Soft Hearted Person Quotes

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Do you love me?' I asked her. She smiled. 'Yes.' 'Do you want me to be happy?' as I asked her this I felt my heart beginning to race. 'Of course I do.' 'Will you do something for me then?' She looked away, sadness crossing her features. 'I don't know if I can anymore.' she said. 'but if you could, would you?' I cannot adequately describe the intensity of what I was feeling at that moment. Love, anger, sadness, hope, and fear, whirling together sharpened by the nervousness I was feeling. Jamie looked at me curiously and my breaths became shallower. Suddenly I knew that I'd never felt as strongly for another person as I did at that moment. As I returned her gaze, this simple realization made me wish for the millionth time that I could make all this go away. Had it been possible, I would have traded my life for hers. I wanted to tell her my thoughts, but the sound of her voice suddenly silenced the emotions inside me. 'yes' she finally said, her voice weak yet somehow still full of promise. 'I would.' Finally getting control of myself I kissed her again, then brought my hand to her face, gently running my fingers over her cheek. I marveled at the softness of her skin, the gentleness I saw in her eyes. even now she was perfect. My throat began to tighten again, but as I said, I knew what I had to do. Since I had to accept that it was not within my power to cure her, what I wanted to do was give her something that she'd wanted. It was what my heart had been telling me to do all along. Jamie, I understood then, had already given me the answer I'd been searching for, the answer my heart needed to find. She'd told me outside Mr. Jenkins office, the night we'd asked him about doing the play. I smiled softly, and she returned my affection with a slight squeeze of my hand, as if trusting me in what I was about to do. Encouraged, I leaned closer and took a deep breath. When I exhaled, these were the words that flowed with my breath. 'Will you marry me?
Nicholas Sparks (A Walk to Remember)
I think you're the sort of person who finds money on the ground and waves it in the air and asks if anyone has lost it. I think you cry in movies that aren't even sad because you have a soft heart, though you don't let it show. I think you do things that scare you, and that makes you braver than those adrenaline junkies who bungee-jump off bridges.
Gayle Forman (Just One Day (Just One Day, #1))
She puts her hands on either side of my face, and the room falls away. I have never gotten so lost in a kiss before. And then, the space between us explodes. My heart keeps missing beats and my hands cannot bring her close enough to me. I taste her and realize I have been starving. I have loved before, but it didn't feel like this. I have kissed before, but it didn't burn me alive. Maybe it lasts a minute, and maybe it's an hour. All I know is that kiss, and how soft her skin is when it brushes against mine, and that even if I did not know it until now, I have been waiting for this person forever.
Jodi Picoult
It is the tenderness that breaks our hearts. The loveliness that leaves us stranded on the shore, watching the boats sail away. It is the sweetness that makes us want to reach out and touch the soft skin of another person. And it is the grace that comes to us, undeserving though we may be.
Robert Goolrick (The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life)
I hear Warner laugh. I see him smile. It's the kind of smile that transforms him into someone else entirely, the kind of smile that puts stars in his eyes and a dazzle on his lips and I realize I've never seen him like this before. I've never seen his teeth--so straight, so white, nothing less than perfect. A flawless, flawless exterior for a boy with a black, black heart. It's hard to believe there's blood on the hands of the person I'm staring at. He looks soft and vulnerable--so human. His eyes are squinting from all his grinning and his cheeks are pink form the cold. He has dimples. He's easily the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. And I wish I'd never seen it.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
you treat them like they have a heart like yours but not everyone can be as soft and as tender you don't see the person they are you see the person they have the potential to be you give and give till they pull everything out of you and leave you empty.
Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey)
I’m a modern man, a man for the millennium. Digital and smoke free. A diversified multi-cultural, post-modern deconstruction that is anatomically and ecologically incorrect. I’ve been up linked and downloaded, I’ve been inputted and outsourced, I know the upside of downsizing, I know the downside of upgrading. I’m a high-tech low-life. A cutting edge, state-of-the-art bi-coastal multi-tasker and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond! I’m new wave, but I’m old school and my inner child is outward bound. I’m a hot-wired, heat seeking, warm-hearted cool customer, voice activated and bio-degradable. I interface with my database, my database is in cyberspace, so I’m interactive, I’m hyperactive and from time to time I’m radioactive. Behind the eight ball, ahead of the curve, ridin the wave, dodgin the bullet and pushin the envelope. I’m on-point, on-task, on-message and off drugs. I’ve got no need for coke and speed. I've got no urge to binge and purge. I’m in-the-moment, on-the-edge, over-the-top and under-the-radar. A high-concept, low-profile, medium-range ballistic missionary. A street-wise smart bomb. A top-gun bottom feeder. I wear power ties, I tell power lies, I take power naps and run victory laps. I’m a totally ongoing big-foot, slam-dunk, rainmaker with a pro-active outreach. A raging workaholic. A working rageaholic. Out of rehab and in denial! I’ve got a personal trainer, a personal shopper, a personal assistant and a personal agenda. You can’t shut me up. You can’t dumb me down because I’m tireless and I’m wireless, I’m an alpha male on beta-blockers. I’m a non-believer and an over-achiever, laid-back but fashion-forward. Up-front, down-home, low-rent, high-maintenance. Super-sized, long-lasting, high-definition, fast-acting, oven-ready and built-to-last! I’m a hands-on, foot-loose, knee-jerk head case pretty maturely post-traumatic and I’ve got a love-child that sends me hate mail. But, I’m feeling, I’m caring, I’m healing, I’m sharing-- a supportive, bonding, nurturing primary care-giver. My output is down, but my income is up. I took a short position on the long bond and my revenue stream has its own cash-flow. I read junk mail, I eat junk food, I buy junk bonds and I watch trash sports! I’m gender specific, capital intensive, user-friendly and lactose intolerant. I like rough sex. I like tough love. I use the “F” word in my emails and the software on my hard-drive is hardcore--no soft porn. I bought a microwave at a mini-mall; I bought a mini-van at a mega-store. I eat fast-food in the slow lane. I’m toll-free, bite-sized, ready-to-wear and I come in all sizes. A fully-equipped, factory-authorized, hospital-tested, clinically-proven, scientifically- formulated medical miracle. I’ve been pre-wash, pre-cooked, pre-heated, pre-screened, pre-approved, pre-packaged, post-dated, freeze-dried, double-wrapped, vacuum-packed and, I have an unlimited broadband capacity. I’m a rude dude, but I’m the real deal. Lean and mean! Cocked, locked and ready-to-rock. Rough, tough and hard to bluff. I take it slow, I go with the flow, I ride with the tide. I’ve got glide in my stride. Drivin and movin, sailin and spinin, jiving and groovin, wailin and winnin. I don’t snooze, so I don’t lose. I keep the pedal to the metal and the rubber on the road. I party hearty and lunch time is crunch time. I’m hangin in, there ain’t no doubt and I’m hangin tough, over and out!
George Carlin
There was a soft chuckle beside me, and my heart stopped. "So this is Oberon's famous half-blood," Ash mused as I whirled around. His eyes, cold and inhuman, glimmered with amusement. Up close, he was even more beautiful, with high cheekbones and dark tousled hair falling into his eyes. My traitor hands itched, longing to run my fingers through those bangs. Horrified, I clenched them in my lap, trying to concentrate on what Ash was saying. "And to think," the prince continued, smiling, "I lost you that day in the forest and didn't even know what I was chasing." I shrank back, eyeing Oberon and Queen Mab. They were deep in conversation and did not notice me. I didn't want to interrupt them simply because a prince of the Unseelie Court was talking to me. Besides, I was a faery princess now. Even if I didn't quite believe it, Ash certainly did. I took a deep breath, raised my chin, and looked him straight in the eye. "I warn you," I said, pleased that my voice didn't tremble, "that if you try anything, my father will remove your head and stick it to a plaque on his wall." He shrugged one lean shoulder. "There are worse things." At my horrified look, he offered a faint, self-derogatory smile. "Don't worry, princess, I won't break the rules of Elysium. I have no intention of facing Mab's wrath should I embarrass her. That's not why I'm here." "Then what do you want?" He bowed. "A dance." "What!" I stared at him in disbelief. "You tried to kill me!" "Technically, I was trying to kill Puck. You just happened to be there. But yes, if I'd had the shot, I would have taken it." "Then why the hell would you think I'd dance with you?" "That was then." He regarded me blandly. "This is now. And it's tradition in Elysium that a son and daughter of opposite territories dance with each other, to demonstrate the goodwill between the courts." "Well, it's a stupid tradition." I crossed my arms and glared. "And you can forget it. I am not going anywhere with you." He raised an eyebrow. "Would you insult my monarch, Queen Mab, by refusing? She would take it very personally, and blame Oberon for the offense. And Mab can hold a grudge for a very, very long time." Oh, damn. I was stuck.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1))
A story is alive, as you and I are. It is rounded by muscle and sinew. Rushed with blood. Layered with skin, both rough and smooth. At its core lies soft marrow of hard, white bone. A story beats with the heart of every person who has ever strained ears to listen. On the breath of the storyteller, it soars. Until its images and deeds become so real you can see them in the air, shimmering like oases on the horizon line. A story can fly like a bee, so straight and swift you catch only the hum of its passing. Or move so slowly it seems motionless, curled in upon itself like a snake in the sun. It can vanish like smoke before the wind. Linger like perfume in the nose. Change with every telling, yet always remain the same.
Cameron Dokey
Be a light unto the world, and hurt it not. Seek to build not destroy. Bring My people home. How? By your shining example. Seek only Godliness. Speak only in truthfulness. Act only in love. Live the Law of Love now and forever more. Give everything require nothing. Avoid the mundane. Do not accept the unacceptable. Teach all who seek to learn of Me. Make every moment of your life an outpouring of love. Use every moment to think the highest thought, say the highest word, do the highest deed. In this, glorify your Holy Self, and thus too, glorify Me. Bring peace to the Earth by bringing peace to all those whose lives you touch. Be peace. Feel and express in every moment your Divine Connection with the All, and with every person, place, and thing. Embrace every circumstance, own every fault, share every joy, contemplate every mystery, walk in every man’s shoes, forgive every offense (including your own), heal every heart, honor every person’s truth, adore every person’s God, protect every person’s rights, preserve every person’s dignity, promote every person’s interests, provide every person’s needs, presume every person’s holiness, present every person’s greatest gifts, produce every person’s blessing, pronounce every person’s future secure in the assured love of God. Be a living, breathing example of the Highest Truth that resides within you. Speak humbly of yourself, lest someone mistake your Highest Truth for boast. Speak softly, lest someone think you are merely calling for attention. Speak gently, that all might know of Love. Speak openly, lest someone think you have something to hide. Speak candidly, so you cannot be mistaken. Speak often, so that your word may truly go forth. Speak respectfully, that no one be dishonored. Speak lovingly, that every syllable may heal. Speak of Me with every utterance. Make of your life a gift. Remember always, you are the gift! Be a gift to everyone who enters your life, and to everyone whose life you enter. Be careful not to enter another’s life if you cannot be a gift. (You can always be a gift, because you always are the gift—yet sometimes you don’t let yourself know that.) When someone enters your life unexpectedly, look for the gift that person has come to receive from you…I HAVE SENT YOU NOTHING BUT ANGELS.
Neale Donald Walsch (Conversations With God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 2)
I should have known what you would do,” Jem said in a low voice. “I always know what you will do. I should have known you would put your hands into the fire.” “And I should have known you would throw that packet away,” said Will, without rancor. “It was—it was a madly noble thing to do. I understand why you did it.” “I was thinking of Tessa.” Jem drew his knees up and rested his chin on them, then laughed softly. “Madly noble. Isn’t that meant to be your area of expertise? Suddenly I am the one who does ridiculous things and you tell me to stop?” “God,” said Will. “When did we change places?” The firelight played over Jem’s face and hair as he shook his head. “It is a very strange thing, to be in love,” he said. “It changes you.” Will looked down at Jem, and what he felt, more than jealousy, more than anything else, was a wistful desire to commiserate with his best friend, to speak of the feelings he held in his heart. For were they not the same feelings? Did they not love the same way, the same person? But, “I wish you wouldn’t risk yourself,” was all he said. Jem stood up. “I have always wished that about you.” Will raised his eyes, so drowsy with sleep and the tiredness that came with healing runes that he could see Jem only as a haloed figure of light. “Are you going?” “Yes, to sleep.” Jem touched his fingers lightly to Will’s healing hands. “Let yourself rest, Will.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
you said. if it is meant to be. fate will bring us back together. for a second i wonder if you are really that naive. if you really believe fate works like that. as if it lives in the sky staring down at us. as if it has five fingers and spends its time placing us like pieces of chess. as if it is not the choices we make. who taught you that. tell me. who convinced you. you’ve been given a heart and a mind that isn’t yours to use. that your actions do not define what will become of you. i want to scream and shout it’s us you fool. we’re the only ones that can bring us back together. but instead i sit quietly. smiling softly through quivering lips thinking. isn’t it such a tragic thing. when you can see it so clearly but the other person doesn’t.
Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey)
Once again, I am a fragmented person. I am divided between the soft, sentimental girl who loves Caleb at all costs and the hard, logical version of me determined to survive – even at the cost of pushing Caleb from my heart.
C.J. Roberts (Seduced in the Dark (The Dark Duet, #2))
Frederick Douglass told in his Narrative how his condition as a slave became worse when his master underwent a religious conversion that allowed him to justify slavery as the punishment of the children of Ham. Mark Twain described his mother as a genuinely good person, whose soft heart pitied even Satan, but who had no doubt about the legitimacy of slavery, because in years of living in antebellum Missouri she had never heard any sermon opposing slavery, but only countless sermons preaching that slavery was God's will. With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion.
Steven Weinberg
Arobynn continued to pin her with that lover’s gaze. “Nothing is without a price.” He brushed a kiss against her cheekbone, his lips soft and warm. She fought the shudder that trembled through her, and made herself lean into him as he brought his mouth against her ear and whispered, “Tell me what I must do to atone; tell me to crawl over hot coals, to sleep on a bed of nails, to carve up my flesh. Say the word, and it is done. But let me care for you as I once did, before … before that madness poisoned my heart. Punish me, torture me, wreck me, but let me help you. Do this small thing for me—and let me lay the world at your feet.” Her throat went dry, and she pulled back far enough to look into that handsome, aristocratic face, the eyes shining with a grief and a predatory intent she could almost taste. If Arobynn knew about her history with Chaol, and had summoned the captain here … Had it been for information, to test her, or some grotesque way to assure himself of his dominance? “There is nothing—” “No—not yet,” he said, stepping away. “Don’t say it yet. Sleep on it. Though, before you do—perhaps pay a visit to the southeastern section of the tunnels tonight. You might find the person you’re looking for.” She kept her face still—bored even—as she tucked away the information. Arobynn moved toward the crowded room, where his three assassins were alert and ready, and then looked back at her. “If you are allowed to change so greatly in two years, may I not be permitted to have changed as well?
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
And when I look around the apartment where I now am,—when I see Charlotte’s apparel lying before me, and Albert’s writings, and all those articles of furniture which are so familiar to me, even to the very inkstand which I am using,—when I think what I am to this family—everything. My friends esteem me; I often contribute to their happiness, and my heart seems as if it could not beat without them; and yet—if I were to die, if I were to be summoned from the midst of this circle, would they feel—or how long would they feel—the void which my loss would make in their existence? How long! Yes, such is the frailty of man, that even there, where he has the greatest consciousness of his own being, where he makes the strongest and most forcible impression, even in the memory, in the heart of his beloved, there also he must perish,—vanish,—and that quickly. I could tear open my bosom with vexation to think how little we are capable of influencing the feelings of each other. No one can communicate to me those sensations of love, joy, rapture, and delight which I do not naturally possess; and though my heart may glow with the most lively affection, I cannot make the happiness of one in whom the same warmth is not inherent. Sometimes I don’t understand how another can love her, is allowed to love her, since I love her so completely myself, so intensely, so fully, grasp nothing, know nothing, have nothing but her! I possess so much, but my love for her absorbs it all. I possess so much, but without her I have nothing. One hundred times have I been on the point of embracing her. Heavens! what a torment it is to see so much loveliness passing and repassing before us, and yet not dare to lay hold of it! And laying hold is the most natural of human instincts. Do not children touch everything they see? And I! Witness, Heaven, how often I lie down in my bed with a wish, and even a hope, that I may never awaken again! And in the morning, when I open my eyes, I behold the sun once more, and am wretched. If I were whimsical, I might blame the weather, or an acquaintance, or some personal disappointment, for my discontented mind; and then this insupportable load of trouble would not rest entirely upon myself. But, alas! I feel it too sadly; I am alone the cause of my own woe, am I not? Truly, my own bosom contains the source of all my pleasure. Am I not the same being who once enjoyed an excess of happiness, who at every step saw paradise open before him, and whose heart was ever expanded towards the whole world? And this heart is now dead; no sentiment can revive it. My eyes are dry; and my senses, no more refreshed by the influence of soft tears, wither and consume my brain. I suffer much, for I have lost the only charm of life: that active, sacred power which created worlds around me,—it is no more. When I look from my window at the distant hills, and behold the morning sun breaking through the mists, and illuminating the country around, which is still wrapped in silence, whilst the soft stream winds gently through the willows, which have shed their leaves; when glorious Nature displays all her beauties before me, and her wondrous prospects are ineffectual to extract one tear of joy from my withered heart,—I feel that in such a moment I stand like a reprobate before heaven, hardened, insensible, and unmoved. Oftentimes do I then bend my knee to the earth, and implore God for the blessing of tears, as the desponding labourer in some scorching climate prays for the dews of heaven to moisten his parched corn.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (The Sorrows of Young Werther)
Hurting a softhearted caring person would please you but loss is yours; you would have friends less one.
Vikrmn: CA Vikram Verma (Guru with Guitar)
And here, after all that, is what I have come to believe about beauty: Laughter is beautiful. Kindness is beautiful. Cellulite is beautiful. Softness and plumpness and roundness are beautiful. It's more important to be interesting, to be vivid, and to be adventurous, than to sit pretty for pictures. A woman's soft tummy is a miracle of nature. Beauty comes from tenderness. Beauty comes from variety, from specificity, from the fact that no person in the world looks exactly like anyone else. Beauty comes from the tragedy that each person's life is destined to be lost to time. I believe women are too hard on themselves. I believe that when you love someone, she becomes beautiful to you. I believe the eyes see everything through the heart - and nothing in the world feels as good as resting them on someone you love. I have trained my eyes to look for beauty, and I've gotten very good at finding it. You can argue and tell me it's not true, but I really don't care what anyone says. I have come, at last, to believe in the title I came up with for the book: Everyone Is Beautiful.
Katherine Center (Everyone is Beautiful)
You will not remember much from school. School is designed to teach you how to respond and listen to authority figures in the event of an emergency. Like if there's a bomb in a mall or a fire in an office. It can, apparently, take you more than a decade to learn this. These are not the best days of your life. They are still ahead of you. You will fall in love and have your heart broken in many different, new and interesting ways in college or university (if you go) and you will actually learn things, as at this point, people will believe you have a good chance of obeying authority and surviving, in the event of an emergency. If, in your chosen career path, there are award shows that give out more than ten awards in one night or you have to pay someone to actually take the award home to put on your mantlepiece, then those awards are more than likely designed to make young people in their 20's work very late, for free, for other people. Those people will do their best to convince you that they have value. They don't. Only the things you do have real, lasting value, not the things you get for the things you do. You will, at some point, realise that no trophy loves you as much as you love it, that it cannot pay your bills (even if it increases your salary slightly) and that it won't hold your hand tightly as you say your last words on your deathbed. Only people who love you can do that. If you make art to feel better, make sure it eventually makes you feel better. If it doesn't, stop making it. You will love someone differently, as time passes. If you always expect to feel the same kind of love you felt when you first met someone, you will always be looking for new people to love. Love doesn't fade. It just changes as it grows. It would be boring if it didn't. There is no truly "right" way of writing, painting, being or thinking, only things which have happened before. People who tell you differently are assholes, petrified of change, who should be violently ignored. No philosophy, mantra or piece of advice will hold true for every conceivable situation. "The early bird catches the worm" does not apply to minefields. Perfection only exists in poetry and movies, everyone fights occasionally and no sane person is ever completely sure of anything. Nothing is wrong with any of this. Wisdom does not come from age, wisdom comes from doing things. Be very, very careful of people who call themselves wise, artists, poets or gurus. If you eat well, exercise often and drink enough water, you have a good chance of living a long and happy life. The only time you can really be happy, is right now. There is no other moment that exists that is more important than this one. Do not sacrifice this moment in the hopes of a better one. It is easy to remember all these things when they are being said, it is much harder to remember them when you are stuck in traffic or lying in bed worrying about the next day. If you want to move people, simply tell them the truth. Today, it is rarer than it's ever been. (People will write things like this on posters (some of the words will be bigger than others) or speak them softly over music as art (pause for effect). The reason this happens is because as a society, we need to self-medicate against apathy and the slow, gradual death that can happen to anyone, should they confuse life with actually living.)
pleasefindthis
The prospect of an early death sits differently upon each person. In some it gifts maturity far outweighing their age and experience: calm acceptance blossoms into a beautiful nature and soft countenance. In others, however, it leads to the formation of a tiny ice flint in their heart. Ice that, though at times concealed, never properly melts. Rose, though she would have liked to be one of the former, knew herself deep down to be one of the latter.
Kate Morton (The Forgotten Garden)
You know, you love someone and they love you back, and then they're gone. Where does that love go?" Father Christmas thought about this.... "The love of a person never disappears," he said softly. "Even if they might. We have memories, you see, Amelia. Love never dies. We love someone and they love us back, and that love is stored, and it protects us. It is bigger than life, and it doesn't end with with life. It stays inside us. They stay inside us. Inside our hearts.
Matt Haig (The Girl Who Saved Christmas (Christmas, #2))
The person in New York is more likely to want and need a harder touch in order to crack through the armor they have built up to protect their hearts and other soft tender parts.
Barbara Carrellas (Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-first Century)
We didn't finish that dance." "Here?" "Why not?" Echo's high heel tapped against the sidewalk, the telltale sign of nerves. I took a deliberate step forward and caught her waist before she coud back away from me. My siren had sung to me for way too long, capturing my heart, tempting me with her body, driving me slowly insane. Now, I expected her to pay up. "Do you hear that?" I aked. Echo raised an eyebrow when she heard nothing but the sound of water trickling in the fountain. "Hear what?" I slid my right hand down her arm, cradled her hand against my chest and swayed us from side to side. "The music." Her eyes danced. "Maybe if you could tell me what i'm supposed to be hearing." "Slow drum beat." With one finger i tapped the beat into the small of her back. "Acoustic quitar." I leaned down and hummed my favorite song in her ear. Her sweet cinnamon smell intoxicated me. She relaxed, fitting perfectly into my body. In the crisp, cold February air, we swayed together, moving to our own personal beat. For one moment, we escaped hell. No teachers, no therapist, no well-meaning friends, no nightmares-just the two of us, dancing. My song ended, my finger stopped tapping the beat, and we ceased swaying from side to side. She held perfectly still, keeping her hand in mine, her head resting on my shoulder. I nuzzled into the warmth of her silky curls, tightening my hold on her. Echo was becoming essential, like air. I eased my hand to her chin, lifting her face toward me. My thumb caressed her warm, smooth cheek. My heart beat faster. A ghost of that siren smile graced her lips as she tilted her head closer to mine, creating the undeniable pull of the sailor lost to the sea to the beautiful goddess calling him home. I kissed her lips. Soft, full, warm-everything i'd fantasized it would be and more, so much more. Echo hesitantly pressed back, a curious question for which i had a response. I parted my lips and teased her bottom one, begging, praying, for permission. Her smooth hands inched up my neck and pulled at my hair, bringing me closer. She opened her mouth, her tongue seductively touching mine, almost bringing me to my knees. Flames licked through me as our kiss deepened. Her hands massaged my scalp and neck, only stoking the heat of the fire. Forgetting every rule i'd created for this moment, my hands wandered up her back, twining in her hair, bringing her closer to me. I wanted Echo. I needed Echo. Her eyes met mine again. "So what does this mean for us?" I lowered my forehead to hers. "It means you 're mine.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
Many people today struggle to hear God's voice. Too often, we expect to hear Him in the thundering of majestic words, when He often chooses to speak in a soft, gentle whisper. But He does speak! He speaks to us when we pray and when we read His Word. He also speaks through His Church and godly counsel. But He will only speak to a heart that has been prepared to receive all that He wants to share, one that is filled with brokenness, repentance, and expectation.
Ron Lambros (All My Love, Jesus: Personal Reminders From the Heart of God)
There is a moment when all hope disappears, all pride is gone, all expectation, all faith, all desire. I own that moment. It belongs to me. That's when I hear the sound, the sound of a mind breaking. It's not a loud crack like when bones shatter or a spine fractures or a skull collapses. And it's not something soft and wet like a heart breaking. It's a sound that makes you wonder how much pain a person can endure; a sound that shatters memories and lets the past leak into the present; a sound so high that only the hounds of hell can hear it. Can you hear it? Someone is curled up in a tiny ball crying softly into an endless night.
Michael Robotham (Shatter (Joseph O'Loughlin, #3))
I once wrote you a letter and you never replied, which makes me wonder if you ever received it. This time it's a more personal delivery - and I need a reply, even if it's not the one I want. I'm listening to you - I can hear every word, however softly you speak - and I'm half-agony, half-hope. You're saying that men are realists - that, when the woman they love is no longer available, they move on. Well, believe me, I tried - and I thought I had. But seeing you again, after so many years, just proved how little I knew... You told me to trust myself. So here I am back in Bath, putting everything on the line for a second chance with you. Is that what you want, too? Whatever your answer, remember this: I may not deserve you - when I think of how I've behaved, I know I've shown little self-control and even less forgiveness - but I've never stopped loving you. You're talking about heartless men... But I have a heart, and it's the same one you almost broke ten years ago, and it belongs to you, and only you, even more than it did then. And yes, I'm a realist: if you no longer love me, I will accept it. But don't say that only a woman can keep on loving someone who's no longer part of her life! Because I will keep on loving you until there are no stars in the sky. Tell me tonight how you feel. If there's any chance of you loving me back, then I'll wait for you as I should have waited before. If not, say the word and I'll leave you in peace. But I'll never forget you, or what we had, or what might have been. Rick
Juliet Archer (Persuade Me (Darcy & Friends, #2))
The work of the mature person is to carry grief in one hand and gratitude in the other and to be stretched large by them. How much sorrow can I hold? That’s how much gratitude I can give. If I carry only grief, I’ll bend toward cynicism and despair. If I have only gratitude, I’ll become saccharine and won’t develop much compassion for other people’s suffering. Grief keeps the heart fluid and soft, which helps make compassion possible.
Francis Ward Weller
Who's that? (Silence.) Who's there? (Silence.) God? Not exactly. Well, who? Where do I start? I'm the butterfly antenna. I'm the chemicals that paint's made of. I'm the person dead at the water's edge. I'm the water. I'm the edge. I'm the skin cells. I'm the smell of disinfectant. I'm that thing they rub against your mouth to moisten it, can you feel it? I'm soft. I'm hard. I'm glass. I'm sand. I'm a yellow plastic bottle. I'm all the plastics in the seas and in the guts of all the fishes. I'm the fishes. I'm the seas. I'm molluscs in the seas. I'm the flattened-out old beer can. I'm the shopping trolley in the canal. I'm the note on the stave, the bird on the line. I'm the stave. I'm the line. I'm spiders. I'm seeds. I'm water. I'm heart. I'm the cotton of the sheet. ..... I'm pollution. I'm a fall of horseshit on a country road a hundred years ago. ... I'm the fly .....I haven't even started telling you what I am. I'm everything that makes everything. I'm everything that unmakes everything. .... I'm the voice that tells no story.
Ali Smith (Autumn (Seasonal Quartet, #1))
People talk of sorrow as if it is soft, a thing of water and tears. But true sorrow is not soft. True sorrow is a thing of fire, and rock. It burns your heart, crushes your soul under the weight of mountains. It destroys, and even if you keep breathing, keep going, you die. The person you were moments ago dies... Gone. Everything solid, everything real, is gone. It doesn't come back. The world is forever fractured, so that you walk on the crust of an earth where you can always feel the heat under you, the press of lava, that is so hot it can burn flesh, melt bone, and the very air is poisonous. To survive, you swallow the heat. To keep from falling through and dying for real, you swallow all that hate. You push it down inside you, into that fresh grave that is all that is left of what you thought the world would be.
Laurell K. Hamilton (Blood Noir (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #16))
And here, after all that, is what I have come to believe about beauty: Laughter is beautiful. Kindness is beautiful. Cellulite is beautiful. Softness and plumpness and roundness are beautiful. It’s more important to be interesting, to be vivid, and to be adventurous than to sit pretty for pictures. The soft tummy of a woman is a miracle of nature. Beauty comes from tenderness. Beauty comes from variety, from specificity, from the fact that no person in the world looks exactly like anyone else. Beauty comes from the tragedy that each person’s life is destined to be lost to time. I believe women are too hard on themselves. I believe that when you love someone, she becomes beautiful to you. I believe the eyes see everything through the heart, that nothing in the world feels as good as resting them on someone you love. I have trained my eyes to look for beauty, and I’ve gotten very good at finding it. You can argue and tell me it’s not true, but I really don’t care what anyone says. I have come at last to believe in the title of the book: Everyone Is Beautiful.
Katherine Center (Everyone is Beautiful)
And right then I felt my heart soften to Toby, because I knew exactly what he meant. I understood how just about anything in the world could remind you of Finn. Trains, or New York City, or plants, or books, or soft sweet black-and-white cookies, or some guy in Central Park playing a polka on the harmonica and the violin at the same time. Things you'd never even seen with Finn could remind you of him, because he was the one person you'd want to show. "Look at that," you'd want to say, because you knew he would find a way to think it was wonderful. To make you feel like the most observant person in the world for spotting it.
Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
As for us,Etienne was right.Our schools are only a twenty-minute transit ride away.He'll stay with me on the weekends, and we'll visit each other as often as possible during the week. We'll be together.We both got our Point Zero wishes-each other.He said he wished for me every time.He was wishing for me when I entered the tower. "Mmm," I say.He's kissing my neck. "That's it," Rashmi says. "I'm outta here.Enjoy your hormones." Josh and Mer follow her exit,and we're alone.Just the way I like it. "Ha!" Ettiene says. "Just the way I like it." He pulls me onto his lap,and I wrap my legs around his waist.His lips are velvet soft,and we kiss until the streetlamps flicker on outside. Until the opera singer begins her evening routine. "I'm going to miss her," I say. "I'll sing to you." He tucks my stripe behind my ear. "Or I'll take you to the opera.Or I'll fly you back here to visit. Whatever you want.Anything you want." I lace my fingers through his. "I want to stay right here,in this moment." "Isn't that the name of the latest James Ashley bestseller? In This Moment?" "Careful.Someday you'll meet him, and he won't be nearly as amusing in person." Etienne grins. "Oh,so he'll only be mildly amusing? I suppose I can handle mildly amusing." "I'm serious! You have to promise me right now,this instant,that you won't leave me once you meet him.Most people would run." "I'm not most people." I smile. "I know.But you still have to promise." His eyes lock on mine. "Anna,I promise that I will never leave you." My heart pounds in response.And Etienne knows it,because he takes my hand and holds it against his chest,to show me how hard his heart is pounding, too. "And now for yours," he says. I'm still dazed. "My what?" He laughs. "Promise you won't flee once I introduce you to my father.Or, worse, leave me for him." I pause. "Do you think he'll object to me?" "Oh,I'm sure he will." Okay.Not the answer I was looking for. Etienne sees my alarm. "Anna.You know my father dislikes anything that makes me happy.And you make me happier than anyone ever has." He smiles. "Oh,yes. He'll hate you." "So....that's a good thing?" "I don't care what he thinks.Only what you think." He holds me tighter. "Like if you think I need to stop biting my nails." "You've worn your pinkies to nubs," I say cheerfully. "Or if I need to start ironing my bedspread." "I DO NOT IRON MY BEDSPREAD." "You do.And I love it." I blush,and Etienne kisses my warm cheeks. "You know,my mum loves you." "She goes?" "You're the only thing I've talked about all year.She's ecstatic we're together." I'm smiling inside and out. "I can't wait to meet her.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Smiling victoriously, he crushed me against his chest and kissed me again. This time, the kiss was bolder and playful. I ran my hands from his powerful shoulders, up to his neck, and pressed him close to me. When he pulled away, his face brightened with an enthusiastic smile. He scooped me up and spun me around the room, laughing. When I was thoroughly dizzy, he sobered and touched his forehead to mine. Shyly, I reached out to touch his face, exploring the angles of his cheeks and lips with my fingertips. He leaned into my touch like the tiger did. I laughed softly and ran my hands up into his hair, brushing it away from his forehead, loving the silky feel of it. I felt overwhelmed. I didn’t expect a first kiss to be so…life altering. In a few brief moments, the rule book of my universe had been rewritten. Suddenly I was a brand new person. I was as fragile as a newborn, and I worried that the deeper I allowed the relationship to progress, the worse that the deeper I allowed the relationship to progress, the worse it would be if Ren left. What would become of us? There was no way to know, and I realized what a breakable and delicate thing a heart was. No wonder I’d kept mine locked away. He was oblivious to my negative thoughts, and I tried to push them into the back of my mind and enjoy the moment with him. Setting me down, he briefly kissed me again and pressed soft kisses along my hairline and neck. Then, he gathered me into a warm embrace and just held me close. Stroking my hair while caressing my neck, he whispered soft words in his native language. After several moments, he sighed, kissed my cheek, and nudged me toward the bed. “Get some sleep, Kelsey. We both need some.” After one last caress on my cheek with the back of his fingers, he changed into his tiger form and lay down on the mat beside my bed. I climbed into bed, settled under my quilt, and leaned over to stroke his head. Tucking my other arm under my cheek, I softly said, “Goodnight, Ren.” He rubbed his head against my hand, leaned into it, and purred quietly. Then he put his head on his paws and closed his eyes. Mae West, a famous vaudeville actress, once said, “A man’s kiss is his signature.” I grinned to myself. If that was true, then Ren’s signature was the John Hancock of kisses.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
How often we neglect, ignore, overlook, or simply miss the presence of our loving God. We often look for Him in the great rolling thunder when, more often than not, He comes in gentle whispers . . . in the soft cooing of a baby, through the touch of a loved one's hand, in the warm embrace of a trusted friend, in the pitter-patter of a sudden summer shower on a tin roof, or with the cool touch of an evening breeze on an Autumn night. Through hundreds of ways, God whispers, "I love you and I am always with you." Don't miss Him or His presence as you go through this day. Open your eyes of faith and look for Him in the most simple of ways. The experience can be extraordinary and life-changing!
Ron Lambros (All My Love, Jesus: Personal Reminders From the Heart of God)
For know, dear ones, that every one of us is undoubtedly responsible for all men- and everything on earth, not merely through the general sinfulness of creation, but each one personally for all mankind and every individual man. This knowledge is the crown of life for the monk and for every man. For monks are not a special sort of men, but only what all men ought to be. Only through that knowledge, our heart grows soft with infinite, universal, inexhaustible love.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
All my life, I have been searching for a home," the drow said quietly. "All my life, I have been wanting more than that which was offered to me, more than Menzoberranzan, more than friends who stood beside me out of personal gain. I always thought home would be a place, and indeed it is, but not in any physical sense. It is a place in here," Drizzt said, putting a hand to his heart and turning back to look upon his companions. "It is a feeling given by true friends. I know this now, and know that I am home." "But ye're off to Carradoon," Cattie-brie said softly. "And so're we!" Bruenor bellowed. Drizzt smiled at them, laughed aloud. "If circumstances will not allow me to remain at home," the ranger said firmly, "then I will simply take my home with me!
R.A. Salvatore (Passage to Dawn (Forgotten Realms: Legacy of the Drow, #4; Legend of Drizzt, #10))
What's she like?' Archie repeated softly. He put his hand on the trooper's shoulder and leaned forward, so his face was inched from his. Gretchen was a beautiful, sensual, charismatic, manipulative bitch, the object of Archie's sexual obsession, his torturer, and the person who knew him best in the world. 'She's a serial killer,' Archie said. He smiled and gave the trooper's shoulder an avuncular pat. 'If you ever lay eyes on her, shoot her.' Archie turned to Henry. 'I'm ready to go back to the loony bin,' he said
Chelsea Cain (Evil at Heart (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell, #3))
On the other hand it is possible that human control over the machines may be retained. In that case the average man may have control over certain private machines of his own, such as his car of his personal computer, but control over large systems of machines will be in the hands of a tiny elite -- just as it is today, but with two difference. Due to improved techniques the elite will have greater control over the masses; and because human work will no longer be necessary the masses will be superfluous, a useless burden on the system. If the elite is ruthless the may simply decide to exterminate the mass of humanity. If they are humane they may use propaganda or other psychological or biological techniques to reduce the birth rate until the mass of humanity becomes extinct, leaving the world to the elite. Or, if the elite consist of soft-hearted liberals, they may decide to play the role of good shepherds to the rest of the human race. They will see to it that everyone's physical needs are satisfied, that all children are raised under psychologically hygienic conditions, that everyone has a wholesome hobby to keep him busy, and that anyone who may become dissatisfied undergoes "treatment" to cure his "problem." Of course, life will be so purposeless that people will have to be biologically or psychologically engineered either to remove their need for the power process or to make them "sublimate" their drive for power into some harmless hobby. These engineered human beings may be happy in such a society, but they most certainly will not be free. They will have been reduced to the status of domestic animals.
Theodore J. Kaczynski
There was a muffled tap again, and I heard a familiar voice whisper faintly, “Kelsey, it’s me.” I unlocked the door and peeked out. Ren was standing there dressed in his white clothes, barefoot, with a triumphant grin on his face. I pulled him inside and hissed out thickly, “What are you doing here? It’s dangerous coming into town! You could have been seen, and they’d send hunters out after you!” He shrugged his shoulders and grinned. “I missed you.” My mouth quirked up in a half smile. “I missed you too.” He leaned a shoulder nonchalantly against the doorframe. “Does that mean you’ll let me stay here? I’ll sleep on the floor and leave before daylight. No one will see me. I promise.” I let out a deep breath. “Okay, but promise you’ll leave early. I don’t like you risking yourself like this.” “I promise.” He sat down on the bed, took my hand, and pulled me down to sit beside him. “I don’t like sleeping in the dark jungle by myself.” “I wouldn’t either.” He looked down at our entwined hands. “When I’m with you, I feel like a man again. When I’m out there all alone, I feel like a beast, an animal.” His eyes darted up to mine. I squeezed his hand. “I understand. It’s fine. Really.” He grinned. “You were hard to track, you know. Lucky for me you two decided to walk to dinner, so I could follow your scent right to your door.” Something on the nightstand caught his attention. Leaning around me, he reached over and picked up my open journal. I had drawn a new picture of a tiger-my tiger. My circus drawings were okay, but this latest one was more personal and full of life. Ren stared at it for a moment while a bright crimson flush colored my cheeks. He traced the tiger with his finger, and then whispered gently, "Someday, I'll give you a portrait of the real me." Setting the journal down carefully, he took both of my hands in his, turned to me with an intense expression, and said, "I don't want you to see only a tiger when you look at me. I want you to see me. The man." Reaching out, he almost touched my cheek but he stopped and withdrew his hand. "I've worn the tiger's face for far too many years. He's stolen my humanity." I nodded while he squeezed my hands and whispered quietly, "Kells, I don't want to be him anymore. I want to be me. I want to have a life." "I know," I said softly. I reached up to stroke his cheek. "Ren, I-" I froze in place as he pulled my hand slowly down to his lips and kissed my palm. My hand tingled. His blue eyes searched my face desperately, wanting, needing something from me. I wanted to say something to reassure him. I wanted to offer him comfort. I just couldn't frame the words. His supplication stirred me. I felt a deep bond with him, a strong connection. I wanted to help him, I wanted to be his friend, and I wanted...maybe something more. I tried to identify and categorize my reactions to him. What I felt for him seemed too complicated to define, but it soon became obvious to me that the strongest emotion I felt, the one that was stirring my heart, was...love.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
We, people's hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, towards it's own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them-the path to their Personal Legends, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place. So, we, their hearts, speak more and more softly. We never stop speaking out, but we begin to hope that our words won't be heard: we don't want people to suffer because they don't follow their hearts.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
With her lips as soft as butterfly wings and the sheer elation of intimacy, she drove his heart wild with affection. Because, beyond forthrightly, the comfort of another person is undeniably powerful.
Rhett Downing
Your person, your slightest movements seemed to me to possess a superhuman importance in the world. My heart used to raise like the dust in your footsteps. The effect you had on me was that of a moonlit night in summer, when all is perfume, soft shadows, pale light, and infinite horizons. For me your name contained all the delights of flesh and spirit, and I repeated it again and again, trying to kiss it with my lips.
Gustave Flaubert
And if sorrow clouds your soul, don't fight it; allow the tears to flow. We are not meant to be invincible, we bruise easily, and the heart is soft; prone to bleed at the slightest touch. It is in those moments of sadness that we must be brave enough to allow Christ in, to let him be present in our pain; our sorrow is seen by Christ. One day He will wipe away every tear, He will hold us tight, but for now we must pray through the pain. Just know that Christ shares our pain, He understands the sorrow that is within you, for He was a man of many sorrows. He wept alone, He was tormented and forsaken. Believe me, a man who has been forsaken such as Christ will never forsake you. Jesus is the only person who knows all that you have been through, He is the only one who knows the deepest, darkest spots of your soul, and still---He remains. Jesus has the scars to prove that He is trustworthy, He has the only heart that bled for you; and He will never stop loving you.
T.B. LaBerge
The wind rattles the panes, and the lights buzz softly in the hall. He sleeps soundly.How long has it been since he's had a decent night's rest? There's another uncomfortable tug on my heart.Why do I care so much about him,and why do I wish I didn't? How can one person make me so confused all of the time? What is that? Is it lust? Or something else altogether? And is it even possible for me to feel this way about him without these feelings being reciprocated? He said that he liked me. He did.And even though he was drunk, he wouldn't have said it if there wasn't at least some truth to it. Right? I don't know. Like every time I'm with him,I don't know anything.He scoots closer to me in his sleep. His breath is warm against my neck.I don't know anything. He's so beautiful, so perfect. I wonder if he...if I... A ray of light glares into my eyes, and I squint,disoriented. Daylight. The red numbers on my clock read 11:27. Huh. Did I mean to sleep in? What day is it? And then I see the body in bed next to me.And I nearly jump out of my skin. So it wasn't a dream. His mouth is parted,and the sheets are kicked off.One of his hands rests on his stomach.His shirt has hiked up,and I can see his abdomen.My gaze is transfixed. Holy crap.I just slept with St. Clair.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
It was the same book, every day. The pages of said book were rounded and soft where Young Sam had chewed them, but to one person in this nursery this was the book of books, the greatest story ever told. Vimes didn't need to read it any more. He knew it by heart. It was called Where's My Cow? The unidentified complainant had lost their cow. That was the story, really. Page one started promisingly: Where's my cow? Is that my cow? It goes, "Baa!" It is a sheep! That's not my cow! Then the author began to get to grips with their material: Where's my cow? Is that my cow? It goes, "Neigh!" It is a horse! That's not my cow! At this point the author had reached an agony of creation and was writing from the racked depths of their soul. Where's my cow? Is that my cow? It goes, "Hruuugh!" It is a hippopotamus! That's not my cow! This was a good evening. Young Sam was already grinning widely and crowing along with the plot. Eventually, the cow would be found. It was that much of a pageturner. Of course, some suspense was lent by the fact that all other animals were presented in some way that could have confused a kitten, who perhaps had been raised in a darkened room. The horse was standing in front of a hatstand, as they so often did, and the hippo was eating at a trough against which was an upturned pitchfork. Seen from the wrong direction, the tableau might look for just one second like a cow ... Young Sam loved it, anyway. It must have been the most cuddled book in the world. Nevertheless, it bothered Vimes, even though he'd got really good at the noises and would go up against any man in his rendition of the "Hruuugh!" But was this a book for a city kid? When would he ever hear these noises? In the city the only sound those animals would make was "sizzle" But the nursery was full of the conspiracy, with baa-lambs and teddy bears and fluffy ducklings everywhere he looked.
Terry Pratchett (Thud! (Discworld, #34; City Watch, #7))
Cause-and-effect assumes history marches forward, but history is not an army. It is a crab scuttling sideways, a drip of soft water wearing away stone, an earthquake breaking centuries of tension. Sometimes one person inspires a movement, or her words do decades later; sometimes a few passionate people change the world; sometimes they start a mass movement and millions do; sometimes those millions are stirred by the same outrage or the same ideal, and change comes upon us like a change of weather. All that these transformations have in common is that they begin in the imagination, in hope. To hope is to gamble. It’s to bet on the future, on your desires, on the possibility that an open heart and uncertainty is better than gloom and safety. To hope is dangerous, and yet it is the opposite of fear, for to live is to risk.
Rebecca Solnit (Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities)
Hamish Alexander-Harrington knew his wife as only two humans who had both been adopted by a pair of mated treecats ever could. He'd seen her deal with joy and with sorrow, with happiness and with fury, with fear, and even with despair. Yet in all the years since their very first meeting at Yeltsin's Star, he suddenly realized, he had never actually met the woman the newsies called "the Salamander." It wasn't his fault, a corner of his brain told him, because he'd never been in the right place to meet her. Never at the right time. He'd never had the chance to stand by her side as she took a wounded heavy cruiser on an unflinching deathride into the broadside of the battlecruiser waiting to kill it, sailing to her own death, and her crew's, to protect a planet full of strangers while the rich beauty of Hammerwell's "Salute to Spring" spilled from her ship's com system. He hadn't stood beside her on the dew-soaked grass of the Landing City duelling grounds, with a pistol in her hand and vengeance in her heart as she faced the man who'd bought the murder of her first great love. Just as he hadn't stood on the floor of Steadholders' Hall when she faced a man with thirty times her fencing experience across the razor-edged steel of their swords, with the ghosts of Reverend Julius Hanks, the butchered children of Mueller Steading, and her own murdered steaders at her back. But now, as he looked into the unyielding flint of his wife's beloved, almond eyes, he knew he'd met the Salamander at last. And he recognized her as only another warrior could. Yet he also knew in that moment that for all his own imposing record of victory in battle, he was not and never had been her equal. As a tactician and a strategist, yes. Even as a fleet commander. But not as the very embodiment of devastation. Not as the Salamander. Because for all the compassion and gentleness which were so much a part of her, there was something else inside Honor Alexander-Harrington, as well. Something he himself had never had. She'd told him, once, that her own temper frightened her. That she sometimes thought she could have been a monster under the wrong set of circumstances. And now, as he realized he'd finally met the monster, his heart twisted with sympathy and love, for at last he understood what she'd been trying to tell him. Understood why she'd bound it with the chains of duty, and love, of compassion and honor, of pity, because, in a way, she'd been right. Under the wrong circumstances, she could have been the most terrifying person he had ever met. In fact, at this moment, she was . It was a merciless something, her "monster"—something that went far beyond military talent, or skills, or even courage. Those things, he knew without conceit, he, too, possessed in plenty. But not that deeply personal something at the core of her, as unstoppable as Juggernaut, merciless and colder than space itself, that no sane human being would ever willingly rouse. In that instant her husband knew, with an icy shiver which somehow, perversely, only made him love her even more deeply, that as he gazed into those agate-hard eyes, he looked into the gates of Hell itself. And whatever anyone else might think, he knew now that there was no fire in Hell. There was only the handmaiden of death, and ice, and purpose, and a determination which would not— couldnot—relent or rest. "I'll miss them," she told him again, still with that dreadful softness, "but I won't forget. I'll never forget, and one day— oneday, Hamish—we're going to find the people who did this, you and I. And when we do, the only thing I'll ask of God is that He let them live long enough to know who's killing them.
David Weber (Mission of Honor (Honor Harrington, #12))
Empathy lets you know that you are not alone and that you will be okay. However, empathy can be a curse when you unknowingly empathize with a toxic person who uses your soft-hearted nature to further exploit and manipulate you, thereby driving you into deeper and deeper levels of insecurity.
Sherrie Campbell (Adult Survivors of Toxic Family Members: Tools to Maintain Boundaries, Deal with Criticism, and Heal from Shame After Ties Have Been Cut)
One of the saddest connections is the rebound relationship. You’re using one person to try to unlove another. There’s nothing pure or honest in what that relationship is, or ever will be, as you’ve carried into it an unhealed bond to what was. Take time to cleanse, to heal, to renew, to grow, to become.
butterflies rising
When he came, attended by all the young soldiers of any merit, he was infinitely surprised at the beauty of this fair Queen of Night, whose face and person was so exceeding all he had ever beheld; that lovely modesty with which she received him, that softness in her look, and sighs, upon the melancholy occasion of this honour that was done by so great a man as Oroonoko, and a prince of whom she had heard such admirable things; the awfulness wherewith she received him, and the sweetness of her words and behavior while he stayed, gained a perfect conquest over his fierce heart, and made him feel the victor could be subdued.
Aphra Behn (Oroonoko)
She dances, She dances around the burning flames with passion, Under the same dull stars, Under the same hell with crimson embers crashing, Under the same silver chains that wires, All her beauty and who she is inside, She's left with the loneliness of human existence, She's left questioning how she's survived, She's left with this awakening of brutal resilience, Her true beauty that she denies, As much she's like to deny it, As much as it continues to shine, That she doesn't even have to admit, Because we all know it's true, Her glory and success, After all she's been through, Her triumph and madness, AND YET, SHE STANDS. Broken legs- but she's still standing, Still dancing in this void, You must wonder how she's still dancing, You must wonder how she's not destroyed, She doesn't even begin to drown within the flames, But little do you realize, Within these chains, She weeps and she cries, But she still goes on, And just you thought you could stop her? You thought you'd be the one? Well, let me tell you, because you thought wrong. Nothing will ever silence her, Because I KNOW, I know that she is admiringly strong, Her undeniable beauty, The triumph of her song, She's shining bright like a ruby, Reflecting in the golden sand, She's shining brighter like no other, She's far more than human or man, AND YET, SHE STANDS. She continues to dance with free-spirit, Even though she's locked in these chains, Though she never desired to change it, Even throughout the agonizing pain, Throughout all the distress, Anxiety, depression, tears and sorrow, She still dances so beautify in her dress, She looks forward to tomorrow, Not because of a fresh start but a new page, A new day full of opportunities, Despite being trapped in her cage, She still smiles after being beaten so brutally, A smile that could brighten anyone's day, She's so much more than anyone could ask for, She's so much more than I could ever say, She's a girl absolutely everyone should adore, She never gets in the way, Even after her hearts been broken, Even after the way she has been treated, After all these severe emotions, After all all the blood she's bled, AND YET, SHE STANDS. Even if sometimes she wonders why she's still here, She wonders why she's not dead, But there's this one thing that had been here throughout every tear, Throughout the blazing fire leaving her cheeks cherry red, Everyday this thing has given her a place to exist, This thing, person, these people, Like warm sunlight it had so softly kissed, The apples of her cheeks, Even when she's feeling feeble, Always there at her worst and at her best Because of you and all the other people, She has this thing deep inside her chest, That she will cherish forever, Even once you're gone, Because today she smiles like no other, Even when the sun sets at dawn, Because today is the day, She just wants you to remember, In dark and stormy weather, It gets better. And after what she's been through she knows, Throughout the highs and the lows, Because of you and all others, After crossing the seas, She has come to understand, You have formed this key, This key to free her from this land, This endless gorge that swallowed her, Her and other men, She had never knew, nor had she planned, That because of you, She's free. AND YET, THIS VERY DAY, SHE DANCES. EVEN IN THE RAIN.
Gabrielle Renee
It is foolish to wish for beauty.  Sensible people never either desire it for themselves or care about it in others.  If the mind be but well cultivated, and the heart well disposed, no one ever cares for the exterior.  So said the teachers of our childhood; and so say we to the children of the present day.  All very judicious and proper, no doubt; but are such assertions supported by actual experience? We are naturally disposed to love what gives us pleasure, and what more pleasing than a beautiful face—when we know no harm of the possessor at least?  A little girl loves her bird—Why?  Because it lives and feels; because it is helpless and harmless?  A toad, likewise, lives and feels, and is equally helpless and harmless; but though she would not hurt a toad, she cannot love it like the bird, with its graceful form, soft feathers, and bright, speaking eyes.  If a woman is fair and amiable, she is praised for both qualities, but especially the former, by the bulk of mankind: if, on the other hand, she is disagreeable in person and character, her plainness is commonly inveighed against as her greatest crime, because, to common observers, it gives the greatest offence; while, if she is plain and good, provided she is a person of retired manners and secluded life, no one ever knows of her goodness, except her immediate connections.  Others, on the contrary, are disposed to form unfavourable opinions of her mind, and disposition, if it be but to excuse themselves for their instinctive dislike of one so unfavoured by nature; and visa versâ with her whose angel form conceals a vicious heart, or sheds a false, deceitful charm over defects and foibles that would not be tolerated in another. 
Anne Brontë (Agnes Grey)
To my way of thinking there's something wrong, or missing, with any person who hasn't got a soft spot in their heart for an animal of some kind. With most folks the dog stands highest as man's friend, then comes the horse, with others the cat is liked best as a pet, or a monkey is fussed over; but whatever kind of animal it is a person likes, it's all hunkydory so long as there's a place in the heart for one or a few of them.
Will James (Smoky the Cow Horse)
Yes, Phebe was herself now, and it showed in the change that came over her at the first note of music. No longer shy and silent, no longer the image of a handsome girl, but a blooming woman, alive and full of the eloquence her art gave her, as she laid her hands softly together, fixed her eye on the light, and just poured out her song as simply and joyfully as the lark does soaring toward the sun. "My faith, Alec! that's the sort of voice that wins a man's heart out of his breast!" exclaimed Uncle Mac, wiping his eyes after one of the plaintive ballads that never grow old. "So it would!" answered Dr. Alec, delightedly. "So it has," added Archie to himself; and he was right: for just at that moment he fell in love with Phebe. He actually did, and could fix the time almost to a second: for at a quarter past nine, he thought merely thought her a very charming young person; at twenty minutes past, he considered her the loveliest woman he ever beheld; at five and twenty minutes past, she was an angel singing his soul away; and at half after nine he was a lost man, floating over a delicious sea to that temporary heaven on earth where lovers usually land after the first rapturous plunge. If anyone had mentioned this astonishing fact, nobody would have believed it; nevertheless, it was quite true: and sober, business-like Archie suddenly discovered a fund of romance at the bottom of his hitherto well-conducted heart that amazed him. He was not quite clear what had happened to him at first, and sat about in a dazed sort of way; seeing, hearing, knowing nothing but Phebe: while the unconscious idol found something wanting in the cordial praise so modestly received, because Mr. Archie never said a word.
Louisa May Alcott (Rose in Bloom (Eight Cousins, #2))
Beth pulled herself away from Ian and walked forward, sticking out her hand. “I’m very well, thank you so much for inquiring. The journey was tiring but uneventful, no problems on the lines, and no Fenian bombs at any of the stations.” Hart shot Ian a scowl. “She is fond of jokes,” Ian said. “Is she?” Hart answered, his voice cool. “I am also fond of chocolate, and of raspberry fool.” Beth curled her ignored hand at her side. “At the moment I’d be fond of a cool drink of water and a soft bed.” Hart spoke directly to her for a change. “I don’t recall sending for you, Mrs. Ackerley. You’d even now be reclining on a soft bed if you’d gone upstairs with the maid.” Beth’s heart hammered. “The only person I ever allowed to send for me, Your Grace, was Mrs. Barrington, and that was because she paid me wages.” Hart’s brows drew fiercely together, and Ian said, “Leave her be, Hart.
Jennifer Ashley (The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Mackenzies & McBrides, #1))
Wallingford vaulted up from his chair. “You’ve come here so that I can mollify you and share in your belittling of Anais? Well, you’ve knocked on the wrong bloody door, Raeburn, because I will not join you in disparaging Anais. I will not! Not when I know what sort of woman she is—she is better than either of us deserves. Damn you, I know what she means to you. I know how you’ve suffered. You want her and you’re going to let a mistake ruin what you told me only months ago you would die for. Ask yourself if it is worth it. Is your pride worth all the pain you will make your heart suffer through? Christ,” Wallingford growled, “if I had a woman who was willing to overlook everything I’d done in my life, every wrong deed I had done to her or others, I would be choking back my pride so damn fast I wouldn’t even taste it.” Lindsay glared at Wallingford, galled by the fact his friend— the one person on earth he believed would understand his feelings—kept chastising him for his anger, which, he believed, was natural and just. “If I had someone like Anais in my life,” Wallingford continued, blithely ignoring Lindsay’s glares, “I would ride back to Bewdley with my tail between my legs and I would do whatever I had to do in order to get her back.” “You’re a goddamned liar! You’ve never been anything but a selfish prick!” Lindsay thundered. “What woman would you deign to lower yourself in front of? What woman could you imagine doing anything more to than fucking?” Wallingford’s right eye twitched and Lindsay wondered if his friend would plant his large fist into his face. He was mad enough for it, Lindsay realized, but so, too, was he. He was mad, angry—all but consumed with rage, but the bluster went out of him when Wallingford spoke. “I’ve never bothered to get to know the women I’ve been with. Perhaps if I had, I would have found one I could have loved—one I could have allowed myself to be open with. But out of the scores of women I’ve pleasured, I’ve only ever been the notorious, unfeeling and callous libertine—that is my shame.Your shame is finding that woman who would love you no matter what and letting her slip through your fingers because she is not the woman your mind made her out to be. You have found something most men only dream of. Things that I have dreamed of and coveted for myself. The angel is dead. It is time to embrace the sinner, for if you do not, I shall expect to see you in hell with me. And let me inform you, it’s a burning, lonely place that once it has its hold on you, will never let you go. Think twice before you allow pride to rule your heart.” “What do you know about love and souls?” Lindsay growled as he stalked to the study door. “I know that a soul is something I don’t have, and love,” Wallingford said softly before he downed the contents of his brandy, “love is like ghosts, something that everyone talks of but few have seen. You are one of the few who have seen it and sometimes I hate you for it. If I were you, I’d think twice about throwing something like that away, but of course, I’m a selfish prick and do as I damn well please.” “You do indeed.” Wallingford’s only response was to raise his crystal glass in a mock salute.“To hell,” he muttered,“make certain you bring your pride. It is the only thing that makes the monotony bearable.
Charlotte Featherstone (Addicted (Addicted #1))
I am inclined to trust you. You shouldn’t be like that with another man, not ever; but I can’t help it. I felt it strongly from the instant I heard your voice; and though I thought momentarily that it would falter, it didn’t. It’s still here. You see, the essence of trust is not knowing a person’s motive; it’s knowing what isn’t. It’s a simple process of trial and error that gets you to the heart of a man; and once that soft voice and those light feet of yours got to moving I saw in you no measure of ill intent.
Richard Ronald Allan (Exit Eleonora)
RICHARD, DUKE OF GLOUCESTER: Why then I do but dream on sovereignty, Like one that stands upon a promontory And spies a far-off shore where he would tread, Wishing his foot were equal with his eye, And chides the sea that sunders him from thence, Saying, he'll lade it dry to have his way: So do I wish the crown, being so far off, And so I chide the means that keeps me from it, And so, I say, I'll cut the causes off, Flattering me with impossibilities, My eye's too quick, my hear o'erweens too much, Unless my hand and strength could equal them. Well, say there is no kingdom then for Richard; What other pleasure can the world afford? I'll make my heaven in a lady's lap, And deck my body in gay ornaments, And witch sweet ladies with my words and looks. O miserable thought! and more unlikely Than to accomplish twenty golden crowns! Why, love forswore me in my mother's womb; And for I should not deal in her soft laws, She did corrupt frail nature with some bribe, To shrink mine arm up like a wither'd shrub, To make an envious mountain on my back, Where sits deformity to mock my body; To shape my legs of an unequal size, To disproportion me in every part, Like to a chaos, or an unlick'd bear-whelp That carries no impression like the dam. And am I then a man to be belov'd? O monstrous fault, to harbor such a thought! Then since this earth affords no joy to me But to command, to check, to o'erbear such As are of better person than myself, I'll make my heaven to dream upon the crown, And whiles I live, t' account this world but hell, Until my misshap'd trunk that bears this head Be round impaled with a glorious crown. And yet I know not how to get the crown, For many lives stand between me and home; And I - like one lost in a thorny wood, That rents the thorns, and is rent with the thorns, Seeking a way, and straying from the way, Not knowing how to find the open air, But toiling desperately to find it out - Torment myself to catch the English crown; And from that torment I will free myself, Or hew my way out with a bloody axe. Why, I can smile, and murther whiles I smile, And cry "Content" to that which grieves my heart, And wet my cheeks with artificial tears, And frame my face to all occasions. I'll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall, I'll slay more gazers than the basilisk, I'll play the orator as well as Nestor, Deceive more slily than Ulysses could, And like a Simon, take another Troy. I can add colors to the chameleon, Change shapes with Proteus for advantages, And set the murtherous Machevil to school. Can I do this, and cannot get a crown? Tut, were it farther off, I'll pluck it down.
William Shakespeare (King Henry VI, Part 3)
It’s a two-way street,” Emma murmured, her words soft, but fierce at once. “Sometimes you have to take what you need and hope the other person can handle the invasion.” “Invasion?” “That’s what love is, isn’t it? Families, friends, lovers. It’s an invasion of each other’s space, minds, hearts. Someone’s always jockeying for control. For it to truly work, there has to be equality. Each side has to be strong enough to handle it.” Invasion. An oddly perfect way to describe it. “Yet again, I ask, who are you, Emma Strickland?
Kate Meader (Taking the Score (Tall, Dark, and Texan, #2))
When a person loses a friend, he consoles himself with the many other friends about him, and if he loses his gold, he meditates for a while and casts misfortune from his mind, especially when he finds himself healthy and still laden with ambition. But when a man loses the ease of his heart, where can he find comfort, and with what can he replace it? What mind can master it? When death strikes close by, you will suffer. But when the day and the night pass, you will feel the smooth touch of the soft fingers of Life; then you will smile and rejoice. 
Kahlil Gibran (11 Books: The Prophet / Spirits Rebellious / The Broken Wings / A Tear and a Smile / The Madman / The Forerunner / Sand and Foam / Jesus the Son of Man / Lazarus and His Beloved / The Earth Gods / The Wanderer / The Garden of the Prophet)
Yet when God entered time and became a man, he who was boundless became bound. Imprisoned in flesh. Restricted by weary-prone muscles and eyelids. For more than three decades, his once limitless reach would be limited to the stretch of an arm, his speed checked to the pace of human feet. I wonder, was he ever tempted to regain his boundlessness? In the middle of a long trip, did he ever consider transporting himself to the next city? When the rain chilled his bones, was he tempted to change the weather? When the heat parched his lips, did he give thought to popping over to the Caribbean for some refreshment? If he ever entertained such thoughts, he never gave into them. Not once. Stop and think about this. Not once did Christ use his supernatural powers for personal comfort. With one word, he could've transformed the hard earth into a soft bed, but he didn't. With a wave of his hands, he could've boomeranged the spit of his accusers back into their faces, but he didn't. With an arch of his brow, he could've paralyzed the hand of the soldier as he braided the crown of thorns. But he didn't.
Max Lucado (He Chose the Nails: What God Did to Win Your Heart)
The Blue Sphere Exercise Seat yourself comfortably, and relax. Try not to think about anything. 1. Feel how good it is to be alive. Let your heart feel free and affectionate; let it rise above and beyond the details of the problems that may be bothering you. Begin to sing softly a song from your childhood. Imagine that your heart is growing, filling the room – and later your home – with an intense, shining blue light. 2. When you reach this point, begin to sense the presence of the saints (or other beings) in which you placed your faith when you were a child. Notice that they are present, arriving from everywhere, smiling and giving you faith and confidence. 3. Picture the saints approaching you, placing their hands on your head and wishing you love, peace, and communion with the world – the communion of the saints. 4. When this sensation becomes strong, feel that the blue light is a current that enters you and leaves you like a shining, flowing river. This blue light begins to spread through your house, then through your neighborhood, your city, and your country; it eventually envelops the world in an immense blue sphere. This is the manifestation of the great love that goes beyond the day-today struggle; it reinforces and invigorates, as it provides energy and peace. 5. Keep the light spread around the world for as long as possible. Your heart is open, spreading love. This phase of the exercise should last for a minimum of five minutes. 6. Come out of your trance, bit by bit, and return to reality. The saints will remain near. The blue light will continue to spread around the world. This ritual can and should be done with more than one person. When this is the case, the participants should hold hands while they do the exercise.
Paulo Coelho (The Pilgrimage)
Many people are too soft-hearted; they give encouragement to someone who needs discouragement instead. To encourage a powerless person to try harder is one of the worst things you could possibly do. The best thing you can do is to discourage him from believing that he can do it on his own. Another use of the law is to show a person that she is not living up to a standard. We will talk about the role of the truth and confrontation in chapter 17, but it is important to understand in this context that people will never get to the end of themselves if they do not see themselves as failing.
Henry Cloud (How People Grow: What the Bible Reveals About Personal Growth)
For know, dear ones, that every one of us is undoubtedly responsible for all men- and everything on earth, not merely through the general sinfulness of creation, but each one personally for all mankind and every individual man. This knowledge is the crown of life for the monk and for every man. For monks are not a special sort of men, but only what all men ought to be. Only through that knowledge, our heart grows soft with infinite, universal, inexhaustible love. Then every one of you will have the power to win over the whole world by love and to wash away the sins of the world with your tears.
Fyodor Dostoevsky
She puts her hands on either side of my face, and the room falls away. I have never gotten so lost in a kiss before. And then, the space between us explodes. My heart keeps missing beats and my hands cannot bring her close enough to me. I taste her and realize I have been starving. I have loved before, but it didn’t feel like this. I have kissed before, but it didn’t burn me alive. Maybe it lasts a minute, and maybe it’s an hour. All I know is that kiss, and how soft her skin is when it brushes against mine, and that even if I did not know it until now, I have been waiting for this person forever.
Jodi Picoult
She didn't need a man, she was her own man. It intimidated the fuck out of me, but it also turned me on. Her ambition, her success, her determination made me want her in ways I never thought possible. I'd always dated girls who were more than willing to let me be the alpha in the relationship. I had a feeling Riggs would chew me up and spit me out if I told her what to do. My heart had a soft spot for her. I knew below those name brand clothes and flawless tan was someone totally different. I wanted to see that person. I craved to see inside her soul, a peek at what she was hiding behind her chocolate brown eyes.
Monty Jay (Ice Hearts (Fury, #2))
Love one another, Fathers,’ said Father Zossima, as far as Alyosha could remember afterwards. ‘Love God’s people. Because we have come here and shut ourselves within these walls, we are no holier than those that are outside, but on the contrary, from the very fact of coming here, each of us has confessed to himself that he is worse than others, than all men on earth.... And the longer the monk lives in his seclusion, the more keenly he must recognise that. Else he would have had no reason to come here. When he realises that he is not only worse than others, but that he is responsible to all men for all and everything, for all human sins, national and individual, only then the aim of our seclusion is attained. For know, dear ones, that every one of us is undoubtedly responsible for all men — and everything on earth, not merely through the general sinfulness of creation, but each one personally for all mankind and every individual man. This knowledge is the crown of life for the monk and for every man. For monks are not a special sort of men, but only what all men ought to be. Only through that knowledge, our heart grows soft with infinite, universal, inexhaustible love. Then every one of you will have the power to win over the whole world by love and to wash away the sins of the world with your tears.... Each of you keep watch over your heart and confess your sins to yourself unceasingly. Be not afraid of your sins, even when perceiving them, if only there be penitence, but make no conditions with God. Again, I say, be not proud. Be proud neither to the little nor to the great. Hate not those who reject you, who insult you, who abuse and slander you. Hate not the atheists, the teachers of evil, the materialists — and I mean not only the good ones — for there are many good ones among them, especially in our day — hate not even the wicked ones. Remember them in your prayers thus: Save, O Lord, all those who have none to pray for them, save too all those who will not pray. And add: it is not in pride that I make this prayer, O Lord, for I am lower than all men.... Love God’s people, let not strangers draw away the flock, for if you slumber in your slothfulness and disdainful pride, or worse still, in covetousness, they will come from all sides and draw away your flock. Expound the Gospel to the people unceasingly... be not extortionate.... Do not love gold and silver, do not hoard them.... Have faith. Cling to the banner and raise it on high.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
For three weeks straight I had been observing the ocean. On the twenty-first day, I saw a man running along the shoreline. I could hear his feet hitting the sand. It was the first time I was able to discern with utter precision every nuance, every gearshift, every soft click of another person's mind. He remembered that he was there to run, and he even remembered a time there was a reason for it. He did not remember the reason, nor did he want to. He feared he might be running for the old reasons, and didn't want to imitate himself. That would be running in place. Not too far down below the top shelves of memory he knew he was there to run for a reason, but still he decided to invent a different reason. He was reinvigorated by this decision to find a new reason, and ran even faster. He’d run seventeen miles when he realized in dismay that he'd forgotten to do it. He’d been running off the memory of an idea. He was exhausted and his lungs burned. He pushed his head into the sand and his legs ran in a circle around his head that he was screwing into the sand. He pushed down and screw-drove himself until only his toes stuck out. His toes were twined around each other. I could no longer hear his thoughts. Was he dead? His heart was still beating.
Miranda Mellis (The Revisionist)
Th-thurlow...?" His face,so very like her own, lit with pleasure. "Rycca,dear sister! I rejoice to find you well!" They hugged fiercely while Dragon looked on with as much contentment as he could have mustered had he personally arranged the reunion of the twins. "I don't understand," Rycca said when she could speak again.Her throat was very tight and tears gleamed in her eyes but she could not stop smiling. "Why are you here?" "I heard a wild rumor in Normandy, about you fleeing from the marriage arranged for you by the king himself," he said,with a chiding shake of his head. "Really,Rycca,what were you thinking? Dragon here an exemplary fellow.How could you have not wanted to marry him?" Over her brother's shoulder,Rycca sent the fine fellow in question a look that would have turned a lesser mann to ash. Dragon merely raised his eyebrows, the very image of wounded innocence. "It was a little more complicated than he may have explained to you." "Nonsense," Thurlow said with all the certainty of a very young man whose heart is nonetheless in the right place. "I love you dearly, sister,but we both know you can be a tad impulsive. Fortunately,I am assured Dragon will take excellent care of you." Rycca laughed then and reached out a hand to her husband,who took it with a grin.She she drew him to her,she said softly, "As I will care for him, brother.
Josie Litton (Come Back to Me (Viking & Saxon, #3))
ESTABLISHING A DAILY MEDITATION First select a suitable space for your regular meditation. It can be wherever you can sit easily with minimal disturbance: a corner of your bedroom or any other quiet spot in your home. Place a meditation cushion or chair there for your use. Arrange what is around so that you are reminded of your meditative purpose, so that it feels like a sacred and peaceful space. You may wish to make a simple altar with a flower or sacred image, or place your favorite spiritual books there for a few moments of inspiring reading. Let yourself enjoy creating this space for yourself. Then select a regular time for practice that suits your schedule and temperament. If you are a morning person, experiment with a sitting before breakfast. If evening fits your temperament or schedule better, try that first. Begin with sitting ten or twenty minutes at a time. Later you can sit longer or more frequently. Daily meditation can become like bathing or toothbrushing. It can bring a regular cleansing and calming to your heart and mind. Find a posture on the chair or cushion in which you can easily sit erect without being rigid. Let your body be firmly planted on the earth, your hands resting easily, your heart soft, your eyes closed gently. At first feel your body and consciously soften any obvious tension. Let go of any habitual thoughts or plans. Bring your attention to feel the sensations of your breathing. Take a few deep breaths to sense where you can feel the breath most easily, as coolness or tingling in the nostrils or throat, as movement of the chest, or rise and fall of the belly. Then let your breath be natural. Feel the sensations of your natural breathing very carefully, relaxing into each breath as you feel it, noticing how the soft sensations of breathing come and go with the changing breath. After a few breaths your mind will probably wander. When you notice this, no matter how long or short a time you have been away, simply come back to the next breath. Before you return, you can mindfully acknowledge where you have gone with a soft word in the back of your mind, such as “thinking,” “wandering,” “hearing,” “itching.” After softly and silently naming to yourself where your attention has been, gently and directly return to feel the next breath. Later on in your meditation you will be able to work with the places your mind wanders to, but for initial training, one word of acknowledgment and a simple return to the breath is best. As you sit, let the breath change rhythms naturally, allowing it to be short, long, fast, slow, rough, or easy. Calm yourself by relaxing into the breath. When your breath becomes soft, let your attention become gentle and careful, as soft as the breath itself. Like training a puppy, gently bring yourself back a thousand times. Over weeks and months of this practice you will gradually learn to calm and center yourself using the breath. There will be many cycles in this process, stormy days alternating with clear days. Just stay with it. As you do, listening deeply, you will find the breath helping to connect and quiet your whole body and mind. Working with the breath is an excellent foundation for the other meditations presented in this book. After developing some calm and skills, and connecting with your breath, you can then extend your range of meditation to include healing and awareness of all the levels of your body and mind. You will discover how awareness of your breath can serve as a steady basis for all you do.
Jack Kornfield (A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life)
The judicious words of Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), the first existentialist philosopher, are apropos to end this lumbering manuscript. 1. “One must learn to know oneself before knowing anything else.” 2. “Life always expresses the results of our dominate thoughts.” 3. “Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are.” 4. “Personality is only ripe when a man has made the truth his own.” 5. “Love is all, it gives all, and it takes all.” 6. “Don’t forget to love yourself.” 7. “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” 8. “Life has its own hidden forces, which you can only discover by living.” 9. “The highest and most beautiful things in life are not to be heard about, or read about, nor seen, but if one will, are to be lived.” 10. “Patience is necessary, and one cannot reap immediately where one has sown.” 11. “It seems essential, in relationships and all tasks, that we concentrate on only what is most significant and important.” 12. “To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.” 13. “Since my earliest childhood, a barb of sorrow has lodged in my heart. As long as it stays I am ironic, if it is pulled out I shall die.” 14. “A man who as a physical being is always turned to the outside, thinking that his happiness lies outside of him, finally turns inward and discovers that the source is within him.” 15. “Just as in earthly life lovers long for the moment when they are able to breathe forth their love for each other, to let their souls blend into a soft whisper, so the mystic longs for the moment in prayer he can, as it were, creep into God.” Kierkegaard warned, “The greatest hazard of all, losing the self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss – an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. – is sure to be noticed.” Kierkegaard said that the one method to avoid losing oneself is to live joyfully in the moment, which he described as “to be present in oneself in truth,” which in turn requires “to be today, in truth be today.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
We feel Divine Love entering us firstly through gentle, soft, humbling, kind and loving feelings, independent of any other person. This can be experienced as gently overwhelming as it increases, dependent on the depth of our desire for It. As we heal further, and more of our negative, repressed emotions and causal soul wounds are removed, the entering of Divine Love into our souls becomes stronger and stronger, bringing deep tears, powerful sensations and expansions in the heart and soul in immense gratitude, humility and feelings of great love and even more yearning for God. There may also be whole body tingling and sensations, crown chakra and heart explosions, feelings of being fully bathed in love and light, great feelings of humility, awe and wonder at the indescribable nature of God’s Love, and at how much He loves you. Receiving Divine Love can feel like being immersed in a bath of love all over, in every part of you, every cell. Deep peace, joy and waves of ecstasy, rapture and bliss arise and flow all over, and great humility washes over the soul. Immense love for God as the most wondrous, awe inspiring Soul that He Is is felt. A deepening into the essence of your pure soul occurs, along with the deep desire to give more of your soul to God. You feel deeply nurtured and embraced in God’s Arms. There is nothing better than resting and dropping into This. You feel the purity of His Love that is the most pleasurable feeling your soul will ever experience. Heat, pressure, inner and outer movements, pulsing, physical shifts and alignments can occur as you open and embody more Divine Love and the feeling of Blessedness this brings. This Blessedness also arises in felt feelings of forgiveness and mercy. Divine Love is Perfect in its trust and tenderness. We become more and more like a child; innocent, joyful, playful and beautiful as we were created to Be. This play is a pure and glorious sensation, wishing to share itself freely and touching all others. Receiving Divine Love can also become so powerful that we are brought to our knees in immense gratitude, rapture, pain and bliss, sometimes all at once. Receiving Divine Love in its fullness is overwhelming, and can even be physically painful in the heart as it inflows to such a degree that the heart actually stretches to accommodate It all. It is both rapturous and ecstatic, as the body may rock, sway and stretch as it receives more and more Divine Love.8 There is no better feeling in all universes than to receive this Greatest Love of all loves, the most pleasurable feelings a soul can experience as it has actually been designed this way, yet our physical bodies cannot take too much of it at one time! When I receive Divine Love in a rapturous way, it is blissful to the soul yet sometimes painful to the physical. Sometimes I have to stop praying as the body becomes too tired.
Padma Aon Prakasha (Dimensions of Love)
She stepped out of the box, smiled sweetly. "You know, Brian, just because you can make a fifteen hundred pound horse do what you want, doesn't mean you can budge me one inch.I'm going to go bet on our horse.To win." "It's not our-" He broke off, swore, as she'd already flounced out. "And you don't bet to win," he muttered. "It's nothing personal," he said to Finnegan who was watching him with soft, sad eyes. "I just can't be owning things.It's not that I don't have great affection and respect for you,for I do. But what happens in a year or two down the road I move on? Even if I don't-as it's feeling more and more that I'd wonder why I would-I can't have the wman give me a horse.Even a half a horse. Well, not to worry.We'll straighten it all out later.
Nora Roberts (Irish Rebel (Irish Hearts, #3))
In a hurry to escape he let himself out of the house and walked to the truck. Before he could climb inside Marilee raced down the steps. Breathless,she came to a sudden halt in front of him. At the dark look in his eyes she swallowed. "Please don't go,Wyatt. I've been such a fool." "You aren't the only one." He studied her with a look that had her heart stuttering.A look so intense, she couldn't look away. "I've been neating myself up for days,because I wanted things to go my way or no way." "There's no need.You're not the only one." Her voice was soft,throaty. "You've always respected my need to be independent.But I guess I fought the battle so long,I forgot how to stop fighting even after I'd won the war." "You can fight me all you want. You know Superman is indestructable." Again that long,speculative look. "I know I caught you off guard with that proposal. It won't happen again. Even when I understood your fear of commitment, I had to push to have things my way.And even though I still want more, I'm willing to settle for what you're willing to give,as long as we can be together." She gave a deep sigh. "You mean it?" "I do." "Oh,Wyatt.I was so afraid I'd driven you away forever." He continued studying her. "Does this mean you're suffering another change of heart?" "My heart doesn't need to change. In my heart,I've always known how very special you are.It's my head that can't seem to catch up." She gave a shake of her head,as though to clear it. "I'm so glad you understand me. I've spent so many years fighting to be my own person, it seems I can't bear to give up the battle." A slow smile spread across his face, changing it from darkness to light. "Marilee,if it's a sparring partner you want,I'm happy to sigh on. And if,in time,you ever decide you want more, I'm your man." He framed her face with his hands and lowered his head,kissing her long and slow and deep until they were both sighing with pleasure. Her tears started again,but this time they were tears of joy. Wyatt brushed them away with his thumbs and traced the tracks with his lips. Marilee sighed at the tenderness. It was one of the things she most loved about this man. Loved. Why did she find it so hard to say what she was feeling? Because,her heart whispered, love meant commitment and promises and forever after,and that was more than she was willing to consider. At least for now. After a moment he caught her hand. "Where are we going?" "Your place.It's closer than the ranch, and we've wasted too much time already." "i can't leave the ambulance..." "All right." He turned away from the ranch truck and led her toward her vehicle. "See how easy I am?" At her little laugh he added, "I'm desperate for some time alone with you." Alone. She thought about that word. She'd been alone for so long.What he was offering had her heart working overtime. He was willing to compromise in order to be with her. She was laughing through her tears as she turned the key in the ignition. The key that had saved his life. "Wyatt McCord,I can't think of anything I'd rather be than alone with you.
R.C. Ryan (Montana Destiny)
It's not like you ate Filipino food all the time. You loved Emperor's Way takeout, and the friendly Chinese girl there who you were too shy to ask but whose name tag said to call her Ming always gave you extra sauce for your orange chicken. The sweet potato pie from Butter was absolutely to die for, and it made you feel soft and warm the same way Lola's leche flan did. The youngest Manzano once handed you a delicious pastry without prompting or demanding payment before drifting away, seemingly lost in a world of her own. If this was a marketing strategy for their pastelería, it worked. But you could tell that there were differences in the way they cooked and baked, that they took old and treasured recipes and put in their own unique, modern spin to them. Why couldn't you do the same?
Rin Chupeco (Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love)
What’s the point?” “Who can know?” answered Merrin. “Who can really hope to know? And yet I think the demon’s target is not the possessed; it is us … the observers … every person in this house. And I think—I think the point is to make us despair; to reject our own humanity, Damien: to see ourselves as ultimately bestial, vile and putrescent; without dignity; ugly; unworthy. And there lies the heart of it, perhaps: in unworthiness. For I think belief in God is not a matter of reason at all; I think it finally is a matter of love: of accepting the possibility that God could ever love us.” Merrin paused, then continued more slowly and with an air of introspection: “Again, who really knows. But it is clear—at least to me—that the demon knows where to strike. Oh, yes, he knows. Long ago I despaired of ever loving my neighbor. Certain people … repelled me. And so how could I love them? I thought. It tormented me, Damien; it led me to despair of myself and from that, very soon, to despair of my God. My faith was shattered.” Surprised, Karras turned and looked at Merrin with interest. “And what happened?” he asked. “Ah, well … at last I realized that God would never ask of me that which I know to be psychologically impossible; that the love which He asked was in my will and not meant to be felt as emotion. No. Not at all. He was asking that I act with love; that I do unto others; and that I should do it unto those who repelled me, I believe, was a greater act of love than any other.” Merrin lowered his head and spoke even more softly. “I know that all of this must seem very obvious to you, Damien. I know. But at the time I could not see it. Strange blindness. How many husbands and wives,” Merrin uttered sadly, “must believe they have fallen out of love because their hearts no longer race at the sight of their beloveds. Ah, dear God!” He shook his head. And then he nodded. “There it lies, I think, Damien … possession; not in wars, as some tend to believe; not so much; and very rarely in extraordinary interventions such as here … this girl … this poor child. No, I tend to see possession most often in the little things, Damien: in the senseless, petty spites and misunderstandings; the cruel and cutting word that leaps unbidden to the tongue between friends. Between lovers. Between husbands and wives. Enough of these and we have no need of Satan to manage our wars; these we manage for ourselves … for ourselves.
William Peter Blatty (The Exorcist)
one of the hottest topics today is ethics—ethics discussions, ethics curriculum, ethics training, codes of ethics. This book shows that while ethics is fundamentally important and necessary, it is absolutely insufficient. It shows that the so-called soft stuff is hard, measurable, and impacts everything else in relationships, organizations, markets, and societies. Financial success comes from success in the marketplace, and success in the marketplace comes from success in the workplace. The heart and soul of all of this is trust. This work goes far beyond not only my work, but also beyond anything I have read on the subject of trust. It goes beyond ethical behavior in leadership, beyond mere “compliance.” It goes deep into the real “intent” and agenda of a person’s heart, and then into the kind of “competence” that merits consistent public confidence.
Stephen M.R. Covey (The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything)
But it isn't easy to find the right person. It would have to be someone good with kids and horses, and ho'd be able to pitch in with the administrating to some extent and wouldn't quibble about shoving manure.Plus I'd have to be able to depend on them, and get along with them. And they'd have to be diplomatic with parents, which is often the trickiest part." Travis picked up his soft drink again. "I might be able to point you in the right direction there." "Oh? Listen, Dad, I appreciate it, but you know, a friend of a friend or the son or daughter of an aquaintance. That kind of thing gets very sticky if it doesn't work out." "Actually, I was thinking of someone a little closer to home.Your mother." "Ma?" With a half laugh, Keeley sat again. "Ma doesn't want this headache, even if she had time for it." "Shows what you know." Smug now, he drank. "Just mention it to her, casually. I won't say a word about it.
Nora Roberts (Irish Rebel (Irish Hearts, #3))
It is foolish to wish for beauty. Sensible people never either desire it for themselves or care about it in others. If the mind be but well cultivated, and the heart well disposed, no one ever cares for the exterior. So said the teachers of our childhood; and so say we to the children of the present day. All very judicious and proper, no doubt; but are such assertions supported by actual experience? We are naturally disposed to love what gives us pleasure, and what more pleasing than a beautiful face--when we know no harm of the possessor at least? A little girl loves her bird--Why? Because it lives and feels; because it is helpless and harmless? A toad, likewise, lives and feels, and is equally helpless and harmless; but though she would not hurt a toad, she cannot love it like the bird, with its graceful form, soft feathers, and bright, speaking eyes. If a woman is fair and amiable, she is praised for both qualities, but especially the former, by the bulk of mankind: if, on the other hand, she is disagreeable in person and character, her plainness is commonly inveighed against as her greatest crime, because, to common observers, it gives the greatest offence; while, if she is plain and good, provided she is a person of retired manners and secluded life, no one ever knows of her goodness, except her immediate connections. Others, on the contrary, are disposed to form unfavourable opinions of her mind, and disposition, if it be but to excuse themselves for their instinctive dislike of one so unfavoured by nature; and visa versa with her whose angel form conceals a vicious heart, or sheds a false, deceitful charm over defects and foibles that would not be tolerated in another. They that have beauty, let them be thankful for it, and make a good use of it, like any other talent; they that have it not, let them console themselves, and do the best they can without it: certainly, though liable to be over-estimated, it is a gift of God, and not to be despised.
Anne Brontë
Believe me, there is none fraught with such deep, such vital interest. If you talk, indeed, of the capricious inclination awakened by the mere charm of perishable beauty, I grant it to be idle in the extreme; but that love which springs from the concordant sympathies of virtuous hearts; that love which is awakened by the perception of moral excellence, and fed by meditation on intellectual as well as personal beauty; that is a passion which refines and ennobles the human heart. Oh, where is there a sight more nearly approaching to the intercourse of angels, than that of two young beings, free from the sins and follies of the world, mingling pure thoughts, and looks, and feelings, and becoming as it were soul of one soul and heart of one heart! How exquisite the silent converse that they hold; the soft devotion of the eye, that needs no words to make it eloquent! Yes, my friend, if there be anything in this weary world worthy of heaven, it is the pure bliss of such a mutual affection!
Washington Irving (Rip Van Winkle and Other Stories)
The person who discovered my modest abilities was, of course, a sorcerer, whom I met by accident,’ continued Vilgefortz calmly. ‘He offered me a tremen- dous gift: the chance of an education and of self-improvement, with a view to join- ing the Brotherhood of Sorcerers.’ ‘And you,’ said the Witcher softly, ‘accepted the offer.’ ‘No,’ said Vilgefortz, his voice becoming increasingly cold and unpleasant. ‘I re- jected it in a rude – even boorish – way. I unloaded all my anger on the old fool. I wanted him to feel guilty; he and his entire magical fraternity. Guilty, naturally, for the gutter in Lan Exeter; guilty that one or two detestable conjurers – bastards with- out hearts or human feelings – had thrown me into that gutter at birth, and not be- fore, when I wouldn’t have survived. The sorcerer, it goes without saying, didn’t understand; wasn’t concerned by what I told him. He shrugged and went on his way, by doing so branding himself and his fellows with the stigma of insensitive, arrogant, whoresons, worthy of the greatest contempt.
Andrzej Sapkowski (Czas pogardy (Saga o Wiedźminie, #2))
She dances, She dances around the burning flames with passion, Under the same dull stars, Under the same hell with crimson embers crashing, Under the same silver chains that wires, All her beauty and who she is inside, She's left with the loneliness of human existence, She's left questioning how she's survived, She's left with this awakening of brutal resilience, Her true beauty that she denies, As much she's like to deny it, As much as it continues to shine, That she doesn't even have to admit, Because we all know it's true, Her glory and success, After all she's been through, Her triumph and madness, AND YET, SHE STANDS. Broken legs- but she's still standing, Still dancing in this void, You must wonder how she's still dancing, You must wonder how she's not destroyed, She doesn't even begin to drown within the flames, But little do you realize, Within these chains, She weeps and she cries, But she still goes on, And just you thought you could stop her? You thought you'd be the one? Well, let me tell you, because you thought wrong. Nothing will ever silence her, Because I KNOW, I know that she is admiringly strong, Her undeniable beauty, The triumph of her song, She's shining bright like a ruby, Reflecting in the golden sand, She's shining brighter like no other, She's far more than human or man, AND YET, SHE STANDS. She continues to dance with free-spirit, Even though she's locked in these chains, Though she never desired to change it, Even throughout the agonizing pain, Throughout all the distress, Anxiety, depression, tears and sorrow, She still dances so beautify in her dress, She looks forward to tomorrow, Not because of a fresh start but a new page, A new day full of opportunities, Despite being trapped in her cage, She still smiles after being beaten so brutally, A smile that could brighten anyone's day, She's so much more than anyone could ask for, She's so much more than I could ever say, She's a girl absolutely everyone should adore, She never gets in the way, Even after her hearts been broken, Even after the way she has been treated, After all these severe emotions, After all all the blood she's bled, AND YET, SHE STANDS. Even if sometimes she wonders why she's still here, She wonders why she's not dead, But there's this one thing that had been here throughout every tear, Throughout the blazing fire leaving her cheeks cherry red, Everyday this thing has given her a place to exist, This thing, person, these people, Like warm sunlight it had so softly kissed, The apples of her cheeks, Even when she's feeling feeble, Always there at her worst and at her best Because of you and all the other people, She has this thing deep inside her chest, That she will cherish forever, Even once you're gone, Because today she smiles like no other, Even when the sun sets at dawn, Because today is the day, She just wants you to remember, In dark and stormy weather, It gets better. And after what she's been through she knows, Throughout the highs and the lows, Because of you and all others, After crossing the seas, She has come to understand, You have formed this key, This key to free her from this land, This endless gorge that swallowed her, Her and other men, She had never knew, nor had she planned, That because of you, She's free. AND YET, THIS VERY DAY, SHE STILL DANCES, EVEN IN THE RAIN.
Gabrielle Renee
Do you ever feel like you are giving far fewer fucks and yet still caring so much it sometimes feels like there is only the most tissue-thin layer separating your soul from this world? Like your heart may be broken but your spirit is still rising? Are you refusing to conform and somehow still fitting just right? Able to look people right in the eye without apology and also like you’re a teenager again, bashful and blushing and off-kilter, like that moment when lips unexpectedly pressed against your head and face buried in your hair fingers trailed down y our arm, the way your stomach can flip-flop like that, even now. Do you ever walk on purpose even when you have nowhere to go? Do you notice things deeply, like dark red lipstick prints on pristine white coffee mugs? Like the way whiskey burns and cool white sheets feel against your skin at the end of the day? Are you claiming your identity, clear and strong and true, and also sinking into the vast unknowable mystery of your all? Do your days feel like longing and acquiescence and learning to stop grasping at things that are ready to leave or that choose not to come closer? Are you making a home of your own skin and inviting the world inside? Are you learning that cultivating solid boundaries and driving into a wide open horizon both feel like freedom, like the harsh desert mountains and the soft ocean wisdom and the road to healing that joins the two? Does it all feels like solidity, like truth, like forgiveness and recklessness and heat and sexy and holy, all rolled up together? Do you crave the burn of heat from another and the for nothing to be louder than sound of your own heartbeat, all at once? Do you finally know that you can choose a love and a life that does not break you? That you can claim a softer beauty and a kinder want. That even your animal hunger can soften its rough edges and say a full-throated yes to what is good and kind and holy. Do you remember that insanity is not a prerequisite for passion and that there is another pathway to your art, one that does not demand your pain as payment for its own becoming? Are you learning to show up? To take up space? To feel the power? Is it full of contradiction, does it feel like fire underwater, are you rising to sing?
Jeanette LeBlanc
Don’t be upset that you can’t attain constant happiness. It’s the quickest way to feel like a failure in life. If each of our lives represented a page in a book, happiness would be the punctuation. It breaks up the parts that are too long. It closes off some things, divides others. But it’s brief—showing up when it’s needed and filling tired paragraphs with breaks. Being content is a more attainable constant state. To love your fate without being drunk on euphoria. Brave, determined acceptance removed of bitterness. Be gentle with yourself. Embrace the lows so that you can more effectively enjoy the highs. Love the fight. Love it so much, and let it save you when your emotional muscles have become soft. Kit and I have that. Sometimes, so much joy our hearts ache from it. Sometimes, we have sadness when we’re away from Annie or Port Townsend. We feel torn between all the things we love. We fight; we make love. I don’t see Muslim again. And after one phone call, I never speak to him again. I hear plenty about him, and I remember our time. And I wonder if you have space in your heart for more than one person. I think you do.
Tarryn Fisher (F*ck Love)
WHAT PEOPLE THINK OF ME They thought I’m perfect but the truth was not. Because I’m also sinner who seeking forgiveness from Allah. I make mistake and commit sin in private that You never seen and know except me and Allah. So don’t admire me, instead make dua for me that may Allah forgive me. They thought I don’t have problem in my life but the truth was not. Because I have big problems and my trials in life are difficult. I just don’t share and tell to others that I have problem, instead I share to Allah and asked for help because “No one besides Allah can rescue a soul from hardship.” They thought I’m happy person but the truth was not. Because behind my smile there is a hidden pain which they can’t see. Behind my smile there is an untold story of sabr. I smile in front of people, especially to my loved ones. I hide my sadness by smiling in front of people. They thought I’m strong person but the truth was not. Because my heart are soft, I’m weak person, I’m crying secretly when I’m hurt. I’m crying in sujood, crying to Allah and ask to heal my brokenheart. I don’t want to people seen my weakness. I don’t want people to see that I’m weak person.
Salim Matoussi
I knocked softly and then opened the door. Abby was leaning against the desk across the room with one leg propped up on a chair, barefoot. She was wearing a charcoal T-shirt, sky-blue jeans, and a necklace that looked like dog tags. My first thought: There she is. That’s my person. She’d later tell me that her first thought had been: There she is. That’s my wife. She smiled. It was not a casual smile. It was a smile that said: There you are and here we are, finally. She stood up and walked toward me. I let the door shut behind me, my bags still out in the hallway. She wrapped her arms around me. We melted, my head into her chest, her heart beating through her T-shirt onto my skin. She was shaking and I was shaking, and we both, for a long while, stood there and breathed each other in and held each other and shook together. Then she pulled away and looked into my eyes. That was the moment we locked. Then The kiss. The wall. The bed. White dress on the floor. Naked, unafraid. The original plan. On Earth as it is in heaven. I never looked away from her. Not once. The longer we’ve been together, the more naked and unafraid I’ve become. I don’t act anymore. I just want.
Glennon Doyle (Untamed)
Everybody's got a Hole. Ain't nobody ever lived who don't got a Hole in them somewheres. When I say Hole you know what I'm talking about, dontcha? Soft spot, sweet spot, opening, blind spot, Itch, Gap, call it what you want but I call it a Hole. To get the best of a situation you gotta know a man's Hole. Everybody's got one, just don't everybody got one in the same place. Some got a Hole in they head. Now, you may think "Hole in the head" is just another way of saying stupid, but "Hole in the head" means more than that. It means they got a lack and a craving for knowledge. Not just the lack, now, but the craving too. A man could have a Hole just about anywheres: in the head, in the wallet (which means he burns his money), in the pocket (which means he don't got no money to burn but would like some), in the pants, in the guts, in the stomach, in the heart. You offer a person with a Hole in the head some knowledge and they gonna be in yr pocket cause you done gived him the opportunity to taste what he craves, but if a person's got a Hole in they heart and you offer them knowledge, you won't be able to sway them none. A Hole-in-the-heart person craves company and kindness, not no book.
Suzan-Lori Parks
Love one another, Fathers,” said Father Zossima, as far as Alyosha could remember afterwards. “Love God's people. Because we have come here and shut ourselves within these walls, we are no holier than those that are outside, but on the contrary, from the very fact of coming here, each of us has confessed to himself that he is worse than others, than all men on earth.... And the longer the monk lives in his seclusion, the more keenly he must recognize that. Else he would have had no reason to come here. When he realizes that he is not only worse than others, but that he is responsible to all men for all and everything, for all human sins, national and individual, only then the aim of our seclusion is attained. For know, dear ones, that every one of us is undoubtedly responsible for all men and everything on earth, not merely through the general sinfulness of creation, but each one personally for all mankind and every individual man. This knowledge is the crown of life for the monk and for every man. For monks are not a special sort of men, but only what all men ought to be. Only through that knowledge, our heart grows soft with infinite, universal, inexhaustible love. Then every one of you will have the power to win over the whole world by love and to wash away the sins of the world with your tears.... Each of you keep watch over your heart and confess your sins to yourself unceasingly. Be not afraid of your sins, even when perceiving them, if only there be penitence, but make no conditions with God. Again I say, Be not proud. Be proud neither to the little nor to the great. Hate not those who reject you, who insult you, who abuse and slander you. Hate not the atheists, the teachers of evil, the materialists—and I mean not only the good ones—for there are many good ones among them, especially in our day—hate not even the wicked ones. Remember them in your prayers thus: Save, O Lord, all those who have none to pray for them, save too all those who will not pray. And add: it is not in pride that I make this prayer, O Lord, for I am lower than all men.... Love God's people, let not strangers draw away the [pg 178] flock, for if you slumber in your slothfulness and disdainful pride, or worse still, in covetousness, they will come from all sides and draw away your flock. Expound the Gospel to the people unceasingly ... be not extortionate.... Do not love gold and silver, do not hoard them.... Have faith. Cling to the banner and raise it on high.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
When I burst into the terminal, my eyes swept around, bouncing from person to person in the crowded, bustling space. My stomach fell a little when I didn’t see him, but I knew he probably couldn’t come this far. He was probably at baggage claim. I looked around for a sign to point me in the right direction and finally saw one labeled Baggage Claim with an arrow pointing off to the left. But I didn’t follow the arrow. My eyes fixed on someone standing beneath the sign. His hands were jammed into the pockets of his well-worn slouchy jeans. The relaxed action pulled the waistband low, highlighting his flat, narrow waist his Henley tee molded to. As usual, he was wearing his varsity jacket and his blond hair was a mess. My gaze locked on his sapphire-blue eyes and didn’t let go. His eyes, ohmigod, his eyes. The blue was so intense it served as an emergency brake on everything in my life. The second I looked at him, everything else came to a screeching halt. I no longer noticed the huge crowd rushing around. The anxiety-causing flight was just a distant memory, and the two weeks I spent longing for his touch became something I would live through ten times over just to be in this moment with him again. His lips pulled into a smile and the charm that oozed from every pore in his body made me almost lightheaded. Romeo pulled his hands out of his pockets and straightened, motioning for me. I rushed across the space separating us, my bag slapping against my side as I, for once, gracefully maneuvered around the people in my path. His chuckle brushed over me when I was just steps away, and I threw myself at him with a little sigh of relief. My legs wrapped around his waist and his arms locked around my back. I burrowed my head into his shoulder and inhaled deep, taking in his distinctive scent. “Rim,” he murmured, his voice low. I pulled back and his lips were on mine instantly. The moment our lips touched, he stilled, his body and mouth pausing against mine. Before I could wonder why, he muttered a garbled curse against my mouth and then his lips began to move. He kissed me softly but fiercely. There was so much possession in the way he kissed me, in the way his arms locked around me that my heart stuttered. I parted my lips so his tongue could sweep inside, and when my tongue met his, desire, hot and heavy, unfurled within me. Someone chuckled as they walked by, and Romeo retreated slightly, still letting his mouth linger on mine before completely pulling away. He rested his forehead against mine and he smiled. “I really fucking missed you.” “Me too,” I whispered. -Romeo & Rimmel
Cambria Hebert (#Hater (Hashtag, #2))
I know all their favorites. It's a knack, a professional secret, like a fortune teller reading palms. My mother would have laughed at this waste of my skills, but I have no desire to probe farther into their lives than this. I do not want their secrets or their innermost thoughts. Nor do I want their fears or gratitude. A tame alchemist, she would have called me with kindly contempt, working domestic magic when I could have wielded marvels. But I like these people. I like their small and introverted concerns. I can read their eyes, their mouths, so easily- this one with its hint of bitterness will relish my zesty orange twists; this sweet-smiling one the soft-centered apricot hearts; this girl with the windblown hair will love the mendiants; this brisk, cheery woman the chocolate brazils. For Guillaume, the florentines, eaten neatly over a saucer in his tidy bachelor's house. Narcisse's appetite for double-chocolate truffles reveals the gentle heart beneath the gruff exterior. Caroline Clairmont will dream of cinder toffee tonight and wake hungry and irritable. And the children... Chocolate curls, white buttons with colored vermicelli, pain d'épices with gilded edging, marzipan fruits in their nests of ruffled paper, peanut brittle, clusters, cracknells, assorted misshapes in half-kilo boxes... I sell dreams, small comforts, sweet harmless temptations to bring down a multitude of saints crash-crash-crashing among the hazels and nougatines....
Joanne Harris (Chocolat (Chocolat, #1))
A faint movement distracted me as Oria elbow-crawled up to my side. Her profile was outlined by the light from those faraway torches as she looked down on the castle below. “I’m sorry, Oria,” I breathed. She did not turn her head. “For what?” “All our plans when we were growing up. All the fine things we’d have had after we won. Making you a duchess--“ She grunted softly. “That was no more than dream-weaving. I don’t want to be a duchess. Never did. Well, after my fourteenth year, I didn’t. That was you, wanting it for me.” For the first time a flicker of emotion broke briefly through the aching numbness around my heart. “But when we talked…” She rested her chin on her tightly folded fists, staring down at the castle. I could see tiny reflections of the ruddy torches in her eyes, so steady and unblinking was her gaze. “The only way for me to be a noble is to become a scribe or a herald and work my way up through the government service ranks, and I don’t want to write others’ things, or to take records, and I don’t want to get mixed up with governments--with the kind of people who want to rule over others. Seems like the wrong people get killed, the nice ones. I want…” She sighed and stopped. “Tell me,” I said. “We can dream-weave once more.” “I want to run a house. You can control that--make life comfortable, and pleasant, and beautiful. My dream was always that, or partly that…” Once again she stopped, and this time the gleam of the torches in her eyes was liquid. A quick motion with her finger, a lowering of her long lashes, and the gleam was gone. “Go on,” I said. She dropped her head down. “You never saw it, Mel. You’re just what Mama calls you, a summer flower, a late bloomer.” “I don’t understand.” She breathed a laugh. “I know. That’s just it! Well, it’s all nothing now, so why not admit what a henwit I’ve been? There’s another way to be an aristo, and that’s marriage. I never cared about status so much as I did about the idea of marriage. With a specific person.” “Marriage,” I repeated, and then a blindingly new idea struck me. “You mean--Branaric?” She shrugged. “I gave it up three summers ago, when I realized that our living like sisters all our lives meant he saw me as one.” “Oh, Ria.” Pain squeezed my heart. “How I wish our lives had gone differently! If Bran were alive--“ “It still wouldn’t have happened,” she murmured. “And I’ve already made my peace with it. That’s an old dream. I’m here now because Debegri will do his best to kill our new dreams.” She nudged me with her elbow. “Truth is, I rather liked being heart-free last summer, except you didn’t notice that, either--you’ve never tried flirting, much less twoing. You just dance the dances to be dancing, you don’t watch the boys watch you when we dance. You don’t watch them dance.” She chuckled softly. “You don’t even peek at the boys’ side at the bathhouse.” I reached back in memory, realized how much I had neglected to notice. Not that it had mattered. My cold lips stretched into a smile. “The boys never looked at me, anyway. Not when they had you to look at.” “Some of that is who you are,” she responded. “They never forgot that. But the rest is that you never cared when they did look at you.” And now it’s too late. But I didn’t say that. Instead, I turned my eyes to those four figures in their steady pacing and let my mind drift back to old memories, summer memories. How much of life had I missed while dedicating myself to Papa’s war?
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
What the fuck was that about?” Vaughn said, standing over me. “I pissed him off.” Dark blue eyes flicking to the restroom, Vaughn reached back and scratched at his shoulder. “All I know is when Judd came back from Texas, he was all hollowed out. Like a ghost, I guess. This morning before his bitch fit, he looked alive again. Whatever you said or did, can’t be that big a deal compared to the shit mood he’s been in lately.” Glancing at the restroom, I wanted to go back to before I said the words. My honesty ruined our happy morning. “You can’t take it personally,” Vaughn added when I just stared at the restroom. “You know how moody Judd is. Always crying and bitching about something. A freaking drama queen.” Grinning, I looked up at him. “Thank you.” “Men like us aren’t used to pretty girls looking at them like you look at Judd. He’s not sure what to do with you and you’re just gonna have to be patient while he figures shit out.” “Okay,” I said, studied him. Whereas Judd hid a deep sorrow and iced heart behind his walls, I sensed Vaughn concealed a barely contained rage. He smiled easily enough, but it was a ruse. Just like Judd who acted like the world didn’t touch him, Vaughn faked his exterior to avoid showing anything to the world. “Why do they call you Outlaw?” I asked. Vaughn sighed. “Because it’s better than calling me dead man walking.” “I don’t understand.” “You don’t need to, darlin. The drama queen returns.” When Judd appeared next to me, his expression was unreadable while kissing me softly. When he pulled away, his gaze flickered to Vaughn. “Thanks.” “You are so premenstrual sometimes.” Grinning, Judd sat down across from me then glanced at Vaughn. “Fuck off.” Vaughn leaned his hip against the side of the booth and sized me up. “What is it about the Smith sisters that makes otherwise strong men lose their balls?” “I have no idea and I’m out of sisters, so I guess you’re out of luck.” “Thank the Lord too. I like my balls attached.
Bijou Hunter (Damaged and the Knight (Damaged, #2))
She shifted gears as they left Worth Avenue, hurtling them along the beach at just sublight speed. “Jesus, Addison, you are so blind,” she finally exploded. “She comes in playing the damsel in distress, and you buy all of it.” “She did n—” “‘Oh, Richard, I need your help,’” she mimicked, doing a startlingly good impression of Patricia’s soft, cultured Brit—especially since the two women had barely spoken a total of five words to one another. “’I’ve left Peter, and I so badly want to make a new start, but I just don’t know how to do it on my own. You’re so big and strong and successful, can’t you see it in your heart to help me?’” Samantha canted her eyes at him. “Did it go a little like that?” Christ. “Maybe,” he hedged. “But—” “See? She wants you back.” “Well, she can’t have me. I’m taken. But she asked for my help, and I’m partially the reason she’s in this position.” “No, she put herself on her back and then you put her in the next position.” “Even so—” “You can’t resist putting on your shining armor, can you?” she said more calmly, blowing out her breath. “And if I know it, then she knows it, too.” “Honestly, Samantha, I think it’s more a matter of Patricia actually being helpless than her acting that way to gain my assistance. I doubt she could find a grocery store on her own, much less the toothpaste aisle.” “But she’s not after toothpaste.” As they stopped at a light, Richard leaned over and grabbed Samantha’s face, kissing her hard on her surprised mouth. “Don’t worry about this. You won’t have to deal with her.” “Maybe not, but you will. And keep in mind that she’s got a subscriber website where she gives advice about how not to get screwed in a divorce.” “She does?” “Yes. Interesting stuff. You really need to spend more time surfing the ’net.” “Shit.” Before Samantha could follow up her smug look with more commentary, he took a breath. “I’ll make dumping the website a condition of my helping her.” “Great. She won’t need the site, anyway, because she’ll be busy screwing you over in person, instead.” “No one screws me over, Samantha. Ever.” “Yet, smart guy. Yet.
Suzanne Enoch (Don't Look Down (Samantha Jellicoe, #2))
He had been right. Kestrel felt better the moment she opened her eyes. Her knee was sore and wrapped in a bandage, but the fevered swelling was gone, and a great deal of pain with it. Her father was standing, his back to her as he looked out the dark window. “You’d better release me from our bargain,” she said. “The military won’t take me now, not with a bad knee.” He turned and echoed her faint smile. “Don’t you wish that were so,” he said. “Painful though it is, this isn’t a serious wound. You’ll be on your feet soon, and walking normally before a month’s out. There’s no permanent damage. If you doubt me and think I’m blinded by my hope to see you become an officer, the doctor will tell you the same thing. She’s in the sitting room.” Kestrel looked at the closed door of her bedroom and wondered why the doctor wasn’t in the room with them now. “I want to ask you something,” her father said. “I’d prefer she didn’t hear.” Suddenly it seemed as if Kestrel’s heart, not her knee, was sore. That it had been cut into, and bled. “What kind of deal did you make with Irex?” her father asked. “What?” He gave her a level look. “The duel was going badly for you. Then Irex held back, and you two seemed to have quite an interesting conversation. When the fighting resumed, it was as if Irex was a different person. He shouldn’t have lost to you--not like that, anyway--unless you said something to make him.” She didn’t know how to respond. When her father had asked his question she was so horribly grateful he wasn’t probing into her reasons for the duel that she missed some of his words. “Kestrel, I just want to make sure that you haven’t given Irex some kind of power over you.” “No.” She sighed, disappointed that her father had seen through her victory. “If anything, he’s in my power.” “Ah. Good. Will you tell me how?” “I know a secret.” “Very good. No, don’t tell me what it is. I don’t want to know.” Kestrel looked at the fire. She let the flames hypnotize her eyes. “Do you think I care how you won?” her father said softly. “You won. Your methods don’t matter.” Kestrel thought about the Herran War. She thought about the suffering her father had brought to this country, and how his actions had led to her becoming a mistress, and Arin a slave. “Do you really believe that?” “Yes,” he said. “I do.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
Love one another, Fathers,” said Father Zossima, as far as Alyosha could remember afterwards. “Love God’s people. Because we have come here and shut ourselves within these walls, we are no holier than those that are outside, but on the contrary, from the very fact of coming here, each of us has confessed to himself that he is worse than others, than all men on earth... And the longer the monk lives in his seclusion, the more keenly he must recognize that. Else he would have had no reason to come here. When he realizes that he is not only worse than others, but that he is responsible to all men for all and everything, for all human sins, national and individual, only then the aim of our seclusion is attained. For know, dear ones, that every one of us is undoubtedly responsible for all men and everything on earth, not merely through the general sinfulness of creation, but each one personally for all mankind and every individual man. This knowledge is the crown of life for the monk and for every man. For monks are not a special sort of men, but only what all men ought to be. Only through that knowledge, our heart grows soft with infinite, universal, inexhaustible love. Then every one of you will have the power to win over the whole world by love and to wash away the sins of the world with your tears... Each of you keep watch over your heart and confess your sins to yourself unceasingly. Be not afraid of your sins, even when perceiving them, if only there be penitence, but make no conditions with God. Again I say, Be not proud. Be proud neither to the little nor to the great. Hate not those who reject you, who insult you, who abuse and slander you. Hate not the atheists, the teachers of evil, the materialists—and I mean not only the good ones—for there are many good ones among them, especially in our day—hate not even the wicked ones. Remember them in your prayers thus: Save, O Lord, all those who have none to pray for them, save too all those who will not pray. And add: it is not in pride that I make this prayer, O Lord, for I am lower than all men... Love God’s people, let not strangers draw away the flock, for if you slumber in your slothfulness and disdainful pride, or worse still, in covetousness, they will come from all sides and draw away your flock. Expound the Gospel to the people unceasingly... be not extortionate... Do not love gold and silver, do not hoard them... Have faith. Cling to the banner and raise it on high.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov (Centaur Classics) [The 100 greatest novels of all time - #8])
But then the cowboy standing in front of you smiles gently and says, “You sure?” Those two simple words opened up the Floodgates of Hell. I smiled and laughed, embarrassed, even as two big, thick tears rolled down both my cheeks. Then I laughed again and blew a nice, clear explosion of snot from my nose. Of all the things that had happened that day, that single moment might have been the worst. “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m doing this,” I insisted as another pair of tears spilled out. I scrambled around the kitchen counter and found a paper towel, using it to dab the salty wetness on my face and the copious slime under my nose. “I am so, so sorry.” I inhaled deeply, my chest beginning to contract and convulse. This was an ugly cry. I was absolutely horrified. “Hey…what’s wrong?” Marlboro Man asked. Bless his heart, he had to have been as uncomfortable as I was. He’d grown up on a cattle ranch, after all, with two brothers, no sisters, and a mother who was likely as lacking in histrionics as I wished I was at that moment. He led a quiet life out here on the ranch, isolated from the drama of city life. Judging from what he’d told me so far, he hadn’t invited many women over to his house for dinner. And now he had one blubbering uncontrollably in his kitchen. I’d better hurry up and enjoy this evening, I told myself. He won’t be inviting me to any more dinners after this. I blew my nose on the paper towel. I wanted to go hide in the bathroom. Then he took my arm, in a much softer grip than the one he’d used on our first date when he’d kept me from biting the dust. “No, c’mon,” he said, pulling me closer to him and securing his arms around my waist. I died a thousand deaths as he whispered softly, “What’s wrong?” What could I possibly say? Oh, nothing, it’s just that I’ve been slowly breaking up with my boyfriend from California and I uninvited him to my brother’s wedding last week and I thought everything was fine and then he called last night after I got home from cooking you that Linguine and Clam Sauce you loved so much and he said he was flying here today and I told him not to because there really wasn’t anything else we could possibly talk about and I thought he understood and while I was driving out here just now he called me and it just so happens he’s at the airport right now but I decided not to go because I didn’t want to have a big emotional drama (you mean like the one you’re playing out in Marlboro Man’s kitchen right now?) and I’m finding myself vacillating between sadness over the end of our four-year relationship, regret over not going to see him in person, and confusion over how to feel about my upcoming move to Chicago. And where that will leave you and me, you big hunk of burning love.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
When I Know I Must Speak Pleasant Words Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones. PROVERBS 16:24 WHAT ARE THE FIRST WORDS you speak to your spouse when you both get up in the morning? Are they pleasant and positive? Are they covered with the love and joy of the Lord? Or are they powered by yesterday’s resentments, disappointments, and unfulfilled expectations? It is of utmost importance that a wife sets the tone of the day for the entire family, but especially for her husband. It is easy for you as a wife to not be ahead of your emotions and thoughts before you talk to your husband in the morning, especially when you have a lot on your plate, too much to do, you don’t feel well, you’re upset at your husband, or you haven’t had enough time with the Lord to get your heart right. And if you have been up in the night, for whatever reason, and haven’t had enough sleep, your mind can be set on a negative track long before your husband wakes up. You may have already thought up many things you want to communicate to him that do not include pleasant words. If you dive in with these issues before he is ready to talk, it can set the day on the wrong course. The thing to do, right when you wake up in the morning, is ask God to give you pleasant words that bring “sweetness to the soul” of your husband when you first see him—even if you don’t think he deserves it at that moment. When God gives you the right attitude first thing in the morning, you’ll see what a difference it makes in your day and night. Your husband will respond differently than he would if your words were harsh. A soft word can turn away much suffering and bring great healing. It’s not worth it to start your day any other way. My Prayer to God LORD, I pray You would help me to pause every morning when I wake up to thank You for the day and ask You to fill me afresh with Your love and joy, so that the first words that come out of my mouth to my husband are pleasant. Help me to hesitate before I speak to him for the first time in order to plan how I can set a positive tone for the day. Make me to be a woman with a gentle and loving spirit so that uplifting words flow naturally from me. I pray that the next time I see or talk to my husband, my words will bring sweetness to his soul and health to his body. May they also bring sweetness and health to the very soul of our marriage. I know there are times when pleasant and sweet is not my first reaction. I realize I can sometimes worry and allow thoughts and words that are not glorifying to You. At those times I depend on You to transform me so that I can be a strong conduit for Your love to my husband and family. Help me to be a person he wants to be around. Break in me any bad habits of negative, faithless, or critical thinking. Help me to forgive anything he has done or said that is still in my mind. I release the past to You so I can do what is right today. Help me to always consider the state of my heart before I speak. In Jesus’ name I pray.
Stormie Omartian (The Power of a Praying Wife Devotional)
ROUND UP A lot more can be said, but finally, this is your last lesson in this epic 30 -day quest to become a successful conversationalist. For the past 29 days, you’ve been tutored about different techniques to make things happen, and today you’ll kick start a conversation with more confidence and organization, because you are now a professional in the communication world. There are takeaways that you should not forget as you go forth as a small talk professional. You have learnt and practiced many truths about the nature and composition of small talk, but there are certain ones that should be placed next to your heart: Small talk may be seen as a waste of time, but it is actually time well spent; take note of this important point, people might want to convince and confuse you. Small talk with personal meaning orientation will scratch business shop talk off any time. Small talk should now be seen as an effective tool that is available right next to you and can be a gateway to success. You still have the chance to go back to the previous chapters you struggled with, this way, you’ll review and assimilate the important points, no one is an island of knowledge, and so I don’t expect you to have everything registered in your brain already, constant practices will bring out the best in you. Identifying your weakness is just as important as acknowledging your strength. I want to assure you that you’ll definitely excel since you’ve been able to lay hands on this book, and this how you can help others who are still in the position that you were when you started in day one. You’ve been instructed about many secrets of success, as well as the things to exploit and avoid. It’s up to you to make this permanent, and this can only be achieved if you keep following these instructions. You have to make the decision now; whether you would make use of this manual or not, but I would advise that you want it again and again as this is the only way to dedicate your spirit, soul and body to constant improvement. You definitely would have noticed some changes in you, you’re not the same person any more. One important thing is that you shouldn’t give up; try to redouble your efforts and realize that you know everything you’re supposed to know. This shouldn’t end here, endeavour to spread the word to make sure that you impact at least three people per day, this means that you would have impacted about 90 people at the end of the next 30 days and close to about 120 people in just two months. Now, you see how you can make the world a better place? It’s up to you to decide what you want and how you want it to be. Don’t waste this golden opportunity of becoming a professional in communication, you’ll go a long way and definitely be surprised at the rate at which you’ve gone in such a small time. Take time to attend to things that need attention, don’t be too hard on yourself, and don’t go too soft on yourself, you’re one vessel that can’t be manipulated, so you have to be careful and sure about your status on communication skills. On the final note, I would like to congratulate you for reading this to the end, you’ve taken this course because you believe in the powers of small talks, so this shouldn’t be the last time I’m hearing from you. I would look forward to seeing your questions about any confusing aspect in the future. Till then, remain the professional that you are!
Jack Steel (Communication: Critical Conversation: 30 Days To Master Small Talk With Anyone: Build Unbreakable Confidence, Eliminate Your Fears And Become A Social Powerhouse – PERMANENTLY)
Amy, listen to me.  Listen to me.  Don't you ever let them tell you you're ugly!  Don't ever let them tell you you're dirty.  You're a beautiful person, inside and out, thoughtful, sensitive and kind.  I don't care what Sylvanus says, or what anyone else thinks.  You'll find yourself a nice man to marry someday, and if your family's trying to convince you otherwise, it's only because they have an unpaid servant in you and they don't want to lose you." He heard what sounded like a gulp, then a sniffle. "Amy?" "I — I'm sorry, Ch-Charles.  No one's ever said anything like that to me before, and . . . and I j-just don't know what to make of it —" "Oh, God, don't cry.  I don't know how to deal with tearful females, truly I don't." "I c-can't help it, you're being so nice to me, saying that I'm beautiful when really, I'm not, and — "You are beautiful, Amy, and don't you ever forget it." "You can't say that, you've never even seen me!" "Come here." "I am here." "Come closer, then, and let me judge the issue for myself." She did. "Now, place my hands on your face." Sniffling, she took his hands within her own.  Or tried to, given that hers were half the size of his and dainty as a bird's foot. And then she raised them to her face, placing one on each hot, tearstained cheek. The minute he felt her flesh beneath his, Charles knew this was a mistake.  A big mistake.  But to stop now would crush her. "Ah, Amy.  How can you think you're ugly?  Your skin is so soft that it feels like roses after a morning rain." "It's too dark.  Bronzy.  Not at all the color of Ophelia's and Mildred's." "And who says skin has to be milk-white to be beautiful?" "Well . . . no one, I guess." He gently pressed his thumbs against her cheeks, noting that they were hot with blush, soft as thistledown, and that the delicate bones beneath were high and prominent.  "And look at these cheekbones!  I know women — aristocratic women, mind you — who'd kill for cheekbones like these.  High cheekbones are a mark of great beauty, you know." "High cheekbones are a mark of Indian blood." "Amy." "Yes?" "Stop it." "I'm sorry." He continued on, now tracing the curve of her brow, and the bridge of her nose.  He had lost his eyesight, but it was amazing what his hands could see. "You have a lovely nose," he said. "It's too strong." "No it isn't.  Close your eyes." She did.  He could feel the fragile veneer of her eyelids, trembling faintly beneath his fingertips, and long, long lashes that brushed those cheekbones he had so admired. "What color are your eyes, Amy?" "Brown." "What color brown?  Brown like conkers?  Brown like nutmeg?  Brown like black?" "Brown like mud." "Can you think of a more flattering word?" "No." His hands moved out over her face, learning its shape, before touching the plaited, pinned-up mass of her hair.  It was straight, he could tell that much.  Shiny like glass, as soft as a fern.  He wished it was down. Good God, man, whatever are you thinking?! "My hair's brown, too," Amy said, her voice now a tremulous, barely audible whisper. "Brown like mud?" he cajoled. "No.  Brown like black.  And when the sun comes out, it's got reddish undertones." "It sounds very pretty." "It's not, really.  It's just hair." "Just hair.  Do you ever wear it down?" "No." "Why not?" "It gets in the way of things." "Don't you think that someday, a man will wish to drag his fingers through all this hair?" "No . . . no respectable man." He shook his head, his heart aching for her.  "Oh, Amy." He
Danelle Harmon (The Beloved One (The De Montforte Brothers, #2))
My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky. “Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.” “Every second of the search is an encounter with God,” the boy told his heart. “When I have been truly searching for my treasure, every day has been luminous, because I’ve known that every hour was a part of the dream that I would find it. When I have been truly searching for my treasure, I’ve discovered things along the way that I never would have seen had I not had the courage to try things that seemed impossible for a shepherd to achieve.” So his heart was quiet for an entire afternoon. That night, the boy slept deeply, and, when he awoke, his heart began to tell him things that came from the Soul of the World. It said that all people who are happy have God within them. And that happiness could be found in a grain of sand from the desert, as the alchemist had said. Because a grain of sand is a moment of creation, and the universe has taken millions of years to create it. “Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him,” his heart said. “We, people’s hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them—the path to their Personal Legends, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place. “So, we, their hearts, speak more and more softly. We never stop speaking out, but we begin to hope that our words won’t be heard: we don’t want people to suffer because they don’t follow their hearts.” “Why don’t people’s hearts tell them to continue to follow their dreams?” the boy asked the alchemist. “Because that’s what makes a heart suffer most, and hearts don’t like to suffer.” From then on, the boy understood his heart. He asked it, please, never to stop speaking to him. He asked that, when he wandered far from his dreams, his heart press him and sound the alarm. The boy swore that, every time he heard the alarm, he would heed its message.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
Personality is not the clothes you wear but the mind you carry, the kindness you have inside, owning a soft clean good heart, pious intentions, excellent calm nature, and a genuinely good soul from within is a proper definition of personality
Aiyaz Uddin (The Inward Journey)
It's time to rise,' the voice said, still gently guiding her upward, and the light became brighter still. 'She's waiting for you.' Soon enough she felt the prickling sensation of her limbs awakening, felt that awful heartbeat again, felt the hair hanging in her face, felt the blood crusted around her nostrils and mouth. As she surfaced she let out a quiet, agonized sob but did not open her eyes. 'You're alive,' said the woman's voice, rising an octave in relief. Angrboda felt a calloused hand gently lift her chin, and she felt almost comforted by the touch. She tried dimly to connect the voice with a person. The other woman's fingers moved across her face to the side of her head, to softly brush aside the hair from the bloody crater at the witch's temple, where Thor's hammer had hit home. The woman let out a strangled gasp and a stream of curse words at the sight of it, and Angrboda's brain suddenly put a name to the voice: Skadi.
Genevieve Gornichec (The Witch's Heart)
takes a great deal of character strength to apologize quickly out of one’s heart rather than out of pity. A person must possess himself and have a deep sense of security in fundamental principles and values in order to genuinely apologize. People with little internal security can’t do it. It makes them too vulnerable. They feel it makes them appear soft and weak, and they fear that others will take advantage of their weakness. Their security is based on the opinions of other people, and they worry about what others might think. In addition, they usually feel justified in what they did. They rationalize their own wrong in the name of the other person’s wrong, and if they apologize at all, it’s superficial.
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)
Hang on, little guy,” she said gently. Once more, Elsa waved her hands. A swirl of cold air shot out of her fingertips and wrapped itself around Olaf, instantly refreezing him. Then, just to be safe, she created a small cloud from which a soft snow fell constantly. “Hey!” Olaf shouted happily, wobbling this way and that and laughing as the cloud followed him. “My own personal flurry!
Walt Disney Company (Disney Frozen: A Frozen Heart)
We opened a second bottle of Merlot on the soft leather of our pretty mint-green couch. I’d been intoxicated only a handful of instances in my life. Bittersweet truth blooming, a dandelion in my heart, I confessed to him that I was feeling rootless. I whispered in the small cave of my love’s ear, “I am a lost ship.
Aspen Matis (Your Blue Is Not My Blue: A Missing Person Memoir)
Don't be upset that you can't attain constant happiness. It's the quickest way to feel like a failure in life. If each of our lives represented a page in a book, happiness would be the punctuation. It breaks up the parts that are too long. It closes off some things, divides others. But it's brief-showing up when it's needed and filling tired paragraphs with breaks. Being content is a more attainable constant state. To love your fate without being drunk on euphoria. Brave, determined acceptance removed of bitterness. Be gentle with yourself. Embrace the lows so that you can more effectively enjoy the highs. Love the fight. Love it so much, and let it save you when your emotional muscles have become soft. Kit and I have that. Sometimes, so much joy our hearts ache from it. Sometimes, we have sadness when we're away from Annie or Port Townsend. We feel torn between all the things we love. We fight; we make love. I don't see Muslim again. And after one phone call, I never speak to him again. I hear plenty about him, and I remember our time. And I wonder if you have space in your heart for more than one person. I think you do.
Tarryn Fisher (F*ck Love)
So, in the narrow room with no light, she draws a sun and a moon on her daughter's back. She draws a lake of clear water and a heart. And then, she draws a kneeling person with breasts. "Why is she kneeling? "Ming asks. "Why do you think?" "Because she is tired?" "Yes, she is tired," Qingxin says, "but not too tired to hold her child." She draws a child by the woman. "That's us: you holding me." "Yes, that's us."And she lets her hand rest in her daughter's soft, unscarred back.
Ye Chun (Hao: Stories)
i hope that one day the person who hurt you sees you from afar dancing in the radiance of your unburdened spirit and standing strong in your fully mended bones… and that for just a moment you feel their gaze, so you can forever know, without question, the powerlessness of their perception over you
butterflies rising
when you can trust that every word a person says to you is true you can feel it in your bones, how it’s safe to just believe in them. and there’s nothing in the world like that feeling… good intentions are like magic.
butterflies rising
His shoulders were straight, his back erect. He looked like a man. Like a king. It was impossible for such a thing to have occurred; and when would it have happened? Otho was a drunk and a womanizer. What did he know of love? Dorian spun Celaena with speed and dexterity, and she snapped into his arms, her shoulders rising with exhilaration. But she wasn’t in love with him—Otho hadn’t said that. He had seen no attachment on her part. And Celaena would never be that stupid. It was Dorian who was the fool—Dorian who would have his heart broken, if he did actually love her. Unable to look at his friend any longer, the Captain of the Guard left the ball. Kaltain watched in rage and agony as Lillian Gordaina and the Crown Prince of Adarlan danced and danced and danced. Even with a much more concealing mask, she would have recognized the upstart. And what sort of a person wore gray to a ball? Kaltain looked down at her dress and smiled. Bright shades of blue, emerald, and soft brown, her gown and matching peacock mask had cost as much as a small house. It was all a gift from Perrington, of course, along with the jewelry that decorated much of her neck and arms. It was certainly not the dull, drab mess of crystal that the conniving harlot wore. Perrington stroked her arm, and Kaltain turned to him with fluttering eyelashes. “You look handsome tonight, my love,” she said, adjusting a gold chain across his red tunic. His face quickly matched the color of his clothes. She wondered if she could bear the repulsion of kissing him. She could always keep refusing, just as she had for the past
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
The proximity of Mr. Brooks disrupting her personal space made Ava’s spine straighten, the blood wakening her brain and tickling her senses as she became as still as mouse right before a cat pounced on its prey. Besides the heat radiating from his mass, it was the top notes of his cologne—mint, lavender, and cinnamon—that coiled around her emotions, slowing her heartbeat to the kind of rhythm usually reserved for the deepest of dreams. However, the spicier notes of his scent hit the back of her throat, the cedar, amber, and sandalwood making her heart flutter like the wings of a hummingbird. His scent was equal parts freshness and softness as it was strength and sensuality.
Holly Dixon (ILLICIT AFFAIRS)
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Royal Haven
She blinked a few times, focusing on his form in the shadows, and then a soft smile spread across her face. In that moment, she gutted him. No one had looked at him like a person in such a long time, without pity or fear. She just opened her eyes and smiled at him. As if he was finally where he belonged.
Emma Hamm (Heart of the Fae (The Otherworld, #1))
Don’t worry about your schedule, your business, your family, or your friends. Just focus with me and really open your mind. In your mind’s eye, see yourself going to the funeral of a loved one. Picture yourself driving to the funeral parlor or chapel, parking the car, and getting out. As you walk inside the building, you notice the flowers, the soft organ music. You see the faces of friends and family you pass along the way. You feel the shared sorrow of losing, the joy of having known, that radiates from the hearts of the people there. As you walk down to the front of the room and look inside the casket, you suddenly come face-to-face with yourself. This is your funeral, three years from today. All these people have come to honor you, to express feelings of love and appreciation for your life. As you take a seat and wait for the services to begin, you look at the program in your hand. There are to be four speakers. The first is from your family, immediate and also extended—children, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents who have come from all over the country to attend. The second speaker is one of your friends, someone who can give a sense of what you were as a person. The third speaker is from your work or profession. And the fourth is from your church or some community organization where you’ve been involved in service. Now think deeply. What would you like each of these speakers to say about you and your life? What kind of husband, wife, father, or mother would you like their words to reflect? What kind of son or daughter or cousin? What kind of friend? What kind of working associate? What character would you like them to have seen in you? What contributions, what achievements would you want them to remember? Look carefully at the people around you. What difference would you like to have made in their lives? Before you read further, take a few minutes to jot down your impressions. It will greatly increase your personal understanding of Habit 2.
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Revised and Updated: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change)
The root chakra is responsible for the processes of life and the place in physical reality to provide a brief overview. The sacral chakra reflects on imagination, individuality, addiction and the child within. The solar plexus talks about your personal power and the way you live your life. The chakra of the heart is responsible for your ability to be soft and loving towards yourself and others, to remain protected while still open and loving. The throat chakra speaks to your authenticity and good communication skills. The third eye chakra is centered on your intuition and your ability to balance both physical reality and mental chatter; and the crown chakra is about being able to see more than one perspective and be open minded.
Adrian Satyam (Energy Healing: 6 in 1: Medicine for Body, Mind and Spirit. An extraordinary guide to Chakra and Quantum Healing, Kundalini and Third Eye Awakening, Reiki and Meditation and Mindfulness.)
It's truthfully difficult growing up a woman. When I was a girl, we lived in a small town for the most part and nobody cared to know about anything other than what they already knew. And I was something they didn't know. I really think it was harder for me than the average... girls hate you when you're adorable. Every girl in a small town wants to be the only one worth loving and I've always just had this champagne-bottle personality, unafraid to be soft. But girls took that from me, they really did. They hurt me until I had to toughen up. The best thing about being a woman is that, by now, I've learned how becoming even more like myself is more powerful than any tough exterior I could ever put on. They hate that. It really kills them.
C. JoyBell C.
the person you are meant to be with will be fascinated by you… completely and breathtakingly fascinated by you.
butterflies rising
heartbreak has this way of making your world seem so small, just taking everything that has meaning and collapsing it into one single story, with only one other person, and just one version of yourself, in just one version of life, with what feels like no way out, and as if there is nothing more to know but this world is too wide, and this universe is too big, and you are just. too. beautiful, and there is just way too much inside of you… for you to let this be the end this isn’t the end…
butterflies rising
on forced forgiveness… not everything finds peace through forgiveness. it just doesn’t. and trying to force something you don’t authentically feel can not only keep you from healing, but it can also be a reinjury to your spirit. sometimes you just feel it in you, how forgiveness is asking too much of you, and it’s not because you’re holding on, it’s because sometimes the burden of that shift, that closure, that resolution, it isn’t your work. it’s the other person’s energy to move, and you cannot move energy for others. with those things, let it be ok that all they ask of you is to breathe through and release.
butterflies rising
that person whose broken pieces fit into your broken pieces isn’t the one they may keep the bed warm, but they’re keeping you from whole… just pretending that being broken feels like home and you can only romanticize bad habits for so long, before the ache to yourself calls you home
butterflies rising
When you have softness and precision at the same time, the lotus of awakened heart is blossoming within you. The lotus always blooms in the mud. You are willing to give birth to this beautiful lotus flower in the muddy waters of your life. For the first time, you realize that you are a candidate to be a wakeful person.
Chögyam Trungpa (Mindfulness in Action: Making Friends with Yourself through Meditation and Everyday Awareness)
my heart is tethered to a soul i’ve always known, in a person i’ve yet to find imprint.
butterflies rising
It is pretty difficult to imagine a single person having, simultaneously, the characteristics of the serpent and the dove, but this is what Jesus expects. We must combine the toughness of the serpent and the softness of the dove, a tough mind and a tender heart.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Strength to Love)
Give An African Child Or Adult A Enabled Environment And Proper Facilities Like In The West And See The Many Great Wonders That Would Be Manifested Through This Often Criticized Race. In My Own Case I Was More Fortunate, But Later Transformed From A Soft Heart Person To A Very Stubborn And Stone Heart Person To Enable Me Push On Through. All Those Who Knew Me Could Tell You Of Me Very Well Home And Abroad.
Baba Tunde Ojo-Olubiyo
Music isn’t there other than that it’s heard, and yet it paints some of the most beautiful and concrete images in the world. It is the immaterial made into the only matter which exists in such a state as to be both solid and yet thin as smoke at the same time. In that sense music is like time and time is like music. Music makes pictures using sounds and time in and of itself can paint in colors that only the mind sees and the heart feels. In the Wilderness of Lunacy I mentioned the color of time and broke it down. This is the same here. Time has its own colors and moods. Mornings are soft and bright in pinks, yellows, and oranges. The early hours stretch across the sky in darkening shades of blue with long white minutes sprinkled across them. When the hours reach noon, they have been stretched taut so that all things are all colors reflected in white light, so from eleven to three we live in perfect brightness. The hours darken their shades of blue throughout the day until darkness comes and cools everything in deep pinks and purples until the sky is so deep a shade of blue that it becomes all colors absorbed in the cold. Time is colored by the day but also by emotions. A melancholy day is gray no matter how the sky might appear just as a happy day can be bright and cheery in the midst of a violent rain storm. Mood alters time and therefore time is colored by a person’s emotional perception. Again, perception is the key to anything and everything. All you have to do to make the day a better one is to focus on and imagine the color of the time around you. If your day is going bad, time is gray and dark around you, think about the joy that has been and could be. Change the color of the time around you. It’s up to you what you do with your time.
Jacob Glidewell (Different Shade of Normal: A Journal of Schizophrenic Thoughts)
But he makes the choice difficult!” Lou objected. “Yes,” Yusuf stepped in. “He likely does, Lou. But difficult choices are still choices. No one, whatever their actions, can deprive us of the ability to choose our own way of being. Difficult people are nevertheless people, and it always remains in our power to see them that way.” “And then get eaten up by them,” Lou muttered. “That’s not what he’s saying, Lou!” Carol pleaded. “Seeing someone as a person doesn’t mean you have to be soft. The Saladin story showed us that. Even war is possible with a heart at peace. But you know that, Lou. You’ve been here the whole time I have, and you’re a smart man. Which means that if these are really still questions for you, then you are refusing to hear. Why, Lou? Why are you refusing to hear?
The Arbinger Institute (The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict)
Scholars have said that if you want to know whether or not your heart is hard, then look at your eye. If it is dry and unmoved to tears, this is an indication of a hard heart. This is called jumūd al-ʿayn or “an unmoved eye.” A person who has sympathy and softness in the heart is said to have a moistened eye.
Hamza Yusuf (Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart)
He looks at me with chocolate brown eyes that are so intense I swear they could hypnotize someone. “You ready?” he asks. For a nanosecond, as I’m staring into those dark eyes, I wonder what it would be like to kiss Alex. My gaze drops to his lips. For less than a nanosecond, I can almost feel them coming closer. Would his lips be hard on mine, or soft? Is he a slow kisser, or hungry and fast like his personality? “For what?” I whisper as I lean closer. “The project,” he says. “Hand warmers. Peterson’s class. Chemistry.” I shake my head, clearing all ridiculous thoughts from my overactive teenage mind. I must be sleep-deprived. “Yeah, hand warmers.” I open my chem book. “Brittany?” “What?” I say, staring blindly at the words on the page. I have no clue what I’m reading because I’m too embarrassed to concentrate. “You were lookin’ at me like you wanted to kiss me.” I force a laugh. “Yeah, right,” I say sarcastically. “Nobody’s watchin’ if you want to, you know, try it. Not to brag, but I’m somewhat of an expert.” He gives me a lazy smile, one that was probably created to melt girls’ hearts all over the globe. “Alex, you’re not my type.” I need to tell him something to stop him from looking at me like he’s planning to do things to me I’ve only heard about.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
When my eyes meet his gaze as we’re sitting here staring at each other, time stops. Those eyes are piercing mine, and I can swear at this moment he senses the real me. The one without the attitude, without the façade. Just Brittany. “What would it take for you to go out with me?” he asks. “You’re not serious.” “Do I look like I’m jokin’?” Mrs. Peterson wanders by us, saving me from answering. “I’m keeping my eyes on you two. Alex, we missed you last week. What happened?” “I kinda fell onto a knife.” She shakes her head in disbelief, then moves away to harass other partners. I look at Alex, wide-eyed. “A knife? You’re kidding, right?” “Nope. I was cuttin’ a tomato, and wouldn’t ya know the thing flung up and sliced my shoulder open. The doc stapled me back together. Wanna see?” he asks as he starts pulling up his sleeve. I slap a hand over my eyes. “Alex, don’t gross me out. And I don’t believe for one second a knife flung out of your hand. You were in a knife fight.” “You never answered my question,” he says, not admitting or denying my theory about his wound. “What would it take for you to go out with me?” “Nothing. I wouldn’t go out with you.” “I bet if we make out you’ll change your mind.” “As if that’ll ever happen.” “Your loss.” Alex stretches his long legs in front of him, his chem book resting in his lap. He looks at me with chocolate brown eyes that are so intense I swear they could hypnotize someone. “You ready?” he asks. For a nanosecond, as I’m staring into those dark eyes, I wonder what it would be like to kiss Alex. My gaze drops to his lips. For less than a nanosecond, I can almost feel them coming closer. Would his lips be hard on mine, or soft? Is he a slow kisser, or hungry and fast like his personality? “For what?” I whisper as I lean closer. “The project,” he says. “Hand warmers. Peterson’s class. Chemistry.” I shake my head, clearing all ridiculous thoughts from my overactive teenage mind. I must be sleep-deprived. “Yeah, hand warmers.” I open my chem book. “Brittany?” “What?” I say, staring blindly at the words on the page. I have no clue what I’m reading because I’m too embarrassed to concentrate. “You were lookin’ at me like you wanted to kiss me.” I force a laugh. “Yeah, right,” I say sarcastically. “Nobody’s watchin’ if you want to, you know, try it. Not to brag, but I’m somewhat of an expert.” He gives me a lazy smile, one that was probably created to melt girls’ hearts all over the globe. “Alex, you’re not my type.” I need to tell him something to stop him from looking at me like he’s planning to do things to me I’ve only heard about. “You only like white guys?” “Stop that,” I say through gritted teeth. “What?” he says, getting all serious. “It’s the truth, ain’t it?
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
I need some time for the rest. I just don’t take something like marriage lightly. If I do it, I’ll mean it, and I won’t change my mind. But I think you’d do it right now for all the wrong reasons.” “Does this have anything to do with the guy you didn’t let stay last night?” he asked. “My boyfriend?” she asked, smiling. She knew it was naughty to taunt him like that; she wasn’t thinking of T.J. as a boyfriend at the moment. “It would be nice of me to tell him if things change in my personal life. But until I have matters settled…” “No, Franci, tell him matters are settled. You won’t be dating him!” “And the woman who keeps calling you?” “What woman?” he asked. “Your phone keeps picking up text messages and voice mails. That has to be a woman.” He took a deep breath. This didn’t seem like a good time to lie, just as he was trying to close a deal. “I dated this girl a few times back at Beale and I told her I wasn’t getting into a steady thing. When I went on leave, I told her we had to cool it because it wasn’t working for me, but she’s deaf. I thought when I left town for a couple of months she’d let it go, but she’s hounding me. I’m going to call her, Franci, and tell her I’m off the market. That I’m getting married. She won’t call anymore. Now, come on.” “Poor thing,” Franci said. “She might be as sick in love with you as I was.” “As you were?” he asked, a little frightened of the answer. “And I said I’m not marrying you.” “Okay, let me get this right—I suggested marriage and you said no?” “How about that? What a shocker, huh?” “Well, what the hell am I supposed to do? I thought that’s what I should do!” “Okay, you still don’t get it. We don’t want to because you’re doing what you should. Listen carefully, Sean. I want you to be absolutely sure you want to commit to a life with me and Rosie, because you don’t have to marry me to have time with your daughter. She’s your daughter—I won’t get in the way of that. Though I have to admit, the way you suggested marriage really just knocked me off my feet.” He would never admit it to anyone, but her refusal gave him an instant feeling of relief. He wasn’t ready to take it all on. But it would sure make things tidier if they could just do it the way it probably should be done. He slid close to her and, before she could protest, pulled her right up against him. “You wanna get knocked off your feet, sweetheart? Because we both know we do that to each other.” He put a big hand around the back of her neck and ran his thumb from her earlobe to the hollow of her throat. Then he kissed that spot. “I want you with me, Franci. Tonight, and from now on.” “Sean,” she said gravely, “when you rejected me four years ago, there were times I wondered if I’d lost my mind and my heart. The things we said to each other—I don’t want to risk a marriage like that. After we split and I moved to Santa Rosa, sometimes I grieved so badly I worried that I was hurting the baby with endless crying, sleepless nights, loss of appetite. I just can’t face something like that again.” He ran a knuckle across her soft cheek. “Baby, I didn’t reject you. I wanted to be with you—I just had a hang-up with marriage.” “Well, now the shoe’s on the other foot. Suck it up.” Life
Robyn Carr (Angel's Peak (Virgin River #10))
you treat them like they have a heart like yours but not everyone can be as soft and as tender you don’t see the person they are you see the person they have the potential to be you give and give till they pull everything out of you and leave you empty
Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey)
you treat them like they have a heart like yours but not everyone can be as soft and as tender you don’t see the person they are you see the person they have the potential to be you give and give till they pull everything out of you and leave you empty
Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey)
No, really. You and Charles are — were — two different people, and I should never have compared you to him." "Whyever not?"  He tried to laugh it off, but his anger showed in his voice, and the words were out before he could stop them. "Everyone else always did." Immediately, her eyes darkened with sympathy, with understanding, with pity. She took a step forward. Gareth raised his hand, stopping her. "I told you when we first met that if there's anything I'm good at, it's making a mess of things. And I've made a fine mess of this, haven't I?" Her heart in her eyes, she took another step forward, slowly reaching out to lay her hand on his sleeve. "You didn't make this mess, Gareth." "No. Charles did, didn't he? My brother the saint, who never put a foot wrong, never gave anyone cause to blush for him, never made a mistake, never earned himself a caning, a whipping, a bad reputation. By God!  Who would've thought." She merely stood there, her hand burning a hole through his sleeve. He glanced sullenly at her, expecting — maybe even wanting — her to react, to snap back at him, so they could have it out right then and there and start their marriage with the air cleared between them. But she did not. "Aren't you even going to defend him?" he asked hotly. "Start proclaiming his virtue, his perfection, his god-awful sinless glory?" She flinched, sadness filling her eyes. "No."  Then, softly, she added, "Besides, he wasn't perfect." "Wasn't he?" "Of course not. As my grandmother always said, there was only one perfect person to ever walk this earth, and God took him back." Gareth
Danelle Harmon (The Wild One (The de Montforte Brothers, #1))
You told your brother and some guy I don’t even know the things I told you in confidence.” “Yes.” She dropped her gaze to the floor. “I’m not sure this helps, but Charlie knows Logan.” “You talked to Charlie?” “Yes, he helped us with the details I didn’t know.” “So you went behind my back, talked to my friends, and told your brothers and some guy everything.” She pressed her lips together. “Yes.” “And you told them things about the blackmail that’s not public knowledge.” Maddie swallowed hard as her throat constricted. “I did.” “I trusted you with information about my family that nobody knows.” “Mitch, I’d never jeopardize you or your family. I’d never tell them if I didn’t trust them implicitly. You know that.” She had to make him understand. He leaned forward, putting elbows on his knees. “I want you to leave.” “What? No. Let me explain.” The blood rushed in her ears as a wave of hot dizziness engulfed her. Fear and desperation warred inside her. “I’m sorry, but you wouldn’t listen.” “You didn’t ask.” Flat. She wrung her hands. “You would have said no.” “I see,” he said, so coldly that it was like being doused with a bucket of ice water. “So that makes it right? You didn’t think I’d agree, so you went behind my back, talked to my friends, your family, and some black-ops guy, revealing the things I’ve told you in private, because you know best?” She bit the inside of her cheek. “Yes, the same way you went behind my back and stalled the repairs on my car so I wouldn’t leave.” His head snapped back. “That’s not the same thing, Maddie.” “You lied, just like me. You went behind my back. Just like me.” She hoped he could see reason, but his expression said otherwise. “I told you those things,” he said through gritted teeth, “because I thought I could trust you.” “You can.” Her stomach clenched. “The evidence says otherwise, now doesn’t it?” Cold, cold words. Tears sprang to her eyes. “Please understand, I did it for you.” “No, you didn’t. You did it for you,” he scoffed, shaking his head. “Tell me something. Why are you so interested in meddling in my life when you have your own to worry about?” She reared back, stepping toward the door, unable to figure out how to handle this dead, cold Mitch who treated her like a stranger. “I wanted to help you.” “You know how you could have helped me?” There was a cruel twist to his lips. “By being the one fucking person who didn’t betray me.” “I didn’t. That’s not what . . .” She trailed off, feeling helpless. She hung her head and said softly, “I’d never betray you.” “Bullshit. If you thought what you were doing was right, you would have talked to me. ” This ice. She’d prepared for fire, for burning anger, not this. She had no defense. No plan. She walked over to him and fell to her knees, taking his hands in hers. He didn’t even flinch. It was like he was made of stone, and she met his eyes. Hard chips of gold. “Mitch, I’m sorry, I wanted to help.” He studied her as though she was a stranger. “You need to leave now.” The words were a crushing blow, threatening to break her. She did the only thing she could think of and confessed the truth. “I love you.” His mouth firmed. Eyes flashing, he pulled away and stood, moving around her and going over to the window that overlooked the nearly deserted parking lot. “I need you to leave.” Her heart shattered into a million pieces and desolation swept over her. She hadn’t felt anything like this since her father had died and she’d woken in a hospital bed. That same heavy weight crushed her chest, numbing her limbs. Tears spilled onto her cheeks and she wiped them away. Her voice trembled as she spoke, already knowing the answer but unable to keep from asking the question. “Is there anything I can do?” “Yes.” His tone was distant and unreachable. “Leave.” There
Jennifer Dawson (Take a Chance on Me (Something New, #1))
I guess there’s nothing else to say.” “Oh, I don’t know about that,” he said, crooking a finger. “Come here.” Her throat went dry, and her heart gave a thud. On instinct, she shook her head. His expression turned ruthlessly intent. “Maddie, I’ve been thinking about that mouth of yours for almost twenty-four hours straight. You don’t think I’m going to let you go without touching you, do you?” Had it only been one day? How was that even possible? It seemed as though a lifetime had passed since she’d run out on her wedding. “Um . . .” She swallowed hard and squeaked out, “Yes?” A long pause filled with sexual awareness so thick it practically coated the air. How did he do it, flip the mood? Only moments ago, she’d felt bereft, but with one wicked glance she’d forgotten everything dogging her. “I’ll tell you what.” He smiled, and it was so filled with cunning that the fine hairs on her neck rose in anticipation. “Tell me you won’t regret it and we can end things right here with a friendly pat on the back.” “I-I d-don’t know what you mean,” she lied, loving and hating the direction the conversation had taken. “Do I need to spell it out?” “No?” The word was a question instead of the statement she’d intended. “You want to take care of yourself, right?” She nodded, sensing a trap but unable to stop playing into his hands. He leaned close, placing his elbow on the console, taking up every spare inch of breathing room. “You’re ready to ditch the good Catholic girl and start doing what you want?” The strange mixture of lust and irritation he evoked pulled in her stomach. “Well, when you put it that way.” The curve of his lips held a distinct sexual tilt. “If you get out of this car untouched, tell me you won’t lie in bed late at night and regret it. Tell me you won’t wonder and wish you’d done things differently.” Her pulse hammered and her throat dried up, leaving her unable to breathe, let alone speak. He stroked a path over the line of her jaw, and Maddie forced her eyes to stay open instead of fluttering closed from sheer desire. Why did it feel like an eternity since he’d touched her? Even more troubling, why did his hands feel so right? The slightly rough pads of his fingers trailed down the curve of her neck, leaving an explosion of tingles coursing through her. “And remember, Princess,” he said, in a deep rumble of a voice that vibrated through her as though he were her own personal tuning fork. “Lying is a sin.” She gasped, sucking in the last available bit of air left in the car. “That’s a low blow.” He gave a seductive laugh, filled with heat and promise and the kind of raw passion she’d always dreamed about. “I’m not above playing dirty.” A sly smirk as he rubbed a lazy circle over skin she hadn’t known was sensitive. “In fact, I think you prefer it that way.” “I do not!” Her heart beating far too fast, she clutched at the credit card hard enough to snap it in two. “Liar.” He slipped under the collar of her T-shirt to wrap a possessive hand around the nape of her neck. “I’m waiting.” She gritted her teeth to keep from moaning. How did one man feel so good? Hot and sinful. Irresistible. She whispered, “For what?” “My answer,” he said, inching closer. Their mouths mere inches away. She swallowed hard. The truth sat on the tip of her tongue, and for once in her life, she decided to speak it instead of stuffing it back down. “I’d regret it.” “Exactly,” he said, the word a soft breath against her skin. The pad of his thumb brushed over her bottom lip, sliding over the dampness until it felt swollen. Needy. “I can’t live with myself unless I’ve tasted this mouth.” This
Jennifer Dawson (Take a Chance on Me (Something New, #1))
I went into the ministry to use the church to elicit political change according to a soft Marxist vision of wealth distribution and proletarian empowerment. Edrita [his wife] could sense that I was on a long and uncertain path. She was always more conservative than I, but she did share my basic social values and was willing at least to let me test my political follies...Whenever I read the New Testament after 1950, I was trying to read it entirely without its crucial premises of incarnation and resurrection. That required a lot of circular reasoning for me to establish what the text said. I habitually assumed that truth in religion was finally reducible to economics (with Marx) or psychosexual motives (with Freud) or self assertive power (with Nietzsche). It was truly a self-deceptive time for me, but I had no inkling of its insidious dangers.
Thomas C. Oden (A Change of Heart: A Personal and Theological Memoir)
Over the last few years the counselling, the friendships and the holistic therapies she has embraced have enabled her to win back her personality, a character which has been smothered by her husband, the royal system, and the public’s expectations towards their fairy-tale princess. The woman behind the mask is not a flighty, skittish young thing nor a vision of saintly perfection. She is, however, a much quieter, introverted and private person than many would like to believe. As Carolyn Bartholomew says: “She has never liked the media although they’ve been friends to her. Actually she has always been shy of them.” As she has matured over the last three years the physical changes in her have been noticeable. When she asked Sam McKnight to cut her hair in a shorter sportier style it was a public statement of the way she felt she had altered. Her voice, too, is a barometer of the way she has matured. When she speaks of the “dark ages”, her tone is flat and soft, almost fading to nothing, as though dredging thoughts from a dim recess of her heart which she only visits with trepidation. When she is feeling “centered”. And in charge of herself her voice is lively, colourful and brimming with wry amusement. When Oonagh Toffolo first visited Diana at Kensington Palace in September 1989 she observed that the Princess was timid and would never look her straight in the eye. She says: “Over the last two years she has got in touch with her own nature and has found a new confidence and sense of liberation which she had never known before.” Her observation is borne out by others. As one friend who first met Diana in 1989 recalls: “My initial impression was of a very shy and retiring person. She bowed her head low and hardly looked at me when she spoke. Diana emanated such sadness and vulnerability that I just wanted to give her a hug. She has matured enormously since that time. She now has a purpose in life and is no longer the lost soul of that first meeting.
Andrew Morton (Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words)
Paulette awoke with an ache in her heart, a grinding in her gut. If there really was a God, why would He have let anyone put a child through that? … She had survived, but at what cost? She was an itinerant professor, living in her head, not her heart. She had broken away, but abandoned her sister; hadn’t contacted her family in years. Paulette wondered what she was looking for in these weekend workshops. Absolution wasn’t on the curriculum. What could she possibly hope to accomplish? To be a healer you need to connect with people. You need to touch, and let yourself be touched. And not just with your hands. Watching these nurses, she envied them their friendships. Here were real buddies truly caring about each other, taking jabs, sharing private jokes and fears. She’d never had that. Even witnessing it from across a room, or a yard, only made her feel that much more lonely. She got along with people well enough. Agreed with whatever they said, watched their pets, helped them move from one apartment to another. But no one really knew her. Paulette had never been flush with self-confidence. People took that as humility, but humility isn’t painful and crippling. She hadn’t yet learned that humble and self-destructive aren’t the same thing at all. They’re not even on the same team. And now here she was at a workshop for healers. Had she come here to heal; or to be healed? It was one of those warm, charming days that write poems about themselves, and then settle these very softly into your mind. Paulette sensed what felt like a rain-laced breeze stirring her soul; sodden, and yet beautiful; laden with both the dismal, and the promising. - From “The Gardens of Ailana”, a fiction largely based around adults still traumatized by having been abused as children, in the name of their parents’ religion.
Edward Fahey (The Gardens of Ailana)
I watched him play every perfect chord as if it were an entire song, every song as if it were a grand sonata. The old man was lost in the captivating music and I was lost too—in his commanding presence, in his seamless movement, in his unmatched talent. His fingers floated effortlessly over the worn strings of the acoustic guitar, each one crossing over the other with calming ease. I found it hard to distinguish where one part ended and another began, inspiring and stirring my soul like a miracle. Elsie watched him with great intent, with great wonder, as did I. Then she got up from her leather armchair in the corner, walked over to the parlor grand piano, and joined in just as the song began to swell to its airy peak. They played together flawlessly, a man and a woman, for what could have been the thousandth time. Yet as I watched them, as the music filled me like the warmth of coming home, I could see it was new to them too, though ancestral and old. I was swept away, amazed at how each part was so distinct, so solitary in and of itself, and how yet it could only capture its full potential, its full beauty, as a part of something greater. I thought of how we are all pieces of music, of how one person would cease to swell without the other, of how the part that moves us the most freely in ourselves might not exist at all. I watched Johnny as he continued to strum, then Elsie as her fingers darted from place to place on the keys of the piano. The music swept over me like a memory of summertime, and I closed my eyes, letting it take me where it would, to a place so strikingly beautiful that everything else was silently perfect, letting the melody lead the moment. The hopeful sound filled my expectant ears and my emotions felt new again, as if I were a child, the moment peacefully pure, like rocking a newborn back to sleep. Wet streams of tears escaped my soft, emotional eyes as I let the notes take their full effect. To Johnny and Elsie, music was a language that didn't require words. In fact, it exceeded them. For what was flowing from the withered hands of the couple before me now was in itself perfection. Words could only ruin a moment this pure. As I watched them, I realized I wanted to care about anything as much as they did about music. A tear ran down my cheek as the last note hung softly, like a butterfly might hang on air. I decided right then that some things in life were much too beautiful not to cry about. This, I now knew, was one of them.
Emily Nelson
And the winner is,” he sings. He waits, opening the folded piece of paper slowly, drawing out the suspense. I can barely hear him over my own heartbeat, which is thumping like crazy. Is it too late to back out? Shit. I don’t want to do this. “The winner is the person who guessed twelve hundred and forty-eight!” The crowd is silent, and all the participants look to one another. But then I hear a thump, thump, thump, thump as someone comes up the stairs onto the platform. I see the baseball cap before I see the rest of him, and I hope to God that’s Sean’s cap. But Sean didn’t even buy a ticket. Not a single one. Yet it’s his brown gaze that meets mine. It’s his baseball cap, and they are his tattoos. They’re his broad shoulders and his long strides that eat up the distance between us. He turns his hat backward and looks down at me. He stops with less than an inch to spare between us. “Congratulations,” I squeak out. “You didn’t even buy a ticket. How did you…?” “I bought one hundred and forty-two tickets, dummy,” he says. My heart trips a beat. “You did?” All he had to buy was one. I put the winning number on the piece of paper I gave him. He nods, and he takes my face in his hands. His thumbs draw little circles on my cheeks as his fingers thread into the hair at my temples. “You didn’t look at the paper I gave you….” My heart is pounding like mad. “What paper?” he asks. His smile is soft and inviting, and I want to fall into him. “The one you put in your pocket.” His brow furrows. “Never mind,” I say, breathless. He spent 142 dollars for a kiss he already owned in more ways than one. If I loved this man any more, it would be dangerous. He looks down into my eyes, not moving. He’s going to kiss me, right? “What’s the plan here?” “I’m going to kiss my girl,” he says, smiling at me. My breath hitches. “But you have to say yes, first.” He hasn’t let me go. He’s holding me tightly, forcing me to meet his eyes. “This isn’t going to be a one-time thing.” I can’t even think, and he wants me to commit? “It’s not,” I breathe. “You promise?” His gaze searches mine like he’s going to find the secrets to the universe there. “I swear on your life,” I say. He chuckles. “My life?” I nod. His eyebrows draw together. “Aren’t you supposed to swear on your own life?” “My life means nothing if you’re not in it.” His hands start to tremble against my face, and he closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. Logan’s brothers start to chant, “Kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss…,” and the crowd joins in. “You better kiss me,” I say, “or they’re going to get restless.” A tear rolls down my cheek, and he brushes it back with his thumb, his gaze soft and warm. His eyes open, and he leans closer to me. I step onto my tiptoes to get to him because I can’t wait one more second. He stops a breath away from me, just like he did in the room. He waits. “You have to close the distance,” he says to me. He’s making me choose. I fall into him and press my lips to his. He freezes. But then he starts to kiss me. And all the fireworks at the state fair couldn’t compare to the ones that go off in my head.
Tammy Falkner (Just Jelly Beans and Jealousy (The Reed Brothers, #3.4))
A friend of yours?” Justiran’s voice was detached and clipped. “No,” said Romeo. “But I’ve seen his heart. He’s a good person.” “Do you know he put a compulsion on you?” He forced me to, thought Paris, but he couldn’t get the words out. “Yes,” said Romeo, “but . . .” His voice grew soft and wondering. “He loved Juliet. I’m sure of it.” Romeo was an idiot. Romeo thought nothing mattered besides who had what kind of pretty feelings about Juliet, and he was going to get them both killed by a necromancer.
Rosamund Hodge (Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, #1))
Charles, what are you saying?" "It doesn't matter what I'm saying, Amy, sweet Jesus, forget I said anything and please —" he plunged his hand into his pocket, found the letter from Juliet, and held it out to her — "please, just read this before any more time passes, I beg of you, please read it and show me that someone in my life still cares for me and that this world has not been turned completely upside down, I beg of you Amy, read it and read it now!" He drew back, trembling, hands pressed against his sightless eyes as he tried to get himself under control.  He felt her hands against his shoulders, heard her soft voice only inches away. "Charles, please, it's all right —" "It's not all right, can you not see?  My army has rejected me, my own brother toys with me in the name of discipline, and here I am in my darkest hour and who is it that I want to reach for, who is it that I want to hold, who is it that I need more than any other person on earth?" "Charles —" "It's you, Amy, can't you see it, can't you feel it, can't you understand that you are the very center of my existence?!  You, not Juliet.  You.  God damn it, I need you." He pushed away from her and bent his head to his balled fist, his mouth twisted in pain and self-loathing for these needs he could not control, these feelings he should never have. "I'm sorry," Amy whispered, reeling with shock at what he'd just confessed.  "I didn't know . . ." "Juliet is the one I should want right now, not you," he was saying, hoarsely.  "It is she who holds my heart, who wears my ring, who carries my unborn baby . . . Oh, God help me, Amy, read the letter.  Read the damned letter now, so that I may be reminded where my heart lies, so that I may be reminded of my promise to the woman who loves me, so that I may be reminded of who I was and who I seek to remain.  Read it so that I may know that she, at least, is still there for me when everyone on whom I thought I could depend, has abandoned me . . ." Amy,
Danelle Harmon (The Beloved One (The De Montforte Brothers, #2))
What is it about?” “A lover who asks a blackbird to carry a message to his sweetheart.” “Why can’t he go to her himself?” Helen realized they were both speaking in hushed tones, as if they were exchanging secrets. “He can’t find her. He’s too deep in love--it keeps him from seeing clearly.” “Does the blackbird find her?” “The song doesn’t say,” he said with a shrug. “But I must know the ending to the story,” Helen protested. Winterborne laughed. It was an irresistible sound, rough-soft and sly. When he replied, his accent had thickened. “That’s what comes o’ reading novels, it is. The story needs no ending. That’s not what matters.” “What matters, then?” she dared to ask. His dark gaze held hers. “That he loves. That he’s searching. Like the rest of us poor devils, he has no way of knowing if he’ll ever have his heart’s desire.” And you? Helen longed to ask. What are you searching for? The question was too personal to ask even of someone she had known for a long time, much less a stranger. Even so, the words hovered on her tongue, begging to be spoken. She looked away and fought to hold them back. When she returned her gaze to Winterborne, his expression had become remote again. Which was a relief, because for a moment she’d had the alarming feeling that she was only a breath away from confiding every private thought and wish that she’d never told anyone. To Helen’s great relief, Quincy arrived with the dinner tray. The valet’s white brows lifted fractionally as he saw her alone in the room with Winterborne, but he said nothing. As Quincy proceeded to arrange the flatware, glasses, and plate on the table, Helen regained her composure. She stood from the upholstered bench and gave Winterborne a neutral smile. “I will leave you to enjoy your dinner.” His gaze swept over her, lingering at her face. “You’ll play for me again one evening?” “Yes, if you like.” She left the parlor gratefully, steeling herself not to break into a run.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
Does the blackbird find her?” “The song doesn’t say,” he said with a shrug. “But I must know the ending to the story,” Helen protested. Winterborne laughed. It was an irresistible sound, rough-soft and sly. When he replied, his accent had thickened. “That’s what comes o’ reading novels, it is. The story needs no ending. That’s not what matters.” “What matters, then?” she dared to ask. His dark gaze held hers. “That he loves. That he’s searching. Like the rest of us poor devils, he has no way of knowing if he’ll ever have his heart’s desire.” And you? Helen longed to ask. What are you searching for? The question was too personal to ask even of someone she had known for a long time, much less a stranger. Even so, the words hovered on her tongue, begging to be spoken. She looked away and fought to hold them back. When she returned her gaze to Winterborne, his expression had become remote again. Which was a relief, because for a moment she’d had the alarming feeling that she was only a breath away from confiding every private thought and wish that she’d never told anyone.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
I’m Ylfing. I care about people, and I’ve been afraid because caring got me hurt, made me miss things that were right in front of me. Easier to just draw away, easier to run from it. But I care. I care and care and care, whether or not the person I care for deserves it. Everyone deserves understanding, at the very least. My greatest strength has always been in looking at someone and finding an inherent spark of goodness in them. This is not to redeem them. Some people are beyond redemption. But even they yearn to be understood, just as everyone does, just as I do. So I look into their hearts and find the jewel among the slop. Except the slop too has value and weight and importance. It completes a person. People soften when they’re around me. At least, they used to when I was young and small and cute. Perhaps they still do—I’ll have to watch for it. I never did anything in particular to merit that softening, besides being soft myself, and kind, and loving. I just reached out to them with my heart and made a connection. And maybe that’s the key to all of it. Connections.
Alexandra Rowland
What if you married again?" Sophia asked, held prisoner by his vivid silver gaze. "Wouldn't you worry about your wife's fidelity?" "No." "Why not?" "Because I would keep her so busy in my bed that she would have neither the time nor the inclination to seek another man's company." The words caused an odd quiver to shoot through Sophia's belly. It was an admission of nothing less than an all-consuming sexual appetite. It conformed everything she had learned about him so far. Sir Ross was not a man to do anything by half measures. Before she could stop herself, Sophia imagined what it might be like to lie tangled with him in intimacy, his mouth at her breasts, his hands moving gently over her body. Her face flamed with a mixture of embarrassment and awareness. "Forgive me," he said softly. "I should not have spoken so frankly." Another surprise- Sophia had never encountered a man from any walk of life who would lower himself to apologize to an employee, much less to a female one. "It was my fault," she managed to say. "I should not have asked such personal questions. I don't know why I did." "Don't you?" His gaze snared hers again, and the hot flicker in his eyes made it difficult for her to breathe. Sophia had been trying to discover more about his character and the workings of his heart. It was all for the purpose of manipulation, of course. All part of her quest to make him fall in love with her. Unfortunately, she was finding it difficult to ignore a growing attraction to the man she planned to hurt. She wanted to remain cool and uninvolved when they finally shared a bed. However, there were so many seductive qualities about him: his intelligence, his compassion for vulnerable creatures, the raw need beneath his self-controlled facade.
Lisa Kleypas (Lady Sophia's Lover (Bow Street Runners, #2))
Eventually, she held up the page, satisfied. It depicted Yalb and the porter in detail, with hints of the busy city behind. She’d gotten their eyes right. That was the most important. Each of the Ten Essences had an analogous part of the human body—blood for liquid, hair for wood, and so forth. The eyes were associated with crystal and glass. The windows into a person’s mind and spirit. She set the page aside. Some men collected trophies. Others collected weapons or shields. Many collected spheres. Shallan collected people. People, and interesting creatures. Perhaps it was because she’d spent so much of her youth in a virtual prison. She’d developed the habit of memorizing faces, then drawing them later, after her father had discovered her sketching the gardeners. His daughter? Drawing pictures of darkeyes? He’d been furious with her—one of the infrequent times he’d directed his infamous temper at his daughter. After that, she’d done drawings of people only when in private, instead using her open drawing times to sketch the insects, crustaceans, and plants of the manor gardens. Her father hadn’t minded this—zoology and botany were proper feminine pursuits—and had encouraged her to choose natural history as her Calling. She took out a third blank sheet. It seemed to beg her to fill it. A blank page was nothing but potential, pointless until it was used. Like a fully infused sphere cloistered inside a pouch, prevented from making its light useful. Fill me. The creationspren gathered around the page. They were still, as if curious, anticipatory. Shallan closed her eyes and imagined Jasnah Kholin, standing before the blocked door, the Soulcaster glowing on her hand. The hallway hushed, save for a child’s sniffles. Attendants holding their breath. An anxious king. A still reverence. Shallan opened her eyes and began to draw with vigor, intentionally losing herself. The less she was in the now and the more she was in the then, the better the sketch would be. The other two pictures had been warm-ups; this was the day’s masterpiece. With the paper bound onto the board—safehand holding that—her freehand flew across the page, occasionally switching to other pencils. Soft charcoal for deep, thick blackness, like Jasnah’s beautiful hair. Hard charcoal for light greys, like the powerful waves of light coming from the Soulcaster’s gems. For a few extended moments, Shallan was back in that hallway again, watching something that should not be: a heretic wielding one of the most sacred powers in all the world. The power of change itself, the power by which the Almighty had created Roshar. He had another name, allowed to pass only the lips of ardents. Elithanathile. He Who Transforms. Shallan could smell the musty hallway. She could hear the child whimpering. She could feel her own heart beating in anticipation. The boulder would soon change. Sucking away the Stormlight in Jasnah’s gemstone, it would give up its essence, becoming something new. Shallan’s breath caught in her throat. And then the memory faded, returning her to the quiet, dim alcove. The page now held a perfect rendition of the scene, worked in blacks and greys. The princess’s proud figure regarded the fallen stone, demanding that it give way before her will. It was her. Shallan knew, with the intuitive certainty of an artist, that this was one of the finest pieces she had ever done. In a very small way, she had captured Jasnah Kholin, something the devotaries had never managed. That gave her a euphoric thrill. Even if this woman rejected Shallan again, one fact would not change. Jasnah Kholin had joined Shallan’s collection.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
I can read your thoughts. The amusement was soft and caressing, wrapping her up in strong arms. I was perfectly sane and sensible until I met you. Now look at me. I’m crawling around inside a mountain. Suddenly she stopped and held herself perfectly still. I’m hearing something. Tell me you are not taking me into a cave full of bats. Say it right now, Jacques, or I’m out of here. I am not taking you into cave filled with bats. Shea relaxed visibly. She was not squeamish about very many things, but bats were creatures that were on the earth to remain a safe distance away from her. Miles away. Bats were one of those things she could stare up at in the night sky and think how interesting and wonderful they were, as long as they stayed high above her and nowhere close. Her nose wrinkled. The sounds she was trying to ignore were getting louder. Her heart began to pound in alarm. The walls of the passageway were so narrow, she had no way to move fast. All at once she felt trapped, as if she was suffocating. I’m going back, Jacques. I’m not a cave person. She did her best to sound firm and matter-of-fact, not at all as if she were seconds from screaming her head off. She turned her head cautiously to keep from scraping her face on the jutting surfaces. His fingers circled her wrist like a vise. There must be no disturbance. If any creatures exit the cave or warn others of our existence here, we could be found. A piece of paper couldn’t fit in here, certainly not a person. No one is going to look for us here. A vampire would know the moment bats flew from the cave. Bats can’t fly out of here if there aren’t any in here, now, can they? She was sweetly reasonable.
Christine Feehan (Dark Desire (Dark, #2))
He gathered his strength, pushed pain to the back of his mind and shifted his weight, easing off the monstrous hard-on she couldn’t fail to notice. It took her a moment to look up from kneading his calves. Her hands stopped abruptly and he heard her shocked inhale. He rolled over, needing to see her face— her eyes. She shoved back away from him, her eyes widening, the long lashes veiling her expression. As she went to pull away, she held up her hands, palms out, defensively, as if warding him off. Long-buried, maybe even unknown instincts took over. His hand whipped up, pushing air toward her left palm. Sparks danced between them, silver and gold, like tiny fireflies. She cried out and cradled her hand to her, that little frown drawing his attention to her soft mouth. “Let me see.” “What did you do?” “I don’t know. Let me see.” Her gaze dropped to his heavy erection and her eyes grew stormy. “Just put that away.” There it was again— that urge to smile. “It’s not a weapon. And you put it there. You take it away.” “Well, we found out one thing out about you, didn’t we?” She snatched the blanket and flung it over him, tenting his monstrosity of a hard-on. “You haven’t had sex in a long time.” She was close so he caught her wrist and turned her injured palm over, drawing her hand closer for his inspection. Two faint marks, circles intertwined one through the other. He pressed the pad of his thumb over the marks and rubbed in a circular motion. “If you think I brought you home so you could have sex, you picked the wrong person. I don’t do that sort of thing with just anyone.” His fingers tightened around her hand. “I’m glad to hear that.
Christine Feehan (Water Bound (Sea Haven/Sisters of the Heart, #1))
So she is tearing us apart, dictating the rest of my life and we have to go along with it or she will destroy Hytanica?” “Yes. And we’re running out of time.” He shook his head in awe. “I have to hand it to her, Alera. She’s ruthless in pursuing what she wants.” “This is serious, Narian.” I found his attitude almost irritating. He obviously understaood the direness of his situation, yet was acting like it was only a game. “I know it’s serious, but there is only one choice as far as I’m concerned. I don’t want to live without you, Alera. I won’t live without you.” I sat up and searched the depths of his blue eyes. “What do you mean?” He leaned forward and kissed me tenderly, and my pulse raced. Then I put my hands on his chest and pushed myself away. “Tell me, Narian.” “All right. There are three things I believe with all my heart. Hytanica can withstand a Cokyrian assault. I can no longer let Nantilam control my life and I will die before I let you go.” His eyes met mine and he unlaced my blouse, slowly pushing it off my shoulders. This time I did not resist him. “What I want,” he softly finished, “is to spend these last hours holding the woman I love, the woman to whom I am bound.” “But how are you feeling?” “Trust me, Alera, I’m not feeling any pain right now.” Tears trickled from the corners of my eyes as I opened his shirt and ran my fingers over the muscles of his chest. He stood, leading me to the rug in front of the hearth, where he drew me down to kneel beside him. His touch was warm, gentle, as he almost reverently removed my clothing, then he stripped off his shirt and breeches, his skin and his golden hair glistening in the light cast by the fire. As my pulse and breathing quickened, he caressed me, first with his eyes, then with his hands and mouth. “I love you, Alera,” he whispered against my skin, and I gave in to him completely, sinking into the feelings he stirred in me, knowing I stirred the same feelings in him. In all my dreams of what this moment would be like, I had never imagined the soaring bliss that came from giving yourself to another person with reservation, without fear, without pressure. A person you loved and trusted with all your heart and who returned those feelings a hundredfold.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
Maybe,” she said softly, hoping to bridge it herself, just a touch, “maybe one day I can return the favor.” “You can’t save me,” he whispered. “Why not?” “Because some things aren’t worth the effort.” Her heart went out to him right then and there. As firelight flickered over his chiseled features, she saw secrets brewing in his eyes. Secrets that fed something dark in his past that kept him closed off from the world. For years she’d thought he didn’t have a soul, but as she stared into his eyes now, she knew she’d been wrong. He hurt, just as she did. And he longed, the same as she. While she’d curled into herself over the years, letting her father and everyone else make her decisions for her, he’d gone the other way, pushing every single person away until they all thought he was nothing but a cold, evil shell. How wrong she’d been. How utterly hateful and horrid she’d been to him. As they stared at each other, she didn’t see him as an Argonaut. Didn’t see him as a fighter or even a hero, really. She saw him as a man. With the same humanity the gods both hated and envied. With the same frailties and faults she possessed. She moved into him fast, burying her cheek against his chest and wrapping one arm around his waist while the other held the blanket closed at her front. He sucked in a surprised breath, but she didn’t let go. Against her skin he was alive and warm, and her body jumped to life everywhere they touched.
Elisabeth Naughton (Tempted (Eternal Guardians, #3))
nodded, her heart filled with sympathy toward this man and ire at his wife. “I can only imagine. But you spoke correctly when you said you were not good enough to keep God’s love.” Charles gaped. “Huh?” “None of us are, although I tried to tell myself that I was a good person and others did not understand me. I suppose I still feel that way at times, but it is not true, you know. We aren’t good enough to earn God’s love. He gives it to us as a gift of grace, not because we did anything to earn it. He loves us as much as He loves His Son, Jesus. When you understand that, you will have a different outlook on love.” He hung his head. “I’m a low-down polecat who’s done little good in this life, so that’s hard for me to accept, but I’ll have to take your word for it. I never knowed you to lie, Frances.” His eyes looked up, and he reached across the table, palm up. “I’d like to know more about that kind of love, truly I would. You make it sound like somethin’ worth havin’. But I’m not sure I can do it all alone. Would you make an old man happy and be my friend while I try to figure all this out?” She slipped her hand into his and gave his fingers a soft squeeze, her mind returning to the offer of friendship given to her by Wilma a few months before. Gratitude welled in her heart like a spring of clean water rinsing out the grime and grit of the world. Frances smiled. “It is the least I can do, Charles. I would be proud to help you learn how to stand strong and depend on God’s love instead of your own pride. I will admit, it is not an easy lesson, and you may take more steps backward than forward, but if you continue the journey, you will be more than happy with the results at its completion.
Miralee Ferrell (Dreaming on Daisies (Love Blossoms in Oregon #3))
Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him,” his heart said. “We, people’s hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them—the path to their Personal Legends, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place. “So, we, their hearts, speak more and more softly.
Anonymous
Asian girl From personal experience. Asian girl is a sexual mystery in her sexual erotic eyes in her sultry look with a burning passion, hypnotizing with her beauty with very delicate strings like charming erotic melodic hints with flirting eyes. Asian drum rhythm gives the insight of love as if her eyes are beckoning to her, immersing her sweet moans into erotic romance like a flute melody, her silky snow white or lacquer honey caramel or a golden body that radiates brilliance of indescribable beauty is like an indescribable epic beautiful landscape. Her character is like a cloud as she is sweet and gentle, like sunshine illuminating your life. You gradually know it, it opens only with time like a striptease where they take off the details of clothes over time, and then pounces on you like a tigress protects her happiness she is able to give you a cosmic scale love and orgasm in the rest of the time she is gentle, sensual, soft and very feminine. You love her in return, she will become obsessed with you. Like a wild cat, she guards her happiness, like a pillow she is gentle with you, will cover the cover of love with her body and soul. With you she is like a little kitten, like a child eager for care and love. And you depend on her beauty and love and love for her goes to the depths of yours, I and you permeate it through and understand that you will love only her gentle face and life without her is meaningless. Over time, love only increases and it seems to you that she knows no bounds like you in a fairy tale. She smiles at you and you see that your priceless happiness is sacred happiness of the universe, priceless gift of fate and you smile at her and so warmly at heart and you think that this is love is what I will look for in all lives. Life with an Asian girl is like a beautiful, unforgettable erotic dream filled with spiritual romance and the poetic lyrics of the harmony of soul, mind and body. The Asian girl is a secret that only the chosen ones will know her love is the key to heavenly life on earth. The beauty of each Asian girl is very clearly subtly delicately jeweled in fine details. Each of them has its own imperial face of divine beauty as if the queen of the world. Her love is a kiss of true love is a kiss of the soul I want it to last forever and you understand that you love her to the very depths of your mind and heart that there is nothing more valuable than her love she gives you a child genuine sincere joy and your soul shines with romance and happiness you are like a flower stretching towards its light of beauty that comes from within.
Musin Almat Zhumabekovich
You were more than enough for me. And Layla, Jamie, and Gillian don’t have the one thing you have,” he says softly. “What?” “My heart, Ellie. You’re the only person who’s ever had my heart and the only one who will ever have it.
Alex Grayson (Judge of Hell (Hell Night, #3))
You are the most beautiful woman in the world, Raven. You do not have a mean bone in your body, do you?” Raven looked indignant. “Of course I do. Don’t smile like that, Mikhail, I really do. I can be just as mean if necessary. In any case, what has that to do with what we’re talking about?” His hand moved upward to her rib cage beneath the thin silk of his shirt. “We are talking about me needing to protect the one person who matters to me, the one who can only see good in everyone.” “I do not,” she denied, shocked that he would think so. “I knew Margaret Summers was fanatical.” His hand moved upward to caress the soft underside of her breast, to cup the weight of it in his palm. His eyes had gone black and deep with emotion. “You defended her, as I recall.” He was taking her breath away with his absent, leisurely exploration of her body. It was more than physical; she felt him inside her, admiring her, even as he wanted to force her compliance to his will. She felt him in her body, stroking her mind, caressing her heart. She sensed his feelings for her growing and growing until they consumed him.
Christine Feehan (Dark Prince (Dark, #1))
You are the only person on this planet I have given my allegiance to. You have always had my loyalty. I count you as my family and my friend. Until your woman or some other gives me my lifemate, you are the only person standing between the darkness and me. Gregori would never have admitted such a thing unless he considered the situation a dire emergency. He was giving Mikhail the only reason he could to reassure Mikhail that he could be trusted. Affection and regret welled up, mingled. Thank you, Gregori, I am in your debt. I intend you to be the father of my lifemate. There was a faint note in his voice, something Mikhail could not name, as though Gregori had already ensured that he would get his wish. I have the feeling Raven’s daughter would be more than a handful. Mikhail tested his intuition. I have no doubt I am up to the challenge. Gregori’s reply was purposely vague. I will send your lifemate to the sleep of our people so that she will no longer be tormented by her human limits. Gregori’s soft command was clear, imperious, impossible to ignore. Raven’s breath left her body in a soft sigh. Her heart slowed, missed a beat, ceased. Her mind was closed to the yawning terror, her body open to the healing power of the rich soil. Sleep now, Mikhail, I will know if you are disturbed. You do not have to guard me, Gregori. You have done much for our people, things they will never know. I can never repay my debt to you. I can do no other, Mikhail, nor would I want to. Gregori withdrew.
Christine Feehan (Dark Prince (Dark, #1))
you treat them like they have a heart like yours but not everyone can be as soft and as tender you don't see the person they are you see the person they have the potential to be you give and give till they pull everything out of you and leave you empty
Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey)
When he says this I feel a soft pounding in my chest, like someone is knocking on my heart. The kind of knock a person gives when they know you are there but aren't sure if it's okay to come in.
Renée Watson (Some Places More Than Others)
I don’t want to hurt you,” he said softly, “but I can’t seem to stop myself from wanting you.” Her ribs cinched tight, stealing her air for a second. “Finn…” He looked up, pushing her hair away from her face, apologies in his eyes. “It’s selfish. I feel like a vampire, taking all I can from you, sucking up the light before I have to go back into the cave. I’m trained to evaluate worst-case scenarios. This scenario is only going to get worse the longer I stick around, but I can’t stop, even when I know I should walk away now. I can’t quit you. Tell me to leave you alone, Liv. Tell me you don’t want me here.” The words wound through Liv like a song, a melancholy one that simultaneously made her want to smile and cry. She stared at him, at the earnest green eyes, the stubbled cheeks, the beautiful sweet boy who’d turned into a beautiful caring man. One who thought he was breaking his personal code by being here with her, putting her heart at risk. She slid her hands onto his shoulders. “I’m not going to lie to you. And what’s the worst-case scenario? I fall in love?” He winced and glanced away. “Right.” She leaned forward and brushed her lips over his cheek, bravery swelling in her. “I have good news then.” He met her gaze. “You’re already too late. Worst-case scenario achieved. So you might as well ride it out to the end now and make it worth it.” He inhaled a sharp breath, his expression going slightly panicked. “Liv.” She pressed her fingers over his mouth, her heart beating wildly but her voice staying steady. “Don’t freak out about what’s already done. When you leave, no matter what, you can know that you gave me a gift. You reminded me that I’m capable of feeling this.” She looped her arms around his neck. “Now let me feel it, Finn. Don’t take that away by trying to protect me. I don’t need your protection. I just need you to be yourself with me. I love you. And you will leave. And I will be okay.” She said the words almost more to herself than to him. She had to believe that. Had to hold on to that. Because there was no putting the feelings back in a box. They were there. Maybe had always been there on some level, waiting to bloom again. They would come along with a broken heart, but for the first time in longer than she could remember, she felt fully present. Alive. Real. For that, she would pay the price.
Roni Loren (The Ones Who Got Away (The Ones Who Got Away, #1))
Zombie stories are life lessons for boys who don't mind thinking about bodies, but can't cope with emotions. Vampire stories are in many ways sex for the squeamish. We don't need Raj Persaud to tell us that plunging canines into soft warm necks, or driving stakes between heaving bosoms, are very basic sexual metaphors. 카톡►ppt33◄ 〓 라인►pxp32◄ 홈피는 친추로 연락주세요 비닉스파는곳,비닉스팝니다,비닉스구입방법,비닉스구매방법,비닉스복용법,비닉스부작용,비닉스지속시간 I am so grateful about the things I have, such as the love from my parents and my friends. They always stand by my side when I have troubles. So I can grow up as a strong and positive girl. Some children take what they own as the certain thing, but I think we should be grateful to life and return something to those who love us. You must control and direct your emotions not abolish them. Besides, abolition would be antimissile task. Emotions are like a river. Their power can be dammed up and released under control and direction, but is cannot be held forever in check. Sooner or later the dam will burst, unleashing catastrophic destruction. Both your heart and your mind need a master, and they can find the master in your ego. However, your ego will fill their role only if you use self-discipline. In the absence of self-discipline, your mind and heart will fight their battles as they please. In this situation the person within whose mind the fight is carried out often gets badly hurt.
비닉스판매 via2.co.to 카톡:ppt33 비닉스팝니다 비닉스구입방법 비닉스구매방법 비닉스복용법
She couldn’t look at Jacques, who had somehow made his large body thin and weird looking. Carpathians were capable of doing things she didn’t want to think about. How had she gotten herself into this mess? Sex. A good-looking intense man with black, hungry eyes, and she fell like a lovesick calf. Sex. It ruined many otherwise sane women. I can read your thoughts. The amusement was soft and caressing, wrapping her up in strong arms. I was perfectly sane and sensible until I met you. Now look at me. I’m crawling around inside a mountain. Suddenly she stopped and held herself perfectly still. I’m hearing something. Tell me you are not taking me into a cave full of bats. Say it right now, Jacques, or I’m out of here. I am not taking you into cave filled with bats. Shea relaxed visibly. She was not squeamish about very many things, but bats were creatures that were on the earth to remain a safe distance away from her. Miles away. Bats were one of those things she could stare up at in the night sky and think how interesting and wonderful they were, as long as they stayed high above her and nowhere close. Her nose wrinkled. The sounds she was trying to ignore were getting louder. Her heart began to pound in alarm. The walls of the passageway were so narrow, she had no way to move fast. All at once she felt trapped, as if she was suffocating. I’m going back, Jacques. I’m not a cave person. She did her best to sound firm and matter-of-fact, not at all as if she were seconds from screaming her head off. She turned her head cautiously to keep from scraping her face on the jutting surfaces. His fingers circled her wrist like a vise. There must be no disturbance. If any creatures exit the cave or warn others of our existence here, we could be found. A piece of paper couldn’t fit in here, certainly not a person. No one is going to look for us here. A vampire would know the moment bats flew from the cave. Bats can’t fly out of here if there aren’t any in here, now, can they? She was sweetly reasonable. Trust me, little red hair, it is only a short distance farther. You aren’t going to make me sleep in the ground, are you? Because I won’t do it, not even if there are ten vampires stalking us.
Christine Feehan (Dark Desire (Dark, #2))
You are all you have'. Something that I used to tell myself when I was knee deep in the quicksand of pain. I forgot it over time, as you do when you meet people wrapped in promises of forever and 'I love you' at the tip of their tongue, people who soften your jarred edges with love and laughter and welcome you into their arms, and heart, until you no longer believe that you're alone. But words are just words at the end of the day. As much as you want to believe others, in the stories that flutter out of their mouths, in the faith that shines in their eyes an d in the strength of their hands to hold you together - they will still let you down. It's not because they weren't kind, or gentle, or soft with you heart, but because you depended too much on them. Other people can't make you a whole person. No matter how much they love you. They will still say or do something that will pound like a heavy punch inside your chest. And it will hurt. Deeply. Horribly, But that's when you need to remember the most important lesson that you learned from all those years before. 'You are all you have'. I tell myself now, knee deep in the ocean of happiness. Because no matter who comes along and who leaves, I will be all that I have at the end.
Ruby Dhal
But charm is not only being soft-spoken, relaxed, and at ease; it's wanting to be a giver. Wanting to be a good listener. Responding, communicating, having a genuine interest in people. It's having a good memory for amusing things so that you're a happy person to be with. Charm is grace — graciousness. And it all has to be real — good manners and good manners of the heart. Charm is a touch of magic. Try to make it a part of your way of life.
Joan Crawford (My Way of Life)
A sober person who has a kind, soft, and sensitive heart, does not look at people's behaviour of stupidity, insulting, joking, and cheating, just helps to give and provides them only the right and moral way of life that leads, to reach honour, pleasure, and happiness
Ehsan Sehgal
Scene 1: "So you must have a lot of dates with lots of men around the country," said Will somewhat indelicately. Fiona hesitated for a moment. "No, I find my life very busy doing what the Lord has called me to do. I have a lot of friends who I love very much. And to answer your real question, I am single-as in not married. I am single by choice. I believe that God may have called me to singleness. And if that is that way I can best serve him, I am happy with that." Scene 2: "I guess when I received that package from you with that very thoughtful gift, I thought we ought to talk" Somehow, Will knew what she was going to tell him. "Remember our dinner together? You asked whether I was going out on dates. I told you I was single by choice. Like I said, I feel that it is probably God's choice for me. But even if I felt that God had prepared someone for me, it would have to be someone who knew Jesus personally and loves him with all his heart....." Will could hear her draw in a shaky breath. "You are a wonderful guy......But I can't see how you can be God's choice for me. I hope you don't think I am being to harsh in saying this-this is not easy for me. You have a precious place in my heart. But I just don't want you to have any expectations." He could hear Fiona crying softly. "Please forgive me." she said trying to compose herself.
Craig Parshall (The Resurrection File (Chambers of Justice, #1))
If I want to?” There was a wild edge to his soft laugh. “Can’t you tell?” And then he was kissing her again, sucking her lower lip into his mouth, kissing her throat and mouthing her collarbone as she ran her hands all over him, free in the knowledge that she could touch him, as much as she liked, however she liked. She felt as if she were drawing him, her hands mapping his body, the slope of his back, flat stomach, the indentations above his hips, the muscles in his arms. As if, like a painting, he were coming to life under her hands. When his hands slid underneath her bra, she gasped at the sensation, then nodded at him when he froze, his eyes questioning. Go on. He stopped at each moment, stopped before removing each piece of clothing from either of them, asking her with eyes and words if he should keep going, and each time she nodded and said, Yes, go on, yes. And when finally there was nothing between them but skin, she stilled her hands, thinking that there was no way to ever be closer to another person than this, that to take another step would be like cracking open her chest and exposing her heart.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
She frowned at him and rubbed the bridge of her nose. “You’re pretty damned stubborn, aren’t you?” He thought that was evident and not worth answering, so he just let himself disappear into her eyes. She had beautiful eyes. He loved how liquid and soft they were. She started to move away and he caught her arm. “Don’t go.” “I don’t like people touching me.” He should have let go of her, but instead he rubbed the pads of his fingers up and down her bare arm. Her shirt was still half buttoned, and he was tempted to stroke her flat belly just to know the texture of her. “I don’t like it either,” he said. And it was true. Funny. He’d never admitted that to anyone. It didn’t particularly matter, he did what had to be done, but he didn’t like it— maybe not in the same way she meant. His was a matter of personal space, a natural avoidance of closeness with others. But Rikki . . . He studied her face. “I don’t think my touch bothers you that much.” She blinked. She rarely blinked, but he’d struck home. She compressed her lips and then narrowed her eyes at him. “You’re pretty arrogant for a man who can’t move with a pile of weapons sitting next to him.” “You have such a penchant for violence.” She looked outraged. “I do? You’re the one being hostile. I’m Mother Teresa here. And I don’t like sick people.” “Do you like anyone?” Amusement was creeping in again. He was beginning to like the feeling. “Anything?” “Not particularly.
Christine Feehan (Water Bound (Sea Haven/Sisters of the Heart, #1))
Wanting to thank him for his gifts, she left the tent to find her husband. He was in the middle of the camp, with knights all around him. She paused as she saw him there. He was again garbed as a black-robed monk, but he had taken time to shave this morning. There was no sign of the sword she knew he had strapped to his hips and she could barely catch a glimpse of his mail-covered leggings beneath it. He was handsome, her prince. More so than any man in the group. He, Phantom, Ioan, Lutian, and three men she knew not at all were standing in a circle as they discussed some matter. Her heart light, she approached her husband from behind. Ioan was speaking. “You know, Abbot, I hear wormwood helps with that problem.” He held his hand up and crooked his finger down as if it were suddenly limp. All the men save Christian laughed, while Christian glared murderously at Lutian. “Look to the good of it,” Phantom said as he sobered. He appeared to be imparting grave advice to her husband. “I hear all men have trouble from time to time with their sexual performance. Mind you, I have no personal experience with that, but…” His voice trailed off as he looked past Christian to see Adara glowering at him. Struggling not to strangle the men who mocked him, Christian turned to see what had disturbed Phantom to find Adara standing behind him. His groin jerked awake at the vision she made in her finery. She was beautiful. The gown fit even better than he had hoped. Unlike her peasant garb, this one laced in the front and at the sides, pulling the cloth into a perfect fit that showed every lush curve of her body. The only thing that sparkled more than her jewels were her brown eyes. “Thank you,” she said softly before she kissed his cheek. “I had a most wondrous night.” Christian was too dumbstruck by his lust to even respond. Lutian bristled at her actions and if she didn’t know better, she’d swear he was jealous. “Nay. Tell me this isn’t so. Why are you kissing him, my queen? It was me. Me. I’m the one who told him what to do. He had no idea how to please you. None. He was lost and confused when he sought me out. He didn’t even know how to do the most basic thing. It was me, all me.” Every man there gaped at Lutian’s words. “Christ’s toes, Christian,” Ioan said in disbelief. “Are you a monk in truth? Don’t tell me you had to take advice from the fool on how to please a woman? You should have come to me. At least I know what I’m doing.” “You can’t be a virgin,” Phantom said. “What about that Norman tart in Hexham? Surely you did more than talk to her when the two of you vanished to her room?” “Nay,” another knight said. “I saw him drunk in Calais with two women.” “Aye,” another knight began. “I was with him in London when he vanished for three days with a widowed countess.” Christian ground his teeth as this conversation quickly degenerated, while Lutian continued to take credit for instructing him on how to please Adara. Lutian still held Adara’s attention. “I’m the one who got him—” Enraged, Christian lunged for the source of his current humiliation. “Christian!” Adara snapped as he seized her fool. “Don’t hurt Lutian.” He wanted to do much more than hurt the fool. He wanted to tear the man’s head from his shoulders. Growling in frustration, he let the fool go. “Thank you, my queen.” “’Tis my place to hurt him.” She glared at her fool and smacked him on his arm. “I fully intend to take this up with you later.” She walked over to Ioan. “And for your information, my lord…” She lifted his hand and put his index and middle finger upright. “I assure you that there is nothing wrong with Christian’s technique or prowess.
Kinley MacGregor (Return of the Warrior (Brotherhood of the Sword #6))
Christopher Phelan was talking with Prudence Mercer. The scheme of formal black and white was becoming to any man. On someone like Christopher, it was literally breathtaking. He wore the clothes with natural ease, his posture relaxed but straight, his shoulders broad. The crisp white of his starched cravat provided a striking contrast to his tawny skin, while the light of chandeliers glittered over his golden-bronze hair. Following her gaze, Amelia lifted her brows. “What an attractive man,” she said. Her attention returned to Beatrix. “You like him, don’t you?” Before Beatrix could help herself, she sent her sister a pained glance. Letting her gaze drop to the floor, she said, “There have been a dozen times in the past when I should have liked a particular gentleman. When it would have been convenient, and appropriate, and easy. But no, I had to wait for someone special. Someone who would make my heart feel as if it’s been trampled by elephants, thrown into the Amazon, and eaten by piranhas.” Amelia smiled at her compassionately. Her gloved hand slipped over Beatrix’s. “Darling Bea. Would it console you to hear that such feelings of infatuation are perfectly ordinary?” Beatrix turned her palm upward, returning the clasp of her sister’s hand. Since their mother had died when Bea was twelve, Amelia had been a source of endless love and patience. “Is it infatuation?” she heard herself asking softly. “Because it feels much worse than that. Like a fatal disease.” “I don’t know, dear. It’s difficult to tell the difference between love and infatuation. Time will reveal it, eventually.” Amelia paused. “He is attracted to you,” she said. “We all noticed the other night. Why don’t you encourage him, dear?” Beatrix felt her throat tighten. “I can’t.” “Why not?” “I can’t explain,” Beatrix said miserably, “except to say that I’ve deceived him.” Amelia glanced at her in surprise. “That doesn’t sound like you. You’re the least deceptive person I’ve ever known.” “I didn’t mean to do it. And he doesn’t know that it was me. But I think he suspects.” “Oh.” Amelia frowned as she absorbed the perplexing statement. “Well. This does seem to be a muddle. Perhaps you should confide in him. His reaction may surprise you. What is it that Mother used to say whenever we pushed her to the limits of her patience?...’Love forgives all things.’ Do you remember?” “Of course,” Beatrix said. She had written that exact phrase to Christopher in one of her letters. Her throat went very tight. “Amelia, I can’t discuss this now. Or I’ll start weeping and throw myself to the floor.” “Heavens, don’t do that. Someone might trip over you.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
I turned to leave him, but he caught my wrist again and gently tugged me to his side.  He brought my hand to his mouth, kissed the back of it, then my knuckles.  I felt a tug in my stomach.  That stupid, annoying, kinda-growing-on-me-a-lot pull which tied us together.  My annoyance at him evaporated.  Unable to help myself, I brushed my fingers through his hair.  I liked the feel of it. “I’ve lost everyone that’s ever really mattered to me.  I thought caring about a werewolf would be safer,” I admitted softly. He raised his head to look at me for a long moment then pulled me into his arms. Normally, I wouldn’t like someone hugging me like that.  But with Clay, it felt safe.  I hugged him back gently, not wanting to hurt him more, and hoped the safety I felt wasn’t because I’d already lost too much of my heart to him.  I’d never fully recovered from losing my mom or grandma.  I doubted I could lose much more and remain the same person.  Losing Clay, even now, might break me. Eventually,
Melissa Haag (Hope(less) (Judgement of the Six #1))
Do you think they’ll ever be a place for us? I mean, do you think there’s a place for someone who lives under the radar, someone who has to pretend, someone who is a spy?” “Yes.” Daly said it with such confidence that I sat up in my bed, my cast dangling over the edge. “How do you know?” I asked. “There has to be. I don’t usually philosophize, but I do know one thing.” “What’s that?” “That even when we’re pretending, even when we’re hiding under wigs or accents or clothes that aren’t our style, we can’t hide our nature. Just like I knew from the moment I met you that you would choose this life. And just like I knew, when you told me about this mission, that you would agree to help the CIA find this girl. You would sacrifice yourself and your time with your brother to save someone. It’s just who you are.” “I’ve already messed things up, Daly. What if I’m not good enough? What if I can’t do it?” “That’s the thing, though. You’ll find a way.” I lay back again and buried the side of my face into my pillow. “I’m just not sure how.” “If you continue to think as you’ve always thought, you’ll continue to get what you’ve always got,” Daly said. I considered that. I wasn’t ready to give up. At least not yet. “That one is Itosu wisdom, in case you wondered.” I yawned into the phone. “It’s good advice.” “I’ll let you go. You should be resting. Don’t you have school in the morning?” He said the last part in a teasing tone. “Yeah, if I make it through another day at school. Maybe they’ll get rid of me—kick me out or something. You’d think I would have inherited some of my mom’s artistic genius.” “Can I give you one last bit of advice, Alex?” “Sure.” “Throw it all out the window.” “What?” I stared at my open window. A slight breeze blew the gauzelike drapes in and out as if they were a living creature. “Everything you’ve learned about art, the lines, the colors, the pictures in your head from other artists—just throw it all out. And throw out everything you’ve learned from books and simulations about being a good spy. Don’t try to be like someone else. Don’t force yourself to follow a set of rules that weren’t meant for you. Those work for 99.99% of the people.” “You’re telling me I’m the .01%?” I asked skeptically. “No, I’m telling you you’re not even on the scale.” Daly’s soft breathing traveled through the phone line. “With a mind like yours, you can’t be put in a box. Or even expected to stand outside it. You were never meant to hold still, Alex. You have to stack all the boxes up and climb and keep climbing until you find you. I’m just saying that Alexandra Stewart will find her own way.” The cool night air brushed the skin of my arm and I wished it was Daly’s hand instead. “You sure have a lot of wisdom tonight,” I told him. I expected him to laugh. Instead, the line went silent for a moment. “Because I’m not there. Because I wish I was.” His words were simple, but his message reached inside my heart and left a warmth—a warmth I needed. “Thank you, James.” “Take care, Alex.” I wanted to say more, to keep him at my ear just a little longer. Yet the words itching to break free couldn’t be said from over two thousand miles away. They needed to happen in person. I wasn’t going home until I found Amoriel. Which meant I had to complete this mission. Not just for Amoriel anymore. I had to do it for me. (page 143)
Robin M. King (Memory of Monet (Remembrandt, #3))
He took a damp scrap of cloth from a shallow bowl on the floor and dabbed it softly across my brow. It felt good. Iolaus was a warrior, the nephew of the great hero Herakles himself, yet he had a light touch and a kind heart. “How did you find me?” I asked him. “I was coming down from the palace to have another look at the Argo when I saw the crowd you’d attracted. There were too many people to see what was going on, but I had a fine view of things when you collapsed. I thank almighty Zeus that I recognized you, because you were the last person I’d expect to find in Iolkos, in the middle of a brawl. I almost had to get into one myself with that slave of yours. He was ready to fight me to the death when I tried to pick you up and get you out of the sun.” “Stop calling Milo my ‘slave.’ He’s my friend, and he’s as free as you are!” I spat out the words with so much force that Iolaus raised his hands to ward off my anger. “Lady--Glaucus--what can I say? I only remember him from King Oeneus’s palace in Calydon, where there’s no denying he was a slave. And he certainly is your friend. He let me carry you away only after I whispered your true name.” “Where is he now?” I asked, placated by Iolaus’s explanation. “You never told me.” “I sent him for more water.” “Oh.” A fresh thought came to my mind. “Iolaus, you spoke of my brothers. You can’t tell them I’m here. Please.” He looked puzzled. “I thought you came to Iolkos to find them. I’ll tell you the truth, I’ve been sitting here wondering what could’ve happened to make a girl like you risk the journey here. When your brothers showed up in Prince Jason’s company, they told me how you’d all traveled together as far as Delphi, where they’d left you safe, yet now…here you are.
Esther M. Friesner (Nobody's Prize (Nobody's Princess, #2))
General Kelly, the homeland security secretary and retired four-star Marine general, was furious when he learned that the White House was working on a compromise on immigration for “Dreamers”—a central issue in the immigration debate. Dreamers are immigrant children brought to the United States by their parents who as adults had entered illegally. Under the 2012 legislation called DACA—Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals—President Obama had given 800,000 Dreamers protection from deportation and made work permits available to them, hoping to bring them out of the shadow economy and give them an American identity. Kelly, a hard-liner on immigration, was supposed to be in charge of these matters now. But Jared Kushner had been working a backchannel compromise. He had been inviting Senator Dick Durbin, the Illinois Democrat who was number two in his party’s leadership, and Lindsey Graham to his office to discuss a compromise. Graham later asked Kelly, “Didn’t Jared tell you we’ve been working on this for months? We’ve got a fix.” Kelly called Bannon. “If the son-in-law is going to run it, then have the son-in-law run it. I don’t need to run it. I need to come see the president. I’m not doing this anymore. I’m not going to be up there and be blindsided and humiliated on something that I’ve got to be in the loop on.” Bannon believed the administration owned the hard-line immigration posture—except for Trump himself. “He’s always been soft on DACA. He believes the left-wing thing. They’re all valedictorians. They’re all Rhodes Scholars. Because Ivanka over the years has told him that.” Kelly voiced his distress to Priebus, who along with Bannon feared Kelly might quit. “Get Kelly some time on the calendar,” Bannon proposed. “Let him come see the boss and light Jared up. Because this is Jared’s shit, doing stuff behind people’s back.” Priebus didn’t do it. “Get it on the fucking calendar,” Bannon insisted. Priebus continued to stall. It would expose disorganization in the White House. “What are you talking about?” Bannon asked. This was laughable! Of course Priebus didn’t have control of Jared. And people were always going behind someone’s back. So Bannon and Priebus both told Kelly, We’ll take care of it. To go to the president would cause unnecessary consternation. We’ll make sure it won’t happen again and you’re going to be in the loop. Kelly, team player for the moment, didn’t push it further. When he later mentioned it obliquely in the president’s presence, Trump didn’t respond. Lindsey Graham wandered into Bannon’s West Wing office. “Hey, here’s the deal. You want your wall?” Trump would get wall funding in exchange for the Dreamers. “Stop,” Bannon said. A deal on the Dreamers was amnesty. “We will never give amnesty for one person. I don’t care if you build 10 fucking walls. The wall ain’t good enough. It’s got to be chain migration.” Chain migration, formally called the family reunification policy, allowed a single legal immigrant to bring close family members into the United States—parents, children, a spouse and, in some cases, siblings. These family members would have a path to legal permanent residency or citizenship. They might be followed by a “chain” of their own spouses, children, parents or siblings. Two thirds (68 percent) of legal permanent residents entered under family reunification or chain migration in 2016. This was at the heart of Trump’s and Bannon’s anti-immigration stance: They wanted to stop illegal immigration and limit legal immigration. Bannon wanted a new, stricter policy. Graham and he were not able to come close to agreement.
Bob Woodward (Fear: Trump in the White House)
A sober person who has a kind, soft, and sensitive heart, does not look at people's behaviour of stupidity, insulting, joking and cheating, just helps to give, and provides them only the right and moral way of life that leads, to reach honour, pleasure, and happiness
Ehsan Sehgal
Following a spiritual path is often discouraging, humbling, tedious, boring, mystifying. It requires that we acknowledge our shortcomings and failures without defensiveness. It asks us to become naked to ourselves and eventually transparent. A person who possesses the spiritual quality of transparency is always the same, despite the people or circumstances that he encounters. He moves through life with calmness, grace, and equanimity. He treats everyone with respect and lifts the psychic weight off others. His heart is strong and soft, resolute and adaptable.
Linda Martinez-Lewi (Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life)
Love one another…as members of one family…. —Romans 12:10 (AMP) I sometimes brood about my mothering days when my children were young. Observing other mothers with their children now, I realize how simple it would have been to have bent over to their level more, hugged more, and said to each of them more often, “I love you.” Now I was certain it was too late. Recently, my daughter Julie was going through a difficult day. As she left my house, we stood at the back door, saying good-bye. Suddenly, she threw her arms around me, and I grabbed her tight. “I love you, Mother.” “I love you too, Julie.” “It’s so good to hear you say it, Mother.” “I thought you were too old.” I tightened my grip. Julie shed her tears openly. Mine got stuck somewhere down inside of me. “You didn’t say it much when we were little,” she whispered so softly, I could have missed the words. “Oh, I’m so sorry, Julie. Can you forgive me?” She nodded, unable to speak. “Thank you, Julie Babe.” “I want to hear them, Mother. I always did.” Still holding my daughter, I spoke the words again. So did she. The powerful words went straight to my heart and rested there like a contented kitten. Now, each time we end a telephone conversation or say good-bye in person, we add “I love you,” simultaneously. Oh, my Father, I’ve neglected to speak the words to You too. Thank You that it's never too late to change. I love You. I love You. —Marion Bond West Digging Deeper: Lk 6:31; Eph 4:32, 6:4
Guideposts (Daily Guideposts 2014)
Soon after that, Eno briefly joined a group called the Scratch Orchestra, led by the late British avant-garde composer Cornelius Cardew. There was one Cardew piece that would be a formative experience for Eno—a piece known as “Paragraph 7,” part of a larger Cardew masterwork called The Great Learning. Explaining “Paragraph 7” could easily take up a book of its own. “Paragraph 7”’s score is designed to be performed by a group of singers, and it can be done by anyone, trained or untrained. The words are from a text by Confucius, broken up into 24 short chunks, each of which has a number. There are only a few simple rules. The number tells the singer how many times to repeat that chunk of text; an additional number tells each singer how many times to repeat it loudly or softly. Each singer chooses a note with which to sing each chunk—any note—with the caveats to not hit the same note twice in a row, and to try to match notes with a note sung by someone else in the group. Each note is held “for the length of a breath,” and each singer goes through the text at his own pace. Despite the seeming vagueness of the score’s few instructions, the piece sounds very similar—and very beautiful—each time it is performed. It starts out in discord, but rapidly and predictably resolves into a tranquil pool of sound. “Paragraph 7,” and 1960s tape loop pieces like Steve Reich’s “It’s Gonna Rain,” sparked Eno’s fascination with music that wasn’t obsessively organized from the start, but instead grew and mutated in intriguing ways from a limited set of initial constraints. “Paragraph 7” also reinforced Eno’s interest in music compositions that seemed to have the capacity to regulate themselves; the idea of a self-regulating system was at the very heart of cybernetics. Another appealing facet of “Paragraph 7” for Eno was that it was both process and product—an elegant and endlessly beguiling process that yielded a lush, calming result. Some of Cage’s pieces, and other process-driven pieces by other avant-gardists, embraced process to the point of extreme fetishism, and the resulting product could be jarring or painful to listen to. “Paragraph 7,” meanwhile, was easier on the ears—a shimmering cloud of sonics. In an essay titled “Generating and Organizing Variety in the Arts,” published in Studio International in 1976, a 28-year-old Eno connected his interest in “Paragraph 7” to his interest in cybernetics. He attempted to analyze how the design of the score’s few instructions naturally reduced the “variety” of possible inputs, leading to a remarkably consistent output. In the essay, Eno also wrote about algorithms—a cutting-edge concept for an electronic-music composer to be writing about, in an era when typewriters, not computers, were still en vogue. (In 1976, on the other side of the Atlantic, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were busy building a primitive personal computer in a garage that they called the Apple I.) Eno also talked about the related concept of a “heuristic,” using managerial-cybernetics champion Stafford Beer’s definition. “To use Beer’s example: If you wish to tell someone how to reach the top of a mountain that is shrouded in mist, the heuristic ‘keep going up’ will get him there,” Eno wrote. Eno connected Beer’s concept of a “heuristic” to music. Brecht’s Fluxus scores, for instance, could be described as heuristics.
Geeta Dayal (Brian Eno's Another Green World (33 1/3 Book 67))
Something happened tonight, Etienne. And I need to tell you.” Pausing a moment, he scanned her face with narrowed eyes. Then he lowered himself beside her. “Something’s changed, hasn’t it, cher?” he murmured. “Yes.” “And you’ve changed with it.” And then she told him. About her feelings at the funeral home, her sadness and sense of loss, her sudden and overwhelming revelation of purpose, and hearing her grandfather’s voice. Everything but having hidden and watched and eavesdropped on his own personal sorrow. When she’d gotten it all out, neither of them spoke. He’d moved closer to her, and, for the moment, it made her feel safe. “You know what I keep wondering?” Miranda’s tone went even more serious. “I keep wondering if all those spirits think I’m the one who’s lost.” That not-quite-smile brushed his lips. “We’re all a little lost. We’re all trying to find something.” Miranda considered this. “I know you and Grandpa tried to tell me before. About my gift…and how I can do so much good with it. But tonight--for the first time--it was real to me. Like I finally got it. Like it finally all made sense.” “Sometimes we can be hearing the same stuff over and over again, yeah? And we know it’s true, we know it there”--Etienne lightly tapped her forehead--“but what matters is when we finally know it here.” As he touched his heart, she couldn’t help giving a wan smile. “The weird thing is…I’m okay with it. I mean, I’m still sort of scared…but I’m okay.” “You’ve always been okay, cher. Way more than okay.” As her cheeks flushed, she hoped he hadn’t noticed. “How am I ever going to know all the stuff I need to know? I mean, I need to learn everything.” “Tonight?” Etienne kept a perfectly straight face. “I’m not sure I’m up to it.” Miranda’s stare was deliberately reproachful. “This is about Nathan. He needs me. Now.” Groaning softly, Etienne lay back, pillowing his arms beneath his head. “I can see I’m gonna have to be humoring you. So what do you wanna talk about?
Richie Tankersley Cusick (Walk of the Spirits (Walk, #1))
Being a mother is NOT a job. Stop throwing things at me. I'm sorry but it is not. I find it offensive to motherhood to call being a mother a job. Being a mother isn't a job. It's who someone is. It's who I am. You can quit a job. I can't quit being a mother. I'm a mother forever. Mothers are never off the clock, mothers are never on vacation. Being a mother redefines us, reinvents us, destroys and rebuilds us. Being a mother brings us face-to-face with ourselves as children, with our mothers as human beings, with our darkest fears of who we really are. being a mother requires us to get it together or risk messing up another person forever. Being a mother yanks our hearts out of our bodies and attaches them to our tiny humans and sends tem out into the world, forever hostages. If all of that happened at work, I'd have quit fifty times already. Because there isn't enough money in the world. And my job does not pay me in the smell of baby head and the soft weight of snuggly sleepy toddler on my shoulder. Being a mother is incredibly important. To the naysayers, I growl, do not diminish it by calling it a job.
Shonda Rhimes (Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person)
Anthony has experienced the feeling before—no matter where he is, there is something about people’s struggles to keep their memories that bruises his heart, because it’s too soft to break. The world is his orphanage. Why he should feel so sorry for the other people on the planet is a mystery to him. He’s actually a very happy person. It’s just that he doesn’t know there’s a difference between love and empathy, nor does he question why he should be overcome so frequently with nostalgia for times and places not his own. He can’t see differences. Only variety. He travels well. The
Ann-Marie MacDonald (Fall on Your Knees)
Then, after about a year, we discovered that despite the many benefits of our low-carb, high-fat regime, both of us had an unexpected result. Our LDL-P, total cholesterol particle number—a strong predictor of heart disease—was elevated. As a result, we cut back substantially on meat and hard cheese. We’re not vegans now by a long shot, but our sleuthing has led to a diet that’s almost all plants, with the Plus additions of a little soft cheese, fish, poultry, and nonfat yogurt. Now meat’s a cheat rather than a mainstay.
Joan Borysenko (The PlantPlus Diet Solution: Personalized Nutrition for Life)
The moment she stepped into the clearing holding Sawyer’s hand my heart sped up. Just seeing her made me a little crazy. I hated seeing her hand tucked in Sawyer’s, but she wasn’t paying any attention to Sawyer. She searching the crowd, for me. I threw my cup in the trash can and made my way over to them. Once I stepped out of the shadows, her eyes found mine and a pleased smile lifted the corners of her mouth. Desire curled in my gut, making it hard not to go jerk her away from Sawyer and claim her as mine. He shouldn’t be touching her. “Sawyer,” I said, nodding to my cousin before allowing myself to stare at Ashton some more. The tight jeans she wore clung to her hips, while her flat, tanned stomach played peek-a-boo with the hem of her pale blue tank top. I knew exactly how soft that little strip of skin felt against my fingers. I lifted my eyes from her stomach to meet her gaze. “Ash.” I watched her blush prettily, then duck her head and glance over through her lowered lashes at the person standing beside her. I followed her gaze and saw who could only be a grownup version of Lana. She smiled at me, but I could see it was forced. It took all my restraint to hold back a chuckle. I’d tormented the girl when we were kids, but she had always been so mean to Ash. “Beau, you remember Lana. I believe you once handcuffed her to the dog fence and forced her to sing loudly for her release.” Ashton’s introduction made me laugh. I couldn’t stop myself this time. I remember seeing Ashton’s head full of blond curls peeking at me from around the tree trunk, covering her mouth as her shoulders shook from laughter. I’d been so proud of myself for avenging her honor and making her laugh all at the same time. I met Ashton’s amused gaze, wishing for the millionth time that things had gone differently and she was mine. “I remember that. You tormented Lana so much, it’s a wonder she didn’t run screaming when she saw you tonight.
Abbi Glines (The Vincent Boys (The Vincent Boys, #1))
There is nothing in this world that never takes a step outside a person’s heart,” Leader repeated softly.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84)
He turned about to the orchard side of his garden and began to whistle—a low soft whistle. She could not understand how such a surly man could make such a coaxing sound. Almost the next moment a wonderful thing happened. She heard a soft little rushing flight through the air—and it was the bird with the red breast flying to them, and he actually alighted on the big clod of earth quite near to the gardener’s foot. “Here he is,” chuckled the old man, and then he spoke to the bird as if he were speaking to a child. “Where has tha’ been, tha’ cheeky little beggar?” he said. “I’ve not seen thee before today. Has tha begun tha’ courtin’ this early in th’ season? Tha’rt too forrad.” The bird put his tiny head on one side and looked up at him with his soft bright eye which was like a black dewdrop. He seemed quite familiar and not the least afraid. He hopped about and pecked the earth briskly, looking for seeds and insects. It actually gave Mary a queer feeling in her heart, because he was so pretty and cheerful and seemed so like a person. He had a tiny plump body and a delicate beak, and slender delicate legs. “Will he always come when you call him?” she asked almost in a whisper. “Aye, that he will. I’ve knowed him ever since he was a fledgling. He come out of th’ nest in th’ other garden an’ when first he flew over th’ wall he was too weak to fly back for a few days an’ we got friendly. When he went over th’ wall again th’ rest of th’ brood was gone an’ he was lonely an’ he come back to me.
Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Secret Garden)
She dances, She dances around the burning flames with passion, Under the same dull stars, Under the same hell with crimson embers crashing, Under the same silver chains that wires, All her beauty and who she is inside, She's left with the loneliness of human existence, She's left questioning how she's survived, She's left with this awakening of brutal resilience, Her true beauty that she denies, As much she's like to deny it, As much as it continues to shine, That she doesn't even have to admit, Because we all know it's true, Her glory and success, After all she's been through, Her triumph and madness, AND YET, SHE STANDS. Broken legs- but she's still standing, Still dancing in this void, You must wonder how she's still dancing, You must wonder how she's not destroyed, She doesn't even begin to drown within the flames, But little do you realize, Within these chains, She weeps and she cries, But she still goes on, And just you thought you could stop her? You thought you'd be the one? Well, let me tell you, because you thought wrong. Nothing will ever silence her, Because I KNOW, I know that she is admiringly strong, Her undeniable beauty, The triumph of her song, She's shining bright like a ruby, Reflecting in the golden sand, She's shining brighter like no other, She's far more than human or man, AND YET, SHE STANDS. She continues to dance with free-spirit, Even though she's locked in these chains, Though she never desired to change it, Even throughout the agonizing pain, Throughout all the distress, Anxiety, depression, tears and sorrow, She still dances so beautify in her dress, She looks forward to tomorrow, Not because of a fresh start but a new page, A new day full of opportunities, Despite being trapped in her cage, She still smiles after being beaten so brutally, A smile that could brighten anyone's day, She's so much more than anyone could ask for, She's so much more than I could ever say, She's a girl absolutely everyone should adore, She never gets in the way, Even after her hearts been broken, Even after the way she has been treated, After all these severe emotions, After all all the blood she's bled, AND YET, SHE STANDS. Even if sometimes she wonders why she's still here, She wonders why she's not dead, But there's this one thing that had been here throughout every tear, Throughout the blazing fire leaving her cheeks cherry red, Everyday this thing has given her a place to exist, This thing, person, these people, Like warm sunlight it had so softly kissed, The apples of her cheeks, Even when she's feeling feeble, Always there at her worst and at her best Because of you and all the other people, She has this thing deep inside her chest, That she will cherish forever, Even once you're gone, Because today she smiles like no other, Even when the sun sets at dawn, Because today is the day, She just wants you to remember, In dark and stormy weather, It gets better. And after what she's been through she knows, Throughout the highs and the lows, Because of you and all others, After crossing the seas, She has come to understand, You have formed this key, This key to free her from this land, This endless gorge that swallowed her, Her and other men, She had never knew, nor had she planned, That because of you, AND YET, THIS VERY DAY, SHE DANCES. EVEN IN THE RAIN.
Gabrielle Renee
I stared at the sea, trying to breathe, trying to understand how I came to be here. A motherless daughter, and now a brotherless sister. How was it that I went from a princess of Egypt — the daughter of the most powerful queen in the world — to a prisoner of Rome, and now the bride of a petty ruler in the scrubs of Africa? I closed my eyes, remembering Mother’s soft breath on my ear as she whispered, “You have the heart of a great and powerful queen.” Her last words to me. I spent my whole life trying to live up to them. But I failed. I lost everything, lost every single person I ever loved. Why? Why have you cursed me? I asked the gods. Why have you cursed my family? But no answer came. I heard only the creaking of ropes, the flapping of sails, the splash of water against the hull.
Vicky Alvear Shecter (Cleopatra's Moon)
There is nothing about abuse that makes it easy to talk about. Not how it is often someone you know, trust and love that inflicts the harm. Not how it spins your head a thousand times over, breaks your spine in two; traps you in a bed for days. There is nothing easy about crying in the shower after it is finished. Ruminating on the details. Watching tears dive into swimming pools at your feet. The night sweats. The intrusive thoughts. The feelings of being less than human. The guilt, the shame, the anger and the fear. I tell you, there is absolutely nothing soft about breaking. There are times when you betray yourself by thinking most about the person that cares for you the least. Times when you put your heart back together knowing it will still break again by morning. Times when you wonder if the darkness gets a kick out of staying too long. And you know it will cost a lot of therapy returning yourself to you, so instead you settle. You settle for anything that will alleviate the memories. The sweets. The overeating. The drugs. The alcohol. The fast sex. You know; those small violence’s you do to your body in order to make sense of why.
Ezinne Orjiako, Nkem.
Seafood, of course, has aphrodisiac qualities. Mollusks, too---like lanarche ajo e ojo, snails in oil and garlic. Perhaps some carciofioni, baby artichokes cooked with mint, pulled apart with the fingers and dipped in soft, melted butter. Wine, obviously. And then, to finish, a burst of sugar, something light but artificial, so that you feel full of energy and happiness---but that's only one side of the story. If you want someone to fall in love with you, you would cook for them something very different, something perfectly simple but intense. Something that shows you understand their soul." "Such as?" "Well, that's the difficulty. It will vary from individual to individual. You'd have to really know the person concerned---their history, their background, whether they are raw or refined, dry or oily. You would have to have tasted them, to know whether their own flesh is sweet or savory, salty or bland. In short, you would have to love them, and even then you might not truly know them well enough to cook a dish that would capture their heart.
Anthony Capella (The Food of Love)