The Complete Miss Marple Collection (Miss Marple))
We thank you for the offer, healer, but Shea is unused to our ways.” Jacques couldn’t remember most of them himself. He was as uneasy in the presence of the Carpathian as Shea. His black eyes glittered like ice, caught and trapped the reflection of a lightning whip as it sizzled across the dark sky. “The other male is not with you.” “Byron,” Mikhail supplied. “He has been a good friend to you for centuries. He is aware that you completed the ritual and this woman is your true lifemate. Search your mind, Jacques. Remember how difficult this time is on our unattached males.” Shea’s face went crimson under the unearthly paleness. The reference to the ritual had to mean they were aware Jacques had made love to her. The lack of privacy disturbed her immensely. She went to move around Jacques, strongly objecting to the this woman label. She did have a name. She was a person. She had a feeling they all thought her the hysterical type. She certainly hadn’t managed to show them her normal calm self. Jacques stepped backward and his arm swept behind him to pin her against the wall. He never took his eyes from the trio before them. He knew he was unstable, still fighting to hold on to reason when his every instinct was to attack. He trusted none of them and would not allow Shea to be put in any danger. Shea retaliated with a hard pinch. She was not going to cower behind her wild man like some seventeenth-century heroine fainting with the vapors. So she was surrounded by a few vampires. Big deal. Carpathians. Jacques sounded amused. If you laugh at me, Jacques, I might find another wooden stake and come after you myself, she warned him silently. “Well, for heaven’s sake.” Shea sounded exasperated as she addressed the group. “We’re all civilized, aren’t we?” She shoved at Jacques’ broad back. “Aren’t we?” “Absolutely.” Raven stepped forward, ignoring Mikhail’s restraining hand. “At least the women are. The men around here haven’t quite graduated from the swinging-through-trees stage yet.” “I owe you an apology for last night, Miss O’Halloran,” Mikhail said with far too much Old World charm. “When I saw you crouched over my brother, I thought…” Raven snorted. “He didn’t think, he reacted. He really is a great man, but overprotective with the people he loves.” There was a wealth of love in her teasing tone. “Honestly, Jacques, you can’t keep her prisoner, locked up like some nun in a convent.” Shea was mortified. Jacques, move! You’re embarrassing me.
Christine Feehan (Dark Desire (Dark, #2))
Barkapalooza open house?” Dr. V. stood in the center of the group, as silent as any of the girls had seen him. “I am really going to miss you,” he said. “So before our guests arrive, I want to let you know that this is the last time you’ll ever see me in a polo shirt.” Everyone laughed. “Would you honor me with a group picture?” While Daisy corralled Atticus and Finch, the girls lined up to pose with a pet of their choice. Gaby held Feather. Alma took the new kitten Milagro. Secret nestled in Mrs. Kohler’s arms. Dr. Villalobos sat in the center with Snowflake
Angela Cervantes (Gaby, Lost and Found)
Be careful, Detective, or the grindylows will nab you!’ The young woman’s voice had a musical quality like the trilling of birdsong. Lavender spun around. Laurel Faa Geddes stood behind them. She had appeared out of nowhere—as silent as a padding cat. One silver-ringed hand rested lightly on her hip. She grinned. Her vivid blue eyes sparkled mischievously. ‘I’m not familiar with the grindylows, Miss Geddes.’ Lavender smiled. ‘Perhaps you’d care to enlighten me?’ She pointed a grimy finger towards the reeds at the edge of the brackish pool. ‘They live down there, in the watter. They’ve long, sinewy arms and grab you to drown you, if you’re not careful.’ ‘Sounds like a few of the trollops I’ve met down the London docks,’ Woods observed.
Karen Charlton (The Heiress of Linn Hagh (Detective Lavender Mysteries, #1))
Rich Purnell sipped coffee in the silent building. Only his cubicle illuminated the otherwise dark room. Continuing with his computations, he ran a final test on the software he'd written. It passed. With a relieved sigh, he sank back in his chair. Checking the clock on his computer, he shook his head. 3:42am. Being an astrodynamicist, Rich rarely had to work late. His job was the find the exact orbits and course corrections needed for any given mission. Usually, it was one of the first parts of a project; all the other steps being based on the orbit. But this time, things were reversed. Iris needed an orbital path, and nobody knew when it would launch. A non-Hoffman Mars-transfer isn't challenging, but it does require the exact locations of Earth and Mars. Planets move as time goes by. An orbit calculated for a specific launch date will work only for that date. Even a single day's difference would result in missing Mars entirely. So Rich had to calculate many orbits. He had a range of 25 days during which Iris might launch. He calculated one orbital path for each. He began an email to his boss. "Mike", he typed, "Attached are the orbital paths for Iris, in 1-day increments. We should start peer-review and vetting so they can be officially accepted. And you were right, I was here almost all night. It wasn't that bad. Nowhere near the pain of calculating orbits for Hermes. I know you get bored when I go in to the math, so I'll summarize: The small, constant thrust of Hermes's ion drives is much harder to deal with than the large point-thrusts of presupply probes. All 25 of the orbits take 349 days, and vary only slightly in thrust duration and angle. The fuel requirement is nearly identical for the orbits and is well within the capacity of EagleEye's booster. It's too bad. Earth and Mars are really badly positioned. Heck, it's almost easier to-" He stopped typing. Furrowing his brow, he stared in to the distance. "Hmm." he said. Grabbing his coffee cup, he went to the break room for a refill. ... "Rich", said Mike. Rich Purnell concentrated on his computer screen. His cubicle was a landfill of printouts, charts, and reference books. Empty coffee cups rested on every surface; take-out packaging littered the ground. "Rich", Mike said, more forcefully. Rich looked up. "Yeah?" "What the hell are you doing?" "Just a little side project. Something I wanted to check up on." "Well... that's fine, I guess", Mike said, "but you need to do your assigned work first. I asked for those satellite adjustments two weeks ago and you still haven't done them." "I need some supercomputer time." Rich said. "You need supercomputer time to calculate routine satellite adjustments?" "No, it's for this other thing I'm working on", Rich said. "Rich, seriously. You have to do your job." Rich thought for a moment. "Would now be a good time for a vacation?" He asked. Mike sighed. "You know what, Rich? I think now would be an ideal time for you to take a vacation." "Great!" Rich smiled. "I'll start right now." "Sure", Mike said. "Go on home. Get some rest." "Oh, I'm not going home", said Rich, returning to his calculations. Mike rubbed his eyes. "Ok, whatever. About those satellite orbits...?" "I'm on vacation", Rich said without looking up. Mike shrugged and walked away.
Andy Weir
Don’t I need to practice firing?” “Well, it’s not as if you’re going to shoot somebody with this. You’re just going to shoot yourself, right?” Aomame nodded. “In that case, you don’t have to practice firing. You just have to learn to load it, release the safety, and get the feel of the trigger. And anyway, where were you planning to practice firing it?” Aomame shook her head. She had no idea. “Also, how were you planning to shoot yourself? Here, give it a try.” Tamaru inserted the loaded magazine, checked to make sure the safety was on, and handed the gun to Aomame. “The safety is on,” he said. Aomame pressed the muzzle against her temple. She felt the chill of the steel. Looking at her, Tamaru slowly shook his head several times. “Trust me, you don’t want to aim at your temple. It’s a lot harder than you think to shoot yourself in the brain that way. People’s hands usually shake, and it throws their aim off. You end up grazing your skull, but not killing yourself. You certainly don’t want that to happen.” Aomame silently shook her head. “Look what happened to General Tojo after the war. When the American military came to arrest him, he tried to shoot himself in the heart by pressing the muzzle against his chest and pulling the trigger, but the bullet missed and hit his stomach without killing him. Here you had the top professional soldier in Japan, and to think he didn’t know how to kill himself with a gun! They took him straight to the hospital, he got the best care the American medical team could give him, recovered, then was tried and hanged. It’s a terrible way to die. A person’s last moments are an important thing. You can’t choose how you’re born, but you can choose how you die.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84)
You do trust Mr. Tugwell, do you not?” Did he? Trust Tugwell with his secret? Perhaps. Trust him with Miss Keene? The man had fathered five children in six years. No, he did not trust Charles Tugwell with Miss Keene.
Julie Klassen (The Silent Governess)
As a younger man, I burned with enthusiasm for my work: I was to be a warrior, the champion of reviled or exiled passions. I would assail the forces marshaled to enslave these passions, the tyrannies imposed in the name of factitious moralities, the sadistic compulsions disguised as highest law. I would be, in my silent, expensive way, the apostle of a thrilling freedom. When did it abandon me, that faith? How often have I heard it repeated, nearly verbatim, that commonplace of every educated, sophisticated patient: I don’t believe in judgment, in divine judgment; I don’t believe that someone is sitting up in the sky frowning down at me. In the past I would have thought: Yes, you do— and that is your problem. In the fullness of time I would assist them in shaking free of this secret conviction. Now, though, my calling has deserted me. The premise wasn’t wrong: most patients suffer more than they know from obscure inner persecutions. What I did not realize, however, was how deeply I myself believed in such a judgment, how along with my patients I embraced with inalienable fidelity that very conviction. This conviction did not presume a personified judge— bearded, severe, enthroned. It presumed instead a law, inhuman, abstract, and implacable, the law to which we owed our lives, the law to which we owed our reckoning. Failure, worth, crisis, potential, fulfillment. Every patient returns to these words again and again. They are the words from which my profession is made, and each of these words presumes a judgment, a mark attained or missed. No one enters my office who does not believe in his very marrow that judgment, some judgment, is absolute and fixed. The person I am meant to be: that mythical creature, that being whom each patient longs and dreads to become, is itself a judgment, a standard one does not devise but to which one must account. What or who set the standard? What or who measured the body for its soul? What or who meant them to be the people they were meant to be? I am certain: belief in judgment is not what my patients reject or grow out of. The belief in judgment is what they cling to. Beneath their affections and afflictions, judgment is their one true love.
DeSales Harrison (The Waters & The Wild)
He’s right.” Mara glanced about. “Make sure all the powder’s put away before he embarks on this next round of idiocy he’s set himself to.” Devyl smirked at her recitation of his idea, but didn’t bother to correct her words. Mostly because she wasn’t wrong. It was just irritating to have her undermine him out loud before their crew. Belle paused beside Devyl to stare up at him with a knowing grimace that melted into a smile. “Feeling better now, Captain?” He bit back a groan at her silent insinuation. “Don’t be getting cheeky with me, Miss Morte. Me humor’s still not restored fully.” Her gaze slid to Mara. “I’d wager otherwise.” “You know, I ate the last crewman who annoyed me.” She laughed at that. “I’m not worth the indigestion, Captain.” And with that, she flounced off to clap Mara on the shoulder and kiss her cheek.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Deadmen Walking (Deadman's Cross #1))
I think you're going to like these," she said, placing the stack on the table. "The whole class spent Monday and Tuesday painting them up." Raymond and Sean lifted up the top poster and stared. ARSE PRESENTS SUPER HALLOWEEN PARTY FOOD, DRINKS, GREAT MUSIC HALLOWEEN TRAMPOLINE COSTUME CONTEST FOR THE MYSTERY PRIZE DON'T MISS IT! She smiled proudly. "What do you think?" "Nice," said Sean, wondering why Raymond had suddenly gone so silent and so pale. Finally Raymond found his voice. "But Ashly, why does it say" —he pointed to the top line— "that?" "That? That's us. Our initials—Ashly, Raymond, Sean, and Eckerman—I couldn't remember his first name." "I get it," said Sean. Raymond was positively white. "The other kids who worked on them—they didn't—say anything about the posters? The wording maybe?" "The whole class really liked them," said Ashley. "I think everyone's favorite part was the initials thing. They thought it was clever." Raymond looked up at the ceiling. "Oh, it was.
Gordon Korman (A Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag)
They’d never had anyone on the show who was missing an arm before. They’d had amputees on the show, but with different injuries. Mine posed a bit more of a challenge for dance. They mentioned Amy Purdy, the double amputee, who had been on the show, so I said, “Yeah, Amy Purdy is amazing, a very athletic, very impressive woman, but she has both of her knees. I don’t have a knee on my left side.” The phone went silent for a little while. But it didn’t turn them off. They just resumed talking. “Do you have any dance experience?” “No.” “Anytime in your life, if you were at a bar or a club, what did you do?” “I stood at the bar and ran my mouth. That’s what I do. I have never danced in any capacity. I don’t dance.” I was not trying to sell myself to them at all. I was being straight with them. Then they said, “If you decide to do it, we’ll put you in a house in L.A.” I knew then I had to say no to this show. “Well, I’m sorry, I’ve got three kids here and I can’t be away that long.” And without hesitation Deena Katz, one of the executive producers, said, “That’s fine. Your dancer will come to where you are and that’s where you’ll rehearse and come back and forth. Where do you live?” “Alabama.” She just answered, “Okay.” I don’t think they thought about that, either. Alabama is a long way from Los Angeles. We talked a little while longer and that was it. I never said yes. They never said I was doing it.
Noah Galloway (Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier)
I pull lightly on its soft silky ears, smooth down its thick fur, and distract myself so thoroughly that it’s only after quite a while that I sense eyes on me and look around to see that everyone has fallen silent and is staring at me. “Allora?” Luca says, a mocking edge to his voice. “Vieni con me, Violetta?” That can’t mean what I think it means. My heart catches in my throat. The cat, realizing that I’ve been distracted, jumps down from the wall, landing with an audible thud, and pads off through the gate to chase food for its dinner. Poor field mice, I think ruefully. Between the owl and the cat, they’ll have a miserable night of it. Then I look at Luca, and have the horrible suspicion that I’m a mouse and he’s the cat, playing with me, letting me run away and then reeling me back in. His eyebrows are raised, his mouth quirked in an amused smile of inquiry. “Sorry,” I say, not to him but to Kelly and Kendra. “I missed all of that.” “Luca’s going to take you back to the villa,” Kendra says briskly. “’Cause we can’t all get in the jeep.” I panic. Stone-cold panic, bringing out sweat on my palms. I can’t be alone with him. This isn’t fair. “Kelly’s coming with us too, right?” I say overloudly. “It’ll be nicer than sitting under Paige’s feet.” Luca nods his head sideways, and for a moment I don’t get why. Then I do, and I can’t breathe. He’s indicating the line of Vespas parked by the gatepost. He didn’t come in his car. He came on a Vespa. I’m going to ride back home on his scooter. This is not happening.
Lauren Henderson (Flirting in Italian (Flirting in Italian #1))
Kelly swallowed her mounting dread as she and Ryan entered the restaurant. Ryan spoke in low tones to the maître d’ and then they were ushered to a table in the back. Ryan broke into a broad smile when he saw Rafael already seated next to a woman Kelly assumed was his wife, Bryony. Ryan’s mother was also seated, as were Devon and Cameron. Just great. They were last to arrive, and so they made an “entrance.” Kelly stood by Ryan’s side as he greeted everyone, then said, “Of course, you all remember Kelly. Except for you, Bryony.” He turned to Kelly. “Kelly, this is Bryony de Luca, Rafael’s wife. Bryony, this is my fiancée, Kelly Christian.” The room went absolutely silent at his declaration. The expressions ranged from his mother’s ill-disguised horror to outright disbelief on his friends’ faces. Even Bryony looked skeptical as she rose to extend her hand to Kelly. It was then that Kelly noticed that Bryony appeared every bit as pregnant as Kelly was. “It’s nice to meet you,” Bryony said with what looked to be a forced smile. Hell, how much could Bryony possibly know about Kelly anyway? It wasn’t as if she’d been around for that long. But she, like the others, didn’t appear to roll out the welcome mat. Kelly offered a nervous smile and allowed Ryan to seat her. This was going to be a long night. “How are you, Kelly?” Devon asked politely. He was seated next to her and she supposed common courtesy dictated his question. “I’m good,” she replied in a low voice. “Nervous.” He seemed surprised by her honesty. Ryan conversed with his friends and his mother. Kelly sat quietly beside him and watched the goings-on around her. No one tried to include her in conversation and the one time she offered a comment, the awkward silence that ensued told her all she needed to know. They were tolerating her for Ryan’s sake, but she didn’t miss the looks they cast in his direction when they thought she wasn’t watching. Looks that plainly said, Are you crazy? By the time the food was served, she was extremely grateful to have something to focus on. She felt out of place. She felt conspicuous. This was going down as one of the worst nights of her life and she was counting the minutes until she and Ryan could make their escape. The food felt dry in her mouth. Her stomach churned and after only a few bites, she gave up trying to force herself to eat. Instead, she sipped at her water and pretended she was back on the beach with Ryan, about to dance underneath the moonlight. That was her problem. She was living in a fantasy world, avoiding reality. And reality sucked. Her reality was sitting here at a dinner table while five other people judged her. Her reality was living with a man—a man she intended to marry—who felt he needed to forgive her for sins she hadn’t committed. At what point in her life had she decided she didn’t deserve better than this? It was a startling discovery. The blinders had come off. Why was she putting up with this?
Maya Banks (Wanted by Her Lost Love (Pregnancy & Passion, #2))
Like in the time of Esther, God has a Jewish girl hidden in the palace! She was born a Jew, then adopted and grafted into the commonwealth of Israel. She lived in every foreign land, hid her Jewish identity, took a Gentile name, and followed the celebrations of the nations where she lived. She grew in beauty and majesty, and she’s married to the King. Do you know her name? That’s right—the Church is her name. And now that the plot to destroy all the Jews has been revealed…her uncle, Mordecai (Messianic Jews), is begging her (the Church) to go before the King and intercede for the lives of her relatives. But will she do it? Will she fast and pray? Will she cry out as a watchman on the walls? Or will she remain silent, hoping the curse will somehow disappear, saying, “I am not of those people any longer; they rejected their King and I am married to Him; they brought these troubles on their own heads; why should I stick my neck out for them? If they are God’s chosen people, then He will certainly take care of them!” Listen to the words of Mordecai when Hadassah, Esther, was concerned for her own safety above the salvation of her people. Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this? (Esther 4:12-14) Yes, that’s right, Church! You are God’s hidden plan for the salvation of Israel and the blessing of all the peoples on Earth! Will you fast and pray? Will you go before the King and cry out for your people? Or will you continue to give comfort and aid to Haman, embrace replacement theology (discussed in chapter 8), support BDS, and refuse shelter and supply to the Jews? For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you will have missed the day of your visitation—even the very purpose for which you were brought to the Kingdom. The adversary, the usurper, is seeking to destroy the whole house of Israel again because… a King is coming!
Paul Wilbur (A King is Coming)
You were brushing your hair,” he guessed. “Which means you were almost ready for bed. I apologize for intruding.” He wandered to her vanity and picked up a brush inlaid with ivory. “It was a gift from the old earl,” she said, watching him fingering her belongings. He ran his thumbnail down the teeth of her comb and picked up a blue ribbon coiled in a tray of hairpins. “I have been considering how best to apologize to you,” he said, winding the ribbon around his finger, “but I’m not sure exactly what label to put on my transgression.” Call it a kiss, Emmie silently rejoined. “And was an apology the purpose of this conversation?” she asked, not knowing where in the room to put herself. She wasn’t about to sit on the bed, and not on the fainting couch by the cold hearth either. She also didn’t want to sit at her vanity, not with him standing there, acquainting his big, tanned hands with her belongings. “I’m not just here to apologize.” He smiled a slow, lazy smile at her. Not one of his company smiles, not a smile he’d give to Winnie or Lord Amery either. “Come sit, Emmie.” He patted the low back of the chair at her vanity. “You are uneasy, wondering when I’ll say something uncouth or alienate another neighbor. I regret that.” He patted the back of the chair again, and on dragging feet, Emmie crossed the room. She seated herself and expected the earl to take the end of the fainting couch or to slouch against the mantel. He caught her completely off guard by standing behind her and drawing her hair over her shoulders. “I miss doing this for my sisters,” he said, running the brush down the length of her hair, “and even for Her Grace when I was very young.” “She raised you?” Emmie asked, knowing she should grab the brush from him. “From the age of five on. You have utterly glorious hair. Winnie will be the envy of her peers if she ends up with hair like this.” He drew a fat coil up to his nose and inhaled, then let it drop and resumed his brushing. “You should not be doing this,” Emmie said, but even that weak admonition was an effort. “I should not be letting you do this.” “I interrupted you. It’s only fair I should perform the task I disturbed. Besides, I wanted to talk to you about this trip Douglas has proposed.” Emmie
Grace Burrowes (The Soldier (Duke's Obsession, #2; Windham, #2))
Making a frustrated noise, Ryan tapped James’s neck, another silent order to look at him, and James did. Ryan said, “You know I hate that Arthur is pressuring you into this—it’s none of his business when and who you marry—but you sure as hell don’t need my approval, either. You shouldn’t give a shit about it as long as you want her. Arthur ’s opinion doesn’t matter, but neither does mine, you tosser.” “Of course your opinion matters,” James said with a laugh. “It would be awkward if you hate her, because you’ll be around all the time.” He hated how the last part of the sentence sounded more like a question. Ryan, who knew him better than anyone, didn’t miss it, of course. Ryan’s eyes narrowed. Shit. Sloppy. He was getting sloppy. “Jamie—” “Here you two are!” a familiar voice interrupted whatever Ryan was going to say. Partly relieved, partly annoyed by the interruption— intrusion, his inner voice couldn’t help but whisper—James turned to Ryan’s girlfriend. Ryan let go of his neck. Hannah was smiling as she took the seat on the other side of Ryan. She really was a lovely girl: blond, pale and pretty serene—not the type Ryan usually went for. “Hey, babe,” she said, leaning in to kiss the corner of Ryan’s mouth. “Miss me?” “I dropped you off half an hour ago,” Ryan said, but he was pulling her close to kiss her properly. It was a public place, but that never stopped Ryan. James wrapped his hands around his cup of tea and stared down at the dark surface of the liquid.
Alessandra Hazard (Just a Bit Confusing (Straight Guys #5))
Miss Kay In the midst of that low place, the darkest place I have ever been emotionally, with thoughts of sleep and rest filling my mind, through my sobs I heard the scurry of little feet headed toward the bathroom door. I could tell all three boys, in their house shoes, were coming to talk to me. Alan spoke first: “Mom, don’t cry. Don’t cry anymore. God will take care of us.” I was silent for a moment. Then I heard Jase ask, “Did she quit crying?” And I could hear Willie doing something he did often, making smacking noises while sucking on two of his fingers. In an instant, it was like a lightbulb came on for me. “What am I doing?” I asked myself. “I have three little boys. I can’t leave them with a drunk.” I spoke to my sons through the door. “I’m okay. I love y’all. I’ll be out in a minute.” I then got on my knees and prayed. “God, help me. Just help me. I don’t want to leave these kids. I don’t know what to do or where to find You. Just lead me to somebody who can help me.
Korie Robertson (The Women of Duck Commander: Surprising Insights from the Women Behind the Beards About What Makes This Family Work)
Miss Kate!” Kiernan exclaimed, pointing. “What happened to your toes?” “What?” I glanced down, half expecting to see a leech or a cut or some other trauma, but there was nothing odd. “What are you talking about?” “Your toenails. They’re all red—it looks like blood!” “Oh,” I laughed. “That’s just nail polish. It’s chipped off in a few places.” “It looks like paint.” Kiernan sniffed disapprovingly. I sighed. This was one of the anachronisms that Katherine would probably have caught as I prepared to leave. Did young women paint their nails in the 1890s? Had nail polish even been invented yet? I had no clue. “Well, it is paint, sort of,” I said. “Me mom says…” He shook his head and fell silent. “What does your mom say, Kiernan?” He didn’t answer. “No, really, I won’t be angry. What does she say?” “She says only whores wear paint,” he said, staring down at the grass. “They usually wear it on their faces, though. I never even heard of painted toes.
Rysa Walker (Timebound (The Chronos Files, #1))
You are being nonsensical, Benjamin. Why are you wearing those clothes?” “Because I did not want my pocket picked, today of all days.” His tone was sober enough that she glanced over at him in puzzlement. “I don’t understand.” “I’m carrying valuables for my lady.” He withdrew a little box from an inside pocket, and Maggie’s heart started trotting around nervously in her rib cage. “Benjamin, what are you about?” “Come.” He took her by the wrist and led her to a low stone wall circling a fountain. “I want to do this properly.” Foreboding mixed with an odd, sentimental thrill as Maggie seated herself on the stone wall. Benjamin took the place beside her, his expression still somber. He flipped open the box, withdrew a gorgeous emerald ring, and tucked the box out of sight again. “With this ring, I plight thee my troth, Maggie Windham.” She watched, dumbstruck, while he took her hand and slid the ring onto the appropriate finger. It was the stone she had picked out—she was almost sure of it—but the setting was nothing she recognized. “You should not be doing this.” She stared at the golden love knot crafted into the setting, stared at it until a teardrop splattered onto the back of her hand. “Oh, Benjamin, this is foolishness. We are not engaged, not truly.” He folded her into his embrace, resting his cheek against her temple. “It has been two weeks, Maggie, or nearly so. I think we are truly engaged.” She shook her head and tried to draw back, but he did not let her go. “I am not with child.” “Your menses have started then?” And still he did not let her go, but damn him, he understood her well enough to make a direct inquiry. “Not yet, but they will. I can feel it.” She would will it to happen, of that she was certain. No woman could conceive a child with this much tension and anxiety swirling in her vitals. “Then we’re still engaged.” “Must you be so stubborn?” He let her go and pulled back far enough to aim a look at her that asked silent, pointed questions about who was being stubborn with whom. “I got a ring for myself, too,” he said. “It’s not fashionable, but my parents observed this custom, and I noted yours do, as well.” “You don’t miss much of anything, do you?” He passed her a gold band that would have been plain, except it was chased with a swirling, interlocking pattern reminiscent of the love knot. “You don’t have to say the words, Maggie, but if you’d oblige me?” He held out his hand, and Maggie felt her heart—already fractured into a hundred sharp, miserable pieces—splinter further. Wordlessly, she took the ring from him and slid it onto the fourth finger of his left hand. “This is not a real engagement, Benjamin Portmaine. I wish it could be, but it cannot.” He kissed her, a sweet, gentle, heartrendingly tender pressing of his lips over hers. “It’s real to me, Maggie Windham. In this moment, sitting here with you, I am betrothed to the only woman I’ve ever wanted for my countess, my wife, and my love.” She
Grace Burrowes (Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal (The Duke's Daughters, #2; Windham, #5))
I don’t care if you have a big mansion with all the comforts! I am Mom, and I know what is best! You can have her back when she is all better! I know that you miss her and you want nothing more than to hover over her…but that is my job. You just settle yourself, mister, and do what you do best and I will do what I do best! I have done a good job of it for thirty-two years!” I sat up, biting my lip when she grew silent, obviously listening to him. I wished I could hear the rough and lovely voice on the other end. “And she loves you too, Liam…she is safe here…and I will tell her you called. If she is up to it I will even let her call you,” she teased. “If you will behave yourself and not get her worked up! She’s in healing mode now. No…I am not bringing her there! You want to see her…you bring your little tush here. Oh, you don’t like that idea? Well then, you will just have to be patient! The doctor said she needs to rest for a few days. The wound is fine…but after the shock she went through she doesn’t need added stress…so stop your pushing!” I covered my mouth to stifle my laugh. My mom had never been afraid of anyone…not even powerful billionaires! She laughed at something he said now. “I really like you, you know that? I’m glad she has you!” She was silent for another moment. “I will make sure she is awake in an hour to receive the package Stewart brings over,” she promised. ”Take care!
Sarah Brocious (More Than Scars)
Take me to the far side of the room,” she pleaded. “Near the food and lemonade. I can pretend to be thirsty.” “And what about Burkham?” he asked. “The man is watching you.” What about the viscount indeed? she thought. He’d done nothing to catch her, but had stepped back just as she’d fallen. A twinge of resentment caught her. “I don’t want to speak with him.” Thomas should have prevented her from falling. It was almost as if he’d wanted to humiliate her. But why? And did he intend to keep his distance, behaving as if nothing had happened? A moment later, the viscount crossed the room. Immediately, Iain stepped in front of her. “Were you wanting something, Burkham?” The viscount appeared discomfited by his presence. “Ashton, if you don’t mind, I would like a word with Lady Rose.” “To apologize, you mean.” The earl’s voice held resentment, and she didn’t at all disagree. She hadn’t wanted to join in the country dance, but Lord Burkham had insisted. “I am sorry she fell. And if you wouldn’t mind giving us a moment alone . . .” “No.” Iain crossed his arms over his chest, and she nearly smiled. It looked as if he wanted to pummel the man senseless. “But I will allow you to apologize before you slither away.” Burkham cleared his throat and sidestepped so she could see his face. “Ashton is right. I do owe you an apology. I didn’t expect you to fall.” “I told you I didn’t want to dance. You wouldn’t listen.” He sent her a crooked smile, one that would have caused her heart to soften, a year ago. Now, she saw it as an empty gesture. “Forgive me. I was jealous of Ashton because I thought we had agreed you would save the first dance for me.” Jealousy would imply that he actually cared about her, and she simply didn’t believe it. “You weren’t here.” “I was late, and that, of course, was my fault,” he finished. “But I didn’t expect to find you dancing with another man.” She gave a shrug. Of course not. Because you thought no man would want me. “Did you want to dance with Lord Ashton?” he asked. There was a thread of annoyance in his tone, one she didn’t like. “Yes,” she answered honestly. Although she’d danced with Iain primarily because of the wager she’d lost, it was also because she trusted him. He understood her limitations and hadn’t tried to push her past them. Iain went to stand beside her, and he rested his hand upon the back of her chair in a silent mark of possession. “I think you should be returning to Miss Everett now,” Iain suggested. “Be on your way.” The viscount appeared to consider it, but then Lady Castledon arrived, holding Evangeline’s hand in hers. She smiled warmly at Iain and said, “Do be a darling and dance with Miss Sinclair. I’ve told her all about you, Lord Ashton.” There was no way for him to refuse without embarrassing Evangeline, but he sent Rose a questioning look. “I will be fine,” she told him. “Go on and enjoy yourself.” Iain bowed to Evangeline and tucked her hand in his arm, but his expression held an open threat toward Lord Burkham. The
Michelle Willingham (Good Earls Don't Lie)
Would you grant me the honor of your first dance, Lady Rose?” Can you manage it? he seemed to be asking. She looked around the ballroom once more, trying to decide what was best. She supposed she could either dance with Lord Ashton and show everyone that she was no longer an invalid . . . or she could remain in a chair beside the wall. “Only if you dance with Miss Sinclair next,” she countered with a smile of her own. It was a reasonable enough request. “If Miss Sinclair is willing, I should be very glad of her company.” He sent her a charming smile, which made Evangeline’s fan flutter faster. “Of course, I would be happy to dance with you, Lord Ashton,” the young woman agreed. Her expression turned worried, and she continued, “But as for Lady Rose, I fear that—” She stopped abruptly, and looked perplexed, as if to remind them both, She cannot walk. But the moment Iain extended his hand, Rose took it and stood slowly. He gave her a moment to steady her balance, and then she leaned against him when she took her first step. Her eyes fixed upon his with a silent plea, Keep it slow. At least then she could hide her heavy limp. She heard Evangeline give a soft gasp, and there were murmurs all around them. It took all her concentration to walk, but Rose leaned against Iain, determined to keep her balance. “There’s a lass.” He smiled at her, allowing her to set the pace. Her heart hammered faster, and she felt the eyes of every guest staring at her. Never in her life had she felt so self-conscious. Though she had longed to take her first steps with Lord Burkham at her side, now she was beginning to reconsider. Iain was the man who had helped her to walk again, and of anyone here, she trusted him not to let her stumble. He knew the limits of her endurance, and she could confess when she needed to stop and rest. “You look grand this night.” He gave her hand a gentle squeeze as they moved closer to the dancing. “Thank you.” She had worn a sky-blue gown with a full skirt and a lace shawl to cover her bare shoulders. It wasn’t the most fashionable gown, but her grandmother had deemed it quite appropriate for the evening. Because she expected me to remain in a chair, Rose thought. No one expected me to dance. “Do you think you can manage this?” Iain asked. His expression revealed the sincerity of a man who didn’t want her to be embarrassed. “Only if it’s a waltz.” A quick-paced dance would be quite beyond her balance. But right now, this was about proving herself to others. She wanted everyone to see that she had overcome her illness and could walk again. She took one step that was too heavy, and stumbled forward. Iain caught her immediately and halted, waiting for her to regain her balance. Her cheeks burned, and she blurted out, “I am sorry.” “Don’t be.” He brought her to the edge of the dancers, nearest to the wall. They would be away from the others, and yet, she could join in. The music shifted into a lilting waltz, and he rested his hand against her waist. “If you begin to tire, step on my feet. Your skirts will hide it, and no one will notice,” he advised. He’d
Michelle Willingham (Good Earls Don't Lie)
Sunday dinner at the Marsdens’ is more than a meal--it’s an occasion. I’m dressed accordingly, wearing a pale green sundress with a sweater to ward off the chill of the air-conditioning. “Well, I blame my mama, God rest her soul,” Laura Grace says with a sigh. “She never taught me how to cook. You have no idea how lucky you are, Jemma--you and Nan both. Your mama’s a great cook, and she made sure to teach you. You girls’ husbands are surely going to thank her one day.” It’s impossible to miss the pointed look she gives Ryder. He ignores her and continues to attack his own roast. He’s rolled up the sleeves of his white button-down shirt, but his tie is neat and his khakis perfectly pressed. He cuts off a slice of rare meat and brings it to his mouth. Chewing slowly, he fixes his gaze on the wall directly above my mother’s head. It’s clear that he, too, would rather be anywhere else right now--anywhere but here, a helpless victim of our mothers’ machinations. Laura Grace glances from him to me and back to him again. “Next year, when the two of you are off at Oxford, you better promise to drive over together each week for Sunday dinner, you hear?” “Now, c’mon, Laura Grace,” Mr. Marsden chides. “You know Ryder hasn’t made his decision yet. You’ve got to give the boy some space to figure it out.” She waves one hand in dismissal. “I know. But a mama can hope, can’t she? I’m sorry, but I just can’t imagine the two of them going off in different directions.” “There’s only one choice for the both of them, as far as I’m concerned,” my mom says. “It’s about time the Rebels get their football program back on track, and Ryder’s just the boy to do it--with Jemma cheering him on.” I can’t help but cringe, staring down at my plate. I mean, is this really what my mom dreams about? Is this the best she can imagine for me? For a moment, everyone continues to eat silently. The tension in the air is so thick you could cut it with a knife, but I doubt Mama or Laura Grace even notice.
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
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))
jacket; skimmed them for anything I'd missed. Zoe's body was stiff and silent on the bed. Victim's faces can drop into a deceptive peace once they've quit breathing but that doesn't happen with strangulation. Zoe's blood-specked eyes reflected every second of her agony as she took her last look at the world. Get hit by a bus or get cornered by a killer, the result is the same. You're sloughed off in an instant from everything you know and love. No more hopes or fears. No more appointments or schedules or bills. But nothing in the photos explained why
Michael Donovan (Cold Call (Eddie Flynn, #3))
I twittered, “Did anything develop from the liaisons?”               “No. We never exchanged words about it. It was purely to get our rocks off. But…” he went silent.               “But? Carry on,” I encouraged.               “It was difficult. I cried and missed him terribly after he returned to the States.”               “Did he write to you?”               He said remorsefully, “He wrote me a generic letter but mentioned nothing about our encounters.”               “Do you still miss him?” I asked.               The boy sobbed quietly before replying. “I haven’t told anyone about this until now.”               Putting my arm around him, I enquired, “Would you like to have a fling with Jules?”               “I can’t. It’s not allowed.” My tent-mate turned away uneasily.               “Not allowed by whom?” I questioned.               “By the authorities.”               “The only authority that’s stopping you is you. Are all Singaporeans afraid of authority?”               He hadn’t expected me to ask such an unorthodox question. “You don’t know who is listening or watching your every move,” he shushed.               “Where I come from, we speak our minds.”               “You are one of the lucky ones to go to school in England. I wish I could go to an American school.” He paused before resuming, “My parents are very strict. That’s why I’m here at OBSS.”               I injected, “You don’t want to be here?”               He shook his head timidly. “Neither do I. Let’s do something roguish and get expelled together,” I joked. The lad exclaimed, thinking my deliberation serious. “Good god, No! My parents will be furious. They’ll lose face and be devastated if I misbehave.” “Are you going to be forever under your parents’ control?” I voiced. “You are here to learn to take responsibility for yourself. Now is the perfect time to come into your own,” I championed. “Do something you truly desire, not what others want you to do.” The lad did not know how to respond to my suggestion. Neither did he contradict me. When Jules entreated me privately for an after-dinner stroll that evening, little did I imagine what would happen.
Young (Turpitude (A Harem Boy's Saga Book 4))
She went silent but shuddered again. When it happened a third time, he realized the woman he was holding was near tears, and he forgot all about thunder, artillery, and infantry. “Miss Farnum?” She burrowed into his chest. “Emmaline?” The crying was still not audible, but her body gave off heat, and when he bent his face to her, his nose grazed her damp cheek. “Hush, now.” He gathered her into his embrace and stroked her hair back from her face in a long, slow caress. “You mustn’t take on. Winnie won’t go anywhere for many years, and you will always be dear to her.” He pattered on, no longer aware of the storm outside, so wrapped up was he with this much more personal upheaval. Her words came back to him, the words about Winnie’s deserving and not having a papa’s affections, Winnie’s not being able to trust a gentleman’s advances, Winnie’s being sent away. Winnie, indeed. He let her cry, and soothed and comforted as best he could, but eventually she quieted. “I am mortified,” she whispered, her face pressed to his chest. “You will think me an unfit influence on Bronwyn.” “I think you very brave,” he said, his nose brushing her forehead. “Very resourceful but also a little tired of being such a good girl and more than a little lonely.” She said nothing for a moment but stopped her nascent struggle to get off his lap. “You forgot, a lot embarrassed,” she said at length. “I get like this—” She stopped abruptly, and he felt heat suffuse her face where her cheek lay against his throat. “You get like this when your menses approach. I have five sisters, if you will recall.” He tried without much success to keep the humor from his voice. “And do they fall weeping into the lap of the first gentleman to show them simple decency?” Emmie asked sternly. “If he were the first gentleman in years of managing on their own, then yes, I think they would be moved to tears.
Grace Burrowes (The Soldier (Duke's Obsession, #2; Windham, #2))
Steven grinned as though he could see right through her. He was finely dressed, but she could see the bulge of his .45 beneath his suitcoat. “Hello, Miss Emma,” he said, taking off his new beaver hat. “Mr. Fairfax,” Emma replied, stepping back to admit him. There in the shadowed light of the entryway, he brought a very small box from the pocket of his vest and held it out. “This is for you.” Emma fairly lunged for the package, before remembering it wasn’t polite to go grasping at things in other people’s hands. “You shouldn’t have,” she said. Steven’s eyes glittered with silent laughter. “But I did,” he reasoned. “That’s true,” Emma replied, snatching it from his fingers and ripping off the paper. The package contained a tiny bottle of real French perfume, and Emma’s eyes went round at the sight of it. Uncorking the little crystal lid, she held the splendid stuff to her nose and sniffed. Surely heaven didn’t smell any better. “Thank you,” she breathed, amazed that a cowboy could give such an elegant, costly gift. Even Fulton, with all his money, had never presented her with anything so dazzlingly extravagant. Steven smiled. “You’re welcome, Miss Emma. Now, are we going on that picnic or not?” Emma led the way back through the house. “Daisy’s fixed us a grand basket.” “We’ll have plenty to eat then, darlin’, because I just picked up a full meal from the hotel.” Emma turned and looked at him in surprise. “But the lady always provides the food,” she said. “That doesn’t seem quite fair, since it was the gentleman who did the asking,” Steven replied in a mischievous whisper. Daisy
Linda Lael Miller (Emma And The Outlaw (Orphan Train, #2))
Well, that’s everyone,” Nigel said, “although we do have one extra basket. Perhaps I could interest you in taking it, Miss Easton. Surely you deserve a Christmas treat as well.” His eyes gleamed with a teasing light, and Amelia could feel her cheeks flushing hot. Having finally acknowledged her feelings for him, it was difficult to meet his gaze. “I think I’ve eaten too many treats already,” she said with a forced chuckle. “I’ve been terribly self-indulgent tonight.” “I cannot agree with you, Miss Easton. To my mind, you aren’t spoiled nearly enough.” His smile fueled her blush. Amelia suspected her cheeks were now as red as his waistcoat. “I am in complete agreement,” Aunt Lucy chimed in. “Amelia is always thinking of others, never of herself. But as much as she deserves additional treats, that extra basket is for her sister, Gwen.” “Ah, the youngest Easton,” Nigel said. “She didn’t join us tonight.” “She’s confined to the nursery with an earache, poor thing,” Amelia explained, “and she’s very sad to be missing all the fun.” She paused to watch Nigel gingerly extract the mistletoe wreath from his hair. “I know it’s a great deal to ask, Mr. Dash, but do you think…” She trailed off, hating to impose on him yet again. Nigel placed the crown back on his head with a rueful smile. “Why not? It’s not as if I could look any more of a fool that I already do.” “I wouldn’t bet on that,” Broadmore said, barging in to the conversation. “You’ve outdone yourself this time, Dash. Wait till everyone around town hears how you played the fool.” Aunt Lucy gave his lordship her most imperial glare as she rose. “I am vastly grateful to Mr. Dash for his generosity and kindness. His charitable spirit is certainly a great deal more admirable than yours, Lord Broadmore, and entirely in keeping with the holiday season.” She turned her back on him to speak with Thomas. In the face of that forceful snub, Broadmore could do nothing but silently fume. Nigel gave him a bland smile but saved a wink for Amelia. Choking back a laugh, she came to her feet. “I’ll escort you to the nursery, Mr. Dash. I promised to visit Gwen before her bedtime, and I know she’ll be thrilled to have a visit from Father Christmas.” She plucked the ornate basket of sweets from the footman’s tray. “I’ll take that, Thomas.” Broadmore
Anna Campbell (A Grosvenor Square Christmas)
She stepped back into the house. “I want to show you something.” Trying to get his legs back, his head wobbly, and his internal referee still giving him the eight count, Myron followed her silently up the stairway. She led him down a darkened corridor lined with modern lithographs. She stopped, opened a door, and flipped on the lights. The room was teenage-cluttered, as if someone had put all the belongings in the center of the room and dropped a hand grenade on them. The posters on the walls—Michael Jordan, Keith Van Horn, Greg Downing, Austin Powers, the words YEAH, BABY! across his middle in pink tie-dye lettering—had been hung askew, all tattered corners and missing pushpins. There was a Nerf basketball hoop on the closet door. There was a computer on the desk and a baseball cap dangling from a desk lamp. The corkboard had a mix of family snapshots and construction-paper crayons signed by Jeremy’s sister, all held up by oversized pushpins. There were footballs and autographed baseballs and cheap trophies and a couple of blue ribbons and three basketballs, one with no air in it. There were stacks of computer-game CD-ROMs and a Game Boy on the unmade bed and a surprising amount of books, several opened and facedown. Clothes littered the floor like war wounded; the drawers were half open, shirts and underwear hanging out like they’d been shot mid-escape. The room had the slight, oddly comforting smell of kids’ socks.
Harlan Coben (Darkest Fear (Myron Bolitar, #7))
Caroline sent another lovely smile his way, which he found less than reassuring, before she waved a hand to the crowd which had them falling silent again. “Now . . . on to the surprise. Darling, would you do the honors?” Everett’s feet remained rooted to the spot, but then, oddly enough, Dudley strode out of the crowd, across the ballroom floor, stopped by Caroline’s side, turned, and smiled. “Treasured friends, it is with great pleasure that I’m finally able to announce, here at Mr. Everett Mulberry’s ball, that Miss Caroline Dixon has agreed . . . to become my wife.” The silence was deafening as every single guest turned disbelieving eyes on Everett. For the span of a split second, he had no idea what to do, but then, he allowed himself the luxury of doing exactly what came naturally . . . he laughed. His feet were suddenly able to move again, and he turned those feet in Caroline’s direction. Reaching her side a moment later, he leaned forward, ignored the triumph lingering in her eyes, and kissed her soundly on the cheek, earning a hiss from her in response which he also ignored. “Thank you, my dear, for giving me the greatest gift possible . . . my freedom.” When Caroline began sputtering, he looked to Dudley. “Well played, old friend, well played indeed. I wish you the very best of luck.” Turning, Everett faced the crowd. “A toast—to Dudley and Caroline, soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Dudley Codman. May they enjoy a happy life together.” The
Jen Turano (In Good Company (A Class of Their Own Book #2))
Look at me,” he said hoarsely. Emma brought her eyes to his face and swallowed hard. It was so good to be close to him again, in spite of everything, that she wanted to weep. “What are you doing here?” “I told you,” she said with some effort, gently knotting the bandage to make it stay. “I wanted to warn you about your brother.” He stood and led her around behind a stand of trees and brush, where he took a seat on a birch stump. Then he pulled her downward, so that she was sitting astraddle of his lap. “You took some big chances, Miss Emma. I want to know why.” Emma lowered her eyes. “Because I love you, Mr. Fairfax,” she replied in a soft, broken voice. Steven was silent for such a long time that Emma feared he was going to send her away. When she finally brought herself to meet his gaze, she was amazed to see that he was smiling. “You love me?” “Yes, God help me,” Emma sighed. Her arms went around his neck. “I love you so much, it hurts.” “Even though you’re not sure whether I’m a killer or not?” Emma nodded sadly. He laughed, and it was a joyful, raucous sound. His hands interlocked at the small of Emma’s back, he planted a noisy kiss on her mouth. “If I didn’t know those cowboys up there would tell the story around the campfire for years to come, I’d take you right now.” She would have responded wholeheartedly, but she fancied she could hide the knowledge from Steven. He put his hand under her chin and lifted. “I love you,” he said firmly. Emma had feared never to hear those words from him, and relief made her sigh and rest her forehead against his.
Linda Lael Miller (Emma And The Outlaw (Orphan Train, #2))
I know, the "I" in me, is silent; You have nothing to say either. Heart is down in the mouth, Lips are closed, Eyes are watering, You are, and your remembrance is. I have no comfort. When I feel you, I feel the life. I know when the lips are silent Heart has many tongues to speak Yet, I miss you, I Miss you. How possible is separation from you?? You are my soul and I am yours. In fact, my soul and yours are the same, You appear in me, I in you, We hide in each other.
Asif