Soft Spoken Quotes

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Achilles was looking at me. “Your hair never quite lies flat, here.” He touched my head, just behind my ear. “I don’t think I’ve ever told you how I like it.” My scalp prickled where his fingers had been. “You haven’t,” I said. “I should have.” His hand drifted down to the vee at the base of my throat, drew softly across the pulse. “What about this? Have I told you what I think of this, just here?” “No,” I said. “This surely then.” His hand moved across the muscles of my chest; my skin warmed beneath it. “Have I told you of this?” “That you have told me.” My breath caught a little as I spoke. “And what of this?” His hand lingered over my hips, drew down the line of my thigh. “Have I spoken of it?” “You have.” “And this? Surely I would not have forgotten this.” His cat’s smile. “Tell me I did not.” “You did not.” “There is this too.” His hand was ceaseless now. “I know I have told you of this.” I closed my eyes. “Tell me again,” I said.
Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles)
I decided a long time ago I would feed on the vultures until a dove came along. A pigeon. The kind of soul that didn't impede on anyone; just walked around worrying about its own business, trying to get through life without pulling everyone else down. With its own needs and selfish habits. Brave. A communicator. Intelligent. Beautiful. Soft-spoken. A creature that mates for life. Unattainable until she has a reason to trust you.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
Happy Birthday." Adrian came to a sudden halt. The words were soft and small, spoken tentatively, but easily discerned by vampire ears. Slowly, he turned around and found Jill Mastrano standing shyly before him.
Richelle Mead (Adrian's Lost Chapter (Bloodlines, #0.5))
I had always imagined Rosa Parks as a stately woman with a bold temperament, someone who could easily stand up to a busload of glowering passengers. But when she died in 2005 at the age of ninety-two, the flood of obituaries recalled her as soft-spoken, sweet, and small in stature. They said she was "timid and shy" but had "the courage of a lion." They were full of phrases like "radical humility" and "quiet fortitude.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Draco, do it, or stand aside so one of us -" screeched the woman, but at that precise moment the door to the ramparts burst open once more and there stood Snape, his wand clutched in his hand as his black eyes swept the scene, from Dumbledore slumped against the wall, to the four Death Eaters, including the enraged werewolf, and Malfoy. "We've got a problem, Snape," said the lumpy Amycus, whose eyes and wand were fixed alike upon Dumbledore, "the boy doesn't seem able -" But somebody else had spoken Snape's name, quite softly. "Severus ..." The sound frightened Harry beyond anything he had experienced all evening. For the first time, Dumbledore was pleading. Snape said nothing, but walked forwards and pushed Malfoy roughly out of the way. The three Death Eaters fell back without a word. Even the werewolf seemed cowed. Snape gazed for a moment at Dumbledore, and there was revulsion and hatred etched in the harsh lines of his face. "Severus ... please ..." Snape raised his wand and pointed it directly at Dumbledore. "Avada Kedavra!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
But more than that, no unloving words were ever spoken, and everything was held up as another small piece of proof that it can be this way, it doesn't have to be that way; if there is no love in the world, we will make a new world, and we will give it heavy walls, and we will furnish it with soft red interiors, from the inside out, and give it a knocker that resonates like a diamond falling to a jeweler's felt so that we should never hear it. Love me, because love doesn't exist, and I have tried everything that does.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything Is Illuminated)
So I feared not just the violence of this world but the rules designed to protect you from it, the rules that would have you contort your body to address the block, and contort again to be taken seriously by colleagues, and contort again so as not to give the police a reason. All my life I’d heard people tell their black boys and black girls to “be twice as good,” which is to say “accept half as much.” These words would be spoken with a veneer of religious nobility, as though they evidenced some unspoken quality, some undetected courage, when in fact all they evidenced was the gun to our head and the hand in our pocket. This is how we lose our softness. This is how they steal our right to smile.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
I have spoken softly, gone my ways softly, all my days, as behoves one who has nothing to say, nowhere to go, and so nothing to gain by being seen or heard.
Samuel Beckett (Malone Dies)
I almost miss the sound of your voice but know that the rain outside my window will suffice for tonight. I’m not drunk yet, but we haven’t spoken in months now and I wanted to tell you that someone threw a bouquet of roses in the trash bin on the corner of my street, and I wanted to cry because, because — well, you know exactly why. And, I guess I’m calling because only you understand how that would break my heart. I’m running out of things to say. My gas is running on empty. I’ve stopped stealing pages out of poetry books, but last week I pocketed a thesaurus and looked for synonyms for you but could only find rain and more rain and a thunderstorm that sounded like glass, like crystal, like an orchestra. I wanted to tell you that I’m not afraid of being moved anymore; Not afraid of this heart packing up its things and flying transcontinental with only a wool coat and a pocket with a folded-up address inside. I’ve saved up enough money to disappear. I know you never thought the day would come. Do you remember when we said goodbye and promised that it was only for then? It’s been years since I last saw you, years since we last have spoken. Sometimes, it gets quiet enough that I can hear the cicadas rubbing their thighs against each other’s. I’ve forgotten almost everything about you already, except that your skin was soft, like the belly of a peach, and how you would laugh, making fun of me for the way I pronounced almonds like I was falling in love with language.
Shinji Moon
Aiden moved so quickly that one second I was in his lap, and the next I was on my back and he was hovering above me. He lowered his head so that his lips brushed mine softly. That one all-too-wuick touch nearly undid me. "I love you," he said, and those were the last words spoken for quite some time.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Apollyon (Covenant, #4))
But somebody else had spoken Snape’s name, quite softly. “Severus . . .” The sound frightened Harry beyond anything he had experienced all evening. For the first time, Dumbledore was pleading. Snape gazed for a moment at Dumbledore, and there was revulsion and hatred etched in the harsh lines of his face. “Severus . . . please . . .” Snape raised his wand and pointed it directly at Dumbledore. “Avada Kedavra!” A jet of green light shot from the end of Snape’s wand and hit Dumbledore squarely in the chest. Harry’s scream of horror never left him; silent and unmoving, he was forced to watch as Dumbledore was blasted into the air. For a split second, he seemed to hang suspended beneath the shining skull, and then he fell slowly backward, like a great rag doll, over the battlements and out of sight.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
She used to place her pretty arms about my neck, draw me to her, and laying her cheek to mine, murmur with her lips near my ear, “Dearest, your little heart is wounded; think me not cruel because I obey the irresistible law of my strength and weakness; if your dear heart is wounded, my wild heart bleeds with yours. In the rapture of my enormous humiliation I live in your warm life, and you shall die—die, sweetly die—into mine. I cannot help it; as I draw near to you, you, in your turn, will draw near to others, and learn the rapture of that cruelty, which yet is love; so, for a while, seek to know no more of me and mine, but trust me with all your loving spirit.” And when she had spoken such a rhapsody, she would press me more closely in her trembling embrace, and her lips in soft kisses gently glow upon my cheek.
J. Sheridan Le Fanu
He had been thinking of how landscape moulds a language. It was impossible to imagine these hills giving forth anything but the soft syllables of Irish, just as only certain forms of German could be spoken on the high crags of Europe; or Dutch in the muddy, guttural, phlegmish lowlands.
Alexander McCall Smith (Portuguese Irregular Verbs (Portuguese Irregular Verbs, #1))
Sometimes, when we lose ourselves in fear and despair, in routine and constancy, in hopelessness and tragedy, we can thank God for Bavarian sugar cookies. And, fortunately, when there aren't any cookies, we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin, or a kind and loving gesture, or subtle encouragement, or a loving embrace, or an offer of comfort, not to mention hospital gurneys and nose plugs, an uneaten Danish, soft-spoken secrets, and Fender Stratocasters, and maybe the occasional piece of fiction. And we must remember that all these things, the nuances, the anomalies, the subtleties, which we assume only accessorize our days, are effective for a much larger and nobler cause. They are here to save our lives. I know the idea seems strange, but I also know that it just so happens to be true.
Zach Helm (Stranger Than Fiction: The Shooting Script)
And were you being good to yourself? i don’t think so. but, i forgive you, girl, who tallied stretch marks into reasons why no one should get close. i forgive you, silly girl, sweet breath, decent by default. i forgive you for being afraid. did everything betray you? even the rain you love so much made rust out of your jewelry? i forgive you, soft spoken girl speaking with fake brash voice, fooling no one. i see you, tender even on your hardest days. i forgive you, waiting for him to call, i forgive you, the diets and the cruel friends. especially for that one time you said ‘i fucking give up on love, it’s not worth it, i’d rather be alone forever’. you were just pretending, weren’t you? i know you didn’t mean that. your body, your mouth, your heart, made specifically for loving. sometimes the things we love, will kill us, but weren’t we dying anyway? i forgive you for being something that will eventually die. perishable goods, fading out slowly, little human, i wouldn’t want to be in a world where you don’t exist.
Warsan Shire
Help me,' Allison says, but she is soft-spoken, and everyone she loves is so far away.
Daniel Handler (Adverbs)
How about I show you what the inside of your ass looks like?
Gabrielle Evans (Softly Spoken Lies (Moonlight Breed #4))
The Summer had died peacefully in its sleep, and Autumn, as soft-spoken executrix, was locking life up safely until Spring came to claim it.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Look at the Birdie: Unpublished Short Fiction)
It has been my experience that the "hardest" people in the world are actually the most fragile and the most soft-spoken are the strongest...
Charles M. Blow
The soft-spoken words fell off the side of the bed, emptying to the floor like powder.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
Those deep set eyes that look like they could tell stories for days, and that wavy brown hair that feels soft between my fingers. I try to memorize the angles of his jaw and the lines of his lips, because I know. I know this may be the last time I ever see him. Breathe fills my lungs, my throat relaxes, and I can't help but smile. Because I can see what he's thinking as clearly as if he'd spoken. He doesn't want to leave - he doesn't want to go home. He's going to choose me instead.
Elizabeth Norris (Unraveling (Unraveling, #1))
The child-like, gum-chewing naïveté , the glamour rooted in despair, the self admiring carelessness, the perfected otherness, the wispiness, the shadowy, voyeuristic, vaguely sinister aura, the pale, soft-spoken magical presence, the skin and bones…
Andy Warhol (The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again))
This was the world in which she grew and he aged. They made for themselves a sanctuary from Trachimbrod, a habitat completely unlike the rest of the world. No hateful words were ever spoken, and no hands raised. More than that, no angry words were ever spoken, and nothing was denied. But more than that, no unloving words were ever spoken, and everything was held up as another small piece of proof that it can be this way, it doesn’t have to be that way; if there is no love in the world, we will make a new world, and we will give it heavy walls, and we will furnish it with soft red interiors, from the inside out, and give it a knocker that resonates like a diamond falling to a jeweler’s felt so that we should never hear it. Love me, because love doesn’t exist, and I have tried everything that does.
Jonathan Safran Foer
All my life I'd heard people tell their black boys and black girls to be "twice as good," which is to say "accept half as much." These words would be spoken with a veneer of religious nobility, as though they evidenced some unspoken quality, some undetected courage, when in fact all they evidenced was the gun to our head and the hand in our pocket. This is how we lose our softness. This is how they steal our right to smile. No one told those little white children, with their tricycles, to be twice as good. I imagined their parents telling them to take twice as much. It seemed to me that our own rules redoubled plunder. It struck me that perhaps the defining feature of being drafted into the black race was the inescapable robbery of time, because the moments we spent readying the mask, or readying ourselves to accept half as much, could not be recovered. The robbery of time is not measured in lifespans but in moments. It is the last bottle of wine that you have just uncorked but do not have time to drink. It is the kiss that you do not have time to share, before she walks out of your life. It is the raft of second chances for them, and the twenty-three-hour days for us.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
There is one thing I like about the Poles—their language. Polish, when it is spoken by intelligent people, puts me in ecstasy. The sound of the language evokes strange images in which there is always a greensward of fine spiked grass in which hornets and snakes play a great part. I remember days long back when Stanley would invite me to visit his relatives; he used to make me carry a roll of music because he wanted to show me off to these rich relatives. I remember this atmosphere well because in the presence of these smooth−tongued, overly polite, pretentious and thoroughly false Poles I always felt miserably uncomfortable. But when they spoke to one another, sometimes in French, sometimes in Polish, I sat back and watched them fascinatedly. They made strange Polish grimaces, altogether unlike our relatives who were stupid barbarians at bottom. The Poles were like standing snakes fitted up with collars of hornets. I never knew what they were talking about but it always seemed to me as if they were politely assassinating some one. They were all fitted up with sabres and broad−swords which they held in their teeth or brandished fiercely in a thundering charge. They never swerved from the path but rode rough−shod over women and children, spiking them with long pikes beribboned with blood−red pennants. All this, of course, in the drawing−room over a glass of strong tea, the men in butter−colored gloves, the women dangling their silly lorgnettes. The women were always ravishingly beautiful, the blonde houri type garnered centuries ago during the Crusades. They hissed their long polychromatic words through tiny, sensual mouths whose lips were soft as geraniums. These furious sorties with adders and rose petals made an intoxicating sort of music, a steel−stringed zithery slipper−gibber which could also register anomalous sounds like sobs and falling jets of water.
Henry Miller (Sexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #1))
As Harold took a bite of Bavarian sugar cookie, he finally felt as if everything was going to be ok. Sometimes, when we lose ourselves in fear and despair, in routine and constancy, in hopelessness and tragedy, we can thank God for Bavarian sugar cookies. And, fortunately, when there aren't any cookies, we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin, or a kind and loving gesture, or subtle encouragement, or a loving embrace, or an offer of comfort, not to mention hospital gurneys and nose plugs, an uneaten Danish, soft-spoken secrets, and Fender Stratocasters, and maybe the occasional piece of fiction. And we must remember that all these things, the nuances, the anomalies, the subtleties, which we assume only accessorize our days, are effective for a much larger and nobler cause. They are here to save our lives. I know the idea seems strange, but I also know that it just so happens to be true.
Zach Helm (Stranger Than Fiction: The Shooting Script)
RBG’s longtime friend Cynthia Fuchs Epstein says, “I think had she not had this persona as this very soft-spoken, neat, and tidy person, with a conventional life, she would have been considered a flaming radical.
Irin Carmon (Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg)
The thought that human beings are considering saving lives by killing millions of their fellow human beings is so preposterous that the words 'saving life' have lost all of their meaning. One of the most tragic facts of our century is that this 'No' to nuclear weapons has been spoken so seldom, so softly, and by so few.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
She's in the Catskill," Shopie began, but Scathach reached over and pinched her hand. "Ouch!" I just wanted to distract you," Scathach explained. "Don't even think about Black Annis. There are some names that should never be spoken aloud." That like saying don't think of elephants, Josh said, "and then all you can think about is elephants." Then let me give you something else to think about," Scathach said softly. "There are two police officers in the window staring at us. Don't look," she added urgently. Too late. Josh turned to look and whatever crossed his face--shock, horror, guilt or fear--bought both officers racing into the cafe, one pulling his automatic from its holster, the other speaking urgently into his radio as he drew his baton.
Michael Scott
No matter what I do, I really do love you Celaena." The word hit her like a stone to the head. He'd never said that word to her before. Ever. A long silence fell between them. Arobynn's neck shifted as he swallowed. "I do the things that I do because I'm sacred ... and because I don't know how to express what I feel." He said it so quietly that she barely heard it. "I did all of those things because I was angry with you for picking Sam." Arobynn's carefully cultivated mask fell, and the wound she'd given him flickered in those magnificent eyes. "Stay with me," he whispered. "Stay in Rifthold." She swallowed, and found it particularly hard to do so. "I'm going." "No," he said softly. "Don't go." No. That was what she'd said to him that night he'd beaten her, in the moment before he'd struck her, when she thought he was going to hurt Sam instead. And then he'd beaten her so badly she'd been knocked unconscious. Then he'd beaten Sam, too. Don't. That was what Ansel had said to her in the desert when Celaena had pressed the sword into the back of her neck, when the agony of Ansel's betrayal had been almost enough to make Celaena kill the girl she'd called a friend. But that betrayal had paled in comparison to what Arobynn had done to her when he'd tricked her into killing Doneval, a man who could have freed countless slaves. He was using word as chains to bind her again. He'd had so many chances over the year to tell her that he loved her--he'd known how much she craved those words. But he hadn't spoken them until he needed to use them as weapons. And now that she had Sam, Sam who said those words without expecting anything in return, Sam who loved her for reasons she still didn't understand... Celaena tilted her head to the side, the only warning she gave that she was still ready to attack him. "Get out of my house.
Sarah J. Maas (The Assassin and the Empire (Throne of Glass, #0.5))
It’s one of the secrets of strength: We’re so much more likely to find it in the service of others than we are to find it in service to ourselves. We have no idea why this is. It’s not just the mother who lifts the car to free her child, or the guy who shields his girlfriend when the gunman starts to fire. Those are extremes, brave extremes, which life rarely calls on us to offer. No, it is the less extreme strength—a strength that is not so much situational as it is constitutional—that we will find in order to give. How often did we see this, as we were dying? How many soft-spoken lovers turned into fierce watchdogs over our care? How many reticent parents shed that reticence to be there with us? Not all. Certainly, not everyone showed strength. Some supposedly strong people in our lives showed that their strength was actually made of straw. But so many held us up in ways they would not have held themselves. They saw us through, even as their worlds crumbled through their fingers. They kept fighting, even after we were gone. Or especially because we were gone. They kept fighting for us.
David Levithan (Two Boys Kissing)
I lay awake listening to the rain, and at first it was as pleasant to my ear and my mind as it had long been desired; but before I fell asleep it had become a majestic and finally a terrible thing, instead of a sweet sound and symbol. It was accusing and trying me and passing judgment. Long I lay still under the sentence, listening to the rain, and then at last listening to words which seemed to be spoken by a ghostly double beside me. He was muttering: The all-night rain puts out summer like a torch. In the heavy, black rain falling straight from invisible, dark sky to invisible, dark earth the heat of summer is annihilated, the splendour is dead, the summer is gone. The midnight rain buries it away where it has buried all sound but its own. I am alone in the dark still night, and my ear listens to the rain piping in the gutters and roaring softly in the trees of the world. Even so will the rain fall darkly upon the grass over the grave when my ears can hear it no more… The summer is gone, and never can it return. There will never be any summer any more, and I am weary of everything… I am alone. The truth is that the rain falls for ever and I am melting into it. Black and monotonously sounding is the midnight and solitude of the rain. In a little while or in an age – for it is all one – I shall know the full truth of the words I used to love, I knew not why, in my days of nature, in the days before the rain: ‘Blessed are the dead that the rain rains on.
Edward Thomas
I was at this guy's house. I met this girl who was hanging out there. She was real pretty, she had brown eyes and dark hair. She was soft-spoken and real nice. I know that everyone has their own life and they can do what they want and you shouldn't think anything of it or anything. But man, I couldn't help but flinch a little when I saw all those needle marks in her arm, they looked so sore. Hateful little holes. I wanted to say something, but I didn't.
Henry Rollins (The First Five)
When I use the word rebel for the artist, I do not refer to revolutionary or to such things as taking over the dean’s office; that is a different matter. Artists are generally soft-spoken persons who are concerned with their inner visions and images. But that is precisely what makes them feared by any coercive society. For they are the bearers of the human being’s age-old capacity to be insurgent.
Rollo May (The Courage to Create)
With us he spoke freely enough. We were, in some subtle way, his folks. Though we had taken him in, you had the feeling that he had adopted us. But with others he was reserved; courteous and soft-spoken, yet withdrawn beyond a line of his own making.
Jack Schaefer (Shane)
Xander wears a lazy smile—looks bored. As if he sensed me watching, his gaze cuts to me, the smile vanishing from his face. His dark eyes seize hold of me. “Turn around.” My pulse jackknifes against my throat at the deep voice. I look back at Will. His lips barely moved as he speaks. “Trust me. You don’t want to be one of the girls Xander notices. It never goes well for them.” “I’ve hardly spoken to him. I don’t think he—” “I noticed you.” A dark thrill races through me. I wipe damp palms on my jeans. He laughs then. Low and soft. An unhappy sound. “So, yeah. He noticed you.” His lips twist. “Sorry about that.
Sophie Jordan (Firelight (Firelight, #1))
Cat?" It was softly spoken but she heard it clearly over the music. Her head turned to see Rhys leaning against the wall waiting for her. "Dog?" He grinned at her, "Touché.
Leanne Crabtree (Cat's Wolf (A Shifter Romance Novella, #1))
dropped peacefully into sleep, to dream of kilted Highland men, and the sound of soft-spoken Scots, burring round a fire like the sound of bees in the heather.
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn (Outlander #1-4))
My mother is the antithesis of a typical Jewish mother, she is very soft-spoken and takes more naps that a cat. As a result, I've always longed for someone to really annoy the shit out of me.
Chelsea Handler (My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands)
I had grown up in the margins; in the media Asian Americans were assigned side roles, submissive, soft-spoken secondary characters. I had grown used to being unseen, to never being fully known.
Chanel Miller (Know My Name)
Somebody comin'," he said softly. "Five or six, maybe." His words were spoken over an empty fire, for each of us vanished ghostlike into the surrounding darkness. I, fortunately, had the presence of mind to retain my coffee. With the Ferguson rifle in my right hand, I drank coffee from the cup in my left.
Louis L'Amour (The Ferguson Rifle)
What's the first word that comes to mind when you think of him?" "Soft." It was out of my mouth before I could reign the thought back in, and I felt the heat of embarrassment creep up my neck. She cocked her head and gave me a puzzled look. "Soft?" "I didn't mean soft." I bet Jamie did feel soft, thought. His long, coffee colored hair looked like silk. I bet it felt like silk, too. "I meant soft-spoken.
Madison Parker (Sock it to Me, Santa!)
Out of class, Elxa Dal was charming, soft-spoken, and even a little ridiculous when the mood was on him. But when he taught, his personality strode back and forth between mad prophet and galley-slave drummer.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
With only those soft, secret night sounds as witness, he moved over her, kissed her deeply, then slid home. And news sounds filled the dark. Sharp breaths of stunning urgency. Long sighs of immeasurable pleasure. Humming beats of awareness of an unbreakable bond being forged.¸ In the heat of the night, without a single word spoken, she felt everything change between them. Until this moment, they'd only played at love, danced cautiously around the prospect of commitment. But as he sank in and out of her body, immersing them in sensation and a profound stream of consciousness, he sough her gaze in the dark. What she saw in his eyes brought tears to hers as it became achingly, wonderfully clear. The biggest player of them all wasn't playing anymore.
Cindy Gerard (Whisper No Lies (Black Ops Inc., #3))
Therefore, he sat before his dying fire, sorrowful to think upon the way by which he had come to that night, yet not strewing poison on the way by which other men had come to it. That he should have missed so much, and at his time of life should look so far about him for any staff to bear him company upon his downward journey and cheer it, was a just regret. He looked at the fire from which the blaze departed, from which the afterglow subsided, in which the ashes turned grey, from which they dropped to dust, and thought, 'How soon I too shall pass through such changes, and be gone!' To review his life was like descending a green tree in fruit and flower, and seeing all the branches wither and drop off, one by one, as he came down towards them. 'From the unhappy suppression of my youngest days, through the rigid and unloving home that followed them, through my departure, my long exile, my return, my mother's welcome, my intercourse with her since, down to the afternoon of this day with poor Flora,' said Arthur Clennam, 'what have I found!' His door was softly opened, and these spoken words startled him, and came as if they were an answer: 'Little Dorrit.
Charles Dickens (Little Dorrit)
She looked down at him, smiling with exasperated amusement. *Stubborn, snarly male.* *Stubbornness is a much-maligned quality,* he panted as he climbed toward her. Her silvery, velvet-coated laugh filled the land. Then he finally got a good look at her. He sank to his knees. *I owe you a debt, Lady.* She shook her head. *The debt is mine, not yours.* *I failed you,* he said bitterly, looking at her wasted body. *No, Daemon,* Jaenelle replied softly. *I failed you. You asked me to heal the crystal chalice and return to the living world. And I did. But I don’t think I ever forgave my body for being the instrument that was used to try to destroy me, and I became its cruelest torturer. For that I’m sorry because you treasured that part of me.* *No, I treasured all of you. I love you, Witch. I always will. You’re everything I’d dreamed you would be.* She smiled at him. *And I—* She shuddered, pressed her hand against her chest. *Come. There’s little time left.* She fled through the rocks, out of sight before he could move. He hurried after her, following the glittering trail, gasping as he felt a crushing weight descend on him. *Daemon.* Her voice came back to him, faint and pain-filled. *If the body is going to survive, I can’t stay any longer.* He fought against the weight. *Jaenelle!* *You have to take this in slow stages. Rest there now. Rest, Daemon. I’ll mark the trail for you. Please follow it. I’ll be waiting for you at the end.* *JAENELLE!* A wordless whisper. His name spoken like a caress. Then silence.
Anne Bishop (Heir to the Shadows (The Black Jewels, #2))
There was a barber and his wife and she was beautiful... a foolish barber and his wife. She was his reason for his life... and she was beautiful, and she was virtuous. And he was naive. There was another man who saw that she was beautiful... A biased vulture of the law who, with a gesture of his claw removed the barber from his plate! And there was nothing but to wait! And she would fall! So soft! So young! So lost and oh so beautiful! Antony (spoken) The lady, sir...did she succumb? Sweeney Todd (sung) Ah, that was many years ago... I doubt if anyone would know. (spoken) Now leave me, Antony. There is somewhere I must go, something i must find out. Now, and alone. Antony (spoken) But surely we will meet again before I am off to Plymouth? Sweeney Todd (spoken) If you want you may well find me around Fleet Street. I wouldn't wander. (sung) There's a hole in the world like a great black pit and it's filled with people who are filled with shit! And the vermin of the world inhabit it!
Stephen Sondheim (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
When Ronan was young and didn’t know any better, he thought everyone was like him. He made rules for humanity based upon observation, his idea of the truth only as broad as his world was. Everyone must sleep and eat. Everyone has hands, feet. Everyone’s skin is sensitive; no one’s hair is. Everyone whispers to hide and shouts to be heard. Everyone has pale skin and blue eyes, every man has long dark hair, every woman has long golden hair. Every child knows the stories of Irish heroes, every mother knows songs about weaver women and lonely boatmen. Every house is surrounded by secret fields and ancient barns, every pasture is watched by blue mountains, every narrow drive leads to a hidden world. Everyone sometimes wakes with their dreams still gripped in their hands. Then he crept out of childhood, and suddenly the uniqueness of experience unveiled itself. Not all fathers are wild, charming schemers, wiry, far-eyed gods; and not all mothers are dulcet, soft-spoken friends, patient as buds in spring. There are people who don’t care about cars and there are people who like to live in cities. Some families do not have older and younger brothers; some families don’t have brothers at all. Most men do not go to Mass every Sunday and most men do not fall in love with other men. And no one brings dreams to life. No one brings dreams to life. No one brings dreams to life.
Maggie Stiefvater (Call Down the Hawk (Dreamer Trilogy, #1))
Rake,” came the succinct reply. “Oh, all right,” Lillian grumbled. “I suppose he is a rake. But that may not be an impediment to his courtship of Lady Natalie. Some women like rakes. Look at Evie.” Evie continued to snip doggedly through the brocade ribbon, while a smile curved her lips. “I don’t l-like all rakes,” she said, her gaze on her work. “Just one.” Evie, the gentlest and most soft-spoken of them all, had been the one least likely to capture the heart of the notorious Lord St. Vincent, who had been the definitive rake. Although Evie, with her round blue eyes and blazing red hair, possessed a rare and unconventional beauty, she was unbearably shy. And there was the stammer. But Evie also had a reserve of quiet strength and a gallant spirit that seemed to have seduced her husband utterly. “And that former rake obviously adores you beyond reason,” Annabelle said.
Lisa Kleypas (A Wallflower Christmas (Wallflowers, #4.5))
I hadn’t even spoken to him, other than to breathe his name, and I was suddenly wrapped around him in a rainstorm, in the middle of the road. Slowly, I felt his strong arms come up around me, holding me, enfolding me. I was enveloped in warmth. The pleasure of the embrace was so intense I shuddered with it. I felt his hand in my hair, and he made those soft shushing noises. I realized I was crying. We stood in the rain, and he held me up, letting me hold him in return. No comments, no questions, just comfort.
Amy Harmon (Running Barefoot)
The most spiritually credible people I know are humble and soft-spoken. They don’t strut around like peacocks, enchanted by how wonderful they are. My heroes are the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, and Rosa Parks—gentle persuaders to a more noble path, not power-hungry egomaniacs. Don’t get me wrong. I advocate a healthy ego. It’s our conscious sense of self, the “I” of the human equation. However, egotism is having an inflated identity, a strain of negativity that infects spirituality and the liberation it brings.
Judith Orloff (Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life)
There was a danger that the words might become unravelled and rewoven into something new after so many softly spoken passes, but anger had bred an engineered precision into the swell of vowels and consonants, and there was no confusion at all in the message.
Natalie Fergie (The Sewing Machine)
I wanted more than anything to be something I will never be - feminine, and feminine in the worst way. Submissive. Dependent. Soft spoken. Coquettish. I was no good at all at any of it, no good at being a girl; on the other hand, I am not half bad at being a woman.
Nora Ephron (Crazy Salad and Scribble Scribble: Some Things About Women and Notes on Media)
Those who speak of harmony and consensus should beware of what one might call the industrial chaplain view of reality. The idea, roughly speaking, is that there are greedy bosses on one side and belligerent workers on the other, while in the middle, as the very incarnation of reason, equity and moderation, stands the decent, soft-spoken, liberal-minded chaplain who tries selflessly to bring the two warring parties together. But why should the middle always be the most sensible place to stand? Why do we tend to see ourselves as in the middle and other people as on the extremes? After all, one person’s moderation is another’s extremism. People don’t go around calling themselves a fanatic, any more than they go around calling themselves Pimply. Would one also seek to reconcile slaves and slave masters, or persuade native peoples to complain only moderately about those who are plotting their extermination? What is the middle ground between racism and anti-racism?
Terry Eagleton (Why Marx Was Right)
I hated Tennessee Williams's Laura. She reminded me too much of a fairy-tale character. Not the ones my grandmother wrote, allegedly-- those women drew blood. No, she was the worst type of Grimm Brothers beauty: isolated, soft-spoken, waiting for a man to save her. She probably look like me.
Melissa Albert (The Hazel Wood (The Hazel Wood, #1))
Madame Ratignolle hoped that Robert would exercise extreme caution in dealing with the Mexicans, who, she considered, were a treacherous people, unscrupulous and revengeful. She trusted she did them no injustice in thus condemning them as a race. She had known personally but one Mexican, who made and sold excellent tamales, and whom she would have trusted implicitly, so soft-spoken was he. One day he was arrested for stabbing his wife. She never knew whether he had been hanged or not.
Kate Chopin (The Awakening)
I set my face toward the sun again, and I think about my old life—the one I feel as though I’ve abandoned somehow. It hurts to think of it that way. And even though I know it wasn’t perfect, I look back now, and all I see is perfection. Every soft whisper, every spoken word, every gentle touch—it’s all perfect. Time won’t let me see it otherwise. They’re all just perfect memories—perfect, untouchable moments that came and went so softly that they almost feel as if they were always just a dream.
Laura Miller (For All You Have Left)
If words spoken softly at a rape clinic were projected over a megaphone, where was it safe for me to speak?
Chanel Miller (Know My Name)
I wonder if there are soft-spoken voices who deliver assignments to all of us in various times ... It is nice to think I have company-that others dance to the muted music I hear.
W.P. Kinsella (Shoeless Joe)
The strings of life, are played by an inexperienced musician
A Soft Spoken Man
They had always been soft-spoken. Because they had always been afraid.
Jacqueline Woodson (Red at the Bone)
But I found steel beneath his soft-spoken manner. I could not break him. Despite his struggles with the tasks I set him, he lived with everything of gentleness and grace.
Carol Berg (Song of the Beast)
...No, the gentle will not have to kill the table-pounders, thus stultifying their own instincts, for the noisy, being bullies, will melt away at the first sight of the army of the soft-spoken.
Maxwell Struthers Burt
Let me tell you a story,” I say instead. “Once upon a time, there was a girl whose life was saved by the faery king—” “This story sounds distinctly familiar. I think I might have heard it somewhere before.” I shush him and say not to interrupt. “If anyone asked her how she felt about the king, she would have said she loathed him. He ruthlessly trained her to fight his own kind. He taught her to kill. She learned from his lessons how to quiet the rage that burned inside her. But she had already decided that one day, when she had grown strong enough and learned everything she could about battle, she was going to murder him.” Kiaran goes still, his eyes glittering in the darkness. He says nothing. “Her opportunity came one night when he decided she was ready to hunt her first faery. It was a skriker that had been terrorizing a nearby village, slaughtering children in the night. The king handed the girl his sword and ordered her to kill the goblin-like creature. “She barely won. But in the end, as she thrust the sword deep into the monster’s gut, she felt something so profoundly that she thought it would consume her. So she told the king. She whispered the words and meant them with every part of her rage-filled soul: ‘I hate you. I hate all of you.’ When she lifted the sword again, she intended to pierce it right through his heart. “That was the first time the girl had ever seen the faery king smile.” I lift my hand and press my palm to Kiaran’s cheek. “You’ll have to finish the story. She never knew why he smiled. Just that one day, she wanted to see him do it again. So she dropped the sword and spared his life. And she never told the king what really happened that night.” Kiaran looks amused. “The king knew the girl’s plan all along. He smiled because he decided he liked her. She kept things interesting.” I stare at him. “So the faery king is a deranged sort. As the girl always suspected.” “How about his side of this story?” He pulls me close, his lips soft on my shoulder. “He never told the girl that during a hunt, when she ran alongside him with the wind in her hair and the moonlight behind her, that she was the most magnificent thing he had ever seen and he wanted her.” Then Kiaran’s hands are in my hair, lips brushing mine. “And when the king watched her in battle, she’d look over at him with a smile and he desired her. “It was never at once,” he continued. “It was after everything they had gone through and then it was the king and the girl facing an entire army together. And he knew the truth. His heart was hers. It always was. It always will be.” A shadow crosses Kiaran’s irises. A reminder that he’s still fighting. Just to be here. With me. He shuts his eyes, expression strained. Before I can ask if he’s all right, he pulls me against him and holds me close. His next words are spoken under his breath, so low I wonder if I heard them at all. “The girl helps the king keep his darkness at bay.
Elizabeth May (The Fallen Kingdom (The Falconer, #3))
In The Shadow Of The Night All the clouds are gray, and the sky is dark as night. Soft words are spoken, and there's a twinkle, of a flicker of light. The presence of a Man walks by, and Mighty and Powerful is He. Kneeling down to pray, He says a prayer for me. The sky becomes brighter, and the leaves of the trees turn green. The flowers begin to bloom, and there's a warm gentle breeze. Thank you Lord for setting me free...
Jerrel C. Thomas
And we never used the lights again. Except the flashlight. Dick carried the flashlight when we went to tape Mr. Clutter and the boy. Just before I taped him, Mr. Clutter asked me—and these were his last words—wanted to know how his wife was, if she was all right, and I said she was fine, she was ready to go to sleep, and I told him it wasn’t long till morning, and how in the morning somebody would find them, and then all of it, me and Dick and all, would seem like something they dreamed. I wasn’t kidding him. I didn’t want to harm the man. I thought he was a very nice gentleman. Soft-spoken. I thought so right up to the moment I cut his throat. “Wait. I’m not
Truman Capote (In Cold Blood)
All peoples think they are forever," he growled softly. "They do not believe they will ever not be. The Sinnissippi were that way. They did not think they would be eradicated. But that is what happened. Your people, Nest, believe this of themselves. They will survive forever, they think. Nothing can destroy them, can wipe them so completely from the earth and from history that all that will remain is their name and not even that will be known with certainty. They have such faith in their invulnerability. Yet already their destruction begins. It comes upon them gradually, in little ways. Bit by bit their belief in themselves erodes. A growing cynicism pervades their lives. Small acts of kindness and charity are abandoned as pointless and somehow indicative of weakness. Little failures of behavior lead to bigger ones. It is not enough to ignore the discourtesies of others; discourtesies must be repaid in kind. Men are intolerant and judgmental . They are without grace. If one man proclaims that God has spoken to him, another quickly proclaims that his God is false. If the homeless cannot find shelter, then surely they are to blame for their condition. If the poor do not have jobs, then surely it is because they will not work. If sickness strikes down those whose lifestyle differs from our own, then surely they have brought it on themselves. Look at your people, Nest Freemark. They abandon their old. They shun their sick. They cast off their children. They decry any who are different. They commit acts of unfaithfulness, betrayal, and depravity every day. They foster lies that undermine beliefs. Each small darkness breeds another. Each small incident of anger, bitterness, pettiness, and greed breeds others. A sense of futility consumes them. They feel helpless to effect even the smallest change. Their madness is of their own making, and yet they are powerless against it because they refuse to acknowledge its source. They are at war with themselves, but they do not begin to understand the nature of the battle being fought." -pages 96-97
Terry Brooks (Running with the Demon (Word & Void, #1))
All it takes is one knife in the back from someone you trust.” The softly spoken words had her pausing before placing the stethoscope on his skin. “Fear should not remove your ability to trust.” “Death doesn’t give second chances.” “Aren’t
Eve Langlais (Dragon Unleashed (Dragon Point, #3))
My own walls caved. Tears trickled from the corner of my eyes. Then strong arms enveloped me. “Don’t cry.” Ben’s hot breath on my cheek. “We’ll find her. And the twins. I promise.” “Don’t make promises you can’t keep,” I hiccupped. “People always do that.” “I mean it.” Firmly spoken. “I won’t let us fail. Not at this.” The sobs broke free. I burrowed into Ben’s chest, letting everything go. I cried and cried and cried, unthinking, releasing a week’s worth of pent-up emotion in a few hot seconds. Ben held me, silent, softly rubbing my back. A thought floated from somewhere far away. This isn’t so bad. I pushed away, gently breaking Ben’s embrace. Looked into his eyes. His face was a whisper from mine. I thought of Ben’s confession during the hurricane. How he’d wanted to be more than just packmates. Emotions swirled in my chest, making me dizzy. Off balance. “Ben . . . I . . .” “Tory?” My father’s voice sent us flying apart as if electroshocked. Kit was descending the steps, an odd look on his face. “Yes?” Discreetly wiping away tears. I saw a thousand questions fill Kitt’s eyes, but, thankfully, he kept them shelved. “I hate to do this, kiddo, but Whitney’s party starts in an hour. She’s trying to be patient, but, frankly, that isn’t her strong suit.” “No. Right.” I stood, smoothing clothes and hair. “Mustn’t keep the Duchess waiting.” Kit frowned. “Say the word, and we cancel right now. No question.” “No, sorry. I was just being flip. It’s really fine.” Forced smile. “Might be just the thing.” “All right, then. We need to get moving.” Kit glanced at Ben, still sitting on the bench, striving for invisible. A smile quirked my father’s lips. “And you, Mr. Blue? Ready for a good ol’-fashioned backyard barbeque? My daughter will be there.” Ben’s uneasy smile was his only response.
Kathy Reichs (Exposure (Virals, #4))
It tastes good, garlic and salt in it, with the half-sweet white wine of Orvieto on scanty grass under great trees where the ramparts cuddle Lucca. It sounds right, spoken on the ridge between marine olives and hillside blue figs, under the breeze fresh with pollen of Apennine sage. It feels soft, weed thick in the cave and the smooth wet riddance of Antonietta’s bathing suit, mouth ajar for submarine Amalfitan kisses. It looks well on the page, but never well enough. Something is lost when wind, sun, sea upbraid justly an unconvinced deserter.
Basil Bunting (Briggflatts)
You only get one true love. That was what my mother always told me. Whenever her soft-spoken voice said those words, she’d look directly at my father. Their love was real. The kind little girls dream of having one day. Love and rock and roll. That was my father’s favorite quote.
Callie Anderson (Love Letter Duet: The Encore Edition)
Lee both articulated and embodied. He was the sacrificial lamb, the Confederate Christ on the cross at Appomattox who then was resurrected by others in the spirit and the body politic. Before he died, he also became the soft-spoken but implacable foe of submission and conciliation.
Edward H. Bonekemper III (The Myth of the Lost Cause: Why the South Fought the Civil War and Why the North Won)
My church-inspired conclusion was that she was obviously a proud woman, so if she was anything like me, sympathy would not win her over. After my brother's dissapearance, there was nothing I detested more than people oozing with softly spoken words and hugs that went on way too long.
Jenny B. Jones (There You'll Find Me)
All my life I’d heard people tell their black boys and black girls to “be twice as good,” which is to say “accept half as much.” These words would be spoken with a veneer of religious nobility, as though they evidenced some unspoken quality, some undetected courage, when in fact all they evidenced was the gun to our head and the hand in our pocket. This is how we lose our softness. This is how they steal our right to smile. No one told those little white children, with their tricycles, to be twice as good. I imagined their parents telling them to take twice as much.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
Thoreau’s writings feel more alive to me than any thing that I’ve ever read. When I read anything by Thoreau, I see his subject. I feel it. I taste it. I smell it. I feel as though he’s walking beside me, showing me with gestures and soft-spoken words the marvelous natural wonders that he’s written about.
Nicholas Trandahl
Rehvenge bowed his head. “I’m just glad you’ll have me.” The words were so quiet and humble, at odds with the incredible breadth of his shoulders. “How could I not?” He shook his head back and forth slowly. “Ehlena…” Her name was spoken roughly, as if there were a lot more words behind it, words he couldn’t bear to speak. She didn’t understand, but she knew what she wanted to do. Ehlena took her foot from him, got down on her own knees, and wrapped her arms around him. She held him as he leaned into her, running one hand up the back of his neck to his mohawk’s stripe of soft hair. He seemed so fragile as he gave himself up to her, and she realized that if anyone tried to hurt him, even though he could more than take care of himself, she would commit murder. To protect him, she would kill. The conviction was as solid as the bones beneath her skin: Even the powerful needed protection sometimes. -Rehv & Ehlena
J.R. Ward (Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7))
Please don't leave," she whispers. Her voice is barely audible and when I hesitate she hurriedly says, "Never mind, I'll be okay. You don't have to stay." Her softly spoken words make the decision for me, and as I slip my shoes and socks off, I grin at her. "Darlin', if you want me here, I'm not going anywhere.
Stacey Lewis (Save Me from Myself (Nashville Nights, #1))
His voice was reassuring and calm, his expression soft, his eyes brighter than ever. Oh Ahura Mazda, she’d never wanted any man so intently in all her life. She ached to have him touch her, kiss her, taste her. And Ivar did as she wished. He put her hand to his nose to smell her skin, kissed her inner wrist to taste her, his lips lingered over her racing pulse. Finally, it was confirmed in actions and direct words, spoken aloud and repeated seven times… She felt the rush of desire ripping through her body, an intense sensation of warmth upon her skin, the blissful waves of uneasiness swamped through her, tingling her nerves.
Widad Akreyi (The Viking's Kurdish Love: A True Story of Zoroastrians' Fight for Survival, Part I: 988-1003)
The Forty-fifth Division was originally made up largely of men from Oklahoma and West Texas. I didn’t realize how different certain parts of our country are from others until I saw those men set off in a frame, as it were, in a strange, faraway place. The men of Oklahoma are drawling and soft-spoken. They are not smart alecks. Something of the purity of the soil seems to be in them. Even their cussing is simpler and more profound than the torrential obscenities of Eastern city men. An Oklahoman of the plains is straight and direct. He is slow to criticize and hard to anger, but once he is convinced of the wrong of something, brother, watch out. Those
Ernie Pyle (Brave Men)
But the permitting, the authorizing of something always concealed an element of dubiousness for him, something vague and not quite spoken. When a dramatic circle, a reading room or tearoom was permitted in town, he would shake his head and say softly: 'That's very well, of course, it's all splendid, but something may come of it.' - The Man in a Case
Anton Chekhov (Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov)
Billos ran. He tore down the shore, bounded up on the rock, and dove into the air. The warm water engulfed him. A boiling heat knocked the wind from his lungs. The shock alone might kill him. But it was pleasure that surged through his body, not pain. The sensations coursed through his bones in great unrelenting waves. Elyon. How he was certain, he did not know. But he knew. Elyon was in this lake with him. Billos opened his eyes. Gold light drifted by. He lost all sense of direction. The water pressed in on every inch of his body, as intense as any acid, but one that burned with pleasure instead of pain. He sank into the water, opened his mouth and laughed. He wanted more, much more. He wanted to suck the water in and drink it. Without thinking, he did just that. The liquid hit his lungs. Billos pulled up, panicked. He tried to hack the water from his lungs, but inhaled more instead. No pain. He carefully sucked more water and breathed it out slowly. Then again, deep and hard. Out with a soft whoosh. He was breathing the water! Billos shrieked with laughter. He swam into the lake, deeper and deeper. The power contained in this lake was far greater than anything he'd ever imagined. "I made this, Billos." Billos whipped his body around, searching for the words' source. "Elyon?" His voice was muffled, hardly a voice at all. "Do you like it?" "Yes!" Billos said. He might have spoken; he might have shouted--he didn't know. He only knew that his whole body screamed it. Billos looked around. "Elyon?" "Why do you doubt me, Billos?" In that single moment the full weight of Billos's foolishness crashed on him like a sledgehammer. "I see you, Billos." "I made you." "I love you." The words crashed over him, reaching into the deepest folds of his flesh, caressing each hidden synapse, flowing through every vein, as though he had been given a transfusion. "I choose you, Billos." Billos began to weep. The feeling was more intense than any pain he had ever felt. The current pulled at him, tugging him up through the colors. His body trembled with pleasure. He wanted to speak, to yell, to tell the whole world that he was the most fortunate person in the universe. That he was loved by Elyon. Elyon himself. "Never leave me, Billos." "Never! I will never leave you." The current pushed him through the water and then above the surface not ten meters from the shore. He stood on the sandy bottom. For a moment he had such clarity of mind that he was sure he could understand the very fabric of space if he put his mind to it. He was chosen. He was loved.
Ted Dekker (Renegade (The Lost Books, #3))
Lael.” Her hands stilled at the sound. The name was spoken like a caress, so soft she was certain only she had heard. When she turned, Simon grabbed her wrist. He was lucid now, looking up at her from his mattress on the floor. “It is you. I heard—” He winced from the sudden movement, and his shoulder began to bleed afresh. “I heard—but I misdoubted you’d stay—but you come back—to me.
Laura Frantz (The Frontiersman's Daughter)
You know what they say about air and water when it comes to fire, don’t you?” she asks. Now, I’m curious. She hasn’t spoken for the last ten minutes of the drive. “What?” “Too much air blows out the fire. Too much water destroys it.” I nod trying to determine what she’s really comparing us to. “The idea would be to keep the flame going, right. For years?” She nods. “Like a relationship. Like a marriage.” She cringes at the word marriage. Noted. “So you need the air—to stay constant—to fan the flames of the fire, and you know, grasshopper,” I smile at her and catch sight of the corners of her mouth turning slightly upward in response to the endearment, “a hot enough fire will burn water, so you have to be careful with the water too.” “That I do know,” she says softly. “So that’s the truth about air and water.” She sighs deep. “Which is?” “It’s hard to maintain the balance to keep the fire going. You have to fan the flames without putting it out with too much water. But too little water will burn the fire right up. Too much fire. Too much destruction. We’re out of control.” “You’re talking in circles,” I say. “No. That’s us,” she says with certainty.
Katherine Owen (The Truth About Air & Water (Truth in Lies, #2))
You play with great skill," he said. "Thank you." "Is that your favorite piece?" "It's my most difficult," Helen said, "but not my favorite." "What do you play when there's no one to hear?" The gentle question, spoken in that accent with vowels as broad as his shoulders, caused Helen's stomach to tighten pleasurably. Perturbed by the sensation, she was slow to reply. "I don't remember the name of it. A piano tutor taught it to me long ago. For years I've tried to find out what it is, but no one has ever recognized the melody." "Play it for me." Calling it up from memory, she played the sweetly haunting chords, her hands gentle on the keys. The mournful chords never failed to stir her, making her heart ache for things she couldn't name. At the conclusion, Helen looked up from the keys and found Winterborne staring at her as if transfixed. He masked his expression, but not before she saw a mixture of puzzlement, fascination, and a hint of something hot and unsettling. "It's Welsh," he said. Helen shook her head with a laugh of wondering disbelief. "You know it?" "'A Ei Di'r Deryn Do.' Every Welshman is born knowing it." "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.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
One," said the recording secretary. "Jesus wept," answered Leon promptly. There was not a sound in the church. You could almost hear the butterflies pass. Father looked down and laid his lower lip in folds with his fingers, like he did sometimes when it wouldn't behave to suit him. "Two," said the secretary after just a breath of pause. Leon looked over the congregation easily and then fastened his eyes on Abram Saunders, the father of Absalom, and said reprovingly: "Give not sleep to thine eyes nor slumber to thine eyelids." Abram straightened up suddenly and blinked in astonishment, while father held fast to his lip. "Three," called the secretary hurriedly. Leon shifted his gaze to Betsy Alton, who hadn't spoken to her next door neighbour in five years. "Hatred stirreth up strife," he told her softly, "but love covereth all sins." Things were so quiet it seemed as if the air would snap. "Four." The mild blue eyes travelled back to the men's side and settled on Isaac Thomas, a man too lazy to plow and sow land his father had left him. They were not so mild, and the voice was touched with command: "Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise." Still that silence. "Five," said the secretary hurriedly, as if he wished it were over. Back came the eyes to the women's side and past all question looked straight at Hannah Dover. "As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman without discretion." "Six," said the secretary and looked appealingly at father, whose face was filled with dismay. Again Leon's eyes crossed the aisle and he looked directly at the man whom everybody in the community called "Stiff-necked Johnny." I think he was rather proud of it, he worked so hard to keep them doing it. "Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck," Leon commanded him. Toward the door some one tittered. "Seven," called the secretary hastily. Leon glanced around the room. "But how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity," he announced in delighted tones as if he had found it out by himself. "Eight," called the secretary with something like a breath of relief. Our angel boy never had looked so angelic, and he was beaming on the Princess. "Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee," he told her. Laddie would thrash him for that. Instantly after, "Nine," he recited straight at Laddie: "I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?" More than one giggled that time. "Ten!" came almost sharply. Leon looked scared for the first time. He actually seemed to shiver. Maybe he realized at last that it was a pretty serious thing he was doing. When he spoke he said these words in the most surprised voice you ever heard: "I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly." "Eleven." Perhaps these words are in the Bible. They are not there to read the way Leon repeated them, for he put a short pause after the first name, and he glanced toward our father: "Jesus Christ, the SAME, yesterday, and to-day, and forever!" Sure as you live my mother's shoulders shook. "Twelve." Suddenly Leon seemed to be forsaken. He surely shrank in size and appeared abused. "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up," he announced, and looked as happy over the ending as he had seemed forlorn at the beginning. "Thirteen." "The Lord is on my side; I will not fear; what can man do unto me?" inquired Leon of every one in the church. Then he soberly made a bow and walked to his seat.
Gene Stratton-Porter (Laddie: A True Blue Story)
She sat back again, a gentle loosening that made her straight spine seem effortless and restful. Again she did nothing. She simply sat across from me and unfurled herself. I felt her life brush up against me and flow around me. It was but the faintest touching, and had I not experienced both the Skill and the Wit, I do not think I would have sensed it. Cautiously, as softly as if I assayed a bridge made of cobweb, I overlay my senses on hers. She quested. Not as I did, toward a specific beast, or to read what might be close by. I discarded the word I had always given to my sensing. Kettricken did not seek after anything with her Wit. It was as she said, simply a being, but it was being a part of the whole. She composed herself and considered all the ways the great web touched her, and was content. It was a delicate and tenuous thing and I marveled at it. For an instant I, too, relaxed. I breathed out. I opened myself, Wit wide to all. I discarded all caution, all worry that Burrich would sense me. I had never done anything to compare it with before. Kettricken's reaching was as delicate as droplets of dew sliding down a strand of spiderweb. I was like a dammed flood, suddenly released, to rush out to fill old channels to overflowing and to send fingers of water investigating the lowlands. Let us hunt! The Wolf, joyfully. In the stables, Burrich straightened from cleaning a hoof, to frown at no one. Sooty stamped in her stall. Molly shrugged away and shook out her hair. Across from me, Kettricken started and looked at me as if I had spoken aloud. A moment more I was held, seized from a thousand sides, stretched and expanded, illuminated pitilessly. I felt it all, not just the human folk with their comings and goings, but every pigeon that fluttered in the eaves, every mouse that crept unnoticed behind the wine kegs, every speck of life, that was not and never had been a speck, but had always been a node on the web of life. Nothing alone, nothing forsaken, nothing without meaning, nothing of no significance, and nothing of importance.
Robin Hobb (Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy, #2))
The picture Sophie had made, sitting in a faded brown velvet dress at the table—her dark hair gathered sleekly at her nape, her soft voice a low caress in Vim’s mind as she’d spoken to the child—had been an image of heaven. And then the feel of her… No hesitance, no remonstrance for reappearing uninvited, nothing but her arms lashed around him in welcome, and those dangerous, wonderful words: I missed you. “These
Grace Burrowes (Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (The Duke's Daughters, #1; Windham, #4))
In The Shadow Of The Night All the clouds are gray, and the sky is dark as night. Soft words are spoken, and there's a twinkle, of a flicker of light. The presence of a Man walks by, and Mighty and Powerful is He. Kneeling down to pray, He says a prayer for me. The sky becomes brighter, and the leaves of the trees turn green. The flowers begin to bloom, and there's a warm gentle breeze. Thank you Lord for setting me free...
Jerrel C. Thomas (Christian Rhyme Poems: Inspiring For The Soul)
If barking correlates with a juvenile and submissive condition, then it’s doubtful that dogs read our loud vocal displays as dominant or impressive. Rather, they might see them as a sign of fear or as a sign that we don’t have a lot of control. Many people to whom dogs are drawn are laconic and soft-spoken. I think their lack of “barking” is perceived as a sign of leadership, and dogs are drawn to their sense of self-confidence.
Patricia B. McConnell (The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs)
Rather than pulling away to walk back to the counter, he brings both his hands to my face and holds me still while he looks at me in silence for several seconds. His thumbs brush lightly across my jaw, and he releases a soft breath. His brows furrow, and his eyes close. He presses his forehead to mine, still holding on to my face, and I can feel his internal struggle. “Tate.” He says my name so quietly I can feel his regret in the words he hasn’t even spoken yet. “I like…” He opens his eyes and looks at me. “I like kissing you, Tate.” I don’t know why that sentence seemed hard for him to say, but his voice trailed off toward the end as though he was attempting to stop himself from finishing his words. As soon as the sentence leaves his mouth, he releases me and quickly steps around the partition as if he’s trying to escape from his own confession. I like kissing you, Tate.
Colleen Hoover (Ugly Love)
Actually the city editor was one of the gentlest, most soft-spoken men I have ever encountered, and he did me a service I have always been grateful for. I got stuck one day on a story and finally, with the desperation of youth, I took my problem to him, although it seemed cheeky to bother him. How was I to express a certain thing? … I asked him how I could get around my difficulty. He thought for a minute. Then he said, ‘Just say the words’.
E.B. White (The Second Tree from the Corner)
Shane, that soft-spoken man, let out a whoop you might have heard halfway to town and ran to father’s horse, putting his hands on the saddle and vaulting into it. He fairly lifted the horse into a gallop in one leap and that old cowpony of father’s lit out after those steers like this was fun. By the time father reached the corral gate, Shane had the runaways in a compact bunch and padding back at a trot. He dropped them through the gateway neat as pie.
Jack Schaefer (Shane)
Leaning over the tray he inhaled deeply, letting the steam-laden aroma flood all the way through him. The soft green clouds with the most delicate golden crusts smelled as perfect as they looked. Pistachio with a hint of saffron. was there even such a thing as a hint of saffron? It was the loudest understated spice, like a soft-spoken person you couldn't stop listening to. Like the hidden lilts inside a well-held aria. Like the beauty within making what someone looked like on the outside meaningless, slowly, one encounter at a time. No matter how subtle you tried to make it, saffron always shone through, it became the soul of your preparation. He nodded at Rajesh, who stood at the ready with the cashews DJ had candied to perfection with butter and brown sugar. He started to arrange three at the center of each ramekin in a clover of paisleys, then tucked a sugarwork swirl next to it to top things off just so.
Sonali Dev (Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors (The Rajes, #1))
Tatyana’s Letter to Onegin I’m writing you this declaration— What more can I in candour say? It may be now your inclination To scorn me and to turn away; But if my hapless situation Evokes some pity for my woe, You won’t abandon me, I know. I first tried silence and evasion; Believe me, you‘d have never learned My secret shame, had I discerned The slightest hope that on occasion— But once a week—I’d see your face, Behold you at our country place, Might hear you speak a friendly greeting, Could say a word to you; and then, Could dream both day and night again Of but one thing, till our next meeting. They say you like to be alone And find the country unappealing; We lack, I know, a worldly tone, But still, we welcome you with feeling. Why did you ever come to call? In this forgotten country dwelling I’d not have known you then at all, Nor known this bitter heartache’s swelling. Perhaps, when time had helped in quelling The girlish hopes on which I fed, I might have found (who knows?) another And been a faithful wife and mother, Contented with the life I led. Another! No! In all creation There’s no one else whom I’d adore; The heavens chose my destination And made me thine for evermore! My life till now has been a token In pledge of meeting you, my friend; And in your coming, God has spoken, You‘ll be my guardian till the end…. You filled my dreams and sweetest trances; As yet unseen, and yet so dear, You stirred me with your wondrous glances, Your voice within my soul rang clear…. And then the dream came true for me! When you came in, I seemed to waken, I turned to flame, I felt all shaken, And in my heart I cried: It’s he! And was it you I heard replying Amid the stillness of the night, Or when I helped the poor and dying, Or turned to heaven, softly crying, And said a prayer to soothe my plight? And even now, my dearest vision, Did I not see your apparition Flit softly through this lucent night? Was it not you who seemed to hover Above my bed, a gentle lover, To whisper hope and sweet delight? Are you my angel of salvation Or hell’s own demon of temptation? Be kind and send my doubts away; For this may all be mere illusion, The things a simple girl would say, While Fate intends no grand conclusion…. So be it then! Henceforth I place My faith in you and your affection; I plead with tears upon my face And beg you for your kind protection. You cannot know: I’m so alone, There’s no one here to whom I’ve spoken, My mind and will are almost broken, And I must die without a moan. I wait for you … and your decision: Revive my hopes with but a sign, Or halt this heavy dream of mine— Alas, with well-deserved derision! I close. I dare not now reread…. I shrink with shame and fear. But surely, Your honour’s all the pledge I need, And I submit to it securely.
Alexander Pushkin (Eugene Onegin)
I know you're just trying to be kind. But the world isn't always kind. So sometimes you have to know what you're up against, and match it.' He held up a hand to stop the words about to be spoken; I could see the vague shape of it hovering in the blackness. 'I know it's not right to fight fire with fire. But sometimes, it's all we've got." His voice grew soft, and, in the darkness, his hand found mine, squeezed. 'Don't put your fire out, Kaitlyn. Use it, or pass the torch.
Mackenzie Herbert (Chasing Trains)
Captain Piltchard and Captain Wren, the inoffensive joint squadron operations officers, were both mild, soft-spoken men of less than middle height who enjoyed flying combat missions and begged nothing more of life and Colonel Cathcart than the opportunity to continue flying them. They had flown hundreds of combat missions and wanted to fly hundreds more. They assigned themselves to every one. Nothing so wonderful as war had ever happened to them before; and they were afraid it might never happen to them again.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
At the counter sat the biggest fruit grower in the valley, a soft-spoken Lebanese-American named Ray Gerawan who knew my family and pulled me closer. Let me explain what seems like a paradox to you, he said. It isn’t a paradox at all. The farmer and the Mexican are engaged in a centuries-long game. As rich as the farmer might be, his workers can still bring him to his knees if they realize their power. The farmer doesn’t like feeling vulnerable. He supported the ballot measure because he knew that even if it went
Mark Arax (The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California)
Those of us directed towards the right were lined up in threes with much shooting and beating. I was in the first row, at the platform’s edge. Suddenly, we see a group of older women and women with children nearing the road, under the platform. In the first row I see my mother supported on both sides by two friends. She too becomes aware of me. And out of the throat of this reticent, soft-spoken woman who I don’t remember ever raising her voice, breaks out a terrible, desperate, piercingly loud, howling shout: ‘GYURIKA!!!
Azriel Feuerstein
She blushed softly as she viewed herself in the mirror, suddenly aware that he was once more behind her eyes, seeing her just as she did. “You could at least warn me,” she said aloud, cocking a scolding brow at her reflection. And deprive myself of this side of you? I would not dream of it. Legna smiled, moving closer to her looking glass. She gasped when she got a closer look at herself, her hand coming up to her cheek in shock as she looked into her eyes. “My eyes!” she exclaimed. My eyes, he said. He couldn’t have spoken a clearer truth. It was his mercury-colored irises that had become part of her reflection, the multicolored gray and green gone from their familiar place. She sighed with resignation, supposing to herself that since it wasn’t likely she could do anything about it, she would have to get used to it. “I do not suppose you will show up here suddenly sprouting coffee-colored hair?” she asked hopefully. No, sweet, that is not likely. “Well, this is a highly unfair situation!” she cried with exaggerated petulance. “An exchange historically indicates one thing being swapped for another. So far I only see you in me, but none of me in you. It feels terribly high-handed. How typical of you.” He did not respond, only a soft impression of laughter flitting through her mind. Odd, but she realized then that she had hardly ever heard him laugh before. She was surprised by how comfortable it sounded on him. He had always been so serious, so . . . Self-possessed. “If you do not mind, do refrain from editing my personal thoughts,” she scolded, her arching tone taunting and haughty.
Jacquelyn Frank (Gideon (Nightwalkers, #2))
Greg and Emily are an example of an introvert-extrovert couple who love and madden each other in equal measure. Greg, who just turned thirty, has a bounding gait, a mop of dark hair continually falling over his eyes, and an easy laugh. Most people would describe him as gregarious. Emily, a mature twenty-seven, is as self-contained as Greg is expansive. Graceful and soft-spoken, she keeps her auburn hair tied in a chignon, and often gazes at people from under lowered lashes. Greg and Emily complement each other beautifully. Without Greg, Emily might forget to leave the house, except to go to work.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
They came to Virginia City as soon as the true value of the Comstock was perceived. They constituted, no doubt, a deplorable source of gambling, pleasure and embroilment. They were not soft-spoken women, their desire was not visibly separate from the main chance, and they would have beheld Mr. Harte’s portrayal of them at Poker Flat with ribald mirth. But let them have a moment of respect. They civilized the Comstock. They drove through its streets reclining in lacquered broughams, displaying to male eyes fashions as close to Paris as any then current in New York. They were, in brick houses hung with tapestries, a glamour and a romance, after the superheated caverns of the mines. They enforced a code of behavior: one might be a hard-rock man outside their curtains but in their presence one was punctilious or one was hustled away. They brought Parisian cooking to the sagebrush of Sun Mountain and they taught the West to distinguish between tarantula juice and the bouquet of wines. An elegy for their passing. The West has neglected to mention them in bronze and its genealogies avoid comment on their marriages, conspicuous or obscure, but it owes them a here acknowledged debt for civilization.
Bernard DeVoto (Mark Twain's America)
We have to stop,” Harvard said, abrupt and desperate. “Wait, why?” Aiden murmured, reaching to drag Harvard back when Harvard pulled away, barely seeming to understand the words Harvard had spoken. “I don’t want to. You said you didn’t want to…” He trailed off, hands still grasping Harvard’s shirt, exerting pressure to bring Harvard back where he had been. Aiden’s eyes were heavy-lidded, almost as if he was drowsy, but it was an electric drowsiness. For a terrifying moment, Harvard looked at Aiden and couldn’t remember why they should stop. Then he looked at Aiden and did remember. “I don’t want to, but we have to,” Harvard tried to explain. Aiden looked suddenly wide awake and affronted to be so, like a cat disturbed from his rest. His voice as sharp this time as it had been soft before, he said, “Why?” When Aiden had agreed to help Harvard with practice dating, Harvard remembered vividly the exact words he’d used. I know how dating works. It doesn’t matter, and this wouldn’t even be real dating. It doesn’t mean anything. It won’t change anything. He looked at Aiden, his chest feeling cold and empty, bleak with despair. Harvard was just like all the rest of Aiden’s guys, only worse. He was the one who really knew Aiden, and he should know better. Harvard said, “Because this means nothing.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Striking Distance (Fence, #1))
But how…how am I a dragon? How are you a starman?” “I don’t think of myself as a starman, exactly,” he said soberly, though I sensed he wanted to smile. His hand released mine, the bridge broken; he moved to hang the lantern on a shiny new hook dug into the wall behind us. “I was born here, on earth. Not even far from here, in fact. Just over in Devon. My parents died young, when I was only five. Hastings is my great-uncle and he took me in, and I’ve lived here ever since. But I’ve always known what I am, as far back as I can remember. I’ve always been able to do the things I do. The stars have always spoken to me.” “And you…speak back to them?” “Yes,” he said simply. “But not to people.” “No. Just to Hastings, and to you.” A shiver took me; I crossed my arms over my chest. “What do the stars say?” “All manner of things. Amazing things. Secret things. Things great and small, things profound and insignificant. They told me that, throughout time, there’ve been only a scattering of people like me, folk of both flesh and star. That even the whisper of their magic in my blood could annihilate me if I didn’t learn to control it. That I’d crisp to ash without control. Or, worse, crisp someone else.” His smile broke through. “And they told me about you. That you were born and would come to me when the time was right.” “Did you summon me here?” The muted echo of my voice rebounded against the firefly walls: here-here-here. “To Iverson, I mean?” …mean-mean-mean… He didn’t answer at first. He looked at his feet, then walked to the edge of the embankment and squatted down, raking his fingers through the bright water near the toes of his boots. “We are such stuff as dreams are made on,” he said softly to the water. “Both infinite and finite, human and not. I’m of comet and clay and the sparks of sun across the ocean waves.” He sighed. “I know what it’s like to doubt yourself, to comprehend that you’re so unique you’re forced to wonder about…everything. But, yes, I called you to Iverson.
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
Orlando, who had just dipped her pen in the ink, and was about to indite some reflection upon the eternity of all things, was much annoyed to be impeded by a blot, which spread and meandered round her pen. . . . She dipped it again. The blot increased. She tried to go on with what she was saying but no words came. Next she began to decorate the blot with wings and whiskers, till it became a round-headed monster, something between a bat and a wombat. But as for writing poetry with Basket and Bartholemew in the room, it was impossible. No sooner had she said 'impossible' than, to her astonishment and alarm, the pen began to curve and caracole with the smoothest possible fluency. Her page was written in the neatest sloping Italian hand with the most insipid verses she had ever read in her life: I am myself but a vile link Amid life's weary chain, But I have spoken hallowed words, Oh, do not say in vain! . . . . . She was so changed, the soft carnation cloud Once mantling o'er her cheek like that which eve Hangs o'er the sky, glowing with roseate hue, Had faded into paleness, broken by Bright burning blushes, torches of the tomb, but here, by an abrupt movement she spilt the ink over the page and blotted it from human sight she hoped for ever. She was all of a quiver, all of a stew. Nothing more repulsive could be imagined than to feel the ink flowing thus in cascades of involuntary inspiration.
Virginia Woolf (Orlando)
A native is a man or creature or plant indigenous to a limited geographical area - a space boundaried and defined by mountains, rivers, or coastline (not by latitudes, longitudes, or state and county lines), with its own peculiar mixture of weeds, trees, bugs, birds, flowers, streams, hills, rocks, and critters (including people), its own nuances of rain, wind, and seasonal change. Native intelligence develops through an unspoken or soft spoken relationship with these interwoven things: it evolves as the native involves himself in his region. A non-native awakes in the morning in a body in a bed in a room in a building on a street in a county in a state in a nation. A native awakes in the in the center of a little cosmos - or a big one, if his intelligence is vast - and he wears this cosmos like a robe, senses the barely perceptible shiftings, migrations, moods, and machinations of its creatures, its growing green things, its earth and sky. Native intelligence is what Huck Finn had rafting the Mississippi, what Thoreau had by his pond, what Kerouac had in Desolation Lookout and lost entirely the instant he caught a whiff of any city. But some have it in cities - like the Artful Dodger, picking his way through a crowd of London pockets; like Mother Teresa in the Calcutta slums. Sissy Hankshaw had it on freeways, Woody Guthrie in crowds of fruit pickers, Ghandi in jails. Almost everybody has a dab of it wherever he or she feels most at home..
David James Duncan (The River Why)
Marilla looked at her with a tenderness that would never have been suffered to reveal itself in any clearer light than that soft mingling of fireshine and shadow. The lesson of a love that should display itself easily in spoken word and open look was one Marilla could never learn. But she had learned to love this slim, gray-eyed girl with an affection all the deeper and stronger from its very undemonstrativeness. Her love made her afraid of being unduly indulgent, indeed. She had an uneasy feeling that it was rather sinful to set one's heart so intensely on any human creature as she had hers set on Anne, and perhaps she performed a sort of unconscious penance for this by being stricter and more critical than if the girl had been less dear to her.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne Of Green Gables)
Holding my breath, I lay as still as death and listened to Hannah walk toward the bed. She leaned over me and whispered Andrew’s name, my name, touching my skin with soft, warm fingers. She was no dream, no ghost. “Mama,” she cried, “Mama, come quick!” A door opened, and footsteps raced toward me. “His fever’s gone, Mama. He’s still alive.” Hannah’s voice shook and she burst into tears. “Praise be,” a woman whispered. “Open your eyes, Andrew, look at me.” Dumb with fear, I stared at Mrs. Tyler. Even if I’d wanted to, I couldn’t have spoken. Suppose I didn’t sound like Andrew? Suppose I said the wrong thing? Surely they’d know I was an imposter. Alarmed by my silence, Mrs. Tyler told Hannah to call Dr. Fulton. “His eyes, the way he looks at me--you’d think the boy had never seen me before.
Mary Downing Hahn (Time for Andrew: A Ghost Story)
He broke the kiss. "Say my name, Martise." He snarled the command, but she wasn't afraid. His hips rocked against hers, and she was impaled on his cock, reveling in his fierce possession. For a few brief hours, he was as much hers as she was his, and she could tell him how much he meant to her in a softly spoken name. Every desire, every craving, every forbidden wish—she infused into her voice. “Silhara.” He gasped, a tortured sound, and his eyes rolled back. Martise clutched him to her as he shuddered, felt the sudden pulse of his shaft, his release followed by a wet heat as he came inside her. He hunched over her, chest heaving as he strove to breathe. She clasped his hips with her legs to maintain their connection, reluctant to give him up. He slowly lowered his weight onto her, careful not to crush her.
Grace Draven (Master of Crows (Master of Crows, #1))
There was something infinitely impressive about the man, tall, slender, gray-haired, blue-eyed, soft-spoken. He had the looks of the doctors one read about in women's novels. There was something so basically kind and gentle about him, yet something powerful as well. The aura of a highly trained racehorse always straining at the reins, aching to go faster, farther . . . to do more . . . to fight time . . . to conquer odds beyond hope . . . to steal back just one life . . . one man . . . one woman . . . one child . . . one more. And often he won. Often. But not always. And that irked him. More than that, it pained him. It was the cause for the lines beside his eyes, the sorrow one saw deep within him. It wasn't enough that he wrought miracles almost daily. He wanted more than that, better odds, he wanted to save them all, and there was no way he could.
Danielle Steel (Changes)
You can't keep working here. It's not safe for you anymore." His words were flat, spoken as if they pained him. "Not safe?" Her eyes were glued to him, but there was no alarm for her safety in her voice. "You're seventeen now, Becky." Irritation laced his words. His arms crossed in front of his chest. He leaned back against the table, one booted foot across the other. "You're not a young girl anymore. You can't keep coming here, being alone with me." "You won't--you won't hurt me. You're the sheriff." Distress slid through her. She had to keep coming here. It was the only way she could see him every day. The only way she had of taking care of him, being with him. Her hands rubbed down her apron in turbulence. The sliding movement pulled her apron and dress down. The material of her bodice tightened next to the soft curves of her breasts. Her breathing was palpable. "I didn't say I would hurt you, sweetheart.
Lynda Chance (The Sheriff and the Innocent Housekeeper)
Any Justification that does not lead to Biblical sanctification and mortification of sinful desires is a false justification no matter how many Solas you attach to it”. “See that your chief study be about the heart, that there God’s image may be planted, and his interest advanced, and the interest of the world and flesh subdued, and the love of every sin cast out, and the love of holiness succeed; and that you content not yourselves with seeming to do good in outward acts, when you are bad yourselves, and strangers to the great internal duties. The first and great work of a Christian is about his heart.” ~ Richard Baxter Never forget that truth is more important to the church than peace ~ JC Ryle "Truth demands confrontation. It must be loving confrontation, but there must be confrontation nonetheless.” ~ Francis Schaeffer I am not permitted to let my love be so merciful as to tolerate and endure false doctrine. When faith and doctrine are concerned and endangered, neither love nor patience are in order...when these are concerned, (neither toleration nor mercy are in order, but only anger, dispute, and destruction - to be sure, only with the Word of God as our weapon. ~ Martin Luther “Truth must be spoken, however it be taken.” ~ John Trapp “Hard words, if they be true, are better than soft words if they be false.” – C.H. Spurgeon “Oh my brethren, Bold hearted men are always called mean-spirited by cowards” – CH Spurgeon “The Bible says Iron sharpens Iron, But if your words don't have any iron in them, you ain't sharpening anyone”. “Peace often comes as a result of conflict!” ~ Don P Mt 18:15-17 Rom 12:18 “Peace if possible, truth at all costs.” ~ Martin Luther “The Scriptures argue and debate and dispute; they are full of polemics… We should always regret the necessity; but though we regret it and bemoan it, when we feel that a vital matter is at stake we must engage in argument. We must earnestly contend for the truth, and we are all called upon to do that by the New Testament.” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Romans – Atonement and Justification) “It is one of the severest tests of friendship to tell your friend his faults. So to love a man that you cannot bear to see a stain upon him, and to speak painful truth through loving words, that is friendship.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher “Truth bites and it stings and it has a blade on it.” ~ Paul Washer Soft words produce hard hearts. Show me a church where soft words are preached and I will show you a church of hard hearts. Jeremiah said that the word of God is a hammer that shatters. Hard Preaching produces soft hearts. ~ J. MacArthur Glory follows afflictions, not as the day follows the night but as the spring follows the winter; for the winter prepares the earth for the spring, so do afflictions sanctified, prepare the soul for glory. ~ Richard Sibbes “Cowards never won heaven. Do not claim that you are begotten of God and have His royal blood running in your veins unless you can prove your lineage by this heroic spirit: to dare to be holy in spite of men and devils.” ~ William Gurnall
The little procession proceeded to the center of the square, where the village locksman, one John MacRae, stepped out of the crowd to meet them. This personage was dressed as befitted his office in the sober elegance of dark breeches and coat and grey velvet hat (removed for the nonce and tenderly sheltered from the rain beneath the tail of his coat). He was not, as I had at first assumed, the village jailer, though in a pinch he did perform such office. His duties were primarily those of constable, customs inspector, and when needed, executioner; his title came from the wooden “lock” or scoop that hung from his belt, with which he was entitled to take a percentage of each bag of grain sold in the Thursday market: the remuneration of his office. I had found all this out from the locksman himself. He had been to the Castle only a few days before to see whether I could treat a persistent felon on his thumb. I had lanced it with a sterile needle and dressed it with poplar-bud salve, finding MacRae a shy and soft-spoken man with a pleasant smile.
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander (Outlander, #1))
Men as Friends" I have a few which is news to me Tom drops by in the mornings with his travel mug my mother would call it a coffee klatch we review our terrible histories with fathers and talk about the father he’s become and how much it will cost to replace gutters the ice brought down and then there’s soft-spoken Harvey with whom I enjoy long pauses in conversation about how they raised the Nelson town hall and put a foundation underneath during which we both look at Mt. Monadnock and then down at the ground and then back at each other silence precipitating the pretty weather we share before he goes inside for lunch when I had to pack up my office Tom boxed and loaded books into my car I didn’t think he’d want to but his idea of friendship includes carrying heavy things at the dog park the retired Marine with the schnauzer asked do you have a husband I replied I don’t care for men in that way as a Marine James mostly played cards on a supply ship now he mostly hunts and fishes climbs his orchard ladder for my Cortlands and in trout season leaves, in my fridge, two rainbows
Robin Becker
In those days I would come out of the house, turn onto Flatbush Avenue, and my face would tighten like a Mexican wrestler's mask, my eyes would dart from corner to corner, my arms loose, limber, and ready. This need to be always on guard was an unmeasured expenditure of energy, the slow siphoning of the essence. It contributed to the fast breakdown of our bodies. So I feared not just the violence of this world but the rules designed to protect you from it, the rules that would have you contort your body to address the block, and contort again to be taken seriously by colleagues, and contort again so as not to give the police a reason. All my life I;d heard people tell their black boys and black girls to "be twice as good," which is to say "accept half as much." These words would be spoken with a veneer of religious nobility, as thought they evidenced some unspoken quality, some undetected courage, when in fact all they evidenced was the gun to our heads and the hand in our pocket. This is how we lose our softness. This is how they steal our right to smile. No one told those little white children, with their tricycles, to be twice as good. I imagined their parents telling them to take twice as much.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
TRUMP EVENTUALLY REALIZED THAT he needed executives with a strong background in running casinos. He scouted the competition and picked Stephen Hyde, a devout Mormon with a large family. The Church of Latter-day Saints opposed gambling, but the casino industry employed many Mormons in key positions, in part because executives believed the faithful wouldn’t be tempted to bet. Hyde was soft-spoken, unflappable, and widely considered one of the nation’s savviest gaming executives, having most recently worked for Trump’s competitor Steve Wynn. Trump, who once wrote, “I can be a screamer,” would occasionally humiliate Hyde by cursing him out in front of other executives. Yet Trump recognized Hyde’s capabilities and entrusted him with a business potentially worth billions of dollars. Hyde was, Trump wrote, “a very sharp guy and highly competitive, but most of all, he had a sense of how to manage to the bottom line.” Trump throughout his career would rely on small circles of advisers, and Hyde became one of Trump’s most trusted associates at the time. That meant some other senior executives felt shut out, unable to convey their concerns to Trump without going through the tight inner circle. Hyde was at the top of that chain of command. Hyde
Michael Kranish (Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power)
Daniel came up and walked beside her, and the other victor walked beside Ghanan. For the briefest instant,Daniel's fingertips grazed her bound wrists. Ix Caut tingled at the touch. Just outside the temple door,the four drummers were waiting on the ledge. They fell in line behind the processional and, as the party descended the pyramid's steep steps, played the same hectic beats Luce had heard when she'd first arrived in this life. Luce focused on walking,feeling as if she were riding a tide instead of choosing to put one foot in front of the other,down the pyramid,and then, at the base of the steps,along the wide, dusty path that led to her death. The drums were all she could hear, until Daniel leaned in and whispered, "I'm going to save you." Something deep inside Ix Caut soared. This was the first time he had ever spoken to her in this life. "How?" she whispered back, leaning toward him,aching for him to free her and fly her far,far away. "Don't worry." His fingertips found hers again,brushing them softly. "I promise,I'll take care of you." Tears stung her eyes.The ground was still searing the soles of her feet,and she was still marching to the place where Ix Caut was supposed to die, but for the first time since arriving in this life,Luce was not afraid.
Lauren Kate (Passion (Fallen, #3))
During his visit to India in December 2010, the soft-spoken Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao seems to have succeeded in convincing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the border dispute between the two countries belongs to the past, won’t be easy to resolve, and requires patience. Instead of using whatever diplomatic language was necessary to call this statement pure poppycock, the even more soft-spoken Dr Singh appears to have succumbed completely. When Mr Jiabao was asked whether he would advise Pakistan to stop terrorist activity, he made it clear that he would not. ‘That’s for the two of you to resolve,’ he bluntly said. Our prime minister obviously tried to flatter his guest in the hope of getting some response which he could sell to the Indian people when he declared that ‘the world will listen when India and China will speak with one voice’. The response he received to this piece of flattery was, ‘Our relationship is greater than the sum of its parts.’ To me the statement is an attractive piece of diplomatic craftsmanship meaning nothing. Without any countervailing advantage, the visit yielded a trade pact which will take the bilateral trade to $100 billion by 2015, a complete economic sell-out in a year when the trade deficit was already approximately $20 billion.
1. _______ I prefer one-on-one conversations to group activities.   2. _______ I often prefer to express myself in writing.   3. _______ I enjoy solitude.   4. _______ I seem to care less than my peers about wealth, fame, and status.   5. _______ I dislike small talk, but I enjoy talking in depth about topics that matter to me.   6. _______ People tell me that I’m a good listener.   7. _______ I’m not a big risk-taker.   8. _______ I enjoy work that allows me to “dive in” with few interruptions.   9. _______ I like to celebrate birthdays on a small scale, with only one or two close friends or family members. 10. _______ People describe me as “soft-spoken” or “mellow.” 11. _______ I prefer not to show or discuss my work with others until it’s finished. 12. _______ I dislike conflict. 13. _______ I do my best work on my own. 14. _______ I tend to think before I speak. 15. _______ I feel drained after being out and about, even if I’ve enjoyed myself. 16. _______ I often let calls go through to voice mail. 17. _______ If I had to choose, I’d prefer a weekend with absolutely nothing to do to one with too many things scheduled. 18. _______ I don’t enjoy multitasking. 19. _______ I can concentrate easily. 20. _______ In classroom situations, I prefer lectures to seminars.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Until my thirtieth year, I lived in a state of almost continuous anxiety interspersed with periods of suicidal depression. It feels now as if I am talking about some past lifetime or somebody else’s life. One night not long after my twenty-ninth birthday, I woke up in the early hours with a feeling of absolute dread. I had woken up with such a feeling many times before, but this time it was more intense than it had ever been. The silence of the night, the vague outlines of the furniture in the dark room, the distant noise of a passing train – everything felt so alien, so hostile, and so utterly meaningless that it created in me a deep loathing of the world. The most loathsome thing of all, however, was my own existence. What was the point in continuing to live with this burden of misery? Why carry on with this continuous struggle? I could feel that a deep longing for annihilation, for nonexistence, was now becoming much stronger than the instinctive desire to continue to live. ‘I cannot live with myself any longer.’ This was the thought that kept repeating itself in my mind. Then suddenly I became aware of what a peculiar thought it was. ‘Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the ‘I’ and the ‘self’ that ‘I’ cannot live with.’ ‘Maybe,’ I thought, ‘only one of them is real.’ I was so stunned by this strange realization that my mind stopped. I was fully conscious, but there were no more thoughts. Then I felt drawn into what seemed like a vortex of energy. It was a slow movement at first and then accelerated. I was gripped by an intense fear, and my body started to shake. I heard the words ‘resist nothing,’ as if spoken inside my chest. I could feel myself being sucked into a void. It felt as if the void was inside myself rather than outside. Suddenly, there was no more fear, and I let myself fall into that void. I have no recollection of what happened after that. I was awakened by the chirping of a bird outside the window. I had never heard such a sound before. My eyes were still closed, and I saw the image of a precious diamond. Yes, if a diamond could make a sound, this is what it would be like. I opened my eyes. The first light of dawn was filtering through the curtains. Without any thought, I felt, I knew, that there is infinitely more to light than we realize. That soft luminosity filtering through the curtains was love itself. Tears came into my eyes. I got up and walked around the room. I recognized the room, and yet I knew that I had never truly seen it before. Everything was fresh and pristine, as if it had just come into existence. I picked up things, a pencil, an empty bottle, marvelling at the beauty and aliveness of it all. That day I walked around the city in utter amazement at the miracle of life on earth, as if I had just been born into this world.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
My grandfather, also named Fraser Robinson, was decidedly less fun to be around, a cigar-puffing patriarch who’d sit in his recliner with a newspaper open on his lap and the evening news blaring on the television nearby. His demeanor was nothing like my father’s. For Dandy, everything was an irritant. He was galled by the day’s headlines, by the state of the world as shown on TV, by the young black men—“boo-boos,” he called them—whom he perceived to be hanging uselessly around the neighborhood, giving black people everywhere a bad name. He shouted at the television. He shouted at my grandmother, a sweet, soft-spoken woman and devout Christian named LaVaughn. (My parents had named me Michelle LaVaughn Robinson, in honor of her.) By day, my grandmother expertly managed a thriving Bible bookstore on the Far South Side, but in her off-hours with Dandy she was reduced to a meekness I found perplexing, even as a young girl. She cooked his meals and absorbed his barrage of complaints and said nothing in her own defense. Even at a young age, there was something about my grandmother’s silence and passivity in her relationship with Dandy that got under my skin. According to my mother, I was the only person in the family to talk back to Dandy when he yelled. I did it regularly, from the time I was very young and over many years, in part because it drove me crazy that my grandmother wouldn’t speak up for herself, in part because everyone else fell silent around him, and lastly because I loved Dandy as much as he confounded me. His stubbornness was something I recognized, something I’d inherited myself, though I hoped in a less abrasive form.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
softly. “Not much you can say to a story like that, is there?” “Not really.” “Yep, I win on the ol’ dramatic story front every time.” They stood in silence for a while. Despite the warmth of the night it was chilly up there, but Stephanie didn’t mind. “What happens now?” she asked. “The Elders go to war. They’ll find the castle empty – Serpine wouldn’t stay there after this – so they’ll be looking for him. They’ll also be tracking down his old allies to make sure they don’t get the opportunity to organise.” “And what do we do?” “We get to the Sceptre before Serpine.” “The key,” she said, “where is it?” He turned to her. “Gordon hid it. Clever man, your uncle. He didn’t think anyone should have access to that weapon, but he hid the key in a place where if we truly needed to find it, if the situation got so dire that we truly needed the Sceptre, all it would take was a little detective work.” “So where is it?” “The piece of advice he gave me, in the solicitor’s office, do you remember what it was?” “He said a storm is coming.” “And he also said that sometimes the key to safe harbour is hidden from us and sometimes it is right before our eyes.” “He was talking about the key, literally? It’s right before our eyes?” “It was, when those words were first spoken in the solicitor’s office.” “Fedgewick has the key?” “Not Fedgewick. He gave it away.” Stephanie frowned, remembering the reading of the will then the lock in the cellar, no bigger than Skulduggery’s palm. She looked up at him. “Not the brooch?” “The brooch.” “Gordon gave the key, the key to the most powerful weapon in existence, to Fergus and Beryl?” she asked incredulously. “Why would he do that?” “Would
Derek Landy (Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant, #1))
Consider a world in which cause and effect are erratic. Sometimes the first precedes the second, sometimes the second the first. Or perhaps cause lies forever in the past while effect in the future, but future and past are entwined. On the terrace of the Bundesterrasse is a striking view: the river Aare below and the Bernese Alps above. A man stands there just now, absently emptying his pockets and weeping. Without reason, his friends have abandoned him. No one calls any more, no one meets him for supper or beer at the tavern, no one invites him to their home. For twenty years he has been the ideal friend to his friends, generous, interested, soft-spoken, affectionate. What could have happened? A week from this moment on the terrace, the same man begins acting the goat, insulting everyone, wearing smelly clothes, stingy with money, allowing no one to come to his apartment on Laupenstrasse. Which was cause and which effect, which future and which past? In Zürich, strict laws have recently been approved by the Council. Pistols may not be sold to the public. Banks and trading houses must be audited. All visitors, whether entering Zürich by boat on the river Limmat or by rail on the Selnau line, must be searched for contraband. The civil military is doubled. One month after the crackdown, Zürich is ripped by the worst crimes in its history. In daylight, people are murdered in the Weinplatz, paintings are stolen from the Kunsthaus, liquor is drunk in the pews of the Münsterhof. Are these criminal acts not misplaced in time? Or perhaps the new laws were action rather than reaction? A young woman sits near a fountain in the Botanischer Garten. She comes here every Sunday to smell the white double violets, the musk rose, the matted pink gillyflowers. Suddenly, her heart soars, she blushes, she paces anxiously, she becomes happy for no reason. Days later, she meets a young man and is smitten with love. Are the two events not connected? But by what bizarre connection, by what twist in time, by what reversed logic? In this acausal world, scientists are helpless. Their predictions become postdictions. Their equations become justifications, their logic, illogic. Scientists turn reckless and mutter like gamblers who cannot stop betting. Scientists are buffoons, not because they are rational but because the cosmos is irrational. Or perhaps it is not because the cosmos is irrational but because they are rational. Who can say which, in an acausal world? In this world, artists are joyous. Unpredictability is the life of their paintings, their music, their novels. They delight in events not forecasted, happenings without explanation, retrospective. Most people have learned how to live in the moment. The argument goes that if the past has uncertain effect on the present, there is no need to dwell on the past. And if the present has little effect on the future, present actions need not be weighed for their consequence. Rather, each act is an island in time, to be judged on its own. Families comfort a dying uncle not because of a likely inheritance, but because he is loved at that moment. Employees are hired not because of their résumés, but because of their good sense in interviews. Clerks trampled by their bosses fight back at each insult, with no fear for their future. It is a world of impulse. It is a world of sincerity. It is a world in which every word spoken speaks just to that moment, every glance given has only one meaning, each touch has no past or no future, each kiss is a kiss of immediacy.
Alan Lightman (Einstein's Dreams)
The gods do not speak with everyone,” and so a way has to be devised to approach them: men must segregate themselves in the same way as the gods are segregated from men. Then perhaps the gods will pay attention. An initial separation from other men is achieved through the preliminary actions of the rite. When setting up the gārhapatya fire, he first sweeps the chosen space with a palāśa branch and says: ‘Away from here! Away! Crawl away from here,’ then: ‘Go away, go and slip away from here,’ he says to those who slither on their bellies. ‘You who are here from ancient and recent times!’ and therefore both those who are here from a remote time as well as those who have settled here today.” The ritual action is an imitation. Of other men, who lived in the beginning? Or of gods? During the building of the fire altar when certain bricks, known as dviyajus, “which require a double formula,” have to be arranged. At that moment the sacrificer thinks the following words: “I wish to go to the celestial world following the same form, celebrating the same rite that Indra and Agni used to enter the celestial world!” What the sacrificer is imitating is the act of the god himself making himself a god Ritual serves above all to resolve through action what thought alone cannot resolve. For example: what do we do with the ash produced by the sacrificial fire? The ashes are thrown into water. And these words are spoken: “O divine waters, receive these ashes and place them in a soft and fragrant place!” And then: “May the consorts, married to a good lord, bow down to him.” The “consorts” here are the waters, who have found a “good lord” in Agni. The waters are chosen as a place for ashes, because Agni was born from the womb of the waters.So Agni will not be lost.
Roberto Calasso (L'ardore)
First of all, she was uncertain how to read the statement. Did Harry actually mean what he said, or was there another underlying message? Did he mean “Wow, you are so completely unattractive, no other man could possibly be interested in you, so I’ll take advantage of you by pretending to desire you. And maybe I’ll get lucky and get laid while having a big laugh at your expense?” Or did he mean “I’ll tell you this to make you feel better because, even though it’s not completely true, you don’t repulse me, and if we do end up having sex, I’ll just make sure all the lights are off.” “Look, Allie, I didn’t mean to freak you out or anything,” Harry said. “I mean, by saying what I said back in the car . . .” Alessandra realized that she had blindly followed him and they were standing on one of the lines, waiting to order their daily indigestion. She had been staring sightlessly up at the menu. “It’s just . . . You wanted honesty,” he continued, “and I . . .” He shrugged. “I took it a little too far, as usual. Some things probably just shouldn’t be said.” “I don’t know how to do this,” Alessandra admitted. “Talking to men was easy when I was beautiful. But now . . .” Harry was looking at her, studying her very naked, very plain face, his dark brown eyes so intense. It was as if the crowd around them had ceased to exist, as if they were the only two people standing in that fast-food lobby. He touched her hair, pushing a limp lock back behind her ear. “The haircut really sucks,” he told her. She closed her eyes. “Yes, I believe you mentioned that once already today.” “But it’s just hair.” “Spoken by the reigning king of bad hair days.” She reached up and took off his baseball cap. His hair, as usual, was standing up in all directions. He shrugged. “Maybe we should just get matching Mohawks.” Alessandra had to laugh. He touched her again, his fingers warm and slightly rough against her cheek. “You’re still beautiful,” he said softly.
Suzanne Brockmann (Bodyguard)
In a slow, pleasant voice, Prince Alaerec asked mild questions--weather, travel, Bran’s day and how he’d filled it. I stayed silent as the three of them worked away at this limping conversation. The Renselaeus father and son were skilled enough at nothing-talk, but poor Bran stumbled over half his words, sending frequent glances at me. In the past I’d often spoken for both of us, for truth was he felt awkward with his tongue and was somewhat shy with new people, but I did not feel like speaking until I’d sorted my emotions out--and there was no time for that. To bridge his own feelings, my brother gulped at the very fine wine they offered. Soon a servant came in and announced that dinner was ready, and the old Prince rose slowly, leaning heavily on a cane. His back was straight, though, as he led the way to a dining room. Bran and I fell in behind, I treading cautiously, with my skirts bunched in either hand. Bran snickered. I looked up, saw him watching me, his face flushed. “Life, Mel, are you supposed to walk like that?” He snickered again, swallowed the rest of his third glass of wine, then added, “Looks like you got eggs in those shoes.” “I don’t know how I’m supposed to walk,” I mumbled, acutely aware of that bland-faced, elegantly dressed Marquis right behind us, and elbowed Bran in the side. “Stop laughing! If I drop these skirts, I’ll trip over them.” “Why didn’t you just ask for riding gear?” “And a coach-and-six while I was at it? This is what they gave me.” “Well, it looks right enough,” he admitted, squinting down at me. “It’s just--seeing you in one of those fancy gowns reminds me of--” I didn’t want to hear what it reminded him of. “You’re drunk as four skunks, you idiot,” I muttered, and not especially softly, either. “You’d best lay it aside until you get some food into you.” He sighed. “Right enough. I confess, I didn’t think you’d really get here--thought that there’d be another bad hit.” “Well, I don’t see we’re all that safe yet,” I said under my breath.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
Behind her, where Tony had been standing, shadows moved, then a hand gently grasped Elizabeth’s elbow, and a deep, husky voice said near her ear, “Dance with me, Elizabeth.” Shock stiffened her body, slamming against the barricade of numbness that Elizabeth was trying to keep intact. Still gazing straight ahead, she said very calmly and politely, “Would you do me a great service?” “Anything,” he agreed. “Go away. And stay away.” “Anything,” he amended with a solemn smile in his voice, “but that.” She felt him move closer behind her, and the nervous quaking she’d conquered hours before jarred through her again, awakening her senses from their blissful anesthesia. His fingers lightly caressed her arm, and he bent his head closer to hers. “Dance with me.” In the arbor two years ago, when he had spoken those words, Elizabeth had let him take her in his arms. Tonight, despite the fact that she was no longer being totally ostracized, she was still teetering on the edge of scandal, and she shook her head. “I don’t think that would be wise.” “Nothing we’ve ever done has been wise. Let’s not spoil our score.” Elizabeth shook her head, refusing to turn, but the pressure on her elbow increased until she had no choice. “I insist.” Reluctantly she turned and looked at him. “Why?” “Because,” he said, smiling tenderly into his eyes, “I’ve already danced seven dances, all of them with ugly women of unimpeachable reputations, so that I’d be able to ask you, without causing more gossip to hurt you.” The words, as well as his softness, made her wary. “What do you mean by the last part of that?” “I know what happened to you after the weekend we were together,” he said gently. “Your Lucinda laid it all out for Duncan. Don’t look so hurt-the only thing she did wrong was to tell Duncan rather than me.” The Ian Thornton who was talking to her tonight was almost achingly familiar; he was the man she’d met two years ago. “Come inside with me,” he urged, increasing the pressure on her elbow, “and I’ll begin making it up to you.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
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))
The thick ropes of his control began to unravel. When she curled both arms around his neck, it seemed natural to place his around her waist and pick her up. She wrapped her legs around his hips, bringing herself in direct contact with his hard-on. It was paradise. It was pure torture. He swore. She broke the kiss and smiled at him. “So you find me annoying, but you still want me,” she whispered. “I don’t find you annoying.” He pushed against her crotch. “I don’t find you annoying, either.” He read the passion in her eyes and knew she was more than willing to take things to the next level. He glanced around, searching for a soft, private spot, only to realize they were out in the open and likely to be discovered any second. It wasn’t romantic, it wasn’t smart, and he didn’t have a condom with him. Phoebe deserved a whole lot better. “I want you,” he told her. She tightened her legs around him. “Me, too.” Color stained her cheeks. “I’ve never said that to a man before.” Zane realized he hadn’t told a woman, either. He’d shown her, but he’d never actually spoken the words. Phoebe was changing him in all kinds of ways. He wanted her with a desperation he’d never felt before. And yet… “We can’t,” he said gently, ignoring the hardness and the pain in his groin. “You deserve better than something hot and fast up against a tree.” She swallowed. “I’m not so sure about that.” “I am.” “Oh.” She sounded disappointed. Had she been anyone else, he would have said the hell with it and taken what she offered. But she was Phoebe. From behind them came the sound of a car horn honking, and then another. They couldn’t see anything through the trees, but they heard laughter drifting toward them as at least a couple of off-road vehicles drove slowly past. “Sounds like we have company,” he said. “We’re close to Stryker land. Guess they decided to say hi. You go on ahead. I need a few minutes.” When he pointed at the front of his jeans, she blushed. “Oh. I see your problem. Well, you could walk right behind me and no one would notice.” He chuckled. “I’ll wait it out. Go on.” “Okay.” She headed toward camp. Zane watched her go, taking in the sway of her hips and the wave she gave him right before she disappeared.
Susan Mallery (Kiss Me (Fool's Gold, #17))
Bailey,” I say, my voice carrying easily across the marble floor. “Wait.” She turns back and rolls her eyes, clearly annoyed to see me coming her way. She quickly wipes at her cheeks then holds up her hand to wave me off. “I’m off the clock. I don’t want to talk to you right now. If you want to chew me out for what happened back there, you’ll have to do it on Monday. I’m going home.” “How?” Her pretty brown eyes, full of tears, narrow up at me in confusion. “How what?” “How are you getting home? Did you park on the street or something?” Her brows relax as she realizes I’m not about to scold her. “Oh.” She turns to the window. “I’m going to catch the bus.” The bus? “The stop is just down the street a little bit.” “Don’t you have a car?” She steels her spine. “No. I don’t.” I’ll have to look into what we’re paying her—surely she should have no problem affording a car to get her to and from work. “Okay, well then what about an Uber or something?” Her tone doesn’t lighten as she replies, “I usually take the bus. It’s fine.” I look for an umbrella and frown when I see her hands are empty. “You’re going to get drenched and it’s freezing out there.” She laughs and starts to step back. “It’s not your concern. Don’t worry about me.” Yes, well unfortunately, I do worry about her. For the last three weeks, all I’ve done is worry about her. Cooper is to blame. He fuels my annoyance on a daily basis, updating me about their texts and bragging to me about how their relationship is developing. Relationship—I find that laughable. They haven’t gone on a date. They haven’t even spoken on the phone. If the metric for a “relationship” lies solely in the number of text messages exchanged then as of this week, I’m in a relationship with my tailor, my UberEats delivery guy, and my housekeeper. I’ve got my hands fucking full. “Well I’m not going to let you wait out at the bus stop in this weather. C’mon, I’ll drive you.” Her soft feminine laugh echoes around the lobby. “Thank you, but I’d rather walk.” What she really means is, Thank you, but I’d rather die. “It’s really not a request. You’re no good to me if you have to call in sick on Monday because you caught pneumonia.” Her gaze sheens with a new layer of hatred. “You of all people know you don’t catch pneumonia just from being cold and wet.” She tries to step around me, but I catch her backpack and tug it off her shoulder. I can’t put it on because she has the shoulder straps set to fit a toddler, so I hold it in my hand and start walking. She can either follow me or not. I tell myself I don’t care either way. “Dr. Russell—” she says behind me, her feet lightly tap-tap-tapping on the marble as she hurries to keep up. “You’re clocked out, aren’t you? Call me Matt.” “Doctor,” she says pointedly. “Please give me my backpack before I call security.” I laugh because really, she’s hilarious. No one has ever threatened to call security on me before. “It’s Matt, and if you’re going to call security, make sure you ask for Tommy. He’s younger and stands a decent chance of catching me before I hightail it out of here with your pink JanSport backpack. What do you have in here anyway?” It weighs nothing. “My lunchbox. A water bottle. Some empty Tupperware.” Tupperware. I glance behind me to check on her. She’s fast-walking as she trails behind me. Am I really that much taller than her? “Did you bring more banana bread?” She nods and nearly breaks out in a jog. “Patricia didn’t get any last time and I felt bad.” “I didn’t get any last time either,” I point out. She snorts. “Yeah well, I don’t feel bad about that.” I face forward again so she can’t see my smile.
R.S. Grey (Hotshot Doc)
Montreal October 1704 Temperature 55 degrees Eben was looking at Sarah in the way every girl prays some boy will one day look at her. “I will marry you, Sarah,” said Eben. “I will be a good husband. A Puritan husband. Who will one day take us both back home.” Wind shifted the lace of Sarah’s gown and the auburn of one loose curl. “I love you, Sarah,” said Eben. “I’ve always loved you.” Tears came to Sarah’s eyes: she who had not wept over her own family. She stood as if it had not occurred to her that she could be loved; that an English boy could adore her. “Oh, Eben!” she whispered. “Oh, yes, oh, thank you, I will marry you. But will they let us, Eben? We will need permission.” “I’ll ask my father,” said Eben. “I’ll ask Father Meriel.” They were not touching. They were yearning to touch, they were leaning forward, but they were holding back. Because it is wrong? wondered Mercy. Or because they know they will never get permission? “My French family will put up a terrible fuss,” said Sarah anxiously. “Pierre might even summon his fellow officers and do something violent.” Eben grinned. “Not if I have Huron warriors behind me.” The Indians rather enjoyed being French allies one day and difficult neighbors the next. Lorette Indians might find this a fine way to stab a French soldier in the back without drawing blood. They would need Father Meriel. He could arrange anything if he chose; he had power among all the peoples. But he might say no, and so might Eben’s Indian family. Mercy translated what was going on for Nistenha and Snow Walker. “They want to get married,” she told them. “Isn’t it wonderful?” She couldn’t help laughing from the joy and the terror of it. Ransom would no longer be the first word in Sarah’s heart. Eben would be. Mercy said, “Eben asked her right here in the street, Snow Walker. He wants to save her from marriage to a French soldier she doesn’t want. He’s loved Sarah since the march.” The two Indians had no reaction. For a moment Mercy thought she must have spoken to them in English. Nistenha turned to walk away and Snow Walker turned with her. If Nistenha was not interested in Sarah and Eben’s plight, no Indian would be. Mercy called on her memory of every speech in every ceremony, every dignified phrase and powerful word. “Honored mother,” she said softly. “Honored sister. We are in need and we beg you to hear our petition.” Nistenha stopped walking, turned back and stared at her in amazement. Sarah and Eben and Snow Walker stared at her in amazement. Sam can build canoes, thought Mercy. I can make a speech. “This woman my sister and this man my brother wish to spend their lives together. My brother will need the generous permission of his Indian father. Already we know that my sister will be refused the permission of her French owners. We will need an ally to support us in our request. We will need your strength and your wisdom. We beseech you, Mother, that you stand by us and help us.” The city of Montreal swirled around them. Eben, property of an Indian father in Lorette; Sarah, property of a French family in Montreal; and Mercy, property of Tannhahorens, awaited her answer. “Your words fill me with pride, Munnunock,” said Nistenha softly. She reached into her shopping bundle. Slowly she drew out a fine French china cup, undoubtedly meant for the feast of Flying Legs. She held it for a moment, and then her stern face softened and she gave it to Eben. Indians sealed a promise with a gift. She would help them. From her bundle, Snow Walker took dangling silver earrings she must have bought for Mercy and handed them to Sarah. Because she knew that Sarah’s Mohawk was not good enough and that Eben was too stirred to speak, Mercy gave the flowery thanks required after such gifts. “God bless us,” she said to Sarah and Eben, and Eben said, “He has.
Caroline B. Cooney (The Ransom of Mercy Carter)
Bryan would not pursue a woman who could really say and mean No, though he is very interested in one who initially says No and then gives in. I assure you that Bryan tested Katherine on this point within minutes of meeting her: Bryan: Can I get you something to drink? Katherine: No, but thank you. Bryan: Oh, come on, what’ll you have? Katherine: Well, I could have a soft drink, I guess. This may appear to be a minor exchange, but it is actually a very significant test. Bryan found something she said no to, tried a light persuasion, and Katherine gave in, perhaps just because she wanted to be nice. He will next try one a notch more significant, then another, then another, and finally he’s found someone he can control. The exchange about the drink is the same as the exchange they will later have about dating, and later about breaking up. It becomes an unspoken agreement that he will drive and she will be the passenger. The trouble comes when she tries to re-negotiate that agreement. ▪ ▪ ▪ Popular news stories would have us believe that stalking is like a virus that strikes its victims without warning, but Katherine, like most victims, got a signal of discomfort right at the start—and ignored it. Nearly every victim I’ve ever spoken with stayed in even after she wanted out. It doesn’t have to be that way. Women can follow those early signals of intuition right from the start. Dating carries several risks: the risk of disappointment, the risk of boredom, the risk of rejection, and the risk of letting some troubled, scary man into your life. The whole process is most similar to an audition, except that the stakes are higher.
Gavin de Becker (The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence)
Odasaku... You should've spoken up right there. [...] You're too soft on Dazai. You should be calling him out and whacking the back of his head with a hammer for every two out of three things he says, or else he's going to go off the rails.
Kafka Asagiri (文豪ストレイドッグス 太宰治と黒の時代 [Bungō Stray Dogs - Dazai Osamu to kuro no jidai])
Theirs was a strange generation. They grew up with headlines about marches, protests, and sit-ins; they watched the Vietnam War and Woodstock live on color television; they all wanted to be H. Rap Brown and Jane Fonda and Patty Hearst; and when they turned eighteen and felt the full conviction of their revolutionary duty, they all voted for a soft-spoken peanut farmer who was systematically humiliated from his earliest days in office until what seemed his very last.
Wiley Cash (When Ghosts Come Home)
good, ridding himself of both toxins and drugs. It looked like he was starting to get his strength back. “Good morning,” I said. Mutt looked up, said nothing, and kept picking at the ground with his pick. “You okay?” Mutt looked around as if I had spoken to someone else. I made eye contact and said it again. “You okay?” He nodded and dug the pick into some soft earth. I walked around the light, not casting a shadow on his work. “What’re you doing?” Mutt looked around, behind me, underneath the tip of his pick, and then fumbled with his hands,
Charles Martin (Wrapped In Rain)
Draw closer... closer, that you might clearly hear my words; for in the telling of tales, the softly spoken word may carry more power than the shout... the silence between words, more power than the words themselves. “I know this, because I am Omar, the Teller of Tales.
Robin Tompkins (Omar the Teller of Tales and Other Stories)
Regardless of how articulate or poised any one of us is, how introverted or bombastic, how sharp or soft, we are all made up of intimate, vulnerable, never-spoken-aloud slippery bits. We are all works in progress. All living lives in progress. All finding our footing.
Jennifer O'Toole (Autism in Heels: The Untold Story of a Female Life on the Spectrum)
In the late summer of 2010, I visit Nowak at his home in Falls Church, Virginia. He is soft-spoken, slightly built, and a little stooped with age. Nowak has a cerebral demeanor, and in a Louisiana accent that softens his r’s, he might tell you he was born in the “fawties.” We sit in his living room, which is decorated with tiny statues of forest animals. Every few minutes, he darts down the hall to his desk - above which hangs a famous photo of a black-phase red wolf from the Tensas River - to retrieve books, graphs, and papers for reference. More than a decade after his retirement, Nowak remains engrossed by discussions of red wolf origins. Deep in conversation about carnassial teeth, he dives to grab his wife’s shitzsu, Tommy, to show me what they look like, then he thinks better of it. (Tommy had eyed him warily.) He hands me a copy of his most recent publication, a 2002 paper from Southeastern Naturalist. “When I wrote this, I threw everything I had at the red wolf problem,” he says. “This was my best shot.” He thumps an extra copy onto the coffee table between us. After a very long pause, he gazes at it and adds: “I’m not sure I have anything left to offer.” This is hard to accept, considering everything he has invested in learning about the red wolf: few people have devoted more time to understanding red wolves than the man sitting across the coffee table from me, absentmindedly stroking his wife’s dog. Nowak grew up in New Orleans, and as an undergraduate at Tulane University in 1962, he became interested in endangered birds. While reading a book on the last ivory-billed woodpeckers in the swamps along the Tensas River, his eyes widened when he found references to wolves. “Wolves in Louisiana! My goodness, I thought wolves lived up on the tundra, in the north woods, going around chasing moose and people,” Nowak recalls. “I did not know a thing about them. But when I learned there were wolves in my home state, it got me excited.
T. DeLene Beeland (The Secret World of Red Wolves: The Fight to Save North America's Other Wolf)
He was soft-spoken and grandfatherly as he introduced himself. He seemed utterly and completely normal. Nothing about him suggested his dark past. The “banality of evil,” Hannah Arendt famously called this odd phenomenon when writing about Eichmann’s trial.
Eric Lichtblau (The Nazis Next Door: How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler's Men)
My real mouth is full of sharp teeth and a sharper tongue, three languages coiled like snakes in my throat, scaly and silent. My real mouth is an armoury of words forged in the furnace of my chest, hot as a spitted sun. My real mouth is a storm, and my voice is thunder. To pass among you I wear a different mouth: full lips unparted, always smiling. I paint it pretty colours. It speaks only when spoken to, softly. To pass among you, it tells you stories: I am sweetness. I am sunshine. I am here to hold your hand through the horror of my name. My mouth is a coin, and I spend it.
Amal El-Mohtar (Anabasis)
Honestly, in the modern social media–driven NBA, you’re lucky if the soft-spoken rookie you drafted doesn’t turn into Howard Hughes with a handle. “They’re all fucking crazy now,” one NBA coach said to me, when lamenting how his profession had changed. “All the superstars are fucking crazy.
Ethan Sherwood Strauss (The Victory Machine: The Making and Unmaking of the Warriors Dynasty)
The voice of intuition is soft spoken, subtle. It speaks a wild, lyrical, ancient language. We first heard it long before we were born. It resides in our flesh and bones - so deeply who we are; and just like the wind, moon beams, or our heartbeat, we may not notice it at all if we do not pay attention... Because it is subtle; we must make a conscious choice to listen, to hear its wisdom. ॐ
Leesa | The Gypsy Priestess
And if I don’t agree with your thoughts? If I can’t change to become what you hope for? Is losing you one of the costs for my sins?” “I have been with you all this time,” she said, a soft answer that eased his posture. “The good as well as the bad. Once, we were acquaintances sharing a vow. But you have become more to me than mere words spoken on a midsummer night. And I have never been one to love conditionally.
Rebecca Ross (A River Enchanted (Elements of Cadence, #1))
Good. And I hope this tough girl persona isn’t an act. I need you to be strong and unbreakable. When it comes to sex, I’m not hearts and flowers. I’m raw, animalistic need. I’m a beast in human form. I can’t be gentle or sweet.” His lips press softly on my lips, a stark contrast to his harshly spoken words. “I am going to ruin you, baby. That is my only warning.
K. Webster (Crybaby)
Just that soft utterance of his name was enough. As if Malcolm hat spoken the single word needed to bind Seong-Jae to him: to strip away the last of the walls he clung to and leave him so completely open to a touch that could hurt so deeply no matter what gentleness it might intend. That was what loving someone meant, he realized. Letting them into all the places that hurt the most. And trusting them to handle those fragile things with utmost care, nonetheless.
Cole McCade (The Hatter's Game: Part II (Criminal Intentions #13))
Samuel had spoken softly, his voice a tired rasp, but tragedy has its own terrible volume. It rolls and cracks, shakes the ground beneath your feet, lingers in the air like summer thunder.
Alix E. Harrow (The Ten Thousand Doors of January)
While making studies of the revolutionary movement, I was aided for a time by Angelica Balabanoff. This restless, diminutive Russian knew almost everyone engaged in socialist and communist activities. Aflame with the spirit of revolt, she spared no effort to infect others with her hatred for the capitalist regime. She was very useful as she not only brought me in contact with everyone I wished to meet, but she also spoke fluently many of the European languages. She would often sit beside me at conferences and in restaurants, translating into my ear, in a soft and to others almost inaudible voice, everything of interest said by the various speakers, no matter from what country they came. She was afterward one of Mussolini's chief aids and became his assistant editor when he took control of *Avanti*. In 1917 she went back to Russia with Lenin and other communists in the train so kindly provided by the German government, which expected them to augment the chaos already paralyzing its enemies on the East. Revolutionists talk fast and are often well educated. In some groups at dinner three or four languages would be spoken and, of course, at all the socialists and labor conferences delegates from many countries delivered their addresses in their native tongues. These different languages were laboriously translated by official interpreters. It was unnecessary to follow these dreary repetitions when Balabanoff sat beside me. She was often the official interpreter at the larger gatherings and her translations were never questioned — although she often excelled the orator in eloquence when he was expressing some of her cherished and more violently revolutionary views. Although she was a valued aid to both Mussolini and Lenin — I believe she brought them together at one time — and the most impassioned revolutionist I have ever met, she left Russia in 1921, ill and thoroughly disillusioned by the Reign of Terror.
Robert Hunter (Revolution Why, How, When?)
Marilla looked at her with a tenderness that would never have been suffered to reveal itself in any clearer light than that soft mingling of fireshine and shadow. The lesson of a love that should display itself easily in spoken word and open look was one Marilla could never learn. But she had learned to love this slim, gray-eyed girl with an affection all the deeper and stronger from its very undemonstrativeness. Her love made her afraid of being unduly indulgent, indeed. She had an uneasy feeling that it was rather sinful to set one's heart so intensely on any human creature as she has hers set on Anne, and perhaps she performed a sort of unconscious penance for this by being stricter and more critical than if the girl had been less dear to her.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne Of Green Gables)
There are,” said the Chief, unbothered and undeterred by what he’d just heard, “four sentences that lead to wisdom. Do with them as you will.” No one had ever spoken to Beauvoir in that way. Do with them as you will. Who talks like that? But, more than that oddly formal phrase, no one in Beauvoir’s experience had ever strung together three words without saying “fuck,” or “calice,” or “merde.” Including, especially, his father. And his mother, for that matter. And they sure had never mentioned wisdom in his presence. He stared at this older man, who spoke so softly. And Jean-Guy Beauvoir found himself actually listening. “‘I’m sorry.’ ‘I was wrong.’ ‘I don’t know.’” As he listed them, Chief Inspector Gamache raised a finger, until his palm was open. “‘I need help.
Louise Penny (The Madness of Crowds (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #17))
In 2007, economist Nathan Nunn, a soft-spoken Harvard professor then in his mid-thirties, made waves with a piece of research showing the reach of slavery into the modern southern economy. Nunn found that the well-known story of deprivation in the American South was not uniform and, in fact, followed a historical logic: counties that relied more on slave labor in 1860 had lower per capita incomes in 2000.
Heather McGhee (The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together)
Her soul! Her name! Her eyes! They seem to me like strange beautiful blue wild-flowers growing in some tangled, rain-drenched hedge. And I have felt her soul tremble beside mine, and have spoken her name softly to the night, and have wept to see the beauty of the world passing like a dream behind her eyes. — James Joyce, from a love letter to (of) Nora Barnacle, Selected Joyce Letters, ed. Richard Ellmann (Viking Press, 1975)
James Joyce
Why do some countries safely navigate the road through the anocracy zone, while others become engulfed in cycles of chaos and violence? The story of Iraq again offers a clue. When I asked Noor to describe what changed before civil war erupted in her homeland, she looked at me for a moment. Soft-spoken and reserved, she radiated the quiet confidence of someone who doesn’t break easily. Her face, however, was heavy with sadness. “People began asking whether you were Shia or Sunni,” she said.57 People had never asked her this before, she explained. In Baghdad, there were no Shia or Sunni neighborhoods; she had never been told she couldn’t marry someone from a different ethnic or religious group. She had no sense that she was a minority or that religion mattered; she didn’t even know which of her friends were Shia or Sunni. “But then people started asking about it publicly. What are you? Where are you from? What is your religion?
Barbara F. Walter (How Civil Wars Start: And How to Stop Them)
booming tone is often seen as either boisterous or confident, while a quiet and softer tone is seen as shy and reserved. This is also important, especially when you are responding to other people. If you tend to shout out your words, you are perceived as a person who lacks control. But if you are too soft-spoken, then you are perceived as someone who generally lacks confidence. As such, your only solution here is to be aware of your tone and voice. If you are not sure what tone to use in a situation, use something calm and collected. This is vital in business meetings and important deals. The FBI has been using the calm and collected voice to diffuse high-tension situations like a hostage-taking. By lowering their voice to something calm and non-threatening, they tend to help in calming the hostage-taker, so they don’t do something drastic. Use this voice when approaching potential contacts
James W. Williams (Communication Skills Training: How to Talk to Anyone, Connect Effortlessly, Develop Charisma, and Become a People Person)
Do you want him?” he asks her. Syen grimaces, mostly out of embarrassment. He’s spoken softly but they’re right next to Innon, and if he suddenly decides to pay attention…Well, what if he does? Maybe it would make things easier to get it all out in the open. She really would prefer to have a choice about that, though, and as usual Alabaster’s not giving her one. “You don’t have a subtle bone in your body, do you?” “No, I don’t. Tell me.
N.K. Jemisin (The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1))
Our attitude may also be unfair. Our negative view of confidence may be overly dependent on the quirks of our own histories, on the sort of people we first encountered confidence in who were not its best or most reliable representatives. Our real problem may not be confidence so much as a lack of other virtues such as manners, charm, wit and generosity. We may be wrongly diagnosing the root of our objections. There may be a few people at risk of growing into braggarts, self-seekers and blowhards. But confidence is in its essence entirely compatible with remaining sensitive, kind, witty and softly-spoken. It might be brutishness, confidence, that we hate.
The School of Life (On Confidence)
Despite the gaps between the two sides’ positions, Sadat’s trip was nonetheless of monumental importance. For the first time, Israelis saw an Arab leader who was charming, well dressed, soft-spoken, clearly wanted peace, and was willing to risk life and limb for it. Perceptions in Egypt changed as well. The people had been impressed by the welcome extended their leader by the Israelis. The Arab press refrained from traditional demonizations of the Zionist enemy and began analyzing the situation with a cooler head.
Eric Gartman (Return to Zion: The History of Modern Israel)
Memories of his mother...She was softly spoken but troubled by anxieties beneath the surface that she could not conceal. Then there were the loud disputes with his father, and arguments with relatives that made her cry and scream. As a child Sentaro had been frightened by these outbursts, that's why he'd wished there could always be cake on the table. Because his mother had a sweet tooth, and whenever they had the sweet things that she liked, such as manju buns or cake, she would be in a good mood and he could also feel at peace. He loved his mother when she smiled and said to him, 'Mm, isn't this delicious, Sen?
Durian Sukegawa (Sweet Bean Paste)
just because benevolence and butterflies linger on your tongue, it does not mean your voice cannot be a revolution – soft-spoken girls
butterflies rising
Beckett is soft-spoken and seems like he'd be shy, so probably going out to tweet something about himself is torture, but for me, it's another way to talk to people.
Aven Ellis (The Aubrey Rules (Chicago on Ice #1))
He had tenderness in his heart—“a soft place,” as Nicholas Higgins called it; but he had some pride in concealing it; he kept it very sacred and safe, and was jealous of every circumstance that tried to gain admission. But if he dreaded exposure of his tenderness, he was equally desirous that all men should recognise his justice; and he felt that he had been unjust in giving so scornful a hearing to any one who had waited, with humble patience, for five hours, to speak to him. That the man had spoken saucily to him when he had the opportunity, was nothing to Mr. Thornton. He rather liked him for it; and he was conscious of his own irritability of temper at the time, which probably made them both quits. It was the five hours of waiting that struck Mr. Thornton. He had not five hours to spare, himself; but one hour—two hours, of his hard penetrating intellectual, as well as bodily labour, did he give up to going about collecting evidence as to the truth of Higgins’s story, the nature of his character, the tenor of his life. He tried not to be, but was convinced that all that Higgins had said was true. And then the conviction went in, as if by some spell, and touched the latent tenderness of his heart; the patience of the man, the simple generosity of the motive (for he had learnt about the quarrel between Boucher and Higgins), made him forget entirely the mere reasonings of justice, and overleap them by a diviner instinct. He came to tell Higgins he would give him work; and he was more annoyed to find Margaret there than by hearing her last words; for then he understood that she was the woman who had urged Higgins to come to him; and he dreaded the admission of any thought of her, as a motive to what he was doing solely because it was right.
Elizabeth Gaskell (North and South)
I knew someone must have the answer so I decided to ask one of my professors. I chose the professor of my Jewish history class, because he was quiet and soft-spoken. Dr. Kerry was a short man with dark eyes and a serious expression. He lectured in a thick wool jacket even in hot weather. I knocked on his office door quietly, as if I hoped he wouldn’t answer, and soon was sitting silently across from him. I didn’t know what my question was, and Dr. Kerry didn’t ask. Instead he posed general questions—about my grades, what courses I was taking. He asked why I’d chosen Jewish history, and without thinking I blurted that I’d learned of the Holocaust only a few semesters before and wanted to learn the rest of the story
Tara Westover (Educated)
A virulent form of utopianism has indeed afflicted the modern age, but its name is not Marxism. It is the crazed motion that a single global system known as the free market can impose itself on the most diverse cultures and economies and cure all their ills. The purveyors of this totalitarian fantasy are not to be found hiding scar-faced and sinisterly soft-spoken in underground bunkers like James Bond villains. They are to be seen dining at upmarket Washington restaurants and strolling on Sussex estates.
Terry Eagleton (Why Marx Was Right)
Tyrion, I know we do not always agree on policy, but it seems to me that I was wrong about you. You are not so big a fool as I imagined. In truth, I realize now that you have been a great help. For that I thank you. You must forgive me if I have spoken to you harshly in the past.” “Must I?” He gave her a shrug, a smile. “Sweet sister, you have said nothing that requires forgiveness.” “Today, you mean?” They both laughed . . . and Cersei leaned over and planted a quick, soft kiss on his brow. Too astonished for words, Tyrion could only watch her stride off down the hall, Ser Preston at her side. “Have I lost my wits, or did my sister just kiss me?” he asked Bronn when she was gone. “Was it so sweet?” “It was . . . unanticipated.” Cersei had been behaving queerly of late. Tyrion found it very unsettling. “I am trying to recall the last time she kissed me. I could not have been more than six or seven. Jaime had dared her to do it." “The woman’s finally taken note of your charms.” “No,” Tyrion said. “No, the woman is hatching something. Best find out what, Bronn. You know I hate surprises.
George R.R. Martin (A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2))
This process of justifying expenditures as counters to Soviet expenditures conditioned U.S. actions on Soviet strengths, expressed as threats, not on Soviet weaknesses and constraints. We had a war strategy—a catastrophic spasm—but no plan about how to compete with the Soviet Union over the long term.” Soft-spoken, Marshall watched my eyes, checking that I understood the implications of his statements. He took out a document, a thin sheaf of paper, and began to explain its meaning: “This document reflects thoughts about how to actually use U.S. strengths to exploit Soviet weaknesses, a very different approach.
Richard P. Rumelt (Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters)
Stella, listening to Desiree speak to their mother, her voice soft and soothing. And all the while, to Adele Vignes, the twins were the same as they’d ever been. Time was collapsing and expanding; the twins were different and the same all at once. There could have been fifty pairs of twins sitting at that dinner table, a seat for each person they had been since they’d spoken last: a battered wife and a bored one, a waitress and a professor, each woman seated next to a stranger. Instead, there were only the twins, Early sitting between them. He felt, watching Stella primly cut her fish, that he didn’t know Desiree at all, that maybe it was impossible to know one without the other.
Brit Bennett (The Vanishing Half)
Suka, hiding from tough choices is a choice; and, Rumfuss, never changing means never improving. Arax, how can you demand freedom for yourself but not for those in your care? Dinesh, don’t let your greatness be only a matter of size. “Tellun . . .” Essix paused, momentarily unsure how to proceed. The elk seemed unimpeachable. And yet . . . “I respect you, but I do not understand you. I fear you are too distant.” “And Ninani?” Cabaro asked expectantly. Essix gazed upon the swan. “I believe that Ninani does her best.” “Fight bravely,” Ninani said, her voice music for the soul. “If I had it in me, I would join you. For what it’s worth, I believe you. I will help as I can.” Bolstered by the soft-spoken encouragement and disgusted by the others, the falcon spread her wings and took flight. As she
Brandon Mull (Tales of the Great Beasts (Spirit Animals, #0.5))
soft-spoken, understated style—she didn’t wear heels, makeup, or tight-fitting clothes.
Damon Tweedy (Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor's Reflections on Race and Medicine)
As the sky behind the Eddy Match Factory across the river filled with light, the steady timbre of the water and rapids became sentences spoken in a soft female voice and Eileen accepted, without surprise, the presence of her mother's lost words. So this is what it is to be away, her mother's voice told her. You are never present where you stand. You see the polished dishes in your kitchen cupboard throwing back the hearth light, but they know neither you nor the meals you have taken from their surfaces. Your flagstones are a series of dark lakes that you scour, and the light that touches and alters them sends you unspeakable messages. Waves arch like mantles over everything that burns. Each corner is a secret and your history is a lie.
Jane Urquhart (Away)
What have you done?" she screamed at Hades with tears running down both of her cheeks. "I am not dead! I don't belong here, let me go home!" Hades towered in front of her, all dark robes and a face so pale, he himself looked dead. His blue lips parted and he began to console Persephone. His soft spoken words surprised Persephone, she had imagined his voice to bring forth fire and lightning, but he spoke to her soothingly. "If I appeared in front of you, and asked you to follow me, would you have done it?" he asked. "No, I would not, of course," she said. "Then, in order to show you my kingdom, and ask for your hand, I had to find a way to bring you down here," he said. "Ask for my hand? I don't want to get married, now bring me back to the field I was on," Persephone pleaded.
Birgit Amadori (The Twelve Olympians - Illustrated Greek Mythology)
had been calm and relaxed. Then something changed. A man she had never seen before or since came at night. He was thin and softly spoken and smoked an expensive cigar. He had asked how
Robert Goddard (Hand In Glove)
The soft-spoken words fell off the side of the bed, emptying onto the floor like powder.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
At the Platoon Weapons Division, I got to serve with Major (later Lieutenant General) Milan Naidu. Extremely soft-spoken, Milan was married to Neeharika, who was the daughter of Lieutenant Colonel B Awasthy who had been killed by the Chinese in 1962 at the Lagyala Gompa. Originally from 2 Rajput, Awasthy was moving to Mathura to take over the unit which had finished its NEFA tour of duty in Walong. Unfortunately, that was not to be. Neeharika was an extremely talented singer and was quite the star at most social gatherings.
V.K. Singh (Courage and Conviction)
Beware the soft-spoken when secrets are kept, for they hear what the thunderers do not.
Michael Alan Peck (The Journeyman (The Commons, #1))
It is for this reason that the anxiety about the boundaries between people and machines has taken on new urgency today, when we constantly rely on and interact with machines—indeed, interact with each other by means of machines and their programs: computers, smartphones, social media platforms, social and dating apps. This urgency has been reflected in a number of recent films about troubled relationships between people and their human-seeming devices. The most provocative of these is Her , Spike Jonze’s gentle 2013 comedy about a man who falls in love with the seductive voice of an operating system, and, more recently, Alex Garland’s Ex Machina , about a young man who is seduced by a devious, soft-spoken female robot called Ava whom he has been invited to interview as part of the “Turing Test”: a protocol designed to determine the extent to which a robot is capable of simulating a human. Although the robot in Garland’s sleek and subtle film is a direct descendant of Hesiod’s Pandora—beautiful, intelligent, wily, ultimately dangerous—the movie, as the Eve-like name Ava suggests, shares with its distinguished literary predecessors some serious biblical concerns.
For her part, my mother was probably more alike him than he suspected, the chief difference being that showing her husband affection was among her duties. Though she might harshly reprimand a servant or child, in his presence she was always soft-spoken and demure. She deferred to his opinions, flattered his vanities, and endured his rebukes with meekness. Love was a choice she made, and then made again daily for the remainder of her life. From her I learnt that a woman should not expect her happiness to come from the man himself, but from those acts of devotion she showed to him.
Debra Dean (The Mirrored World)
when she died in 2005 at the age of ninety-two, the flood of obituaries recalled her as soft-spoken, sweet, and small in stature. They said she was “timid and shy” but had “the courage of a lion.” They were full of phrases like “radical humility” and “quiet fortitude.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
I love you,” she said softly for the first time. It shocked her to realize she had never spoken the words until now.
Kirsten Beyer (The Eternal Tide (Star Trek: Voyager))
Eli?” Priscilla’s voice was soft behind him. Was she finally forgiving him? He spun so fast he nearly tripped over his boots. She’d hardly spoken with him since they’d left the Rendezvous, and he was more than ready to see something in her eyes besides anger. She held out the dipper. “Your turn.” He searched her face for something, for anything that would give him the slightest hope that she didn’t hate him. She pushed the dipper at him. Her eyes were clouded but void of the flashes of lightning. He took the ladle and lifted it to his lips for a drink that was altogether too short. Then he handed the dipper back to her. “Thank you.” She lowered it back into the pail. “You were kind to give Richard your portion.” “I was holding out for pemmican.” Her lips twitched with the beginning of a smile. A grin of his own pushed for release, but the concern for her that had been weighing him down made its way to the surface first. “How are you—I mean—are you doing all right—without the baby?” The clouds in her eyes darkened and any hint of a smile disappeared. “I’ll survive.” She turned and rushed to catch up with Mabel. He watched the frayed edges of her dress swish in the dust and wanted to pound himself over the head. Why had he expected that she’d want to talk about the baby with him?
Jody Hedlund (The Doctor's Lady)
Kitty, I hope... I do hope you feel that you can trust me, like you would your father.” He circled his thumb along the top of her hand, undoing the stone wall she’d so carefully constructed to guard her heart. “We are true friends, are we not?” Friends. “Aye.” “Friends confide in one another, do they not?” A frown pulled down at her mouth, for surely he had a motive in asking such questions. But what?  The gentleness in his eyes, though still present, moved aside to allow for deep earnest as the muscles in his jaw flexed. He asked again. “Do they not?” Kitty nodded, pretending she didn’t notice every nuance of his expression. “Aye.” He leaned forward, urgency coating his timbre. Gently holding tighter to her hand, he almost whispered. “I need to know what happened the night you were attacked.” “What?” she breathed. He could not be serious. “Kitty, I am done pretending I don’t know something is wrong. Who is doing this to you?” Squirming, Kitty fought to keep her breath relaxed. “Who is... who is doing what?” “Kitty.” He moved to the edge of the bed. “I only wish to help you, you must know that. I will protect you, I vow it—only you must trust me.” Tears welled, blurring the wound along his eye. She had been the cause of that and despite her desires to trust, his safety trumped all. “I cannot tell you.” Her voice was flat as the words hopped from her mouth before she could stop them. He stilled, his posture pulling back. “And why not?” She tugged her hand free from his, instantly aching from the vacancy that replaced the warmth of his touch. “Do not ask me.” “Why, Kitty?” His brow pinched and his mouth stayed open as if more protests prepared to be spoken. Her throat swelled until it nearly clogged off the air that reached down for her lungs. She swallowed a groan and turned away. “It is not for you to know.” “It is for me to know.”  The compulsion to open her mouth and expel the awful truth she kept hidden was enough to make acid once again inch upward. She clenched her eyes shut, fear and hurt raging in her spirit like a tempest. “Please leave me.” “As you wish.” She shot her head in his direction. No, Nathaniel! I didn’t mean it!  He strode toward the door, and stopped, his mouth hard but hazel eyes soft as leather. “If you cannot place your trust in me, Kitty, I pray you will find strength to place it in someone.” With
Amber Lynn Perry (So True a Love (Daughters of His Kingdom #2))
He brushed her hair until it was nearly dry. He had to reach forward to catch the brandy glass. Lazy delight swirled through her at the glance of his hand over hers. Each stroke of the brush leached away another layer of resistance. After all the fear and anger, she slid into a fog of languorous docility. Perhaps soon he'd take her to bed. Surely he hadn't meant it when he said she'd sleep alone. He set the brush aside and lifted her into his arms. She murmured sleepily and nestled into his chest. She was warm. He was warm. Everything was delicious warmth. She smothered a yawn and shut her eyes. Jonas... She might have spoken his name aloud. She nuzzled his chest, drawing in more rain-fresh scent. She thought he growled softly in his throat. She wasn't sure. She was so tired, she wasn't sure about much. He set her down on the bed, the mattress sagging beneath her, and pulled up the covers. His arms slipped away with what felt like reluctance and the loss pierced her drowsiness. She whimpered in protest and waited for him to slide in beside her. She kept her eyes shut. Looking at him veered too near to admitting she'd stopped fighting. She heard him sigh. His clean scent flooded her senses when he pressed his lips to her forehead then briefly kissed her mouth.
Anna Campbell (Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed (Sons of Sin, #1))
an inner Saroj. The outer Saroj was the Baba-trained, docile, obedient, soft-spoken, sweet-natured, aloof, dignified, paper-doll shell of an Indian girl who walked, moved, breathed, followed, spoke when she was spoken to, and did what she was told. Beneath that veneer was the real Saroj; the inner one. Beneath the smoke of what-people-thought-she-was, was the fire of the real, squirming, kicking, bull-headed, fighting-to-get-out me, the what-she-really-was. But nobody would have believed it, at least not before the thirteenth birthday that changed everything. The inner Saroj must live. The outer Saroj must die. That much was clear. But how? The inner Saroj, struggling for life, needed a hand to hold on to, and here within her grasp, less than an arm's length away, was the ideal model for the new character that would shape her destiny.
Sharon Maas (Of Marriageable Age)
Captain Winston, I want to—” “Mrs. Prescott, I want to—” They’d spoken at the same time, only to pause simultaneously as well. He smiled. “Usually I would say ladies first. But I need to offer you an apology, Mrs. Prescott. And I’d appreciate you allowing me to do that.” “All right,” she said softly. “The other night, ma’am . . . I know I made you feel uncomfortable. When I . . . tried to kiss you. I want to say I’m sorry,” he added hurriedly. “I had no right to do that. And I want to guarantee you that you have no reason to feel awkward around me. Nor do you have to worry about being safe with me. I appreciate your friendship more than you realize, and your son’s.” His gaze softened and dropped briefly to Andrew. “I only hope I haven’t overstepped my bounds in a way that will prevent our friendship from continuing in the future.” Again hearing his sincerity in his well-chosen words, Aletta shifted Andrew in her arms, the boy growing heavy. “Thank you, Captain, for your kind apology. I accept, of course, and—” She looked away, embarrassed, feeling almost as if she needed to apologize, too, at least in part. Because she felt guilty for allowing him to think that the longing behind the moment had rested solely with him. Yet she also felt as though her apology would only muddy the waters. And life was murky enough as it was. “—I’m indebted to you for the kindness you’ve shown to me and Andrew. Feeling safe in your company, Captain . . . is something I will never worry about.” Relief showed in his expression. “So . . . truce?” She smiled. “Very much a truce.” She started for the stairs. “One more thing, if you would . . . a favor, of sorts.” She turned back and studied him for a moment, trying to decipher what that favor might be. “Since we’ve reached such an amiable truce, would you please call me Jake? And, likewise, would you allow me to address you by your Christian name, General Prescott?” She laughed softly. “My name is Aletta . . . Jake.” His pleasure evident in his expression, he gave her a mock salute before closing the door, and she carefully negotiated the stairs up to the bedroom.
Tamera Alexander (Christmas at Carnton (Carnton #0.5))
In reality, though, it usually worked like this: A female candidate who will buzzkill your weekly happy hour? “Cultural fit.” A soft-spoken Indian or Chinese engineer, quietly competent but incapable of the hard-charging egotism that Americans almost universally wear like they do blue jeans? “Cultural fit.” Self-taught kid from some crappy college you’ve never heard of, without that glib sheen of effortless superiority you get out of Harvard or Stanford? “Cultural fit.” And so it goes. Shaffer’s machine-gun questioning and imperiousness had rattled me. I suspected that I had failed to pass his bar, and I needed to clear my head. The day had been nothing but a series of interrogations inside small, gray, rotten-smelling rooms. The Guantánamo vibe was fatiguing. Despite the NSA-level security on checking in and the way we were handed off like booby-trapped hot potatoes that no one could drop, nobody appeared for the next interview. Wining and dining evidently not in the offing, I wandered off and tried to find something to eat.
Antonio García Martínez (Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley)
I have another problem.” Caleb’s grin was at once endearing and obnoxious. “You’re naked in my bed, and you don’t own a stitch of clothing in the world,” he agreed. “You needn’t look so pleased about it!” Lily snapped, drawing up her knees and wrapping her arms around them. She was very careful not to let the covers slip away from her breasts. “Not only that,” Caleb went on, as though she hadn’t spoken, “but the whole fort is talking about us. Speculating on what’s going on right here in this room.” Lily flushed. Now that she could see things in better perspective she was furious with herself for giving in to Caleb the night of the fire. If she’d gone to Mrs. Tibbet and asked for a place to stay, she could have avoided this problem. She let her forehead rest on her upraised knees. “I’m just like my mother,” she despaired. Caleb made her lift her head. “No,” he said softly. “She gave up, and you don’t have the first idea how to do that. I don’t mind telling you that sometimes I wish you did.” He paused. “You’re still going to move onto your land, aren’t you?” Lily swallowed. “Yes,” she said, because Caleb was right. She didn’t know how to give up on her dream. She’d had to struggle for everything all her life, and she’d never learned to walk away from something she wanted. The major rose from the bed, gazing distractedly toward the window. Lily knew he wasn’t seeing the fluttering lace curtains, which needed washing, or the blue of the sky. Presently he spoke, his voice hoarse and so low that she had to strain to hear it. “I guess there’s no point in talking about it anymore, then. I’ll see what I can do about getting you some clothes.” Caleb
Linda Lael Miller (Lily and the Major (Orphan Train, #1))
I have another problem.” Caleb’s grin was at once endearing and obnoxious. “You’re naked in my bed, and you don’t own a stitch of clothing in the world,” he agreed. “You needn’t look so pleased about it!” Lily snapped, drawing up her knees and wrapping her arms around them. She was very careful not to let the covers slip away from her breasts. “Not only that,” Caleb went on, as though she hadn’t spoken, “but the whole fort is talking about us. Speculating on what’s going on right here in this room.” Lily flushed. Now that she could see things in better perspective she was furious with herself for giving in to Caleb the night of the fire. If she’d gone to Mrs. Tibbet and asked for a place to stay, she could have avoided this problem. She let her forehead rest on her upraised knees. “I’m just like my mother,” she despaired. Caleb made her lift her head. “No,” he said softly. “She gave up, and you don’t have the first idea how to do that. I don’t mind telling you that sometimes I wish you did.” He paused. “You’re still going to move onto your land, aren’t you?” Lily swallowed. “Yes,” she said, because Caleb was right. She didn’t know how to give up on her dream. She’d had to struggle for everything all her life, and she’d never learned to walk away from something she wanted. The major rose from the bed, gazing distractedly toward the window. Lily knew he wasn’t seeing the fluttering lace curtains, which needed washing, or the blue of the sky. Presently he spoke, his voice hoarse and so low that she had to strain to hear it. “I guess there’s no point in talking about it anymore, then. I’ll see what I can do about getting you some clothes.” Caleb’s loving had affected Lily like a dose of opium, but now she was fully awake, and having to stay in bed was like being held prisoner. “Mrs. Tibbet may still have some of Sandra’s things around,” she suggested. Caleb didn’t so much as glance in her direction. “Right,” he answered, crossing the room and pulling open the door. “Caleb, wait!” Lily cried. “You can’t just walk out and leave me here like this—I need to know how soon I can expect you back!” He let his head rest against the doorjamb for a moment, and his shoulders, always so straight and strong, looked slightly stooped to Lily. “Half an hour,” he said, and then he was gone, closing the door quietly behind him. Lily
Linda Lael Miller (Lily and the Major (Orphan Train, #1))
I couldn’t breathe in that place,” he admitted. Cat marveled at his senses. Even with his eyes closed he’d known she was looking at him. That crazy sixth-sense of his kicking in. “Completely understandable. You have a lot of not so great memories in there. In several hospitals in several states and several countries.” Harper grinned, the flash of teeth bold and vibrant. “At least this hospital wasn’t being bombed like the one I went through in Iraq.” “Or in the path of a once in a lifetime blizzard like the time you were at Walter Reed.” He gave her a nod, his smile fading. “You’ve been at most of them with me. I appreciate that, Cat.” Wow. She sucked in a breath at his softly spoken words. “I was your wife. Where else would I have been?” Harper rocked his head toward her. “You could have stayed home like a lot of the wives did.” She shook her head, grimacing. “That’s not where a wife belongs when her husband is hurt. She belongs at his side. Rooting him on to recover as fully as possible.” “There were a lot of guys that had no one, either in Germany or when they got home.” “I know,” she admitted. “But with my parents living within easy driving distance, I had an advantage. They were always ready to watch the kids at a second’s notice.” He
J.M. Madden (Embattled SEAL (Lost and Found #4))
The Dilemma of Love Love spoken by the heart is soft. Love articulated by your cock is hard. Falling in love becomes a dilemma ~ putting us between a soft and a hard place
Beryl Dov
I am soft spoken, but I do hold strong views..
Shawan Sarkar
Jealous much, Allie?” Those softly spoken words were heaven to her overwrought senses. He was smiling that deadly smile again, and she knew she had pushed all the wrong buttons today. He was in rare form. “You wish, Mr. Warren.” Ah, yes, taunting the beast, always a wise decision Allie! But what else was she supposed to do? She had to gain the upper hand here, and fast. He stood up abruptly, and walked to the door. And for a second there Allie thought she had won this round with him, until he turned and fired his parting shot. “I don’t think your husband would like to hear how much you are coming to like me, would he…Allie girl?” He slipped out of the door, leaving her staring at the door he had left open behind him, feeling as if every part of her was about to fly apart from tension.
Trish F. Leger
Luke said that he was surprised when I showed up at his room. That he hadn’t meant to give me the wrong idea. That he would never have taken it beyond just kissing. And he looked so genuine. So trustworthy. So sorry about what had happened. He almost convinced me that I’d misread his signals.” Hallelujah pauses. “The whole time, I kept my mouth shut. I wish I hadn’t. But I was still so humiliated. And I felt guilty. I made out with him. I liked it. And no one made me go to his room.” Her voice breaks. She has to swallow past a lump in her throat. “I know Luke’s not a good guy. I know what he did isn’t my fault. It’s his. But still, none of it would’ve happened if I hadn’t gone to his room.” She’s almost there. Almost done. Almost heard. Something deep inside her hurts like it hasn’t hurt in a long time. But she knows that this gash had to reopen in order to heal. That’s how wounds work. They need air. “I knew I’d get punished, and I did. My parents grounded me. I was put on youth group probation. But I honestly thought Luke’s lies would just fade away if I kept a low profile. There’s always gossip about someone. This time it was me.” ... “Luke is still telling people about what supposedly happened that night,” Hallelujah says. “And he makes fun of me. All the time. What I look like, what I say, my name. And he does this thing at church: whenever we sing a hymn with my name in it, he sings it like he’s hooking up with me. He sings the word ‘hallelujah’ at me. He moans it. And I hate it.” That’s one of the reasons she stopped singing: his voice, his fake grunts of satisfaction, ruining the music she loved so much. “You said,” she says to Jonah, “he wanted to keep me upset. To keep me from telling anyone what really happened. Well, it worked.” She pauses. “Until now.” “Until now,” Rachel repeats. Then she curses. “I can’t believe him. I can’t believe he got away with it.” “I let him get away with it,” Hallelujah says softly. “No. He’s the one who crossed the line. And okay, maybe you could’ve spoken up sooner. But if no one pushed you for your side of the story, that’s on them.” Rachel yawns and stretches. “And when we get home, we’re going to set the record straight.
Kathryn Holmes
Had I been downstairs among the glittering throng, I would have loved it, but I now had Shevraeth standing right beside me, holding out his arm. I just knew I would manage to do something embarrassing. I took a deep breath, straightened my shoulders, and tried my best to smooth my face into a polite smile as I put my hand on his sleeve. Just before we started down, he murmured, “Think of this as a battle.” “A battle?” I repeated, so surprised I actually looked up at his face. He didn’t look angry, or disgusted, or sarcastic. But there was suppressed laughter in the way his gray eyes were narrowed. He replied so softly I could just barely hear it. “You’ve a sword in your hand, and vast numbers of ravening minions of some dreaded evil sorcerer await below. The moment you step among them, you’ll leap into battle, mowing them down in droves…” The absolute unlikelihood of it made me grin, on the verge of laughter. And I realized that while he’d spoken we had come safely down the stairs and were halfway along the huge room to the Duke of Savona, who waited alone. On either side people bowed and curtsied, as graceful as flowers in the wind. I’d almost made it, and my smile was real--until I lost the image and remembered where I was, and who I was with, and I muttered defensively, “I don’t really like battles, you know.” “Of course I know,” he returned, still in that soft voice. “But you’re used to them.” And then we were before Savona, who was resplendent in black and crimson and gold; and as the Duke bowed, fanfare after fanfare washed over me like waves of brilliant light. Because Shevraeth was also a guest of honor, and had the highest rank, it was his choice for the first dance, and he held out his hand to me.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
My spirits were high as I joined Nee and Bran. But instead of walking down the stairs to go into the ballroom with the rest of the guests, Nee and Bran led the way across the hall, to the gallery that overlooked the ballroom, and stopped at the landing at the top of the grand stairway. And there we found Shevraeth waiting for us, looking formidable and remote in his usual dark colors. Remembering with dismaying intensity that the last time we had talked with one another I had managed--again--to instigate a quarrel, I felt embarrassment chase away my anticipation. Shevraeth greeted us in his customary calm manner. When he turned at last to Bran, I muttered out of the side of my mouth to Nee, “You mean we have to go down these stairs--with him--and everyone looking at us?” “We’re the guests of honor,” she whispered back, obviously trying not to laugh. She looked fabulous in her dark brown velvet gown, embroidered all over with tiny gold leaves dotted with little rubies. “We’re supposed to be looked at! We’ll open the ball. You remember? I know I told you.” Bran flicked my shoulder. “Brace up, Mel. You’ll like it. I promise.” My attempt at a bland face obviously wasn’t convincing. I studied the toes of my dancing slippers, wishing with all my strength that I was back in Tlanth, riding the mountain trails with no humans in sight. “Savona’s waiting,” Nee whispered to me. Some invisible servant must have given a signal, for the music started: an entire orchestra filling the vaulted room with the strains of an ancient promenade. Had I been downstairs among the glittering throng, I would have loved it, but I now had Shevraeth standing right beside me, holding out his arm. I just knew I would manage to do something embarrassing. I took a deep breath, straightened my shoulders, and tried my best to smooth my face into a polite smile as I put my hand on his sleeve. Just before we started down, he murmured, “Think of this as a battle.” “A battle?” I repeated, so surprised I actually looked up at his face. He didn’t look angry, or disgusted, or sarcastic. But there was suppressed laughter in the way his gray eyes were narrowed. He replied so softly I could just barely hear it. “You’ve a sword in your hand, and vast numbers of ravening minions of some dreaded evil sorcerer await below. The moment you step among them, you’ll leap into battle, mowing them down in droves…” The absolute unlikelihood of it made me grin, on the verge of laughter. And I realized that while he’d spoken we had come safely down the stairs and were halfway along the huge room to the Duke of Savona, who waited alone. On either side people bowed and curtsied, as graceful as flowers in the wind. I’d almost made it, and my smile was real--until I lost the image and remembered where I was, and who I was with, and I muttered defensively, “I don’t really like battles, you know.” “Of course I know,” he returned, still in that soft voice. “But you’re used to them.” And then we were before Savona, who was resplendent in black and crimson and gold; and as the Duke bowed, fanfare after fanfare washed over me like waves of brilliant light. Because Shevraeth was also a guest of honor, and had the highest rank, it was his choice for the first dance, and he held out his hand to me. Savona went to Nee, and Bran went to Nee’s cousin Tamara. We danced. I moved through the complicated steps with sureness, my whole body in harmony with the singing strings, my eyes dazzled by the swirl of color all around me. Above our dancing figures, and around us, flowers and ribbons and hangings of every shade of violet and lavender made the room seem almost impossibly elegant. When the dance ended, Shevraeth bowed and handed me to Savona, and once again I danced, relieved that I had somehow managed to get through the first one without any awkwardness at all. It’s the music, I thought happily as I spun and stepped; music is truly like magic.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
We’ll go with her,” Olivia said, squeezing Sophie’s hand. “Of course we will.” “Oh, no you won’t.” Baird walked into the room, frowning and Sophie wondered if Sylvan had called him. Liv opened her mouth to protest but he shook his head. “You’re expecting Lilenta. You can’t go.” “Baird is right,” Sylvan said quietly. “Your can’t go through folded space while you’re pregnant. The effects on the fetus are…bad. Very bad.” He shook his head. “Well then, I’ll go,” Sophia said. “Sylvan and I have only been together three and a half weeks so—” “Three and a half weeks in which we’ve been making love every spare minute, Talana,” Sylvan reminded her in a low voice. “How can you be sure you’re not with child as well?” “I could take a test,” Sophie said weakly but he shook his head. “It wouldn’t be conclusive—not at this stage. But if you wish to take the risk…” It was on the tip of her tongue to say that of course she would take the risk but Sophie looked in his eyes and saw the sadness there. Though he hadn’t spoken of it, she knew he yearned for what Baird and Liv had, knew how he wanted a son of his own. And her period was late. It might be a false alarm and she kind of hoped it was—she wasn’t sure if she was ready to be a mom just yet. But if it wasn’t… “Sophia,” Baird said softly, looking at her. “Kat risked her life to save you. I don’t think she’d want you to lose a child just to go with her.” Sophie bit her lip. “But to send her all by herself, alone and unprotected to an entirely different planet—” “She won’t be alone,” Lock said in a low voice. “And she won’t be unprotected.” Deep’s black eyes flashed. “Kat may hate me,” he said, speaking to Liv and Sophie both. “But I swear to you now, I will protect her with my life. Lock and I will die before we see her come to harm.” “Deep speaks for us both,” Lock said quietly. “The lady Kat will come to no harm while she is in our care. This we both swear, on our honor as Kindred warriors.” Sophie looked at the two huge males, one kneeling beside Kat and the other standing protectively over her. And suddenly she knew she could trust them. “Liv,” she said softly, turning to her twin. “They mean it—they really do.” Liv sighed. “I know,” she whispered, wiping away a tear.
Evangeline Anderson (Hunted (Brides of the Kindred, #2))
It was strange to Mike that he’d first become attracted to a feisty, tough character and now, even though most of the time she was soft-spoken and had trouble maintaining eye contact, his feelings toward her hadn’t changed all that much. He would welcome the old Brie back if she could fully recover—but he realized that even if she remained this vulnerable, he was feeling something strong. Something he wasn’t going to be able to let go of easily. “Where
Robyn Carr (Whispering Rock (Virgin River, #3))
And me, well, I have to confess that I liked them all too, but maybe leaned more in favour of those types of stories that reached inside of you, touched something that you hadn’t touched for a long time, and reminded you of the soft moments where you really came to be who you are. Spoken by Amelia One For The Road (a fictional character in Ragged Company) about the movies she'd seen.
Richard Wagamese
I put my hand on his forearm, I don't know why I do this, and it's not exactly natural, although it's not unnatural, except that I really want to touch his skin. It's smooth and tan just a little bit and feels like summer, like something familiar and warm and good, like my skin did on the first days aboard 'Fishful Thinking' before it salted and burned and peeled. 'We broke up three years after that.' I sit back in my chair and give a sly smile. Relationships are complex and sometimes you can't really explain them to an outside party. 'I can't believe I just told you that' 'YES! YOU! ARE! LIVING! YOUR! FULL! LIFE!' A third time. I am not imagining it. 'There you are.' This time my heart does skip a beat. I look down at his arm, and we are still touching, and he has made no attempt to retract his arm or retreat. All my surroundings, the red formica table top, the pink yogurt, the blue sky, the green vegetables in the market, they all come alive in vibrant technicolor as the sun peers from behind a cloud. I am living my full life. 'Honesty in all things,' Byron adds, lifting his cup of yogurt for a toast of sorts. I pull my hand away from him and the instant my hand is back by his side, I miss the warmth of his arm, the warmth of him. Honesty in all things. I should put my hand back, that's where it wants to be, that's Lily's lesson to me. Be present in the moment, give spontaneous affection. I'm suddenly aware I haven't spoken in a bit. 'Did you know that an octopus has three hearts?' As soon as it comes out of my mouth, I realize I sound like that kid from 'Jerry McGuire.' 'Did you know the human head weighs eight pounds?' I hope my question comes off almost a fraction as endearing. 'No,' Byron says with a glint in his eye that reads as curiosity, at least I hope that it does, but even if it doesn't I'm too into the inertia of the trivia to stop it. 'It's true, one heart called the systemic heart that functions much like the left side of the human heart, distributing blood throughout the heart, then two smaller branchial heart with gills that act like the right side of our hearts to pump the blood back.' 'What made you think of that?' I smile. It may be entirely inappropriate first date conversation, but at least it doesn't bore me in the telling. I look up at the winsome August sky, marred only by the contrails of a passing jet, and a vaguely dachshund shaped cloud above the horizon. I don't believe in fate. I don't believe in love at first site. I don't believe in angels. I don't believe in heaven and that our loved ones are looking down on us, but the sun is so warm and the breeze is so cool and the company is so perfect and the whole afternoon so intoxicating, ti's hard not to hear Lily's voice dancing in the gentle wind, 'one! month! is Long! Enough TO! BE! SAD!' ... 'I recently lost someone close to me....I don't know, I feel her here today with us, you, me, her, three hearts, like an octopus,' I shrug. If I were him, I would run. What a ridiculously creepy thing to say. I would run and I would not stop until I was home in my bed with a gallon of ice cream deleting my profile from every dating site I belonged to. Maybe it's because it's not rehearsed, maybe it's because it's as weird a thing to say as it is genuine, maybe it's because this is finally the man for me. Byron stands and offers me his hand, 'Let's take a walk and you can tell me about her.' The gentle untying of a shoe lace. It takes me a minute to decide if I can do this, and I decide that I can, and I throw our yogurt dishes away, and I put my hand in his, and it's soft and warm, and instead of awkward fumbling, our hands clasp together like magnets and metal, like we've been hand-in-hand all along, and we are touching again. ...
Steven Rowley (Lily and the Octopus)
Our Wordy World OVER THE LAST few decades we have been inundated by a torrent of words. Wherever we go we are surrounded by words: words softly whispered, loudly proclaimed, or angrily screamed; words spoken, recited, or sung; words on records, in books, on walls, or in the sky; words in many sounds, many colors, or many forms; words to be heard, read, seen, or glanced at; words which flicker off and on, move slowly, dance, jump, or wiggle. Words, words, words! They form the floor, the walls, and the ceiling of our existence. It has not always been this way. There was a time not too long ago without radios and televisions, stop signs, yield signs, merge signs, bumper stickers, and the ever-present announcements indicating price increases or special sales. There was a time without the advertisements which now cover whole cities with words.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (The Spiritual Life: Eight Essential Titles by Henri Nouwen)
How many other vampires are hidden in the nobility? And how many other lord vampires are here? “A mere handful are in the nobility, and only four lords were able to come.” He answered her thought as if she’d spoken aloud. “But to answer your first question, when I heard my good friend Ian had wed a mortal, I was curious to see her for myself,” he said with a soft smile. “And it was due time I ventured out of my castle. I’m certain you’ve heard I am a known recluse.” Angelica gasped. “You can read my mind?” Vincent smiled. “Only if you are thinking very loud.
Brooklyn Ann (Bite Me, Your Grace (Scandals with Bite, #1))
All my life I’d heard people tell their black boys and black girls to “be twice as good,” which is to say “accept half as much.” These words would be spoken with a veneer of religious nobility, as though they evidenced some unspoken quality, some undetected courage, when in fact all they evidenced was the gun to our head and the hand in our pocket. This is how we lose our softness. This is how they steal our right to smile.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
Had he known that Caspian had only one ship and one ship’s company with him, he would have spoken soft words for the moment, and hoped to have them all surrounded and killed during the night. But he had seen a ship of war sail down the straits yesterday and seen it signaling, as he supposed, to its consorts. He had not then known it was the King’s ship for there was not wind enough to spread the flag out and make the golden lion visible, so he had waited further developments. Now he imagined that Caspian had a whole fleet at Bernstead. It would never have occurred to Gumpas that anyone would walk into Narrowhaven to take the islands with less than fifty men; it was certainly not at all the kind of thing he could imagine doing himself.
C.S. Lewis (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, #3))
Cal Price can’t act for shit. Thankfully, he has the whole play memorized, but he plays the part of Reuben like a soft-spoken elderly accountant.
Becky Albertalli (Leah on the Offbeat (Creekwood, #2))