Spot And Forward Quotes

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Abe held my gaze a bit longer and then broke into an easy smile. ʺOf course, of course. This is a family gathering. A celebration. And look: hereʹs our newest member.ʺ Dimitri had joined us and wore black and white like my mother and me. He stood beside me, conspicuously not touching. ʺMr. Mazur,ʺ he said formally, nodding a greeting to both of them. ʺGuardian Hathaway.ʺ Dimitri was seven years older than me, but right then, facing my parents, he looked like he was sixteen and about to pick me up for a date. ʺAh, Belikov,ʺ said Abe, shaking Dimitriʹs hand. ʺIʹd been hoping weʹd run into each other. Iʹd really like to get to know you better. Maybe we can set aside some time to talk, learn more about life, love, et cetera. Do you like to hunt? You seem like a hunting man. Thatʹs what we should do sometime. I know a great spot in the woods. Far, far away. We could make a day of it. Iʹve certainly got a lot of questions Iʹd like to ask you. A lot of things Iʹd like to tell you too.ʺ I shot a panicked look at my mother, silently begging her to stop this. Abe had spent a good deal of time talking to Adrian when we dated, explaining in vivid and gruesome detail exactly how Abe expected his daughter to be treated. I did not want Abe taking Dimitri off alone into the wilderness, especially if firearms were involved. ʺActually,ʺ said my mom casually. ʺIʹd like to come along. I also have a number of questions—especially about when you two were back at St. Vladimirʹs.ʺ ʺDonʹt you guys have somewhere to be?ʺ I asked hastily. ʺWeʹre about to start.ʺ That, at least, was true. Nearly everyone was in formation, and the crowd was quieting. ʺOf course,ʺ said Abe. To my astonishment, he brushed a kiss over my forehead before stepping away. ʺIʹm glad youʹre back.ʺ Then, with a wink, he said to Dimitri: ʺLooking forward to our chat.ʺ ʺRun,ʺ I said when they were gone. ʺIf you slip out now, maybe they wonʹt notice. Go back to Siberia." "Actually," said Dimitri, "I'm pretty sure Abe would notice. Don't worry, Roza. I'm not afraid. I'll take whatever heat they give me over being with you. It's worth it.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
Grover Underwood of the satyrs!" Dionysus called. Grover came forward nervously. "Oh, stop chewing your shirt," Dionysus chided. "Honestly, I'm not going to blast you. For your bravery and sacrifice, blah, blah, blah, and since we have an unfortunate vacancy, the gods have seen fit to name you a member of the Council of Cloven Elders." Grover collapsed on the spot. "Oh, wonderful," Dionysus sighed, as several naiads came forward to help Grover. "Well, when he wakes up, someone tell him that he will no longer be an outcast, and that all satyrs, naiads, and other spirits of nature will henceforth treat him as a lord of the Wild, with all rights, privileges, and honors, blah, blah, blah. Now please, drag him off before he wakes up and starts groveling." "FOOOOOD," Grover moaned, as the nature spirits carried him away. I figured he'd be okay. He would wake up as a lord of the Wild with a bunch of beautiful naiads taking care of him. Life could be worse.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
I often think of you all, one cannot do what one wants in life. The more you feel attached to a spot, the more ruthlessly you are compelled to leave it, but the memories remain, and one remembers - as in a looking glass, darkly - one's absent friends.
Vincent van Gogh
She loved airports. She loved the smell, she loved the noise, and she loved the whole atmosphere as people walked around happily tugging their luggage, looking forward to going on their holidays or heading back home. She loved to see people arriving and being greeted with a big cheer by their families and she loved to watch them all giving each other emotional hugs. It was a perfect place for people-spotting. The airport always gave her a feeling of anticipation in the pit of her stomach as though she were about to do something special and amazing. Queuing at the boarding gate, she felt like she was waiting to go on a roller coaster ride at a theme park, like an excited little child.
Cecelia Ahern
I couldn’t be sure if I had moved forward or fallen behind, or if I was just circling over the same spot.
Haruki Murakami (Killing Commendatore)
While this is all very amusing," said the Queen coolly, leaning forward, "the kiss that will free the girl is the kiss that she most desires." The cruel delight in her face and voice had sharpened, and her words seemed to stab into Clary's ears like needles. "Only that and nothing more." Simon looked as if she had hit him. Clary wanted to reach out to him, but she stood frozen to the spot, too horrified to move. "Why are you doing this?" Jace demanded. "I rather thought I was offering you a boon." Jace flushed, but said nothing. He avoided looking at Clary. Simon said, "That's ridiculous. They're brother and sister." The Queen shrugged, a delicate twitch of her shoulders. "Desire is not always lessened by disgust. Nor can it be bestowed, like a favor, to those most deserving of it.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
If I could forgive, it meant I was a strong good person who could take responsibility for the path I had chosen for myself, and all the consequences that accompanied that choice. And it gave me the simple but powerful satisfaction of extending a kindness to another person in a tough spot.
Piper Kerman (Orange Is the New Black)
The beauty of the world is the mouth of a labyrinth. The unwary individual who on entering takes a few steps is soon unable to find the opening. Worn out, with nothing to eat or drink, in the dark, separated from his dear ones, and from everything he loves and is accustomed to, he walks on without knowing anything or hoping anything, incapable even of discovering whether he is really going forward or merly turning round on the same spot. But this affliction is as nothing compared with the danger threatening him. For if he does not lose courage, if he goes on walking, it is absolutely certain that he will finally arrive at the center of the labyrinth. And there God is waiting to eat him. Later he will go out again, but he will be changed, he will have become different, after being eaten and digested by God. Afterward he will stay near the entrance so that he can gently push all those who come near into the opening.
Simone Weil (Waiting for God)
Ah, Belikov," said Abe, shaking Dimitri's hand. "I'd been hoping we'd run into each other. I'd really like to get to know you better. Maybe we can set aside some time to talk, learn more about life, love, et cetera. Do you like to hunt? You seem like a hunting man. That's what we should do sometime. I know a great spot in the woods. Far, far away. We could make a day of it. I've certainly got a lot of question to ask you. A lot of things I'd like to tell you." I shot a panicked look at my mother, silently begging her to stop this. Abe had spent a good deal of time talking to Adrian when we dated, explaining in vivid and gruesome detail exactly how Abe expected his daughter to be treated. I did not want Abe taking Dimitri off alone into the wilderness, especially if firearms were involved. "Actually," said my mum casually."I'd like to come along. I also have a number of questions-especially about when you two were back at St. Vladimir's." "Don't you guys have somewhere to be?" I asked hastily. "We're about to start." That, at least, was true. Nearly everyone was in formation, and the crowd was quieting. "of course," said Abe. To my astonishment, he brushed a kiss over my forehead before stepping away. "I'm glad you're back." Then, with a wink, he said to Dimitri:"Looking forward to our chat." "Run," I said when they were gone. "If you slip out now, maybe they won't notice. Go back to Siberia.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
It's not that I think it was supposed to happen; you just can't dwell and regret the things that do happen. You've got to keep moving forward, keep pushing through everything that's thrown at you. If you don't, you'll be standing in the same spot forever while the world keeps living around you.
Shelly Crane (Wide Awake (Wide Awake, #1))
There are people who look forward to spending their sunset years in the sunshine; it is my own retirement dream to await my death indoors, dragging strangers up dusty staircases while coughing up one of the most thrilling phrases in the English language: "It was on this spot..." My fantasy is to one day become a docent.
Sarah Vowell (Assassination Vacation)
The moments you are given are your true wealth. You don't need power, influence, or fame. The sunlight brings the power; the wind carries the influence. And as for fame, well, when you allow yourself to notice all those hands that have made your growth possible, you will also recognize what you have made possible for countless others — and how famous you already are. In this very moment, one of those others may be telling a story about how you helped them grow forward.
Dawna Markova (Spot of Grace: Remarkable Stories of How You DO Make a Difference)
Doing what is right will always keep you moving forward toward your destiny, but choosing the wrong way will keep you stuck in the same spot:No Where! -Anita R. Sneed-Carter
Anita R. Sneed-Carter
Eccolo!” he exclaimed. At the same moment the ground gave way, and with a cry she fell out of the wood. Light and beauty enveloped her. She had fallen on to a little open terrace, which was covered with violets from end to end. “Courage!” cried her companion, now standing some six feet above. “Courage and love.” She did not answer. From her feet the ground sloped sharply into view, and violets ran down in rivulets and streams and cataracts, irrigating the hillside with blue, eddying round the tree stems, collecting into pools in the hollows, covering the grass with spots of azure foam. But never again were they in such profusion; this terrace was the well-head, the primal source whence beauty gushed out to water the earth. Standing at its brink, like a swimmer who prepares, was the good man. But he was not the good man that she had expected, and he was alone. George had turned at the sound of her arrival. For a moment he contemplated her, as one who had fallen out of heaven. He saw radiant joy in her face, he saw the flowers beat against her dress in blue waves. The bushes above them closed. He stepped quickly forward and kissed her…
E.M. Forster (A Room with a View)
Can I see your fangs again? Valerie asked Er.... Justin said, then spotted Anders and smiled with relief. Anders, buddy. Show your woman your fangs. Shy, Bricker? You? Anders asked dryly, moving forward again as Valerie glanced around to smile at him. Nah. I just don't want to show you up by letting her see how much bigger my fangs are than yours, Justin responded. Actually, I saw Ander's fangs at his house this afternoon and they're bigger than yours, Valerie said at once and then as Anders reached her side , she glanced at him and asked, Why? Is it like big fangs, big feet, big -?
Lynsay Sands (Immortal Ever After (Argeneau, #18))
I looked for the sunniest spot I could find, but you know it was the damnedest thing—it sure looked like the sun and it was bright like the sun, but there was absolutely no warmth coming from it. And this wave of sadness came over me—the sun was just like my mother.” (Quote from Heather, a patient)
Susan Forward (Mothers Who Can't Love: A Healing Guide for Daughters)
Then my sole relief was to walk along the corridor of the third storey, backwards and forwards, safe in the silence and solitude of the spot, and allow my mind's eye to dwell on whatever bright visions rose before it - and, certainly, they were many and glowing; to let my heart be heaved by the exultant movement, which, while it swelled it in trouble, expanded it with life; and, best of all, to open my inward ear to a tale that was never ended - a tale my imagination created, and narrated continuously; quickened with all of incident, life, fire, feeling, that I desired and had not in my actual existence.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
When he heard light, rushing footfalls, he turned his head. Someone was racing along the second-floor balcony. Then laughter drifted down from above. Glorious feminine laughter. He leaned out the archway and glanced at the grand staircase. Bella appeared on the landing above, breathless, smiling, a black satin robe gathered in her hands. As she slowed at the head of the stairs, she looked over her shoulder, her thick dark hair swinging like a mane. The pounding that came next was heavy and distant, growing louder until it was like boulders hitting the ground. Obviously, it was what she was waiting for. She let out a laugh, yanked her robe up even higher, and started down the stairs, bare feet skirting the steps as if she were floating. At the bottom, she hit the mosaic floor of the foyer and wheeled around just as Zsadist appeared in second-story hallway. The Brother spotted her and went straight for the balcony, pegging his hands into the rail, swinging his legs up and pushing himself straight off into thin air. He flew outward, body in a perfect swan dive--except he wasn't over water, he was two floors up over hard stone. John's cry for help came out as a mute, sustained rush of air-- Which was cut off as Zsadist dematerialized at the height of the dive. He took form twenty feet in front of Bella, who watched the show with glowing happiness. Meanwhile, John's heart pounded from shock...then pumped fast for a different reason. Bella smiled up at her mate, her breath still hard, her hands still gripping the robe, her eyes heavy with invitation. And Zsadist came forward to answer her call, seeming to get even bigger as he stalked over to her. The Brother's bonding scent filled the foyer, just as his low, lionlike growl did. The male was all animal at the moment....a very sexual animal. "You like to be chased, nalla, " Z said in a voice so deep it distorted. Bella's smile got even wider as she backed up into a corner. "Maybe." "So run some more, why don't you." The words were dark and even John caught the erotic threat in them. Bella took off, darting around her mate, going for the billiards room. Z tracked her like prey, pivoting around, his eyes leveled on the female's streaming hair and graceful body. As his lips peeled off his fangs, the white canines elongated, protruding from his mouth. And they weren't the only response he had to his shellan. At his hips, pressing into the front of his leathers, was an erection the size of a tree trunk. Z shot John a quick glance and then went back to his hunt, disappearing into the room, the pumping growl getting louder. From out of the open doors, there was a delighted squeal, a scramble, a female's gasp, and then....nothing. He'd caught her. ......When Zsadist came out a moment later, he had Bella in his arms, her dark hair trailing down his shoulder as she lounged in the strength that held her. Her eyes locked on Z's face while he looked where he was going, her hand stroking his chest, her lips curved in a private smile. There was a bite mark on her neck, one that had very definitely not been there before, and Bella's satisfaction as she stared at the hunger in her hellren's face was utterly compelling. John knew instinctively that Zsadist was going to finish two things upstairs: the mating and the feeding. The Brother was going to be at her throat and in between her legs. Probably at the same time. God, John wanted that kind of connection.
J.R. Ward (Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4))
And from right to left along the lighted shore moved a wild and gorgeous apparition of a woman. She walked with measured steps, draped in striped and fringed cloths, treading the earth proudly, with a slight jingle and flash of barbarous ornaments. She carried her head high; her hair was done in the shape of a helmet; she had brass leggings to the knee, brass wire gauntlets to the elbow, a crimson spot on her tawny cheek, innumerable necklaces of glass beads on her neck; bizarre things, charms, gifts of witchmen, that hung about her, glittered and trembled at every step. She must have had the value of several elephant tusks upon her. She was savage and superb, wild-eyed and magnificent; there was something ominous and stately in her deliberate progress. And in the hush that had fallen suddenly upon the whole sorrowful land, the immense wilderness, the colossal body of the fecund and mysterious life seemed to look at her, pensive, as though it had been looking at the image of its own tenebrous and passionate soul. Her face had a tragic and fierce aspect of wild sorrow and of dumb pain mingled with the fear of some struggling, halt-shaped resolve. She stood looking at us without a stir, and like the wilderness itself, with an air of brooding over an inscoutable purpose. A whole minute passed, and then she made a step forward. There was a low jingle, a glint of yellow metal, a sway of fringed draperies, and she stopped as if her heart had failed her. She looked at us all as if her life had depended upon the unswerving steadiness of her glance
Joseph Conrad (Heart of Darkness)
I turn to look at him. His face is smooth, without the blotches and spots that have begun to afflict the other boys. His features are drawn with a firm hand; nothing awry or sloppy, nothing too large—all precise, cut with the sharpest of knives. And yet the effect itself is not sharp. He turns and finds me looking at him. “What?” he says. “Nothing.” I can smell him. The oils that he uses on his feet, pomegranate and sandalwood; the salt of clean sweat; the hyacinths we had walked through, their scent crushed against our ankles. Beneath it all is his own smell, the one I go to sleep with, the one I wake up to. I cannot describe it. It is sweet, but not just. It is strong but not too strong. Something like almond, but that still is not right. Sometimes, after we have wrestled, my own skin smells like it. He puts a hand down, to lean against. The muscles in his arms curve softly, appearing and disappearing as he moves. His eyes are deep green on mine. My pulse jumps, for no reason I can name. He has looked at me a thousand thousand times, but there is something different in this gaze, an intensity I do not know. My mouth is dry, and I can hear the sound of my throat as I swallow. He watches me. It seems that he is waiting. I shift, an infinitesimal movement, towards him. It is like the leap from a waterfall. I do not know, until then, what I am going to do. I lean forward and our lips land clumsily on each other. They are like the fat bodies of bees, soft and round and giddy with pollen. I can taste his mouth—hot and sweet with honey from dessert. My stomach trembles, and a warm drop of pleasure spreads beneath my skin. More.
Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles)
Umm,” he moaned, as he started his rhythmic movements underneath me; raising me up and down with his hands at the speed and tempo he wanted. I leaned forward a bit so that my breasts were brushing against his chest; my hands gripped his shoulders as the heat of our lovemaking increased. He raised me up and down; up and down; my hips gyrated in a circular motion making sure the head of his beautiful cock was hitting my magic spot over and over again. My whimpers of pleasure were getting louder; his breathing was coming faster…
Andrea Smith (Diamond Girl (G-Man, #1))
You tell me that you sometimes view the dark side of your Diana, and there no doubt you discover many Spots which I rather wish were erased, than conceal'd from you. Do not judge by this, that your opinion is an indifferent thing to me, (were it so, I should look forward with a heavey Heart,) but it is far otherways, for I had rather stand fair there, and be thought well of by Lysander than by the greater part of the World besides. I would fain hope that those faults which you discover, proceed more, from a wrong Head, than a bad Heart. E'er long May I be connected with a Friend from whose Example I may form a more faultless conduct, and whose benevolent mind will lead him to pardon, what he cannot amend.
Abigail Adams (The Letters of John and Abigail Adams)
I believed in the existence of other and more vivid kinds of goodness, and what I believed in I wished to behold. Who blames me? Many, no doubt: and I shall be called discontented. I could not help it: the restlessness was in my nature; it agitated me to pain sometimes. Then my sole relief was to walk along the corridor of the third story, backwards and forwards, safe in the silence and solitude of the spot, and allow my mind’s eye to dwell on whatever bright visions rose before it—and, certainly, they were many and glowing; to let my heart be heaved by the exultant movement, which, while it swelled it in trouble, expanded it with life; and, best of all, to open my inward ear to a tale that was never ended—a tale my imagination created, and narrated continuously; quickened with all of incident, life, fire, feeling, that I desired and had not in my actual existence.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Good with languages," she murmured. With everything she learned about him, he got more and more interesting. Or more mysterious, depending on how you looked at it. "So, good with languages, shovels, and igloos. Anything else?" The smug look he tossed at her was so wicked it shivered right down her spine. Walked right into that, hadn't she. She shook her head and, looking away to hide her blush, moved her cardboard forward one spot. Without a doubt, he would be good at...other stuff. Jesus.
Laura Kaye (North of Need (Hearts of the Anemoi, #1))
In these days of physical fitness, hair dye, and plastic surgery, you can live much of your life without feeling or even looking old. But then one day, your knee goes, or your shoulder, or your back, or your hip. Your hot flashes come to an end; things droop. Spots appear. Your cleavage looks like a peach pit. If your elbows faced forward, you would kill yourself. You’re two inches shorter than you used to be. You’re ten pounds fatter and you cannot lose a pound of it to save your soul. Your hands don’t work as well as they once did and you can’t open bottles, jars, wrappers, and especially those gadgets that are encased tightly in what seems to be molded Mylar. If you were stranded on a desert island and your food were sealed in plastic packaging, you would starve to death. You take so many pills in the morning you don’t have room for breakfast. You lose close friends and discover one of the worst truths of old age: they’re irreplaceable. People who run four miles a day and eat only nuts and berries drop dead. People who drink a quart of whiskey and smoke two packs of cigarettes a day drop dead. You are suddenly in a lottery, the ultimate game of chance, and someday your luck will run out. Everybody dies. There’s nothing you can do about it. Whether or not you eat six almonds a day. Whether or not you believe in God.
Nora Ephron (I Remember Nothing)
I never even thought to look for other—oof!” Lunging forward I found myself tripping right over a nice big chunk of nothing. I stumbled forward; my body surged with the heat of concentrated humiliation. Finally I regained my footing and looked awkwardly up at Joel. “Ha,” I said as a failed effort to laugh at myself. With no hesitation Joel turned around and walked over to the spot that I’d tripped. He bent down and took a firm grip on an armful of thin air. He heaved it up into his arms and walked it over to the edge of the sidewalk and tossed it out of the way. He brushed off his hands with vigor and said, “Don’t want anyone else tripping over that invisible log.
Shawn Maravel (Volition (Volition, #1))
I go to the window, I spot a fly under the curtain, I corner it in a muslin trap and move a murderous forefinger toward it. This moment is not in the program, it's something apart, timeless, incomparable, motionless, nothing will come of it this evening or later . . . Mankind is asleep. . . . Alone and without a future in a stagnant moment, a child is asking murder for strong sensations. Since I'm refused a man's destiny, I'll be the destiny of a fly. I don't rush matters, I'm letting it have time enough to become aware of the giant bending over it. I move my finger forward, the fly bursts, I'm foiled! Good God, I shouldn't have killed it! It was the only being in all creation that feared me; I no longer mean anything to anyone. I, the insecticide, take the victim's place and become an insect myself. I'm a fly, I've always been one. This time I've touched bottom.
Jean-Paul Sartre (The Words: The Autobiography of Jean-Paul Sartre)
The water was tripping over itself, splashing and hypnotizing, and I tried to fix my mind on a chunk of it, like each little ripple was a life that began far away in a high mountain source and had traveled miles pushing forward until it arrived at this spot before my eyes, and now without hesitation that water-life was hurling itself over the cliff. I wanted my body in all that swiftness; I wanted to feel the slip and pull of the currents and be dashed and pummeled on the rocks below . . .
Justin Torres (We the Animals)
This is my friend Veronica,” I told him. “And this is Kaidan.” “Oh, I've heard all about you.” Veronica gave him a big smile. His brow elevated, but he didn't take the bait. Instead, he stared at me funny. “Nice wart.” Leaning forward without touching me, he flicked the wart from the tip of my nose. Veronica let out a loud cackle, proving she should be the one in my costume. “I told you it was stupid!” She gloated. With my pointer finger, I moved the paint around my nose to fill in the blank spot. When I finished, he was still watching me. “Your hair's grown a lot,” I said to him. “So has your bottom.” My eyes rounded and blood rushed to my face. Veronica hooted with hilarity, bending at the waist. Even Jay let out a loud snicker, the traitor. I wished Kaidan weren't so perceptive, but it was true. The feminine curves that had always eluded me were finally making an appearance. Stupid tight dress. “Dude, you can get away with anything,” said the pirate to the straight-faced ape. “I meant it as a compliment.” “That was awesome.” Veronica grabbed Jay by the hand. “Come on. Let's go find me a drink.” She winked at me as they ambled away. I gave my attention to the dry, trampled grass and scattered cans for a moment before working up the nerve to say something. “My dad gave me a cell phone.” And a car. And a ton of money. Kaidan set the ape head on the ground and pulled his phone from a fuzzy pocket, blowing off brown lint. Then he held his furry thumbs above the buttons and nodded at me. I started to give him my number, but his brow creased in frustration with the big, costumed hands. “Here,” I said, taking his phone. Saving my number for him gave me a thrill.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
The swans swam ahead, always ahead, their bodies gliding so that none could see the effort of their feet beneath the surface, paddling, moving, propelling them forward, forward, to that beautiful spot far ahead, an incandescent curtain of light, a shower of moonbeams, a heavenly constellation of stars.
Melanie Benjamin (The Swans of Fifth Avenue)
Paul bent his head. The sun beat down on his bald spot, bigger than last summer, which gleamed red as the burn set in. His broad shoulders were permanently curved forward. Paul and prayer were close friends.
Juliann Rich (Caught in the Crossfire (Crossfire, #1))
People look forward to weekends for connections, revisions and separations even though many of these activities are accompanied by bruises and even a spot of blood, for excitement runs high on Friday or Saturday.
Toni Morrison (Jazz)
Bellatrix was still fighting too, fifty yards away from Voldemort, and like her master she dueled three at once: Hermione, Ginny, and Luna, all battling their hardest, but Bellatrix was equal to them, and Harry’s attention was diverted as a Killing Curse shot so close to Ginny that she missed death by an inch — He changed course, running at Bellatrix rather than Voldemort, but before he had gone a few steps he was knocked sideways. “NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!” Mrs. Weasley threw off her cloak as she ran, freeing her arms. Bellatrix spun on the spot, roaring with laughter at the sight of her new challenger. “OUT OF MY WAY!” shouted Mrs. Weasley to the three girls, and with a swipe of her wand she began to duel. Harry watched with terror and elation as Molly Weasley’s wand slashed and twirled, and Bellatrix Lestrange’s smile faltered and became a snarl. Jets of light flew from both wands, the floor around the witches’ feet became hot and cracked; both women were fighting to kill. “No!” Mrs. Weasley cried as a few students ran forward, trying to come to her aid. “Get back! Get back! She is mine!” Hundreds of people now lined the walls, watching the two fights, Voldemort and his three opponents, Bellatrix and Molly, and Harry stood, invisible, torn between both, wanting to attack and yet to protect, unable to be sure that he would not hit the innocent. “What will happen to your children when I’ve killed you?” taunted Bellatrix, as mad as her master, capering as Molly’s curses danced around her. “When Mummy’s gone the same way as Freddie?” “You — will — never — touch — our — children — again!” screamed Mrs. Weasley. Bellatrix laughed, the same exhilarated laugh her cousin Sirius had given as he toppled backward through the veil, and suddenly Harry knew what was going to happen before it did. Molly’s curse soared beneath Bellatrix’s outstretched arm and hit her squarely in the chest, directly over her heart. Bellatrix’s gloating smile froze, her eyes seemed to bulge: For the tiniest space of time she knew what had happened, and then she toppled, and the watching crowd roared, and Voldemort screamed.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
She pulled the sword free and prowled forward, the edges of her cloak billowing around her, scattering more of the thinning mist. She brought her foot down on the wounded Craven’s back, driving it to the ground. With a quick jab, she ended its shrieking with a savage smile. “Gods,” she muttered, my blood heating despite the death and decay all around us. “Did you see that?” “I did.” Kieran dragged the back of his sleeve across his cheek, wiping away spots of blood. One side of my lips kicked up. “It was hot.” Kieran smirked. “It was.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (A Soul of Ash and Blood (Blood and Ash, #5))
The Jelly is apparently rising behind me. I could sit here and wait for it to cover me or move on, I don't know. Now that I have a few feelings to consider, and attitudes, decisions are more difficult. I suppose I'll step wherever I see a dry spot. Whenever The Jelly nips at my heels, I'll take a forward step. I'll get along.
David Ohle
Aaauggh!!! “Rodriquez!” I yelled. “NOOO!!!” My knight friend fell forward to his knees, and a split second later, he poofed right on the spot.
Steve the Noob (Diary of Steve the Noob 45 (An Unofficial Minecraft Book) (Diary of Steve the Noob Collection))
Nice to have you back, girl,” he said softly. Then he turned to Alyss. “Ready to go?” She held up a hand. “One thing I have to take care of,” she said. She looked around the camp and spotted Petulengo, lurking guiltily by the goat pen. “Petulengo!” she called. Her voice was high and penetrating and he started, realizing he had been spotted. He looked around, seeking an escape route. But as he did so, Will unslung the massive longbow from his shoulder and casually plucked an arrow from his quiver. Suddenly, escaping didn’t seem like such a good idea. Then Alyss favored Petulengo with her most winning smile. “Don’t be frightened, dear,” she said soothingly. “I just want to say good-bye.” She beckoned to him, smiling encouragingly, and he stepped forward, gradually gaining in confidence as he realized that, somehow, he had won the favor of this young woman. Some of his old swagger returned as he approached and stood before her, urged a little closer by that smile. Underneath the ash and the dirt, he thought, she was definitely a looker. He gave her a smile in return. Petulengo, it has to be said, fancied himself with the ladies. Treat ’em rough and they’ll eat out of your hand, he thought. Then the smile disappeared like a candle being blown out. He felt a sudden jolt of agony in his right foot. Alyss’s heavy boot, part of Hilde’s wardrobe, had stamped down on his instep, just below the ankle. He doubled over instinctively, gasping with pain. Then Alyss pivoted and drove the heel of her open left hand hard into his nose, snapping his head back and sending him reeling. His arms windmilled and he crashed over onto the hard-packed dirt of the compound. He lay groggily, propped up on his elbows, coughing as blood coursed down the back of his throat. “Next time you throw firewood at an old lady,” Alyss told him, all traces of the winning smile gone, “make sure she can’t do that.” She turned to Will and dusted her hands together in a satisfied gesture. “Now I’m ready to go,” she said.
John Flanagan (The Lost Stories (Ranger's Apprentice, #11))
I have a lot of boo-boos, cowboy." "Maybe I should kiss them." He leaned forward, brushed his lips against her forehead, just above the stitches over her eyebrow. She held up her arm where there was an abrasion. "Hurts here too." He kissed the spot. "And here." She pointed to her mouth. He kissed her with a pressure as light as the brush of a butterfly's wing. She thought of a hundred places on her body she wanted him to kiss. "I hurt all over.
Lurlene McDaniel (The Year of Chasing Dreams (The Year, #2))
I trust who I am with Jamie. He’s known me since I was a pimply thirteen-year-old when we used to argue about video games. He doesn’t see me as Toronto’s rookie forward. He doesn’t care about my scoring average. I don’t try to impress him.” Except with my ability to deep-throat. But we won’t talk about that on prime time. “He’s your family,” Dennis suggests. “More than your real family.” “Absolutely,” I agree. “Do you think you’ll get married?” Dennis asks with a smile. “Wait—am I putting you on the spot?” That bastard. He’s poking me in a sore spot just to lock in his ratings. But I stay cool. “Oh, it’s not me you’re putting on the spot. It’s Jamie. I’d marry him in a hot second, and I’m sure he knows it.
Sarina Bowen (Us (Him, #2))
You think,' she said, 'because you've identified one purpose of mine, that you know what I'm doing. But this inquiry among printers was something of a discovered attack.' [...] 'What do you mean, a discovered attack?' 'A tactical term.' She touched her fingertips together. 'When you make a move, you do two things. First, you move forward - and the space you now occupy has value. But you also vacate the spot where you once were, exposing your enemy's flank to longer-ranged attacks. Be aware of where you are, and the space you'll leave behind.' 'That's not a sense of tactics you have,' he said, blinking down at her. 'That sounds like actual tactical training. Where would a half-blind near-spinster acquire that?
Courtney Milan (The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister, #1))
There’s a part of me wishes that Daddy would sleep his life away. A part of me that hopes that after all these years his drinking will finally catch up to him. That one day he’ll just go to bed and never wake up. But who am I kidding with that dream? It’s the people like Daddy, the wicked ones who go on living forever. It’s like God puts people like Daddy on earth on purpose. Making them a test for the good people in the world. If you can withstand what the good Lord throws at you, by staying true to your goodhearted self, and persevering through all of the obstacles thrust before you, then you’ve earned a spot by his side in Heaven. I look forward to that day. I look forward to the day where I’ll be smiling down from Heaven, wondering what made my daddy become so sick, twisted, and rotten. I look forward to the day when I can forgive him for everything he’s done and watch him from a cloud up in Heaven, praying for his damned soul, while he’s doused in flames, and burning in hell.
Lauren Hammond (Insanity (Asylum, #1))
You haven’t fucked anyone in three years, Lia, and your plan is to fuck someone else so you don’t give into your temptation to fuck me. And if we’re being blunt here, that kind of fucking pisses me off.” … “So what?” she huffed. “I still reserve the right to sleep with whoever else I want.” “No.” I stepped forward. “That’s not how it’s going to work” “Shut up! Are you really going to be that person who’s known me a week and tries to tell me who I’m allowed to fuck?” “No, I’m going to be that person who fucks you and gives you want you need because you know you don’t actually want anyone else,” I muttered, walking into her despite her hands pushing my chest. “You’re attracted to me, aren’t you? You haven’t been this attracted to anyone in a while. I woke up your need to fuck, so if you’re planning on fucking someone, why isn’t it the person you actually want?” I removed her hands from my chest and held them at her sides. “Why go for your second choice when your first wants you just as bad?
Stella Rhys (Sweet Spot (Irresistible, #1))
What do you know about me, Isabeau?" He leaned forward, and I forced myself to stay still instead of shying away. He was so close that I could smell the subtle notes of his cologne: musk and wood with a hint of leather. What did he want me to say? That everyone said he was an ogre? Or that they all wanted to sleep with him anyway? "I..." "Go on. You won't hurt my feelings." He was still smiling, slight dimples visible in both cheeks. The sight was destracting, to say the least. "I know that you're the youngest CEO and partner in the company's history, and I know that you earned the spot by working your way up after graduate school instead of using your inheritance as a crutch." "Everyone knows that. What do you know about me? The real stuff. None of this press release bullshit." I looked down at my hands, anything not to have to look up at his face so close to me. "Um. People say... they say that you're scary. And that your assistants don't last long." He laughed, a deep, warm sound that seemed to fill up the office. I glanced up to see him smirking at me. I relaxed my grip on the desk a little. Maybe I wasn't being fired after all. "What else do they say?" Oh, God. He can't possibly want me to tell him everything. Does he? The look on his face confirmed that he did. It was clear by the way he looked at me that I wasn't leaving this office until I gave him exactly what he wanted. "They say. Um... They say that you're very, uh, good looking... and impossible to please." "Oh they do, do they?" He sat back, and tented his fingers beneath his chin. "Well, do you agree with them? Do you think I'm scary, handsome and woefully unsatisfied?" My mouth dropped open, and I quickly closed it with a snap. "Yes. I mean, no! I mean, I don't know..." He stood, then, and leaned in close, towering over me. "You were right the first time." Anxiety coursed through me, but I have to admit, being this close to him, smelling his scent and feeling the heat radiating off his body, it made me wonder what it would be like to be in his arms. To be his. To be owned by him... His face was almost touching mine when he whispered to me. "I am unsatisfied, Isabeau. I want you to be my new assistant. Will you do that for me? Will you be at my beck and call?" My breath left me as his words sunk in. When I finally regained it, I felt like I was trembling from head to toe. His beck and call. "Wh-what about your old assistant?" Mr. Drake leaned back again and took my chin in his hand, forcing my eyes to his. "What about her? I want you." His touch on my skin was electric. Are we still talking about business? "Yes, Mr. Drake." His thumb stroked my cheek for the briefest of moments, and then he released me, breathless, and wondering what I'd just agreed to.
Delilah Fawkes (At His Service (The Billionaire's Beck and Call, #1))
The person in the ski mask, gloves, and all-dark clothing hunched forward to bring his truck engine to life. His lookout a mile north had signaled the target car was on the way. Nobody could have spotted him in the hide spot near the highway. He’d been there throughout the darkness of the night. Since the sun began its climb, he’d been enshrouded in the smoke. And with all the hissing and booming the fire was causing, what he was about to do wouldn’t be heard, either. Conditions couldn’t have been staged any better.
John M Vermillion (Packfire (Simon Pack, #9))
While you are sucking her, take two fingers and slide them inside her. Feel how the blood in her skin is hot against your fingers as you do. Feel the weight of her pussy. Reach up inside her, to the spot that would be the back of her clit, and you will find a spot right there that is soft, like the top of a baby’s head. Rest your fingers there. You do not need to move. Just press very gently. Notice how the pressure pushes her clit from behind, how it pops forward into your mouth. Suck it as if you were sucking all the juices out of it.
Nicole Daedone (Slow Sex: The Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm)
I still stared at Daemon, completely aware that everyone else except him was watching me. Closely. But why wouldn’t he look at me? A razor-sharp panic clawed at my insides. No. This couldn’t be happening. No way.
 My body was moving before I even knew what I was doing. From the corner of my eye, I saw Dee shake her head and one of the Luxen males step forward, but I was propelled by an inherent need to prove that my worst fears were not coming true. After all, he’d healed me, but then I thought of what Dee had said, of how Dee had behaved with me. What if Daemon was like her? Turned into something so foreign and cold? He would’ve healed me just to make sure he was okay. I still didn’t stop.
 Please, I thought over and over again. Please. Please. Please. On shaky legs, I crossed the long room, and even though Daemon hadn’t seemed to even acknowledge my existence, I walked right up to him, my hands trembling as I placed them on his chest. “Daemon?” I whispered, voice thick. His head whipped around, and he was suddenly staring down at me. Our gazes collided once more, and for a second I saw something so raw, so painful in those beautiful eyes. And then his large hands wrapped around my upper arms. The contact seared through the shirt I wore, branding my skin, and I thought—I expected—that he would pull me against him, that he would embrace me, and even though nothing would be all right, it would be better. Daemon’s hands spasmed around my arms, and I sucked in an unsteady breath. His eyes flashed an intense green as he physically lifted me away from him, setting me back down a good foot back. I stared at him, something deep in my chest cracking. “Daemon?” He said nothing as he let go, one finger at a time, it seemed, and his hands slid off my arms. He stepped back, returning his attention to the man behind the desk. “So . . . awkward,” murmured the redhead, smirking. I was rooted to the spot in which I stood, the sting of rejection burning through my skin, shredding my insides like I was nothing more than papier-mâché. “I think someone was expecting more of a reunion,” the Luxen male behind the desk said, his voice ringing with amusement. “What do you think, Daemon?” One shoulder rose in a negligent shrug. “I don’t think anything.” My mouth opened, but there were no words. His voice, his tone, wasn’t like his sister’s, but like it had been when we first met. He used to speak to me with barely leashed annoyance, where a thin veil of tolerance dripped from every word. The rift in my chest deepened.
For the hundredth time since the Luxen arrived, Sergeant Dasher’s warning came back to me. What side would Daemon and his family stand on? A shudder worked its way down my spine. I wrapped my arms around myself, unable to truly process what had just happened. “And you?" the man asked. When no one answered, he tried again. “Katy?” I was forced to look at him, and I wanted to shrink back from his stare. “What?” I was beyond caring that my voice broke on that one word. The man smiled as he walked around the desk. My gaze flickered over to Daemon as he shifted, drawing the attention of the beautiful redhead. “Were you expecting a more personal greeting?” he asked. “Perhaps something more intimate?” I had no idea how to answer. I felt like I’d fallen into the rabbit hole, and warnings were firing off left and right. Something primal inside me recognized that I was surrounded by predators. Completely.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opposition (Lux, #5))
Trace started to wave toward Matt, still with Priss wrapped around him, and she blurted, “I love you, Trace.” That effectively drew him to a halt. His hands contracted on her backside. “What?” “I love you.” Then she pointed at Chris, and to where Matt had disappeared. “They told me to fess up, so I am, and if you reject me, I swear I’ll drown them both.” Very slowly, Trace’s expression changed from the heat of anger to a different type of heat. “Say it again.” “Why?” She frowned at him with challenge. “Why don’t you say something first?” “All right.” Sliding his hands up her back, over her shoulders, and into her wet hair, he kissed her. “You make me nuts, Priscilla.” He turned his head and kissed her again, a little longer this time. “You make me hot as hell, too.” “I love you,” Priss reminded him, hoping it might prompt him to a more telling declaration. His next kiss lasted long enough to take the chill off the lake, and Priss got so wrapped up in the taste of him that she almost forgot what she wanted to hear. Chris didn’t. From the dock, he said, “If you’re going to keep her waiting like this, someone needs to finish putting sunscreen on her.” Trace moved fast, grabbing for Chris’s ankle, but Chris jumped back out of reach. Priss, feeling very affected by that kiss, nuzzled Trace’s neck and stroked his shoulders. He smelled delicious, felt even better. “Stop being a voyeur, Chris, and go away.” Having joined Chris on the dock, Matt asked, “Does that mean I can stay?” Trace lurched forward again, and Matt jumped back so quick he fell on his butt. “I’m going. I’m going!” To bring Trace’s attention back to her, Priss bit him. Not a hard bite, but she felt the impression of her sharp teeth on that sensitive spot where his neck met his shoulder. Trace shuddered. “I love you, too.” She licked the bite mark. “I’m so glad.
Lori Foster (Trace of Fever (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor, #2))
Shelton pushed Ben lightly. “Remember when you couldn’t flare without losing your temper? So Hi kicked you from behind to get you mad, and you threw him in the ocean?” Ben snorted. “He deserved it.” “I was providing a service,” Hi protested. “I recall Tory once trying to eat a mouse.” I pinched my nose. “Ugh, don’t remind me.” Ella giggled. “One time Cole lost his flare while carrying a boulder. It pinned his leg for an hour.” Then everyone had a story. Our funeral became a wake. The mood lifted as we swapped flare stories. It was cathartic. A way to say good-bye. I caught Ben smiling at me. “I remember when Tory sniffed that mound of bird crap in the old lighthouse. I thought she’d vomit on the spot.” Chance laughed. “I knew she was too clever. Always with a trick up her sleeve.” The boys glanced at each other. Their smiles faded. Something passed between them. Abruptly, both looked at me. I could see a question in their eyes. A resolve to see something through. They talked. Oh God, they talked about me. They’re going to make me choose. In a flash of dread, I realized I could delay this no longer. With another jolt, I realized I didn’t need to. There was no point putting it off. There was also no decision to make. My eyes met a dark, intense pair staring back earnestly. Longingly. Fearfully. I smiled. Even as my heart pounded. Before anyone spoke, I stepped forward, legs shaking so badly I worried I might fall. But my second foot successfully followed the first. I walked over to Ben’s side. Slipped my hand inside his. Squeezed for dear life. Ben’s eyes widened. He gasped quietly, his chest rising and falling. I met his startled gaze. Smiled through my blushes. A goofy smile split Ben’s face, one I’d never seen before. His fingers crushed mine. No decision to make. Tearing my eyes from Ben, I looked at Chance, found him watching me with a glum expression. Then he sighed, a wry smile twisting his lips. Chance nodded slightly. Not one word spoken. Volumes exchanged. The silence stretched, like a living breathing force. Finally, Hi cleared his throat. “Um.” My face burned scarlet as I remembered our audience. Ella was gaping at me, a delighted grin on her face. Shelton looked like he might turn and run. Hi was rubbing the back of his neck, his face twisted in an uncomfortable grimace. Still no one said a word. This was the most painful moment of my life. “So . . .” Hi drummed his thighs, eyes fixed to the pavement. “Right. A lot just happened there. Weirdly without anyone talking, but, um, yeah.
Kathy Reichs (Terminal (Virals, #5))
One, you are not stupid,” Nico says, pulling me forward and kissing my forehead softly. I blush when I notice a few girls walking by in the corridor spot us and whisper to each other with a giggle. “And two, I wouldn’t care if you were green. Me liking you…you liking me. That’s kind of our deal, and that’s all that matters, okay?
Ginger Scott (The Hard Count)
At Padovani Beach the dance hall is open every day. And in that huge rectangular box with its entire side open to the sea, the poor young people of the neighborhood dance until evening. Often I used to await there a a moment of exceptional beauty. During the day the hall is protected by sloping wooden awnings. When the sun goes down they are raised. Then the hall is filled with an odd green light born of the double shell of the sky and the sea. When one is seated far from the windows, one sees only the sky and, silhouetted against it, the faces of the dancers passing in succession. Sometimes a waltz is being played, and against the green background the black profiles whirl obstinately like those cut-out silhouettes that are attached to a phonograph's turntable. Night comes rapidly after this, and with it the lights. But I am unable to relate the thrill and secrecy that subtle instant holds for me. I recall at least a magnificent tall girl who had danced all afternoon. She was wearing a jasmine garland on her right blue dress, wet with perspiration from the small of her back to her legs. She was laughing as she danced and throwing back her head. As she passed the tables, she left behind her a mingled scent of flowers and flesh. When evening came, I could no longer see her body pressed tight to her partner, but against her body alternating spots of white jasmine and black hair, and when she would throw back her swelling breast I would hear her laugh and see her partner's profile suddenly plunge forward. I owe to such evenings the idea I have of innocence. In any case, I learn not to separate these creatures bursting with violent energy from the sky where their desires whirl.
Albert Camus (Summer in Algiers)
Do you want to know what finally changed things for me?” “What?” My voice is barely above a whisper. Dappled sunlight falls across his face, highlighting his flushed cheeks. “I met someone. She’s about five-six, golden brown hair, devastating smile. The kind that warms you from the inside out. And she made me so mad. Not two weeks after I started the job, she called to grill me about a story I posted on Facebook. She insisted I edit it because I didn’t get the wording right.” He adopts a mock falsetto voice. “ ‘It isn’t the “Panama Canal” cruise. It’s “Panama Canal and the Wonders of Azuero.” Fix it, please.’ ” My muscles go limp and my knees nearly buckle. Because he’s talking about me. “Finally, someone who wasn’t walking on eggshells. She actually snapped at me, and it was like she snapped me out of my fog. I may have been unnecessarily combative after that, just to get a rise out of her, but I started to feel again. Irritation, at first, but then more. After a while, I began getting out of the house. Seeing a therapist. Playing hockey. I adopted Winnie—best decision ever. I actually started looking forward to waking up in the morning.” Graeme steps closer, but I’m glued to the spot. Heat sizzles through my veins when he reaches up to run his knuckles along my cheek. “And staff meeting Thursdays? They became my favorite day of the week. Because I got to see her face.” My heart is hammering and my lungs seize. The sound of guests approaching rumbles closer, but I don’t look away. I swallow past the lump that’s lodged in my throat. “After this cruise, they’re my favorite day of the week too.” Reaching up, I run my fingers lightly along the hand that’s cupping my cheek. Graeme’s eyes widen and his lips part. Gathering every ounce of resolve I can muster, I step away just as Nikolai and Dwight crest a nearby hill. We continue through the highlands, fastening our platonic coworker facades into place. But an unspoken understanding hangs in the space between us, heavy and undeniable… This just went way past any bet.
Angie Hockman (Shipped)
Want me to say it? Want me to confess what makes me an actual felon and reserves me a choice spot in hell?” “Please, Alexandria Patra,” Preton said, “tell me all your regrets.” Her eyes narrowed. “I taught children to surrender their developing minds to concepts like the greater good or the good of society which can’t exist in any form in this world without actual kids being trampled underneath their untouchable banners.” Pointing at her own chest, she added, “I taught children that in order to live up to those ‘higher’ ideals they must be obedient—to others, must sacrifice their dreams—to the needs of others. I taught them it was more important to be a part of a group than to stand on their own judgment. I told the non-conforming kids they should feel guilty for wanting to live on their own terms.” Alexa swept a hand forward, pointing it at Preton. “I then delivered every ego-stripped, dream-crushed child to the power mongers of the world like you, who will use this universally accepted mirage of morality to control them.
S.W. Southwick (The Untethered)
I turn to Peter and say, “I can’t believe you did this.” “I baked that cake myself,” he brags. “Box, but still.” He takes off his jacket and pulls a lighter out of his jacket pocket and starts lighting the candles. Gabe pulls out a lit candle and helps him. Then Peter hops his butt on the table and sits down, his legs hanging off the edge. “Come on.” I look around. “Um…” That’s when I hear the opening notes of “If You Were Here” by the Thompson Twins. My hands fly to my cheeks. I can’t believe it. Peter’s recreating the end scene from Sixteen Candles, when Molly Ringwald and Jake Ryan sit on a table with a birthday cake in between them. When we watched the movie a few months ago, I said it was the most romantic thing I’d ever seen. And now he’s doing it for me. “Hurry up and get up there before all the candles melt, Lara Jean,” Chris calls out. Darrell and Gabe help hoist me onto the table, careful not to set my dress on fire. Peter says, “Okay, now you look at me adoringly, and I lean forward like this.” Chris comes forward and puffs out my skirt a bit. “Roll up your sleeve a little higher,” she instructs Peter, looking from her phone to us. Peter obeys, and she nods. “Looks good, looks good.” Then she runs back to her spot and starts to snap. It takes no effort on my part at all to look at Peter adoringly tonight. When I blow out the candles and make my wish, I wish that I will always feel for Peter the way I do right now.
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
One has to go on believing in himself, whether recognized or not, whether heeded or not. The world may seem like hell on wheels—and we are doing our best, are we not, to make it so?—but there is always room, if only in one’s own soul, to create a spot of Paradise, crazy though it may sound. When you find you can go neither backward nor forward, when you discover that you are no longer able to stand, sit or lie down, when your children have died of malnutrition and your aged parents have been sent to the poorhouse or the gas chamber, when you realize that you can neither write nor not write, when you are convinced that all the exits are blocked, either you take to believing in miracles or you stand still like the hummingbird.
Henry Miller (Stand Still Like the Hummingbird (New Directions Paperbook))
A third bleat, impatient now, and he turned to see a snow-white goat with golden horns and black spots under its eyes. "Hey, Tanngrisnir." He hugged the goat. When he realized what he was doing, he pulled back fast, but Tanngnjóstr pushed forward, clearly expecting the same greeting his brother got. Matt gave it to him - after checking to be sure no one was watching.
K.L. Armstrong (Thor's Serpents (The Blackwell Pages #3))
Someone stepped through the garage doorway. I squinted against the light. Mad Rogan. He wore a dark suit. It fit him like a glove, from the broad shoulders and powerful chest to the flat stomach and long legs. Well. A visit from the dragon. Never good. He started toward me. The track vehicle on his left slid out of his way, as if pushed aside by an invisible hand. The Humvee on his right slid across the floor. I raised my eyebrows. He kept coming, his blue eyes clear and fixed on me. I stepped back on pure instinct. My back bumped into the wall. The multiton hover tank hovered off to the wall. So that was the secret to making it work. You just needed Mad Rogan to move it around. Rogan closed in and stopped barely two inches from me. Anticipation squirmed through me, turning into a giddy excitement spiced with alarm. “Hi,” I said. “Are you planning on putting all of this back together the way you found it?” His eyes were so blue. I could look into them forever. He offered me his hand. “Time to go.” “To go where?” “Wherever you want. Pick a spot on the planet.” Wow. “No.” He leaned forward slightly. We were almost touching. “I gave you a week with your family. Now it’s time to go with me. Don’t be stubborn, Nevada. That kiss told me everything I needed to know. You and I both understand how this ends.” I shook my head. “How did this encounter go in your head? Did you plan on walking in here, picking me up, and carrying me away like you’re an officer and I’m a factory worker in an old movie?” He grinned. He was almost unbearably handsome now. “Would you like to be carried away?
Ilona Andrews (Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1))
Some of the younger boys looked forward to the chance to sell papers in a good spot, but most were simply afraid to refuse the bigger boys. "I made a deal with a guy," said Philip Marcus. "I said I'd buy him out. But when I looked at all the papers he had left, there was more than I thought I could sell. But there wasn't two ways about it. I had to buy them and I did. I started to bawl. And while I was standing there bawling, I sold all them sheets.
Susan Campbell Bartoletti (Kids on Strike!)
Hazel Motes sat at a forward angle on the green plush train seat, looking one minute at the window as if he might want to jump out of it, and the next down the aisle at the other end of the car. The train was racing through tree tops that fell away at intervals and showed the sun standing, very red, on the edge of the farthest woods. Nearer, the plowed fields curved and faded and the few hogs nosing in the furrows looked like large spotted stones. Mrs.
Flannery O'Connor (Flannery O'Connor : Collected Works : Wise Blood / A Good Man Is Hard to Find / The Violent Bear It Away / Everything that Rises Must Converge / Essays & Letters)
You have to find the bright spots. The little moments. Hold onto them for however long they last and when they're gone, pay tribute by remembering. The memories can restore us, history can teach us, and the fact that happiness isn't all the time makes us appreciate it more. Life is hard. Tragedy befalls us every day. But there's always going to be a bright spot, not matter how big or how small. We will always have something to look forward to, and we will always have bright spots to remember.
Kara Storti
Who blames me? Many, no doubt; and I shall be called discontented. I could not help it: the restlessness was in my nature; it agitated me to pain sometimes. Then my sole relief was to walk along the corridor of the third storey, backwards and forwards, safe in the silence and solitude of the spot, and allow my mind’s eye to dwell on whatever bright visions rose before it—and, certainly, they were many and glowing; to let my heart be heaved by the exultant movement, which, while it swelled it in
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Just the same old couple!’ said Dick. ‘You’ve got a spot on your chin, George, and why on earth have you tied your hair into a ponytail, Anne?’ ‘You’re not very polite, Dick,’ said George, bumping him with her suitcase. ‘I can’t think why Anne and I looked forward so much to seeing you again. Here, take my suitcase – haven’t you any manners?’ ‘Plenty,’ said Dick, and grabbed the case. ‘I just can’t get over Anne’s new hairdo. I don’t like it, Anne – do you, Ju? Ponytail! A donkey tail would suit you better, Anne!
Enid Blyton (Five on Finniston Farm (Famous Five, #18))
Can we get this makeup thing over before we’re late for school?” “Oh, right.” She jumped up from the bed and opened up her backpack. I hated wearing makeup, which was why I never wore any. So needless to say, I wasn't looking forward to this. She held out a tube of something for me to see. “This will help conceal the dark circles under your eyes. And this,” she said, showing me another tube, “will help to conceal the blotchy spots on your cheeks.” I grunted. “Do you have anything that will help conceal the hump on my back?
Amanda Abram (The Importance of Getting Revenge)
At the same moment the ground gave way, and with a cry she fell out of the wood. Light and beauty enveloped her. She had fallen on to a little open terrace, which was covered with violets from end to end. “Courage!” cried her companion, now standing some six feet above. “Courage and love.” She did not answer. From her feet the ground sloped sharply into view, and violets ran down in rivulets and streams and cataracts, irrigating the hillside with blue, eddying round the tree stems, collecting into pools in the hollows, covering the grass with spots of azure foam. But never again were they in such profusion; this terrace was the well-head, the primal source whence beauty gushed out to water the earth. Standing at its brink, like a swimmer who prepares, was the good man. But he was not the good man that she had expected, and he was alone. George had turned at the sound of her arrival. For a moment he contemplated her, as one who had fallen out of heaven. He saw radiant joy in her face, he saw the flowers beat against her dress in blue waves. The bushes above them closed. He stepped quickly forward and kissed her.
E.M. Forster (A Room with a View)
These two sorts of chosen pain and suffering—for pleasure and for meaning—differ in many ways. The discomfort of hot baths and BDSM and spicy curries is actively pursued; we look forward to it—the activity wouldn’t be complete without it. The other form of suffering isn’t quite like that. When training for a marathon, nobody courts injury and disappointment. And yet the possibility of failure has to exist. When you start a game, you don’t want to lose, but if you know you will win every time, you’re never going to have any fun. So, too, with life more generally.
Paul Bloom (The Sweet Spot: The Pleasures of Suffering and the Search for Meaning)
Hamlet’s soliloquy, you know; the most celebrated thing in Shakespeare. Ah, it’s sublime, sublime! Always fetches the house. I haven’t got it in the book—I’ve only got one volume—but I reckon I can piece it out from memory. I’ll just walk up and down a minute, and see if I can call it back from recollection’s vaults.” So he went to marching up and down, thinking, and frowning horrible every now and then; then he would hoist up his eyebrows; next he would squeeze his hand on his forehead and stagger back and kind of moan; next he would sigh, and next he’d let on to drop a tear. It was beautiful to see him. By and by he got it. He told us to give attention. Then he strikes a most noble attitude, with one leg shoved forwards, and his arms stretched away up, and his head tilted back, looking up at the sky; and then he begins to rip and rave and grit his teeth; and after that, all through his speech, he howled, and spread around, and swelled up his chest, and just knocked the spots out of any acting ever I see before. This is the speech—I learned it, easy enough, while he was learning it to the king: To be, or not to be; that is the bare bodkin That makes calamity of so long life; For who would fardels bear, till Birnam Wood do come to Dunsinane, But that the fear of something after death Murders the innocent sleep, Great nature’s second course, And makes us rather sling the arrows of outrageous fortune Than fly to others that we know not of. There’s the respect must give us pause: Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou couldst; For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely, The law’s delay, and the quietus which his pangs might take, In the dead waste and middle of the night, when churchyards yawn In customary suits of solemn black, But that the undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns, Breathes forth contagion on the world, And thus the native hue of resolution, like the poor cat i’ the adage, Is sicklied o’er with care, And all the clouds that lowered o’er our housetops, With this regard their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action. ’Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. But soft you, the fair Ophelia: Ope not thy ponderous and marble jaws, But get thee to a nunnery—go! Well,
Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
Hey Blake, how’s it hanging?” She questioned, looking through me at Blake, obviously ignoring my presence. She looked smug at the double meaning in her sentence. Blake furrowed his eyebrows. Brianna only talked to him on rare occasions when she bumped into us at my house. He must have been confused as to why she approached us in public, considering how she and I weren’t friends even in the slightest sense. Ignoring the fact that she was talking to Blake and not me, I spoke. “Longer than anything you’ve ever sucked.” Blake’s eyes widened for a second before he bit his lip to keep from laughing. Brianna turned toward me with cold eyes, her smile gone. “Not like you would know, Virgin Violet.” Her cohorts laughed and smiled like that was the funniest thing they had heard in their entire lives. “You know I really do admire you, Bri Bri.” I smiled sweetly, leaning forward as I placed my hand on her shoulder. “The fact that you’ve had so many fuck buddies this summer and still have not managed to contract some kind of STI or gotten pregnant really does inspire me.” I smirked wickedly. “At least from my knowledge you haven’t.” The look that came to her face made me want to buckle over with laughter. She looked flustered, angry, and embarrassed all at the same time. Maybe I hit a soft spot.
Taylor Henderson (Better Than Revenge (Sweet Secrets #1))
Mr. Rohan,” she heard Beatrix ask, “are you going to marry my sister?” Amelia choked on her tea and set the cup down. She sputtered and coughed into her napkin. “Hush, Beatrix,” Win murmured. “But she’s wearing his ring—” Poppy clamped her hand over Beatrix’s mouth. “Hush!” “I might,” Cam replied. His eyes sparkled with mischief as he continued. “I find your sister a bit lacking in humor. And she doesn’t seem particularly obedient. On the other hand—” One set of French doors flew open, accompanied by the sound of breaking glass. Everyone on the back terrace looked up in startlement, the men rising from their chairs. “No,” came Win’s soft cry. Merripen stood there, having dragged himself from his sickbed. He was bandaged and disheveled, but he looked far from helpless. He looked like a maddened bull, his dark head lowered, his hands clenched into massive fists. And his stare, promising death, was firmly fixed on Cam. There was no mistaking the bloodlust of a Roma whose kinswoman had been dishonored. “Oh, God,” Amelia muttered. Cam, who stood beside her chair, glanced down at her questioningly. “Did you say something to him?” Amelia turned red as she recalled her blood-spotted nightgown and the maid’s expression. “It must have been servants’ talk.” Cam stared at the enraged giant with resignation. “You may be in luck,” he said to Amelia. “It looks as if our betrothal is going to end prematurely.” She made to stand beside him, but he pressed her back into the chair. “Stay out of this. I don’t want you hurt in the fray.” “He won’t hurt me,” Amelia said curtly. “It’s you he wants to slaughter.” Holding Merripen’s gaze, Cam moved slowly away from the table. “Is there something you’d like to discuss, chal?” he asked with admirable self-possession. Merripen replied in Romany. Although no one save Cam understood what he said, it was clearly not encouraging. “I’m going to marry her,” Cam said, as if to pacify him. “That’s even worse!” Merripen moved forward, murder in his eyes. Lord St. Vincent swiftly interceded, stepping between the pair. Like Cam, he’d had his share of putting down fights at the gambling club. He lifted his hands in a staying gesture and spoke smoothly. “Easy, large fellow. I’m sure you can find a way to resolve your differences in a reasonable fashion.” “Get out of my way,” Merripen growled, putting an end to the notion of civilized discourse. St. Vincent’s pleasant expression didn’t change. “You have a point. There’s nothing so tiresome as being reasonable. I myself avoid it whenever possible. Still, I’m afraid you can’t brawl when there are ladies present. It might give them ideas.
Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1))
Bugge had leaned forward then. “Who’s the man?” he asked. “The one who hasn’t come, though the hour has?” “It is the man who will lead you. Listen to me now, you complacent fathers and householders, and don’t make up your twopenny minds that what I’m saying is necessarily a fable. Do you recall the stories of Sigmund, who drew out Odin’s sword easily from the Branstock Oak when no other man in the Volsung’s hall could budge it with his best efforts?” “Certainly,” Bugge had nodded. “And I also recall what became of that sword when the one-eyed god inexplicably turned on him. Odin shattered it in battle, and Sigmund, left unarmed, was killed by Lyngi’s spearmen.” The magician had nodded. “That’s true. Now listen, Odin has allowed—ordered, rather—Sigmund himself to return to the flesh, to lead you in pushing back Muspelheim’s hordes.” The men around the table had been skeptical, but afraid to let Gardvord see it. “How will we meet him?” piped up one of them. “You must sail up the Elbe, through various tributaries and overland crossings, and finally down the Danube. When you have reached the city that is built around Balder’s barrow, you’ll know it, because,” he paused impressively, “Sigmund will actually rise from the water to greet you. I suspect the barrow is near the city of Tulln, but I can’t be sure. You’ll know the spot, in any case, by Sigmund’s watery resurrection
Tim Powers (The Drawing of the Dark)
Even from behind the screen, it was possible from certain angles for Sabbath to catch a glimpse of the audience, and whenever he spotted an attractive girl among the twenty or so students who had stopped to watch, he would break off the drama in progress or wind it down, and the fingers would start in whispering together. Then the boldest finger - a middle finger - would edge nonchalantly forward, lean graciously out over the screen, and beckon her to approach. And girls did come forward, some laughing or grinning like good sports, others serious, poker-faced, as though already mildly hypnotized. After an exchange of polite chitchat, the finger would begin a serious interrogation, asking if the girl had ever dated a finger, if her family approved of fingers, if she herself could find a finger desirable, if she could imagine living happily with only a finger... and the other hand, meanwhile, stealthily began to unbutton or unzip her outer garment. Usually the hand went no further than that; Sabbath knew enough not to press on and the interlude ended as a harmless farce. But sometimes, when Sabbath gauged from her answers that his consort was more playful than most or uncommonly spellbound, the interrogation would abruptly turn wanton and the fingers proceed to undo her blouse. Only twice did the fingers undo a brasserie catch and only once did they endeavor to caress the nipples exposed. And it was then that Sabbath was arrested.
Philip Roth (Sabbath's Theater)
Approaching the trail, he broke through the thicket a short distance ahead of the Empath. Causing the Empaths horse to startle as the surprised rider jerked on the reins. Cap was equally surprised to find a young girl before him instead of an older, experienced male Empath. Cap brought his horse to a quick halt. The young girl pulled a small knife from her boot and cautioned him. "I don't know where you came from, but I'm not easy prey.” Her voice shook slightly with fear as she raised the knife. Not sure how to proceed, they stared silently at each other. Cap had always believed that Empaths didn't carry weapons. This pretty, chestnut haired girl couldn't be more than 18 years old. Her long straight tresses covered the spot on her jacket where the Empathic Emblem was usually worn, causing Cap to doubt she was the one he sought. Not wanting to frighten her any more than he already had, Cap tried to explain. "I'm Commander Caplin Taylor. I’m looking for an Empath that is headed for the Western Hunting Lodge.” "My name is Kendra; I am the Empath you seek.” She answered cautiously, still holding the blade. A noise from the brush drew her attention as a small rodent pounced out, trying to evade an unseen predator. Cap was just close enough to lurch forward and snatch the dirk from her hand. Her head jerked back in alarm. "Bosen May has been mauled by a Sraeb, his shoulder is a mass of pulp." Cap spoke quickly not wanting to hesitate any longer. That was all Kendra needed to hear. She pushed her horse past him and headed quickly down the trail. "Wait!" Cap called after her, turning his horse around. Reining in the horse, she turned back to face him annoyed by the delay. "Are you a good horseman?" Cap asked, as he stuffed her dirk in his jacket. "I've been in the saddle since I was a child." She answered, abruptly. "Okay so just a few years then?" Cap's rebuke angered her. Jerking the horse back toward the trail, she ignored him. "Wait, I'm sorry!" Cap called after her. "It's just that I know a quicker way, if you can handle some rough terrain." "Let’s go then." Kendra replied, gruffly, turning back to face him. Without another word, Cap dove back into the brush and the girl followed.
Alaina Stanford (Tempest Rise (Treborel, #1))
More people continue to join the party, some familiar faces, and some new ones that I look forward to getting to know. I smile and wave as I spot Lucy through the crowd, where she stands outside Logan’s Tavern laughing. She’s joined by the two girls she met when we first arrived here that she now classes as her best friends. She’s recently completed her first year of an art course at college. Seems she has a real flair for it, and I've never seen her happier. Her watercolours of Ceaders Bay, which take pride of place on the walls of our new home, are nothing short of phenomenal. She has recently painted one to send as a house warming gift to my parents, who are now living up the coast from us in their beloved village of Pemblington
N.C. Marshall (See You Soon)
Please go outside. I really don’t want to hurt you.” Levi pulled up short. “No. Not toward me. To the door. The door!” She squealed, and Levi bounded forward, taking the stairs in a single leap. He threw the door wide and brought up his fists, ready to take on the unseen threat. “Get it off! Get it off!” She held her skirts away from her body and twisted her head to the side as if trying to put as much distance as possible between her and the invader clinging to the dark green fabric of her dress. A cockroach. A big ugly one—three, maybe four inches long, its wings still slightly askew. “Please.” Miss Spencer whimpered, and the sound galvanized him to action. Levi opened his hand and swiped the oversized beetle from her skirt. Then, before the thing could scamper into a dark corner, he crushed it with a stomp of his boot, wincing at the audible crunch that echoed in the now-quiet hall. He scraped his sole over the carcass like a horse pawing the ground, and sent the bug sailing out the door. “Did you have to squish him?” Levi jerked his eyes to Eden Spencer’s face. What had she expected him to do? Tie a leash around its neck and take it for a walk? “Don’t get me wrong,” she said, as she raised a shaky hand to fidget with the button at her collar. “I appreciate your removing that beastly insect from my person.” She shuddered slightly, and her gaze dropped to the darkened spot on the hardwood floor that evidenced the roach’s demise. “However, I can’t abide violence against any of God’s creatures. Even horrid, wing-sprouting behemoths.
Karen Witemeyer (To Win Her Heart)
I’m sipping cranberry-and-ginger-ale punch and talking to Aunt D. about her divorce when Peter Kavinsky walks in wearing a hunter-green sweater with a button-down shirt underneath, carrying a Christmas tin. I almost choke on my punch. Kitty spots him when I do. “You came!” she cries. She runs right into his arms, and he puts down the cookie tin and picks her up and throws her around. When he sets her down, she takes him by the hand and over to the buffet table, where I’m busying myself rearranging the cookie plate. “Look what Peter brought,” she says, pushing him forward. He hands me the cookie tin. “Here. Fruitcake cookies my mom made.” “What are you doing here?” I whisper accusingly. “The kid invited me.” He jerks his head toward Kitty, who has conveniently run back over to the puppy. Josh is standing up now, looking over at us with a frown on his face. “We need to talk.” So now he wants to talk. Well, too late. “We don’t have anything to talk about.” Peter takes me by the elbow and I try to shake him off, but he won’t let go. He steers me into the kitchen. “I want you to make up an excuse to Kitty and leave,” I say. “And you can take your fruitcake cookies with you.” “First tell me why you’re so pissed at me.” “Because!” I burst out. “Everyone is saying how we had sex in the hot tub and I’m a slut and you don’t even care!” “I told the guys we didn’t!” “Did you? Did you tell them that all we did was kiss and that’s all we’ve ever done?” Peter hesitates, and I go on. “Or did you say, ‘Guys, we didn’t have sex in the hot tub,’ wink wink, nudge nudge.
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
If you’ve been working on your thinking errors for only a few months so far, then you’re probably still at the stage where you mostly notice the errors after the fact. Going forward, you’ll find some situations in which you’re able to spot a thinking error at or close to the time it occurs. For example, you might notice yourself feeling upset about something that has happened during the day and later that evening realize you’ve been mind reading: guessing what someone else thinks without knowing if it’s actually the case. Expect to have a mixture of these situations and those when you notice your thinking error only after you’ve been walking around buying into that sucker for months or even years. You might get some new information or evidence and only then realize you’ve been holding on to a distorted thought.
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!’ Mrs Weasley threw off her cloak as she ran, freeing her arms. Bellatrix spun on the spot, roaring with laughter at the sight of her new challenger. ‘OUT OF MY WAY!’ shouted Mrs Weasley to the three girls, and with a swipe of her wand she began to duel. Harry watched with terror and elation as Molly Weasley’s wand slashed and twirled, and Bellatrix Lestrange’s smile faltered, and became a snarl. Jets of light flew from both wands, the floor around the witches’ feet became hot and cracked; both women were fighting to kill. ‘No!’ Mrs Weasley cried, as a few students ran forwards, trying to come to her aid. ‘Get back! Get back! She is mine!’ Hundreds of people now lined the walls, watching the two fights, Voldemort and his three opponents, Bellatrix and Molly, and Harry stood, invisible, torn between both, wanting to attack and yet to protect, unable to be sure that he would not hit the innocent. ‘What will happen to your children when I’ve killed you?’ taunted Bellatrix, as mad as her master, capering as Molly’s curses danced around her. ‘When Mummy’s gone the same way as Freddie?’ ‘You – will – never – touch – our – children – again!’ screamed Mrs Weasley. Bellatrix laughed, the same exhilarated laugh her cousin Sirius had given as he toppled backwards through the veil, and suddenly Harry knew what was going to happen before it did. Molly’s curse soared beneath Bellatrix’s outstretched arm and hit her squarely in the chest, directly over her heart. Bellatrix’s gloating smile froze, her eyes seemed to bulge: for the tiniest space of time she knew what had happened, and then she toppled, and the watching crowd roared, and Voldemort screamed.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
They do. But I won’t. Not tonight. If you do two things for me.” His voice was calm, almost hypnotic. It had the coarse rasp of an over-rosined bow. “First, you must crawl into bed. And second, you must never tell anyone you’ve seen us, especially your da.” He leaned forward and gave Hanna’s braid a playful tug. “Because if you do, I’ll slit your mother’s throat and then your father’s, and then I’ll cut out the hearts of all these sweet slobbering hounds. I shall save Duke Silverhaunch for last so that you will know it’s all your fault.” The little girl’s face was as white as the lace on the neck of her nightgown, her eyes wide and bright as new moons. “Do you understand?” She nodded frantically, chin wobbling. “Now, now, no tears. Monsters see tears and it only whets their appetites. Off to bed with you, and take that useless Maestro Spots along too.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
If mind belongs to humans alone, then stones, trees, and streams become mere objects of human tinkering. We can plunder the earth's resources with impunity, treating creeks and mountaintops in Kentucky or rivers in India or forests in northwest America as if they existed only for economic development. Systems of land and river become inert chunks of lifeless mud or mechanical runs of H2O rather than the living, breathing bodies upon which we and all other creatures depend for our very lives. Not to mention what 'nature as machine' has done to our emotional and spiritual well-being. When we regard nature as churning its way forward mindlessly through time, we turn our backs on mystery, shunning the complexity as well as the delights of relationship. We isolate ourselves from the rest of the creatures with whom we share this world. We imagine ourselves the apex of creation -- a lonely spot indeed. Human minds become the measure of creation and human thoughts become the only ones that count. The result is a concept of mind shorn of its wild connections, in which feelings become irrelevant, daydreams are mere distractions, and nighttime dreams -- if we attend to them at all -- are but the cast-offs of yesterday's overactive brain. Mind is cut off from matter, untouched by exingencies of mud or leaf, shaped by whispers or gales of wind, as if we were not, like rocks, made of soil. And then we wonder at our sadness and depression, not realizing that our own view of reality has sunk us into an unbearable solipsism, an agony of separateness -- from loved ones, from other creatures, from rich but unruly emotions, in short, from our ability to connect, through senses and feeling and imagination, with the world that is our home.
Priscilla Stuckey (Kissed by a Fox: And Other Stories of Friendship in Nature)
The first symptom of true love in a young man is timidity; in a young girl, boldness. This is surprising, yet nothing is more simple. It is the two sexes tending to approach each other and assuming, each the other’s qualities. That day, Cosette’s glance drove Marius beside himself, and Marius’ glance set Cosette to trembling. Marius went away confident, and Cosette uneasy. From that day forth, they adored each other. The first thing that Cosette felt was a confused and profound melancholy. It seemed to her that her soul had become black since the day before. She no longer recognized it. The whiteness of soul in young girls, which is composed of coldness and gayety, resembles snow. It melts in love, which is its sun. Cosette did not know what love was. She had never heard the word uttered in its terrestrial sense. She did not know what name to give to what she now felt. Is any one the less ill because one does not know the name of one’s malady? She loved with all the more passion because she loved ignorantly. She did not know whether it was a good thing or a bad thing, useful or dangerous, eternal or temporary, allowable or prohibited; she loved. She would have been greatly astonished, had any one said to her: ‘You do not sleep? But that is forbidden! You do not eat? Why, that is very bad! You have oppressions and palpitations of the heart? That must not be! You blush and turn pale, when a certain being clad in black appears at the end of a certain green walk? But that is abominable!’ She would not have understood, and she would have replied: ‘What fault is there of mine in a matter in which I have no power and of which I know nothing?’ It turned out that the love which presented itself was exactly suited to the state of her soul. It was admiration at a distance, the deification of a stranger. It was the apparition of youth to youth, the dream of nights become a reality yet remaining a dream, the longed-for phantom realized and made flesh at last, but having as yet, neither name, nor fault, nor spot, nor exigence, nor defect; in a word, the distant lover who lingered in the ideal, a chimaera with a form. Any nearer and more palpable meeting would have alarmed Cosette at this first stage, when she was still half immersed in the exaggerated mists of the cloister. She had all the fears of children and all the fears of nuns combined. The spirit of the convent, with which she had been permeated for the space of five years, was still in the process of slow evaporation from her person, and made everything tremble around her. In this situation he was not a lover, he was not even an admirer, he was a vision. She set herself to adoring Marius as something charming, luminous, and impossible. As extreme innocence borders on extreme coquetry, she smiled at him with all frankness. Every day, she looked forward to the hour for their walk with impatience, she found Marius there, she felt herself unspeakably happy, and thought in all sincerity that she was expressing her whole thought when she said to Jean Valjean:— ‘What a delicious garden that Luxembourg is!’ Marius and Cosette were in the dark as to one another. They did not address each other, they did not salute each other, they did not know each other; they saw each other; and like stars of heaven which are separated by millions of leagues, they lived by gazing at each other. It was thus that Cosette gradually became a woman and developed, beautiful and loving, with a consciousness of beauty and in ignorance of love.
Victor Hugo
Yesterday while I was on the side of the mat next to some wrestlers who were warming up for their next match, I found myself standing side by side next to an extraordinary wrestler. He was warming up and he had that look of desperation on his face that wrestlers get when their match is about to start and their coach is across the gym coaching on another mat in a match that is already in progress. “Hey do you have a coach.” I asked him. “He's not here right now.” He quietly answered me ready to take on the task of wrestling his opponent alone. “Would you mind if I coached you?” His face tilted up at me with a slight smile and said. “That would be great.” Through the sounds of whistles and yelling fans I heard him ask me what my name was. “My name is John.” I replied. “Hi John, I am Nishan” he said while extending his hand for a handshake. He paused for a second and then he said to me: “John I am going to lose this match”. He said that as if he was preparing me so I wouldn’t get hurt when my coaching skills didn’t work magic with him today. I just said, “Nishan - No score of a match will ever make you a winner. You are already a winner by stepping onto that mat.” With that he just smiled and slowly ran on to the mat, ready for battle, but half knowing what the probable outcome would be. When you first see Nishan you will notice that his legs are frail - very frail. So frail that they have to be supported by custom made, form fitted braces to help support and straighten his limbs. Braces that I recognize all to well. Some would say Nishan has a handicap. I say that he has a gift. To me the word handicap is a word that describes what one “can’t do”. That doesn’t describe Nishan. Nishan is doing. The word “gift” is a word that describes something of value that you give to others. And without knowing it, Nishan is giving us all a gift. I believe Nishan’s gift is inspiration. The ability to look the odds in the eye and say “You don’t pertain to me.” The ability to keep moving forward. Perseverance. A “Whatever it takes” attitude. As he predicted, the outcome of his match wasn’t great. That is, if the only thing you judge a wrestling match by is the actual score. Nishan tried as hard as he could, but he couldn’t overcome the twenty-six pound weight difference that he was giving up to his opponent on this day in order to compete. You see, Nishan weighs only 80 pounds and the lowest weight class in this tournament was 106. Nishan knew he was spotting his opponent 26 pounds going into every match on this day. He wrestled anyway. I never did get the chance to ask him why he wrestles, but if I had to guess I would say, after watching him all day long, that Nishan wrestles for the same reasons that we all wrestle for. We wrestle to feel alive, to push ourselves to our mental, physical and emotional limits - levels we never knew we could reach. We wrestle to learn to use 100% of what we have today in hopes that our maximum today will be our minimum tomorrow. We wrestle to measure where we started from, to know where we are now, and to plan on getting where we want to be in the future. We wrestle to look the seemingly insurmountable opponent right in the eye and say, “Bring it on. - I can take whatever you can dish out.” Sometimes life is your opponent and just showing up is a victory. You don't need to score more points than your opponent in order to accomplish that. No Nishan didn’t score more points than any of his opponents on this day, that would have been nice, but I don’t believe that was the most important thing to Nishan. Without knowing for sure - the most important thing to him on this day was to walk with pride like a wrestler up to a thirty two foot circle, have all eyes from the crowd on him, to watch him compete one on one against his opponent - giving it all that he had. That is what competition is all about. Most of the times in wrestlin
JohnA Passaro
The new angle hits a deep spot, and I fall forward, barely able to contain myself. My lips land on his, cutting him off. I start to kiss him until I've got no more air in my lungs. I direct my hand down low to that spot that's been on fire ever since I straddled Callum. Right now it's begging, pleading for attention. I move my hand softly at first, swirling a slow rhythm until the heat morphs into pressure. Callum's eyes fall to where my hand is. "Yes. Just like that," he growls. Faster and faster I swirl until every blink gives way to blurry vision. Then it comes. Through all the convulsing, all the whimpering, all the panting, one thing is clear: this climax is perfection, and the reason why is because it's with Callum. He holds me up as I thrash against him, refusing to let himself break until I've gotten mine. When I come down, his body tenses, his jaw bulges, and his eyes go hazy. But somehow he's still got me. His muscled arms shroud me like a warm blanket. Under them, I'm safe. Under him, everything is perfect.
Sarah Smith (Simmer Down)
On the third day after all hell broke loose, I come upstairs to the apartment, finished with my shift and so looking forward to a hot shower. Well, lukewarm—but I’ll pretend it’s hot. But when I pass Ellie’s room, I hear cursing—Linda Blair-Exorcist-head-spinning-around kind of cursing. I push open her door and spot my sister at her little desk, yelling at her laptop. Even Bosco barks from the bed. “What’s going on?” I ask. “I just came up but Marty’s down there on his own—he won’t last longer than ten minutes.” “I know, I know.” She waves her hand. “I’m in a flame war with a toxic bitch on Twitter. Let me just huff and puff and burn her motherfucking house down…and then I’ll go sell some coffee.” “What happened?” I ask sarcastically. “Did she insult your makeup video?” Ellie sighs, long and tortured. “That’s Instagram, Liv—I seriously think you were born in the wrong century. And anyway, she didn’t insult me—she insulted you.” Her words pour over me like the ice-bucket challenge. “Me? I have like two followers on Twitter.” Ellie finishes typing. “Boo-ya. Take that, skank-a-licious!” Then she turns slowly my way. “You haven’t been online lately, have you?” This isn’t going to end well, I know it. My stomach knows it too—it whines and grumbles. “Ah, no?” Ellie nods and stands, gesturing to her computer. “You might want to check it out. Or not—ignorance is bliss, after all. If you do decide to take a peek, you might want to have some grain alcohol nearby.” Then she pats my shoulder and heads downstairs, her blond ponytail swaying behind her. I glance at the screen and my breath comes in quick, semi-panicked bursts and my blood rushes like a runaway train in my veins. I’ve never been in a fight, not in my whole life. The closest I came was sophomore year in high school, when Kimberly Willis told everyone she was going to kick the crap out of me. So I told my gym teacher, Coach Brewster—a giant lumberjack of a man—that I got my period unexpectedly and had to go home. He spent the rest of the school year avoiding eye contact with me. But it worked—by the next day, Kimberly found out Tara Hoffman was the one talking shit about her and kicked the crap out of her instead
Emma Chase (Royally Screwed (Royally, #1))
Eric Steele was strapped in and rubbing a rag over his father’s 1911. Demo had brought the pistol with the rest of Steele’s gear on board the C-17. In the cockpit, the pilot pushed the throttle forward, shoving Steele back in his seat. He barely noticed because he was thinking about the first time his father let him hold the pistol. It had felt so heavy in his hands back then. So much I never got to ask him. He ran his thumb over the spot where the serial number should have been. It was silver and all traces of the file marks were smoothed out by years of use. The pistol was one of John Moses Browning’s masterpieces, the same design that the American infantryman had carried in the Battle of Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, Korea, and Vietnam. It was the only thing he had to remind him of the father he never really knew. Steele had made the pistol his own by modifying it to shoot 9mm, adding a threaded barrel, and installing suppressor sights, which were taller than the factory ones. It was his gun now, and he slipped it away before taking an amphetamine tablet out of his pocket and downing it with a sip of water.
Sean Parnell (Man of War (Eric Steele #1))
Theseus Within the Labyrinth pt.2 But nobody like Theseus likes a smart girl, always telling him to dress warmly and eat plenty of fiber. She was one of those people who are never in doubt. Had he sharpened his sword, tied his sandals? Without her, of course, he would have never escaped the labyrinth. Why hadn’t he thought of that trick with the ball of yarn? But as he looked down at her sleeping form, this woman who was already carrying his child, maybe he thought of their future together, how she would correctly foretell the mystery or banality behind each locked door. So probably he shook his head and said, Give me a dumb girl any day, and crept back to his ship and sailed away. Of course Ariadne was revenged. She would have told him to change the sails, to take down the black ones, put up the white. She would have reminded him that his father, the king of Athens, was waiting on a high cliff scanning the Aegean for Theseus’s returning ship, white for victory, black for defeat. She would have said how his father would see the black sails, how the grief for the supposed death of his one son would destroy him. But Theseus and his men had brought out the wine and were cruising a calm sea in a small boat filled to the brim with ex-virgins. Who could have blamed him? Until he heard the distant scream and his head shot up to see the black sails and he knew. The girls disappeared, the ship grew quiet except for the lap-lap of the water. Staring toward the spot where his father had tumbled headfirst into the Aegean, Theseus understood he would always be a stupid man with a thick stick, scratching his forehead long after the big event. But think, does he change his mind, turn back the ship, hunt up Ariadne and beg her pardon? Far better to be stupid by himself than smart because she’d been tugging on his arm; better to live in the eternal present with a boatload of ex-virgins than in that dark land of consequences promised by Ariadne, better to live like any one of us, thinking to outwit the darkness, but knowing it will catch us, that we will be surprised like the Minotaur on his couch when the door slams back and the hired gun of our personal destruction bursts upon us, upsetting the good times and scaring the girls. Better to be ignorant, to go into the future as into a long tunnel, without ball of yarn or clear direction, to tiptoe forward like any fool or saint or hero, jumpy, full of second thoughts, and bravely unprepared.
Stephen Dobyns (Velocities: New and Selected Poems, 1966-1992)
Soon, droves of children start to show up, keeping us rather busy. We start tallying up the number of Trolls, Batmans, Lego men, and princesses we see. The most popular costume? Batman and Superwoman with the fabrics and accessories varying from child to child. But my favorite so far is the girl who dressed as Little Debbie, but then again, I may be biased. “I think she might be my new favorite,” Emma says as a little girl dressed as a nurse walks away. “That’s because you’re a nurse, but you can’t play favorites,” I say, reminding Emma of the rules. She levels with me. “This coming from the guy whose favorite child was dressed as Little Debbie.” “Come on.” I lean back in my chair and motion to my head. “She had the rim of blue on her hat. That’s attention to detail.” “And good fucking parenting,” Tucker chimes in, and we clink our beer bottles together. Amelia chuckles next to me as Emma shakes her head. “Ridiculous. What about you, Amelia? What costume has been your favorite so far?” “Hmm, it’s been a tough competition. There has been some real winning costumes and some absolute piss-poor ones.” She shakes her head. “Just because you put a scarf around your neck and call yourself Jack Frost doesn’t mean you dressed up.” “Ugh, that costume was dumb.” “It shouldn’t be referred to as a costume, but that’s beside the point.” I like how much Amelia is getting into this little pretend competition. She’s a far cry from the girl who first came home earlier. I love that having Tucker and Emma over has given me more time with Amelia, getting to know the woman she is today, but also managed to put that beautiful smile back on her face. “So who takes the cake for you?” I ask, nudging her leg with mine. Smiling up at me, she says, “Hands down it’s the little boy who dressed as Dwight Schrute from The Office. I think I giggled for five minutes straight after he left. That costume was spot on.” “Oh shit, you’re right,” I reply as Emma and Tucker agree with me. “He even had the watch calculator.” “And the small nose Dwight always complains about.” Emma chuckles. “Yeah, he has to be the winner.” “Now, now, now, let’s not get too hasty. Little Debbie is still in the running,” Tucker points out. Amelia leans forward, seeming incredibly comfortable, and says, “There is no way Little Debbie beats Dwight. Sorry, dude.” The shocked look on Tucker’s face is comical. He’s just been put in his place and the old Amelia has returned. I fucking love it.
Meghan Quinn (The Other Brother (Binghamton, #4))
His eyes growing serious, he added, “This is where it might hurt a little, Kate. But I promise you, the pain will never be repeated.” She nodded, but he could feel her body tense up, which he knew would only make it worse. “Shhh,” he crooned. “Relax.” She nodded, her eyes shut. “I am relaxed.” He was glad she couldn’t see him smile. “You are most definitely not relaxed.” Her eyes flew open. “Yes, I am.” “I can’t believe this,” Anthony said, as if there were someone else in the room to hear him. “She’s arguing with me on our wedding night.” “I’m—” He cut her off with a finger to her lips. “Are you ticklish?” “Am I ticklish?” He nodded. “Ticklish.” Her eyes narrowed suspiciously. “Why?” “That sounds like a yes to me,” he said with a grin. “Not at— Oooohhh!” She let out a squeal as one of his hands found a particularly sensitive spot under arm. “Anthony, stop!” she gasped, squirming desperately beneath him. “I can’t bear it! I—” He plunged forward. “Oh,” she breathed. “Oh, my.” He groaned, barely able to believe just how good it felt to be buried completely within her. “Oh, my, indeed.” “We’re not done now, are we?” He shook his head slowly as his body began to move in an ancient rhythm. “Not even close,” he murmured. -Anthony & Kate
Julia Quinn (The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2))
Camille heard the rustle of grass. She opened one eye and saw Oscar settling down beside her. “We can spare a few minutes,” he said. She sat up and cradled her knees in her arms. He plucked a blade of grass and commenced peeling it down the center. They heard the Australian snoring from his spot a few yards away, completely hidden in a blanket of green. “I guess we can spare more than a few minutes.” Oscar smiled and met her gaze, holding it a moment. She suddenly realized how horrible she must look-her hair, her clothes, her skin. “Do you miss him?” he asked, not seeming to notice any of those things. Camille uprooted a purple flower and a white daisy near it. “Of course I do. But I’m hoping with the stone I won’t have to very long.” “Not your father, Camille. Randall.” She took a deep breath, shocked she hadn’t thought of her fiancé for so long. How many days had it been? A full week, maybe more. “Oh. Well…I suppose I do.” Oscar raised an eyebrow and laughed at her clear lack of conviction. Camille shrugged. “What? A lot has happened and right now getting back to San Francisco isn’t something I’m concerned about.” Oscar nodded and chewed on the tip of his blade of grass. “It’s not that Randall isn’t a perfectly good man,” she said, fiddling with the flowers in her hands. The roots crumbled dirt onto her lap. “He’s kind and caring and handsome and an excellent businessman.” Oscar continued to nod. “And he’ll make a fine husband, I’m sure,” she added, knowing he really was all those things. If only all of them combined could make up for what she didn’t feel while with him. “I’m sure,” Oscar repeated. Had he been mocking her? She thought she had caught a trace of sarcasm. All this talk about Randall had her itching. “Why do you ask?” “Just wondered if you missed home,” Oscar answered and threw the mangled blade of grass behind him. “Do you?” she asked, ashamed to her Oscar know how little she desired to return. He thought for a moment, tugging up another switch of grass and rolling it between his fingers. “No,” he answered with stark certainty. “I have everything I’d miss right here.” Every inch of Camille’s body smoldered under Oscar’s gentle, and so very forward, gaze. He’d miss her. She looked into his gray-blue eyes, rimmed by thick, honey-colored lashes-had they always been so full? The bridge of his nose crooked to the left slightly, perhaps broken in a fight after he’d moved from her father’s carriage house to a small apartment along the San Francisco harbor front. She’d never noticed the charming imperfection before. She watched as his eyes traveled over her own features, touching on the wound by her temple and settling on the heart-shaped fullness of her lips. Oscar held his piercing stare. “We probably won’t arrive home in time for your wedding.
Angie Frazier (Everlasting (Everlasting, #1))
His face softened and he leaned down and covered her mouth with his. Dark and dirty, hot and horny, sweet and utterly seductive. Damn, the man could kiss. "I want you inside me." She swallowed hard. "I" "You have me---all of me." He pushed deep, filling her, stretching her, making her feel every inch of him. His smoldering eyes watched her intently, sending a current of need arrowing straight to her core. When she moaned, he moved his hips in just the right way to hit her most sensitive spot. Pleasure licked through her body and she surged toward the peak. "Don't stop." "No chance of that." His gaze didn't leave hers as he pulled out and thrust again, his hips moving hard and fast, arms braced on either side of her. The world fell away until there was only Jay, his scent, his heat, his muscles tightening and releasing, and his eyes locked on her like she truly was the most beautiful woman in the world. Heart-squeezing tenderness and wild heat. She came in a roll of pleasure, a soul-deep release as she let herself go. Jay followed her with a quiet shudder that ripped the tension out of his muscular body with a groan. "Fuck." He fell forward, his body covering hers, taking his weight on his elbows beside her. Small kisses to her lips made her feel seen and not forgotten. "We just did." She looked up to her hands and he released them with one tug. "Touch me, sweetheart. I want to feel your hands on me." She held him close for what seemed like forever, breathing in his scent of sex and sweat and the lingering hint of his cologne.
Sara Desai (The Singles Table (Marriage Game, #3))
Ladies,” he said as he stepped forward. “I’m afraid we don’t have enough tents or saddles to add you to the group.” “I already tried to stop them,” Elaine said, “but they insisted.” She turned to Phoebe. “Eddie and Gladys are known for being a little hardheaded.” “Among other things,” Maya added wryly. “That one’s Eddie, and that one’s Gladys,” she said, pointing. “We’re not additions,” Eddie said, “we’re replacements.” Gladys dug through the large black purse strapped over her forearm and pulled out a checkbook. “We met a nice couple at Ronan’s last night, and they couldn’t say yes fast enough when we offered to buy their spots on the cattle drive.” “They said they’re gonna stay in town and get a hot stone massage every day instead.” “But--” “We already paid,” Eddie said. “Five hundred bucks a pop. Figured it would be worth it if we could see some sexy cowboys. We’ve taken riding lessons from Shane Stryker, but he refuses to take off his shirt for us. I hope you’re not going to be so stubborn.” Phoebe thought Zane might call off the whole thing, after all, but all he did was mutter, “Fine. Head inside, I’ll bring your things.” She supposed the novices were a bit of a challenge and senior novices would be even more of one, but to her mind, the older women were quirky and delightful. “We’re mighty excited about this trip,” Gladys said. “Eddie here has wanted to go on a cattle drive since she first saw City Slickers.” She winked. “Not that either of us have a hankering to help with a birthing, mind you. It looked a tad messy.” Phoebe was charmed.
Susan Mallery (Kiss Me (Fool's Gold, #17))
Sometimes life transports us on an unplanned journey, that keeps changing directions. We change direction, but the route brings us back into a dark tunnel. Maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but the tunnel provides no indication of ending. The frustration, fear, and lost hope become our companions in the dark tunnel. Because that tunnel isn't any random spot. The tunnel represents a path we have selected unconsciously. Day by day we have walked towards that tunnel, but escaped it by taking a less favorable but a safe route. But gradually the safest of routes run out and we are left with nothing but the unseen dark tunnel. And now we will have to make it through that symbolic end of the journey. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through our confidence, mental strength & skill level. It will leave us alone, weak, un-admired & undesirable. Our efforts will be questioned & lots of "I knew it," comments will echo in the dark walls of our minds. But if we endure that hurt & keep crawling, it will end soon. The tunnel is not outside, its within us, summoning us to rediscover ourselves, & to take the turn fate has planned for us. But we constantly fear the unknown and it takes the tunnel to forcefully suck us into that dimension, because willingly we won't enter despite many signals or indications to do so. And once the tunnel is over we might not recall how we made it through. But one thing is certain. When we come out of the tunnel, we won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this tunnel represents ”an unplanned journey' necessary to move forward in life.
Shahenshah Hafeez Khan
It may not have been very big, she said, but everyone will notice that it’s missing. How could they not? One might as well overlook a bare patch of earth on the crest of a snow-covered mountain. And her eyes rolled forward as she tried to peer down her long snout at the small, dark hole above her nostril. Eragon laughed and splashed a handful of water at her. Then, to soothe her injured pride, he said, “No one will notice, Saphira. Trust me. Besides, even if they do, they’ll take it for a battle wound and consider you all the more fearsome because of it.” You think so? She returned to examining herself in the lake. The water and her scales reflected off each other in a dazzling array of rainbow-hued flecks. What if a soldier stabs me there? The blade would go right through me. Perhaps I should ask the dwarves to make a metal plate to cover the area until the scale regrows. “That would look exceedingly ridiculous.” It would? “Mm-hmm.” He nodded, on the verge of laughing again. She sniffed. There’s no need to make fun of me. How would you like it if the fur on your head started falling out, or you lost one of those silly little nubs you call teeth? I would end up having to comfort you, no doubt. “No doubt,” he agreed easily. “But then, teeth don’t grow back.” He pushed himself off the rock and made his way up the shore to where he had left his boots, stepping carefully to avoid hurting his feet on the stones and branches that littered the water’s edge. Saphira followed him, the soft earth squishing between her talons. You could cast a spell to protect just that spot, she said as he pulled on his boots. “I could. Do you want me to?” I do.
Christopher Paolini (Inheritance (The Inheritance Cycle, #4))
Why did you help AgriGen for so long?" The doctor's eyes narrow. "The same reason you run like a dog for your masters. They paid me in the coin I wanted most." Her slap rings across the water. The guards start forward, but Kanya is already drawing back, shaking off the sting in her hand, waving away the guards. "We're fine. Nothing is wrong." The guards pause, unsure of their duty and loyalties. The doctor touches his broken lip, examines the blood thoughtfully. Looks up. "A sore spot, there. . . How much of yourself have you already sold?" He smiles showing teeth rimed bloody from Kanya's strike. "Are you AgriGen's then? Complicit?" He looks into Kanya's eyes. "Are you here to kill me? To end my thorn in their side?" He watches closely, eyes peering into her soul, observant, curious. "It is only a matter of time. They must know that I am here. That I am yours. The Kingdom couldn't have fared so well for so long without me. Couldn't have released nightshades and ngaw without my help. We all know they are hunting. Are you my hunter, then? Are you my destiny?" Kanya scowls. "Hardly. We're not done with you yet." Gibbons slumps. "Ah, of course not. But then, you never will be. That is the nature of our beasts and plagues. They are not dumb machines to be driven about. They have their own needs and hungers. Their own evolutionary demands. They must mutate and adapt, and so you will never be done with me, and when I am gone, what will you do then? We have released demons upon the world, and your walls are only as good as my intellect. Nature has become something new. It is ours now, truly. And if our creation devours us, how poetic will that be?" "Kamma," she murmurs. "Precisely.
Paolo Bacigalupi (The Windup Girl)
Snake,” Wyatt announced. “A big black one.” “There’s dozens of them,” Royce explained. “Where?” Alric asked. “Mostly behind you on the walls.” “What?” the king said, aghast. “Why didn’t you say something?” “Knowing would only make traveling slower.” “Are they poisonous?” Mauvin asked. They could all see the silhouetted shoulders of Royce’s shadow on the far wall shrug. “I demand you inform me of such things in future!” Alric declared. “Do you want to know about the giant millipedes, then too?” “Are you joking?” “Royce doesn’t make jokes,” Arista told him as she looked around, anxiously hugging herself. Immediately her robe brightened and she spotted two snakes on the walls, but they were a safe distance away. “He must be joking,” Alric muttered quietly. “I don’t see any.” “You aren’t looking up,” the thief said. Arista did not want to. Some instinct, a tiny voice, warned her to fight the impulse, but in the end she just could not help herself. On the low ceiling, illuminated brightly by the robe, slithered a mass of wormlike bugs with an uncountable number of hairlike feet. Each was nearly five inches in length and close to the width of a man’s finger. There were so many that they swarmed over each other until it was hard to tell if the ceiling was rock at all. Arista felt a chill run down her back. She clenched her teeth, forced her eyes to the floor, and focused on walking forward as quickly as possible. She promptly passed Alric and Mauvin, both moving quicker than normal. She reached Royce, who stood outside the corridor on a boulder at the entrance to a larger passage. “I guess I was wrong. Looks like I should have told you earlier,” Royce said, watching them race forward. “Are there…?” she asked, pointing upward without looking. Royce glanced up and shook his head. “Good,” she replied. “And please, if Alric wants to know these things, fine, but don’t tell me. I could have gone the rest of my life not knowing they were there.” She shivered. Everyone scurried out of the corridor except Myron, who lingered, staring up at the ceiling and smiling in fascination. “There are millions.
Michael J. Sullivan (Heir of Novron (The Riyria Revelations, #5-6))
But come on—tell me the proposal story, anyway.” She raised an eyebrow. “Really?” “Really. Just keep in mind that I’m a guy, which means I’m genetically predisposed to think that whatever mushy romantic tale you’re about to tell me is highly cheesy.” Rylann laughed. “I’ll keep it simple, then.” She rested her drink on the table. “Well, you already heard how Kyle picked me up at the courthouse after my trial. He said he wanted to surprise me with a vacation because I’d been working so hard, but that we needed to drive to Champaign first to meet with his former mentor, the head of the U of I Department of Computer Sciences, to discuss some project Kyle was working on for a client.” She held up a sparkly hand, nearly blinding Cade and probably half of the other Starbucks patrons. “In hindsight, yes, that sounds a little fishy, but what do I know about all this network security stuff? He had his laptop out, there was some talk about malicious payloads and Trojan horse attacks—it all sounded legitimate enough at the time.” “Remind me, while I’m acting U.S. attorney, not to assign you to any cybercrime cases.” “Anyhow. . . we get to Champaign, which as it so happens, is where Kyle and I first met ten years ago. And the limo turns onto the street where I used to live while in law school, and Kyle asks the driver to pull over because he wants to see the place for old time’s sake. So we get out of the limo, and he’s making this big speech about the night we met and how he walked me home on the very sidewalk we were standing on—I’ll fast-forward here in light of your aversion to the mushy stuff—and I’m laughing to myself because, well, we’re standing on the wrong side of the street. So naturally, I point that out, and he tells me that nope, I’m wrong, because he remembers everything about that night, so to prove my point I walk across the street to show him and”—she paused here— “and I see a jewelry box, sitting on the sidewalk, in the exact spot where we had our first kiss. Then I turn around and see Kyle down on one knee.” She waved her hand, her eyes a little misty. “So there you go. The whole mushy, cheesy tale. Gag away.” Cade picked up his coffee cup and took a sip. “That was actually pretty smooth.” Rylann grinned. “I know. Former cyber-menace to society or not, that man is a keeper
Julie James (Love Irresistibly (FBI/US Attorney, #4))
Among the many people Chris met while doing charity work was Randy Cupp, who invited him and Bubba out to shoot with him come deer season. When Chris passed away, Randy made it clear to me that the offer not only still stood, but that he would love to give Bubba a chance to kill his first buck. With deer season upon us, the kids and I decided to take him up on the offer. Angel, Bubba, and I went out to his property on a beautiful morning. Setting out for the blind, I felt Chris’s presence, as if he were scouting along with us. We settled into our spots and waited. A big buck came across in front of us a short time later. It was an easy shot--except that Bubba had neglected to put his ear protection in. He scrambled to get it in, but by the time he was ready, the animal had bounded off. Deer--and opportunities--are like that. We waited some more. Another buck came out from the trees not five minutes later. And this one was not only in range, but it was bigger than the first: a thirteen pointer. Chris must have scared that thing up. “That’s the one,” said Randy as the animal pranced forward. Bubba took a shot. The deer scooted off as the gunshot echoed. My son thought he’d missed, but Randy was sure he’d hit him. At first, we didn’t see a blood trail--a bad sign, since a wounded animal generally leaves an easily spotted trail. But a few steps later, we found the body prone in the woods. Bubba had killed him with a shot to the lungs. Like father, like son. While Bubba left to dress the carcass, I went back to the blind with Angel to wait for another. She was excited that she might get a deer just like her brother. But when a buck walked within range, tears came to her eyes. “I can’t do it,” she said, putting down her gun. “It’s okay,” I told her. “I just can’t.” “Do you want me to?” I asked. She nodded. I took aim. Even though I was married to a hard-core hunter, I had never shot a deer before. I lined up the scope, walking him into the crosshairs. A slow breath, and I squeezed the trigger. The shot surprised me--just as Chris said it should. The deer fell. He was good meat; we eat what we kill, another of Chris’s golden rules. “You know, Angel, you’re going to be my hunting partner forever,” I told her later. “You’re just so calm and observant. And good luck.” We plan to do that soon. She’ll be armed with a high-powered camera, rather than a rifle.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
Holy gallnipper, how long till we hit the magic trail? It’s gloomier than my own funeral I here.” Camille adjusted the bag’s rope and looked at Ira. “Don’t even joke about that.” Since the moment they’d entered the forest, she’d felt like something was listening. Like they’d woken some sleeping creature, and now it followed them with silent cunning. The deafening chants had not returned to pierce her eardrums, but danger still felt close. A few paces ahead of her, Oscar peeled away another cobweb, the octagonal spinning so massive Camille didn’t even want to imagine the size of the spider that had created it. “Mate, you got a stomach made of iron,” Ira said. A flash of orange and black swept in front of Camille’s eyes and she felt an odd tug on her dress. She looked down and froze. A spider with a body the size of her first flexed its hairy legs on her skirt. It started to scuttle up. Her scream echoed through the forest as she swiped the spider off. It hit the marshy ground and scampered under a log. Oscar grabbed her arm and pulled her toward him. “Did it bite you?” She shook her head, arms and legs stiff with fear. “I’ve never seen one so bloody big,” Ira said, running past the log as though the spider would leap out at him. Oscar started walking again, his hand on the small of her back. She exhaled with more than one kind of relief. He was at least still concerned for her. As they started to pick up their pace, another black critter swung down from a nearby tree. Camille say it flying toward them, but her warning shout was too slow. The spider landed on Oscar’s shoulder, fat and furry and swift as its legs darted up his neck. Oscar shouted an obscenity as he whacked the giant from his skin. Camille heard it thud against the leafy forest floor. Unfazed, the spider quickly sprang to its finger-length legs and darted toward her boot. Her shrieks echoed again as it leaped onto her hem. With his foot, Ira knocked the spider back to the ground, and before it could bounce back up, Oscar smashed it with a stick. The squashed giant oozed yellow-and-green blood onto the marshy ground. Camille gagged and tasted her breakfast oats in the back of her mouth. “What in all wrath are those monsters?” Ira panted as he twisted around, looking for more. Camille looked up to the trees to try and spot any others that might be descending from glossy webbing. Terror paralyzed her as her eyes landed on a colony of glistening webs in the treetops. An endless number of black dots massed above their heads, dangling from tree limbs. Oscar and Ira followed her horrified stare. “Run,” Oscar whispered. Camille sprinted forward, her skin and scalp tingling with imaginary spider legs. The bag of provisions slammed against her back, tugging at her neck, but she didn’t care. They didn’t slow down until the gigantic spiderwebs grew sparse and the squawk of birds took over.
Angie Frazier (Everlasting (Everlasting, #1))
Derian pulled the blanket snug around himself. “This is my added assurance.” Eena wrinkled her nose as if she thought his answer was odder than his actions. “It’s your what?” “If you recall the last time we were here standing in this very spot, you pelted me with neumberries.” He held up a single berry before popping it into his mouth. “I doubt you would risk soiling your blanket, so I figure wrapping it around me this way I’m pretty much assured safety from any potential attack.” He winked playfully, and she laughed out loud. “I’m afraid you don’t know me half as well as you think,” she announced. Aiming low, she flung a sizable berry at his calf. It hit its mark. “Whoa, whoa!” He lowered the blanket to cover his legs. “You can’t hide yourself entirely, Derian,” she said, aiming for his face. He ducked, raising the blanket like a shield in the process. Another round of ammunition pelted his ankles before he decided it was time to fight back. Eena found herself bound up in her own blanket, arms wrapped securely at her sides. She laughed nonstop, unable to move within his strong hold. Derian leaned forward until their noses touched, and then he kissed her giggles silent. He kept her in the blanket, snug and close to him, but Eena managed to wriggle an arm free and drape it around his neck, holding his lips in reach. She uttered a quick count in between kisses. “Seven,” she breathed. Derian paused, his mouth a whisper away from hers. It tickled when he spoke. “No, no, Eena.” “No what?” “No counting. Not today. No ground rules.” She barely uttered a partial “’kay” before his mouth covered hers again. His hot breath tasted like breakfast. He fixed his hands on each side of her face, and the blanket fell to the ground. As the intensity of their kisses grew hungry, he gripped her cheeks more securely. Eena could feel the air electrifying around them. Her heartbeat drummed—excited and anxious. “Derian…” she breathed. But he didn’t stop. She felt his hand move to support her neck while the other slid down her back, urging her closer. She brought her arms together and pressed against his chest, somewhat objecting to the intimacy. “Derian…” she tried again. But he covered her mouth with his own. She pushed more firmly against him without success. Her protest weakened as his kisses softened. The fervor subsided, and she could feel her wild pulse even out. Amidst a string of supple kisses, Derian’s breathing slowed. He planted his lips on her forehead for a moment before squeezing her tenderly. She snuggled up against his warm chest. “One ground rule,” he whispered in her ear. “We stop when you say ‘when.’” “When,” she uttered. “Okay,” he agreed. Then, as if the thought had just occurred to her, she stepped back to look up questioningly at the captain. “Wasn’t there a leftover sandwich in that basket from last night?” His lips formed a guilty smile as he confessed, “Yes—and it was delicious.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Eena, The Two Sisters (The Harrowbethian Saga #4))
Show me." He looks at her, his eyes darker than the air. "If you draw me a map I think I'll understand better." "Do you have paper?" She looks over the empty sweep of the car's interior. "I don't have anything to write with." He holds up his hands, side to side as if they were hinged. "That's okay. You can just use my hands." She smiles, a little confused. He leans forward and the streetlight gives him yellow-brown cat eyes. A car rolling down the street toward them fills the interior with light, then an aftermath of prickling black waves. "All right." She takes his hands, runs her finger along one edge. "Is this what you mean? Like, if the ocean was here on the side and these knuckles are mountains and here on the back it's Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, West L.A., West Hollywood, and X marks the spot." She traces her fingertips over the backs of his hands, her other hand pressing into the soft pads of his palm. "This is where we are- X." "Right now? In this car?" He leans back; his eyes are black marble, dark lamps. She holds his gaze a moment, hears a rush of pulse in her ears like ocean surf. Her breath goes high and tight and shallow; she hopes he can't see her clearly in the car- her translucent skin so vulnerable to the slightest emotion. He turns her hands over, palms up, and says, "Now you." He draws one finger down one side of her palm and says, "This is the Tigris River Valley. In this section there's the desert, and in this point it's plains. The Euphrates runs along there. This is Baghdad here. And here is Tahrir Square." He touches the center of her palm. "At the foot of the Jumhurriya Bridge. The center of everything. All the main streets run out from this spot. In this direction and that direction, there are wide busy sidewalks and apartments piled up on top of shops, men in business suits, women with strollers, street vendors selling kabobs, eggs, fruit drinks. There's the man with his cart who sold me rolls sprinkled with thyme and sesame every morning and then saluted me like a soldier. And there's this one street...." He holds her palm cradled in one hand and traces his finger up along the inside of her arm to the inner crease of her elbow, then up to her shoulder. Everywhere he touches her it feels like it must be glowing, as if he were drawing warm butter all over her skin. "It just goes and goes, all the way from Baghdad to Paris." He circles her shoulder. "And here"- he touches the inner crease of her elbow-"is the home of the Nile crocodile with the beautiful speaking voice. And here"- his fingers return to her shoulder, dip along their clavicle-"is the dangerous singing forest." "The dangerous singing forest?" she whispers. He frowns and looks thoughtful. "Or is that in Madagascar?" His hand slips behind her neck and he inches toward her on the seat. "There's a savanna. Chameleons like emeralds and limes and saffron and rubies. Red cinnamon trees filled with lemurs." "I've always wanted to see Madagascar," she murmurs: his breath is on her face. Their foreheads touch. His hand rises to her face and she can feel that he's trembling and she realizes that she's trembling too. "I'll take you," he whispers.
Diana Abu-Jaber (Crescent)
I was standing lost, sunk, my hands in my pockets, gazing toward Tinker Mountain and feeling the earth reel down. All at once, I saw what looked like a Martian spaceship whirling towards me in the air. It flashed borrowed light like a propeller. Its forward motion greatly outran its fall. As I watched, transfixed, it rose, just before it would have touched a thistle, and hovered pirouetting in one spot, then twirled on and finally came to rest. I found it in the grass; it was a maple key…Hullo. I threw it into the wind and it flew off again, bristling with animate purpose, not like a thing dropped or windblown, pushed by the witless winds of convection currents hauling round the world’s rondure where they must, but like a creature muscled and vigorous, or a creature spread thin to that other wind, the wind of the spirit that bloweth where it listeth, lighting, and raising up, and easing down. O maple key, I thought, I must confess I thought, o welcome, cheers. And the bell under my ribs rang a true note, a flourish of blended horns, clarion, sweet, and making a long dim sense I will try at length to explain. Flung is too harsh a word for the rush of the world. Blown is more like it, but blown by a generous, unending breath. That breath never ceases to kindle, exuberant, abandoned; frayed splinters spatter in every direction and burgeon into flame. And now when I sway to a fitful wind, alone and listing, I will think, maple key. When I see a photograph of earth from outer space, the planet so startlingly painterly and hung, I will think, maple key. When I shake your hand or meet your eyes, I will think two maple keys. If I am maple key falling, at least I can twirl. Thomas Merton wrote, “There is always a temptation to diddle around in the contemplative life, making itsy-bitsy statues.” There is always an enormous temptation in all of life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for itsy-bitsy years on end. It’s no self-conscious, so apparently moral, simple to step aside from the gaps where the creeks and winds pour down, saying, I never merited this grace, quite rightly, and then to sulk along the rest of your days on the edge of rage. I won’t have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous and bitter, more extravagant and bright. We are making hay when we should be making whoopee; we are raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus. Ezekiel excoriates false prophets who have “not gone up into the gaps.” The gaps are the thing. The gaps are the spirit’s one home, the altitudes and latitudes so dazzlingly spare and clean that the spirit can discover itself for the first time like a once blind man unbound. The gaps are the cliffs in the rock where you cower to see the back parts of God; they are the fissures between mountains and cells the wind lances through, the icy narrowing fjords splitting the cliffs of mystery. Go up into the gaps. If you can find them; they shift and vanish too. Stalk the gaps. Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock- more than a maple- a universe. This is how you spend the afternoon, and tomorrow morning, and tomorrow afternoon. Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
Are you Hilary Westfield?” She sounded like she hoped it wasn’t the case. Hilary nodded. “Oh. Well, I’m Philomena. I have to show you to your room.” Hilary looked wildly at Miss Greyson. “I’m Miss Westfield’s governess,” Miss Greyson said, to Hilary’s relief. Maybe talking politely to people like Philomena was something you learned at Miss Pimm’s, or maybe getting past Philomena was a sort of entrance exam. “Is there any chance we could see Miss Pimm? We’re old acquaintances. I used to go to school here, you see.” Miss Greyson smiled for the second time that day—the world was getting stranger and stranger by the minute—but Philomena didn’t smile back. “I’m terribly sorry,” said Philomena, “but Miss Pimm doesn’t receive visitors. You can leave Miss Westfield with me, and the porter will collect Miss Westfield’s bags.” She raised her eyebrows as the carriage driver deposited the golden traveling trunk on the doorstep. “I hope you have another pair of stockings in there.” “I do.” Hilary met Philomena’s stare. “I have nineteen pairs, in fact. And a sword.” Miss Greyson groaned and put her hand to her forehead. “Excuse me?” said Philomena. “I’m afraid Miss Westfield is prone to fits of imagination,” Miss Greyson said quickly. Philomena’s eyebrows retreated. “I understand completely,” she said. “Well, you have nothing to worry about. Miss Pimm’s will cure her of that nasty habit soon enough. Now, Miss Westfield, please come along with me.” Hilary and Miss Greyson started to follow Philomena inside. “Only students and instructors are permitted inside the school building,” said Philomena to Miss Greyson. “With all the thefts breaking out in the kingdom these days, one really can’t be too careful. But you’re perfectly welcome to say your good-byes outside.” Miss Greyson agreed and knelt down in front of Hilary. “A sword?” she whispered. “I’m sorry, Miss Greyson.” “All I ask is that you take care not to carve up your classmates. If I were not a governess, however, I might mention that the lovely Philomena is in need of a haircut.” Hilary nearly laughed, but she suspected it might be against the rules to laugh on the grounds of Miss Pimm’s, so she gave Miss Greyson her most solemn nod instead. “Now,” said Miss Greyson, “you must promise to write. You must keep up with the news of the day and tell me all about it in your letters. And you’ll come and visit me in my bookshop at the end of the term, won’t you?” “Of course.” Hilary’s stomach was starting to feel very strange, and she didn’t trust herself to say more than a few words at a time. This couldn’t be right; pirates were hardly ever sentimental. Then again, neither was Miss Greyson. Yet here she was, leaning forward to hug Hilary, and Hilary found herself hugging Miss Greyson back. “Please don’t tell me to be a good little girl,” she said. Miss Greyson sniffed and stood up. “My dear,” she said, “I would never dream of it.” She gave Hilary’s canvas bag an affectionate pat, nodded politely to Philomena, and walked down the steps and through the gate, back to the waiting carriage. “Come along,” said Philomena, picking up the lightest of Hilary’s bags. “And please don’t dawdle. I have lessons to finish.” HILARY FOLLOWED PHILOMENA through a maze of dark stone walls and high archways. From the inside, the building seemed more like a fortress
Caroline Carlson (Magic Marks the Spot (The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates, #1))
Rowan coughed and spluttered on his gulp of beer. “I’ve never played with my pussy,” he said with an amused glint in his eye.” Her cheeks heated at his dirty language, but the tingles running under her skin made her aware of her reaction to being alone in the hotel room with Rowan, sitting on the big bed and playing silly games. “I’ve never touched a woman’s breasts beside my own.” “I’ve never given a blow job.” “I’ve never received a blow job,” she said, tilting the mini wine bottle to her mouth and realizing it was empty. “I’ve never played I never with a woman I love before,” he said, setting his beer can on the nightstand with a clink. “I’ve never kissed a man in a hotel room before.” She pressed forward onto her hands and knees to reach and kiss him. Their lips lingered for a long moment before she leaned back and waited for his next I never. “I’ve never removed a woman’s shirt in a hotel room.” Now it was his turn to lean forward and tug her sweater up over her head. She thought long and hard about her next words, knowing he would act on whatever she said. “I’ve never ordered a man to take off his shirt in a hotel room,” she said finally and watched happily as he removed his long sleeve navy cotton T–shirt. She’d never tire of seeing his smooth skin over hard pectorals. A narrow line of hair trailed down the center of his belly disappearing into jeans. She’d licked her way along that line yesterday and licked her lips now in anticipation of tasting him again. “I’ve never kissed a woman’s nipples in a hotel room,” he said. In a flash, her bra was flying through the air to land in a pile on the carpet in front of the window, and Rowan’s mouth was on her breasts. Sensation spiraled through her as she shuddered and her arousal built. She’d been on edge since their heated kisses in the car in the parking lot, and it didn’t take much for Rowan’s tongue to turn her into a shuddering, needy wanton. “I think this game has turned from I Never into Truth or Dare,” she said, clasping Rowan’s head to her chest. He pulled away from his decadent kisses to look her in the face. “Let’s do it. Dare me, Jill.” The look in his eye told her she might’ve taken on more than she could handle. Though she’d been an active participant in their lovemaking up to now, Rowan had taken the lead and guided her. She had the power here. The question was what to do with it. “I dare you to”—she licked her lips thoughtfully—“I dare you to get naked and lie on your back. Eyes closed,” she added. When all was as she wanted, she leaned over him and planted a kiss on his lips. Then she kissed her way down his body, stopping at all the best spots. His chin, where his unshaven beard scratched at her skin. His pectorals, one nipple, then another. His belly button. “You’re ticklish,” she observed. “Yeah.” Then she made her way lower to his erection, lying over his belly pointing at the chin. She freaking loved his body and how it reacted to her every touch. Being alone with him in the hotel room was even better. Here there were no echoes of footsteps in the hallway, no clock ticking signaling the end of their hour together, no narrow bed forcing them to get creative in their positions. They had a king–size bed and a whole night to explore. Kneeling at the side, she took him in her mouth, eliciting a moan. His musky taste filled her mouth, and she lovingly used her tongue to drive him wild. His hand found the crease of her jeans between her legs and explored her while she used her mouth on him. She parted her legs, giving him better access, and it was all she could do to concentrate on giving him pleasure when he was making her feel so good. She wanted to straddle him so bad. The temptation to stop the foreplay and ride this thing to completion was great, but she held off. “Are you ready for me?” Rowan asked. “You want my cock in you?” His eyes remained closed, and a smile lingered on his face.
Lynne Silver (Desperate Match (Coded for Love, #5))